9mm, .40, or .45

Paver1055Paver1055 MemberPosts: 38 Member
Which is better for home defense, 9mm, .40, or a .45?
XD .45 4"
«1345

Replies

  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Any of those calibers will do fine for home defense, however, given the better price of 9mm ammo, and the improvements of today's 9mm over yesteryear's ammo.

    .45 acp is also a fine choice, premium defense ammo is easy to get at anywhere.

    However, .40 S&W crosses the point of diminishing returns as far as the price of ammo and little advantage over 9mm, and more wear & tear on the gun and shooter.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • Paver1055Paver1055 Member Posts: 38 Member
    Thanks!
    XD .45 4"
  • KENFU1911KENFU1911 Senior Member Posts: 1,052 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    Any of those calibers will do fine for home defense, however, given the better price of 9mm ammo, and the improvements of today's 9mm over yesteryear's ammo.

    .45 acp is also a fine choice, premium defense ammo is easy to get at anywhere.

    However, .40 S&W crosses the point of diminishing returns as far as the price of ammo and little advantage over 9mm, and more wear & tear on the gun and shooter.
    +1...Ken
    My idea of a warning shot is when the 2nd bad guy watches his 1st buddy go down....
  • rallykidrallykid Senior Member Posts: 657 Senior Member
    The one that you shoot most accurately out of your chosen platform. I like shooting .45 and 9mm. I have never been a big fan of .40. I mostly carry and shoot 9mm these days because it is so cheap compared to .45 and my Glocks will eat anything I feed them. I can buy 1000 rounds of 9mm for $160 for practice and my Golden Saber 124gr +p carry ammo is only $11.95 for a 25 round box. That means I can afford to stack it much higher and deeper than .40 or .45.
    No, I do not have a pink fuzzy bunny fetish but apparently my Facebook hacking wife does.
  • rbsivleyrbsivley Senior Member Posts: 1,055 Senior Member
    I've used all three. With a 12 gauge kicker.
    Randy

    Rank does not concur privileges. It imposes responsibility. Author unknown
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    As far as putting rounds into another person, and noting the effects, all three cartridges perform very similar (the nine and forty virtually identical). There's not a place on the human body where a .45 will drop you but an 9mm wouldn't, and a .40 would do the same as either of them.

    It really comes down to your personal opinion of the cartridges. I am basically anti-.40s&w, it is offered in the same platforms as the 9mm, generally gets you two less rounds in the mag, has more recoil, cost more for the ammo, and performs virtually identical to the 9mm.

    I have no problem with .45s but probably won't buy anymore of them. I honestly believe that the 9mm is just as good a defensive cartridge, and now that 9mm 1911s are being offered by more and more manufacturers you get pretty much the best of both worlds. The ergonomics, comfort, and concealability of the thin 1911, with the, cheaper ammo prices, higher capacity, lower recoil, and faster follow up shots of a 9mm.



    They are all handgun cartridges and none of them are very good choices for ending the fight RIGHT NOW, but since we generally can't conceal a 12 gauge shotgun or a semi-auto centerfire rifle, you're stuck with choosing the best ineffective cartridge out of the lot. For me, that's the 9mm.
  • gunrunner428gunrunner428 Senior Member Posts: 1,018 Senior Member
    Of the three, I'd suggest the one you can afford to shoot the most - 9mm. The biggest factor in defensive handgunning isn't the power of the ammo (a rifle or a shotgun will universally give you more power than any "reasonable" handgun), but the ability of the shooter to put rounds on target. This comes ONLY with practice, and the more the better. Between "economy" loads from every ammo manufacturer, in 115-grain FMJ which essentially duplicates the military standard loading, actual mil-surp, and the huge variety in defense-oriented loads, 9mm has a slight edge over .45, and a marked advantage over .40 S&W.

    .45 has over 100 years of research and development, not to mention real-world battlefield and defensive use, going for it, and the ammo makers have so many different offerings for this round, it ranks up there as well. Your biggest decider between the .45 and the 9mm will be capacity for pistol size, and for HD there are boatloads of 9mm's with 15 shot standard capacity or more whereas your .45 selections with more than 10 rounds will be a bit harder to come by, but never difficult.

