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9 mm vs .40 S&W vs .45 acp

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by iluv2viddyfilms, Jan 25, 2012.

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  1. These are probably three of the most common automatic calibers to carry and I know this isn't the first time someone has asked to compare them. However I was curious as to the foot pound or jules produced by each caliber in the common factory loadings. I have a firearm in each of these calibers.

    I went to wikipedia... and I'll accept it as a reliable source, at least for an online question and found the following:

    9 mm 115 grain FMJ = 570 J and 420 foot pounds pressure.
    .40 S&W 180 grain FMJ = 598 J and 444 foot pounds.
    .45 ACP 230 grain FMJ = 561 J and 414 foot pounds.

    So there really isn't much difference at all in energy expelled from the rounds. I know there's the old saying that speed kills which is why a relatively narrow .30 rifle round can do so much damage with the supersonic speed it produces - three or four times the amount a handgun round.

    At these lower speeds does the size of the wound channel make the big difference in going with the .45 acp over the 9mm? I ask because if energy is what matters then you would think the 9mm would be a more effective round because it gives off slightly more kinetic energy.

    I don't know much about ballistics but can anyone explain this or share their thoughts?
     
  2. brisk21

    brisk21

    4,206
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    Michigan
    I would say for handgun rounds, the largest, heaviest bullet with adequate penetration would be the best when considering "stopping power". I could be completely wrong though, Im no expert.
     

  3. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

    7,958
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    May 15, 2010
    NW Florida
    Or go with 357SIG, and get over 500 foot pounds of energy with a 125gr projectile.
     
  4. MRBULLRED

    MRBULLRED ????????

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    BATON ROUGE LA
    Or go with 10mm and have 800 ftlbs.. Or better yet, 50bmg and have over 10,000 ft.lbs.
     
  5. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

    7,958
    3
    May 15, 2010
    NW Florida
    Might have a hard time fitting that in a handgun. :upeyes:
     
  6. Lior

    Lior GUNS=FREEDOM

    2,661
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    Jul 23, 2004
    Israel
    9mm is the SD round that I am most able to afford to shoot 6,000 of per year, so that is what I carry (I also shoot a lot of .22LR and .177, but not out of repeating firearms).
     
  7. Feanor

    Feanor

    3,545
    3
    Feb 28, 2010
    Follow the link and read to your hearts content, he covers it all. And there is really little difference between the calibers you've listed when it comes to terminal ballistics, oftentime's, ME's even have difficulty distinguishing the difference at autopsy! DocGKR is pretty much the authority on the subject.
     
  8. Bruce M

    Bruce M

    42,137
    13,455
    Jan 3, 2010
    S FL
    Some statistic suggest that there is little difference in actual use between the three calibers. And there is also some evidence that suggests that luck may have a substantial part to do with the outcome also. Ever hear someone in a trauma center say if the bullet had been a centimeter or two to the left/right the guy would have died. Even really really good shots may have some difficulty placing shots a centimeter or two during an actual fight.
     
  9. wavetrain75

    wavetrain75 Useless Member

    3,415
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    I thought Groundhog Day wasn't for another few weeks.
     
  10. aircarver

    aircarver Ride Continues Silver Member

    Not to mention holstering it ....



    :outtahere::supergrin:

    .
     
  11. bac1023

    bac1023

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    PA
    9mm is my favorite by far. :cool:
     
  12. scccdoc

    scccdoc

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    Dec 28, 2011
    Accuracy is your greatest ally.Shoot the caliber with which you're most accurate and can reacquire the target quickly..........DOC (ps I shoot a 40 )
     
  13. MajorD

    MajorD

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    Aug 16, 2010
    sccdoc- has the right idea- the caliber you can shoot most accurately is the one to use. From what I have seen- first hand knowledge from working trauma and some trips to the sandbox- shot placement is what results in incapacitation- doesn't matter if it is a 9mm or a 50 bmg.
     
