Survival Debate: 9mm or .45

We’re starting a new series on SurvivalCache.com to discuss the most common and popular debates among survivalists. I figured what better way to start than with the grand daddy of them all: 9MM or .45.  Everybody has an opinion on this one, and if you don’t you probably need one, for conversational purposes if nothing else.

Beretta 92FS
Beretta 92FS – 9mm

9MM

Pro:

  • 40-50% Cheaper
  • Lower Recoil
  • Higher Capacity Magazine
  • Currently U.S. Military sidearm (Beretta)
  • Higher Velocity – 1100-1300 FPS

Con:

  • Less Knockdown Power
Colt 1911
Colt 1911 – .45

.45

Pro:

  • More Knockdown Power
  • Ex-Military Sidearm (Colt 1911)

Con:

  • Twice as Expensive
  • Smaller Capacity Magazine
  • More Recoil
9mm 40 45 bullets
9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP

Middle Ground

Every great debate has a middle ground. For this one it would be the .40 S&W Caliber. It has more power than the 9MM, but can still hold more rounds per magazine than the .45. The price is also in the middle. The .40 round is widely adopted by Police and Law Enforcement all over the world.

Related: Best Water Filter Pitcher For Survival

However, this compromise doesn’t seem to sway avid fans very much. Most polls, while certainly not scientific, usually show a huge divide between 9MM and .45 with the .40 being a distant third.

Where do you stand?

Personally I am a 9MM fan, but I might be heavily swayed by the fact that it is far cheaper and I don’t have a lot of money. If cost wasn’t an object I might lean towards .45- Leave a comment and tell us which you prefer and why.

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857 thoughts on “Survival Debate: 9mm or .45”

    • At long range no. At closer range and shot placement I disagree with you. Also in some moving firefights the compactness of a handgun has an advantage over a long gun

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    • ok we can do a test and you can put a plated vest on and take a full clip from my .45 and not grab your chest after you win 1000$ good luck you moron

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      • And I'll do the same. Do you think that receiving 10 rounds of .40 or 9mm would not do the same? This "test" does not prove anyting. And don't call people moron, it's doing no good to the debate.

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      • There is your issue no one stands and shoots, its not the movies, people move a lot and shoot down range so you better not run out of rounds. Now if its at the Movies (you know mental patient) I rather have Hollow 9mm with 18 rounds that your 12 round 45 with adrenaline running thru my body and my heart at 170 bpm.

        No magic here up close and personal I see 45 been good, but no one gets up and personal and lets you draw your weapon.

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    • I'd take the 9mm. If it's my gun and my ammo I'd have talon rounds anyway, and if I have to survive by taking a cops ammo or a down soldier friend or foe,they're going to be packing 9mm ammo so you might as well have a weapon that will chamber the ammo available. I'd hate to have a 45 when the people you're facing off on are most likely soldiers who only carry 9mm.

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      • So after you took something down that had ammo dont you think it would also be carrying the proper gun for that ammo? This isnt about what you can loot form the dead. A .45 will punch a bigger hole than a 9mm. That increases the odds of knocking down your foe.

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      • As you pointed out there would be a lot of 9mm ammunition lying around. That means that they would also need a FIREARM to use it. If someone with a .45 was in need of ammunition, they could simply grab the firearm that the dead man was using.

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    • I love these debates and hate them at the same time. I have heard alot about the stopping power of a .45 all my life. Maybe it is true, but I have no way to know one way or another. However , what I do know is this: animals, no matter what they are shot with, if they are not shot in the spine or the head, almost always run a distance before they fall. It may be 20 yards, it may be 100 yards. This come from the experience of hunting and shooting maybe 60 or 70 deer and hogs. I have shot two hogs in my life with pistols. One with a 9mm, one with a .40 S&W. Both dropped in their tracks. What this tells me is it doesn't really do any good to debate to death the issue of 9mm vs .45. I like both rounds, and while I will admit a somewhat nostalgic affinity towards the .45, if I were in a survival situation and had my Ruger mk II , I would feel fine because I can stack alot of rounds in a small spot real quick with it. In short, just be good with what you have and you will be fine.

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      • Great post and very well thought out! I agree that the debate is an exercise in words to pass the time and any weapon (whatever the caliber) is only as effective as the person who uses it. A head shot with a .22 lr is better than a .44 mag that whistles through the air and imparts its energy into a tree inches or yards past the intended target. Skill and practice make the difference whether it's hunting or combat.

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      • M18a2223
        That is truth.
        I've never shot a human being and hope to never be in a position to have to make the decision to shoot or not.
        That being said, I have enough animals to know that caliber is not the greatest issue, accuracy and placement is. I"ve dropped a 1,000lb cow like a rock with a .22LR placed against the forehead. Very effective and the animal dies quickly, humanely (as humane as death can be) and doesn't move a lick afterward.
        I've shot deer with .308 and had to track the blood trail half a mile through the woods to find the kill.
        The only animal I've ever shot with a handgun has been squirrels with my Ruger Single-six, .22LR.
        On the other hand, I've shot handgun calibers from .25ACP up through .45ACP (.45 Long Colt being the largest caliber I've shot) and put rounds into every imaginable form of target.
        I like the crispness of a 9mm and have found the Ruger P90 to be very effective at chewing up and spitting out any type of ammo I fed through it. For accuracy I loved my CZ75 but it was a bit finicky.
        My choice for one handgun (If I'm FORCED to choose)?
        A good quality, .357 revolver. I have my choice of .38 special and .3578 ammo to shoot, less possibility of mechanical failure, and solid energy transfer.
        As far as effectiveness, I refer back to accuracy and placement.

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    • Hey guest, yes they do… A .45 will definitally take you right off your feet. My 9mm will deffinitaly give a nice punch in the chest. My .44 magnum, will throw you back about 3 or 4 feet. this i know for a fact, so next time you stumble onto a forum and want to put your 2 cents in, better make sure your not putting it in with a bunch of combat Vets who will make u feel as small as your two pennies worth of information. go pick up a gun and go to a range and find out what the term really means. Once you have the proper knowledge of the conversation, then you can have a comment worth reading.

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      • Look up HAND GUN WOUNDING FACTORS AND EFFECTIVENESS on Google. Click the first article that pops up and read it. You might be a Combat Vet and if so I give you the most respect and thankfulness for your valuable time and hardships and what you have sacrificed for this country. But you are no physicist. I have friends that are both nuclear physicists for the government and are serving in wars all over the world. These people would agree that all hand held guns DO NOT have "Knock Down Power". For the sheer fact that they DO NOT knock you down when they are fired. PLEASE READ THE ARTICLE STATED ABOVE BEFORE RESPONDING. It will make the wiser of many.

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      • must have been in that "special" unit that carries all those calibers. most combat vets don't need to brag about knowing anything "for a fact". Some are quiet professionals that just go about their business. Don't make us all look bad. Some of us believe in science. The idea that the larger hole is that much different is ridiculous. The hole size difference is negligible. Speed also makes up for a lot of mass E=mc^2. So any increase in speed is significantly more important than the increase in mass. All that said, if you have shot someone, keep it to yourself, as many honorable men and women have done before you. Thanks.

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        • Most intelligent thing I've seen on here RGR! The hole size is negligible, unless you use the double tap, and thats where accuracy comes into play- which is why 9mm is better. (and the shooters ability)

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      • No, just no. It is physically impossible for a round to "throw someone back" or "take them off their feet". What you may have saw is a nervous system reaction, which boils down to accuracy (where you shot them). This is stated by Isaac Newton's 3rd law. If the person was thrown back 3ft, you also would have to be thrown back 3 ft. Even a .50 cal does not have the power to take someone off their feet.

        And you shouldn't be insulting people, because with all these valor thieves out there, and the idiocy of your statement, it makes me wonder… From a former Cpl, USMC

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    • Thank you for saying that. I do not know why people seem to think that hand guns have this Knock Down Power? I guess they just have no real experience.

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    • I find .45 is easier to reload, a lot less problems, less snags and availibility of good quality supplies are very plentiful. when it comes to 9mm however i start running into problems with pregressive reloaders. I can pump out hundreds of .45 ammo in a fraction of the time it takes to do 9 mm. Most of reloading friends say the same thing. something to consider.

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    • I know this is an old post, but saw this and had to reply. I am an unusually large person (6'9) and I have my concealed carry permit, as do many others. What seperates me from others is that my choice for EDC is a S&W 500 with a four inch barrel, carried in a shoulder holster. I dont carry this just for the hell of it, I guide Grizzly hunts for a living, and have personally brought down a big brownie with one shot from this gun. Now if you think a pistol that will stop a charging bear in its tracks wont "knock" down a person bent on doing me harm, you are mistaken. Just my .02 cents

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      • the definition of knock down-to strike to the ground with or as if with a sharp blow. It is implying that the round has the capability of "pushing" or "throwing" a person to the ground as if they were hit by a lot of force. A round simply does not have the ability to do this. It may "shut down" or "incapacitate" or cause a target to involuntarily jerk from the pain (even a bee sting has caused me to twitch), but it is not going to knock down. If we want to sound intelligent we should use the correct terminology, just like we shouldn't call a magazine a clip…

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    • I get a laugh, out of the Great "which Gun to get debate" :))

      How many rounds do you think you need??? What 10,000. I think not :))
      If you are worried that much about cost, learn to reload. Or just get a 22 and deal with it.
      Who do you think that you are going to encounter, zombies maybe :))

      I have given it a lot of thought, and have vast experience with all hand guns.
      I love the 45, because it works vary well. And besides, any one on the wrong end of the barrel knows that they are in deep trouble.

      A nine mill does not instill the magnitude of fear of a 45 or a 40 cal in a toe to toe confrontation.

      But if I had to pic only one gun it would have to be a stainless 357.
      Because you can use two instead of one kind of amo. Easyer to shoot and become familiar with.
      There are less moving parts to maintain or fail, nothing to jam or small parts to loose
      Who cares that it only carry's 5/7 shots. How many are you going to really need when it counts?

      You have to think of a hand gun as protection, not to hunt wild game for dinner.
      For that is another matter all together!

      And for the clowns that hate guns, why are you here??

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      • "A nine mill does not instill the magnitude of fear of a 45 or a 40 cal in a toe to toe confrontation."

        Really? Most people if a gun is pointed at them won't even know or care what caliber it is until the police or a doctor tells them about it after they got hit. Most civilians don't know the size of a 9mm barrel and a 45 cal. All they know is that someone pulled a gun on them. In a toe to toe confrontation, a gun is a gun!

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        • Agreed. I had a gun pulled on me once. It was probably a junky old .32, but the hole in the end of the barrel looked enormous!

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    • Put it this way: If I had only ONE SHOT to stop somebody from doing something really bad, and if my only choices were 9mm or .45acp…. I'll take the shot with the .45.

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    • Guest, a question that will not go away is; how do we tell someone (anyone) they are wrong without throwing up barriers that bring further communication to a standstill. However, let me say that those who believe that one of Sir Isaac's law of motion requires that the kick of a gun must equal the bullet impact force is just plain ignorant of the facts. I might go on and say, they are also dummer'n mud, but I won't. Hi, by the way.

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      • And, my I also say, Guest, (Because I know for sure and certain) a 45 acp will knock a man flat of his ass, and I do mean "KNOCK" him down by bullet impact force.

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      • "I don't believe in physics" is your argument?
        "Knockdown force" is a misnomer, it is really "Organ Damage Shock" (or a doctor could make that better).

        The point is that as you deal greater damage to the body, the reaction of the body to that damage increases; such that various "muscular contractions" may occur that is misconceived as a person being "knocked down".

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    • Clearly, you've never seen anyone hit with a handgun. I once decked a guy with a .38; smacked him on the crown of his nose and he dropped like a rock. Now, if you're talking about rounds, or how bulletshit, that might be a different story. I really wish people would get that straight!

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    • wouldnt a 9 mm be beter in a sence for survival say you have a bear charging you well if a 9 mm penatrates more then that meens that you have a deeper shot and if you have a deeper shot then that meens you have more muscle and tissue and bones and possibly even vitals geting knocked around and yes im a democrat no i dont support gun controll and im making the change to republican next year in hopes of avoiding gun controll laws pls answer my question i am truly curius to what the answer wil be

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    • You are right Guest. If guns had "knock down" power, then you would be knocked down just as equally. If you don't belive me, physics said so.

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      • Kel Tec PF9 for the Win!

        I think Kel-Tec should come out with a newly endorsed gun called the ZimZam .380 : Zam! and your on the floor!

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    • Clearly you haven't heard of the thompson contender g2. Also the .600 nitro revolver definitely would have "knock down" power and is still classed as a pistol. The g2 has something like forty different barrels and chambers many different rounds including the 30-30 and the 444 marlin. I'm pretty sure if anything human like was struck by these rounds it would more than likely knock you back.

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    • Never shot a plastic bottle of water? I knocked down a clay torso with the first model of a Rolls Royce ballistic vest once too. Sorry, they just do, depending on the target etc.

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    • I don't see cost being an issue except perhaps the purchase of the firearm and there are plenty of .45s around or below $500. Since your pistol is more of a personal protection weapon, ammunition can be accumulated at "affordable" prices since you don't need 2000 rounds. .45 ACP, to knock em down with big ole holes!

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    • As the debate continues, I can't help but hear the words of a long ago instructor saying " he who gets rounds on target first wins". so shoot what you can hit with accurately and fast.

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    • I agree. The level of stupid here is amazing. I'd be willing to bet most of these idiots have never seen a second of real combat…

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    • I spent three years as a combat medic in Vietnam (1967 through 1970) and the 45 was my issued sidearm. There were a number of times I had to defend myself and patient from North Vietnamese and Viet Cong Communist soldiers who were attacking. I can tell you this I used my 45 without hesitation and the following would happen in every instance:
      1. The projectile would usually strike center mass.
      2. The unlucky individuals shoulders would lurch backwards.
      3. The individuals feet would fly from under him moving forward and then upward in motion.
      4. The body would basically do a flip in mid air and fall into a dead mass of quivering flesh on the ground.
      5. I never saw anyone I hit get up and run away and
      6 YES, my 45's projectile did knock the enemy off their feet and down in the dirt.

      The 45 was designed due to a request by Gen Pershing during the time he served in the Philippines fighting the Morros on Mindanao. The standard service side arm at the time was the 38 service revolver and when the soldiers shot a Morro they would go down in the bushes and a second later would pop up and run away. Once Pershing received the 45 for his troops the non-survival of those shot became the deciding factor in the Army keeping and making the 1911 it's standard issue side arm which remained as such until the less lethal 9 mm and 40 cal came along. From actual combat experience I will bet my life all over again on the 45 regardless of the enemy!

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    • If I was shooting a paint can, bottles, or heavy objects and after the bullet hit the object and the object hit the ground, wouldn't that be called "knocking it down"?

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    • My 1911 Les Baer Custom 45 is guaranteed to shoot a 3" group at 50 yards. Chest shots at 50 yards are easy and trust me they will do more than "knock you down" at 50 yards.

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    • Having been active Army, and having served tours of duty in Combat roles, I can attest to the reliability, and knock down power of the .45. However, as a Retired Police Officer, I can also attest to the effectiveness of the 9mm, particularly the 92F, which I carried for many years. I'm really quite surprised that anyone would suggest that, "…Handgun don't really knock anything down." Just stop and think for a minute. Pick up a newspaper, and simply read about the numbers of people who are wounded, maimed, and killed by handguns every day.
      None-the-less, the argument doesn't need to be Caliber, it simply needs to be target identification, acquisition, firing first, and firing accurately.

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    • Knocking someone down with a single hit depends on where you hit them more than what you hit them with. A through and through hit to the abdomen with a .44 mag won't knock someone down but a solid hit on a large bone or the spine with a .38 special is just about guaranteed to put anyone down right where they stand.

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    • I disagree. It is well-known that the .45 has superior knock-down power, with the understanding that it was developed exactly because of that reality. If cops were using the American 1911 with .45 instead of the NATO 9mm we would have much fewer killings by police, who have to fire their puny but fast 9mms several times to stop a perceived attacker or flee-er, whereas one shot from the .45 would subdue the person..

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    • When it comes to shooting steel silhouette targets, handguns do knock things down. When competiting with a 9mm vs. a .40 or .45, the results are very different when delivering kinetic energy to the target.

      While you are right, handguns do not "knock people down," they do knock down targets and that is usually what people consider when talking about "knock down power." 9mm doesn't knock the targets down as easily as .40 or .45.

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    • Every enemy combatant that I shot with a .45 round went down… hard. Accuracy is the most common issue. A hit with a .22 is always better than a miss with a .45. 'We' can use any term you please but I am and always have been a fan of the .45 ACP because of first hand experience and results when it meant the difference in going back to camp or going home in a metal box.

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    • True, and I've tested this by taking freshly sawed logs, made from six-foot sections of pine tree trunks, each about 10" diameter, and standing them on their ends (nice clean chainsaw cuts, perpendicular to the sides of the log) on a clean flat concrete pad. I then shot these man-sized 150-lb free-standing logs with various handguns and one 12 gauge shotgun. No handgun even rocked them, or made any of them move visibly. And I shot .45 acp 230 gr hardball, 200 grain HP's and 185 grain +P hollowpoints. I hit them with .357 Magnums from a 6" barreled revolver, 158 grain bullets at 1300 f.ps. 9mm NATO spec, 124 gr. at 1200 fps. .38 special and .380, too, just for gun. Nothing had any effect or even came close to tipping one over. But the SHOTGUN, did sway the logs and ONE tipped over. All of them moved visibly when hit with a 1 oz. slug or load of 00 Buck. HOWEVER, no firearm knocked them over easily and reliably like a half-hearted punch with my fist, or a thrown brick (red clay exterior wall brick). THOSE impacts, though much slower, had the weight / mass to tip the log over. BOTTOM LINE: Small arms bullets don't have much knockdown power. They make people fall due to other methods, but not by shoving the target with a delivery of foot-pounds of energy.

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    • The M1911 was designed to do that very thing; knock humans down.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1911_pistol

      American units fighting Moro guerrillas during the Philippine–American War using the then-standard Colt M1892 revolver, .38 Long Colt, found it to be unsuitable for the rigors of jungle warfare, particularly in terms of stopping power, as the Moros had high battle morale and often used drugs to inhibit the sensation of pain.[15] The U.S. Army briefly reverted to using the M1873 single-action revolver in .45 Colt caliber, which had been standard during the late 19th century; the heavier bullet was found to be more effective against charging tribesmen.[16]

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    • Knock down power merely refers the the energy that the projectile has. It has nothing to do with ether or not it will actually knock anything down.

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  1. To keep it particular to the 9mm vs .45 debate, assuming both are similarly jacketed, .45 as a subsonic round and a larger projectile will produce a larger amount of impact trauma on the target, whereas the smaller, faster 9mm projectile will have a higher tendency to penetrate.

    Neither is "Best" – it depends on your needs and philosophy – are you trying to neutralize or to provide deterrence?

    If this is to be your last line of defense only, you wouldn't want to give an attacker an opportunity to persevere – .45 is the best bet in that regard, especially since ammo may be in short supply – military and other "direct action" units train to [pardon the expression] "double tap" since they usually use 9mm sidearms or even SMG (usually in single fire mode – unless support during breaking contact activity.) Basically, you will need 2 shots of 9mm for every shot of .45 if you are trying to stop someone in their tracks.

    That said, this isn't hollywood where someone can take 20 rounds and still wage a successful counter – getting shot is highly traumatic and most organisms flee or acquiesce afterwards, but some may press on – bears, chemically influenced, zombie-apocalypse levels or desperation, etc.

    IMHO a 9mm OR .45 is really just a backup to a shotgun, which is a backup to a rifle.

    In a SHTF scenario, any gunshot wound will likely become fatal eventually – access to medical treatment will be greatly hampered – we'll be lucky enough to survive the myriad of illnesses, cuts, scrapes, and broken bones let alone getting lead-ventilated.

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    • well i look at it like this 9mm 1 in throat area and 1 in the chin on the double tap and me and the bad guy really wont be talking unless dead guys can talk. If you are a civilian and do not understand tactical shooting in high stress environment then buy a 45 and squeeze until empty. anyone with skills understands were i am at. also practice shooting with both hands and reloading also. cuz if you get wingd it sucks if you need to reload and you did not practice it.

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    • 127 hp 9mm round 1200 fps hittig a pig target with .70 spread had same damage as .45acp 800 fps .70 spread. hp not ball or FMJ. Battle reports of 9mm not knocking down enemy. Well with ball rounds issued, less training time than with rifles… no wonder. Bottom line, a 9mm with HP round is the defensive choice. Yes a 45 afflicts more damage at close range, try to get closer with me, a 9mm Hydra Shock round will do you in fella. Accuracy is better. Practice and knowing your effective distances is key… AND HP rounds!!!

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    • I have a number of concerns about some of these statements. First I have both a 9mm and a 45 ACP and I reload for and really like both. I use 4.0 grains of Titegroup for the 45 and 4.1 for my 9mm. Note: more powder in the 9mm. Now the 45 uses large primers and these provide a little more oomph than the small so the actual energy behind the bullet is more or less the same. If I was reloading 40 s & w it would be 4.6grains. Energy prize goes to the 40. All the energy of a bullet comes from the primer and powder. It has nothing to do with the bullet itself. If you can deliver all the energy the bullet has there is little or no difference between the 9 and the 45. The problem comes with military style bullets. A larger bullet that delivers all its energy is more effective than a smaller bullet with the same energy that overpenetrates, common with FMJ 9mm. Change your 9mm to a good quality expanding bullet and there is little to no difference in effectiveness. I can shoot both guns equally well and don't have an issue with the recoil of either so in a combat situation I would prefer the 9mm with good bullets, mainly because I can carry more rounds.. Based on this the 40 s&w has more energy so it will have more stopping power than either the 9mm or the 45 ACP. However, from what I understand the recoil is more significant with the 40, more energy so no surprise. Don't have a 40 so don't feel qualified to comment beyond that

      I know that there are other more technical parts to the equations of bullet ballistics etc. and that there actually small difference between bullets cartridge sizes how well the powder burns, barrel length etc etc. but in general these are relatively small. My central point is if different bullets have the same energy and all that energy is delivered effectively there is very little difference based on the caliber.

