Thursday, March 29, 2012

9mm vs .40 S&W

At the range today I was approached by an older shooter and our conversation found its way to my opinions on the .40 S&W round.  I'm not an expert on the subject by any stretch, but I own firearms chambered for both and have read plenty of research on the two cartridges.  And after all that, 9mm wins hands down.


Both of these are Speer GDHP and there isn't too much to say when you compare them side by side.  But to me, the difference between them goes beyond ballistics.  Availability: 9mm is the most popular pistol caliber in the world.  I don't care where you live, if your local store sells handgun ammunition, they will sell 9mm.  If you live abroad it's even more prevalent.  Cost: 9mm is cheaper to shoot and reload; less brass and less lead. Capacity: 9mm pistols hold more rounds, given a specific pistol frame.  Recoil management: this is subjective but I have yet to meet someone who has shot both and thinks the 9mm recoils more than the .40 S&W.  Either cartridge can be downloaded for reduced recoil or increased to the point it would be dangerous to shoot, but for factory loads a 9mm will have less recoil.

So lets talk about ballistics.  Both of those rounds pictured are going approximately 1150 fps.  The 9mm is a 124gr bullet and the .40 S&W is 165gr.  Obviously if the .40 is going the same speed but using a heavier bullet, it will have better terminal ballistics, right?  Yes, but is that important?  A modern 9mm self defense round has nearly equal performance against human tissue, even with clothing.  And if it will handle flesh, I should think cardboard to practice on would be no issue.  If we are talking about shooting through concrete walls, auto glass, or anything that is "reinforced", yep, I want to be shooting a .40.  But lets all be honest.  The odds of that happening are nearly zero, even as law enforcement they are nearly zero.  If it does come to that, shoot it twice with those extra rounds you have on board and the problem will be solved.

If I wasn't made to carry a .40 S&W at work I wouldn't.  It fills a gap between 9mm and .45 ACP, but I don't feel like that gap is big enough to need a filler.  I wouldn't want to be shot with either.  To me, 9mm is the all around best caliber, regardless of what your end needs are.

70 comments:

  1. Amen brother. I think the biggest difference is shootability. It is so much easier, and consequently more fun, to shoot 9mm.

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  2. I carry ether 9mm or .40cal every day.. I can put three 9mm round on target faster than two .40cal rounds. Face it, shot placement is almost never an option when you and your attacker(s) are jumping, running, and ducking when the guns come out. I have never seen two people stand still, squared, toe to toe, and let each other take turns shooting. For me 9mm works best when hitting moving or reactionary targets. I think the same would be so in real life. Yes, I have seen more than a few street shootings when growing up. I was not involved.

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  3. I used to believe that only the .45ACP could be considered an appropriate self-defense caliber. But with the great improvement in bullet technology and better ballistics I felt drawn to move to the 9mm cartridge, I did, and I have never doubted that it was the right choice. I don't have anything against the .40 S&W, but I just never "felt" drawn to it for some reason. It was a gut instinct kind of thing and I've learned the hard way to never ignore a gut instinct. A police officer friend of mine was originally issued a Glock 22 and about four or five years ago, his department switched to the Glock 17. He told me that the new training officer at his department was a really sharp guy that had been a teacher at Thunder Ranch and that he made the decision. Their carry load is the Winchester Ranger 127 grain JHP in +P+. A few years back, there was an article in one of the gun mags about how Rob Leatham had been hired to train American Special Forces how to shoot a handgun really fast and also really accurately. I have always admired Mr. Leatham, who was always referred to as Mr. 45. In that article, he stated that he really loved working with those SF guys and that he had learned a lot from them, too. He said that these guys get to choose what pistol they want to use and what load to use and that every one of those guys told him that after using every supposed best load in all the different self defense calibers, they recommend the Winchester Ranger 127 grain +P+ JHP. And he said that based on their actual experience that he had changed his caliber of choice to the 9mm. I liked the article because it was saying what I had already decided on. It it's good enough for our Special Forces guys, it's good enough for me. My self defense handguns are all Glocks in 9mm. I have a 17L, two 17's, a 19 and a 26. They all have the same triggers and the same sights. That way I only have one manual of arms to learn and to burn into muscle memory. And I also like having only one caliber of handgun ammo to stock.

