Speed drills have me reconsidering caliber

This is a discussion on Speed drills have me reconsidering caliber within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Caveat: I am absolutely not looking to start a caliber war. I am asking for advice about my personal situation/preferences. I have been carrying defensively ...

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Thread: Speed drills have me reconsidering caliber

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    Distinguished Member Array brocktice's Avatar
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    Speed drills have me reconsidering caliber

    Caveat: I am absolutely not looking to start a caliber war. I am asking for advice about my personal situation/preferences.

    I have been carrying defensively for just over a year. I started with a New Agent in .45 ACP and later switched to primarily carrying a Springfield Mil-spec 1911 in .45 ACP. This winter I worked with my CCW trainer/local IDPA match director on some personal coaching, and I shot pretty well when aiming carefully and taking my time, so he encouraged me to do speed drills to see 'where the wheels come off'.

    I bought a shot timer, we had a very cold late (Feb-Mar) winter, and I didn't practice as much as I'd like lacking any indoor ranges close by. Fast-forward to early summer and I finally got out with my shot timer. I started speed drills (2 IDPA targets, index card on the head, paper plate on the chest, draw, 2 shots to head/index card, 4 shots on plate, switch targets and repeat) with my GSG-1911 in .22, that went great. All shots on target, lightning fast, most shots accurately placed before any cases hit the ground. Of course, that was with .22. Switch to the Mil-spec 1911 in .45 ACP. Much, much slower and less accurate. OK. I understand there's a huge difference in those two.

    At the next IDPA match I want to, I paid much closer attention to the shot timings of the other participants. What really blew me away was how much faster the folks shooting 9x19 were than those shooting .45 ACP. It seems to be well in-between the .22 and the .45 ACP. I'm sure this varies widely among people. Certainly there were some people there slower with 9x19 than others with .45 ACP, but looking over the match scores later, it seemed like a pretty clear difference.

    As I said, I don't want to get into a caliber argument right now. AFAICT hollow-point 9x19 is similar enough in its effects to .45 ACP that I'm not really concerned about the differences in stopping power. I'm much more concerned about follow-up shots, getting back on target quickly. This has me wondering if I should be switching to 9mm for my own defensive carry purposes. My wife has an M&P 9c that I may go out and try some speed drills with for comparison, but the size and ergonomics are obviously quite different from a full-size 1911. I have a bunch of holsters, magazines, etc, for my 1911, I like it, I have a bunch of .45 ACP stocked up, and I don't really want to start all over on my carry set-up. At the same time, I don't want to let my sunk costs or sentimentality about my 1911 hold me back from changing things when I should change them.

    I welcome any thoughts on my situation, but especially (1) things I can do to improve my time to get back on target with .45 ACP, especially without expending a ton of .45 ACP ammo, and (2) comments from experience on differences in follow-up times. Do I just need more training and better technique, or is it pretty much hopeless for me to do better on follow-up shot timing and placement with .45 ACP vs 9mm?

    EDIT: Videos

    22LR Speed Drills - GSG 1911 .22LR - YouTube
    45ACP Speed Drills - Springfield Mil-Spec 1911 .45 ACP - YouTube
    Last edited by brocktice; August 25th, 2013 at 01:28 PM.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    As you might imagine, speed is only one component of an effective defense. While important, there are many other crucial factors. In time, with competent training, you should certainly be able to be "fast enough" with whatever your selected platform is. It'll just come down to the mix of criteria you want to have in your defensive situation: how much training investment; how much time focused on these things; what sort of gear; what "power" of cartridge, capacity, etc.

