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The Firing Line

.40 S&W vs. 9mm

Uploaded on January 23, 2009

I just want to know what everyone's opinon is. I myself am a .40 S&W fan. I like that you can have a heavier bullet with similar ballistics of the allmighty .45, or a lighter weight bullet and get similar ballistics of the 9mm. Personally I like something a little bigger. I have no problem controlling the .45. The .40 just seems to "fit" me.

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from Carney wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

MHO = the the .40 stomps the 9. The 10 stomps the .40.

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from timmy2bears wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I'm a .40 guy. To me, it just makes sense that you get more power than the nine, but still good velocity and good capacity.

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I consider the .40 S&W a better choice than the 9mm, though I wouldn't forsake my .45ACP for it; it is a very good option for those of us who prefer autoloaders. Reloading components cost a bit more, if your shooting budget is an issue. I don't consider the 9mm Parabellum a seriously undernourished cartridge, but I have recommended the .40 S&W to those who are weighing the merits of their next purchase.

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from bigajvigs wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I have a 9mm CZ and its a great practice pistol with 115grn bullets, but I would have to give the 40 the upper hand. I am going into a career as a Conservation Officer and have friends who are cops and they all use the 40 or 45, the 9mm does not cut it according to them. One gentlemen told me of a situation in which it required a fellow officer over 2 magazines of 9mm and his own squad car to bring a suspect loaded up on meth down, he stated to me that with the 40 or 45 that would not have happened

I would go with the 40 or better yet the 45 any day over the 9mm for carry and protection

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from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I love my .40, I wouldn't give it up unless I had a replacement. The new Sig 226SAS has really caught my eye.

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from mattreney wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

i like shooting the .40 better just because its a little bigger then the 9mm but if you are carrying it for protection go with the 9 if your aims not that good youll have a few more shots. even if you shoot decent you got to remember that youll probably be panicking and a little shakey if using it in self defense

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from mattreney wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

my dads a cop and carries a 9mm that holds 17 bullets his .40 only holds 11 but assuming that that cop had a similiar gun he would have let off over thirty rounds no need for him to use the squad car. with decent aim the cop should have hit him at least 15 times. i dont think any one could withstand that much damage

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

There are some fine pistols made exclusively for the 9 mm but this is a round that I learned to detest thirty years ago. You could shoot a feral cat, it would jumpa about two feet straight up, and haul butt. Other larger calibers did not demonstrate this particular reaction as the critter usually just dropped. The "improved bullets" have not changed my opinion. I suppose the .40 Short and Weak is a good round and the 10 mm is dying so why bother, just get a .45 ACP and never look back.

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from herbie57_57 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

I think it depends on what holds you. Like mattreney my dad is a police officer and has a 9mm and a .40. He is required to carry is his .40 now and can't hit anything, but has the best qualifying scores of the officers if he used his 9mm. If it came down to it I would want an officer who can hit what he is aiming at instead of something with more knockdown. I am about as accurate with the .40 as the 9mm so for me the obvious choice would be the .40 for accuracy and knockdown.

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from Jeff Bowers wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

I agree with herbie57. You want whatever you are the best with. At one time I owned a dozen pistols, but for carry I mostly took my 3" barrel .44 special. Yes, it was a severely under-powered round, but I could put 5 rounds into a smaller group than anything else I owned. It just lined up better.

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from rabbitpolice88 wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

I like the 9 because it has more than enough power to get the job done and can be very accurate. I also like it because it is a universal round, you can get it most anywhere in the world. Military rounds will always be easiest to get like 7.62, 5.56 and 9 mm. It is always cheaper than .40 or .45 ammo which is a plus.

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from rrmont wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

At one time I had both, and sold the 9mm because I liked to .40 so much better.

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from s-kfry wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

.40 S&W, drop the bad guy on the first shot rather than having to keep shooting because the 9 doesn't get the job done. I really like my SW40F (Sigma).

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from jay wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I love my .45 1911 but the truth revealed by the 15 year Marshall-Sanow study of thousands of actual shootings is that standard 230 grain .45 ball ammunition is about 62.89% effective, and 9x19 115 grain ball ammunition is 62.26% effective in achieving a one shot stop.

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from shane wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

9x19 = high capacity. .40 s&w = not quite as much capacity. .45 ACP = a lot of dead people.

I'm not trying to kill anyone, so my only auto handgun is a luger that my grandfather swiped from the krauts. It's pretty effective at putting 8 holes in a tree, fast.

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from buckeye wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I use a .40s&w and it hold 14 rounds if you need more than that you are doing something wrong. I love my gun and plan on keeping it, but I also plan on buying a .45 ACP.

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from silsbyj wrote 5 years 1 week ago

I just bought a Springfield XD 4o and it beats the hell out of any 9mm that I have ever shot. Like the rest of the guys said though, If you really want something dead...best go .45

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from steve182 wrote 5 years 1 week ago

I love my .40s&w Glock. Fun to shoot and has enough knockdown power for my home defense gun.

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from platte river rat wrote 5 years 4 days ago

40s&w Glock is hard to beat,but, I'm an old fart and still like the 357mag. works for all my needs.

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from diego wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

Back in the late 50s there was a 100 lb Husky that lived about a mile from us. He would raid our chickens fairly regularly. My father shot him with his .32acp, .357 and 45. He always came back. One day I saw him in the barnyard & I had my .22 single shot with birdshot. I got him as he was clearing the fence. He never came back. Since my father was a deputy sheriff he never had hollowpoints (dumdums in those days) in his pistols & I'm sure the bullets just zipped through. 1. Any gun is good, if you shoot it good; 2. If your just punching holes in the target & not dumping all the energy then 5/100" difference in diameter doesn't make a lot of difference; 3. As a former corpsman & current paramedic I've seen a lot of more dead people from 9s than from 40s or 45s. Shoot the one you like the best. I prefer my customized 40 year old customized combat commander, but I got a Glock 19 for my daughter-in-law when she went through the police academy.

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from MLH wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

.40 S&W is a great compromise for a semi-atuo. 10mm would be better if also carrying in the woods.

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from JohnR wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

I think it would be more apt to call this thread the .40 S&W or the 9mm. You will find more than one person who prefers one or the other or both! Proper bullet selection and ballistics consideration should be given each caliber. The 9mm and the .40 S&W each has a particular load that allows it to shine in a particular weapon.
I like the .40 S&W but do not own a pistol in that caliber. I do however have a 9mm in which I shoot +P+ 124 gr. jhp bullets at 1,300 fps. I don't feed the pistol +P+ as a steady diet, but I do use them as a self defense load so I will practice with them. They will shoot through car doors unless of course the bullet strikes some reinforcing metal in the door panel. I have seen some +P 148 gr. jhp's for the 9mm, but they have to be pretty hard on the weapon. If I had any personal experience with the 40 S&W, I would have included it also.

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from wvhunter62 wrote 4 years 11 weeks ago

9MM vs 40 S&W will not be solved here. I personally feel comfortable carrying both as well as the 45 ACP. Ball ammo should not even be considered for self defense because of over penetration, it would suck to kill friendlies. My informal ballistic testing has shown that a quality JHP driven at moderate velocities will produce a wound channel capable of incapacitating the largest "evil doer". Not many of us will ever have to shoot thru a car door or windshield so +P and +P+ loads are best left for LEO's. The effectiveness of training with your weapon cannot be stressed enough. I would rather be missed by a 45 than hit with a 32. Also the type of carry has to be considered. Summertime, my Kel-Tec P11 is just the ticket. As the weather gets cooler I have more options. But the most important thing is practice, practice, practice and not just punching holes in paper. There are several DVD series out there that teach you drills that you can incorperate into your practice. Massad Ayoob & Gun Site are highly recommended. At the very least practice shooting from cover, weak hand drills, magazine change(timed to add pressure)Shooting in the dark with a flash light. Make these drills as real world as it is safely possible to do. If you carry your pistol concealed, practice from your combat rig will not be as effective. Practice until it becomes second nature and your 9mm, 40S&W, or 45ACP will do the rest.

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from ARhunter wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

40 s&w as an xd model

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from workmandave wrote 4 years 9 weeks ago

Can't go wrong with either one, it's where you hit the person, not much difference getting hit in the lungs with a .40 or 9mm with a decent bullet.

