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This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by TarDevil, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. TarDevil

    TarDevil Well-Known Member

    Please get this, if you don't get another thing... IT AIN'T A CALIBER WAR! It's all about circumstances.

    Several years ago my son bought a XDc in .45. In the three or so years he owned it he shot about 200 rounds. He got rid of it during some tough times, then won a Glock 26 in a raffle. Immediately he started talking about selling it for another XDc in .45, and as much as I do not like Glocks I encouraged him to either keep it or swap it for an XD in 9mm. Reason is quite simple... he is ALL OVER THE TARGET with the .45, and can't afford to practice with it.

    Showed up at my place 2 weeks ago with... you guessed it... an XDc in .45 which he hadn't shot. I set up a B27 target, and along with my SR9c we started shooting. He shot the man's legs off, neutered him, gave him a nasty shoulder wound, eventually got a couple in the stomach. My turn, and I filled the BG's head with bullets. He blamed his XD's sights.

    After several magazines each, he asked me if I'd like to shoot his gun. The target was pretty riddled with holes, so I decided to shoot the miniature silhouette in the upper left corner of the target. Put 8 of 10 inside the image (about 8 to 10 yards). What my son muttered next is not printable in THR.

    We talked about several things, foremost the fact that I had close to a couple thousand rounds of practice, and he hadn't broken 250. We also worked on his grip a little, discussed sight picture, etc.

    Fast forward to yesterday... he went to the range with a co-worker who is a knowledgeable gun enthusiast. The grip helped. Sight picture helped. Shooting his buddy's Glock 19 helped... way more! My humble son called to inform me he was now in the market for an XDc in 9mm.

    "Why?" I asked him, curious to see what lessons he learned.

    "Because the muzzle doesn't rise so much. Because he bought twice as many cartridges as I for half as much money. Because I can follow up shots easier. Because the cartridges are cheaper and I can practice more. Because I was way more accurate. And because I like to shoot and I can BUY MORE CARTRIDGES!!"

    He then added (what I've told him for years) his buddy told him that with modern SD ammo, the difference isn't all that great between 9mm and .45... "especially when you can shoot like that," pointing to my son's now respectable grouping.

    I told my son, "Didn't your old man tell you that, oh, several years ago?"

    "Go ahead... say 'I told you so!'"

    With a grin... "I just did!!!"

    He did say he still loves the .45 and believes it to be a superior cartridge. I completely agreed... IF he has the money to practice a lot and IF he can be as accurate as he is with 9mm. Keep 'em both, boy!
  2. tnxdshooter

    tnxdshooter Well-Known Member

    The difference is way greater in stopping power even with todays better ammo. .45 has allot better stopping power. But it is indeed more expensive to shoot. So I went with .40 caliber instead. If still have my 1911 if I hadn't had some home repairs.

    Sent from my mind using ninja telepathy.
  3. TarDevil

    TarDevil Well-Known Member

    I fear, as expected, you missed the point.

  4. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Well-Known Member

    Well done, TarDevil. Those who will make this a "caliber war" thread (and they will come) are missing your point indeed. So, I'll explain what I take it to be:

    It's not that you believe your son has "done right" by coming specifically to the 9mm Luger round. What pleases you is that he has come to realize that the round he can handle well, afford to practice (and have fun) with, and is readily available, is the one that he should be first working with. Of course he can "graduate" to the "mighty .45" later if he wants to. And, yes, it pleases you some to know that you already knew and had shared what he is now learning.

    My first handgun was in .357 Magnum. Not a first good choice for a beginning shooter, but obviously a far-better overall choice for defensive use in experienced hands. Mine were not, so I had no hesitation with going back a few weeks later and picking up a .22LR.
  5. TarDevil

    TarDevil Well-Known Member


    Edited to add: Sometimes it has to come from someone other than "Dad!"
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
  6. Potatohead

    Potatohead Well-Known Member

    thats a pretty dawg gone good story. wish i woulda listened more to my pops
  7. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Has he ever shot a .22? lolz

    Listen to Dad!
  8. tnxdshooter

    tnxdshooter Well-Known Member

    That makes more sense.

