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Why the 9mm vs .45 debate? Where was this debate when 38sp was used?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by 777funk, Jan 9, 2013.

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  1. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "As a 1960's LEO we carried the 38 Special. I don't recall anyone being concerned about the round."

    That's what my father said, although there was some work site discussion about wadcutters/SWC in backups and such. After he returned from serving in the Pacific in WWII he was a VA state trooper into the early '50s (when I came along and he needed a job that actually paid a living wage. :) )

    Of course, he also had a shotgun in the car. Being a farm boy from way back in the mountains, he always liked his shotguns.

    I remember how happy he was the day he finally bought a Python.

    John
     
  2. ZVP

    ZVP Member

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    I agree. The .357 vs .38 was the dabate. Thr 9 was accepted as a military cartrigr and therefore considered sufficent for mankilling
    Today the 9 is a self defense round and more debated today.
     
  3. kayak-man

    kayak-man Member

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    I think that this debate has pretty much always gone on... Wouldn't surprise me to find cave paintings depicting two troglodytes arguing about if they would get better results hitting something in the head repeatedly with a fist sized stone, or by using a watermelon sized chunk of rock...

    ... and after they decided the size of the rock was users preference, they probably started arguing about the design of the rock: triangular vs round.
     
  4. jp0319

    jp0319 Member

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    no, the heaviest bullet commonly available in 9mm is 147 gr and if your lucky maybe it expands as big or a little bigger than the 45 starts. But even if it does its still down almost 100 gr to the 230 gr 45. I have seen much 9 vs 45 lately too and I think a lot of it comes from the gun ban debate. Many people are feeling that if limited to 10 rounds 45 is better. I am one of those people. I own 380, 9mm, 40 S&W, and 45 pistols but I usually carry a 40 or 45 if I can I just believe that a bigger heavier bullet is better consistently that the lighter faster one. Sure a hot +p or +p+ 9mm round exhibits violent expansion and good results in gel but once you add variables like clothing, and obstructions like dry wall etc the enhanced capabilities of the hot 9mm is questionable. Even if the 45 doesn't expand it will still be a 45 cal bullet.

    Everyone believes what they believe and can usually find some e essence to support their belief no matter what it is so you hav to make your own decision.
     
  5. Tcruse

    Tcruse Member

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    The debate will always rage on unless the discussion agrees on what the metric of comparision is going to be. Everyone has a different meaning for stopping power and everyone seems to have a different metric as to when is too much power.
    If you look at the test page for Winchester Ranger T series, 9, .357, .40SW, .45ACP all have about the same expansion and pentration on a wide set of test material. Today, the best SD ammo is taylored to match the FBI tests. So, the dissusion is mute if you accept the FBI tests and use the best SD ammo of each caliber.
    For the non-LEO group, the importance of not having unintended results after leaving your target is problably unestimated by many.
     
  6. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    The fact that the debate between 45 and 9mm has been raging for over 100 years with no clear winner is proof enough that it doesn't really matter. They both work equally well. I've never seen any study, test or survey that did not confirm that.
     
  7. lowercase

    lowercase Member

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    The .38 special is old enough that it probably encountered these debates:

    .38 special vs .44 Russian

    .38 special vs .38 S&W

    .38 Special: black powder vs smokeless
     
  8. TFIT

    TFIT Member

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    Well, it's a personal choice.

    Go with the biggest caliber you can manage and conceal. Get proficient with it, meaning you need to be able to hit what you're shooting at without aiming. Pull it and point it, then pull the trigger...keep in mind you won't have time to "aim" when you're being threatened. Happy hunting! Now get to work.
     
  9. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    This last week some woman shot a home invader 4 or 5 times in the face with a 38 spl.

    Either she must have stoked it with the worst 38 spl ammo ever or the 38 is a lot worse than I ever thought it was.
     
  10. TFIT

    TFIT Member

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    Or perhaps she just unloaded the gun (as most do in such a situation) and got incredibly lucky...it is entirely possible. He probably dropped on the spot.
     
  11. jp0319

    jp0319 Member

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  12. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Well, real life gunfighters disagree. Wyatt Earp said, "Get your gun out as quick as you can and take your own sweet time about aiming.

    In Charles Askins' book, Unrepentant Sinner, he relates 26 fatal shootings, and mentions using the sights in most of them. In one case, he had a Colt New Service (his favorite revolver) with a short barrel and no sight. He was surprised in an alley by a man with a shotgun, fired and hit the shotgun. The man turned out to be a Federal Agent, but Askins got rid of the gun and never again carried a gun without sights.

    Massad Ayoob says if you interview survivors of gunfights, there is a difference between winners and losers -- the winners are the ones who used the sights.
     