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      • I have shot quite a few .40's and I can attest to the fact that most of them have a significantly higher recoil… I don't like them.

        References- Marine, and currently work at a gun range as a RSO.

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    • Double tap was utilized when we still used .45 back in the 80's. Regardless what you use whether its a rifle, shotgun or pistol shot placement is still paramount.

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    • A well thought out and interesting reply, Dustin. As a retired LEO, who has attended a few autopsies over time, your summation of 'caliber differences' and end results' are well founded. If a person were to follow today's evaluation of eventually returning back to mankind's most primal of survival tools, one would learn that more people, even by today's statistics and facts, become fatally or mortally wounded, as the end result of blunt force trauma to the head! Now that is real-time, close quarters battle!
      With the exception of a few small caliber firearms, the final analysis boils down to 'first shot placement', the ability to physically recover from recoil, (perceived or otherwise), and second sight target acquisition. The .25 is useless; the .22LR is a good for 'scrambled brains'; from the 9mm to the .45, your bullet type must create a large 'bleeding' wound channel, (cavitation), the capacity of seriously damaging or destroying internal organs, (even if the bullet does not physically pass through any organ), and a bullet weight capable of penetration with acceptable expansion. One exception to the above is the .45.
      Yes, you are correct: dramatization and urban legend of this round is a fallacy, but whether hollow point, or FMJ, the stopping power and ability to remove a threat, is exceptional. Most police agencies adapted to the .40 for a variety of reasons; individual officer's abilities, threat survivability/removal, ammunition costs and availability of ammunition… (which under the current administration has even hampered the law enforcement agencies, except federal levels), from obtaining quantities necessary for training and duty use.
      Now, factor in the mind-set of the person effectively using the weapon defensively, their will to survive, physical abilities or limitations, (body size, physical strength, etc.), and then add the other open-ended side of the equation: the will, speed, proximity and force of the attacker and their will to survive and complete goals!
      After years of experience as a range officer, forensic investigator, (or what the media now refers to as CSI's), not to mention 'hands-on personal experience', the final balance is: the ability of the individual to competently control, fire and recover, from whatever caliber used, including sight alignment, proper grip, stance, repetitive on-going training, (the most important factor of all in my humble opinion), and the undefeatable will to remove any threat, at whatever the cost, so that you can 'walk away to fight another day'. If the individual can handle/contol the .45, it's obviously a better method to increase your odds of survival… but then, so is a good shot of oven cleaner into an attacker's eyes, followed by that good old fashioned standby defensive weapon of my choice: a short 'child sized' aluminum baseball bat, or solid oak Louisville Slugger!
      It was a pleasure to read your opinion and the opinion of others in this blog.

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    • I wouldn't consider a shotgun as a back-up to a rifle in close encounter personal defense situations. In fact for home defense the shotgun even a 20 gauge w/#4 buckshot is IMO the best option.

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  2. Dustin, that was a great way to put it when you said, "IMHO a 9mm OR .45 is really just a backup to a shotgun, which is a backup to a rifle."

    The handgun is a weapon of high utility, but vastly inferior to a shoulder held weapon in almost any situation other than nose to nose contact like a gunfight in a broom closet.

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    • Problem w/ backup theory is that 99% of the time you dont have your shotgun or rifle w/ you to do any backing up. You can only use what you actually have on you when trouble comes calling.

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    • FACT: You might be GREAT at the range, but there are no guarantees WHAT you can fire at in a TENSE MOMENT. 9mm, .45 – your choice. What you MUST do is MOVE QUICKLY (if facing a gun) and fire FAST at the target, so he can't get a chance to aim. ALWAYS shoot for the kill zone. period.

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  3. Dustin, that was a great way to put it when you said, "IMHO a 9mm OR .45 is really just a backup to a shotgun, which is a backup to a rifle."

    The handgun is a weapon of high utility, but vastly inferior to a shoulder held weapon in almost any situation other than nose to nose contact like a gunfight in a broom closet.

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  4. 9mm; more rounds in the magazine, less weight per the same number of rounds (think BoB), vastly cheaper to practice with. I can afford a .45, but prefer 9mm. Plus my wife can handle it but not a .45. In the end, "stopping power" is over emphasized – as mentioned above, getting show with a 9mm or whatever is going to ruin your day. Make it HP and even better.

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    • The only thing we need to consider in regard to the magazine capacity of the 9mm vs. .45 is that some weapons now have high capacity .45's…so that no longer matters…for instance the glock 21 carries 13+ 1 rds of .45 (I believe thats the highest capacity made)..if anyone needs 13 tries to take out a bad guy…then they need to practice WAY more at the range. lol Ya know?

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      • FNP 45 carries 15+1, SAR K2 14+1, Para Ordnace P14-45 14+1. So there are plenty of hi-cap .45's to be had and really, the availability of .45 ammo is a moot point. 1911 variants are the most popular pistols in the US.

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        • Para p14-45, 14 +1, but Springfield Armory had one out a few yrs ago. A G.I. type 1911 that was high cap 14 +1 and used Para Ord magazines. Don't think they have one like that any more. But they are out there if you look around.

          Reply
    • The .45 is a multiuse round. It is a battle proven, time tested round, and should be considered for your B.O.B. gear. It is also an excellent choice for home defense for penetration concerns.

      Reply
    • Don't know you, your color or politcs……….HD weapon/ammo has to be all about stopping power. What the fuck is it all bout otherwise. "Hit 'em with a pitch fork and knock 'em out with the aluminium bat ????? Might work but plug 'em with a 45 and make decisions from there on…..cuz he ain't gettin up

      Reply
      • Old post but, in world war 2 soldiers were leaving behind there mi carbines .30 and bringing the colt .45s because it stopped them faster. They are only allowed to use full metal jackets. And a 230 grain projectile at 850 fps generates 352 foot pounds of energy. We however May use hollow points. And a 9mm 135 grain hornady critical duty +p traveling at 1150 fps generates 396 flbs of energy. So there both going to stop an assailant unless there on PCP and you have horrible shot placement. If the .45 stops them fast enough then what does that tell you about modern hollow points ? I would however not feel comfortable with 9mm full metal jackets in my gun. But get those same modern hollow points like federal HST or something in .45 and that’s a real man stopper, pretty much over kill. Travon Martin was shot by a kel tec pf-9 once. And that’s not even a full size 9mm

        Reply
    • Given your parameters of more rounds in a magazine, less weight per number of rounds, cost of ammo, lower recoil, and the availability of Hollow-point ammo, and disregarding over emphasized "stopping power" That makes a .22 rim-fire pistol the supreme choice in your rule book. I'll stick with my 1911 .45 thanks. As to the .40 S&W I have a friend who was shot with one point blank and he missed two days of work. Ya know there WAS a reason the Army had a requirement for a cartridge with better stopping power than .30 / 9mm ammo going back to the beginning of the LAST century. Thank God John Moses Browning was there to do it. The cost of stopping a fight for sure, quickly, is secondary to what it costs to do it or any other condition applied. Survival = stopping the fight NOW!

      Reply
  5. I'm glad to see this sparked a debate. Though I knew it would.

    Everyone makes a valid point.

    I agree that if you can use a rifle/shotgun then all the better but that's not always the case, and since this is a hypothetical anyway, I'll stick with just debating the two calibers.

    I also definitely agree that getting shot by any caliber will change things in a hurry.

    Reply
    • Also important to remember that both rounds, especially 9mm, have carbines that are mighty convinent haveing abilty to carry one round. However, some carbines do not come in 45 cal such as keltec sub 2k. Finnally, the 9mm round has greatly improved over the past decade, ex. +p+ rounds.

      Reply
      • Excellent points – I was wondering if anyone was going to mention carbines. Stock up on a shitload of 9mm and .45 ACP ammo, have handguns and carbines in both calibers, and you're set!!

        Reply
      • And? The 45 is available in over pressure variants too. Some carbines don't come in 9mm. For example, one of the best carbines, Kriss Super V Vector which only comes in .45

        Reply
    • Does not matter what caliber you use. Practice makes perfect and understanding that many variables will dictate a firefight. Not one will be the same, similar perhaps, but not the same. Psychology and physiology of an individual assailant will have alot to do with the dynamics of that said firefight.

      Reply
  6. I'm glad to see this sparked a debate. Though I knew it would.

    Everyone makes a valid point.

    I agree that if you can use a rifle/shotgun then all the better but that's not always the case, and since this is a hypothetical anyway, I'll stick with just debating the two calibers.

    I also definitely agree that getting shot by any caliber will change things in a hurry.

    Reply
  7. I chose .40 S&W as my primary caliber because of it's wide adoption by LE agencies all over the US. Also, during the ammo shortage in '09, .40 S&W was always still available. Sometimes the prices were inflated, but it was still available, while 9mm and .45 ACP was not available for any amount of money. I have only a limited requirement for factory ammunition, as I reload, but the experience was interesting.

    I also have some pistols in 9mm, because it is very easy to shoot and ammunition is very cheap. After shooting .40 for so long, 9mm is an accurate round and recoil is extremely manageable.

    With modern, bonded hollow point ammunition, all three calibers will perform equally, and provide equal "stopping power" (ability to stop an attack, not kill or maim or damage tissue). With ball ammo, you are going to want the heaviest, largest projectile, with the best shot placement possible. 9mm 124 gr ball versus .45 230 gr. ball is not a hard decision, especially if you are using a good quality .45 pistol and train and are proficient.

    I think a large part of this would be "training and proficiency". If you cannot handle a .45 or .40 caliber pistol, shoot 9mm and be the best you can be with your weapon system.

    Reply
    • I agree with Mr. Smashy. I prefer a .40 for the reason that the whole state of Utah L.E.O.s carry this round. Should be plenty of extras around. I also store 500 rounds each of .38/.357, 9mm, .45 as barter.

      Reply
      • I'm ex- military. Viet-Nam. I am very familiar with the 45. I hated the fact of change to a 9. If someone has ever seen themselves in real life confrontations, then they would know that a side arm is as effective as the person using it. That being said, a well placed shot is all that's required. No matter the caliber! What caliber you choose is a matter of personalability one has. In lifedeath situation…. I personally carry a 40 cal for concealed and effectiveness. For home protection, 357 magnum. I load the 357 with 38 specials soft leads for in home use,so as not to go through a target and injure those I'm trying to protect! What loads I use? Ask. The 9 mm call is fine,but Not my choice. By the way, in my 40 I carry one in the barrel and loaded and an extra full clip on me.l

        Reply
    • Well said. The weapon you can use mots teffectively is the one to select. Ammo today is available to do what you need . The only real variable is the user, how well trained and ability to handle the weapon . Reload, handle the recoil, hit the target in a most effective place. . Having been shot by 7.62 caliber weapon I know that the most important part of shooting is hitting a vital organ first. Without that or a solid bone strike you can and will keep moving.

      Reply
    • Rule one in gun fighting, other than bring a gun, is to hit what you aim at with what you have. To say that there is no difference in the recoil from .22 to .45 would be disingenuous as it is a law of Newtonian physics. Having said that, there IS a significant difference between 9mm HPs and .45 HPs in stopping power and terminal ballistic performance for that very same reason and to say otherwise would also be disingenuous. I find that as a firearms instructor for 20+ years (military for 38), most people that think a .45 has too much recoil have not been taught to shoot correctly. Now, you may not prefer it, but you can be taught to shoot it VERY well. I used to use my sons to demo the course of fire for the CHL classes that I taught (still teach). My youngest son was 75# and could shoot timed ragged "one holers" at 3 and 7 yards and all 10s (5s actually) at 15 yds. If an 11 y/o boy under 100# can shoot "timed fire" that well, all but the most feeble person could do likewise, if taught properly! If you think that a .45 is heavy recoil you should get some lessons. The other misconception is about the prevalence of .40S&W ammo. In an all out SHTF scenario, LEOs would shoot themselves out of .40S&W rapidly as they don't have the depth of stores of ammo that the military or forward thinking individuals would have (think in minimum terms of 5 digits or more). I would bet good money that the military has more .45 ACP than most would give them credit for (I've seen a lot of it, had to inspect it), as well as 5.56mm and 9mm and except for the vast exception probably not too many .40s. If you want survivors redundancy, then you should have what they have, that's why I have 9mm handguns and 5.56 rifles. The same goes for 7.62×39, 99% of it isn't made in this country. Does anyone think that a gubment that doesn't trust us would keep importing it during SHTF and if it is worldwide it may not be available to import. And, if you don't have the aforementioned 5+ digits of ammo stored up, then all you have is a club. I do have GMPD. Gun multiple personality disorder, as I carry, as the sitch allows, a .32 Tomcat, Kahr P9 or a 1911A1 .45. So I do have an open mind but don't sell yourself short on whether you can shoot a .45 or not. Also if expense is a problem then reload and practice at least once a month, actually weekly but most people don't have the time, the money or opportunity. Be well all, and enjoy.

      Reply
    • If the SHTF.You know u have to maintain an automatic religeosly or it will jam like a sandwich.I PREFER a revolver.You can lay it down for a year then pick it up and start firing.I also prefer the 357 magnum.You have a choice of 357 or 38 so if ammo starts running out this dual ammo choice will come in handy.Also they make them in 9 shot revolvers too.

      Reply
  8. I chose .40 S&W as my primary caliber because of it's wide adoption by LE agencies all over the US. Also, during the ammo shortage in '09, .40 S&W was always still available. Sometimes the prices were inflated, but it was still available, while 9mm and .45 ACP was not available for any amount of money. I have only a limited requirement for factory ammunition, as I reload, but the experience was interesting.

    I also have some pistols in 9mm, because it is very easy to shoot and ammunition is very cheap. After shooting .40 for so long, 9mm is an accurate round and recoil is extremely manageable.

    With modern, bonded hollow point ammunition, all three calibers will perform equally, and provide equal "stopping power" (ability to stop an attack, not kill or maim or damage tissue). With ball ammo, you are going to want the heaviest, largest projectile, with the best shot placement possible. 9mm 124 gr ball versus .45 230 gr. ball is not a hard decision, especially if you are using a good quality .45 pistol and train and are proficient.

    I think a large part of this would be "training and proficiency". If you cannot handle a .45 or .40 caliber pistol, shoot 9mm and be the best you can be with your weapon system.

    Reply
  9. mr. smashy makes a good point.

    You caliber of choice really doesn't matter very much if you can't hit what you are aiming at.

    He makes a good point about .40 being available too. Everytime I go to walmart I look for cheap federal 9mm and they never have it, but they always have a huge pile of .40. To bad I don't have a .40 pistol.

    Reply
  10. Since 9mm is relatively cheap most can afford to shoot more of it, thereby increasing their proficiency and perhaps hitting their target more.

    A note of caution on cheap 9mm ammo; last year at a gun show I picked up 1,440 rds of eastern block 9mm ammo in a sealed tin – cheap! Got about 50 rds through my CZ-75B at the local indoor range when I felt a tap on my shoulder. Turns out it was steel core rather than lead core and therefore could not be used at the indoor range. I understand many indoor ranges have that prohibition since the steel penetrates further through the barriers. Fine for outdoors shooting thought. On a side note, the ammo has shot just about flawlessly after ~500 rds – a great deal. Just an FYI.

    Reply
    • I notice that a great many people argue the price of the 9mm results in more shooting. I'm not trying to start an argument but I wonder just how valid that really is. Would I go to the range more if I shot a cheaper ammo? Nope, I go every chance I get. Often I shoot .22, it just doesn't get much cheaper than that, but I do shoot the full range in my battery. I'm not arguing that 9 is cheaper than .45 or .50AE or whatever. I just wonder how often price is the excuse for not going more often. I can not think of a time when the lack of ammo has kept me away from the range. Weather, work, family commitments or any number of things limit range time. I've seen folks at the range who think 'spray and pray' is good. They'll shoot 15 or 18 rounds out of their Glock, get two on paper (none center of mass) and think it is a good thing. Does the price of ammo really keep any of us from shooting? I reload my expensive stuff. My 50-90 BP rounds and .375 H&H Mag rounds are near $3 each. They get shot – not as often as the .22 but the .22 is a lot of plinking fun. I wonder about those that buy a gun and a box of ammo and never or rarely shoot it. Do they really feel comfortable that they are prepared to defend themselves?

      Reply
      • First, steel core ammo is not allowed at my local OUTdoor range because, as NIN mentioned, it can cause a spark and start a brush fire which can get out of control really quickly (like yesterday with gusts up to 30 mph). Second, CaptBart, many of us apparently do not have your wallet. I can get a 1,000 rounds of 9mm for about $170 and 1,200 rounds of 5.56 for $334. For me, that's a TON of money and I can only afford to go to the range every two or three months. I'm sure plenty of others face the same situation. And, no, shooting practice is not more important than eating.

        Reply
        • Bobo,
          I meant no criticism of any shooter who practices as much as possible. I also do not have a large wallet, in fact I am retired and living on a fixed income. I shoot my inexpensive stuff much more than my expensive rounds. I reload what I can, when I can. Often enough I am shooting cap and ball as it, like .22 lr, is extremely cost effective. That being said, a semi-auto pistol that has not been fired or practiced with (snap caps mean you don't have to always go to the range) recently means that you are not as proficient with clearing drills, presentation, the full manual of arms as I think you would want to be when you are quite literally playing 'you bet your life' on your skill with that weapon.

          Reply
  11. Since 9mm is relatively cheap most can afford to shoot more of it, thereby increasing their proficiency and perhaps hitting their target more.

    A note of caution on cheap 9mm ammo; last year at a gun show I picked up 1,440 rds of eastern block 9mm ammo in a sealed tin – cheap! Got about 50 rds through my CZ-75B at the local indoor range when I felt a tap on my shoulder. Turns out it was steel core rather than lead core and therefore could not be used at the indoor range. I understand many indoor ranges have that prohibition since the steel penetrates further through the barriers. Fine for outdoors shooting thought. On a side note, the ammo has shot just about flawlessly after ~500 rds – a great deal. Just an FYI.

    Reply
  12. bigger hole means the victim bleeds out faster.

    In a service-sized pistol, I prefer .45 if its concealed carry, thats another thing but I still take .45 in MOST cases.

    some JHP .45acp expands to approx. .70 caliber, thats a BIG hole. I prefer a fairly large .45 like the XD-45. no compare the capacity any 9mm on the market. the highest capacity one is the XDM-9 at 19 rounds versus the XD-45 of 13 rounds. 6 rounds while is a decent difference isnt huge especially when you consider the damaging effects of each respectable round. and if you compare it to say the G17, it only holds 17 rounds, the beretta 92 holds only 15.

    Reply
  13. when you compare double stack to double stack guns, the 9mm versions really dont hold that many more rounds, in the new-gen HK guns (P30 and HK45) the 9mm version holds 15 and the 45 version holds 12, not a whole lot of difference. in 1911s the 9mm versions usually hold 9 rounds, while the standard .45 holds 8 rounds, even less difference there. glock is 17 rounds in 9mm to 13 rounds of .45 still not much considering.

    besides what would you rather have, the american caliber of .45 acp or the european standard of 9x19mm?

    also remember a 9mm is a .45 set to stun, and real men do not believe in stun.

    Reply
    • Go downrange and let me “stun” you with my Glock…..no? Why not? Won’t hurt much…….

      Stop compensating for SMS dude.

      It all boils down to personal preference, and what you can shoot well, if you can only handle a .22, thats the best for you

      Reply
  14. I wasn't kidding when I said all modern bonded jacketed hollow point bullets have the same amount of "stopping power". Consider this photo:http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Misc_Images/DocGKR/H… All calibers and several bullet weights of each caliber all meet the FBI recommended minimum 12" of penetration and leave similar permanent wound trails. I you purchase quality hollow point ammunition in any caliber and you get it to connect you will get the same results

    >also remember a 9mm is a .45 set to stun, and real men do not believe in stun.

    I hear this from old duffers and guys that wear cammies at the range, but when I offer to try and stun them, they don't take me up on the offer. Why is this?

    9mm may be cheaper to shoot using factory or import surplus, but if your serious about sustainable firearms independence, you should be at least a beginner reloader. In that case it can actually be cheaper to reload .45 ACP ammunition.

    Reply
    • Yeah, I know what you mean about the old duffers, as I often hear the "hydrostatic shock" crap from young punks at the range with weird hair and clothes with no respect for experience or the fact that someone MIGHT know a little more than they do. Yes, you can terminate resistance with a 9mm. BTDT. But, if you ask the professional trigger pullers what they need, they will ask for BIGGER, to a man. Most of the operators that have a choice carry .45s…period, unless there is a reason to do otherwise, i.e. suppressed weapons, dangerous environment etc. They have more resistance terminations than any other group of people in the world….period. So I suspect that their experiences should be taken to heart. When you burst into a 10×10 room with a tango turning around with his finger on the trigger of an AK and you're using your sidearm because you can't swing your 4 around, you want him to die as many milliseconds faster as a .45 will do it than a 9mm, because the millisecond he pulls the trigger it no longer makes a difference, even if he dies after the fact. That's the difference between "stun and kill". Now does every event come down to this hairsplitting timing, no but I didn't want to worry about it, one less distraction. Oh, and the cammies that I wear at the range (my range) were earned by me over 38 years from the time I was drafted til I retired….and you paid for them. It's not about tests that government agencies run, agencies that have to have guns that "people of small stature with small hands" can shoot. It's about reality, real life reality. The military is taught to shoot a DT to the chest and one to the head, because of 9mm inadequacies…three shots to MAKE SURE they're dead. When you do an entry into a room with 3-5 Ts imagine if you had to shoot every single tango 3x….really? And FYI, the M9 was brought into the service, IRONICALLY, in the early 80s when we started taking in more "people of small stature with small hands", a sort of "affirmative action" program for shooting. You are dead on about reloading, regardless of caliber. Be well, enjoy.

