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  #1  
Old 03-30-2010, 08:10 PM
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Default .40 cal vs 9mm

what are the main difference with these 2 calibers

regarding price firepower etc
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:09 PM
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IMHO there is little difference between the two. The only advantage of the 9mm over the .40 S&W is a few more rounds stuffed into a semi auto pistol if you are into that sort of thing. I have a 17 shot S&W M&P-9 that I feel quite comfortable with, in case of zombie attack you know.
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corbach View Post
what are the main difference with these 2 calibers

regarding price firepower etc
To generalize, about 30 years ago there was an influx of high capacity 9mm pistols in the American market. Gun magazines of the day dubbed them the "Wonder Nine's". Almost immediately there was a great debate of which carry theory was best, the big and slow .45 ACP round in pistols with 7 or 8 round magazines, or the smaller and faster 9mm round in pistols with at least twice the ammo capacity.

Pistols, as well as 9mm and .45 ACP ammo, have evolved and developed greatly in the past 30 years. A big part of that developement was impacted by the Clinton era gun laws and the effect on limiting magazines to 10 rounds. Since magazines were limited to 10 rounds during this period, the 9mm pistols took on a different persona, they became more compact while a gun that could hold near 10 rounds of .45 ACP were naturally larger.

Enter the .40 S&W. (For the sake of the story, I'm going to totally ignore it's development from the 10mm). The .40 S&W round was short enough that it could be used on 9mm sized frames, hence a smaller handgun. Yet the .40 S&W would get you about 85% of the ballistic ability of the .45 ACP. In summary, not quite .45 performance on a smaller 9mm framed handgun, the great compromise.

Personally, I own 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP handguns, and my favorite round is the .40.
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:41 PM
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The 9mm cost less (ammo), carry more rounds, and have better recoil.

The .40, is just 12% bigger than the 9mm.

I use and carry 9mm all they long.
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:53 PM
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A 9mm needs to have +P+ to be similar to a .40.
Why buy a 6 cylinder and soup it up when you can buy an 8 cylinder from the start?


As far as recoil goes my 105# 5'3" wife couldn't tell the difference between a 9mm and a .40, both fired from the same size XD.
So recoil is a personal thing. So she has the .40 now.
She doesn't like to fire my 340sc 12oz J-Frame with .357mag just for a reference.

Its all personal preference.
My preference is that any handgun defense round should start with .4
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:55 PM
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My opinion is that the .40 is better than the .45 and 9 because it's newer and as Evan Marshall says (paraphrasing) "there are no bad loads". It runs at higher velocities than the .45, so expansion will be less problematic from compact pistols and the .40 can work in smaller frames and yield more capacity.

The 9mm needs the best modern ammo to hang with it's .40-something big brothers. It is however, the king of round count.

Really the 9, .40 and .45 are all great calibers and one should work as well as the next with the best modern loads.
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Old 03-30-2010, 10:35 PM
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Well I am made to believe that the 40, is so powerful and over whelming. That just shouting at the bad guy that you have a 40 he will fall over near dead. Also that if you fire a 40 and miss, but get close say a few inches, it will create a fatal wound and drop the bad guy dead on the spot.

Seriously, the 40 is ok. I dont love it, it my least favorite round. Id rather shoot 9s or 45s. 40 has an odd funny recoil kinda like a rubber band snapping against your hand. Maybe I need to try 40 in a metal gun rather than plastic?

If you are mainly shooting paper, the 9 is a much better choice, for cost alone. It will still be a good defensive round with modern ammo.

As for price of ammo, in target rounds. Around here 50box of 9mm is still $9.99. 4tay is about about $14.99 for 50.

Try then both, see what you like best...
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Old 03-30-2010, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by wheelgun28 View Post
Also that if you fire a 40 and miss, but get close say a few inches, it will create a fatal wound and drop the bad guy dead on the spot.
True

Quote:
As for price of ammo, in target rounds. Around here 50box of 9mm is still $9.99. 4tay is about about $14.99 for 50.
Around here they're charging $14 for 50 9mm and $17 for 50 .40.

