Secondly, does this conversation even matter? Honestly. For all of you who have had buddies that did use handguns in combat I congratulate them on their service to this country but I guarantee you they make up a small minority. If I have to rely on my sidearm in a war zone I am in one hell of a bad situation. Does that happen? Sure. But the days of WWII are long behind us folks, they just are. The handgun has a certain nobility in the minds of Americans for its use in the past, but the simple fact is that it is far from being vital or even mildly important. I can tell you with 100% certainty that there are far more important questions facing our armed forces at this point in time in regards to many, many other weapon systems that pistol caliber isn't even in the top 100.
I second this notion, to a degree, as a handgun was always a nuisance to me in Iraq... one more thing I had to clean. HOWEVER, there are tight spots in wars overseas, and I'm not talking about being over-run by the enemy. We've cleared several burrows in Afghanistan where we had to send in the skinny guy with a pistol. At any rate, tunnelrat's point is that the pistol is not that widely used in a war zone. I agree. 9mm will probably do, but there are times when a pistol is all that can be used. 9mm is still adequate, but I'd rather have more if I'm limited to ball ammo. I don't know... but if I was the sole decision maker I may would have to stick with 9mm. I just don't see that big of advantage of .40, and there would be a capacity vs power issue with .45. Only reason why .45 gets a big nod over .40 and 9mm power-wise is slower speeds and ball ammo.