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Thread: .45 or .40?

  1. #1
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    I am trying to decide which caliber to get for my concealed carry, .45 or .40. The price of ammo is not really a consideration since i have a 9mm range gun. I am looking for something strickly for concealed carry. What is everyones thoughts on choosing a .45 or .40? Does anyone have any thought about if a situation where to arise and you had to fire on someone would a .45 be construed as an "overkill" by lawyers?? If you have a .40 why did you pick that over a .45? And if you have a .45 why did you pick that over a .40?
    Any discussion or advise would be greatly appreciated.

    FYI...i am looking at a pt140 or pt145

    Thanks

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    I own and carry both a .40 and .45, it depends on what I am doing and what I am wearing, OC or CC and many other factors.

    Don't worry about the lawyers, if you are going to defend a life, "overkill" should be your last concern. .05 more projectile diameter is not going to sway a DA or jury, if it went to trial, in my opinion.

    If it's for OC only, the size difference of the guns matters little, number of rounds and weight might be a concern. There are so many variable when it comes to deciding something like .40 vs. .45 that I suggest you just go with whichever one you are most attracted to. You probably already know which one you want more, so go for it.

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    If you can borrow or rent at a range both types and use the one that you are most comfortable with. I prefer the .45 but that is what works for me. Both have been tested and made by many Mfgs. Just go for quality when you make the final decision.

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    We can discuss the fine points of ballistic differences, the higher velocity of the .40 and it's better barrier penetration and then talk about the fact that there are .45 rounds now that will approach and/or match many .40 cal choices in that regard. We can talk about concerns of over-penetration. We can talk about magazine capacities and how that is pistol model dependent. And I'm sure as this thread develops we will.

    I prefer the .45 for a few reasons. I like fat and slow with a round that penetrates well but is unlikely to over-penetrate and depending on SD rounds choice opens up to as large as about an inch. Also, I like that I also do have the option of an excellent barrier penetration round just in case (I always keep a mag of CorBon DPX loaded which has shown impressive penetration results through auto glass and older model steel truck doors). To me the best of both worlds.

    On another level I prefer the "push" recoil of a .45 even in +P as opposed to the "snap" recoil of a .40. That is entirely a personal preference matter. But then I think that with modern rounds a lot of these matters are an issue of personal preference. All that being said, I expect that I will acquire a .40 or two at some point.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    I'll second the recoil on the .45... I actually carry a 9mm, but favorite round to shoot is the .45 acp. It just feels "right" when the weapon fires.

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    deepdiver wrote:
    We can discuss the fine points of ballistic differences, the higher velocity of the .40 and it's better barrier penetration and then talk about the fact that there are .45 rounds now that will approach and/or match many .40 cal choices in that regard. We can talk about concerns of over-penetration. We can talk about magazine capacities and how that is pistol model dependent. And I'm sure as this thread develops we will.

    I prefer the .45 for a few reasons. I like fat and slow with a round that penetrates well but is unlikely to over-penetrate and depending on SD rounds choice opens up to as large as about an inch. Also, I like that I also do have the option of an excellent barrier penetration round just in case (I always keep a mag of CorBon DPX loaded which has shown impressive penetration results through auto glass and older model steel truck doors). To me the best of both worlds.

    On another level I prefer the "push" recoil of a .45 even in +P as opposed to the "snap" recoil of a .40. That is entirely a personal preference matter. But then I think that with modern rounds a lot of these matters are an issue of personal preference. All that being said, I expect that I will acquire a .40 or two at some point.
    At TKE we may be fat and slow as we age but penetration is still sufficent to get the job done, just ask any ADPi.

    YITB Deepdiver,

    CS


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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    casullshooter wrote:
    deepdiver wrote:
    We can discuss the fine points of ballistic differences, the higher velocity of the .40 and it's better barrier penetration and then talk about the fact that there are .45 rounds now that will approach and/or match many .40 cal choices in that regard. We can talk about concerns of over-penetration. We can talk about magazine capacities and how that is pistol model dependent. And I'm sure as this thread develops we will.

