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Old August 22, 2013, 05:55 PM   #1
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Not just another 9 vs 40 thread

I know there is a lot of info both on this forum and Internet about every caliber but I have a slightly diff circumstances.
I been shooting a little over a year and I shoot in my club most of the year in bullseye 5-6 weeks) competitions. Because of that I own 22 38/357 and a 45acp. Time to buy a gun and I want another quality piece. I know which gun I want ( beretta storm ) but I shot a .40 yesterday out of a sig for the first time and I it's very manageable. So it got me thinking. I am starting to reload and with my restrictions( NYC rules 7 round max in a magazine ) perhaps 40 is a better idea.

Another question for you gents would be: how does 9 compare to 40?
So lets say on power scale of 1-10 if 22lr is 1 and 45 acp is 10 where would you place 9 and .40

I know most will say move out of NYC or buy both but as of right now thats not possible
Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made them equal.
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Old August 22, 2013, 06:12 PM   #2
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"Power scale" is a truly ambiguous term. If you are referring to penetration, then the 40 wins, I believe, depending on the load. 45 acp and 9mm are basically tied in this regard, again, depending on the load. If you are referring to what some might call "wounding potential", or "killing power", then there might be no clear winner, in many real world circumstances.

What is pretty clear is that, on your 1 to 10 scale, 45 would not be "10"....and 40 and 9mm somewhere below it. Actually, in most cases it would more like the 40 would be the "10".....with 45 and 9mm a bit below. However, 45 and 9mm would be, in real world circumstances, an 8 or 9....if 40 is the "10".

The three cartridges do the same thing, but in slightly different ways :

9mm: Light bullet/ high pressure/ high velocity

40 S&W: Medium weight bullet/ high pressure/ high velocity

45 acp: Heavy bullet/ low pressure/ low velocity

There isn't always a clear winner, but very often, I believe the 40 would have a bit of an advantage.
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Old August 22, 2013, 06:56 PM   #3
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Depending on the platform you choose, the .40 could be "snappier" due to the higher pressure. The 9mm platform, imo, would be the best for bullseye/ccw. Cheaper all the way around, even reloading, and there are some extremely accurate pistols in 9mm..40 has never been known to be a "bullseye" caliber. Not that it can't be accurate, but in factory form, it doesn't have the best reputation for accuracy.

As far as ccw, with a decent round, SXT, Golden Sabre, HST, etc, you wont be under gunned with a 9mm. My wife carries a gen 4 G17 on duty with 147g Golden Sabers, has a Shield 9 for off duty, same round, and I carry an early FNP 9, also loaded with the GS, and I don't feel under gunned at all.
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Old August 22, 2013, 06:58 PM   #4
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NYC rules 7 round max in a magazine
I could have sworn that was dropped?

Edit: Just checked and from what I understand it was indeed dropped, or as they call it suspended, because gun manufacturers do not make 7rd magazines for many guns.
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Old August 22, 2013, 07:14 PM   #5
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What was suspended was a 7 round magazine; you still can only load 7 unless you are at a range or competition, then you can have 10.

This doesn't affect IDPA, but in USPSA you can only have Limited-10 and only 10 round magazines in Open. Because out of staters are wary of the law and Limited and Open shooters don't want to ruin their magazines by modifying them, competition attendance has been lower.
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Old August 22, 2013, 07:20 PM   #6
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That really sucks. Here in Mass. we are up for a bunch of new gun control bills to get voted on soon, as if the laws here are not already tough enough. Devall Patrick, who I absolutely despise, also proposed a 7 round magazine limit although I suspect it will not pass. If it does I am getting the hell out of this state.
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Old August 22, 2013, 08:46 PM   #7
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Getting back to it

Hey is there a movement to steer this thread off the old "9 vs .40 which is better" argument? Nice try .....

Let's wind it up once again. So to remind everyone of the original topic of this thread:

Another question for you gents would be: how does 9 compare to 40?
So lets say on power scale of 1-10 if 22lr is 1 and 45 acp is 10 where would you place 9 and .40

I prefer to think of all 3 as equally proficient with a winner determined by the specific bullet used and it's application. If we compare FMJ, the .45 is the winner hands down. With a good JHP bullet that expands on impact, I like the extra speed of the 9 mm to give more penetration. But if I only were going to own one handgun (fate worse than death), the .40 would be my first choice.

