Why does a 9mm have so much power in a small cartridge? - Page 3

Why does a 9mm have so much power in a small cartridge?

This is a discussion on Why does a 9mm have so much power in a small cartridge? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by Bad Bob I have never thought of the 9mm as powerful. Thank you Bad Bob. Of course you don't think much of ...

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Thread: Why does a 9mm have so much power in a small cartridge?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bob View Post
    I have never thought of the 9mm as powerful.
    Thank you Bad Bob.

    Of course you don't think much of .38 Special either and that's ok.

    Thing is the .38 Special is underrated these days and the 9mm is overrated in my opinion. They are no more than two peas in a pod and I prefer the best of the .38 Special performance ammunition over any 9mm ammunition. The 9mm pistols just hold lots of ammo.
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    I thought as powerful as compared to a 38 being the same diameter bullet and traveling hundreds a FPS more with the brass being twice the size.

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    Back in the 1980's- 1990's 9mm had less powder, but now manufacturers make "modern" 9mm with more powder, "just as good" as 40/45.
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  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darktone View Post
    I thought as powerful as compared to a 38 being the same diameter bullet and traveling hundreds a FPS more with the brass being twice the size.
    Most 38 Special loads use bullets that are a lot heavier than the 9mm. What indicators are you considering as more powerful?


    Are you only considering standard pressure loadings or are you considering +P and +P+ loadings? Really the only thing the two have in common is similar groove diameter .355 VS .357 and the fact that they are both old cartridges.

    It is a lot more complicated than just what one considers "Power".
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  6. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Thank you Bad Bob.

    Of course you don't think much of .38 Special either and that's ok.

    Thing is the .38 Special is underrated these days and the 9mm is overrated in my opinion. They are no more than two peas in a pod and I prefer the best of the .38 Special performance ammunition over any 9mm ammunition. The 9mm pistols just hold lots of ammo.
    Only because of how ineffective it has been proven to be in the real world.

    It is a great target shooting cartridge.

    I know that is gonna twist some panties.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bob View Post
    Only because of how ineffective it has been proven to be in the real world.

    It is a great target shooting cartridge.

    I know that is gonna twist some panties.
    Are you talking about 9 or 38? or both?
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  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Thank you Bad Bob.

    Of course you don't think much of .38 Special either and that's ok.

    Thing is the .38 Special is underrated these days and the 9mm is overrated in my opinion. They are no more than two peas in a pod and I prefer the best of the .38 Special performance ammunition over any 9mm ammunition. The 9mm pistols just hold lots of ammo.
    You know, it is a verifiable fact that the 38 spl was the dominant cartridge for LE use up until the 80’s and 90’s. And it really wasn’t any other cartridge that changed that, it was the replacement of revolvers with semi auto pistols.
    Even the 357 magnum ( which actually had a short run in LE) could not kill the 38 spl, and is verifiable to anyone who has good google-fu. Heck, even the BP used the 38spl with the Treasury Load for some time.
    One can look at even the Miami shootout and see that even though they were issued 357 mag revolvers, they were loaded with 38 spl cartridges.

    The old 38 must have done something right for 80 plus years to dominate the LE /SD arena like it did!

    The 38/44 is a fun cartridge as you probably know:)
    I can understand the concern they must have had back then about people loading the 38/44 in to an older model k frame since the 38 spl and 38/44 are identical. The 44 spl frame was the safe way to do 38/44 back then, although I must admit I will occasionally handload 158 weight bullets to 38/44 velocities and shoot them out of my more modern 38 spl k frames.

    The thing that people either are ignorant of, or just don’t understand, is the FBI never chose the 9mm because they said it was “ better” than any other cartridge.......they said it was “ better” for “ their” uses. To me that’s not a real positive endorsement.

    My thoughts on the 357, is that, for my purposes, it’s a worthless cartridge. It has too much blast and concussion when used in a smaller carry gun, especially if one has to use in an enclosed environment without hearing protection. Can you imagine touching off a 110 or 125 Maggie from a short barrel revolver in your house or store? Yikes!

