.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; ok everyone ive been searching the web comparing the .40 and .45 and on a few sights it has that the .40 s&w has a ...

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

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    Member Array ruger91's Avatar
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    .40 s&w vs .45 acp ballistics

    ok everyone ive been searching the web comparing the .40 and .45 and on a few sights it has that the .40 s&w has a higher chance of a one stop shot than a .45 acp. i know that the .40 sometimes has more recoil but ive always been told the .45 is the way to go. i can deal with the snappy recoil of a .40 so if has more stopping power or better chance of a one shot stop plus the few extra rounds i would probaly lean towards the .40. id like everyones opinions, i am not made of money so i have to save, alot, to purchase my guns, with that said i aim to get it right the first time. any replies would be helpful. thanks

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    481
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger91 View Post
    ok everyone ive been searching the web comparing the .40 and .45 and on a few sights it has that the .40 s&w has a higher chance of a one stop shot than a .45 acp.
    That's not necessarily true. Bullet design plays a significant part in how it effects the person shot, as does placement- what you hit, what you hit it with, and myriad other variables all make it impossible to say for sure which one is going to have a higher chance of neutralizing a threat. Counting on a "one shot stop" is poor tactical philsophy. Commit to shooting the threat to the ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by ruger91 View Post
    i know that the .40 sometimes has more recoil but ive always been told the .45 is the way to go. i can deal with the snappy recoil of a .40 so if has more stopping power or better chance of a one shot stop plus the few extra rounds i would probaly lean towards the .40.
    If recoil doesn't bother you (effect your ability to put rounds on target in a timely manner under stress), then by all means go with whatever caliber pleases you. The differences between the two rounds, using ammo of identical weight, velocity, and design are negligible at best. You are better off putting energy into getting some quality training. As for "stopping power", forget it. It is simply a buzzword whose definition varies from person; it is meaningless.

    Quote Originally Posted by ruger91 View Post
    id like everyones opinions, i am not made of money so i have to save, alot, to purchase my guns, with that said i aim to get it right the first time. any replies would be helpful. thanks
    If you don't want to end up with a gun that you don't like and/or can't afford to replace, you might wish to test fire a few rental guns. See what feels good; what "works" for you in terms of comfort and accuracy.

    After that, most any of the "premium" JHPs offered for SD oughtta suffice. Lotsa folks get all wrapped up over bullet weight and speed, but it's all splitting hairs, IMO. Although I personally prefer heavy-for-caliber bullets (147 in 9mm, 180 in .40, 230 in .45, etc.) regardless of caliber, I'd happily carry the lighter, faster stuff (115 in 9mm, 155 in .40, 185 in .45) all day long and not give it a second thought. Find something that you have confidence in and carry it.
    My favorite "gun" book-

    QUANTITATIVE AMMUNITION SELECTION

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    sgb
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    "One" shot stops with any caliber is the exception not the rule. Instead of looking for a gun that shoots magic bb's get professional training in the use of sidearms for self defense and start studying terminal ballistics.
    Echo_Four, zacii and 40Bob like this.
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

    Best Choices for Self Defense Ammunition

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    Ex Member Array NotMallNinja's Avatar
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    Training under stress and round selection are more important. I can shoot anything from 10mm on down and chose 9mm since it can damn well do the job if need be and my wife can handle it as well.
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    Member Array ruger91's Avatar
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    thanks 481 thats alot of helpful info, i will definatly try before i buy. with everything said i would prefer a .45 over a .40, but i could deal with the .40 if i found sumthing i really liked. do you have any recommendations for carry gun. i have a ruger p95 its just to bulky unless i carry it on the small of the back, which i dont really like to do. im 5'7 and 150 so im not very big so prob need a compact. i was lookin at the xd compact .45 or the g30 or the bersa thunder pro uc .45. idk i just need something reliable,durable, and reliable again. i will get a BUG when i can afford to but untill then id rather not have a malfunction when im trying to defend my family, if that ever happens. thanks for your advice again 481

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    Member Array ruger91's Avatar
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    i feel you on that notmallninja. thats why i went with a ruger p95 for my wife so she could learn to shoot. she loves the p95 now. its just too bulky for me to carry unless its on the back, she can just carry it in her purse no problems. thanks for the advice

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    I personally prefer the .40 since ammo cost is cheaper and I like the pistols offered in the caliber. They usually weigh less, are thinner, and most of the time have more capacity. (take a look at the HK USP compact specs for all three calibers and you will see what I mean)

    Both calibers do well in ballistic tests so I would focus more on the host than the ammo type.

