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Posted: 3/7/2010 8:41:07 AM EDT
Hey guys, looking into getting a CCW for my wife and I, but Im not sure which caliber is better- 9mm or .40? After doing some research it seems like the argument is split nicely down the middle. Im curious to hear your .02. Thanks guys!

Link Posted: 3/7/2010 8:53:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2010 12:26:00 PM EDT by AJSully421]
Originally Posted By cordovamx:
Hey guys, looking into getting a CCW for my wife and I, but Im not sure which caliber is better- 9mm or .40? After doing some research it seems like the argument is split nicely down the middle. Im curious to hear your .02. Thanks guys!



It depends on the weapon, and the manufacturer.  Some just have the .40 thing down better than others.  What I mean by that is that there are companies that built their .40s new, from the ground up, and others just took their 9mm and made a bigger hole down the barrel and left everything else the same.  For some that worked out well, and for others it just did not.

Lots of people love to bash glocks in .40 for their chamber, I have owned 9 total glock .40 pistols over the years.  I now only own 1... the 4th Gen. G22.  They all ran fine, and I still have all ten fingers.

I'd love a Sig 226 in .40.  I have one in 9mm and it is great.

About the round itself, it really does not do that much more than a 9mm.  I like the little extra power that it offers, but I do not have any illusions that it is some sort of god cartridge or anything.

If it is for the wife, I would recommend 9mm.  Less flip, less chance of her developing bad habbits, cheaper ammo will lead to her practicing more (practice is more important than caliber choice, since that will make more of a difference than an additional 0.045 inches on the width of the round).

honestly, you cannot go wrong with either.
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 8:57:52 AM EDT
I like 9mm for less expensive shooting, less recoil, and more capacity in the same size firearm. If you choose a defensive load from the Ammo FAQs, the bad guys will not know the difference between the 9mm or the .40 with which you shoot them.
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 9:00:50 AM EDT
Try them out. You might find the 9mm's recoil more to your SO's liking.

Both are equally lethal when applied properly.
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 9:01:33 AM EDT
9mm: cheap, low recoil (quicker follow up shots), a bit more capacity. I have shot several smaller sized .40 carry type pistols. I thought they all had to much muzzle lift. As previously stated, quality ammo and the bad guys wont care.
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 9:05:01 AM EDT
Another vote for 9mm for the reasons listed above.
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 9:06:11 AM EDT
Both rounds are very effective with good shot placement and premium bullets. I find reading about what everyone else is doing to be a very difficult way to figure out what is good for me. I would call up some friends and have a range day. Have a variety of firearms available in different sizes, weights, and calibers for her to shoot. I would think it would be more important for her to pick a gun based upon how well it feels in her hand just as a demo, but also how it feels when she shoots it. I have found many guns over the years that felt great at the shop, but I really didn't like them when they had a full magazine and I was shooting them. As far as caliber she will be able to find her tolerance for recoil and her ability to recover from a shot. Depending upon the size and weight of the gun a .40 can have a very snappy recoil profile. Some people just don't like it for that reason. Currently I own one gun in .40 and for the most part all of my other pistols are chambered in 9mm and 45ACP.

We did the same sort of thing for my wife. We also had her sign up for a one day safety class. Professional training is worth every penny. She ended up choosing a Glock 26 in 9mm.
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 9:10:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2010 9:10:32 AM EDT by WIZZO_ARAKM14]
For a beginner, especially a female beginner, I'd recommend a 9mm in a heartbeat.
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 9:13:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Hero:
I like 9mm for less expensive shooting, less recoil, and more capacity in the same size firearm. If you choose a defensive load from the Ammo FAQs, the bad guys will not know the difference between the 9mm or the .40 with which you shoot them.


Bingo, Baddabng, Baddaboom .... The three reasons for justifying 9mm. Since purhase is for your wife she will most likely appreciate the recoil of the 9mm.

.40 is my preference of the two for only ONE reason. It starts with a 4.
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 9:50:35 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 1911smith:

.40 is my preference of the two for only ONE reason. It starts with a 4.


A whole whopping .046" ....

OP needs to understand that the SD of the 147gr 9mm round (0.167) is higher than that of even the 180gr 40-cal projo (0.160) and 230gr 45-cal projo (0.161).  Given the reliable performance of modern JHP ammo, there no logical reason to choose a "4" over a "9" given the other advantages of the 9mm (already given above).  The performance of 40 S&W and 45 ACP just don't have that much of a gap to justify their higher cost and recoil and lower capacity.
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 9:59:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2010 10:00:11 AM EDT by erichmess_]
Originally Posted By WIZZO_ARAKM14:
For a beginner, especially a female beginner, I'd recommend a 9mm in a heartbeat.