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    1. Larry, thanks for all the feed back. 9mm makes a lot of sense for many reasons and I think you're wise to keep everything consistent. I will say .40 has grown on me and I plan to do a post on what I've found before long. Thanks again for reading.

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    2. Ladies and Gentlemen,

      As I respond to this forum in general, it is with an assumption that most of you are younger than I am. The philosophy by which I see being espoused is a huge departure from the era I grew up in. For instance, shot placement was strictly practiced and subscribed to, "One shot One Kill". It worked in the gunfights I have been in. I recall one instance when my 4" Smith Model 10 and I dispatched a lead spitting auto wielding JA with one well placed shot to the chest, the remaining 5 shots still safely tucked away. Todays younger shooters talk about how fast they can pull the trigger, emptying a 15 round mag in 1.563 seconds, not how many shots they put in the X ring.

      Back when revolvers were still king of the hill, namely.357 Magnums and automatics were slowly fading in, I recall a situation involving 7 year vet and their Beretta 92. 3 clips from that 9mm were wasted without hitting the intended one time. Upon post event examination, 2 .44 Special rounds were found embedded in the chest area of the officers body armor.

      Now, I don't want my comments to be misunderstood. I enjoy automatics. .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, I have owned them all and shoot them very well, but with the correct philosophy. I don't go in to any situation being comforted by the 40+ rounds I am carrying but rather the knowledge that each shot has a specific purpose and that I have the skill to help it fulfill it's destiny.

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    3. They are magazines, not clips. It isn't a M1 Garand Rifle.

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  4. Thanks for publishing this. I have been doing some research of the difference between the 9mm and .40 S&W. Of course there are views on both sides of the discussion.

    I liked the you put out the facts, what are you going to use this for. It made sense. Recently I purchased my first pistol, a Ruger SR9 in 9mm. Although I haven't shot it yet I have shot other 9mm pistols I know the recoil in this pistol will be something I can handle without any problems. I do have a problem with my right hand. I have been looking at a Walter PPQ and Springfield Armory® XD(M)® Competition both in .40S&W.

    In the past I bought a S&W in .44 mag. I purchased a case of federal ammo as I always did back then (it did break the bank). I never finished the first box, I could not hold onto the revolver. I sold this revolver before something bad happened. With this I have wondered about the recoil of the 40 S&W. as to if I would have the same problem. With reading this article I no longer am concerned as, like you one day I may own a .40S&W, but not anytime soon. The only decision I have now is which pistol to purchase next, but in 9mm.

    Thanks

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  5. Great article. Getting a Sig 9mm after reading this, despite a friend telling me that Seal Team 6 uses the .40, I'm not a seal, couldn't even pass the physical. Wife has a Glock 9, and might as well just keep it a one-round family. Thanks.

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    1. Bob,
      Sig 9mm's are a great choice. I don't own one at the moment but plan to have one in the stable before too long. Through reloading I have grown to like .40 more than I used to, but I feel 9mm is still the best all-around choice. Let me know how the new pistol works out for you.

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    2. I have been to one of the SIG handgun courses in Exeter NH and was provided a sig 226 9mm. I own a smith m&p and love it but the sig was just spot on and gets my vote. I also agree with the context of this discussion. I carry .357 and .45 and with they newest technology in bullet design I winter carry my 9mm without feeling under gunned.

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  6. there isnt nothing a 40 can do, or a 45 acp for that matter, that a 9 cant. People like to get the biggest n baddest, n they see a 45 bullet n think wow its big, so it must be awesome, yea.. its also slow and wont penetrate. Thats why the millitary ditched the 45 for the 9. look it up. You want big and bad, get a 10mm for everything else, 9 is the best. Peace

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    1. The reason the military "ditched" the 45 acp is because it wasn't a NATO round.

      the 45 acp is just as good at penetrating.

