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Thread: 9mm or .45 cal?

  1. #1
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    9mm or .45 cal?

    Hi everyone

    i currently open carry a SW9VE (smith and wesson 9mil) but i want to transition over to a 45 cal. yet, i was talking to a friend of mine and they said that that would be a bad idea due to the fact of having rounds going threw walls and possibly hitting an innocent bystander, thats of course if you miss your target. so im curious, am i just looking too much into it, should i just stick with my SW9VE, or upgrade to a 45???

    thank you and god bless

  2. #2
    Regular Member Walt_Kowalski's Avatar
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    Either round (9mm or .45) has the possibility of over penetration, either thru bad guy, or wall.
    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good"
    -- George Washington

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    Regular Member The Wolfhound's Avatar
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    At the risk of starting a "caliber war"....

    9mm is more likely to over penetrate than .45ACP. Modern good quality expanding ammunition redues this risk in both 9mm and .45ACP. There are difference in the behavior of both rounds but over penetration of .45ACP is not one I ever hear voiced. Both are good for defense and shot placement is the determining factor of success. I feel that .45 gives a little greater margin for error with shot placement so it is my choice. I shoot it well so I am comfortable with it.

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    Ok, I'm going to assume that you are a new shooter since you are asking this. First of all, as far as your friend's comment is concerned, it really doesn't matter what caliber you use as far as wall penetration goes because if you miss your target, most rounds that are currently in production (regardless of caliber) are going to penetrate through wallboard. The exception is frangible rounds. Caliber makes no difference. The most important factor when it comes to defensive shooting is to hit your target in a vital area (center mass, head, groin), not the caliber used. The differences in performance for modern defensive ammunition (Speer gold dot, Federal HST, Fed Tactical, Remington Golden Saber/GS Bonded, Winchester Ranger T or Bonded, Win PDX, Hornady, Corbon, etc) is not even worth considering on the civilian side provided you make good hits. In most cases, you aren't going to be shooting through car doors, etc and auto glass. Choose a sidearm in a caliber you can control and use any of the premium defensive loads that will function in your weapon. Even older designed defensive ammunition will get the job done provided you do your part. Try not to get all caught up in the caliber debate. You are wasting your time and energy doing that.

    Also, please don't take this the wrong way. If you new to shooting, you may want to find yourself a competent instructor and get some training in the proper use of firearms. A competent instructor will get you started out on the right foot. You really don't want to be carrying a firearm unless you've had some type of proper training. Its more of a liability issue because what you don't know CAN get you in a lot of trouble legally. Nobody wants that. Carrying a firearm is a huge responsibility and its definitely your right to be able to defend yourself. Nobody wants to ever be in a shooting situation, but in today's society, you never know so get some training.

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    I found this very intersting:

    Relevant part from the 7:55 mark on:






  6. #6
    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LRS76251 View Post
    If you new to shooting, you may want to find yourself a competent instructor and get some training in the proper use of firearms. A competent instructor will get you started out on the right foot. You really don't want to be carrying a firearm unless you've had some type of proper training. Its more of a liability issue because what you don't know CAN get you in a lot of trouble legally. Nobody wants that. Carrying a firearm is a huge responsibility and its definitely your right to be able to defend yourself. Nobody wants to ever be in a shooting situation, but in today's society, you never know so get some training.
    +1 Very well stated.
    James Reynolds

    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor - Pistol, Shotgun, Home Firearms Safety, Refuse To Be A Victim
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    Instructor Bio - http://proactiveshooters.com/about-us/

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by LRS76251 View Post
    If you new to shooting, you may want to find yourself a competent instructor and get some training in the proper use of firearms.
    Define "proper".
    A competent instructor will get you started out on the right foot.
    Define "competent".
    You really don't want to be carrying a firearm unless you've had some type of proper training.
    No more than you'd want to drive an automobile without having some kind of introduction to its basics, but hundreds of thousands of people out there have licenses who don't deserve them and then there are others who don't have licenses and drive just fine.

    Fortunately the law diverges from your opinion, unless within that opinion you consider "proper" and "competent" to mean anyone who can teach you the FOUR RULES and how to pull the trigger. Everything after that is mechanics.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

  8. #8
    Regular Member DocWalker's Avatar
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    I usally carry a 45 ACP but when I dress up to go out with the wife I sometimes carry a 40 cal or if I want to use a triple retention holster for the close crowded situations.

    Personnally I like the 45 ACP round but my Taurus 40 cal 24/7 is the best most accurate pistol I have, this includes my Springfield 40 XD. I personnally like the take down power of the 45 ACP and have had patients still fighting treatment with 4-5 9mm rounds in them.

