Your views on .40 Caliber vs. 9mm as a personal defense round?


January 6, 2003, 08:28 PM
I know there are die-hard fans of .40 over 9mm and those who far prefer 9mm over .40, and much of that is probably just due to "pride of ownership" and support of one's choice of caliber.

Taking ownership emotions out of it and aside from differences in round capacity or cost of ammo, is there true, sound reasoning to support the choice of .40 cal over 9mm, or is .40 a weaker choice compared to 9mm, or is it basically a toss up?

The gun in question is NOT Glock, but rather Browning Hi-Power. Browning rebuilt the HP specifically for .40 cal and also offers the slightly trimmer 9mm version.

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January 6, 2003, 08:47 PM
Personally I like em both. They both have their ups and downs.
.40 has a little more power and is probably a little less load dependant for good performance. With top loads in each caliber it likely has a small performance edge.
The 9mm is a little more controlable,generally allows a larger magazine capacity and is usually cheaper to shoot.
Right now I have several 9mms and no .40s (unless you count it`s Daddy,the 10mm) but I`m sure I`ll own one (or more) again though (I had 2 before).
As for a HiPower,me,I`d go with the 9mm version just because it`s the traditional caliber. That said I got the chance to try a .40 HiPower at a TFL shoot once and it was a great too. Marcus

January 6, 2003, 08:53 PM
I choose a platform that fits me, in a large enough caliber I can consistently acheive good hits-- For CCW. My choices were made before the .40 came to be . Never warmed up to .40, because my preferred platforms not available in it. I do use 45ACP and 9mm tho.

Stephen A. Camp
January 6, 2003, 08:55 PM
Hello. I normally try and stay out of the "stopping power" debates as some get pretty heated up and I'm not sure they change anyone's mind, but will comment on your question as it relates to me personally based on the admittedly statistically limited personal experience with both calibers and the Browning P35 pistol.

First, I believe that there is much "ballistic overlap" between some of the best 9mm loads and some of the .40 loads.
However, the fact remains that the forty will throw bigger, wider bullets at speeds similar to 9mm rounds. For example, a nine will toss out at 147 gr bullet at something under a thousand feet per second while a forty will do the same with a 180 gr bullet. A standard pressure 9mm 115 gr Winchester STHP gets around 1200 ft/sec while about the same velocity can be had with a forty caliber Winchester 155 gr STHP. You get the idea. I'd guess that in just pure "power," the forty can edge out the 9mm.

That is not to say that the nine is anybody's "weak sister" as is sometimes said. With the ammo available today, I think the 9mm rates an adequate "stopper." It has enough if properly placed, but I think that's true with any of the commonly-used defensive rounds, i.e.: they'll all do it if you hit vitals and none have enough if you don't if you're counting on stopping the attacker for physical reasons rather than psychological ones.

An officer under my command was forced to shoot a guy trying to kill him. The round was a 124 gr 9mm +P+ HydraShok. It was a one-shot stop and the bad guy was dead right there. He dropped instantly from the heart shot.

Some years later, another officer was hit in the lower torso with a 180 gr .40 JHP and while he was in very, very serious condition and lost a kidney as well, he was told that he might ought to sit down right after the shooting. He was NOT disabled nor in any really apparent discomfort; that did soon change, however.

Placement is the primary determinant to stopping power. Power is certainly a component of whatever the equation is, but I just don't personally trust any 9mm, .38, .357, .40, or .45 round to do its part if I cannot do mine. Even with really good hits, many do NOT instantly cease whatever they were doing to get shot for in the first place; there is a time lag of several seconds.

The Browning Hi Power remains my favorite all around pistol after about 30 years use, but the 1911 is soooooooo very close that on one day, it might be my "favorite" and the next day take second place again to the HP. While it could be from extensive use of the 9mm, I just didn't like the way the slightly wider slide and heavier .40 HP felt. Others do. I just went with what I liked best in that pistol and it was the 9x19mm.

Confidence in one's chosen defensive caliber is important in my view. There's so much we cannot control in a deadly force scenario that much emphasis is put on those things we can like the make/model and caliber of the gun for those having a choice.
We can also pick the load for the given caliber and as we all know there's much discussion over what constitutes the "best" caliber and load for same. I'd suggest that if you pick something in 9mm,
.38 Super, .357 SIG, 9x23, .40 or .45ACP in autos, and learn to get hits with your choice at speed, you'll find that you do have "adequate stopping power".........probably! We ask much of our defensive calibers in terms of decking a 200 lb felon when men have been known to take rifle hits w/o "stopping" on occassion.

I reckon what I'm saying is that if you can get the hits with your forty and feel more confident in it than a 9mm, go for it. If you feel like you hit better with the 9mm and "trust" it to do the job, go for it. Where and what you hit will likely make the difference assuming that the bad guy doesn't "stop" because he wants to, but because he has to.


January 6, 2003, 10:48 PM
I am a fan of both.

