I’ve never been fond of the .40 Smith And Wesson. I remember being a Sophomore in High School, and driving to my Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Spokane, WA. My mom let me drive our Chevrolet Astro Van over I-90, until we reached Ellensburg, WA. I went into the Flying J, and bought an issue of Guns & Ammo, which outlined the new Smith & Wesson 4006 and the Glock 22 and 23 series of pistols. That was about 1990. I was not phased then.
Fast forward six years. I was working for an armored truck company. .40 was all the rage. I bought a Glock 23 from a coworker who needed money to pay bills, for $250 cash. I took the pistol to the company range, and shot about 100 rounds of commercial reloads through it. Besides being difficult to hold onto (Gen 2) it was loud and the muzzle flash was impressive. I kept that gun in my lunch box but it didn’t replace the Smith 681 loaded with Federal 125-grain JHP’s I kept in my Bianchi Judge duty holster.
Fast forward ANOTHER eight years. The company had shifted away from revolvers (although they still issued Smith Model 10, 15, 64, 65, 67, 686) and had begun issuing Gen 3 Glock 22’s. Finding .38 commercial reloads in the company armory was getting to be more difficult, but there was always an excess of .40 FMC. So, I went to Kesselring’s Gun Shop, in Northern Skagit County, and bought a Gen 3 Glock 22, and a Gen 3 Glock 27, to replace my Smith 681 and Smith 649 I wore on my ankle. I kept the Beretta .25 in my pocket, without any changes.
I also bought 10 spare magazines (the newly commercial 15 round magazines that became available after the Assault Weapons ban sunset) 2000 rounds of 180 grain CCI Blazer, and 500 rounds of 180 grain Speer Gold Dots, a Safariland Level 3 duty holster, and a Galco Ankle Glove. I drove straight to the Plantation Shooting Range in Southern Whatcom county, and was set on breaking in those two Glocks, with 1000 rounds each of Blazer, and 100 rounds each of Gold Dots…
I left the range, 5 hours later, with sore thumbs (from loading magazines) and blisters and shiny spots on my middle fingers of both hands from where the trigger guard wore on my hands. (I didn’t shoot with gloves back then, nor did I put duct tape on my hands like I do now before marathon shooting sessions or classes). The Glocks both ran with nary a twitter. But fun, that range session was NOT.
I carried those guns for the remainder of my career in the armored truck industry.
After I left, and entered dental school, I sold that set of pistols, and bought ammo and additional training classes. I wasn’t sorry to see them go. I had a bunch of the Gold Dots left over, as well as a good amount of ball ammo, that I’ve lugged from apartment to apartment, from the West Coast, to Middle Tennessee, where I currently reside. And I never really missed having a 40 in my training arsenal. I used to loathe being partnered with other students that had 40’s, as they were even less fun to the uninitiated shooter. They are battering, and make people more prone to flinch, and snatch the trigger, even if they are accustomed to shooting regularly.
This gun is an oddity. A Smith 4013. The .40 version of the 6906. It has a short, chubby double column magazine that holds 9 rounds. The gun is not light, and it does a decent job of handling the rapid, OOMPH of the .40 caliber round. And the DA-SA trigger is handy. I know that it isn’t preferred, or recommended, but I don’t feel the least bit bad or guilty about sticking the 4013, or 6906, with the safety/decocker applied, in the appendix position or behind my hip, and walking down to the mailbox or heading to the corner store or coffee shop. The gun is functionally inert, with the safety activated, and with my large hands, it doesn’t take any additional effort to click the safety off on the presentation. I always wear a belt (except when I wear gym shorts, but I have a dedicated gym short holster) so I’m not worried about pulling a Plaxico Burris and having my Smith go skittering down my pant leg, or falling out of my belt. Probably not many firearms instructors would advise something like this, except for maybe Ed Lovette, or the late Jim Cirillo. It’s a gun…treat it with respect and care, and it won’t magically come to life and shoot something you didn’t intend to.