+1, if only not to be dragged through yet another 9/40/45 debate.  

OP, go with a 9mm or .45 whenever possible.  For carry, 9mm.  Especially if you're carrying for the first time, IMO.
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 10:01:35 AM EDT
I use a G19OD with some +P+ ammo and I prefer 45 ACP over .40S/W.
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 10:22:45 AM EDT
As long as you choose a defensive round from the list provided in the Ammuntion section of this forum you cannot go wrong with the 9mm. I'd suggest either Federal HST, Winchester Ranger T, or Gold Dot. There's no REAL reason go to a .40SW when 9mm has it all covered with less recoil, quicker follow-up shots and a higher capacity magazine.

Link Posted: 3/7/2010 10:29:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By XMM:
As long as you choose a defensive round from the list provided in the Ammuntion section of this forum you cannot go wrong with the 9mm. I'd suggest either Federal HST, Winchester Ranger T, or Gold Dot. There's no REAL reason go to a .40SW when 9mm has it all covered with less recoil, quicker follow-up shots and a higher capacity magazine.

I agree. There is no magic bullet.

Link Posted: 3/7/2010 10:42:01 AM EDT
In case you have trouble finding it, here's the list of acceptable defensive handgun rounds. Click on 9mm to see the options.     http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/index.htm
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 3:56:08 PM EDT




Originally Posted By Hero:

I like 9mm for less expensive shooting, less recoil, and more capacity in the same size firearm. If you choose a defensive load from the Ammo FAQs, the bad guys will not know the difference between the 9mm or the .40 with which you shoot them.




Link Posted: 3/7/2010 4:36:54 PM EDT
Pick the platform your SO and you prefer. Either caliber is G2G. I think the platform dictates the caliber, at least, for me it does.

SIG=.40/357SIG
HK=45
Glock=9mm

JMO
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 4:40:21 PM EDT
At the moment, one of the big factors is ammo availability.

For example, I can get all the 9mm I want at the moment, but it will cost me as much or more than .40 will (locally)

.40 is pretty plentiful at the moment around here and for now, it is more economical for me to shoot. You might want to check ammo availability and price in your area.

For effectiveness, the difference between the two is probably close enough to be negligible. Depending on how much experience you and your wife have, you might find 9mm easier too control, however.

Link Posted: 3/7/2010 5:04:40 PM EDT
go 9     the 40 came and went!      IMHO    billyboy
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 5:39:35 PM EDT
9mm

Link Posted: 3/7/2010 5:49:00 PM EDT
Originally Posted By XMM:
As long as you choose a defensive round from the list provided in the Ammuntion section of this forum you cannot go wrong with the 9mm. I'd suggest either Federal HST, Winchester Ranger T, or Gold Dot. There's no REAL reason go to a .40SW when 9mm has it all covered with less recoil, quicker follow-up shots and a higher capacity magazine.



+1, this is gospel!
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 5:57:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2010 6:06:43 PM EDT by shadowcop]
Originally Posted By ShakenNotStirred:
Originally Posted By 1911smith:

.40 is my preference of the two for only ONE reason. It starts with a 4.


A whole whopping .046" ....

OP needs to understand that the SD of the 147gr 9mm round (0.167) is higher than that of even the 180gr 40-cal projo (0.160) and 230gr 45-cal projo (0.161).  Given the reliable performance of modern JHP ammo, there no logical reason to choose a "4" over a "9" given the other advantages of the 9mm (already given above).  The performance of 40 S&W and 45 ACP just don't have that much of a gap to justify their higher cost and recoil and lower capacity.


And I know you believe that.
I like shooting a 9 and use 147 gr. Fed HST in my backup Kahr PM9. But given a choice, I too will go with something beginning with a 4.

Link Posted: 3/7/2010 6:48:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cordovamx:
Hey guys, looking into getting a CCW for my wife and I, but Im not sure which caliber is better- 9mm or .40?
...


Go to a range that provides rentals, buy two boxes of 9 and 40, and do some hands-on testing.
Go easy on your eval if they jam up, cause rental guns are cleaned little and shot a lot, so bring a bottle of CLP just in case.
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 7:02:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By chris65:
Originally Posted By cordovamx:
Hey guys, looking into getting a CCW for my wife and I, but Im not sure which caliber is better- 9mm or .40?
...


Go to a range that provides rentals, buy two boxes of 9 and 40, and do some hands-on testing.
Go easy on your eval if they jam up, cause rental guns are cleaned little and shot a lot, so bring a bottle of CLP just in case.



If you do this, you will choose 9mm.  And you will be right.

