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. #1
    Poink88 is offline Junior Member
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    Poll: For first pistol, 9mm or .40 cal?

    Given only 9mm or .40 cal as choices, which caliber would you recommend for a first (full size) handgun?

    Only parameter is that main intended use is for target practice and possibly home defense (should the need arise).

    Considerations...ammo cost, recoil, and stopping power.

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  3. #2
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    9MM
    Lots cheaper to shoot and great availabiluty.

    AFS

  4. #3
    rccola712's Avatar
    rccola712 is offline Member
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    9mm: significantly cheaper round to shoot, wider availability, enough stopping power for home defense. unless you feel you need the .40, I'd suggest going with the 9

  5. #4
    Freedom1911's Avatar
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    9mm and http://firearmsforumcoali.motionsfor...r-ccw-t121.htm go to this link and read why.
    Cheers

  6. #5
    cougartex's Avatar
    cougartex is offline Senior Member
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    9mm at this time because of ammo cost.

  7. #6
    bruce333's Avatar
    bruce333 is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    9mm

    ammo is cheaper

    recoil is less, faster recovery for the next shot

    stopping power, as with any handgun caliber, depends on shot placement more than size of the bullet.
    Bruce, Life Member: NRA, NCRPA, GRNC, GOA

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  8. #7
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    Yep.....9mm You need plenty of practice as this is your first gun and the ammo for 9mm is much cheaper. Good luck and have fun shopping for a new gun.

  9. #8
    fudo's Avatar
    fudo is offline Junior Member
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    9mm
    cheaper to shoot
    ammo is more available
    low recoil
    almost everything comes in 9mm
    the above means you will practice more and shoot better

  10. #9
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
    BeefyBeefo is offline Senior Member
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    9mm...for all of the reasons mentioned above.

  11. #10
    WVleo is offline Junior Member
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    I have to agree that 9mm ammo is less expensive and more readily available through out the US. But if You only want 1 hand gun ( who We kidding ? ), but plan to reload for it then caliber cost should not matter and a .40 might make You happier. I shoot 9 and feel good about My choice as I don't plan to reload...WVleo

  12. #11
    Poink88 is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you very much guys!

    25 to 1 vote is almost unanimous...who am I to argue with that. 9mm it is for me then.

    Thanks again!

  13. #12
    parisite's Avatar
    parisite is offline Junior Member
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    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.

  14. #13
    dosborn's Avatar
    dosborn is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poink88 View Post
    Thank you very much guys!

    25 to 1 vote is almost unanimous...who am I to argue with that. 9mm it is for me then.

    Thanks again!

    +1 again for the 9mm.

    This is just a thought to throw at ya. Buy a .40 that can accept an aftermarket 9mm barrel/mags. It would be an extra $150 but you could have both. Take a good look at Glock.

  15. #14
    dondavis3's Avatar
    dondavis3 is offline Senior Member
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    I think 9 mm.

    I do not care for the "snappyness" of the .40 cal.

    I like .45 better than .40.

    Just my .02


  16. #15
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    I'd recommend 9mm. Milder recoil, less expensive ammo and it's effective for SD/HD especially in +P loads with the correct bullet in front.

    A friend of mine has an S&W M&P in .40 and we shot his pistol and my Glock 19 (9mm) back-to-back about a week ago. The .40 was manageable for me as new shooter but the 19 was definitely easier on recoil. Even my friend, an avowed M&P and .40 guy, was really impressed with the 19. And I know he was well aware of the cost difference in ammo between his gun and mine.

  17. #16
    Mariano's Avatar
    Mariano is offline Junior Member
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    5906 S&W was my 1st gun. 9mm for those who do not know.

  18. #17
    Brydawg's Avatar
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    For your 1st gun, I'd take the 9mm over the .40 cal. for all the above reasons.
    The S&W M&P .40 has the capability of interchanging 9mm and .357 SIG barrels. Just thought I'd throw that out there for ya ...

  19. #18
    crash972 is offline Junior Member
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    9mm has low recoil & price per rd.

  20. #19
    recoilguy's Avatar
    recoilguy is offline Senior Member
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    I like 9mm. It is a good choice.

    RCG

  21. #20
    SaltyDog's Avatar
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    I recommend the 40 S&W for one reason. If you want to shoot 9mm all you have to do is buy another barrel and magazines and you have a 9mm.

    If you buy a 9mm you cannot convert it to a 40S&W.

  22. #21
    Bisley's Avatar
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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.

  23. #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.

  24. #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.

  25. #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.

  26. #25
    dondavis3's Avatar
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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.


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