What is the BEST handgun round?!?
The debate over the 9mm and .45 ACP is one of the most heated conversations in the firearms community.
Enough to spawn sayings you’ll see all over forums (and t-shirts).
Both handguns have a huge following thanks to their popularity and success in the field.
But which one is better?
Well, let’s take a look at these two rounds and pit them against one another.
Table of Contents
Comparing 9mm vs .45 ACP
Let me start out by saying that the biggest mistake that most people make is taking a black-and-white stance on the .45 ACP and 9mm.
You’ll hear a lot of people say that the .45 is better because it shoots a bigger caliber bullet, or that the 9mm is better because of its capacity.
Click here to learn about more handgun calibers.
Both are valid points and very understandable reasons to prefer one over the other.
Even if you think size > capacity or more bullets is better, you have to admit having bigger bullets and having more bullets on tap are both worthy considerations when choosing one gun over the other.
The truth is…neither gun has a total advantage over the other one, and your personal preferences will play a lot in determining which handgun is for you.
Let’s take a look at the selling points of each one to help you decide.
About the 9mm
Praised for being compact and easier to handle than its .45 ACP counterpart, the 9mm has become one of the most popular rounds in the world.
For more than 30 years, the Beretta M9 and M9A1 have been the standard sidearm of the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.
Prices accurate at time of writing
Prices accurate at time of writing
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The U.S. Army eventually switched over to the Sig Sauer P320…but they’re still sticking to the 9mm caliber design.
Prices accurate at time of writing
Prices accurate at time of writing
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Even the FBI has phased out the .40 S&W in favor of the 9mm.
This begs the question: is bigger necessarily better?
The 9mm features some interesting advantages. It offers a larger magazine capacity given a similarly sized firearm.
And its compact nature makes it easier to carry, especially when concealed carrying.
Not to mention, the 9mm brings less recoil, making it an easier gun to handle – especially for beginners.
The 9mm also has a higher muzzle velocity than the .45 ACP because of its lighter bullets.
This has caused a debate in the firearms community over what’s better, a fast and light cartridge or a heavy and slow one.
While the answer to this is up to debate, one thing is certain: higher muzzle velocity does equal slower bullet drop.
Something to remember when shopping around for a 9mm…
One of the most attractive things about choosing a 9mm for home defense is having more rounds at your disposal.
Unfortunately, this benefit may be completely canceled out in some states due to magazine restrictions.
So, it’s a good idea to review any state and local laws before buying a 9mm if you’re set on having a 15+1 capacity gun.
Regarding the .45 ACP
From the days of the trusty Colt M1911 to modern .45 caliber handguns like the Glock G21 and the Sig Sauer P220, the .45 ACP has always been one of the most reliable calibers on the market.
After all, it was the official sidearm of the United States Armed Forces during two World Wars and remained so up until the 1980s.
Many handgun enthusiasts believe that bigger is, in fact, better and love everything that the .45 ACP has to offer.
Over 100 years of testing and iteration have produced some very powerful .45 ACP ammo.
While slightly impractical, the .45 ACP also has the coolness factor on its side. It’s a battle-tested gun that’s played an important role in American history during the 20th century.
Measuring the Two
There’s no doubt that the .45 ACP is a classic handgun that’s not going anywhere in the foreseeable future, but it doesn’t outperform the 9mm.
Advancements in modern defensive ammo technology have helped the 9mm improve by leaps and bounds over the past 30 years. It’s not the same underpowered round that the FBI abandoned in the early 1980s.
With a good modern defensive ammo, the 9mm is just as powerful as any .45, just in different ways.
When comparing the two handguns, it’s important to note that the 9mm hasn’t become better than the .45 ACP…it just caught up to it.
A picture is worth a 1,000 words…new self-defense 9mm ammo opens up to create some nasty possible wound channels to stop attackers in their tracks.
That is some nice expansion from the 9mm ammo.
But let’s not forget the same developments in HP ammo that allowed 9mm to catch up to .45 ACP FMJ also allowed .45 ACP HP to beef up.
While the 147-grain Federal HST expanded from 9mm (roughly .35cal) to on average 15mm or .61-inches, the .45 ACP expanded from (again, roughly) 11.5mm to 25mm (.45-inches to 1-inches).
Both (roughly!) doubled in size…and since .45 ACP is bigger to start with, it became massive in the end.
Furthermore, the 9mm is more practical for the average shooter looking to spend time on the range.
With boxes of 9mm Luger rounds being 30% to 40% cheaper than .45 ACP ammo, increased range time isn’t going to break your budget. And after all, spending more time on the range does make you a better marksman.
(Here are more tips on how to shoot more accurately.)
However, there’s always something to be said for having really big bullets ready to deal with really big problems.
Velocity & Penetration
Also, for you suppressor enthusiasts out there, the .45 ACP is an inherently subsonic bullet.
It fires slow and heavy bullets at a lower muzzle velocity than the 9mm and can be suppressed to near-whisper levels.
One of the main reasons why military personnel and many LEOs made the switch to 9mm handguns was because of the deeper bullet penetration.
Unlike in a home defense situation, the ability to shoot through a wall, automobile, or various other objects in a combat scenario can be the difference between life and death.
According to a report released in 2014 by the FBI, the 9mm was preferred in the field because of the following:
- LEOs have a 20% to 30% accuracy rate in shootouts, so magazine capacity is important.
- 9mm Luger rounds have a deeper penetration than other handgun calibers.
- FBI agents have been observed to shoot faster and more accurately with the 9mm.
- The wound tracks of a 9mm and a .45 ACP are almost the same.
- The 9mm’s lighter recoil makes it easier for follow-up shots.
Considering all of the advantages of the 9mm, why would anyone want to use the .45 ACP?
Well, when it comes to home defense, the .45 ACP does hold one distinct advantage over the 9mm…shallower penetration.
Don’t worry, that’s a good thing here.
As mentioned in the video, over-penetration isn’t as big of a problem with the .45 ACP because of its slower, bulky bullets.
This means you have less of a chance of hitting an innocent bystander through a wall in a self-defense scenario.
Choosing the Best Caliber for You
You might be wondering which caliber is better for you…the 9mm or the .45 ACP.
Well, this might rock your world but I recommend getting one of each — assuming you have the money.
Many shooters like to have the .45 ACP for home defense. It’s the perfect grab-and-go handgun to fire in close quarters where recoil won’t pose such a problem.
Alternatively, the 9mm’s stopping power and smaller design make it ideal for open and concealed carry.
While there are a number of compact .45 ACP models on the market, as a general rule, you can expect the 9mm to be more comfortable to carry in a holster.
Also, in a self-defense situation outside of your home, there’s a higher likelihood that you won’t be firing your gun at close range like in a home-defense scenario.
In this situation, you’ll be glad that you have the faster follow-up speed and a larger magazine capacity of 9mm.
Ultimately, both calibers are great to have. Some people prefer the heavier feel of a .45 ACP, while others find the light and slim nature of the 9mm easier to use.
Either way, the 9mm and the .45 ACP both pack a strong enough punch to neutralize any threat.
Where do you stand on the 9mm vs .45ACP debate? Let me know in the comments below! No matter what caliber you pick, we got you covered in our Best 9mm Ammo and Best .45 ACP Ammo reviews.
And speaking of comments…we had some fun with this video…
402 Leave a Reply
Article literally says cops miss 75%-80% of the shots they take so it’s better they use 9mm bc there’s better penetration. IDK about U, but being that terrible of a shot, I really don’t even want them firing at all, let alone firing rounds with *BETTER* penetration! They can’t hit what they’re trying to hit, so why wld U want them to penetrate further into what they’re accidentally hitting‽‽ I wonder if cops around the globe are as pathetic as American cops? Ours are pathological liars, overly violent & abusive, obviously terrible shots, they know fuck-all about the constitution they’ve sworn to uphold, they murder innocent (& sometimes not so innocent) people with impunity, they don’t know the law & more often than not, they just make it up as they go along and oddly enough, their new laws always seem to align with whatever they want in whichever situation they find themselves in. They’re poorly trained, only solve ~2% of crimes, they spend most of their time harassing people who’re financially disadvantaged; what it comes down to is, they’re an incredibly well-funded & state-sanctioned criminal organization. I say “criminal organization” bc they literally do more damage & steal more goods than the actual criminals they’re meant to be stopping. And to think, I used to want to be one!!
Isn't the 9X19 basically a "warm-to-hot .38 Special" in semi-auto form, somewhat in the same neighborhood as a .38 Super? It's obviously not a.357 Magnum. But, it makes sense as a military, police and security round. With the trainloads of money spent for cartridge development, it is what the government and private agencies want and can use, as well as civilians. The .45 has also been improved.
My first experience with the 9mm was in my early 20s. I was underwhelmed with the twin pops and barely noticeable recoil, the very thing that makes the 9 so likeable to many. I grew up with the .357 and .45, and admit I didn't have confidence in the 9mm. I suppose for me confidence was the deciding factor. If things go to hell, and I absolutely have to stop a lethal threat, that first magazine of .45s is reassuring. A few sources have said having a magazine with 15 to 18 (or more) rounds often results in the shooter blasting away. Nothing wrong with having high cap mags these days, what with gangs and disparity of force. But, if one believes a Gatling gun's worth of rounds on his belt equals survival, what makes one think he or she will survive long enough to make use of all that firepower? Extra rounds are comforting. I agree. Solid hits are the goal.
Other than rifles or shotguns, I still believe the .45 can hit hard, deep and quickly enough to do the job.
If you're the only one carrying a gun use a gazillion round 9mm because you'll likely be able to get a lot of rounds off before anyone can stop you. But, the reality is, in a gunfight, unless your opponent is really really careless, you will likely only get one or two shots off before you're rendered dead (if you're really really careless). Carry the biggest most impactful bullet in your gun and shoot as straight as you can as if your life depends on it. Or, just practice, practice, practice; excellent aim with your first shot will pay off much more than bullets being spewed all over the place.
Everyone always mentions more capacity for the 9mm, but forgets to mention that you'll need those extra shots. And aggressive Prosecutors love to bring up how many times you shot them. If you feel the need for extra bullets buy the FNX tactical.
I found, for my wife, the 380A worked best for her. For me the recoil is like a BB gun but has a similar down range damage as a 9mm. The Ruger LC380 is her favorite. She is a small gal so it is perfect for her.
I am purest. I like the beef of an ACP. My favorite round is a sig 200 g. I tested this as a defense round and appreciated the impact force on soft targets. If you want to make a mess, the sig elite 230 g is a show stopper. The recoil may be heavy for some but since I am a big guy, recoil has never been an issue for me.
I carried the 45 in VN and I had to use it. One shot one kill at 30’. I love it. The energy at impact is greater than the 9mm.
9 mm gets females through the firing range. It is a problem at every agency. 9mm is the solution.
I may be considered old and not moving with the new trends, and all is good and dandy with the 9 mm and all the new ammo development, but if the .45 was good to stop the japs and the Krouts, in my book it is good to stop anyone who wants to harm me or my family.
I own both, a Colt Combat Commander .45 and a Glock compact 9mm. The Glock is my every day carry. When comparing the Glock compacts in both calibers, the 9MM was less bulky, lighter, and easier to conceal. If the gun isn't comfortable to carry, chances are you won't every day carry, defeating the purpose. Less recoil making for more accurate follow up shots is a huge advantage in a high stress defense situation.
My 9mm compact carry S&W Shield semi-auto has a ported barrel. It squirts so much flame out the sides it would scare an attacker half to death.
My military friends please chime in. ANYONE who says in a civilian encounter they can end it in 3 shots is either a psychopath, a liar, or never been in a SHTF scenario.
I know the adrenaline dump and freeze response. I (thankfully) also have an overactive amygdala response that kicks in to take over. If you THINK you can shoot accurately while adrenalized, then you're whistling past the graveyard. You WILL freeze and lose hearing and fine motor control. Veteran SWAT freeze. I freeze. You'll freeze. It's human nature.
The big question is how to navigate the freeze and put rounds on target. Unless you've been through Massad Ayoob's classes you'll be useless once you're adrenalized. Clumsy, deaf and with tunnel vision. You think that you can outshoot a cop? You think you can outshoot SWAT? BS!
What ends an engagement is being able to walk away from it. My preference is 9mm because I know how I'll respond. I know pros miss under stress. I'm not deluded in thinking I'll be able to point and shoot more accuately than them. I want more rounds with less recoil.
Hi Catherine. I had been on the fence regarding 9mm and .45ACP for a long time, then I purchased a couple of different 9mm semi-autos for carry over a few years, with .380 for backup. Mostly for the reasons that 9mm is easier to carry, has more rounds without reloading and is probably much lighter. I read a lot before I chose 9mm over .45 and was swayed a lot by the later technology of 9mm catching up with the power of .45. My sub-compacts with their polymer frames are smaller and easier and lighter to carry than a steel 1911. I found all-steel frames a tad heavy for pocket carry, even in compact size. I have several carry modes active: inside the waist band, outside the waist band, pocket (jeans, shorts and jacket), and .380 on the ankle. And yet after reading all the evidence about the benefits of 9mm and I'm already heavily invested in 9mm (and happy with it) I'm still looking at buying a 1911 because it seems everyone feels like they have to own at least one. I'm still on the fence about it though. Would I even ever use it? I like the reasoning that .45 might be less likely to over-penetrate walls at home, but does it really make that much difference between a 9mm and .45 at home? Where's the test evidence? For home defence, I have .38 special, 9mm and a 12 GA shotgun squirreled away. I don't own a .45 (except a Pietta .45 Long Colt cowboy gun I target shoot in the mountains- I love it), but my son does have a couple of 1911's which he loves and says they are fairly easy to conceal carry. He also has his .40, but he finally switched to 9mm for carry after squealing about the price of ammo (I chuckled!). He now carries a S&W M&P Shield like mine, or a Glock 19. I carry a Shield or a Glock 26. All are in 9mm, we both love our Glocks and Shields. My .380 S&W Bodyguard is so small, I'm considering getting a slightly larger .380 with a longer barrel for backup. This is to ensure good expansion of defensive hollow point ammo, plus the Bodyguard gets lost in my pocket and slips sideways on me. A different pocket holster might cure this, but so would a larger gun, with the benefit of longer barrel. I like the Bodyguard, unlike a lot of people. I've modified the trigger pull on mine a bit. This really is a science, but I benefited from reading a lot before I purchased, whereas my son didn't. He bought 'bigger is better' and eventually converted down to 9mm. I hope this is of interest, Colin
Sorry I mis-spelled your name Katherine. I also agree about freezing and adrenaline and tunnel vision and all that. I've never been in a gunfight, but I have been terrified out of my mind once, many years ago, when someone did come after me with a gun, and I couldn't get my knees to stop shaking. Obviously, he didn't get me. But, had I not experienced it, I never would have believed it would happen to me. People don't.
@Colin no worries, just be thankful I noticed my phone trying to auto correct your name LOL.
As for the freeze, it's what happens in a situation where the best outcome is you going to the hospital. It's a hardwired biological response. When it happens your mind will likely go blank. In my case it was no weapons displayed (but you must always assume present) against a $h!t brick linebacker. Thankfully my training kicked in. Whatever you repeat thousands of times will be available for use.
As for the rounds, force x mass = power. Hollowpoint should (mostly) negate over penetration. As for the tool, I like the Springfield XD series. If someone wants to open carry (which I personally discourage) the XDM appears rather intimidating and is quite accurate in calm hands. For CC, I like the XD-M elite 3.8 inch. It's compact yet carries 14+1 stock mag or 19+1 extended mag. Grip safety with chambered indicator. So you can literally grab, draw, aim and shoot. Then rinse and repeat as needed.
For resources, I recommend Rory Miller as he dedicated a chapter in his book to the freeze, Marc MacYoung how to avoid violence in general, and Tim Larkin. What if you can't deploy your firearm in time? Well then YOU become the weapon. Physics works whether you're a criminal or a descent citizen.
Thanks for the tips Katherine. We are now restricted to 10 or less rounds in the mag here in Washington State. Happily, I have some larger mags which were purchased prior to the 10+ ban, so are 'grandfathered' in! Have a great weekend, Colin.
You paint with a really broad brush, and worse yet you are wrong. Adrenaline is not the deterrent you make it out to be, some people actually perform better when "amped up" so maybe YOU would be would be useless but you have no right to comment on anyone but yourself.
A range instructor at Camp Pendleton once told me most would-be handgun shooters would be more effective hurling the pistol itself at the enemy rather than trying to aim and fire it. He was being serious.
If you can place three (3) rounds in the black, the debate of 9mm vs 45 acp does not really mater.
If you can place three (3) rounds in the black, the debate of 9mm vs 45 acp does not really mater.
Totally agree the new technology of the self defense bullets put’s the 9mm in the same class as the 45acp, but I still prefer the 45acp but I carry the 9. Great review
.45 is, by nature, subsonic. No need to buy specialized rounds. It's quiet and very handy if you plan on silencing a weapon. 9mm is just as quiet if you opt for subsonic which takes away the muzzle velocity and negates the price difference.
My non-silenced weapons are 9mm my silenced weapons are .45. I agree with the writer, owning both and applying to individual situations and preferences is right on the mark.
The hydrostatic shock of a .45 is inherently greater than a 9mm. Remember the reason for the .45. Before 1911, soldiers hit with a 9mm were still advancing even if mortally wounded. They had a narcotic in them to keep them advancing until they expired. The .45 stopped them in their tracks. Badda Bing, Badda Boom. I witnessed a man in the early 80s with over a dozen 9mm rounds in him. During the EVAC of Vietnam, one VC was dusted with a .45 to the shoulder and he was DRT...dead right there.
There really isn’t any hydrostatic shock to speak of at handgun cartridge velocities to begin with.
With handguns, it’s all about holes: how many, how big, how deep, and where hit.
Hi Wyatt, not trying to be a jerk here. It's possible the man in the 80's wasn't being hit by modern 9mm expanding hollow-point defensive ammo. I'm not an expert on injuries caused by ammo though. But if the FBI and cops have reverted to 9mm, I'm comfortable with it too.
I have both 9mm & 45. I have the M&P Shied, Glock 30. I also have rhe Rock Island 9mm/22 TCM & an AR 45 pistol. CZ Evo carbine & pistol, a Mac 1911 45 & many others. I like both & depending on where I'm going, how long I'll be gone, what I'm wearing & how I'm feeling makes my choice for me. I really enjoy carrying the 22 TCM, 19 rnd, 40 gr hollow points. 1 thing that cannot be argued is that the 22 cal is very effective. I grew up listening to stories & seeing the animals taken with the caliber. The 22 TCM is just a steroid version. President Reagan was hit with a 22 lr & we almost lost him. I guess a lot has to do with comfort of us & quality of placement. If your g it someone in the head, point blank, w/a blank round it should kill them. Go with comfort, shot group & confidence.
