Deciding on what caliber

Deciding on what caliber

This is a discussion on Deciding on what caliber within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi, All i am new here and I wanted your opinion. I am looking to purchase SA XD 4inch just don't know what caliber to ...

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Thread: Deciding on what caliber

  1. #1
    New Member Array mastermindtec's Avatar
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    Deciding on what caliber

    Hi, All i am new here and I wanted your opinion. I am looking to purchase SA XD 4inch just don't know what caliber to get. I have shot
    the 9mm and I liked it but I wanted something a little bit more powerful.
    Should I got with the 40S&W 45ACP or 45GAP

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array firefighter4884's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
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    I happen to have an XD45 Service (4") that I absolutely love. The 4" compact is on my list of to acquire firearms (hey... same ammo, mags and holsters, what's not to love).

    I personally like the 45 for carry. That being said, I'm currently carrying a glock 19...and I surely don't feel under armed.

    Is there a range near you where you can rent one of each and try it out. Personally, I think you'd be well suited with an XD in 9, 40 or 45ACP. I'd tend to shy away from the 45 GAP, because of cost and availability concerns.

    IMHO, the 45 gap is a solution in search of a problem, esp. in the XD :)

    Firefighter / EMT - Always Ready. Ever Willing.

    ~Never do anything that you don't want to have to explain to the paramedics...~

  3. #3
    Member Array buzzgum's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    +1 on the XD-45ACP. Love mine. Nice soft push rather than snap on recoil. Very good shooter.

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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    Basically, same advice as above. Try to shoot both .45 and 9mm. With the quality of defensive ammo these days and the amount of expansion, there just really isn't that much of a difference in caliber. The 9mm vs .45 has been so much I don't want to get into it.

    What really matters is what you feel comfortable with, and most importantly, what you shoot the best. The recoil is different between the 9 and the .45. The 9 is more of a snap, and the .45 is more of a push. Whichever one allows you to get sights back on target in the smallest amount of time and your rounds go where you wanted them to, is the one YOU should carry.

    The shooter next to you at the firing line might be the complete opposite, but he won't be the one firing your gun.

    I personally do not like the .40 caliber at all, so my opinions are not objective. To me, the .40 has all the disadvantages of both the 9mm and the .45 with none of the advantages. A weak compromise at best.

    With the price of ammo these days, if you don't reload, the 9mm might be the way to go depending on your finances.

    Good luck, and welcome to the XD Family and to

    No matter what you choose, it's not likely to be your last, so you still got plenty of time to pick up that 1911 you've been eye-balling.

    If you are in the DFW area, let me know, and I can let you try a variety of different pistols without the rental fees.

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  6. #5
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I would suggest which gun you shoot the best,if you can shoot the bullseye out of a target with the 9mm but shoot all over the target with a 45 then I suggest you carry a 9mm accurate with fast followup shots,but if you shoot the 45 equally as well then go with the 45
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    I'll take a bit of a different approach. If you reload or are filthy rich, then ignore the rest of my post and follow the good advice you've already received (well, most of it. IMHO, the 40 S&W may be one of the best defensive cartridges available). However, if you don't reload or have an inexhaustible supply of money and if you don't already own a 9mm, I would suggest the 9. The first criteria for stopping the BG is you have to be able to hit him with whatever you're shooting and that means practice, practice and more practice. Ammo prices have risen so dramatically in the last year or so, that unless you're already an expert marksman, a 45 may limit your ability to practice with it enough to become truly proficient.

    Sig 239 SAS 40 S&W / Sig 239 9mm / Kahr PM-9 / Walther PPS .40 / Sig P-245 / Ruger LCP
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  8. #7
    Lead Moderator
    Array HotGuns's Avatar
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    Shoot the biggest caliber that you can comfortably shoot.

    If that is the .45,so be it.

    If that is the 9MM, thats good too.

    With the recent improvements in ammunition these days, the difference in performance is getting smaller all the time.
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  9. #8
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    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
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    I wouldn't feel shortchanged with a 9mm, but I prefer my Kimber in .45. If you ever have to make a couple holes, why not make them as big as possible?

    Stay armed...I prefer .45's...stay safe!
    Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”

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  10. #9
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    I'd try a little of everything first.

    I had my heart on .40 but found the recoil odd... I don't know why but it bugged me. I then had my heart on 9mm but learned I could handle the recoil of the .45 just fine - so .45 it was. It had been off my radar when I first began looking - largely due to friendly advice that it was too much gun for a beginner.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

  11. #10
    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    I find that it a lot of cases, 45's are easier than 9mm and always easier to shoot than 40's, the polymer guns in particular. I like to stick with 9mm or 45... the caliber depends on the gun's role. Both will do you just fine.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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  12. #11
    VIP Member Array SatCong's Avatar
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    Welcome. Now I like 45.

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    I don't personally believe that there's a significant enough advantage to either the .40 or the .45 to justify carrying a gun in a caliber that leaves you with reduced capacity, more muzzle-flip, and (most importantly these days) ammo that is significantly more expensive.

    Shot placement is key, a good hit with a 9mm is just as deadly as a good hit from the others. Conversely, a lousy hit with a caliber that starts with "4" is just as bad as a lousy hit with a 9mm.

    Go with the caliber that allows you to train the most.
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

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  14. #13
    Member Array KingPerformance's Avatar
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    Why no 10mm? Power of a .45 with the velocity of a 9mm. Best of both worlds.

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array MNBurl's Avatar
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    I have both 9 and 40 as my primary carry guns. They just work for me and I have not expanded into 45 and don't plan to short term so one less caliber to stock.

    Choose what you like but stay away from odd ball calibers like 45 Gap and lesser extent 357 sig (most 40 guns can have a new 357 sig barrel to make a two caliber guns).

    Let us know what you decide.

    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking" - George S. Patton.

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array fatboy97's Avatar
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    It's all about personal preferences, and ultimately shot placement. Some people can and do shoot the 45ACP better than the .40S&W or 9mm. Personally, I like shooting the 9mm and can get better groupings with my 9mm than my .40S&W weapons, but I do carry my .40S&W weapons from time to time.

    Recommend: Shoot any guns you are considering, in the caliber you are considering, before you buy.
    Be Observant and Be Safe.

    Current: DW V-Bob 1911, S&W 442, Springfield XD9sc, XDm9,
    and Glock G26, G19, G23C, and SIG P226-40 TT, and Ruger GP-100, and Beretta 92FS
    Former: Taurus 92SS, SIG P220 TT, S&W 360, SIG P239-40, Ruger 22/45 MKII

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