  14. kennjen

    kennjen

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    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  15. DeLo

    DeLo

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    Nov 10, 2011
    Southland
  16. TN.Frank

    TN.Frank Glock4Life

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    Avondale, AZ.
    That's why I always say caliber is secondary, shot placement is key with any handgun ctg.
     
  17. barth

    barth six barrels

    6,639
    661
    Oct 7, 2011
    The Free Zone
    9x19 Win Ranger +P+ |115@1320, 21.7 mv, 444 E|BR 9.6", 0.53", 2.11cu|CL 10.2", 0.65", 3.37cu|avg 2.74, 3.89 re, 0.70
    9x19 - caliber
    Win Ranger +P+ - the name of the load
    115@1320 - bullet mass in grains @ muzzle velocity
    21.7 mv - bullet momentum in lb*fps
    444 E - muzzle energy in ftlbs
    BR - what follows is the data for bare gelatin
    9.6" inches of penetration
    0.53", final expanded diameter of bullet
    2.11 cu, approximation of wound volume. (this does not take into account the expansion profile as a function of depth, but it should be roughly proportionate to actual wound volume)
    CL - what follows is the data for clothed gelatin
    same fields as the bare gelatin, as defined above
    avg 2.74 - Average wound volume, clothed and bare gelatin
    3.89 re - Free Recoil Energy, assuming a 1.88 lb pistol
    0.70 - Average would volume per unit Free Recoil Energy.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    9x19 Win Ranger Talon|147@ 864, 18.1 mv, 243 E|BR 13.8", 0.61", 4.03cu|CL 15.2", 0.59", 4.17cu|avg 4.10, 2.72 re, 1.51
    9x19 Win Ranger Talon|147@1017, 21.4 mv, 337 E|BR 13.8", 0.66", 4.70cu|CL 15.5", 0.65", 5.14cu|avg 4.92, 3.77 re, 1.31
    9x19 Win Ranger +P+ |115@1320, 21.7 mv, 444 E|BR 9.6", 0.53", 2.11cu|CL 10.2", 0.65", 3.37cu|avg 2.74, 3.89 re, 0.70
    9x19 3-D |115@1178, 19.4 mv, 354 E|BR 11.6", 0.54", 2.66cu|CL 13.9", 0.48", 2.52cu|avg 2.59, 3.10 re, 0.84
    9x19 Rem +P+ |115@1221, 20.1 mv, 380 E|BR 10.8", 0.63", 3.37cu|CL 10.9", 0.62", 3.29cu|avg 3.33, 3.33 re, 1.00
    9x19 CCI/Speer GD |115@1259, 20.7 mv, 404 E|BR 12.3", 0.67", 4.35cu|CL 22.1", 0.40", 2.78cu|avg 3.43, 3.54 re, 0.97
    9x19 CCI/Speer GD |115@1197, 19.7 mv, 365 E|BR 12.8", 0.67", 4.51cu|CL 22.6", 0.44", 3.44cu|avg 3.78, 3.20 re, 1.18
    9x19 CorBon +P |115@1317, 21.6 mv, 442 E|BR 8.9", 0.52", 1.90cu|CL 10.2", 0.61", 2.98cu|avg 2.44, 3.87 re, 0.63
    9x19 Fed +P |115@1237, 20.3 mv, 390 E|BR 11.2", 0.53", 2.48cu|CL 10.6", 0.62", 3.20cu|avg 2.84, 3.41 re, 0.83
