1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

9mm Luger vs 40 S&W

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by bg226, Nov 13, 2010.


What would you choose if price was equal?

Poll closed Jan 17, 2011.
  1. 9mm Luger

    61 vote(s)
  2. 40 S&W

    59 vote(s)
  1. bg226

    bg226 Active Member

    Apr 27, 2006
    These two calibers can generally be found in the same platforms. What would you choose if price was not an option?
  2. Mike J

    Mike J Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2007
    Personally I like .40's & I voted that way. I would suggest you go rent a platform that is available in both calibers (such as a Glock 19 & Glock 23) & shoot a box of ammo through each. Then go with what you shoot best. Some people really dislike the way .40 recoils.
  3. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Senior Member

    Jul 26, 2007
    Pullman, WA
    Although I don't have a pistol chambered for .40 S&W I consider it
    a better option for HD/SD than 9mm Parabellum LUber

    I have a CZ 75B in 9mmx19 & I'd be confident in it's effectiveness
    as a HD ? SD option but I bought it for a less expensive shooter for the range. I looked at the CZ USA website and they now list the 75B as available in .40 S&W 10 shot mag cap. Seems like a nice platform in that
    cartridge as well.

    My carry choice is a 1911 45 ACP - sorry old school, it's what I carried
    in the uSN on Watch/Duty

  4. LightningMan

    LightningMan Participating Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    I chose the 9mm, simply because I don't own a .40 S&W, although I do have both 9mm & .45 ACP. Another reason I pick 9mm over a .40 is at least for me, in a small 9mm concealment pistol, like a PM9 is easier on the recoil, so its easier to shoot. Another plus is that ammo & reloading componets are a bit cheaper, so I can afford to shoot more. Most times when I head to the range I take the 9's with me and the .45's get left at home more often. Just my opinion, yours may vary. LM
  5. Mags

    Mags Senior Member

    Apr 8, 2009
    If you're not going to carry a 45 due to size issues or for whatever, I say go with the 9mm for the following reasons:

    1. 9s normally carry 3-5 more rounds than 40
    2. Most modern 9s handle +p ammo which is close to 40 ballistics
    3. Most 40s have a snappier recoil than the gentle recoiling 9s
    4. Glock 19s are amazing guns! :neener:
    5. I carry an M&P9c :cool:
  6. fastbolt

    fastbolt Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Within the lightning
    I own 5 each pistols chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W.

    I've fired many ten's of thousands of rounds of both calibers. (FWIW, I own 9 pistols chambered in .45 and plan to acquire a couple more of them in coming months. I'm a long time .45 ACP owner & shooter.)

    That said, I generally tend to prefer 9mm over .40 S&W.
  7. HK-Freak

    HK-Freak New Member

    Oct 22, 2010
    9 mike mike. Of the three big calibers, I shoot .40SW the worst.
  8. Welding Rod

    Welding Rod Participating Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    Probably 9mm as it is cheaper to shoot, and I like to shoot. If I was to choose between the two for a defensive piece, I would go with the .40.
  9. Full Metal Jacket

    Full Metal Jacket member

    Dec 11, 2009
    hiding in your bushes
    hmm good question. i had to think for a second, but if price were equal....i would prob go with 40cal. larger permanent wound cavities are always a plus. :D

    the extra 2-3 rounds that 9mm's afford don't make any difference to me. i don't foresee being attacked by 30 terrorists like diehard. :eek:
  10. GunTech

    GunTech Senior Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    Helena MT
    Any handgun is a compromise, and the difference in effectiveness between 9mm and 40 (and indeed 45acp) is well within the performance range of each cartridge - i.e. a poor performing 40 is worse than a good performing 9mm and there noting save anecdotal evidence to suggest that one is significantly better than another - with modern ammunition.

    I picked 40 because I have an extremely large supply of same. I routinely carry a 9mm (CZ-75) because I like the platform, so would have no problem with 9mm either I carried a 1911 for years, but the larger round requires a larger platform or fewer rounds and since very few people are restricted to shooting only ball ammo and handgun ammunition has made some improvements in the last 50 years, there is no demonstrable analytical and peer reviewed study that shows that 45 is any more effective in real world gunfights than 9mm and 40.