      Reply
    • Try Hornady with new FlexLock, nickle jacket, interlock band keeps bullet and core from seperating..Tough bullet core delivers controlled expansion consistency through all FBI test barriers…check out critical duty critical defense.. and for rifles sting em with the new 17 Hornet

      Reply
    • 9mm bounces off windshields and skulls, and was designed for wimpy European policeman. 45 ACP was designed specifically to kill a charging horse with one shot. Not much of a debate here …

      Reply
  15. I wasn't kidding when I said all modern bonded jacketed hollow point bullets have the same amount of "stopping power". Consider this photo:http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Misc_Images/DocGKR/H… All calibers and several bullet weights of each caliber all meet the FBI recommended minimum 12" of penetration and leave similar permanent wound trails. I you purchase quality hollow point ammunition in any caliber and you get it to connect you will get the same results

    >also remember a 9mm is a .45 set to stun, and real men do not believe in stun.

    I hear this from old duffers and guys that wear cammies at the range, but when I offer to try and stun them, they don't take me up on the offer. Why is this?

    9mm may be cheaper to shoot using factory or import surplus, but if your serious about sustainable firearms independence, you should be at least a beginner reloader. In that case it can actually be cheaper to reload .45 ACP ammunition.

    Reply
  16. Nightrunner, You said, "…G17, it only holds 17 rounds, the beretta 92 holds only 15."

    "Only?"

    World War 2 was fought with the 1911 as a sidearm for the most part. It held 7-8 rounds of ball .45 and was devastatingly effective. What are we expecting to happen that we need to have so much ammunition in the palms of our hands?

    My handgun choice for nearly the last 20 years is the SIG 220 .45, and I have never felt under armed or short of ammo with a single stack mag in the gun, and a spare on my belt. I've been shooting handguns for 42 years now and have gotten very confident with that particular package.

    A shooter is not always better off with more ammo, he IS always better off with more practice and confidence in his chosen weapon.

    Mr. Smashy, you are dead on about being able to handload ammunition. I keep a couple of 5 gallon buckets of .45 brass around; should be a lifetime's worth for me. The .45 is pretty easy on brass, is powder efficient, but gulps a lot of lead, so that has to be considered.

    I'm new to the site here, and this is my first participation with you all. Keep up the good work. I'll be around.

    Reply
    • What are we expecting to happen that we need to have so much ammunition in the palms of our hands?

      Not expecting so much as preparing just in case… one never knows

      youll always wish you had just one more mag no matter what your carrying! from below… agreed!

      Reply
    • Hey, first timer posting, limited skill on web, etc. 56 yrs old, homeless vet in shelter in Detroit. My dad right me reloading w/ lead & brass we'd "pick" @our state range. Terminal ballistics, police records, there's real returning vets, all good sources to ask/study for data on what really occurres to victims I've used. The personal choice, is by no means simple when one takes into acct. all possible scenarios, I have chose .22 through .500 S&W! All calibers, all platforms, w/o a doubt have (A) purpose! Our chosen specific need, that is easily filled, we have excellent projectiles today. The objectives we determine we desire to be priority, should direct the next step.

      Reply
  17. Nightrunner, You said, "…G17, it only holds 17 rounds, the beretta 92 holds only 15."

    "Only?"

    World War 2 was fought with the 1911 as a sidearm for the most part. It held 7-8 rounds of ball .45 and was devastatingly effective. What are we expecting to happen that we need to have so much ammunition in the palms of our hands?

    My handgun choice for nearly the last 20 years is the SIG 220 .45, and I have never felt under armed or short of ammo with a single stack mag in the gun, and a spare on my belt. I've been shooting handguns for 42 years now and have gotten very confident with that particular package.

    A shooter is not always better off with more ammo, he IS always better off with more practice and confidence in his chosen weapon.

    Mr. Smashy, you are dead on about being able to handload ammunition. I keep a couple of 5 gallon buckets of .45 brass around; should be a lifetime's worth for me. The .45 is pretty easy on brass, is powder efficient, but gulps a lot of lead, so that has to be considered.

    I'm new to the site here, and this is my first participation with you all. Keep up the good work. I'll be around.

    Reply
  18. If it was that easy, we wouldn't have shootouts. If it was that easy the standard traffic stop would not claim 5% of Officer fatalities. The bad guy is never going to stand still like a silhouette target 10' from the end of the stall in an indoor range. I've seen people who have a hard time doing that. And a headshot is not a guaranteed stop.

    Things that should be considered:

    *360 degree mindset (the "bad guy" is almost always never going to be a frontal attack)
    *Weapon retention (keeping my firearm from being turned on me)
    *Correct application of force (Mozambique , NSR, contact shooting)
    *Point shooting vs. aimed shots (do you have time to make a well aimed shot before the gap is closed?)

    This could go on and on, but gun fighting within 10 feet is a different animal than 25-10 yards. CQB with a pistol requires disciplined training, the right kind of training, and the ability to make snap decisions with a lot of liability riding on each bullet.

    Reply
  19. Personally I prefer a .45 1911 with an eight round magazine. In the end it's personal choice and envirorement. Some times you need to put lots of rounds down range some times you want one shot one kill. It allways helps to have a backup gun.

    Reply
  20. I prefer 9 mm. For a SHTF type situation, I have a Kel Tec sub 2000, a nifty little carbine that accepts glock magazines (including the 33 rd ones) and is accurate out to about 60-70 yards. With multiple magazines I can carry ammo for small game hunting and personal defense. Paired with a Glock 19 as a side arm (again, same mag), I think 9 mm is a great caliber in terms of versatility, weight per round, and cost.

    Reply
    • zschell,

      I really like the setup you are running, because you not only have the same ammo in both guns, but they both use the same magazine. That is a Great example of multi-pupose gear.

      I also tend to agree with you about 9mm in general. I think it's my favorite.

      Thanks for commenting

      Reply
      • I would say that it is using two different peices of gear to do the same thing. If I am carrying a long gun it will most certainly be in a rifle caliber.

        Reply
  21. I agree equalizer.
    My all around survival round?
    Give me my .22 rimfire.
    Ammo is super abundant almost anywhere you go.
    You can easily pack 500 rounds in one small box.
    It's effective out to 50-75+ yards,
    It can kill a deer, small game, even a person if need be .
    it's quiet

    Reply
    • Bazzil,

      I am with your on the .22 for all of the cases you mentioned. For me a Ruger 10/22 really is one of the best survival guns.

      However, I still think I will stick with a more powerful handgun for protection.

      Reply
  22. You said that 9mm is 40-50% cheaper than .45, which is 40-50% more expensive than 9mm. I'm pretty sure that that price relationship is pretty impossible.

    Let's say (for convenience) that a .45 round costs 100 bottle caps or shells or goats or what have you. At 40-50% of that, a 9mm round should cost 40-50 units. And then at 40-50% more, a .45 round (which we already said cost 100) should then cost 56-75, right?

    Reply
    • Jack,

      Good catch, the math doesn't really work out on that one.

      Here's how I was thinking about it when I wrote it:

      The Cheapest 9mm I can get is 9.50 a box. The cheapest .45 I can get is about 20.00 a box.

      So the 9mm really is 50% cheaper. I should have put that the .45 is 2x as much.

      Thanks for keeping me honest.

      Reply
    • Jack,

      Good catch, the math doesn't really work out on that one.

      Here's how I was thinking about it when I wrote it:

      The Cheapest 9mm I can get is 9.50 a box. The cheapest .45 I can get is about 20.00 a box.

      So the 9mm really is 50% cheaper. I should have put that the .45 is 2x as much.

      Thanks for keeping me honest.

      Reply
  23. I agree with the comments made about .22 ammo. I also agree that at a per shot stopping power that .45 or .357 is generally better than 9mm or.22. But let's remember that this is a SURVIVAL debate. Not only is it essential to protect yourself and loved ones, but hunting and weight limitations have to be taken into consideration. Back to what Dustin said in the begining, a 12 gauge shotgun as a primary weapon could provide close quarters stopping power probably better than any large caliber handgun bullet.

    Reply
  24. I didn't read through all the comments but am just going to state this (or reiterate if someone else already has). Any handgun is capable or killing and/or stopping the BG. When it comes down to "oh noes what caliber does it best" kind of arguments I think everyone needs to remember that A nine mil to the brain of the BG or the heart or any vital organ will kill (or stop) a BG as well as a .45.

    Pick a caliber (a 9mil really is all thats needed unless it's not "macho" enough for you) and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. Practice at 5 yards and then at 10, 15, 20, 25. Then run tactical courses, work on Point and shoot methods. run and gun a bit….other than having some great fun your getting good with whatever handgun you decided on.

    Just my two cents

    .VanKirk

    Reply
    • I tend to agree with you that is why my friends and i have set up a course that is made for this debate. We have set up a primary weapons course we run through which is well my personal is a SKS converted to take AK mags but many others prefer the AR-15 and one of us uses an AK-47 but getting back to the topic we practice jams and teams running the course is good fun and you have to know your abilities i carry a star 9mm or my interarms 9mm one is double stack the other only takes FMJ. you need to practice weapon reloads and switching in the middle of a fight of course it is all just in case TSHTF. PRACTICE makes perfect i ran the course with my wife and i used my mosin to start out with just to see what would happen and she used my colt .22 and we both carried a 9mm. we did just as well as the ones using the AR-15s and carring the .45 acps it all comes down to what you can handle when you need to.

      Reply
      • I have been actively looking for some large piece of land, public use, friend, or otherwise, that I could use to set up some Run & Gun courses like you mentioned, but I've had no luck so far. So for now I'm sticking to the range.

        There's just too many people east of the Mississippi.

        Reply
        • not really i am east of the mississippi lol but i am way north of the area you guys are. I have only five acers myself but my buddy has 65 acers at his disposial and that is where we have our range and course. he likes to practice running it he is trying to beat my score which is 95% at the moment lol.

          Reply
    • Question about the .500. I read some time back that the S&W .500 has problems with rounds being 'shaved' as they enter the forcing cone resulting in lead spraying forward from the fired cylinder. Have you fired ant .500 or heard anything about that? I can't believe Smith and Wesson would leave something like that in play but many of the old reliable companies are not quite what they used to be.

      Reply
    • The 10mm has the possibility to almost duplicate a .357 mag in energy, however all ammunition that I've seen in stores and online have the same energy as a .40 because the factory ammunition is not loaded to the maximum level that the case can support. The 10mm has potential and I like it, but you cannot reap the benefits of it unless you load your own rounds.

      Reply
    • feminized!!!! if 10mil is so great how come they are so few and far between, ill take my xd or usp 40cal anyday with plentifull ammo everywhere in a shtf scenerio

      Reply
    • Feminized? The .40 cal is just fine for personal defense, alas it is not the 10mm. However, when did you decide that a .40 round is "feminized." If someone were to point a .40 caliber weapon in your direction and was hellbent and ready to shoot you, you wouldn't say, "Ha, that is feminized, I will not die or be wounded, take your best shot!"

      Reply
    • why in the heck would anyone want a stupid 9mm luger. We all saw how that went for the FBI back in the '80s before they adopted the 10mm auto. Why hasn't the 45 auto been discontinued production? A one hundred and ten year old- low pressure cartridge. Oh, your 1911 holds seven rounds, how cute. My Centimeter has more retained energy after 100 yards than a 45acp does at the muzzle. Scott here knows his stuff.

      Reply
  25. As a former Infantry soldier. I have shot both and I have owned both. I prefer the .45. If you train with it you get good with it if you don't you shoot like crap., but I like single stack, it's a little more secure in my hand. and for defence. If you have to shoot more than the rounds needed to take care on the BGs and have to reload too much then you're in trouble. you have to know where your bullets go. the better the shot you are the less rounds you use.1 round 7 or 15 rounds, just shooting and emtying a magazine and not hitting your target doesn't put the BGs away. If you don't like the 45, fine don't use it then. I'll use , 45. anything to win. the 9mm will kill but the 45 was put into survice to take on the Moro pirates , who were on drugs and just kept commig after being shot, but the 45 put them down with the first shot.. Thats why the U.S. military kept them for so long. And some of the Special Ops guys have gon back to it.. I know a lot of my budies have come back ffrom the sand box complainig about the 9mm.

    Reply
    • I like plain 'ol .45 230 grain ball. Besides the ball will shatter bones and the bone splinters make one problem many.

      Reply
    • The knock down, the ability to instantly, physically turn the entire body of an attacker is why, in a fight, I would prefer the .45. That fat, slow ball ensures that whatever your enemy was aiming at (me in Vietnam) is not what he is aiming at post impact. The Hollywood scene of having countless .9mm rounds available to fire is just silly. That first shot in a close up fight really needs to do the job. An adrenaline pumped assailant can take several faster through and through .9mm rounds and still kill you.

      Reply
    • Remember this…

      Due to LOAC, military requirement is to use ball ammo.

      We civilians aren't held to the same silly standards.

      A good modern HP round in the 9mm makes all the difference…

      Reply
  26. Scott,

    The only problem I see with that is ammo availability.

    Around here I can easily go buy all of the .40 I want at walmart or other superstores but 10mm has to be gotten at gunshops etc.

    To me it's not really a viable option.

    Reply
    • here in my area its not that hard to come by but it is more expensive than my 9mm but keep one major point in mind if you learn on a .22 first then try the 9mm then the 10mm/.40 S&W then the .45 ACP you will learn all your strengths and weaknesses before having to try them in a survival situation. rule of thumb here is if you can hit your mark then by all means go ahead but if you can not because of recoil or control back it down a bit make it more comfortable for you to shoot.

      Reply
  27. I have all three and like to shoot them all. From a purely cost perspective the 9mm gets my vote. I actually prefer to shoot the .45, though they are all fun. If I were in a pinch I would pull out .40 with hollow points and an in between magazine capacity to the 9mm and .45. With three, twelve round magazines I feel pretty well armed. Hopefully I will never have to put it to the test…

    Reply
    • I have all three calibers as well and like each for its particular attributes. My thoughts on the original question: There is no right answer. It is a personal choice. In general, I believe that one should choose the largest caliber for which they are comfortable shooting. The rationale is that–although JHP closes the gap in stopping power–one has to use what is available. In a protracted survival event, ammo will grow increasing scarce. One may have limited choices. The good defense ammo will no doubt be the first to go.The target ammo will be the last to go. If I have to use crappy target ammo, I'd rather use it in a .45 than in a 9mm. Another thought occurred to me as I wrote. There are caliber conversion kits. Perhaps the ultimate answer is one frame with the option to convert to multiple calibers.

      Reply
  28. As far as purely shooting for fun I agree the .45 is a lot more fun. ( and .357) but they are just too expensive for me to enjoy shooting too much these days. When you cringe everytime you go through a box it just kind of takes the fun out of it.

    Reply
    • i know what you mean lucas my friends and i get lucky and know a gun dealer that loads all our ammo again with us showing us what to measure and how to get it right. so shooting does not cost so much for us but it used to be ok go to the store spend about fifty bucks and have fun all day. we used to tell our wives or girl friends we will be back when the ammo runs out or it is dark which ever comes first well now its will be back in about three hours it sucks.

      Reply
  29. I'm curious, of the people who say that a shotgun is a better close-quarter weapon than a handgun, how many of those people have actually tried to clear a house with one? Next time you're the only one home, try properly slicing the pie in a small hallway with a shotgun, then try the same with a pistol. Then tell me which one you think works better.

    To the users who said training and familiarization with your weapon system means everything, bravo. That and actually having that system on you are key. Having 20+ years of practice with a rifle doesn't do you any good if the rifle is in a building on the other side of town and you have practically zero chance of getting to it.

    I'm a big fan of the .40, although the round is more snappy than the .45 or 9mm. I carry a Glock 22 in .40 for duty, and I am seriously considering buying a Kel Tec SUB-2000 in .40 that will accept the Glock mags. I carry a 9mm Kahr CW9 when I am off duty during the warmer months, because its simply easier to conceal and raises less eyebrows. During the colder months, I always carry my Glock 22 because I shoot it far more often and I am far more comfortable with it.

    If you're looking at a SHTF situation, having something that shoots .40 would be good, because the people who are carrying it would tend to stand out so you don't have to look too hard for it.

    Reply
    • I like a shotgun beside my bed but obviously don't stroll around the house or in public carrying the pump. I like my Kahr CW9 because of the slim frame. It's limited with 7 round mag ( I said 8 in the other post) but it feels right for me. And as a firearms instructor told me it is all about what feels best to you.

      Reply
    • I can't believe I found a post, apparently from an LE, suggesting that a .40 is a good piece to have if the SHTF, on account of being able to scavenge ammo off LE's. I don't disagree at all, but I'm shocked. Having a G-22 and a Sub-2K .40 that runs Glock mags is a great idea, for this very reason, but damn! Talk about a depressingly realistic perspective. Yeah, if it all goes to hell the Cops are going to have their hands full, and for some it will be more than they can handle. However, I for one hope to be no-where near a situation so ugly that there are officers on the ground and there are duty belts ripe for the picking.

      Reply
      • You could also TRADE with cops, to get some of their ammo that way.

        You could also end up buying some stolen Law Enforcement ammo that somebody else took from breaking-into that unattended cop car, or the officer's personal vehicle, or even the officer's home. That police ammunition may quickly end up on the black market where you could purchase it.

        Taking the ammo off the bodies of dead officers is NOT the only way law enforcement ammo can end up being available to civilian gun owners.

        Reply
    • if you are a LEO and carry a 40 S&W you cannot go wrong with the Kel-Tec sub 2000 with the Glock mags. they compliment each other well. With a little work you can pull off 100yd shots with no problem 200 is doable. At 15, 25 or even 50 yrds you can hit a melon with no effort. very helpful when a perp is behind cover and the show is small. Plus you get the added benefit of greater velocity if you need to punch through that cover.

      Reply
    • As a former combat paratrooper I would take the shotgun for in close personal protection. I even prefer the .20 over the 12 gauge using a semi-automatic. Mossberg SA-20 Railed Tactical (#4 buckshot) is equivalent to being hit with 2, .44 magnum rounds. Remember we aren't hunting bear here. Don't forget to don your Wolf Ears/electronic ear muffs first.

      Reply
    • I agree that being intimately familiar with your weapon and having it easily accessible when something bad happens are critical. Back when I would shoot my SKS rifle twice a month, but only got out the AR a couple of times a year, I made the SKS my de-facto home and vehicle defense weapon. That is what I had much more trigger time on, and I had it with me or in my vehicle always for more than a year. During that time, I bought some soft-point hunting ammo for it, got a red dot scope mounted on it, and mounted a tactical light on it, too.
      Was this rifle with its 20" barrel an ideal CQB weapon? No, but it was better for me, at that time, than other guns that I hadn't been shooting much over the last few years.

      Reply
  30. I'm curious, of the people who say that a shotgun is a better close-quarter weapon than a handgun, how many of those people have actually tried to clear a house with one? Next time you're the only one home, try properly slicing the pie in a small hallway with a shotgun, then try the same with a pistol. Then tell me which one you think works better.

    To the users who said training and familiarization with your weapon system means everything, bravo. That and actually having that system on you are key. Having 20+ years of practice with a rifle doesn't do you any good if the rifle is in a building on the other side of town and you have practically zero chance of getting to it.

    I'm a big fan of the .40, although the round is more snappy than the .45 or 9mm. I carry a Glock 22 in .40 for duty, and I am seriously considering buying a Kel Tec SUB-2000 in .40 that will accept the Glock mags. I carry a 9mm Kahr CW9 when I am off duty during the warmer months, because its simply easier to conceal and raises less eyebrows. During the colder months, I always carry my Glock 22 because I shoot it far more often and I am far more comfortable with it.

    If you're looking at a SHTF situation, having something that shoots .40 would be good, because the people who are carrying it would tend to stand out so you don't have to look too hard for it.

    Reply
  31. New to forum. I'm no expert, but of the two, I prefer 9mm for survival. 1-Easier for the women and adolescents to shoot, 2-Greater availabilty of ammunition 3-Can shoot 9mm, 38Sp and 357 in Ruger Blackhawk with the 9mm cylinder, 4-For reloading (if you have primers) it needs less lead to cast bullets and less powder per cartridge.

    All told, I really prefer 357 mag (revolvers and lever actions) for survival.

    Reply
    • pcw,

      Welcome to Survival Cache, I hope you get a lot out of the site.

      You have a well reasoned argument. If it works for you then that is all that really matters.

      (and agreed, I do love a .357 revolver)

      Reply
  32. Solution…the Springfield XD. 13+1 .45ACP and weighs less fully loaded than a steel framed 1911 does unloaded! I've owned XD's for the last 5 years without any problem due to the gun or mags. It eats everyhing, very reliable under any condition, and is affordable. New its about $500.

    Reply
    • Pre-historic man domesticated dogs before they domesticated cows. Clearly, they recognized the benefits dogs can provide, and if a better comparison to survival situations today can be found than ancient man’s everyday life, I don’t know what it is.

      Hunting, scavenging, protection from predators, and the psychological impact of a loyal companion are all worth sharing food with a dog. By the way, they will drink out of puddles if necessary so unless you’re in an arid region, it presents little of a problem.

      Reply
      • wow that 9mm must be bottom of the line cause the rounds I get are all 18-20 bucks a box of 50 but i guess that is the differnce between the backwoods of Maine and other places good point though if it is going to break you finalcially to practice then it is not worth it to own one think of it as having one thing on hand that works but working slowly to get to what you want that is why i am saving all my pennys for a S&W 500 i got to shoot one and it was awesome but not practical i just want bragging rights with my group

        Reply
  33. I forgot to add that i too like the 9mm but it simply does not have the mass to get to the goods, thats somthing that BG tests does not show. I'll join soon and post a responce that i made on another forum.

    Reply
  34. actually here in Maine it was one of the ones that had a big shortage as well as 9mm and .45 acp but being a good prepper i had a few hundred rounds on hand anyways and i had an in at the military supply store so when they got a shipment in I got a phone call lol its good to know the owner some times.

    Reply
  35. Although your photo does show similar penetration, if you look at the width of damage from the highest to lowest points of visible damage, the .45 is almost double that of either 9 mm round.

    IMHO, the .40 provides the best compromise in price and damage done to target

    Reply
  36. Not that anyone would question him, but also being in the service, I have done my homework on what weapons I use and the military is currently debating switching back to a .45 for this exact reason. Now instead of Moro pirates being hyped up on drugs, it's suicide attackers who are trained and determined to take out as many soldiers as possible before they finally go down themselves.