    So, that leaves it for outdoor uses, which, for my uses, it is useless because the 44spl, 41 mag and 44 mag are so much better for those intended roles. Actually, a 45 Colt in its original loading would be preferred by me for just about anything than the 357 mag.

    But it’s great that we all can pick and choose:)
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  10. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMinSC View Post
    Are you talking about 9 or 38? or both?
    The 38. It was in bold.
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-man* View Post
    You know, it is a verifiable fact that the 38 spl was the dominant cartridge for LE use up until the 80’s and 90’s. And it really wasn’t any other cartridge that changed that, it was the replacement of revolvers with semi auto pistols.

    It was dominant in some regions. Two factors played into that politics and cost. Having seen and investigated numerous people shot with various things as well as discussed it with other investigators I am of the opinion that the 357 magnum is significantly more effective than the 38 Special. If one is not dedicated enough to master the 357 magnum it is certainly best to stay with the 38 Special. The 9mm +P+ on the other hand seems to work about as good as the 357 mag when fired from service pistol length barrels. Maybe that is why I like the 357 Sig.


    Even the 357 magnum ( which actually had a short run in LE) could not kill the 38 spl, and is verifiable to anyone who has good google-fu. Heck, even the BP used the 38spl with the Treasury Load for some time.
    Short run? Yea I guess 80 years is a short run to some. For example, Jelly Bryce traded his 44 Specials for 357 magnums in the 1930's. The treasure load you reference was the 110 grain magnum, not the 110 grain special. The other factor is that many people jut cannot handle the 357 magnum.

    One can look at even the Miami shootout and see that even though they were issued 357 mag revolvers, they were loaded with 38 spl cartridges.
    OK, A bunch of lawyers and accountants........Since the 1930's the FBI has been pretty much a white collar crime enforcement agency. They easy get out of their depth. We had one here using a propane tank as cover serving a warrant. If you want to look at a Federal Agency that uses its guns look to the USBP.

    The old 38 must have done something right for 80 plus years to dominate the LE /SD arena like it did!
    It is cheap and easy to shoot.

    The thing that people either are ignorant of, or just don’t understand, is the FBI never chose the 9mm because they said it was “ better” than any other cartridge.......they said it was “ better” for “ their” uses. To me that’s not a real positive endorsement.
    Yep, gotta read between the lines.

    My thoughts on the 357, is that, for my purposes, it’s a worthless cartridge. It has too much blast and concussion when used in a smaller carry gun, especially if one has to use in an enclosed environment without hearing protection. Can you imagine touching off a 110 or 125 Maggie from a short barrel revolver in your house or store? Yikes!
    We all have our opinions. The 357 magnum is one of my all time favorite cartridges, almost neck and neck with the 44 magnum. Noise and blast are range issues. When the adrenaline dumps you will experience sensory deprivation.

    So, that leaves it for outdoor uses, which, for my uses, it is useless because the 44spl, 41 mag and 44 mag are so much better for those intended roles. Actually, a 45 Colt in its original loading would be preferred by me for just about anything than the 357 mag.
    All of those a great cartridges, isn't it great to have those options. But I don't see many big bore snubbies the size of a J frame 357 magnum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bob View Post
    It was dominant in some regions. Two factors played into that politics and cost. Having seen and investigated numerous people shot with various things as well as discussed it with other investigators I am of the opinion that the 357 magnum is significantly more effective than the 38 Special. If one is not dedicated enough to master the 357 magnum it is certainly best to stay with the 38 Special. The 9mm +P+ on the other hand seems to work about as good as the 357 mag when fired from service pistol length barrels. Maybe that is why I like the 357 Sig.




    Short run? Yea I guess 80 years is a short run to some. For example, Jelly Bryce traded his 44 Specials for 357 magnums in the 1930's. The treasure load you reference was the 110 grain magnum, not the 110 grain special. The other factor is that many people jut cannot handle the 357 magnum.



