9mm vs 40


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Alex_100_man_slayer
February 1, 2012, 02:36 PM
Is there any advantage of a 9mm that the .40 doesn't have or is the .40 all round superior. I saw a ballistics chart on both and there roughly the same (give or take different ammo types). Also would a hp 9mm have more stopping power than a flat tip .40 and are .40 hp and 9mm hp the same in stopping power. Oh yeah and thoughts on the .357 sig (which is a hybrid of both) and its place in the topic.

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Kachok
February 1, 2012, 02:40 PM
The 9mm vs 40 debate will go on forever, both work very well, the 40 does slightly more damage per shot, the 9mm carries a few more shots and kicks a little less. 9mm is cheaper to shoot and is a tad faster with follow up shots. The only real advantage the 357 Sig has it shoots a little faster/flatter, but that means nothing in the real world since most gun fights happen within 7 feet. The difference in capasity is usualy 3 rd. My XDm 9mm is 19+1 and my friends XDm 40 is 16+1

momano
February 1, 2012, 02:56 PM
Alex,
I just started shooting centerfire handguns this summer. I chose 9mm for the 2 reasons listed above: 1. 9mm ammo is cheaper to shoot. 2. shot placement is more important than any power difference-- less kick, and more practice = 9mm for me. Good luck in your choice!

allaroundhunter
February 1, 2012, 03:07 PM
If you have never shot handguns before you should go to an NRA basic pistol course.

After completing that, the instructor will most likely tell you to forget about the .40 S&W until you can get the basics down better with a more mildly recoiling round (read 9mm).

Some people look at ballistic charts religiously....almost like they hold the key to 'this is better than that' when, in reality, that ballistic chart shows very little about the characteristics of each round. There are too many variables with guns, and loadings, for a ballistic chart to tell you what is better than what and which would be better for you. Go out, get some shooting lessons, and try some of each.

Typically, the .40 S&W has a very snappy recoil in comparison to a 9mm, and it is a very quick way to show who has (and hasn't) had much practice with handguns.

NG VI
February 1, 2012, 05:20 PM
They aren't nearly as different in performance as they are similar. They're both solid service calibers. The 9mm holds more rounds when using the same platform, it recoils less, and it costs less.

Neither of them should be loaded with a solid bullet for carry, the flat point .40 FMJs may look a little more substantial than the more rounded-pointed 9mm FMJs, but when the interaction is taking place, they really are no different on a target. FMJ bullets will typically leave a wound channel significantly narrower than the diameter of the bullet, because live tissue is elastic and will stretch around a bullet before tearing. Service pistol bullets do not move fast enough to cause observable wounding effects from their velocity.

Decent JHP bullets fired from guns in either caliber will perform almost identically to one another. Really I wouldn't in any way sweat the choice, the .40 isn't so bad, especially if it's all you've ever known, and the 9mm is a very efficient cartridge, it's basically the ideal pistol caliber for defense from other humans. Any advantage other service calibers have over it is largely based on "conventional wisdom" and not observable, measurable data. The advantages the 9mm has over the other service-class cartridges are very easily and objectively quantifiable, however.

The only handguns that have a real and unquestionable advantage in wounding capability are the hunting and silhouette-class cartridges, none of which are a very good choice for defense.

jim243
February 1, 2012, 05:43 PM
The first rule is you have to hit what you are shooting at. Having both a 40 S&W & 9 mm I can honestly say you are better off with the 9mm, more rounds, lighter recoil, quicker recovery and second shot times and did I say more ammo per mag.

Jim

JO JO
February 1, 2012, 05:44 PM
there is a reason most law enforcemet agencys have droped the 9mm, my unit carrys
the 40, my leo friends all carry 40 . 9mm is not issued to them anymore due to lack of
power, my state trooper buddy has seen 9mm bounce of windshields, if someone is wearing heavy clothing and or underinfluence there will be a difference. military hates
the 9mm but has it due to NATO not by choice, most would rather have a .40 caliber
weapon. but shot placement is more importent

Zerodefect
February 1, 2012, 06:03 PM
If your new, a 9mm is a great place to start.

.40 is great for larger guns and experienced shooters. It's a bit snappy in smaller lighter weapons. Forget about .357 SIG, it deos nothing that a cheaper 9mm+p or .40 can't also do.