    9x19 Fed Silvertip |115@1091, 17.9 mv, 304 E|BR 10.1", 0.63", 3.13cu|CL 11.8", 0.58", 3.12cu|avg 3.13, 2.66 re, 1.18
    9x19 CCI/Speer GD +P |124@1223, 21.7 mv, 411 E|BR 13.4", 0.68", 4.87cu|CL 20.2", 0.53", 4.47cu|avg 4.64, 3.88 re, 1.20
    9x19 CCI/Speer GD |124@1116, 19.8 mv, 342 E|BR 11.8", 0.69", 4.41cu|CL 22.0", 0.36", 2.24cu|avg 3.22, 3.23 re, 1.00
    9x19 Rem |124@1109, 19.6 mv, 338 E|BR 12.4", 0.60", 3.52cu|CL 13.7", 0.57", 3.50cu|avg 3.51, 3.19 re, 1.10
    9x19 PMC/Eldorado SF |124@1118, 19.8 mv, 344 E|BR 10.7", 0.63", 3.32cu|CL 20.1", 0.41", 2.65cu|avg 2.98, 3.24 re, 0.92
    9x19 CorBon XTP |124@1123, 19.9 mv, 347 E|BR 13.9", 0.56", 3.44cu|CL 18.3", 0.46", 3.04cu|avg 3.24, 3.27 re, 0.99
    9x19 Fed HydraShok |147@ 935, 19.6 mv, 285 E|BR 13.6", 0.60", 3.85cu|CL 16.1", 0.52", 3.41cu|avg 3.63, 3.19 re, 1.14
    9x19 Win Black Talon |147@ 946, 19.9 mv, 292 E|BR 14.8", 0.60", 4.20cu|CL 16.4", 0.61", 4.78cu|avg 4.49, 3.26 re, 1.38
    9x19 Rem |147@ 987, 20.7 mv, 318 E|BR 18.1", 0.51", 3.71cu|CL 15.9", 0.59", 4.36cu|avg 4.03, 3.55 re, 1.14
    9x19 Hornady XTP |147@ 918, 19.3 mv, 275 E|BR 22.1", 0.44", 3.36cu|CL 20.5", 0.46", 3.41cu|avg 3.18, 3.07 re, 1.04
    9x19 Fed HydraShok |147@ 995, 20.9 mv, 323 E|BR 21.4", 0.37", 2.30cu|CL 15.6", 0.60", 4.41cu|avg 3.28, 3.61 re, 0.91
    9x19 Win Silvertip |147@ 902, 18.9 mv, 265 E|BR 14.6", 0.53", 3.22cu|CL 18.1", 0.47", 3.14cu|avg 3.18, 2.97 re, 1.07
    9x19 CCI/Speer GD+P |124@1155, 20.5 mv, 367 E|BR 13.2", 0.62", 3.99cu|CL 16.1", 0.53", 3.55cu|avg 3.77, 3.46 re, 1.09
    9x19 CCI/Speer GD |124@1068, 18.9 mv, 314 E|BR 12.6", 0.59", 3.44cu|CL 17.5", 0.51", 3.57cu|avg 3.51, 2.96 re, 1.19
    9x19 CCI/Speer GD |147@ 924, 19.4 mv, 278 E|BR 14.8", 0.57", 3.78cu|CL 14.7", 0.55", 3.49cu|avg 3.63, 3.11 re, 1.17
    9x19 Win Ranger PG |124@1015, 18.0 mv, 283 E|BR 12.5", 0.65", 4.15cu|CL 14.0", 0.61", 4.09cu|avg 4.12, 2.67 re, 1.54
    9x19 Win Ranger T |147@1016, 21.3 mv, 337 E|BR 13.8", 0.66", 4.72cu|CL 15.7", 0.00", 0.00cu|avg 2.36, 3.76 re, 0.63
    357SIG CCI/Speer GD |125@1372, 24.5 mv, 522 E|BR 16.1", 0.60", 4.54cu|CL 19.1", 0.54", 4.36cu|avg 4.45, 4.96 re, 0.90
    40SW Win Ranger Talon|180@1000, 25.7 mv, 399 E|BR 13.6", 0.68", 4.92cu|CL 13.5", 0.68", 4.90cu|avg 4.91, 5.47 re, 0.90
    40SW CCI/Speer GD |155@1176, 26.0 mv, 475 E|BR 10.7", 0.84", 5.93cu|CL 18.1", 0.57", 4.62cu|avg 5.27, 5.61 re, 0.94
    40SW CCI/Speer GD |155@1186, 26.3 mv, 483 E|BR 10.7", 0.84", 5.93cu|CL 17.7", 0.58", 4.68cu|avg 5.30, 5.70 re, 0.93
    40SW Hornady XTP |155@1194, 26.4 mv, 490 E|BR 14.5", 0.65", 4.81cu|CL 18.1", 0.55", 4.30cu|avg 4.56, 5.78 re, 0.79
