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9mm vs .40

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by Custom Builder 1, Jul 17, 2010.

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  1. Custom Builder 1

    Custom Builder 1

    May 28, 2010
    I know it is an age old question, but i have to ask. I have not seen the answer posted since I just started reading this forum.

    9mm or .40 cal for CCW. I currently have 9 and want to buy a .40
    Is the answer what you shoot best or power? I shoot 9 great obvious ly because of less recoil? Any input would be greatly appreciated
  2. Be prepared to spend a lot of time at the furniture and MacPherson's threads et al, you're questions will be answered.

    There's a lot of performance (penetration + crush cavity size) overlap between calibers depending upon bullet designs.

    A number of 9mm designs perform better than a number of uber 10mm loads. Don't get caught up in the velocity/energy wars, terminal ballistics is a lot more complicated than reading published charts.

    If you are thinking of adding another caliber besides your 9mm, bypass the .40 and jump up to the .45auto for pistol or .357mag in a wheelgun.

    Handload and you'll get a lot of shooting experience with different bullet designs. The cost of handloading the 9mm and .357mag is basically the same, but there's a world of difference in performance.

    Bob :cowboy:

  3. whichever one shoot better
  4. rohanreginald

    rohanreginald Novice

    Dec 9, 2009
    I don't get caught up in the caliber debate. I pick a popular caliber and try to stick with it. 9mm and up is what you should be concerned with.
  5. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    Confidence and ability trump any difference between the major calibers.
  6. mikeyU


    Jul 19, 2007
    9mm for paper .40 for protection. Yes you may get more power, and you do get a little bit bigger diameter from the 40, is it needed?I would rather have it than not have it and need it. I would rather use something I know I could hit my target with than a larger caliber. Use the search function, alot of threads on this from the past.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  7. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Glockoholic

    The .40 is more powerful, but it all boils down to where you put the bullet. A solid hit with a 9mm is better than a bad hit with a .40 or .45.
  8. unit1069


    Oct 10, 2007
    So. Central US
    For CCW why don't you first of all ask yourself what you're likely to face if ever confronted with a potential life-or-death encounter?

    You're most likely to be within 7-15 feet of your assailant(s) and you'll squeeze off three to five rounds.

    If you're lucky enough to find good cover in the melee the aggressor(s) will probably try to make an escape rather than stick around facing an armed person behind a barrier and perhaps soon-to-arrive police.

    That's because there is no pat answer. But if there is only one answer for the most likely CCW scenario it has to be, "What I shoot best"; and the way you've phrased your post indicates that you already know this.

    Of course, if you can "obviously" shoot 9mm well there's no reason why you can't shoot .40S&W well if you want a pistol with more power than your 9mm.
  9. UnTainted


    May 8, 2007
    Since we all now know that the 380 beats the 45 just upgrade the 9 to 380.

    My grandpa used to say the better a shot you are, the smaller caliber you'll need
  10. Foxtrotx1


    Jan 29, 2010
    Scottsdale AZ
    .357 SIG. Got the junk in the trunk of a 40, but the face of a 9 :p
  11. English


    Dec 24, 2005
    This is almost certainly true but it is not very helpful because the confidence and ability range is great. Both can be improved with practice but there is a point of diminishing return after which inherent ability and confidence become the determining factors. Sevigny does not shoot like that just because he practices a lot.

  12. FatBoy

    FatBoy Millennium Member

    Sep 2, 1999
    I carry a 40 most days, but a 45 or 9mm find their way on my hip sometimes. I don't really care either way. my j frame in 357/38+p in a pocket is fine too for that matter. If you shoot a 9mm fine then why worry. Pick a good JHP and be done w/ it. If you just want a new gun, go buy whatever you want.


    PATRICE . . . . .

    Jun 3, 2009
    Hhmmm....You must be a natural marksman. I've been shooting for several years, and I've never been comfortable stating that I shoot great.--Patrice.
  14. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    After 30yrs & some serious practice, things should change for you.
    9mm or 40, not that much diff if both are fed quality JHP. IF stuck w/ FMJ, I want bigger holes, even 1mm bigger. Let the platform decide; small subcompacts, 9mm is much easier to shoot. Larger service size guns, the 40 is fine.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  15. I don't know what Sevigny's combat record is; but luck/Providence is about 50% of the equation in combat, pick whatever else you want for the other 50%.

    Bob :cowboy:
  16. Police Marksman

    Police Marksman

    May 28, 2006
    Rob Pincus of I.C.E., Best Defense TV, and SWAT TV had this to say about the 9mm VS .40 S&W debate.

    In the mid-90s. I made the switch from 1911 style guns (preferring .45) to a .40 S&W. Thirteen rounds in the Glock23 size package. The specs of the .40 was hard to argue with. Over the years, I've become less impressed with "paper numbers" and noticed that 9mm performs very well on the street. In class there is no doubt that the average person shoots the 9 much better (balance of speed & precision wise) than the 40. I know I do!
    9mm is probably a better choice than .40 for 90% of the defensive shooters I've seen.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010
  17. M&P Shooter

    M&P Shooter Metal Member

    Jul 19, 2009
    Phila, PA
    If you have a 9mm already then going to a .40 isn't that much of a big jump IMO. I would say switching to a 45acp would be a better option for anyone looking for a step up from a 9mm. They all kill with proper shot placement combined with a quality jhp. Training should be your main priority at first and after you become a good shot look at picking up a 45acp in 4" or 5" and let the heavy lead fly:wavey:
  18. i carried a .45 combat commander and wanted something close for summer carry [g23]. i like the added punch of the .40 cause i think good bullet placement is unreliable when the shooting starts and people are shooting and moving, fast. i believe in shooting the most powerful round i can shoot well enough for defense. if that was a 9 i would have no problem carrying one. i have a 357sig barrel now for my 23 that looks promising though.
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