      I suggest you "look it up"

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    2. Actually, .45 ACP won't penetrate body armour. Neither will a .44 mag if its level AIII protection. Velocity and kinetic energy really detriment my choice in a self-defense caliber. Hydrostatic shock can be achieved with the .40S&W and this is important because its a one round scenario. Most 9mm loads cannot hit that mark unless you use +P loads , but I wouldn't run those through a gun without properly modifying it to handle the extra chamber pressures.

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    3. the 9mm the military uses doesn't penetrate body armor either. the vest our army wears is 9mm proof, and the plates are 7.62 armor piercing proof.

      my theory is the 9mm gets the job done, is accurate and easier to handle than 45.

      when your enemies are wearing body armor, our military doesn't deploy with pistols. a pistol is a side arm.

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    4. Why would anyone on here be concerned with body armor penetration? If you need to penetrate armor that is what a rifle is for with the proper ammo. Don't bring in armor penetration as a means to justify carrying a .40sw because its not in the same ball park as the conversation s on here.

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    5. Because people wear vests and carry handguns. People don't carry rifles around. So yes, body armor penetration is a factor.

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    6. A .45 ACP will definitely penetrate. I know from personal experience!

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  7. Its all in what each individual is comfortable with. I personally prefer the .40 over the 9mm. But like you mentioned, I wouldn't want shot by either ;)

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  8. i have a a .40 and 9mm glocks , my favorite is the 9mm because have less recoil and is more easier to handle for faster shooting , and a lot aof few things more

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  9. I love my nines...probably because I cut my teeth on 38 special/357 mag and I am comfortable with that caliber and trust what it can do. But it's all good. Practice, practice, practice...

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  10. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own BlogEngine blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine example of it. Glock Guide Rods

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  11. .40 Short & Weak owns ALL!

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  12. You guys place too much emphasis on the penetrating power of the 9mm. Why do you think the Military stopped using them an went back to .45? Over penetration is a nice thought when you envision two of the enemy falling from one round of your 9mm, but let's envision those same two enemy high on PCP or some other drug or even pumped full of mental brainwashing granted them by a radical cleric (72 virgins anyone?)...Those 9mm rounds will go cleanly through without so much as causing them to misstep on their run toward you with AK blasting. I will stay with the venerable .45 knowing one round in the chest will open them up like an over ripe watermelon in the sun.

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    1. If you're in a situation like that, I would hope you're equipped with a 5.56 or 7.62 instead of either 9mm/.40/.45...for most realistic applications of handgun-ONLY situations (situations outside the home where you cannot carry a rifle), I think that any of the main three rounds would be more than effective. The reason I choose 9mm is round count per magazine, cost, and controllable/accurate firing rate.

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    2. "anonymous" just a reality check real quick, in a situation where you must fend for you life in the real world. there is one of two things happening, you tried to rob a quick shop or similar act of unlawful activity with a hand gun(and fought back), or your the sorry sap that ran into the angry,drugged, or just strait out of his mind man on the street asking for your wallet, and if your like me your going to say no. then the man is going to ether run away(he was bluffing) or hes going to try and take it by force, in that situation im sure you both would be above the red zone(the point when your heart is racing faster that 170 aka fight or flight) and nether of you are going to have the true coordination to place your shots and lets just say you have a 9mm hand gun, and so does he. when your in that situation you do not care if you have ben shot because your to busy trying to fight for you life to care for a little bit of pain your probably didnt even know you were shot untell it was over. being an ex marine and police officer i can very well say i have seen a man get shot with a rifle(5.56) and just keep running and firing, regardless of the round you have unless you can place your shot in these few places in a situation both "real world" and in a military stand point they will not just stop shooting untell they are not being shot at. these places would be the upper spine, any where above C8, your brain stem or frontal lobe or some how pull of a shot on there trigger finger. THEY WILL FIRE BACK. i personally carry a custom 1911 in 10mm(i live in a cold climate) and when i was back in the states i carried a glock 19 9mm, and ill tell you this the bigger the better. in my duty time i have seen men get shot several times i can recall a story a man told me back in 09. he was with a group going door to door searching for contraband aka stolen weapons military gear and other items, and he came up to a row of 3 stone homes and he was first to the door he knocked and a young woman opened the door, and before she got a word out a man ran out the back door and into another home and began to fire at him and his 4 man group, they go to return fire and he pulls the trigger on his surplus ar15 to find he broke the charging handle getting into cover, so he throws the rifle to the side and grabs his standard issue m9 (9mm) and starts to shoot back, they go back and forth for a few minutes and 2 of the men in his group go to flank threw the homes and the one man with him starts yelling, took a round to the arm right threw and was screaming in pain due to the bones breaking and this young man jumps out of the house and starts running twards him just shooting astray, this man took his m9 and put 3 in his gut and he kept running, then his buddys who went to flank pop this boy in the upper back and thats all she wrote. (ignore my spelling my son was sitting on my lap and im to carless to fix my misspells) make your first shot count, and if it dont the BIGGER THE BETTER

