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Preferred caliber: 9mm or 40 for personal defense?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Chuck123, Mar 17, 2006.

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  1. Chuck123

    Chuck123 Member

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    Last year I sold my Glock 26, 9mm because my two adult boys have 40 cal. and I thought it would be nice to have the same cal in the family. Also a couple of years ago I started to reading reviews were the 40 cal is a preferred caliber over the 9mm and a lot of people and police departments are switching over to the 40's.

    I now have a Glock 23, 40 cal and like it very much but, sometimes I can't help thinking a glock 9mm would have be OK to carry with the P+ and or P++ shells out now. There is so much mixed information about personal defense ammo. Is the 40 cal. really the way to go over the 9mm if you can only afford one handgun for now?

    Chuck
     
  2. MikeJ

    MikeJ Member

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    IMHO, the 40 has a slight edge on the 9mm. That said, I also believe that if you choose top notch 9mm rounds you are very well served by that caliber. As has been said so many times before, shot placement is really what its all about when you get into the major defensive rounds, 9mm, 40, 45 etc.
     
  3. shield20

    shield20 Member

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    Yes. .40 starts out bigger, can expand more and so makes bigger holes. Like you said, all those police are transitioning over for a reason.
     
  4. ravencon

    ravencon Member

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    The 9mm offers more rounds in a more compact pistol and cheaper practice ammo. The 40 cal is probably a somewhat better defensive round.

    Owning both would not be a bad thing!
     
  5. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    To me, the difference is negligable. I like 9mm for faster follow-up and the lower cost of ammo, which allows me to practice more. Honestly you're fine with either one.
     
  6. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    I prefer 9MM. With modern, +P JHP ammo the ballistics are very similar to .40. The difference in diameter is so small its meaningless.
     
  7. Top_Notch

    Top_Notch Member

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    If you're going to go to 40 over 9 because it's bigger why wouldn't you just go 45 then?
     
  8. hurrakane212

    hurrakane212 Member

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    uh huh

    Shield said...
    Yes. .40 starts out bigger, can expand more and so makes bigger holes. Like you said, all those police are transitioning over for a reason.
    __________________

    uh huh... but is it a GOOD reason? The FBI thought they needed a 10mm because their agents couldn't hit the broad side of a barn from the inside.
    .40 is more expensive then both 9mm and .45acp. I shoot .45's but I want to get a 9mm soon because the ammo is so cheap. As far as bang for your buck, I don't think the .40 is superior enough over the 9mm to justify the price increase. Just my opinion though, shoot what you like and hit what you aim at.~Nathan
     
  9. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    The gun may not be available in 45.

    May want a thinner gun.

    May want faster ammo

    May want a lighter gun

    Gun might fit the hand better.

    Etc.
     
  10. Jiml3

    Jiml3 Member

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    Go with whatever you shoot best!
     
  11. CAnnoneer

    CAnnoneer Member

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    9mm for me is perfect. The .40 and .45 are significantly more expensive and kick too much for me for a good followup speed. In a gunfight, you would want to place as many shots as possible, as fast as possible, as well as possible. 9mm fills that bill for me.
     
  12. 1911user

    1911user Member

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    IMO a good 9mm load is good enough for carry and defense shooting. Adding more recoil, muzzle flip, ammo expense, and reduced capacity does not seem like a good trade-off for general use. If you have unique needs that the 40 meets better, then use it and accept the consequences of your choice. Just make sure you can shoot accurately with whatever you choose.
     
  13. honkeoki

    honkeoki Member

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    Every time I go to the range and shoot my 9mm, I start asking the same question. The brass just looks so small next to the .40s and .45s laying on the floor. Then I look at this pic:

    [​IMG]

    ... which reminds me that, with QUALITY ammunition and SHOT PLACEMENT, caliber is not really an issue.

    I also like the advice "Have no faith in your defensive handgun caliber or load" -- seems like sound advice to me.
     
  14. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Member

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    That's funny.....

    I look at that picture and see the temporary wound cavity of the .45 that meets or exceeds all others, punctuated by that huge, starred chunk of metal, and I pat my Colt Compact knowingly and go back to being completely comfortable with my good old Fo-Five.
     
  15. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    To me, the bottom four look much better than the top two.
     