I'm a big time .40 fan. I love it, swear by it, carry it, shoot it often, and stock pile it. However, it definitely has a different feel than 9mm or .45 as far as recoil. Much more snap. It's the only drawback, but once you're used to it you don't notice. I shoot my .40 better than any auto loader.
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:01 PM
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Well I am made to believe that the 40, is so powerful and over whelming. That just shouting at the bad guy that you have a 40 he will fall over near dead. Also that if you fire a 40 and miss, but get close say a few inches, it will create a fatal wound and drop the bad guy dead on the spot.

Seriously, the 40 is ok. I dont love it, it my least favorite round. Id rather shoot 9s or 45s. 40 has an odd funny recoil kinda like a rubber band snapping against your hand. Maybe I need to try 40 in a metal gun rather than plastic?

If you are mainly shooting paper, the 9 is a much better choice, for cost alone. It will still be a good defensive round with modern ammo.

As for price of ammo, in target rounds. Around here 50box of 9mm is still $9.99. 4tay is about about $14.99 for 50.

Try then both, see what you like best...
I've shot the .40 out of a metal gun and it still sucks lol

The best gun that I've found that can take the .40 is the M&P40FS
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:10 PM
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40 S&W has a ballistic advantage over 9mm and more "stopping power". However, in just about every other aspect (price, compactness, recoil, availability) 9mm wins. It really depends on what you are looking for.

Me personally? If I had to bet my life on it? Well my daily carry conceal is a 45 ACP. If I couldn't have that, between these options, it would be a 40 then a 9mm.

Finally, shot placement wins out over all. You can stop a threat with a 22 if you place the shot right.
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:21 PM
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Hmmmm........ let me think.....uhhh.....oh yeah, Fourty
Carry what you can shoot - Shoot what you can carry.
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:25 PM
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.40 caliber has diameter of .40 and 9mm has diameter of .355. The .40 uses bullets as low as 135 grain and as high as 200 grain. The 9mm generally likes bullets between 115 and 147 grain best, although there are exceptions. The .40 is thought to be a more effective "stopper" in loads traditionally available to the public, whereas the 9mm does not really get into the exceptional stopping power percentages unless you have the +P+ law enforcement only loads. Some might argue with this, but everyone has an opinion on this topic. If you are comfortable with a 38 special revolver, the 9mm is for you. If you like .45s and .357 Magnums, you will probably prefer the .40 S&W.
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Old 04-04-2010, 01:16 PM
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Personal opinion will be effected by the type gun you shoot, the way the gun feels in your hands, your ability to control the recoil and a few other things.

I have a Glock and a S&W in 9mm. I would rather shoot the S&W.

I have a Glock and a S&W in .40. I would rather shoot the Glock.

I have a Colt and S&W in .45. I would rather shoot the Colt.

For self defense, I feel more confident with the .40 followed closely by the .45 but would not hesistate to use the 9mm if need be.

True enough, the 9mm is cheaper to purchase, cheaper to shoot, somewhat easier to carry and has more capacity. I find it fun to shoot but then I like to shoot my S&W .22 as well.

Just as correct is the fact that those defending the 9mm are those that pretty much only owns a single handgun and that being a 9mm. Never offer to swap them a larger gun even because you will be out a larger caliber and they will then be on the flip side of the 9mm.
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:10 PM
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From what I've seen recently, the 9mm has lost it's cost advantage over the 40 caliber. After a full year of being totally devoid of 9mm of any description, the one local Walmart that has been able to keep some handgun ammunition in stock just recently started getting in some 9mm. Fiocci FMJ, at 16.97 per box of 50. That aint cheap. Until the recent price hike, Federal FMJ in the 40 S&W was 13.97 per box of 50, now I think it's also 16.97 however it was out of stock and the saleperson didn't know the new price.

