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9mm or .40?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by scorchedearthpolicy, Feb 26, 2012.

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  1. scorchedearthpolicy

    scorchedearthpolicy Member

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    I just bought an Astra A75 9mm and now my brother is in the market for his 1st handgun too. Hes been looking @ the Ruger SR9c. He will mostly have it for target shooting with home defense if needed. Hes wanting to know which should he buy...the 9mm or the .40? Thanks!
     
  2. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    If he has never owned a handgun, the 9mm. Probably not the compact model either. The full size SR9 would be better suited to target practice and home defense
     
  3. 4thHorseman

    4thHorseman Member

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    For target shooting I would go with the 9mm. Home defense is no slouch also with the 9mm+P. Ammo is cheaper and it is easier to shoot. JMHO :)
     
  4. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    If he has to ask, perhaps he hasn't done a ton of research. Of course, he may have, and this question may just be part of the research process. As a new shooter, i'd suggest reading everything he can get his hands on, and going and hanging out with knowledgeable gun folks. Then, handle and preferably shoot everything he is considering. in doing those things, he'll find his won answer.
    Until then, a .22lr pistol is a great way to get started.
     
  5. writerinmo

    writerinmo Member

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    I have both. Not having ever shot myself with either of them, I'd say it's a tossup in that regard. As far as target shooting, it's much cheaper to shoot the 9mm, I buy my ammo for around $10 a box of 50, the only thing close to that in .40 is Tulammo which is steel cased. Works fine, just not reloadable. Other than that, you are talking around $6 a box higher for Federal, and on up for other manufacturers. I shoot 180gr in the .40 and 147gr in the 9mm, they seem pretty comparable as far as recoil.
     
  6. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    I suggest he do his own research.

    But if I were to advise one way or the other, I would say 9mm. Good for home and personal defense, and cheap to shoot. Ton of options as far as guns, and super common ammo. .40 is more expensive and a crippled 10mm, IMO.
     
  7. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    Another vote for 9mm. Shot placement is more important than just about anything else, and 9mm is a lot cheaper to practice with.

    Plus, there's not much difference between 9mm +P and .40, IMO, as far as power goes.

    Also, more handguns come in 9mm. So when he expands the collection, he's less likely to have to buy another caliber.
     
  8. Panzercat

    Panzercat Member

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    Law enforcement moved away from 9mm for a reason, but hey, it's cheaper to feed. Recoil has more snap to it as opposed to the .40s "push" IMO.

    That said, i had a 9mm for my HD gun for the longest time.
     
  9. rugerman07

    rugerman07 Member

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    A lot of improvements have been made to 9mm ammo over the last few decades, there is a lot of very good HD ammo available nowadays.
     
  10. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

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    I have both and carry both, depending on the situation. The 9mm has been around for over 100 years so it has something going for it. Either is just fine for your friend's application. The 9mm is cheaper to shoot though....chris3
     
  11. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

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    I have both 9 & .40 (Glock 19 & 23) loaded in gunsafe in my bedroom, along with shortbarrel Mossberg500, and having shot all thousands of rounds and taken Gunsite 250 Pistol class with my better half, I'm grabbing the 500 and the .40 because wife will have her 19. The better gun is the one you train with and shoot well, but make no mistake...your primary weapon is ALWAYS the soft, mushy, gray one the Good Lord placed between your ears.

    As far as training ammo, I use BVAC bulk round from cheaperthandirt.com they are out of stock a lot but order them anyway and they ship as soon as they get them in. We've shot several thousand rounds of both 9 & .40 and all shoots great.
     
  12. Pupulepete

    Pupulepete Member

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    +1 moss 500 for HD. IMHO 9mm seems more fun to shoot at the range.
     
  13. Winkman822

    Winkman822 Member

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    I would take 9 over .40 any day. I've got a good bit of experience with various .40 S&W chambered handguns including the ones I've owned and can affirmatively say that I prefer 9 over .40 and .45 over both. The way I see it is this, the .40 packs a hell of a punch, but recoil is fairly strong. Bullet weight wise, you run anywhere from 135gr to 180 gr, so basically a super lightweight extreme high velocity .45 up to a typical .45 +P loading. Yes you can cram a few more rounds of .40 into a mag than for a similarly sized .45, but for as snappy as the .40 recoils, I'd rather just have a .45.

    On the other hand if you get a 9 with the right load, you can getplenty of ammo and good ballistic performance. In a 9mm, you can get anything from 10 to 19 rounds in a standard sized mag, depending of course on where you live (i.e. are you in a restricted mag capacity state) and what gun you have (Sig 226 for 15+1, XD9 full size at 16+1, Glock 17 at 17+1, and XD-M at 19+1), you can get plenty of ammo that's effective with the right load, and much softer on the recoil end allowing for easier on target follow up shots.

    I had a USP Compact in .40, a Walther P99QA in .40, two Glock 23s, and I've shot several different Sigs in .40. I honestly prefer my .45 1911 over any .40 chambered handgun if I want a heavier round, and if I want mag capacity, high velocity, and a ease of quick and accurate follow up shots, I'll take a 9. FWIW, I carry a .45 1911 daily.
     