Bozwell
February 1, 2012, 06:19 PM
there is a reason most law enforcemet agencys have droped the 9mm, my unit carrys
the 40, my leo friends all carry 40 . 9mm is not issued to them anymore due to lack of
power, my state trooper buddy has seen 9mm bounce of windshields, if someone is wearing heavy clothing and or underinfluence there will be a difference. military hates
the 9mm but has it due to NATO not by choice, most would rather have a .40 caliber
weapon. but shot placement is more importent
Call me a bit skeptical, but even if you could speak for the entire U.S. military, I highly doubt they are that opinionated about their sidearms to the point they "hate" the 9mm. We're talking about a backup weapon for them at best, and one that in either caliber will be dramatically less effective than their primary weapon, as it's not only a pistol but one that they're required to shoot FMJ rounds in. Also, the notion that our military doesn't have a choice in using 9mm is a bit erroneous. I'm sure they was some pressure to adopt a standardized round, but I'm not buying that NATO forced us into using the 9mm.

Tcruse
February 1, 2012, 06:25 PM
I would probably agree that when shooting thru barriers the .40 (or .357 SW) will have some advantage I general. In the US, bigger is better is the mindset. However, there is a lot more 9mm than any thing else overall. Like most thngs it is a comprise. If you knew exactly what and when that emergency would happen, you probably would be somewhere else or bring a rifle.

9mm is never a bad choice, if you want something more impressive in the future get another gun. There is always going to be someone with a bigger or more expensive toy. Have fun and be safe.

My personal choice if I could have only one gun would be a Glock 9mm Gen4

NG VI
February 1, 2012, 06:32 PM
The DoD wanted to switch to 9mm immediately following WWII, our budget and political climate just wouldn't have allowed for it though. If Congress had asked to replace millions of perfectly serviceable pistols in inventory just because, they would have been thrown out of office.

Kachok
February 1, 2012, 06:45 PM
The 9mm got a really bad rap from the 1986 Miami shootout, intrestingly enough that was the fault of a very poor issued bullet, the 115gr silvertip is amongst the worst performers in the history of 9mm, it fragments and only penatrates aprox 7" half of the recomended depth for self defence. Combine that with a clear cut case of piss poor shooting and the 9mm earned a bad rap overnight, Hollywood jumped on the band waggon and suddenly it became "common knowlage" that the 9mm was a worthless caliber. Actual ballistic science has well established that the 9mm is a very capable defence/LE round.
Why is it do you think that the 357 is a legendary manstopper while the 9mm is a wimp? Lets compare.
357 magnum (9.1mm) 125gr Federal Premium Personal Defence
1450fps 584ft/lbs energy Penatration 12" Bare gel
9mm Carbon Self-Defence 115gr
1350fps 466ft/lbs Penatration 14" Bare gel
While the 357 is a little more stout for sure the difference in caliber, weight SD, and energy is nothing huge. Now I can have 19+1 of 9mm in my XDm or 6rds 357 in a bulky 6" barrel revolver...... that is a no-brainer in my book. Some 357 magnum loads are not even that powerful, the 125gr goldsaber is only 1220fps and 413 ft/lbs LESS powerful then many 9mm loads. Now I am a man of science, I don't buy into Hollywood crap the numbers don't lie.

chieftain
February 1, 2012, 07:19 PM
Only been shooting for 58 years. Started carrying for business in 1966 have been in a lot of firefights. Several with pistols.

Still ain't figured out a reason for the 40.

45 or 9 or 38spl/357mag, will do everything I have ever done or would want to do with a handgun. Right now I carry a Colt Commander in 45acp of course. My 9 is no longer a Hipower, but a HK P30 LEM 9mm or a S&W M&P 9mm.

Obviously some folks I respect disagree with me. So be it. Just waiting for some "proof".

9 is cheaper, intrinsically more reliable (tapered case), accurate and you get more of them. Easier on the gun, a bit less recoil, can be found where ever you go in the world.

The 40 has been known as a gun destroyer by gun manufacturers.

Go figure.

Fred

Zerodefect
February 1, 2012, 07:30 PM
Only been shooting for 58 years. Started carrying for business in 1966 have been in a lot of firefights. Several with pistols.

