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9mm vs .40 S&W: Is Bigger Always Better?

Price, stopping power, the FBI, and more - we look at the pros and cons of 9mm vs .40 S&W so you can make the right choice for handgun caliber.

    Does anyone even shoot .40 S&W anymore?

    With the FBI going back to 9mm there has been a slew of other agencies across the nation following along and dumping the .40 S&W.

    .40 S&W Round
    .40 S&W Round

    The military never touched the .40 S&W, so there was never any support there. Since it only came to be because of the FBI, will we see the .40 S&W wither and die without their support?


    This Day Meme

    Even without the FBI, this cartridge will still have legs for years, even decades maybe, to come. If for no other reason than that police trade in Glock 22s are FLOODING the market right now – and they’re going for CHEAP.

    While the .40 caliber is being phased out among government agencies, it still has a following of people loyal to it because of its powerful punch (and often superior magazine capacity to the .45 ACP).

    Popular Pistol Calibers
    Popular Pistol Calibers

    But how does it stand against the faithful 9mm?

    Today we’re going to look at the two cartridges and see which one is better.

    Table of Contents


    .40 S&W Background

    First developed in 1990, the .40 S&W is one of the newer cartridges on the block.  It was developed as a joint effort between Smith & Wesson and Winchester, who were tasked by the FBI to come up with an effective round to replace their 9mm and .38 Special cartridges.

    Unfortunately, the .40 S&W was a round that came out of necessity – primarily the need to find a suitable replacement following the aftermath of the infamous FBI Miami Shootout in 1986 which took the life of two agents and injured five more.

    Side note, the Miami shootout is worth learning more about as it is one of the events that sparked radical change in firearms and tactics.

    What makes the debate between the 9mm and the .40 S&W more interesting than other cartridge debates is that both rounds have technically been declared the winner by the FBI.

    Not really
    Sorry .380 ACP, your day still hasn’t come yet.

    The .40 S&W cartridge enjoyed two-and-a-half decades of field use, developing a nice little following in the process.

    But in 2014, the FBI announced that they’re returning to the 9mm thanks to better technology and ballistics that have made the once-shunned round more effective.

    What does the FBI’s change of heart really mean for America’s most misunderstood cartridge, also known as the .40 S&W?

    Anybody’s guess.

    The US Army entertained the idea of switching their sidearm over to the .40 S&W, but ultimately stuck with the trusty ol’ 9mm.

    Glock 22 in Olive Drab
    Glock 22 in Olive Drab

    Comparing the 9mm and the .40 S&W

    The biggest advantage the 9mm has over the .40 S&W is handling. One of the main criticisms of the .40 caliber is its kick. In fact, some people downright dislike the .40 S&W because they feel it’s underpowered for the amount of recoil the cartridge produces.

    Here is a G19 in 9mm.

    While most marksmen shouldn’t have any problem handling a .40 S&W, inexperienced shooters will undoubtedly have a harder time shooting the .40 S&W than the 9mm.

    This may not seem like a big deal for your average hobbyist squeezing off a few rounds at the range, but handling is extremely important for anyone in a self-defense or tactical situation where accuracy makes the difference between life and death.

    Ammo Price

    Another thing to keep in mind when shopping around for a 9mm or a .40 S&W is how much you’re going to be paying for ammunition. Because it’s such a popular round, you’d think 9mm cartridges tend to be cheaper and more widely available than .40 S&W rounds. Not necessarily.

    The folks over at Lucky Gunner did a comprehensive ballistics test on all of the popular handgun cartridges, including the 9mm and the .40 S&W. Here are the prices of three top-performing rounds in both calibers.

    9mm Cartridges

    .40 S&W Cartridges

    The truth is that premium 9mm ammo can do everything that a .40 S&W can. But as you can see, shooting with the best 9mm ammo isn’t going to make that big of a financial difference.

    Of course, if you’re just looking for run-of-the-mill cartridges to shoot at targets, you can easily find 9mm ammo for $0.15 a round – about $0.10 cheaper than your bottom-line .40 S&W rounds.