I have both and like them both. The 9mm is easier to conceal but when I am on my Harley I like to carry the 45. When I was taking a defensive hand gun course( took it multiple times ) at Front site all of my instructors had 45's. When I asked them why ....they said it was because they didn't make a 46. I was using a Glock 17 and really liked it. My 45 is a Sig dual tone full size 1911 and I like the weight and the 5 inch barrel. My 9mm is a FN509C with a red dot and I really like using it as my CCW.I use Federal HST in both for defensive carry. Interesting discussion thanks for the insight and thoughts.
The big difference in the 9mm and .45 which is often overlooked is if you have less than a 4” barrel on your 9mm even the the best (law enforcement grade) ammo under preformed; which negates the smaller 9mm’s
I like and own both and both have a mission. In church it's a full size 45 at home full size 45 SHTF one for travel one for house to house. CCW 9mm
See you miss a HUGE point. Capacity is not as huge a deal as you make it out to be, you tried to compare police shootings to civilian ones. They are extremely different. The average civilian self defense shooting ends on average between 2-4 rounds. The average is 3. To think you need 15+1 is just imo foolish. Hi capacity is unnecessary 5 and above is just fine. And sure it won’t hurt to have extra rounds it’s just not necessary, people try to bring up the “multiple attackers” argument and the same applies, 2-4 rounds to end an attack.
Also avg distance of civilian gunfights are extremely close quarters. Another fact if you shoot an assailant far enough away that bullet drop comes into play, you will have problems in court. Pew Pew needs to talk to professionals rather than giving amateur opinions.
I would prefer to ha ve more rounds just in case. You never know what you can walk into or what might bust in your door
Hi Chris. To add to this argument, I read a recommendation which said that in a civilian SHTF encounter, that five rounds would be enough to cover such an encounter based on research which had been carried out on previous encounters where the number of shots fired had been recorded, so purchasing a firearm with seven rounds would be considered more than enough (IN MOST CASES). So therefore if you had a smallish gun with 6+1, you'd be covered. If you had a slightly larger gun with a magazine holding seven or eight rounds (or more, such as a double-stack with 10, like a Glock 26) was available, you'd essentially have plenty (in most cases). That would be 1,2,3,4,5 to stop the threat and the rest to miss with. The common reasoning that having more than enough, or having the most you can carry because you can 'never have enough', well, it's not something anyone can make others believe one way or the other. Everyone has their own confidence level and may believe what people tell them or what they read. My own belief is that in most cases, people will over-carry for the sake of extra confidence. However, 'over-carry' isn't really the correct term, because one never knows what one will walk into, or how one will react to an encounter. Besides, small guns can be easily supplemented with an extra mag or two or a back-up gun. As Katherine pointed out as well, there are so many variables which can come into play like freezing, forgetting to take the safety off, tunnel vision, forgetting everything you've ever been taught, gun jam, on and on. In the end, I would rather have a 6+1 which I knew how to shoot well than a 15 rounder I couldn't.
I went with the 45 Smith&Weston MP2 Shield that is good foe me. I was one of those folks in the military in the 80's that had a 45 side-arm, so used to it. I also have a bull-pub style shotgun for home defense as well. Yes you are right there is a lot more 9mm ammo than there are 45 ACP. Their is also a cost difference thou if you look around you can get ammo cheaper.
I bought a 9mm because during this last ammo shortage my ammo was hard to find but I could get the 9mm no problem. A couple of days ago I went out to my hunting property to shoot something more than paper targets and compare the rounds. You say that a 9mm has more penetration than a 45. Then why is it when I shoot my 45 into a tree trunk I have to use a knife to dig the bullet out but when I shoot it with a 9mm the bullet just bounces off ?
One hit with a larger caliber is more debilitating than a smaller one. Also, the statement in this article regarding that 9mm's are more comfortable and lighter I feel is only meagerly correct. The comfort level of a a Colt Lightweight Commander is on par with anything out there, and that design is older than any of us still alive. I personally love the recoil and trajectory of the .45 ACP because my wrist is more adapted to it. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT & decision making!
Loved the part about the advancements in ammunition. ✌️
Well, accuracy can be paramount. I went to work on the Police Dept. back in 1971, couple years ago! We were issued S&W .38 cal wheel guns. No speed loaders, just six more rounds in the bullet loops on the holster. You had to buy your own oversized grips. So basically range time was paramount. When all you have is six rounds, you sure better be accurate, reloading took precious time. We switched to Sigs P226 which was wonderful, but accuracy dropped. Then the spray and pray method was adopted.
Spray and pray LOL. I think That's exactly why the 9 is so popular. It holds lots of bullets. I also like the .38 special. When my wife got her concealed I insisted on that weapon. I am ex military and I have seen way to many hiccups with autos and semi autos. With a revolver if you get a dud its no big deal. Just keep pulling the trigger. Since most self defense situations are at close range and I mean really close range there is no need for lots of bullets.
Hi Howard, I am NO EXPERT! But, to add to your argument, I read about an encounter a couple of years back where a large man broke into a house and tried to attack the lady of the house and her child. They took refuge in some kind of small room with a door on it. The attacker broke in through that door and the lady emptied her revolver into the guy before he was stopped. The lady and child suffered a terrible experience but survived. Takeaway? A couple of things: 1. Be armed and have the gun where you can access it (LOADED) quickly. 2. Plan. Have a place to barricade yourself in, in mind beforehand and think about what you would do yourself if it happened to you. 3. Some people are hard to stop. You can think of several reasons for this better than me probably. 4. Time matters. If they are still coming you have to be able to keep shooting. And sure, you have to keep hitting which is much easier if they are close. I like semi-autos, I like wheel guns too. I like that revolvers come in 9mm now (or more), and they sure seem more reliable and easy to use. Having two at hand, would beat reloading, like they did in the old days with two or three guns in the belt. I doubt that lady would have had time to reload. I also read several years ago about a young lad at home on his own, who had essentially been tasked with defending the home if anyone tried to break in. A group of people tried that, and he killed them all, I think he killed three men with a .22 rifle. I'm sure he had to have some counseling, but he did his job and survived.
I read most of the posts that preceded mine. Lots of experts claiming facts on stopping power, energy, penetration, etc. I bench load and like both cartridges, but I'll gladly carry any caliber firearm for defense as long as it is reliable, concealable and comfortable. All will work to some level of effectiveness if you can hit your target.
I shot IPSC and IDPA 30 years ago. Most shooters I knew had taken classes under Jeff Cooper and were total .45 ACP cranks. I used .45 ACP and full load .44 Mag in competition. I went along with more powerful is more effectiv and broke hammer struts on two N frames aka back to S&W factory.
Modern forensicss indicates a .38 Special and up is just as any other side arm aka marginal.
I was an ATL and TL with 173rd ABN BDE LRRP 1966-67. I fired four magazines on patrol engagements and was credited by MI at debriefs with seven confirmed. My original TL is credited with 30-40 at Son Tay. TL after me had 116 CQK, and TL after him had over 40 (and a posthumous MOH). If you practice and hit a vital section, the adversary is done.
Yep. I'd rather have a .22 short revo than just my index finger. My practice is Steel Challenge for about 14 years + USPSA and Zombie.
I knew folks who carried small .22LR automatics (Beretta etc) or light weight revolvers that family could Mail to RVN. wrapped in plastic and carried in chest pocket for the sauve qui peut event that could occur on a 5 Man patrol: weapon broken or having to swim River to E&E. It happened though there was usually a .45 GM carried by TL or RTO (almost SOP for RTO). As you noted, better an underpowered sidearm than a sharp finger.
I solved the argument of the 9mm vs the 45acp I have a 10mm and it's the best of both worlds
I am a Competition shooter I have shock sigsauer 9 mm Very unimpressed first of all Sigg Sire that I have the frame is bent
As for the difference between 9 mm and 45 does not even compare that’s why when you see police having to fire many shots to take down a criminal when 1 shot from a 45 will take him off his feet
Like I said I am a competition pistol shooter with mini trophies so I know what I am saying
I could not sell my 9 mm fast enough
As for a Defence caliper the 22 or is the most deadliest cartridge for a handgun at 375 yards I can put right between your eyes or I can put it between your ribs and put a hole in your heart
I agree Patrick. Then you have the kids that own that one 9mm pistol they spent $600 on and they think it's the best thing since sliced bread. A 45 will stop an attacker much quicker than a 9mm. -- For 9mm, some who prefer high capacity and easier recoil, I understand. Those are the only advantages. All this "muzzle energy" nonsense is for the clueless ones pretending to understand physics. They need to check the real world outcomes.
Real world outcomes of all special forces who only use 9mm? They experience real world outcomes every day.
Well the most elite special forces still use 45 acp, is it because it is better? Most likely they use it because they want to be special and have a pretty gun to stand out from the peons using standard issue pistols. Honestly, they don't really rely on pistols its mostly a last resort type of weapon. If you are special forces and you've resorted to using your pistol something has gone wrong. I consider 45acp and 9mm in the same class. They aren't like 22lr or up in power like 44mag. Same debates have raged on Betamax vs VHS, mustang vs camaro, HD-DVD vs Bluray, etc etc.
Muzzle energy is important, however, whoever said that 9mm has more muzzle energy that .45 ACP is pulling numbers of of their ass unless they are making an unfair comparison of +P 9mm to normal .45 ACP.
We also use Power Factor in competition which is bullet weight X velocity / 1000. 230gr X 800fps = 184000 or PF of 184. Certain matches require major or minor Power Factors. The reason is recoil and recovery. 9mm rarely reaches major (165PF) unless specially loaded and unsafe if you ask me. 40 S&W and 45 ACP usually make Major. So muzzle energy is certainly real and a consideration; however, if hit in the eye with a .22LR versus hit in the arm with a 45 ACP means anything, worry about aiming over power.
Could I ask you why every special forces in the world including the Seals and SAS use 9mm MP5s mostly. There has to be an overall advantage in close to medium range combat.
You can not spell and have no idea what punctuation is. And no a 45 will not knock you off your feet. Sit down, you sound dumb.
Penetration and energy, and the physical properties that result in them (velocity, weight, diameter, etc), are the most important features. Hind that is capacity, availability, recoil, etc.
45 loses in every category except possibly “suppression” and “shallow penetration,” if you want to call that a pro.
Time to grow up and recognize the difference between feelings (nostalgia, cool factor, historical value etc) and facts.
"Facts" for silly children, maybe.
The same advancements that the 9mm has received, so did the .45. I guarantee you I'll stop an attacker in fraction of the time you'll do it with a 9mm aiming center mass.
Ask yourself - if you had to be shot once and you got a choice of caliber, would you choose 9mm or 45? Enough with the clownery. We all know the answer.
I would want to be shot by the round with less penetration and less muzzle energy, 45ACP, because I have a greater chance of surviving - not that my odds are good either way.
You sound highly inexperienced. Preferring a 9mm for higher capacity and easier recoil is one thing. Saying you can stop an attacker faster with a 9mm than a 45 is absolute ignorance.
Correct, I have not shot many people. Nobody is saying 45ACP cannot kill a man. What I am saying is 9mm is a better round in all the metrics that matter. That’s why it’s more popular in police, military, and civilian use.
You are welcome to your opinions, but the facts are indisputable. Good day, Karl
Your "facts" are only indisputable for you, since you clearly lack experience or any real world outcomes. You cite physics you don't understand and claim that your opinion is fact. All the tellings of limited knowledge.
As I've said, I guarantee I'll stop an attacker quicker with my 45's than any of my 9mm. -- Ballistics have improved for 9mm simply to make it usable again.
Karl, you’ve clearly done no ballistics research and are relying entirely on anecdotes and your own experience. Your personal guarantee is meaningless.
Physics is easy, and understanding it is made easier by modern innovations like your tube . Watch some videos on 9mm vs 45ACP in ballistic gel. It is simulated human tissue that will show hydrostatic shock, penetration, and expansion . The results are clear, and they are not mine. I am citing the work of others .
45 ACP is better than nothing for sure , but 9mm is a superior cartridge.
Done talking with someone who refuses to educate themselves. Have a nice last couple decades on this planet.
The 45 has been used by the military FAR longer than 9mm and the 9's are used because they are cheaper, more available and have easier recoils. With modern ballistics the 9mm went from weak and unreliable to usable. -- Ask countless military and police and they will tell you 9mm is not always enough.
Physics boss: 9mm has more penetration and energy. This trumps expansion. Do your research
Once you're done watching YouTube videos, come back when you have more real world experience. And I don't mean keeping your one pistol in a sock drawer.
Feel free to cite your real world experience that you keep vaguely referring to.
Physics got us to the moon, I’m pretty sure it can calculate which bullet is more lethal.
Look, ultimately both rounds have very similar energy. Maybe 45 has a bigger physical wound channel (I’ll leave hydrostatic shock out of it, though the high speed footage of it in ballistics gel is compelling) and 9mm can go through a few extra boards — so it evens out. They are way more similar than they are different, and it’s up to everyone to make the choice what’s right for them. No way could I tell you what’s right for you.
What’s right for me is probably a double stack micro 380 (10+ rounds) and a 1.5 stack sub compact 40 S&W (10+ rounds), but they haven’t invented good enough ones yet so.. I carry a high capacity compact 9mm (P365XL with the magguts 14+1 mags) or a 357
Who knows , maybe we’ll all be carrying 5.7x28 in 20 years. Thanks for your opinion, it’s valid.
LCP Max may be a contender for that first category, but I might wait for the Glock answer (a 42x?), or a S&W in 30 Super Carry.
Not taking a side but this is akin to 45 vs 357. 9mm &357 same caliber but 357 alot more propellant. There are videos and statistics comparing 357 and 45 acp. They're comparable. The 45 makes bigger hole while 357 punches deeper. When I was young military carried 45acp most leo where I live carried 357. And used on drugged up people both were effective.
Yes! In the debate of 9mm vs 45ACP, I choose 357 magnum and 10mm. With the right 357, I can achieve upwards of 1800fps in a 16” barrel. You end up with the same energy as a .223/5.56 but with less risk of over penetration , which is great for a situation like home defense when you can’t always know what’s on the other side of the wall.
By the time you've pulled the trigger with a .45, a 9mm can put 3 rounds in any anatomically advantageous area.
100% agree. .45 is for nostalgia crazed red necks that can't let go of the past.
I expect our understanding of how bullets cause damage will evolve as well. Watching high speed camera footage of bullets entering ballistic gel really clues one in to the effect of hydrostatic shock versus the more traditional thinking that “the bigger the wound channel the bigger the damage.” In reality it may be “the bigger the amount of energy dumped into the target, and the more water displaced as a result, the bigger the damage.”
But I have a lot to learn in this area as well.
No body needs "A" gun, with so many needs there is no one gun that is practical, thus it should be said, no one needs "A" gun, you need many.
Come to the UK. Nobody needs a gun. Exactly...other than the special forces, army and specially trained police. I pray that America will get to that stage. Edit : You can get a firearms licence in this country but you have to be a farmer or pheasant shooter with an impeccable criminal history and with verified references and personality tests. What the USA needs is a firearms amnesty where everybody just gives their guns back to be melted. Unfortunately I sense America is way beyond that point. It must be a nightmare knowing you could be shot by a nutcase at any time, day or night. People call the UK weak and passive but in reality nobody NEEDS guns here. The only guns we fire are on computer games.
For sure we do not need guns for defense against other civilians. The purpose of gun ownership in our constitution is provide protection against tyranny. If we had no guns, we would still be part of the UK (and I for one think the world would be worse off for it).
I believe the opposite, actually: that all Americans should be required to own and be educated on guns . Perhaps they can be banned for possession while in public , I could stomach that. But really, the majority of gun deaths are either suicide or ignorance about how to properly operate the firearm , not malicious intent !
Regarding protection against tyranny, every empire in history has fallen (you know that as well as any). So, why should we expect that the USA is any different ?
Why guns when you have knives? Right?
You are so lucky Benjamin. I am a Brit who has lived in the US for fourty years now. I wrote a loooong rebuttal to your post, but I lost it so you don't have to read it now! haha. To summarize: I once was like you, but since having been here I have become educated (not brainwashed) and a happy gun owner, because: 1. This is America, not the UK. The people are different, the lifestyle is different, the people think different. 2. Americans don't care what Europeans think. They resent that Europeans don't know or understand America or Americans, yet Europeans seem to have this superior attitude anyway. Americans note that Europeans have small countries with a central government each, whereas the US is a country thousands of miles across with 367 million people, and a ton of different states. So it's infuriating to Americans that Europeans haven't a clue that the US has BOTH a central government and all these states, each of which has its own government and laws, which are often at odds with each other and the federal government's laws. Gun laws are different in different states. Some are strict, some are not. Europeans don't understand that the Democrats would introduce more gun control, and the Republicans fight against that; that there are both a pro-gun lobby and an anti-gun lobby. That federal gun control laws are hard to come by because of all of the above. Now, there are already bazillions of guns out there in the US, and Americans are never going to give them up, noway, nohow. Not ever. Different strokes for different folks. But I know you won't understand. It took me 30 years of my fourty being here to get it.
I have used both and much prefer the 9mm to a .45 ACP. As mentioned the simple fact is that the recoil of a 9mm is so much more manageable than a .45 which I call 'hand cannons'. So much quicker to re-aim, quicker to re-fire and hence more accurate. Sure you can fire a .45 as quick as a 9mm but it's gonna hurt your accuracy, doesn't matter how strong you are. I've personally had the experience of using a Thompson .45 submachine gun (A1 army variant) full automatic. Basically you aim at the feet because you end up over the head. This is where accuracy matters
I've shot that in Battlefield where all the ballistics are fully verified by experts because it's a computer game. Yes, that is the case, the .45 Thompson has ridiculous recoil.
I only currently own 9 mm handguns. But after doing extensive research I've come to the conclusion that the ultimate home defense gun other than a 12 gauge would be a 45 pistol like the CMMG Banshee with a suppressor.
26+1 rounds of 45 in a 5 pound package with little to no recoil?
I feel like this is the answer and I plan on purchasing one soon for myself and my wife.
Except it still has less muzzle energy, penetration, and capacity than 9mm in the same platform . May be a great home defense gun, but far from ultimate .
You'd first have to understand what muzzle energy is without using Google. 45 will knock you down and leave a massive wound, far larger than a 9mm. You can vaguely cite "muzzle energy" but it ultimately means nothing with so many variables.
Measurements are the opposite of vague . Knock down power is vague, because it doesn’t exist. The thing you are trying to quantify is energy , which 45ACP has less of by a notable margin.
You can claim you understand muzzle energy but you don't. A hollow point 45 will leave a massive hole in an attacker, much larger than your best 9mm.
All the advancement that improved the once weak 9mm have also been applied to the historically reliable and powerful 45. If you can't understand that, you'll learn once you gain more experience.