    OK, A bunch of lawyers and accountants........Since the 1930's the FBI has been pretty much a white collar crime enforcement agency. They easy get out of their depth. We had one here using a propane tank as cover serving a warrant. If you want to look at a Federal Agency that uses its guns look to the USBP.



    It is cheap and easy to shoot.



    Yep, gotta read between the lines.



    We all have our opinions. The 357 magnum is one of my all time favorite cartridges, almost neck and neck with the 44 magnum. Noise and blast are range issues. When the adrenaline dumps you will experience sensory deprivation.



    All of those a great cartridges, isn't it great to have those options. But I don't see many big bore snubbies the size of a J frame 357 magnum.
    I've always liked the .357 Magnum. It was my first center fire handgun, in the form of a new Ruger Blackhawk 3-screw purchased in December, 1968. Killed a deer with it in November, 1969. An excellent gun which I wish I still had. My current .357 is a Ruger Security Six Stainless 4" barrel which I purchased new in 1972. Fabulous gun and very accurate.

    BTW, nice writeup.
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  13. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bob View Post
    OK, A bunch of lawyers and accountants........Since the 1930's the FBI has been pretty much a white collar crime enforcement agency. They easy get out of their depth.
    And they would have continued to get their collective asses kicked if not for J. Edgar being smart enough to realize you can't put pencil pushers up against real gunman and expect them to win. Waiving the requirement for a college degree allowed them to hire their own mankillers, "Hoover's Gunslingers." Most of them didn't have anything more than a high school education, Charles Winstead, Clarence O. Hurt, "Jerry" Campbell (1 year of college), "Jelly" Bryce, George Franklin and others, allowing them to carry their prefered weapons.

    Maybe the FBI should revisit those hiring practices.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OD* View Post
    And they would have continued to get their collective asses kicked if not for J. Edgar being smart enough to realize you can't put pencil pushers up against real gunman and expect them to win. Waiving the requirement for a college degree allowed them to hire their own mankillers, "Hoover's Gunslingers." Most of them didn't have anything more than a high school education, Charles Winstead, Clarence O. Hurt, "Jerry" Campbell (1 year of college), "Jelly" Bryce, George Franklin and others, allowing them to carry their prefered weapons.

    Maybe the FBI should revisit those hiring practices.
    Unfortunately, I don’t see that ever happening. The metal of a man has been replaced in our society by the type of paper diploma he possesses as the benchmark of hiring process in just about every genre of jobs and occupation.....
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    I look at the required use, the carry gun, and the caliber. I only trust a .38 special or 9mm for bad breath fighting distances.

    Most people today want the smallest lightest handgun available for self defense. The smaller and lighter the gun, the more felt recoil and muzzle flip. Most go with a .38 special or 9mm for less felt recoil and muzzle flip.

    If I were to carry only a .38 special, I would want a 6" barrel revolver with +p ammo to get the most out of the cartridge. If I were to only carry a 9mm, I would want a 5" barrel semi-auto with +P ammo to get the most out of the cartridge.

    I like .357 magnum, .40 S&W, 10mm, ,45 ACP, and .44 magnum for concealed self-defense carry guns depending on where I am and what I am doing that day. I prefer a minimum of a 4" barrel on a revolver and a minimum of 4.5" barrel on a semi-auto.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Bob View Post
    I have never thought of the 9mm as powerful.
    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Thank you Bad Bob.

    Of course you don't think much of .38 Special either and that's ok.

    Thing is the .38 Special is underrated these days and the 9mm is overrated in my opinion. They are no more than two peas in a pod and I prefer the best of the .38 Special performance ammunition over any 9mm ammunition. The 9mm pistols just hold lots of ammo.
    Quote Originally Posted by LimaCharlie View Post
    I look at the required use, the carry gun, and the caliber. I only trust a .38 special or 9mm for bad breath fighting distances.

    Ohh, agreement that 9mm is ... lacking.



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    "Wouldn't want to or Nobody volunteer to" get shot by _____ is not indicative of quickly incapacitating.

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