    A lot of Police departments went from 357 or 38 special rounds to the 9mm and found them to not have the take down power needed for some enraged perp. This has made most departments go to the 40 cal or back to the 357 or 45 rounds. The US military went from the 38 special and 45 ACP to the 9mm due to the NATO rounds but also found them not sufficient for stopping the enemy. Most your special ops and services are going back to the 45 ACP round with contracts to buy Kimber 45's.

    I have about 4 9mm (two are S&W 5904's I bought from the Washington St. Patrol when they went to the 40 Cal) but only use them for target practice.

    Personnally you will have to decide what caliaber and type of pistol to carry that is comfortable and reliable for YOU.

    The other consideration is the rounds you carry as they make a big difference in stopping power, how the gun handles, and effectivness of your protection.

    It is all about what you feel comfortable with.
    Last edited by DocWalker; 11-03-2011 at 12:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wylde007 View Post
    Define "proper".Define "competent".No more than you'd want to drive an automobile without having some kind of introduction to its basics, but hundreds of thousands of people out there have licenses who don't deserve them and then there are others who don't have licenses and drive just fine.

    Fortunately the law diverges from your opinion, unless within that opinion you consider "proper" and "competent" to mean anyone who can teach you the FOUR RULES and how to pull the trigger. Everything after that is mechanics.


    I think you totally missed the entire point of the suggestion in the last paragraph. The point is that there is a lot more to carrying a firearm responsibly than just strapping it on. There are legal issues, tactics, and a whole myriad of other things involved with carrying a firearm for defense. My suggestion was for the OP to get training from individuals with specific expertise in the various aspects of defensive firearms use. Talk to attorney and get educated on the legal aspects, get firearms training and defensive tactics/retention training from someone who is certified to teach those skills, and then formulate a plan for what you will do if you ever do have to use your firearm in a defensive situation based on your attorney's advice. If you are going to carry, you need to understand the "why" behind the tactics. Sure, its not legally required to get training, but honestly, IMHO its foolish to not do so. This is totally not about rights....its about educating yourself and making sure you receive correct information so you can make an informed decision. We all know that we have the right to keep and bear arms...not debating that. However, with that being said, a sidearm shouldn't be worn as a political showpiece. If you are carrying just because you can, you don't understand the "why". If you have it, you need to know how, when and more importantly, when not to use it. There is a lot more than just the four rules and how to squeeze a trigger. Anyone can learn how to do that. Anyways, this is starting to get off track.

    As stated earlier, (to the OP) choose a firearm you can control and use any of the currently made hollowpoint rounds that will run in your gun. You may need to buy several boxes of each so you can function test them at the range to see if they will feed in your pistol. Keep testing them until you find a brand that will run consistently. Your 9 is fine for now provided you can control it. Other than that, get some training, and practice, practice, practice!! Have fun!!

  10. #10
    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by LRS76251 View Post
    Sure, its not legally required to get training, but honestly, IMHO its foolish to not do so.
    I didn't say it wasn't a good idea, I questioned your use of "proper" and "competent" in this context.
    This is totally not about rights... it's about educating yourself and making sure you receive correct information so you can make an informed decision.
    Indeed it is, but I can get valid and useful education from lots of sources.
    However, with that being said, a sidearm shouldn't be worn as a political showpiece.
    Opinion.
    There is a lot more than just the four rules and how to squeeze a trigger.
    But those are the important parts.

    Should someone who has never taken, let's say, a Certified NRA Training Course, LESS qualified to carry a firearm than someone who has? Not necessarily.

    I only wanted to clarify that implying someone who has taken a formal class does not make them more responsible, wiser or capable. Can it be helpful? Sure. For some. Should it be a requirement? Absolutely not, because rights are absolute and the should be exercised absolutely, otherwise they are just privileges.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

  11. #11
    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    Wow, Dude, I think you are blowing this way out of proportion. (Yes I understand I am putting my toes out there to be stepped on. ) To my recollection he never said anything about training being a requirment for Carry, nor do I believe I saw anything about someone being less qualified etc. What I saw was an honest opinion for someone to take the initiative to educate themselves for their own protection legally and to be better prepared if they ever do need to use their firearm. For reference here is the statement you take issue with.

    Quote Originally Posted by LRS76251 View Post
    Snip....

    Also, please don't take this the wrong way. If you new to shooting, you may want to find yourself a competent instructor and get some training in the proper use of firearms. A competent instructor will get you started out on the right foot. You really don't want to be carrying a firearm unless you've had some type of proper training. Its more of a liability issue because what you don't know CAN get you in a lot of trouble legally. Nobody wants that. Carrying a firearm is a huge responsibility and its definitely your right to be able to defend yourself. Nobody wants to ever be in a shooting situation, but in today's society, you never know so get some training.
    Proper: as opposed to improper
    Competent: as opposed to incompetent.

