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Old September 9, 2001, 04:32 PM   #1
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Does the 9mm really have enough stopping power ??

Even though I love the 9mm I have to question its stopping power...You always seem to hear about various incidents involving the 9mm where the BG was shot & he didnt drop...That guy from GA. comes to mind...He was shot about 16 or 17 times with a 9mm & lived...A city real close to me seems to have a rather serious problem with Pitbulls & just last week an officer shot one twice with a 9mm after being chased,the paper didnt mention where the dog was shot but they said he was just injured...Kinda scary dont you think...I would almost bet that a 40 or 45 would have made a difference in these various situations...Everybody always talks about shot placement as the most important thing... but my question is...Are you really going to be able to hit your target if youre scared as hell ?? Most of us will be shaking or trembling throwing our "Range Accuracy" out the window...Lets just say for arguments sake that you do miss your heart or head shot and you hit your target in the shoulder...Wouldnt you rather have it be a larger diameter bullet ?? How do you guys feel about the 9mm ?? Do any of you have doubts like me ?? Thanks...
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Old September 9, 2001, 04:52 PM   #2
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Old September 9, 2001, 04:52 PM   #3
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I believe that confidence in yourself with your gun is very important.

IMO, if you do not feel confident with your 9mm, then you should get a .45 ACP.

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Old September 9, 2001, 04:58 PM   #4
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I wouldn't stand in front of one.
Old September 9, 2001, 05:06 PM   #5
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Hello. The important thing is that YOU have some doubts concerning 9mm. As another's suggested, you might very well be better off with .45ACP due to this as confidence in one's equipment is important in my opinion.

During my career, I've seen the 9mm "work" well on felons and seen it fail. But, guess what? Seen the same thing with .357 Magnum, .45 ACP, and .38 Special! One officer shot a dog in the head with a .45ACP JHP and the dog took off running. It was taken to the vet by its owner at a later time and survived with minimal change to its life! My, my!
Had that been a 9mm, more folks would say, "See, just cannot trust the nine." Fact is, that ALL of the shots must be well-placed to do what we carry defensive handguns for. The dog I just mentioned was in fact smacked in the head, but below the brain pan and eyes (and I'm glad) and just through the nasal area.

We ask an awful lot of our handguns. I understand and accept that humans are usually not as tough as animals in taking gunfire and keeping going, yet none of us would go serious deer hunting with just a forty-five or a 9mm. (Well, many of us wouldn't.) Yet, we see 120lb deer taking hits with high-powered rifle rounds and run sometimes good distances before shuffling off their mortal coil.

I've used this example before, but it does show that whether we like it or not, our ability to deliver accurate shots is what determines a bullet's effectiveness.

Had been hunting javelina with several other fellows and had cleanly killed two with a 9mm BHP loaded with 124 gr XTP handloads. One of the guys was trying out a brand new Marlin .45-70 rifle. He shoots a javelina 4 or 5 times with the thing, but is not hitting it in the right place. Finally, for humane reasons, I raised up with the Browning and killed the 35 lb critter! Does the 9mm have more stopping power than a .45-70? We all know the answer to that. The rifle shooter's "buck fever" or "javelina hots" affected his ability to get more than periphreal hits.

Now, having said all of this, I DO think that some .45 ACP loads are better than the best 9mm loads.
Ditto, the forty, but I don't think that any of them can be counted upon to make a determined aggressor stop because he HAS to rather than because he WANTS to without placement.

So, while I trust the nine with proper ammo about as much as I trust any caliber commonly used for self-protection, some do feel better with a different caliber. Nothing wrong with that. If that applies to you, go to the caliber that you do have a bit more faith in and never look back.

Best and good luck.
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Old September 9, 2001, 05:26 PM   #6
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No handgun round is sufficiently powerful.

They all vie for the title of "Tallest Pygmy In The World"

In that regard the 9mm loses very little on a shot for shot basis with the heavier calibers.

When you factor in reduced shot to shot recovery time and a greater number of available rounds (for the same size magazine) the 9mm is often a superior choice, and rightly so.

