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.

  • 251 thoughts on “FBI Unlearns Gun & Ammo History … 9mm Vs 45 ~ VIDEO

    1. 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.

    2. 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 a federal agency, to Butte, Montana in the winter, if you do not produce results, what caliber would best? .45acp, 40S&W, 9mm, etc.? I suggest a caliber with the lowest recoil. In fact, if you are only counting bullet placement on a paper target, a good pellet pistol may be best. Concomitantly, the mental and physical skills needed to survive a deadly encounter are never part of the selection process.

      It may be best to agree that it is all a moot point because shooting paper targets is a scam and has always been. Often when people disagree with what I have just shared, they mention “simuntion marking cartridges, force of force training, ad infinitum.” Yet, I have never seen any of these courses used as a substitute for paper qualification. Some have tried, but too many people failed, which of course, cannot happen.

      1. 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.

    3. 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 Bar The Door Time. To say that they are all over the place would be an understatement.
      Last year we became state qualifed in defensive shotgun use. I was talking to the range officer about the advance shooting courses they provide. He told me to bring 500 rounds of pistol ammo during qualifiation day. I was stunned. Why is that, In asked? Because most shooters don’t hit the shooting house targest right off. So they need multiple rounds to do so. I fault the large capacity magazine mentality that has permeiated the police forces in the U.S. Members of many foreign police forces have to buy their own ammo. So they learn right off to place their shots.
      Maybe we are all looking in the wrong direction. Quite possibly our scan has to be focused on the fact that many, not most, officers are unfit. As a result of their inability to chase down a bad guy, gives them mental justification to unleash round after round of misplaced unsighted shots. It sounds like the Fire For Effect concept of a heavy weapon unit.
      A FBI agent, who was a neighbor when I was a kid, told me that they were issued .357 Colt Pythons at one time. They didn’t keep them long because, during a shoot-out in a Wrong Coast hotel, the wife of a VIP was hit by a bullet that penetrated the wall of the adjacent unit, and hit her as she sat on the throne.
      What ever the reason for the scatter gun pistol shots – either physical, mechanical, maintenance, or financial, it is very obvious that it is a top to bottom problem.
      One of my greatest fears is that at sometime, as a civilian, I’ll be in the middle of a shoot-out and be be shot by a cop who can’t shoot straight. I am confident of my ability – even at age 72. And I’ve held a Carry Permit since 1966.
      Wasn’t there a book written years ago about the FBI called The Gang That Couldn’tShoot Straight. The Mafia shooters had confirmed greater accuracy than the FBI agents they faced. That doesn’t say much about the FBI since the book was written a long time ago. Isn’t is scarry! Nothing has changed for decades. My good friend, Fred C, told me in the in the 70’s a true point about organizations like the FBI that are thought to be too big to fail – “The More They Change, The More They Stay The Same.”

    4. 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.

    5. 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!

    6. 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 !!!!!

      1. @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!

    7. 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

    8. 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 can bring up the point of the Miami Shoot out. The Philippine .38 failure etc etc. Thats like comparing the wright brothers airplane to an F16 today! We don’t shoot the same bullets used in those shootings and if you do then you are an idiot. Handgun bullets suck for stopping power anyway. A pistol is only good to get you back to the rifle you never should have left without to begin with!. Training is always key to survival in a gun fight. If you can’t put a 9mm into the side of a terrorist ear at 50 yards then you need more training. PERIOD!

      1. 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.

      2. 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.

    9. 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. +P HST LE ammo, but when possible, I carry a .45 1911 of some sort or an HK45C loded with the 230-gr. HST…

    10. 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 safety glass, light and heavy clothing, drywall, etc. what a specific caliber could do is irrelevant. what FMJ ammo does in a military context, or what a plain lead bullet did 100 years ago is irrelevant. The ammunition carried today has next to nothing in common with those examples in the article.

      Shooter performance cannot be separated from caliber. Lighter calibers are easier to shoot for people of all shooting abilities than heavier calibers. For an inexperienced shooter, round count is the most important factor in improving their performance, and I can get more rounds per dollar with 9mm than with .45. Additionally I can shoot more with 9mm than with .45 before things like shooter fatigue begin to lower the effectiveness of training and introduce bad habits like flinches. it takes more time, and higher round counts to teach recoil control in a heavier caliber.

