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Thread: What is your favorite caliber between...9mm...40..and 45? and Why?

  1. #1
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    I like and shoot all 3 calibers...with todays bullet technology, the stopping power and expansion rates place each at the top of their significance. If I had to put them in some kind of order,my preference would be...The 9mm 1st followed by the .45 then the .40 cal. because, for me, it comes down to cost and accuracy. It seems I'm most accurate with the 9mm, probably due to the soft recoil. However, when it comes to 'pure stopping power damage' give me a .45 caliber any day - then a .40 cal and then the 9mm. In truth, shot placement is everything and whichever gives you the greater advantage is the better gun for anyone; in that regard.
    Bottom line: If cost played no role in a purchase, I'd select the .45 cal simply because of what it can do. If I'm going to shoot someone...then that person is either an immediate death threat to me, or a loved one, or someone else and if that person as so little regard for another's life then I will have very little regard for theirs! When I shoot someone with a .45 cal I know I am going to do some real DAMAGE to them!
    My personal choice: the Taurus Millennium PRO-111 in .45 caliber for it's an awesome piece.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Well first off, here are the most important factors in a defensive handgun, in order of their importance:


    Reliability. It must go bang when it is suppose to. If it doesn't nothing else matters.

    Practical accuracy. This is the ability of the gun and the shooter to deliver effective rounds to target. If you cannot do this, the rest is moot.

    Power. The bullet must have the ability to reach vital tissue deep within the target, consistently and effectively.


    The handgun, the shooter, and the caliber are all important to the extent that they can answer all three of the above factors. That said, my preference in my primary carry guns is the .40S&W. I also carry, on occasion, a 9mm when I feel my immediate needs require that to be the case. Ammunition design becomes more critical as you descend the caliber latter. For my Glock 23, which is my primary carry gun, I like the Federal 165gr HST. If I am carrying my Glock 27 or my Kahr K40 Elite '98, I generally use the Federal 155gr HST.

    For my 9mm needs I like the Federal 147gr or 124gr HST in +P loadings. Or the Winchester Ranger 127gr +P+ RA9TA load.

    Here's a link to a long article you might find very interesting. Some people have taken issue with it, but it does bear consideration and is worth your time to read it.

    http://www.gunthorp.com/Terminal%20B...a%20morgue.htm


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    I have see a 5'2" 100lb woman shoot tighter groups than me (230 lb 5'11" LEO) with .45 acp.

    Dealing with recoil is 100% mental. Give me a 1911 any day.

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    Regular Member Batousaii's Avatar
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    between the three calibers...

    .45 Auto (out of my Colt 1911 Combat Commander)

    I CC the 1911... However, I OC a .45 Colt Vaquero.
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    40 s&w then 9mm then 45acp.
    Perhaps if you would use a real computer you wouldn't have to apologize for not being able to do so many things on the internet!

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    .45acp, without a doubt.

    I've seen too many people shot multiple times by 9mm's and not go down immediately.

    I've not come across a situtation where a .45 didn't do the job the first time.

    I don't have any first hand/second hand experience with .40cal shootings.

    This is not to revivethe old 9mm vs 45 war. This is just my personal observations after 15 years of law enforcement.

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    .45 ACP230 Gr.no doubt. I like a lot of power in a handgun. .40 S&W 165 Gr.then the 9MM 127 Gr. Federal HST's all around.
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
    Will Rogers

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    Funny this topic should arise, I just went throught the exact same decision process a few months back, and I chose the .40 (Springfield Armory XDm)

    I like the high capacity that most ofthe 9mm offered, but I wanted a little more then what a 9mm could offer. I like the 45ACP round for several reasons, but the offerings for a 15+ capacity were very slim in a pistol that felt good in my hand.

    So I figure my choice of .40 a decent compromise between a .45 & a 9mm, I got a high capacity pistol with better balistics than a 9mm.
    This also goes back to the old saying "There is no replacement for displacement"
    I used to carry and shoot a 4" .357, so recoil if the .40 was not an issue.

    I feel higher capacity is a better choice than single shot stopping ability when it comes to a defensive firearm.

    EDITED TO ADD:

    I fthe XDm was available in 10mm, I would have chosen that as my new pistol.


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    All things equal I'd take my my .45 (GAP), then my 9mm, then the .40 I will probably never own.

