.40 s&w? Take a back seat.


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Ammo First
April 23, 2003, 03:45 AM
I've been purusing the gun boards again. I've noticed numerous posts preaching the superiority of this round. (.40 s&w) Many consider this to be the "minimum defensive caliber" Pardon me? My current carry piece is a berreta 92fs 5 inch bbl. I'm using Italian mcgar 20rnd mags, packed with Fed. 9mm +P+ bple (easy to find). Out of a 5 inch barrel approx. 455 ft. lbs. of energy versus 10 rounds of 40 short and weak with around 475 ft. lbs. (Even the best loads don't go above approx. 496 ft. lbs) What would you rather have 10 rnds. at say 496 ft lbs. or 20 rnds at 455 ft. lbs. Add in the propencity of even trained police officers to pray and spray quite a few rounds. Its a no brainer, in my opinion. I find this 40 s&w argument pretty weak. Thanks for listening.

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355sigfan
April 23, 2003, 04:11 AM
I have nothing against the 9mm I own a few. Same goes for the 40sw. But your logic is faulty. First off having lots of rounds is never a bad thing but it will not make up for shooter skill. If you miss the first 10 times your not likely to do better for the last 10. Also while I like high energy rounds. Energy alone does not tell the whole story. I would rather have a lower energy 9mm like the +p+127 grain ranger talon load and gain a lot in barrier penetration and more flesh penetration as well. I don't care for the 147's because they don't have as much energy as I like and many of them fail to expand in heavy clothing. For me in the 9mm the +p+ middle weights rule.
PAT

WonderNine
April 23, 2003, 04:31 AM
Yes, I also prefer the 124-127gr. 9mm's, but the real advantage of 9mm aside from the penetration and higher capacity is the relibility of feeding compared to .40 as the 9mm round is ideally shaped for reliable feeding. Not to mention that NATO cartridges are waterproofed and 9mm ammo is much cheaper making practice more affordable.

Also, realistically, .355 and .40 is not much of a diameter difference. They both make basically the same sized holes. 9mm's are generally more accurate as well. Alot of 9mm NATO and +P+ 9mm loads actually exceed the energy of .40's.

9mm handguns also typically hold more rounds in a smaller package than .40 or .45 and 9mm handguns tend to have a much higher availability of preban normal capacity magazines.

If you want more power, go with a 10mm, not a denutted .40 Short & Weak.

Give me a BHP 9.

Ammo First
April 23, 2003, 04:53 AM
Well, I shoot on a regular basis with a group of people. We try to simulate emergency situations as best we can. If thier is one thing I've noticed its that the range shooting sessions and the combat/simulated emergency shooting sessions we hold produce vastly different results. Even the best shooter among us (much better than I) looses quite a bit of accuracy when suprised or on the move. Many a time (not always) the target was hit due only to the additional rounds at our disposal. (this was more common at distances beyond 30 feet) Now I'm an average shot, not poor not great, but even the better shooters in our group get far more on target hits. 20 shots versus 10 or 12. Its just simple math, nothing more. Maybe others are more accurate than us in a real emergency shooting (vs. our fake emergency shooting trials) but I doubt it.

Ian11
April 23, 2003, 06:27 AM
Hey, if it works for you fine. But there's no reason to use the same type of tactics to justify your decision. I rotate between a .45 (230 grain GS), .40 (165 grain GS), and a 9mm (147 grain Ranger) for my defense handgun depending on my mood. I feel comfortable with all of them.

I'm not just trying to be diplomatic. I try not to overthink caliber choice (as long I'm using decent loads) because its only part of the much bigger equation of a self defense scenario. I worry more about how I'll handle the situation if God forbid I'm faced with it.

Ammo First
April 23, 2003, 07:01 AM
I agree, thats my whole point. I'm not saying my approach is the only or best system, it is the system that works best for me. There are numerous ways to skin any given feline. However, The argument or "advise" that the .40 s&w is the "minimum caliber for self defense" ( an opinion I hear quite frequently) is a very narrow and uninformed view.

Tropical Z
April 23, 2003, 01:14 PM
I prefer 9mm if its coming out of a HiPower or the like where 13-17 round flush fit mags are readily available.If its a newer gun where us poor ordinary slobs arent entrusted by our own government (you work for US ya know!!!) to own more than 10 rounders i tend to lean toward .40S&W.

MJRW
April 23, 2003, 01:28 PM
I wouldn't call .40 the minimum by a long shot. I think standard convention states that in handguns .38 special is minimum (or possibly .32 HNR, don't know too much about this round) and for semi-autos 9mm is generally accepted minimum given ideal circumstances. It needs to be said here that any caliber is better than no caliber at all. I personally feel that .380 is the minimum I am willing to carry and be comfortable. Given all of that, let me move on.

