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Location: Middle Tennessee
Joined: 08/25/2005
Posts: 409
Best Self Defense Caliber: 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP

I like the feel and performance of my taurus .45 acp

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Location: Huntsville, TX
Joined: 12/07/2005
Posts: 5
Best Self Defense Caliber: 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP

as a cop i carry the Kimber BP ten II on duty. I have carried a 45 ACP for the better part of 15 years. Two combat tures with the US ARMY and now on duty as a cop. The Kimber carries 14rds and I load with 230 gr JHP ( fedral Hydroshock or speer gold dot).

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Location: SE Alaska
Joined: 04/27/2005
Posts: 72
Best Self Defense Caliber: 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP

For a purely self defence round I find that the 9mm falls short. I worked for 6 years as an employee of an armored car company down south in Milwaukee, and Chicago and my side arm and calibre of choice was an H&K USP in .40. I chose this round because it is more controlable than a .45 as far as the follow up shot is concerned and the magazine capacity was hands down better than a .45 in any make or model. The 9mm in my humble opinion is not considerd a self defence round. It is too light and just does not poses the consistant (I don't want ot say knock down power because I have never heard of anyone being knocked down by a hand gun round) stopping power that is needed for a reliable defence round. I know this personaly having been hit with a 9mm round in the arm the bullet broke my ulna and stopped without making a through and through wound. It only penitrated mabey two inches into my arm, struck a bone and stopped. Not the performance that I would want in a self defence situation.
The .40 cal round is a larger slug than a 9mm giving you a larger permanent wound channel than a 9mm. This wound channel is what gives a hand gun round it's stopping capabilities. With a riffle bullet you get the added temporary hydrostatic wound channel that results from the velocity of the slug as it enters the body. This wound channel will destroy soft body tissue that surrounds the permanant wound channel that the slug itself makes. A hand gun round traveling at much lower speeds will not produce this hydrostatic wound channel no matter how fast they claim to travel. All you have is a wound created by the bullet alone, therefor the larger the bullet the larger the wound channel.
Both the .40 and .45 are good choices for a self defence round, but if you are looking for that magic bullet that will stop every bad guy every time good luck! There are many different factors that come into play when you are talking about stopping a threat.Everything from the bad guy's mind set to what they are wearing will affect the out come of a confrontation. I watched a training video of a situation involving a determend suspect on meth confronting two officers that turned into a defensive situation for the officers involved. The suspect was shot repeatedly at a distance of five to ten feet by both officers and managed to dissarm one and toss him across the room and continue to beat him. His partner shot the man point blank in the top of the head. The man stood and dissarmed the officer and killed him with his own weapon after what should have been a fatal wound to the brain. The first officer was finally able to recover his weapon and end the threat with six more rounds into the suspect. It was determend that the man had been hit over 12 times with seven wounds that would be considerd fatal in themselves and still hasd the capacity to dissarm both officers and kill one with his own weapon. Point of the story is there is no way to determine before a situation that the outcome will end with a one shot stop. Your best defence is to practice, practice, practice with your chosen calibre. If you are one day confronted with the situation where you need to defend yourself, shoot until the threat stops and pray for a favorable outcome. May you never have to be in this situation.

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Moderator
Joined: 12/03/2005
Posts: 1691
Best Self Defense Caliber: 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP

The bast defence is:
(a) your brain
(b) 12 ga shotgun
If neither work, go back to plan :B:

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Location: CT.
Joined: 12/25/2005
Posts: 12
best self defense caliber

Colt makes a .45 cal. auto officers ACP
I've had one for over 20 years and have no complaints.
Hope this info. helps.

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Location: WI/MT
Joined: 02/01/2006
Posts: 67
Best Self Defense Caliber: 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP

