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9mm: 16 rounds vs 12, less recoil, cheaper practice ammo


James
 

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This is a personal preference type of thing.  It really depends on what you are looking for in a gun and what's important to you.  Is this a range gun?  A personal protection gun?  

I was looking for a carry gun so stopping power was of paramount importance.  I had been a devout .45 ACP shooter but I couldn't find a .45 ACP that was both easily concealable and that I enjoyed shooting.  -I picked up a Walther at a range and was sold on the grip and its accuracy.  Even though it is only slightly bigger (two one-hundredth's of an inch / 1mm), the .40S&W bullet is substantially heavier the 9mm bullet.  It has achieved better stopping power with minimal trade-offs.

The recoil of the .40S&W is stout but manageable.  The capacity issue of 12 vs. 16 is overblown, but some people absolutely must have the extra rounds.  -From the factory, both guns come with ten round mags.  Most people have the factory ten round magazines and don't get any capacity advantage of the 9mm.  I have found the difference in ammo cost to be marginal.  -I buy Fiocchi in bulk and for me it comes out to an extra $1.00 per 50 rounds.  If you're buying other ammo the difference may be greater.  -Since many departments and agencies are switching over from 9mm to .40S&W, I expect the difference in the price of ammo to lessen over the next few years.

 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] ]It (.40S&W) has achieved better stopping power with minimal trade-offs.
I certainly don't don't need to start a "stopping power war" here on the Walther Forums because it has been beat to death elsewhere and is one of those unwinnable argument topics. I would just say, in my experience, shot placement counts more than stopping power.

A good article on this topic is here:
Intpretation of FBI gelatin tests
Regards,
James
 

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I agree with James, shot placement is absolutely key. We used to say on the range, "You can't miss them fast enough to hit them." The same could said of a big enough caliber. A miss is a miss, even if it's from a Desert Eagle in .50AE. -I'm not into a stopping power war. Generally speaking if some gets shot with a 9mm or .40S&W, they're going to stop what they're doing.

However assuming ammo of the same manufacture (company), type (hollowpoint), and that you put both calibers in the exact same spot. The .40S&W does seem to come out ahead more often than not. -If a person doesn't like the characteristics of a particular gun or caliber, he or she shouldn't carry it.

One of the worst mistakes I've seen, is someone gets a pistol because that's what everyone else has or that's what such and such department carries. Departments and agencies make choices partly based on practical issues and partly based on political issues. -The NYPD carries their Glocks with a heavier than standard trigger-pull to prevent AD's. I'm not running out to get that. In 2001, the Baltimore PD decided not to switch to .40S&W Glocks. They didn't refuse due to the performance issues of the .40S&W vs. 9mm. They decided not to swap out the Glocks because Glock refused to promise it wouldn't resell the traded-in pistols to wholesalers who might sell the pistols to dealers who would sell to people who were not LEOs.

Sometimes, practical issues do win out. The FBI decided to re-evaluate what caliber they carried due to the killing of a couple of FBI agents who were shooting .38 and 9mm pistols. They had hit the suspect but he was not stopped. Following that shootout, there was a push to develop a cartridge with better stopping power- something approaching the .45 ACP. The trick was to a build a pistol, in a caliber, that had a manageable recoil and could be handled by persons with small hands. The answer was a pistol using the .40S&W cartridge.

I carry Federal HydraShok. -The information below was pulled directly from the chart regarding that ammo. I believe it validates my position. However, as James mentioned, shot placement is crucial. Someone who hits his assailant in the brainbox with a 9mm is going to be safer than the person who shot his assailant in the gut with a .40S&W.

9x19 Fed HydraShok |[email protected] 995, 20.9 mv, 323 E|BR 21.4", 0.37", 2.30cu|CL 15.6", 0.60", 4.41cu|avg 3.28, 3.61 re, 0.91

40SW Fed HydraShok |[email protected] 969, 24.9 mv, 375 E|BR 14.2", 0.69", 5.29cu|CL 19.8", 0.59", 5.41cu|avg 5.35, 5.13 re, 1.04
 

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There is nothing scientific about my answer but I like the 9mm better. I have both and I am more accurate LONGER with my 9mm. I .40 kinda beats me up while the 9 I can shoot all day. I have fun with both don't get me wrong. And again, this is me and others may/will have different experiences but I can get my second shot off faster and closer to my first with the 9.

If you are looking to get a P99, my two cents is get the titanium coated one.
I din't get one because I thought they were just trendy (they probably are) but after seeing Underworld, I've been wanting one real bad since.
 

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ASCI,

I got the gibberish from the link James provided. If you follow that link there is a chart of a bunch of different bullets in different calibers. There is a key that basically explains what each number / value represents. I pasted that chart key below:

Explanation of fields, example

9x19 Win Ranger +P+ |[email protected], 21.7 mv, 444 E|BR 9.6", 0.53", 2.11cu|CL 10.2", 0.65", 3.37cu|avg 2.74, 3.89 re, 0.70



9x19 - caliber
Win Ranger +P+ - the name of the load
[email protected] - bullet mass in grains @ muzzle velocity
21.7 mv - bullet momentum in lb*fps
444 E - muzzle energy in ftlbs
BR - what follows is the data for bare gelatin

9.6" inches of penetration
0.53", final expanded diameter of bullet
2.11 cu, approximation of wound volume. (this does not take into account the expansion profile as a function of depth, but it should be roughly proportionate to actual wound volume)

CL - what follows is the data for clothed gelatin
same fields as the bare gelatin, as defined above
avg 2.74 - Average wound volume, clothed and bare gelatin

3.89 re - Free Recoil Energy, assuming a 1.88 lb pistol
0.70 - Average would volume per unit Free Recoil Energy. This is a measure of "bang for buck", and is discussed in the text below the data table.

-The number/value which I find most useful is wound volume. It's crude, but the bigger the wound the more likely it will be for the bad guy to stop. I'm aware some people put a premium on depth of penetration, but if a round penetrates too successfully, it may over-penetrate. I want my round to stop in the bad guy, not go through him.

To get the results of the test and a thorough explanation, just follow the link. I hope this is of some help.
 
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