US Military and the Beretta M9


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MarkP
November 25, 2009, 11:54 AM
I often wonder why the 9mm is so popular. For competitive reasons, I can see the 9mm would be an "Ok" choice. However, if my life were depending on a firearm, a 9mm certainly would not be my pick. I have read countless articles and seen police videos where the 9mm just didn't have the "knockdown" power necessary to earn the title of an effective or reliable handgun. One instance I recall quite clearly is a female police officer on a routine traffic stop where the man she pulled over got out an attacked her, she got away, told him to stop, shot him 3 times with her 9mm, and he still proceeded to attack her. Another incident I remember reading about was when a 9mm didn't even have enough power to pierce the windshield of a Dodge neon from fairly close range.

This raises the question of why the US Military insists on issuing the Beretta M9 to it's officers and most of their deployed service members. I'm aware that pistols are not used very often in a combat situation, but if the situation were to arise where a handgun were a means of saving my life or the life of the man fighting next to me, why rely on the M9? Does production cost have something to do with it? Or maybe I'm missing something? Forgive me, I am a bit ignorant on this subject.

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12Bravo20
November 25, 2009, 12:00 PM
Why the military went to the M9 and the 9mm round has to do with politics and NATO.

HoosierQ
November 25, 2009, 12:07 PM
I believe that the 9mm is underated. I think this comes partly from popular culture where the .40 is king, and partly because the FMJ is not the ideal SD bullet.

Bottom line, in a war, any handgun is going to come up short. Since the purpose of a handgun is to get you to your rifle, I suspect that the military deams the 9mm sufficient in terms of power...especially out of a 5" barrel...it works quite well in shorter barrels (unlike some calibers) and it is a very common caliber and less expensive to produce than many.

The 9mm is very underatted and frankly some of that is our fault. In the US, 9mm is loaded lighter than the round was designed for.

Obviously the .45 is a great caliber but since only we use it, there are some economies of scale that we would not be able to take advantage of. You are already in a world of hurt if you have to rely on a handgun on the battlefield even if you had a .44 magnum.

MarkP
November 25, 2009, 12:10 PM
Why the military went to the M9 and the 9mm round has to do with politics and NATO.
I figured that had something to do with it, but I've seen service members with .45 caliber handguns before. So I assume that politics limits itself only to what it allows the military issue to it's service members, while still allowing them to carry personal firearms?

mljdeckard
November 25, 2009, 12:11 PM
No handgun has the "knockdown" power to be an effective or reliable handgun.

Of course I would prefer my 1911, but it's not gonna happen. If the army would let me take 500 rds of my own choice of ammo, I would use the M-9 and be.....less dissatisfied.

Remember this. The choice of issue sidearm has never affected the outcome of a war.

And we will tell NATO to go pound sand if we want to. We rallied to get them all to accept 7.62 as the rifle round, and as soon as they did, we switched to 5.56. They didn't change for decades. They used 9mm for decades while we used the .45. I think NATO's influence in the decision is greatly exaggerated.

(It's easy to spot the new guys, isn't it? :)

Onmilo
November 25, 2009, 01:21 PM
NATO conformity of ammunition standards.

The 9mm isn't as ineffective as many have been led to believe.

Philo_Beddoe
November 25, 2009, 01:24 PM
Why do people think that .35 (9mm) vs .40 vs .45 is really going to make a tremendous difference in FMJ form?

The .45 is only 30% larger diameter and the .40 only 15%. But by the same token the 9mm G17 holds 30% more rounds then the .45 G21 and 13% more rounds then the .40 G22.

Basically its a capacity vs bullet size arguement. In a military situation unlike a self defense situation a higher magazine capacity is important.

The 40 is a 10mm and the 45 is a 11.5mm, is 1 mm and 1.5 mm really gonna be a that huge of a game changer? I tend to doubt it.

Now in a self defense scenario where it almost always 6 rounds or less I could argue for the big bullet.

However in a self defense hollow points are allowed and all 3 calibers are plenty adequate with the right loads in JHP.

I prefer 9mm because I dont reload and its cost about half as much as the other two do which means more practice and more hits in the vitals which is more important then anything else imo.

X-Rap
November 25, 2009, 01:27 PM
I think reliability and ease of use as well as the high capacity are all factors and as has been said, the sidearm never affects the outcome of a war.
I never feel undergunned with a 9mm especially if it is packing 12 or more rds.

usp9
November 25, 2009, 01:30 PM
In the military, a pistol is mainly a "crowd control" device. Armies use high explosives to do most of it's killing, rifles and machine guns do the close up killing. The 9mm is as effective as any in urging folks to follow instructions.

The Beretta M9 is a very well made handgun. Showing it's age perhaps, but still a proven, dependable gun.

DougDubya
November 25, 2009, 03:54 PM
Pistols are also primarily a "badge of office."

