7 Reasons Why Cops Choose the 9mm Over the .40
9mm officer lead
Pistols chambered for the 9mm have less recoil and are generally easier to shoot, even smaller backup models like the Springfield Armory XD-S 9mm.

7 Reasons Why Cops Choose the 9mm Over the .40

Less recoil, cheaper ammo, higher capacity — read on to learn why LEOs are going back to the 9mm!

The 9mm is having something of a renaissance these days. Although maligned in the past due to its inability to reliably deliver incapacitating force, recent technological developments in bullet and propellant design have move the round back to the forefront for many LE departments. With its lower costs, lighter recoil and now more capable on-target performance, the 9mm is a force with which to be reckoned.

Read on to learn some specifics on why.

9mm police vest

More 9mm pistols on the market means more options for officers. The Heckler & Koch P30 is just one that is designed to fit a wide variety of users.

1. Shootability: While some shoot the .40 S&W well, few shoot the 9mm less accurately. Those who have problems using the .40 S&W almost always shoot a 9mm more accurately. This is true at any distance and even more so when repeat shots are needed. Shot placement is the most critical factor in stopping the threat, and the 9mm does nothing but enhance that ability.


9mm federal target

Many 9mm pistols, like the Glock 19 Gen4, are known for being extremely reliable and have long service lives.

2. More Guns: These days, there are more 9mm pistols available than any other, allowing officers to get just what they need to fit their hands. Agencies have more choices and officers can choose a pistol they like (where policy allows) — all of which translates to more practice on the range and more confidence on patrol. Most major companies make 9mm pistols in duty configurations that will fit just about anyone.

Load Comments
  • spartanmike29

    You can always tell in a debate by the first 10 comments which side knows they can’t win. It’s always the side that tries repeatedly to change the parameters of the debate. The article clearly was talking about 9mm same exact full size service gun vs 40 same exact full size service gun. Lol then immediately in the first few comments people are already trying to change the entire debate by saying things like, “well I can shoot my 40 hk usp better then my 9mm one shot pocket pistol so 40 is clearly better”. Come on people this isn’t rocket surgery (yes that was a joke), when you have the exact same gun like 9mm hk usp vs 40 hk usp. The 9mm will allow better follow up shot placement 100% of the time for 100% of the people if they train equally on both platforms.

  • EddieE

    I used a S&W 5904 (9mm) for years then The agency I was with switched to Glock .40 cal. I loved it same amount of rounds with more stopping power. A couple years after I retired they switched over to a 9mm because a high ranking official within the agency retired and consulted the FBI. It lead to the belief the someone was getting a kickback from agencies utilizing this specific firearn. Unfortunately things like this happen. Yes I go back a ways my first service weapon was a S&W .357 model 66.

  • Irondoor

    I have two Glocks, a M22 (.40 cal) that was a prior service LEO gun and a new M43 (9mm). The 43 is equipped with a CT green laser and Talon grips. My opinion, and this is after the 4 day defensive handgun course at Front Sight with the M22, the M22 is definitely much easier to shoot accurately. I am convinced that the M43, while a nice compact carry gun, is too small to handle the recoil from hotter 9mm loads now being used for self defense purposes, the sighting plane radius is quite a bit shorter, and since the grip is shorter and more narrow (holds 6 in single stack), it bites my hand. I have modified the M22 trigger with a 3.5 lb connector, so it shoots very smooth. I did not modify the M43 trigger yet, which is around 6 lb, since there seems to be a lot of commentary about the legal issues you might run into after a self defense encounter. Of course, those won’t matter unless you win the fight.

    All that being said, I’m looking to go to one gun. It’s going to be a Glock 19 with a few mods. Smaller than the 22, more capacity than the 43 and able to deal with the recoil. Longer sight plane radius and added weight means better accuracy than the 43. Smaller and lighter than the 22 for better CC, though not as small as the 43 of course.

    Keep in mind that you will shoot only half as accurately in a real life stress situation as you do in practice. First rule in winning a gunfight is to bring a gun.

  • JretroV

    Can’t believe this is such an big argument any one saying goes the 9mm doesn’t have stopping power must of never been shot.. it’s all personal preference.. forget what he she said or wrote its all up to the person, some people can shoot one better than The other some can’t at the end of the day a couple bullets fromm any round will more than likely kill a person especially if your a good shot one to the head n ur done

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  • scott will

    I can buy 100 rounds of 165 g 40 for what 20 rounds of good 9+p costs.

  • I carry .40 and .45 in Glocks and even a 22mag in Keltec. I always return to my Glock 19 in 9mm. I get a better pattern and more power with the least amount of weight. It just feels better.

  • Vinootz

    I have found the 9mm shoots flatter than a .45. I was amazed I hit the target with the 9 at a 100 with a couple of inches holdover(flick 17) 8″ holdover at 50 yds with .45(colt-1991-a1).Of course no practical reason to shoot at those distances. Just a long range comparison.
    Both are extremely accurate at 25 yds.
    Can’t imagine any handgun will always stop return fire shy of a headshot. Placement has got to matter. If law enforcement complained about a .40 they shouldn’t be cops. .380 Beretta Cheetah -short range shooter-accurate. 44 magnum colt Anaconda (6″ barrel)deadly accurate-awesome( holdover). Beretta 92FS Deadly accurate no holdover 25 yds. Just citing various examples for perspective.Depends on ballistics and shooter when you get down to it..

  • Jim Treadwell

    If modern bullet technology has allowed the 9mm to close the gap on 45acp, why hasn’t that same technology been used to allow the 45 to maintain or even increase it’s advantage over the 9 mm.

    • Stu Chisholm

      Oh, it has! But you can still load more 9mm rounds, there’s less recoil and they’re cheaper.

  • Tin Man

    Just MHO, but .40 caliber is annoying because of the snap up. A .45 is more like a push straight back, which makes for quicker re-acquisition of the target for a subsequent taps. That said, I have seen 9mm rounds at 200 yards go through 3/4″ plywood like it wasn’t there, and I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be shot with one.

    • Shane Riley

      I much prefer the push of the .45 over the snap up of the .40 and 9mm

  • Robert

    9mm is for wimps lol. If done enough training anyone can shoot a .40 .45 10mm just as good as a 9mm. Once you become that good of a shooter with those calibers, then there is no sense giving up deeper penetration and a wider wound that means quicker blood loss means a quicker threat stopper. Now if you cant handle those bigger rounds with accuracy, then of course stick with the 9mm.

    • Shane Riley

      You won’t stop a threat in seconds due to “quicker blood loss” after hitting with a .40 or .45 if you achieve this goal it will be because you hit a vital organ, which could have been done with a good bullet in 9mm
      Are you trying to impress beginners? You can handle the .45, big deal, thousands of women can, small dudes can, many probably handle it much better than you do. 9mm is for wimps, really? Go tell it to all the professionals who use it in the line of duty around the world, accurately and efficiently. I love both the 9mm and .45, I have a use for both and I can handle both decently.

  • Jimmy M

    You are tied up by narco terrorists. They say that they are going to shoot you with one bullet in the butt cheek ( they don’t want you dead yet ). They are giving you a choice. One 9mm or one 40.They are police duty rounds Speer gold Dots.Which one?

  • Jimmy M

    PS I must be superman or something,i shoot the 500,454,44,357 and 10mm.I’m 63 years old,i predate the feminization of American males.Manup,shoot at least a 45.

    • Shane Riley

      It is not about who has a big d**k and can shoot a 500 or whatever, when will you and others here finally get it? It is about cost, reliability, use, efficiency etc
      Yes Jimmy you are tough we get it, but I don’t think you have a clue when you write “shoot at least a 45” at least what? you’ll feel better if you kill a guy with a .45 over a 9 or a .40? Seriously, do you also hunt squirrels with 00 buck? If so many different calibers and firearms exist, there’s got to be a few legit reasons other than convincing Jimmy M that he is John Rambo.

