If FBI moves to 9mm, what happens to the .40 cal Pistols?

By Dean WeingartenDemilled Smith & Wesson Revolver

Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- The Smith & Wesson revolver shown above was paid for by U.S. taxpayers.  It was a finely crafted piece of machinery that served its country of origin well.  It is legal to own in all 50 states, by nearly all citizens.  But the Clinton administration chose to pay additional tax dollars to reduce it to this sad pile of scrap.  The destruction likely occurred at Anniston Army Depot.

The General Services Administration (GSA) has issued a solicitation from the FBI for a unrestricted number of 9mm pistols worth up to 85 million dollars.  From GSA:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is issuing an unrestricted solicitation for various 9mm luger pistols and all associated replacement parts with the intent of making single award of a fixed price indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract. In accordance with FAR 2.101, Multi-Agency Contracts, this solicitation includes a provision authorizing other law enforcement agencies to utilize the contract on a case-by-case basis with prior approval. The anticipated period of performance consists of one (1) base year and nine (9) possible additional one-year options.

It is worth noting that the offers are to be received in late January of 2016, so that receipt of the pistols will be either after, or at the very tail end of the Obama administration.

The question is: What will the FBI and other federal agencies do with their extra .40 caliber pistols?  Most police agencies trade in their surplus pistols or sell them to dealers.  They enter the usual channels of commerce and are sold just like new pistols, except they are known as law enforcement trade ins.  Some police departments have insisted on destroying these valuable assets as a political statement.  Eleven states have passed legislation to stop this wasteful practice.

In the past, most government small arms were sold to the public.  Millions of small arms were sold surplus as newer arms were adopted.  With the attack on the Second Amendment ramping up in the mid 1960’s, many federal agencies stopped selling surplus firearms. It never completely stopped, but the Clinton administration was famous for destroying a hundred million or more dollars worth of surplus carbines, revolvers, target pistols, 1911A1 .45s, Garands, and even .22 trainer rifles and pistols.  From ar15.com:

In August 1993, a powerful machine nicknamed “Captain Crunch” was put into operation to grind up these hundreds of thousands of small arms. Defense Logistics Agency spokesman Larry Wilson said that the weapons are put on a conveyor belt that goes up perhaps 15 feet then the weapons drop into the metal canister. The metal canister (“Captain Crunch”) has some “serious” teeth in it, and the “gun barrel goes in, and little pieces of metal come out,” said Wilson. Simple, but effective, and no re-welds!

The demil process kicked into high gear after the August 1993 start-up. In a March 1994 interview, spokesman Larry Wilson said that “Captain Crunch” had ground up 307,000 firearms at a cost of a little more than $1,000,000.

Wilson gave a break-down of the guns destroyed as of March 1994 as follows: .45 caliber automatic pistols (110,000), M-14 rifles (50,000), M1 carbines (45,000), M1903A3 drill rifles (40,000), M1 Garands (30,000), M3 .45 “grease guns” (20,000), M1903 Springfields (6,000), and M12 .22 caliber target rifles (6,000). Wilson calculated it had cost $3.52 to destroy each weapon and the Material Command was destroying 3,000 guns per day.

What will happen to the surplus .40 caliber pistols of the FBI and other federal agencies?   Some may be offered to police departments as surplus.  The tendency of elite administrations since 1970 has been to wastefully destroy these assets.  Why should any administration worry about wasting a hundred million dollars when they gleefully go hundreds of billions into debt each year?

A responsible administration would see the folly of destroying these assets and would sell them as surplus, to add money to the public coffers and add smiles and value to millions of citizens.  It is the policy that served the country well from the 1800s through the 1960s.   American citizens might even regain a measure of faith in their government.

c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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.40 Bastard

Some in the government will make money with this change.

Ron Sward

We don’t know and never will, how many hits by the underworld with a 22 ànd did the job. If one has the opportunity to defend himself and has taken enough target shooting to keep his ability to hit the kill zone, I am sure the caliber heavier than a 25 Wii do the shooter right. I carried iñ my life on working professions a 38, and a 9mm. I was fortunate as a reserve deputy in the sixties in ghetto areas and other rural areas to never unholster my sidearm, but I did carry a 12gauge shotgun most of… Read more »

Kevin Clash

The FBI, what a bunch of clowns, stop wasting my tax money and do some real work. Also share information with all agencies and stop acting like a bunch of spoiled children. Cut the Red Tape. All that power and you act like tits on a bull.

Michael Helton

I think they should be sold and the money made from the sell go to the Kenyan village idiot’s family in Kenya to help support the fertilization of more village idiots to come to America ,and become President to bring America to its final destruction.


I totally support and appreciate Dr Dave’s contributions to this forum. C’mon man, life is too short to totally refuse to listen to an opposing viewpoint and to be so critical of fellow LEO’s, especially with Dr. Dave’s experience.