      Cost matters. And time matters. Shooting is not the only thing that police officers need to spend valuable training dollars and training hours on. A smaller round allows a department to purchase more rounds, with fewer dollars, and also allows them to spend more training time on relevant tactical shooting exercises, instead of fundamentals like grip, stance and recoil control, which are more important the heavier caliber you use.

      You get more bullets with smaller calibers. Period. More bullets in the gun, more bullets on the belt, more bullets per magazine. Why might this matter? A cop with a 32″ waistline needs to carry a gun, spare magazines, taser, handcuffs, radio, chemical spray, rubber gloves, baton, flashlight… he simply isn’t going to have room for 4 double stack mags. So the 58 rounds he can carry with a Glock 17 is 45% more ammo than he can carry with a 40 round load out for a Glock 21 or 1911. Plus what happens if you get shot in a gunfight? I’ve seen all the acrobatics people teach to reload a gun one handed, and it barely works when you’re playing in training, without the tremendous physical pain of actually being shot. You may be limited to what’s in the gun.

      Finally, weapon size and weight matters. The average officer, male or female, has little difficulty handling a modern double stack 9/40 size weapon. Very few, again male or female, have the hand size to shoot a double stack .45 single handed well. Plus that Glock 21 or 1911 weighs a pound more than a G17 or M&P, which leads to more weight distribution problems on the bat-belt, which frequently causes chronic back and pelvic issues over a 20-25 year career.

      There’s also the soft factors. 1 type of ammo to buy, maximizing discounts on ammunition acquisition. Single platform for not only the gun itself, but also holsters, magazines, carriers, spare weapons for when a gun goes down for maintenance or is out of service for extended time because it’s in evidence following a shoot, etc. one manual of arms to train on, one armorer certification to hold.

      Put it all together, and a fair, apples to apples comparison of all the factors in play almost always points to a 9mm or .40 duty weapon for most line officers in most departments.

    11. 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?

      1. 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”.

      2. 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. And, the guys name at Pomona was Art Tormollan. He was a civilian rangemaster at Pomona for many years.

        1. 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 shots on a live target during the oscillating rotor operating at warp nine as the fecal matter strikes!

          This is the point so many of us are making!

          It doesn’t matter if the person in question is shooting a 10mm, or 45 ACP, or a 9mm, or a 380 ACP, or a 22 long rifle; what matters is how many of those bullets sent down range actually strike the target!

          I’m not an armchair pistolero, nor on the Range pistolero: I’m your basic beat up old cripple, with a fat belly and a world of bad health! What this means in real-world terms for me, is that I need to be able to carry a sidearm which I can shoot as competently as possible, in a caliber that allows me to to shoot as accurately as I can!

          For me, this means a 9 mm, and a CZ 85. I shoot the CZ better than I have any of my 1911’s in the past, or even the wheel guns with which I grew up shooting.

          This is why I could care less about the what size and caliber is best at a one shot knock down: researching real world shootings the one shot knockdown is the exception rather than the rule!

          Sadly, far too many people in this thread are seeking that Holy Grail of the one shot knock down, and they keep bringing up exceptions to say that you need something that penetrates two feet to go through windshields, or body armor, or a T-Rex at 25 yds!

          We don’t need the exceptions, because you cannot plan for them, not in real world terms for civilians!

          Should the civilian be shooting through the windshield of someone fleeing, that civilian will end up in a penitentiary. The only chance of needing to shoot through body armor, is if that person is in a bank while a bank robbery is occurring.

          Again, these are exceptions! Most folks are going to be in a grocery store being robbed, or a convenience store, or the gas station, or walking back to their car after seeing a movie, or eating at a restaurant. Another scenario is actually being in the restaurant while it’s being robbed.

          No windshields, no body armor, and no T-Rex.

          Which brings us full circle right back to the whole core of the issue: how many of those shiny little things at the end of the case can we put on the bad guy during high-stress situations?

          A greater percentile of hits on the range should, in real-world terms, result in a higher percentile of hits on target, when yes indeed, the fecal matter is striking the oscillating Rotor at warp nine!

          Thanks for reading.

        2. 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, lest he demand a JURY TRIAL Kid he was in the wrong! A good guy with a gun will stand his ground and win!

