When to Carry a .40 S&W over a 9mm? - Page 2

When to Carry a .40 S&W over a 9mm?

This is a discussion on When to Carry a .40 S&W over a 9mm? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by dump1567 I recently picked-up a H&K VP9 & VP9sk. My local shop had a used like new VP40 with N/S, so I ...

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Thread: When to Carry a .40 S&W over a 9mm?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dump1567 View Post
    I recently picked-up a H&K VP9 & VP9sk. My local shop had a used like new VP40 with N/S, so I decided to buy one of those too (might as well have one of each). I haven't shot the .40 yet, so I don't know how it will compare to the 9mm's.

    I have a few guns in .40 S&W, and have 20+ years of shooting and carrying the caliber. I don't mind the snappier recoil of the .40 at all. And still carry my G23 on occasion, as it has the smoothest action/trigger of all my Glocks (and the most rounds).

    But it got me thinking about the VP9 vs. VP40. In what scenario would I carry the .40 over a 9mm? Maybe as a trail gun with 180 or 200 gr. HC?

    Your thoughts?
    Are you recoil sensitive?
    Do you miss the target frequently?
    Do you find it important to burn through lots of rounds between mag changes?

    If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, the nine is probably the gun to carry.
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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dump1567 View Post
    In what scenario would I carry the .40 over a 9mm? Maybe as a trail gun with 180 or 200 gr. HC?

    Your thoughts?
    Well, if it was me (and it isn't) I just wouldn't give it much consideration. Either caliber works. Whichever you feel more comfortable with.
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    Criteria 1: Reliability
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  6. #20
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    I have liked the .40S&W since it was introduced in 1990 and over the years since then have owned a number of them. I still own quite a few and several live in my primary carry stable. I don't find this caliber to be a hard recoiling round in the Glock 23, the Smith and Wesson M&P 40, or the M&P 40c. In fact, it is rather comfortable in those guns. With the federal 165 grain HST or the Speer 165 grain JHP "hot load" (#53970), this cartridge is a formidable SD load.

    About three or four years ago, I bought a Glock 30s, which is a compact .45ACP carry gun. I did my usual Glock trigger mods and installed Ameriglo sights on it. I couldn't shoot the thing worth a damn. It was just not the gun for me. So I sold it and bought a Smith and Wesson M&P40c, installed the Apex Tactical DCAEK, but kept the stock trigger spring in it do reduce trigger pull weight, and have never looked back. It is one of my primary carry guns and is not only very comfortable to shoot but accurate and solidly dependable. Plus it carries two more rounds and with the above mentioned ammo, is no slouch against the .45ACP round.


    When to carry a .40S&W over a 9mm? As was mentioned previously, in the colder months when people tend to wear heavier clothes, the .40 may have an advantage. The .40S&W is more powerful than is the 9mm so there is that. But also as was mentioned previously, one should carry what works best for them and which they can deliver rounds to target accurately, confidently, and consistently.
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  7. #21
    Distinguished Member Array Militant's Avatar
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    Most people carry the 9mm because of its availability, inexpensive to buy for practice and the capacity. All great points! However, I tend to carry what I like. Here's what's interesting to me: I shoot my 9mm's and .40 quite well; but, my .45's the best! So, I mostly carry .45's and will carry a 9mm or .40 based upon whatever else I have going on that particular day (i.e. quick run to the store, the airport, clothing stores-changing rooms, church, theater etc.) due to their being a little lighter than my .45's.