Grenades, machine guns, artillery and rifles are meant for "knocking down" enemy soldiers.

Birdmang
November 25, 2009, 03:58 PM
We are NATO, the US is NATO.

We choose the M9 and 9mm.

mljdeckard
November 25, 2009, 04:03 PM
But that was.....how many years after Britain started using the hi-power?

Shawn Dodson
November 25, 2009, 04:10 PM
There are similar stories of ineffectiveness for .45 ACP too. IIRC, one failure led Texas Highway Patrol to replace its .45 ACP with .357 SIG.

mljdeckard
November 25, 2009, 04:27 PM
^^Again, no handgun is adequate for SD. I don't see any conclusive data to say that .357 Sig is an improvement.

Shawn Dodson
November 25, 2009, 04:30 PM
I don't see any conclusive data to say that .357 Sig is an improvement. I agree. It's just another choice.

sb350hp
November 25, 2009, 04:55 PM
"knockdown" power is a myth with FMJ rounds anyhow, unless you center punch bone mass. A flesh wound will leave him/her walking in most cases. So if we throw the force of impact aruement out the window what stops the BG is blood leaving the body, so more holes or bigger holes are the answer. And remember 1 big hit is better than 13 tiny misses.

Echo9
November 25, 2009, 05:07 PM
I sell guns, and I meet LOTS of service members at work. I often ask them their opinion of the M9, because I figure they're pretty damned qualified to talk about it.

I've heard a lot of different answers. One young Marine called it "dead weight." He said you just won't engage an enemy closer than about 150 meters, and they carry plenty of 5.56 -- so the M9 just kind of sits there.

I just spoke with a soldier yesterday who told me that, while it wouldn't be his first choice, they "beat the piss out of" their M9s and they keep functioning just fine. When I asked how it reacts to sand, he told me that you really need to keep it clear of that sort of debris.

I've also talked to a lot of soldiers and Marines about why exactly the military switched to a 9mm Beretta, of all things. I've heard a few different answers -- capacity, politics, money, weight, etc. But one thing I keep hearing is that in the 1980s, a lot of women were getting into the military and couldn't handle the recoil of the .45 ACP. Can anyone substantiate that?

Anyway, there are definitely a few units that use something else. One that comes to mind is the Marine Expeditionary Unit, which uses the MEU(SOC) pistol -- Marine Expeditionary Unit Special Operations Capable 1911.

Philo_Beddoe
November 25, 2009, 05:14 PM
And remember 1 big hit is better than 13 tiny misses.

Depends on the hit, I have gut shot small 100lb does (for meat) with a 12 guage slug at less then 25 yards (yes I know bad shot) and seen then run away to never be found. (I am sure they died eventually)

And by the same token I have heard of people poaching deer with .22 LR by flashing them at night and putting one in the brain. They used 22 to minimize noise as to not alert the authorities.

Shot placement then adequate penetration then caliber, in that order.

mljdeckard
November 25, 2009, 05:23 PM
I've seen a lot of them fail. Mostly from soldiers doodling with them. There is no foolproof system, there's always a fool out there trying to make a name for himself. Brand new ones. If I were again an armorer, I would be wishing that they would issue something that's a lot herder to doodle with, and easier to fix if someone does. (GLOCK.) But no one asked me.

The DOD's choice of sidearm illustrates the 'mind over matter' principle. They don't mind, because YOU don't matter. Yes, I will always consider it inferior to my rifle, but at the same time, if life ever gets so silly that I have to use it RIGHT FREAKIN' NOW, it means I don't have time to GET my rifle. It is the time when I least want my equipment to fail. It is VERY important to the individual soldier even if it isn't that important to the DOD.

No, I don't prefer it, but when I am issued one, I go to the range and make sure it works. I check it frequently to make sure it KEEPS working. I would do this no matter what the issue sidearm is. Incidentally, my unit just got some M-11s. (Sig 228s.) I'm hoping that I get to take one of those this time, but even if I do, I will still be using issue ammo. No 147 gr jhps. I have grown to despise the feel and grip of the M-9, but you know what? I can still hit 40/40 with on the qual range.

zhyla
November 25, 2009, 05:42 PM
There are some benefits to smaller, hotter rounds. War isn't just about killing the enemy, it's also a lot of moving supplies around. I don't know the exact number, but I bet you can ship at least 1.5x as many 9mm rounds for a given number of .45. Same for .223 vs, say, .308. Lighter rounds means less shipments and more ammo on a soldier.

9mm is sufficient for a sidearm.

Philo_Beddoe
November 25, 2009, 05:43 PM
9mm has better penetration too, which could matter in a war

Man With A Gun
November 25, 2009, 06:53 PM
I have spoken with RANGERS and MARINES from the front lines and the only thing ever said of the 9mm which could be called "bad" is sometimes they have to shoot combants twice before they fall. This is BALL AMMO and it still works.

Anything BUT ball ammo would only help the shooter.

