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Thread: 9MM vs .40 Cal

  1. #1
    pintail1069 is offline Junior Member
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    9MM vs .40 Cal

    I will soon be buying my first handgun, and I don't know which to buy. I have been told good reasons for each from various people. I would appreciate hearing the opinions of other members of this forum.

  2. #2
    clic2323's Avatar
    clic2323 is offline Junior Member
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    as most will tell you go to a indoor range and rent each one and fire a box from each. find what suits you best. then find the gun that feels good to you then BINGO

  3. #3
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    9mm:
    Lighter recoil
    Cheaper to shoot
    Holds more BBs

    .40:
    More powerful

    If I were a new shooter, I'd get a 9mm.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  4. #4
    stevexd9's Avatar
    stevexd9 is offline Junior Member
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    I would agree with mike. I am a new shooter and I started off with a 9mm. I bought a .45 and love it, but I was recently shooting a .40 and the recoil was very pronounced more so than the .45 and it just fun for me to shoot.

  5. #5
    scorpiusdeus's Avatar
    scorpiusdeus is offline Supporting Member
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    The .40 S&W is by far the most superior bullet ever made. It is better than every other handgun cartridge ever. It combines substantial size bullet with enough powder to drive it home fast.

    Learn to master the .40 you Luke and all other calibers will bow at your feet.

    ... but seriously, I do love the .40 S&W.

    I say start with the .40 S&W. I find that the hysteria over the felt recoil is unfounded. I shoot .40 S&W in IPSC matches and do just fine.

    I would look at, in this order, Sig P226 .40 S&W, Springfield XD .40 S&W, Walther P99 .40 S&W, and HK P2000 .40S&W.

    The 9mm will do just fine, but if you're already asking the question, you'll always wonder if you need a larger caliber. .45ACP would do just fine for you, but you'll always wonder if it's too slow and if you have enough rounds.

    Go .40 S&W and have peace of mind.

  6. #6
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    I would agree w/the above -- 9mm will do just fine. The 9mm is about the cheapest centerfire cartridge you can find, which will allow you to shoot more often and therefore allow you to better your skills. I've paid as little as $4.97 a box for CCI Blazer. There are also a great number of excellent cartridges made for self-defense, so you will not be under-gunned when it comes to self-protection. Most 9mm variants can also be found in .40, but there are a few models that will come only in 9 and not in 40.

    At any rate, you won't go wrong with either caliber, as long as you buy a decent pistol....

    PhilR.

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    I wish CCI Blazer 9mm is still $4.97. It is now $6.97 at my Wal-Mart. .40 is only $7.57 and .45 is $9.47 so I've been shooting more .40 lately.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by propellerhead View Post
    I wish CCI Blazer 9mm is still $4.97. It is now $6.97 at my Wal-Mart. .40 is only $7.57 and .45 is $9.47 so I've been shooting more .40 lately.

    I would love to pay 6.67.. I pay 12.00 for 9mm and 17.00 for .45.
    I would get it for 10 and 15 but the drive we be too far for me

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevexd9 View Post
    I would love to pay 6.67.. I pay 12.00 for 9mm and 17.00 for .45.
    I would get it for 10 and 15 but the drive we be too far for me
    Damn! You should do mail order from Natchezss.com.

  10. #10
    stevexd9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by propellerhead View Post
    Damn! You should do mail order from Natchezss.com.
    Thanks for the info I am ordering as I type

  11. #11
    Vom Kriege's Avatar
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    I prefer 9mm. Range ammo cost less, and in the top end loads give up nothing to the .40SW. I'd rather have the higher capacity and faster follow-up shots that the 9mm offers.

  12. #12
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    Don't worry about recoil...

