9mm vs 45 Has The Marine Corps Settled It?

Has the Marine Corp's choice to transition from 45 ACP to 9mm duty pistols settled the debate on which caliber is better? Probably not, but here is my take on the ol' 9mm vs 45 ACP debate.


Bidding for New Military Handgun Contract:

The Department of Defense has recently been taking a hard look at the sidearms and sidearm calibers issued to today's military personnel on the front lines. In July, reports indicated that the top candidates in the final running for the new $17 million-dollar Modular Handgun System (MHS) contract to replace the current Beretta M9 included Glock's G17, the Sig Sauer P320, Smith & Wesson's M&P, and the new Beretta APX among others.

It was just announced by Smith & Wesson last week that they are out of the running for the contract.

9mm vs 45 acp debate

(Marine Corps Image)


Marine Corps Gives Their 2 Cents:

At least to the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC), there is no longer a question. For two decades, MARSOC operators have been allowed to carry custom-built Colt 1911s chambered in .45ACP. However, in early 2015 the door was cracked open, allowing them to choose Glock 19's (chambered in 9mm) instead of their larger counterpart.

The door has been opened and shut for good on John M. Browning's classic 1911 design. This recent policy change and operational change means the U.S. Marine Corps' special arm of SOCOM (U.S. Special Operations Command) has also come to terms with the debate of 9mm vs. .45ACP.  According to the Marine Corps Times:

For Marine special operators, the never-ending debate over whether the 9mm or .45-caliber round is the more powerful bullet has been settled.
Previously, the classic .45-caliber Colt 1911 was one of three pistols that Raiders were allowed to carry, but now the 9mm Glock 19 is the only pistol that Marine special operators can take into battle, said Maj. Nick Mannweiler, a spokesman for Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.

“We put our money behind the 9mm round fired by an extremely well-trained marksman carrying a Glock 19,” Mannweiler told Marine Corps Times.

glock 19 9mm handgun

Wondering if these Marine special operators are not only allowed but required to carry exclusively the 15-round Glock 19, why not the slightly larger and higher capacity Glock 17? It has something to do with occasions where they might carry concealed:

Since last year, MARSOC has purchased and fielded 1,654 Glock 19s because Raiders needed a reliable secondary weapon “that could be used for both a concealed carry profile and a low-visibility profile,” and having one approved pistol for all special operators saves money, he said.

This Guy Clearly Doesn't Know What He is Talking About:

trauma gear banner

I can buy that. But what I am struggling to understand is some of the ludicrous logic coming from various sides of the issue.  Also quoting from the Marine Corps Times:

The arguments boil down to this: The .45-caliber round is the bigger bullet, so it has the “knock down power” to neutralize any adversary with one shot; while pistols that fire 9mm rounds are generally more accurate and can carry more bullets. Where a bullet hits the human body is also a major factor on whether it inflicts a mortal wound.

Even though the .45-caliber cartridge has more propellant, the 9mm round usually has more penetrating power because the smaller round faces less air resistance on its nose as it files [sic] through the air, said Neil Clapperton, a firearms and forensic expert with the Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory.

I am at a loss for words as I read the above two paragraphs … like literally at a loss for words.

45 acp .40 and 9mm

First of all,

…who proved the .45-caliber round has SO MUCH more “knockdown power” than the 9mm that it only requires one shot to incapacitate a threat? This myth continues not because of fact, rather because of unsubstantiated statements like this. This story of a Chicago-suburb police officer should answer that one for you.


…are 9mm rounds substantially more accurate than their larger caliber brethren? I'd like to see the science on that one. Still, I think when we're talking about pistol caliber handguns, it's pretty hard to measure any substantial accuracy differences when we're rarely shooting at distances greater than 15-25 yards if that. I don't know about you, but my .45's seem to be plenty accurate, certainly as precise as any of my 9mm pistols.


the statement that a 9mm “can carry more bullets.”  True. But we generally would refer to them as “cartridges” or “rounds” as a bullet is just the projectile portion encased in a cartridge and loaded into the firearm.


the article mentions that “where a bullet hits the human body is also a major factor on whether it inflicts a mortal wound.” Okay, I have to give them props on this part of the statement because this is 100% correct.

9mm vs 45 ballistics


this was the part I couldn't wait to get to and dissect.

They argue that “the 9mm round has more penetrating power because the round faces less air resistance on its nose as it flies through the air.” What kind of insane non-scientific reasoning is this?

How does air resistance have ANYTHING to do with the terminal ballistics as they relate to penetration?

Yes, I will agree that air resistance is constantly at work against a bullet, thereby slowing it down as it travels toward its intended target. But are we supposed to believe the difference in air resistance between a 9mm and a .45ACP is that great? That the .45ACP slows down so much that its penetration is less effective than a 9mm? Especially when it carries nearly double the mass with the bullet?

I don't think so.

I'll tell you what DOES impact penetration–it is the frontal area of the bullet and its relative friction and resistance as it impacts a body and attempts to travel through. A .45 ACP will encounter greater resistance than a 9mm, but it also carries more weight, albeit at a slower velocity.

Ballistics Matter:

Most of the ballistic testing I have seen comparing the penetration of various bullets and calibers would suggest that generally, a .45ACP and 9mm are both quite comparable as far as penetration is concerned.


I have got to wonder about this Neil Clapperton quoted above. Supposedly he is firearms and forensic expert with the Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory. You would think he would know a thing or two about firearms and ballistics with a title like that.

I checked him out, and he's legit as far as that title is concerned and where he works. But I have some serious doubts about his understanding of external and terminal ballistics.

If you have to revisit the basics of projectile ballistics, here is a decent place to start.

Here is My Point About the 9mm vs 45 Debate:

The point here is this: it is okay that the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command has decided to issue only Glock 19's.

They are fine weapons and are certainly capable as a sidearm. And it is acceptable to me that they made at least some of their determination based on the need to accommodate smaller hands.

Not everyone can adequately conceal a full-sized Colt 1911. Not everyone is as capable or as comfortable at shooting a .45ACP as they are a 9mm. Plus, this decision saves the military a substantial amount of money as Glocks are cheap, and the 9mm ammo is also very affordable and, perhaps more importantly, readily available.

That alone could be a convincing argument to switch platforms. But to suggest they made the change due to the reasons quoted above–particularly because the 9mm supposedly has greater penetration due to less air resistance–is complete hogwash! Somebody needs to vet their sources of information and also use a little common sense.

Agencies Change Calibers All The Time:

On a side note, this is the recent trend … move away from larger calibers to smaller ones. The FBI just did the same thing. In the last 30 years, the FBI has moved from .38/.357 caliber revolvers to 9mm semi-automatics. Then moved to 10mm (after the 1986 Miami shootout). Then they changed to .40S&W (once they realized how difficult it was for some agents to handle). Now they have announced they are moving back to the 9mm in the form of the new “Gen5” Glock 17M.

Their explanation (other than increasing ammo capacity): bullet technology has come a long way since 1986. Testing shows terminal ballistics of modern 9mm is virtually the same as the .40S&W or the older .45ACP round. In case you didn't get the memo, the FBI's ballistic testing labs are the best in the world, and they've been doing it for a long time.

So it should not come as a surprise that while the DoD's call for submissions for the new military Modular Handgun System XM17 contract doesn't specify a particular caliber or size, they will most likely settle on a new 9mm sidearm. And I suspect it could very well be the Sig P320 as it is the epitome of “modular.”

The Glock 17/19 could be a possibility as well, though, as there are plenty of them already in the inventory, and the P320 also seemed destined for the FBI (which had similar requirements), but they suddenly settled on the Glock at the last minute.

Anyway, stay tuned … we shall wait and see.

Is the debate on 9mm vs. .45 (or .40) settled then? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Also, do you love this debate on the various handgun calibers? Head on over to the Concealed Carry Podcast for great audio content. Episode 424 is the perfect companion to this post because we discuss caliber and it's relation to hit factor!

Rob Pincus on the concealed carry podcast

About Riley Bowman

Riley Bowman is the Director of Training at ConcealedCarry.com and the Host of the Concealed Carry Podcast. He came up in this world initially through his 8-year experience with a state-level law enforcement agency in Colorado. Riley has trained extensively under instructors such as: Rob Leatham, Mike Seeklander, Tim Herron, Scott Jedlinski, Matt Little, Kyle Lamb, Dave Spaulding, Jeff Gonzales, Bill Blowers, Chuck Pressburg, and others, amassing many hundreds of hours of formal shooting and tactics training. He is an NRA Pistol Instructor, a Colorado P.O.S.T. Handgun and Patrol Rifle Instructor, a graduate of Trident Concepts Concealed Carry Instructor course, and a Modern Samurai Project Endorsed Instructor. He also competes in USPSA and 3-gun competitions including numerous top-10 finishes at major matches and championships. He is the current USPSA Carry Optics Colorado State Champion and most recently won 3rd place in Master Class at the 2022 USPSA Carry Optics National Championship.


  1. James G Magnoni on October 5, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    The argument about effectiveness, capacity, reliability, stopping power, etc has been going on as long as I remember, ad nauseum.

    Why don’t these experts just admit that they prefer Glocks and let it go at that?

    Please don’t send me any hate mail. I don’t have the time to read it…

    • Ritchey on October 5, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      I own one of each 9mil Ruger,Capacity 17 rounds,CZ 45 10 rounds.For stopping power at close range ,I prefer the 45.It is harder to conceal because of its size and weight.The Ruger 9 mil is easier to carry concealed,And a whole lot lighter.Both are comfortable to shoot,to me.A 45 is not for everyone.If you carry concealed the weapon of chose is what you are comfortable with.Handling and performance,depends on the owner.The Military has been changing weapons since day one.I suppose it usually comes down who can supply what the military wants and how much they cost.I personally have handled the Glock 17 and the 19 and don’t care for them.I prefer the Ruger or the CZ.

      • Hugh Jorgan on October 6, 2016 at 7:05 pm

        You prefer the .45 for stopping power? So, have you experienced shooting someone at close range with each caliber to determine the stopping power of each round? I guarantee with proper shot placement, either round will do.

        • Kevin on May 15, 2017 at 5:40 am

          If you’ve ever spent anytime shooting steel then you would know which one will take someone off their feet quicker. And the quicker the better when someone’s fanning a gun at you.

          • Ed Taylor on August 27, 2020 at 2:24 pm

            I was shot with a 45acp in my right leg. Bullet coursing from behind the knee to my heel. I immediately thought, “I think I’ve been shot.” Took about 1Min until the shock yielded to the pain. Bullet was military Ball. I can’t compare to 9mm but I still want to carry 45acp.

          • Flock Ness Munster on October 24, 2021 at 9:07 am

            Shooting light steel target that doesnt allow penetration at all vs a human body is a little bit different. You have bo clue what you’re talking about other than maybe your steel target fell over a little easier with a heavier bullet at the range. Good job!

        • JS Leonard on May 23, 2017 at 1:25 pm

          Yes, yeas I have. .45 Actually killed to individual who I shot vs the others who all but one lived. Shot placement was nearly identical. The issue is the 9mm one penetrated which resulted in through and through shots.

        • Poupon Marx on June 22, 2017 at 5:00 pm

          “Proper shot placement” is the lamest argument based on logic. You shoot when you can, at the place you most want. Shot placement is not a variable, it is a constant. The bullet lands in the same place because the entire situation and milieu is what determines it. That and other factors.

          Here is the money point: assume you will only get ONE shot at the perp. Whether it hits the shoulder, the leg, arm, hip, whatever. THAT shot better make a change. Slow him down, double up, spin/alter his track-anything to allow you to get that second shot and the empty the clip.

          Police usually shoot from a distance. You, ordinary walking around citizen are likely to be accosted from very close range, within say 10 feet to up close. You may be knocked down and have to squeeze off a once and last shot to save you life.

          “Shot placement”, my ass. How stupid.

          • Bertski on November 27, 2017 at 10:15 am

            Shot placement vs. Reality.
            If you’re being attacked or in the process of deterring an oncoming attack, fear can have an affect. You’ll shoot how you train is one, but many don’t train. Where aim for the middle of the whole body. Which would put a bullet in the lower chest area with variance of the bullet which can be 2-3″ or even 5-6″. Different bullets and guns have different patterns.
            Police, f.b.i., train. That still don’t make them experts but better than the average person.
            Look at the Walter Scott shooting. Pretty broad pattern where adrenaline can also make hands shake. Whether fear or anger, adrenaline can make one shake.
            With training one would be more calm, but also a persons’ experience with conflict determines surety.
            One person might be able to control themselves and squeeze off a headshot. Another may be more easily rattled, where a head shot is possible but still iffy.
            Where the human component is a significant factor that’s been deleted from so many test results.
            There’s also the reaction of a surprise. As someone just coming in your home or coming at you out of the blue. Startle affect.
            All this is much different than the British Armys’ approach to marching headfirst into conflict, taking aim and firing. Which might had something to do with losing the Revolutionary War, where Americans used guerilla tactics. According to the song the battle for New Orleans, canonbalks were fired from alligator mouths which showed resourcefulness.
            A .20 gauge double barrel should be good for home defense day for a woman or a guy. Yet the 12 is more powerful and more lead, but one shot can put some on their hind end. Meaning the shooter, where a second shot will go off up in the air.
            There’s been many people shot and continue. Reality. Some bullets are so fast, they don’t deliver the force of the bullet. Ask deerhunters.
            Which I’d be inclined to think a .45 would transfer more force more immediately taking the spirit out of most. There’s not the penetration of a 9, because the mass of energy is transferred suddenly to the body in impact. Which things can be argued, but more important is being able to handle what you have.
            Police, f.b.i., military have smaller people with smaller hands that need to be accomadated. They also have a budget.
            I’ll leave it at this and welcome any comments of common sense and or experience.