Let us first address this on a caliber only basis. As much as we don't like it, for the time being we are strapped with legislation that prohibit the majority of us from legally owning full capacity magazines or our bank accounts prohibit us from owning very many of the legal versions. In that case, I would usually rather carry a .40 than a 9mm in the same size pistol, since I only get 10 rounds. For me this changes when the pistols shrink. I carry a Glock 27 over the Glock 26, but when it comes to a Kahr I prefer the 9mm. I have a P9 Covert and the MK9, and hope to add a PM9 sometime down the road. The 9mm is much more comfortable for me to shoot out of a smaller pistol.

I do have both the 9mm and the .40 HP's. I happen to like the .40. The 9mm does seem to balance better in the hand, but the .40 is one of the most comfortable, softest shooting, .40 cal pistol that I have ever shot.

January 6, 2003, 11:00 PM
I LIKE them both........however.......I would DEPEND on the .40 moreso than the 9mm.

I am a die hard......true blue 1911 nut......and for the past year have owned/shot a .40 Glock 23. I love it and would not get rid of it. It will never replace my .45's though.

I do not own a 9mm of any type, but I would like to and I have shot my fair share of them. I have contacts with a number of LEO's who were issued the 9mm (and .357) for a number of years and a few years back were issued new .40 Berettas. The general consensus is they prefer the .40 over the 9mm. Usually you get nearly as much "firepower" with an added bonus of more stopping power. I think it is a most favorable compromise. The old 9mm vs. .45 debate has obvious pros and cons..........however, the .40 slips in there as a sort of middle of the road caliber.

From what I have read, researched, seen with my own eyes......the .40 was developed for just that purpose and it has proven itself. Certainly there will be exceptions to the rule if and no round will perform flawlessly in all situations. For me personally, I try and go with the largest reasonable caliber I can have available and the .40 does that over the 9mm.

To each, his own. There will no doubt be guys that debate that rationale and do it well. I guess we would only find out if our choice was adequate if we ever really needed to get down and dirty. By that time, you darn well hope you've thought things through wisely and you are confident in a tried/true and tested round.

Good luck.

January 6, 2003, 11:59 PM
I'm forced to agree with Stephen on this count: Placement is everything. Here is where we part ways, (But a great amount of credence is obviously given to his vast experience and knowledge.) I switched from the .40 to 9mm because I can afford to practice more often. A LOT more often. The Winchester white box 100 count is only $11.00 here in the midwest, and that equates to twice the practice I can budget for the .40. What the hell, if I could shoot 1000 round per week of .22 rimfire, that is what I would carry. Placement is all there is when it comes to handguns.

January 7, 2003, 12:23 AM
I personally think that a 9mm can stop someone just as good ,
as a 40S&W . If the proper ammo , and shot placement is right.
I read a review a few years back where they did test on goats
with a 9mm 115 grain corbon , and the goat dropped in just under 7 seconds , which was very good , because goats dont drop as easy as humans , and a human would have been stopped Much faster . From the test a hot 9mm round like Corbon
was almost equal to a 357 in stopping power . Personally i think the 40 is probably a better stopper from everything i've heard ,
but a 9mm with +P hollow points have proved just as effective
from alot of people i've talked to . I think the best thing is to get the gun you are most comfortable with .

January 7, 2003, 12:35 AM
Sold my last 40 S&W 2 years ago and haven't looked back. I have 45's and 9's now. I really like the 9 mm vs. 40 becauase using good modern defensive ammo, you get very good performance, I shoot the 9 better vs. 40 and my 9's held more than most of the 40's I owned...the only exception being the Para P-16

January 7, 2003, 01:10 AM
All of my defensive handguns are either .38 spl or 9mm with the exception of my P32. I tried the .40 for a while, but didn't really like the recoil, especially since I am used to the 9mm. I am comfortable shooting those calibers, so that's what I use. It has nothing to do with statistics, velocities, or mystical voodoo magic.

January 7, 2003, 01:32 AM

I just bought a Browning Hi-Power right before Christmas. I have only shot it two different times so far, I love it! I went back and forth on the 9mm vs 40 S&W for a good week. I finally decided, after handling both quite a bit, I wanted both! LOL I bought the 9mm for now, figuring if something happened to where I coudn't buy a BHP in .40 someday, I would at least have the one I really would feel most upset about not owning. A 9mm BHP is just damn near a tradition in my opinion so, I started there. ;)

January 7, 2003, 01:34 AM
I knew this day would come! An argument about 9mm vs something besides .45ACP! It had to happen sooner or later. Consider me boggled. :D

January 7, 2003, 01:59 AM
"Fast and light VS. Heavy and Slow"

I recently found a piece of steel used to make a cardbard-target stand; I set it up at about 20-30 feet and nailed it with my 9mm CZ 75B. The 3"x4" rectangle with approx. 1/16" thick "walls"
had a hole clean through both sides, with a piece of the Winchester Value Pack bullet stuck in the back. I did this several times and ended up with a test that proves that a well placed shot with even average 9mm ammo is pretty fierce! .....Plus, it's cheap to practice with and second shots are a lot easier than with an un-compensated .40 BTW, my next handgun will be Springfield XD-40!:D

January 7, 2003, 03:31 AM
The 9mm Parabellum is just fine by me as a defensive cartridge.

