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Thread: 9mm vs 40 S&W

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    Default 9mm vs 40 S&W

    I have been carrying a 40s&w for several years. Mostly a Glock 22 but more recently a FNS-40. I. Practice with my carry often and am confident enough with it to the point where I have killed a few deer with both the Glock and FN. I was pricing reloading supplies in 40 cal the other day and have come to the conclusion that for the price of components to load 1,000 rounds of anything in 40 cal I could buy 1,000 rounds of 9mm already loaded. I sold both my Glock 22 and my FN 40 yesterday and ordered a couple Turkish made 9mms to try. I bought a TriStar L120 & a Canik c55 and 2000 rounds of 9mm ammo and still had a little $ left over from the sale of the two 40s.

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    I might add that I still have a 41mag, a couple 44s and a couple 22 handguns for hunting and will not hunt with the 9mm's......would shoot a coyote with anything whenever, they don't country.

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    With the right ammo the 9mm is not shabby at all. VV 3N38 can push a 147gr bullet with at starting charge to 1171fps - 1207fps. That is 451 - 475 ft/lbs. That's not far off some of the 40 S&w loads.

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    I am not a fan of the 9mm, but they do have a place in the shooting sports and with the new loads they can be effective for self defense. As far as reloading for each, if one watches where they buy components, both the 40 and 9mm can be reloaded at low cost. While there is some 'low cost' ammo out there, they are not always up to standard as to quality! We shoot much more reloaded ammo then we do factory ammo. I am not sure that I would have gotten rid of the two handguns that you did to get the other two, bit that is just me. Good shooting!

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    Personally, I'da stayed with the 40's.

    I prefer handgun calibers that start with a 4 or end with a 7. The 9mm is ok for two legged game at short distance and light clothing. Problem is they may shoot you back or sue you afterwards when hit with a 9mm. I'll defer to the FBI's decision to move away from the 9mm in search of better stopping power that resulted in the development of the 40 after down sizing the 10mm. If it is good enough for the FBI, well then....

    I had a Berretta 92FS in 9mm, to match my service issued weapon. It was nice to have the same gun that I had to qualify with in the Army. My 9mm was fun for practicing, and plinking, but I never felt it was enough gun. When I moved up to the 40 S&W M&P it is just as much fun, just as accurate, and more powerful.

    As for reloading the two, it takes a bit of looking at times, but they can be reloaded for close to the same cost. The last few gun shows I attended I found like bullets for each at about the same price.

    YMMV

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    That FBI study is now 25 years old. Ammunition advances have come a long way since then. Actual shootout data in the 2000's have shown to virtually no statistical difference in the effectiveness of quality 9mm, 40S&W, and .45ACP ammo.

    I have shot both the .40 and 9mm extensively. I find that followup shots are substantially faster with a 9mm vs. a .40 in the same sized Glock pistols. All handguns are extremely poor man stoppers. I like to put the value of quick followup shots and high magazine capacity at the forefront of my decisions.
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    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    Comparing apples to apples somewhat:

    Federal’s 147gr 9mm load pushes a 147gr .355” caliber bullet about 1,007fps out of a 5” standard test barrel: http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/9luger.html

    Federal’s (same manufacturer’s) 180gr .40S&W load pushes a 180gr .400” caliber bullet about 1,051 fps out of the same type of standard 5” test barrel: http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/40sw.html

    So, in the 40 S&W, you have a 22% heavier bullet with a 13% greater diameter going 4.4% (barely) faster.

    Does that matter? Depends probably.

    But just to show the same comparison of a larger caliber versus the .40 S&W: if you take 180gr .40 S&W load and make it 22% heavier, with a 13% larger diameter, and going 4.4% faster, you have: A 220gr .451 caliber bullet going 1,097 fps.

    I have more .40S&Ws than 9mms, among other reasons, because I might be carrying them out in the woods as a dual-purpose gun.