    Another thing to consider is availability. Because it’s not a commonly-used caliber, you might not always find the .40 S&W ammo that you’re looking for. This can be a massive pain in the neck if you’re like me and expect instant gratification.

    Knock-Down Power

    One area where the .40 S&W does trump the 9mm is power. It’s a bigger, heavier cartridge that hits a little bit harder than the 9mm.

    Moreover, one of the most common complaints that people have about the 9mm is that it’s a lighter bullet. Folks will throw around controversial terms like “stopping power” and remark how the 9mm offers little protection against attackers wearing thick layers of clothes. And that may be true, but in my experience, that’s a very outdated opinion of the 9mm.

    Shooting the popular 124 Grain HST JHP by Federal Premium
    Shooting the popular 124 Grain HST JHP by Federal Premium

    Advancements in ammunition technology have helped to make the 9mm one of the most balanced cartridges on the market. You could even argue that the 9mm has evolved to become the cartridge that the .40 S&W was designed to be – a viable replacement for the .45 ACP.

    With that said, there’s no denying that the .40 S&W isn’t a powerful cartridge. Just take a look at this ballistics tests using Winchester Train & Defend 180 Grain JHP, a popular .40 caliber cartridge for self-defense.

    .40 S&W 180 gr JHP Winchester Train & Defend
    .40 S&W 180 gr JHP Winchester Train & Defend

    As you can see, the .40 S&W is more than capable of stopping an incoming threat and should have no problem going through clothes.

    But a bigger diameter and greater power don’t necessarily give the .40 S&W a clear-cut win over the 9mm. The issue with the .40 caliber has always been its recoil and how much more difficult the gun is to control than the 9mm for beginners and even average shooters in some cases.

    New and Used Glocks

    From the FBI to farm towns across the nation, when a police department looks to adopt a service firearm for their officers – the number one choice by far is a Glock of some flavor.

    Caliber barely mattered, 9mm Glock or .40 S&W Glocks, Glock is the standard go to and for great reasons – Glocks just work.

    We’ve already looked at the price of ammo between these two veteran cartridges, but what about the guns themselves? Well, if you’re looking to buy new – the price difference is almost non-existent.

    Brownells has the Gen 4 Glock 22 for $499.

    They also have the Gen 4 Glock 17 for $499.

    So if you’re looking for a new Glock, the price won’t impact that choice much when it comes to 9mm Vs. .40 S&W.

    But used Glocks…

    As mentioned before, since the FBI is dumping the .40 S&W, most other departments across the United States are doing the same. That has caused a flood of Glocks hitting the used market.

    Pawn Stars Meme

    Stores, pawn shops, online sites such as GunBroker and ArmsList, just about everywhere right now you can find a barely used police trade-in Glock 22 or 23 for around $300. Buy in bulk or wait for a killer sale and you’ll find them for as low as $225!

    On the other hand, I rarely see even older models like the Gen 2 Glock 17 or 19 police trade-ins for less than $400.

    Love it or hate it, the .40 S&W isn’t going anywhere anytime soon due to this fact alone: police trade-in .40 S&W Glocks are cheap. 

    Last Word on the 9mm vs the .40 S&W

    In regards to which gun is better, that depends on the needs and expectations of the shooter.

    If you happen to be in the market for a new handgun and you’re torn between picking a .40 S&W or 9mm, here are some key facts to consider:

    • The .40 S&W is a powerful cartridge that offers deep penetration and good expansion. The downside is that the cartridge also packs a significant amount of recoil that can dramatically affect your aim when shooting follow-up shots, especially if you have a lightweight gun.
    • While the 9mm can achieve similar effects as the .40 S&W, it’s with premium ammo that costs significantly more than your baseline 9mm ammunition.
    • With regards to baseline prices, 9mm ammo is quite cheaper than run-of-the-mill .40 S&W ammo. The difference in price is less profound when looking at premium ammunition.

    Overall, the truth is that the .40 S&W was a great cartridge during its time – even with the recoil. But thanks to improvements in ballistics technology, the 9mm can now perform the same way as the .40 S&W has for nearly three decades.

    angry comments

    For this reason, I find the 9mm to be the superior choice when it comes to choosing a service pistol or home-defense weapon.