          • WENDELL MURRAY on April 27, 2020 at 2:53 pm

            it is actually called a “magazine’

          • Michael Howell on February 5, 2021 at 12:47 pm

            I have a Ruger American 9 mm full size and its twin in a 45 caliber, I will say yes the 45 caliber is a larger round with more in a way push behind it, but I totally agree with the proper placement of that round when firing is the deciding factor. You can have all the knockdown power in the world but unless you place it that’s going to do the most damage then it doesn’t matter if it’s a 9 millimeter or 45

          • Ricky on February 10, 2022 at 7:59 am

            You have renewed my faith in man. You have either been there, done that or you are a very common sense person.

          • C Charles on March 24, 2022 at 1:05 pm

            spot on ! What i find interesting is that so many people have so much to say and they have never been in actual shoot out. I’m no expert but i know how it feels to be in a shoot out, first of all when it goes down you better have some kind of firearm i don’t care if it’s a P shooter, 2nd the person will be placed in a situation where they will have to make a “business decision” when here a pop coming from you. The louder the pop the more credence is added to his choice to continue in his efforts his engagement with you. The average criminal etc. knows the sound of a 9m they may say o well I’ll chance it but a 40 cal. Or 45 cal quickly changes the perspective f the individual. And let us not forget the adrenaline factor. Most of these wanna be gangsters are cowards and are used to shooting at people who don’t have guns to shoot back. When someone has a weapon to defend themselves the adrenaline factor comes in play on both sides but the one with the tracing and experience should come out ok and most of the time the neighborhood thug doesn’t have the training etc. cause if they did there would not be so many innocent victims being injured and killed all because they couldn’t hit the side of a barn with a soft ball from 5 ft. Sorry for the lengthy comment just my humble opinion

          • Erik on February 18, 2023 at 9:12 pm

            Both calibers have been proven to be effectively lethal..

        • Mac on September 8, 2017 at 10:11 pm

          I’ve usually have to chase guys shot with 9mm.

          • Eberhardt Huhn on January 12, 2018 at 6:27 am

            What, is that like an every day occurrence? Better get that imagination under control, tough guy!

          • Only One Cannoli on May 22, 2019 at 2:24 pm

            I like to shoot three-four people a week…time permitting, of course. I find that there is a difference when using 9mm vs .45acp. Most people ask to be shot with the 9mm instead of the .45acp. It’s probably just psychological, but real evidence that the .45 is more effective. ;p

          • Randy on March 11, 2020 at 7:58 am

            I think someone is living in Television land, get real you might have shot one or chased a couple but routinely is in make believe land, quit lying just to talk

          • guest on April 28, 2020 at 4:25 pm

            Someone may be laughing but I am given to understand that over in Iraq and A’stan there are people who frequently HAVE had to chase down individuals who have been wounded with a handgun.

            Nobody I know who’s been in the service liked the M9. The best I heard about it–circa Desert Shield–was that at least the guns weren’t beaten completely to death, badly maintained by armorers who were phoning it in, and handed out off the rack with worn-out springs and safety levers falling out, like the M1911s had been ever since after Korea. I haven’t heard anything about the M17 yet, but I am guessing that people will say “at least they aren’t completely worn out and rattling like a kid’s toy, with parts falling off them, like all the M9s were.”

            Nobody I know who’s had to use issue 9mm M882 Ball is terribly impressed with it, either for the way it penetrated light cover like auto bodies–admittedly, if you are shooting at someone protected by an automobile chassis, you should have brought a rifle, if not a grenade launcher with HEAT rounds or something belt-fed with the black-tip ammo that have the depleted uranium cores–or for the way bad people reacted to being shot with it, which was usually not at all for quite some time barring a hit to the brain or spinal cord, or multiple hits, as in the whole magazine and maybe another.

            That isn’t to say that the .45 is much better.

            Americans have this impression, I think, that comes from watching too many old movies, that a bullet fired from a handgun is supposed to flip the bad guys ten feet into the air, if not disintegrate them altogether and leave a smoking pair of haji sandals on the pavement where they were. NATO settled for the 9mm as a general service handgun cartridge after the war in part based on the testimony of a whole bunch of old SS guys who’d served on the Russian Front. They said, “ja, the 9mm kills people just fine, as long as you use it the way anyone with any sense uses a pistol caliber. You fire lots and lots of them through das maschinepistole and drown ’em in hot metal until they fall down and stop trying to kill you. 9mm doesn’t work so well one at a time from a pistol, but we didn’t have any expectation that it would. It’s only a pistol. If you need to kill someone with a single shot, a rifle is what you need, not a handgun.”

            Likewise, there was a big Army study on gunshot wounds and ammunition effectiveness in 1946-47, in which they mentioned that something they saw again and again in Europe was that 9mm bullets were far more likely to shatter bone in a way that contributed significantly to the damage done than any other pistol caliber, including .45. When you consider that almost all wounds from pistol caliber firearms were inflicted with SMGs, and when you consider that the most common German 9mm round issued during the war used a 90gr steel-core bullet loaded to do over 1400 ft/sec from pistol length barrels and 1800+ out of SMGs, and you compare this to the lumbering 230gr .45 caliber bullet that had less than half that velocity, it seems pretty plausible. This study is still referenced time and again for its information about wounds inflicted by grenade and shell fragments, but what it says about handgun bullets doesn’t fit the “bigger r always better” narrative, so that part’s been buried and forgotten.

            Yes, Alvin York killed seven Germans with seven rounds of .45 ACP ball, starting from almost 100m out, in front of superior officers who went out afterwards and kicked the dead Huns in the head before they made their reports. Alvin York was a prodigy, a natural marksman of frankly terrifying and borderline-supernatural skill. .45 ACP FMJ doesn’t normally make bad people flop to the ground instantaneously unless it hits the brain or spine–which is probably what happened, given his skills. It normally doesn’t do that with hollowpoints, either. Handgun cartridges just don’t do that.

            My opinion, for whatever it’s worth, is that we’re all overthinking this. We need to dial back our expectations of what a pistol cartridge can and can’t do as an instrument of CQB. We need to dial back our expectations of how effective a pistol is, regardless of caliber, barring brain or spine shots. Pistol calibers can work well if you dispense them from an SMG and send lots of them at a time. We’ve known this for, what, eighty years now? A century? We have much better tools now. I’ll take an M4, even with the M855 green-tip ammo that everyone says “sucks,” over an MP40 or a Thompson or any handgun any day of the week.

          • Michael Howell on February 5, 2021 at 12:48 pm

            I am former law enforcement from Florida, depending on the situation I actually carry both my Ruger American 9 mm and the Ruger American 45 caliber ACP oh, not at the same time lol. I have had to fire both and knowing that the 9 mm is a lighter piece of lead compared to the 45 ACP it is all about placement then

          • Mr accuracy on August 18, 2021 at 1:39 pm

            Then you missed. Shot placement is the only thing that matters a perfect shot placement with a .22 gets the job done where a miss with a 50 cal just causes a little blood. Practice more and don’t be proud you can’t shoot. Would the same shot with More bullet have made a difference i think not.

          • Hoochburn1% on March 28, 2022 at 1:08 pm

            Shot placement rules. But in the Kaos of combat (especially at dark:30) your intended target isn’t usually going to present itself and just stand there for your perfect shot placement. So if my pill hit my target in a less than optimal body section with ball ammo, I’ll opt for the bigger ball every time. Now good defensive hollow point is a different story.

        • frank jenkins on January 2, 2020 at 1:55 pm

          Heard that!!

        • Jordyn on April 30, 2020 at 6:03 am

          Because recoil obviously can’t be observed and you have to shoot someone huh

          • Greg on November 2, 2020 at 7:28 pm

            I heard of a police officer shooting a dog 6 times with a 9 mm before being able to incapacitate the dog. I’m very confident a 45 caliber would have been one and done. U.S. Navy SeaBees m60 & 45 caliber was my issue. .. maybe for some people the 45 is too much power,. And I’m not always concerned with concealing

        • Bret on February 15, 2021 at 5:36 pm

          With proper shot placement, I can make my .22 a rock star. The fact is you will rarely ever have perfect conditions to take the well-placed shot. So I want a round that will do the trick no matter if he flinches or I do.

          • Mr accuracy on August 18, 2021 at 2:37 pm

            I totally agree about shot placement. I know this is off topic. However I agree with you about a .22 in the right place is more deadly than a 50 in the wrong place. I carry a s&w .357 airweight not fun to shoot due to recoil and sound. That will put anything down.But if it comes time to kill a man should there be any fun in it. Also we are talking pistols. Witch in reality are only good enough to fight yourself to a long gun I have 2 Henry levers that shoot the same .357 having 3 weapons. That use the same ammo is the way for me. The pistol with speed loaders will get me to the riffels then game over if not over yet.

        • V on July 11, 2021 at 5:20 am

          Makes no difference to me. I just make it my business to shoot all handgun cartridges well out to 25yards. And that’s hardly re-enacting a self defense scenario. It’s unlikely I’d ever have to shoot at anything other than paper targets. I leave distinguishing the difference for law enforcement and military.In the moment of truth you’re either going to hit properly or not. Heck a well placed .22 in the head can get the job done. I sure do love 45acp though. And It will get the job done quite handily.

        • Dale on December 17, 2021 at 11:45 am

          Yes, Hugh, I have shot both rounds into a human and I can say this. The .45 knocked him on his ***. The .9mm, took3 rounds to the chest and he never even paused. Now call me a troll as I suspect you may be in love with your clunky Glock and .9mm round.

      • Tim on October 18, 2016 at 8:22 am

        Pistols are primarily used for close combat. The original design and purpose of the 1911 45, was perfect for it’s “knock down” power. Officers carried them in case their security was breached, and when the enemy was upon them, the “kock down” power was vital in saving their life.
        45 muzzle velocity is 500 feet per second and the 9mil is 1500 fps. The 45 is the preferred for close combat, Common sense will tell you that if you are being overrun! Ret. 1SGT

        • Kevin on May 15, 2017 at 5:42 am

          Their over 800 FPS and some approaching 900 FPS with the hotter +P loads.

        • Paul on February 2, 2018 at 3:57 am

          45 standard velocity is 850 to 900 fps, NOT 500 fps. AT 500 fps a 230 grains projectile would only have 127 foot pounds of energy leaving the muzzle.
          At 880 fps a 230 grains projectile has 395 foot pounds of muzzle energy.

          The 9mm leaves the muzzle on average at 1100 feet per second, NOT 1500.

          There are tons of manuals and a ton of information so that you can write an informed post. What you provide is false true and true.

          I don’t have a dog in that race but it is important to give proper information, not just anything that will satisfy your viewpoint no matter how erroneous.

        • Michael Howell on February 5, 2021 at 12:51 pm

          Everything I understand and everything I have read and looked into if persons really going to throw down it’s going to be less than 15 yards and closer, at that point and I’m just being honest I don’t even use my rear sights once I get within 10 yards of a silhouette I’m just going off at the front sight Focus and that’s it, I compensate for the offset not using the rear sights by dropping the front sight a couple inches lower to anticipate the recoil and it is very accurate. I do believe that whether it’s a 9 mm or 45 caliber you’ve got to be accurate with the placement of that round otherwise you’re just wasting shots

      • Fredo on February 5, 2020 at 9:33 am

        After decades of witnessing the 45 vs 9 mm battle. I’ve come to a conclusion that many people lean towards the 9 mm including the military because it’s easier to control and thus are more accurate, especially for a teenager fresh out of high school.
        Now as far as the technology of rounds go, technology has improved for all of the basic calibers including 45 so there is no advantage there for the 9.
        The lack of penetration, compared to a 9mm ,from a 45 can be eliminated by using a long barrel , 5″+, and +P rounds. The rest of the argument as far as damage goes, should be common sense.
        And fyi, if you are an expert at shooting a needle into people’s medulla, caliber is irrelevant until the large size becomes combersome.

        • Erick on March 15, 2020 at 3:59 pm

          My department switched to +p for 45’s. The reason they went over to the +P was to punch through windshields. We were already running +P for our 9 9mms. We were allowed to carry bone stock ( night sights ok. weapon purchased at our own expense ) Smith and Glock 21’s ( It was the 2nd Gen Glock era. I am not old. I am a classic ). Due to the heavy load some people with both types of weapons had malfunctions as the slide was moving too fast causing failure to feed.

