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Oysterboy
March 5, 2012, 01:07 AM
As I was browsing around on calibers I came across the chamber pressure chart. It showed that the .40 and the 9mm (both standard) showed 35K psi. I know that the .40 bullet, say 165, is heavier compared to 9mm bullet, say 147, but as I learned the heavier the bullet the lower the velocity thus less energy.

Yet I've seen charts that showed the .40 expends more energy than the 9mm. I'm missing something here, what is it?

Thanks

SteelChickenShooter
March 5, 2012, 01:25 AM
I shoot a 9 and a 40. The 40 knocks down the bowling pins and hits the steel plates harder than the 9. Recoil is more snappy as well in the 40.

4V50 Gary
March 5, 2012, 01:27 AM
I had the same experience in a smg shootoff. I used a MP-5 in 40 and my opponents were using MP-5 in 9mms. A two shot burst from my gun easily knocked down the plates. The 9mm hits wavered a bit. I knocked down my plates faster than anyone else thanks to the bigger bullet.

Cheapshooter
March 5, 2012, 01:46 AM
A google search for handgun ballistic tables, or handgun ballistic calculator will give you much data.
As a simple example, Remington shows the 125 GR. 9MM Golden saber has 339 ft lbs of muzzle energy, while the 165 GR. 40S&W produces 485 ft lbs of energy.

but as I learned the heavier the bullet the lower the velocity thus less energy.
In the same cartridge! The 40S&W cartridge is larger, and has a larger volume for more powder capacity, thus higher velocity.

Hansam
March 5, 2012, 02:02 AM
+1 Cheapshooter!

I'm personally not a fan of the .40SW the cartridge is definitely more powerful than its 9mm counterpart.

In fact I think I remember reading it carried more energy downrange than even the .45acp!

Regardless of that I'll stick with the .45acp. IF I need more impact power than the .45acp I'll go for my .44mag or better yet grab a carbine!

kozak6
March 5, 2012, 02:07 AM
Here's another one to think about: the .357 magnum also operates at similar pressure levels.

Chamber pressure doesn't really tell you much. A brass casing can only take so much pressure. Also, you don't really know anything about the duration of the pressure.

DRSmith
March 5, 2012, 02:13 AM
The .40 S&W pushes a 155 grain bullet notably faster than the 9mm pushes a 147 grain bullet.

I distilled some information from Ballistics By The Inch comparing several handgun rounds. They didn't use the same make & model loads from one cartridge to another. I selected what looked to be the strongest loading from their list for each cartridge. In these graphs you can see that the 115 gr 9mm is faster than the 150 gr .40, but momentum and energy are clearly in favor of the .40. Since the .40 S&W and 357 Sig have essentially the same powder capacity, I suppose that loading a 125 grain bullet and the same powder mass into the .40 would produce similar energy to the Sig.

http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=775&pictureid=2832
http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=775&pictureid=2831
http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=775&pictureid=2830

tipoc
March 5, 2012, 03:59 AM
Seems Kozak6 is about right in that chamber pressure is not relevant here.

The 40S&W is a more powerful round in general. A heavier bullet can be fired from the 40 than the nine. That same bullet can be fired at the same or a higher velocity.

tipoc

TacticalDefense1911
March 5, 2012, 08:03 AM
The .40 s&w can fire a larger, heavier bullet at the same velocity as a smaller 9mm bullet, so yes technically the 40 s&w is a more "powerful" caliber. This can help with barrier penetration and the 40 s&w tends to deflect less than the 9mm when hitting a barrier or obstacle because of the heavier bullet. That said, any full power service caliber (9mm, .357, .40, .45) are more than capable. Since I'm not an LEO, I've always found the added recoil of the .40 s&w negated any benefits of the load vs. the 9mm.

Crow Hunter
March 5, 2012, 09:05 AM
Yes.

All other things being equal, the larger the diameter of the bullet and the faster it goes, the more "powerful" it is.

The problem is "effectiveness".

Is the shooter able to "effectively" use that greater power?

Personally, I can't.

Just yesterday I was shooting a G19 and a G30. (9mm vs .45)

I can get nearly twice the number of rounds on target in a tighter group on the same target with the same time constraints as I can with a .45.

I can do it better with a .45 than I can a .40.

So I am more "effective" with a 9mm than I am with a .40.

kraigwy
March 5, 2012, 09:25 AM
Think of a slow moving bowling ball vs the velocity of a golf ball.

Which one is going to knock over the bowling pins?

Oysterboy
March 5, 2012, 10:40 AM
Good analogy. Thanks.

When I bought my Sigma, I had a choice of 9 or 40 since they were the same price. I went with the 9 because I have another 9, my KT PF9. I figured that I'd keep it in the same family.

Now I was having second thoughts, conflicting pros and cons about the 9 and the 40 then I realized I can use +P and +P+ and increase my chance of SD. Am I correct about that? Higher pressure means more velocity/energy, right?

C0untZer0
March 5, 2012, 10:48 AM
Nice charts.

Not much to be gained with a barrel over 16" in most cases

Crow Hunter
March 5, 2012, 11:16 AM
Now I was having second thoughts, conflicting pros and cons about the 9 and the 40 then I realized I can use +P and +P+ and increase my chance of SD. Am I correct about that? Higher pressure means more velocity/energy, right?