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    3. Problem is some people watch to much t.v. I have delivered mail in two of Chicago toughest hoods. Auburn - Gresham for 12 years and Chicago Lawn for 8 years. Have seen a 130 lbs man shot 4 times with .45acp and never broke stride running away. Have seen man shot point blank as it gets in chest with 40 cal and not only lived but was back on street in 2weeks tops,have seen assailants open fire from minivan on a dude parked in car with Glock 19'swith at least 9 hits and dude walked to ambulance. I always made it my biz to inquiry with cops whom see me everyday on calibers used. Go to range wit(rent if necessary) 9mm,40,45. Use FBI average shooting stat which is less than 10feet,3 rds,3 seconds as start(I recommend 5rds each).Fire fast as possible at target in rapid fire fashion and odds are your best score is the caliber for you.I LOVE .45 acp but after using that measure the 9mm with Corbon hollow point ammo became my concealed carry choice.I still will use glock 30 with 13rd g21 mag as bedside choice,Dog,alarm,familiar with my home give me advantage. In the streets and assailant has already basically made 1st move before u ever saw it coming. I choose to be as accurate,fast with highest capacity in case of multiple assailants

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    4. Absolute nonsense from someone who watches too much tv. It is a horribly ignorant assumption to believe that a handgun round with scantly a few millimeters difference in diameter, and a negligently more amount of mass moving and moving around half the speed of a 9mm is going to "open them up like a watermelon". That is ridiculous. All handgun rounds are underpowered, that is the nature of the beast. There is almost 0 effect from hydrostatic shock from any primary defensive caliber. There is simply just not enough energy generated, and released. All three standard calibers 9mm, .40S&W, and .45 ACP do the same thing and are all within similar specs of each other, with the .40 S&W edging the other two out in hard barrier penetration (.357 sig, and 10mm being king in that dept in an auto). If only one caliber could be picked to cover all the bases 9mm makes the most sense when considering firepower necessities. Choose whichever, practice, and train. It makes very little difference in the terminal ballistics aspects, but may be a world of difference in the tactical aspects if reloading under fire becomes problematic.

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  13. Hi! I've been following your weblog for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the good work

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  14. I have a .40 sig 226 equinox and a 9mm sig 226 navy ( supposed to be official issue for the SEAL team) just left the range today and my normal range day consist of 3 targets with the .40 and 3 targets with the 9mm... I have to say I love how the .40 feels but the recoil makes it difficult to get a consistent grouping... I even find myself 5-6" off my intended area of aim sometimes.. I'm constantly adjusting trying to find my personal sweet spot with this round... It's been frustrating . I still will not give up my .40 ..... My 9mm on the other hand is so consistent and on target. I can shoot 3 rapid fire shots with a nice grouping and re adjust no problem ... So much fun!!! But I walk away feeling like I have to master that .40 or I have not mastered the weapon. If I had to walk out the house with the intent of using my weapons.... I would bring both.. If I could only pick one ... It would be the 9mm. I know I can put that on target no matter what. My .40 is always on target but not always placed where intended . Recoil is a big disadvantage on precision here... Sorry for rambling ; )

