9mm vs 40 S&W vs .357 Sig vs .45 ACP (and what I owe to a .22 LR).

9mm vs 40 S&W vs .357 Sig vs .45 ACP (and what I owe to a .22 LR).

This is a discussion on 9mm vs 40 S&W vs .357 Sig vs .45 ACP (and what I owe to a .22 LR). within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I had a chance this week to compare several different firearms chambered in various calibers. A while ago I purchased a .22 LR upper for ...

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Thread: 9mm vs 40 S&W vs .357 Sig vs .45 ACP (and what I owe to a .22 LR).

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    9mm vs 40 S&W vs .357 Sig vs .45 ACP (and what I owe to a .22 LR).

    I had a chance this week to compare several different firearms chambered in various calibers.

    A while ago I purchased a .22 LR upper for my glock (back in 8/2008). Since then, I've really improved. Once I was able to focus on various shooting skills, without recoil, I noticed I no longer have the same concerns with recoil I once did.

    I'm at the point, that while I can tell the difference between a 9mm, 40 S&W, and .357 Sig, when it comes to returning to target, double tap, accuracy, anything within 25 to 50 feet is about the same. Every weakness (say .357 Sig is snappy) balances with a strength (feels more accurate). Making the net sum, in all of these calibers, if the firearm is about the same, I shoot about the same with each.

    The one difference is .45 ACP. There is something slightly more enjoyable about .45 ACP (even though I don't own one), because it is more of a push back, and when it comes to multiple shots, I have greater endurance with the .45 ACPs recoil then the others I've listed.

    To sum up, I just wanted to share something that may be obvious to some, but not to others. IMHO, once you get better at the basics, you learn subtle skills, that make the differences in how you shoot the the various calibers minor. If you are struggling with the recoil of .40 S&W vs 9mm, instead of shooting more with the 40 S&W, you may want to practice more with the 9mm, or even get a .22 LR. Then, after practice (and maybe some strengthing), recoil becomes the lesser issue.
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  2. #2
    Member Array Black Oak's Avatar
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    The .22 has muscle memory carry over to the .45 acp.

    Train with the .22 and fight with the .45 acp.

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    Ex Member Array Glocksin's Avatar
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    BIG +plus+ on the acp feeling great.There are ups and downs to everything.I try to keep my guns within a few calibers so i can buy bulk ammo,but with several different calibers,the feeling by comparison is sweet,like you said.

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    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
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    Yup... having a .22LR really helps a lot. I shoot probably 60-70 (if not more) .22 out of my MKIII every range trip. It lets me work on the fundamentals since I limit myself to 50 rounds through my .45... plus recoil is obviously harsher. But I agree, I like the push of the .45 ACP better than the snappiness of a 9.

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Oak View Post
    The .22 has muscle memory carry over to the .45 acp.

    Train with the .22 and fight with the .45 acp.
    This! ^^

    I tell same to every student I come across regardless of their intent/focus.
    Sadly this no brainer item of horse sense has been lost through the more recent ages as folks leap straight to a 'combat' aka defensive caliber gun, or worst sub-caliber pocket guns with barrels shorter than an average mans thumb as measured tip to socket joint, and then they wonder later why their groups look like a 000 buck turkeygun pattern as from 30 yards.

    Everybody needs to have in their armory IMHO a .22 of some sort; Optimally both as pistol and longgun too, for rifle shooters.

    - Janq
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    Member Array Snowman366's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanis View Post
    I had a chance this week to compare several different firearms chambered in various calibers.

    A while ago I purchased a .22 LR upper for my glock (back in 8/2008). Since then, I've really improved. Once I was able to focus on various shooting skills, without recoil, I noticed I no longer have the same concerns with recoil I once did.

    I'm at the point, that while I can tell the difference between a 9mm, 40 S&W, and .357 Sig, when it comes to returning to target, double tap, accuracy, anything within 25 to 50 feet is about the same. Every weakness (say .357 Sig is snappy) balances with a strength (feels more accurate). Making the net sum, in all of these calibers, if the firearm is about the same, I shoot about the same with each.

    The one difference is .45 ACP. There is something slightly more enjoyable about .45 ACP (even though I don't own one), because it is more of a push back, and when it comes to multiple shots, I have greater endurance with the .45 ACPs recoil then the others I've listed.

    To sum up, I just wanted to share something that may be obvious to some, but not to others. IMHO, once you get better at the basics, you learn subtle skills, that make the differences in how you shoot the the various calibers minor. If you are struggling with the recoil of .40 S&W vs 9mm, instead of shooting more with the 40 S&W, you may want to practice more with the 9mm, or even get a .22 LR. Then, after practice (and maybe some strengthing), recoil becomes the lesser issue.
    Excellent post.
    I count myself nowise weaker in war, or grapple of battle, than Grendel himself. --- The Beowulf Epic

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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Good post. I use a snub nosed .22 revolver to practice my DAO snub .38 skills...works well. I'm looking for a .22 semi-auto now for the same purpose. I share your observations on the .45. After shooting the .40 for a while, it doesn't seem noticably more snappy than shooting 9mm out of small light pistols. Out of a Ruger P95, shooting 9mm feels like shooting a .22.
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  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array LanceORYGUN's Avatar
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    Thanis:

    So it sounds like you ended up choosing the 357 SIG as your go-to caliber??

