FBI Unlearns Gun & Ammo History … 9mm Vs 45 ~ VIDEO

9mm Versus The 45ACP
FBI Unlearns Gun & Ammo History … 9mm Vs 45
Don McDougall
Don McDougall

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- A while back (2014) the FBI published a long diatribe defending their decision to go to the 9mm round as their choice for their agents. They plan on going forward with that now.

For some of their reason, the FBI is going against history and the FBI’s own experience. With that in mind, I invite your comments. Mine is at the end of the article. The FBI Reasoning document is embedded below.

History

The Miami Shootout: Eight FBI agents cornered two serial bank robbers, in the shootout only one agent came out unscathed. The FBI wanted more “Stopping Power” that they got from their 9mm and .38 special firearms. The FBI went to the 10mm, then to a “light 10mm” then to the S&W .40.

Now we’re back to the 9mm as their primary choice. Remember the .38 special can penetrate 15 inches of ballistic jell. The same criteria used for selecting the 9mm today. Additionally, without the limitation on the shape of the round required to allow assured feeding, the .38 special is probably a better stopper than the 9mm.

If you read the FBI’s reasons endorsing the 9mm, there are a handful of things that stand out.

  1. They wanted a lighter round to avoid wear on their firearms. (Budget)
  2. 70-80% of their shots miss (Poor training)
  3. They wanted a high capacity magazine so that they could shoot enough rounds to maybe get one or two hits. (See #2)

Politics

The fact is this all sounds a lot more like politics, cheaper ammunition, lobbyists selling new guns and the same tired old bureaucracy driven decision process that you see throughout history. From the Civil war holding back repeaters and cartridged rifles because the troops might “shoot too fast” and use up the ammunition to the Philippines in 1902, to today.

Oh.. the Philippines, when the .38 long colt failed to perform.

From Wikipedia:

The .38 long Colt’s relatively poor ballistics were highlighted during the Philippine–American War of 1899–1902. A typical instance occurred in 1905 and was later recounted by Col. Louis A. LaGarde:

Antonio Caspi, a prisoner on the island of Samar, P.I. attempted escape on Oct. 26, 1905. He was shot four times at close range in a hand-to-hand encounter by a .38 Colt's revolver loaded with U.S. Army regulation ammunition. He was finally stunned by a blow on the forehead from the butt end of a Springfield carbine.

Col. LaGarde noted Caspi's wounds were fairly well-placed: three bullets entered the chest, perforating the lungs. One passed through the body, one lodged near the back and the other lodged in subcutaneous tissue. The fourth round went though the right hand and exited through the forearm.[8]

As an emergency response to the round's unexpectedly dismal performance, the U.S. Army authorized officers to carry M1873 Colt Single Action Army revolvers, chambered in .45 Colt, and issued from reserve stocks.

As a result of numerous instances of the new .38 service pistols being ineffective the US Army was forced to hastily re-issue mothballed Single Action Amy .45 Colts.
As a result of numerous instances of the new .38 service pistols being ineffective the US Army was forced to hastily re-issue mothballed Single Action Amy .45 Colts. IMG : historicalfirearms.info

So if shot placement is all that matters and stopping power is a myth what happened with the .38 long colt?

Can’t you hear the ghostly whispers from 1901? We can ship 3 .38 LC cartridges for the same cost as 2 .45 LC. Look at the savings in practicing! Stopping power is a myth! Pistols are obsolete anyway. All the same old tired arguments that get brave men killed.

In my opinion, they should spend the money on practice instead of new guns. (Missing a man size target at 15 feet 8 out of 10 times is a disaster.) In firearm selection, they should choose firearms that fit the shooters hands, and they select the largest caliber you can control. A .380 in the head is better than a 10mm miss. With a miss ratio of around 80%, you run the risk of a LOT of collateral damage.

One last note, LEARN from history; Mark Twain said history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes. Look again at Miami and The Moro rebellion. Remember why the 1911 is in .45 and not 9mm Lugar. Maybe one size does not fit all? Remember the North Hollywood shoot out.

Look to the past and learn from went wrong. Look the US military issued 1911,s revolvers and Colt 1903’s in WWII. Concealability and Reliability often out weighted lethality.

Setting yourself up for a repeat of the Miami Shootout is not progress.

Do NOT let the brave agents who stood tall in Miami, and the men who gave up their lives to poor “management decision” in all the wars we’ve fought have died for nothing. Learn from OUR mistakes.

One last comment, EXPERIENCE shows us that the size of the grips on the GLOCK, is to large and boxy for women and many men. The increase in misses from 40% to 80% over the past 4 decades is due in large part to the width of the grip on the hi-capacity “wonder 9s”. Using lighter loads won’t stop the problem of gun ergonomics.


