Does the 45 ACP have Significant advantage over the .40 S&W?

Is buying a gun in 45 acp worth it? I currently have a Glock in .40. What are advantages and disadvantages of each? I like the 45 because it's a bigger bullet.. Bigger bullets make bigger holes..

They try to make smaller bullets act like bigger bullets.. So Something has to be right about a fatter bullet...

21 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yeah.... generally the 45 ACP ammo is cheaper in bulk...... Of course with all the ammo hoarding nonsense going on even .45 ACP is out of stock many places lately......

    Advantage when shooting?..... A well aimed shot from either accomplishes the same goal..... All the armchair commando's will blather on about the difference.... I have fired both and find the recoil of a 40 S&W a little "odd feeling" to my hands so I don't like it just because of that..... That's my observation and may not apply to you....

  • 8 years ago

    I don't even own a .40. I have no use for one.

    If I don't believe a 9mm will get the job done I will reach for a .45. My father was a WW2 Marine and could attest to the effectiveness of the round.

    Police departments all over the country went to the .40 because the average officer can't hit jack and they believed they needed a larger caliber. They all jumped on the .40 for several reasons.

    The .45 would likely draw the ire of the public if officers went around shooting people with a military round meant to stop a bull in its tracks. They also believed the .45 to be too powerful for many officers to handle. The funny thing is, the snappy recoil of the .40 is not really that better than the heavy recoil of the .45.

    It isn't the bigger bullet that does the job. It's the mass and energy of the bigger bullet. The real trick is to impart as much of that energy on the target as possible. The slower .45 round does that pretty well.

    Source(s): Capt USMCR (Ret), State Certified Firearms Trainer, NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, Factory Certified XD/XDm Armorer, Concealed Carry since '88, 1 shooting.
  • Quinn
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    Bigger does not always mean better.

    When it comes to effectiveness for self-defense, the issue is not simply making the biggest hole but being able to hit what you aim with the heaviest bullet. The .45acp has been king of the semi-auto pistol for a long time, but it was not a perfect reign. In the early days, just about the only choice you have for a reliable .45acp was the 1911 and while a great pistol it had problems that took addition gunsmith work to rectify and was not cheap. The other problem was low magazine capacity which in most home defense situations is not a big deal, but for law enforcement and military applications where you might get into gunfights with multiple assailants with shotguns and full-auto weapons, 7+1 was playing it a bit too fine.

    For a while, people became infatuated with the 9mm and many LEO went to 9mm pistols only to find out that it was too dangerous for CQB because the round has a tendency to shoot thru at close ranges. In a heavily populated urban environment, that could mean killing an innocent bystander.

    That was why the .40S&W came into being - it is a compromise between the .45acp and the 9mm. But this compromise came at a price - the .40S&W is very "snappy" and some shooters just do not like it.

    Whatever advantage or disadvantage the .45acp and .40 S&W has, it needs to be considered within the context of how it is used. If you planning on HD, then the low cap .45acp is probably all you need IF you can shoot well with it. If you are a LEO in a high crime gang-infested area, you most likely want a gun that had more capacity with a better ballistic profile than a 9mm. If you live out in the middle of nowhere with your nearest neighbor miles away and you can handle a 9mm better than anything else, then you have to go with the 9mm.

  • Jeff
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    the 40 SW (and 10MM) get more mag capacity into a smaller grip frame than the 45 ACP case diameter allows.

    For what it is... the 40SW is a good round. If you do the math it seems that a 165 or 185 grain bullet going faster in feet per second carries as much energy to bear as a 230 grain bullet in the 900 fps ballpark.

    Ballistically... the 40 and it's full power elder the 10mm were supposed to equal or better the 45 ACP in terminal ballistics... and the 40 has an advantage over most 45 Caliber pistols in mag capacity.

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  • august
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Do you realize just how similar 9mm Parabellum, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP are in capability? A powerful 9mm Para load will be on par with a moderate .45 ACP or .40 S&W.

    When you're talking about cartridges that are so close in capability, shot placement is far more important. You can trust your life to .45 ACP, .40 S&W, or 9mm Parabellum. To dither about whether or not you should have one or the other is rather pointless.

    If you want a .45 ACP, buy one. If not, don't. It's that simple.

  • 8 years ago

    a fatter bullet is not always the answer, think about the .357 magnum, the .357 magnum has more knockdown power than a .45acp..but to answer your question i wouldnt say that the .45 ACP has a "significant" advantage over the .40, each of them are great cartridges for different reasons. the .45 has the edge in knock down power but the .40 has better penetration than the .45 id say get a .45acp just to have one because thier is no such thing as to many guns

  • 8 years ago

    I only considered that the 45 has proven delivered energy on target. With the advanced cartridges, like the Winchester PDX1, it takes the 45 into the 21st century. Assuring complete energy delivery. Whereas the 40SW has higher velocity and a flatter trajectory. It's delivered punch isn't the 45's. Although the 10mm parent IS a match to the 45 with the added accuracy.

    However, most confrontations occur well within a range that cancels the accuracy advantage, Leaving only one advantage. One or two more cartridges per pistol in the magazine.

  • 8 years ago

    The 40 and 45 rate about the same in effectiveness out the end of the barrel. The "advantage" to the 45 is easier recoil, and for the 40 its more capacity. If you are trying to be practical- look at the 9mm. Its just a few percentage points behind the 40 and 45, but has the double advantage of lighter recoil and higher capacity.

    edit: I would choose a 45 over a 40 for recoil benefits alone.

  • 8 years ago

    45's make bigger holes. I think 40's have more velocity and penetration. Was using Lead ammo on a car fender with a 45. It left some huge dents but most didn't penetrate. Could be the fact that I was using all lead ammo. Would suggest you get a buffer pad that goes inside your glock slide where the operating rod/spring is. Also get a titanium spring and operating rod. Your gun would get less wear and tear on it. Pick them both up on Ebay. I used to have a Glock 22 .40 cal and loved it. I even bought a double ported/extended barrel and had the trigger work done so as to get back on target instantly.

    Source(s): Shooting guns for 38 years. Since I was 7 YO Corbon ammo works nicely too.
  • Cory
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    I'd say go with .45 or 9mm over .40 S&W. The gains in terminal ballistics from a .40 are negligible in practical situations and since .40 is a high-pressure round it runs the slide faster and harder which can wear out your gun faster.

    Basically the .40 S&W came into existence because the FBI didn't want to admit they should have picked .45 ACP (or some other existing caliber) over 9mm for their agents. So they "invented" a new round, the 10mm...the problem was that their smaller agents had a hard time shooting the 10mm, so they trimmed down the cartridge to what is now the .40 S&W. (Read up on the Miami FBI shootout in 1986)

    I'm not saying throw away your .40 by any means; they are fine. I just wouldn't buy another one.

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