Is .45 more accurate than 9mm?


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ChuckB
January 7, 2004, 06:57 PM
Hi, guys and gals. I was shooting just a bit with my friend's new Sig 220. At 7 yards, my groups were all one ragged hole. I can shoot his 226, and my Beretta 92FS, pretty well- but I can't get quite the same tight groups that I got with his .45 Sig 220. My question: is there an inherent accuracy advantage of .45 over 9mm, or am I just shooting this particular pistol better? The 220 and the 226 feel identical in my hands, and I have the lighter hammer spring in my Beretta. I'm not even considering the 1911's here, as I've never fired one (don't yell at me- please!). I like my 92 a lot, but a more accurate pistol just might have to find its way into my hands, whether Sig or 1911. Thoughts?

Chuck:p

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Tactical
January 7, 2004, 07:09 PM
It is not the caliber of bullet that constitutes the reason for being accurate as much it is the shooter. I would break down the accuracy for a caliber to the following percentage.

Shooter= 60%
Gun= 20%
Caliber= 20%

But to answer your question concerning the 20% factor, yes 45ACP is superior.

IMO

Chupacabra
January 7, 2004, 07:09 PM
With a .45, the holes don't have to be as close together to make a ragged hole.

:neener:

Seriously, I have no idea. But In my opinion, the accuracy of Berettas and Sigs at 7 yards is going to be extremely close in either caliber. I'm betting you just shoot the Sig Better.

:D

greyhound
January 7, 2004, 07:41 PM
I agree, its the shooter first and then maybe the pistol.

Longbow
January 7, 2004, 07:50 PM
Chuck,
My experience is the same as yours, except I'm using 1911, one in 9mm, the other one in .45 ACP. Both has a fitted Kart Barrel. I'm thinking that the straight case wall in .45 ACP contributes to its inherent accuracy (how?, I don't know, but that's the only difference I see). Even though I'm using mixed brass hanloads, the .45 still comes on top the 9mm in terms of accuracy.

Sean Smith
January 7, 2004, 08:34 PM
As a P210 shooter that question. :D

To answer the question, no, .45 ACP is not inherently more accurate than 9x19, assuming equal quality of firearms and equally good loads used.

The accuracy standard for the P210 is 3 centimeters @ 50 meters. Not coincidentally, this is almost the exact same accuracy guarantee offered on top-end .45 ACP bullseye guns (1.5" @ 50 yards... do the metric conversion yourself :p ).

WonderNine
January 7, 2004, 08:36 PM
I don't know if it's an accuracy difference more than that they just shoot differently. And as Chupacabra said the .45 holes don't have to be as close together to make a ragged hole. :D

Sarge
January 7, 2004, 09:01 PM
you should be able to shoot similar groups with a smoothbore Daisy BB gun- or a slingshot. I believe what you are seeing here is that a particular gun fits and feels a little better to you than a couple of others do, and it is showing up on the target. If you locked them all in a Ransom rest at 7 yards and fired five shot groups, you would see no discernable difference.

Put 'em on sandbags, and shoot 5 shot groups at 50 yards. My old Sig 220 will stay inside 3.5" at that distance with good ammo, assuming that I hold up my end of the bargain. My late-lamented Beretta Centurion would easily stay inside 4" at 50, with almost anything. I haven't benched a Sig 9mm at 50 yet, but I hear from reliable sources that they are a tad more accurate than your typical Beretta 92.

Congratulations- you are on your way to becoming an accuracy buff. If you combine that desire with self-dicsipline and regular practice, you will soon become a precision shooter. And PS- you will never go wrong in choosing a good Sig 220.

artherd
January 7, 2004, 10:23 PM
It'd be more accurate to say that YOU are more accurate with that .45 :)

Either caliber should be about equivlent otherwise.

PCRCCW
January 7, 2004, 11:48 PM
Honestly, there are too many variable between guns, ammo and shooters to give a concrete answer. All things being equal Id so NO...no difference.

Shoot well..............

Ala Dan
January 7, 2004, 11:56 PM
Greeting's All-

Being a long time SIG handgun shooter myself, I can
obtain equal result's shooting a .45 caliber P220; or
a 9m/m P228. I'm not as consistent with the P226
(in any caliber), due to the European grip angle.

