Last week it was announced that Senoia GA, the city that is home to the production of The Walking Dead, is giving up the .40 S&W for 9mm. The Senoia Police Department has made a deal with Glock, in which trade-ins will be bought back for $300 and 16 new 9mm pistols will also be purchased. What could possibly make these cops opt for less stopping power, especially since new guns were not in their budget for this year?
The main reason the Senoia Police Chief Jason Edens told the Times-Herold for the change, was availability. Senoia as well as other citys’ departments are being forced to wait over six months for their orders of training and duty ammo. Edens also mentioned that the price tag on 9mm rounds was considerably less than on the .40. But the switch isn’t only about the rounds. Glock’s Gen 4 has some appeal as well. Chief Edens mentioned the higher round count of the Glock 17, as well as the interchangable backstraps which added to their interest in making the change.
What I found most interesting about this announcment was the Chief’s statement, “we want to build a firearms program that concentrates on precision and accuracy with the shots, as opposed to just having a big chunk of lead.” I realize that there are shooters who are highly proficient with their .40 S&W pistols, and I mean them no disrespect. However, no matter how many long-time shooters I’ve met who are die-hard .40 carriers, none have ever convinced me that two or three accurate shots with a 9mm were better than one well placed .40 cal round, and a questionable follow up shot. Like it or not I believe, the times they are a’changing… The Senoia police are making a big statement with this change in caliber, even if their only intention was to get their officers a few new guns.
The only issue I have with this idea is how it is being sold, “stopping power”, less vs more. The .40, under certain circumstances, involving barriers, with the right ammo, can have a slight advantage over the 9mm, but not always, and it’s not dramatic.
Depending on “what ammo” there are 9mm loads that equal the .40, and even the .45, in penetration and expansion characteristics. My job has been using 9mm duty weapons for a very long time, and we have never noted any issues with the 9 as a service round.
This was a good move by the department in question.
“none have ever convinced me that two or three accurate shots with a 9mm were better than one well placed .40 cal round, and a questionable follow up shot.”
Am I missing something or is that written different than you meant it?
In any case, I believe two or three good shots with a properly loaded 9×19 will do just fine, especially for someone who doesn’t handle a .40 as well.
Well, not sure about the reason(s), since no-one will ever get everyone to agree that one is better than the other, regardless of caliber and advances in bullet and ammunition technology. My personal experiences with all major calibers has proven to me that the gun makes just as much difference as the caliber (and person) with regard to accuracy. I’ve shot the same weapon in different calibers and I generally prefer the 40 over the 9. As for ammo availability, I am finding it more difficult to locate 9mm than 40 and the prices are becoming inflated for 9mm at many places. This may not be true for purchases by Fed or Local LE departments. I think the real key here is: The Chief made a DEAL with Glock.
I think a lot of departments have been issuing 9mm pistols all along. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. issues 9mm’s as they have since they dropped the Smith Model 15 in the 1980’s.
LAPD academy grads get to choose a Glock 22 or Glock 17 as issue weapon.
Both departments allow officers to purchase, qualify with and carry a variety of other handguns including numerous 9mm’s.
Upon research, Chicago & LA appear to allow officers to choose from the 9, 40 or 45 from a list of top brands & models, where as NYPD seems to only allow a choice of a 9mm from a short list of choices. This based on internet search (site) limited access. LA’s site lists 29 different models, including some revolvers, NYPD lists 3 choices.
Yeah, both LA Sheriff and LAPD allow on duty officers to carry a variety of of pistols chambered for different cartridges. Officers get a free issue pistol but have to pay out of pocket for the others.
LAPD has approved pistols in 9mm, .40 and .45. LASD is 9mm and 45 ACP only. LASD also has a list of approved handguns for off duty only.
When both departments changed to 9mm in the 80’s guys who wanted to stick with their revolvers were allowed to do so, but I haven’t seen an officer from either dept. with a revolver in the past 15 years or so.
Why compare 3 accurate 9mm shots to 1 accurate .40 shot? Why not 1 to 1, or 3 to 3?
I personally shoot .40 better than 9mm – the snappier recoil brings me back on target faster.
That being said, I did switch to shooting primarily due to ammo cost and availability in my area.
“Stopping Power”…considered as a real thing on Gun Nuts? What is the world coming to.
Unless I read and perceived it wrong….because like Stopping Power doesn’t exist right?
Accuracy above all of course.
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