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Thread: Difference between 9mm and 40 S&W?

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    Difference between 9mm and 40 S&W?

    Is there a significant difference in stopping capability between the 9mm round and the 40 S&W round? I mean, we're talking only a .02 inch difference in diameter, right? So, is the .40 a significantly more powerful round? Reason I'm asking is that I may, at some point, want to decide between the two for home defense. I know 9mm ammo is cheaper and that may be the deciding factor, unless there is compelling reason to go larger (other than, larger is better).
    Thanks.
    Never argue with a fool. they'll beat you every time in experience and practice.
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    I chose 9mm for ammo price and availability.
    I shoot reloads for practice and carry Federal Premium Hydra-Shok for SD.
    jimbo44 likes this.
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    Always remember, a near miss with a .22 cal is just as effective as a near miss with a .45 cal. Shot placement makes all the difference and you must be comfortable with what you use whatever the caliber.
    Never criticize a dumb question because you've probably asked your fair share. But more important to remember, it's much easier to correct a dumb question than it is to correct a dumb mistake.

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    ^^ That's kind of what I'm asking - assuming accurate placement, is there a real advantage to .40 over 9mm? Or does it only provide a bigger bleed out channel for a near miss?
    Never argue with a fool. they'll beat you every time in experience and practice.
    Fear not, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9 NIV)

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    Just ask yourself which one would you like to be hit with. I would venture to say niether. So the same would hold true for what you want to use them for. A center of mass hit by either will give you pretty much the same result. But, who would only fire one shot.

    9mm or 40sw? hamburger or cheeseburger?
    When the SHTF, don't be infront of the fan.

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    Personally I would say the 9...because of the cost of ammo. From ammoengine:

    Cheapest.....
    9mm FMJ 19 cents/round
    JHP 68 cents/round
    Federal Hydro shocks $1.55

    40 SW

    FMJ 30 cents/round
    JHP 88 cents/round
    Federal hydro shocks $1.75
    You need to be able to afford to practise with your weapon, 40 starts getting up there. Also availability....in my area 40 is hit and miss.....unless you go to the ripoff LGS. Yes they have every kind of ammo known to man...at a price.

    SD ammo gets up there, and you need to make sure your weapon will digest it.
    LongTermGuy likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FearNot View Post
    ^^ That's kind of what I'm asking - assuming accurate placement, is there a real advantage to .40 over 9mm? Or does it only provide a bigger bleed out channel for a near miss?
    The honest truth is, with the amount of scientific application to today's bullets, there isn't a bunch of difference between 9mm, 40 cal, 45acp, and even the revolver rounds. With proper shot placement and assuming the bullet does it's job, the best of the hollowpoints from all of the different calibers will get you in the 90% and over range of one shot stops.

    The only thing you buy with a larger handgun caliber is that if expansion fails, a 45 caliber bullet is still .45 inches wide. This is comforting to some.

    I would not look at it as a bleed channel......a miss of vital organs and arteries is a miss. Thats why personally I believe caliber arguments are kinda dumb - shot placement is very underrated and is much more important in stopping aggressive action in it's tracks.
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    The difference between them is that one is .355 ( 9mm ) and the other .401 ( .40 S&W )
    The prices are also different as you have already seen on this thread and other areas you have shopped.
    Magazine capacity. My 9mm holds 15+1 and the .40 I am getting holds 10+1

    The recoil in a .40 is a bit snappy unlike the 9mm which is more of a push to me than a snap. It s easier for me to shoot the 9mm then the .40 but that don't stop me!
    But when your talking about SD situations, You should use what you can afford to practice with. No matter how you cut it,
    I rather get shot by nothing at all. A 9mm hurts just like a .40 or a .45 ACP will.

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    Josh45's fiogures show .046 difference in diameter between the 9 and the .40, but that's only part of the story: For instance, the .45ACP can be considered as twice the diameter of the .22 and it is (for all practical purposes). However, the CROSS SECTION of a .45 is about FOUR TIMES that of the .22 - so not only is the size increase deceptive, but so is the mass of the slug.

    Then, you have to factor in the loading of the 9mm and the loading of the .40S&W: they are not the same - the .40 is considered a high-pressure round (hence the snappy recoil referred to above).

    Of course, once you have diameter, cross-section and powder load all factored to your satisfaction, you must consider the length of the barrel: short barrels, such as in pocket autos or snubby revolvers, may result in the slug leaving the barrel before all the powder is burned, while long barrels (especially in Kentucky rifles) allow for almost 100% powder burn.

    Now, if all this sounds facetious, it's not. Every factor mentioned comes into play in trying to provide a definitive answer to your question. Even Josh45's last statement - that a 9mm hurts just like a .40 or .45 ACP will - is not something you can take to the bank since pain is subjective.

    Remember the old joke about the traveller who asked a farmer for directions? The farmer started talking and pointing, stopped and corrected himself several times and then finally said, "By golly! You can't get there from here!"

    So it is with providing a definitive answer to your question: there ain't one. (But we on this forum do love cussing and discussing stopping power from time to time so thanks for getting us started again.)

    In the end, fall back on what Rodfair wrote: It's cheaper to shoot 9mm.
    But .40S&W is ultra-kool, according to those who own them...
    And the .45 ACP in a small pistol is great for recoil junkies...
    Last edited by Lance0812; 05-12-2012 at 10:13 AM.
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    9mm european sizing---it has been said its for europeans, and brings me too why is 9mm so cheap?????? 40/45 almost double it, yet not twice as big!!
    xsnoman

 

 
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