If a 9mm variant, the 38spl, was good enough to be a standard police round of years past, the much hotter 9x19 would definitely be even more potent, especially so with the added advantage of more rounds per mag loading.

If I were to migrate to a bigger caliber, I'd probably skip the 40S&W and head straight to 45ACP, or maybe to a 10mm platform should one be available hereabouts... ;)

January 7, 2003, 04:11 AM
I too feel that Stephen's comments were right on the money. The differences between top rounds in 9mm and 40 are probably not much. Heck, with very, very good shot placement a .22 will get the job done beautifully.... just that I' d prefer to rely on a little more oommpphhh when possible. ;)

I bought the Hi-Power in .40 cal and totally love the pistol. I also have every intention to buy a couple more Browning HP's in 9mm as well. The .40 shoots just fine for me... doesn't seem too sharp or at all difficult to control. Heck, I put several hundred rounds of full power .45's through various of my dozen or so 1911's every week, so for me .40 in a Browning Hi-Power was a cupcake. I'm really looking forward to also having a Hi-Power in 9mm as well... I'm sure that will be a fantastic pistol also.

My only reservation about .40 results from reading a comment made by one very assertive and highly opinionated individual on another forum who stated that .40 is basically a "dangerous" caliber to own and fire. I have learned not to base my decision making on the words of ANY one individual, but his words have caused me to second-guess my selection of forty caliber. Seems to me that there are a great many experts with significant experience who endorse the forty caliber (even if certain gun models, like Glock, may have unusually high incidents of ka-booms with forty). What do you think?

January 7, 2003, 06:41 AM
I think .40 cal is fine as do all of the law enforcement agencies apparently although I have and use 9 primarily for a range weapon. I chose 9 because the ammo is cheaper, mainly, and it is a good starter caliber.

Looking at the tables, .40 has a slight ballistic advantage over 9, and it is a great intermediate caliber between 9 and 45. If I was starting out and didn't mind higher priced ammo, I might choose the .40 over the 9 if I needed extra power. My only complaint is it has a lot more snap than the 9 for the extra power.

In my case, I also think it's better to start with 9 and go to .45 later and that is exactly what I plan to do. Ultimately, my main defense weapon will be a .45 with 230 gr Hydrashocks. I wouldn't feel vulnerable if I had to resort to one of my 9 mils with good JHP, though.


mr. e
January 7, 2003, 09:54 AM
For me, it boils down to the fact that, based on the recoil, the .40 packs more punch than the 9mm. Since I can shoot the .40 good enough to hit my target at personal defense distances, I'd rather have 10+1 rounds of .40 than 10+1 rounds of 9mm.

January 7, 2003, 10:42 AM
There's not enough difference between two to get excited about. Both will do the job, and do it well, if the shooter does his part. Neither will do the job if the shooter doesn't do his. If the .40 S&W is your cup of tea, and you can hit with it, you are just as well off as you would be with 9x19 (unless you really want to consider high capacity magazines and/or cost).

January 7, 2003, 11:17 AM
I feel that there is much difference. 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .38 SPCL, .357 Mag, .44 SPCL. They will all do roughly the same thing, and have been doing it for years. In all honesty, if one or the other was hugely superior, we wouldn't have much to debate about, would we?? ;) (Wish I could remember who said that! My apologies to whoever it was for butchering it so.)

Now if you want true stopping power, might I recommend a shotgun, of double barreled 12 gauge configuration? :D

January 7, 2003, 01:39 PM
The ammount of practice I get shooting is limited by money. Therefore I prefer inexpensive calibers. If I had chosen .40 instead of 9mm I would have less shooting experience.

January 7, 2003, 02:29 PM
Two of my favorite carry guns are a Glock 19 in 9mm and a Glock 23 in .40 S&W. These 2 guns are almost identical in weight, dimensions and feel. I have several holsters that fit either one, and have carried both of them. The G23 has a 13+1 magazine, and the G19 has a 15+1 magazine.

I have looked at ballistic tables and read a number of articles comparing the 9mm and the .40, and have come to the conclusion that both are quite adequate for defense, but the .40 probably has about 10% more "stopping power" (whatever that means) than the 9mm.

In shooting the two guns, I can't see much accuracy difference, at least in my hands. So that factor is a push. Regarding ammo cost, the .40 costs me about $8 a box, compared to $6 a box for the 9mm. That doesn't seem to be a big difference, and practice with the G19 is probably directly applicable to skill with a G23 anyway, since the guns are almost identical. So ammo cost and amount of "affordable" practice isn't a factor for me.

