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

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; Shooters, I am a former Marine and ask both shooters & LEO'S: With the proper shot placement how effective is 40 cal. handgun in stopping ...

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

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array Sneaky's Avatar
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    Shooters,

    I am a former Marine and ask both shooters & LEO'S:

    With the proper shot placement how effective is 40 cal. handgun in stopping a lethal threat? While active in the Marines I have personally seen the damage a .45 caliber handgun can do.

    I have shot various .40 caliber guns but lack information on how successful the .40 caliber gun is in incapacitating someone threatening you with lethal force! I have taught my wife to shoot our 9mm -Sig 239, which is used for protecting our home against lethal threats inside our home. We have shot 9mm, 40 caliber and 45 pistols at our range and from shooting all these caliber handguns the 40 caliber handgun is what we shoot best.

    Plus I feel that 9mm handgun is not enough for our needs --when in most encounters I had in the Marines --were so surprisingly fast that only one or two shots were fired. How effective is the 40 caliber handgun with 1 -2 shots in stopping a lethal threat?
    Thank-you shooters for your thoughts & data!

    There's No Life Before Coffee!


    Last edited by JD; December 17th, 2008 at 09:48 AM. Reason: Merged posts


  2. #2
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    Oh heck yeah.

    The. 40 is a fine choice and will kill anything you need dead.
    I personally beleive in the theory of shooting the biggest caliber that you can be proficient with, but with that being said, I do carry a SigP239 .40 alot and dont feel the least bit undergunned.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  3. #3
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    You can get away with less than .40......... Think shot placement!
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array tankdriver's Avatar
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    Look how many people the Germans in WW2 with 32 PPs and PPKs. Don't get me wrong, I carry a 380, 38, and 40, but anything is better than nothing.
    1942 M3 Autocar Half-track...M3A1 Diamond T Half-track...57mm Anti-Tank Cannon

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  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Fragman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat-O-Matic View Post
    While active in the Marines I have personally seen the damage a .45 caliber handgun can do ! I have shot various .40 caliber guns but lack information on how successful the .40 caliber gun is in incapacitating someone threating you with lethal force! Do any shooters on this site have any knowledge on the effectiveness of the .40 caliber gun? I will be using this gun for protecting my family!

    What caliber gun to you prefer( .40 cal.or .45 cal.) for protecting your family?

    There's No Life Before Coffee!

    Nothing wrong with .40. Nothing really wrong with a good 9mm either. SD ammo for the 9mm is nothing like the 9mm ball used in the M9.

    BUT, a very important thing, maybe the MOST important thing, is confidence in your weapon. So, if the .45 works for you and you are happy with it, why swap to a .40?

    Of course, I personally think a shottie loaded with good buckshot beats 'em all.

  6. #6
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    40 is a great caliber! I prefer 45 or 9mm, but not because there is anything wrong with the 40... I just shoot 9 or 45 the best.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array Sarge45's Avatar
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    While I can't say I have seen the trauma inflicted by a .40 cal, I can say that guns have been pretty much my sole hobby for the last 28 years. The .40 S&W is a newer caliber compared to the .45 but it has defenitely left a positive impression in the firearms community.

    Before I go on, I will say my "preferred" caliber is the .45 ACP for various reasons. Your question is about the .40 so I won't try and sell you on the .45 ACP. I will tell you even though I prefer the .45, my second choice in caliber is the .40 because of it's size and potential as a SD round.

    I subscribe to the "larger is better" crowd, to only a certain degree. I feel the .40 can be better than the 9mm depending on load but the .45 can be better than the .40, depending on the load. I only own one .40 handgun and all the rest are .45's or 9mm's. Odd eh ? Bear with me on my reason.

    When I was shopping for the smallest, toughest, most concealable and reliable handgun with the "most power" available, I settled on the Glock 27. I searched and searched for something that gave me everything I wanted in a better package but it wasn't there. I didn't want the 26 because I felt the 9mm from the short barrel would not have the same potential as the .40 from the short barrel. I can't get a .45 in that small a package so I bought the 27.

