Why the attitude between single stack .45 and 9mm?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by HammsBeer, Aug 17, 2015.

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  1. HammsBeer

    HammsBeer Member

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    I hear all sorts of attitudes/statements (on the net and in gun shops) about carrying a single stack .45 with 7 or 8 rounds as a serious defensive gun for carry or home protection, but then bemoan a single stack 9mm with maybe 8 or 9 rounds as barely adequate capacity for the same purposes. What gives?

    Edit: to simplify, I'm wondering at what round count would you start to trade caliber size for more capacity in equal sized small guns?
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
  2. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    Line up some pop bottles, cinder blocks, wood blocks, at 30 yards and shoot away.

    A fullsize .45 is going to walk all over a 3" 9mm. As would a fullsize .40 or 9mm. I'm assuming you're talking about little SS 9mm's like a Kahr pm9. We suffer with our summer time CCW's at my range. 4" seems to be the magic size for us (Glock 23).

    And I just plain don't like the 9mm. I shoot .40 or .45 just as well, or better, in Glocks and 1911's, and would rather have the horsepower over round count.
     
  3. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Easy - go shoot a bowling pin match and watch what happens to the guys using a 9mm. It's pretty amusing. Or read the U.S. Army Ordnance Board's report on tests they did using livestock and human cadavers to test wounding effectiveness. Their conclusion was that for military use the minimum caliber had to be at least .45. They were right. It's not about capacity - it's about how much cowbell you get for each pull of the trigger. How many rounds you can carry is more about how much you plan to miss.
     
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Bowling pins, wooden blocks, livestock and cadavers are not living humans. A 45 ACP has more momentum and does a much better job of knocking down bowling pins, steel plates and causing dead animals to move when hit.

    That, however has nothing to do with what happens when bullets strike living humans or animals. This debate has been raging for 100 years and there has never been a study, test, or research showing either has a significant advantage. Depending on the way the data was collected some give a slight edge either way. Comparing FMJ vs FMJ or if you compare the best HP loads in either the end results always come out a virtual tie.

    The Army's biased testing in the early 1900's showed a preference for 45 caliber. After fighting 2 world wars and further testing in 1946 they changed their minds and concluded the 9mm was the better round. The only reason we didn't make the change in 1946 was because they had millions of perfectly good 45's in stock and a new handgun was a very low priority in the cold war.

    The short answer to your question is a couple of generations of shooters who read Jeff Coopers fictional writings and fell for it.
     
  5. HammsBeer

    HammsBeer Member

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    I'm talking about two identical sized smaller guns suitable for ccw.

    Would you carry a one shot .45 or a two shot 9mm?

    As carry guns get smaller, at what threshold do you feel you would trade caliber size for more capacity?
     
  6. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    Its kind of a mute point, IMO. Its personal preference.

    The reason I carry a SS 9mm is because its slim, its light, its shootable, etc.

    If I had a 45 that was the same size, I would be fine with that. It just means I have 6 rounds instead of 8. Plan accordingly.

    The 9mm vs 40 vs 45 debates is not likely to have a winner anytime soon. If I could only shoot ball ammo, I would choose a 45. These days the options are limitless.

    If you shot me with a 9, a 40 or a 45, I would not be able to tell you which was which.
    I just know I got shot.
    Or I won't.
    Depending on what kinda drugs I may be using or adrenaline levels.

    The 45 lends itself to larger pistols and that's great.
    9mm is nice for either double stacks or smaller pistols. That's also great.

    Pistols suck. We use them because they are the most handy, not because they are the best.
    Shoot what you like and be happy.
     
  7. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    "Received" wisdom.
    Preconceptions, firmly rooted.
    Habit.
    Self-justification.
    Grandiosity in defense of one's own choices.
    A love of argument and ridicule.
    Lack of conclusive evidence either way, not countered by equally compelling evidence for the opposite conclusion.
    Incomplete understanding of evidence presented by myriad sources, and the relative value of any of it.
    Selective promotion of "facts."
    Inability to grasp the concept of scale when determining theoretical benefits, purported to be reducible to numeric values.
    Hitching identities to the dusty road-worn utterances of heroes and champions of this or that school of thought.
    Peer pressure and group-think.
    Us-vs.-them, Big-vs.-little. "Common knowledge" worth whatever you paid for it.
    Adherence to the findings of authoritative studies, the conclusions of which seem to have found their greatest value in justifying the salaries of the researchers or compilers authoring said studies ... and in perpetuating endless debates on internet forums.
    A deep and cosmic appreciation for the underlying equivalence of apples and oranges.
    Unseemly and self-indulgent flagellation of the ancient steed who, alas, shuffed off this mortal coil at such remove that desiccated sinews and fragments of bone are all that remain in the empty hame, the load of wisdom it once drew long, long abandoned.



    You know...stuff like that.
     
  8. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    ^^^ LOL

    That.
     
  9. Nom de Forum

    Nom de Forum Member

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    One of the best commentaries on the subject I have ever read. Perhaps it should be a "stickie" so neophytes will be spared wasting so much time worrying about 9mm versus .45.
     
  10. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    Read posts 2 and 3 through the lens of post 7.

    I would RATHER carry a 45, but I usually don't.
     
  11. Evil-Twin

    Evil-Twin member

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    Because "most" gun owners, and especially those who feel entitled because they have a permit to carry, have a lot of attitude, that why most of these gun forums are filled with chest pounding testosterone filled 40 year old adolescents... It was an almost unbelievable experience to come here after so many other gun forums, and be able to remove my gun forum armor.