    That being said I carry 9mm almost exclusively because I shoot it well and I prefer the close to 50% higher capacity the round allows over a .45. I love my .45 GAP (but prefer it over the ACP only because of my small hands) and am often pleasently surprised at how I shoot it so that would be a close second. As for the .40, well, I've never been all that enamored with that one becauseI personally find the recoil objectionable when compared to both the 9mmand .45. I'm sure I could get used to the .40 if I chose to but because the 9mm and .45 already fit my needs I'm not all that inclined to spendmy time (and money) doing that.

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    Nutczak wrote:
    EDITED TO ADD:

    I fthe XDm was available in 10mm, I would have chosen that as my new pistol.
    I'd be the first person to pick up a 10mm XD if it were available because the .45 and 10mm offerings in my chosen brand of plastic (that "G" company) are a bit big for my comfort. I've found the grip of the XD45to bevirtually the same size as my 9mm and .45 GAP so a 10mm XD would suit my needs perfectly!

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    I thought about this a few years back and settled on the .40 S&W. I wanted something with more energy than a 9mm round, and I wanted more round capacity than any .45 handgun can offer. On top of all of that, the .40 can deliver more energy than either of the other rounds.

    I think the .40 definitely needs to be practiced with more, though. The "flip" that is unique to the round tends to throw a lot of new shooters off.

    Oh, and for anyone that wants to say "I've seen *this round* do *this*", search for the video about the South Carolina Trooper that was killed by a suspect during a traffic stop. The Trooper unloaded 6 rounds of .357 magnum into the suspect, 5 hitting center-of-mass. The suspect got off 2 rounds of .22 LR at the trooper. Both hit off center in the shoulder area. The trooper was wearing a vest rated up to .357 magnum.

    The trooper died on scene within minutes of the second shot. The .22 round passed through his arm and under his vest through his armpit, where it found his heart. The suspect, with 5 COM hits, survived. Oh, and the suspects second shot was fired from the ground, after he was hit and the trooper was reloading and trying to find cover.



    At the end of the day, you need to carry the round that you can shoot the fastest and most accurately. You should probably have a reload, a back-up, or both. More importantly than anything else, you need to stay out of trouble. The caliber of your common sense will trump any bullet, every time.

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    .45acp. Why? It has a good probability of stopping whatever you hit with it... short of a large bear or moose 'n such. I don't care much about hi-cap mags 'cause I don't intend to get into any prolonged gunfights. I do carry a pair of spare mags tho.

    The .45acp is a sledge-hammer, brutal bullet. The 1911 may be slow firing relative to 'new' technology, but it's no frills reliability is not questionable right out of the box. It is a gun/bullet comboyou could bet your life on.

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    Sy wrote:
    I like and shoot all 3 calibers...with todays bullet technology, the stopping power and expansion rates place each at the top of their significance. If I had to put them in some kind of order,my preference would be...The 9mm 1st followed by the .45 then the .40 cal. because, for me, it comes down to cost and accuracy. It seems I'm most accurate with the 9mm, probably due to the soft recoil. However, when it comes to 'pure stopping power damage' give me a .45 caliber any day - then a .40 cal and then the 9mm. In truth, shot placement is everything and whichever gives you the greater advantage is the better gun for anyone; in that regard.
    Bottom line: If cost played no role in a purchase, I'd select the .45 cal simply because of what it can do. If I'm going to shoot someone...then that person is either an immediate death threat to me, or a loved one, or someone else and if that person as so little regard for another's life then I will have very little regard for theirs! When I shoot someone with a .45 cal I know I am going to do some real DAMAGE to them!
    My personal choice: the Taurus Millennium PRO-111 in .45 caliber for it's an awesome piece.
    FYI,

    The Millenium Pro in .45ACP is offered in either the double-stack (10+1) PT145, or the single-stack (6+1) PT745. The PT111 is a 9mm. I know because I own a PT745.

    I only carry a .45ACP, either a PT745 Mil Pro or a 1911. I prefer a 1911, but the PT745 is easier to carry when trying to conceal (which SC law compels me to do).

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    Sonora Rebel wrote:
    .45acp. Why? It has a good probability of stopping whatever you hit with it... short of a large bear or moose 'n such. I don't care much about hi-cap mags 'cause I don't intend to get into any prolonged gunfights. I do carry a pair of spare mags tho.