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from Gator_Weiss wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

The FBI ratede the .45 acp and the 9mm para as 70 percent of the time one-shot-stops

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from Gator_Weiss wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

I am aware of a situation in which a 40 did less penetration than did a 9mm. The 40 is not a magnum cartridge and neither is the 9. That is something to consider.

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from Gator_Weiss wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

The 10mm is a much more reliable man-stopper than the 40, because of the loading. There is a need for a +P+ loading in the .40

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from AustinMartin wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Two words. 9mm NATO.

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from AustinMartin wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Two words. 9mm NATO.

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from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

I carried nothing but S&W firearms on duty for 35 years starting with a Model 19 .357 then a 686 .357, then a 4006 .40 and finally a 4566TSW .45 I never felt under gunned with any of them. The hardest one I had to get used to was the .40 because of going from a wheel gun to a semi. The .40 got a bum rap at the beginning because of the loads that were loaded with too heavy of bullets. The best load I carried was the 155 grain Winchester Silver tip hollow points. They had some smoke. It took some time to convince my department not to carry the 180 grain slugs in the .40

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from HeidelbergJaeger wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

I personally own a Glock model 35 in .40 S&W. I also regularly shoot a 9mm Baretta M9 pistol in the Army. I would say that without a doubt, when comparing just the 9mm and the .40S&W, that the .40 wins every time.

Granted, I want to put the biggest hole in my target that I can do consistently, and the .40 allows me to do that more accurately than the 9mm. Maybe I don't like the hand grips on my M9, maybe I like the feel of the Glock's better- but whatever it is, the .40 S&W won my confidence and ultimately my money.

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from wvhunter62 wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

NATO is a political body that governs military actions. Would you really trust your life on a decision made by a bunch of politicians? If you want to base your choice on military acceptance look at what the Marines, SEALs, And SF are packing. Between the 9 and 40 I would choose the 40 it has higher KE, ME and TI numbers and numbers don't lie. That being said alot has been done to improve the 9. With modern HP ammo the 9 is an effective fight stopper. Military FMJ style ammmo? .45acp then 40S&W then the 9mm Para. I would not want to be hit by any of them.

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from whitetailfreek wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

As I have said in a previous thread, if someone deserves to get shot once, they deserve to be shot multiple times.

In the Marine Corps, we shoot a Beretta M9 in 9mm Parabellum. In the real world, I carry a S&W M&P .45 Compact. Do I feel undergunned in any situation? NO.

If I am going to shoot someone, you can rest assure that I will be putting two in the chest and one in the head. A 9mm will give you the same outcome from a head shot compared to a .40 S&W or a .45 ACP. Dead bad guy.

The main thing is be proficient with your weapon, shoot often, and above all make sure you can make quick follow up shots.

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from Steve Marlin wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

The best pistol is the one you have on you. So get the weapon you shoot best that you don't mind carrying all the time.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 42 weeks ago

9mm's are for guys who squat to go pee!

I carry a 45 because they don't make a 46!

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from bryn_r1 wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

Haaaa!! I agree with steve marlin. Shoot what best fits you. I've owned both .40 and 9mm Glocks. The 9 is easier to handle and has more rounds while the .40 has more stopping power and like 2 less rounds!! I don't care what anyone says, the .40 does have more stopping power. All you have to do is look up ballistic tests between the two. The .40 creates something called hydrostatic shock. In other words it creates enough energy to not only make a big wound, but, it also creates a state of shock eminating way out past the bullet wound which can cause a quicker death due to brain hemorraging than from bleeding out. Don't get me wrong, anyone who says 9mm is weak is an idiot and has obviously never been shot by one before. I personally got rid of my 9mm cause I found out that my Glock .40 can be converted to a 9mm within seconds of changing the barrel and magazine!!!! But not vise versa....so ya.

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from rabiddog69 wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

I just bought my first 40S&W i will go shooting in the morning and hope i like iv had handfulls of 9mm's all difernt brands last one was a barretta and the rounds started turning sideways at about 25 feet so in the for sale box it went now i have a 40 S&W

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from ableskeever wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

The one thats in my hand when trouble starts. That would be the one that I shoot best with.

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from iron giant wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

The 40 has it all over the nine. The .45 is stil King though. I tend to wander what is wrong with guys who prefer nines.

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from Cocch2478 wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

I agree with wvhunter62 practice is the key, I'm a LEO and I'm limited to the type of weapon and caliber I can use and still be indemnified by my department. The 9mm 115 gr. Glock was the weapon of choice to convert from the .38 revolver 18 years ago. Now it seems .40 S&W is the new choice. For civilian self-defense any weapon that you are proficient with is the right choice practice practice practice that's what law enforcement officers do. Remember this when you fire your weapon in self-defense you are responsible for where that round goes either into your target ie. Bad guy or the poor guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. Practicing your 9mm or a .40 or even a .45 you should be able to stop any aggressor you may encounter. As for using two mags and a patrol car to stop someone high on drugs or a EDP you are the wrong person in the wrong place.

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from CHKILCHII wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

For shootability, the nine.
For personal protection and home defense, the forty.

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from ableskeever wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

One of each.

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from mgw403 wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

A lot of people think that bigger is always better. I am a firearms instructor and have taken a lot of courses. In my opinion, whether you carry .32 auto or a .44 mag or anything in between, well placed shots will stop threats. Its not all about the gun or caliber, its the person pulling the trigger and how proficient he/she is and how well he/she can handle themselves in high stress situations.

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from ableskeever wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

Home defense -> 12 gauge hands down. (Why go for a pistol when you can have a scattergun?)

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

For all you 9mm detractors; How many double taps with a 9mm do you think you could stand? Enough to carry on the fight? Perhaps not the perfect choice for anything, but good enough to be the most prolific caliber for most of the world's armies and LE.

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from GregD wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Until you have investigated shootings and attended the autopsy to see the results of these shootings, do you understand bullet placement is the number one priority. Thirty three years of LE, 30 in detectives, I can tell you the 9mm works, if you do your part. I have seen people shot numerous times with .40 & 45acp and released from the hospital within a few days.
PLACEMENT, PLACEMENT, PLACEMENT !!!
And the majority of these shootings were with 9mm fmj. Most thugs do not use quality hp ammo.

just my $.02

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from Hobob wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

I agree that placement and bullet matter more than 9mm or .40

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from tpd223 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I am absolutely stunned at the lack of realistic knowledge of wound ballistics displayed by some folks commenting on this thread.

The 9mm, .40 and .45acp all work about the same for defensive purposes or police duty use, fact.
Each displays nearly the same expansion and penetration with modern JHP ammunition. On top of this fact, doctors and/or medical examiners can not tell the wounds made by one of these rounds from the other, they all basically leave the same hole in meat.

The .40 and .45 do NOT have "knockdown power", no handgun does, period. To claim otherwise is to disregard physics completely.

Before someone throws Evan Marshall's stats at me, Evan is a friend of mine, I'm well aware of his research.

I strongly advise the 9mm for most people simply due to cost of ammo and proven reliability of some of the various avaiable systems. That the guns recoil less and are thus easier to shoot well is a bonus.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

The next thing to consider after placement is bullet construction. I have never carried a 9 but I carried a .40 for about 15 years and was in command when one of my officers had to kill a violator that had shot at him. He shot him 4 times in the chest at a distance of 8 yards. 1 of the rounds went through and one fell out when the subject was rolled over in the ER and the others never exited. The bullet that fell out in the ER had expanded to twice its size. The bullets were Speer 180 Grain Gold Dot Hollow Points. Later we went to the .45. I was pleased with the .45 and felt that the .45 was a better round than the .40. Our .45 round was the 230 grain Speer Gold Dot Hollow Point. The only difference I can see is the .45 does make a slightly larger hole upon entry than the .40. I found that my officers shot the S&W 4566 TSW Tactical.45 handgun better than they did the .40's. I carried the .45 for about 10 years till I retired and then they gave it to me upon my retirement. Nice retirement gift. It is engraved with the 100th anniversary of my department. We were the oldest state law enforcement agency in the State of WV. I take it to the range about once a year and shoot about 100 rounds through it.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

With a few notable exceptions, most of the "experts" on this blog have never shot anyone with anything, never seen anyone shot with more than a BB gun, or ever been shot, period. I'm not a 9mm Parabellum fanatic, but don't be too quick to write them off. Sarge01 will tell you that most LE and military guys know beans about guns and ballistics. Most are weapon operators that shoot what they are issued and that is about where it ends Some are experts, but for every subject matter expert there are a hundred numbnuts.

