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  • 9mm vs. .45

    Looking for your collective expertise here. Our dept. might be looking at going from 9mm to .45--but only if we have sufficient data to show the benefits. What (hopefully free or on the internet) info is out there that shows penetration data on structures (walls, buildings, etc) between the two? Ballistic data on penetration into soft tissue is one thing, but when you operate in urban environments, that's another story. We operate in lots of close combat areas where penetration of a wall or other structure is a major concern due to possible collateral damage. Any info is appreciated!
    "... They think I'm crazy... But I know better... It is not I who am crazy... It is I who am MAD!... Didn't you hear 'em? Didn't you see the crowds?!! Oh my beloved ice cream bar... How I love to lick your creamy center... And your oh-so-nutty chocolate covering... You're not like the others... You like the same things I do... Wax paper... Boiled football leather... Dog breath... WE'RE NOT HITCHHIKING ANYMORE... WE'RE RIDING...

    --Ren Hoek, Space Madness

  • #2
    The FBI has done a number of studies on penetration of various bullets from various calibers. All of their studies are available at no charge. I caution you to look carefully at their conclusions - the most egregious is the justification for their 10mm FBI load where they concluded it was "marginally better than the .45", but they compared a hollowpoint 10mm bullet to a .45 ball to get the conclusion they wanted from the start.
    There is no doubt the .45 blows a bigger hole in the bad guy and smacks him with a heavier bullet than a 9mm. Penetration can be figured out by using a bullet that will penetrate or not as your needs require. (9mm ball will penetrate more wallboard than almost any good .45 hollowpoint!)

    Comment


    • #3
      The FBI's decision to go to the 10mm was certainly ill-advised, but I think they may have learned their lesson. The Ballistics Research Facility will supply test results to law enforcement agencies with a letterhead request signed by a supervisor. The request must state that the information is for departmental use and will not be released outside your agency.

      The letter should go to the Ballistics Research Facility at their Academy.
      John from Maryland

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      • #4
        Life energy leaks more rapidly from larger holes.
        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

        Comment


        • #5
          It's all about 2 factors. Shot Placement, and Trauma. 99% of the time, if you shoot the BG in the right place, that's the end...HOWEVER... add in stress, adrenaline, fear, xcitement, and all of the other little factors, coupled with the reluctance of many agencies to properly train, and you see why our hit ratio in combat (LEO's) is as statistically dismal as it is.

          TRauma. Small, light High-velocity Bullet V Big, Heavy, Slow bullet.. Big, heavy and Slow Wins IMO. the idea is to disrupt his system as much as possible to shut him down NOW. IMO this is best done by punching Large, Messy, open holes to let his insides become Outsides, and to distract him from attempting to do the same to my own tender, pink (and rather cute ) dermis. People say that "Stopping Power" is a Myth..and if you look at in the way it has been protrayed by some, they're right, it is..or is it, if you shoott he BG with one (or even 2 or 3) 9mm's and DONT hit him in an instantly fatal spot, will he still be able to bring the fight to you. Conversely if you do the same with a couple of .45 ACp's, that are going to tear him up, and boost him into shock more quickly, will that be more likely to "Stop" him from engaging further??

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          • #6
            My agency recently went from 9mm to Glock 21, .45 ACP, we carry Winchester SXT 230 grain hollowpoint for our duty load.

            BEST DECISION EVER. Here we have 14 round .45 vs. 16 9mm. But the hold is 4 times the size! The glock 21 kicks and snaps up LESS THAN THE 9mm. I know, I know your like sure it does. Only thing I can tell you is to simply go shoot them and you will quickly see. The .45 has better point and shoot capability to me, plus it is a huge round. The .45 hollowpoint does not over penetrate like the 9mm, it moves a bit slower and the objective of a bullet that size is to deliver a massive energy dump into the target. When I first recieved my glock 21, I was like crap this thing is as big a brick in my hand, this is gonna suck, can never shoot this like my 9mm. Well the first couple of rounds and I was like oh my god this thing is GREAT! I can hit left and right handed no problem with this thing. I am still shocked. I love standing on the 25 yard line firing and seeing that big hole in the target, you just can't see em with a 9mm at all at the range. All of our deps carrying the 21, from the smallest female to the largest guy, everyone I have seen on the range can at least put out a 90% plus on their first time on the range with the 21. It really is a sweet weapon that hits like a sledgehammer.
            "Anyone is capable of anything"

            "I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything I thought it could be".

            -Peter Gibbons
            Office Space

            Comment


            • #7
              http://forums.officer.com/forums/sho...ight=truth+9mm

              I found that thread to be very helpful. There are a lot of misconceptions about importance of caliber size out there and that thread explained a lot for me.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by KenW. View Post
                Life energy leaks more rapidly from larger holes.

