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  1. #21
    SpaceFlunky is offline Junior Member
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    i just got my first handgun about 2 months ago and it is a compact .40 cal. After shooting my friends M&P 9mm and 45ACP, i have started looking at those 2 calibers more and more.
    I am thinking now on getting a 9mm for the heavier range use (and possible carry later on) and the 45 as a home defense gun that will get lighter range use, mostly due to ammo costs.
    It just seemed to me that the .40 kicked harder than the 9mm and 45, thus making follow up shots longer to line up. Tho this is coming from a guy who has only had a gun for 2 months, so take it as you will but those are my plans. I have been working on my grip and stance, which has helped me control the gun better but it still too "sparky" for me.

  2. #22
    sonja is offline Junior Member
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    As someone said, the 40 actually kicks harder than either the 45 or the 9mm. Actually, I think it's more "different" than harder. 40 tends to be a sharp and snappy recoil impulse - the 45 ACP is more a push.

    In any case, I'd start with a 9mm. Easy to shoot, lot's of ammo out there. Some inexpensive ammo is quite good. Back when 9mm aluminum cased Blazer was really cheap, I bought quite a bit of it. Over the years I've shot many thousands of rounds of it -- never had any sort of problem. Always goes BANG, cleaner than WWB, never had a hard primer issue the way I did with some European Ammo.

    9mm -- if you get to like shooting a handgun, you will tend to shoot more than 50 rounds a week. Doing that with a 40 or 45 can become quite expensive.

    Also, 9mm self defense rounds seem to be quite efficient. Lots of choices.

  3. #23
    berettatoter's Avatar
    berettatoter is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonja View Post
    As someone said, the 40 actually kicks harder than either the 45 or the 9mm. Actually, I think it's more "different" than harder. 40 tends to be a sharp and snappy recoil impulse - the 45 ACP is more a push.

    In any case, I'd start with a 9mm. Easy to shoot, lot's of ammo out there. Some inexpensive ammo is quite good. Back when 9mm aluminum cased Blazer was really cheap, I bought quite a bit of it. Over the years I've shot many thousands of rounds of it -- never had any sort of problem. Always goes BANG, cleaner than WWB, never had a hard primer issue the way I did with some European Ammo.

    9mm -- if you get to like shooting a handgun, you will tend to shoot more than 50 rounds a week. Doing that with a 40 or 45 can become quite expensive.

    Also, 9mm self defense rounds seem to be quite efficient. Lots of choices.
    I agree with this post here. I have been shooting more 9mm due to expense. There is nothing wrong with the 9mm for self defense. There are lots of holes in the ground that are occupied by the bodies of those who found out the hard way.

  4. #24
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
    SouthernBoy is online now Senior Member
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    The modern .40S&W is a premium self defensive pistol caliber and just about as good as it gets. But ammo is more expensive than 9mm so if range work is a priority and funds are limited, the 9mm is your better choice. With high quality loads, the 9mm would serve you well for defense against human predators. As for dangerous animals, between these two calibers I go with the .40S&W. Don't expect to be well armed against a bear or large cat with a 9mm or a 40. For animals like that, I would prefer a good .44 Magnum. Bears are tenacious and take some hard hitting bullets in heavy bone to bring them down.

    So for self defense against two-legged predators and with a limited budget, I would go with the 9mm and practice with it a lot.

  5. #25
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    Rockhound is offline Junior Member
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    Go with 9mm. It is easier to control and cheaper to shoot.

  6. #26
    Ala Tom is offline Junior Member
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    I generally favor the .40 but that is only for people who are fairly proficient at pistol shooting. The best first gun does depend heavily on who you are - your age, health and build. For the young person, such as the young guy who started this, I think 9 mm is the best place to start. But with a year or two of active shooting (2X per month) I'd expect you to move to a .40 or .45 with perhaps a 9 mm mouse gun for backup. The point would be you need to learn to shoot accurately given moderate recoil before working up to heavier recoil. If you are middle age or older in less than great shape, you should consider a smaller caliber than 9 mm, perhaps .22, .32 or .380. (I recently noticed a .22 round - the "stinger" - that has enough energy at 190 ft lb to be useful in self defense.) You could work into a .40 cal with practice. For people older than 70 who have never shot a gun before, I'd recommend they learn and stay with the small caliber auto and, perhaps the revolver if they cannot operate the slide or load a magazine.

    I am 68 and use a small .40 cal. But I learned to shoot many years ago with a range of calibers. Still loading the magazine and operating the slide are things I have to practice to do well. I can shoot it fairly well as well as a medium-sized .40 cal. I tried smaller 9 mm guns with mixed success. I have been trying to advise my 91 year-old brother-in-law on a self-defense gun. He can operate the slide on my .40's but can't load a magazine. He's the one who showed me the "Stinger" .22 loads in his Beretta .22 LR. I am hoping to move him up to a .380 with a laser - another feature older people can use. I use an LGS/Range in a medium southern city and regularly see oder men and ladies buying guns and shooting on the range for the first time. People of all types feel a need for protection.

    One thing that is clear, everyone can have fun shooting on a range as they learn. It does not have to be work.

  7. #27
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    Get a glock 23 in 40 and get a conversion barrel to shoot 9mm

  8. #28
    Wildman1024 is offline Junior Member
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    I just started shooting handguns within the last few months myself. I have a variety of guns and calibers already. I would honestly say go with the 9mm 1st or a 45 ALL METAL GUN. I have a CZ 75 compact 40 and even though its heavy it has a sharp recoil and I shoot the worst with it.

    Look into either the FNP-9 which is a very nice gun for less then $500 or the Stoeger line in either 9 or 45. I have the stoeger in 45 and its a great gun with barely any more recoil then the FNP-9. Both can be had NEW for less then $500.