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from 007 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Sarge, the incident that reference, was that over my way? Heard a little bit about that.

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from 007 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Good grief. Make that "incident that YOU refernce". It's too early for this, I should still be in bed.

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from Beekeeper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Well stated WAM.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

007 that was not too far from where you live.
WAM,
You are correct, most LEO's don't have a choice what they carry they are mandated by their departments of what to carry. Most LEO's don't know what their round will do, they only know what their Firearm's Officer tells them it will do and sometimes I demonstrated on various objects on the range to give them some idea. I can't talk about the 9MM because I never carried one and never had any experience with one. One thing I do know is they got a bad rap when people started hearing about them because all of the ammo was full metal jacket and all it did was punch a nice little round hole through people without doing much damage. That was the fault of the bullet and not the round. I was always fortunate to be one of the group that tested firearms and gave input before my department made a decision of what we were going to carry. Amazing the department listened to what we had to say.

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from Dbetzner wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Saw some pictures at during MP school of a drugged out guy basically peppered with 9mm rounds that had still kept comeing, that being said it was because he as all doped up. that being said I see absolutely no problem with the 9mm round. Im buying my wife a .22 semi pistol to carry. Why? Because she can shoot that .22 pistol acurately. you can have the biggest bullet in the world and that wont matter if you cant hit what your shooting at, and the guy at the other end sure wont notice the differenc or care what round it is. you get shot most people change their thought process.

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from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I truly, and sincerely pray that I "NEVER" have to experience either end of an armed confrontation!
Just as sincerely, I pray that should I ever encounter said "situation", God will give me the strength to act as needed! I try to work on the knowledge a little each month!

Bubba

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from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Sarge01, WAM.

Know a Fed. They were issued a .40S&W by H&K! No personal firearm OR ammo allowed. An M4 is the choice for "carry" when allowed with the H&K as a backup! No "backup" is issued and no "personal" backup is allowed.

Bubba

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I thank God that I never had to shoot anyone during my 35 years. I have had to take up the slack on the trigger a few times but before it went any farther the threat went away. You never know how you will react when that time comes. No matter how you train you can't train for that exact situation. That is where muscle memory takes over and the training pays off. The problem I see with CC permits is that almost all CC permit carriers have no training and the class that is required is a joke. I see too many "cowboys" that stand around and talk like they are the John Waynes of the world just because they have a CC permit and can carry a handgun. Don't get me wrong I think that a person should be able to carry a concealed weapon, but I think that training should go along with it. Its not government regulation, its common sense. I spent years training officers and it took years to train them to handle firearms safely and be proficient. A couple hour course dosen't even meet the needs of a CC person. The CC person is being done an injustice because they are being sent out on the street with a false feeling of security. One of the biggest decisions a permit holder has to make is when and if to shoot, not how to shoot.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I was witness to an incident in which a perp was hit 7 out of nine 9mm JHP rounds fired in the dark running and he had to be wrestled to the ground to be cuffed to be hauled to the hospital by the aid car guys. Point being that none of the bullets struck a vital zone. Damn near shot off an ear! Also witnessed a one shot bang-flop from a 124 (?) grain FMJ. So you telll me?

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from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

( )Karma?
( )Fate?
( )Uh-oh?
( )Bingo!
( )Jinx, you owe me a Coke?
( )Lucky dog!
( )Sometimes, everything just seems to fall into place!
( )The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.

Your choice, WAM!
Only God knows!

Bubba

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from jamesti wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

a 9mm is just fine for a carry gun, but i don't carry anything less than .40 cal. just my preference, though.

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from PNW wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

I was shot point blank with a corbon 40 cal in the leg. Fortunately for me, it rode the femoral but did not puncture it. The bullet stopped at my knee and the travel depth was about 8 inches. It blew off the top of my leg. I am lucky to be alive. The 40 corbon expands fast and big. Even though I was shot I was able to run a fligth of stairs to get help. That was pure adrenaline. And it hurt like a combination of molten metal, acid and fire. I am lucky to be alive. The right ammo, right gun fit and practice is what you need to make any gun work for a defensive situation. Yes, the guys hopped up on drugs are often harder to take down and those that are not usually don't stop to discuss the mertis of your caliber once the lead starts flying. I say get what works for you and practice. Take a good training course or get into action pistol shooting. It makes a big difference. I am lucky that 40 was not a 45 and even luckier that it did not pop open my femoral. Regardless of what people say, even the most experienced LEO can get tunnel vision and gumby hands when lethal force is called for. We have an innate desire to avoid killing (save for the psychopaths) and would rather not have to do it. However, many of us will not hesitate in a life or death situation. I've read plenty to stories about grannies dropping thugs with a 22 cal so again, placement, the perps clothing, distance, ammo choices and the grace of god all have an impact on the outcome. That said, if you are trying to choose a carry gun that can double for a sidearm in the woods, a 40 may be better. I have always been a 45 fan myself but have no ill will towards the nine. The 40 is a good compromise between capacity and power. Like other posters have said, I would rather not be hit with any of them. However, from taking a 40 in the leg, I can tell you it is a formidable round and mushroomed out quite nicely. The roudn stayed intact and stopped below my knee. Ouch and still ouch many years later from the cold weather. Whatever you pick, if you don't practice, you are less likely to be effective with it. If you don't carry it, you can't use it if you are out and about. Thus, even a Keltek 32 might be a good choice for those light summer days.

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from steve182 wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

For the range, the 9mm offers cheaper ammo. For home defense I have a .40 and don't mind paying a little more for the ammo as i don't go through much.

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from ja_demko wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

I own 9mm's, .40's, and .45's. I enjoy shooting all of them. However, I also own 10mm's and .357 magnums. I not only enjoy shooting them, they are also the handguns to which I would turn if my life or that of one of my loved ones hung in the balance.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

My newest handgun and I might add one that amazes me is my Judge Poly Defender. The .45 Colt round is a forinable round but the 4 copper plated buckshot load is terrible at 20 to 25 feet. I have been a firearms training officer for 40 years and have shot and carried many firearms on duty and for home defense this firearm does a good job. I took it to the range and using a TQ-15 targets it put all 4 buckshot in a man's chest. It would definelty make for a bad day for someone in your home. I carry the 225 grain Hornady flextip rounds when I carry it which is more often now that I have a fine holster to carry it in and because of the light weight. At 15 yards I put 15 rounds of the 225 grain Hornady flextips in a 3 inch circle. Thats not to bad for a 2 inch barrel. My main firearm is a 4566TSW S&W which was given to me when I retired because that was what I was carrying when I retired and I have a S&W 637 Airweight 38Special+P but I like the Judge more each time I shoot it. It won't take the place of the .45 but it sure is fun to shoot and with the buckshot it is a mean piece of machinery at close range like in a house. Shooting the new Federal #4 shot load it is a fine snake firearm also.

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from Joe Hatch wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Currently I have a High Standard .22 magnum 9 shot revolver. I've used it a couple of times after I've knocked deer down (with my 30.06) to dispatch them quickly, humanly. So I know it works for head shots.

I'm figuring out what I want in my next hand gun so I read each of the comments and a common theme seemed to be:

1- Practice - if you can't hit what you are aiming for then it really doesn't matter.

2- A bullet hole of any size will deter most especially in the chest.

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from Eric Valero wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

Personally, I'm a .45acp guy. But I do wanna point something out to people: First of all, +P+ doesn't mean anything. +P is an authorized and regulated high pressure load. +P+ is not a regulated or industry standard pressure. It could very well be less powerful than your +P load, it is simply a marketing gimmick to get people to purchase ammunition. DON'T buy it.
As for the comment I read about +P being best left for the LEO's, its not all about shooting through doors. As you know, I'm all for the big knockdown punch, but a small, fast round isn't as good as a small, faster round. Have you ever heard of hydraulic/hydrostatic shock? Probably not...
If your gun is rated for +P, carry it.
I'll quote the folks at FrontSite though on the debate: Carry the largest caliber, hottest load that you can comfortably and accurately fire for two quick hits to the thoracic cavity. For me, thats a 45.

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from Matthew Sweet wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

There was a really great article about this in American Rifleman magazine. I don't really have a preference. I was bottle fed on .45, hunted with .45, and carry .45...