    I’m not saying that the 9mm isn’t good or adequate. But there is a difference. The difference between a 147gr 9mm and a 180gr .40S&W is about the same as there is between a 180gr .40S&W and a 220gr .45 Colt bullet going about 1,100fps. I don’t find it compelling that a there is no noticeable difference between a 9mm and a .40 S&W, unless there also is no noticeable difference between a .40 S&W and a .45 Colt. I could be wrong, but both seem unlikely to me, considering that you can use the better bullets in the bigger calibers as well as in the smaller ones.

    In smaller handguns, I could see some moderate benefit depending on the person with the lesser recoil and higher mag capacity of the 9mm. But I have a 16+1 rd 40S&W with a 5.2" barrel that barely recoils:



    I can't imagine needing more than 17 rounds or less recoil.

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    With the right +P+ hollow point in 115 to 127 grains the 9mm gets the job done as far as self defense rounds go. The guns are usually mid sized or smaller and easily carried with a spare mag. Few of us witness many hand gun shoot outs so for the most part we are stuck with trying to find reliable shoot out stats from hand gun shootings or listening to some ones opinion. Most of the stuff I have read does not show a very big difference between .45 ACP, 40 S&W and 9mm +P+. All of them have the famous "one shot stop" and all of them have "failures to stop" with multiple hits. Yet, multiple hits and shot placement are what works with self defense hand gun rounds. A 9mm is easier to shoot fast if the gun is not to small. My first love is my old Springfield 1911 .45, and a custom Browning HP. I also think 9mm ball ammo is a sorry choice for shooting some one with. I don't mean to ruffle any ones feathers but the FBI is far from perfect when it comes to hand guns and caliber selection and they had a slow and painful trip to get where they are today. I am also well aware that many put much stock in what ever new bullet performance criteria they use. They seem to always be playing catch up. They switched to semi autos after the night mare shoot out in Miami that may have had a better ending if they had taken vests and long guns with them since they had them available and knew they were going up against killers that would shoot it out with them. They also looked at using the 10 mm and finally realized it recoiled to much for their guys. The not so great at the time S&W company was in a hurry to give them a caliber because Glock was and still is kicking their butt in hand gun sales. So here came the 40 S&W. Then they were in favor of banning the Glock pistol due to politics and stupid politicians, but now they issue it. Just saying.... Even though I'm pretty much a 1911 .45 guy I also like Glock pistols enough to own a Glock 19, 36, 30S and 41. I just never warmed up to the .40 caliber Glock pistol my department issued. I think most of us would be served quite well with a Glock 19 or Glock 17 with good after market sights and a good holster, mag holder and a big basket full of magazines. I carry a Glock 19 with Warren Tactical 2 lamp sights and +P+ hollow points more then all my other pistols. It is capable of shooting faster and more accurately then I can and has plenty of the "right stuff" for a self defense pistol. I can't shoot any of the pistols as well as my Rem. 870 or AR, but they sure are easier to carry.

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    All pistol calibers suck. There's a lot of numbers that get thrown around in these pointless caliber wars. Taking MarineHawks numbers above, the end result is a 9mm with a muzzle energy of 331 ft lbs and a .40 S&W with a muzzle energy of 441 ft lbs. Oh my word the HUGE difference, right? Really? Think about it in this context. The average untrained adult male can punch with a force of around 200-300 ft lbs. You average trained non-professional can clock in at 500 ft lbs or so. And professional boxers can hit with 1,000+ ft lbs. 100 ft lbs is paltry by comparison. But then, Underwood ammo makes a +p+ load for 9mm that runs 115gr at 1400 fps and a muzzle energy of 500 ft lbs. Compare that to even the puny sized 55gr, 5.56 with a muzzle energy of 1250 ft lbs. Yeah, pistols suck but we can't really carry rifles in our holsters can we.