    If you’ve got any strong feelings about 9mm or .40 S&W rounds, or you’re still on team .40 cal, be sure to let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

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    259 Leave a Reply

    • Commenter Avatar
      Mr. T

      Of course you'll need follow-up shots with the little 9mm and then some. No need for follow-up shot with the 40 caliber.

      October 3, 2023 5:48 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Harry Callahan

      Generally speaking, in terms of delivering energy on target, the highest to lowest energy deliveries come from 10mm, 40 S&W, 45 acp, 9mm - in that order. One caveat it that for self-defense against humans the 10mm may deliver over penetration (exceeding 18" in ballistic gel), so you have to pick the cartridge carefully.

      That said, accuracy and the ability to deliver follow-up shots are critical in ACTUAL gunfights, which is why most people - generally - will do much better with a 9mm. It isn't that the 9mm is "better" - it isn't, it's that the 9mm can be better suited for a broader range of people.

      Remember that when the FBI abandoned their brief use the of 10mm for field agents, their HRT and SWAT teams continued to use the 10mm. 10mm is king, but only if you can master it. Likewise (though less powerful than the 10mm) the 40 S&W is a wonderful defensive round.

      If you can handle bigger, go big. Bigger is always better.

      August 11, 2023 4:37 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I'll keep my glock 22,23 and Springfield xd40. I'm not a novice shooter and can put 15 .40 rounds in a 10 inch circle at 25 yards rapid fire faster than anyone I've shot against with a 9mm...
      My wife and 17 year old daughter both have 9mm but they are women. My son has 40 for everything but concealed carry he has a 9mm for the smaller size cus hes pretty skinny... My conceal carry is a glock 22 or 23 or xd but I'm a Lil bigger than he is.. I'm not so young anymore and that could be my biased opinion? But cheap 9mm won't beat cheap 40. So is it really cheaper for 9?

      The only real argument about the 40 that they punted to death was the recoil! What I get from that is that most shooters aren't shooters, they are bitches with a dick that want the easy gun to shoot.

      It's not the caliber that's important it's the ability of the operator. If you are not good at shutting or just have Lady wrists you need the littler gun to hide in your purse..

      And a bigger hole but same penetration means 40 will end the threat more efficiently of the operator isn't a poontang

      June 25, 2023 7:04 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      How far does a bullet casings travel once shooting the gun a 40calibur and a 9 mm

      April 22, 2023 8:00 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Would have been nice to use same brand ammo to compare .40 to 9mm penetration and expansion. Lucky gunner shows both using federal HST.... 9mm 124 gr and .40 180 gr had the SAME penetration, but the 9mm expanded to .61 inches and the .40 expanded to .72 inches.

      March 21, 2023 5:05 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      John Kiss

      I love my Glock 22. I love the recoil. The recoil assist with learning more control of the weapon. I’m not that bad. I had the gun for about a year now and it really a fun gun to shoot. Bullet cost are steep but I can live with that.

      March 15, 2023 9:09 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      JD Davidson

      So if the 9 mm has improved because of technology wouldn't the 40 S&W also improve? You make it sound like ammunition manufacturers improve the 9 mm and just forgot about the 40. Not the case.
      As far as recoil, I shoot 40 and prefer the recoil of the 40 to that of a 9 mm. The recoil from a 9 mm is a sharp recoil where the recoil of the 40 is more of a push. Regardless if they shooter practices proper grip neither one of these firearms is difficult to control. For me to get rid of my 4 .40 handguns you'd have to come up with something better than recoil being the main difference. And when you use the 9 mm 147 grain or plus PM munition I would argue that the 9 mm recoil is worse than the 40 with 180 grain ammo. The 165 grain 40 has a sharper recoil than 180.
      Either way I don't see a downside to either round. I do believe the 40 will incapacitate quicker with less rounds because of its size but that is my belief and I have yet to test it in the real world.
      Of course the bottom line is shot placement and either round properly placed will stop any attacker instantaneously.