    Sent from my mind using ninja telepathy.
  9. TarDevil

    TarDevil Well-Known Member

    Quite honestly, I don't think so. He is an avid hunter and has taken numerous deer with bows and .30-06, so he's been around guns of some type for a while. However, his first venture into handguns was the .45. He and girlfriend/then wife/then ex-wife/now girlfriend also has her CCP, and he bought her a Rossi .357. He was thoughtful enough to load it with .38s when they qualified (and I still don't know how he passed).
  10. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Well it sounds like you're a good Pop, no pun intended.

    Get him into .22's. Though to be honest, I've only shot a very tiny fraction of rimfire compared to centerfire over my "career".
  11. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    I think that most of those that have any experience will agree that the .45 offers more recoil then the 9mm, all other factors being equal. If both cartridges are used in identical (relatively lightweight) polymer framed pistols the difference in felt recoil is more prenounced.

    While they're may be more to the story, I think this is the principal reason that the son, who is a relatively inexperienced handgun shooter, shoots better with the 9mm, as does his father. It is also the reason that the 9mm cartridge is more popular in sub-machine guns then the .45 ACP.

    I will go further and suggest that the son would do even better if he tried a quality .22 target pistol. This of course would not be a good choice for a personal protection weapon, but it is great when it comes to learning handgun marksmansip.

    Perhaps if at a shooting range, an experienced shooters were to shoot the .45 the results might show that it is acceptably accurate. At a distance of 20 yards or less, shots peppered all over a silhouette target are seldom the guns fault, regardless of what cartridge it might be chambered for.
  12. TarDevil

    TarDevil Well-Known Member

    Yeah, he had a really bad grip at first... support hand wasn't supporting at all. That certainly contributed to his improved groupings.

    Strangely, I really didn't notice the additional recoil when I shot his .45 and my groups were fine. I really wasn't thinking about recoil, just the target. I wish I had paid attention to my rate of fire compared to my 9mm. I suspect in timed drills, I would always do better with the 9.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
  13. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Well-Known Member

    Cost of rounds was one of the main considerations when I decided to get into handguns. I do not feel "underpowered" with the 9mm, but my wallet isn't nearly as drained either. I'm bound to the 9mm now. My supply dictates that. However, at some point in the future, I may get a 45acp pistol to play with. Probably an FNX-45 [w/ 15 round magazines].
  14. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    They're many factors that can affect his shooting and be hidden by recoil. When you use a .22 some of them will become noticed. For example he may be flinching. If you have a smart phone or video-cam, make a video of him shooting and see if it shows anything.

    Jeff Cooper took the position that no one should try to get into combat training until they had first mastered marksmanship basics. At his training facility, Gunsite he could quickly tell who had and who hadn't.
  15. TarDevil

    TarDevil Well-Known Member

    Good idea! I also told him to stick a pencil in the barrel and practice dry firing against a piece of paper.
    Another concept I tried to ingrain in him long time ago.. that without skill with his gun he shouldn't even carry.
  16. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    lolz. I tell people to stick bread in their mouths while cutting onions. It amuses me.
  17. Byrd666

    Byrd666 Well-Known Member

    Well, it may have taken your son a day or 100 but, at least he finally understood what you were saying. Peer pressure is a Mother, but it works well on occasion.

    Glad he finally "got it."
  18. col_temp

    col_temp Well-Known Member

    Great story, thanks for sharing...
  19. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    I shot both .45ACP and 9mm well enough in the Navy to qualify sharpshooter--always missed expert by a hit or two (folks at my pay grade never got much range time).

    When I decided to buy a semi, I went with a 40 (Gen4 G22). I own semis in .380, 9mm and .45ACP now (and I reload them all), but I still shoot best with the .40S&W. It's a great cartridge and worthy of better press than it often gets.

    Thanks for the story. Sounds like your son has learned some valuable principles. His story is the kind I like to use in teaching pistol classes.
  20. smalls

    smalls Well-Known Member

    Shoot/carry what you shoot best. Smaller holes are better than no holes!

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