Has the the quality of today's 9mm bullets made the .40 cal obsolete?


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usmarine0352_2005
October 27, 2011, 03:41 PM
.

The quality of bullets has gotten better and better. When it comes to law enforcement or hunting I think the two most important things are bullet placement followed by bullet quality.


Today's high quality bullets mean that you can do things with smaller calibers then you once would have done.



My department currently allows 9mm, .40 cal and .45, however they are planning on switching to the SW MP's in the next few years and they will only allow the 9mm and .45 since they say with today's quality bullets the 9mm and .40 call are too similar in performance and that the chance of someone putting a 9mm in a .40 cal is to great (although this has rarely been a problem before).




So, do you think that the quality of today's state of the art 9mm bullets make the .40 cal obsolete?






For Law Enforcement if the 9mm and .40 cal are very close in performance you can carry quite a few more 9mm rounds then .40 cal rounds.
.

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TexasRifleman
October 27, 2011, 03:45 PM
I'm happy to quote the late Stephen Camp when possible and here's a good one. He addressed this question a long time ago here. I think it still makes pretty good sense.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=33411&postcount=4

He seems to have agreed with you generally, even way back in the old timer days of 2003 :)

He did write:

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.


Personally, I always believed that the .40 was obsolete the day it was introduced.

mdauben
October 27, 2011, 03:47 PM
I have always been of the opinion that the the .40 cal was created to fill a niche that didn't exist. IMO it does not really offer enough over a 9mm to be worth the trouble.

o Unforgiven o
October 27, 2011, 03:50 PM
No, for the simple reason that whatever advancements have been made in bullet design that allowed the 9mm to become better are also present in .40 cal.

So whatever performance increase with modern bullets 9mm has achieved, it will be paralleled by .40 so the performance gap will still be there.

357 Terms
October 27, 2011, 03:53 PM
Has the the quality of today's 9mm bullets made the .40 cal obsolete?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Nope.
Bigger, wider and just as fast. The same developments that have improved the 9mm have also advanced .40.
it's just a step up.

ball3006
October 27, 2011, 04:10 PM
If someone is too stupid to tell the difference between a 9mm and a 40 cal, they shouldn't be allowed to even be near a gun. Especially if they are supposed to carry a gun to perform their duties.....chris3

usmarine0352_2005
October 27, 2011, 04:16 PM
.

o unforgiven o: No, for the simple reason that whatever advancements have been made in bullet design that allowed the 9mm to become better are also present in .40 cal.

So whatever performance increase with modern bullets 9mm has achieved, it will be paralleled by .40 so the performance gap will still be there.



True, the bullet quality for all bullets has gotten better, however, is there a point where the 9mm and .40 cal are now so close in performance that the added rounds for the 9mm is worth it?

.

REDMASTA
October 27, 2011, 04:20 PM
I was once on the .40 bandwagon but went back to shooting only 9mm and .45 a few years ago. Mainly because I didn't like the recoil characteristic of the .40 and when compared to 9mm didn't think giving up rounds for marginally better performance was worth it.

usmarine0352_2005
October 27, 2011, 04:22 PM
.

I was once on the .40 bandwagon but went back to shooting only 9mm and .45 a few years ago. Mainly because I didn't like the recoil characteristic of the .40 and when compared to 9mm didn't think giving up rounds for marginally better performance was worth it.



The .40 cal has always had a snappy recoil, which is not good for a lot of shooters, which is why I think it has mostly been 9mm and .45 with .40 cal being the least.

.

Hunterdad
October 27, 2011, 04:34 PM
I recently got my pistol permit and during the waiting process (3 months) I had plenty of time to look around in my LGS and on the internet on what I wanted my first purchase to be. I was stuck between a .45 and a 9mm. For some reason I never even considered a .40. And now that I read this post, now I know why. The .40 just never made sense to me. If I wanted to shoot on the cheap, i would go with a 9mm and if I wanted something heavier it was a .45.

I'm sure that there are shooters out there that love the. 40 for their own reasons. But, I would assume most either prefer the 9mm or .45

BTW.....I ended up with a 1911 in .45 as my first purchase.

Redlg155
October 27, 2011, 04:38 PM
In some localities you are restricted to non hollowpoint type ammunition. A .40 caliber diameter or larger versus .355 makes more sense.

tbutera2112
October 27, 2011, 04:43 PM
i like 40.

its shoots almost just as fast as a 9mm and it leaves a bigger hole. lb for lb it has more energy than a 45 too.

to me, it seems like the perfect round for self defense or law enforcement.

not to say i wouldnt carry a 9 or a 45, but if i had my choice of the 3 i personally like the ballistics of 40...more energy than a 45 while retaining the velocity of the 9mm

and sure some people can argue capacity, but really is it that big of a deal? my EDC is a .40 and it holds 9+1, the exact same gun (same model and everything) in a 9mm holds 10+1.

10 shots vs 11 shots really isnt a huge deal to me, especially if i can get a stronger bullet for those 10 shots. and people who like 45s surely dont care about capacity because a lot of those are 7+1

Zoogster
October 27, 2011, 04:45 PM
No, and especially not for law enforcement.



The primary reason is because if .40 S&W was not extremely popular as it is now then I would have to pay more to reload 10mm because the bullets would cost more.


The secondary reason, and more specific to you is that the typical truncated cone shape of the .40S&W is better for penetrating straighter through automobile windshields and glass. It gets deflected less, the edge bites into the glass and it ends up penetrating and continuing on closer to the angle it was fired into the glass with less deviation before it hits the target.
While the more rounded profile of the 9mm deflects and deviates more readily when striking. This means the 9mm when it does penetrate can end up striking several inches or a foot from where you aimed after getting through the glass, and that it can fail to penetrate when it impacts the glass at a less than optimal angle and gets deflected.

Considering that a significant portion of law enforcement shootings happen in and around vehicles, whether it is exchanging fire or a driver trying to run down the officer, a round that penetrates that thick laminated windshield straighter will always be more valuable.

mastiffhound
October 27, 2011, 04:55 PM
I have seen truncated 9mm on the shelf at cabelas. .40S&W is more expensive. I have owned a few .40's but coudn't convince myself that they were any better than my 9mm's. That being said I prefer .45 acp, they make it in 200 grain +p at a little over 1000 feet per second. I can't see ever buying another .40 again.

