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  1. #1
    jason0007 is offline Member
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    do you have preference for the 9mm or .40/.45... and why?

    is 9mm considered a good self defense caliber? i know the larger caliber rounds .40/.45 can and will do more damage to the BG, but how does the 9mm fare? all the pistols i own are 9mm..and it seems like i always lean toward the 9mm for future buys but DO I NEED AT LEAST ONE PISTOL THAT IS .40/.45???? THOUGHTS?

    -----------

    beretta 92fs 9mm
    beretta px4 9mm
    walther p99 9mm
    glock 19 9mm

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  3. #2
    madmag's Avatar
    madmag is offline Junior Member
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    I guess more (tons) have been written about the 9mm Vs. .45 than any other pistol subject in history. But it is still a valid question. I don't have .40 but do have 9mm & .45. I use both with the same confidence. I won't go into the ballistics, but you just don't get a guarantee with either round. Way back eons ago when I was in the Army they issued a verbal guarantee with the M1 rifle. They said they would guarantee if you shot at the BG and he was still standing...then they would guarantee you missed! Even that is an exaggeration, not even a 30-06 with 180g @ about 3000ft lbs. will always do the job....so a .45 & 9mm @ about 350-400 lbs. must depend on shot placement. Both work. On my own testing my 9mm normally penetrates better than my .45, but enough penetration is all you need.

    I know one difference. It is easier for me to load my fat .45 rounds into my mags than the skinny 9mm rounds!

    You are OK with the 9mm, but if you like having lots of guns then you might as well add a .40 & .45. The .45 is always fun to shoot...for me anyway.

    I am going to add one thought. I normally don't weigh in on the 9 Vs 45 issue because of so many posts. But I have come to my own personal conclusion through the years by looking at results. Not the FBI one stop caliber results, but actual accounts of incidents related in reliable gun books & TV video. For me a picture emerges. If the BG is really hit in a vital area (head/heart) then most cases he is down instantly. Video about 2 years old of (I think Boston) Cop shooting a BG with a knife. The BG dropped like a sack of potatoes....not knocked back like the movies. He was dead. They did not say but you could see he was not hit in the head..so I assume hit in the heart. But these kinds of incidents are the exception. Usually the BG gets shot more than once and does not die...or at least continues fighting for some period. It is also clear that if you hit the BG in center of mass with any good caliber that he will be in trouble in short time. If he is running he will finally stop. If he is attacking he may stop while he is engaging you. Anyway, it says to me if (your life is in danger)....shot more than once and get as many critical area hits as possible...no matter the caliber.

    Now, I think I will go another decade (I promise) without weighing in on the 9mm vs .45 issue.
    Last edited by madmag; 02-25-2007 at 11:24 AM.

  4. #3
    jason0007 is offline Member
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    thanks for that...at the minimum the 9mm will stop the bg in his tracks on some level, and gives you enough time to hit him a few more times if need be...

  5. #4
    tony pasley's Avatar
    tony pasley is offline Senior Member
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    You have to decide which for yourself but I pick the 45 for me.

  6. #5
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    jwkimber45 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony pasley View Post
    You have to decide which for yourself but I pick the 45 for me.

    YUP

  7. #6
    stetson is offline Junior Member
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    I don't care what cailber you pick it's called shot placement !

  8. #7
    -gunut-'s Avatar
    -gunut- is offline Senior Member
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    The 9mm is a fine defense round. It all comes down to shot placement. I prefer the .45 because regardless of where I hit, it is going to make a bigger hole. I am more accurate with a .45 also. I think the statistics for one shot stop are 87% for 9mm, 93% for .45, and 96% for .40 (Though .45 has more knockdown power).

  9. #8
    scooter's Avatar
    scooter is offline Supporting Member - Legally Armed Scooter Trash
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    My Fathers old saying
    would you rather get hit by a guy on a 10speed bike or a frieght train if you were a bad guy??
    I choose the frieght train for self defense! .45acp !

  10. #9
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    kansas_plainsman is offline Supporting Member
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    Half my carry guns are .40, the other half .45 and one 9mm...

    ... I figure it this way: .40 is nearly as powerful as a .45, and cheaper to practice with. The odds of having to use my carry gun in an actual encounter are pretty small (for me, anyway). The 9mm, while lighter than the other two, is still pretty potent. The odds that I'll be carrying it when the flag goes up are approaching zero, and even then, it's likely to do the job - particularly as the lighter recoil (and the quality of my 9mm) AND the fact that I'm pretty accurate with that 9mm, well, I'm not worried.

    But the best argument is that I live in a rural area, know the area and where not to be and when not to be there; my guns are mostly for target shooting.

