View Poll Results: Which caliber for first handgun, 9mm or .40 caliber?

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  • 9mm

    73 83.91%
  • .40

    14 16.09%
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  1. #21
    Bisley's Avatar
    Bisley is offline Senior Member
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    The only .40 calibers I own are a 10mm G-20 and the the .38-40 Bisley Colt in my avatar (yes, the .38-40 is actually .40 caliber, and surprisingly, has similar ballistics).

    I see no need whatsoever for the .40 S&W, although there is nothing wrong with it. In my humble opinion, a 9mm loaded with modern hollow point ammo will create a wound that is just as devastating as a round that is one millimeter larger. The only advantage of the .40 S&W might be that heavier bullets can be fired from it, posssibly increasing penetration, but the trade-off is a snappier recoil to due to extremely high chamber pressures, and, anyway, the 9mm penetrates just fine. There are plenty of guns that are built to withstand the .40 S&W chamber pressures with no apparent ill effects, but why subject them to it?

    You can load a 9mm with el cheapo WWB ammo from Walmart and shoot it all day long without feeling 'beat up.' Then, when you want to use it to protect your life, you can load it with almost any premium quality hollow point, and have a weapon that will get the job done very well, if you can hit where you aim.

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  3. #22
    Dredd is offline Member
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    Stopping power does not exist. You can shoot a guy with a .45ACP and he might not go down. While a 9mm with proper shot placement could stop a thread instantly. A 9mm is cheaper to shoot on average, has more manageable recoil, and generally is better for a first timer to get used to. It has enough muscle in a good JHP load to get the job done provided you can put the shots on target. I carry a .40SW because I wanted something bigger than a 9mm while keeping the same relative frame size for the gun. That meant that .45ACP was out and I really decided against carrying a high dollar 1911.

    My recommendation is go for 9mm.

  4. #23
    Poink88 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dredd View Post
    Stopping power does not exist.
    We must have different definition for stopping power. If not, why own a pistol for SD? While some people may take longer to drop with 9mm vs .45, they will all eventually drop with a good placed shot.

  5. #24
    Dredd is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poink88 View Post
    We must have different definition for stopping power. If not, why own a pistol for SD? While some people may take longer to drop with 9mm vs .45, they will all eventually drop with a good placed shot.
    There is no such term in the world of firearms. It's made up hollywood myth.

    You'll never hear any training center or instructor refer to a particular round as having "more stopping power". What you will hear is about the larger projectile, higher velocity, or more weight and penetration. Wound channels and shock trauma is what will be referred to on the technical level.

    You just proved that stopping power does not exist because you said a 9mm will essentially stop a threat just the same as a .45ACP if you do your part. Shot placement is everything right? So therefore you could not, in reality, say that a .45ACP round has higher stopping power than 9mm. For what it's worth, .40SW has had more one shot stops than either 9mm or .45ACP due to the fact that it is the standard law enforcement round and I'm sure has been used in more real world scenarios.

    You know what I mean? Either round can stop a threat in one shot with good placement and some luck, and either one could also fail to stop a threat completely. The term "stopping power" comes from the movies where the guy flies off his feet in 1 shot and is instantly rendered deceased. That just doesn't happen obviously. The term is misused so often that it's confused for the other ballistic characteristics of a particular cartridge, loading, or bullet design. Trust me, get a 9mm loaded with federal HSt, Speer Gold Dot, or Cor-Bon DPX and I dare you to say it's not sufficient for defense.

  6. #25
    dondavis3's Avatar
    dondavis3 is offline Senior Member
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    Dredd

    Sorry my friend, but I've heard lots of instructors, policemen, military and range people refer to "Stopping Power" of different calibers.

    Maybe I'm the only one that's heard it.

    But I've heard it many many times.

    Just Google "bullet stopping power" and you'll find a 100 articles about it.


  7. #26
    Bisley's Avatar
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    Maybe he has stopping power confused with the mythical 'knockdown power.'

    No pistol round has the power to knock a human off his feet, else Newton's law would dictate that the shooter would be knocked down, too.

    On the other hand, many pistol rounds can stop an attack, if inserted into the proper location.

  8. #27
    Dredd is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dondavis3 View Post
    Dredd

    Sorry my friend, but I've heard lots of instructors, policemen, military and range people refer to "Stopping Power" of different calibers.

    Maybe I'm the only one that's heard it.

    But I've heard it many many times.

    Just Google "bullet stopping power" and you'll find a 100 articles about it.

    And all 100 articles are referring to a myth. Go read some stories about a 44Mag round failing to penetrate the skull of a person and you'll see.

    If it makes you sleep better go carry a friggen Desert Eagle

  9. #28
    dondavis3's Avatar
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    Oh, sorry.

    This is another one of those posts where everyone else is wrong and your right.

    Got it, carry on.


  10. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by parisite View Post
    If I was teaching.....the first caliber would be a .22.

    Second would be to master a 38 Special revolver.

    Semi autos would come after.
    +1 on the above! I learned on a .22 , easy & inexpensive. Stepped up to a .357 / .38 revolver that I've mastered with .38's. Then went with 9MM semi auto's.

  11. #30
    TheReaper's Avatar
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    I voted .40 because I own 3 S&W's in .40.

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