9MM or 45.


July 25, 2008, 01:08 AM
Well i'm Looking at pistols for the future, and and have a small question. For a SHTF/TEOTWAWKI what would be better. 45acp or 9mm. I'm not sure about the difference between them, so i need some assistance.

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Zak Smith
July 25, 2008, 01:12 AM
I advocate 9mm for a defense pistol caliber because: skill is more important than gear; 9mm is cheaper to train with; and the difference in terminal performance between a good defense bullet and a poor one in the same caliber is more than the difference caliber to caliber.

July 25, 2008, 01:56 AM
Presuming TEOTWAWKI happens through a thermo nuclear exchange, you ain't going to be around. Nor will your nine. :eek:

July 25, 2008, 02:11 AM
Zak hit the nail on the head. In addition 9mm is softer recoiling than .45 ACP in otherwise identical guns. You'll also find a much wider variety of guns in 9mm than .45 ACP so finding a gun that fits you will be easier.

If SHTF/TEOTAWKI happens having a gun you know how to use well will be worth far more than it being in a specific caliber. However, 9mm is the US Armed Forces' standard round and it's more plentiful than .45 ACP in commercial target ammo too; so 9mm is more likely to be available. Last, if you're really worried about SHTF .22 LR the most widely available round in the US. It's light enough to carry large amounts of, and cheap enough to easily stock up on.

July 25, 2008, 02:23 AM
In another thread, someone made the point that while .22 LR is not the ideal self defense round, I've never seen anyone line up to get shot with one for giggles. More likely than not, the threat of physical violence in most situations is more effective than actual violence.

July 25, 2008, 02:33 AM
shevrock, the two calibers differ in several ways. Cartridge notation is based on the caliber of the bullet, which is either in fractions of an inch or in millimeters. The 9mm is about 0.355 inches and the .45 is, naturally, right around .45 inches. The .45 bullet is not only larger in diameter, but it also typically fires a heavier bullet (almost twice the weight of a 9mm bullet). This heavier bullet travels slower, about 850 feet per second versus approx. 1100 feet per second with the 9mm. Hopefully that helps you understand the basic differences between them a bit more.

Now as for which one you should pick, well I think you'll quickly learn this is a long standing debate that takes on a religious quality for many people! :) Personally, I agree with those who recommend the 9mm. It offers you the advantages of: more rounds in your pistol, less recoil, cheaper ammo, and it is the same round carried by almost every military on the planet.

A good idea would be to go to a range where you can try out a few pistols in both calibers and see which one you like best.

July 25, 2008, 02:36 AM
9 mm v .45 ACP?

I think this topic was
discussed once before.

Oh, no, wait,
a thousand times.

But what the hey,
one more time ...

Then, buy a .357 mag
with a carbine to match ...

July 25, 2008, 05:00 AM
In a true SHTF fall of society I think 9mm would be the way to go. Holds good amounts of ammo, its a military rouns so there is a lot stockpiled, and it has better penetration for shooting through cover.

Well I would actually say 2nd to a good .22lr.

July 25, 2008, 05:11 AM
What is TEOTWAWKI ? It don't sound good, whatever it is:D

July 25, 2008, 05:51 AM
the end of the world as we know it.

July 25, 2008, 07:57 AM
A 9mm should be at least third after a .22 and shotgun. Possibly 4th because you might want a centerfire rifle too.

July 25, 2008, 08:04 AM
In another thread, someone made the point that while .22 LR is not the ideal self defense round, I've never seen anyone line up to get shot with one for giggles. More likely than not, the threat of physical violence in most situations is more effective than actual violence.

I love my Ruger MKiii, but I've shot someone with a CCI Stinger, deliberately, center chest. Hit the underside of a rib, ricocheted down and lodged between his heart and lung. He WALKED to his car and DROVE HIMSELF to the ER. A 22 is better than nothing, but not one of my choices for defense.


Eric F
July 25, 2008, 08:27 AM

SHTF how long do you think you will really last? Is it really relivant what caliber you have? Not really. Just buy a gun stock up on ammo and dont worry about it. You can always shoot other folks that have ammo and take it from them.........oh wait thats not a very nice thing to do.

July 25, 2008, 08:34 AM
I have been shooting the .45 ACP in 1911's since I was 17 years old. I'll stick with that. ;)

The argument that 9MM is cheaper to train with is very valid these days, especially for the novice that needs a lot of reps. :)

What do I know. I carry a .22 Mag or a .32 ACP more than anything. :D

July 25, 2008, 08:49 AM
In SHTF, either will do. Since most SHTF real events are short lived. However in a TEOTWAWKI situation which can be a very long long long term w/c you may imply you might not live long enough to know w/c is better. In a TEOTWAWKI a rifle with lots of ammo will be more suitable. But of course everything else is just hypothetical since we may all die anyway.

July 25, 2008, 09:46 AM

Try and find a gun shop/range that will let you rent a selection of .45's and 9mm's and see which is most comfortable for you.

