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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of picking up a police trade-in that are popping up at gunshops locally. With all the rage these days of everyone switching to 9mm because the FBI is, do you buy into this or are you happy with .40(Or whatever you use.)?


 

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Comic, not your lawyer!
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For me, I pick both the .40 and 9x19 for SD roles. It depends on the platform and where I'm going and how I can carry.

The top consideration in any standard self defense caliber (from .380 to .45acp) is whether you can shoot it well.

The second consideration IMO is the tradeoff in damage versus capacity. The bullets damage different - some rely more on speed (9x19) while others rely on weight (.45acp)

I've watched dozens and dozens of real-world shootouts. Police tend to fire a lot more rounds, often 20+ and reloads. Civilians tend to almost never fire more than 10 and rarely more than 15.

So for me as a civilian, I want capacity of at least 8, probably 10, and ideally 12-15 in a carry gun.

So for a .45, while it delivers an impressive damage level, the capacity isn't usually enough and I only use the .45 in states where I'm limited to 10 round mags.

The .380 is just too small for my tastes and any gun that can chamber the .380 can chamber as many 9x19 and there's more offerings in guns and ammo.

So that leaves .40 and 9x19. I choose both. I can shoot both accurately. The .40 for me offers the best combination of performance and capacity in carry and home defense, but I do keep the 9 for various roles as well.

Of course be sure to use premium SD ammo.

Here's some examples in similar sized guns.
Glock 23 is .40 in 13+1
Glock 19 is 9x19 in 15+1

Sig P229 in .40 is 12+1 (there might be some 13rd mags out there but I don't have them)
Sig P229 in 9x19 is 15+1

Full sized combat handguns in these calibers are going to be in the 15-20 round capacity, which is sufficient particularly with reloads available.

For me, I think it's pretty unlikely that in the unlikely event of a SD attack and shooting that I'll get into the 10 or greater range of firing. It's certainly possible. But what is more likely is that the few hits will need to do max damage.

I've seen a lot of ballistics gel tests and both the .40 and 9 deliver incredible wounds but I've always been a bit more impressed with the .40. All things considered, any hit with a .40 is going to be better than a 9, even if marginally so.
 

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How much training are you going to be doing? The .40 does slightly more damage but it's negligible if you're an accurate shooter. It has noticeably more recoil, often more weight, and most importantly - holds fewer rounds. 9mm ammo is cheaper and more abundant.

If you can't afford much training (either due to time or funds) - choose the 9. If you aren't able to train regularly, the extra rounds in the 9 are more valuable than the damage because a miss does no damage and you'll want to maximize your chances for a hit before having to reload (as most firefights don't get past one mag).

That said, I love my .40 (carry a M&P and a Shield) and just use a 9 for my backup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
For me, I pick both the .40 and 9x19 for SD roles. It depends on the platform and where I'm going and how I can carry.

The top consideration in any standard self defense caliber (from .380 to .45acp) is whether you can shoot it well.

The second consideration IMO is the tradeoff in damage versus capacity. The bullets damage different - some rely more on speed (9x19) while others rely on weight (.45acp)

I've watched dozens and dozens of real-world shootouts. Police tend to fire a lot more rounds, often 20+ and reloads. Civilians tend to almost never fire more than 10 and rarely more than 15.

So for me as a civilian, I want capacity of at least 8, probably 10, and ideally 12-15 in a carry gun.

So for a .45, while it delivers an impressive damage level, the capacity isn't usually enough and I only use the .45 in states where I'm limited to 10 round mags.

The .380 is just too small for my tastes and any gun that can chamber the .380 can chamber as many 9x19 and there's more offerings in guns and ammo.

So that leaves .40 and 9x19. I choose both. I can shoot both accurately. The .40 for me offers the best combination of performance and capacity in carry and home defense, but I do keep the 9 for various roles as well.

Of course be sure to use premium SD ammo.

Here's some examples in similar sized guns.
Glock 23 is .40 in 13+1
Glock 19 is 9x19 in 15+1

Sig P229 in .40 is 12+1 (there might be some 13rd mags out there but I don't have them)
Sig P229 in 9x19 is 15+1

Full sized combat handguns in these calibers are going to be in the 15-20 round capacity, which is sufficient particularly with reloads available.

For me, I think it's pretty unlikely that in the unlikely event of a SD attack and shooting that I'll get into the 10 or greater range of firing. It's certainly possible. But what is more likely is that the few hits will need to do max damage.

I've seen a lot of ballistics gel tests and both the .40 and 9 deliver incredible wounds but I've always been a bit more impressed with the .40. All things considered, any hit with a .40 is going to be better than a 9, even if marginally so.

