Handgun Caliber "Debate"?
I keep bumping into videos and articles titled something like, “End of the 9mm, 40cal. and 45ACP Debate”. The majority of arguments and presented data rely on new projectile design, propellent (powder) formulations and manufacturing techniques that ‘…make new 9mm ammunition the ballistic equivalent of the 45ACP’. They go on to show gelatin blocks with wound channels, chronograph measurements with energy calculations and shot timer records for multiple shots on target as proofs for their hypothesis.
Perhaps the most common argument used against the 45, is its “(sic)… higher degree of difficulty to control” repeated rounds on target rapidly.
My problem with this rational is the automatic factoring in of the NEED for multiple hits on a target to stop a threat. The entire idea, in fact the proven ability of using the 45 in combat, was to disable or remove an opponent’s ability to conduct operations against the good guy…with one shot. Why, pray tell, are we so focused on hurling vast quantities of lead downrange all the while knowing multiple hits will be required to stop a potential threat? I just read a handgun review wherein the manufacturer supplies in the package not one but two 24 round magazines! Remember, we are not talking about a machine pistol or carbine but a handgun. What citizen would go armed daily for combat against a regiment of assailants? If he IS knowingly going against that many creeps, he most definitely needs a semi-auto rifle. My natural inclination would be to think that if I needed all that firepower to defeat two or even three assailants, I need more range time practicing and/or I need a more effective caliber handgun. To carry the 24 round magazine concept to its conclusion: Why not have a 100 round .22 caliber handgun that doesn’t recoil too badly and is even easier to control?
One topic never discussed in these diatribes against the 40 and 45 is the obvious point that if the new technologies and processes benefit the 9mm so much, it would seem a logical conclusion those same advancements would benefit the “ancient” and “now decrepit” 45ACP even more so. Indeed, manufacturers have applied all their technical powers to the venerable 45 and have once again made the 45ACP the standard by which all others are judged, that much better.
All this caliber question requires is the application of common sense. If a person goes into a gunfight carrying a caliber he or she knows will require multiple hits, why consider this caliber as a choice for defense of life? Carrying a handgun on a daily basis is decidedly NOT convenient. If one is going to subject ones’ self to those headaches, why handicap your chances of success should the ultimate need arise?
If you are still intent on carrying a sub-compact chambered in 9mm, 380ACP, 32ACP, or even 25ACP good luck. Maybe you’ll be fortunate and temporarily blind the assailant(s) or deafen them, so you can run away!
Look at the daily reports of shootings in Chicago. It is common to see 60 to 70 people shot there in one weekend and yet only (“only”) 4 or 5 die. Some will say its because we have better medical services than ever before, but the overwhelming majority of these shootings (many with multiple wounds) involve the 9mm Parabellum and other minor calibers. If these shootings had been committed using the 45ACP, the majority of those shot would not have lasted till paramedics made it to their locations.
I ask only one more question: Why, after using the 9mm Parabellum for 33 years in American military service, are the United States Marines re-issuing the 1911 Government Model in 45ACP? After all, you can get the 1911 in 9mm Parabellum.
I can tell you why.
It’s like the fellow said, “It just kills bugs dead.”
Col. Jeff Cooper