Mr.Blue
October 27, 2011, 04:58 PM
Obsolete? Certainly not. The new and improved 9mm rounds may have converted some 40 cal users, but the new 40 cal rounds are still more powerful than the 9mm. There will always be those who want more power.

You can also argue that due to the new 40 cal rounds, that some .45acp users have jumped ship.

jmr40
October 27, 2011, 05:00 PM
When the 40 was first developed it certainly filled a need. But better bullets have made all calibers pretty much equal performers. There isn't a nickle's worth of difference between 9mm, 40, 45, 357, mag or Sig anymore if the best loads are used. Might as well use the one that offers the most ammo and least recoil.

Skribs
October 27, 2011, 05:03 PM
I went with a .40 of the three options, because it was middle of the road. Eventually I'll have 9s and 45s, but until then, the .40 is my choice. (Even then, I'll still have the .40).

Saying "what makes one better will make the other better" isn't always true. Sometimes you're catching up. As technology gets better, computers and cell phones both get faster. But computers have somewhat plateaued, while cell phones are getting a lot faster. The logic that the smaller object benefits more from newer technology can easily be inferred onto bullets as well.

Granted, I don't know if this is true, I'm just guessing here. What I do know is that as technology improves, we can give smaller stuff the reliability of larger stuff, and so smaller stuff gets to catch up.

If you have a 9 and a .45, I still see no reason NOT to get a .40. If ammo becomes scarce, I think the 9 and the .45 are going to be hardest to find due to their history with the military. The .40 is still going to be on the shelves.

ETA:

There isn't a nickle's worth of difference between 9mm, 40, 45, 357, mag or Sig anymore if the best loads are used.

The bigger bullets will leave a bigger hole. The smaller bullets will have higher capacity and less recoil. .357 magnum you're arguing SA vs. revolver, but I don't see a purpose for .357 sig for SD when you could use 9mm +P.

Dr_2_B
October 27, 2011, 06:10 PM
When the 40 was first developed it certainly filled a need. But better bullets have made all calibers pretty much equal performers. There isn't a nickle's worth of difference between 9mm, 40, 45, 357, mag or Sig anymore if the best loads are used. Might as well use the one that offers the most ammo and least recoil.

This seems to be a consensus more and more. And I'm not refuting it... I think you're basically right. What is your source of info on this?

My thought about the OP's question is that the technological advances are bringing us to a point of diminishing returns. I.e. the 9mm of, say, 1995 had more room for improvement than did the 40 cal of the same era. If the best 9mm rounds had an arbitrary effectiveness (I'm not talking about Marshall and Sanow - just arbitrary effectiveness) of, say, 85%; it now has been improved to, say, 93% or so. However, the 40 caliber best performers had maybe a 90% effectiveness then and they've been raised to 94% or 95%.

That leaves the two very close in performance.

dwhite
October 27, 2011, 06:27 PM
Just a little expansion on the original theme.

I do believe this though:
"There isn't a nickle's worth of difference between 9mm, 40, 45, 357, mag or Sig anymore if the best loads are used. "

All the Best,
D. White

Apocalypse-Now
October 27, 2011, 07:02 PM
the best 40cal still beats the best 9mm. / of thread.

Jenrick
October 27, 2011, 07:07 PM
I am not a fan of the .40 S&W. If you want big bullets, shoot a .45 ACP. If you want fast small bullets shoot a 9mm. If you want extra penetration, shoot .357 sig, and if you want a really hot big round in an auto pistol go 10mm loaded to full power. As an LE agency, if you need more penetration call any of the major ammo manufactures and tell them you want AP pistol rounds. They'll deliver it to your door by the pallet if your an LE agency. An AP pistol round from a 9mm will work just fine on auto bodies, believe me.

The difference diameter wise is .045 of an inch. 1.1 mm roughly, so about .55 of a millimeter on either side in difference. In my book that's not worth the extra recoil, muzzle blast, etc. that a .40 has. Overall I think if .40 S&S had been introduced as a FMJ round (as 9mm was decades ago in military service) it would have been an odd cartridge that never went anywhere. It got lucky and was able to be produced in the time frame where it could be loaded with an effective JHP bullet, and never gain an undeserved reputation as a poor stopper.

-Jenrick

HKGuns
October 27, 2011, 07:33 PM
What purpose has the 40 ever served other than to blow up gLoCk's? It does that well and I have zero use for the round otherwise. Can't stand the recoil characteristics one bit, I'd much rather have a 9mm or 45ACP, which are the two calibers I own.

Coltdriver
October 27, 2011, 07:42 PM
I love .45's but the full size versions are usually in the 3 pound range loaded and that makes for a lousy (non leo) carry weapon.

I settled on a .40 after reading this and some other of his posts that used to be on a gun board I have long forgotten the name of.

http://www.mouseguns.com/deadmeat.htm

But a few years have passed and without having looked into the most modern 9mm ammo lately I wonder if it approaches the performance of the good old .357 of which he speaks so highly.

If it does then the 9mm with the right ammo may be as good as anything.

MikeNice
October 27, 2011, 08:03 PM
The simple answer is, no. Bigger is still better if you are fast and competent. A bigger hole causes more trauma and quicker blood loss. That is the abstract. In truth it depends on which bullet you are talking about and what the mostl likely use will be. There are times a 147gr 9mm actually out performs a 180gr .40S&W. You just have to look at the situation and decide.

That being said, I can fire three 9mm rounds accurately for every two .40S&W rounds. So, I carry a 9mm and feel well protected.

Winchester LE Ammo Comparison Tool (http://http://www.winchester.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/flash-SWFs/law_bullit.swf)

David E
October 27, 2011, 08:06 PM
, I can fire three 9mm rounds accurately for every two .40S&W rounds.

Sounds like a basic technique issue.

David E
October 27, 2011, 08:17 PM
What purpose has the 40 ever served other than to blow up gLoCk's?

That's totally irrational and uninformed.

Can't stand the recoil characteristics one bit, I'd much rather have a 9mm or 45ACP, which are the two calibers I own.

Controlling the .40 is a matter of applying basic technique.