  • Jimmy M

    9mm over 40? I can’t help it if the shooters in American are turning into recoil conscious pussies.Just because the FBI says that the 9 is just as good as the 40? Take a 9mm+p 115 gr @ 1300 and a 40 135 gr @ 1400,the laws of physics will say that the 40 will be more destructive.The FBI cannot overrule physics, no matter how many pussies they hire.First it was the 10mm,now the 40. Why not save time and study and just go to the 22lr for police guns?

  • Nate Opgenorth

    I love .45ACP, I love that slow push, I love the less snappy feel compared to .40 or even 9mm. If I had unlimited ammo I would shoot a .45 but I recently went with 9mm because money is tight and I want to shoot as much as I can. My state seams to favor .45ACP (well at least in Upstate NY in the CNY area), Almost all town PD’s use .45ACP handguns like the Glock 21, Glock 30, M&P 45, S&W 4506, etc. Sheriff’s office uses G30’s for all deputies assigned to custody, plainclothes, etc. and G21’s for road patrol from what I’ve seen, I’ll have to ask the Undersheriff next time I chat with him to confirm. NY State Police switch to .45 albeit in the form of the .45GAP and culturally .45 is somewhat ingrained in the minds of LEO’s and Armed Citizens alike, a lot of mythical BS propagates about the .45 being so much better than the 9mm, perhaps from older times but people around here enjoy their 1911’s and other 45 caliber handguns. .40 is easy to find around here, a few people use it that I know of, some use it for practice in their .357SIG handguns which is smart, big fan of the .357SIG but I suppose I can always get the hottest 9mm possible. Shot placement is key, many people Upstate worry about whether the 9mm will penetrate thick clothing in the winter which probably is why many LEO’s use .45, I know a few cops have stories of 9mm not getting the job done but IMO there are too many variables. 325ft/lbs energy vs 450ft/lbs energy or whatever may seam like a big different but it really isn’t. If you don’t have infinite ammo I guess you have to ask yourself whether you want to shoot or whether you want to shoot a lot!

  • Tim X

    The best thing about the 9mm, is that it comes in Sig P938! LMAO

  • Tim X

    It’s hilarious. I have no vested interest in any one caliber- I shoot many. But for some reason there’s this constant stream of articles arguing for the efficacy of a 9mm over more powerful rounds. Look, the 9 is a lethal round, like a 38 is. You can argue about size, round count, recoil, etc. all you want. But if you learn how to shoot a weapon correctly and accurately as possible most of that goes out the window. Bigger, more energy is better.

    Starting from scratch, a good path for a beginner would be start with a .22, jump up to a 357 mag or some other moderately heavy round, get really good with that, and then drop down to 9, 40, for carry. They will seem tame, in part because of moving from a revolver to a semi auto which absorbs some of the recoil.

  • Tim X

    Yes, less recoil is always better if you’re firing a volley at targets more than about 15′ away. Tactically, in a non-war situation are you likely to need to do that- rapid fire at 100 feet? If you can be bothered to aim and squeeze off shots carefully, the minor difference in recoil between the 40 and 9 is not difficult to zero out, and you will hit your target and not even need the extra rounds which may or may not be allowed in your state anyway.

    The good news about the 9 vs 40 debate is that it shows a small light 9 is easy to control and can actually be very lethal. Aside from a 22, the 9 is the smallest thing I’ve shot. For stopping power, let’s face it bigger is just plain better. It’s the other factors that make people downsize.

  • mike connor

    It really depends on the .40. I have had glock 40s but slowly replaced them with sig 9mm. The exception is my walther ppq .40, sure it’s a little more snappy but my accuracy is less ‘bouncy’ compared to a Beretta 96. I am never giving up my walther, but my primary go to is a sig p229 or 320 9mm.

    • Pork_Soda

      Just picked up a Walther PPQ .40. Absolutely love it!

      • mike connor

        It’s a great pistol, enjoy plinking 🙂

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  • Ryan

    This is precisely why I recommend the 22LR for self defense. You can shoot cheap and accurate with no felt recoil. *Before flipping out please know there is a lot of sarcasm in this comment*

    • Jim Treadwell

      I like sarcasm

  • Guy LeDouche

    “inability to reliably deliver incapacitating force”

    Riiiiiiight….so wrong on so many levels.
    A .22, .38, 9mm, .40, .45, .50, .etc. etc. will do the exact same thing if placed in a proper CNS shot. Lights out. You can blow a hole in someone’s heart and they will still have enough oxygenated blood to complete 20 – 40 seconds of complex motor skills regardless of what round you put in them. With a larger PISTOL round the wound channel may be a few mm larger giving you a better CHANCE at hitting something vital in the body area…but it won’t stop anything unless the person mentally gives up. “Incapacitating force”, “stopping power” are simply made up phrases that mean nothing it the pistol world.
    Also, stability depends on the pistol you are shooting as well…you can shoot a pistol with a higher bore (uncompensated) with a 9mm (sig 226 for example) and get much more muzzle flip than someone shooting a lower bore .45 1911….of course with the 1911 you will be yelling “RED” every 2 seconds due to the single stack.

    If you really want “incapacitating force” use a slug shotgun.

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  • davidkachel

    What a ridiculous article. The .38 caliber rounds have over a century of proven poor performance. They are simply not up the the job.

    • Shane Riley

      If I had to pick a revolver I would choose a .357 mag, no hesitation and imo it is more commonly accepted as THE best choice in the revolver category than the endless debate for semi autos with 9mm vs .40 vs .45acp. Regarding your example, there’s been guys shot multiple times with an Ak 47 who survived and continued to fight.

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  • Sumner Kagan

    40 was a solution in search of a problem. All the major calibers (9, 357Sig, 40 and 45) have similar ballistics when using premium defense ammo so it comes down to simple math, would you rather have 18 in a mag before a reload or 10 if performance is the same?

    • davidkachel

      No, the 40 was the result of the FBI losing a gun fight in Florida a few years ago, BIG TIME, using 38’s. The 10mm was the result, a cartridge with performance similar to a low-end 41 Magnum. But the FBI were too effeminate to handle the 10mm, so S&W designed a weak version of it, the 40 S&W (Short & Weak), which those FBI sissies could handle more easily. The 40 shouldn’t exists at all, but it is nonetheless a substantial improvement over any of the 38s. The 10mm is a great cartridge, far better than the 40, but people are afraid of it. I shoot it. All the fear is simply nonsense.

      • Sumner Kagan

        correct, the 10mm was the FBI’s solution. The 40 was a solution looking for a problem. the 38 had other better options in the 9mm and .357mag but instead of going through the hassle of just dropping the 10mm program, S&W redid the 10mm and came out with the 40 to save the contract.

  • Trey Rogers

    What I have noticed is most LEOs and others who count on their weapon to save their lives will l load their 9mm with P+ rounds. This indicates that LEO’s want as much one shot knock down power as possible. Which adds points to the .40 Cal. A forty’s frame is built for the pressures of the hotter .40 load. 9mm plus P puts stressed above design one the frame system. There are guns such as glocks designef for high pressure but all hand guns are not equal. The next issue comes to capacity. You get two more shots with a 9mm than a .40cal However, us who have been trained by the best and have had to depend upon that training use the double tap or like myself the triple tap method depending on number of targets when using a 9mm. If you have multiple targets there are time which you want one center mass shot to be effective. A .40 gives you the power needed and in spades. Nines are greart but to be as effective as a .40 double tap is needed
    With this in mind the .40 has a much higher capacity. In closing I preach one great law which is the gun you choose to save your life. Is the hand gun you will practice with and always carry. For me that is FNP .40 with a 14 plus 1 capacity. I run 50 to 100 rounds through her a month and have built a repore with this firearm that not only can I trust my life to it, I also can control it so those who may be around in a dangerous situation are kept as safe from harm as possible. .