I can say we learned ALOT about bullet trajectory, vectoring, ballistics, and caliber. A lot of us left class asking why we're using 5.56 instead of 7.62 x 51 (5.56 is .223 and 7.62 is .308) for you civilians). So it's unfair to say us military guys know NOTHING about bullet characteristics. As a self-proclaimed expert (read it and weep), I can say there's a specific set of reasons why law enforcement and the FBI use .40 S&W. First being, it's harder to handle than the popular 9mm, but cheaper than .45. If someone were to steal your gun, you wouldn't be able to effectively use it. Second is obviously cost. It's the same reason the US Gov't switched from .30 to 7.62mm and later to 5.56. Third is availability. How many of you tried to buy .45 during this whole ammo media blitz and found none? Next, how many of you found .40? I'm willing to bet you found .40 before .45!

The bottom line, it really is all what you prefer. Just because LE or MIL uses it, doesn't make it special by any means. If you can shoot accurately and can handle the weapon when poop hits the fan, you've got something worth keeping. My next argument would be for concealment; I'm accurate with either .9mm or .40, but .40 is much louder. When you get into a confrontation that requires an exchange of fire, you'll find that the blast alone is enough to send your problems fleeing into the wilderness. Again, this is just personal preference. You could make your .9mm louder...haha.

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from Sean Williams wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

45 acp is great but if you are a good shot, my opinion is a .357 magnum. if you can kill a deer with it, you can kill a human.

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from Mike Crenshaw wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Don't understand all the hype with the .40SW. It's equally deadly as the 9mm. The most important factor is hitting vitals, and a 9mm would give you a better chance because they're typically more accurate with followup shots, the guns handle better and the mags usually hold more. If you're requiring more power, most auto pistols support +P and some will shoot 9mm major loads. Pair that with a light hollowpoint bullet and I guarantee one shot to the chest is going to cripple or kill even the biggest threat. Most of these people pushing the dirty harry mentality of bigger is better haven't shot or killed anyone or witnessed such. I promise, single 9mm bullets kill people every day. It's more than enough for a defensive caliber and there are many flavors. 40SW vs 9mm wadcutter is one thing, but 40SW vs 9mm major is no contest 9mm.

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from Ranx wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Some have already covered the ability to hit what you're shooting at and that is obviously the biggest single concern. That would have to be followed by the obvious kill and incapacitate ability. Next would be the ability to produce a follow up shot. Finally, I think the clip capacity is of importance. One can quibble with the last two and even insert some other but I think the first two can't be argued much.

On the ability to hit what you're aiming at I do think the 9mm has a few advantages for the following reasons. Ammo for the 9mm is cheap and plentiful. One can practice, practice, practice. I'm an average sized man but I still find the recoil from a 9mm to be more manageable than the .40 S&W. Like or not that may produce some hesitance or flinch. I've found that most handguns produce less muzzle climb with 9mm so back on target faster. The 9mm clips have more capacity.

I'm not limited by law to carrying ball ammunition. In the middle of the night I should be able to hit who I'm shooting at, knock them back or down and follow up the shot. If that doesn't happen it may come down to keeping them away with a lot of capacity.

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from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

@ bryn_r1- You cannot convert a Glock chambered for 40 S&W to a 9mm by changing the barrel and magazine. The extractor and ejector are different. You can convert it to 357 Sig.

@ Ranx - Pistols use magazines, not clips. They are not the same thing.

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from Jackson Andrew Lewis wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

the only advantage to me the 9mm has is in law and military use as its penetrating power is better but the 40 and 45 are just better stopping power period. the 9mm only really works better for body armour and thick or heavy clothing.

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from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Body armour stops 9MM just as good as it does .40 or .45. I don't know where you read or saw that.

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from idfma wrote 42 weeks 6 days ago

I'm not the expert many on this thread are, so I won't pretend. I just need to find a store that's not sold out, and I am going to buy a Glock 17 G4 for my hi-capacity pistol. The .40 ammo is harder to find right now with folks buying every round of ammunition they can. 9mm or .40--if you hit him, he'll stop, even if you have to use the pistol to beat his a** after you empty your gun into him.

I've shot 9mm and .40--so much depends on the load/ammo and specific gun. One .40 might be horrible shooting right or left another might be excellent. For my money and for home defense, a 12 ga. with 00 buckshot is the way to go. Shoot through the walls and the guy I'm aiming at? I don't care as long as my family is safe after I pull the trigger. You want less kick? Get a 20 ga. You still gotta aim, but it's easier to hit what you're shooting at.

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from MRMC59 wrote 38 weeks 1 day ago

I agree with idfma on home defense a shotgun with 00 buck is the best. The fatality rate for a shot gun is over 90%.

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from Kevin Madsen wrote 25 weeks 5 days ago

Killing Power - Not to many judges would like to here many of your comments. The idea is not to kill but stop the threat, I think some of you might find themselves in jail. Yes, I would load my weapon with hollow point and probably kill the attacker but saving that outright to a judge "that your objective was to kill" may get you in trouble. I think a red Lazer dot or a blank in the face would be a good stopping "round" unless the person had a gun. None of you addressed the invaders weapon. I think that shot first and ask second is a good way in the Army, but in home the attacker could be your son or daughter. So one must be sure before pulling the trigger to kill.

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from Kevin Madsen wrote 25 weeks 5 days ago

A round even could go through a wall and kill your loved one, has anyone shot a shotgun at a wall with buck shot?

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from M.A.T wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

I guess I'd take the .40 but I still rather have a .45.

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from .30-06Hunter wrote 23 weeks 20 hours ago

Both have pros and cons.

The .40 has more power
The 9 is faster back on target

Capacity is close on both

9mm with the right ammo can be just as effective as the .40

9mm is cheaper on ammo

In the end pick what you shoot best and PRACTICE.

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from Jim Williamson wrote 19 weeks 4 days ago

IMHO it depends on what ammo you are using and the gun you ar putting it in. Glock's G19 (9mm) is IDENTICAL to their G23 (40SW)

If you load the usual Winchester Valuepack 9mm into a G19 and then repeat using Winchesters Valupack 40SW into a G23...you will notice about 50 ft/lb more force.

However if want your G23 to feel like a G19, choose ammo that will provide the same Ft/Lbs of force.

Check out ballisticsbytheinch.com and do the math required to convert the f/second to ft/lbs. those boys did allot of work and the data is impressive!

A G23 loaded with Federal Hydroshock 165 JHP will feel very much like a G19 loaded with Winchester valuepack 115 9mm, maybe even a little bit milder. (356 ft/lbs vs 362 ft/lbs for the 9mm)

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from Jim Williamson wrote 19 weeks 4 days ago

Post-script...that was regarding the kick of the gun...you can make a G19 and a G23 have the same perceived kick. As for damage to the bg? The .40 IS about 0.05 inches thicker for those in the "bigger is better" crowd. For those in the hydrostatic shock camp, out of a 4" barrel you can rev up a 9mm to 442 ft/lbs of force with Corbon's 115 +P JHP; but in 40SW you can get 546 ft/lbs with Corbon's 135 JHP out of the same 4" length. ( Again, thanks to the guys at ballisticsbytheinch.com)

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from walkerhuntercb123 wrote 14 weeks 2 days ago

I am a 40S&W fan. The 40 has more power and better velocity than the 9mm. But it depends on what you want if you are using it for self defense it usually doesn't matter what gun you have, what matters is hitting the target. If you hit a target in the chest with a 9mm 5 or 6 times you will stop them. But because the 40 has more power it has less stopping power. The 9mm has great stopping power meaning usually the 9mm will stay in the target better than the 40. Which in turn causes more damage.

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from gearhead64 wrote 11 weeks 5 days ago

Like others, I wouldn't forsake my .45 ACP. But I also have a .40 S&W for a carry gun. I refer to it as the 9mm that grew up! It is, after all 10mm "short". Like .380 ACP (also known as 9mm Kurz - "short")is to 9mm Luger. Similar proportions to the 9. Just bigger. And like the "9", more accurate than most 1911 Gov't .45s Of course, if the target is close, the bigger bullet wins.

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from jhjimbo wrote 11 weeks 5 days ago

I have heard stories of certain individuals being hit in the head with a nine and being treated and released from the Hospital. Not so with the .40 S&W.