The way Guns damage the human body is by adding energy to lead. The more energy, the more potential for damage. 9mm on average has more energy l. It also has more penetration. Thus, it is deadlier.
Doesn’t get any simpler than that. Do your research. Watch ballistics videos. Retract head from tuchus. Bye, Karl
Again, you can cite all of your Google readings, real world outcomes are different. No matter how much you love than one 9mm you saved up for.
More penetration does not mean more deadly. That's more foolishness.
And you are citing nothing but your feelings !
Sentimental value does not are a round more lethal.
I'm citing experience, something you clearly lack. Once you're done with your YouTube videos, come back when you get some real world experience with that one 9mm you've taken to the range once.
No, you’re not . You’re alluding to it but youve cited nothing
Youve shot hundreds of people with both 45ACP and 9mm under exacting reproducible scientific conditions ? Because that’s how many studies there are.
Go ahead, cite your experience
Knock down power is about energy transfer. A heavy bullet going slow with the same energy as a light bullet going fast will transfer energy to the target better, but won't penetrate as well. This is why armor piercing fin stabilized discarding sabot tank rounds fly at speeds above 5000 fps. Knock down power is quantifiable by the Taylor Knock Down Index. You can find a calculator for it online yourself as this website doesn't allow you to post comments with URLs in them. A 230 grain .452" diameter projectile traveling at 835 fps has a Taylor KO of 12 while a 124 grain .355" diameter projectile traveling at 1150 fps has a Taylor KO of 7.
Can't argue with those numbers. I was working off averages that clearly didn't account for the extreme edge of the versatility of the 45 ACP cartridge. Impressive.
Well I redid the math, and 230 gr @ 835fps is slightly less, but essentially the equivalent in energy to 124gr @ 1150fps. So, I disagree with the Taylor KO index .
I did the math wrong in my first comment and thought the 230gr was significantly more total energy .
Agreed. I own a few 9mm's and three 45's. My highest capacity 45 is my home defense weapon.
I think the bigger recoil mitigating effect from the Banshee will be due to the mechanically delayed blowback. Not an expert on older 45 sub guns, but I assume they are all straight blowback. The Banshee (as well as MP5, and a few others) use a mechanical delay that siphons off a fair bit of that recoil energy .
I started my handgun experience as a .40 cal guy. I eventually switched to 9mm as I started shooting competitions and saw the .40 was a limiting factor. Now I am a range officer and shoot concealed carry and IDPA style matches regularly. The knock down power of the .45 is undeniable, but again, the speed and capacity along with the availability and price of the 9 makes all the difference to me. I have good friends who shoot .45 and we all get along just fine. Great article.
It shows you like 9m you talk about both but talking about 45 it was more about 9m but talking about 9m it was 9m but I enjoyed to know it so me both. or 38 & 45 both
What is best for competition use? Maybe target practice?
Inside the home I find .45 is the most comfortable. However on the range I like 9mm CZ P01 or Sig Sauer
I'm of the opinion that your article, as good as it is, is lacking in accurately assessing the capacity issue. Whilst a Glock 19 does have more capacity than a Glock 30, they are almost identical in size, with only 5 rounds difference in standard magazine capacities. So, if you consider 10 rounds of 45ACP sufficient, then, definitely, the choice would be the Glock 30.
A bonus is that you can use higher capacity magazines (9mmP & 45ACP) in both Glocks ;)
Possibly the only cons of the Glock 30, compare to the Glock 19, being slightly wider grip and more recoil.
PS. I own, shoot and train with few firearms and calibres, including the Glock's 19, 26 and 30S
Hello. The downside of a Glock is that it is a Glock. "Glock Perfection" is a MYTH.
Aww we got a glock hater. Glocks are the best semi auto, there's no debate about it. I bet if a poll was done on best semi auto handguns glock would win by a landslide
H&K by far . Glocks are the most widely used, and are certainly good enough for almost all applications. But that does not make them the best
Hk, my friend
Fat & slow or snappy & whimpy... Not much of a choice. I'll keep my 357 SIG.
None of the bullets are slow, that's for sure. And I don't think I'd feel like any of them are particularly wimpy neither, unless it was a 22lr that went through with minimal damage.
Subsonic for a bullet is slow . Obviously we are talking relative speeds between bullets, not relative speeds between a car and a bullet.
"Subsonic for a bullet is slow"...Again, your limited knowledge is apparent here. What does "slow" mean? Fast enough to hit your target and put it down. You think someone is going to outrun your bullet? If I want range and penetration, I'll grab one of my rifles.
I very clearly state that slow is a relative reference to the speed of other bullets . Karl, you’re embarrassing yourself with this vendetta. Enjoy your retirement. Bye
Vendetta? Lol...Your comments are the only ones I've read here filled with ignorance and apparent inexperience. Don't come here like an expert when you clearly base all of your knowledge on YouTube videos you've watched.
"Subsonic is slow for a bullet" lol
That is literally the definition of subsonic : below a certain speed ( the speed of sound).
Yes I’ve used other people’s experiences to enhance my knowledge.
I have both I like the 45 but I love the 9 mm
9mm vs 45acp? easy. 40.
Agreed. My sidearm of choice has been the Gen 3 Glock 22 for years. It’s lighter than the 21, has greater capacity, and I can switch to .357 Sig in less than 30 seconds with nothing more than a barrel. I do have a CZ 75 and a couple of 9mm Glocks that I carry occasionally. My nightstand pistol is a Glock 41, but I would only grab it if one of my AK47’s stopped firing. Haha
You always try to chose the right tool for the job, no surprise. My understanding is that most defensive shootings occur at 10 feet or less; probably because of the requirement to hold off until you are in fear of losing your life (home invasions not withstanding). That being said .45 with light for home defence and .380 hp for concealed carry. Not a Leo no need to shoot at distance or through material.
I have been shooting for around 50 years, and I like the .40 S&W for most things. I have a 10mm I use with handloads for pig hunting. The .45 is a good caliber, and I have one or two of them. 9mm can be a reasonable choice. With all calibers, try to match your bullet to your purpose. If FMJ is my only choice, then I won't pick 9mm as my first choice. I can still put a magazine full of .45 ACP right on target fast enough to get yelled at by the range officer. Practicing at a public range is not ideal. You must slow down.
When discussing the FBI and their conclusion that agents shoot better with the 9 mm, all I can say is look at their shooters. They couldn't even handle 40 S&Was. At one time the 10mm was in consideration for the FBI. HAH!
States where the max is ten bullets per magazine then 45 cal. will be my choice.
9 mm or 45 acp? Too easy - 40
How about THIS for a head fake?!
.45 vs 9mm?
ALL the benefits of both calibers.
More velocity, bigger size, more magazine capacity, great penetration, manageable recoil, compact frame.
While I do agree with your statements about the improvements in ammo, I must disagree
with your statement 9mm has less recoil. Yes a 9mm may have less ft lb of energy going into your
hands, it does have a MUCH snappier felt recoil. A .45 is a solid push in you hand. For me personally
that is much easier to deal with. However i must say I have quite a bit of arthritic damage in both
wrist. With that said I can control the amount of muzzle rise on my .45's much better than a 9mm.
Yes I have owned many 9mm, when I was younger. Best thing to do before buying, in my opinion,
is go to a range and try both. How well you can control the weapon is a HUGE factor. Must
disagree with your conceal ability statement, sorry. I'm not a big guy, 170 lb, I can easily carry 2
government .45 and several spare mags concealed. You must dress around your guns. Myself
I'm sticking with ole tried and true 1911.
I don’t have much experience with 45’s but my nieces husband (recently retired LEO) said his “crew” tested both 45 &9’s extensively snd came to the conclusion that the 45 was quicker and more accurate on follow up shots due to the push back in the hand rather than the muzzle jump of the 9mm. On his last visit I shot his personal carry 45, and compared it with my Sig 320. The 45 exhibited less muzzle jump than my 9mm. He further explained that “smaller “ shooters found the 45 to be more accurate on follow up shots due to the reduced muzzle movement. Had I not already had an investment in 9mm equipment and ammo I would have considered the 45. Considering a switch.
Old, Fat and Slow will do the job on the other hand depending on clothing choices I've been know to carry a 9mm or a 380 and I'm comfortable with having the choice
Drop the mic
Watch key board warriors loose their mind
I prefer the .40 S&W. It’s a good compromise between the 9 and the 45. It allows more ammo and is faster than the 45. I don’t have a problem with the recoil of any of the calibers so that’s not an issue for me. I’m also not worried about cost when it comes to my defense, no compromise there either.
Provided that you live in a free state, 9mm in 135 HydraShoks or 147 V-Crowns or 147 HSTs hands down .... /end of debate. Wound channels identical, higher capacity, better follow-up, more platforms to choose from, cheaper to shoot plus .... chicks dig guys who carry 9mm. I should know because I get all the girls. 9mm is the way to-go.
I totally agree with the author. A .45 is good for inside the home. Good stopping power and less likely to penetrate walls and hit a bystander. The 9mm is more ideal for outside carry. Less recoil , good penetration, good follow up for stopping a robber etc. Easier to conceal and handle. That is why some like the 9mm short or .380. A 9mm you feel comfortable carrying is better than the .45 or .44 mag you left home in your sock drawer.
Don't try to confuse the facts. Most data shows .45 ACP has a higher percentage of one shot stops as well as (IF multiple shots are required to stop a threat) the .45 ACP takes less shots. My choice, since my first 1911A back in 1953, to my Glocks G21SF, G30, and G36 of today. The G21 is for home defense. The G30 is my EDC, the G36 is in my car's glove compartment. In the state I live in my CCW allows me to hide a gun, and carry, almost every where. The .45 has proven itself, period.
9 or 45? Too easy; 40.
9, 38, 40, 10, 45.....they ALL have advantages.....I think NONE have a substantial disadvantage. I have them all. I compete with them all. I LIKE them all.
What-ever you choose....get practice. Be familiar! BE SAFE!!
Like the logo of a Very Familiar training range:
"ANY GUN will do!! If YOU Do!!"
9, 38, 40, 10, 45.....they ALL have advantages.....I think NONE have a disadvantage. I have them all. I compete with them all. I LIKE them all.
What-ever you choose....get practice. Be familiar! BE SAFE!!
Like the logo of a Very Familiar training range:
"ANY GUN will do!! If YOU Do!!"
Terminal ballistics are not adequately covered. New developments not only improved the 9mm, modern 45ACP can make a 1” hole and 50% more energy delivered on target. My Walther PQ 45 has a 12+1 capacity and incredible accuracy. 1 or 2 rounds will do and move on as the 9mm is still emptying the clip on the first target.
Terminal ballistics are not adequately covered. New developments not only improved the 9mm, modern 45ACP can make a 1” hole and 50% more energy delivered on target. My Walther PQ 45 has a 12+1 capacity and incredible accuracy. 1 or 2 rounds will do and move on as the 9mm is still emptying the clip on the first target.
Like many, I like both. But in my earlier days, my Gunny (who had that little blue ribbon with the white stars) held up a 1911 in front of we impressionable middies and said, "Gentlemen, this is the Colt .45 pistol, developed in 1911 by St. John Browning. It is heavy and rattles, and the bullet is fat, short, and slow." He paused, held up his pinkie, and said, "And if you hit a man right here," (raising said pinkie), "he's going down."
So I have 9s by SIG, Beretta, H&K, and Walther. And the one kept loaded in the bio-lock case bedside is the Colt's Government Issue, with 2 clips of Hornady Critical Defense alongside.
I enjoyed your post. I have 9mm carry weapons, but I'm thinking of doing the home defense thing the way you described!
I prefer the 45 ...ever since the military i jus had a thing for the 45 acp although I do own a couple few 9mm's and have favorite pistols in that caliber also love my custom 17
I like both.. Forced to choose I'd take 9mm all day for so many reasons..
9mm or 45? The answer is 40SW.
There, I fixed it.
STL like the conversation but on a different subject did anyone see the movie the card Counter I see one of the stars of the movie was wearing a Pew Pew tactical shirt
I'm building a couple of .45s now. The pistol has a dropleg tactical holster that holds 4 extra 9RD mags. It fits an extended grip 14RD+1 so there's 51 RDs. I wrap my grips with stretch adhesive tape to give me a custom grip. The extension mag wrapped allows for a 'golf grip' & more leverage to handle recoil. The LaserLyte is bore set low to compensate up to 300 yds. The Carbine has a TriDelta muzzle brake designed to stop any rise & to thrust away 2/3rds of the recoil. The Trijcon Laser/ Spot/ Flash is also bore sighted low to compensate for 300 yds with a 4x32 Leupold Huntsman Hi-Rise Mounted Scope on 1/2" QD Camlock to transfer to the Bulldog with the Bipod/ Foregrip. Two ProPac set-ups on the buttstock & forestock allow for two 9RD & two 20RD extra mags onboard. With the 14RD+1 extension handle mag that's my HP4573.
I like the best solution: buy at least one of each.
Hah "settled". Like V8 vs turbo 4 vs supercharged vs NA. 250 plus opinions here and counting but for once I'd say they're not like A holes...everyone has one yet none stink. The market is glorious in its options (if not in availability)...no matter your intended purpose, training level, physical stature, etc there is choice that will fit you. But...this makes it tricky for noobs to navigate. Their non-noob advisors must suss out and add realistic priority to the criteria a noob might have learned from grampa, hollywood or G knows where. I train lots of noobs on my firearms who want to buy for self defense. Not a single one of them have considered the safety, storage, training costs/requirements, responsibilty, legal implications and physical logistics of owning and carrying. Slove those questions and the difficulty of caliber choice will be trivial.
For me the question isn't which caliber is "better" but which caliber a firearm owner prefers based on any number of factors. My preference is for the .45 (partly due to the fact that though I've fired a 9mm, I don't own one but mainly through greater familiarity with the .45 & having a decent stock of ammunition for same) but I don't think a person would go wrong with the 9mm & for that matter (even though it wasn't included in the comparison) the .38.
Great piece. I own both. My 9mm is def better carrying size, 45 is things-that-go-bump-in-the-night standby. I’ve never been under pressure but I was shocked at the 20-30% accuracy for LEO. Not saying I could do any better but figured it would be closer to 50%.
Great piece. I own both. My 9mm is def better carrying size, 45 is things-that-go-bump-in-the-night standby. I’ve never been under pressure but I was shocked at the 20-30% accuracy for LEO. Not saying I could do any better but figured it would be closer to 50%.
I went to a self defense class with 12 people, all with 9mm. I had the only 45. By the end of the program, 9 out of us 12 participants said they were going to purchase a 45. It’s like firing a 58cal. black powder compared to 22, or maybe I’m just 45 spoiled!
I own both calibers with two semi autos chambered for each.
My sub compact is 9mm.
I hand load so my loads are tailored for each gun.
I load for accuracy which to me is far more important.
I notice that most articles talking up the 9mm always compares the newest and best 9mm to the old slow fmj .45, not taking into account that there are now .45 with lighter projectiles and higher speeds that far and away leave the 9mm in the dust
Correct. Advancements only apply to 9mm, apparently.
Pansies . Try a .357 magnum . That’s the meat eater .lol
The .357 magnum is definitely a meat eater, and the .44 magnum is a meat shredder.
Every caliber has its purpose. And every gun owner has their preference. More calibers means more gun owners!! And that's a good thing!!
The .357 magnum is definitely a meat eater, and the .44 magnum is a meat shredder.
Every caliber has its purpose. And every gun owner has their preference. More calibers means more gun owners!! And that's a good thing!!
The real reason why the FBI switched from 40 to 9mm is the same reason they switched for 10mm to 40, most cant handle the recoil and they dont pass the required score in the firing tests, same for civilians they cant handle the recoil, they groups are horrible then blame the caliber instead stop eating bacon and improve they fitness condition.
Like working on a car, you have to have the right tools to get the job done. CQB scenarios where you’re within the 17’ engagements and you want to do work quietly, the .45 ACP has all of the advantages. Engagements where distance and volume of fire are important, 9mm has the advantage. Personally, I prefer carrying a small frame gun, so 9mm works best for me. At home, 12ga and .45 ACP. They’re rounds, they go boom, they go flying down the barrel. At the end of the day, marksmanship always wins out.
You are legally responsible for every round that leaves your weapon! When you have an over penetration or miss, which is likely in an adrenaline filled situation. Do you want to be shooting a bullet likely to go through a wall or a car door killing or maiming an innocent bystander? Not me. I'll stay with my 45.
Look up ballistics tests... 9mm eats as much ballistics gel as a 45. Add in the big, fat, slow, it would seem the only advantage of a 45 is if the target is in the room with you. So what if they are on the opposite side of a wall? Your 45 will end up in their pocket instead of their chest... what if your outside? At a 30% hit rate during actual combat (due to adrenaline and urgency of quickness) add in a fall rate like no other (45) and it drops to 20%. So, even if the 45 "hits harder", that only matters if your on target. So follow up shots are almost more important that the 1st shot... all of these variables added up, the 9mm almost will always win the advantage...
One advantage that was mentioned I disagree with. Most shootouts are long range. Maybe for law enforcement but not personal defense situation.
The FNX 45T and a few others hold around 15 rounds. Equipped with a suppressor, they make ideal home defense weapons and they are less likely to over-penetrate. Anyone that has fired a gun indoors knows the value of a subsonic round and a suppressor. Not worth a flip as a carry gun unless one is more Shaq sized than me but for home defense, it works very well. Loaded with +P rounds, they make a heckuva mess. Both 9mm and .45 ACP work...just personal preference, imo.
Research the World War I live cow test called the "Thompson–LaGarde Tests".
1. Offensive vs defensive role - as an offensive weapon the military choose the .45, as does most (all male) special operations units who have a choice.
2. An extended double stack .45 mag will give you the larger magazine capacity.
3. The single action 1911 still offers the most accurate platform.
4. The main reason the military and law enforcement switched to 9mm, is to "accommodate" people (females) with weaker upper body strength.
These points are from my personal observations as an Army Ranger, Police SWAT Commander, Private Military Contractor, and firearms instructor - no disrespect intended to the women in uniform.
Springfield 1911 A1 .45ACP +P ported and polished. Double tap from the leather in 1.5 seconds. Threat is neutralized. Go home safe.
Explain why, as a prior Ranger, why the rangers had the choice on what sidearm the wanted and decided on the Glock 17. It's simple and I know the answer, velocity and follow up shots. The damage is the same and no 2 wound channels end up being the same on 45 or 9mm. So the only real advantage 45 has is being inherently subsonic. I have both 45s and 9mm's but I'm not emotionally attached to the 1911 or 45 ACP, it's not better, it's different.
I heard the military downgraded calibers bcuz nowadays more ppl are inexperienced shooters. They can’t handle the recoil of a .45 or .308 bcuz many times the 1st time they ever fired a weapon is after joining the military. By the time my dad made it to Korea he was already an experienced shooter.
