What`s your favorite auto-load handgun caliber and Why?


October 28, 2007, 01:51 AM
I`ve created a poll on another thread but the thread is not very interesting so I thought I`d try this way. Just give us your fav. and a quick explanation as to why. Is it comfort, ballistics, cost, effectivness, all around and overall, etc., etc.

I`m really interested in the popularity of the different calibers and people`s thoughts on their favorites. Curiousity.

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October 28, 2007, 01:58 AM
.45 ACP: Hits hard, subsonic usually, somewhat low flash and easy to manage recoil. good selection of firearms and ammo.

In before the poll ;p

October 28, 2007, 02:06 AM
9mm, for extended range sessions and trainning cause of price, also there have been many advancements in handgun ammo especially in the 9mm so therefore there are some very good performers in that caliber, it is a less expensive do all caliber.

October 28, 2007, 02:10 AM
.45 Automatic chambered in a Government Model made by Colt.

October 28, 2007, 02:11 AM
9mm. Why? Because it will do everything that I need it to do in a variety of different sized handguns ranging from tiny sub-compacts to large full-size models.

October 28, 2007, 02:30 AM
.40 S&W.

Best of both worlds.

October 28, 2007, 02:45 AM
10mm Auto

Delivers more energy to the target at a higher velocity than a .45ACP round, and you get more capacity also.

October 28, 2007, 02:45 AM
Mine is the .40 S@W because yeah, best of both worlds. Faster and more energy than the others in it`s class. $250.00 per thousand of great ammo, Oh and dropped a nanny in it`s tracks at about 35 yards hahaha Who? Not Me just a few hours ago.Nope:):uhoh:

October 28, 2007, 03:39 AM
For collecting 9mm many good pistols built in this caliber spanning about 100 years of history and development.

For hunting a 10mm shoots flat and hits hard, with handloads or custom loads it compares well to a .357 magnum or .41 magnum but in a semi auto holding more rounds and with less felt recoil than a comparable revolver.:D

For plinking and pure nostalgia .45ACP 1911 or 1911A1 USGI its a nice shooting not a sharp recoiling caliber one that women and people with both large and small hands seem to do well with it even youngsters.
The .45 ACP can also be a tack driver and is a joy to handload unlike some calibers.

October 28, 2007, 03:51 AM
40 S&W

-not expensive
-low recoil
-hi cap mags
-small frame
-can buy ammo everywhere
-huge range of ammo from very fast 135 gr to very powerful 200gr

for home protection and carry in town
40 S&W 135gr Nosler JHP
Ballistics : 135gr. @ 1375fps / 567 ft/lbs- Glock 23 (4.0"bbl)

for woods carry
40 S&W 200gr. WFNGC
Ballistics : 200gr. @ 1050fps / 490 ft/lbs- Glock 23 (4.0"bbl)

-quick barrel change to 357-sig
-easy to reload
-ton of gun choices
-ton of ammo choices

October 28, 2007, 03:54 AM
.45 ACP is my round of choice. Hits like a freight train and is a fav for suppressed weapons. I like the history too.

.40 S&W is a close second. Best of .45 and 9mm.

9mm is my third choice. Many rounds in a small space with comparatively low recoil. My carry weapon is a 9mm.

I'd like to try out 10mm. I'll probably get one one of these days.


October 28, 2007, 03:58 AM
Also, a big plus for the 10mm is conversion to .40S&W and .357SIG is quite easy in most cases. Just swap the barrel and magazines (and maybe some other small parts) and you can shoot all three calibers.

October 28, 2007, 06:27 AM
9mm Luger. It's effective, accurate, cheap and can be found chambered in almost every semi-auto in the world.

October 28, 2007, 07:32 AM
Since I'm a cheap a$$ reloader, I like the 9mm luger, but not to cheap since I only shoot jacketed bullets:D 45ACP is my fav, but I shoot and carry 9mm.

Ala Dan
October 28, 2007, 09:41 AM
Reason? Its kind'a like me-

BIG - FAT - and SLOW

Plus, in my hands its deadly accurate~!

