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  #1  
Old 08-10-2004, 04:03 PM
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.40 SW vs .45 acp?


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I am looking into buying my first pistol and as I only have experience with revolvers am seekling some info. I have been told that the .40 SW is about on par with the .45 ACP, is this true? I don't have any load books that are new enouf to list the .40 SW to compare the two. Your knowledge would be welcomed. Thanks leon.
  #2  
Old 08-10-2004, 06:44 PM
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Both are great calibers in the right gun. Pick the right gun for your needs. The frame size of these two calibers is often different. Self-defense: tie. Target: tie. If you are not a reloader: 45ACP - more options.
  #3  
Old 08-10-2004, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon Miller
I am looking into buying my first pistol and as I only have experience with revolvers am seekling some info. I have been told that the .40 SW is about on par with the .45 ACP, is this true? I don't have any load books that are new enouf to list the .40 SW to compare the two. Your knowledge would be welcomed. Thanks leon.
IF you avoid the bullet diameter differnce, then the .40 can shoot 180's about as fast as .45acp's can shoot 185's...if you include the 45acp +P loadigns, the slight edge in "paper power" of the 45acp grows larger.

But the .45 can sling heavier bullets than the .40SW can (although a bit slower than the 185's) and many (myself included) don't think the .40SW is at it's best with 180's...the 135-155gr. area seems the 40's best balance.

"Paper Power" isn't a as good an indicator of actual defense shooting results as advertizers weould like you to believe. Given a choice, find selecting the larger bullet is seldom a bad idea.
  #4  
Old 08-11-2004, 04:11 PM
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I personally prefer the .45 ACP. It's as proven as any cartridge could possibly be as a defensive round. There are no surprises in handloading, one of the reasons it excels as a target chambering. There are a wide variety of guns chambered in .45 ACP, so you'll almost certainly find one to your liking.

The .40 S&W is obviously newer without the .45's grand history. Many handloaders have reported an exceptionally fine line between a safe combination and one that creates excessive pressures. My own limited .40 S&W loading experience seems to support these contentions. Accuracy has been acceptable to good in the guns I've fired but not as good as most .45's I've handled. About the only advantage I see for the .40 is that it can be chambered in slightly smaller and lighter pistols than the .45. In my opinion, if concealed carry isn't a priority the choice is clear: .45 ACP
  #5  
Old 10-24-2004, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon Miller
I am looking into buying my first pistol and as I only have experience with revolvers am seekling some info. I have been told that the .40 SW is about on par with the .45 ACP, is this true? I don't have any load books that are new enouf to list the .40 SW to compare the two. Your knowledge would be welcomed. Thanks leon.



Leon I prefer the 40SW to the 45 ACP for the fact that it is faster and has almost as nuch knock down. My recommendation to you is go with the 40 in a Glock 23 or my personal favorite and duty weapon is a Sig Pro SP2340. The gun is very accurate and never has failed me to date.
  #6  
Old 12-19-2004, 04:06 AM
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If it were me I'd vote .40, although there is nothing wrong with the .45, just personal preferance from personal expieriences from both cartridges. Something to consider is the 10mm, alot of companys have reduced the performance of this round for nancy wrists, however there are still many company's that load it to original specs. (ie DoubleTap Ammo, Buffalo Bore, etc.) It is very comparable to a .41mag when loaded properly. Another reason I suggest some consideration for this cartridge is you mentioned revolver. The wieght of anything more than a snubby will help reduce the recoil to something very delightful, and great follow up shots achived with the ballistics of the 135gr. 10mm make it IMO an ideal SD cartridge.
  #7  
Old 12-19-2004, 05:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palegreenhorse
...the 10mm... alot of companys have reduced the performance of this round for nancy wrists, however there are still many company's that load it to original specs. (ie DoubleTap Ammo, Buffalo Bore, etc.) It is very comparable to a .41mag when loaded properly.
With all due respect, no it's not. Double Tap's 220-grain Precision FP is listed as 1125 fps; Buffalo Bore's 200-grain FMJ is listed as 1200 fps. I have chronographed several 210 to 225-grain .41 Magnum loads that exceed 1375 fps with a 4-5/8" Ruger and a couple of 4" Smith & Wessons but do not exceed published data or SAAMI pressure ceilings. Everyday factory 210-grain loads do 1300 fps. With respect to lighter-weight offerings, Double Tap's 180grain load using the Gold Dot clocks 1300 fps; Buffalo Bore's load using the same weight XTP does 1350 fps. The Winchester 175-grain Silvertip is listed as 1250 fps from a 4" vent barrel. My own very limited chronographing out of one 4" S&W says this is pretty accurate. But regardless, it is a "medium load" when compared to full-power lightweight .41 Magnums. A fully-stoked 170 or 175-grain .41 Magnum will easily do 1500+ fps.