    .

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    OP, you have read my mind almost to the letter!

    I almost always put 100 practice rds thru my G30-.22 when I go to the range. My son has a collection of various make and caliber handguns, and I, too, find the calibers to only be "different." So many talk as if the the .40 or .357 Sig is comparable to the meek S&W .500! Yes, they are "snappier and louder" than a 9mm, but not abhorrently so. And I also find the .45 ACP easily manageable, contrary to what some may feel.

    To me it's no different than switching from an automatic tranmission to a straight drive. Sure, there might be a bit of jerking and shaking the first couple of times out, but it all smooths out with practice. And it doesn't matter what caliber one chooses, practice is essential, regardless of recoil.
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    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
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    When I was saving up for my first gun, I made sure to keep saving up until I had enough for two - the second one being my MK III. I knew it would be useful for all the reasons people mentioned above, and it certainly has! It also makes a wonderful platform to introduce new shooters to the sport without scaring them to death.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LanceORYGUN View Post
    Thanis:

    So it sounds like you ended up choosing the 357 SIG as your go-to caliber??

    .
    Yes

    However the simple truth is, I carry a .38 +P snub 80%+ of the time, and given what I've learned from semi-auto, and as someone else posted, I'm looking for a .22 LR snub or revolver to learn some of the basics /muscle memory.

    I do like the .357 Sig. Unlike some, I don't think bullet penetration is as much of a worry as the lack of penetration.

    All things considered, I still go in circles with these various calibers, and shoot the 40S&W more than the .357 Sig now that I have a .40 S&W barrel (just because of $). I don't fault anyone who desided on 9mm (I guess .380 ACP) to 10mm or .38+P to 44 Mag as their choice caliber. They all have + / -, and no gun is going to be the perfect carry size for all occasions with the stopping power of a 44 mag.

    I believe the .357 Sig is great, and has a strong argument in SD consideration, but will also admit it is on the likely decline due various reasons.
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  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array orangevol's Avatar
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    I usually carry a .40 cal G23 or 27, but when I go to the range I start each range session with my Ruger .22/45. I then move on to a variety of .380, 9mm, .40, and .45ACP's. I find that after shooting a couple of mags through the .22 first my accuracy improves with the other calibers.
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    Senior Member Array CCWFlaRuger's Avatar
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    The one difference is .45 ACP. There is something slightly more enjoyable about .45 ACP (even though I don't own one), because it is more of a push back, and when it comes to multiple shots, I have greater endurance with the .45 ACPs recoil then the others I've listed.
    There is something more than that... something gutteral, something primal, something that is quite indescribable, and perfect, about shooting .45acp.

    I'm sure someone out there will want to argue, but I don't care, nothing feels as good, as much like home, like hot cocoa with marshmallows on a snowy night sitting by the fire, as shooting my .45acp.

    It's a love affair, just me, and my .45.
    "You will not rise to the occasion and you will not default to your level of training. You WILL ONLY default to the level of training you have mastered."
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  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array AKsrule's Avatar
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    IMHO - the more and different calibers and gun types you shoot the more comfortable you are with shooting handguns in general.

    There tend to be no surprises
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  15. #15
    New Member Array terryger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanis View Post
    Yes


    I do like the .357 Sig. Unlike some, I don't think bullet penetration is as much of a worry as the lack of penetration.

    All things considered, I still go in circles with these various calibers, and shoot the 40S&W more than the .357 Sig now that I have a .40 S&W barrel (just because of $).

    I believe the .357 Sig is great, and has a strong argument in SD consideration, but will also admit it is on the likely decline due various reasons.


    gonna have to disagree with your statement of the .357 being in delcine. maybe with civilian shooters but not with those that are not worried about the cost of ammo.

    ice and secret service, along with numerous leo agencies, have adpopted the .357sig as their round of choice.

    my edc weapons are 229sig in .357sig (along with an extra .40 barrel) and an xd40(which was converted to .357sig)

    as such i carry .357sig but practice with .40 in both weapons (due to reload as well as retail cost). i will also run a mag or 2 of the .357sig pp ammo through each weapon on a monthly basis.

    i am not a proponent of shooting .22 rounds with edc as you will never convince me you will have the mental/physical reaction to those tiny rounds as you do the real ones.

    having shot large bore rifle and handguns for many years you will just not have the same subconscious mental or physical response as you do when you know you have a big round or feel the first one.

    i do shoot both the .22 and .17 in rifles very regularly and they don't give me the same subconscious mental or physical response as does shooting 7mm, 06, 308, 300 win mag etc.

    some of the basics are the same but that is where it ends.

    i would compare the .22 and larger calibers for paper punching but not in real life fire under pressure.

    now this is just my opinion but it was not formed without extensive study.


    i am fortunate to have a range in my backyard for both real life pistol as well as small and large caliber rifle.

    run a 100 rounds of 240 gr .45 through a sa and then switch back to a .22 mag. what do you suppose your muscle memory will tell you

    anyway. i am glad some have come to appreciate the .357sig despite its many internet armchair critics.

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