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

.40 s&w? Take a back seat.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Ammo First, Apr 23, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Ammo First

    Ammo First Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    Messages:
    33
    I've been purusing the gun boards again. I've noticed numerous posts preaching the superiority of this round. (.40 s&w) Many consider this to be the "minimum defensive caliber" Pardon me? My current carry piece is a berreta 92fs 5 inch bbl. I'm using Italian mcgar 20rnd mags, packed with Fed. 9mm +P+ bple (easy to find). Out of a 5 inch barrel approx. 455 ft. lbs. of energy versus 10 rounds of 40 short and weak with around 475 ft. lbs. (Even the best loads don't go above approx. 496 ft. lbs) What would you rather have 10 rnds. at say 496 ft lbs. or 20 rnds at 455 ft. lbs. Add in the propencity of even trained police officers to pray and spray quite a few rounds. Its a no brainer, in my opinion. I find this 40 s&w argument pretty weak. Thanks for listening.
     
  2. 355sigfan

    355sigfan member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2003
    Messages:
    1,850
    Location:
    Alaska
    I have nothing against the 9mm I own a few. Same goes for the 40sw. But your logic is faulty. First off having lots of rounds is never a bad thing but it will not make up for shooter skill. If you miss the first 10 times your not likely to do better for the last 10. Also while I like high energy rounds. Energy alone does not tell the whole story. I would rather have a lower energy 9mm like the +p+127 grain ranger talon load and gain a lot in barrier penetration and more flesh penetration as well. I don't care for the 147's because they don't have as much energy as I like and many of them fail to expand in heavy clothing. For me in the 9mm the +p+ middle weights rule.
    PAT
     
  3. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,331
    Location:
    always offline!
    Yes, I also prefer the 124-127gr. 9mm's, but the real advantage of 9mm aside from the penetration and higher capacity is the relibility of feeding compared to .40 as the 9mm round is ideally shaped for reliable feeding. Not to mention that NATO cartridges are waterproofed and 9mm ammo is much cheaper making practice more affordable.

    Also, realistically, .355 and .40 is not much of a diameter difference. They both make basically the same sized holes. 9mm's are generally more accurate as well. Alot of 9mm NATO and +P+ 9mm loads actually exceed the energy of .40's.

    9mm handguns also typically hold more rounds in a smaller package than .40 or .45 and 9mm handguns tend to have a much higher availability of preban normal capacity magazines.

    If you want more power, go with a 10mm, not a denutted .40 Short & Weak.

    Give me a BHP 9.
     
  4. Ammo First

    Ammo First Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    Messages:
    33
    Well, I shoot on a regular basis with a group of people. We try to simulate emergency situations as best we can. If thier is one thing I've noticed its that the range shooting sessions and the combat/simulated emergency shooting sessions we hold produce vastly different results. Even the best shooter among us (much better than I) looses quite a bit of accuracy when suprised or on the move. Many a time (not always) the target was hit due only to the additional rounds at our disposal. (this was more common at distances beyond 30 feet) Now I'm an average shot, not poor not great, but even the better shooters in our group get far more on target hits. 20 shots versus 10 or 12. Its just simple math, nothing more. Maybe others are more accurate than us in a real emergency shooting (vs. our fake emergency shooting trials) but I doubt it.
     
  5. Ian11

    Ian11 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2003
    Messages:
    339
    Hey, if it works for you fine. But there's no reason to use the same type of tactics to justify your decision. I rotate between a .45 (230 grain GS), .40 (165 grain GS), and a 9mm (147 grain Ranger) for my defense handgun depending on my mood. I feel comfortable with all of them.

    I'm not just trying to be diplomatic. I try not to overthink caliber choice (as long I'm using decent loads) because its only part of the much bigger equation of a self defense scenario. I worry more about how I'll handle the situation if God forbid I'm faced with it.
     
