S&W Shield Owners - 9mm or .40 cal?

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I'm looking at purchasing the S&W Shield in the near future. Can't decide between 9mm or .40 cal. I have an old (circa 1987) S&W 669 in 9mm, but it's a double stacker. Want the more compact Shield. I have never owned a .40 cal, but per the ballistics info it's only got about 50 more ft-lbs of muzzle energy over the 9mm. The average .40 cal around 400 ft-lbs, 9mm around 350 ft-lbs. The 9mm is higher velocity and a bit more flat trajectory. I know this debate goes on endlessly, but one thing I might also not like about the .40 cal is the sharp impulse kick vs the more docile 9mm. People say it's easier to keep point of aim with a 9mm during multiple shots. Plus I already have lots of 9mm ammo; don't know if I want to start investing and stocking up on a new caliber. But if the .40 is worth getting over the 9mm I would go that route. The Shield looks like a sweet pistola ... checked one out at the local gun store and it fit like a glove to my hand.
 
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3,079
This is question only YOU can answer. Fire both and see how you feel shooting them. I like em both. I've shot em both many times ( alot of guys I work with have them). I like the Kahr PM series a little better. Our duty carry is Federal HST 40 but majority of guys with Shields have em in 9mm. High quality HP in 9 and 40 there is a unlikely chance of a difference in a double tap in killing percentage. The bigger thing to consider is the trigger. It's a ok but takes a bit to get use to. APEX makes a few different trigger kits that are easy to install.
 
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twin cities mn
I would see if you can rent both. Me and my friend rented both at the range not too long ago. He liked the recoil of the .40 better and I liked the 9mm. If I were going to buy one I would get the 9mm. He did buy the .40. I wouldn't say one has more recoil than the other, but it is a very different feel between them.
 
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5,651
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Iowa
Sounds like you've got yourself talked into the 9mm already. I own the 9mm Shield and am happy with the way it feels and handles. I have small hands (not weak, at all, just small with short fingers) and the Shield is a great fit and I don't find difficult to control when firing 135grn +P ammo. It carries nicely, never printing in my DeSantis Sof-Tuck holster. In fact, it gets put on in the morning when I dress and only gets taken off after I come home and settle in.
 
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ohio
The .40 cost more, and the performance gap isn't big enough to justify the cost. I bought a 9mm Glock for that reason.
 
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367
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SW VA
I have the Shield in 9 mm. It's a great gun in all respects and the ammo is relatively cheap and plentiful.
 

ZeeOSix

Thread starter
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27,857
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I'll see if the local shooting range has the Shield in both 9mm and .40 cal for rental. I've never shot a .40 before, so that's where I'm stuck on the decision. But yes, I am leaning towards the 9mm based on everything I've researched so far about the Shield. Thanks for the opinions, they help also.
 
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13,233
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North Carolina
I just bought the 9mm shield today. I chose 9mm as i did not want another caliber to stock. I already have 9mm ,.380, and .45. I did not want to add .40 to the mix.
 
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2,342
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Omaha, NE
Originally Posted By: ZeeOSix
I'm looking at purchasing the S&W Shield in the near future. Can't decide between 9mm or .40 cal. I have an old (circa 1987) S&W 669 in 9mm, but it's a double stacker. Want the more compact Shield. I have never owned a .40 cal, but per the ballistics info it's only got about 50 more ft-lbs of muzzle energy over the 9mm. The average .40 cal around 400 ft-lbs, 9mm around 350 ft-lbs. The 9mm is higher velocity and a bit more flat trajectory. I know this debate goes on endlessly, but one thing I might also not like about the .40 cal is the sharp impulse kick vs the more docile 9mm. People say it's easier to keep point of aim with a 9mm during multiple shots. Plus I already have lots of 9mm ammo; don't know if I want to start investing and stocking up on a new caliber. But if the .40 is worth getting over the 9mm I would go that route. The Shield looks like a sweet pistola ... checked one out at the local gun store and it fit like a glove to my hand.
Don't get tripped up over the caliber debate. Guys like to swing 40 around like its in a whole other class than 9mm. Not so. I own both. Both will stop a threat, both will incapacitate, and both are lethal. I have both calibers because if shtf I will have guns that shoot two popular calibers instead of one. But let me break it down like this : All my handguns were 9mm until I bought my 40. I reload so here's what I had to invest in for that extra 50 foot pounds. A reloading die set - $60; 40 caliber projectiles - $75 for 400; and I had to buy 40 ammo off the shelf for about two months so I had empty cases to use - $130. If I had stuck with 9mm I would be sitting at about $260 richer, which I could have used to pay off another 9mm handgun I have sitting on hold. So, if you already have 9mm supplies, and ESPECIALLY if you reload - stick with 9mm. Unless you have a legitimate reason to switch, no reason to. Also, I greatly like shooting 9mm over 40, I don't like the flip and I shoot light loads for 40 and hot loads for 9mm so one could object it's the same punishment.
 
