9mm vs .40 sw vs .45 acp


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pant3ra
07-05-2009, 09:53 AM
not sure if this thread had been made in this forum before, I just want to hear people's opinions and their logic behind the opinion. :D

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Richard
07-05-2009, 10:31 AM
Simple answer and what is that? Any of these calibers will work well with a good load. My choice? I like 45acps but that is just me. Next, I would opt for a 9mm and my last choice is the 40 S&W. Why? Again, I do not see a lot that a 40 S&W round does that a good 9mm load doesn't do as well. Welcome to the board and regards, Richard :)

XD45
07-05-2009, 10:36 AM
Shot placement is more important than the caliber. What gun in which caliber do you shoot better with? Of course the smaller the bore the more you can store, but most armed confrontations are settled in a few shots. That said, I prefer heavy .45 cal +P loads. I can shoot them accurately, and physics is physics. With 2 to center of mass then one to the head it is rather academic when you're talking 9x19 and above. Shot placement trumps. Even if someone is armored, at close range a double tap to the solar plexus of the goblin will stop them long enough for you to get away, or take them out if necessary. Of course throwing less lead costs less as well.

Sir Knight
07-05-2009, 10:38 AM
This may be oversimplified but ... 9mm - with modern ammo, the 9mm CAN be as effective as a .45ACP. The key word here is "can". While a 9mm CAN expand, the .45ACP will not shrink.


.40S&W - pretty much the 9mm's bigger sibling. Anything that the 9mm can do, the .40S&W can do better or at least just as well.


.45ACP - still the king of the hill but depending on the round and barrel length, can be challenged by the .40S&W. ... If all things were equal, I'd prefer the .45ACP. However, rarely are all things equal. Typically one can get sixteen rounds of 9mm, twelve rounds of .40S&W and eight rounds of .45ACP in the same size package. Using these numbers, I prefer the .40S&W. If gives 50% more rounds than the .45ACP at or near the performance of the .45ACP. And while I may have 25% less rounds than in a 9mm, given the fact that 1-2 rounds of .40S&W can do about the same thing as 2-3 rounds of 9mm, I still think that the .40S&W still gives me the best edge.

All of that said, I would not feel underarmed with any of these rounds and depending on circumstances, carry all of them. Generally speaking, I go with the .45ACP in large & med-size guns during the colder months. The 9mm in compact & sub-compact guns during the warmer months and the .40S&W in compact and mid-size gun all year round.

jimfox
07-05-2009, 03:32 PM
Sir Knight has pretty much covered the rational reasons for favoring one over another. Me, I pretty much favor the .45 ACP although I admit to a fondness for the Browning High Power (in 9mm, not .40 S&W).

Mostly for CC I carry a Kimber Compact CDP in .45 ACP - but in cooler month I sometimes carry a Colt 10mm. If I'm going to consider a .40, then I would prefer the 10mm and not the .40 S&W.

gmcfixer
07-05-2009, 03:33 PM
My preference

45ACP followed by 9mm and 40 S&W

Dave Z

Popeye
07-05-2009, 03:43 PM
In order

.45 ACP
.357 SIG
9x19mm
.40 S&W

budroe
07-05-2009, 03:46 PM
I prefer the .45acp or .40, but am carrying the 9mm for work these days. I don't feel undergunned by any means with the nine. In a good pistol, any of the three calibers will get the job done.

gmcfixer
07-05-2009, 07:03 PM
In order

.45 ACP
.357 SIG
9x19mm
.40 S&W

Well if we are going to add a caliber I'll put the 38 Super between the 45 ACP and 9mm, that includes variations like 9X23 and 38 Super Comp. Just prefer not to use a bottle neck in a pistol (and no I don't have a good reason for that.)

Dave Z

Barkley
07-05-2009, 08:10 PM
In an auto I prefer the 45. Yes shot placement is the primary thing. That being said a 45 is more likely to turn off an adversary than a 45. Yes they make better bullets for the 9mm now. Same argument applies for the 45. Using the same quality of ammo a 45 will be more effective. I'll carry one whenever I can.