    I prefer the .45 for a few reasons. I like fat and slow with a round that penetrates well but is unlikely to over-penetrate and depending on SD rounds choice opens up to as large as about an inch. Also, I like that I also do have the option of an excellent barrier penetration round just in case (I always keep a mag of CorBon DPX loaded which has shown impressive penetration results through auto glass and older model steel truck doors). To me the best of both worlds.

    On another level I prefer the "push" recoil of a .45 even in +P as opposed to the "snap" recoil of a .40. That is entirely a personal preference matter. But then I think that with modern rounds a lot of these matters are an issue of personal preference. All that being said, I expect that I will acquire a .40 or two at some point.
    At TKE we may be fat and slow as we age but penetration is still sufficent to get the job done, just ask any ADPi.

    YITB Deepdiver,

    CS
    +1

    YITB
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    I agree with above!! Go to your range and rent both, and if you hvae the funds for it at the time, try to the two or three most popular/available grains and see which you have the best feeling for! I know some folk who prefer a .40 in 165 gr, and that same person would take a .45 in 230 gr in a second!!



    Ben

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    On a side note, I've found 45 ACP to be easier to reload when manually placing the bullet in the belled case.

    I had switched to 40 S&W launched from a Browning Hi-Power and a Glock 23. I did notice that a stiff push-pull grip on the gun resulted in a sore wrist. I had no problems with either 45 ACP or 9mm. Perhaps you should buy 500 rounds of each caliber and shoot rental guns. You'll know which you prefer.
    Does anyone here actually believe that the Founders were sitting around in John Adams' tavern UNARMED because they believed a bar should be a gun free zone?

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    I personally prefer the .40, but haven't a thing against the .45, either. I have read a lot of ballistic information that shows the .40 delivering more energy over all, and penetrating consistently better. When I say penetrating better, I don'tjust mean further. I also mean more consistent penetration through barriers and clothing. It's enough to make me prefer the .40, but not enough that I would say anything bad about the .45. I also like the extra capacity with the .40 (usually one or two rounds more for the same sized handgun).

    In my experience, the .40 does have more muzzle flip than the .45. The .45 hits back harder, but doesn't flip as much. The recoil also differs a lot from handgun to handgun.

    Anyway, I carry a .40 caliber 180 grain Federal HST's. I usually practice with 165 grain Winchester White Box. I only practice with the 165's because they're cheaper. There is a marked difference in recoil and reportbetween the 165 and 180, however I personally shoot equally well with either. Even staggering them in the magazine my pattern doesn't change. I choose the 180 grain for carry because the heavier bullet penetrates better than the lighter one.

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    I carry both. My OC pistol is a .40cal, when I CC it is a .45ACP

    I like both round, I OC my .40 because it is big and does not CC like my 1911.

    You won't go wrong with either round. I feel that if I had to use either of my guns in PD i will not worry that it would be ineffective.




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    In my case, it's the .40 S&W, b/c the Springfield XDM is .40 ONLY.

    Eitherway the rightSD ammo for any caliber weapon, well Get the Job Done.




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    Just my .02

    Modern bullet design along with modern powders and good training will equal most calibers.

    My suggestion is to find a platform you like and go from there. You had mentioned a PT145 or PT140.

    Two comments on those.

    #1. They are subcompact models, for cc they are not bad options but one has to keep in mind that the rounds you are considering are testing and operated in mostly 4 and 5 inch barrelsidearms. 90% of the data used in the testing of the modern day .45 bullets are done using 5 inch barrels, respectively the .40 sees most testing out of a 4inch barrel. Using a smaller barrel will decrease the amount of powder that gets burnt and will have a significant impact on the bullet "Feet per second" and the terminal ballistics. Few companies, Speer being the only I know of, have relized this problem and have designed bullets around this set up. Most haven't and so you end up with a bullet that does not expand. Going with a 9mm or a .380 will offer you more choices in bullets as these have less powder to burn and can achieve higher speeds and terminal ballistics in shorter barrels.

    #3. Is more for consideration. I have had three good friends buy a Millenium Pro series gun and return it.Reliability issues doubled with poor customer service made for a quick decision.



