Old School: Smith & Wesson 4006 .40 Caliber Pistol

The Smith & Wesson 4006 .40 caliber pistol was introduced in 1990 and was popular with numerous police departments as the move from revolvers to semiautomatic handguns continued in earnest.
AWR Hawkins/Breitbart News

The Smith & Wesson 4006 .40 caliber pistol was introduced in 1990 and was popular with numerous police departments as the move from revolvers to semiautomatic handguns continued in earnest.

The 4006 was chambered in .40 because of the round struck a balance between the larger 10mm and the smaller 9mm. Smith & Wesson notes:

The .40 S&W cartridge was developed jointly with Winchester in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who had requested a 10mm cartridge loaded to less-than-full-power.  The result was the shorter .40 S&W that allowed for a more comfortable grip when used in a double-stack magazine.

The 4006 is hefty, but that heft helps with recoil management and second shot acquisition. The one we reviewed has a fixed front sight and an adjustable rear sight and it can be fired in double or single action.

The 4006 has an external, ambidextrous safety and an internal safety designed to offer special protection for law enforcement officers who found themselves in a hand-to-hand combat situation. The internal safety is initiated by pressing the magazine release, thereby dropping the ammunition out of the gun. The 4006 is designed to become inert with the magazine missing, allowing an officer to protect himself from having his own pistol used against him.

Lucky Gunner notes the 4006 is a 3rd Generation Smith & Wesson semiautomatic, which means production of the gun stopped by 2010.

Used 4006 pistols can still be found from time to time and Galco continues to manufacture high quality holsters for the pistol.

The 4006 we reviewed delivered consistent accuracy and was flawless in function.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

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