Give me +P 124 grn. GOLD DOT HP's and I am a safe boy.

As a matter of fact, some of the contractors (who do not carry ball ) have no problem with carrying a 9mm pistol. Wonder what they are loaded with? :D

billybobjoe
November 25, 2009, 08:21 PM
Let me shoot you in the head with my 9mm so you can tell me it's a wimp caliber.

sb350hp
November 25, 2009, 08:26 PM
Just saying I never want to be under gunned. IMHO if close qtrs combat ever required use of a sidearm I want a 40 or 45 for the extra punch. Not that "scientifically" it will ever matter to the BG but for me if I cannot hit him with 8 what good is 13 gunna do me. If I gotta shoot em twice with a 9mm and once with a 40/45 your 16 equals my 8. Or give an XD and suddenly I a am high cap as well. Not sayin the 9mm is a bad gun, not hardly I just cant keep the rounds from falling thru the barrel of my 45:D

mljdeckard
November 25, 2009, 08:49 PM
I never said I can't do the job with an M-9 loaded with NATO ammo. I WILL say that it is at the extreme low end of the effectiveness chart for handguns. It's not just caliber, I shoot my 1911 in .45 better than I shoot the M-9.

Avenger29
November 25, 2009, 09:09 PM
The major, popular handgun calibers (.45, .40, 9mm in terms of autoloading pistols) have, in the end, about the same performance.

I'm perfectly cool with 9mm, and very pleased with a quality, premium JHP load.

Not to mention is that I get more practice with my 9mm than I would if I had a .45 (due to ammo costs), so that helps in practicality.

I am certainly not going to dis .40 or .45. But 9mm (and .223/5.56, the "other" round that people love to dump on) do not get enough respect.

mljdeckard
November 25, 2009, 09:13 PM
However, from one end of the chart to the other, say, 9mm FMJ compared to .45 230 gr HST, the difference will become more obvious. I don't know anyone who carries 9mm FMJ for their carry gun. I am not at all uncomfortable carrying .45 FMJ. This is a game where you are using an inferior emergency tool to save your life. You need all the advantages you can get.

Philo_Beddoe
November 25, 2009, 09:19 PM
Not that "scientifically" it will ever matter to the BG but for me if I cannot hit him with 8 what good is 13 gunna do me


In war their is only one bad guy at a time? Quite frankly it seems to me that alot of shooting in war is just to keep the other guys head down.

All the major nations did studies after WW 2 concluded that volume of fire was just as important as aimed fire was in producing casualties, which is why they all adopted fully automatic low recoil assault rifles.

Just staying

smoketheresfire
November 25, 2009, 09:52 PM
I've also talked to a lot of soldiers and Marines about why exactly the military switched to a 9mm Beretta, of all things. I've heard a few different answers -- capacity, politics, money, weight, etc. But one thing I keep hearing is that in the 1980s, a lot of women were getting into the military and couldn't handle the recoil of the .45 ACP. Can anyone substantiate that?

Sounds unlikely. Plus I've never thought the .45ACP recoiled THAT much more than a 9mm.

I will say this, coincidentally, I shot a 92fs (M9) for the first time today and was thoroughly impressed. One of the best pistols I've shot. Big, heavy, and accurate. Loved it. All that weight and those big grips (got big hands) go a long way toward keeping it on target too. MY GOD, the double taps:what:. I was ripping through those mags with a quickness. Your mileage will assuredly vary, however.

sb350hp
November 25, 2009, 10:03 PM
In war their is only one bad guy at a time? Quite frankly it seems to me that alot of shooting in war is just to keep the other guys head down.

All the major nations did studies after WW 2 concluded that volume of fire was just as important as aimed fire was in producing casualties, which is why they all adopted fully automatic low recoil assault rifles.

You only shoot one bad guy at a time, and as for cover fire you mentioned automatic assualt rifles. I agree but we are talking M9's not MP5s

psyopspec
November 26, 2009, 06:06 AM
No, I don't prefer it, but when I am issued one, I go to the range and make sure it works. I check it frequently to make sure it KEEPS working. I would do this no matter what the issue sidearm is.

Agreed. The pistol isn't my preference personally, or for what I'd issue if I were King of the Army. However, it'll do the job. Also, testing, cleaning, and maintaining are something I do for all my arms, regardless of platform or caliber.

Lincoln7
November 26, 2009, 06:35 AM
There is more to bullets besides the actual diameter of it. Alot has to do with the amount of powder used to move it/how much powder you can fit in the casing and the mass of the bullet. 230gr, .45 versus 115gr, 9mm.

CooperThunder
November 26, 2009, 06:38 AM
My son came home yesterday from military school -- just for 4 days actually. I was talking to him about taking his NRA Basic Pistol and CCW as a Christmas gift. I actually mentioned about him using my Glock when he takes his classes. It was only then that he mentioned that they are going to be issued an M9 and that I am wasting my money because he is sure the military will pay for his CCW lessons. I said I know...but I want him to be ahead -- he knows how I am. I always advise all my kids to be ahead, to think ahead, etc.

