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G26 vs. G27 Ballistics

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by ES13Raven, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    Be cautious of accepting "ballistics comparisons" & "stopping power" guesstimates at face value.

    They're still just a couple of medium-bore defensive handguns chambered in a couple of the more popularly used service-type calibers.

    Yes, unless your fiancee is a skilled, well-practiced and experienced shooter, she's likely to feel the G26 offers her a more controllable shooting experience. Maybe still even if she is an experienced shooter. Some folks simply prefer the G26 to the G27 when it comes to felt recoil and how it's perceived, as well as overall recoil management. Just depends.

    I own both, myself. I've run a fair number of rounds through each subcompact (meaning more than 12K rounds of each caliber in the subcompact Glock 9/.40 models).

    Some other thoughts I recently posted in a similar thread elsewhere in this forum:

    Perception of felt recoil is very subjective and can easily vary among shooters, or even be experienced differently by the same shooter on different days, even using the same guns/ammo. Just depends.

    FWIW, I can generally distinguish between standard pressure, +P & +P+ in my various 9's, as long as I'm going slowly and paying attention, trying to notice the difference while engaged in slow-fire 'target type' shooting. That's probably because I'm relaxed, not distracted by expecting to be shot by the paper target and I'm expecting to be able to distinguish the difference.

    However, once I start running the guns in fast-paced, demanding courses-of-fire I don't often notice the difference. My attention is more focused on identifying designated threat targets from non-threat targets, doing whatever drills are being required during the various courses of fire, remaining aware of loading as needed (slide-lock) or by choice, using barricades/cover, moving & shooting, shooting while moving, doing both 1 & 2-handed shooting from either hand, etc. Too busy to try and distinguish the level of felt recoil.

    That said, I can usually notice a difference between shooting my similarly sized .40's and 9's, even when shooting 124gr +P & 127gr +P+ loads in my 9's.

    Problematic? Not so much. Then again, I've fired some ten's of thousands of rounds of .40 since I bought my first one back about 2000 (I presently own 5), and was later issued a couple of them at different times.

    I look at it as a training & familiarity issue.

    I've worked with some folks who are very sensitive and aware of the differences in felt recoil between most 9's & .40's, especially when we were using +P+ loads for a bit, and yet other folks weren't as aware of the difference. Just depended on the individual, and it wasn't always predictable by their expressed level of interest in shooting, their experience or their preference for any particular caliber.

    Even when running folks who claimed they couldn't notice a difference between 9/.40 through various drills, though, sometimes the timer would tell a different story, as they'd often be faster with the 9's, or at least less likely to anticipate recoil and miss shots.

    One thing I've noticed over the years since I've been shooting .40's, however, is that the more I work with my .40's, I not only do better with them, but I do better with my 9's, as well.

    A case in point is my 4040PD. It's essentially a 3913 made using a Scandium aluminum frame (for greater strength than the standard aluminum alloy), but chambered in .40 S&W.

    When I first bought it several years ago I felt it had significantly more recoil than my 3913, even when shooting +P+ loads (115gr & 127gr) in my 3913. That made sense to me at the time, as I'd also felt my 4013TSW had more felt recoil than my issued 6906 (used with 127gr +P+ duty loads). I sort of sidelined it in my safe, shooting my other .40's.

    Now, just the other day I decided to pull it from the safe and do some work with it while working a range session. I immediately noticed two things during the first couple of mag loads while doing a qual course-of-fire "cold" (no "warm up" after not having fired the gun for a few years).

    The gun exhibited excellent accuracy & controllability from the very first DA shot ... and the felt recoil just didn't seem as significantly greater than that of my 3913 (when I was recently using it with some +P & +P+ loads) as it did several years ago. Not like I remembered. Go figure.

    Something's changed in the last few years, and it probably wasn't the gun or the ammo.

    I guess the thing is that I can't presume to provide a definitive "answer" for anyone other than myself, and even that seems to be a bit variable over time, at least to some degree.

    If you have the opportunity to participate in a local IDPA event, consider running through one with guns in both calibers and seeing what you think about them in circumstances involving other than slow-fire target shooting from a static firing line or bench position.

