An M.D. Argues the 40 S&W...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Garandimal, Jul 19, 2019.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Tallball

    Tallball Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2014
    Messages:
    5,053
    I own plenty of handguns in all three of those calibers.

    I "suppose" that given similar pistols a 45acp maybe has more recoil for me than a 9mm, but in full-sized service pistols it's apparently not enough to matter. For me 45acp has never felt like a high-recoil round (though admittedly I have never owned a small handgun in that caliber). Of the three, 40 caliber feels just a little bit snappier to me, but it's still plenty comfortable. I have full-sized Tanfoglios and Ruger P-series in all three calibers. They are all nice big pistols with plenty of grip for me to hang onto. To me the difference in recoil in those three calibers in nearly identical pistols is barely noticeable and therefore unimportant.

    It seems like putting bigger holes through things should logically cause more structural damage, but the 9mm pistols generally hold a few more rounds... so, again, I'm personally fine with any of the "big three".
     
    bsms, SharpDog and pblanc like this.
  2. Garandimal

    Garandimal member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2017
    Messages:
    2,899
    Location:
    Lee of Death Valley, ...where Tigers feed.
    Have a LWD 5.3" .357Sig Bbl for the G23.4.

    The factory 147 gr. HDY Custom XTP, which is a proprietary bullet of FP construction, at 1300 fps, make for a very effective field/trail round.

    701883.jpg




    GR
     
    SharpDog and tommy.duncan like this.
  3. RedlegRick

    RedlegRick Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2017
    Messages:
    653
    After jumping through all the hoops to get my NYS pistol permit, and after getting a Ruger standard .22, I had some decisions to make.

    I've owned a good number of handguns living out west, so I knew what I was looking for. Had some criteria to contend with some don't factor in as much.

    Cost of the weapon and ammo were part of it, but another was me. I've broken both wrists numerous times (I lived hard), and over the years I've become a bit recoil intolerant. .357 right now is my upper limit, and if I had one, she'd be throwing .38s and downloaded .357s.

    There were a ton of surplus .40s where I got my Glock, some cheaper than what I paid, but ammo was notably higher than 9mm. Another was my near total unfamiliarity with the round, and the clincher was the salesman telling me .40 was 'livelier' than .45 was. My decision to go with 9mm was based on those factors, not terminal ballistics.
     
  4. vba

    vba Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    345
    I'm in the .45 ACP camp. Large, heavy bullets with enough momentum to break bone.

    I've hunted with normal velocity .45 Colt (around the same power as .45 ACP) on deer and it takes them down fast. I would not do that with 9mm. Deer are about the same weight as a small human.

    The deer were taken with 255 grain Cast SWC's. The .45 Colt and .45 ACP was designed to take down a charging horse. Picture that with 9mm, it would do it ....eventually.
     
  5. Tallball

    Tallball Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2014
    Messages:
    5,053
    Just in case someone is kind of struggling to choose between a 9mm and 40 caliber service pistol...

    I bought one of those dirt-cheap Glock 22 police turn-ins. It was about $300 OTD. I always kind of wanted a Model 17, though. Lone Wolf was having a sale, and I bought a drop-in 9mm conversion barrel and Model 17 magazine for $126 total (free shipping).

    Now I can turn my Model 22 into a Model 17 in about 30 seconds. Both calibers work great. Why settle for just one, when you can have them both for just a little more money? :)
     
    SharpDog, Buzznrose and RedlegRick like this.
  6. harrygunner

    harrygunner Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,045
    The FBI went from a grading system to pass/fail.

    Some translate a pass to mean just-as-good-as an "A" grade.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
    SharpDog, WrongHanded and ATLDave like this.
  7. Palolosj

    Palolosj member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2019
    Messages:
    228
    They now have to be all inclusive, therefore, 9x19 is more suitable choice. I wish people would stop with the BS that 9x19 is equal to 11.43x23.
     
    SharpDog and vba like this.
  8. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    2,955
    I've found .45 to have no less felt recoil than .40 and given how much cheaper I can buy .40 JHP for vs .45, yeah, it's an easy choice to go .40. About the only time I feel the recoil snap with .40 is in the Glock 27 and while I can't machine gun the trigger like with 9mm, I can get an accurate shot each trigger pull in less than a second.

    9mm is cheap and has the lowest recoil of the three, so people like it and people are always obsessed with minimizing calibers so they don't bother with .40.

    I like how @Garandimal has a tier system with calibers, because I have the same. For a small CCW gun, the 9mm in a single stack is the best. Controllable, accurate, and effective for stopping a group of Antifa thugs, but my war pistol is a full size .40. Why? It's a bigger, heavier bullet in the same size as a 9mm pistol and it holds more ammo than the .45 pistols do and costs a lot less to feed.