Philo_Beddoe
November 26, 2009, 11:47 AM
There is more to bullets besides the actual diameter of it. Alot has to do with the amount of powder used to move it/how much powder you can fit in the casing and the mass of the bullet. 230gr, .45 versus 115gr, 9mm


You can get 147 gr 9mm bullets.

This was posted on guntest in reguards to the 9mm berreta 92

I read your recent review of the Beretta 90-Two 9mm with interest. As always, I find your reviews wonderfully thorough, incisive and thoughtful.

That being said, there were a few editorial comments that I do think merit response, beginning with "...for others who realize the limitations of the caliber, a 9mm.…" The actual scientific database, which I have spent many years reviewing in terminal ballistic studies, actually does not define a dramatic distinction in the terminal ballistics capability of other handgun calibers in comparison to current 9mm bullet design. While there is not question, based on the laws of physics as well as my experience of over 20 years as a neurosurgeon at a University Academic Medical Center, that other calibers do, indeed, have more capability, the actual scientific database to support a substantial distinction is meager. In fact, after several decades of terminal ballistics literature reviews, the actual factual database to support that, for example, a 45-caliber handgun round is dramatically more capable than current 9mm rounds is, at best, wanting and probably absolutely not available in the scientific literature. Anecdotal stories aside, which will always abound, the concept that one handgun round vastly outperforms another when similar bullet design (for example one gold dot caliber versus another gold dot caliber) generally offers very little in the way of dramatic distinction in terminal ballistic capability.

Additionally, it is, in my opinion, almost essential when commenting on caliber effectiveness with regards to terminal ballistics, to emphasize that all things in life are a "trade off." While 45 and 40 or other options may provide some marginal increase in terminal ballistic performance based on momentum, permanent wound track size, etc., the weapon dimension increases, capacity decreases and all these other variables as well as shot-to-shot follow-through capability will all be effected to differing extents in differing individuals’ skill envelope. To disparage the 9mm round without emphasizing its other potential assets is, in my opinion, probably something less than scientific.

While I do not own a Beretta 90-Two and I am not suggesting that the large size is necessarily an attribute, the feeling that "if one plans to miss a lot and make a lot of noise" probably would also be found wanting by some, particularly those who have served in the Middle East. During the course of my discussions about terminal ballistics with a number of people in very substantial combat positions who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq, the capacity, in their opinion, often was a very nice attribute and, several of them thought that the high capacity of the 9mm was a much greater asset than they might have imagined.

As to the utilization of the word "archaic" when reviewing the double-action/single-action design, while there is no question many individuals have moved away from such a system, as the years go by, both in surgical technology and instrumentation, as well as firearms technology, I come more and more each year to recognizing that each person finds something that works very well for them. While no one will probably dispute that double-action/single-action has lost favor in some large subgroups of individuals, the same could be said of a 1911 single-action style for most of law enforcement (whether that’s legitimate or not is immaterial to the discussion) and, probably the phrase "archaic" would be better to have been substituted with a phrase such as "less popular."

I always find your articles beautifully done and I always look forward to the reviews each month. Again, thanks so much very much for your attention and consideration. —Paul K. Maurer, M.D.

Professor of Neurosurgery

University of Rochester Medical Center

Rochester, New York

GRIZ22
November 26, 2009, 12:28 PM
But one thing I keep hearing is that in the 1980s, a lot of women were getting into the military and couldn't handle the recoil of the .45 ACP. Can anyone substantiate that?


Women in the military had nothing to do with adopting the M9. There are plenty of big he men who can't shoot a pistol worth a _____. The 9mm FMJ is not a rhino roller but you have to realize that pistol training in most of the military is just enough to get soldiers qualified on a pretty easy course. Switching to a round that made it easier for soldiers to hit what they were aiming at kind of makes sense. The military was dedicated to converting to the 9mm for compatibility with the rest of NATO. One prospect proposed converting the 1911s to 9mm (at a cost of about $125 a pistol). This was not considered as the newest 1911s in the inventory were over 35 years old at the time. Army pilots were armed with 38s using the way underpowered military load until the adoption of the M9.

K9american
November 26, 2009, 01:43 PM
"Knowledge is power" :)

http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=19887

http://louisianacarry.org/articles/quantico.htm

Avenger29
November 26, 2009, 05:15 PM
My son came home yesterday from military school -- just for 4 days actually. I was talking to him about taking his NRA Basic Pistol and CCW as a Christmas gift. I actually mentioned about him using my Glock when he takes his classes. It was only then that he mentioned that they are going to be issued an M9 and that I am wasting my money because he is sure the military will pay for his CCW lessons. I said I know...but I want him to be ahead -- he knows how I am. I always advise all my kids to be ahead, to think ahead, etc.