SafetyFirst
07-05-2009, 11:56 PM
.45 for all the reasons listed above. Something is better than nothing... but if you really NEED 19 rounds (XDm) of 9mm.... either your accuracy needs work or you are in a gun battle with a small army against you. Either case you are screwed. I go right down the line:
.45
.40
9mm
I carry them in that order of frequency as well.

lookingforthewayback
07-06-2009, 01:27 AM
I prefer the 9MM because I have a small hand. I also practice quite a bit and the 9MM is cheaper to shoot if you do 100 - 150 rounds a week.
2 shots to center mass and one to the head or hip joint with 147 Gr Federal HST will stop anyone.

twmccloskey
07-06-2009, 08:06 AM
I prefer the 9MM because I have a small hand. I also practice quite a bit and the 9MM is cheaper to shoot if you do 100 - 150 rounds a week.
2 shots to center mass and one to the head or hip joint with 147 Gr Federal HST will stop anyone.

look into the 45GAP. It is a 45 ACP in a smaller package..about the same as a 9mm.

A thousand years ago when I was issued my first duty weapon, my training officer gave me some words of wisdom.

According to uncle George:

"When you must carry a pistol everyday, practice with it and buy ammunition you will want a single stack 22LR. The first time some SOB shoots at you you will want something in 50 Browning and belt fed. Now you must decide on the compromise."

At the Federal Firearms Training Center In Glenco GA..

I will not tell you what to carry, however, if there is not a 4 in the caliber, do not bother to go armed.

I carry two weapons from time to time. One is a 45ACP Para Companion LDA, The other is a Rossi 44 Special revolver with a 3 inch barrel.

I do not carry my 1911s any more because I do not want to carry "Cocked and Locked." With these two it is pull the trigger, no other movements required. I am not shooting a long distance, I do expect to be accurate at 7 yards. Beyond 7 yards it will tough to sell to the District Attorney the self defense story.

The 45 ACP is point of aim to 100 yards, it will cause a goblin to sit down and concentrate on their breathing. It is the gold standard.

The 44 Special is a monster. It has almost the exact stats as the 45 ACP. The 44 Mag is silly, I might need a follow up shot on another target, or to cover my miss.

The 40 S&W is a love. It will do the same stats and power factor as the 45 ACP.

The 357 is a one shot stopper. I just do not like it..it hurts my hand. Makes my PuXXy hurt.

9MM 38 Special No chance in this world. I banged a 125 pound guy in the chest 5 times, one night in South Vietnam, with a 38 Special before he quit scaring me. All shots were fatal, the issue was when?? You will not have that problem with a 45 ACP.

As a member of a shoot team, I observed the 9mm to be too damn wimpy to stop the gun fight fast enough. I disrespect the 9mm / 380 (9mm Kurtz) enough that if God has a sense of humor, I will be killed by one.

I remember McGoo the gun officer telling me he short a raccoon 5 or 6 times before it took that case of holes seriously. Another officer shot a dim bulb who committed suicide by police officer, 16 times...Subsonic hollow points, through a storm door window. Each bullet gathered a Plexiglas nose cone going through the window, and that poor SOB was shot from his chest to his knee.

Let the Goblins carry the 9mm. As for me..12 gage is still my first choice. But other wise;

45 ACP
44 Special
40 S&W
357
done

Tom

If I must again shoot somebody who is scaring me, or threatening somebody. I will use what I have.

Old John
07-06-2009, 09:26 AM
We have a couple 1911's at our house.
DSW always carries a 9mm. She's got a couple of them.
I use to carry a 1911, every day. Good weapons.
When I retired & moved out here to the Country, I started
carrying a 2 1/4", Ruger SP101 .357 magnum, every day.
I don't feel undergunned. I'm confident it'll do what I need.:)

Carry whatever you feel confident with.
Make your own choices.

Sir Knight
07-06-2009, 12:27 PM
9MM 38 Special No chance in this world. I banged a 125 pound guy in the chest 5 times, one night in South Vietnam, with a 38 Special before he quit scaring me. All shots were fatal, the issue was when?? You will not have that problem with a 45 ACP.

As a member of a shoot team, I observed the 9mm to be too damn wimpy to stop the gun fight fast enough. I disrespect the 9mm / 380 (9mm Kurtz) enough that if God has a sense of humor, I will be killed by one.

I remember McGoo the gun officer telling me he short a raccoon 5 or 6 times before it took that case of holes seriously. Another officer shot a dim bulb who committed suicide by police officer, 16 times...Subsonic hollow points, through a storm door window. Each bullet gathered a Plexiglas nose cone going through the window, and that poor SOB was shot from his chest to his knee.

Let the Goblins carry the 9mm. As for me..12 gage is still my first choiceWhen you start to look at the best loads in each caliber, you begin to see that they're almost identical in terminal performance (ability to penetrate, expand, and otherwise wound a violent threat) ...

http://www.familyfriendsfirearms.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=2235&stc=1

The 9mm versions on most "premium" loads are very close and sometimes superior to the .40S&W and .45ACP versions. It's all about bullet design, not bullet weight or velocity.

