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Old March 1, 2012, 03:39 PM   #1
Erikbal
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Is the price of .40 ammo worth the extra $ over 9mm ammo. Opinions needed please!!!

I apologize ahead of time for the long winded post, but PLEASE do me a favor and take your time to read it for me!!! Alright guys here's the deal. I've got my eyes set on either the SW9VE or the SW40VE for my next gun purchase. They are both the same price at my local gun shop. I am aware of the trigger complaints and the other opinions out there but from what I have read this is a great gun for the money and I pretty much have my mind 100% made up on one of them and don't mind the trigger so let's not bring that up. I have a 380 right now which isn't the cheapest gun in the world to shoot. I would REALLY like the .40 for the extra power and larger caliber. My issue is this, for a box of 50 of Blazer ammo for my 380 it comes to $17.27 including tax. I was under the impression that both the .40 and 9mm would be cheaper to shoot until today when I went to my local gun shop. A box of 50 of Blazer ammo for the 9mm is $15.99 plus tax and a box of the same for the .40 is $19.99 plus tax, even more than my 380! Now here comes the dilema, is the larger caliber really worth the extra cost of ammo? Or I could look at it like this... is $4 a box difference really worth getting the 9mm over the .40 and that big of a deal? Keep in mind they are both the same price so that makes no difference, the only difference is the price difference of shooting them. The gun will probably be used primarily for home defense and I may also CC it as well. I enjoy shooting guns for fun though and will definitely shoot it quite a bit, basically as much as I can. One other thing to think about is I am much more likely to find reloads for either of these calibers at gun shows than I am for my 380. The last gun show I went to had 9mm reloads for $9 bucks a box of 50 I believe. If I can buy reloads for the .40 for that price or even a few bucks more just for shooting then I will still come out cheaper than shooting my 380. Anyways guys sorry for such a long post, if you've read this far thanks a lot for your time and PLEASE give me your opinions and any other points of view I may be missing. As usual thanks a lot fellas!!!
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Old March 1, 2012, 03:50 PM   #2
Sparks1957
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Quote:
I was under the impression that both the .40 and 9mm would be cheaper to shoot
I am curious why you assumed that. 9mm is remarkably cheap, mainly because it is a very common chambering worldwide.

Also, try using paragraphs... that giant monolithic post is a struggle to read
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Old March 1, 2012, 03:51 PM   #3
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I'll see your question and raise you two more.

Why do you want a .40 over a 9mm? (The .380 is a 9mm bullet)

and

Is .045" larger diameter and .00923 lbs more bullet weight worth it to YOU? (115gr vs 180 gr)

If cost is that important to you decision making process, I would advise 9mm.



Ps. DON'T buy gunshow reloads. Your eye/hands/gun are depending on Bubba the gun show reloader that you may never see again, to make sure he used the right amount & type powders in the right cases.
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Old March 1, 2012, 03:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
115gr vs 180 gr
I think it's not really fair to compare the lightest and cheapest 9mm loads to the heaviest and most expensive .40s&w loads.

You can get 9mm as high as 147gr and .40s&w as low as 155gr(maybe lower?)

For self-defense, the preferred sizes generally tend to swing towards 124gr in 9mm and 180gr in .40.

I'm a fan of 230gr, myself.
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Old March 1, 2012, 03:59 PM   #5
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I think it's not really fair to compare the lightest and cheapest 9mm loads to the heaviest and most expensive .40s&w loads.
Okay.

How about:

147 gr vs 155 gr.

.001 lbs difference.

That is one thousandth of a pound difference in bullet weights.

That is even smaller.

Just trying to put it all into perspective.
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:02 PM   #6
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I am all for supporting the LGS, but you're paying way too much for ammo. Walmart carries 100 round packs of Federal Champion 9mm for $20 + tax. I'm not sure what the 40 is, but probably less than or around $17 per 50 rounds.
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:06 PM   #7
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While I have been a long time .45 ACP guy I have recently started shooting a lot more 9mm. While I still like to carry my P220 I have really started to enjoy my P229 and the extra ammo capacity. Also, as you mentioned it is cheaper to shoot and allows me more rounds down range. With good quality ammo like the Speer Gold Dots in 124gr +P and the extra capacity I do not feel under gunned at all.
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:08 PM   #8
Erikbal
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Sorry sparks1957, I just kind of had all this stuff pouring out of my head and didn't think to use paragraphs, sorry. I guess I assumed that because I thought that .40 s&w would be more common than 380 is.

