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; There is a good document (see HWFE below) produced by the FBI's Firearm Training Unit Research publication, Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness. It is a ...

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

  1. #46
    Senior Member Array rolyat63's Avatar
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    There is a good document (see HWFE below) produced by the FBI's Firearm Training Unit Research publication, Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness. It is a very good read.

    Basically it is placement and penetration. The links below provide good data to support a .40 as a viable caliber. There is no "magic bullet". You have already completed the part that will lead to a more likely success in a SD situation; find the gun/round you/she shoot the best.

    HWFE


    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...s/62036-p.html

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...-40-cal-2.html
    rolyat63
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  3. #47
    Senior Member Array Fast Cloud's Avatar
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    LEOs carry 40s and of all the gun forums I paroose I've certainly never heard any complaints about there effectiveness. Cool avatar, by the way.
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  4. #48
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    I wouldn't go by the LEO stats...the FBI states a 20% hit rate. Most LEO's use the .40. I'd say that's pretty poor. Is it the caliber's fault? No, but that shows what stats can do. The .40 is a pretty snappy recoil. I'd recommend the .45 with it's gentler "push" and great stopping power.
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  5. #49
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    .40 works well...

    I think the .40 is an effective caliber for defensive use, and compares well with .45 in that regard. The lighter weight .40 ammo gives you about 1200 fps velocity and 500 ft-lbs of energy, and generally penetrates 12 to 14 inches in gelatin tests, with expansion to about 0.8 inches. Marshall and Sanow liked it, giving it their "one shot stop" ranking in the 95% range. And quite a few police departments think well of it, judging by the way they arm their officers.

    I have 3 guns in .40 and find the accuracy comparable to my .45 and 9mm guns. The recoil is sharp but not objectionable, and you can quickly get used to it with practice. .40 has one big advantage over .45 in that you can carry more rounds in the .40, due to the smaller case diameter relative to .45.
    Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington

  6. #50
    VIP Member Array JAT40's Avatar
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    If It's the one you shoot best, then it's the one for you.
    You'll be good to go with the .40 for SD.
    Semper Fi.
    While people are saying "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, ... and they will not escape. 1Th 5:3

  7. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-O-Matic View Post
    the 40 caliber handgun is what we shoot best.
    IMHO, then the .40 cal is for you.

    Thankfully I don't have any first-hand experience in stopping a human lethal threat with a pistol of any caliber, though the members here have provided you with some good reference information.

    Actually I don't find the additional recoil of the .40 a significant issue for me. Here are two examples, YMMV:

    1. Glock 27- My wife (lukewarm shooter) and I both shot this gun when it was new. She originally had leo training with a G19, and she never mentioned any recoil complaints about the .40 cal. I didn't notice too much about it other than there isn't much on the G27 to grip. Later, I added the extended floor plate on the bottom of a mag (not the Pearce) and it gave me just the right amount of extra to hang on to.

    2. Sig comparison- This isn't an "official" test but I have a 239 SAS DAK in 9 mm; and I also have a 229 SAS DAK in .40 caliber. I can hardly tell any difference in the recoil between the two. Granted, the 229 is heavier and absorbs the recoil to the point where it feels about like shooting the 239. The difference is barely noticeable to me.....I don't know, maybe I have cave man nerve endings, and should be working for GEICO.
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  8. #52
    VIP Member Array stormbringerr's Avatar
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    i like the 40 cal my XD is 40cal and very accurate.as far as being effective it depends on shot placement and the type of ammo.
    get some .40 federal 165gr hst hp and you will be good to go.
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  9. #53
    Senior Member Array itschuck's Avatar
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    You answered your own question... "With proper shot placement" My walther in 32 cal will stop in one shot if I were to hit the bad guy in the head.
    Lets put pareto's 80/20 rule in play...its 20% gun and 80% shot placement.
    A 38, 357, 40, 45, 9mm all fit that 20%... the other 80% is up to you.
    Current collection: Too many according to the wife...

  10. #54
    Member Array Katoom's Avatar
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    With the right ammo 9mm or .40 cal. is effective. I think shot placement is more important than size. Which ever you shoot best is what I would say is more effective.
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  11. #55
    Senior Member Array WC145's Avatar
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    Whatever gun and caliber combo you shoot best should be your choice. All of the common LE/defense calibers - 9mm, 357sig, .40S&W, .45ACP, .38spl, .357mag, .44spl, etc., etc., etc. - will do the job with quality self defense ammo as long as you do yours. If you can't put the bullet where it counts it doesn't matter what caliber it is.

  12. #56
    Member Array hondaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natureboypkr View Post
    It depends on who you shoot and where you place your shots.
    So true.

  13. #57
    BJ
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    .40

    There are several different 40 cal the standard also the 10MM
    and the400 CorBon all 3 use a .40 bullet the last two just use it better
    B.J.

  14. #58
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I figure any caliber is going to be as effective as I am. I don't care too much for research or statistics. I carry a sub compact in 40 S&W more frequently than anything else.

  15. #59
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    I think the gun you shoot the best and have rapid followup shots with is the one I would carry,9/40/45 whatever you shoot best then that is what I would recommend,I bought my daughter a 9mm but if she shoots my 40 better and likes it then that is what she will get to keep
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  16. #60
    Member Array Hubs's Avatar
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    I'll take a .45 any day over any other caliber for self defense purposes. But, that's just me....
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