This is a discussion on Why Rob Pincus now prefers the 9mm over .40 S&W... within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by mattwestm I wonder if this instructor is related to the gun shop clerk who instructed me to ship my handgun to an ...
As for me, I carry one of three guns primarily. Glock 23, XD .40 Service Model, Kahr CW9.
In all honesty, I shoot all of them very well. I don't feel under gunned when the CW9 is carried and I don't feel particularly better armed when either the G23 or XD .40 are on my hip. It all has to do with how well I can shoot the gun, how accurately I can place shots as quickly as possible and how comfortable I am with any particular gun.
It is good that Rob as a high profile instructor is willing to admit he has had a change in heart about his carry caliber and that he explains why he changed. It doesn't mean that anyone should dump their .40, .45 or any other caliber carry guns and run out and buy a 9mm. Carry what you are comfortable with and what you shoot well. I don't see why some feel the need to beat up on Rob for writing this article.
1. The Myth of the “One Shot Stop”, Part 1: Faster Strings of Fire are Better.
The difference in speed between 9, 40 and 45 is probably not significant enough to make a difference in a real world gunfight. Platform matters more than caliber, anyway, when it comes to speed. M&P 40's are particularly soft shooting pistols. An M&P 40, even with the stock trigger, will be significantly faster than a 9mm with a DA trigger.
2. The Myth of the “One Shot Stop”, Part 2: Higher Capacity is Better.
Two rounds. That's the difference between most 9mm pistols and 40 pistols in the same platform. Sometimes it's one round. The truth is, in the vast majority of gunfights, you'll run out of time before you run out of ammo with typical high capacity magazines.
3. Negligible Difference in Practical Wounding Potential.
That depends. Larger, heavier bullets bust bone better than small, light bullets. If your bullet needs to bust bone to get to the vitals, you're better off with a higher momentum projectile than a light bullet that may skip off of a bone. The hollowpoint cavity is also larger on 40 and 45 bullets, which seems to me would make them less likely to clog and not expand. But if the 40 or 45 doesn't expand, then neither would the 9mm, and you are left with light 9mm FMJ ammo against heavier 40 or 45 FMJ ammo with no expansion. I'll take the latter. Larger, heavier bullets also penetrate intermediate barriers better. While this may be uncommon in civilian self defense shootings, nobody knows exactly how their shooting scenario will play out. I'll take every advantage I can get.
Shot placement doesn't matter near as much as what the bullet does after penetrating the skin. There can be failures in any caliber, but 40 and 45 are well proven, while 9mm is well known to be load dependent for effectiveness. Hard to find a bad 40 or 45 load. With 180 grain loads (40) or 230 grain (45), I don't worry about penetration. They will get to the vitals. I'll consider the talk about 9mm "matching" 40 and 45 performance when I hear about blocks of gelatin attacking people, because to my way of thinking, experience on the streets counts more than controlled experiments against jello in a lab.
4. Lower Cost, High Value Practice
Everyone has to determine what they can afford, of course. I'll spend a little more and carry something I have more confidence in.
Slow is smooth.....smooth is fast.
1. How do you know that larger, heavier bullets "bust" bone better than small, light bullets? .45 ACP cannot penetrate a single layer of Kevlar, whereas a 9mm can penetrate up to 18 of 24 layers of a Kevlar vest. We have also seen recent testing with "SynBone," which is very much like natural human bone, and all the 9mm loads passed through it as if it wasn't even there.
2. Yes, the hollow point cavity in .40 and .45 bullets is larger. However, it still has to penetrate fully through the barriers it's attempting to penetrate, and the likelihood of bullet clogging/failure is exactly the same as a 9mm.
3. A bullet hit to a non vital area is just that; a bullet to a non vital area. The size won't make a difference.
4. A 9mm 115 gr. +P COR-BON DPX penetrates intermediates barriers just as well as any "larger, heavier" bullet.
5. You said, "There can be failures in any caliber, but 40 and 45 are well proven, while 9mm is well known to be load dependent for effectiveness."
Since when? The 9mm has performed admirably since WWI and is still in heavy use and is the most popular pistol caliber among the world's militaries and special forces operators, including ALL of our current active military personnel, Navy SEALs, etc. Do you think it has been around this long because it's a substandard caliber? No pistol caliber has been tested more "on the streets" than the 9mm. The "controlled experiments against jello in a lab" comment is WAY off base.
4. Lower Cost, High Value Practice
Everyone has to determine what they can afford, of course. I'll spend a little more and carry something I have more confidence in.[/QUOTE]
To each their own.
Move. Shoot. Survive. ― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine
“The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection.” ― Thomas Paine
Any big game hunter can tell you that heavier bullets bust bone better than light bullets. Hunters of large, dangerous game don't use bigger calibers and heavier bullets because they enjoy the extra recoil.
