2 definitions by Ghost Dog
A handgun cartridge that is very popular for self-defense and is increasingly being used in police service pistols. Smith and Wesson developed the .40 S&W round off of the 10mm round in order to fill a large gap in stopping power between the 9mm and a .45 ACP. Unlike other rounds, .40 S&W bullets feature a flat tip as opposed to a smooth conical tip as seen in a 9mm. The bullets were designed this way so more surface contact will be made with the bullet's target. The .40 travels at very high velocities, giving the shooter quite a bit of recoil when the gun is fired. However, this additional velocity makes the bullet ideal for shooting through light cover such as car doors or windshields.
Data compiled from police shooting incidents put the .40 S&W at a 96% chance of stopping an attacker with one shot, proving it's value as a formidable defense cartridge. Cheaper than .45 ACP rounds, yet just as effective in getting the job done, the .40 S&W has seen great commercial success.
Guns chambered in .40 S&W are an excellent choice for self-defense.
by Ghost Dog Jul 12, 2007 add a video
A type of cartridge used in handguns for self-defense purposes. Also called 9mm Short or 9mm Kurz, this cartridge contains the same bullet (the actual projectile fired) as some of the lower-grain 9mm ammunition. The 9mm, .380 ACP, .38 Special, and even the .357 Magnum all roughly have the same bullet size; the difference lies in the length of the casing and the amount of gunpowder packed inside.
Although the .380 ACP is the least powerful of these rounds on average, it still is extremely popular as a choice for concealed carry. Because the .380 creates less pressure when fired, the typical Browning tilt-lock mechanism that separates the barrel from the frame of the gun (and moves around a little, decreasing inherent accuracy) is not needed; most .380 pistols have the barrel fixed to the frame, causing better accuracy and reducing felt recoil.
Although opponents of the .380 claim that it has little stopping power, the best rounds for the caliber (Federal Hydra-Shok, Cor-bon Pow'r ball) have approximately the same ballistics as a .38 Special. Police shooting data places these top rounds in .380 as having a 70% chance of stopping an attacker in one shot.
The .380 ACP is a popular chambering in smaller handguns such as the Bersa Thunder, Walther PPK, and the Kel-tec P-3AT.
by Ghost Dog Mar 28, 2008 add a video