          Q-Did the owners of their weapons replace recoil springs on a maintenance schedule?

          Q-What should a large department do?

          Q-Are you willing to do it?

          You’ve been practicing with your weapon on a consistent basis. But you have not reached the mark to replace that recoil spring. In fact you are 1000 rounds short. You get Into a real shooting scenario. One round goes off, and you get a failure to feed. You are up close and personal with this guy. You do your failure drill. Mabe you are just faster and things work out like the movies.

          Q-do you think your mind will change about +P in a 45 cal?

          My department stopped using them in 45 cal because there were enough malfunction to stop. We had competant and caring armorers and shooting instructors ( These guys gave a fuck and went out of their way for you ). Everything from grip, shooting stance, limp wrist-ing and recoil spring pressure was examined.

          Now let me add a little something about 9mm vs .45.

          1996 responded to a domestic violence call shots fired. Mamma and papa wen’t getting along I guess. My partner and I got to the apartment and the door was open. You could smell the gunpowder. We began clearing the location and papa was lying face up in nothing but his white-e-tieties. There were 5 gunshots to his chest. Two shots were within an inch of his heart. His chest was gurgling and slurping. There was no blood on the floor below him. The ambulance took him away. The paramedic’s said he probably would not live.

          According to mama’s statement, Papa got crazy and chased her into the bath room. He kicked in the door and she was able to disarm him ( He was lying next to the bathroom door. There were 3 casings in the bathroom and a couple of more in the living room 10-12 ft away. My opinion is he got shot in the living room and after he kicked the door in. She said she shot him. He didn’t get more than three feet from the bathroom.

          One week later the detective in charge advised me that papa lived, walked out of the hospital and back to Mexico. There were no exit wounds.

          10mm. Confirmed by projectiles taken out of Papa.

          Let me now take you back to 1987. I Have hair and an angular face. Rookie year.

          Officer needs help!! Officer Needs Help!!! A tenured officer responded to a “violent male mental on a *TD bus. He gets there with his partner and the front door of the bus opens. Out charges the male mental with a screw driver in his hand. The officer fired three round from his 9mm Baretta 92F.

          3 rounds all center mass within 2 inches of each other.

          In 30 years I saw a shit-ton of things. Plenty of gang shootings.

          Take this for what it’s worth. Work scenarios out in your head before they happen.

          Good luck out there.

          • Erick on March 15, 2020 at 4:02 pm

            Oh yeah……Male mental dropped like a 50 pound bag of sand. Died instantly.

          • Mike on April 7, 2020 at 11:03 pm

            Cool story for real. I carry a 9mm myself, and train to rapid fire.

          • pappy on January 2, 2021 at 7:13 pm

            Interesting. I have never shot a people. Growing up in Alaska, I have shot more than a fair share of big game. I can say with great certainty that many animals don’t just simply fall over and die. I imagine humans are the same. Case in point, a 1600lb bull moose…shot 3 times at 50 yards with a .338 magnum. All three shots vital to heart and lungs. It stood there looking at me. Walked closer and finished it with a 44 round between the eyes. Another, was a 300lb black bear. Shot with 300 win mag at 500 yards. Heart shot, rolled it on the spot. It got up and walked about 25 yards before falling. My point being, is animals don’t always die the same. I am older now, living in the city. I carry a Sig P226 9mm, or a Springfield 1911 in 45. As to which will stop a human faster…haven’t a darn clue. I just know the most important thing is to shoot a lot, and carry the gun you are most comfortable shooting. For me, that is the Sig p226 9mm. I am just way more comfortable with the way it shoots. I use +P ammo. Either will get the job done for protection. I have been shooting for 50 years now. Practice is key. Missing it not an option.

      • Chief 975 on April 20, 2022 at 8:47 pm

        Prefer a 9 mm. Make your best shot number one. Then get ready for a gunfight. More rounds the better.

      • Raymond Mathis on August 30, 2023 at 4:09 pm

        I agree with you! I own several different calibers but the 1911 45 will always be my favorite!

    • SK on June 24, 2018 at 8:40 am

      Really late to the discussion. As a non operator and someone who can’t get to the range much an article I read made sense to me as simple as it may seem. “A bigger hole is better than a smaller hole and more holes is better than one hole.” I read this after selling my XD Tactical in .40 to a friend and then settled on .45 GAP. No regrets.

      • JP on November 29, 2018 at 9:36 am

        Even later to the conversation but figured I’d throw my ring in the hate. Going on 7 years Law Enforcement here with a rough Dept. Being only 30 the 9mm argument was often a argument and war waged by my generation of officer. We argued more capacity modern rounds ect ect. That changed for me Dec of 2017. Involved in a shooting with my partner. 12 shots fired. 10…..again 10 rounds landed on target. Guy KEPT COMING and managed to shoot back twice. Immediately retired the Glock 17 and requalified with a Glock 21 Gen 4 after a long break. You can read all the FBI reports and all the ballistic gel crap you want. Witnessed it first hand. The 9mm isn’t a garbage round but feeling better with these 230 grain Winchester Rangers loaded on my side. Sorry for the rant. Just some REAL world observation not keyboard commando stuff. Stay safe everyone

        • Riley Bowman on November 29, 2018 at 11:03 am

          JP, first of all, I’m really sorry you had to go through that. And I can certainly understand WHY you would be led to thinking that switching to the Glock 21 would improve your chances of getting a stop. But I think your decision is not based on any real scientific backing and is more rooted in confirmation bias than anything. Why do I say that? Because you are making a decision based on the fact that something (9mm) didn’t work. But you have no proof that the .45 ACP will work that much better. There are already documented instances where .45 ACP also failed to get reliable stops on a bad guy. This is just one of them: https://www.policeone.com/police-heroes/articles/6199620-Why-one-cop-carries-145-rounds-of-ammo-on-the-job/

          In that encounter, Sgt Gramins shot the suspect 14 times, any one of 6 of those would have almost certainly been fatal wounds. But the guy kept on coming. Sound familiar?? Oh, and Sgt. Gramins was using a 13+1 capacity Glock 21 in .45 ACP.

          In the words of Dr. Peter Rhee, a leading trauma surgeon and a retired Navy captain with 24-years of service, talking about all handgun wounds including .45 ACP and 9mm, he said, “A Handgun wound is simply a stabbing with a bullet. It goes in a like a nail.”

          What that means is that handgun bullets, as opposed to the devastating wound channels rifle projectiles can cause, are only just poking little holes in people. And other trauma surgeons are on record as saying that they cannot tell the difference between wounds caused by 9mm, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP.

          .45 ACP is not the “one-shot-stopping” hammer that some people think it is. The science says otherwise. Trauma surgeons, the guys actually opening up people’s chests and trying to put them back together, say otherwise. Experiences on the streets say otherwise. To everyone that’s been in a shooting with a .45 Auto, and they say, “Thank goodness it was a .45 because I only had to use one or two shots.” It’s just confirmation bias. There are an almost equal number of shootings with 9mm that are ended with one or two shots as well.

          What more and more people are choosing is CAPACITY. Because capacity equals TIME. When all else fails, when the rounds fail to stop the bad guy, then you need time on your side. Once you run out of rounds, you’re done. Your story could have just as easily gone the same way but with a Glock 21 (similar to Timothy Gramins experience). But the major difference is that you would have been 2 rounds away from having to reload as compared to 6 rounds in the case of a Glock 17. Just imagine what it might have been like had you had to perform a reload in that situation?

          I choose capacity.

          • Louis on March 31, 2019 at 1:20 am

            Okay all handgun are garbage. How about that..most people shot by handguns survive. Most people shot with long gun rounds they tend to be doa . That said a handgun is only used to get to a bigger firearm..it was never ment to be used in longer than 30 meter engagements. Every round has its purpose. .45 acp is a good round and I prefer it used in close quarter environments becuse it is heavier and pack more energy. Now for long engagements that are seen more in military ops and where fire suppression matters most I prefer 9mm. We carried 19 rounds of 9mm in combat. Not to kill but enough to let us get to our guys or a firearms.

          • Anthony on October 24, 2019 at 8:26 pm

            So you’re “that guy” safe at home on the computer. I seen it first hand as well. Millenials and their “bias” arguments

          • Taurus 45 on November 3, 2019 at 8:07 am

            As I have read your comments and, also read many debates including what science says. I believe you are in some way getting a kick back from someone, wanting to push the idea that the 9mm is more affective than the 45. I’ve shot so many different weapons, started at the age of 11, hunted most of my life. What it really boils down to is budget, not protection. I would challenge anyone to shoot a 9mm against my 45 and, I promise my 45 will be the 9mm all day everyday. Even long range shots! Also my pattern emptying a clip rapidly against someone with a 9mm, I’ll win that as well all day everyday! The only reason law enforcement and, military use a 9mm is budget. You can not tell me this otherwise because, I know this for a fact. I however still allowed to carry a 45 and, will as long as I am able to. So in other words, Science is also getting a kick back just so the 9mm gets so called, scientific proof! What a joke!

          • Erik on February 18, 2023 at 10:01 pm

            I agree with your bad guy statement, but when I was training to become a Paramedic and obviously most of the training was done in the ER so we definitely saw damn’er everything you can imagine especially a lot of gunshot incidents and what I can tell you was that we were able to save and keep more bad guys alive who were shot with 9mm multiple times than those who had been shot 1-2 times with a .45

        • Ronald C Wagner on April 14, 2019 at 8:19 pm

          Thanks for your comment! I see your point. If I were young I would consider a compact 45, but at 73. I don’t know if the recoil might throw me off. I can concealed carry and the weight of my Ruger compact 9mm is about as heavy as I want.

          • RJB on November 10, 2019 at 11:15 am

            Taurus 45
            First off when you call a magazine a CLIP, everything you say is null and void as far as I’m concerned. Secondly, if you you tube ballistic testing of the 9mm and 45acp, lets say using Federal HST’s you will see that the 9mm round is more than capable and every bit as functional as the 45 in getting the job done. Penetration, velocity, expansion, it’s all there. Just saying.

        • Charlie Butterick on April 18, 2020 at 11:18 am

          JP-Thank you for your real life documentation. As a medical provider who fractured his back, making a house call in Alaska-dealing with chronic pain issues-I have talk to our local Police Captain. I was a PA-C in the military. We were trained with a .45, to protect the patient. Our PD Captain has suggested that if I wish to carry, as a civilian, that I carry a .45 cal. Your story reinforced this…as civilian in counters are closer that “usual” police work. I am sorry for your incounter. Glad you are doing well.

          • MGeren Gysgt.(E7)USMC on December 4, 2020 at 2:36 pm

            I am a Force Recon Marine with 10 years of advanced military training and have served 7 separate combat tours. During each tour I was personally involved multiple combat engagements. I have used both calibers personally in combat, and I can say unequivocally and without any doubt whatsoever that the .45 cal DEFINITELY has much more knockdown power than the 9mm which due to its higher velocity tends to punch right through the assailant leaving him wounded but still on his feet and able to return fire. In my own personal EXPERIENCE the .45 tends to put the assailant down with ONE OR TWO rounds. Are there exceptions? Of course there are but in general the .45 with its bigger slower round is the better choice for knockdown power. The 9mm is being adopted by military and law enforcement due to it’s higher capacity and lower price, as well as the reduced recoil which increases accuracy for many who find the .45 a bit much to handle. Again this is my opinion and it is based on personal COMBAT EXPERIENCE

    • Larry S on November 2, 2019 at 4:57 pm

      We traded all the 9s some years ago for the 40 which give knockdown power plus multiple rounds.

    • Baxter Rinehart on February 17, 2020 at 8:13 pm

      I still prefer the .45. It makes a bigger hole.

    • Emakk on March 3, 2020 at 5:54 pm

      Leave it to a bunch of idiot Marines to bring a pistol to a rifle fight. I think the armchair warriors need to think about how a pistol is barely effective in military situations. Do you really think that all of SOCOM is using rifles and SMGs, and the Marines are using pistols? The pistol is not their primary weapon.

    • Playn Hardball on March 31, 2020 at 9:54 am

      One thing to note is that for more most applications the military is restricted to FMJ loads. So modern ammo IS NOT the reason to switch back to the 9mm. I assume that it is cost that is the main concern. G19 vs custom 1911 equals a big price difference. It is also a logistics factor… 45 is just one more different ammo to resupply.

    • Joe on May 6, 2020 at 6:55 am

      I own 9mm, .40′ and .45′. I like all of them. I also am a NRA Certified Instructor and gunsmith in Colorado. What I have seen over the years on this debate, is that the majority, not all, prefer the 9mm due to it’s minimal recoil, magazine capacity and concealability. What I have also seen on the range at 25 yards, while shooting steel silhouette’ time after time, was the 9mm would fail to kick the silhouette out of the track 7 out of 10 times without placing another shot. As where the .45, would dislodge the silhouette every time with a single shot. What I have found, is it’s a matter of preference. If you like and are comfortable with what you shot, then you will carry what you like.

    • Alex Guinn on April 5, 2021 at 1:51 pm

      Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement. Of course shot placement is important.