October 28, 2007, 09:54 AM
i would have to say a 45. glock for 3 reasons. 1 it is simple. 2 it looks cool. 3 it is a 45.

keyboard commando
October 28, 2007, 10:02 AM
.45 ACP

"Reason? Its kind'a like me-

BIG - FAT - and SLOW

Plus, in my hands its deadly accurate~!"
:what:Me too Ala Dan.Beside that you don't have to worry about the bullet expanding to make a big hole.:evil:Anybody ever seen a 230 grain FMG shrink?:neener:

October 28, 2007, 10:16 AM
10MM is my fav,much love for 9MM and .45 acp but 135@1600 or 180 @1275 10MM kicks @$$

The Lone Haranguer
October 28, 2007, 10:30 AM
Other than the sheer cost of it, I like the .45 Auto. It has a "push/slow roll" recoil that I find more pleasant than the "snappy" .40 and makes nice big holes. But my favoritest is the 9mm Luger. "Blastin'" ammo is much cheaper which allows me to shoot more, it is adequately effective in a JHP loading, and fits better (and more of them) and has light recoil in smaller guns.

October 28, 2007, 10:33 AM
Ala Dan read my mind on this one. Big, Fat, Slow.

Low pressure round. Heavy bullet with good knock down power. Chambered in the greatest fighting hangun ever designed. The 1911.

In real life without ear plugs the low boom is not as hard on the ears and your hearing recovers more quickly than it does from the high pressure crack of other smaller diameter rounds.

If there was no .45, I could live with the XD in .40, or a Smith in .44 Spl.

October 28, 2007, 12:54 PM
Big, Fat, Slow.

Thats funny right there.

October 28, 2007, 01:05 PM
.45acp, i like the recoil from it better then any other cartridge.

October 28, 2007, 01:45 PM

Without doubt it is my Beretta Px4 40cal, based on her 5300 rounds of flawless operation to date.

45 cal would be next, but all of mine are limited to either 8 or 9 rounds as opposed to Beretta's thin, yet double-stack mag capacity, legally, of 10+1 round count.

Accuracy, followup shots, punch, and the guns forgiveness in recoil in both 2-hand shooting and one-hand shots (if necessary) without fail, no matter the angle, or continued rapid shots if necessary. All possible IMO, due the the ease of fast, quick, disassembly, inspection, cleaning (of less moving parts) and reassembly is a joy.

Final reason is its overall narrowness, mid-full size length, and its lightweight, yet balanced, point to aim, CCW ability with all day comfort.


October 28, 2007, 01:56 PM
Gotta like that large bore look.

October 28, 2007, 02:38 PM
.357 Sig? Love it, but need to buy ammo in bulk for price break. Love .45, .44 magnum, 500 S&W, and .357 magnum just because I do.

October 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
9mm or .45ACP

October 28, 2007, 04:59 PM
40S&W for me. Easy and economical to handload, and more than accurate enough for me (especially at the subsonic velocities that I load to).

October 28, 2007, 05:21 PM
9mm cheapest range ammo and you can still sometimes get surplus nato spec 9mm for cheap.
For SD 357 magnum or 45 acp.

October 28, 2007, 05:25 PM
.40 S@W hands down. Da best handgun caliber ever made. More speed and power than it`s nearest competetitors. Great all around caliber for near and for. Great selection of grain and type. Will eventually take the market once people use it.

October 28, 2007, 06:06 PM
Glock 23 in .40 S&W.

Why: It's about compromise. Because I actually prefer the .45acp round, but the Glock 21/30 is too big for my hands and I don't favor the G36. (And, I think the 1911 is still the ideal platform for the .45acp.) Back to the point, the .40 is a compromise of the .45acp caliber and the 9mm handgun size/capacity.

I find a caliber will have different performance characteristics in different gun platforms. I think the Glock 19 is the near perfect launch vehicle for the 9mm, and same for the Glock 23 in .40, though comparably less so. But, I prefer the .40 over the 9mm, so Glock 23. That's me.

