Caliber of choice


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jeffd
February 1, 2011, 10:29 PM
maybe this is a basic question, but i couldnt find an answer performing a search. My wife picked out her gun of choice this past weekend - a taurus 24/7 pro 9mm. when looking, it was available in a 9mm, .40 cal and .45 cal.

for what reason would you pick a different caliber (besides maybe personal preference or a stockpile of ammo)?

thanks in advance
Jeff

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Nematocyst
February 1, 2011, 10:31 PM
Welcome to THR.

.38 spl/.357 mag.

I'm a revolver guy.

jeffd
February 1, 2011, 10:43 PM
i have an old revolver - Colt model 1925 Official Police .38 that is still in excellent condition (so much so I dont want to fire it too much). IIRC when i looked up the serial number it was manufactured in 1957 and was a service revolver for a NJ policeman. (my friends uncle).

i also have a 1903 Colt .32 that my great grandmother carried in her wheelchair until my grandparents took it away from her at the age of 94 (i found she had a full clip and 1 in the chamber)

i like both of them - but we wanted something made this century :)

my biggest thing was why would you want a 45 over a 40 over a 38 or a 357 or a 9mm or a 22?

Hypnogator
February 1, 2011, 10:47 PM
I would personally go with a .45 ACP. :cool:

But then, I'm not your wife. If she chose 9mm, why are you second-guessing her? :uhoh:

The 9mm will do what needs to be done if fed premium JHP loads, and is quite a bit softer shooting in the same model pistol than either the .40 or .45. It doesn't give quite the same stopping power as the more powerful loads, but it holds more rounds -- a fair trade-off. Plus, you'll find range ammo dirt cheap compared to the .40 or .45. ;)

jeffd
February 1, 2011, 10:57 PM
well my question was partially for me. she picks hers up thursday and i plan on getting mine in the near future. the purpose for hers is home protection and carry in her purse. she really hated the tiny guns - and i think the dealers finally realized that not all women want a pretty pink .22 to carry.

i was asking more for why you choose a different caliber. is a .45 that much more powerful than a 9mm? some of the officers i talked with mentioned the different guns they had, and i guess i didnt realize many of the models came in the different calibers. for example - she picked out the taurus - and then they asked if she wanted the 9mm, .40 or .45 cal.

jeffd
February 1, 2011, 11:01 PM
, why are you second-guessing her? :uhoh:


i know if she is happy - i am happy :)

she is more than excited to have her own - and though i like hers and its a bonus that it also fits my big hands well, i know this means i need to get my own and stay away from hers :D oh darn

Nematocyst
February 1, 2011, 11:24 PM
i like both of them - but we wanted something made this century Both of mine were made in this century.

And there's a good reason for that: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

If you're interested in an honest opinion about handguns, post in 'handguns: general discussion' - as you did.

If you're interested in semi-autos exclusively, then go to that forum.

In either case, you'll do do much better here and avoid nasty notes from the mods if you check the snarky attitude at the door.

Werd up.

;)

my biggest thing was why would you want a 45 over a 40 over a 38 or a 357 or a 9mm or a 22? I owned 9 mm, then traded up to .38 spl/.357 mag.

jeffd
February 1, 2011, 11:41 PM
it wasnt a snarky attitude so much as i dont want to carry something that is a bad choice. from what i have read - i could get my revolver to fire with the safety engaged. everything has a purpose. i havent seen a single thread recommending my 60 yr old revolver to carry - or my 93 yr old pistol. theres just a few things i am trying to learn

now back on target - :)

Chris Rhines
February 1, 2011, 11:44 PM
90% of my handgun shooting is 9mm - inexpensive, accurate, easy to shoot, easy to reload, and inexpensive. For a defensive gun, I see no reason to pick a .40 or .45 over 9mm - you're giving up capacity and ease of shooting for a mostly-incidental increase in terminal effect.