    Incidentally,, I said " Most ".... meaning Not all.....
    Bill aka ET
     
  12. TwinReverb

    TwinReverb Member

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    OP: it's just the old, sad mantra of people who are illogical and refuse to learn. Usually, for me, it's the first sign that the person I'm talking to is not a source of truth and not someone I need to take advice from, much less spend time with.

    My advice: walk away from the conversation.
     
  13. HammsBeer

    HammsBeer Member

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    I followed all of the yin/yang up until this line...

    Congrats, the issue is at last resolved!
     
  14. jigglyjames29

    jigglyjames29 Member

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    In the real world, there's very little difference between the two.
    Use whatever you can shoot fastest/accurately with that fits with your wardrobe/mode of carry.
     
  15. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    It's not really an issue of power between the two - it's one of potential.

    A full sized single-stack .45 with a reasonably sized grip can hold 8 rounds in a mag. A double-stack typically brings that up to 10.

    A full sized single-stack 9mm holds 9 rounds. A double stack holds 17 rounds.

    So basically you're just gaining a LOT more with a 9mm double-stack. That being said - 99% of the time I carry an LCP :).
     
  16. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    That's all fine and dandy. But your 'lil 3" 9mm single stack actually has to hit the target first.

    That's the point I was trying to convey, not how much more a 4x4 chunk of wood explodes when a .45 hits it. Which is also entertaining. Our best CCW's are pretty lame at the range. Our midsize/compacts and fullsize pistols on the other hand.... And our tiny .380's, oh my. We never laughed so hard in our lives. The easiest way to hit a 20 yard target with a Kahr P380? Throw it.

    But more is still more. If a .40 is faster and heavier, I'd rather have a Glock 23 than a Glock 19 even with the loss of 2 rounds.
     
  17. verdun59

    verdun59 Member

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    I kind of think of my .380 as being used at 21 feet and under, never really considered 60 feet .....
     
  18. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    I worry more about where my first shot goes. If it's on target I'm happy. If my second shot is on target I'm even happier. Mag capacity and caliber don't mean much if you can't hit your target. People should spend more time at the range tuning up their skills and forget about the great caliber/cartridge/capacity debate, all things being equal.

    How many people here actually put 5000 rounds through their EDC every year? Probably not that many.
     
  19. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    Yeah. We were just toying. But even at 7 yards, moving across multiple targets suffered with the 3" and less crowd.

    Using reactive targets at much longer ranges than needed, has really improved our shooting. 21' is child's play, point shooting, now.
     
  20. Evil-Twin

    Evil-Twin member

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    when I was younger, I did not need to practice as much as I do now. Age and health play a big part in your practice routine. I can consistently shoot proficiently by shooting weekly or about 80 rounds a month... well under 5,000 rounds as mentioned above.
    very few people will spend 3,000 dollars a years just to practice with their EDC, even reloads at 2500 dollars a year especially when so many people will drive a mile out of their way to save 2 cents on a gallon of gas, or complain because 22 ammo has gone from 5 dollars a box to 8 dollars a box.

    And it is not in your best interest to shoot, practice with ( cheap ) ammo in your EDC... if you are not going to practice with the load that you intend to carry, you might as well not practice with your EDC at all.
     
  21. cdk8

    cdk8 Member

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    For the US Army tests, I was under the impression that they are testing FMJ ammo???:confused: If so, how much does this apply to a gun owner who can use JHPs?
     
  22. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    A rising tide floats all boats, you know, and I think the near universal adoption of JHPs has made the differences between the effectiveness of the two cartridges so similarly increased to degrees more or less equivalent such that when one is measured against the other, they now appear to have improved in a measure that is proportional to their initial value, but with a tendency to display diminishing increases in that value in keeping with their relative masses and velocities, as the value climbs toward an unspecified but effectual ceiling or maximum quality.
     
  23. HammsBeer

    HammsBeer Member

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    I think what he is trying to say is while JHP 9 is more effective, the same can be said for JHP 45.

    Back to my original concern, specifically I have been looking at SIGs. The P220 is touted as a robust accurate reliable pistol in 45 caliber, and is often a top suggestion to anyone looking for a 45. The P225 (which fits my smaller hands perfectly) gets decent remarks, but they always seem the need to complain about it's 8 round mags, the same capacity as the P220. I've tried P226 and P228, and they feel like a fat chunk in my hand.

    Am I making much-a-do about nothing? Or is there some validity that if it's just 7 or 8 rounds I might as well go big or stay home?
     
  24. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    IMHO 38 special, 9mm, 40 S&W, 44special, 45acp, etc are all just fine. The quality of the sights and trigger and how well it fits your hand and points for you is probably more important than which of those calibers it happens to be.
     
  25. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    What's the difference? Twenty year old opinions, that's what.

    Many moons ago, there were no good SD bullets available for the 9mm (and several other calibers) and FMJ pretty much stinks for SD use. Fast forward to 2015, there are well constructed and designed bullets available for all calibers, including 9mm. Loads have been developed the push these bullets to velocities needed for reliable expansion.

    Way back when, I steered people away from the 9mm for SD and HD. That's no longer the case due to bullet and load innovations in the last decade. The gunshop gurus still dismissing the 9mm are just behind the times.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of the .45ACP. But that's due to personal preference, not any cold data.
     
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