Which is the better caliber? - 9 mm or 45 ACP

Reply

  #1  
Old 09-27-06, 01:22 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 65
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Which is the better caliber? - 9 mm or 45 ACP

I have almost 900 bucks saved up towards my second handgun and was just wondering what some of you thought which caliber is the best of the two listed.

Thanks
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 09-27-06, 04:24 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,290
Received 44 Votes on 41 Posts
Depends on what you want: For firepower, it's hard to beat a double-stacked 9mm magazine. For stopping power, .45 wins the nod.
 
  #3  
Old 09-28-06, 03:15 AM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 190
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
There are plenty of high capacity .45's out there on the market.....45 would get my vote...twice the standard bullet weight (115 gn vs 230 gn) and only loses about 400 fps.
 
  #4  
Old 09-28-06, 04:28 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,290
Received 44 Votes on 41 Posts
Yeah, that's right, there are a lot of high capacity .45 available now, just make sure your hand fits around the grip, as some of them are pretty big.
 
  #5  
Old 09-28-06, 10:44 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Toronto
Posts: 127
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I haven't gone to the range in a long time but I enjoyed the 9mm more owing to a lighter recoil. Others may differ so it matters what your priority will be. I have small hands too and found a double stacked .45 too hard to hold effectively.
 
  #6  
Old 09-28-06, 04:39 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 185
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Even with a single stack .45 vs. a 9mm double stack, if you hit a person half the times you pull the trigger you still have a bigger hole for the blood to flow out of and more energy hitting the target.

If I though I was gonna have to maybe use it against somebody I would go with the .45
 
  #7  
Old 09-29-06, 03:17 AM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 190
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
And then again, there's nothing wrong with a .40 either....kind of a cross between both worlds of the 9 and .45. 10's are hard on frames so I'd stay away from one but .40's are very popular and every bit as effective. And, if you don't practice and can't hit what you're aiming at, a brick is as effective as any caliber.
 
  #8  
Old 09-29-06, 08:30 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 220
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Bigger holes leak more fluid.

It depends on a lot of factors

Ammo cost-- 9mm is about half the price of .45ACP
so you can get twice the practice.

Recoil-- Can you handle the recoil of a .45 compared to a 9mm so as to effectively use the gun as a defensive weapon or to be able to practice with the gun

I personally had to switch from 9mm to .45 because my arthritic wrists could not handle the recoil of 9mm or .38 in a snub in a sustained shooting practice session.

But then for $900 you can almost get one of each
A Beretta 92 FS is going for about $450 and a Springfield 1911 for about the same
 
  #9  
Old 09-30-06, 05:25 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 11,790
Received 26 Votes on 23 Posts
The .45 would be more of challenge IMHO. The last two times I fired the .45 for qualification before the services switched to the 9 mm I fired expert, but it was a struggle. I then fired expert nine straight years before I retired, once putting 5 rounds in a group the size of a quarter on a 7-yard "quick reaction" stage [target turns for 2 seconds for each of 5 rounds, double action]. I could never have done that with a .45. If memory serves me [and I'm really not old enough to know for sure, thank you] the .45 round came into existence at a time when the services were deployed to places like Nicaragua and the Philippines where it was not unusual for one of the bad guys to come out of the bush swinging a machete. Whatever was the standard at the time (.38 maybe?) didn't always knock the blade swinger down before he managed to whack off some body parts; the .45 did.

In defense of the .45, the weapons we were using were not only Model 1911, they were probably MANUFACTURED in 1911 [the Marines being known for taking everybody else's worn out equipment and getting another 50 yrears use out of it].

I like Ocoee's idea.
 
  #10  
Old 09-30-06, 05:35 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,290
Received 44 Votes on 41 Posts
I think the .40 S&W would be good to consider, as lhewitt suggested - nearly the firepower of the 9mm, nearly the stopping power of the .45 ACP. My next handgun will probably be .40 and maybe a .45 after that. Cost of ammunition never really concerned me, I always put most of the rounds I fire through my Ruger .22 and then a few on the larger caliber guns.
 