Will a 45 penetrate body armor within 10 feet
It depends on the body armor (type and quality) as well as the ammunition used.
Not likely, but a knife can.
I totally spilt the difference and went with Beretta 96 chambered in .40 S&W. 12 RD mags, and 15 RD mags that don’t take away from the beauty of the gun. What a glory to shoot, minimal recoil, and excellent stopping power. The only drawback is that it is not super concealable for every day, but I haven’t looked into a shoulder holster. When getting my LTC the instructor was gushing all over it because I was the only one without a Glock, which I actually do have as well, but just love the 96 so much.
I can’t say how other .40 S&W feel/shoot, but any of my friends that have shot the 96 love it’s accuracy and low recoil.
.45 People talk about stopping power and knock down power. Rightfully, the 9mm counter argument is that there is no such thing. I agree. But in real life the first .45 causes a stun strong enough to slow the aggressor, the second may bring him to his knees. Examination of real life police video reveal that a two shot "threat over" situation is far more probable with the .45 over the 9mm. The 9mm may take between 3 to 6 shots to achieve the same level of neutralization.
its been awhile
If you are going to go through all the trouble to defend yourself and/ or others you might as well knock the bad guy(s) down - and take their soul at the same time.
As a retired LEO during the transition to semi-auto in the 80s, what is too politically incorrect and never mentioned is more females and smaller statured people entered the military and law enforcement. They struggled with .357 and .45. 9mm became the universal choice and approved by agency bookkeepers and bean counters.
IMHO (other than good social time discussions about guns and fishing tackle) forget the caliber wars. A miss with a .454 will not help you bring that charging animal down. Put several makes and models in your hand. Close your eyes, then bring the weapon up to bear. Now look at your natural sight picture. One or two will stand out. Get that one and the ammo that fits in it. e.g.: For me any Glock is a gun that I will be aiming at the dirt, while most Sigs & S&W revolvers will be on the money. Your mileage will vary.
I'm just a regular guy, but shot placement would rule my decision. I would go with what I shoot best. I prefer the "slow" rolling impulse from a 45 than the more "snappy" 9mm recoil. That said, I'm splitting hairs, because I can handle both well enough, and I would feel well armed with either. But, I love good arguments...please, continue.
I have owned both and prefer the 1911A1 style and stopping power. I know that if my threat has consumed a narcotic I may have to fire my 9mm several times to stop the threat but if I hit my target with my .45acp the threat will be on the ground before it realizes that it has been hit. Now this is just me you pointed out several factors for both weapons and I agree it's to ones mind set on which weapon feels right in your hand. I say do your research and spend time on range with both weapons and carry them both!
The .45, it started stopping threats way back in 1911 and it still does just as well today. The article states that the 9mm has caught up to the 45 because of ammo advancements. Hum, didn't the 45 also get the benefit of those advancements? Therefore, per my logic class, the 45 is still ahead. My EDC is a Glock G30 and I have two Home Defense weapons, a Glock G21SF and a .300 Blackout AR 15. Capacity is not an issue because, I live in the DPRC (Democratic Peoples Republic of California)
I was in the Corps during the .45 ACP to 9mm swap. The Army, (of course), received them first. Another reason for the swap, one the author forgot to mention was that, for the most part, NATO armed forces had already moved to the 9mm. The .45 was becoming a dinasaur. I still posses a .45 among my various handguns, and I still enjoy shooting with it. My "house gun" of choice: .45 Long Taurus Public Defender. "The Judge". 5 Rounds of Hell.
I chose 45 acp. And also i want 9mm both of them. But my favorate is 45acp. And 357 magnum also.
Just ask yourself one question.
If you are in a do or die situation and there is still one bad guy left you need to put down, and you only have one bullet left in your mag.
Would you rather be holding a 45 or a 9mm?
That's way you carry extra clips.
I take my Colt Gold Cup in .45ACP any day over a typical 9mm pistol. I have total confidence in that pistol. I had a Beretta 9mm issued to me when I was 11H in the Army National Guard and it was ok, but I prefer my Gold Cup over that pistol.
As far as the size, my Colt m1991A ( .45 ) is no bigger then my S &W MODEL 59 (9MM ). now the m1991A normally carries 7 rounds and the model 59 carries 15 but living here in Ca. you can not have any mags that hold more then 10 rounds, so I had to buy 10 round mags for the model 59 and at the same time I found 10 round ags for the m1991A. The only advantage the mode 59 has is the rear sight to adjustable for both windage and elevation .
.45 all the way for me. No longer carry a 1911, I now prefer Glock. They and FN took care of the capacity issue. Recoil isn’t an issue in a Glock and my G30 has out shot a few custom guns. Just feel more secure with that big fat slow round. Nothing against the 9mm, I own several, for the range, not for carry.
When did this stop being about the two rounds up for discussion? Both rounds are great in my book I definitely use both depending on the situation at hand. Any weapon or round in the right hands can be lethal just find whats the most comfortable and accurate with your shots. Neither round is worth anything if you can't connect with your target confidently and accurately
What metric are we using to judge us as the winners of ww2? Imo our quality of life, freedom and liberty has been slowly eroded since the end of ww2. I can't think of any tangible way life is better for Americans then it was prior to ww2.
How about because one half of the world isn't ruled by a racist fascist psychopathic government that's completely ok with genocide. Imagine a world where those guys held the power to wipe out the north American continent. I can't imagine that trade would be so great either. Of course they would have already wiped us out so that's not really an issue.
Our liberties have eroded because we've had generations of snowflake feel gooders raise and educate our youth to believe their hippie nonsense and they are more than willing to trade their freedom for that occasionally fluffy feeling in their tummies.
That has nothing to do with WWII and everything to do with people not remembering or even wanting reminders of our past to keep them on the right path. As they say, those who refuse to learn from their past are doomed to repeat it. And here were are with generations publicly embracing socialism and communism. Compl ignoring the fact that it never works and it destroys nations.
One important fact is the combat readiness, safety and ease of use of the 1911. It is inherently easy to remove from safe to fire and the safety is constructed well. The 1911 can be obtained in the 9mm as well as the 45 caliber but there would be another discussion circling back which is better. The 1911, in my opinion, is a fantastic user friendly design.
Last time I saw the statistics on it, most domestic self defense gun fights occur in 6 or less feet. Having said that, in my humble opinion, I prefer the big slow moving .45. In a 6 feet or less fire fight, if I have not subdued my attacker in 7 rounds. I'm dead.
I am an American and although I am proud of America and her accomplishments, I surely would never discredit any of the Allies contributions to victory in either World War. I also hold no delusions that the US would have defeated the axis powers by itself. The righteous banded together to defeat evil as this was surely the will of God himself. Thank you to our allies, we could not have done it without each other. Remember, pride cometh before the fall . . .
About "You’re welcome Europe"... well, it could be useffull to open History books : France made the biggest part of the job, with England, during WW1. And if USA made the job in the Pacific, in Europe it was USSR, for WW2. You’re welcome.
Dang your a little Salty bro
No, it's just wrong to tell half-truths & mythologize recent historical events. Uninterested folks will take it as fact and have a incorrect understanding of life past and present. So instead of boasting about something that never happened, recognize actual achievements like the almost unimaginable amount of vehicles weapons ammunition & food that we produced & ferried across the Atlantic to Pacific support and supply all of the Allies and our seemingly miraculous (midway) battles w/ Imperial Japan. A lie of omission or a good-natured lie is still misinforming people.
Great article but I would personally reconsider the “You’re welcome, Europe.” poster, considering that most Brits could argue that we managed a total of four years of your fighting for you (but certainly not intending to denigrate the US contribution, or to get into the Roosevelt v Congress debate) so this could appear a little insensitive. However, I have to admit you’re way ahead of us with the second amendment!
The time fighting is a poor metric for how wars are won. A myth that TV and movies have given the world is that American warfighters won WWII, but really the amount of American blood contributed to the war effort was comparably insignificant -- especially compared to the Soviets. However, it's very reasonable to say that without American manufacturing, production, and agriculture the United Kingdom would have either fallen directly to the Germans or more likely would have been starved into submission. American lend-lease foodstuffs accounted for over 10% of Britain's over-all food supply during the war. Even on the Eastern front, a large part of how the USSR was able to keep fighting was because of American lend-lease. 11k plains, 6k tanks, 300k trucks, and 3 million tons of food were sent by the USA to the USSR.
For the United Kingdom, after Dunkirk, the UK lost basically everything. Tanks, trucks, rifles, the UK's ability to actually fight a war was incredibly damaged and near unsurvivable had the Germans pressed an attack. The domestic manufacture of war material was not remotely able to resupply the entire UK armed forces. American manufacture and the American firearms industry was able to restock and resupply them when no one else could have.
While it cannot be argued that Americans did not single-handedly win the war or that we contributed the most warfighters or took the most losses, it is also safe to say that without American intervention it is entirely probable that the UK would have fallen and the USSR would not have been able to push the Germans back.
That said -- memes are really meant to be funny and normally tongue-in-cheek :)
Ok, I’d agree that’s a pretty reasoned response - it’s a complex issue (eg. Lend-lease conditions were allegedly exorbitant but the US manufacturing base was undeniably a godsend), plus some of the other margins you refer to were, frankly, too close to argue, so I won’t even try. We won the Battle of Britain independently of the US but how long the commonwealth would have held out could be debatable. And yes, I know memes are meant to be funny - it’s just that, unfortunately, the rest of the world can occasionally get a little weary of US flag waving (not saying it’s your fault; besides, we’re expecting America’s return as the world’s ‘good guy’ after January. We’ve really missed you since 2016!). But do please keep up the good work with the site - from a country where only the police are allowed handguns, it’s like a window on the free world. All the best from a small, cold island!
Did four years of our fighting? Curious comment. Why would a European war require Brits to fight for the U. S. We helped you with your war, you didn’t help us with our war.
Actually, the US & the West generally helped the Russians defeat Germany. Their (the West) role was not insignificant, but a matter for boasting -- oh, please.
I agree the best caliber for you is the one that you shoot the best . If you want knock down power take up boxing . There are benefits for every caliber but one thing is for sure a bigger hole yields more blood loss quicker . Considering that ballistics and expansion have increased for all calibers I like the 45 . I like the expansion of the Ranger series so I will stay with 45. I have to say I like them all from 22 to 500 Smith
I'm Geezer who's first shot was with a 45 while in the Navy in the 70's. The history they told me was that the military originally was using a 38 something or other, but some weird fanatical types just kept coming at them in one of our many obscure little wars. The switched to the 45 because they needed something that transferred more energy to the target to knock them down. Mass times velocity is momentum. I have no idea how this compares with the 9mm. I'm going with the 45 because I'm also getting a Henry lever action rifle to match it. One ammo for all.
As good a reason as any, I guess. One type of ammo in both guns makes things easier.
Ive loved the 45 since my Marine Corps days 50 years ago.
Thats what I carry now.Always will.When that loud bitch goes off it gets everyones attention..especially the turd youre trying to ghost.
And if you shoot at a car,it sounds like a hammer when it hits,and the bad guys know its not a pop gun aiming down on them.They find the gas peddle most rikki tik.
And yes,if you arent skilled with a hand gun,dont carry until you are. I am.
Like Barbarossa said..nothing unnerves a man more than some son of a bitch that stands when he ahould be running.
Most clowns that shoot at you arent steady.Theyre nervous and excited.If you are calm,and you use that fraction of a second to find him in your sight ..one shot from a 45 will end the situation.
The Wild Bill Hickok method of gun fighting: rapidly draw your gun, calmly stand your ground, carefully aim and press the trigger, observe the target fall, holster your gun, turnaround and walk away.
Left out (one) seemingly small but (very) important step when take action time arrives. In dry practice, make it a habit to take a step to the left or right as the draw is occurring.
Left out (one) seemingly small but (very) important step when take action time arrives. In dry practice, make it a habit to take a step to the left or right as the draw is occurring.
9mm, 40, or 45acp Can't make my mind up and like them all. For a carry I use a compact 45. My favorite, but too heavy for every day is my 4" 41 Mag Smith. I don't think the debate will ever be answered.
FBI dropped 0.40 not because 9mm comes even close to it ... just affirmative action that's all it is. For one after police and FBI started using back 9mm amount of ammo that burned for arrested increased almost by 50%. Not just that - recent events with riots and looting shown total ineffectiveness of 9mm round as a defensive round
I like your comment,it make sense,so i will get bigger gun
I have to agree. Get both
Been a G19 fanboy a long time, just got my first 1911 and It feels way better in my hand. So I agree with having both.
Allow me to offer a suggestion (well not a suggestion as the FBI state's so)..the FBI did not drop the .40 cal due to the improvement in .9mm ammo. They went back to the .9mm due to the fact that the new meat in the FBI were not man or woman enuff to handle the .40. Just because the FBI says, doesn't make it a fact. I guess the only improved ammo is the .9mm?
How can the 9mm "have the same wound tracks as a .45 ACP" when the .45 expands to an inch diameter?
Thats half an in bigger then the 9mm?
Damn good question and I have wondered this myself. Without the hydrostatic shock of a rifle round, wouldn't more organ and tissue damage be most important?
Probably because it doesn't penetrate as far. Force is mass times acceleration squared. Muzzle velocity is key. The .45 is bigger, but not that much bigger. However the 9mm is much faster. It's just going to tear stuff up more in there.
Look at 5.56 vs 7.62 - the 5.56 makes havoc (spinning widely) when it enters the body which results in way more damage than the difference in diameter.
If either 5.56 x 45 or 7.62 x 51 are using hollow points or soft points the damage will be greater. 7.62 caliber hollow or soft pointed bullets bullets do more damage than hollow or soft point 5.56 millimeter. And full metal jacket 5.56 bullets are not more effective than 7.62 x 51 using full metal jacket from what I have read.
1” ? Golden saber .65 “
Placement regardless the expansion will do the job.
I’m from South America and police there uses 9mm round nose, enough to kill more outlaws in 1 month that all the US police in 5 years.
Everything is a compromise. The same size 9mm semi auto usually holds more rounds (often 15+1) than a 45. That is good. But the 45 does outperform the 9mm realistically. I keep ARX 118 grain ammo in my Glock 30 (10+1) which is 45ACP. 1350+ FPS in my 5 inch barrel Colt Gold Cup. 1300+ FPS in my Glock 30. No 9mm arguably matches that bullet's performance. ( Look it up) I'm a person who lives in a rural area, no longer military and not a cop. Here in my area ( and pretty much every american homeowner) it will be a gunfight that will be fought at close range, fewer than four bullets shot and be over in seconds. I'm not making this up. These are FBI statistics. I'll take the the bigger bullet. More stopping power. I'm not knocking the 9mm as a protection weapon. I would and have felt safe with one.
Where I grew up an old timer who was still an incredibly good shot was asked which he would rather be holding in a gunfight. 9mm or 45acp? He pulled out a 9mm round and a 45 acp round and held them both in his hand. The difference between the two cartridges in size is dramatic. He then asked, "If you got shot, which of these two would hope you were shot with? Case closed.
This depends what you mean by "outperforms the 9mm". 9mm: having more range, muzzle velocity, more accuracy(depending on the professionalism of the shooter), less recoil, a smaller cal(meaning the gun will have more capacity) and more penetration(Depending on the grain). The 45: Has more JHP expansion, More knock down power(even with a FMJ). The 45 has more cons than it does pro's, specially with modern day guns. I don't care what you carry, it being a 22lr or 50AE, just make sure you carry something.
The FBI employs some smart people. Over decades, many Ivy league graduates have gone there and it is the highest standard of law enforcement in our country.
If they've conducted studies and have a general opinion the 9mm is better for fire fights in the field, that is a very strong point in favor the the 9mm. The lesser destructive force is balanced out by higher accuracy over multiple shots and more ammunition available in states without restrictions. Even in states with restrictions, you will shoot more accurately with 10x 9mm vs 10x ACP, so there is that in favor of the 9mm. I would think soldiers in fire fights face similar circumstances, except with more opponents who may also have body armor, which would favor the 9mm further, since it pierces armor better.
A key advantage, as stated, is the 45's shallower penetration for home defense. Sure enough, it is certainly more destructive from what I've seen. The point that the wound tracks are almost the same according to the 2014 report is very surprising to me and frankly illogical looking at the bullet size, both uncollapsed and collapsed. Perhaps the slowing velocity is a factor here, but that seems unlikely to me. If the wound channel is indeed the same, then the 45 is the inferior round in all regards except home defense.
I would argue, from a Marine Corps POV, that during my time in service " The 90's" most of us were of the mindset that the stupidity if the DoD had destroyed our 1 shot 1 Kill motto by bringing in the 9mm hole puncher because that's all it was good for seen as how the GC only allowed us to use FMJ Copper Tops.... This was perhaps one of the worst rounds ever but as they point out, " cheep" is the way of thinking every time we had some Democrat dip shit signing away new legislation on what we were allowed to do our job with...To hell with the opinions of those actually doing the job such as in the case of a radical jihadie who took 17 copper top shots and kept going..... Had that been a 1911, he wouldn't have had 17 body parts to loose....
Locally we are seeing a lot of police involved shootings using 9mm, and they empty the clip almost every time. Then the news says the perp was taken to hospital with life threatening injuries.
I do not have much experience with guns in general and do not own a hand gun. Firing the 9mm at the range was fun, then I fired the .45...had to peel the smile off of my face.
In my under experienced mind, you don't take 4 .45 rounds to the upper body and suffer life threatening injuries....you just plain and simply die. Owning at least 1 9mm seems practical though, as availability of ammo is likely even in a SHTF situation.
"taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries" is a standard line because police and EMS cannot pronounce death. Nurses in some states and in some situations and doctors are the only ones that can.
I've owned & fired both repeatable over the years. Recently I did a test. PAt 50 yards My 9mm puts a hole cleanly thru a concrete block....My 45ACP breaks the block into peices.... I placed an 9 in diameter wooden pole in the ground.... Firing 12 rounds my 9 mm wouldn't penetrate it or do catastrophic damage to it. My 45ACP at 12 rounds was well on the way to chewing it apart. For pure destructive power there's no contest...none. While a 9mm is discussing the situation A 45ACP ends the Debate.....with prejudice
Yo prefero el .45 acp tambien.
In states like Connecticut where magazine capacity is limited to 10 rounds, would this restriction alter the debate in any way? Perhaps favoring the .45?
pros y contras, el 9mm. es mas liviano y desarrolla una velocidad supersonica, su proyectil aerodinamico y la velocidad de boca, le dan un poder de penetracion, pero mientras no toque un organo vital, el adversario seguira disparando, aun herido por la 9 mm. El .45 acp es un proyectil mas pesado de 230 granos o casi 15 gramos de peso, de ahi que su velocidad sea subsonica de apenas 264 mts/seg., pero la ventaja es que con un simple roson pone fuera de combate a un adversario, aunque no necesariamente tenga que matarlo. yo prefiero una .45 acp de gran capacidad, p 14, una mega star, una glock en modelos 21 y 30; todas ellas por el gran poder de contundencia.