    40SW Win Silvertip |155@1199, 26.5 mv, 494 E|BR 12.2", 0.69", 4.54cu|CL 13.2", 0.71", 5.21cu|avg 4.87, 5.83 re, 0.84
    40SW Fed Hi-Shok |155@1167, 25.8 mv, 468 E|BR 13.8", 0.61", 4.02cu|CL 19.5", 0.51", 3.98cu|avg 4.00, 5.52 re, 0.72
    40SW CCI/Speer GD |165@1076, 25.4 mv, 424 E|BR 13.1", 0.65", 4.33cu|CL 15.8", 0.60", 4.47cu|avg 4.40, 5.32 re, 0.83
    40SW Fed HydraShok |165@1007, 23.7 mv, 371 E|BR 13.8", 0.62", 4.18cu|CL 15.2", 0.64", 4.87cu|avg 4.53, 4.66 re, 0.97
    40SW Rem |165@1031, 24.3 mv, 389 E|BR 12.5", 0.67", 4.41cu|CL 16.3", 0.61", 4.76cu|avg 4.59, 4.88 re, 0.94
    40SW Fed HydeaShok |165@ 931, 21.9 mv, 317 E|BR 15.8", 0.58", 4.19cu|CL 21.1", 0.43", 3.06cu|avg 3.55, 3.98 re, 0.89
    40SW Rem G.S. |165@ 952, 22.4 mv, 332 E|BR 13.1", 0.64", 4.21cu|CL 20.0", 0.53", 4.41cu|avg 4.31, 4.16 re, 1.04
    40SW Rem G.S. |165@1022, 24.1 mv, 382 E|BR 14.8", 0.65", 4.89cu|CL 14.3", 0.66", 4.91cu|avg 4.90, 4.80 re, 1.02
    40SW Fed HydraShok |165@ 943, 22.2 mv, 325 E|BR 18.2", 0.63", 5.69cu|CL 19.4", 0.56", 4.77cu|avg 5.23, 4.08 re, 1.28
    40SW Win Ranger T. |180@ 947, 24.4 mv, 358 E|BR 13.8", 0.69", 5.14cu|CL 13.7", 0.70", 5.25cu|avg 5.20, 4.90 re, 1.06
    40SW CCI/Speer GD |180@ 982, 25.3 mv, 385 E|BR 14.5", 0.59", 3.96cu|CL 17.6", 0.60", 4.96cu|avg 4.46, 5.27 re, 0.85
    40SW Rem G.S. |180@ 931, 23.9 mv, 346 E|BR 16.8", 0.69", 6.28cu|CL 16.9", 0.63", 5.28cu|avg 5.78, 4.74 re, 1.22
    40SW Rem G.S. |180@ 945, 24.3 mv, 356 E|BR 16.9", 0.64", 5.44cu|CL 21.0", 0.43", 3.05cu|avg 4.17, 4.88 re, 0.85
    40SW Rem G.S. |180@ 893, 23.0 mv, 318 E|BR 15.7", 0.65", 5.19cu|CL 21.1", 0.51", 4.32cu|avg 4.64, 4.36 re, 1.06
    40SW CCI/Speer GD |180@ 958, 24.6 mv, 366 E|BR 14.6", 0.60", 4.13cu|CL 17.1", 0.62", 5.16cu|avg 4.65, 5.02 re, 0.93
    40SW Rem G.S. |180@ 954, 24.5 mv, 363 E|BR 14.8", 0.66", 5.06cu|CL 14.8", 0.67", 5.20cu|avg 5.13, 4.98 re, 1.03
    40SW Win B.T. |180@ 917, 23.6 mv, 336 E|BR 13.5", 0.69", 5.05cu|CL 14.4", 0.70", 5.54cu|avg 5.29, 4.60 re, 1.15
    40SW Hornady XTP |180@ 929, 23.9 mv, 345 E|BR 13.9", 0.64", 4.49cu|CL 18.4", 0.55", 4.38cu|avg 4.44, 4.72 re, 0.94
    40SW Fed HydraShok |180@ 969, 24.9 mv, 375 E|BR 14.2", 0.69", 5.29cu|CL 19.8", 0.59", 5.41cu|avg 5.35, 5.13 re, 1.04
    40SW Fed Hi-Shok |180@ 960, 24.7 mv, 368 E|BR 14.8", 0.66", 5.05cu|CL 24.0", 0.47", 4.16cu|avg 4.26, 5.04 re, 0.85
    40SW Win Ranger SXT |180@ 905, 23.3 mv, 327 E|BR 11.2", 0.70", 4.31cu|CL 13.0", 0.64", 4.18cu|avg 4.25, 4.48 re, 0.95
    40SW Win Ranger PG |165@1109, 26.1 mv, 450 E|BR 13.1", 0.73", 5.48cu|CL 14.5", 0.72", 5.90cu|avg 5.69, 5.65 re, 1.01