Executive Summary of Justification for Law Enforcement Partners


About Don McDougall:

Don McDougall is an NRA instructor and member of the Los Padres “Friends of the NRA” committee. If he’s not at the range you will find him setting the record straight with on gun issues and gun safety on AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

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    Jim Macklin
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    Jim Macklin

    50 years ago I was an Illinois resident. The Springfield, IL airport is located about 2 miles directly north of the Guard range that was built during the Civil War. There were huge berms, and the range was over 1,000 yards. I shot a few matches at Camp Lincoln. But the range has been shortened and extra berm constructed. A few military 30/06 bullets were found on the airport, a few airplanes were fired upon as they flew overhead in the traffic pattern for take-off and landing. They closed the range to civilians despite all of the shots fired at… Read more »

    BJI
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    BJI

    I am VERY FAR from being an expert. I served 3 years in the US Army. Part of that time was during the “Cuban Missile Crisis” but I never was in a shooting war. I have never been in a gunfight nor seen anyone who was shot but several thoughts came to me that I hope someone can enlighten me about: 1. One shot stops are usually when the brain or spinal cord are destroyed. Is this true? 2. Any wound that ONLY causes blood loss without immediate extreme loss of blood pressure will allow a crazed or hopped-up assailant… Read more »

    Philip
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    Philip

    BJI, My practical experience is limited to four-legged assailants, but these will kill you too and the anatomical rules and principles are the same. 1) Correct 2) Correct 3) Incorrect. Many will be incapacitated, yes, but depending on the type of projectile, their exact path, and the physical/mental condition of the assailant, even ten shots COM may not slow him down. Adrenaline is quite a potent substance, and if you add man-made concoctions to the mix in the assailant’s bloodstream, you may see surprising results… 4) A pelvic shot is an anchoring shot if you hit anything directly related to… Read more »

    Jim Macklin
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    Jim Macklin

    Common handguns are low power with little hydraulic shock. The 5.56×45 NATO solid bullet is more of a sewing needle that a energy transfer round. With certain bullets the .2/5.56 bullet can deliver a big hydraulic punch and disrupt a large mass of tissue. It was designed to be an easy to use arm. Knock-down power was not really an issue. Despite what nancy pelosi says, it is low power. Lethal about 50% with multiple hits. Most of your points are valid, but not absolute. Three shots to the chest with a proper cartridge/bullet will likely hit heart, lungs, liver… Read more »

    Joseph Bawden
    Guest
    Joseph Bawden

    Never been in a gun fight, but I worked in a combat hospital in Iraq so I’ve seen lots of people who have been shot. Its surprising what someone can fight through. I’ll answer as best I think or know just to have another opinion again I’m not an expert. 1. Mostly not always. Saw a guy shot in the center of the chest maneuver himself out the back of a truck and walk to a gurney. 2. Quite possibly. I work in law enforcement now and excited delirium is a real thing. Haven’t seen it personally. 3. I doubt… Read more »

    Philip
    Guest
    Philip

    “The 9mm provides struggling shooters the best chance of success…” I think that this little sentence conceals the largest mass of the iceberg in the FBI’s decision. 20% of the Special Agents are females, and unknown % are males who do not necessarily come from a rugged background (whether physically or mentally rugged). So the Agency selects what a sizeable portion of the agents can shoot – or rather, does not select what a sizeable portion of the agents CAN’T shoot effectively. The right thing to do would be to allow those who can – and want to – shoot… Read more »

    DrJon
    Guest
    DrJon

    I agree with you, but would add that any agent with other than the sanctioned caliber (9mm) MUST have within their vehicle 200-500 rounds of whatever caliber that they shoot and it must be refreshed on a regular basis.

    That would help to not complicate the extremely rare need for additional ammunition and resupply, which might be a rare event, but when the event happens having access to additional ammunition, it is a lifesaver.

    Brian Cullimore
    Guest
    Brian Cullimore

    I served as a correctional officer for sixteen years. For the majority, of my career, we were issued 158 RNL. The reason given for this was: To lessen the chance, that an inmate would die, The DOC did not give a damn about our safety, ,; they were more concerned saving money. It waa only, in the last couple of years, that we were issued 38 special 158 LSWC HP +p ammunition, aka the FBI load.

    mike
    Guest
    mike

    First off, the reason they went with 9mm as there “standard” round is because 95% of the agents can shoot it accurately. A 10mm cannot be shot well by the majority. Same with the 40 and even the 45. Shot placement is more important than caliber. What good is a 10mm in the hands of someone who couldn’t hit the side of a barn if they were standing inside the damned barn! todays bullet technology makes the 45 acp, 40 and 9mm equal! Period. Take your bias toward what ever your favorite hand gun cartridge is and throw it out… Read more »

    Brian Bonner
    Guest
    Brian Bonner

    the newer glocks have adjustable grips, but maybe most females and small men should not be in law enforcement. Force=velocity x weight all calibers are not equal and of course shot placement is the most important thing

    MAH
    Guest
    MAH

    Brian,
    You are right about shot placement, however force is not the mechanism that “inanimates” an adversary. That’s why shot placement IS so critical. Blood loss–hypovolemic shock, is the mechanism that stops a bad guy. For that to happen, shot placement and penetration has to be predictable. Expansion is very desirable but is the one factor we are least able to control due to clothing and barriers.