          Been there, done that and a Dallas Detective gave me a slip to retrieve my firearm AND AMMO from their, “Bar Cave”. Never had to go to TRIAL because the Perp got a year and fessed-up and the case got tossed on MY testimony and explaination,of facts based on evidence.

          No crime, no time! DEFENDING YOURSELF WITH A FIREARM IS NOT A,CRIME! PS:I was using a 9mm with Black Talons and have ever since want to a .45 28th standardized 230 grain ball ammo.

      3. 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 do, creates a mindset that helps deal with the adrenaline . Also, confidence in your ability is a big factor in how you respond.

    12. 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 best of all worlds. Practice, practice, practice,. I would be interested in your comments.

    13. 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.

    14. 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.

      1. 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 sets must be maintained at their highest potential. I’m now retired but still teach young LE types and have two sons in the business. Skill at arms is taken far too lightly by agencies and far too often downplayed as a “wrong attitude”.

    15. 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, and grip size. Certainly there is room in an organization like the FBI to have two different rounds and pistols for them offered.
      4. There is essentially no difference in wounding effect between the two rounds in well placed shots to head or heart
      5. Felt recoil is individual and different for everyone. I like the push of the .45ACP, but find the snap of the 9mm not as pleasant. Others may feel recoil differently; see comment #3.
      6. All officers and agents should be required to have enough back up rounds stored in their vehicles, which should be constantly used in training and as quickly replaced, so that they are not dependent upon depot resupply in the even of a long running gunfight.
      7. Everyone shoots their favorite handgun/caliber better than the handgun/calibers they like less!!!!

      It all goes to a matter of choice and social need. If a department or agency is going to hire 90 lb women, who cannot handle a double stack 9mm or a .45 ACP then let them have single stack 9mms. It is a price of them being able to defend themselves as well as larger people for the usually promoted “everyone’s equal social policies.” Same goes for little men!

      To sum up, I have handguns in both calibers, although I prefer the .45 ACP. I purchased a Wilson/Beretta 9mm because during the ammunition shortage of the Obama years, I wanted availability without issues. The choice of caliber should be individual within an agency and between two calibers, the 9mm and the .45 ACP.

      1. 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.

        1. 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 South) and law enforcement there NEEDS constant firearm training, as it has become the roughest of America’s towns.

      1. @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.

        1. 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

        2. @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’.

          1. @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.

    16. 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 your comments on the main points I was making, pertaining to shot placement accuracy, and the ability of individual Shooters to handle a calibers pertinent to their abilities.

      Thank you again for the correction I do appreciate it!

    17. 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…

      1. 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.

    18. 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”.

    19. 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 which was used than .45 ACP. I know; ouch.

        1. @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!

      1. 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.

    20. 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 for years loaded with Corbon 115 grain JHP @1350 FPS I am far from anti 9MM. But years of study of N.I.J. (National Institute of Justice) reports and 21 years as a Detective in a Major Midwestern city know for it’s history of murders and decades as the “Murder Capital” changes ones perception in the face of reality. We can pretend we know things when we watch videos, but the stark reality changes what amounts to our assumptions. the 99% does not know that what propels much of hollow point changes and engineering is failure. Yes I did say failure, and facts back this up and this is not a subject the ammunition Industry wants to talk about, but even they are human and can error. Many hollow points still today fail to expand or only partially expand. Things such as a jackets zipper or buttons can drastically alter bullet expansion or worse yet, completely fail to expand. I have seen countless autopsy reports, seen this up close and personal and frankly I lost count of the many walking wounded took multiple supposedly fatal 9MM wounds with those magical expanding super bullets. One manufacturer I won’t mention produced a round with a rubber filled hollow point that showed a potential to fail to expand despite the designs promise to limit this reality. It got so bad it became national news. In talking to the reps of the company they were insisting those cases was officer failure. Now mind you the officers merely fired at and hit the perp so there was no failure on the part of the officers. The failure was the known in testing as they lacked a long line of volunteers offering to be a bullet catcher so they were forced to rely on subjective information, and the failed medium we call ballistic gelatin. yes Ballistic gelatin is a marker not a proper medium to make decisions about performance from. Don’t blame the engineers unless you offered to be their live gelatin subject. gelatin lacks certain human elements like skin, muscle density, bones, ligaments, tendons which all acts dramatically differently than the ballistic gelatin does to bullet travel.
      So we can either hope when we are defending our lives that the bullet will somehow be one of the 33% that perform as desired and expand reliably, or be faced with reality and see that bullets seem to completely miss our attacker and be his/her next victim. This is the reason I went to the 45 acp. My reasoning is based on science, autopsy reports, N.I.J. data of actual shootings that you never see in your life, such as a man taking 26 (9MM) rounds which are mostly torso hits and continues to terrorize the Police officers like some invincible movie monster who will not die. One case in California was 32 rounds of 9MM and countless other just like this.

