7 Best Choices Of .40 Cal Pistol

January 14, 2019 7:00:13 AM PST

What Would Be The Best .40 Caliber Pistol To Get Started On 10mm Lite?

Even though the round has been eclipsed by 9mm, some people get curious and wonder if maybe they should get a .40 cal pistol while the getting is good. It wouldn’t be the worst impulse in the world as .40 S&W is a proven round for self-defense and competition.

But what about the hardware? What are the best guns to get into Diet 10mm? Well, there are a bunch of great .40 caliber pistol models to choose from. These seven pistols are as good a starting point as you’re likely to find, though each suits a particular purpose better than others.

Arguably The Best .40 Glock Pistol: Glock 23

40 Glock pistol

The Glock 23 is arguably the best .40 Glock pistol. The Glock 23 is the same frame, slide and barrel size as the Glock 19, so it has everything good about the 19 but in .40 S&W.

The Glock 23 is big enough for a sure grip, which helps defray a bit of the extra .40 vs 9mm recoil. Literally every specification is the same, save for onboard capacity, which is only reduced to 13+1.

Some might think it’s a boring choice, and maybe it is…but you’d be surprised how many holsters we sell for this pistol on a monthly basis. It’s easily the most popular holster for .40 pistols we sell.

S&W M&P40: A .40 S&W Pistol That’s Made By S&W

40 S&W pistol

Smith and Wesson created the round, so any .40 S&W pistol made by them had better be good. The M&P40 is definitely worth a look, if you’re after a full-size .40.

Granted, you don’t have to settle for the base model. Performance Center and CORE models with optics and other upgrades can be had as well.

The excellent ergonomics of the M&P pistol makes for some very comfortable shooting, and the build quality ensures that you can expect a long service life and reliable running from this pistol. While capacity isn’t as generous as with the 9mm model, the onboard complement of 15+1 is more than respectable. It’s been known as a workhorse pistol, reliable and accurate, since it was first release. Spend a little time with one and you’ll see why it’s one of the most popular .40 pistols in police service in the past decade.

40 pistol

The Sig P320 is certainly the pistol of the moment, but is there a .40 S&W version that’s worth looking into? There certainly is, namely the Sig P320 Compact .40. The Compact gives you everything good about the full-size, but in a more compact package better suited to daily carry. You can also opt for the Carry model, which has a full-length grip and adds magazine capacity.

Carrying capacity is 13+1 rounds in the Compact model or 15+1 in the Carry model. You also get the incredible features list of the Sig P320, including the modular frame system. Invest in an additional caliber kit and some magazines, and you can swap the .40 for a 9mm at will.

No other pistol on this list has that capability.

Sig Sauer P226 .40 Pistol

40 pistol

Every list of .40 cal pistol models should include at least one old-school gun, and the Sig Sauer P226 .40 is arguably the best still in production. The P226 is a warhorse, rugged, accurate and reliable in the extreme. It’s one of the best duty pistols ever devised, and in .40 S&W is a slam-dunk.

The P226’s heft is a bonus for the .40 S&W round. The .40 snaps a bit compared to 9mm, so the 34-oz unloaded weight is actually a benefit in this case as it will make for one of the softer-shooting .40 pistols out there. Capacity is a little limited by modern standards at 12+1 rounds, and the price is steep at almost $1,100 MSRP. However, since the service life of a Sig P226 is measured in decades…it’s an investment in a gun that you can shoot for the rest of your life with a bit of care.

S&W Shield 40 M2.0 Subcompact Smith and Wesson 40 Cal Pistol

Smith and Wesson 40 Cal Pistol

If you want a subcompact Smith and Wesson 40 cal pistol for daily concealed carry, the M&P Shield 40 can put a pint-size pistol in your holster. The easy shooting that the 9mm Shield is known for may not quite be the experience, as a light, slim single-stack subcompact will be a bit snappy but will hardly be unmanageable.

Capacity is 6+1 with the flush-fit and 7+1 with the extended magazines. The base model is excellent, but since S&W offers a great many options of upgrades there are some additional models worth exploring. Performance Center editions and the Shield 40 Crimson Trace models are well worth the look.

The Second-Most Popular .40 Glock Pistol: Glock 27

40 glock pistol

You wouldn’t necessarily think it, but the Glock 27 is a wildly popular Glock .40 pistol as well. It’s true that .40 S&W snaps a bit in subcompact guns, but the Glock 27 is very manageable with it’s blocky, top-heavy slide. With an extended magazine and grip sleeve, it fills the biggest of hands nicely.

It’s compact size and reduced weight compared to the 23 makes it ideal for packing, with plenty of capacity (10+1 in the base magazine size) for an EDC gun. Given that you get the rugger simplicity, reliability and accuracy of the Baby Glock in the bargain, it’s no wonder that holsters for this pistol are some of our best-sellers.

40 cal pistol

While there are a number of other popular .40 cal pistols…arguably the best is the H&K VP40.

The VP40 has a polymer frame and striker-fired operating system, just most of the other guns on this list. However, the difference is that Heckler and Koch actually pays attention to the details.

The ergonomics are outstanding. The features – such as the charging handles on the rear of the slide – are far more intelligently designed than on many other pistols of the same format. And then there’s the trigger, which is the best of all striker pistols. Smooth, with a crisp glass-like break and a hard reset.

You might have to part with a few extra bucks (not too many; VP9 and VP40 pistols are easily found for less than $600) but you get more than that in extra quality.

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Writer sam hoober

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