      March 2, 2023 7:10 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Michael Joseph Venia

      The hand gun was never intended to act like a semi auto rifle shooting several rounds almost instantly. Whatever the caliber a hand gun bullet takes time to aim accurately especially if one is shooting in public. Any adult male can via exercise grips and light 5 pound weights increase muscle mass and finger strength so that recoil is not a problem. Also, when you are engaged in a gun fight the adrenaline enables your body to fight with greater strength. After all, who starts thinking about how bad the recoil will be when you draw your weapon to save your life??

      January 23, 2023 9:40 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      People seem to forget that advances in 9mm technology have also impacted the .40 S&W and basically all pistol and rifle cartridges (even .45-70 GOV’T of 1873 and .38-55 Ballard of the 1880’s has improved drastically! Go study up on those cartridges and see what I mean.). So if 9mm has improved, so has the .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and all other pistol and rifle cartridges. Powder and bullet technological advances affect all ammunition, not just 9mm. That means that .40 S&W is still more powerful than 9mm (although, admittedly, not by much). It still throws a bigger, wider, heavier bullet at the same speed or faster than 9mm so that equates to a more powerful round (again, the differences are small but they are still there).
      I can see the .40 S&W sticking around for many decades to come, even if it becomes strictly a civilian pistol and no longer used in law enforcement. It will probably be like the .38 Special and .357 magnum revolver cartridges. Law enforcement no longer use revolvers, but the .38 Special and .357 magnum are still very popular, people are always buying new revolvers chambered in those rounds daily, and won’t be going anywhere any time soon.

      December 10, 2022 9:31 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Russ Ross

      Doesn't +p 9mm sort of end up at .40 power? If one cannot handle a .40 acp, he/she will not do any better with +p ammo. And a +p .40 is off the scale for muzzle energy. Master the beast!

      November 19, 2022 4:02 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      James Hamblen

      The 9mm is for inexperience shooters ! If you want power, go with the 40! Remember why the 40 came about. Because the little German panzy round couldn't get done.

      November 6, 2022 8:17 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      The ending statement, “ But thanks to improvements in ballistics technology, the 9mm can now perform the same way as the .40 S&W has for nearly three decades.”, so, why don’t you think that same technology that improved the 9 was applied to the .40 and have it still be superior to the 9mm?

      August 29, 2022 11:06 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Mk A.

      I would love to see a discussion of the 40 S&W vs 9 mm in a 16 inch barreled carbine. Recoil is not as much a factor, and it's undeniable that the 40 hits harder than the 9mm. Especially if using FMJ ammo as the large metplat has got to displace more tissue than the pointed nose of the 9 mm.

      August 19, 2022 3:28 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Love my G22 Gen 5. I also have a G43X and the G22 is the winner, imho.

      January 12, 2022 6:58 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      40 sucks get a 10 but the 9mm will always rule.

      December 11, 2021 1:11 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I was shot 14 times with a 40 just for loafin in front of the quickie mart, stopping power is a myth.

      December 11, 2021 1:09 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I actually don’t find a big difference between the recoil of the 9 and the .40. I had a good way to compare them in the same gun which is the Walther Gen 1 PPS. I had no problem with rapid fire of the .40. That said, I am 6 feet tall and 215 pounds of muscle. I was trained by a retired Delta Operator who was about to retire from a SWAT team. I have no problem with small, light weight .45 ACPs. i.e. the Springfield Armory XDS .45 Gen 1. I have a Ruger Alaskan in .44 mag and it’s okay until I load the 300 grain bear loads. They sting and only one or two loads of six rounds is enough.

      December 7, 2021 8:57 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Brian Robbins

      Bullet technology is better but that also improves the 40, to come close to 40 power you have to shoot +p+ then the 9 is snappy too. I shoot a wide range of hand guns. I prefer the 40 for CCW but do sometimes carry a 9. I like both but 40 is big stronger. If you can’t shoot a 40 that’s fine but that’s your fault not the gun.

      November 18, 2021 7:26 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Chris Hirner

      I like the 40 cause the holes in the target are easier to see. But seriously the 40 is a great round. I shoot at this tumble target that looks like a grenade and its pretty solid. The 9 will knock it off the table and back about 5 feet but the 40 tosses it clear back on the berm 10 feet behind the stand. As for self defense this means nothing but for the enjoyment of shooting sports its a hoot.

