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Why .45acp?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by opr1945, May 4, 2016.

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  1. bgw45

    bgw45 Member

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    Since I reload I can make loads almost recoil like a .22 or spice em up to +P levels. The AMU competes with .45 so enough said about accuracy. I'm not small so I carry my Steele framed 1911s knowing I can shoot em.

    Yes , I love the history, but I also can strip em to the frame confidently. They are simply a really grand old design and reasonably effective in the right hands. Yes, I own a nine and would feel well armed carrying it. Just my preference to carry the .45.
     
  2. 45_auto

    45_auto Member

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    Don't get too hung up on energy. It's a relatively minor factor in the effectiveness of pistol ammo. It's a measurement of the ability to do work, but the application of that ability is much more important than the quantity. Placement, penetration, and tissue damage are king.

    For example, a baseball thrown by a professional pitcher has about twice the energy of a .22 rimfire out of a rifle, 200 ft-lb vs 100 ft-lb. The baseball would hurt, but I would take getting hit with a baseball over being shot with a .22 any day.

    My Suburban rolling down the driveway at 2 MPH has about 700 ft-lb. The AA batteries in your TV remote have about 7,000 ft-lb each. Your car battery has a little over 3,000,000 ft-lb, and a cup of gasoline has about 6,000,000 ft-lb of energy. Doesn't mean anything till it's used to do work.
     
  3. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    It is fun to shoot and it makes big holes in things.
     
  4. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    variety is the spice of life!
    Its not like you can only have one...

    I dig me a nice 1911 or 220 in 45ACP.
    I also like a quality 9mm, and 38spl and 357 Mag and Sig and 40.

    the ACP is historic, it shoots great, it feels great and I like the smack it makes on a steel target. Its fun to sling some 230 pills every once in a while.

    So why NOT the 45 acp!?
     
  5. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Member

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    Back in the day they DID do a LOT of testing with the different bullets and calibers...and chose the 45 ACP as the most effective they had available. Much of this 'testing' involved shooting cows and even cadavers while suspended on chains or rope. This obviously would favor the larger/heavier slugs as they impart more momentum to the target than a higher velocity but smaller projectile that just zips right through. Time has proven that this IS a good thing to have when you need to shoot somebody, but as has been said the modern projectiles available today pretty much evens the score.

    So...if you want 'low-tech' and reliable (no expansion needed) then 45 ACP ball (or other large caliber SWC) works pretty well. Smaller calibers work well too if placed properly, but do benefit from expansion when delivered with enough energy to allow it and still penetrate adequately. Then consider the 45 ACP with a modern projectile that will expand when it can but still penetrate deep enough even when faced with obstacles and this might be the best option...but you give up some ammo capacity. The eternal 'No Free Lunch' argument applies...so pick what you feel is most important consideration and choose wisely.
     
  6. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

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    Google Massad Ayoob. And while you are at it, David Spauling. Might also look at Evan Marshall.

    They all did morgue monster work years ago.

    Deaf
     
  7. rduchateau2954

    rduchateau2954 Member

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    I've found I'm the opposite. I've shot piles of handguns over the years made in all shapes, sizes, and material. I always found the .40 and 9 snappy and unpleasant.

    At 21 I owned 9mms, at 28 they are all .45 and .44. Big and slow over fast and snappy any day.


    Sent from my AS985 using Tapatalk
     
  8. BigBore45

    BigBore45 Member

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    You know this old argument again..... Go hunting with both calibers then go shoot steel plates then look at the data and re-evaluate the numbers. Also figure it over a crony with your 2-3" barreled carry gun. The 9MM is nothing more than 38 Special +P..... but that seems....... oh yeah that is about right. it wont go through bone- if it does with a FMJ it has a small wound channel and almost no energy dump--- take them hunting, use them on deer, do a front shoulder shot. you will know. i have hunted with pistols and will tell you a 1858 Rem with a full load of black under a round ball is better than a 9mm for stopping animals...... and yes i had the correct hunting bullet for the 9mm it was hand cast by me along with my 45 bullets.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  9. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    buckhorn_cortez your right about that, but it seems most 9/40 are combat oriented and 45... maybe so? ive found just about any combination of factory ammo, bullet powder primer, brass, any combination makes a 45 shoot well. the crappiest 45 i throw together still runs 3-4". Im sure a good 9 CAN do better, but you may find a simple 45 Will do better. I like 45, and I like 9. How many 9/40 1911's do you see? So maybe im turning this into a 1911 vs glock, so ill leave that alone.
     