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    deepdiver wrote:
    casullshooter wrote:
    deepdiver wrote:
    We can discuss the fine points of ballistic differences, the higher velocity of the .40 and it's better barrier penetration and then talk about the fact that there are .45 rounds now that will approach and/or match many .40 cal choices in that regard. We can talk about concerns of over-penetration. We can talk about magazine capacities and how that is pistol model dependent. And I'm sure as this thread develops we will.

    I prefer the .45 for a few reasons. I like fat and slow with a round that penetrates well but is unlikely to over-penetrate and depending on SD rounds choice opens up to as large as about an inch. Also, I like that I also do have the option of an excellent barrier penetration round just in case (I always keep a mag of CorBon DPX loaded which has shown impressive penetration results through auto glass and older model steel truck doors). To me the best of both worlds.

    On another level I prefer the "push" recoil of a .45 even in +P as opposed to the "snap" recoil of a .40. That is entirely a personal preference matter. But then I think that with modern rounds a lot of these matters are an issue of personal preference. All that being said, I expect that I will acquire a .40 or two at some point.
    At TKE we may be fat and slow as we age but penetration is still sufficent to get the job done, just ask any ADPi.

    YITB Deepdiver,

    CS
    +1

    YITB
    I don't think that I am old enough to understand this.......BUT I think there is a joke in it somewhere. :what:





    Tarzan

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    texas red wrote:
    I am trying to decide which caliber to get for my concealed carry, .45 or .40. The price of ammo is not really a consideration since i have a 9mm range gun. I am looking for something strickly for concealed carry. What is everyones thoughts on choosing a .45 or .40? Does anyone have any thought about if a situation where to arise and you had to fire on someone would a .45 be construed as an "overkill" by lawyers?? If you have a .40 why did you pick that over a .45? And if you have a .45 why did you pick that over a .40?
    Any discussion or advise would be greatly appreciated.

    FYI...i am looking at a pt140 or pt145

    Thanks
    I have both .45 and .40.

    I made the .40 my primary due to the fact of penetration as far as I have understood when explained. I can get more rounds in the mag with the .40.

    .45 is a good knock-down v.s the .40 which is better penetration and decent knock-down.

    The .40 is predominant with PD's as well.

    Just my .40

    TJ

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    I chose a Beretta 96 CENTURION as my first 'real' pistol. It's a .40, and that was a long time ago!
    Since then, I bought a second Beretta 96, another .40.
    I got rid of the Beretta .32 Tomcat ( no regrets ); the Beretta 84F ( good gun, didn't want a .380 at the time ), and chose a Beretta 8040F Mini Cougar as the CCW.
    The two 96's use the same everything; ammo, magazines, holsters, grips, etc.
    They ALL use .40 S&W.

    I chose the cartridge and then stuck with it.
    I don't bash the other self-defense calibers.
    I like the ".40 Sheetmetal & Windshield"...




  17. #17
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    deepdiver wrote:
    We can discuss the fine points of ballistic differences, the higher velocity of the .40 and it's better barrier penetration and then talk about the fact that there are .45 rounds now that will approach and/or match many .40 cal choices in that regard.* We can talk about concerns of over-penetration.* We can talk about magazine capacities and how that is pistol model dependent. And I'm sure as this thread develops we will. ]
    We could discuss all that. Or we could keep it simple, using mathematical notation.

    .45 > .40

    Then again, when I have to defend myself against a bad guy who's hiding behind a windshield or sheet metal, I'm sure I'll regret my choice.

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    marshaul wrote:
    deepdiver wrote:
    We can discuss the fine points of ballistic differences, the higher velocity of the .40 and it's better barrier penetration and then talk about the fact that there are .45 rounds now that will approach and/or match many .40 cal choices in that regard. We can talk about concerns of over-penetration. We can talk about magazine capacities and how that is pistol model dependent. And I'm sure as this thread develops we will. ]
    We could discuss all that. Or we could keep it simple, using mathematical notation.

    .45 > .40

    Then again, when I have to defend myself against a bad guy who's hiding behind a windshield or sheet metal, I'm sure I'll regret my choice.
    Succinct. Nice. I like it.

