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9mm Vs 45


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  • 9mm Vs 45

    Does the newer 9mm Ammo made today allow it to equal the 45 in stopping power and effectiveness?

  • #2
    It depends what you want the ammunition to do. When I last researched ammunition for my agency, I found that several ammunition companies post test results for their ammunition on their websites. This allows you to see expansion, penetration through barriers, and so forth and is similar to the FBI test protocols that many of us utilize.

    My opinion only: I think the best .45 ammunition will out perform the best .40 which will out perform the best 9mm if you select the same design and equivalent composition. That said, "the best" from company X may not perform the same as "the best" from company Y and other designs from the same company may prove to perform differently.

    You also have to make the decision if the increased "stopping power and effectiveness" (which may be marginal) is worth reduced magazine capacity, greater recoil, and increased costs over the 9mm.
    John from Maryland


    • #3
      Isn’t stopping power a misnomer?

      If you can’t hit the target, does it really matter?

      9mm will kill you dead just as well .45.....
      semper destravit


      • #4
        A rock from a slingshot or a BB gun can kill you if it hits you in the right place. Shot placement is key no matter what the caliber.

        The 9/45 brawl is as old as Glock/1911 or S&W/Colt.

        Years ago there was a writer for a gun magazine named Evan Marshal. He was supposed to be a homicide detective in Detroit and spent a lot of time at the morgue. He wrote that most of the victims were killed with pocket guns of small caliber at close range.

        I remember one one of his articles where he was comparing the 9/45.

        He was quoting a mathematical formula to back up the theory, but I have no idea what it was. Anywho, it basically said that the 9, a smaller, lighter weight bullet traveling at a higher velocity will equal the slower moving bigger diameter, heavier weight 45 bullet when it hits the target.

        Any math wizards out there who who can verify?


        • NW121
          NW121 commented
          Editing a comment
          K.E. = 1/2 m v2 is the formula for determining kinetic energy. Ultimately, in terms of sheer energy, it's better to fire a bullet faster than a bullet with more mass. It's all academic though; .45 and 9mm are both deadly if you put a round through the cardio box.

      • #5
        I do not think he is far off. When you have lighter weight offset by higher speed. You can get a similar muzzle energy finding when having a heavier weight offset by lower speed.

        However, with today's quality of ammunition being manufactured, especially in +P loads. I think you are threading needles. This is not Teddy Roosevelt complaining that his .38 wasn't stopping PCP hopped up enemy soldiers, thus John Moses Browning rising to the level of the second coming.

        With me it is all about my comfort level carrying and shooting a pistol. Will 9mm have more capacity than a .45 acp most of the time, yes. However, as you mention FireCop, its all about shot placement. No use in carrying 19 rounds when none of them hit your target. For me, there is no replacement for displacement, plain and simple. I will tell you this, follow on shots with a 9mm is like having a piece of chocolate cake and milk. Life gets no easier for me. But I'm a stickler for training (the old Army NCO in me) and I train like my life depended on it. I did a quick google search and these two charts below were my first 2 results.




        • #6
          Originally posted by The Shield101 View Post
          Does the newer 9mm Ammo made today allow it to equal the 45 in stopping power and effectiveness?
          The difference appears minimal enough at this point that when you factor in the added capacity, reduced recoil, etc, modern 9mm JHP is an easy choice. Only only exceptions appears where there's a high likelihood of shooting through intermediate barriers such as windshields and such, so highway patrol and such may favor .40 and others. While all duty loads benefit from modern JHP designs, the 9mm benefits most, making terminal ballistics between them small enough, that 9mm makes sense.
          - Will

          Performance/Fitness Advice For the Tactical Community


          General Performance/Fitness Advice for all



          • #7
            Originally posted by FireCop203 View Post
            Any math wizards out there who who can verify?
            Marshall's theories were shot down* by the late Dr. Martin Fackler, a military pathologist and wound ballistics researcher.

