Need some help on the ultimate gun project; .45 vs 9mm bun not what you think...

Need some help on the ultimate gun project; .45 vs 9mm bun not what you think...

This is a discussion on Need some help on the ultimate gun project; .45 vs 9mm bun not what you think... within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; First, this is not about which has the best terminal ballistics, which is most effective, recoil, etc. It is about practicality - LOL, well sort ...

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Thread: Need some help on the ultimate gun project; .45 vs 9mm bun not what you think...

  1. #1
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    Need some help on the ultimate gun project; .45 vs 9mm bun not what you think...

    First, this is not about which has the best terminal ballistics, which is most effective, recoil, etc. It is about practicality - LOL, well sort of.

    I have to start here: I'm on the edge of dropping the bucks on a project gun, not a carry gun per se, but yet still easily revertible to carry, which is why this is not in the Defensive Carry Guns forum.

    I got my longevity check last month and since money seems to be worth less and less these days, and I have fewer and fewer days to spend it, I thought a gun project would be in order.

    Hereís the saga as it unfolds before your very eyes:
    What I have/had in mind is converting my G21 SF with the pic rail and ambi safety (I dearly love the configuration) into one of those ultimate, ready-for-anything, SHTF, defend the home, bugout, etc. guns.

    Hereís my first cut at the plan:
    Replace the stock slide and barrel on my G21SF with a Lone Wolf Distributors, tactical length barrel, and slide. That would add about a half inch over the stock barrel. Hereís the rationale for a longer slide; and as you'll see, it's not much rationale. Iím gonna put an Insight MRDS (reflex sight) on the slide for the ONLY sight. I want to directly mount the sight to the slide which I believe involves drilling and tapping the slide and maybe some minor machining. I donít want to do that on my stock slide, sooo, I need a slide to play with. Well, if Iím going to get a slide, why not get a tactical length? Of course thatís more expensive since I have to buy a tactical length barrel to match, but stillÖÖ

    I'm gonna clamp an Insight WL1 Series Tactical Light/Laser on the frame, and I already have a Taylor Freelance +4 mag extension on a mag for evaluation. That'd bring the .45 ACP round count, in the gun, to 17 + 1.

    Of course that wouldn't be for carry in that configuration but I'd have no problem carrying the G21 SF with the MRDS sans the light/laser and extended mag. I know, I've carried the G21SF a lot lately without a problem.

    So, sounds like a plan, right? I mean, whatís not to like? Well hereís what not to like:
    I picked up a 1000 rounds of .45ACP in one of those military cans with the clamping lid and it was all I could do to carry it from one end of the house to the other. So now I'm thinking what good is it to have the ultimate what-if gun if you can't carry ammo for it because the ammo is so heavy. I think this is one of the issues that influenced the militaryís move from the .308 to the .223 round.

    So now, I'm having to rethink this a bit. Maybe the 9mm is the way to go. Ammo is half the weight, gun capacity would be 17+5 (5 round extension) + 1 for a total of 24 rounds in the gun.

    So I'm not sure what I'm gonna do; the G21 SF has the appeal for this setup - the G17 is kind of ho-hum.

    So ok guys, help me out here!!! What do I do?
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Interesting project.

    Relative to the ammo: Between 147gr 9mm and 230gr .45ACP there is only a 62% increase in weight, not 100%, if that matters to you. Sans packaging, 1k rds of 9mm should be about 31lbs and 1k rds of .45 about 50lbs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    Interesting project.

    Relative to the ammo: Between 147gr 9mm and 230gr .45ACP there is only a 62% increase in weight, not 100%, if that matters to you. Sans packaging, 1k rds of 9mm should be about 31lbs and 1k rds of .45 about 50lbs.
    Hmmm, not sure how you arrived at the 62% number, I got 230 gn is 56% heavier than 147 gn 9mm, or a .45 is 1.56 times heavier than 147 gn 9mm. Still that's a big differnce.

    My reference was 124 gn 9mm which would be pretty close to half the weight of a 230 gn .45, especially taking the large case of the .45 into account.

    However, that does bring up the thought of carrying 185 gn .45 ACP. Still a lot heavier than 124 gn 9mm, but it narrows the gap.
    I'm too young to be this old!
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I got the 62% by weighing 20 rounds of each,then extrapolating. It cold easily be off a few percent. As you say, there would still be a considerable difference in weight.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    Hmmmmmm......build them both and send one of them to me for Christmas??

