When it comes to modern, state-of-the-art, common, self-defense ammo in 9MM, 357 Sig, 40S&W and 45ACP, they all perform about the same because they're all loaded to FBI protocols/standards. One isn't significantly better than any of the others. It isn't the gun or caliber that will save your buns. What counts is your marksmanship/tactical skills and your presence of mind. So don't get all caught up in the caliber thing. A 9MM would serve you very well and there is a plethora of models from many, many fine manufactures to choose from. You should get whatever caliber you can shoot reasonable well, and can afford to shoot A LOT. I'm not condoning a 22 for self defense, but a couple of hits with a 22 is better than a bunch of misses with a 45. You really need to shoot these various calibers to find out what your comfortable with. It will probably be the 9MM. It wouldn't hurt to get a 22 as your first gun. They're great to learn on and ammo is cheap, so you'll practice more. And that's the key, practice. If you get a 22 now, just plan on getting something more appropriate later for self defense.
Click this link, then watch the second video below. FAQ 44 ( What caliber should I get?) - YouTube
Thanks for that video. :) That pretty much said what I was thinking and lines up with some articles I have been reading. In a nutshell it does not matter if you carry a 9mm or a 45acp.....what matters is being able to shoot well and shot placement as all modern ammo is designed to do its job.
Originally Posted by s1mp13m4n
...Just not a .22 rimfire, unless you're at bad-breath distance.
It is a general statement. Your .357 Sig is driving that 125gr bullet quite a bit faster than, say, a Winchester Ranger 127gr JHP +P+ (RA9TA). And jello is not ballistic gelatine, unless that is what you meant by "jello". Anyway, what happens to a higher velocity expanding bullet when it hits gelatine is that the media is compressed in front of the bullet. This works in concert with the bullet whose speed is already causing rapid expansion. As a greater diameter is presented by the bullet to the media resistance to is travel is greatly increased, resulting in reduced penetration.
Originally Posted by Nanuk
Now bullets designed with greater levels of controlled expansion and with bonded cores will resist the tendency to expand too quickly and this will allow deeper penetration because this works in tandem with the higher velocity. There are too many variables to consider when talking about this subject. Clothing, things in pockets, the makeup of the target (muscle, fat, size, etc.). I once shot a deer with a .357 Magnum handload (160gr Norma JHP, 16 grains of 2400, CCI primer) and the bullet performed flawlessly. I never found the exit point or the bullet, but it hit a rib going in and torn up the top of the heart. I probably traveled 16 to 18 inches but I cannot say for sure. That load bullet was traveling close to 1600 fps muzzle velocity.
Comparing a .357 Sig to a 9mm is not a good comparison for several reasons. Bullet design is almost certain to be different for the Sig load. More controlled expansion, which means a different hollow cavity profile, to allow the bullet to drive deeper into the target is going to be the target. The .357 Sig is a fine caliber for self defense and even takes the 9mm bullet it uses a step further to allow for hunting some game.
Here's an interesting video link. Granted the load used only had an advertised MV of 1350 fps, but it is still a very good video from a very good source well known in the current shooting culture.
.357 SIG Speer Gold Dot Ammo Test - YouTube
Hope this all helps and answers your concerns.
I know several men who will strongly disagree with this (the 9mm vs .45ACP argument). They have some standing because they both have seen many shootings (in the hundreds) and have very definitely opinions about what works well and what doesn't.
Originally Posted by genesis
However, I tend to agree with you in this post. My take is simple. Some folks, try as they may, just cannot seem to master a .45ACP or a .40S&W but do just fine with a 9mm. For them, that is the caliber they should train with and carry. It all comes down to something I and others on this thread have pushed already. Use what works best for you. For some folks, it could be several different calibers (I'm in that category) and the have the luxury of choosing what they perceived to be the best for a given or specific instance. But still, it IS what works best for the individual.
Here's another link to a video I watched about a half a year ago. Very interesting.
9mm vs .45 vs Rifle A Dr's View of Gunshot Wounds - YouTube
We are singing the same tune generally. That is why I settled on what I did until something SIGNIFICANTLY better comes out. Yes, I am a trained marksman, shooter. I have been shooting for better than 40 years and over 30 years of LEO/competition training and shooting. The last 23 years with the US Border Patrol, look up the USBP and see if there are any shooters there.
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That being said, if you cannot hit your target you are doing no good, and probably doing harm because you do know where your bullets are going. When involved in a life or death struggle there are many things to overcome. What I am after is to hit the BG hard enough that I "change his Channel" from trying to hurt me to getting out of dodge. I have seen that phenomenon with the 357 magnum and the 115 +P+ 9mm. The BG all of a sudden is like "get me to the hospital NOW!" or DRT. That comes down to carry enough gun. We are all different with different levels of skill. Carry the biggest gun you can conceal and shoot well.
Personally I carry what I call fighting guns, I get that definition from my standard question (If I get into a (gun)fight, is this the gun I want to have with me?). In revolver days it was a S&W L frame or K frame 357 magnum loaded with 145 grn STHP's. Today it is a Glock 357 Sig loaded as I described in my earlier post. A revolver is still a relevant tool for civilian CCW and I carried one when walking the canyons at night on the SW border, I did feel better with a semi auto though for that mission and threat environment.
The whole 9mm, 45ACP argument is as old as dirt, I remember reading articles in the 1970's. As has been written above, there is little difference in service caliber loads. Face it, similar bullets at similar velocities are going to have similar results. Both the 9 and the 45 are at the pinnacle of advancement, if they were all that why would we have +P+ 9mm and 45 +P, super, Rowland? Just like modern hollow points giving you the edge over 40 year old designs, modern cartridges give you an edge, I think that the 40 and the 357 Sig with the best loads will give you an edge, maybe a very small edge but I will take every advantage I can get. I am not a fan of subsonic loads unless I am using a suppressor, you give up too much.
Excellent post and comments. Thanks so much.
Originally Posted by Nanuk