Yo prefers el .45 acp turn.
SO, 9MM is better.
I have to agree you do need both a 9mm and a 45 cal as far as comparing them I feel it is apples and oranges both are great
Well written article. Having said that, here is something to consider. One thing I see a lot of people point to as proof that the 9mm is nearly identical to the .45 ACP in performance is the FBI testing protocol. What they neglect to take into consideration is that in order for a cartridge to meet the testing criteria, the cartridge is required to get a minimum of 12" of penetration. There is a plethora of loads in both 9mm and .45 that do a better job of expanding and out perform the FBI test rounds in nearly every way. One excellent example would be the Lehigh Defense max expansion loads in either caliber. But, because they get less than 12" of penetration in ballistic gel, they are not tested.
Bottom line, the FBI testing protocol and testing results are really more examples of government inefficiency, and should not be held in such high regard in my opinion. I mean, the FBI testing protocol is just like Mil-Spec—it sounds cool til you actually know what it is.
When I shoot a Glock 19 defensively I am shooting a stream of 3-5 shots which land in roughly a 2 1/2" circle. This should bring a target down. I shoot one shot with a 45 and the muzzle blast brings the barrel up sometimes cocked sideways some making it slow and difficult getting the gun back on target. 45 auto shells cost more too.
My 1911 in 45 has little recoil barely if any more then a 9mm. I think the recoil of 45 is way overblown. I also own a glock 19 as well.
I agree with the .45 recoil being overblown. Also for me a thicker grip adds to my control, control adds to faster more accurate follow ups. Thing is, no shoe fits everyone, no caliber fits everyone
I carry a fn fnx 45 tactical every day so capacity is irrelevant I carry 32 rounds of 45 the weight doesn't bother me I can control the recoil well enough follow up shots are quick and on target with a 4-6 inch group speed shooting so I'm staying with my 45 I don't belive the 9mm is less of a bullet i just like the size diffence and the look of a big bore firearm is all i love shooting a 9mm and will definitely buy multiple but for carry 45 and if I need more penetration than get a 10mm which is op compared to 9mm and 45
My 45 acp has a muzzle velosity of 1000 fps 510 foot lbs. 9mm is not close.
Yeah its not close because its way higher moron
Really? What's the data source that claim is based on? Because according to BBTI, out of 10 different 9mm rounds tested, only one round, the Cor Bon 115 gr JHP +P, managed to make 500 foot lb in a 6" barrel. All the rest, including +p loads, came in under that number. With half coming in under 400 ft lb. http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/megraphs/9mm.html
Whereas in .45, fully half of the rounds made 500 ft lb or more in a 6" barrel, and one round made better than 600 ft lb
Ballistics101.com's handgun testing is even more comprehensive and makes the .45 look even more powerful.
Their testing shows seven 9mm rounds that equal or exceed 500 ft lb, with 4 hitting between 511 and 540 ft lb. 540 ft lb was the highest recorded muzzle energy for the 9mm in their testing. That's out of over 100 different rounds tested. http://www.ballistics101.com/9mm.php
OTOH their .45 testing showed a much higher max muzzle energy with a number of rounds considerably over 600 ft lb, and had far more rounds (23 rounds) coming in over 500 ft lb. http://www.ballistics101.com/45_acp.php
Not dissing the 9, in fact it's what I carry. Just keepin it real, and saying I'd like to see the testing that backs up a claim the 9mm has "way higher" muzzle velocities than the .45 ACP.
I carry a Sig P320 Compact in .45 ACP (I mainly carry .45 ACP) and 357 SIG.
Personally, I feel 9mm needs a boost in its speeds, because you are sacrificing bore size. That’s where the .357 SIG comes into play. It’s essentially a 9mm magnum.
Feel free to check out these sources:
Ammunition research (from notes I’ve made from sources)
Mechanics of Handgun Wounding
All handgun wounds will combine the components of penetration, permanent cavity, and temporary cavity to a greater or lesser degree. Fragmentation, on the other hand, does not reliably occur in handgun wounds due to the relatively low velocities of handgun bullets. Fragmentation occurs reliably in high-velocity projectile wounds (impact velocity in excess of 2,000 feet per second) inflicted by soft or hollow point bullets. In such a case, the permanent cavity is stretched so far, and so fast, that tearing and rupturing can occur in tissues surrounding the wound channel, which were weakened by fragmentation damage. It can significantly increase damage in rifle bullet wounds. (Adding my own word here: in other words, once a bullet hits the nearly 2000 FPS mark, temporary wound cavity matters)
My personal word:
In conclusion: These people that sit at the alter of the FBI make me laugh. When you actually test the loads on living breathing targets (like the Strasbourg test) , that (to me) is the best indicator. If I’m going with a traditional hollow point, give me .45 ACP Federal HST +P at 950 FPS. If I’m going for a fragmentation round, give me a .357 SIG from Liberty Civil defense at 2,300 FPS. Both rounds are more than enough to put a guy down. The HST .45 ACP does it with its massive permanent wound cavity (for a handgun). The .357 SIG Liberty does it with its rifle like speeds dumping its energy immediately on target and making temporary wound cavity matter. Not to mention the permanent fragmentation wounds are nasty in themselves. Basically, I believe with smaller bores you need to make use of their speeds and get a temporary wound cavity that matters (to make up for its smaller permanent wound cavity). With bigger bores, you need only worry about the reliability of your hollow point expanding (after going through material) and going 10–12 inches or so in the body to avoid over/under-penetration. At the end of the day though, a bigger bullet is theoretically better. The entrance and exit wound will be bigger (with a good hollow point).
I have both, I have practiced more with the 45 ACP. Most of my practice is at 10 yards, I do vary 10 feet to 20 yards. I walk, run, stand, drop, moving toward and sideways to targets which are set standing height and kneeling height. I have my shooting partner tell me which to shoot. I consistently place the 45 rounds in an 8" area. And no the target is not shooting back so the stress level is low.
I am beginning to practice with the 9 mm more. I bought it for my wife close to 40 years ago, then she decided not to shoot anymore, sad and not so safe. I may not always be there.
I have been shot, it happened in the suburbs back in '74. I have been shot at a couple more times, they missed. It is a dangerous world, much more than most believe.
My defense weapon is the 45 at this time. I am good with it, plenty of muscle memory and everything flows easily.
The choice for anybody should be what they are comfortable with and accurate with.
20 ~ 30% accuracy, you have got to be kidding? They need a lot more practice.
20-30% really isn't that bad. They are often shooting at moving targets who may be taking cover and at the same time the officers are trying to take cover and not get shot themselves (this isn't range shooting). Studies done on combat troops show similar hit ratios to these LEO stats.
Many independent studies have been done about actual combat shooting accuracy. The reality is that 30% is on the high side. NYPD study had their officers at 18% accuracy in gunfights. Accuracy is affected by the stress of being shot at, the need to establish effective cover, high respiratory rate from the exertion required to get to that cover, moving (and sometimes multiple) targets and other factors. Unfortunately for LEOs, the kind of training that can effectively simulate actual firefights is limited to our special forces folks, as most PDs don’t have the budget or manpower to train well for actual gunfights. The only good news is that those gunfights are extremely rare.
Or shooting people in the back while they are running away.
What may look like running away to someone not involved, might loot a lot more moving to cover from someone getting, or anticipating getting, shot at.
what do you expect from them? 50%? Lmao. 30% is being nice. They hardly hit that number. It’s not about practice - it’s all about the situation they’re in.
The bullet doesn't matter if you can't shoot it with some accuracy. Whatever works for *YOU* is the best choice. Use a gun and round that you can shoot well - which takes practice.
So I'm an operating room nurse in a level 1 trauma center. I've seen A LOT of patients shot with numerous calibers. I've never had anyone die from being shot with any handgun round. Not to say they didn't die on the street, but once they made it to surgery they survived. I had one patient shot 11 times with what looked like a .380 or 9mm, hard to tell on xray. He survived wounds to the chest, back, both arms and both legs.
Now to the .45 issue: one patient was shot in the back of the leg with a .45 hydro shock round mid way up the leg which lodged in the back of the knee. I'm positive it was a hydro shock because of the distinctive shape of the bullet. Even though this is supposed to be an excellent round, with great expansion in gelatin, this bullet had almost zero expansion.
When it comes to the issue of 9mm vs .45, obviously bullet placement and bullet construction is key for stopping an assailant. However neither caliber is magical, as some may believe.
So, here is the STRAIGHT skinny on the 9x19mm v .45ACP debate.
The .45ACP is a superior defensive round, all else being equal. The whole point of a defensive firearm is to STOP an attacker as quickly as possible. In a gunfight, every round which is fired, by either side, is potentially lethal. The object then becomes to stop your adversary from firing bullets at you. Bullets which strike the human body, yet do not hit the Central Nervous System rely upon blood loss to drop blood pressure and cause incapacitation. This, unfortunately takes time to accomplish. A direct hit to the heart or aortic arch can take as long as 8 seconds to result in unconsciousness. It usually takes longer for lung and lower toro hits to produce the same results. And, we all know that the more damage done, to the body, the faster the blood loss. This can be accomplished two ways. 1) by making bigger holes and 2) by making more holes. The .45acp makes bigger holes, all else being equal. The 9x19mm allows you to make more holes, from a standard pistol, than a .45 caliber pistol [albeit only 2-4 more rounds in the 9mm]. But, firing rounds takes time. So, if you only have a few seconds to fire, then you may not discharge any more rounds from the 9mm handgun than you did from a.45 ACP handgun. This negates the added magazine capacity advantage of the 9mm.
As to increased penetration, this is only really a concern for LE. And, if you are really concerned about penetration on hard targets, then you should probably be carrying a magnum or the .357 SIG or 10mm rounds, not a 9x19mm or .45 ACP.
Grip circumference on the 9mm and ,45 pistols is not that different. As most modern shooting systems use a two hannd grip, the grip circumference is negligible. It is not an issue.
Recoil is largely the same between the 9x9mm and the .45 ACP. Both produce muzzle energy levels in the 380 ft/lb to 425 ft/lb class. Interestingly, the 9x19mm rounds generally produce higher muzzle energy which, as we all know from Newton's 3rd Law, produces an equal and opposite reaction. This reaction is recoil. So, which round actually produces more recoil? In the case of average muzzle energy for a given caliber, that would be the 9x19mm. But, with an effective grip the difference in recoil is not significant to have any real effect on the effective use of the handgun.
So, caliber choice. Whatever floats your boat. You have to live, or die, by your choice. the increased effectiveness of the .45 ACP roound is negligible with today's modern expanding bullets. In certain situations, such as home defense in the middle of the night, the slightly higher capacity of the 9mm handgun may make it a preferred weapon. Concealability is rarely an issue, so a smaller 9mm really has little advantage. And, once you get below 9 rounds in the weapon, bullet effectiveness becomes much more important. So, pick what you like, as long as the handgun iis suited to the job at hand.
What is much more important is training and practice. Let's be honest here, most gun handlers simply do not practice enough to be reliable pistoleers. Even the training provided is usually lacking. LEOs average 20-30% hits in a gunfight. This is criminal. In a gunfight, the least acceptable hit percentage is 60% and less than 80% should be frowned upon, strongly. Bullets which do not trike the target are worthless for self defense and represent a real danger to innocent bystanders. So, get training. Practice both bullseye and tactical shooting skills. Because when you are confronted in your living room, at a distance of 10-15 feet, you have to drop him before he can fire or you are going to get hit. This will likely require a head shot. Can you do that under stress? Better find out.
I think there was a fundamental mistake about over penetration in this article. 9mm do not penetrate deeper on average. The truth is both velocity and mass increase penetration just as both increase energy, but this is what we have to realize. When it comes to generating energy, all things being equal, increasing velocity does this more quickly than increasing mass. This is why K.E. = 1/2 x mass x velocity squared. In other words, when computing energy, you half the mass (as it counts less) and square or exponentially increase the velocity (because it accounts for more).
It appears to me, however that when comparing calibers in terms of penetration, the opposite is true. I have always heard greater mass can cause over penetration, and certainly fast and heavy bullets go through people. As one coroner I heard from said, he's never seen a .357 Magnum leave a body and he's never seen a .44 Magnum stay in one.
I offer two pieces of evidence to support my notion that .45 ACP penetrates slightly more on average. The first one is indirect evidence. If you look up the Buckeye Firearms Association article comparing calibers, 9mm fails to incapacitate 13% of the time while .45 ACP fails to incapacitate 14%. Statistically this is a dead heat and well within any reasonable margin of error; but remember, the 9mm and .45 ACP wound channels are essentially the same in size, so what is the difference?
In fact, unlike the other calibers in this study, over half of the 9mm rounds from the 1800 bodies involved in shootings were FMJ. As a trauma room doctor pointed out in one article I was reading, bullets that leave the body are less effective than ones that stay in. In this study, .44 Magnum failed to penetrate 13% of the time tied with 9mm and .40 S&W (and within the margin of error of .45 ACP). The reason why these calibers don't do any better is that they are more likely to over penetrate (thus doing less energy as much of the bullet's energy is released outside the body). Certainly this is easy to understand with the .44 Magnum because it's increased velocity and mass produces essentially twice that of 9mm, but you can't say that about the other calibers. Now you may assume that the 9mm's must be effective because they simply passed through the body since more than half were FMJ's. That's a reasonable assumption, but it's not the only possibility. It could be that when hollow points fail, 9mm isn't going deep enough, and perhaps the FMJ's don't overpenetrate in this caliber as much as others (especially because the most popular FMJ rounds are usually lighter 115 grain bullets). Okay, this isn't very convincing one way or another, so I decided to go to both the Lucky Gunner website and Ballistics.101 for data on the calibers. When I went to the former, I added up all the ammo the conducted ballistic gel tests for and averaged them out. The average penetration is as follows: .380 ACP (14.9"), 9mm (17.1"), .40 S&W (17.9"), .357 SIG (18.0"), .45 ACP (18.1"), and 10mm (18.9"). The .380 is obviously light and slow and has the least penetration. .357 SIG has the fastest velocity by far, but is in the middle of the pack with .40 S&W. .45 ACP and 10mm, both being slower heavier bullets than .357 SIG have greater penetration.
When I went to Ballistics101.com a few years ago, I got all the data from the rounds they're tracking and averaged them out per caliber in terms of energy. The results are as follows: .380 ACP (217 ft. lbs.), 9mm (379 ft. lbs.), .40 S&W (447 ft. lbs.), .45 ACP (447 ft. lbs.), .357 SIG (526 ft. lbs.), , and 10mm (650 ft. lbs.). If you notice, .40 S&W and .45 ACP have the same average energy, but as I showed earlier, .45 ACP penetrates more on gel tests. This backs up what I am saying about mass accounting for more in terms of penegation as velocity builds energy more than mass. As you can see with .357 SIG, which has greater velocity and mass than .45 ACP, it still penetrates less. Of course, 10mm which has less mass than .45 ACP still has more energy than the other calibers because its a relatively fast bullet and it's heavy, but it's not as fast as .357 SIG but it penetrates significantly more.
One other thing of interest is that in the Buckeye Firearms study both velocity and mass increase accuracy, but again, accuracy favors calibers that can excel and one or both of these things. After examining the gunshot wounds, the study ranked accuracy as follows for chest and head shots: .380 ACP (76%), 9mm (74%), .40 S&W (76%), .357 SIG (81%), .45 ACP (85%), and .44 Magnum (88%) (there was no information on 10mm). .380 ACP, 9mm, and .40 S&W are all within the margin of error, but .357 SIG, .45 ACP, and .44 Magnum are not, and they are all heavier and/or faster on average.
This is not exactly scientific. But the data from all three sources tend to lean towards heavier bullets penetrating more than slower ones, and then tend to be more accurate. Again, velocity and mass both increase accuracy, but mass seems to get us there more quickly just as we see with penetration, while velocity appears to build energy more quickly. It's this ability of 9mm to produce enough energy and not over penetrate which makes me think it competes with the big guys. It should be noted however, that the only round that was slightly outside the margin of error for incapacitation was the .357 SIG & Magnum which were the only rounds that not only beat shotguns, but they also tied centerfire rifles in their failure to incapacitate rates from the Buckeye Firearms study. Again, I am not claiming anything is conclusive, but what I can say is that it does not appear that lighter faster bullets appear to penetrate more. If anything, it's the opposite.
Excellent well researched response. If you don't currently write articles professionally, you should consider doing so.
As to why heavier projectiles penetrate more than light ones, given similar shapes, is due to conservation of energy. Heavier projectiles shed their kinetic energy more quickly than heavier projectiles. As the mass of the projectile does not change, appreciatively, what is reduced is the velocity of the projectile. And, lighter projectiles shed velocity faster than heavier projectiles. Some times much faster.
Momentum equals mass times velocity. Heavier bullets have more momentum at the same velocity as a lighter bullet. The 45 has more momentum than the 9mm. The 9mm has to have much higher velocity to have the same momentum as a 45. Momentum is what gives more knock down power. Momentum is more important than energy for potency.
I’m a big fan of the Colt 1911 45 with 7 and 8 round mags and have carry one cc for a few years. I shoot the 1911 platform better than any semi auto or revolver I’ve ever shot. I soon will be adding a Colt Commander in 9mm to my cc option.
The one that works best for you is the best choice.
Listen--great article but here are thedsalient poinyts.
* more rounds (20-30% accuracy by FBI measures)
* lighter recoil faster follow up shot (see above)
* Lighter gun
* Universal availability or AMMO--actually should be #1 !!
I like that you said that the 9mm pistol is ideal for open and concealed carry. My husband doesn't like the sound of loud guns, so I might buy a silencer for it if this will let me buy a gun for myself without him complaining about its sounds when I'm training. This way, I can make sure that he'll have some peace when I'm trying to fire some rounds on a practice target.
"My husband doesn't like the sound of loud guns".....For Christ sakes, get him a pellet gun.
More misinformation about the 9mm vs 45. These people think the 9mm shoots magic bullets and the 45 is just slow and heavy. Shoot them both at the same velocity at a block of gelatin. 130 gr VS 230 gr HPs at 1000 fps. Unless you through simple logic out the window, the 45 does more damage.
Thank you! My experience has led me to the same conclusion. That’s why my husband is getting a Sig Sauer .45 ACP for Christmas.
If a higher capacity magazine (15) might be needed (such as law enforcement), go with the 9mm. If a 10 round magazine is more than you would likely ever need (a homeowner), go with the 45. Pick any popular defense ammo made in both 9mm and 45ACP and the 45ACP causes more damage. But if both of these two are more than your are able to shoot comfortably, consider the 380. Quicker on target and more accurate shots with a less powerful cartridge will usually defeat slower on target and less accurate shots from a more powerful cartridge in a gunfight. Practice, practice, practice. People tend to practice more with a weapon they are comfortable with.
