Best 40 Cal Pistol

A Comprehensive Guide

This best 40 Cal pistol review aims to help fellow gun enthusiasts make the best decision when purchasing a 40-caliber pistol for use as a concealed carry firearm. A 40-caliber pistol is a powerful handgun. It provides excellent stopping power and penetrates barriers such as car doors and windshields. It makes it extremely useful for law enforcement officers who use pistols as their main weapon. 

SMITH & Wesson M&P 40 SHIELD M2.0 NMS

$500.99 in stock
Last update was on: May 12, 2022 11:40 am

Smith & Wesson M&P pistols have a reinforced polymer chassis, superior ergonomics, and proven safety features. In designing the M&P, S&W considered the needs of military and law enforcement from every conceivable angle, so the M&P is the standard in reliability. M&P's patented take-down lever...

These pistols use .40 S&W ammunitions. These 0.40-inch diameter bullets range from 150 to 200 grain in weight and have a muzzle velocity of 1050 feet per second. The muzzle energy of a 40-caliber pistol bullet ranges from 463 to 588-foot pounds of force, depending on the load.

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If you are in a hurry to purchase the best 40 Cal Pistol, and you want to make the best decision, here are our top 3 picks:

Top 3 Best 40 Cal Pistol

Smith & Wesson M&P pistols have a reinforced polymer chassis, superior ergonomics, and proven safety features. In designing the M&P, S&W considered the needs of military and law enforcement from every conceivable angle, so the M&P is the standard in reliability. M&P's patented take-down lever...
in stock
SMITH & Wesson M&P 40 SHIELD M2.0 NMS
Glock 35G4 US .40SW 15RD MOS 507C
out of stock
The Glock 23 combines compact dimensions with minimum weight for both open and concealed carry. It has survived durability tests and use by multiple U.S. law enforcement agencies. The G23 has repeatedly demonstrated its world-class durability and reliability in even the most unfavorable...
out of stock

However, those new to the 40-caliber pistol market may be overwhelmed with the sheer number of options they have on the table. Not all pistols are created equal, and not every model fits every person. The following guide aims to help new users understand what factors they need to consider selecting such a pistol.

5 Best 40 Cal Pistol (Ranked And Reviewed)

1. Smith & Wesson M&P Shield M2.0


This Smith & Wesson M&P Shield M2.0 is a striker fire pistol. The trigger is light and short, with a crisp break. A striker fire pistol means that the action is set in this case by a spring-loaded firing pin. This firearm includes many features to improve your shooting experience and make it more enjoyable on the range or duty. It comes with a grip that is made of polymer. The grip has aggressive texturing to provide you with a firm grip while shooting, but not so aggressive that it will tear up your hands after extensive use. It also features slide serrations for improved grip for racking the slide. The S&W M&P 40 Shield does not have a thumb safety, but it has trigger safety. It is to prevent an unsafe discharge in an accidental drop.


There is no external hammer, and therefore this firearm cannot be manually cocked. Instead, all of the cocking is done during the firing sequence. It has white three-dot sights that are meant for quick acquisition on target. The two dots rear sight and the front white dot sight aid in faster shooting and more accurate targeting. The Smith & Wesson M&P 40 Shield has an overall matte black Armonite finish. The slide, barrel, and other metal parts of the gun are all coated. The polymer frame is also black to match the metal parts. Overall, this firearm has a very streamlined appearance that is more attractive than most other duty guns.

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield M2.0



2. Glock 23 G5


The Glock 23 G5 features a Modular Optic System (MOS) system, which allows for easy mounting of the most popular reflex sights without costly custom modifications. The Glock enhanced barrel delivers increased accuracy for both the first-time shooter and the professional. The safe action system is the centerpiece of the Glock pistol. This system, which consists of three passive safeties, allows you to visually and tactilely check if the gun is cocked and the trigger is pulled. If the striker is partially cocked, it does not engage the firing pin spring or let the firing pin move.


Some guns have levers on either side, but it can be hard to remember which lever does what. Often you are likely to accidentally hit the wrong one, causing a jam. The ambidextrous slide stop allows shooters to release the slide by pulling upward with their trigger fingers, keeping them in line with their fingers as they fire. The Glock 23 G5 has a non-slip, ergonomically designed grip with slight texturing for added control and comfort. The grip features an extended beavertail design for better control when gripping the gun. The serrations at the back and front of the slide make it easy for the operator to grip and pull back the slide, if necessary.


The barrel is precision manufactured to snugly fit the slide with small tolerances for improved accuracy. The ramped profile of the slide’s front sight makes it snag-free. The rear sight is a self-luminous tritium dot sight, drift adjustable for windage and elevation. The trigger pull on the Glock 23 is consistent and smooth, staying at around 26N of force throughout the break, giving you a clean and clear feeling as it breaks. The reset is short and distinct, allowing for accurate follow-up shots. The trigger distance is 2.76 inches.

Glock 23 G5



3. Glock 35 G4

Glock 35 G4
$985.99 out of stock


The Glock 35 G4 features a safe action system composed of three diverse safeties. The first safety feature is the trigger mechanism with a long and thin flat surface that prevents unintentional contact with the trigger when your finger isn’t on it. The second is a pistol’s built-in firing pin safety system which comes in place as soon as you pull the gun back into the ready position; the firing pin safety mechanism will block the firing pin giving the gun a high safety rating. The third is a drop safety system that makes the trigger inoperable when it isn’t being intentionally pressed. All these safeties are there to guarantee your Glock’s flawless performance so that you have nothing to worry about.


