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im new to these calibers, i know the .40 is faster and can hold more rounds in a mag, and the .45 has more stopping power/knock down power.. so whats the diff, ? help
isi
 

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Whatever differences are arguable. Some will say the .40 is more powerful than the .45, while detractors will counter that claims like that are based on weak, inconclusive, or too-new information.

Whatever the case, I don't personally own a .40 because I can't find a reason to. If I want a small, compact weapon I'll use a 9mm. The weapons are usually slightly smaller, have noticeably less recoil, and often hold an extra round or two. Most (but not all) 9mm's are usually more accurate than similar models in .40 as well. But if I want a big, powerful gun it's going to be a .45 (and a 1911) all the way. A time-proven cartridge chambered in what is arguably the best balance between power and control available.

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[This message has been edited by dsk (edited 10-24-2001).]
 

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Dsk pretty well covered it. I might add that if you're on the wrong end looking down the bore of a .45 it's a lot more intimidating than a .40 S&W.

If you really want to have some fun, try a 1911 in 10mm. It'll knock your socks off!

Regards,
Sam
 

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My understanding also is that the 40 works at much higher pressure levels than the 45, so less room for error to achieve similar result.
 

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I don't care what caliber it is. I really don't want to be looking down at the bore of any pistol if it's pointed at me!!

I don't know of anyone, that I know, who has stopped to ask a suspect if they were more scared because they were pointing a .45 at him/her.

I also think you can get a small, sub-compact .40 to carry that is the same size as a 9mm. How about the Glock 27, or the Kahr Micro .40? Both have 9mm brother guns the exact same size. I for one would definitely rather have a .40 than a 9mm.
 

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Personal opinion: as far as stopping power, they are nearly equivalent. The .45 holds a slight edge just because it makes a slightly bigger hole. There are many other factors to consider, like cost of ammo, size and weight of the gun, etc. The .45 is my personal preference, but there sho' ain't nothin' wrong with a .40.
 

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Originally posted by SamColtFan:
Dsk pretty well covered it. I might add that if you're on the wrong end looking down the bore of a .45 it's a lot more intimidating than a .40 S&W.

Sam - I highly doubt that if one is on the 'business end' of a firearm that it makes any difference if it was a .45 or a .40 S&W. Having had the experience, several times, of holding people at gun point, they are only too happy when it is all over. Some require a change of pants/underwear.

Yes, I agree, the .45 has a bigger hole but under that kind of stress a .22 looks intimidating, too. Regards, NAA.


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Okay... one more thing... I doubt if there is any difference in 'knock down' power, really, between say at .45ACP 185gr JHP and a .40 S&W 180 gr JHP.

It really boils down to what your preference is, what you carry, and how you train. Being a 1911 lover and someone who carries a Glock .40 cal every day - I'd feel comfortable with either. Oops, I've started that Glock vs 1911 thread again - sorrrry!


Regards, NAA.

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First of all, what type of shooting are you going to do? Recreational or practicing for personal defense?

If the answer is "both" and I was limited to one caliber and gun type, I would go with the .40 in something like a Glock 22 (or smaller 27) or the HK USP. (And yes, I know I am posting on 1911 FORUM.COM...DON'T GET ME WRONG; I LOVE 1911's...more on this later).

Now that the 9mm has been injected into this from other posts, it should be noted that the .45 vs. .40(and 9mm vs.40)are debates that have been stewing for some time now (at least since the .40 replaced the 10mm in law enforcement circles).

.40 S&W is definately more potent than 9mm. The .40 was concieved as an alternative to the .10mm FBI load that proved too much for most pistols (and shooters) when it was first introduced in the late 80's.

Both gelatin and soft tissue tests have borne out that the .40 delivers the "stopping power" that the .45 achieves AND it does it in a smaller package which allows more rounds per mag in similar sized platforms. Having been in use with law enforcement for several years now, it has proven itself on the street as well.

Take a look at what is issued among the various local and government law enforcement agencies. .40 S&W is employed much more than .45 and considerably more than 9mm. Remember, the "fun" factor does not apply here, just utility in surviving a life and death scenario.

A primay reason 9mm stays in the law enforcement fold is because of the investment made in that caliber in guns and ammo since it became popular in the mid-80's.

Even during the 80's "Wonder Nine" craze it was considered somewhat marginal as a fight-ender, but it possessed good accuracy and mild recoil; two qualities that facilitate effective shot-placement. Make no mistake, with the right bullet and in competent hands, it can do the job very effectively.