    I am poking at you a little bit, sure, but all in good humor.

    IMHO these words were used innocently as to imply that one would be better off to maybe spend some extra money for better training instead of a 15 minute online course just to say "I took training" and not be lying. Not that more money always means better training in case you wanted to argue that too. His gist was that one can get into trouble legally without ever using a firearm so he suggested getting better educated.

    And just to make sure we are clear...
    Better: subjective; as opposed to worse.



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    "A Right Un-exercised is a Right Lost"

    "According to the law, [openly carrying] in a vehicle is against the law if the weapon is concealed" -Flamethrower (think about it....)

    Carrying an XDm 9mm with Hornady Critical Defense hollowpoint. Soon to be carrying a Ruger along with it....

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Cool Last thing I'll say:

    You know what they call a guy who graduates last in his class at medical school?

    Doctor.

    I was hoping that even coming from a "NRA Certified Instructor" that he wasn't implying "proper" or "competent" to be necessarily reliant on "certified".
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    915darling:

    I think your present 9mm handgun is more than sufficient for self-defense.

    I have carried 9mm, .45 ACP, and .40 S&W for self defense and feel equally confident with either of them.

    Currently, I carry a Taurus PT740 Slim .40 S&W due to it's compact size and slim design, and for the fact that a majority of law enforcement agencies across the country now carry .40 caliber service handguns.
    Proud Veteran ~ U.S. Army / Army Reserve

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    Regular Member scouser's Avatar
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    My opinion is to carry what you can use accurately and can quickly get back on target after each shot. A 45 is useless if you miss and then need 5 seconds to aim it again because you couldn't handle the recoil. If you can hit first time with the 45 and get on target again in the time it takes for the trigger to reset then it's not useless.
    Best thing is to practice with what you're interested in carrying. Rent several guns at a range and see which one gives you the best result, your best result may be with something different than your friend's best result which, in turn, may be different from mine. You may also want to take into account the different costs of various caliber ammunition and decide if you can afford the cost of 45 vs 9 for practising, as well as the capacity of the different magazines. For instance one of my guns is a compact 9mm that holds 14 rounds, a similar sized 45 might hold 6, 7 or 8 rounds. Can you stop a threat with 7 shots, or do you think you may need more before you have to reload?
    Only you know the answer to all of the above

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    I'm beginning to think that some folks want to argue just for the sake of arguing. You are arguing over semantics and are taking the topic off course, intended or not intended. Anyways, the point is still being missed. Hopefully the OP gets it as well as anyone else who reads this thread. Baked on Grease definitely understood what I was saying. No, its got nothing to do with taking a course from a NRA certified instructor. There are lots of great competent instructors out there, as well as competent attorneys. All you have to do is take some initiative and find one. Nobody said it was legally required to get training; however, it is highly recommended that anyone who owns a firearm and especially, anyone who carries a firearm for defense, educate themselves about the proper use and deployment of firearms. That's it. No more, no less.

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    Regular Member riverrat10k's Avatar
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    Just shoot once a month and clean your guns. If you don't blow a hole in yourself, you will do fine.

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    Regular Member mk4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LRS76251 View Post
    I'm beginning to think that some folks want to argue just for the sake of arguing. You are arguing over semantics and are taking the topic off course, intended or not intended. Anyways, the point is still being missed. Hopefully the OP gets it as well as anyone else who reads this thread. Baked on Grease definitely understood what I was saying. No, its got nothing to do with taking a course from a NRA certified instructor. There are lots of great competent instructors out there, as well as competent attorneys. All you have to do is take some initiative and find one. Nobody said it was legally required to get training; however, it is highly recommended that anyone who owns a firearm and especially, anyone who carries a firearm for defense, educate themselves about the proper use and deployment of firearms. That's it. No more, no less.
    Agree! It's the *responsible* thing to do.
    Having and exercising a right does not preclude the responsibility that comes with the right. Education is key.

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    Regular Member mk4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat10k View Post
    Just shoot once a month and clean your guns. If you don't blow a hole in yourself, you will do fine.
    Kinda Darwinian.
    Hee!

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    I have shot and carried .45 ACP my entire life.

  20. #20
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    http://www.policeone.com/police-prod...ng-for-police/

    snip:
    One large agency’s officers scored a gunfight hit rate of just 11 percent during a 10-year period I analyzed. That’s a staggering statistic, but another number was even more shocking. Though the sample was admittedly small, the bad guys in those incidents also scored an 11 percent hit rate.

