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Old 08-05-2012, 05:29 PM
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Default Why I went from 9mm to 45 acp



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In the 1980s there were three events that helped influence my opinion on handguns and handgun calibers.

#1 – My dad and I were having a discussion on a revolver vs a pistol. Even though a revolver holds fewer rounds then a pistol, my dad liked the revolver over pistol the due to the reliability of the revolver. There was nothing to jam with the revolver like there is with a pistol.

My dad worked as a Jasper County Texas deputy sheriff during the 1970s. Even though I greatly respect his opinion, I feel that his opinion might have been influenced by organizations like the FBI who used a service revolver instead of a pistol like the 1911.

The service revolver my dad used was a S&W model 66 combat magnum. When I graduated high school in 1986, mom and dad bought me a model 66 combat magnum just like dads.

There were two major sticking points on the revolver vs pistol discussion my dad and I had. Those points where the effectiveness of the 357 magnum, and the reliability of the revolver.

If you are going to use a handgun, make sure its reliable and make sure the cartridge is large enough to get the job done.

Remington 1911 R1 and Beretta 92FS



#2 – When I was around 16 or maybe 17 years old, a buddy of mine and I went over to a mutual friends house. The mutual friend brought us out to a field where we shot a 1911 45 acp. The 1911 belong to the friends dad. We had permission to be in the field, and the parent knew we had a handgun.

That was the first time I had ever shot a pistol, much less a 1911.

Shooting the 1911 was “enjoyable”. I do not how else to describe it. The recoil was not excessive, the trigger pull was just right, fast reloading as compared to a revolver.

#3 – Military testing in the 1980s as they were looking for a new handgun.

As the military test were being done, I picked up every gun magazine that talked about the test. I just happened to have had a subscription to Shooting Times. I remember getting the magazine in the mail that had “Beretta won the war” on the front cover. A good bit of that issue was dedicated to the military testing.

As the military was looking for a 9mm pistol, there was always the 9mm vs 45 acp debate going on in the background. People from both sides of the debate voiced their opinion, then there was the FBI ballistics test, how the 9mm and the 45 acp preformed in times of war.

There was one major difference between the military test and the civilian test, the military can not use hollow point ammunition. While the civilian market was studying the effective of different types of hollow point ammunition, the military was focusing on the reliability of various handguns.

The military testing boiled down to the same thing my dad told me – effectiveness of the caliber and reliability of the firearm.

Beretta 92FS

I bought my Beretta 92fs in January of 1989. Over the past 23+ years, the pistol has been a proven performer. Some of my buddies and I used to go to a local sand pit where we would shoot over 2,000 rounds of 9mm in a single day. The Beretta 92fs shot everything, and I mean everything.

The only type of ammunition that did not work well was CCI blazer aluminum case. For some reason those rounds liked to turn vertical in the magazine. If the magazine had an anti-tilt follower, the rounds turning vertical in the magazine would not have been an issue.

The military test greatly influenced my decision to buy a Beretta 92fs. When the time came to buy, it was either the Beretta or the Sig Sauer, I went with the Beretta.

As much as I like my Beretta, I also have one major complaint, and that is the trigger. The trigger absolutely sucks. The first round (double action) is ok, the second round (single action) is terrible. The trigger feels like it has a mile of slack.

Overall, for the past 23+ years I have been very happy with the performance of the Beretta 92fs.

I have to admit, ever since I decided to go with the 9mm I have had doubts about its performance. During the 1980s and 1990s there were various stories of heavy clothing that prevented the 9mm from achieving optimal penetration.

During the Moro Rebellion, the 38 long colt proved to be ineffective in stopping a charging Moro warrior. The inability of the 38 long colt has always been in the back of my head. How effective would the 9mm be in stopping a charging meth head?

Shortly after various police agencies adopted the 9mm in the 1980s, stories started coming out about police officers having to shoot people on PCP several times.

From the Moro warrior and PCP examples, I had doubts about how effective the 9mm would be in stopping looters during a SHTF situation.

Remington 1911 R1

My wife bought me a Remington 1911 R1 for my birthday. Ever since I shot a 1911 back in the mid-1980s I have always wanted one. I am not getting any younger, so why not go ahead and buy a 1911?

Around 15 years ago I bought a Ruger P90, which is chambered in 45 acp. About 10 years my wife and I got into a financial bind, and I had to sell the Ruger P90 to pay some bills. The P90 is a nice pistol, but its no 1911.

There is just something about the 1911. It feels right in the hand, recoil is not excessive, its easy to field strip, its reliable,,, what is there not to like?

One of the things that makes the 9mm comparable the the 45 acp is how well the 9mm hollow points perform. If you remove the hollow points from the equation, what you are left with is 45 acp making a bigger hole then 9mm.

If you are going to sling a chunk of lead down range, why not sling the biggest lead you can find?

I find comfort shooting a 220 grain bullet, as compared to a 115 grain bullet.

There is just something about the 1911 that feels “right”, if that makes sense to you.

