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Thread: .45 ACP or 9mm

  1. #1
    Fishwiz4's Avatar
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    .45 ACP or 9mm

    I am in the market for my first handgun. I have shot several including .22, .40 sub compact, .40 full size, and 38 special revolver.

    I'm am looking for a gun for home defense, and some recreational range shooting. I don't plan on carrying much, but I would carry occasionally after I get my permit.

    I really want an xdm 45 but some people say that a 9 mm can be just as good for defense but is much cheaper to shoot. I think part of the reason I like the 45, is because it is more manly to have a big caliber gun. I am also concerned that the 9 mm could have a higher risk of over penetration in a home defense scenario.

    I am pretty confident that I want a springfield, but am open to hearing other thoughts

    let me know what you think.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Todd is offline Banned
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    Welcome to the forum!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishwiz4 View Post
    I really want an xdm 45 but some people say that a 9 mm can be just as good for defense but is much cheaper to shoot.
    Much cheaper??? I have both calibers. 9mm ammo is just about half the cost of the .45 ammo. 9mm here is $21-$22 for 100 rounds, IIRC. .45 is $40 for 100 rounds. Translation? You get to shoot twice as much for the same $$$$.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishwiz4 View Post
    I think part of the reason I like the 45, is because it is more manly to have a big caliber gun. I am also concerned that the 9 mm could have a higher risk of over penetration in a home defense scenario.
    Don't worry about manliness, worry about accuracy. A hand cannon you can't hit anything with is useless and also a liability as you are responsible for every bullet that comes out of your gun.

    Try both calibers and see what's a better fit for you. If it's close and/or money is a factor then get the 9mm. You'll have more money for ammo and practice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishwiz4 View Post
    I am in the market for my first handgun. I have shot several including .22, .40 sub compact, .40 full size, and 38 special revolver.

    I'm am looking for a gun for home defense, and some recreational range shooting. I don't plan on carrying much, but I would carry occasionally after I get my permit.

    I really want an xdm 45 but some people say that a 9 mm can be just as good for defense but is much cheaper to shoot. I think part of the reason I like the 45, is because it is more manly to have a big caliber gun. I am also concerned that the 9 mm could have a higher risk of over penetration in a home defense scenario.

    I am pretty confident that I want a springfield, but am open to hearing other thoughts

    let me know what you think.

    Thanks!
    Here's what I think of your first post, and I mean it sincerely. Please postpone any handgun purchases that are based on your present knowledge and experience level. Meanwhile, talk to reliable and knowledgeable gun handlers and don't put a lot of faith in anonymous opinions found on forums like this one.

  4. #4
    Todd is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboHonda View Post
    Please postpone any handgun purchases that are based on your present knowledge and experience level.
    He's asking questions and has stated what the purpose of his firearm will be. Seems like he is just starting his search. I fail to see any problem, other than being a bit hung up on a manly caliber, in his process.

    Quote Originally Posted by TurboHonda View Post
    Talk to reliable and knowledgeable gun handlers and don't put a lot of faith in anonymous opinions found on forums like this one.
    Gonna go out on a limb here and say since he's asking on gun forum, he doesn't know a lot of knowledgable gun handlers. He can go into a LGS and get a line of crap from an owner pushing what he has in stock, an employee that knows less than the customer, or the opinion of some counter bunny that hangs out in the shop all day with nothing better to do or come to a forum. Either way, he's going to have to learn, like in all aspects of life, to take all the information he gets and filter the good stuff from the crap.

    And I'm a bit confused if you are bashing all forums in general or just this one? I have been a member here six years. The mall ninjas and couch commandos come and go, but I have to say that the long-standning members are some of the most level-headed, law-abiding, practical advice givers I have seen online. There is, literally, hundreds of years of experience and a wealth of knowledge to be found here.

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    Todd, I meant no disrespect to this board. I totally agree with everything you've said. I confess that the "manly" reference struck a suspicious chord with me. Other than that, please accept my regrets for posting anything.