    The .45acp is a sledge-hammer, brutal bullet. The 1911 may be slow firing relative to 'new' technology, but it's no frills reliability is not questionable right out of the box. It is a gun/bullet comboyou could bet your life on.
    For me, anything smaller than .45ACP just feels like a toy. Not that smaller calibers are toys, they just feel that way to me. I shot a G22 one day and it didn't even seem real, and that's a .40S&W.

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    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    DustoneGT wrote:
    I have see a 5'2" 100lb woman shoot tighter groups than me (230 lb 5'11" LEO) with .45 acp.

    Dealing with recoil is 100% mental. Give me a 1911 any day.
    + 2!!! AMEN, BROTHER!!!


    How and when did you meet my daughter? Actually, she's 5' and no inches, butweighs alittle more than 100 lbs.
    (don't tell her I said so), but she's pretty darn good with her .45 cal Glock 21SF...


    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
    (unknown 'gun~writer')

    Remington 1911 R1 (Back to Basics)
    SERPA retention or concealed...

    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
    (Borrowed from "The Perfect Day" by LTC Dave Grossman)

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    Sy wrote:
    I like and shoot all 3 calibers...with todays bullet technology, the stopping power and expansion rates place each at the top of their significance. If I had to put them in some kind of order,my preference would be...The 9mm 1st followed by the .45 then the .40 cal. because, for me, it comes down to cost and accuracy. It seems I'm most accurate with the 9mm, probably due to the soft recoil. However, when it comes to 'pure stopping power damage' give me a .45 caliber any day - then a .40 cal and then the 9mm. In truth, shot placement is everything and whichever gives you the greater advantage is the better gun for anyone; in that regard.
    Bottom line: If cost played no role in a purchase, I'd select the .45 cal simply because of what it can do. If I'm going to shoot someone...then that person is either an immediate death threat to me, or a loved one, or someone else and if that person as so little regard for another's life then I will have very little regard for theirs! When I shoot someone with a .45 cal I know I am going to do some real DAMAGE to them!
    My personal choice: the Taurus Millennium PRO-111 in .45 caliber for it's an awesome piece.
    Cute little thing, but, when push came up behind me, and said "Shove!", I'll take a .45 ACP.

    Bang!

    Crap! I did it again! Punched the wrong quote button. Anyhow, I vote again for a 1911 based .45 ACP ... is anyone surprised?

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    40 for me. First gun was an XDm in 40 because of all the guns I tried out, it felt the most natural for me on the range. Followed up by a USP in the same caliber.

    For me it really comes down to three major factors.

    Cost - 40 isn't the cheapest, but it's not the most expensive of the three major choices. SD rounds aren't too pricey either.

    Availablility - I've found one thing to be true over the last year, and I'm glad I lucked into this. While everyone else is trying to find ANY ammo, just go to a Walmart in a not-too-nice part of town and you will find 40. 9mm goes quick to the 'undesireable' crowd, and 45 goes to that group and the range cowboys (and those who just appreciate a big ass round like the 45.) While 9 and 45 have been nearly impossible to find in any meaningful quantities (often, anything greater than 1 is a miracle) 40 has been in stock probably 90% of the time.

    Power - Known to be the 'compromise' round between 9 and 45, I find the kick to be just right, the hole to be big enough, and with the right round (I use Speer Gold Dots in 180gr) plenty of expansion to expend the energy within my target without too much risk of overpenetration.

    Not as big a factor, but possibly still a factor, is that 40 tends to be what law enforcement carries often. When it comes to court after a justified shooting, I'll be able to safely say to the jury that I only carry and use the same thing that cops use to defend themselves. No more, no less. (Not as big an issue when compared against 9 and 45, but when you open up the other caliber options, it starts becoming plausible.)

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    .45 in a 1911. My reasonsare simple. It offers good, proven power in the round, the platform was designed around this particular round, and ergonomically, the 1911 fits my piano player hands better than most if not all autos I've owned or fired.

    Preach to me about ballistics all you will, I like the biggest round I can shoot with consistant accuracy at realistic SD distances. And for capacity, well, it's not too damned difficult to pop in a fresh magazine. Learning how to shoot a .45 and a 1911 isn't difficult at all. It's really a simple design that people try to over-complicate. Practice will grant familiarity.

    John Moses Browning was onto something when he designed it. I'm tempted to link the "Gospel of John M. Browning" but I'll spare ya'll.