Currently, the most widely used caliber in Law Enforcement is the 40 caliber and sales volume is a huge determanent for price. At one time, the cheapest major caliber that could be found was the 38 spl. and it's because at that time it was the caliber carried in almost every Cops revolver. When the Police forces moved to the semi auto, it was initially into the 9mm for it's greater capacity and similarity in recoil to the 38 spl. So, for a great many years the most widely sold ammunition was the 9mm Parabellum and it became very inexpensive. Now, due to reported failures of the 9mm in terms of stopping power, police forces have taken up the 40 caliber. If NATO ever decide to take up the 40 caliber, it will rapidly become the least expensive ammo you can shoot, until then 9mm and 40 will be very similar in cost.

As for stopping power, the 9mm, 40 caliber, and 45 ACP are all moderate power handgun calibers. This means that none offer true 1 shot stopping power without optimum shot placement. IMO, one is better served by picking one caliber and learning how to master it. I also think that in large part the caliber debate has largely devolved into a mechanism largely used to generate new sales in both ammunition and handguns.

That said, I happen to favor the 40 caliber. For basically the same reason why I prefer a 22 ounce hammer over a 16 ounce hammer, I get a heavier hit with a bit less apparent effort. Due to the local shortage of 9mm in my area for the past year, I am really liking my choice even more.
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:49 PM
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I had a guy today tell me that the GLOCK34 I was carrying on duty in uniform was a poor choice, "because after people are hit with a 9mm they just tend to walk away from you".

How funny. I thought a 124-gr Gold Dot at 1300-fps was nearly into .357-Magnum territory.

I'm going to have to completely re-think this whole 9mm thing before I wake up and go to work. I do have a Glock22 which I do not like to shoot as much as the 34.

Decisions... decisions.
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:49 AM
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I had a guy today tell me that the GLOCK34 I was carrying on duty in uniform was a poor choice, "because after people are hit with a 9mm they just tend to walk away from you".

How funny. I thought a 124-gr Gold Dot at 1300-fps was nearly into .357-Magnum territory.

I'm going to have to completely re-think this whole 9mm thing before I wake up and go to work. I do have a Glock22 which I do not like to shoot as much as the 34.

Decisions... decisions.
I work with a guy that calls them rubber bullets. All that I do is just shake my head at him lol
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:37 AM
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There are three critical factors in handgun bullet performance, bullet placement, bullet placement and bullet placement. The best gun for self-defense is the one you have with you when you need it.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:40 AM
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I believe that there is enough difference in the two rounds that I choose the .40 over the 9mm.
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:50 PM
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The .40 has been killing people for about 130 years now, they just used to call it a .38/40 - .40 caliber 180 grain bullet at 950 fps out of a handgun.

It used to have a great reputation as a "hard shooter" and was greatly favored by lawmen in the southwest.

Somehow if you make it work in a shorter case and then load a whole hatful of them into a fast shooting pistol it becomes "Short & Weak".

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Old 04-07-2010, 02:09 PM
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"Stopping power" is a myth. Entertainment has created unrealistic expectations.

Pick whichever you shoot the best and can afford to practice with the most. Shot placement is far more important than minor differences in diameter.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:45 AM
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This thread saved me some trouble, I have several 9mms and no 40's I have a chance to buy a G23 really cheaply. Ammo arund here is 15 or 16 dollars for 9 and 19 to 21 dollars for 40 so not much of a price change.

The other gun is a G19 but i already have a 17, 26 and 34 and a few S&W nines and my lovely CZ's. I also have 45s and like them too, I almost bought a 357 sig but if I buy a 40 I can buy a Sig barrel.


I shoot the 9mm almost weeky, I expect I can practice with the 40 too.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WR Moore View Post
"Stopping power" is a myth. Entertainment has created unrealistic expectations.

