Concealed Carry Gun - 9mm or .40? (Fact Specific)

Discussion in 'Concealed Carrying & Personal Protection' started by SigSire, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. SigSire

    SigSire New Member

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    I currently own a Sig Sauer P229 Elite in 9mm for HD. I purchased it in 9mm specifically because my wife will be learning to shoot it for HD situations.

    However, I'm looking for a CC gun and am leaning heavily toward the Sig P239, because of its size and the fact that I like Sigs. My real question, however, comes down to whether to get the P239 in 9mm or .40. Initially I thought I would get the .40 for a bit more punch, but I'm starting to lean toward a 9mm for the following reasons:

    -- 9mm ammo (such as Gold Dot) is clearly sufficient for any real threat I might encounter;
    -- 9mm holds more rounds; and
    -- 9mm ammo is cheaper and I have a ton of it (would only have to stock 9mm range ammo and 9mm stopping ammo).

    So, is there any compelling reason to go with the 40 instead of the 9mm?
     
  2. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    You answered your own question... however, a .40 S&W kills more deader, makes bigger holes, and scrambles up innards better? I carry a CZ75B in 40 S&W caliber using a 12 round magazine, +1 in the pipe. That is a whole bunch of concealed killing power...
     

  3. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    I think the 9mm with something like a 135gr or the 147gr would be sufficient for most "threat" applications. That said, I carry a .45 in 1911 because that is what I like.

    The .40 S & W was supposed to be the new wonder cartridge years back, allowing for the stopping power of the .45 with the higher capacity of the 9mm. I have a Sig in .40 S & W that was my carry gun for many years and never had a single problem with it. I would recommend the right .40 round for self defense, but again, I personally carry a .45 for a reason.

    JD
     
  4. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    While I do carry my .CZ75B 40 S&W most of the time... I also carry my P345, 45ACP quite often. There's just something about that BIG BORE I like, even if I do carry less rounds in it. My P345 actually conceals better as it's a lot lighter weight.
     

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  5. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    I have reduced my handgun calibers to 9mm and .45ACP. My wife has a S&W model 60 for SD/HD, so I keep some .38's and .357's around for her. Personally, I have never been able to justify having a .40 caliber.
     
  6. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The "on paper" ballistics comparison implies the two cartridges "should" have nearly the same effectiveness. Since you have plenty of 9mm ammo, I would stick with the 9. Not a dang thing wrong with a 9. Shot placement is what really matters 99% of the time anyway.
     
  7. sinzitu

    sinzitu New Member

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    x2 + practice practice practice... with whatever handgun you choose. The P239 is a good choice.
     
  8. SigSire

    SigSire New Member

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    Thanks guys.

    I appreciate the confirmation. I wanted to make sure I wasn't overlooking anything.
     
  9. Bighead

    Bighead New Member

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    +1 for Mark F. You answered your own question here as far as I am concerned.

    In my opinion there is an advantage to the .40, but not one so great that it overrides your stockpile of 9mm ammunition.

    Consider Speer Gold Dot Hollowpoints:

    124 grain 9mm +P
    At the muzzle: 1220 fps & 410 foot lbs energy.
    At 50 yards: 1085 fps & 324 foot lbs.

    180 grain .40 S&W
    At the muzzle: 1025 fps & 420 foot lbs energy.
    At 50 yards: 956 fps & 365 foot lbs.

    Interesting article for DOJ about handgun wounding effectiveness:
    http://www.firearmstactical.com/pdf/fbi-hwfe.pdf
     
  10. SigSire

    SigSire New Member

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    Very interesting attachment, BH.

    Thanks.
     
  11. kcolg

    kcolg New Member

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    The million dollar question,best handgun caliber for self defense...I go with 9mm cause I already have several pistols on that caliber ,even though I have one in 40...fortunately i don't have any first hand experience on efectiveness...I,m not sure if there are conversion barrels for Sig..(i do own a P228,great gun), If they are conversion barrels for Sig maybe you can a buy a .40 pistol and with a conversion barrel you can shoot 9 mm to, you'll both calibers,i would do that if i have to buy guns all over again...
     
  12. kcolg

    kcolg New Member

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    correction

    i meant " you'll have both calibers' in my previous reply...
     
  13. Angrypoonani

    Angrypoonani New Member

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    wow thanks for that nice attachment article bighead that was interesting.
     
