Best defensive handgun round

From the .22 to the mighty 50 caliber

Moderator: fowl_wishes

Best defensive handgun round

.25 ACP
0
No votes
.380 ACP
1
5%
.38 spl/+
0
No votes
9mm
0
No votes
.40 cal
4
21%
.357 Mag
2
11%
.45 ACP
12
63%
 
Total votes : 19

Postby GroundSwatter » Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:14 pm

Just a nice anecdote for the 45 ACP, for those who are concerned for recoil.

I took my wife out yesterday to shoot my new 45 XD. She has shot a 9mm before, but only a couple of times. I would say that in the world of pistols she is still a novice.

I showed her how to operate the gun, then we put a clip in it and jacked in a shell. First shot at about 10 yds she hit the bulls eye on the target we had up. Then she proceeded to shred a can that we had sitting next to the target into pieces with it. I asked her what she thought about the recoil and she said it wasn't any worse than the 9mm she had shot.

I honestly believe that the recoil between a 45 ACP and a 9mm is negligible, at least on practice rounds. Since your practice rounds for you 45 shoot more like your defense rounds (since you don't need +p rounds for your 45), compared to a 9mm which you really need +p rounds before you have effective self defense rounds.

I just think that if my wife, who again is a novice shooter, can handle my 45, then most people should be able to. I think a lot has to do with the gun fits her too, but I think recoil is over emphasized on this round.

Now a 44 magnum has recoil.
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Postby Preacher1011 » Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:01 pm

A .44 magnum? Are you kidding me? We have .45/70 revolvers at work.

Just joking, well about the first two parts. We really have .45/70 revolvers by magnum research.
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Postby Sagebrush » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:48 am

The problem with self defense loads in any caliber is............

Will it have enough penetration

will the bullet expand

Will it over penetrate and hurt by standers or family members ??

Some times two 50% ers are better than a 115% job in close quarters.

Always the blue or silver safty loads the air marshalls use on the planes !! Glaser.........sorry,getting old and forgot the name.
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Postby fenton_3 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:20 am

Wow this is turning out to be a great post! I have a couple of comments after reading all the great posts.

1) I am shocked how the .45 has won by a land slide. I knew it would be the winner, but never imagined it would win by this much.

2) I did not include the .357 sig due to lack of popularity. I wanted to hit on the most popular rounds in the Country.

3) I am also shocked by the number of 9mm haters! With modern hollow point ammunition the 9mm has over 90% one shot stops. The .40 cal has 94% and .45 has 97%. Compared to all the other the 9mm is pretty reliable based on modern numbers, but seems to have a really bad rap. Bassically I wonder why?
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Postby ajmorell » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:13 am

fenton_3 wrote:Wow this is turning out to be a great post! I have a couple of comments after reading all the great posts.

1) I am shocked how the .45 has won by a land slide. I knew it would be the winner, but never imagined it would win by this much.

2) I did not include the .357 sig due to lack of popularity. I wanted to hit on the most popular rounds in the Country.

3) I am also shocked by the number of 9mm haters! With modern hollow point ammunition the 9mm has over 90% one shot stops. The .40 cal has 94% and .45 has 97%. Compared to all the other the 9mm is pretty reliable based on modern numbers, but seems to have a really bad rap. Bassically I wonder why?


I'm guessing the 9mm hate is due to the history and not taking into account the newer, ballistically superior ammunition now available. That being said, IMHO there is a big difference between 90% and 97%.
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Postby GroundSwatter » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:23 am

Preacher1011 wrote:A .44 magnum? Are you kidding me? We have .45/70 revolvers at work.

Just joking, well about the first two parts. We really have .45/70 revolvers by magnum research.


I don't know who thought of putting a 45/70 in a pistol but that is borderline crazy. I've shot a 45/70 lever gun and I though it had a fair amount of recoil. Nothing like some mag rounds, but you knew you were shooting a heavy round. I can't imagine that energy in a pistol.

fenton_3 wrote:I am also shocked by the number of 9mm haters! With modern hollow point ammunition the 9mm has over 90% one shot stops. The .40 cal has 94% and .45 has 97%. Compared to all the other the 9mm is pretty reliable based on modern numbers, but seems to have a really bad rap. Bassically I wonder why?


I think the hatred of the 9mm goes back a pretty long way, about the time the US Military switched over. Before +P loads it was not a viable defense gun, especially when compared to a 45, and I think that people have trouble shaking this perception.

http://loneranger2008.wordpress.com/2008/05/24/beginners-guide-to-concealed-carry/

Here is a website that actually gives a pretty good breakdown of many self defense calibers. I love the shot of the ballistics gel where they compare 9mm, 40, and 45 rounds and how the 45 has the slowest velocities, but gets about the same amount of penetration.
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Postby fenton_3 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:10 am

I agree there is a big difference between 90% and 97%, but one also needs to consider the fact that most defensive shootings do not even achieve a hit!

Handguns are used in over 2.5 Million times in self defense each year.

Of the 2.5 million the weapons are only fired 16% of the time, so about 400,000 times a year.

Of the 400,000 times a year a weapon is actually discharged in self defense the round hits the perp around 15% of the time, or about 60,000 times a year.

Of the 60,000 times a year a weapon is fired and hits its target the perp. dies less than 1% of the time, or about 600 times a year.

So based on that info the difference between 90% and 97% is (54,000 one stop shots for 9mm) and (58,200 one stop shots for the .45)

So basically the focus should not be on which round is better; 9mm, .40, or .45 but on hitting what we shoot at! With that being said the .45 is the clear winner and by a land slide!!!
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Postby Preacher1011 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:25 am

Think of it this way. If I hit you with a motorcycle going 40 miles per hour, you'll probably live. On the other hand, if I smash you with a KAT bus going 20, your done. That's how I try to describe the 9 vs. .45 the 9 is a small, light, fast ( 1200ish fps if you reload) and the .45 is a big, heavy, somewhat slow round (1000ish for reloaders).

That data you posted was interesting. Did it include law enforcement use? If it did that could skew the results a bit. Law enforcement would probably be better than your average joe when it comes to shooting and that might have put the 9mm up there.
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Postby fenton_3 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:37 am

This stat did include Law enforcement data. I got it when I took my CCW class in MO and it was performed by an FBI special agent and he stated the exact opposite of what you think would be the case. Law Enforcement actually make the results of sucessful hits much lower, because they lack the element of suprise! Perps always know they are armed and typically will shoot first, and when you are being shot at you are much less likly to hit your target!

There are lots of things law enforcement officers must deal with that civilians must not - but one cannot be hard on them because they are out there chasing after trouble, while we will try to avoid it at all cost.
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Postby Sagebrush » Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:37 pm

I don't want to burst anyones bubble, but the 9mm to the .45
are only as good as the bullet , they shoot !!

Just like using 6 steel on Geese and T's on teal..................

Matching the bullet to the CORRECT velosity and getting the CORRECT type of bullet, weather Lead, Copper jacket or the new
types now on the market, is the KEY to getting those one shot stops.

A .45 with the wrong ammo is no better than a .32 H&H if you are in a gun fight at close range and the bad guy gets a shot off at you, with the CORRECT bullet in his gun.
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