Handgun Caliber "Debate"?

KurtKurt New MemberPosts: 21 New Member

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.”

 


“The rifle is a weapon. Let there be no mistake about that. It is a tool of power, and thus dependent completely upon the moral stature of its user.”
Col. Jeff Cooper
«1345

Replies

  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,456 Senior Member
    This is America. Bigger is better. More is better.

    Do I need the biggest 4×4 diesel truck made to drive to work every day. Maybe, maybe not. But they sell like hot cakes with a mortgage.

    Buy what you want and we'll argue about it over coffee by the fire after supper.

    Just don't scratch the paint on my new $60,000.00 truck! Its got the new temperature contolled cup holders.
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,288 Senior Member
    Nuke 'em from orbit, its the only way to be sure.

    As a relative newbie, I only shot my first .45 last Memorial day weekend. I cannot say it really kicked any harder than any 9mm of a similar size - BUT - I sure noticed how much more energy was being imparted to my steel target at 25 yards! Now does that say that 9mm is inadequate? Not at all, merely that less energy is delivered. Is it enough energy? Sometimes - and I'll leave the rest of the debate to those who know more about such things than I do!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,935 Senior Member
    Welcome aboard.

    We need 9mm and other lighter recoiling rounds because everyone is not an active duty combat trained Marine,
    and of course people get old and cannot handle heavy recoil anymore.


    Oh; you omitted that we went to the 9mm pistol to be armed with in use NATO ammo, 
    same as we did the  .308 and the M-14.


    The Chicago thing always make me wonder if they are shooting ball ammo.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    edited August 2018 #5
    I have all the afformentioned cartridges. Like them all. 

    9mm
    .40 S&W
    .45 ACP

    Carry them all at one time or another. Never feel wanting. As far as concealed handguns go. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    Hi Kurt,

    Interesting first post.........


    Welcome to the G&A forum.  You might want to take a second to introduce yourself and tell us about your interests etc.
    He’s not new. Joined in 2013. Just doesn’t say much. 

    Which makes it it difficult to “debate”. But hey, no worries. 



    And as as an aside. I’m not picking on anyone. Just showing data. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 25,957 Senior Member
    Caliber of round is never more important that accurate bullet placement. A crapload of peripheral hits doesn't even come close to trumping two or three rounds to the tootsie roll center. I know of three one shot stops from .22 LR in my county over the years. Two were shots to the heart, and one was a shot to the head..............from that poor little anemic .22LR. And all three were guys that were beating their girlfriends/wives at the time, and the ladies decided they'd had enough and stopped it. All ruled justifiable homicide/self defense, BTW.

    I will say that over the years I've heard many people dis the 9mm, .380, .38 Special, .32 ACP, .32 Long, .25ACP, and .22LR for self defense. I've also noticed an extreme lack of volunteering to catch a round of any of those from the person dissing them at the time. I don't think that says much about the courage of their convictions. :)
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.


  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    A major reason for the pendulum swing towards 9mm in LE is logistical. 

    Its cheaper to make and cheaper to buy. 

    With more LE being hired, there is a need to shoot less in training and spend less in supplying. 

    The numbers and data to justify a desire can be/are altered every day to benefit a decision. The GOV does that all the time. I see it every day. 

    “As Good” and “Close Enough” are reason enough to save a dollar to those who drive a desk. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,726 Senior Member
    At different times in my life, my EDC has been a 22LR (only handgun I owned at the time), 25ACP, 32ACP, 380ACP, 9mm, 38Spcl, 357Mag, 40SW, 10mm, 44spcl, & 45ACP
    Once you get above 380 in my list, I don't feel under-gunned with any of the last 7.
    Current EDC is either 40SW or 45ACP
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • 10canyon5310canyon53 Member Posts: 1,227 Senior Member
    happy pillow fight games smileyfighting with baseball bat emoticon

    smilie_essen_085gif
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,683 Senior Member
    what if I carry a .45 and a 9mm....

    at the same time?  Do I win?
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • 10canyon5310canyon53 Member Posts: 1,227 Senior Member
    Ok, time to put this debate to rest.  Here is a pistol in the ultimate self defense caliber:

    Two rounds just in case you are really bad aim on the first try.  :D
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    edited August 2018 #14
    Bean counting Lemmings.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    edited August 2018 #15
    I’ve killed pigs with the .40 S&W and .45 ACP. 