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2,342
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Omaha, NE
Also I want to say that the shield has problems reported from users in the 40 caliber. Magazine doesn't set right and it causes failures to feed and jams. Doesn't mean the shield overall is a bad gun, just means they haven worked the bugs out of the 40 yet.
 

ZeeOSix

Thread starter
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27,857
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Originally Posted By: zerosoma
Also I want to say that the shield has problems reported from users in the 40 caliber. Magazine doesn't set right and it causes failures to feed and jams. Doesn't mean the shield overall is a bad gun, just means they haven worked the bugs out of the 40 yet.
Haven't heard about that yet, so good info. I think the 9mm is what I'll be getting for many of the reasons that have been discussed so far.
 
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6,638
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South Florida
Absolutely, positively, not the .40. Seriously. The .40 version of this gun is a lemon and they blow up. Tons of reports on the net of this gun blowing up, plus many reports of reliability issues. Not to mention the .40 offers nothing over 9mm except extra cost, less reliability, and 50% more recoil. This one is a no brainer for sure. So many guys out there think .40 is better than 9MM, which is laughable. Once you learn the ballistics and everything there is to know about the .40, you will never buy a .40 caliber gun again.
 

Astro14

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13,232
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Virginia Beach
Look, I am a .40 fan, and I own 3 pistols in that caliber, but I agree with just about everyone else here: get the 9mm. In this size pistol, you'll want the lower recoil and greater capacity of the 9mm. Your wallet will thank you when you hit the range for some practice as well.
 
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14,505
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Top of Virginia
I own the Shield 9 and it's a great pistol. I also have a CZ in 9mm and my dad has a 9mm 1911 and 2011. Together, we shoot a lot of 9mm. We see no reason to use any other caliber. The Shield is a sweet shooter in nine-emm-emm.
 
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Honolulu, HI
I could write an essay on the rise and decline of .40sw... but I'll save that for another day. .40sw used to bridge the gap between 9mm and .45acp, but modern bullet designs have caught up to the point where the 9mm - .40sw bridge is minimal. And with the .40sw, comes it's own set of problems. The high case pressure tended to cause more kabooms than normal. And it also had a very snappy recoil. Significantly more so than 9mm. it is also much more expensive. The one advantage a .40sw shield has over a 9mm, is that you can easily convert a .40sw to shoot 9mm by just using a conversion barrel, and using the appropriate magazines. It's as easy as that. You cannot however, convert a 9mm to .40sw. So if you have the extra scratch to burn, buy the .40sw and the 9mm barrel. That way it opens up some versatility if you are iffy about 9mm.
 
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2,342
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Omaha, NE
^ good points, sworbey, I would not consider your shield idea though. The 9mm barrel is hard to acquire. It may take months. Buy a full size 40 instead and leave the 9 to the shield!
 
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5
Location
Honolulu, HI
I think someone at Smith and Wesson caught on. You used to be able to order a 9mm barrel from them no problem for $80. Nowadays you need to go with an aftermarket barrel for almost twice as much. But they are in stock at midway last I saw. Personally, I used to be a fan of the .40sw, and that's what I actually learned to shoot on. It's hasn't gotten any worse... but I just feel 9mm has gotten so much better. And of course, .45 acp will always be an American icon.
 
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