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The Forty-Nine is a striker-fired semi-automatic pistol that uses an improved linkless locking principle intended for police use. It employs a true double-action only (DAO) trigger mechanism, meaning that the hammer is cocked by the trigger pull before every shot. The Forty-Nine has no external (manual) safety switches.
This cartridge was developed as a joint venture between Winchester and Smith & Wesson. It was an effort to to create a cartridge with the same power as the 10mm Norma round that the FBI had just started using, but in a shorter case. The shorter cartridge would facilitate accuracy and allow use of a smaller, more comfortable grip frame. The .40 S&W has become the cartridge of choice for many law enforcement agencies in the United States.
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