Crow Hunter I realize that the 380 is a 9mm bullet but with less power and penetration. I am looking for a more powerful weapon with more stopping power. Let me ask you guys THIS, what would you do if you were me? Honestly I think I could live with the extra few bucks for ammo. Let me think here...does anyone have any statistics comparing the 9mm to the .40 s&w? Like the difference in penetration and things like that? Which would YOU rather defend your life with?

EDIT: By the way keep in mind I live in NY state which limits me to 10rd mags, so capacity makes no difference in this situation...
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:08 PM   #9
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Personally, I think you're looking at the whole thing the wrong way. If cheap range practice is all it's about then the 9mm will win regardless of caliber unless it's compared to .22LR. But when you're facing down a couple of armed intruders in your home at night the cost of ammo is the least of your concerns.

So, which one do you shoot better? Can you handle the snappy recoil of the .40? Do you shoot the 9mm much faster and more accurately? All else being equal the .40 is the better round, but things are not equal in this world so you need to weigh the negatives. Many folks have begun to migrate back to the 9mm because they've found that they actually shoot it better, which in the end is what counts. Cheaper ammo is just a bonus.
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:10 PM   #10
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here is a quick reply for using it for self defense

No

if you're using a good self defense ammo the difference is really negligible

better to put the money saved from buying 9mm ammo, to be able to buy more of it and practice more often

Edward
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:13 PM   #11
Erikbal
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Dsk, cheap range practice is far from what it's all about. As stated above it will be used as a home defense weapon and may also be carried at times. It will also see time at the range though.
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:17 PM   #12
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My experience is that I simply shoot better with a 9mm than I do with .40
The recoil is a bit too snappy with a .40 for my taste, and with the 9mm I can shoot more rapidly because it's easier to re-acquire my sight picture after each shot.

With some of the advances in ammo, I really don't think it makes a significant difference which one you use. Shot placement is far important.

Thanks for considering the use of paragraphs.

And... there's a lot of .380 guns out there, so one would think the ammo would be cheaper, eh? Ahh, the mysteries of capitalism.
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:22 PM   #13
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It's definately not worth it.

When I think I might be attacked I carry a S&W 500, even then I only buy 1 round because they're so expensive, unless I know I'm going to be facing multiple attackers and in those situations - but those situations only, I'll splurge and buy six of the S&W 500 magnums.
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:24 PM   #14
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When I started researching pistols last year, I kept pestering my LE buddy about the choice between 9mm and .40. It took him all of about a second to recommend the 9mm.

Asked why, he referenced the lower recoil and thus faster time on target for the second round. Regarding stopping power, he pointed out the ceiling in handgun power as the .45. Dropping down to the .40 and 9mm rounds with that maximum in mind, the difference on power between these 2 rounds was negligible and not worth the recoil tradeoff, to him. He carries an HK P30 with an S&W M&P 9 as his secondary.

Since that discussion, I decided on the 9. Ammo prices helped too. Chose a Beretta PX4 that i get to pick up tomorrow.

All that said, my other LE buddy carries .40 glocks on and off duty.

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Old March 1, 2012, 04:25 PM   #15
Sparks1957
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I'll splurge and buy six of the S&W 500 magnums
How do you know when you're gonna need to splurge like that? You must be psychic or something?
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:28 PM   #16
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Asked why, he referenced the lower recoil and thus faster time on target for the second round. Regarding stopping power, he pointed out the ceiling in handgun power as the .45. Dropping down to the .40 and 9mm rounds with that maximum in mind, the difference on power between these 2 rounds was negligible and not worth the recoil tradeoff, to him.
I bet you I could find a LEO that would argue the complete opposite opinion .