    I have a S & W, MP 40 and a S & W MP, 9mm compact and several other 9mm, 357 magnum and 45 caliber pistols. Both MP's are great pistols. I'm having a trigger job done on my MP 40 because it is such a great range gun and I want a little lighter trigger. Some 40 caliber pistols may have a sorta snappy recoil but I have no problem with recoil of the MP 40. The MP 9mm compact is almost as accurate as my full sized 40 caliber.
    In somewhat of a answer to your question I would go with the 40 caliber if costs of ammo is not a issue. If you should decide to go with the 9mm there are inexpensive range loads and some very good self defense rounds. Both calibers are very good but don't let recoil be a determining factor.

  13. #13
    scorpiusdeus's Avatar
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    I try not to let cost of ammo enter into the decision. I don't bargain shop when my life might count on the purchase.

  14. #14
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    The realistic difference between the .40 and 9mm in the defensive context is almost irrelevant. Things like mindset, gunhandling, marksmanship, and tactics matter far more than a 1mm difference in bullet diameter (or any other equipment issue). 9mm offers lighter recoil, which is better for a new shooter who is just learning marksmanship and gunhandling skills.

    I just bought a .40 pistol from a forum member, and will give it a go when I get home, but I am under no illusions that it will make a real difference in a fight compared to the 9mms I carried previously. I would have bought the gun whether it was a Glock 19 or 23.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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    I had the same problem, but ended up with a .40S&W Glock as my first handgun. Reason why is after trying out different guns from 9mm to .50 calibers, the .40S&W was easy to handle and as accurate as heck. Also, I love the recoil on that thing, especially with Jacketed Hollow Points! Testosterone pumping.

    The big plus is that after shooting the .40S&W, it strengthen my hands/arms to control a 9mm. Let's just say it's a workout caliber for a first time shooter.

    Good luck with your decision.

  16. #16
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham at Galco View Post
    The realistic difference between the .40 and 9mm in the defensive context is almost irrelevant. Things like mindset, gunhandling, marksmanship, and tactics matter far more than a 1mm difference in bullet diameter (or any other equipment issue). 9mm offers lighter recoil, which is better for a new shooter who is just learning marksmanship and gunhandling skills.

    I just bought a .40 pistol from a forum member, and will give it a go when I get home, but I am under no illusions that it will make a real difference in a fight compared to the 9mms I carried previously. I would have bought the gun whether it was a Glock 19 or 23.

    Very well said. I feel that if you can't do it with a 9mm, then you aren't going to be able to do it with a .40 either.

    PhilR.

  17. #17
    TxPhantom's Avatar
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    It will take some doing...

    Yep. Well said. Now all you gotta do is convince all those 1911 fans (I'm not one of them) that the 9mm is just as good as the 45 caliber.

  18. #18
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    I am not a 'caliber wars' guy....I say let us all enjoy what we have....don't have a lot of experience with the .40...maybe 500 rounds shot thru them in all....borrowing from friends etc.....but I have ...for all my 40 plus years of shooting...been a 9mm fan. My first decent handgun, other than a .22, was a 9mm Browning Hi-Power and I have reloaded for them and owned many 9mm's....just a good, well mannered, and economical round to shoot...and I would never tell anyone that they were under-gunned for SD with a 9mm.

  19. #19
    jakeleinen1 is offline Member
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    9mm or .45

    .40 is the middle ground that gives you more recoil IMO

  20. #20
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    I'm of the opinion that new shooters should start out using guns that make loud noises but don't recoil very much. Once you get used to the loud "bang" and the lack of significant recoil you can move up to a heavier caliber.

    However, if the first weapon you use has a heavy recoil, you may develop a recoil flinch that once it is a habit will be hard to eradicate.

    For that reason I would suggest a 9mm in a full sized weapon--something like a Glock 17.

    A well-placed 9mm round will stop an adversary. The ammo is relatively cheap. The recoil is light. There is a large selection of full sized weapons available. And it will serve as a range gun if you decide to get something much smaller later on.

    My first choice for a beginner is a .357 Magnum with a 4" barrel and adjustable sights. Loaded with .38 Special ammo it is a light recoiling weapon. Load it with .357 later on and it is one of the most formidable of man-stopping rounds.

    The revolver is easier for beginners to master and "make safe".

    And revolvers are the most reliable of all hand guns.

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