But equally if not more important than velocity is bullet shape. I'd like to see the automatic that could feed the wide meplat bullets that are loaded into my sixguns. The Precision FP bullet and BB FMJ have rather small meplats so as to improve feeding. There are no such restrictions in a .41 Magnum revolver.

It is no trick at all for factory or handloaded .41 Magnums to have heavier bullets with better performing shapes at significantly higher velocity than the very hottest 10mm ammo.

Last edited by Bill Lester; 12-19-2004 at 05:06 AM.
  #8  
Old 12-19-2004, 01:59 PM
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.45 ACP. No others need apply. Bigger bullets equal bigger holes. Nothing really wrong with the .40 other than it is not a .45.
Given the .40 must expand 13% of its diameter to equal the .45 unexpanded, for my own way of thinking that gives the .45 a 13% head start considering on paper the .40 and .45 are pretty equal. Also, shoot two pistols of the same size and you will find the .45 actually shoots softer than the .40. Not really less recoil, but the recoil is not as fast.
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  #9  
Old 12-19-2004, 04:42 PM
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40 Short&Weak vs. 45ACP

Had to get my 2 cents worth of this thread. The 10mm is a great round for self defense, I'd pick it over any other cartridge out there. 100 yards down range it has more kickbutt than the 45 out of the business end of the barrel.

But directly to your two choices, 40Short&Weak vs. the proven 45ACP. Pick the 45, you will not go wrong!

Hoopie,
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  #10  
Old 12-19-2004, 05:26 PM
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It is more a choice of the 1911 style pistol vs the other types. The 45 has more power too. I like both my answers, I vote for the 45.
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Last edited by 500 magnum nut; 12-19-2004 at 05:28 PM.
  #11  
Old 12-20-2004, 11:50 AM
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Bill, Magsafe as well as RBCD 10mm ammunition both exceed 1500fps as well. The latter is 77gr/2000+fps/1000+ftlbs. I didnt say they were equal to a 41mag, I stated "comparable" to. For self defense purposes its better to have a high velocity with a lighter grain bullet so upon pentetration the bullet can expand to its full potential. Having heavy grain bullets with the power you clarified from a .41mag has a very good chance of passing right through a 2 legged foe and wounding or killing a bystandard. Like I said Im not stating the 10mm is equal to a .41mag, but if I had to choose.40/.45/10mm, Id take the 10mm.

Last edited by palegreenhorse; 12-20-2004 at 11:58 AM.
  #12  
Old 01-15-2005, 05:30 PM
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45

The 40 is a tweener. Doesn't have the capacity of the nine and doesn't have the abillity to hurl lead ingots like the 45. No such thing as an all around either. Go with the forty five. If your not convinced, go to an IPSC competition and watch the steel targets get shot. Everyone is shooting at or around the power factor and the 45 simply plows the targets.

