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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since many of you all are experienced pros, I want to solicit opinions on the advantages/disadvantages of the 9x23 and the .45 ACP for defensive purposes. Recently, I read a piece at firearmstactical.com that called the .357sig "an answer looking for a question." Could the same thing be said of the 9x23 cartridge? While I'm sure that both are effective, its interesting to note that they seem to be based on different theories as to what a combat handgun cartridge ought to do. What do you guys think? Take care.

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Hobbes on 2001-04-13 19:35 ]</font>
 

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I will let Dane present his own case from a function point of view. Since my .45s that I carry have functioned every time with duty ammo (that cannot be said of some 1911s from well known custom makers *not on this forum* even with ball) then I cannot see the much practical difference though I understand in theory why the 9X23 *should* function better.

Ballistically, I am not much on the theory of "power" in a pistol. I have shot a lot of game (only two critters so far with a 9X23 but a lot with an 8 3/8" .357 with a 125 at nearly 1800 fps). Still, if the bullet holds together and puts a hole in something important then it should work just fine.

I will say that of all of the "intense" auto pistol cartridges, this one makes the most sense. You actually get a couple of extra rounds. The muzzle flash on the factory load is minimal. Recoil is no worse than a .45 in a 5" gun (a Glock in .357 Sig bounces around like a buckboard on a rocky road - doesn't rise all that much just bounces around).

The 9X23 is superbly accurate... or maybe the guys that know how to make them run are just superb gunsmiths.

If someone would wise up and give us a 135 at about 1400 or a 147 at 1350 this would be one heck of a good combination. It already isn't bad for a general field gun where you don't run into anything bigger than a pig or coyote.

It may not sound like it but I sort of like the cartridge. I still carry a .45 though :smile:

Just rambling;
Jim H.
 
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Hobbes,
I went over to read that post and found it lacked shall we say editorial integrity?
I feel your question is an easy one and I can direct you to volumes of information that have been gathered literally overnight on the amazing success of the .357 Sig by the US Secret Service, the Delaware State Police, and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Please understand that without a doubt the .357 Sig in the 127gr Winchester Talon loading does not have an equal at any level as a police service cartridge when you take into account reliability, required pistol size, perceived and measured recoil, magazine capacity, penetration, expansion, charcteristics, and accuracy after extensive testing it is absoultely the greatest compromise out there.
It however is not the best choice as a personal defense round for those people that do not have to compromise in the same manner that a law enforcement agency does.
In the Secret Service Firearms selection journal it does detail tests run with the 9x23 Winchester Silver Tip JHP. The round was not selected due to "relative required size of the firearm platform" and the lack of any large manufacturer that can deliver greater than 8,000 pistols mean volume.
The platform was not evqaluated any further as S&W declined to produce a possible D.A. pistol in 9x23 for evaluation.
The contract with Winchester calls for the delivery of 1.6 million rounds.
If someone (Winchester) would produce the 127gr Ranger load for Police issue the 9x23 would have a viable chance with both smaller and more progressive large agencies that allow officers the opportunity to choose a large frame pistol.
Ballistically the .357 Sig and 9x23 chronograph within 10-25 fps of each other when fired from a 5" barrel and deliver identical energies.
I have the Texas DPS stats and the DSP stats and I find that studing them only brings me to more questions than answers.
The 9x23 is a very good round/combination, a very reputable gunsmith we have all heard of says it is the ideal cartridge for a 1911 pistol. It is certainly a better round than the .38 Super and it shows a high degree of inherit design quality, meaning that it is well engineered and thought out. Jim has advised on possible game/size variables. It seems all things considered to be a very good cartridge/gun combo and that is what it's all about right?
 

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Good morning :grin:
Everything I have written or said on the subject has been covered in AMERICAN HANDGUNNER, GUNRAG.com or my web site http://www.burnscustom.com.

That said, the 9x23 is a good alternative to the 45 but not a replacement for one IMO. Each has strong points and weaknesses. I have shoot two deer now with mine...OK, Bruce's :roll: I have shot a 100% in USPSA competition wiht the same gun. I know it works.

Advantages over a 45? 9x23 is easier to shoot fast for most everyone, it holds 11 rounds with a flush mag and as Jim noted is very accurrate. Jim Garthwaite, Dick Heinie and I all have personal carry guns...the ones we ACTUALLY carry, in 9x23. I figure great minds think alike :grin:

Don't know their reason to go to that caliber, but they did.

9x23 is not the caliber I suggest for the first 1911 and maybe not the only 1911. You need to reload for it IMO to take advantage of its better features, which is down loaded ammo from the Winchester stuff.

Disadvantages? The gun size needed..1911 or 220 Sig are easy conversions. Glock 20 if done correctly. The lack of more factory ammo. And appropriate bullets to work at 1400/1500 FPS. The pressure problems with full house ammo.