    Reply
  37. -1 the 45 was used in nam to stop them lil fools from running a 9 would go through and the 45 would stop them dead in there tracks the 45 is a body stopper it catches more flesh and actually can and will knock someone or something down i should know ive been shot with one the thing threw me to the ground…………..i will never take my ex shooting again

    Reply
    • You, sir, are an idiot. Not only do you apparently not practice adequate gun safety that resulted in you being shot, you also have no grasp of elementary physics. If you drop after being shot, it's due to debilitating physical trauma or a psychological response, not due to any impact delivered by the bullet. If a handgun had the power to knock someone down, it would also knock down the firer (particularly if, as in this case, it was a lighter individual… unless your ex is a big fatty).

      Reply
      • I don’t think you know what your talking about there, boss… If you want to talk about “knockdown” power, your talking about sheer torque. With a .45 hydra shok putting about 550 ft-lbf into whatever object it hits, I’m pretty sure its putting someone on the ground. On the flip side of things, I’ve seen a man get put on his back by a 9 mm fmj that puts out roughly 1/3 of that force. For a little clarity, if a punch in the chest can knock someone down, why would you think a .45 or 9 mm round wouldn’t?

        Reply
        • Actually, the recoil felt by the shooter is slightly greater than the impact felt by the target because of wind resistance slowing the velocity of the bullet while en route to the target. Remember, Newton’s third law states: “To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction: or the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary par…”

          Oh nevermind OH YEAH U DON’T KNOW CUZ THAT .45 LEAD WILL BLOW YOU OFF YOUR FEET AND THROUGH A WALL IF YOU GET HIT BY IT!

          Reply
      • The explanation to some extent, is due to the frontal mass area (M subfa) of the projectile, The design charicteristic of the projectile, Angle of attack of the projectile, Velocity-pitch-yaw, Distance, Etc, Etc. Not to mention the mental status of the individual being shot.

        Reply
    • You are correct. The kick (recoil) one experiences upon discharging a weapon is, roughly, what an individual would experience when struck by the projectile from the fired weapon. For example: Upon discharge, The individual firing a particular weapon would percieve aproximatley(sic) 12Ft/lbs of “kick” (recoil) energy. The individual struck by the projectile would feel roughly, 12Ft/lbs of energy. There are many variables to this equation. This is of course, extremly oversimplified explanation.

      Reply
    • When ever I consider the pros and cons of the 45 and 9mm, I remember that the 9mm and 38 special are pretty close in performance. Now the 38 special was once the standard sidearm calibor for the US military untill we started fighting a dirty little war in the Philipeans troups kept having to shoot enemy combatants five or six times untill they would stop. After this the military adopted the 45 which performed so well that the military used the 45 untill just before Operation Desert Shield/ Operation Desert Storm in 91. I am personally not a fan of the 9mm because of its tendency to over penetrate. It would be a real shame if I killed a real bad guy defending my home and then found out later that one of my bullets went through the bad guy, a few walls and stopped in some inocent person. Because the 45 is larger and moves slower this is less likely to happen. So being that I live in an apartment, Ill stick with my 45.
      Plus, I know that there are a lot of bad guys sitting in prison today who survived being shot by police using 9mm multiple times. On the other hand, there are not many crooks out there who have survived being shot by law enforcment officers using 45s.

      Reply
      • Glad someone finally mentioned the 38 and revolver rather than a semi-auto. My favorite is 357 revolver; can't jam as far as I know, relatively small/light; ammo is reasonable (can use 357 and/or 38). I have standarized on it for home/self defence; car, three places in my home. Just a thought.

        Reply
      • Completely wrong. The .38 Special has less than half the energy of the 9mm. Also on ballistic tests, .45 has show to have a greater penetration in walls by using x-rays than .40 or 9mm.

        Reply
        • That may be true in the occasion if you miss with a .45 but if a round weighing about 200 grains moving at 800 fps when that slug makes contact with soft tissue all of that conetic energy will disperce into the soft tissue and the 9mm being 130 grains moving at 1900 fps will be more likely to hit penetrate your intended target and over penatrate.

          Reply
          • 130 grains @ 1900 fps for 9mm? This is way off- standard 9mm Nato is around 1190 fps for a 124 FMJ. 9mm is better if you dont reload or cat afford to shoot .45. You SHOULD be shooting regularly anyways. 45 is better .01% of the time when there is a life or death situation and you need to stop an aggresor. 9MM is better 99.99% of the time at the range and EDC.

        • If you’re going to try and sound like you know what you’re talking about, at least know how to spell….lol. Caliber is not the answer, shot placement is the key to defending against any attacker who’s intending on taking your life or the life of your family.

          Reply
    • For survival I will not carry either for at least a full year after it hits the fan because I will be using subsonic 22lr just as I do now nothing can beat it’s weight speed or kill power because the idea of a gun is to place the entire force of the projectile inside the target. That’s how you kill something with a fire arm and 22 does not penetrate. I have responded to a call were a baby was shot in the leg by a 22 and because it didn’t penetrate the projectile traveled up the leg and corkscrewed in the chest cavity. Exactly what I want In a survival situation not to mention that 22subsonic is the only round that can be truly scilenced and I prefer to not give away my position to others when I am hunting or raiding the rest of your camps to jack all your fun survival toys although I will have to switch eventually because it is pretty much impossible to hand load 22 rounds so eventually I’m going to run out and have to take up a 45 because I dont like my projectiles energy being waisted on exit wounds and I can hand load hollow point in 45 pretty easy

      Reply
  38. Former army ranger. Over in the sandbox I shot a guy twice in the chest with our 9mm beretta's…did not stop him. Required a headshot to finish.

    Adrenaline will initially get someone through a lot of trauma/pain. This cannot be overlooked. As important as range training is, you can never simulate a person's will to live. If you're using a 9mm under stress, I'd suggest shooting for failure…two to the chest, one to the head if needed.

    Springfield XD in .40 with 4in barrel is my personal choice.

    Reply
    • Equalizer,

      You couldn't have said it better. Everyone has their choice of gun and caliber but if you don't practice it really doesn't matter. I'd be more scared of someone who is a surgeon with a .22 than a nobody with a .45

      Reply
      • Body armor will stop a .45 round just as easily as a 9mm. As far a pistol rounds go, bigger is not better when it comes to body armor. In response to Nate, educate me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the military use NATO type rounds? From my understanding military ammo isn't even in the same ball park as self defense rounds and hollow points. My point being that even with an adrenaline rush, a double tap to bad guy's chest with good hollow points is going to leave two golf ball size holes through this guy and the enternal damage should be enouugh to at the very least neutralize the threat.

        Reply
  39. Former army ranger. Over in the sandbox I shot a guy twice in the chest with our 9mm beretta's…did not stop him. Required a headshot to finish.

    Adrenaline will initially get someone through a lot of trauma/pain. This cannot be overlooked. As important as range training is, you can never simulate a person's will to live. If you're using a 9mm under stress, I'd suggest shooting for failure…two to the chest, one to the head if needed.

    Springfield XD in .40 with 4in barrel is my personal choice.

    Reply
    • Also, in a shtf situation, you're going to have to think about dealing with an aggressor(s) wearing body armor. Kevlar even without plates will stop 9mm rounds cold, with little physical trauma.

      In my opinion, you just flat out need the firepower of a larger caliber in a handgun, even with all it's cons. It has nothing to do with being "Macho", it's the simple truth that a larger caliber handgun incapacitates a human faster. Those people shoot back, ya know, I don't care how well you can group. Need a caliber that will at-least hit with enough force to ruin their sight-picture.

      Reply
      • that is all true Nate but for the time being and the economey the way it is you need to have something even if it is for hunting game its better to have the smaller caliber and still be able to fill your stomach than it is to have nothing cause you could not affored it some food for thought.

        Reply
      • I agree with the light. I have a Maverick 88 myself. With a fold over stock, shell holder on stock light/laser combo, and two point sling I have spent less than $350 on mine over the years(ammo not included). The folding stock makes it more maneuverable for home defense, and is still comfortable enough to take to the range and shoot clays. The light and laser make snap shooting more accurate in the dark. Plus, unlike most home defense shotguns, the 88 comes in 7+1 capacity standard. Great gun!

        Reply
    • I was no Army Ranger or portrayed one. But I was an 11b. Yes after two pumps to the chest it is possible that the target could still be kicking… We where trained two in the chest and one in the head… I thought a ranger would lean more to a 1911, considering there accuracy. I chose a springfield xdm as my day to day carry. But if a shtf type senario ever hit I have a 1911 due to its accuracy and availability of parts and swap etc…

      Reply
  40. Re: Zip ties.

    The multi size zip ties you can buy cheap in the plastic cylinder at the hardware store are junk for long term use. Consider the type used in the HVAC trade They are made of a better grade of plastic and much tougher. Some have a mechanism for releasing the tie for reuse. Same thing goes for duct tape and I guess anything in life. If it's junk in everyday life imagine it's worthlessness in a survival situation. You get what you pay for!

    Reply
    • mwarren,

      you make several good points for a survival gun. I'm not planning on heading out with ONLY a 9mm or .45, but I was just opening the discussion to see what people thought.

      A .22 is one of the best all around survival rounds available in my opinion.

      A pump action shotgun seems like only a fraction more weight for a lot more capability than a single shot for me though. But of course what ever suits you is what you should take.

      Reply
      • Lucas, After I posted I did have seconds thoughts about saying "poor choices." .45 or 9mm are not "poor choices" (I have both). As you accurately pointed out at the beginning of the discussion, they each have intrinsic pros/cons. And if I was "bugging in" for an extended period, I would use either one as a backup for my M1 Garand and AK-47.

        I was torn between the single-shot and pump for a long-term on-foot survival bug-out. I went with the 12 gauge single shot because it is very lightweight, very reliable when dirty, easily loaded in the dark, and simple to operate under stress. All said, if I had to make it on one gun, a 12 gauge pump would be my hands down pick. It is a very affordable all around tool.

        Reply
  41. Another alternative to the window punch would be for someone to add a "Bust a Cap" end to their Mag-Lite (and they make them for other lights as well). They are specifically made for breaking windows and probably wouldn't even be noticed by people unless they knew exactly what they were and in that case they'd probably have one too!

    Reply
  42. Fact: Mountain Men died usually in their late 30's – the reason is that they exhausted their material forms. You have to do EVERYTHING yourself, and it's very tiring. Food acquisition, preparation, preservation/storage, shelter repair/maintenance, equipment repair/production/crafting, clothing repair/production, cordage, etc., etc., etc.

    We're not even talking about security or care in the event of illness/injury.

    IMHO, SOLO = last resort. The will to live is simply not as strong as the innate need to protect and care for loved ones.

    I am a strong believer in resilient communities/tribes. Humans are pack animals, and if we resort to primitive circumstances, our survival will rely on the small collective, living as aboriginal man did.

    Reply
  43. IMHO it all comes down to what the actual scenario is. Personally I think that I will never bug out but rather try to bug in and start a community, but because every scenario is going to call for a different plan of action. I think what Dustin said is correct, that SOLO = last resort, but as survivalists and more importantly as preppers we need to be ready to grab whatever problem we may encounter by the horns and conquer it. Prepping is not just stocking up on supplies, but it is also being mentally and physically stable to do whatever it may take to survive. If survival calls for being a lone-wolf, than I will be a lone-wolf.

    Having that said, from what I have been reading, (I might eat my words) most of you are not minimalist. Most of you like some of the pleasures of civilization and would like to keep a few of those pleasures if the SHTF. Therefore the smartest plan of action would be to bug out with a group. Take for example your supplies. A group of people can carry a lot more supplies than a single person. You can break up shelter, food, water, guns, and ammo, and everyone would carry a little. This technique is and has been used by the U.S. Army for 235 years, and it is a proven system. Also, I live on a farm, and even simple tasks that must be done on a daily basis are hard to do by yourself when you are not fatigued, must less when you are tired, hungry, and trying to survive. A single person may be faster than a group, but he is just not as efficient in conserving energy when every calorie counts! Having that said If I were going solo, I would be a minimalist and like The Book of Eli and other media (i.e. Fallout 3) would be a nomad and would not try to live in one place by myself for the rest of my life. (Just my $ .02)

    You can obviously see what system I side with, but remember one thing. If any of you have ever seen the movie Defiance with Daniel Craig (I HIGHLY recommend it), you will understand that a 3-5 man group will quickly turn into 1,000 people if you are not careful!

    Reply
    • To Feeling Paranoid. I have given this a lot of thought and I have come to a tough to make decision. Many people live in the here and now without regard to the future. Instant gratification is the norm now.. My approach has become the same as when I try a piece of equipment or learn a new skill. If it's not useful it will be discarded. I was not put on this earth to carry their dead weight. Why would I struggle to support someone who won't contribute to their own well being any more than I would try to start a fire with wet matches? My attitude does not include children the elderly or sick/injured people. After all how we treat them is what makes us human.I know this sounds harsh but that's what I feel is realistic for me.If my resources are depleted/wasted on slackers how can I provide for others and myself who are trying. Survival may include surviving guilt as well!

      Reply
  44. I have been familiar with the Rule of Three (3 hours without shelter — 3 days without water — 3 weeks without food), but I was recently reminded about two more components to the Rule. 3 Seconds without Faith (It only takes a moment to give up) and 3 months without Companionship.

    I honestly can't imagine a long term survival situation that involved being a One Man Gang. Whether it is security (when do you sleep if you are the only one keeping a look out), to performing regular tasks and chores (how many times is it going to be helpful to have an extra hand or two)… to emergency/first aid — what if you've been wounded (it's very helpful to have a steady hand work on areas of your body that you can't quite reach).

    Reply
  45. I find this debate a non starter. Firearms are tools. What's the job? .45s are more devastating on impact in the intended range. 9s are faster but smaller. 40s are a good choice as it has speed and a good punch. I agree with the earlier gentleman when he mentioned a hand gun being a backup to a shotgun and that being a back up to a rifle. I am old fashioned as I was trained with a 1911. I find depending on the situation I think I'm likely to encounter I either carry a .40 or a .45. I'd use a 9 if it was in reach and I needed a hand gun……any gun you have with you is better than the one left behind!

    Reply
  46. Dustin,
    sounds like we are in pretty much the same boat. My wife is starting to get the message though. I am considering more and more about how to shelter in place regardless of the situation. You're right about preparing for multiple situations as I think a lot of people have forgotten what can happen to the best laid plans of mice and men.

    Reply
  47. Go with the group, think of them as self tending protein… Just kidding.

    This is something I've thought a lot about as I'm not really a group or people person, but if there was some sort of really big collapse I can't see being completely solo as working out very well.

    Reply
    • ask any man who is in a gun fight if he would trade his current gun for something smaller and i think you will come out with a similar answer.

      the best gun for a gun fight is the biggest gun you can safely and accurately fire. a 9mm just cannot match the stopping power of a .45, and a .45 just not as a concealable or mobile.

      if i had to choose i would go with the .45, in a gun fight whoever walks away is the winner and i think having a large knockdown round like the .45 stacks the odds in my favor.

      Reply
      • You can get more rounds on target with a 9mm than you can with a .45 ACP in less time. With handgun rounds, you need to hit the right spots in the chest, the spine, or head to stop your target cold. A 9mm round will incapacitate your target with one round if you hit these areas, just like a .45. The difference is, with the 9mm you can also dump your entire clip while staying on target. That’s much harder to do with the .45.

        The 9mm round weights half as much, and offers twice the capacity. There’s a much wider variety of available loads and rounds, including +p, +p+, as well as fmj steel core armor piercing rounds if you need to shoot through several doors for some reason.

        9mm, a shotgun, and a rifle.

        Reply
    • I did a little looking around and it seems they haven't been produced for quite some time and are pretty hard to find.

      That's really a shame because it would be the perfect survival gun. Apparently they even used to sell cylinder conversion kits for Smith and Ruger for ~$200 wow that would be awesome!

      Reply
  48. Personally I feel that nothing beats a good .22 preferably a high standard or S&W revolver. Why a .22? low recoil, yes they are deadly (humans, animals, etc.) the ammo is SMALL, a brick contains 500 rounds, and its the size of brick. but I know that some people what a handgun with more power then a good ole .22 so I say why choose just one caliber? get the MEDUSA model 47 its capable of firing 25 different cailbers from a .38, 9 mm, all the way to .357 mag, hell I have even shot .30 carbine rounds in mine.
    http://www.kitsune.addr.com/Firearms/Revolvers/Me

    Reply
    • Blindgibbon,

      .22's are a great all around survival round. Before the 2008 elections you could buy a 550 brick of Federal for $13.00 at walmart.

      That Medusa is very cool by the way.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Reply
  49. @ Swagger: That is an excellent point (about availability of parts). Probably a lot more .45 ammo out there to find than .40 as well.

    I do love the 1911 but I can match the accuracy with my XD (ok, not quite, but the group is close enough). I choose the XD because in a speed drill I can group much faster with it.

    @ Caine30: That's a good point, too (although I'd never hunt with a handgun). Every team should have at least one .22 with tons of ammo.

    @ Lucas:

    "I always always always say – Anything worth shooting once is worth shooting twice. Plain and simple."

    Yes sir.

    Reply
  50. Excellant discussion.

    I have to repeat some things that have already been said – here or elsewhere.

    1. 9mm versus .45 – pick that which you are most comfortable with
    2. 9mm provides and obvious advantage in capacity – if you are carrying and anticipate your environment will provide mutiple targets – the 9mm would be my choice. If the situation is public carry and the possibility of walking in on a "robber" in a conveinance store – I would trade the capacity of a 9mm for the stopping power of a 45 ACP
    3. Accuracy is more important than the bullet size. If you miss your target – it doesn't matter what caliber you use
    4. This debate will neve end – and I hope it doesn't.

    Thanks – Rourke

    Reply
    • Rourke,

      Good wrap up.

      This debate has been raging since both calibers were invented I imagine and definitely since the beginning of the internet, haha. It's always divisive on message boards.

      Reply
  51. Just wanted to chime in on this one…

    9mm
    The energy of this cartridge is capable of imparting remote wounding effects known as hydrostatic shock in human-sized living targets. The existence of this phenomenon was debated in the 1980s and early 1990s. However, recent publication of human autopsy results has demonstrated brain hemorrhaging from fatal hits to the chest with 9mm bullets.

    45 APC
    The wounding potential of bullets is often characterized in terms of a bullet's expanded diameter, penetration depth, and energy. Bullet energy for .45 ACP loads varies from roughly 350 to 500 ft·lbf (470 to 680 J). It has been shown that bullets transferring over 500 ft·lbf (680 J) of energy in 12 inches of penetration can produce remote wounding effects sometimes called hydrostatic shock

    Taken from wikipedia

    Both rounds will do the same thing if you suck less @ shooting, hit what you need to hit the first time..

    The main point would be what weapon system do you like, all weapons have a different feel to a different user, I prefer my Ruger SR9 over the G17, the grip feels better so I'm more apt to carry it. And along those lines I can shoot my G17 all day over my G21 due to the recoil, the G17 9mm is easier to handle on the wrist, my G21 .45 is a beast.. However the 1911 has enough weight to make the 45 manageable.. Then again you get into firepower loadouts, my SR9 will carry 17+1 stock, the 1911 I have is a single stack 7+1… you tell me, I would like the extra rounds on hand IMO.

    Also you have to think about parts and supply's if your getting into this. the 9mm is a newer round but readily available in mass.

    The 45 is a older round has been around for years, so also in good supply..

    the .40 S+W is pretty new and anybody who has been shooting knows, the weapon system maybe great but if you can't find ammo its a really cool paper weight. Last election the "scare" when though the public and ammo was cleaned out.. for everything and if you could find it you paid for it…

    So it goes down to personal preference, if you like the weapon you have you will get the ammo it dictates. However both will do the same type of dmg listed above.

    I would suggest starting the thread about AK-47 vs the AR-15… that might get a few comments.

    and also, remember just cause its from or in the military doesn't mean its good, just that it's made by the lowest bidder.

    Reply
    • Device,

      Wow, lot of good info there.

      -SR9 – Great Gun!

      -As for the AR/AK debate….well I've been saving that one because it's going to be a big one. But it's definitely coming.

      Thanks for commenting

      Reply
      • Found this from a FBI report on Handguns.

        The often referred to "knock-down power" implies the ability of a bullet to move its target. This is nothing more then momentum of the bullet. It is the transfer of momentum that will cause a target to move in the response to the blow received. "Isaac Newton proved this to be the case mathematically in the 17th Century, and Benjamin Robins verified it experimentally through the invention and use of the ballistic pendulum to determine the muzzle velocity by measurement of the pendulum motion."

        Goddard amply proves the fallacy of "Knock-down power" by calculating the heights (and resultant velocity) from which a one pound weight and a ten pound weight must be dropped to equal the momentum of 9mm and .45 ACP projectiles at muzzle velocities, respectively. The Results are revealing. In order to equal the impact of a 9mm bullet at its muzzle velocity, a one pound weight must be dropped from a height of 5.96 feet, achieving a velocity of 19.6 fps. To equal the impact of a .45 ACP bullet, the one pound weight needs a velocity of 27.1 fps and must be dropped from a height of 11.4 feet. A ten pound weight equals the impact of a 9mm bullet when dropped from a height of 0.72 inches ( velocity attained is 1.96 fps), and equals the impact of a .45 when dropped from 1.37 inches (achieving a velocity of 2.71 fps).

        A bullet simply cannot knock a man down, if it had the energy to do so, then equal energy would be applied against the shooter and he too would be knocked down. This is simple physics, and has been known for hundreds of years. The amount of energy deposited in the body by a bullet is approximately equivalent to the being hit with a baseball. Tissue damage is the only physical link to incapacitation within the desired time frame i.e., instantaneously.

        This should settle issues of "knock-down power" at this point is personal preference and ammo loadouts.

        Reply
  52. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that Americans carried the Colt 1911 in .45 acp and the Germans carried the Walther P38 in 9mm parabellum.

    fun fact: GI's nicknamed the walter p38 the "can opener" Why? because the military designation given to the disposable can opener in ever pack of C-rations was…you gussed it, P-38

    Reply
  53. its basically the same round. Theres not even a whole .5 mm shaved off the .40 cal from a 10mm. so that doesn't make much sense to me. The comment *a feminized version* is just goofy. theres hardly any diff. On top of anything, a 10mm isn't the most prominant round to find…and as we're talking about a SURVIVAL round, i'd talk against the 10mm. its fun to shoot in general tho.

