9mm vs. .45 - but different!


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Philip Marlowe
April 22, 2009, 11:04 PM
During a training session, our instructor threw out some large hard-rubber blocks, about 10 yards away from our group (two groups of 4, actually).

The goal was for each group to move their blocks a certain distance.

It just so happened that one group was entirely .45 autos (a RIA, Kimber, XD, and something else) and our group was all 9mm, save one guy (S&W1911).

Prior to this, we'd all been shooting near equal, with two of the 9mm shooters grouping FAR better than the rest (one guy tearing cloverleafs in the target was running a Beretta 92fs).

Long story short - the .45 team moved the block MUCH faster, and each shot they hit sent the block further than our hits with 9mm.

In fact, the 9mm barely budged this stubborn rubber block.

I typically shoot 9mm, so this isn't a 'caliber battle' but I just thought it was symbolic and definetly something to learn from (hence why I just bought my first .45).

I know that shot placement is always #1 on the list, but I was wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences? Something that made you rethink the caliber of your handgun? No my example isn't scientific, but it did make me think.

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chris in va
April 22, 2009, 11:08 PM
I guess one reason why 45 is popular with the pin shoots.

TheVirginian
April 22, 2009, 11:09 PM
All I wanna know is what kind of an "instructor" asks a group of 8 people to fire at a hard rubber block at 10 yards? He's definitely not an Aussie or he'd have heard about a boomerang...
-Bill

ArmedBear
April 22, 2009, 11:15 PM
Something that made you rethink the caliber of your handgun?

Yes.

I shot a North American Bison with a Sharps rifle and a black powder load, dropped it in one shot, then butchered it and looked at the entry, exit and wound channel.

Until you hit Roy Weatherby velocities, small bullets are just that: small bullets.

At handgun/black powder velocities, a big heavy bullet wins.

Those who think that the 9mm, no matter WHAT modern enhancements it might have, is "as good as" or "as powerful as" a 230 grain .45 with a decent bullet design (RNFMJ has inherent problems), haven't seen what a big bullet does.

There are reasons to use 9mm or .38 Special, but I do not expect them to do what a good 230 grain .45 bullet will -- because they won't.

Rancho Relaxo
April 22, 2009, 11:15 PM
Good to know for when the rubber blocks attack.

Seriously though, that's pretty interesting. I'm a died in the wool 9mm guy regardless.

ArmedBear
April 22, 2009, 11:21 PM
BTW what you saw with the rubber blocks, and what I saw with the bullet that went straight through the buffalo was the effect that momentum has.

The 9mm rounds probably have close to the same energy as the .45ACP rounds in the rubber block shooting experiment. But they didn't move the blocks.

That's why IMO energy is BS, most useful for marketing little bullets and making them appear to be "as good as" big ones. They're not. A couple hundred FPS doesn't turn a 115 grain bullet into a 230, end of story.

patrick526
April 23, 2009, 08:38 AM
I wished they've compared the 9mm HST/Gold Dot/JHP to the .45 FMJ.

Vonderek
April 23, 2009, 08:40 AM
Good to know...gonna build a vest out of rubber blocks...

saturno_v
April 23, 2009, 09:41 AM
Maybe the 9 mm was penetrating the block better resulting in less "push"

Yes.

I shot a North American Bison with a Sharps rifle and a black powder load, dropped it in one shot, then butchered it and looked at the entry, exit and wound channel.

Until you hit Roy Weatherby velocities, small bullets are just that: small bullets.

At handgun/black powder velocities, a big heavy bullet wins.

Those who think that the 9mm, no matter WHAT modern enhancements it might have, is "as good as" or "as powerful as" a 230 grain .45 with a decent bullet design (RNFMJ has inherent problems), hasn't seen what a big bullet does.

There are reasons to use 9mm or .38 Special, but I do not expect them to do what a good 230 grain .45 bullet will -- because they won't.


The "Roy Weatherby velocities" are not a some sort of magical barrier...

It's the law of physics....energy increase exponentially with velocity...energy is the ability to do work...it doesn't matter if is at handgun velocity or super-duper magnum rifle speed.

Momentum would matter more in a vacuum...in the real world there are thousands of factors and variables that induce drag (frontal area, bullet shape, bullet construction once penetration begins, etc...).....

This is one of the reason you never find the momentum mentioned in any serious firearm publication....what you find published are BC, SD and energy...The Taylor KO formula is just a theory...


The 45 ACP ball will create a wider wound channel compared to a 9 mm ball...this is the only irrefutable truth about big bullets Vs, small bullets argument....a 230 gr. 45 ACP ball bullet has higher SD compared to a 115 gr. 9 mm ball bullet....if they strike with the same energy, all other things being equal, the 45 slug will penetrate more....

LoneCoon
April 23, 2009, 09:47 AM
F=M*A

Only when 9mm is moving at twice the speed of .45, it just begins to have the same force. You start ramping up the velocities for .45, the 9mm can't even keep up.

That said, use what you have and like.

saturno_v
April 23, 2009, 09:55 AM
F=M*A

Only when 9mm is moving at twice the speed of .45, it just begins to have the same force. You start ramping up the velocities for .45, the 9mm can't even keep up.

That said, use what you have and like.

a 230 gr. 45 slug moving at 850 fps has 368 ft/lb of energy.

a 9 mm 115 gr. slug will reach the same energy at 1200 fps (350 fps of difference)...so it's not twice the speed....the "twice" relationship is when you take in consideration the bullet weight....a bullet twice the weight of another slug travelling at the same speed will develop twice the energy.

jocko
April 23, 2009, 10:22 AM
rubber blocks, And who really cares. Bet that instructor can't stick that 45 in his front pocket like I can my Kahr PM9...

45 cal is a great caliber, so is 50 caliber!!!

ArmedBear
April 23, 2009, 10:35 AM
Maybe the 9 mm was penetrating the block better resulting in less "push"


I'm sure that was it.:rolleyes:

The "Roy Weatherby velocities" are not a some sort of magical barrier...


Yes, in fact, they are.

One reason that the Weatherby Magnums, popular "varmint" rounds, the 5.56 NATO, etc. come out of the muzzle at well over 3000 fps is that, at those velocities, you get fluid dynamics happening in the target that just don't happen at pistol velocities. That's how you get exploding prairie dogs, and big game dropping like a stone when hit with the little .240 Weatherby Magnum.

You can argue all you want about 2500 vs. 3500 fps., which is why I didn't use any specific number. But pistol velocities, around 1000 fps at the muzzle give or take 20%, are nowhere near the velocities where these effects matter. That barrier you say doesn't exist, DOES, at a point somewhere between 1000 fps and 3000 fps. Doesn't matter exactly where.

a 230 gr. 45 slug moving at 850 fps has 368 ft/lb of energy.


Energy doesn't mean much when it comes to effectiveness. Discussing energy in this context is not much different from talking about what color the bullet is.

And that's the whole point, saturno.

The reason the 9mm doesn't move the rubber blocks, or a bowling pin, or golf balls, like a .45 is that the bullet doesn't have enough momentum to keep going when it hits an object. If it penetrates, it's because it's got a small diameter, and there's less resistance to its motion -- and therefore less damage to the target, and less effect on the target in general. If a larger, heavier bullet penetrates, it's because it has enough momentum to keep plowing through, causing more damage and greater effect.

jfrey
April 23, 2009, 10:40 AM
If you want to see something move (fly), try shooting golf balls with a .45. A Speer Gold Dot will really make it jump.

Thomas Garrett
April 23, 2009, 10:51 AM
Interesting! I guess i'll have to put rubber block's on my "Hit" list.:what:

mudriver
April 23, 2009, 10:55 AM
My kids and I like to shoot 'stuff' (broken electronics, chipped dishes, old toys) with guns. What we find at the rifle range is that if I load a lead bullet around 1,000 to 1,400 fps the 'stuff' really moves around a lot, jumps, spins, etc.

However, shoot the same 'stuff' with standard .223, .308 or 7.63x39 and little really happens to it other than create a hole.

Now, if you fill a plastic bottle with water and do that same comparison you get the opposite results.

What I gather from this is that the slow lead slugs transfer energy better in non-liquid materials, and small fast bullets transfer better in liquids.

In conclusion, your instructors comparison is inappropriate since rubber is not, and does not behave like a liquid in ballistic terms.

saturno_v
April 23, 2009, 11:11 AM
ArmedBear

The Hydrostatic shock theory is what it is...a theory...still not scientifically proven and a weak one to begin with.

You can read some literature by Dr. Martin Fackler and many other other experts, including several studies done by the FBI

http://shanoogie.com/l/content/pdfs/shock_wave_myth.pdf

At most some faint hydrostatick shock effects has been observed in areas just immediately next to the wound.

Prairie dogs explode because of bullet fragmentation/tumbling :rolleyes:

Energy doesn't mean much when it comes to effectiveness. Discussing energy in this context is not much different from talking about what color the bullet is.


Energy is the capability to do work....is one of the most important factors indeed, along with bullet construction and bullet shape....

Work in this case = capability to penetrate and disrupt tissue.

The bullet weight is already baked in the energy formula...momentum enthusiasts like to take it out of the cake.....

You say:

The reason the 9mm doesn't move the rubber blocks, or a bowling pin, or golf balls, like a .45 is that the bullet doesn't have enough momentum to keep going when it hits an object. If it penetrates, it's because it's got a small diameter, and there's less resistance to its motion -- and therefore less damage to the target, and less effect on the target in general. If a larger, heavier bullet penetrates, it's because it has enough momentum to keep plowing through, causing more damage and greater effect.

So the small 9 mm penetrates more....that means tissue disruption...ability to do work.

More penetration = another form of tissue disruption......tissue is disrupted by more penetration and/or larger wound channel.

Penetration = more ability to reach the vitals.

Accordingly with your theory a 45 ACP should be a better stopper than a 357 Magnum...and everybody knows that it's not the case....

Just One Shot
April 23, 2009, 11:13 AM
A 9mm in the hand is better than a .45 in the car.
:neener:













It doesn't matter how many VS threads there are, you will always have people that will prefer one round over the other.

Shoot, a .22 is better than a sharp stick or a rock.
;)

ArmedBear
April 23, 2009, 11:23 AM
So the small 9 mm penetrates more

No, it doesn't.

It lacks the momentum to overcome the dissipation of energy. It lacks the tendency of an object in motion to remain in motion. When it stops moving, it's doing no more work.

You keep repeating the same assertions about energy, but you are deliberately IGNORING another number that is at least as important.

It's easy to make something sound good if you ignore major factors.

Now you're claiming that the 9mm is MORE effective than the .45ACP because you claim that it penetrates more.

The problem with your assertion is not the numbers you select, it's that the 9mm is not more effective, and that it doesn't penetrate more, either.

If your assertions had any merit whatsoever, a .223 bullet going 1400 fps at the muzzle would be as effective against an attacking human target as a 9mm+P round. That's what you're claiming.

The fact is, a slow-moving 230 grain .45 JHP penetrates as far as a 9mm+P (farther than a small bullet, slightly less than a heavy one, but in neither case by much). And it does a LOT more damage on the way.

I'm sure you've seen this: http://www.ignatius-piazza-front-sight.com/wp-content/uploads/handgun_gel_comparison.jpg

That's why energy, the way you're trying to use it, and the way that ammo companies love to have you use it, is BS.

That was my initial point. I read all that same BS. And I believed it, until I butchered the buffalo. Then I found that reality did not match the BS.

saturno_v
April 23, 2009, 11:45 AM
No, it doesn't.

It lacks the momentum to overcome the dissipation of energy. It lacks the tendency of an object in motion to remain in motion. When it stops moving, it's doing no more work.

You keep repeating the same assertions about energy, but you are deliberately IGNORING another number that is at least as important.

It's easy to make something sound good if you ignore major factors.

Now you're claiming that the 9mm is MORE effective than the .45ACP because you claim that it penetrates more.

The problem with your assertion is not the numbers you select, it's that the 9mm is not more effective, and that it doesn't penetrate more, either.

If your assertions had any merit whatsoever, a .223 bullet going 1400 fps at the muzzle would be as effective against an attacking human target as a 9mm+P round. That's what you're claiming.

That's why energy, the way you're trying to use it, and the way that ammo companies love to have you use it, is BS.

Armedbear..you are mixing a lot of things here....

I never said that a 9 mm is more effective than a 45....bullet stopping power is a VERY complex issues with thousands of variables and factor playing (bullet shape, bullet construction, energy, the target medium etc, etc...the usual stuff)...and the most important of all is shot placement....a 22 LR in the head is going to be more effective than a 357 in the guts....