  10. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    if you really want to see, take a look at the controversial taylor knock out formula. Its based less on energy, and more on real interaction. Ive seen a buffalo bore 158gr at 1550 357 make a bowling pin wobble, but a 45 acp at 230 gr at 790 fps knock it over. That 357 shot clean through, but the 45 did more damage. It is worth looking into.
     
  11. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Good post. Logical and well thought out. Thanks.
     
  12. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    45 makes a really big hole. Big holes bleed out faster than small ones. I happen to shoot the cartridge well, so it's only natural.

    Daisycutter has made some excellent remarks.

    All that being said, I would feel confident with a 9mm also, as I practice enough to hit my target. The 45 just makes a little more sense to me.

    Had a 40 S&W. I don't anymore.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  13. entropy

    entropy Member

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    The .45 ACP cartridge was designed to do one thing: Knock fanatical and often drug-enhanced combatants who were wearing wrapped leather armor down, and put them out of the fight. The 9mm Parabellum was designed as an afterthought by Georg Luger to better fit the design of his pistol. He developed it from the 7.63 Mauser round of the C96. At the time (as it still does) it offered a good compromise between power and size, especially considering that pistols were badges of authority first with European armies, and combat weapons second. It says something that the US Odrnance Corps considered and tested Luger's pistol, but insisted on .45 ACP caliber. It did not find the pistol satisfactory, and continued on and eventually adopted Colt's Borwning-designed pistol instead.
    That being said, with modern developments in bullet design and +P rated rounds, 9mm is a much better defense caliber than it was 20 years ago. But so is the .45ACP for the same reasons cited. Many of us older shooters cut our teeth on the .38 Spl., and for various reasons, (as previously cited, military service, nostalgia, etc.) went on to the .45 ACP. 9mm was more a curiosity back then; Dad's old WWII bringback Luger or P-38, a Hi-power acquired in a trade, etc. Those who started shooting later than about 1985 more likely started with 9mm, and stuck with it because they shot it well, and there were some fair defense round by then.
    As for myself, I am a younger old fogey, and started with .38, which I still like, and went on to .45 ACP. I do like 9mm, have own several over the years, but have enough rounds downrange with the .45 ACP, and muscle memory with the 1911 that I'm very comfortable staying with it.
     
  14. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    <chuckle> That is (disturbingly) close to my visceral reaction to this question.

    I think that the fundamental reason for the .45(acp) in a SD role is the long "heroic" history of the cartridge for Americans in War & Peace ... as well as in Movies & TV & comic books & kids toys ...

    That is almost certainly what initially had me leaning towards the 45.

    Quite frankly, if I were in an extended and/or multiple BG shootout situation, I would want to be carrying my G19Gen4 ... but ...

    ... from what I have read, most Bad Days involve a short, sharp exchange with few rounds fired ... and, if at all possible, I will be actively seeking to dis-engage (a.k.a., skedaddle).

    If I only get one or two rounds on-target (and keep in mind that you "own" every bullet that you fire), I would prefer that they be .45s. I really do not care what it says on paper, that is just how I feel. ;)

    Also ...

    I seem to recall reading that the US Army (Cavalry) wanted what ended up as the M1911 to be in .45 caliber because it would be better at disabling enemy horses.

    FWIW, prior to sitting down to peruse these forums, I removed the .45acp 3.3" SA XD-s from the holster in the right rear pocket of my 501s and set it on the table by my laptop. :)
     
  15. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    I love .45 so lets get that out of the way. :D

    To play devil's advocate a bit. There was absolutely a time when a bigger slower cartridge made more sense and was always better then the smaller cartridge especially given capacities really were not all that different between platforms and calibers.