  6. Ammo First

    Ammo First Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    Messages:
    33
    I agree, thats my whole point. I'm not saying my approach is the only or best system, it is the system that works best for me. There are numerous ways to skin any given feline. However, The argument or "advise" that the .40 s&w is the "minimum caliber for self defense" ( an opinion I hear quite frequently) is a very narrow and uninformed view.
     
  7. Tropical Z

    Tropical Z Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Messages:
    1,552
    Location:
    The path less chosen...
    I prefer 9mm if its coming out of a HiPower or the like where 13-17 round flush fit mags are readily available.If its a newer gun where us poor ordinary slobs arent entrusted by our own government (you work for US ya know!!!) to own more than 10 rounders i tend to lean toward .40S&W.
     
  8. MJRW

    MJRW Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,009
    Location:
    Virginia
    I wouldn't call .40 the minimum by a long shot. I think standard convention states that in handguns .38 special is minimum (or possibly .32 HNR, don't know too much about this round) and for semi-autos 9mm is generally accepted minimum given ideal circumstances. It needs to be said here that any caliber is better than no caliber at all. I personally feel that .380 is the minimum I am willing to carry and be comfortable. Given all of that, let me move on.

    Multiplying capacity by energy doesn't really tell the tale. If you have time to put 10 rounds in someone and they don't go down, 10 more is unlikely to do the job. As someone else said, if you miss with the first 10.... We need to work with smaller numbers like 2 - 4 rounds as some people drill. Higher capacities, in my opinion, are for the dreaded possibility of having to deal with multiple assailants.

    I think the availability of full capacity magazines and in newer platforms is largely what is driving the .40 market. Given the choice between 10 rounds of 9mm or 10 rounds of .40, I will take 10 rounds of .40, in theory. In practice, I have a much harder time with a follow up with .40 than I do 9mm.

    I used to be a fan of the .40, not so much anymore. I've got a bad taste in my mouth from the previous unreliable platform, but I still don't know that I will get another. It felt like it had the kick of a .45 with a bullet not much larger than a 9mm. I don't consider it a "answer to a question no one asked" or whatever. I consider it the worst of both worlds. I'd currently rather shoot and carry .38, .357, 9mm, or .45 than .40.
     
  9. BigG

    BigG Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    7,081
    Location:
    Dixieland
    Are we having fun yet? :neener:
     
  10. BigG

    BigG Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    7,081
    Location:
    Dixieland
    If 40 is denutted, what does that make 9? :scrutiny:
     
  11. George Hill

    George Hill Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    6,842
    Location:
    Uintah Basin, UT
    Where?

    BigG - Classic.
     
  12. 355sigfan

    355sigfan member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2003
    Messages:
    1,850
    Location:
    Alaska
    Well, I shoot on a regular basis with a group of people. We try to simulate emergency situations as best we can. If thier is one thing I've noticed its that the range shooting sessions and the combat/simulated emergency shooting sessions we hold produce vastly different results. Even the best shooter among us (much better than I) looses quite a bit of accuracy when suprised or on the move.
    END

    Thats still shooter error. As I firearms instructor I can tell you what I believe your doing is looking over the sights and yanking on the trigger. If you slow down enough to get a sight picture and a good trigger press your hits on target will go up. Even on the move. The 40 sw does have a power advantage on the 9mm. The 9mm does have less recoil and greater capacity. Its all in how you look at it. Chose your sword and be prepared for battle. In the end its your skill as a shooter not your gun that makes the difference. I carry a 8 shot 1911 and I feel very confident with it. I have also carried hi cap guns in the past. And if I ever go back to patrol I will be carrying the issue Glock 21 again.
    PAT
     
  13. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Messages:
    3,421
    Location:
    Fascist-Fornia
    "I've been purusing the gun boards again. I've noticed numerous posts preaching the superiority of this round. (.40 s&w) "

    I consider it to be avery good (and very accurate) round with some attractive qualities: the defense load versions have great stopping power, sport ammo is cheaper than .45, and mag capacity is higher than .45.