    For me, the mix of higher capacity, lighter weight, smaller size and comparatively faster follow-up shots have drawn me to the 9mm platform. Of course, having been almost exclusively on that platform for 20+ years, it turns out that's what I shoot best; though, I suspect that's as much due to simple familiarity as anything else. Still, your point is a good one. Different calibers/power can affect people differently. You might well find the mix of pros/cons works better for you in a different caliber/size of gun. Up to you, but many have made a switch for those sort of reasons. IMO, they're real, and they'll exist so long as you haven't been able to equalize the differences through training.
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    If it works better with the 9mm set up go for it. You may find the compact 9mm has as much or more lag in quick follow up due to the smaller size/weight but this is something you will need to try yourself.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    Distinguished Member Array brocktice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky View Post
    If it works better with the 9mm set up go for it. You may find the compact 9mm has as much or more lag in quick follow up due to the smaller size/weight but this is something you will need to try yourself.
    Right, if I switched it would be to a full-size 9mm, probably.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    A good comparison to the Colt New Agent .45 might be the CZ 2075 RAMI 9mm. Similar size and weight, more or less, different caliber, capacity.
    357and40 and oneshot like this.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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    VIP Member Array blitzburgh's Avatar
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    I'm not an expert by any means, but I'd imagine either way you're going to be going through a lot of ammo. Sucks, I know. Just think of the fun you'll be having instead of the money being "spent".
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    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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    I fully understand your position, as i have found myself in a similar one with the .4o cal. While speed is great, it is not the end all be all. A slightly longer aim time for a well placed shot with a .45 will always beat three rounds fired as fast as possible with no aiming. No matter the platform, practice is key. Speed comes with time and repetition. With that said, if you are unhappy with the .45, and think a 9mm will suit you better, by all means get a 9mm and see what happens.
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    Distinguished Member Array brocktice's Avatar
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    I'm guessing the best way for me to settle this would be to somehow try something like a Glock 17 or M&P 9mm alongside my 1911. I'd prefer to do that without having to buy the 9mm first. There are some ranges around here were I could do that, but they're a 2-hour drive away. Probably worth doing that, and then I can trade in my New Agent if I'd like to switch. I'll keep the Mil-spec either way.
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    VIP Member Array StormRhydr's Avatar
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    I took an M&P compact 9mm, through Tactical Responses "Fighting Pistol" course. 1,000 rounds in two days. It rocked the house.

    Later, I bought G 19s, as well. But absolutely zero issues with the M&P.

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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Brocktice, please take this the right way. Have you considered going back to basics. Making sure that your fundamentals are sound. I think that you could do exactly what you want with your 1911....
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    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brocktice View Post
    I'm guessing the best way for me to settle this would be to somehow try something like a Glock 17 or M&P 9mm alongside my 1911. I'd prefer to do that without having to buy the 9mm first. There are some ranges around here were I could do that, but they're a 2-hour drive away. Probably worth doing that, and then I can trade in my New Agent if I'd like to switch. I'll keep the Mil-spec either way.
    I would make the trade for a 9mm. There are lots of great platforms out there in the 9mm
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    Distinguished Member Array brocktice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryball View Post
    Brocktice, please take this the right way. Have you considered going back to basics. Making sure that your fundamentals are sound. I think that you could do exactly what you want with your 1911....
    Indeed, this is part of what I'm asking. Any pointers on this would be welcome (I mean, should I be doing hand/forearm exercises, or what?). I can't find much. I did some searching this morning but maybe I don't know the right terms. I am still pretty new at this. I do dry fire practice, etc. However, I'm really thinking that, given the same amount of practice with both 9mm and .45 ACP, I'd probably come out ahead with the 9mm.

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    VIP Member Array tdave's Avatar
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    Just a thought but if you did decide to go 9mm how about a 1911 platform 9mm? Same manual of arms holster etc. Known a couple folks who went that route according to them the best thing since sliced bread.
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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brocktice View Post
    Indeed, this is part of what I'm asking. Any pointers on this would be welcome (I mean, should I be doing hand/forearm exercises, or what?). I can't find much. I did some searching this morning but maybe I don't know the right terms. I am still pretty new at this. I do dry fire practice, etc. However, I'm really thinking that, given the same amount of practice with both 9mm and .45 ACP, I'd probably come out ahead with the 9mm.
    Start here:

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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    More: These videos are not the end all be all, but its a very good start...

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