      November 11, 2021 6:10 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      "The military never touched the .40 S&W, so there was never any support there."

      Coast Guard has used it for a long time. But they have stopped making purchases and are switching to 9mm when current supply runs out.

      If you meant only "DOD military branches," it is mostly true, but some special forces units have used it.

      October 30, 2021 8:39 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Screw all of you- I'm going with the .357 sig

      September 21, 2021 6:58 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        LOL, that's what I'm saying. Especially since most mid to high-end .40's have .357 SIG drop in barrels. IMO, not much recoil difference, so you can train more with the .40 and have similar defensive ammo for home defense. But pay the premium for that round.

        November 12, 2021 7:26 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      I'm 6 foot 200 lbs......nephew shoots 40 and I shoot 9mm
      My arthritis makes 9mm better but I'd shoot 40 if I was younger..
      40 kicks ass but I'll just have to empty the 9mm mag for fun and practice into the perps chest

      September 9, 2021 9:36 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      First Last

      Retired LEO 26yrs. bored, now a trauma surgery NP. I have not been impressed with the 9s since starting in 1978. I have seen a neck shot, multiple instances of chest shots where the victim lived, was transported to the ER in functional condition. Many of these folks were functional enough to pull at trigger. A couple bangers were even bragging & chit chatty. Albeit, fewer total .45 victims out there, not seen any functional with a neck or chest wounds. As for .40, I've only had one guy functional and he was completely incapacitated on his right side, but alert and could move his left side. Opening up folks to stop bleeding, excise damaged tissue, lung resection etc., it is a night and day scenario. Once in trauma, I clearly will shun the 9 unless I get too old and feeble to rack a slide of a .40/.45 . This is my experience, maybe not yours, but I am very comfortable justifying my position after seeing first hand the wound channels in humans after suffering shots from multiple weapons. I think it is important to stick with police level weapons, to use as a standard in court. 10mm is out for this reason. For a carry gun, like the Performance Shield .45 2.0 the best. I also have a M&P .40c 2.0 as it is nearly identical to the same firearm I carried for 1. 5 decades and I can sleep through LEOSA qualifications with it. Carry it checking cattle as poachers are on my property periodically and well . . . like having more than 8 rnds. when out by myself there and not fond of the ported .45 at night.

      September 7, 2021 8:52 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Gangland Medic

        Retired FF here from a really big fire dept in So Cal. Worked in some really crummy neighborhoods over a 34-year career with 19 of those years being a paramedic. Responded to way too many shootings and stabbings and suicides by firearm.

        In my experience there is little doubt that the .40 has it over the 9mm, but that's just my experience. Victims of the .40 were almost always shot by LEOS and the victims of 9mm rounds were usually gang vs gang shootings. Don't know if that makes a difference but that what we saw in my neck of the woods. I don't recall any of the .40 victims surviving if they were hit in the upper torso. On the other hand, a few of the gang bangers hit with a 9mm made it out of the hospital although some were wheelchair bound for life. You get to know the players when you work in a particular barrio or ghetto for a while.

        Also saw an individual hit by a security guard's 9mm run 100's of yards and finally walk into a Winchel's donut shop and call for help. Never saw a victim of a .40 run, much less walk away from the immediate area which they took the hit/hits.

        Had a patient die in the ambulance who was shot in the chest with a .22 short from a derringer. Hit him in the aorta. Talk about some bad luck.

        As a CCW permit holder I personally carry a 9mm and feel safe. Modern bullet design is a game changer. Carry a 9mm or carry a .40, your choice, just train-train-train.

        BTW, the deadliest handgun wounds I've seen were from the .357 mag. That round really causes massive and ugly damage.

        Be safe out there.