    Today with the advent of very good, scientifically designed ammunition both 9x19 and .45 have evolved into incredibly good rounds (for pistols, so basically they suck a whole let less then they sucked before but I digress) At any rate lets assume that 9x19 has been brought up to a level where it betters older .45s.

    So given that the the .45 has some inherent drawbacks such as size, weight, capacity, range of platform sizes etc. does it not make sense from a purely emotionless, its a tool level of thought to take the 9mm since it now offers ballistic capability that is very good, provides a relatively massive ammo reserve for the same or less weight, tends to be more ergonomic to most and is easier to shoot?

    Again the above is purely from an on paper, scientific, all I want is a single handgun and the ONLY reason I want it is as a weapon/defensive item.

    Now all that being said I carried a HK45C yesterday with Speer 230 grain hollowpoint so.......there's that. :D

    I also don't think there is a difference beyond statistical noise in modern defensive pistol calibers (9/40/45/10mm/.357SIG) whatever. I think they all have some minor advantages over each other and minor disadvantages over each other. At the end of the day in the real world I am not sure it matters 99% of the time beyond your having a weapon and having the basic skill to shoot and handle it effectively.

    I don't really even think capacity in most cases is a huge advantage (it is an advantage) as I feel like in most cases you rarely have folks sustain an attack after being shot at (it happens I know but fairly rarely) and if you think about a large group of attackers how many rounds can you get off before being overwhelmed assuming said group of attackers don't haul ass when idjit number one takes a round or they realize rounds are incoming.

    I think it all comes down to having an arm you understand the manual of arms of, understand how to shoot it, put the time in to shooting it and understanding that if you ever need to use it you have already failed life's lottery and it won't matter what caliber or what gun you have you will never feel like it is enough and you are rolling craps in an already crappy situation.

    Hence my motto...........make friends, buy drinks and run away like a little girl if need be. :D
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  16. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    I take a .45 when I head into the woods and a .40 as a "big" CC gun, really don't see any use for a .9mm regardless what charts or pictures say. I guess I'm a purpose driven individual.
     
  17. Shaq

    Shaq Member

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    It served in several wars because that's what was issued.
     
  18. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    Bigger holes are more effective than smaller ones. The .45 makes bigger holes.


    70yr old studies conducted with hardball are irrelevant.
     
  19. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    A .451 diameter bullet is about 21% bigger than .355 according to my simple math.
    IMO a 21% increase in diameter could make a difference.

    If I had the brief opportunity to place two shots center mass (against an armed attacker) that might prevent lethal force against me, bigger bullets seem more likely to generate the desired result (same shot placement) than smaller bullets.

    I imagine nobody that has survived a lethal force encounter wished they used smaller bullets.
     
  20. PRM

    PRM Member

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    I own two .45 ACPs. One was the duty weapon I retired with and it was awarded to me (Glock 30SF). And, I have a .45 ACP cylinder that fits my Colt SAA and make range trips considerably more affordable over the .45LC.

    My favorite go-to gun will always be my Browning HP 9MM. High Powers are just cool!
     
  21. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    I have been on the 2 way range twice. Once with a 357, once with a 45.

    Today Im just as confident with a 9.

    It is the shooter not the weapon.
     
  22. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    The AMU teams switched to Beretta M9s many years ago for service match pistols.
    A lot if you look, IPSC and IDPA are swarming with them.
     
  23. Plan2Live

    Plan2Live Member

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    Huntsman said:
    I totally agree, carrying anything smaller than 1mm is just asking for trouble.

    I see the unsubstantiated chest thumping thread is still going strong.
     
  24. jimbo555

    jimbo555 Member

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    Any of the service calibers will work, find one you like to shoot, can carry comfortable all the time and practice.
     
  25. blarby

    blarby Member

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    Proven round, reasonably powerful, exceptional hype.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2016
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