40 Minor vs 9mm

I was recently given a box of .40 Cor-Bon performance match ammunition to shoot through my M&P Pro 40.  I finally had a chance to use it at West Coast Armory’s Manic Monday this week, where we shot a USPSA-inspired outlaw course (that was very well designed, if I do say so myself.).  For me the difficulty in describing this ammunition is deciding what to compare it to: The BVAC 180gr jacketed hollow points loaded for USPSA major out of my M&P Pro 40 or the 147 gr Winchester out of my coworker’s M&P Pro 9.

Image courtesy Cor-Bon

Originally I was told that the .40 match ammo should outperform the 9mm I’ve been using for classifiers and sanctioned matches.  While sight reacquisition was much simpler with the .40 Cor-Bon ammo, my shooting was still significantly more accurate with the Winchester 9mm at the Postal Match on Tuesday.  Given the significant change in accuracy I think the major determining factor was that the 9mm has less recoil, though it may be a bit snappier, so I have less of a reaction to it.

However there is no comparison between the BVAC and the Cor-Bon.  The BVAC major loads hammered back to the point where I dropped almost every shot.  After my first run Monday night the Cor-Bon minor loads seemed really slick, I’m pretty sure I actually shouted in surprise at the first couple shots.  I still dropped a lot of the shots but it was not nearly to the same extent as the BVAC.

At the end of the day if I have to shoot .40 I’ll stick with a minor load, but if there is a coworker around with an M&P Pro 9 I’d rather steal that.  My opinion on this has a lot to do with my particular shooting abilities though.  For me recoil anticipation is a greater concern than sight reacquisition or speed.  If I was more concerned with the latter I would probably lean toward the Cor-Bon match ammo because, while it had a more recoil, it was smoother to shoot.


  1. When they are loaded to similar power factors there is very little difference between 147gr 9mm and 155/165gr 40S&W. (920fps for the 9mm and 870/820fps for the 40S&W). Cor-Bon makes the performance match in 9mm. I bet you’ld love that load.

    1. The 147 performance match really is an awesome shooting load. I actually prefer the 165 grain .40 for minor loads, because it’s just so soft shooting when you run it right.

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