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9mm or 45cal

Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors' started by SGT Rocket, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. Don't see much talk here of performance under great stress.
    ..but a lot of discussion about bullet placement...and paper target shooting.
    I want a caliber that...if I'm lucky enough to hit the aggressor once under 'stress' ..it might/will stop him immediately if not sooner. Isn't that the whole point concerning carrying a handgun for defense?
    I've carried mainly a .45 acp for many years for that very reason.
    HD
     
  2. sheeplady

    sheeplady I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Ah, ok. I asked because in a situation of where the spouse/partner is less likely to be familar with firing a gun, I've always heard it recommended that you get the gun that is the most simple and easiest for the spouse to fire, so in a panic situation they are able to simply discharge the weapon. Since your spouse has her own weapon, my point is a little nil.

    I'd recommend you go with the 9mm because of cost if that is really what would determine your range time. A gun you are more familar with due to more shooting time is a better gun than one you are not as familar with. Also, I can see the advantages of being able to carry the gun, even if that is something you don't see regularly happening right now. I'm not sure if the concealed carry is a matter of preference (you'd be more likely to carry the 9mm) or if it is a matter of legality (you legally couldn't carry the 45 in your state or it would be much harder to get the permit to carry the 45) because I live in a state where it is next to impossible to get a permit to carry a handgun, concealed or not.
     
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  3. Johnnysan

    Johnnysan One Too Many

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    Exactly my point. Training and familiarity with the weapon in your hand is exactly what makes the difference when the shooter is under stress...not the number of grains of powder behind the round or the size of the projectile that hopefully hits the mark. Granted, those two factors are important, but only if the shooter has the mental and physical discipline to appropriately respond to the situation and let their training do the rest.

    The science of ballistics is not new and this debate will likely continue on for as long as firearms and gun enthusiasts exist. There is no such thing as a "magic bullet." If there was one round that did everything for everyone in every situation, the ammo companies would dry up having lost the opportunity to continue to sell us on the misguided notion that without the latest, greatest, "bigger, badder" round, we are defenseless against the predators who threaten us and our families.

    ...and I'd have nothing to debate over coffee with my friends on the Lounge! :cool:
     
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  4. 1961MJS

    1961MJS My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Hi

    I have NOTHING against the 9mm, but I can't hit crap with a double action / Glock trigger. I target shoot at least once a week with one of three 1911 frames, so I carry one also. The only 1911 framed 9mm that's supposed to be worth having is the STI Trojan (I think). Springfield's aren't well regarded on the 1911 forum. The Beratta I own is a double action first round, then single after that. The double action trigger pull is such that I can shoot it welll enough to hit a 1 foot square at 25 yards. I realize I can't legally shoot somebody that far away (in most cases), but that's where the target stands are.

    Later
     
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  5. Aristaeus

    Aristaeus A-List Customer

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    Book Review

    Handgun Stopping Power: The Definitive Study
    http://www.firearmstactical.com/afte.htm

    Marshall and Sanow write on page 35: "The 9mm Silvertip has an excellent street record. The single instance of underpenetration in the FBI/Miami shootout is not grounds for withdrawal from service."

    This statement is incorrect. Numerous failures due to insufficient penetration have been documented with the 9mm Winchester Silvertip 115gr JHP. One infamous incident occurred on Easter Sunday in 1989, when San Diego Sheriff’s Department Tactical Unit officers were forced to shoot a criminal 27 times over several minutes because their 9mm Silvertips failed to penetrate deeply enough to damage any vital organs and cause physiologic incapacitation, despite solid torso hits. A bullet finally severed the relatively superficially placed carotid artery and jugular vein in the neck, resulting in fatal hemorrhage which ended the encounter. The San Diego Police Department switched to the 9mm Winchester 147gr JHP after several documented underpenetration failures with the 9mm Winchester Silvertip 115gr JHP
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This excerpt is from Chapter Two of John Potocki's new book, The Colt Model 1905 Automatic Pistol,
    http://veritas1911.blogspot.com/2006/04/philippine-american-war-influence-on.html

    One of the most graphic references about lack of stopping power comes from Colonel Louis A. LaGarde, M.D. in his classic text, Gunshot Injuries, published in 1916.