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  15. The over penetration think is getting old. the Military is forced to use FMJ we are not. There is so much good ammo available for civies that the 40 doesn't offer much over the 9mm any more. There are plenty of ballistic gel tests to prove that on youtube. The military did not drop the 9mm and go back to .45 acp Thats just a false statement. Some special ops groups use .45 Marine Recon for instance. But then again MARSOC/SOCOM etc.. uses other non standard weapons too. I've used both a 45 and a 9mm while in the Army. The 9MM was superior (besides being a Beretta instead of a Sig or Glock). The 45 does have its myth about it though. But in combat it's about reliability and capacity and accuracy over knock down power.

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    1. Say you're in a situation vs another guy with a handgun. You're packing a 9mm, it has high capacity (15rds), reliability, and penetration. But say this guy is on meth or PCP combined with pure adrenaline, a 9mm will not immediately put him down or even stun him. Your training comes in, you pull a quick draw fires 3 quick shots (one landed in chest area), he draws his weapon fires back. What purpose does the other 12 shots is gonna do if you're dead. Says u packing a .45acp, your training kicks in, you draw and fire 3 shots (1 landed in chest). Perps is stunned, steps back, which gives u additional mili seconds to decide to place a the remaining 6 rounds or take cover.

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    2. I'm a retired cop/ sheriff / infantryman. NO handgun round can brag about "instant" incapacitation including the revered .45 ACP.
      During WW2, 100 lb. Japanese were fighting through hits from .30 06 rounds with about 2700 lbs of muzzle energy. No PCP or meth here, just fanatical determination.
      In regards to "training", most cops have very minimal combat training and generally qualify twice a year or less. During a REAL gunfight [not a video game,David] the average person will exhibit a high level of panic responses that render accurate shot placement a distant memory.
      It's a rare "cool head" who will prevail in a gunfight and caliber be damned.
      I very much respect the .45 ACP but I have no delusions that it is some sort of hand cannon and frankly, I'b be perfectly comfortable carrying a 9mm or .45.
      By the way, "Perps" is a silly word that civies use.

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    3. by the way, cops are "civies" too. but it seems you've forgotten that nowadays.

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    4. Actually, cops aren't "civies." It would seem you forgot to educate yourself before posting. Also, I agree. It is a rare instance where a single bullet, especially from a pistol, incapacitates a target. The ability to put multiple rounds down range on target as quickly as possible is essential. Which ever caliber allows you to do that the best is the best caliber for you. The idea that there is some "best" caliber is a myth. I personally prefer the 5.7x28 from the Five-seveN. I know a lot of people hate the round, but it has a high capacity, low recoil, and (regardless of what some think) the capacity to kill whoever is on the other end of the barrel.

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    5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilian

      According international humanitarian law, cops are civilians.
      According to laws specific to the U.S., cops are not civilians.
      Depends on how you look at it. However, the cops=not civilians thing is new.

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  16. The only time I considered getting a 40 is due to the ammo shortage were experiencing right now. People are stock piling all the 9mm out there and I've noticed 40 is more available.

    As for people who say "take down power" or "knock down power"... What's the calculation for it? From what I hear, getting shot by a handgun won't "knock you down". Newton's laws...

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  17. I am no expert. In fact, I only recently went for the first time to shoot several handguns to see which one I might choose to buy. I shot a .22, a 9mm, and a .45. There was not a .40 available. This was before I had read any of the posts out there about what I now know is a rather major and ongoing debate. Almost to the point of religion. At that time, I decided the 9mm was my gun of choice. That was based on accuracy, comfort, and fun. My ability to sustain accuracy with multiple rapid shots without killing my wrists, arms, and ears using the 9mm while still doing substantial damage to any potential target (human or otherwise) attracted me to it.
    That said, the final question I asked myself after going home and giving it some thought was this... If there were three copies of me, and one had a .22, the other a 9mm, and the other a .45, who would have the best chance of winning in a gun-fight against the other two? In my case, I am sure the one with the 9mm would win because he (I) would feel the most confident that I would hit my target multiple times, right where I wanted to hit him, each shot would do serious damage, I would have plenty of ammo, and I would have the stamina to make every shot count. Me with a .45 would not be very accurate after the first shot, and me with a .22 would be intimidated and too concerned about hitting my target precisely. For me, the 9mm is juuuuust right.
    There are lots of valid arguments for various guns and calibers and such, but in the end, I would argue you should use whatever YOU are best with.

