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Unpopular Opinion - Budget Value Proposition


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In my normal site and promotional email browsing for ammo prices I've been seeing 40 s&w coming in at comparable prices with 9mm depending on the brand, bullet, steel cased vs brass etc. Usually the 40 I'm seeing for sale lately is made from better components when factoring in the cost per round. Yes I know this is due to demand/supply chain/politics/trends and will change in the future but it's been like this since 2020 and still now in 2022. When 9mm was $7/box for brass cased fmj, I was 9mm all day but things are always subject to change.

The unpopular opinion

I'm starting to think the surplus Glock 22 might be the best all around value for a workhorse pistol right now, coming in at $349. Especially if the person buying is planning on using it as a defensive piece.

Examples: 

https://aimsurplus.com/leo-trade-in-glock-22-gen-3-40s-w-handgun/ 

https://aimsurplus.com/leo-trade-in-glock-22-gen-4-40s-w-handgun/

https://aimsurplus.com/glock-model-22-15rd-40cal-magazine-used/

Ammo:

https://www.targetsportsusa.com/40-sw-ammo-c-59.aspx

Reasoning

For starters, I just like guns, so I don't really have a caliber preference. I own and shoot a variety. If I can hit with it and I have ammo for it, awesome. If the argument against the 40 is recoil, I'd venture to say my G22 kicks less than my P365 (neither of which I find an issue). Full size helps eat that snappiness up.

The gun

The G22, while it has fallen out of popularity in recent years, used to be a reference standard duty gun. It's a proven design. The surplus piece might come with night sights that still have some life and it has a rail to mount a light. It's crazy to me seeing them valued at around the same price as a M91/30 Mosin rifle in the current market. I remember when the G22 was $600 and the Mosin was $60.

The ammo

I've noticed that decent JHP rounds for 40 s&w run about the same price as range ammo in 9mm when the panic buying sets in (2012, potential assault weapons bans, pandemic, I'm sure there will be something else in the future). If it costs the about same to buy brass cased JHP in 40 as it does to buy syntec or steel cased 9mm, I'm going to go with the 40.

If/when pricing changes and 9mm becomes close to where it was pre 2020, convert the thing (or put it in the safe and shoot your other 9mm guns). - https://aimsurplus.com/aimsurplus-ss-9mm-conversion-barrel-for-glock-22/

For the gun guy

With the newer ammo technology, and I'd speculate with a bit of renewed popularity of the 10mm, there are some 40 rounds that might make this budget blaster a fun range trip and a different defensive piece than years past (just like the 9mm tech advanced). Some of the 40 stuff from Underwood, Double Tap, Buffalo Bore has some zap to it and it's fun to shoot.

Examples:

https://www.underwoodammo.com/40-s-w-165-grain-bonded-jacketed-hollow-point.html - Muzzle Velocity (fps) : 1,200
https://www.underwoodammo.com/40-s-w-135-grain-jacketed-hollow-point.html - Muzzle Velocity (fps) : 1,400

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My first semi auto pistol was a G22, in fact all my semis are 40S&W. Do not own a 9MM firearm. When ammo was cheap I loaded up on 40S&W and reloaded so much I my not ever shoot it all.

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I have kept a few handguns in .40SW because the ammo has always been plentiful.  People have derided the caliber for not being 9mm or .45ACP, but it saw plenty of actual and effective use by law enforcement and proved that it was a capable round.

Law Enforcement trade-in Glock 22 and 23 models are a good purchase, as long as the price is reasonable.  For a while there you could snag them for right between $300-400, but I have noticed that the prices are creeping back up as supply begins to wind down.

Another reason to like those two Glocks is that all it takes is a drop-in barrel to have a .357SIG option in your collection.  That's another round that doesn't get a lot of love these days, but the muzzle velocity and ballistic gel data aren't anything to sneer at.

 

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I have no pistols in .40S&W, but have been thinking along these same lines David.  And it's just not limited to Glock 22 & 23.  There seem to be a lot of S&W M&Ps out there on the surplus market as well.  I guess I have room for one more caliber. So might do this.  However, it's a ways down on the list.

 

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I have always loved the .40 S&W round.  It has gotten a bad rap due to no fault of it's own and my Sig P-229 is my bedside weapon that is within a arms reach all through the night.

Like TGO David said, I got it at a Law Enforcement trade-in at Guns and Leather in Greenbriar.  Whomever carried it must have never drawn it or practiced as it was in pristine condition.

