In January of 1990 a new cartridge hit the market that would pretty much be a game changer as to the cartridge preferred by law enforcement. The product of a joint effort between Smith & Wesson and Winchester would spawn the .40 S&W cartridge. The .40 caliber cartridges roots go back to the 10mm Auto cartridge when it was tested by the FBI as a potential replacement for their 9x19mm caliber pistols and .38 Special/.357 Magnum caliber revolvers. When tested, the FBI found two major problems with the 10mm Auto caliber firearm. First was the heavy recoil and second was that the current pistols did not hold up to the potent round. Due to the power it was difficult if not impossible to make a small compact version of the pistol. What if you could make a 10mm Short? Reduce the powder charge to make recoil manageable and shorten the overall length of the 10mm cartridge so it will fit in a 9x19mm size magazine/mid size pistol frame? Thus, here is the introduction of the .40 S&W. The first defensive cartridges in this new caliber were Winchester 180 grain jacketed hollow points.
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