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from herbie57_57 wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

I think it depends on what holds you. Like mattreney my dad is a police officer and has a 9mm and a .40. He is required to carry is his .40 now and can't hit anything, but has the best qualifying scores of the officers if he used his 9mm. If it came down to it I would want an officer who can hit what he is aiming at instead of something with more knockdown. I am about as accurate with the .40 as the 9mm so for me the obvious choice would be the .40 for accuracy and knockdown.

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from rabbitpolice88 wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

I like the 9 because it has more than enough power to get the job done and can be very accurate. I also like it because it is a universal round, you can get it most anywhere in the world. Military rounds will always be easiest to get like 7.62, 5.56 and 9 mm. It is always cheaper than .40 or .45 ammo which is a plus.

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from wvhunter62 wrote 4 years 11 weeks ago

9MM vs 40 S&W will not be solved here. I personally feel comfortable carrying both as well as the 45 ACP. Ball ammo should not even be considered for self defense because of over penetration, it would suck to kill friendlies. My informal ballistic testing has shown that a quality JHP driven at moderate velocities will produce a wound channel capable of incapacitating the largest "evil doer". Not many of us will ever have to shoot thru a car door or windshield so +P and +P+ loads are best left for LEO's. The effectiveness of training with your weapon cannot be stressed enough. I would rather be missed by a 45 than hit with a 32. Also the type of carry has to be considered. Summertime, my Kel-Tec P11 is just the ticket. As the weather gets cooler I have more options. But the most important thing is practice, practice, practice and not just punching holes in paper. There are several DVD series out there that teach you drills that you can incorperate into your practice. Massad Ayoob & Gun Site are highly recommended. At the very least practice shooting from cover, weak hand drills, magazine change(timed to add pressure)Shooting in the dark with a flash light. Make these drills as real world as it is safely possible to do. If you carry your pistol concealed, practice from your combat rig will not be as effective. Practice until it becomes second nature and your 9mm, 40S&W, or 45ACP will do the rest.

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from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I consider the .40 S&W a better choice than the 9mm, though I wouldn't forsake my .45ACP for it; it is a very good option for those of us who prefer autoloaders. Reloading components cost a bit more, if your shooting budget is an issue. I don't consider the 9mm Parabellum a seriously undernourished cartridge, but I have recommended the .40 S&W to those who are weighing the merits of their next purchase.

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from GregD wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Until you have investigated shootings and attended the autopsy to see the results of these shootings, do you understand bullet placement is the number one priority. Thirty three years of LE, 30 in detectives, I can tell you the 9mm works, if you do your part. I have seen people shot numerous times with .40 & 45acp and released from the hospital within a few days.
PLACEMENT, PLACEMENT, PLACEMENT !!!
And the majority of these shootings were with 9mm fmj. Most thugs do not use quality hp ammo.

just my $.02

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from tpd223 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I am absolutely stunned at the lack of realistic knowledge of wound ballistics displayed by some folks commenting on this thread.

The 9mm, .40 and .45acp all work about the same for defensive purposes or police duty use, fact.
Each displays nearly the same expansion and penetration with modern JHP ammunition. On top of this fact, doctors and/or medical examiners can not tell the wounds made by one of these rounds from the other, they all basically leave the same hole in meat.

The .40 and .45 do NOT have "knockdown power", no handgun does, period. To claim otherwise is to disregard physics completely.

Before someone throws Evan Marshall's stats at me, Evan is a friend of mine, I'm well aware of his research.

I strongly advise the 9mm for most people simply due to cost of ammo and proven reliability of some of the various avaiable systems. That the guns recoil less and are thus easier to shoot well is a bonus.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I thank God that I never had to shoot anyone during my 35 years. I have had to take up the slack on the trigger a few times but before it went any farther the threat went away. You never know how you will react when that time comes. No matter how you train you can't train for that exact situation. That is where muscle memory takes over and the training pays off. The problem I see with CC permits is that almost all CC permit carriers have no training and the class that is required is a joke. I see too many "cowboys" that stand around and talk like they are the John Waynes of the world just because they have a CC permit and can carry a handgun. Don't get me wrong I think that a person should be able to carry a concealed weapon, but I think that training should go along with it. Its not government regulation, its common sense. I spent years training officers and it took years to train them to handle firearms safely and be proficient. A couple hour course dosen't even meet the needs of a CC person. The CC person is being done an injustice because they are being sent out on the street with a false feeling of security. One of the biggest decisions a permit holder has to make is when and if to shoot, not how to shoot.

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from JohnR wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

I think it would be more apt to call this thread the .40 S&W or the 9mm. You will find more than one person who prefers one or the other or both! Proper bullet selection and ballistics consideration should be given each caliber. The 9mm and the .40 S&W each has a particular load that allows it to shine in a particular weapon.
I like the .40 S&W but do not own a pistol in that caliber. I do however have a 9mm in which I shoot +P+ 124 gr. jhp bullets at 1,300 fps. I don't feed the pistol +P+ as a steady diet, but I do use them as a self defense load so I will practice with them. They will shoot through car doors unless of course the bullet strikes some reinforcing metal in the door panel. I have seen some +P 148 gr. jhp's for the 9mm, but they have to be pretty hard on the weapon. If I had any personal experience with the 40 S&W, I would have included it also.

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from workmandave wrote 4 years 9 weeks ago

Can't go wrong with either one, it's where you hit the person, not much difference getting hit in the lungs with a .40 or 9mm with a decent bullet.

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from whitetailfreek wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

As I have said in a previous thread, if someone deserves to get shot once, they deserve to be shot multiple times.

In the Marine Corps, we shoot a Beretta M9 in 9mm Parabellum. In the real world, I carry a S&W M&P .45 Compact. Do I feel undergunned in any situation? NO.

If I am going to shoot someone, you can rest assure that I will be putting two in the chest and one in the head. A 9mm will give you the same outcome from a head shot compared to a .40 S&W or a .45 ACP. Dead bad guy.

The main thing is be proficient with your weapon, shoot often, and above all make sure you can make quick follow up shots.

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from timmy2bears wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I'm a .40 guy. To me, it just makes sense that you get more power than the nine, but still good velocity and good capacity.

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from jay wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I love my .45 1911 but the truth revealed by the 15 year Marshall-Sanow study of thousands of actual shootings is that standard 230 grain .45 ball ammunition is about 62.89% effective, and 9x19 115 grain ball ammunition is 62.26% effective in achieving a one shot stop.

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from diego wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

Back in the late 50s there was a 100 lb Husky that lived about a mile from us. He would raid our chickens fairly regularly. My father shot him with his .32acp, .357 and 45. He always came back. One day I saw him in the barnyard & I had my .22 single shot with birdshot. I got him as he was clearing the fence. He never came back. Since my father was a deputy sheriff he never had hollowpoints (dumdums in those days) in his pistols & I'm sure the bullets just zipped through. 1. Any gun is good, if you shoot it good; 2. If your just punching holes in the target & not dumping all the energy then 5/100" difference in diameter doesn't make a lot of difference; 3. As a former corpsman & current paramedic I've seen a lot of more dead people from 9s than from 40s or 45s. Shoot the one you like the best. I prefer my customized 40 year old customized combat commander, but I got a Glock 19 for my daughter-in-law when she went through the police academy.

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from Steve Marlin wrote 3 years 43 weeks ago

The best pistol is the one you have on you. So get the weapon you shoot best that you don't mind carrying all the time.

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from Jeff Bowers wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

I agree with herbie57. You want whatever you are the best with. At one time I owned a dozen pistols, but for carry I mostly took my 3" barrel .44 special. Yes, it was a severely under-powered round, but I could put 5 rounds into a smaller group than anything else I owned. It just lined up better.

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from mgw403 wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

A lot of people think that bigger is always better. I am a firearms instructor and have taken a lot of courses. In my opinion, whether you carry .32 auto or a .44 mag or anything in between, well placed shots will stop threats. Its not all about the gun or caliber, its the person pulling the trigger and how proficient he/she is and how well he/she can handle themselves in high stress situations.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

007 that was not too far from where you live.
WAM,
You are correct, most LEO's don't have a choice what they carry they are mandated by their departments of what to carry. Most LEO's don't know what their round will do, they only know what their Firearm's Officer tells them it will do and sometimes I demonstrated on various objects on the range to give them some idea. I can't talk about the 9MM because I never carried one and never had any experience with one. One thing I do know is they got a bad rap when people started hearing about them because all of the ammo was full metal jacket and all it did was punch a nice little round hole through people without doing much damage. That was the fault of the bullet and not the round. I was always fortunate to be one of the group that tested firearms and gave input before my department made a decision of what we were going to carry. Amazing the department listened to what we had to say.