    Just remember you can shoot 100 rounds of 9mm for the price of 50 rounds of 40 or 45. 9mm is very capable also

  9. #29
    David_Pavlich's Avatar
    David_Pavlich is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildman1024 View Post

    Just remember you can shoot 100 rounds of 9mm for the price of 50 rounds of 40 or 45. 9mm is very capable also
    I just received a Stoeger in 40mm, haven't had a chance to get to the range yet, and just ordered a Ruger P95 in 9mm for the exact reason as stated above.

    David

  10. #30
    Donald is offline Junior Member
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    9mm is cheaper to shoot

  11. #31
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    tarmac is offline Junior Member
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    I have a Glock 23 40S&W, I then purchased a Lonewolf 40 to 9 conversion barrel and two Glock 19 magazines. That gave me both the 40 S&W and 9mm. Then just recently I bought a Glock 32, 357 Sig barrel. With the Sig barrel I can use my G23 magazines. So for a total of about $850 I have a 40 S&W, 9mm and a 357 Sig. all in one pistol and any of the combinations have been 100% reliable.
    Last edited by tarmac; 05-01-2012 at 05:46 AM. Reason: typo

  12. #32
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    rickohio is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ala Tom View Post
    I generally favor the .40 but that is only for people who are fairly proficient at pistol shooting. The best first gun does depend heavily on who you are - your age, health and build. For the young person, such as the young guy who started this, I think 9 mm is the best place to start. But with a year or two of active shooting (2X per month) I'd expect you to move to a .40 or .45 with perhaps a 9 mm mouse gun for backup. The point would be you need to learn to shoot accurately given moderate recoil before working up to heavier recoil. If you are middle age or older in less than great shape, you should consider a smaller caliber than 9 mm, perhaps .22, .32 or .380. (I recently noticed a .22 round - the "stinger" - that has enough energy at 190 ft lb to be useful in self defense.) You could work into a .40 cal with practice. For people older than 70 who have never shot a gun before, I'd recommend they learn and stay with the small caliber auto and, perhaps the revolver if they cannot operate the slide or load a magazine.

    I am 68 and use a small .40 cal. But I learned to shoot many years ago with a range of calibers. Still loading the magazine and operating the slide are things I have to practice to do well. I can shoot it fairly well as well as a medium-sized .40 cal. I tried smaller 9 mm guns with mixed success. I have been trying to advise my 91 year-old brother-in-law on a self-defense gun. He can operate the slide on my .40's but can't load a magazine. He's the one who showed me the "Stinger" .22 loads in his Beretta .22 LR. I am hoping to move him up to a .380 with a laser - another feature older people can use. I use an LGS/Range in a medium southern city and regularly see oder men and ladies buying guns and shooting on the range for the first time. People of all types feel a need for protection.

    One thing that is clear, everyone can have fun shooting on a range as they learn. It does not have to be work.

    I think he needs a Lula Universal loader.

  13. #33
    SteveC's Avatar
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    I guess I'm repeating points a lot of people have already made by noting that 9mm is cheaper and a bit easier to shoot and a perfectly capable defensive round especially with the right ammo. For a new pistol shooter the benefits of a higher caliber when it comes to hitting power are offset IMHO by the benefits of 9mm - you'll be able more easily to develop good shooting basics and you'll want to shoot a lot to develop skills and the cheaper ammo will make that more fun. Plus there's a pretty good chance you'll be looking for another pistol in the near future (it just works like that lol) and you can move up in caliber then.

  14. #34
    Ala Tom is offline Junior Member
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    9 mm is best in most respects but not if you expect to meet big angry bears or people. It depends on where you live. In Grizzly Country, you need a revolver with at least a .41 magnum hole in the end. For general shooting and defense against troublesome people, a .40 is better than a 9 mm as long as you have nearly a full size XD. Springfield makes a great sub compact but you need that in a 9 to start with. You will adjust for ammo cost with the frequency of your trips to the range. You need a lot at first and then not so many.

  15. #35
    Pistol Pete is offline Junior Member
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    I'd opt for the 9MM. Ammo is a lot less expensive and it has less recoil. Shoot it enough to be competent with it, bullet placement is usually more important than the difference between the 9 and the .40. I've shot both and found the 40 to be a lot snappier than the 9.

  16. #36
    Ala Tom is offline Junior Member
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    Where I shoot, 9mm costs $13 and .40 costs $15-18 depending on how picky you are. Not that much difference. I still pay $1.20 per bullet for defense loads but don't go through many of those.

  17. #37
    lamrith is offline Junior Member
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    Here locally the cheapo ammo at the range $12.96 for 9mm, 22.99 for 40. The stores I have looked at retain roughly the same price spread comparing same brand/model of ammo.

    One thing I noticed yesterday while looking was that all the big box stores with cheap ammo were OUT of 9mm, as in cleaned out of the cheap stuff. I finally found a 100count box @ wallmart for $19.98, and got the last one. That puts it @ 9.99/50. The 40 they had was more than double that.

  18. #38
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    dondavis3 is offline Senior Member
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    I don't know where you're buy ammo, but:

    Walmart
    Cabela's
    Bass Pro Shop
    Academy Sport & Outdoor

    are all approximately

    9mm $11 + or -
    .40 $22 + or -

    Prices change daily, but .40 is always about double the cost of 9mm.


  19. #39
    BurgerBoy's Avatar
    BurgerBoy is offline Junior Member
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    Go with 9mm.

  20. #40
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    TOF
    TOF is offline Senior Member
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    Get Ammo Prices here: 9mm Luger (9x19 Parabellum) handgun ammo ammunition - AmmoSeek.com

    If you shoot much buy in bulk and get more bang for your buck.

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