A benefit of the 9mm is that it can instil confidence in shooters who may not be as skilled or may be of smaller stature, thus allowing them to succeed in situations where too much gun might hamper shot-placement. The .40 does not kick like a mule; it is somewhere between CURRENTLY LOADED FACTORY 10mm and 9mm. In reality with the advent of the .40, the 9mm is best utilized as a caliber suited for use with ultra-compact/lightweight pistols where conealability is paramount.

The .45 (read 1911) happens to be my favorite handgun caliber for recreational shooting for a variety of reasons; soft recoil, overall shootabiltiy, diversity in readily available loadings and the all American factor are just a few. But from a tactical aspect, I'd have to go with the .40 because it delivers as much or more than the .45 from a smaller package.

Some contend that the .40 recoil is sharper and that overall it is not as much "fun" to shoot. In a self defense scenario, I'm not real concerned with the "fun" factor. I'll go with the .40 that gives me the knock-down of the .45 with more capacity and less weight.

As for platforms, I am absolutely enamored with the 1911, but I also realize that to get one to perform as flawlessly as a Glock 22 or an HK USP (of which I own both in .40) could run into the thousands of dollars. (Plastic-Haters, I hear you coming.)

Why would I spend serious jack like that when I can get either of the two affore-mentioned "plastic" guns READY TO GO out of the box for around $600.00 or less? Both have undergone rigorous testing(especially the HK which surpasses anything out there in sheer ruggedness) and have proven to be outstanding in durability.

So I guess there are two handgun realms for me:

Fun/Recrational...1911/.45

Self Defense....40/Polymer
 

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Originally posted by mcgrubbs:
I don't care what caliber it is. I really don't want to be looking down at the bore of any pistol if it's pointed at me!!

I don't know of anyone, that I know, who has stopped to ask a suspect if they were more scared because they were pointing a .45 at him/her.


Well, I was told several times how people remembered the size of the bore on a .45. When I used a parkerized .45 for duty, I put on a dull stainless barrel bushing around the black barrel. The bore looked huge. Hey, anything to stop people from doing something stupid is okay by me.
Regards,
Sam



[This message has been edited by SamColtFan (edited 10-24-2001).]
 

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It's a close call between standard pressure .45 and the .40.

I prefer the .40 in the Beretta 96 since I have preban 12rnd mags for them. I think .40 or 9mm in a 1911 is silly.

Following the principle of shooting the fastest and heaviest round possible, I will only use the 450 SMC or 45 Super in the 1911. I think that the extra power justifies the smaller mag capacity.
 

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I still go by the maxim of carrying the biggest caliber you can comfortably control. It's been my observation that those that complain about recoil/muzzle flip with non-magnum pistol calibers don't have solid training and good technique. There are many well trained women who carry 45's and we're not talking Helgas, but petite women. If you have proper technique, almost anyone should be able to capably shoot a 9mm, 357 Sig, 40 S&W, or 45 ACP without complaint and with favorable results.

Personally, I don't believe that having a large amount of bullets in a gun is useful for most shooters. First, there is some good (yet anecdotal) evidence that having lots of rounds on tap diminishes your shooting skills in an armed confrontation. Second, I think that its highly unlikely that you'll get though a whole mag of 45 in a gunfight let alone the extra bullets in a whole mag of 40 S&W. Given the nature of most armed confrontations, the fight will be settled by the first couple of rounds that are fired, assuming they're hits in an anotomically significant area. (Going back to the point of "as big as you can hit with")

For this reason, I like those rounds to be as big as possible, hence I like 45's. While hollowpoints are nice, they don't expand at an alarming rate and when they don't expand, you're left with how the round performs as hardball. I have slightly more faith in 45 hardball than 40 hardball with the caveat that these are all pistol cartridges and not to be trusted anyway. Ultimately, the performance advantage of a particular round only offers a slightly larger margin of error for shot placement. I don't care how magical/wonderful/blessed by FBI or gun rag of your choice your pistol round is, it won't make up for poor shot placement.

The one true advantage that 40 S&W has over the 45 ACP is the size of the pistol required to fire it. There are some amazingly small pistols out there for the 40 S&W. I shot a buddy's Kahr and was impressed by how much "gun" was in that small, thin package. For me, the 40 is useful if you really need a really small gun that fires a somewhat significant cartridge.

I also think that most people "wimp out" when it comes to selecting a carry pistol and select one that is smaller than what they can reasonably carry. I carry a Sig P220 with two spare magazines on my 5'10" medium build frame every day without any problems. I've made some changes in how I dress but I feel better having a full size pistol available should hostilities commence.
 

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I disagree that having high capacity is a bad thing. In real world situation the target and shooter will be moving, therefore increasing the amount of missed shots. In addition the target will be firing back. When the adrenalin is pumping, the trigger will be pulling very fast.