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    1. You are correct in saying what gives you the most confidence will serve you best. that being said NEVER underestimate a .22 lr hp. My wife has only shot once I bought a new Ruger Sr22 for her to learn on. Shooting her fist time shaking like a leaf on a tree she fired 20 at a body target at 12 ft and was Amazingly acurate.

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  18. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  19. Perhaps because of my grip or the mass behind the gun (6'3" 240+ lbs), I sincerely couldn't tell the difference in recoil of caliber 45 vs 9 mm Glocks (21 and 19) after having shot both, so the recoil is irrelevant in my case. Still, after having read about and seen videos about the famous shootouts, there's nothing I'd trust more than my 9 mm XDM with 19 rounds in the magazine (20 with one in the chamber), no matter who's charging me, grizzlies excluded. Vital organs are hard to hit in a struggle of a real gunfight, so unless you have a shotgun it's not the caliber or the knock down power that counts, but placing a shot to an area that will result in a stopping blow. With more rounds in the magazine you have higher chances of hitting it and if necessary, sufficient firepower to focus on next attacker(s) without a reload. I've read and even heard a police gun expert say that nobody except perhaps a forensic expert in the morgue can tell the difference between the damage done by a 9mm, 40 or a 45 caliber round, so myths aside, 9 mm rules in my world.

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  20. I'm an, essentially new to defensive handguns, Senior Citizen. I have been debating as to a Ruger SR-9 [9c] or SR-40 [40c], a very good gun with a Thumb Safety, a requirement for me. You have solved the major question for me. It will be the SR-9 or Sr-9c in 9 mm that I will buy. Thank you.

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  21. .45acp for skilled operators who has been trained to know not to need more than 8+1 to defeat 1 oponent. If you need more than 8+1 rounds to defeat 1 opponent, you're underskilled and possibly a public threat simply due to the facts that you are spraying 15rds in every direction of incoming bystanders. 45acp in a 1911 is HELLALOT more accurate than any Glock out there. Getting shot by one 45acp is like getting shot with TWO 9mm...hell if 9mm is as capable as .45acp. Let see how Mike Tyson do against Manny Pacman.

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    1. Watch the first fight of UFC 1, you know back when they had no weight classes. BIG MFing guy guts owned by little guy.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgHiVxu19c4

      Still think bigger is always better???

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    2. Here is another one, just for fun.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=RSS1zh45Fts&feature=endscreen

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  22. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8-ycSkoYfc

    EXTREMELY GRAPHIC

    Perp was shot by a 9mm at 2:43 in the stomach. Look what good it did to that cop.

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    1. Never bring a pistol to a rifle fight... It was too late for that cop by the time he was able to hit the lunatic... It would not have mattered whether he had a 9mm, 40 S&W, 357 SIG, or .45 ACP. He was a 22 yr old rookie cop w/ a pistol vs. a lunatic combat vet with an M1.

      Unfortunately, back then he did not have a tazer. He should have either gotten closer to see what the guy was doing while the guy was loading his M1... And shot him then... Or he should have gotten back in his car and retreated 75-100 yards while waiting for back-up. Unfortunately though, it is easy for folks like us to armchair quarterback something like this from the convenience of our homes/offices.

      My heart goes out to the cop's family... Why is this lunatic still breathing in a GA prison?