Nothing wrong with the 9mm or .45, but the .40 combines power, gun size and capacity pretty darn well.

exavid
October 27, 2011, 08:19 PM
I like the .40 but then I don't have a Glock.;) I have a Ruger SR40c and enjoy shooting it, it's accurate for me and the recoil isn't bad. One other reason I like the .40 is that most of the PD's in the area that use our club indoor range shoot .40s. That means I collect a lot of free brass in that caliber. Since I have 9mm, .40, and .45 I don't have to make the choice. I like to shoot them all. For a CCW pistol I mostly carry my LCP or SR40c due to their small size compared to the SR9 and P345.

LightningMan
October 27, 2011, 08:31 PM
I was one of those hold outs on buying a .40 S&W because I thought my 9mm'ers & .45's would be enough. That changed last year when I got a good deal on a .40 caliber pistol, and I liked it so much I bought another just last month with buying a S&W M&P compact. I shot it in a side by side comparison between my full size 9mm Sig 226, and the results supprized me, as I could nearly shoot it as accurately from a distance of 10 yards. What really supprized me was I could shoot the M&P better than the SIG when shooting more rapidly. I'm starting to really like that M&P .40 S&W caliber. LM

ColtPythonElite
October 27, 2011, 08:34 PM
Nothing wrong with the 9mm or .45, but the .40 combines power, gun size and capacity pretty darn well.


That statement pretty much sums it up.....the .40 is hardly obsolete or headed that way.

Old krow
October 27, 2011, 08:45 PM
Obsolete? I doubt it. I do think that ammo prices will eventually take a heavy toll on some of the larger rounds. I cringe now when I look at the prices of 45 ammo.... let's see what they look like in a few years.

surfinUSA
October 27, 2011, 09:35 PM
I like the 40. Always have. As was previously stated the .40 combines power, gun size and capacity. If I could only have one CCW it would be a G27 (the G26 is a great gun, but I don't mind giving up a round I carried a 7 shot 45 for years).

Regardless of bullet improvements, I don't think the 9mm will be making the 40 or the 45 obsolete.

As far as 40 recoil goes, the only place it seems to be a problem is on the internet.

easyg
October 27, 2011, 09:47 PM
I like the 9mm Para.
In fact, I carry a Glock 26 or a Ruger SR9c every day.
I trust my life to the 9mm Para.
But I'm not blind to the fact that the .40S&W is unquestionable more effective than the 9mm Para (all other things being equal).

Mike J
October 27, 2011, 09:55 PM
However slight the difference between .40 & 9mm is there is still a difference. Personally I own 2 .40's and one 9mm. I bought the 9mm for something small to carry when one of the .40's is just too hard to conceal. It is a Kel Tec P11. I don't really have any desire to shoot .40 out of a gun that light.

Apocalypse-Now
October 27, 2011, 10:18 PM
one of the advantages of the 40cal over 9mm is it yaws far less often after passing through car windshields.

Jenrick
October 27, 2011, 10:24 PM
As far as 40 recoil goes, the only place it seems to be a problem is on the internet. Try and teach 80 new police cadets to shoot using a .40 and then the same gun in 9mm. You will have a much easier time with the later.

But I'm not blind to the fact that the .40S&W is unquestionable more effective than the 9mm Para (all other things being equal).

I'm going to have to completely disagree with that statement in it's entirety. I find that the.40 does nothing the 9mm can't do just as well.

-Jenrick

wanderinwalker
October 27, 2011, 10:25 PM
I don't see any of the 3 major popular handgun rounds going anywhere (9mm, .40, .45). What you gain in the 9mm, you also gain in .40 and .45 in terms of improvements. And frankly, nothing you can throw out of a service-sized handgun is really all that powerful (sorry 10mm guys... ;) ) any way. Pick the one you like and shoot it, a lot. Carry it. Shoot it some more. Repeat.

(I'm in the "9 is fine" camp, though I want a nice 1911 in .45 ACP and I keep thinking I may be missing something by not having a .40. Though I've never shot a .40 I really liked, including a Hi Power, a Glock 27 and an H&K USP Compact. And when I want to really make some noise, I have a couple of Magnum revolvers. :D )

Hangingrock
October 27, 2011, 10:35 PM
I’ve never been enthused enough by the 40-S&W to acquire a handgun for that cartridge. With the 9mm-Luger and 45ACP thru extended usage I didn’t see the necessity.

beatledog7
October 27, 2011, 10:41 PM
My first semi-auto was a Glock 22 (that's a.40 for you guys who pretend Glocks aren't real guns). It's a great shooter and very reliable. I chose .40 over 9mm because it's more powerful (throws a bigger bullet harder than 9mm) and over .45 because I wanted the higher capacity potential (22 rds of .40 in a factory mag).

Now I have an all steel 9mm (CZ-75B SA) that I just love, and I'm sorting out which 1911 in .45 to acquire.

All three calibers have their place, and all are excellent SD rounds. Arguing that the .40 was a caliber in search of a requirement is like arguing that we didn't need redheads because we already had blondes and brunettes.

Elm Creek Smith
October 27, 2011, 11:42 PM
I have been a toter of wheel guns in the .38 SPL +P and .357 Magnum persuasions for years. My agency just assigned me to a new client that requires us to carry the same gun as the local police, so they issued me a brand-spanking new Glock 22 in .40 S&W. I did a familiarization fire with it this afternoon and found that, like the Glock 23 I had years ago, it is a fine shooting pistol that I just can't get worked up about. Now, if it was a 1911A1, even in .40 S&W, I'd like it more, but it's hard to argue with 16 rounds of 180 grain JHP that doesn't go anywhere but where you want it to go.

Personally, I have my eyes on a 4 inch Smith & Wesson Heavy Duty in .38-.44 at a local pawn and gun.

ECS

rem22long40x
October 28, 2011, 03:51 AM
A 9mm might exspand but a40cal won't shrink !!
I wouldent take anything for my CZ40P it is the only DA auto I like and it is very accurit.

ku4hx
October 28, 2011, 07:34 AM
I drive a Ford, my neighbor drives a Chevrolet and one guy up the street, bless his heart, has a Yugo.

Shot placement is king.

harmon rabb
October 28, 2011, 07:36 AM
When the 40 was first developed it certainly filled a need. But better bullets have made all calibers pretty much equal performers. There isn't a nickle's worth of difference between 9mm, 40, 45, 357, mag or Sig anymore if the best loads are used. Might as well use the one that offers the most ammo and least recoil.