So what I do is carry the G23 about 60% of the time, the G19 about 20% of the time, and non-Glocks the remainder of the time. I tend to view the G19 as a backup to the G23, in case something happened to it. But I sure don't worry too much about being undergunned with a G19.

they call me bob
February 19, 2006, 07:25 PM
i see everyone saying how if u put a +p hollow point in the 9mm it will be just as good and all that... but there is no comparison in stopping power. 9mm has a .355 diameter bullet and 40 is .400. Also the bullets weigh roughly 40 grains more and the fps is around the same area. everyone i have seen post boasts about the 9mm +p's being just as good as the 40 without +p, but nowadays there is 40 +p's too. the 9mm+p corbon 115 grain is 1350 fps and the 40high velocity 135 grain is 1325. 20 more grains;.045 inch more diameter; same fps. Now on to the ballastic reports from the FBI, these are going to be non+p. 115 grain 9mm gold dot hollow point had a penetration of around 12.5" and had an expansion of around 0.4" with an fps of around 1200fps, now the 165 grain 40 gold dot penetrated around 13" and had an expansion of 0.6" with an fps of 1100. As you can plainly see the 40 cal will have a deeper penetration and a better expansion which in turns kills the person you are shooting faster. I got the tests from:

February 19, 2006, 08:20 PM
I do not like the .40 at all and will not have one. Mine are either 9mm or .45.

February 19, 2006, 09:27 PM
I think the history of defense gun use indicates that simply having a gun and shooting back gets the bad guys to turn tail and run the vast majority of the time. With that in mind, I chose my defense round based on two concerns. First, I want to make sure the BG feels a hit. Second, I don't want any bullets leaving the BG's body.

So I use Federal 9mm expanding point cartridges. I get the capacity of a 9mm, an expanded diameter of nearly 1/2 an inch, and lower penetration.

It fits the bill for me.

February 19, 2006, 09:40 PM
Everything else being equal (and that's the key), the numbers give the edge to the .40 as a more effective round. That's *not* to say the 9 isn't effective. I own both 9's and .40's. I can shoot the 9's better than the .40's at the present time, but am working on becoming equally proficient with both. In the meantime, if TSHTF, I would have a better chance of hitting what I'm aiming at with the 9, unless close range would make that moot.

I feel adequately armed with either one.


February 19, 2006, 09:58 PM
"Fast and light VS. Heavy and Slow"

But, the .40 is not slow. It's heavier than the 9, but not a whole lot slower at all. That makes it a good round, but, I think the 9 with modern premium expanding bullets is a fine defense caliber. It's controllable and high cap. I will be the first to admit I can't control my .40's as well as my 9's. I've been almost exclusively a 9mm guy (20+ years), and .40 less than a year.


Charles S
February 19, 2006, 10:22 PM
I choose a platform that fits me, in a large enough caliber I can consistently acheive good hits-- For CCW. My choices were made before the .40 came to be . Never warmed up to .40, because my preferred platforms not available in it. I do use 45ACP and 9mm tho.

I fit that same model.

I like the fourty caliber, I just have never seen the justification to change what works for me.

That being stated, I think that the 40 has the edge over the 9 with most ammo. I think ammo selection is more critical with the 9mm.

More importantly I think all pistol calibers adeuate stoppers at best and shot placement is the key to success.

Choose what you will carry the most, it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.


February 19, 2006, 10:30 PM
I found a P220, and absolutely loved it.
The 40 was for a smaller, more packable ccw compromise. Got a 239, and absolutely love it. The stainless slide makes the recoil very reasonable.
All the other smaller packable ccw's are revolvers (except Makarovs). Going bigger than .45, S&W revolvers are my first choice since they are for bear backup to a long gun or for cycling in the woods.

I try for the biggest diameter hole (to let the motor oil run out quicker) given the carry lightness of the day. I carry the 40 most of the time.

February 19, 2006, 10:36 PM
It was either here or at the Firing Line recently that some folks in Austria ran some detailed ballistics tests, and the 9mm and .45 both did better than the .40. They were surprised the .40 finished third. I cannot recall now on which board those tests were posted.

Highland Ranger
February 19, 2006, 10:42 PM
Couldn't figure out the ten round reference above till I looked at the date . . . . . .nice to dust off an old one about handgun selection and remember how the 10 round ban impacted choice of caliber.

February 20, 2006, 05:06 AM
The .40 definately has more recoil. I would choose guns like the xd-40sc and p2000sk in .40 but anything smaller would be 9mm. Yes the .40 is stronger ballistically but if you get hit in the face with a 9mm, getting hit by a 10mm would not be any different.

I think caliber choices is just a piece of mind.

February 20, 2006, 12:06 PM
They will both put a similarly sized hole the same depth in someone using jhps. I'll take more holes quicker.