Coming back to our 9 Vs 45....the 9 is moving faster so while it has lower momentum it's moving at higher speed ........what it lacks in mass it has in speed...and the smaller diameter will create less drag in the target medium so less dissipation of energy...it will conserve its KE better....which actually, in some circumstances, can be a disadvantage but let's not digress....

However, as I said before, the 230 gr. 45 ACP has higher sectional density than a 115 gr. 9 mm...so with everything else being equal (energy, bullet shape, etc...) the fortyfive slug will penetrate more....but it has nothing to do with its momentum....it's its energy by its sectional density.

About the 9 mm ball being an overpenetrator.....is well known by everyone, I'm not pulling it out of my hat....

If that 223 bullet moving at 1400 fps hits a vital area compared to a 9 mm round, yes it's going to be a better stopper....if expand or explode is going to create a larger wound channel.....

And you did not tell me what is the SD of the 223 bullet.....a 40 gr?? a 55??? The higher the SD the higher the penetration

You see...there are a lot of "IF" when it comes to stopping power.....


So you still have to answer to my question: A 357 Mag is a more powerful round than a 45 ACP or not???


Again, Kinetic energy = ability to do work...to expand and/or penetrate

saturno_v
April 23, 2009, 11:49 AM
Armed Bear.


If a 200+ gr. 30-06 RN solid bullet hits your buffalo with more energy than a solid 45-70, it will outpenetrate the latter....and yes, it will create a narrower wound channel.

chieftain
April 23, 2009, 12:02 PM
Dr Gary Roberts is the leading researcher into terminal ballistics in the United States today. It seems I have to put this data up a couple of times every week. Why? Because someone else has a Different X caliber vs. Y caliber question, or some variant on it.

Fact is it’s about software, not hardware. The FBI use this mans research, and so do most of the LEO agencies in America, today.

But if moving rubber blocks and bowling pins is the primary purpose of your pistol, get a 45acp. That is what I use at Bowling pin matches.

I carry the caliber I have based on the platform/gun I am CCWing with. If a 1911 it will be in 45acp, if 9mm It will be a Highpower. Why? That is the calibers those guns were originally designed for. When I carried SIG’s it was in 9mm too.

I have a lot of military combat experience, the two calibers I used were 45acp or 38spl. Didn't see a hill of beans between the two when push came to shove.

If you want a good defense weapon, find reliability first, fit second, your ability to totally maintain it (take the factory armorer's course if need be), training and more training as much as you can afford, then “quality” practice. (the training and practice is a long term investment). Effective fighting with firearms IS A PERISHABLE SKILL.

If caliber is still your question, you don’t really understand the problem.

And with respect, your question is no different.

Good luck

Fred

http://m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=19887 From M4 Carbine.net.


As you increase bullet size and mass from 9 mm/357 Sig, to .40 S&W, to .45 ACP, more tissue is crushed, resulting in a larger permanent cavity. In addition, the larger bullets often offer better performance through intermediate barriers. For some, the incremental advantages of the larger calibers are offset by weapon platform characteristics. As is quite obvious from the photo above, NONE of the common service pistol calibers generate temporary cavities of sufficient magnitude to cause significant tissue damage. Anyone interested in this topic should read and periodically re-read, “Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness” by Urey Patrick of the FBI FTU, as this remains the single best discussion of the wound ballistic requirements of handguns used for self-defense -- it is available at: http://www.firearmstactical.com/hwfe.htm .

Keeping in mind that handguns generally offer poor incapacitation potential, bullets with effective terminal performance are available in all of the most commonly used duty pistol calibers—pick the one that you shoot most accurately, that is most reliable in the type of pistol you choose, and best suits you likely engagement scenarios.

The following loads all demonstrate outstanding terminal performance and can be considered acceptable for duty/self-defense use:

9 mm:
Barnes XPB 105 & 115 gr JHP (copper bullet)
Federal Tactical 124 gr JHP (LE9T1)
Speer Gold Dot 124 gr +P JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 124 gr +P JHP (RA9124TP)
Winchester Partition Gold 124 gr JHP (RA91P)
Winchester Ranger-T 127 gr +P+ JHP (RA9TA)
Federal Tactical 135 gr +P JHP (LE9T5)
Federal HST 147 gr JHP (P9HST2)
Remington Golden Saber 147 gr JHP (GS9MMC)
Speer Gold Dot 147 gr JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 147 gr JHP (RA9T)
Winchester 147 gr bonded JHP (RA9B/Q4364)

.40 S&W:
Barnes XPB 140 & 155 gr JHP (copper bullet)
Speer Gold Dot 155 gr JHP
Federal Tactical 165 gr JHP (LE40T3)
Winchester Ranger-T 165 gr JHP (RA40TA)
Winchester Partition Gold 165 gr JHP (RA401P)
Federal HST 180 gr JHP (P40HST1)
Federal Tactical 180 gr JHP (LE40T1)
Remington Golden Saber 180 gr JHP (GS40SWB)
Speer Gold Dot 180 gr JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 180 gr JHP (RA40T)
Winchester 180 gr bonded JHP (Q4355)

.45 ACP:
Barnes XPB 160 & 185 gr JHP (copper bullet)
Federal HST 230 gr JHP (P45HST2)
Federal HST 230 gr +P JHP (P45HST1)
Federal Tactical 230 gr JHP (LE45T1)
Speer Gold Dot 230 gr JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr JHP (RA45T)
Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr +P JHP (RA45TP)

Notes:
-- Obviously, clone loads using the same bullet at the same velocity work equally well (ie. Black Hills ammo using Gold Dot bullets, Corbon loads using Barnes XPB bullets, etc…)

-- Bullet designs like the Silver Tip, Hydra-Shok, and Black Talon were state of the art 10 or 15 years ago. Modern ammunition which has been designed for robust expansion against clothing and intermediate barriers is significantly superior to the older designs. The bullets in the Federal Classic and Hydrashok line are outperformed by other ATK products such as the Federal Tactical and HST, as well as the Speer Gold Dot; likewise Winchester Ranger Talons are far superior to the old Black Talons or civilian SXT's.

----------------------------------------

Basically all the standard service calibers work when fed good quality ammunition. The platform picked tends to dictate the caliber. For example, Glocks and Sigs tend to run best in 9 mm; the S&W M&P is the first .40 S&W pistol that seems to offer an ideal ergonomic and shooter friendly package; while a properly customized 5" steel-frame single-stack 1911 in .45 ACP is a superb, unparalleled choice for the dedicated user willing to spend a significant amount of money to get it properly initially set-up and considerable time to maintain it. For folks who want a .45 ACP pistol, but don't want to invest the funds and effort into getting a good 1911, they would be better served with a S&W .45 ACP M&P, HK45, S&W 4566, or possibly the SA .45 ACP XD.

Whatever you choose, make sure you fire at least 500 and preferably 1000 failure free shots through your pistol prior to using it for duty. If your pistol cannot fire at least 1000 consecutive shots without a malfunction, something is wrong and it is not suitable for duty/self-defense use.

------------------------------------------

The keys are:

-- Cultivate a warrior mindset
-- Invest in competent, thorough initial training and then maintain skills with regular ongoing practice
-- Acquire a reliable and durable weapon system
-- Purchase a consistent, robust performing duty/self-defense load in sufficient quantities (at least 1000 rounds) then STOP worrying about the nuances of handgun ammunition terminal performance.

BlindJustice
April 23, 2009, 12:17 PM
Question for the O.P.

what were the loads for the 9mm luger?
seems the .45 was only GI Ball type?

Typical cartridge discussion, nobody's
opinion here has been changed much.

and yes, I regularly shoot a
.45 ACP - S&W 1911 & 625 as well
as a 9mm Luger/CZ 75B.

Bottom line tween the two for me, the 9mm LUger
platform better carry twice the number of rounds

Ychoice will probablyV

Randall

saturno_v
April 23, 2009, 01:27 PM
An EXTREMELY informative article by Chuck Hawks about handgun stopping power

http://www.chuckhawks.com/beginners_stopping_power.htm

======================================================

Much of what one reads about the subject of handgun stopping power is a mixture of truth, half-truth, untruth, rumor and legend. A good place for inquiring minds to start would be to read the books by Ed Sanow and Evan Marshall, which are the most important works on the subject at the present time. They did the research, visited the morgues, talked to the shooting victims and police, and in the end collected the validated data from actual shootings that demonstrates what has worked in the real world. Their findings can correct a lot of popular misconceptions for those who are willing to learn.

When discussing terminal ballistics what seems "reasonable" on the face of it often turns out not to be, sometimes for fairly complex reasons. One example would be the alleged superiority of the semi-wadcutter (SWC or "Keith style") bullet form. General Julian Hatcher, who invented the widely quoted (and copied) theory of Relative Stopping Power, and those who followed his lead theorized that such a bullet should be 25% more effective than the traditional Round Nose (RN) bullet. And, in fact, the SWC style bullet does look somehow deadlier than a RN bullet. Its sharp shouldered, truncated cone configuration was alleged to "chop" a chunk out of tissue and blood vessels as it passed through, rather than press them aside as it was alleged a RN bullet would do. This seemed to make sense to me, and for years I shot SWC style bullets. But when Sanow and Marshall evaluated over 100 actual shootings with 158 grain .38 Special lead SWC bullets, there proved to be no significant difference in stopping power compared to 158 grain .38 Special lead RN bullets at the same velocity. Clearly, the Hatcher theory has some flaws, no matter how reasonable it may seem.

The stopping power of any handgun bullet turns out to be a function of its ability to disrupt vital bodily functions, not the diameter or weight or initial shape of the bullet that strikes the victim. For example, the difference in the size of the entrance hole made by a .451" bullet compared to that made by a .355" bullet in an elastic (semi-self sealing) material like skin turns out to be largely irrelevant to stopping power. The idea (which I have heard expressed) that a bigger bullet makes a bigger hole to "bleed out" a man or an animal is faintly ridiculous.

The principle method of both stopping and killing with any firearm, whether rifle or pistol or shotgun, is the disruption of vital bodily functions. Fatally damage any animal's heart, liver, lungs, or central nervous system (including Homo sapiens) and it is not going to live long enough to bleed out. Fail to put your bullet in a vital spot and you are very likely to have a problem with a man or an animal. That is not to say that some bullet placements might not eventually cause death by loss of blood, or infection, or some other mechanism, but that is never the goal of any hunter OR gunfighter who wants an immediate one shot stop.

Readers who have done some deer hunting have probably observed that often the entrance wound from a modern expanding rifle bullet (like a 100 grain .243, 130 grain .270, or 150 grain .308) seems minimal, with almost no external blood loss at all. In addition, there may be no exit wound--the bullet is often found just under the hide on the off side. But if the shot was true the deer's lungs probably look like they went through a blender, and the animal was down in seconds. That is an illustration of nearly perfect stopping power and it has little or nothing to do with the relatively small caliber of the bullet involved.

Modern big bore advocates, following in the footsteps of Jeff Cooper (who I respect greatly and regard as a fine and very persuasive writer), will claim that the example cited in the paragraph above and witnessed by countless tens of thousands of deer hunters does not apply at typical handgun bullet impact velocities. They argue that below some magic impact velocity (usually about 2000 fps) the temporary stretch cavity that contributes so much to the lethality of rifle bullets like those in the example above ceases to exist. These writers continue to ignore any facts contrary to their preconceptions. (As an aside, it is interesting that big bore rifle fans use a similar argument, but for them the magic velocity is typically about 2400 fps.)

Unfortunately, they are simply wrong about pistol and rifle terminal ballistics being fundamentally different, which can and has proven by controlled testing and high speed photography. In fact, they are fundamentally similar. Both depend on disrupting the function of vital organs, and bullets that reach such organs and expand quickly and violently, thus destroying a lot of tissue, are the best way to accomplish this, whether fired from a short barrel or a long one.

How could the terminal ballistics of pistols and rifles be so different, since today we have pistols chambered for rifle cartridges and rifles chambered for pistol cartridges? In general, rifles have an advantage in kinetic energy, and this gives them an advantage in the amount of potential damage they can cause. (Of course, most of the big bore boys don't believe that kinetic energy matters, either, but that is their problem.)