Worst of all no factory guns being made for the 9x23 at the moment.

Asked 5 years ago if the cartridge had a future? Seems to be more popular now than then. I know I build more guns every year on the round.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
On 2001-04-13 21:33, Jim Higginbotham wrote:


Ballistically, I am not much on the theory of "power" in a pistol...[snip]...Still, if the bullet holds together and puts a hole in something important then it should work just fine.
And this is basically the argument for the .45 ACP. I'm I right Mr. Higginbotham? Thanks for your comments, I always find them instructive. As they used to say, you sir are a gentleman and a scholar. Take care.



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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Hobbes on 2001-04-15 09:51 ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
On 2001-04-14 00:43, David DiFabio wrote:

It however [127 gr. .357Sig] is not the best choice as a personal defense round for those people that do not have to compromise in the same manner that a law enforcement agency does.
David DiFabio: Could you state more specifically what you mean here. What would you say is the "most" uncompromising handgun cartridge for personal defense?

You also wrote:

[snip] "Ballistically the .357 Sig and 9x23 chronograph within 10-25 fps of each other when fired from a 5" barrel and deliver identical energies.
I have the Texas DPS stats and the DSP stats and I find that studing them only brings me to more questions than answers." [snip]

Care you share the kinds of questions you have after looking that stuff over?

I appreciate your thoughtful reply and am going to look once more at the piece at http://www.firearmstactical.com with your argument in mind. Anywhere else you could point me would be appreciated. Like Mr. Higginbotham said, a 147 grain bullet going 1350 fps sounds pretty worthwhile. Good Wishes.








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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Hobbes on 2001-04-15 09:55 ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
On 2001-04-14 10:42, Dane Burns wrote:
Jim Garthwaite, Dick Heinie and I all have personal carry guns...the ones we ACTUALLY carry, in 9x23. I figure great minds think alike :D
That certainly *is* compelling information. And I do have a gun that needs changing...I wonder who you think I should send it to.:) Actually, if I can find someone locally (Atlanta area) who is able I may give them a try.

One other thing: you mentioned the pressure issue. Does reloaded brass pose a problem with 9x23?

Mr. Burns, I commend you on providing this resource. It seems that the folks here know a thing or two. Take care.

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Hobbes on 2001-04-15 09:49 ]</font>
 
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Hobbes,
The piece on compromise is pretty straight forward in as much that the average police department which is the market the .357 Sig was engineered for as well as the earlier .40S&W must make serious compromises when it comes to evaluating and purchasing an issue firearm for the department staff.
The 10mm is an example of a non-compromise in the full power magnum loadings. The simple truth is that well over 2/3rds of all Police and armed citizens will never spend enough range and practice time to learn to use the 10mm 0r .45acp defensive handgun at the limits of it's design capabilities. I am a perfect example, five years ago I shot three times a week and averaged 8 hours of quality range time per session and 10-20 thousand rounds per month on a good month. Today I find time to go to the range only twice every two weeks or once per week on average, I shoot about 6 thousand rounds per month and average 10 hours of quality range time total. I own several handguns that will shoot into less than 1/2" at 25 yards and I can no longer shoot to the pistols true ability. My point is that most police officers and CCW holders will never master a mild cartridge/mid size gun like a Glock 19/23 or Sig P229 let alone an experts gun like the 1911, meaning that it is less forgiving of dumb handling mistakes. These mid size guns are compromises in that they do almost everything well but not at an expert level.
They fit most hands in much closer approximation than a 1911 w/medium trigger or a double stack 1911. The recoil is mild and all things considered they represent the "ideal compromise". If you knew that you were going in harms way (don't go) but if you must would you pick a compromise or would you pick a gun/cartridge combo that fit you and what you wanted and believed you needed, remember confidence in your equipment ties in to your will to win and your survival mentality.
The 9x23 in a 5" Govt model meets so many of the criteria that I would choose, that it is almost ideal for me IMO. It has good relative power, reliability, accuracy, and penetration, yes, penetration is very important, and my per gun (always remember if one gun is good two are better) round count is also increased as the 9x23 represents a more efficient power to round/weight ratio than the .45acp for me.
IMO it's only true competitor is the 10mm as the 9x23 can be loaded to a much higher velocity/power factor than the .357 Sig and the .40S&W.
I believe the only true drawback is ammo availability but as more one percenters begin to adopt the cartridge the quality ammo
makers will follow as they too will see the merit and solid thinking in the 9x23 concept.
As to the stats I was referring to the shooting statistics as it is very very hard to quantify the results when you try to establish a base line and start factoring out the variables to really see how the .357 Sig is fairing in the real world.