    As my daily concealed carry handgun, the Glock 27 in a .40 caliber gives me excellent firepower with very good ballistics in a fantastic carry platform. I have no qualms about the .40 and feel it is an excellent compromise to the .45 to get what I want in an ultimate carry package. If I go with a bigger gun for carry on a particular day, I trade up to .45 or even my Glock 19, which has a 4" barrel.

    My reasons are neither right nor wrong. They are logical to me so I feel very good about my choices. Others may feel different but I will say firmly that I believe the .40 S&W is a very good candidate for a subcompact or even a full sized carry gun. Not as versatile in loadings as my .45's but a great SD round, none the less.

    Hope this helps !

  8. #8
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    YES is the short answer.

    FYI, my first preference is a .45, and I also often carry a 9mm or a .380. I don't own a .40 and size of the pistol doesn't matter for home defense.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array Roadrunner's Avatar
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    I like the .45 as well, but the .40 hits plenty hard. 12 gauge or .223 trumps them both.
    - Kurt
    “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

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array fatboy97's Avatar
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    I'm retired Navy... I know what you mean, but since retiring I have become a .40S&W convert. I sold my SIG P220 and purchased a SIG P226 (.40S&W). That is 8+1 for the P220 compared to 12+1 for the P226 (.40).

    Very close to the same size as the 9mm, and just about as good of stopping power as the .45. I personally prefer the .40S&W over the .45, which does not mean i will never buy a .45 again. It's always good to have a little variety in everyone's life.

    Just remember: Shot placement may not be everything, but it's a lot.
    Be Observant and Be Safe.

    Current: S&W 442, Springfield XD9sc, XDm9, and Glock G26, G19, G23C,
    and SIG P226-40 TT, and Ruger GP-100, and Beretta 92FS
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Array Maverickx50's Avatar
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    you will like the 40

    I'm a lover of the 45 too but am seriously considering a 40. Smaller yet lethal package, Lighter weight, more rounds and less weight per round as well.

    Love the 12 Ga for home defense but prefer #2 or #4 to buck load though. Everybody needs a 223-308-762/39 type weapon but not for the primary home defense. These will definitely stop & kill your intruder but will also put a hole thru your garage, thru your truck, thru the neighbor’s wall and thru your neighbor all at the same time. I prefer to think I can limit the destruction to the confines of my home in most cases.
    I carry to protect myself and my loved ones from the BG's. Not to solve societies problems. That said: if more carried the deterrent would only have a positive overall effect on those problems.

  12. #12
    Member Array yemenmocha's Avatar
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    I agree with the others about whichever round you can be proficient with - shot placement matters a lot.

    I don't mean to be personal, but are you the only one who might need to use this firearm for self-defense? If you have a spouse or significant other who might need to use this firearm, and it is the only one available in your home, can this person use it effectively as well? I doubt I'll ever own something beyond a .40 because this is what my wife can shoot reasonably well.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array Roadrunner's Avatar
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    Actually, .223 is less likely to penetrate walls than buckshot. I know, it sounds counterintuitive, but it's true.
    - Kurt
    “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

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array Maverickx50's Avatar
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    How about #2 or #4? I prefer this to buck for no better reason than if I fill an intruder with #4 they will spend a lot more time cutting on him/her to get it all back out, and of course less penetration. It's not because of a larger spread. At the typical 4 to 8 feet it's going to be a pretty compact pattern anyway.
    I carry to protect myself and my loved ones from the BG's. Not to solve societies problems. That said: if more carried the deterrent would only have a positive overall effect on those problems.

  15. #15
    Member Array stmcelroy's Avatar
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    I feel perfectly safe with 9mm, .40S&W, .357mag, 10mm or .45ACP.

    But when push comes to shove I would much rather have this in hands than any of my handguns.



    Or my AR15 if I need more rounds.

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