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Old February 14, 2013, 12:41 AM   #101
iMagUdspEllr
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Because of how weak handguns are and how they must be used to stop threats in a timely fashion (CNS hits and shots to the heart), the only category that .40 and .45 might offer advantages over 9mm is when dealing with barriers.

I haven't seen any data that shows a meaningful advantage .40 and .45 offer as far as defeating barriers that 9mm doesn't overcome due to its larger capacity. .40 is at least close to 9mm capacity but barrier penetration capability between the two calibers doesn't seem to differ a significant amount.

The main reason why 9mm holds a strong advantage over the .40 and .45 is due to the fact that everyone can shoot a 9mm faster and more accurately. That, combined with its higher capacity, means more CNS and heart hits in less time.

I can't blame anyone for picking a .40 or .45 if they want the ability to defeat barriers (although .45 is usually kinda wide... so it suffers a fair amount when hitting certain barriers also... without the capacity of the other calibers) to a greater extent. I just haven't seen anything that validates giving up speed/accuracy and capacity over a seemingly imperceptible increase in performance trying to defeat barriers.

Anyone who has a good source that shows significant, meaningful benefits of .40 or .45 over 9mm should present it. I don't want people to think I'm being opinionated. I just haven't seen anything significant, and if someone can show it to me, I would like to see it (it might make me regret buying my XDM in .40 a little less).
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Old February 19, 2013, 04:00 AM   #102
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Re: Do .40s Really Suck?

So I had some time to kill here in the wee hours at work, so I watched a few of this guys videos. What immediately stood out was the fact that he carries 3 guns on him. A glock 19 and 2 baby glocks, one on each ankle. That right there tells me this guy has probably spent too much time envisioning worst case scenarios in his head. Even if I was back in Fallujah or Ramadi in 2004, and I needed to get from one end of the city to the other with just handguns, I would only carry two and use that space where he had his third for spare mags. It just seems to me that he over analyzes things. Yes, .40 cal are higher pressure rounds. And Im sure they probably do wear out a firearm more than a 9mm or 45acp. But I think for that to happen in any statistically usable amount enough to see a trend, we would be talking about having to shoot tens of thousands of rounds each through hundreds of guns. As for the recoil. I mentioned in my previous post that I do find it snappier than 9 or 45. But not enough to make me come to the conclusion that the round sucks.
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Old February 19, 2013, 12:27 PM   #103
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I think it's easy for misconceptions to creep in easily when talking about bullets and calibers, etc. here's a couple to deal with.

Quote:
Because of how weak handguns are and how they must be used to stop threats in a timely fashion (CNS hits and shots to the heart), the only category that .40 and .45 might offer advantages over 9mm is when dealing with barriers.
This is not necessarily the truth. penetration is dependent on a variety of factors. Bullet construction being one. A bullet built to penetrate deeply will do so regardless of caliber. 9mm ball will penetrate deeper than 40 or 45 jhp provided the latter expands and the medium they have to penetrate. This includes barriers.

Speed helps penetration provided the bullet is built for it. The faster bullet has more energy available to it to use in doing it's work. Meaning that more power helps penetration.

Mass helps penetration. More momentum helps.

The smaller the caliber the less resistance the bullet encounters to penetration. It's easier to push a thumb tack by hand into a board than a large nail. The nail requires more force to do the same thing.

These contradictory factors work together to either aid or help penetration and barrier penetration. So the 40 or 45 don't necessarily penetrate barriers better than the 9mm the 357 Magnum, the 357 Sig or 38 Super, etc.

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Old February 19, 2013, 12:48 PM   #104
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Anyone who has a good source that shows significant, meaningful benefits of .40 or .45 over 9mm should present it.
In essence the question is can anyone show that the 357 Magnum offers meaningful benefits over the 38 Spl. Or, can anyone show that more power helps?

Everything is a balance and ya makes the choice based on needs and capabilities.

Below are links to Brassfetchers slow motion videos of ammo being fired into 20% ballistic gelatin. 10% gelatin is the norm for the industry to use in testing and bullet construction because 10% most closely approximates human muscle and organ tissue. For the vids Brassfetcher uses 20% for the visual effects. For this reason the bullets do not penetrate as deeply as they do in 10% gel but the effect of the force of the bullet striking is more graphic.

The wood blocks that the gel sits on are 1" square as are the spaces in between. Note the action of the blocks of gel.

First 9mm...

http://www.brassfetcher.com/index_fi...SlowMotion.htm

40S&W...

http://www.brassfetcher.com/index_fi...Slowmotion.htm

45acp...

http://www.brassfetcher.com/index_fi...otionvideo.htm

In the gun that you shoot well, choose a caliber that you shoot well and match it to the task. Take the most powerful round that you can shoot well from a gun you plan to carry. Choose a good bullet matched to the task. More power don't help if you can't handle it well. But it always helps if you can. Need to sacrifice power for speed of recovery or round count? OK, choose a good bullet.