    "Many consider this to be the "minimum defensive caliber" Pardon me?"

    And many millions of people consider the .45 to be the minimum (in fact, ONLY) proper defensive round. That just proves some people are deluded.

    "My current carry piece is a berreta 92fs 5 inch bbl. I'm using Italian mcgar 20rnd mags, packed with Fed. 9mm +P+ bple (easy to find). Out of a 5 inch barrel approx. 455 ft. lbs. of energy versus 10 rounds of 40 short and weak with around 475 ft. lbs. (Even the best loads don't go above approx. 496 ft. lbs) What would you rather have 10 rnds. at say 496 ft lbs. or 20 rnds at 455 ft. lbs. Add in the propencity of even trained police officers to pray and spray quite a few rounds. Its a no brainer, in my opinion. I find this 40 s&w argument pretty weak. Thanks for listening."

    I also have a 92FS with "15 round" mags that actually hold 17 rounds, so I can carry 17 + 1 with a single mag. The best feature of the 92FS I own is that in 10,000 rounds I have had exactly ZERO failures to fire and ZERO jams for any reason. I own about ten autos (some VERY expensive) and the Ber is the only one that has been 100% reliable. I have often said, it's the only auto I'd take to a gunfight. (of course, my 686+ wheelgun would be the backup).

    As for lethality, the 9mm defense loads have performed very well in one-shot stop ratings and I tend to agree that 18 or 20 rounds of those is better than 10 rounds of .40.... of course, my Para 1640 carries 16 + 1 rounds of .40SW. I believe that would be a little more "punch" than 18 rounds of 9mm. Problem is, I don't have enough confidence in it to trust my life to it.
     
  14. MJRW

    MJRW Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,009
    Location:
    Virginia
    Bountyhunter,

    What are you referencing when referring to "one shot stop ratings?"
     
  15. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    12,879
    Location:
    Home Of The First Capitol Of The Confederate State
    ".40 s&w take a back-seat"-

    yep, to the time tested and battlefield proven .45 ACP! :D

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
     
  16. 355sigfan

    355sigfan member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2003
    Messages:
    1,850
    Location:
    Alaska
    Even the best loads don't go above approx. 496 ft. lbs) What would you rather have 10 rnds. at say 496 ft lbs. or 20 rnds at 455 ft. lbs.
    END

    I realy don't care that much about capacity and caliber. I care more about the bullet launcher and the load. I would rather carry a 1911 in 9mm with 10 rounds vs Star Megastar with 13 rounds of 45 acp. I would rather have a 1911 in 45 acp than a Beretta 92 with 20 rounds of 9mm. The Beretta is a fine weapon but the 1911 is easier to shoot well. How you shoot your first 2 to 3 rounds will usually determine rather you live and die outside of pure good or bad luck. High capacity is an advantage yes, and for that matter its not limited to the 9mm. I have a Glock 31 and one mag that holds 20 rounds for it and another that holds 25. THis is with extended base plates. These mags are also for competition and show and tell. When I carry that gun I stick the stock 15 round mags in it and go. I now carry a 1911 and it has 7 round wilson mags. I stopped using the 8's because I did not want to deal with swapping the mag springs all the time. For a high capacity gun to make a difference you would have to be a very good shooter against multiple poor shooters and have a bit of good luck on your side. Thats roughly .05 % of the time it might make a difference.

    PAT
     
  17. Spackler

    Spackler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    347
    Location:
    Central PA, USA
    As much as it may pain me, I agree with PAT.

    Given the choices of 9x19, .357SIG, .40S&W, 10mm, and .45ACP, I would let somebody else pick the caliber of my carry gun, as long as I could pick the pistol and the load I carry. I feel pretty comfortable with all of the above calibers.