My wife was a Harville from Alabama. Hum.
I settled the issue by having 32, 380, 9mm and 45. I carry the XDx in 45 but I also carry 9mm in a PPQ. They are equally comfortable to carry and to shoot. Just get both calibers. I use Hornady critical defense in both caliber. Critical duty allows barrier penetration. We really have the best there can be in terms of equipment so learning to employ them is the big issue other than defense against democrats.
You may need that Democrat at your side while fighting off the Russians, Chinese, or other foreign enemies. Don't be so quick to kill your brother just because his opinion is different than yours .
Where do I stand on the 9mm vs .45ACP debate?
I couldn't decide, so I bought (built actually)...BOTH!
Which is it? You say bullet technology has caused the 9mm to catch up with the .45acp. Then you said because of bullet technology, the .45acp has also improved. If the latter is true, the .45acp is still a better round. This article is biased toward 9mm anyway. Sure, they will both do the job, but a fatter heavier bullet is better for man stopping. It just takes more practice to be proficient which many want to skip....
In my opinion 185 grain .45 Auto hollow points are a better pistol round than any 9 millimeter Luger out there. But I think 9 millimeter Luger is a better carbine round over .45 Auto. In my experience the 9 millimeter is effective to about 110 yards and semi effective beyond that. I got rid of my .45 Auto carbine because I found it less effective beyond about 60 yards.
But I would definitely take a .45 Auto pistol over 9 x 19 handgun in most situations.
It's all about the ammo. With the latest 9mm defensive rounds it's come down to choice not effectiveness
.45. Over penetration matters in public too.
The link is entitled to be wrong lol, the capacity of 9mm the distance and all is great . However breaking the use of the bullet is to protect yourself. You shouldn’t be shooting in long distance situations if it’s self defense situation. You need fewer rounds to do the job so you don’t get excessive force charge , so that rules out the capacity as being a decision factor in the debate . The fact of the high muzzle velocity will lower the enteral damage done to organs . The faster bullet will move an artery out of the way where a slower bullet like .45 will take the artery out . This will eliminate the threat on fewer rounds. Now that being said the 9mm has its place in a high performance situation. The law enforcement and military need that exact type of round and the 9mm is the perfect gun for those situations.
I don’t understand why a situation in a street would be different than at home. There is a difference between an LEO and a civilian. As a civilian I shouldn’t find myself in a situation in the street to have to shoot into cars and where I live by code all exterior walls are concrete. I have played many scenarios in my head and I always conclude that the proximity of an assailant in the street would be greater than the proximity in a home. I can’t see the situation where I would have to return fire on someone standing 25 yards away and where I would initiate shooting against someone at that distance. LEOs have completely different considerations. I used to carry 9mm and I switched to an XDS 3.3 chambered in 45 ACP. With the 7 round magazine it fits in my jeans front pocket. At 3-8 yards distance, which is the most likely scenario I would find myself in need to draw, if God forbid the situation arises, aiming would be instinctive and firing would be done with one hand. At such a distance a 45 round would be a lot more effective than a 9. I had never thought about all this before the day that an Iraq veteran, who loves hunting, told me “use a BB gun to shoot rats in your backyard and carry a large magnum as a backup against a hog charging against you...”.
You're 100% right the big boy can handle a coyote and a wolf so why waist your time carrying something that cant protect you from the both of them??
Because 99% of people will never fight off a coyote attack let alone see a wolf and if your wandering into areas with wolves carrying a 9mm your pretty stupid as those places also have bears who aren't going to be impressed with the latest plastic fantastic
.45 S&W Shield for concealed and home defense and Glock 17 for shtf all bases covered.
I carry and would defend my life with 9mm round. That being said, I would go to hell and back with my HK USP 45. It’s the gun I run classes with and is setup on my battle/SHTF rig.
I would have to say that for me I am more accurate with a .45 acp then a 9mm but that may be because the 1911 is a better fit for me and feels better balanced then a polymer 9mm
I will always favor 45 Acp over 9mm. This doesn't mean I don't own a 9mm. I also carry .357 Sig In the winter time for thicker clothing on my would be enemies. One thing I do like about 9mm ammo that wasn't mentioned is the weight especially in bulk. 45 bullets weigh a ton In a ammo can! One thing I like about the. 45 is that it's so much easier to see the holes on a B27 target at 25 yards than 9mm holes. When you said buy both at the end I was thinking .45 for carry and 9mm for backup.
I am pretty much in agreement with the author, GET BOTH! ...and I have gotten both, plus the 40 Cal Big Brother 10mm. As if the 9mm is the only benefactor of "ammo advancement", well, I also have the awesome 460 Rowland which overlaps 44 Magnum power levels in a 13 round Glock 21 magazine. Plus they have extended mags of many sizes Or back the other way, you can run 9mm NATO, +P adn all of that song and dance. I believe you can make darn near any caliber and pistol you have just as flexible as the next caliber. I'd love to find a 10mm SubSonic round in the 250gr range, my son has a Kriss Vector with a SilencerCo can. Very accurate pistol setup
I split the difference, .357 Sig gives you the same number of rounds per mag as the .40 but with the ballistics of a .357 magnum. When I really want to do some damage my S&W Govt. chambered in .400 Corbon gives me the power of a 10mm in a 45 ACP case size. Another benefit is that both are bottleneck cartridges dramatically lowering the chance of a failure to feed malfunction, an issue with both the 9mm and .45.
I find it funny that people pretend that modern ammo has only improved the 9mm. It’s such a pathetic argument. The same gap between the 9mm vs 45 still exists. While modern ammo allows a 9mm to reliable penetrate sufficiently and expand to over .6”, the 45 can now reliably penetrate sufficiently and expand to over 3/4” of an inch. It’s still creating a bigger wound and crushing more tissue. The 9mm on a per round damage basis is NOT as effective as a 45. That is simply bologne. Now when you factor in shootability, cost, and capacity you can make an argument that the 9mm is the better round but it is NOT as effective as a 45 when it comes to terminal ballistics. That is just simply a foolish claim to make. Some modern 45 jhp loads are creating wound channels on par with 12 ga foster slugs. Modern ammo has not only benefited the 9mm
I don't think a ATTACKER/HOME INVADER will know the difference between a 9mm or a 45cal to the HEAD, NECK or a double tap in the CHEST!! One of the GREAT things about FIREARMS in AMERICA is VARIETY!! One of the BAD things about FIREARMS in AMERICA is the DEMOCRATIC LIBERALS!! Either one will do the Trick unless it happens to be a VERY RARE ATTACKER who has a super tolerance for pain & Blood loss or is on some kind of super man DRUG!!
Till yesterday I carried .22LR. You ask why? Well it will make holes in bad guy/rabbid dog … I am confident that I can stop attack with .22LR cause I can shoot 8 rounds in about 3 secconds center body mass, palm size group. But as I wrote before, I will be sent to jali for that and I dont like small places :D
So I purchased big bore gun :D and hope for rapid blood pressure drop which will cause unconsciousness, or that this bullet will go trought and break spine.
Somethig to the discuters, even for an author.
I live in less free country, I still can carry my pistol, but EU wants to limit my magazines (blah blah blah). But the greater concern is, that Judges in my country do not like defensive shooting.
First to mention, we are limited to FMJ rounds, no HP no JHP, just plain FMJ.
Second, our judges demand, that each shot has to be beforethought = you can shoot perp once and then you have to evaluate, if he stoped his attack. If not, you may shot again but not before. So if you double tap someone or use Mozambique you are in lots of troubles and you are looking for serious jali time for murder.
The above writing concludes that my next pistol is .45ACP (already ordered Glock 41 MOS) and if I have to ever use it (and I hope not) - it will be one shot center body mass and wait if bad guy want to do something else. If so, another one which should lead to enough blood pressure drop to lose consciousness.
If you have to reassess after every shot, then that first shot needs to count. If cost is no issue then .45 is probably best. But if cost IS an issue, then a well placed shot with a high grain 9mm FMJ is better than a poorly placed .45—what I mean is that you have to get your time in at the range. If you have a budget that, hypothetically, only allows you to fire 100 rounds at the range per visit every week/month, then that same budget will only get you 60-70 rounds with a 45. That's a big difference, and could be the difference between a heart shot and a lung shot. Both kills, but one kills instantly, the other allows for return fire from your attacker.
But that's all a moot point. If you need your first shot to count more than anything, then why aren't you carrying a .357 magnum? Low capacity isn't your issue, so it seems that a powerful revolver would be ideal. Plus, law enforcement, judges, and the average person usually see revolvers as less threatening than a high capacity auto-loader. Since defensive rounds aren't an option, you'll want the highest grain bullet you can get, in a soft point wadcutter—which I don't think are even available in 9mm or .45 ACP. So that's another reason why you should get yourself a subnose. 357 magnum: the ammunition options are superior for your particular circumstance.
I agree with you completely,I like and have both -a DW Guardian in .45 and a sig p365 9mm for carry.The choice on which to carry depends upon where I am carrying and why for that day.I believe the ability to have both options covers more scenarios.Great info BTW.
One of the great things about FIREARMS in AMERICA is VARIETY! A ATTACKER/HOME INVADER will not know the difference between a 9mm & a 45cal to the HEAD, NECK or a DOUBLE TAP to the CHEST!! They will both have the same result!
45 acp, with a father like the one we had,
And the proof he show.
My dear friend, is nothing ups there tha can be compare to the amazing 45 acp.
For self defense close or far away.
We can hit a moving target at 75 yards away.
45cals are GREAT and so are 9mm, but If you Hit a ATTACKER IN the NECK or CHEST with a 9mm he is not going to say, "It's only a 9mm let me finish attacking this person"
This is a great article period.! I would like to add that the FBI test comparisons that are referred to are only half the test. The true stopping power goes to the 45 acp (I.e. death) 92+%, 9mm is just over 50%. Center mass Shot placement. Which is why spec ops and the FBI still have 45 acp in their arsenals. Operational goals dictate which weapon to carry. The FBI and the army’s surgeon General have done extensive data gathering. It’s good advice and have fun digging. some info is well hidden for obvious reasons.
But barrier's and body armor slows 45's down to BB gun effectiveness! I was watching COPS and some ACCIDENTALLY shot a 45 at a motel, it went across a 100 foot (or so) Court yard through the Flimsy motel doors Hit a man standing up and the bullet fell into the man's POCKET!! He didn't even have a BRUISE where the 45cal bullet hit him!!
I know better than that.
I carried and used the 45 ACP in the military. Your statement is factually in error.
The U.S. Navy was the last branch of service to go to the 9mm. When I was in we still carried the Colt 1911 .45. Great weapon! My instructors told me that the main r reason the Navy didn't want to switch to a 9mm was that you can hit a 300 pound man with a 9mm as he's running toward you. You can hit him multiple times and he can keep coming at you. With a .45 you can hit him anywhere, even in the arm or shoulder, and you're going to knock him down. Every time. In the real world a single hit with a .45 will stop him. An unmoving target is pretty easy to hit again if needed.
Saw a Gentleman post earlier that he’s proficient with a .45 at 75 yards. Outstanding. But that’s still a bit of a long shot for a sidearm in a firefight. That being said, every one raves about the FPS of the 9mm. So say it has a 500 FPS advantage. At 75 yards (225 ft) you talking about the round arriving a mere .5 seconds faster. I’m not aware of any Humans that can dodge a round in under 1/2 second.
I’ll stick with my slower freight train that will knock a person flat down, even on a sloppy hit, lol.
The FPS isn't about dodging the bullet, that would be ridiculous, as you pointed out. It's about energy. A lighter round traveling faster than a heavy round, if the difference is substantial enough, will carry similar energy. When comparing a 115 grain 9mm round to a .45 ACP bullet that weighs twice as much, that difference is so substantial that the energy foot pounds can be nearly equal.
That said, the. 45 will make a bigger hole, which can be a decisive factor in lethality. But the idea that the .45 will stop a man in his tracks no matter where you shoot him is preposterous. It isn't a miracle round. Now a .44 magnum round to the arm or leg? Yeah, dude doesn't have a usable arm or leg anymore. A .357 magnum round can have similar effects. But a 9mm is going to be nearly as effective as a .45 ACP in almost any circumstance if the shot is a hit to the chest or to a limb. Joe Miller's Navy instructor was just another of those guys who spread myths based in sentimentality instead of facts. He probably also thought that a .22 LR will bounce around inside the rib cage. They say those things from a position of authority and impressionable young guys grow up and repeat them decades later.
That is the EXCEPTION!! Most ATTACKERS will not realize the difference of being Hit with either bullet!! Expecially a HEAD, NECK or double tap CHEST shot!! Most ATTACKERS even if not mortally wounded will address thier WOUND TRY to save THIER LIFE & not get SHOT Again!!
You said: "With a .45 you can hit him anywhere, even in the arm or shoulder, and you're going to knock him down. Every time. In the real world a single hit with a .45 will stop him."
This is simply not true. Very few handgun rounds will stop reliably with one shot or "knock him down." This is why the center mass target shooting with a double tap is taught with handgun self defense. I like the .45 Auto round. (I carry .40 Smith & Wesson or a .45 Auto pistol with concealed carry.) But the .45 Auto does not have the power you are claiming it has.
I say buy the a 10mm... Higher muzzle velocity & muzzle energy than the 9mm & .45.... True 10mm auto ammo like the kind from Underwood is hotter than .357 mag & .41 mag... Almost reaching weak .44 mag specs... Take the 155gr XTP 10mm round from Underwood. Muzzle velocity 1500,,, muzzle energy 774... Hot stuff. Nuclear.... But if you just have to have a 9mm or .45... I would most def go with 9mm for carry... You never know how many attackers you will be dealing with & if they all have weapons themselves, the more ammo you can shoot the better... Plus if you scared of not a enough knock down power with the 9mm. You can always double or triple tap your attacker... Also use hollow points, I would go with Federal HST 124gr.... Plus with the 9mm your follow up shots will be on target better & your groups will be nice... If you looking for a slugger for something like car defense or home defense. You most definitely want to go with the .45... Use federal Hst 230gr... But the 10mm has the speed of the 9mm & is even faster & has the power of a .357 mag ---- .41 mag depending on the ammo you buy... Plus it holds 15+1.... You have the triple package. Speed, power & high capacity.... Hope I was some help....
For 'social work' I prefer 40 to 9 or 45(acp) but for the same reasons 10mm would probably be a good choice - but it's no 41 magnum.
Underwood ammo shows muzzle energy of 600-725 range for the 10mm and 1074-1125+ for 41.
Loading 41 mag to pussycat loads could bring it down to cross over with the 10. That would be like using some of the retail 10mm ammo that is similar to regular 40s.
(btw; I cast, coat and load 40, 41 & 45 Colt)
Not a lick of science in this article. Fortunately plenty exists.
The penetration myth is a myth. Your 45 and your 9mm will both go clear through the walls in your house. As will pretty much anything under #4 buckshot.
Regarding "damage" - both have about the same amount of energy, both leave indistinguishable wound tracks in pliable human tissue - we're not clay. The bigger bullets may make a temporary cavity but the permanent cavities are pretty much indistinguishable to coroners.
Basically, all handguns are poking holes in squishy meat bags.
To say that the 9mm is justbas oowerful than the .44, is totslly nonsense. As a Patrol Officer I have seen both in action in the real world, not the bull crap settings of a test range. No way in hell can the 9mm possibly ever match the .45, or even the .40 S&W, at stopping people.
Some can say that you can carry more rounds ina 9mm than a .45. Not in California and some other states that stop you a 10 rounds mags.
Many say that it is all about round placement, true, but I have seen .45 rounds place in none critical areas and still knock the person off theor feet. While the 9's, well, they kept on fighting on theor feet.
Seriously, people think that the 9mm rounds are the only that made progress in development. Not true at all.
This is the true reasons behind the FBI changing back to the 9mm. Lousy ass training and poor shooting skills of theor agents. Even the FBI report states that 9mm makes it easier for their agents to qualify.
Only because many pokice depts as hiring more and more females. Switching to the 9mm makes them look less sexist.
Here is what an okd timer officer wrote about the subject. He hits the nail perfectly on the head.
He wrote: “The FBI and many police departments are going back to the 9mm for one reason and one reason only – it’s easier to qualify with a 9mm. Departments around the country, in their never ending effort to do more with less, don’t allow for practice hardly at all anymore. Thus, you have a yearly day qual and a yearly night/low light qual and that’s it. They want a 210 or better the 1st time through and then you get back to work. It’s truly sad that worthless police management who sit on their asses all day behind their desk in their A/C can implement near-sighted ideas like this, but it is what it is. I shoot 240 consistently with my 40 and would never carry a 9 unless I had to. It’s simple physics – what’s going to cause more damage…a Federal HST 147gr 9mm going 1000 fps or a Federal HST 180gr 40 going 1010 fps? These are the ammo that most departments use. Getting back to the point – the 9mm gives less recoil and many cops nowadays can’t shoot for shit. – 15 years ago, a 210 or 215 was something to be embarrassed about. Now – I see these new cops high fiving each other for passing. I think rather than going to the 9mm to mask the underlying problem, they should put $$$ into teaching cops how to shoot.”
Do the math. Energy is a square of velocity. They're both about the same energy in most common defensive rounds between the two calibers. Until you're reaching velocities where hydrostatic shock becomes a thing (2,500+ fps) you're poking holes in flesh bags. Just ask the coroners - they can't tell the difference between someone shot by the two (they came definitely tell when a rifle is involved though).
according to some of my police friends who's used a 9mm pistol to the bad guys, even they pump bullets the bad guy still able to run for safety, so they now replace their service firearm into M1911 cal.45.
You cant beat the trigger on a .45 1911. I have many .45s and 9mms. When I'm in the woods I use .45 cast. Going to the store I take my 9 with 124 gr hst. Only because it's easier to hide. I would take the 1911 but some folks freak when they open carry. Go out and shoot some pumpkins, you will see the massive difference between 45 and 9mm. .45 being a nuclear bomb!!!
Same old crap different day. The same tech that has caught the 9mm up to the 45 has made the 45 even more superior. If capacity isn't a factor 45 rules the roost. As a civilian I doubt the I will need an ammo dump under my gun to defend my life. If I did, I would either aviod the area or take a rifle. I own both 9 and 45 because I enjoy both and in a shtf both will be needed. But apples to apples the 45 will always be a superior round.
I love both rounds, but after seeing so many shootouts on liveleak, I have come to the conclusion that you are probably going to miss more than you think so have more rounds than you think you need.
i agree and i hear that every day. "the 9mm has evolved to the current power of the 45 acp" as if there have been no developments in the 45 acp and the 45 acp has stood still. The 45 acp has further developed as has the 9mm still making it a far superior round.
