9mm Versus The 45ACP

By David Gonzales
AmmoLand Youtube Firearms Reporter

9mm Versus The 45ACP
9mm Versus The 45ACP
AmmoLand YouTube Gun Reporter
YouTube Gun Reports

Albuquerque, NM –-(Ammoland.com)-  Please check out the below video from Paul Gomez about his thoughts on the 9mm versus the .45.

Aah, the never ending debate about the effectiveness of handgun ammunition in different calibers.

Some people are probably tired of this debate and have moved on.  They've already picked the cartridge that that they shoot best in their respective gun(s).  However, I do not tire of this discussion.

Not because I think I've already picked the biggest and baddest round for myself.  I just really enjoy the enthusiasm that this subject can produce from shooters. Plus, the information exchange during these talks is immensely valuable and sometimes entertaining.

In this video I like the fact Mr. Gomez points out that the only thing handguns do better than long guns is that they are easy to carry and conceal. But in most cases “handguns suck.”

This video got more interesting for me at 02:40 mark. He points out that with “modern defensive/duty ammunition,” all are designed to perform to the same standards.  The organizations that he mentions that designed the standards and test protocols are the FBI and IWBA.  With the FBI protocols, the ammunition is tested on 10 percent ballistic gelatin.  They have a required minimum acceptable penetration of twelve inches and a desired eighteen inches of penetration in the gelatin.

What really impressed me about this video were the the inserted pictures of various calibers of bullets ranging from 9mm all the way to .45  penetrating at almost the same depth into the ballistic gelatin just as he mentioned.  However, he definitely starts to clarify his argument later in the video that bigger bullets are indeed better because they will expand more and create a larger wound channel.

I must admit to having been very ignorant to these testing protocols, which is why I found this video so informative.  It also got me thinking about past discussions I've had on this subject where pretty much everyone disagrees on what caliber is ideal to carry for defensive purposes.

However, almost everyone seems to agree that ideally a person should carry the largest caliber handgun that they can shoot the most effectively.

What's your take with regard to the best handgun caliber a person should legally carry for self defense in a pistol that can be carried and concealed well?

Also, what's better in your opinion, carrying a pistol with a higher capacity magazine of smaller caliber bullets? Or, would it be better to carry a pistol with larger caliber bullets with a lower capacity magazine?

About David Gonzales:
David Gonzales grew up with firearms and has many fond memories of hunting with his grandfather. He enjoys participating in the occasional shooting match, going to the gun range with his family and friends and still has much to learn about firearms. However, he became a certifiable “Gun Nut” in 2008 when he realized that the constitutional right he took for granted could so easily be taken away. Did you see something on YouTube that David Should review. Leave a link in the comments below.

  • 32 thoughts on “9mm Versus The 45ACP

    1. Love this posted discussion. Look at all the folks safely exercising their 2nd amendment rights. Fantastic!
      I do lean towards the 45 but I do recall a great post from the sands of Iraq showing the soldiers gear and saying a handgun is just a tool to get to your rifle. Loved it.

    2. This argument always fails to address the main point that should be considered. Which handgun in what calliber can you actually hitnwhat younare aimimg at with? My daughter can’t handlebthe size of most .45s but she can drill 15 rounds into a 3” circle with the 9mm I got her.

    3. I’ll go with the .40 or the .45. The .40 uses the same bullet as the 10mm with less recoil, faster to get back on target if required. The .45 was designed as a “stopper” and works extremely well doing so. Recoil on either is not bad at all. The .460 and .500 are great IF you hit them on the first shot, cause you aren’t getting back on target for that second shot for a while. I will also go with quality of hitting the target (7-8 mag) over quantity of spraying the area (15-18 mag) with rounds, that brings collateral damage and innocent deaths into the picture big time. I have read many articles and reports of perps getting hit 5-6 and even up to 15 times with a 9mm and still living, the shooter will end up supporting him for the rest of his life with the liberal judges out there. The 9mm is considered by many as the minimum for carry, some will drop as low as the .380 (9mm Kurz), I guess that is a great reason to have a 15+ round mag. “I” don’t want to support a criminal……… As stated above PRACTICE, knowing your weapon AND hitting the perp as soon as possible is the key to survival.
      Use what whatever YOU want or believe in, it’s your families or your own life at stake.

    4. Most of these debates are, and I’m not putting anyone down here, run by personal preferences and statistical data that is scientifically ambiguous. Some of the “one shot” is all a man needs argument for a .45 seems faulty when you add the reality of critical incident stress and the effect it will take on even the best shooters. If you want to hitch your wagon to the idea that your several times a year trip to a range environment where your target is static and not shooting back at you and believe that it prepares one for the day you meet the guy that has the will and the ability to kill you, well Sir I can safely say you have never been shot at. To that end preparation, practice, and capacity seems to be the way.

    5. This debate is one that has been going on for decades. Personally I carry 9mm Hornady critical 147gr. I carry the Sig M11 A1 or glock 17. I do not carry My springfield 1911 loaded model as often but also a good choice and a sweet shooter. For me it is about 3 things weight, round capacity. and price of ammo My 1911 weighs in at 43 oz empty and only carries 8. My sig with mag is 32oz carries 15. Glock 17 25oz empty and 32 loaded and 17 rounds.

