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  #1  
Old 06-23-2003, 09:18 PM
Light Speed Light Speed is offline
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S&W .40 vs .45 ACP




How does the .40 compare with the .45?? Does it have some power or is it just a meaty 9mm. I saw one of the cartridges and I was surprised that it is that short.
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2003, 09:22 PM
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The answer depends on who you ask. I owned a .40 for a short time just to see if I was missing anything. I wasn't. Some say it has nearly the mag capacity of the 9mm while deliver power as good or better than the .45 ACP. Others deride it as a dangerously over-pressure round that's abusive to guns and has no advantage over the tried-and-true .45 ACP.

I'll take a middle-of-the-road approach and say that if you find a gun you like in the caliber go for it. But don't buy one just for the caliber like I did, as you may find it does nothing that something you may already have can do equally well.

BTW this thread has nothing to do with Springfield Armory so I moved it to the Ammo Can.
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  #3  
Old 06-23-2003, 09:32 PM
Light Speed Light Speed is offline
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I don't have a "plastic" piece yet. The Glock guys will argue but I want the grip safty. I don't see the need for a "plastic".45
with all of the gorgeous 1911's to be had. I'm just thinking this through.
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  #4  
Old 06-24-2003, 12:08 AM
ken3006 ken3006 is offline
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LightSpeed, the cartridges are short because the .40 was designed to work in 9mm frame pistols. In terms of bullet energy, they are roughly equal, but the +p .45 ACP loads are more powerful than any .40 S&W load. In terms of stopping power, it depends more on bullet placement than anything else. I'm sure the .40 is adequate or so many police wouldn't be using it. I own one .40 right now (a Glock), but may sell it to buy another .45.
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  #5  
Old 06-30-2003, 11:20 PM
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All of my modern guns are .40 caliber, I find it more than enough for use as my carry/defense ammo.
I usually carry a Baretta 9000 or an HK USP compact and like them both, I carry every day.
I do collect 1911's and love them also, but I mainly shoot them at the range.
I think you will find the .40 more than adequate.
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  #6  
Old 07-01-2003, 06:59 AM
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I think that Ken3006 summed it up quite well. It sort of fills the gap between the 9mm and the 45ACP with performance similar to that of the 45.
  #7  
Old 07-01-2003, 08:50 AM
BarbWire BarbWire is offline
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to me its a fad round. kinda like a pet rock. it will probably fall out of favour eventually but things tend to move very slowly in the gun world. my preference for pistols has always been the .45ACP it's history cant be beaten, tried and proven in an ernomous variety of situations. the problem i see witht he .40 is that a round was created with no real sense of where to go from there.... they tried to stuff it into already exsting weapons with conversion kits or into pre-existing designs with little attempt at quality control. just to get a weapon on the shelves to sell. try renting one at a local gunstore that does that.
  #8  
Old 07-01-2003, 01:04 PM
NJKimberSS NJKimberSS is offline
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i disagree i think the 40 fills a pretty valuable niche. think about it. a smaller round (higher capacity when the 94 ban sunsets) with the power of a larger round...HOWEVER...it is also factory loaded to 9mm type of balistics. so you can have a lighter fast bullet, or a heavier slow bullet. so its the best of both worlds.
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  #9  
Old 07-01-2003, 11:47 PM
1911joe 1911joe is offline
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Barbwire

I disagree; Around here a lot guys end up buying what the cops are shooting, and a lot of cops are shooting the 40. I have been picking up brass for the past year and I have about double the 40 brass that I do 9mm. A lot of people are shooting it and I think that it is here to stay. The 357 sig I am not so sure about though.

Lightspeed

It depends on the gun, but the 40's that I shot all seem snappy and qiuck. The recoil is a lot like a 9mm on steriods. I was actually suprised by the kick that it has. The 45 recoil is slower and harder by comparison.