    Having said that, I do carry a .40S&W, and sometimes a 9x19, and sometimes a 2" .38spl. I look for a load with good expansion and penetration, rather than getting all caught up in the energy and muzzle velocity. In the case of the .38, there really isn't a load that gives decent expansion and penetration when shot out of a 2" bbl anyway.
     
  18. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Messages:
    3,421
    Location:
    Fascist-Fornia
    "Bountyhunter,

    What are you referencing when referring to "one shot stop ratings?"


    data taken from LE shootings that are compiled and published. I fully realize no one agrees about the validity, or even what is a valid test for cartridge stopping power so I don't propose to know the exact solution. The human body has so many different material densities (depending on shot placement) I'm not sure a representative test model would ever be fully accurate.

    But, one shot stop numbers ae published from time to time from various places... and even if the numbers aren't definitive, they are at least consistent and sensible (to me). The ones I have seen put the .45ACP defense loads around 92% (give or take a couple of points) and the .40 is usually a couple of points behind the .45, although in some cases it was a tad ahead. Basically interchangeable in my mind. I believe the 9mm +p hollowpoint defense loads were around 88%. Hardly wimpy.
     
  19. bountyhunter

    bountyhunter member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Messages:
    3,421
    Location:
    Fascist-Fornia
    "The Beretta is a fine weapon but the 1911 is easier to shoot well."

    Possibly true for a skilled shooter who practices with the 1911, but definitely proven to be NOT true for average shooter. When the Army switched to the M9 (Ber 92FS) for various reasons, one thing they saw immediately was that newbies coming in attained proficiency faster and with less practice compared to the .45 1911A1. They also maintained acceptable proficiency with less practice. That's a documented fact. It is also a fact that they changed the shooting course requirements after the M9 was adopted to make getting an expert rating more difficult because so many people were getting it. I think we gun nuts tend to forget just how little soldiers and LE's actually practice with their weapons.
     
  20. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,331
    Location:
    always offline!
    A denutted .357 SIG :neener:

    That's why I use NATO and +P+.

    But even a standard pressure 9 is alot better than a .380.
     
  21. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,331
    Location:
    always offline!
    And that always seems to be the biggest problem with .40's.

    Lack of reliable high capacity platforms and the fact that the cartridge does not cycle as reliably as 9mm/.357SIG.

    Honestly out of a handgun, I don't want to shoot anything much bigger than .355 diameter as handguns are already so weak that every little bit of extra penetration helps.
     
  22. Handy

    Handy Guest

    One shot stop numbers aren't just questionable because of the dynamics of human flesh.

    The real problem is: "What isn't a one-shot-stop?". It isn't a OSS if there is no stop, or if more than one shot is fired and hits. So you're left with the bizarre circumstance of a violent encounter where the shooter only firing once, then quitting, no matter the outcome.


    How representative is that?

    If anything, such stats are going to squew (right or wrong) to heavier recoiling rounds. Why? Because it is more difficult to double tap a .45 than a .380. So there will be more on shot shootings recorded with the .45.


    The one shot stop model is a nightmare that should be politely ignored. It's a classic example of sampling error squewing data ridiculously because of what it chooses not to look at.
     
  23. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    4,468
    Location:
    Bakersfield, California
    15 rounds of 9mm is all fine and dandy, assuming 1. you hit with every shot. and 2. the gun fits you.


    double stack anythings (with the possible exception of the BHP) don't fit me. this is why i use a 1911 with a short trigger, flat mainspring housing and thin grip panels.
     
  24. Erik

    Erik Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,660
    Location:
    USA
    The .40 s&w isn't too bad. At least it makes my arbitrary cut by virtue of begining with the number "4," something the "3s" will never do. :p
     
  25. ElAlumno

    ElAlumno Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Messages:
    39
    The 40S&W is a fine round when the right bullet/load is selected. When we adopted the 40 we first sued 180gr subsonic ammo. It was basically worthless. Now that we have gone to the lighter and faster round we are seeing it to be a superior round.

    BTW, the 9mm is also a good round with the right bullet/load.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page