Great post, thanks! I shoot both 9mm & .40 equally well, so after reading your post .40 it is lol. I've only shot .40 in Glocks, I hear shooting .40s&w out of an M&P has less felt recoil? I'm not recoil sensitive at all, but I'm told the M&P was built around the .40 not sure how true this is? I have the M&P 2.0 in 9mm, so I'll just keep it & add either a Glock 22 Gen4 or the M&P 2.0 in .40. Again great post, much appreciated. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
How much training are you going to be doing? The .40 does slightly more damage but it's negligible if you're an accurate shooter. It has noticeably more recoil, often more weight, and most importantly - holds fewer rounds. 9mm ammo is cheaper and more abundant.

If you can't afford much training (either due to time or funds) - choose the 9. If you aren't able to train regularly, the extra rounds in the 9 are more valuable than the damage because a miss does no damage and you'll want to maximize your chances for a hit before having to reload (as most firefights don't get past one mag).

That said, I love my .40 (carry a M&P and a Shield) and just use a 9 for my backup.

Have you shot the Glock 23 or the Glock 22, curious how the recoil is compared to the M&P series in .40. The wife & I shoot both the 9mm & .40 equally well, although i have to admit she is a little more accurate then Iam lol. :eek:::thumb:
 

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The 40 cal has a larger case = more powder equal more bullet energy = more recoil.
It also lets you load a much heavier hard cast bullet, suited for deep penetration, and breaking big bones.

Defense against humans; Both work well.
Defense against hogs and black bears; 40 cal preferred with 180-200g loads.
Defense against large brown bears; Don't be stupid, you need a 44 magnum.
 

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Have you shot the Glock 23 or the Glock 22, curious how the recoil is compared to the M&P series in .40. The wife & I shoot both the 9mm & .40 equally well, although i have to admit she is a little more accurate then Iam lol. :eek:::thumb:
Glock 23 is my recommendation if you're going with the .40 (compact enough for a daily carry). As always, try one out for a bit first at a range as ymmv.

My M&P is not easily concealable (not that big a deal for me as I don't need to conceal it). I use it due to personal preference as I've had it for quite some time and have trust in the platform (so psychological preference). If I were to ever change over, it'd be to a Glock 23. The recoil on the 22/23 is slightly more than the M&P but that's mainly just due to the additional weight on the M&P. If you're conceal carrying, the extra weight of the M&P will be very noticeable. And realistically, you'll spend more time carrying it than firing it ideally.
 

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Btw, these police trade in guns have been widely available from gun stores and at gun shows for over a year.
Most are Sig or Glock models in 9mm or 40 cal.

I bought a Sig 229 in 40 cal last spring at a good price. Sig had recoated the frame and slide, replaced the springs and magazines, and mine has a new barrel.

New gun, factory warranty, half price, what's not to like?
 

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Great post, thanks! I shoot both 9mm & .40 equally well, so after reading your post .40 it is lol. I've only shot .40 in Glocks, I hear shooting .40s&w out of an M&P has less felt recoil? I'm not recoil sensitive at all, but I'm told the M&P was built around the .40 not sure how true this is? I have the M&P 2.0 in 9mm, so I'll just keep it & add either a Glock 22 Gen4 or the M&P 2.0 in .40. Again great post, much appreciated. :thumb:
Any major company (Glock, SW, Sig, HK, etc.) making a gun since the 1990s is going to have perfected their platform around the main calibers including .40.

Glock, HK, Sig P229 , and SW (Gen 3 models) were the first to get into the .40 game and make guns for the caliber, ~3 decades ago guns are made around the .40 as well. Anyway, and you can always get heavier recoil springs if recoil is an issue.

I have a variety of guns in .40 from every manufacturer from Sig to HK to Glock to Bersa to SW to XD. They all work well. It boils down to personal preference. I often consider replacing my primary carry gun, the reliable Glock 23. It's been my carry gun almost exclusively for 11 years (minus deployments and work on Army bases). Of all my guns, if I honestly had to pick just 1 to carry forever, it would be the G23. It's just dead reliable and accurate and never had a hiccup. And that is instead of my HK USP, Sig P229, Bersa Thunder, Beretta 96 Centurion, SW M&P, and a bunch of others. The G23 isn't the sexiest or even the most ergonomic, but man it's reliable, accurate, and fast.

The .40 is an outstanding caliber and one I fully trust to do the job of self defense in a hurry. As I said, if you make 1 hit - all things equal - the .40 will do more than the 9. It's just physics. Larger wound channel, heavier, about as fast, deeper wound channel, and delivering more kinetic energy. It's not drastic, but it is a difference.

There's great ballistics testing videos and self defense vids all over Youtube. Check them out.

But as I said, accuracy is key. A better HIT with a 9 will do a better JOB than a poor hit with the .40.

And I still love the 9x19 btw. I have a Bersa 9x19 loaded at my desk as I type this, 17+1. My ankle carry backup is a Walther PPS 9x19, due to capacity and I like the gun.

The great news is that as departments dump their .40s they are flooding the market with cheap department guns. Might need a new $10 recoil spring and a deep cleaning. Bargains...
 
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