    All the arguments people have made about .40 causing service life of pistols to drastically decrease, being snappy like it's a .357 in a snub revolver, bankrupting people due to the ammo price... it's all things that the internet has blown out of proportion, just like how 30 years ago every gun store employee, every article in a gun magazine, and everyone at gun shows said 9mm was a puny projectile meant only for European metrosexuals while the .45 is a man's caliber proven since WW1 to put any man in his grave and keep him there.
     
  9. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    2,955
    Because when you go to sell that gun in the future, you won't get as much as a "real" 9mm Glock.

    Or so I'm told.

    Cuz, ya know, when I buy my guns, resale value is always foremost in my mind.
     
  10. Charlie Martinez

    Charlie Martinez Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2018
    Messages:
    542
    Location:
    Florida
    The back & forth between 9mm & 40 S&W is a good question. I had the opportunity to discuss this with a LEO & he told me that police departments were getting real stingy with ammo & that they once gave unlimited practice ammo to officers but now it's all very regulated & rationed.

    I don't think effectiveness or recoil have anything to do with the decision by many departments to use 9 mm. I believe economy is the reason.

    The two rounds have been compared a million times & although there are opinions as to which is better there is no conclusive evidence. When you need to purchase huge quantities of ammo even a slight difference in cost per round makes a significant difference. The bean counters at City Hall probably decided that if the difference in effectiveness between the two rounds is cloudy choosing the more expensive route is unwise especially when money is needed for other important uses.

    It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that money is the principal driving force behind the decision. I may be wrong but that's my take on the subject.
     
    SharpDog, kcofohio, Mike J and 2 others like this.
  11. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    14,621
    Location:
    Georgia
    The 9X19 has always equaled, or beat, the 45 ACP and the army proved it in 1946. Contrary to popular myth the military was disappointed in both the 45 ACP and 1911 pistols at the end of WW-2. They spent a lot of time testing 45 side by side with 9mm and concluded that there was no difference in effectiveness on humans. They also showed that 9mm penetrated barriers much better. 45's were bouncing off GI helmets at ranges beyond 10 yards while 9mm was still penetrating them in excess of 100 yards They wanted to make the move to 9mm then, but warehouses full of 1911's, no war, and budget cuts delayed that until 1985.

    Even a 45 caliber hole is a SMALL hole relatively. The size of the hole hasn't been a factor since we stopped using round balls. With round balls the only way to go heavier is larger diameter. With conical bullets you can use smaller diameter bullets and make them LONGER to get penetration. A 22 doesn't have enough mass to guarantee adequate penetration. The only reason to justify larger calibers today is because you cannot get enough bullet weight in a smaller caliber. The 147 9mm bullets will match or beat 230 gr 45 bullets or 180 gr 40 caliber bullets. There are some hard cast 9mm bullets that will exceed 60" in gel.

    Penetration and shot placement trump everything else. If the bullet penetrates enough to reach vitals it will do the job. Making the hole larger, or even deeper just doesn't change anything. 9mm does that just fine. And anyway you look at it 9mm pistols of the same size hold more rounds, recoil less, will be cheaper to shoot, and for most people be more accurate.

    Where 40 caliber, or 10mm shine is that they shoot heavier bullets, 200-220, that will give more penetration than needed on game or predators much larger than humans. While 45's will shoot even heavier bullets, the fat bullets actually limit penetration to LESS than 9mm or 10mm.
     
    Theohazard and JR24 like this.
  12. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    2,955
    Hunting's not a factor in this discussion, it's effect on the human body to stop an attacker. Breaking bones on a target and killing is irrelevant, it's stopping a threat. When shot accurately, 9mm works, any of the big 3 (9, .40, .45) will work.

    I've been watching the LuckyGunner mousegun series since it started and so far what's jumped out as the best caliber for a very small, pocket sized gun is .32, not .380 or .38. Why? Because while the larger calibers are more effective, they're also more difficult to shoot and in such a small gun... you get the idea.

    In a subcompact pistol like the Glock 26 or Sig P365, I can see why 9mm is favored vs the larger .40 and .45. Someone said earlier that in a full size gun it's seems irrelevant what the caliber is, they all shoot about the same, just the terminal effects are different with the sole outlier in the mainstream calibers being 10mm.
     
    Jeb Stuart and JR24 like this.
  13. labnoti

    labnoti Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2018
    Messages:
    1,892
    It seems a significant portion of the US had German-envy. Now I won't say that anyone envied what the Nazi's accomplished or suggest that they had even veiled admiration for anything Nazi, but rather the Germans gave both the US and Russia some brilliant innovations, including the rockets that became ICBM's and ultimately took man to the moon (today, 50 years ago). Specific to small arms, the Sturmgewehr directly inspired what became the AK-47. The S&W Model 39 was basically a copy of the Walther P-38 entered into the Service Pistol Trials of 1954. For the kind of reasons you cite, nothing became of that for some time, but the Model 59 was just a double-stack version of the P-38, and ultimately, the Army adopted the M9 which was basically a double-stack P-38 with a slide-mounted front sight.