-C

jeffd
February 1, 2011, 11:54 PM
thanks chris - thats the type of info i was looking for.

so am i wrong in assuming a 9mm **might** take a couple well placed shots while a 45 would do more damage with 1?

Proud Southern Son
February 2, 2011, 01:20 AM
Here are my priorities in a combat handgun: 1) reliability, 2) accuracy (in your hands), and 3)power. I'm willing to give up some of number 2 and a little more of number 3 to get number 1.

There is a theory that the 9mm is inherently more reliable than the other two calibers you mention because of its tapered case (the .40 is "rebated" and the .45 is straight-walled) and its bullet profile. It makes sense to me, but I don't have any "relevant data" to support this theory... it just makes sense to me. I've had a lot of handguns, and it seems the 9mms have tended to be more reliable than some of the .40s and .45s, and more accurate than most of the .40s. I've had reliable and accurate .40s, I carry one these days as my working gun, but it seems like the ones less prone to issues were the nines. With a 9mm, you get cheaper ammo on average, and higher capacity in similar weapon platforms. I also believe that the 9mm is probably more ammo dependent when you talk about its effectiveness, but there are several choices in good, modern hollowpoint designs out there, and chances are you can find one that works well in the gun you choose. Just one man's opinion. Smarter people than I will give you a different one.

Nushif
February 2, 2011, 02:38 AM
for what reason would you pick a different caliber (besides maybe personal preference or a stockpile of ammo)?

I'd pick a different caliber if I didn't want my wife to get the gun she picked out.
That's about the only time.

winchester1886
February 2, 2011, 02:42 AM
As a Firearms Instructor back in the late 90's I found that most females ether couldn't handle the recoil or just didn't like the recoil of a 40 or a 45.I would recommend 9mm or a 380 auto. With any round from any firearm shot placement is the key.

jonmerritt
February 2, 2011, 01:47 PM
I have .22lr, .22m, 32s&w long, .38spcl,.357mag,.380, 9mm, .45acp. some are revolvers, some semi auto, a couple derringers. At one time or another I will carry either one, or two. depends on what I feel like. But I know I am capable of defending my life, or anyone elses with any of them (even a stick if I have too). Training and paractice is what makes the differance, preferance comes later.

Skinsanity
February 2, 2011, 02:20 PM
My PERSONAL preference is a .45, but if I were in your shoes I would take the 9mm..reasons being

1) Can stock up on one type of ammo , and 9mm is cheap and easy
2) Both of you would be familiar with the others gun
3) Can share Magazine and spare parts if needed

You arent undergunned with a 9mm, its a perfectly acceptable defense round, though some may disagree. I prefer a .45 for strictly personal reasons, but I carried a 9mm for a long time, and never felt like I wasn't packing enough to stop what needed stopping..

Geckgo
February 2, 2011, 02:30 PM
Skinsanity said it already, so this is mainly a +1 post.

Is money or storage space a problem? If you are both going to have only one handgun there are advantages to getting the same calibre. I have my .45ACP and my wife is in the ARMY and looking toward 1911s, so if she gets one then we'll be able to share ammo, defense and practice, plus it's one set of dies for the reloading press, one type of primer/powder, etc! If she changes her mind and wants a 9mm or a 380 that will be fine too.

If you really want a .45, then get a .45, but you will be giving up a lot to punch a slightly bigger hole.

Vern Humphrey
February 2, 2011, 03:42 PM
For defense and carry, I go with .45 ACP.

In the woods or riding horseback, I usually carry either a .22 (Colt Woodsman) or a .45 Colt.

As an alternative to the above, I sometimes carry a Colt M357.

And now and then, as I'm going out the door, I drop a Colt Detective Special (.38 Special) in my pocket.

No need for anything else.

