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The heaviest .45 ACP bullet weighs 230 grains, and travels at about 850 feet per second. This gives it a muzzle energy of about 502 Joules.
The heaviest .40 S&W bullet weighs 180 grains, and travels at about 1000 feet per second. This gives it a muzzle energy of 544 Joules.
So, in theory, the .40 S&W can be more powerful.
However, there continues to be debate over which round is the best at putting someone down in a fight. This is because there are factors which determine a bullet's effectiveness other than muzzle energy.
Without getting into all of *those* details, I think that everyone can agree that both the .45 ACP and .40 S&W are effective calibers for self defense, particularly with well-designed hollowpoint ammunition. And with all other things being equal, these two rounds are far better than the .380 ACP, 9mm Parabellum, .32 ACP, or .22 LR.
By the way, I'm a .45 ACP fan, all the way.
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Per, with the rounds you've listed it is a 'toss-up' and matter of personal opinion which is 'most' powerful between the .45 acp & .40 S&W. My opinion is the .45 acp but then, the .10mm is still more powerful. Now tell me, why don't you just ask the question we've all been dying to answer:
"What is more powerful, a Walters PPK or a Sherman Tank?"
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You need to read a book about firearms. There is a distinction between knockdown power and penetration, yet most people would argue the most powerful is the .45, then .40, 9mm, .380, .32, and .22
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Either the .45ACP or the .40S&W depending on what load you're using.
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45acp, 40sw, 9mm can be made equally effective if you put each round into the right gun. 45ACP sucks in a subcompact format (ballistic marshmallow)-just like 158gr 38SPL out of 2" Bbl. I only shoot 45ACP out of a 5" Bbl.
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.45 acp for stopping power. Theoretically, the .40 should be more so, but in practice that's not the case.
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It depends a lot on the load.
A lot of .40 SW loads will outpower .45 ACP. Depending on the load and type it can vary between these two. In a pistol that can handle 9mm +P or +P+ these can also outpower standard loads of .45 ACP or .40.
But with standard loads, it would normally go .40 S&W, .45ACP, 9mm, .380, .32, .22
.45 ACP is a huge favourite here in the US, but I think that when you look at the science, this isn't that true. There are better choices than .45 in my opinion. It's a big heavy, slower moving round, which means you get lower mag capacity. +P 9mm loads or .40 can win out over it with more rounds in the mag.
the 40 is based on the failed 10mm
yes it a higher velocity round
but the 45 has it in terms of weight ( mass ) at 235 grains
and in the end it's a well places shot ( Robert Kenedy was killed with a .22 magnum round ) the usaully wins ( that a big heavy round )
the 45 has a long proven track record
as does the 357 magnum
not so with the 40 S & W ( also know as Smith and Weak on the streets )
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If you are a beliver in muzzle energy, some loads in the 40 S&W beat the standard 45 ACP loads, but most knowledgable people think a combination of frontal area and momentum give a better picture of effectiveness, and the 45 wins in both those categories. If you haven't had your physics class yet, momentum is mass multiplied by velocity; energy is mass multiplied by the square of velocity.
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.45acp is the most powerfull
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