At our bowling pin matches, about half the competitors use the 40 caliber including the best guy there, the other half uses 45. All the people that I spoke to said that a 9mm just doesn't have the power to move the pins off of the table.

joe
  #10  
Old 07-02-2003, 12:13 AM
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1911joe, I have to agree that the .40 is pretty snappy. My Glock .40 also has a wierd way of torqueing in my hand. I put a slip on grip sleeve on it, which helped abit. The .45 out of a 1911 is easier to control and I shoot it better also. The .357 SIG just doesn't do much for me.
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  #11  
Old 07-02-2003, 05:22 AM
dnancarr dnancarr is offline
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Why is it that the 40 is being compared to the 45ACP round when the comparison ought to be between the 40 and the 9MM?
After all, the 40 is used in 9MM frames.
Advantages for the 40 are more power per shot.
Disadvantages would be higher ammo costs, both for store bought and higher costs for handloading, slightly snappier recoil, and if we can get the AWB to sunset, slightly less capacity.

As it stands now, with a 10 round max, they come out about equal in capacity, which I think is the primary reason why people have gone to the larger calibers. All 3 will do the job if placed correctly.
My personal choice is for the 45 but have friends with the other calibers and theirs seem to do just fine. I like the single stack mags because the grip is easier to conceal and feels better in my hand. But, thats just me.
  #12  
Old 07-02-2003, 07:16 AM
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I really can't see any reason for the .40S&W other than just a means of selling more guns.
As to police using .40S&W, I think that's just a trend and will gradually change. Police departments tend to change for the sake of change sometimes.
There isn't that much of a gap between 9mm and .45 in my opinion.
There is some really good 9mm and 9mm +P out there that is very efective. If you want something larger, the.45 fits the bill very well.
What I wish would become more popular and cheaper someday is the 9x23. 147gr at 1400fps sounds good.
  #13  
Old 07-02-2003, 10:28 AM
NJKimberSS NJKimberSS is offline
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9x23 i feel is more of a pointless round than 40s&W. 40 is a halfway ground between a 9mm and a 45 and since the hicap ban is going to sunset in less than a year, youll be able to carry a gun with more stopping power than a 9 yet more capacity than a 45. Also 40 can be loaded to be like a 9 or a 45, so you have an option of what kind of powerfactor you want (best of both worlds)

9x23 is just an overgrown 9mm...doesnt serve any other purpose other than competition...IMO.
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Old 07-02-2003, 10:48 AM
Shark Bait Shark Bait is offline
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.40 is Here to Stay!

In my opinion the .40 is here to stay and fills a niche between the 9x19 and the .45ACP. It offers similar capacity of the 9 with power approaching the .45. This could prove key when and if - did I say if? the 94 ban goes bye, bye. It also handles bullets from very light (135 gr.) to fairly heavy (200gr.). I too love the .45 and have several in my safe. However, I carry a Sig P239 in .40 S&W and feel very adequately protected with 7+1 rounds of 165 grain Gold Dots moving out at 1070 FPS.

The bottom line is that anything from a 9x19 up to a .45 and everything in between will do an adequate job of stopping the BG with correct shot placement. I for one am very happy about the variety of calibers we have to choose from and don't wish the demise of any of them. In fact, why don't we start a movement to bring back the 10MM?
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Last edited by Shark Bait; 07-02-2003 at 10:51 AM.
  #15  
Old 07-02-2003, 10:55 AM
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I think 9x23 is a better round that .40 S&W because it is so versatile. One can get weak 9x19 performance all the way up to .357 Magnum performance since a 125-grain bullet can be safely loaded to reach velocities anywhere between 1000 and 1500 fps. 9x23 offers bullet weights from 85-grain to 158-grain. It is effective for IDPA, self-defense, and hunting.

9x23 is a more reliable feeding round than both 9x19 and .40 S&W in the 1911 platform since its OAL is close to .45 ACP. 9x23 brass is very strong, so it does not need a fully supported barrel to work in a 1911. With a barrel and spring change, one gets the option of shooting cheap 9x19, ammo that is at least 40% cheaper than equivalent .40 S&W rounds.