Multiplying capacity by energy doesn't really tell the tale. If you have time to put 10 rounds in someone and they don't go down, 10 more is unlikely to do the job. As someone else said, if you miss with the first 10.... We need to work with smaller numbers like 2 - 4 rounds as some people drill. Higher capacities, in my opinion, are for the dreaded possibility of having to deal with multiple assailants.

I think the availability of full capacity magazines and in newer platforms is largely what is driving the .40 market. Given the choice between 10 rounds of 9mm or 10 rounds of .40, I will take 10 rounds of .40, in theory. In practice, I have a much harder time with a follow up with .40 than I do 9mm.

I used to be a fan of the .40, not so much anymore. I've got a bad taste in my mouth from the previous unreliable platform, but I still don't know that I will get another. It felt like it had the kick of a .45 with a bullet not much larger than a 9mm. I don't consider it a "answer to a question no one asked" or whatever. I consider it the worst of both worlds. I'd currently rather shoot and carry .38, .357, 9mm, or .45 than .40.

BigG
April 23, 2003, 02:05 PM
Are we having fun yet? :neener:

BigG
April 23, 2003, 02:06 PM
If 40 is denutted, what does that make 9? :scrutiny:

George Hill
April 23, 2003, 02:08 PM
I've noticed numerous posts preaching the superiority of this round. (.40 s&w)
Where?

BigG - Classic.

355sigfan
April 23, 2003, 02:24 PM
Well, I shoot on a regular basis with a group of people. We try to simulate emergency situations as best we can. If thier is one thing I've noticed its that the range shooting sessions and the combat/simulated emergency shooting sessions we hold produce vastly different results. Even the best shooter among us (much better than I) looses quite a bit of accuracy when suprised or on the move.
END

Thats still shooter error. As I firearms instructor I can tell you what I believe your doing is looking over the sights and yanking on the trigger. If you slow down enough to get a sight picture and a good trigger press your hits on target will go up. Even on the move. The 40 sw does have a power advantage on the 9mm. The 9mm does have less recoil and greater capacity. Its all in how you look at it. Chose your sword and be prepared for battle. In the end its your skill as a shooter not your gun that makes the difference. I carry a 8 shot 1911 and I feel very confident with it. I have also carried hi cap guns in the past. And if I ever go back to patrol I will be carrying the issue Glock 21 again.
PAT

bountyhunter
April 23, 2003, 02:27 PM
"I've been purusing the gun boards again. I've noticed numerous posts preaching the superiority of this round. (.40 s&w) "

I consider it to be avery good (and very accurate) round with some attractive qualities: the defense load versions have great stopping power, sport ammo is cheaper than .45, and mag capacity is higher than .45.

"Many consider this to be the "minimum defensive caliber" Pardon me?"

And many millions of people consider the .45 to be the minimum (in fact, ONLY) proper defensive round. That just proves some people are deluded.

"My current carry piece is a berreta 92fs 5 inch bbl. I'm using Italian mcgar 20rnd mags, packed with Fed. 9mm +P+ bple (easy to find). Out of a 5 inch barrel approx. 455 ft. lbs. of energy versus 10 rounds of 40 short and weak with around 475 ft. lbs. (Even the best loads don't go above approx. 496 ft. lbs) What would you rather have 10 rnds. at say 496 ft lbs. or 20 rnds at 455 ft. lbs. Add in the propencity of even trained police officers to pray and spray quite a few rounds. Its a no brainer, in my opinion. I find this 40 s&w argument pretty weak. Thanks for listening."

I also have a 92FS with "15 round" mags that actually hold 17 rounds, so I can carry 17 + 1 with a single mag. The best feature of the 92FS I own is that in 10,000 rounds I have had exactly ZERO failures to fire and ZERO jams for any reason. I own about ten autos (some VERY expensive) and the Ber is the only one that has been 100% reliable. I have often said, it's the only auto I'd take to a gunfight. (of course, my 686+ wheelgun would be the backup).

As for lethality, the 9mm defense loads have performed very well in one-shot stop ratings and I tend to agree that 18 or 20 rounds of those is better than 10 rounds of .40.... of course, my Para 1640 carries 16 + 1 rounds of .40SW. I believe that would be a little more "punch" than 18 rounds of 9mm. Problem is, I don't have enough confidence in it to trust my life to it.

MJRW
April 23, 2003, 02:38 PM
Bountyhunter,

What are you referencing when referring to "one shot stop ratings?"