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  8. #22
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    I carried .40 daily up until about a year ago. My first carry pistol was a G23 gen 4, followed by a SIG Sauer P229 Legion .40. The only reason I don't have either one was I traded them both in for .45s. ;) I still consider .40 the best all-around compromise between capacity, velocity and mass. Ammo availability is still good, cost is not prohibitive, but resale/trade-in value is low versus the other major calibers. To me that's the only real disadvantage.
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  9. #23
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    With proper bullet selection, any of the duty type calibers will get the job done as well as the other. I feel comfortable saying thereís no difference in performance between 9mm, 40, 45, etc. Handgun calibers are all equally bad. Iíd stick with the 9mm personally. 40 isnít going to give you any more capability over 9mm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by halem1 View Post
    I'd stockpile a couple hundred rounds of 40 in case there is ever a shortage on 9mm as there was a few years ago. That way you always got something can shoot/carry/practice with.
    Couldn't he just stockpile a couple hundred rounds of 9mm in case there is ever a shortage of 9mm as there was a few years ago? Just because there is a shortage on the store shelves, doesn't mean his pre-purchased 9mm ammo would disappear too.

    Doesn't matter since he already owns the 40, but put away extra for both calibers. Not sure if something like that ammo shortage could or will ever happen again. Probably. History doesn't repeat itself but it rhymes as the saying goes. I think we have to assume there will be another shortage in our lives, but it will not be exactly the same. Just because 40 was easier to find during the last shortage is no guarantee that it will be so again. Might just be a lot of guys complaining that they bought 40 cal handguns specifically so it would be available during a shortage yet it is not. We do not know and can't prepare for the exact same crisis but must be prepared in general.
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  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMinSC View Post
    Couldn't he just stockpile a couple hundred rounds of 9mm in case there is ever a shortage of 9mm as there was a few years ago? Just because there is a shortage on the store shelves, doesn't mean his pre-purchased 9mm ammo would disappear too.

    Doesn't matter since he already owns the 40, but put away extra for both calibers. Not sure if something like that ammo shortage could or will ever happen again. Probably. History doesn't repeat itself but it rhymes as the saying goes. I think we have to assume there will be another shortage in our lives, but it will not be exactly the same. Just because 40 was easier to find during the last shortage is no guarantee that it will be so again. Might just be a lot of guys complaining that they bought 40 cal handguns specifically so it would be available during a shortage yet it is not. We do not know and can't prepare for the exact same crisis but must be prepared in general.
    40 is a dying caliber. Iíd keep the 9mm and stock up on ammo for that. You can buy the cheap steel case stuff for around $140/case. Even brass stuff is $160/case. Buy 3-4 cases and you will be shooting for a good while.

  12. #26
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    Why, oh why are folks always making me choose? I AM the Will Rogers of the gun world. I never met a gun I didn't like.

    When to Carry a .40 S&W over a 9mm?-will-rogers.jpg
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  13. #27
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    When to Carry a .40 S&W over a 9mm?


    You think you have problems choosing between two calibers, I have handguns in eleven calibers.
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  14. #28
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    I took the VP40 out today. I really liked it. I probably shoot it as well as the VP9, but I actually compared it to my M&P 2.0 Compact in .40. I definitely like the VP40 better. And being a lefty, I also liked the ambi controls better. I'm starting to get use to using the paddle mag release with my left thumb vs. the standard button release with my trigger finger. I also like the fact the VP40 is a gun designed as a .40 (thicker slide), not a .40 jammed into a 9mm. I always thought Glock should have used the .45 Gap size slide for their .40.

    I do wish H&K could have designed their mag to take 15 rounds of .40 like S&W did with their fullsize .40 M&P mags.


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  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck808 View Post
    With proper bullet selection, any of the duty type calibers will get the job done as well as the other. I feel comfortable saying thereís no difference in performance between 9mm, 40, 45, etc. Handgun calibers are all equally bad. Iíd stick with the 9mm personally. 40 isnít going to give you any more capability over 9mm.
    Move the target out past fifty yards or so, and see if the results between different calibers with the same platform are the same.
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  16. #30
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    The 40S&W came and went. Never owned and or fired a handgun in 40S&W. If it can't be done primarily with the 9X19mm or secondary with the 45ACP, I'm not doing it. If by chance the 40S&W is your favorite, good for you thus each to their own applies.

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