JohnBiltz
February 2, 2011, 03:42 PM
Generally you want as large a caliber as you can shoot well with as many rounds in it as you can. But...If you are going to carry it then compromises have to be made. Then ego gets in there as well. 9mm is probably a little less effective as a stopper than .40 or .45. I don't shoot .40 well and given a choice will never use it, but that is me. .45 would be my choice except you give up a lot of rounds in .45. A .45 in the same gun is going to have a lot less rounds in the same gun because the rounds are bigger and go in the same size magazines. I carry 9mm and its been a long time since I've owned any other caliber handgun.

jeffd
February 2, 2011, 04:00 PM
thanks all for the input sp far - it is appreciated. and a couple points were raised that i didnt think about (i.e. same caliber for both of our guns would mean 1 type of ammo and same gun would mean we are both familiar with eachothers weapons).

David E
February 2, 2011, 04:06 PM
Jeff, exactly.

For you, right now, get the same caliber. Mags and holsters, etc, interchange.

Friend and his son bought two M&P's, one in 9mm, one in .40. They have to decide which gun they're going to buy ammo for each time. Even when they buy 500 rds each, that's not the same as having 1000 rds on hand, even divided between two guns.

At a gun class or at the range, they can't get their ammo OR mags mixed up.

jeffd
February 2, 2011, 04:23 PM
David - I like, and agree, with your quote in your sig.

i could carry a .50 cal - but if i cant hit the target - it means nothing.

357mag.
February 2, 2011, 05:45 PM
I urge her to re-think her carry method,purse is a bad option imo.Hard/slow to get to pistol,get stolen often and probley the first thing a B/G is going to take from her.

357_
February 2, 2011, 08:51 PM
If the purse is designed for CCW it is perfectly acceptable. They are VERY fast to get into action if designed for it and practiced as such.

As for the purse getting stolen, as hard as you try you'll find a flaw in every method

p.s.~ Nice handle!

Marlin 45 carbine
February 2, 2011, 09:21 PM
have her run a box of 'practice' ammo through it then strip down to clean includeing magazines. do it again.
then run another couple mags of good 124gr ammo to check functioning.
you should select a 'nato spec' 124gr fmj ammo for sd-hd use. cost ya' a bit more but worth it. fmj is as good as it gets. no telling what she (or you) will have to shoot through.
I have nephews that have 9's and I do too (prefer .45 Super revolver though) that stake their lives on the 9mm and carbines chambered in it.
mostly S&W 5900 series, +P capable.

Hypnogator
February 2, 2011, 09:34 PM
you should select a 'nato spec' 124gr fmj ammo for sd-hd use.

Riiiight! Guaranteed to go thru walls and bad guys, endangering family members and neighbors, while leaving pitiful little narrow wound tracks that may prove fatal, but probably only a couple of hours after the bad guy has taken it away from you and beaten you to death with it! :rolleyes:

Think about it. Do you know ANY police department that issues 9mm FMJ's for other than specialty rounds for use against armored threats? Modern premium JHPs will expand reliably, create larger wound tracks disabling the perpetrators faster, while minimizing the risk of unintended injuries due to overpenetration. At worst, if the JHP doesn't expand, it'll still be more effective than a similar FMJ due to its broader meplat.

Nematocyst
February 2, 2011, 10:14 PM
Model 60 (http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/review/Model_60-15.htm).

notasfancy
February 2, 2011, 10:19 PM
Anyone is good with good placement of the shots. The .40 caliber or .357 sig are a no brainer.

22-rimfire
February 2, 2011, 10:46 PM
Caliber choice depends much on personal preference and experience. Generally the power scale is 9mm > 40 S&W > 45 ACP. I personally like the 40 S&W. Ever since it came out and law enforcement immediately moved toward it, it was my choice for a semi-auto. The 40 S&W caliber allows for double stack magazines like the 9mm (so more rounds) as compared to 45 ACP.

papa_bear
February 2, 2011, 11:18 PM
Take your wife on a date to the gun range on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and rent 2 or 3 different caliber handguns and let her get a feel for what she is comfortable with.

