Originally Posted by xDeRviisH
I have both the 3.8 and 4.5 in the 9mm and have been recently looking into getting another firearm because I have the money to spend. I've asked a lot of people and friends what they prefer and it seems that there is a fair amount of people that like both the .40 and .45. I was hoping someone could help me with my decision. It would be for home defense and possibly conceal carry. Thanks
Hi! I think that either caliber is a great choice, and you have gotten some good reasons from others to go with one or the other.
I own an XD(m)40 compact. I find your idea to use the same basic gun for both concealed carry AND home defense to be just what I wanted, and in fact exactly what some of the marketing for the XD(m) compact guns said!! With the flush fitting magazine installed, you have a very concealable pistol, yet by switching to the extended mag, you have a full length grip JUST LIKE a "standard" full sized gun, plus the extra capacity. And honestly, at distances typical of defensive use and/or home defense use, the 3.8" barrel is in no way a problem, in fact most would be hard pressed to detect an accuracy difference between these and a longer barrel, especially under the circumstances you (and I) envision having to use them under! So I totally agree with the possibility of two guns in one.
As far as the 40 vs. 45 debate goes, what is interesting that often nowadays THIS is the debate, rather than 9 vs. 45! I have shot all of these calibers extensively in various guns, and here is what I can tell you from my perspective. This is also backed up by a lot of the people who I know that shoot. The 9mm recoil is quick, snappy, fast. 45 tends to be much more of a push, a hard shove, but not as "fast". But the 40, and especially in a light gun, JUMPS. It is both fast and hard, but not uncontrollable. It is just something to get used to. Whether or not this is an issue for you may well depend on how well you can grip the gun, for example if with a short grip you can only get two fingers on it. One other poster made an excellent point quoting the average chamber pressures of the guns, and believe me you can detect that the 40S&W is a higher pressure round.
But what about ballistics? We all know that the days of the 9mm being disliked are gone. Modern bullets are vast improvements over what used to be available, and the 9mm is a fine choice for any defensive use. The 40, with its interesting developmental history, has always seemed to me like an excercise in intentionally developing a round to perform well in real world circumstances, as determined by the FBI. Reading about the gun battle that prompted the invention of this round, and the subsequent development of it, (and the effect on OTHER caliber's bullet development) is great reading! I think, personally, that the 40 is the best balance of individual round power vs. total magazine capacity. BUT you are bound to be good with either 40 or 45. The 45 is a legendary round, and very rightly so.
For me, the possibility of having a short-gripped, double stack 40 that I can still conceal, AND a full length gripped extended mag gun, sold me on the XD(m)40 Compact. I feel it is a great balance of all the factors that all of us consider in buying a carry OR home defense gun: power of the round, number of rounds, magazine capacity, concealability, operability, durability.
Hope this helps!! (GOSH that was long haha)