  • scott will

    All guns should be in the hands of free people who believe that they are responsible for their actions.Want a glock 29?and can shoot it well? Do it.They(media) are owned by ego maniacs who through association want civilians to be European nato .Do I like 9mm? you bet. Do I love my g30? Absolutely.

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  • Jo Ed

    There are graveyards filled with people who were killed with the humble .38 Special shot from the lowly Model 10.

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  • Karl Kluge

    Now what are the bullets weights and the construction? A lot of agencies are using 9mm +p+. Ever try these? Might as well have a 40 with 155s @ 1200fps. When using 9mms, 124 Gold Dot +p is fine for me in a small handgun. The +p+ recoil and wear on the handgun is no free ride.

  • Karl Kluge

    Stopped using 180s in my 40s. The 150s to 165 HPs works good for me in Glocks and Kahrs

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  • alan_1969

    The 9mm has just enough power to bounce back and hit the shooter. I have seen it happen at least twice.

  • scott will

    I dont want to be shot by any caliber.

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  • MrApple

    9mm= the perfect culmination of size, controllability, reliability, capacity, lethality, and affordability

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  • Guest

    My son served in Iraq with the officer in the top photo.Officer Montana 🙂

  • Big G

    I think the 9mm is a fine caliber. When teamed with a quality weapon it can be considered a strong defensive option…I got one for my wife.

    For me (all 6’4″ and 265 lbs.), I carry 1911’s in .45 ACP. I have carried all types and calibers over the past 30 years and prefer a .45. YMMV

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  • eric thees

    I say 45 ACP the man stopper.You can empty the mag of 9mm and the bg will keep coming.Hit him one time with the 45 he will fly back and go down like he was hit with a 500lb concrete block, The exit wound will be the size of a baseball. He will never get back up.

    • Cant deny

      You do realize how much slower a .45 travels? Better hope its not winter or he will keep coming at you like u hit em with a 9mm.

  • Stoney

    Meanwhile, the Government has bought a Billion plus rounds of 40 caliber ammo. I’d keep my Forties, anyway….

  • Ricarrdo estavans

    I love my kel tec pmr30 22wmr 30 rounds. I like to make a whole bunch of smaller holes than one bigger hole.

  • unknwn

    .357 SIG is the best of all worlds, except for current production firearms to choose from.

  • Ghostsoldier

    Shot them both; and yes 9mm is more accurate; due to less recoil……but for stopping power; the 40 cal; and 45 are the best……….just my opinion; 35 yrs of experience…..

  • The New England Journal of Medicine published an article in September 2013 that stated the sub-dermal layer of non-Caucasian skin has thickened over the last 125 years. As a result, when they carjack you, you need a stronger caliber to penetrate.

    • BillinDetroit

      It is possible that you have translocated your cranium to your rectum. That, or it has always been there. Tell me, when you take a dump do you get a bad taste in your mouth?

  • chuckwagon524

    I tested a compact .40 once and after a mag or two my hand felt like it was hit with a sledgehammer. I can shoot a .45 pretty well, it’s an officers 1911 with a good amount recoil still. However my 9mm has much less recoil. In the end, IMO for self defense it’s accuracy, the max avail rounds to carry in the mag and employing only the amount of force needed to stop the threat.
    Between my two guns I’m kind of torn on which to carry.

  • Ryan

    Rather than have a pissing contest over caliber. The majority of the decisions to switch to 9mm is the cost. PERIOD. Also 9mm is the easiest to control under repeated fire for ALL officers not just those that are the hulk ‘s brother. But if you want to carry something more to your liking I’m sure your PD can give a thumbs up on most duty carry pistols as long as you pay for the ammo.

  • Javaman85

    9mm is the better option simply because you can carry much more of it – you have more firepower at your finger-tips than you do with .40 or .45 in the same sized gun. More ammo means you have more chances to hit vital organs – shot placement is what wins the day…

    A .45 won’t matter a damn if it fails to damage vital organs or sails right through someone without touching anything.

    Pistol catridges don’t have “stopping power” anyway – that’s a bunch of nonsense. Pistols are designed as backup weapons for a reason – the ammo is under-powered – they aren’t nearly as effective as a rifle. Not even close.

    If you want stopping power, grab a rifle – rifle cartridges can and will stop someone in their tracks. With a pistol, shot placement IS your stopping power – unless you hit vital organs, it doesn’t matter a damn what caliber your handgun is chambered in.

    So, why not carry a 9mm and bring more ammo to the fight?

  • pierre_noyed

    Although I fully understand the sole purpose of this article is to start a flame war and generate ad views, I’ll jump in anyway. I still need to get out to the range with my .40 to give it a go but, I’m in no particular hurry. I have several thousand rounds on my 92FS and a couple thousand rounds between my M2 and Kimber .45ACPs. All three are full size weapons.

    From my first shot on my M2 I was shooting as good or better than on my 92FS. Even with my nerve damage, the .45 recoil seemed to be easier on my wrists than the 92FS. If I were open-carrying, I would use a .45 for this very reason. For concealed carry, .45 is severely limited round-wise and I’m still wrestling between 9mm and .45ACP and just continuing to carry my Airweight wheel gun.

    Based on what I’ve read to date, I’m expecting the .40 to be rougher on my wrists, resulting in less accuracy and more pain after I get home. However, if that turns out not to be the case, I’ll welcome the .40 with open arms. And, if I happen to be out of 9mm and .45ACP ammo, I’ll take the .40 to the range rather than not go and deal with the additional pain as the CoS [Cost of Shooting].

    I can have this PoV since I am not a LEO whose life might depend on my firearm on any given day. If I were an LEO, and actually was given a choice, I would read every STUDY I could get my hands on and then try out a lot of different firearms. Regardless of what firearm I ended up with I would kill vast quantities of paper with it and get as comfortable with it as possible.

  • Stu Chisholm

    While I notice precious little difference between my 9mm Glock 19 and my .40 S&W Glock 23 as far as recoil, the 9mm does hold more rounds. It is cheaper to practice with, as the ammo costs less. But the same bullet tech that has improved the 9mm has been applied to the .40 as well as .38 and .45. Bottom line: it’s all about what you can handle and score hits best with.

    • keep it real

      Seriously, those talking about the 9mm holding more rounds is a weak excuse. You can get an extended mag for a G 23 that will hold 15 RDS and also get the plus 2 add on for a total of 17 rds. Same as the the G17 I’m sorry but if you can’t handle a .40 then you should borrow your wife’s .38 or .380.

      • Stu Chisholm

        A .38+P revolver will pound your hand like a meat tenderizer compared to the crisp snap of a G17/19! Semi-autos bleed-off a lot of the recoil energy and turn it into work (throwing back the slide, ejecting spent casing, loading new round), whereas the revolver throws ALL of that energy right back into your hand/arm. If your wife is wielding a .38, you stay on that woman’s good side! 😀

        Extending mags loses the subcompact advantage, making the grip stick out more. But yes, you can get a +2 for your G19, making it the equivalent of the G17, and put that +2 on the G17 and you’ve got 19 rounds! My primary carry is the G23, because I like the .40 ballistics. That said, if the 23 goes into the shop, I’m very confident that the G19 is every bit as good, especially when loaded with Hornady Critical Duty.

      • Stu Chisholm

        Your screen name is “keep it real,” so do that. With today’s great self-defense rounds, there is precious little difference between the 9mm and .40 S&W as far as stopping power. 9mm rounds simply take up less space; anything you can do to up the capacity for the .40 can be done with the 9mm, giving you even greater capacity. Dial back the testosterone, pal; the .40 is my daily carry. If the 9mm is good enough for Massad Ayoob, who recommended the Glock 19, all I’m sayint is that I’d feel every bit as prepared with one in my holster, too.