    Gregory Romeu
    Guest
    Gregory Romeu

    In the Marine Corps they taught us how to use a 45 then stuck a 45 in out hands, we PRACTICED, then we qualified expert. no I do not understand that if the Marine Corps can do this consistently with HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of 18 and 19, 20 year olds, what’s the problem with the FBI agents?

    I also find it kind of humiliating that it’s the FBI the doing the background checks, yet they can’t even fire and/or QUALIFY ON THE RANGE with more than half the weapons are doing background checks on?

    Mr. Smith
    Guest
    Mr. Smith

    The adoption of a CZ P 09 or 07 in 9mm would have been best. Very ergonomic thin grip, think single stack 1911, with lots of ammunition onboard, 21 rd magazines.

    Old Sensei
    Guest
    Old Sensei

    The main goal of a LEO firearms instructor in the United States is to pass the highest percentage possible of LEOs shooting qualification. They qualify on stationary paper targets. The ability to qualify on these courses has absolutely zero relationship with the ability to survive a deadly encounter. I know of one academy where every recruit passed qualification, whether they qualified or not. They then sent a letter to the agency that the LEO worked for suggesting more firearms training! Put yourself into the position of a firearms instructor who will be transferred back to shift work or if in… Read more »

    M.A. Hall
    Guest
    M.A. Hall

    Speak for yourself “grasshopper”. Unless you queried every agency in the country you are talking through your rectum. I trained cops for 40 years. I trained them to survive on the street. Funny, I didn’t see you at any of my training/qual courses. My agency, was in a rough city, has lost only two officers in it’s history.

    Gregory Romeu
    Guest
    Gregory Romeu

    I entered a course with the local U.S. Border Patrol here in west Texas and they put us on a simulation firing range that was all electronic with a live-like video motion screen. Being that it was the first time I’ve ever used anything like that I think I winged a suspect in the first try and the second go-around it was a situation where the shooter had what appeared to be a victim in a hostage type situation. I told the shooter that had the supposed victim around the throat and a gun to his head, (TWICE) to drop… Read more »

    1HABU
    Guest
    1HABU

    We are members of a sportsmans club in SW Ohio. The Ohio State Patrol use our range to qualify/requalify. The range is surrounded by large farms. The owners of the farms that border the range are notified weeks ahead of time that the OH State Patrol will be using the range on a specific date. This is to give the farmers the opportunity to move their animals to a safer area. And for them to avoid the same border areas during qualificat/requalification day. The reason is similar to the FBI accuracy problem. When the State Patrol shoots it is Katie… Read more »

    anthony San Jose
    Guest
    anthony San Jose

    Please goggle Sgt Timothy Gramins. He carried a Glock .45 ACP pistol and 36 rounds (plus a Glock 26 as backup) when he was involved in a shootout with a bank robber. He now carries a Glock 17 with the Glock 26 as backup and 145 rounds.

    Roy F. Wilt
    Guest
    Roy F. Wilt

    I just hope that all the Bad Guys carry 9mm! I will continue to carry my FNX-45 with my 15 round Magazines! No Double tap for me! He! He!

    Mr. Smith
    Guest
    Mr. Smith

    How do you like that FNX 45. I’m debating one or a HK45C. Good difference in magazine capacity between the two.

    Gene
    Guest
    Gene

    I went and competed in a police cobat shoot at the Pomona Police range with my friend Art trelane who was an instructor there. Art got all of his police friends mad at him because I won the match. It was my first combat shoot. The police were lucky to hit the target at all. This was in the early 80s. Granted I started shooting when I was 12 in 1962 but it was still a poor performance by the police !!!!!

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    @Gene, You mean the Pomona, Ca. gun range? Isn’t that the one with the animal shelter at the street level and a really steep drive up to the range? There is a cinder block building where the facilities are, and they buried one of the police dogs by the parking lot? I been there!

    kap
    Guest
    kap

    typical BS from Baby incinerators, leadership wants to save buck too put into their pet projects (back pockets} plus none of today’s new generation of wanta bees have the intestinal fortitude that former officer’s had! most can’t handle the recoil of a +p .38 spl 158gr hollow point. let alone a .40S&W, so skip the BS, issue .22Lr and call it good

    johndillinger
    Guest
    johndillinger

    thumb up

    Gregory Romeu
    Guest
    Gregory Romeu

    Do some research. I think it was back in the late 70s or early 80s where the Berrien County Michigan prosecutor was shot point-blank at the base of the skull with five or six rounds maybe seven rounds of 22 and survived it.

    mike
    Guest
    mike

    Recent tests show that there is very little to no difference in stopping power of your standard pistol caliber cartridges. Bullet technology has vastly improved in the last decade. 45 is no longer the KING of the Bullet Pile. GET OVER IT. 9mm,40, and 45 are all pretty much the same when it comes to putting on the hurt. You need the best Defensive ammo you can buy. Now if we are talking ball ammo then yes of those three 45 would be king. But its not any longer when it comes to modern Hollow Points. Get over it. You… Read more »

    Al
    Guest
    Al

    So true. It’s about hitting the target, NOT just putting rounds towards the target. Give me 99% accurate with a 38 special or 9mm versus 50% accurate with a 50 cal. Practice, practice, practice. Instead the FBI and some other LE make it clear it’s about how big their budgets are or how big their departments are, not about doing the right thing.

