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Fall Fashion Week: S&W 940-1

Smith & Wesson 940-1 Revolver
Smith & Wesson 940-1 Revolver

Back in the day, these were a very hot item. A J-frame revolver that can shoot 9×19. The same caliber as most service pistols. 

The theory being this would be a good backup gun. Or desirable for folks who otherwise found themselves being issued / required to shoot 9mm. But there are three big short comings: 

  1. The gun is very heavy for it’s size. All steel. Which isn’t ideal for ankle or pocket carry. 
  2. The 9×19 is actually a hot little round. Not a big deal in semi-autos where the slide cycles empty brass when fired. But in a small revolver, all of the bullets absorb the full recoil at once. This has been known to cause loaded 9mm to lose it’s minimal crimp. Worst case, that bullet locks up the cylinder taking the revolver out of action. 
  3. It has to use moon clips because of the 9mm’s rebated rim. Many folks who carry revolvers day in, and day out, discover the extra moon clips are easily damaged. So reloading is an issue. 

The practical result is we have a gun that S&W couldn’t sell many of. The collectors drove up the prices because they are uncommon. That higher price convinces novice shooters this gun must be desirable and might be “the answer”. 

And after spending a shiny penny buying one, discover this gun basically sucks rocks. This is the lifecycle of every S&W 940. 





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