    .40 S&W was the wunder-kind back in the early '90's, although personally I felt it was "backed into" when the FBI opened the field for a "10mm Special", working in reverse to develop a less-powerful, more controllable round than the spitfire 10mm when it was reported that the 10mm was "overpowered" - read, "too hot for administrative agents to reliably control". It is very effective, don't get me wrong, and the LE acceptance has given the non-uniformed shooter a lot of support as far as gun design and ammo selection is concerned, but for the most part it's a compromise between the advantages of both 9mm and .45.
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    Eli wrote: »

    i honestly believe that the 9mm is just as good a defensive cartridge, and now that 9mm 1911s are being offered by more and more manufacturers you get pretty much the best of both worlds. The ergonomics, comfort, and concealability of the thin 1911, with the, cheaper ammo prices, higher capacity, lower recoil, and faster follow up shots of a 9mm.



    They are all handgun cartridges and none of them are very good choices for ending the fight right now, but since we generally can't conceal a 12 gauge shotgun or a semi-auto centerfire rifle, you're stuck with choosing the best ineffective cartridge out of the lot. For me, that's the 9mm.

    amen!!! + one!! VERRY WELL STATED!
  • I'm goneI'm gone New Member Posts: 15 New Member
    This helps me alot also as I have been going back and forth between the 9mm and .40s&w, ammo price and less recoil are a good plus for me.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,038 Senior Member
    The single, solitary reason that I have anything to do with the .40 S&W at all is that in my situation, the ammo is essentially free and limitless. It's a harsh round to shoot when compared with the other two - harder on guns and harder on you.

    The average penetration of all three in duty round format is about the same. The energy delivered by all is roughly in the 400 foot-pound ballpark. Final expanded diameter is slightly bigger for the .45 due to the greater amount of metal. Your perp will leak slightly faster from a bigger hole, but that's really about the only difference in effectiveness between the three rounds.

    I LIKE the .45 for complicated reasons, some of which are sentimental, some of which are attached to my professional opinion that the two kinds of handguns on this earth are "1911's" and "other". The thing is, though, I shoot A LOT. Shooting a large-bore handgun effectively is something that takes regular practice. The beauty of the 9mm is that it IS an effective combat cartridge that ALSO happens to be within the comfort level of most casual shooters. Most folks who aren't gunpowder addicts can't run a .40+ bore without at least some level of flinching and anticipation impairing their accuracy. The 9mm doesn't have that issue, and you'll be PRACTICING more because it is cheaper to feed.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • QuinianQuinian Senior Member Posts: 707 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    However, .40 S&W crosses the point of diminishing returns as far as the price of ammo and little advantage over 9mm, and more wear & tear on the gun and shooter.

    This may be true but I love my .40. Could just be because I love the platform launching them. If I had to pick only one I would probably take my 8mm though because I've shot it more than any other and it has 3x the ammo in it that my .40 does
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,967 Senior Member
    Quinian wrote: »
    This may be true but I love my .40. Could just be because I love the platform launching them. If I had to pick only one I would probably take my 9mm though because I've shot it more than any other and it has 3x the ammo in it that my .40 does
    I like the .40 because it it readily available locally vice 10mm, so I'll mostly shoot .40 in the revolver and save the 10mm for the glock.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • AiredaleAiredale Banned Posts: 624 Senior Member
    I own 5 handguns.
    A .22 auto, a .22 mag revolver, a .380 auto, a .45 Colt Commander and a .44 mag. Super Blackhawk.
    The on that sleeps on my night stand is the .45 Commander.
    Jim
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,803 Senior Member
    They all work well if you can aim. And to learn how to aim you must practice. It costs less to feed the 9mm. The .40 and the .45 cost 40% more to 60% more to shoot. It seems like the .45 is the most accurate.

    Buy one and use it frequently.

    IMHO

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • AiredaleAiredale Banned Posts: 624 Senior Member
    Accuracy isn't a big issue at 10 feet, and who cares what the cost when family safety is involved.
    We're not talkin about target shooting.
    I agree, use it frequently.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Airedale wrote: »
    Accuracy isn't a big issue at 10 feet, and who cares what the cost when family safety is involved.
    We're not talkin about target shooting.
    I agree, use it frequently.