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Great post. I had no idea one could still find a used Glock for around $350. Years ago my older brother didn't own a handgun. I came across a Gen2 Glock 22 in decent condition and gifted it to my brother. He hasn't shot it much but still has it. Even though .40 can be snappy, that gun has little recoil and was easy to shoot. 

That Gen4 22 you linked is a great value. If I still had any .40S&W ammo I would be tempted to buy one. 

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I think iether option is great. I like gen 3's myself over gen 4's but that is merely personal preference. Don't stress over night sights. In my experience the tritium will be faded beyond use on all surplus trade-ins (10 year life). Glock factory tritium sights are cheap, less than $100 for various options and instock many places. This is the bennefit of the proliferation of Glock pistols. Aftermarket support in parts, accesories, magazines, supplies, Glock trained armorers are plentiful. I keep a gen 3 17 on the nightstand. I have owned it for many years. Only thing I have ever done is replace the tritium when mine faded and ghost 3.5 trigger bar with rounded plunger. I clean it when needed and it has never once failed me. Ammo being what is for everyone, reloading is definately your solution.

Oh, I wanted to add, both pictured are Austrian guns. This is important as Austrian made Glocks have a more resiliant finish than the US made Glocks, This is due to the Tenifer process in the US is not allowed due to EPA reasons but they can still do the original formula in Europe. If you browse pawn shops for used Glocks, you will notice all the ones with the finish worn off (not removed) are US made Glocks. The Austrian ones, even going back to Gen 1, are still likely to have most of the finish left. Make sure when you order that you are getting an Austrian one.

Edited by DO-TN
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I think those law enforcement surplus glocks are still a good buy. 
I have looked hard at them for years. If I were younger I think it’s a great purchase.

I don’t really want any new calibers now and I think I should be moving the other direction and thinning the herd. 
I find the gen 3 to be perfect for me. 
All that said those .45 Glock 21s are awe fully appealing!

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I have a Glock 22 Gen 2 and Gen 4.  I also have a 9mm conversion barrel that allows me to reliably use 9mm ammo in the G-22.  When I bought the conversion barrel some 15 years ago it was to train with the more economical 9mm ammo while carrying the arguably more potent .40 ammo when not training. 


That flexibility has served me well.

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I'm a fan of .40 as well. Yes, it's 'snappier' than a 9mm, but I don't shoot competition. I shoot my EDC enough that I feel comfortable with it, even with it being snappy, and if I take my time with the shots I have no problem plinking it for fun too. 🙂

 

 

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This is an interesting thread.  I have owned a lot of pistols in a lot of calibers but have never owned a .40.

My buddy I shoot with loves .40cal.  Whether it be his Glocks or his VP9 I just do not like the recoil of the .40.

I shoot a lot of magnum calibers so I am not recoil sensitive.  I guess it is because the .40s are generally in smaller guns than the magnums I shoot so the recoil feels snappier.  For whatever reason I have not found a .40 cal i like to shoot.  What is even weirder is I love 10mm.

I can't argue with the OPs reasoning.  It is a solid argument.  I just do not like .40s.

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My first pistol was 40S&W. Unfortunately it was a Kahr K40. It was small, very snappy and had a horrible long pull trigger. It kind of soured me on the caliber. One day I will give it another chance. 

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If you don't like .40 cal or Glocks then don't come around my house.  I love both and have a vast collection.  But I also like all calibers and anything that shoots and goes boom.  LOL..

The G22 is a great pistol.  I have heard all the arguments about 9mm vs .40 vs .45.  At the end of the day, I don't want to be shot with any caliber including .22lr from my wife's pistol because all 15 rounds will be in the size of a half dollar.

 

 

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Personally am not a fan of the 40 S&W, but if it works for you get it.

As with ALL firearms, get the ammo while you can...AND LOTS OF IT!!!

With all the craziness and low supply of items we could see the supply drop.  I sincerely doubt we will see any lower prices than we have now.

 

-Ed

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A couple friends and acquaintances in the past have complained about .40 snappiness, only to change their minds after switching from 135 and 155 grain ammo to 180 and 200.  I've shot a bunch of .40 and always thought the reputation for being "snappy" was overblown, but I left the Cor-Bon and Buffalo Bore type stuff and the 155 mini-10mm loads alone.  

Back a year or two ago, I did note the irony of 9mm ammo being non-existent when conventional wisdom has always said that a 9mm is a must to own because when SHTF, 9mm ammo will ALWAYS be available.  Not so much.  Many like to eliminate calibers and consolidate, but I think diversifying a collection is not a bad idea if one doesn't reload and stock a few components.  