    The swamp is not just in DC, it exists in many cities. Here, do this. Give all FBI agents hand-grenades and a launcher. Sounds like a Forrest Gump moment.

    Bud
    Guest
    Bud

    I guess if you can’t hit what you shoot at it doesn’t make any difference what your shooting. These guys need some serious re-training. It a
    Seems a lot of us could out shoot them in a stand up gun fight. Not good.

    Ronin
    Guest
    Ronin

    What seems to be the case is the FBI went to the 10mm after the Dade County shootout. But a lot of the agents had problems qualifying with the full power 10 so they cut back on the power and this is where the .40 cal came from. Agents still had problems with the “weak” 10 so now they switch back to the 9mm and say advances have made the 9mm more deadly which is true but the main factor is their Agents have less problems qualifying with the “new” 9mm ammo. Yes the silvertips they used were notorious for… Read more »

    Senior
    Guest
    Senior

    Hey Mike! The same way modern technology has made 9mm better, it has also made the .45 better. I’ll take the .45. It has saved my ass many times in the real world, not with paper targets. Thats all I will say about that.

    Skyviking
    Guest
    Skyviking

    Just goes to show what crap we shovel to prove our point (the one at the top of our heads). The Thompson-LaGarde tests at the turn of the century (well, close) “proved” that big heavy bullets beat small light ones every time, when fired out of pistols at the velocities of the day – on livestock. The result was the adoption of the .45acp in the vaunted 1911 pistol. I own a pile of 1911s in .45. I usually carry in non-permissive environs, so I will usually be heeled with a reliable Glock 26 or 19 loaded up with 124-gr.… Read more »

    DEG
    Guest
    DEG

    Both the original article and many of the comments since baffle me completely. Some facts are in order: Modern, controlled expansion handgun ammunition intended for defensive use in the modern service calibers (9MM, .357 sig, .40 and .45) perform nearly identically in testing, and on the street, because they have been designed to pass a specific series of test protocols. 1.5 – 2x expansion with 90%+ weight retention, penetrating at least 12″ and not more than 18″ through bare, calibrated ballistic gelatin, and through calibrated ballistic gelatin after passing through a variety of barrier materials including sheet metal, laminated automotive… Read more »

    Kim Shaw
    Guest
    Kim Shaw

    A question for my law enforcement readers in a shooting do you even remember seeing the front sight? Or does it happen so fast that you may have had a sight picture or you may not have had a sight picture. Is this where the repetition of training comes in?

    Gregory Romeu
    Guest
    Gregory Romeu

    That would be the results of when the, “pucker factor” kicks in, (adrenaline) and most begin the “spray and pray” tactics until they get their metaphysical balance to focus on their threat to take that fatal shot.

    Even trained combatants aren’t experts,in combat until they get used to the environment they are in and their bodies acclimate to the enviorent as well as grab ahold of their adrenaline rush to be more effective. Else there would never have to be a use for, “cover fire”.

    M.A. Hall
    Guest
    M.A. Hall

    You are right, however, standing flat footed and being able to shoot the center out of a target doesn’t make you a gun fighter. Try the same thing when somebody is shooting back, the adrenaline is so high, you’ve got tunnel vision, hearing deprivation makes the gunshots sound like muffled popcorn going off and you can’t focus on anything but the gun in the bad guys hand. The dynamics change. Some of you drugstore “gunfighters” talk about how great of a pistolero you are, but really don’t understand the dynamics or physiological effects that go on in a real gunfight.… Read more »

    JR Bailey
    Guest
    JR Bailey

    I happen to agree with all of the comments you have made in your response, however, you seem to be avoiding the issue that so many of us in this series of exchanges have made: it does not matter what caliber you shoot, what matters is how many rounds you can put on the target! This is key to the whole issue: when, as you indicate quite correctly, fecal matter strikes the oscillator at warp nine, and events accelerate and narrow, the higher the percentile of accurate shots on the range at paper, should translate to a higher percentage of… Read more »

    Gregory Romeu
    Guest
    Gregory Romeu

    YES! THAT’S the, “Pucker Factor” that I talk about! The,point where the sphincter valve is so tight, you can’t get a pin through the opening! Then, when the adrenaline balances out, you can hear the wizzzz of the bullet passing your head! You don’t have to be a gunfighter in combat to realize you are now AUTHORIZED to SHOOT BACK! As for the JURY TRIAL that you might demand (IF the situation goes that far), have a Court Appointed (CA) put your case together awaiting TRIAL (Your RIGHT) and plead your case. Because some thug isn’t going to stick around,… Read more »