        November 23, 2022 4:06 pm
        • Commenter Avatar
          First Last

          Yeah it seems your observations are consistent with mine. I understand that there is a lot of talk about new projectiles and powders, but when you look at the holy (bonded) projectiles, they don't expand as efficiently across every single test I've seen, as regular jacketed hollow points. In fact, the best I've seen performance wise in .40 is the Golden Saber non-bonded, but you can't find them any longer. All the GS projectiles now seem to be bonded. I don't think that performance wise, the new ammo performs that much better. Paul Harrell tests this all out in a real world matrix target made of; bone in ham/ arm, Oranges/lungs, Pork Ribs/chest walls, beef heart in plastic wrap/heart with pericardium. He does a really good job. The regular white box Remington / Federal / Winchester performs as good and in many instances better than Golden Saber, HST, or Winchester talon hollow points. So I don't buy the story that is being pumped out that the FBI reports on testing. They have been dismantled in 2005 and found to have falsified criminal test results and their experts skewed so much data, that entire cases were ordered to be reexamined on murder convictions.

          One thing I will say, is that trauma data NIH collected on gun shot fatalities weighed against all GSWounds, outlines that less than .32 caliber results in -24% chance of mortality, .356-.357 calibers which includes .38/9mm/.357 results in +9% chance of mortality and .40 and higher results in +45% chance of mortality.

          What has the most 1 shot kills? .357 magnum, but you have to bring in data to capture the 1970s-1980s to show this. After that, the .357 mag performance data drops and I think that is because overall, police shot much better before the 1990s than later and certainly much better than is seen today.

          November 23, 2022 9:34 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      fredrick mccollum

      40 smith and wesson for me. More powerful than 9mm. As for weapon of choice it's the SD40ve. Cheaper than glock, american made and just as good! By the way so is 40 smith and wesson.

      July 22, 2021 2:41 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Anyone who thinks .40S&W kicks, is a wimp. .40 S&W was developed for police use as a higher powered upgrade from .38 Special, which was increasingly proving to be inadequate. It was developed from the 10mm round, with a smaller case and a smaller powder charge specifically to avoid the kick that 10mm packs.

      June 14, 2021 1:44 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Bill B

      I’ll not change my mind on two points. Sig Sauer P320 over any Glock. And 40 S&W over 9mm.
      Just me, of course, but I don’t believe anyone could argue otherwise convincingly.

      April 30, 2021 11:19 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      James Brankel

      We live in Alaska, where the Glock 20 in 10mm rules, but the 22 is the crown prince because it does everything the 20 does for $200 less. The 9 is ok for two legged varmints, but brownies and moose live in the same neighborhood!

      April 24, 2021 9:52 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Wouldn't follow suite that the improvements in bullet technology hit the 40 and 45 markets as well ? My prefered carry round is a underwood lehigh xtreme defence for example ?

      March 25, 2021 9:21 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Admittedly, I was drawn to the .40 S&W due to ballistics. Recoil is certainly an issue for general use, hence FBI and others dropping it; I would assume a big consideration was female agents and officers. I have no regret that I own a .40 over a 9mm; but It’s a shame they will be ostracized forever.

      March 19, 2021 10:58 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      "But thanks to improvements in ballistics technology, the 9mm can now perform the same way as the .40 S&W has for nearly three decades. For this reason, I find the 9mm to be the superior choice when it comes to choosing a service pistol or home-defense weapon." -- this is a flawed argument. According to it, the 9mm has been evolving and the .40 has been frozen in time, standing still. Not so. They have been evolving in parallel, and the advantage .40 has had over 9mm is remaining proportionally. Stop justifying some people's poor ability to handle the .40's recoil.

      February 12, 2021 5:01 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      I found that while the .40 does have more recoil in a Glock 22 over the Glock 19. It boils down to how often you train with a particular cartridge. I'm with the .40 and found shooting easier our of my Beretta 96A1 due to the weight of a metal gun over Polymer Glock. My two cents.

      January 12, 2021 12:30 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I’ve spoken with many Ex LEO and a few Ex FBI agents and every one of them said the same thing the only reason the 9mm was chosen by the FBI and LEO was not because the 9mm was a better choice because they even said it wasn’t, it was because there agents and officers were only hitting their targets less than 30 percent or less of the time that’s right (look up the FBI report) which they the LEO and agents blamed on recoil of 40SW and 357Sig and with the 9mm you got less recoil for faster follow up shots and 2 extra rounds yet know the standard FBI and LEO 9mm round is now a 9+p or a +p+ round which know that so called recoil that they blamed on the 40sw and 357sig is worse with the 9MM then it was with the 40SW and 357SIG.