  • zack991

    In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Brigadier General
    William Crozier as Chief of Army Ordnance. In 1904, Crozier assigned two
    individuals, Captain John T. Thompson of the Infantry and Major Louis
    Anatole LaGarde of the Medical Corps, to investigate and recommend which
    caliber should be used in any new service handgun. At
    the Nelson Morris Company Union Stockyards in Chicago, Illinois, they
    tested several types of handguns, calibers and bullet styles against
    both live cattle and medical cadavers.10 Before continuing, some
    definitions about the types of animals and the bullet types used in the
    testing are needed:


    Weight: 220 grs.



    Velocity: 700 FPS

    Energy: 239 FPE


    Weight: 1000 lbs.
    00:00 – Shot through lungs.

    01:00 – Shot

    through lungs again.

    02:00 – Falling; shot twice in abdomen.


    – Dead.

    • BillinDetroit

      Fortunately for your argument, in the 113 years since that test was run, ammunition ballistics haven’t changed any.

  • zack991

    Without JHP for 9mm, its a horrible SD round

    • BillinDetroit

      But with it … it works just fine. I practice with FMJ but carry JHP for EDC.

  • Capt. Obvious!

    Wow, look at all the keyboard commandos crawling out of the wood work.

  • Perry Putnam

    In my experience it doesn’t matter the caliber if you the shooter is proficient enough in your duty weapon u should be Abel to hit an stop your target weather its a 9 or 40 or 45 . yes there is a lot of newer types of ammo you can use to do more damage and or be more accurate in the end it all depends on the shooter an the amount of training and practice he or she has with their weapon but as a side note I prefer my glock 21sf in 45 acp shooting 185gr hornady hallow points .

  • Steven Mitchell

    This article is funny, they would have you believe that it’s the individual LEO who gets to make the decision as to what caliber handgun they will be issued. In all actuality it’s the agencys administrative office which determines what model of handgun and which calibers their Officers will be using. I have nothing against the 9mm but there are a lot of people in my agency who would love to switch to .40s&w.

  • woody

    The problem with 9mm is that even though it is a wonderful round and great for training, accuracy, and capacity. It is a double edged sword, the downside is that the round it’s a higher speed round and is more likely to penetrate through walls and obstacles. Versus .40 and .45 ACP are a much larger round, and are less likely to go through walls (lower FPS). The advantage is also they have GREAT stopping power (works great for Deer) The downside is that the recoil does affect as persons arm no matter how strong they are. They are just as accurate but have a lower capacity. Personally I carry .45ACP just because of the stopping power and that they sound very intimidating compared to a 9mm.

  • EgbertThrockmorton1

    Lots of self-anointed ex-spurts posting here. While I am late to this party, in 27 years of law enforcement experience, I never “had” to carry a .40, never have carried one by choice, and have never felt outgunned or under-calibered ever. I know of not a single surviving suspect, when shot with any caliber firearm, EVER, remarked, “Oh! You ONLY shot me with (insert caliber here), so, it doesn’t count.” Placement IS everything, and there is NO magic caliber,never has been in the history of the world, never will be. Some of you testosterone-charged wanna-bees’ need to mature a whole lot more.

    • zimmerlip

      Amen, sir! No one ever volunteered to be shot with a .25 ACP. Placement is everything, penetration is next. I think the biggest reason for the 9mm remaining popular in LE is cost and availability. I can now buy 9mm for LESS than I pay for my .22 LR. If you pay less than a dime a round, why not “spray and pray?” The boolits are cheap, so, hey! Beats having to develop skills on a range!

      • BillinDetroit

        Actually, since the ammo costs less, it makes it easier to develop skills on a range.

        According to what I was told in my CCL class, I am responsible for everything any bullet leaving my muzzle does … and that argues mightily against spraying. No matter what caliber I fire, I pray that I will hit my target and NOT hit anything else.

  • deprogramming services

    I think one of the most important reasons lower powered rounds are used by certain government entities was not stated: women have more trouble with more powerful rounds than men have, and all government agencies are required by the official state religion to pretend that that men and women are exactly equal in all respects (except that women are smarter and morally superior), so a round women can shoot is carried by everyone. This is what led to the demise of the 10 and rise of the .40, and might have something to do with decisions to use the 9.

    Where the official state religion is not in force, the cardinal rule is to carry the most powerful round you can shoot accurately. It is certainly true that shot placement is by far the biggest factor in stopping power, but all other factors being equal, the more powerful round has better stopping power. So if you can hit as well with a .40 or .45, you should carry one; if you are more accurate with something smaller, that’s what you should carry.

    How common ammo is likely to be is another factor, especially for someone interested in survivalism, and military ammo is likely to be the most common in certain possible survival scenarios, so that could be a big plus for the 9.

  • usspotomac

    If the military decides to drop the Berettta M9 as it’s primary sidearm in favor of a heavier caliber, there’s going to be a ton of them on the used market!

    • law-abiding-citizen

      Only a fool would buy a used M9 – spent a year in the arms room & saw how poorly the 20+ M9s we had were taken care of. Getting even the senior NCOs to clean their pistols was like pulling teeth. The bottom line is generally, unless they’re combat arms, most Soldiers (Army) don’t care about their service weapons. They figure they’ll get a different one at their next duty station, so F It, why take care of this one.

  • Jorge Lopez Torres

    I have been a cop for 12 years now and never have been given the chance to choose anything, we take and train and use what ever pistol or caliber is given to us…tell me to choose? ok!…1911 .45 acp or a Glock 20 10mm….give me a true man stopper.

  • Chuck Haggard

    Why am I not surprised that the large caliber fans would come out of the woodwork to spout derp[ in the comments section on this article?
    The level of knowledge displayed by the average firearms owner is beyond sad..

  • Michael

    How about w get into a really man’s weapon. 45 acp. Holds less rounds but when they hit they hit with authority.

    • BillinDetroit

      IF they hit, fine. And IF the number of available targets is a good match for the amount of available ammunition, fine.

      I don’t shoot testosterone, I shoot 124 grain 9mm JHP.

      It doesn’t get as much attention at the range, but that is not why I go to the range. I go to the range against the day I need to get the attention of someone in a parking lot. At reasonable pistol self-defense range, unless shooting into a level III or better vest, 9mm will get the job done. If not, I carry two spare magazines, giving me a total of 31 chances to prevail.

      • Cant deny

        Dude if you need 31 “chances to prevail” then maybe u need to spend a lot more time at the range. What most are failing to realize you might only have time to squeeze off a few RDS during a firefight. I would want a well placed .40 then a weak ass 9mm or a .45 because what if the guy is wearing layered clothes with a thick jacket. That .45 would hardly penetrate.

  • Jp

    None of those reasons factor into my decision-making when choosing a weapon to defend myself with…target practice or plinking maybe.

  • PanochaLicker

    Me gusta mi reggae y me gusta punk rock pero la cosa que me gusta mas es panochita!

  • EatMyCornhole

    All you panochas out there, just pick up a Desert Eagle .50 cal and call it a day. That is, if you are man enough!

  • Boomhauser

    Nines are great to train with, till you can handle the .40. I will keep mine. I can dump a full mag on target and cover it with my palm at 15 feet in 2 seconds.

    What I carry.

    Caliber: 40 S&W
    Bullet Wt.: 135gr CORBON Self-Defense JHP
    Velocity: 1325fps
    Energy: 526ftlbs

    • SnoopD007

      You tha fo-shiz-nix
      Fo Shizzle ma Nizzle

  • Beard!

    Statistical analysis… you can read and take what you want out of it…

    The energy delivered is higher as you move up in caliber, so it really is a matter of whether you can be accurate with the bigger calibers, and how much ammo you are comfortable having (or not having).

    Of course, there really is no “right” answer… the major handgun calibers ARE fairly close in effectiveness.