    Their Academy Commander summed it up perfectly: “My officers get a hundred hours of firearms training in the academy and quarterly qualifications thereafter, but are hitting at the same rate as felons with no formal training? We should save all the ammunition, because our training program seems to be worthless


    For most SD situations the caliber used isn't going to have as much bearing on the out come as how it was used.
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


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    "A 45 is useless if you miss and then need 5 seconds to aim it again because you couldn't handle the recoil"....

    Again, with the interweb mythology. - If you move up to a real caliber like the .45, you'll find something of a reduction in felt recoil, not an increase.
    .45 Doesnt over-penetrate any more, or less, than any other caliber. You can send .22 and .25 rounds through almost any wall in your house if you miss. Best idea- regardless of caliber= practice, practice, practice, until "miss" becomes a less likely concern.

    And no, hollow-points wont make the round (in any caliber) less likely to overpenetrate non-human/organic materials. HP expands in flesh, and in fluids, in sheetrock, wood, glass, metal and the like it usually clogs up, and becomes what? Hardball. At which point it continues on it's merry old way until it runs out of energy to keep going forward. When it does that is entirely outside of your control, sooo...

    As for 9 vs. .45, etc. Only thing you need to look at it is this: 100+ yrs. of proven combat reliability, world-wide. In current times- ask yourself why the military, and most police forces are trying to get as far away from 9mm as possible, as quickly as possible. Those handful of dept.s still carrying 9mm do so mostly due to budget limitations. Those that are currently issuing .40's are regretting it, and looking towards .45 or .357 Sig next chance they get.

  22. #22
    Regular Member t33j's Avatar
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    Why did it take so many posts for someone to post this link?
    http://theboxotruth.com/docs/bot1.htm

    http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/node/7866 is another fun one.

    I started by carrying 9mm, switched to mostly .45, and am about to switch back to 9mm for reasons having nothing to do with penetration.
    Last edited by t33j; 11-03-2011 at 11:25 PM.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

  23. #23
    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t33j View Post
    Why did it take so many posts for someone to post this link?
    http://theboxotruth.com/docs/bot1.htm
    I don't know...but, hey, it's never too late to do the right thing!

    Thanks for the link.
    Proud Veteran ~ U.S. Army / Army Reserve

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  25. #25
    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LRS76251 View Post
    Ok, I'm going to assume that you are a new shooter since you are asking this. First of all, as far as your friend's comment is concerned, it really doesn't matter what caliber you use as far as wall penetration goes because if you miss your target, most rounds that are currently in production (regardless of caliber) are going to penetrate through wallboard. The exception is frangible rounds. Caliber makes no difference. The most important factor when it comes to defensive shooting is to hit your target in a vital area (center mass, head, groin), not the caliber used. The differences in performance for modern defensive ammunition (Speer gold dot, Federal HST, Fed Tactical, Remington Golden Saber/GS Bonded, Winchester Ranger T or Bonded, Win PDX, Hornady, Corbon, etc) is not even worth considering on the civilian side provided you make good hits. In most cases, you aren't going to be shooting through car doors, etc and auto glass. Choose a sidearm in a caliber you can control and use any of the premium defensive loads that will function in your weapon. Even older designed defensive ammunition will get the job done provided you do your part. Try not to get all caught up in the caliber debate. You are wasting your time and energy doing that.

    Also, please don't take this the wrong way. If you new to shooting, you may want to find yourself a competent instructor and get some training in the proper use of firearms. A competent instructor will get you started out on the right foot. You really don't want to be carrying a firearm unless you've had some type of proper training. Its more of a liability issue because what you don't know CAN get you in a lot of trouble legally. Nobody wants that. Carrying a firearm is a huge responsibility and its definitely your right to be able to defend yourself. Nobody wants to ever be in a shooting situation, but in today's society, you never know so get some training.

    +10,000

    Well-put. I've been teaching since 1987 and have met more "experts" than I can count. Shot placement is EVERYTHING!
    Do you know what Israeli (MOSSAD) assassins carry? .22 cal Berettas. Think about THAT for a while and let it sink in your head.

    I'm a believer in .45 ACP and have been carrying one since 1983 whenever possible (except when we had to switch over to the 9mm Beretta in '86). As stated in another post about over-penetration... 9mm is a greater threat for that if you're shooting ball ammo, but there are self-defense rounds out there that are designed to stay inside whatever object they have been put. Frangible is a good choice for this.

    Also stated in other posts... Find a COMPETENT instructor (with references) and learn what you can. Just because someone is "NRA-CERTIFIED" doesn't mean he's the best in town. I've met some good ones and some Knuckleheads (see definition in the Virginia pages).

    If you live near me, I'll take you to the range and let YOU decide how much stuff you want to learn.

    MSC
    "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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