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.40 vs .45 pocket gun

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by Bilbo Bagins, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. Bilbo Bagins

    Bilbo Bagins Slacked jawed

    Sep 16, 2008
    So I had a chance to handle a S&W shield in .40 and a Springfield XD-S .45acp this weekend and both are pretty much equal in size, weight and feel. The only exception is an extra round in the shield.

    I was crunching some numbers, out of a 3" barrel a standard 180 grain .40 round is coming out at the same speed as a 185 grain +P .45 round.

    I know you can go heavier with a .45 round, and a .45 makes a slightly bigger hole, but is a 45 really that much better coming out 3" barrel then a .40 to warrant a loss of one round.
  2. Dawolf


    Sep 18, 2010
    When in doubt go bigger, but both are a "little" big for pocket carry. I also like the grip safety on the XDs Are you going to use cargos?

  3. frizz


    Jul 6, 2012
    I couldn't tell from your post if you fired either one. If not, worry about managing the recoil before worrying about ballistics. A full-size 1911 shooting hot .45 230 grain bullets is not a problem for me, but in a lighter gun would be a big problem.

    Keep in mind that just displaying any gun ends the vast majority of conformations, so even a 5-shot 38SP snubbie is not to be sneezed at. If you want more rounds, a 9mm Glock 26 is a nifty tool.
  4. ronin.45


    Apr 24, 2008
    Both are too big for my pockets, but I'd go for the XDs first. I find .45 recoil much more omfortable than .40(plus I just like the round better). For a real pocket gun I think 9mm is about as big as I would like.
  5. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    You worry about nothing. Stop thinking about the difference in a handful of feet persecond and start thinking about shootability and concealability.

  6. i;ve shot a g27 and thought the recoil was a little much, i have a g36 and feel the gun is easier to conceal and shooting is rather smooth. i handled an XPs45 and thought it felt to flat, but is small and shorter in the grip than the glock36. the glock holds one more round and is slightly thicker but fills the hand better for me. if you like how the XDs fits your hand it would be beneficial to find one to shoot first, it is a very nicely built weapon.:cool:
  7. gatorboy


    Jul 26, 2001
    It's pretty nice
    Sectional density of a 185 gr. .451 is very low and from a 3" tube, penetration (lack of) would have me worried. A 200 in 45 has about the same as a 155 in 40. I've shot both and own the 40 Shield. Six or seven 180's weigh less than five or seven 230's. Easy choice, 40 is more efficient from short barrels.
  8. Metal Angel

    Metal Angel

    Oct 20, 2010
    I think capacity is important. Each shot you take has the potential to hit something vital that the previous shot missed... So with that I would actually go with the shield in 9mm- 2 more shots than the XDs.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  9. gatorboy


    Jul 26, 2001
    It's pretty nice
    I agree, especially when talking under 10 rds. It's nice the Shield mags are actually staggered so same capacity of a P9 but better. I used to carry a P40 or P45 often but the Shield has forced them to the depths of the big safe.

    These are pocketable with cargo pants or Dickies shorts and if you want to use the safety, nothing but a thin handkerchief folded twice in front of the pistol to break up print is needed. It's easier to switch off with pocket carry IMO. It's off before gun is drawn.
  10. Gregg702

    Gregg702 Gold Member

    May 1, 2010
    Las Vegas
    When I think pocket gun, I think .38spl, .357 mag, or 9mm.
  11. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012
    My wifes EDC is a Taurus Millenium in .45, her "dress" carry is a Kimber Ultra Raptor .45. she is not oa big girl at all and has no problem with the .45 on those platforms. Remember most .40s are built on a 9mm platform and are "overbore" for the frames and size especially when you shrink the 9mm frame to compact dimensions.

    My wife finds her Millenium more comfortable to shoot than my CZ P-06 for example.
  12. AKRover

    AKRover 10MM Fanatic

    Jun 22, 2012
    Kenai, Alaska
    I may not understand sectional density properly but at self defense ranges will sectional density really be a factor?