February 20, 2006, 12:07 PM
The 9mm is "bettah"

The .40 S&W is "mo bettah"


they call me bob
February 20, 2006, 12:44 PM
when i said that 40 is better and proved it, i wasn't saying that 9mm sucks, it is a great caliber. The .40 s&w was engineered by smith adn wesson and federal, it was made to stop a human with 1 well palced shot. I have shot 9mm's and 40 cal's and the difference between their stopping power isn't great. If you want real stopping power in a pistol/revolver get a .500 s&w from taurus with a 2" barrell and load it with cor-bon 275-grain barnes-x hollow points then u got a real stopper... but with the 40 and 9mm all it takes is a well placed shot with a good bullet. If you shoot someone with a 40 and kill thme 1 shot the chances our your 9mm could have performed the same 1 shot stop. i personally like the 40 because the expansion and penetration is better and you have a better chance of stoppnig your assailant 1 shot. But if u r worried about the power issue then just buy a 45 autoloader like a glock or a taurus.

I give the 40 cal a bunch of props. Smith and Wesson and Federal made a great cartridge that does it's job. 9mm has less of a chance of killing someone 1 shot then the 40 because that is what it was made to do. The 9mm is a good caliber but it doesn't jsut have the power to lay down the person u shoot with 1 bullet in a well placed shot, sometimes it take more then 1 shot, like when the cops shot the guy 27 times with +p+ silver tips because of inadequate penetration. they could of layed him out 1 shot with a 40. The 9mm doesn't have the power it takes to penetrate all the way to severe nerves and blood vessels from every angle you could hit the bad guy, but that is why the 40 was created is to make sure it was strong enough and big enough to kill.

Personally i like 9's because they are a great caliber with new cartridges, but when i was out hunting with a pistol i had loaded my gun with some hydra-shoks and i had to shoot a 165 lb. deer 3 times to get it to quit running. The next time i went hunting i broguht a 40 cal wit the same hydra-shoks and layed down a 185 lb. deer 1 shot and i shot it in the same area of the torso as the first deer. after seeing the difference in stopping power in the deers it made me kind of hesitant on whether i want to carry 9mm and trust it to stop the bad guy if i can only hit him 1 time.

most of yall have a debate over the recoil, personally i don't have hat problem, i am a big guy and i can shoot 9's,40's,and 45's with high pressure loads with no trouble and hit my target,

Highland Ranger
February 20, 2006, 02:18 PM
The terms "kill" and "stop" should not be used interchangeably

The difference is that you have the right to self defense (in most areas) not the right to kill. That means that you can take action to defend based on the agressors actions.

Two other important points:
- The self defense, 2a cause is best served by discussing "stops" not "kills".

- You'd also be personally much better off if God forbid something did happen to speak and even condition your self to think in terms of "stopping" an attack.

As far as the technical aspects of one shot stops, you want to dump the most if not all the projectile energy into the target. You don't want to overpenetrate endangering someone behind the agressor.

Shot placement and bullet design being the same:

- too small a caliber and you will not stop the agressor immediately but you will most likely kill the agressor (multiple holes - faster blood loss). Problem is that as the agressor bleeds out, he has plenty of time to continue the attack.

- too large or powerful a round and you risk over penetration endangering innocents and less energy may be dumped into the target = less shock and damage = attack continues

These caliber debates can best be summed up by . . . . "it depends". The difference between 40 and 9mm: it depends!

February 20, 2006, 03:00 PM
Mr Camp said it nicely. Read his post if you have not :

February 20, 2006, 03:08 PM
You just had to stir the pot didn't you. I think this is the first time I have ever seen this discussed. At least you did compare the 9 with the .45!!

February 20, 2006, 04:34 PM
"like when the cops shot the guy 27 times with +p+ silver tips because of inadequate penetration. they could of layed him out 1 shot with a 40."
End quote..

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!!!!!

February 20, 2006, 11:54 PM
For me shot placement and fast follow up shots are the most important thing. I use the the best caliber/gun to achieve the best compromise of power for the first shot and speed and accuracy on follow up shots. In a full sized gun I like .40 in a Glock 22 or .45 in a Sig P220. I tend to lean toward the Glock simply because I like the double stack magazine capacity, all other things appear nearly equal. In a concealed gun I drop down to the 9mm in a Glock 26. I've tried the .40 Glock 27, but follow up shots are a good one second or more behind the 26. I can place the second aimed shot from the 9mm while I'm still bringing the .40 back on target. This is not the case with the full size pistols, the difference is much smaller, enough to make me go with the larger caliber.

February 21, 2006, 12:42 AM
Bigger is always better! :)

February 21, 2006, 02:22 AM
Hey Bob, if you think the 9mm doesnt have the penetration of a .40, look up some ballistics for the 147 grain rounds. The .40 isnt the uber death round your making it out to be.

February 21, 2006, 10:41 AM
Holy thread resurrection. :what:

February 21, 2006, 10:54 AM
everyone i have seen post boasts about the 9mm +p's being just as good as the 40 without +p, but nowadays there is 40 +p's too.