    I too had some penetration concerns. My opinions on these issues have evolved (yes, evolved not just changed) as I continue to learn more and more. I now carry 13 rds of Corbon DPX in my spare mag. The ballistics testing I have seen show it to be a most excellent penetrator and expander through glass and car sheet metal. And out of my XD45 it has a similar POI and just a little more snap compared to the Ranger SXT I currently carry and the one mag of HST, which I am switching to, that I have tried. Although it does sound much more wicked I guess considering the number of people who have come over to me at the range and asked what the heck I was shooting when I was testing it.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

  19. #19
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    marshaul wrote:
    deepdiver wrote:
    We can discuss the fine points of ballistic differences, the higher velocity of the .40 and it's better barrier penetration and then talk about the fact that there are .45 rounds now that will approach and/or match many .40 cal choices in that regard. We can talk about concerns of over-penetration. We can talk about magazine capacities and how that is pistol model dependent. And I'm sure as this thread develops we will. ]
    We could discuss all that. Or we could keep it simple, using mathematical notation.

    .45 > .40

    Then again, when I have to defend myself against a bad guy who's hiding behind a windshield or sheet metal, I'm sure I'll regret my choice.
    That's ok, greater than * better than

  20. #20
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    Another answer to a question asked:
    Beretta didn't make a .45 yet!
    You may wish to look into one of the new Berettas.

    Beretta was the firearm of the Border Patrol, so magazines/ammo were available to me when the Zombies attacked.:P
    .40 is the ammo of the local jurisdictional gendarmarie so that was also a Zombie consideration...Seattle uses GLOCK's-s-s-s-s-s.

    Really, I just fell in love with the Beretta Centurion and .40 back in '93 when I really got the gun bug.
    The two were an instant attraction to me.
    When I got my hands on a Centurion, I bought it! :celebrate
    I've considered getting a Beretta .45 because the attraction of the caliber being "All-American" plus Beretta being 'the world's oldest gunmaker' just seems to be a dream needing realization.
    I'd love to have a 1911, but WHY when I can have a Beretta .45?
    OK, I'm off to get a Beretta .45 and a S&W Bodyguard .357.
    My gun dreams are almost fulfilled!

  21. #21
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    deepdiver wrote:
    marshaul wrote:
    deepdiver wrote:
    We can discuss the fine points of ballistic differences, the higher velocity of the .40 and it's better barrier penetration and then talk about the fact that there are .45 rounds now that will approach and/or match many .40 cal choices in that regard. We can talk about concerns of over-penetration. We can talk about magazine capacities and how that is pistol model dependent. And I'm sure as this thread develops we will. ]
    We could discuss all that. Or we could keep it simple, using mathematical notation.

    .45 > .40

    Then again, when I have to defend myself against a bad guy who's hiding behind a windshield or sheet metal, I'm sure I'll regret my choice.
    Succinct. Nice. I like it.

    I too had some penetration concerns. My opinions on these issues have evolved (yes, evolved not just changed) as I continue to learn more and more. I now carry 13 rds of Corbon DPX in my spare mag. The ballistics testing I have seen show it to be a most excellent penetrator and expander through glass and car sheet metal. And out of my XD45 it has a similar POI and just a little more snap compared to the Ranger SXT I currently carry and the one mag of HST, which I am switching to, that I have tried. Although it does sound much more wicked I guess considering the number of people who have come over to me at the range and asked what the heck I was shooting when I was testing it.
    Actually you have REFINED your position like candidate Obama.

    I give you credit for not committing one of his outright BARAK FLIPS. Such as, now I will carry 9mm and I never liked .45(I was misquoted in the media!)

    YITB,

    CS


  22. #22
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    casullshooter wrote:
    deepdiver wrote:
    marshaul wrote:
    deepdiver wrote:
    We can discuss the fine points of ballistic differences, the higher velocity of the .40 and it's better barrier penetration and then talk about the fact that there are .45 rounds now that will approach and/or match many .40 cal choices in that regard. We can talk about concerns of over-penetration. We can talk about magazine capacities and how that is pistol model dependent. And I'm sure as this thread develops we will. ]
    We could discuss all that. Or we could keep it simple, using mathematical notation.