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Old August 23, 2013, 07:46 AM   #8
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If I were restricted to magazine capacity, I'd skip .40 and go straight to 10mm. If cc is the goal, then 9mm or 40 are both good, just pick the one that will be easiest for you to carry.
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Old August 23, 2013, 01:26 PM   #9
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9 mm vs 40 S&W, is like comparing apples and oranges. Both have their good points and both have their shortcomings. You need to go out and test both and find what YOU are most comfortable shooting.

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Old August 23, 2013, 02:33 PM   #10
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I like them both...but I shoot a lot more 9mm ( because its cheaper to practice).....and I'm comfortable with either for carry / although I prefer a .45 acp for carry....but the .40S&W ( 180gr bullet ) is a little snappier on recoil than the same platform in a 9mm ( Sig 239 or Sig 226 in my case). I'm a little faster on followup shots with the 9mm than either the .40S&W or the .45 acp...because of less recoil.

My buddy and I were doing some speed and accuracy drills last nite - at a local range....draw from a holster and double tap a 3" X 5" target in under 3 sec....we started at 5 yds, then when to 6,7, 8 , 9 and 10 yds...( its harder than you think )...and it was significantly easier in 9mm than .45acp...( both in a steel gun, 5", 1911's )...

If I was limited to 7 +1 ...for carry, I'd probably carry the .40S&W over the 9mm ....but capacity isn't a big deal to me for carry / its for "Defense" not the gunfight at the ok Corral... 7 +1 will probably be plenty...
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Old August 23, 2013, 02:56 PM   #11
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Just a word about going to a Beretta PX4. Nothing wrong mind you, but the PX4 is polymer. The Sig was most likely an alloy frame and stainless steel slide. The 40 round is very manageable in the SIG due to the weight. So going to a lighter pistol will increase felt recoil. Just food for thought. And I personally like the 40 better than a 9mm in the 3 pistols I have chambered for it,P226, P229, Beretta 90-TWO. Large pistols, easy to shoot with the 40. But YMMV. Good luck.
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Old August 23, 2013, 02:59 PM   #12
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Coming out of the same frame, a majority of people are going to feel less recoil from a 9 mm than a .40. Will that affect your score in a bullseye event? Only if it gives you a case of the yips, I would think.

As for effectiveness in self defense, modern loads of all the major calibers are reasonably close in performance.

Net: Shoot what you shoot well.

The rotating barrel of the Beretta Storm series (except for the subcompact version) makes a noticeable difference in reducing recoil. My daughter has a 9 mm compact and it shoots even a little softer than my 92FS. A lot of people say that a .40 out of that pistol feels like a 9 mm out of others, and that 9 mm is almost as soft as a .22. That might be a bit of hyperbole, but it is not far off in my limited experience with the Storm.
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Old August 23, 2013, 03:53 PM   #13
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I shoot my wife's Glock 26 (9mm) and my G27 (.40). Both guns are close to the same weight and size.

I find the g26 very nice to shoot and the g27 very violent and not enjoyable at all. If it were a heavier gun i'm sure it would be a different story.

But, that's me.....
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Old August 24, 2013, 11:35 AM   #14
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I would go with the 9mm.

It would be more manageable in the PX and realistically, you give nothing up in effectiveness in 9mm with modern SD ammo vs 40, 45 (or the magnums as real world data of shootings tell you none of them has any advantage over any other one in effectiveness, or lack there off when they don't work which is often).

Simply put, they all are poor person stoppers (its a compromise all pistols live with). Its a worthwhile compromise, but it is just that.

glock created the 40 market to sell guns. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against 40 as a caliber, but it was no more a magic bullet than a 44 magnum is. If you like it and shoot it well its as good a cartridge as the rest.

For me it was less expensive to shoot, more rounds (no mag restriction here of course) and I like the quicker recovery (the recoil does not bother me, I shoot 41 magnum as well).
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