Still ain't figured our a reason for the 40.

45 or 9 or 38spl/357mag, will do everything I have ever done or would want to do with a handgun. Right now I carry a Colt Commander in 45acp of course. My 9 is no longer a Hipower, but a HK P30 LEM 9mm or a S&W M&P 9mm.

Obviously some folks I respect disagree with me. So be it. Just waiting for some "proof".

9 is cheaper, intrinsically more reliable (tapered case), accurate and you get more of them. Easier on the gun, a bit less recoil, can be found where ever you go in the world.

The 40 has been known as a gun destroyer by gun manufacturers.

Go figure.

Fred

I use .40 in compact midsize pistols. Where something more than 9mm fits, but .45 deosn't fit.

For example the Glock 23. Just the right size, but deosn't come in .45acp. But 9mm is too easy to shoot in that size, so I go with the more powerful .40.

Just trying to pack as much power into the size of gun that conceals best on me, without going too big and having recoil trouble.




OP: This is going to turn into 9mm vs .40 vs .45acp in about 10 more posts. If you're new, start with 9mm.

Kachok
February 1, 2012, 07:30 PM
The 45 ACP is a whole different anamal. It's strong suit has nothing to do with fps or ft/lbs (often less then +P 9mm). It makes a large hole going in, expands to an even larger diamiter and plows it's way through thanks to it's hefty weight and tons of momentum, not alot of TWC or "hydrostatic shock" but it makes a very large PWC which causes alot of rapid blood loss. If they could fit 19+1 of 45 ACP in a mid-sized semi-auto I would buy one up in a heartbeat.

coolluke01
February 1, 2012, 07:42 PM
I think the .40 was a fad. 9mm is plenty for SD. St Paul MN police department is dropping the .40 and going back to the 9mm. It's harder to shoot and really is not that much better as far as penetration and the hole it makes is hardly bigger.

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2011/07/robert-farago/is-this-the-beginning-of-the-end-of-40-caliber/

Robert101
February 1, 2012, 08:14 PM
My opinion is solely based upon "shooting stuff" personal facts and not ballistic charts or forensic archives. For personal defense the 45 is King in the handgun self-defense role. It does not penetrate barriers very well but sufficient for self defense. Heavy bullet and large diameter are key to its success. Now back to your question, 9MM or 40 cal. I like and carry the 40 due to the heavier bullets and larger diameter - same philosophy as my 45 example above. My CCW carry G27 carries 9 rounds plus 1 in a small package. To me it is better than carring a 1911 45 all day. The 40, in my opinion is better than the 9MM. Recoil and handling can be managed by any average build male with minimal practice.

Inebriated
February 1, 2012, 08:26 PM
9mm, .357 Sig, and .40 S&W are going to be very similar in performance. .357 Sig will be moving quicker and probably penetrate better than the other two, but realistically, you aren't looking at anything too great. Between those, I'd pick 9mm. It's cheaper, is everywhere, and performs as good as the other two.

Now I personally like .45 ACP the best, but that's for another thread.

FIVETWOSEVEN
February 1, 2012, 08:35 PM
9mm and up are all perfectly fine for defense, just pick the caliber that you feel the most comfortable with. I now use .40 and I'm happy with it but I may switch back to 9mm or go to .45 ACP.

They're all good.

Kachok
February 1, 2012, 09:06 PM
If the 9mm were too puney, or the 45 too darn slow, they would have died off 100 years ago. The 40 may be the new kid on the block but it has established a solid reputation as a good all around package. I like all of them but carry a 9mm at the moment because it fits my hand the best with double stack mags. Not a bad one in the bunch :)

Ole Coot
February 1, 2012, 09:25 PM
I've shot some (60yrs) with handguns and I carried a 45 many years. I went down to a J frame/old FBI load. Now I carry a Glock 23 simply because it weighs less than my 45 and been fond of the Ruger LC9 because of the pocket carry or ease of concealment. I've shot enough and carry 99% of the time to feel comfortable with the 9 or 40. I'm too old to shoot windshields or heavy machinery and with proper shot placement they all work fine.