But in terms of the mechanisms of wound dynamics, rifle bullets and pistol bullets are both bullets, and function in pretty much the same way. The stopping power of pistol loads and the killing power of rifle loads are both based on a combination of the temporary stretch cavity and the permanent crush cavity produced by the bullet as it traverses the target. Any theory that ignores either of these factors will give erroneous results. Ignore the temporary stretch cavity and your results will favor big caliber bullets. Ignore the crush cavity and your results will favor high velocity, nearly explosive bullets. Both results will be incorrect.

For at least 40 years I have been reading claims by various "authorities" that bullets cannot be made to expand reliably at typical handgun velocities. This is just plain not true. I discovered that in the middle 1960's by shooting game with .357 Magnum JHP expanding bullets, and it certainly isn't true now. These opinions usually trace their origin to ancient theories and flawed experiments, particularly the Thompson-LaGard study conducted around the turn of the (20th) Century and General Julian Hatcher's aforementioned Theory of Relative Stopping Power.

When applied to contemporary handgun cartridges, theories based on Hatcher (which include Cooper's and Taylor's "Short Forms") have a statistical correlation to reality of only .64. In other words, they are meaningless. A vocal minority of gun writers and their disciples (again mostly big bore pistol fans) have come to accept this bunk as gospel, but it is really in the same category as urban legends. These "authorities" have been repeating this misinformation for as long as I can remember--but that does not make them right.

It is instructive to read the actual results of the Thompson-LaGard cattle shooting experiments, which I have done. I urge my readers to do the same. It would be hard to imagine a less appropriate or more poorly controlled study. Despite the significance ascribed to it to this day by the ignorant and willfully blind, it proved absolutely nothing about the lethality or stopping power (on humans) of the handgun cartridges and loads tested. And it is even less relevant (if possible) to modern handgun ammunition, since no expanding bullets were tested.

All that the Thompson-LaGard experiment really proved is that none of the handgun loads tested were effective at killing cattle. Most of the bovines those early experimenters shot had to be put down with a sledge hammer! The conclusion that the .45 caliber pistol was superior was forgone from the outset due to the bias of the testers, and it became their official conclusion despite a startling lack of data to support it. Interestingly, the only steer put down quickly with one shot was killed by a round from the high velocity 7.65mm (.30 caliber) Luger pistol!

Well designed bullets (which includes most of the JHP pistol bullets now on the market) expand very reliably at their intended impact velocity. How do you imagine the 115 grain JHP 9x19 +P load, 125 grain JHP .357 load, 155 grain JHP .40 S&W load, and 230 grain JHP .45 ACP loads earned those outstanding 90%+ one shot stop records in the real world? In a sentence: due to the consistent performance of their JHP bullets.

The famous 125 grain .357 JHP bullet, the most effective one shot stopper of all handgun loads, penetrates 13.25" in ordinance gelatin and produces a football shaped stretch cavity. This is how the very best bullets perform. And bullet performance has a great effect on stopping power.

For example, the .40 S&W has higher one shot stop percentages in the real world than the 10mm Auto. Yet both use exactly the same caliber bullets, and the 10mm Lite load has exactly the same velocity as the .40 S&W. What gives?

The difference is a function of the terminal performance of the bullets involved. The FBI adopted the 10mm Lite load and became the main driving force behind 10mm load development. The FBI protocol calls for more penetration, and therefore less expansion, than is desirable to maximize stopping power in most shooting situations. They are more concerned about shooting through car doors, barricades, and so forth than putting criminals down with one shot in the typical frontal shooting situation that homeowners and civilians are most likely to face. The FBI essentially wanted ammunition designed for extended gun battles with perps hiding behind cover, and that is what they got. But as a result most 10mm ammo has less actual stopping power than the lighter, faster expanding bullets used in the best .40 S&W loads.

I wrote this article, not as a diatribe against big bore handguns (indeed, some of them--using JHP bullets--are near the top of the stopping power list), but because I have grown weary of hearing and reading the same old misinformation endlessly repeated. My opinion is no better than anyone else's unless it correlates with reality. Read the actual studies, not what others say about the studies, and decide for yourself. For those concerned with the problem, handgun stopping power is too important a subject to be left to urban legend.

======================================================

And this about stopping power in general

http://www.chuckhawks.com/rifle_killing_power.htm

An excerpt

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Linear momentum

Momentum is calculated differently from energy in that it is the product of mass and velocity--not the square of velocity. This slants the result in favor of heavy bullets, and makes momentum the darling of the big bore crowd. Momentum is what tends to keep a mass in motion moving, in accordance with one of Newton's physical laws. It is unclear how (or if) this relates to killing power.

Momentum is not widely referred to in the world of ballistics (terminal or otherwise). The term "momentum" is not even included in the Glossary of Terms in the back of the Hodgdon, Hornady, Lyman, Nosler, or Speer reloading manuals that happen to be piled on my desk as I write these words. (I checked!) I am inclined to conclude that momentum is a sort of red herring, favored by gun writers from the big bore school because it gives credibility to their existing prejudices in favor of big bore rifles and heavy bullets.

The term "pounds feet" invented, I believe, by Elmer Keith, is another favorite comparative tool of the big bore school of gun writers. Pounds feet is merely momentum divided by 7000 (the number of grains in a pound). The comparative result is the same as an ordinary calculation of momentum, but using the term pounds feet gives the result a sort of pseudo scientific ring, as the lay reader may easily confuse "pounds feet" with the legitimate scientific measurement "foot pounds."

As we have already seen, large diameter bullets tend to create a wide wound channel, and bullets that are heavy for their caliber have good sectional density and tend to create deep wound channels other factors being equal. These are clear advantages of heavy, large bore bullets from the standpoint of killing power. However, I doubt that calculating bullet momentum per se contributes anything to our understanding of the subject. Ditto for pounds feet.

Another of Sir Isaac Newton's physical laws states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, calculated in terms of momentum. This would imply that, in terms of momentum, the recoiling rifle has more killing power than the bullet it fires, since its momentum is in fact the same as the total ejecta from the barrel (the bullet plus the powder gasses). It is true that big bore rifles kick like the devil, but I doubt that even the most fervent true believer wishes to defend momentum as an indication of killing power in that light, for if it were true they should all be dead.

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GoodKat
April 23, 2009, 01:33 PM
The Hydrostatic shock theory is what it is...a theory...still not scientifically proven and a weak one to begin with.
I hope you're using "theory" in a colloquial sense, a scientific theory has to be heavily supported and cannot be contradicted by any of the evidence. I doubt hydrostatic shock has been written about in any peer-reviewed scientific journals.

saturno_v
April 23, 2009, 01:35 PM
Yes, I used the word "Theory" in a colloquial sense...

Philip Marlowe
April 23, 2009, 01:40 PM
HOOOOOLD ON!

I did not mean for this thread to get out of hand.

People are always looking to understand something in practical terms - I thought this would help illustrate that.

This happened to be the last "fun" piece of training we did, after two 8-hour days of training and drills (so please hold the instructor comments).

Anyway - I didn't mean for this to get out of hand. I was really just looking for comments similar to Mudriver - just fun stories of where something performed one way, and something else another.

That said, I appreciate the replies - as always!

burningsquirrels
April 23, 2009, 01:44 PM
post matches - two teams can bring as much gun and ammo on them as they can on their belt when they get to the start line. each team has two shooters. in front are two 6x6 posts. first team to cut their post in half wins the round. round of choice? 230+ grain 45 acp. blast away at that wood! knots are the place to hit to blow big chunks out!

chieftain
April 23, 2009, 01:52 PM
There is a reason Most Law enforcement agencies and the FBI use Dr Roberts results and not Hawk's.

Dr Roberts results were and are based on science, that has been reinforced with street results in feedback from the agencies themselves. Started most famously in San Diego.

Some rather famous folks used to tell us the all you need is ball ammunition too. But all us kool cats know that ain't true either.

Who and why would you trust one source over another, unless you have found someone to rationalize your personal choice. Actually I did not like Doc's choices, but science is tough to argue with. Also the modern bullets keep getting better and better. I want the best I can carry for the caliber I am carrying.

I go with the professionals, who do you use? Oh by the way, Dr Roberts started his research as a Lt Commander in the Naval Reserve where he first started working with Dr Flackler (the daddy of terminal ballistics), and also does shifts as a reserve Police officer in a city in California. He ain't just Ivory tower.

And Squirrels, If you need to stop wood posts, that is a great test. If you need to stop bad guys, read Dr Roberts.

Go figure.

Fred

saturno_v
April 23, 2009, 02:26 PM
Chieftain


Hawks doesn't have his own theories....he just collects a lot of material (and he posts the references to it) and it does that extremely well...he tends to be on the side of science and rigorous testing procedure.

People pay to access his research material. And he has first hand hunting experience all around the world.

Flacker is one of his most quoted sources.

FBI and Most LE agencies use .40 not .45.....and there are very good reasons for it...more KE than 45, more round count and better penetration against light barriers...all in a 9 mm handgun platform size....

However I agree with most of what you said in your previous post.

JImbothefiveth
April 23, 2009, 02:39 PM
I think what the FBi concluded was taht a round should go through at least 1 foot of ballsitics gelatin, and then the bigger the better. So, a .45 would be better than a 9mm.

FiremanBob
April 23, 2009, 03:09 PM
I thought this thread was going to be "different".

mljdeckard
April 23, 2009, 03:38 PM
I'll remember this the next time I'm attacked by rubber blocks.

saturno_v
April 23, 2009, 03:44 PM
think what the FBi concluded was taht a round should go through at least 1 foot of ballsitics gelatin,

Seems like the small 9 mm is up to that task....

Look at the various tests.

http://www.brassfetcher.com/9mm%20Luger.html

KBintheSLC
April 23, 2009, 03:53 PM
Long story short - the .45 team moved the block MUCH faster, and each shot they hit sent the block further than our hits with 9mm.

I wouldn't need to see it to believe it... its a simple matter of physics. The heavier, slower bullet hits with more momentum. This is pretty much just another 9 vs 45 thread, despite the claims made in the title. We get it, the 45 hits harder. But then again, the 500 SW mag hits harder than a 45 acp, and a 50 BMG hits even harder than that, and the 20mm Vulcan even more, and the field artillery is even better, etc... Once you go down that road, it never ends.

I won't be rushing out to sell my 9's quite yet. They still have a valid place in my safe, my pocket, and my hip holster.

...

saturno_v
April 23, 2009, 04:32 PM
The heavier, slower bullet hits with more momentum.

This expression is exactly what makes my head going :banghead::banghead::banghead:

It is frankly a non-sensical statement..

The narrower 9 mm plows through easily while the 45 meets more resistance so the block moves....momentum has absolutely NOTHING to do with it....hit the block with a FMJ .223 (4 times the 9 mm or the 45 energy) and it probably will move even less than with the 9 mm...

BlindJustice
April 23, 2009, 05:16 PM
Seems this thread is going outside of
handgun cartridge of light and fast versus
heavy and slower real quickly....

I'd like to pop those rubber blocks with
A 115 gr. FMJ versus 147 gr. FP federal
and see which moved the block more.

I know with water filled pumpkins and the same
bullet - Gold Dots, the .45 ACP 200 gr. beats the 9MM x 19
124 gr. - both Double Tap. all to heck for the exit
and hole splash factor

Randall

pneumagger
April 23, 2009, 06:24 PM
The narrower 9 mm plows through easily while the 45 meets more resistance so the block moves.... momentum has absolutely NOTHING to do with it....hit the block with a FMJ .223 (4 times the 9 mm or the 45 energy) and it probably will move even less than with the 9 mm...
Momentum has ALOT to do with it. Assuming the bullet does not travel completely through the block, it is an inelastic collision.
The distance the block moves is a function of the net imparted velocity... which means a momentum balance equation.

M1V1 + M2V2 = MV

You can see that a .45 will transfer MUCH more momentum.
A sliding frictional force Ff (rougly equal for each block) is imparted over some distance (D) until the work done by friction overcomes the imparted energy.
Then the block stops moving. You added the energy and the friction takes it away.

W = Ff*D = dE (dissipated energy)
E=1/2*MV^2 (imparted energy) <--- but this velocity is the result V of the momentum balance

This is where ENERGY comes into the ballistic mix - after momentum does it's thing.
So this energy is actually the energy transferred via momentum... not the muzzle energy of the shot.
Energy is the capacity to do work... but in this case energy is doing the work via momentum transfer.

The simple fact is: Until velocities/energies where fluid dynamics begin implementing significant hydrostatic shock and fragmenting/exploding bullets... momentum transfer is king. This means pick the largest caliber you can shoot effectively with.

