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S & W model 940 J-frame revolver

brookscloybrookscloy Member Posts: 2 ✭✭
edited July 2009 in Ask the Experts
5 shot 9mm that utilizes full moon clips, discontinued after 1992:
Have you had feedback on this model good or bad? The only feedback I have been able to find is that the 940 sometimes was picky about ammo it was fed resulting in the cylinder not rolling after repeated firing. This is probally account of varying thickness of rim head and/or a dirty weapon. I am getting reports that the fairly new Tauras Judge is having the same problem with cylinders not rolling after second or third rounds fired. The problem has been found to be thick rims on 410 shotshells. Guys be sure of the shotshells you are using, especially if your life is depending on them!
I have noticed in the past Ruger offered the SP101 in a 9mm and if I am correct Rossi is currently or has offered a 9mm revolver in its line. What was the idea Smith and others have in offering a chambering in a revolver that 90% of the time is deticated to semi-autos? On a positive note...I have found in shooting 45 acp revolvers is that the necessity of using full moon clips also serves as a built in speed loader. And the rounds in full moon clips not unlike a small cluster of grapes fits nicely in a shirt or coat pocket. We all know it takes a while to load individual rounds into a open double action revolver when a speed loader is not avalible.


  • nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,798 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    According to the Standard Catalog of Smith & Wesson, this model was cataloged 1991-1998.

    I am unaware of any problems with this gun. But, I have never actually seen one offered for sale, let alone fired one. I just don't think they made that many.

    Revolvers are chambered in 9mm because 1) there will alway be some folks in this country who like this round but don't like chasing their fired brass, & 2) many European LEA's are restricted to 9mm, & some want a small revolver in that chambering for undercover work.

  • beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I had the opportunity to buy an MA-compliant one of these a few years ago and didn't (IIRC, the seller was asking a pretty high price, too high for me to justify getting it then). Now I wish I had bought it.

    I'd still love to have one, though I don't think I'd be willing to pay much more for one than a similar .38 special model.

    I think revolvers in 9mm are one of those things that sound like a great idea on paper, but then the market reality is that Americans largely don't want to buy them. That's why availability of these is usually spotty. . .(same thing with revolvers in .44 special). There just isn't enough demand to justify continuous production by the various makers.

    Why a snubnose in 9mm? I can think of multiple fairly strong reasons:

    9mm luger ammo is cheaper than .38 special, more readily available (particularly outside the USA), and significantly more powerful.

    There are parts of the world where the ONLY readily available centerfire handgun caliber is 9mm luger. Everything else is either entirely unavailable or rare enough to serve as some sort of weird curiousity.

    The shorter overall case length of 9mm can provide for slightly more barrel length in the same overall sized gun as a .38, and that's an advantage. Also, the shorter case length of a 9mm luger means you can get full case extraction with a shorter ejector rod. . .that's another advantage, particularly since most of the .38 snubnoses ejectors don't throw the cases clean of the cylinder .

    In terms of negatives, I haven't had a chance to shoot one of these, but supposedly recoil is fairly harsh. You'd sort of expect that since 9mm luger is roughly mid-way in power between .38 special and .357 magnum.

    I've heard that the sharp recoil from the 9mm can jar loose the lockwork on some of these guns, but that just sounds implausible to me, given that similar guns are built in .357 magnum which is more powerful yet, and I've never heard that complaint.

    Obviously, dealing with moon clips leads to its own set of issues. While they are pretty fast to reload, having to use moon clips negates one of the biggest advantages of the revolver, namely the self-contained and nearly malfunction-proof cylinder.

    Putting rounds into standard clips and taking them out may not be easy without proper tools. The clips can bend, effectively rendering them and all the ammo on them useless. If you get dirt stuck on or under the clips that can affect their function, etc.
  • mark christianmark christian Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 24,511 ******
    edited November -1
    The 940 is one of my favorites, but never proved very popular. Using the 9mm revolver for police work, either for plain clothes officers or as a back up for a 9mm service pistol was the idea behind the pistol, but moon clips just turn shooters off and that single feature doomed the pistol from having broad appeal.

    The preferred choice for a 9mm revolver has always been the Model 951, which does not need moon clips in order to eject spent cases.

    I like both of these pistols, but then I always seem to like the odd ball guns that no one else does.
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