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best caliber for short barrel auto

This is a discussion on best caliber for short barrel auto within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; If that subcompact .40 fits your needs I say go for it. Make sure you train sending a few down range after flashing yourself with ...

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Thread: best caliber for short barrel auto

  1. #16
    Member Array 45tek's Avatar
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    If that subcompact .40 fits your needs I say go for it. Make sure you train sending a few down range after flashing yourself with a digital camera flash...cause thats what it would be like opening fire on BG with that thing at 1am. Target acquisition helps a whole lot in CC I hear good things about the M&P, thats a good start. Good luck.


  2. #17
    VIP Member Array peckman28's Avatar
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    I'm partial to the .40 myself. I have a SIG P229 chambered in it, and it has a 3.9" barrel. I haven't tried to fire it out of anything smaller though, so if muzzle flip gets too bad it might be better to go for the 9mm. All the power in the world counts for nothing if you can't hit the target...

  3. #18
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    All calibers work if you can place the bullet in the right place.

    I feel comfortable with .380, .38, 9mm, and .45...I prefer 9mm or .45.
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  4. #19
    New Member Array Krusty 40's Avatar
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    Peckman28 the sig p229 was my second choice how is that for carry, its weight was an issue for me.

  5. #20
    VIP Member Array peckman28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krusty 40 View Post
    Peckman28 the sig p229 was my second choice how is that for carry, its weight was an issue for me.
    Oh I'd love to tell you how it is for carry. Too bad HI does not issue permits to anyone or I would have tried it long ago. I suspect that the weight would be an issue as you indicate, and it may be a bit thick as well. I could still see myself carrying it if I move to a free state though, it seems to me it's about at the limit to what I would want to lug around. It has the advantage that it doesn't have the muzzle flip problem a lot of the lighter .40s have, and that is worth some extra effort to carry it I would think. Nothing like knowing the gun itself won't be an impediment to you hitting your intended target if it's ever needed.

  6. #21
    Member Array merrell's Avatar
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    I am trusting 124 gr +p+ ranger.......In a Kahr cw9 and XDm 9

  7. #22
    Member Array JLUSAF's Avatar
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    I personally go for a 9mm b/c with a good hollowpoint 9mm is effective IMO. Also you can get alot more practice since it is much cheaper for 9mm, another plus is the greater mag capacity. And very manageable recoil. Get a good hollowpoint and you'll be set.
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  8. #23
    Member Array Ronny's Avatar
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    The .45, it comes pre-expanded.

  9. #24
    New Member Array mwm1478's Avatar
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    40

    I have personally carried a 40 S&W for more than two years. I like the power and high round capability. My HK Compact carries 12+1. I know that recoil is subjective to each person, but I find no real difference between the 9, 40, or 45. If the gun is soild enough it will take up any recoil. My HK is equipped ( from the factory) with additional recoil reduction springs. I would also look at the Corbon line of PD ammo. It is true that you lose some velocity out of a shorter barrel, but it isn't much. I personally spoke to a Corbon tech/engineer, and he told me that you only lose about 50 FPS per inch less than a 4 inch barrel. So with a 3.5 inch barrel, you lose about half of that.

  10. #25
    Member Array ROFL SQUAD's Avatar
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    Full power 10mm. If you can tolerate shooting it. 9mm velocity with energy deposit equal to or greater than .45. 10mm has more retained energy at 100 yards than a .45 has at the muzzle I believe (generally speaking).


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  11. #26
    New Member Array jimpander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by svgheartland View Post
    45; Cause shooting twice just doesn't make sense

    (ok, going to make some popcorn)

    To be serious, I finally got rid of the 40's that I'd owned and beefed up on more 45's. There are MANY 9mm fans. They can't all be wrong I guess. But the 40 has a muzzle flip that I didn't care for. The 45 recoil is a push and I find it far more manageable. Certainly better for me at least and I'm the only one I'm buying for. But to each his own.
    Ditto on the .45 vs the .40. I have a damaged ligament in my right wrist and the 40 really aggravates it but the .45 doesn't bother me a bit. That comes in handy as I've become a 1911 aficionado.

  12. #27
    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    I think that the larger the bullet and higher the velocity the more effective the round will be. But that doesn't mean if your gun of choice is a smaller caliber with a slower velocity that it won't be effective. My wife chooses to carry a 38 snub nose. She keeps it loaded with 148g wad cutters that only have a velocity of a little over 650 fps and carries 158g HPSWC for reloads that have about the same velocity. These rounds have a pretty decent history for effectiveness. My wife shoots them well and I don't feel compelled to encourage her to shoot a larger/faster round. When I carry I snub nose, and I am right now, I choose to use a different bullet.
    The only other short barrell gun we own is a G36. I think that just about any round you can shoot accurately from a 45 will be fine.
    I think that the smaller the caliber and the slower the velocity the more thought you need to put into bullet selection.
    I know you asked about autos, but I am trying to make a point that what ever you can shoot well, and have confidence in is more important than caliber.

    RAMROD said it much better than I did.
    But my vote for best round for a short barrell auto would have to go to the 10mm. But the qualities that make it the best round for me might make it the worst round for you.
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  13. #28
    Member Array Savior Sound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLUSAF View Post
    I personally go for a 9mm b/c with a good hollowpoint 9mm is effective IMO. Also you can get alot more practice since it is much cheaper for 9mm, another plus is the greater mag capacity. And very manageable recoil. Get a good hollowpoint and you'll be set.

    My thoughts exactly. A lot of people like Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel ammunition. Designed to do exactly what you're talking about.

  14. #29
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    I'm w/ JLUSAF...
    M&P Shield9; RIA 1911 Tactical 9mm;...many long guns

  15. #30
    Distinguished Member Array Jason Storm's Avatar
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    For a .45 ACP, I would recommend to get lighter loads since it suffers from a higher degree of velocity loss at long range due to the small barrel. I use a lighter load for my .45 than the standard 230 gr. My personally preferred type of bullet is the street proven Federal Hydrashock JHP.

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