I love your Pro / Con's of each. I do exactly as you stated, we think alike. Only thing I would add is my home defense pistol fights me to my rifle...since pistol rounds are weak compared to a good old 5.56. Great article!!
ps I have always thought, why do "they" argue the 9mm hollowpoints advanced and are the same performance as 45 now. I get that, but as you said, the same tech is applied to .45 and now the expanded .45 is much larger than the expanded 9mm...so 45 still beats 9 by a wide margin (size wise), if they both expand.
Best argument I ever heard was, even if your hollowpoint fails to expand, a .45 will always punch a .45 hole. If a 9mm fails, it won't perform anywhere close to an unexpanded .45 and will punch a tony hole. So .45 is the guarantee to punch big holes, with 9 you have to have the right conditions. Then again, if penetration through a bedroom door, heavy jacket, glass, etc your .45 won't make it to the target, so much to think about! Maybe alternate .45 hollow point and hot buffalo bore or extreme penetrator (best of both worlds).
1. Any high penetration rounds for handguns beyond fmj are usually considered as "armor piercing" and therefore illegal in the us.
2. If you are using ap rounds in a home defense scenario and your shot goes through a wall and hits your neighbor, good luck justifying it in court.
3. Modern 9mm hollowpoints nearly always expand, especially if you're using +p rounds at close range it's pretty much guaranteed.
If you are going to use 5.56 x 45 make sure you get ammo that uses 69 to 77 grain soft or hollow points as they are far more effective than 62 or 55 grain full metal jacket.
I know most of the ammo I use will be full metal jacket so I picked 7.62 x 51 and 7.62 x 39 as my rifle calibers. I try to get soft and hollow point ammo for both but it is far more expensive for 7.62 x 51.
I also like 9 millimeter Luger as an alternative long gun round over .22 Long Rifle as recoil sensitive people can shoot this and do more damage.
jack says if you throw a rock to throw the biggest rock.
Like, Jack Bauer? Sparrow? Nicholson?
Killing the BODY "in this world" is MORE than Sufficient.
I don't believe that MEN can Kill the SOUL....It's GOD BREATHED Genesis 2:7.... and since the "SOUL" is "GOD-BREATHED", then The SOUL is "IMMORTAL".!
That would explain why unbelieving (LOST) people in "HELL" "BURN, but NEVER BURN-UP"..!!!"???
This really isn't the place for an in depth spiritual discussion, but your comment was interesting. You are right; the soul is eternal, and only God can condemn it to hell, and ultimately to "the Lake of Fire."
Actually, we ALL have a soul, but only TRUE Christians (born again believers) have a spirit.
Contrary to world-wide teaching, not one of us was born (or created) in the "image and likeness of God." In fact, since the world began, only 3 people have been:-
Adam, Eve (before they sinned), and the Lord Jesus Christ (Who never sinned.)
Adam and Eve passed on the nature of sin (spiritual death) to the whole human race (see Romans 5:12-21), which is why we MUST be "born again of the spirit in order to enter the Kingdom of God" (see John 3:3).
In short, we ALL live for ever: the only question is WHERE?
Spirit people go to Heaven... Soul people go to hell. Any one who reads this should know that vital truth!
Did you know Eve was not the first woman? Just saying, look it up.
I'm pretty sure the .50 AE can kill the soul. It kills everything else. Maybe we can have that as a debate topic? Or does it take a .500 Smith? Back in the day, there was a revolver chambered in .600 Nitro Express.... just saying.
It's just a saying, relax,
If you are choosing the 9mm simply because of capacity, you might want to also consider the FN Herstal FNX-45. It has a capacity of 15+1 and it's a 45 ACP. Just saying.
Yea! I literally just bought one of these. I do just like the author says. Glock 43 9mm is my every day carry, IWB. FNX 45 T is my bedstand gun with 15 +1, RMR and 1000 lumen Surefire. My plan is to magazine dump the pistol towards the threat, en route to my Colt M4, then lay down a wall of suppressive fire until the police respond to my alarm.
I recently moved to my country property and am living alone. I've done some research on the differences regarding handguns, but now I'm getting a little confused. With having very minimal firearm experience, could you recommend a good choice?
Thanks in advance,
Go to a range and rent some guns until you find one that you can shoot well. Then buy noise canceling ear muffs for about $20 because if you ever pop one off indoors it will hurt your ears. Also buy a super bright flash light it will help you see and blind the intruder. Practice practice and take a gun class to learn the law. Or you could end up in prison. Don't be scared but owning a gun is a responsibility.
In case you actually see this, if you are wondering about self defense in the home, you need a shotgun. There is absolutely nothing more effective.
I love 50 ae..
Try firing one off indoors in the dark with no ear protection. I guarantee it's not something you'll want to do again any time soon.
Matt, great comment, thank you
For the elderly, the recoil of the standard 1911 45 is lesser because of its weight. They are not an ideal carry gun, howyever. The subcompact 9mm, is an ideal carry gun but it's lighter weight makes recoil control difficult. The upward recoil maybe lesser but 9mm has a twisting recoil motion.
I had thousands .45 230 grains hardball and some +Ps hallow points with my standard 1911 when I tested my friend's full size 9mm. I was surprised because the gun twisted in my palm about 1/2" or more to my left with a sharp pinging sound that was not very comfortable to my ears.
I don't think one is better than the other either. I agree with what the majority of old veterans say. All bullets kill. Use what you can use the best. I myself started out carrying a 22.lr handgun because it was what I shot since I was a kid. My grandfather gave it to me back in the early 1990s before he died. He had a friend that was teaching me to shoot at a campgrounds we used to visit each weekend. Anyway my grandfather died before his friend could teach me more. The campground lot got sold. And by that time I lost interest in learning more. Later on in life I started to practice shooting again and worked with many different calibers. I finally settled on the .380acp for awhile because the size of the handguns matched my older 22lr Handgun. Later when they started coming out with pocket 9mm handguns I started to practice with those. Now I carry a 3.2 inch barreled 9mm. I do like shooting the .45acp But a 1911 commander as much as I love it, is harder to fit in my pocket. However I don't really feel the average .45acp has that much more recoil "if any more" than a hot 9mm round.
All bullets kill... Eventually. If a guy rushes you with a knife and you shoot him with a few rounds of 22lr in the chest he'll probably die. Just not before he stabs you to death.
The 45 acp has better stopping power. Thats a fact. Bigger holes are better ones. I have shot many things living and not w both calibers and i have to say that 45acp does noticeably more damage. This isnt a pride of ownership statement either. Currently i own no 45,s. My 2 primary guns are a Canik TP9SA 19 shot 9mm and a 7 shot Taurus TRACKER 357magnum. And honestly the 357magnum puts em both to shame. Bottom line though... all are great weapons. 9mm is a better beginners and plinkers gun and 45acp is more for someone experienced thats wants to lay the smack down.
Here we go agin, 9mm vrs 45,
I started shooting at age 8 I am now 64, aferter seeing many debates on this topic, here is my own opinion the best pistol or rifle for self defense is the one that you can shoot the best. What ever cal.
If you can hit with one and allways misswith the others , I think I would chose the one you can make the most hits with, just from my own exsperance , I had some mild steel targets out at my home we used to shoot at all day and almost every day with .38 spl, And 9 mm, then I bought a kimber1911
In .45 acp, with 230 grain target rounds we started shooting the same targets we shot with the 9mm and 38 spl, well guess what
No more mild steel targets to shoot at, it completely deformed
All the targets, conclusion is I guess if your shooting steel targets you better use ar500 steel if you don't want to destroy them with you .45, but for self defense
Any cal will work depending on shot placement.
The one thing I never see mentioned about the .45 acp is that because it's a slower round and over penetration issues drop dramatically it, FMJ is still a very good SD/HD ammo. I have shot drywall and 2 inch plywood and have gotten little penetration from 5 yds with a Smith and Wesson 645. white box Winchester was the ammo..
Very informative article! I will always have a 1911, because it is my favorite gun to shoot. The best ergonomics, the feel of the recoil, and let's not forget about how gorgeous it is!
However, I am getting an M&P9 2.0 for my daily carry. I've finally finished up college and paid off my loans, and I'm ready to get back to the range at least weekly to improve my accuracy now that my budget allows.
.45 ACP does have more advantages than stated in this article, namely that the .45 will not get deflected by bones nearly as bad as the 9mm (for example, pro bowlers, as they age, would rather stick with a 16lb ball and have less speed than drop to a 15lb ball and keep their speed high - the difference between a 15lb ball and a 16lb ball going through the pins is astonishing).
However, if trained professionals only have 20-30% accuracy, it's not unreasonable to think that many of us would only have 15-20% accuracy in a self defense scenario. That means 2-3 hits per mag in 9mm vs 1-2 hits in .45 ACP. And this is all before we even talk about the lack of concealability of .45 ACP double stack.
Overall, I'll carry 9mm when outside my home, eventually acquire a double stack .45 ACP for home defense, and will shoot the 1911 for fun :)
Why not buy a double stack 1911, like my ParaOrdnance p14-45?
He obviously said that the 9 will penetrate better then the .45 thats why the military adopted it and left the .45 in the past.
The 2 main reasons for the switch was 1. cost 2. ammunition since all our NATO allies use the 9.
I have several 9 mm different brands but no cheap gun, Glocks, Smith & Wesson and CZs... I couldn’t get the thought out of my head my Colt I sold in the 90s so had to buy a SA 1911 loaded... great weapons all... just don’t worry about home defense... I keep my 870 close by for those rats that might want to drop by uninvited...
I can only say this: When your life - and the lives you protect - depend on 18 ready available bullets, you’re going to wish for more. And then some more.
Engaging, defensive and cover fire; they all require lots of bullets. Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst case escenario. Your life depends on it. No looks or ballistics tests are going to help you there. Only your focused aiming and bullets. Lots of bullets.
This is a debate that will go on as long as there are those who don't want to accept the laws of physics. The US military adopted the 38 Long Colt in 1892 thinking service men could carry more ammo and the cost to manufacture and transport would be lower per round. Funny thing though, the administrators weren't the ones facing the enemy and while the 38LC was easy to shoot (basically a 9mm Luger ballistic wise), it did not stop determined attackers so the Army re-issued the 45 Long Colt.
If you want to stop a varmint, use the largest projectile feasible. Varmint applies to large game too..
Ha, Ha, Ha. you make me laugh. Bullet tech has come a long way for the .45 also.. ya ever seen the hole a .230 grain HST makes?..960 dia. 1 shot equals. 300 thousands of an inch diameter more than a 9mm HST.. my 1911 short trigger pull is fast. But then a .22 in the eye works to.
A lot of this pissing contest about pistol calibers is very egocentriccentric. The matter of fact is that the three most commonly carried/used semi automatic calibers (9mm, .40 s&w, .45 acp) are all equally quite weak compared to shotgun and rifle rounds.
Any reference to "stopping power" in regards to the aforementioned rounds is laughable.
The best advice when employing these rounds in a true self defense situation is a follows: "Apply judiciously and generously until the threat has stopped".
The 9mm is no pea shooter and a.45 acp is not a one shot giant killer. Be situationally aware, proficent and accurate with your weapon and the rest will fall into place.
Stopping power is not the same as joules or ft/lbs. On these metrics, the rounds are generall equal.
However, physics will not be denied, and .45 ACP, while slower, is heavier, and will therefore break bones that 9mm would otherwise deflect off of. Mass is an important factor!
But, like you said, all of this arguing is moot if you cant hit your target!
Fair & balanced article. I have many .45 and 9mm. My personal favorite without a doubt is the 1911 design, even though it's heavy, expensive to shoot, and has a limited magazine. It feels good in the hand, is built like a tank, and definitely a 'cool' looking piece. The main drawback is the 8 round magazine (WC). I can shoot my Sig 17-round magazine all day and not feel my wallet getting lighter by the minute. Still, if someone breaks in the house I keep a .45 S&W revolver next to the bed. Point and shoot, only need to hit my target once...then they're down. There is no perfect handgun, life always has compromises.
n 2014, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a report detailing the potential combat effectiveness of the 9mm cartridge when compared to other calibers such as the .45 ACP and the .40 S&W cartridge that was specifically developed for use by the FBI. The report indicated that the new powders and more advanced bullet designs used in current 9mm defensive loads allowed for the caliber to deliver almost similar performance to other calibers, like the .45 ACP, and .40 S&W. In addition to this, the lower recoil, less wear, cheaper ammunition and higher capacity were all reasons that the report cited for the recent surge in orders of the ammunition from various police agencies. With a wider selection of officers being able to shoot handguns chambered in 9×19mm, many departments choose this caliber so they can standardize around a single firearm and loading, making logistics and supply easier. Due to all of these factors, law enforcement orders of 9mm ammo from all major ammunition manufacturers have spiked significantly.
The FBI report made it clear that the more consistent accuracy of 9mm in the hands of their less experienced shooters was a factor in their returning to 9mm as their standard handgun caliber. It was also made clear that the almost same effectiveness of 9mm compared to .40 S&W and .45 ACP was due to the high quality of 9mm ammunition available.
New powders and more advanced bullet designs used only work for the 9mm not 45 acp or 40 S&W? That is kind of odd to me!! Anyone else think the same thing?
The main argument is basically that once a threat a stopped, it can't really become more stopped. Yes, 45ACP with defensive loads and .40 S&W with defensive loads do more terminal damage than 9mm with defensive loads. However, that damage is effectively wasted since the cartridges were designed so that they worked as ball ammo. Increasing the lethality of them is moot since they were already the benchmark.
Once it is dead, it cannot be deader.
9mm defensive brings it on par with 45acp and 40s&w ball - and that is what it needed to meet for it to outperform them since you also get the gains of capacity, less recoil, cheaper, and easier to train with.
Also keep in mind that the study, and their recommendation, was based off of the assumption that they were going to be equipping thousands of people with the new weapons. They needed a standard that could be applied to everyone - not what was best per person.
If you, as an individual, can put in the training required to fully leverage 40S&W or 45acp then it can be a great choice for personal defense.
If not then 9mm is an amazing option now.
FWIW, I find the 45 recoil is "smoother", whereas 9 & 40 seem to be "sharper", making the muzzle flip harder to recover from.
Plus, I think the just plain weight of the 45 carries more "oomph". Maoris beware.
yeah...you say the 9mm bullet has gotten better, but in reality both have gotten better. Thanks for the one sided argument.
I noticed that also that new powders and more advanced bullet designs seem to ONLY apply to the 9mm. Why is that? If new powders and more advanced bullet designs used helped make the 9mm better then would not the new powders and more advanced bullet designs also then put every other caliber a step up also?
They obviously apply to other calibers as well. The point is that 9mm is now sufficient to stop most attackers with 1 shot, while also having the advantage of increased capacity and reduced recoil. Modern .45 acp is overkill against most targets (which isn't a bad thing in itself, but better to have the extra capacity if you don't really have to trade a significant reduction in lethality for it).
This has been a very interesting post! Along with comments as well! I currently carry a .40 s&w. Due to its bulky size I generally leave it wedged in between the front seats of my truck so I can access it fairly quickly, I never badly carry it because of the uncomfortable size and also because I live in Florida a lot of people still don’t support concealed carry as much as I’d like them to so I worry about it peaking out from under the bottom of my shirt and causing an issue with someone. I am currently looking into a kimber ultra carry ii or a sig p938. I am really leaning toward the dog in a .45 it also comes in 9mm though for who likes that. Does anybody have one of these that can state how their carrying experience has been? As well as reliability? I would probably carry the gun inside the waist. I know the kimber is a little bit bigger but from what I can tell not a noticeable difference because the sig comes with an extended clip with a finger grip on it which you would definitely want if you didn’t want your little finger to hang off the bottom. I am still open to 9mm that’s why I was considering the sig but I do love the style and extra safety features of the kimber.
Years ago when 9mm was the craze I purchased a Browning model 39. When i saw people who were actually shot with it and survived I opted for the 40 S&W. My dream gun has always been a 1911 in 45 cal but after watching the video I'm on the fence again. Capacity is a good factor to concern as long as rounds are selectively placed otherwise is just becomes another spray and part scenario. Maybe a 1911 in 9mm and good defensive ammo is in my future. I like the heavier gun though due to the longer site radius, repeat target acquisition and the ability to steady the weapon. What do you think?
230 grain .45 +p at 950fps is moving at least as fast as the 9mm subsonic 147 grain round. As far as capacity goes, I live in a 10 round state. I’ll take the big 45 any day.
"Well, this might rock your world but I’d recommend getting one of each."
Best advice ever.
Brandon Harville, There is a link to a notorious anti-gun organization in your article. I'm sure when you wrote your "9mm vs .45 ACP" article back in April 2017, your link labeled "canceled out in some states" did go to "smartgunlaws.org" where their information on gun laws was displayed. But no more. Today it sends your readers to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence." This far Left, anti-gun rights organization slants and grossly misrepresents events by omitting vital information from their "articles" and adding bald faced lies. Saying Islamic Terrorist attacks were really just another "gun violence incident" is a vile misrepresentation of reality. Please take immediate action to change this link and ensure no other articles on Pew Pew Tactical contain links to that dishonest propaganda site.
Hi Holmes, you're right. I'm removing that link since it looks like it was redirected.
As a beginner, I'm going hiking with lots of bears. which should I use a 9 mm or a .45?
If there's bears...I'd go with bear spray first. If you're really intent on a firearm...go bigger.
In that case consider a 10mm or .357 magnum (better get a .44 magnum) depending on how big the bears are.
If you're hiking with bears, I presume they would protect you. Otherwise,
12 ga shotgun ask anyone outfitter in Alaska what they carry you can buy a Shockwave and have more power then any pistol.
If worried about an encounter with bears, I'd take nothing less than 357 Mag. or 44 Mag. for Grizzly.
On the other OTH, if you're proficient with either the 9mm or 45 AUTO, then, go with it.
Shot placement will be your main concern with any bear.
I've taken black bear with both the 44 mag. and 45LC with one shot kills, both head shots.
One of the biggest I've seen taken was 465lb. with two shots in the heart from a 40 S&W.
All this being said, get good with whatever you get, then, just go with.