      But nearly worthless in real world situations. Example; a bb to the eyeball is very effective.

      For the better part of a decade, working on the streets in 2 of the 4 most dangerous neighborhoods in these United States, (per semi-annual FBI Violent Crime statistics) shot distance and circumstance can NOT be accurately anticipated.

      Training, muscle memory, nerves, etc… dictate to me, that the harder hitting rounds are far more apt to keep me going home in the morning.

      Your shots have to count. One or two out of every twenty or more “perfect placement” leaves me desirous of a heavy hitter.

      (My backup was a Model 629 btw)

      Personal preference and experience vary.

    • Robert on September 26, 2021 at 12:53 pm

      All the scientific debates the fact is both are great but it’s interesting to me as a marine my understanding that the 45 was developed for the jungle warfare against drugged up Muslim extremist in the Philippines inthat timeframe and then fast forward to Falluja drugged up Muslims extremist And everybody Marines wanted 45 again In real situations Where it matters most I just wrote my friend who is in the thick of —- and Falluja lost an arm multiple casualties and his answer was quick and simple 45. He carries a nine personally currently because of the round capacity but in combat 45

    • Wayne on July 9, 2022 at 10:05 pm

      One of the reasons for the 45 why soldiers love the 45 has to do with the bullet itself “tumbling” once it hits flesh. And I am surprised that this was not mentioned. Another reason why in war officers loved the 45 as for close infighting it usually too just 1or2 shots to land the enemy on the ground. This accurately stuff doesn’t make too much sense when you have a bonsai charge advancing on you and your rifle was not available.

    • Mark DeLaVega on September 5, 2023 at 5:20 am

      Thanks for that analysis…I’m keeping my .45

  2. Dan on October 5, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    My feeling is that the gun for you will be as individual as you are. Is it comfortable for you to carry and shoot and are you accurate and reasonably quick in getting it from concealment to shooting? A .50 Desert Eagle is no good if you cannot carry it and get it out and shoot it accurately and fairly quickly, no matter what the knock-down power if you were able to hit anything with it. On the other hand, a .22 that you can carry easily and put into operation quickly and shoot accurately is probably not a good defense gun/round because to do enough damage requires brain-shot accuracy with each shot. Any gun between 9 mil and .45 caliber is fine if you can conceal it, and employ it quickly and with reasonable accuracy.

    • Mike on October 5, 2016 at 4:23 pm

      I could not agree more!

    • Bill Norris on May 11, 2019 at 11:00 am

      Dan, your and many other’s comments ring true. I notice one parameter that seems to be ignored. What type of bullet is being fired? I hear arguments attempting to compare a 9mm “Gold dot” bullet (a hollow point expanding bullet) to a .45 “Hydrashock” bullet (a hollow cavity expanding bullet with a hardened sabot embedded in the cavity. Both are great bullets, but not really comparable.
      How about some scientific caliber comparisons with the same type bullet and velocity range and most common weights. The comparisons that I have seen conducted under those conditions seem to be pretty equal. After 22 years as a combat soldier, I am kind of partial to the .45 ACP, but I shoot modern, guide rod equipped with aftermarket sights, not “rack guns”. Oh boy, that could start a whole new area of discussion – 1911 vs 1926, most common bullet weights, etc.
      My bottom line is to shoot what you shoot the best. One hit with any caliber has more stopping power than 100 misses with any caliber, type bullet or inherent accuracy.

      • Michael Hall on December 5, 2019 at 10:00 am

        Finally, someone mentions what type of ammo is being used. Thank you Bill ! Type of ammo, stopping power, number of shots, shot placement, kick back, does the gun fit your hand, and whether your cheap crappy gun jams on you – these are all part of the equation. But if stopping power is your only indicator of success in battle, then I suggest a WWII 16 inch navy rifle – same as the Battleship Missouri !

    • Acey on January 12, 2020 at 9:04 am

      That has been the best comment so far. To each their own.

  3. Beentheredonethat on October 5, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Maybe Obama’s army should be issued paint ball guns so there is a non-lethal component too…….

    • Champion2211 on October 6, 2016 at 8:44 am

      Obama wants us dead. That is those of us that has and carries guns. For me I have a 9mm that is concealable as well as my AR15 223 and like some of the others on here I would rather us my 15. Now that has some stopping power and even at 600 yards

      • Mike on December 28, 2016 at 10:48 pm

        Spend the little extra money and get the 5.56 chambered AR so you can safely shoot the higher pressure and accurate 5.56 ammunition and leave the .223 in the store.

        5.56 NATO in .223 Rem could result in failures.
        .223 Rem in 5.56 NATO is OK.

        It is all in the “throat” (Leade) and where the bullet contacts the rifling.

        • Billy Mac on May 7, 2020 at 6:17 pm

          All this scientific garbage really sounds great, but if you need fifteen rounds to eliminate a threat you got real bad aiming habits. I have a rock island arms 1911 45, a Walther p22 22cal., A heritage rough rider 22 6 inch barrel. You can either hit a target or not that simple. 15 -25 yards lol I can hit you in between the eyes with my co2 bb pistol. I do lean toward my 1911 just because I like it. Like cars and motorcycles it’s all a matter of preference for each individual.God Bless America and May God keep us safe so we don’t ever have to be put in a situation to have to find out.

    • Ken on October 6, 2016 at 11:25 am

      I think the pain element is still to much with paint balls for Obama’s new policy I think dart guns with the rubber suction cups would be more his speed.

  4. Jim Brinkley on October 5, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    After hours of research, I ordered a Glock .357 sig.
    It seems to me to be better than the 9mm or the 45 acp
    for every day carry.

    • Riley Bowman on October 5, 2016 at 4:37 pm

      As long as YOU are comfortable with the choice, then I’m happy for you! The .357sig does have very impressive ballistics. However, it does suffer from the same issue as the .40s&w, and that is that it’s snappier in its recoil impulse. Not to suggest that a skilled shooter (and/or soldier or Marine) couldn’t shoot it, but almost anybody is going to be faster with a 9mm in their hands.

      But good luck with and please enjoy the new Glock!

      • Robert J. Urban on October 5, 2016 at 5:17 pm

        Riley, love your artical. A little back ground, for almost 17 years that I carried a badge I carried a S&W 6″ 357 on a K frame as my service carry. I shot Master for a while. This was not a good CC gun so I traded it for a S&W 39-2 9mm. This was not a good CC carry eather so for a while I did not carry CC. But with the way things are going today I decided it was time, so I just bought S&W M&P 9 Shield. I have not fired it yet but have dry fired it some to get back in tune.
        What do you Think of the S&W Shield?

        • Simon on October 5, 2016 at 6:00 pm

          Do give the Walther PPS serious consideration. Mine is easily concealable, accurate and has never failed to function.

        • Chuck on October 5, 2016 at 8:32 pm

          Whatever happened to the body armor piercing 5.7 round- 20 in the mag, one in the pipe n if that ain’t enough, 30 round mag works great for me!!!! SS and Homeland couldn’t be to aly wrong!!!

        • Eberhardt Huhn on January 12, 2018 at 6:35 am

          Cheap crap. Looks like a Chinese-made toy gun. Wouldn’t waste my money on it.

  5. Mark Linebarger on October 5, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    I have been hand loading my rifle and pistol ammo since 1975. The above referenced “expert” needs to stick with whatever he may really be an expert at.
    His analysis is paramount to someone telling me the 7mm Rem Mag will outperform the 8mm Rem Mag…. for all the same reasons.

    • Riley Bowman on October 5, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      Long time reloader right here as well which is why I couldn’t believe when I read what I did in that other article…clearly someone that doesn’t understand how these things work!! And they call themselves a “forensics expert.”

      • RB Designer on October 7, 2016 at 1:26 am

        I carry a Glock 19 with 15+1 and am quite crafty with it. I like it and am very comfortable pulling the trigger in as high stress of a situation as training allows.

        After reading your article, I had to 1.) laugh at the “forensic expert” and 2.) Sit back and take a deep breath and pray that if I am ever involved in a use of force criminal trial, pray like mad that this Marine is NOT called as an “Expert Witness” because I do not think there is enough toilet paper in a courthouse to clean up the mess this guy is going to make from his testimony. It is really scary to think that a jury would put any weight behind what he says knowing that the rest of my life will be determined by the crap spewed forth from him. I’m no expert by the way but, I know that said “air resistance on the nose of the bullet” is NOT the predominate factor in any ballistics array.

        Great article by the way. Love reading your stuff. Thanks

  6. Victor Landry on October 5, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    I recently bought a Sig P227 Tacops. I have small hands for a guy but I have no problems with accuracy. I had a Sig P320 and the recoil is not that much greater. The P227 Tacops holds 14 rounds in the mag and 1 in the chamber so 15 rounds is similar to the Glock. I like the P227 better.

    • Riley Bowman on October 5, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      That’s good, it is always good for people to find what works best for them. Many do not discover the gun that’s right for them as easily as you have (if they ever do)!

      Enjoy! Those are nice guns!

  7. Daniel on October 5, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    I see no problem with any branch of the U.S. military using the 9mm, but they need to go back and annul the Hague Commission signing. As mentioned in the article, the terminal ballistics of the modern 9mm is virtually the same as the .40S&W or the older .45ACP round – but that is with modern 9mm JHP ammo. I have read how the 124gr 9mm ammo used by NATO does not do its intended job. I have also read that the 124gr NATO round is a +P. However, if the bullet lacks a JHP configuration, then it’s not doing as well as it could.

    I carry a 9mm on me at all times, and I feel it is adequate enough to do what I need from a handgun, but I have them loaded with 147gr JHP ammo. I know the argument for +P with lighter bullets, but I settled on these because they meet my two most important criteria for defensive ammo – penetration and accuracy. I also read a recent article about a fishing guide who shot and killed a grizzly bear with a 147gr, 9mm from a S&W 3913. Yes, I know it was a +P round, but then, there aren’t any grizzly bears in my neck of the woods.

    • Riley Bowman on October 5, 2016 at 4:32 pm

      Daniel, the US has generally abided by the Hague (and Geneva) Conventions and their respective protocols. But the US never officially ratified these protocols, and is not officially bound by them.

      Also SOCOM has been using hollowpoint ammunition for years, but primarily against unsanctioned terrorist personnel.

      Officially last year it was announced that DoD intends to move to hollowpoint ammunition with this new MHS gun (whichever one ends up winning the contract). Just one article about that here: http://bearingarms.com/bob-o/2015/07/08/u-s-military-makes-monumental-shift-hollowpoint-pistol-ammunition/

      So, yes, they are looking at it with the assumption that modern 9mm JHP bullets perform very similarly to .40s&w and .45acp, and thus will move toward 9mm loadings for sidearms.

    • Mike on July 29, 2018 at 6:06 pm

      That’s funny. Just came down from AK and bears and mad moose have been my biggest issue. With that in mind… The most lead I can force through the air, the better. I like a simple .45 +P with a lot of lead. Not concerned with concealed carry. Open carry is fine where I’m at. CHEERS.

  8. Ben on October 5, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Let me suggest that politics might be at play. Surprising, I know, given the current state of affairs in DC. Sad. True.

    • Riley Bowman on October 5, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      Ben, enlightened folk like you (and myself) understand that politics is ALWAYS at play on some level!! Thanks for reading and commenting!!

    • Dick Kennard on October 11, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      I hadn’t even gotten halfway through the article before coming to the same conclusion. If the Government is involved in any way, money will change hands. The .45 is a less desirable round because of Air Resistance? Gimme a break!

      Anyone using the term “bullets” to discuss weapon capacity knows little about firearms and has no business writing policy.on them. Robert MacNemerra knew nothing about firearms but his decision that the AR-15’s chrome lined bore and chamber was a needless waste of money brought a whole lot of grief to a whole lot of people.

    • Nash on April 17, 2021 at 9:00 pm

      Biggest factor DIRT.

  9. Steve S. on October 5, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    My understanding in past test 9mms don’t do well in front car windshield stops. Ricochet off.

    • Riley Bowman on October 5, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      The latest in 9mm bullet tech performs much better than in the past on windshields. No matter what caliber you are carrying, just remember that one of the keys to shooting through auto glass (whether from within or outside the vehicle) is to shoot as much as possible through the same hole. If the first bullet ricochets off the windshield, the succeeding rounds will make it through. Also ALL handgun calibers are susceptible to ricochet especially when compared to rifle rounds. But the modern bullets are getting better all the time!

  10. Robert Riddle on October 5, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    How about a discussion of American made vs foreign made weapons for our military?
    Is S&W so inferior that our domestic brand was eliminated?
    Seems to me that American businesses take it in the chin enough already without this insult.

    • Riley Bowman on October 5, 2016 at 4:49 pm

      Fair point!

      Although it should be noted that Glock is manufacturing in the US now, Sig Sauer is as well. I also do not understand why the M&P was disqualified, but it could be that other manufacturer’s guns have already been eliminated as well. S&W was required to announce it due to SEC requirements as they are one of the only publicly-owner companies. Any other manufacturers that have been notified that they are not going to be selected may be waiting for the DoD to make the official announcement.