Magazine Capacity

One of the big debates between the 9mm and the 45 acp is the magazine capacity. Would you rather have 15 rounds of 9mm or 7 or 8 rounds of 45 acp?

If magazine capacity should be the deciding factor, why did so maybe law enforcement agencies carry 6 shot revolvers after the 1911 was introduced? When the 1911 was introduced, and proven in world War I, why didn’t all law enforcement agencies switch over to the 1911 for the extra rounds?

One of the reasons why I originally picked the 9mm over the 45 acp is because of the 15 round magazine. I have to admit that I like having 15 rounds over 7 or 8 rounds.

Should magazine capacity be the deciding factor over cartridge performance?

Stockpiling Ammunition

From a survivalist point of view, while stockpiling ammunition for SHTF / TEOTWAWKI,its important to stockpile what works not only in your firearm, but also what works in your buddies firearm.

Lets say that some kind of long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation happens. You bug out to your Bug Out Location. A couple of weeks later some relatives or friends of the family show up. The guest bring whatever food, water, supplies and firearms they have. Now you and your buddies are going to have to share the ammunition, just like all other supplies.

Its the classic debate, 9mm VS 45 acp. Some people skip the debate all together and go with a 40S&W. I do not care for the snap recoil of the 40, so I am staying with either the 9mm or the 45 acp.

We mentioned earlier that the 9mm relies on hollow point ammunition to match the performance of the 45 acp. Why should I buy expensive hollow point 9mm when I can just buy 45 acp FMJ?

Share your opinion in the 9mm vs 45 acp debate. Which one is your primary sidearm, and why?
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:48 PM
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Good topic!

I feel both have their place and I have one of each in my battery!
As a Nam Vet.. I prefer the .45acp for close combat stopping power and ruggedness.

The 9mm with the right ammo has stopping power to and is good as a small game round as well. Just a thought.. weapons deals are made by our Gov for many different reasons...I am glad to see the USMC going back to 1911's. I qualified with that weapon in 1972, 73 and 74 and am partial to it.

The Baretta 93FS I own is more of a back up weapon I keep in my car.

JAF
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:52 PM
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I have both...all are single stack mags, so the capacity issue is minimized for me...I have small hands so double stacks are an issue, as is recoil...

My 9mm is a Sig P239...3 8-shot mags, 115 grain XTP...recoil is manageable, has good concealability, trigger is good in both double and single...

My. 45s are a Kimber Custom (first year production) with a red dot and magnaporting, and a Colt Combat with adj sights...185 grain XTP...triggers on both are light and smooth...with a 2 hand grip recoil is not an issue...

As a carry piece the Sig is my preference based on concealment issues...I understand the limitations of the caliber and practice double-taps and triple-taps regularly...

As a SHTF sidearm I'm going with the Colt...I don't think concealment will be an issue at that point, but stopping power will be...
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:52 PM
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I am more of a Beretta 92FS guy. I have experience with both (US Army Military Police) and always just preferred the 9mm. Certainly nothing wrong with the .45, the stopping power is unquestioned. I will stick with my 9 (hollow points for business and FMJ for pleasure, of course)
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:55 PM
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1911 .45 ACP SA it send's bowling balls down range, not golf balls, and I like to just touch the round off, not travel it off, and it put's the bad guy down, I have a Para P-13.
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:09 PM
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When buying my EDC hand gun I was doing this very thing, reading that 9mm some times just do not do the job, but the capacity is there if you ever do need it. A .45acp has the knock down power but few rounds if you ever do need more. That's why I choose my G23(.40S&W) like you said to completely go around all that. 13+1 little less power then a .45acp but more then a 9mm with almost as much capacity as a 9mm.

But if I had to do it all I've again and go with either a .45acp or 9mm. I'll stick with power an grab a .45acp all day long. I'll just carry extra mags like normal
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:28 PM
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I have one 1911 and 2 Beretta's I find it much easier to fire a quicker and more controllable 2nd and 3rd follow up shot with the 9s.. Also the Beretta 92 is a more comfortable grip for me (6'3")
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:39 PM
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My carry pistol now is a GLOCK 23. Extra capacity and a round that counts!

My CZ75 has been my favorite range practice system for a long time. The one I used for CCL test. And, it is one for making a good stand with.

I have a SIG, XO, .45ACP, 1911. This one with SPEER, 230gr, FMJ will be the one I will have when the swarm is coming my way. ONE round can drop two CRACK HEADS rest assured.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:51 PM
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Dead is dead no matter if you shot them 3 times or 4. Shoot the gun you perform the best with regardless of caliber.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:55 PM
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My EDC is a Smith & Wesson Sigma, in 9mm.

I practice with the cheapest FMJ I can find, but I carry the best 147 gr., JHP that I can get.

I love the history and the look of a 1911, and actually plan to get one one of these days, but I don't plan to carry it. I don't like the SAO. I also carry with one in the pipe, and I can't get past the 'cocked and locked'. I know you fellows that have them will tell me that I'm worrying about nothing, but it just wigs me out.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyusclan View Post
My EDC is a Smith & Wesson Sigma, in 9mm.