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Old September 9, 2001, 05:27 PM   #7
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I have doubts about all calibers. Would a .45 in the shoulder be better than a 9mm? Prolly, but not by much. The FBI, and IWBA all say that if you run into a determined attacker who doesn't want to die, your basically screwed no matter what caliber handgun you have if you don't hit him in the head. There are people who have been shot with a shotgun, and kept on going. Heard about a guy who had a slug hit him through a car door in the torso. He ran another 15ft with a big hole right through him. Now if a big ol shotgun can't stop'em dead in their tracks what makes you think a .45 will?

When it comes to instant stops of people who don't want to be stopped, there is one and only one thing I think about: accuracy.


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Old September 9, 2001, 05:46 PM   #8
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Vyper005 - The short answer to your question is, "Yes." If you can place the 9mm round (in caliber 9mm or above) then the caliber will be adequate. Ask most of the axis powers during WW2. Nothing wrong with the .45 either.
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Old September 9, 2001, 06:08 PM   #9
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Great feedback. I'm glad to see some open-minded opinions (unlike some other board). Personally, I like the 9mm because I shoot it well and am comfortable and confident with my two SIGs in 9mm.

Like others have suggested, if you don't have confidence in the 9mm, go to a larger caliber.
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Old September 9, 2001, 06:26 PM   #10
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Most of us will be shaking or trembling throwing our "Range Accuracy" out the window
I'm not sure this is the case, but perhaps some people who have been in actual shooting situations can speak more authoritatively to this. I have read that the "shakes" normally come after the incident, not during (they are the aftereffects of the adrenaline surge), and that during the brief span of the crisis, motor control is actually pretty good. If you think about it, that makes sense from an evolutionary survival mechanism standpoint.

I would imagine that most of the accuracy loss one would exprience in a crisis would be due to having to fire rapid shots at a moving target without any mental preparation.
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Old September 9, 2001, 06:55 PM   #11
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I have no doubts that the 9mm Para would stop whomever needs stopping. Would you like to be shot with one?
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Old September 9, 2001, 08:18 PM   #12
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Load your gun with the best ammo money can buy, empty it all into the BG/wild beast whereever you can hit him (15-16 rds of 35o+ ft-lbs/rd has got to hurt somehow, you being nervous and all, but of course, shot placement counts), and if it still doesn't work, smack the hell out of it with your gun. If those don't work...RUN!!!
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Old September 9, 2001, 09:17 PM   #13
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I would love to find the actual quote, but I remember reading a quote from an SAS officer (maybe former SAS).

Anyway it went something like "...those that say the 9mm para is lacking in power have obviously not been shot by one."

I would say the 9mm has "enough" stopping power based on it's good service record...however I feel better with my .40s&w (and would probably feel even better with a 10mm or .45acp) so the psychological advantage of not carrying 9mm (or more to the point, carrying a load you trust) may help in a crisis situation.
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Old September 9, 2001, 09:59 PM   #14
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It seems to me that most of you are satisfied with the 9mm...I do agree that with the proper 9mm loads there isnt or shouldnt be much difference between the calibers...

For those people who always ask,"Would you wanna be shot with one ?",I say no... but between those 3 calibers I mentioned I rather be hit with a 9mm first...
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Old September 9, 2001, 10:47 PM   #15
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I recall an interview of an Israeli special forces type. He mentioned that he carried a 9mm with FMJ ammunition. The interviewer asked if that was really sufficient. The Israeli replied without hesitating: "It is if I do my part."

That's the bottom line. If you do your part, it's sufficient. If you don't do your part, there's no gun in the world (pistol, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, cannon, etc.) that can make up for your lack of ability.

Add up all the time you've spent reading about caliber choice, thinking about caliber choice, discussing caliber choice,...

Now, if you had spent just a tenth of that time practicing with your 9mm you would be good enough (confident enough) that you wouldn't be worrying about your caliber choice any more.
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Old September 9, 2001, 10:50 PM   #16
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As has been said before, a lot of people who talk about the stopping power of 9mm often mention the "guys hopped up on crack who won't notice when a bullet hits 'em" and let's face it, they're probably not nearly so common as scaremongers would lead you to believe.