    As far as the actual topic goes, a .40 cal Hollow point works for me. I have a 9mm, .40, and .45 plus a couple others not mentioned in this topic. A .40 cal hollow point will deff get the job done. The Springfield XDm .40 holds 16 +1 rounds which is plenty. and its not to heavy. that'd be my personal choice.

    As far as the topic rounds…i'd prolly go with a 9mm hollowpoint. have no prob with puttin two shots in something or someone.
    In a survival situation, i would go for power, but also capacity. we're not talkin concealed carry, for that i use a compact. we're talkin about surviving. its diff in my mind.

    Anyway…great topic. thanks for posting it.

    just my two cents.

    Reply
  54. for 100 years (more than ANY other weapon) the organization MOST conserned about and spent the most money on this subject (the military) chose the 45acp.

    Reply
  55. I prefer the 9mm simply for cost and recoil. I also believe that in a ptshtf scenario, 9mm may be more easily found than .45. Just remember that any handgun is you last line of defense. They are called sidearms for a reason, because they are not a primary weapon.

    Reply
  56. Some have commented that LE has been trending towards the .40 S&W. If you'll ask an officer that carries a .40 S&W what caliber their department used to have was, most will say 9mm. This shows that LE has increased the size of the round. Also, most SWAT and Special Forces units carry .45's regardless of what is the norm in their department/military branch.

    Reply
  57. The debate will go on forever……and ever……..

    Whether I have a 9mm or a 45ACP – as long it is a pistol that I feel comfortable with – have practiced wih and I know is reliable – I will take either one.

    I currently have a S&W M&P9 – and love it. BUT – I still plan to purchase a Taurus PT1911 45ACP. Why? Because I love the 1911 as well.

    Take care –
    Rourke

    Reply
  58. i have handguns in all 3 cals a beretta m9 police trade in, a Springfield armory 1911, and a gock 22. personally i shoot the 1911 beater. the recoil is not as bad as its cracked up to be and i reload so its very affordable. so the 45 is my personal choice. the 9mm is very controllable and im sure can git the job done. ive shot 45 for so long 9mm feels like a 22 to me. glock 22 in 40 is not really worth it other than ammo being available. and im likely going to git rid of it soon. revolvers are good choices because less can go wrong with them. it comes down to this. with a 9mm you have to be accurate to be effective 45 you have to be accurate because in most cases you only have 8 to 10 rounds to git the job done.

    that being said there are a lot of newer hand guns that take double stack mags in 45 normally 15 rounds in a mag so ill stick to 45.

    Reply
  59. There are alot of factors to take into consideration, in my case my round of choice is the .45 Long Colt—the simpler the better—that round fits into my Revoler, my rifle, and the Taurus Judge .45–4/10 pistol. .45 long colts pack ALOT of power, especially when reloaded the way i like them. Another factor to think about is the intimidation factor, when you pull a smaller pistol out, there may be a doubt as to whether you have a BB gun or a water pitsol, pulling a 45 leaves no room for doubt and can often stop a situation without ever being fired. Really it boils down to a personal preference but bigger is better IMO. Getting a flesh wound with a 9mm would suck, but getting a "flesh wound" from a 45 would make limbs disappear. Really love the website, new to this kind of thing , look forward to bouncing ideas with u guys. Take care and stay prepared—–Rigante

    Reply
  60. I shoot and own both a 9mm and a .45acp I'm good with both my 9mm is a taurus pt99 and the pt1911. both have never let me down. but i have to agree with dustin that if i'm down to using my pistol something in the plan has gone horribly wrong. But if thats the case practice makes perfect.

    Reply
  61. a nine is nice but damn i love my 45 !!! ive never had the pleasure of looking down the wrong end of a 45 but im thinking …… freight train tunnel !!!!

    Reply
  62. a nine is nice but damn i love my 45 !!! ive never had the displeasure of looking down the wrong end of a 45 but a train tunnel comes to mind !!!!! blam !blam ! blam !

    Reply
  63. I like the 9mm because it also works in my 9mm carbine (which increases the effectiveness about 15%). Plus I use a .357 mag leg gun and have a .357 mag lever action. 2 pistols, 2 rifles and only 2 loads. Both can be shot by my wife in the rifle and the 9mm handgun (I use a Kel-Tec 911 which is very inexpensive and never jams). While this might not be part of the discussion I think it needs to be noted; todays 9mm ammo is far more effective than it was even 5 years ago. One shot stops should be the norm within handgun (21ft. or less) range. I can hit an 8 in plate out to 25 meters with both pistols, but the fact is that for anything farther than 21ft I am going to be using the rifle if I get a choice.

    Reply
  64. If I had to have one, it would be the 9mm. Since its a 9mm it would also be a Glock 17. Great gun. Can stock repair parts and fix it your self. The 9mm would be better for all of the women folk i have to contend with. Also some of the younger ones could learn on it. Also in the TEOTWAWKI world could pick up more rounds from thugs, cops, ex-military, many more people carry the 9mm then any other round. Side NOTE to PCW. thanks for that info on the 357 Ruger Blackhawk. I never thought of that.

    Reply
  65. There is NOTHING wrong with 9mm as most would argue. Simple reason for being pro 9mm. Being in law enforcement I have seen, first hand, on many occasions, the destruction 9mm can do to the human body. It gets the job done. No argument.

    Reply
  66. I'm a big enthusiast for the .45 APC I love the weight and power and the brute damage it does. I'm such an enthusiast I have a Para Ordinance 14-45 hi cap pistol and a BAZ45 (AR45) rifle with 30 round .45 cal magazines. they're Great!

    Reply
  67. 45 ACP …no contest. I have both and while the 9mm offers more shots, shot placement is everything. the 9 takes 3 or 4 shots to equal the 45 for stopping capacity. Plus, try to kill a bear using a 9mm 🙂

    Reply
    • Thank you. If each bullet were to hit the same exact spot, which one is going to be more devastating? Shot placement allows guys who own a 9mm or are terrible shots with a .45 the justification for there argument. Look at a bullet wound from each and then tell me how shot placement in the exact same spot matters one bit. Shot placement in the eact same spot form a .45 is superior and guys who use the shot placement defense are trying to drift from the obvious reality IMO. Again, the question is, which bullet will cause more damage or kill some one easier? It's not about shot placement, more bullets and and other deversionary tactic. Which bullet is the most powerful and likely to cause the most damage? Guys stop the BS and see the reality here.

      Reply
  68. Why does it have to be one or the other? 🙂 People tend to think about this debate in very black and white terms. Phillips or flat-head? Which is better? Guns are tools. Different tools for different jobs.
    My concealed carry weapons are not my open carry wepons. Its a lot easier to carry a .38 snubby under my jacket than my glock 21. So for concealed carry a .38 or .357 or a 9mm is logistically a better round. WSHTF I have my Kriss carbine glock 21 combo. Same caliber same mags= more ammo I can carry. I think a good rule of thumb is to carry as much gun as you can and still effectively shoot it. Bottom line: Its your life. Your choice.

    Reply
  69. I am now looking at the .357 mag round for the following reason. It only takes one ammo to fit both the sidearm and rifle. It also has great knockdown power as a defensive weapon and for hunting

    Reply
    • Few families are able/willing to relocate to a remote retreat, waiting for an undetermined amount of time, for any one of a variety of scenarios.

      Many think they will either have time to GOOD or have optimistic perceptions of bugging in. The fact of the matter is nobody knows what will happen. We have history to guide us, but there is no crystal ball. It may be another Pompeii, Katrina, 9/11, or global financial collapse, 2012, etc.

      I think most people are grossly under or un-prepared anyway. Those that are prepared, may or may not have well-rounded preps or action/contingency plans to handle a multitude (or compounded) scenarios anyway. Even in JWR's "Patriots," the group ended up bugging out of their stronghold! Most preps have the same mindset of people under seige – frankly, an aggressor/gang can simply put a torch to your house and wait for you to come out.

      I live in Hurricane Alley and we have hurricane/flood preparations as well as readiness to handle time off-grid when we have ice storms, etc. It is a "spouse supported, but not endorsed" effort, so I have basic supplies, decent training, etc., but not carte blanch to go out and get solar panels, generators, etc. or detach from the grid directly and homestead in suburbia. Doesn't make sense to do that, really.

      You have to do what you can. The best preps you can make are between your ears, as resiliency and the ability to improvise, adapt and overcome trumps most gear preps or materiel hoarding.

      That's my $.02

      Reply
  70. carried both 1911 and m9 at various times. prefer .45! worked in e.r. 15 years, saw many GSW. lots of fatalities from .22's, true, both ends. lots of people walked in with .357, .38, 9mm holes. never saw one walk in with any hit anywhere from .41 or better.

    Reply
  71. Bottom line: Cant win a gun fight without a gun. Anything is better than nothing. Just keep that in mind when it comes to application. I prefer .45 over 9mm and have a setup that reflects that but ther is something to be said for 9mm as its the most common police/military round in the world.

    Reply
  72. Now that I have 3 45's and have lugged each of them at various times through the woods to grandma's house, I would have to say a 9mm looks attractive. I never really put much thought or planning into the bug out theory or SHTF, because if I had I wouldn't have 3 45's and a ton of ammo that weighs as much as a car. Both a 9mm and a 45ACP will do what they were intended to do in the right hands. Remember, most people will run at the site of any gun pointed at them unless they want to die. When I stub my toe in the middle of the night it hurts and I am thinking the same would be true whether I am shot with a 9mm or a 45.

    Reply
  73. I think when it's all said and done, you have to go with what you're comfortable with. My personal preference is 9mm, it just is. Namely because I see a handgun as a way to create space between myself and an offender until I get to a shotgun.

    A tactical shooting instructor told us once "Let's face it folks….getting shot [email protected]#$%^& hurts" meaning ideally you want a center mass double tap, but hitting a shoulder, knee, neck, hand, ankle anything to get some distance.

    We could debate the ins and outs of every round made, to me, a handgun is simply a way of me teaching an offender healthy boundaries.

    Reply
    • "We could debate the ins and outs of every round made, to me, a handgun is simply a way of me teaching an offender healthy boundaries. "

      Well said.

      Reply
  74. Personally, I have no use for a 9mm… as most old timers would agree, a 9mm is just a .45 on stun. For concealed carry, I like the .40 S&W. Open carry I prefer the .45.

    Reply
    • Based on an FBI study- The difference between the ballistics of a 9mm and .45 are minuscule. You could shoot +P+ rounds out of your 9mm and get the same if not better ballistics out of a 9mm as you would the .45. (mm is also less intimidating (for shooter) than other rounds. Speaking from my experience as a Marine and Military Police officer,. and Range Safety Officer- Handguns suck in general for killing people, so accuracy is a must. I personally dislike .40 because they, for the most part, tend to be very "snappy". Why shoot a .40 with horrible recoil when I can shoot a 9mm and get a group the size of a half dollar at 5 yards. I personally carry a 1911 .45 (Because that is what Im used to carrying, the 1911 trigger is superior, and if you miss with a 1911 your just a bad shot LOL). All this being said, it is a lot of personal preference, so the question is- WHAT ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH?

      So in conclusion- avoid .40 because of recoil, avoid .380 because overall they are unreliable (and why? just why would you shoot it and not 9mm??), and if your looking at less weight, less intimidation on the shooter, higher mag capacity, superior ballistics due to more accurate double taps- SHOOT A 9MM!!!

      Knock down power? Please, this isn't Hollywood. That just doesn't happen- They either drop or they don't.

      All this being said my .45 is just to get to my truck so I can get something a little more serious.

      Reply
      • Apparently you have not shot a HK USP or P30 in .40 cal or you wouldn't make that comment. You being a military vet, thanks for your service and sacrifice. I am a ret Navy officer and will leave the details off the subject. One, I, like yourself don't believe in manipulating anyone to drink my cool-aid so what round people choose they need to be able to understand the pros and cons. Shoot what you are most comfortable with but don't go cheap on the weapon that your life might be depending on. Kinda like the saying don't put junk glass on the rifle you chose to protect life and property. I am not a HK fan boy, I am a fan boy of what has kept me on the right side of the grass. I own a ton a weapons but one area that has been imprinted on my very being is my side arm is the weapon I use to fight back to my rifle. The HK pistols I own in .40 cal shoot with less recoil than any other side arm I own in 9mm and any other manufacture on the market. I know this because I like I said I own a ton of weapons 9's 40's and 45's and have shot just about every other modern semi-auto pistol available. Compared to just the HK P30 alone, no 9mm came close to having less recoil than the P30 or USP. I carried the USP.40 as my side arm while in the military and countless deployments and chose it over the other semi-auto combat pistols available to us. If you have ever been in combat and had to rely on your sidearm you are more likely to understand the reason my team chose the .40 specifically the USP .40. The .40 has either caused the necessary change bad behavior of the enemy or they are no longer with us. I don't need to explain the shot placement is key, everyone that owns a weapon should understand that firearms 101 aspect. Ok, Verda_Tal I wasn't really singling you out, I just stopped after reading down to your comment so don't take a personal. If you knew me you would understand that I love the Marines and have nothing but respect for those who served and have kept me above ground several times.

        Reply
  75. I carry a glock 19 (with a aftermarket silencer) with two 15 round cartridges on me, i used to have a 45 but gave it up since it cost so damn much.

    If after I go through my Savage, my Henry, my Benelli, and Im finally at my Glock, I won't worry to much about the calibre as much as i will of putting as many holes in them as I can, as fast as I can, with as much accuracy as I can manage.
    With a 9mm I can put a JHP in a moving target at thirty yards far better than I could with the 45, enough that I feel it mroe than compensates for the lesser stopping power.

    Reply
  76. Own both the big and the little, and both will kill you; what it takes is hitting the target – 2 in the chest cavity will make for a short confrontation. A lot depends on the ammo used; Cor-Bon Personal Defense(example) loads will get a round through heavy clothing before expansion begins(more crucial with the 9 than the 45). Also, weapons like Para's double column 1911's or the XD/XDm all but eliminate the round count disparity. That said, I like them both. BTW, while my wife is small in stature, she handles the 1911 just fine because she's not afraid of it.

    Reply
  77. I'll take the 45 any day in real world if you have to use 17 rounds you might need to go back to the range and pratice…. you are not fighting a whole army of thugs

    Reply
      • Sorry… that was way off topic. Just my first instinct when I read that comment. I like both 45 and 9. My father keeps a swee 45 Long Colt in the bedstand. He’s very good with it despite single action. I keep a G19 in mine. Right next to the S&W 642 and 36-2. But Im eyeballing a XD 45acp compact right now. There’s no right answer so I’ll collect em all. Ps- Norinco SKS and Winchester 1892 stay in the closet, real close by. :o)

        Reply
  78. I'm an average sized female and I prefer the 9mm, my dad prefers a .45. But he says that even a .22 in the hands of a good shot will be just as effective. To quote, "Nobody likes holes!" I think that you should choose what your comfortable with and then get really good with that choice. It doesn't do you any good to buy a big gun and then never practice with it. Perfect Practice Makes Perfect! Simply shooting at a huge paper target isn't good either. I would recommend taking a tactical handgun course that teaches you how to move behind cover, shoot while moving, shooting while drawing your handgun, transition to a rifle, etc. You should also practice at least once a week. You don't have to burn ammo like there's no tomorrow, but you should get a few rounds in for a set of techniques to keep you fresh. This skill is too precious and fragile to learn and then hide in the closet.

    Best Wishes!

    Reply
  79. I once asked a well respected firearms expert what was the best best type of gun to have a 9mm or a .45. what he told me is what i have passed on to others, the best one is the one you are comfortable shooting and can hit the target with. Because the calibur doesn't mean a thing if you can't hit what you're aiming at.

    From my military experince any handgun regardless of calibur is considered a defencive or back-up weapon where as a long gun (rifle/shotgun) is considered an aggressive weapon.

    I currently own two 9mm's but I'm planning on buying a Gen 4 Glock 22 (.40) as soon as I can afford it as well as a remmington 870 shotgun and an M-4 version of the AR-15. hopefully I will have what I need when it comes to that time. but 9mm or .45 for me I say 9mm mostly for control reasons.

    Reply
  80. there are a lot of very true points that have been made. I truly beleive that a gun, regardless of caliber, is only as good as the hands holding it. I personally have a springfield xd 9. the xd line of pistols fit my hand the best and for me, have the best natural pointability. However all else aside, long term SHTF situation, bug in or out, if i had to resort to a handgun for defense, I would want my one of my wheelguns. Many will argue that newer autos are just as reliable, that may be true, but a revolver in a well trained hand can be reloaded efficiently and if i need more than the six or eight rounds in it then im prolly screwed anyway.

    interesting debate no doubt.
    this is my first post and im really interested in the topics discussed on this site.

    Great work guys.

    Reply
  81. the main disadvantages of a 9mm is stopping power. well your not gonna be firing on armor clad targets even if you are the .45 is gonna do no better. if your worried about first shot not taking someone down well thats with all guns and you got 16 – 20 more rounds to send at em with the 9 where you have 7 – 16 with the .45. the .40 to me is just kinda showy and not really practical its ballistics are good but its got quite a snap and most have a large muzzle flash which means significant amount of wasted powder not to mention loud.

    both .45 and 9mm will do well as a defensive round it comes down a lot to the operator. ill take a 9mm all day over a .45 lighter gun an ammo, quieter, more rounds, better accuracy, cheaper rounds and just as common if not more. .40 is the redheaded stepchild go ahead an buy one it will defend ya too but i'm not.

    Reply
  82. it seems to me that you need at least one of each so you have the ability to 'collect' ammunition that you find 'laying around' but it also occurs to me that 9mm will be the most readily available of the two.

    Reply
  83. As previously stated a double tap to the chest is not always going to stop an attacker. A friend hit a home intruder twice in the chest fought with him for over 20 minutes, gouged his eyes out, and finally the intruder barricaded himself in a bathroom and died.

    We used the .45 but practiced punch, punch, tap. Two to the chest one to the head.

    I have a .40 but have problems finding rounds. Have to reload. With the .40 I would do a punch, punch, tap, tap, tap.

    I also like the .22 lr as the round is fine for small and close and easy to handle by even small kids. Bird shot round works for close rodents. With the CCI Stinger it would kick a large hole in anyone’s chest. It makes a hole the size of your head in the mud. It is a bad round.

    Reply
  84. I really do not think you have the knowledge to be making this statement ""Handguns don't really knock anything down. They just don't. I wish we would stop using that term.""

    Ya see the .45cal round was created just for that purpose… Ya see back in 1899-1902 the Philippine-American war was fought… The US was having a problem with the locals uprising, getting high on pain killing drugs and just walking through a hail of at that time .38sp rounds from officers to kill them with machette's…

    The .45cal ball round was developed to not only stop a drugged up person in their tracks, but to blow a fist sized hole through them… Now if that is not knock down power, then what is…?

    Reply
  85. .357 Sig. Nuff said!!! I have a Glock 32 that is a .357 Sig. I have a .40 barrel for it as well as a .22 conversion. 3 in 1 gun! The .357 Sig has more "knock down" than the .45 with the speed of a 9mm. It is the best round IMO next to the 10mm. Having the 3 options with one weapon like mine is a huge plus!

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  86. Im an ex-marine, 1977-1986. When dealing with human threats 45 acp all the way. I want to fire and forget, I aim center mass and use 230 grain jacketed hollow points. If i hit my target then its dealt with and I can proceed to the next threat. As far as the mag capacity, I use a FNP-45 made by FN. I a full size 45 acp 15 in the mag 1 in the pipe, with 2 spare mags. My backup pistol identical FNP-45 w/2ex mags. Have seen 9m and 38's fail to many times to bring down targets especially if influenced by drugs.

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  87. Guns are a tool.
    Tools are specialized for particular problems they are applied too. You can use a sledge to drive nails, but you are more likely to make holes in your wall. A small hammer can't break up rocks. Neither will saw a board.
    Define your problem as best you can and then select the proper tool.

    1911 rugged, accurate war tested combat small arm. But they issued Garands to the front line troops.
    9mm variety of sizes, capacity, easily concealed, but even when issued to troops in battle they preferred the .45. I still don't want to get shot with one.
    A Shot gun is a general purpose long arm. Common, easy to reload for, home defense, critter management, bird hunter, ammo flexibility. You point one in a BGs direction and they understand the threat.
    A .22 is a varmit gun and a backup. It will keep their head down but unless it's a good shot will probably not stop the BG. I still don't want to be shot with one.
    A rifle is for removing the possibility of a confrontation before they get on your property.

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  88. the 40 has more energy and higher cap than the 45. it shoots faster, harder, flater, and is used by most local, state and federal agencies.

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  89. Clearly you have never seen anyone hit with a .45 ACP. It will most assuredly knock you down. It is the most proven fight stopper of all handgun calibers.

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  90. i have have had the situation to shoot real flesh with the 40 cal ( hydrashock ) it was not pretty, i will stick with the 40 cal

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  91. Regarding your question about 147gr Winchester jhp…I have read some reports from people who spend ALOT more time than me shooting that claim you should not shoot JHP's out of a 9mm weighing 125+ due to the increased tendency to jam. From my own personal experience, I have shot 9mm Hydro-ShoK in both 124gr and 147gr flavors. The 124gr fed reliably out of my Taurus PT99, while the 147's had jamming problems. Just my experience.

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  92. i am a 45 man. out here in the sicks its better to have something that can stop what ever is coming at you. also you can hunt small game and sometimes larger game. depending on your situation. it may have a few draw backs but i think the benefits outweighs them

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  93. Well if you shoot some one with a 45 it will knock them down, however on a real note if you cant decide carry both just be ready to ditch the 45 for the 9mm because eventhough more law enforcment have transitioned to the 40 it is still more common round (9mm) for military and law enforcment, and if you need a 40 well im sure when the smoke clears your bound to run across a dead police officer and his useless peice and your ready to roll as a scavenger, on the same note shot guns are the best choice as well as a high capacity 5.56 or 7.62 very common.