FMF Doc
February 1, 2012, 09:37 PM
Because only hits count, and I can git better and faster with a 9mm, I would go 9mm every time. I rind .40 to be "snappy" and followup shot much slower than 9mm, and even .45acp for that matter. .357sig has its place...in a Cop's holster. Unless you are regularly in need of shooting someone through a car door, .357sig is a little much. I like 9mm. I does the job in a good hollow point and there are so many different loads out there, you can tailor the load to the gun. For example, I shoot 124gr standar preasure Rem Golden Sabres our of my Ruber LC9. But in my Glock 19, I go with 124gr +p Speer Gold Dots. And in a my Glock 34, it is 147+p Rem Golden Sabres. I find that these loads shoot about the same comparitively in their respective pistol. But if push came to shove, I could shoot any round out of any of them because they are all +p rated. Who needs snappy, expensive, over rated .40???

Alex_100_man_slayer
February 1, 2012, 09:52 PM
Thanks I'll go out and shoot both but think I'll choose a 9mm and a .45 in the end

wrs840
February 1, 2012, 10:01 PM
The only reason I still own the three 40s I have is to challenge myself on whether I'll ever be able to get as accurate as I am with my 9s. It hasn't happened yet, but, what the hey, I'm only 53. I have a bunch of LEO friends who have pretty much the same sentiments about a .40, neither loving it or hating it, but happily qualifying with a 9mm when allowed to do so, carrying what's required, and most of them preferring 9s or .45s for personal carry.

FMF Doc
February 1, 2012, 10:02 PM
Thanks I'll go out and shoot both but think I'll choose a 9mm and a .45 in the end
Two of the oldest and they are both still going strong....probably for good reasons

rrman12280
February 1, 2012, 10:02 PM
I own a 9mm and 45acp. I love the cost of 9mm ammo vs 40. Performance is somewhat similar with a good 9mm round. I have no interest in the 40. It's either 9 or 45. Cutout the "middleman".

Sent from my C771 using Tapatalk

alaskanativeson
February 2, 2012, 12:00 AM
I'm with coolluke01. The 40 is a fad. Admittedly a successful one for a while, but Kachok was right. Miami changed everything in a ridiculous way. The fact that the lawmen lost were FBI made it worse, somehow (I still haven't figured out why.) The difference in performance between the 9 and the 40 is insignificant enough that if the Miami incident wasn't arranged by arms and ammunition manufacturers' marketers, it sure could have been.

I don't currently own any 9mm guns, but I wouldn't hesitate to. If I were looking to choose between 9 and 40 I can't come up with a good enough reason to go with the 40. My current carry options are my 380 P3AT, and one of several .45 Autos. And on that note, allow me the levity to be a bit of a smartass:

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g235/Rodgersplace/45.jpg

HKGuns
February 2, 2012, 12:13 AM
I own 9mm and .45ACP. I will never own a .40 because there is simply no reason for it to exist other than to sell more pistols.

The 40's I've shot recoil a lot more harshly than any .45ACP I've ever shot. Mainly because they normally are found in 9mm size light pistols. The muzzle flip and snap of a 40 is unpleasant to shoot, especially when compared to the 45ACP.

beatledog7
February 2, 2012, 12:44 AM
If there's no reason for the .40 other than gunmaker marketing, then we could say the same for about a couple dozen rifle calibers.

I'll just say it was a good thing for Allied soldiers and marines that Hitler's SS troops didn't have the .40S&W. I can't type this in German.

rferizano
February 2, 2012, 12:46 AM
I feel another caliber war brewing!:what:

NG VI
February 2, 2012, 12:51 AM
Alaska, they used a remarkably wise choice for that poster.

Shooting twice is for people who didn't buy Kimber.

wlewisiii
February 2, 2012, 12:53 AM
.40 S&W - a solution in search of a problem.

(Why yes, I shoot 9mm, both parabellum and special.)

purpplehaze
February 2, 2012, 01:02 AM
My advice would be to buy a pistol in a .40 then buy an interchangeable barrel for said pistol and practice with each caliber.
Example: Glock 23s are .40s but they can be changed to , 9mm, or 357sig if you buy the extra barrels. The barrels range from $100-150. After you practice you can decide for yourself which caliber you like.

I prefer the .40 for self defense and the 9mm for practice.