I find common handgun calibers to be easy to hard to shoot in the following order, depending on the platform.......... 38 spec.>9mm>45acp>40s&w

As far as caliber effectiveness against bad guys, there is not a big difference in any of the calibers above. I personally would recommend a 9mm, this caliber has come along ways since the early 90's

Take a lot of what you read on gun forums with a grain of salt. There is alot of misinformation on here. Searching for gun articles is time well spent for firearm education. And don't let the number of posts a person has trick you into thinking it reflects their firearm knowledge....... (in most cases)

papa_bear
February 2, 2011, 11:31 PM
maybe this is a basic question, but i couldnt find an answer performing a search. My wife picked out her gun of choice this past weekend - a taurus 24/7 pro 9mm. when looking, it was available in a 9mm, .40 cal and .45 cal.

for what reason would you pick a different caliber (besides maybe personal preference or a stockpile of ammo)?

thanks in advance
Jeff
Sorry I didn't catch the last part of your post in regards to why there are different calibers...... Handgun effectiveness against bad guys is variable. There are different theories about what works better and why. The running theories are bullet diameter is more effective, bullet velocity is more effective, penetration is more effective, multiple shots are more effective. This has been debated for 100 years, no one knows for sure. The only thing for certain effectiveness is shot placement. After that sometime a bigger bullet is better and sometimes a faster bullet is better, or 10 bullets are better for that matter. That is why there are multiple calibers.

ArchAngelCD
February 3, 2011, 02:58 AM
My wife picked out her gun of choice this past weekend - a taurus 24/7 pro 9mm. when looking, it was available in a 9mm, .40 cal and .45 cal.
The highlighted words above are all you need to know. How you you like it if someone picked out the gun or caliber you are going to carry? If you wife likes her gun she will practice with it just like you will. Besides, having a common ammo between you both is a good idea like said many times above.

jeffd
February 3, 2011, 09:08 AM
The highlighted words above are all you need to know. How you you like it if someone picked out the gun or caliber you are going to carry? If you wife likes her gun she will practice with it just like you will. Besides, having a common ammo between you both is a good idea like said many times above.

i think some have confused parts of my question looking at some responses. i will try to clarify

we had 2 goals when picking out a gun. she wanted something that she could put rounds through on a regular basis. she had LEO friends telling her everything from she should get a kel tec .380 to a glock 22. we all know that if the gun doesnt feel right - youre not going to feel comfortable using it. so before she even discussed caliber, she wanted one that felt good in her hands.

When she picked hers out - i noticed the same basic gun was available in a few different calibers with what looked like exactly the same dimensions of the physical gun frame. for her, she wanted something that wouldnt break the bank if she wanted to put a bunch of ammo through it every week.
this got me to thinking a little more.

for example - i have a 1903 colt .32 cal. the gun looks dang close to the 1911 colt .45 cal my dad has... so in my mind i am thinking a larger caliber automatically means a larger frame.

im no gun expert by any fashion, so i dont know if they assume all women are dainty and want a pretty pink gun - but her experience with handguns have been .45 cal revolvers that she fired (with blanks) as part of a stage show for several years hundreds of times daily. like most any husband - you just want the wife to be happy with hers :)


besides - i dont think ANYONE could make her do anything she didnt want to do. she has that stubborn gene. :D allegedly....

mdauben
February 3, 2011, 12:05 PM
for what reason would you pick a different caliber (besides maybe personal preference or a stockpile of ammo)?
Some people will argue nuances, but IMO there is only minimal differences between the effectivness of premium JHP ammo in 9mm, .40S&W and .45ACP. Personally, I use .45ACP but that is simply becuase I find that I am more accurate with my Glock 21 than with my Glock 17. I would not feel disadvantaged in carrying any of them for SD.

you should select a 'nato spec' 124gr fmj ammo for sd-hd use. cost ya' a bit more but worth it. fmj is as good as it gets. no telling what she (or you) will have to shoot through.
Not sure where you are getting your information, but FMJ is universally recognized as the worst choice in SD ammo. AFAIK, no police department uses FMJ anymore, and the only reason the military does is that the Geneva Convention forbids the use of hollow point ammo in handguns or rifles. FMJ is notorious for shooting through-and-through, causing minimal damage to the target and endangering anyone behind them.

