Why a .45

This is a discussion on Why a .45 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by Metro 40 Momentum gets a bullet to a certain penetration depth. Since both the .45 and .40 demonstrate adequate penetration on human ...

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Thread: Why a .45

  1. #31
    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metro 40 View Post
    Momentum gets a bullet to a certain penetration depth. Since both the .45 and .40 demonstrate adequate penetration on human targets, momentum is moot to me. No handgun round has enough momentum to knock someone down, so it doesn't matter.

    What does matter is energy delivered to the body, which is what destroys tissue and stops bad guys.
    Energy has very little to do with how much damage a pistol bullet does to a living target. A pistol bullet is like a long range drill. It will destroy tissue creating a permanant cavity as it plows through the target. Larger diameter and expanding bullets can destroy a little more tissue and create a sligtly larger cavity. As long as a bullet has sufficent penetration, giving a bullet more energy by driving it faster (at least within the range of velocities achievable in a handgun) doesn't make much difference in the amount of damage the bullet does (rifle bullets, which are driven at much higer velocities and carry a lot more energy, behave differently).

    Quote Originally Posted by Metro 40 View Post
    I'll say it again...in MOST commercial loadings, the .40 is more powerful than your standard .45. You can buy hot .45 ammo (+p) and beat the .40 a little, but you can also buy hot .40's that have just as much power as the .45. Most commercial .40 ammo beats 400 ft. lbs. of energy in most handguns, regardless of barrel length. Most .45 rounds do not.
    +P ammo is pretty much the standard for defensive ammo in a .45 these days. All modern .45s are designed to handle it. The only reason not to go with +P ammo is if you're recoil sensitive.

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  3. #32
    Senior Member Array zero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtDawg View Post
    Why a .45?

    Why not?
    +1....also because I can.

    Something about that big barrel...and the big holes.

  4. #33
    Member Array TerryD's Avatar
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    Whilst in the Army a few years ago..., feeling old now.

    I had to use a 9mm on a few occasions against enemy combatants. I was very unhappy with center-of-mass shots. Head shots always seemed to work fine, but in real-world scenarios, center-of-mass works best for me. Just a lot easier to hit.

    While resupplying one time, I was talking to the armorer about my displeasure with the 9mm. He said he had some older 45's and plenty of ammo, if I wanted to give it a try.

    A few weeks later I got the chance to try the 45. Impressive is not an understatement. One-stop-shot pretty much sums it up from my experience.

    I was taught double-tap center of mass, then one head-shot. But "most" of the time, if I was using my pistol, it was cause I didn't have time to re-load my rifle. So I didn't "unload", as I was trying to save ammo.

    So without getting to grotesque, I think the 45 is without a doubt, a much better man-stopper than a 9mm. Personally, for concealed carry, I will never own anything else.

    Also, let me just apologize in advance if what I have said seems to harsh, as I was trying to write it as non-offending as possible.

  5. #34
    Senior Member Array Vaquero 45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackeagle View Post
    Energy has very little to do with how much damage a pistol bullet does to a living target. A pistol bullet is like a long range drill. It will destroy tissue creating a permanant cavity as it plows through the target. Larger diameter and expanding bullets can destroy a little more tissue and create a sligtly larger cavity. As long as a bullet has sufficent penetration, giving a bullet more energy by driving it faster (at least within the range of velocities achievable in a handgun) doesn't make much difference in the amount of damage the bullet does (rifle bullets, which are driven at much higer velocities and carry a lot more energy, behave differently).
    I respectfully disagree. Energy is a wounding mechanism, because when a hollowpoint bullet is stopped in tissue, its energy is reduced to zero upon coming to rest. Something HAS to happen to that energy. The energy dissipates and creates a temporary wound cavity that can stretch and tear blood vessels and tissue. This makes a round more effective. How much more effective can be debated, but the most street-proven rounds have been the ones with the most energy. This is true whether you are talking about .38s or .45s.

    There is ZERO explanation for the awesome effectiveness of the .357 magnum against human targets, unless it is attributed to the high energy levels created by that round. Otherwise, it's just a plain old 9mm sized bullet, and shouldn't really be any more effective than your standard velocity 9mm or .38 special. But it is more effective. There is no arguing that fact, documented police action shootings prove the effectiveness of the .357 magnum.