Personally I do not like .40 S&W because 10mm Auto does everything .40 S&W does. I think .40 S&W is here to stay because it is a good compromise in most platforms, but, in factory loadings, I think it is a poor choice for the 1911 platform. Most people who load .40 S&W for the 1911 load the round to 10mm OAL to make it a better feeding round.

As someone who owns 1911's in all of the calibers under discussion, I have first-hand experience. 9x23 is an amazing round in the 1911; 40 S&W is a troublesome in factory loadings in the 1911.
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  #16  
Old 07-02-2003, 10:59 AM
NJKimberSS NJKimberSS is offline
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i think this disgussion is more about 40S&w in genneral as opposed to only 1911's. In 1911's i feel 9x19, 40, and 45 are good rounds, and i will stand by 9x23 and 38 super as "competition" rounds. I say this because there are very very few factory loading in either round, and those that do exist leave something to be desired. the 40 comes in many loadings with many bullet weights, in many velocities, so you can tune your load to the gun, with factory available loads, for instance you can shoot minor and major powerfactor with a 40s&w without having to do handloads.
i reiterate...this is all IMO...
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Old 07-02-2003, 11:18 AM
farscott farscott is online now
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For those of us who do not shoot factory ammo or shoot very little factory ammo and only shoot 1911's (I only own 1911-style semi-autos even though family members own a few Glocks and SIG Sauers), .40 S&W is not the best choice. Since this is a 1911 board, I think a discussion of the issues with factory .40 S&W loads in the 1911 is appropriate. I agree that in other platforms, the .40 S&W is a fine compromise round.

9x23 and .38 Super are more than competition rounds, especially in South America where the .38 Super is extremely common. The .40 S&W is much less common once you leave the United States. When I was in Mexico last year, I never saw a single .40 S&W, but I saw lots of .38 Supers. In Argentina, I saw lots of .45 ACP, but no .40 S&W.

If you must have a factory round for self-defense, try the 9x23 124-grain Silvertip. At 1460 fps, it should get the job done, and a 1911 will hold ten of them (nine in the magazine and one in chamber). According to Midway USA, you can get 50 of them for $25, which is cheaper than some of the premium 9x19 loadings that cost $15 for twenty rounds. 9x23 is harder to find, no doubt; however, it can be cost effective in certain applications.
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  #18  
Old 07-02-2003, 12:30 PM
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In certain applications the 40 is a nice round. I have only shot the 40 in a couple of double stack race guns and it feeds 100%. I am not sure but I think it is the round of choice for the ipsc guys that shoot unlimited. You can also shoot major and minor with the same gun because the load can be loaded up or down. It just seems pretty versitile to me for competitions.

For defense, it is a nice comprimise as long as it is not in a single stack 1911 style platform. There are too many feeding problems that I feel are from a lack of magazines that are designed for that round. All of the mags are bent 45acp designed to hold 40. I don't think that you want that in the back of your mind if you have to depend on a gun.

If I had a chioce of what to carry (I don't because of were I live) in sig, glock, xd, etc, I would give the 40 a hard look. If it was 1911, it would 45acp with ball ammo. If it was for a double stack race gun, it would be 40 because 38 super and 10mm are hard to come by and expensive. I have never seen a 9x23 round, so I'll put that in the 10mm catagory.