Modern JHP (preferably +P) is the only choice for SD handgun ammo. In 9mm the only real question these days is light (115/124gr JHP) or heavy (147gr JHP).

mes227
February 3, 2011, 10:00 PM
maybe this is a basic question, but i couldnt find an answer performing a search. My wife picked out her gun of choice this past weekend - a taurus 24/7 pro 9mm. when looking, it was available in a 9mm, .40 cal and .45 cal.

For carry, 40 cal -- I love the S&W M&P 40 with Crimson Trace grips. Home defense, 45 acp in a 1911. It's been reported that 54% of US police forces issue 40 cal, it's a great round in a modest frame. The 45, one of my favorites, has a bit of a large frame and limited mag capacity.

But...I'm mostly a revolver guy and my choice thus is 44 Mag and 45 colt, mostly for hiking.

Nematocyst
February 3, 2011, 10:22 PM
... my choice thus is 44 Mag and 45 colt...Serious calibers.

JEB
February 3, 2011, 10:49 PM
my primary choice is a .40s&w. when compared to a 9mm it is larger and only gives up a couple of rounds in a given frame. the recoil is not bad and terminal performance is perfectly satisfactory, as well as plenty of ammo being readily availible.

a very very close runner up would be the .357 mag. what it lacks in capacity it more than makes up for in power, speed, and terminal performance.


in the end though, between 9mm, .38, .40, and .45 i consider the difference in effectiveness to be very small to the point that it almost shouldnt be a consideration. the biggest factor is what feels good to you. the good "feeling" must be on several different levels though; for example: you have to feel good shooting it (ie: not too powerful), you have to have a feeling of confidence in your chosen caliber, and you have to feel prepared (comforting).

i could stick a .32 in my pocket and, although i know that i could probably defend myself successfully with it, i just wouldnt feel good about the size of my weapon. in the end, i think it is a lot less about minor trade-offs in effectiveness and/or capacity, and more about which one gives you the warm-fuzzies when you slide your chosen piece into your holster in the morning.

Thompsoncustom
February 4, 2011, 01:10 AM
Well I Also think caliber doesn't really make much of a differnce but to each his own and if it works good for you then that's all that matters anyways, tho I do carry a full sized 9mm mostly for the high round count and be able to put round down range faster because of less recoil.

Now as far as FMJ vs HP's go I think that are both great to carry but for different reasons. I load my mags up; the first five HP's and the rest FMJ because if for some reason I'm still shooting after five rounds they probably are hiding behind some kind of cover were the fmj will penetrate with no problem. Just my thoughts

cheygriz
February 4, 2011, 11:41 AM
In the patrol car, I carried a Beretta 92 loaded with 115 grain+P+ or (later on) 127 GR +P+. I always felt very well armed. Back then, I was paid to go out looking for trouble. :mad:

Now that I'm retired, I carry a littler SIG P238 in .380 loaded with Federal Hydra-Shoks, and I still feel well armed. Now, I try to avoid trouble! :)

kurt301
February 5, 2011, 03:36 AM
I carry a taurus PT745. The trade off is that I have fewer rounds but I dont mind much because of my training in the military I am a pretty good shot.

As for your question as to why, the first and simplest answer is because I love the way it recoils compared to a snappy faster moving 9mm or 380. The .45 has more of a push to it.

