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9mm or .45 ACP?

Which is the better defensive round for pistols?


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PoS

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What's the best defensive round for pistols? Call me old fashioned, but I prefer the .45 ACP, sure, 9mm pistols generally hold more ammo, but unless youre fighting hordes of zombies/ bad guys then shot placement is preferable to number of rounds carried. The bigger the hole, the better the round. What say ye? :mrgreen:
 

TurtleDude

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What's the best defensive round for pistols? Call me old fashioned, but I prefer the .45 ACP, sure, 9mm pistols generally hold more ammo, but unless youre fighting hordes of zombies/ bad guys then shot placement is preferable to number of rounds carried. The bigger the hole, the better the round. What say ye? :mrgreen:

with modern defensive loads-9mm. And I grew up shooting 45 APC in IPSC for years. But the 9mm is more compact, carries more rounds, practice rounds are cheaper, its easier on your elbows, and stuff like the Federal Hydra shock rounds are just as likely to allow a one shot stop. 45 ACP barrels last longer though since the velocities are lower and the operating pressures are lower.

One thing is true-the 40 SW is going to be pretty rare in the future (I have one in my car since I bought it 10 years ago). 40 is tough on guns, tough on elbows (which is why I use 135 grain bullets which recoil less) and really not any more effective than 9mm. It will remain as the round of choice for the USPSA Limited Division.
 

longview

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I am sure this is just me, but I tend to grip the .45 a little tighter, and I think it hurts my accuracy.
With a 9mm, it is more like plinking with a .22.
 

Donny Brook

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9mm hands down!

IMHO the two very best defensive rounds are the 9mm and the .38 +P.
 

matchlight

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9mm hands down!

IMHO the two very best defensive rounds are the 9mm and the .38 +P.

I know I'm only a dabbler compared to some of the posters here, and I can't say anything intelligent about which is better between the 9mm and the .45 ACP. But for defending myself, I feel good about my .38 spl. revolver with 158 gr. lead bullets, especially the wadcutter target type. There's something about a fairly heavy piece of soft lead that's not moving too fast that the human body doesn't seem to handle very well. I'm planning to buy a couple boxes of the Buffalo Bore 158 gr. soft lead semi-wadcutters for "what if" situations, which I hope will never happen to me.
 

TurtleDude

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I know I'm only a dabbler compared to some of the posters here, and I can't say anything intelligent about which is better between the 9mm and the .45 ACP. But for defending myself, I feel good about my .38 spl. revolver with 158 gr. lead bullets, especially the wadcutter target type. There's something about a fairly heavy piece of soft lead that's not moving too fast that the human body doesn't seem to handle very well. I'm planning to buy a couple boxes of the Buffalo Bore 158 gr. soft lead semi-wadcutters for "what if" situations, which I hope will never happen to me.

bottom line-if you are confident with your defensive firearm and can shoot it well under stress-that is the best choice for you.
 

beerftw

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What's the best defensive round for pistols? Call me old fashioned, but I prefer the .45 ACP, sure, 9mm pistols generally hold more ammo, but unless youre fighting hordes of zombies/ bad guys then shot placement is preferable to number of rounds carried. The bigger the hole, the better the round. What say ye? :mrgreen:

.45 is better if you are suited to the recoil, 9mm is easier to control. Both work very well, and is more a matter of preference than anything. Like for example a woman wwith tiny hands(or donald trump) might have a hard time handling a 1911 in .45 acp, but could handle and shoot a 9mm easier due to its small frame.

Accuracy control and follow up shots are more deadly than sheer stopping power.
 

cpgrad08

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.38 spl/ .357 magnum
 

Μολὼν λαβέ

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I feel safe using both the 9mm and .45 acp as defensive rounds. I've owned some very nice 1911 pattern pistols in .45 acp. However, due to the cost of the rounds, I've gravitated to 9mm. That doesn't mean I think the round is more effective, just more cost effective and carrying 9mm ammo is lighter than carrying .45 acp ammo.

So this is the bottom line for me: 9mm ammo is lighter than .45 acp ammo and Glocks (polymer frame) are lighter than 1911's (steel, alloy).

In summer I actually carry a Glock .380, which is even lighter and smaller than anything in 9mm or .45 acp.
 

SMTA

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What's the best defensive round for pistols? Call me old fashioned, but I prefer the .45 ACP, sure, 9mm pistols generally hold more ammo, but unless youre fighting hordes of zombies/ bad guys then shot placement is preferable to number of rounds carried. The bigger the hole, the better the round. What say ye? :mrgreen:

9mm-vs-45acp.jpg
 

TurtleDude

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actually most of us professionals find that stupid. Like it or not, few groups test firearms and bullets more extensively than the FBI. 30 years ago, they went to the 10MM and then the 40. Now they are back to the 9mm. Why? because there is no real disadvantage to the 9mm with modern bullets and there are lots of advantages including-less recoil, faster follow up shots, more capacity, lighter weapons, and better hit potential
 

SMTA

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actually most of us professionals find that stupid. Like it or not, few groups test firearms and bullets more extensively than the FBI. 30 years ago, they went to the 10MM and then the 40. Now they are back to the 9mm. Why? because there is no real disadvantage to the 9mm with modern bullets and there are lots of advantages including-less recoil, faster follow up shots, more capacity, lighter weapons, and better hit potential
It's called sarcastic humor.
 