    If you know anything about firearms and knew you were walking into a gunfight, your first choice wouldn't be a handgun. Any handgun is a compromised, trading a significant amount of lethality/stopping power for portability and concealability.
  11. Shurshot

    Shurshot New Member

    Nov 5, 2010
    I have both the XD9 and the XD40. the 40 is like an extention of my finger and it seems I can hardly miss what I point at with it. the 9 on the other hand, doesn't want to go where I want it to go at all...

    so in my book, it's the 40 all the way
  12. Mags

    Mags Senior Member

    Apr 8, 2009
    Good point but realistically a typical 40 for ccw carries 10+1 where a typical ccw 9mm carries 15+1. Or the G23 is 13+1 among a few other mid sized 40s, no mention of 30 rounders or even the 20 round cap. PT92.
  13. Stumper

    Stumper New Member

    Dec 3, 2008
    I currently own handguns in 10 different calibers and have owned some others at times. I like big bores. I like the feel of them and I like the down range results........But if i could only have one centerfire pistol caliber it would be .380ACP since I find a tiny .380 to be the most suitable for daily carry. If could only have one full size pistol.....I'd cry and then probably choose the 10mm for its versatility. However, between 9mmx19 or .40 S&W I'd prefer the 9-The guns hold more rounds and I can carry more ammo. Neither round is "perfect" but both are adequate (Please note I'm one of those weird people that really likes a .44 or .45 but feels very sanguine about arming myself with a .22lr)
  14. sprice

    sprice Active Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    I voted 9mm. I think the .40 is worth the extra money, and I think it's the best pistol caliber. But until they invent a handgun I actually want in .40, that is built around the cartridge, and is a great gun that works- I will always buy 9, unless it's a glock 22 but I would never choose it as a primary weapon. The smith and wesson m&p .40's are probably the best .40's to choose from today though...
  15. JQP

    JQP Member

    Oct 17, 2010
    .40S&W is one of the best compromises of quality and quantity, IMO.

    Pops a hole an itty bit smaller than .45, with nearly as much energy, at faster velocity, and can easily get as many as 13+1 in the weapon.

    Recoil is bad in .40S&W?

    Honestly, I don't mean to sound condescending, but I just can't wrap my head around that.
  16. badbadtz560

    badbadtz560 Member

    Jul 16, 2008
    whatever question u ask that has to deal w/ choosing firearms... the answer's gonna end up being "one of each"
  17. JEB

    JEB Participating Member

    Aug 10, 2009
    Douds, IA
    depends on use really. if its a defense gun then i want the .40. if its a range/fun gun, 9mm for sure
  18. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Senior Member

    Jul 27, 2007
    Kachemak Bay Alaska
    During my 20 plus years in Law Enforcement, I carried a 45 auto for 13 years. The other years were divided between a 375 mag or 45 Colt revolver for 5 years... I did carry a Glock 22 in 40 cal for two years before going back to a Sig P-220.
    I only ever carried a 9mm as an off duty gun. In an old Browning Hi-Power and for a short time in a HK-P7M8.
    I had already served in Grenada & Lebanon before transferring to the reserves so I could go into L.E. So I had seen bullets work or not work.
    Plus my first couple L.E. duty post were in Bush Villages where we had to shoot stray and rabid dogs on a weekly basis. When you shoot a 110 pound rabid malamute a bunch of times with a 9mm or 38 special, and nothing much happens,,, you suddenly become a believer in more whammy.

    If cost of the weapon and ammo are not a consideration, (and if your are in the US where 40 S&W ammo is easy to find) I cannot see any reason to opt for the 9mm, UNLESS, the recoil impulse is too much for the shooter.

    We had several undersized female officers who had a hard time shooting 1,200 rounds of 40 S&W ammo during the week long auto-transition and initial qual course. Particularly when they were plain clothes types trying to shoot all those rounds through compact Glocks.

    In those cases it always seemed that they could qualify just fine with a 9mm version.
    So a hit with a 9mm is better than a miss with a 40 (10mm Kurtz).
    Oddly enough a lot of those gals could shoot a single stack 45 just as well.

    My lovely bride of these many years (whom I met on a military pistol range) carries a little KAHR 9mm since she is of fairly small stature, with small hands.
  19. MrWesson

    MrWesson Active Member

    Dec 13, 2009
    Money no object = .40

    Reality = 9mm
  20. JohnBiltz

    JohnBiltz Participating Member

    Aug 17, 2010
    Phoenix, AZ
    I just don't shoot a .40 well. I owned one for a year and kept trying to make it work but I finally gave up and went back to a nine. I can shoot a .45 just fine. There is just something about a .40 that makes it difficult for fast follow up shots for me. I'm not little either.

Share This Page