    M.A. Hall
    Guest
    M.A. Hall

    Kim, yes in fact. In some cases to a lesser degree but I always had my sights between my face and the target. I worked a robbery detail for some time. We stopped a few bad guys. I trained a lot and talked to a lot of guys that came out on the right side of gunfights. I talked to guys like Jim Cirillo of NY PD about mindset and training. Jim also worked a robbery detail for many years and has been in a bunch of gunfights. Knowing what to do and predetermining that’s what you are going to… Read more »

    Roger Davis
    Guest
    Roger Davis

    Up front I am not an expert in any way on ballistics. My comments are purly based on research and a few officers I have as friends and military. As for a government agency, all to carry same ammo to share if needed. Carry the largest caliber possible, offering various size firearms to fit various size hands. A 22 in the hands of a practiced shooter can be more deadly than a 45 in the hands of some one that can not control it. My personal preference, 357 mag. Not as many rounds, harder to conceal, but in practiced hands… Read more »

    Dr. Strangelove
    Guest
    Dr. Strangelove

    I hear that advances in ammo technology have increased the efficacy of 9mm, making it as good as .45. However, the same advances have been applied to .45 ACP, so I’ll stick with the larger round.

    Mike Burcke
    Guest
    Mike Burcke

    1. FBI is showing its true bureaucratic mindset by even mentioning, much less seriously considering cost and wear-and-tear in their analysis. Effectiveness in stopping a gunfight is all that counts. Period. 2. I would listen very, very carefully to the two “Midwestern City” (where the wind always messes up your hairdo) street cops who have worked for decades in a daily civilian combat zone, and know first-hand what works and what does not work. Reality trumps theory, no matter how passionately held the theory. 3. Shot placement is everything, assuming you have time and opportunity to worry about it.

    M.Hall
    Guest
    M.Hall

    Mike On issue #1 you are right. Issue #2 you must remember that anecdotal information taken from history looses merit in regard to any technology. Cable brakes on a 1928 car worked, but can’t compare to modern disc with ASB technology. Issue # 3. You are right, shot placement is the most important factor in stopping a fight, however, having been involved in a couple of gunfights in my career , I can tell you, that gunfights are not won by a fast loud noise. You always consider shot placement, no matter the time and opportunity. This is why skill… Read more »

    DrJon
    Guest
    DrJon

    It appears obvious to me that: 1. Qualification should be more often to assure better shot placement. If it is once per year then it should be three times per year in the future 2. Small men and most women will have a difficult time adapting to a large grip double stack magazine 9mm or a single stack .45? That is cultural and a part of girly men and females need special help to compete, as Audie Murphy was 5’5″ and weighed 112 lbs and had no issues with the 1911’s size. 3. Qualification can be adjusted for round preference,… Read more »

    DrJon
    Guest
    DrJon

    Correction: It is a price of them NOT being able…

    M.Hall
    Guest
    M.Hall

    In regard to your first comment. Even tree times a year is not sufficient. It should be monthly or at least by-monthly. Also keep in mind that qualification is not training. When I ran our departmental qual, training was included in every qual event, even if it was short and sweet. Folks that did not qual to our (my) standards were not allowed on the streets until the standards were met. I worked in a rough town and had complete support of administration, which is not always the case.

    DrJon
    Guest
    DrJon

    As a civilian, I enjoyed practice once per week and in order to properly qualify, I would think that timed drills, bulls eye, etc all should be a part of training. If a department has the ammunition sufficient to provide each deputy, patrol person or agent, or, if is is supplied as a part of benefits, as a part of the position, I am 100% with you that monthly qualification would be wonderful. AND, it should be done as fun competition with awards given or notification of placement of winners. I was born in New Orleans (today’s Detroit of the… Read more »

    Brian Bonner
    Guest
    Brian Bonner

    The.40 cal is the light 10mm

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    @Brian Bonner, Welcome to the site. Yes, the .40 S&W is often humorously referred to as the .40 cal. Short & Weak.
    But what ever a guy has with him is better than nothing, and I intend to shoot until the threat goes away. If it looks like the threat might survive, I may have to render first aid until I am sure that it does not happen.

    Brian Bonner
    Guest
    Brian Bonner

    Not humorous at all. The FBI went with 10mm, but it proved to be too much for girls and girly men, so the manufacturer came up with the .40cal, which is just a shortened case 10mm, which reduced recoil and grip size

    Bill N.
    Guest
    Bill N.

    @Wild Bill, As I’ve said before I enjoy your comments every time. I would like to point out even with all the range training available today, I’ve never seen a paper target shoot back. You and everyone else on this forum can place a sure bet, when the “target” shoots back it’s totally a different world. I sometimes get a charge out of some comments such as head shot or double tap. Until you’ve been shot at you really don’t know how you will react when the lead comes from the opposite direction. Just sayin’.

