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9mm vs .40 for steel

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by IlliniGlocker, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. IlliniGlocker


    Mar 17, 2005
    CA :(
    Hi everyone!

    First off, I know I don't want this to turn into a 9mm vs. .40 thread about every last facet of the differences between the two calibers. Please keep wound ballistics, etc. out of this thread.

    With that said, I'm a USPSA shooter that shoots 2-3 club level matches a year. I get into a few situations with my G17 where I hit a steel target and it doesn't fall. I attempted to "upgrade" last match by using 147 grain JHP (the WWB stuff). I found no difference between knocking down the steel with the 147 grain stuff vs. the 115 grain FMJ cheap Federal Champion stuff that I use normally (I had one steel target that I had to hit twice to fall). The only thing that it I found was cost was much more expensive.

    That said, does anyone know of a good 9mm load that will knock down steel well. I don't have access to a reloading press (yet) so it needs to come from the factory and be available in bulk.

    The other option is to get a G22 (local shop has police trade ins for cheap) and keep my mag carriers and holster. I have no issue with the recoil and I'm limited to 10 rounds due to California being retarded and USPSA Production class rules. I see that 180 grain .40 loads generally have no issue knocking down the steel.

    Anyways, let me know. Worst case scenario I might have to get another Glock!
  2. Better hits on target. Steel poppers are to be calibrated to drop with factory 115gr ammo.

    Hit them in them in the fat part of the popper and they should drop, 9mm or better.

  3. Brucev


    Jul 19, 2009
    It happens. If the .40 is not an issue for you, switching would just about preclude any further problems with well-hit plates not falling. JMHO.
  4. dkf


    Aug 6, 2010
    Maybe 124gr NATO ammo. It is loaded hotter than bulk range ammo but is still not as expensive as hot carry ammo. Best bet would be to get into reloading. Reloading will save you money and allow you to come up with loads that better suit you.
  5. 180gr 10mm nothing better for steel plates at 50 - 100 yards :tongueout:
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  6. BuckyP

    BuckyP Lifetime Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    If you don't reload, then a .40 is going to be much hotter than a 9mm. The disadvantage of the extra recoil is enough to consider shooting limited 10. Also, if you do get another GLOCK specifically for competition, I recommend going with the G35 over a G22.

    Keep in mind that the latest rules say that a piece of steel should fall with ammo just below the power factor line. If you get a good hit on a steel and it doesn't fall (and you are comfortably above the 125 power factor margin), then call for a calibration.

    As someone mentioned, you may want to try the 124 grain stuff.
  7. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    There really isn't a 9mm load that compares to a 40 or 45 when taking down steel. It's a momentum thing; mass x vel. So the best you are going to do is a hot 147gr unless you can find some of the 158gr subgun ammo. You'll just have to hit it multiple times to be sure, after all, it is why they give you so many rounds in a 9mm.:supergrin: The other idea is upper pooper hits go over faster/better than lower hits, so change your POA just a bit.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  8. IlliniGlocker


    Mar 17, 2005
    CA :(
    Thanks for the input guys. I'll stick with 147 grain because its a nice, slow push as opposed to a "kick".

    If I hit another popper square and it doesn't fall, I'll be sure to consult the rule book as to my choices.
  9. Redstate


    May 17, 2011
    Agreed. However, with a .40 (180 grain), the placement on the steel won't be as sensitive. Nevertheless, I use a G17 for USPSA.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  10. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City

    Seems like shooting something in the upper pooper isn't very sporting.