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  94. Am I the only one thinking about the .44? I have the older type rifle lever action and also a pistol. I like the fact that I can interchange the rounds i just have to stockpile double the ammo. I still have the stopping power and the range in my rifle degrades just sightly using the pistol rounds.

    just my 2 bits

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  95. OHH yea I got 2 new sidearms. If SHTF I will be taking these with as well not as practical as a 9mm and .45 but still. The first one is a c96 in the 7.63 caliber and the other is the cz82 in the 9×18. And yes I am very confident in their knock down power just not their ammo availability lol.

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  96. Honestly if SHTF im pretty sure the drug market would dry up quick. Aside from the stuff you can make at home like meth, booze, and pot. meth, booze, and prescriptions would prolly be the most common for a short time until the supermarkets and pharms dried up. it is extremely simple to make beer/booze but i think after the easy access to sugars dry up so would most brewers. And pot lol well in my area it might be around longer than both those since theres so many growers.

    personally i am not worried at all about drug influenced ppl in my line of work i deal with a lot of them and im pretty sure that most of them would die off or become too weak before the drugs would even run out not a ounce of self reliance among many of the hard drug users.

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  97. I would actually stay away from the .357 sig. A couple of my friends, also in LE, use .357 sig and well it is a great round it is getting very hard to come by and very expensive to shoot. Also, the LE agencies that do use them are switching either to .40 or .45 for cost, stopping power, proven performance, etc.

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  98. i have carried a handgun for personal protection for about 15-16 years . i like both 9mm and 45acp and own a kimber custom and a glock 17 9mm i find myself carrying the glock the most because it is lighter an carries on my body better.but what it comes to reguardless of what caliber you carry,it about practice and shot placement and as far as i am concerned there is no magic bullet in any caliber

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  99. 9mm has KD power. A .22 has KD power. I personally like 9mm the best out of them all mainly because it is the first pistol I got as a kid. Like most of you know the first thing you start with tends to be your favorite.

    I have been shooting .45 for years and I do love the round though. Great all the way around. In a survival situation though I am going to go with 9mm all the way, and here are my reasons for doing so:

    My wife is more comfortable shooting a 9mm. She has an M9 and feels good shooting it. I let her shoot my 1911 and she does good with it but I can tell she is and always will be apprehensive.

    Training is easier with the 9mm. In our zombie escape plan there are going to be a few of us that meet up. Granted all of the people have a basic understanding of firearms, but for those that are just not as familiar with guns 9mm is more forgiving.

    I have an mp5.

    But in the end, I will take every gun and bullet I own. In a survival situation guns and ammo will be worth more than anything. What you would not be able to barter for you will have the ability to procure.

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  100. I know people that have a gun in every room. That's a little over the top for me, but it does reduce the time to arm yourself. The price of this collection is considerable and I feel that training, good firearms and practice is money better spent. The 9mm well placed with multiple hits is effective. I used the 1911 45 in the Coast Guard and had no doubts about the round. I carry the .40sw and find that it does fit the middle for speed of firing and price. If you can only get one round off it better count. I vote for .40 on up.

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  101. In operation Desert Storm I must have "stunned" three enemy soldiers pretty good with my Ruger P89, they are still taking dirt naps!

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  102. As a combat vet, I have two comments to make.First of all either caliber will do the job,the bad guys heart is pumping just as fast as yours.so he will bleed out really fast! second, in a survival situation you will be scavenging your supply's that includes ammo,so why just carry one caliber! my kit has a 9mm in a cross draw and a 45 in a drop leg rig and both are back ups for my M4!

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  103. Talk about your .45 testosterone poisioning… Military/police/other agencies use larger calibers because WE pay for it. That will change. This economy/these politics/changing laws/gun banners/possible FEMA camps/a president that is TRYING to bankrupt us…Its no wander why there is a run on ammo (and ARs). The 9mm is used all over the world. Parts are universal. Recoils is light. Point control is faster. Trigger reset is faster(Glock). Weight is always a factor. A bonded hollowpoint will do as much/more damage than a .45 ball round at half the cost($20-26 for 50 9mm extrema)… bullets have come a long way since WWII/Veitnam.
    Mae West once said, "its not the size of your gun…its if you can hit anything with it". My wife said, "women love a big gun…but they are afraid to touch it"…lol I got rid of my Kimbers!

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  104. I actually mentioned something about this is the Survival Carbine AR platform discussion thats also going on. I own both .45 and 9mm. I have carried both on and off duty. First Handguns do knock stuff down. If you doubt this volunteer to take a 9mm round and see how you feel after. When I reach for my pistol in the U.S.A. its a para ordnance P 14-45. It has a two round extension so with one in the pipe I have 17 rds of .45 before Im going for that next mag. Here in Durka durka-stan Its a 9mm. However as I stated in the AR forum if its the end of it all survival situation you better have a 9mm on hand and with you. The reason that 9mm rounds are so hard to come by at times is because its one of the most popular rounds in the world. People buy that stuff up like crazy. So it will be easier to come by in the long run. Having high capacity is always a plus in any caliber. Its not always about hitting a target. Sometimes its about shooting so you can move or your partner can move. If you dont have the extra rounds to do this…..you could be stuck in place, they could be moving on you, or others could be coming! I guess it goes back to how deep you will look into the SHTF . Then when you are all the way there and dont think it could possibly get any worse. Then log onto sites like this one and there is always good people such as yourselves that can put it into another perspective for you. "Fight the good Fight"

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  105. When you say practice makes perfect, you lie. Practice makes PERMANENT. You can practice the wrong thing and do it perfectly but you will still fail. I own a Bersa Thunder .380. 7 round mag made to take 8. Sanded down the follower to allow the mag holding 8 to be fulling inserted into the mag well. Not even a SHTF situation but just one that a pistol is best, practicing shot placement is your best bet for survival. But you have to know the steps that are needed to be completed before you can pull the trigger.

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  106. Even at point blank range. Start at a challanging range where you have to use a two handed grip looking down the sights to get a hit on a small target. I have a spin target that is 5'' in diameter. After about 200 rounds I can now hit it easily at about 12-13 yards. Becoming proficient at this will greatly help you hit a target 6'' in diameter (average heart and face area) in the 1-5 yard range. I'm not a crack shot, but I'm not holding a lead hose either. I also run a drill using a two handed grip rapidly firing a whole mag while trying to hold a tight of a group as possible. Getting experienced and proficient at this will greatly increase your slow fire accuracy. Pulling off rapid shots like that is too fast for you to think it through so your body learns reflexes that will take over. And what this comes down to is proper shot placement quickly. It does not matter the caliber you use, but how you use it.

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  107. Pair somebody with 3 rounds in Walther P-22 who knows how to use it and then somebody with a competition double stack 1911 that is a movie buff or just plain novice to shooting, the P-22 will win. The best gun won't do dick if you can't use it. 6 years U.S. Army with a deployment to Afghanistan, been shooting and hunting since I was 12. Everything I have said, I am no expert. I don't claim to be. This is just what I have learned. And I learned it fast when I had a chance to shoot a decent buck opening day of season and I yanked the trigger and seen bark fly from a tree 3 feet to the right of the deer. Find what works, and practice it to permanance.

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  108. 1-Situational awareness. Knowing if you may or will need to draw. 2-Drawing. A tucked shirt can slow you down, tight belt will too for those with in pants concealed holsters. 3-Aiming. Most shots with a pistol will be at short range. i.e.-Mugging. Snap shooting will work fine for getting a hit, buying time, or wounding if you have an adversion to killing. Now you are ready to pull the trigger. This should be practiced as well. Just wrapping your finger around the trigger and yanking will cause you to miss and possibly cause great colladeral damage.

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  109. This depends on a lot of factors. For most "civilian" needs revolvers are still a reasonable choice. For instance, if you were to get Ruger's .357/9mm convertible Blackhawk you'd have a weapon that could use the three most commonly available rounds out there. Granted it's a single action, but it can still put rounds accurately down range, and it's whoever gets the first *hit* in that is likely to win the fight.

    My choice for a "survival" situation is a .44 magnum revolver. It can deal with people, potentially handle large dangerous game, and possibly snag deer out to 100 yards. While it isn't something I'd want for a serious firefight, if I *knew* I was going to be getting into a firefight I'd have my battle rifle clone.

    If you're dealing with an urban environment, I'd go for the .45 ACP. In the words of a former mercenary I knew: "I've shot people with 9mm, that's why I carry a .45" .

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    • My three tour of Vietnam dad always said if he knew he was going to get in a gun fight he would be somewhere else! As someone else posted on a different thread ” A pistol is for that where did [insert least favorite predator here] come from” moment. That is the most likely role of the sidearm for me.

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  110. I own and occasionally carry a .45 but keep a .357 in my bug out kit. I can shoot .38sp or .357mag out of the same weapon and being a revolver am less inclined to spray and pray.

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  111. This "seems" like a great setup but in reality the kel tec is NOT a military grade weapon. not only that but the web is on fire about how picky the sub 2000 is with ammo. it fails repeatedly with cheaper ammo. this may or may not be able to be fixed but relying on ANY keltec in a fire fight is sure to be a death sentence- you get what you pay for. i know someone that fired at an attacker that pulled a knife on him and the weapon detonated because he had +P ammo in it.

    so lesson being: you cant use the cheap stuff because it will fail and you cant use the high performance stuff because it could injure or kill you, end result: if you cant afford a REAL weapon, your better off clubbing someone over the head with your UNLOADED keltec (all keltecs are safe in this mode) that does have a good weapon. just make sure your not trying to grab an AR, youll only be in the same boat all over again!

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    • I have a keltec subby and have never had a ftf, running the cheapest ammo possible thru it….. I take that back. I had some cheap Korean 33 round mags that failed to feed. Other than that, the weapon functioned flawlessly.

      I don't understand the snooty attitudes toward Kel Tec. I see it from the guys who think they are all that with their Kimber safe queens.

      The Sub 2000 and a glock 17 or 19 is a great combo.

      I personally carry a sig 229 .40 caliber, but my wife loves those little carbines and can shoot your eyes out at 50 yards or so.

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  112. To quote Christian Slater in Kuffs " I want a big gun that holds a lot of bullets". Having been a small arms marksmanship instructor for many years now, I have to put my support behind the 9mm. There are two reasons for this, having personally seen combat and many videos of police shootings even the most trained marksman seem to have trouble hitting a barn door thats 5 feet away when they are under duress. That being said I think the more bullets the better. The second reason is handguns are really best used for the shock factor. It doesn't matter what the caliber the gun is when it is pointed in someones face. I think the 92 is a great looking gun and is pretty intimidating.

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  113. I have both a 9mm and 40 cal. I love my 40 hands down. They both serve a specific use, in hand guns I don't think there is a all in one hand gun its just what your comfortable with.

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  114. Another consideration: just how far into the septic tank will things go and how long will they stay there? I would note that the .38 special, .357 magnum, .44 special, .44 magnum and .45 Colt (aka .45 Long Colt) all either started out as black powder rounds or were derived from black powder rounds and given longer cases so they wouldn't chamber in the earlier weapons. Therefore if one had to one could reload those cartridges with black powder and use them in revolvers without too many problems. Performance would suffer somewhat but they would still reliably put lead down range. The same can not be said for semi-automatic pistols. They'll jam too often and too badly if you attempt to substitute black powder in their ammunition for the smokeless powders that they are designed to use. Whether or not that's going to be a serious consideration down the road is debateable, but nevertheless it might be a good idea to have a revolver chambered in one of the cartridges I mentioned that you keep in reserve. There may very well come a time when the ability to keep any lead going down range may trump the arguments as to which round is "better" given modern smokeless powders and advances in bullet design.

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  115. I'm keeping my 9. Anybody who tries to make the (stupid) argument that a 9mm is not dangerous enough or potent enough is just trying to justify spending too much on the wrong gun.

    I like having more rounds in the clip, and (most importantly) it's an extremely common round no matter what country you're in. During the Great Lead Shortage of 2009 my .45 buddies were crying about scarce ammo, but I could always find 9's and if I was patient I could even find them at a good price.

    Besides, if you got to the point where you actually had to hunt with your handgun, slug size would be irrelevant. A bunny or a deer will respond just as well with either round, but you might find you wish you had more bullets to fling at something that can move that fast.

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  116. I love my 9mm, but for survival the .45 is better. It's more powerful, reliable, simple,interchangable, and feels better in the hand. Most survival meetings avoid the subject of which is the best firearm because no one will ever agree on anything. If in a group concentrate on keeping the variety of ammo down to about 3 or 4 types. You have tons of ammo and your gun breaks and no one else uses this type of ammo. What a waste.

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  117. Might as well throw in my 2 cents… The 9mm and the .40 are high pressure rounds that travel faster than the .45 ACP. The .45 wasn't designed as a high pressure load, it typically travels under 1000 fps. If you look at the reloading data in the Sierra manual you will see that the although the .45 may make you feel better because it's bigger and heavier there isn't a significant difference in muzzle energy between the 9mm and the .45. The 9mm makes up for its lighter weight in velocity. You only find a real noticeable difference with the .40. The .40 throws a heavy bullet at a high velocity and creates kinetic energy similar to a .357 magnum.

    For me personally in a teotwawki situation I want high cap mags so I can hold lots of rounds, the army thought so too when they went to the 9mm. As sexy as a $1,000 1911 is, a $450 Glock 17 is lighter, extremely dependable, and can hold lot's of ammo. If I felt that the 9mm wasn't up to the task I'd skip the .45 and step up to a .40.

    Only hits count, increase your odds by having more rounds.

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  118. If you have to pull out your handgun, as any vet who has seen combat can tell you, you are mostly screwed. 9mm, 45, 40, 357, does not matter, they are inside your perimeter and you are in deep stuff.

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  119. Can I get a citation for your definition of "stopping power"? Because your definition (force applied over time) is called "impulse".

    All this energy transfer talk has been destroyed by hard science. Humans are bags of meat with vital organs and dumping energy at the wrong spot will wound them, but may not cause a stop. Bullets are designed to cause large amounts of damage while penetrating deep enough to reach vital organs so a shot can actual cause a stop, not just wound. The most successful round, the 125 gr 357 JHP has a wound channel the shape of a football and penetrates around 14"; all rounds try to meet this standard because it causes a wound profile large enough to damage vital organs and penetrates deep enough to reach them, even through arms or an oblique angle. Not because any energy is transfered, because tissue is destroyed.

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  120. Umm, Robert, would you dare try to kill a bear with a 45???
    sure it's a bigger bullet but still…i bet you can't kill a bear with one 45 bullet 🙂

    I would rather thave a shotgun with slugs against a bear.

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  121. Keep in mind, military reports of 9mm being under-powered have more to do with the type of ammo issued. The US Military issues ammo most of us use for target practice. If you have access to quality self-defense ammo(Winchester Ranger 127 grain +P+) you'll find it performs nearly exactly like a .45acp Federal Hydra shock in ballistic gel and people. Just remember, the 9mm vs .45 debate is NOT a caliber issue, it is an ammo selection issue. No one needs convincing that a .357 is a real "Man-stopper," but they DO on occasion need reminded that a .357 Magnum IS a 9mm!! If you like a .357 Magnum, then you DO believe in the 9mm as a "man-stopper," again, it is an ammo-selection issue…NOT a caliber issue.

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  122. I prefer the .45 ACP because one saved my life in combat & yes it was 1 shot stop. I'm a physicist and the physics can't be changed – apples to apples a 45 puts more energy into a target than a 38 (9 mm). A 9mm to the heart is fatal – but it can take 14 seconds for that result – a LONG time in a gun fight. The 45 is designed to knock down the target preventing a dead man from killing you. All this being said, I carry a 45 when I can (when dress permits). Houston summers it is usually a Kel-Tec P11 in my pocket (9mm) due to weather and concealability issues. Bottom line truth – any hit, with any caliber is better than a miss with a S&W 500. Also, bottom line truth – in a real live gun fight, the biggest gun you can put your hands on and use effectively is too "expletive deleted" small! Take what you have at hand and shoot until the threat is removed or neutralized.

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  123. pcw, I'm new as well. I have a blackhawk chambered for 45Colt with a .45ACP cylinder. I also have the lever gun for .45 Colt. It is a nice combination. I like the .357 (I have an S&W model 13) as I prefer revolvers for rough country work and your mix sounds good. I like the pistol caliber rifles well enough but in the smaller calibers like 38 and 9 they can have stopping power issues against larger animals like wild pigs. That said for close in work, especially in cities, they are all you need out to 50 to 100 yards and you're not going out past that in a city.

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  124. Your point about recoil is well made. If you can't do the second shot you may just be dead. One shot stops do happen but one should never play you bet your life on it happening this time.
    Second, the holster is very important but the "draw quickly" is not so important. People do walk into draw and fire situations without warning but it should be extremely rare. If you're paying attention to your environment you probably already have your hand on your weapon when the action starts. No concealed holster is a fast draw and the more concealed the slower the draw. Control of the firearm during draw and presentation is most important, within large margin speed is secondary. Remember, you may get shot but unless it is TEOTWAWKI getting shot doesn't necessarily mean getting killed.

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  125. Not to sound trifle but to set this up a story needs to be stated. When the army went away from the .45LC it went to the .38Spc. And when we were in the Philippines we found out the flaw in this decision as the .38 would not put down the enemy. So the 1911 was created, but in the meantime troops were allowed to carry the .45LC but when they found out that the .45ACP was not going to be ready in time the army had a double-action revolver made, by Remington if i remember right. Anyway, it was essentially the .45ACP but with a flat base so as to fit into the revolver. Then the Colt1911 came along and the rest was history, as they say. Except, the powers to be, at the bequest of the rest of the NATO nations was pressured into changing to a NATO cal. weapon, and the 9mm was adopted. And as Nate pointed out the 9mm will not put down an advisory like the .45 will.
    FBI research, after their fatal shoot out in which their 9mm's failed them, showed that the 9mm was not a valid caliber in a gunfight. And the 10mm was born. That is my first choice personally and is what I feel, the true middle ground between the 9mm and the 45. Except that no one else went with the caliber and it died the death of a rag doll.
    But I have an alternative plan for you. Buy a .40 S&W, which is just as cheep to shoot, pretty much, as the 9mm and then purchase a revolver for a secondary weapon calibered in a 10mm/40S&W and you have yourself covered. I personally own all three of these and am more than satisfied.
    The true best choice though is the gun that you can shoot most accurately with the most control. And the mind set to pull the trigger if the need arises.

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    • The 10mm does not fall in between a 9mm and a .45 acp. The 10mm is much stronger than a .45 acp and so is a .40 s&w. Mass x speed = energy. The .45 acp has a slightly greater diameter than the .40 s&w but the .40 travels faster and creates more muzzle energy. The .40 is the short version of the 10mm which is even more powerful.

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    • A minor correction to your story about the 10mm auto and the .40 S&W…

      The 10mm came first. The FBI liked the idea of it specifically for greater penetration potential versus what an average civilian would likely need. After testing, they started tweaking the powder load to accommodate agents with smaller builds/less upper body strength. As I understand it, they eventually tuned down the cartridge so much that the same amount of powder could be fit into a shorter action gun as seen with the later developed .40 S&W.

      In addition to other sources, I got my info here: http://www.chuckhawks.com/40SW.htm
      and here: http://www.chuckhawks.com/beginners_stopping_powe
      Most of the readers here that seem to hold such strong opinions should read that second article whether they’re interested in .40 cal, 10mm, or none of the above…

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  126. Good point Old Scout… A firearm, no matter what caliber, how effective it is or how much you spend on it won't do you any good if when the time comes (heaven forbid) you need to use it and can't!

    As seen in survival situations throughout history, the mindset of the individual generally determines if they will survive or not. If we are TRULY committed to getting through the worst of times we have to, potentially, become something we would never consider in "normal" life.

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  127. Personally I carry a 9MM, for work and personal carry. I feel that calibre choice, shouldn't be a list of pro's & cons but your personal defence/survival should hinge on the skills you possess, to defend/survive. The 9MM works for my family because we have several pistols, but one calibre. Lots of one kind of ammo means it's getting rotated out on a regular basis as some of us use more than others do. Price is a factor too. $20 for 50 quality defence rounds, means I can carry more. Also while I'm comfortable shooting larger calibres, my wife isn't.

    I think the neglected issues are 3 fold. Training, practice and carry.

    Training. Whatever the calibre, some decent instruction works wonders. Both for defence and for safety. Do it. You're more likely to stop your target if you know how/where to hit it.

    Practice. Expanding on the training. Pick it up. Shoot it. Repeat. Do what you've been shown so that you're comfortable doing what you've been shown.

    Carry. The most overlooked part of the calibre equation. You actually have to carry the pistol with you as often as possible. If you need it, it's no good locked up in the safe at home.

    We can argue calibres until the cows come home. We all have our preference on what is, and isn't, going to work. We can all support our collective theories with mountains of data, scientific and anecdotal, but the bottom line is that if you don't know how to shoot it, and you don't carry it with you, you are at a distinct disadvantage when rounds are exchanged.

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  128. After reading about a new gun, though it is prob. only new to me I have a new twist to put on this subject. The gun is the Puma .454 Casull Lever-Action rifle. Now, if you matched this with the Ruger .454 Super Red Hawk double action revolver you would have a combo that would shout the same ammo in either gun; either .454 Casull or .45 Colt. If you needed, or wanted more firepower than this I would opt for the before mentioned Springfield X D .45ACP. This would allow you to maintain a vast amount of re-loadable bullets that would work in three different weapons as you could use lighter "Cowboy Action" rounds for practice. The use regular .45 colts for everyday shooting and reserve your .454's for either hunting or for when Sh–t hits the proverbial fan.
    There is nothing more demoralizing then the boom of a big gun and a large chunk of lead being hurled down range at you. Scouts Out

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  129. I'm not a big fan of the 9mm round, but I definitely like how versatile your setup is. A lot of people will get interchangeable ammo and say they've saved as much space in their kits as they could. They never consider how much room their non-interchangeable mags take up.
    If anyone finds a similar setup in .45, let me know.

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  130. "Feminized" version? Are you trying to say that something that has been "feminized" is inferior? It is 2010. We should be well beyond equating womanly traits withbeing inferior.