Definitely try a 1911 style, a CZ style and a Glock style

Invest in a good quality (not necessarily expensive) weapon and practice and buy good quality ammunition in the caliber of your choice.

If it is for your personal SHTF or TEOTWAWKI, learn to reload and invest in components.

Don't get fixated on worst case scenario's and enjoy shooting FIRST or you'll become that scary "UN New World Order", "Mall Ninja", "Black Helicopter", "X Files" person you mother always told you avoid.....:D:D:D:D

Guns and more
July 25, 2008, 10:34 AM
I have both. Here's what I think. If I had to shoot an intruder, the .45 has more knock down power, and less likely to overpenetrate and hurt a bystander. 9mm. Ammo is cheaper, so I shoot those more often at the range. I wouldn't want to be shot by either. Most shootings are two rounds in two seconds so magazine capacity doesn't mean anything, except at the range and in the movies.
For carry, I'd go with the 9.

July 25, 2008, 11:43 AM
Thankyou C-grunt

Thought it was some ninja term:D

July 25, 2008, 11:47 AM
Which ever one you chose, make sure it's the "right" one. Because then you woln't have to worry about food, shelter, medicine or that pesky thermonecular mushroom cloud on the horrizon.

July 25, 2008, 12:03 PM
Here's my feeling:

In Short: handguns are defensive.

If you're going to where you know there will be trouble, and can't avoid it.. Take a long gun, and friends with long guns.

If you are talking about a situation where you'd be using a handgun, then you are automatically talking about a situation you are actively trying to get out of (at the very least, to go and get your long gun). so extended capacity shouldn't really come into play. Shoot who ever is preventing you from running, and run.

A .45 is very good in that application. Even if I only hit you in the wrist, you're slowed down for long enough that I'll be gone.

Yeah, It's a religious war... And I'm on the .45 side of it.. but I can see the other point of view. (The cheaper practice costs being the best argument I've heard on that.) Either should be fine... but if you're REALLY looking for a TEOTWAWKI weapon, my list (in order) would be

1) 12 ga
2) any other shotgun
3) .308 rifle
3) 5.56 rifle
4) .45 ACP
5) .357 magnum
6) 9mm
7) bow and arrows (dont' laugh, REALLY long term... no beating it...)

Just my opinion... but just so you know... I carry a .45 personally.

I would LOVE to hear more about your story, BTW. IM maybe?

July 25, 2008, 02:17 PM
How many times has this question been asked? 5,000? 10,000?

And yet, the good people here take time to patiently answer it. What a group!

July 25, 2008, 02:21 PM

Most of my reply was cut and paste. I keep THAT, and a few other replies in a text file on my desktop for just such occasions...

(I also keep a particularly clever Flame Mail there too... that comes in handy every so often :D )

July 25, 2008, 02:22 PM
But what if the zombies start using cover or makeshift armor, won't I need something with more energy so I can penetrate the barriers/armor and still get headshots?

July 25, 2008, 02:28 PM
It's comfort level as much as caliber.

Find a a pistol that fits your hand, train with it, and stock up on some ammo.

July 25, 2008, 02:31 PM

i like the 45 as it's what i carry, but SHOT PLACEMENT wins the prize.

AR AK SK 223-762X39
you can pack a whole bunch of 22 in your pocket :D

July 25, 2008, 02:37 PM
I highly recommend buying several of each. :-) Or if you have a range with a well-stocked rental case you could rent several of each. Eventually, you will find one that speaks to you.

July 25, 2008, 02:56 PM
What caliber for caliber war threads?

July 25, 2008, 03:11 PM
Find a a pistol that fits your hand, train with it, and stock up on some ammo.Best advice of the thread, so far in terms of the pistol caliber question ... IMO, of course.

Reasonable points being made about the most appropriate gun for one of those hypothetical situations.

It's not clear, Shevrock, from your OP whether you already own other guns and are just looking to add a pistol, or whether this pistol is to be your primary (or even only) weapon. If the latter, then that changes things, potentially substantially ... again, IMO.

Can you clarify that?

July 25, 2008, 03:29 PM

SHTF how long do you think you will really last? Is it really relivant what caliber you have? Not really. Just buy a gun stock up on ammo and dont worry about it. You can always shoot other folks that have ammo and take it from them.........oh wait thats not a very nice thing to do.

+1 Eric F

Mark K. C.
July 25, 2008, 03:29 PM
It is all about shot placement. I would rather take a .45 slug in the leg or arm than take a .25 somewhere between my top lip and eyebrows.

July 25, 2008, 03:34 PM
Not much to add other than to respectfully submit that as someone who shoots .45 ACP in a Commander sized package, I find similar sized service pistols in 9mm to have a noticeably sharper recoil and report.

The easiest way I have found to describe it is using the analogy of a large dog (.45) that goes "WOOF" and a smaller dog that goes "YAP". I personally find the "woof" of a large dog comforting and easy to control. I find the "yap" of a small dog rather annoying and 'snappy' in the wrist.

