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Old July 10, 2013, 06:08 PM   #1
Dunecigar
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9mm vs. 40 caliber

American citizen (Bersa, DP51, CCWP) living in Guatemala City, Guatemala, Central America:

Dear fellow forum readers,

I am in the market for a .45 caliber handgun to round out my cache of weapons. I have a Bersa Thunder .380 and a DP-51. A 1911 commander framed .45 would be ideal for my needs in this third world country where defense is not an option but a real must.

I have my eye on a Bul M-5 Commander .45 yet the arms dealer is running into delays in having it imported but he does have a Charles Daly Commander 40 caliber.

Now, my questions are... What is the difference between the 9mm and the 40 caliber? And since I already have a 9mm would adding a 40 caliber mean very much?
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Old July 10, 2013, 08:51 PM   #2
coldbeer
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People jokingly refer to the 40 S&W as the 40 short and wimpy, but in reality the 40 ain't no joke. It'll shoot the same 180 grain bullet as the 10mm at around 1000 -1150 fps which is pretty impressive IMO. The 10mm only has 100-150 fps on the 40 S&W. I don't own a handgun in either caliber but I wouldn't feel under gunned with with either.
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Old July 10, 2013, 09:04 PM   #3
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I think with modern ammunition the choice comes down to personal preference. The diffrent pros and cons for defensive shooting for both calibers come down to nit picky little things and both calibers are good defensive rounds.

They have a diffrent recoil. I don't like 9mm recoil. I prefer .40 S&W. I don't knock those who prefer 9mm. They get higher capacity.

Were I you, my consideration would be ammunition. You already have a 9mm and the ammo to go with it. What's the price and ease of aquiring .40 s&w where you are? If your planning on getting a .45 as well, that puts you up to an ammo cache of 3 calibers and three diffrent calibers to buy for practice.

I can't answer if I think your should or should not. I can only tell you what I would take into consideration when making that decision.
Personally, if I knew I could get ahold of plenty of ammo for all three, I would.
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Old July 10, 2013, 09:26 PM   #4
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There is no question the 9mm is a plenty capable round (and my personal favorite) buy there is also no question that the 40sw has a significant boost in power. If your talking 'need' then there is no reason to look at the 40 but if your rounding out your collection, then the 40 is a must have. I'm looking for one myself. Not sure but I may be leaning towards the new Magnum Research one. The Cougar and the M&P are also high on the list.
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Old July 10, 2013, 10:09 PM   #5
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Hold out for the 45 if you can. There is no replacement for displacement, and no cache is complete without a 45.
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Old July 10, 2013, 11:25 PM   #6
zeke4351
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9mm vs. 40 caliber

Depends on the ammo you can buy there. The 9mm 124 grain +P+ and the .40S&W in + P with a 155 to 165 grain bullet are pretty much equal and both of these will penetrate metal and glass better than any .45 round. The .357 Sig would in its original loading of 125 grains at 1450 fps would be an improvement over any of the above if you can get ammo. Keep your 9mm and put the good ammo in it. If you don't think you need to penetrate glass and metal get the .45. If I was in your situation I would have a 10mm and forget all the rest but it too has to have the good ammo and not the watered down crap.
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Old July 11, 2013, 12:07 AM   #7
Theohazard
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Quote:
pgdion posted
there is also no question that the 40sw has a significant boost in power
Here's my question: How is it that people still believe this stuff? Look, when using modern hollow points, 9mm, .40, and .45 are all basically the same in terms of terminal effectiveness on the human body. Each caliber has its stengths and weaknesses, but when it comes to "stopping power", the three calibers are virtually indistinguishable.

This thread is sure to turn into yet another caliber war. And that's too bad, because the truth is caliber matters a whole lot less than most people think it does.
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Old July 11, 2013, 12:52 AM   #8
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Doesn't matter... Both of them will bounce off my beard at point blank ranges.
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Old July 11, 2013, 01:10 AM   #9
Jim243
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My response would be 9 mm vs 45 ACP. Skip the 40 S&W you will NOT like how it shoots. I have sold both of mine and purchased another 45 ACP.

