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  • Handgun question

    I "think" I have decided to get a glock, not totally sure though. Now for the caliber question. Will a 9mm drop someone with one round? Can you get the same distance w/ a .40 or .45 that you can with a 9? What about the accuracy? Any and all comments welcomed... I may have been too vague, there may be other factors which effect those variables, if so, please comment on that as well. (bullet weights, where you hit the target, how I handle recoil, etc) thanks....

  • #2
    There isn't a duty hand gun out there that can assure a one shot stop. I carried a 9mm for a number of years, but the only thing I ever had to shoot was a few racoons, a skunk or 2 and a few deer that had been hit by a car. With the deer, it usually took 3 or 4 well placed shots with the 9mm before the animal died. I've switched to a Glock 22 .40, and the last few deer that I had to shoot were "one shot stops." I'd definately recommend the .40 over the 9mm. The recoil isn't that much different, and with a Glock you still get hi capacity.
    Extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice. Barry Goldwater

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    • #3
      Any well placed bullet is better than a poorly placed shot. Yes, a 9mm *can* stop someone with one shot. That's not to say that it *will* stop someone with one shot, though. As a LEO you will probably be limited to something between .38 and .45 caliber.

      The 9mm is very easy to shoot, has minimal recoil, holds a lot of ammo and is cheap to shoot which equates to more practice for less money. The .40S&W and .357Sig rounds both have fairly prominent recoil but it's nothing that you can't get used to.

      If you want one shot stopping power in a duty weapon then I suggest a gun in .357Sig. The .357Sig has many things going for it, including:

      It's a good compromise between caliber and capacity (the 9mm will hold more rounds, the .45ACP is a bigger caliber but holds less rounds).

      The .357 cartridge has been proven for decades to be an effective round stopping humans and has one of the best one shot stop records of the common calibers used in police work.

      Many large federal, state and municipal agencies use the .357Sig which makes it more easily defensible in court after a shooting. If you're using a .44 Magnum expect a defense lawyer to make a big deal out of it when you shoot his client.

      The .357Sig pistol is available with just about any quality firearms manufacturer and accuracy is more a function of the gun that the bullet. However, the design of the .357Sig cartridge does give it a slight advantage with feeding in a semi-auto pistol due to the "necked down" casing.

      Once you decide on a caliber, shoot several different guns to find the one that feels most natural to you. Most people seem to love Glocks. I wouldn't carry a Glock unless you forced me to at gunpoint, they just don't feel natural to me and they're damn near impossible to carry concealed in comfort due to their boxy design. I prefer the Sig Sauer P226. Find what works for you.

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      • #4
        Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement.

        I carry a Glock 19 when I'm on duty as a reserve and like it for several reasons:
        - I can shoot it quickly and accurately due to mild recoil.
        - The Glock 9mm pistols have a reputation for reliability that is hard to beat.
        - Least expensive center fire handgun cartridge to shoot.
        - Fits my hand better than the Glock 21
        - Reasonable "stopping power" with +P HP ammo.

        Yes there are some calibers that are offer better stopping power, .40S&W, .45ACP, .357SIG among others, but with the increased power comes the increased pain of each shot. This pain makes it more difficult to develop good shooting habits (like not flinching).

        I get the impression that you have not done much pistol shooting. Learn to shoot with a .22LR if you can and step up to a 9mm and then on to whatever you can comfortably shoot. For that matter, a couple of companies offer .22LR conversion kits for the Glock pistols to allow inexpensive practice. Also, an airsoft or pellet pistol could work as well.

        Good luck.

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        • #5
          MartinR is right, shot placement is far more important than caliber. And forget about "one shot stops", that is useless data. If someone needs to be shot, you cannot 'shoot them too much'.
          "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
          John Stuart Mill

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          • #6
            I'm suprised no one mention the G23. That is the exact same frame size at the G19, but chambered in 40.

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            • #7
              I carry a .45 only beacause they wont let me carry a .50.
              I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

              Douglas MacArthur

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              • #8
                A 9mm may expand but a .45 will not shrink.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by keith758
                  There isn't a duty hand gun out there that can assure a one shot stop. I carried a 9mm for a number of years, but the only thing I ever had to shoot was a few racoons, a skunk or 2 and a few deer that had been hit by a car. With the deer, it usually took 3 or 4 well placed shots with the 9mm before the animal died. I've switched to a Glock 22 .40, and the last few deer that I had to shoot were "one shot stops." I'd definately recommend the .40 over the 9mm. The recoil isn't that much different, and with a Glock you still get hi capacity.
                  Someone needs some deer killing lessons I work for animal regulation and have to shoot deer often. About 98% of the time I get a one shot kill with a 22 long hollowpoint. ITs all in the placement. Which ties in to the one shot stop thing. It ain't gonna happen on some crazed bad guy coming at ya. I agree with the .40 Glock over the 9mm. Also someone talked about the 357 Sig. Its not the same as a magnum round, and I personaly dont care for it much. Many Dept's use 9mm with little problem. So take your pick, practice alot, get the best shot placement you can, and keep shooting till the BG stops.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Luke
                    I'm suprised no one mention the G23. That is the exact same frame size at the G19, but chambered in 40.
                    That's what I carry, and I think it's a great gun.
                    All Gave Some - Some Gave All

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                    • #11
                      You cant go wrong with a Glock.. 9mm is fine, accurate as hell but alot depends on the user, shot placement is the key. The .40 In my opinion is a good balance of power and accuracy. The Glock 23 is a great firearm and would recommend it to anyone.