Ala Dan
April 23, 2003, 02:56 PM
yep, to the time tested and battlefield proven .45 ACP! :D

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

355sigfan
April 23, 2003, 03:10 PM
Even the best loads don't go above approx. 496 ft. lbs) What would you rather have 10 rnds. at say 496 ft lbs. or 20 rnds at 455 ft. lbs.
END

I realy don't care that much about capacity and caliber. I care more about the bullet launcher and the load. I would rather carry a 1911 in 9mm with 10 rounds vs Star Megastar with 13 rounds of 45 acp. I would rather have a 1911 in 45 acp than a Beretta 92 with 20 rounds of 9mm. The Beretta is a fine weapon but the 1911 is easier to shoot well. How you shoot your first 2 to 3 rounds will usually determine rather you live and die outside of pure good or bad luck. High capacity is an advantage yes, and for that matter its not limited to the 9mm. I have a Glock 31 and one mag that holds 20 rounds for it and another that holds 25. THis is with extended base plates. These mags are also for competition and show and tell. When I carry that gun I stick the stock 15 round mags in it and go. I now carry a 1911 and it has 7 round wilson mags. I stopped using the 8's because I did not want to deal with swapping the mag springs all the time. For a high capacity gun to make a difference you would have to be a very good shooter against multiple poor shooters and have a bit of good luck on your side. Thats roughly .05 % of the time it might make a difference.

PAT

Spackler
April 23, 2003, 03:36 PM
I realy don't care that much about capacity and caliber. I care more about the bullet launcher and the load.

As much as it may pain me, I agree with PAT.

Given the choices of 9x19, .357SIG, .40S&W, 10mm, and .45ACP, I would let somebody else pick the caliber of my carry gun, as long as I could pick the pistol and the load I carry. I feel pretty comfortable with all of the above calibers.

Having said that, I do carry a .40S&W, and sometimes a 9x19, and sometimes a 2" .38spl. I look for a load with good expansion and penetration, rather than getting all caught up in the energy and muzzle velocity. In the case of the .38, there really isn't a load that gives decent expansion and penetration when shot out of a 2" bbl anyway.

bountyhunter
April 23, 2003, 05:46 PM
"Bountyhunter,

What are you referencing when referring to "one shot stop ratings?"


data taken from LE shootings that are compiled and published. I fully realize no one agrees about the validity, or even what is a valid test for cartridge stopping power so I don't propose to know the exact solution. The human body has so many different material densities (depending on shot placement) I'm not sure a representative test model would ever be fully accurate.

But, one shot stop numbers ae published from time to time from various places... and even if the numbers aren't definitive, they are at least consistent and sensible (to me). The ones I have seen put the .45ACP defense loads around 92% (give or take a couple of points) and the .40 is usually a couple of points behind the .45, although in some cases it was a tad ahead. Basically interchangeable in my mind. I believe the 9mm +p hollowpoint defense loads were around 88%. Hardly wimpy.

bountyhunter
April 23, 2003, 05:52 PM
"The Beretta is a fine weapon but the 1911 is easier to shoot well."

Possibly true for a skilled shooter who practices with the 1911, but definitely proven to be NOT true for average shooter. When the Army switched to the M9 (Ber 92FS) for various reasons, one thing they saw immediately was that newbies coming in attained proficiency faster and with less practice compared to the .45 1911A1. They also maintained acceptable proficiency with less practice. That's a documented fact. It is also a fact that they changed the shooting course requirements after the M9 was adopted to make getting an expert rating more difficult because so many people were getting it. I think we gun nuts tend to forget just how little soldiers and LE's actually practice with their weapons.

WonderNine
April 23, 2003, 06:00 PM
If 40 is denutted, what does that make 9? :scrutiny:

A denutted .357 SIG :neener:

That's why I use NATO and +P+.

But even a standard pressure 9 is alot better than a .380.

WonderNine
April 23, 2003, 06:02 PM
and I tend to agree that 18 or 20 rounds of those is better than 10 rounds of .40.... of course, my Para 1640 carries 16 + 1 rounds of .40SW. I believe that would be a little more "punch" than 18 rounds of 9mm. Problem is, I don't have enough confidence in it to trust my life to it.

And that always seems to be the biggest problem with .40's.

Lack of reliable high capacity platforms and the fact that the cartridge does not cycle as reliably as 9mm/.357SIG.

Honestly out of a handgun, I don't want to shoot anything much bigger than .355 diameter as handguns are already so weak that every little bit of extra penetration helps.

Handy
April 23, 2003, 06:16 PM
One shot stop numbers aren't just questionable because of the dynamics of human flesh.

The real problem is: "What isn't a one-shot-stop?". It isn't a OSS if there is no stop, or if more than one shot is fired and hits. So you're left with the bizarre circumstance of a violent encounter where the shooter only firing once, then quitting, no matter the outcome.


How representative is that?

If anything, such stats are going to squew (right or wrong) to heavier recoiling rounds. Why? Because it is more difficult to double tap a .45 than a .380. So there will be more on shot shootings recorded with the .45.


The one shot stop model is a nightmare that should be politely ignored. It's a classic example of sampling error squewing data ridiculously because of what it chooses not to look at.

Andrew Wyatt
April 23, 2003, 08:09 PM
15 rounds of 9mm is all fine and dandy, assuming 1. you hit with every shot. and 2. the gun fits you.


double stack anythings (with the possible exception of the BHP) don't fit me. this is why i use a 1911 with a short trigger, flat mainspring housing and thin grip panels.