    Seriously though, if ammo weight is a big factor then definitely go with the G17 conversion.
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    I've been itching to do a similar project, but mine would involve a removable shoulder stock and (unfortunately) an SBR tax stamp. The joy of the bureaucracy of registering an SBR has had this on hold while I ponder a small carbine instead.

    I don't think that I can bear another caliber discussion, but I was planning on building around a G17 for reasons that you stated.
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    My thoughts are on a bug out gun, you will not carry around 1000 rds of ammo. You will have maybe 6-12 or whatever your percieved contingency calls for, so I wouldn't worry about weight. In a well thought out plan, it would include a cache for resupply if needed in a safe place, and that's where you store the bulk.

    The gun; either 9mm or 45acp will do the trick for this purpose. My thinking is that for 1 on 1 or maybe 3 opponents, I'll take the 45, hands down. However in shtf, full of unknowns, the high cap nine sounds awfully darn good.
    The reactive sight sounds good, and the laser can be used too. A flashlight on a shtf weapon makes sense to me, but not for home defense.

    All in all sounds like a good idea and fun project. Thanks for an interesting thread. I have been bored.
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    I'm probably reaching too far with an 'ultimate', do-it-all-best gun.

    I am definitely leaning toward a .45 platform. The G34 is about the same thing in a 9mm platform. Of course the RDS (Red Dot Sight) and light/laser combo would help, but it's still pretty ho-hum. Now a unique G21 SF in a tactical length with all that stuff on it, now that would be pretty special. Plus the .45 ACP is 'all American' too.

    It does look like the critical issue is how much ammo would you anticipate for a long haul, bad, situation. Well we've had that with Katrina, and I don't know of anyone that defended themselves with more than a magazine of rounds; not sure anyone even shot one mag in SD. What I'm thinking here is that even if it's an ongoing, lawless, disaster that lasts for a year, etc., would we expect to shoot even 100 rounds in SD? Plus, surely we'd have a long gun too, but if not, it seems to me that it's really reaching to think we'd need more than a 100 rounds. Ir things have gotten that bad, we probably need a carbine anyway.

    To the issue of an actually fight, I'd rather fight with the .45 and I'm not especially a .45 guy - I really like 9mm too.
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    I have wanted an SF model for sometime. Maybe when I get down your way we can compare ideas. But I do like your concept.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    Hmmm, not sure how you arrived at the 62% number, I got 230 gn is 56% heavier than 147 gn 9mm, or a .45 is 1.56 times heavier than 147 gn 9mm. Still that's a big differnce.

    My reference was 124 gn 9mm which would be pretty close to half the weight of a 230 gn .45, especially taking the large case of the .45 into account.

    However, that does bring up the thought of carrying 185 gn .45 ACP. Still a lot heavier than 124 gn 9mm, but it narrows the gap.
    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    I got the 62% by weighing 20 rounds of each,then extrapolating. It cold easily be off a few percent. As you say, there would still be a considerable difference in weight.
    The powder and case weight may be the difference between your conclusions.
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

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    Senior Member Array zeppelin03's Avatar
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    Sounds like your dead set on the .45. Go for it. Why buy another gun that your not into? Makes no sense to me.

  12. #12
    OD*
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    Quite the project, you must have finished the go-cart?
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

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    I would go with 9mm. Cost is a big factor, weight is another. I'm certain that your skill and pistol craft is up to par, so you really do have the ability to squeak every once of performance out of the 9mm, mainly in the accuracy department. So, the weight and cost factors become even bigger factors. A G34 may be ho hum, but so is a G21. Its your job to make it not. Slicken it up and outfit it as you see fit. It won't take all that much, and all of a sudden you have something not so boring.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Quote Originally Posted by OD*
    Quite the project, you must have finished the go-cart?
    Don't I wish! I'm now waiting on the seat upholstering so I can fit him to it again to see how everything looks.
    I'm too young to be this old!
    Getting old isn't good for you!

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    I think I'm missing something here, or perhaps your response can help crystallize my thoughts...

    Why not just start with a .45 cal carbine? It would seem easier to tear something down than build it up, plus the real estate for your other goodies is already there?
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