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I am in the market for a new HP and was wondering if I should get a .40 or a 9mm. The 9mm is cheaper to shoot and as sound a defensive piece. Opinions ?
 

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well like you said its cheaper to shoot..and also you can get preban mags that hold 17 rounds.
there a ton more 9s out there then .40s so you should get a better deal, .40s get top dollor
 

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I have not owned a .40 but have had two HP 9's. Greatly regret selling the first one. Apart from cost and weight, the only other advantage of the 9 would be penetration. Using NATO spec ball it will penetrate many tactical barriers with ease.

All depends on your intended use(s). But I'd stick with the 9.
 

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FN/Browning, unlike many handgun manufacturers did not rush to jump on the .40 bandwagon but took a good bit of time and effort to redesign the gun for the .40. The .40 slide is slightly taller, wider, and longer than the 9mm and three locking lugs are used instead of two. the recoil spring is also longer and heavier. The results are that the .40 HP is slightly more muzzle heavy and not quite as sleek and ergonomically pleasing as the 9mm. The .40 was designed as a 10 round (+1)pistol and 11 rounds of .40 are serious medicine for social ills. Are 11 rounds of .40 "better" than 12 or 13 of 9mm? Is the heavier, taller, wider .40 HP justified by the difference in the rounds? Each of us has to decide for ourselves. I think it's purely a matter of opinion instead of expertise.
 

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There are no problems with the 40 HP and reliability. Ive owned 4 of them, NONE had any troubles of any kind.

If i have to shoot some one, ide much rather have a heavier bullet creating a larger wound channel and transfering more shock, the decision is that simple for me.

Dont get me wrong i love the 9 HP as well, but my opinion in a carry gun is with the 40.
 

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Originally posted by GUNNER:
I have no doubts in our Late Great John Moses Brownings' designs, though I'm inclined to wonder what He would have to say about such a high pressure round (.40 S&W) being fired from a gun designed for a 9mm. Correctly loaded, .40 rounds may run flawlessly. I'd worry alot about deeply seated bullets in this configuration.
9x19 runs very close to identical pressures as 40. In fact, overal demension changes in 9x19(deep seated bullets) are FAR more dangerous due to the small case size of 9mm. I belive I read of a test where pressures in 9 were raised from roughly 30,000 to 60,000 psi by seating the bullet 1/32" deeper in the case. Not good to say the least.

There are many myths and rumors about the 40 S&W that often times scare people away from this cartridge. I'm not sure how the "9mm is safer because it's lower pressure" one got started though. Any ideas?
 

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PK,

Deepe-seated bullets in the .40 can run pressures up to 130,000+ PSI. http://www.greent.com/40Page/ammo/40/180gr.htm

NATO spec 9mm ball ammo standard pressures run somewhere between about 34,000 and 38,000 psi. U.S. commercial loadings are much lower than this, inc many of the so-called "+P" loadings. The "+P+" loadings run alittle higher than NATO spec, but not by much.

While U.S. commercial manufacturers have "downloaded" the .40 significantly from it's original specs, bullet setback in the .40 loadings seem to produce higher pressures. Add thin case walls in some cartridges, unsupported chambers, and you have the recipe for a catastrophic failure.
 

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I've seen and read the GreenT page many times. Personally, I find it to be more of a vendetta against the 180gr bullet than useful information. I'm sure when loaded as severly short as those 40s were loaded 9x19s tend to run a little on the high side as well. I've used at least 10,000 of this weight bullet and have yet to see one set back. Furthersome bullet set back is less likely with 180gr bullets than 150-165gr due to the extra case bearing surface on the bullet. With proper loading techniques, the chance of bullet set-back is minmal, I've never experinced it in the thousands of times I've loaded and unloaded 40s, 45s, and 9x19s. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but it is a loading mistake, not an inherent problem with the round. You must pay attention to propper case tension, NOT crimp. 9x19 is still, IMO, absoloutly NO safer than 40 S&W. The two simply carry a seprate set of concerns.
 

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PK,

I tend to believe that the bullet setbacks are more often due to continually loading and unloading of a chambered round rather than "reloading techniques" and specs, though it no doubt occurs for those reasons as well.

For a long time I used to unload, and reload pistols (depending on what part of the world I was living in according to the law of the land) with the same rounds. I would put the same rounds in a box or bag, and chamber/load them up again later, or the next day depending on circumstances etc. I have never had a case failure in the auto cartridges I used in .45 or 9mm, but I do recall the occasional round that seemed alittle "hotter" than the rest.

Now I keep one cartridge chambered between carry and in the home, and shooting. The one that is in the chamber the day I go out to shoot at the range will be the first to go, followed any rounds that have been in and out of the mags (and heat, cold and humidity). Some people shoot often enough that they probably never have the same ammo in the house or gun for a period of a few weeks or months, year after year. Some people buy a few boxes that they load/carry for longer periods, and buy a few more of cheaper practice ammo for range use, never put their hands on a reloading press, but cycle rounds in and out of their guns daily for storage for one reason or another. I believe that this is where many of the dangerously setback bullets occur.

It may be that the amount of unsupported chamber area might be larger in some designs chambered for the .40 than the 9mm; the angle, contour, condition of a feed ramp, the force of the closing slide (slide weight and spring) will no doubt have much bearing on how much of a pounding a bullet gets being chambered. Certain factory ammo might well stand up better to this than others, and some not. Add any casewall deficiency, and the rest is easy. Handloaded ammo is another matter, but the same factors apply. You just have more control over them if you are doing it yourself.
 
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