Often, my caliber decision decides my gun purchase. So, I choose .40 because I chose the Glock 23, and I chose the Glock 23 because I chose the .40. If money (for range ammo) was no object and grip/gun size was similar, I'd likely swing .45acp. But, it's not, so a Glock 23 in .40 for me. As I have 9mm conversion barrel for my Glock 23 it's the best of both worlds IMHO. Cheap 9mm range ammo and .40 for carry/HD.

However, if I chose a carry-only sub-compact gun (like the Glock 26), then 9mm hands-down. .40 is no fun for me in the minis (owned a Glock 27). Since I looked for a compromise in carry size AND shooting ability, it's the Glock 23.

All that being said, the Glock 17 is my favorite shooting gun ever, but it's too big for my (smaller) frame to carry. My answer is not absolute, but situational. I think each caliber has a fit depending on criteria of application.

If I had to choose only one caliber and gun, and only one, for life, and with only stock parts, then the 9mm (Glock 17) because super cheap ammo and parts will always be around and recoil is never a concern.

October 28, 2007, 06:08 PM
Far an auto loader it's got to be a .45ACP for most uses. I like the 9MM too but the .45 is much more versatile. Accurate, good for self defense and most people can handle the recoil easily. With the right gun and load, it can work for some big game at moderate ranges. Factory ammo available most all places and it's easy to reload. Can't ask for much more.

October 28, 2007, 06:15 PM
I prefer a .40 S&W and I prefer to carry it in an HK P2000 or a P2000sk. Unfortunately my state does not trust the peasants with guns so we cannot carry.

October 28, 2007, 06:18 PM
i love my .45's, but I like 9mm because I get to shoot more.

Ed Ames
October 28, 2007, 06:40 PM
WHAT?!?! You didn't say what it was for... :D .22LR is cheap to shoot a lot, accurate, fun, relaxing to shoot, great practice, a wonderful way to introduce new shooters to "real" shooting. $10 worth of ammo will keep me shooting for hours and, especially if you mix in some centerfire shooting it's a great way to practice without building up bad habits.

I can see not having a 9mm, I can see not having a .45, I can certainly see not having a .25ACP or .357 SIG, but not having a .22? Inconceivable. ;)

Seven For Sure
October 28, 2007, 08:47 PM

.357 magnum
October 28, 2007, 09:12 PM
.45acp -All the Way! Great Stopper, easy to shoot, more good defensive ammo choices then the 9mm. It is too bad it is so darn expensive to shoot!:( It is causing me a big hole in the wallet! :eek:That is why I shoot my second favorite caliber quite a bit too, the 9mm....A Very good defensive round--and very easy to shoot.:)

The Best to All!


PS-Nothing as Nice a a .45 with a Hi-Cap mag---Gotta Love it!!

October 29, 2007, 08:42 AM
.45 ACP . Easy to shoot and reload.

October 29, 2007, 10:14 AM
I shoot a .380, 9mm, and .40 S & W. I actually like them all. The .380 comes in the best concealable pistol. It would be my choice of carry should I want to conceal my weapon. the 9mm seems to be the most accurate and latest. I like it for competitive shooting. The .40 S & W hits hard and I like the "live" feeling the pistol gives you as it jumps around in your hand.

In the spirirt of the thread, I'll list them in order of preference.

#1 9mm

#2 40 S & W

#3 .380

October 29, 2007, 11:24 AM
.45 GAP

Does everything the outdated ACP does and does it in a smaller package.

Wayne G.
October 29, 2007, 12:04 PM
45 cause size DOES matter. ;)

October 29, 2007, 12:11 PM
:banghead: 9MM or .45ACP, can't decide, but I sure do love my 3913 and my 4516-2!!!!!!!!:banghead:

October 29, 2007, 12:15 PM
I agree with what everyone said about the .40S&W caliber.

Also, when you want to have some REAL fun with them....JHP baby!!!

October 29, 2007, 12:19 PM
.40 S&W is tough to beat, in my opinion, for a good all around caliber.

