Differences in defense: 9mm +P vs. .40 cal.


December 31, 2002, 04:56 PM
Hey guys, I have a new Browning Hi-Power in .40 which I haven't fired yet and I am planning to buy another Hi-Power in 9mm. Which gun/caliber whould you select for defense? And what are the best defense rounds in each of these calibers?

Would 9mm +P+ be somewhat similar to .40 cal. in terms of recoil and defense effectiveness? Aside from capacity differences, which would you want to defend yourself with?

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December 31, 2002, 05:01 PM
i have a steyr m9 and m40, they are exactly the same size, the m40 is a tad heavier though.
by +P+ 9mm, are you referring to something like 115 gr? when i've shot such next to the .40s&w the 9mm still has lighter recoil than any .40s&w round i've shot.

its obviously just a little bit easier to get followup shots with the 9mm than the .40, but its a minute difference. personally i like carrying the 9mm, as its lighter, on the hip and spare mags dont weigh down my pockets/belt as much.

December 31, 2002, 05:48 PM
Flip a coin. These questions are like :banghead:

December 31, 2002, 06:04 PM
I'm from the American school of bigger is better mentality. This also applies to cars hehe. My cote is a .45 ACP ;)

I'd take the .40 over the 9mm....just my $0.03

December 31, 2002, 06:07 PM
Joe... I'm a 1911 lover too, got a dozen of 'em. They're great. But I'm currently having a new affair... with Browning Hi-Powers. :D

Gila Jorge
December 31, 2002, 09:12 PM
Browning High Powers are nice weapons. I shot the 40 in BHP sevral years ago and really liked the round. I bought a CZ75 in 40 over a 9mm. I shoot CorBon ammo. I love the 40. I also have 44s available and a couple of 357s. Prefer the 40.

mr. e
December 31, 2002, 09:25 PM
I shoot more accurately with a 9mm, but I find that 40 Auto is still very controllable and accurate enough for self defense. I also have a 9mm and a 40 Auto Browning HP.

I selected the 40 Auto for carry simply because if I'm limited to 10 rounds in the mag for either caliber, I want 10 of 40. It hits harder and would make a bigger hole in a bad guy.

Currently I carry a Walther P99 in 40. Even though I can have a CZ-75 with 15 round mags, which would theoretically make the choice between 15 of 9 or 10 of 40 harder, I find the P99 easier to carry and conceal.

January 1, 2003, 12:03 AM
Who cares? Both are crunchentickers best regulated to targets or mini guns.:cool:

January 1, 2003, 01:36 AM
You will probably 'enjoy' the 9x19 more, but both cartridges, with correct loads, are similar in defense results.
Use the one you shoot best.

For ammo, at least try major brand name hi-performance loads, and find (at least) one that is 100% reliable (reread that) and offers you high confidence.

Most shooters will tell you the 40 S&W seems to recoil harder.

January 2, 2003, 09:38 AM
You can buy 9mm ammo cheaper than the 40. This means that range time is cheaper. Which means you get more proficient. Which means that you will shoot better in a self-defense situation.

At least this is the way I decided to look at the situation. Everybody has a different viewpoint on this question...

Zak Smith
January 2, 2003, 12:15 PM
See the FBI terminal ballistics data (sorted by average wound "volume" clothed and bare gelatin) (http://www.demigod.org/~zak/firearms/fbi-pistol.php?sort=grade1).

Out of .45ACP, .40SW, .357SIG, and 9x19, the particular loading you choose is more important than the caliber. For example: the best 9x19 (Win Ranger Talon, 147gr @ 1017 fps) does better than the worst .45ACP (PMC/Eldorado StarFire 230gr@854fps).

On the other hand, the best of .45ACP is better than the best of .40SW which is better than the best of the 9x19.

I personally find 9x19+P easier to shoot than .40SW. YMMV.


January 3, 2003, 12:12 AM
For defense, I'd pick the gun that shoots better .

There are plenty of excellent defensive rounds for each. Try a bunch, and again pick the ones that shoot best.

I'm partial to Federal 115gr. Hydra-shok and Pro-load 124gr. +P in 9mm. For 40S&W, Remington 165gr. Golden Saber.

January 3, 2003, 01:19 AM
I just happen to like 9mm like some people prefer chocolate ice cream over vanilla. Doesn't matter much.

You're liable to find a bunch of 9mm +P and +P+ loads that don't perform as well as standard loads, though. You won't have to wonder about that mystery with a .40.

January 3, 2003, 01:44 AM
I've shot numerous 4legged creatures with both and the 40 is more effective. Since you are limited to 10 rounds 40 is the way to go. The HP is well made (properly designed for the 40) . I use 155 hydroshocks but any premium ammo will perform as long as it feeds in your gun. In all the research I have done the 357sig,40 and 45 work the same on the street ,the 9mm is not quite as good. But bullet placement is the most important thing.

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