Skeptic Bob

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If it is a concealed carry pistol I would prefer a 9mm as the weapon is likely to be smaller and I find larger caliber ammo makes target reaquisition a little slower with small guns. If it is a full size pistol for, say, home protection then I am fine with .45. Same for 38 vs 357.
 

cpgrad08

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actually most of us professionals find that stupid. Like it or not, few groups test firearms and bullets more extensively than the FBI. 30 years ago, they went to the 10MM and then the 40. Now they are back to the 9mm. Why? because there is no real disadvantage to the 9mm with modern bullets and there are lots of advantages including-less recoil, faster follow up shots, more capacity, lighter weapons, and better hit potential

Yeah, a lot people forget with modern Hollow Points that you do not have to go big or go home. When it comes to calibers.
 

TurtleDude

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Yeah, a lot people forget with modern Hollow Points that you do not have to go big or go home. When it comes to calibers.

in my little SIG 938 I carry federal hydrashocks generally. In my pistol I have as one of my home defense weapons (CZ SP 01) I use the cheaper (so I can practice more) Winchester JHP. they don't work as well as the FHS in the little Sig due to the short barrel, but in the longer CZ barrel, they work great
 

cpgrad08

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in my little SIG 938 I carry federal hydrashocks generally. In my pistol I have as one of my home defense weapons (CZ SP 01) I use the cheaper (so I can practice more) Winchester JHP. they don't work as well as the FHS in the little Sig due to the short barrel, but in the longer CZ barrel, they work great

I use Buffalo Bore .38 spl +p 158 gr Lead Semi-wadcutter Hollow point as my defense load (it is pretty much a low level magnum at 1000 FPS). For my target ammo I get it all from freedom munitions. Really good cheap prices.

http://https://www.freedommunitions.com/
 

Logicman

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My concealed carry is a 9mm Sig, but occasionally I carry .45's. Here's my Springfield Armory 'Tactical' Operator TRP with a Trijicon RMR and Surefire X300 tactical light.

untitled (33).jpg
 

Fledermaus

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with modern defensive loads-9mm. And I grew up shooting 45 APC in IPSC for years. But the 9mm is more compact, carries more rounds, practice rounds are cheaper, its easier on your elbows, and stuff like the Federal Hydra shock rounds are just as likely to allow a one shot stop. 45 ACP barrels last longer though since the velocities are lower and the operating pressures are lower.

Bingo...

Well said.
 

Fledermaus

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Yeah, a lot people forget with modern Hollow Points that you do not have to go big or go home. When it comes to calibers.

Used to carry "Planet Wrecker Special". A .38 special 148 grain hollow base wadcutter placed backwards in the case and a dose of Unique powder....
 

TurtleDude

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Used to carry "Planet Wrecker Special". A .38 special 148 grain hollow base wadcutter placed backwards in the case and a dose of Unique powder....


Not a good idea for a couple reasons

1) if you have to shoot someone, his attorney or his estate's attorney will try to smear you for making your own super duper Mope killer bullets

2) more practical and more importantly-if your cartridge fails to go off, you or your state is SOL. if your winchester or remington or core-bon bullet fails to shoot, you are Mrs. Maus has a good claim against the maker

DA to Turtle-why did you shoot the defendant with the bullet you did

Turtle to DA-I bought the same cartridges that my friend Deputy Harry carried figuring if the Sheriff thought it was a good round, I should use it
 

Logicman

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Another one of my concealed carry's is a Glock 19 9mm with the 'clipdraw'. With clipdraw you don't need a holster.

Glock Clipdraw.jpg

Clipdraw can be found at clipdraw.com
 

Fledermaus

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Not a good idea for a couple reasons

1) if you have to shoot someone, his attorney or his estate's attorney will try to smear you for making your own super duper Mope killer bullets

2) more practical and more importantly-if your cartridge fails to go off, you or your state is SOL. if your winchester or remington or core-bon bullet fails to shoot, you are Mrs. Maus has a good claim against the maker

DA to Turtle-why did you shoot the defendant with the bullet you did

Turtle to DA-I bought the same cartridges that my friend Deputy Harry carried figuring if the Sheriff thought it was a good round, I should use it

Emphasis on used to...

Now only factory loads for the exact reasons you mentioned.

Even if I under-loaded the very fact I reloaded the ammo would be grist for the lawyers.

BTW - I have had misfires in S&W ammo and CCI, but never misfired with a home-load. There are few things I do really well and reloading .357 and .38 is one of them.
 

cpgrad08

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My concealed carry is a 9mm Sig, but occasionally I carry .45's. Here's my Springfield Armory 'Tactical' Operator TRP with a Trijicon RMR and Surefire X300 tactical light.

View attachment 67203337

My current conceal carry is a Model 36 Chief Special.

mTMP8ft.jpg


My Current Open Carry is a Smith Model 19.

AmY0Kpu.jpg
 
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