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Old January 30, 2013, 03:16 PM   #1
mbrittb00
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9mm vs .40 S&W for CCW

Obviously 9mm handguns (of the same configuration) will have a higher capacity, but do they have sufficient stoping power? I've been leaning toward the .40 but a friend of mine is trying to convince me that the current technology in 9mm ammo gives it almost as much stopping power as the .40, plus you get the extra shot.
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Old January 30, 2013, 03:23 PM   #2
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Oh, holy crap. Either this is going to be closed by a mod telling you to search for the hundreds (thousands?) of threads on this subject, or all the people defending stopping power for their caliber will flood the thread.

But since we're all adults here, I'll say - get whatever you shoot best because shot placement is key.
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Old January 30, 2013, 03:29 PM   #3
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You get a little bit more knockdown power with similar bullets out of the .40, you also get a more snappy recoil.

They both have their advantages, the 9mm will have easier follow-up shots due to less recoil. 9mm is a little bit cheaper to shoot than .40.

I think that with consideration paid to what you choose to keep it loaded with for defensive situations and proper shot placement are the most important things. With good shot placement and appropriate bullets, both have sufficient stopping power to neutralize a threat.
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Old January 30, 2013, 03:29 PM   #4
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My apology, I did do a quick search and I didn't see any discussion topics that really covered this subject. The questions isn't really whatever I shoot best because, what if I can shoot both equally well? Is the extra stopping power of the .40 enought to offset the extra round of the 9mm considering the advancements in the 9mm round?
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Old January 30, 2013, 03:33 PM   #5
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The answer is simple, which ever one you shoot the best.
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Old January 30, 2013, 03:46 PM   #6
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What if I shoot both equally well?
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Old January 30, 2013, 03:51 PM   #7
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Here we go again I personally prefer the. 40 but almost any caliber will work. Shot placement, high quality ammo(not price) and practice practice practice will even out almost all of the pros/cons of any caliber. If shots are placed right extra rounds are just extra. It all depends on your, the shooters, preferences.
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Old January 30, 2013, 03:56 PM   #8
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Sorry again. If someone would like to link me to a good RECENT (all I've found so far are discussions from years ago) about this, I would be happy reading all those comments, and we can close this one down.
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Old January 30, 2013, 03:56 PM   #9
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Or try option b. One of each and rotate your ccw. If you shoot both equally the comfort and ease of handling will be a few factors making your decision.
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Old January 30, 2013, 03:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Is the extra stopping power of the .40 enought to offset the extra round of the 9mm considering the advancements in the 9mm round
What do you mean by extra stopping power. ? Both calibers will only stop someone if you hit them in the right place. And neither will if you don't hit them in the right place. The same goes for most calibers. I would go for the 9mm cheaper ammo less recoil.
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:03 PM   #11
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I went through the same decision process last summer trying to decide between the GLOCK G26 9mm and the G27 .40S&W. I ended up selecting the G26 primarily for the added capacity. I feel very confident in modern 9mm ammo and have no concern with being under gunned.

Let me say I also own and really like an HK USP40 so I am by no means against the .40S&W round.
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:05 PM   #12
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By stopping power, I'm refering to the effectiveness of a single round. I don't think that the "right" spot is quite as black and white as you are making it out to be. I guess the quesiton is, is the .40 more forgiving if you don't quite hit in the "right" place. I understand that 10 years ago, the 40 packed much more of a punch than the 9mm, making it more effective when further off of that "right" spot. However as I understand it the modern 9mm rounds have been improved to give them higher velocitys at higher wights than years ago, meaning that you can be further off of the "right" spot and still be effective. Has the same improvements not been made in the .40 rounds?
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:08 PM   #13
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What if I shoot both equally well?
9mm then. Its cheaper to shoot, and youll get to shoot more.
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:09 PM   #14
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Here's a link to a Youtube presentation that talks about calibers and why they matter. It will save you time.

