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9mm vs .40s/w IN PRACTICE

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by ConroeTxCCW, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. ConroeTxCCW


    Sep 17, 2007
    Disclaimer: This involves an actual shooting of feral varmints. Read on at your own risk.

    So, the land where I shoot at has had a problem with wild dogs. The orders are basically to shoot on sight (Something about a wild animal that's not afraid of humans...). Well, there were two of them that got within 15-or-so yards of me when I was out there last weekend. After shooting the 1st, the 2nd one jumped back, but didn't leave. That said, I used the time available to transition from 9mm to .40 to see if there was any difference. Since there was so much talk of energy dumps and knockdown power, and since the range was such that I could replicate the shot with both dogs and both guns, I figured it was a great opportunity to test both theories. Here were our independent variables:

    Masterpiece Arms Carbine
    16"barrell (+300fps)
    Speer +p GDHP (+5% psi)

    Glock 27
    Winchester Bonded HP

    Both dogs were shot between the eyes in the case of the 9mm, or the 10-o'clock corner of the left eye in the case of the .40. Obviously this was a sure kill, and was in the realm of "humane," even if it were a .22lr. That said, there was an obvious difference. With the 9mm, the dog stiffened up and slowly keeled over. With the .40, the dog flew back and was essentially an instant, flying sack of meat.

    Conclusion: Even when run in an ideal scenario, allowing for optimal performance of the 9mm round, allowing for more speed and kinetic energy than could be reached out of any handgun, especially with a conventional load; the .40 still delivered a more decisive and immediate stopping effect. I would have thought that 36,750 psi and 1300+/-psi would have created an identical effect on a headshot, but this one shows otherwise.
  2. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    You had me going until I read "the dog FLEW back".

  3. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    You can shoot ten animals of identical size & same caliber/bullets & get a diff response. I am not a huge 9mm fan, but one isolated "test" doesn't really tell much. It is the downside of the M&S "studies". Even w/ dentical shot placement, targets will act diff.
  4. pimuk


    Jan 28, 2004
    Bangkok, THAILAND
    Another interesting note and thank you. It's always good to read about real shootings.
  5. ConroeTxCCW


    Sep 17, 2007
    Absolutely. This isolated event was by no means proof in one direction or another, but it serves as supporting evidence that can be used in conjunction with other cases. As for me, you wouldn't find me carrying sub-40 even before this, so it was more edification than proof.

    @Cowboy1964: I'm not saying the dog's hind legs left the ground or anything, but there was an observable difference in the hole-poking effect of the 9mm, and the literal knockdown effect of the .40.
  6. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    Wouldn't pushing a Gold Dot to such high velocity actually reduce it's effectiveness? Hi-performance JHPs are designed to work within a fairly narrow velocity window.

    Anyway, we all know .40 isn't a magical stopper and we all know 9mm isn't a wimp. So such an obvious difference in performance probably can be mostly explained by other variables. They call it anecdotal evidence for a reason.

    Sounds like both were essentially ideal one-stop shots. Too bad you don't have video! Of course PETA and the like would go nuts.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010
  7. In the past we've had feral dog pack problems, but not so much during the past year. Even in packs, most dogs are unable to survive in the wild; there are simply too many predators that are more efficient killers.

    If you look at DEA reports regarding warrant service/entry teams, .40S&W may or may not put down attacking/charging pit bulls.

    Having been charged by fast running pit bulls, head shots at distances of ~7-10feet, I prefer the instant incapacitation results of handloads in .38Super (added benefit of ~.15sec, or less, split times from a 1911).

    In addition to dog attacks, javelina are known to attack, especially when a pet dog is present. The first shot will stop the pack momentarily, but they can/will continue the charge.

    On another fast moving charge, I just barely had enough time to bring up an M4 with 64gr JSP ammo, 1st hit in the shoulder at 11 feet (no sights, not enough time to turn on the EOTech), stopped the charge; 2nd shot behind the head immediately ended the threat.

    I step toward the charge while drawing in order to get a better slice of pie focus shooting, typically there's just enough time to shoot one handed while on the move.

    This large chow breed was a pack leader and confirmed killer of stock; it used cover well and stalked me and the dog I was babysitting;


    When one of the pack charged the dog I was babysitting, I took it out with a 12ga and OO Buck just before it reached the pet dog. Moments before the charge I shot a rattler with a S&W .357mag at about 3-4ft; things can get busy.

    When you get charged by an adrenaline packed pit bull or rottweiler; you may want to rethink the 9mm and .40S&W . . . you won't have time to use your sights either.

    Put yourself in contact with feral dog packs enough times, and sooner or later, you'll experience a fast moving charge from an adrenaline filled canine.

    Don't forget the rattlers, they're still out this time of year.

    Just my $.02 :supergrin:

    Bob :cowboy:
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2010
  8. That would be People Eating Tasty Animals. :supergrin:

    Bob :cowboy: