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In my line of work over the years I've seen Gun shot wounds with everything from BB guns to 105mm shrapnel and it always comes down to bullet placement.
I've seen bad guys walk out of the hospital after being hit 9 times with a 9mm and I've seen a kid killed with a 22 LR one unlucky shot to the chest.
With that said 45acp or 357 does a lot of damage and certainly takes the fight out of anyone who wishes you harm....Just sayin;)
But with advances in bullet construction and better powders 9mm is not a bad round. Again center mass!!
 

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YOUR CALIBER SUCKS TOO!!!

9mm Luger:

European popgun round that’s only popular because the ammo is cheap for a centerfire cartridge. Cheap ammo is a good thing for 9mm aficionados, because anything bigger and more dangerous than a cranky raccoon will likely require multiple well-placed hits. Wildly popular all over the world, mostly in countries where people don’t carry guns, and cops don’t have to actually shoot people with theirs.

.45ACP:

Chunky low-pressure cartridge that hogs magazine space and requires a low-capacity design (if the gun needs to fit human hands) or a grip with the circumference of a two-liter soda bottle (if the gun needs to hold more than seven rounds). Disturbingly prone to bullet setback, expensive to reload, fits only into big and clunky guns, and a recoil that has an inversely proportionate relationship with muzzle energy.

.40S&W:

Neutered compromise version of a compromise cartridge. Even more setback-happy than the .45ACP, and setbacks are much more dangerous because of higher pressure and smaller case volume. Manages to sacrifice both the capacity of the 9mm and the bullet diameter of the .45. Twice the recoil of the 9mm for 10% more muzzle energy.

.357SIG:

Highly overpriced boutique round that does the .40S&W one worse: it manages to share the capacity penalty of the .40 while retaining the small bullet diameter of the 9mm. Noisy, sharp recoil, and 100% cost penalty for ballistics that can be matched by a good 9mm +P+ load. Penetrates like the dickens, which means that the Air Marshals just had to adopt it…only to load their guns with frangible bullets to make sure they don’t penetrate like the dickens.

.38 Special:

Legacy design with a case length that’s 75% longer than necessary for the mediocre ballistics of the round due to its black powder heritage. On the plus side, the case length makes it easy to handle when reloading the gun. This is a good thing because anyone using their .38 in self-defense against a 250-pound attacker hopped up on crack will need to empty the gun multiple times.

.32ACP:

Inadequate for anything more thick-skinned than Northeastern squirrels or inbred Austrian archdukes. Semi-rimmed cartridge that is rimlock-happy in modern lightweight autoloaders. Doesn’t go fast enough to expand a hollow point bullet, and it wouldn’t matter even if it did, because the bullet would only expand from tiny to small-ish.

.44 Magnum:

Overpowered round that generates manageable recoil and muzzle blast…if you’re a 300-pound linebacker with wrists like steel girders. Often loaded to "Lite" levels that turn it into a noisy .44 Special while retaining the ego-preserving Magnum head stamp. Considered the "most powerful handgun cartridge in the world" by people whose gun knowledge is either stuck in 1960, or who get their expertise in ballistics from Dirty Harry movies.

.50 Desert Eagle:

The Magnum of the new century. Realizing Hollywood couldn’t escape their Magnum fetishes, they had a handgun that fits the same stopping power quota of .44 Magnum and all of its filthy drawbacks. Popular amongst steroid filled movie actors who needs big guns to compensate for the steroid struck testicles. Comes in a baby variant for junior.

10mm Auto:

Super-high pressure cartridge that beats up gun and shooter alike. Very brisk recoil in anything other than all-steel S&W boat anchors, with a shot recovery that’s measured in geological epochs for most handgun platforms. Often under loaded to wimpy levels (see ".40 S&W"), which then gives it 9mm ballistics while requiring .45ACP magazine real estate.

.380ACP/9mm Kurz:

Designed by people who thought the 9mm Luger was a bit too brisk and snappy, which is pretty much all that needs to be said here. Great round if you expect to only ever be attacked by people less than seven inches thick from front to back.

.357 Magnum:

Lots of recoil, muzzle blast, and noise to drive a 9mm bullet to reckless speeds in an attempt to make up for its low mass and diameter. Explosive fragmentation and insufficient penetration with light bullets; excessive penetration and insufficient expansion with heavy ones. Still makes only 9mm holes in the target.
 

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I love the title, why are we arguing about... Because folks like and want to argue! Both are just tools, think of it who would scare you more, Jerry Miculek with a 9mm or even a .22 or the typical street trash with a .45? Which do you think would be more effective at putting holes in your body quickly and where it would do the most harm, Miculek or the idiot holding his pistol sideways?
You know WHY they hold them sideways? That's the way the come out of the box.
 

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A magazine for gun nuts carried an article which related two incidents which illustrate the importance of shot placement:

An often assaulted wife killed her approaching beast of a husband with a single shot from a .25 calibre pistol;

whereas a policeman fired several shots with his issue 9 mm parabellum pistol at a thug rushing at him without stopping him. His colleague then used his twelve bore to drop the crook. A post mortem examination brought to light that a pistol bullet had hit the thug in his heart but he had still kept coming.
 