    LaGarde writes the following:

    Antonio Caspi a prisoner on the Island of Samar, P.I. attempted to escape on Oct. 26, 1905. He was shot four times at close range in a hand-to-hand encounter by a .38 Colt's revolver loaded with U.S. Army regulation ammunition. He was finally stunned by a blow on the forehead from the butt end of a Springfield carbine. 1. Bullet entered chest near right nipple, passed upward, backwards and outwards, perforated lung and escaped through back passing through edge of right scapula. 2. Bullet entered chest through left nipple, passed upwards, backwards and inwards, perforating lung and lodging in subcutaneous tissues. 3. Bullet entered chest near left shoulder, passing downwards and backwards, perforating lung and lodged in back. 4. Bullet entered through palm of left hand and passed through subcutaneous tissues and escaped through wound on anterior surface of forearm. Treated at military hospital, Borongan, Samar. Turned over to civil authorities cured, Nov. 23, 1905.

    I don't think a pellet gun will work, and your not going to stop everybody with anything. It is about putting the attacker on the ground rather you kill him or not. This is where the knockdown power of the 45 comes into play.
     
  6. Gene

    Gene Practically Family

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    I'm sorry, but no firearms are "pellet guns."

    And one incident in 1905 doesn't detract from 20th century law enforcement's success with the .38.
     
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  7. sheeplady

    sheeplady I'll Lock Up Bartender

    If we're just talking about "taking an intruder down" with poor aim, I wouldn't be even thinking about a handgun. More like a shotgun with buckshot.

    But in your house you'd probably take out a wall too.
     
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  8. 1961MJS

    1961MJS My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Well, the incidents in the Philippines made the US Army decide to change to the .45 ACP (back to the .45). Of course, the Filipino's were supposed to be on drugs of some sort.

    Later
     
  9. Johnnysan

    Johnnysan One Too Many

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    One must also remember that the .38 round in question was the .38 Long Colt...the cartridge made famous for its inability to stop Moro tribesmen during the Philippine Insurrection. The lack of stopping power of that round was primarily responsible, in large part, for the development of the more powerful .38 Special cartridge and the Army's return to the .45 in 1909. And, again, I'm distinguishing between a military grade cartridge and one for personal defense. What's "right" in a combat situation on the battlefield, may or may not be "right" in terms of personal defense on the street or in one's home.

    At one time, the most common issue weapon among police departments in the United States, including the FBI, was the Smith & Wesson Model 10 in .38 Special. Many criminals met their maker due to a run in with this now often under-rated round.

    Apologies to the OP for having hijacked this thread...
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
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  10. Gene

    Gene Practically Family

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    You're right I was thinking of the .38 SPL which was developed around the turn of the century and perhaps read the account a bit quickly and not realizing it was talking about the Long Colt.

    I just get a little on edge about .38 calibers, they hold a special place for me.
     
  11. OK..I'll put it another way...
    I've trained with firearms since the '60s...and have been in several life threatening situations of high stress. Under extremely high stress everything goes into automatic mode of finally 'point and shoot'. It's not easy to shoot at someone..no matter what you might imagine just what you would do...or how well you would perform. Being familiar with a handgun is very important...but it's very hard to prepare for an assumed coolness while under fire. The purpose then is to 'stop' the aggressor..'shock' the system whether a kill happens or not. Anyone can argue ballistics..expansion...or penetration all day long of light weight bullets..which can result in an over-do of that penetration that can even defeat the actual purpose. I have no interests in filling someone full of holes with lead that may continue on through doors and surrounding structure...and still leave them standing. Though I own calibers from .22 to .44 mag and know that any caliber can seriously wound or kill..some are much better at ending a confrontation the sooner the better. I also have no desire of recovering from a .357 mag's sharp echoing crack of magnum report in a room or car. Perhaps I'm old school..BUT..I want to send out a more booming chunk of lead to STOP any further danger. Something that I'm sure has..(yes)..the 'stopping power'..if I'm so lucky to find the mark..maybe only once..while shaking in my boots and regretting what must be done..usually very up close and personal. I'm definately not meaning to argue these points...but I do know what a .45acp can do..and that's plenty good enough for me in most any humanly circumstance.
    HD
     
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  13. Rathdown

    Rathdown Practically Family

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    While kinetic energy is a factor with the high speed bullets used in rifles (where the impact velocity will be 2000fps and above), it is not nearly so important in handguns, where typical muzzle velocity will vary between 900 and 1500 fps. In assessing the effectiveness of a handgun it is first necessary to understand what happens when the bullet it fires strikes tissue.

    Three things occur when we look at the mechanics of projectile wounding: (1) Penetration; (2) Permanent cavity; (3) Temporary cavity.

