Seeking 9mm reassurance
(I just posted this question on Glock Talk also.)
Over the last few years I have agonized over a caliber choice for my Glocks and about a year ago I resolved to go with 9mm exclusively. So, I sold my G27 and G23 and committed to a G26 for a CCW and a G34 for competition 'gaming.' I also stocked up on about 1000 rounds of FMJ for practice/competition and 500 rounds of Federal HST 124+P for self defense.
All was right with the world until a few days ago.
In our part of the country, a sheriff's deputy was shot as he went to investigate a report of erratic driving and shots fired. The details are still emerging, but the young man (26) was shot in the abdomen and the side of the head from close range. Thank heavens he has survived and is slowly being brought out of an induced coma to protect him from his brain injuries. According to current reports he is responding to nearby family members and giving a 'thumbs up' even though he hasn't opened his eyes.
I wish him a speedy and total recovery.
Here's my dilemma: according to the latest news reports, he might have been hit in the abdomen first (still not sure if he was wearing armor) and then the assailant walked over and shot him in the head 'execution style' before running to a nearby house with a friend. After a lengthy standoff, the alleged assailant surrendered and is in custody. But how can I retain full confidence in the 9mm round as a self defense choice when it failed so miserably at such close range?
I don't know yet what type of bullets struck the deputy, but I'm beginning to think I should go out and pick up another G27, so my new Side Armor IWB holster and other holsters will still fit the weapon. I never had any serious issues with the .40 caliber recoil or anything ... perhaps slightly slower double taps ... but I'm beginning to think a 155 gr Federal HST in .40 caliber might be a better choice for SD and perhaps I could even move up to a G35 for competition and get at least one 9mm barrel (and save a couple 9mm mags) for practice.
Your thoughts and opinions would be appreciated.
Don't sweat it. I forget where the thread is but there was a guy in Louisianna that was beating up a cop and took like three .45acp to the chest and another to the head and still tried to attack the guy that shot him.
The thing to keep in mind is that these are handguns and handgun ammo we are talking about here. Not Thor's hammer. The caliber and bullet involved are probably only worth about 5-10% of the total equation. Shot placement is king. If that head shot just grazed him and did not penetrate the skull it wouldn't matter what caliber the weapon was unless he used something like a .454 and tried to incinerate him with the muzzle blast.
Remember shot placement, I dont matter if you shot with a .44 mag
it you dont hit a vital you dont die right a way.
I personally would not place my choice on a carry caliber on one incident from your local news. There are lots of people that get shot with lots of different calibers that don't die.
First is your goal in self defense to kill the attacker or to stop the threat? It should be to stop the threat.
If you look at the story you posted. The criminal stopped his threat, then proceeded to walk over and put one in the Leo's scull. To me if the tables were turned, and you were able to shoot someone in the gut which put them down long enough for you to walk over for a head shot (I am not advocating execution) then you have effectively stopped the threat against you.
Secondly, many calibers are not going to be deadly when you shoot someone in the gut. That should not be your intended target area.
Third, without knowing how the head shot was executed, you don't know if maybe it was just a glancing round because the cop flinched and moved out of the way or the shooter didn't aim properly.
I will continue to carry my 9mm and rely on the fact that I hope I am a better shot than the criminal in your story. Either way I am not going to let one story decide my caliber of gun for self defense.
I bet no one on this forum will volunteer to take one for the team to see how effective a 9mm can be. :gah:
Shot placement is the key to survival in a gunfight. Do not forget the old saw, "A hit with a .22 is better than a loud miss with a .44!"
You can find numerous cases of where (you choose the caliber) failed to stop an assailant. That is why one should be prepared to keep on shooting until the perpetrator is no longer a threat.
Just like reall estate. Location, location, location!
I carry a G26 and have no concerns that with the right ammo, shot placement, and practice, it will more than do the job. It is a great gun, and there are plenty of choices of premium ammo. I have tried to get a forum going on best ammo choices, but responses have not been forthcoming.
Currently I use Federal HST, but it cannot be found so I am looking for another. Thinking of Speer Gold Dot for SHort Barrels. All reviews have been outstanding, but it is pricey.