  14. COgunner

    COgunner Member

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    +1 Later today, I'm selling both of my .40 pistols and all .40 ammo. Just don't enjoy shooting .40 and therefor, don't shoot it well. Getting a nice new 1911 and more .45 reloading components.
     
  15. Panzercat

    Panzercat Member

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    On the topic of a nine, capacity has a quality all its own. Still a fan of my new 1911 and big holes tho. If I need more than 7 rounds, I had better be making my way to my SU16c and using that instead.
     
  16. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    Nothing wrong with the .40 round, but I never bought into it either. I have kept buying, owning, and shooting 9MM and .45 ACP which I enjoy immensely. If I ever did buy a pistol in .40, I'm sure I'd just reload for it and download it for target practice, so what's the point? I guess if I wanted a good deal on a police trade in I might get one, as that seems to be what most police departments are using these days.
     
  17. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    There's very little terminal difference between the two when loaded with good quality, well designed JHP ammunition.

    9mm is cheaper and has a lot of other benefits to it. That's what I would suggest for a first pistol, though if he finds a good deal on a good pistol in .40 that he can't get in 9mm, go for that instead. Actually for general range use and keeping around the house, CDNN has S&W 5906 pistols for about $300, those are/were $750-800 guns when they were still being made, and parts support for them will be around forever.
     
  18. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I completely agree with NG. With modern ammo, the difference in effectiveness is negligible, and 9mm is cheaper, higher capacity, and easier to shoot.
     
  19. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

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    For most designs, I would say this is true, but I think the SR9/SR9C is a bit of an exception. I would personally recommend the SR9C over the SR9 as a range/HD gun.

    The reason for this is that the SR9C has a nicer (smoother & crisper) trigger than the SR9 (at least as of early 2011). Every range report I've seen has indicated that the SR9C is every bit as accurate as the full-size SR9 (apparently the lack of a little bit of sight radius is offset by the better trigger feel), and for HD and range work, the SR9C can accept the full-size pistol's 17-rd magazine (and benefit from the longer grip length).

    You also get the added benefit of a pistol that is much easier to carry concealed if you eventually decide to use it for such.
     
  20. Pietro Beretta

    Pietro Beretta Member

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    There is nothing wrong with a compact gun for home defense, in my opinion at least the SR9C is a great pistol.

    If you can shoot it well, it doesn't matter if you get a full, small, or compact frame. I would stay away from the single stack 9's for a first firearm just due to the fact they are not as friendly to shoot, they slap your hand more sometimes causing people to NOT have fun shooting the small single stack mouse guns. If its going to be a home self defense gun, you want to learn how to shoot proficiently and keep practicing -- meaning you want to have fun doing it, if you don't have fun with a firearm while shooting it -- your not going to want to practice.

    A smaller frame pistol will have more of a kick, especially in a .40 -- its a much snappier recoil.

    My first pistol was a Springfield XD Sub-compact in .40, and I learned to shoot it rather well. After getting a 9 and a 45 -- they are much more manageable. The 9 has less "snap" the .45 has more of a push instead of a snap. (Hard to explain)

    Both calibers are great choices, 9X19 is less$, .40 is more$.

    Go to a range and test out a few rentals, it will help in the decision.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  21. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    Many LE agencies are actually going back to the 9mm, a factor being the .40 S&W's snappy recoil. I have never heard anyone describe the .40 S&W recoil as a "push" and I have never shot a .40 that was a "push" compared to a 9mm

    I am curious as to which platforms you have fired these calibers from to make you feel that the 9mm is snappier than the .40?
     
  22. scorchedearthpolicy

    scorchedearthpolicy Member

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  23. scorchedearthpolicy

    scorchedearthpolicy Member

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    Thanks for all the great replies! This has been VERY helpful.
     
  24. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    www.cdnninvestments.com

    Last I knew, they don't show firearms on their website, but you can download their catalogue and that has all of their guns in it. They buy lots of used guns and closeouts of every type, including a good number of very well maintained police trade-ins. Sometimes even department marked, which isn't worth anything but to some people is a pretty cool little tidbit.

    They also have the best selection of magazines and generally prices that are competitive with even the best sales that other sites have, and frequently have specials like free shipping or included presents, inexpensive things like knives, flashlights, or shooting glasses.

    I'd say if your choice is between a new Ruger SR9C or a 5906 in good shape, and you're not specifically buying for concealment, get the S&W. They are cheap now, but they are very well made guns and their prices will go back up eventually. Even if he doesn't end up liking it much, at $300 plus shipping and transfer fee, he won't lose money on it if he sells it off later.
     
  25. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    And for what it's worth when I first got into shooting I was a die-hard .40 advocate. I still respect and like the caliber quite a bit, but I have grown out of and learned my way out of my fascination with it to the exclusion of other calibers. They really are basically identical in terminal performance if you're comparing current manufacture duty-oriented JHPs like the HST, Gold Dot, or Ranger-T.
     
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