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Old May 27, 2012, 03:54 PM   #1
arch308
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9mm vs 45 Feeding Reliability

This question comes from my personel expierence as I tend to shoot apx 90% either 9mm or 45ACP. I have other guns in other calibers but tend to favor my semi-autos(no 40 cal for me). My 45s thru the years have had the tendency to be ammo sensitive while all my 9mm's have not cared what you fed them. I'm just wondering if others have had the same expierence.
Does the 9mm feed more reliably than the 45ACP due to it's smaller size?
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Old May 27, 2012, 06:18 PM   #2
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I think they feed the same. At least in all my experience. If the 45s you shot were 1911s then the sensitivity to ammo is due to design of the handgun, not the caliber. I've found this happens all the time, people give attributes to certain calibers, i.e. accuracy, that are really a result of the design.
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Old May 27, 2012, 06:18 PM   #3
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You'll never get consensensus, but I do believe the 9mm will hold a small advantage overall. I cannot offer proof, but based on my personal experiences I've had far fewer malfunctions with 9mm than any other round. More with 45 than any other round with others somewhere in the middle.

My theory is that it is not the smaller size, but that it is longer in relation to diameter and that the cartridge tapered, slightly smaller diameter at the neck than at the base.
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Old May 27, 2012, 07:16 PM   #4
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Arch308, out of curiosity, what make / models of .45 were giving you feeding issues?
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Old May 27, 2012, 07:55 PM   #5
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I've found over the years that generally speaking, any handgun designed initially around a particular caliber will tend to be more reliable in its original chambering. I can't prove this scientifically of course, but I do base this on decades of shooting experience.

Take the XD9 as an example. In my experience the XD9's I've owned over the years would feed anything I put in them. I've had XD45's that were somewhat picky about the ammo they would reliably feed. This was confirmed for me when James Yeager said that he's never had a XD in .45 or .40 complete one of his training courses without at least one failure (usually several). But he confirmed that the XD9 pistol has completed his courses without a failure many times.

The XD started life as the HS2000 and was designed around the 9mm cartridge.

I've had similar experiences with Glock pistols, my 9mms have displayed typical Glock reliability while my .45's have been a bit more fickle.

Conversely, I've found .45 ACP 1911's to be reliable pistols with a wide variety of ammo yet the 9mm 1911's I've owned have been far more ammo sensitive.

Anyway, just some of my observations...
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Old May 27, 2012, 08:17 PM   #6
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I've found over the years that generally speaking, and handgun designed initially around a particular caliber will tend to be more reliable in its original chambering.
I'd be inclined to agree with this. For instance, I know of folks that have had issues with the 40 SW variants of CZ pistols whereas the 9mm variants have been spot on.
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Old May 27, 2012, 09:28 PM   #7
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Agreed as well, but that does not change my first post. Even in guns designed from the beginning for 45, and 40, reliablilty has not been quite as good as guns originally designed for 9mm. In fact I've never, NEVER, had a single malfunction from a Glock, BHP, Ruger, S&W, Beretta, Sig or S&W pistol chambered in 9mm. The only problematic 9mm's I've ever owned were CZ's. Never shot one I consider acceptably reliable.

I've had quite a few 1911's in 45 that gave troubles, but have had others that have been perfect. The only ones I kept. While rare, I've had the occasional malfunction from some of the others even though they were designed for 45 from the beginning. The only Glock I've ever had malfunction was one chambered in 40. Every Glock in 9mm, 10mm, and 45 I've ever owned was perfect.
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Old May 27, 2012, 09:52 PM   #8
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I cannot offer proof, but based on my personal experiences
Quote:
Even in guns designed from the beginning for 45, and 40, reliablilty has not been quite as good as guns originally designed for 9mm.
You can't offer proof, but then you can tell us that this is true of all firearms regardless of the caliber they were designed for? Stick to the first statement, sweeping generalizations aren't too believable.
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Old May 28, 2012, 01:55 AM   #9
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I would have to agree the 9mm has fewer malfunctions than the .45 ACP.

First the size has a lot to do with the way an auto feeds with the springs the larger and heavier the round has more of a chance to jam. I have seen both rounds jam but the 45 does jam or miss feed more frequently than the 9mm.

However, hands down I prefer to carry a .45 than the 9mm. My Glock 30 has fired flawlessly but my 36 has hung up due to carbon build up when I shoot Blazers.