  #11  
Old 09-30-06, 07:51 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Cool

I think everyone has their own opinion. There are so many factors to be considered, that it really comes down to personal preference.
Do your reasearch, and choose the pistol that's right for you. I'm a firm beliver in that it's more where you hit than what your hitting with.
 
  #12  
Old 10-01-06, 06:11 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,290
Received 44 Votes on 41 Posts
Originally Posted by perplexeddie
I'm a firm beliver in that it's more where you hit than what your hitting with.
Absolutely - doesn't matter what you're firing if you miss. Also, when it comes to stopping power, the first several shots in the gun I keep ready in the house are frangible - both to prevent shooting through walls and doors, but also because they impart much more energy to the target and make it more likely he goes down.
 
  #13  
Old 10-03-06, 04:58 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 20,558
Received 164 Votes on 154 Posts
.45 is one of my favorite calibers (both ACP and the Long Colt). It is a more expensive round to shoot if you plan on shooting alot. 9mm can be pretty inexpensive by comparison.

I used to be all about .45. I loved that big hole at the small end of the gun. After building the new house (with a firing range) I have switched to 9mm as my standard and all my new hand guns and carbines I get are 9mm. The rounds are lighter and cheaper which became important when going through a few hundred a week.

If you are looking for a defense gun. I'd get the one you can shoot the best. A missed shot of any calibre does no good. Either a 9mm or .45 that hits it's mark will make the bad person stop and think. - - - Thinking that my 9mm was weak I tried .40 years ago and just could not hit anything so I came back to 9mm. The .40 is a good cartridge but it just did not work for me.
 
  #14  
Old 10-09-06, 07:30 AM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Missouri
Posts: 33
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Talking 45 or 9 ?

If the cost of practice ammo is a concern, buy the 9mm. Current Personal Defense Ammunition in 9mm is very good. Significantly more effective than the ball ammo our troops are required to use. I would not feel disadvantaged in a fight if I needed to use mine, loaded with good ammo.

If you want to cast your own bullets for practice, cost goes down tremendously. My 9mm ammo built from home cast wheel weights cost about $3.50 / 100. Donating my labor, of course.

With your accumulated saving, I would take a good look at the XD-45. They go for about $600.00 in my area. I have heard nothing but good from the guys that shoot them.

Don't assume this is a lifetime commitment. Half the fun of gun ownership is trading for something new.

Good Luck!
Shoot Safe!
Shoot Often!
 
  #15  
Old 10-11-06, 11:05 AM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 279
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I used to carry a 9mm. Then I heard of too many officers having to put several rounds into a large man to stop them.
I now carry the 8045 Berreta.
I also just looked at the hi capacity HD 45 by Springfield Armory. No bigger than my 8045 and 14 rounds. I see the prices are right for it too.
The .45 ACP was designed for close up use and one shot performance. There is a reason that round has been around as long as it has.
The only other pistol I would consider carrying is a .357 mag like my wife has.
 
  #16  
Old 01-11-07, 01:42 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Forks
Posts: 25
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
A couple of months ago I bought the Ruger 44 Magnum Super Red Hawk. It has a 7 inch barrel and I bought a quick release scope. Its my hunting pistol and my carry when riding the KLX on the back roads and trails. Yes its a large frame gun, but it is a sweet one. I had a 9mm and was told for a bear or a cougar that the gun would only make them mad, and then someone decided to break into my truck and steal it about 5 years ago, and so I bought the 44 as a dual purpose gun. I now have a trigger lock and its in the house in a place that is safe.
 
  #17  
Old 01-18-07, 02:07 PM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 17
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
good all around handgun that's a good buy for the money would be a CZ-75.
9MM, 15 rounds, and can usually be bought for around 400 bucks.
9MM is adequate for home defense, just load it with some good hollowpoints and the 9MM calilber is affordable enough to get some serious practice.
 