    Multiple studies have been done on the subject, but the one that caught my attention was one done by a police officer who followed shooting incidents over a 10 year period. He found out that on the average people had to shoot around 2.5 (that's average) times with 9mm, .40S&W, AND .45ACP to stop a threat. The differences were negligible. Basically, if you are talking self defense plan to have to shoot 3 times. No matter what round you have. If you can shot 3 rounds in a 8" circle at 7 yards rapidly, you're good to go. Anything else is ego and pea-cocking. Modern bullets and modern powders have made the caliber war irrelevant. It's really just personal preference at this point. If you like 9mm, love it, shoot it, practice it, feel safe. If you like .40S&W, love it, shoot it, practice it, feel safe. It just doesn't matter any more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius View Post
    All pistol calibers suck. There's a lot of numbers that get thrown around in these pointless caliber wars. Taking MarineHawks numbers above, the end result is a 9mm with a muzzle energy of 331 ft lbs and a .40 S&W with a muzzle energy of 441 ft lbs. Oh my word the HUGE difference, right? Really? Think about it in this context. The average untrained adult male can punch with a force of around 200-300 ft lbs. You average trained non-professional can clock in at 500 ft lbs or so. And professional boxers can hit with 1,000+ ft lbs. 100 ft lbs is paltry by comparison. But then, Underwood ammo makes a +p+ load for 9mm that runs 115gr at 1400 fps and a muzzle energy of 500 ft lbs. Compare that to even the puny sized 55gr, 5.56 with a muzzle energy of 1250 ft lbs. Yeah, pistols suck but we can't really carry rifles in our holsters can we.

    Multiple studies have been done on the subject, but the one that caught my attention was one done by a police officer who followed shooting incidents over a 10 year period. He found out that on the average people had to shoot around 2.5 (that's average) times with 9mm, .40S&W, AND .45ACP to stop a threat. The differences were negligible. Basically, if you are talking self defense plan to have to shoot 3 times. No matter what round you have. If you can shot 3 rounds in a 8" circle at 7 yards rapidly, you're good to go. Anything else is ego and pea-cocking. Modern bullets and modern powders have made the caliber war irrelevant. It's really just personal preference at this point. If you like 9mm, love it, shoot it, practice it, feel safe. If you like .40S&W, love it, shoot it, practice it, feel safe. It just doesn't matter any more.
    Well said. I have finally went back to 9mm, after carrying/owning 40 cals since 1999. I was amazed at the bullet technology that is around now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarineHawk View Post
    Comparing apples to apples somewhat:

    Federal’s 147gr 9mm load pushes a 147gr .355” caliber bullet about 1,007fps out of a 5” standard test barrel: http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/9luger.html

    Federal’s (same manufacturer’s) 180gr .40S&W load pushes a 180gr .400” caliber bullet about 1,051 fps out of the same type of standard 5” test barrel: http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/40sw.html

    So, in the 40 S&W, you have a 22% heavier bullet with a 13% greater diameter going 4.4% (barely) faster.

    Does that matter? Depends probably.

    But just to show the same comparison of a larger caliber versus the .40 S&W: if you take 180gr .40 S&W load and make it 22% heavier, with a 13% larger diameter, and going 4.4% faster, you have: A 220gr .451 caliber bullet going 1,097 fps.

    I have more .40S&Ws than 9mms, among other reasons, because I might be carrying them out in the woods as a dual-purpose gun.

    I’m not saying that the 9mm isn’t good or adequate. But there is a difference. The difference between a 147gr 9mm and a 180gr .40S&W is about the same as there is between a 180gr .40S&W and a 220gr .45 Colt bullet going about 1,100fps. I don’t find it compelling that a there is no noticeable difference between a 9mm and a .40 S&W, unless there also is no noticeable difference between a .40 S&W and a .45 Colt. I could be wrong, but both seem unlikely to me, considering that you can use the better bullets in the bigger calibers as well as in the smaller ones.

    In smaller handguns, I could see some moderate benefit depending on the person with the lesser recoil and higher mag capacity of the 9mm. But I have a 16+1 rd 40S&W with a 5.2" barrel that barely recoils:



    I can't imagine needing more than 17 rounds or less recoil.
    It's an easy choice to me. A heavier, larger cal. bullet goin faster.

    In a Full Size pistol, why bother with a 9mm? Unless, of course, you want to shoot a LOT and save $$ on Ammo, as EKC suggested.