The military won't be paying for his CCW class. The military can be rather antigun, for an organization that is supposed to kill people and break stuff.

If he's going to be in combat, or the possibility of combat, then he'd best seek out his own rifle and pistol training at one of the many fine schools/instructors scattered around the country. Military firearms training can be woefully inadequate, and more training can never hurt.

Women in the military had nothing to do with adopting the M9. There are plenty of big he men who can't shoot a pistol worth a _____. The 9mm FMJ is not a rhino roller but you have to realize that pistol training in most of the military is just enough to get soldiers qualified on a pretty easy course. Switching to a round that made it easier for soldiers to hit what they were aiming at kind of makes sense. The military was dedicated to converting to the 9mm for compatibility with the rest of NATO. One prospect proposed converting the 1911s to 9mm (at a cost of about $125 a pistol). This was not considered as the newest 1911s in the inventory were over 35 years old at the time. Army pilots were armed with 38s using the way underpowered military load until the adoption of the M9.

I know a lot of people don't like the idea of 9mm, 9mm FMJ, or the M9, but it was actually a smart move. The M9 is a good pistol, and easier for an armorer to maintain than a 1911. The 1911 is a beautiful piece, but it has to be specially taken care of by somebody who really knows what they are doing.

mljdeckard
November 26, 2009, 06:54 PM
Yeah, tell your CO you carry off-duty, he will get the willies. What I am trying to do, is get my unit to pony up the funds to send a few of us to Thunder Ranch for the pistol basic course, with the idea of returning to the unit as designated pistol instructors. There is precedent in my unit for going outside the military for mission-critical skills training, and I know that Thunder Ranch does train military personnel, it's just a question of who pays for it. (I mostly just want them to pay for it, and the ammo.) One problem I see, is that if THEY pay for the course, they will want me to use my issue sidearm. They won't want anything other than .gov ammo in their .gov weapon. But Thunder Ranch required lead-free frangible ammo now.

Bottom line, I'll probably wind up out-of-pocketing to go by myself.

psyopspec
November 27, 2009, 01:59 AM
Yeah, tell your CO you carry off-duty, he will get the willies.

Not if I'm your CO. I can't quote an exact percentage, but a significant number of NCOs in my unit have gotten CCWs after coming home from deployment. Out of curiosity one day, I asked a group of about 15 who had a permit and a pistol, and about half the hands went up. The other half probably has a long gun stashed in the truck when legal.

Types of guns vary about as much as the general populace. Glocks are popular, but a lot of folks preferred revolvers. No one that I know of in my unit chooses to CCW a 92FS, though I have in the past. The combination of competing with my personal one and practicing just to be proficient with it made it a natural choice for carry.

SIGLBER
November 27, 2009, 02:41 AM
Short story about "ineffective 9mm". One of the guys at my range was an M1 tank crewman. The tanks commander got out of the M1 (he never really said why). Three Iraqi's with AK's appear out of nowhere. They are as surprised as he was. He drew his M9 and killed all three. Tell him or anyone else that the Beretta 9mm sucks. Lots of the guys at the range after being in the service buy Berettas after they get home. Says alot about them.
All pistol calibers are poor stoppers. All have made great stops. All have failed at one time or another. Get away from all the hype about this caliber or that. Try to read reports from medics or Doctors who treat gunshot wounds. Or those that have actually used the 9mm in combat. According to the medical people I've read they only can tell rather an individual is shot by a 9mm or .45
(hell even a .32 according to Jim Cirillo's book)after they remove the bullet. Look a pistol bullet makes a hole. That's it. The body tries to close up the wound after the bullet has passed through it. It's trying to stem the bleeding and save itself. Pretty much every other armed forces around the world carries 9mm. The Russians even went over to it when they were looking for a replacement for the Makarov.
If you start off with a realistic idea of what a handgun can and cannot do then you can make an educated choice. The best definition I've heard of stopping power if to "hit them in the vitals and repeat as necessary". Any of the major service handgun calibers is suffcient to protect your life if you shoot it well. So since one shot stops even with a rifle can be iffy what should you expect from any handgun? Pretty much hit the bad guy in the vitals while moving to cover and continue until the threat ceases. That's the only thing any handgun round will do. And since so little time is spent with pistol training (except by certain SF types) one with low recoil and muzzle blast. With lots of rounds makes alot of sense. Besides being able to find ammo for it anywhere in the world.

