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

A 9MM handgun is typically more lightweight and compact than a 45. What makes it popular among shooters is its lower recoil, affordability and its ability to carry more ammunition.

The difference in cost of both the firearm and the ammunition make training often with 9MM much more economical.

9MM shoots a smaller projectile that is faster than a 45 caliber, giving it better target penetration.

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

Although their are more compact models today, 45 caliber handguns tend to be larger and heavier to accommodate bigger and more powerful ammunition.

45’s have more recoil, hold less ammunition, are generally more expensive.

What makes the 45 stand apart from the 9MM is its power. While the larger projectile is slower it delivers more impact and trauma to its target.

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.

However, this compromise doesn’t seem to sway 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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Written by Joel Jefferson

Joel is one of the original founders of SurvivalCache.com. After college, he joined the USMC where he served as an (0302) Marine Infantry Officer. Joel is an avid outdoorsman and spends much of his free time in the mountains. Joel’s hobby is researching survival gear & weapons as well as prepping. Read his full interview here. Read more of Joel's articles.