Erik
April 24, 2003, 02:59 PM
The .40 s&w isn't too bad. At least it makes my arbitrary cut by virtue of begining with the number "4," something the "3s" will never do. :p

ElAlumno
April 24, 2003, 03:26 PM
The 40S&W is a fine round when the right bullet/load is selected. When we adopted the 40 we first sued 180gr subsonic ammo. It was basically worthless. Now that we have gone to the lighter and faster round we are seeing it to be a superior round.

BTW, the 9mm is also a good round with the right bullet/load.

firestar
April 24, 2003, 03:33 PM
If you miss the first 10 times your not likely to do better for the last 10.

Why not? Just because you missed or needed to fire 10 rounds without hitting your target doesn't mean that more won't be helpful. There are many advantages to higher capacity and no downsides (except weight), so why not have 5-7 extra rounds?

If I had to get into a gunfight and there were 2 guns to choose from, a Beretta 9mm with 15+1 or a Beretta .40 with 10+1 and I got to pick first and the other guy got the gun I didn't pick, I would pick the 9mm with 16 rounds.

Powderman
April 24, 2003, 04:13 PM
AmmoFirst:

I have read comments from a lot of self defense "experts", great pistoleros, and others who write, talk and teach guns.

Having said that, from personal experience I have learned the following:

The best gun is the one you have when the poop hits the fan.

The most effective caliber is the one you can consistently hit your target with.

If you feel comfortable with it, and are accurate enough to put your rounds where you want them, it doesn't really matter what it is, as long as it's reliable.

Your carry gun should be able to shoot 300 rounds in succession, without cleaning or further lube, with no failures. If it doesn't, either fix it or get another gun.

Other than that, I'll leave you to the experts. Enjoy your Beretta!

ElAlumno
April 24, 2003, 04:15 PM
Is nice, but if you rely on it to overcome poor marksmanship, you are looking for trouble IMO.

Preacherman
April 24, 2003, 04:18 PM
Let's admit that with modern defensive ammunition (particularly +P in 9mm. and .45 ACP), the top defensive rounds will all do a reasonable job. I personally don't trust a 9mm. for defence, as I've seen too many stopping failures "in the real world" to have real confidence in it: but these incidents were before the advent of +P 9mm. loads, which may well change that equation. Let's remember, too, that the .40 S&W was a "compromise" round, intended to achieve greater energy and terminal ballistic effect than the 9mm. Parabellum in pistols, but offer higher ammunition capacity than pistols chambered for the .45 ACP. I think it was a very successful attempt, and it's my standard auto-pistol carry load (although 357 SIG is catching up fast... :D ).

To illustrate how close these rounds are (and also to illustrate just how good a round the .40 S&W really is), let's compare the numbers. Before anyone starts screaming, yes, I know numbers aren't the be-all and end-all of the debate, and that shot placement is critical, and yada yada yada... but numbers offer the only real "apples-to-apples" comparison we're likely to find. That said, let's have some fun!

Let's look at a direct comparison from one manufacturer, so that we're comparing apples to apples. Using Remington's own ballistics tables, from their Web site, we see that the top-performing loads in 9mm. Parabellum, .40 S&W and .45 ACP stack up as follows:

9mm. P: 115gr. JHP +P: MV 1250 fps: energy 399 fpe.

.40 S&W: 165gr. Golden Saber BJHP: MV 1150 fps: energy 485 fpe.

.45 ACP: 185gr. Golden Saber BJHP +P: MV 1140 fps: energy 534 fpe.

This shows that the .40 has 21.6% more energy than the "hot" 9mm. +P, and only 9.2% less energy than the "hot" +P .45 ACP loading. (Of course, the .40 S&W is even better in comparison to the "standard-pressure" or "non +P" loads [in 9mm., 124gr. Golden Saber BJHP - 1125 fps, 349 fpe: in .45, 185gr. Golden Saber BJHP - 1015 fps, 423 fpe] - it beats both of them quite handily in the energy department, by 39% and 14.7% respectively.)

Now let's look at the guns to shoot these rounds. Again, let's compare apples to apples by taking guns of the same overall size from a single manufacturer, and looking at what's available. Let's also use the highest-capacity magazines, and the highest-performance ammunition available (i.e. +P in 9mm. and .45). From Glock, we have the following:

9mm. Parabellum: Glock 19, capacity 15+1, giving a total of (399x16=) 6384 foot-pounds of energy available.

.40 S&W: Glock 23, capacity 13+1, giving a total of (14x485=) 6790 foot-pounds of energy available.

.45 ACP: Glock 30, capacity 10+1, giving a total of (11x534=) 5874 foot-pounds of energy available.