Interestingly enough, if I had to be honest about it, the .357/.38 special 'platform' (geez did I just say that?) seems to offer about the most options for any given situation simply by changing bullet types. This makes the 9mm "penetration" is superior to .45 and the .45 "knockdown" power is superior to 9mm arguments relatively inconsequential. Considering how cheap it is to shoot .38s and the penetration of the .357 magnum you get the best of both worlds in one handgun that is available in a multitude of frame sizes-some of which even offer 8 round cylinders. And while 9mm and .45 ACP carbines are getting harder to find, there are a good number of .357/.38 carbines available in a trustworthy and benign looking lever-action.

Obviously, concealabilty of large frame revolver is slightly more difficult...but you did say SHTF did you not?

July 25, 2008, 03:37 PM

July 25, 2008, 03:40 PM
I have both and like to shoot them both. They are good in there own right and the recoil is almost the same. I have to say I like shooting my .45 more though.

July 25, 2008, 03:42 PM
I'd spend some extra money, buy a well set up M1911A1 with a .22 LR conversion kit, and practice with both until you're proficient. THEN, I would shop around for a well set up Browning P-35 in 9mm, and practice with IT until proficient. With those three calibers, you're pretty well assured of being able to find ammo for ONE of them. Adding a 4" barreled (or longer) .357Mag would also broaden your ammo scrounging choices. The gent who mentioned getting a .357 carbine might have been halfway joking, but that would be a good addition, too.

July 25, 2008, 03:45 PM
I decided to get the .45 first. It's a Glock 21 with 13 round magazines so not worried about running out of ammo. I plan on getting a 9 MM somewhere down the line. Mainly for the range.

July 25, 2008, 03:58 PM
Magnus1959, there's SOMEone out there, making .22 LR conversion kits for your Glock. It sure makes learning how to shoot it a lot more pleasant, and probably faster.

July 25, 2008, 05:22 PM
SHTF/TEOTWAWKI arenít popular words around here, so lets try to rephrase that a bit.

What would be the do it all, readily available in spite of ammo shortages caliber? Something that works, itís chap to buy lots of and keep handy for a rainy day, or if ammo prices go up to prohibitive levels.

Yes, that would be 9mm. You can buy a lot of FMJ for practice and enough JHP to last you a lifetime and the ones of your grand kids.

Premium JHP 9mm works very well for self defense.

This reminds me of something.
A friend of mine inherited a double barrel .32 shotgun pistol. Cool looking gun.

Grandpa was wise enough to leave LOTS of ammo for that thing.

We shot a lot of that stuff, .32 paper shotshells over 50 years old. Very few rounds refused to go off, like 1 in 200 or so.

The gun isnít tactciool or anything, but blows big holes and is better than a sharp stick.
Iíll make sure my kids have guns that last 100 years too, and ammo for them :D


July 25, 2008, 05:40 PM
I'm leaning towards 9mm, which i fired my grandpas 9mm. it's nice. Do 1911's and glock come in 9mm.

July 25, 2008, 05:44 PM
in just about anything

glock ,xd ,1911 platform, just about anything

July 25, 2008, 05:53 PM
You can get a pair of Sig P6s in 9mm now, for less than a new Glock. They're great guns


9mm > .45

Especially for SHTF, etc., because 9mm is much cheaper to practice with and stock up on than .45. If you want a handy carbine, 9mm really moves out of a 16" barrel, and they both take the same ammo. Hopefully I'll be buying a fun little Vector Uzi soon, to go along with my new Sigs.

My lolSHTF handguns are .357 (4" K-frames), because .38 LSWCHP+P is so cheap to stock up on, and has been putting badguys where they belong for many decades. My lolSHTF longuns are 12G shotguns, also very very cheap to buy slugs and buckshot on sale. 12G slugs and buckshot have also been putting badguys where they belong for many decades. Neither S&W K-frames or Remington 870s look evil (unless someone has made them all "tactical" and whatnot). Both are very easy to learn to operate.

July 25, 2008, 05:58 PM
Round and round the mulberry bush,
Deesie dosie daisy
I'll just keep a .38 Special
'cuz I'm mentally lazy!

July 25, 2008, 06:11 PM
What caliber for caliber war threads?

Doesn't matter.....you can't kill a thread like this with any weapon known to man....:rolleyes:

Eric F
July 25, 2008, 06:16 PM
What does this mean? some one send me a pm...............oh yeah this thread sucks. Sory for the language just how I feel right now.

It means, "The end of the world as we know it."

July 25, 2008, 09:08 PM
Well, if you really want to open a can of worms, what about 10mm Auto???

Stephen A. Camp
July 25, 2008, 09:46 PM
This particular thread had a good response or two to be sure in my opinion, but being but one of what seems like 10K 9mm vs. 45 threads, it was already going downhill fast and there are so many similar caliber discussions (wars, debates, opinions or whatever) that yet another carbon copy does nothing, especially considering how these things eventually generate enough angst to wind up getting folks in trouble and generate a pile of complaints for the moderators. Let's just say that this latest resurrection of this neverending caliber discussion has run its course and move on to something else.

Thanks in advance.

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