Another thing to remember is that i you need more than 7+1 you should be looking for a long gun or street sweeper cause your out gunned. Nuff said.
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  #13  
Old 01-15-2005, 06:20 PM
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Have to support the .40. Recoil is less, bullet technology allows you to have controlled expansion along with penetration, a new powder loads are getting more velocity. Plenty of choices for 165 grain bullets, optimum for all around performance, and accurate to boot. I've never really been a fan of the .45ACP, and think you'd be happier with the .40.
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  #14  
Old 01-15-2005, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Bore
Also, shoot two pistols of the same size and you will find the .45 actually shoots softer than the .40. Not really less recoil, but the recoil is not as fast.
Agreed. I've played with a few .45's and .40's, and I don't like the .40's that much. The recoil is fast and sharp, which I find uncomfortable. Especially in a thin-framed auto, it tends to dig into your hand. Slow, "blunt" recoil like the .45 is easier to handle for long shoots.

Plus, you just end up having more options. with a .45er.

Last edited by Vorzer; 01-16-2005 at 11:07 AM.
  #15  
Old 01-16-2005, 07:00 AM
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capacity and lead=power

I like to look at as how to create engine horse power. There is just no substitution for cubic inches.
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  #16  
Old 01-16-2005, 08:40 AM
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Leon, If you decide to take a serious look at the .45. Let me know, I have a "Everything you could possibly want to know about the 1911" Book. VERY informative, if you ask real nice I'll give it to you for the price of shippment.
  #17  
Old 01-16-2005, 02:14 PM
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If you are shooting, in self defense, at an attacker who is 100 yards away you don't need a pistol. You need a rifle.
  #18  
Old 01-16-2005, 03:41 PM
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The 45 and the 40 are capable of similar ballistics, similar weight bullets at similar velocities, the 40 handles light bullets well, the 45 handles the heavyweights better. The 40 was designed as a compromise between the 9 and the 45, bigger than a nine, more bullets in the gun than a 45. The sharper recoil of the 40 is a myth I don't understand, unless someone has repealed the laws of physics. Shooting similar weight bullets from guns that weight the same, their may be a tiny difference due to the higher gas recoil of the 40 (due to higher pressure) but you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference. I have owned both, and kept the 40, I like the five extra shots and the fully supported barrel, something many 45's DO NOT offer. Does it matter? When a case blows, you bet. I had that experience once, and I can assure you it's unpleasant. I also ran some overloads (wrong powder ) thru my 40 and didn't realize what had happened til I saw the oval-shaped primer pockets. An overload like that in a 1911 or revolver would have found me combing iron out of my whiskers, another experience I'd pass on. When the 40 forst came out all the 45ACP folks were pooh-poohing it, fifteen years later the 40 and 45 have very similar track records in actual shootings. Personally, I'd find a gun that fits your hand well, and not worry so much about the caliber. If you shoot it well, ballistics are secondary.

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  #19  
Old 01-16-2005, 06:27 PM
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I lifted this from a paper/critique by the Dept. of Justice. Usually not a big fan of gov. studies, but this rings true to me:



Kinetic energy does not wound. Temporary cavity does not wound. The much discussed "shock" of bullet impact is a fable and "knock down" power is a myth. The critical element is penetration. The bullet must pass through the large, blood bearing organs and be of sufficient diameter to promote rapid bleeding. Penetration less than 12 inches is too little, and, in the words of two of the participants in the 1987 Wound Ballistics Workshop, "too little penetration will get you killed." Given desirable and reliable penetration, the only way to increase bullet effectiveness is to increase the severity of the wound by increasing the size of hole made by the bullet. Any bullet which will not penetrate through vital organs from less than optimal angles is not acceptable. Of those that will penetrate, the edge is always with the bigger bullet.


Now I do find that last line to be important. Give an expanding 45cal bullet and an expanding .40caliber bullet, if they both have the ability to get to the other side, will take the one that starts out bigger.
  #20  
Old 01-18-2005, 06:13 AM
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Gentlemen,

I hate to add a firm maybe to a yes or no conversation, but I don't think there is enough difference between the two for too much consternation.

I'd recommend getting the pistol that fits your hand the best, and that the sights line up the easiest. I really don't beleive in power all that much, and espiecally when it applies to pistol cartridges. After all, its not how much postage you put on the package, its getting the package to the right address, right?

One man's opinion.

Steve
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