Link Posted: 3/7/2010 7:08:32 PM EDT
get both...
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 7:34:19 PM EDT
I like and own both, but I'd suggest the 9mm in this case for all the reasons mentioned.

I just bought a G19 and it's awesome, BTW.
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 8:46:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By shadowcop:
Originally Posted By ShakenNotStirred:
Originally Posted By 1911smith:

.40 is my preference of the two for only ONE reason. It starts with a 4.


A whole whopping .046" ....

OP needs to understand that the SD of the 147gr 9mm round (0.167) is higher than that of even the 180gr 40-cal projo (0.160) and 230gr 45-cal projo (0.161).  Given the reliable performance of modern JHP ammo, there no logical reason to choose a "4" over a "9" given the other advantages of the 9mm (already given above).  The performance of 40 S&W and 45 ACP just don't have that much of a gap to justify their higher cost and recoil and lower capacity.


And I know you believe that.
I like shooting a 9 and use 147 gr. Fed HST in my backup Kahr PM9. But given a choice, I too will go with something beginning with a 4.



Just like many people will go with .357 magnum out of a snub, despite it being known that 135gr .38 special +p gold dot works better. Such a small 'advantage' in 'power' gives people a huge measure of confidence, and hey, if it makes them more confident in a shooting, then go for it. But it doesn't mean it makes a difference.
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 9:12:00 PM EDT
Thanks guys for all of your input, I am looking at the Springfield XD in a 9, I think it will work well, thanks guys, I really appreciate it!
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 1:31:46 AM EDT
Sig P229 .40 and then add a 9mm conversion barrel or a Glock 27 and add a 9mm conversion barrel.
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 4:16:17 AM EDT
I prefer 9MM as well, I just dont think the .40 pro's ourweigh the con's.  I am a 9MM or .45 guy.
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 5:18:47 AM EDT
count my vote for 9mm.



I don't think there's that much difference in performance, but the 9mm ammo is much cheaper.
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 5:31:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/8/2010 5:33:28 AM EDT by Andr0id]
Forget the lethality / which round is more bad ass arguments.

Unless you are rich and can afford as much .40 as you want, get a 9mm and shoot the crap out of it as often as possible for the first year. Take some defensive handgun classes with the money you save over the .40.

After that year has passed, then look at bigger calibers. Since you now know how to shoot well, you won't blow as much ammo getting used to shooting a new gun and you can still shoot the 9mm most of the time to stay proficient and shoot the forty-somethings as you can afford the ammo.
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 6:20:47 AM EDT
9mm.  

40 has a sharp recoil impulse that i do not care for.
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 7:06:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Hero:
I like 9mm for less expensive shooting, less recoil, and more capacity in the same size firearm. If you choose a defensive load from the Ammo FAQs, the bad guys will not know the difference between the 9mm or the .40 with which you shoot them.


Link Posted: 3/9/2010 9:28:47 AM EDT
Here is another thought that I haven't seen mentioned:

What about considering the platform you are most interested in first?  The size and weight of the gun you platform you plan on using will greatly affect the felt recoil of either round.

There are obvious arguments like cost and performance in favor of one or the other but if none of those put you firmly in one camp or the other then you'd do yourself a huge service to rent both the 9mm and .40 version of the handgun you plan on buying and shooting both.  I've shot both versions of my CZ and the felt recoil was not material in my decision by that point simply due to the weight of the gun.  In a smaller compact or subcompact polyframe, it will matter alot more.
Link Posted: 3/9/2010 10:52:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/9/2010 10:53:21 AM EDT by gotigers]
Originally Posted By woodsie:
............... The size and weight of the gun you platform you plan on using will greatly affect the felt recoil of either round..................

Good point. For example: PPS vs PF9.  Both 9mm, both small, both single stack, both thin.  

PPS 19oz & 3.2 inch barrel

PF9 13oz & 3.1 inch barrel.

Due to the extra weight, which is mostly over the muzzle top end, the Walther has considerably less muzzle rise than the PF9. Both are good CCW guns. I am more comfortable shooting more rounds out of a PPS than PF9.  The PF9 would make a fine CCW, but you may not enjoy shooting it at the range all day.  The PPS is a fine CCW as well and i can shoot it all day.

A .40S&W would magnify that effect.




Link Posted: 3/9/2010 4:49:57 PM EDT
The only reason I shoot .40 is for competition. 21 rounds of major ammo in a 1911 style pistol. Other than that 9mm and .45 will do any thing I need. jmo
Link Posted: 3/9/2010 5:27:02 PM EDT


At one time I had a .40.  I now have a 9mm.  I like the 9mm better.  That being said, try them both and see which you like better.

Link Posted: 3/10/2010 4:28:44 AM EDT
9MM All the way!
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