The problem is that while there are few "bad" loads in the other calibers, there are tons of "bad" 9mm defensive choices out there. Many rounds either fail to expand or fail to penetrate, or both. Most of the super-fast stuff from places like Corbon and Triton simply fragments, creating a shallow wound.

So for 9mm, load selection becomes paramount. But once you choose a good load, it works just like a good load in .40S&W, .45ACP, or any of those other calibers. Sure, it's not as heavy as the heavy bullets, and it's not as fast as the fastest bullets. But if it penetrates the same, expands the same, and disrupts tissue the same, who cares?

lookingforthewayback
07-06-2009, 09:17 PM
That is why I use the federal 147 Gr HST.


9mm Fed 147 gr HST JHP; Average velocity = 997 fps (G19)
Penetration Recovered Diameter Recovered Length Recovered Weight
Bare Gelatin 14.6" 0.61"0 .39" 147.1gr4-
layer denim 15.6" 0.56" 0.53" 145.5gr

Barkley
07-06-2009, 09:46 PM
So for 9mm, load selection becomes paramount. But once you choose a good load, it works just like a good load in .40S&W, .45ACP, or any of those other calibers. Sure, it's not as heavy as the heavy bullets, and it's not as fast as the fastest bullets. But if it penetrates the same, expands the same, and disrupts tissue the same, who cares?

Yeah but why start at 38 when you can start at 45. A bigger heavier bullet will penetrate farther, simple physics. Just like a slow 45-70 penetrates like crazy.
Bottom line is shoot the most gun you can, practice with it and shoot good ammo. If you can shoot a 45 I'd say do so instead of a 9mm. That's personal choice backed by what I think are sound reasons.

Sir Knight
07-06-2009, 10:24 PM
Bottom line is shoot the most gun you can, practice with it and shoot good ammo. If you can shoot a 45 I'd say do so instead of a 9mm. Definitely. But sometimes one might not be able to effectively conceal a .45ACP but can a 9mm ...

http://www.fud-files.netfirms.com/image/private/guns/f130.jpg

... In which case, a 9mm in the hand is better than a .45ACP back home in the safe and if that were the case, I would not feel underarmed with a 9mm.

StrawHat
07-07-2009, 07:07 AM
I guess I am what you might consider old fashioned. When I started carrying a handgun on a daily basis, I was told to settle on ONE firearm and dress accordingly. I guess now a days, you need a battery of handguns for everything from formal affairs to swimming. If that works for you, great.

Me, I stick with my 45 ACP. It starts where the rest hope to expand. Oh, mine is an N frame S&W, never did get the warm fuzzy feelings for the selfloaders.

DWARREN123
07-07-2009, 09:51 AM
I like the 40 S&W best. It does what I need and want.
The 10mm might be my next caliber.
It is all subjective, go with what makes you happy!:D

MPB
07-16-2009, 01:40 AM
Sir Knight said it all.
In my opinion a good 1911 in 45 ACP is hard to beat.

shdwlkr
08-18-2009, 11:27 AM
Well my first choice is a 45 acp with 230gr hp
next comes the 44 special with 255 gr lead
next is my 38 super with 125 gr hp or 147 hp
then my 9mm with 125 gr hp or 147 hp
I also like my 357 mag with 158 gr hp or 160-170 grain lead
as you can see I like heavier bullets and moving a little slower doesn't seem to make a bit of difference.
If I was starting out shooting a pistol I would get a 9mm or 38 special and then go find what I like. My first pistol was a 44 walker and then a 45 auto government model and the first one they gave me rattled so bad that I refused it and picked out my own and found one that seemed tight and scored a 100% with it and never found it a problem if I did my part.
I also have a couple of 22 rf pistols for fun shooting and just for the cheap ammo, well relatively speaking that is.

jimfox
08-18-2009, 11:12 PM
Well my first choice is a 45 acp with 230gr hp
next comes the 44 special with 255 gr lead
next is my 38 super with 125 gr hp or 147 hp
then my 9mm with 125 gr hp or 147 hp
I also like my 357 mag with 158 gr hp or 160-170 grain lead
as you can see I like heavier bullets and moving a little slower doesn't seem to make a bit of difference.
If I was starting out shooting a pistol I would get a 9mm or 38 special and then go find what I like. My first pistol was a 44 walker and then a 45 auto government model and the first one they gave me rattled so bad that I refused it and picked out my own and found one that seemed tight and scored a 100% with it and never found it a problem if I did my part.
I also have a couple of 22 rf pistols for fun shooting and just for the cheap ammo, well relatively speaking that is.

