How Effective is the 40 caliber handgun in stopping a lethal threat?

This is a discussion on How Effective is the 40 caliber handgun in stopping a lethal threat? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A couple of years ago, I put a .40 SXT into the front center chest of a pit bull that wanted a piece of me ...

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Thread: How Effective is the 40 caliber handgun in stopping a lethal threat?

  1. #16
    Senior Member Array Sergeant Mac's Avatar
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    A couple of years ago, I put a .40 SXT into the front center chest of a pit bull that wanted a piece of me to gnaw on. I was standing on a porch, and the dog was lunging at me. (picture the angle of that shot)

    The dog went straight down, yelped a couple of times, and that was it. DRT.

    I'm comfortable with the .40.

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  3. #17
    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    I think you'll find the .40 is just about 10% less (ballistics) than the .45 ---- unless you load it with Magtech Guardian Gold 155 JHP. That round flies at 1205 fps and packs energy at 500 ft./lbs. at the muzzle. Most .45 is in the high 300's to low 400's for energy. For that matter, the Magtech Guardian Gold for the .45 packs a whallop too - the 180+P flies at 1148 fps and has muzzle energy of 540 ft. lbs. Expansion on both is awesome! I have both calibers but prefer my .45.

    Ballistics aside, other's points are spot on - CONFIDENCE AND PLACEMENT. My wife does better with my 1911 than my .40 as the .40 has a snappier recoil than the 1911.
    Tim
    BE PREPARED - Noah didn't build the Ark when it was raining!
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  4. #18
    Distinguished Member Array AKsrule's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with a .40SW

    Here's my biased ranking of SD calibers ( I have guns chambered in all these).

    .357mag/ 357sig
    .45acp
    .40SW
    .38spec. +P
    -------
    -SIG , it's What's for Dinner-

    know your rights!
    http://www.handgunlaw.us

    "If I walk in the woods, I feel much more comfortable carrying a gun. What if you meet a bear in the woods that's going to attack you? You shoot it."
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  5. #19
    Member Array mslaughtertx's Avatar
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    A .40 is definately adequate with the right operator behind it.

  6. #20
    Member Array Sharp's Avatar
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    I prefer 9mm or .45, but I wouldn't have a problem with .40 either considering it's the caliber used by LE in the area.

  7. #21
    Senior Member Array imthduke's Avatar
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    Here is what I carry in .40 Sig P239 SAS DAK trigger w/lasermax

    I am not afraid of the dark with it

    http://www.treasureislandbedandbreakfast.com
    Ed Brown Kobra Carry | HK P7M8, P2000sk, P30s | Sig P238, P239SAS, 1911 C3, P232, P938 | Colt Defender, Mustang Pocketlite, 1911 | Rohrbaugh R9 | Kimber Covert Ultra II | Browning HP, Buckmark 22LR(suppressed| Walter PPK(1966) | Kahr PM9 Black Rose |

  8. #22
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    In auto pistols I think the .40 would be an acceptable alternative to the goodness that is the .45 ACP. I don't think as highly of the 9mm.

  9. #23
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-O-Matic View Post
    I will be using this gun for protecting my family!
    Then you're well motivated.

    Plenty of folks have been stopped by 9mm on up. By far, the greatest factor is going to be what you do with it. So long as your choice means you'll have it with you, you're effective with it, you are comfortable and well-trained with it, then it should be sufficient. Like anything else in this world: ain't no guarantees. Get a good tool, then work it until you know for a fact it'll do what you need it to do. Then, and only then, you can be assured it is sufficient for the task.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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  10. #24
    Senior Member Array Fragman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverickx50 View Post
    How about #2 or #4? I prefer this to buck
    IIRC No 2 and No 4 are buck. It's certainly what I was thinking of when i refered to buckshot earlier.

    Don't mess around with birdshot. It's not going to be effective. No 2 buck or No 4 buck is the way to go. Some like to move up the buckshot scale to 00 and 000, but it seems No 4 or No 2 is the best balance.

  11. #25
    Senior Member Array cwblanco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadrunner View Post
    Actually, .223 is less likely to penetrate walls than buckshot. I know, it sounds counterintuitive, but it's true.
    Sorry to tell you this my friend, but it ain't true.

  12. #26
    VIP Member Array SammyIamToday's Avatar
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    .40 is great for home defense. You get a round with a good amount of power in a platform that allows you a good amount of capacity in a smaller handgun. Which is pretty much why I settled on it. Rather good power and performance (check some ballistics sites, etc) in a handgun that doesn't have to be huge to achieve a large capacity of rounds.
    ...He suggested that "every American citizen" should own a rifle and train with it on firing ranges "at every courthouse." -Chesty Puller

  13. #27
    Member Array 7mm Gumbo's Avatar
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    .22, .380, .38 special, 9 mm, .40S&W, .45 ACP..... they will all work. Just remember the "three S's" Shot placement, Shot placement, Shot placement. A good hit with a standard velocity .38 is a lot better than string of loud misses from a hi cap .40 anything! A handgun with a full size grip and a 4" or 5" barrel is easier to hit with than someting smaller. Only hits count.

  14. #28
    Ex Member Array Sneaky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SammyIamToday View Post
    .40 is great for home defense. You get a round with a good amount of power in a platform that allows you a good amount of capacity in a smaller handgun. Which is pretty much why I settled on it. Rather good power and performance (check some ballistics sites, etc) in a handgun that doesn't have to be huge to achieve a large capacity of rounds.
    Hopefully the enemy only knows 90 percent of the Marines -the last 10 percent the enemy does't know is what has defeated the Marines enemies time and time again-as proven by history!

  15. #29
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Doesn't matter, shot placement is king
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

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    You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know

  16. #30
    VIP Member Array MNBurl's Avatar
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    The 40 round is what I use for HD needs. Higher capacity then a 45 and more punch then the 9mm IMHO so a perfect round.
    MNBurl

    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking" - George S. Patton.

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