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Old May 28, 2012, 02:43 AM   #10
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Not saying it can't happen, and I'm sure it's happened to somebody somewhere, but my Ruger P series .45s have never jammed.
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Old May 28, 2012, 08:17 AM   #11
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Single Six,
Almost every 45 I have or have had, even my G21, have had some type of feed problem. What I must admit is that I reload and am always trying new bullet types and loads. It seems that my 1911s are the least forgiving.
But with my nines I rarely, if ever, have feed problems. Just got to wondering about that one day while reloading and thought I'd ask.
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Old May 28, 2012, 09:33 AM   #12
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It seems more .45 caliber pistols have match grade type chambers/barrels then 9 mm pistols to. Most 9 mm pistols are combat grade. From what I've seen combat grade chambers have a looser fit for the ammo. This should allow a greater deviation in the bullet and still feed. Accuracy might suffer but in a combat pistol reliability is more important.

Tight chambers on .45 pistols tend to lead to feed problems from what I have seen. It might be why as a .45 pistol is shot more without cleaning the odds of a jam increase equal to the amount of carbon in the chamber.

This might explain why one caliber might seem to be more reliable then the other to some people. I am not an expert but, I might have learned a little bit over the years.
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Old May 28, 2012, 01:37 PM   #13
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Arch308: Ah, okay, I get you. I guess that might have something to do with it...in my experience, the only jams I've ever encountered were the relatively few times I was using somebody's handloads. After that happened to me a few times, I decided to always use factory ammo only.
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Old May 28, 2012, 01:46 PM   #14
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My Sig P220 Carry (45 acp) has never had a malfunction of its own... never...

It would seem possible a 9mm or other caliber could equal this performance but its impossible to beat this level of performance..
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Old May 30, 2012, 01:50 PM   #15
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My Ruger P90DC shoots any 45acp I throw at it. I never worry about brand when buying ammo.
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Old May 30, 2012, 06:31 PM   #16
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My theory is that it is not the smaller size, but that it is longer in relation to diameter and that the cartridge tapered, slightly smaller diameter at the neck than at the base.
I think so as well. In doing several Glock v. 1911 matches and looking at chambering in other models, the 9mm seems to have a wider range of more reliable semi-autos.
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Old May 30, 2012, 08:30 PM   #17
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In doing several Glock v. 1911 matches
This. This is not a good test, at all. 1911s are a wonderful design that is known in many cases to be finicky. Comparing them to a modern design and then saying it's the caliber that makes a Glock feed more reliable than a 1911 is BS. Do the same test with a Glock 17 and then a Glock 21 and I will give you credit.
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Old May 30, 2012, 10:39 PM   #18
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Over enough of a sample, you might find a small statistical edge in feeding for the 9mm Luger round. But any individual gun is just that, an individual gun.

Lets look at the absolute basics first. As mentioned, the 9mm Luger is tapered, it has a higher ratio of length to width than then .45ACP, and generally has rather pointed bullets, vs the .45's more blunt profiles.

Also, I think that the 9mms probably have a slightly higher slide velocity overall, because its a higher pressure round. In original GI trim, both rounds have virtually identical energy (ft/lbs). My impression shooting both in identical guns is that the recoil is the same, meaning the same amount of muzzle jump in my hands. But the 9mm feels "quicker", or more snappy, to me.

Now, today, 1911s have a reputation for being "picky" about feeding. This is due to lots of factors, but the primary ones are shooting ammo that differs in profile from GI ball, and most importantly, various makers ideas about "improving" the specs for the 1911. A well made GI spec 1911 shooting ball ammo (what it was designed for) is as reliable as anything made by man, and better than some.

Also add into the mix the fact that other than the Browning HiPower, the majority of 9mms in the hands of shooters today are half a century or more newer in design than the 1911. If designers hadn't learned a thing or two about improving pistols in all that time, one would have to wonder what they have been doing!

Note that the Luger (P.08) pistol, a contemporary of the 1911 design is notoriously unreliable with anything but ball ammo, and does not have a sterling reputation even with ball ammo, as, apparently all 9mm ball is not created equal.

I think that if your particular .45 has feeding issues, its because of your particular gun, and the ammo used. Not because of anything inherent in the design, but in the specific execution you have. And, the same goes for the 9mm pistols and ammo.
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Old May 31, 2012, 07:19 PM   #19
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I have an early taurus pt-99 (Beretta 92 clone) that eats ANY ammo.....NEVER has had one failure in 2000+ rounds. Whereas My brother has the SAME gun in .40 (pt-100) it was a jam-o-matic till the "right" ammo was used. I think it was the flat faced .40 vs the round 9mm. That was the only difference we could figure.
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Old June 1, 2012, 06:45 AM   #20
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Both cartridges have been around for over a hundred years. You'd think these kinds of problems would have been worked out by now.
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Old June 1, 2012, 06:54 AM   #21
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Same ish to me...tomato /tomatoe
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Old September 18, 2012, 01:12 PM   #22
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9mm vs 45 Feeding Reliability

The 9mm is great for target shooting, but I wouldn't recommend it for defense. There is a good reason that police departments all over the country, and the military are getting away from the 9mm. When police serve a warrant and the man comes to the door with a gun that he won't put down it forces the police to shoot. It's not a good thing when the man says ouch, that hurts, stop shooting.

