New to guns & .40 S&W

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by NGIB, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    Saw something on my local forum that prompted this post. A fella that was a noob 8 months ago went through the whole "what do I buy" routine and was given lots of solid advice. He was looking for a compact carry gun and was leaning towards a small poly .40 - which I find very common. The advice I and many others gave him is that the .40 is a very "snappy" round in small light guns and a 9mm is generally a better choice for most folks.

    He bought a Walther PPS in .40 and sung it's praises for months. The gun is now listed on the for sale section of the forum - and the trade interests are all 9mm guns. I have nothing against the .40 S&W, in fact I have a couple of them - in full-size guns (XD Tactical & Para P-16). I've also owned a .40 and a 9mm in the exact same compact platform more than once:

    Kahr PM-9 & PM-40
    XD-SC 9 & XD-SC 40
    Sig P239 9mm & .40

    I have a lot of trigger time with these and I find the 9mm versions much easier to shoot well and much easier to make accurate follow up shots with. The Kahr PM-40 was particularly not fun to shoot at all - especially with hot loaded SD ammo. Ballistically I don't think the .40 offers a significant advantage over the 9mm when you factor in the necessity to place rapid shots accurately from a small, light gun.

    So I guess my question is, do gun stores "push" the .40 on newcomers to move them out? I really hope this doesn't turn into a caliber war as that is not my intention. My reasoning for this post is I see lots of folks buy .40s only to sell or trade them with a few months - generally at a loss...
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  2. jbshoots

    jbshoots New Member

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    before i got my first handguns, which was last year (have shot handguns and had other guns, i'm just a fairly new handgun owner), i thought i wanted my first one to be a .40.

    my reasoning was that it would be a little more punch than a 9mm but less expensive to shoot and less kick than a .45. i now own a .357 mag and have fired some nice .45s (a 1911 and an xd) i realize that "kick" isn't really a factor in handguns for me so i prefer the .45s i've shot over the .40 that i tried once.

    but that was my reasoning for wanting the .40 before i really knew anything about handguns.

    at the same time, there might be some gun stores pushing the .40s. i do see that ammo on the shelves a lot even when all the other calibers are sold out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009

  3. Yunus

    Yunus New Member

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    First gun I purchased was a .40 which was the recommended round, people including gun dealers said .45 is more powerful, 9mm is easier to shoot and .40 is the happy medium. Also ammo prices for the .40 were the same as the 9mm at the time and the .45 was more expensive. So I got a Glock model 22.
     
  4. Flint Rock

    Flint Rock New Member

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    I can't count the number of gun "salesmen" that I have heard talking people into a 40 over the 9mm. They tell them the 45 "kicks" to much and gun doesn't hold enough rounds:confused:. Then I've heard them say the 9mm is "weak and underpowered":mad:. The 40 came down from the mountain though:eek:! The sales line seems to be that ALL police departments are using the 40,,,,,,, it must be best. About now you hear a customer say, "I'll take it."
    Wouldn't it be nice if salesmen helped you make up YOUR mind, rather than talk you into what THEY liked?
     
  5. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    Again, I have nothing against the .40 but I sure see a lot of them for sale - many from 1st time gun buyers. I will agree that during the ammo crunch .40 was always available - and probably always will be as it is popular with law enforcement...
     
  6. Jess

    Jess New Member

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    I went to the gunshop 2 weeks ago. I was in a mood that I was ready to buy THAT day. And they guy tried to talk me out of every thing I picked up. He had it in his head that my breasts somehow made it necessary for me to ONLY purchase a poly frame 9mm...since I was replacing my .380 a .40 would be *exactly the same*

    All I wanted from douchetastic gun sale boy was OBJECTIVE information. He chose to lose a sale and any further business.
     
  7. Viking

    Viking Active Member

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    The gun dealer that I bought my 40's from told me that the compacts in that caliber were "snappy", now I wish I hadn't listened to him because I had a Kahr PM40 in my hand that felt good and I would have been happy to use as a ccw. I may still get one if I can do some horse trading with my Bersa mod.83 .380 and some cash. As far as the PM40 being brutal to shoot, my 44 Bulldog is probably worse but I learned to handle it just like taking on the first 44 mag I owned. Before anyone starts thinking that I'm just being "Macho" I'll tell you I understood that if I learned how to handle recoil and could consistantly be on target the kill factor would be in my favor. That's how I've been able to put a lot of venison in our freezer over the years and now with a ccw license if the need came up the odds are very good for me to put an end to the BG.
     
  8. Gojubrian

    Gojubrian New Member

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    I'm sure I'll have another .40 in the future, not too snappy for me. :)
     
  9. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    It is sad that people either do not have access to or choose not to take advantage of test drives before purchase. If you are a noob and allow yourself to get talked into "caliber X" handgun, I am sorry.

    If you have never fired a handgun and now want a HD/CCW handgun, you are a fool. If you want an entry level handgun, get a 3-4" D/A 6-7 shot .38/.357 revolver. Not a 2" , 5 shot snubbie. Not an 6" barrelled 88 magnum (even if it does shoot through schools).