I was kind of with you until you went off the deep end and threw 357mag in there. a maxed out 357mag cartridge can toss 125gr bullets much, much faster than any 9mm or 357sig load.

My own very anecdotal tests on shooting random junk show that 9 and 45 pretty much do the same thing, while the damage done by a 357mag looks more like the damage done by a rifle.

R.W.Dale
October 28, 2011, 07:40 AM
I was kind of with you until you went off the deep end and threw 357mag in there. a maxed out 357mag cartridge can toss 125gr bullets much, much faster than any 9mm or 357sig load.

My own very anecdotal tests on shooting random junk show that 9 and 45 pretty much do the same thing, while the damage done by a 357mag looks more like the damage done by a rifle.

But here's the kicker

There's only one degree of dead or stopped and if 9x19 is stretching bad guys out horizontal what exactly does 357 mag do better?

Strictly speaking SD and not hunting.

For me there are exactly four handgun calibers. .32, .38/9mm, 44 and 45. I don't believe in unholy pagan bastard calibers like 10mm/.40 or. 41

When I reach for a better 9mm I reach for a better 9mm called 357sig.

posted via tapatalk using android.

Hangingrock
October 28, 2011, 09:26 AM
When the 40-S&W was starting to gain traction in the firearms/shooting/marketplace we were preparing the next generation to enter the real world. In other words every extra and not so extra penny was being sent on a regular schedule to the bursar’s office of institutions of higher learning.

This cooling off period leads me to realize not being in law enforcement or a professional gunfighter that the inventory on hand of cartridges/calibers was most likely satisfactory. I’m not saying that the 40-S&W is irrelevant if it were so it wouldn’t be the dominate cartridge/caliber in law enforcement.

It seems that every time you turn around there is new wonder zapper bullet technology being offered in the marketplace. In the end we all flourish or suffer the consequences of our decisions be they good, bad, or indifferent. The caliber wars continue so be it.

harmon rabb
October 28, 2011, 09:29 AM
Unholy pagan bastard. LOL.

Any way you look at it, the 40 throws a heavier and larger bullet at the same speeds as a 9mm. Whether or not this translates into a better chance of a dead bad guy can be debated forever, but for someone who feels more comfortable with greater ballistics but doesn't want the crappy mag capacity of most 45's, the 40 is a decent round.

HOOfan_1
October 28, 2011, 09:36 AM
If someone is too stupid to tell the difference between a 9mm and a 40 cal, they shouldn't be allowed to even be near a gun. Especially if they are supposed to carry a gun to perform their duties.....chris3

the .40 S&W is closer to the .45 ACP than to the 9mm in the looks department.

I often pick up .45 ACP brass at the range thinking it is .40S&W and vice versa. I never get 9mm and .40S&W confused. Sometimes I pick up a .380 thinking it is 9mm though.

mgmorden
October 28, 2011, 10:09 AM
I don't think there's any question that .40 cal offers SOME improved performance. The question though is that is it ENOUGH of an improvement to really differentiate it? Sure if you go to the original 10mm round then that certainly trumps 9mm Luger by quite a bit, but the .40 S&W isn't as much of a performance jump.

My feeling personally is that 9mm works well enough for defense against human assailants. As such .40S&W isn't NEEDED, but at the same time, there's nothing wrong with .40S&W - it works just fine too, so why worry about if people want to use it? Let the people who want to shoot .40 shoot .40 and let the people who want to shoot 9mm shoot 9mm. At the end of the day it's not likely to make any difference (positive nor negative) which of the two they picked.

I will say that I have contemplated buying a .40S&W gun for one reason though: during the "Great Ammo Shortage of 2008" it was nearly impossible for me to find 9mm, .45ACP, or .22LR. I also was having a devil of a time finding primers too so even reloading was hard. I was shooting less that I'd like just for lack of ammo. For some strange reason though, the local stores ALWAYS had .40S&W in stock.

mavracer
October 28, 2011, 10:18 AM
All handgun rounds are a compramise. 9mm bullet design hasnothing to do with the 40s effectiveness and probably damn little to do with it's popularity.
For me the 40 was obsolete the day it was introduced it addressed a bunch of problems I never had.
I've never felt the 9mm was not powerful enough for SD and I've never felt that my 45 didn't hold enough rounds and my 10mm even with full tilt boogie loads is not too hard to control.

Jonah71
October 28, 2011, 10:34 AM
It took several hundred rounds to get the hang of it, but I like the .40 cal. I also like the 9mm, and .45acp. But over the past few months, the one I reach for the most is the G 23. I'm not a Glockophile, but my G 23 is, for me a great gun. I just can't see the .40 cal. as being obsolete and I've had several. The only one I didn't really like was the Kahr CW .40. Also a good gun. I just never could reach any degree of accuracy with it......unlike most of my friends who loved it.

X-Rap
October 28, 2011, 11:42 AM
I have a good selection and representation of most handguns and callibers and aside from my 380 in the pocket I'm pretty much stuck on the 9mm for SD. I went through all the hype of the others and have come back to the 9 for 3 simple reasons, I can put more rounds on target faster and with more accuracy and carry more ammo than any other gun or caliber that I own.
I really think it would take quite a man to put 15 rds as accurately and quickly into a target as can be done with a 9mm given that all loads were proper velocity SD loads for each caliber.
There is little doubt that the bigger calibers can carry a payload bigger or faster and some bigger and faster but that comes with recoil and capacity limitations as well so from a strictly SD perspective the 9 seems to be a decent choice to me.

montgomery381
October 28, 2011, 12:19 PM
Hornady Critical Defense ammo is some of the best and most readily available self defense ammo out there. The 9mm out of a 4" barrel has 332 ft. lbs. of energy at the muzzle while the .40 has 506 ft. lbs. of energy out of a 3" barrel (per Hornady's website). The .40 is still more powerful and therefore still has its place. And it has advantages and disadvantages just like anything.

Robert101
October 28, 2011, 12:23 PM
The 40 is my choice for self defense. I prefer the bullet weight, increased metplant area, and energy advantages of this caliber over the 9MM. The only reason I don't go further and carry the 45 automatic is because I believe the 40 is better at penetrating barriers.

missionmild
October 28, 2011, 12:31 PM
Could it be the less the difference, the more strenuous the argument? Well, that's what forums are for.

mokin
October 28, 2011, 12:49 PM
Welcome missionmild.

