9mm or 45auto?

9mm or 45auto?

This is a discussion on 9mm or 45auto? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Looking for my first concealed carry weapon, and I figured I should start by picking a caliber, then the gun. What are the pro's and ...

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Thread: 9mm or 45auto?

  1. #1
    New Member Array NeverForget's Avatar
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    9mm or 45auto?

    Looking for my first concealed carry weapon, and I figured I should start by picking a caliber, then the gun. What are the pro's and con's to 9mm and 45auto/acp?


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    .45 makes a big hole. In the proper size and weight weapon, it isn't difficult to manage follow-up shots. Typically, it carry size weapons, capacity is somewhat limited to 8 rounds or so. 9mm makes a smaller hole and is more dependent upon proper expansion of a hollow-point which brings factors into play such as bullet type, clothing, penetration, weapon type and barrel length impacting velocity, etc. The 9mm can obtain round counts of 12 to 17 in carry size weapons. Either round can be an effective SD round if deployed properly with shot placement being the key. If shot placement stinks, no round is effective. A hit with a 9mm is more effective than a miss with a .45 and the other way around. Find a weapon (and caliber) that fits your hand, eye, and carry application that you can effectively shoot on target and repeat follow up shots quickly and recisely. Many people have successfully defended themselves with everything from .22 to .44 magnum and all in between. If you do your part, either the 9mm or .45 will do it's part.

    The .40 caliber is a good balance between caliber and capacity. The Glock 23 holds 13+1 of .40 and is still easy to carry. The Springfield XD40sc is somewhat smaller and is 9+1 capacity and is easy to be accurate with. Something to consider as the .40 has higher velocity than a .45 but not as much weight or size projectile. A good JHP in .40 can be very effective, again, shot placement is king with any caliber.

    Personally, this is just me, I have 3 9mms and used to carry 9mm all the time. I've just about stopped carrying 9mm and usually carry either .357 magnum, .40, or .45. I've been carrying a full size 1911 model .45ACP with 8+1 capacity. It has a 5" barrel and is as easy for me to carry IWB as any sub compact I have. I can easily carry extra mags and it shoots smooth as a .22 and accurately with quick follow-up shots on target. That being the case, I am confident carrying a 1911 .45 and my abilities with it. When attire or situation dictates something smaller and lighter than the 1911, XD40sc or Ruger SP101 snub get the call. I still carry 9mm on occasion where large crowds and high capacity seem to be an important carry consideration if the crap hits the fan.
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    New Member Array hundojoe's Avatar
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    9mm are nice because of the capacity, in a lot of guns its twice as much as a 45. A 45 dosent have necessarily have more power then a 9mm but it does have generally have twice the bullet weight and will leave a much bigger hole. As far as guns go a lot of people love Glocks, even though I have one and I carry it when the weather is hot I dont really care for the feel of a plastic gun, they have no soul. My personal favorite is 1911 45, cant beat the feel, balance and options, Good luck hope this helps.

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    With modern bullet design, 9mm does pretty well; plus it is cheaper to buy practice ammunition.

    On the other hand, .45 ACP has, to me, a gentler recoil impulse and is easier to reload for practice ammunition.

    Most people shoot better with 9mm, though.

    I don't like the recoil impulse of .40 SW, though I can shoot it fine. If I have to. I don't own a .40 anymore, for that reason.

    Note that I carry both 9mm and .45 ACP, but my greatest concern is the cost of practice ammunition and how good one can shoot with either caliber? That's because no pistol caliber is a death ray and I think shot placement is more important than anything else.

  5. #5
    kpw
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    If your new to shooting and looking for a smaller compact pistol, the 9mm may be the way to go. It's an easier round to shoot in smaller guns. The cost of ammo is significantly less with 9mm and that allows more practice for most people. With modern defensive ammo, the 9mm is a decent choice.
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    Bigger holes, more expensive...
    Smaller, just as effective holes, less expensive...

    It really makes no difference...both work well if placed in the correct spot.

    I like the .45, but that's just me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Bigger holes, more expensive...
    Smaller, just as effective holes, less expensive...

    It really makes no difference...both work well if placed in the correct spot.

    I like the .45, but that's just me.
    ^^^ What Ret said so concisely ^^^
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    There are a number of considerations that may or may not be important to you. Cost is usually high on the list priorities for most. There are many choices . Is this going to be a compact or a sub-compact? How often do you intend to practice? Do you want a lightweight pistol? how much are you willing to pay for Practice ammo, .20/round or .50/round how much for delf defense ammo, .35/rd or 1.00 or more. Handle some guns. Many makes in the same model are chambered both in 9mm and 45ACP. Rent some guns. Rent a couple 9's and the same in 45. There are many fine 45ACP pistols that are not 1911. 1911's are very popular again and with a 4-5" barrel, most can shoot quite well with them. I carry a small 9 mm with me. At the range, I enjoy shooting my other 9's, my 45 and a hundred or so .22lr. I have 2 .380's but don't bother with them much.
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    Get either one or one of each...