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    Todd is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboHonda View Post
    I confess that the "manly" reference struck a suspicious chord with me.
    It got me too, but I'm thinking new shooter just a poor choice of words. I'm gonna guess he likes the idea of a major caliber and just didn't know how to word it.

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    If you have a range near you that offers "rentals", try, try, try. See what fits you at this time. It may be a 9mm and you may find that two years down the road and 20,000 rounds later (or less ) that you want to try something bigger, then go for it. On the other hand, you may find that the XDm45 is ideal for you and you can shoot it really well. For defense, bigger is always better as long as you hit your target. Remember that in a gunfight, you will only be as good as your worst day of practice, so the question is, what gun will you practice with the most? .45 is a great caliber and I love my 1911, but I probably have in excess of 70,000 rounds through various 1911's, I am comfortable with the gun. The XD 45c is another that I like, it's my nightstand gun (it takes a light on the rail), it comes up (for me) very nicely and I shoot it well. Two different guns (hammer and striker fired) but more similarities than differences and I shoot both, I would suggest that to start with, you pick one style and one style only, shoot it A LOT, practice malfunction drills A LOT, practice reloads A LOT. Remember that most of your practice can be "dry practice", get some dummy ammo and practice 10-20 minutes a day - don't over do it! Establish safety rules that will keep you and everyone else safe, remember the 4 rules of gun safety at all times. Front Sight in Nevada has a booklet out on dry practice, it has a lot of really good stuff in it. Remember that you should do what works for you, everything that someone tells you is a suggestion but only you can decide what is best for you. Don't kid yourself, don't try to be "macho", if you really like a 9mm go for it.
    Just my 2

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    genesis is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishwiz4 View Post
    I am in the market for my first handgun. I have shot several including .22, .40 sub compact, .40 full size, and 38 special revolver. I'm am looking for a gun for home defense, and some recreational range shooting. I don't plan on carrying much, but I would carry occasionally after I get my permit. I really want an xdm 45 but some people say that a 9 mm can be just as good for defense but is much cheaper to shoot. I think part of the reason I like the 45, is because it is more manly to have a big caliber gun. I am also concerned that the 9 mm could have a higher risk of over penetration in a home defense scenario. I am pretty confident that I want a springfield, but am open to hearing other thoughts
    let me know what you think. Thanks!
    Hi Fish and welcome to the forum. Go to youtube and do a search on any gun you're interested in. You will find a ton of excellent gun reviews. I particularly like Hickok45. He has almost 700 gun review vids on youtube and over a quarter million subscribers. Before you buy "anything", take the time to educate yourself. Take everything you hear (including from me) with a grain of salt. In the end it just boils down to your personal preference (revolver or auto). You have to be able to afford to shoot what ever you buy, so keep that under consideration. 22 ammo is cheap so you will practice a lot more with a 22. 9MM is about the cheapest center fire ammo at around $10 a box. That XDm 45 is a really nice gun, as are many, many others, but it will cost a lot more to shoot. Do the youtube thing. I've listed a few to get you started.

    Enjoy the journey, happy shooting, and always be safe.

    Semper Fi

    Don <><

    HICKOK45 - YouTube


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    Re: .45 ACP or 9mm

    Wow... You guys are awesome. I really appreciate all the fast response. Regarding my comment on "manly"... realistically I will not be able shoot near as much as most of you, and the reason I am drawn to the 45 is that it seems like it would be more exciting to shoot when practicing. Manly was the wrong word to use.

    If 9 mm will be just about as effective for defense, I will probably lean towards that. I do not have a range near me that rents, but I can find time to get to a range that does rent.

    I have heard and read many reveiws of the xdm 45 that out shoots super smooth and less snappy, even when compared to the xdm 40 (that I have experience with).

    I have done a fair amount of research over the past few weeks, and I think getting a chance to shoot a few different guns is the next step for me.

    Anyone know of a range in Fargo that rents guns?

    Thanks.... I can tell this is a great group of people.

