The only real debate here is the effectiveness of the 9mm. In that, there is no debate, as it is very effective in the hands of a good shot. But so is anything else that has the ingredients that make up what is generally accepted as a proper defensive caliber.
There are characteristics inherent to some calibers over others that I prefer.
One of those is the ability to make precision hits with a bullet that has good penetration, and is not dependent upon some radical expansion to work. Sure, we can lower bullet weight, increase speed and, boost energy figures. Looks impressive on the box, and sounds really bad ass to the novice shooter/ bad guy slayer.
However, I prefer consistant performance that does not depend upon such uncontrollable variables such as velocity and expansion.
In the pudding, the only real debate is this; semi auto for more rounds, or, a revolver for versatility of bullet designs and power.
To answer that, and thus ending any debate, the logical question is what does one feel more comfortable with, or, what is more appropriate for the users particular needs?
And of course, there's just what does one plain like? Pride of ownership, and a genuine pleasure derived from ones chosen carry piece goes a long way to how much hands on you will have with that gun. The more you shoot, the more profiecient you get.
Again, for me, I cannot fathom an SD scenario, short of zombie attacks or an invasion of resurrected Third Reich, that a good 38spl will not get me through in spades, be it a 5 shot or 6 shot .
I have heard the argument that if you are in a shoot out, you need alot of rounds. Why? Is there some law that says you have to expend ammo just because you are under fire even though you do not have a high percentage shot? Wouldn't it be more simple to just hit the target?
In the real world that most live in, I mean the REAL world, a nice little 38spl is just as good as anything.
Exactly... Or, as can be summed up by my own earlier post... "Ultimately, a 9mm vs .38spl debate is going to be counterproductive, because you're not comparing apples and oranges. Sure, they're both fruit, but that's about it."
Originally Posted by glockman10mm
I can see the .38spl/.375mag/.44 argument, and I can see the .380/9mm/.40/.45 argument. I can see the revolver/semi debate. What I have trouble understanding is the 9mm/.38 debate... you have to argue platform or caliber within a platform to have a legitimate debate, otherwise you're not going to have grounds.
Another point of view... everyone likes to argue about cars. I drive a 4x4 Blazer. I also own a Saturn. If you want to debate the 'best' economy sedan, I wouldn't talk to you about the off-road performance of my Blazer, I would talk to you about the efficiency and handling of my Saturn. Similarly, if you want to discuss off-road handling, I wouldn't expound on the virtues of my Saturn... they're different platform designed for different things. Sure, they both have four wheels and a motor, and even four doors.
In the same vein, the .38spl and the 9mm both have a bullet (in similar weights), powder (at different pressures) and primers, and both fire from barrels into a target (living or otherwise), but they are on very different platforms with very different histories and applications.
One of my pet peeves is where a certain caliber (or weapon) is deemed "obsolete", therfore it won't stop a BG.
Lets do a historical look what LEOs carried. Mostly all LEO forces in the late 60s/early 70s carried a model 10 (or 15) Smith loaded with those round nose lead 158 gr bullets Then they went to 357s with round nose FMJ. Then was the intro of expanding high performance ammo. Most departments used it, but some were limited because of public outcry of "more deadly ammo". Then, the poliferations of the 9s happened. Most went to the 9s about the same time the military did with 92F Berettta. Smith made some (39 and 59), Seig, Glock, H&K, etc, etc, made good quality 9s. The officers now had an entire box of ammo in the magazine and 2 extra magazines. Reason for the change? The BGs had gun which had 19 shots, the COP revolvers had only 6. Then the ammo wars started. Thats where a manufacturer would show a test where his stuff expanded more, penitrated better, incapacitated by shooting the BG in the finger and whistled Massad Ayoob when it ricocheted. (being a bit sarcastic)
Now the LEOs are going to .45 auto, Glocks, and such to get knockdown power, which according to MEASURED labritory performance, is better.
However, as the OP said, a hit in the right areas will incapacitate the BG even with a "substandard 9".
BGs were stopped with almost any round the LEO carry, if they hit what they are shooting at.
The OP made many points for the 9; he carries one himself, and his very life depends on that weapon.
Well I am so convinced that middle caliber wheel guns are obsolete that I just got a four inch Smith & Wesson "L" frame yesterday!
How big of grained rounds do you plan to shoot out of it?
Originally Posted by mcp1810
(I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.)
We had a low of 17 and a high of 23 last Friday in North Alabama.
Originally Posted by C hawk Glock
Originally Posted by PEF
Thanks for the clarification, I thought you were implying that the 38 was superior.
Originally Posted by glockman10mm
my opinion is swayed a bit by the fact that I can't shoot my revolver nearly as accurately as any of my autoloaders... but that's not their fault :)
Yes! It's just like saying that I caught the highest pounded fish of the competition.
Originally Posted by bmcgilvray
The best part, is that even though we both had errors in our posts the average reader still understands the intent of the message! Assuming that an error on an informal message board is a sign of a newby shooter is akin to suggesting that the misuse of it's (it has or it is) and its is evidence of not graduating from elementary school.