      For me after 2 plus decades of seeing this first hand and in the countless shooting and autopsy reports, I am going to assume that the hollow point will fail to expand leaving me with a pseudo full metal jacket bullet and pick the 45 acp as I have today. I know it’s history, seen what it does first hand and know when the law of averages kicks in and the mountain of comparative evidence and detailed shooting reports that round will still perform at least as well as it’s Military FMJ counter part, plus the added velocity and the possible text book perfect expansion it will out perform the 9MM by a country mile.

      The sheer stupidity of the F.B.I. using a missed shot placement percentage as an excuse speaks to someone in needing to retire and not risk the lives of our nations best.
      This can be fixed with simple training and better handgun design to mitigate recoil and decrease shot recovery times. To brag that failure is an options is pure insanity knowing that missed shots equal dead children and other innocents. Mind you the fact that the brain dead main stream media, gun rag and Law Enforcement writers plus Law enforcement decision makers who are willing to accept such a high failure rate knowing this means the probability that Officers and the innocent may die as a result of such pathetic training is them begging to be replaced by those who are smart enough to demand better for our protectors and the citizens. 80% missed shots are inexcusable and I don’t blame the Agents and Officers as they need the “investment” required to keep us safe. Maybe that Politician needs a less costly Subaru and not his fancy taxpayer provided $55,000 vehicle to get to and from his seat shining job.

      I am sorry to bust the bubble of those who chose the 9MM based on folklore and advertising claims that can’t be proven and will never be because at the end of the day it is all about making money for all involved. But don’t despair, as chances and odds are you a mechanic, Dentist, welder or McDonalds employee may never be forced to take down a raging violent felon loaded with Flakka, PCP and or bath salts, the rest of us have no choice and that possibility is very real for us, thus we have not the luxury to use fantasy, myth, tales of magical bullets that stop Super man or those officials that lie through their teeth to excuse their incompetence as a basis of what we need to save lives and stop drugged up sociopaths from murdering you or your family, not to mention saving our own lives..

      In this case, bigger is actually better and proven so by reality and N.I.J. shooting reports which are not hypothetical which is the basis of the adoption and backwards mentality of the last eight years of Political manipulation and poor leadership since 2008.

      I have a almost 50 year history that spans from a NRA Jr Program National Match competitor, Vietnam combat, to law Enforcement, private Detective and security company owner, and in between many years of IPSC and other combat and three gun competition. Through all this 50 years I have been an avid reloader and had the pleasure and Honor of meeting Lee Jurras the Father of the Hollow point Bullet and creator of the ground breaking Super Vel brand of cartridges.

      1. 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, is still only going to put a .07 size larger hole in the target, given your point that failed JHP’s are still basically FMJ’s!!

        What’s a boy to do?

        What you don’t seem to wish to consider, is that ‘one size’ does not fit all, when it comes to sidearms, or vehicles for that matter, and certainly clothes!

        This is the reason that there are so many different side arms, rifles, and shotguns!

        A woman standing 5 foot 3 inches tall and weighing 120 pounds is not going to have the beefy hands that she needs to handle a double stack 40 S&W, or a full frame 1911!

        Same thing for a man that’s 5 foot 5 with small hands and weighs 135 or 140 pounds, the recoil of 40 S&W, or 45 ACP, in a medium or full frame pistol just won’t work!!

        The ‘best’ sidearm for ANY person is the one that person can shoot most accurately, which means caliber limits are indicative of said accuracy!!

        A person shooting a 32 ACP compact pistol accurately, will be able to place their shots into the heart-lung area of an assailant. Handing that same person, who can control their small side arm, full frame 1911 in 45 ACP doesn’t do any good, if they can’t maintain the same accuracy!

        Are you grokking what I’m saying here?