The last and most profound reason is safety. A 9mm travels at a much higher speed than a .45. I have read many articles about how a 9 has the potential to travel through your target. Since I keep mine loaded on the night stand, if I had to pick it up and shoot at someone in my bedroom door I wanted the round to stop in its intended target. If it did not, on the other side is an interrior wall with my kids bedroom on the other side of that. So given that the .45 has a higher impact potential due to its weight but also a lower muzzle speed (somewhere in the vacinity of 850 fps with 230 grain JHP) I chose the .45 and will likely never change my mind for it has a home defense round. There are many people out there with different views on what makes a good home defense round but that is my opinion on it and the reasoning behind it.

Also I would encourage you to go to a local range and try a few out in different calibers before you make your selection. The range closest to my house has a ton of guns to rent and try and they all rent for about $7.50. That is an awfully cheap price to pay in order to fine tune exactly what you are looking for.

oldbear
February 5, 2011, 08:29 PM
As already stated all three of the calibers you are thinking about are decent to good self defense rounds. The 9 M/M will generally have a lower felt recoil than the 40 or 45 calibers. If I were making the decision, I would go with two identical weapons, that way you only have to stock one caliber of ammo, mags would be the same, and if for some reason you had to trade off weapons no big learning curve.

raveneap
February 5, 2011, 08:37 PM
Being an old revolver guy (not exclusively but I do like them), I'd say .38/.357. This is my SW model 60 - beautiful, small, powerful, great shooter. And you've got the choice of .38 spl or .357 mag.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v77/raveneap/DSC05671.jpg

Redneck with a 40
February 6, 2011, 11:13 AM
For smaller frame shooters, the 9mm is a good choice. High capacity, moderate recoil, easy to shoot. With the latest bullet designs, its been proven to be a good man-stopper.

22-rimfire
February 6, 2011, 12:02 PM
I am pretty much a 40 S&W user over the 9mm or 45ACP. But in your case, I think you would be best served with a 9mm caliber handgun of your choice. It certainly makes buying ammunition easier. I would buy the gun that feels the best to YOU in your hand within the list of available models from the major manufacturerers with proven track records.

ArchAngelCD
February 7, 2011, 06:40 PM
Jeff,
If you're not sure if you should buy a 9mm, 40 S&W or .45 Auto I would suggest you try and find a range that rents handguns and have your wife shoot all three. Only then can she make an informed decision on which caliber she prefers. Also, if she like one caliber but can't hit anything with it what good? IMO the best bet is to buy the one she is most accurate with.

Airburst
February 7, 2011, 11:49 PM
.40 S&W or .45ACP. 9mm would be my last choice as a CC weapon, although I do carry a .380ACP depending on situation. I shoot the bigger calibers equally well, but prefer the .40 due to magazine capacity. I know you can load a 9mm magazine higher than a comparable .40, but I don't like the caliber as a SD round. (see the giffords assassination attempt) (not looking to hijack the thread for a caliber flame war)

TexasBill
February 8, 2011, 09:39 AM
To answer the original question, I wouldn't pick a different caliber. As has been stated several times, the 9mm round, in the proper loading, is more than up to the job and the two of you would spend less on ammo, even if you decide to reload.

There are lots of good 9mm pistols. If you like the Taurus, get one for yourself.

My wife picked out a Browning BDA .380 for herself. I got a Beretta 84FS Cheetah, which is essentially the same gun (Beretta makes both). We buy a bulk pack of Remington/UMC .380 FMJ and have an enjoyable time at the range. We both also have Walther P22s for plinking. It's nice to just take a couple of guns and one type of ammo to the range.

dom1104
February 8, 2011, 10:16 AM
I shoot 9mm and .45, but I carry .45.

DeltaKilo
February 8, 2011, 12:18 PM
.45 acp.

Jeb21
February 8, 2011, 07:13 PM
I like the 45, the 40, 9mm and 38 specials. However, I tend to shoot the 9mm and the 38 specials better, so I carry them more often than the other calibers. In 9mm I tend to carry a full sized pistol, while I normally carry a snubbie in .38 (though I have a sweet Model 67 in 4" that gets carried quite a bit as well).

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