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With covid boredom starting to set in and the USPSA shooting all but finished in the NE, I'm kicking around the idea of putting together a .40 open rig, just for grins if nothing else.

 

I've got a 2011 .40 limited pistol that I can use as the base.  Just need to decide if I want to get a full top end or just a barrel and comp.  I'm no gunsmith, so either route would require me to purchase the components already fitted. 

 

Thoughts/suggestions on where to start looking?

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To make major PF with a 40 and comp you will need light bullets. Usually in the 155 and below range. I know Dan at D2 Customs has built a few. There are pros and cons to this setup though. One good thing about it is less wear on the gun. The thing I find that turns most people off is mag capacity but its 2 rounds max lost. And out of 20 stages how many are you really going to have that are 26 to 29 round stages where you wouldnt plan on a reload anyway? Probably 1 in 50 to be honest. Especially if there is steel or moving targets. 

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m, having shot both for a while I believe I can offer some insight.  I started shooting Limited, so I shot 40sw.  When my eyesight got bad enough that I could no longer see the front sight, even with special glasses, I decided to move to Open.  I had oodles of 40 components and all my Open buddies were complaining about the problems loading 9mm to major.  So I went 40 Open.  My first ry was an Open upper for my CZ TS.  It had a few problems, but I really liked Open.

 

I came across a used 40 Open gun and bought it.  It also had started life as a Limited gun, that the owner had Gans convert to 40 Open with all new internals.  I loved that gun.  It was a fully blown, custom gun.  A couple of years later I had a 1911 receiver that had sat around for quite a while.  I decided I wanted to use it.  I'm not sure why, but I decided to build matching 2011 and 1911 Open guns.  So I did.  I had Gans lighten the slides just like he did on the 40 Open.

 

After I built the guns I shot both 40 Open and 9mm Open.  I had lots of 40 Open ammo already loaded.  I was also struggling to find a 9mm Open load that performed as well as my 40 Open.  I eventually found out it was not possible.

 

My 40 and 9mm Open guns were as close as possible, so the comparison is valid.  Both had two 3/16" poppels and  effective three chamber comps.  My favorite load for the 40 was 10.1gr Major Pistol powder under a 155 Montana Gold JHP for 172 PF.  It shot smooth, flat and comfortable.  To get even close to the same flatness I had to go with 10.2 MP under a 115 JHP.  It was not as soft, not as flat, and definitely hit your hand harder.  9mm does not have enough case volume to get you where you would like to be.  You can have flatter, or softer, or a little of both, but you can't have all of both at the same time.  The 40 case is so large you can get stupid with PF and still stay within SAAMI max pressure.

 

There is always a large contingent who say mag capacity is key.  BS!  26 40 vs. 29 9mm in a mag buys you nothing.  There are always a couple of places on a COF where you can reload without losing time.  I run two 155s and a 170 in 9mm.  So that is 26, 26 and 29.  With 40 that would have been 140s and a 170, so 20, 20, 26.

 

When I first started shooting 9mm I would Barney and run the 170 (29) on a 28-30 round stage.  I found that to be stupid.  I had to place my shots more carefully and didn't have any , or many, make up shots.  I was way faster when I planned to reload during the stage.  Plus I had a lot more makeup capability.

 

I shoot only 9mm Open now.  If I was starting from scratch in Open, I'd go with 40sw.

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4 hours ago, zzt said:

I shoot only 9mm Open now.  If I was starting from scratch in Open, I'd go with 40sw.

Agree w/ your discourse on the advantages of .40 open. But why did you end up in 9, inspite of you starting in .40?

Fwiw I shoot .38s. 

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13 hours ago, BoyGlock said:

Agree w/ your discourse on the advantages of .40 open. But why did you end up in 9, inspite of you starting in .40?

Fwiw I shoot .38s. 

 

For a variety of reasons, that may not make a lot of sense.  First I had a 1911 receiver sitting around for years, waiting for me to build something.  I already had enough 45s and plenty of 40s (Open and Limited), so I decided on 9mm for no other reason than I didn't have one.  I had put a dot on my CZ 75 TS Limited gun and had been using it for SCSA Open.  Unfortunately a lot of the SCSA matches I was going to were on Sat, followed by a USPSA match the next day.  I had trouble switching back and forth, because of the grip angle and the dot heights.  I needed a couple days of dry fire to get used to the change in dot heights.  I was also tired of changing out holster blocks every time I switched guns.  So I decided to turn the 1911 into a dedicated SCSA Open gun.

 

I was getting tired of resetting comps because they shot loose during monster matches, so I looked around for one piece comp/barrels.  The only one available was the STI 9mm Trubore.  So I ordered one and had custom comp chambers cut.  I had built 1911s, but never a 2011.  So I decided to make matching Open guns, both set up the same way with all the same equipment.  That's what I did.  I also bought an Everglades holster that worked perfectly with both 40 Open guns, the 9mm Open gun and the 1911 Open gun.  Finally I never had to swap anything out, or get used to different dot heights.

