5 Best .40 Cal Pistols


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January 2, 2023

The .40 was created to provide police enforcement with a more powerful pistol than the 9mm.

Things change all the time, and the gun world is no exception. The resurrection of the 9mm at the expense of the is a current trend that we are experiencing. 

The FBI, for instance, just converted from the .40 S&W to the 9mm Luger. When the US military chose the SIG Sauer M17 as their new service weapon, they seriously contemplated converting to a .40 caliber, but finally decided on a 9mm. And police departments across the country are switching from .40 caliber to 9mm firearms.

It’s easy to understand why. Despite the fact that the 9mm FMJ is a rather weak manstopper, citizens and law enforcement have access to a wide range of very effective self-defense jacketed hollow point ammunition. As a result, the demand for.40 caliber pistols has decreased significantly, while 9mm pistols also carry more bullets and have less recoil.

The whole point of the .40 was to provide law enforcement with a more powerful weapon than the 9mm. Yes, the .45 ACP was no longer legal, but the capacity of .45 pistols was also severely constrained. This is why the 10mm was invented, but because the round’s recoil was just a wee bit touch too much for some people, it was shortened to the .40 S&W we have today.

The .40 S&W has served admirably for many years and will continue to do so in the future, but as previously stated, the shift to a round with much enhanced stopping power in a lighter, more controlled package is why we’ve seen.

40 pistols are being phased out in favor of 9mm.

That explanation was a roundabout way of explaining why the .40 cal is so worth your time. The move away from the .40 caliber has resulted in a glut of surplus .40 caliber handguns on the market, many of which are offered at bargain prices. And just because the .40 caliber isn’t as popular as it once was doesn’t rule out the possibility of using it for self-defense.

In fact, after the 9mm and .45 ACP, the .40 is the third most popular caliber today, and it is still widely available. For these reasons, a .40 caliber handgun is still a viable option for self-defense or home defense, and the plethora of surplus guns and police trade-ins means you have plenty of options at low prices.

Best .40 Cal Pistols

Beretta 96A1 40 S&W

beretta 96a1 40 s&w

There’s a lot to like about the 96A1. The handgun has a 10+1 capacity and has a lot of firepower. This Beretta is also precise, dependable, and secure.

The disassembly is smooth, which makes maintenance a breeze, and the recoil buffer is something that many enthusiasts appreciate: it reduces stress on the other components and increases the pistol’s durability.

The barrel on this Beretta is made of cold-forged steel and finely machined to maximize accuracy. The barrel is closed by the open slide on the 90-series handguns, which is a common engineering solution.

The 96A1’s overall weight is reduced as a result of this, and it weighs 34.4oz unloaded. The gun’s reliability is improved by the enclosed barrel, which reduces backward momentum.

The Bruniton finish on this model provides outstanding corrosion protection. A Picatinny rail is also included, allowing you to easily add tactical lights and aftermarket optics.

You might believe that all of the attributes contribute to the overall size. However, among those vying for the title of best rated, this is one of the most compact. Pistol with a caliber of 40 caliber. The barrel is 4.9″ long and the overall length is only 8.5″. As a result, the Beretta is ideal for covert carry.

Walther PPQ M2

walther ppq m2

The slide and barrel of the M2 are Tenifer-coated. The barrel is 5 inches long, which allows for a higher muzzle velocity. The PPQ’s sight radius is also quite large, making it easy to line up the sights.

This pistol was created with ambidexterity in mind. The rear and front slide serrations, the slide stop, and the magazine release all have this feature.

Regardless of hand size or side, the grip fits like a glove. The polymer frame of the M2 makes the pistol lightweight, robust, and corrosion-proof. The slide is made of stainless steel and has serrations on both the front and back.

The M2 also has a Picatinny rail for mounting tactical gear. It does not, however, have a manual safety. Walther compensated by including two drop safeties and a firing pin block.

Glock 23 Gen 4 .40 S&W Pistol

The Glock needs little introduction, even if you’re a complete rookie. When people refer to a Glock, they are referring to this model. It stands out as one of the smallest and most well-engineered pistols available.

The weapon appears to be designed to last right out of the box. The back-strap shapes are easy to swap to fit your grip, which is a step forward from the previous model.

Unlike some other models, the 23 features a tiny trigger that has a limited travel distance. This increases the gun’s safety in some ways. However, there is a loaded-chamber indicator on the trigger finger that you can feel.

The magazine carries 13 rounds in terms of capacity. The Glock 23 is one of the lightest weapons on the market, weighing in at 23.6 oz., yet it’s always tough and robust.

The Striker Fire action is also included, as well as levers to block or engage the slide’s path and an accessory rail near the trigger guard so you can add a nice pistol light if needed.

Heckler & Koch VP Semi-Auto Pistol

heckler & koch vp semi-auto pistol

With a striker-fired mechanism and a polymer frame, the ergonomics of this H&K are difficult to beat. In relation to the slide, the charging handles, for example, are in the back. And, in my opinion, this is superior engineering in terms of ease of use.

The quick and smooth action of the VP trigger, on the other hand, is maybe even more stunning. You’ll notice that there’s absolutely no take-up when you shoot the handgun. You can also use the trigger to take advantage of the gun’s mechanical accuracy.

You have better firing control, especially when shooting at the same target repeatedly. In addition, H&K devised a unique technique to mitigate recoil in rapid fire mode.

The trigger guard is undercut, and the backstrap of the pistol has a tang. This design encourages you to grasp higher, closer to the centerline axis, so reducing recoil.

This pistol is also a decent size and the capacity of the round is 13+1.

Three-dot sights, slide serrations, a polygonal barrel, and charging supports are among the other features. When you combine that with a reasonable price, you can’t go wrong with the H&K.

Springfield EMP .40 Cal Pistol

springfield emp .40 cal pistol

The Springfield EMP. 40 S&W is a classy addition to the .40 caliber pistol collection. It’s a 1911-style pistol with all the bells and whistles. Springfield Armory, on the other hand, reduced the grip housing such that the gun is constructed around 9mm/.40 S&W rather than .45 ACP with magazines and other parts made to fit. As a reason, the EMP series has no model in.45 ACP.

As Officer and Commander-frame 1911 handguns, the EMP or Enhanced Micro Pistol is available with 3-inch or 4-inch barrels. The former has an 8+1 hand, whereas the later has a 9+1 hand. The .40 S&W versions all have two-tone finishes and are very attractive. 

A skeleton hammer and trigger are included on all models, as well as a beavertail grip safety with memory notch and ambidextrous tactical safety levers. The 3-inch version has tritium night sights, while the 4-inch version has a steel rear ramp and a fiber optic front sight.

It will, however, come at a price. Expect to pay around $1,000 for a 1911 pistol from Springfield Armory, but they are quite good. They’re well-made, dependable, and precise. These are excellent choices if you want a .40 caliber pistol with style.

Every product is hand selected by our editors. We may receive commissions on purchases from a link.

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