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    @Bill N, I can not agree more whole heartedly. I have never been shot at or shot back in a non military setting where I did not have full authority, permission, and encouragement from the DoD. Being on one’s own, where the possibility of being second guessed by some county prosecutor is an entirely different situation. Still… old habits are hard to break.

    Brian Bonner
    Guest
    Brian Bonner

    I have been shot at more than once When i was a ghetto medic and used to thru doors on gun runs when leo had no back up. I thought only city cops were bad shots until i came to Montana and lived on a range where i shot competitively 3 gun, defensive pistol and cowboy action shooting. Plus something called rolling thunderand they were no good at paper targets either. They stopped shooting with us because we intimidated them? I am not that great a shot with hand tremors so they should have beat me! I have shot the… Read more »

    JR Bailey
    Guest
    JR Bailey

    BJI, I couldn’t see your post on this site, but I did get notified of it via email, so here’s my response. I stand corrected on the proper diameters, and I thank you for the correction! Empirical evidence is the key factor in making real world quality decisions, and I prefer that to subjective opinion! I would note that you did say that the 45 ACP I had two different diameters, one being a .451 and the other being of .351. I figured you just made an error and hit the wrong key on the ladder figure. I would like… Read more »

    Einar R. Petersen
    Guest
    Einar R. Petersen

    Personally, were I in an exchange, I’d rather have my Grendel P30 or KelTek PMR-30 with .its 22WMR V-Max. Talk about accuracy and on-target repetition, it’s hard to beat. I’ve seen what it can do to a wild boar (including head-shots), and they drop like a rock. Since the vast majority of altercations occur within 7 meters, this “toy” is likely all you will need. Small recoil and 30+1 rounds to start…

    Dr. Strangelove
    Guest
    Dr. Strangelove

    V-Max is a varmint round with limited penetration. PDX1, GDHP and FTX are much better choices for the PMR-30 and especially the LCR, because these rounds are engineered for shorter barrels.

    Einar R. Petersen
    Guest
    Einar R. Petersen

    Some years ago my family and I visited the FBI Building in Washington, D.C. and witnessed the Shooting presentation. This was during the time the Bureau had changed to the.40 Cal. Having been in two Branches of our Military, I questioned the male Agent as to why anyone would want the .40, as opposed to the .45, with its outstand “impact” value. He only smiled and tapped his holster and said, “You’re preaching to the Choir”.

    CW3RDL
    Guest
    CW3RDL

    Read Sanow and Marshall’s “Stopping Power” which chronicles actual cartridges used in combat that worked……and didn’t. It’s not a scientific study but a history of what happened. Foot pounds of energy that actually stay in the target appear to be a good indicator of effectiveness. 400 foot pounds appears to be a good bottom level for a duty cartridge. If it has good expansion and doesn’t go out the back of the adversary, you have a pretty good round. As much as I hated to read it, the 9mm Luger ball round has stopped a higher percentage of fights in… Read more »

    John Brown
    Guest
    John Brown

    I thought that was debunked?

    bonita meltzer
    Guest
    bonita meltzer

    It was.

    Gregory Romeu
    Guest
    Gregory Romeu

    But HOW MANY 9mm’s had to hit the same target to stop it?

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    @Greg R, I don’t know how many it would have to take to stop the same target, but I know how many I’m going to use!

    Kivaari
    Guest
    Kivaari

    Sanow and Marshall’s book has been discredited. Their math was made up. The IWBA did a statistical study of the book and found its math impossible for them to come up with the figures they came up with, Real world shooting and modern testing shows the statistical difference between 9mm, .40 and .45 is zip. With good ammo the 9mm gives huge advantages to the shooter.

    William
    Guest
    William

    I am amazed at the sheer ignorance of some comments here. Lets establish a few facts here. Advertising or stories of fantastical nuclear like bullets, and even some hand selected cases of someone who was dead before he hit the ground with one bullet analogies are often rare to the extreme, and or plain made up stories that have been retold thousands of times and have become mere folklore devoid of reality. Marketing by fantasy.. The idea that modern ammo is a end all, is entirely based on advertising and misleading ballistic gelatin assumptions. As one who carried a 9MM… Read more »

    JR Bailey
    Guest
    JR Bailey

    William, You make many good points, and your bottom line that bigger is better, makes good sense as well, both logically and empirically! However, you have a major flaw in your logic when it comes to your poo-pooing of the 9mm: your pointing out that the jhp engineering fails quite often for 9 mm, is also the case for the 45 ACP! The engineering that went into the 9 mm is the same engineering that went into the 45 ACP jhps!!! So, at the end of the day your 45 ACP traveling at about 900 ft – 1000 ft fps,… Read more »

    Gregory Romeu
    Guest
    Gregory Romeu

    Wow? I guess all the small framed man and woman in the United States Marine Corps that are qualifying as expert pistol on the ranges with their .45 are just S.O.L.? And to think, the only two primary things we as Marines do professionally is kill people and blow shit up? I also do not recall, “William” as saying he was using .45 hollow points but did state that he chose the, “pseudo full metal jacket bullet and pick the 45 acp.” Suffice it to say, that sounds pretty much like the typical. 230 grain .45 ball round to me?… Read more »

    Bill N.
    Guest
    Bill N.

