Why I Hate the .40 S&W

I dislike the .40 on principle, and also because of personal experience not related to the performance of the cartridge.

On Principle
The .40 is symbolic of the pussification of America.   You see... in the past, someone at a firearms company took a look at a cartridge like the .38 S&W and said, "Hey... If we made this thing longer, we could get more powder into it and make it more powerful."   Everybody within earshot said, "Let's do it!", and the .38 Special was born.

One night several decades later, Colonel D. B. Wesson and Phil Sharpe were sitting around on stools made from elephant legs, drinking straight whiskey and smoking Cuban cigars when the Col picked up a .38 Special and said, "Dude, we should make this thing longer, stuff it full of smokeless powder, and give it a cool name.   It would kick ass!" to which Phil Sharpe replied, "You're a pussy if you don't", and Bingo! the .357 Magnum was born.

The same thing happened with the .44 - except Elmer Keith wouldn't stop whining about it so he was drinking whiskey alone, angrily writing magazine articles until Remington finally made his cartridge.

The .40 was developed backwards.

In April of 1986, the FBI was involved in a shootout in Miami with two heavily armed career criminals.   The bad guys were killed, but not before they took the lives of FBI Special Agents Gerald Dove and Benjamin Grogan.   The subsequent investigation placed partial blame for the agents' deaths on the lack of stopping power exhibited by their 9mm handguns, so the FBI adopted the far superior 10mm cartridge.

Field agents loved the additional firepower, but some of the sissy office staff complained about the 10mm's recoil.   One day, some pale doughy accountant picked up a 10mm and said, "If someone else would make this smaller and weaker, it wouldn't hurt my little hand as much when I shoot it."   His transgender assistant said, "That a great idea! They could even make the guns smaller to fit in my evening bag", and the .40 was born.

Personal Experience
I've been shooting since my early teens. When I was looking for a carry handgun, I made the mistake of asking a blowhard know-it-all former co-worker his opinion.

He had one gun - a Sigma in .40 S&W - which in his mind made him an expert on firearms - and since he had a .40, it had to be the best cartridge ever conceived.   After that, every time he saw me he'd spend what seemed like hours expounding on the virtues of the .40 as "the perfect cartridge".   As a result, I began to hate it.

The deal was sealed soon thereafter, when I had a bad gun shop experience with some crusty old fossil that tried to hard-sell me a .40.   The non-conformist in me kicked into high gear and I said to myself, "I'm never going to own one of these friggin' things".

A side story about the know-it-all blowhard:

A couple of years ago I was talking to the know-it-all blowhard and I mentioned that I was reloading for my .500.   He said, "There's no such thing as a .50 caliber revolver". I directed him to Google and told him to do his research.   (He must've missed the release of the X-frames because he couldn't hear it over the sound of how awesome the .40 is).

After he decided that it existed, he asked if he could shoot my .500 because he was "proficient with big bore revolvers" and might be able to show me some tips on shooting it.   So, I took Mr. Proficiency out to the range, put a single mild load in my 8" .500, he shot it, and dropped my gun!   He grabbed his wrist and started hopping around crying like Nancy Kerrigan.   He broke the fiberoptic front sight on my revolver and never paid for it.   He still loves the .40 though.