    I'm a DA/SA type person and so I shoot a P30 chambered in the .40 s&w. If I was a 1911 guy I would obviously be shooting a .45 caliber 1911 pistol.

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    Handgun_gel_comparison.jpgrsz_1rounds.jpgHandgun_expanded_JHP.jpg
    here are a few rounds the first two are .40S&W and the rest are .45ACP ...

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    Senior Member Array hayzor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgb View Post
    "One" shot stops with any caliber is the exception not the rule. Instead of looking for a gun that shoots magic bb's get professional training in the use of sidearms for self defense and start studying terminal ballistics.
    I don't always agree with sgb, but like he says, Training has much more to do with protecting yourself than the gun or ammo.
    The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. Albert Einstein

    "People in Arizona carry guns," said a Chandler police spokesman. "You better be careful about who you are picking on."

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    Member Array Blades's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum.

    Is this one of the articles you read while researching? Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo

    If you are looking for something easy to carry, then you probably want a single stack handgun. The Glock 36, Sig P938, Bersa BP9 Concealed Carry or maybe a Kahr.
    Good luck and let us know what you decide.
    --Jason--

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    481
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger91 View Post
    thanks 481 thats alot of helpful info, i will definatly try before i buy. with everything said i would prefer a .45 over a .40, but i could deal with the .40 if i found sumthing i really liked. do you have any recommendations for carry gun. i have a ruger p95 its just to bulky unless i carry it on the small of the back, which i dont really like to do. im 5'7 and 150 so im not very big so prob need a compact. i was lookin at the xd compact .45 or the g30 or the bersa thunder pro uc .45. idk i just need something reliable,durable, and reliable again. i will get a BUG when i can afford to but untill then id rather not have a malfunction when im trying to defend my family, if that ever happens. thanks for your advice again 481
    You are welcome. I am glad that I could help you out.

    As for compacts, the G30 and the XD Compact seem like the best options. You'll still have to try 'em out for yourself though since I cannot tell you what works best for you.

    I have no experience with the Bersa Thunder so I cannot tell you anything about it.

    Perhaps someone that has experience with the Bersa can provide some insight?
    My favorite "gun" book-

    QUANTITATIVE AMMUNITION SELECTION

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    I have found through intensive study that hand grenades are the only for sure one shot stoppers
    ruger91 and GH like this.

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    Look at the comparison a little differently; hunting. The .45 is sometimes used as a hunting caliber, the .40 not so. One YouTube video I saw of a guy trying to finish off a wild pig, the .40 S&W just did not cut it. Granted, he may have been using JHP's which are not going to work on fatty muscular game like FMJ's, but still. OTOH, I know at least one person who hunts pigs with a .45 and it works, often with one-shot kills. To me, the .40's an overpriced and slightly souped up 9mm.
    Last edited by troutkiller; August 22nd, 2012 at 03:57 PM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by lyodbraun View Post
    Handgun_gel_comparison.jpgrsz_1rounds.jpgHandgun_expanded_JHP.jpg
    here are a few rounds the first two are .40S&W and the rest are .45ACP ...
    tests such as these are a prime example of trying to make a small caliber act like a bigger caliber. Not much practical value other than that.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by troutkiller View Post
    Look at the comparison a little differently; hunting. The .45 is sometimes used as a hunting caliber, the .40 not so. One YouTube video I saw of a guy trying to finish off a wild pig, the .40 S&W just did not cut it. Granted, he may have been using JHP's which are not going to work on fatty muscular game like FMJ's, but still. OTOH, I know at least one person who hunts pigs with a .45 and it works, often with one-shot kills. To me, the .40's an overpriced and slightly souped up 9mm.
    I've seen a guy take out a pig with a .22 air rifle. It was on pyramidair.com's website, all about shot placement. I'm guessing that guy was using JHP too because I can't imagine a .40 s&w not being able to do the job.

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