    I agree with you Mr. Bailey. I have a compact .40 Springfield which to me is harder to control than my Sig 220R in 10MM. of course the Sig is not as comfortable to carry concealed as is the compact but I have more faith in the Sig to hit where I aim than the light and short Springfield. The 10 may be a little smaller then the .45 but I think it has just a bit more energy in the end. To each, his, (or her) own choice. As I once heard, a .22 in the hand is better… Read more »

    Bill N.
    Guest
    Bill N.

    I bet these same instructors never came across a deer or hog full of cocaine or heroin and felt nothing when hit by what-ever projectile.

    Don Bailey
    Guest
    Don Bailey

    @ William & JR Bailey, Everything you both said makes perfect since, but at the end of they day, shot placement of the round and luck means alot more. Many police departments around the nation have adopted Glocks in 45 ACP and are extremely happy with them. At the same time, there have been reports of officers shooting meth. addicts four and five times, to only have the perp. survive leaving the officers scratching their heads. On the other end of the topic, no one likes getting shot at, even if it is only something with .22 shorts or something… Read more »

    Kim Shaw
    Guest
    Kim Shaw

    It was a lucky ricochet 22lr that almost killed President Reagan.

    Don Bailey
    Guest
    Don Bailey

    @Kim Shaw, Sometimes a little perspective is drawn in. When you are considering luck, ask yourself for who, the guy shooting, or the guy getting shot. Sometimes it is only the perspective and geometry that matters. Good Shoot’n.

    GlockM&PKimber shooter
    Guest
    GlockM&PKimber shooter

    It is mind boggling that serious weight is given to the amount of “wear and tear” on the weapons that some ammunition might create, considering that police weapons are used so infrequently for any purpose including training.

    Kivaari
    Guest
    Kivaari

    Some places actually shoot their guns. My Glock 17 had over 30,000 rounds through it before I replaced it with another Glock.

    DPopham
    Guest
    DPopham

    You can tell Don McDougall (author of this article) has done little investigation into the improvements in modern hollow point ammunition. The comment above has a lot more thought than this article does. Obviously he just wants to feel better about still trusting his old 1911.

    Dan
    Guest
    Dan

    Law enforcement organizations are not allowed to issue hollow-point ammunition. While I agree with you that makes a difference in the effect of a given round, the article is about the FBI and its choices. Just my .02

    KCshooter
    Guest
    KCshooter

    That’s completely false.

    Dan
    Guest
    Dan

    KC,
    It is not false, I was incorrect…and stand corrected.

    KCshooter
    Guest
    KCshooter

    False:
    adjective
    1.not according with truth or fact; incorrect.

    Twice now.

    Kim
    Guest
    Kim

    Yes law enforcement does use JHP ammunition. The military by treaty can not use JHP. (But they are trying to get around that.)

    Dan
    Guest
    Dan

    Kim, yep I stand corrected. I took a law enforcement class in high school and the teachers (both police) had made it a point of discussion that they only could use fmj. That was a while ago and how times change. Interesting that the reason claimed is to prevent over-penetration. Thanks for the clarification.

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    @Kim, you are correct the Hague Convention signatories have mutually agreed not to use expanding ammunition. The U.S. is a signatory. The concept is to have clean and survivable wounds, and the wounded become noncombatants.

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    Oh, and neither the Hague Conventions on the Conduct of War nor the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners apply to civil police criminal matters or civil war.

    Kivaari
    Guest
    Kivaari

    What police department doesn’t carry hollow point ammunition? We were using it for the last 45 years.

    M.Hall
    Guest
    M.Hall

    Dan, you are completely wrong on this. I work for a major ammo maker that sells approx 10 million rounds of JHP ammo to LE every year.

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    @M. Hall, It is not that Dan is completely wrong on this, but rather the class room instructors that misinformed him, and made a point about it, that were completely wrong on this. So lighten up. And I am so glad that Hillary is not president!

    M.A. Hall
    Guest
    M.A. Hall

    Understand WildBill, but it was Dan that fronted the incorrect information. Therefore as far as this page goes, it is Dan that was completely wrong. He has since clarified where his info came from, but only because several folks on this page indicated his info was not correct. I’m not trying to be hard on Dan and not that any body here really cares but the majority of the info put forward on this page is based on locker room rhetoric. It’s hard to imagine some of the things put forward here, based on something somebodies cousin told them is… Read more »

    Paul Valone
    Guest
    Paul Valone

    You might or might not agree with the theory that technical advances in ammunition have narrowed the gap in stopping power between 9mm and larger calibers such as .45 ACP, but you should at least mention it, since that was one of the major criteria for the FBI. Although tests on live animals such as those at the Strasbourg tests are no longer possible, anecdotal evidence from emergency rooms reportedly suggests little difference between would ballistics of 9mm vs. .45 ACP when modern ammunition (e.g. bonded bullets) is used. That, not capacity or training, should be the central point of… Read more »