I was a police officer and a federal officer. When I was asked about what to get for protection at home I would always tell them: "Make sure that you have a cell phone by your bed. Make a plan for a reachable, defensible area, then buy a PUMP shotgun (I'm all for handguns, but its a terrible weapon in the dark.) Call the police, get to your safety area and stay there. Call out that you have called the police and you have a shotgun, then pump the shotgun. I can assure you that the only thing the bad guys will do at that point is look for the fastest way out of the house. One more thing, NEVER CONFRONT ANYONE IN THE DARK, your house or not. That is what insurance is for. The gun is for saving your life.
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Old September 18, 2012, 01:25 PM   #23
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The 9mm is great for target shooting, but I wouldn't recommend it for defense. There is a good reason that police departments all over the country, and the military are getting away from the 9mm.
As this has to do with feeding information, HOW?

I believe your information is woefully out of date and in error.

Statistically speaking, the 9mm performs as well as the .40, .45 acp, etc. and so I am not sure what your claimed good reason would be. The military is not getting away from the 9mm. As far as police departments, you would have to show me the data that they are getting away from the caliber. If they are getting away from the caliber as you claim, then you are going to be hard pressed to come up with data to show that it is because it isn't a proper performer. It certainly is.
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Old September 18, 2012, 02:16 PM   #24
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The 9mm is great for target shooting, but I wouldn't recommend it for defense. There is a good reason that police departments all over the country, and the military are getting away from the 9mm.
They are? That's news to me. In fact I've heard a number of departments are going back to 9mm because of cost and controllability, but rumors aren't worth much. As for the military, trust me when I tell you that they've got a laundry list of issues far more important to worry about than sidearms.

Quote:
When police serve a warrant and the man comes to the door with a gun that he won't put down it forces the police to shoot. It's not a good thing when the man says ouch, that hurts, stop shooting.
And yet there are 9mm loadings that yield as much penetration and expansion as 40SW.

I absolutely love the, "I could get shot and keep moving" attitude of those that dislike 9mm. The people that do get shot and keep going are on drugs that if they are immune to 9mm they will also be to 45ACP. There is video of a man getting shot in the chest from one foot away, wearing a military level vest, with a .308 rifle while standing on one foot and you can see no movement after the shot. And a .308 has a hell of a lot more wallup than a 45ACP. The idea that a few mms turns a pistol from a water gun into a bazooka is laughable.

Quote:
(I'm all for handguns, but its a terrible weapon in the dark.)
What does the dark have to do with anything? Any defensive weapon should have a light, shotgun or pistol. I'll certainly agree a shotgun will do more damage. But depending on the house it might be a bit big to maneuver effectively, even if just trying to cover yourself on the way to the defensive area.

Quote:
Call out that you have called the police and you have a shotgun, then pump the shotgun. I can assure you that the only thing the bad guys will do at that point is look for the fastest way out of the house.
I get where you're going here, but I really frown on this logic because it makes people think that they can just scare away an intruder with a noise. At that point just get a recording of a shotgun. What you're describing is a rational action. How does that apply to someone that irrationally broken into a home where the occupants might be there? That might scare him off, or it might just tell him exactly where you are and what you have. I've listened to 911 tapes of people breaking down doors while the occupants inside screams at them to stop and they have a gun. I encourage all people that if you own a weapon or bring one into a fight you have to be prepared to use it or risk having it used against you.

Quote:
One more thing, NEVER CONFRONT ANYONE IN THE DARK, your house or not. That is what insurance is for. The gun is for saving your life.
With this I agree 100%.

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Old September 18, 2012, 03:30 PM   #25
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I think smaller-diameter rounds tend to feed better because the rounds, when seated in the mag, are closer to the bore centerline, so they can feed straighter into the chamber. The larger the diameter of the round, the more off-set they are, vertically, from the chamber.
There are other variables at work; the 1911 tends to feed reliably with all rounds that are the same OAL as .45 ACP, but not as well with shorter rounds.
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