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  23. Hydrostatic shock is something the 9mm cannot produce. .40 S&W is rated a low velocity round but it can achieve Hydrostatic shock which is created from the kinetic energy the round carries, and not a by-product of velocity. What you need to look at is ending the attack asap. .40S&W provides that with a "1 and done" concept via hydrostatic shock syndrome.

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    1. No handgun round generates any sufficient amount of hydrostatic shock. That is rifle territory.

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  24. At the end of the day does it really matter if you carry a 9 mm, a .40cal or a .45 ACP. No... What does matter is if you can employ the weapon accuratly. With modern ammo any of the above calibers will take down an attacker, but do you have the skills to place those rounds on target. The only way to achieve those skills is by going to the range or taking a defensive pistol course. I own all three, my wife carries an M&P 9mm because she can carry it comfortably and employ it accuratly, I carry either a Glock 27 or 30 SF for the same reasons. Yes I know some of you are going to say if I hit them with the .45 anywhere they are going to go down, you all should go out and purchace a .500 S&W (because its bigger thatn the .45 and it will be better)

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  25. This, too, requires the use of a 22-caliber rifle. The only difference being that all shots are fired from a prone position (lying on one's belly).
    www.efkfiredragon.com

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  26. Thanks for this post it helped a lot.

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  27. Really it's an individual choice gang....if .380 is what you can control and shoot well then that is your caliber and what you should use. Someone that can't control a .45 but uses it because they read an article saying it's the "right cal" is just being ignorant.

    One hopeful shot with a .45 is no where near as effective as 4-6 .380 in the target zone. Shoot different guns and find the one that works for you, practice with it and don't worry what the seal team uses or the military or Jim down the street.

    I have large hands and feel the larger full sized .40 cal work great for me but my favorite, daily carry and most accurate gun is a Russian Makarov 9x18. It's not my SHTF scenario gun but for accuracy and dependability it's #1.

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  28. Hey guys, first time posting a comment and new to owning a firearm. I am an xray tech at a very busy trauma hospital which does all trauma cases and coroner cases. It's a population of 750000 people and a high crime rate. Can't and won't argue about shot placement, upper chest and neck seem to be the best at sending to the morgue though. Body shots from the 40 seem to do the best. 9mm go through, but this might be because thugs by fmj, whatever is cheap but even fmj the same. 7 shots from 9mm and gtg in a week. 45 I've seen not go through the face 3 times in one day separate incidents ( it was a busy day). that said I've seen 22 kill or hospitalize long term because the round bounced around the body cavity hitting all vital organs

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    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tku8YI68-JA&oref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dtku8YI68-JA&has_verified=1

      You may be a XRAY tech, but here is a Doctors opinions on the 9mm vs 45 debate. This video contains medical images the might not be suitable for some viewers

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  29. to solve this problem I have ordered a 226 inSS and parts to go either way this will at least ell me what I like and no need to trade. I like sa/da In past carried cocked and locked mil .45. So I have no answers just mor questions to be answerer

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  30. For me personally if I knew I was going to get in a gun fight with one or two guys at a time I would want my 45. I have a glock 40 and love it because it is compact and lite. But for stopping power in a pistol I have found nothing better than a good old 45acp. I get why the military has went to smaller liter less affective rounds. I was lite infantry and you can only carry so much weight into combat. Small rounds you can carry twice as many rounds. Last thing you want is to run out of ammo. But self defense usually last only a few seconds. Rarely would you run out of ammo. Self defense is generally close range combat. If you stumbled up on a bear and it charged you at about 50 feet. Would you want a 223 with 30 rounds or a 300mag with 4 rounds. I have a friend that was shot 5 times with a 380 in chest and stomach and he lived. It did stop him from beating the guy ass that pulled the gun on him. But if my friend would have been armed. The guy with the 380 would have been toast.

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  31. You might want to check this out "Terminal Ballistics As Viewed in a Morgue."
    http://shootersdigest.blogspot.com/2012/03/9mm-vs-40-s.html

    My preference is a .45 -- Glock 30s or XD-S. Both are great guns. Even so, If I had to choose between the .40 and the 9mm, I would go with the 9mm for the extra rounds.

