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.40 S&W vs. +P 9mm

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by DavidB2, Nov 25, 2012.

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  1. DavidB2

    DavidB2 Member

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    Any thoughts on how +P 9mm ammo performance compares ballistically to .40 when it comes to performance? I am assuming that a CZ75 could shoot +P ammo?
     
  2. firesky101

    firesky101 Member

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    With premium self defense ammo, I don't think anyone being shot with either would know the difference. But you should expect a lot of opinions for both sides to come flowing in.
     
  3. mtuchris

    mtuchris Member

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    I think (and others may disagree) shot placement will be more important than caliber here. 9mm is cheaper so you can get more practice for your dollar and thus you may be more accurate. I also find the added capacity of 9mm a big plus.
     
  4. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

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    Shot placement is always king. As mtuchris says. Shooting someone in the arm with a .45 is less effective than shooting someone in the head with a .22

    That being said, 9mm has come a long way in the last few years with better tech in SD bullets. I think that is mainly the reason why some people are putting their .45s and .40s back in the safe in lieu of smaller 9mm package.
     
  5. 56hawk

    56hawk Member

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    I still think the 40 S&W is slightly better than the 9mm. Probably not enough to worry about though.
     
  6. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Member

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    The .40 certainly has more potential than the 9mm, but either one will work. Premium JHP in the major calibers (9mm, .40 and .45) are all designed to perform similarly anyways.
     
  7. PedalBiker

    PedalBiker Member

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    The CZ is developed for NATO ammunition that is similar to +P commercial ammo. So +p in a CZ 75 is no problem. Plus the 4.7 inch barrel is going to give you about as much velocity as you'll get in a 9mm handgun.


    http://gunnuts.net/2009/04/03/9mm-nato-vs-9mm-luger/


    A 9mm +p is still less powerful a 40 given similar loadings and 40 only costs you one or so round capacity.

    That said, I am perfectly happy with 9mm (not even +p). Modern loads have improved this cartridge significantly.
     
  8. CZ57

    CZ57 member

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    PedalBiker, I don't know where that fella got his information, but if he's correct than CIP has lowered their pressure rating for 9mm. I've been studying CIP since the early 90s when Vihta Vouri powders first became available in the U.S. The standard pressure for 9mm that they listed was 36,200 PSI CIP which was almost an exact duplication of the original 9mm pressure spec of 35,700 CUP dating back to 1902 before SAAMI changed it in the U.S. to 35,000 PSI/33,000 CUP for standard pressure and 38,500 PSI for +P which by coincidence happens to be very close to the original design pressure of 35,700 CUP. Accordingly, Vihta Vouri lowered their pressure max in their load guides for the U.S. market until they got down to around 33,000 PSI CIP last time I checked.

    Concerning the CZ 75, in Europe you can buy it chambered in 9 X 21mm. At one time they were marketed in the U.S. but didn't catch on here. I believe that Magnum Research was the importer at the time, long before CZ set up their own operation in the U.S. The max pressure rating for the 9 X 21mm in Europe is 42,800 PSI CIP. The only difference between the 9 X 21 and the 9 X 19 is 2 more MMs of case length and a longer OACL. The only difference between CZ 75Bs in 9 X 21 and 9 X19 is a different barrel and a heavier recoil spring. It's pretty much common knowledge that European pistol makers as well as U.S. pistol makers of higher quality pistols are still making these guns for the original pressure spec of 35,700 CUP. CUP = Copper Units of Pressure and is an older form of pressure testing yet it is still in use today. Mainly in loading manuals in data for Magnum Revolvers, but 38,500 PSI (SAAMI +P) and 36,200 PSI CIP are very close to equal when measured in any three of the pressure measuring systems. One reason I have no qualms about using +P ammo in my 9mm pistols. In fact I handload it as I still use a manual where the 9mm pressure standard is 35,700 CUP as well V-V data which is 36,200 PSI CIP.

    I point all of this out to hopefully relieve people of their fear in using +P 9mm defense ammo.

    Shot placement is the #1 consideration regardless of caliber. With that said, the .40 S&W has a momentum and energy advantage in all cases when you compare common light/medium/heavy bullets in either caliber. For 9mm that would be 115/124/147 and in .40 S&W it would be 135/155 & 165/180. Having said all of that, there are some 9mm loads that come close to leveling the playing field like the 124 gr. +P SPEER Gold Dot, the 127 gr. Ranger +P+, Double Tap 124 gr. +P and the Double Tap 147 gr. +P+ that nearly duplicates the velocity of 155 gr. JHP loads in .40 S&W and has about the highest momentum I'm aware of in a 9mm loaed. Underwood also makes some very potent loads in 9mm. The real question becomes what level of recoil are you comfortable with and that you can shoot with good accuracy. If you can handle +P in 9mm, I'm only attempting to let you know you have nothing to fear in using them. If you plan to shoot them a lot, it might be best to go to a heavier recoil spring by 2 - 3 pounds in weight. It is also comforting when the pistolmaker states in their instruction manual that SAAMI +P is acceptable for use in their pistols when in reality it is no higher in pressure than the original design pressure for the 9 X 19mm, Parabellum, Luger. ;)
     
  9. coalman

    coalman Member

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    The heavier one will perform better. I used .40sw for years trying to like shooting it in the compact size guns I CCW. In the end, the .40sw recoil was not offset by it's proven performance advantage over the 147gr 9mm that I use now instead. I know .40sw is better, but I'm better with 9mm.
     
