9mm vs. 40s&w vs. .45 acp

This is a discussion on 9mm vs. 40s&w vs. .45 acp within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm sure this has been discussed on here before, but I can never get a search for a topic to come up with anything. I ...

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Thread: 9mm vs. 40s&w vs. .45 acp

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    Member Array SPSTAURUS's Avatar
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    9mm vs. 40s&w vs. .45 acp

    I'm sure this has been discussed on here before, but I can never get a search for a topic to come up with anything. I have always thought bigger caliber better stopping power. I just watched a video from Chris Costa on a M&P he had customized and he had a interesting comment on why he carries 9mm. He commented that most can shoot a 9mm better and stay on target better because of less recoil. That makes sense, stay on target and get more shots where it counts. I'm starting to change my mind set. One reason is I can't get hands on a M&P 45c and there are three M&P 9c's in town right now. Just curious on everyone's opinion on this issue and if there is another post on this let me know.

    Thanks.

    On a side note, is there a way to change your profile name? Here soon I will no longer be a Taurus owner.

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    Member Array ZOMBIEvs42's Avatar
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    All are good calibers, all will kill a bad guy, as far as staying on target that is just practice.
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    Member Array woodrow's Avatar
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    I'm sure you'll stir the hornet's nest with this one. Personally caliber size isn't a huge factor to me. That being said, I don't carry anything less than 9mm or 38 special. They all have their perks. For instance, 9mm comes with higher velocity, more control, and more capacity. 45 obviously leaves a devastating wound. The .40 cal was created to close the gap between the two and attempt to create a compromise. All the factors I've mentioned are common knowledge, and it's really up to the individual to choose which is most important to them. Gimme a 9, 40, or 45 and I'll feel confident knowing that each is a great self defense round.

    There are stories of people surviving multiple shots of 9mm as well as 45. Shot placement is key. If you can't hit anything with a 45, the bigger round doesn't do you any good.

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    You've been a member here since 09 and you haven't learned this yet? Only hits count. Three to the chest with 9mm is going to kill you just as dead as 4 to the chest with a .45. The best caliber is the one you shoot best.
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    Member Array G26Raven's Avatar
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    Here is the best article I have ever seen on this subject.
    An Alternate Look at Handgun Stopping Power

    The bottom line is shot placement.

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    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    The first thing in stopping power is hitting the target, The second is hitting it again. What I mean by that is if you look at hand gun shooting the number of first round kills are low.
    If I knew I was going to walk out of the house and get in a 7 to 10 yard gun fight I am taking the 45 Para Double stack . Real world it is to much weapon to CC day after day.
    If the distance was farther and I knew I would get one shot only I would take the 357 with 125 gr federal , why I have dropped more than a few deer with it at pretty good range it will drop a man right now if you hit them.
    Comes down to what works for you
    I sure my other options will get the job done.

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    Ex Member Array MJB_17's Avatar
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    I'm not going to play broken record but the bottom line is that among the common centerfire calibers there isn't a lot of difference in performance. I used to carry .40 predominantly, now I am transitioning to 9mm almost exclusively. I am doing this because:

    1) I like to shoot in big quantity and 9mm is the cheapest and most common centerfire pistol round in the world.

    2) I like small CC guns and 9mm is the most controllable in a small and light package.

    3) I shoot 9mm most accurately and enjoy shooting it the most.

    4) 9mm double stacks generally give the best capacity in a certain size.

    Of the common SD rounds that fit in mid sized frames, 357 Sig is the one that really stands out distinctively. It has proven real world performance in long range (for pistols) fights and penetrating through things like car doors. If I had to make the choice between 40 and 357 Sig I would go with 357 Sig. The downside is the cost (0.60/rd minimum), finding it, and it isn't a particularly pleasant round to shoot since it is very loud and creates a shockwave indoors.

    Just please don't buy into the crap typically spouted by middle aged men in LGSs that .45 is the end all to be all, it isn't...nothing is.

    Placement matters most.
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    For me, my primary criterion is what I shoot best (accuracy-wise and in terms of feel), rather than the caliber.

    For whatever reasons, with only a couple of exceptions, almost invariably that has ended up being fairly hot 9mm loads in a mid-sized pistol. My belief is that it ties fairly well to how the gun and the recoil impulse matches my strength, technique. I'm open to anything, at least to try it out for a few hundred rounds. And what works best, in terms of accuracy and feel, is almost always 9mm's loaded with fairly hot mid- to heavy-weight rounds. Go figure.

    I'd love it if my best performance were with the .357 SIG or the .45ACP. I'm sure that over time I would improve significantly on most any platform or gun, as would most folks with sufficient practice.

