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Can you easily distinguish between most 9x19 and .40 cal. ammo rds.?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Ignition Override, Jan 10, 2018.

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  1. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    Loose ammo: Without trying to read the headstamps?

    Sure it might be a dumb question, but some of us will end up with plenty of loose rounds in those plastic tool boxes which hold gun gear. One or two of us are equally new to both chamberings.

    My 40 brass appears just a mm or so longer than my 9mm, when both rounds are available for comparison. I have no idea what most bullets' lengths are like, but just ordered 1,000 Tula for each type. Maybe the bullets (the projectiles-not the steel cases) don't resemble each other.
     
  2. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Yes I can. But why wouldn't you take the time to clean up loose rounds and be positive about what cartridge they are?

    Lest you have to start a thread about shooting a 9mm in your 40 cal. There's been threads like that before.
     
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  3. mokin

    mokin Member

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    Yep.

    Distinguishing between .40 S&W and 10mm Auto is a little more tricky sometimes.
     
  4. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Yes. But only due to an extreme familiarity with the size of the 9mm, relatively, when held in hand. I shoot 40, but not nearly as much as 9mm, and it jumps out as "just a little too big," just as .380acp jumpst out as "just a little too small."

    When I'm sorting ammo or brass, the side by side is all too easy, but I usually do rely upon headstamp for irrefutable confirmation.
     
  5. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I sort brass for reloading. Once you get good at sorting you just kinda see it for what it is and put it in the right pile. 38 vs 357 is much tougher than 9 vs 40. Gets REALLY fun when you get parent case and wildcat in the same batch...270 vs 30-06 or 7-08 vs 308 makes the eyes go crossed, but you can normally check headstamp...unless you shoot something exotic like 20practical alongside a .223 since 20prac is made from .223.

    I chased a rabbit didn't i... nope no problem for me to visually distinguish. I am a brass hound too so I challenge myself not to be wrong when I'm picking up range brass.
     
  6. bersaguy

    bersaguy Member

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    Yup, sure can. Took a while though. But after sorting 2 or 3 of the Sams Club size coffee cans full of range brass, I can pretty reliably sort the 40s from the 9s and the 9s from the 380s without looking at the headstamp. The few makarov rounds I find...those are hard to pick up on
     
  7. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    The MOST COMMON .40 "hardball" (or non-hollow point) rounds have bullets with a BLUNT tip, which makes it easy to tell the loaded cartridges apart. Self defense ammo would be a bit harder to tell apart at a glance -- but neither type (like hardball) wouldn't work in wrong caliber.

    Note: the 9mm MIGHT rounds MIGHT feed, if they stay in the mag, and they might fire, but it'll not be an accurate shot. (And it's unlikely to do any damage to anything but your self-esteem.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  8. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Yes, but I would never put myself in a position where I needed to. Separate boxes for each load, and DEFINITELY for each caliber.

    Empty brass? Yes, still easy to tell 9mm and 40 at a glance. 40 and 10mm are a little tougher; 10mm and 38 super comp are surprisingly difficult to tell apart at a glance/on the ground. The 38 super is almost like a 90% scale model of the 10mm - the proportions are almost identical.
     
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  9. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

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    Yes, I can easily distinguish the two.

    I read the headstamp.
     
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  10. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    Yeah, but you didn't answer the question asked, which was:

    "Can you easily distinguish between most 9x19 and .40 cal. ammo rds.?


    Loose ammo: Without trying to read the headstamps?"
     
  11. glc24
    • Contributing Member

    glc24 Contributing Member

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    When we all shoot up at camp, I've picked up enough 40 brass that I have no problem seeing the diameter difference. So for me a loaded round wouldn't be any different either.
     
  12. RETG

    RETG Member

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    Yes, both JHP and FMJ.
     
  13. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    When you can spot a 9x18 in a handful of 9x19, you will be ready, grasshopper. :D
     
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  14. ttarp

    ttarp Member

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    Live rounds yes, picking up empty casings on the range, not so much.
     
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  15. CZ9shooter

    CZ9shooter Member

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    IMO, loaded ammo is very easy to tell apart, even when separated by large distances, or after not seeing them in a quite a while.

    Empty cases though, can be tough to distinguish unless they are laying next to each other. Sometimes I pick up 40 cases thinking they are 9mm, other times I think they might be a 45.

    However, after several minutes of picking them up I will begin to spot them more easily. But if I take a few weeks off and then come back to the range, it becomes difficult to tell the difference again. I dont load 40, so I dont spend much time observing them other than what lays around on the ground.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  16. Pelo801

    Pelo801 Member

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    Spotting that one 32 auto case amongst a pile of 22 casings from two lanes over, now that's a brass hound.
     
  17. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    Don't ever have loose rounds rolling around. Every round is in an ammo box properly marked.
     
  18. Mike J

    Mike J Member

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    I'm not a reloader but I don't have any problem telling .40 & 9mm apart, either the live ammo or the cases. You just get used to seeing them & you know.
     
  19. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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    I have to say I distinguish them at first sight... And in my country you have to deal with .40 S&W brass vs 9x21 IMI brass and they have both the same 21mm lenght. It's all about eyes training...
     
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  20. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    Kinda the same as picking out the 1/4-20s from a bucket of bolts at work. After you work with stuff for awhile, you become familiar and the different items stand apart.
     
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  21. HB

    HB Member

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    Wait until you reload. I can eyeball Hornady 357 brass vs other brands etc.
     
  22. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    All my 40 and 9mm ammo are reloads and the bullet profiles are quite different.
     
  23. L-2

    L-2 Member

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    No, I can't always distinguish the differences in the rounds or cases.

    I find it hardest when the rounds or the cases are laying around, like on the ground, with no other calibers around, such as when only 9mm casings or only .40 casings are on the ground or in a bucket (buckets are used at the range I frequent).

    There are times when I've picked up a casing and thought it was going to be a 9mm, but it turns out to be a .40 or sometimes it turns out to be a .380.

    I'm not a reloader and generally don't sort or pick up brass.

    Another hard one for me is distinguishing .38 Special from .357 Mag whether loaded or just the casings.

    I do rely upon headstamps.
     
  24. ih772

    ih772 Member

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    Yes I can tell immediately. I've handled enough brass from reloading that it's second nature.
     
  25. warnerwh

    warnerwh Member

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    x2 You can feel the diameter of a .40 over a 9mm. And as the person above said this no doubt is due to reloading.
     
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