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from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I love my .40, I wouldn't give it up unless I had a replacement. The new Sig 226SAS has really caught my eye.

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from mattreney wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

i like shooting the .40 better just because its a little bigger then the 9mm but if you are carrying it for protection go with the 9 if your aims not that good youll have a few more shots. even if you shoot decent you got to remember that youll probably be panicking and a little shakey if using it in self defense

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from mattreney wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

my dads a cop and carries a 9mm that holds 17 bullets his .40 only holds 11 but assuming that that cop had a similiar gun he would have let off over thirty rounds no need for him to use the squad car. with decent aim the cop should have hit him at least 15 times. i dont think any one could withstand that much damage

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from steve182 wrote 5 years 1 week ago

I love my .40s&w Glock. Fun to shoot and has enough knockdown power for my home defense gun.

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from platte river rat wrote 5 years 4 days ago

40s&w Glock is hard to beat,but, I'm an old fart and still like the 357mag. works for all my needs.

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from Gator_Weiss wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

I am aware of a situation in which a 40 did less penetration than did a 9mm. The 40 is not a magnum cartridge and neither is the 9. That is something to consider.

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from Cocch2478 wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

I agree with wvhunter62 practice is the key, I'm a LEO and I'm limited to the type of weapon and caliber I can use and still be indemnified by my department. The 9mm 115 gr. Glock was the weapon of choice to convert from the .38 revolver 18 years ago. Now it seems .40 S&W is the new choice. For civilian self-defense any weapon that you are proficient with is the right choice practice practice practice that's what law enforcement officers do. Remember this when you fire your weapon in self-defense you are responsible for where that round goes either into your target ie. Bad guy or the poor guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. Practicing your 9mm or a .40 or even a .45 you should be able to stop any aggressor you may encounter. As for using two mags and a patrol car to stop someone high on drugs or a EDP you are the wrong person in the wrong place.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

For all you 9mm detractors; How many double taps with a 9mm do you think you could stand? Enough to carry on the fight? Perhaps not the perfect choice for anything, but good enough to be the most prolific caliber for most of the world's armies and LE.

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

The next thing to consider after placement is bullet construction. I have never carried a 9 but I carried a .40 for about 15 years and was in command when one of my officers had to kill a violator that had shot at him. He shot him 4 times in the chest at a distance of 8 yards. 1 of the rounds went through and one fell out when the subject was rolled over in the ER and the others never exited. The bullet that fell out in the ER had expanded to twice its size. The bullets were Speer 180 Grain Gold Dot Hollow Points. Later we went to the .45. I was pleased with the .45 and felt that the .45 was a better round than the .40. Our .45 round was the 230 grain Speer Gold Dot Hollow Point. The only difference I can see is the .45 does make a slightly larger hole upon entry than the .40. I found that my officers shot the S&W 4566 TSW Tactical.45 handgun better than they did the .40's. I carried the .45 for about 10 years till I retired and then they gave it to me upon my retirement. Nice retirement gift. It is engraved with the 100th anniversary of my department. We were the oldest state law enforcement agency in the State of WV. I take it to the range about once a year and shoot about 100 rounds through it.

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from Dbetzner wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Saw some pictures at during MP school of a drugged out guy basically peppered with 9mm rounds that had still kept comeing, that being said it was because he as all doped up. that being said I see absolutely no problem with the 9mm round. Im buying my wife a .22 semi pistol to carry. Why? Because she can shoot that .22 pistol acurately. you can have the biggest bullet in the world and that wont matter if you cant hit what your shooting at, and the guy at the other end sure wont notice the differenc or care what round it is. you get shot most people change their thought process.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I was witness to an incident in which a perp was hit 7 out of nine 9mm JHP rounds fired in the dark running and he had to be wrestled to the ground to be cuffed to be hauled to the hospital by the aid car guys. Point being that none of the bullets struck a vital zone. Damn near shot off an ear! Also witnessed a one shot bang-flop from a 124 (?) grain FMJ. So you telll me?

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from PNW wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

I was shot point blank with a corbon 40 cal in the leg. Fortunately for me, it rode the femoral but did not puncture it. The bullet stopped at my knee and the travel depth was about 8 inches. It blew off the top of my leg. I am lucky to be alive. The 40 corbon expands fast and big. Even though I was shot I was able to run a fligth of stairs to get help. That was pure adrenaline. And it hurt like a combination of molten metal, acid and fire. I am lucky to be alive. The right ammo, right gun fit and practice is what you need to make any gun work for a defensive situation. Yes, the guys hopped up on drugs are often harder to take down and those that are not usually don't stop to discuss the mertis of your caliber once the lead starts flying. I say get what works for you and practice. Take a good training course or get into action pistol shooting. It makes a big difference. I am lucky that 40 was not a 45 and even luckier that it did not pop open my femoral. Regardless of what people say, even the most experienced LEO can get tunnel vision and gumby hands when lethal force is called for. We have an innate desire to avoid killing (save for the psychopaths) and would rather not have to do it. However, many of us will not hesitate in a life or death situation. I've read plenty to stories about grannies dropping thugs with a 22 cal so again, placement, the perps clothing, distance, ammo choices and the grace of god all have an impact on the outcome. That said, if you are trying to choose a carry gun that can double for a sidearm in the woods, a 40 may be better. I have always been a 45 fan myself but have no ill will towards the nine. The 40 is a good compromise between capacity and power. Like other posters have said, I would rather not be hit with any of them. However, from taking a 40 in the leg, I can tell you it is a formidable round and mushroomed out quite nicely. The roudn stayed intact and stopped below my knee. Ouch and still ouch many years later from the cold weather. Whatever you pick, if you don't practice, you are less likely to be effective with it. If you don't carry it, you can't use it if you are out and about. Thus, even a Keltek 32 might be a good choice for those light summer days.

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from idfma wrote 42 weeks 6 days ago

I'm not the expert many on this thread are, so I won't pretend. I just need to find a store that's not sold out, and I am going to buy a Glock 17 G4 for my hi-capacity pistol. The .40 ammo is harder to find right now with folks buying every round of ammunition they can. 9mm or .40--if you hit him, he'll stop, even if you have to use the pistol to beat his a** after you empty your gun into him.

I've shot 9mm and .40--so much depends on the load/ammo and specific gun. One .40 might be horrible shooting right or left another might be excellent. For my money and for home defense, a 12 ga. with 00 buckshot is the way to go. Shoot through the walls and the guy I'm aiming at? I don't care as long as my family is safe after I pull the trigger. You want less kick? Get a 20 ga. You still gotta aim, but it's easier to hit what you're shooting at.

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from MLH wrote 4 years 13 weeks ago

.40 S&W is a great compromise for a semi-atuo. 10mm would be better if also carrying in the woods.

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from AustinMartin wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Two words. 9mm NATO.

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from AustinMartin wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

Two words. 9mm NATO.

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from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

I carried nothing but S&W firearms on duty for 35 years starting with a Model 19 .357 then a 686 .357, then a 4006 .40 and finally a 4566TSW .45 I never felt under gunned with any of them. The hardest one I had to get used to was the .40 because of going from a wheel gun to a semi. The .40 got a bum rap at the beginning because of the loads that were loaded with too heavy of bullets. The best load I carried was the 155 grain Winchester Silver tip hollow points. They had some smoke. It took some time to convince my department not to carry the 180 grain slugs in the .40

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from ableskeever wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

The one thats in my hand when trouble starts. That would be the one that I shoot best with.

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from Hobob wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

I agree that placement and bullet matter more than 9mm or .40

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

With a few notable exceptions, most of the "experts" on this blog have never shot anyone with anything, never seen anyone shot with more than a BB gun, or ever been shot, period. I'm not a 9mm Parabellum fanatic, but don't be too quick to write them off. Sarge01 will tell you that most LE and military guys know beans about guns and ballistics. Most are weapon operators that shoot what they are issued and that is about where it ends Some are experts, but for every subject matter expert there are a hundred numbnuts.

