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Your Favorite Semi-Auto Pistol Caliber and Why

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by SharpDog, Feb 12, 2019.

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What is your favorite semi-auto pistol caliber?

  1. .50 ae

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. .44 mag (semi-auto)

    1 vote(s)
    0.3%
  3. .450 corbon (or similar)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. .45 acp

    115 vote(s)
    35.5%
  5. 10 mm

    27 vote(s)
    8.3%
  6. .357 mag (semi-auto)

    3 vote(s)
    0.9%
  7. .357 sig

    10 vote(s)
    3.1%
  8. .40 s&w

    32 vote(s)
    9.9%
  9. .38 super (or similar)

    7 vote(s)
    2.2%
  10. 9mm

    134 vote(s)
    41.4%
  11. 9mm makarov

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  12. .380 acp

    14 vote(s)
    4.3%
  13. .32 acp

    7 vote(s)
    2.2%
  14. .25 acp

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  15. .22 rimfire (any)

    47 vote(s)
    14.5%
  16. Other

    11 vote(s)
    3.4%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. dave bennett

    dave bennett Member

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    Georgia
    MY LATEST ACQUISITION : Kimber Ultra 3 inch brl, short grip, 45acp . . . . That would be my favorite for today anyway IMG_4476.JPG
     
  2. Meeks36

    Meeks36 Member

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    Jun 9, 2019
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    241
    I currently only own 9mm and 22 handguns. Voted 10mm my pops had a Colt Delta elite 10mm. Love the calliber. To me it's perfect. Great for 4 legs or 2 legged animals. Stout recoil but manageable. One day I will pick up a Glock in 10mm. When funds are available. Maybe after I unload when next panic buying. Bought a few just for when it happens again.
     
  3. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    9mm. Only reason is “cheap”. Price per round for center fired.
     
  4. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    I understand about the best modern 9mm loads being as real-world effective as the best modern .45 ACP loads, so I am OK with using 9mm for defensive purposes. My hands have aged enough, however, to realize that it is easier to handle the larger .45 ACP cartridges, in general, and specifically, easier to stuff these larger .45 ACP cartridges into single-column magazines. This is in comparison to stuffing 9mm cartridges into G19 and G17 magazines. I am not nearly crippled, yet, but can see the writing on the wall, so to speak. So, I like both .45 ACP and 9mm, but will select .45 ACP as my favored auto-pistol cartridge.

    .45 ACP has seniority, so is my sentimental favorite. My first handgun was a 1911, a Detonics Combat Master.

    I still train with G17 and full-sized, all-steel 1911 pistols, with both hands. I still train with G19 pistols, a moderate amount, with my healthier left hand. Yes, indeed, a G19 can hurt to shoot; real pain and visible swelling, lasting multiple days, after firing two 50-round quals, back-to-back, for a total of 80 rounds fired right-handed, 20 rounds left-handed. Full-length grip frames, bridging all the way to the deepest point in the heel of my hand, are my friends.

    I still carry “primary” at 0300, so that my more-capable left hand can run the slide, and because almost 34 years of policin’, with the duty pistol at 0300, does reinforce the reflexive draw starting at the right hip, and my reflexive tendency to keep my right hip area away from perceived physical-contact-distance threats.
     
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  5. film495

    film495 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2019
    Messages:
    178
    .32 ACP, because it was my first semi-auto cartridge. Still trying to warm up to 9mm, just not their yet still …
     
    Jeb Stuart likes this.
  6. jar

    jar Member

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    Jan 17, 2003
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    1,219
    Location:
    Texas!!!!!
    Well, summertime came and this season I pulled out some of my older 32acps. It's amazing how I could have forgotten just how nice the 32acp is as an all around personal defense and just plain fun cartridge and just how good the guns designed for that round were. Almost all can still be carried as a pocket pistol in the cargo shorts I tend to wear almost year round down here. So at least for the past summer I would have to say my favorite caliber was 32acp!

    Some that got to go WalkAbout this summer:

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    And the two largest this summer:
    standard.jpg

    standard.jpg
     
  7. bgw45

    bgw45 Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2013
    Messages:
    194
    Location:
    TX
    For an old guy the .45 ACP is the easiest for me to load. Larger case, easier to see and can be loaded bullseye light or SD spicey. Tons of tried and true recipes to experiment with. Accuracy without struggle. My fav.
     