So, with full-capacity magazines, the .40 S&W weapon ends up with a total available energy which is 6.4% greater than the (higher-capacity) 9mm. pistol, and 15.6% greater than the (lower-capacity) .45 pistol, even though the other two calibers have the advantage of using +P ammunition (which is not available in .40 S&W). If standard-pressure ammunition is used, the .40 S&W's advantage grows to 21.6% over the 9mm., and 45.9% over the .45.

The equation is, of course, changed if we consider the 10-round magazine limit, which came into effect after the .40 S&W was designed. With this limitation, each gun carries a maximum capacity of 11 rounds, which gives energy figures (for the Glocks used in the above examples) of 4389 fpe for 9mm., 5335 fpe for .40 S&W, and 5874 fpe for the .45. The .40 S&W now offers 21.6% more energy per gun load than the 9mm., but 9.2% less than the .45. However, this is still using +P loads in the 9mm. and .45. In standard-pressure loads, the .40 S&W would handily out-perform both in the energy department: the 9mm. would have total energy of only 3839 fpe, and the .45's total energy would be 4653 fpe. With these loads, the .40 S&W weapon load would thus have 39% more total energy than the 9mm., and 14.7% more than the .45.

By comparison (again using Remington ammunition, so as to compare apples to apples), the other major defensive calibers (in Remington's top-performing defensive loads) come out like this:

.357 Magnum: 125gr. SJHP: MV 1450 fps: energy 583 fpe.

357 SIG: 125gr. JHP: MV 1350 fps: energy 506 fpe.

A six-round 4"-barrel .357 Magnum revolver would thus contain a total energy of 3498 fpe, while a 11-round (10+1) pistol in 357 SIG would contain energy of 5566 fpe, and a full 14 rounds (13+1 - Glock 32, the 357 SIG equivalent of the G23) would contain energy of 7084 fpe. (You see why I like the 357 SIG... :D )

So, overall, I should say that the .40 S&W is an excellent "compromise" between capacity and performance. Gotta like those numbers...

ElAlumno
April 24, 2003, 04:23 PM
9mm. Parabellum: Glock 19, capacity 15+1, giving a total of (399x16=) 6384 foot-pounds of energy available.

.40 S&W: Glock 23, capacity 13+1, giving a total of (14x485=) 6790 foot-pounds of energy available.

.45 ACP: Glock 30, capacity 10+1, giving a total of (11x534=) 5874 foot-pounds of energy available.


Available and on target are two completely different things.



:)

Preacherman
April 24, 2003, 04:45 PM
Agreed, ElAlumno, but like I said:Before anyone starts screaming, yes, I know numbers aren't the be-all and end-all of the debate, and that shot placement is critical, and yada yada yada... but numbers offer the only real "apples-to-apples" comparison we're likely to find.If one can't control a particular weapon or caliber, obviously it's best to go downscale to something one can control.

surfinUSA
April 24, 2003, 09:50 PM
All 3 calibers (9, 40, 45) work. But the quick and dirty test is to line up steel silouhette popper targets. Without fail, if properly adjusted, the 40 and the 45 will knock down the targets with one shot (center of mass). The nine takes two shots (center of mass)or one at the very top of the target. Argue paper numbers all you want, but go out and shoot and you can actually see the knock down power for yourself.

Sure, people aren't steel targets and everyone reacts differently. But this is a practical little exersize to visualize what you are arguing about.

Handy
April 24, 2003, 10:02 PM
Or you could do a penetration test and demonstrate the exact opposite, with the 9mm driving in farthest.

Mannlicher
April 24, 2003, 10:11 PM
AmmoFirst,
Sounds like you have read all the gunzines, and know all the buzz words.

surfinUSA
April 24, 2003, 11:05 PM
Very true Handy. However, I like the shock from the 40 or 45 and I'm sure they will penetrate deep enough to do their job even if thats not quite as far as a 9mm will penetrate in a given bullet weight.

Not that I don't like the 9mm, I do occassionally will carry it. But my primary carry guns are a 40 SIG or an old 38 Detective special. Like I originally said, all three work and for the most part work well.

I can afford more than one bullet and the guns I own hold more than one. So I'll leave the one shot stops to the hunters making a clean kill.

Me I plan to keep shooting until I feel I'm no longer in danger. The caliber I'm using won't make much of a difference to that plan.

355sigfan
April 24, 2003, 11:19 PM
Why not? Just because you missed or needed to fire 10 rounds without hitting your target doesn't mean that more won't be helpful.
END

It would be helpfull. What I am saying is by the time you have missed 10 times your probably dead unless your competition is just as inept. I am not agianst High capacity. I just believe in relying on it.
PAT

Preacherman
April 24, 2003, 11:55 PM
surfinUSA, good point about the pepper poppers. I can verify your comment from street experience. In well over 100 gunfights that I've witnessed and/or in which I've been a (reluctant!) participant, over a period of 18 years in a civil war situation, I saw many occasions when multiple hits from 9mm. Parabellum, even in a relatively effective (but not +P) hollowpoint like the Federal 9BP, did not put someone down until they'd been able to do some serious damage of their own. On the other hand, in .45 ACP (the .40 S&W wasn't available then), a good COM hit almost always - 8 or 9 times out of 10 - would put a man down, even if it was ball ammo. rather than JHP (and again, no +P JHP's were available then). This is why even today, knowing that the +P hollowpoints have improved its performance, I still have a visceral distrust of the 9mm. as a lifesaving round...

