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40 cal vs 9mm: Best for Self Defense?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Huntolive, Feb 10, 2019.

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  1. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    WrongHanded wins.
     
  2. Madcap_Magician

    Madcap_Magician Member

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    .40 S&W is substantially better at being 0.4" in diameter, but on the other hand, 9mm is substantially better at fitting more cartridges into a magazine of the same physical dimensions.
     
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  3. RevolvingGarbage

    RevolvingGarbage Member

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    I for one can't wait to try the new Seismic 180gr. 9x19 ammo. If it functions my L9 and even comes close to that 950 fps they claim its going to be the round to beat in 9mm.
     
  4. LRDGCO

    LRDGCO Member

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    .356" vs .400" 124 grs vs 165 grs.

    The 9mm partisans will explain that "modern bullet design" is a substitute for cubic inches in the mistaken belief that you will not ask why modern bullet design does not also apply to .40 cal bullets.

    .40 cal is bigger than .35 cal and the bullets weigh more. With handguns, two things matter: holes in organs and size of holes. If you can shoot both accurately, go with the one that makes the bigger hole. If you can shoot 9mm more accurately than 40 S&W, then 9mm is the better choice for you.
     
  5. thomas15

    thomas15 Member

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    I shoot almost all 9 mil which is boring but 40 cal is totally Bad Ass. So is 10 mil.
     
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  6. IdaD

    IdaD Member

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    I think there's very little practical difference in effectiveness between the 9 and 40 (and 45 for that matter) from a self defense standpoint. So I like 9mm for self defense because it's the cheapest to shoot (more practice + more fun) and it offers the least recoil and highest capacity.
     
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  7. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    ^^^This^^^
    9mm or 40 probably won't matter and if it does you won't know till after the shooting stops.
     
  8. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    Depends:
    Glock 19 versus 23 - two round capacity difference, insignificant difference in my follow up shot time, I'd take the 23. (or 32)
    Kahr PM9 vs PM40 - the 9mm version is easier to shoot quickly & accurately, recoil difference more noticeable with pocket gun.
    The difference in expansion or wounding may be small, but I favor larger and/or more powerful (357 Sig) calibers.
    My wife shoots less than I do and increasing recoil has more effect on her follow up shots, she is better served by 9mm.
     
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  9. Dunross

    Dunross Member

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    I would not feel underarmed with either.

    More important would be bullet selection and ability to use the gun to make effective hits.

    Go with the gun you shoot best and can afford practice ammo.
     
  10. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    If folks feel the lower cost of 9mm ammo vs that of 40 S&W is a reason to focus on 9mm, I highly recommend getting into reloading. Ammo costs are a much smaller factor when you do and the focus of choosing a cartridge is based purely on ballistics and the available guns chambered for that cartridge.

    I can typically load my own for about 35-40% of factory target ammo, if I already have brass. If I need to buy brass, it's more like 65-70% of the cost. It's the reason I can afford to shoot 10mm, and I'm not restricted to watered down factory 10mm ammo.
     
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  11. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    There really isn't enough difference to matter. Pick one.

    Personally, I don't understand caliber wars. Especially among handguns. Most relevant data doesn't show much of a quantifiable or distinguishable difference in effectiveness among the modern defensive pistol cartridges. If the 9mm is too small, the .40 and the .45 for that matter aren't going to be much better. In fact, statistically, they are all but identical. If you ever find yourself in a gunfight, the two things that are going to matter the most is that you have a gun and you know how to use it. Other than that, mindset and awareness is key. If we spent half as much time talking drills and training, and developing a warrior mindset we'd be better off than endless pages discussing the things that actually matter the least--this caliber vs that one, this brand vs that one...
     
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  12. Huntolive

    Huntolive Member

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    Thanks to all the folks who answered. This site rocks!
    Really liked 9mm: "Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman."

    I get the point that it's really about training, survival mentality, and how I as an individual shoot the 2. So now that I have both, I will start shooting a bunch 9MM and compare to 40 cal. I have been shooting 40 cal w/ XDm and like it fine; great gun extremely reliable. Mine isn't compact, so not ideal for CC, so just got the Sig p365 in 9mm but also a compact Ruger in 40, and a larger 9mm Ruger to compare to my XDm.
    I'll have the 2 Rugers this week. Lookin forward to shooting and see which I do better with.
    I figured that $$$ wise, 40 cal is about 6 cents more per round (or $3 per box of 50), so $$$ will not be the deciding factor for what I end up carrying. Right now I'm partial to 40 cal, but will let the shooting experience decide.
     
  13. Huntolive

    Huntolive Member

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    So is the HST ammo REALLY that much better than say Hydrashock or Gold Dot GDHP? Is a Bonded bullet a big deal?
     
  14. mrmike7189

    mrmike7189 Member

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    I like them both, but as stated earlier , during the ammo shortage, 22LR and 9mm was impossible to find in stores.
    40 caliber was still on the shelves and I bought a lot of it!
    Having a 40 in the collection is not a bad idea and there are lots of used ones for sale today at cheap prices.
    They need a home.
    Take one home today!
     
  15. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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    Couldn't resist!
    Caliber Wars Funny.png
     
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  16. sparkyv

    sparkyv Member

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  17. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    In a subcompact 9mm, compact.40S&W
     
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  18. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    It performs really nicely in tests. They are not bonded. A canelure holds the jacket in place.

    Speer gold dots are bonded and another good choice.
     
  19. Mike J

    Mike J Member

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  20. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    The new Hydra-Shok Deep is interesting

     
  21. Garandimal

    Garandimal Member

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    Men's Tee/Ladies Tee... simple as that.




    GR
     
  22. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    In gel its impressive, but I dont personally think its worlds above in real world data. Hit the right spot and they'll probably all be equal.

    For future research, and lots of fun, I enjoy Paul Harrel's YouTube videos and his infamous meat test.
     
  23. silvermane_1

    silvermane_1 Member

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    But that diagram is missing a few calibers, like 357Sig, 38 Super and 45 Super. 357Sig and 38 Super would be like 357 mag, 45 Super would be like 10mm Auto except a H-bomb explosion vs a A-bomb one.:D
     
  24. Jeff H

    Jeff H Member

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    I think most here can agree on this.
     
  25. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Member

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    I prefer the .40 S&W, but I've always been partial to it. I've owned them all at one point in time, multiple times and for me the .40 S&W is as close to the perfect option for a self defense as you can get, I'll explain. I like the idea of a 9mm sized gun shooting a bigger bullet, and that's what the .40 is. I get almost 9mm capacity but the .40 will poke bigger holes and it definitely hits harder. I like them all, I even like 9mm, but I have no reservations about saying the .40 is better. The .45 is nice, but for the most part you have to get a bigger framed gun, which I don't prefer. What's more, if you handload, .40 brass is the cheapest right now (once fired) and you can load the .40 to nearly 10mm levels, so it will flat out smoke a 9mm. I will also add that the .45 does have the advantage of shooting a bigger bullet, but I feel the difference between the .40 and .45 is much smaller than the difference between 9mm and .40.

    The .40 all day, every day.
     
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