Averageman
November 27, 2009, 02:51 AM
They made this choice and I think it was about resupply and NATO having common ammo. It was also about replacing the 35 year old 1911's.
We were carrying the same 1911 our Grandfathers did and even if we didn't want the M9 we were gonna get it.
I never found the .45 harder to maintain as an Armor crewman or an Armorer. Actually when I was the Armorer I could repair and tighten up performance on my 1911's pretty easy. There were footlockers (literally) full of parts to work with, so you had lots of raw material to work with.
When the M9's came in pistols score went up, but I thought it was a great degree because an M9 is just easier to shoot. I often thought there was just a slightly different skill set need to be accurate with the .45 and many times the same people who couldn't shoot a 1911 in the Military made little effort to maintain it.
It was pretty disheartening to read an FBI report on 9mm performance during a shootout/bank robbery, where several agents were killed execution style by a fellow with body armor and a mini 14. That took all of my confidence in the 9mm away, cooincedently this report came out right about the time we got our 9's.
One thing I learned during my time on active duty ('81 to '01) was that there were very few people very enthusastic about shooting. Needless to say that was disappointing to me as a young trooper.
Now with nearly 30 years service, active duty and now working for the Army as a civilian. I've decided lots of people are making decisons about weapons are compromising rather than making smart decisions.
Technology doesn't always surpass a skill set earned through training.
I don't want to rehash a 9mm vs.45 debate, but I personally felt much more confident with my .45.

NCPatrolAR
November 27, 2009, 01:42 PM
Yeah, tell your CO you carry off-duty, he will get the willies. What I am trying to do, is get my unit to pony up the funds to send a few of us to Thunder Ranch for the pistol basic course, with the idea of returning to the unit as designated pistol instructors. There is precedent in my unit for going outside the military for mission-critical skills training, and I know that Thunder Ranch does train military personnel, it's just a question of who pays for it. (I mostly just want them to pay for it, and the ammo.) One problem I see, is that if THEY pay for the course, they will want me to use my issue sidearm. They won't want anything other than .gov ammo in their .gov weapon. But Thunder Ranch required lead-free frangible ammo now.

Bottom line, I'll probably wind up out-of-pocketing to go by myself.
Why dont you bring someone like Larry Vickers, Paul Howe, or Brian Sercey to your unit and do some training? You'd probably get more out of it than going to Thunder Ranch

mljdeckard
November 27, 2009, 01:45 PM
Because I want a week-long paid TDY vacation, of course. :)

Avenger29
November 27, 2009, 02:05 PM
It was pretty disheartening to read an FBI report on 9mm performance during a shootout/bank robbery, where several agents were killed execution style by a fellow with body armor and a mini 14. That took all of my confidence in the 9mm away, cooincedently this report came out right about the time we got our 9's.

The .45 would have sucked just as bad when it comes to body armor in that case.

When you're going up against body armor, you need a RIFLE. Hence, nowadays, a lot of cops now are either getting issued an AR-15 or authorized to purchase one of their own.

CooperThunder
November 28, 2009, 09:04 AM
Short story about "ineffective 9mm". One of the guys at my range was an M1 tank crewman. The tanks commander got out of the M1 (he never really said why). Three Iraqi's with AK's appear out of nowhere. They are as surprised as he was. He drew his M9 and killed all three. Tell him or anyone else that the Beretta 9mm sucks. Lots of the guys at the range after being in the service buy Berettas after they get home. Says alot about them.
All pistol calibers are poor stoppers. All have made great stops. All have failed at one time or another. Get away from all the hype about this caliber or that. Try to read reports from medics or Doctors who treat gunshot wounds. Or those that have actually used the 9mm in combat. According to the medical people I've read they only can tell rather an individual is shot by a 9mm or .45
(hell even a .32 according to Jim Cirillo's book)after they remove the bullet. Look a pistol bullet makes a hole. That's it. The body tries to close up the wound after the bullet has passed through it. It's trying to stem the bleeding and save itself. Pretty much every other armed forces around the world carries 9mm. The Russians even went over to it when they were looking for a replacement for the Makarov.
If you start off with a realistic idea of what a handgun can and cannot do then you can make an educated choice. The best definition I've heard of stopping power if to "hit them in the vitals and repeat as necessary". Any of the major service handgun calibers is suffcient to protect your life if you shoot it well. So since one shot stops even with a rifle can be iffy what should you expect from any handgun? Pretty much hit the bad guy in the vitals while moving to cover and continue until the threat ceases. That's the only thing any handgun round will do. And since so little time is spent with pistol training (except by certain SF types) one with low recoil and muzzle blast. With lots of rounds makes alot of sense. Besides being able to find ammo for it anywhere in the world.
I went out yesterday to buy sonny boy a brand-new Beretta M9, made in Italy, the works. Then I enrolled him in an NRABasicPistol/CCW class for when he comes back home for Christmas. After I've done all these, I told my husband. His face fell and was about to say something, I was quicker than him -- I turned my back and said I don't want my cooking to burn. He caught up with me in bed and was asked to explain why I did what I did. I mentioned about your response here and told him that I will feel better if my son can be ahead in training to shoot his own gun even before the military issues him an M9.