    Penetration is the depth the bullet passes through tissue, which it disrupts or destroys, until it either stops traveling or passes through the the tissue and exits the body. In this instance the tissue is destroyed, literally crushed by the bullet.

    Permanent cavity is the volume of space once occupied by the tissue that has been destroyed by the passage of the bullet. Simply put, it is the hole left by the bullet.

    Temporary cavity is the expansion of the permanent cavity by stretching due to the transfer of kinetic energy during the projectile's passage through tissue. The temporary cavity has no reliable wounding effect in elastic body tissues because temporary cavitation is nothing more than a stretch of the tissues, generally no larger than 10 times the bullet diameter (in handgun calibers) and elastic tissue sustains little, if any, residual damage, due to stretching. Since, by definition, a cavity is a space in which nothing exists, a temporary cavity is only a temporary space caused by tissue being pushed aside; that same space disappears when (almost instantaneously) the tissue returns to its original configuration.

    In determining the effectiveness of a hand gun round, the most important consideration has to be penetration, and penetration is achieved by bullet velocity, not diameter or kinetic energy.
     
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  14. Rathdown

    Rathdown Practically Family

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    A handgun 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.

    The human target is a complex and durable one. A wide variety of psychological, physical, and physiological factors exist, all of them pertinent to the probability of incapacitating one's assailant. Except for the location of the wound, and the amount of tissue destroyed, none of these factors are in the control of the shooter who is also experiencing a wide variety of psychological, physical, and physiological factors when confronted with the need to defend himself in a life or death situation.
     
  15. CodeRed

    CodeRed One of the Regulars

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    I love my Les Baer 1911 in 45 cal...my favorite pistol, but sold an "Italian" beretta 92F in 9MM never really liked...draw your own conclusions.
     
  16. Buggnkat

    Buggnkat Familiar Face

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    Correct to a point, but bottom line:


    If you can not HIT your target, no matter the caliber, or type of ammunition you will do NO DAMAGE NOR WILL YOU PROTECT YOURSELF PERIOD.

    I have fired 45, 38 and 9mm in combat situations. All are fine guns. Had I not known how to aim, hold and squeeze I would not be here to talk about it. Practice practice practice that makes you a good shooter no matter handgun or long rifle. Why do you think the branches of military that practice the art of close and personal fighting put such an emphasis on Basic Rifle Marksmenship and spend the majority of their times at the range?

    With the new types of ammuntion coming for personal defense these days, caliber of weapons isnt much of an issue. So as I have said before, if it fits your hands, you are comfortable with the weapon, and you can afford the ammo, then buy it. Just dont stop there, go to the range, shoot, the shoot some more and if you can squeeze more time into your already hectic schedule, shoot some more!

    The second thing to think on and I preached on when instructing new shooters. Once that weapon clears leather, you better mean to use it. Then you better be ready to take that life and deal with the aftermath. It isnt something that most can deal with. Paper punching isnt killing a person.

    I have seen a man take 2 center mast shots from a 45 and he dropped where he was shot. Not 10 minutes later 6 shots from a 9mm center mast is what it took to stop a man coming at us. Roughly same distances give or take a foot, ammo was mil issue fmj.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
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  17. 1961MJS

    1961MJS My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Hi

    I don't know where you can buy them, but I remember from an old safari book that Number 1 Buckshot rounds have the most lead in them. They're .30 caliber pellets not the .36 caliber of 00 buckshot. To quote, "There is more lead in the air from three shots of Number 1 buckshot than a full clip of 50 rounds of 9mm from an Uzi. " From a quick search, there are 16 number 1 pellets in a shell and only 9 00 pellets in a shell. I don't know the shell weights. I'll look later. Never shot either one, but it's an interesting idea.

    Later
     
  18. sheeplady

    sheeplady I'll Lock Up Bartender

    That is fascinating. I don't understand why more people don't consider shotguns for home defense. I shot skeet in college, and my experience was that even people with really poor aim could hit a target with some reliance. Between the spread and the long barrel, your chances are good you'll hit something and at least graze your target. For a woman you also have the advantage of your body weight taking the recoil, rather than your wrists. And if you don't hit your target, you've probably scared it to death.

    With practice (and the right weapon/ choke and shot), you can actually be quite accurate with shot too- one of our "tests" that we used to do was send up two pigeons about 2 feet apart. You only could hit the one the coach decided on- the other one had to be left intact.
     
  19. Gene

    Gene Practically Family

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    Location:
    New Orleans, La.
    That is why a pump action exists. That sound alone would probably scare any intruder away
     
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