  14. WDB

    WDB New Member

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    So heads or tails? Sounds like it's 50/50, both rounds are good for personal protection. I carry a 45 most of the time as I want the best chance to end the threat but when the weather is warm I carry a 9mm. It comes down to what fits you and what you can hit center mass with in the first few rounds.
     
  15. wildbillfromca

    wildbillfromca New Member

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    Go with a 9mm. It's a lethal round, it's cheaper to practice with, easier to shoot and will get the job done. A human being is a walking bag of guts. Bullet placement is much more important than bullet design and weight. You shoot a man in the 10 ring and most of the time he will go down. You shoot him in the brain and he will go down every time regardless of caliber. Even if you don't get a good CNS hit with a 9, as long as you have quality ammo that will tear and shred tissue, the bullets will drop his blood pressure and take him down.
     
  16. Glenn R

    Glenn R New Member

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    The FBI disagrees with you. There was a shoot out in Georgia a few years ago where an agent was killed by a mortally wounded suspect who was shot with a 9mm (The suspect was shot in the heart then the suspect killed the agent before expiring). This shoot out resulted in the FBI looking for a better man-stopper than the wonder 9. If I am not mistaken this is how the 40 S&W came about.

    For CC use a caliber that begins with a '4'. My personal carry gun is a Colt Officers in .45 ACP. Old school but very effective.

    Remember, it is not how many rounds you can put downrange, it is the hits that count. The 9mm is proven not a 1 round man stopper. The .45 is. But the best pistol is the one you have with you. Get it, practice, practice, practice and always carry it with you.

    -Semper Fi
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  17. kcolg

    kcolg New Member

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    Glenn,the incident that made the FBI reconsider there handguns caliber was knowned as "The Miamai firefight" and took place in 1986,and the shot to heart you mention was in fact a silvertip 115 grain 9 mm hollowpint that first went through the bad guy's arm then it stopped an inch away from his heart,as the bullet did expand like it was designed to,a lot of bad things happened in the incident,like the other bad guy being abble to regain conciousness after being hit in the jaw by a 38 +P round...they even made a tv movie about this incident...Anyway the FBI testing after the incident resulted on the 10 mm caliber as the winner,the problem was thta it had too much recoil,so they started loading a more mellow load knowned as the "FBI lite" or "FBI load" I believe...years later some guy figured out he could get the same performance of this lite load from a shorter casing: The .40 S & W was born,so this load is to the 10 mm something like the .380 is to the 9 mm, nothing wrong with this caliber but I think there are probablly "horror stories" involving .40 and others, there is one in wich a police officer shot a very heavy bad guy 3 times with a 357 magnum only to die from a 22 caliber shot...I think ammo has evolved a lot since 1986(obviously for all calibers) ,IMHO the 9 mm ,even though they might be more effective 'manstoppers" sometimes gets a reputation worse then it might deserve...
    Here is a link for info on the miami incident,it is very interesting...cheers

    The Gun Zone -- FBI Miami Firefight
     
  18. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    You are close but no cigar. It was actually the 10mm the FBI commissioned for agent use. However, the 10mm was too powerful, resulting in the agents not qualifying with it. Then S&W began to work on the S&W .40...

    I like the S&W 40 OK. It's a good compromise between the 9mm Luger and the 45 ACP. I tend to shoot my 45 ACP more often than all of my other autoloaders. In the revolvers, my preference is my .357 loaded up with 38 Specials.

    There is no question as to the popularity of the 9mm Luger, and it is by far the most available ammo.

    As great as "shot placement" is on paper targets and in theory... in a real gun fight you will be dammnnn LUCKY to hit your assailant at all. An your pistol caliber will be your best friend. Don't kid yourself into thinking you'll get any kind of shot placement when YOU are being shot at.
     
  19. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    I remember the Miami FBI shootout as though it was yesterday, it happened to be my birthday. Whew, I'm glad I wasn't there!
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  20. wildbillfromca

    wildbillfromca New Member

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    45ACP and 40S&W ammo is becoming very expensive to shoot. The question that started this post made me presume that this was a novice shooter who, in all likelihood, won't be practicing like a police officer. A .40 is a hot load for a novice shooter. The Israelis killed effectively with the 9mm round for decades. With training and bullet placement, don't underestimate the 9.

    As for that Miami shootout, that was a cluster f*** caused by agents who were poorly trained and exhibited idiotic tactics.