Yes.

However, to start with make sure that you can make multiple fight stopping hits on one or more opponents on command from multiple positions from however you plan on having the gun stored/carrying it.

Then worry about your caliber.

Mindset
Tactics
Skill
lastly
Equipment

When you have gotten to the point that you can truly utilize the improved capability of the bowling ball, start throwing bowling balls. A gutter ball won't knock any pins down.:D

tipoc
March 5, 2012, 01:07 PM
Now I was having second thoughts, conflicting pros and cons about the 9 and the 40 then I realized I can use +P and +P+ and increase my chance of SD. Am I correct about that? Higher pressure means more velocity/energy, right?

Looks like you are correct that for self defense a +P or +P+ 9mm round can tend to be more effective than a non +P given the right bullet type. But you are a bit off base, I think, on the question of the pressure that a round operates at. The operating pressure of a round has no direct relationship to how "powerful" a round is.

The operating pressure is the pressure that is generated inside the case as the powder burns and gas expands inside. That pressure is governed by the type of powder used, the amount used, type of primer, etc. and the size of the case.

On the other hand when folks speak of the "power" of a round we are referring to the foot pounds of energy that the bullet has at it's disposal at the muzzle and downrange (a factor of velocity and bullet weight). Both the 9mm and the 40 S&W have the same operating pressures but the latter has a larger case and can contain more powder. So while they both have an average operating pressure of 35,000 psi the 40 S&W can send a heavier bullet down range faster than the 9mm can and generates more energy. So the 9mm can toss a 125 gr. +P bullet downrange at 1250 fps and generate 434 ft. pds. of energy (a Cor-Bon load) the 40 S&W can lob a 155 gr. bullet at 1200 fps. and produce 496 ft. pds of energy (a Speer load).

If we use momentum as a factor the 40SW is also more powerful.

The 45 Colt has a lower operating pressure (between 14,500 psi and 20,000 psi) than either the 9mm or the 40 but is a more powerful round than either. It can send a 225 gr. round out at 1200 fps in one load by Cor-Bon for 720 ft. pds. of energy. In a standard load, one from Speer, the old Colt round can send a 250 gr. GDHP out at 900 ft. per second. for 450 ft. pds of energy but a good deal more momentum than the 9 or the 40.

The higher pressure can be a factor in felt recoil.

Crow Hunter makes the good point though that in a small gun the heavier and snappier 40S&W may not be the best choice for some shooters in that quick and accurate shots may be easier with the 9mm and you also get an extra round or two.

Choosing a handgun is based on multiple considerations and so is choosing the round to go in it. Use what you shoot best of the service calibers.

tipoc

Oysterboy
March 5, 2012, 01:20 PM
Thanks. That explains a lot. It's the end results that count. Have an ebeer on me. :)

Venom1956
March 5, 2012, 01:30 PM
Yes. But personally I am not a fan. Especially in a SD/HD pistol. I believe 9mm is a better round for that situation. More rounds, less recoil, quicker shots. I could ramble on more. but that's IMHO. YMMV.

Strafer Gott
March 5, 2012, 01:46 PM
DRSmith,

Loved your presentation. Stand back!! There's science in this shtuff!

ScottRiqui
March 5, 2012, 02:46 PM
The operating pressure of a round has no direct relationship to how "powerful" a round is.


The operating pressure has *everything* to do with how "powerful" a round is. The problem is that we're only ever given peak pressure, which isn't very helpful by itself.

If you could tell me what the pressure was at each portion of the barrel as the bullet moved through it, I could tell you the muzzle energy and the momentum of the bullet. It's the chamber/barrel pressure, acting on the cross-sectional area of the bullet as it moves through a known distance, that determines its energy and momentum.

kraigwy
March 5, 2012, 02:47 PM
Stand back!! There's science in this shtuff!

I spent some time as a Uniform CSI, in fact I'm still certified as a LE CSI Instructor.

I learned Science stops when you hit the street, reality kicks in. Regardless of Newton's Physics, bullets do weird things on the street. Big ones, little ones, even the same bullets, bullets do their own thing.

The only thing you can predict is nothing is "always" nothing is "sure."

BDM 9MM
March 5, 2012, 02:55 PM
I feel you have the answer for you - 9MM. Dan

Cheapshooter
March 5, 2012, 03:01 PM
Now I was having second thoughts, conflicting pros and cons about the 9 and the 40 then I realized I can use +P and +P+ and increase my chance of SD. Am I correct about that? Higher pressure means more velocity/energy, right?

More powerful, yes. Do you need more power than a good SD 9MM round, no.
The shooter has to do their part. A poorly placed shot with a 40 S&W, or even a 10MM is far less effective than a well placed shot with a 9MM standard pressure round.
Don't fret your choice. Just learn to shoot properly, and practice, practice, practice.

TacticalDefense1911
March 5, 2012, 03:16 PM
Now I was having second thoughts, conflicting pros and cons about the 9 and the 40 then I realized I can use +P and +P+ and increase my chance of SD. Am I correct about that? Higher pressure means more velocity/energy, right?

Don't sweat it. "Software" trumps "hardware" any day of the week. If you do your part a good quality 9mm defense load will do its part.