    The .40 performed noticeably better. 

    Still trying to get one  with a 9mm. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    No. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 25,957 Senior Member
    Pig anatomy being what it is, a pistol round has a hard time getting to the good stuff. That biological armor plate is hard to penetrate, and they have some darned big and hard foreleg bones.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.


  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 2,054 Senior Member
    tennmike said:
    Pig anatomy being what it is, a pistol round has a hard time getting to the good stuff. That biological armor plate is hard to penetrate, and they have some darned big and hard foreleg bones.
    Use .45 Super, it works on pigs.

    Unless you find yourself up against and entire "gang" of felonious pigs, I don't see the need for high capacity.
    Beware of false knowledge -- it is often more dangerous than ignorance.
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 2,054 Senior Member
    I've seen those "Ads" stating "Caliber debate ended". Just clean out your cookies and history once in a while and they go away. Or use an Ad Blocker.

    Remember, advertisers what to stir things up so they can sell you something. Don't fall for it!

    If you're like any of us..... You can make up your own mind and it looks like you already have.

    So have we ;)
    Beware of false knowledge -- it is often more dangerous than ignorance.
  • KurtKurt New Member Posts: 21 New Member
    Thanks for all the input, guys!

    To address my "...lack of conviction" No, I don't want to even be shot by an arrow from a target bow.

    I was just trying (in my own way) to introduce another perspective to the on-going discussion regarding defensive firepower.

    The last hard data I saw regarding the highest percentage of one shot stops went to the 357 Magnum. Revolvers, by and large, have fallen from favor in the gun rags and at the shop counter as concealed carry options. I will say that the last summer handgun I carried before acquiring my XD-S (in 45) was a Charter Arms Bulldog Pug in 44 Special. That handgun wound up wearing Pachmayr grips just to enable hanging on to it while discharging. I tried carrying first two and then one speed loader (five rounds) but went back to the 45ACP after the XD-S became available. I found it much easier to control (much better ergonomics), carried a couple more rounds and much easier to carry a spare magazine and reload.

    I still carry my Government Model during winter weather.

    As an aside, my sweet wife (who is no Spring Chicken...come to think about it, I am no Spring Chicken either) finds it easier to rack the Colt than her Glock 36. Think of it as an additional perspective from the Geezer side.

    Anyway, thanks again for all the contributions!
    JKS
    “The rifle is a weapon. Let there be no mistake about that. It is a tool of power, and thus dependent completely upon the moral stature of its user.”
    Col. Jeff Cooper
  • KurtKurt New Member Posts: 21 New Member
    PS   It has only been recently that time has been allowed for my pursuit of distractions such as this forum.
    “The rifle is a weapon. Let there be no mistake about that. It is a tool of power, and thus dependent completely upon the moral stature of its user.”
    Col. Jeff Cooper
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    I have all the afformentioned cartridges. Like them all. 

    9mm
    .40 S&W
    .45 ACP

    Carry them all at one time or another. Never feel wanting. As far as concealed handguns go. 
    This.  I’ll even state for the record I LIKE the .40S&W, regardless of popular opinion or LEA preferences.

    But then, I also like the 10mm and .41 magnum...
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 2,054 Senior Member
    Kurt said:
    Thanks for all the input, guys!

    To address my "...lack of conviction" No, I don't want to even be shot by an arrow from a target bow.

    ...
    Anyway, thanks again for all the contributions!
    JKS
    Rhetorical question:

    How much Stopping Power is required to "stop" someone that's not attacking you?

    Not a whole lot! :D

    I get stopped cold when I stub my toe on something -- on the way to the bathroom at night.

    Attackers range all over the map in terms of size, mental state, determination and so forth. Bullets will land where they land, so any attempt to qualify "Uncontrolled  Data" as "Scientific" is questionable at best.