(I actually a carry a 9mm, for what it's worth)

ScareyH22A
April 23, 2009, 07:24 PM
.45 had more surface area making contact with the rubber right? Imagine jabbing that rubber block with a fencing word real hard. Then imagine gently hitting it with a hammer.
Fast and sharp is not gonna move things as well as slow and blunt. Energy carried only matter to some extent.

But in the end, I'm sure if you stabbed someone with the sword, they'd need to call 911 vs you gently hitting them with a hammer.

But a .45 is a fast hammer.

coltoriginal
April 23, 2009, 08:14 PM
This has gone too far in a nonsensical direction and I feel I must step in.

Didn't any of you pass high school physics?


Inertia (Momentum) is calculated by the equation P=mv (mass*velocity)

going by bullet numbers imparted earlier this thread that means

9mm 147gr @ 1032 fps = 147x1032 = 151704 gr∙fps
9mm 124gr @ 1181 fps = 124x1181 = 146444 gr∙fps
45acp 230gr @ 875 fps = 230x875 = 201250 gr∙fps

(standardized metric is kg∙m/s but i'm too lazy to do the conversions and units are arbitrary anyway in a direct comparison)
Knowing Newton's 2nd Law, if the bullet stops in or at the block the force acting on the block is equal to the inertia of the bullet.
Jjust to crunch a few more numbers for you, this shows 230 gr 45acp has roughly 32.66% more momentum than the 147 gr 9mm @ whatever range these were chrono'd at. OP does this represent your findings? i.e. block moving roughly 30% more per shot for 45 vs 9mm. (keep in mind there are many other variables such as overcoming the static friction of the block, angle of impact etc..., so this is a very crude calculation)

This is not an attempt to propagate the 45 this is just the mathematical representation of what the OP saw.

As for the real world caliber effectiveness argument, that horse died a long time ago, is rotting, and smells terrible. Neither of these calibers is "not-enough", and either will kill the sh*t out of almost any living thing given a decent shooter does their part. (and disregarding hunting ethics of course)

I would say neither is outright "better" but they have noteworthy differences. For long range accuracy/trajectory/penetration 9mm all the way. For short range rubber-block moving, and punching slightly larger holes in squishy things .45 is better (noteworthy: in medium to long range penetration trials the 9mm significantly outclasses the 45. see government tests using steel army helmets.)


Last but not least this is directed toward saturno_v:

The heavier, slower bullet hits with more momentum.
This expression is exactly what makes my head going

It is frankly a non-sensical statement..

The narrower 9 mm plows through easily while the 45 meets more resistance so the block moves....momentum has absolutely NOTHING to do with it....hit the block with a FMJ .223 (4 times the 9 mm or the 45 energy) and it probably will move even less than with the 9 mm..
You might think its a nonsensical statement but numbers can't lie. If the op said the 9mm's were passing clean through you might be on to something, however he did not state that and i really doubt that is what happened if their block was moving at all.

Momentum would matter more in a vacuum...in the real world there are thousands of factors and variables that induce drag (frontal area, bullet shape, bullet construction once penetration begins, etc...).....
get real.. the variable difference of wind resistance between a 45 and 9mm during the course of its flight and in regards to this experiment are completely negligible.

This is one of the reason you never find the momentum mentioned in any serious firearm publication....what you find published are BC, SD and energy...The Taylor KO formula is just a theory...
Perhaps Momentum is not mentioned because even a stoned monkey can calculate it on his own, given the information they provide.
energy is slightly more complicated so it makes sense they do that for you

The "Roy Weatherby velocities" are not a some sort of magical barrier...

It's the law of physics....energy increase exponentially with velocity...energy is the ability to do work...it doesn't matter if is at handgun velocity or super-duper magnum rifle speed.

I hate to disappoint you but ArmedBear is right. In accounting for hydrostatic shock and Weatherby velocities it does matter (in fact it is all that matters). handguns will never get there. fire all the +p++ super 9mm you can find but until you get to high power rifle velocities some 3x the speed of a 9mm all you've done is increase your penetration.. which 9mm's have plenty of already

Tropical Buzz
April 23, 2009, 08:48 PM
I think what the FBi concluded was taht a round should go through at least 1 foot of ballsitics gelatin, and then the bigger the better. So, a .45 would be better than a 9mm.

The difference in diameter between .45 and 9mm bullets is less than 1/10 of an inch. Look at a ruler to put it in perspective. The difference in frontal area ("size") is .072 sq.in. Again - less than 1/10 of a square inch! Factor in the elasticity of skin and living tissue and it becomes even more insignificant. Ignoring the variables of bullet expansion and focusing strictly on the size myth, if they both penetrate to 12" for example, the difference in size (volume) of the wound channels will be only 0.86 cubic inches or less than 1 cubic inch!!. The often bantered marble / bowling ball analogy is way beyond exaggeration. It would be more accurate to ask "would you rather get hit by a marble or by a slightly bigger marble?"

My point is that within a reasonable range of handgun cartridges, the "size" of the bullet is far, far less of a factor than many like to believe.

ge0624me
April 23, 2009, 09:00 PM
this can be debated forever ,i really think the 9mm is a very good round, yes very good, i would'nt carry it in my Keltec pf9, and oh yeah, it fit's in my pocket for very good for concealment, and im confident that with the right placement of shot's from the golddot's that i load her, it could take anybody down, ....that being said, in between my bed mattress lies my 1911 with 230gr gold dots as well, i just have more confidence in my bigger club,i just think bigger is better, not that the smaller of the 2 is not lethal.

bigfatdave
April 23, 2009, 09:00 PM
Shoot, a .22 is better than a sharp stick or a rock.
No, the heavy, slow rock hits with more surface impact, and thus has more stopping power!

The difference in diameter between .45 and 9mm bullets is less than 1/10 of an inch. Look at a ruler to put it in perspective. The difference in frontal area ("size") is .072 sq.in. Again - less than 1/10 of a square inch! Factor in the elasticity of skin and living tissue and it becomes even more insignificant. Ignoring the variables of bullet expansion and focusing strictly on the size myth, if they both penetrate to 12" for example, the difference in size (volume) of the wound channels will be only 0.86 cubic inches or less than 1 cubic inch!!. The often bantered marble / bowling ball analogy is way beyond exaggeration. It would be more accurate to ask "would you rather get hit by a marble or by a slightly bigger marble?"

My point is that within a reasonable range of handgun cartridges, the "size" of the bullet is far, far less of a factor than many like to believe.
TropicalBuzz wins, thread over, everyone can go to the range and practice now.

saturno_v
April 23, 2009, 09:27 PM
Coltoriginal

Yes the formula to calculate momentum is extremely simple.

What momentum enthusiast keep failing to recognize is the little statement "all else being equal".....


The real world doesn't happen in a vacuum...

You say:

I would say neither is outright "better" but they have noteworthy differences. For long range accuracy/trajectory/penetration 9mm all the way. For short range rubber-block moving, and punching slightly larger holes in squishy things .45 is better (noteworthy: in medium to long range penetration trials the 9mm significantly outclasses the 45. see government tests using steel army helmets.)



I agree completely....infact we do not use bullets to move rubber blocks.....the 45 moved the blocks more because it meets more resistance to penetration due to his larger cross section so it impart more movement to the block...I do not think it's very hard to understand....tap that rubber block with a given hammer and measure its movement...then whack him harder with the same hammer...the hitting mass did not change...you increased both momentum and, even more the KE.


Momentum matters more when you hit a given target with the same cross sectional area, same energy but one bullet is longer (and heavier assuming the same material and construction)...that is when we calculate SD.

Momentum, as independent, abstract, alone, variable, doesn't matter much in the real world of firearms....in some specific circumstances it does matter more...

Yes the beloved standard 45 round has more momentum than a 9 mm standard round, I give you that.....does that means that a 45 is more effective than a 9 just because of momentum....definitely not

If the op said the 9mm's were passing clean through you might be on to something

Indeed the OP did not mention the difference in penetration between the two calibers...it would be interesting to know that...


get real.. the variable difference of wind resistance between a 45 and 9mm during the course of its flight and in regards to this experiment are completely negligible.


Not true....aerodynamic friction is a substantial element during bullet flight (cross section and shape)...

I hate to disappoint you but ArmedBear is right. In accounting for hydrostatic shock and Weatherby velocities it does matter

Hydrostatic shock has never been proven....you can read some literature by Dr. Martin Fackler, FBI studies and others....

Pneumagger

Assuming the bullet does not travel completely through the block, it is an inelastic collision.

If the bullet doesn't travel completely through the block it doesn't means it's an inelastic collision....would you care to elaborate more your reasoning??

In the real world of firearms, after the introduction of smokeless powder we moved from large heavy bullets towards more aerodynamic, lighter, faster ones for very good reasons....speed kills indeed...

To come full circle again: Why a 357 Mag it's a better stopper than a 45 ACP despite the heavier fortyfive slug???....why a 357 is considered more adequate, let's say, against a black bear than the glorious fortyfive?? ...You guessed right...because of its higher energy and better SD

Case closed, I hope...

ge0624me
April 23, 2009, 09:34 PM
Coltoriginal

Yes the formula to calculate momentum is extremely simple.

What momentum enthusiast keep failing to recognize is the little statement "all else being equal".....


The real world doesn't happen in a vacuum...

You say:



I agree completely....infact we do not use bullets to move rubber blocks.....the 45 moved the blocks more because it meets more resistance to penetration due to his larger cross section so it impart more movement to the block...I do not think it's very hard to understand....tap that rubber block with a given hammer and measure its movement...then whack him harder with the same hammer...the hitting mass did not change...you increased both momentum and, even more the KE.


Momentum matters more when you hit a given target with the same cross sectional area, same energy but one bullet is longer (and heavier assuming the same material and construction)...that is when we calculate SD.

Momentum, as independent, abstract, alone, variable, doesn't matter much in the real world of firearms....in some specific circumstances it does matter more...

Yes the beloved standard 45 round has more momentum than a 9 mm standard round, I give you that.....does that means that a 45 is more effective than a 9 just because of momentum....definitely not



Indeed the OP did not mention the difference in penetration between the two calibers...it would be interesting to know that...




Not true....aerodynamic friction is a substantial element during bullet flight (cross section and shape)...



Hydrostatic shock has never been proven....you can read some literature by Dr. Martin Fackler, FBI studies and others....

Pneumagger



If the bullet doesn't travel completely through the block it doesn't means it's an inelastic collision....would you care to elaborate more your reasoning??

In the real world of firearms, after the introduction of smokeless powder we moved from large heavy bullets towards more aerodynamic, lighter, faster ones for very good reasons....speed kills indeed...

wow, some of you guy's should really consider seeking employment with ballistic's lab.

amprecon
April 23, 2009, 10:57 PM
The .45acp is a direct descendant of the .45lc which was considered the magnum of the day and more or less duplicates it ballistically with similar bullet weights. This isn't scientific, but we can all agree that any six-shooter of the day in that caliber was highly regarded and effective.
This doesn't make the .45acp the better round, but sometimes being "technically better" can be subjective.
I have 9mm, .38spl, .40s&w and the .45acp and they all fill their special niches.
If I were to keep one it'd probably be the G23 in .40s&w as it retains nice median qualities of both the 9mm in capacity and gun size and the .45acp in power.

GLOOB
April 24, 2009, 12:26 AM
Energy is the capability to do work....is one of the most important factors indeed, along with bullet construction and bullet shape....

Work in this case = capability to penetrate and disrupt tissue.

True, but not all of the energy is going to do work. Some of it gets wasted. So which delivery system achieves a higher work-to-energy ratio (i.e. efficiency)?

My humble observation/opinion:

A smaller, faster bullet with equal kinetic energy will expend a greater proportion of its energy towards the creation of cavitation and heat. At handgun level velocities, these are of questionable value. A hot .357 magnum load might deliver some "shock" value, but I doubt a 9mm does. And while a 20-pound depleted uranium shell launched at 2000 fps might cause trees to burst into flames, I doubt a 9mm bullet will do any kind of heat damage to human tissue. In this specific setting, a 230 grain .45 caliber bullet should theoretically be capable of doing more work (defined as tissue destruction) when compared to a 115 grain 9mm bullet, given an equal kinetic energy.

Does this mean that slower, heavier bullets are always better? No. This is just pertaining to specifically shooting people within a certain range of velocities. History seems to show that .357 magnum and .45 ACP are both fairly similar in effectiveness for SD. But consider the average kinetic energy difference. The .357 takes a much higher kinetic energy to achieve this.

saturno_v
April 24, 2009, 12:34 AM
The .45acp is a direct descendant of the .45lc which was considered the magnum of the day and more or less duplicates it ballistically with similar bullet weights.