                How so? There is little blood letting unless you've been hit with a shotgun. I've been on several shootings and have come to the conclusion between the two, the only difference is shot placement for effectiveness. IE:I've seen a kid take 6 rounds of .45acp Remington Golden Sabre nearly point blank in the back and run 3 blocks to McDonalds and call police, I've seen one suspect get double tapped twice to the chest with .40S&W and not drop until one to the head, I've seen one 9mm drop a 300+lb guy with a shot to the spine, and my favorite; I've seen one would be robber be paralized from the waist down from a .22lr.

                Shoot what you shoot most comfortably amongst the major three (9, .40, and .45). Hand guns are notoriously poor tools for effective "energy dumping" into a 170lb adversary. They do not have any where near the mass immediate trauma causing effect to reliably bring down a person one time every time.

                As for 9mm over penetrating. Proof please? This is a new one as a lighter higher speed bullet does not carry its momentum with it after intial impact. Google the Box of truth.
                Last edited by R12GS; 05-02-2007, 10:01 PM.
                People grow through experience, if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I don't get it.

                  I'm not trying to discount anyone on this thread, but I really don't get it. I own several 9mms, a .40, and a 45. I like shooting all of them. In NO way does my .45 recoil less than my .40 or 9mm. I have friends that claim similar things, "I have faster follow-up shots with my 45 than my 40!". I can shoot my 9mm 1911 all day long. I get through 100 rounds of my 45 and I have the webbing of my hand rubbed raw. I also know that, although my 45 is accurate, I always shoot my 40 or 9mm better, follow-up shots are always easier than with my 45. Personally, I can't use a glock 45, even the single stack 36 (shot one 2 weekends ago) is too big for me to handle reliably. I haven't shot a 21 in a long time, but when I did I could barely reach the trigger. For me, it's a 1911, or (as I found out the same day I shot the glock 36) the usp compact if I want a 45.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ThursCo:

                    When it comes to recoil, it depends on many other factors as well. When I shoot my .45 (a SW 4506) there is far less "felt" recoil than when I shoot something lighter, like a .40 Glock 23. The grip also also has an affect on preceived recoil. I'm sure other folks could point out more good examples.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Go with the .40 for general issue!

                      If you're considering a pistol with a high cap magazine (vs a single column such as a 1911 type or Sig P220), you might want to look more closely at the .40 S&W pistols like Glock 22, Sig P229 or H&K USP .40s. Our department went to the H&K USP in .45 as an issue weapon and many of the officers with medium to small hands have trouble properly gripping the weapon. I've got pretty big hands and I don't naturally grip that gun as well as a 1911 or any .40. I don't think the officers' problems shooting the weapon are related to recoil as much as proper purchase on the grip.

                      I'd recommend that an agency issuing a .40, offer officers the option of the .45 or 9mm. If the officer wants to buy their own, there's probably a good reason for it (usually relating to their own abilities or prior training).

                      The .40 S&W has had a lot of success in actual shootings and after having looked at a few bullets recovered from autopsies, I've got to say that they usually expand better than a .45 and penetrate as good or better than any 9mm. Stick with the mid-weight bullets (155-165 grains) and you'll have the best of everything-accuracy, magazine capacity, low recoil and stopping power.
                      "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My Reasoning

                        Originally posted by pulicords View Post
                        If you're considering a pistol with a high cap magazine (vs a single column such as a 1911 type or Sig P220), you might want to look more closely at the .40 S&W pistols like Glock 22, Sig P229 or H&K USP .40s. Our department went to the H&K USP in .45 as an issue weapon and many of the officers with medium to small hands have trouble properly gripping the weapon. I've got pretty big hands and I don't naturally grip that gun as well as a 1911 or any .40. I don't think the officers' problems shooting the weapon are related to recoil as much as proper purchase on the grip.
                        Agreed. This is another concern I'm taking into consideration as we have female officers and some male officers with smaller hands. I'm leaning toward possibly one recommedation as the Springfield XD in .45 because the grips are designed to be very close to the size of their 9mm frames (they simply enlarged the mag wells instead of making the grips larger/fatter--good design decision IMHO). Plus they have high cap mags. We carry Glock 19s currently. Also, Ive trained extensively with the XD and find it easy to shoot/operate and accurate. Another selling point are the multiple safeties that Glocks don't have.