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  8. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
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    2,035
    Location:
    SoCal
    I see some folks advocating for smaller calibers because the firearms are smaller and easier to carry. But, here is an example of a small pistol in a large caliber. It does take a bit of work to master, and it isn't something one shoots for fun. But, if the choice is this or a mousegun, I'll take this every time.
    WSxxWvo.jpg
     
  9. cougar1717

    cougar1717 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Messages:
    1,078
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    I voted for 40S&W because:
    It's the best ever, at least that is what the guy at the gun store told me
    "everyone" on forums hate it and that is why I like it
    the metric system is unAmerican and trying to take over
    Trump is going to fix it so that the military only uses 40S&W
    90's calibers are so much better than turn of the century calibers
    Terminal ballistics are way better than 9mm or 45acp
    It's snappier than a slim jim
    Police trade ins are cool - especially the DAO ones
    150gr 40S&W is easier on guns than 147gr 9mm
    It would be cheaper than 9mm if only more people realized how great it is
    This is where you are about to respond but realize that you have been had.
    If you actually @me, your reading comprehension is in question.
    All the best, in good fun.
     
    Tallball likes this.
  10. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    19,931
    jar

    An outstanding collection of.32 a pistols! I especially liked all of the Beretta representatives you have there!
     
  11. commygun

    commygun Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    Lewis County, WA
    Jar,

    Also a fan of your collection of Euro “pocket” pistols. A lot of cool there. The Colt too, natch.
     
    hotshot357 likes this.
  12. jar

    jar Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Messages:
    1,219
    Location:
    Texas!!!!!
    I do love the Colt 1903s. The one above is a Type 1 with the 4" barrel; the others are Type 3s with the 3.75" barrel.
     
  13. WestTexShooter

    WestTexShooter Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2017
    Messages:
    118
    The .40 did not lose popularity in the “Police & LEO” circles due to ballistic advancements in 9mm.

    If so, they would have gone to .380.

    It lost in popularity due to the advancement of SJWs.
     
  14. Smokepole14

    Smokepole14 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
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    167
    Location:
    Alabama
    9mm all day. Good ballistics, mild recoil, mag capacity, availability, cheaper than most others. It’s the best all around cartridge plain and simple. At least Imho
     
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  15. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    Aug 16, 2011
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    I assume, with such a definitive statement, you would have some documentation to back up your assertion.

    The FBIs comprehensive ballistic study perhaps?
     
  16. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Messages:
    810
    Big rock better than smaller rock. Faster big rock better than slower big rock.

    How much better and how much you are willing to sacrifice in terms of capacity, cost, and recoil is where the argument begins and continues ad nauseam.

    I carry both .40 S&W and 9mm for defense in town. In the woods, it's 10mm and .45 Colt.

    I won't argue with anyone that carries 9mm for 90% of the scenarios in town and in the woods.
     
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  17. Charlie Martinez

    Charlie Martinez Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2018
    Messages:
    299
    Location:
    Florida
    My semiauto centerfire pistols are 1911's and after shooting 45 ACP many years I'm quite used to the recoil & feel of this round. I also reload 45 ACP & I'm not too excited about starting to reload another cartridge. I don't feel that I need to go out and buy a new pistol in another caliber.

    However if I were to buy a new semiauto I would probably consider 9mm very seriously. Although 9mm is (IMO) not as effective as 45 ACP I don't think the difference is significant . There are many more models (& prices) to choose from in 9mm & most 9mm pistols have a significant advantage in round capacity in a smaller package over 45 ACP. Finally prices of factory 9mm ammo are very reasonable so maybe the reloading issue is not so important.

    I think I just talked myself into the answer- 9mm
     
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  18. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    Location:
    The center of the mitt
    I never cared for aluminum 1911s when I refused to own one in 9mm, then I managed to stumble into a trade for an aluminum CCO in 9mm.

    Comparing to my all steel commander, carrying the only slightly heavier than a Glock 19 1911 is very nice, and the 9mm shoots very very fast in the 1911 platform, plus it is very easy to shoot well.

    So now I still like ol slabsides in .45 or 10mm quite a bit if they are all steel, but the aluminum 9mm is just so much better for my CCW needs.