But check the diffeence in price of the ammo. Over the long run you'll probably spend many times the price of the pistol on the ammo (assuming) that you like to shoot. If you just want to have a gun and not shoot it, please disregard my advice.
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:09 PM   #15
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In my mind, and in the training I have had, shot PLACEMENT is much more important than the caliber of the shot fired.
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:11 PM   #16
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dcvyn, thanks but I really don't want to buy two guns.

Since I'm looking at the same gun (just in two differnt calibers), the handling and wearing comfort will be basically the same. I guess the following are the factors to consider.

1) Capacity (9mm wins here)
2) Recoil (again 9mm wins here).
2b) Accuracy (depends on personal ability)
3) Effectiveness (.40 wins here, but the gap is a lot smaller than it used to be)
4) Cost of ammo (push with a slight edge to the 9mm)
5) Avaliable of ammo (push with slight edge to the .40)


#5 is mainly a concern for practice ammo.
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:12 PM   #17
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If you want extra oomph in a round go with a 10mm.
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
the 40 packed much more of a punch than the 9mm, making it more effective when further off of that "right" spot.
I would have to disagree. If you hit someone in a non vital area with either 9mm or .40 it won't stop them unless they decide to get out of the fight. If you want to stop someone without directly hitting them in a vital area you need a rifle.

Last edited by manta49; January 30, 2013 at 04:28 PM.
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:33 PM   #19
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So then in your opinion there is no advantage at all of the .40 over the 9mm. If that is the case then why does anyone (including law enforcement) carry 40s?
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:38 PM   #20
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I agree with the posts pointing out the importance of shot placement. The one shot stopping power thing is mostly for manufacturers to sell ammo and shooters to talk about IMO. I think much of the under powered knock on 9mm is based on older FMJ ball ammo and in that case it probably is true, but the modern powder, firearms, and especially bullet technology make that comparison apples and oranges. You can find stories of cops shooting a drugged up perp multiple times with 9mm and he kept coming. But I think it is a mistake to automatically assume that if they had been shooting .40 or .45 or 10mm he would have gone down like a sack of potatoes. Maybe, but probably not.

I carry 9mm because I have confidence that premium self-defense ammo will get the job done, because of age and arthritis I like the lighter recoil, and I wanted a gun my wife could handle, also mainly the recoil issue. I carried a 1911 in combat and loved it. But I am pretty sure that any situation I cannot handle today with 9mm would probably be a problem with any caliber.

To date my concealed handgun has stopped 1 armed robbery attempt. The instant he realized I was armed he dropped the weapon back in his pocket, showed me his palms and hauled butt. Not sure what he had, he kept it in his hand in his pocket until he decided he was not a gun fighter. I am so glad he made that decision for both our sake. But obviously the most decisive factor was not caliber, but the fact that I brought a gun to the gunfight. That is rule 1.
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:42 PM   #21
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I would choose the 9mm over the 40 because in the same platform (such as the Sig P226 for example) when shooting follow up shots, I can shot the 9mm slightly faster with more accuracy.
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:43 PM   #22
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I think I'm starting to agree with the 9mm crowd. The situation that would warrent a .40 just don't happen to civilians.
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:45 PM   #23
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Quote:
So then in your opinion there is no advantage at all of the .40 over the 9mm. If that is the case then why does anyone (including law enforcement) carry 40s?
Good question. Nearly every army in the world uses 9mm and most police forces for some reason in America its popular.

What the police use here for example.

The PSNI issues the Glock 17 pistol to all officers replacing the Ruger Speed Six formerly issued. A range of 'long' rifles replaced the Ruger AC-556 select fire rifles.

Last edited by manta49; January 30, 2013 at 04:53 PM.
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:47 PM   #24
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mbrittb00 wrote:
Quote:
The situation that would warrent a .40 just don't happen to civilians.
What situation/s would that be?
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Old January 30, 2013, 04:49 PM   #25
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I carry 9mm, I can shoot it better because it doesn't have that stupid "snappy" .40 recoil.

M&P9c here.
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