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Location: CA Central Coast
Joined: 12/01/2005
Posts: 151
Best Self Defense Caliber: 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP

Don't get me wrong...I'm not maligning the 9mm, or any other cartridge. I'm not enough of an expert (to say the least) to make statements. I was just reinforcing the sentiment of another poster who astutely pointed out that the 9mm has a gotten a lot of press for being insufficient at stopping a Bad Guy [tm]. There's far less apocrypha about the .4* ammo.

That said, I'm curious as to why you say the comparison is "not practical."

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

The comparison isn't practical because .44 mag and .45 Colt (not ACP) are much higher velocity rounds than the stout 9x19mm, and they throw a pretty heavy bullet when campared to the 9mm. That's all.

With those things you have mass and velocity, deadly combo Big smile

Offline
Location: CA Central Coast
Joined: 12/01/2005
Posts: 151
Best Self Defense Caliber: 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP

I don't mean to sound antagonistic, but what I'm hearing is that the .4* is simply better than 9mm in performance. What advantages does the 9mm possess other than economy of ammo and higher magazine count? Controllability, perhaps, but that's probably as much a factor of the gun as it is the ammo.

This is a sincere question, even though it might not sound so.

Offline
Location: Misouri
Joined: 11/30/2005
Posts: 365
Best Self Defense Caliber: 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP

Gents, All handgun rounds (terminal ballistics) are weak when it comes to stopping flesh and bone. A shotgun or rifle is always better. We can sit and argue calibers all day but it doesn't really matter because they are all weak Brick Wall,) . If any of us were going into battle I doubt we would chose are primary weapon as a pistol (except We were Soilders Sgt. Maj.). I'll take a M-16 or a M-14 or a 12 gauge any day. A pistol is a defensive weapon. It's whats on our hip when we cant get to a long gun. If were using a pistol in a gun fight "its a bad day" but, it's what we got. Thumbs up
my two cents.

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

mzimmers,
No problem. What I'm tying to get at is not to say that the slower .45 ACP is better than 9mm.

However .4* bore size in the more powerful revolver cartridges i.e. .44 mag I would agree with you are superior. But, we can't say that all .4* category calibers are superior, because not all .4* caliber cartidges deliver the mass or velocity that some of the others do. In fact there are some other cartridges that are of relatively the same bore or close to 9mm that out perform the 9x19mm Parabellum round, such as the .38 Super and .357 Magnum. Like I said, those longer cartridges are in a whole different category than the shorter auto pistol cartridges are. It's just not fair to compare the powerful .44 mag and .45 Colt with the weaker .45 ACP or 9x19mm. It's not a matter of strictly bore size or bullet diameter. It's a mass and velocity issue. Plus the original discussion wasn't caliber or bore size, but it was the issue of three very specific auto pistol cartridges - the 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP.

The short .45 ACP in it's original 230grain bullet at it's original muzzle velocity (830 ft/sec) is a relatively slow traveling bullet. It makes up for in mass what it lacks in velocity. While the original hotter European loading for the 9x19mm in it's original 124grain bullet at it's original velocity (1180 to 1200 ft/sec) is faster but lighter. Yet according to the ballistic tables both rounds deliver around the same energy transfer onto it's target. Actually those same ballistic tables show that full power .40 S&W in 155gr and 165gr deliver better energy transfer than 9x19mm or .45 ACP. Still my experience at shooting up lots of different junk has shown me that 9x19mm has better penetration ability than a .45 ACP. People worry too much about over penetration, but the fact is that penetration is what we need in order for the bullet to achieve it's purpose. Over penetration should not be a concern if it helped you destroy your opponents central nervous system, or your worried about hitting something behind your target that you do not want to hit.

Never shot anyone before, hope to God I never have to. All my killing experience has been in hunting. From those experiences I can tell you that velocity coupled with the right bullet construction kills.

If the elusive one-shot stop does exist with handgun calibers, then I believe an opponent is stopped for only two reasons - the intense pain from the impact of being shot made them stop and drop to the ground or the bullet disrupted the central nervous system i.e brain or spine causing incapaciation. It's not an exact science, people react to pain in varying ways. Other than that happening, it takes time to bleed out and die. A bullet expanding, lodging, and distributing it's entire energy into the body of an opponant does not cause stopping power unless it causes enough intense pain for the opponent to stop his attack, though a massive wound channel will make someone bleed out quicker. Contrary to popular belief there is no such thing a hydra-shock, static-shock, or any other mythical shock that caused one shot stops. Did anyone ever consider that certain brand X in caliber X is rated at 98% one-shot-stops for the reason that that brand in that caliber just happens to be mostly used by highly tactical trained individuals. The fact that until recently your average Joe Citizen that kept a gun for protection usually loaded it with what he/she could afford. The vast majority of handgun owners I know still only load and shoot what they can afford. A lot of times that includes FMJ ball. Maybe it has nothing to do with it being 9mm, .40, or .45. That coupled with the fact that your average thug criminal doesn't really care if he uses and probably doesn't use Speer Gold Dot, Federal Hydra-Shock, Remington Golden Saber, Winchester Ranger, or Cor-Bon. Your average violent thug is more likely to use Winchester USA, or Remington UMC stuff, or anything they can get their hands on, they're not picky. In fact I doubt that most criminals today even have any vast knowledge of guns and ammuniton or even shoot regularly. All most criminals know is to point and pull the trigger. I'm takling average here, not all. Also the fact that most handguns used in crimes are not 9mm, .40, or .45, but generally a .22 caliber pistol or something smaller than .380 ACP.

One hightly publicised FBI fumble doesn't make the 9mm an inferior round. As I've stated before, one other thing people often fail to consider in this caliber argument is that throughout the 1960's, 1970's, and 1980's the 9x19mm Parabellum rounds being loaded by American ammunition companies was vastly underloaded in charge and typically used the light 115grain bullet at a bit over 1000 ft/sec in comparison to it's original european standard loadings which were typically the heavier 124 grain bullet loaded hotter (about 1180 ft/sec) than the American variety back then. Also people fail to understand what the slower 147 grain round was intended for. It wasn't intended for general purpose use. The 147 gr was intended to be used as a subsonic round for silenced weapons, because a faster lighter bullet breaking the sound barrier would defeat the purpose of using a silencer. In my personal opinion the slow 147 grain 9mm is a poor choice for defense, just my opinion. It's no wonder that the 9mm round got such a bad rap here in the U.S. for a long time. Now U.S. manufacturers load the 9mm very close to it's original loading as standard, with the +P and +P+ available to those who want a hotter round.

As far as experts go - the experts aren't those who take reports later or see the aftermath of a shooting. The true experts are the ones who actually engage in the shootout and see first hand what any given cartridge has done. If you want instant incapacitation, your only hope is to hit your adversary in the brain or spine, no matter what gun or cartridge you use. Besides I've heard or read of very few situations in a gun fight where only one shot was ever fired. Even in police shootings, but especially on the battlefield.

I just don't think that you can go wrong with either of the three cailber. It all depends on what you shoot best and what you feel comfortable with. I've kept all three for defense at one time or another and never felt uncomfortable with either. I can go on and on here, but I'll end by saying:
mzimmers, I won't even attempt to argue with that .454 Casull Big smile
remington, you hit the nail on the head with your last post Thumbs up

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