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Old 07-02-2003, 12:45 PM
NJKimberSS NJKimberSS is offline
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farscott...Ill agree that in a single stack 1911, 40 isnt a good choice due to feeding issues. however i dont think its fair to say that since it doesnt work in 1911's its a fad round. Also id say that the vast majority of shooters shoot factory ammo and dont reload (since many people just dont have the time to). also ive heard nothing bad about double stack 1911's and 2011's and the 40 and 9mm round feeding correcly. even tho there are a lot of 1911's out there, the failure of the round in the single stack 1911 in the long run will have no impact on the sucess of the caliber. also as far as 9x23 and 38 super are concerned (and the reason i called them primarily competition calibers, but not only competition calibers) it is very difficult and expensive to buy factory loading in the USA, and since thats where the majority of the members live (myself included), i think its prudent to talk about whats available here, rather than in other countries. I have no intention of going to south america just to buy 38 super ammo, when i can get 40 cal ammo that is just as good if not better. also why spend the premium on 9x23 ammo when i can get 40 cal loadings that are just as good for much less than 25 bux for 50? i really cannot think of a case where in the US, the 9x23 is more cost effective FOR WHAT YOU GET...sure it may be cheaper than some ammo, but as far as 9x19vs 9x23 goes, with 9x19 you have many choices, same with 40, 9x23 you are severly limited in your choices... Another point, while this is a 1911 forum, there are many other makes and models of firearms represented here, so you kinda have to look at the whole picture when it comes to ammo.

this is just IMO, just making my point, not saying your wrong, not saying im right, but thats the way i think of it.
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-Ruger 10/22 TNZ-now with stafford 3 way adjustable stock, volquartsen super light receiver, home done 1.75lb trigger job (yes its drop safe), and bushnell banner 3-12x mounted in burris rings...all this amounts to 0.25 inch groups edge to edge at 25 yards...not half bad...
  #20  
Old 07-02-2003, 04:26 PM
harrydog harrydog is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by NJKimberSS
why spend the premium on 9x23 ammo when i can get 40 cal loadings that are just as good for much less than 25 bux for 50? i really cannot think of a case where in the US, the 9x23 is more cost effective FOR WHAT YOU GET...sure it may be cheaper than some ammo, but as far as 9x19vs 9x23 goes, with 9x19 you have many choices, same with 40, 9x23 you are severly limited in your choices...
That's what I was saying...I wish the 9x23 was more popular so that it would become more readily available and cheaper. I think it's a much better round than the .40S&W, but I probably will never buy a gun chambered for it unless it becomes more prevalent.
In the meantime, I'm happy with 9mm and .45
  #21  
Old 07-02-2003, 06:03 PM
farscott farscott is online now
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I think the difference for me is that I can load 9x23 for only pennies more than loading 9x19. The only real differences are the powder charge and the brass. The brass is more expensive, but I have several (close to ten) thousand pieces. The brass is the only unique feature of the cartridge since it uses otherwise commonly available components. When shooting reduced loads, I use my 9x19 brass and barrel so as to reduce the chance of losing 9x23 brass.

If one does not reload, there are only a few affordable centerfire autoloading pistol cartridges: namely 9x19, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. Most other rounds are more expensive. There are no .40 S&W loads that are generate the energy levels of a 9x23 load; I have pushed 125-grain loads to 1550 fps with no dangerous pressure signs. That is 200 fps faster than a hot-loaded 135-grain .40 S&W, and it has a better sectional density. You have to go to 10mm Auto to get to those levels.

For those who do reload, 9x23 is a great cartridge.
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Last edited by farscott; 07-02-2003 at 06:13 PM.
  #22  
Old 07-02-2003, 09:19 PM
NJKimberSS NJKimberSS is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by farscott
I think the difference for me is that I can load 9x23 for only pennies more than loading 9x19. The only real differences are the powder charge and the brass. The brass is more expensive, but I have several (close to ten) thousand pieces. The brass is the only unique feature of the cartridge since it uses otherwise commonly available components. When shooting reduced loads, I use my 9x19 brass and barrel so as to reduce the chance of losing 9x23 brass.

If one does not reload, there are only a few affordable centerfire autoloading pistol cartridges: namely 9x19, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. Most other rounds are more expensive. There are no .40 S&W loads that are generate the energy levels of a 9x23 load; I have pushed 125-grain loads to 1550 fps with no dangerous pressure signs. That is 200 fps faster than a hot-loaded 135-grain .40 S&W, and it has a better sectional density. You have to go to 10mm Auto to get to those levels.