    Just my thoughts.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  2. Bill1954


    Feb 6, 2006
    South Carolina
    That's my personal opinion biased on my experience. I don't carry any of those myself. I keep a Glock 29SF with 165g 10mm 1400 fps hollow points with me. :) you know, the way a .40 was meant to be.

    Kamikaze, in my opinion, you hit the nail on the head . The 10mm is a .40 caliber magnum. And if I want a large bullet with a lower velocity I'll use a .45. As I said before, just my two cents.

  3. DocKWL


    May 15, 2009
    Teach her, "Nose over toes."
  4. NG VI

    NG VI

    Feb 20, 2008
    Every gun is different. Some have much faster barrels than others, so you will frequently see shorter barreled guns actually out-doing longer barreled ones, the difference between the 26/27 and the next size up is only a half inch. Different lots of ammo will be slightly different as well. The 30 feet per second thing is a pretty good general estimate.

    Energy numbers are useless, these are service-caliber pistols, not varmint rifles. A well designed bullet will easily outperform a poorly designed bullet loaded hotter. The difference between 9mm and .40 is basically invisible with current loads, it's nothing like the difference between 5.56 and .308. When the .40 was introduced, handgun bullet design was basically still in the toddler phase of its life. All we really knew was that light and fast bullets expanded ok when you made a hole in their nose, but didn't penetrate well at all, and heavyweight bullets could be unreliable expanders if they just had a hole stuck in their nose.

    .40 worked particularly well because it has enough mass and momentum to penetrate well almost regardless of how fragile the bullet is, unless you load it with 135s, and it had enough space to put a pretty large cavity in the nose, which combined with it's fairly high standard velocities allowed it to work pretty well even with the older generic JHP designs even in heavyweight configurations.

    It also was developed right in the middle of a major period of improvement for JHP designs, so there weren't a whole lot of truly old-tech JHPs ever introduced in .40.

    There has been a ton of improvements to handgun bullet design in the last twenty-odd years, the JHPs of today don't need to be driven as fast as possible to be super reliable and consistent performers, lightweight bullets offer almost no benefits compared to heavyweights now, and velocity and energy are pretty much meaningless as long as you aren't shooting something that's been loaded well below the caliber's potential.

    "Power" of a cartridge doesn't really have any bearing on terminal effectiveness when you're talking about handgun bullets, and it's pretty flexible anyway. Bullet design directly influences effectiveness. Energy is even more meaningless.
  5. NG VI

    NG VI

    Feb 20, 2008
    For the first paragraph, you know that higher velocity pistol rounds tend to penetrate less than lower velocity ones right? Higher velocity aids expansion, which increases drag and reduces sectional density, both of which greatly affect penetration. High mass and momentum increase penetration, velocity also increases it if all other variables stay the same, but with expanding bullets other forces and dynamics more than overrule the penetration increase gained from a higher velocity.

    For the second, I hear you. I actually recently was in a thread where the consensus was that because 9mm +P+ and .357 Sig have the same chamber pressures, they are ballistically identical. That's clearly not true, the .357 has 50% greater case capacity, and chamber pressure is not the only thing going on in internal ballistics, not even close.

    It's not slower than 9mm if you are comparing similar bullet weights. I don't mean a 124 grain .40, I mean a bullet with a similar sectional density. I think the 155 .40 is about the same as a 124 grain 9mm, and the 155 at 1200 feet per second is an absolutely typical load. In 124, a lot of loads are 1150 feet per second, the 124+P that's doing so well for the NYPD and others tends to be loaded to 1200 FPS or in Speer's case just slightly above that. 147-180, both bullets tend to be loaded to 1000 FPS, sometimes they get loaded a little slower, sometimes a little faster, but 1000 is a pretty typical goal.

    So the 9mm and .40, when comparing defense/duty-type loads with equivalent bullet weights, travel pretty much exactly the same speeds. Terminally the .40 behaves like an oversized 9mm. It uses similar sectional densities at similar speeds, but with more mass and diameter. It's not free, it does have higher recoil and a little less magazine capacity in the same platforms, but it does bring something to the table.

    I agree completely that when used with appropriate ammunition, there's no practical difference between the service caliber handguns.

    .40 isn't necessarily lower velocity, unless you load it that way intentionally.
  6. NG VI

    NG VI

    Feb 20, 2008
    Fastbolt's post is the best one yet I think. Lots of great information in there.