    Then again, I live on a ranch, so skunks and other such hazards are a bigger potential threat.

  11. #10
    hberttmank's Avatar
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    You need at least one pistol in 45acp.

  12. #11
    milquetoast is offline Member
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    Early in my shooting career, I sold all my 9's and went to .45's, based on a presentation/slide show by the late law enforcement legend, Bruce Nelson. He related reports, with some morgue pictures, about police officers who had been killed by people that they had shot with their 9mm's, WITH GOOD PLACEMENT. I remember one fellow had been shot 33 times, his body looked like Swiss cheese. Granted, some of the hits were peripheral, but many were not, yet the guy still killed the two cops before bleeding out.

    OK, maybe that was a statistical aberration. Except, Nelson showed documented case after case after case of guys who had been shot with 9mm's, WITH GOOD PLACEMENT, and had kept on fighting. I remember one, the bad guy had a sawed-off Enfield .303 that failed to operate after the first (missed) shot, but the guy bashed the cops head in with the rifle after having been shot with a 9mm WITH GOOD PLACEMENT. In the promotional video produced by Richard Davis, ďSecond Chance vs. the Cop Killers,Ē there is a re-enactment of an incident involving a cop who shot and shot and shot a guy who was trying to open his truck box to get to his Thompson subgun. The cop reloaded a couple of times, but the guy would not go down. That was 9mm WITH GOOD PLACEMENT.

    That was over 20 years ago, though. Bullet design has been greatly improved. Things might be different now. (In those days, the Remington 115 JHP was pretty much standard issue for police, with some 125 JSP.)

    Since then, I also have personally known people who took solid hits from .45 ACP (hardball) and .44 Mag (180 JHP), and were not put out of the fight. I have seen a video of a local police shooting where the bad guy took two center chest hits from a .40, led police on a car chase through two towns, holed up in an apartment for a couple hours, and then surrendered, and walked himself to the ambulance. There was a story in the paper just two weeks ago about a cop who shot a guy in the chest with 12 gauge 00B, and the guy ran inside the house and bled to death. (If a guy can run, he can pull a trigger, no?) On the other hand, I know of a case (because I attended the trial) of a scrawny little guy who felt threatened by a bully, a big, muscular weight lifter, and popped him with a .32 ACP (FMJ). The bully went down instantly, and died on the spot.

    I have read of so many (well-documented) cases of failure to stop with 9mm, WITH GOOD PLACEMENT, that I am sure it will no put people down reliably. Sometimes, yes, but not reliably. I have not seen nearly as many cases with .40's and .45's, probably because there are so many more 9's out there. Maybe .40's and .45's are just as inadequate as 9mmís, so I donít expect miracles. Or maybe they are better. Donít know. I know that they are probably not any worse, though, so that's why I prefer calibers starting with "4."

  13. #12
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    This debate goes on forever. From reading descriptions of police shootouts, my opinion is that violent criminals can take one or more hits in the torso with any of the three calibers you listed and not die instantly. They often keep shooting their own weapons even though their wounds are mortal and they will die in a matter of minutes. If one is in this situation, I think the 9 is potent enough with hollow point rounds but the point is that no matter which caliber, you must keep shooting and placing hits as long as the lethal threat continues. For me, I like the 9 because of its reduced recoil, especially in a polymer frame gun, which is what I would choose to carry because of the lower weight. The 9 would, in my view, enable me to place more good shots quickly than the heavier calibers. Obviously, that is just my preference and there are plenty of folks who think the higher calibers are better. It's what you are comfortable with and most confident with that truly tells the tale.

  14. #13
    scooter's Avatar
    scooter is offline Supporting Member - Legally Armed Scooter Trash
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    ANYBODY shot 33 times(even with a 22 and flying in the ozone on drugs) and still kills 2 cops WAS NOT shot with "good placement".PERIOD.BS.
    If he hasnt dropped after 2 or 3 then the cops know enough to start aiming at his head! If your story is true then the cops panicked and got killed because of it.Even 2 or 3 9mm will slow someone down enough to get a try at his head.

  15. #14
    milquetoast is offline Member
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    Some very interesting stuff here:
    http://www.gunthorp.com/Terminal%20B...a%20morgue.htm
    Not totally persuasive to me, because in an autopsy, you can't tell how long it took for the guy to become incapacitated. You know he is dead, but looking at the body doesn't tell you if he fired 30 shots (including reloads) before dying. This guy is convinced that .45's kill more efficiently (that is, with fewer shots) than 9's, but that could also be because the guys shot with .45's survive, couldn't it?
    Anyway, interesting, if not dispositive. Enjoy

  16. #15
    Baldy's Avatar
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    Talking 9mm vs 45 cal.