"There is no such thing as .40S&W +p! Period. No exceptions. There is not a SAAMI specification for .40S&W loads beyond the standard pressure. Any company which sells ammunition loaded above the standard SAAMI specification is selling dangerous ammunition. There are no firearms rated to use such ammunition. If you really feel you need a .40S&W +p, you can go out and buy a proper gun and ammunition for it. Just go to the gun shop and ask for a 10mm."

February 21, 2006, 02:19 PM
All Buffalo Bore Heavy 40 S&W +P loads use flash suppressed powders that give high velocities at low pressures. Since over 90% of all human shootings in the USA happen in low light, we believe that flash suppressed powders are a potentially life saving advantage—you don’t want to be blind after you fire one shot in a life threatening, high stress situation.

155gr. Speer Uni Core @ 1300 fps (582 ft. lbs.)

180gr. Speer Uni Core @ 1100 fps (484 ft. lbs.)

180gr. FMJ @ 1100 fps (484 ft. lbs.)

“Some pistols chambered for the 40 S&W cartridge may not provide complete support of the case head. If this condition exists, normal pressure loads such as those shown here can cause the case wall to bulge or rupture at the unsupported point. Contact your firearm manufacturer to determine if your pistol completely supports the case head, or ask a gunsmith to inspect your pistol before using it with ANY ammunition. It is the gun owners responsibility to know his firearm and its capabilities and limitations.”

Glock happens to chamber their 40 S&W pistols without a fully supported chamber and safety notices are likely aimed at Glock. I know of no other 40 S&W handguns being sold in the US that don’t have fully supported chambers. If you really want to shoot our 40S&W ammo in your Glock, have an after market barrel that uses a supported chamber, dropped into it. This is a fairly common practice and will give you the safety margin needed to fire our ammo in your Glock. It will also likely give you more velocity that the factory Glock barrel. I personally own two Glock Model 23’s. Both of mine are going to get after market barrels dropped in so that I can use this excellent ammo in them.

Buffalo Bore (

they call me bob
February 21, 2006, 03:42 PM
here is 40 +p 180 grain hollow point

i never said 9mm doesnt penetrate enough i just said it has failed alot more then the 40 has and the 40 is not an almighty round if u r looking for an almighty round then buy a m92 (.50 bmg) with some fragmenting rounds. but 40 is better then the 9mm.

February 21, 2006, 05:44 PM
Both are very effective rounds with the right loads. Personally, if I was gonna use
a 9mm I would want a barrel that's at least 4 inches or longer. Since I wanted
to carry a sub-compact with a short barrel, I went with a bigger bullet.
The .45 ACP.

February 21, 2006, 06:01 PM
I agree with Mr. Camp . Either will do if you can do. I used to be a die hard 45 fanatic but over the years and seeing the results of different calibers in shootings - placement is most important.

February 21, 2006, 08:56 PM
"The .40 s&w was engineered by smith adn wesson and federal, it was made to stop a human with 1 well palced shot."

Actually, no. :rolleyes:

When once upon a time there was only the 9mm vs the .45acp, 1911-guru and gunfight expert Jeff Cooper engineered the 10mm AUTO (okay, he had some help) for the express purpose of stopping an aggressive 2-legged predator with one well-placed shot C.O.M. Cooper envisioned the 10mm as a combat cartridge for a large-frame (.45-size) autoloader - whether that "combat" occurred on a battlefield or in an urban back alley.

The .40S&W, on the other hand, was a derivative cartridge created from the 10mm for two primary reasons, neither of which has anything to do with one-shot stops on humans:

* The first reason involves individual convenience: the .40's shorter overall size allowed it to be loaded into 9mm-size autos (smaller and lighter to carry :rolleyes: ). Small-frame guns fit the hands of the females and the small-statured men (i.e., typically non-shooter types) so enthusiastically being recruited into the ranks of American law enforcement since the early 1980s.

* The second reason involves organizational convenience and protection: the .40's down-loaded ballistics (e.g., 180gns @ 950fps) more easily allow said nonshooters to pass their annual or semi-annual firearms qualifications, thus protecting their LE agency or department from liability ("it must be great training, everybody passed") and from having to increase the ammo budget and range time for training and re-quals by those failing the first time around, as was the case when a 10mm or .45acp was issued.

In reality, increasing the probability of a one-shot stop, even if such a thing quantifiably existed, was not the reason the .40S&W came into being.


February 21, 2006, 09:07 PM
I like both the 9mm and the 40.S&W they are both great rounds.

I am not sure any weapon that is small enough to be concealable on your person is going to be powerful enough to stop someone bent on doing you harm.

Your attacker may be high on any number drugs or whiskey all at the same time. These folks nerverous systems might not register a hit soon enough to prevent them from doing damage to you. Everybody has heard of how poor a manstopper the 38.Colt was against the Moros. Not everyone knows that the 30-40 Krag round often would not stop the Moros before they could do any damage. The .45 Long Colt also at times failed to stop the Moros as well. These tough little guys were dedicated and often so high on drugs when they attacked nothing short of a 155mm to the chest would have stopped them.

