Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Smith & Wesson Model 940 9mm Revolver




This is a Model 940 no dash. As far as the Centennial revolvers go, the 9mm S&W Model 940 is a kissing cousin to the .38 Special Model 640. S&W no longer makes the Model 940; apparently, the 9mm DAO revolver fan club was not large enough to sustain big sales numbers. S&W manufactured the 940 from 1991 through 1998 with the 1 7/8’’ barrel, and for a short time during 1991 and 1992 offered the 940 with an optional 3’’ barrel.

Conventional revolver cartridges have a rim at the base of the case to keep the cartridge from moving too far forward in the cylinder and to provide for extraction. The Model 940 revolver is able to shoot the rimless 9mm parabellum (9x19mm) by using a full
moon clip (sometimes called a star clip). What happens if you try to use cartridges without the clip? I never tried it and I don’t recommend trying it.

NOTE: The following is a cut from the S&W manual:
“Whenever rimless pistol cartridges are used in the cylinder of a Smith & Wesson revolver, (except M547) full or half-moon clips MUST be used to both position and extract such cartridges. Failure to use ammunition clips with rimless cartridges may result in malfunction of the revolver.”

If everything works as intended, the advantage of using a revolver with full moon clips is the potential for very fast reloads, much akin to using speedloaders with standard revolver cartridges. The short ejection rod of snub S&W revolvers works better with the short 9mm cases than with those of the longer .38 Special. However, a couple of issues can keep things from working as intended. The first issue is bent clips, followed by spent cases sticking in the cylinder.

Carrying a loaded full moon clip in your pocket can bend it; I found that placing a loaded clip inside a plastic 35mm film container provides protection for pocket carry. After shooting, it takes a practiced hand to remove spent cases from a full moon clip without it bending. As a personal rule, I will reuse an unbent clip for practice rounds only; I trust only new clips for defense use. After many failed attempts at straightening bent clips, I no longer try. Now if a clip bends I summarily toss it into the recycle bin. Why do some people bother trying to straighten a bent clip? Many consider the
Smith & Wesson 640 moon clips somewhat expensive. I found that even a moderately bent clip binds the cylinder, making it hard to close and reopen, and makes trigger pull unusually heavy.

As far as spent cases sticking in the cylinder, I have yet to suffer that problem with this revolver. One of the above photos shows the spent cases of the brand most associated with the problem along with the unfired cartridges of my preferred defense load. Both work well for me but I suspect that premium cases are less prone to sticking.
CLICK HERE FOR A FORUM THREAD ON CASES STICKING IN THE 940 CYLINDERS

NOTE: The following is a cut from the S&W manual:
“In the Model 940 revolver, some brands of 9mm parabellum ammunition may cause difficulty in extracting spent cartridge cases from the cylinder. If this situation occurs, thoroughly clean the cylinder charge holes with solvent. If this condition persists, we recommend changing to another brand of 9mm parabellum ammunition.”

For those wishing to have a J-Frame with something less than a .357 magnum but something more than the .38 Special +P, arguably the 9mm +P in the short barrel 940 looks good on paper. Long term, I would be very surprised if there was not some flame cutting of the top strap from extended use of the high-pressure 9MM loads.

CLICK HERE for a look at the patented Del Fatti 5-round 9mm moon clip pocket carrier.



31 comments:

James R. Rummel said...

Good post, and a very nice looking gun.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Mr. Rummel, you are too kind.

Many thanks.

Hammer said...

I thought having a 9mm revolver would be a good thing but after reading about the clips I'm not so sure.

I've got a S&W 625 .45acp that uses clips..they are hard to load and unload but no bending yet.
Good thing is the .45 will not fall through the cylinder is designed to headspace on the case mouth so the clips aren't absolutely necessary and one can use a wooden dowel to exctract empties.

Jason said...

You have a 940 too????!!!! It is on my wish list!

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Jason, if I decide to sell it someday I'll give you first rights.

Jason said...

That is a great piece, thanks James.

Have a great July 4th.

xraydave1 said...

I have carried my 940 for many years as a back up. I had mine rechambered to 9x23. I called the custom shop and asked if it would be safe as the gun is rated +P. I was told that I would gain 150fps and LOOSE 7% chamber pressure. What a deal. I can shoot 9x19, 9x21, 9x23. I load the 9x23 to about 38 super loads.