    -Gruu

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    10mm hands down. Has more power than 9mm, 40, 45, or .357 mag and can shoot through light body armor up through level II-Aif a bad guy has it on. It can be used onbears too. Also, its 15+1 in a full size.

    .45 then .40 isstill a pretty good choice though for a full sizeor compact, 9mm or.380 autofor subcompact

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    DreQo wrote:
    I thought about this a few years back and settled on the .40 S&W. I wanted something with more energy than a 9mm round, and I wanted more round capacity than any .45 handgun can offer. On top of all of that, the .40 can deliver more energy than either of the other rounds.

    Amazing (and yet not surprising) that you're the only one in the thread to mention this. These things tend to turninto ".45 is so strong!!!!!""Need so much power!! .45!!!! yea!!!" No one seems to realize that .45 isn't that powerful. Even most 9mm +p rounds have more muzzle energy than standard pressure .45 ACP. In the grand scheme ofthings, the difference in"stopping power" is so miniscule as to be insignificant.



    Personally, I prefer 9mm. It's accurate and it offerswhat actuallymattersin a self-defense situation - large ammocapacity.



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    Look this ain't the True Tails Of Self Defense section, but I got SHOT in the FACE "and" the 2nd time in arm by a 9mm up close, AFTER I got shot the 1st time I killed the a-hole with 1 shot from my 45acp that hit him.

    He immediately lost half the back of his head, that made me a believer if there ever was a believer in Big is better, that was in the early 90's.

    I know I am re-hashing this fast little bullet vs big slow debate but, here goes nothing,lol.


    2 Examples of BIG bullet vs small bullet.

    1) Ask any Grizzly hunter (( I'm not I'm to scared of them , lol.)) but they say big gun, shoot big bullet, make big hole in big DEAD bear.

    2) Ask any close quarters combat vet such as Sergeant Belavia in his book "House To House" the battle of Falusa about how little bullets (( 5.65-223)) are a just a varmint round NOT a man stopper, this applies to hand guns too. That war hero shot multiple BG's in "multiple" room to room fire fights over months period of time.

    Small & fast is for little varmints, big and bad is for big &-or bad .

    Sure I have an AR and give me some time to find a rest, hold my breath and sqweeeeeeez and I will shot a Grizzly behind the eye and a Meth zombie in the fore head, but speed it up to a 5 second fire fight and make mine a 45 or a 12ga.

    To me there is more room for error if you don't shoot out the X ring ( brain box ) of a zombie with a big slug vs a tiny slug

    Now what caliber do You think I will carry the rest of my "Survivor of 9" life , Hum ?

    My "EXPERIENCE" is 9mm is for women and sub machine gun's.





  22. #22
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    well its a 45 then a 40 and never anything smallier then that.

    my carry gun is now a Glock 22 and my back up is a kimber ultra Carry 2 45

  23. #23
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    I dunno, guys. A Jihadi nutbar did some pretty serious killing with a 5.7 mm round a few days ago, as I remember....

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    I have all three calibers and more, but I carry a SIG P-229 in .357 SIG. Why?
    1. Its like firing a heavy 9mm bullet (125 grain) at high velocity.
    2. More foot-lbs downrange than 9mm, .40 or .45.
    3. Ammo feeds reliably, particularly with the bottle neck cartridge.
    4. High velocity gives good penetration and helps ensure reliable hollow point performance.
    5. Same gun and caliber used by the VA State Police and quite a few federal, state and local agencies.
    6. Ammo availability, while not as good as a couple of years ago, is still acceptable.
    7. Ammo cost is much higher for the .357 SIG, unfortunately. I also have .40 and 9mm barrels for the P-229 so I can use any of the 3 calibers for range or defensive use. Things will have to get really bad for all 3 calibers to become impossible to get.
    8. Ability to shoot 9mm, .40 and .357 SIG from the same gun keeps practice costs down and adds flexibility.

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    Too much testosterone in this thread....

    I have personally killed animals from a ~1000lb cow on down with a .22lr. Plenty of people have died in 1 shot stops with a .22lr. Ifsomeone thinks thatthey survived a 9mm to the face because of anything else than good luck and poor shot placement,they live in a fantasy land. The same goes for believing that the 5.56 is not a man stopper.

    What I carry is based on my clothing and what is more easily concealed. I carry 9mm, .40 and .45 depending on the circumstances. I am adequately armed with any of the 3.I do not need to rely on a larger bullet in a futile attempt to make up for poor shot placement...



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