Oysterboy
March 5, 2012, 03:23 PM
Thanks again. Yes, I'm having practice at the range and having a 9mm made it more affordable. I have probably somewhere over 300 rounds through my Sigma 9 and I'm getting better with my shot placements at 21 feet. I had 2 mags (30 rnds) in the chest, 2 mags in the torso and 2 mags in the head. The target's not even life sized so I feel pretty good. Of course there's some misses but only a few so I'd say over 90% hits.

TacticalDefense1911
March 5, 2012, 03:31 PM
Get accurate with the gun and then seek out some training classes. Learning how to manipulate and "operate" the gun is just as important as being accurate. A good dynamic handgun class will do you some good.

lawnboy
March 5, 2012, 04:33 PM
Thanks again. Yes, I'm having practice at the range and having a 9mm made it more affordable. I have probably somewhere over 300 rounds through my Sigma 9 and I'm getting better with my shot placements at 21 feet. I had 2 mags (30 rnds) in the chest, 2 mags in the torso and 2 mags in the head. The target's not even life sized so I feel pretty good. Of course there's some misses but only a few so I'd say over 90% hits

Firearms are serious, but, make sure you "play" games with yourself and your weapon. Not everyone has access to a Hogans Alley setup or even the great outdoors. Some ranges are extremely restrictive on what they will allow you to do. But even a range that only allows you to load one round in a magazine at a time can afford an opportunity for training of a sort. You just have to be creative within the rules of safety and whatever range you patronize.

Don't just shoot at a single bullseye repeatedly. Get targets with multi bullseyes and practice engaging a bullseye for one shot, coming back to ready and then engaging another bullseye. Practice loading a couple rounds in a magazine and a couple in another magazine. Engage the target until the gun is empty, change mags, and re-engage the target. Practice always getting your first shot on target. First shot is most important.

If you have access to a facility with courses, tactical setups or reactive targets then so much the better.

Oysterboy
March 5, 2012, 04:53 PM
Yea, the range I go to is outdoors and they have a rule about rapid firing. What I did was lower my gun and bring it up and fire three evenly spaced shots each time on the three areas. Rinse and repeat. I'm practicing on bringing up my sight of fire. So far so good.

Crow Hunter
March 5, 2012, 04:56 PM
Get accurate with the gun and then seek out some training classes. Learning how to manipulate and "operate" the gun is just as important as being accurate. A good dynamic handgun class will do you some good.

+100

It will also let you know how good your choice is for you. My wife and I took a class in the rain/mud and it was very satisfiying to see how well our G19's performed in the muck for us. I distinctly remember setting up a Phase III malfunction and noticing a little dribble of muddy goop come out of the chamber when I was sticking the dummy into the chamber. :D

Not a single non "arranged" malfunction in 1,200+ rounds for each of us.

Aguila Blanca
March 5, 2012, 04:57 PM
As I was browsing around on calibers I came across the chamber pressure chart. It showed that the .40 and the 9mm (both standard) showed 35K psi. I know that the .40 bullet, say 165, is heavier compared to 9mm bullet, say 147, but as I learned the heavier the bullet the lower the velocity thus less energy.

Yet I've seen charts that showed the .40 expends more energy than the 9mm. I'm missing something here, what is it?
You are missing basic physics. It isn't pressure that propels a bullet and generates energy, it's force. Pressure is measured and expressed in pounds per square inch. That's what "psi" stands for. Irrespective of weight, a .40 caliber bullet has a larger base for the pressure to act on.

According to Berrys' Bullets web site, a 9mm bullet has a diameter of .356" and a .40 bullet has a diameter of .401. That gives a base area of 0.100 sq.in. for the 9mm and 1.26 sq.in for the .40. Assuming equal pressures, you can see instantly that the .40 is applying the same pressure over 26 percent more area, which results in 26 percent more force/energy.

Using your bullet weights, the 165-gr bullet is 18 grains heavier than the 147-gr, which is a difference of 12 percent. So the .40 has 26 percent more energy pushing a bullet that weighs 12 percent more. The left-over 14 percent goes into generating more velocity and more muzzle energy.

Crioche
March 6, 2012, 12:11 PM
I think that shot placement is a big issue that many forget about. If you can't put two shots quickly and accurately into your opponent's heart or head then become better trained, before you need find yourself in harm's way.

Whether we are 9mm, .40, .40 or .50 fans; the above wisdom holds true. You can wield a .50 Desert Eagle and let loose one of those .50 bullets, but if it doesn't hit the right place then it just irritates the 'recipient' of the bullet.

I recall that in the 50s, 60s & 70s the Israelis favoured silenced .22 Beretta pistols to despatch people they disliked - terrorists especially. Their doctrine was two shots to the head and it was all over - neat, professional, terminal!

I'm a 9mm person - probably because I carried one as a soldier and I was very good with it, because I was trained well and I practiced a lot! In Northern Ireland we often carried pistols, as we operated in civilian clothes rather than uniform. I learned how to shoot using Jeff Cooper's Modern Technique & the Weaver Stance, Combat Mindset and I bought a good holster and magazine carrier.