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I have a one (as you can probably guess by my avatar image).  Gen 4 bought new in 2010. 

I like the pistol; I like the round.  No problems, no complaints.

I added a drop-in 9mm conversion barrel and some factory 9mm magazines.  Helps when ammo supply is spotty.

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On 3/30/2022 at 8:08 AM, Erik88 said:

Great post. I had no idea one could still find a used Glock for around $350. Years ago my older brother didn't own a handgun. I came across a Gen2 Glock 22 in decent condition and gifted it to my brother. He hasn't shot it much but still has it. Even though .40 can be snappy, that gun has little recoil and was easy to shoot. 

That Gen4 22 you linked is a great value. If I still had any .40S&W ammo I would be tempted to buy one. 

I'm sure the G22 serves your brother well and will for years to come with very minimal maintenance. That's the exact type of situation I was thinking with this post.

The trade-in G22 and a box of premium name hollow points, like federal HST/winchester ranger/underwood/corbon/doubletap/black hills/hornady/buffalo bore etc., is a great value these days.

We all wish we could practice with a case of ammo a month and some of us do. But, the reality is majority of gun owners don't shoot at that volume. If that's the truth for the individual situation, the G22 trade-ins feel like a solid value right now for defense.

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On 3/30/2022 at 11:40 AM, Snaveba said:

My first pistol was 40S&W. Unfortunately it was a Kahr K40. It was small, very snappy and had a horrible long pull trigger. It kind of soured me on the caliber. One day I will give it another chance. 

Agreed on the Khar. Had 2 over the years. Just could not like them. The 40? Well, not crazy about it, but like TripleG, I do have a gun or so with lots of 40 still stashed away.

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On 3/30/2022 at 5:08 AM, RED333 said:

My first semi auto pistol was a G22, in fact all my semis are 40S&W. Do not own a 9MM firearm. When ammo was cheap I loaded up on 40S&W and reloaded so much I my not ever shoot it all.

Way, way back in the olden days...I took my carry course with a brand new Sig 40. Got laughed at by the instructor. Buford Tune if you must know. lol! But scored a 99 and Buford asked to shoot my pistol when the class was over. He was a straight up Beretta man and admitted the Sig was "OK".

Edited by hipower
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1 hour ago, hipower said:

Way, way back in the olden days...I took my carry course with a brand new Sig 40. Got laughed at by the instructor. Buford Tune if you must know. lol! But scored a 99 and Buford asked to shoot my pistol when the class was over. He was a straight up Beretta man and admitted the Sig was "OK".

Surprised Buford would laugh at anyone using a Sig.

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On 4/3/2022 at 4:53 PM, Choatecav said:

Surprised Buford would laugh at anyone using a Sig.

Actually, most of it was over the fact that I'd brought a pretty much brand new gun to the class. And admitted it. lol. I'd probably shot about 200 rounds or less with it, so some of the comments were well deserved.

Well...he did use me as the class whipping boy. lol. Since we knew each other a bit, I got to experience the "correct vs incorrect" ways of doing things for the class. I was the demo guy. At least the demo dummy for that class. It was fun though. I brought up all those questions everyone wanted to ask, or should ask, but were afraid to. So I was always up front and being shown as the person being attacked and then showing all the reactions Buford wanted for the class.

I didn't mind. I learned more than I thought I would that weekend. Actually did a 2 day course. About 6 hours of classroom, then on to the range for drills and then qualification shooting.

Edited by hipower
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I took a two night course and I also learned a lot. When others ask me about getting the online HCP, I always encourage them to go take the class for the enhanced permit.  I felt it was extremely helpful! Of course, we had a added luxury.  We had a retiring Deputy.  Knox County tells their retiring officers to just go through the permith class. Apparently, it's a PITA to go though channels and get a retired officer's permit or whatever it's called.  Anyway we had the benefit of this officer's experience.  He and the instructor made it very informative.  It was a great experience.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the links!  I also didn't realize you could grab a Gen4 G22 for $349.  Not a bad deal and in reality it's worth it to have one of every caliber gun in the safe!   I sold my G23 years ago but may have to re-think my decision on selling it!

 

Edited by pstod14
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I like .40 pretty well and have shot a boatload of it through 2011s and polymer guns.   However, I find the Glock 23 and 22 are quite uncomfortable to shoot, especially with factory ammo.   The greater recoil seems to magnify all the ergonomic problems that I have with the Glock frame.

Service pistols like the M&P for example are just about as easy to find in the $350 range and are far more comfortable to shoot for me.

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