Ammo First
April 25, 2003, 07:07 AM
Preacherman, I appreciate your input on this subject. Now thats what I call real world experience. Also thanks to everyone else who posted. Preachermen Do you mind if I ask your Age? Just curious what era and geocraphical location Most of your experience comes from. My intent was not to promulgate a caliber war, but too offer my opinion on the benefits of higher capacity handguns. I worked as a salesmen at the wholesale level about 19 years ago selling the new berreta's 2nd gen smiths along with many others. Almost every smith or berreta I sold would go out the door with one of these 20 rounders. Still to this day they are not that hard to find and certainly 15 rounders are easier still. Believe it or not I also find standard 9mm wanting a little. but shooting my practice ammo next to my fed 115gr +p+ showed me how much stronger this pumped up 9mm really hits. Just for reference, its been my experience that this Fed. load and Corbon hit the hardest of any 9mm I've tried. (shooting into abandon cars, milk juggs filled with various things, plywood etc..) I have not, however, shot the winchester Ranger line.

Bobarino
April 25, 2003, 02:54 PM
the only problem i see with Preacherman's excellent post is that the 9mm and .40S&W ballistics are from 4 inch barrels and the .45ACP's ballistics are from a 5 inch barrel. and realistically, most of us carry some sort of compact gun with even less that 4 inches barrel, let alone 5 inch .45's. to really compare apples to apples, we need to cut an inch off of the .45's barrel which will cause it to loose its slight edge over the .40S&W all together. in the same barrel length, the .40 has the advantage of more energy, which doesn't necessarily mean squat, but apples to apples eh?

Bobby

George Hill
April 25, 2003, 03:25 PM
Andrew wyatt - Look around for a Browning BDM. I bet it would fit you very well.

Preacherman
April 25, 2003, 06:05 PM
Ammo First, you have PM.

bountyhunter
April 25, 2003, 06:09 PM
"Now let's look at the guns to shoot these rounds. Again, let's compare apples to apples by taking guns of the same overall size from a single manufacturer, and looking at what's available. Let's also use the highest-capacity magazines, and the highest-performance ammunition available (i.e. +P in 9mm. and .45). From Glock, we have the following:

9mm. Parabellum: Glock 19, capacity 15+1, giving a total of (399x16=) 6384 foot-pounds of energy available.

.40 S&W: Glock 23, capacity 13+1, giving a total of (14x485=) 6790 foot-pounds of energy available."

I'll still take my Para 1640 with 16 +1 rounds of .40, but the 1445 (with 14 + 1) rounds of .45 packs a ton of persuasion too. For 9mm fans, the P18-9 carries 18+1 of 9mm.

TheMariner
April 25, 2003, 07:30 PM
Well, I haven't had any problems out of my .40... I think most of the problems stem from the fact that the .40 is still a relatively new round with its share of unique requirements...

I think preacherman has it right... THE .40 is a comprimise round... enough penetration to do the job and big enough to cause damage.

CWL
April 25, 2003, 09:43 PM
To borrow from C.R.Sam:

"Tis the Operator, not the gun."


I second Mannlicher, too many buzzwords.

Preacherman
April 25, 2003, 11:26 PM
CWL, you're right, of course... if I was armed with a .45 ACP pistol with 14 rounds (e.g. Glock 21), and was facing someone like Jeff Cooper, armed with a .22LR Ladysmith, guess who'd win? (Hint - almost certainly not me! :D ) However, as I commented concerning my experience in hot zones, a smaller bullet that will KILL very efficiently - e.g. 9mm. - may not necessarily STOP as efficiently as a larger round. I'm afraid I have to go with Jeff and all the legion of those who have maintained that a larger round at a given velocity is more likely to stop an opponent than a smaller round. As surfinUSA commented, try the pepper popper test - it's very sobering...

Of course, once one gets into .357 Magnum/357 SIG territory as far as velocity is concerned, the equation changes. There are numerous street reports that bear out the fact that these rounds have a "hit-by-a-lightning-bolt" effect on those shot with them, and I carry both with great confidence, despite their 9mm.-equivalent diameter. The 9mm. +P loads do get close to this level of performance (within 100-150 fps or thereabouts), so despite my lack of confidence in slower 9mm. rounds, I'm willing to accept that the faster 9mm.'s will probably be pretty good on the street too... but I'd prefer to let others test the theory more thoroughly before I trust my life to them! Also, the extra recoil and blast of the 9mm. +P's puts them close to the .40 S&W and 357 SIG in terms of controllability problems, so that the bigger rounds aren't necessarily a handicap in this sense.