    For your first concealed carry gun it doesn't matter whether you get 9mm or .45. Either one will do an adequate job of defense if you practice and acquire skill with the gun.

    A famous study from a university in Florida revealed that over 90% of the time that a civilian drew a gun in defense, no shots were fired and the aggressor retreated upon seeing the gun. If no shots were fired, the caliber didn't affect the outcome.
    Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington

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    Lots of good points in this thread....all comes down personal preferences.

    Place the shot to make them stop!
    Any caliber will do...if you do!
    ...and so on.

    There ya go.....

  11. #11
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    If, heaven forbid, you are ever in a situation where you must shoot to save your life or the life of another, the deciding factors are going to be your ability to achieve good, fast repeated hits under pressure, and the location on the body of those hits.

    Handguns are poor stoppers, at best. Doesn't matter if you're shooting 9m, .40, .45, 10mm, or the 88 Magnum (it shoots through schools).

    Worry about getting training and maintaining skill through structured practice long before you worry about caliber. As long as you are carrying something at or above the 9mm / .38 Special level, caliber makes much, much less difference than ability.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIGP250 View Post
    There are a number of considerations that may or may not be important to you. Cost is usually high on the list priorities for most. There are many choices . Is this going to be a compact or a sub-compact? How often do you intend to practice? Do you want a lightweight pistol? how much are you willing to pay for Practice ammo, .20/round or .50/round how much for delf defense ammo, .35/rd or 1.00 or more. Handle some guns. Many makes in the same model are chambered both in 9mm and 45ACP. Rent some guns. Rent a couple 9's and the same in 45. There are many fine 45ACP pistols that are not 1911. 1911's are very popular again and with a 4-5" barrel, most can shoot quite well with them. I carry a small 9 mm with me. At the range, I enjoy shooting my other 9's, my 45 and a hundred or so .22lr. I have 2 .380's but don't bother with them much.
    Great suggestions, trying as many as you can will make a decision much easier.
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    Either one will seriously kill someone if it hits the vitals. The real question is: how important is capacity? Size of handgun being equal, the 9mm is going to hold more ammo. I don't think being on the receiving end of either is going to be pleasant or debatable--at least not at the time of occurance.

    I carry a Glock 30 with 10+. I carry to get out of trouble, not to keep me in the battle. If the 10-rd mag isn't enough, I insert a G21 13-rd mag, normally for HD duty. I will admit that 10 rds of .45 tends to get heavy as the day wears on, but so would the typical hi-cap 9mm with 15 or so rounds. In hindsight, I think I should have given more consideration to the G36--thinner-lighter. But the G30 serves me well and I love a .45 ACP round.

    Most modern SD rounds are pretty even in penetration, all aiming to meet the golden "FBI" requirements. But if you don't put rounds on target, it doesn't matter what the caliber is. Shoot what you can handle the best.

    As far as costs of ammo goes, I don't concern myself with that. I'm not going to drive a Yugo just because it's cheaper. I want a vehicle I'm comfortable with and can depend on, even if it costs more. I'll pay a little more for the caliber I want, and do. (Plus, I reload my own for range time.)
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  14. #14
    ntg
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    First, welcome to DC.

    Everyone has summed it up well with the above posts. I choose 9mm for the cheaper practicing, and generally having more chances of hitting the target in a stress, life-threat situation. I choose the XDSC because it is fairly compact, and still packs a high number of rounds.

    I think the follow-up shots are easier on a 9mm in general, too. The 45 in a fullsize gun is very manageable, but gets to take noticeably longer in follow-up shots in say a 3" 1911 (to me). The 40 is very snappy in a small CCW (3.5" or less), or at least the few I've shot. I've shot my XDSC in a 40 and although it is manageable, it isn't faster to do second shots and I'm tired of shooting it after about a hundred rounds (but not with a 9). The 40 is very shootable in a fullsize; I shoot a XDm40 of my friends quite often. YMMV.

    It comes down to what you're comfortable shooting, along with what your able to regularly conceal without too much hassle.
    M&P Shield9; RIA 1911 Tactical 9mm;...many long guns

  15. #15
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    Shoot both calibers on multiple platforms and then pick... I wouldn't suggest the .40 over either the 9mm or .45. Generally the 9mm is easier to shoot accurately and you get more chances where the .45 makes bigger holes. Don't be afraid of the .45 though... it's a great round.

    ...and of course, shot placement is key. Double tap center mass and repeat as necessary.
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