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9mm vs .40 S&W

ZeeZee Posts: 28,436 Senior Member
edited December 2018 in Personal Defense #1
I have a G23 in .40 S&W with a 4.5” Lone Wolf barrel installed.  Lately, I’ve been contemplating getting a G19 in 9mm. 

Taking the cheaper route, I ordered a Lone Wolf 4.6” G23 9mm conversion barrel for my gun. 

Basically, with just the swap of a barrel and magazine, I can shoot both .40 S&W and 9mm out of the same gun. 

Same sights. Same trigger. Same grip. Just a different cartridge. 

The barrel arrived yesterday so I went to the range today to see if there was a significant POI shift between barrels and determine the difference in felt recoil/muzzle rise. 

Federal 155gr HST - .40 S&W 
Federal 124gr +P+ HydraShok - 9mm

Glock 23C

Lone Wolf 4.5” (.40 S&W)
Lone Wolf 4.6” (9mm)

Distance for Accuracy & POI:
10 yards (offhand)
25 yards (bench rest)

Distance for speed/recoil:
7 yards (offhand)

Started with the .40 S& W as that was already in the gun. 

As you can see, there is a 4” POI shift between the 10/25 yard groups but, accuracy is acceptable for both. 

Velocity with the .40 S&W Federal 155gr HST ammo was 1,187 fps. 

Swapped out the barrels and mag for 9mm and redid the testing. 

I was pleasantly surprised that there was little to no POI shift between the .40 and 9mm ammo for 10 yards and even better consistency between 10/25 yards with the 9mm. 

Accuracy was again, very good for a Glock. 

Velocity was 1,242 fps with the +P+ load. 

Next, I tried to determine the “shoorability” of the two cartridges from the same platform with the same barrel length. 

To do so, I placed a 2” paster on the board and started from the ready position at 7 yards. Goal was to shoot as fast as I could accurately control the gun. Pressing the trigger only when the front sight was back on the paster.  Firing 6 rounds for time. 

.40 S&W time:
2.76 seconds for 6 shots and +/- 2” group. 

9mm time:
2.62 seconds for 6 rounds and +/- 2” group with 1 flyer. 

So folks, here we have a statistical wash for accuracy and shootability. 

55 fps to the 9mm

31 grains to the .40 S&W

.046” to the .40 S&W

.014 sec to the 9mm but the flyer makes it a wash. 

"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith


  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    Nice. I get similar results with the Storm Lake 9mm barrel in my .40 M&P. 
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • NNNN Posts: 25,236 Senior Member
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Posts: 1,785 Senior Member
    I like the science aspect here.  

    I only have experience with .40 S&W in one handgun and it was a Shield.  It was rather quickly traded in for a 9mm variant.  I now also have a .45 Shield that splits duty with the 9mm Shield.  Some day I may give .40 a second try, but in a more suitable platform.
  • ZeeZee Posts: 28,436 Senior Member
    How are they skewed?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Posts: 28,436 Senior Member
    A PD buddy was with me. He shot a bit slower and not as tight a group with both and we are now texting to try and remember his times. 

    We are thinking he was:

    6 sec (40)
    4 sec (9)


    Trying to talk him into doing it again in the morning to confirm. 

    I have been working with him him and he’s getting better. But, he is what I would consider an average shooter. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Posts: 28,436 Senior Member
    I readily admit that there was less felt recoil with the 9 and likely less muzzle flip. 

    Yes, I likely know how to control a gun a little more efficiently than some. That’s just training and practice. Nothing special. 

    Yes, I saw a difference between me and my buddy shooting them. 

    That doesn’t mean the testing is skewed.  It was a valid test of what I can do with both. Or what CAN be done with both. Yes, there are folks that shoot better and worse than me. I can only realistically test myself. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Posts: 28,436 Senior Member
    edited December 2018 #8
    I can agree with your premise. 

    This was really a test to see if it was worth me switching the gun (or buying another) to 9mm. 

    After the testing, I looked at my buddy and said, “Why the Hell should I switch to 9mm?”

    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Posts: 28,436 Senior Member
    edited December 2018 #9
    On a side note, I got a Lone Wolf Extended/Threaded 9mm barrel for my G34 and put a LW compensator on it. 

    First issue i had was keeping the comp tight with the set screw. First range session exposed this. So, I put LockTite on the set screw. 

    This session proved accuracy was an issue with the comp. 

    This target shows:

    124gr Federal +P+ HydraShok

    10 yard Comped (Red)
    25 yard Comped (Yellow)
    25 yard Non-Comped (Green)

    After the noticeable and repeatable crappy accuracy at 25 yards with the comp, I removed it and the gun shot better. Money wasted. 

    1,250 fps w/ 5.8” barrel
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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