Posted on Oct 10, 2014
TSgt Joshua Copeland
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Small arms 9 40 45
That is what the ballistics geeks at the FBI are saying.

http://loadoutroom.com/12077/fbi-going-9mm-comes-science/
Edited 7 y ago
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Responses: 14
LTC Paul Labrador
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Edited 7 y ago
Here is the reality: a pistol, as a offensive combat weapon, is weaksauce. The purpose of a pistol is to give you a portable, handy weapon that allows you to fight your way to a bigger, more effective weapon. ALL pistol rounds are anemic compared to a rifle or shotgun. The hitting power between a 9mm, .40 and .45 are marginally incremental at best. There is no huge jump. Where the differences in terminal ballistics come into play are the size of the holes they make. .45 makes a bigger hole than 9mm. Bigger hole = more tissue destroyed and faster blood loss. However, there are trade-offs when you choose a bigger round such as lower magazine capacity and more recoil (or at least perception of it). Personally, I like the .40. I don't shoot my pistols enough where the concern of excesisve wear becomes a problem, and I find the round a good trade-off between power, shootablility and capacity. But I understand where the FBI is coming from and the the logic behind their decision. However, one must be careful with extrapolations. This is a LAW ENFORCEMENT ballistic study and may not necessarily be applicable to situations outside of law enforcement. Example: 9mm is a great round particularly when modern JHPs can bridge the terminal performance gap. But in the military world where we are restricted to FMJ, a bigger round is better.
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SFC Senior Human Resources Supervisor
SFC (Join to see)
7 y
The ability conceal is also an important factor in FBI statistics.

My .40 subcompact is great for concealed, though not as good as a compact 9mm, and the .40 and .45s as a family are far too unwieldy for the majority of purposes these guns are used for.
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MSG Greg Kelly
MSG Greg Kelly
7 y
Wow Sir this a good one and this argument/discussion has been going on about weapons longer than you and I have been alive I am sure. I think it all comes down to personal preference I prefer what I am used to and in case of some type disaster availability of ammo or reload ability.
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MSgt Peter Castine
MSgt Peter Castine
7 y
I personally prefer the larger handgun calibers. ie 45 acp. It basically all comes down to preference and ability to handle the gun. No caliber is any good unless you can handle the recoil and shoot the gun comfortably.
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SPC David Stephenson
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I think the real science is that a .45 round costs double a 9mm round. I bet this has something to do with it. .40 is a good middle of the road round.
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TSgt Joshua Copeland
TSgt Joshua Copeland
7 y
Possible, but then why waste all the money doing ballistic testing?
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SPC David Stephenson
SPC David Stephenson
7 y
That's how the government saves money. Spend a hundred to see if they can save a buck. I call it jumping over the dime to get to the three pennies.
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SPC David Stephenson
SPC David Stephenson
7 y
MP5/10 is used now I think by some FBI. My question is was anyone in the FBI complaining about their sidearms? It seems they're fixing a problem that's not broke.
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Cpl Ehr Specialist
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I currently shopping for a new handgun and have been tossing back and forth the struggle between 9mm and .45acp. This is for home defense and though I love the low recoil of the 9mm which brings the pistol back on target quickly for the double tap, there is something to be said for the .45acp. Though in my experience with the Marine versions of the 1911 with a floating barrel, it was always not a where you hit but if you hit. I may have to go shot placement over stopping power.
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Cpl Ehr Specialist
Cpl (Join to see)
7 y
I am not a big fan of spot lighting by the way. If an intruder comes in and I spot light I am providing a great big bright target to shoot back at. I would much rather turn on every light in the house and make a racket to ensure every neighbor gets up and renders assistance. I have another Marine in the neighborhood and we have such an use of force agreement.
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MSgt Electrical Power Production
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7 y
Personally I have nines. I like 40's and 45's but 9mm is much cheaper to shoot. When I purchase my next one I am leaning toward a Sig Sauer 229 in 357 sig.
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Cpl Ehr Specialist
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I think 9 is the practical way to go.
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Cpl Dennis F.
Cpl Dennis F.
7 y
There are many .45s out there other than 1911. Look around pick a few up, go to a gun show.
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