October 29, 2007, 01:20 PM
I like 45acp, it is just so darn easy to shoot in pretty much every 45acp handgun I have shot. 9mm is nice, 40 shoots good for me, but shooting a good 45acp pistol is almost like cheating. Plus like others have said it is subsonic which is important to me as a carry weapon.

October 29, 2007, 08:05 PM
.45 GAP

Does everything the outdated ACP does and does it in a smaller package.

And that's why everyone is buying pistols chambered for .45 GAP.

Oh, wait... :neener: ;)

October 29, 2007, 08:25 PM
.22 long rifle, followed by the 10mm...

October 29, 2007, 08:37 PM
.40 S&W is my choice.

The fact I started out using the .357mag as the cal. of choice for my main carry pieces long before the .40 came along and having put thousands of rounds through them, made the swap over smooth. I feel the .40 is close enough to the .357 in stopping power but with less recoil and higher round capacity.

October 30, 2007, 07:16 AM
.40 S@W hands down. Da best handgun caliber ever made. More speed and power than it`s nearest competetitors.

Not to start another caliber war....BUT
The 45 has more velocity than the 40, if comparing loads using the same weight bullets. Get a load manual, and see for your self:neener::D

October 30, 2007, 10:24 AM
.45ACP in the Springfield "GI-45".

October 30, 2007, 10:33 AM
.40S&W ( Yeah, my username gave me away.:))

Best reasons why?

1. An effective compromise between 9mm and .45ACP from the standpoint of retaining sufficient capacity and comfortable grip dimensions.

2. Proven ballistics, proven stopping power, #1 law enforcement cartridge domestically. (Here in the U.S).

3. Bullet weight and load flexibility.

4. A vast array of pistols which are chambered for it. Lots of selection when choosing brand/make /model.

October 30, 2007, 11:57 AM
:D9mm hands down!:D

Cheap ammo, good round.
My collection of 9x19 pistols continues to grow, and will see another two added to the family by week's end.:D

P.S. I do love the 45acp too. Just don't have one... ;)yet.

October 30, 2007, 12:05 PM
For what purpose?? Concealed, plinking, centerfire range use, home defense? No one caliber is my favorite for all of these uses.

October 30, 2007, 04:16 PM
Newbie tothe board. I have been lurking and reading for a couple of weeks now and decided join.
Maybe not a good way to set foot in the door, but apart from my liking the 9mm luger for all the other reasons already stated, I am going to be controversial - not to open a whole new discourse or arguments about the pro's or cons of this,but purely to state my preference . . . . .. . OK . . deep breath
FN 5.7x28mm - reasons - a) velocity; b) flat trajectory;c) yaw factor when striking target; d) hardly any recoil - track back on target quickly; e) 20-rd mag for gun; f) and last but not least - the wow factor every time I take it to the range to shoot - the distinct "CRACK" surely get's the attention.

Now I will shutup and not say another word about this - don't expect any response or further defense,should anybody decide to slam this round, like usually happens - not here to argue - just stating my preference

October 30, 2007, 05:24 PM
.45 ACP on a 1911 platform or a Glock 21 or 21SF or 30.

Love that big fat bullet! Accurate and leaves big holes on target!

I reload so I don't worry about the expense as compared to 9mm.

October 30, 2007, 06:06 PM
10mm. Heavy, fast and lots of fun. Plus, they make good cartridges to stick up your nose holes for that comedy effect, 45 is too big, and 9mm falls out.

October 30, 2007, 06:39 PM
.22lr: 2
9mm: 9
.40S&W: 13
10mm: 3
.45ACP: 18
.45GAP: 1
.357SIG: 1
5.7x28mm: 1
Undecided: 1

Looks like the .40+ have it...time to go shopping for .40S&W ammo.

October 30, 2007, 11:31 PM
.45 ACP. For me it's just a hoot to shoot. :D

October 30, 2007, 11:51 PM

Why? ---- JUST BECAUSE ------ :D


October 31, 2007, 12:06 AM
.45ACP in my HK USP.To quote the beautiful Marisa Tomei, its "dead on balls accurate.":D

October 31, 2007, 12:42 AM
in what purpose.ccw ,duty ,secondary,hunting?