    As for the 9mm, it's a nice bonus the cost tends to be quite a bit lower than some other calibers, and availability around the world is decent. Having a few extra rounds, as well, is something I enjoy having.
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    You've been a member here since 09 and you haven't learned this yet? Only hits count. Three to the chest with 9mm is going to kill you just as dead as 4 to the chest with a .45. The best caliber is the one you shoot best.
    Yes I have been a member since 09'. I have been carrying a .45 during that time. I am in the market for a new gun and now looking at different calibers. Thanks for all of the input. I have been considering all points just trying to get some input before I make the decision on the 9mm.
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    Ex Member Array MJB_17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPSTAURUS View Post
    Yes I have been a member since 09'. I have been carrying a .45 during that time. I am in the market for a new gun and now looking at different calibers. Thanks for all of the input. I have been considering all points just trying to get some input before I make the decision on the 9mm.
    I'm kind of in a similar process, except in reverse. As I mentioned I mainly use 9mm, I am going to be adding .45 in the future as well and I am purging myself of .40. I've never much liked the snap of .40, especially in small guns and 9mm and .45 have a very different 'feel' to them. One is a small and fast round, the other is big, slow, and heavy and I will still have the .357 Sig in my HK, which is fairly light and very fast.

    9mm is like a Coors Light (plentiful, generally accepted by many), .45 is a Budweiser (not everyone's taste, but has a large and loyal following) and 357 Sig is a shot of Ketel One (European, harsh and abrupt, expensive, small following).
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPSTAURUS View Post
    I have been considering all points just trying to get some input before I make the decision on the 9mm.
    If evaluating calibers, definitely consider capacity, knockdown effectiveness (as on steel targets at the range, at various distances), your effectiveness with various choices. As you know, too, every gun feels and behaves a little different in the hand, during shooting. I'm spot-on, with a Glock 19 9mm with hot ammo, whereas some of the other plastic mid-sized 9mm's out there aren't anywhere near as accurate for me. With the added weight and way the CZ P-01 feels during shooting, it's the most accurate thing I've shot in a long while. I'd prefer a harder punch on target, sure, but that's where the hotter JHP 124gr +P ammo comes in.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
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    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    Hey! Here's an idea! Let's all just go over to the good ol' .25 ACP and forget the rest. Look at the diameter and common bullet weights of the following rounds.

    .25 ACP: .251", 51 grain bullet
    9mm: .355", 115 grain bullet
    .45 ACP: .451" 230 grain bullet

    After all, the 9mm is only .10" smaller than the .45 ACP. The .25 ACP is only .10" smaller than the 9mm. The 9mm uses projectiles that are roughly half the weight of the .45 ACP. The .25 ACP uses projectiles roughly half the weight of 9mm.

    If the 9mm is practically as effective as the .45 ACP then the .25 ACP ought to be practically as effective as the 9mm. After all caliber matters not. The hapless .40 may be dispensed with as redundant for it only falls in between.

    If shot placement is where it's at, then an old-fashioned 78 rpm phonograph needle at 3mm or about .12 caliber ought to do the trick and we all could do without the massive .25 ACP, not to mention all those other pointlessly large cartridges mentioned. We'd all go for that wouldn't we?

    Logic...taken to its extreme conclusion. Ain't it grand?!
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    Distinguished Member Array GlassWolf's Avatar
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    I prefer 9mm, as the terminal ballistics are nearly identical for anything from 9mm to .45ACP, and 9mm gives me more rounds in the magazine than .40 or .45.
    If you want more bang, go with 10mm or even better, .41 magnum.
    I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

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    By definition the selection of a handgun is a compromise. If we knew there was going to be a gunfight we would all choose to be somewhere else. If we couldn't choose to be somewhere else we would all bring some form of a long gun. Since the daily carry of a long gun is socially akward we must compromise with a handgun. That compromise is further expose when you realize that all handguns equally suck at stopping someone. There are just too many variables involved.

    It boils down to choosing any service caliber you can reliably place COM hits with, as many as you can until the badguy disappears from your sights, the gun is empty, or you're unable to continue doing so. After that you play the hand your delt and live (or die) with the outcome.
    GeorgiaDawg likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Hey! Here's an idea! Let's all just go over to the good ol' .25 ACP and forget the rest. Look at the diameter and common bullet weights of the following rounds.

    .25 ACP: .251", 51 grain bullet
    9mm: .355", 115 grain bullet
    .45 ACP: .451" 230 grain bullet

    After all, the 9mm is only .10" smaller than the .45 ACP. The .25 ACP is only .10" smaller than the 9mm. The 9mm uses projectiles that are roughly half the weight of the .45 ACP. The .25 ACP uses projectiles roughly half the weight of 9mm.

    If the 9mm is practically as effective as the .45 ACP then the .25 ACP ought to be practically as effective as the 9mm. After all caliber matters not. The hapless .40 may be dispensed with as redundant for it only falls in between.

    If shot placement is where it's at, then an old-fashioned 78 rpm phonograph needle at 3mm or about .12 caliber ought to do the trick and we all could do without the massive .25 ACP, not to mention all those other pointlessly large cartridges mentioned. We'd all go for that wouldn't we?

    Logic...taken to its extreme conclusion. Ain't it grand?!
    Absolutely impeccable logic!
    Smitty
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