The two cartridges are not exactly comparable....the 45 LC original blackpowder load was throwing a 255 g.r bullet (higher SD compared to a 45 ACP) to circa 1000 fps, developing 580-600 ft/lb of KE.

Almost double the amount of your typical 230 gr. 45 ACP....

The 45 LC is more comparable to a 357 Magnum in term of performances...

saturno_v
April 24, 2009, 12:40 AM
Gloob

With the same impact energy a bullet with smaller frontal area all else being equal (SD, shape, construction, etc...) will penetrate better....a larger bullet will create a larger wound channel...they will expend their energy in a slightly different way.

The smaller bullet will actually be more "efficient" because of the "easier" penetration...but as we know, overpenetration can be a disadvantage (dangerous and wasted energy outside of the intended target).

So it all depends...if you want the largest wound channel the larger bullet will serve you better...if you want maximum penetration the smaller bullet will do it....

GLOOB
April 24, 2009, 12:43 AM
double post

coltoriginal
April 24, 2009, 12:43 AM
saturno_v
The real world doesn't happen in a vacuum... This is true. :scrutiny: Therefore vacuum's are not relevant in anyway to this example.. what are you trying to prove here? the practical application of both as described encompasses wind resistance and the computations are "rough" as i originally said. For that matter, the bullet weights and velocities from the chrono #'s posted also did not happen in a vacuum and therefore the numbers and those derived from them are perfectly accurate and accountable.. again no vacuums anywhere. unless you think there is significantly more wind resistance in one state vs another :rolleyes: lets just assume air is all the same

yes a 45 will meet more wind resistance than a 9mm because of larger cross-section.. if thats what you are trying to say it doesn't matter anyway because we are comparing 45 to 9mm.. its already included in practical application (i have never seen a shooting range in a vacuum). my numbers are not real world accurate to the .0001 because of the unknown range at which rounds were chrono'd. but who cares? variables between ammo in the same box would still have more effect

tap that rubber block with a given hammer and measure its movement...then whack him harder with the same hammer...the hitting mass did not change...you increased both momentum and, even more the KE.

please explain what you are trying to say there.. it seems you just greatly overcomplicated an explanation of how you can hit something harder with a hammer. no need to say blue is blue or harder is harder :confused:
fyi KE=Momentum=Inertia and at point of impact =Force (see po-tay-to vs po-tah-to for clarification)

Hydrostatic shock has never been proven....you can read some literature by Dr. Martin Fackler, FBI studies and others....


anyone who has shot anything remotely fluid (i.e. soft clay, water jugs ...) with a high powered rifle knows the effects. Shoot a squirrel with a magnum hunting rifle and i guarantee you 90% of the little guy will literally disappear from that tiny little bullet, while the round itself will pass clean through. what else do you call that?

You do raise a good point however about elastic vs inelastic transference and the dissipated energy due to penetration, However that is one of the minor variables i alluded to in my first post (such as overcoming static friction) that were unknowns.

GLOOB
April 24, 2009, 12:56 AM
Gloob

With the same impact energy a bullet with smaller frontal area all else being equal (SD, shape, construction, etc...) will penetrate better....a larger bullet will create a larger wound channel...they will expend their energy in a slightly different way.

The smaller bullet will actually be more "efficient" because of the "easier" penetration...but as we know, overpenetration can be a disadvantage (dangerous and wasted energy outside of the intended target).

So it all depends...if you want the largest wound channel the larger bullet will serve you better...if you want maximum penetration the smaller bullet will do it....

Well, yes and no. Given the same diameter, a 230 grain 9mm bullet with equal kinetic energy to a 115 grain 9mm bullet going 1200 fps might actually penetrate deeper. But that's not my point. My point is that the faster bullet causes more cavitation and heat... meaning it is not as efficient in its transformation of kinetic energy into work on impact. Unless the target is a pidgeon. In this case, cavitation might cause a meat and feather explosion.

saturno_v
April 24, 2009, 01:16 AM
Coltoriginal


My point is very simple....the 45 ACP has more momentum than the 9 mm but that additional momentum will have neglibible effects on the penetration and stopping power abilities...there are several other factors taking precedence...


When you shoot a squirrel with an extremely high velocity bullet, the red mist effects is often generated by the bullet exploding or tumbling...

However, limited hydrostatic effects can be noted the the area next to the bullet path....what it means is that when a squirrel get hit by a 30-06 round is like one of us getting hit by a 16 inches Mark 7 naval gun shell....so even limited hydrostatic effects close to the bullet path it will encompass much of the squirrel body...even simple tissue displacement and cavitation generated by the passage of the bullet will be in a considerable amount compared to the whole target mass....enough the generate a blow up without being an hydrostatic phenomena....you get the picture....

By the way you can red mist a squirrel even with a 45 or a 9 (witnessed personally)....you do not need some mythical Roy Weatherby velocities....

One little rodent was red misted by a friend of mine firing an Aguila 22 LR HP Interceptor...

Larger bodies will not show almost any meaningful hydrostatic damage with regular rifle bullets.

The soft clay going everywhere is simple medium displacement.....even the softest living tissue is sturdier and more stuctured than that (blood vessels, nerves, etc...)

kyo
April 24, 2009, 01:24 AM
F(force)=M(mass) xA(acceleration)
You do this with both bullet types. You can use the velocity provided by the companies for each bullet. This gives you the acceleration out of the muzzle. Done.
Now, for example we have from the same reload manual
F=147g(Hornady Xtp 9mm) x 1004 f/s(velocity of this round)
=147588(not sure what unit this would be at...sorry)

Then we have
F=230g(Hornady FMJ FP) x 908 f/s
=208840

The 230g is over 1.5 times the weight of the 147g. The velocity of the 9 is only 1.1 times the velocity of the 45.

Take the weight in grains of the block, or transfer from grains to grams for the bullets, and then do a transfer of energy look at it. This would be vector of the bullet Vs vector of the block. The block is standing still. So, the bullet transfers its kinetic energy or force to the block. The heavier bullet will transfer more force because it is heavier, and only travels less than 100 f/s slower.
I pick the 45. Thats why I have one
If you don't believe in hydrostatic shock, look at this guy's hand...
http://www.thegunzone.com/nd.html

coltoriginal
April 24, 2009, 01:32 AM
My point is very simple....the 45 ACP has more momentum than the 9 mm but that additional momentum will have neglibible effects of the penetration and stopping power abilities...there are several other factors taking precedence... agreed.

When you shoot a squirrel with an extremely high velocity bullet, the red mist effects is often generated by the bullet exploding or tumbling...
disagree.

However, limited hydrostatic effects can be noted the the area next to the bullet path first you say theres no such thing, now you say there is...:confused:

However, limited hydrostatic effects can be noted the the area next to the bullet path....what it means is that when a squirrel get hit by a 30-06 round is like one of us getting hit by a 16 inches Mark 7 naval gun shell....so even limited hydrostatic effects close to the bullet path it will encompass much of the squirrel body...even simple tissue displacement and cavitation generated by the passage of the bullet will be in a considerable amount compared to the whole target mass....enough the generate a blow up without being an hydrostatic phenomena....you get the picture.... i dont like this comparison because it is ridiculously scaled up. But, since you will agree to nothing less than a Mark7 naval shell having hydrostatic shock, compare that to the much slower black powder cannonball (comparable in mass but no hydrostatic shock because no speed.. granted they will still take limbs off, they are however just hole punchers similar to 45 and 9mm the damage comes from direct contact with the ball itself)

By the way you can red mist a squirrel even with a 45 or a 9 (witnessed personally)....you do not need some mythical Roy Weatherby velocities.... by red misted do you just mean spatter? i'm talking about making it disappear... like david copperfield

Larger bodies will not show almost any meaningful hydrostatic damage with regular rifle bullets. strongly disagree

The soft clay going everywhere is simple medium displacement.....even the softest living tissue is sturdier and more stuctured than that (blood vessels, nerves, etc...) strongly disagree, fluids do not compress and humans/animals are atleast 60% water. that rapid displacement will be violent and torn tissue will ensue

i'm done with this debate, to each his own

saturno_v
April 24, 2009, 02:22 AM
Coltoriginal

If you read my previous posts, I always said, mentioning a reference, that VERY limited and weak hydrostatic effects can be observed in tissues immediately adjacent the bullet path.....but they are negligible when it comes to effectiveness and stopping power.

I witnessed .223 bullets exploding on a blade of grass...literally....


Things don't vanish a' la David Copperfield :D....it will be blown up in pieces and partially pulverized....yes I saw that on a rabbit hit by a 357...red mist indeed...


Yes our bodies are made of 60-70% water...however contained in relatively strong and elastic tissue reticulum capable of resisting any negligible hydrostatic effects a small bullet may create...different than soft clay...

King Ghidora

The surface area of the butt of the rifle keeps it from being the lethal weapon that the bullet is. The same amount of energy is dissipated through the butt of the rifle or the handle of a handgun unless some of the energy is directed elsewhere but in either case the amount of energy equal to the amount applied to the bullet is spent somewhere in the gun and the size of the area where the energy is dissipated is what keeps it from being lethal.

The reason the larger area isn't lethal is that it exceeds the amount of energy per square inch that is needed to penetrate the body of an animal or a human. It's no different than the bottom of a boat. If you drop an iron rod straight down into a river it's going to break the plane of surface tension of the water and sink. If you spread that same amount of iron out to a flat surface with a side design to prevent water from flowing on top of the iron then it will float. The iron rod is the bullet. The flat iron is the butt of a gun.


I could not agree more...very well put


On the rest I agree up to a point...yes the 45 will generate a wider wound channel but it will penetrate less, on average, because the wider bullet, assuming the same energy, will experience more drag.

The difference in the wound channel diameter between a 45 and a 9 (assuming no expansion) is going to be negligible, when you consider the size of a human body, in order to make a difference in effectiveness, shot placement is BY FAR the more important factor....

Again, assuming the same energy and bullet construction, the 45 will spend its energy generating a wider wound channel, the 9 will penetrate more.....I do not think one situation is always better than the other.....ergo I would not say one round is more effective than the other....

To paraphrase your recoil explanation (buttplace and needle)....when you fire a 338 Win Mag, one one side the shooter may experience just a bruised shoulder, on the other side a very small bullet with that energy concentrated in such small area, will travel through a Moose lenghtwise!!!

I'm done too...it's late and I'm going to bed..:)

Regards

kyo
April 24, 2009, 03:28 AM
yea if you are testing round nose, fine. Even with round nose, a 9mm is far more likely to pass through a person and NOT dump all of its energy into that person. A 45 being slower and heavier, will have a better chance. Now, if we get into hollow points the 45 also has the advantage because it can expand to a nice diameter. examples in the link
http://books.google.com/books?id=DkmLzuhLamAC&pg=PA50&lpg=PA50&dq=bullet+expansion+diameter&source=bl&ots=vhoHAXuZjw&sig=IMLs5Z2sf693alieV0yDm4Y9c_4&hl=en&ei=KmnxSZL0AZiWlAfGgK27DA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8#PPA76,M1

Page 76 is the chart. 1.75 times the original diameter. So, a 9mm would have to expand perfectly to get to 1.75 to have the same diameter as a 45 with 1.5 times expansion.
sleepy time too...long day

lvcat2004
April 24, 2009, 04:17 AM
I've read the post with great interest, and would like to comment. I believe that shot placement is of utmost importance and the caliber is less relevant, but here are my thoughts on caliber comparisons.

I disagree with some of the comments by King Ghidora as your analogy about water, pool, hammer, needles are all irrelevant as we are talking about things moving at much faster speeds, as well as skin being covered by clothes, other materials AND with deforming projectile such that physics is much too complicated to be put into such simple, and most importantly, irrelevant analogies.

If I were you, I wouldn't bring up your PhD STUDENT son to this argument. A student is NEVER a foremost expert in the field in anything. I've had my doctorate for years--you can trust me on this.

WWII/Vietnam war anecdotes are equally useless in that bullets used in wars are not comparable to modern JHP that we would use to shoot BG's.

There were a lot of 7th grade physics formulas thrown around earlier, but I belive that such simplistic explanations obvioulsy don't clear up the picture, since theare are far more variables and complex and dynamic interactions that get involved, not mention physiologic effect on the LIVE target that occurs as a result that bickering about 7th grade physics is not productive in advancing our understanding of this process.