Prince Yamato
October 31, 2007, 02:54 AM
9mm. It's pleasant to shoot, it's cheap to shoot, and gosh darn-it, I like it.

October 31, 2007, 08:03 AM
.45 ACP, mostly in the 1911 platform, but it's pretty fun through a MAC-10 too. And the .50AE was pretty fun to shoot too, but way too expensive to have much fun. So I'll stick w/ .45. Gotta have the big bore.

October 31, 2007, 05:25 PM
I 'vote' 9mm----the most popular handgun cartridge in the world.

October 31, 2007, 07:32 PM
.45 ACP... John Moses Browning's greatest creation in ammunition right next to his other greatest creation in a pistol, the 1911.

October 31, 2007, 07:39 PM
.45 ACP.

9mm Luger/Parabellum is second,

and I strongly dislike the "fotay".

October 31, 2007, 08:20 PM
Because I can afford it.


XD-40 Shooter
October 31, 2007, 11:34 PM
40 S&W because :

1) Cheap to reload, I reload my ammo for $5.75/50.:D
2) Big range of bullet weights, 135-200 grains.
3) In subcompact guns, 40 S&W maintains its velocity much better than 45
4) The number of guns chambered for it, practically every gun maker has one, and in 3 different sizes.
5) Big bore power in a 9mm sized frame, smaller grip frames, only give up a couple of rounds to 9mm and usually gain a couple over 45.:D
6) I like the way the 40 shoots.
7) To me, its by far the best compromise of power, capacity, frame size, and manageable recoil.

November 1, 2007, 12:04 PM
My experience is limited, but I prefer .40S&W. I've also tried .380ACP (Bersa Thunder, not a bad little pistol), 9x19 (Beretta 92 and Mk9), and .45ACP (some 1911 I forget what). The 1911 isn't really my thing, it turns out (I may get a Rock Island or Springfield GI eventually anyway, and try to acquire the taste). So far my best results have come via the Glock 22. All the previous were rentals, but I'm itching to try out the Ruger P94 I just got.

November 1, 2007, 07:53 PM
as i'm new to 45acp(and likeing it thus far) i would still have to say that the 40 S&W is my fav. i reloaded thousands of rounds for use in IPSC, and i qualified with it as Major! (lim 10 and loading my own ofcourse) we chrono'd my 40's against some of the STI 45's and they were neck and neck for FPS!

plus, up till now and having a 45 i really prefered the "THAWHOOOOSH" of the 40 over the "CRACK" of other rounds... just me i guess.

now that i have the 45 its growing on me, but i do still miss my "thawhooosh"

November 1, 2007, 08:05 PM

Low recoil, cheap ammo, relatively high capacity magazines, and more than enough stopping power. As soon as I am 21 I'm getting a CZ75B in 9mm.

But in the end the best autoloading cartridge is the one that you are most comfortable with, the one that you are most accurate with. Hitting the target with a 9mm is going to do a lot more damage than missing it with a .45

November 1, 2007, 08:17 PM
good point acheron! I have said in the past: "hitting something 1 time with a 22 is still better than missing with a 12ga"

Deacon Blues
November 1, 2007, 10:24 PM
9mm for the following reasons:

It's cheap
It's everywhere
Low recoil
High-capacity magazines

Shot placement is King, ammo selection is Queen, and caliber is prince. The low recoil of the 9x19 means better follow-up shots, and its popularity means that any kind of defensive ammo you choose will be available in your caliber. In this case, the prince takes care of the King and Queen as well.

BTW, I'll bet that some of the .45 votes are really 1911 votes, but that's just in my imagination. Your 1911s really want to shoot 9x23, anyway. :neener:

November 1, 2007, 10:57 PM
1. If you like to shoot a lot of bullets . . . you can't beat a .22 LR.

2. If you like to shoot a lot of bullets in a defensive situation, and shoot like the average Army or Marine recruit . . . you can't beat a 9mm when shooting FMJ into an enemy that doesn't want to fight you anyway. They'll give right up generally, once you hit 'em a time or three . . . and you can take a prisoner in for interrogation once they get patched up! Or . . . he may sometimes even take a dirt nap before you can interrogate.