    40SW Win Ranger T |180@ 943, 24.2 mv, 355 E|BR 13.6", 0.68", 4.94cu|CL 14.6", 0.70", 5.62cu|avg 5.28, 4.86 re, 1.09
    45ACP CCI/Speer GD |185@1041, 27.5 mv, 445 E|BR 11.9", 0.68", 4.34cu|CL 14.8", 0.68", 5.36cu|avg 4.85, 6.26 re, 0.77
    45ACP Rem G.S. |185@1037, 27.4 mv, 441 E|BR 14.4", 0.72", 5.86cu|CL 15.9", 0.68", 5.79cu|avg 5.83, 6.21 re, 0.94
    45ACP Rem G.S. +P |185@1046, 27.6 mv, 449 E|BR 10.1", 0.87", 6.00cu|CL 9.5", 0.81", 4.90cu|avg 5.45, 6.32 re, 0.86
    45ACP Fed Hi-Shok |185@ 874, 23.1 mv, 313 E|BR 11.7", 0.74", 5.03cu|CL 19.8", 0.61", 5.79cu|avg 5.41, 4.41 re, 1.23
    45ACP Win Silvertip |185@ 951, 25.1 mv, 371 E|BR 10.7", 0.78", 5.11cu|CL 10.9", 0.73", 4.56cu|avg 4.84, 5.22 re, 0.93
    45ACP Fed Hi-Shok |185@ 953, 25.2 mv, 373 E|BR 13.3", 0.63", 4.15cu|CL 12.4", 0.74", 5.33cu|avg 4.74, 5.24 re, 0.90
    45ACP Rem |185@ 903, 23.9 mv, 335 E|BR 16.2", 0.70", 6.23cu|CL 24.6", 0.55", 5.83cu|avg 5.49, 4.71 re, 1.17
    45ACP CCI/Speer GD +P |200@1062, 30.3 mv, 500 E|BR 11.7", 0.75", 5.17cu|CL 18.8", 0.55", 4.47cu|avg 4.82, 7.61 re, 0.63
    45ACP Fed HydraShok |230@ 956, 31.4 mv, 466 E|BR 13.8", 0.72", 5.64cu|CL 13.6", 0.74", 5.83cu|avg 5.73, 8.16 re, 0.70
    45ACP Fed HydraShok |230@ 878, 28.8 mv, 393 E|BR 16.6", 0.66", 5.66cu|CL 20.2", 0.55", 4.80cu|avg 5.21, 6.88 re, 0.76
    45ACP Fed HydraShok |230@ 858, 28.2 mv, 375 E|BR 13.7", 0.71", 5.42cu|CL 16.4", 0.66", 5.59cu|avg 5.51, 6.57 re, 0.84
    45ACP Win |230@ 802, 26.4 mv, 328 E|BR 17.9", 0.60", 5.06cu|CL 24.0", 0.51", 4.90cu|avg 4.57, 5.74 re, 0.80
    45ACP Fed HydraShok |230@ 854, 28.1 mv, 372 E|BR 14.9", 0.71", 5.90cu|CL 15.4", 0.64", 4.97cu|avg 5.43, 6.51 re, 0.83
    45ACP Rem G.S. |230@ 885, 29.1 mv, 399 E|BR 14.1", 0.76", 6.37cu|CL 16.6", 0.69", 6.19cu|avg 6.28, 6.99 re, 0.90
    45ACP Win Ranger SXT |230@ 819, 26.9 mv, 342 E|BR 13.2", 0.73", 5.55cu|CL 17.9", 0.63", 5.56cu|avg 5.55, 5.99 re, 0.93
    45ACP CCI/Speer GD |230@ 896, 29.4 mv, 409 E|BR 16.0", 0.69", 5.98cu|CL 18.9", 0.59", 5.17cu|avg 5.58, 7.17 re, 0.78
    45ACP PMC/Eldorado SF |230@ 853, 28.0 mv, 371 E|BR 13.9", 0.67", 4.90cu|CL 22.6", 0.45", 3.59cu|avg 4.04, 6.49 re, 0.62
    45ACP Rem G.S. |230@ 871, 28.6 mv, 387 E|BR 15.0", 0.71", 5.94cu|CL 18.9", 0.73", 7.89cu|avg 6.91, 6.77 re, 1.02
    45ACP CCI/Speer GD |230@ 847, 27.8 mv, 366 E|BR 13.2", 0.74", 5.66cu|CL 14.3", 0.70", 5.50cu|avg 5.58, 6.40 re, 0.87
    45ACP Fed Hi-Shok |230@ 860, 28.3 mv, 377 E|BR 13.8", 0.80", 6.96cu|CL 17.4", 0.67", 6.13cu|avg 6.55, 6.60 re, 0.99
    45ACP Win. B.T. |230@ 886, 29.1 mv, 400 E|BR 11.9", 0.77", 5.56cu|CL 13.9", 0.74", 6.00cu|avg 5.78, 7.01 re, 0.83
     