So whilst I'm always up for a good debate on the 'right' calibre; it's secondary to 'you' and your ability to hit the target. The Army bought us a load of IPSC cardboard targets, which were excellent because we learned muscle memory at shooting at silhouettes and it served us very well on operations. They were a lot better than the usual picture of a charging 'Russian-looking' soldier where the bullseye was his stomach.

I hope this helps to keep you safe.

Deaf Smith
March 6, 2012, 10:33 PM
As I was browsing around on calibers I came across the chamber pressure chart. It showed that the .40 and the 9mm (both standard) showed 35K psi. I know that the .40 bullet, say 165, is heavier compared to 9mm bullet, say 147, but as I learned the heavier the bullet the lower the velocity thus less energy.

Yet I've seen charts that showed the .40 expends more energy than the 9mm. I'm missing something here, what is it?

Chamber pressure is not velocity or weight. The .40 case has more volume than the 9mm and the .40 slug more area for the pressure to act.

Top loads of the .40 are more powerful than the top 9mm loads. Always were.

Deaf

Hook686
March 7, 2012, 02:32 AM
http://i459.photobucket.com/albums/qq319/DocGKR/Handgun_gel_comparison.jpg

tipoc
March 7, 2012, 03:36 AM
A few random rounds and the pressures they operate at...

The .22 l.r. about 24,000 psi for standard velocity and hi velocity.

.38 Special about 17,000 psi in standard velocity and 18,500 psi in +P

44 Special about 15,500 psi but can be a bit more.

45acp about 21,000 psi.

Of these the round which operates at the highest pressure is the least powerful.

The standard tools for measuring the power of a round are either the energy produced by it or the momentum. While the pressure that a round operates at are important (for reasons spelled out in a couple of posts) alone they tell you not alot about the punch a round can deliver.

tipoc

Erikbal
March 7, 2012, 05:01 PM
Oysterboy, I am looking at buying the same gun and am having a hard time chosing between the 9mm and .40.

Oysterboy
March 7, 2012, 06:34 PM
In that case, have you shot either of them? I bought a 9 because I already have a 9 and didn't want to end up buying two different calibers. I have two boxes of 100 packs of Rem UMC 115 JHPs but only shot 50 yesterday because they're pretty hot. That's with my Sigma 9. I can't imagine how much I can shoot with my PF9 but it's loaded with 'em for SD. :)

Erikbal
March 7, 2012, 07:39 PM
I have shot a 9mm Glock 19 and some other 9mms but I imagine that the glock is the closest to the Sigma. I believe I have shot a .40 but that was a long time ago and honestly I don't really remember it. I'm sure with practice I could be good with either but with less recoil the 9mm would probably be easier to shoot consistently and faster at the same spot. I keep my BG 380 loaded with Hornady HP's for self defense as well.

Nanuk
March 7, 2012, 10:40 PM
The 40 definitely has a slight edge of power over the 9mm, but I would not lose any sleep over it.

Tipoc:
The 45 Colt has a lower operating pressure (between 14,500 psi and 20,000 psi) than either the 9mm or the 40 but is a more powerful round than either. It can send a 225 gr. round out at 1200 fps in one load by Cor-Bon for 720 ft. pds. of energy.

That is from a 7 1/2 " BBL from a 4" you are probable looking at 1000 FPS or less.

In a standard load, one from Speer, the old Colt round can send a 250 gr. GDHP out at 900 ft. per second. for 450 ft. pds of energy but a good deal more momentum than the 9 or the 40.

Not really, its pretty close to the 40 S&W, if I was to cherry pick a Cor-bon 165 JHP at 1150 FPS for 484 FPE from a 4" BBL..

agtman
March 10, 2012, 09:58 PM
The 40 definitely has a slight edge of power over the 9mm, but I would not lose any sleep over it.


Agree.

But in terms of comparable power among the so-called "service calibers," the high-performance 10mm AUTO beats 'em all ... :)

And no need for any loss of sleep, just accept it ... :p

"My, that's a big one ..."

http://i372.photobucket.com/albums/oo166/agtman/800px-10MM_AUTO_-_FMJ_-_1.jpg

Yep, the impact of an errant, full-power 10mm round is something to see ... :eek:

http://i372.photobucket.com/albums/oo166/agtman/french-nuclear-blast.jpg

:cool:

Constantine
March 10, 2012, 11:50 PM
Give me a .40 which is what I learned on...I'll become highly proficient with it in a week with sufficient ammo. 500+ rounds.

Same with .45

Same with .9mm

Same with 10mm

Same with .357SIG

Why do I know this? Cause I've done this...

Why don't I have any 10mm or .357SIG firearms on my signature anymore? The ammo is a biatch to find.

Practice, practice, practice. ANYONE can do that ^^^^


Now..which is more powerful? That's easy...


Shot placement.

ja1n
March 11, 2012, 08:53 AM
basically e=mc2

Stevie-Ray
March 11, 2012, 04:23 PM
That gives a base area of 0.100 sq.in. for the 9mm and 1.26 sq.in for the .40. I think the decimal needs to be to the left of the 1 for the .40;)

Aguila Blanca
March 11, 2012, 09:16 PM
I think the decimal needs to be to the left of the 1 for the .40
Aaarrrggghhh.

