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Is .45 more accurate than 9mm?

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

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  1. ChuckB

    ChuckB Member

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    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
     
  2. Tactical

    Tactical Member

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    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
     
  3. Chupacabra

    Chupacabra Member

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    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
     
  4. greyhound

    greyhound Member

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

    Longbow Member

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    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.
     
  6. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    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 Member

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    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

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    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 Member

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

    dbshabo Member

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    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
     
  14. denfoote

    denfoote Member

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

    Ohen Cepel Member

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

    fedlaw Member

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    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 Member

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    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:)
     
  18. ChuckB

    ChuckB Member

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

    Chuck
     
  19. ACP230

    ACP230 Member

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    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 Member

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    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.
     
  21. 45shooter

    45shooter Member

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    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.
     
  22. Bren

    Bren member

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    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
     
  23. coverdog

    coverdog Member

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    Yes, the .45.
     
  24. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Accuracy...

    ...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
     
  25. 45shooter

    45shooter Member

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    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.
     
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