For Those Who Consider 9mm Inadequate For Self-Defense, Why?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by LookAtYou, May 21, 2022.

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  1. LookAtYou

    LookAtYou Member

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    Why is 9mm not adequate for you?
     
  2. barnetmill

    barnetmill Member

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    Sounds like you want to start a debate over caliber wars.
    Most combat pistol calibers are inadequate if a one shot kill for a center of mass shot is expected to always put down a human target.
    A tight pattern of 00 Buck at close range COM shot is more dependable, but hard to conceal and carry about.
     
  3. aaaaa

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    The OP may genuinely want to hear the arguments so he can better decide if 9mm is the gun he wants to carry?

    I am not saying 9mm is not adequate, but I'll toss out that Gabriel Suarez in his book, The Tactical Pistol, Advanced Gunfighting Concepts and Techniques, says, "select a caliber/cartridge that has been proven to succeed most of the time on human beings. Like or not, this means the big, slow bullet of the .44/.45 school. Carry the biggest gun you can control. (Page 65)
     
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  4. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Honestly, I suspect all handgun cartridges - with the possible exception of things like the .460 and .500 Magnums - are inadequate for defense. If you wouldn't use it for stopping dangerous animals in the 200 pound range - leopards, for example - then why would you think it magic for dangerous people?

    But few of us are in a position to go about our daily business with a .577 Nitro, so we depend upon what we can conveniently carry. In that light, arguing about 9mm vs. .45 (or whatever) seems kind of silly.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2022
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  5. md7

    md7 Member

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    My school of thought is to pick a service caliber, a bullet that goes deep enough and expands reliably, and carry a spare mags. 9mm, 40, 45…. Don’t care.

    My current edc is a Glock 26 with 12 round mag and a 15 round reload. Often, I’ll have two 15 round reloads.

    If 43 rounds of 124 gr Federal HST can’t get it done, in a pistol that I shoot pretty darn well, then it’s unlikely any other pistol caliber would fare any better.
     
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  6. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    1. It varies too much. 9mm has been around since the time of Conan, right after the seas drank Atlantis. Theres long 9mm, short 9mm, 95-147gn, +p, +p+, -p, 9mm major. In 100 different brand names. You have to do your due diligence selecting ammo. Some people don't.

    2. Less power and less recoil, means less force to cycle the pistol. 9mm is more prone to limp wristing or janky mags with excessively stiff springs. High capacity mags mean more friction between rounds. I've generally found 9mm less reliable than .40 and .45. I have no opinion on .357.

    3. It may retain less weight if it breaks up after hitting window glass or a car door. A .45 can split in half and still be as large as some 9mm rounds.

    4. May be deflected more by barriers, or bones. Hotter 9mm, not so much though.

    5. Varies greatly in recoil. 9mm ball ammo for range use may be dramatically weaker loaded than JHP. And +p JHP has about the same flip as .40. Basically, traing ammo might not prepare us for shooting carry ammo.

    6. Way too many people walking around my country prison with 9mm, .380, and .32 bullet wound scars. My country coroner, and 2 others that I've met, carry .45 and .40.

    7. .45 is always subsonic. .40 often is subsonic. 9mm needs heavier bullets to stay subsonic, and seems a bit weak with that ammo.

    I have many calibers. 9mm is best for small pistols. I prefer major calibers in fullsize pistols. Even though most of my fullsize pistols are 9mm.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2022
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  7. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    IMO there is always balance to be sought. Low recoil, low flash, low noise, high capacity, and of course stopping capability must be added to that list. I suspect, though I cannot confirm, that some people don’t think much beyond bullet diameter or ft lbs of energy.

    A compact isn’t always chosen for concealment, .380 or .25 not always chosen because someone believes it is “enough gun”. Even platform may be changed to suit a shooter’s capability over time as I have witnessed with my father.

