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9mm vs .40 vs .45

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  • 9mm vs .40 vs .45

    There is no single BEST caliber to use. People that ask that question are leaving out too many variables. Use what you can effectively hit the target with.
    Last edited by CSIBPD; 10-08-2009, 11:38 AM. Reason: Civility
    Shot placement > caliber. Using a .45ACP means nothing if you can't hit your target. Practice, train, and do it all over again...and again...and again.

  • #2
    Sorry bro, I did hours and hours of research based on documented testing in both real world applications and ballistic gel tests, there is no remarkable ballistic difference between 9mm and .40..
    Seriously, the only reason I wanted to be a cop was so I could post anywhere on this forum.

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    • #3
      If my agency let us have a choice, probably 10mm. Bigger hole and faster, so it will go deeper. The old .41 Magnum round was a great revolver round, but it never caught on. That would be always be a good choice.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by ateamer View Post
        If my agency let us have a choice, probably 10mm. Bigger hole and faster, so it will go deeper. The old .41 Magnum round was a great revolver round, but it never caught on. That would be always be a good choice.
        I have never shot a 10mm, I've heard the felt recoil is a bit crazy though.
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        • #5
          The only thing certain about relative terminal ballistics is that there is no certainty at all.
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          "And you are kinda intoxicated."

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          • #6
            OH NO! Not again!

            Politically Correct? No.

            Truthful? Yes!

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            • #7
              You're looking for superior ballistics? I know one guy who daily carries a S&W 500 Magnum. Seriously.

              Fortunately, he also always has a smaller BUG. (It would pretty much have to be smaller, LOL)

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              • #8
                Shootouts have way too many variables to announce what caliber is the "magic, do all - end all" bullet.
                Last edited by CSIBPD; 10-08-2009, 11:40 AM. Reason: Civility
                Shot placement > caliber. Using a .45ACP means nothing if you can't hit your target. Practice, train, and do it all over again...and again...and again.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think all the new defensive offerings in 9mm .40 and .45 are leaps and bounds ahead of where they were just a few years ago, but on duty I still carry a .45. Why? Because it makes the biggest hole, whether it expands or not. One of my academy instructors said it best "A 9mm may expand, but a .45 will always be a .45.". That being said, I carry a 9mm off duty, trading bullet size for more rounds in the mag.

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                  • #10
                    Every handgun round is a compromise.

                    Bring a rifle.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CSIBPD View Post

                      If the comparison is to modern day ammunition where that same 9mm is a 124 grain hollow point +P (or higher grain) then the margin by which the .45 wins is GREATLY reduced, even if that .45 is a 230 grain hollow point. The .45 is ~900 fps velocity. The 9mm +P pushes ~1200 fps. That is a large difference in kinetic energy from velocity (not to be confused with energy from bullet weight).
                      Because of its higher weight, a 230 gr .45acp carries more "energy" than a faster moving 124gr 9mm. The margin of winning, though reduced is still won.
                      One more thing I'll touch on..."knock down power." Pistols don't knock anyone down. The old tale of "I put a .45 through his heart, it spun him around and he hit the ground" is garbage; something you'd hear around the campfire at night after a long day of fishing.

                      The "1 shot stop" is ONLY viable for 2 vital areas in the human body: spinal cord and brain. Anything else, including a heart shot, the subject can still live, run and fight, even if only for a few seconds. They may not do anything but hit the ground as everyone reacts differently after being shot. Or they may run away and leave a blood trail 100 yards long before they bleed out.

                      So what is the best round to use? Whatever is comfortable for YOU that allows you to hit what you're aiming at.
                      I agree with all the rest. Handguns are not rifles and really are a poor substitute for a reliable stopper. My preference for carrying a .45acp is minimal bullet deflection and core separation while shooting through a hardened medium such as auto glass. There is no argument that a .45acp deflects less and stays in tact better than a 9mm.

                      Eta: fwiw I carry both a .45acp and 9mm while on duty. Both are to be used only when I can not get to my AR15 or Remington 870.
                      Last edited by R12GS; 09-25-2009, 08:58 PM.
                      People grow through experience, if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CSIBPD View Post
                        I'll have the research data linked shortly...
                        First off, welcome to Officer.com!

                        Please do not take offensive to this reply, however this topic has been discussed in great detail numerous times. You have regurgitated common information often passed on, nearly verbatim, via the www and readily found via a simple google search. Again no offense but these type of posts generally sounds like the type of post by someone who is fairly new to this topic and heavily relies on data accumulated by second or third hand experience.

                        Are you able to post any new information that has not been published? Or do you have your own data from personal testing and ballistic results, via a wide range of mediums other than say ballistic gel, that can be shared? Or some other twist to any of this type of testing? If that is the case, fantastic, and I am eager to read more.

                        I will also say that there are inaccuracies in your first post. If you continue with this topic it would be nice to have results from your own independent testing as opposed to posting stats from other agencies, ie FBI etc...or new cutting edge information not widely published. Be aware that you may run into some people who may have extensive practical experience in this field, and they may be very critical of inaccurate or outdated information.
                        The comments made herein are those solely of author and in no way reflect the opinions of any other person, agency or other entity.

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                        • #13
                          X 2

                          ..............................
                          The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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                          • #14
                            Yes. Your own, "Buick o Truth!" Now that would be an interesting post. I love ballistics.

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                            • #15
                              9mm vs .40 vs .45 = underpowered in today's world of SKS and AR-15s.
                              Last edited by CSIBPD; 10-08-2009, 11:42 AM.
                              Shot placement > caliber. Using a .45ACP means nothing if you can't hit your target. Practice, train, and do it all over again...and again...and again.

                              Comment

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