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    Todd is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishwiz4 View Post
    and the reason I am drawn to the 45 is that it seems like it would be more exciting to shoot when practicing.
    Oh yeah, the .45 is definitely fun to shoot. I'm grinning just thinking about mine. But, if you're new to shooting and looking for bang for your buck, the 9mm will be, IMO, your best start. Loaded with a quality defensive ammo, you're going to be just fine in a self-defense situation as accuracy is the first priority. I'll have a 9mm on my hip tonight when I go out to dinner and will not feel under-armed.

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    Re: .45 ACP or 9mm

    Thanks for the advice. I think I will plan on a 9 mm for now and maybe get the 45 as my next gun.

  12. #12
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    good for your decision
    yea the 9mm is nothing sissy
    USA went to 9mm (for one reason) because most all the armies of the world use 9mm
    do your research on muzzle energy and there is a good range to choose from
    there are several loads designed to limit over penetration
    now you get to decide which one - thats the fun part - keep on your research on this forum

  13. #13
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    .45 ACP or 9mm

    Used my "Where To Shoot" app and found this public range in Fargo that rents guns:

    Adventure Shooting Sports of Fargo
    4333 167th Ave SE
    Horace, ND 58047
    JOHN@ADVSHOOT.COM
    http://www.advshoot.com/
    Phone Information
    701-282-3805 Main

    Nothing wrong with a 9. I carry a CZ75 Compact and my wife's nightstand gun is a Sig Sauer SP2022. I carry a .45 1911 as well. The 45 makes a bigger hole, but the CZ has nearly twice the capacity.

    There are so many good choices out there, you'll find something that works for you.

    While I don't agree 100% with the below list, it contains some pretty good info on 9mms.

    http://www.best9mm.com/

  14. #14
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    I'm sure you have spent countless hours on the net but what matters is how it feels and how you shoot with that round, i would strongly suggest that you do every thing possible to shoot the gun that you want to get before you go out and buy it. Different guns will feel different even though they shoot the same caliber, your heavier guns tend to reduce felt recoil and make the .45 feel like a 9mm on the flip side your lighter guns will make it a pain to shoot, I own a glock 17 and love the 9mm round. a 9mm is a great option for a new handgun owner and with the lower price you will shoot a lot more, if you end up with a gun that can handle the cheaper steel case ammo you can shoot for pennys on the dollar. Now i will say there is nothing wrong with the .45 its a blast to soot and it certainly will make any one think twice about doing any thing if you do have to use it for self defense. but as far as im concerned you could use a .22lr for self defense to, as a good friend once said " If i cant kick someones ass after i put 10 rounds in them i deserve whats coming". I wish the best of luck to you. and enjoy and practice train and learn every day that you can.

  15. #15
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    ...And never forget: Accurate and effective shooting beats ballistics, every time.
    If you practice to shoot well, as often as you can and as realistically as you can, you can defend yourself with any caliber. Yes, even .22 rimfire.

    Just for the record, I have taught slightly-built women and young children to shoot effectively, accurately, and successfully with the .45 ACP cartridge.
    With good guidance, anybody can shoot any practical defensive pistol. (No, .454 Casull is not a practical defensive round.)

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    genesis is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishwiz4 View Post
    If 9 mm will be just about as effective for defense, I will probably lean towards that.
    A 9MM will serve you very well ! ! ! There are just a ton of extremely fine 9mm's available from just about every manufacture. I carry a Ruger SR40C. But they also make the Ruger SR9C. They're basically identical. Both are around $400. You get a lot of gun for not a lot of money. Springfield Armory also makes some mighty fine 9's, as do a host of other manufactures like Glock, S&W, Sig, etc. There are even good and cheaper 9's available from Kahr and others. But I tend to favor Rugers. Remember, we all have our own biased opinions, me included, so take what ever I/we tell ya with a grain of salt. Do the youtube thing on any gun you're interested in.

