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Old January 12, 2011, 03:03 PM   #1
UrbanHunter
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9 or 40????

I'm looking to buy my first home defense/target/maybe CCW semi-auto. After much research and many trips to the local gun shop, I think I've settled on the Smith & Wesson SD9 or SD40, but can't decide on the caliber. I have no experience with either caliber. Help! Thanks in advance for your responses.
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Old January 12, 2011, 03:05 PM   #2
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I have both... Like the 40 better... Lil more punch.
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Old January 12, 2011, 03:10 PM   #3
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Personally i'm not a fan of the .40 at all. I think its an over powered cartridge that gives little advantage over a 9mm. With current bullet technology the 9 will expand to almost the same dimensions a .40 will, and can be loaded to almost equal energies that a .40 can do. It's not worth the decrease in capacity and increase in recoil/muzzle flip for the minor amount of added power from the .40. Plus its already and over pressured cartridge so it is arguably the most dangerous of the common pistol rounds in terms of gun failures.
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Old January 12, 2011, 03:12 PM   #4
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I'm not a .40 fan, either. Want "punch", get a .45. Want lotsa boolits, get a 9. I like my 7-shot .45 and my 17-shot 9.
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Old January 12, 2011, 03:14 PM   #5
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If you plan to do a lot of range shooting, the 9mm ammo is much cheaper and more fun due to the very low recoil. If you live in an area where there have been a lot of home invasions or break ins the 40mm is a better stopper.
This sounds as if it may be your first handgun. If so, I would definately recommend the 9mm which is perfectly adequate for sel-defense with the right ammo.
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Old January 12, 2011, 03:15 PM   #6
DiscoRacing
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Quote:
get a .45
didn see that on his op..

if ya want punch get one a these

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Old January 12, 2011, 03:16 PM   #7
Burger
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Get the 9mm and prictice a LOT

Get the 40 cal if you plan on shooting through windshields, car sheet metal and so on. I read somewhere that that was the reason why most LE agencies took on the 40 cal.

For you and I, 9mm will do just fine. Although I prefer to surprise someone with my Louisville Slugger.
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Old January 12, 2011, 03:16 PM   #8
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I believe in most situations 9mm ammo is easier to find and usually cheaper to boot. At the end of the day it is probably more of a personal choice than anything else. Shoot them both and go with the one you like.
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Old January 12, 2011, 03:20 PM   #9
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9mm.

Nothing wrong with the .40, but if more power is what you're after then why not a 10mm or a .357Sig?
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Old January 12, 2011, 03:22 PM   #10
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As mentioned, 9mm ammo is cheaper. So you'll be more likely to practice more, and be more effective with the weapon. The difference between a 9mm and .40 isn't as great as the difference between a gun you're well trained with and a gun you aren't.
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Old January 12, 2011, 03:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
the 40mm is a better stopper
No argument here
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Old January 12, 2011, 03:25 PM   #12
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The differences between the two are pretty small, negligible really, for a self-defense situation. I'd be happy with either.

The only differences I'd consider would be:
Cost
Availability
Recoil(smaller difference than most people make it out to be)

When I chose my first handgun I chose a .40 because it was during the ammo shortage and .40 was the only thing consistently in stock in most places. Plus, I knew I wasn't going to go to the range very often so the price difference in ammo wasn't much of a factor to me.
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Old January 12, 2011, 03:28 PM   #13
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Most likely the 9mm. It's cheaper and more readily available.

I love my .40, but do a little searching around and find some pictures of ballistic gelatin tests. Some 9mm ammo is up to the point of .40cal. There was one post on here that showed similar penetration depths between 147gr JHP 9mm (at 1032 fps) and 180gr JHP .40 (at 995fps).

I am just as accurate with my XDM 40 as I was with my buddies G19. The .40 is more snappier though with the recoil.
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Old January 12, 2011, 03:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Personally i'm not a fan of the .40 at all. I think its an over powered cartridge that gives little advantage over a 9mm. With current bullet technology the 9 will expand to almost the same dimensions a .40 will, and can be loaded to almost equal energies that a .40 can do. It's not worth the decrease in capacity and increase in recoil/muzzle flip for the minor amount of added power from the .40. Plus its already and over pressured cartridge so it is arguably the most dangerous of the common pistol rounds in terms of gun failures.
I'm in line with this view. The muzzle flip and recoil of a .40 in a polymer pistol is worse than most 45 ACP's I have shot. I don't care for the recoil characteristics of the .40 one bit. I think .40 is a terrible idea for a fist pistol caliber.
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Old January 12, 2011, 03:33 PM   #15
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Not to cloud the issue, but the .45 ACP is a lot ear-friendlier than either the 9mm or the .40 S&W in case you have to shoot without ear protection.
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Old January 12, 2011, 03:41 PM   #16
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I like them both ....but if you're not reloading ....you should go with the 9mm - just based on the cost of ammo alone - so you'll practice more.

The .40S&W is a lot snappier / and the lighter the gun - the worse it is...

I have a pair of all stainless Sig 226's one in 9mm and one in .40S&W - and a pair of Sig 239's one in 9mm and one in .40S&W ....but I think the 2 guns you're looking at are a lot lighter ....

I shoot a lot of 9mm ( in 1911's and other platforms ) but I really like it for a practice round. Its fine for a defensive round / especially if you carry it with something like a HydraShok 147 gr bullet ...but for any defensive situation, its more about the shot placement than it is the caliber. A .40S&W isn't significantly better - unless you can put the shots where they will count...
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Old January 12, 2011, 03:43 PM   #17
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Split the difference and go with a .327...
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Old January 12, 2011, 03:46 PM   #18
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im a 45 guy, but out of the two, id get the 40, more power, and as far as capacity, your only sacrificing 2 er 3 rounds.
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Old January 12, 2011, 03:54 PM   #19
OscarTurner
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I would (and did) take the 9mm over the .40 S&W as my first handgun. I didn't like the feel of shooting the .40 as much as the 9mm. The cost and availability of ammo was also factor for me as well. This was in the mid 90's and I'd do it the same way today, except I wouldn't sell my Centurion this time around. There are so many factory loads for 9mm today that there is certainly something that meets yours and your firearm's needs.
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Old January 12, 2011, 04:03 PM   #20
UrbanHunter
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Re: 9 or 40????

Thanks for the advice. I will not be reloading and will be out at the range about once a month. This won't be my first pistol, Just my first real semi-auto. I have a P22 and a Taurus 85 in .38. Is the recoil of the .40 comparable to that of a .38 with a 2" barrel?If so, I think I'll be OK. Thanks
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Old January 12, 2011, 04:07 PM   #21
DiscoRacing
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I would say pretty close to the same... Maybe the 40 might be a lil more recoil. Pretty much depends on what ammo you are shooting..and the bullet weight.
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Old January 12, 2011, 04:10 PM   #22
Para Bellum
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See for yourself here:
http://www.winchester.com/SiteCollec...law_bullit.swf

choose the heavy 9mm loads (147grs) for comparison against .40s
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Old January 12, 2011, 04:15 PM   #23
jman841
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cool chart, expansion and penetration are almost identical for .40 and 9mm for most of the loads.
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Old January 12, 2011, 05:47 PM   #24
gruntrus
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Go to jetguns.com for their S&W 9Pro Series for like 450 IIRC.


Ammo is cheaper, practice head shots, practice.......
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Old January 12, 2011, 05:52 PM   #25
jmr40
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With the best bullets available there is zero real world difference between the 2. You get more rounds in the mag and cheaper ammo with the 9mm.
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