Also, the SIGARMS P229 in .40 S&W doesn't perform
very well in MY hands!:( Honestly, I haven't tried the
.357 SIG, as mated to this frame.:uhoh:

I tend to favor the "feel" of the .45 caliber SIG P220
over just about anything else out there; cause
I've carried one since July of 1988, and have become
very familiar with this weapon.:D

While on the subject, I've only owned one Beretta
in my lifetime. It was a standard issue "Centurion"
model in 9m/m caliber. While I give this weapon
very high marks for design, craftsmanship, etc.-
I just could never get it to shoot to POA? With
that said, I never felt really comfortable carrying
this piece.


Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

Gordy Wesen
January 8, 2004, 12:09 AM
In my experience, the .45 offers better accuracy and performance. The nattering 9's have to have something to natter about.

dbshabo
January 8, 2004, 01:19 PM
Don't know about the .45 being inherently more accurate than the 9mm. I own a Beretta 92F Centurion and a S&W1911. I can shoot the 1911 to a much tighter group than the Beretta. Don't know exactly why but that's the way it is with my two pistols. The trigger on the 1911 blows doors on the Beretta's trigger. Guess which one I'd strap on my side if I had to.

Shabo

denfoote
January 8, 2004, 04:46 PM
To coin an old phrase.
"It's not the size of the wand, but the magic of the performer!!"

Ohen Cepel
January 8, 2004, 04:52 PM
I think the .45 is a touch more accurate. If all other things are equal.

fedlaw
January 8, 2004, 05:50 PM
Dear ChuckB,
I have both a P226 in 9mm and a P220 in .45. The .45 seems to have the potential to be more accurate in my hands, although I have yet to prove that on a consistent basis. Perhaps the difference is because size really does matter.

ChuckB
January 8, 2004, 06:04 PM
Interesting reponses so far. Thanks for your input. So far, it seems that 1. 9mm and .45 are equally accurate; 2. .45 pistols may be more accurate. I believe that these two responses can both be true. So maybe I won't buy that 1911 just yet?

Chuck:)

ChuckB
January 8, 2004, 06:05 PM
By the way, fedlaw- maybe we can try out each others' pistolas some time soon. It might be fun.

Chuck

ACP230
January 8, 2004, 07:12 PM
My experience that the .45 ACP IS more inherently accurate than the 9mm Parabellum.
I have found this to be true in factory loads from several manufacturers including Winchester, PMP, Olympic, and Cor-Bon.

It has been easy to make .45 ACP reloads that are accurate using LRN or FMJ bullets of 200 and 230 grains.

Reloads for the 9mm, made with the same powders, primers and care, with LTC and FMJ bullets, have been mediocre in accuracy. The 9mm has been a frustrating caliber to load no matter what load I tried.

cratz2
January 8, 2004, 07:21 PM
Well, one copy each from three different model is far from a control group... And if the 226 is that much more accurate for you than the 220, I think it's a unit to unit variation.

Even with two guns of identical accuracy and two shooters of identical ability, you will typically shoot 'better groups' and end up with better scores with a larger diameter bullet... simple physics.

I admit that I shoot a 1911 slightly better than any other handgun I've used. I can turn in non-embarrassing groups from my G23 and from my Taurus PT99 but never quite as consistant as a couple of my 1911s... Lot of that has to do with the comfort I find in the 1911 and a lot of that has to do with the fact that the 1911s I shoot with any consistancy have good triggers.

45shooter
January 9, 2004, 01:27 AM
Atleast in 1911 pistols, one in 45 ACP caliber is usually more accurate than another im 9mm.

As as reloader, it seems almost all loads in 45ACP are accurate when loaded consistly while 9mm loads take much more tries to come up with a accurate load.

Bren
January 9, 2004, 02:33 AM
For me the 40 is the worst of the three. :D

To me the 45acp, 10mm, 38 wadcutter, and 41 mag are very accurate. The 9mm "Can be" but you have to work at it a little more than the above. Bren

coverdog
January 9, 2004, 02:41 AM
Yes, the .45.

1911Tuner
January 9, 2004, 07:56 AM
...in a defensive sidearm, measured in fractions of inches is rather like top
speed in a pickup truck. Interesting, but irrelevant. (Yes, I swiped that
from Jeff Cooper) Rather than concern ourselves with ragged, one-hole
groups on paper, wouldn't it make more sense to worry with hitting the
target, in a hurry...from the more practical distance of say...25 feet?
Most pistols are capable of staying within a 3-inch circle at that distance.
I'm more concerned with that distance in the least amount of time than
that same group fired in a 30 second time frame at 25 yards.