    The Texas DPS went to .357 Sig a few years ago because their .45's weren't getting the job done. I've read that the .45 was lacking in penetration on automobile bodies, and the .45's just didn't have the "lightning bolt" effect of their old .357 magnum wheelguns. Maybe it was their .45 ammo, but they are VERY satisfied with the new caliber.

    If energy doesn't matter, why is +P ammo the new standard in tactical .45s? The only difference between regular and +P is the increased velocity, and therefore, increased energy. Seems to me that tactical experts would not advocate a round with more noise, recoil and muzzle blast unless there was some kind of advantage.

    The human body is largely made up of water. The heart is a fluid-filled sac. Shoot a water filled milk jug or a canteloupe with a hot hollowpoint in 9mm +P, .40, .357 or .45 +P, and tell me energy doesn't do anything to a target.
    Slow is smooth.....smooth is fast.

  6. #35
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    I carry a 1911 .45 because it's grip fits my hand more comfortably than any other gun I have experience with, I shoot it better than other guns, it has the power I need to do the job and I just like them. They're not for everyone, obviously, but they work for me. I would add that it really doesn't matter what caliber or model anyone carries as long as it works for them.....
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  7. #36
    VIP Member Array artz's Avatar
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    For years I kept away from the .45 and I really didn't know why.
    I have read a ton of good info and reports of the .45 acp, so I just had to jump on the bandwagon. I have been shooting about 40 years (since I was a boy) and I am a recent convert to the caliber (about 1 year). I'm sold....
    " Refuse to be a victim, make sure there is a round chambered ! "

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  8. #37
    VIP Member Array obxned's Avatar
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    I've been shooting the .45 in various pistols for nearly 40 years. I haven't found any reason to change.
    "If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan

  9. #38
    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metro 40 View Post
    I respectfully disagree. Energy is a wounding mechanism, because when a hollowpoint bullet is stopped in tissue, its energy is reduced to zero upon coming to rest. Something HAS to happen to that energy. The energy dissipates and creates a temporary wound cavity that can stretch and tear blood vessels and tissue. This makes a round more effective. How much more effective can be debated, but the most street-proven rounds have been the ones with the most energy. This is true whether you are talking about .38s or .45s.
    According to the FBI's seminal study, "Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness", temporary cavity does not contribute to the effectiveness of handgun bullets.

    Quote Originally Posted by FBI
    In the case of low-velocity missiles, e.g., pistol bullets, the bullet produces a direct path of destruction with very little lateral expansion within the surrounding tissues. Only a small temporary cavity is produced. To cause significant injuries to a structure, a pistol bullet must strike that structure directly. The amount of kinetic energy lost in tissue by a pistol bullet is insufficient to cause remote injuries produced by a high velocity rifle bullet.
    Quote Originally Posted by FBI
    To cause significant injuries to a structure within the body using a handgun, the bullet must penetrate the structure. Temporary cavity has no reliable wouding effect in elastic body tissues. Temporary cavitation is nothing more than a stretch of the tissues, generally no larger than 10 times the bullet diameter (in handgun calibers), and elastic tissues sustain little, if any, residual damage.
    Quote Originally Posted by FBI
    Kinetic energy does not wound. Temporary cavity does not wound. The much discussed "shock" of bullet impact is a fable and "knock down" power is a myth. The critical element is penetration. The bullet must pass through the large, blood bearing organs and be of sufficient diameter to promote rapid bleeding. Penetration less than 12 inches is too little, and, in the worlds of two of the participants in the 1987 Wound Ballistics Workshop, "too little penetration will get you killed." Given desirable and reliable penetration, the only way to increase bullet effectiveness is to increase the severity of the wound by increasing the size of the hole made by the bullet. Any bullet which will not penetrate through the vital organs from less than optimal angles is not acceptable. Of those that will penetrate, the edge is always with the bigger bullet.
    Handgun bullets only affect the tissue they pass through directly. In order to get enough stretch in the temporary cavity to disrupt tissue that's not in direct contact with the bullet (or fragments thereof) you have to drive it at much higher velocities (over 2000fps) far faster than any service handgun caliber is capable of. As long as you have enough energy to penetrate to a sufficient depth, the amount of energy a handgun bullet has isn't really relevant.

  10. #39
    JD
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    I like the .45 because it's got the largest (while being easy to conceal) projectile diameter if it doesn't expand. Is easy find, has tons of different loadings, JHPs of all different shapes and weight, standard pressure, +P, LSWC, LRN, FMJ, PSWC, FMJTC, etc. etc.

    I like the 1911 for it's grip dimensions and feel, ease of concealment and the mags aren't as bulky. Parts, when needed are plentiful, and I can customize it the way I want it. My one gripe is capacity, but double stacks just don't hide well on me, I'm shaped like a box and the double stack pistols and mags just print way too much.

  11. #40
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    I once tried a double stack Para . Still seemed too thick of grip.
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  12. #41
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    I chose 9mm, there are several 9mm commercial loads out there that are literally equal to .45 energy. So you have essentially the power of a .45 (not quite the size), but 1.5 to 2 times the capacity. Guess what I choose?

    Besides, if I want powerful, I'm just going to jump straight over the .45 and go for a 10mm, makes everything else seem mild in comparison. Or how about 9x25 :D

  13. #42
    Senior Member Array Vaquero 45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackeagle View Post
    According to the FBI's seminal study, "Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness", temporary cavity does not contribute to the effectiveness of handgun bullets.

    Handgun bullets only affect the tissue they pass through directly. In order to get enough stretch in the temporary cavity to disrupt tissue that's not in direct contact with the bullet (or fragments thereof) you have to drive it at much higher velocities (over 2000fps) far faster than any service handgun caliber is capable of. As long as you have enough energy to penetrate to a sufficient depth, the amount of energy a handgun bullet has isn't really relevant.
    Is this July 1989 study from the same FBI that issues its agents Glock 22s and 23s in .40 S&W? I guess they forgot to consult their own experts.

    Perhaps the FBI would like to explain why the dinky .357 magnum is so effective. Since it's not the energy, maybe it's the magic fairy dust that Federal puts in every 125 grain hollowpoint.

    Maybe these medical professionals would beg to differ. After all, they actually SEE gunshot wounds with modern ammunition.

    http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=529562

    Here is a pathology tutorial from Florida State University, discussing ballistics and gunshot wounds in general:

    http://pleiad.umdnj.edu/pathology_co...ns/gunblst.htm

    Note the mention of temporary cavitation in tissue as a mechanism of injury, at velocities above 1000 fps. Tissue that is inelastic in nature (spleen, liver, brain) is especially susceptible to injury, as are fluid-filled organs, which can burst from the pressure generated by even handgun rounds.

    The speed of sound is 1128 fps. Any bullet going faster than that creates a sonic pressure wave. We have seen that this is devastating in rifle bullets with 2000 fps velocity and higher. I can't imagine that there is NO effect from a bullet that is going 1200 - 1300 fps. Or 1450 fps in a .357 magnum. It's common sense.

    Energy is not the only thing that matters in a handgun bullet, but it absolutely DOES matter.
    Slow is smooth.....smooth is fast.

  14. #43
    Senior Member Array sui-juris's Avatar
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    The JSOnline article said 44 mag was in a class w/itself. And the ballistics chart from that 2nd link was interesting too...makes me wanna get a 44 mag now..(i've been looking to upgrade from 380 for awhile..)