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from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I truly, and sincerely pray that I "NEVER" have to experience either end of an armed confrontation!
Just as sincerely, I pray that should I ever encounter said "situation", God will give me the strength to act as needed! I try to work on the knowledge a little each month!

Bubba

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from Eric Valero wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

Personally, I'm a .45acp guy. But I do wanna point something out to people: First of all, +P+ doesn't mean anything. +P is an authorized and regulated high pressure load. +P+ is not a regulated or industry standard pressure. It could very well be less powerful than your +P load, it is simply a marketing gimmick to get people to purchase ammunition. DON'T buy it.
As for the comment I read about +P being best left for the LEO's, its not all about shooting through doors. As you know, I'm all for the big knockdown punch, but a small, fast round isn't as good as a small, faster round. Have you ever heard of hydraulic/hydrostatic shock? Probably not...
If your gun is rated for +P, carry it.
I'll quote the folks at FrontSite though on the debate: Carry the largest caliber, hottest load that you can comfortably and accurately fire for two quick hits to the thoracic cavity. For me, thats a 45.

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from Matthew Sweet wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

There was a really great article about this in American Rifleman magazine. I don't really have a preference. I was bottle fed on .45, hunted with .45, and carry .45...

I can say we learned ALOT about bullet trajectory, vectoring, ballistics, and caliber. A lot of us left class asking why we're using 5.56 instead of 7.62 x 51 (5.56 is .223 and 7.62 is .308) for you civilians). So it's unfair to say us military guys know NOTHING about bullet characteristics. As a self-proclaimed expert (read it and weep), I can say there's a specific set of reasons why law enforcement and the FBI use .40 S&W. First being, it's harder to handle than the popular 9mm, but cheaper than .45. If someone were to steal your gun, you wouldn't be able to effectively use it. Second is obviously cost. It's the same reason the US Gov't switched from .30 to 7.62mm and later to 5.56. Third is availability. How many of you tried to buy .45 during this whole ammo media blitz and found none? Next, how many of you found .40? I'm willing to bet you found .40 before .45!

The bottom line, it really is all what you prefer. Just because LE or MIL uses it, doesn't make it special by any means. If you can shoot accurately and can handle the weapon when poop hits the fan, you've got something worth keeping. My next argument would be for concealment; I'm accurate with either .9mm or .40, but .40 is much louder. When you get into a confrontation that requires an exchange of fire, you'll find that the blast alone is enough to send your problems fleeing into the wilderness. Again, this is just personal preference. You could make your .9mm louder...haha.

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from Mike Crenshaw wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Don't understand all the hype with the .40SW. It's equally deadly as the 9mm. The most important factor is hitting vitals, and a 9mm would give you a better chance because they're typically more accurate with followup shots, the guns handle better and the mags usually hold more. If you're requiring more power, most auto pistols support +P and some will shoot 9mm major loads. Pair that with a light hollowpoint bullet and I guarantee one shot to the chest is going to cripple or kill even the biggest threat. Most of these people pushing the dirty harry mentality of bigger is better haven't shot or killed anyone or witnessed such. I promise, single 9mm bullets kill people every day. It's more than enough for a defensive caliber and there are many flavors. 40SW vs 9mm wadcutter is one thing, but 40SW vs 9mm major is no contest 9mm.

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from Ranx wrote 1 year 28 weeks ago

Some have already covered the ability to hit what you're shooting at and that is obviously the biggest single concern. That would have to be followed by the obvious kill and incapacitate ability. Next would be the ability to produce a follow up shot. Finally, I think the clip capacity is of importance. One can quibble with the last two and even insert some other but I think the first two can't be argued much.

On the ability to hit what you're aiming at I do think the 9mm has a few advantages for the following reasons. Ammo for the 9mm is cheap and plentiful. One can practice, practice, practice. I'm an average sized man but I still find the recoil from a 9mm to be more manageable than the .40 S&W. Like or not that may produce some hesitance or flinch. I've found that most handguns produce less muzzle climb with 9mm so back on target faster. The 9mm clips have more capacity.

I'm not limited by law to carrying ball ammunition. In the middle of the night I should be able to hit who I'm shooting at, knock them back or down and follow up the shot. If that doesn't happen it may come down to keeping them away with a lot of capacity.

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from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Body armour stops 9MM just as good as it does .40 or .45. I don't know where you read or saw that.

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from .30-06Hunter wrote 23 weeks 20 hours ago

Both have pros and cons.

The .40 has more power
The 9 is faster back on target

Capacity is close on both

9mm with the right ammo can be just as effective as the .40

9mm is cheaper on ammo

In the end pick what you shoot best and PRACTICE.

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from ARhunter wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

40 s&w as an xd model

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from Gator_Weiss wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

The FBI ratede the .45 acp and the 9mm para as 70 percent of the time one-shot-stops

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from CHKILCHII wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

For shootability, the nine.
For personal protection and home defense, the forty.

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from ableskeever wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

One of each.

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from 007 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Sarge, the incident that reference, was that over my way? Heard a little bit about that.

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from 007 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Good grief. Make that "incident that YOU refernce". It's too early for this, I should still be in bed.

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from Beekeeper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Well stated WAM.

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from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Sarge01, WAM.

Know a Fed. They were issued a .40S&W by H&K! No personal firearm OR ammo allowed. An M4 is the choice for "carry" when allowed with the H&K as a backup! No "backup" is issued and no "personal" backup is allowed.

Bubba

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from jamesti wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

a 9mm is just fine for a carry gun, but i don't carry anything less than .40 cal. just my preference, though.

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from steve182 wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

For the range, the 9mm offers cheaper ammo. For home defense I have a .40 and don't mind paying a little more for the ammo as i don't go through much.

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from ja_demko wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

I own 9mm's, .40's, and .45's. I enjoy shooting all of them. However, I also own 10mm's and .357 magnums. I not only enjoy shooting them, they are also the handguns to which I would turn if my life or that of one of my loved ones hung in the balance.

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from Joe Hatch wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Currently I have a High Standard .22 magnum 9 shot revolver. I've used it a couple of times after I've knocked deer down (with my 30.06) to dispatch them quickly, humanly. So I know it works for head shots.

I'm figuring out what I want in my next hand gun so I read each of the comments and a common theme seemed to be:

1- Practice - if you can't hit what you are aiming for then it really doesn't matter.

2- A bullet hole of any size will deter most especially in the chest.

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from Sean Williams wrote 1 year 33 weeks ago

45 acp is great but if you are a good shot, my opinion is a .357 magnum. if you can kill a deer with it, you can kill a human.

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from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 25 weeks ago

@ bryn_r1- You cannot convert a Glock chambered for 40 S&W to a 9mm by changing the barrel and magazine. The extractor and ejector are different. You can convert it to 357 Sig.

@ Ranx - Pistols use magazines, not clips. They are not the same thing.

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from Jackson Andrew Lewis wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

the only advantage to me the 9mm has is in law and military use as its penetrating power is better but the 40 and 45 are just better stopping power period. the 9mm only really works better for body armour and thick or heavy clothing.

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from MRMC59 wrote 38 weeks 1 day ago

I agree with idfma on home defense a shotgun with 00 buck is the best. The fatality rate for a shot gun is over 90%.

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from Kevin Madsen wrote 25 weeks 5 days ago

A round even could go through a wall and kill your loved one, has anyone shot a shotgun at a wall with buck shot?

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from M.A.T wrote 25 weeks 3 days ago

I guess I'd take the .40 but I still rather have a .45.

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from Jim Williamson wrote 19 weeks 4 days ago

IMHO it depends on what ammo you are using and the gun you ar putting it in. Glock's G19 (9mm) is IDENTICAL to their G23 (40SW)

If you load the usual Winchester Valuepack 9mm into a G19 and then repeat using Winchesters Valupack 40SW into a G23...you will notice about 50 ft/lb more force.

However if want your G23 to feel like a G19, choose ammo that will provide the same Ft/Lbs of force.

Check out ballisticsbytheinch.com and do the math required to convert the f/second to ft/lbs. those boys did allot of work and the data is impressive!

