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Can't decide which to keep: 9mm vs .40s&w

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by muad, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. muad

    muad Lifetime Member

    Dec 19, 2009
    No, this is not another which is better, 9 vs 40 thread. Well, not exactly anyway. I know both are proven cartridges, so no need to get into that debate. I like Both.

    We've decided (the Wife an I) to consolidate our calibers, sticking with .223 for our rifles (R700 and AR), and then either 9mm or .40s&w for our handguns (with the exception of me getting a 10mm like a G20).

    I have the models in my sig, and can not for the life of me decide which to keep. I plan on having a sub-compact, compact, and full-size or long slide of said caliber once we decide.

    I shot my 23 and 19 today for an hour or so (about 50+ rounds each), along with some .357 sig out of my 23 just because. I used 180gr winchester white box FMJ for the .40s&w, and a mix of either 124gr or 147gr Rem and Fed FMJ 9mm. The idea behind this exercise was to see which I shot better, then that would be the caliber I chose. Well, after various rounds of fire (6 rounds each time, with three targets one at about 10, 12, and 2 o'clock, 2 shots for each, varying in distance from 10-20 feet out), it seems I shoot both my 19 and 23 about the same. I'm still shooting a bit left, but my groups with each are similar.

    So here are the pros and cons I have so far, any input is appreciated.

    • Cheaper
    • More capacity (+2 over .40 with most all mags, except 26 is +1)
    • Lighter
    • More readily avaiable
    • Used by more government agencies, meaning more in circluation I believe

    • Seems less potent than .40 (this is assumed because of less felt recoil, feels like less "power")
    • No conversion barrels

    • Seems more potent (again due to felt recoil)
    • .40 Glock models have great conversion options (like .357sig)
    • Still very readily available
    • Used by plenty of government agencies, so there's plenty in circluation I believe
    • Uses same dyes as 10mm when reloading, which will be something I want to get into real soon; and I plan on owning a G20

    • Heavier
    • More expensive
    • Less capacity

    So, to recap. I'm not looking for someone to make up my mind. I just want to hear everyone's opinions on the two, why they chose one over the other, and of course to see if there's something else I'm missing that will maybe help me make this decision already :rofl:

    Thanks and God Bless!
  2. You have three guns chambered in 9mm, and two in .40S&W.

    Seems like an easy decision to me.

    I choose the 9mm because:

    - I shoot it better than .40
    - It is cheaper. I can practice more for the same amount of money
    - It is effective as a SD caliber
    - Higher capacity

    Edit: I forgot the 24 was chambered in .40.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010

  3. cyrsequipment

    cyrsequipment Angry

    Aug 8, 2004
    I made the same decision not too long ago. I went from 3 (9, 40, 45) calibers down to 2(9 and 45). My thoughts were to simplify shooting and to save money. The problem is, I ended up not carrying the 9s anymore at all and now just carry the .45s...
    Go with whatever you are most comfortable with...

    PS Wanna buy a couple Glock 9mms?
  4. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    I'd go with the 40 if I honestly shot it every bit as quickly and accurately as the 9. Capacity really isn't an issue like it is with 9/40 vs 45. If cost is important that would tilt it to the 9.
  5. glock031


    Jun 18, 2010
    Millitary aside, i don't believe that's a fact.
  6. Well my guess is you're not carrying a mortgage on your guns so reducing your count is not a money matter. They are most likely paid for. That leaves consolidation as the reason as you clearly stated.

    There is another option available to you. Don't get rid of any of them. Keep them. Reason for this is down the road someday, you might have a change of heart and start to think about adding that missing caliber back to your collection (this has happened to me and I'm sure, many others). Just store the ones you're now of a mind to let go. You may see this as a better alternative solution to your problem.
  7. Eagle22


    Feb 6, 2009
    Raleigh NC
    Which do you shoot better ?

    Pic that one.
  8. Brucev


    Jul 19, 2009
  9. muad

    muad Lifetime Member

    Dec 19, 2009
    Thanks for the excellent input everyone.

    @cyrsequipmen, if I do go 9mm, the only model I want to add is either a 34 or 17L. If you've got one of those, then my answer is Maybe :)

    @SouthernBoyVA, this is also an awesome Idea. You are correct, I own all my guns. I will add though, that the models I was going to "get rid" of, were going to help purchase the G20 and a RRA AR (the high-power matches are going on am Camp Perry, and they have sweet deals on RRA or Armalite ARs, SA 1911s, etc.

    @Eagle22, in my OP, I noted that I "seem" to shoot both equally well. My original plan was to do as you say, however that didn't work out too well.