However thanks for pointing that out! the use of the word "grained" does indeed sound pretty silly.
By the way, love the badge.
Whole grains. Or should that be "hole" grains? :rolleyes:
Originally Posted by PEF
After surveying my inventory It looks like it will be 125 grain XTP hollow points over about 17 grains of 2400.
Man this thread went way off course from my original post.
I also find it interesting that no one commented on my posting of the Federal HST 124g +P 9mm that LEOs can carry, that expand to over .70 (entering the .45 territory) while maintaining excellent penetration, jacket retention, etc. My own P.D. lab has run tests before this round was approved for duty carry, and it pretty much eliminates the old "9mm vs .45" argument...not to open that can of worms, but a fact is a fact.
CDWolfe, I'll address it. For me, expansion has always been a secondary, or even third priority. What has been happening over the years is simply, everyone is trying to make a smaller caliber act like a big caliber. And that's a fact.
If size matters to the point that you want your little bullet to act or mimic a big bullet, seems like you really should just use the bigger bullet to begin with.
The 9mm is a good round. But it's not worthy of any accolades beyond what it is. As a matter of fact, I'll take the 147 weight version anyday of the week and three times on Sunday.
I never did like to depend on bullet expansion to make my bullet " work". Even if you buy bulets for five bucks apiece, there is still alot that can cause failure to expand in real tissue.
Bullets cause damage by penetrating organs and hitting nervous system components. Doesn't matter if they are .355 or .453.
A heavier bullet, in any caliber popular for LE or military apps is the best way to go.
It's kinda like trying to supe up a 4 cyl engine to run against a v8.
Many people scoff at the fact that I base my opinion on my experience in bullets on the killing of medium and big game. But the reality is that the body cavity of a white tail deer is very close to that of a human torso in size and depth. Throw in the organs and bones, and I believe it is a much more accurate ballistic test medium than what the lab rats use in the form of ballistic jello.
Bullets fired at handgun velocities have proven to be much more consistent when heavy bullets are used giving straight line penetration, breaking bones that are encountered, and completely disrupting tissue causing massive bleeding. These are the hallmarks of everything I have used from fmj in 45acp, to 38 and 9mm loads. It is the dependability of predictable performance that makes these so desirable.
Lot of people argue that the LE agents around the country only use HP ammo, and that there is a reason for that. Yeah, there's a reason for it, but it has nothing to do with what Sam or Suzy citizen needs. It has alot to do with price, percieved overpenetration, and above all, politics.
Of course, when you have 15-17 rounds in the magazine, who cares? Just shoot until " something happens". At least, that's the general ideas and teachings going around these days.
On duty, I am required to carry a G22, loaded with 155 weight Hydra Shocks, and I feel they are just fine. If I carried a 9mm, 17 rounds of 124 weight +p screamers would be fine also.
The point in all of this is that there are trade offs. And the lower and lighter in bullet weight we go, the more trade offs there are. The Dynamics and variables exponentially increase.
All the trickery and gimmicks in design will never, ever, make the 9mm a 45.....
And that, is a fact.
Thanks for the reply...now allow me to follow up with a few thoughts.
Expansion (followed very closely by penetration) is the single most important factor once the bullet strikes the target. The bigger the hole, the faster the bleedout. To say that expansion is 2nd or 3rd priority for you boggles me. I'll go on record to say great expansion with poor penetration does next to nothing. The reverse is also true.
147g 9mm typically do not expand as well as the 124g, however, the 147's do tend to penetrate slightly better. Pick your poison.
Our forensic pathologists, who routinely teach at our police academy classes (2 per year), have often cited that when it comes down to a wound channel between a 9mm, .40 and .45, they can't tell the difference by sight when hollow points were used. Nor can I, and I am a CSI, and have seen my share of gunshot wounds.
LEOs around the country use hollow points because they offer superior stopping power vs. ball ammo. End of story.
I don't look for the 9mm to "be" a .45. However, there is a phenomenon in gunfights that a lot of people overlook when they start talking about caliber wars: statistically, less than 30% of ALL rounds fired by LEOs actually strike the target, and that number is far less for the non-LEO badguys. The reason is that when the bullets go flying by your head, you don't stand still out in the open, pick up proper sight slignment, focus on your front sight letting the target blur, and then gently squeeze the trigger like you were trained. You point and shoot as rapidly as you can while ducking for cover. Granted there are some Rambos who will stand there, trust in their body armor (if wearing it), pray they don't get hit in the head, get good shots off, and if they can take out the threat, more power to them.
Most shooting confrontations take place within 7 yards so point shooting is what a lot of the training focus is leaning toward. Real world vs range world.
Giving the real world scenarios in which I operate, I'll take a 9mm that has a higher magazine capacity, modern 9mm bullets that can expand beyond .70", easier to manage recoil, faster follow-up shots, and something that I am comfortable shooting ACCURATELY with either hand if needs be.
A rice burning 4 cylinder can be tricked out to smoke a V8. Anything is possible! :biggrin2:
Unless the V8 has been equally tricked-out.