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Is the 9mm not an effective caliber?

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  • Is the 9mm not an effective caliber?

    • When I was a police explorer at my local police department, my fellow explorers and the officers there ended up having a conversation about what kind of caliber handguns they use. To my surprise, all of the officers said they used either .40sw or .45acp. When I asked why they didn't use 9mm, they all said it was because it was too small and did not have enough stopping power to be an effective round. Do you agree?

  • #2
    The FBI has one of the most comprehensive ballistics lab that tests calibers under an exhaustive list of parameters. They have determined the 9mm to be a more than capable round. The 9mm has gone through many technological changes to adapt to modern shooting today.

    Like other calibers, 9mm is readily available in pressures like 9mm +P and 9mm +P+.

    Also like other calibers, some people will criticize the round. .38, .357, .40, .45 etc all have their supporters and critics based on experience, training, and opinion.

    Reasons why the 9mm is not universally standard across all agencies comes down to contracts, budgets, and influence of officials.

    Long story short: yes it is a capable round and in my experience with more calibers than I can count, it is one that I use for duty and off duty carry.

    Comment


    • #3
      Civilian Perspective:

      The stopping power argument is fairly debunked at this point. Years ago yeah, but the modern 9mm is just as lethal as the other 2 rounds in your original post. Pros of 9mm: Cheaper, 9mm magazines across the board carry more, easier for people to train on, most common round across the U.S. Cons of 9mm: In gel tests it has a tendency to over penetrate compared to a .45acp round. TLDR version if someone gets hit center mass by 9mm round they're toast. Shot placement is more important than the whole stopping power argument when it comes to 9mm vs 45.

      I conceal carry a .45acp, if everything went to poop I would rather have a 9mm.

      Comment


      • #4
        1995: 9mm is not effective. Here's your new .40S&W.

        2005: .40S&W has too many case failures. Here's your new .357 Sig.

        2020: .357 Sig ammo costs twice as much as 9mm. Here's your new 9mm.

        What does not kill you will likely try again.

        Comment


        • #5
          Anyone who says the 9mm is inadequate compared to other pistol rounds doesn’t know what they’re talking about. The “stopping power” argument is a baseless premise that is used to sell ammunition on YouTube and sell guns by Bubba in his gun store. The instant that someone uses “stopping power” as an argument, or makes any reference to kinetic energy (KE) transfer/temporary stretch cavity causing wounding from a pistol round, you should immediately ignore anything they try to pass off as fact. Extensive testing by numerous groups ranging from FBI BRF and IWBA to Crane/NSWC, SOCOM and LAPD have yielded data that debunks KE transfer as a wounding factor for pistol rounds. KE transfer is generally what people are referring to when they say “knockdown power” or “stopping power”. It’s treated like some sort of scientific magic that blasts people off their feet like an 80’s action movie. The fact of the matter is that pistol rounds only wound by wound channel, also known as the permanent crush cavity. The FBI Ballistic Research Facility is the chief source of expertise in this area, and they set the national standard for ballistic protocols. There is extensive data that points to the 9mm being sufficient and no less capable than a larger caliber like .40 or .45. What’s more, the 9mm penetrates to the same or greater degree as those rounds, and the expanded projectiles are only slightly smaller.

          My agency has a long list of successful OIS’s with 9mm.

          Also, anyone who refers to the 9mm as garbage and uses the military FMJ BALL ammo from the M9 pistol as an example, make them show their work. Make the reference an actual event where they shot someone and the round failed to stop the suspect. Also demand the medical data as to where the round(s) hit and from what range. Every military person I’ve talked to (including those I talked to when I was in the Army for 8 years) propagated this BS, and they all referred to second-hand or third-hand information or “general knowledge”, which means it’s all folklore and BS.
          "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
          -John Adams


          Disclaimer: My statements are personal opinions, and in no way reflect those of my agency.

          Comment


          • #6
            The SAS didn’t seem to have any issues with the 9...and they’ve probably dusted more bad guys with them than most wannabes combined.
            Now go home and get your shine box!

            Comment


            • #7
              As law enforcement adopted seniautomatic handguns in the 1980's, 9mm and .45 were the only viable choices. For a variety of reasons such as magazine capacity and size of handguns, most went with 9mm. Ammunition capability was less developed at that time and some agencies had failures to stop which were attributed, rightly or wrongly, to caliber. In 1986, the "FBI Miami shootout" resulted in the deaths of two special agents and injury to five others. This tragedy was attributed to supposed failure of the 9mm round.

              The Bureau looked for other alternatives and decided on the 10mm cartridge. This resulted in pistols with large frames and limited magazine capacity. It resulted in development of the .40 which became standard among many agencies and seemed to split the difference between calibers.

              As time went on, shortcomings with .40 ammunition and pistols was noted. The .40 produces sharper recoil and is somewhat harder on pistols. While a .40 pistol will likely last for years, its service life won't be as long as the same pistol in 9mm in most cases. The .40 also has a lower magazine capacity and ammunition costs are higher.

              Technology marched on. Ammunition companies developed better ammunition of all calibers. The 9mm round of 2020 can be much more effective than it was in 1986. The FBI BRF studies showed that while higher calibers might be more effective, the difference in calibers was somewhat minimal. These developments started the trend back to 9mm.
              John from Maryland

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Crossroads King View Post
                Do you agree?
                Nobody I've shot, with 9mm ball, ever stood back up and complained.