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                      • #12
                        Something you might need to think about...since you are interested in getting into police work...

                        A handgun is a compromise for defensive power, however its generally right their on your hip, so it is handy.

                        "One shot stops" cover alot of territory. There are many things to consider when firing a shot. As a cop you will be taught to shoot till the threat is neutralized.

                        You've no doubt heard of drug crazed folks that took a full magazine and did not stop. State of mind,physcial condtioning,attitude are things that make a difference.For instance, shooting at someone that is on PCP will likely take more shots than someone that is sitting on a couch watching TV. A person that is enraged might take more shots than a person that is calm. Adrenaline flow, pain or lack of pain,and emotional state play a very big part.

                        Shot placement is the key. However in the real world, shot placement amounts to wherever you can score a hit. Sure,a central nervous system shot will result in an immediate knockdown, but if someone is fighting with you, running towards you with a knife or shooting at you and trying to kill you,perfect shots are few and far between.
                        The 9mm has and will kill folks as has every other caliber out there but you need to remember that any handgun is a compromise.

                        I reccomend using the biggest caliber that you can accurately shoot.
                        If you can consistently hit with a .45 use it. If a 9mm is more suited to you and you are accurate with it,by all means use it. All the bullets in the world wont mean anything to you if you cant hit the target.Generally, the smaller the caliber the more bullets you can carry in a magazine. As for caliber considerations, the smaller cailbers dont have near the handicap that they used to even 20 years ago as we have made leaps and bounds in bullet technology.Where the big calibers used to reign supreme, the gap continues to get smaller and smaller with new technology.


                        Now...to answer some questions...
                        Most shootings occur at 7 yards or less.Many occur at an arms length, so the differences in trajectory isnt really a consideration and if it is,you should be using a long gun.
                        Recoil is subjective. What may not me much for me, may be too much for you.You'll never know unless you try them all.The biggest thing to do is practice,practice and practice some more.If you can go to a gun range and try different caliber and styles of guns do so. I cant tell you how many times someone has spent a fair amount on a handgun and evetnually tried someone elses and they decided they liked it better because it fit their hand better, it recoiled less,or they could hit with it better of whatever.
                        As for bullet weight, most deptartments will issue you ammuntion and you will be required to use it in your gun. It makes sense to practice with what you will use.

                        As you can see,there is alot more to understanding handguns than meets the eye. There is plenty of info available on the internet that deals with effectiveness of caliber and bullet styles. There are many opinions of the best handgun,caliber,fightstopper and whatnot but the only thing that really matters is what matters to you as it be your life you'll be defending.
                        Last edited by Watchman; 11-26-2004, 02:30 PM.
                        "The American People will never knowingly adopt Socialism. Under the name of "liberalism" they will adopt every segment of the socialist program,until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened."

                        Norman Thomas

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                        • #13
                          Nicely put, Watchman. A well written essay on what matters in choosing a self defense firearm!
                          "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                          John Stuart Mill

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                          • #14
                            glock perfection

                            As you will soon find, most departments are switching to Glocks (ours in particular uses the glock 22, which chambers a 40 cal round). It is a wonderful handgun, providing big bore performance. Despite the receiver being made of "combat teflon," it is heavy enough to know its there, but not light enough to think you'll break it. All the smaller sizes, the reduced 23 and baby 27, are easily concealed with the right holster in even a t-shirt; and I feel that the largest 40 (again the 22) can be tailored for off-duty use provided the right hoslter (fbi cant) and clothing combination.

                            Speaking on Glock quality, I have passed every bit of 5,000 rounds through mine, if not more, and have had only one malfunction: failure to feed. It proved to be a magazine error, caused by not having the bullets seated properly. I've never had anything like it since; knock on wood, of course. I'd say this is a result of having less moving parts in a Glock, which means less chance for something to go wrong.

                            Reference the stopping power, my department shoots a hydro shock round as, again, does most. We've had three officer involved shooting that I can recall this year. All the suspects were neutralized with one bullet center mass, although I would personally double tap any threat. In that respect, I feel comforted knowing my duty weapon's success is battle proven even if on shot lands square.

                            Another positive thing with Glocks is that the magazines are interchangeable when going from larger, hi-cap mags into smaller guns. Meaning, if you were wearing your off duty, baby Glock 27 in a firefight and things take a turn for the worse, a full size glock magazine can be stripped from a fellow officer and used in your subcompact Glock, provided it is the same caliber. I like that a lot.

                            Someone correctly mentioned accuracy. Without it, the gun itself is not only useless, but destructive. This means practice is a necessity. Though 9mm ammo is cheaper, 40 isn't that much more expensive per box, but will add up over time. That should be the only difference, since I believe prices for most glock 9mm and 40mm are almost the same.

                            Finally, I'd recommend night sights.

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                            • #15
                              Accuracy is definitely the rule of the day but I've never been completely comfortable with the nine millimeter as a duty weapon. I have carried nine millimeters off duty on occasion.
                              I started out with the .357 magnum, then I carried a .45 for many years. For the past several years I've carried the Sig .40 and I'm very happy with it.

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