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    1. If you guys are serious about protection get a pistol carbine.Many police are buying them. Not many know about them,they will fold up to fit in a tablet bag.they are made by Kel-Tec.I have the 40 Cal. It will hold up to 33 rounds in the magizine.the nine will hold up to 100 in the magizine if you want to buy one of that size.highly accurate.I can put 10 rounds in a golf ball size bulls eye at 40 feet with my 40.

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  32. well, for whatever reason, point is.. 45 was ditched, 9mm put in. I also dont have to look nothing up, have had plenty of guns, and seen it with my own eyes that the 45 is no better than 9mm. But.... 10mm is the best of em all.

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  33. Good article. I'm a 45ACP guy. Was raised on it in the Navy. However, for my CCW, I prefer the 9mm.

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  34. instead of asking what do you want to be shot with the question is what will protect you the most. Bigger is better if only marginely so, that you can control. with one less round available you get 40-50 more grains of bullet weight in a .40s&w over 9mm and almost double of .380. hitting a moving target is extremely difficult. save the double , triple taps for the movies.

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  35. almost every gun can have a AP bullet...
    9mm is faster ,
    going to your so called vest issues throw a rock at his head.
    im sure the vest will stop that too

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  36. My instructor did a ballistics test with gelatin blocks with the 9mm, .40 & .45. The expansion of the slugs all looked pretty much the same size. Penetration was also very close. Shot placement and ammunition selection are much more important than caliber.

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  37. Well the author give some facts proving 40's were better then said but disregarding those facts he's going with 9's

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  38. My .02

    9mm is a highly viable option; however if your soul intent in self defense is assailant elimination you'll need either +p or +p+ to do the deed effectively.

    As for my preference on the .38 family (a 9mm is little more than a European .38 auto loading cartridge) is the .38 Super.
    From an economical perspective, my preference is somewhat defeatist; however hand loads largely rectify that.

    As for the .40 S&W, It too is a readily avaliable and viable option for self defense.
    Here in the northwest, .40 S&W is just as abundant as 9mm; given these circumstances the choice between the two becomes merely potential and contingent upon user ability.

    It boils down to what any given individual is comfortable/proficient with.

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  39. Give me anything that shoots. I prefer smokeless powder.

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  40. 9mm is a great caliber for SD carry outside the home.
    The 1 caliber fits all is not invented yet. Law enforcement know that too and therefore they have different weapons, different calibers depending on the task that have to filled.

    Carry the 9mm or even the .380 as EDC is OK when the shooter is well trained on this caliber.

    Home defense is a complete new ballgame. Here is bigger better. The intruders are prepared that you fight back by using a weapon. Not even Frankie is num enough not to know that people fight back and come prepared.

    9mm is carrying ammo and how many rounds do I have to carry on a daily base. The amount of rounds in a Magazine is secondary. If 7-8 rounds are not enough, you are in a mess and 9mm is than to short for sure. You should think about carrying a shotgun or similar (Taurus Judge) would be better for you. You may practice to pray after all.

    Home defense is plenty of ammo the full sized guns and bigger caliber is better, no question. Not only the 9 mm has improved, the 40, 10 mm and 45 have done that too.

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  41. If you find yourself in a parking lot shoot out and hide behind a vehicle and the bad girl shoots 40 S&W FMJ, you instantly comprehend why the bad gild had chosen this particular round, the military using FMJ and what rounds and calibers you should have loaded in your gun.
    Gel tests are wonderful for school classrooms and for youtube videos that make some school girls giggle.
    Real world shootings involving not only 4 layers of denim and pudding. There is something missing. What about adding skin and bones to the test? Especially rips are very flexible and take a load. They are build this way to protect heart and lungs.

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  42. if you are American, go .40. For everyone else there's 9mm. The mere fact that you are asking this question and that there are so many opinions on the matter should already be an answer in itself. There is absolutely nothing a .40 can do that a 9mm cant. Ak47 shoots 7.62, NATO shoots 5.56. So is size all that counts?

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