For those who do reload, 9x23 is a great cartridge.
yes but with a 9x23 your limited in your bullet choices..in 40 you have everything from low 100's (140's and such) all the way up to the 180 grain bullets...thats my point, even for the reloader there are more ways you can play with a 40 than a 9x23 (IMO remember,also note how CHEAP 40 brass is) also speed isnt everything, a slow heavy bullet may have the same power factor as a higher velocity light bullet...which in the end is all that matters...a 180 grain bullet at 1000+ft/s is quite impressive. and several factory ammo is loaded to that combo (black hills and remmy come to mind). I dont think 9x23 could ever replace 40 and vice versa. they may have the same power factors but they are too different in their uses. i hope you realise im not saying 9x23 is a bad cartrige, its just to me a range cartrige (9mm diameter with a longer case) rather than a street cartrige (one of the benifits of 9mm and 40s&w in other guns rather than 1911's is their overall shorter length makes them easier to conceal, due to smaller grips.)
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-Ruger 10/22 TNZ-now with stafford 3 way adjustable stock, volquartsen super light receiver, home done 1.75lb trigger job (yes its drop safe), and bushnell banner 3-12x mounted in burris rings...all this amounts to 0.25 inch groups edge to edge at 25 yards...not half bad...

Last edited by NJKimberSS; 07-02-2003 at 09:26 PM.
  #23  
Old 07-03-2003, 08:18 AM
farscott farscott is online now
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Limited in bullet weight? I think not since I have access to bullets with weights from 85-grain to 158-grain. That is not a limit at all. I can use any bullet available for the 9x19 in the 9x23, from frangibles to FMJ to designer hollowpoint. The brass cost difference is so low as to not be meaningful. The total delta might be $20 per year.

Power factor is a measure of momentum, but it is not necessarily related to a cartridge's usefulness in the field. If penetration is a goal, a higher sectional density can be desirable. I have been pleased by 9x23 performance on deer and utterly dismayed by .40 S&W performance on the same-sized animal. May not be related to self-defense, but something I find interesting since deer here weigh about as much as people, and deer have no clue about the idea of being shot. A round either works or it does not. Since Georgia changed the hunting laws, the common self-defense handgun cartridges are now legal for deer. In my limited (one year, two hunts, one deer) experience, some well-placed .40 rounds failed to drop a deer. My friend decided to rechamber his .40 S&W to 10mm to bump up the velocity. We will see how his luck goes this year.

As for carrying a 9x23 concealed, that is a piece of cake. It fits into a 1911 which is one of the easiest pistols to carry concealed. It would fit into the Glock 29/30 frame with no issues. The length of the grip is relatively immaterial, unless you are going to say an extra 4mm is going to be an issue relative to the 9x19. Grip thickness is going to be a carry issue, and the real reason the .40 S&W is a hit; the short cartridge allows a doublestack magazine.

In the end, you carry what you want, and I will carry what I want. I usually carry a 1911 chambered in .45 ACP; however, I have carried a 9x23 when I was required to carry a 9mm. I will not carry a .40 S&W. If forced to carry a .40-caliber, I would carry a 10mm Auto. YMMV.
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Old 07-03-2003, 01:40 PM
NJKimberSS NJKimberSS is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by farscott
Limited in bullet weight? I think not since I have access to bullets with weights from 85-grain to 158-grain. That is not a limit at all. I can use any bullet available for the 9x19 in the 9x23, from frangibles to FMJ to designer hollowpoint. The brass cost difference is so low as to not be meaningful. The total delta might be $20 per year.