You are entirely correct. And the post is mature enough that I'm not allowed to edit it. My bad.

At least I got the 26 percent increase correct, and that's the key point.

imthegrumpyone
March 12, 2012, 03:05 AM
I love my 9mm but only carry my .40s ;)

jmstr
March 13, 2012, 10:18 PM
I can get back on target better with a 9mm than the .40. I am almost as good with a .45acp as the 9mm, but not quite.

If a .40 is going to cause me to miss the target 5 out of 10 times, but I can hit it 6 out of 8 times with .45acp or 9 out of 10 times with 9mm, then the .45acp and 9mm are more likely to save me. I trust either.

Crioche, when you were in the military, was it the Hi Power you carried? Or some other 9mm?

Just curious.

arentol
March 13, 2012, 11:31 PM
On any given day I am either carrying my 9mm Browning HP or my 10 mm Fusion 1911 Commander.

The 9mm has 14 rounds of +P ammo in it while the 10mm has 10 rounds of ammo that is about 25-30% more powerful than .40 S&W.

Based on my practice with both guns and my carry load I really don't think I will have any trouble getting multiple rapid hits accurately on target with either. I get on target only about 15% slower with the 10mm than the 9mm. So yes, I will be a little bit faster with the 9mm, but in terms of putting overall power on target the 10mm is the clear winner. I can accurately unload all 10 rounds from the 10mm just as fast as I can unload all 14 from the Browning, and any hits from the 10mm will definitely carry more authority, arguably about 50% more.

I feel confident in both of course, otherwise I wouldn't carry them interchangeably, but the 10mm is truly significantly more powerful.

Nathan
March 14, 2012, 04:26 AM
Bad question! When you ask it you are begging to hear all the justifications why people bought 9's. IMO, most buy 9's because ammo is cheap and the guns can be small. Also in popular culture, the 9 enjoys a huge following.

In the real world, you want the biggest diameter flying at 1000-1200 fps that you can handle. For me, this starts at 40. 45 is a touch slow, but ok.

insomni
March 14, 2012, 05:11 AM
Agtman roflmao!!!
I usually roll my eyes when the 10mm afficionados appear and vehemently defend their hard to find ammo, but that made my day.
You win

agtman
March 14, 2012, 06:27 PM
Thanks! ... was just being a bit tongue in cheek, but sometimes in threads of this sort, breaking up the caliber-seriousness w/ a smile is a good thing ... :D

:cool:

Oysterboy
March 14, 2012, 07:01 PM
Showoff! :p

brnmuenchow
March 15, 2012, 08:59 AM
I really don't think you would be able to tell the difference if you were hit by either one, your first reaction would still be the same... "Seek imediate medical attention" before you bleed to death or go into shock.:D

RickB
March 15, 2012, 11:13 AM
All other things being equal, the larger the diameter of the bullet and the faster it goes, the more "powerful" it is.

The problem is "effectiveness".

I can get nearly twice the number of rounds on target in a tighter group on the same target with the same time constraints as I can with a .45.

I can do it better with a .45 than I can a .40.

So I am more "effective" with a 9mm than I am with a .40.


Assuming we're talking about a self-defense scenario, how do you know you will get more than one shot? The first shot is overwhelmingly the most important, so I'd place volume of fire way behind first-round hit and the effectiveness of that round.

Deaf Smith
March 15, 2012, 09:34 PM
Long time ago Jeff Cooper opined that one has to decide which is harder...

a) make a well placed good shot with a powerful round or..
b) make several more or less good shots with less powerful rounds

Now while I pack a 9mm alot I do feel the first rounds are the most important and the first shot that makes a telling hit on your opponent will end the argument.

It's nice to have 10, 15, 20 shots but it's the first ones that count. Fail to deliver and there is a good chance your opponent will pay you back some of that lead.

Use the most powerful round/weapon you can shoot accurately, control, and conceal.

Yes the .40 is more powerful than the 9mm (and so is the .357 Sig, 10mm, .357 magnum, .45 ACP, .45 GAP, etc...) and IF you can shoot them well and conceal them, they are a better pick.

But, if the +p+ 9mm is all you can handle (and for me it's my WIFE that would have trouble with the .40 and .357 Sig sub-compact Glocks) then pack the 9mm.

Just shoot strait and get the good hits.

Deaf

barstoolguru
March 15, 2012, 10:24 PM
I love my G23 but word on the street is that with modern ammo and bonded hollow points the 9mm comes close to the same ft lbs as a .40 at 30 ft

BigPoppa
March 16, 2012, 02:30 AM
Yes it is more powerful.

Crow Hunter
March 16, 2012, 08:47 AM
RickB

Assuming we're talking about a self-defense scenario, how do you know you will get more than one shot? The first shot is overwhelmingly the most important, so I'd place volume of fire way behind first-round hit and the effectiveness of that round.

Exactly.

How do you know you will only get one shot? I KNOW that I can get 2 - 3 shots into a vital zone of a standard target in the same time I can get 1 shot of a more "powerful" caliber.

How do you know you will only face one attacker and that your "first-round hit" will be exactly where it needs to be on a target that is actively trying to kill you?

The only way you are going to stop someone is hit something vital. How do you know that you will always hit something vital?