      January 4, 2021 11:33 am
      • Commenter Avatar

        Well, I'm currently a 23 year LEO and we switched from .40 to 9mm about 2 years ago. And politics played a big role. Female shooters just shoot the 9 better. Translation: It is easier for the firearms instructors to get them qualified.

        March 8, 2021 1:00 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Don Settie

      I believe that the 9mm is better for newbies and some small people. Otherwise it doesnt matter. .45 is about same as the .40 and .357 is worse.

      December 8, 2020 2:27 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        You won't think the .45 and .40 are the same when you have an empty magazine in your .45, and the guy shooting at you with a .40 doesn't have to stop to reload.

        June 14, 2021 2:01 pm
        • Commenter Avatar

          gun control is being able to hit your target, round count does not matter in civi life. use what works best for you.

          December 9, 2021 8:14 am
        • Commenter Avatar

          How many people lived from 8 rounds of .45 out if a 1911?
          Lol no one..

          August 29, 2023 12:31 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Tom E

      It’s funny, many things I read or watch, all have a common answer to the matter. 9 wins, due to more capacity. Unfortunately these answers do not live in my state of California. With having a mag limit of 10, you can literally have any of the main players across the board.
      As far as which one you shoot better? That is really irrelevant also. Any caliber you purchase, you’ll shoot better over time, because in theory you should practice with what you have. I have 16 different handguns, that vary between 5 different brands, ranging in 4 different calibers (9’s, 40’s, 45’s, & 10mm). I practice religiously, and shoot all brands as well as the other. As far as calibers, I learned from the 40, and have the most time spent with it. As strange as it sounds, I can place it on target better than any of my 9mm handguns. Many of which are from the same brand, and resemble the same dimensions. It’s almost as if I am anticipating a recoil with the 9 that is not there.
      But the key words mentioned, was the caliber I have spent the most time with.

      I would say this about the caliber war. Has the 9 improved over the years? Yes. But did the same ammunition brands only focus on 9mm? No.
      So although all can agree 9mm has improved, it would be tough to find someone who disagrees that the 40 & 45 hasn’t improved at the same rate. Powders will always continue improving, and each caliber takes the same powder (at different measurements) to compliment the improvements.

      So is the 9mm (.335”) affective? Yes, without a doubt..
      is the 40 s&w (.400”) better? Yes, it’s bigger, and has just as much speed behind the punch.
      Is 45acp (.451”) better than the other two? Well, it still penetrates, hollow points still expand, and it’s a little bigger. So again, I’d say yes.

      There is a saying people like to mention. “When seconds count, the Police are minutes away”. In comparison, one would think that experienced surgeon would likely agree, that a life could be saved or lost, by a shot placement of as little as a fraction of an inch.

      So based off of the sizes above, I’d say the edge goes towards 45, to 40, and then to the 9mm....

      Which would I rather be shot by? Well, neither. But if I was going to get hit one solid time, and I could choose between a broomstick (9mm), a 2” by 2” 3ft oak strip (40s&w), or a solid wood Louisville slugger baseball Bat (45acp), I’d probably take the broom‍♂️

      December 2, 2020 12:46 pm
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        Well said

        August 15, 2021 10:15 pm
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      Aldon Maleckas

      After reading the article, my opinion is that I would rather take less shots with a round that had more stopping power than blaze away with a round and a pistol that was, maybe, easier to shoot. I do not understand why a little recoil would cause a problem with the FBI or the police. My opinion, and shared with others that I have spoken, if you cannot stop a person with the first few rounds, then you need another occupation. Am I to understand that after reading articles on the stopping power of each round, that the only way you can stop an assailant is with ten or twenty rounds. One could think this just gives law enforcement the liberty to shoot many rounds at an individual because they have been told that they need to shoot ten, twenty, or thirty rounds to stop someone? What about the rounds that miss the target, where do they go?