Power factor is a measure of momentum, but it is not necessarily related to a cartridge's usefulness in the field. If penetration is a goal, a higher sectional density can be desirable. I have been pleased by 9x23 performance on deer and utterly dismayed by .40 S&W performance on the same-sized animal. May not be related to self-defense, but something I find interesting since deer here weigh about as much as people, and deer have no clue about the idea of being shot. A round either works or it does not. Since Georgia changed the hunting laws, the common self-defense handgun cartridges are now legal for deer. In my limited (one year, two hunts, one deer) experience, some well-placed .40 rounds failed to drop a deer. My friend decided to rechamber his .40 S&W to 10mm to bump up the velocity. We will see how his luck goes this year.

As for carrying a 9x23 concealed, that is a piece of cake. It fits into a 1911 which is one of the easiest pistols to carry concealed. It would fit into the Glock 29/30 frame with no issues. The length of the grip is relatively immaterial, unless you are going to say an extra 4mm is going to be an issue relative to the 9x19. Grip thickness is going to be a carry issue, and the real reason the .40 S&W is a hit; the short cartridge allows a doublestack magazine.

In the end, you carry what you want, and I will carry what I want. I usually carry a 1911 chambered in .45 ACP; however, I have carried a 9x23 when I was required to carry a 9mm. I will not carry a .40 S&W. If forced to carry a .40-caliber, I would carry a 10mm Auto. YMMV.
two quickies
1) what kind of load was he using? Bullet type, weight, velocity, etc. what ranges, where was he hitting, length of barrel? see my poiint? just because a handgun round fails to drop a deer dont mean much, too many variables. Also a deer is harder to drop than a person (more muscle between vitals and skin). also handguns are hardly appropriate weapons to hunt deer with...thats what rifles and shotguns are for...handguns are merely the comprimize between power and size. and in this case 40 has a better size to power ratio (IMO) than does the 9x23, especially since to discuss the cartriges you need to look at all firearms chambered for them, not just 1911's.
2)my comments were based solely on commerciably available ammo, since like i said most people (im willing to bet) dont reload. With the wider ranges of 40s&w and 9x19 available, 9x23 and 38 super have alot of competition from (and im willing to bed less demand than) the other loadings.

just as a side note...if i had to carry it would be either a 9x19+p or a 45...i dont particularly care for any of the other chamberings. However i would definantly chose 40 over 38 super or 9x23. Other than being forced to, the only time i would consider a 40 or 38 super or 9x23 would be in a range gun...and in that case id probibly take 9x19 since it has the most loadings (followed closely by 40) and is super cheap.
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-Kimber Classic Stainless...the first 1911 in the family.
-Blued STI Edge in 9mm...my favorite toy
-Ruger 10/22 TNZ-now with stafford 3 way adjustable stock, volquartsen super light receiver, home done 1.75lb trigger job (yes its drop safe), and bushnell banner 3-12x mounted in burris rings...all this amounts to 0.25 inch groups edge to edge at 25 yards...not half bad...

Last edited by NJKimberSS; 07-03-2003 at 01:42 PM.
  #25  
Old 07-03-2003, 01:54 PM
farscott farscott is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by NJKimberSS
also handguns are hardly appropriate weapons to hunt deer with...thats what rifles and shotguns are for...
I guess I have not killed twenty deer in the last twenty-four years with handguns. I have not hunted deer with a rifle or shotgun since 1979; I have used handguns since then. Everything from 9x19 to .44 Magnum to 10mm Auto to .44-40 Win to 9x23. In my opinion, a round's performance on deer provides good data.

BTW, my buddy was using a .40 S&W 180-grain hollowpoint. It was his own load, and I am not sure of the ballistics. My guess is was on the warmish side based on how he does things.

I am not sure what percentage of shooters reload. Every shooter I know does reload, but we may not be representative of everyone. I reload for two reasons: 1) to get the exact load I want, and 2) to save money. No doubt 9x23 is a reloader's cartridge; however, its performance, even in the limited factory loadings, is superior to .40 S&W.
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Scott
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