    I kind of have my eye on the Springfield Armory XDm 9MM 5.25 competition model (around $700 but it comes with lots of accessories)

    http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...5+COMPET+Black

    Ya need ta add around $35 for the transfer fee if ya buy it on line. I've included a few vids on it below. It's probably to big for concealed carry, but it's one heck of a shooter ! ! ! Come to think of it, if you're not going to conceal it, a bigger gun is probably better for ya as they're a bit easier to shoot well. Just handle all of the 9's ya can to see how they feel. One really isn't any better then the rest as they're all pretty darn nice IMHO. Some may say, stay away from Taurus or High Point or this or that. That's up to you. Just take your time, educate yourself, and just shop around, A LOT ! Once you've settled on a particular model, check with a few knowledgeable shooters to see what they think about it. But again, remember that opinionated bias thing.

    Below are some reviews on the Ruger SR9C. Based on the state you live in, it will come with either two 10 rounds mags, or a 10 round and a 17 round mag. The larger mag turns the SR9C (C is for compact) in to a full size SR9, so you get the best of both worlds. But you should really check out all of the manufactures. If you can't find cheap 9mm practice ammo locally, here is a good place to deal with, and they have 9MM for $10 a box. http://www.ammoforsale.com/

    Be a responsible shooter, enjoy the sport, and always be safe.

    Semper Fi

    Don <><

    Ruger SR9c - YouTube

    SR9c (Chapter 2) - YouTube

    SR9c Close Up - YouTube

    Below are some vids on the Springfield Armory XDm 5.25 competition model

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPzIisdtS8o

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNiy1j5i45s

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rOq2cV2PCU

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    My favorite round is the .45

    But if you are at all price sensitive and if you shoot very often

    The difference in the cost of .45 vs. 9mm ammo is about double. ie $20 a box vs $10 a box.

    It varies a little dependending on sales and where you buy it.

    But if you shoot often (I do) and you shoot, lets say, 200 rounds per month - 4 boxes .45 ammo = $80

    4 boxes of 9 mm = $40

    Do that and more each month and

    you can save enough money on ammo to buy yourself another gun every year.

    I'm just sayin'


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    Unless you shoot Tula, or some other CHEAP ammo, I can't find 9mm ammo for $10 a box in my area........If you go to Gander Mtn......I use the Blazer Brass in the 250 ct. box.....I shoot .40 cal....36 cents a shot.....200 shots, $72....200 shots of 9mm in 350 ct. box, 26 cents a shot....$52.
    Quote Originally Posted by dondavis3 View Post
    My favorite round is the .45

    But if you are at all price sensitive and if you shoot very often

    The difference in the cost of .45 vs. 9mm ammo is about double. ie $20 a box vs $10 a box.

    It varies a little dependending on sales and where you buy it.

    But if you shoot often (I do) and you shoot, lets say, 200 rounds per month - 4 boxes .45 ammo = $80

    4 boxes of 9 mm = $40

    Do that and more each month and

    you can save enough money on ammo to buy yourself another gun every year.

    I'm just sayin'


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    A .22 on target will beat a .45 off target every time. I prefer the 9mm due to the fact I can quickly put them on target, compared to the .45 ACP, but that's just me. You need to shoot what works best for you.

  20. #20
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    I still havn't had a chance to shoot any of my options yet, but i did stop in at a gun shot today and held a few guns. I really like the feel of the S&W M&P but i dont like how the trigger feels (the trigger saftey). I have not shot this gun, but it feels cheap when the bottom of the trigger has some play in it. is it possible to get it without the trigger saftey?

    also, they had a used M&P .45 for $450. That seemed like a good price, but I am still undecided on what caliber is best for me. i also handled the ruger SP9 and SP40 and liked how they fit my hand, but the guy selling guns was steering me away from them and towards the XDM that i also showed intrest in. Any thoughts on that from you guys?

    One other gun he recommended that i check out was a EAA. I liked the weight/balance of it (steel framed gun) but i am not sure i like the thumb saftey. this is also the reason i am steering away from 1911's. i like the idea of being able to shoot as soon as the gun is in my hand without any step that is required.

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