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Old November 3, 2011, 11:58 AM   #1
Chilli9880
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Good Ol' 9mm vs .40 cal discussion

Apologize again to the moderators, didn't see this topic in the list. After 4 pages, I gave up. But I have a good group of friends and we all hit the range up from time to time together. Anytime were there or hanging out, having some beers. The discussion of what caliber to CC always comes up. My father taught me that if it fires and your placement is "accurate", the job will be done. But I have multiple buddies who put down and even frown at the idea that a 9mm is sufficent. Now, I do conceal carry a .40 cal but if I decided to carry my Sig Sauer P226 in 9mm, I don't think there would be much of a problem. But just wanted to get everyone's thoughts & opinions on this matter. I know this is probably the 2nd worst topic next to the AK vs M16 arguement but a fun discussion none to less.
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Old November 3, 2011, 12:03 PM   #2
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What do you use to clean and lube it?
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Old November 3, 2011, 12:15 PM   #3
chris in va
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I'm of the philosophy that a gun should be easy to shoot...accurately. After messing around with IDPA for a year, I've come to the realization my carry guns need to put rounds COM at 40 yards in reasonably fast fire. I now have three CZ's and a Kahr, all are steel.

If someone can do that with a hotter caliber, by all means do so.

BTW please be careful drinking and handling firearms.
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Old November 3, 2011, 12:22 PM   #4
Chilli9880
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C0untZer0, that's a little off forum topic. Anyways, I use Hoppe's Cleaning Kits
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Old November 3, 2011, 01:03 PM   #5
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Your dad was correct...

There are lots of guys that died screaming 'allah akbar' after taking a well placed 9mm NATO round to the chest out there and that's with FMJ... Quality JHP will be just as effective as any other full sized caliber if you hit the target.
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Old November 3, 2011, 01:09 PM   #6
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Old November 3, 2011, 01:11 PM   #7
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Plenty of manufacturers are making powerful 9mm right now. I figure you should be good to go with any decent HP that gives you 400+ ft/lbs. of ME out of your gun. Look at Speer, Cor-Bon, Buffalo Bore and Double Tap...all make ammo to those specs. If you can't get it done with that, moving up to the .40 probably won't matter.
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Old November 3, 2011, 02:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
9mm vs .40 cal discussion
aw crap not again....

Quote:
'allah akbar' after taking a well placed 9mm NATO round to the chest out there and that's with FMJ
Indeed, which is what my FiL pointed out when I bought my 9mm. We then proceeded to the backyard range where I dumped an entire mag of 115 fmj within the 9-10 circles at 25 feet.

My reasoning is that if the first round doesn't work, one if the 15 to follow at the same spot surely will.

A bullet is a bullet, 9 or 40 - I just shoot a 9 better that I do 40.
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Old November 3, 2011, 03:02 PM   #9
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I have a M&P 45 and a Sig 226 9mm. I have no worries about using the 9mm Sig for personal defense.
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Old November 3, 2011, 03:24 PM   #10
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Its about shot placement ...and with today's high quality defensive ammo ...there is no real downside to carrying a 9mm .../ and no reason certainly not to carry a Sig 226 if you want to - or a Sig 239 single stack for that matter in 9mm -- its plenty of gun.

However, having said that ...I'm still more comfortable carrying a 1911 in .45 acp than anything else ...because its the gun I shoot the best - but if I wanted to carry a 1911 in 9mm...I wouldn't feel bad about it either ( and I have both 4" and 5" 1911's in 9mm - if I want to carry them).
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Old November 3, 2011, 03:29 PM   #11
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Just hit the target until the threat is neutralized. Pick the biggest caliber you can effectively manage in a platform you are and familiar with and that's that. Pray the Lord you don't make a mistake so you wont get charged with a crime.
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Old November 3, 2011, 04:03 PM   #12
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Recently at the club a gent invited me to shoot his new XDm in 40 cal. I have a lot of experience with 9mm.

Was expecting a snappy recoil and combat accuracy. To my surprise not only a soft shooter but a tack driver too, I mean this thing was a laser. Thought 9mm pistols were more accurate, but not in this case. Not sure if all 40 cal pistols are that accurate or whether I just shot an exceptional one.