I'd have to generally agree with the above (I might drop the 44 Spec.), but I'd really have to push acquiring a .22 LR in a gun similar to the one carried for serious social work. Even if you handload, the .22 is a cost effective alternative for regular practice. And having a couple more for plinking, target, and "just cuz", ain't a bad idea. :D

lookingforthewayback
08-18-2009, 11:55 PM
I'd have to generally agree with the above (I might drop the 44 Spec.), but I'd really have to push acquiring a .22 LR in a gun similar to the one carried for serious social work. Even if you handload, the .22 is a cost effective alternative for regular practice. And having a couple more for plinking, target, and "just cuz", ain't a bad idea. :D
Don't overlook the 44 special. Loaded with a 180 gr JHP it has as much energy and velocity as a 45 or 9MM. It can be a very effective defense load. My first choice, no but not a bad carry all the same.

jamesa
08-19-2009, 08:08 AM
40S&W.

DorGunR
08-19-2009, 05:34 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v466/DorGunR/Guns/9mm.jpg

eljay
08-19-2009, 06:24 PM
Interesting comments and opinions, all. I guess I'll throw in my two cents worth, for what little good it will do.

I carry .40 S&W, in one of two Glocks that I own. From 1997 when I started carrying, to 2008 I only owned one, a Glock Model 23. Back in 1997 I chose the caliber and gun because I could carry it concealed, shoot it well, and have 14 rounds ready to go. I could not find a .45 ACP that I could carry, shoot well, and believe in (speaking about concealed carry/self defense only). I have practiced with it a whole, whole lot, and it hits where I point it.

Last year I added a Glock Model 27, after determining that it feels just like the 23 only my pinky hangs off, hits what I point it at just like the 23, and is easier to conceal in the sweltering Texas summers.

Would I rather carry a .45 ACP? Well maybe, but now it's a mute point because I've got twelve years of practice invested in the gun and the caliber, and I'm not starting over.

I know that others carry a variety of guns, but guess I'm just not that good. I need there to be only one, with which I can instinctively draw and hit something, every time, and my gun has become, literally, an extension of my hand, and almost that good with my off hand.

So, with the exception of sometimes going to the slightly smaller new 27 which, as I have said, points and hits just like the 23, I simply don''t switch around. Whatever the conditions (except if swimming or participating in sporting events), I'll find a way to have one of those with me.

Is the .40 'big enough'? Well, since I only use it for concealed carry/self defense, I hope I never have to find out, but I think it is.

David

jimfox
08-19-2009, 10:26 PM
Don't overlook the 44 special. Loaded with a 180 gr JHP it has as much energy and velocity as a 45 or 9MM. It can be a very effective defense load. My first choice, no but not a bad carry all the same.

I had one of the early Charter Arms Bulldogs and thought it was neat. Until I used it for a spell (trying) to finish off downed game (cariboo mostly). I got far better results with a .22.

I have zero experience with some of the newer personal defense loads from CorBon, et alia. They may perform better than roasted coffee beans dipped in dark chocolate. And performance of factory/factory equivalent loads from a gun with more than a 3 inch barrel might exceed what I experienced with the Charter Arms. Elmer Keith, bless his heart, experimented with HOT 44 Special loads and birthed the modern 44 Mag. But obviously he thought the 44 Spec had potential it wasn't delivering in factory form.

Until I have experience with a 44 Special that contradicts the limited experience I've already had, then for something in that class I'd opt for the 45 Colt. It seems to perform better for me. I don't know why, but it does.

shdwlkr
08-19-2009, 10:41 PM
I have shot the 44 special with 180, 240 and 255 which does move a little slower but it sure makes a big hole and seems to keep things down when hit. Speed of the round isn't as important as what it does when it gets to its target.
Some would say that the 45-70 isn't a good round but I have yet to find a round that will hit the target at 7/8 of mile like the 45-70 does until you get up to the 50bmg.
I am into the old stuff more and more and understand why they were so liked. No matter how you look at it a big hole does slow down.
I don't see much difference in the 45 colt and the 44 special as I can shoot the same weight bullet and around the fps. I don't like short barreled pistols as a general rule which makes it possible to keep the fps up some what.

budroe
08-20-2009, 11:33 AM
Eljay, if you can't carry it; it won't be with you when you need it. I can tell you, the .40 will get the job done.

lookingforthewayback
08-20-2009, 05:59 PM
I have killed hogs with 44 special out of my ruger super redhawk. Obviously I would normally hunt with the 44 mag but the 44 special was in the gun when the opportunity presented itself. One shot to the head from 35 yards did the trick. This thread is about 9 - 40 -45 so I will let this drop.

eljay
08-20-2009, 10:59 PM
Eljay, if you can't carry it; it won't be with you when you need it. I can tell you, the .40 will get the job done.
That's good to hear, Budroe, 'cause I think it's what I'm stuck with, for concealed carry/self defense.