                All handguns are weak and ineffective. They all are compromises between effectiveness, cost and convenience. It is highly improbable than anyone who has died with a 9mm in their hand (or .38) would have lived had they a .45 instead... it is absolute certainty that people have died with pistols in their hand that would have lived had they a rifle or shotgun instead.

                There just isn't that much difference in effectiveness between service pistol rounds, and arguing about it is effectively re-arranging deck chairs on the sinking Titanic that is the ineffectiveness of all sidearms.
                Last edited by tanksoldier; 07-06-2020, 04:07 PM.
                "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

                Comment


                • #9
                  Shot placement is king. I've personally seen 124 +p gold dots drop a fool like the hammer of Thor. I have supreme confidence that the 9mm ammo we carry will do its job if I do mine and put the pill where it needs to go.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I can do the same thing with a well placed .22.
                    Now go home and get your shine box!

                    Comment


                    • SHU
                      SHU commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I'd rather get shot with a 9mm than have a .22 dart around in my body.

                  • #11
                    All typical 9mm/.40S&W/.357Sig/.45ACP loads are relatively impotent, compared to center fire long guns. It's not like on TV, where a bad guy gets hit by one round, instantly flies backwards through the air, and lands on the ground dead. Im real life, many bad people who have been shot, even those who have been shot fatally, continue to do bad things for a considerable period of time. That's why we carry so much ammo on our duty belt, and that's why we keep shooting until the threat is stopped.

                    Colonel Jeff Cooper said that the purpose of a pistol is to fight your way to your long gun. Even a hand cannon firing the legendary .44 Magnum, is a relative pipsqueak compared to even intermediate-power .22-caliber rifles chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO.
                    Last edited by Aidokea; 07-07-2020, 01:12 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by tanksoldier View Post
                      All handguns are weak and ineffective. They all are compromises between effectiveness, cost and convenience. It is highly improbable than anyone who has died with a 9mm in their hand (or .38) would have lived had they a .45 instead... it is absolute certainty that people have died with pistols in their hand that would have lived had they a rifle or shotgun instead.

                      There just isn't that much difference in effectiveness between service pistol rounds, and arguing about it is effectively re-arranging deck chairs on the sinking Titanic that is the ineffectiveness of all sidearms.
                      Yup.

                      The only thing that traditional handguns have going for them, is that they are more convenient to carry around when you're not shooting, as compared to a long gun.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        OP, watch the video of LAPD officer Toni McBride's recent shooting in this thread:

                        https://forum.officer.com/forum/offi...r-with-a-knife

                        Officer McBride has a MASSIVE amount of high-performance firearms training above and beyond what the LAPD gave her- she can shoot.

                        The offender advanced on her with a knife in his hand, ignoring her commands at gunpoint to drop the knife. Once he closed to within about 21 feet, she fired two rounds. The offender fell down, but immediately got back up, still moving in her direction. She fired two more rounds. He fell down again, but tried to get back up again. She then fired two more rounds, one of which was a brain shot, ending the fight.

                        Comment


                        • Aidokea
                          Aidokea commented
                          Editing a comment
                          He was advancing on her with the knife in his hand, even after being shot twice...

                        • Levithane
                          Levithane commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Which is a sensible conclusion, based on that observation he was a threat. The non sensible conclusion is that he posed no threat despite still holding the knife after being told multiple times to drop it, and tried getting up after being shot. My confusion stems from the fact people are in the mindset that someone approaching with a knife isn't a threat in anyway (Ie the ones opposed to the action she took).

                        • Aidokea
                          Aidokea commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Dennis Tueller was the instructor for my Glock factory armorer class.

                        • Bighead
                          Bighead commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I think one problem is that video can cause issues with perception of distance. I would like to see the scene measurements, because I'm willing to bet the suspect was closer than he appears on video.

                      • #14
                        Here is a link to the FBI's justification for returning to 9mm in 2015.

                        Basically, all handgun rounds suck. The extremely limited performance advantage you might get out of .40 or .45 isn't worth what you give up in magazine capacity, shootability, and ability to train more because of lower ammunition cost.

                        http://looserounds.com/2014/09/21/fb...ning-division/
                        "A fanatic is one who won't change his mind, and won't change the subject." -Winston Churchill

                        "I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." -Will Rogers

                        "To desire to save these wolves in society may arise from benevolence, but it must be the benevolence of a child or a fool" -Henry Fielding

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Originally posted by Ratatatat View Post
                          1995: 9mm is not effective. Here's your new .40S&W.

                          2005: .40S&W has too many case failures. Here's your new .357 Sig.

                          2020: .357 Sig ammo costs twice as much as 9mm. Here's your new 9mm.
                          That sounds familiar.

                          My first PD actually issued me a Smith & Wesson Model 10 in .38 Special. I bought my own Smith & Wesson Model 66 .357 Magnum for the PD I worked at for almost 11 years. At some point, they authorized semi-automatic pistols and I bought a Smith & Wesson 5906 in 9 mm.

                          I went to a sheriff's office in 1993 and they were preparing to switch to county sidearms. I was issued a Glock Model 22 in .40 S&W.

                          I retired and went to a quasi-federal agency as a retirement job. They issued me a Glock Model 21SF in .45ACP. Before I retired from there, we switched to 9mm!

                          Comment

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