3. If you feel you may need a lot of bullets in a defensive situation and shoot like the average LEO recruit . . . you can't beat a .40 Short & Wimpy . . . an ugly, snappy recoil like a downloaded .357mag, but with a heavier bullet that can thump a thug high on drugs and actually stop 'em with good regularity . . . before they can hurt you before bleeding out.

4 If you are an experienced handgunner who shoots well and is confident of your abilities to put a shot exactly where you want it virually every time, a long barreled derringer in .45ACP would do you well!!! Then again, since they ain't being made, you might be forced to get one that holds between 6-8 rounds.

The benefits of the .45ACP? WONDERFUL accuracy. A hard-thumpin' bullet that can weigh twice the weight of some 9mm ammo. Best of all, the most wonderful "feeling" strong-push type of recoil that makes it so much fun to shoot easily.

5. If you bowl with 16 lb. bowling balls simply because no one makes a 20 pounder, get a 10mm . . . It shoots the .40cal bullet of the 40S&W . . . but at a very fast velocity too . . . which is devastating on deer sized animals and humans alike.

However, the kick, noise blast and the muzzle flip will mean that you will get beaten in a fast gun fight if you miss with the first round and are going against someone shooting a .45ACP.

BOTTOM LINE . . . for the best "Thump" for the "Bump" (hitting power vs. recoil severity and time to recover for additional shots) . . . the .45ACP has nearly 100 years of puttin' the BGs down HARD.

Most of us old farts who have been shooting for decades prefer the single action speed and short, surgically precise trigger pulls of the 1911 autos in .45ACP . . . especially after seeing what wins with great regularity in pistol matches we watch AND compete in.

Folks who haven't competed a lot may share other views, of course . . . but if you hone your skills well enough to "put it on the line" (the competition "firing line" that is), you'll become a huge .45ACP fan generally!

This is especially true when you shoot "steel" matches where heavy metal plates and poppers must be knocked down . . . and knocked down with devastating authority. The 9mm is in a different class . . . for it is wimpy on plates and on heavy metal poppers a 9mm may not always put 'em down when you hit 'em well. The .40S&W does "ok," and the 10mm recoils too much to engage multiple steel targets and knock 'em all down the fastest. The .45ACP does it with authority and in the fastest total times!

ON the street, I want the same results . . . the most THUMP in the shortest time between engaging multiple targets. If I can't do it in six to eight shots . . . I'll do a very fast reload and keep going.

Then again, most gunfights last 3 seconds or less. You want the hardest THUMPS you can get with the fastest recoil recover times.

.45ACP . . . all the way! It is the best "fighting" caliber for effective punch vs. speed.


November 1, 2007, 11:04 PM
I've gone through various phases.
First it was 9mm Makarov back when the stuff was coming in from both Russia and China by the boat load. Then Vlad Klintonov struck and put an end to that!! :fire:

Then it was 9mm Parabellum. It was good and cheap and I could get 100 rounds of the stuff at Wallyworld for less than $10. God knows I have platforms chambered for the round coming out of my eyes!! :evil:

I went through a .45acp phase because I went in for all the hype about it being "America's" caliber and it was "the magic bullet" that would knock any and all BGs down even with ball!! ;)

Any more, today, I've settled on plain ordinary 9mm kurz!!! :what:

I've come to embrace pocket carry and my normative platform is the Walther PPK/S.
Aesthetically and ergonomically, it is the most pleasing gun I own. So therefore, I carry it!!

There you have it.

November 2, 2007, 12:18 AM
Don't feel bad, denfoote. I've been considering a secondary pistol round and the .380 might be it. I was thinking of the Sig 232 but after seeing your pic of that Walther of yours, I'm not so sure.

November 2, 2007, 01:28 AM
My preference is the 45 acp....mostly because I shoot it the best :D

November 2, 2007, 02:05 AM
tie for me: 9mm and 357sig :evil:

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