Does .45 live up to the hype?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by The Exile, Jan 29, 2022.

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  1. The Exile

    The Exile Member

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    I'm trying to separate myth from reality, and every video game and movie seems to hype up the .45 like some middle ground between 9mm and .44 magnum, and while personally I tend to favor the 9mm because magazine capacity is nice I found that sentiment echoed in some research I did a while back while toying with the idea of moving to California for work and to be closer to online friends. A lot of professional shooters seemed to say between 9mm and .45 their favorite was 9mm because the only major factor between the 2 was price, and 9mm being a smaller bullet and the most popular cartridge for handguns on Earth costs less to make. 45 does probably have some more knock down power but how much more? Assuming identical loads (let's just say ball ammo) center of mass hits on a bad guy at about 10-15 yards would one .45 do enough to reliably stop the threat with one shot? Because if it can't live up to that then it would seem like the ability to get back on target and having the extra shots in the magazine for that follow up shot are doing so much more work than the extra weight of the .45's slug; not to mention we're already having to deal with the fact that each miss is that much more important if you have less shots to make in the first place.
     
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  2. Targa

    Targa Member

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    The 9mm vs. .45acp debate is a tail chase with no end that I will not participate in. I like them both and they each have different characteristics. One thing I really like is that big .45 cal hole that is left in my targets that I can easily see at the range. For defensive carry it is hard to argue with the easy carrying, high capacity sub compact 9mm’s that you will never get out of a .45acp.
     
  3. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    I mean, that’s the age old caliber debate. If you run a .45 vs 9mm search on here you’ll get more argument than you could ever hope for.

    Personally I don’t think so, I don’t think the slightly better expansion potential overrides the ease and speed of follow up shots and more ammo for the same sized gun.

    Then again, I have and do carry .45, .40 and 9mm depending on what I’m loading and shooting the most, so it’s really a horse apiece IMO. All good, just different
     
  4. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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  5. defjon

    defjon Member

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    You said 9mm Vs 45 acp ball ammo specifically.

    In ball ammo, I posit the 45 would over penetrate less, transfer more energy, and generally be more effective at "knocking " someone down with center of mass hits.
     
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  6. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    YES. I'm still here.
     
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  7. defjon

    defjon Member

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    If jhp ammo was banned today, I bet you would see a massive switch to calibers with a. 4 or greater bore and more variety of flat point or wadcutter type rounds.

    The fast pointy .36-38 bore rounds have a reputation for being long range ice picks. Fine if your shot placement is sound. Hope there's nothing behind the target that is terribly important!

    Early 20th century brits explored "stopping power " by increasing size /weight of 45 caliber projectiles with flat points... 600-700 fps (very slow by modern standards) 200-250 grain flat point lead projectiles tend to hammer pretty well, (transfer energy )
    all of which can equal better/ faster terminal result.

    Pointy 124 grain 9mm fmj Vs 230 grain 45 acp especially flat point my money is on the 45. I would still choose 45 if round ball was the only option for both.

    9mm is only the choice now because of jhp advancements that make all the service calibers basically the same... Expansion to .5 or .6 and penetration of 14-18 inches. 9mm does it with less recoil than 45 or 40.

    45. 40, 9mm, 357 etc they all do this. Some 38s do this. Some 380s get close.

    Take away the last 10 years of hollow point tech and all the pretty flowers in ballistic gel and original projectile size matters more.
     
  8. Resist Evil

    Resist Evil Member

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    I don't suffer from handgun caliber wars. I made up my mind when I held a single new .45 caliber 230gr bullet, not the whole cartridge, just the bullet in one hand and a new 115 gr 9mm bullet in the other. Then, I imagined that 230 gr bullet leaving the barrel at 580 miles per hour and hitting the target--paper, steel pop-up, or person. Like many, I have experience with the first two using both calibers. Though I carry a small poly 9mm occasionally, I mostly carry a .45. Apparently, the statistics indicate that any modern handgun ammunition in any caliber can be effective, but I'm old and I just don't care about small ammo.
     
  9. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    Just to complicate things, also look at 9mm +P+ and 45 Super to muddy the argument even more.
     
  10. JCooperfan1911

    JCooperfan1911 Member

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    According to this information, the “weak and anemic” .38 Special is as effective as the might .45 ACP as well as today’s golden child, the 9mm???

    How can this be?? You honestly mean to tell me ft-lbs of muzzle energy are not the main deciding factor in handgun effectiveness???
     