I practice with the cheapest FMJ I can find, but I carry the best 147 gr., JHP that I can get.

I love the history and the look of a 1911, and actually plan to get one one of these days, but I don't plan to carry it. I don't like the SAO. I also carry with one in the pipe, and I can't get past the 'cocked and locked'. I know you fellows that have them will tell me that I'm worrying about nothing, but it just wigs me out.
I can understand the argument about single action only. If the primer fails to detonate, you should just re-rack the slide and continue to fire. As far as cocked and locked, I did it when I had to opportunity to travel outside of Illinois. It is actually really safe with the grip safety, and there is a firing pin safety in the series 80 1911's. Basically unless the trigger is pulled the firing pin can not move forward.
Now take into account the thumb safety, the grip safety, the firing pin safety, and there is a hammer drop safety. It is an extremely safe gun. If it was prone to negligent discharges people would not still be using it, including the military.
Not trying to flame you, just trying to inform. I love me some 1911's, sadly I don't own one now. My CZ82 is my love affair now.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:22 PM
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Here in New York we are capped at 10 round mags. So 10 rounds of 9MM or 8 rounds of .45 ACP? .45 ACP for me. Besides nothing feels like a 1911.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:40 PM
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Been down that road already 9MM, 45 ACP and 40 CAL ...Shooting Bowling pins with 9MM Corbons and 45 ACP FMJ 230 Grain ...THERE IS NOTHING TO COMPARE ON HOW MUCH DIFFERENCE IN MOVEMENT OF THE PINS THERE WAS....Which Was the deciding factor, that 9MM was not going to cut it....Moving Forward 9MM is gone, 45 ACP is on long term loan to my Step dad who liked my Colt 1991A1 Commander 45 ACP who said it reminded him of his gun in the Navy during WWII, so I could not take the gun back with that comment (with out feeling guilty)..And he is still a hell of a shot, after not shooting one for many many years by the way.
So I use a 40 CAL as a comprise on 9MM and 45 ACP,due to the ammo I had and firearms I had left, while depleting my stock of 9MM. Also was not to far along on 45 ACP ammuntion and Chip McCormick shooting star Magazines being stocked up. However this will be addressed when I get the Colt back.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:44 PM
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Keep in mind the 9MM was adopted for the same reason that .223 or 5.56 was: LOTS of rounds sprayed EN MASSE that we can carry A LOT OF is preferable to one powerful round fired by an expert marksman.

Of COURSE the .45 ACP is FAR better than the 9MM... It's a BIG hitter that is fully lethal, will knock DOWN your target, and it's the largest round that most people can handle. This is why it was standardized on around in 1900 just like the .30 cal rifle round...

For the same reason, the .30-06 or .308 Win are better than the .223 M16/AR15 round.

You have to remember what the round and weapon were designed for and compare that to what you might NEED them for. If you are in a division backed by the US government, by all means, I'd prefer the .223 since they can give me thousands of them and everyone around me will be firing hundreds of them in any engagement.

If I need to supply myself, ONE SHOT, ONE KILL is the doctrine. Because you might not get a second.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:45 PM
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A 9mm might expand, but a .45 will never shrink!

Depending on the load, 9mm can be a good stopper with one or two well placed shots. Here in the South we have summer 9 months of the year. Lots of folks wearing lightweight clothing and such. That being said, I prefer a 45, but sometimes the need for a smaller weapon is needed.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:50 PM
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Glock 21, winter carry, Glock 30 summer carry.
Glocks never jam, history of solid reliability.
.45 hollow point has a proven history as well.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimosaubi View Post
I have one 1911 and 2 Beretta's I find it much easier to fire a quicker and more controllable 2nd and 3rd follow up shot with the 9s.. Also the Beretta 92 is a more comfortable grip for me (6'3")
I find the 1911 grip more comfortable then the beretta 92f, and I am 5 feet 9 inches tall.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:59 PM
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Over the years, I have carried a variety of different handguns. I have always picked the handgun to match what I thought I might need it to do. I have no set preference for just one kind of firearm though, now that I am retired, I do find myself more routinely carrying a Glock 17 or a Glock 22C pistol most of the time. If I need a real small or compact pistol, I will carry either a S & W snub nosed model 60 (5 shot revolver) or a Bersa .380 pistol of some kind. But going to the grocery store late at night I'm generally lugging my Glock 22C.

Now, if SHTF one day soon, I will probably be carrying my rifle, my knife and probably a Glock 17 for those "special occasions."
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:59 PM
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the 9mm has always been my gun of choice for the simple fact that everyone has a 9mm its like the 22 lr of the survival world, but me too has changed my tune on firepower although i like the 9mm i have started switching to the 45 acp in a full size g21 i am a firm believer in the glocks reliability and high cap, i figure in a survival situation i rather have a full size for power and accureesy .i figure what ever i have on me at that time will do so in my pack i cary a g 23 with a spare g 19 barrel and i carry the g 21 every day ! yote killa
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:06 PM
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G19 / G20/G29 ....No foolin around...
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