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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As for accuracy and shootability -- no difference for me. I shoot both .40 and 9mm about the same. The 9mm is a S&W3913, so it is a light-weight pistol -- promptly negating the 9mm's softer recoil characteristics :smile:. However, shooting a Glock 23 and a Glock 19 side-by-side revealed no significant difference in felt recoil, split times or overall times. I've shot the extremely challenging Air Marshal's qualification course with a 3913, a Glock 23 and a BHP.40. Slowest time was with the 9mm. Go figure.
So, if we eliminate capacity (52 vs 46) as a concern, have a decent platform and find no difference in accuracy & shootability, why not go with the heavier caliber?
Eureka he shouted!
Give the man a prize, Chad you are pretty smart even if you don't know what I am going to say:
The ideal caliber is the one that YOU shoot the fastest and most accurately, if you shoot a 9mm, try a .40, if you can hit with the .40 with the same splits, try the .357Sig, if you can continue to hit, go to the 9x23/.38Super, if you are still with me go for the .400 Corbon, still on time and target? Now move to the heaviest .45acp you can safely shoot in your gun (230gr+P preferred). If you are really adept and you are still timing and hitting well, move to the full power 10mm and if you are still doing very well move to the .40 Super (or in a revolver go for the .41Magnum, (above the .41magnum I give up too much time between shots, for you guys that can do it go ahead) and if we are still going strong the .45 Super, I've never met or seen anyone that can hit/shoot fast and accurately enough with even the .45Super to truly engage multiple targets under stress.
The point is that while the .40 S&W really is an answer to a problem that did not exist, it has revitalized and saved a dying firearms industry. Where would we be without the extensive .40 calibers and concealed carry advertising (gun writer articles) the handgun manufacturers paid for? The answer is that the low cap 9mm frame guns would have withered on the vine and died out, inventing a solution saved the gun lines. Their can be little doubt that the .40S&W is probably the single best marketing endeavor ever undertaken by the firearms industry, it is only rivaled by Jeff Coopers resurrection of the 1911 as a “fighting firearm”. Both have given rise to a cottage industry that has helped everyone. Even the ammo makers unscrupulously jumped into the cash cow, one maker even marketed and promoted a .40S&W +P round although there is no such thing. They hired some very good writers, and paid them a straight salary as promoters and today tens of thousands of people carry these .40 caliber pistols.
There are good pistols as legitimate companies like Sig, Glock, and HK recognized early on the money to be had in this “new American market” and invested the money to do it properly, the “me too” manufactures had little choice but to wisely reengineer the pistols to make them work.
Carry what you like as long as it is reliably consistent, accurate and fully functional, in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .357Sig neither grains, velocities, or +P, +P+, NATO spec, or minus P, counts. It truly does not make a difference as long as you use expanding ammunition.

*If you believe it does then please by all means email me your contact information and I will be sure to sign you up for the latest car wax that can be burned, sanded, shot with cannon and remain bright solid and shiny infomercial after I invest in it.
*Please do not email that info, I am being factious as you can easily recognize the difference between poor marketing (infomercial) and really good marketing (gun magazines and stopping power books).

Seriously, you gain or lose only rounds in your magazine between the three.
If you can carry the larger frame guns and you can shoot them quickly, and accurately choose a round that once again meets the requirements of being reliably consistent, accurate and fully functional then keep moving up the “power” scale.
Once you find the right combination for you, buy a second model of the same gun, purchase the best quality, best fitting, best concealment holster/belt system you can afford. Once you do that purchase as many spare magazines as you can afford and go get some quality training with the money you would have spent for the latest “ultimate” gerbil killing, titanium, Special Forces, death ray gun.
If you already have the training go get more, you are not as smart or as skilled as you think you are.
As you continue to spend several years mastering your carry gun, buy more of the same models and begin to have them customized to increase your comfort and speed when shooting them, a good pistol smith can make the pistol an extension of yourself and that it is what a good weapon really is.
Avoid the temptation to “switch” hit and move back and forth between platforms and seriously avoid the temptation to buy new guns that do not fit with your existing platform, e.g.: Glocks to S&W autos, to Sig Sauer to 1911.
If 1911s are your ideal platform stay with them, if you need a smaller gun go to the smaller 1911.
Identify the difference between your “collecting” guns and defensive carry guns.
Avoid the temptation to switch at all costs. Now, I know fully that some people are going to disagree with me and claim they can shoot all guns equally as well and that “Cross training” only makes them a better shooter and helps to prepare them to be able to pick up any gun they find and be fully functional with it.
Point well taken and it does have validity, I am speaking of developing true mastery and skill with your equipment and that does take years and tens of thousands of rounds of good quality training and practice. For some shooters they will never properly master the defensive pistol and some will choose not to, others will claim that collecting, changing platforms and buying new guns makes it all the more enjoyable. Agreed, with all of the above. I agree with you and I recognize this, I choose to master my equipment and I strive for something that you may not care for. I am ok with that, but I do believe that a pistol, any weapon for that matter can be mastered at a very high level and that weapon can become a natural extension of ones self if you so choose, I know this is very serious and somewhat long but then again so is the defensive use and consequence that accompany the defensive use of a firearm.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David DiFabio on 2001-06-13 21:36 ]</font>

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169 Posts
One might easily say the 10mm is not a bad cartridge after the 9mm. The reason I say that is simply, if one is not yet comfortable with full power they can buy Hydrashoks or the like with their .40 S&W loadings...you can easily work your power up to as hot as most people will ever handle well (I cannot imagine firing a .40 Super very quickly myself...) not by switching to a new gun (even of teh same type) but by switching ammunition manufacturers and recoil springs.