      But I agree, I would LOVE to see more true American companies represented!! I am not sure why Ruger did not enter a weapon into the competition (like the new American pistol), but it could be that they looked at the RFP and made a determination that for some reason their pistols didn’t fit the bill, or perhaps they decided it wasn’t worth it. Keep in mind, competing for government contracts is expensive, time-consuming, and maintaining an awarded contract can be a royal pain in the you-know-what! Ruger already dominates the American handgun market, and they are very profitable, so it may not have been worth it to them.

      • Frank K on October 6, 2016 at 4:21 pm

        I believe politics carries the most weight.The military sidearm is the least political concern as far as what other weapons are available for them.The beretta was a good example.Far from the best weapon compared to sig & glock,it got us a deal to put missles in Italy .
        Frank K

    • Bob on April 19, 2019 at 8:07 pm

      Seems to me that when using the same style bullet in the 45 and 9mm the 45 would still beat the 9 in stopping power. It did when it came to FMJ bullets.

  11. SAWBLADE SILVER on October 5, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Both really do not muster up for the Marines. I would go with the 38 Super + P. Now you have something to rely on. Very accurate and deadly, The bullet travels at 1450 FPS. Of course providing as to the type of ammo. I like my Colt GOV. Model. Never had a jam up firing many different kinds of ammo. But I do like Cor- Bon, and Glaser POW’RBALL BY COR-BON.

  12. Richard Hennigh on October 5, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Many years ago in auto racing, there was a saying regarding power. “there is no substitute for Cubic Inches”. It appears now we have had to “Dumb Down” our .45cal. hand guns to suit little feminine hands who shoots the Bad Guys with far less recoil and stopping power. There are many fine little “Girls Guns” in 380 cal. Small grip,,Low recoil,,, easy conceability … One size does Not fit all. If that were true, we would only have one size Shoe, Clothing Etc. I am sure the debate will go on till the last “Cockroach” dies .

    • Riley Bowman on October 5, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      Richard, I guess I have “little feminine” hands as I prefer to carry my 9mm for self-defense and on duty.

      But I think the bigger point to be made is that it would not be wise to make a decision on a pistol or caliber simply because it is bigger, and therefore more “manly.” It should be made based on the merits and actual performance of the different calibers and/or pistols. The latest testing shows that modern 9mm performs pretty much as well as the other common semi-auto options, and since it carries more rounds and is easier to shoot (and I don’t care who you are, but it is easier/faster to shoot compared to the larger calibers), it is fairly sound logic to select the 9mm. Not to mention costs savings in ammo which is a big deal both in the government and civilian perspective. Government can spend less of my tax dollars (maybe….), and I can buy twice the ammo and get twice the practice.

      • MasterORTech on October 5, 2016 at 9:22 pm

        Having had lots of time with all 3 (9mm, 40 s&w and 45acp) yes the 9 is easier to fire and carries more ammo but in my experience you need that extra ammo to stop the threat. Having fired 45 ACP and 9mm at human targets the 9 took 3 sometimes 4 hits c.o.m. to stop the threat. With the 45 2 at most. I’m an athletic guy so handling the recoil is not too bad. Yes I can only get 2 shots off accurately in the same time as 4 with a 9 but again 2 usually does it. F=MA is F=MA. The 9 has more A but the M of the 45 has more than enough to overtake the 9 even the newer ones.
        For the spray and pray that they teach nowadays the high cap 9mm is good. But for those of us that like to aim and make good hits I’ll take the 45 as a primary with a compact 9 as a backup. There ya go compromise just carry both.

        • Poupon Marx on June 22, 2017 at 5:05 pm

          Thank you. There is no substitute for experience.

        • Mike MC2 on March 20, 2019 at 10:39 am

          F=MA is not applicable. Projectiles do not “accelerate” once they leave the muzzle. Maximum velocity is achieved only at barrel exit, then slows during flight through the viscous median known as our environment (air). When there’s no more powder burning to ‘push’ the projectile, it decelerates. A more accurate equation is (terminal) Energy, defined as 1/2 the mass times the velocity squared. Note how velocity is squared, and mass is halved. Take it from me, a physics major.

          • Colorado Flyfisher on December 14, 2021 at 9:03 pm

            F = MA is absolutely true as it applies to ballistics.

            If I remember my undergraduate physics, acceleration is defined as a change in velocity or a change in vector. In other words, negative acceleration and a non-linear path are both occurring. The projectile is losing velocity and arcing downward. F=MA always applies to the known laws of physics.

  13. The Celt on October 5, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    What I saw in Korea during the Korean War was that the .45 ACP was the most deadly
    handgun on the UN Side. The 45’s power and bullet size vs. the 9 mm Luger round was
    very obvious. The 45 hit harder and put your target down more quickly than the 9 mm.
    The saying The Quick And The Dead was true. Hit your enemy Quickly and He’s Dead.
    The 45 1911 did just that.
    I carried a Colt 1911 while serving in Korea. I still carry a Ruger P-97 in 45 ACP caliber.
    My next handgun will be either a Ruger SR 1911 or a Kimber 1911 clone.
    The 45 ACP is my choice of a Heavy Hitter.

  14. Richard Hennigh on October 5, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Just happened to recall the powerful 10 auto cartridge. Was the 357 mag. too powerful??? We souped up the 38 special to produce it .The 10 Auto was dumb ed down to create the 40sw. I carry a 10auto. I love it. there again I drive a 502 Gasser for pleasure. To each his own….

    • Riley Bowman on October 5, 2016 at 4:56 pm

      The 10mm is AWESOME!

  15. George on October 5, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Para Ordnance 12-45, officer size 1911 .45acp with 12 or 14 rd mags.
    25 yard 1.5×2″ off hand 5 rnd groups on the nose.

    • Mike on July 29, 2018 at 6:18 pm

      Thats right George. With practice almost anything is possible. I can make a kill shot with just under 1 sec at 60 meters with my .45. A 9 is a great backup. The saga will never end.

  16. Stevie on October 5, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    I’ve carried about every size round in my 71+ years of which 36 was an LEO. IMHO, everyone of us is different in all ways from head to toe and mostly including the brain and fitting a handgun is different for all. I know some are going to maybe chuckle but when I want a deep concealed handgun, I go with my PF9 Keltec. It has never failed me and conceals extremely well. When the weather is colder and requires a jacket or coat, I carry my Glock 30s, extra mag for either. I know a LEO that works in Mendocino County CA. that’s a monster, 6’7″ about 260 and has hands as big as a base ball mitt, when he carries concealed, he goes with a Glock 43 which looks like a toy in his very large hands. Handgun caliber and size is to each is own. Just carry what YOU feel most comfortable with and shoot the best with as shot placement is most important.

  17. Michael Angelo on October 5, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Opinions all ! A good hit from either will wreck an adversary’s day . I am a colt Gvt. 45 guy and .357 mag lover . To me the rest don’t count. The two calibers no one wants to get tagged by .

  18. John on October 5, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Since doing some research on the new ammo for the .380 acp, I’ve decided that 17-22″ of penetration from Lehigh & Ruger Personal Defense rounds, I carry the Browning Black Label .380. Of course, not being in the military, or law enforcement, my goal is no collateral damage! I can shoot consistently accurately. Fun to shoot a couple of hundred rounds at the range, without soreness. I have most of the makers revolver & simi-auto, in most of the major calibers. I like them all! But I’m my opinion, they are tools! Let the Craftsman pick his tools! It’s hard for Civilians to understand the firepower of the Military & Police, and what they can choose to bring to bear on their target, but we are responsible for each bullet fired, as Civilians! At 70, I choose to go small & straight! Do your thing, your responsible for your actions!

    • Michael Hall on December 5, 2019 at 10:20 am

      John – I agree, the Browning Black Label in 380 ACP is a superb gun. To my way of thinking, its great as a CC gun, or that in the boot back-up. Small, light, and more rugged than a lot plastic guns. So anyone reading this, you should check this gun out.

  19. Robert J. Urban on October 5, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Riley, love your artical. For almost 17 years that I carred a badge I carried a S&W 357 on a K frame. When I left LE I traided for a S&W 39-2 9mm. This was not a good CC carry for me so I stoped carring for a while. With the way things are going today I decided it was time to carry again. I still did like the 39-2 for CC. I just bought a S&W M&P 9 Shield. What do you think of the Shield or do you know anything about it?


  20. GM Henderson on October 5, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Really let’s cut to the chase. Let the operators in theater chose what they want. We all, sitting safe and pretty, can discuss this and that but we are NOT in their shoes. If an operator like a .45 go for it. If another prefers a 9mm let him use it. Sick and tried of people not in the field deciding what is best for those in the field.

  21. Grinder on October 5, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    I think it maybe a case of, it’s better to wound the enemy, than to kill him.
    If you wound one man, you take three men out of battle, one injured & two to care for him. If you kill one, you take one out of battle.
    I know I prefer .45ACP.

    • John F. (In Kuwait) on February 12, 2020 at 6:35 am

      Grinder: I realize this reply is way late in being posted, but I couldn’t let that pass.
      “Wounding one enemy combatant to take three out of the fight” (or at least two) was a good argument when we were facing civilized enemies such as the Germans in WW II.
      But it is no longer valid against today’s terrorists, and the mindset they fight with. They will simply leave their “buddy” there to die (and hopefully be able to take one of us with him). So Marines are now trained to simply kill them. (As my Sr. DI liked to say “Two in the chest, and one in the head, then you’re pretty damned sure that the bastard is dead.”

      • John F. (In Kuwait) on February 12, 2020 at 6:53 am

        PS: I forgot to mention that as a SAW gunner I was allowed to carry an “old” .45 (Springfield Armory). I also own both my father’s series 70 .45 (very accurate, low recoil due to mass, gunsmith tuned trigger that feels like butter, and extra fat grips) And a Kahr K40 (small, easy to conceal, but has a HORRENDOUS trigger pull and snappy recoil).
        If I am just going to the range with my son, I prefer the .45.
        But it’s definitely not easy to carry concealed (especially in hot weather) and I’m big guy.
        And both my wife and my son HATE the Kahr (makes their hand hurt).
        So, as so many have said above, it depends on what you are comfortable with and what you plan to be doing with it.
        Along that line of thought, I bought my tiny little 24 year old niece a pistol when she moved to Kansas by herself. I spent FAR more money letting her out every pistol they had for rent than I did purchasing her final choice. I thought a 5’5” 115lb girl with small hands would want a .380, so I was surprise when she chose a Walther PPS in 9mm.
        So it’s all about what fits they individual and what they are comfortable and accurate with.

  22. Ralston Dew on October 5, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    I have owned all of the above calibers plus.In S&W, Glock, Sig.CZ,Remington,Beretta.I have taken bob cats,coyote’s Jack rabbit’s Badger with all. Using the right bullet is where it counts. We have came a long ways with jackets, core’s and construction of bullets in the last 50 + years. If it works for our troops no matter where it is made that’s the one we want. Remember we started this country with every make and model of firearm known to man.Give our men our warrior’s the best.Let them choose the caliber they know better than anyone.

  23. Patrick Malone on October 5, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Marine Force Recon Vietnam Vet. Now that you know where I am coming from. In winter I concealed carry a 1911. But in summer I have just discovered the Sig Sauer P938, a 9mm 7+1 with extended magazine. I am aware of the ballistics of both rounds, and am a handloader. I can load my rounds as hot as I want, and often do. In my limited experience, shot placement is is the ultimate factor with any round. Practice, practice, practice. AND….carry what YOU are comfortable and accurate with.

    Semper Fi, and welcome home brothers

  24. Core on October 5, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Glocks are cheap and reliable. But honestly, if you cannnot conceal a 1911 you can’t conceal a G19.. That’s a bs statement, I know this because I carry concealed and my 1911 conceals just as well as a single stack 9mm compact. The double stack G19 is thicker. I’ve got a good deal of ballistic and aeronautical knowledge under my belt, and I agree in flight friction coefficient is not something that plays a significant enough role in comparative analysis of 9mm and 45 Auto at practical ranges. They are both capable of inflicting mortal wounds far beyond practical range. I have never personally tested 9mm long range, but I have seen 45 Auto results. I’m not going to begin to discuss the variables between the two calibers and cartridge designs but statistics released from DOJ shows that larger cartridges are more effective at stopping Humans per round on target. This doesn’t factor shot placement. So logically the 45 is more effective at stopping Humans, than the 9mm, data from lethal census. The pool of cartridges in the study are grouped which makes the data integrity less reliable but each group of larger calibers exhibit significant percentage better lethality. I would love to get my hands on the data and map it by cartridge. Many of the debate points industry experts and defense folks make are moot. In the end public opinion and perception has a great deal to do with defense decisions. Glocks are cheap, reliable, and have built a big following. While 9mm is not as good at killing men as the 45 Auto, it is smaller, lighter, cheaper, easier to handle, and allows more opportunities to miss the target.. I like how the author notes that the accuracy analogy is nonsense, that’s true. In combat the one thing that does count is having more capacity, whether you miss or have more threats to neutralize, more capacity is a good thing no matter how you look at it.