    I think it's more in how you practice with your gun than the caliber of it. I practice two in COM and one in the head. Repeat as much as needed. I know of no case where anybody kept fighting after getting shot in the head if the bullet was powerful enough to go through the skull. I know of cases where people were shot in the head with 25s or 22s and they lived. FBI says a man can fight up to a mintue and one half after a shot to the heart. A shot in the head or one that severs the spine and he is out of the fight right now.

  17. #16
    -gunut-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by milquetoast View Post
    I have seen that before. That guy is a moron. His logic is messed up. How can he say that 9mm does not work as well when the people he sees are already DEAD? That sounds pretty effective to me. He even says the MAJORITY of people he gets in there were killed with 9mm. Again, sound pretty effective. Perhaps he tends to find more 9mm in a person then the bigger calibers because you can get the shots off faster.

  18. #17
    Highside is offline Junior Member
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    I'd have to agree with most above when concerning these three calibers that shot placement is much more of a decieding factor then the caliber.

    I'm a .45 guy, but after buying my first 9mm recently I'd feel confident using it to defend myself.....but, given the choice I'd still go for my .45. Of course at home I'm goin straight for the 12 gauge.

    Jason, if you are worried that your 9mms are inadequate, i wouldn't worry, just practice and research your self defense ammo carefully.

    Do you NEED a .45? I think so If nothing else diversity in your collection is a good thing. Have you tried .45? Who knows, maybe you'll wind up liking it better. If it works for you then you have another option.

    One thing I always find interesting in these .45 vs 9mm debates, you almost never hear anyone say the 9 is better than the .45 in stopping power, sure for recoil and capacity, but the 9 is always compared to being "as good" with the right ammo. The .45 always seems to be the standard to live up to between the two. In my opinion, if the recoil isn't an issue why not give yourself the known benchmark? Of course for us in CA capacity isn't an issue as it's limited to 10 anyway so that makes it really easy fo me to decide.

    As to where the .40 fits in, I can actually shoot better with the .45s power as I find the .40 to be snappier and I get more muzzle flip. So I don't have much use for the .40, I'll take my .45 with 9mm being my second choice.

    I keep .357 handy in my revolvers

  19. #18
    mw1311's Avatar
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    I prefer 40S&W & 45ACP.

  20. #19
    Maximo's Avatar
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    I could not agree more. Good Shot Placement is in the heart or head, one or two in either will do the job and the caliber is of little consequence.



    I recently acquired another 1911 in .45, and still consider it my favorite caliber to shoot but when I leave the house this morning to go to work I will be carrying my Beretta 84,( .380 ) as has become the norm, and I don't feel under gunned in the least.





    Quote Originally Posted by scooter View Post
    ANYBODY shot 33 times(even with a 22 and flying in the ozone on drugs) and still kills 2 cops WAS NOT shot with "good placement".PERIOD.BS.
    If he hasnt dropped after 2 or 3 then the cops know enough to start aiming at his head! If your story is true then the cops panicked and got killed because of it.Even 2 or 3 9mm will slow someone down enough to get a try at his head.

  21. #20
    Baldy's Avatar
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    Here's a saying from a gentleman on the S&W site and it rings the turth.

    "Shot-placement is king. Adequate penetration is queen. Everything else is angels dancing on the heads of pins."

    Makes a lot of sense to me. You decide. Good luck.

  22. #21
    milquetoast is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by -gunut- View Post
    I have seen that before. That guy is a moron.
    Moron? I would say he is an intelligent, articulate fellow with an unusual and valuable perspective, with whom I do not agree on several particulars. On the other hand, some people define "moron" as "anybody who doesn't agree with me."

  23. #22
    john doe. is offline Banned
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  24. #23
    -gunut-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by milquetoast View Post
    Moron? I would say he is an intelligent, articulate fellow with an unusual and valuable perspective, with whom I do not agree on several particulars. On the other hand, some people define "moron" as "anybody who doesn't agree with me."
    The logic he presents in that article lead me to believe he is a moron. Your opinion may vary.

  25. #24
    jenglish's Avatar
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    Shot placement can not be stressed enough. I carry a 9mm for work, but also own the same platform in 40SW (Walther P99). I have also owned 357SIG and 45ACP in the past. The size of the round means nothing if you can not hit what you are aiming for. Just my 2 coppers.

  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenglish View Post
    Shot placement can not be stressed enough. I carry a 9mm for work, but also own the same platform in 40SW (Walther P99). I have also owned 357SIG and 45ACP in the past. The size of the round means nothing if you can not hit what you are aiming for. Just my 2 coppers.
    Agreed!! Practice-Training-Practice-Training-Practice!!!

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