    6. if you are sharp shooter and one bullet is enough for you then choose .45 ACP but if you need more practice then choose 9x19mm (9mm), because 9mm is cheaper than .45 ACP, and in 9mm you can fully load the magazine into 15 rounds or more…

    7. People see a 45 round, and think damn that must be powerful as hell, it is big, but also slow, wont penetrate. Its still good, but it and the 9mm are prettt much equal, they will both kill a fella, now if ya want that bigtime power, go 357 mag, 10mm, 41 & 44 mag on up to 460 & 500mag. The 9mm, & 45 are bout equal slight edge to 45, then the 40 is right there with em, but 40 sucks, and no one fives a rats ass about it, bout like 357 sig, both of them suck and no one carries ammo for 357 sig, because its pretty much dead. At the end of the day… 9mm cant be beat. 100 years n still goin strong out sellin em all. Peace.

    8. I wear a long mustard colored trench coat, and im always packin my old lever action 10 gauge loaded with 3 n a quarter inch slugs, for backup i got a 460 magnum and a 9mm with a modified 139 round clip, i usually just take it to sunday prayer meetings tho.

    9. If you need 17 rounds in your magazine to survive a gunfight, you are hanging out in the wrong locations. The FBI stats I've found show that after 3 shots, your odds of hitting your target (if you haven't already) drop like a stone.

      It's far more important to hit your target with your first couple shots than it is to have an additional 10 in the magazine.

    10. Let's put this in perspective:

      If you are in a "shoot your way out" situation and it's a given that you are gonna take at least one round, what had you rather get hit with? A 9mm or .45?

      That's perspective.

    11. my dad a wwII and korean war vet advised that when it comes down to the gritty part of defending yourself to go as big as possible. he said the .45 was the best thing going. i have used both and have to say the .45 is my preference. it is big,strong and will knock down your opponent w/one hit.

    12. I personally carry a full size Colt .45 with a Bersa .380 as a backup. As far a recoil goes between the two, they are about identical. The lighter the firearm, the heavier the recoil. I can get on target and stay on it with either. But a friend has a light weight small frame .45 thats almost impossible to control.

      My wife's carry weapon is the Bersa .380 with a Taurus .357 magnum as a backup. The Taurus is a small snub nose 5 shot light weight revolver that wants to tear your hand off when fired. She is very accurate with either, but target re-acquirement is much slower with the .357. And after 5 shots with the .357 she is done with her hand (and mine) wringing from it. Even with .38 specials in it, its still a jack hammer. But she prefers it as a backup as not having to worry about any safety release in a panic must have situation.

      All are loaded with Hornady critical defense rounds for maximum expansion. The .45 is a slower and heavier projectile, larger wound with less worry of over penetration, the same for the others but smaller wound. The .357, I still wonder about it over penetrating.

      I am a larger guy and the full sized Colt .45 (a Combat Elite Series 80 MK4) conceales well with me and fits my hand perfectly, the Bersa grip with the rubber OEM grips fits nicely as well. Her Bersa has the OEM plastic grips and fits her small hands well but the .357 with its small grips fits her hand perfectly.

      Each weapon and caliber allows us to control them easily, each to our own fit. The only thing that has been customized on any of the is the Colt, it has the Houge wrap around grips with the finger reliefs to fit my hand better, allowing better control.

      We never found a 9mm that we would be happy with, or a .40 for that matter, even tho a 9mm is the most economical to practice with.

      In the end, personal protection is going to be up close and personal, so no matter the caliber, its operation and control (accuracy) thats going to count the most as well as a safe daily carry and concealment. We carry condition one.

      Just as a note, the Bersa .380 is marketed and boxed as a "less than lethal" firearm. But it has been used numerous times to the demise of perpetrators.

    13. Remember that you are responsible for every round that you fire. Even the ones that miss your adversary … and strike an innocent victim in your neighbor's house or apartment or your childrens' bedroom.

      And you might not survive the gunfight long enough to wait for your 5th shot to finally be the one that hits your target.

      Make every shot count by 1)putting it on target, and 2)ensuring that your bullet type causes the most damage.

    14. Stop the video at about 8:18, and take a good look at the width of the wound effects. This is tissue that is hit by the shock wave as the bullet is moving through the bullet hole.

      The bullets with the highest muzzle energies (a combination of velocity and mass) cause the worst damage when they strike the tissue of the target. Unfortunately higher muzzle energy also means more severe recoil. (A .45 kicks a lot harder than a 9mm.)

      The moral of the story is: You should carry the largest caliber that YOU can effectively handle to put multiple rounds on target. I would never ask a 90 lb grandmother to carry a .45, but I think most full size men can and should.

      On the other hand, if your aim is atrocious, then you will need more rounds in order to get enough on target to hurt your adversary. You should carry a gun with a large capacity magazine, until you can find the time to get the necessary training to improve your aiming skills.

      1. I can and do shoot competitive, I teach everything from basic to advanced firearms utilization both on the range and in active shooter situations. I have used everything from a 32 cal. to the 45 cal in handguns. And all I can say is that when you you decide what cal. Handgun you are comfortable with, practice practice practice. To me the argument or discussion over which is the best is erallivant if you can’t hit what you are aiming at.

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