    It is the cost of practice, which is paramount to being able to defend your family, and as was aptly stated in many ways, by many here, the main advantage to 9mm ammo is as cheap as it is, relative to the cost of other calibers, you can practice more, in My area, .380 acp is more expensive than 9mm, hence it is not My choice as a defensive round.

    Back when I was not paying for ammo, and .38 special was the round, I used up more ammo in one session more than what most people could afford or care to shoot.

    The main benefit being that I could also place bullets anywhere on a B-10 target, without using the sights, one handed and with boring almost surgical precision.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • Mr.FMr.F Member Posts: 89 Member
    I never understood the .40 is hard guns & hard on the shooter thing . Guns made for .40 can handle .40 no problem . I've put well over 1000 rounds through mine & no problems whatsoever . There were problems with some guns at first but that was a few decades ago . Hard on the shooter ? I know petite girls who shoot .40 & have no complaints .
    Jermanator : You might talk about Tauruses around your wife, but that just doesn't fly in my house.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Referring to the average shooter in comparison to let's say 9mm, Bigslug does lots of work in this area, and he can tell you how recoil springs wear out faster in the 40s as compared to 9mm, if you like 40 S&W, and as I do, even 10mm, then by all means have at it, but for the casual shooter that does not throw so much lead down range, the 9mm offers a cost effective solution with milder or less perceived" recoil, and still offers a high level of performance.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • BakermanBakerman Member Posts: 382 Member
    Most times they all make a big bang that sends most bad guys scrambling for the door.
    Bakerman formerly known as Bakerman
  • Magnum27Magnum27 New Member Posts: 4 New Member
    9mm. That is what I chose to defend my home. Everything else is personal choice! :)
  • REDDEVILREDDEVIL Member Posts: 153 Member
    40 S&W, My personal choice because it's the biggest round I can throw downrange without sacrificing too much in the magazine department and/or sacrficing a change in grip width. I do not feel that the 40 has more recoil than a 9mm but it has been a while since I shot some 9, and the argument of how wonderful 9mm ammo has become only makes me feel better having a 40 in the same brand/recipe. The cost of 40 may be the downside but for the aforementioned reasons I will take it in stride.
    40SW_140gr_DPX_CorBonX__32246_zoom.JPG
  • glockman0422glockman0422 Member Posts: 216 Member
    Its hard to just pick one caliber. but if i had to choose one to cover everything it would be a 12 gauge shotgun. Lots of ammo choices and very effective at close distances.Not to mention the fear factor of the weapon. Personally, I have a home defense system in place with different layers.

    1st layer is non lethal. For this i have a good old Louiville slugger and a kimber pepper blaster. for when lethal force is not necessary.

    2nd layer is a 1911 which is my bed stand gun for the proverbial bump in the night or if i know for a fact there are only 1 or 2 perpetrators.

    3rd layer is a long gun. either a 12 gauge shotgun, AR-15 or an AK-74. Using the 1911 to fight my way to it.

    Thankfully i have not had to use any of these yet but it gives me piece of mind to have options in case i ever need to defend my home or family. I do own other guns in other calibers (9mm,22, 9x18mak....etc) but i dont use them for home defense.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,845 Senior Member
    rbsivley wrote: »
    I've used all three. With a 12 gauge kicker.
    or a 223
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • mythaeusmythaeus Senior Member Posts: 831 Senior Member
    9mm, of the choices given. I don't like over thinking caliber "effectiveness" because you will go nuts and pretty much come out with a "debatable" conclusion. I can practice more with 9mm for cheaper, bring back sights onto target faster with lesser efforts, and have a tad more capacity.
    Mr.F wrote: »
    I never understood the .40 is hard guns & hard on the shooter thing . Guns made for .40 can handle .40 no problem . I've put well over 1000 rounds through mine & no problems whatsoever . There were problems with some guns at first but that was a few decades ago . Hard on the shooter ? I know petite girls who shoot .40 & have no complaints .