            *pun intended


          • #8
            Were you bored when you posted this. How many times has this question come up. As has been stated here location is key not bullet caliber or kind. I would be comfortable to carry anything from 9mm-45. I would be happy carrying a Glock or a S&W even though I prefer the M&P. Why is it that you people always ask these stupid questions. I have heard that there is no stupid questions but, I disagree. I have seen just as many people get killed with a POS gun as a good gun like a Glock. So friggen what. These questions about caliber or gun are just a waste of time.

            Now that I have wasted 2 minutes I am done. Go away.
            Stupid has no color or race, everyone can participate.


            • #9
              I'm not comparing the 2, but I want to add I carried a .45 for like 8 years or so and switched to a 9mm for the only reason of capacity. i hated going to training and having to reload after 8 rounds.

              .except 40...mandatory carry for a brief time and hated it.


              • #10

                For all intents and purposes, I would say yes, the modern 9mm is just as effective a combat cartridge as the .45 ACP. The 45 and 9mm actually generate nearly the same amount of force, the .45 being a bit more powerful, but not enough to make almost any difference at all. You'd be hard pressed to find a situation where someone was shot with a 9mm and survived but, had it been a .45, would have been killed.

                I switched from .45 to 9mm for my EDC about 3 years ago. If I ever worked for a department that allows me to choose my duty weapon, I would choose a 9mm. I don't believe that a 45 offers any real advantage over the 9, and if anything, is a bit of a disadvantage due the lower capacity, larger weapons, and heavier recoil. That said, that's my person opinion. The right answer is to go with what you feel comfortable with and which one you are most effective with.
                "If the police have to come get you, they're bringing an @$$ kicking with them!"
                -Chris Rock


                • #11
                  I was pretty surprised looking at the gel test results self-defense rounds that these guys got. Tons of data here if you're in the mood to geek out.

                  Thinking the 9mm HSTs look like the best bet moving forward depending what you're carrying.


                  • #12
                    Keep in mind that in the grand scheme of quickly stopping bad people from doing bad things, that...

                    ...the ability of almost all popular defensive handgun rounds (to include the 9mm and the .45ACP) to quickly stop bad people from doing bad things, has a lot more in common with a Nerf gun than it has in common with a center-fire long gun.

                    Clint Smith summed it up by saying that the purpose of a handgun, is to fight your way to your long gun.

                    So if there really isn't much difference between 9mm/.40S&W/.45ACP, and they don't work very well, then it would probably be a good idea to have as many pistol rounds as you can carry...which usually means the 9mm.


                    • #13
                      Blonde or brunette. Chevy or Ford. The debate is endless.
                      I make my living on Irish welfare.


                      • #14
                        "Never shoot a large caliber man with a small caliber bullet"


                        • #15
                          The difference between the 9mm and .45 is so minor that trauma surgeons can barely tell the difference in gunshot wounds. I don't think anyone could look at a gunshot victim and say "Good thing it was only a 9mm. If it were a .45, he'd be dead!"

                          Also, with the new development in ammunition technology, I would say that it is true that 9mm today has benefited more than any of the other standard rounds in use; a lot of the 9mm+P rounds hit nearly as hard as a 230 grain .45 ACP, and some are even approaching the velocity and energy of some .357 Magnum rounds. But even before all that, the difference in actual effectiveness between 9mm, .40, and .45 were largely anecdotal. However, with the new rounds out, on paper, the 9 looks even better, and it's for that reason that it's seen such a resurgence, and why a lot of agencies are switching out their .45s and .40s for 9s. It makes sense: You can get a pistol that is smaller in size (than a .45), with higher capacity, with less recoil, and less expensive ammunition, while only trading a very slight amount of energy.

                          I carried a .45 for years: A Kimber 1911 for awhile, then a full sized Smith & Wesson M&P45. Then traded it for a Glock 19. One of the best gun decisions I've ever made. It's less gun to carry, more ammo in the mag, and I'm much faster and more accurate with it. YMMV. I don't look down on anyone who carries a .40 or a .45. A friend of mine can't hit the broad side of a barn from the inside with my G19, but he can shoot the nuts off a flea with his 1911; he's also fast as hell with his followup shots. Something about the way the .45 recoils works better for him than a 9. Go with what you're going to best with.
                          "If the police have to come get you, they're bringing an @$$ kicking with them!"
                          -Chris Rock


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