    And for those talking about the cost of 40 vs 9… have you purchase ammo lately?

    • BillinDetroit

      Yes … just looking at the newest CTD catalog shows roughly a 30% price differential. Although $4.00 on one box is not too big of a differential, the same gap spread out over 1,000 rounds or more does make a difference in how much practice I could afford.

  • drichards

    It is cost prohibitive to switch up to 9mm ammo with any sort of real stopping power over the bully that is .40sw – hopefully we don’t have too many in the LEO community needing to put 17 to 20 rounds downrange during an incident anyway, this is indicative of poor control and training. Granted the 40 is a little more nuanced to shoot on target, but is completely achievable if well trained.

  • Ben228

    The 9mm round isn’t lethal round. Don’t believe me? Go talk to Gabby Gifford.

    • Molon Labe!

      Graveyards full of folks that would disagree with you were they alive after being shot by a 9mm. ANY caliber can be lethal.

  • Adam R

    I’ve been in the medical field for over 25 years has a paramedic and registered nurse and working for the state medical examiner’s doing autopsies.

    it’s really interesting to see ballistics as they affect the human body.

    basically I consider all handguns to basically be equallt effective “pee shooters” compared to shotguns and rifles.

    there have been people shot directly in the heart with 45 and not stopped.

    the people that think you must have a 45 are all about trying to be macho and it’s not based on any evidence.

    if you add up all of the other factors in this article a 9mm the clear winner

  • Mike r

    I am a fan of the 357sig

    • TwatLicker

      I am a fan of your mom’s snatch!

      • BillinDetroit

        What … your mom won’t give it up anymore?

  • Steven Kreft

    The three most important things about your caliber choice in a hand gun are: shot placement, shot placement and shot placement.

    After 2 in the chest and 1 in the face, most people won’t ask you what caliber you shot them with.

    • CornholioJackson

      Don’t forget, shot placement!

    • BillinDetroit

      The other most important thing about your caliber choice is not to run out of bullets before you run out of targets.

      You may need to lather, rinse, repeat on that shot placement stuff.

  • mike

    I carry 10mm and just hope I hit what I’m aiming at.Doesent matter what caliber you use if you miss.

  • MrApple

    To each his own. I like and use 9mm, .40S&W, and then 45ACP, in that order.

  • Victor Yarter

    Our agency just killed off all choices outside 9mm and .45 ACP – I was carrying a .40 and quite happy with it, but apparently our training division determined that too many people were having trouble “being consistent” and being able to pass standards using the .40.. I see a variety of reasons for this, smaller hands, smaller shooter, less practice time, choice of pistol, etc….. I’m sure bulk ammo purchases also factored in, but I see the majority of guys going to .45 ACP, so I’m not sure how that will really save money. What I find strange though, our new approved list is 80% 1911 based pistols, with Glock, KAHR, and S&W providing the only double action choices for duty carry. I’m leaning towards the newer Glock 41 .45 now, its that or the S&W M&P in 9mm. I just don’t feel comfortable with a single action cocked and locked .45 as a duty carry these days….

  • David Gedert

    I mean really, why bother with .40? It doesn’t offer significant enough advantages to warrant the cost and has slower follow up shots… No matter how good you are with a .40 you are just that much better with a 9mm.

  • Joey

    i have a fully tricked our G21 and i don’t shoot it half as well as my G19. the only tournament i was even in i took 1st place with a G17. As much as i love my .45 and the stopping power if i am trying to hit a moving target at a distance i’d rather have a 9MM in my hand.

    si vi pacem, parabelum

  • teelife

    True that 9mm has a little less recoil, but that said I own both xd 9mm and xd .40, and if you were to compare my scores 1 vs the other they are pretty much identical. Imho the putting shots on target argument is mute. However the price of ammo, the round capacity, and reliability points I would not argue.

    • Aka Aka

      Hmm I always found the .40 to be too much of a compromise. You don’t get the stopping power of .45 or capacity of 9mm. The accuracy is arguable because you’re going to shoot well with whatever you practice with most be it 9mm, 5.7×28, .40 .45 or .50 practice makes perfect. But given equal training


        The .40 is close enough to .45 cross-section and energy to be virtually indistinguishable in stopping power.

        • Beard!

          This, of course is dependent on a lot of factors, but all things being equal…

          9mm (124gr)
          Muzzle Velocity – 1180 fps
          Energy delivered on target – 383 ft lbs

          40 S&W (165 gr)
          Muzzle velocity -1150 fps
          Energy delivered on target – 485 ft lbs

          45 ACP (230 gr)
          Muzzle Velocity – 875 fps
          Energy delivered on target – 391 ft lbs

          • BillinDetroit

            Even looked at from this perspective, the .45 doesn’t make much sense. Considering the expansion of the current crop of 9’s, the .45 makes exactly NO sense.

          • Beard!

            I am personally a .40 guy… although I understand why people might prefer 9mm. I think the best rule to follow is to “use the largest caliber you can effectively handle”… which .40 works for me, as I can keep quick follow-up shots on target.

      • Beard!

        You can also read your statement from the opposite angle… the .40 has more stopping power than the 9mm, and more capacity than the .45. Personally, I’d rather have the stopping power/capacity of the .40, and carry a spare mag or two. Most situations won’t require extra rounds that a .40 won’t have, and having the extra mag(s) is insurance. It just seems that with what most 45s carry, it isn’t much better of a round count than a revolver.

    • BillinDetroit


  • HonorAboveAll

    First off, I have nothing against the 9mm; my off-duty carry weapons are either a Kahr PM9 or a Glock 19. My duty weapon was a .40 Glock 22. Even though we liked the Glock, My PD had issues with the .40, from weapons breaking or shooters having problems with the sharper felt recoil. When it was time to buy new weapons we went to the .45ACP Glock 21SF. We have no problems getting .45ACP for duty and training, and every officer shot the .45 better due to the duller recoil compared to the .40 (more of a push back than a shove back – best way to describe it). The trade off is less rounds carried than the 9mm, but the rounds are more effective. Remember though, whatever you carry, shot placement is most important! Stay safe!

    • Aka Aka

      Just out of curiosity what PD? if you are allowed to say. I know that several PD’s across the country have gone back to the 9mm due to the reasons mentioned in the article. Happy to hear .45 is making a comeback among LEO’s .

      • HonorAboveAll

        Unfortunately I can’t say due to our strict social media/internet policy. The best I can say is we’re in the eastern half of PA…

        Two of our neighboring PDs also use the .45, and the regional ERT team does as well. The State Police recently went to the .45 as well (Glock 21SF) after having problems with their .45 GAP Glocks.

        • Peter Orlando

          Pike regional?

      • KidSareezWorldstarLCounter

        He was in Philadelphia PD.

      • Chuck Haggard

        How about; “…there is no appreciable difference in the effectiveness of the 9 mm and the .45 ACP cartridges.”
        Vincent J. M. Di Maio, GUNSHOT WOUNDS: Practical Aspects of Firearms, Ballistics, and Forensic Techniques SECOND EDITION, Page 150.

      • Peter Orlando

        Alas Pike regional?

    • Klingon00

      Not sure about .45 being more effective when comparing modern expanding ammo. They all are built to perform to or exceed FBI minimum standards. Ballistics tests show similar penetration and expansion of the big three calibers. Given that 9mm is easier to shoot and has more capacity, it makes it a clear winner.

      • Chuck Haggard

        You are correct; “…there is no appreciable difference in the effectiveness of the 9 mm and the .45 ACP cartridges.”Vincent J. M. Di Maio, GUNSHOT WOUNDS: Practical Aspects of Firearms, Ballistics, and Forensic Techniques SECOND EDITION, Page 150.

    • Chuck Haggard

      “…there is no appreciable difference in the effectiveness of the 9 mm and the .45 ACP cartridges.”
      Vincent J. M. Di Maio, GUNSHOT WOUNDS: Practical Aspects of Firearms, Ballistics, and Forensic Techniques SECOND EDITION, Page 150.