This thread has been an interesting read. Short answer on my thoughts is no. There are some things a larger bullet will always be able to better than a small one. To expand on my thoughts though, I think metalugical/technological advancements have gone a long way to leveling the field so to speak. I have always been indifferent about the .40 S&W. I have shot S&Ws, HKs and XDs chambered in .40 and was ok with them. They were more snappy than my 9s but, not too different from my "compact" Glock 29 (unholy bastard caliber 10mm Auto) loaded with 175 grain Winchester Silvertips.

Shawn Dodson
October 28, 2011, 05:04 PM
.40 and .45 bullets simply perform better against automotive windshield glass than 9mm bullets of the same sectional density because the heavier bullets possess greater momentum.

Onward Allusion
October 28, 2011, 05:37 PM
Obsolete, no. Gives the shooter more choices, though. A 9mm can be turbo-charged but it's still a 9mm. Reminds me of the term Volumetric Efficiency. A bigger hole is a bigger hole. However, in reality the difference between 9mm and 40 S&W in real world situations is pretty minute. With that said, I'd rather have the extra couple of rounds in the same size frame.

Elm Creek Smith
October 28, 2011, 09:41 PM
Well, I got good news today, my agency has reconsidered. They are taking back the Glock 22 and letting me carry the S&W 686!

.357 Magnum RULES!

Carry on.

ECS

jmstevens2
October 28, 2011, 10:21 PM
I remember being told that the 9mm is here and the .45 ACP is obsolete. back in the 80's in the Army. Funny a lot of SOCOM went back to the .45 ACP. I think you should get a .40 if you want, if not get something else. It's not MY gun. we could argue that the .50 AE or mag is better, so let's switch. It is moot what the numbers say, most will choose on simple preference. All will work, used correctly, some faster, some not.

jackpinesavages
October 28, 2011, 11:06 PM
No, the prices of the materials used to make bullets has made most of all obsolete except the 9mm and the .22. The reloaders are just about the only common men left who can afford to shoot 10mm/40/45 on a regular basis.

While I'm glad I started reloading, I'm even more grateful I found that smokin deal on a S&W 22A and grabbed it!

As bullet quality and tech. has surged so has barrel/steel construction. Our agency issues the G19. People are generally more accurate with the 9s in multi round shoots, and the ammo. is cheaper. Win win scenario.

Super Sneaky Steve
October 28, 2011, 11:17 PM
I have no need for a .40 automatic.

.357 Magnum RULES!

Truer words never spoken!

sm
October 28, 2011, 11:20 PM
Just me, but I always thought and still do, the .40 was a answer to a non-existent problem.

The late Stephen Camp and I agreed on the idea, JMB had it correct. One does a BHP or 1911.

Then I got, and still get ticked at the fact the BHP was made in .40.
<expletives>

For some time now, my dealie when 9mm vs .40 vs 45 ACP comes up is to suggest a person get a .357.
(Mr. Camp laughed, but agreed with me ) Especially in regard to the part, folks will thank me after about the second range session, and they realize they ain't bending over to pick up the brass.

If'n you gonna do something else in a semi, do a 9X23. I have a thing for Commander sized ones myself.

I didn't get this old by being totally stupid. *snicker*

Steve

Lucky Derby
October 28, 2011, 11:45 PM
Elm Creek Smith-Glad you are getting to carry the gun you are most comfortable with.
I carry a Colt Trooper .357 myself. :D

The debate rages on. In S-As I shoot 9mm and .45. Yes I have shot the .40, even owned a sig P229 in .40. Just didn't get it. Lower capacity than a 9mm, smaller bullet than a .45, more recoil than either.

If you must have real power in a semi-auto, get a Coonan.
As far as .357 Sig-they just reinvented .38 Super.
10mm is great, as long as you handload. Modern factory loads are just a sorry shadow of what they should be.

m2steven
October 29, 2011, 12:23 AM
I'm fortunate enough to be able to shoot a lot of steel and lots of breakable targets, I shoot out in the middle of nowhere. There is quite a difference between a standard 9mm and a standard 40 cal round in terms of impact violence and simple ability to break stuff. If you shoot a variety of targets you should have no problem telling which bullet breaks stuff better.

If you move to a good +P 9mm round, you start getting 40 caliber performance. The difference is obvious but against a human target I would think marginal. A 9mm slug from a +P round seems to be more accurate than a standard 40 cal round when shooting a target behind automobile windshield glass. Both rounds break the glass well, but the 9mm seems to keep it's vector better than the 40.

If you go to a 357 Sig round you have a whole different animal and I consider it a bit better than 40 cal. Real world performance is hard to come by because hundreds of thousands of people get shot by rifles, relatively few by pistols.

Having said that, I actually really like the 40 caliber round. It's generally cheaper than the 45 and it's nearly the same size (check them out together - they are both really large pistol bullets). The 40 is almost as good as the 45 when shooting bowling pins (stopping power???) and you get several more per magazine over the 45.

If you have chosen a 9mm as your carry/personal defense pistol, just practice as much as possible should the need arise. If you choose a good +P round for carry, you'll be well served. I generally always carry a 9mm or a hot-loaded 380 or 38 snubby. I trust 9mm. Easier followup shots, more rounds, cheaper practice. I really enjoy shooting so I have trouble "dissing" any particular round.

ReloaderEd
October 29, 2011, 12:38 AM
I don't own a 40 or a 9mm but have fired quite a few and reloaded for both.
I still can't get the article years ago out of my mind about the "meham in miami" concerning the two agents who hit a drug addict at least several times in the chest with a 9mm and he still killed them both with a 223 rifle. The pro 9 guy said the felon was dead but just didn't know it. They tried the 148 gr. bullet in the nine and it was like shooting a 38 s&w. That sort of convinced me I did not want a 9mm. The 40 shoots heavier bullets and I think it is a better caliber if you just gotta defend yourself and shoot somebody. The 45 I believe is the best of the bunch. Easy to buy and obtain, has good heavy bullets of good design . As a police officer though, I would have a 12GA handy, very handy. I tried a Glock 45GAP recently and it was an impressive round, shorter than the ACP used small pistol primers and held up well with the ACP. Rounds are expensive however.
Also, the firearms Manufactures are in the business of selling guns and making money. I am convinced they will down play any caliber to sell more guns expecially to Police Departments. I carry the equivalient of a Colt Comander 45ACP with 3 1/2 inch barrel. It is totally dependable, will carry 8 rounds if need be and I have confidence in it. Be safe

1SOW
October 29, 2011, 12:45 AM
The popularity of the 9mm rd will continue to drive efforts of the cartridge companies to capitalize on it. Even if it's only +P+ hype.

jackpinesavages
October 29, 2011, 01:40 AM
Mayhem in Miami shoot involved the bank robber taking a 9mm through his armpit, and the lead stopped just an inch short of his heart, leaving the bad guy to continue fighting. Practice head shots on human silhouettes.