        Every instructor I ever had, whether for personal defense or hunting, kept stressing shot placement as the key factor in humane kills for hunting, and for quick resolution of life-threatening situations.

        The bottom line William, is that there are millions of people walking around in public today, who can physically and accurately handle a .380 subcompact pistol, but not a medium frame Flock in 40 S&W!

        I would rather they carry the .380 and hit the target, thus saving their lives and possibly others, rather than missing shots because they have too much pistol and/or caliber in their hands!!

        How about we look at all aspects of these issues?

        1. 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?

          I will contact the Commandant of The Marine Corps and pass along the bad news.

        2. 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 than a .45 at home. (which I whole heartedly believe) This ought to provoke some comments..

        3. 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.

      2. @ 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 larger, it is not fun. How many people have died because they were shot in the chest with a .22 round that spun around in the chest cavity and caused massive bleeding? Many. Shot placement with skill and luck is everything.

          1. @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.

    21. 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.

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

    22. 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.

      1. 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

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

          1. 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.

          2. @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.

            1. 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.

        2. 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.

          1. @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!

            1. 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 believed by so many other folks. I’ve qualified in 9 different courts as a firearms/ballistic expert and have over 40 years of experience to back that up. The knowledge I have goes a little beyond the latest gun magazine, however there is good, current info available in most gun rags. It appears, however, that many folks do not read those magazines or they would not be spouting fourth the nonsense seen in so many of the posted comments.

    23. 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 any article discussing why law enforcement agencies are going back to 9mm. Oh, and comparisons with early 20th Century ballistics of the anemic .38 Colt, including solid lead bullets, are ridiculous.

      1. 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 magic bullets has shown me and many other Detectives and officers that the 9MM is a fine weapon for someone who’s chances of combat are nearly impossible to extremely unlikely contrasted to use who seen more actual combat close up and personal than you will ever see in 40 of your life times. Buttons, zippers, heavy coats and teeth has caused the latest greatest bonded magical bullets to fail. Yes I did say teeth as one perp recently took a round in his natural teeth, those teeth stopped a .40 S&W in very well known brand than many Police depts use today.

        We did see a drastic change in the performance of the .40 S&W over the 9MM we used to have issued and we are not going backwards as we see hundreds of shootings and engage in hundreds of shootings more than the FBI will ever see in a decade or few. You must remember the FBI is NOT a ground troops operation they are paper pushers who have weapons. When they come to execute warrants we are the ones who charge into the fray while the agents wait outside to hear from u that it is okay. This IS reality and why the infamous FBI shootout went so horribly wrong. The ammo/caliber was a factor but sheer incompetence backed with stupidity was the real failure. You throw inept and inexperienced seat shiners into a raging gun fight and things will and almost always do go wrong. Television or movies are NOT reality.

        When you magical fairly super bullet fails and trust this they do at an alarming rate, you will pray a 1911 or Glock 21 falls from heaven and saves you. At the end of the day or gun fight the larger bore always wins with few exceptions in the hands of a trained shooter. That failed hollow point is still .45, not .33 (9MM) and I carried the 9MM for too many years, but knowing it’s propensity to fail I switched to the Corbon 115 grain JHP @1350 which can be almost a magical velocity, and my 5 inch Browning made that 1350 into a 1421 to 1426 FPS reality. But still I prefer the reliability of the .45 or 45 acp. Your ad based repertoire of Pseudo knowledge won’t stack against of hundreds upon thousands of shootings in my city yearly. Ballistic gelatin is not even close to a human body it has become akin to witch Doctor magic and useless in face of reality as a test medium. It is still controversial as a test medium in the industry and Law Enforcement.

        Remember when the predictable percentage of hollow point failure no one in the ammo industry or law enforcement wants to talk about happens they bury that information where it never sees the light of day, been there seen it happen.

        At the end of the day your bore size is the only reality you can bet on, and of that hollow point works as hoped then it is only a bonus.

        1. 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 of the sheer volume of big rounds a person can send down range!

          How about we discuss ALL the pertinent aspects of successful shoots, rather than the handfuls of EXCEPTIONS with which you protest, against the 9mm?

          1. 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.

          2. 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!!!

          3. 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”.

            1. 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!

            2. 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.

            3. 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.)

            4. 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).

            5. 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.)

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