    It's more useful to know what "you can do".... And not focus so intently on which caliber. I'm not in a war-zone, I suppose you're not either. Therefore, we have options.

    Armed only with a pocket knife, I'm still very dangerous.

    Just sayin'. ;)
    Beware of false knowledge -- it is often more dangerous than ignorance.
  • DanChamberlainDanChamberlain Senior Member Posts: 3,365 Senior Member
    I've killed a few car-hit deer with the .45acp and .22lr, but never a 9mm. I've shot a few feral dogs with the .45acp and .22lr only one with the 9mm. Being that they were all head shots, I can't say which is better, but note the .22lr performed similarly. 

    One thing I will mention, is that a 35 pound dog did "not" act like it had gotten struck by the hammer of Thor when the 230 grains hit it. It merely stiffened and fell over. 

    The old aphorism that a bullet's impact is no stronger than the impact against the physical being holding the gun is true. The difference is the trauma imparted through cutting. Even though modern 9mm ammo is very much improved, on the average, every study I've read suggests that .45acp ammo of similar construction (albeit slower velocity) will expand to roughly 60 caliber, while 9mm ammo will expand to roughly 45 to 50 caliber. Penetration is close enough that I don't think it plays much of a part in the human anatomy. 

    I carry them both. Because the .40 is middle ground, I can't see why I'd want one. They have never intrigued me. 

    Still, I've always preferred, and likely always will, some form of single stack .45acp (though my 10 shot Springfield Mod 2 Subcompact occasionally gets the nod for holster time.)

    It's a source of great pride for me, that when my name is googled, one finds book titles and not mug shots. Daniel C. Chamberlain
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,456 Senior Member
    edited August 2018 #25
    I read an interview in a magazine once with an old drag racer named Don Garlits. During a discussion about engine power the interviewer noticed a 45 caliber handgun on his desk, and made inquirey. Big Daddy said, you know why I have a 45? Because they don't make a 46!

    If nothing else, it struck me as darn funny. 😁
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 2,054 Senior Member
    edited August 2018 #26
    I read an interview in a magazine once with an old drag racer named Don Garlits. During a discussion about engine power the interviewer noticed a 45 caliber handgun on his desk, and made inquirey. Big Daddy said, you know why I have a 45? Because they don't make a 46!

    If nothing else, it struck me as darn funny. 😁
    If it floats your boat, you can always pick up a .50 GI...

    https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/massive-stopping-power-the-guncrafter-industries-m3-50gi/

    You can even convert one of your Glocks if the 1911 design is too expensive.
    https://www.guncrafterindustries.com/50-gi-glock-conversions/



    Beware of false knowledge -- it is often more dangerous than ignorance.
  • KurtKurt New Member Posts: 21 New Member
    Dear Early,
    Doesn't everyone want a .46?
    The Big Daddy was the first human to go 200 mph in the quarter mile. He had a penchant for Chrysler Hemis that were bored ,stroked and blown to extreme.
    Of course, when he made that statement regarding the 45, there was no 50AE.
    “The rifle is a weapon. Let there be no mistake about that. It is a tool of power, and thus dependent completely upon the moral stature of its user.”
    Col. Jeff Cooper
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    “Why did you shoot the deceased 6 times?!?”

    ”Because 5 wasn’t enough and 7 would have been too many .”
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,796 Senior Member
    I shot a 75 lb boar in the head  twice with a .40 S&W factory Silvertip from 15 ft and it did not die. Once between the eyes and the other just left and down.  Placement...  Coup de gras behind the head.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    Gotta hit the engine. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,456 Senior Member
    Kurt said:
    Dear Early,
    Doesn't everyone want a .46?
    The Big Daddy was the first human to go 200 mph in the quarter mile. He had a penchant for Chrysler Hemis that were bored ,stroked and blown to extreme.
    Of course, when he made that statement regarding the 45, there was no 50AE.
    He came across as quite a character in the interview as I recall. A person would need to be a bit edgey to crawl behind one of the old front engine mills and drop the hammer.
«1345
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.