And I wonder why there's so much talk on this thread about revolver cartridges, considering the thread's subject.

But then too, I guess (actually know) that I've been responsible for thread 'drift' in the past...:D

David

texasalien
08-21-2009, 03:34 PM
45 ACP is the one I carry but I am comfortable with a 9mm or 40 S&W for carry. I have 4" Kimbers in these 3 calibers and shoot them more than my other pistols. Each is easily concealable and I shoot them equally well. Since the 9 and 40 don't give me an accuracy advantage in my Kimbers, I carry the one that shoots the bigger holes.

shdwlkr
08-22-2009, 01:16 PM
Something I didn't see mentioned yet is is recoil a problem as depending on the length of the barrel each of these behaves differently. I prefer longer barrels. None of my autos has less than a about a 4 1/2 inch barrel and most are longer.
I have shot the 9mm, 40 and 45 and could learn to use all of them but I prefer the 9mm because of the bullets I use in them and the 45 again because of the bullets I use and fps I get. I am old school speed is nice but impact is what stops the movement.
If could only have one of these pistols it would be the old 45acp as I can get hollow points and ball bullets and there is nothing that it was intended to be used for that wants to get hit 6,7 or 8 times with a 230 grain round. It worked for the government for 75 years as the side arm of the military and they did prove its worth.
No firearm is going to have one shot kills all the time because every shot is different from the way you hold the firearm to the way you pull the trigger. So that is not a reason for picking pistol a over pistol b. What counts is with which one are you the best you can be most of the time. Yes I said most as none of us is at the peak of our game all the time. So you want something that no matter what conditions are you can account for yourself every time and be the one who walks away from a bad situation.

bluedlightning
08-23-2009, 02:04 AM
Its not really the size of the bullet but where you put it. A hit with a .22 LR is better then a miss with a 45 ACP.

gunfan
08-29-2009, 07:03 PM
I carry a 1991-vintage, 3" barreled, Stainless steel, Charter Arms Bulldog in .44 S&W Special. On duty, I carry a Glock 20 (in 10mm Auto, of course). These are my personal carry pieces. I will carry my Ruger GP100 once in a while, if I feel so inclined.

While the 10mm Auto is my favorite, the light and powerful Bulldog gets carried the most. Those 200-grain GDHP loads tend to get the job done in short order!

I still feel that the 10mm is the most effective round available to me, so that remains my choice.

Scott

PawPawBear
09-15-2009, 01:42 AM
I prefer the 9MM because I have a small hand. I also practice quite a bit and the 9MM is cheaper to shoot if you do 100 - 150 rounds a week.
2 shots to center mass and one to the head or hip joint with 147 Gr Federal HST will stop anyone.


I have small hands as well and a Firestar in .40 is actually smaller around the grip that a Walther PPK.

PawPawBear
09-15-2009, 02:14 AM
When I first started shooting, I preferred the 9mm because I could shoot it more accurately than a .45, especially at longer ranges. I also liked the round capacity of a Berretta 92. When .40 S&W came along, I did not understand the need for an in between cartridge...until I shot one. I liked it. I acquired a Firestar in .40 as my own entry platform because it was cheap. The first time I shot it I was wowed by it. It was incredibly accurate for its size. It had a similar punch to a .45 with the range and accuracy of a 9mm. I was hooked. I have since acquired others. I compare the three calibers regularly, and I keep coming back to .40 as my preferred carry caliber. The .45 just doesn't have the range for my liking, but that's just me. But then, a heavy bullet has merit. So, it's .40 for me.

Dennis Foote
09-15-2009, 02:54 AM
Whatever floats your boat.
Personally, I carry a PPK/S in 9mm kurz.
If I'm on high alert, I have the option of carrying a Kahr MK9 in 9mm Parabellum.
My restriction is that IWB and, after a while, OWB holsters, make my strong side hip hurt, so I pocket carry nowadays.

Oriondk
09-16-2009, 01:52 AM
I've seen a few mentions of the 10mm and that's what I lean towards, but 45 ACP would be my choice of the three mentioned. Proven over a period of 100 years and besides.

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