The unique design of the grip on the handle helps to absorb recoil, gives you maximum control, and has a customizable back strap for various hand sizes. The finger grooves and the rough texture of the grip provide a steady hold for better accuracy. The serrations on the slide help improve the grip on the gun and reduce wear and tear. The extended barrel and extra-long line of sight help you to aim better than ever. This gun is accurate enough for tactical targets but sturdy enough for personal or home defense.  The 3 dot adjustable sights are perfect for quick target acquisition at short-range and long-range distances.


The reversible magazine release is perfect for left and right-handed shooters. This feature on the Glock 35 G4 can be used quickly with your trigger finger to release the magazine while simultaneously having the ability to lock it in place just as fast. The Glock 35 G4 has a standard 24 N trigger pull, so it doesn’t misfire or go off unexpectedly, but it also does not take a lot of force to pull the trigger. The trigger distance on the Glock 35 G4 is 2.76 inches.



4. Beretta PX4 Storm Compact


The Beretta PX4 Storm Compact is a semi-automatic pistol made by Beretta of Italy. It can fire either in single action or double action mode, depending on what the need for firing is at that moment. It allows for better accuracy because fewer moving parts make it easier to maintain and keep clean. It has a suitable size between the full-size Beretta PX4 Storm and the PX4 Subcompact, making it perfect for concealed carry. The gun has an overall length of 6.8 inches, a height of 5 inches, and 1.42 inches wide making it right for easy handling by most shooters. The grip has a textured surface to give you a better feel of the gun, adding to your control over it. It features slide serrations for easy racking, even if your hands are sweaty.


It also has forward cocking serrations for one-handed cocking, which aids in chambering a round or clearing jams. The PX4 Storm Compact features interchangeable backstraps, which allows the user to customize its grip according to his hand size. This feature is advantageous, especially for women who have smaller hands but still want to enjoy shooting the gun with ease and accuracy. The PX4 Storm has a rotating barrel that reduces muzzle flip and allows for more accurate follow-up shots, unlike most other handguns on the market today where the recoil goes straight back into your hand.


The rotating barrel system also helps to reduce felt recoil as well as allowing the barrel to absorb some of the gases from your shot, making your next shot easier to take. It has a 3 dot sight system for easier aiming and target acquisition, making it easy to stay on target. This gun has very few safety features because of its simplified design, which is also one of the reasons why this gun is favored by many shooters looking for an easy-to-use, accurate weapon.



5. Smith & Wesson SD40


The SD40 is a striker fire pistol which means there is no hammer to cock back before each shot. The shooter pulls the trigger, which releases a spring set striker to hit a contact point, thus creating a spark and igniting the gunpowder inside the cartridge. The SD40 has a polymer frame and textured grip to ensure the firm control. It combined with the low bore axis of this pistol will reduce muzzle rise during shooting. The beavertail grip offers improved control by placing the web between the thumb and trigger finger on the pistol’s grip for comfort.


This gun’s trigger is created for self-defense scenarios with a smooth, consistent trigger pull. The integrated trigger guard help prevent the gun from accidentally firing if dropped. The SD40 has no external thumb safety; therefore, it is important that the shooter is certain of their target and know how to use their firearm safely. The barrel and slide are made of stainless steel. The barrel has a light but audible recoil due to its weight and travel distance. The frame is made of polymer. Overall, the SD40 is a great gun for those looking for self-defense within a reasonable price range.



What To Consider While Buying The Best 40 Cal Pistol?

Many people love handguns. The reason is simple, they use them for self-defense, or are usually associated with the military or law enforcement. However, a few factors should be considered before you purchase a handgun.


This will help you determine the type of gun you want to buy and its features. If your purpose is self-defense, you should look for something powerful enough to quickly stop a threat. If you will be using the gun for target shooting or hunting, you have to consider its accuracy and power as well.


Since handguns are not as powerful as rifles, they usually come with a small magazine capacity with varying degrees of firepower. The best thing will be its compatibility with a larger magazine if you plan to go on a long shooting session.


The size of your handgun is also an important factor because it will depend on how comfortable the gun is in your hands. So, go to a gun store and try holding different handguns so you can get the most comfortable one for your hands.


A handgun barrel is another important, worth considering factor because it determines how powerful its shots will be. For example, longer barrels give more power than shorter ones, so hunters and target shooters prefer them.


This simply refers to how you will use the gun, so if you plan to use it with both hands, then a double-action pistol is what you need, whereas single-action pistols are best for beginners and those who want accuracy and precision.


When choosing a handgun, it is also important to look at its accuracy. It is because a lot of handguns have issues with the placement of the front and rear sights and are extremely difficult to aim. So, find something that has been tested by previous users and has received good reviews from them.


Reliability is an extremely important factor to consider before buying any gun. It will determine how long your gun can last. So, always look for highly reliable firearms.


Last but not least, you have to consider the price of your gun because it will determine whether or not you can buy one in the first place. But if your budget is tight, don’t worry too much about finding something cheap because it is possible to find quality handguns even in a limited price range.


It is good for self-defense purposes because it can cause serious damage to attackers if you are forced to use it. Also, if you are into target shooting or hunting, this type of gun is perfect for your needs.

Generally, pistols are not as powerful as rifles, so they are usually compared in their caliber. However, it is important to note that the specific weapon you are using will determine how strong its shots are. In general, 9mm calibers have higher power and muzzle velocity than .40 S&W.

You can choose from different places to buy handguns based on your preferences and budget. For example, you can buy guns from local gun shops,, but if you want to get the best deals, you should look for dealers online.


In sum, the best 40 cal pistol should be one that has a smooth trigger pull and is extremely easy to handle. It should also have good sight alignment, front sights, and powerful shot velocity. Furthermore, it should not be too heavy or long to become difficult to use and carry around. Thank you for reading our best 40 cal pistol review. Hopefully, you find this article helpful.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at .

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