9mm vs 40 cal

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by Mapnapkin, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. Mapnapkin

    Mapnapkin New Member

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    I can not figure out which caliber to get.
    I don't know that much about the subject so maybe you guys could help me.

    how do these compare as far as:
    damage, stopping power (is there a big difference in stopping power)
    availability of bullets
    price difference of bullets
    recoil

    which would you get?


    thank you for any info
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2009
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, in the same ballpark- but the 40 is generally a heavier bullet than a 9mm Parabellum, with more energy. And it has a larger cross section. With a bigger bullet, more juice, that will equal more stopping power.

    The tradeoff for that is that the recoil will be greater, the ammo can cost more (fairly cheap 9mm available for practice, not much cheap 40, and NO millsurp 40) and if you dropped me a a major city anywhere on the planet, I COULD find 9mm Parabellum somewhere.

    If you run a google search for ballistic .40 S&W, and ballistics, 9mm Parabellum, Wikipedia has a short article on history of each cartridge, and claimed factory ballistics for different loads.

    You pays your money, and you takes your pick.
     

  3. sweeper22

    sweeper22 New Member

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    These are the two least expensive, most common centerfire cartridges out there. While 40sw rounds are slightly more expensive, the difference in cost and availability is negligible. You can find 9mm practice ammo for $10-12/per 50. 40sw will run you $13-16. For quality defense ammo, you're looking at about $30/per 50 for either one. The commonality of these two cartridges is one of their prime attributes.

    You'll have greater stopping power and stronger recoil in the .40. 9mm will be easier to place a second shot and generally offers at least 25% greater magazine capacity.

    The bottom line is, shoot a few hundred rounds of each (from the same model gun) and you'll probably have your answer. I know that'll offer more insight than I could ever provide.
     
  4. skullcrusher

    skullcrusher New Member

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    Imo, if it starts with .4, it is the better defense caliber. That is just my opinion.

    Stopping power is better with .40

    Ammo availability is hit and miss.

    Price wise, for a 50 count box you are looking at about $4-5 more per box for the .40 cal on average.

    Recoil is negotiable as it depends greatly on the firearm. .40 packs a bigger punch.

    Me, I would go for the .45 ACP, but that is just me.
     
  5. rifleman1

    rifleman1 New Member

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    id rather have a .45 cal but id settle with a .40 cal in a self defense situation, but i do like to go plink some cans some times with my 9mm.
     
  6. Mapnapkin

    Mapnapkin New Member

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    thanks

    this will be my first hand gun so I am staying away from a .45
    I will get a 1911 next

    The gun I'm getting is the Springfield XDm (9mm or .40)

    So price is close
    more stopping power with the 40
    more recoil with the 40

    I did read on wikipedia about the 40.. always good for research.
    9mm = ... 9mm
    .40 = 10.16 mm
    .45 = 11.43mm

    so .40 is in the middle of 9mm and .45
    for shooting paper, 9mm
    for shooting zombies, .40

    hmm
     
  7. james_black

    james_black New Member

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    You know how I solved the problem? I bought them both. No more dilema.
     
  8. rifleman1

    rifleman1 New Member

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  9. Mapnapkin

    Mapnapkin New Member

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    Whaaa... bought them both? interesting.. at the same time? same gun?

    so maybe
    XDm .40
    then
    S&W M&P 9mm - or - S&W sigma 9mm
    then
    1911

    my 10 year old wants me to get a sigma because its in the Resident Evil game.

    So, I definitely have to go rent these and try them out.
     
  10. james_black

    james_black New Member

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    Not at the same time. I started with a Glock 22 and the bought a Glock 17. Then another Glock 22 and then another G17. Then I got my wife hitting me on the hand with a ruler.
     
  11. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    yeah, definitely go with the .40 cal over the 9mm.
    You won't regret it. I own two .40 cal handguns.
    Just my opinion: go with the S&W M&P series instead of the sigma series.
    M&P series are better quality and well worth the price difference.
     
  12. hogger129

    hogger129 New Member

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    I honestly don't know that much about the .40 S&W. I can tell you that a .40 S&W will have better stopping power though as it is a heavier bullet. 9mm is going to be more accurate. I would think 9mm and .40 S&W would have good availability. They are pretty common caliber in many pistols. I would also say that 9mm is going to have less recoil. In my honest opinion, people have always told me before buying a pistol, go out to the range and try out a few and see what I like.