A G23 loaded with Federal Hydroshock 165 JHP will feel very much like a G19 loaded with Winchester valuepack 115 9mm, maybe even a little bit milder. (356 ft/lbs vs 362 ft/lbs for the 9mm)

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from Jim Williamson wrote 19 weeks 4 days ago

Post-script...that was regarding the kick of the gun...you can make a G19 and a G23 have the same perceived kick. As for damage to the bg? The .40 IS about 0.05 inches thicker for those in the "bigger is better" crowd. For those in the hydrostatic shock camp, out of a 4" barrel you can rev up a 9mm to 442 ft/lbs of force with Corbon's 115 +P JHP; but in 40SW you can get 546 ft/lbs with Corbon's 135 JHP out of the same 4" length. ( Again, thanks to the guys at ballisticsbytheinch.com)

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from walkerhuntercb123 wrote 14 weeks 2 days ago

I am a 40S&W fan. The 40 has more power and better velocity than the 9mm. But it depends on what you want if you are using it for self defense it usually doesn't matter what gun you have, what matters is hitting the target. If you hit a target in the chest with a 9mm 5 or 6 times you will stop them. But because the 40 has more power it has less stopping power. The 9mm has great stopping power meaning usually the 9mm will stay in the target better than the 40. Which in turn causes more damage.

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from gearhead64 wrote 11 weeks 5 days ago

Like others, I wouldn't forsake my .45 ACP. But I also have a .40 S&W for a carry gun. I refer to it as the 9mm that grew up! It is, after all 10mm "short". Like .380 ACP (also known as 9mm Kurz - "short")is to 9mm Luger. Similar proportions to the 9. Just bigger. And like the "9", more accurate than most 1911 Gov't .45s Of course, if the target is close, the bigger bullet wins.

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from jhjimbo wrote 11 weeks 5 days ago

I have heard stories of certain individuals being hit in the head with a nine and being treated and released from the Hospital. Not so with the .40 S&W.

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from rrmont wrote 5 years 10 weeks ago

At one time I had both, and sold the 9mm because I liked to .40 so much better.

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from buckeye wrote 5 years 4 weeks ago

I use a .40s&w and it hold 14 rounds if you need more than that you are doing something wrong. I love my gun and plan on keeping it, but I also plan on buying a .45 ACP.

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from Gator_Weiss wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

The 10mm is a much more reliable man-stopper than the 40, because of the loading. There is a need for a +P+ loading in the .40

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from HeidelbergJaeger wrote 3 years 46 weeks ago

I personally own a Glock model 35 in .40 S&W. I also regularly shoot a 9mm Baretta M9 pistol in the Army. I would say that without a doubt, when comparing just the 9mm and the .40S&W, that the .40 wins every time.

Granted, I want to put the biggest hole in my target that I can do consistently, and the .40 allows me to do that more accurately than the 9mm. Maybe I don't like the hand grips on my M9, maybe I like the feel of the Glock's better- but whatever it is, the .40 S&W won my confidence and ultimately my money.

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from wvhunter62 wrote 3 years 45 weeks ago

NATO is a political body that governs military actions. Would you really trust your life on a decision made by a bunch of politicians? If you want to base your choice on military acceptance look at what the Marines, SEALs, And SF are packing. Between the 9 and 40 I would choose the 40 it has higher KE, ME and TI numbers and numbers don't lie. That being said alot has been done to improve the 9. With modern HP ammo the 9 is an effective fight stopper. Military FMJ style ammmo? .45acp then 40S&W then the 9mm Para. I would not want to be hit by any of them.

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from bryn_r1 wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

Haaaa!! I agree with steve marlin. Shoot what best fits you. I've owned both .40 and 9mm Glocks. The 9 is easier to handle and has more rounds while the .40 has more stopping power and like 2 less rounds!! I don't care what anyone says, the .40 does have more stopping power. All you have to do is look up ballistic tests between the two. The .40 creates something called hydrostatic shock. In other words it creates enough energy to not only make a big wound, but, it also creates a state of shock eminating way out past the bullet wound which can cause a quicker death due to brain hemorraging than from bleeding out. Don't get me wrong, anyone who says 9mm is weak is an idiot and has obviously never been shot by one before. I personally got rid of my 9mm cause I found out that my Glock .40 can be converted to a 9mm within seconds of changing the barrel and magazine!!!! But not vise versa....so ya.

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from ableskeever wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

Home defense -> 12 gauge hands down. (Why go for a pistol when you can have a scattergun?)

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from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

( )Karma?
( )Fate?
( )Uh-oh?
( )Bingo!
( )Jinx, you owe me a Coke?
( )Lucky dog!
( )Sometimes, everything just seems to fall into place!
( )The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.

Your choice, WAM!
Only God knows!

Bubba

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from Sarge01 wrote 2 years 17 weeks ago

My newest handgun and I might add one that amazes me is my Judge Poly Defender. The .45 Colt round is a forinable round but the 4 copper plated buckshot load is terrible at 20 to 25 feet. I have been a firearms training officer for 40 years and have shot and carried many firearms on duty and for home defense this firearm does a good job. I took it to the range and using a TQ-15 targets it put all 4 buckshot in a man's chest. It would definelty make for a bad day for someone in your home. I carry the 225 grain Hornady flextip rounds when I carry it which is more often now that I have a fine holster to carry it in and because of the light weight. At 15 yards I put 15 rounds of the 225 grain Hornady flextips in a 3 inch circle. Thats not to bad for a 2 inch barrel. My main firearm is a 4566TSW S&W which was given to me when I retired because that was what I was carrying when I retired and I have a S&W 637 Airweight 38Special+P but I like the Judge more each time I shoot it. It won't take the place of the .45 but it sure is fun to shoot and with the buckshot it is a mean piece of machinery at close range like in a house. Shooting the new Federal #4 shot load it is a fine snake firearm also.

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from Kevin Madsen wrote 25 weeks 5 days ago

Killing Power - Not to many judges would like to here many of your comments. The idea is not to kill but stop the threat, I think some of you might find themselves in jail. Yes, I would load my weapon with hollow point and probably kill the attacker but saving that outright to a judge "that your objective was to kill" may get you in trouble. I think a red Lazer dot or a blank in the face would be a good stopping "round" unless the person had a gun. None of you addressed the invaders weapon. I think that shot first and ask second is a good way in the Army, but in home the attacker could be your son or daughter. So one must be sure before pulling the trigger to kill.

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from Carney wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

MHO = the the .40 stomps the 9. The 10 stomps the .40.

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from bigajvigs wrote 5 years 12 weeks ago

I have a 9mm CZ and its a great practice pistol with 115grn bullets, but I would have to give the 40 the upper hand. I am going into a career as a Conservation Officer and have friends who are cops and they all use the 40 or 45, the 9mm does not cut it according to them. One gentlemen told me of a situation in which it required a fellow officer over 2 magazines of 9mm and his own squad car to bring a suspect loaded up on meth down, he stated to me that with the 40 or 45 that would not have happened

I would go with the 40 or better yet the 45 any day over the 9mm for carry and protection

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from ishawooa wrote 5 years 11 weeks ago

There are some fine pistols made exclusively for the 9 mm but this is a round that I learned to detest thirty years ago. You could shoot a feral cat, it would jumpa about two feet straight up, and haul butt. Other larger calibers did not demonstrate this particular reaction as the critter usually just dropped. The "improved bullets" have not changed my opinion. I suppose the .40 Short and Weak is a good round and the 10 mm is dying so why bother, just get a .45 ACP and never look back.

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from shane wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

9x19 = high capacity. .40 s&w = not quite as much capacity. .45 ACP = a lot of dead people.

I'm not trying to kill anyone, so my only auto handgun is a luger that my grandfather swiped from the krauts. It's pretty effective at putting 8 holes in a tree, fast.

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from silsbyj wrote 5 years 1 week ago

I just bought a Springfield XD 4o and it beats the hell out of any 9mm that I have ever shot. Like the rest of the guys said though, If you really want something dead...best go .45

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from rabiddog69 wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

I just bought my first 40S&W i will go shooting in the morning and hope i like iv had handfulls of 9mm's all difernt brands last one was a barretta and the rounds started turning sideways at about 25 feet so in the for sale box it went now i have a 40 S&W

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from s-kfry wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

.40 S&W, drop the bad guy on the first shot rather than having to keep shooting because the 9 doesn't get the job done. I really like my SW40F (Sigma).

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from iron giant wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

The 40 has it all over the nine. The .45 is stil King though. I tend to wander what is wrong with guys who prefer nines.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 3 years 42 weeks ago

9mm's are for guys who squat to go pee!

I carry a 45 because they don't make a 46!

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