MikeNice
October 29, 2011, 04:34 AM
Reloader look up officer Soulis. He shot a perp 17 times center mass with a .40. The guy kept right on fighting.

Pilot
October 29, 2011, 05:18 AM
I never bought into .40 anyway, so for me it doesn't matter. The Hicap mag capacity ban helped the .40 because people wanted to maximize the 10 round limit in a 9MM framed pistol. That was never an issue for me as I had, or bought plenty of hicap (standard capacity to me) 9MM mags.

I believe .40 was a lot of marketing hype for gun makers to sell new guns to people in another caliber. Nothing wrong with the .40, but its not enough of a difference for me.

Kiln
October 29, 2011, 06:41 AM
I'm in with the guys that prefer the .40 but I'll immediately admit bias as I've owned three .40 S&W pistols and while I have fired several 9 mils I've never owned one. I will say that if I get another centerfire pistol anytime soon I might grab an XD9 to train with since the ammo cost is so much lower. 250 rounds of 9mm is about $50. The same amount of .40 runs closer to $70. I'd be willing to wager that this is probably the largest factor in your department's decision to change calibers.

I prefer the .40 because it makes a bigger hole and doesn't sacrifice too much capacity in comparison to the 9mm...normally in two guns of the same make one chambered for 9 and the other for .40, there are only two more rounds of 9mm to a magazine.

Edit: I'd also like to say that I'd feel okay with a .32 acp or 9x18 pistol for defense anyways. With modern ammo they all perform pretty well. Some just do a little better than others.

beatledog7
October 29, 2011, 10:45 AM
Choice is good. That's one reason why the .40 S&W has been successful.

I mentioned earlier that if one argues because we have .9mm and .45 we don't need .40, that same person might argue that because we have blondes and brunettes we don't need redheads. I'll stick by that; I like redheads just fine.

If the .40 is a caliber that filled a non-existent need, how come so many hobbyists, LE agencies, competitive shooters, CCW-ers, and HD advocates have adopted it?

If tomorrow I invent the .42 "Beatle" semiautomatic that arguably does nothing any better than any existing caliber, and over the next few years I sell a few million .42 guns and countless rounds of .42 ammo and reloading gear and components, then my new caliber unquestionably filled a need.

rcjohnson
October 29, 2011, 11:34 AM
The 40 S&W was brought out because all the arguments between the 9mm Luger and 45 ACP had been settled and we needed something new to argue about at our LGS :neener:

If I were a police officer and from a pure "power" perspective, I'd probably PROBABLY pick the 40 over the 9 just because I think (don't know) the 40 would be better for car doors, glass, etc. On the other hand as a civi I might not want so much penetration?

From a control standpoint, a 40 is a bit more snappy, but nothing I can't handle with 200 pounds of... uh, muscle :p. But, what the 40 adds in power takes away from some control especially for smaller framed folks or those who don't have as much range time as they'd like. Which includes me. Trade offs.

I'll say this, when I shoot 9mm +P that tries to approach the 40, it is pretty darn snappy too, and I lose some control. So what does that really gain me?

What do I actually have / carry? 9mm or 45. I just don't want to mess with an additional caliber, and I reload so don't want more components rolling around my workbench.

Am I quite satisfied at the end of the day with my comfort level not having a 40 S&W? Absolutely, and I wouldn't blink any harder in a "gunfight" if I were up against someone with a 40. Oh, and no, I have never had to be in a gunfight and I am CERTAIN I would blink a hell of a lot no matter what I was being shot at with.:what:

o Unforgiven o
October 29, 2011, 09:29 PM
No, for the simple reason that whatever advancements have been made in bullet design that allowed the 9mm to become better are also present in .40 cal.


True, the bullet quality for all bullets has gotten better, however, is there a point where the 9mm and .40 cal are now so close in performance that the added rounds for the 9mm is worth it?



So whatever performance increase with modern bullets 9mm has achieved, it will be paralleled by .40 so the performance gap will still be there.

The above is also from my first post.

Casefull
October 29, 2011, 10:50 PM
40 is better and 10mm is even better. 9mm is better than 380...but if I have a very good bullet in the 380 and pack in the powder, why, it is the equivilant of a weak 9mm load. Same argument, same load of ----. The more I shoot 40 the more I like it. Less recoil than my 45 and 10mm, shoots flatter than the 45, and with handloads it is close to 10mm in velocity and free brass is laying around everywhere.

KenW.
October 29, 2011, 11:36 PM
I have XDs in 45compact, 40XDm3.8 compact, and 9mm subcompact. I stay qualified on each, but carry the 9 most as a detective. On my road patrol shift I'll carry the 45.

The 9 allows for quicker follow-ups. If I can place three-four controlled hits into a target in the same time I can get two from a 45, I feel I'm ahead of the problem

That being said, I hope to pick up a XD40 subcompact in a trade tomorrow. One caliber is as good as the other providing you place the holes where they need to be.

As far as a badguy absorbing 17 COM hits, ain't the miracle of modern illicit pharmacuticals really something? After the first couple try the head shot.

