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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids
    Posts
    101

    .40 cal versus 9mm. Opinons?

    Hi! I was shopping around for an onduty weapon and had pretty much narrowed it down to either a Beretta 92FS or a Glock 22 (for .40 cal) [or a Glock 17 for a 9mm]. What are everyone's opinions on .40 cal versus the 9mm? Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    821
    I have no problems with the Glock 17 9mm. It is reliable and virtually indestructable. I would prefer the 40 cal though.. More stopping power and in my opinion more appropriate for law enforcement.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    6,371
    In the words of a former ATF firearms technologist and dear friend, " The .380 (9mm kurz) is for people who will get annoyed and shoot back; the 9mm is for an expert under laboratory conditions; over .4 we are talking serious people and serious business."
    ret.

  4. #4
    nwohsy Guest
    Size matters, go with the .40...

  5. #5
    johnh Guest
    Carry the biggest gun you can shoot well. FWIW, the Beretta is a huge pistol for 9mm. It tends to have a lot of trigger overtravel and the quality varies widely. If you need to carry a 9mm, you probably have small hands and would be better served with a single stack like a Sig P239.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Nationwide
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    1,580
    .40S&W is the best combination of velocity and bullet mass that you can get, you are essentially shooting .45ACP bullet mass at 9mm velocity. A 155 grain (as close as you can get to a .357 magnum in an automatic) .40S&W hollow point will punch through car doors, windshields, and even some body armor at about 1250 feet per second. You can't beat the all around combination. I so wish that I still carried a .40 instead of the 9mm on steriods that I do now (.357SIG). Good luck, stay safe.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    39

    Find a rental range...

    You'll get a lot of responses for which caliber....

    My response is to highlight rental guns at ranges. As someone had mentioned, the Beretta is a wide gun with a lot of trigger travel. My medium sized hands have always had an interesting time at the qualifying range. Luckily for whom I work with now, has the full size Glock and I shoot consistently (even with the G17).

    Find out what ammo is authorized and buy a couple boxes. Go for a test drive...

    Regards!
    -P

    p.s. (.40)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    351
    Quote Originally Posted by johnh
    Carry the biggest caliber gun you can shoot well.

  9. #9
    Erik Guest
    Shot placement is key.

    That said, the .40 S&W trumps the 9mm in every category I've ever heard serious shooters consider.

    Oh, and I prefer the 160ish grain/weight bullet myself.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New York State
    Posts
    1,785

    icon31.gif

    9mm or .40. I'll take the 9mm, as long as the the case is rimmed and is stamped .357mag.

    Seriously, shoot them both and which ever you can shoot better, go with it. Just remember shooting well is part caliber, part mental, and part ergonomics. A great caliber won't make a bad gun good.
    "There is no second place winner"-- Bill Jordan

  11. #11
    johnh Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by kennethm3
    .40S&W is the best combination of velocity and bullet mass that you can get, you are essentially shooting .45ACP bullet mass at 9mm velocity. A 155 grain (as close as you can get to a .357 magnum in an automatic) .40S&W hollow point will punch through car doors, windshields, and even some body armor at about 1250 feet per second. You can't beat the all around combination. I so wish that I still carried a .40 instead of the 9mm on steriods that I do now (.357SIG). Good luck, stay safe.
    I would respectfully disagree. I don't mean to beat a dead horse but let me briefly state my case:

    Handgun rounds rely on direct contact to create their wounds. Rifle rounds can produce hydrostatic shock but handguns simply don't do that due to their lower velocities.

    The study of handgun wounds is a study of collision forces. When you start studying the issue from the perspective of collision forces, you quickly realize that momentum, not velocity, it the key to wounding potential. Momentum is largely a result of the bullet's mass (or weight for non-purists). Energy is a very closely tied to velocity and lighter, quicker bullets will always have more paper value than bullets with lots of momentum.

    The classic example of energy versus momentum is to consider being charged by a bear. You can grab either a 243 or a 45/70. Most people intuitively reach for the 45/70 because they know its a big bullet and it penetrates deeply. However, if you look at the rounds on paper, several 243 loads have more energy than some 45/70 rounds. If you only look at energy you'd pick the 243 over the 45/70 to kill bears and we know that doesn't work.

    To compare 45 caliber handgun wounds to 40 S&W, especially the lighter 40 S&W loads, is disingenuous. The classic 45 caliber load is a 230 grain projectile. Such a projectile weighs roughly 50% more than a 155 grain load. There really is not comparison at all as the momentum of the 45 load will be much greater than the 155 gr 40 S&W load.

    FWIW, if you want near 357 magnum performance, look at the 135 grain 40 S&W loads, they really smoke.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    163
    We have had 4 LEO Involved shootings here in our County since 1997. All with the .40...


    3 City PD

    Glock 22 .40 Fed HydraShock 180 gr
    2 out of 3 shootings = good guy shot bad guys in cars
    all 3 bad guys DOA



    1 County SO

    Sig 229 .40 Ranger SXT 180 gr
    bad guy in car
    bad guy DOA


    I'm sold on the .40!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA.
    Posts
    666
    We've had four LEO involved shootings here in the last two months. All involved .40 and turned out quite successful. Having actually shot someone on duty with my Glock 22 .40, I would have to attest to it's stopping power and reliability. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Of course, we used to issue the Glock 17 9mm, which more than proved itself during LEO involved shootings. Shot placement, and handling yourself under the stress of the momment is the key. Choose a caliber you can shoot accurately and feel comfortable with.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    6,371
    this is the great topic of people who use guns for serious purpose, which is not to wave them around hoping magic happens. ATF went from the 9mm Sig to the .40 S&W. Found out that it did not impact agent performance negatively.

    First rule of this is you have to put it in there. Great NYPD studies on this. Placement, placement. Person that puts it home with a .22 rimfire is more deadly that the guy who puts good weight at good speed where it is slow to count. Placement is part training, and part ergonomics of the platform and part how well officers put it in there. 9 is great but .40S&W with a serious transition is not a drawback. (also great info from NYPD why convenient carry other than strong hand side is a saps play).

    Second rule of this is that handguns are great wounding but not great killing weapons. Just can't match that 12 guage or a .500 Nitro Express Elephant gun for putting a relatively small animal down. Handgun wounds are less about destruction of the central nervous system (excellent shot) than about bleed out, weakness and unconsciousness. More wound in the right place -it is over sooner. Just know this, walking dead men have killed cops. Cover and tactics are as important as throw weight.

    Third rule is consistency. Yeah, you are a pro but we have to send teams in. Waco story, very dear friend of mine. Getting the crap blown out of them in there, my bud could function to cover them out. They passed their mags to him as they all withdrew. What you prefer will be compromised in favor of the whole cohort and should be.

    Gunfighting is the intersection of physics, biology and psychology. Where they intersect with the group you are in is where you need to pick.

    Last rule is economics, rather burn agency fodder than some one off on my dime. Did I mention that placement is the first rule? Shooting publicly funded bullets in the right place is about training and practice. Free is excellent.
    ret.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    2,579
    Quote Originally Posted by ATF SAC
    . . . also great info from NYPD why convenient carry other than strong hand side is a saps play . . .
    Any idea who to contact about getting that info? I know a few shoulder holster fanatics that should probably read it.
    "What we need are critical lovers of America - patriots who express their faith in their country by working to improve it." - Hubert Humphrey


 

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