Back in the 1980's the FBI had some very unfortunate events with the 9mm.. Sure we can make excusses/reasons why it did not work, but it is much nicer to be holding something that doesnot have such a long list. (WWII German officers complained)The FBI hiered some triage Doctors and some other inteligent people in Texas to answer this very question. It makes for interesting reading because here is a group of people set out to answer your question. The 9mm was not there favorite. It has to rely on exspansion to make a .41 size hole. Where the 45 did not. old reliable ball ammo. Calibre does matter (.41 hole is the size wher the body can not stop bleeding and pressure is almost impossible to keep.) The rate that hollowpoints did not expand suprised them. Isn't it nice not to have to rely on one more thing in an emergency., Also hollowpoints have a higher rate of jamming. Hollowpoints are certainly better today than in the 80's and a little smothing things out make hollowpoints work fine but this study is a concerned effort to answer your question by a group of people who try to fix holes and those who make holes. There was also a book written by two police officers in New York I think, not real sure where they were from. They looked alot at statistics at what worked at stopping an attacker and what did not. One of the bigger ideas I took from this book was practice practice practice was a direct result of things turning out good or not so good. I have two old friends one who was in Underwater Demolition Team UDT004 and another who is about to retire in Fayetville N.C. They both carried revolvers in 357. Their reason was if things had gone so bad that they had to rely on their pistol, It MUST work. Another thing I found of interest, I brought a gunshot victim into a Milwalkee hospital and after talking to 2 of the Dr's they comented on how easy it was to tell if a person had been shot with a 45. 9mm 38s 25 22mag all looked the same one of them said. I forgot to ask about the 40 but this did make me go hmmm. I think within reach is number 1 concern and number 2 is accuracy. Everything else is fun to argue about. Going to as many schools is a nice way to practice and learn. You will run into a few large ego's with not much else between the ears. Also old cops old soldiers are old because they have found something that works and a little luck. Rely on their experience.

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Location: WI/MT
Joined: 02/01/2006
Posts: 67
Best Self Defense Caliber: 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP

I read a little more on the 1981 F.B.I. study. The results were that they went to the 10mm which on paper looks alot like a 41Mag!!! This was not received well due to being heavy, a big pistol and of course recoil. This is where the 40 cal can find some of its roots. It is the largest bullet you can put on a 9mm sized frame.
Hammer1 is right though. 12ga rules I was in Panama with 2 other people and we were about to be rushed by a crowd. No one seemed to be scared of our 9's, But when an Air Force SP showed up with a Mossburg 500 (this was an embarassing moment for 3 Army guys to be saved by 1 A.F.) then the distinct chi chink. Everyone decided to go watch T.V. Fun to talk about not so fun to be there.

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Location: SE Alaska
Joined: 04/27/2005
Posts: 72
Best Self Defense Caliber: 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP

The 10mm is deffinatly an awsome round. I carried a Glock 20 for years. I was a little hesitant about it at first because every one said the frame would crack under the powerful round but after over a 1000 rnds. I have not had a single problem outside of replacing springs which I do every so often anyways. My only complaint would be that I wish the ammo was a little less expensive. I guess I need to take up reloading.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2374
Best Self Defense Caliber: 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP

This is one of those worthless debates that will carry on til the end of time. All three of the calibers mentioned are sufficient for personal protection. Way too many people who've never shot at anything more than a paper target all claim that a certain caliber has a huge advantage over another. Get real!!!! I'm no expert and have never shot another human with anything other than a spitwad and BB gun (when I was a kid lol ) I do know from hunting that if a 200 lb buck is shot through the heart and lungs with a rifle can still run another 50 yards to 75 yards before dropping, then what makes you think that a .45ACP, 40SW, or 9x19mm will instantly drop a human attacker whose pumped up on adrenaline???????

As far as one caliber being better than the other. Well I'll only say this....I own pistols in all three calibers and have shot a lot of various junk over the years and will tell you this from my experience. There are a whole lot more things that a full powered 124gr 9x19mm and 155gr .40 SW will penetrate that a 230gr .45ACP will only make a dent in. Yes

Understand this people. Only distruction to the brain or spine will instantly incapacitate a human or animal attacker. Forget the legends and myths from the past, and forget about what you read in the gun magazines or on the internet and what the inexperienced claiming to be experts tells you. Remember that only hits count. A miss with a canon is still a miss.

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Location: WI/MT
Joined: 02/01/2006
Posts: 67
ur probably right

No legend here those FBI agents put 4 shots in the guys chest and I believe the other incident was 6 with the 9mm and both bad guys were able to kill both FBI agents. Your right whose to say a 44mag would have done any better we will never realy know. But you can see the desire to have a pistol to instantly stop someone. Also a little reading of history sure helps here and the Army soldiers desire for the 45 long colt over anything.. A 1938 round is the only round that has a greater than 90% one shot drop the bad guy. If you look a little closer the people who shot this old round practiced much more than the 9mm group.
But this web site and in fact computers for that matter are for blah blah until hunting season comes around or I get that box from Midway or some of that balistic gelatin J Barnses was writing about. Thumbs up

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