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  131. If the premise of the article is "which caliber is better for all around use", which I believe it is, I would pick the 45 over the 9mm There are just too many things in this world that a 9mm can't handle. While the 45 is no magic bullet, it is certainly better than a 9mm for most things.That said, I believe there is one, maybe two, elements that should be considered, which the author has omitted. What the author has left out in the pro/con list is is size/weight of the two cartridges. In a SHTF scenario, you may well have to carry all your ammo in pack on your back. In this case, the weight and volume of the cartridge have to be considered. While I do not like the 9mm, simple math tells us that you can carry nearly twice as many 9mm rounds over the 45, for the same amount of weight. 9mm is also smaller and takes up less space. My solution to this problem is option 3,the 40 S&W.
    More specifically, Make mine a G23. Here is why. My fully loaded G23 weighs exactly one pound less than my Gov't 45 1911. The Glock holds 5 more rounds of similarly powered ammo than the 1911. If you carry 165 gr ammo vs 230 gr ammo you are looking at roughly a 30% weight reduction. That means that you can carry 30% more ammo for the same weight. I know these are not exact figures but I didn't want to breeak out the scale at 11 o'clock.

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  132. I recently aquired a sub2000 that uses the S&W model 59 series mags, as I have a 5906 handgun as well. That said, my perferred poison of choice is always 45ACP in a 1911 platform and it rides with me daily in my "get to work and back bag". I am active in IDPA and train with it regularly. I agree with standardizing the load out capability of the two gun, same bullet/ magazine concept. As a side note, the Sub 2000 folds up and fits inside the saddlebag on my Heritage Soft Tail Classic, and I believeit is not considered a concealed hand gun either.

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  133. My old trusty, rattley old Colt 45 1911 rides with me daily with a Springfield Micro Compact 1911 45ACP as back up. Once upon a time early in life, as wise old man told me, "there is no replacement for displacement".

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  134. Either one would be golden if you did not have any weapon!!!! This debate could go on forever. I own both calibers and have stockpiled rounds for both. Really, I have always been a 45 acp man and own two, but for some odd reason I have stockpiled more 40 caliber rounds as I own two of those as well. I have plenty 9mms too. While all three calibers are not going to "knock" someone down, I certainly do not want to be shot by any of them.

    Shot placement is the key here. Head shots will almost guarantee the subject dropping immediately, but one must take into account things happen and it could deflect or graze depending on angle the shot was taken. Two to the chest and one upstairs!!!!! But a better rule is to shoot until the threat no longer exists.

    I love pistols and they are great to back up shotguns and assault rifles!!!! I am not dogmatic on any caliber. It is better to have and not need than to need and not have.

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  135. I have two .40 S&W becuase the price was right but having used both 9mm in the service and 45 for plinking I would say if money was no object the 45 gets my vote. My UZI Compact Desert Eagle is a SWEET carry gun and accurate as hell. My glock model 22 is OK and gets the job done but I like my DE a lot more.

    Ammo is not an issue for any of these if you relaod your own as everthing to do so is redibly available. I can load about 100 rounds an hour without working to hard. Thank God for a Dillon press!

    Money being an object I would always choose the largest caliber I can afford and handle. Most anyone can handle a .40 with practice yet some smaller framed woman have had challenges with the .45 adn NO this is not a bash on a womans abilities. Just pointing out personal experience.

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  136. Both the 9mm and .40 are loaded to (35,000 psi SAAMI spec). The .45 acp is loaded to (21,000 psi SAAMI spec. A 115 grain 9mm bullet traveling at 1250 fps makes 399 ft. lbs. of energy. A 200 grain .45 acp traveling at 950 fps makes 400 ft. lbs. of energy. That is straight from the Sierra reloading manual. The 9mm and the .45 create a very comparable "punch" although most 9mm pistols hold twice as many rounds. The bigger better caliber "so to speak" in an informed comparison is the .40 s&w, it outperforms the 9mm and the .45 acp considerably. A 135 grain .40 traveling at 1350 fps makes 546 ft. lbs. of energy, similar to a .357 magnum.

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  137. Amen!

    Got a friend that killed an average brown bear that had backed him into the river with a Ruger 10-22…

    Glad to read a post with common sense. Yeah we all consider the gunfight aspect of the pistol… but in a REAL SHTF situation EATING is the primary. Hard to fight if you are exhausted and hungry.

    Ruger Mark II my survival gun in the pack in my Super Cub in Alaska for 20 years. The Mauser .458 Win Mag is on the wing struts… The target pistol feeds me the Rifle is for piece of mind. Combat… Well don't slow to a walk at under 80 meters with me shooting the .22 or you will get tagged enough to allow me to fight my way back to the real weapon. Recent close range tests I performed on surplus US soft kevlar, free hanging at point blank to 25 meters and point blank laying on dry sand, the .22 from the pistol penetrated deeper than the 9mm or the .45 ball ammo…

    That said my Lower 48 near the border piece is a .45 after seeing a lot of critters shot it is impossible to kill it TOO Dead.

    Something to think about…

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  138. Personally I'm a rifleman myself but I prefer the 1911 over all handguns for the nitty gritty, however, a point brouhgt up here a few times is hollow points will ruin anyone's day regardless of caliber. But, a .45 anywhere in the body or on the apendages is like a cannon wound lol, but shot placement even wiht the 9mm will ultimately make more difference than the round. If I hit your spine,hips,heart,liver,kidneys,head, or lungs even with a .22 you aren't going to shake it off and Rambo your way out of the firefight. Just like getting kneecapped with birdshot. Just my view.

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  139. The most common ammunition that would be found on the street on dead bodies or if u had to loot stores would be 9mm. The best ammunition is the ammunition u can get an abundance of.

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  140. frist of all in a true sirvival situation the numbur one rule shuld be k.i.s.s the number 2 rule should be conflect avodance,if #2 is not posable then hopfuly you will have a sutable rifle or shotgun avalable and thus make the sidearm a bakup onily option. that side the mid-lage frame revler is the best chocse for the most of us as we are not ex military or law-enforsment the auto pistol would be harder to clean and needs to be taken down to properly do so,something many of us would not have the patiance or the toles to do the autopistole in a hot situation woud make you waste ammo whare the rev would make you make the shot count and is moore idiot prove than the auto.we should also remeber the lesson from histoy of how you can always use a lesser wepon to take a better wepon,[ex the french resestance fighter,s of ww2 and the liberator pistol] glad to see pcw agrees with me on the ruger blackhawk with op 9mm cly a truly versitale chocie.EPH

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  141. 9mm and .45 are both great, each with their pros, cons, and ideal uses. That being said, it is still beyond me why people still thumb their nose at the .40.. Ballistically, it’s very similar to the .45, with a bigger projectile than the 9mm. I like all 3 of them, but the .40 stands out just a hair over the others in my opinion, when I look at velocity, capacity, mag cap, and the hole it leaves on the target. .. this topic is ALWAYS a fun debate!!

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  142. Having been in the military from 1980 until 2000, I went thru both the .45 and the 9mm. While 9mm is readily available, law enforcement, military, etc., the 45 is still the best knock down/kill ammo! Since you use your pistol to fight your way to your shotgun to fight to your rifle then either will perform! However if you can’t get to your main battle weapon and HAVE to use a pistol, then my vote is for the 45! Carry extra magazines or just don’t miss! The knock down/kill factor trumps throwing lead at some bad guy!!! Carry the 9 as your back up and you have the best of both worlds! In a SHTF situation most of your SWAT and specops guys carry 45’s so ammo may not be an issue! So long as your better and faster than they are!!!

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  143. It is work and hard work at that. I am better with my weak hand than most people with their strong hand but I shoot more weak hand than strong. Yes I practice both but I practice what I am least proficient with most – it gets annoying but I think it is important. If you notice, a large number of gunshot wounds are on the strong side. Can't prove it but I think we tend to focus on the thing that might hurt us so although I intend to shoot center of mass I have a tendency to pull to the side that has the weapon. The BG does the same so the odds are good my strong hand is likely to be damaged. I'd better be able to reach a weapon and continue the fight with my weak hand. Second place prize is a casket.

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  144. Excellent post. I absolutely agree about the Rugers. An interesting point about the Blackhawk is that it makes an excellent field gun. Since the transfer bar must be up before the hammer hits the firing pin (done automatically when the trigger is pulled) the Ruger can be carried safely with a round under the hammer. Most revolvers should have an empty chamber under the hammer to prevent a discharge should the gun be dropped. Additionally, pulling the trigger without cocking the gun does nothing so hanging the trigger during holstering or by a stray branch can not discharge the weapon. If you watch a video of a Cowboy Action Meet you'll see a two handed style of shooting the Single Action that results in as rapid a rate of aimed fire as with a DA or even a semi-auto. Cocking with the weak hand and firing with the strong hand is extremely efficient and can easily be done in the time it takes to acquire the target between shots.

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  145. Good debate here. Looks like most people gravitate to the cal. they are familar with. thats good we all should carry or use what fits us the best.
    My house is divided, my wife likes her Glock 19,and so do I . But i prefer my M&P.45.
    I reload for both keep plenty of brass for both
    Just keep shooting,

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    • My M&P 45 is my night stand gun, I know glocks is a pretty good gun its not as good as an M&P, and its Built In The USA ! But I love my Baretta 93fs

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  146. Ide rather have a well placed 9mm than a miss placed 45 that being said and owning multiples of both (REMEMBER) Beware of the man with only one gun as he probably knows how to use it!!!! Bullet weigh does not over ride accurace..

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  147. I own (and love) BOTH the 9mm Beretta 92FS and a beautiful, vintage, 1963 Colt 45 lightweight Commander. The 45 is my "Carry" gun since it's easier to conceal and I just like the way it feels in my hand. I've thought about this question a lot and always end up picking the 9mm as my "if I could only take one pistol" choice. The, almost tripple) ammunition capacity of the 9 wins flat out in any fire fight against the 1911 and, unless I have to defend against a grizzly attack, I'll take small and fast over big and slow any day. I'd have to aim for the grizzly's eye or ear hole 🙂

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  148. I dont have a ton of money so I had to make a choice . I went with the 9mm , for the sole reason of ammo availability . Yes its not the most powerful , but felt like if it came down to ammo foraging later on , my chances of finding it would be better .

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  149. I'm new to this site, but I'd like to mention a few points that didn't get pointed out. First, the 9mm vs. .45 debate has been going on FOR DECADES. This says to me that there is no one answer. It depends on your situation. Second, have you stocked up on your chosen caliber? Isn't it quite possible that you won't be able to find ammo (for examople like 2009 -2010)? Thirdly, I like both the 9mm and the .45, and either with HOLLOW POINTS would serve you well. However, the cheap Full Metal Jacket 9mm round has a mixed history of stopping BG's (the .45 FMJ's are better). In my opinion, you should have a 9mm pistol (owing to the cost and better availability of ammo – military and some Police agencies use it) AND a .45 (or .40) because of the good stopping power of the cheaper, Full Metal Jacket rounds. How's that for "advice" – buy BOTH!!

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  150. I love both calibers along with the .40 s&w but i'd have to go with the 9mm. First off, the price difference for rounds is rediculous. A box of 50 rds for 9mm is around 13-15$ as opposed to around 22$ for the .45. I can handle the recoil of a .45 well but it is nothing compared to a 9mm. You could fire 9mm rds fast with little recoil. As far as stopping power goes, a 9mm does the job more than adequately. Getting shot with a 9mm is no little thing, don't fool yourself.

    The only median here would be the .40 which is what I prefer the most because it has the best traits of the 9mm and the .45

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  151. I have had friends and family not familiar to weapons in general fire my 9mm XD and my .45 XD and they really couldn't say one was more difficult to shoot due to the "power" so I will respectfully disagree with the theory 9mm is easier for kids/women to shoot; now maybe due to handgrip size or something like that where they can't get their sized hands around them which ends up making it difficult to hold/shoot, I'll buy it.

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  152. I know I'm gonna catch flak for the second part on this, but …. my SHTF weapon is my great granpappys Colt 1911 government, and with her upgraded recoil spring(18#) she kicks like a 9mm. My daily is a walther pp in .32 acp loaded with hollow points when its warm, and ball for colder conditions. and i have yet to find a task she can't handle, she's accurate, compact, ammo's cheap, light on the recoil, and just a joy to handle.

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  153. Most important.. Be armed. That being said, it’s a matter of preference. I say nothing smaller than 9mm nothing larger than .45. Of course my preference is 1911 .45 with a glock 23 for backup witha bar-sto 9mm conversion barell (options) primary is a/r 15 in 5.56. And up close, knife.

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  154. I have seen what a 45 40 9 223 birdshot 380 have done to a car after I picked up a practice car for pd 45 and 40 went straight throu big hole 9 birdshot 380 did not 223 looked like a bb shot ps it was a 94 nissan maxima pps my friend got shot at very close range in his 96 chev pickup with a 9mm did not go throu the door

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  155. Both. 9mm because its an internationally recognized standard, and exceedingly ubiquitous. .45 ACP because you have it. When the .45 runs out, go to the 9mm so you can use the ammo dropped by your less well-equipped enemies. The right answer is BOTH.

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    • Catch up to the times of Computers to tell us what would work better if and when we need a tool. A .40 S&W Will bring more kinect Energy to a target if needed. Also less reliability to over penatration.

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  156. i carry a HK 45 and 5 mags, i have a 1911 as backup and if things turn south really fast – i have with me either a sig 556 or ak47, keep a FN five/seven at house for wife (60% less recoil then a 9m.) I to have seen people take multiple hits with a 9mm and keep coming. I still practice double tap to the chest and 1 in the head (these days with the availability of body armor.) I practice left and right hand shooting. I do not draw my weapon to deter or wound.

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  157. It all depends on your version of the SHTF and how you shoot a gun and what you expect to do with it. I am more of an 'aim and squeeze' — compared to a 'pray and spray' type. Think one shot, one kill. I look at energy and the size of the hole. Hence I would take the .45 over the 9mm. But I would take the 10mm over the 45. Look up doubletap ammo for ballistics. The 10mm gives you the high capacity, the power, hole size, and the speed at lower recoil then a 1911. Glock 20= 15 rounds. You can deer and hog hunt effectively with a 10mm. Buy a .22 caliber conversion for small game or hunt small game with your AR-15. My .02

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  158. I THINK YOU OUGHT TO CARRY WHAT YOU ARE MOST PROFICIENT WITH. I HAVE BOTH 9MM AND 45ACP IN MY BATTERY. BUT IN THE END IF YOU CANNOT HIT WITH IT, IT IS NOT GOING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHAT CALIBER IT IS

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  159. come on guys…..it all comes down to placement of that FIRST shot….train for the fight and you'll fight like you've trained……shot placement, shot placement, shot placement !!!!!!!

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  160. In my country only the cops and the criminals have guns.
    There is a very restrictive law for possession of a weapon.
    What puts me in a difficult situation.
    In my case what was your suggestion?
    any type of weapon would be illegal, but in case of a scenario of survival …
    If you were in my place what would you do?

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    • Anotherone,
      If firearms are not possible, take a look in your history books. What were the weapons of the 1700s? Crossbows and long bows are lethal. Even slingshots can be used effectively ( ask Goliath of David and …. ). Become a history buff interested in your countries history (very patriotic of you). Maces, spears, clubs can be lethal. The Brits have see a run on baseball bats after the riots started. If your government does not consider black powder replicas as firearms then investing in the blackpowder weapons of your countries past might be productive.

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  161. The debate goes on and on… Looking at this from a surviving point-of-view, I will use what I have practiced and became proficient with and aim where the caliber choice makes the most sense. I have both the 9mm and the 45ACP. I do well with either and within close-quarter distances, I will use the 9 to the head and the 45 to the body mass. Hopefully I never have to be in this type of situation, but if I do I am going for the kill. My life is worth more to me than their's is!

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  162. The best caliber is the one you have when the need arises. Both the 9mm and the 45ACP are excellent rounds depending on the circumstances. Whichever caliber you choose will only matter if you can hit what your aiming at! Practice, practice, practice! If you can't hit what you're aiming at, it doesn't matter if you have 200 rounds of ammo to do it with! I'd feel confident with my .22 rifle because I know I can put the bullet between the eyes at 100 paces if I had to!

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  163. I have a .45ACP Sprinfield Armory Micro Compact GI Parkerized finish and have access to a M&P 9mm, I’ll rech for/carry the .45 every time!! The people I know in the military would like to go back to the 1911 as it STOPS the bad guys!! Now if you don’t like/can’t handle the .45, take the biggest gun you are comfortable with and practise shooting/carrying it!!! Big guns near missing a perfect ideal hit will hurt/slowdown better than near miss with a little round! You may not have a second shot. As they say “How do you get to Carnigie Hall? ” Answere ” Practice, practice, practice! “

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  164. I live in CA and load my personal carry .40 with the Hydroshoks that the CHP and SFPD carry for the same reason. (165 or 155 gr.)

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    • Why not reloads? Because the jury might think something bad? Do you have ANY proof of that? Any cases that support this? What if the only fire arms that I have are a 16 gauge and a 41 magnum and 303?

      I have yet to hear of or find a court case where having reloads swayed the jury one way or the other. Reloading now, in 2015, you can produce factory like quality ammo (and even better!) cheaper and for odd ball calibers.

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  165. I tend toward the 9mm in a handgun for a reason that may seem obvious – my wife has the exact same model and caliber and we can use each other's mags. I also limit my number of calibers I stock – 9mm, 12ga, 5.56×45, 7.62×39 and 7.62×51. All of these are current military and/or NATO calibers. I debated on the 7.62×39 but I could not part with my AK but all other oddball/sporting firearms I either sold or traded to standardize my stock. I would prefer to carry a 45 and I had a nice Springfield Arms but I determined that the ability to interchange parts, mags and ammunition was of more value and I honestly don’t miss my 45 too much.

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  166. I have seen a number of comments that to me hit the nail on the head. Practice, practice, practice on the firearm that fits you the best and make sure that the shots count. A well placed 9MM is better than a ill-placed 45 round and vice-versa. One thing I would like to mention is we can all say a 45 is better or a 9MM is better, we may not always have what we want in hand at the time we need it so it comes back to your skills. Also, for some of us we also have to take into account our firearm may have to be used by a spouse or youth and that plays into our choice as well.

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  167. i like my 9 and my 44 which believe me is better than a 45. my 9 can do just as much as a 45 and the 44 , well, id hate to get shot with it . leaves a big nasty hole and turns flesh int a bloody mess.
    happy hunting

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  168. I going to opt for the middle ground: .40 cal. I carry a XD .40 with a 4" barrel, loaded with the same rounds as the local PD carry (165 gr. +P hollowpoints). I carry 4 extra mags, again like the local PD.

    I choose the .40 because it hits harder then the 9mm and is not the recoil monster that most .45s that I've shot are. Additionally the load out that I carry would be much to heavy in .45 to carry comfortably for 40 hrs a week yet alone 24/7. I never really concidered the 9mm as a carry option, sorry 9m fans, personal preferance.

    As stated in the article talking gun calibers is like talking religon or politics! It all boils down to personal likes and prejudices. To each thier own and "Gods speed and Peace be with you!"

    Ben228

    P.S. If it works for you that is the best survial caliber for you! B

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  169. I would think that the 45 has greater stopping power. However it depends on the shooter being able to handle the recoil. I would suggest that the recommeded caliber would be the one that the shooter is most comfortable with through practice with the gun.
    I have lived in areas where a 44 mag would be prefered because some of the bears and other animals which you could meet in the forest while hiking. My wife and I can both handle a 44 mag if needed but would prefer not to shoot a whole box at one time.

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  170. I know I'm going to draw fire on this one but first, I would carry the .45 In todays 1911 platform, they are accurate as hell, provide more than enough stopping power, and good factory ammo is available. I have been reading all of the hoopla on penitration adn there is no question the heavier slug wins! .45 baby. Personally, I would be toting my .454 Casull. One round, deals done and I have gobs of ammo for it. I can still reach out and touch them at 75 yds!

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  171. I've been trained on .45s for a while now. I think the best thing to go for is what you're comfortable with. As far as control and recoil, that just goes with your own personal skill level. I've fired a 9mm as well as my XD .45 in the same sitting and what it comes down to is your technique. I'm all for the economy of the 9mm but after my experience with a .45, i personally wouldn't want anything less. Also, the XD series from Springfield offers pistols with a full size capacity of 13+1 and a compact capacity of 10+1. So you really get the best of both worlds with that type of weapon.

    I prefer .45 but i wouldn't mind saving a few bucks at the range with a 9mm. Go with your gut and what you can handle.

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  172. A buddy of mine owns a ” Broom-handle ” Mauser pistol with a stock . We went out to the sticks to shoot and he shocked me when he set off a burst of full auto ! if I had the money , and it wasn’t for the odd caliber , I might want one . Apparently , there are enough unregulated originals floating around that retain full auto . Sent back by G.I.s during the war .

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  173. Maybe this is silly but…. Just carry both. If scavanging for ammo I'd like the option of either if I found it. Considering we are talking about a worst case scenario, traditional price arguements would no longer be an issue. Additionally, though I would not consider myself a crack shot, IMHO proficency with a handgun is proficency with a handgun! Do a majority of your practice with the cheap ammo, AKA .22, shoot some of the good stuff to make sure the recoil is managable and learn how to reload cuz you are eventually going to run out!

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  174. 19.5 yrs of military service in both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army and Eight combat tours in Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia after all that personal experience I will not touch a 9mm with a ten foot pole all in is is a large bore surgical siringe that does even reliable terminate a target after a cranialoccular shot for civilian reference look at representitive Giffords who was shot at point blank range in the brain with a 9mm and while I am glad she survived her survival clearly shows what I am talking about. In semi autos your best bet is the compromise of the .40 SW it has the capacity of the 9mm, the ballistics of the .357 and the point of impact delivery of the .45 APC at 25 yrds. a smaller, narrower available frame and a more manageable recoil than the .45 and while the .45 is excellent I like having it all. more bullets more trauma more control more frame types and sizes.