                        I'm a certified NRA instructor (multiple disciplines) and will be getting my certification as a police firearms instructor as well, so I'm familiar--meaning I've extensively shot & used--a variety of weapons. However, to keep things on track with my question is the data available on penetration through walls, doors etc in urban environments. We mainly operate in close quarters. A bullet passing through a target and going through a wall or other structure (obviouisly depending on the structure's material, thickness, etc.) and possibly hitting an innocent is a big concern. NOTE: Frangible rounds are out of the question. Most things I've read, and otherwise heard over the years, is that because the 9mm is a hotter round (velocity) than the slower .45, it's more apt to pass through it's intended target and carry on to other unintended "targets", which in our case might be an innocent person in another room. I realize all the info on how velocity is lessened after hitting an initial target and all that, but I need some definitive facts from studies done on the subject to present to the chief.

                        Our officers are pretty much in agreement we're carrying the wrong weapon for where we work. The majority believe, as do I, that the heavier/slower .45 is a better choice for our environment. It's heavy and will get the job done incapacitating the target & then is more likley to be depleated of its terminal velocity before it goes through a wall, door, etc. I'm told the chief initially went with 9mm because it looked "less intimidating" than a "bigger" weapon and really gave no thought to what was coming out of the "business end" of the pipe. We'd like to change that and carry a duty weapon that best suited for our overall needs.
                        Last edited by ArcLight; 05-03-2007, 04:22 AM.
                        "... They think I'm crazy... But I know better... It is not I who am crazy... It is I who am MAD!... Didn't you hear 'em? Didn't you see the crowds?!! Oh my beloved ice cream bar... How I love to lick your creamy center... And your oh-so-nutty chocolate covering... You're not like the others... You like the same things I do... Wax paper... Boiled football leather... Dog breath... WE'RE NOT HITCHHIKING ANYMORE... WE'RE RIDING...

                        --Ren Hoek, Space Madness

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Although I've heard good things about the XD, I might be a little concerned about the availability of good uniform duty holsters. Especially, if your officers wish to carry it with a tactical light attached. As to overpenetration issues, good, controlled expansion type ammunition should even the field regardless of caliber (9mm vs .40 vs .45). Smaller caliber, faster moving bullets tend to expand more reliably than heavy slower moving bullets, limiting penetration. Also because they're lighter, they lose energy faster (limiting penetration).
                          "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            9vs45

                            Originally posted by ArcLight View Post
                            Looking for your collective expertise here. Our dept. might be looking at going from 9mm to .45--but only if we have sufficient data to show the benefits. What (hopefully free or on the internet) info is out there that shows penetration data on structures (walls, buildings, etc) between the two? Ballistic data on penetration into soft tissue is one thing, but when you operate in urban environments, that's another story. We operate in lots of close combat areas where penetration of a wall or other structure is a major concern due to possible collateral damage. Any info is appreciated!
                            Over penetration is a major concern to those who do not know ballistic science (usually administrators) if anything one of the problems is not getting enough penetration in handgun rounds. Missing your target is another matter altogether. I learned a great deal from the Speer Gold Dot rep out of Georgia when he came to give his ballistic worksop where we tested 40 sw rounds. If you guys can go to a 45acp it is a slow moving big round that out performs other calibers even in cheaper ball ammo. 40 s&w is a happy medium with high capacity and decent performance but I dont think it is as accurate as either 9mm or 45acp. Just my opinion. When you decide on caliber call Speer and they will come to your agency and help you set up a ballistic workshop to see which specific round performs best in ballistic gelatin.
                            "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The MARINES don't have that problem." ....Ronald Reagan

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rapax View Post
                              My agency recently went from 9mm to Glock 21, .45 ACP, we carry Winchester SXT 230 grain hollowpoint for our duty load.

                              BEST DECISION EVER. Here we have 14 round .45 vs. 16 9mm. But the hold is 4 times the size! The glock 21 kicks and snaps up LESS THAN THE 9mm. I know, I know your like sure it does. Only thing I can tell you is to simply go shoot them and you will quickly see. The .45 has better point and shoot capability to me, plus it is a huge round. The .45 hollowpoint does not over penetrate like the 9mm, it moves a bit slower and the objective of a bullet that size is to deliver a massive energy dump into the target. When I first recieved my glock 21, I was like crap this thing is as big a brick in my hand, this is gonna suck, can never shoot this like my 9mm. Well the first couple of rounds and I was like oh my god this thing is GREAT! I can hit left and right handed no problem with this thing. I am still shocked. I love standing on the 25 yard line firing and seeing that big hole in the target, you just can't see em with a 9mm at all at the range. All of our deps carrying the 21, from the smallest female to the largest guy, everyone I have seen on the range can at least put out a 90% plus on their first time on the range with the 21. It really is a sweet weapon that hits like a sledgehammer.
                              "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The MARINES don't have that problem." ....Ronald Reagan

                              Comment

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