    Is 9mm enough? It certainly falls within parameters to be, as do many others. Do any of these threads change hearts and minds? Probably not as many as they should.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2022
  8. aaaaa

    aaaaa Member

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    Now I don't feel so bad for having just bought a 32! At least I can claim the same fame as the 9mm. :D
     
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  9. barnetmill

    barnetmill Member

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    I have taken courses offered by his group, I have his training tapes, and I know he mostly carries a 9x19 these days so I looked up the date of the quoted book:
    Tactical Pistol: Advanced Gunfighting Concepts and Techniques Paperback – January 1, 1996. The art of gun fighting as taught by GS has changed considerably. In '96 I think he was still close to gunsite and jeff cooper that was an advocate of the 1911 at that time.
    But if you can handle a 40 S&W, then go for it. I know in 9x19 Gabe S recommends the Speer 124 grain gold dot plus P. He also recommends RDS sights and now instead of the RMR he recommends the holosun 507C in green.
    I just checked his pistol page and the guns seem to be mostly if not all in 9x19 that he sells.
    .

     
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  10. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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  11. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    Is there a definition for "caliber war"? I don't think so. I typically see the term invoked when someone doesn't like a caliber discussion.
    If I say 9mm versus 45 that is the old standard for someone wanting to stifle that discussion with claim of "caliber war".
    It wouldn't surprise me if I said I think any caliber below 9mm deficient for my self defense for somebody to incorrectly invoke claim of "caliber war".
    The most gross misuse of the term is if I say "5 rounds aint enough" (clearly capacity not caliber) some snub advocate incorrectly call that "caliber war".
    In summary, I think that term undefined and nonsensical.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As to 9mm being sufficient, I think it is. However, if we go with what people think that is problematic because some may think 25 acp sufficient.

    Let me define what sufficient is: At least 12'' penetration and consistent expansion. 22/25/ (99.9% of 32 HP) and all FMJ fail that criteria, 45 FMJ included.
    If some people don't like the clear gel used by Lucky Gunner, okay lets go with manufacturer data:
    https://winchesterle.com/-/media/Project/WinchesterLE/PDF/Handgun-Bullet-Barrier-Testing-Protocol_2016.ashx
    380 Ranger fails to meet 12'' penetration in manufacturer testing of bare gel and heavy clothed gel. Do I want to bet my life on 380? Nope.
    38 Special Ranger fails to meet 12'' penetration in manufacturer testing bare & clothed gel and as previously noted 5-6 rounds is capacity deficient.
    9mm Ranger in 127+P+ and 147 versions meet our desired criteria of at least 12'' penetration and consistent expansion.
    Comparing with some of the 40 S&W loads, we see performance of the 127+P+ 9mm to be essentially on par.

    9mm in its best HP loadings is sufficient for self defense, I carry it.
    22lr/32/380 - Nope I'm not betting my life on that.
    9mm/40/45 FMJ - Nope. We don't settle for FMJ (45 acp included) because we can get HP that performs better; well, not if in NJ then 45 FMJ.
     
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  12. badkarmamib

    badkarmamib Member

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    The vast majority of us will never need to find out how well our choice works (thankfully). Kind of like parachutes, or, more commonly, insurance, "better to have and not need, than need and not have", and "a .22LR in the pocket is better than a .500S&W left at home"... The best advice I can give is, pick something that is at least enough for you to trust your life with, get as proficient as your time and funds allow, and carry on. I have a minimum threshold, which is mine alone, and have caught myself second-guessing and stressing, only to circle back. All of that energy would have been better spent practicing drawing and dry-firing.
     
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  13. Heir Kommt Die Sonne

    Heir Kommt Die Sonne Member

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    Ohhh I love 9mm bullets, just if they're fired out of a .357 sig casing.


    I am a revolver guy so I do have a bias for more powerful cartridges. Of course the .357 will be my preferred in semi-autos but that doesn't mean I stick strictly to it, nor does any of this mean I stick strictly to ballistics bias anyway. As long as it's a caliber that's been proven to work, thats all what matters to me. I've carried .357 Sig, .38 Special, 357 Mag, 45 ACP and yes, even 9mm luger.

    But admittingly 9mm is still not my first choice. Why? Probably a bias growing up with .45. Probably because as a reloader, i notice 9mm has very little case capacity (hard for me to believe it's equal to 40 S&W, but alas thats the truth).

    When it comes to my defending my life? Yeah I trust 9mm. But if I can choose any other caliber? .357 sig, 10mm, or a .357 Mag would be the best calibers from my opinion.
     
