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Is .45 more accurate than 9mm?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by ChuckB, Jan 7, 2004.

  1. ChuckB

    ChuckB Well-Known Member

    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?

  2. Tactical

    Tactical Well-Known Member

    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.

  3. Chupacabra

    Chupacabra Well-Known Member

    With a .45, the holes don't have to be as close together to make a ragged hole.


    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.

  4. greyhound

    greyhound Well-Known Member

    I agree, its the shooter first and then maybe the pistol.
  5. Longbow

    Longbow Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Well-Known Member

    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 ).
  7. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

    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
  8. Sarge111

    Sarge111 member

    At seven yards...

    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.
  9. artherd

    artherd member

    It'd be more accurate to say that YOU are more accurate with that .45 :)

    Either caliber should be about equivlent otherwise.
  10. PCRCCW

    PCRCCW Well-Known Member

    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..............
  11. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    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
  12. Gordy Wesen

    Gordy Wesen Well-Known Member

    In my experience, the .45 offers better accuracy and performance. The nattering 9's have to have something to natter about.
  13. dbshabo

    dbshabo Well-Known Member

    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.

  14. denfoote

    denfoote Well-Known Member

    To coin an old phrase.
    "It's not the size of the wand, but the magic of the performer!!"
  15. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Well-Known Member

    I think the .45 is a touch more accurate. If all other things are equal.
  16. fedlaw

    fedlaw Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. ChuckB

    ChuckB Well-Known Member

    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?

  18. ChuckB

    ChuckB Well-Known Member

    By the way, fedlaw- maybe we can try out each others' pistolas some time soon. It might be fun.

  19. ACP230

    ACP230 Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. cratz2

    cratz2 Well-Known Member

    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.

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