I prefer a bigger more accurate slug, so I would have to give the nod to the 180 gr 40 cal. If I were new to handguns and was deciding between a 9mm or 40 cal purchase, think I would go 40 cal.
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Old November 3, 2011, 04:41 PM   #13
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If you choose identical guns ...one in 9mm and one in .40S&W calibers ...you'll see a measureable difference in the recoil ( but of course in a 9mm you'll be shooting 124 gr or 115 gr at 1,000 - 1,200 fps ....and if you go with the 180gr in .40 its probably around 975 fps ...) so that is what accounts for the difference ....but in a good heavy gun like a Sig 226 ...shooting the 9mm vs the .40S&W isn't a big deal ...and I find them equally accurate and easy to shoot - but the .40S&W is a little more "snappy"...even in the same gun typically.
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Old November 3, 2011, 05:07 PM   #14
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I think both calibers get a very unfair treatment on internet discussion forums.

9x19

The Unfair Treatment

The little girl's bullet. In FMJ, you won't even feel it pass through you. Can't stop anyone. Hardly worth the time. Might as well sneeze on the bad guy. .40 and .45 are approximately 200 times more powerful.

The Truth

There's a reason this little bullet's been ubiquitous for a century. The round recoils very lightly, places accurately, is light, affords high capacities and a variety of grip shapes, and it considerably deadly with modern bullets.


.40

The Unfair Treatment

Short and weak! This round is a compromise that isn't better than any round at anything. It recoils like a stick of dynamite, blows up twenty guns a day, and those who use it should be spat upon as ignorant.

The Truth

The .40 bridges a narrow, but very real, gap. Specifically, the .40 provides the excellent hard-barrier-penetration lacking with even modern 9x19 bullets and fits that cartridge into a medium-sized frame so that even small-handed and female officers can handle the cartridge. Funny that when people say "short and weak" they neglect to mention that it's "weak" compared to the 10mm, the most powerful cartridge coming out of a non-custom semiauto. The recoil of the round is vastly exaggerated. I've been shooting it since I was 8. Issues with guns Ka-booming have to do almost entirely with reloads, and most guns have fully supported or at least highly supported chambers to address this old issue. Is it a compromise round? Absolutely. But there's room for it between the 9 and .45.

My Two Cents

The .40 is my preferred service cartridge. I appreciate the extra power on target, and find the recoil just as easy to control. That said, my next pistol purchase is a Generation 4 Glock 19 in 9x19. The 9 is a fully competent defense round. As a matter of fact, I carry a .380 Auto more than any other round.

Get the guns you like in the calibers you like. With the exception of .25 and .32 in my humble opinion, all of the common centerfire cartridges will do their job in self defense an overwhelming majority of the time. And I'd not like to be shot with even a .25 or a .32.
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Old November 3, 2011, 07:14 PM   #15
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The thought that 9mm is underpowered is outdated, modern 9mm loads perform just as well as .40.

As a .40 owner myself, the only real benefit to .40 is that's it's easier to find during an ammo shortage.

Ammo test videos, some water jugs and others SIM-TEST media, from tnoutdoors9:
9mm: http://www.youtube.com/user/tnoutdoo...7CAFF8A6C0D3BF
.40: http://www.youtube.com/user/tnoutdoo...F6382529FB5C51
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Old November 3, 2011, 08:44 PM   #16
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With modern ammo today, 9mm is just as efficient as 40cal in SD situations. I've carried both calibers for CC, although I've carried the 40cal more often - but I have no doubts of carrying 9mm and being able to stop the BG.

I'm actually going back from 40cal pistols (I've owned and carried 3 different ones) to 9mm for CC. Its cheaper ammo for practice and I find myself being able to shoot it better, not to mention having more capacity vs 40cal.
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Old November 3, 2011, 09:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
I have multiple buddies who put down and even frown at the idea that a 9mm is sufficent.

If 9mm is so anemic why is it used by the US military. Ball ammo at that.

As others have said, today's 9mm defensive hollow point ammo is not the 9mm of way back when. A well placed round is simply devastating. Let your friends continue to rag on it. Many thousands now resting in peace know it works.