    .45 > .40

    Then again, when I have to defend myself against a bad guy who's hiding behind a windshield or sheet metal, I'm sure I'll regret my choice.
    Succinct. Nice. I like it.

    I too had some penetration concerns. My opinions on these issues have evolved (yes, evolved not just changed) as I continue to learn more and more. I now carry 13 rds of Corbon DPX in my spare mag. The ballistics testing I have seen show it to be a most excellent penetrator and expander through glass and car sheet metal. And out of my XD45 it has a similar POI and just a little more snap compared to the Ranger SXT I currently carry and the one mag of HST, which I am switching to, that I have tried. Although it does sound much more wicked I guess considering the number of people who have come over to me at the range and asked what the heck I was shooting when I was testing it.
    Actually you have REFINED your position like candidate Obama.

    I give you credit for not committing one of his outright BARAK FLIPS. Such as, now I will carry 9mm and I never liked .45(I was misquoted in the media!)

    YITB,

    CS
    Zing! :shock: Ouch! What a comparison.
    :P

    Actually I'll maintain evolved. Unlike some people I am capable of and willing to admit inexperience and the need to abandon attitudes and positions proved erroneous or less than optimal by those wiser and more experienced than me or newly learned historical facts.

    YITB,
    DD
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

  23. #23
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    Nashville, 1:16 A.M.

    Whenever I am having penetration issues I break out the Redhawk and light off some .454s.(Pfizer, Pat. Pend.)

    Viva, VIVAAAA, CASULLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!YEE-HAWWWWW!!!!!!!! :celebrate

    :P:P:P:P:P:P:P:P:P:P:P:P



  24. #24
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    I much prefer the .45 ACP over the .40 S & W. I have owned guns in both calibers (Para Warthog, Para s14.45, and a Baby Eagle), and have experienced more 'snap' with the .40 than the 'push' of the .45 as mentioned earlier.

    I was raised on 1911s, so it may be that I am more used to the .45. I have found that, for me, the .45 is more accurate and more comfortable to shoot than the .40. I think what matters more is what you learned on than anything else.

    Concerning the size of the bullets, the .45 will make a bigger wound cavity than a .40 in almost all cases when comparing apples to apples (FMJ, JHP, and most Frangible). In my opinion, this makes the .45 a better round. The penatration can be an issue, with the .40 more likely to over penetrate in FMJ than the .45 in FMJ.

    Concerning the pistol that you are looking at, the Taurus Millennium Pro, I have a few questions and comments for you. Have you ever shot one? Are you interested in it for price reasons? Are you a fan of Taurus? The reason that I ask is because I know someone with a Taurus Millennium Pro .45 ACP. After he got it, brand spanking NIB, he shot it then I shot it. We both concluded that we would rather throw the gun at target instead of shooting at it since we were more likely to hit the target where we aimed while throwing. Compared with my Para Warthog, which is very accurate for a compact .45, the Taurus is all over the place. Usually you can feel out how to aim any given gun after a few shots, but, no matter how we tried, we could not get a consistant pattern with the Taurus. I was going to get one, but I'll never buy one after shooting it.

    If you like the Taurus, and can deal with how it shoots, don't let me discourage you from getting one. I just feel that you could get a better, more accurate gun than the Taurus in either caliber.

    YITB,

    L

    Beta Phi @ LSU

  25. #25
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    I own a Millennium Pro in .40 caliber and consider it to be one of the best weapons I've ever had the pleasure to use. I will grant that it shoots a little low, but it's consistent. Once I got used to that (about 3 mags) I started getting some very nice groups. I once put about a half box of ammo into the 9 ring or better at 10 yards, with about 1/4 - 1/3 in the 10 ring. The trigger also has a bit more slack than most pistols, but that's just another idiosyncrasy to get used to.

    All in all I'm very satisfied with my selection. Also, I've shot about 500 rounds through it so far with no problems. No FTF or FTE.

    Oh, one other thing to consider is that it's hard to find a good holster for the Millennium Pro without actually trying it out. I know Blackhawk doesn't make a Sherpa holster for it.

    Otherwise, it's a good choice, at least for me.
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