I do not mean to imply by that statement that other cartridges are not versatile as well.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: telackey on 2001-06-13 21:48 ]</font>

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262 Posts
Once you find the right combination for you, buy a second model of the same gun, purchase the best quality, best fitting, best concealment holster/belt system you can afford.
But if you don't switch and experiment, how will you know when you've found the right combination? I'd guess that many of us are driven to try the gun-of-the-month because we know it might work better and the only way to find out is to try it.

You're making sense but I need a couple more whacks with the 2x4 of logic to set me straight. :lol:

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205 Posts

I enjoyed reading the initial topic and this one very much, there were some very good points made, and Jim H.'s contributions were quite illuminating.

I'd like to make a request of you though... Could you incorporate more Paragraph/spacing, to aid in readibility... With long posts and my poor eyes, the lines all run together, and make it hard to read.

In the original thread, and scenario, I could close my eyes, and envision Mas Ayoob, and the Ayoob Files by the quality of the information, and the thought proking nature of the topic... Very happy to be able to gain a better understanding on a topic that has always been confusing...

Personally, I have tended to subscriber to the 'Bigger Hole' theory. It is disturbing though that what is often touted as the latest & greatest often falls short...

Thanks again!

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171 Posts
Excellent post David !!, although being factual, logical, as well as brief will never get you an offer of Big $$$ writing for the Gun Rags :grin:

I "Caliber Jump" as well as platform jump ( 9mm - .45ACP ) and have for years, while knowing it`s both unproductive as well as dangerous in a defensive handgun for Civilian use.

Discussion Starter · #6 ·
New articles will have better spacing.
BlackJack, I could never live on a gun writers salary anyway, I would need to write several hundred AH center fold articles each month and edit at least four of the magazines.
My tastes run into Pateks, Rolex's Mercede's, BMW's and rooms full of HK's, not to mention my affinity for collecting PSG1's and thermal/nightvision scopes, laptops, palm pilots, and Damascus knives.
Now that I think about it, I know they cannot afford me.....So I do it for free.

Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I wanted to clarify that my recommnedation is to avoid the caliber jumping and platform changes when it pertains to working with and practicing with your defensive use pistols.

For example, a great many shooters have a short list of guns that work fairly well for them and actually fit them ergonomically, they could be very good with them but they tend to shift platforms too frequently and they tend to "stick" with a basic/easy caliber and not work to increase their skill level.

I am absolutely guilty of "collecting" a lot of different makes/platforms/calibers, I even hunt with multiple calibers and I do mix some shooting with my collector pieces that I enjoy, like my Sig P210 and HK's.
I even shoot IDPA matches now with a Glock.

But when it comes down to my "Serious" training and my defensive use pistols I stay within the 1911 platform. Only through several hundred thousand practice rounds have I managed to hit the targets with each caliber equally well and I am working very hard with the .40 Super. But I am not sure that it is possible to really master it effectively as recoil is pretty sharp for a fast defensive gun, I am still learning and always trying to improve my technique and speed/controllability.

Pistol Master I am not, but I am very serious about it and I keep practicing and I strongly believe in carrying/using the largest caliber/fastets platform you can shoot accurately and rapidly.

Discussion Starter · #9 ·
On 2001-06-15 04:27, Randall_1611 wrote:
Good information again David! Caliber jumping, is BAD? Ok OK I will try, but just got my 10mm/9x23 small block Glock barrel! Dropped right in and chucked lead down range. Mike
That is a very effective platform/defensive handgun you have there. Give it a chance and stick with it, you will be very well armed.

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64 Posts
David: you are right. Generally in any activity you performs, your dedication increases your ability. If your dedication is divided in many activitys, probably you will not master anyone. For example, in the legal activity, if you work in civil law, you don't work on penal law. Is very difficult to master to a certain degree all the sides of any activity. IN this world, that principle applies to the gun and caliber you use. If you shoot with a Glock, and then with a Ruger revolver, you will certainly not master anyone of the two.
That is simply logical.
But we have a passion, guns, and sometimes is very difficult tom avoid the temptantions of use all our colection.
At last, David, what you said is "simply" (something that you find this times) logical.

Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well said, it is refreshing to see logic and common sense overcoming the "marketing" and pre-programmed conditioning that is all too common when it comes to the defensive handgun and its true use.
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