My favorite comment about this subject that I've heard is from someone who said:
"Whenever folks tell me the 9mm doesn't have enough stopping power and folks won't even notice being hit by it, I offer to let them go downrange and run at me while I fire at 'em. Surprisingly, I've never had anyone take me up on the offer."

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Old September 10, 2001, 12:31 AM   #17
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Yes, considering placement is center mass and all other things being equal(training, confidence, YOUR determination to survive), it should be enough stopping power.

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Old September 10, 2001, 12:44 AM   #18
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Just my opinion, but I'd watch this kind of talk, expecially if I were at a range ...

If I were conversing with some guy about caliber choice and he uses this "why don't ya go downrange and let me shoot at ya if the 9mm is so wimpy" argument, I think I'd seriously consider just beating the ever-loving crap out of him, right there, right then. For a variety of reasons.

First of all, only a blooming idiot would joke about shooting another human being in a non-self-defense situation. Not only does it make you sound downright anti-social, it's a flip, irresponsible attitude like this that causes accidental shootings and makes us sound like a bunch of knuckle-draggers to the non-shooting public.

Secondly, I would find it personally offensive that someone would consider shooting me, regardless of their intent. I'd take it as a veilled threat, so some others might be a little creeped out by it as well.

Thirdly, the argument itself just doesn't make much sense. No, I wouldn't particularly wanna get shot with a 9mm. I also wouldn't wanna get shot by my BB pistol either. Unfortunately, most of the hard-to-stop folks don't evaluate risks this rationally, if at all.
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Old September 10, 2001, 12:53 AM   #19
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Old September 10, 2001, 06:32 AM   #20
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I wouldn't want to be shot with a .32 lol

9 mm full metal jacket I would not use...over penetration not expansion. JHP +P 9 mm will give you (124 gr Remington) 380 ft/lbs out of the spout.

You can get that up to 500 with the hot .40 calibers. Classic 125 gr .357 revolver round is 625. You wont do better than the .40 with the .357sig and you can load down to 9mm ballistics for practice with cheap ammo or reloads if you do that with the .40.

Most LEO in the country today are issued .40 to the best of my knowledge. The FBI Lite load in .40 is only 350 ft/lbs.

Carry what gives you confidence and remember that the bad guys wear body armour too. If you can't place your shots it doesn't matter what you are carrying.
*remember the 7 meter kill zone, shoot the knife wielding BG first, ask questions l8r*
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Old September 10, 2001, 07:00 AM   #21
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which is why we have so many.
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Old September 10, 2001, 07:30 AM   #22
David Scott
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THIS 9mm does!

Shoot straight and carry 15 round mags.
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Old September 10, 2001, 07:50 AM   #23
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I am a big fan of the .40 as for whats in my CCW, to me its recoil is minimal when compared to its bennefits over less potent rounds.

One of the things about the 9mm that scares me is its ability to go through walls very easily, also it has a record for going through bodys very easily.

If I use common sense thinking it seems obvious to me that if the bullet goes straight through a BG it is not going to hit him with the same punch as if it hit him without exiting the body. Where the 9mm has been known to richochet off bones the .40 and .45 have been known to break bone and wreek havok within the body.

Also, in a gun that may be used in a house I do not want that bullet to travel to my neighbors house. Maybe the .40 and .45 would do that but it is not as common as a thing as the 9mm.

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Old September 10, 2001, 08:10 AM   #24
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This One Will TOO

This 9MM will stop any man if the bullet placement is right.

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Old September 10, 2001, 09:28 AM   #25
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Granted that a three inch wide mortar shell would be more effective, 9 MM is a very efficient self-defense round. You get a lot of bang from this modestly sized calibre. In a Ruger you can get 15 rounds of 9 MM in a mag size that would hold only 8 rounds of .45. And the price is right and the recoil not bad.

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