Pistol Caliber Comparison

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Scot E, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. Scot E

    Scot E New Member

    Jan 15, 2009
    I see the 9mm vs 40 debated often but seldom the 40 vs. 45. It seems the latter would be a more interesting and appropriate debate.

    Any takers or opinions in this regard?


    Scot E.
  2. dusty9

    dusty9 Member

    Jan 1, 2008
    West Texas
    IMHO, comparing .40 vs .45 is more about the differences in the firearms than the cartridges. Specifically, the physical differences. .40's are available in 9mm frame firearms while .45's are necessarily in larger frame firearms. I know there is a multitude of compact .45's available now, but they are all still larger in every respect except length compared to the 9mm frame guns. I believe that is the primary appeal of the .40 over the .45.

    Regarding the cartridges, the 9mm and .40 are more similar than the .40 and .45 are. That is, the 9mm and .40 are both hot, high velocity, high pressure rounds, while the .45 is a lower pressure and lower velocity round that derives its effectiveness from throwing a larger and heavier bullet.

    As we all know, all three are fine rounds, but I am convinced that choices between the three are made more on the firearms than the calibers. However, there will continue to be ongoing debates over the merits of each cartridge.

  3. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    What dusty9 said.

    Given the choice between .45 or a .40, I would say either will do pretty much whatever you want them too just as well.
  4. oneounceload

    oneounceload New Member

    Jan 1, 2009
    40's have a notorious rep for "snappy recoil", especially in the small SD guns. It is also available in more polymer frame guns, like the 9mm. The 45 , usually associated with the 1911 frame, gives more of a push. Many find the 1911 in .45 easier to handle and control.
  5. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    The 45 ACP has been doing the job for close to 100 years. It is a real fight stopper. The 40 has gained great popularity and it the official caliber of many police departments. I agree you really can't go wrong with either but if it were me I'd go for the 45.
  6. BigJakeJ1s

    BigJakeJ1s Member

    Oct 12, 2007
    I like 45 (ACP or Colt). I don't like 40s&w or 10mm. Therefore, 45 must be better.

  7. I have Paraordnance 1911's in 9, 40 & 45. While speed shooting, I find I personally shoot the 40 the best. I seem to be able to get the sight picture back faster w/ the 40. I haven't got but a few hundred rounds through the 9, & it needs a trigger job.
  8. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    I can't imagine why the 10mm has lost popularity. I personally don't see much difference in felt recoil between the 45 and 10. In fact hot .40's are not all that different than the 10's. I don't know maybe just me. I wonder what the general consensis would be compairing a .40 to 10.
  9. poser_pilot

    poser_pilot New Member

    Jan 13, 2009
    LOL, well put.

    I personally prefer the .40s&w to the .45, havent ever shot the 10mm. But really, I believe that whatever you want to carry and feel comfortable shooting is the best caliber. A pellet gun is better than nothing, IMO.
  10. shorthair123

    shorthair123 New Member

    Jan 21, 2009
    Like the 9 the 40 seems to be popular with dept's that relay on the spray & pray method as opposed to the 45's supporters that haveing a more limited ammo supply requires one to actually aim at what one wishes to hit.
  11. graehaven

    graehaven Well-Known Member

    May 26, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    And how do you carry that behemoth in summer when wearing shorts and a t-shirt? ;)
  12. Haligan

    Haligan Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    FEMA Region II

    Couldn't have said it better myself.
  13. RandyP

    RandyP Active Member

    Jan 22, 2009
    Like real estate, SD shooting is always location, location, location. You can kill a bull with a .22 if you stick it in its ear, and other than scaring it with the boom and the flash, a miss from a .600 Nitro Express will do NO damage to a mouse.

    Every time I read a caliber debate I am reminded of the story of a small town Sheriff down south attending an official function, carrying his usual "hog leg" big ol' honking revolver on his belt. A rookie reporter gal sidles up to him, points to the pistol and asks "You expectin' trouble tonight Sheriff?" His answer? "No Ma'am, If I were expectin' trouble I'd have brought my rifle."

    When I can use my CCW permit I carry what I can shoot well, from .380 pistols to my Springer 1911A1. More out of the clothing choice for that day than anything else. Non-LEO and non-military folks have different needs for this particular tool than the average citizen who rarely if ever finds themselves in harm's way.

    Shot placement wins over caliber just about every time IMHO.
  14. The FBI did an exhaustive and expensive scientific examination of nearly all the popular pistol calibers after a tragic shootout in Florida. Two agents were killed and three wounded by a bank robber armed with a Ruger 556. (Mini 14 machinegun)

    The perpetrator was shot no less than 13 times with 9mm silvertip bullets. Of those hits 9 would have killed him eventually but not quickly enough.

    The FBI's final decision was basically that any pistol caliber was OK. As long as it started with a "4".

    I own and shoot 45's but a 40 would be my second choice in a carry firearm.
  15. ThWind81

    ThWind81 New Member

    Apr 19, 2009
    I own a Glock 27 sub-compact .40 and I love it.
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