  • Vincent Urbano

    When do you attack the .45? This type of 9mm fanboy article has been written over and over again for yearssssssssss. Do we really need another?

    • Aka Aka

      How is this a fanboy article? He was listing off a set of reasons that PD’s are choosing to go 9mm over the . 40 .

      The reason people don’t attack the .45 is that it’s not a compromise round you get the proven stopping power of .45 ACP. It really boils down to the fact that .40 doesn’t impart nearly as much power as .45 and it doesn’t let you carry near the capacity of 9mm

      In reality none of the handgun rounds are as effective as we think. Read the article below from a trauma surgeon if you want to understand why.

      • Eric Burgess

        glock 21 holds 13+1 glock 22 holds 15+1 glock 17 holds 17+1 it’s not going to make that much difference, most police shootings are between 3-7 rounds…

        • Aka Aka

          Most but not all and in those circumstances wouldn’t you rather have the additional capacity?

  • Vincent Urbano

    I kind of like being able to find ammunition during government created shortages. .40 was plentiful for me at least during the last one. 9mm was no where to be found. I own both as well as a .38. Infact I have 2 in 9mm.

  • Brandon

    BS. Sounds like a commercial. My .40 stays on target. Yes, even for rapid fire. Glock M22. You could just suggest for LEOs to actually learn to shoot. Or suggest a desk. lol

    • Aka Aka

      Brandon, I don’t think you understand the mechanics at play. No mater how strong your arms are or how much you practice the .40 will always have a higher amount of recoil it’s a physical fact, you will have to compensate more for that recoil, again this isn’t something that’s debatable it’s quantifiable data measured time and time again. Feel free to use google to find the data there are pages and pages of it available for free from reputable source after source.

      This increased recoil means that your time to reacquire your target is going to be higher. This translates to an increased time between shots, again there is ton’s of academic data to support this just go and search.

      Given equal practice with a .40 and 9mm weapon it’s going to lean in the 9mm’s favor almost every time. It just is easier to shoot.

      You may just be the exception to the rule there will always be some variation.

      • Vincent Urbano

        sorry but that recoil depends a lot on the mass of the weapon. The .40 is generally beefier and handles recoil well. With practice it is as accurate as a 9mm especially these little concealed POS 9’s.

        • Matt W.

          No one is talking about conceal 9mm’s. This article is taking about service sized weapons. Your argument is invalid. Fact: 9mm = less recoil = easier follow up shots = better accuracy, which in turn = more lethal. The is no arguing that since you can place more rounds on target, you have the better chance of incapacitating the bad guy.

          • Tim X

            Thing is, they don’t place more rounds on target. I’ve been at this for 50 years, so you might want to listen to an old geezer. Regardless, this is all countered by the crappy pull of striker guns’ triggers. I find a Sig 226 in 40 easier to shoot much more accurately at the same rate of fire as a Glock, M&P, and the rest. It’s easier to shoot than a small 9 with much less recoil. They issue Glocks because of reliability, cost, and other logistical factors, not because they’re better shooters. I keep getting interested in buying one because so many rave about them, but then when I shoot them, they just feel like cheap toys to me. DA/SA is the way to go from my perspective. Or just SAO, carrying locked and cocked. Big deal, a safety flip. Besides I don’t like inexpensive to manufacture folded metal and plastic guns. I like machined metal. Hey, to each their own.

        • Chris Smith

          Most firearms chambered in 9mm and .40 are the same size. I had a FNP in both calibers, and they were the same dimensions. I wound up selling the .40.

          • Vincent Urbano

            good luck finding ammo during the next ammo shortage. Theres no way I am selling my .40 or my 9mm’s or even my .38

          • Aka Aka

            Complete agreement here. Personally I didn’t feel it too bad. I stock up on my ammo and usually have 700-1000 rounds of each caliber I currently own, specifically for this reason.

          • Justin

            Screw it, .45. Lol. Recoil direction for a .40 Is up, .45 is back.

          • Bryan

            .45 ACP… because shooting twice is silly! 😉

          • Chris Smith

            It’s called reloading.

          • TFlorida2

            Ammo shortage? The only ammo shortage threats are the ones put out by the ammo manufacturers to make you by more and more and more. More people end up buying ammo at once due to these “threats” and surprise, there’s now an ammo shortage. Big bucks for the ammo manufacturers.

        • Aka Aka

          Vincent, you are correct it does depend on the Mass of the weapon but that’s really only a consideration if we are talking about two completely different weapons platforms. However given the same platform chambered for two different rounds the increase in mass will not be significant enough to compensate for the increase in recoil.

          The other consideration you also need to take into account is a weapon with more heft will increase your muscle fatigue while firing (even if you don’t feel it, it still happens) not an issue if your firefight is very brief. However, if it becomes protracted, it can be a serious issue as your accuracy will decrease much quicker with a heavier weapon over time.

          • Vincent Urbano

            They make many weapons in several versions. You can get springfield XDM, XDS etc. IMO, If you want a subcompact then go with a 9mm but there is no reason an individual cannot practice to be as proficient with a compact .40 as a compact 9mm. The talk about an extended hour long firefight is a little absurd for a civilian IMO. You aren’t going to have enough ammo on your person for that anyway.

          • Aka Aka

            I never said an hour long you made that assumption. Anything that isn’t resolved with the initial exchange of fire would be protracted and yes they make several weapons in several versions and in every case comparing like to like you will find a very small margin of difference in the mass of the weapon chambered in different calibers no enough to significantly reduce recoil at any rate.

            Take the XD4 9mm and .40 from springfield since you mention them. 28oz and 30oz . there simply is not enough mass there to counter recoil.


            If you look at the XDM series it’s even less its. 29ozs for the 9mm and 30ozs for the .40sw

            And yes there is no reason why you can’t compensate with practice however what I and the author are trying to point out is that if you practice 40 hours with a .40sw and 40 hours with a 9mm the majority of the time you will be more accurate with the 9mm as it is simply easier to shoot.

          • Vincent Urbano

            If protracted means anything after a few rounds then why would I be fatigued with a .40 after a few rounds to make any difference at all versus a 9mm?

          • Aka Aka

            grab a two pound weight and hold it out in front of you for 5 minutes and tell me there’s no fatigue. Then think about recoil and how your body works to counter it. I’m not saying .40 or 9mm will be the deciding factor. But it is one factor in the overall picture.

          • r. roberts

            ID RATHER HAVE A 45 OR 10MM ANY DAY.

          • Chuck Haggard

            Why are you yelling? Ever heard of Spellchecker?

            And reports from the NYPD, friends I have on ESU, are that the 9mm service load they use, the 124gr +P Gold Dot, works as well as any service caliber pistol bullet has ever worked.

          • MrApple


          • Tim X


          • Molon Labe!

            It’s impossible to see someone as credible when they extrude so much ignorance.

          • BillinDetroit

            Sorry about the insane trigger pull … but the FBI took a second look at the ballistics of all the common rounds and the 9mm is their current recommendation for service carry.

            If the cops have to yank the trigger in a gunfight, they had to yank it when qualifying … so that begs the question of how they managed to qualify.

          • Tim X


          • mike connor

            What is a clip?

          • Tim X

            LOL, I meant magazines. I used to shoot a lot of (military) M1 Garand, and the 30-06 rounds are supplied on a strip clip that you just push down into the receiver. So I got used to calling all multi round removable devices “clips”. Most of the military assault rifle you see these days just shoot the puny little 5.56 NATO round, less than half the power of a 30-06.

          • mike connor

            LOL ya, I just like to pick on people who use the term clip 😀

          • notinline

            I pick on ppl who use “car” for automobile

          • mike connor

            magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine magazine

          • notinline

            automobile X 45


          • Vincent Urbano

            I am not going to use a weight to shoot with. I will however use a pistol. I’ve shot both and the difference after 5 minutes is zero.