JustinL
November 28, 2009, 09:18 AM
I have no problem with the M9 as a handgun. I had never even held one before I qualified on one and was really impressed with it. This coming from a SIG guy who was disappointed he did not get an M11. I think I might just buy one for myself.

kingmt
November 28, 2009, 11:17 AM
I love 9mm's. I also love my 45ACP. They both shoot great & I am shore of there ability.

I seen something on deer hunting with a .22 & wanted to say that most people that chose a weapon don't know why it is better they just use it because other people do. While it is quitter it has other benefits. It is normally more accurate & when shooting in the head it will drop in its tracks & no blood left behind. It is small, light (which helps in well placed shoots), & cheep. I have seen what a 17HMR can do to a deer & think it would make a excellent deer rifle. I seen a guy shoot one in the head that laid down where shoot without a twitch & another one shoot in the side that only went a few yards. It's downfalls are it leaves no blood trail & if the wrong kind of ammo(FMJ) was used I don't think it would do the job. Another plus is there is much less meat wasted from it.

I spoke of wrong ammo used in the .17 & this is the problem with self defense rounds also. I hear one guy tell me that he prefers a full metal jacket because it will kill someone quicker & another will complain that he bought the best ammo he could find (Remington hallow points) & they don't group together at 25 yards. You need to know what ammo is for what. I carry a hallow point in my 9mm because I want it to hit the BG & stop not go through a wall & get someone else. I carry a clip of FMJ's just in case I need to shoot through the door. I prefer this as my carry gun because I can carry more rounds in a smaller gun. I know it was only one guy I had to shoot & it was point blank range or I had another weapon for it to get me to then 8 or less rounds would be fine. I actually carry a .38 with 5 shoots most of the time because it is small & functions without falt but isn't my preference.

As the world changes & I see what is happening (like Marshall Law during hurricane Katrina) I have decided that more rounds is better then bigger rounds.

I also seen where it was sad that 1 big hit was better then 13 little misses & I say that 1 little hit is better then 8 big misses.

I remember someones signature says something like if you need more then 4 mags your not short of round but people on your side of the fight.

Sorry OP that this has nothing to do with your question but I can only guess why the military went to a 9mm & I would say it is because they can move more rounds around at a cheaper price. I surprised they don't use .22LR for both rifle & sidearm. I tried to argue that for my MOS it made more since to issue sidearms then rifles because if they got to where we was then they had already proven they out gunned use & my rifle was twisted in the rifle sling that belong to someone else looking pretty while I was under a truck or had my head in the doghouse changing a clutch. No one ever cared what I thought though.

FIVETWOSEVEN
November 28, 2009, 01:37 PM
i don't really like the feel of the M92FS in my hands. i prefer a Sig, the beretta seems to bulky for me.

Average Joe
November 28, 2009, 02:41 PM
I would think with the broad range of people in the military, the M9 would be more user friendly to all. More or less an all purpose, all people firearm.

Coltman 77
November 28, 2009, 04:30 PM
I bought my first Beretta 92 in 1989 -- an Italian 92F. Since then I've added a few more to my collection.

They have been very impressive. Accurate and reliable.

I've put all kinds of jhp and fmj ammo thru them and never had a failure. Not one.

The 92's balance well and point naturally for me and I like the slide mounted safety/decocker.

They are very easy to break down and clean.

I have quite a few handguns to choose from but my bedside piece is a Beretta 92FS loaded with 15+1 rds. of 124 gr +P HST.

ETA

The Beretta 92 is my wife's favorite pistol too. She's 5'4" tall, 102 lbs. and as you would imagine has rather small hands.
She prefers it over all our pistols except her 9mm PPS which is her carry gun.

mljdeckard
November 28, 2009, 05:58 PM
I might add, that I didn't mind the M-9 when I was younger, but after shooting mostly Glocks and 1911s for the last ten years or so, I have to qualify with one again, and I REALLY don't like the feel of the M-9, feels like a big lump in the middle of my palm. (But I can still shoot it just fine.)

throw1out
November 28, 2009, 07:32 PM
I borrowed a friends Beretta 92 fs to qualify for my ccw. At the time I was very impressed with it. All I had was revolvers. After getting a good deal on a used HK USP compact I totally lost interest in the Beretta. And now I have a few Sigs and just do not like the slide mounted safety on the Beretta.

X-Rap
November 28, 2009, 09:54 PM
I have to agree with those that have said the M9 may not have perfect ergonomics but they are able to shoot it and control it well enough to feel confident with it.
That may be its strongest point and the key to its success. Plus the high capacity and ease of maintenence make it a proven piece of combat equipment that while not perfect it is very good.

Noveldoc
November 28, 2009, 10:52 PM
Why the caliber changes .45 to 9mm and 308 to 223?

Simple answer. Money.

Smaller bullet, less powder and smaller cases. They're cheaper.

IN VN, Marines with crappy handed down equipment used to say the Corps would rather spend a man than a dollar. Some things never change.

