40cal vs 45acp (in a subcomact) any advantage??

This is a discussion on 40cal vs 45acp (in a subcomact) any advantage?? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; There seems to be a consensus that the 45acp still rules over the 40S&W, w/o creating a caliber war here, I was wondering if there ...

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Thread: 40cal vs 45acp (in a subcomact) any advantage??

  1. #1
    Member Array jwalker497's Avatar
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    40cal vs 45acp (in a subcomact) any advantage??

    There seems to be a consensus that the 45acp still rules over the 40S&W, w/o creating a caliber war here, I was wondering if there were any advantages of a 40cal when shot out of a very small subcompact carry pistol, ie a Kahr PM40 (5.35in) over the larger/slower 45acp, in a similiar sized packages, the kahr PM45 (5.67in)

    My one thought and please correct me if I am wrong, bullets regardless of caliber, lose their velocity as the barrel shortens, so I was wondering...due to the increased velocities of a 40, would the far better and prove more effective and stronger "on paper" as compared to the 45acp slower/heaver round from a similiar sized gun?

    PS - I guess what I am really saying is that, can't the 45 do everyhting ther 40 can plus shoot heavier bullets. If you take a 40 and shoot 180grain @ whatever fps, wouldnt the 45 be able to shoot a 180grain @ the same fps?? I am trying to understand if there is an advantage to the 40cal that I dont understand.

    THANKS!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array Danimal's Avatar
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    I personally find that the recoil in a small .45 compared to a small .40 is much more manageable. More of a thump, as opposed to the sharp snap from a .40.

    The only reason I suggested staying away from .40 Kahrs is that they are the only ones that have given me any trouble.

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    I can't recommend a Kahr PM40. Too much recoil for a handgun of that size. I do love my Glock 27! Haven't shot any small .45ACP handguns. Lots of people love the Glock 30.

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    Recoil

    Quote Originally Posted by Danimal View Post
    I personally find that the recoil in a small .45 compared to a small .40 is much more manageable. More of a thump, as opposed to the sharp snap from a .40.

    The only reason I suggested staying away from .40 Kahrs is that they are the only ones that have given me any trouble.
    I've very limited experience with 45. But, if it is true that there is less perceived recoil in .45, then I think that would be the better choice.

    I'm a .40 owner who somewhat regrets the choice, though part of the issue is the particular compact gun. It is just a tad too hard to control for me. Others would probably have no difficulty at all. The size and strength of your wrist and forearm count too.

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    Senior Member Array jeep45238's Avatar
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    I personally prefer the .45ACP over the .40S&W in small guns - follow ups seem to be much faster and more controlled.
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    From all the .45s I've shot compared to all the .40s I've shot, the .45s are more of a pushing recoil. (Due to the size and weight of the projectile the way I understand it) And the .40s are more of a snappy recoil, with more muzzle flip. That is why you can (usually) get faster follow up shots with the .45.
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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Assuming we are talking concealed carry here.....and no caliber wars since I like and depend on several, I like the 40S&W in the sub-compact myself. This was my first choice back when I considered CC and remains so to this day because I worked with and perfected it for me. Caliber choice really shouldn't make such a deal breaker out of a CC pistol choice as some would have you believe. One must look at the big picture to see it's really a mute point. You need to depend on yourself and your equipment to save your life, and not something such as size and ballistics. If you do so, your trust is misplaced in my opinion.

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    Senior Member Array Vaquero 45's Avatar
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    I prefer .40 S&W over the .45 ACP, mostly because the .40 has been proven in hundreds of LE shootings, and gives up nothing in effectiveness to the .45. The .40 always has sufficient velocity for the bullets to expand, and if they don't expand, .40 is still a pretty good sized hole. A .45 JHP can be iffy as far as expansion goes, out of the shorter barrels of compact pistols. You can increase the velocity (+P), but then you've got as much or more buck and roar as the .40, for maybe .05 increase in expansion over the .40

    As the .40 is a relatively new round, and is the #1 choice of police departments in the US, a lot of research and development has gone into producing effective bullets in this caliber. It's hard to find a .40 JHP that's not a good self defense round.

    .45 pistols are heavier and bulkier than .40 pistols in a comparable platform, and the .40 has better capacity....sometimes much better, in a a similar size pistol. I carry a Smith M&P compact .40 off duty, and it conceals very well under most clothing. It's got good capacity (10+1), and is lightweight. In order to find a similar pistol in .45, I'd have to go with the Glock 30, which is quite a bit fatter and heavier than the M&P compact.

    On the issue of the Kahr PM40, I've never owned one. I have owned a PM9, and it was an excellent little pistol. I sold it one day while needing some $$, but I've recently picked up a Kahr CW9 and will be carrying it in warmer weather. I am leery of the .40 Kahrs, as I've heard mixed reviews on their polymer .40's. Most people have great luck with the Kahr 9mm models, though. I think .40 is a bit much for something as small as the PM models. 9mm is easier to control, and you get an extra round capacity vs. the .40 models. I see this as a great advantage, as the little single stack pistols are low capacity to begin with. Every little bit helps!
    Slow is smooth.....smooth is fast.

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    If controllability were the main focus, then I would opt for the .45 cal. Personally; I gave up those calibers awhile ago, once my age became a factor. These days, I shoot a .38 or similar.
    Regards,

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    Senior Member Array youngda9's Avatar
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    I woud think the the .45 loses a lot of energy as the barrel shortens, I should research the data on this. I be the .40 overtakes it by quite a bit in a short barreled gun(3" for the PM series) since the .40 operates at much higher pressures. Also, in such a small gun you are limited in your round count. The .40 will generally carry one more round in these small single stack guns.

    Off to do some research.
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    Senior Member Array youngda9's Avatar
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    ok, back from doing some research on the PM40 vs pm45.

    The PM40 is reviewed here and shows a lot of data:
    Kahr's PM40 Is Our Carry Pick
    385 foot pounds out of both Cor-Bon 135-grain JHP andWinchester 155-grain Silvertip HP.

    The pm45 is reviewed here:
    Kahr Arms | Product Reviews
    Black Hills 230 JHP @766fps = 299ft lbs
    CorBon 230 HP +P @885fps = 399ft lbs
    Hornady 185 JHP XTP @932fps = 356ft lbs

    So it looks like they are pretty darn close energy wise. IF you go +p on the .45 you get a little more energy.

    I know energy isn't everything, lets not get off topic. Just wanted to see if a 3" barrel tipped the scales in one direction.
    Speak softly, and carry a big stick.

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array cwblanco's Avatar
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    I have an XD Subcompact 40 3" barrell and an XD 45 4" barrell. When alternating between the two, I really cannot tell much difference. They seem to impose a similar damaging effect on cans, watermelons, and rocks, etc. I realize that this is not very scientific basis for comparison. However, I did not purchase them for scientific studies.

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