As to supply and demand, you could try getting a Bersa Thunder 45 Ulta Compact Pro, you will really like the way it feels and shoots. 1911's are nice but sometimes fussy as to ammo and reliability. (mag problems)

Try one of these and you will be happy.



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Old July 11, 2013, 02:49 AM   #10
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All handguns are relatively poor "stoppers" regardless of caliber or bullet used. Shot placement and sufficient penetration are paramount, all else is secondary.
Bottom line: choose whichever caliber you shoot the best but I prefer the 9 for greater capacity & less recoil for faster followup shots.
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Old July 11, 2013, 06:33 AM   #11
zeke4351
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9mm vs. 40 caliber

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomac View Post
All handguns are relatively poor "stoppers" regardless of caliber or bullet used. Shot placement and sufficient penetration are paramount, all else is secondary.
Bottom line: choose whichever caliber you shoot the best but I prefer the 9 for greater capacity & less recoil for faster followup shots.
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In the OP situation I would use a gun based on if it kicks on one end it kicks just as hard on the other. Get my point?
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Old July 11, 2013, 06:55 AM   #12
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Is good hollow point ammunition available in Guatemala?
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Old July 11, 2013, 10:42 AM   #13
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skipping the "which round is more killy" and the ballistics info, in the end, with quality ammo, you cant go wrong with any of them. I prefer 9mm for the obvious reasons that I can cram more rounds in a magazine, its cost effective, and it is generally more controllable. Its all preference. There is no right answer. For me, .40 is to snappy in most firearms and .45 is great but you typically give up mag capacity. Being a civilian, I dont expect to get into an intense gun fight where a large number of rounds are necessary but it doesnt hurt to have that option. They all work. There is no magic round that will drop a BG where he stands. If youre asking for an opinion, I say go with 9mm. If your asking for a right or wrong answer, quit asking because there isnt one.
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Old July 11, 2013, 10:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
What is the difference between the 9mm and the 40 caliber? And since I already have a 9mm would adding a 40 caliber mean very much?
Besides the obvious difference in size?

The .40 is intermediate between 9mm and .45 ACP, in pretty much every way. Guns that shoot 9 will most often be available in .40 as well, as little redesign needs to be done.

You can shoot a smaller gun comfortably, in 9mm, than you can in .40. Gunboard folks, may of them, tend to complain about "snappy" recoil. Recoil sensitivity is an individual thing. I thought .40 was a bit much in the Springfield EMP I tried once. Above that, not so bad. "If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses?"

If you already have a 9mm, adding a .40 probably won't do that much extra for you.
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Old July 11, 2013, 11:14 AM   #15
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Shoot the caliber you are good with and can practice with (i.e. availability). The real world difference between a hot 9mm, 40S&W, & even 45ACP is nominal. Shoot someone in the head, heart, or throat with either of the above calibers will stop 'em.

I personally prefer higher capacity because odds are that I will be shooting crappier than at the range if my life was at stake.
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Old July 11, 2013, 01:00 PM   #16
Dunecigar
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Dear Forum brothers and sisters,

Thank you so much for your prompt replies to my current pressing question. Your answers have helped me.

.45s in GI slides tend to be more popular here with bodyguards, narcos, etc. yet commander slides are available, just harder and more limited to find.

I'mset on the Bul M-5 Commander .45 but my second choice is the Charles Daly .40 Commander, both are hi-caps, both are very well made, and both are in a 1911 frame.

Lets see what happens on the 19th of this month. Whether my arms dealer gets the M-5 for me or not.

An answer to a question:
Yes, hollow points are available here including other exotics like Black Rhinos, Glazer and such.