    Would you go out and buy a new vehicle w/o test driving it to see if it fits your need? "Oh, no sir. The Peterbuilt is a MUCH better vehicle. Plent of power, safe in a collision, etc. It seats 8 with the optional sleeper."

    If you end up owning a Vespa scooter or a Peterbuilt truck tractor based on what the salesman told you, you deserve what you get.
     
  10. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    The truth is spoken. I really hate to see folks losing their azz ditching guns they should not have purchased in the first place...
     
  11. Hey-you-guys

    Hey-you-guys New Member

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    I bought my first handgun in .40 last year and it has been great. Hard to find ammo though.
     
  12. Kain

    Kain Member

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    Counter point:

    I went into a local gun shop to ask a few questions on the "9mm vs. .40" debate. And they completey refused to answer my questions. "It's a matter of preferrence" is all I kept hearing. Even though I asked questions such as:

    Which is more powerful?
    Which is more accurate?
    Which would YOU carry?

    The only info I could pry out of them was that 9mm was slightly cheaper ammo wise.

    Right now the only reason I would buy a .40 is that ammo is plentiful where 9mm is super scarce. Also .40 tends to be cheaper than 9mm in the same gun (XD and M&P both are about $50 cheaper in .40 than the 9mm counterpart)
     
  13. diggsbakes

    diggsbakes New Member

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    Sound to me like they were being honest. No caliber of weapon is "for everyone". This is due to numerous physiological difference in humans that would contribute to their liking and comfort of a certain weapon and the overall "feel" they get. The feeling someone has for a firearm is also influenced by their experience level and overall comfort with guns. So there may be no answer.

    As far as the cost and availability of ammo, This is also partially geographical apparently, because I was a looking today and all I saw was 9mm. . . no .40:confused:
     
  14. WDB

    WDB New Member

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    Robo expressed it well.
    I own a few .40 S&W and enjoy them. My girlfriend has a .40 and it fits her. The snappy thing goes to the experience of the person holding the firearm and there shooting expereince. I expect a .25 is snappy if you have never fired a pistol before.

    Drive before you buy...if not expect to sell it at a loss when you discover it's more than you can handle.

    It is that simple.
     
  15. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    It is refreshing to hear there are still honest sales people out there. Too many dishonest, disingenuine opinions out there. The right gun depends on MANY factors. I have handguns ranging from .22 to .44 mag and nearly everything else in between. Each has a niche to fill. I have gotten some good deals at gun shops on low mileage high powered guns that the previous owner HAD to have only to find out it kicks way too much for them. $299 for a 4" S&W 629 with 6 rounds fired through it. Macho man HAD TO HAVE A .44! Traded it back the next day. Lost about 50% of the cost for the life lesson.
     
  16. General_lee

    General_lee New Member

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    I am a gun salesman, While I personally prefer .40 over a 9mm, I never try to force anything on anybody. I listen to what the customer is looking for and if they don't know what caliber they want, I will usually show them everything from a .32 to a .45 and then let them make their own decision. A happy customer usually turns out to be a repeat customer.
     
  17. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    I own a Kahr CW40. It is very light & snappy, it's not a gun you'll shoot at the range all day long. What I recommend usually depends on what info the person gives on what they want. I will usually state that a heavier gun has less recoil than a lighter gun allowing you to follow up with accurate shot placement. What I have noticed is that people may ask for opinions, but they usually buy what they have already decided on before receiving outside opinions.
     
  18. Gutpile

    Gutpile New Member

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    Picked up a g22 fired a few hundred rds through it on one range session. It seemed to sting my trigger finger a little. I have had no issues at all with the g-21(.45) or g-17(9mm). So, i got a 9mm conversion barrel for it. The only reason i picked up the g-22 in the first place is because the cops in my area litter the range with tons of .40 nickel brass(so, i reload it)...and 9mm is half the price as .40. If you're punching holes in paper, then theres no debate.
     
  19. tiberius10721

    tiberius10721 New Member

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    I own a 9mm sig p6 ,reliabilty is awesome its my travel gun, I also own rock Island 1911 45 ,taurus 357 magnum ,smith and wesson 38 special snubbie and a 1858 cap and ball remington reproduction pistol by Uberti. my cap and ball pistol is my favorite to shoot so I guess its just a matter of preference. I always suggest to people that before they buy a gun they should go online and read articles and reviews about whatever gun they are interested in buying. I think research is key when it comes to buying a fire arm. When it comes to women buying guns I think women are a little more finiky when it comes to purchasing a fire arm. For example most guys already have a good Idea of what they want before they go to a gunstore but most women are clueless unless they were brought up around guns. I purchased a 38 snubbie for my wife thinking she would like it but her favorite gun at the range is my 1911 so you just never know.
     
  20. Franchise

    Franchise New Member

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    My favorite handgun in my little brace is my CZ-75 9mm. It makes me look like a much better shooter than I really am. I would like to get a compact one. My little Bersa acts as my CCW gun when I carry. I keep a 4" .357 ruger in my vehicle all the time. I would like to carry my CZ but isn't as practical as a small frame pistol. From time to time I switch it with my revolvers. I've yet to find the perfect CCW gun. I think it would be the compact CZ.