D Blackmon said...

Thanks James,
I bought a 940 in 1992 for that very reason.More power than a 38,less than a .357. Back then, I was a cop and the police dept. where I worked carried Berretta 92F's. I got free ammo to carry and shoot. Since then, guns have come and gone. My 940 has never left my front pocket. Just wish it came in scandium. :]

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

D Blackmon, I really appreciate your service as a cop; it is always great to have you guys stop in. You have an insight that many of us don't have. Further, I appreciate you guys supporting our right to keep and bear arms. When cops say that citizens carrying guns is a good thing, it makes many anti-gunners stop and think.

Best,

Zack

Anonymous said...

Here's something that I bet you never thought of.
BTW The Matt Del Fatti Moon Clip Holder is VERY NICE looking & thanks for emailing me the link via Park Cities Tactical, the Cult of the P7..
This is Gary aka Beretta92 aka Headknocker from the S&W Forum..
I thought of making a Moon Clip Holder Years ago & my Idea was to make one from an old Film Canister, Looks like Matt took it one further with his "Pattened" Pocket Moon Clip Holder..
Here's what I do now, This may supprise you..
If you take two moon clips & take one of the five rounds & put it in the bottom center of the other up side down, They fit together & make a dandy package to carry..
I do like the Matt's Idea & when the finacial advisers grace me with thier presence again I will buy a few from him..
Also as others have said, I also have had my 940 No Dash reamed to 38 Super by Dave Manson @ Manson Precision Reamers..
I have just recently aquired a 940-1 cylinder that I fit to my 642-0 creating the fabled 942
An Airweight 9mm Revolver..
I've read several posts @ The S&W Forum of others haveing thier 342Tis etc reamed to 9mm from a 38/357 cylinder..
My convertion is Convertable as by just removeing the end shake screw & yolk can change the cylinder back to 38 special..
Also Most 9mm measure .355"-.356" were Most 38/357s measure .356"-.357", One one thousanths of an inch difference..
I have yet to range test my convertion but know of another one out there that has worked perfectly..

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hey Gary, thanks for stopping in and for posting that info. A lightweight 9mm revolver would be very cool to have... as would a snubby .38 super.

Take care,

Zack

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I called Smith and Wesson's customer support, last week. The rep advised that S&W still had a few model 940 cylinder assemblies for sale. $128.00 plus shipping and handling. The agent clarified that when these are gone S&W will not make more. This gentleman further clarified that installing this 9x19 in anything besides a model 940 would void all S&W warranties and support.
Still, having an aluminum frame 9x23 that digests 9x19 is intriquing.
Best regards, Warren

lorenzo said...

Brownell's makes some handy tools to extract cartridges from moon clips. It's a piece of thinwall aluminium tubing with a step cut in one end and a plastic handle on the other. They work great -I've had them for 45 and 10mm moon clips and made my own for the 9mm.

Anonymous said...

Hi All,

Anyone know where I could purchase 3 of the
940 9mm ?

Thanks,
Rick

Anonymous said...

2/7/10
I own one 940 9mm that I bought new in 1991. Never been fired. I would like to sell it. Anyone interested?

Sean said...

I would love to buy the gun. Please send contact information and price to seanfmayer@yahoo.com. Thanks, Sean

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Hey Sean, thanks for stopping in. I don't have any guns that are for sale, but thanks for inquiring.

Anonymous said...

Make a De-mooner for fast and easy removal of cases from moon clips. email me for info if u need help with it. cdi@cdignition.com

Jeff

Anonymous said...

I want something that can stop a tank! Dave

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I own a 940 and love it. Its diffrent and thats why I like it...plain and simple. Now, my problem is...I can't find moon clips! I would love to buy a few more while they are still available. Any help?

mike
mthprad@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Ruger SP101 9mm clips will work in the S&W 940 and are still available from Ruger. There are also some available on e-bay.
Terry T

Anonymous said...

please if you find the moon clip advise i need to buy one thankx
you can send me by mail
info@cb-royal.com

Anonymous said...

Ranch Products & TK Moon Clips sell the 940 moon clips for the 940..
TK is very proud of their clips = BIG BUCKS..
I have about 40 of their older 940/9mm SP101 moon clips that are .040" thick were the ones the sell now are .035" thick..