    • Michael Hall on December 5, 2019 at 10:28 am

      Core, you touch on something that I have often thought about. I know they don’t keep records like this; but if you could count all the rounds fired in a battle, and how many kills were made by each caliber; would that not be a better indicator of the efficiency of the caliber. There will always by that guy who can take several shots before dropping, and there will always be that perfect head shot. But what’s the long term average?

  25. Nate on October 5, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    I have several calibers, personally I like my Sig 239 40cal as my sidearm ! Great little weapon !!!

    • Bruce on October 5, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      Nate, Do I know you?

  26. Butch on October 5, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Think the title of this article is misleading. Should be “Marine Commanders Have…..” Each of the operators has his own preference.

    • Jacob Paulsen on October 5, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      Good point

    • Poupon Marx on June 22, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      “Marine Commissars”…….

  27. Doug on October 5, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    I think everyone should think back to why the 1911 was made. Knock down power.

  28. John Saunders on October 5, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    So many guns so little time! Okay 9s are cool, hold a lot of rounds, small recoil, cheap to shoot and buy. I guess I might be a little old school, 1911 45, M1 Grand in 3006, or M1A in a 308, these are older, but they have not made better guns or calibers…I still have a glock and some 9s, but only because If I do have to use it I dont want to lose my 1911, and yes I have a AR15, but still like the A1 more. So the moral of the story, use what you like, justify it any way you can, and enjoy the shooting sports, its fun, but if your life is on the line, well just give me a 45 in a 1911 Please.

  29. George Hages, MSgt, RET on October 6, 2016 at 1:07 am

    Well Obama wants his pay raise and his retirement increased. The money has to come from somewhere. Scratch expensive 45s. Give SOCOM GLocks which shoot 9mm (Glocks are great guns and I don’t have a problem with the 9mm, great cartridge especially with all the advancements over the last 30 years) as I was saying problem solved. There’s enough money saved that Obuma can skim the money from the DOD and get his pay raise, retirement increase and anything else his little heart desires. Just bless his little Prsident heart. He sure has screwed us military retires over the last several years!

    • George Hages, MSgt, RET on October 6, 2016 at 11:32 am

      What’s wrong with my comment

      • Jacob Paulsen on October 6, 2016 at 11:42 am

        Nothing wrong with your comment George

  30. Rich Hultén on October 6, 2016 at 10:14 am

    The 9mm is a typical government “one-size-fits-all” solution. With the continuation of the “pussification” of America we see so many in posotions of power making decisions that follow the continuation of that thinkinhg. Has anyone thought of learning how to control the .45 instead of wimping out after the first shot? The fifteen round magazine contributes to the “spray and pray” thinking while the 1911 makes one concentrate on placing the shot.

    • MGeren Gysgt.(E7)USMC on December 4, 2020 at 3:09 pm

      Thank you Rich if you need 15 rounds to put down the assailant you’re in trouble already

  31. Gregory A Gower on October 6, 2016 at 10:18 am

    I have not near the experience of some of the veterans in the service. I carry a para-ordinance warthog in 45 when it’s cold.I shoot the gun enought to know I can hit what I’m aiming at.(stress free situation) I also have a sig, p38 and carry that when it’s warm out.hightly concealable in a alien gear holster. and have shot that enough also to hit well with it. I have handgun hunted for over 25 yrs and enjoy it immensly, and also do a lot of reloading.IF a guy wants to carry a 45 or 9 or anything else and are comfortable and proficient with either, then why not? also carry a lcp ruger 380 in a desantis pocket holster, covers the trigger guard real nice. thanks for your time, greg

  32. Robert Torbett on October 6, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    I have found that I prefer the 9mm as an EDC concealed carry. I carry a S&W 9SDVE which I find can hold a good tight group. I have used the 1911 govt. .45 in Nam and owned one for several years. Like John Saunders, I also used a M1D scoped. I also have one that many people will call garbage. It’s a High Point .40S&W. I got it cheap and after using it and putting a few hundred rounds without any malfunction and also being very accurate. I find the heavy slide helps with the .40 recoil and keeps the barrel from jumping. I carry 9mm JHP for EDC and also use JHP in the .40 High Point. With all the discussion about hitting power of the big rounds, That is not the case with the new loads. Take a look at the FBI stats on their testing of various pistol ammunition as well as other reputable studies. The results may surprise many as it did myself. I just had to get my 2 cents in.

  33. Larry Muhr on October 7, 2016 at 12:40 am

    I have my personal preferences and it is the .45 ACP, next is the 40 S&W, down the line a couple of notches is the 9mm. I will address the people shooting the weapons in the military. There is a wide range of participants and many of them have never fired a gun of any kind. I believe the 45 ACP would scare many and they would rarely shoot to their capability. Therefore, the 9mm is probably the correct choice. For those not in the military, go for what you want. One writer mentioned the old adage about wounding one and it takes two more to remove him from the field of battle. True enough, but the dead enemy will not lie there or sit-up and shoot or pull the pin on a grenade on you as the wounded enemy might. Yes, I’m another old Viet Nam Vet.

  34. Ima Winner on October 7, 2016 at 1:27 am

    I definitely know how to settle this little petty argument. For those that think their their 45 is best, I’ll shoot my 9mm and for those that think their 9mm is best, I’ll shoot my 45.
    We will stand at 7 to 20 yards (your choice) and shoot each other in the chest. No vest…..and since it was my idea….I Shoot First!
    Hmmmm……since there probably won’t be any takers how about we all shake hands and realize we’re all “bound brothers” with the same interest. We enjoy our 2nd amendment and want it protected and were prepared to give our life to defend our country. And if I’m responsible enough to use a firearm to fight for my government, I’m responsible enough to own a firearm to protect myself and loved ones. May everyone who reads this have a Blessed Day! Thank you.

  35. Jera Scott on October 7, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Talk to someone that has been shot with a 9mm FMJ round and ask them what it feels like and contrast that to someone that has been shot with a 45 ACP FMJ round. You might be able to talk to the first guy.

  36. Robert Torbett on October 7, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Larry Muhr, A little anecdote. I had a neighbor when I lived outside Fort Worth. He was a deputy sheriff. Another deputy acquired a .45 and was having trouble being able to qualify with it. My neighbor saw that the guy was afraid of the thing and couldn’t get back on target after the 1st shot due to the recoil and his flinching with every shot. Well my neighbor finally bought the pistol from him and turned around and qualified with it in front of the other deputy. We had a good chuckle out of that one. By the way. The sheriff convinced the county to issue all the deputies glock 9mm’s to standardize the weapons and ammunition within the department. Before he did this there was almost as many different firearms within the department as deputies. And the department is no small one. His logic was that if there ever were a scene where they got into a firefight and one deputy ran out of ammo any of the others could provide him with one of their spare mags.

  37. Evan Sigmund on October 8, 2016 at 5:09 am

    I like both, so it is a matter of how balanced and comfortable is it when in use ? and I guess $$.. I sort of like the Canik TP9v2, with Browning BXP xpoint 147 gr load.

  38. R.W. on October 9, 2016 at 4:44 am

    Sadly, most government decisions like this are primarily based on cost effectiveness, not cartridge performance or effectiveness; that’s the main reason I quit using military or LE decisions as a factor in my own carry decisions. The old adage “If it’s good enough for the military, it’s good enough for me.” is just nonsense today. There are far too many different considerations and circumstances between self-defense necessities and military/LE necessities to list in a comment section; but they’re important distinctions.

    I carry a number of different calibers depending on what I’m wearing that day and where I intend to go; but I no longer even own a 9mm. I like to study real world crime stats and self-defense incidents; and study hundreds of shootings every year. What I find more often than not is, in cases of 9mm shootings, unless it’s a head-shot or perfectly placed shot to the sternum, victims rarely drop where they’re shot and are often found blocks away from where the original shooting took place… police actually have to trace blood droppings back to their origin to find the initial crime scene. Even after suffering multiple 9mm gunshot wounds, victims are capable of fleeing considerable distances. Now it’s true that most of those victims’ wounds ultimately proved fatal; but it’s also true that they were far from incapacitated and either did or could have returned fire if they were also armed.

    That’s not the kind of performance I’m looking for. In stark contrast, the vast majority of incidents involving .40 S&W and .45 ACP resulted in gunshot victims being DRT; they dropped and expired right where they were initially shot, even with imperfect shot placement. Now I’m not a scientist, and comparisons of expanded 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP projectiles shows what appears to be little or insignificant difference in diameter; so I can’t explain the results… perhaps bullet weight plays a role too. In any event, I used that data when shopping for a lighter and more easily concealed EDC than my .357 magnum revolver and hi-cap .45 ACP. I settled on a 9-round single-stack .40 S&W that has almost identical dimensions to the same pistol in 9mm. I personally don’t find much difference in recoil between a compact 9mm and compact .40 S&W; but I recognize and am sympathetic to other shooters who do.

    And here is where we get to one of the most important distinctions between military/LE and self-defense use; it’s also where I have some practical experience, having twice been the victim of home invasions, as well as having to defend myself in public in 4 other separate incidents. Soldiers and police officers are far more likely to engage multiple targets in extended shootouts with adversaries, and therefore have a much greater need for a high capacity pistol than I will in a self-defense scenario. Most self-defense shootings take place inside 20 feet and are over in seconds; if I’m out in public and shooting beyond that distance, it’ll probably be tough to sell as self-defense to a judge and/or jury anyway. With those factors in mind, I’d prefer one of the calibers most likely to immediately incapacitate and prevent return fire. If I’m in my own home in a self-defense scenario, at any distance, I’m armed with a 12 gauge, and the whole pistol capacity and power debate is moot.

    • Poupon Marx on June 22, 2017 at 5:12 pm

      This is exactly what I said above. If it doesn’t get deleted for my impatience with thoughtless comments.

  39. JS Leonard on May 23, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Physics says my 225 grain .45 ACP ,+P+ traveling at 1210 fps is more capable than ANY 9mm currently available. I’m sorry but a 225 grain bullet going 850 – 1200+ fps vs a 127 grain bullet going 975 – 1150 fps is going to be more effective and deadly. The FBI claims a bullet has no hydrostatic shock capabilities until at least 2200-2400 fps. But a .45/70 at 1597 fps equals a .270 Win at 3200 fps ballistically​ on impact and follow through. But according to the FBI (First Bunch of Idiots) it isn’t possible. The FBI can’t make up it’s mind and bounce​s back and forth. They have to show the bean counters “proof” for the money to fund the switch of caliber. So they fudge the data. Ballistic gel is a joke and not a valid substitute for actual flesh and bone. A tool yes but not a valid substitute. I’ve hunted with both 9 and 45. The deers shot with 9 ran and ran far compared to the short distance the 45 shot deer covered (100yds or less). Through and through shots were the issue and the 9 just bounced of bones and exited. The 45 deer had busted bones and bullets still within them. I’ve shot both calibers at humans as a soldier and as a LEO and 9mm just doesn’t get the same results as 45 in the same number of shots. I carry a 9 as one of my CCW, a Sig P938. But I understand the 9 isn’t on level with the 45 and know unless a headshot presents itself I will have to dump my mag 7+1 into whoever makes me engage them for a favorable outcome. Math is absolute and backs what I’ve stated.

    • Poupon Marx on June 22, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      Experience trumps everything else.

  40. Leon Schindler on October 17, 2017 at 9:08 am

    I read a study from an Army medic regarding one shot kills from a handgun. The one he found had the best chance was the .357 magnum. I owned a 9mm years ago and liked the gun, though the grip was too large for me due to the double stack magazine. I have never fired a .45 but rarely find the grips comfortable when I pick them up. The Ruger SR1911 is comfortable for some reason and I have considered getting one from time to time.

  41. Jim on November 22, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    I have 9 mm and I own mostly 45 ACP‘s, I can conceal a combat Commander with a small of the back holster with shorts T-shirt and flip-flops and nobody will know it’s there. I do think a close range the 45 ACP will knock someone down where ever you hit them. I think it’s preference and if you can conceal it. With civilians Mosher shootings occur within 7 yards that’s 21 feet are closer usually closer. Give me a 45 any day! That’s my two cents for what it’s worth. Regards Jim

    • Jim on November 22, 2017 at 11:13 pm

      Sorry for the typos are you speak to text because I can’t text like my child

  42. paradox on December 27, 2017 at 7:32 am

    The debate isn’t settled. Chris Bartocci on a YouTube video explains why MARSOC went away from this 1911. He watched MARSOC during a multi-national special forces competition, MARSOC couldn’t compete with the low capacity 1911. The only thing caliber has to do with it is 9mm is size efficient for capacity. 15 round magazine is better than a 7 round magazine. I’m sure, given the choice, MARSOC troops would take a 15 round FNX45 over a Glock 15. Unless they needed concealablity. The SEALS sure like their 45 acp, Mark 24 pistols (HK45 compact).

  43. GreenMan0352 on January 5, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    False. 9mm beats .45acp. 9mm. Beats. Battlestar Galactica.

