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Old November 7th, 2009, 10:47 PM   #1
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Default .40 vs .45 cal

I want to get a gun, I was looking at getting a .45 but I just shot my friends .40 earlier today and I love how it shoots, feels, recoil and weight. This will strictly be used for home defense so man stopping capability is a factor in my decision. What has more stopping power? I know the .45 is a bigger round however the velocity is super slow compared to the .40, I am thinking .40 with hollow points. What do you all think would be the better weapon for home defense?
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Old November 7th, 2009, 10:52 PM   #2
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Strictly home defense? get a 12ga.

but between the two, id go lower recoil for HD.
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Old November 7th, 2009, 10:55 PM   #3
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12ga
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Old November 7th, 2009, 10:56 PM   #4
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can't go wrong with a modified shotgun.
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Old November 7th, 2009, 10:57 PM   #5
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also keep in mind what ammo you can find and buy
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Old November 7th, 2009, 11:02 PM   #6
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I already have a 12ga...I am looking to get something that is smaller, easier to grab and have at the ready. Also I want something I can train my wife to use, she shot off a few rounds today and did pretty good, she said that it was comfortable to shoot as well. I have never shot a .45 but I have held a few and they seem a lot bigger and heavier, I have kinda small hands and the .45's I looked at just felt weird.
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Old November 7th, 2009, 11:35 PM   #7
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If your hands are big enough, try a Glock 21. 13+1 rounds of .45 ACP. It's a fairly large gun, but if you're jsut using it for home defense, you're not going to be worrying about concealing it. I load mine with Federal Hydra-Shok 185 gr +P loads, which push 185 gr. bollow points out at about 1250 fps. The muzzle energy is more than any hot-loaded .40 S&W.

If your hands are on the small size, they try a Smith & Wesson M&P in .45 ACP. !0+1 rounds.

On the other hand, one of my favorite handguns is my Glock 23 -- 13+1 rounds of .40 S&W in a relatively compact package and an affordable price.

Regarding recoil, keep in mind that the lighter the gun, the more recoil you will feel. To tell the truth, in guns of equal weight and sing "standard" ammo, I feel more recoil with the .40 S&W than I do with the .45 ACP. Reduced recoil helps in second-shot accuracy.

Last edited by OldSailor; November 7th, 2009 at 11:39 PM.
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Old November 7th, 2009, 11:56 PM   #8
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get comfortable shooting a .44 mag and after that a .45 will shoot like a dream. the recoil wont be an issue and you'll be confident in your shot placement and people stopping capabilities.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 12:02 AM   #9
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You can get a 45 almost as small as a 40. Personally I'd buy based on what is comfortable to shoot more often. Or cheaper to shoot more often if that is a concern.

Knockdown power between a 9, 40, and 45 won't matter if you can't hit center of mass.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 12:39 AM   #10
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Plain and simple...What ever gun you can shoot more accurately.

People seem to believe the bigger caliber weapon they shoot, the tougher they are. But if I can put 9mm bullets consistently dead center in a target, and bigger things....not so much, guess what is better? The smaller caliber that you can put dead center (or mostly center, lol) more consistently.

Especially since you stated it will be used for personal home safety, your goal is center of mass. What feels best for you, is best for you.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 02:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyMTN05 View Post
Plain and simple...What ever gun you can shoot more accurately.

People seem to believe the bigger caliber weapon they shoot, the tougher they are. But if I can put 9mm bullets consistently dead center in a target, and bigger things....not so much, guess what is better? The smaller caliber that you can put dead center (or mostly center, lol) more consistently.

Especially since you stated it will be used for personal home safety, your goal is center of mass. What feels best for you, is best for you.
to an extent, a .22 at center mass isn't going to be as effective as a 9mm. Cops use 9mm to .40 (majority) for a reason, keep this in mind. i think if law enforcement is using 9mm and .40 they have a damn good reason for it. shoot a few guns and find what's comfortable to you and go from there. the reason for carrying is for personal protection, not for peace of mind, a .22 handgun might make you feel safe but if it can't stop a threat then it's as useless as a verbal warning.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 02:19 AM   #12
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If you liked the feel of the recoil from the .40, then you'll hardly notice the recoil from the .45.

.40 has always had more of a hard snap-like recoil. The .45 has hard recoil, but it doesn't snap like the .40.

This could only be true comparing full steel frames/slides to part polymer pistols, but thats the only experience I had when I was shopping for my pistol.

You can't really go wrong with either.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 06:01 AM   #13
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The often "bigger must be better" mantra is not something that applies here. If you can accurately shoot a .45 as quickly as a 9mm great, shoot that. However with the right JHP ammo the difference between the 9mm and the
.40 is negligible. If you want to shoot frequently with you wife, take her to the range and see if she can handle and shoot the 40 accurately and quickly. Also you must consider the price of ammo so you can afford to practice frequently. I wouldnt overlook the 9mm in your choices as well, as stated it all comes down to what you can be COM with. Its a handgun for godsakes not a rifle, they are all pieces of shit and "knockdown" power is a myth. shoot what is most accurate for you, for me thats a sub compact 9mm with hornady critical defense JHP.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 06:39 AM   #14
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Already said but 12 gauge for HD. Reasons are 1. nothing more terrifying than the sound of a pump action being racked in the dark 2. any stray shots are less likely to go through a wall and kill a neighbor or worse a family member. These are what I learned after spending a lot of time with HD/pistol instructors. I know it doesn't help with your original question but I hope it helps.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 07:13 AM   #15
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45 ammo used to be cheaper, so i leaned that way. the ammo price is now fairly close, so it matters less. i have small hands and if i was looking for a double stack pistol a 45 would be a little wide for my stubby fingers. i have a 1911 and love it, but its a collectors item so its seldom shot. im looking into a 9mm now so i can afford to shoot more often. if you practice and are a good shot caliber matters less than you might think. a 22 hollow point through the heart will still stop an intruder about the same a 44 mag through the heart(less clean up too). go to a range that has alot of pistols to rent, and try as many as possible. the fit and comfort of a gun to your hand will have a a big impact on your accuracy.
i think a 9mm, 10mm, .40cal, or .45acp will all do fine. even a .380acp could work.
good luck
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Old November 8th, 2009, 07:18 AM   #16
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Shot gun 12 gauge. I have seen a nice black pump shot gun, it was short and compact. It would be good to sit in the corner next to your bed.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 07:54 AM   #17
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What about a 10mm?



(the .40 is a shortened 10mm if you didnt know)



But in the end the best gun/ caliber for you is the one youre most comfortable with.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 08:06 AM   #18
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Here are the things to take away from this thread. 1) Go shoot multiple guns. 2) find what is comfortable and then find a comfortable caliber. For home defense I would choose nothing less than 9mm, and a defense round if choosing 9.

I agree that a shotgun can be dangerous, while it is a great defense gun, if you have a family you may want to think harder about it.

Also, never underestimate a good wheel gun. Try shooting a few revolvers and see how you like them. A hot 38 will stop anyone in your path and will be easy enough for your wife to shoot too. And revolvers have many advantages.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 08:39 AM   #19
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I personally like the .40 cal, less recoil, and pretty much the knockdown of a .45 cal. You have to make the decision on what gun fits your hand the best. As stated above you can find a .40 and a .45 generally in the same size frame depending on the manufacturer. It is really up to you and what you want .
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Old November 8th, 2009, 08:51 AM   #20
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Buy one of each before Obama takes them all away!!
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