As far as a moon tool for the 9mm I made one from a scrap peice of 3/8" Copper tubing with a stair step at the end & it's worked great for my needs.. Being I have 40 clips I never shoot more than I have mooned up anyhow = 200 rounds..
I also made one from the handle of a carbon fiber golf club handle..
If you'd like James email me @ Headknocker940@Yahoo.Com & I'll get you some pictures of my 940 & 642/942 + the moon tool..
Gary aka Headknocker/berettapistols

Anonymous said...

Can you fire the 940 without the moonclip?

Anonymous said...

Conventional revolver cartridges have a rim at the base of the case to keep the cartridge from moving too far forward in the cylinder and to provide for extraction. The Model 940 revolver is able to shoot the rimless 9mm parabellum (9x19mm) by using a full moon clip (sometimes called a star clip). What happens if you try to use cartridges without the clip? I never tried it and I don’t recommend trying it.

NOTE: The following is a cut from the S&W manual:
“Whenever rimless pistol cartridges are used in the cylinder of a Smith & Wesson revolver, (except M547) full or half-moon clips MUST be used to both position and extract such cartridges. Failure to use ammunition clips with rimless cartridges may result in malfunction of the revolver.”

Anonymous said...

I own this pistol and the clip I had was an orginal. After a long search I found the clips at midway usa. They were 10 for $2. Hope this helps

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

10 for $2 is a darn good price. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I know this is an old post, but I have come to own hat exact gun, and want to sell it. I don't believe it's registered, and i want to sell it. Any ideas? i have had a couple offers, but after some research on it, the offers were way too low.

Koomo said...

Just wanted to add something...

I bought my 940 in the mid-90s. The darn thing benchrested at 25 yards as well as any other handgun I owned at the time, which was something my friends had to see to believe. One would think such a long reach between bullet and barrel would make for poor ballistics, but no...and a trigger job just made it sweeter.

Anyway, just wanted to drop in and say that, if our chrono work is true, the 940 is a preferrable carry option over a .357 snubby. The energy at the chrono were nearly identical between 125gr +P .357 and the 115gr +P Corbon. Plus, the 9 mm kicked a tiny fraction as much and there was hardly any residual flash, unlike the horrid .357 which seemed to ignite half its powder outside the chamber and barrel! Add more barrel and the .357 would easily offer more energy, but then you wouldn't have the near-perfect concealability.

My opinion...despite the lure of the Cult of the New, I consider a 940 with low-flash +P ammo to still be the ultimate in CC protection. If I lost mine tomorrow, I'd easily spend in the four figures to aquire a replacement...it should be the last CC gun I ever need, and I can waste/spend my gun money on other gun categories now :)

It's only drawback for me is inherent in its instant-use CC design, and that's the lack of any type of safety...with two young boys now at home, it's a constant worry, no matter how many precautions I've taken.

Anonymous said...

Concerning the post about firing ammo in the Smith and Wesson 940 without the star clips, FYI, I’ve fired many hundreds of rounds without using the star clips. The only reason the star clips are there is to aid with the extraction. When I fire my reloaded brass when using FMJ, after shooting, the brass just falls right out. When I fire my high pressure ammo like CorBon, the brass does stick, and I have to pry it out with something like a star clip. I’m not a professional, but I’ve yet to see any problem with firing ammo in the 940 W/O using a star clip. Also, I think this is one of the better revolvers ever designed for personal carry. Even loaded, it’s relatively light and compact, it’s almost impossible to have an accidental discharge, and thought I have my practice ammo loaded as light as possible, I carry the high pressure loads when I’m out and around. By the way, I’m not advocating the non-use of the star clips, I’m only pointing out that, in my experience, and the gun won’t do anything weird if you don’t use them. Just to clarify this point, 99.9 percent of my practice with my 940, is with star clips. I also use the old 35mm film canisters for holding and carrying extra 5 round clips of corbon.
If you’re a revolver person, I would defiantly get something like a 940. If you can’t find one now, get the 38 model or the 357 model and just keep looking for the 940.

Yong said...

Hello 940 fans. I did not like the clips so I took 38 special cases, trimmed them to 23 mm (my 940 is chambered for 9x23) and load them using 38 super loads. Fire and extract perfect. Do not need moon clips.