Tom

kingmt
November 28, 2009, 10:58 PM
Why the caliber changes .45 to 9mm and 308 to 223?

Simple answer. Money.

Smaller bullet, less powder and smaller cases. They're cheaper.

IN VN, Marines with crappy handed down equipment used to say the Corps would rather spend a man than a dollar. Some things never change.

Tom
The men are easier to replace.

JohnKSa
November 28, 2009, 11:01 PM
It was pretty disheartening to read an FBI report on 9mm performance during a shootout/bank robbery, where several agents were killed execution style by a fellow with body armor and a mini 14.It wasn't a bank robbery, it was a felony car stop made by an FBI team looking for some armed robbers.

The attacker was armed with a Mini-14 but he was not equipped with body armor.

Although there were well over 100 shots fired in the encounter, the FBI chose to focus its investigation on a single round of 9mm that dealt a fatal wound to the Mini 14 shooter early in the encounter. Although it penetrated through his arm on a diagonal track (about 4"), entered his chest already expanded, severed a major artery causing a wound that medical experts have stated would have been unsurvivable even with rapid medical attention, the FBI decided that the round had under performed because it stopped short of the heart. The conjecture was that the fight would have ended significantly sooner had it penetrated slightly deeper.

The FBI could have focused on the tactics used by the agents and the attackers, on the weaponry employed, on errors made by both sides, at the rounds fired that missed, but instead they essentially decided to blame the outcome of the whole encounter on this single round.

Had they chosen to point the investigation in a slightly different direction they could easily have concluded that equipping ALL the agents with high-capacity 9mms might have ended the fight much sooner. The point is that the result of the investigation was far more agenda driven than it was fact driven.

poetgrey
November 28, 2009, 11:10 PM
...thus one of the largest sales surge for firearms in recent history did ensue

X-Rap
November 28, 2009, 11:17 PM
In todays war I hardly think they consider a man as expendable as you say. I hope some vets and AD will speak up on the equipment and attitude about keeping a man protected and fighting compared to Vietnam, Korea, and WWII.
Today I believe a combat arms soldier is trained to the level of a SF soldier during Vietnam and far better equiped than the same. They have advanced tactical training, multi weapons, life saving, and personal protective equipment unrivaled in the world.
There will always be improvements to be made and some men have died because of equipment malfunctions but I sure as heck don't think we are sending men out to become cannon fodder as in some of the past wars.
As someone posted before "no war has been decided by what the armys sidearm was"

psyopspec
November 28, 2009, 11:31 PM
An AP article I read the other day reported that to take a young man or woman, send them through basic training, a 15-week AIT, equip them with uniforms, gear, weapons, train them up, pay them, and send them to Afghanistan for a 1 year tour cost about 1 million bucks per individual. I would hardly call that scrimping.

No one seems to get pissed off here if we lose an MRAP, as long as the people inside are okay. They're our fellow troops, yes, but if we're looking at it financially, a fire team riding in the back of an armored vehicle is more expensive than the vehicle.

X-Rap
November 28, 2009, 11:40 PM
My youngest son is waiting on news for an AF Academy apointment and they told him that by the time they are through college and flight school the average pilots education is around 1.5 million, thats ed. only no jet.
Add $450 for the M9 and you can do the math.

Noveldoc
November 29, 2009, 12:48 AM
One and a half million for training and only $450 for the pistol? Kinda makes my point.

Remember all you eat, wear, carry and shoot was made by the lowest bidder.

Tom

psyopspec
November 29, 2009, 08:12 AM
Trijicon, AimPoint, Colt, Safariland, Beretta, FN, Crimson Trace, PMAG, Crye, Danner, Oakley, Wiley, and whoever builds the MRAP, FBCB2, Shadow, Raven, Predator, CROW, NVGs, Flame-Retardent uniforms, and Panasonic who built the ToughBook I'm typing this on are more than welcome to keep bidding away then.

However, the food will always have room for improvement.

silversport
November 29, 2009, 08:53 AM
the Platt and Mattix shootout with the FBI didn't start the Wundernine war and that poor Winchester Silvertip did exactly what it was designed to do under the protocol available then...it was responsible for the developement of the 10MM for the FBI and later it being downloaded and then the 40 S&W...
Bill

X-Rap
November 29, 2009, 01:28 PM
Doc my other son carries or rides/uses most of the stuff that psyops posted and as you can see it is all top shelf.
I can't say I've seen anything that is in use that is cheap and shoddy, sure we might have an opinion or preference on a certain weapon or caliber but rest assured if our choice was in use somebody else would be bitching and there would be the same issues of failures that are highlighted today.
Training with the sidearm could be better and that alone would alleviate many of the short commings of the M9 but given that all soldiers are issued a rifle I say they should keep their focus on tactics with that primarilly, if a soldier who carries an M9 seeks additional training good for him, if he brings that back to his unit better yet.

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