    William
    Guest
    William

    Your assumptions are the product of slick marketing and no actual street experience. I just retired after decades of working the streets of an infamous city where it’s history of violence and holding the coveted Murder Capital of the Wold for many years shows a different and factual reality, not folklore and subjective fantasy you were sold on. Hollow points fail to expand far more that you are willing to imagine and we have seen this first hand, and the walking wounded with several of these very bullets you just bragged about in their body. Decades of seeing failure of… Read more »

    JR Bailey
    Guest
    JR Bailey

    William, A 9mm is not .33, it’s .38. This means that the difference in diameter between an unfired 9 millimeter and an unfired 45 ACP, is .07 diameter! Again, you’re only looking at one aspect of someone being in a firefight: the size of the caliber, rather than the ABILITY of the shooter to ACCURATELY put shots on target!! Using your criteria, everyone should be carrying a Desert Eagle in .50AE, because that produces a MUCH bigger hole than a 45ACP, and it does it at high velocity!! For that matter, everyone should be carrying a MAC-11 in .45ACP, because… Read more »

    Jim Macklin
    Guest
    Jim Macklin

    150 years ago a Colt 36 caliber revolver used as .375 or 38 caliber round ball. When converted to fire a metallic cartridge they called them 38 caliber because that was the size of the case.
    A 9mm, a 38 Special and a .357 Magnum all muse a 0.356 to 0.358 bullet diameter.
    A Colt 38/40 is a 40 caliber bullet. A 44 is a 43 caliber, 0.429 diameter to 0.431″. A 45 ACP, 45 Colt is 0.452-0.455. A 45/70 rifle is 0.458.

    BJI
    Guest
    BJI

    HOO BOY!!!!
    The 38 Special DOES NOT use a 0.38 inch diameter bullet!!! It is a 0.357 inch diameter bullet IDENTICAL to the 357 Magnum bullet diameter.
    The 9 mm bullet diameter is 0.355 inch!!! The 380 Auto and the 357 SIG ALSO USE 0.355 inch diameter bullets!!!
    9 x 18 mm Makarov uses a 0.365 inch diameter bullet.
    The 45 ACP bullet diameter is 0.451!!!

    BJI
    Guest
    BJI

    HOO BOY!!!
    The 38 SPL DOES NOT USE a 0.38 inch diameter bullet but uses a 0.357 inch diameter bullet IDENTICAL to the 357 Magnum bullet!!!
    The 9 mm bullet is 0.355 inch diameter IDENTICAL to the 380 Auto and the 357 SIG!!!
    The 9×18 mm Makarov bullet is 0.365
    The 40 S&W AND the 10 mm bullets are BOTH 0.40.
    The 41 Magnum is 0.410.
    The 44 SPL is 0.430.
    The 45 ACP is 0.351.
    The 45 Colt is 0.352.
    The 500 AE AND the 500 S&W Magnum are BOTH 0.500.
    Bullet diameters were ALL taken from the “HORNADY HANDBOOK OF CARTRIDGE RELOADING, TENTH EDITION”.

    John Brown
    Guest
    John Brown

    Hoo boy

    JR Bailey
    Guest
    JR Bailey

    Bji, after I made my other reply to you then the site took me to these comments where I could see your comment!

    Please take a look at my other comment which was in response to yours directly above this one.

    Thank you again for the correction knowledge is power!

    Fred Stone
    Guest
    Fred Stone

    I’m confused. According to ANSI/SAAMI Standards:
    The 9mm +p+ pushes a 124gr bullet at around 1300fps and
    The .357 mag pushes a 125gr bullet at around 1300fps.
    Since both of these rounds are the same weight and caliber (124gr vs 125gr and .356 diameter vs .357 diameter) AND with the same case pressure; what is the Benifit of having a 6 shot .357 magnum over a 16 shot simi-auto?

    And in my opinion, with a .357 mag being superior to a .45, that makes the 9mm superior to a 45. If I’m missing something please let me know.

    KCshooter
    Guest
    KCshooter

    Fred,
    What you are missing is the simple fact that SAAMI does not have a +P+ pressure standard. And 9mm is not equivalent to .357 Magnum. Period.

    (I still think 9mm is a better choice.)

    Fred Stone
    Guest
    Fred Stone

    KCShooter,
    I thought you might bite on that. Just stop being a pedant A. H. Look up the word, you might lean something (maybe not since you know it all).

    KCshooter
    Guest
    KCshooter

    I’m not being pedantic, you’re just completely wrong, and making up B.S. to back a statement that was blatantly foolish. And yes, as long as you keep saying things that are stupid, yeah, I’ll bite.
    Where did you get your SAAMI spec for 9mm +p+? You made it up. Classy.

    (I don’t need to look the word up, thanks, dbag, you can put your thesaurus away now.)

    BoB
    Guest
    BoB

    The 45 ACP is 0.451 not 0.351
    The 45 Colt is 0.452 not 0.352