  10. Dean1818

    Dean1818 Member

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    In my book the 40 is better, and is what I carry, but I also carried a 9 for awhile.

    The trick is to be accurate and shoot more than one round.....
     
  11. fatcat4620

    fatcat4620 Member

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    Only one has 180 grain loadings...
     
  12. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

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    I would not loose any sleep if I was armed with 9x19 loaded with +P ammo. I would not buy .40S&W if I had 9Luger already.
     
  13. Knockdownpower

    Knockdownpower Member

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    Plus One for Winchesters 9mm 127gr +P+ ranger T, great load. The Corbon 115gr DPX is also a top choice. I have no experence with the .40S&W, but it's by far the most used LE duty caliber in the country.
     
  14. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    And the .45 has more potential than the .40.
    With modern HP design, the 9mm had really come into it's own.
    I've been carrying a 9mm a LOT more than a .45 lately. I've shot quite a few .40s, and it's a good round. I still prefer 9mm.
    Both should serve you well, with high quality HP ammo and proper shot placement.

    Lord willing, none of us will ever have to shoot another person.
     
  15. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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  16. coalman

    coalman Member

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    I really wish people would stop using that image. The 147gr 9mm was NOT fired from a handgun, as was likely fired from an MP5. And, regardless, there's not a reference to what bullet was used; some are better than others. But, the 9mm fans love that image indeed, as do the .40sw camp given penetration vs. ,45acp. Anyway, here's the annotated one:
    NOTATION-Handgun_gel_comparison.png
     
  17. firesky101

    firesky101 Member

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    Not sure why that could not be from a handgun. I chronographed the 147gr golden saber a few years ago from a FEG hi-power clone at an average of 1041fps.
     
  18. CPshooter

    CPshooter Member

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    That's a pretty big assumption you're making right there.
     
  19. Thompsoncustom

    Thompsoncustom Member

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    I'm not gonna say that image is accurate by any means but a 147gr going 1050fps out of a CZ75b is not only possible but easy. I reload all my ammo and my favorite 9mm load is a 173gr .357 bullet sized down which I push at 750-800fps most of the time but I have loaded it to just over 1000fps through the CZ.

    Also the standard 9mm CZ75b has no problems with pressures of 42500psi as when I load +p+ ammo for it that is were I stop I have yet to see anything negative from it.
     
  20. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    Coalman is right that bullet design isn't displayed, but I disagree with your statement on how the different bullets penetrated. The reason they all penetrated the same is because they're designed to. You'll notice that the difference is in bullet width (okay, the 165-grain bullet looks like it didn't expand very well).
     
  21. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Cool. I've been loading heavy bullets for my Hi-Powers for over thirty years.. mainly SWC.
     
  22. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    Lol even if the 9mm was fired from something larger, the wound track for the 45 is still bigger.

    Good enough? Maybe! Certainly not the best!
     
  23. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

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    I'm going to refer back to this, VihtaVuori #4 (2006) limits their load pressures for the 9x19/21 to a CIP 34,075psi. To be effective, not all 9mm ammunition needs to loaded to +P or +P+ pressures to compete with the 40, Hornady's 124gr XTP comes to mind. The 124gr XTP is also an example why bullet design/construction is a more important consideration in ammunition selection than making a blanket assumption about energy/momentum. While the standard pressure 124gr XTP doesn't have the energy numbers of other 9/40 choices, it still delivers ~14+" of penetration and its a reliable expander.

    As a handloader, I stopped buying 124gr Gold Dots years ago because as velocity increased, the 124s over expanded thus reducing penetration.

    124GD1268fps003.jpg

    By contrast, the design/construction of the 124gr XTP allows it to perform in the high 1200 to low 1300s, very doable. Another choice is to load the shallow cavity 125gr Gold Dot that's designed for 357SIG velocities.

    9mm125grSpeerGoldDot1289fps4layerdenim006.jpg

    This HS-7 loading chronographed at 1289fps, but I've loaded to 1317fps and stayed w/i published load data;


    9mm125grSpeerGoldDot1289fps4layerdenim008.jpg

    Now comes the very interesting part, VihtaVuori 3N38 powder takes the 147gr bullet to a much higher level and does so keeping operating pressures under 34,075psi. The 147gr XTPs I've tested held together, 1155fps (ES 08fps, SD 03fps) with under max powder weight loads, but VihtaVuori max powder weight loads have tested over 1200fps and stayed w/i standard pressures.

    While Underwood and Buffalo Bore offer 147gr +P+ ammunition for sale, the handloader, with the right powder can match or exceed those velocities at standard pressures.

    The handloaded HS-7 9mm/125gr Gold Dot @1317fps is heads up with the above 357 SIG gel picture posted above. :)
     
  24. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    I'm waiting for someone to post the addition of the 10mm round to that chart, complete with the nuclear blast wound profile.
     
  25. 481

    481 Member

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    How do you know for certain what that 147 gr JHP was fired from?

    That velocity (1032 fps) is well within the capacity of the 9mm cartridge for 147 gr JHPs - in fact, my Glock 19 routinely launches standard pressure Hornady 147 gr XTPs and Federal 147 gr HydraShoks at speeds well in excess of that figure.
     
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