          • Jerry McGuire

            What a bunch of incompetent postings from people who think they know what they are talking about. A bunch of gun rag, wanna be Tier 1 operators that got firearms training from the “Call of Duty” video game franchise. Word of advise, leave the real work to the true warriors and cease the diarreha from you mouth (hands in this case).

          • Ty Tayniss

            Word of advice : if you learned to spell properly, more people might take you seriously . . .

          • Sgt. Curmudgeon

            Jerry, thanks for the valuable input. Glad to know you’re a true warrior. However, did you have a point in there with your monologue? Oh, ya. I do know what I’m talking about, switched back to a 9 after carrying a 40 for over 20yrs on the job. Loved my 40, but due to injury find the 9 easier to shoot with more rapid follow shots. Your mileage may differ. The new bonded bullets penetrate almost identically across the board 9 – .45, and expansion is equally reliable in all. I can send you data from a test shoot we did using the FBI protocol. Unless that’s too CoD for you…

          • Tim X

            Right Sarg. But a bigger hole to start with equal expansion and penetration, means a bigger hole to end. And then there’s the fact of more weight behind a 165 or 180. But no biggie, the HSTs, GDs, and other high end rounds are gonna do their job in either caliber. With those premium rounds, I’m never concerned about the bad guy getting to me. If I were, then the next step is a 357 Mag, and good straight shooting. This whole argument is kind of moot.

          • bluesea

            read the article they are talking LEOs not civilians they are talking full size weapons not compact for conceal carry or pocket pistols you need to keep on the subject its Leos and the guns not civilians and not compacts its full size service weapons

          • BillinDetroit

            Considering that every pull of the trigger has a price tag attached, it is FAR easier for an individual to afford to practice with 9mm than with 40 S&W. The price differential of about 30% per round adds up fairly quickly. So, yes, there IS a reason why an individual may not be able to practice to be as proficient with a compact .40 as with a compact 9mm … cost.

          • Klingon00

            Often, a .40 will have less mass than the same model gun in 9mm because of a thinner barrel cut for the bigger bore. This only adds to the felt recoil of the .40.

        • OldJarhead

          The 9mm debate to me is ridiculous. The military has been using it daily for over a decade in I & A and it is an abysmal failure. They are replacing the M9’s and the 9mm is not even being considered anymore. Only 40/45. All the Spec Ops who can get other guns are using 45’s and some 40’s. Give this BS a rest. Besides 45 is American anyway. If you love your limp wrist shooting 9mm’s move to France Nancy.

          • Vincent Urbano


          • Klingon00

            The military is limited to ball ammo by international convention. Of course 9mm is abysmal in ball. Police do not have this limitation and can use modern expanding ammo and there the 9mm equals the .40 and .45 in performance. Add in the fact it lacks the downsides of the others (capacity, recoil) and the advantages compound in favor of 9mm.

          • Chuck Haggard

            All pistols suck when using ball ammo. That is a fact. The 9mm is at least able to penetrate common barriers such as loaded chest rigs, etc., the .45 is often stopped dead by such obstacles.

          • Martin Buck

            Armorers were astounded in WWII when they tested a Luger 9mm and found it shot through a standard US Army helmet, while a Colt .45 bounced off it. Higher velocity does bring some advantages, among which are flatter shooting at distance, and more shock when shot.

          • Guy LeDouche

            That depends on the medium you are shooting through. If its the human body then yeah…you are poking holes with a 9mm stick with massive over penetration. Shooting through glass – ball ammo will carry truer than any other type of ammo much like bonded rounds from an AR. This is because, at an angle outside of 15 degrees from center, the hollow point will grab the glass and pull the round in a different direction…typically the surface of the round that grabs first. Also, hollow points going through sheet rock will actually collect the sheet rock as it passes through and act like ball ammo.

            Try it at the range some time. Set up 6 sheet rock boards set up a foot apart and look at what the hollow point ammo does…its really interesting.

            Also, you can see some of the more modern SWAT teams will carry mags (both pistol and rifle) on their plate carries or “big boy vests” which are color coded to indicate barrier v.s. non-barrier rounds.

          • Chuck Haggard

            Virtually none of what you posted is true.

            Ball ammo typically does a poor job through auto glass, because it’s not bonded, and thus will fragment. Just one example.

            JHPs designed to pass the FBI testing protocols will still expand after shooting through sheetrock……………

            I don’t know of a SWAT team color coding magazines in the manner you describe, or running around with multiple ammo types as they they were wearing a tactical golf bag. My exposure to “modern” SWAT teams is pretty significant.

          • Guy LeDouche

            I know who Chuck Haggard is…it just seems there are so many on this forum. If you are actually Chuck – feel free to make contact at guys down at LA Metro division and ask them if they run with bonded and non bonded ammo. If they do – ask them how they run with it on their plate carriers. Green mags v.s. Tan mags…color tape? How is that any different than carrying buck and slug on a shotgun?
            As for ball ammo – the last vehicle assault our agency did – the ball ammo worked just fine through vehicle glass. And this is from an extreme downward angle getting the rounds through the upper torso while keeping in their quadrants. Also, TRY shooting through multiple layers of sheet rock into ballistic gelatin and look at what happens to the round. We did it over and over to determine what round we were going to transition to and they all did pretty much the same thing.

            No disrespect to your experience but this is what I have experienced and you of all people know that ballistics are anything but guaranteed.

          • Chuck Haggard

            They are not in fact replacing the 9mm, that is continued “shithouse rumor” as the drill SGTs used to call it. The 9mm works fine, which is why even Delta is using it now.

          • SoniaandAndy Baker

            Most special forces are going back to the 45 were it takes only one shot to stop the threat 9 mm is a ladies weapon

          • Chuck Haggard

            That is a claim that is untrue and frankly ridiculous. “Most special forces”? Who would that be? All of the real world guys I know in Delta and SF having being carrying Glock 17s or 19s OCONUS for quite some time.

            The idea that the .45 only takes one shot to stop a threat is also false, and frankly stupid and dangerous. I know of numerous cases where the .45 has failed.

            Go look up the Jared Reston cases for one easy example of that.

          • BillinDetroit

            As a personal suggestion, I would advise you not to stand downrange of my lady. She really just doesn’t care.

          • Chuck Haggard

            One, this is in no way true, in any aspect. Two, learn something about real world wound ballistics.

            The fact is that units like Delta are using the 9mm, they quit using the .45, and are dumping the .40 as well. MARSOC just approved the use of the Glock 19 by their Marines, and you’ll note that the G19 is a 9mm.

            Pros use the 9mm. And it often take way more than one round of .45 to “stop the threat”. Google up Jared Reston and read about that case, it’s in no way unique.

            What does one of the world’s leading experts on wound ballistics say, the guy who literally wrote the book on the subject?;

            “…there is no appreciable difference in the effectiveness of the 9 mm and the .45 ACP cartridges.”
            Vincent J. M. Di Maio, GUNSHOT WOUNDS: Practical Aspects of Firearms, Ballistics, and Forensic Techniques SECOND EDITION, Page 150.

          • Martin Buck

            And the 9mm causes substantially less wear and tear on handguns than .40 especially. This is important for restricted Department budgets.

          • Guy LeDouche

            It is amazing how many people still buy into the “stopping power” bullshit when it comes to pistol rounds. Of course – many of these people haven’t actually shot or seen someone shot with them. When you see a guy take three .308 rounds to the chest and still get off multiple rounds before dying 30 seconds later, you start to realize that much of what the arm chair gunsmiths write about in these articles is just made up crap.
            The mindset of the person getting shot and whether or not you make a successful CNS shot are the primary factors involved in stopping a threat.

          • Peter Orlando

            Obviously you are mis-informed.