I conclude that in modern bullets/ammos, there are not significant performance difference among 9/40/45ACP and such. That exactly is the reason that we keep on seeing these 9 vs 40 vs 45 threads without any conclusive scientific evidence. Someone who changes his mind from his one shot of buffalo oviously does not believe in scientific principles, but my thought is that this dynamic interaction of bullet penetrating clothes, skin, then expanding and damaging vital organs, in context of velocity, bullet weight, AND the resulting physiologic effect is not easily predicted by scientific models, but at the same time we canot conduct a double blinded randomized prospective study to compare the effectiveness of each caliber/ammo in live subjects to a point where we can come up with reliable scientific conclusion.

There is no winner/loser in this argument, and agreeing/diasgreeing with parts of each others comment will get us nowhere.

I stand by using what is most comfortable to shoot, with the most reliable weapon. I do believe however, that having more ammos is better than having less. :) I'd prefer to have 2 wound channels to 1.

Back to OP---shooting rubber blocks is utterly useless. I bet if you had shot with 223 or 308 you would have been the slowest person moving the block. Does that mean you wouldn't want to shoot a 223 or 308 against a BG??

Tropical Buzz
April 24, 2009, 05:06 AM
The facts that some are choosing to ignore:

YES a .45 is bigger than a 9mm - BUT by only 1/10 of a square inch!!

YES A .45 @ 230gr is heavier than a 147gr 9mm - BUT by only 83gr!!

The average human target weighs in the region of 175lbs.

83gr = 0.012lbs.

230gr =0.033lbs

175lbs = 1225490.1grains!!!

While the weight/size difference may mean something to a 1lb squirrel or a rubber block, compared to the size and weight of a human body the difference in weight between the two rounds is laughably negligible!

The difference in size of the wound channels is also insignificantly small!!

If you miss a vital target by 1/10 of an inch with the 9mm, you would still miss if you had used a .45!

YES the hammer/needle analogy is a ridiculous exaggeration in this context. Use a blunt ice pick vs. a sharp ice pick instead.

THE DIFFERENCE IN "SIZE" BETWEEN A .45 AND A 9MM BULLET IS INSIGNIFICANT IN A HUMAN SIZED TARGET.

With good modern ammo, both can penetrate vital areas with equal proficiency. Where you place the shot is all that's going to matter.

The strength of the pet preconceptions we cling to has way more stopping power than any handgun round!:D

Re: hydrostatic shock, no handgun round hits hard enough to send a shockwave pulse through your blood vessles that will destroy your heart valves and disrupt your brain.

chieftain
April 24, 2009, 05:11 AM
Simply amazing.

I reference the leading scientific researcher on the topic at hand, and many of you, very smart folks, a lot smarter than me, ignore him and start your own "theories" of applied Physics and how YOU THINK IT APPLIES OR SHOULD APPLY to terminal ballistics.

Guys, I am reading and hearing way to much denial in this thread. Rationalizations to justify your arguments are specious at best. The expert on the subject states "Basically all the standard service calibers work when fed good quality ammunition".

How many folks here don't understand this research? Go to M4carbine.net and read the terminal Ballistics information. Read test results that matter, and have already shown their validity and accuracy.

Read the existing research. Use it. Now that is radical.

Go figure.

Fred

DRYHUMOR
April 24, 2009, 05:41 AM
Energy, mass, velocity aside.

Point of aim must also be considered. The "sectional density" of the target will have a variable effect to either caliber.

Davionmaximus
April 24, 2009, 06:09 AM
You just wait... some special intrest group is going to start marching on Washington claiming the 2nd amendment group is abusing rubber blocks... I can just see it now!!

wickedsprint
April 24, 2009, 06:48 AM
This same argument has roots in a blade discussion. A 9mm is basically just a sharper knife. You stick someone with a sharp knife, the blade goes in, they may not even react or move. You stick em with a butter knife, especially one going slower..they might get pushed back before blade does anything and they'll certainly notice. There is your momentum theory. It's all about PSI. Me, I'll take the sharp knife. The .45 has already demonstrated poor penetration abilities in certain mediums, hence why they came out with the .38 Super..which shares surprisingly similar ballistics with a hot 9mm.

CDW4ME
April 24, 2009, 07:10 AM
Good post have been made already about momentum, elasticity, hydrostatic shock.....I've got my own copies of Handgun Stopping Power, Street Stoppers, and Stopping Power so I've read the 1 shot stop theories too.

I'll add some chrono results, this "apples to apples" as much as is possible.

Kahr PM9: Remington 115+P @ 1098 fps. 307 # KE or .56 momentum
Kakr PM45: Remington 185 @ 889 fps. 324 # KE or .73 momentum

KE and momentum are both measures of penetration potential. Projectiles with higher momentum are more resistant to deflection. Archers can blow through a deer with very low levels of KE (about 60# KE) due to the comparitively higher level of momentum (around .50). Higher KE is more likely to create hydrostatic shock.

The 45 carries two less rounds, but I prefer the larger bullet; if I'm carrying the 45, I can't wish I carried something bigger;). I'll carry the PM45 over the PM9 anytime I can conceal it.

RedLion
April 24, 2009, 01:37 PM
hmmmmm, I'm pretty sure some of the physics in this forum are a little screwed up, but what the hell would I know right???

bullets in real life=Momentum, Bullets in Marketing world = kinetic energy. Very different things, although related.

Surface tension- properties of a liquid
human skin/flesh/bone-solid-so no surface tension right?


deflection- caused by force directed in different direction other than what object is traveling at, only dependent on Mass and Acceleration, not only Velocity of object.

So if a blade of grass applies a force to the bullet in another direction other than the one its traveling in, its is the same as the wind applying a smaller force over a longer period of time. IE all bullets get deflected by grass/wind/whatever you want, the amount is dependent on the momentum of the bullet. Granted the blade of grass doesn't change the orientation of the bullet.

Shooting Blocks/Sheet Rock=/= shooting people. You PHDs in ballistics/fluid dynamics/human anatomy/supersonic objects should at least know that ceramics/rubbers/composites are very different and will act accordingly when hit by metallic bullets at speed. The only reliable way to see how a bullet is going to act when it hits a person is by shooting a person, or materials that mimic people very closely. Otherwise your 'hydrostatic tensions' don't apply very well in rubbers or ceramics, I hope you didn't use these findings of penetration on the internet in your theses, because they are not based in science, no matter how closely they mimic what we find in the real world.

Terminal ballistics is a very sketchy science. There are simply too many variables to take into account, which is why we test everything, and there is no FEA for bullets.

I still fail to see why a person with a PHD working for NASA would waste their time talking to us idiots on a firearms forum, and try to explain there extensive Air Force funded research into the .45 ACP to us. Maybe this war has gone on long enough?

Plus the reason you get a PHD is because you did research and became an expert in you field. And by field I mean something extremely narrow, like measuring atom structure of crystals by hitting them with x rays, not just fluids or something like that. So don't get too angry you guys, I'm sure the DOD is paying you ten times what we can ever hope to make.

ArmedBear
April 24, 2009, 03:14 PM
there are several other factors taking precedence...


Sure. Penetration is equal, and deflection is less with the .45 (therefore it's more likely to break bones, or keep going through heavy fabric or leather, than be deflected by them). But let's pretend that the two will follow about the same track in the target, because that's what the ballistic gel looks like. If anything, this gives the benefit of the doubt to the 9mm anyway.

And since you deny that there is really such thing as hydrostatic shock (and so do I at the velocities in question), let's not imagine that hydrostatic shock isn't a factor. We agree on that anyway.

Then, the primary remaining factor is the size of the bullet, once expanded.

Let's assume that we're using the same bullet design in each caliber, because anything else is apples-to-oranges anyway.

So you're claiming that an expanded 9mm bullet going 13" deep will cause equal or greater damage to the target than an expanded .45ACP bullet does, traveling that same 13"?

Sorry, but that's nothing short of ridiculous.

weisse52
April 24, 2009, 03:41 PM
I just like the .45 better. So that settles it for me.

Ok, you guys can get back to your discussion.

Woodrowmag
April 24, 2009, 04:31 PM
It only makes sense that a bigger projectile would move an object (that is light enough to be moved by said projectile) more than a smaller one. Shouldn't really come as a surprise.

A human being is generally a lot heavier than a little rubber block. A human being is also a large enough target where a millimeter here and there won't make a difference. The shot that kills you with a .45 auto will also kill you with a 9mm.

If given the choice to get shot by either round, I'd say, 'shoot me with either. If I live, I probably won't notice the difference.' In the end, these discussions are silly, especially to get your panties in a knot over.

blkbrd666
April 24, 2009, 04:55 PM
I have a .45 vs 9mm story. When I was in college, a friend of mine came over to go shooting. I lived out in the country so we were just shooting at cans, boxes, etc. in the back yard. I stood a car muffler up on its end for us to shoot at and drew about a 4" black dot/circle on it for a target. We backed off and I shot first with a Walther P38 9mm. I emptied the mag, 8 shots, and the muffler never moved. My buddy pulled out his 1911 and fired one shot and sent the muffler flipping end over end about 10-15 feet away. As we were walking down to look at the muffler, he was laughing hysterically and commented, "I can't believe you missed 8 times!". When we got to the muffler it had 8 holes in the big black dot and all exiting out the back. There was one big dent in the muffler just above the dot about the size of a fist and an inch deep. We backed up to where the muffler had been standing and his flattened .45 bullet was laying there on the ground. Completely different results from the 2 calibers, but pretty interesting. He quit laughing.

KBintheSLC
April 24, 2009, 05:19 PM
The narrower 9 mm plows through easily while the 45 meets more resistance so the block moves....momentum has absolutely NOTHING to do with it

Saturno...

I think you are sort of right, but momentum still plays a major role. The greater momentum of the heavier bullet is fully absorbed by the object due to the bullets greater resistance aka profile. This may result in less penetration for the heavier, wider bullet. But, we don't know that the lighter 9mm did not remain inside the block as well. If all bullets failed to exit the block, then momentum is king as we can assume that all momentum was transfered to the block.

So don't bang your head too hard over it.

Yes the beloved standard 45 round has more momentum than a 9 mm standard round, I give you that.....does that means that a 45 is more effective than a 9 just because of momentum....definitely not
If you think that I was implying such a thing when I made my statement on momentum, you are profoundly confused, and obviously failed to read the rest of the post. It was simply a response to the rubber block scenario. No need to get sensitive.

..

DRYHUMOR
April 24, 2009, 05:44 PM
When you pratice head shots...

it makes no difference. :neener:

lvcat2004
April 24, 2009, 06:56 PM
Chiftain: I agree with you completely that the software is more important than a caliber argument. You must be able to hit the target first, multiple times before we even start talking about this stuff in the first place.

I missed your link to Dr. Roberts results however, it's not the ballistic gel stuff is it?? I would like to take a look if you don't mind giving me a link to it. I personally think that ballistic gel result is just ONE component of this big puzzle and inadequate to make any conclusion as to what is more effective on a LIVE, CLOTHED target with heterogenous densities, unlike that of ballistic gels.

However, I would be hard pressed to look at just one expert opinion and calling it a day. There are many subjects in which many "experts" can't agree on, despite "evidence" they claim to have. Some studies are more well designed than others, and you can deduce different conclusions based on the study design and execution. I don't think that we have a conclusive scientific evidence on this matter.

King Ghidora: I have no hostility to you and I never said that surface tension is completley irrelevant. I implied that your one-minded argument as if surface tension explains everything is irrelevant. Besides we're really not talking about shooting bullets into water, but solid substances, clothes, skin, tissues, bones, with deforming bullets. It's a particularly poor analogy.

My Doctorate is in Medicine. I have published articles as an undergraduate and as a graduate, post-graduate...those of us coming from top schools all do that, sorry to burst your bubbles. I understand that you are a proud parent, and a former engineering student, but my undergraduate work was done in biochemistry where the department is #1 in the nation, as well as having physics, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, EECS graduate schools all top 5 in the nation (according to US news and world report, whatever that's worth). Does that make me more credible since you boast about your "leading" school career?? GRE score?? My goodness, I can talk about my SAT, MCAT, USMLE scores and percentiles, but those of us professionals that have been in the business for over a decade don't really talke about tests for "students" ;)

I know MANY post-docs, graduate students, and there were more Nobel Laureates in my school than any other school in the WORLD. I know what it takes to be the "expert in the WORLD", and I can assure you that your graduate student son is NOT it. Simply writing a PhD thesis on a narrow subject doesn't qualify your as a "world expert" Let's take your poor son out of this thread....now I can't remember why you brought him in this mess in the first place. What does OUR eductaion or our kids education matter anyway in this matter?? :confused:

Redlion: Thanks, exactly my point. This problem is too complicated to be solved by simple formulas.