    But the Americans had already pioneered other cartridges superior to the .45 ACP -- the .38 Super and then the .357 Magnum. The problem for those adhering to current trends is the ultimate culmination of this effort, the Magnum, was made suitable for the Americans' preference for revolvers rather than automatics. Even in the Army, Generals like Patton preferred the more American revolver.

    It's not so much bullet weight that results in penetration, but sectional density. If it were weight, large balls would penetrate magnificently. But great sectional density typically takes length (or tungsten or depleted uranium or some such thing). And length doesn't lend itself well to fitting inside a handgrip that's already fattened excessively by double-stacking.
     
  14. vba

    vba Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    345
    You state all this as fact but I don't see any references. I understood the U.S. went to 9mm to have commonality with other nations. It is a lighter round so that logistics would be easier.
     
  15. vba

    vba Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    345
    Why is hunting not a factor? Humans are an animal right? Then you go on to say:

    "I've been watching the LuckyGunner mousegun series since it started and so far what's jumped out as the best caliber for a very small, pocket sized gun is .32, not .380 or .38. Why? Because while the larger calibers are more effective, they're also more difficult to shoot and in such a small gun... you get the idea."

    So now your saying larger calibers are more effective! Non-sequeteur.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  16. the duck of death

    the duck of death Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Messages:
    78
    "QUOTE"
    You won't stop anything if you can't hit it.

    I carry a Glock 29 10MM & I can hit with it--GUESS I'm OK.:cool:
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
    SharpDog likes this.
  17. Anchorite

    Anchorite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2018
    Messages:
    552
    This ^

    I tried a 22 and a 23 and every time I just came thinking......why? I can’t escape certain facts.....velocity and bullet weight are not relevant. Bullet diameter and shot placement are. Bigger bullets make bigger holes, period. I have since abandoned the 40 and stick with the 9/45. YMMV.
     
    vba likes this.
  18. Anchorite

    Anchorite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2018
    Messages:
    552
    To me, everything is a compromise. I feel that the 40 is all that one can reasonably squeeze out of a pistola..... sure, the 9mm is a nice compromise of bullet diameter, capacity and frame size. I just see the 40 as a solution in search of a problem....it has all the benefits and drawbacks of both the 9 and the 45, but doesn’t really offer anything either round doesn’t.
     
    jonb32248 likes this.
  19. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,881
    Location:
    Tennessee
  20. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    7,964
    Location:
    SE GA
    Excellent post sir.

    Funny enough, I recently traded a 45 for a 9mm.
     
  21. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    2,955
    It does tho. Tell me how much a box of .45 JHP costs vs a box of .40 JHP. Generally, .45 JHP is $36+ for 50 and isn't well known, the surplus FBI .40 is about $20 for 50 and has a proven track record, that's a big difference and it offers a larger bullet moving faster than what 9mm could propel a 180 grain bullet.

    Does that mean anything in a compact single stack CCW pistol that you'll only ever use for up close and personal situations? Meh, I don't think so, it's in the full size pistols you see the difference.

    The .40 was a solution to the issue of bad 9mm projectiles in the 80s and able to offer higher capacities than .45's of the time. To me, capacities aren't critical, mag reloads can be done in the blink of an eye. For me it comes down to price and real world performance. .40 beats the .45 in both, 9mm beats them both in price and is a good performer, but not superior to either in performance.

    As we've seen, nothing in the FBI or other LEO switching back to 9mm states that 9mm is now the best caliber for pistols, it just passes the requirements that it previously failed decades ago, does so with reduced recoil relative to larger caliber options so women can shoot it better, and for the lowest ammo price possible.
     
    Anchorite likes this.
  22. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2004
    Messages:
    9,483
    Location:
    WNY
    I have 9mm Glocks and 1911 - 45 ACP. I ditched the 40 Glock and settled on the two former calibers. I found the 40 snappy and the 45 is mild to me. The stopping power arguments are secondary to ability to shoot with any of these three.
     
    Anchorite and Deanimator like this.
  23. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    7,964
    Location:
    SE GA
    I’m thinking that for all these reasons, the .357 Sig is also pretty worthless. Interesting but pointless.

    Does it do any better at penetrating cover?
     
  24. labnoti

    labnoti Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2018
    Messages:
    1,892
    and Europeans. Women and Europeans.
     
  25. Mike J

    Mike J Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,810
    Location:
    Georgia
    I don't remember right now if he compared them for penetrating cover but Paul Harrel has a series of videos up on youtube where he compares service pistol calibers. I know there is a video where he compares .40 to 9mm, one where he compares .40 to .45 & one where he compares .40 to .357 Sig. I thought they were interesting to watch. You might too. Y'all are right about 9mm practice ammunition being cheaper than .40 practice ammunition. As one who carries a .40 I have been thinking about picking up a conversion barrel just for cheaper practice. I tend to believe the complaints about .40 wearing out guns faster & being much snappier come from .40 being shoehorned into pistols designed for 9mm. I believe it better if one is going to shoot .40 to get a pistol that was originally designed for .40.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice