Will a .45cal.pistol incapacitate as effectively as a 9mm pistol?

Will a .45cal.pistol incapacitate as effectively as a 9mm pistol?

This is a discussion on Will a .45cal.pistol incapacitate as effectively as a 9mm pistol? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am aprox. 1 week away from purchasing a pistol for home defense and was pondering the effectiveness of the different caliber pistols--9mm, .40 cal, ...

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Thread: Will a .45cal.pistol incapacitate as effectively as a 9mm pistol?

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array Sneaky's Avatar
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    Will a .45cal.pistol incapacitate as effectively as a 9mm pistol?

    I am aprox. 1 week away from purchasing a pistol for home defense and was pondering the effectiveness of the different caliber pistols--9mm, .40 cal, and .45 cal. pistols. I have noticed on many different sites you can find the percent of stops you have with each caliber. The funny thing I have noticed is there is not much of a difference in hollowpoint expansion. The shop where I will be buying the gun claims that as long as you are using hollowpoint ammo all 3 caliber pistols I have mentioned are equally effective at incapacitating a person! I presently own a Sig 239 -9mm pistol and was thinking of buying a .40cal. pistol or .45 cal. pistol but if what the shop owner said is true about all caliber pistols being equal in incapacitation then the buying field is wide open ! Do any shooters have both an opinion on this subject and what caliber pistol works best in the street?

    In the Marines I was taught shot placement ,shot placement so I am quite aware of accuracy & point shooting! This pistol will be used for home defense!

    Think I'll have some coffee now-- Thank-you for your opinions & Semper Fi!

  2. #2
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    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
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    Well, I am by no means an expert, but I'll throw in my $0.02.

    Pistol calibers in general are not the greatest in terms of stopping power, and for home defense I prefer either a 12 gauge, or my AR-15.

    Flame away but it seems that there is very little difference between a well made hollowpoint in any of the major calibers. Maybe a little more expansion, or a little more velocity here and there. But remember what Uncle Sam taught you about shot placement, because that is really what it is all about.

    That being said, I do love my .45's and thats what I carry, but how the weapon feels to you and your comfort with it should be as big of a factor as the caliber IMO.
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  3. #3
    Member Array turbo93's Avatar
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    This a perennial argument but the difference in size for an expanded bullet is pretty minimal there is nothing magic about a .40 or .45. A guess a near miss to the aorta from a 9 might be hit with with the 45. Personally I have both calibers as well as a 357 magnum. Buy what you like and shoot well with. ( I think the 45 is a neat caliber though looks big!)

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  5. #4
    Member Array mslaughtertx's Avatar
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    Though I am a big fan of the 9mm because of its easy of use. I can repeat fire and hold tighter groups than I can with a .45. When you are throwing lead balls (FMJ) I think the only option is .45. Though when it comes to JHPs I have seen one stop shots on 9mm, .45, and .40. With the great innovations in Ammo, there really is not that big of a difference ballistically when talking about one shot neutralization.

    All this being said, for concealed carry and most of the time on duty I carry a 9mm (compact). However, my home defense gun is a .40 full size auto because I prefer a full size auto for HD.


  6. #5
    Distinguished Member Array fotomaker57's Avatar
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    This has been debated many times. You will find that there are as many opinions as there are gun owners. All I can tell you is that all three calibers are capable of doing their intended jobs. However all three are not equal at all times. What you need to ask yourself is are you comfortable with the 9mm's ability to protect you and your family? If you are than all you need to do is go buy a 40 or 45 just because it is fun to shoot other pistols and other calibers. Good luck with your choice and stay safe.
    The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
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  7. #6
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    We'll be watching, so keep it civil.
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  8. #7
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    This is a new twist on an old story.
    Will a .45acp be as effective as a 9mm?
    Usually it's the other way 'round.
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  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array P7fanatic's Avatar
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    Cool Will a .45cal.pistol incapacitate as effectively as a 9mm pistol?

    I think it depends greatly on 3 things:

    1. With what force you throw the pistols.
    2. From what distance the pistols are thrown.
    3. Exactly where the pistol hits the person (i.e., head, neck, back, leg, etc).

    I think even my little Kahr MK9 Elite, if thrown with sufficient force and if it hits the BG's head in the right place, there's a chance it will take him out.

    Last edited by P7fanatic; December 23rd, 2007 at 11:58 PM.
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  10. #9
    Member Array Longbow's Avatar
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    I am and have aways been the type that will say.
    Carry the largest caliber hand gun you can comfortably handle and shoot well.
    If you can handle a 45 well, then why in the world would you choose
    to go 9mm. Hi Cap is not an issue either there are plenty of Hi Cap 45's'
    This just MHO and I'm sticking to it, let the flames begin. :)
    "Planning to draw and chamber a round after TSHTF is like planning to fasten your seatbelt after you see the other guy run a stopsign..."

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  11. #10
    Senior Member Array dunndw's Avatar
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    I like the 230grain JHP.45 ACP round....as seen in my avatar
    "If I was an extremist, our founding fathers would all be extremists," he said. "Without them, we wouldn't have our independence. We'd be a disarmed British system of feudal subjectivity."

  12. #11
    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    It doesnt matter. Control is the key. Your input in the matter is a whole lot greater than bore size.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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  13. #12
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  14. #13
    Member Array Greg in VA's Avatar
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    My thoughts on the matter...

    As previously stated, shot placement is #1. I prefer the .45 over the 9mm due to the fact that no hollowpoint is guaranteed to expand, and I've yet to hear a case in which a .45 shrunk. If you're up against a BG hopped up on coke or meth, short of hitting his "sweet spot" (between the eyes) the only way to stop him is to cause him to lose blood pressure via a large hole.

    Having said this, there are times in which I will carry a 9mm and not feel in the least undergunned.

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array Vaquero 45's Avatar
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    It's all kind of a toss-up. I carry all 3 service calibers at one time or another, so I trust them all. All of them (9mm, 40, 45) will usually work with good shot placement. All of them have failed in the past, usually against narcotics-driven individuals.

    Pick what you like. I think a 230 grain 45 slug is more likely to smash bone and not deflect off course as much as a light bullet. However, I also think that a high cap 9mm or 40 is easier to conceal and lighter to carry, and no one ever wished that they had less bullets in a gunfight. It's awfully easy to carry a Glock 19 and a spare mag, giving you 31 rounds of 9mm+P, which has proven to be very effective.

    I do think that a 40 has a a very slight edge over both 9mm and 45, due to:

    1. I think it's more likely to expand than a 45, due to higher velocity and a larger hollowpoint cavity than any 9mm bullet.

    2. If it doesn't expand, .40 isn't that much smaller than .45, and a .45 wouldn't have expanded, either.

    3. Almost as many rounds of 40 in the same size pistol as a 9mm.

    4. I've never read about a police department griping about lack of "stopping power" with the 40.

    5. You get near .357 magnum energy levels, with near .45 bullet diameter. Hey, what's not to like?

    But the .40 does have a sharp recoil, due to being a high pressure cartridge. I've shot both a Glock 19 and a 23, and I prefer shooting the 19 due to easier controllability. Strangely enough, I've found the recoil less bothersome in my G27 than in a G23. Probably because of the dual recoil spring.

    The bottom line is, there is no definite answer. If there was, we'd all be carrying the one magic 100% effective caliber.
    Slow is smooth.....smooth is fast.

  16. #15
    Member Array senseiturtle's Avatar
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    Just as well throw in my $.02 too.

    If you're using "self-defense" branded ammo from well-known manufacturers, you're going to cause a LOT of damage with any of those 3 calibers. I wouldn't pay too much attention to those "one-stop" percentages you're going to see on the internet, because too many other statistical factors come into play... each one of those "stopping situations" isn't a controlled experiment, rather, a SHTF scenario.

    When choosing between those rounds, pick the one that suits your personality. You can safely assume that you're not going to fire just one shot, and if one hole isn't going to do it, perhaps 2-3 will.

    If not using "premium self-defense ammo," you can't rely on expansion, so therefore, you're much better off with heavy and slower when using solid balls. Go .45 if for some reason you're limited in that fashion.

    My choice- +P 9mm's, 5-inch barrel, 17-rd magazine.

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