In an emergency, we tend to repeat the moves that we have practiced
over and over...automatically. If and when the flag flies, and your life is on
the line, will you be striving for that pefect sight picture and careful squeeze? If you do, you may not even get the shot off. Don't understimate programmed auto-response.

A story in a law enforcement journal told of a cop who, during a firefight, after shooting his revolver dry, was shot dead after turning 90 degrees to port to drop his empty brass in the range bucket. When the bucket wasn't there, he froze in place because his programmed auto-response wouldn't let him continue until the sequence had been completed.

Another one told of a cop who was killed after trying to stuff a handful of
change into his revolver because on the range, he had always reloaded with a speedloader placed in his front pocket. The list could go on.

Just food for thought...
Tuner

45shooter
January 9, 2004, 06:07 PM
1911Tuner,

Your statement is correct if you carry a pistol for self-defense purpose only but some of us are competition bullseye shooters with the target 50 yards away.

La Pistoletta
January 10, 2004, 07:38 AM
Why would police officers use revolvers, anyway? Reliable and powerful, yes, but when it's time to reload, your opponent can sew your wife a skirt before you're done...

1911Tuner
January 10, 2004, 08:01 AM
Reliable and powerful, yes, but when it's time to reload, your opponent can sew your wife a skirt before you're done...

You need to check out ol' Jerry Mikuleck doin' his thing with a speedloader.
He'll have that wheelie back in battery and in your face before your magazine hits the ground. The hand IS quicker than the eye...

Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang

Tuner

La Pistoletta
January 10, 2004, 09:49 AM
Expert gunmen, yes, but most police officers wouldn't, I think. ;)

1911Tuner
January 10, 2004, 10:08 AM
La Pistoletta said:


Expert gunmen, yes, but most police officers wouldn't, I think.

Excellent point...and I rather hoped you'd mention it. My question is:

Why WOULDN'T a cop practice the moves with his issued equipment?
Knowing that at some point in a L.E. career, he/she will likely have a need for all the proficiency that can be mustered. Smart cops shoot thousands of rounds in scenarios that mimic real confrontations in preparation for that one mad moment. Why don't they practice for the very real possibility that
they will have to reload if that mad moment goes horribly wrong?

Curious, what?

Food for thought...

Tuner

La Pistoletta
January 10, 2004, 10:33 AM
They should. Though, a higher capacity weapon lowers the need to reload in the first place, and even then it would be faster. How about the Five-seveN? Light pistol, 20 round magcap, and supposedly AP, or the effect of it, anyway. The only thing would be the stopping power, no?

1911Tuner
January 10, 2004, 10:48 AM
T'was said:

A higher capacity weapon lowers the need to reload in the first place,


Two schools of thought on that issue, and I'm of the old school that feels
that a hi-cap weapon encourages sloppy marksmanship. The man with a
20 or 30 round box magazine in his rifle tends to spray and pray, while
the one with the bolt-action Mauser tends to hold and squeeze. There was
a very good reason that the issue M-14s in Vietnam had the selectors locked out for most of the guys. It conserved ammo and encouraged aimed
fire....which works.

I've often said that the duffer with the AK-47 isn't nearly as dangerous as the man with the scoped sporter. The duffer will hose down the landscape while the marksman is settling the cross hairs on his antagonist's chest.

Right-wing extremists with M-16s aren't the danergous ones. They look
scary and intimidate the masses, but the one to watch out for is Bubba with
his grandpa's thutty-thutty...but please don't tell Dan Rather about this.
What the Left-Libs don't know won't hurt'em. ;)

Just pen me...Old Tuner:p

La Pistoletta
January 10, 2004, 10:57 AM
But what if you practice with revolver type capacity (load magazine with 6 rounds and reload rounds between every mag change) and only fill it up on patrol?

1911Tuner
January 10, 2004, 11:09 AM
La Pistolletta asked:

But what if you practice with revolver type capacity (load magazine with 6 rounds and reload rounds between every mag change) and only fill it up on patrol?

Believe it or not, you touched on my practice drill.