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Here's a video discussing effectiveness of handgun calibers from the guys who make them, Federal.

It's worth watching though it may deliver some heartburn to those who rely on foot pounds of energy as a measure of handgun caliber effectiveness.

Why Ballistics Gel Works and Caliber Arguments are Dumb

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6kUvi72s0Y
Hey Phil,

Who knew? No handgun is as effective as a 30-06! :D

But, a 9mm as effective as a .44 Mag? (their words) ??:confused:

Oh well, maybe I'll just stick to my ole 45/70...


Later, Mark
 

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If both the .45acp and the 9mm fail to expand in a given shot, the .45 is better because it's wider to start with. If both expand to their theoretical capacity, the .45 is also better. If the 9mm expands well and the .45 doesn't, then probably the 9mm, or at least it's debatable. So I think you're better off with the .45 BUT then the issue of how many rounds both will hold is the other big factor. If your similarly sized 9mm pistol holds 2 or 3 more rounds than the .45, to me, that MORE than evens the debate? I would have to go with the 9mm based on more rounds, as I think the ballistic advantage of the .45 probably doesn't equal the 9mm advantage in capacity?


I'd feel better off with 8 or 9 rounds of 9mm than 6 rounds of .45 in a sub-compact gun, or 17 rounds of 9mm than 13 rounds in a larger pistol. Just IMO.
 

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Sure glad I learned ballistics before Al Gore invented the internet. Internet consensus is caliber doesn't mater for self-defense. Internet consensus is caliber is critical for bear defense.
 

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How many here have actually used any handgun to stop anything critter or human? Or know what hot lead & cold steel feel like? (Yes, I have, no I won't discuss it except to say I came by my scars honest). The gist of the article is Shot placement, not caliber & Handgun stopping power is a myth. .0093 (difference in bore diameter) more or less won't matter, hitting vital areas does.
I may have mentioned this previously, and if I have, it has been a while. I stopped a pit bull with a 158 grain JHP from a .357 Speed Six. One well placed close in shot, knocked him off of his feet, and he struggled to catch his next breath, and promptly died.

Handgun stopping power is simply a myth. There, we said it, and the FBI agrees.
Count me as one who is calling that, a pile of crap. It is my contention, that if I myself were to take a round, at close range from a .357, with a 158 grain JHP, in the lungs, it would knock me flat.

{OK, let me add that I want another .357 before I die, and I ain't brand loyal. A good S&W would be best, but a Taurus or Ruger will do.}
 

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If both the .45acp and the 9mm fail to expand in a given shot, the .45 is better because it's wider to start with. If both expand to their theoretical capacity, the .45 is also better. If the 9mm expands well and the .45 doesn't, then probably the 9mm, or at least it's debatable. So I think you're better off with the .45 BUT then the issue of how many rounds both will hold is the other big factor. If your similarly sized 9mm pistol holds 2 or 3 more rounds than the .45, to me, that MORE than evens the debate? I would have to go with the 9mm based on more rounds, as I think the ballistic advantage of the .45 probably doesn't equal the 9mm advantage in capacity?

I'd feel better off with 8 or 9 rounds of 9mm than 6 rounds of .45 in a sub-compact gun, or 17 rounds of 9mm than 13 rounds in a larger pistol. Just IMO.
I have mentioned this somewhere before, but I was watching Cops, and they found a gangster in an alley in LA. The showed an X-ray from the autopsy, with the bullet, and I blurted out, "That's a .45!" I was watching the show with my mother and step-father, and he doubted that I was right. But it stopped on the scapula, the shoulder bone, and seemingly killed him dead. Anyway later on, it was revealed to be a .45 Auto.

PS: I don't like sub-compact .45's, the bullets are not accelerated enough, with a short barrel. If I did have a sub compact, I would use FMJ myself.

Sure glad I learned ballistics before Al Gore invented the internet. Internet consensus is caliber doesn't mater for self-defense. Internet consensus is caliber is critical for bear defense.
Ha, ha, ha! Funny!
 

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Discussion Starter #56
I'll bet you could take a stethoscope to a cemetery, listen with it placed to the ground and hear this argument going on for eternity.
 

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The 38 special is to small and only 6 shots
The 9mm has good capacity but is to small
The 45 Is so big and has limited capacity
The 10 mm is much more powerful but agents can't deal with the recoil
The 40 SW gives more capacity. less recoil that a 10mm and almost the bullet size of a 45, but is has still has to much recoil for some new snowflakes

After all the money, testing and wasted firearm purchases lets use:

THE 9MM.

Now, since the FBI likes the 9mm again, the general public now hates the 40SW and 40 SW handguns have flooded the market.

Kinda like what is the new I Phone!

:D:D
Well I like the .40 more for me if I didn’t like revolvers so much!

Thewelshm
 

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I have an order of 9mm, 147gr JHPs coming from Double Tap that I will be testing. Double Tap's 147gr bonded JHP advertised to ~1135fps/4.5" barrel, this could be an explosive combination of sectional density and velocity, 15.5" penetration 0.67" expansion. If handloading 9mm/147s, VihtaVuori 3N38, Federal primers, takes MV a little more.
 
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