  13. SFsc616171

    SFsc616171 Member

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    There was two .38 Special cartridge loadings, that seems to have slipped folks memories.

    There -are- still in production, a 158 grain Plus p lead SemiWadcutter Hollow Point, that was brought out by the FBI, years ago; and, a 110 grain Plus p Jacketed Hollow Point, that was brought by the Treasury Dept, also, a few years back.
     
  14. kayak-man

    kayak-man Member

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    Wasn't there also a third load used by the Air Force? I thought I remembered reading about it in one of the other threads, but I can't remember which one....
     
  15. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Yeah, I can't say that I agree with this point shooting all the time. Close, close range, ok. But sights are put on a gun to be used. If you don't think you will use them when you need them, or won't have time, then I would respectfully suggest more practice. I'd rather aim, take a shot or two, and hit my target in a good spot that will stop the threat, rather than point shoot and hope you hit the threat in a vital spot and no one else.
     
  16. Ramone

    Ramone Member

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    I'll tell you where the debate was.

    In the front seat of my Dad's Wagon, every time our neighbor came to the range with us.

    also, in the back yard while cleaning after a range trip.

    Dad believed in the 1911 in .45ACP Ball, our neighbor believed in the S&W Revolver in .38 Special with Wadcutters.

    Mr. N. passed in 1979 (RIP), otherwise I'd still be hearing it.
     
  17. JustGiveMeABullet

    JustGiveMeABullet Member

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    why do we have so many cartridge debates??? Realize I am "new" and all... but, this is like the 5th one I've read from cover to cover...

    Just wondering, I do not mean to offend.
     
  18. xXxplosive

    xXxplosive Member

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    Anyone recall the 38 Special Rem. 200gr. lead bullet.......?
     
  19. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    The only 200gr bullet I recall in a .38 cartridge is that of the .38 S&W...did they load it in the .38 Spl too?
     
  20. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    First, welcome to the Forum

    Folks like to engage in cartridge debates because they are searching for that magic bullet which will give them the one shot stop with no recoil...it doesn't exist.

    All premium defensive offerings by the major manufactures are abut the same in performance as that are designed to meet the same Federal standard
     
  21. armsmaster270

    armsmaster270 Member

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    When I was a Cop we were issued S&W Model 15's and the treasury load. A110grain +P+ 38 Special load. They Worked.
    dec08-feb09129.jpg

    FederalP.jpg

    Supplement-1.jpg

    Negreteslug003.jpg
     
  22. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Member

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    Just enjoy the Sound and Fury.It's always good for a laugh, especially the "Absolute" statments. Gun X in caliber Y with bullet Z is the greatest combat-self defense-target-whatever combo in the world.:rolleyes:
     
  23. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    I remember reading through a variety of debates ...this cartridge vs. the .45ACP.....in Guns and Ammo and numerous other mags when I was a teen back in the 1960s.
    Not too much has changed fifty years later.
    Pete
     
  24. Mr Woody

    Mr Woody Member

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    My gun experience began around 1971 with a girlfriend who's father was a gun collector and X military shooting team member. He was a fan of the .45 auto and Hatcher's Notebook. About that time I became involved in law enforcement. The Discussion was about .38spc V .357 and Hollow points. 9 mm was considered about equal to the 38 but there were very few guns for it that were considered reliable or appropriate for the police. The .45 auto was well liked but cocked and locked was not popular with administrators or the local politicians. Those were the only calibers being debated back then. Although one of the guys did carry a .44 magnum and shot it fairly well he was the only one to break out of the .38 - 357 - .45 mold

    In those days the Hollow Point was ineffective at handgun velocities and could not be relied upon to expand. My department issued some very old .38spc. They were junk Colt and S&Ws but you were expected by buy and support you own gun. I used a .357 with hollow points and figured if they expanded it was just a bonus. Carried it for several years until I went to the 1911 which I carried about 8 years until the department started issuing guns, then it was back to the .357.

    When the military went 9 mm the quality of handguns available for that caliber went up dramatically. which paved the way in many ways for the acceptance of the 1911 as a police use firearm. The new semi-autos (read that as Glock and S&W) were accepted as reliable and moved into police circles but the 9mm was struggling. The FBI came up with the 10MM which was a failure for police work (Ya, I Know a lot of you like 10mm and your welcome to that) which led to the .40 which has taken the industry by storm with many brands in use.

    Seems like anything from a +p 38 on up will work just fine, the key, as always is hitting your target.
     
  25. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "why do we have so many cartridge debates??? Realize I am "new" and all"

    I think of it as our version of fantasy football. :)
     
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