The 9mm and 40 are two good examples of defensive rounds that will work for the average citizen

they call me bob
February 21, 2006, 10:45 PM
i never said anything about the 10mm it is superior to the 40 and the 9, if we were talking about the debate over the best autoloader cartridge streghtwise the debate would probably be between the 10mm and the 45

personally i like the 10mm over all the other ones but alot of people cant handle the 10mm i mean people complain about the 40 which aint really much the 10mm is badass :)

February 22, 2006, 02:33 AM
I like the .40 for it's heavier bullet weight over the 9x19 and also it's higher capacity over the .45acp. I feel the heavier bullet weight is crucial, while the extra rounds are a nice touch.

I've always disliked the "iffy" nature of the 9 m/m because more things must align properly for it to be effective as a stopper. However, the 9 m/m is fine to train others in semi-autos as the next step up from .22's.

February 22, 2006, 10:24 AM
In power, no doubt the .40 is better. It's right up there with .357 mag in performance with the lighter loadings. I've never really seen the point of .357 sig. If you load the .40 with light bullets, it'll put up energy levels equal to the sig. The velocity might be a little off 'cause light is 155 grains in .40, but it's still pushin' some decent velocities and making 500+ ft lbs from a service sized gun. If I used the caliber, I'd use light bullets.

I, however, carry the 9 and consider it quite enough. It's an impressive little round in little guns, beats .38 special +P, and is easy to shoot well. The .40 can be a handful in a light, compact auto. The main game plan is to be able to hit what you're shootin' at and I'm a little more confident I can do that with the nine. But, I admit to the .40s superior ballistics.

I've always disliked the "iffy" nature of the 9 m/m because more things must align properly for it to be effective as a stopper.

So, you can hit a guy in the foot with the .40 and he dies instantly? Either bullet needs to be put in the boiler room to work and either will do the job IMHO. Yeah, the .40 does have more sauce, but a 9 in the heart/lungs is better than a .40 in the shoulder. If you're confident in your marksmanship with the .40, fine. If I carried a full size auto, I'd consider the .40, though I already have a nice .45 and my full size nine packs 16 rounds of +P+. I still don't think I'd buy a new gun just for the little extra the .40 offers. However, if I was buying a new gun and didn't already have something that works, yeah, I'd likely get the .40 in a full size gun. I chose the 9 in a compact, though, cause in a 14 ounce gun, the 9 is more controllable.

February 22, 2006, 03:05 PM
I have read somewhere (can't remeber so don't ask) talking about this sort of thing. 2 different cops, different situations, both suspects very similar in size, same gun, different calibers. 1 hit a suspect 3 times with a .40 center mass and the suspect died hours later at the hosptial. another hit a suspect twice with a 9MM and suspect died on scene.
analysis said that velocities and distance were almost identical.
so did a slightly larger bullet do less damage? or what?
Basically it came down to that neither one is superior to the other.

I personally prefer .40. but thats just my feeling. I don't think anything else is worse.

February 22, 2006, 03:22 PM
Load selection is critical with the 9mm (I carry a 9mm btw). Depending upon the load you choose, it will mimic .380, or .357 SIG, or somewhere in between. I carry a 147gr +p load that performs similarly to the .38 +P 158gr FBI load. I'd also consider the Hirtenberger 124gr load that moves at about 1400 fps.
With the .40 cal, almost any ammo you choose will be a reliable man-stopper, other than those magsafe-type rounds that have ridiculously light-weight slugs. Generally speaking, I'd recommend any .40 cal round 155gr and up, including run-of-the-mill range ammo. I especially like the 180gr loads. In all the cases I have seen, .40 has been a reliable man-stopper. I have never heard a LEO decry the performance of this round. I'm sure there must by failures to stop out there, but I've never heard of one for .40...
-David, who is heading off to Court to try a firearms case with the ATF...

February 22, 2006, 03:36 PM
I answer this question like this:

My main carry is an XD-9. I can carry up to 17 rounds in one (16+1). In 40S&W I can carry 13 (12+1)

I'd rather have the option of putting 17 holes in someone to stop them, than 13.

February 22, 2006, 03:51 PM
The forty: neither fish nor fowl or perfect. For me, it's almost perfect. Almost, because (compared to the nine) it kicks more, costs more and carries less ammo. I've also found it to be a little less accurate on the average (don't ask me why). But I like what the forty does best: more power in a compact package. The real comparison might be between the .40 and the .45 GAP...

February 22, 2006, 04:01 PM
I love 9X19 Para, my BHP's dig 'em!

For having to put down a purp, I'll take the 40 S&W though. I'm just as fast with my XD-40 and just as accurate and, they're bigger, heavier and faster. A 180gr 40 S&W runs faster than a 9mm 147gr which in turn provides more smack, both cartridges heaviest bullets. 12+1 is adequate for me.