  #18  
Old 01-20-07, 09:38 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Downstate N.Y.
Posts: 7
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Home defense & pistol preference

Hi all,
Be very wary of using either a nine or .45 for house defense. The NRA did a study on the penetrating power of various pistol, etc. rounds, solid ball and H.P. You don't want your loved ones to be in the next room, or the next one beyond for that matter if your shot misses the bad guy. If you miss the studs, a nine will easily make it into the third room over before landing on the floor. Their recommendation was to use a short 12 ga. pump loaded with #7 skeet, low brass. An ounce of lead at 1200 fps. is like being hit with a 45-70 or a Mack truck but won't go through the second sheet of rock. Keep rounds in the tube and the slide locked. Then there's that noise of the slide being racked... the bad guy's got to know what the next sound'll be... he'd have to be crazy to stick around!
As far as hitting with a .45, I was AWFUL with the 1911, but surprised myself trying out one of the little Detonics 45's. It's got some sort of buffer system, so the recoil felt like a nine but what a "big" hole in the target it made... and I was hitting it... where I was pointing! I'd love to come across a good used one.
Stan
 
  #19  
Old 01-23-07, 06:53 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hi-Point .45

You folks seem like a helpful bunch. I just recently bought a new Hi-Point .45(I know its a cheap model,but for 139.00 bucks I figured I could't go wrong lol) Like many people I just purchased it for home protection. Have had rifles and shotguns all my life but this is my first pistol. My question is the bullet grain that would be appropiate for stopping intruders and such. I bought some 230 full metal jackets but have no idea if that is what I want or need. I understand accuracy if the first priority,but is this the grain or type of ammo you folks would want in your home? I appreciate any expert opinions. Thanks and take care. Kevin
 
  #20  
Old 01-23-07, 11:05 PM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 17
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Kevin, I'd recommend a good 230 grain hollowpoint round for any .45. A good round is the Gold Dot or Ranger SXT. The main thing you have to be concerned about with your Hi-Point is reliability with hollowpoints ( I will spare you the diatribe about hi-point reliability in general).
It's going to cost you some money, but I'd run at least 100 rounds of a certain brand without a problem before I thought about using it for self defense.
Stay away from the full metal jacket except for target practice and range time.
 
  #21  
Old 01-23-07, 11:08 PM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 17
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Stan, I highly recommend the following sight for some good information on penetration. virtualy any pistol round will penetrate drywall, and so will most shotguns.
http://www.theboxotruth.com/

Originally Posted by stancomm View Post
Hi all,
Be very wary of using either a nine or .45 for house defense. The NRA did a study on the penetrating power of various pistol, etc. rounds, solid ball and H.P. You don't want your loved ones to be in the next room, or the next one beyond for that matter if your shot misses the bad guy. If you miss the studs, a nine will easily make it into the third room over before landing on the floor. Their recommendation was to use a short 12 ga. pump loaded with #7 skeet, low brass. An ounce of lead at 1200 fps. is like being hit with a 45-70 or a Mack truck but won't go through the second sheet of rock. Keep rounds in the tube and the slide locked. Then there's that noise of the slide being racked... the bad guy's got to know what the next sound'll be... he'd have to be crazy to stick around!
As far as hitting with a .45, I was AWFUL with the 1911, but surprised myself trying out one of the little Detonics 45's. It's got some sort of buffer system, so the recoil felt like a nine but what a "big" hole in the target it made... and I was hitting it... where I was pointing! I'd love to come across a good used one.
Stan
 
  #22  
Old 01-24-07, 01:40 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks Moo

I like the 'spare me the diatribe' part lol I understand I bought the cheapest pistol around but hopefully I will never have to use it for self-defense.Plus,I do get a lifetime warranty on it. Bought 100 rounds of American Eagle(money is tight lol) 230 full jackets for the range this weekend so after that,I will go with the hollow points and run another 100 rounds of them through. I appreciate the help Moo,I'm a professional flooring installer so if you ever need help in that area,let me know. Take care and thanks again..Kevin..p.s. I will give you my results after I try them both.
 
  #23  
Old 01-30-07, 07:09 PM
Member
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Missouri
Posts: 33
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
AlaskaMan,

The bigger the diameter the less you need to rely on fancy bullets. The 230gr FMJ-RN will put a man down, if home protection is your intended purpose. Not having lived in bear country, I can't comment on using a 45ACP for bear protection. I like a 200gr lead semi-wadcutter in my 45's. Big hole and deep penetration.

