Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I need some advice

Well, today is the day that I am going to take the plunge and with the hubby's blessing, purchase my pistol.

I've tried quite a few different weapons and I still always go back to the XDM.

Now, my only concern is which caliber I am going to go with.

With the XDM, I've shot both the 9mm and the .40, both in the compact 3.8 model, while it's been a few months (the Lockhart shoot) since I've fired the .40, I don't recall the recoil being all that different between the two guns.  I remember the .40 had a little more kick to it, but not enough to where I would feel like I would lose control of the weapon.

Control is one thing that I or any shooter MUST have.  I have no doubt that with a lot of target practice I will be able to develop good control over the .40 or the 9mm.  I've had to rent pistols periodically over the months and so have not been able to practice as much as I would like to, but that's all about to change.  Taking out a potential threat, is of course a natural concern as well.

If some of you gunnies out there would please give me a little advice and info on the differences between a 9mm and a .40, specifically how it would affect a potential target (damage) and other issues such as recoil, etc.

Keep in mind that in the XDM series, that the guns are identical in size and weight.

With all of that said, I am leaning toward the .40, but I've shot the 9mm a lot more often so my experience with it is better.

Any advice you all can offer would be appreciated.


  1. I have always thought the .40 cartridge was a solution in search of a problem. But that's just me. Yes, the .40 has an energy advantage over the 9, but you still see most LEO around here with 9's. That's my two cents! Let the caliber holy wars begin!

  2. I carry a gun in .40 because it is the gun I like, not because "it begins with a .4".

    I've fired the XDM in .9 and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the gun, and that it liked me. First time, without much effort put into it, I had tight groups. It was comfortable.

    There will be .45/.40/9mm wars forever. I think if you like the feel of the gun, and if you have been treated well by the gun, then .40 or 9mm is fine. .40 might give a little more punch, 9mm is a little less expensive. If you are pumping either into a perp, they are not going to laugh you off because you didn't pick .45. :-)

  3. LOL @ North. So true. I have liked the 9, very much. Hubby liked the .40 but he's told me to decide and he will go with the same caliber that I get.

    The 40, regarding recoil was a little more powerful, but I'm thinking that with the 9mm and if I use hollow point rounds for defense that it will do just fine in stopping the bad guys.

  4. Ditto on what North said. I've never used a 40 so my opinion on this is not even worth $0.02. Mine of choice is either a 45 or a 9; Ammo cheaper and more available.

  5. Someone will come along and claim that if you are not shooting a .45 you are shooting something completely ineffective. To those people I offer this challenge: Please let me shoot you. I want to see that what I shoot is ineffective. I'll even use my .380.

    The .380 gets bad press, but like the 9mm science has jacked it up quite a bit.

    9mm Hornady Critical Defense (hollow point, soft tip), for example, are a good round - ammo has improved over the years.

    I have no problem finding as much .40 as I do .45 and 9mm (and .380 and .22...) but perhaps availability might drive your decision a little bit. (9mm likely wins there)

  6. I went through the same conundrums, and finally decided on the 9mm because it was cheaper to shoot. Cheaper to shoot=more shooting=better accuracy=more hits, and you know that they always say "better a 22 that hits than a 44 magnum that misses." That was my thought process, at least.

  7. I have the XD in 9mm. I also have a .45 and a .380 both of which I carry. The 9mm was first and is full size so it doesn't get to leave the house.

    As far as stopping power. Of the .380, 9mm, .40, and .45 the only once I consider lacking is the .380 (Notice I actively carry on still) not to any major deficit. Any of these with modern cartridges will do formidable damage.

    Size of the hole. The 9mm & .380 both actually share the same diameter round although differing in weight. The .380 is aka 9x17. Diameter wise between the 9mm and .40 you are talking .355" vs .40" less than 5/100's of an inch difference the .45 is actually .451" diameter difference.
    The difference is in the weight of the round and the amount of powder.
    I am not fond of the .40 not because it is inadequate. It was born from the 10mm cartridge. This cartridge was decidedly too powerful so they weakened it and made the .40. It was a question looking for an answer.
    Most H'town PD's carry .40. Some 9mm, and you occasionally see someone with a nice 1911 in .45.
    9mm is the most prevalent with .45 following second. This is due to 9mm being the NATO round. In a fight with the blue helmets, you can find it.
    9mm is also much cheaper to shoot.
    Reminton UMC 250rd box
    9mm = $63/250 = $.25/rd (Win Whitebox used to be even less)
    .40 = $85/250 = $.34/rd
    .45 = $105/250 = $.42/rd

    A day with 9mm is alot cheaper than a day with .40 or .45 which means more practice time.

    At the end of the day it is personal preference. You can't go wrong with any of them.

    The wound inflicted is more related to the fluid dynamics of the impact than the size of the round.
    Now saying that expanding ammunition JHP expands based on the principles of fluid dynamics. General accepted rule is that a subsonic round is less likely to expand consistently than one traveling faster than the speed of sound. I have not researched this but there is research out there. Someone please prove me wrong if you have knowledge on the topic.

    and Happy Shooting.
    I think you will enjoy either edition.

  8. I've found, especially as I grow older, that the 9mm is a helluva lot more comfortable to shoot than the .40. The .45 is a lot more comfortable to shoot than the .40 cal round.

    I was in law enforcement when the .40 came out and everyone knew that the "gotta have the latest, greatest" crowd would go orgasmic over it.

    For some of us more traditional folks, however, we saw it as being slower than a 9mm and smaller than a .45. In other words, a compromise of both popular calibers.

    I was a big fan of the 10mm, but again, nothing pleasant about shooting it--although I still think the recoil from the .40 is sharper than with any other (handgun) caliber.

    Bottom line is that you get the caliber YOU are most comfortable shooting. The combination of situational awareness, type of ammunition you carry, proficiency gained through practice, and your willingness to use that weapon to defend yourself far outweigh the merits of several thousandths of an inch bullet size.


  9. Excellent advice from ever commenter.

    The only thing that I can add is this: Guns tend to multiply like tribbles in the tritacale. After you buy one, another will magically appear, then another, and another....

    Then one day you wake up and you're me :)

    You may tell yourself that this is THE GUN and anguish over getting the decision just right. Its been my experience, though, that soon you'll have a variety of options to choose from in your very own gun safe.


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