I load my first magazine with 7 rounds, slingshot the slide to chamber the top round, and holster the weapon (safety on, of course)

Two magazines on the belt are loaded with 6 each. I shoot doubles
at three targets and reload with the chamber hot, safety off, and don't allow the slide to lock empty until the last shot, which is the signal to stop the timer and end the drill. It teaches me to shoot a maximum of 6 rounds between reloads, and after a little practice, I found myself reaching for the
button on the 6th round automatically. In other words, it will become a programmed response eventually. It makes for a neat impromptu match
between friends, and injects a little time/pressure into the drill.

Incidentally, I also engage my three targets while moving toward cover, as I don't want to teach myself to be caught in the open during a reload.

Works pretty well for me, anyway.

Cheers!
Tuner

Longbow
January 10, 2004, 11:42 AM
Two schools of thought on that issue, and I'm of the old school that feels that a hi-cap weapon encourages sloppy marksmanship. The man with a 20 or 30 round box magazine in his rifle tends to spray and pray,

Yup, that's really old school thinking! :D

Modern training had change that attitude, go to any shooting academy and you'll see that the ones that finishes on top is always the ones shooting an autoloader.
Common revolvers are just too slow to reload, and that's just the fact. I'm not saying it cannot be effective, if the scenario doesn't call for fast reloads, then a revolver might be okay. But me, I tend to like to be prepared for all possible scenario. I'll pick an autoloader for field use anytime.
Jerry Miculek's ability with revolver is phenominal, but take note that he is using a gun that uses moon clips, its a drop it in and shoot, no twisting or pushing motion or cumbersome speed loader unit to deal with. He is fast and accurate with it, that's why he is very popular (in the shooting sport circuit) and a champion. But not all has or will have his ability.
Modern high capacity handguns managed to evolve in the police/military hands for some good reasons, the ability to fire multiple rounds without reloading too often in the heat of battle is one of them.

1911Tuner
January 10, 2004, 12:28 PM
Longbow said:

Yup, that's really old school thinking!
----------------------------

Yup. I reckon I'm too old to run and shoot with the young'uns any more.:p

and:
Modern training had change that attitude, go to any shooting academy and you'll see that the ones that finishes on top is always the ones shooting an autoloader.

Also take notice that the top shooters can actually shoot...or as an old
gunfighter observed: "Speed's fine. Accuracy's final." (Wasn't that Wyatt Earp?)

And finally, as Willie Nelson (another of my heroes) stated in Barbarosa:

"Ain't nothin rattles a man more than somebody takin' dead aim at him when he oughta be runnin' like a stripe-assed ape.":D

If you keep your head and mind your front sight, it ain't likely that you'll need a reload. Another thing that rattles a man is watchin' his pard
wiggle around on the deck pukin' blood and hollerin' for his mama. Takes
the fight right out of'em.

Chitty-Chitty, Bang-Bang!

Tuner

Longbow
January 10, 2004, 01:35 PM
Ain't Hollywood Grand!:D :D

1911Tuner
January 10, 2004, 01:49 PM
Ain't Hollywood Grand!

Yessir.:cool:

Was it Peter Capstick that said:

"I don't care a whit about these people who can split a pea at 300 paces.
What I want to know about a man is how he does on a charging lion at
6 feet."

Mighta been John Taylor...:scrutiny: The ol' memory ain't what it used ta be.

Keep your wits about you and 6 will do. Lose your head, and about all that'll save you is the will of God.

To arms!

Tuner

444
January 10, 2004, 03:29 PM
I don't know about the inherent accuracy of the cartridges. I do know that some rifle cartridges are more inherently accurate than others.

In my own experience I have to completely agree with 45 Shooter. I have handloaded extensively for both calibers for years. It has been my experience that most anything I throw together will shoot well out of my 1911s. I had to work hard to find good accurate loads for my 9mm and even then wasn't thrilled by them. This has held true for perhaps a dozen different handguns in each caliber.
The .45 seems to shoot fine with cast bullets, plated bullets, or jacketed bullets. It seems to shoot fine with anything from 155 grain SWCs up to 255 grain SWCs and everything in between. It seemed to shoot fine with a half dozen or more powders in any cases I happened to pick up lying around.
The 9mm doesn't do any of this for me. I have never found a good load using anything but jacketed bullets. It seems sensitive as to what case you are using and also to what powder you are using.
Now if you worked at it, and found a good shooting load out of both guns, I would imagine they would exhibit similar accuracy. But for me, this is a lot easier to achieve with a .45.

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