If anyone else has further input as to the difference between 9mm and .40 then please feel free to comment.

Remember, I'm a fellow American-born citizen living in a third world country. Your input is vital.

Best regards,
D. Idaho

Last edited by Shane Tuttle; July 11, 2013 at 09:17 PM.
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Old July 11, 2013, 01:16 PM   #17
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Lot of good info being shared here.

I carried a 9mm for years (S&W 908)
I now carry a Ruger SR40c

Being a regular shooter and having the opportunity to shoot a few old cars in my life the 9mm was just a bit lacking.
You ask what does shooting cars have to do with self defense?
Shooting old cars gives you a lot of different materials to blow holes in.

What I noticed was that after a 9mm bullet passed through the seat it lost a lot of energy.
Now a car seat is not that formidable; cloth, foam and some springs.
A 9mm round will pass through the front and back seat and leave a dent in the deck lid but a 40 cal will exit the deck lid.

Now if I have to shoot someone in a self defense situation I only want to shoot them once.
I would carry a 45 acp but they are just to dam heavy and bulky so the 40 cal is a good compromises
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Old July 11, 2013, 01:26 PM   #18
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I love the .40 165gr Federal HST round. I have had 9mm's and there is nothing wrong with them, I just prefer that little extra punch. Aside from that, I could still find ammo for the .40, as still can. I cannot find 9mm in my area. Also, if I want to go 9mm, I can easily get a conversion barrel for my Glock 23, so I have options in both calibers.
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Old July 11, 2013, 05:34 PM   #19
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IMMHO... There is absolutely no real point for the .40S&W

It was marketed well towards law enforcement under false pretense. Congrats .40S&W. Congrats.

9mm all the way. Facts prove .40 holds nothing over the 9mm other than less capacity and harsher recoil which negates slower follow up shots.

No thanks .40. And no, I do not miss you one bit. lol


.45 is cool and all..but then comes capacity.
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Old July 11, 2013, 08:32 PM   #20
coldbeer
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I can't remember ever hearing about an SD shooting that required more than 10 bullets although I'm sure it's happened. I don't think an extra 2 or three bullets is that big a deal when your gun can hold 15.

Last edited by coldbeer; July 11, 2013 at 08:50 PM.
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Old July 12, 2013, 08:21 PM   #21
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IMO these conversations were of significant importance many years ago during the era of FMJ and very few HP options across the caliber spectrum. Conversely, the remarkable ballistic advances the ammo vendors have made in the past ten or so years has (again IMO) rendered very little performance "difference" between the 9, 40, 45 in terms of ultimate effectiveness. Verdict, get the model gun that suits you in whatever caliber and shoot the crap out of it thereby achieving that often underlooked variable of requite skill.
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Old July 12, 2013, 08:41 PM   #22
skoro
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Quote:
Now, my questions are... What is the difference between the 9mm and the 40 caliber? And since I already have a 9mm would adding a 40 caliber mean very much?
Since you already have a 9mm and are going to get a 45, the 40 is in between and really doesn't have a good place. These days with the advances in bullet design, the difference between 9mm and 45 isn't what it used to be.
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Old July 13, 2013, 09:40 AM   #23
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Or, the .40 becomes the all-purpose best and replaces the 9 and 45. LOVE the .40 Small & Weak. Went to a 1911 type .40 after I got a full frame 1911 in .45 in fact.
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Old July 13, 2013, 09:54 AM   #24
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With modern factory JHPs there really isn't a huge difference in 9mm vs. .40 S&W IMHO. I would rather wait it out and go all the way with .45 ACP. Be happy with your 9 for now, as they say: 9 is fine. I've learned that compromises are never as satisfying as just waiting for what you really want.
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Old July 13, 2013, 10:05 AM   #25
overkill0084
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Wait for the .45.
Nothing wrong with the .40 S&W, but it's not enough of a step up over the 9 mm to make you forget that you originally wanted the .45.
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