A block of jello with SynBones sounds even scarier than a regular block of jello, even when it's wearing a a 4 layer denim jacket. I still don't anticipate being attacked by one. I will, however, probably switch to a 9mm if I start hearing of Kevlar skinned bad guys I suppose, or more appropriately, a rifle.
A hit to a non-vital area MAY matter, depending on the penetration characteristics of a given load. It just may penetrate into a vital area after hitting the non-vital area. The whole search for a more effective caliber by the FBI was started due to a 115 grain 9mm JHP bullet that went through an arm before entering the bad guy's chest cavity, only to be stopped short of the heart. A hole in the heart would have stopped the bad guy much sooner, hopefully before he murdered those agents. The 9mm bullet was on track towards a vital area, it just didn't get there due to the typical reason for 9mm failures to stop, which is, the lack of sufficient momentum to penetrate to the vitals. It has nothing to do with the size of the hole. The bullet must have sufficient momentum to penetrate to vitals. 40 and 45 generally does have this momentum. 9mm? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Lighter bullets shed their energy and momentum much faster than heavier bullets.
Many police departments across the nation would disagree with your analysis about 9mm "performing admirably" since its introduction. The military chooses its pistol ammo based on NATO standardization and cost. It has nothing to do with the effectiveness of the cartridge, given that the pistol in military applications is a secondary, last-ditch weapon. My application is personal self-defense, not invading Afghanistan, so I'll choose my caliber and platform accordingly.
I'd much rather have too much bullet penetration than not enough, and with 40 and 45 with their standard heavy bullets (180 and 230 grains), the worst that's gonna happen is that it will plug up and blow a 40 or 45 caliber hole all the way through. That's much better than being concerned that a light 9mm bullet MAY not have enough momentum to get the job done after penetrating a barrier, even with the supposedly better designed 147 grain bullets. I've seen enough bullets fired through windshields to know which ones deflect off target the most (9mm). You can't change the laws of physics.
The 9mm may be adequate in most situations, but I'm a lot more comfortable knowing that if a 40 or 45 doesn't get the job done, then neither would a 9mm. But the reverse may not be true, due to penetration and deflection concerns. There is much talk about how much better modern 9mm loads are than what was available 20 years ago. All of those same advances apply to 40 and 45 bullets as well, and they were never problematic to begin with.
As with other things, despite what your woman may tell you, size does matter.
Slow is smooth.....smooth is fast.
All of this can be summed up by shooting fast, shooting often and shooting until the threat ceases.
Yeah, it might take less shots with a bigger caliber, but the time taken to shoot more with a smaller caliber is minor in comparison to the big scheme of things.
The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it...- George Orwell
AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
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Doesnt change my opinion about the calibers, but it does, IMO, lend to his credibility. Always interesting to read this stuff, but as we all know and say, everyone is different from recoil sensitivity to hand size and ability so its a very personal preference.
"Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt" ~ Mark Twain
Most of what I have read is a mixture of repeated lab tests in jello, and a misunderstanding of ballistics by attempting to interject the law of physics into the equation. The reason a lighter and smaller caliber is pushed as fast as possible, is to attempt to compensate for what its lacking in size and weight. Period. Sometimes if pushed fast enough, it will have great terminal effects. Even the penetration of heavy thick objects. However, the first goal of any bullet to be effective in the disruption of the CNS, is to reach vital organs to begin the lights out process. The key is balance of sectional density, and speed.
While its true that a faster bullet will penetrate better than a slow bullet, all things being equal, not all barriers are created equal. Kevlar is a tightly woven fabric that is multi layered an is designed to collaspe as the bullet pushes against it, asborbing the impact, and effectively slowing it down enough to "trap " it.
Bone, on the other hand is a hard, but pliable, moist and porus material that can act as a deflective surface. A lighter faster bullet may not have enough surface area to "bite" into the rounded or angled surface and be deflected off course.
Of course the same deflection could happen to a heavier wider profile. The difference is, the "thump factor" as I like to call it. The heavier bullet hits the bone with more authority, and due to its slower speed, may have more dwell time on the surface, and therefore, in many cases, bust thru and continue on.
There are no absolutes. Only probabilities based on the dynamic influence that both schools of thought bring to the table.
I carry a 9mm. I dont feel undergunned at all. However, I am aware of the limitations of its ability, and am therefor mentally prepared to adjust accordingly. I do the same with the 45, 44spl, and 38spl.
Thats why with mid calibers, I error on the side of penetration and choose the heaviest bullet offered.
After all, without proper penetration, all else is wasted effort.
Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.
I love all the internet Einstein's in these kinds of posts... Great entertainment. Anyways, I personally was on an entry team in an unfriendly country... My trusty 9mm side arm made the hostiles just as dead as my trusty .40 Glock did.
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