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Last edited by tipoc; February 19, 2013 at 12:54 PM.
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Old February 19, 2013, 04:04 PM   #105
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@tipoc:
It is inconsistent to not use equivalent bullet designs across calibers. Nobody will be comparing 9mm FMJ to .40 or .45 JHP for penetration testing. You must compare equivalent bullet designs across calibers. Apples to apples.

Yes, bullets built to penetrate will. However, given the best "penetration design" in each caliber, one of them will penetrate material X further. And, maximum penetration distance isn't necessarily desirable either (leads to overpenetration).

But, I wasn't talking about penetration distance. I was talking about the ability to penetrate barriers.

Of course, the type of barrier will make a big difference as far as what is best to use to penetrate it. However, heavier bullets (within the same caliber or not) are deflected by barriers less than lighter bullets because their momentum is higher.

So, I'm sure you could get a light and fast bullet to penetrate very deeply... but it would suffer much more deflection than a heavier and slower bullet (within the same caliber or not). Penetration means nothing if its off-course immediately after defeating the barrier.

So, I suppose I should have said that .40 and .45 are less prone to deflection after defeating a barrier than 9mm.

As for your follow-up post:

Of course .357 Magnum offers meaningful benefits over .38 special. There is no change in bullet diameter, only an increase in velocity. That is cut and dry. You have taken the same projectile and added more energy in the form of velocity.

More power does help. A higher energy bullet can do more "work" on the objects it hits. The big trade-off is that you must experience more recoil (unless you also use a heavier gun) if the energy increases.

When comparing across calibers its more complex because you can obtain higher momentum from the increased mass but suffer from more drag from the larger surface area.

I'm a fan of the 9mm right now but it would not be able to maintain its course after impacting certain barriers where .40 or .45 might continue with minimal deflection.

Of course, like I said before, 9mm gives you more bullets anyway. So even if it does deflect you have another bullet (where .40 and .45 wouldn't have another bullet).

But, I could see why someone would choose .40 or .45 if it was very important for their bullets to have minimum deflection. Sure, you could ask, "Why don't they just use .50 AE then?" But, of course that isn't a fair comparison because .40 and .45 have relatively close recoil energy to 9mm (especially if fired from heavier guns).

Of course, I could be completely off-base. But, I'm pretty confident the higher momentum provided by the larger calibers permits them to penetrate barriers with minimal deflection compared to smaller calibers. And, that is important if you want to hit what is behind the barrier accurately.
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Old February 19, 2013, 05:01 PM   #106
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I wish people would make more posts about shot placement than caliber. There isn't a caliber in existence that can't do the job if put in the right spot. There are people who have lived from .50 bmg hits.
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Old February 19, 2013, 05:14 PM   #107
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Quote:
I wish people would make more posts about shot placement than caliber.
There are many threads and posts devoted to both. No shortage really.

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Old February 19, 2013, 05:39 PM   #108
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Quote:
But, I'm pretty confident the higher momentum provided by the larger calibers permits them to penetrate barriers with minimal deflection compared to smaller calibers.
Like I said, I think there is a tendency to overgeneralize based on some finite testing. What you are saying may be true based on certain tests in a lab. But actual conditions offer such a variety of conditions that the generalization doesn't help understand anything.

Decades back, around WWII, the Canadian military did a variety of tests using 9mm and 45acp ball ammo involving penetration of the steel battle helmets used at the time. At 50 yards and beyond the 45 dented the helmets while the 9mm penetrated. This remained true to beyond 100 yards.

Here you can read through a variety of tests done through barriers with a variety of bullets over time. The heavier and larger caliber bullets do not always penetrate barriers any more effectively than the smaller.

http://www.ar15.com/ammo/project/Sel...ps/federal.htm

If you go here you can also see real world tests on barriers and materials. Again the generalization that increased weight and caliber means less deflection in barrier penetration does not hold up in any meaningful way. The best you can say it that it has a tendency to if all goes well.

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/theboxotruth.htm

You also have to decide if the amount of deflection is meaningful. As with auto glass. Usually it isn't.

You chose the most powerful round you can shoot well. Given what what's-his'-name above bromided about, shot placement is always critical. In a gun that suits the task.

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Old February 19, 2013, 05:47 PM   #109
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Yes.
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Old February 19, 2013, 06:42 PM   #110
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Is this really a serious question or just a trolling post? On a serious note I am entertained when someone complains about the recoil on a glock 27
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Old February 19, 2013, 08:35 PM   #111
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.40 is on the shelves right now when 9mm has vanished, so there's something in it's favor.

I'm pretty neutral on the round.
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Old February 20, 2013, 01:34 AM   #112
iMagUdspEllr
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@militant: That is kinda what I'm getting at here. 9mm deflects more when it interacts with a barrier. That leads to poorer shot placement because the bullet doesn't go where you aimed it. However, 9mm also has less recoil and a higher capacity so it allows you the option to send a follow-up shot to compensate.

@tipoc:
I'm not talking about helmets. I'm not talking about penetration. I never was. I was talking about defeating barriers with minimal deflection. Penetration means nothing if the bullet is no longer going to keep moving towards your intended target.

I know that helmets and body armor are literally "barriers" in the bullet's path. But, when people talk about barriers in the firearms world, they are referring to the things in the environment that tend to be between the shooter and the target (i.e. car doors, tires, windshields, sheet rock, wood, et cetera).