Pick whichever you shoot the best and can afford to practice with the most. Shot placement is far more important than minor differences in diameter.
Very well said.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:27 AM
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Default 357 Sig

You want the best of both worlds get a 357 SIG...gut wrenching power of a 45 with the stopping power of a 357....and capacity of a 40.
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Old 04-08-2010, 03:38 PM
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You want the best of both worlds get a 357 SIG....
Not to mention all the effects of a flash-bang with every shot. The shooter may not notice, everyone else certainly will.
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:59 AM
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From what I've seen recently, the 9mm has lost it's cost advantage over the 40 caliber. After a full year of being totally devoid of 9mm of any description, the one local Walmart that has been able to keep some handgun ammunition in stock just recently started getting in some 9mm. Fiocci FMJ, at 16.97 per box of 50. That aint cheap. Until the recent price hike, Federal FMJ in the 40 S&W was 13.97 per box of 50, now I think it's also 16.97 however it was out of stock and the saleperson didn't know the new price.

Currently, the most widely used caliber in Law Enforcement is the 40 caliber and sales volume is a huge determanent for price. At one time, the cheapest major caliber that could be found was the 38 spl. and it's because at that time it was the caliber carried in almost every Cops revolver. When the Police forces moved to the semi auto, it was initially into the 9mm for it's greater capacity and similarity in recoil to the 38 spl. So, for a great many years the most widely sold ammunition was the 9mm Parabellum and it became very inexpensive. Now, due to reported failures of the 9mm in terms of stopping power, police forces have taken up the 40 caliber. If NATO ever decide to take up the 40 caliber, it will rapidly become the least expensive ammo you can shoot, until then 9mm and 40 will be very similar in cost.

As for stopping power, the 9mm, 40 caliber, and 45 ACP are all moderate power handgun calibers. This means that none offer true 1 shot stopping power without optimum shot placement. IMO, one is better served by picking one caliber and learning how to master it. I also think that in large part the caliber debate has largely devolved into a mechanism largely used to generate new sales in both ammunition and handguns.

That said, I happen to favor the 40 caliber. For basically the same reason why I prefer a 22 ounce hammer over a 16 ounce hammer, I get a heavier hit with a bit less apparent effort. Due to the local shortage of 9mm in my area for the past year, I am really liking my choice even more.
scooter123 you just hit the sweet spot on this debate. I've been shooting & reloading for three decades and I prefer the 9mm for a CCW but that's me. My favorite caliber to carry on a back woods hunt is the .41 magnum with a 3 inch barrel. Your statement about choosing the caliber you like and "learning" to shoot it well is the whole enchilada in a nutshell. Practice, practice & more practice. Unless you're covered in body armor from head to toe my 9mm is going to take you out!
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:54 AM
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From what I've seen recently, the 9mm has lost it's cost advantage over the 40 caliber. After a full year of being totally devoid of 9mm of any description, the one local Walmart that has been able to keep some handgun ammunition in stock just recently started getting in some 9mm.

As for stopping power, the 9mm, 40 caliber, and 45 ACP are all moderate power handgun calibers. This means that none offer true 1 shot stopping power without optimum shot placement. IMO, one is better served by picking one caliber and learning how to master it.
I agree with this...

I have both 9mm and 40 S&W pistols. I used to really like the 9mm, just to use for the most inexpensive full-size pistol ammo. Of course I also like my 22lr for that too, however over the past few months both 22lr and 9mm were not to be found. Although that is slowly changing, in my area they are not as inexpensive as they once were and the difference in 9mm and 40 S&W has narrowed.

No pistol is a magic ray gun that will vaporize a target by simply grazing it when fired. Handguns are a compromise in size and compactness from the firepower of an adequate long-gun. Hopefully none of us will ever have to use either our long-guns or hand-guns for anything other the range, or hunting. In the meantime I'm sure we'll each have opinions of which caliber serves us best for the purpose we use them for.
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:21 AM
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The 9mm could rightfully be called the perfect auto pistol cartridge.
It is basically the world standard pistol and sub machine gun round.
Don't hold your breath waiting for the slightly larger dia. high pressure
.40 cal. to kick the 9mm to the curb outside the US.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:51 PM
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THE 40 SW IS A ******* CASTRATED 10MM. Not as good as a 45acp and no better than a 9mm. Its like the old 16ga shotshell, not as good as a 12ga and no better than a 20ga. Have no use for the 40SW .
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:36 PM
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Sorry to be slightly off topic but thought this video comparing the 9 vs 45 using corbon dpx was interesting. Watch all way to the end (after the chart). "Terminal performance is functionally identical"

Will repost link.