I can say one thing though....if you think this can be explained by a single physics principle or one newtonian formula.....you probably don't get it. I'm sorry Dr. surface tension.

chieftain
April 24, 2009, 11:08 PM
Chiftain: I agree with you completely that the software is more important than a caliber argument. You must be able to hit the target first, multiple times before we even start talking about this stuff in the first place.

I missed your link to Dr. Roberts results however, it's not the ballistic gel stuff is it?? I would like to take a look if you don't mind giving me a link to it. I personally think that ballistic gel result is just ONE component of this big puzzle and inadequate to make any conclusion as to what is more effective on a LIVE, CLOTHED target with heterogenous densities, unlike that of ballistic gels.


Thanks Doc. The link is back in my Post #22 of this thread. Once you get to Doc Roberts data on M4Carbine Net, you will be able to link to a lot more data and references in regards to this subject.

I am impressed by all the credentials you folks have though. I got a 4 year full ride scholarship to USMC, and did my graduate work in Vietnam for a couple of years plus. The extra curricular stuff was special though.

I used to ask a few of questions to those who would always insist on any given caliber over another: In this case using the classic 9mm vs 45acp. Replace any of the traditional fighting handgun calibers here.

If I place three 9mm bullets exactly where they need to be in the BG, what do you think will happen differently if I place three 45acp bullets in the exact same place?

NOW

If I place my three 9mm bullets in a non critical area of the bad guy, what do you think will happen DIFFERENTLY if I place three 45 bullets in the exact same place?

Can I get an "AMEN" from all the high priced help we have here?

That is about all I have to add to this argument at this time.

Go figure.

Fred

Tropical Buzz
April 25, 2009, 01:27 AM
Sure. Penetration is equal, and deflection is less with the .45 (therefore it's more likely to break bones, or keep going through heavy fabric or leather, than be deflected by them). But let's pretend that the two will follow about the same track in the target, because that's what the ballistic gel looks like. If anything, this gives the benefit of the doubt to the 9mm anyway.

And since you deny that there is really such thing as hydrostatic shock (and so do I at the velocities in question), let's not imagine that hydrostatic shock isn't a factor. We agree on that anyway.

Then, the primary remaining factor is the size of the bullet, once expanded.

Let's assume that we're using the same bullet design in each caliber, because anything else is apples-to-oranges anyway.

So you're claiming that an expanded 9mm bullet going 13" deep will cause equal or greater damage to the target than an expanded .45ACP bullet does, traveling that same 13"?

Sorry, but that's nothing short of ridiculous.

In the interest of furthering a spirited but civil and interesting debate, here is a comparison of of two good rounds in their respective calibers vs. a machete weilding block of ballistic gelatin bent on murder and mayhem. (compliments of Brassfetcher).

.45 Hornady 230gr XTP
Velocity 881 fps
Best penetration 12.7"
Expanded diameter .736"
Wound channel volume* 5.4 cubic inches

9mm Remington 147gr Golden Saber
Velocity 959 fps
Best penetration 14.5"
Expanded diameter .627"
Wound channel volume* 4.5 cubic inches

The 45 hole is less than 1 cubic inch bigger than the 9mm hole. Not really very significant in terms of blood loss or tissue damage. Exactly what part of the body these holes are made in and not the size of the holes will determine the lethality of the hits.

*ASSumes that the bullets reached full expansion size on impact. A linear expansion model would produce essentially the same results.

A few observations based on some of the other posts:

1. A bullet skipping off the water has nothing at all to do with surface tension. It skips because water is non-compressible and behaves like a solid when impact occurs too fast to allow an equivalent volume to be displaced.

2. Most of the calculations and scientific data presented in various posts is correct. They establish and support what we already know; ie: a larger, heavier object pushed to an equivalent velocity will have more (potential) kinetic energy at impact. What's being consistently overlooked is the insignificance of the delta in relation to a target that has thousands of times more mass than either of the bullets.

3. The issue of recoil is a relevant point of discussion. The theory of equal and opposite reactions dictates that a gun should recoil with the same energy as that of the bullet leaving the barrel. It does. But there is more to consider than just the surface area of the buttstock when explaining why the shooter doesn't get his shoulder or hand blown off. For one, the gun has way more mass than the relatively tiny bullet and is moved far slower and a way smaller distance than the bullet. In auto loading guns, the recoiling bolt or slide/spring assembly, which also have many times more mass than the bullet, absorb much of the "equal and opposite reaction". This is why a lightweight snubby kicks harder than a 6" steel revolver firing the same round.
To get a feel for the importance of mass when discussing the practical conversion of energy into work, fire a ball bearing out of your kid's slingshot, then try using the same sling and rubber bands to launch a 5 pound rock.

wickedsprint
April 25, 2009, 03:58 AM
Thermometers also have degrees and we know where they stick them...

That being said, I'll take the 9mm for the extra capacity and cheaper ammo. Why is it always 9mm vs 45 anyways? You can buy some pretty compact 357 Magnums that are much hotter than both.

elktrout
April 25, 2009, 09:52 AM
This debate (9 vs 45) will continue until the earth burns up. Your experience with the rubber blocks mirrors the famous Thompson LaGarde tests at the turn of the 20th Century when the US Army wanted a more decisive pistol after the poor results of the .38s they used in the Phillipines.

T&G shot into cadavers that were hung by a rope, so they could observe the amount of movement caused by each bullet's impact. Scientific? Hardly. Conclusive? In some respects. But it lead to the .45 ACP's development and subsequent adoption by the Army in the famous 1911 pistol.

Everyone either has their own stories or knows someone who has stories about certain rounds failing to stop someone. I believe Clint Smith got it correct when he said that you use your pistol to fight your way to your rifle. Obviously, we cannot always have a rifle close by, but his point was that all pistols can fail to stop someone in certain situations.

ohwell
April 25, 2009, 12:44 PM
I have both and I dont think either are as good as the 125 grain 357 jhp but if your really convinced big and slow is better than just throw baseballs. I think in reality it depends on the situation and what you have to shoot through to get at your target!

GLOOB
April 27, 2009, 05:43 AM
YES a .45 is bigger than a 9mm - BUT by only 1/10 of a square inch!!

YES A .45 @ 230gr is heavier than a 147gr 9mm - BUT by only 83gr!!



- The entire cross sectional surface area of a 9mm bullet is 0.126 square inches. It's barely more than 1/10 of a square inch, itself. A .45 cal bullet has 61% greater cross sectional surface area than 9mm bullet. But since you don't like percentages, let's just say a 9mm bullet is less than 1/10 square inch larger than a .177 pellet.

- 83 grains is more than half the weight of the heaviest 9mm bullet. So you're saying the heaviest .45 ACP bullet is more than 50% heavier than the heaviest 9mm bullet. And the most common .45 ACP bullet (230 grains) is 100% heavier than the most common 9mm bullet (115 grains).

Well done. You have clearly demonstrated a HUGE difference between the two projectiles. That was your point, right? Ooops.


If I place three 9mm bullets exactly where they need to be in the BG, what do you think will happen differently if I place three 45acp bullets in the exact same place?

NOW

If I place my three 9mm bullets in a non critical area of the bad guy, what do you think will happen DIFFERENTLY if I place three 45 bullets in the exact same place?


If you believe the word of soldiers who have experience shooting other human beings in combat, the difference is that the latter group will actually notice they've been shot. Course that's with FMJ. And the bad guys weren't made of ballistic gelatin, so it obviously doesn't mean anything.

chieftain
April 27, 2009, 07:28 AM
If I place three 9mm bullets exactly where they need to be in the BG, what do you think will happen differently if I place three 45acp bullets in the exact same place?

NOW

If I place my three 9mm bullets in a non critical area of the bad guy, what do you think will happen DIFFERENTLY if I place three 45 bullets in the exact same place?

Again, a non answer. I would like for you to document where folks shot in the vital spots with three rounds of 9mm or 45acp did not notice they were shot. It has happened, with every caliber that exists. Maybe the guy up in Idaho IIRC, when he was hit with 31 rounds of 230gr JHP 45acp?

I think you are dealing with unrealistic expectations.


If you believe the word of soldiers who have experience shooting other human beings in combat, the difference is that the latter group will actually notice they've been shot. Course that's with FMJ. And the bad guys weren't made of ballistic gelatin, so it obviously doesn't mean anything.


I believe the experience of this Marine. ME. The NVA I shot weren't made of Jello or Ballistic gelatin and neither was I when they shot me.

Now I only had two 13 month tours with the 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam. I don't doubt your combat experience is vastly superior and in much heavier combat than I ever saw.

Tell us about your combat experience with the two calibers and I will tell you mine. I carry either a Colt Government in 45acp, or a 9MM in a Browning Highpower for CCW these days. I feel equally at ease and effective with either cartridge.

Go figure.

Fred

Tropical Buzz
April 27, 2009, 09:42 AM
Well done. You have clearly demonstrated a HUGE difference between the two projectiles. That was your point, right? Ooops.

GLOOB,
No oops at all. No one has denied that the .45 is both bigger and heavier than the 9mm. The point was - and still is - that while the difference looks "huge" on paper or percentage-wise if you prefer, the actual numerical value of the difference compared to the mass of a man-size target is tiny! Hence no "huge" net difference in terminal ballistic performance or effectiveness against 175lb living targets.

Obsessing over the paper specs of the rounds and comparing them in isolation from the specs of the intended target is just a way to "spin" the data in support of the romanticized, mythical "hugeness" of the .45 round. Flying ashtray, bowling ball and all that.:rolleyes:

If your intended target is golf balls, rubber blocks, young squirrels and old mufflers, I will grant you that there is a "big" difference between .45 and 9mm - how's that? .:D

Let's not get silly with the .177 pellet thing. Different ballistic ballpark altogether. But since you brought it up, be sensible and compare it to a .22 pellet instead. My point will remain valid. Against a squirrel weighing a few ounces, there will be a "huge" difference in effectiveness. Against any animal weighing 75lbs and up there will be almost none..

Tropical Buzz
April 27, 2009, 10:11 AM
Sorry - double tap, apparently.

GLOOB
April 27, 2009, 02:24 PM
Let's not get silly with the .177 pellet thing. Different ballistic ballpark altogether. But since you brought it up, be sensible and compare it to a .22 pellet instead. My point will remain valid. Against a squirrel weighing a few ounces, there will be a "huge" difference in effectiveness. Against any animal weighing 75lbs and up there will be almost none..

Why not get silly and compare pellets?

Silly mental masturbation to follow:

Most popular .22 pellet weights are around 14-15 grains
Most popular .177 pellet weights are around 7-8 grains

A .22 pellet is about twice the weight of .177 pellet.

.22 cal is 54% more surface area than .177 cal

The difference between a .177 pellet and a .22 pellet is almost identical to The difference between a 9mm parabellum projectile and a .45 ACP projectile! Intriguing, isn't it?!?!

Comparing the weight of a 15 grain .22 pellet to a 230 grain .45 ACP bullet, the pellet is 15.3 times lighter. So 175lb/15.3 =11.4 pounds. Hmm. Notice the BOLD type I highlighted in your post. You mentioned 75 pounds and up. Well, from these ratios, we should be comparing effectiveness on animals weighing only 11.4 pounds as a basis of comparison! What animal weighs 11.4 pounds? A racoon maybe? A large hare? Modern PCP air rifles have been used to humanely and legally hunt turkey and coyote.. average weight of either is probably about 20-25 pounds. So do you think there'd be a notable difference in performance between these pellets on these types of animals, given an equal kinetic energy? Honestly, I don't know. And what would it prove anyway?

I just like to point out the errors in false logic. If you read any of my posts, all I have written is either fact, or the subjective opinion of other people which I admit I cannot verify. No I have never shot anyone with a pistol. Have you? And I don't mean that with any disrespect. What I mean is that running out of ammo and charging/defending against bayonet charges up close and personal seems to have last occurred in WWII.

I don't have a favorite pistol caliber. But I am NOT convinced that ballistic gel tests showing 9mm ALMOST as good means 9mm is JUST as good. And AFAIK, what statistics that are available seem to show .357 and .45 to be at the top of the 1 shot stop statistics. Again, I don't put TOO much stock in that. But how in the face of all that do people end up saying, "There's only a small difference in weight, surface area, ballistic gel wound channels, and statistics... therefore 9mm is as good or even better than .45 ACP in terms of speed of incapacitation?" I say you add in the lower recoil, higher capacity, and quicker followup shots, and you start having an argument. But not until then.

