I have a question about the stopping power and cost of 9mm, 40 S&W, and 45 acp?

Let's use 9mm as the base for this comparison. How much more stopping power do full strength 40 S&W JHP have than full strength 9mm JHP (assuming it's the same brand) percentage wise? How much more stopping power do full strength 45 ACP JHP have than full strength 40 S&W JHP?

Second, I need to find out about the cost of each caliber. I would have researched this on my own, but current ammo prices are severely inflated due to the current gun rush. Under normal circumstances, how much would a box of 50 JHP cost (for each caliber)? Assume that they are full strength loads (and made by the same manufacturer).

I'm just asking because I wanted to get a rough idea of how much ammo costs under normal circumstances.


That's not the info that I asked for. I want a side-by-side percentage comparison of each caliber. Also, I asked for the price when the market is STABLE. Obviously, the price will be all over the place now.

Update 2:

Could some please give me some concrete info from a ballistics expert?

10 Answers

  • Jeff
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    do a keyword search of "Evan Marshall"... Evan has been publishing studies of what he calls "one shot stops" using all the various calibers .. and wound ballistics stuff for years.

    45 ACP will trump 40 and 9mm using bullet weight and sectional density to deliver energy.

    9mm uses an engineered projectile and velocity in and effort to produce expansion on contact. Sometimes bullets fail to expand reliably and 9mm bullets just dont have the weight to work without the expansion.

    40 is a good compromise... plus you can build a pistol around it the average hand can grip- with a good capacity magazine.

    Back before the ammo crisis I could by "over the counter" 9mm hp for about $12 a box(50 rd)... 40SW and 45 ACP would fall into the $15-20 a box range... for Remington Golden Saber or Winchester Ranger type ammo.

    Hornady ..Corbon and the other high quality "defensive ammo' was running about $20 for 20 rounds .. in any caliber

  • 1 decade ago

    The myriad of variables notwithstanding, the .45ACP is typically going to be more effective. OSS (One Shot Stops)? All theorhetical. That's when all the variables kick in.

    Raw data would safely indicate the .45ACP to be about 50% more effective. HOWEVER, any of these loads will do and do nicely if you do your part. Shot placement.

    .45's are expensive and harder to perfect in general. Some do not like the heavier recoil due to the 60% increase in bullet size (115-125gr vs. 210-230g).

    9mm, fast and accurate, typically flatter trajectory (not that trajectory matters all that much within 7 yards).

    .45, slow, heavy, big punch. 850-1000 feet per sec.....

    .40 somewhere in between and about as expensive as .45ACP so, why bother? Well, most .40's give you a lot of mag capacity. At least that use to until Springfield and others started routinely offering .45ACP pistols with 13 rounds. Plenty.

    Capacity of mags is no longer an issue, reliability not an issue, performance not an issue. Bottom line, it's going to come down to what works for YOU and YOU alone.

    Me? I tend to like 9mm because I envision quite a bit of andrenaline pumping under a dire circumstance. No time to throw bricks, well accurately anyway.

    9mm JHP +P's are quite effective and easier for follow up shots. Much harder to do with .40 and .45acp. Just my opinion.

    Despite the hair-splitting you will hear amongst the writers, 2 shots placed on target by a 9mm will pretty much cure what ails you. The comparisons are usually done on a single shot comparison.

    Regardless of the caliber chosen, if you think one shot, one kill, you probably have already lost or, you are at the very least, putting you and yours in mortal danger.

    Always practice double-taps. One of the most overlooked aspects of defensive shooting. If you believe this, then the 9mm has a true edge as most do have large capacities of 16-19 rounds. Double-tapping gives you 8-9 swings at bat which really, is not all that much when you think about it.

    Maybe there is a very good reason for the ever-increasing capacity afterall. Based on this logic, one being harder hitting over another is frankly, moot.

    Whatever you are "giving up" is more than offset by that second, well-placed, rehearsed shot.

    Just my opinion

    Source(s): 30 years of gun ownership of all calibers pretty much known.
  • 1 decade ago

    At "normal" prices for ball ammo, the 40 is $2-3 per box more than the 9mm, the 45 is $3-5 more than the 40.

    As far as stopping power with ball ammo, the 45 is markedly better than the 9. The 40 falls somewhere in the middle.

    With modern hollow point ammo, the 9 and 40 are just about even and the 45 has a tiny edge over them.

    Read thses books -

    "Guns, Bullets, and Gunfights" by Jim Cirillo (master gunfighter, survived a dozen gunfights as a police officer).

    "Stopping Power" by Evan Marshall and Ed Sanow (both police officers and ammo experts)



    Source(s): 33 years shooting 28 years cop 22 years cop firearm instructor
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    The .45 ACP is generally consider the gold standard in semi- automatic pistol stopping power, with the new modern expanding hollow points the 9 mm is only slightly less effective. No handgun is a death ray shot placement is the determining factor, hits in the thoracic triangle with any major caliber have a tendency to stop aggressors immediately. The major advantage of the .45 ACP is that it makes bigger holes giving it a greater probability of damaging vital organs.

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  • randy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    google FBI shooting statistics. You will gain access to all the info you need. Comparisons of 1 shot stops with each caliber, performance with certain bullets etc.

    The NRA can also give you help.Ammo prices are impossible to give an accurate estimate right now due to the crazy hoarding, shortages and greed going on.

    just picking a caliber at random, like .223 the prices 2 years ago ran me around .15 per round, I saw them today at $1.00 per round and they sold out.

    shoot safe

    Source(s): Retired Police Officer NRA certified police firearms instructor Competition shooter (ret) Avid hunter since age 9 with: Archery Black powder firearms Handguns Modern rifles Shotguns Trained at S&W, COLT and GLOCK Armorer schools I specialize in building 1911 pistols and AR 15 rifles And ran a gun shop for many years SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM. “If you want peace, prepare for war”
  • mack_9
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Up until 1935 the police used .38 Special. They changed to .357 Magnum because bad guys started running around in automobiles and the police wanted to be able to shoot through the doors and get the bad guys. A 9 mm is more powerful than a .38 Special. So a 9 mm is typically sufficient. I would say a .40 would be about 130 % dead and a .45 would be about 160% dead. 9 mm is the cheapest, .40 is next and .45 is the most expensive, typically due to the extra weight of copper, zinc, and lead. I was going to get a 9mm recently, but when I saw the size of the hole in the end of the barrel of a Springfield XD, I decided to get it and start reloading. I can reload 100 .45 ACP for less than $20.00 not counting the price of brass.

  • 1 decade ago


    look under the handgun ballistics at the bottom and compare for yourself.... and search for ammo on the current prices because i don't see them going down much in the near future.

  • 1 decade ago

    "Concrete info from a ballistics expert?"

    9mm - big hole

    40 S&W - bigger hole

    45 ACP - biggest hole

    Cost when market is stable: less than now

    Source(s): Either ask nicely or do your own damn research
  • 2A
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    45acp more better...9mm is cheaper about 12 bucks for fmj...prices are different all over....there is no set price...buy if you feel price is right.

  • 1 decade ago

    .45 A.C.P. the only way to go for stopping power , BIG BOOM and lots of nerve wracking SHOCK EFFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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