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Shopping Caliber: 9mm Vs .40 S&W

Every so often, we see a misguided or new shooter who asks to be shown a gun in .40S&W. Although we’d never turn down a customer because we didn’t agree with their choice, we always try our best to educate our customers on the difference. For a new shooter or a newly licensed concealed carrier, for example, we always advise 9mm or .45 ACP.

Any caliber will defend you in a self-defense situation, and any caliber is better than none at all, but if you’re carrying a handgun that you’ll need to depend on – one that fires reliably, has a decent magazine capacity, and allows for quick follow-up shots; .40 might not be the way to go.

Here’s why we prefer 9mm over the .40 S&W in a carry/defense gun:

Cost of Ammunition

Granted, the cost of ammunition has skyrocketed for all calibers, the .40S&W has all but lost its appeal to fans of the cartridge. At an average of $17-19 for a box of 50 FMJ rounds, it’s worth it just to shoot the all-around better .45 ACP. 9mm is a great platform for practice or recreational shooting, as FMJ boxes of 50 can be had for anywhere between $12 – $14.

Magazine Capacity

There are some double-stack guns that wear their magazines efficiently. The Glock 23, for example, allows for 13 rounds of .40S&W in a relatively compact magazine. However, in a self-defense situation, every round counts, and having three extra rounds in the 9mm counterpart, the Glock 19, can make a world of difference. On a side note, anyone who suggests they only need one round in a self-defense situation is surely lying.

Recoil and Controllability

And here’s the meat of the argument. For those who don’t know, .40S&W was designed in the early 90’s as almost a “watered down” version of the 10mm round. Intended mainly for law enforcement, the round seems to almost be required to be fired out at least a 4″ barrel. The round is snappy and clunky. The round is slightly larger, too, which will help for incapacitation, but not too much bigger than it’s 9mm counterpart. There have been some freakish reports of .40 not being able to penetrate, such as the video below.

So, there you have it. Again, we encourage any shooter to buy whatever caliber they desire. The idea is that you shoot well enough to the point where you are comfortable in your skills in case you need to defend your or someone else’s life.

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Florida’s gun laws are some of the more relaxed sets of legislation in the country. Although we’re no Arizona, and open carry is just a bit too far from arm’s reach at the moment, we enjoy some pretty lenient policies.

Despite this, we always seem to hear some pretty crazy tales about some outlandish and just plain ol’ weird laws that our customers fear or try their hardest not to break. Here are some:

  • “Private sales are illegal unless they’re done through a licensed FFL dealer.” This isn’t true. Florida allows for the private sale without the use of a licensed FFL dealer as long as the purchaser is known to you and he/she meets none of the criteria that would disqualify him from owning a gun. In addition, the purchaser must be of the legal age (typically 18 for long guns and 21 for handguns), and be a Florida resident (proven by a current driver’s license). Once all of the conditions are met, you only need a bill of sale to release yourself from any future liability. The bill of sale is not even legally necessary, but is always a great idea.
  • “In order to ship a firearm to another person, you’ll need to go through a licensed FFL dealer.” This all depends; technically, only the receiving party needs to be the licensed FFL. If you sold a firearm to someone on Gunbroker, for example, you can ship the firearm directly to the address on the FFL they provide. Check with your carrier of choice on how to correctly ship your firearm.
  • “There’s a limit of how many firearms you can purchase in a month in Florida.” This is incorrect, too. Although there’s no limit to the number of firearms you can purchase in a month, you should always exercise caution and consider the rate at which you’re buying firearms, so you don’t attract any unwanted attention.
  • “Once you purchase a gun from a licensed dealer in the state of Florida, that firearm is now registered under your name.” This is also false; although the information of the firearm you’re purchasing is recorded on the ATF form 4473, there isn’t a registration database that ties the name of a person to a firearm’s serial number, meaning the firearm can be sold, traded or gifted without having to use an FFL dealer for a transfer.

Keep in mind we’re not laywers and you shouldn’t take any of the information we’ve just provided as legal advice, but we always try to educate our customers of their rights in Florida. If you have any questions, your best reference will be the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives).

Gun shows are and have always been the all-american firearm enthusiast exhibit. They’re a great forum for new and avid shooters alike to connect with new shooters, learn about firearms they’ve never seen before and buy & trade their guns for new ones. Although my vision of a traditional gun show may seem jaded, that’s the idea, at least.

PPNG at FT Pierce Gun Show

People think that they can get better deals at gun shows, which is only half true – although vendors and licensed dealers might be willing to discount their guns a bit more than normal to make a sale, there’s a huge equation that you should consider while pricing a gun and figuring out how much it will cost you.

Gas + Parking + Admission + Price of Gun

You should consider that gun shows are typically further away from your local gun shop, so you’re actually spending a bit more in gas to drive all the way to your auditorium/fairgrounds to get there.

Once you get there, you’ve got to pay parking. This is variable since some venues don’t charge for parking (like the show in West Palm Beach, FL). However, if you end up going to a gun show that does, you’re now $6 + gas into whatever gun you’re planning on purchasing. Once you get to the gate, you’ll find yourself digging into your pockets for admission, typically $8 per person at most events.

One part of the formula that a lot of people don’t account for is time – time is always money, unless you’re spending your day at the gun show because your wife kicked you out of the house. From the time you walk into the door and walk it completely, you’re already an hour in. Once you find the gun you want, you’ve got to sit or walk around for another half hour to 45 minutes for FDLE to run your background check. These are inconveniences you’ll never have to suffer at Public Gun & Pawn.

We’re not saying to never go to gun shows. They’re beneficial to the firearms industry, local business and to the Second Amendment cause – but, given the formula, you’re now $14 plus gas into any gun you buy in the show, private or licensed dealer. Before you decide to take the drive, you should always give us a call – there’s always a better deal waiting here.

How to Win a Free Ruger LCP

With the ongoing debates and the elections, it seems as though politicians have shifted their focus towards whatever will get them elected – and the hot seat issue this time is the economy and job market. However, the country as a whole has seem to have forgotten about our boys and girls who are still putting their lives in danger every day, and are coming back home wounded both mentally and physically.

wounded warrior project

Public Gun and Pawn wants to give back to our boys and girls that fight to protect us, and we’re asking for your help.

For $10, you can enter for a chance to win a brand new Ruger LCP. All proceeds from the raffle will go directly to the Wounded Warrior project.

The Ruger LCP is a great carry gun for the newly licensed concealed carrier or the seasoned shooter that is just looking for a dependable pocket gun. Chambered in the smaller but still powerful .380 ACP cartridge, this thing is a light powerhouse.

Help support our boys in arms and come hang out at your favorite local gun shop!

About Us

Public Gun & Pawn is South Florida’s favorite one stop gun shop. We also offer low 10% interest loans on firearms, jewelry, and other valuables!

Our Location

Public Gun & Pawn
6798 Stirling Road
Hollywood, FL 33024

Phone: (954)843-0324

FAX: (954)843-0325

Contact Us

  • (954) 843-0324
  • 6798 Stirling Road, Hollywood, FL 33024