This debate has happened forever and sadly will continue to do so. Shoot what works for you.
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:30 PM   #17
Itsjustjoe
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.40 cal is very slightly larger, very slightly heavier, and very slightly more powerful. 9mm ammo is significantly less expensive - 9mm bulk ammo is around $.20 - $.24 per round, whereas .40 bulk ammo is $.30 - $.35 per round. That means that you can practice 50% more for the same cost. I would bet that the proficiency gained from that much extra practice should outweigh the very slight difference in power.
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:31 PM   #18
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I carry a 9mm.

I started with a .45 ,based on gun shop "tribal knowledge" (this was before the internet )and worked my way "down" to the 9mm.

I am more "effective" with 9mm (specifically a G19) than I am with other calibers.

Do you feel inadequately armed with a .380? If so, is it because of bullet diameter or something else?

Mindset, Tactics, Skill then Gear.

If you are having a crisis of confidence, it will effect your Mindset and if you don't have proper Mindset, you will fail.

Get something you are confident in and then get competent training and learn tactics and build skill.

That being said. Based on my personal experience, 9mm is cheaper/easier to use to learn the tactics and skill.
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:32 PM   #19
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Now here comes the dilema, is the larger caliber really worth the extra cost of ammo?
Short answer: no.
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:33 PM   #20
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9mm ammo is significantly less expensive - 9mm bulk ammo is around $.20 - $.24 per round, whereas .40 bulk ammo is $.30 - $.35 per round. That means that you can practice 50% more for the same cost. I would bet that the proficiency gained from that much extra practice should outweigh the very slight difference in power.
I can walk into my local Wal-Mart today and buy 100 rd Value Packs of Federal for $20 for 9mm or $26 for 40sw. The price difference for me isn't nearly as big as you're making it. You say it's much more expensive, I say not that much. Let's call the whole thing wrong?
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:39 PM   #21
Itsjustjoe
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50% more cost per round is only insignificant if you buy small quantites... but after thousands of rounds, the difference can really add up.

10 boxes of 100 rounds @ $20 / box = $200
10 boxes of 100 rounds @ $30 / box = $300

20 boxes of 100 rounds @ $20 / box = $400
20 boxes of 100 rounds @ $30 / box = $600

30 boxes of 100 rounds @ $20 / box = $600
30 boxes of 100 rounds @ $30 / box = $900

Everything is relative I suppose.

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Old March 1, 2012, 04:40 PM   #22
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Sorry I hit the wrong key, stupid fingas.

I meant $26, I edited it.
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:43 PM   #23
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First of all let's make one thing clear. Pistols are side arms. To be used when a long gun is unavailable or empty and you don't have time to reload. It is intended to buy you time to get to a long gun.

My first home protection gun was a 12 gauge pump shotgun loaded with buckshot. The most powerful small arm in the world, period. You can pick one up used for around $200-$300. Less then most pistols.

I have many pistols because I like them and I can't walk around with a 12 gauge without attracting attention. Most of us focus on the pistol because it is what we hold in our hand, instead we should be focused on the bullet and its characteristics. After all if it wasn't for it's ability to deliver a bullet the pistol is really a very bad and expensive hammer.

Having said that I am partial to 9mm because they have high capacity mags and low recoil so in an emergency you may get off more than one shot. However, when I'm not practicing I keep my pistols loaded with hollow point every other round so that way the hollow point will make as big a hole as a .45 and the regular bullet will get the penetration. That way I get the best of all worlds. Inexpensive ammo to practice, stopping power and quick recovery.

Good luck
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:43 PM   #24
Itsjustjoe
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Admittedly, that is less significant. I've not seen boxes of .40 cal for that cheap in my area. The cheapest I've seen in my area were the prices I had listed.
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:46 PM   #25
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However, when I'm not practicing I keep my pistols loaded with hollow point every other round so that way the hollow point will make as big a hole as a .45 and the regular bullet will get the penetration. That way I get the best of all worlds. Inexpensive ammo to practice, stopping power and quick recovery.
Right....

So you're shooting in the same hole huh? Not too shabby. I'm curious, when the FMJ hits the back of the hollow point do they fuse together and then go forwards, or is it like bouncing bowling balls off each other?

If not the same hole, you just like to make different sized holes in people? Or do you make sure to alternate hollow points in the heart, FMJ in the skull, like that?
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