ElAlumno
April 28, 2003, 11:01 AM
Well, from the shootings I have witnessed, it is all pretty moot. Solid hits stop people, misses and non-incapacitating hits don’t. If you pick a caliber thinking you are going to knock people down, you are in for a major and upsetting surprise. From all the shootings I have seen, all the autopsies I have seen, all the after shooting reports I have read, pick a good hollow point in 9mm or above and practice. Placement is paramount. I have seen people survive .357 magnums while .22lr have put others down.

Sadly what happens is discussions like this is that people often have a “pet” caliber and seem to dismiss all others while anecdotal evidence is taken as gospel (and yes I recognize that even my “evidence” is anecdotal).

Pick out a good caliber with a good quality HP and a good quality handgun and practice, practice, practice. Then expect it to fail and plan accordingly.

bountyhunter
April 28, 2003, 05:57 PM
"THE .40 is a comprimise round... "

An engineer would say it's the OPTIMIZED round.

TheMariner
April 28, 2003, 07:28 PM
Well, bountyhunter, I am a deck officer, not an engineering officer... tell it to the grease monkeys... :)

RTFM
April 29, 2003, 10:10 AM
I’ve been reading with interest the 9 vs.: 40 debates. I’m at this point my self, and then Preacherman throws me a wildcard with the .357 SIG
Doing a little research (and I mean little) at this time, I found this article.

Source: http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs10.htm


.357 SIG -- A Solution in Search of a Problem?
Several readers have contacted us to ask for our opinion of the .357 SIG cartridge, and its effectiveness for personal defense use, particularly when loaded with a 125-grain JHP bullet. Our usual response is that it demonstrates adequate performance, meaning that the bullets are capable of penetrating deeply enough to potentially inflict an effective wound. But it doesn't seem to perform any better than current 9mm, .40 S&W or .45 ACP bullets in terms of penetration and expansion.

We feel .357 SIG appeals to people who are preoccupied with velocity and kinetic energy more than with producing effective wound trauma.

The velocity of the .357 SIG 125-grain JHP bullet doesn't appear to make it superior in penetrating automotive sheet metal, windshield glass or other hard barrier materials than existing 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP JHP bullets. In fact, .357 SIG demonstrates virtually identical performance characteristics as the other cartridges when fired through hard barrier materials.

To ensure JHP bullets wouldn't over-expand and fragment when propelled at .357 SIG velocities, most bullet manufacturers couldn't simply take existing 9mm 124-grain JHP bullets, install them in .357 SIG cases and pronounce the result as ".357 SIG 125-grain JHP," because this would be a step backwards.

Existing 9mm 124-grain bullets, designed for nominal 9mm velocities, would over-expand, fragment and under-penetrate. Essentially, they'd be re-inventing the 9mm 115-grain JHP +P+ cartridge. Therefore, the ammo companies had to design sturdier JHP bullets specifically for the .357 SIG; ones that wouldn't over-expand and fragment in bare gelatin.

They succeeded in designing such bullets, but the bullets appear to be so resistant to over-expansion that they under-expand when passing through clothing. As a result, in shootings involving clothed people (the most common scenario), the .357 SIG 125-grain JHP bullet will more than likely over-penetrate and exit the body.

In a strict wound ballistics sense, over-penetration is better than under-penetration because the bullet will at least have the potential to intersect and bore through vital cardiovascular structures. But over-penetration is also a waste of wounding potential.

In comparison, many 9mm 147-grain subsonic JHP bullets demonstrate better penetration and expansion performance than .357 SIG 125-grain JHPs.

Perhaps in the future the ammo companies will be able to develop better 125-grain bullets for the .357 SIG. But until this happens we feel .357 SIG is a solution to a non-problem.

Feel the need for speed? You'd be better armed with a standard velocity (1100-1150 fps) .40 S&W 165-grain JHP.


Food for thought. (Or fuel for the fire)
Preacherman please note that I’m not putting this up to counter your post, I just thought this was interesting.

Preacherman
April 30, 2003, 02:21 AM
RTFM, welcome to The High Road! Good post. Unfortunately, the article you cited doesn't mention the rather significant differences between ammunition companies in the design of their hollowpoints in 357 SIG. Some (e.g. CCI, Federal LE) are using a "bonded hollowpoint", designed to retain bullet integrity and not fragment. These penetrate car metal, windshields, etc. very well, but don't necessarily expand sufficiently to prevent over-penetration in human flesh. On the other hand, some companies (notably Cor-Bon and, I think, Triton) are loading a more frangible bullet, that will expand and fragment. Penetration in auto steel and glass is not so good, but overpenetration in human flesh is greatly reduced. Also, some companies (Cor-Bon, again, for one) offer a 115gr. load in 357 SIG that's a real screamer (how about 1,400+ fps out of a 3½"-barrel Glock 33??? OUCH!), effectively a 9mm. +P+++. I wouldn't expect great penetration, but it should have a literally explosive effect on the human torso at close range...