LightningMan
October 29, 2011, 11:51 PM
I juat had by chance today, get to shoot two exact same pistols only difference was caliber. I went to the range today with my M&P .40c and by chance the only other fellow there had one in a 9mm. We each talked about how much we liked our own guns, but we tried each others pistol out, to see/feel the difference. After shooting his, I felt there was little difference in recoil (only slightly more for the .40) and I shot them both equally as well. FYI. LM

Hangingrock
October 30, 2011, 09:36 AM
Was it not a Cooper witticism or one of his disciples made the statement with a high capacity semiautomatic pistol of a lesser caliber the individual planned on missing. I must be somewhat conflicted as I have 9mm-Luger and 45ACP pistols but not compromise 40-S&W. :what::rolleyes:

ATLDave
October 30, 2011, 10:33 AM
I tend to believe (and I expect I'm in a minority on THR) that 9mm, .40, and .45 are all functionally equivalent in terms of effectiveness in modern JHP SD loads, particularly if you include +p 9mm loadings. The 9 has more velocity, the 45 has more mass, and the 40 splits the difference. I don't think any of them has made the other obsolete... they are just different points on the same power/effectiveness curve.

Jenrick
October 30, 2011, 01:36 PM
If you're concerned about penetration, get a 10mm or a .357 sig. If you're a LE agency and concerned about penetration order AP ammunition. If you want capacity, go 9mm. If you like light fast bullets, 9mm or .357 sig. If you like big heavy bullets at moderate speed .45 ACP. If you like like heavy fast bullets 10mm. If you want a compromise round that does none of the above well, go with .40 S&W.

-Jenrick

MikeNice
October 30, 2011, 04:06 PM
Ken W, the BG that took 17 shot com was not high. Blood test revealed minute amounts of alcohol only.

Everybody that carries a handgun should look up the story.

KenW.
October 30, 2011, 06:10 PM
A person who can withstand 17 hits with anything, will not stop for much short of a long gun; centerfire rifle, or shottie.

Lucky Derby
October 30, 2011, 10:02 PM
A person who can withstand 17 hits with anything, will not stop for much short of a long gun; centerfire rifle, or shottie.
This

rem22long40x
October 31, 2011, 01:11 AM
Like I have all ready said , A 9mm may expand a 40 and 45 cal. won't shrink !!!!

missionmild
October 31, 2011, 11:46 AM
Try this thought experiment (with apologies to the rifle folks):

Would you say:

"I'd only use a 9mm to get back to my .40."

or

"I'd only use a .40 to fight my way back to my 9mm."

ATLDave
October 31, 2011, 11:48 AM
I think both statements, missionmild, are equally risible.

KenW.
October 31, 2011, 11:49 AM
Would you say:

"I'd only use a 9mm to get back to my .40."

or

"I'd only use a .40 to fight my way back to my 9mm

I'd say, "I'll fight with what's in my hand because I have confidence in the 9, 40, and 45."

mooner
October 31, 2011, 04:30 PM
I have a 9 and a 45. I collect 40 brass when I am at the range.

When I have enough brass, by my logic it will justify owning a 40. It seems that almost all 45 shooters pick up their empties. There are enough 40 shooters, and 40 is juussst inexpensive enough that they must figure it's not worth the effort.

Good excuse to buy another gun = win for me!

FMF Doc
November 1, 2011, 09:09 PM
I am not a fan of the .40S&W myslef. I have shot it, and I can shoot it well enough, but I shoot 9mm better. There are applications where the 40 can really excell. I loved my M9A1 I carried in the service but for military, where FMJ is the rule, and LEO where weight, which leads to penetration of barriers better is important, I would have loved an 96A1. I am not a fan of 40 in small packages, like the G27. I only shoot it in a full-size service pistol, like a G22. Some may shoot the wings off a gnat at 25 yards with their G27 or PM40, I am just not one of them. So is the .40S&W obsolete, no, but I do feel that it has limited realistic applications that justify its use.

willypete
November 1, 2011, 11:01 PM
I tend to believe (and I expect I'm in a minority on THR) that 9mm, .40, and .45 are all functionally equivalent in terms of effectiveness in modern JHP SD loads, particularly if you include +p 9mm loadings. The 9 has more velocity, the 45 has more mass, and the 40 splits the difference. I don't think any of them has made the other obsolete... they are just different points on the same power/effectiveness curve.

Guess we're in the same minority. I'm of the opinion that most all handgun rounds of equivalent technology and JHP construction are similarly effective on a shot-per-shot basis against a human attacker. Objective assessment of data has led me to this conclusion, and until someone can definitively demonstrate real-world results (I don't give a fig for paper ballistics or foot-pounds of energy, nor caliber comparison, nor wound cavities temporary or permanent) that set one caliber apart from another, I will stick to my conclusions. I carry 9s, .40s, .45s, and .357s with the same feeling of confidence in their performance.

Hunter125
November 2, 2011, 12:07 AM
I bought a .40 S&W XDm as my first pistol because .40 was somewhat of a compromise on most things. It has one less round than the 9mm with more power and a bigger bullet, not the big hit on capacity you get with the .45. Plus .45 is expensive and often scarce. If I had the money to get several guns, I might have done what some suggest and buy one of each, but I am a grad student so I can't afford several guns at once and needed one all around gun to start off. I also do not like my dad's G17, but not sure if that is because of 9mm or just Glocks in general. I do plan to eventually own guns in all three calibers as I can afford it.

Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk

P30shtr
November 2, 2011, 02:10 AM
Just jumping in and didnt go through 4 pages but, I'll say NO simply because whatever technology is going into 9mm is going into .40 so.......

I think you answered your own question. I just hi-jacked your thread>, is 9mm and.40 obsolete because of the technology dumped into .45acp?

Shoot whatchya like and shoot it well.

ckone
November 2, 2011, 02:34 AM
YES.

RatherNotSay
November 2, 2011, 02:41 AM
One 9mm round center mass piercing the heart is more deadly than a .45acp round hitting a collar bone. Regardless of the rounds being questioned shot placement will always be more deadly than caliber size. It doesn't matter if they came up with some super expanding bullet that locks on to biological mass if it doesn't hit in an organ filled area it's most likely just going to tick the guy off.

For example if the guy is doped up on heroin, meth or cocaine he's probably going to laugh at you if you hit him in the shoulder and still keep fighting.

makarovnik
November 2, 2011, 05:18 AM
No.

gym
April 14, 2012, 09:20 PM
I had gotten rid of all my 40's until I shot the emp, I now have an emp in 40. It has almost the same power as my 45.The recoil is the same as the 9, and the expansion and weight make it a better man stopper. A180 grain bullet is just going to hit harder than a 9mm in 115 or 124 grain. The 147 grain 9 mm has it's fans and foes. I never liked it, I found it to be inconsistant with sizing in different manufacturers. It causes problems in some guns, I use a corbon powerball 100 grain, at 1350 fps,in my 9mm glock 26, which goes against my philosopy, but at that speed it hits like a 357 mag.