    Woods gun is still the 10mm 1911 or a double stack .45 1911 with 255 grain hard casts. For big critters I think the extra power for maximum penetration is more important than it is for 2 legged critters.
     
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  19. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Messages:
    810
    Great post! I haven't owned a .45 ACP firearm since... Hell, I thought I had an XD Compact in .45 back in 2007, but I think it was actually .40 S&W. So my last pistol was a Ruger P90 in `94 or so. Replaced it with a S&W 686 for carry.

    I also reload and I'm used to .45 Colt, 10mm, and .40 S&W. I bought my first 9mm in over 20 years in 2015 and also bought a set of dies and set about reloading for it. I HATE reloading 9mm as my big fat fingers have trouble handling the little cases. Perhaps it is the very physically evident realization at just how small the 9mm case is that makes me suspect of its effectiveness, despite the mountains of scientific evidence that proves otherwise.

    After dozens of attempts at load development and hundreds of dollars invested in premium bullets and powders, I realized that the $30 per 100 rounds of Remington 115gr JHPs at WalMart were only marginally less accurate than my match loads. So I resigned to just buying off-the-shelf ammo for my 9mm guns, of which I now own three. My Glock 19 does contain a magazine full of my reloads using Speer 124gr Gold Dots, but that's because I refuse to pay a $1 per round for defensive ammo, which I'll likely never have to use.
     
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  20. MosinT53Hunter

    MosinT53Hunter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2016
    Messages:
    484
    9mm Largo for me, its a good round, fun to shoot. Yes, I have to reload for it, but its alright by me.
     
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  21. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    Location:
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    Those 32's sure are neat!
    But for me it's 45 automatic.
    Nothing else is more satisfying to handload for or more fun to shoot.
     
    hotshot357, JeffG, Olon and 1 other person like this.
  22. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Rhode Island/Florida
    I see by the results “other” is a minority, in my case The super accurate S&W Model 52 in 38 Special. Wad cutters only. It’s my favorite of perhaps 30 odd pistols in my safe. Super accurate and very reliable I only shoot it now and again as parts are dear and I don’t want to break anything
     
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  23. pblanc

    pblanc Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2014
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    Well, when it comes to center-fire pistol cartridges I had to pick 9 mm Luger as one of the choices. I shoot more 9 mm these days than any other center-fire handgun round, and I have more pistols chambered in 9 mm than any other caliber. A big reason is economy, but 9 mm makes a lot of sense in compact or mini-sized pistols in which recoil control and magazine capacity become very significant considerations.

    Second choice was .45 ACP. The four pistols I have chambered in .45 ACP are all full-size, pistols. Three are all metal, one (full size SIG P320) has a polymer frame. I still enjoy shooting .45 ACP more than any other handgun cartridge.

    But in a mid-size, all-metal pistol I really like .40 S&W. Next to 9 mm, .40 S&W is the most economical, widely available center-fire caliber that I consider adequate for self-defense (I don't consider 380 Auto or 22lr to be adequate for self-defense use). The .40 S&W still offers good magazine capacity in a mid to full size pistol and I find the recoil easy to control.
     
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  24. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    9mm

    Lots of bang for the buck.
    VERY common and available.
    +Ps and modern projectiles and feed-ramp tech means it gives little up to most cartridges and to those it does get left behind by, it makes up for in cartridge volume.
    HUGE variety of old, middle-aged and modern tech platforms from which to choose.
    Extremely easy to re-load yourself.
    Inexpensive.
    TONS of surplus and mil-spec ammo available and won't change soon.
    Generally speaking, mags for almost any given platform are the easiest to get in 9mm compared to other cartridges that the platform may be loaded for.

    Oh yeah, it was developed "... for war".

    Along with .45 ACP, being so often used to try to elevate other cartridges by comparison establishes .45 & 9 as the Gold Standards of semi-auto cartridges.

    For my part, I'm in the midst of morphing my love for 9 and .45 by transitioning my carry-gun to a Kimber Pro Aegis II in 9mm.


    Todd.
     
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  25. TheotherMikeG

    TheotherMikeG Member

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    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    45 ACP has been my edc caliber for over 10 years, though the platform has recently changed. The Colt Commander started messing with my lower back about a year ago so I switched to a S&W Shield. 9mm is coming on strong though-my 6906 is all tuned up, holstered, and a great lightweight alternative when I want more capacity
     
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