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  13. GAFinch


    Feb 23, 2009
    While I like .45 in general, I'd stick with 9mm or .40 for a short barrel gun.
  14. SPIN2010

    SPIN2010 Searching ...

    Mar 14, 2010
    On the move ... again!
    Pocket gun application ... 9mm.

    Concealment is the big part of the equation (IMHO). YMMV
  15. gatorboy


    Jul 26, 2001
    It's pretty nice
    SD does have a large part in how a bullet will penetrate and travel before and after impact. It's pretty obvious I think that a longer, heavier bullet for caliber will travel straighter with rifle cartriges at high velocities and long distances. Hangun bullets that expand, though only traveling at low speeds and distances (comparatively) will benefit from more SD to drive the expanded (ing) bullet further. I've done research of my own including hunting that shows a bullet should have about half of it's original length left unexpanded to drive the bullet after expansion. Since we all want maximum expansion, IMO, we're left with high SD bullets. HST 230 and 180 are some of the best for this. I would'nt go lighter than 200 in 45 or 155 in 40. This is just my opinion and experience though, nobody has paid me a dime for my thoughts... yet.
  16. Beanie-Bean


    Apr 23, 2011
    Central Texas
    I have both the Shield (9X19) and XD-S, and I'm really comfortable with either, but IWB. They're a bit large for me for pocket carry, unless it's going to be in a cargo pants pocket or a jacket pocket.

    I carry spare magazines, also, so to the Shield gets the 8-round backup, and XD-S would get a 7-round backup. I removed the collar from the 7-round magazine, because it's HUGE and doesn't fit any of the magazine holders I have when it's attached.

    The Shield is already in carry rotation, but not the XD-S yet, because I've only put about 160 or so rounds through it so far, all of which were 230 gr. FMJ ball ammo.

    Recoil characteristics with carry ammo (124 gr. for the Shield, 230 gr. for the XD-S) are very manageable on those size frames, too.
  17. SCSU74

    SCSU74 St. Cloud Proud

    Jul 24, 2010
    The Northwoods
    45>9>40. 40 is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist anymore. 230g .45 hp's from a quality mftr and you're all set. Not a fan of the safeties on xd's, but If that's what you shoot well go for it. I would personally much rather have the shield in 9mm over either of those guns

    Sent from my iPhone... which probably auto-corrected something wrong
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  18. NEOH212

    NEOH212 Diesel Girl

    Mar 25, 2008
    North East Ohio
    The .40 will expand but the .45 won't shrink. The heavier bullets don't loose as much from the short barrels as you think.

    Either will serve you well but if it was me, I'd go with the .40 for a pocket gun providing the gun in question was substantially smaller than the .45 that I was considering.

    I generally don't think of pocket gun and .45 in the same sentence. I also don't care for any other bullet weight in .45 than 230.
  19. Bilbo Bagins

    Bilbo Bagins Slacked jawed

    Sep 16, 2008

    You see that is what kills me.

    A S&W 642 is 6.31" long and approx 1 5/16ths of an inch thick at the cylinder

    A Ruger LCR is 6.5" long and 1.28" inches thick at the cylinder

    However the Shield .40 6.1" and .95" thick

    The Taurus PT145 .45 is 6" long and 1.25 inches thick but hold 10+1 rounds. The PT745 is 1.12 inches thick and hold 6+1.

    The Springfield XD 6.3" long less than an inch thick

    And lets not even get into the Kahr PM45 and PM/CM40 that are 5 3/4" long or less and an inch thick.

    Granted the killer of pocket carry is weigh,t but if you want lightweight comfort carry a .380. If you carry a Sig 290 or a steel Snubbie like the S&W 60 in your pocket, the weight of a .40 or .45 pocket gun is pretty much the same.
  20. WarEagle32


    Mar 15, 2011
    Both are too big for pocket carry IMO.