Remember, in the "real world" the targets aren't standing still facing you at 7 yards with scoring circle denoting the "vital zones". They are going to be crouching, running, diving behind cover, swinging a knife/club/machete, shooting at you, etc. It will be a dynamic environment. You are going to be hopped up on adrenaline, hopefully moving off the line of attack, seeking cover, watching your line of fire for innocents, etc. It most likely won't be like Clint Eastwood in the Unforgiven.

The only way you will drop someone instantly hitting the brainstem/spinal cord that is about the width of your thumb. Otherwise, you need to put holes in the target. The bigger the holes the better, but more holes is better than bigger holes. 2 .355" holes adding up to .70" is better than one hole that is .40". You have both more holes to let air in and 2 chances to hit that thumb width target. (Yes, I know that hollowpoints open up, but there is no guarantee other than the bullet diameter)

Do some studies on some simunitions engagements and see what happens when people are really shooting at each other.

But go out and figure out what makes YOU more effective. If you personally can put 2-3 "fight stopping" hits in multiple targets on demand under reasonable time contraints with a .40 or a .45 you are effective with that caliber and you will be able to enjoy the added power benefits of a larger diameter and better penetration. If you can only make 1 hit per target in the same time constraints as you can make 2 or 3 with a 9mm, you would be more "effective" with the 9mm.

I met some guys from the Memphis SWAT team at a class that were using Sig 229s in .40 that were WAY more "effective" than I could ever dream of being. But they do that for a living and practice ALOT more than I do. Not to mention being 2x my size.:D

gak
March 17, 2012, 12:37 PM
Some very good stuff here including all the distraction, but it is amazing how the thread quickly degenerated into half the responses lecturing (again) on posters' views on what was "better," which they liked more or tactically and strategically more effective for them and/or should be for others, follow-up shots, shot placement, etc. However informative, did not the OP instead ask if the .40 was really more powerful?

tipoc
March 17, 2012, 12:47 PM
However informative, did not the OP instead ask if the .40 was really more powerful?

Yes that is what he asked and it was answered early on.

tipoc

Oysterboy
March 17, 2012, 12:53 PM
Well, I'll soon find out. I got the Sigma 40 on order at the range. :p

MADISON
March 17, 2012, 01:49 PM
HERE IS WHERE YOU CAN FIND THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION:
Go to Google and type in:
40 S&W and FBI Lite
There are several pages of information.

tdocz
March 17, 2012, 02:27 PM
I'm going to read through post to verify that this point hasn't already been made, so here goes.

A little freshman level physics can clarify the subtleties of this discussion:

1: regarding same or similar chamber pressures between 9mm &40SW, since the 40cal has a broader effective surface area there will be greater force on the bullet compared to the 9mm. Applied force =pressure x area

2: for similar velocities, the 40sw will have greater kinetic energy and greater linear momentum. However, even if a lighter 9mm bullet travels faster than a heavier 40sw bullet, fast enough to have greater kinetic energy than the 40sw bullet, the heavier bullet may still have greater momentum. Momentum transfer, not energy transfer, directly translates to "knockdown power". For the same reason, momentum transfer is responsible for recoil as well. Consequently, a bullet fired from a firearm with more kinetic energy may not necessarily have greater recoil than a lower energy bullet (that is, of the momentum of the latter is greater). Hence, typically heavier yet slower muzzle velocity bullets fired from the same firearm can produce greater recoil, i.e. 230gr bullet at 850fps vs 180gr bullet at 950fps.

3: kinetic energy, not linear momentum, corresponds more closely with penetration depth and heat transfer during impact as opposed to stopping power.

Of course the above points, which are merely descriptions of the physics principles involved, does not fully explain all of the myriad possibilities that may manifest. When it comes to ballistics there are many more variables to consider such as bullet expansion at impact, physical properties of the target, bullet wobble, bullet diameter at impact, etc. End of Physics 101. Next week I'll follow up these ideas by explaining why Bubba jogging to the crapper has more momentum than a speeding bullet shot at the bathroom door yet the bullet has more energy...:eek:

Cheers!

Sent from my LG-E739 using Tapatalk

Oysterboy
March 17, 2012, 02:57 PM
After what I've read here so far I went to Walmart and picked up a box of Win 147 HPs and replaced the PDX 124 +Ps in my gun.

Walklightly
March 17, 2012, 08:30 PM
Before I bought my 9mm. I was told buy a police buddy to got a 40cal because the 9mm over penetrates.:rolleyes:

He's a S-Cal PO.:eek:

baccusboy
March 17, 2012, 09:08 PM
Oysterboy, I believe those Winchester 147 grain rounds have a very bad reputation for not being able to expand well at all. I would look into purchasing some standard pressure HST in 147 grain from TDS or elsewhere, or go back to your PDX:

http://www.tds-us.com/catalog.php/tds/dt49209/pd991146/FEDERAL_PREMIUM_TACTICAL_HST_147grn_9mm_P9HST2_-_50_ROUNDS

Oysterboy
March 17, 2012, 11:05 PM
Now you tell me. ;)

I get what I can find in Walmart and Academy are no better with their high priced 20 round boxes. Even the selections is poor. I would have to travel some to find a decent gun store.

