40 or 45?????

40 or 45?????

This is a discussion on 40 or 45????? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; What caliber would incapacitate faster in a lethal encounter: .40 or .45? I am proficient in both calibers. As a former Marine, I am familiar ...

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Thread: 40 or 45?????

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array Sneaky's Avatar
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    40 or 45?????

    What caliber would incapacitate faster in a lethal encounter: .40 or .45? I am proficient in both calibers. As a former Marine, I am familiar with the .45 and know shot placement is paramount. However, I am not sure how the .40 would compare with the .45 in actual encounters. Does it measure up to the .45 or exceed it in performance? I am looking for any edge I can get in protecting my family.

    Thank you for your opinions.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array 357and40's Avatar
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    Both are good choices.

    I carry 40 daily but love my 45 and would never feel under-gunned with either.
    "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
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    Senior Member Array Lotus222's Avatar
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    When simply comparing the bullets, either would do just fine. It usually boils down to the finer and pickier details with a particular firearm to decide which one you need. For example: I was debating going with a .45 or a .40 in my XD platform. The .45 had a fat double-stack grip. The slimmer grip of the .40 fit my hand better, and still had a decent capacity (one less round than the .45). Recoil is obviously felt differently, but when using the right ammo, it became negligent.

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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    If you consider your marksmanship marginal go with the .45. The fat bullet might nick something vital that the smaller round wouldn't. As far as termnal ballistics go, with comparable shot placement the difference is negligible. These are only pistol cartridges.
    If you shoot both equally well I would just go with which ever one happens to have the most comfortable carry platform for the day.
    I routinely switch back and forth between 9mm and .45. No big difference.
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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    Both or neither, depending on if you do your job or not.
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

    ...man fights with his mind; the weapons are incidental.--Jeff Cooper


    There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array NY27's Avatar
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    I shoot well with both. The .45 has less felt recoil. The .40 is snappy, the .45 is a big push. The difference in the wound cavity is marginal. You can even lump the 9mm into that theory.

    Get both.
    Old School likes this.
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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    I chose the SA XD40 SC as it felt better to carry. I love this little gun!
    Hiram25
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    Retired DE Trooper, SA XD40 SC, S&W 2" Airweight
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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array peckman28's Avatar
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    I use the .40 for my HD pistol. You typically get a few more rounds in capacity and the practice ammo is cheaper for the .40, so you can get that much more practice in with it to help ensure you hit your target if you need to use it. However, if the .45 is more comforting for you then by all means I say go for it. I like using the .40 in a steel-framed pistol (I use a P229 and out of that it almost feels like shooting a 9mm to me, and I only lose 1 rd of capacity over the 9mm version of the same gun). However, a Glock, M&P, SIG, or XD pistol in either caliber should serve you well. Between those two calibers it almost boils down to what your gut tells you to do, both are solid and I see no clear advantage of either one over the other in terms of terminal effectiveness.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda66 View Post
    Both or neither, depending on if you do your job or not.
    This.

    There is no information which proves 9x19mm < .40 S&W < .45 ACP. They all do perfectly fine when put in the right spots, and none of them have anywhere near the amount of energy required to one shot stop a person due to physical rather than psychological reasons unless the CNS is disrupted/destroyed.

    And if you're the type that worries about the "size of the hole," premium 9x19mm JHPs generally expand to nearly twice their size (0.65 to 0.70), so no worries in that department either.
    Move. Shoot. Survive. ― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine

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  10. #10
    Member Array texasKA's Avatar
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    45. the 40 is snappy

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Incapacitation isn't defined/achieved by caliber/cartridge.

    You're looking at the problem from the wrong end. Incapacitation happens when you shut down the body's CNS, or major organs (although the latter may not product immediate incapacitation).


    Put the bullet in the appropriate place, that's it.
    Old School likes this.
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    I carry a Glock 23 .40 S&W most of the time but also carry my Glock 36 .45 ACP on occasion.

    I feel comfortable with either caliber and my ability to place shots on target.

    I use Speer Gold Dot or Remington Golden Saber ammunition. 165 Grain in .40 S&W and 230 grain in .45 ACP.

    Both are fine defensive cartridges.

    OS
    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".

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    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    I'd go with a 45 for a couple of reasons: First, the muzzle whip (jump) on the "shorty Forty" is vicious and a guaranteed flinch inducer. SECOND, 45 ammo is available everywhere, even overseas -- depending on circumstances. THIRD is related to #2: 45 ammo is way cheaper than 40 caliber stuff in both target (FMJ) loads as well as defensive loads.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  14. #14
    mkh
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    Distinguished Member Array mkh's Avatar
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    My EDC is a Sig P220 in .45 and I have 2 other .45s. I also have an XD40SC that I don't hesitate to carry of I need better concealment. Either will do the job if you do yours. So carry the one you fell physically and psychologically comfortable with.

  15. #15
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    Get both. I did.

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