If I remeber correctly, 50% of shots fired are usually misses. Therefore if you have 8 rounds, that leaves you will 4 hits. If those 4 don't hit vital areas, you will have to reload. If there are multiple targets, then you are in a very bad situation which will require higher capacity. Then there is supressive fire. If you have 8 rounds there isn't much room for cover fire. That's why I will not carry a 1911 around town, only in the woods.
 

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Just to add a bit of confusion to the issue, I just read a statistical look at "stopping power". A one-shot stop was defined as either the shootee dropping on the spot, or if he moved, his not moving more than 10 feet.

I won't go into all the findings - I can't even remember them all and I don't have the article with me - but one startling result was that .45 ACP ball rounds are no more effective than 9 mm ball rounds. (That makes some sense to me. Shooting someone with FMJ is not so different than running them through with a sword, and within limits, the size of the sword may not make a lot of difference.)

So deciding which caliber is best is partially dependent on the ammo selected. And that opens a whole 'nother can of peas - velocity, expansion, etc.

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If God didn't want us to own guns, why did He make the 1911?
 

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In a real world shooting situation, if you have time to take off 8 or 15 shots without having to duck behind cover, you're either the fastest man on earth with a gun or a dead man.

As for this whole .40 vs. .45 debate, in a double column high-cap gun, most guns only have about a two round difference between the two calibers. The .45 has much better wounding potential over the .40 from what I've read in magazines and tests, but the .40 penetrates better.

The most important thing though is that the individual should chose the caliber most suited for them, along with the gun. It is better to use a .32 and have every bullet hit the target than use a .45 and have one round hit the target.

I think cops get the raw end of the deal when it comes to "departmental issue" guns. If they can buy their own, they should carry their own stuff they like. You have a very small chance that you'll ever be in a fire fight where you'll need to use the same ammo....unless Canada invades America or something


themao
 

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Well, I have absolutely no scientific evidence to add nor any tabulated data.

But, my carry weapon is a Beretta Mini Cougar, 8040F. And I recently acquired a Colt Defender to add to my options. In small compact frames (the Defender, at 22.5oz, is actually 6oz lighter than the Beretta) there is a difference in my perceived recoil. After shooting several hindered rounds through the Defender (a mix of 230gr, 200gr & 185gr) the Beretta felt very mild. Up until this point After 2 or 3 hundred rounds with the Beretta I was getting a little wore out.


-- Chuck
 

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Heavy bullets for the 40 are light bullets for the 45. Heavy 40 cal bullets run 180 / 185 gr. Heavy bullets for 45 ACP run 230 / 250 gr.

Heavy bullets maintain velocity and energy longer than light ones.

Back before Bill ("I didn't boink that woman")Clinton limited magazines to ten rds, there was some rationale to having a 40 -- couple more rds in the magazine.

Now that 10 rd. is pretty much standard. There's no rationale toward having a smaller caliber. 10 rds. of 45 ACP is better than 10 rds. of 40 S&W.

40 runs a a higher working pressure than 45. Also, it's much more particular about seating depth and working pressure. Sort of a high strung, fussy, problematic round.

'Sides . . . it's WAY easier to find 45 ACP brass on the ground after shooting.
 

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Originally posted by Genghis:
Heavy bullets for the 40 are light bullets for the 45. Heavy 40 cal bullets run 180 / 185 gr. Heavy bullets for 45 ACP run 230 / 250 gr.

Heavy bullets maintain velocity and energy longer than light ones.

'Sides . . . it's WAY easier to find 45 ACP brass on the ground after shooting.

Right on, Genghis! I'll go with the "easier to find 45 ACP brass" line!
Best, NAA.



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Colt 1911: Best damn "Government" in the World!
 

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Really...with good compacts out there in .45
(ie Glock 36/Colt Defender/Kimber) is there really any reason to carry a .40 other than in getting a couple of rounds extra?

That was what I wrestled with in thinking I might get a SIG P239 in .40 cal and decided I really wouldn't be getting much of an advantage over my Colt Defender with 7+1 rounds and 2 7rd mag backups. I figure if that isn't enough when carrying it (and I usually carry a 1911 full size) then the only reason for getting a .40 was to add another gun to my collection.

Which always has some merit :0 !
 

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I switched from .45 to .40 in IPSC competition strictly for capacity issues. A legal pre-ban high cap with the proper base pad will hold 21 .40 rounds. Add a barney bullet and you start with 22 on tap at the buzzer, compared to 18/19 .45's.

The power factors overlap between these two rounds so that made the change practical without getting into pressure problems.

I like both rounds immensely. I would consider all other factors first (design, price, availability) in a carry gun, then pick the best from among the .40's & .45's.
 
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