GLOOB
April 14, 2012, 09:30 PM
In some ways this is true. But premium 9mm JHP are more expensive than cheap 40SW JHP. I reload, so I can shoot JHP for almost the same cost as FMJ. But they won't perform like Rangers, HST or Gold Dots. In a 40SW, the difference between premium octane and regular is probably not as great as in a 9mm, particularly in the heavier bullet weights that don't fragment as easily.

greenlion
April 14, 2012, 09:58 PM
The higher quality of today's ammo has set a new baseline for bullets in general, but the .40 is still better than 9mm on the new scale too. New 9mm may be expanding better than old .40, but I've also seen statistics showing that newer .32acp is a better stopper than old .45acp hardball. Does that mean I will carry a .32 as a duty caliber? No. I will carry new improved expanding .45acp hollowpoints.

JohnBT
April 14, 2012, 10:04 PM
"I've also seen statistics showing that newer .32acp is a better stopper than old .45acp hardball"

Maybe men ain't what they used to be. ;)

B!ngo
April 14, 2012, 11:28 PM
Back on my soap box...
I actually think that this question has a quantifiable answer (and I am actually quite interested in the counter-arguments that may get posted in return). That is, the proper choice is the one that allow you to carry more rounds in a given configuration. And that answer is generally 9mm.
Why? Assuming that all three cartridges (9,40,45) evolve equivalently regarding expansion, speed, bullet design, etc., most on this forum, and others, cite that shot placement is the most important parameter in the effectiveness metric.
But most shooters (LEO's, concealed carriers, military, me I expect) are terribly inaccurate with their handgun when the adrenalin is flowing. Numbers of far less than 50% on target are quite common in a shootout.
So, versus a bit more mass, or somewhat more expansion of a 40 or .45 versus a 9, I'd just like to make sure I have more shots so that I might actually hit the target. And I suspect that is a good general rule.
By the way, this rule applies to LEO's, mils, and citizens who are not living in areas or under guidelines that restrict their magazine capacity. In those cases (e.g. CA where the capacity is 10), the rule flips and instead biases to the largest round you can carry, as long as you can carry the maximum allowed. So, it would be .45 in those cases.
B

mljdeckard
April 15, 2012, 01:41 AM
They have for me. I think the difference in actual real-world effects is so minimal as to not justify snappier recoil and lower capacity. I have no desire to buy another .40 at all.

Stasher1
April 15, 2012, 02:47 AM
I have found, in my years of owning/shooting handguns, that my followup shots are faster and more accurate with a 9mm than .40 cal., so that's what I carry. I don't buy into the "knockdown power" myth and I believe in shooting until the threat is neutralized, so the difference between one caliber or the other is relatively unimportant.

Carry whatever caliber you're comfortable and accurate with, in a platform that you'll actually carry every day, and don't concern yourself with what the other guy carries.

beatledog7
April 15, 2012, 07:40 AM
I bought my Glock 22 before I bought any other pistol because for me the .40 S&W is a good compromise between 9mm Luger and .45 ACP. That Glock is powerful and easy to shoot. I can load it 22+1 if need be, so capacity is a non issue. And for about $125 I can turn it into a .357 Sig or a 9mm if I want to.

Now I own 9mm pistols. They are powerful and easy to shoot.

I have fired a few .45s. They are powerful and easy to shoot. I have ordered one to add to my battery.

Recognizing that "post-apocolyptic" banter is frowned upon here, on the day when you guys who poo-poo the .40 S&W find that acquiring any pistol ammo is problematic, being able to shoot whatever one can find will be a huge advantage. If the most readily available ammo is .40 S&W, I'll be even more glad that I have a pistol chambered in .40 S&W.

Redneck with a 40
April 15, 2012, 10:53 AM
I think the advancement in bullets has made the 9mm a credible self defense caliber, when it used to be considered marginal. However, I still the 40 cal has the edge.

A 180 grain Federal HST hollowpoint will penetrate 16" and expand to 75 caliber in tnoutdoors9 test's on YouTube. He uses milk jugs packed with wet newspaper.

The 147 grain 9mm HST couldn't match that with 12" of penetration and not quite as much expansion.

Having said that, the 9mm is easier to shoot in my opinion, much quicker follow up shots from the softer recoil.

ohwell
April 15, 2012, 06:11 PM
I have all 3 calibers myself and 9mm is the easiest to shoot accurately with fast follow up shots. Look at tnoutdoors9 tests with Hornady Critical Duty ammo the 9mm 135+p ammo thats designed for barriers and to pass all the FBI protocols gets between 16 and 17 inches of penetration in the same tests. I think ammo technology has made the 9mm more than adequate to get the job done.

carbonyl
April 15, 2012, 06:37 PM
After 8 years of .40 my brother in laws police department is going back to 9mm when they replace their handguns this summer.

Three Man
April 15, 2012, 06:47 PM
I think the 40 will be used for a long time.
I believe this because it comes down to money vs stopping power; or at least the perception of it.
40 ball is larger than 9mm ball and when on a budget most will carry the larger ball ammo for a better piece of mind.
What is the saying that people who shoot the 45 acp, the 9mm may expand but the 45 will never shrink. The same goes for the 40 vs 9.

miles1
April 15, 2012, 08:42 PM
The 40 isnt obsolete.Its just not as easy to shoot as the 9 is.It has more more recoil,alittle more power,and usually carry less ammo then a 9.With that said IMHO the 9 does everything 40 can in a HD situation better.The 9 does have better recoil,more ammo you can carry,and more than enough power to take care of buisness.

Okiegunner
April 16, 2012, 07:58 PM
I own a couple of .40s both of which I shoot and like. I am a fairly good sized guy, 6'3" around 270lbs., and to be honest, the .40 is still a little snappy for me. Having said this, I prefer the 9mm.

My shot placement is better, certainly my follow up shots, and I like the additional capacity of the 9mm.

I believe the .40 to be a fine round, both bigger and stronger than the 9mm. For myself, given the choice, I just prefer the 9.

Gunner

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