Clark, Dave is correct. The following is certified by the FBI, the CDC, and the DOJ Information Service… these are real numbers, not “massaged-data” propaganda. In 2012, nationwide, civilian Concealed-Carry licensees fatally shot just over 3,000 criminals who were in the act of committing a felony. Of those, exactly 56 – less than 2%! – involved errors (mis-identification of criminal, ricochets, etc). 98-of-100 shootings were accurate and justified. That same year, law enforcement officers fatally shot just over 1,000 criminals. The shootings by officers included 106 – over 10%! – errors. That’s twice the actual number of errors, and as… Read more »


Destruction….so what? We’re talking about GLOCKS, folks, not collectibles from S&W or Colt.


I have always been an advocate for the 45 ACP, and have not liked the effectiveness of the 9mm. But with todays high quality ammo, this is no longer the case. But for the FBI to switch now seems like a waste of tax payer money!

Sumner Kagen

The whole 9mm vs 40 vs 45 was (and still is in some circles) valid when you are comparing the hardball ammo. For military it still is an issue since JHP is not allowed. In that situation the biggest hole is the best. But fact is that in this day and age of high tech defense ammo with hollow points, the differences between the calibers is now minimal. You get the same penetration levels, almost similar expansion and wound channels. So now you are left with a simple mathematics problem, if the calibers themselves are similar, would you rather have… Read more »


Probably send them to syria or to the drug runners in mexico.


Meh. They carry Glocks, so it’s no big loss if they crush them.

Clark Kent

Dr Dave: Looks like you have another roommate at the institution (Hippybiker). Have fun with your fantasies together. P.S. If you insist on the ‘M.D.’ delusion at least learn how to construct grammatically correct sentences and paragraphs, along with no misspelled words (that is what REAL doctors do).

Dr Dave

Plus the new 9mm ammo from Lehigh Engineering is absolutely AMAZING! The depth is spot on and the cavity width is absolutely spectacular. I hope for them it sells well but on the flip side I can tell you if or should I say when the gangs get a hold of it the death rates are going to skyrocket
It is so good they don’t even need to push a plus P or plus P plus variant (although I think they have them) the design is amazing and meets the Federal guidelines for legal work (not military though)
Dr D


Robert… The military’s experience with supposedly-low “stopping power” of 9mm is due primarily to the fmj ball ammo that the military is forced to use (by bureaucrats, not international legal requirement) in battle. The comparative differences in “stopping power” between those 9mm, .40 and .45 calibers becomes much smaller (and far less significant) when modern hollow-point ammo is used. With hollow-points, historical studies have shown the average number of shots required to stop an assailant ranges from 2.03 for .45 cal up to 2.83 for 9mm… thus, in real-world situations, three shots will generally be required in a shootout, regardless… Read more »


What will happen to the gazillion rounds of .40 caliber JHP just purchased by the controlling regime for its alphabet soup agencies?


Hey Clark, is your real name “Drabble the Mall Cop?”

Dr Dave

Pretty amazing how arrogant and ignorant some gun fanatics are. Never met a fellow LEO though that had no respect for other people and NEVER met one who would be so rude as to call someone a liar in open public forum without atleast a full folder to back it up. Is that the kind of work you do in real life as well? Head into court with no facts pouting off conjecture? I guess your “metro” didn’t instill respect into it’s men in blue but I can’t think of any east coast cities that didn’t so I can only… Read more »


Yep. Worst day to be range master is Wed when it’s free Leo and military shooters.

Clark Kent

Dr D: ‘EVERY major city was under my authority’. SURE it was. Now have the men in the white coats take you back to your room. Amigo, give it up; you are not fooling anyone, especially those who were actually police officers.

Dr Dave

Amram I sure hope the gun is as good as you suggest I just ordered one and at $1100+ it had better be awesome. Looks like a nice weapon surely not something I want to daily carry but a really nice gun. I ordered mine with a threaded barrel we shall see in a week or so. Thanks for the tip
Dr D

Dr Dave

Every authority from Pincus to Ayoob has suggested that hammer fired weapons are less trustworthy then then their newer generation cousins. Ayoob just did a whole piece on that exact topic discussing that the extra action needed to release the manual safety and more importantly replace it after incident in the holster was to much risk in a tactical situation. NOTHING wrong with any technology even going back to the older SA and DA revolvers but today technology has gone steps better and the newer guns like the Glocks and similar have a distinct advantage over the older models in… Read more »


Which is why I carry the FNX with 15 rounds of .45 ACP.

Clark Kent

Dr Dave: ‘Shear fired’? If you are a MD then God help us all. How about ‘Dr Quack’? Amigo, go back to the shopping mall that hired you.

Dr Dave

Hey Superman you definitely do NOT want to go credentials to credentials against me sir! I was the Director of the Federal Drug Interdiction Task Force for more years then most of you have been out of diapers. My team was the TOP burst team in the entire country. I managed the second largest LE budget in the country only second to the FBI for over 8 years. I have trained more guys in on scene and in the foray tactics then almost anyone you have ever met. On top of that I am a surgeon with 30 + years… Read more »

Clark Kent

Dr Dave: You lost any and all credibility when you posted ‘civilian CCW carriers are FAR better at on (?) target shooting than LEOS’. What are you a ‘doctor’ of? Bovine excretions? By the way, the 40 S&W came about due to the failure of 9mm ammunition during the FBI Miami shooting. And I spent 33+ years as a street cop in a major metropolitan agency.


