9mm vs. 45 cal.

9mm vs. 45 cal.

This is a discussion on 9mm vs. 45 cal. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I intend to carry (waiting on my permit) and I've spent some time shooting 9mm and 45 cal. Glocks. For defensive use, should I focus ...

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Thread: 9mm vs. 45 cal.

  1. #1
    Member Array Kaneco's Avatar
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    9mm vs. 45 cal.

    I intend to carry (waiting on my permit) and I've spent some time shooting 9mm and 45 cal. Glocks. For defensive use, should I focus on the proper fit in a 9mm or 45? I'm 5'10" at about 155# and will carry concealed. Once I decide, the next post will be asking for help on the best Manufacturer and Model....

    Thank you for your opinions


  2. #2
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    Welcome aboard Kaneco!

    With the advances in modern self defense ammo, either caliber is a good choice. Personally, I would focus on which caliber I can shoot well and enjoy shooting. That way you'll shoot a lot and become a very good shot!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

    "A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Array 380ACP's Avatar
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    Oh, you've poked the fire!

    9mm is cheaper to shoot, .45 is bigger. Take your pick.

    Honestly, either one can make an offending target just as dead.

    Myself, I would rather trust my life to a .45. But you'll be hurting more at the shooting range.
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    An intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shot with a .357 Magnum will get angry and kill you.

  4. #4
    Member Array johnsonabq's Avatar
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    This is IMHO. You're the same height as me and weigh even less. I am unable to comfortably (this is the key here) carry my Glock 27 .40S&W let alone a .45 unless it's OWB with a big coat on or a fanny pack. That's why I just bought a Kahr PM9. Much more concealable and comfortable to carry. Only 16oz empty. Carrys 6+1 and I have two 7 round mags. You can get 9mm ammo that performs almost as well as .45. I would love to be able to carry a .45 and maybe will someday, I just can't now. My 2 cents.

    Myself, I would rather trust my life to a .45. But you'll be hurting more at the shooting range.
    This from a member by the name of 380ACP. Why am I laughing?



    jk

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array taseal's Avatar
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    I am much more efficient with 9mm. I can put a hole, and then put bullets through it at 15 feet

    with 45 though, i'm not that accurate, altough I'll still hit where I want it to.

    someone with very very heavy clothing might slow down a .45

    however 9mm, will slice through it

    consider .357 Sig as well

    that being said, I think my carry will be 9mm for these reasons

    -good penetration
    -proven round just like the .45
    -you can carry more rounds

    I can carry 21 rounds of 9mm in my 226 compared to 13 on my USP

    take yer pick. both bullets will put the subject down

    as far as energy goes

    9mm 124 gr bullet - 468 J
    45 230gr bullet - 396 J

  6. #6
    Member Array dreyerba's Avatar
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    I'm about your size (weight a few pounds less) and I carry a full size 1911 .45 all the time at the 4 o'clock and no one notices it at all. I would go with the .45 but you need to go with what your confy with.
    Bryan A Dreyer
    Sgt USMC/US Army
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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    The best gun to have is the one you shoot the best yet still meets some realistic requirements for being able to stop the threat. Both calibers you list will do that. Depending on your financial condition, the 9mm may be a better choice simply because ammo is cheaper so you'll be able to shoot it more and it follows that more practice improves your skills. With modern ammo, the 9mm is a formidable weapon and the packages it is available in are an aid to concealment.

    Hoss
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  8. #8
    Member Array Kaneco's Avatar
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    I have so little experience, I'm not sure that I can trust my instinct, but the 9mm that I shot seemed easier to handle. The 45 was a "sub compact" while the 9 was "compact", so maybe that has something to do with it? Again, all your responses are EXTREMELY helpful, but my friends (the gun owners) repeatedly told me that a 9mm doesn't have the "stopping power" of a 45. For defense, I assume that if I ever have to use the weapon, it'll be at fairly close range right?

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I can shoot just as much 9mm as 45 acp and not feel any more effects from either one,the gun makes a big difference,my keltec 9mm after about a box of shells has my hand wore out.Shot placement is more important than calibre if you shoot all over the place with a 45 but put all your rounds com with a 9mm then I would carry a 9mm,I just got my daughter a S&W MP9c and she loves it
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    I agree with today's ammunition you will not be handicapped much with the 9. It is important to get a gun you will carry. There are some excellent light weight 9s, but I am not sure that a .45 as light as the Kahr, for example, would be fun to shoot.

    For me either my Kahr P9 or Glock 26 is completely adequate, and lighter than my .45s. Others will provide some good info. Personally, although I have both I would recommend a 9mm if I had only 1.

    Regards,
    Jerry

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    The 9mm is small and fast, the .45 is big and slow.....why not do what my wife and I did and split the difference? Carry a .40, it's bigger than the 9mm and still faster than the .45. Still holds plenty in the magazine too.

    I love the .40 cal round, for us, it is the perfect union of bullet size/weight and speed.
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaneco View Post
    ...........but my friends (the gun owners) repeatedly told me that a 9mm doesn't have the "stopping power" of a 45...............
    Your friends are right. The 9mm doesn't have the energy (I don't subscribe to any "stopping power" theory) of a 45. That doesn't mean it won't do the job effectively. A 45 doesn't have the energy of a 500 S&W, but it comes down to what you're comfortable with, can shoot well, and what you will carry. Don't let anyone move you into a gun, caliber or make, that you're not comfortable with. It will end up sitting at home in the safe instead of on your hip and it's great "stopping power" won't do you any good then. 25 years ago, I'd have been on the "9mm is worthless" bandwagon but advances in bullet design and technology have made the 9mm a very effective choice for a defensive handgun.

    Hoss
    Last edited by cvhoss; January 25th, 2009 at 02:02 AM.
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  13. #13
    Member Array johnsonabq's Avatar
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    True, the .45 does have more "Stopping Power" but just remember; "Stopping Power" is only one part of the concealed carry equation. In addition to what you shoot well and what you carry well. If you look at "Stopping Power" tables (especially out of short barrels) the 9mm is almost as good as the .45. And all the tables I've seen put the .40S&W ahead of the .45.

    As always... IMHO

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array taseal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaneco View Post
    I have so little experience, I'm not sure that I can trust my instinct, but the 9mm that I shot seemed easier to handle. The 45 was a "sub compact" while the 9 was "compact", so maybe that has something to do with it? Again, all your responses are EXTREMELY helpful, but my friends (the gun owners) repeatedly told me that a 9mm doesn't have the "stopping power" of a 45. For defense, I assume that if I ever have to use the weapon, it'll be at fairly close range right?
    well it all depends

    you got a faster but smaller projectile hitting you vs bigger but slower projectile hitting you

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array 380ACP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TN_Mike View Post
    The 9mm is small and fast, the .45 is big and slow.....why not do what my wife and I did and split the difference? Carry a .40, it's bigger than the 9mm and still faster than the .45. Still holds plenty in the magazine too.

    I love the .40 cal round, for us, it is the perfect union of bullet size/weight and speed.
    Yeah, .40 cal ballistics is what tipped my decision for my last handgun purchase.
    .
    .
    .
    An intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shot with a .357 Magnum will get angry and kill you.

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