Very good article on The Bang Switch about many police departments and many civilians switching from .40 to the 9mm. This interested me because I recently did the same thing, for the very reasons mentioned in the article.
Its all what you like. I happen to have a .40 and love it. Nothing wrong with 9mm and nothing wrong with .40. Its all about shot placement and what caliber you are accurate with. Around here, all the police departments and Sheriff's deparents carry .40. I don't see the .40 ever fading away.
7 years ago all I owned was 40 (with the exception of a 1911 that I own just because I feel like I should own a 1911). Today I have one 40 and I am doing all I can to trade it to a 9 or 45.
The modern ammo argument works for the 9 because with ball ammo or ammunition that is likely not to expand there is a real problem with the 9mm. But with quality defensive ammunition that problem is negated. When the problem isn't as relevant to the caliber the fact that better ammunition exists doesn't make as much of a difference. To answer the post above.
1. Yes it is. That argument works both ways.
2. No, the 9mm holds more in every platform I've ever shot. More is more whether it is 1 round or 100 rounds. Nobody has ever lost a gunfight because they had extra ammo available. The same cannot be said for the opposite.
3. It is bigger than the 9. That argument works against it when compared to the 45. Energy levels don't mean everything. The energy present in the round after it punches through an opponent isn't a good thing.
4. I can dumb a mag of anything at a human sized target at what people call self defense ranges. But if the self defense range becomes 75 yards I like my ability to shoot accurately with the 9mm or 45 better.
5. If you draw a sense of coolness from a caliber why are you shooting anything other than 50 AE?
The only reason I did that is to show that every argument is circular. We all have to make the decision that we believe is best. It is a handgun, compromises are being made whether we want to admit to them or not. There's nothing wrong with the 40, it works as advertised. However after examining my situation I can't find anything that I believe it does better for me than the other calibers can do. Since I shoot 9 and 45 better than the 40 and the 40 isn't giving me anything that I personally believe is of more importance I've been shifting away from it. That said my duty gun is the 40 that I still own.
I've only owned one .40 S&W in my life, a Glock 22 years ago. On paper the forty looks good but I don't feel it has enough of an edge over the 9mm to bother with it. I have considered picking one up for two reasons. First off, there's a ton of .40 S&W ammo available, although now that 9mm is coming back into stock that's not as big a deal. The second reason is that many forties can be converted to .357 Sig with just a barrel swap. That alone has me itching to buy an HK USPc or a P2000 in .40.
I didn't read the article, and having said that, I really don't have a caliber preference or opinion of the best caliber. I don't think that question has a definitive answer. If I went back into leo work, I would happily carry a .357, 9mm, .40 cal, or .45 acp.
As a owner of several .40 cal pistols, I can say I would feel just as well armed with a 9mm and quality defensive ammo. I have seen PD who cannot qual. With the .40 pass with a 9mm of the same gun. 9mm got a bad rap , but realistically no pistol caliber is going to be a great threat stopper.
However with the recent shortages in ammo I was glad to have multiple calibers as 9mm was impossible to find locally and outrageously priced on line.
I have one .40 and I can COM no prob even rapid fire. I'm ok with that. I also practice rapid fire with a 12" paper target at 20 ft. they may be all over the plate but they are on the plate. I'm ok with that.
I guess I am not a fan of the .40 either, As a purely practical matter, I do not believe that as a SD round you really pick up that much of an advantage over the 9mm for what you are giving up in terms of recoil and other factors mentioned in the article. However, just like art, everyone's taste and preferences will vary.
I did not see where the article proved the 40 was fading. A couple of police department switching to 9mm and he could not come up with enough switching from 40 so he included 45. He did not reference any of the agencies switching from 9mm to a more powerful round. He stated he did not like 40 cal.
I don't see the purpose of his article accept to prove that he likes 9mm. We don't really need to know that.
I dont own a lot of pistols, but it has always seemed to me that my ruger sr9c was WORSE in terms of muzzle flip and recoil than my xdm. 40. maybe its dependant on the gun, but ive owned plenty of. 40s and always thought the recoil was very manageable. I wouldnt go back to a 9mm if it were free, but thats my experience and opinion.
MAC, I understand you have the pro-9mm argument, but I think there are a couple weaknesses in your case. (I’m a glock .40 guy, so ‘case weakness’ is an area of my expertise, lol. As me about smilies)
First, I don’t think that bullet technology has “leveled the playing field.” It makes no sense to me that advancing technology would increase 9mm lethality by, say, 25%, but only increase .40 or .45 lethality by 10%
(emphasis mine). No, the rising tide raises all ships.
I think what you mean is that technology has made the 9mm “sufficient” while previously the additional power of the .40 was thought to be necessary to be “sufficient.” THAT I would stipulate. So it’s probably true that newer bullet tech means that you no longer need to make the sacrifices in recoil and capacity you previous had to make to gain the additional performance of the .40.
It’s a very different thing to say that the 9mm is sufficient than it is to say that it’s as powerful or capable as the .40. It’s not. Period. The rounds are not equally powerful, nor–ceteris parabus– equally lethal. But, all else is never equal.
Which is not to say that the difference matters. Rare, if not fictional, is the case where the additional power of the .40 would have been dispositive to the outcome. But additional power it is–the physics don’t lie.
I think the reason 9mm is so popular with tactical Joes is the realization that 3 or 4 fast, accurate hits with a “sufficient” round beats 1 or 2 hits with a more powerful round that the shooter can’t place as well.
Most people can’t shoot a more powerful load as accurately as a less powerful load. Each shooter has their own threshold below which no additional accuracy is gained.
I enjoyed .40 from my Gen 4 G22. It was easy to handle even as my first handgun. Now that I shoot .40 from a converted G20, the round is a pussycat like 9mm– the heavier slide of the G20 neuters that .40 “snap.” Accuracy and speed of followups for me is no better than a good 9mm. But I can carry that G20? Not really. I would probably carry 9mm in a G19 for concealed, and .40 for an OC duty weapon.
I think this guy ("Justin Hohn") hit the nail on the head. Previously, the 9mm had questionable performance, which is why the .40 caliber was created in the first place. However, with advances in ammo technology, that is no longer the case. Because the 9's now "good enough" in the departments' minds, they're reinstating it in favor of the .40 because a) with its lower recoil, officers who train less frequently have better accuracy, and b) there is the advantage of capacity. However, by simple physics, the .40 is not an inferior round. A bigger bullet going about the same speed--that has more energy. For my own purposes, in a small gun, I'd rather sacrifice 1 round capacity for the added power of the .40. In a full or mid-size, like the departments and the trainers on the list are using, however, I can't say I disagree with their decisions. But they're not favoring the 9 because the .40 is ineffective; they're favoring it because it's easier to control and they consider the added capacity more important than (or at least as important as) the difference in power.
All of a sudden, it's the 80s again... when the "death" of the 9mm was pronounced with the advent of the .40 S&W.
Just like the "Wondernines" of the 70's heralded the death of the .45 and the 1911.
If you live long enough, you see what's old become new again!
I did read the article, and my BS alarm started ringing softly when I saw Mas Ayoob's "gun of choice" was a Glock 9mm. The author must have seen that in print once... Mas' gun of choice depends on what month it is and the phase of the moon, or possibly the price of pork bellies in Angola. I'd be surprised if he ever decided one gun and one caliber were his default choices.
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