:)

Tropical Buzz
April 27, 2009, 02:46 PM
Lol! Let's just agree that you believe in flying ashtrays and some of us don't.:D

GLOOB
April 27, 2009, 02:57 PM
Did we both just managed to pull ourselves out of a bucket of trollbait and emerge on the high road!?!??

Yea!!!! :D:D:D

Looking forward to the next time. :)

BushyGuy
April 27, 2009, 03:48 PM
9mm has better penetration then the .45 fmj period, there was testing on a kevlar vest the 9mm penetrated more layers of kevlar then the .45 .9mm also penetrates more gelatin then the .45 too the only differnce is the .45 dumps more energy when used in HP bullets then the 9mmbut when it comes to Kevlar the 9mm NATO round beats any .45 bullet in penetration. at 1200 fps its gonna drill a very deep hole.

GLOOB
April 28, 2009, 08:55 AM
Warning. Pure, speculative conjecture to follow.

Knockdown power. What is it?
If it doesn't exist, where did the term come from?

My theory: knockdown power is not about literally knocking people off their feet. It's a difference in target reactiveness.

Fantasy simulation alert: Imagine you're in the heat of military combat, being charged by 8 enemy soldiers wielding bayonets. You start shooting with a 9mm loaded with FMJ. You're in the jungle. It's dark. The enemy is in green camo. You start shooting. Miss. Miss. Damn, you start to panic. Now you hastily unload your pistol not even aiming, facing iminent death. Then you die. But you took one down with you.

What you didn't realize is that you actually hit with every shot. That first target was like the muffler that never budged despite several penetrating shots. Or the deer that took off running - putting doubts in your head, only to see it fall dead after 20 feet. In reality, your first shot hit the bulls eye. But it took the guy a few seconds to keel over dead, and in the meantime you thought you missed. You panicked, continued firing on him, and then were overwhelmed by his friends.

Reenter fantasy simulation with a .45 loaded with magical bullets:
You shoot. This time you know you hit your target. He didn't fly off his feet or stop dead in his tracks, but you definitely noticed some target reactance. You manage to keep your wits about you and put a bullet in 7 of the baddies. Then you capture the enemy officer and receive a medal of valor.

Now, for the sake of argument, let's say the .45 didn't cause the guys to drop any faster than the 9mm. The only difference is that the shooter had a little more immediate visual feedback from hits.

Is this the real "knockdown power?"

BTW, I read that story somewhere, years ago, and apparently it's true. 1 guy with a 1911 and 8 enemy soldiers charging with bayonets = 1 American hero with a medal of valor, 1 captured enemy officer, and 7 enemy soldiers down with 7 shots fired. As I recall it, the story said he started at the back line and worked his way to the front, so the enemy wouldn't realize what was happening until it was too late.

Tropical Buzz
April 28, 2009, 02:39 PM
http://www.clubcobra.com/photopost/data/500/9_VS_45.jpg

http://www.clubcobra.com/photopost/data/500/9_VS_45_2.jpg

I hope no one goes ballistic over this conclusive evidence...:evil:

KBintheSLC
April 28, 2009, 02:53 PM
I can't believe this thread is still going. I had to post again just to keep the dream alive... even longer. One day we can dream to have a 9 vs 45 thread that really is "different".

Supertec
April 28, 2009, 09:18 PM
I haven't read any of these actual real world studies by some of these doctors where criminals and bad guys were shot on the streets and in home invasions. So all I wanna know is based on all these actual real life shootings what cartridge/caliber performed the best as far as stopping power goes? I currently have an XDm .40 cal. loaded with 155 and 165 speer gold dot ammo but who knows maybe I'm carrying a below average weapon, LOL.

chieftain
April 29, 2009, 02:33 AM
I haven't read any of these actual real world studies by some of these doctors where criminals and bad guys were shot on the streets and in home invasions. So all I wanna know is based on all these actual real life shootings what cartridge/caliber performed the best as far as stopping power goes? I currently have an XDm .40 cal. loaded with 155 and 165 speer gold dot ammo but who knows maybe I'm carrying a below average weapon,

All the science and experience gets to the same place. Your 40 is as good as my 45's or my 9's. NO DIFFERENCE. You are the weapon, the gun/caliber is the hammer. Learn how to use it effectively and caliber, or which caliber will be a question that never crosses your lips.

The part that is hard to get right is yourself. There are no shortcuts. Mindset, tactics, ROE (Rules of engagement) training, training, training, (as much as you can afford, then quality practice, not recreational shooting at your local range), practice practice, practice, maintaining your weapon PROPERLY. And once your are truly trained, and possibly experienced, you will usually now, understand the actual problem, caliber will sink in your mind to simply a convenience based on the most reliable platform that fits you. Not you to it, and I recommend always get that gun/platform in the caliber it was originally designed for no matter what it is of the "fighting calibers". (Most guns/platforms are usually most reliable in the originally designed barrel length/size and caliber.)

Good luck.

Fred

CDW4ME
April 29, 2009, 06:56 AM
Tropical Buzz:
".45 Hornady 230gr XTP
Velocity 881 fps
Best penetration 12.7"
Expanded diameter .736"
Wound channel volume* 5.4 cubic inches

9mm Remington 147gr Golden Saber
Velocity 959 fps
Best penetration 14.5"
Expanded diameter .627"
Wound channel volume* 4.5 cubic inches

The 45 hole is less than 1 cubic inch bigger than the 9mm hole. Not really very significant in terms of blood loss or tissue damage. Exactly what part of the body these holes are made in and not the size of the holes will determine the lethality of the hits."

It's less than a cubic inch, but 5.4 cubic in. is 17% greater than 4.5''
Given equal shot placement seems that 17% more is worth considering.

Tropical Buzz
April 29, 2009, 11:02 AM
It's less than a cubic inch, but 5.4 cubic in. is 17% greater than 4.5''
Given equal shot placement seems that 17% more is worth considering.

Sure. less than 1 cubic inch is still less than one cubic inch though, no matter how much more impressive the 17% figure looks on paper.

If the point of exploring the facts is to reinforce a comforting preconception instead of looking for an objective answer, there are many ways of spinning the data, depending on how you want the comparison to stack up.

With a 17% larger wound channel, for example, one could (without the complication of considering all the variables) conclude the following:

If the 9mm wound incapacitates through blood loss in 1 second, the same shot from a .45 would incapacitate in .83 seconds. .17 seconds faster.

At a 5 second incapacitation time by the 9mm the .45 would do it .85 seconds quicker.

At 10 seconds, the .45 victim goes down 1.7 seconds sooner.

You could say that beyond a certain point, the difference becomes significant because the perp could use the extra time to inflict damage on you. But that conclusion ignores the likelihood that one would continue with follow up shots until the attacker is stopped. Which caliber in a given platform delivers quicker, more accurate follow up shots?

You could also look at the additional 1.8" (14%!! :what:) of penetration from the 9mm. That just might be the extra mile that hits the spinal cord or that vital organ in a semi-obstructed shot. And then again it might not.

Lots of data to have fun with and nitpick over. Bottom line is the actual differences just ain't that big at all. To be bopped by a bowling ball/flying ashtray or ventillated by high velocity marbles - pick your poision and be happy!;)

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 29, 2009, 11:33 AM
It's analygous to a bowling pin gun - big bores with big heavy hollowpoints move heavy hard objects better - very little to no correlation to stopping power, however, as has been mentioned.

In any event, sounds like a recipe for disaster, shooting hard rubber targets at 10 yards - did everyone make it home intact? Those things shoot back.

flyboy1788
April 29, 2009, 11:51 AM
Ever since my dad told me about how his dad's(my grandpa's) war buddy who was an officer in the PTO during WWII would tell him stories about hitting japanese soldiers with the 1911 and spinning them around and knocking them down, the seed was planted. Granted, the average japanese soldier wasnt very big, but still... to spin someone around, it takes a good amount of power, size, and energy. .45 for life. Granted, I have a 9mm as well, but it just doesnt make me feel all warm and happy inside like my 1911:D

bigfatdave
April 29, 2009, 04:42 PM
Ever since my dad told me about how his dad's(my grandpa's) war buddy who was an officer in the PTO during WWII
The plural of anecdote is not data.

Real-world experience counts, but that experience would have been with ball ammunition, and the observation conducted through a mix of adrenaline, fatigue, and passed time.
Now if the story went something like -I was defending our foxhole with a .45, while Jenkins only had a captured 9mm ... ..."- then you might have a decent comparison of two particular firearms firing two loads, but you still wouldn't have a scientific study of modern loads in modern guns, and it wouldn't take into account capacity, follow-up shot speed, or concealment issues.

If you want "stopping power", pack a .500 magnum, and be ready for someone to tell you that you need to be packing .460/.454/.577 ... or realize that any firearm is a compromise, and that there is no magic bullet.

kyo
April 29, 2009, 08:19 PM
There are advantages and disadvantages of both. pick yours and be done with it. I pick the 230 g 45 :D /thread

Dan Crocker
April 29, 2009, 08:41 PM
I have two guns in my desk as we speak: Glock 19 and XD 45 compact.
Who cares?

docmagnum357
April 29, 2009, 09:53 PM
The whole thing was solved for me a long time ago. I loaded some 200 grain 38 bullets up to 45 velocities, and shot a bunch of stuff. (2400, 4227 will get you there easily and safely). Obviously, the 38 bullets penetrate like nobody's business, while the 45 would make a bigger hole, with more of a splatter in mud, etc. Bull frogs shot with the 38 were edible, even shot through the leg. 45 was marginal. 44 mag would vaporize them. Shoot them through the boddy with a magnum and I couldn't find the legs.

Bigger game, like huge coons, bobcat, coyotes were definately more impressed by the 45. 45 ball and the hardcast 200 grain 38 would pass through each one but the 45 seemed to impart more thump to the victim.

Bowling pins, trees, etc were hands down 38 territory.

Insofar as deer were concerned, I never shot enough to be scientific, but i can assure you neither was a one stop shot everytimer. Personally, I couldn't tell the difference in wound tracks, and the 38 penetrated more, so...
I would feel better about it. Neither was even close to a good flat point 44 round, or a good stay together hollow point like a n xtp in 44 mag.

What do I shoot? On security duty I carry a Cz75, stoked with 124 grain Gold dots. On my own time, A 6.5 " 629 with 180 grain xtps. I can make the hits with it, just not quite as fast as with the Cz. Incidently, I am almost identical in my times with a 44 mag as with my .45acp. Go figure.

flyboy1788
April 29, 2009, 11:13 PM
big fat dave, I wasnt ripping the 9 millimeter, or stating that the .45 is the be all end all pistol cartridge, nor was I trying to be scientific in my post in any way. It was just something interesting that my grandpas good friend told my dad when he was young. Nothing more, nothing less. Personally, I prefer the .45 and that post was just meant to be a neat glimpse of the 1911s military track record from a source close to home. Sometimes, statistics and reading about ballistics and all the other technical aspects of ammunition get boring. IMHO

chieftain
April 30, 2009, 03:22 AM
bigfatdave,

no, no, no.

Everyone knows any true "War Story" begins with:

"This ain't no Sh*T, I was.........."

Got to get the details straight.

Go figure.

Fred

KBintheSLC
April 30, 2009, 06:06 PM
All the science and experience gets to the same place. Your 40 is as good as my 45's or my 9's. NO DIFFERENCE. You are the weapon, the gun/caliber is the hammer. Learn how to use it effectively and caliber, or which caliber will be a question that never crosses your lips.

Fred,

Its great to hear a voice of reason in all of this mumbo jumbo. Thank you.

jojo200517
April 30, 2009, 06:50 PM
For everyone that says there 9mm such as the Kahr Arms PM9, or kel tec p11 fits in there pocket I think that is real nice.

My Taurus Millennium PT145 fits in my pocket. It bulges a bit more and is a bit heavier but I think I'll take my 11 rounds of .45 instead of 6 to 10 rounds of 9mm.

For the ones that think "hey my 9mm holds 19 rounds that owns your 11 rounds of .45 all day long". Well it might, hope it don't jam so you can shoot someone more times to get the job done.

Bottom line, no one in there right mind WANTS to get shot but if i had a choice I'd rather get shot with something smaller.

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