Thread: Firearms
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      10-16-2016, 12:42 AM   #19
Mr Tonka
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^^ that's a nice opinion piece and graphic.

Ballistic traits vary between caliber and within bullet manufacturer/design. There are many 9mm rounds that perform as well or better than .40cal and .45cal in terms of penetration and cavity damage. And in every other tangible aspect, (round capacity, shoot ability, accuracy, weight, price, wear and tear, etc..) the 9mm out performs each of them.

Weapon effectiveness isn't based solely on caliber size. If all anyone was concerned about was stopping power, everyone would carry around a 20" 12ga with rifled slugs. But everyone who carries a hand gun for self defense weighs all the other factors that go along with it.

Nearly every non-professional shooter will be more accurate with a 9mm over .40. Nearly every person with any shooting experience will be able to follow up more quickly and accurately with multiple shots with a 9mm over .40. This is far more important than the very small differences in ballistics between some .40cal and 9mm rounds. A .40cal round isn't going to explode a heart any worse than a 9mm round will. Which round has more stopping power is an unanswerable question unless there is a specific scenario to go along with it. Even then, people have shot themselves in the head with .45acp in suicide attempt and lived to tell about it. On the flip side people have done the same with a .22 and didn't.

...a handgun can quickly and definitively stop a determined attacker only if two conditions are met:

1. The gun must be fired at a so-called “vital area” of the attacker. This usually means the heart or the brain/spine. Hits to the lungs and other organs can also be effective, but results may be slower.

2. The bullet must have the ability to penetrate whatever is between the muzzle and those vital organs in order to disrupt their function — for non-uniformed civilians, this typically includes clothing, tissue, and bone.

That’s it. No matter what else may happen during the course of a lethal confrontation, if you shoot the guy in the right spot with a bullet that penetrates deep enough, the threat will go down.
With the bolded portion in mind, take a look at one of the most through ballistics test ever performed. (linked below) Specifically paying attention at the reliable penetration of the 9mm rounds tested. Not only were far more 9mm rounds tested than .40 (because more are available for 9mm) but far more of them consistently penetrate the proper amount. (for a self defense carry weapon) Again, if we as concealed carriers were only concerned with a big fast bullet with stopping power, we'd just carry around a .50bmg. But we are concerned with more than that. Under penetration is bad, but over penetration can potentially be just as bad. Not only is it bad because it can exit your target and continue on at lethal speeds, but JHP bullets need time to expand and expanding is what causes soft tissue damage. If a JHP round over penetrates it means it's gone through soft tissue too quickly, thus not expanding to achieve maximum damage.

At the end of the day, the quote above and below, from this testing report hit the nail on the head.

Once you find a load that works, whatever you decide, try to keep all of this in perspective. Choice of caliber and bullet are not the most important aspects of successful self-defense. Awareness, proper mindset, marksmanship, and discernment of when to use your firearm are generally far more critical to your survival than choice of gear.

Click on the specific round name to see individual test results. You can compare permeant wound cavity from 9mm to .40cal and see they are nearly identical.

Just in case you don't care to learn about bullet ballistics, here is a snap shot comparison....

.40cal masive over penetration, minimal wound cavity.

.40cal proper penetration, proper wound cavity.

9mm most over penetrating round tested, larger wound cavity than .40cal which over penetrating.

9mm proper penetration, wound cavity equal to .40cal.
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