    All things being equal, such as in the case of a Glock 26 vs. Glock 27 in which the specs are identical, that statement has a lot of merits. I carry a G26 and every I pick up a G27, I go "ugh...". Mind you I have no problem handling recoil, it just more snappy and takes more effort to bring it back to target at the same speed as the G26. Any mechanical device with more energy through will exert more wears & tears.

    Al
    "In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth and have begun striving for ourselves." - Siddhartha Gautama
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,651 Senior Member
    I never really intended to own a .40, for the reasons stated above. But I got a great deal on a nearly new Kahr K-40, at a time when I was starting to carry my XD45 less, due to back pain. I was expecting not to like it, but it's OK. The recoil and muzzle flip are not really very noticeable to me, using a combat grip, and I have as much fun practicing with it as anything else.

    A brand new shooter, though, is probably gonna learn to flinch from it, before he gets his grip worked out, and becomes desensitized to the recoil. That can be corrected, but can be avoided altogether with 9mm practice loads in a full sized platform. I have taught a few folks the bare essentials of handgun shooting (safety, grip, sight picture, follow-through) using a full sized steel frame 9mm that I have a .22 conversion kit for, and they have all been able to transition from the .22 to the 9mm, and even the .45, without ever developing a flinch...some of them in one short session.
  • Mr.FMr.F Member Posts: 89 Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    Referring to the average shooter in comparison to let's say 9mm, Bigslug does lots of work in this area, and he can tell you how recoil springs wear out faster in the 40s as compared to 9mm, if you like 40 S&W, and as I do, even 10mm, then by all means have at it, but for the casual shooter that does not throw so much lead down range, the 9mm offers a cost effective solution with milder or less perceived" recoil, and still offers a high level of performance.
    Ok now I see what you guys are saying - & what happened to all the emoticons ?
    Jermanator : You might talk about Tauruses around your wife, but that just doesn't fly in my house.
  • bruchibruchi Senior Member Posts: 2,582 Senior Member
    One claim made for the 45 is that it makes a bigger hole as it's circumference is larger, well, 9mm is 38/100", 40 is 40/100" and 45 is 45/100", in that aspect, difference between 9mm and 45 is 7/100 of an inch but then one has to consider other stuff as grains, velocity and how effective a round is so circumference is just one thing, it is a combination of all the variables which to consider.
    If this post is non welcomed, I can always give you a recipe for making "tostones".
  • Paver1055Paver1055 Member Posts: 38 Member
    bruchi wrote: »
    One claim made for the 45 is that it makes a bigger hole as it's circumference is larger, well, 9mm is 38/100", 40 is 40/100" and 45 is 45/100", in that aspect, difference between 9mm and 45 is 7/100 of an inch but then one has to consider other stuff as grains, velocity and how effective a round is so circumference is just one thing, it is a combination of all the variables which to consider.



    Makes sense
    XD .45 4"
  • temmitemmi Member Posts: 230 Member
    Whichever can shoot best and you will shoot most often
  • REDDEVILREDDEVIL Member Posts: 153 Member
    BPsniper wrote: »
    9mm = cheap/effective/easy to shoot

    .40 S&W = more expensive/effective/quite yer crying about "snappy" recoil and learn to shoot (I've put more rounds through .40 cal handguns than could ever be immagined.....have yet to break a single gun due to chambering......save the Beretta....which I broke a few.....just proves one CAN break a boat anchor)

    .45 ACP = midrange expensive/effective/practice, practice, practice as with anything else (stop drinking the koolaid....it's a handgun cartridge and therefore sub par for defensive work compared to a centerfire rifle cartridge.....it's not a miricle worker....you still have to put the round in the right place and repeat until the threat is stopped.......I don't care if it's 100 blah, blah, blah years old and been used in umpteen wars.....it's still just a handgun cartridge)

    With any of the three, you still have to do your homework and get straight A's to pass the class of a defensive situation. No handgun cartridge can make up for piss poor performance on the shooter's part.

    I own all three. I carry all three. Life is simple.

    :agree::applause::worthy::up: IMHO the best post thus far, unbiased and based purely within reality, pretty much sums it up. I wonder what it would have read if 10mm, 357sig, 38 super, .380, .32, .25, .22 or countless others were included.
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