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; well, it sure is although I'd recommend the 10mm, which in most pistols you can change the barrel to the 40 SW if you'd want...
well, it sure is although I'd recommend the 10mm, which in most pistols you can change the barrel to the 40 SW if you'd want
I am sworn to protect the Constitution of the U.S.A. from all threats both foreign and domestic.
.40 S&W JHP loaded to the higher ranges of velocity (which all factory defensive ammo is) is devastating to tissue. Remember, the .45 travels at lower velocities. They are both excellent rounds. The effectiveness of a comparable 9mm JHP is going to be a little less than these two rounds but not by much. However, the most important factor is not caliber. Rather it is to use high quality JHP ammo, Corbon and Hornady come to mind, and as has been mentioned many times before, "shot placement is king."
Lastly, if you're at all interested in the ultimate home defence weapon it would have to be a 12 gauge shotgun in the short police riot gun variety. I think they hold about six or seven rounds.
A little research of ballistic tables can show you all major calibers, effectiveness, etc..It comes down to hitting your target, controllability of the weapon, and realistically, what you can handle and like. Shorter barrels translates into slower and different bullet performance, but, modern loads are very effective at what they are manufactured for. Luck.
I know, I know, you are smarter than me..just ask you..
.40 should be fine...a long gun is always better. Be it a rifle or a shotgun.
Caliber wars aside, .40 S&W will work fine.
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset
I have a .40 ready for the call. But in addition to maming or killing an intruder is a concern of over penetration and injuring a loved one. Although I do not own a tactical shotgun. I do think it might be the best for home protection as long as it wasn't loaded with heavy shot or slugs. I scaled down from my .45 to the .40 for home protection. I have read several reports of over penetration accidents - and it is a major concern for me. I want to stop the threat ASAP - but without harm for the ones I was protecting. Maybe 9mm or shotgun - I don't know.
All guns will penetrate a wall, so your best bet is to be aware of your surrounding and know where it is safe to shoot.
You really need to look at your house and figure out where is the best place to position yourself defensively and have set shooting lanes that are safe.
Do not plan on any round not penetrating walls and injuring your family or innocent neighbors.
I recall a Texas Ranger who was asked why he carried a .45 and he said because they don't make a .46. Seriously the .45 is lauded as the best hand gun, especially when in the 1911 configuration. It is a little like arguing about the difference between Ford and Chevrolet pickups. I like the .45.
SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM
I don't want to derail this thread, but for those who are interested, google 5.56 and sheetrock to see what comes up. In summary, if you're using a hollow point, lightweight bullet, 5.56 rounds tend to break up when they hit sheetrock and other walls. This helps reduce the problem of overpenetration vs. pistol and shotgun rounds. Again, I'm not trying to derail the thread, just putting the information out there since the subject came up.
“Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.” ~Pericles of Athens
Primary Carry - Colt Commander .45 in a Brommeland Max-Con V
It is a matter of personal choice. I made mine many years ago when I had to call on a 1911 made by Singer to pull my bacon from the fire.
For those of you who will trust your life to a bullet that MAY expand----Mine will never be smaller than .451 and could quite possibly be larger.
Thanks for this thread - this question was on my mind for awhile. My LEO friends and relatives are very confident in 40SW. Both are big Glock guys. But then I met a special forces guy who will ONLY carry a 1911 .45 with hollowpoints. I guess I concluded that either will get the job done just fine if I can do my part and get the training & practice that should go with it
G27, Beretta 8040, Ruger GP100
I don't think you have to worry about the .40 caliber being ineffective...but for home defense...I choose a 12 gauge shotgun.
--people ask why I carry, and I show them this picture. I think it says it all.--
NRA Certified Instructor--many disciplines
It depends on who you shoot and where you place your shots.
Handgun Cartridge Power Chart - Condensed Version
maybe this can help you with your research.
Last edited by JD; December 17th, 2008 at 10:39 AM.
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