      November 8, 2020 11:13 am
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        Patrick Rawls

        These are absolutely the silliest arguments! The best caliber is whatever you have in your hand when you need it!! Use the 9 for greater penetration but less cavitation. Use the 40 for greater cavitation but slightly less penetration. I personally prefer, own and carry the 40 but could use the 9 just fine. The ammo price is the only reason for government agencies changing calibers, don't think otherwise. If you need 30'ish rounds vs 25'ish rounds to end the fight, then you need to be withdrawing and letting the professionals handle the situation anyway. If the 40 kicks a little hard for you, step down to the 9. If you can deal with the bigger punch step up to the 40. The argument for higher energy 9's is voided by the availability of higher energy 40's (I carried 40 +p's for 5 years as LEO). Price and punchiness are the only arguments left on the table and the 40 is the bigger of both, no argument there. Either round will kill the bad guy when properly placed, and if misplaced, either will kill the good guy who happened to be passing by when some knucklehead (who spent too much time arguing about calibers when he should have been training) pulled the trigger at the wrong time!!!

        January 27, 2021 8:44 am
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          Patrick Rawls

          My apologies, Aldon. I meant to reply to the article at large, not specifically to your comment.

          January 27, 2021 8:47 am
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        When we lived in Duluth, Ga (early 2000s) the police unloaded on our neighbor who shot 2 officers. We were home at the time and I'll tell you where those rounds go. They go all over the neighborhood. By the time they unleashed on our neighbor and the assessment of where all those bullets had gone in our neighborhood was done. Let's just say the police dept. was reprimanded and punished for being so careless. You can look up this incident on the internet. Duluth, Ga early 2000s I believe it may have been around 2001 or 2002.

        August 15, 2021 10:23 pm
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      Bill Morrison

      I own both and they are both great guns. I fell very secure with either of them. You can't go wrong with the 9 or the 40.

      October 26, 2020 7:09 pm
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      Daniel Collins

      I believe that for the most part, 9mm is the better choice, but like you said, only when you're using those expensive $1pr nickel plated rounds or +P ammo. I'd argue that +P 9mm kicks as much as a 140-155gr .40 caliber.

      9mm clearly offers more penetration and less expansion. So I would say that makes .40 better for urban carry, where over-penetration is a concern. It's design is conducive to more expansion and less clogging than 9mm is.

      One of the most important points I feel that you did not fully address is the difference between standard 115-147gr 9mm and 165-180gr .40 ball ammo. This is where the rounds performance differential is much higher. The .40, being simply a larger bullet with more momentum will simply make bigger holes, and especially with it's flat nose design, as opposed to the round nosed 9mm, i would say it's more prone to tumbling on impact. In a scenario where you don't have access to premium ammunition, .40 is the clear winner. Ball 9mm ammo is notoriously..."inadequate" for SD purposes compared to alternatives.

      I think the better choice of gun is the Glock 22 because you can always buy a 9mm barrel and drop it in a G22, even a 357SIG barrel too. You can't do that with a 9mm Glock. I wish Glock would sell frame/slide combos without specific caliber markings where you buy the different caliber barrels that you want that fit with them, like a swiss army knife. But I digress.

      9mm is best for new and smaller shooters because of its lighter recoil. But if you can handle a .40 well enough to put 3 or 4 shots in a tight group at 10m in less than 3 seconds. I would say that it's a better choice for you. Go with whatever you shoot the best in the end. I have just done extensive research into the .40 and 10mm cartridges as I'm a big fan. I would actually contend that .40 is not a replacement for 9mm. It's a replacement for 45acp. At standard pressures, .40 caliber 165gr loads have the same amount of momentum and sectional density as a 230gr 45acp. At least according to remington. They also shoot straighter, and expand more reliably as they have a higher muzzle velocity. +p 45acp is very powerful stuff though and is significantly more powerful than .40. However, at that point, at that level of recoil, 10mm is superior to 45 +P in power factor and magazine capacity.

      .45 is still a great cartridge though but i think it's best use is for suppressed guns.

      September 21, 2020 9:40 pm