          • mike connor

            I bet if this thread was looked at 50 years from now we’d still be arguing the points of 9mm vs 45.

          • Chuck Haggard

            No, the military is not replacing the M9, they are not going to a bigger caliber, and the 9mm has been a failure only in the minds of wanna-be internet gurus like yourself.
            “All of the spec ops” are using 9mms, There are huge numbers of M9s and Glock 19s being used by tier 1 guys daily, and to good effect. Even MARSOC has approved the use of the Glock 19 as issued.

            Your Dunning-Kruger is epic, you best check into that.

          • Guy LeDouche

            I guess when you don’t use modern ballistics and understand how wound channels work then sure…

            I’ll stick with what actually works. Besides, the Tier 1 guys rarely use their pistols anyways…talk to them. They will tell you it is basically a boat anchor. Considering you were in the Marines…do they start issuing pistols to guys at boot camp now? I don’t remember too many E1s to E5s walking around with pistols…do you?
            Or talk to some of your newer SWAT guys in large cities where they have full time teams. Almost all have transitioned from the Smith 1911 to the M&P 9mm. And I am pretty sure those guys aren’t “limp wristed” either.

      • srgt_dan

        Hmm that’s funny, I must defi the laws of physics because I own a 9 mm xd and .40 xd. I shoot both regularly and every time my cluster is tighter with my .40. That’s not an argument it’s a fact…I can unload my .40 just as fast as my 9 and I’m more accurate with the .40. So it comes down to what u are more comfortable and accurate with. There is no ONE gun that’s right for everyone. LEO’S use 9 mm for cost period. If you really believe it’s because it’s the best your mistaken….next your gonna tell me the crown vics are the fastest, most reliable, fuel efficient, safest, cars too right? Lol

        • David

          I call bullshit. Maybe you are the anomaly, but saying your groups are tighter with the high pressure round is not believable. If it were two different weapons I could honestly believe you. My service weapon is the G22 and with the G17 I saw better groups the first time touching it after 4 years. I don’t “feel” a difference in the recoil but the paper doesn’t lie. My groups got worse with the G22 after firing the G17 even though I didn’t feel a difference in recoil. This all happens in a matter if 15 minutes or so.

          • David


        • Chuck Haggard

          You really should learn to spell better, and perhaps use things like sentence structure, when trying to make a point.

      • Tim X

        Yes, less recoil is always better if you’re firing a volley. The first few rounds out of anything are my best, of course. SThis whole business of “control on follow up shots” is a little exaggerated IMHO. The idea of pouring volumes of lead down range is dangerous. Most encounters are within 8′. A 40 or 45 at 15′ can be emptied into a human sized target very quickly. At longer distances the key is to aim and control your fire, not just blaze away. I hate it when I hear stories like that one in NYC recently were police fired over 20 rounds at an armed guy and only hit him a few times. Several bystanders were wounded. I say aim and hit your target in the first 3 shots and don’t pull the trigger if you can’t and your in a crowded area!

    • Chuck Haggard

      And yet the Glock 22 has been proven to be one of the most problematic service pistols available. Reliability and durability are vastly more important than an extra 1mm of bullet and perceived, yet false, ideas that “stopping power” exists in handguns. “Actually learn to shoot” is just a jackass of a comment.

    • Nobody3452

      Ummm, thats great and all. What about article after article of police/FBI saying they are going back to 9mm because .40 wears out their pistols more? Most every .40 is just a scaled 9mm designed pistol, which explains why this occurring. Being on target aint going to change that.

    • Veritas

      suggest LEOs learn to shoot? I am a vet, and know that we wasted approximately 15-20k rounds for every insurgent/terrorist killed. Shooting at targets is easy. Go learn to shoot in real life against real people.

  • Billy Bates Jr

    I’m retired now but when I left I was using the Glock 22 scoring was from. 185 passing to 250 I Averaged 246 /247 with my 40 cal !! I wished the Dept would go to the model 21 never happened they switched to M&P 40 cal !! I got one of the M&P 40s was a good shooting gun, but I loved my Glocks so I sold my m&p !! Yes the 9mm with the right ammo is great, But the One’s Using these Weapons is the One’s, that has too take the Time to Use it !! Site Alignment and Trigger Control is the Keys along with learning to handle that adrenaline rush at the critical time !!!

  • George Huff

    I have no problem handling my .40 or .45 but to each their own as long as they are able to properly use it and protect themselves.

    • EatCracken

      OK Mr. Tough Guy. I have ho problem handling your wife!

      • scott will

        she shoots 357 sig

      • Tim X


    • Vincent Urbano


    • Max Biggs

      Unlike mr cracker there haha, I have no argument except for the fact of its price and feasibility. I shoot all the calibers, but my choice is 9 for many reasons including costs. If money wasn’t a factor, I’d prob still choose 9 simply for handling ease, rounds on target, and capacity. But my fav is def my 10mms. Everyday carry I’ll usually bring a 9.

  • Sharpshooter

    One reason I didn’t see mentioned was the increased “kill” ability when shooting some one’s dog!

    • Dr. Obvious

      That was covered in #6.

  • Highschool Grad

    Cops aren’t the smartest people to carry loaded guns. I.e., Albuquerque, Berkeley, Boston, etc – might be better to arm them with pepper spray and tasers ….

    • Bigblkdog

      Congrats on getting your GED.

    • MrByrde

      You’re display name is Highschool Grad, and you’re remarking about how smart cops are? Your name implies that you aren’t even old to even own a handgun. And using three incidents that were hugely publicized is not a testament to the professional lifestyle and character of all law enforcement officers nationwide. My advice, sign up for a ride along.

      • Born-Gunny

        MrByrde actually Highschool Grad can own a gun if he is at least 18 years old. If you’re going to insult him be sure to be more specific about your insult instead of saying the word gun which is a poor excuse to not spell out assault rifle, pistol etc etc. The word gun simple implies fire arms in general. So he can own a gun but not a pistol cause implying his name he or she is probably not of the age 21 yet. Your argument is invalid. Also just cause he isn’t 21 doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a family member who is an owns a pistol an hasn’t taken him to the range. There’s more to a picture

        • Mark Ease

          Born-Gunny I think you’re just being a little picky or sensative here or maybe you’re just be a dick, MrByrde is specific he does say “handgun” which may or may not denote pistol or revolver but in essence both are classified as handguns.

          • amanda sanchez

            The entire world’s population suffers because
            those that occupy the Land of Israel DO NOT obey Torah. Only when the
            inhabitants of the Land of Israel obey God and Torah, will the entire world be
            once again blessed. “I will bless them that bless thee and him that curseth
            thee will I curse and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed”

      • BillinDetroit

        I asked my local officers about a ride along (I participate in the neighborhood watch program) and was told that they don’t do that.

      • BillinDetroit

        For all you know, he completed HS in the armed forces. Right? Or, maybe some youthful problems with dyslexia resulted in him graduating at 22.

        When you jump to conclusions, it’s usually wise to check your assumptions first.

        Mr. Byrde, I wish to God that those were the only three incidents … if they were, it is unlikely you could get a car load of people to protest in the streets behind the Brown and Garner deaths, much less gather enough of a crowd for a half-way decent riot. I know this is a separate issue, but until the cops get serious about policing themselves, incidents like those mentioned will continue to occur and the riots will continue as well.

        The truth is, cops get away with murder. Until that is fixed (with hard time in prison), the protests will continue and so will the assassinations.

    • GradHunter

      Yo “Grad”, Blow It Out Your Cornhole

    • Molon Labe!

      Sadly, that seems to be true.

    • Chuck Haggard

      Hate much? Paint with a wide brush much? Stereotype people much?

      Super he-man-ish of you to drive by snipe with pithy bullshit douche comments hiding behind your intardnets anonymity.

      Does your mom know you are on the internets?