.40vs9mm old discussion I know.


April 23, 2011, 01:07 AM
My friend and I have been discussing the merits of 9mm and .40. He recently purchased a S&W sw9ve and I am going to be purchasing a S&W sw40ve next month. I know about the trigger pull and all that so I hope that the people posting in here arent just flaming the gun.

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April 23, 2011, 02:01 AM
Only one way to settle your debate. Shoot each other with your preferred caliber. Last man standing wins. I highly suggest you go first. :D
All kidding aside, the .40 doesn't offer a large enough benefit to outweigh the cost and my poor recoil recovery. Your results may differ. That is the beauty of having choices.

April 23, 2011, 02:12 AM
.40 costs about 50% more for plinking ammo compared to 9mm. The experience from being able to shoot 50% more often with 9mm seems like it will edge out any inherent advantage of the .40 for a civilian shooter. .40 is a reasonable choice for LEOs if their practice ammo is comped.

If you want to go for a heavier round I'd just skip straight to the .45 ACP, which costs about the same per round as .40 S&W.

April 23, 2011, 02:19 AM
just skip straight to the .45 ACP

^^--that's what I did, hehehe. Plus if you get an itch for a 1911 you already have the ammo!

April 23, 2011, 02:29 AM
I've told the story of my Sigma in here many times, I won't do it again here.

I had a .40 for a while, and to me, it just kind of faded into perspective. The things that make it a compromise between the 9 and the .45 cut both ways. It's more diameter and energy than a 9mm, and higher capacity than a .45. But it's less diameter than a .45, and less capacity than a 9mm, and all of the above certainly have enough energy. To me, the .40 has the harshest recoil of the three. I decided I preferred the 1911 platform, and if I were worried about capacity, I would go all the way back to 9mm.

April 23, 2011, 04:07 AM
If the comparison is between a 9mm and .40 S&W individual cartridge from comparable barrel lengths, the .40 has the edge as far as energy goes.

From Speer's website, for example, the 124gr Gold Dot is listed as having a muzzle velocity of 1150 FPS from a 4" barrel, yielding 364 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzle.
The same site has the 165gr Gold Dot as having the same muzzle velocity despite the larger/heavier projectile and having 484 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzle.

Sure, there is the option of +P with the 9mm. There's also the option of using a lighter bullet with the .40 S&W. For example, the 124gr +P 9mm Gold Dot is listed as having a velocity (and energy) of 1220 FPS (410 ft-lbs), while the still heavier 155gr .40 S&W Gold Dot is listed as having 1200 FPS (496 ft-lbs).

There are few if any out there who will argue that the 9mm is the more powerful cartridge of the two, because the opposite is true. However, the real question is whether the increased recoil and decreased magazine capacity justifies any advantage the additional "power" offers.

Obviously if I somehow were to know I had only one shot and it would hit somewhere in center mass, I would choose something in .40 S&W. Just as obvious is that reality doesn't work this way and other factors often take the lead in making a decision.

My CCW carry pistols are a Kahr K9 and a Bersa UC9, so you probably already know what I think. But in all fairness, I do carry a Steyr M40 while hiking because I actually do appreciate that extra punch when trekking through the land of black bears and mountain lions.

April 23, 2011, 04:33 AM
I switched from 9mm to 40S&W (G27) for the greater terminal energy transfer due to shorter barrel but I would not have any issues with these 9mm ammunition:

DoubleTap Ammunition: (http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/index.php?cPath=21_37&osCsid=q85tfeagn1b4cu7qe17k13lv92)

9mm +P

Remington Brass Jacketed JHP (Golden Saber)
115gr @ 1415fps / 511ft. lbs. from a G17

124gr @ 1310fps / 473ft. lbs. from a G17

40 S&W (for velocity/energy comparison)

Remington Brass Jacketed JHP (Golden Saber)
165gr @ 1240fps / 563 ft/lbs from a G22
165gr @ 1200fps / 528 ft/lbs from a G23
165gr @ 1140fps / 476 ft/lbs from a G27

Controlled Expansion JHP
180gr @ 1155fps / 529 ft/lbs from a G22
180gr @ 1100fps / 484 ft/lbs from a G23
180gr @ 1060fps / 450 ft/lbs from a G27

April 23, 2011, 10:45 AM
I shoot 9mm, 40 S&W and 45 ACP in a number of pistols in the various pistol games. For fast recovery the 9mm cannot be beat unless you reload the 40S&W or 45ACP to lower velocities. I carry a Kahr PM-9 in a pocket holster for daily use and have a S&W M&P45 by my bedside. I also have two 40's in other locations.