    Sad to hear you aren't going with a .45 as your first, but I hear XD comes highly recommended. Let us all know what you get and good luck.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  13. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    You really need to shoot these and make your decisions then. I find the .40 very "snappy" to shoot with lots of muzzle rise - especially in poly guns. The 9mm is very tame in comparison. The .40 would get a +1 in terms of "stopping power" but TBH, no semi-auto handgun cartridge is a guaranteed one shot stop.

    Many folks buy a .40 for their first gun and I see a lot of them for sale soon after as they are not nearly as "fun" to shoot as a 9mm. I have 2 .40s, but both are large 5" barrel guns so the snappy recoil is more manageable.

    Do yourself a favor and stay away from the Sigma. While they're cheap & generally reliable - they have the worst trigger of any gun I've ever shot...
     
  14. hogger129

    hogger129 New Member

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    Mapnapkin - I also noticed that you said you might get a 1911 later on down the road. If you really want a 1911, but don't want a .45 right away, I wouldn't give up on the 1911 series just yet. I'm sure you can get them in other calibers besides .45ACP. I even thought Kimber made a couple 1911s that were made for 9mm. I'm not an expert on the subject of non-.45 1911s, so perhaps if someone else could chime in on it, that would be very helpful.

    Not sure how closely it resembles the 1911 design, but check out a Browning Hi-Power. Who knows? You may like it.

    And as I previously mentioned, the XD comes highly recommended. Give her a try. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2009
  15. General_lee

    General_lee New Member

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    I have the Sigma .40 and love it for what it is. It's like a Glock but the ergonomics are much better.
     
  16. Cnynrat

    Cnynrat New Member

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    One observation I have is over the past year or so .40 ammo seems to be more readily available than 9mm, at least in my area. As others have pointed out, it is a little more expensive though.

    We have two full-size .40 handguns in our household. In general, .40 is a higher energy round than 9mm, although you can get some very high energy 9mm rounds. Given the higher energy there will be a bit more recoil, but I'll tell you that neither my wife or myself find this to be a problem.

    If you are really concerned about recoil, and you aren't going to be carrying around all day, you can always buy a heavier gun. Generally that would mean looking at a metal frame gun rather than a plastic frame gun. The recoil forces will be the same, but the heavier gun won't move as much.

    One other thought about 9mm vs. .40 is that with at least some guns (Sig for instance) you can take a .40 and put a 9mm barrel and magazine in it and shoot 9mm. Can't do that the other way around though.
     
  17. Mapnapkin

    Mapnapkin New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the info, its been very helpful. This forum is excellent.
    I still have a month before I'm buying so I have some time to go the range.
    Champions in Kent, WA is the range in my area and they have a couple XD's for rent. I am going to try them out.
    I handle a 1911 Dan Wilson there and the trigger was very nice, it was just a dry fire but I definitely want one.

    I've been scared of guns for ever then I finally shot one a couple of months ago.
    I figured I need to stop being a pansie.. now I'm hooked.

    Just need to test out the two calibers.

    thanks
     
  18. hogger129

    hogger129 New Member

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    Mapnapkin, another thing I have always worried about too, especially if it's for conceal carry or home defense, is if you do come to the time when you need to use your weapon, is that 9mm is going to be more justifiable in court vs, say, a .45 because there are those liberal pricks who say that you didn't need to respond with a bullet of that size because it's too much force. Maybe someone else can help out on that point.
     
  19. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

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    You state that you don't know much about the .40S&W BUT YET you turn right around and say a 9mm is going to be more accurate. I'd SURE like to know how you came to that conclusion. Have you even shot .40s much? How is the 9mm cartridge/gun more accurate than the .40S&W? It's more of parts fitting & gun quality than the cartridge itself has anything to do with it. Perhaps you meant the 9mm is easier to shoot accurately in rapid followup shots?




     
  20. Westy

    Westy New Member

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    I would just look for something that's comfortable to shoot and if you're carrying, something that's comfortable to carry and feels good in the hand and not be too concerned about the caliber. If push comes to shove and you actually have to defend yourself, the 9mm or the 40 will do fine. The chances of actually having to use it are slim to none, and you'll do better finding something that you can have some fun with at the range and is inexpensive to shoot. I've had a CC for 7 years and have never needed to pull my gun, and I live in the metro. If you do allot of shooting, the 9mm is the way to go because it is less expensive to shoot. Either caliber is great.

    If you ever really need to use your gun in a situation under stress, just getting any ammo on target is a challenge!