February 22, 2006, 04:10 PM
well lets face it most departments had 9 mm and switched to the 40 and now are switching to the 45. Just like the human race everything is getting bigger and stronger.

Just get a 500 and get it over with !!!!!!

October 11, 2006, 12:21 AM
More People die by the .22 Caliber round in the U.S than by any other round.
What more need be said.


October 11, 2006, 01:05 AM
Welcome to THR. Thread necromancy is encouraged (I think) as it demonstrates a firm grasp of the search function.

Wisconsin FIRS is showing medium caliber (>.32, <.40) running better than double small caliber which they define as <.32.

Link to FIRS reports. (
Link to PDF of '02 data. ( Report page 27 is your huckleberry.

FBI UCR for 2004 is showing 116 incidents involving 9mm vs 19 for .22. See chart here. (

Now that I dredged that morbid stuff up, where'd you get that stuff about .22?

FBI UCR and Wisconsin data is certainly not exhaustive but I'd be curious to learn if they digress appreciably from other data sets.

October 11, 2006, 04:23 AM
Doesn't matter, not much difference when the shooter does their part. On a personal note though, I would rather own a Glock 9mm, than a scary, ticking self-destructing time bomb we know as the .40 Glock :evil: ! I own a Glock 22, and pray very hard before I shoot it. XD-40 just keeps looking better and better ;) . Main point though is that both are very capable rounds. Never forget that the 9mm has produced many tombstones throughout modern history.

October 11, 2006, 04:40 AM
I prefer the .40 simply because I feel it is a good middle ground between the old standby rounds, 9mm and .45 acp. It has a good record so far and seems to be universally avilable.

I feel that 9mm is an excellent round. Some people prefer higher capacity but I am ok with my choice. I plan to carry an HK P2000 in .40 with 12+1 rounds versus an HK P2000 in 9mm with 13+1.

I sometimes wish I bought a 9mm because it is cheaper to shoot. However this is only because I am a poor unemployed college student. When I find a real job I think I wont really mind.

October 11, 2006, 04:41 AM
Just recently, I had a similar conversation with some friends about 9mm v. 45 ACP.
(Wow. Like, that's a conversation that's never happened before. :rolleyes: )

The conclusion: shot placement, shot placement, shot placement.

Nem {who carries a 9 loaded with 147 gr in an OWB as I write this}

October 11, 2006, 08:23 AM
Yeah, shot placement is more important than caliber choice. We all understand that. However, this is a thread about caliber choice. Love the irony of people who beg for such discussions to end, while simultaneously giving a free bump.

.45acp & .40sw is actually an argument. .40sw and 9mm is not. This coming from someone who shoots 9mm across the board.

.45acp >/= .40sw > 9mm

Whatever other personal factors play into it, how well you can shoot it, capacity, size/weight, ammo price (my reason)/availability, as relevant as they are to YOUR situation, are completely IRRELEVANT to the discussion of performance of .40sw vs 9mm. As is shot placement. You assume, for the moment, shot placement to be equal.

Love how in these threads, invariably someone interprets when poster A points out that one cartridge pushes a bigger, heavier bullet faster, poster B interprets it to mean that poster A believes that said cartridge will vaporize an attacker by hitting the foot lol.

October 11, 2006, 10:34 AM
40 is middle of the road. It probably works.
9x19 works fine too.

Who cares? Can't you guys think of anything better to talk about?

Stephen A. Camp
October 11, 2006, 11:06 AM
Hello. Like many, I sort of grow tired of the this vs that caliber thing and there are literally pages after pages of it via a search, but keep in mind that for some, it may be the first time they've asked about the subject.

So let's please keep things on The High Road and contribute if we have something pertinent to the topic at hand.

Thanks in advance.


October 11, 2006, 12:59 PM
.22 Cal kills more people than any other round. I learned about this when I went through the Border Patrol Academy. Also bullet proof vests are also no good against the .22 round. The .22 cal will zip through like butter.

La Migra Mike.

Mad Magyar
October 11, 2006, 02:20 PM
My take is similar, but with emphasis on which of your handguns, regardless of caliber, is the most reliable...After weeding out my collection with reliability as the sole criterian, I carry all calibers depending on the weather & wardrobe...:)
I feel the "fastest with the mostest" still applies...Each caliber has large capacity mags to do damage in the "kill zone".
After all, why practice "Bill's Drill"?:rolleyes:

October 11, 2006, 07:18 PM
.22 Cal kills more people than any other round. I learned about this when I went through the Border Patrol Academy. Also bullet proof vests are also no good against the .22 round. The .22 cal will zip through like butter.

Sure hope you didn't pay for that class.

Stephen A. Camp
October 11, 2006, 08:15 PM
The topic was 40 vs 9mm.

But a few posts ago, it was politely asked that if another caliber comparison was to go on that we stay on topic.

Then we get into body armor and a pointless remark.


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