    • BiPolar Bear. on March 12, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      Black bears are best. Fact.

    • Colorado Flyfisher on December 14, 2021 at 9:04 pm

      F = MA is absolutely true as it applies to ballistics.

      If I remember my undergraduate physics, acceleration is defined as a change in velocity or a change in vector. In other words, negative acceleration and a non-linear path are both occurring. The projectile is losing velocity and arcing downward. F=MA always applies to the known laws of physics.

  44. Patrick on January 10, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    .380 9mm .40 10mm or .45 one well placed shot and dead nothing really better about each round besides power and penetration they all kill in skilled hands and do there job in certain situations there is no better round than the one you train with period! .22lr is an assassins round yet we all have fun plinking around with it. Have fun be safe and shoot often for sport and recreation and maybe someday to save your life and loved ones!

  45. Stan on April 7, 2018 at 6:38 am

    The one thing I’ve learned and seen over a lot of shooting is that a 9mm with FMJ bullets is mostly useless. 15 round mag of 9mm FMJ unless you hit the heart better plan on using 3 to 5 rounds to stop the person. If you haven’t got JHP or ballistic tip bullets in the 9mm gun your in trouble. In most courtrooms today a good lawyer will take you apart for shooting a home invader more than one time if you hit him with the first shot in other words you wounded him with the first shot why did you keep shooting? The slower 45acp round FMJ will pass through but leaving more energy expended plus a larger wound channel so the same to a lesser degree applies to the 45 acp FMJ; but, if you have 45acp JHP in the gun usually one hit whether it be in the shoulder, leg or chest area game over. In other words slower bullet JHP more energy transferred more effective. But you have to shoot the gun your most accurate with and most comfortable with but if you don’t seat the grip of any pistol in the web of the hand deeply all guns no matter what the caliber the gun will whip in the hand. Just my thoughts and observations over the years. One other thought don’t ever modify the trigger on your self-defensive gun if you ever have to use it in those situations and lawyer finds that out he will own everything you have.

    have too.

  46. Five Angels on April 7, 2018 at 8:19 am

    From my time in the USMC, I saw a certain population fall in love with the 9mm bc of it’s easier to handle recoil. The guys that could handle the .45, all preferred it.

    It’s disturbing to me that we give up performance for comfort. Also, I question how much influence the logistics command had over this “conclusion”.

    One last thing, I love the MC but for a military branch that has prided itself on marksmanship, they went along all too easily to 5.56/.223 and away from a real rifle (M-14). Even the Scout Snipers are still using the .308, whereas superior platforms are using .300 Win Mags and .338 Lapuas. I’m sorry, but the .50 Barrett sucks – there is no match grade ammo available for it.

    • Patrick Smallwood on April 28, 2018 at 1:53 pm

      Concurr on 45 and m14 . Never held a weapon till boot camp. Fired expert m14. Possible off hand 200. Got to love 45 in Army Guard 21 years. In Sicily had m14 auto and bi pod. Between 14 and 45 , flak jacket and 5 mag 20 7.76 stayed in shape. But only weighed 140 lbs then. SEMPER FI. SGT SmallwoodUSMC/LTC SmallwoodUSArmy retired

  47. Todd on August 3, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    I daily now carry a 9 mm. Now I am a fan of 45s. I have several. I prefer 45 revolvers. However, I purchased the 9 mm because for a carry gun “I” feel safer with the style of firearm I bought for daily carry purposes. I have a medical issue that makes it easier for me to carry a double action in a very small package. I have several 1911 pistols. I preferred carrying them before things went bad for me. This reasoning may not make sense to many of you, but it does to me. I thought I would never own a 9 mm. The main reason I now have a 9 mm is that at the time, I could not find a small enough 45 that was double action. I also could not afford the astronomical price (astronomical in my current budget) shops are now asking for a 4 inch Ruger Redhawk. For me the thing that has always solved this debate is simple. If you dont have an excellent chance against a large carnivore with it. It’s too small. Now, I read the officers story. I think it is more the exception than the rule. (My opinion) I have long advocated carrying 1911s with 8 extra magazines. The story makes that even sound too few. I used to work in inner city and poor crime ridden areas when all I had was the 45. If I think it can get that bad where I’m going. Nothing beats a 12 guage with 100 rounds of 00 and slugs. If you cant always hunt effectively with it, is it big enough?

  48. Tony on August 18, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    A 4 inch Redhawk 45 colt loaded with 24 grains of H100 under a 335 grain Cast performance sledgehammer should be good against the largest carnivore Todd. That’s what I pack in the deep woods. Against bad guys though, gimme a 45 auto.

  49. Burt Craig on November 11, 2018 at 1:23 am

    Hi, I have both. In the woods my .45 r1 with cast is what I carry. In Walmart I carry a p99 Walter. Have you ever saw the wound track from a .230 hst. It’s a freaking tarantula. I only want to pull the trigger 1-3 times. The .45 is a bit harder to conceal so people may freak out. If I knew for certain I was going to use my gun I’d pack the .45 all the time. More damage with one shot. Practice while on the move. That’s the secret.

  50. Joe Farrens on January 25, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    Last summer had a large male black bear tried to enter my camper. The only gun I could get to in time was a Glock 17 loaded with 115 grn jhp ammo. The bear was shot in the head through the screen.it was a one shot stop but needed another round to finish him off.
    I never had much faith in a 9mm til that incident. I much prefer the 45 acp and have used it on game from deer to moose and it always was my go to gun. I have formed the opinion that the 9mm is adequate, the 40 S&W is better and the 45 is best.
    I do like the capacity of the 9mm for in town carry and lighter weight than my Govt model 45s.

  51. Nex Superne on February 18, 2019 at 8:03 am

    This whole conversation for over 2+ years is hilarious. 9mm capacity! 45 stopping power! Real world combatants or keyboard commandos. Both forget one major factor. They ability to kill. Been involved in violent life or death confrontations for well over 40 years. The one magor factor that keeps deciding the outcome is if the victim or assailant has the actual ability to kill. We can argue 9 vs 45. For another 2+ years. If you can fire without remorse. Your shot placement will be perfect. It’s hesitation that makes people miss. Train, train train and when your done. Train! I’ve been training for 50+ years and continue to do so.

    Center Mass/head shots are guaranteed kills. If you want to test that theory in a real world environment. Hunt! You’ll immediately learn the, Why didn’t I squeeze the trigger when I had the shot? I’ve seen too many people want to hunt but do not have ability to take a animal’s life. Hence poor shot placement, causing a miss or worse the poor animal suffering a slow painful unnecessary death. So how can we expect people to take a human life so readily?

    Shot placement is the deciding factor. Been hunting 49 years. The past 45 years never needed more than one shot. EVER! I never miss. Practice that’s all it takes. Muscle memory is great thing. Your body will make the shot while your mind hesitates every time!

    So banter on gentlemen. But it’s easy tell which one of you are the idiots, and those of us that actually know are trying to skate uphill teaching those that don’t.

    It’s not our opinion that makes us right. It’s proven knowledge. To answer the question which is better 9mm or 45APC.

    NEITHER! it’s the shooter!

    Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. FN DUH!

  52. oowefoo on May 27, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    you should read TIFU my boss shot me reddit.

    People have walked off from head shot wounds from the venerable .45, .38 mag, etc. People have died from .22 LR in one shot. People like the OP of the TIFU have been shot right above their heart and lungs, with .223 and despite a nasty, nasty exit wound and the shot placement, walked it off.

    People have lived through being nuclear bombed. People have died from hitting their head just right after slipping at their desk,kitchen.

    The quibble is over. The germans used 9mm forever and they know their guns and war making.

    A 7.62×25 is venerated as so amazing by PPsh humpers. But this cartridge uses a half-grain bullet compared to 9mm. Indeed, if 9mm used the same grain of bullet, the ft/lb and velocities are near-identical.

    In fact, that’s what civil liberty defense ammo is all about. A 50-60gr 9mm bullet that obtains 2000 fps. And speed kills barriers. And speed causes expansion of bullets in a meat target.

    Its why neck-down cartridges for .223 are even used. Everyone should be mocking the .223 as a pea shooter. But why not? The bullet has far less weight and cross section than a .45 acp? Why is .45 acp so much better than 9mm? Why aren’t both so much better than .223? After all, its SIZE that’s everything, right?

    That’s why we’re here right? Because size is king?

    • Ray on February 25, 2020 at 1:00 am

      I was told by a person in the government that the choice of 9mm verses any other round was decided by the cost and mass availability of the ammo period…For Military, FBI, CIA, Police, Sheriff’s and all governmen t branches
      and departments.

      • Sal on March 24, 2020 at 11:57 pm

        If you are in the sixties o more 9 mm is the best choice. One of the best ammo in the market right now is Hornady Critical Dury which is 135 gr. Thanks.

  53. steve cardoza on June 8, 2019 at 10:25 am

    well lets fac the facts ere during th banna war the marines choose the 45 acp end of story

  54. Alpha one on October 28, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Never shoot a large caliber man with a small caliber weapon…. end of discussion.

  55. Mike Lameyer on March 21, 2020 at 10:22 pm

    Good article and very good to great comments. I served in the USMC and in combat. The beautiful country in south east Asia. I carried an issue 45. Fortunately or unfortunately I did shoot other humans with a 45 as close as 4 feet. It scares the hell out of me to think I might have had to use a 9 mm. The comments concerning shot placement are correct. When the engagement really happens and it is very fluid you are going to point shoot. Not aim shoot. So you better have the biggest heaviest bullet going down range that you can possibly get. Anyway great comments to all.

  56. Kelly on April 7, 2020 at 10:41 am

    It’s actually much more simple than most would like to think. A 45acp will deliver more damage to a human body that a 9mm. The difference Is not all soldiers are comfortable shooting the heavy recoiling 45 round. So In a effort to accommodate all soldiers they switched to a milder recoiling 9mm round. It may take 2 rounds to take someone down, but the shooter will have a lot easier follow up shots with the smaller 9mm. It’s all about follow up shots.

  57. Kc Douglas on April 10, 2020 at 11:46 pm

    Shot placement?! Really.. and air on the nose of the bullet?! Maybe if you were trying to make 100+ yard shot that’d make a little difference. The fact is, 9mm is fast and cheap, .45acp is big and just as effective if not more, given the wound channel is gonna be much larger than that of a 9mm. Both are great calibers. I’d use either! I have a Glock19 and Glock23 chambered .40S&W and that is a great round to. /9mm has a lot more options when it comes to ammo but I prefer my Springfield XD .45 or my Kimber Custom II 1911. If you know firearms and know how to properly use them than the caliber shouldn’t matter. You may as well go off and say “I’ll just take a Judge and shoot .410 buckshot, or .45 long colt” if you are trying to inflict the most damage. I will never personally take a life if I have the chance to stop someone with a non lethal GSW.

  58. Apruett57 on April 26, 2020 at 7:14 am

    You know, Indians killed each other, white settlers, and hunted with a bow &. arrow moving at what velocity….200 feet per second? Any of these rounds will do the job in the hands of a skilled shooter, period. I have both, like them all, and carry them because rifles are hard to conceal!

  59. Squalo on May 3, 2020 at 10:01 am

    My $.02. I was in the military and was law enforcement. I think that the argument here has gone the wrong direction. I am not going to address the whole military, spec-ops, battlefield blah blah. I also reload/handload have shot competitively and have hunted all my life. As a civilian with a concealed carry permit, my rule is that I will carry the heaviest, store bought self defense round that I can buy. If I ever have to use my firearm to defend myself or my family, I want all of the energy from that round to be expended in the target. I don’t want a light fast bullet that will over penetrate and possibly injure or kill an unintended. 9mm, I carry 147 grain Hp. .40 S&W I carry 180 grain HP. I spend a great deal of time on the range. If you carry, you owe it to everyone to be as proficient as possible. The will to live and fight varies from person-to-person.

  60. Mark Boknecht on July 8, 2020 at 2:39 pm

    This was an interesting discussion. I am old school. Owned a model 29 .357
    That aside, it’s always been my impression with any pistol cartridge, that they don’t achieve the velocity necessary for expansion. Not so with rifles — with muzzle velocities of 2800-4000 fps, depending on the caliber.
    I’m sure many hunters can attest to the expansion of rifle bullets recovered from their game. Can someone comment on this?
    True, Or not?

  61. Bone billy on July 25, 2020 at 4:00 am

    Take it this way, someone shoots at you, you at them. One had a 9mm one had a .45…who is gonna get up quicker to finish the job.