I put the PDX1s back in. :p

RickB
March 18, 2012, 12:32 PM
How do you know you will only get one shot? I KNOW that I can get 2 - 3 shots into a vital zone of a standard target in the same time I can get 1 shot of a more "powerful" caliber.


No. The first shot is going to be the same speed, regardless of caliber. A .22 or a .44 Mag, same speed for first shot.

Crow Hunter
March 18, 2012, 01:40 PM
No. The first shot is going to be the same speed, regardless of caliber. A .22 or a .44 Mag, same speed for first shot.

So you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that that 1st shot you make will be a fight stopping shot every single time?

You can draw from concealment and hit a thumb width target that is moving at 3 to 15 yards every single time with only one shot? If you can, you need to open a training school. I'll be your first student.

Now for a thought experiment.

If I can get a shot that severs the spinal cord with the 1st shot with a .40 and I do it with a 9mm. Which is better?

If I miss that thumb width target on the 1st shot, and I can get 4 more shots into a vital zone to let air in and blood out with a 9mm versus 2 or maybe only 1 with a .40. Which is better?

If a target has 6 .355 diameter holes adding up to 2.13" versus 3 .40 diameter holes adding up to 1.2" diameter. Which is better?

If you can use a .40 as good as you can use a 9mm. You are definitely better off using the .40 because it is a larger bullet, it will crush more tissue and it does penetrate both flesh and intermediate barriers better than a 9mm.

Most people, myself included, can't. It takes way more practice to get to that level of proficiency than most non professional shooters have the time and money to achieve.

If you can, color me impressed, I wish I had your skill.

Deaf Smith
March 18, 2012, 08:29 PM
How do you know you will only get one shot? I KNOW that I can get 2 - 3 shots into a vital zone of a standard target in the same time I can get 1 shot of a more "powerful" caliber.

Targets don't shoot back, targets don't move in odd directions, targets don't have innocents about them, and targets don't sometimes expose only part of themselves while shooting at you.

I'm not saying you will DIE if you use a 9mm instead of a .40 (or anything else) but do not expect to get x number of shots off nor x number of hits nor x number of GOOD hits.

And that is why you pick the most powerful round you can shoot well and with reasonable speed and then practice practice practice.

Deaf

Buckeye!
March 19, 2012, 08:17 PM
Hate to get technical...and bring out quantum physics and such ,so I'll make my answer where a layman can understand,....


Yep...

starscream66
March 19, 2012, 09:05 PM
when comparing a 9mm to a .45 the guy at the gun counter said "would you rather get hit by a bike going 100 mph or a train going 60?" when my mom said that the bike seems preferable he said exactly and thats why you want to use the train for stopping power. my point is you have to look at kinetic energy on targetm because even though a 9mm goes faster than a .40 or a .45, the .40 has more stopping power because it has more kinetic energy

arentol
March 20, 2012, 12:18 AM
If I miss that thumb width target on the 1st shot, and I can get 4 more shots into a vital zone to let air in and blood out with a 9mm versus 2 or maybe only 1 with a .40. Which is better?

If that is the case then I could only assume you are one of those people who's "break point" on being able to deal well with recoil falls in the fairly narrow band between 9mm +P and .40 S&W. If that is the case it is fine, as both calibers are more than capable of handling the majority of SD situations. As I mentioned earlier I carry 9mm myself almost as often as 10mm.

However, I would suggest that .45acp is actually easier to control than 9mm +P for many people and is a more powerful cartridge. I would also suggest it might be worth considering getting some good formal training on recoil control with .40 so you can shoot it as effectively as 9mm. Either way you benefit in both calibers and maybe you do move up to a more powerful round that might make a difference to your life or another's some day.

dlb0412
March 20, 2012, 08:55 AM
Ive been shooting for along time and i avoided the 9mm untill a couple months ago. I always thought the 9mm was weak and liked my .40 .45 and 10mm. But after doing my own tests of accuracy speed and penetration i now carry the 9mm i shoot it better and faster. Just a couple months ago i was one of those guys that bashed the 9mm now its my favorite bad guy caliber. I still like my 10mm in the woods though.

Constantine
March 20, 2012, 09:44 AM
I like my 40's I love my 45's and I like my 9's they're all fully capable of defending your life if and when need be. Everyone gets so heated...its really about shot placement and what the individual shoots better. Look at the big picture people.

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Crow Hunter
March 20, 2012, 11:16 AM
Deaf Smith

Targets don't shoot back, targets don't move in odd directions, targets don't have innocents about them, and targets don't sometimes expose only part of themselves while shooting at you.

but do not expect to get x number of shots off nor x number of hits nor x number of GOOD hits.



Exactly. If you miss on your 1st shot or only get a peripheral hit. Can you get back on target and make the hits that you need to with a .40 or a .45? If you can. A more powerful round IS BETTER. 3 hits with a .40 or .45 definitely trumps 3 hits with a 9mm assuming similar impact points. But if you can get 2 of those 9mm hits on a moving fighting target and only 1 with a .40/.45, the 9mm is better.