I didn't look through all of those tests. But, none that I saw had any information about the amount of deflection the various bullets had when encountering various barriers. Also, the only barrier I saw tested was windshields. I didn't look through all of the tests, though.

This isn't a very scientific test but you can see that .22LR, 9mm, .45 ACP, and .357 Magnum wouldn't penetrate a kevlar helmet even at close range. I know you were talking about steel helmets but I just wanted to throw it in there.

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot29.htm

So, I'm not sure what you thought I was saying. I was trying to say that the more massive bullets larger calibers allow for, are less likely to be deflected due to their higher momentum. Less deflection means more of your bullets actually hit what you aimed them at. I'm not talking about penetration depth or ability to defeat helmets and body armor.

But yes, the data you presented is why I'm a fan of 9mm (even though I only saw .357 SIG in those tests), it has no problems with penetration at all. And, personally, I'm not going to try to shoot someone through a barrier if I can help it. But, the capacity and lower recoil of 9mm compensates very well if there is some sort of failure to hit them anyway.
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Old February 20, 2013, 04:16 PM   #113
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.40 S & W

Have a Taurus 99AF (9mm) and a 101AF (.40 S & W)...identical except for the barrel. Going into this "test" I was biased in favor of the 9mm... Setting up steel cans at 50' I fired ten shots with each pistol. I hit the can more often with the .40. The .40 worked as it should an no fouling..I used cast bullets in both. Also ejected cases all ejected to the same area...very nice and easy to find and retreive. The 9mm? Hmmmm...cases ejected all over the place and many too close to my face. The barrel was horribly fouled (yes, I used hard cast bullets, good lube, & they were NOT undersized for the barrel). The fouling was pretty easy to remove with a few passes with a jag tip & a right cotton patch. Despite the fact that I shoot the 9mm much more often, it was not as accurate as the .40. IMHO the .40 is the better of the two calibers.
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Old February 20, 2013, 05:30 PM   #114
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Re: Do .40s Really Suck?

Reloads?
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Old February 21, 2013, 11:47 AM   #115
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.40's

Yes, sir--all reloads!!!!! It is very seldom that I ever fire factory ammo in any CF gun anymore.
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Old February 21, 2013, 12:19 PM   #116
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Quote:
Despite the fact that I shoot the 9mm much more often, it was not as accurate as the .40. IMHO the .40 is the better of the two calibers.
Yea that was definitely a result of the caliber and nothing to do about using two different firearms.

Why is this thread still going?
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Old February 21, 2013, 08:57 PM   #117
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Yeah, they suck. My .9mm, .45 ACP, and 10mm guns serve me well. Don't need any of that sucky .40 Short & Weak.

HOWEVER..........

Lower the price of .40 to 9mm levels and it will suck no more!
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Old February 22, 2013, 07:54 AM   #118
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Do .40s Really Suck?

Check out the email I just got from cheaperthandirt

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Old February 22, 2013, 08:12 AM   #119
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Re: Do .40s Really Suck?

Would be nicer if they asked you to spend it instead of telling you to.
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Old February 22, 2013, 02:31 PM   #120
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This thread cannot be serious. I have 9's 40's and 45's and like them all. 40 does not suck but people do have their ideas as to what they like. I love my 40 but shoot my 9's more often only because my stock pile in 9mm is far superior.
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Old February 22, 2013, 03:19 PM   #121
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Just decided to jump in this thread, and watched the video in question. When someone's first argument as to why a particular caliber is good or bad refers to *ahem* the size of someone's manhood (he says it differently), I can pretty much ignore him.

His next argument is that he doesn't like high pressure rounds in any gun, yet says he says guns should be chambered in .45 or 9mm (um, operates at almost the same pressure as .40) only. He obviously doesn't know what he's talking about.

He should just come out and say, "Um, my opinion is that .40's suck because I don't like the recoil."

Instead, he goes on for 6 minutes, giving opinion as fact, and trying (and failing) to scientifically prove that the .40 is a bad round. I don't shoot .40, but if it works for you, more power to you.
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Old February 23, 2013, 12:16 AM   #122
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In the interest of full disclosure not to mention at risk of being accused of plagiarism, I have not see nor know what Spaceballs are, it was from my own mind (as bad as it may be.

The last movie I saw was the first Lord of the Rings lot those many years ago.

Quote:
I think a pretty solid case (pun intended ) can be made that the 40 actually BLOWS, not sucks.
Quote:
Even if it is a Spaceballs reference, let's keep discussion on a grown-up level.

Besides, everyone knows it's just a 10mm short for folks too dainty to handle recoil.
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Old February 23, 2013, 12:33 AM   #123
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What if I make a YouTube video and say both the 9MM and the 45 suck that a 25 auto is the best for SD? Everyone has their own opinion. I personally love the 40 cal above all else.
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Old February 25, 2013, 09:43 AM   #124
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Old February 25, 2013, 01:37 PM   #125
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Do .40s Really Suck?

I want those 6 minutes of my life back.
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