    Andy has an EAA with 2 Slides, one for 45, and tother 10mm. Now, that's exciting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius View Post
    All pistol calibers suck. .................................................. ....... And professional boxers can hit with 1,000+ ft lbs. .................................................. .........
    yeoza, you could hunt caribou with that punch......................
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    I read a study a number of years ago that was forwarded to me from a relative in the corrections business. The study looked at mortality rate with hand gun calibers from .22mag to .44 mag in self defense situations involving civilians, which I suspect is the training level of many of us on this forum. The results were very eye opening. There was something like a 12% spread in the mortality rate from one end of the spectrum to the other. At the time I was going back and forth between a .357 mag and 9mm, didn't change anything for me. If I can dredge that study up I'll post a link.

    I now carry a .380 about 50% of the time simply because if I didn't carry that I wouldn't carry anything at all due to my garments. 40% of the time its a .44mag, the .357 and 9mm get carried the other 10%, mostly anchorage trips.

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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    I read a study a number of years ago that was forwarded to me from a relative in the corrections business. The study looked at mortality rate with hand gun calibers from .22mag to .44 mag in self defense situations involving civilians, which I suspect is the training level of many of us on this forum. The results were very eye opening. There was something like a 12% spread in the mortality rate from one end of the spectrum to the other. At the time I was going back and forth between a .357 mag and 9mm, didn't change anything for me. If I can dredge that study up I'll post a link.

    I now carry a .380 about 50% of the time simply because if I didn't carry that I wouldn't carry anything at all due to my garments. 40% of the time its a .44mag, the .357 and 9mm get carried the other 10%, mostly anchorage trips.
    Was it perhaps this one?

    http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/alter...stopping-power

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius View Post
    That's the one, thanks!


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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    I read a study a number of years ago that was forwarded to me from a relative in the corrections business. The study looked at mortality rate with hand gun calibers from .22mag to .44 mag in self defense situations involving civilians, which I suspect is the training level of many of us on this forum. The results were very eye opening. There was something like a 12% spread in the mortality rate from one end of the spectrum to the other. At the time I was going back and forth between a .357 mag and 9mm, didn't change anything for me. If I can dredge that study up I'll post a link.

    I now carry a .380 about 50% of the time simply because if I didn't carry that I wouldn't carry anything at all due to my garments. 40% of the time its a .44mag, the .357 and 9mm get carried the other 10%, mostly anchorage trips.
    I was looking for another carry gun during christmas break. I sold my G27 because of it's bulk. I also didn't bond with it. I was looking at various .380s until I found the Keltec pf9. That little gun is slim and carries well. It is also 9mm. I'm going to look for another carry gun in Feb and would like to stick with the 9mm caliber (simplicity of ammo issues) and I am going to really look into other single stack 9mms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
    I was looking for another carry gun during christmas break. I sold my G27 because of it's bulk. I also didn't bond with it. I was looking at various .380s until I found the Keltec pf9. That little gun is slim and carries well. It is also 9mm. I'm going to look for another carry gun in Feb and would like to stick with the 9mm caliber (simplicity of ammo issues) and I am going to really look into other single stack 9mms.
    You cannot beat the price and availability of 9mm ammo MOST of the time! I saw some the other day for 10.99 a box! I've had my eye out for a g17 for quite a while, some day I'll break down and buy one...

    Components are cheap too!


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    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    You cannot beat the price and availability of 9mm ammo MOST of the time! I saw some the other day for 10.99 a box! I've had my eye out for a g17 for quite a while, some day I'll break down and buy one...

    Components are cheap too!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    I was surprised at how available 9mm was while in town and how much the price had gone down.

    Right now, I'd like to get other calibers, but I am resisting. All carry guns will be 9mm. Bear gun is 10mm and rifles are either 30-06 or 243.
    Shotgun is 12ga and of course the mandatory 22.

    Ammo is just so hard to come by out here, i had to make sacrifices.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
    I'm going to look for another carry gun in Feb and would like to stick with the 9mm caliber (simplicity of ammo issues) and I am going to really look into other single stack 9mms.
    If you like the Keltec, you might look at the Kahr CM9 or CM40 as another option.
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