As a matter of interest, the .357 Magnum rounds that established that caliber's enormously impressive stopping record (the Federal and Remington 125gr. JHP's) behaved in exactly this way: good penetration, bullet expanding and fragmenting. However, none of the 125gr. loads penetrated as well as the heavier Magnum offerings. This is one of the reasons why the Winchester 145gr. Silvertip is popular in this caliber: lighter, faster and better-expanding than the 158gr. "regular-weight" loads, but deeper penetrating than the 125gr. loads.

Furthermore, the article again pounds on the tired, dead horse of the 147gr. 9mm.... This is one of the absolute, all-time WORST defensive loads ever developed! In shooting after shooting, these bullets have failed to expand, over-penetrated, etc. They perform a lot like 9mm. hardball! They were designed to give the 9mm. better penetration than in the 115gr. standard JHP weight, but have failed dismally on the street in far too many gunfights. They do have the advantage (due to greater bullet length, which translates to more bearing surface in the rifling of the barrel) of being probably the most accurate 9mm. bullets out there... but that's only an advantage in a competition, not something to bet your life on! It's interesting that several ammo companies (e.g. Federal) loaded this type of projectile (150gr., if I recall correctly) in the 357 SIG cartridge, to get the dual advantages of greater weight and penetration, but better expansion at the higher velocities available in this cartridge. Didn't fly on the street... cops who'd experienced the disastrous failure of the 147gr. 9mm. at first hand demanded (and got) the 125gr. bullets in 357 SIG, to their great advantage.

This highlights one of the perennial problems in designing a good defensive bullet. The question always has to be asked: What (or who) are you going to be shooting? If your likely target is a light- to medium-build attacker dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and shorts, a light, fast, fragmenting bullet may well be good for you. If you might have to shoot a heavily-built attacker wearing half-a-dozen layers of sub-freezing-winter-temperature-type clothing, the bullet will have to have a WHOLE LOT better penetration to reach vital organs, so the light, fast, fragmenting bullets are not a good choice for this scenario. Similarly, a private citizen is less likely to have to shoot at a target inside a motor vehicle than a cop or highway patrolman: for the latter, penetration of glass and/or metal is a more important consideration for daily use.

I long ago came to the conclusion that one has to pick a good, all-round defensive bullet and caliber, and never rely on it to do the job with only one or two rounds fired! In .40 S&W (my most frequent "carry" caliber), the 135gr. screamers from Cor-Bon and Triton are excellent anti-personnel rounds, but lack deep penetration, and aren't so good on glass or metal. The 155gr. and 165gr. mid-weight rounds are not bad at all on expansion, and penetrate more deeply. The 180gr. rounds don't expand too well, but penetrate very deeply. Answer, for me - the mid-weight rounds (particularly the Remington 165gr. Golden Saber, which is accumulating a VERY impressive stopping record in police hands. Since I have access to LE shooting information, this is what I've chosen to "bet my life on" if the need should arise.)

ElAlumno
April 30, 2003, 09:58 AM
Preacherman,

You bring up an excellent point that too many seem to miss.

I have a lot of the civilians I teach and others civilians ask what I recommend/carry and often mention the FBI test protocols and how their ammo will perform with said tests. I have spent countless sessions explaining to them that the requirements for LE are vastly different from those of a civilian. While some may envision a civilian in a position to shoot through wallboard, wooden doors, car bodies and auto glass, I think this is an exaggeration. As you pointed out, performance should be based on factors like expected clothing, over penetration in a home/apartment, etc.

RTFM
April 30, 2003, 11:43 AM
Preacherman, again thanks for the straight poop.
Thanks for the welcome; I'm told I need to buy a round for every one being the F.N.G. Sodas (tonic, pop, etc) for everyone bar keep!
Like I had said before, I'm just starting the "deep" search for my most preferred personal defense round.
I do enjoy this board. Oleg and The High Road team have performed a stand up job with this site, and a nod to all the members here. Everyone appears to take “The High Road” I’ve been looking for a board like this for a while.

Again, thanks for the info.
RTFM

Preacherman
April 30, 2003, 12:07 PM
RTFM, on this board, if anyone offers to buy a round, the immediate answer is "What caliber and how many?"
:D :D :D

RTFM
May 1, 2003, 09:27 AM
Preacherman. You got it, as long as I can wrap my paws around that 357 SIG of yours, and take it for a spin.
Heck, I'll even throw in the targets.

themic
May 1, 2003, 10:25 AM
ElAlumno said,
If you pick a caliber thinking you are going to knock people down, you are in for a major and upsetting surprise.

How 454 Casull? :p

HadEmAll
May 1, 2003, 10:22 PM
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...........................:o

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