.40 s&w vs .45 acp ballistics

This is a discussion on .40 s&w vs .45 acp ballistics within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; OP, if you are new, get a 9mm. Then training and ammo. Do NOT start down the long road of seeking the perfect round. It ...

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Thread: .40 s&w vs .45 acp ballistics

  1. #31
    Member Array geohans's Avatar
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    OP, if you are new, get a 9mm. Then training and ammo.

    Do NOT start down the long road of seeking the perfect round. It is a waste.

    After you've got a few thousand rounds through your gun, you can try other stuff; but if' you're serious, just get a 9mm and get very good with it.
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  3. #32
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    In all honesty, you shouldn't bother crunching the numbers. Pick whatever you shoot best. For me, it's the 45ACP, because I can control the pushing recoil impulse better than the 40S&W's snappy recoil.

    Like others have said, consider renting a few different guns of different calibers and style, and choose based on what you are most comfortable shooting.

  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by geohans View Post
    Do NOT start down the long road of seeking the perfect round. It is a waste.
    Quoted for truth. If only I had known back then.
    My favorite "gun" book-

    QUANTITATIVE AMMUNITION SELECTION

  5. #34
    Member Array ruger91's Avatar
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    ive got a ruger p95 9mm. very nice gun, the grip sucks but i put a hougue slip on grip on mine and it feels amazing in my hand. i can conceal it if i carry on small of back but i prefer not to. i love the 9mm i just wanted to upgrade to somethin a little more powerful.

    also have tactical 12 ga for HD that i practice with a good bit as well. my wife wont touch the 12 so she has the pistols in case a BG breaks and are able to take me out when i confront them. that way she can defend herself when i take the shotgun, in case the BG gets me before i get them.
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  6. #35
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    I work for a very large PD; we shoot plenty of bad guys, over time. Until 1997, we could carry a range of duty cartridges, and .45 ACP was quite popular. Since 1997, .40 has been the standard, though officers can keep their earlier pistols "grandfathered" indefinitely. The result? When we hit bad guys well, they fall, whether .40 S&W or .45 ACP. Worrying about any real difference is like worrying about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Shot placement is the key, then comes shooting early and often.

    As I get older, the snappy .40 recoil is becoming a major pain, and I mean it literally. It hurts. Of course, the pistols are not equal, as my personally-owned P229R is a .40, whereas my 1911 is a .45 ACP. The 1911 has a lower bore axis, and is all-steel. I now only carry the SIG when I must, which is when wearing the uniform.

    The one handgun cartridge I have seen make a visible difference in the wounding effect is the .357 Magnum, specifically the 125-gain JHP. There is, however a learning curve, and the muzzle flash and blast can be distracting.
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  7. #36
    Member Array ruger91's Avatar
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    thanks for the insight Rexster.
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  8. #37
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    Calculator for checking the effectiveness of various calibers and loads:

    Energy Calculator

    It gives a user several metrics including the Taylor KO formula. Pretty interesting. After plugging in the weight and speed of the various calibers I have, I'm beginning to question if newer SD ammo is anything special.

  9. #38
    Member Array Blades's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by troutkiller View Post
    Calculator for checking the effectiveness of various calibers and loads:

    Energy Calculator

    It gives a user several metrics including the Taylor KO formula. Pretty interesting. After plugging in the weight and speed of the various calibers I have, I'm beginning to question if newer SD ammo is anything special.
    Cool, thanks.

    I think the newer SD ammo is just designed to perform better, the speed or muzzle energy isn't higher.
    --Jason--

  10. #39
    Member Array troutkiller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades View Post
    I think the newer SD ammo is just designed to perform better, the speed or muzzle energy isn't higher.
    With the newer bonded HP's and +P rounds out there, I think you're right. They seem to be designed to hold together but I wonder if a bullet fragmenting in a wound channel really takes much away.

    I ran the numbers for a range of .45 rounds and found there's not much improvement on ball ammo for my purposes (deep woods gun). Not even +P. I'd been thinking I need a .357 for when I'm in black bear country, but a .45 is just as well from the looks of it.

    The various .38 loads surprised me, resulting in a much wider energy range. On the low end, .38's are not much better than 9 Mak's. On the high end, they come close to matching 9mm Luger. The .38 remains a versatile round. Not to start a flame war, but it affirms the .40's not as powerful as the .45.

    I'd never heard of the Taylor formula before, which takes into account bullet diameter.

  11. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades View Post
    Cool, thanks.

    I think the newer SD ammo is just designed to perform better, the speed or muzzle energy isn't higher.
    I think that it depends on what you are buying. Typical SD ammo are JHPs, slightly less weight can add to velocity. Their design, as is my understanding, is meant to be more effective at impact, or, how the projectile will act once it meets its target. They being JHP allows them to expand and fill with matter, thereby slowing down in its target. Whether or not this is true with a human is beyond me, but, that is what I believe they are designed for. Also, if it does in fact stop within its target, that energy has to go somewhere.

    But, as others have said, so many variables play into this. It's difficult to say exactly what will happen with just one shot. With what little training I have received, I have always been taught to shoot twice, reassess the threat, shoot-twice, reassess the threat, etc...

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  12. #41
    Member Array Blades's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nebraska12 View Post

    But, as others have said, so many variables play into this. It's difficult to say exactly what will happen with just one shot. With what little training I have received, I have always been taught to shoot twice, reassess the threat, shoot-twice, reassess the threat, etc...

    Sent from my PG06100 using Tapatalk 2
    Yep-- shoot until the threat is stopped.
    --Jason--

  13. #42
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    Cool 40 vs 45

    Shot placement two to the chest. If that doesn't do it, then one to the head. Either one will do.

  14. #43
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    Well I have the Bersa Thunder Pro in .40 and can tell you it is snappy, accurate and very under rated. Great buy !
    Our LE all carry .40s.

    On the flip side ... I love my Sig230C in .45, was preowned but well cared for. Trigger is awesome ! Daughter and
    G.son both carry compact 45s (Taurus ) with those awful figure 8 Heinie sights and extremely long trigger pull. I
    think they both point & shoot and have learned to do well at the range. To quote my daughter ( right or wrong )
    " if I have to use it I want to put the BG down for the count ".

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