Bozwell
February 2, 2012, 01:10 AM
Alaska, they used a remarkably wise choice for that poster.

Shooting twice is for people who didn't buy Kimber.
I laughed out loud. :P

alaskanativeson
February 2, 2012, 01:27 AM
Shooting twice is for people who didn't buy Kimber.
My USP Tactical .45 and I will take that challenge. (so the caliber war becomes a brand war...) However, if I had a Kimber riding on my hip I'd feel as secure as anything I've ever carried. They're one of the companies who made high end 1911s not only damned desireable, but realistically possible too. You'll not catch me sending an unkind word their way.

beatledog7, I didn't say it was a bad fad, just an unnecessary one for me. I'll agree that the difference between the 260 Rem and the 7mm-08 is pretty much lost on me. 308 and 300 Savage are the same way. With the 40S&W, to me, the minimal gain in energy doesn't come close to justifying the higher cost of ammo, the loss of a couple rounds in the magazine, and the noticeably increased flipand jump in the gun. The direct result of Miami, the preponderance of the 10mm is a different story. It's too bad the caliber never really caught on in a big way, that is a caliber I really like. The increased recoil there is something I'm okay with because the ballistics take an enormous leap.

And not to derail this, but Hitler could have developed the atomic bomb first and still would have ended up shooting his deranged brains out after losing the war. His paranoia did him in. Had someone killed him before he attacked Russia it might have made a difference for Germany, but for all the little twerp's initial successes, his sociopathic (maybe psychotic) tendencies did him in.

Kachok
February 2, 2012, 04:52 AM
If shooting twice is silly you can call me plumb crazy, I am going to keep pumping lead untill my target goes limp and hits the ground weather I am using a 22LR or a 500 S&W magnum. The 45 is hella good but it aint no death ray.

Infidel4life11
February 2, 2012, 05:35 AM
Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals train until they can't get it wrong. I've owned, shot and carried everything. My buddies and I have this debate all the time. What shuts them up is when I take them out side and shoot targets side by side with 3 mags. Everything time I'm still shooting when they are out of ammo. My glock holds 20rds of 9mm a mag to their 8-10 45acp or 12-16 40cal. My 60rds are in two 2" groups dead center head and chest while their 30 or so rds are all over the place. Size of the bullet doesn't matter everybody dies the same way when shot in the face. IMO

mljdeckard
February 2, 2012, 05:51 AM
The .40 fell by the wayside for me. I like a .45 to make bigger holes, but if I wanted more capacity, I would get a 9. With modern ammo, the difference between 9 and .40 is negligible.

fivepaknh
February 2, 2012, 06:57 AM
I own several .45's, several 9mm's, and a few .40's just because I like to collect guns. I have carry guns in each of these calibers, and carry which ever depending on how I'm dressed. No matter what I'm carrying I don't leave the house feeling under gunned. With enough practice I'm proficient with all my carry guns. Anything 9mm or up is going to do it's job if you do yours and hit what you're a aiming at. Loaded with modern SD ammo you should be good to go. I find these caliber wars to be silly. That is unless you want to carry a .22 for SD. I want something big enough to end the threat right there. Not two or three hours later in an emergency room.
To the OP. Buy the best gun you can afford in a decent sized caliber, practice, feel confident your weapon can do it's job, and happy shooting.

beatledog7
February 2, 2012, 08:15 AM
...they used a remarkably wise choice for that poster.

Shooting twice is for people who didn't buy Kimber.

Then why are all .45ACPs, including Kimbers, designed to carry more than one round?
And if the answer is that there might be more than one assailant, what are your chances of hitting, say, 7 or 8 of them, before they reach you?


With modern ammo, the difference between 9 and .40 is negligible.

If true, why haven't the markets for them made the price disparity negligible?

skoro
February 2, 2012, 08:52 AM
Whichever you prefer is the one to go with. I just don't think that there'd be much difference in the effect of either in a critical situation.

Sam1911
February 2, 2012, 09:23 AM
This is wandering all over the place.

We've had 22 years to figure out whether the .40 S&W is better than the 9mm. And 108 years to definitively prove whether more rounds of 9mm beats fewer rounds of .45ACP.

If we don't know by now, we ain't never gonna know.

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