    @Brucev, I think you've got some excellent points here too. My 26 is technically hers, but she never carries or fires it as she and my Mom both got some Pink Taurus 24/7 Pros in .40s&w. She likes to shoot her Taurus, but did say that if we go 9mm she will sell it (I just have to get her 26 duracoated Pink if she does :lol:) I think a trip to the backyard range is in order tonight for both of us, instead of just me.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  10. BadAndy


    Oct 2, 2004
    Irmo, SC
    I decided to switch to 9 from .40 and .45 because I can shoot more for less $$$ and I'm more accurate than with the others and can get back on target quicker.
  11. James Dean

    James Dean

    Jan 31, 2010
    East of Eden
    What he said. I have three 9mm and two .40 I shoot the 9mm a lot, but than when I do shoot the .40 again I know why I keep them. Than when I go back to 9mm again I know why I kept them too. Also you never know about ammo. I know both are popular so even in the worst times I think I could find one or the other.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  12. frank_drebin

    frank_drebin 1-man flash mob

    Jan 15, 2009
    Buy conversion barrels for the 40's and then there's no issue.
  13. slewfoot

    slewfoot Random Mayhem

    May 13, 2007
    S.E. Pa
    Is the wife a shooter? If so, which does she shoot best? Then go from there.

    I chose the 9mm, then sold off all of my 40 and 45 pistols and ammo. YMMV.
  14. muad

    muad Lifetime Member

    Dec 19, 2009
    That's something I have been seriously considering.

    As far as ammo goes, I also have about twice the stock in 9mm (maybe 1500+ rounds compared to like 600-700 in .40s&w)

    Another thing that makes this difficult is I LOVE my 23C and 24C. Maybe getting some 9mm barrels is the best route, then I can keep all my ammo and have two guns that can shoot three types of ammo reliably. Then add a 27 too.

  15. muad

    muad Lifetime Member

    Dec 19, 2009
    Yes she is. I'm lucky that the Wifey likes guns, and owns several (including a very nice R700 we just built her). So, we will be making time to go shoot ASAP (hopefully tonight if I'm lucky).
  16. at_liberty


    Jun 19, 2010
    Upstate SC
    If you matched the best caliber to the size and weight of gun, I think you would have 9mm in the smaller guns and 40 SW in the larger ones, very possibly a his and hers divide to a great extent. It is not just a matter of caliber. It is how that round is matched up with barrel length and mass of the gun. What you may need to do is either rethink the premise or standardize on a size or size range of barrel lengths, grip lengths, and weights. I am not sure were those thresholds are, but as an owner of three sizes of 40SW, the largest also having a steel frame, the impression given by the caliber very definitely depends on the gun you are shooting.

    I am not a fan of light loads in the .40SW as a way of taming it, making it a different gun in effect. I feel that either you can handle the gun for its intended purpose or you can't. If really put off by a gun, recoil in particular, don't shoot it. I would say sell it but have experienced regrets for the few guns I have sold.
  17. Where I last worked, there was a guy there that used to use the "well, it's not like you have a mortgage on your guns" approach.. and I have to admit, he was right. There have been many guns over the years which I have "found" a reason to sell, most often because I had the hots over some other gun and was developing excuses. Looking back, a lot of those guns should have stayed in my collection... because from time to time, I do find that I think about them and miss them.

    I have become very discriminating in my gun purchases, but on occasion, I enter into a buying frenzy. So it seems we are all slaves to our obsessions after all.
  18. jlavallee


    Jul 15, 2006
    Reno, NV
    I consolidated a while back. For SD my calibers are 9mm autos and .38/.357 in revolvers.

    I sold some autos and now have 2 P99's and a P99C as my auto line up (always a spare full size mag in each vehicle) along with speed strips in .38 spl +P+ so any carry revo is covered. It just makes sense and means I always have other spare ammo on hand beyond what I am carrying.

    An additional bonus is that I could buy in bulk for carry ammo and also consolidate holsters. With one type of auto and J frames as the carry guns it makes the cost of buying different rigs tolerable. To be honest, not playing holster shuffle was the biggest plus.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010
  19. Interesting thread guys. When my wife decided to take up shooting and get her CHL I was a dedicated 40 guy with one of each of the Glocks made in that caliber. My only 9MM was a Glock 34 which I used for IDPA. I borrowed a Glock 19 from a friend to train her on and she fell in love with it. She has been carrying that 19 ever sense.

    Shortly after she started shooting we went to the range together. Twice she mistakenly grabbed the wrong magazine (40 cal mag in her 9MM) and created a malfunction attempting to load the wrong caliber ammunition in her pistol. I realized that this type of error could get deadly very quickly, particularly in a home/self defense situation. I traded all of my 40cal Glocks for the equivalent 9MM models. Now any weapon either of us grab can use any full size magazine (the only size spares we use) that comes to hand. No trying to figure out what is what.
    This has worked well for us for the last 6 plus years. I hope this provides food for thought.

    Good luck to you and yours.
  20. muad

    muad Lifetime Member

    Dec 19, 2009
    t-shooter. That's a really good point. I was leaning towards the .40 models due to the fact that I could have three in one, but I'd hate for her to need one, grab a .40 mag, and I have the 9mm barrel in, or vise versa.

    We are going to shoot some targets tonight together, and which ever she shoots better will be the one we go with I think. I might keep one .40 model if we go with 9mm, just for a "play" gun to swap barrels and such.

    Thanks again everyone! I'll update once we get done tonight.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010