. I don’t even know if this will be seen since this conversation was like 4-5 years ago. I googled something and this popped up. But this dick measuring contest from years ago is funny as hell..

Dr Dave

The reason to shift is that the 9mm is FAR easier to shoot and the 45 is a total wreck when under maximum stress. Overall fight for fight it is better to have 17 shots of 9mm in the case of a Glock 19 for example then 8 shots of 45 since the MAJORITY of rounds miss the targets by LEO and Military combined. The military have a MUCH better accuracy rate then the LEOs since their JOB is shooting while LEOs JOB is to enforce the law with only a tiny % being use of a gun. In fact… Read more »

Dr Dave

MOST Federal agencies are switching to 9mm as well as many many locals as well. The 9mm is far sufficient and the cost differential in ammo is well realized over the life of the gun. I have two former LEO Glock 40’s that were traded for 9mm. One was even never distributed and still in the original serialized box. 9mm is the perfect balance between cost and effectiveness. The 40’s are too expensive and the extra energy is really not necessary. As far as what will happen to the guns 90% are not owned by the US they were paid… Read more »

Roderick T.

WE “NEED” A “MAJOR” CHANGE IN GOVERNMENT !!! Get back to some “common sense” that WE seem to have lost !!!

Ray Oyler

USG is going to 9×19 ammo . 30 million rounds in production at this time, it will take 6 years to product.

J Roe

Remember gentlemen, one can skew pole results & testing statistic any which way they wish. I believe the newest calibre issue relates to better hollow point design & performance which has allowed 9mm to “catch-up”. In my mind, if the same “NEW” technology was forwarded to .40 & .45acp then they would again far exceed the 9mm. I do understand the science applied in reference to the sweet spot of expansion, bullet weight, speed & penetration & allegedly thats what it’s all about. BUT, handgun rounds (projectiles under 2,000fps, have all been rpoven to NOT BE RELIABLE MAN STOPPERS!!! That’s… Read more »


Hillary will broker another deal through Qatar and the arms will end up in Taliban hands just like the 400 Stinger missiles in 2011 .http://nypost.com/2014/06/08/how-the-taliban-got-their-hands-on-modern-us-missiles/


I realize this is YEARS after this conversation took place BUT, I was googling something and this piece came up. And some of the silliness just can’t be ignored . The Taliban got stingers in 2011? . I don’t know. Maybe. But it was the demigod Ronny Reagan that supplied the Taliban back when they were fighting the Russians


If the federal government has anything to do with it, it will not make sense and just be a cluster fu#k. They did some testing, huh, and found… Sheesh!


Gentlemen: i cannot recall now, which Guns magazine I read it in, but that research now indicates that with the newer types of ammunition, there really is not a difference between the 9 and the 45. The benefits of the name are certainly, the cheaper ammo, and the increased number of rounds in the magazine. Before anyone accuses me of heresy, let me say that I have many more 45s than 9s. My carry piece is a .45.

Clyde S Zackery

From .40 to 9mm is in reverse! Unless you believe or follow the results of FBI Balistic tests, the 9mm cartridge is about equally deadly/lethal as the .45 acp so that would mean it’s superior to the .40 s&w. Didn’t they use 9s in the 80s-early 90s?

Robert Pace

So explain why the armed services are going back to the .45, wait let me answer that, the stopping power of the 9mm is a disgrace…..why should you have to shoot 15 times at a perp, when it only takes 1 round from a .45. More of this govt’s waste and stupidity….s/f


Tom i read not to long ago that the feds did some testing and found that there was little difference between 9, 40 and 45 acp. The study was very flawed and drew hundreds of comments. I suspect the truth is the 9mm is cheaper to shoot and the 40 cal is to snappy. Personally I prefer the 40.


Looks like the **nts and runts of the new FBI win again
First it was the 38/357 Not good enough
So they moved to the 9mm not good enough
Then the 10 mm to powerful the . Youngsters could not handle it
So the 40 cal was invented so they could handle it
Now go back to the 9mm ineffective round
Just go back to the 1911 colt and be done with it
if you can’t handle it get out get a job. At Waffle House


If you believe Obunghole will allow these to be sold as surplus I have a nice toll bridge for sale in Brooklyn.


That is Obamass.


That does seem bassackwards !


Eaker – They don’t want to kill potential Democrat voters, they just want to wound them. LOL

Tom Eaker

Why go to 9mm from .40SW?


The most likely scenario is that the pistols are just going to be inventoried and stored. Possibly for decades. THEN they will be destroyed.

Old 1811

My money is on destruction. When the old Immigration and Naturalization Service transitioned from the Ruger Speed-Six to the Beretta 96D in 1996 (during the Clinton Administration), the government had two purchase offers: The government of Australia wanted to buy them for its officers, and Ruger offered to buy them so they would have a parts inventory for repair of Security-Six and Speed-Six revolvers, which had by then been discontinued. Janet Reno, who as Attorney General was the decision-maker (INS was part of DOJ), ignored both requests and destroyed around 16,000 perfectly serviceable revolvers. Of course, you must remember that… Read more »