  18. Aceman

    Aceman

    6,988
    63
    Nov 30, 2008
    Tampa
    CAliber is secondary to a point. .22/.25 vs 9/40/45 for example.

    The real quesiton is reliability of stopping. And in that area, bigger is generally better.

    9 v 40 - likely no/little diff
    40 v 45 - also likely the same
    9 v 45 - maybe some, but possibly marginal difference. Gotta love 45 though! That said - I generally prefer 9

    but .25 vs .45....there WILL be a difference there.

    You have to run the experiment enough times to rule out luck, obviously vital hits etc.
     
  19. VinnieD

    VinnieD

    1,245
    46
    Mar 26, 2011
    As far as I can see, you can slide the bullet diameter and weight up and down the scale all you want with roughly the same powder charge and get the same outcome.

    The overall force behind a round's penetration ability comes down to its forward inertia, and that's a simple case of Mass and velocity. To retain inertia you need mass, but the more mass you add with the same force you lose velocity. Thus you get light 9mm rounds with less mass and more velocity performing not much different from .45acp rounds which will have less velocity but more mass.

    If you go too far to the light extreme you can get your projectile faster but don't have enough mass to retain the inertia and it quickly loses inertia and with it penetrating capability. Conversely if you get too heavy without increasing the charge propelling the projectile you don't get the projectile moving fast enough to build up any forward inertia. 9mm, .40S&W, and .45acp (along with most other standard power rounds in the same category) all seem to slide up and down the scale in the same safe zone of moderate effectiveness.

    This is why I stand by magnum rounds. To get any real effectiveness you need both mass and velocity. In other words a heavy projectile moving at high speed and with that carrying a ton more inertia. Thus a hot loaded .357 magnum or 10mm round with a heavy projectile is going to outperform anything with less charge behind it regardless of caliber. It's simple force=mass x acceleration


    If you can't carry or handle a more potent round, then just carry whatever in the range you shoot most confidently. I could maybe argue that wider diameter round will produce a slightly larger wound, while a smaller round will give you more shots, but that's an argument that's been made plenty of times already.