With your pistol, reliable functioning is more important than bullet style. Not all pistols will feed HP's reliably. Or SWC's for that matter. Choose the ammo that functions best in your gun. Then practice every chance you get.
 
  #24  
Old 02-17-07, 03:15 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 6
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
For what purpose?

Much depends on your intended use etc. I have 40 years experience with many different firearms and would be glad to brainstorm with you once I know your needs.
 
  #25  
Old 03-05-07, 12:08 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Sorry to jump in to this conversation, I found it on google and figured that folks here could help me with a recommendation as well.

I recently purchased a Springfield Armory 45acp XD and wanted to get some recommendations for what sort of round I should use for home defense as well as "on the trails" defense.

The wife and I will be ATV'ing and with the amount of bears around as well as mountain lions I wanted to purchase a gun that could handle the situation -- The locals assured me a shotgun would be best but if I insisted on a handgun a .45 would do -- my decision was based on "bulk factor". I would use a seperate type of round if need be.

For home, I wanted something that would be effective at close quarters. As with the above, I have no issue with using another type of round.

Thanks in advance.
 
  #26  
Old 03-07-07, 02:54 PM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 17
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
go with the speer Gold Dot 230 Gr Holowpoint round, both for animals on the trails and those in your home. Excellent round, and very accurate
 
  #27  
Old 03-08-07, 09:29 AM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Northeast PA
Posts: 25
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I'm a fairly new shooter, and may be able to offer some pointers because I am so new.

I initially bought a S&W polymer .40 cal. It had a double action only trigger, and I couldn't shoot a decent group with it at all. This was shooting weekly with about 150 rds/week for over a month.

After reading a bit on another forum, some people suggested that the .45 round has a different type of recoil, and I have to agree. The way I saw it described was that the .40 is more snappy, and the .45 is more of a push. After shooting both, I can understand the terminology. The .45 (imo) has less felt recoil than the .40 and I find it easier to shoot. The .40 shoots at about 50% more muzzle velocity than the .45. Roughly 800fps/1200fps.

Also - the more the gun weighs, the less recoil you'll feel. I traded my S&W .40 for an Springfield XD .45 and my groups immediately improved considerably - but not great. If you want to carry - the XD is still a little bulky to carry, but the XD compact is perfect for carry. Read up on the XD - it's a very well respected gun. I read a torture test on the gun similar to the Glock test and the thing never failed. http://springfield-armory.primediaoutdoors.com/SPstory11.html

After shooting a Kimber Classic in .45 at the range, I was spot on accurate with it. I was so impressed with it, I bought a used Kimber Classic and the first time I shot it I (again) shot incrementally better than the XD. There's also less recoil because the gun weighs more than the polymer XD.

Nobody is going to dispute the stopping power of a .45 is considerably better than that of a 9mm. The .45 is too much gun for my fiance, but she's very comfortable with a 9 - so we'll be buying one for her soon so she can enjoy it as much as I do.

As others have said - .45 ammo (now $26/100) is about 2x ($12/100) as much as that of 9mm, and I saw 500 rds of .22 ammo for $10 at Cabelas. I shoot mostly Winchester FMJ at the range. I have shot Wolf and it's very dirty. A lot of people shoot Blazer, but I find that dirty, too.

My best suggestion is to go to a range and shoot different calibers between 9mm, .40 and .45, and several guns of each caliber if possible - especially polymer bodies vs. steel bodies. Each gun will have a different trigger pull and feel, as well as grip. This can help you get a feel for which caliber you like, and also which type of gun you like.

Hope this helps.

Rick
 
  #28  
Old 03-19-07, 07:59 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: South Central Oklahoma
Posts: 1
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Both the 9mm and the .45 are lethal and will kill pieces of paper, empty cans, or most dangerous animals (2 or 4 footed) B U T there is a difference between lethality and stopping power. A drugged up bad guy may die from the 3-4 .38 rounds you put in his center of mass but will it be before or after he "does" you or yours. Ditto the 9MM. A .45 ACP hits like a bowling ball and theoretically may be less lethal but definitely has stopping power. What do you want to do, increase the odds that the bad guy dies eventually or stops his advance, NOW? A follow up shot is not so hard if the target is stopped if you want to tell the only version of the events.