Think this will work.




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Old 08-07-2013, 10:33 PM
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what are the main difference with these 2 calibers

regarding price firepower etc
The main difference... .40 S&W offers a little more bullet weight and size. All things equal, the 9mm will offer more rounds and a higher velocity with standard weight bullets. Either round is extremely effective for HD/SD use. In the same frames... for instance the Glock 17/22 or the equivalent S&W M&P frames, most people will consider that the .40 S&W has a snappier recoil. From what I've read, the 9mm offers better penetration than the .40 S&W and either will do better than the .45 ACP. Then again, someone will drop a slightly heavier recoil spring into the same pistol and the .40 S&W will be about like the 9mm... just with a larger heavier bullet. For a very well trained shooter, there will be very little if any difference in the rate of fire that can be produced with either round. Shooters who do not get to fire hundreds of rounds each week will likely find that the 9mm allows them to sustain a higher accurate rate of fire.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:51 PM
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Default "RUBBER BULLETS"

Then I suppose this guy wouldn't mind catching a few of them. I have both and like both. both will get the job done fine if you do your part. in a smaller/lighter gun for cc I'd opt for the 9mm. the 40 to me has a fast/snappy feeling recoil, worse than the 45's slow shove. for the fastest controlled 2nd shot it's hard to beat the 9mm or 38 special imo.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:20 AM
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In theory a bigger bullet is better. But in the end, they are handgun rounds and all of them have been known to succeed and fail. One isn't better than the other.

In guns the same size and weight, I can put 4 or 5 effective hits on target with a 9MM faster than most people can with a larger caliber.

And I don't buy this "Has to start with a 4" BS. It only shows the lack of understanding of how handgun calibers perform.

I tried the 40. Had several of them. I wasn't impressed. But it is purely a personal decision. Whatever you choose, make it work for you and move on.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:41 AM
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...And I don't buy this "Has to start with a 4" BS...

WHAT??!! You mean those ol' drunk duffers BS'ng in the VFW in the past were spinning yarns? LOL!!


As someone mentioned, Hollywood has convinced many that the .45 ACP is a "death ray" and also that anyone shot gives up the ghost on the spot. The sadder part is that some of those people serve on juries.
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Old 08-08-2013, 12:50 AM
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Heh... Return of the Necrothread.

I was happy with the 9mm before, and if I ever own another autoloading pistol (which is unlikely), I will happily put my trust in the 9mm again. Easy cartridge to shoot, not terribly expensive, all the capacity one could ask for, and you have your choice of very well-regarded loadings like the Speer Gold Dot 124 gr. +P or Winchester Ranger-T 147 gr., both of which were my favorites.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:11 PM
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This picture shows the expansion cavity and penetration for 9, 357 sig, 40 & 45 JHP. Pretty good illustration that all these calibers will work great for self defense. If you consider some of the new SD ammo out now like Hornady's critical defense, it comes down to what caliber your most comfortable shooting.
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Ammo Thread, .40 cal vs 9mm in Ammunition-Gunsmithing; what are the main difference with these 2 calibers regarding price firepower etc...
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What is 40 CAL VS 9MM AMMO COST? This thread Refback 02-07-2014 11:53 PM
What is 40 CAL VS 9MM AMMO COST? This thread Refback 04-20-2013 09:56 AM
40 Caliber vs 9Mm This thread Refback 01-26-2013 12:40 AM
What is IS THEIR MUCH DIFFERENCE 9MM AND 40MM PISTOL ROUND? This thread Refback 01-15-2013 05:21 PM

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