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  14. LaneP

    LaneP Member

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    I've been a lifelong fan of cartridges that start with a 4 and fire heavy, solid flat points, but realistically the pistol I'm most likely to have with me during any given activity is going to be smaller. Through the past year or so it's been some variation of either an LC9, 9 Shield and currently the reigning champ is my P365. Boutique, specialty ammo abounds but I settled on the Hornady Critical Duty, based on its ability to resist nose plugging and consequently behaving like solid. Hope to never have to find out in real life.

    j3Q4U1VhdzyHTwpF8Y9V7EZgbWVVHWcU4tmsstbNVwDMfUNJZolgtWHnbvHOdIF3ONvI2GA=w1190-h893-no?authuser=0.jpg
     
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  15. barnetmill

    barnetmill Member

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    In past there were certainly caliber wars.
     
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  16. barnetmill

    barnetmill Member

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    What helps even more is hitting your target. That is being able to do it under reactive conditions and when ambient light levels may be low.
    It seems the FBI wanted a couple a more inches of penetration.
    A FMJ would have given them the penetration if they think that was what they needed. Hitting the humerus would likely stop many expanding lead core bullets.
    A solid hit to the head with an FMJ from a 9x19 will generally put a hostile human down. Some people may not go down when hit in the head if it is say the face with a short barreled .22 or .25. But it sure will get their attention and in most cases stop them doing you any harm.
    Me I have a semiauto and if the threat does not go away, keep shooting until it does.
    Currently I am carrying +P+ federal, but I am running out of if and have not seen any for sale for awhile. I have seen some expensive speer +P gold dot and may buy some of it.
     
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  17. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    Okay, lets say there were, it was a battle between 9mm/40/45.
    Why those? 38 special & 357 Mag were already defeated by the 90's with just 5-6 rounds capacity they were done before the battle started.
    380 - never a serious contender for victory, was and is "better than nothing"
    10mm - knocked out because too much recoil for weak wrist & small stature
    45 acp - 1911? Not for duty for most LE (no cocked & locked). Glock 21? Fat grip might not fit smaller hands. How about that ammo cost.
    40 S&W - Initially looks victorious but as with 10mm recoil is unpalatable for some and ultimately its defeated by the winner of "caliber war"
    9mm - If there was a "caliber war" everybody knows 9mm won, FBI, most police departments, and very popular with concealed carry.
    There is no more caliber war, 9mm won; so now we only have caliber discussions.
     
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  18. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    His 40 SW to the heart got shut down.:uhoh:

    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/scenario-your-opinion-chance-of-1-shot-stop-with-40-jhp-through-the-heart-from-a-full-size-gun.905869/
     
  19. bdickens

    bdickens Member

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    This will not end well...
     
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  20. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    This little 40 caliber pistol is pretty good for carry. Its holster fits into certain pockets of mine.

    I would prefer it to the 9mm equivalent, if they hold about the same number of rounds.

     
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  21. barnetmill

    barnetmill Member

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    In the working world of the police and military the 9x19 is what is favored.
    but there are still people that argue about it. the 380, 9x19, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP would not be allowed by the state game commissions if the public hunted animals of the same physic as humans. More powerful calibers would be mandated for clean, humane kills. These pistols are all compromises of weight, portability, concealment vs the power and number of cartridges carried the magazine.
    Plus there is always the excaliber notion of some magic pistol, or bullet, or some combination thereof.
     
  22. DeepSouth
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    DeepSouth Random Guy

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    I want go so far as to say it’s “Inadequate”
    It may be, depending on the scenario. I will say there are better guns for the job, most of them are higher capacity guns in traditional rifle/shotgun calibers. If one were to limit themselves to a handgun for home defense they may be fine with a 9mm, personally I like bigger holes and/or faster projectiles.

    But that’s just my opinion, if someone wants to use a single shot 22 short for a home defense gun, that’s their right. I just have the right to believe better options are available.

    Use what you want and ignore the people on the internet.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2022
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  23. GEM

    GEM Moderator Emeritus

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    Just another repetition of an endless gun social media theme. My takeaway is from James Reeves on TTFB. Carry a SW Model 29 in case of the moose uprising!
     
  24. The Glockodile

    The Glockodile Member

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    Shh.

    Don't give them ideas.
     

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  25. JCooperfan1911

    JCooperfan1911 Member

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    And a quad Bofors 40mm is even better.

    A695-ACF2-0-B6-D-4348-AB29-24-AEC22-B8-D68.jpg
     
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