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  175. 19.5 yrs of military service in both the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army and Eight combat tours in Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia after all that personal experience I will not touch a 9mm with a ten foot pole all it is is a large bore surgical syringe, that does not even reliably terminate a target after a cranialoccular shot for civilian reference look at representitive Giffords who was shot at point blank range in the brain with a 9mm and while I am glad she survived her survival clearly shows what I am talking about. In semi autos your best bet is the compromise of the .40 SW it has the capacity of the 9mm, the ballistics of the .357 and the point of impact delivery of the .45 APC at 25 yrds. a smaller, narrower available frame and a more manageable recoil than the .45 and while the .45 is excellent I like having it all. more bullets more trauma more control more frame types and sizes.

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  176. I'm a believer in the .45. I've seen so many police departments transition everyone over to the 9mm only to switch back to the .45 a few years later. The proof is in the pudding and the .45 has the knockdown power that people need in a survival or home defense situation.

    That being said, a handgun is really only a tool to get you to the real weapon, a rifle or shotgun!

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  177. It all comes down to shot placement if you ask me. Roll with whatever you are most comfortable with. A well placed shot will pretty much get it done everytime.

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  178. Personally i wouldnt want to get hit with either round, and i dont think many other people would either. Outside the home i carry a 9mm because it holds more ammo that i could carry on my body. If you have to use your handgun, a 9mm will do the job, especially hp. No robber who wants your wallet or car is going to keep coming after you if you fire some rounds at him, and if you hit him all the better. All you want to do is get away. In my home though i use a .45 because it is my house and i wont retreat, and if i shoot you i want to you to know you robbed the wrong house.

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  179. I prefer the 40 for two reasons 1 it has more power than a 9mm so my wife can handle it. 2Like others have said it was still found on shelves when nothing else was. I carry a Berreta px4 storm with me and also keep a Ruger lcr (38 spc) in my bag. As far as not having 16-18 rds ready to go, if I can't hit what i'm aiming at in at least 3-5 rds and stopping it, I don't care what you are shooting your going to need a bigger gun. Also the Beretta has a rotating barrel so it brings the recoil on a 40 to make it feel like a 9.

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  180. Handguns really are not my first choice if SHTF, better for urban environments but…however that is what this article is about. I have a 9mm and a 45, I have never been shot by either calibers or seen someone shot by these calibers. Like most of you I have shot both of them at targets other than paper…to me the end result of both is pretty significant. Yes the 45 leaves a bigger hole, and maybe it just seems cooler to have a 45 but to me in the event that I would have to choose out of these two calibers….I would choose the 9mm with JHP bullets. If you are shooting JHP 9mm then there will definitly be higher damage to the target even if you don't "knock" it down and the overall expense, availability, magazine capacity and ability to carry more ammo makes the 9mm over the better choice to me. (I'd still probably throw my 45 in my BOB with a few mags just for the hell of it)

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  181. My carry is a Glock 29 SF in 10mm with Glock 20 magazines…I have conversion barrels to go from 10mm to .40 SW and from 10mm to .357 Sig….which I keep in my EDC and go with me every single time I leave the house period!! I can shoot three different calibers in one gun with the same magazines…just switch the barrel.

    My back up is a Taurus PT 740 in .40 SW

    Shot placement is key….

    I love my Glock 21 and Glock 30…I have 30 round magazines from TDI…what was that about less capacity?

    I keep my Glock 21 in a metal lock box under my driver's seat and it stays there. So if I have to run out of the house and jump in the car…I will always have something.

    I keep my Glock 30 in my safe deposit box

    Then again…who are you buying your bullets from… Buffalo Bore, Cor Bon, Extreme Shock?

    FMJ or JHP…

    How about 45 Super…

    Who says you can't own both…

    Bottomline…I pick the .45 ACP

    Great for zombie attacks :0)

    Hooah

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  182. Me and my wife both train side by side…we are a team…we both pefer the .45…yes it is true you are only as good as you can shoot..and being hit with any round is not good..if that is the case a 22 will do just as good…you can kill just as easy with one of those as any other round…if you know where to hit…I still like my 44 mag Ruger Blackhawk with the 9 1/2 barrel…that at a hundred yard will drop you.and as good as a rifle…too many decissions as to what is the best weapon…it is what you can handle the best and what you have and know when the time comes to be able to use it wisely..no second guessing a situation..

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  183. 9mm. Cheaper to train with, and training is everything. The caliber does not matter if rounds are not finding the target. Shooting a handgun is tricky. Add stress and only having seconds to react and it will all come down to training. Magazine capacity is a huge factor. In a gunfight (and I have been in a few) most rounds are not going to hit the desired target. Having those extra rounds to "keep their head down" while you move to a position where you can put rounds center mass is a distinct advantage. Recoil management is much easier with 9mm. I can hit the "10 ring" on 3 targets in the time most can get the sights of a 45 back on target after round one. And as for knockdown power, they are both pistol calibers. As it was stated above, they do not really have "knockdown power". You should only use your pistol to fight your way back to your rifle. That being said getting shot will slow down, if not stop, almost any attacker no matter the caliber. 9mm is the way to go. I prefer 147 grain Hornady T.A.P. In a Glock.

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  184. I see a lot of talk about wound track and stopping power etc… i used to carry an HK USP 9mm which was an awesome gun performed flawlessly, but i have also reconsidered which caliber i choose, I currently carry a .45. Not only for stopping power or increased wound track but for its ability to penetrate through things, wall, doors etc… if your in a survival situation your not always face to face or line-of-sight, barriers are a real factor and personal if i have to shoot through a wall to stop a threat rather than wait till he pokes his head out from behind a wall to shoot at me with his 9mm, sorry he will loose. Lets remember what the .45 caliber was invented for, replacing the ineffective .38 long colt round against the Moro in the Phillipine-American war, and since the 9mm and .38 bullet is the same size but the 9mm uses a shorter cartridge IE: less powder.

    But hey that's my two pennies.

    Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom.~ – JFK

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  185. I like my .45 home defense rounds for just that. I don't need 17 rounds to get my point across. I believe in the double tap regardless of caliber and 10 rounds gets me 5 kills and 2 more mags in my hip pocket. If if gets any hotter than that I have 40 rounders for my mini 14 but honestly, if it gets that bad I doubt it will help much. I do think it it worth mentioning that any firearm should have rails and that any tactical handgun should have a light & laser combo for home defense.

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  186. 9MM. I have trained with the Glock 17 and its the sidearm that I still use. But it is not my main weapon. That would be my AR, shotgun or rem.308 depending on the situation.
    Things to remember-

    1. A handgun should not be our main gun.
    2. Use what is comfortable to you. If your hitting dirt with a 45 that should be a sign that its not working for you.
    3. A handgun is meant to give you cover to get to your rifle. They are not meant to sniping someone out at 50 yard, wrong weapon.

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  187. This is a survival site…with that tilt in my thinking, I believe a 9mm to come out on top. Bullet, reloader and gun weight being factors, a .45 would be good for the urban/I'm staying put/I can reload person. Accuracy, weight, trigger pull, recoil, point control, target aquisition/reaquisition, parts availibility, round availibilty, price(now & later), use by whole family, "less" noise are all factors involved in my decision. P.S. If you don't know how to clean/take apart/fix/upgrade your weapons you are asking for trouble when shtf…take a little time on youtube to become framiliar with it all.

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  188. I look at it in terms of reality….. the 3 most common rounds on the planet are the .22, 9mm, and .308 (aka the military 7.62). Sure I'd rather shoot an intruder with a .50 cal but In terms of finding a replacement round I'd go with a 9mm. I have even gone as far as to have both pistols and rifles in all 3 of those calibers. If the day ever comes that I'm out of ammo and I have to purchase or barter for more, I'm 95% sure I will be able to find my size shells. My only "non-typical" handgun is a Taurus Judge 45/410 for close quarter and home protection. As far as shotguns go, I prefer the Kel-Tec KSG 12ga.

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  189. It is a joy to read all the commentary on such a simple debate as this. All the input is valid for the individuals submitting it. We all have different needs, abilities, budgets, priorities, preferences, otherwise we would just be clones. I hope to submit my own thoughts on the 9mm vs. 45ACP debate as soon as Joel is ready to post it. Several mentioned the 40 S&W which is ok, too, but I recently cashed out of everything 40cal because I could not afford to maintain all three. I found 40 ammo hard to find and costly. I'll keep the 9s for sailing more lead downrange and the 45 for punching donut holes.

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  190. I have both, and reload both, but a handgun is only used to fight your way to your long gun anyway, so either will do with good self defense ammo.

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  191. i choose 9mm…with a good ammo you can stop attackers even in 5 yrds. .45 ACP is also good but 9mm is fit for me. All you have to do is to load a good ammo like +P+.

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  192. I witness a guy shot 8 times in a chest by .45 ACP…..its still alive and survive the shots. Another Guy shot by .22 LR using Walther pistol just ones in a chest and Die instantly. So regardless of the Caliber of the Gun, its good to have a good ammo for your Pistol.

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  193. 9mm with a good ammo (+P+ JHP) stops your opponent in just one shot.!! Believe me Guys….. I already take down one of them. With my P228, i have no doubt of shooting robbers with my Corbon and Hydrashock +P load. I have PT945 .45ACP and my favorite FNP 40S&W which is my carry pistol but sometimes i carry P228 and it was proven that 9mm is a good self defense service pistol. Knocking power? Oh Boy!!!! its not the large caliber but the Gun and Shooter with a right ammo.

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  194. no question of the large ammo of .45 but in my personal experience, i carry P228 Sigsauer 9mm i shoot intruder dead in just one shot. I load Corbon +P. I have PT945 and my favorite FNP 40S&W as my carry and first time i carry P228 9mm and i conclude that knockdown power is not in a large caliber but a right ammo to shoot.

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  195. First off, let me premise my comment with this. "I love my .45 XD, and I loved my Army Issued M1911A1. I was active duty as a Tank Commander in the early 90's the Army switched over to 9mm, and there was a lot of sad faces and some heated debates.
    That being said-I'm not in the Army anymore. <sigh>
    If the SHTF, I would have a limited amount of ammo from that point on. .45 is awesome, but the fact is there are far more 9mm out there than .45, and I can barter to get more, with whatever I have. This is really the same reason we all agree on .22LR and .223 as it is plentiful and you can get it anywhere. .45 ACP really doesnt fit that scenerio (I wish it did).

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  196. Secondly, depending on the threat, the Military and law enforcement is supplied with 9mm from the respective goverment agencies. It will be plentiful amoung the worlds militaries (Canadia- for instance, uses standardized 9mm along with .223) it could become a form of currancy.
    Ultimatly, after TEOTWAWKI we will be scrounging for whatever we can find. Based on current availabiltiy from the Military, as well as the ease of stocking our personal cache (9mm is WAAAAAY cheaper) I'd prefer to be caught with a something I know I can find ammo for, rather than invest in something I can barely afford ammo for now. Just my $.02

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  197. 500 s&w is just to big for average folk to carry and conceal at all times. IMO 9mm and 40 cal. is about the biggest round one can comfortably carry. Fortunately ammo has drastically improved. Penetration and "knockdown" power for the 9mm is comparable to what bigger rounds such as the 45 cal. are known for. I especially like the +p and +p+ rounds. They just give the smaller 9mm that extra punch.

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    • I own both the 9mm and .45 and honestly, if you want some sheer velocity and punch, ill pull the .44 mag card. I carry this daily. It is not uncomfortable, and It is a sheer animal. the only draw back is capacity, having two speed speed loaders is always handy. Great post Bob.

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  198. The most effective caliber is the one immediately at hand. As Col. Cooper said; I carry a pistol to help me survive long enough to get back to the rifle I should have never left behind in the first place.

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  199. The most effective caliber is the one immediately at hand. To paraphrase Col. Cooper; I carry a pistol to help me survive long enough to get back to the rifle I should have never left behind in the first place! Practice with as many calibers and weapons as you can because you never know what situation you may find yourself in. Watch your front sight and be safe!

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  200. I stick with the 9MM. OK, it is nice to have stopping power but I tend to think of my guns as I think of my fighting skills. I am a small guy so I have to rely on speed and agility. That is what I want out of my pistol, speed and agility. It takes me less strength to hold up the 9 as opposed the .45. Not saying that I am weak and cannot hold up a .45 pistol, but I can probably hold up the 9 alot longer if needed. Last but not least is the stopping power arguement. I know it goes without saying but it really depends on where you put the round. A shot to the head doesn't warrant any kind of stopping power. I used to feel people chose a higher caliber to make up for poor shooting ability. However, I am convinced that if you know how to shoot a gun, you are good with either. A well placed shot will override stopping power in my book.

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  201. I have never had a need to shoot anything 16 times, but I have been out and about and my 9mm did not take down one of the three wild dogs that had me cornered! Once I got "back to town" I upgraded to a .45 and have not looked back since. 9mm vs .45 against a drug addict = .45 every time

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    • Keith, your comment reminded me of an occassion I was using a Citori O/U 12 Ga, 3" #2's & 4's alternately for geese I was sneaking up on cutting through a patch of thatch and woods to get me in range. Clearing the thatch just at the base of the woods up jumped four (georgeous) shepherd looking wild dogs. The one closest and barring teeth mean temperedly appeared to be the leader while the others were standing close by him for his immediate support. This was no drill and these dogs were going to protect their turf whether I ran or stayed. I fired at the leader (approximately 12 yards in front of me, point blank) with one shot & the second went to the next one standing closet to him, and me. In that confusion I had time to reload & had to fire another shot into the leader as even as hard as he was hit he was not down and out as one would expect with that firepower. The fourth round went into the third one acting like it wasn't sure what to do at this point – attack or run. The last decided to leave the scene during my next reload & I still had to do a finishing shot on #3 to put it down. While this has nothing to do with .45 vs 9mm it does support your comment that 'bring a big enough gun' to do the job because anything less just may not be enough. Another short story: I've also experienced hitting a buck, subsequently exploding it's heart and it still covered a distance of 75 to 100 yards on a dead run (no pun intended).

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  202. I carry a .40 for everyday ccw however I also have a 9mm in my bob along with a .22 rifle and an AR. In a SHTF situation when supplies get low, if you don't reload, you will have to scrounge or barter for ammo. You will be able to find 9mm and .22 ammo easier than any other not counting 12ga. I have always been taught that the only use for a handgun is to fight your way to your long gun.

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  203. The best gun is the one you have. If all you can afford is a 9mm or if that is what you choose for ammo capacity or whatever, great. There is a saying that says to fear the man with one gun because he will know that piece in and out and will be able to hit his target. Whatever you choose to carry, practice with it as much as you can afford to in every concievable position and situation. Don't just go to the range during a nice sunny day, go in the rain, go at night, shoot while kneeling, laying down, seated in an automobile, shoot while holding a flashlight, shoot one handed, shoot with your weak hand, get creative because in the real world you are not going to be able to get into a nice weaver stance while standing and facing your target. Think of different situations that you might come into in real life and then practice that.

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  204. Im sorry but the price of my life is more valuable than saving a few bucks on the smaller caliber ammo… Thats why i carry a .45… And for those who complain about the low capicity need to learn to shoot and execute mag changes…

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  205. In a SHTF situation? Survival? I'll run away and hide with a stainless Ruger 22 pistol with a 5 1/2 slab barrel, target sights, and a thousand rounds in my backpack. If needed, I can empty a magazine into a 3 inch circle in a couple of seconds because with the cost of 22's I get to practice all the time.

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  206. My XD in 45acp holds 13+1, where as my XD in 9mm holds 16+1 there is only a three round differance. In states with mag capacity limits they can usually only hold 10 rounds regardless
    of caliber. The only thing that really matters is which caliber can you effectively engage your target, nothing else really matters

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  207. As far as home protection goes the 9m has less surface area which reduces the amount of friction when traveling through your target so the potential of penetration is higher which in turn increases the potential for collateral damage from unaccounted for penetration. I don't want to protect my family from a bad guy just for me to wound them through the wall… just sayin

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  208. I'm looking to add a Smith&Wesson M&P9 to my gear bag. I have a Taurus .45 and a S&W .22 right now but I am trying to be able to get into something where both my wife and I can use and be good with and the .45 just isn't working for her. She's had some instructor training with it and the 9MM and is able to be more consistent with the 9MM.

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  209. I like the 380, the gun fits my small hands best , low recoil, and if I'm mad enough to shoot someone then I will want them alive while I finish them with a baseball bat, after I've blown out a knee joint or something like that there going to wish I had just used a 44 on them…. my 3 rules for field gear are it's light weight, it's expendable ( low cost ) , and if I'm lucky it actually works when I need it. I have shot the heck out of 1911's in the mil. but it does'nt pass the 3 rules test

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  210. Check out Handgun Stopping Power by Marshall and Sanow. They make a good case that 9mm is slightly MORE effective than .45. I'm considering trading my 1911 for a Hi-Power.

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  211. Carry and shoot what you can hit with. I choose the 40SW because for me I can quickly and accurately and hit what I aim for. In the summer it is a Glock 27 and when possible a Sig P226 Tac Ops.

    There is always a 380 in my back pocket….not for fun.

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    • The 9mm and .45 are both good calibers if placed in the right place. The whole thing about “stopping power” is driving me crazy. A 9 to the brain, heart, lung, or any other major organ is going to stop and kill someone just like a 45. The bullet size isn’t nearly as important as placement. If you like a big heavy .45, that’s cool, but most anyone will have better control with the 9mm. This means a faster and more accurate follows up shots. A 45 will slam into a body harder than a 9, but if it’s not center mass or the head then you better be prepared to shoot again.

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  212. This is such a personal choice no one can give you a definite answer. I prefer 9mm, it will do the job, and generally speaking the firearms offered for the 9mm have a higher capacity. Also the .45 generally has a larger grip than the 9mm and being that I have small hands I find the 9mm more comfortable to grip (yes, my hands are that small, 1911's are uncomfortable for me to shoot) and I can shoot them more accurately. The fact I can place rounds more accurately means the 9mm is a more effective weapon for me. If you're a larger person and can comfortably handle the .45 then by all means go with it. The most important thing is round selection, everyone worries make/mode/caliber. Now I'm not trying to say a .25 with HP is better than a .45 FMJ, no not at all. But if you're in the major calibers for defensive pistols you should really invest in good ammo. Some FMJ are good to have and certainly better than nothing, but do what you can to get your hands on decent quality hollow points. Don't make "dum dums" thinking they're just as good, they're not. Especially when it comes to handguns you don't have much to work with for "stopping power"(a false idea) so to get the maximum out of the round-no matter what it may be-use good quality ammo, or stock/carry three times the norm.

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  213. The situation I'm concerned most about isn't TEOTWAWKI or post-SHTF, but something akin to the Mumbai terrorist attacks that were coordinated & concentrated. An example, my 10,000 member church would be a great terrorist target. If a concentrated assault took place I would want more than 7+1rds in a .45 – perhaps 17+1 in a Glock G17 with a spare mag. Covering fire in these instances is important to escape+evasion and I want a high rnd cap to accomplish this.

    In a parking lot or restaurant confrontation a .45 might stop the assailant "harder" but Im pretty confident with my 9mm in stopping the advancer. Back to training and proficiency.

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  214. I go 45, overkill wont kill me.
    but if you cant decide. try a .357, can shoot low power .38's or plenty knockdown of a .357 mag. Conn is that it will be in either a revolver or a lever action rifle. ( very handy rifle!).

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  215. I carry a .45 daily – I have used 9mm in the past and have a fn fnp9 for backup. I will also use the 10mm. I went to the .45 and 10mm (learning curb was to much for FBI agents) because I need a round that hits hard -even if someone is wearing body armor –

    ammo: you should look for a round that will penetrate 12-15 inches with maximum expansion.

    I use winchester boded PDX1 – Hornady Critical Defense – Hornady TAP – Federal hst (if you can get this round – it is the best available) –

    I practice double taps (left, right and 2 handed)- chest then head – holster and repeat – at distances of 5, 10, 15, and 25 feet (alternate handguns and practice reloading)

    Remember that 90% of shootings occur within 15 feet.

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  216. The debate should end, all modern firearms are adequate to take a life in a situation where one is needed provided that the shooter is trained or lucky enough to properly use and place shots on vitals in the BG and if they can psychologically handle actually pulling the trigger and know the results.

    I will use whatever I have and currently from my economic standpoint I owm a 9mm, started with a 22magnum revolver, and it may go to a .45 but I know I can kill a BG with any weapon I own.

    I respect all of you who understand the physics of bullet transfer and weight to impact, but if I put my JHP in your chest in a situation you better believe that I will not be standing there waiting for a response. As well if I had a .45 I would not risk going 1 shot wonder and expect the fight to be over, pull the trigger and as others have stated make sure the threat is no longer a threat bullets are cheap compared to my life.

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  217. For me the answer is both. My son favors the 9, while I'm old school. Together I think that's a good team. If we can't carry everything, then maybe the 9, after you pry that honker out of my cold, dead hands.

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  218. I have a CZ-97 BD and i love it. I was told by my cop neighbor to go for .45. Although I will be purchasing a CZ-75 compact or P-07 for a conceal weapon. My .45 is just a bit to heavy to carry in a survival situation. Maybe a compact .45 but ive never used one.

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  219. If you are right then i owe you a debt of gratitude, and, as i have been looking to buy a .45 Win. Mag. this would be a viable option. But i leave you with this; (S & W) Model 625, is a six round single & double action revolver chambered for the .45 ACP (also known as .45 Auto) cartridge & .45 Colt also known as "Long Colt" or "LC". The 625 in .45 ACP will headspace the cartridge in the chambers without use of moon clips, but since the extractor cannot engage the rimless cartridge, moon clips are needed to facilitate ejection…as food for thought. It came from Wkipedia. Scouts out

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  220. I am a little torn between both. I have a 1911 .45 and a Rugar P95 9mm. If i am going for brute strength and intimidation, i will use my .45. If i am looking at shooting more rounds quicker than i will no doubtedly use the P95. I have a custom trigger that i made for my rugar with only a 2.5 lbs pull. the .45 has a heavier pull so i know i can shoot my 9mm faster. Plus i really don't care about capacity regulations i have 3 30rd mags for my rugar. I am not sure if it is a design flaw in my specific model of my 1911 but i have problems chambering and shooting hallow points in it. I have no proble