The .44 mag or .454 Casul or the .50 have superior ballistics but they aren't first choice for many folks for target shooting or concealed carry.

My concealed carry is a "Baby Glock" in .45 ACP. I'm not taking it to war, I don't need belt feed or high capacity mag. REAL use stats show very few shots fired in earnest in virtually all "confrontations", not at all like the 1000's of rounds fired at the drop of a hat on TV.

I can't put 5 rounds in a 1 inch circle from a rest at 25 feet and off hand (one or two hand grip) is way worse. Still giving consideration to the size of the target area in center of mass snap shooting, so what? I can put 2-3 rounds in the center of mass of each of two moving targets drawing from concealment. If I am attacked by an army I guess I won't have enough fire power.

Now if you want to go to the range... I can do way better with my Colt .45 Gold Cup National Match or my Ruger Black Hawk but they are a tad much to conceal (even on my oversized frame.) If the object is to punch holes in paper with precision I have a Ruger MkII and a 22-45 that do just fine.

There is virtually no correlation between high accuracy target shooting at the range and self defense shooting. Two entirely different activities with little in common except the use of a firearm. While you are concentrating on getting a PERFECT sight picture and breath control I can put 4-5 out of 6 in your center of mass which might tend to mess with your concentration. Fast reaction shooting may not put the first round or two in the center of mass but with a .45 if any of the early rounds hit anything relatively substantial it will shake up the recipient and the following rounds will probably go in the middle of the target.

Carry for wild animal protection? My wife carries a .357 maggie when she goes in the back yard to fill the bird feeder. It is a 5 shot hammerless revolver Smith Airlight. She has taken videos of mountain lions in the back yard and watched them cross the pond dam in the back yard too.

The animal can only hurt you if it closes the distance. You don't need long range accuracy or a scope for defense against a mountain lion. Just wait and bide your time. When it gets close enough so that a miss is unlikely then try a shot. Even a miss may scare them off. With potent loads in a short barrel pistol there is enough fire coming out the barrel to blind an animal at point blank.

If bears are a realistic concern you need more firepower. I carry a "street sweeper" on a sling hanging in the center of my back when fishing parts of Alaska. My .44 maggie would be the weapon of choice if I were concerned with a close encounter of a bear kind while 4 wheeling or such. Again, it isn't whether or not the bear eventually dies when you shoot it that matters. What matters is that you and or yours isn't injured or killed which requires a lot more stopping power than a 9mm to git 'er done in a hurry.

Patrick_G
 
  #29  
Old 03-20-07, 12:58 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: West of the Atlantic
Posts: 133
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
"Stopping power", "Knockdown power" or "hitting power" is a fallacy. A .45ACP round hits with about the same force as a fastball. Ya know the basic physics, equal and opposite forces deal, that some real smart guy came up with years ago. Please don't ask me to explain it. So if someone stops, or falls down after getting shot with one of these rounds, either they have been hit in an area like the head or upper spine with a good, or lucky, shot that disrupts the CNS and either kills them or instantly incapacitates them, or they have watched too many movies and think that they are supposed to fall down after being shot.

Anyway, short of a shot that disrupts the CNS, the way to incapacitate your target the quickest is by first and foremost penetration. Without enough penetration to vital blood bearing organs or arteries, you will not benefit the greatest from your shotst. Next on that list would be permanent as opposed to temporary wound cavity. Obviously the larger the permanent wound cavity in relation to penetration, is the most ideal.

Therein lies the dilemma for your relatively lower velocities created in a handgun as opposed to a rifle and the way in which the bullet will react. So a good balance between penetration and permanent wound cavity should exist. Now you might say, well the .22 has accounted for more deaths than any other round, outside of military conflict of course. Well nothing will ever replace shot placement, but realistically in a gunfight, shot placement tends to be more of a matter of luck in the heat of the moment, because there aren't a lot of very well trained gun fighters out there.

Now if I were going to pick either the 9mm or the .45ACP and my life or my families lives were on the line, you better believe I am going for the smokewagon chambered for the .45ACP.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: