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Old November 20, 2013, 06:30 PM   #26
Derbel McDillet
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9mm FMJ RN yaws as it penetrates whereas .45 FMJ RN does not. As a result 9mm FMJ produces more damage to soft tissues.

Knocking down steel targets is not a measure of rapid incapacitation caused by wound trauma.
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Old November 20, 2013, 06:43 PM   #27
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I'll take the .45. Actually I'd even take a .38 special LRN over a 9MM FMJ.
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Old November 20, 2013, 06:59 PM   #28
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As far as which would be worse to be hit with:
I'm not sure, but my gut tells me I'd rather be shot once than twice.

As far as which would be worse to be shot at with:
If I were running a serpentine away from someone, I'd definitely prefer they take one shot to two.

As far as knocking down steel plates goes:
I bet throwing a cabbage at them would have been even more effective than the .45. And yet, I'd far rather have cabbages thrown at me than be shot at.
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Old November 20, 2013, 07:05 PM   #29
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When I think of "stopping power" I think of kinetic energy. That's just my perception. Heavy bullets moving moderately will equal more KE than lighter bullets moving a touch faster. (speaking handgun stuff - example 9mm moving a 124gr bullet 1200 fps vs a 45acp moving a 230gr bullet 900 fps)
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Old November 20, 2013, 07:16 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dayman
As far as knocking down steel plates goes:
I bet throwing a cabbage at them would have been even more effective than the .45. And yet, I'd far rather have cabbages thrown at me than be shot at.
Ha! Great point! A cabbage (or even better; a cantaloupe!) will knock those steel plates down FAR better than a .45, but nobody is arguing that any thrown fruit or vegetable is better at stopping a threat than a .45. And yet people use a bullet's ability to knock down steel as an indicator as to how it will work on the human body. But on the human body 9mm and .45 are virtually identical when it comes to actual real-life effectiveness.
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Old November 20, 2013, 07:49 PM   #31
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People spend WAY too much time parsing out differences between those rounds. But the answer is that there's no such thing as "stopping power" or "knockdown power";
I'm not sure the above is true, however I know of no one that would wish to be shot with either 45 or the 9.

I recall reading about the Philippine-American war and our troops were using 38 pistols that were failing miserably to stop the enemy.
They called back into service the SAA 45 Colts and they were stopping the enemy.
I believe this is what led to the development of the 1911 in 45 ACP caliber.

Now as for stopping power or knock down power even if they don't exist, there is a thing called power factor, which is what I go by

Power factor of a 115 gr 9mm FMJ bullet moving 1180fps is 135.7, power factor of a 230 gr 45 FMJ bullet moving 850 fps is 195.5, I'll take the 195.5 any day.

That does not mean I'll not carry a 9 or other smaller caliber on occasion, however I do carry a 45 the largest percentage of the time.

I always tell those that ask me, carry what you shoot best and practice with it often.

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Old November 20, 2013, 08:52 PM   #32
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Historically, the modern .45 came to be after 9mm diameter bullets failed to stop certain motivated adversaries in Asia. The other half of the story is that the .45 didn't do any better.

The SEALs that I had worked with all seemed to think that firing multiple shots was the way to go, and were happy with their Sig 9mms for making that relatively easy and having lots of rounds to do that with. Other elite units had a different view.

I think all FMJ is relatively bad. Three .25s to the chest is probably better than one .45 ball round.
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Old November 20, 2013, 08:58 PM   #33
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My 5000 pound Suburban moving at 1/16 of an inch per second (.005 FPS, or .004 MPH) has the same power factor as your 45.

Doesn't mean much.
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Old November 20, 2013, 09:53 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter Customs
Now as for stopping power or knock down power even if they don't exist, there is a thing called power factor, which is what I go by

Power factor of a 115 gr 9mm FMJ bullet moving 1180fps is 135.7, power factor of a 230 gr 45 FMJ bullet moving 850 fps is 195.5, I'll take the 195.5 any day.
"Power factor" is just applying a simplistic equation to something that's not so simple in real life. As 45_auto showed with his Suburban example, your "power factor" doesn't really mean all that much when actually applied to real-life examples.

When I was a kid I was obsessed with the many different attempts to measure the "power factor" difference between 9mm and .45 ACP. At first I followed Elmer Keith's equation, then I switched to Chuck Taylor's simpler one. And by now I've learned that the experts have basically given up trying to measure the difference: With good modern hollow points the difference is barely discernible, if at all.
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Old November 20, 2013, 10:36 PM   #35
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For years, I had the mindset that you want the bullet to achieve enough velocity to reliably expand - even if that meant going to a lighter bullet.

That was then. This is now.

After reading a lot of stuff on TFL from people who are clearly knowledgable, I have adjusted my mindset. To stop a BG, you need to make a hole first (or two - entry/exit). Expansion is secondary.

My HD gun is a .357 Magnum. I switched from 125g HP's to 158's.

But above all, shot placement is king. A well-placed wadcutter will wreck a BG's day.
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Old November 20, 2013, 11:00 PM   #36
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Historically, the modern .45 came to be after 9mm diameter bullets failed to stop certain motivated adversaries in Asia.
If you're referring to the Philippine insurrection, the load that failed was the .38 Colt, not the 9mm.
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Old November 20, 2013, 11:28 PM   #37
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At this point we need to determine what caliber of cabbage and how many...
Seriously I have learned it is what you are comfortable with, what your skill level is and what your body is able to do. Some of us can't handle a 45, or maybe we will some day as our skill improves. Our maybe the 9mm is the best for me now because I am accurate and consistent, and later I will be proficient in another caliber. I have learned alot reading and online. I have learned alot actually shooting. I know there is alot left to learn.
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Old November 20, 2013, 11:32 PM   #38
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9mm vs. .45 with a twist

Quote:
Originally Posted by RX-79G View Post
Historically, the modern .45 came to be after 9mm diameter bullets failed to stop certain motivated adversaries in Asia. The other half of the story is that the .45 didn't do any better.

The SEALs that I had worked with all seemed to think that firing multiple shots was the way to go, and were happy with their Sig 9mms for making that relatively easy and having lots of rounds to do that with. Other elite units had a different view.

I think all FMJ is relatively bad. Three .25s to the chest is probably better than one .45 ball round.
Units don't have views, though I get that you're referring to people who procure for units. The views of individuals who get to decide what to carry are evident in their personal gear. Some friends of mine have carried a Sig 220, an M9 (by choice, over a Sig 226 and 1911), and a G22.
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Old November 20, 2013, 11:51 PM   #39
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A friend of mine told me of seeing a grizzly take eight .32 ACPs without apparent effect.
Bob Wright's quote

It takes nerve shoot a bear with a 32 acp!!
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Old November 21, 2013, 12:56 AM   #40
RX-79G
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Tom,
.38 Colt is a 9mm diameter bullet. 9.2, to be precise.

RBid,

In my experience, highly trained units do tend to have "views". When it is an elite unit the choice of gear has been proven effective many times, and the members have good reason to adopt the party line.
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Old November 21, 2013, 02:10 AM   #41
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Some of us can't handle a 45, or maybe we will some day

I can't buy that, yes you can handle a 45 ACP, maybe not a 45 LC, but that's an animal of a different color.

The muzzle rise of a 230 grain 45 ACP in a 1911 frame is less than that of a 124 grain 9 mm.

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Old November 21, 2013, 09:30 AM   #42
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"Power factor" is just applying a simplistic equation to something that's not so simple in real life. As 45_auto showed with his Suburban example, your "power factor" doesn't really mean all that much when actually applied to real-life examples.
I don't believe there's many people out there defending their life with a Suburban, however there might be a few.

I do have to disagree that power factor does not mean much in real life examples, I believe it does when we are talking bullets.
Again I go back to the Philippine-American ( Philippine Insurrection) war where the 45's were getting the job done and the 38's were not

Going back to my days of bowling pin shooting, to take a pin off the front of a regulation pin table with authority a 210 power factor or higher was best.
My 45's making a little over 210 power factor would pick the pins up and slam the pins off the table, a 9mm would not even take them off the table.

As I said in my other thread, I really don't care what anyone chooses to use, use what you shoot best and practice with it often.

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Old November 21, 2013, 10:16 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter Customs
Going back to my days of bowling pin shooting, to take a pin off the front of a regulation pin table with authority a 210 power factor or higher was best.
My 45's making a little over 210 power factor would pick the pins up and slam the pins off the table, a 9mm would not even take them off the table.
And dayman already showed in post # 28 how using steel targets as a metric is just as misguided as your "power factor" nonsense. If knocking down steel targets is a good measurement of your weapon's effectiveness, then you should be carrying cabbages for self-defense as they're MUCH better at that than a 9mm or a .45.
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Old November 21, 2013, 10:18 AM   #44
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.38 Colt is a 9mm diameter bullet. 9.2, to be precise.
OK. Again, we need to look at more factors than simply bullet diameter. Weight, bullet shape, bullet composition, and velocity all come into the equation.

All other factors being similar, 0.095" in bullet diameter isn't much of a difference. The problem in the Philippines was that we were using pistols in the first place.
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Old November 21, 2013, 12:07 PM   #45
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The problem in the Philippines was that we were using pistols in the first place.
This may very well be true, but I know from first hand experience the pistol may be all you have.

If that's the case and I have a choice between 9 and 45, I'll take the 45 every time, it certainly served me well when needed.

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Old November 21, 2013, 12:13 PM   #46
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If knocking down steel targets is a good measurement of your weapon's effectiveness, then you should be carrying cabbages for self-defense as they're MUCH better at that than a 9mm or a .45.
No thanks on the cabbage for knocking down steel, I like mine with Kabasa and Potatoes.

However I'll be glad to set a popper at 25 yards on my range, I'll let you throw your cabbage, I'll shoot my 45, then we will see first hand which is MUCH better at knocking down steel.

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Old November 21, 2013, 12:49 PM   #47
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If my cabbages don't work as well as I hope, then I'll just pull out some cantaloupes. They'll knock those steel targets down much better than any .45 round will!
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Old November 21, 2013, 12:51 PM   #48
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I'm of the mind that there is really no difference when it comes to a good self-defense load. I do, however, believe that size could matter and have always used .45 ACP for my self-dense caliber. How nice that it is also the caliber I shoot best. There are specific times when I use 9mm, though, and do not feel at all undergunned, again with a good self-defense load.
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Old November 21, 2013, 01:50 PM   #49
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Hunter,

Read what I posted - the Phillipines may have prompted a caliber switch, but .45 didn't do any better.

Everyone needs to remember that we're talking about FMJ. There is no doubt in my mind that .45 JHP is a bit better than 9mm JHP, but FMJ is an entirely different story. Ball is about the ideal shape to go through flesh with the least amount of damage. "Power" doesn't matter when comparing two rounds that poke very clean holes all the way through.
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Old November 21, 2013, 04:06 PM   #50
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Handle wasn't the right word. I am more comfortable and can get back on target faster, and have better accuracy on those second and third shots with 9mm vs 45. That said I can understand that with practice or with a different firearm or what ever variable I improve on, then I could handle the 45 better. Caliber itself isn't a problem, but I would rather carry what I am comfortable and effective with rather than just carry something bigger just to do it.
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