  15. #44
    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metro 40 View Post
    Is this July 1989 study from the same FBI that issues its agents Glock 22s and 23s in .40 S&W? I guess they forgot to consult their own experts.
    At the time this report was written, the standard FBI weapon was a .38 special revolver (SWAT qualified agents were issued 9mm autoloaders), which has neither a big bullet, nor sufficient penetration (in the non-+P loading the FBI was using). So it seems to me they did listen to their experts. They moved to a larger bullet capable of penetrating to a sufficient depth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metro 40 View Post
    Perhaps the FBI would like to explain why the dinky .357 magnum is so effective. Since it's not the energy, maybe it's the magic fairy dust that Federal puts in every 125 grain hollowpoint.
    The .357 magnum does have a reputation for effectiveness that isn't really justified by it's ballistics. However, you have to remember that its reputation was established during an era when the standard police weapon was a .38 special revolver firing non-+P round-nose ammunition. Compared to non-expanding ammunition fired at a relatively low velocity, a hot .357 is certainly more effective. These days, there are a lot of people who don't think that the .357 is much more effective than rounds that drive 9mm bullets at somewhat lower velocities (.38 +P+ or 9mm +P). I have to wonder if the .357 would gain the same sort reputation if it were introduced today.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metro 40 View Post
    Maybe these medical professionals would beg to differ. After all, they actually SEE gunshot wounds with modern ammunition.

    http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=529562

    Here is a pathology tutorial from Florida State University, discussing ballistics and gunshot wounds in general:

    http://pleiad.umdnj.edu/pathology_co...ns/gunblst.htm
    I don't see any contradiction at all. In fact, both links seem to reinforce exactly what the FBI report is saying. Did you even read the FBI report?

    Quote Originally Posted by Milwaukee Sentinel
    If the bullet slashes through flexible tissue, such as muscle or the lungs, the tissue can bounce back more easily.

    However, if the bullet hits an organ such as the liver, with extremely dense tissue, the bullet can do severe damage.
    Quote Originally Posted by Florida State University
    Specific gravity (density) and elasticity are the major tissue factors. The higher the specific gravity, the greater the damage. The greater the elasticity, the less the damage. Thus, lung of low density and high elasticity is damaged less than muscle with higher density but some elasticity. Liver, spleen, and brain have no elasticity and are easily injured, as is adipose tissue.
    Quote Originally Posted by FBI
    Muscle, blood vessels, lung, bowels, are all capable of substantial stretching with minimal damage. Studies have shown that the outward velocity of the tissues in which the temporary cavity forms is no more than one tenth of the velocity of the projectile. This is well within the elasticity limits of tissue such as muscle, blood vessels, and lungs. Only inelastic tissue like liver, or the extremely fragile tissues of the brain, would show significant damage due to temporary capitation.
    They're close enough that I'd guess that the Milwaukee Sentinel story used the FBI report as a background source. All three of them are basically saying that there are only a few organs where the temporary cavity from a handgun bullet is going to have any effect: the brain, spleen and liver. These make up a very small proportion of the body. Damage to the liver or spleen probably isn't going to incapacitate the target very quickly. Any damage to the brain (temporary cavity or no) is going to have a significant effect. So I don't see where the temporary cavity is going to help incapacitate a target. If you want to incapacitate someone quickly, the only way to do it is to hit the central nervous system or a major artery directly. The temporary cavity doesn't help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metro 40 View Post
    Note the mention of temporary cavitation in tissue as a mechanism of injury, at velocities above 1000 fps.
    What it actually says is:

    Quote Originally Posted by Florida State University
    Cavitation - Cavitation is significant with projectiles travelling in excess of 1000 fps. A "permanent" cavity is caused by the path of the bullet itself, whereas a "temporary" cavity is formed by continued forward acceleration of the medium (air or tissue) in the wake of the bullet, causing the wound cavity to be stretched outward.
    It only says that the cavitation (the size of the cavity) is significant over 1000fps. It doesn't say that the temporary cavity is a significant contribution to wounds from handgun bullets (that particular article deals with rifle and shotgun wounds as well).

    Quote Originally Posted by Metro 40 View Post
    The speed of sound is 1128 fps. Any bullet going faster than that creates a sonic pressure wave.
    That's the speed of sound in air. The speed of sound in tissue is approximately 1540 meters per second or 5052 fps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metro 40 View Post
    Energy is not the only thing that matters in a handgun bullet, but it absolutely DOES matter.
    Energy matters in a handgun bullet insofar as it allows the bullet to penetrate deeply enough. Once you've got sufficient penetration, piling on more foot pounds doesn't do much.

  16. #45
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    Why a .45
    Because they won't let me in Pizza Hut with my 870.
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