However, most people who don't shoot for a living can't and therefore are less "effective" with a more powerful round that will undoubtedly do more damage on the target.

arentol

However, I would suggest that .45acp is actually easier to control than 9mm +P for many people and is a more powerful cartridge. I would also suggest it might be worth considering getting some good formal training on recoil control with .40 so you can shoot it as effectively as 9mm. Either way you benefit in both calibers and maybe you do move up to a more powerful round that might make a difference to your life or another's some day.

For some people it might be. If you have a .45 in the same frame size as the 9mm. Many .45's are larger, especially with Glocks. (The guns that I shoot the best) I have been carrying a concealed weapon since 1997 and I have been to formal training on several different occasions. The last training I did required alot of shooting on the move from lots of odd angles with less than perfect "form". The only guys I saw doing it well with more powerful rounds were the Memphis SWAT team guys, but they do it for a living. I know they were using .40 because some hot brass went down the back of my wife's pants during a drill and I had to dig it out.:D

I started with Glock 21, then a G30, G22, G27, G23 and finally a G19. During that same time period, I also owned trained with and tried to CCW a Sig 229, Sig 220, USP 40, Beretta 92F, Walther P5, Sig P232, S&W 409, S&W 640, S&W 686+, & Browning HP.

The G23/G19 frame size was the most concealable and effective for me to shoot. The G19 was my wifes carry gun because she couldn't control the G23. I would usually shoot her gun some too and I ALWAYS shot more accurately and faster with it than I could my personal G23. So I switched to the G19 and I went to my very 1st GSSF shoot (My 1st ever competition shoot) and got 10th place. If I hadn't gotten carried away and lost 10 points for shooting 1 extra popper on the Glock M, I would have been in 4th place.:o

My experience is that most people cannot control recoil without significant practice time. My advice is always to do the opposite of what I personally did.

Start with a 9mm, get "effective" with that. Try a .45 or a .40 and if you are "effective" enough to control the more powerful rounds. Go for it. I am an engineer by trade, and my life does not revolve around shooting. Ergo, I choose something that I can stay proficient with my minimal practice time.

As an aside. People should investigate what those who currently are or used to shoot people for a living and are currently in the business of training others carry and shoot.

Most of them don't use a .40 or .45....

If, however, you feel more confident with and shoot just as good with a more powerful round as you do a 9mm, I would go with that.

Personally, I don't.

Oysterboy
March 20, 2012, 02:53 PM
I'll never get rid of my Sigma 9, I love it. I'm a waiting for my Sigma 40 to see how I'll do. I even got the ammo for it, a 100 value pack of Champ 180s and a box of Win Pdx1 165s.

From Wally of course. :rolleyes:

mes228
March 21, 2012, 08:58 AM
OOPS, I edited this comment as I did not answer the OP's question. Yes, I believe the .40 is more powerful than the 9mm. Based on recoil and bullet weight. However, being more powerful MAY not mean being the best for self defense. Based on the "speed shooting" I'm trying to accomplish.

Inspired by S&W shooter McCulick (spelling??) whose speed shooting is about 11 rounds a second I believe (and he's accurate too!). I've been speed shooting extensively trying to learn, and having fun. I have no timer but a guestimate of my speed is 7 or so rounds a second. With a 9mm Glock 19 I can keep all rounds in the chest area of a silhouette at 8 yards. With a .40 Glock 23 I get more dispersal and rounds creeping "up" the target. With a 1911 .45 I get a more vertical line of rounds from center mass up through the "head" of the target and at times "off target" rounds. All calibers are pretty much the same in speed. The 9mm is much more accurate though in aiming for center mass in shooting. I have no idea which would be more effective in a real situation (and hope to never know). My "speed shooting" experience has shown me that in "room" distance encounters, a high capacity pistol is what I would prefer to have. I like the 1911 but more and more dislike the capacity. As far as speed and accuracy the 9mm is superior.

treg
March 24, 2012, 08:58 AM
March 21, 2012 09:58 AM
mes228 OOPS, I edited this comment as I did not answer the OP's question. Yes, I believe the .40 is more powerful than the 9mm. Based on recoil and bullet weight. However, being more powerful MAY not mean being the best for self defense. Based on the "speed shooting" I'm trying to accomplish.

Inspired by S&W shooter McCulick (spelling??) whose speed shooting is about 11 rounds a second I believe (and he's accurate too!). I've been speed shooting extensively trying to learn, and having fun. I have no timer but a guestimate of my speed is 7 or so rounds a second. With a 9mm Glock 19 I can keep all rounds in the chest area of a silhouette at 8 yards. With a .40 Glock 23 I get more dispersal and rounds creeping "up" the target. With a 1911 .45 I get a more vertical line of rounds from center mass up through the "head" of the target and at times "off target" rounds. All calibers are pretty much the same in speed. The 9mm is much more accurate though in aiming for center mass in shooting. I have no idea which would be more effective in a real situation (and hope to never know). My "speed shooting" experience has shown me that in "room" distance encounters, a high capacity pistol is what I would prefer to have. I like the 1911 but more and more dislike the capacity. As far as speed and accuracy the 9mm is superior.

Thanks for posting your experience mes228. I've often thought of ergonomics as a large factor in shootability. Do you feel that a .40 that "feels right" would out shoot a 9mm that doesn't in your speed tests? (2x4 fit vs fits like a glove)

If so, we could add a "with the right gun" factor to the 9 vs .40 caliber war.