I remember reading an article a month or so back about a guy that was shot an absurd number of times (somewhere in the teens) with a .40 (including some COM shots) and continued to shoot back at the officer involved. The guy didn't die until after the paramedics arrived I believe.
EDIT: Found the article: http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...es-merged.html
Shot 22 times, 17 COM, and didn't die till 4 minutes after the last gunshot.
No round is perfect.
Thanks for the replies. I'll keep reviewing the feedback and go slow on making any moves of any kind.
The debate over which caliber is a better defense round 9mm, 40 or 45 will go on forever. I really dont think there is much difference between the calibers when quality ammunition is used and vital areas are hit, at least that is the conclusion I came to based on the research I have done. Shot placement is the important factor and that requires practice, lots of practice. The larger calibers probably have an advantage when non vital areas are hit but it is probably minimal. I would not let this incident you mentioned be a deciding factor as to how good a specific caliber is, there are just to many variables in every shooting to make perfect comparisons. I have been carrying Federal HST because it seems to have great penetration,expansion and consistency, the 9mm penetrates about 13" and opens to about .72". Speer Gold Dot is also another great round, NYPD uses it in 124+P. Again this is not real world shooting stats but ballistic gelatin tests, so its just a guide. I have always believed in using the heavier cartridges over the lighter and faster ammunition, in 9mm if the gun feeds it I carry 147gr with 124+P as a second choice , 40 cal, 180gr and 45, 230 gr. This is just my opinion, I may be all wrong but so far I have not seen anything conclusive to change my mind. Go with the caliber you are most comfortable and accurate with.
I would suggest that you don't buy into all of the gun rag hype about caliber. One must realize that ALL handguns are underpowered when it comes to the fight. It would be much more effective to have a tank, strike fighter or a team of SOF soldiers on call for personal defense but, lets face it, that's not going to happen. The best defensive weapon is the one that you are well versed in and that you can have with you! Of all of the handguns virtues, power just isn't one of them. With that being said, shot placement becomes important. The weapon that you are able to hit targets on command with under any circumstance is, for my money, the best option. For most, the 9mm makes the most sense. Sufficient penetration, low felt recoil enabling rapid follow up shots, low cost of training ammo and good magazine capacity are but some of the positive attributes of the 9mm platform.
In the case you spoke of, not enough information is available to determine weather or not ammo was to blame for the eventual outcome. There are plenty of cases of handguns of all calibers failing to immediately render the target harmless. More often than not, this is not caused by lack of power, but due to shot placement, number of hits and some times, the bad guy's willingness to fight on.
I carry a G26 or G19 daily. I trust both as totally reliable tools and, as long as I do my part, can count on either to help protect me in a violent encounter.
If you find a handgun that is large enough caliber to put someone down with one shot, every time, your also talking about a handgun that is going to be too big and heavy to carry concealed, unless your in the 8' 500 lb build range. No handgun is going to be perfect. Too many variables to deal with, size of BG, the drugs he may be on, the clothing he's wearing, shot placement.
I tend to prefer .45 for carry, just for whatever reason.
My opinion is that it doesn't really make that much of a difference between 9mm, .40, and .45 when you take into account modern defense ammo. Shoot whatever you shoot best and are comfortable with. If that is 9mm, stick with 9mm.
Handguns rounds are underpowered in general, and unless you get a good hit on a couple of specific vital areas, odds are you aren't gonna turn out the lights on a BG instantly.
If you look at wound balistics, they say a 9mm isn't enough. I still wouldn't want to get shot with one.
I carry my Glock30SF 90% of the time when not working. I carry my 26 when at work. I have carried my 19 also. In no way shape or form do I feel under gunned with my 19 or 26:comeandgetsome: I run 147gr HST in my 19/26. From the tests I have seen you have nothing to worry about. Don't sweat it.:bier:
+1 :hand5: :hand10:
Originally Posted by theheater905
My younger brother was shot in the chest by a drive-by shooter using a .45acp - who was never caught - back in the mid 80's. It missed his heart by just 1" but he survived and is fine except for the scars. OTOH I know of a boy (son of a family friend and 17 at the time) was was killed a few years ago by a single .22 shot when he had an accidental discharge with a rifle while hunting squirrels, was struck in the throat and bled to death.