 

While I was developing loads for the 9mm, I was still shooting the 40 Open.  I had boat loads of ammo loaded for it.  A friend who I had just introduced to USPSA shooting saw me shooting it and just had to have it.  I said I'd sell him my backup gun, buy he insisted on the main gun.  He was willing to pay a good price for it, plus all my mags and loaded ammo.  So I sold it.  Since I no longer had anything to shoot the backup gun with, I sold it too.

 

So now I'm 9mm only for SCSA and USPSA.  I spent a small fortune turning them into what I wanted, so I want to keep shooting them.  Both handle major and minor, as long as minor is in the 144+ PF range.

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1 hour ago, zzt said:

 

A friend who I had just introduced to USPSA shooting saw me shooting it and just had to have it.  I said I'd sell him my backup gun, buy he insisted on the main gun.  He was willing to pay a good price for it, plus all my mags and loaded ammo.  So I sold it.  Since I no longer had anything to shoot the backup gun with, I sold it too.

If your friend is ever thinking about selling the main gun, please let me know. I’d be happy to reunite it with it’s old sibling.

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Thanks everyone for taking the time to provide the suggestions and feedback.  Looks like I may be sending an STI Edge slide and some parts to Gans in the near future. 

 

I'm still reading old threads (here and other forums) on this topic, but wanted to get a head start on sourcing either a one-piece .40 barrel & comp or threaded barrel and either threaded or cone comp... any pointers? 

I'm seeing a lot of 9mm/38SC comps but not many in .40, except some for Glocks from SJC and Carver.

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8 hours ago, muncie21 said:

Thanks everyone for taking the time to provide the suggestions and feedback.  Looks like I may be sending an STI Edge slide and some parts to Gans in the near future. 

 

I'm still reading old threads (here and other forums) on this topic, but wanted to get a head start on sourcing either a one-piece .40 barrel & comp or threaded barrel and either threaded or cone comp... any pointers? 

I'm seeing a lot of 9mm/38SC comps but not many in .40, except some for Glocks from SJC and Carver.

For the comp I know Dan @ D2 Customs makes his own using a EGW blank. I'm sure Gans can also make one. 

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14 hours ago, muncie21 said:

Thanks everyone for taking the time to provide the suggestions and feedback.  Looks like I may be sending an STI Edge slide and some parts to Gans in the near future. 

 

I'm still reading old threads (here and other forums) on this topic, but wanted to get a head start on sourcing either a one-piece .40 barrel & comp or threaded barrel and either threaded or cone comp... any pointers? 

I'm seeing a lot of 9mm/38SC comps but not many in .40, except some for Glocks from SJC and Carver.

 

Any comp can be reamed out to allow a .400" bullet to pass without striking.  If you don't find a one piece barrel/comp in 40, cone comps are a lot more secure than a comp on a bull barrel.  Just make sure you buy a one piece comp/cone.  If you just buy the cone and thread on a conventional comp, you loose the security.  A regular barrel with a cone comp is generally a lot lighter than a bull barrel with comp.  That reduces reciprocating mass and improves slide action.

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Nobody at the top levels shoots a .40 Open gun.  The few times the extra rounds do matter makes a difference. 

 

If you aren't at that level, you're fine shooting a .40.

 

If you aspire to be at that level, you'll wear out an Open gun before you get there, so then you can make a caliber decision then ;)

 

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23 hours ago, shred said:

Nobody at the top levels shoots a .40 Open gun.  The few times the extra rounds do matter makes a difference. 

 

If you aren't at that level, you're fine shooting a .40.

 

If you aspire to be at that level, you'll wear out an Open gun before you get there, so then you can make a caliber decision then ;)

 

 

And if you do get to that level you will be sponsored.  So shoot a 38SC.  You can get that to shoot as soft and flat as 40 Open.  I'll never be anywhere near that level, so I shoot 9 major and leave the brass on the ground.

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On 11/8/2020 at 10:39 AM, shred said:

Nobody at the top levels shoots a .40 Open gun.  The few times the extra rounds do matter makes a difference. 

 

If you aren't at that level, you're fine shooting a .40.

 

If you aspire to be at that level, you'll wear out an Open gun before you get there, so then you can make a caliber decision then ;)

 

Agreed!

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  • 4 weeks later...
12 minutes ago, Jman12 said:

What bullet weight in 40? A lot of the guys that shoot open around me use 147gr 9mm....I’ve shot them against the 124gr they def shoot flatter 

 

I don't see how you got a 147 to shoot flatter than a 124 in 9mm major.  You just don't have enough powder under the 147.

 

My favorite 40 Open load used 155gr bullets.  I was fine with 125s, but the dot tracked better with the 155s and they shot softer.

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