  16. isp2605

    isp2605 Member

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    Having seen all 4 calibers in real human tissue, I couldn't tell the difference between any of them.
     
  17. Top_Notch

    Top_Notch Member

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    He mentioned Glock. Same thickness, available in same size, same fit, etc...

    Personally, I don't get it. Get the nine or go 45.
     
  18. harrydog

    harrydog Member

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    I don't get it either. I own both 9mm and .45 and that's it. Sold my .40. I see no reason for it.
     
  19. Biker

    Biker Member

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    Bigger bullet equals bigger hole, all things being equal. I own nines, but I carry a.45 or a .40.
    Shoot the biggest bullet you can control.
    Biker
     
  20. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    The .45 Glock 21 and 30 are thicker than their closest counterparts in .40 and 9mm as well as being heavier. Yea, there's the 36 but no one buys it. :)
     
  21. happy g

    happy g Member

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    9mm is a good round. Ammo is cheap and available everywhere. 9mm ammo has developed by leaps and bounds since the "wonder nine " years of the early eighties. If you like a 9 the carry it. Take a look at Ranger 127gr.+p+, Cor-bon Dpx, and Speer GoldDot 124gr. +p. All three are great rounds. If you want a 40 then look at GoldenSaber 165 gr. Another great round. I've gotten rid of my 40 for a 9. I shoot the 9 better. I also love the 45. Both fit me well. NYPD carry a 124+p. Gold Dot, LA uses a 127 +p+. Good enough for me. For what it is worth, I carry a Glock 19 or a Kimber CDP Ultra. I don't feel under gunned with either. But, sometimes it is nice to know that I've got 16 rounds on my hip. The key is a good head on your shoulders and shot placement.
     
  22. silverlance

    silverlance Member

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    hm

    I have a sig p228 w/ 9rds of 9mm federal EFMJ +p.
    Advantages of penetration, low recoil, guaranteed expansion.
    I'm very accurate with it - much better than I am with any of my other guns, including rifles (then again my only rifle ATM is an sks).

    .40 is also very good. recoil isn't so bad. but the current p229 feels to clunky to me, and I don't like it personally although I must say that it is also a very fine gun.

    I live in CA, so I am limited to 10 rounds unless I stumble across a 13rnd mag that the ammo fairy tucked away in my house before the ban.

    thinking about it, I realize that if I do get another HD hgun, I will most likely pick up a .45acp - and that most likely a 1911 as I am convinced that the 2 series sigs tend to favor the 9mm and .357sig rather than .45 or .40.

    my experiences with 1911s have all been very good - full frame guns that absorb a whole lot of recoil.
     
  23. Desk Jockey

    Desk Jockey Member

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    I've been asking myself this question as I'm about to buy something in either 40 or 45. My purchase will have a 3.5 to 4-inch barrel. I'm leaning toward the 40 for the following reasons. Feel free to set me straight if I'm in error.....

    1) Short-barrel performance: 45 data is generally with 5-inch barrel, and 40 data with 4-inch barrel. If I get something with a 3.9-inch barrel, I guessing that the 40 performance will be at spec (for given ammo), but that 45 performance will be less than spec. Example: Baby Eagle semi-compact with 3.93-inch barrel in both 40 and 45.

    2) Ammo cost: Although both 40 and 45 are more expensive than 9mm, from what I've seen, 40 is less expensive than 45. This is based on a simple shelf price comparison at 4 stores and Cabella's online.

    3) I'm pretty sure I had a third reason, but it's escaping me at the moment and I need to run.

    Go ahead and convince me that a short-barreled 45 is better than a short-barreled 40. I'm not prejudiced either way yet.
     
  24. Vex

    Vex Member

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    The difference between 9mm and .40 is .045". The difference between .40 and .45 is .051". So why is the .45 so much "better" (and i use that term very loosely) than the .40?

    With this logic, the difference between 9mm and .32 is only .043". So why don't you use a .32acp?

    Check this out: http://www.on-targetrange.com/energy.shtml

    Using the built in data from remington, the efficacy from 9mm to .40 is 23. The difference in efficacy from 40 to 45 is 1.

    Capacity.
     
  25. sm

    sm member

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    9mm
     
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