Saturday, June 17, 2023

Dead Letter

I was an enthusiastic user of .40S&W in the 1990s.

My first "name brand" pistol, which I bought in 1993, was a stainless double-action-only Ruger P91, and I pretty quickly traded it in on a Glock 23, still a fairly new pistol back then.

I largely carried one variety or another of the Glock 23 for the next ten years. I eagerly bought into the "stopping power" hype and could quote the percentages of various loadings from the Marshall & Sanow books faster than your eyes could focus on the page to check my answers. I was pretty sure that a hot 155gr .40 caliber bullet was the next best thing to Mjolnir when it came to flattening bad guys.

Ah, youth.

As it turns out, the thing that .40 cal is best at is prematurely wearing out pistols that had originally been designed for 9mm. That and making Major in USPSA.

The revolution in tiny high capacity guns like the Reflex and the Hellcat is because manufacturers no longer feel constrained to make them compatible with .40 cal, which is rapidly becoming a cartridge used by nobody other than gamers and by people who enjoy being different for the sake of being different, like .38 Super has become. There's something poetic about that, since .38 Super was originally designed as a sort of ultimate law enforcement cartridge as well.

I carried 155gr Hydra-Shok because of its 93% OSS rating. Seriously.