Hi Matthew. I am not an expert, I've never had a bear encounter. BUT, I have read that bear attacks are usually a big surprise to both the hiker and the bear, who have both been startled by each other's company. The cheaper sprays have less contents so don't spray as long. They are not 'cheap' as in inexpensive, either. It's also recommended that you practise with a spray before you hit bear country, so you know how the spray works and how to spray effectively. It will give some confidence in its use. This is where you don't want to spray yourself. In a bear encounter, you spray the can contents across the area the bear will be advancing through towards you, which is right in front of you. You follow the directions on the can. As for when you spray, I'll leave that for others with more experience. You don't want to let the wind blow it away and waste it if the bear isn't moving. Wait until he starts moving toward you? I don't know-seek advice. Then retreat after spraying. You may need to spray again so a larger can is a better bet if you can afford it. In theory the bear will advance into the spray mist and his breathing apparatus will suck in the irritant and it will get into his eyes and mouth. Which he won't like. Hopefully he ll leave or be disoriented so you can leave in a safe direction. I hope this helps. A bear attack can happen very quickly. You have seconds literally to get your gun on to the bear. Proponents of the spray say that the spray is more effective, because you don't have to worry about getting out your gun and having the presence of mind to get on target in a few seconds. It's much quicker to spray left to right or right to left in front of you than get a gun out. You DO have to have the spray handy though. Like clipped on the front of your backpack harness or belt, in a manner where it can quickly be retrieved and used. If I saw a bear close that wasn't moving, I'd get the spray out and slowly back off, and use it if he started coming my way. However, there might not be enough time for all that. Take all this with a pinch of salt, I'm no expert. But personally I would have both a BIG gun like 44 Magnum and spray, not one or the other. Maybe spray and a 30-30 rifle.
In the old days cowboys put 5 rounds in their 6 shooter and money in the last chamber to be used to bury them. The other point is shoot someone in the hand with a 9 he drop his gun shoot them with a 45 they will drop their hand. If you're a professional you should hit what your shooting at, or don't carry,
Enjoyed the reasoned comments. Good show all. I was a die hard .45 fan but when I got the concealed license, it just wasn't comfortable to carry. After some trial and error I did find a 9mm I was comfortable with and it concealed well. Like many others, I use the .45 at home (and in the car) with the primary at home a Mossberg Persuader. If you come into my home, they're carrying what's left out in a bag.
I carry a Glock 30 concealed . I prefer more shock per hit. I also carry the Ruger LC9 as a backup. I personally know of more more people surviving being shot with a 9 than a 45acp. Two were head shots. I'd prefer to hit with a slow moving baseball than a faster golf ball . But this is my decision. This debate of 9 versus 45 just comes down to personal choice with today's ammo.
Never ending dilemma: 9mm or .45, AR-15 or AK47, BMW or Mercedes, Apples or Oranges...
Personally I like them all! :)
Here's an old lady's take on it: the best gun/caliber is what YOU shoot best.
My "bedroom" gun (the one I keep ready for home defense situation) is a 1911 Gov. 45ACP. Why? Because out of all my handguns, this is the one I'm most accurate with. I don't rely on the bullet (nor the sound of racking the gun, nor the sound of explosion to scare the intruder away). I rely on my skill to execute the shot.
The best bullet will fail, if shot placement is poor. Next, speed of follow-up shots doesn't come from the caliber. It comes from the shooter. It's both in physical and mental ability. I'll be shooting faster when I'm more confident that I can hit the target (the closer the distance; the bigger the target; the easier to handle, more accurate the gun...).
And that's why an old lady clings to her old 1911 :)
God bless you Miss! :)
My kind of old LADY,but,she's probably too young for me.
What an awesome read. All the comments are great. It gives perspective from both sides. I carry both 9mm and .45 ACP (not at the same time.) It just depends on what I am wearing and how much concealment I want. I have a Sig 1911 Ultra Compact .45 and a Sig P938 9mm. The 9mm is super small and light weight (about 16oz empty) and the 1911 weighs almost twice that. The 1911 has a 3.3" barrel and is also small. Both in MY OPINION have similar kick to them. I don't want to carry anything bigger. I do take into consideration penetration behind what I am aiming at with the 9mm because of over penetration, but you must ALWAYS be aware of what is behind the perp. A shift to the right or left could clear the background behind them. It is always situational awareness no matter what.
Call me crazy but home defense SCREAMS for a good ole Mossberg cruiser with a nice laser sight and maybe a strong, blinding flashlight for perps' who go 'bump in the night' into your coffee table. It'll take all kinds of enthusiasm away from your intruder whether you use choked turkey shot or 00. Less 'intent' to kill when LEO show up to take your statement and you're less likely to injure a family member 3 rooms away! Also loud as hell - enough to alert everyone in the house and even if you miss, the intruder is less likely to stick around to hear the mechanics of a pump signaling a second shot is on the way whether they're armed with a piece or a crowbar, unless they intend to harm you, rather than just steal your stuff.
9mm in the field just makes sense, for all the reasons Eric lists plus those of you fine, well informed readers. Full sized .45 or .50 for when you really mean 'permanent' and final business and .300 BLK fmj rounds through a sbr (I know, tsk, tsk) or tactical pistola for 1200-1300 fps during a full blown war or zombie apocalypse! Will still have a long-range, full length rifle or carbine slung over my shoulder too...Why compromise when it comes down to multiple enemies wanting you dead or wanting to taste your brain? Talk about high-capacity magazines! Yes, I fully appreciate state round limitations (even if I don't necessarily agree with them) so long as I have enough mags to hold out in such a life/death event., God forbid....
Still, nothing like the feel of a nice heavy, ..45. customized to your liking as your arsenal 'anchor'. Even better if you have the means and the skills to build one yourself, get to know what you're shooting inside and out!
Hi John, I enjoyed your comments. I once read an account by someone who shot an intruder at close range with a shotgun. A lot of posts and comments online like this are theory, maybe based on some truth or facts, but a lot of people theorize on this and that. What I read about that encounter sickened me. The day after the craziness was all over and the police had finished up and gone, the body was gone and everyone was kinda trying to figure out what to do next, the homeowner took stock of the surroundings in the room where he had shot the intruder. He noted that the wall was splattered with not just blood, but flesh and bone. I'm sure this was a terrible feeling for him. I have 38 special, 9mm, and a 12 GA shotgun at home. I once knew a fellow how kept a revolver loaded with snake shot on the living room mantle (kids and all) so his wife would have something to fire at an intruder which would essentially scare him off without killing him. Now, I can see all kinds of comments coming from that one, from 'good idea' to 'that's a terrible idea'. People bandy about theories of using bird shot to 00, because here on a forum it's a safe environment. We say these things and move on. But to a victim or an attacker, what happens when an intruder gets hit by birdshot may be a lot different to 00. The birdshot might mess someone up, it might kill them if close enough I suppose. Or blind them. Whereas the 00 might outright kill them. My son bought 00 because he thought it was a good idea to be absolutely sure he could take an intruder down, where birdshot might be 'iffy'. I think people should think about not only the effects on an intruder but also how they will feel after they have shot someone. Sure, good over evil trumps, you can't let intruders do terrible things. If you have to shoot, common wisdom says shoot to kill, worry about it afterwards. But can you deal with what you've done afterwards mentally? Just a thought.
I really admire the professional comments that was written. However, how about the hollow point bullets that's suppose to stop and explode once they enter the body.Is that a myth or not? Please inform. What is the best Hollow Points for a Glock 19? .
Don't know about explode, but a good hollow point will EXPAND. There are many good rounds for the G19 for social work. WIth that size gun/barrel you have lots of options.
DoubleTap.com uses Speer Gold Dots and has some hot loads.
Hornady has an XTP +P 135gr that is an excellent design.
Some people carry a 124gr for summer and 147gr in cold climates where the BG might be wearing a Carhartt over sweaters, etc.
BTW, I like the 9mm and .45 pretty much equally and have both calibers. For HD, I have a 12gauge but my G19 is fine. For CCW I'll carry it in winter, then my G43 in summer and an LCP2 .380 BUG in my pocket.
My first thought is: .45 is better because it's bigger. As mentioned by another person's comment above, any more than a couple of rounds down range may escalate the possibility of your prosecution, (Unless you are against multiple attackers.). Aside from that, aren't they using the same bullet technology on .45 as they are on 9mm? Wouldn't that make the.45 leap farther ahead again, in terms of "better"?
I could not agree more! Good point.
any lower powder grain ammo with a soft or no jacket on the led.. Most people I know use hollow points as they tend to have less penetration through walls and the human body but leave aone nasty show stopping wound...
What is a "safer" 9mm ammo for home protection, one with similar (or if possible less) penetration risk vs. the average .45 ammo?
I plan to soon buy a 9mm or .45.
I love Eric's articles. Well written, and no trash talking, rare in the gun world. Thanks, Eric!
have the .45 pistol/carbine combo, luv 'em. practice once a month, and can do 6" group at 8-10 meters with pistol... as far as pretty, get the desert camo... and I had money left over for ammo. Can't go wrong with that.
Having some experience with both calibers and owning every one you can name I would also like to mention body armor/bullet proof vest testing. A 9mm will sting ya but a 45 will break your ribs.... Just my two cents. Not that a low rent trash bag would be wearing a vest if he decides to break in your casa but with the cost of bullet resistant vests getting cheaper and cheaper any things possible. My advice is practice, practice, practice!! Muscle memory combined with good ole fashion "practice makes perfect" will allow you to drop a man in one shot and it won't matter what you grab in the night! Except for maybe a BB gun!
Hmmm, always been a 1911 45cal chap,although 38cal is certainly better than 9mm which has been known to bounce off suspects believe it or not.Good article,interesting points!
Did the "suspects" who had 9mm rounds bounce off of them happen to be wearing red underwear and a big "S" on their chest.
I really hope you were joking with your statement. If not please remember Grand Theft Auto is just a video game, not real life.
ERIC! (Pew Pew Eric) Keep the awesome info coming, I love your emails and love your site!
Thanks for bringing our gun culture forward...
Cody! You effin ROCK! I could not agree with you more on every level.
Which is best? Whichever caliber you shoot most accurately. I have pistols chambered in .22lr, 9mm Luger, .40 S7W, 357 SIG, and .45 ACP. Apart from the .22lr, I would consider using any of them for self-defense. My personal preference for a home defense handgun is a full-sized pistol chambered in .45 ACP. For mid-sized pistols I like .40 S&W which tends to cut the difference in capacity, ammunition cost, projectile mass, and muzzle velocity between 9mm and .45 pretty nicely. For compact or subcompact pistols I tend to favor 9mm due to recoil considerations in the smaller, lighter guns, and the magazine capacity limitations. I might possibly be able to shoot 9mm slightly faster but I seem to have consistently better first shot accuracy with .40 S&W and 45 ACP.
I don't think i would hesitate to use my ruger 1022 for home defense with modern rounds like stingers or velocitors the new browning rounds that go 1450 fps. i have used them on Coyotes and have seen the damage they are quite impressive. I would recon my 5 or close to 6 inch barrel Walther p 22 loaded with them with rapid shots would do okay . My father is a Doctor and interning in the E.R. His first patient was a guy shot right by the belly button. He didn't make it and when they found the round it was in his neck. I realize these instances are rare but one things for sure i can cut a target in half with rapid shots so easily with a 1022 because of zero recoil i think i could shoot 4 rounds to 1 outta my 45. I am not sure if i would like to be hit by one 45 acp or 4 high velocity hollow point 22's ( honestly i can say neither but i do not disagree just throwing my 2 cents in it is all about shot control and placement. Not always which round is bigger, faster, more powerful!!!!
First; opinions are like, well you know, the hole on your back side. First mag size for home or personal defense holds no water! In the majority of the states, anything more than 2 rounds down range puts in in the pin for excessive force! With that being said it all lies on personal preference. The best home defense round of all time is a good old 12 gauge 2 3/4" low brass #6 shot. It stops would be's and penetration is a non issue. I prefer to carry a 45acp because it rips arms off bodies and a 12 gauge in the house.
I would love to hear everyone's thoughts.
Today's 45s aren't that slow. The ones that I carry travel at 1000 fps. A big, fat, 230 grain hollow point at that speed will drop the MF faster than a 9mm any day of the week.. My state has a 10 round limit. I'll take 10 "flying ashtrays" over the puny 9mm anytime.
Or pick up some Federal HST 185 grain 45 ACP, 1140 fps! That's up in 10mm territory!
9mm vs. .45. I say different tools for different tasks. If I am going mowing in bear country, my 1911A1 and eight FMJS are with me in case God forbid a bear attack.s. If I am passing through Welfareville and Methport on my way to the Promised Land, My TP 9 with 5 extra loaded 17 round magazines of 115 grain JHP will be with me. And if a Riot Festival ;looms, I'll be riding in the back seat doing Green Beret carry of either my AK or AR, too. I want harm for nobody, and especially me and mine, too.
I'm not sure 45 is a good choice for bear country, most folks choose a large caliber magnum revolver with bonded solids for that job. The rest of your post I am 100% onboard with!
What about a 357 Magnum?
Good show! I thought this was going to get way uglier in the comments. Thanks for the article, and for the mature comments.
I'm carrying a 45, and it was because of the lesser penetration that I decided on it. But it's like buying a vehicle, or picking out a new bass as far as there are pros and cons to each one. For me, it's an SR1911, an old 4x4 Toyota with a stick, and a Pedulla...
my choices on all 3 are exactly the same i thought that was oddly coincidental since all 3 are not the most common choices. Usually i hear 40 cal ford truck fender blah blah blah
I think the 10mm trumps them both...
By that logic the 50 AE is even better!
Over penetration should not be an issue. If you're afraid of what's behind your target you shouldn't be shooting in the first place.
Scenario: Armed burglar breaks in and is standing in the area in which your child/roommate's facilities is now based behind him.
Option one; You choose to have ammunition in your pistol that is know to over penetrate because why would you need a bullet that doesn't fully penetrate something. Now you must shout for him to get down/leave, because your selected ammunition could possibly over penetrate and harm someone in another room, and hope the situation doesn't escalate to him reacting in instinctive action by charging or shooting at you. This would most likely result in you firing at the assailant in a less accurate fashion as well as possibly harming others.
Option two; You select a certain ammunition that has been proved to not fully penetrate. You fire at the armed person/s and take down the threat. The situation is now dissolved without any bystanders in the background getting injured.
Most situations are going to involve you protecting/defending yourself with others in the background. If you conceal carry then there is a 90% chance of bystanders being in your firing line. Not every confrontation is going to be 'range based'.
Wrong, you change the angle. Drop to a knee which will angle your bullet trajectory upwards and if the rounds exit his body they should be travelling in a safe direction.
The problem is you can't always be sure of what's behind your target in a defensive situation. In a self-defense scenario, you're using your firearm because if you don't, you or a loved one will be harmed. If you live in an apartment, or even a neighborhood, there's no way to know what's behind your target.
FMJs go through wood, plaster, sheet rock, and most anything else in your walls like its nothing, so there's no way to know what it may hit on the other side. Its not about hitting something or someone behind the assailant, it's about hitting something through the wall and the garden fence behind the assailant.
No one in their right mind willingly chooses to use FMJs in a pistol or rifle for self-defense. Expanding bullets passing through a bad guy should have little energy left, just don't miss.
Everyone wants to put down the 45 and take up the 9 because they wont take the time and energy to get proficient with the 45, and if you are too weak or candy a## you never will master the 45. The marines and FBI went to the 9 so women could qualify because only 1 in 10 can with a 45. though they cant come out and say so. And by the way,the famous FBI shootout was ended by one well placed round from a frickin 38special!!! the heavy slow 45 stays in the body and delivers most of its energy to it. any bullet that passes through the body only delivers 10% to 20% of energy to the body, like the hot 9mm that are famous for over penetrating human targets, not jello it is ENERGY that is stopping power. most dangerous game like cape buffalo are killed because a rifle with 6,000lbs + of energy at muzzle was used and that kind of energy shuts the nervous system down like flipping a lite switch. Ive been reading these articles for years and most of them are skewed in favor of the 9 by ammo selected for the test.They pick the hottest 6 9mm and the weakest 6 45s and shoot jello. Ive been doing this for 40 years. hang yourself an old school iron skillet for a target. shoot it with a hot 9mm. It will punch through and swing it a little. shoot it with a hot 45acp and it will tear a huge ragged hole and dang near clothsline out the hanging rope. the 45 wins hands down over the 9mm. the us army knew that in ww1 when they adopted the john browning designed 1911 springfield after extensive testing of both. Stop trying to justify taking effective weapons away for less effective ones. Kind of like when they took away the man stoppin 308 cal m14 and gave them a stinking 223 varmint round to fight a war with in nam. real world testing and experience trumps skewed charts charts and shooting blocks of jello which are nothing more than a STARTING POINT to give you an idea what a cartridge MAY BE capable of in a REAL WORLD situation. been there done that.To quote a man who has shot some people"you can kill a man without stopping him and stop a man without killing him" shoot him with a hot 9 that fails to expand due to being plugged with leather jacket and rips through with only say 20% energy transfer or 70 pounds roughly and he is gonna be on you. shoot him with a 45 that does not over penetrate and has 80+% energy transfer or 275 lbs minimum and the fight is over.
". . . like when they took away the man stopping .308 caliber M-14 and gave them a stinking .223 varmint round to fight a war with in Vietnam."
I hear you. My picks for rifles were 7.62 x 39 and 7.62 x 51.
My primary indoor home defense weapons are only a .40 Smith & Wesson carbine and pistols chambered in .45 Auto and .40 Smith & Wesson. Firing one of my rifles indoors would mean likely permanent hearing damage and a bullet ripping through my exterior walls at high velocity.
The important things here are Bullet Type, and bullet placement. Calibre has very little to do with it. The correct bullet for the job Either expanding or hard cast for penetration. For the latter you need moderate velocity and a bullet that holds it's shape. We all know by now of Mr. Schumacher's killing of a large bear with a 9mm. The bullet is/was a 147 grain hard Cast at 1100 FPS. one of them went completely through the bear. The gun is a S&W mdel 39 in 9mm with a 4" barrel. I gather he was just Firing the pistol into an effective area. The last comment is assuming that a high velocty rifle round is a good penetrator. Well this is not the case I give you the words of Randy Garret.
Despite all the impressive "science" deployed to reinforce the assertion that higher speed projectiles are more capable of inflicting the deep penetration and impact-effect required to reliably anchor heavy game, one finds that these assertions simply do not withstand common sense, repeatable penetration testing. In fact, if one conducts these tests, one finds that there is nothing that can be observed which supports the assertion that the faster one drives non-expanding solids the deeper they penetrate.Despite all the impressive "science" deployed to reinforce the assertion that higher speed projectiles are more capable of inflicting the deep penetration and impact-effect required to reliably anchor heavy game, one finds that these assertions simply do not withstand common sense, repeatable penetration testing. In fact, if one conducts these tests, one finds that there is nothing that can be observed which supports the assertion that the faster one drives non-expanding solids the deeper they penetrate.What is apparent from testing is that penetration stops increasing at impact speeds above about 1250-1300 fps. When the impact speeds significantly surpass about 1600-fps, there is a very definite and measurable decrease in penetration depth. This raises some interesting issues regarding the relationship between kinetic energy generation and impact-effect. Although higher velocity projectiles always generate more kinetic energy they clearly do not produce deeper penetration, and when the velocities reach the levels common to today's magnums, the increases in velocity result in significantly reduced penetration. Simply stated, the faster they strike the faster they stop.