    • Bone Billy on July 25, 2020 at 4:14 am

      And anyways I own a Kimber Colt 45 1911 with a muzzle breaker on it steel slide aluminum from and honey comb grips, I also own for my conceal Walther Q4 with tactical barrel. I shot 8 watermelons, 4 for each gun. 2 from 15 ft, 2 from 25 ft, jumping to 2 from 50 ft. And 2 from 100ft. Both hit 15 first shot, .45 exploded watermelon leaving trails about 15 feet behind, 9mm put a hole in it nothing more. 25 ft same situation, I was surprised at 50 ft when my 45 actually tore the watermelon to shreds even more so than 15 and 25ft, the 9mm remained the same, 100 ft I actually missed 3 times with my Walther q4 9mm before I hit. But with my Kimber Colt 45 I hit first shot no problem and it left that watermellon in disaster. I would easily give credit to the Colt 45 on reliability accuracy and range, my 9mm all it really does better is shoot faster because it has a 4 lb. quick defense trigger and has an extended 17rnd clip. Also another fact is that my Kimber Colt 45 actually has less recoil than my 9mm with an aluminum frame when my 9mm has a full steel from. I even tried to do the same test with my Tuger SR9 compact and it was a worse outcome than the Walther. Mainly because it is polymer from and not as well build and equipped as the Walther Q4. And no I have not tried it with Glock 19 I really don’t like Glock it feels weird in my hand and does not perform anywhere close to my Kimber Colt 45 or my Walther Q4. I’ve never liked Glock it’s sure a well made gun but definitely NOT the best gun I’ve shot. It’s only popular because of the name brand, not the true performance against other guns. Such as my Kimber and Walther and can never forget the CZ shadow 2. Glock 19 only playing catch up with those guns.

  62. Chris Bean on July 25, 2020 at 8:51 am

    How many decades are we going to have this debate? By now, people should have realized that it is 100% personal opinion and preference. Bottom line, if you come at me and I shoot you with my 9 mm or my 45, or my 380, it’s going to hurt like hell! If I put p++ in my 9 mm, it’s going to hurt like hell! The only argument I have ever heard that actually makes any sense is the most recent comment where former law enforcement States the possibility of collateral damage from over penetration. However, at 15 feet in your living room that is a concern regardless of what you are using unless you have a 22 or a 380. The absolute best thing that anybody can do, find a pistol that suits you that you like, get a high capacity round, and train yourself in situational awareness so you don’t have to worry about shooting somebody on accident. unless the guy is coming at you with body armor, if you have more than three bullets in your gun you don’t really have a lot to worry about. the difference between a 45 and a 9 millimeter and a couple milliseconds of reaction time, it really depends on the situation and again, personal preference. So the moral of the story is: if you’re 5 foot tall, and weigh a hundred pounds, the last thing you probably want to carry with you is a 1911. It might be bigger, but bigger isn’t always better.

    As for accuracy, I hear a lot of my friends talking about the accuracy of their 45’s over a distance compared to my 9 mm, but no one to date has outshot me on the range, and almost all of my friends have switched to a 9 millimeter in the past few years.

    • Charles Evans on January 14, 2021 at 9:59 am

      Very smart Chris ! Everyone talking about knock down power verses speed seems like. I have shot many different calibers. If knock down power is desired forget the 45 and get a 44 mag or get a 375 they kill most anything one shot. Can’t get into why I know this but but I’m retired from the Government. But associates I worked with and against on jobs they all use one main gun to kill with the 9 mm with silencer. None used a big cal but all targets were immediately incapacitated and all targets were within 1foot to 20 feet away. This is real life experience not article information research. You hit it dead on it’s not the cal that’s most important it’s what you can do with it. A sniper friend said once if bigger is better throw bricks ” he was using a 243 cal” not a 300 win mag nor a Lupa 338. Wow now this argument of 9 mm verses 45 acp is stupid. The best gun is the one that is best in your hands not best someone else’s hands. Good job Chris and the rest of you but remember when you give gun advise target shooting and self defense shooting are two different scenarios and one can get you dead……you can’t shoot my gun as good as me but you can shoot your gun because it’s the best one for you.

  63. Don Wood on August 15, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    Mr. Bowman,
    The Marine Corps Times is not published by the Marine Corps. They are a secondary source at best. For you to dissect their writings may be fun but not productive. Overall I enjoyed reading your piece and found it noteworthy that Smith&Wesson ( one of the great disappointments of this and the last century) was eliminated from the contract competition. Over the years I have owned and carried many 1911’s. That said today I only carry my 5th gen Glock 19. A true warriors gun.

    Cpl. D.R. Wood, USMC, 1966-68, Quang tri Province

  64. Barry Hartman on October 30, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    I enjoyed reading all of this info but didn’t once read the real reason the .45 was originally better at stopping than the .36 cal. In the black powder days hollow points had not been invented yet and most bullets were round nose lead so the larger heavier bullet hit harder. When i was in the military in the 60’s we still were using hard ball ammo and the same still applied. Back then we all agreed the larger rounds had better stopping power. So for over a couple hundred years size mattered in stopping power, or say incapacitating an opponent. So that is where the saying and belief came from. Now lets get back to today in time and we do have very good defense ammo so most of the time I’d agree that the 9mm is equal to any other round out there today for human sized targets and smaller as well. But, this little word but often comes up in real life. Lets say it is winter and a large person is wearing very heavy clothing. Will that hollow point still have the same effect? I’d rather be hit by a small rock than a big one.

  65. L. Wilson on December 9, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    I’m 73 yoa. At 8yoa my dad taught me to shoot with a 1911. Love it. About 5 yrs ago I read a document comparing the damage to a human body wearing, at the time, state of the art LE body armor. To make a long gov’t document short, the armor would likely stop a 9mm with a few bruises. However, the .45 would likely be stopped from penetrating but there was a 30% chance, with good shot placement it’s energy could stop the heart. Just wanted to throw that against the wall. Oh yeah, I long forgot where I read it. So don’t ask.

  66. MENDO223 on January 21, 2021 at 10:07 pm

    first handgun i ever fired was glock27 .40SW she was snappy at first but 16 years later and after shooting lots of .45 and 9, i am back to .40SW for HD purposes. G27 with the 10 for EDC and G22 with 22 count mag for inside the house, 40 doesnt seem to have that much more pop than 9mm to me, and i have relatively small hands. My Kimber .45 is one of my favorite pistols EVER, but its heavy and only has 8 rounds. Also the .45 will ring your ears like hell and most self defense scenarios are you are not wearing ear protection. I just got a glock30SF and im thinking of adding her to the g27 for my CC permit. After reading comments from many veterans here, and from what ive seen on the streets, in a true life or death situation give me the largest slug possible. 9mm will not drop a target unless you hit the CNS….a buddy of mine took a 9mm straight through the head through his eyeball from about 20 yards away. He eventually was taken off life support 4 days later, open casket funeral. I doubt a .45 would have allowed that….also know a guy who took 10 shots of 9mm at close range in a robbery and survived and is healthy and surfs, shooter must have had terrible aim.

  67. George Bill on May 10, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    All righty then, I started with 38 caliber revolvers in the early 70’s, 53 yrs later, since few people carry revolvers, “capacity”, I have bounced back and forth and keep ammo for both 9mm and 45. Either work for me, and if I had to choose only one it would be 9mm just for the capacity. The worse thing in a gunfight is running out of ammo, lol If you shoot well it shouldn’t make a difference, especially with todays ammo types. If you notice in Police shootings, the gun is usually empty after the event is over. That was with 6 shot revolvers or 17+1 round Glock 17s. That’s just because most folks never have to shoot someone firing at them. But it’s a good idea to carry a backup gun, and 2 spare mags that use the same ammo.

  68. Dave Brattain on July 15, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    My personal opinion is that the military has found that many recruits are unable to accurately fire the .45 and cannot manage the recoil. In a military that accepts all genders and has lowered its physical fitness standards, It’s not surprising that the 9mm was selected. Also, the 9mm cartridges are less expensive.

    I wonder what the future holds? Maybe .22 LR?

  69. Jeff J. on October 28, 2021 at 11:11 am

    I prefer the .45 ACP. The gun was designed prior to WW1 and it’s main usage was close combat in regards to trench warfare. I don’t plan on using a handgun for long distance shooting. So its purpose is based on design. At 10-20 yards I want a .45.

  70. Robert Olds on November 29, 2021 at 6:35 am

    Which is better? The answer is Yes. I use a 1911 as thats what I learned on, prefer the way it feels in my hand. and love a SA trigger. But that’s me. A 1911 in 9MM? I’m in the process to actually buy one.

    For me the argument is how the pistol or revolver feels in my hand and how accurately can shoot it.

  71. Charles Atkins on February 6, 2022 at 10:17 pm

    I was in the military for 15 years I’ve been through several handgun changes. They should have several different handguns depending on the shoot I myself at 6 to 200 pounds and have a large chance by far the best pistol I’ve ever shot is the 1911. I like it better than the small pistols and can conceal the 1911 easily. It was by far the easiest serviced pistol in the field, go ahead and get the lighter frame lighter weight ceramic /plastic and all that junk it’s fine as long as you’re in a urban environment. If you take it in the field and get it dirty, see how easily serviceable that weapon is then. The military is basing their decisions on dollars not dependability not the serviceman’s life! The 9 mm and the round for the 9 mm is by far the cheaper not the better choice!

  72. Dwight Morgan on July 11, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    Modern ammunition changes the field somewhat. Military ball ammo leaves some things to be desired. Do any one you know carry just ball rounds in their handguns? I have shot pigs, goats, and deer in several countries with rounds from .22 lr and mags, 9mm, .45 ACP and .45 colts and .44 sol and mags in handguns. All animals died pretty much on location. Only a few were shot with ball ammo and didn’t react as quickly when shot through the ribcage/ shoulders area. Head and neck shot were down on contact if the hit bone, flesh hit required another shot. The one that traveled the furthest was looking back over its shoulder and was hit in the muzzle. Trailing was easy in snow, but took nearly a mile to put down with another shot low through the heart. I trap and shoot most animals with a Browning 1911-22 now. Ammunition can really change performance. If you use .22 mag, muzzle flash is pronounced and may have some fear factor with its use. 9mm and 45 ACP are popular for all the reasons listed above. I carried a 1911 in Vietnam as well as a 12 ga. .45 stayed on the hip.

  73. Ce blanz on October 4, 2022 at 4:34 pm

    The USMC changed to 9mm since female Marines had trouble with recoil and were not qualifying at same rate as males

  74. Bryon Thornton on October 28, 2022 at 1:58 am

    I have yet to see any really legit fair and unbiased comparison of the 9mm and 45acp calibers. Just as many others I was forced throughout a 25 yr L.E. career to carry a Glock 9mm. Just as in the case of the military, my agencies’ biggest determining factors for this decision were not anything to do with the performance of the rounds or the effectiveness for the safety of the officer. The biggest determining factors were and have always been budget and of course, what the inept FBI is carrying. Were they not the agency who got thier asses handed to them that created this debate in the first place? While, I understand that budgetary issues are a factor they should not come before the safety of the officer pr soldier. And since the FBI was the agency who failed in the first place well, why follow thier blind lead? Oh and don’t give me the garbage about 9mm has come a long way since its inception. Give me a break!! All this newer powder and more efficient bullets. Hogwash!! The same companies make the 45acp and other calibers! Use your heads!! If the technology got better for one caliber, it got better for all of them!! Come On People!! Until someone actually compares a 9mm of comparable bullet weight and charge to a 45 acp of the same I will continue in my retirement to carry my tried and true 45acp with a third more bullet weight and very similar penetration even with biased testing of much different bullet weights and charges. How about a test sample of exactly the same bullet weight in a high impact L.E. ammo. I have yet to see this. How about a 147gr vs 155 gr comparison? That is closet weights I can readily come up with from factory offerings. This pits apples to apples and will once and for all lay to rest all this ludicrous debate. You will find that when tested in this manner the 45acp will out perform the 9mm hands down. Fair testing without the bias of budgets and the need to carry what every one else is carrying would be quite refreshing and lend more to the safety of the officer or soldier who may be fighting his or her life. That should be the only real factor considered. If we had had 45acp in the hands of the FBI in most every one of these complete inept foul ups they would likely have never happened and the debate would only be Glock or 1911 45 acp.
    Thanks for reading and applying some little used common sense to the debate. Be Safe Out There.

  75. Jeremy belardo on December 14, 2022 at 10:18 am

    Now marine I hope your watching now instead of using glock 19 in a 9mm counterpart here is a better suggestion why don’t you use a glock 21 4th gene to insure ur fellow colleges a better a faster on the spot accuracy with zero recoil it will enable them to be more successful in hitting targets

  76. Kevin Donovan on April 11, 2023 at 3:37 pm

    I’ve shot both 9mm and .45 many times. Qualified expert with the 1911 in the Navy. Still, admittedly, I’m no expert but based on my experience and what I know about the physics of shooting, I’d say the 9mm will generally penetrate most materials better than the .45 but the .45 hits harder. If you shoot two objects like bound up phone books with each you’ll generally find the 9mm goes deeper but the .45 knocks the book farther away from where it was hit. Translated to shooting an animal or person, my guess is the 9mm is probably more likely to yield a through and through wound whereas the .45 is more likely to cause more trauma. As I recall, the main qualifying performance spec for the .45 1911 was that it could stop an average size man at running speed. Something about the Army wanting that feature due to sustaining casualties to their men in foxholes even after they had shot enemy combatants running at them. Apparently they fell into the foxholes with rifle-mounted bayonets. Supposedly, the .45 1911 solved that problem.

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