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  11. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Too many variables to definitively predict what will happen outside of controlled environments and laboratory conditions. All one needs to do is look at the different results of what happens in hunting scenarios when similar animals in species and size are shot under near identical conditions with the same firearm and ammunition, and see the different results.
     
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  12. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    Im not sure anymore with those monolithic copper “screwdriver” rounds or basic flat point. I’d probably stick with 9mm for follow up shots and a chance at CNS over .095” width.
     
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  13. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    There is so much more to the story than statistics when it comes to gunfights. Training, hit location, psychological issues with the “victim” (I.e was it a psychological stop) overall timeline of the stop, etc etc
     
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  14. The Exile

    The Exile Member

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    I'm trying to be specific with my claims so it doesn't just retread the old grounds, but yeah I'm just trying to get a feel for the reality without having to ever be put into a real life test drive of the claims. I plan on getting 1911 at some point or another so it's all good to me. It's a good enough gun to have some ammo for it on hand
     
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  15. Ranger99

    Ranger99 Member

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    JMHO- I always reccomend the largest
    bore you can shoot accurately
     
  16. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    With modern self defense rounds it is a wash on which is better. Both will do the job just fine.

    Now if you want to talk about military ball ammo (FMJ) then I would have to go with the 45ACP. And yes I have used both in combat.
     
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  17. BLACKHAWKNJ

    BLACKHAWKNJ Member

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    Yes, only the hits count. Charley Askins used a 38 Special in most of his gun fights.
     
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  18. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    Video games and Hollywood are the two worst things to get anything gun related.

    That being said, both calibers have their benefits. I prefer the .45 ACP but tend to carry a sub 9MM, especially in the hotter months due to conceal ability and extra rounds.
     
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  19. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    I shoot a lot of 9mm and 45acp. I have no scientific data to share for the two calibers but when shooting both calibers into the sand/dirt bank on my home range it's pretty obvious the a 45acp tears up a lot more stuff than a 9mm. I think 9mm adequate as a self defense round and in fact my preferred carry is a 9mm. But to say a 45acp is a lesser round than 9mm wouldn't carry any weight with me.
     
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  20. LAH

    LAH Member

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    Using FMJ ammo or loads, give me a 45.
     
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  21. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

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    I really don’t understand this OP point or logic, so my reply may ramble
    A bit…

    There is no way to separate myth from reality in movies and video games.

    I don’t understand the concept of moving to be closer to online friends.

    Pistols don’t have knock down power.

    Center mass is a big area…a single lung hit and a heart hit are both fatal, but the time the fight can go on can differ greatly.

    The will to live and fight is individual…and some bad guys have sucked up a lot of solid hits (both 9MM and .45) before going down.

    All things equal, a service frame 9MM will shoot a bit softer and hold more ammo than a service size .45.

    Just my thoughts how to respond to the OP. No disrespect meant.
     
  22. armydog

    armydog Member

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    To me the 45 will always be the King. Having said that I mostly carry glocks in 9mm these days unless in large critter country. The advancement in SD projectiles, capacity and my proficiency operating my pistols is why I mostly carry 9s.
     
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  23. bersaguy

    bersaguy Member

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    So, if you're talking ball ammo, 45 comes out on top. But in reality, depending on the load, 45 and 9mm deliver a roughly similar amount of energy to the target, just in different ways. 45 is big, heavy and slow, and carries more momentum. 9mm is small, light and fast, and loses momentum more quickly. If a 9mm JHP can open up and dump all its energy in the target, then, yeah, 45 fmj and 9mm jhp are on pretty equal footing. If a 45 jhp opens up too fast or too big, it can dump its energy too soon and not penatrate enough. But, again, a 200g 45 JHP doing close to 1000fps, with controlled expansion, in terms of terminal performance, should trump a 124g 9mm jhp. So, is one better than the other...only if the one who wields it is better with one than the other
     
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  24. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    It's the 9mm I have 15 shots vs the 45acp I have 8 shots.

    If you can hit what you aim at go 45acp. If you aim and pray go 9mm.
     
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  25. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    For the pro 9mm folks, it all hinges on the advancements in HP technology. Course, in a shortage, you likely won't be able to find HPs. 45 comes in HP too. They go in the size of a dime and come out the size of a cash register.

    If all you have is one shot, which is going to be a better stopper? The answer is 45 acp. Course that's subjective.

    9mm is good for mag capacity and follow up shots and for price of ammo. 45 has what counts.
     
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