Harley Quinn
April 23, 2011, 11:17 AM
The one thing I like about the 9mm is ability to have 18 or so rounds...I shoot very good and target is not a problem for me to hit what I am aiming at:) Penetration is another important item, if much clothing (cold areas) might be an issue...

Not enough varience, carried by LEO to make it worthy of lowering your amount of ammo in pistol to carry others IMHO...

But I do have the 45 acp G21, in my home bcause of its lack of penetration at times...Safer in that respect for home use and going through walls:)

40 is a good choice if all you can have is 10 rounds as in CA;)

April 23, 2011, 02:53 PM
I would love to get a 1911 .45 but I dont like the lack of HC 1911's. I thought the .40 would give me the punch I wanted and the capacity I like, The sigma has 14 and 1 in the chamber. The 9mm model holds 16 and 1 in the chamber. Are there any high capacity 1911's?

April 23, 2011, 03:56 PM
The high capacity 1911 types are either the Para Ordnance wide bodies PO16-40, PO18-09 and PO14-45 or the STI 2011. The grips on either one is significantly wider than either the Sigma's or S&W M&P's.

Arkansas Paul
April 23, 2011, 04:00 PM
It's more diameter and energy than a 9mm, and higher capacity than a .45.

This was exactly my reasoning when I chose the .40. (Mine is a sw40VE as well, and I like it just fine for the money). I still agree with my choice, though I will admit that any of the three mentioned will work excellent for self defense. There's really no right or wrong IMO. Just get what you like the best.

Lex Luthier
April 23, 2011, 07:26 PM
I prefer 9mm and .45 cal, and the .40 cal will sit in a desk drawer ready just in case. It just isn't as fun to shoot as his siblings.

April 23, 2011, 07:36 PM
I am a complete freak when it comes to cartridge preference. My first hand gun when I turned 21 was a Glock 22 .40 S&W. I like this gun alot. It was cheap to shoot since my step dad is a gun nut and had a bazillion .40 rounds available. Then I went through a few guns, ending up with a .45 XD45, then a XD9SC, the a FN Herstal FNP9.

See a trend here?

The .40 widdled it's self right on out of the arguement. Not saying 9mm or .45 ACP is better but they sure do have there own really great traits.

Skip the .40.


April 23, 2011, 07:44 PM
I used to shoot most .40 and .45, then I got a 9mm. Between the two .45s and the two 9mms I own now I had no real reason to continue shooting .40S&W.

So I sold the .40S&W, and now I only worry about 9mm and .45.

April 23, 2011, 07:45 PM
See I told you:)


April 23, 2011, 07:46 PM
It's more diameter and energy than a 9mm, and higher capacity than a .45.

It has less diameter than a .45 and loses capacity to a 9mm

Get some Buffalo Bore ammo and you'll send 115gr 9mm JHP bullets out at 1400fps/500 ft lbs. More than enough to defend yourself against a human attacker

Get something like a PX4 sub-compact and you can carry 13+1 of those in a gun that you could carry in your pocket if you wanted to, in a gun that hardly has any recoil

With options like these, I see no point in buying .40 S&W

April 23, 2011, 07:59 PM
My shooting experience with the .40 caliber is only limited to the G35.

It was not harsh shooting (long slide) I could load it on Sunday and shoot all week, and it was like a carbine that I could conceal the way it shoot at 50 and 100 yards.

April 24, 2011, 03:58 PM
Ditto, NMGonzo.

While the .40 can be sharp, all steel guns tend to tame this nicely. Poly or alloy, while aiding carry weight, yield a pistol that may be too light for the round to be shot comfortably.

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