BTW, I own several 40's and several 9's. I carry 9mm almost exclusively.
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Old November 3, 2011, 09:39 PM   #18
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Several posters above me have repeated the claim that 9 is "just as effective" as .40. As I stated in my original post, this is NOT the case. In flesh and through clothing, yes, 9 is 100% as lethally effective. However, the .40 is proven to be superior at penetrating hard barriers such as auto glass or car doors. A niche application, to be sure, but it can't be denied because a person favors 9.
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Old November 3, 2011, 09:48 PM   #19
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My policy has always been to carry the firearm with the most knockdown power I can reasonably and comfortably conceal. Since most brands of 9MM handguns are the same size as their 40S&W counterparts I'd rather have the 40S&W.

Kahr, Sig, S&W, Glock, Ruger, H&K, Browning, FNH and quite a few others make guns with the exact same dimensions and very similar weight in both 9 & 40. I'd rather be loosing a round or two on capacity and having the extra stopping power. Going from the Glock 26 to the 27 only one round of capacity is lost....

If there was a big price difference in ammo or initial cost this would be more an issue to me.

Does 40 S&W have more energy? yes. For me case closed.
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Old November 3, 2011, 11:12 PM   #20
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You need to throw the Sig 357 in here as well. It atualy does someting that the 9mm and the .40 do not (has higher velocity).

You want to penetrate, then get veloicy and slug size up (124 gr) and you have both. Othersie you can get penetration, but not expansion or vice versa.

Foe LEO its a tough row to hoe as they do need both.

For a civilian, its extraordinarily unlikely you will need the penetration of the 40 or the 357 (though you would get some dandy expansion from it). In other words I am not going to be shooting at cars.

I rececnly read an artialc by a guy who did his PHD on the issue. Ultimately he could offer no one any conclusions. For every gun fight the 40 ended well, it failed misearly. Same with 9mm, same with .357, same with 45 ACP. The only hjard conclusion was shot placement meant more than anything.

For HD 9mm with a good +P self defense round (take your choice) will do the job. If you add in more practice and likely better shot placement as a result, then you are better off with the 9mm.

I put my practice where my mouth is, when I got an updated gun it was 9mm (former 45 ACP, 44 Special, 41 Magnum and swore by big bore only obviously).

I do think that there should be an update to center of mass. If you are close enough, it should be center of chest (not sternum). There are more items in the center of chest you can hit and take down the BG than having half hit below the sternum (long term no, but this is not a long term project).
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Old November 4, 2011, 05:30 AM   #21
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The 40 just plain hits harder than the 9mm as does the 45 acp. The easiest way to see this is with steel popper targets. When properly adjusted, the 40 and the 45 will knock them down with one hit and the 9mm requires a double tap high up on the target.

So what does that translate into the real world? That's for you to decide.

I prefer the 40 because it fits in a 9mm sized gun and usually only gives up one round to do so. It carries more rounds than the 45 and is easier to conceal. Of the three its got the best barrier penetration I've seen while retaining its jacket and the majority of its weight.

Of the number of police shooting investigations I've been involved with the 40 had the highest number of one shot stops. Sounds impressive right, but all it really means is that officer stopped pulling the trigger after the first shot or missed with the rest or that the officer with the 9mm rapidly pulled the trigger and scored multiple hits before the threat hit the ground.

On a more scientific note, the coroners reports contain some pretty impressive pics of the damage the 40 does.

And last but not least although a little off topic, one of the better rounds out there in both the 2 and 4 inch barrel is the old FBI/Metro load 38special +P, 158 gr. LSWCHP. I have no problem relying on these when I carry a revolver.
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Old November 4, 2011, 06:37 AM   #22
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I carry a .40 on duty but would carry a 9 or .45 just as quick. I've carried a .357 mag as well.

9mm is perfectly adequate if you can drill your target accurately. If you can do it with a .40, go for it. If you are spot on with x, carry x.
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Old November 4, 2011, 07:14 AM   #23
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look up 9mm penetration tests...depending on the ammo, 10-22" penetration on clothed gelatin...I'd say that's plenty...if you're not happy with the results, pull the trigger again
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Old November 4, 2011, 07:29 AM   #24
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Most guns that are designed to shoot .40 are too large for me to conceal carry. The new breed of DAO 9mm's work better for me.
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Old November 4, 2011, 07:59 AM   #25
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I got an M&P 40 and bought a 40-9mm conversion barrel and have been quite satisfied.
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