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David

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David DiFabio on 2001-04-15 20:41 ]</font>
 

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My point is that most police officers and CCW holders will never master a mild cartridge/mid size gun like a Glock 19/23 or Sig P229 let alone an experts gun like the 1911, David, what do you suggest for people in this category? What type of gun?. Thanks
 

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Just my 2 cents and God bless my customers because I sure don't need any more work right now. But if I were going to have a 9x23 built I wouldn't give it to anyone who doesn't carry and shoot a 9x23 they built them selves. There is way more to this cartridge than most suspect and it is not a first time 9x23 builders gun you want. Trust me on that. Tim Bacus and the guys I have listed can in fact build a good 9x23. But if you expect to shoot Winchester factory ammo from the gun find someone that has build a *few* and talk to their customers. Time well spent IMO.
 

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Just curious. For those of you who use the 9x23 as your carry piece, what ammo do you carry? Factory or reload?
 
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For shooters that will practice at least a moderate amount I do recommend the Glock series as it is still fast to bring into action and it is very durable and pretty forgiving of a low level of cleaning and maintenance, eg:
storing the pistol in a drawer or holster for an extended length of time. (True story- I was standing at the counter at Joffes gun shop/local smtihs store when a police commander from the Phila Police Dept. came in with a "broken" .38 SPCL revolver. The smith then explained to him that the ammo had turned on him and corroded to the point that it seized the cylinder shut, the Commander claimed this was ridiculous as he had just fired it 8 years ago before being promoted and not having to qaulify again left it loaded and ready to go.) This is not a shot against the Phila PD as I have found them to be some of the finest people to work with and I have no problem reccomending most of the officers that I have worked with.
But Dane is correct in his understated reccomendations above, if you really intend to maximize your satisfaction with the 9x23 and reach it's purpose you will need to reload for it and work with a smith that understands how to build a pistol for 9x23. It is not a simple 9mm conversion. For those of us in the PA area we are lucky enough to have John Ricco (CP) and George Smith (EGW) (designers of the round) near by to call upon for gun work, quality reloads and some very hot JHP loads. I personally carry 124 grain custom Gold Dot loads in mine for external work, 147 grainers for hunting small game and for interior work I load my Glock compact model 29 with pre-sale of the company MagSafe Super Swat loads in 9x23.
FYI: John also has one very cool and very functional AR15 9x23 conversion, I also understand he may offer a class three version as well.

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David

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David DiFabio on 2001-04-16 06:33 ]</font>
 

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I carry plain ol' Winchester white box, 124gr jacketed soft point, in my Burns' 9x23. Can be found for less than $10 a box of 50.

When I reload the brass, will probably work up one of Dane's preferred loads. Be nice to have a heavier bullet, but seriously, this 124gr stuff kicks some serious ass on what I have shot with it [animals only, sorry].

Hobbes, I can't help you on the .45 vs. 9x23 debate much. Burns built me 2 1911's one for each of those calibers, and both work flawlessly. I am perfectly content, whichever one is on my hip. My impression is the 9x23 will get more rounds into a smaller target quicker, but that only becomes important when drinking beer and arguing ballistics. I have seen too many statistics proven worthless in this life to place much heed in them, generally. If a one shot stop was absolutely positively needed, I would be sweating my ass off humping my Barrett around with me. In my opinion, getting into the "one-shot stop" mentality is no good, whether you are a hunter or a gun-fighter. I train with a guy who has the power in either hand to put folks on queer street with one punch. What makes him soooo effective though is that he takes what you give him and doesn't go looking for *the* punch.

My advice is simple, and I repeat it to anyone who will listen: Call Dane and buy a 1911 in 9x23. Ammo is cheap, plentiful, and white hot. Name me another round that scores that trifecta :grin:

Good luck with your choice, it is a win-win :smile:
 

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Silver Tips as often as not but a little frangible IMO...since I am also a licensed ammo manufacture I never carry "hand loads" :grin:

But I also carry a CCI Gold Dot 125 gr 357Sig bullet at 1475fps in a Winchester case Othe bullets I load are a 125 XTP or 125 Gold Dot. When I get time I will have a 147 Gold Dot loaded at 1400fps with Vectan.

Guess I am a little stumped by the "experts" pistol comment. The 1911 has to be one of the easiest handgunsguns in the world to shoot well.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-04-17 03:08 ]</font>
 

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If a one shot stop was absolutely positively needed, I would be sweating my ass off humping my Barrett around with me
Reckon you could get a concealment rig for that? :wink:

Good luck with your choice, it is a win-win :smile:
Absolutely. This is a case where you can choose what you like, and you can't go wrong.
 

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On 2001-04-16 20:58, Bruce wrote:
I carry plain ol' Winchester white box, 124gr jacketed soft point, in my Burns' 9x23. Can be found for less than $10 a box of 50.
Bruce,
Where is it less than $10.00 per box? It's $13.95 at the local shop. The cheapest I have seen it is $11.50 at the Indy 1500 gun show. Even wholesale price from Jerry's is 10 something per box plus shipping.
 

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<snip>
Guess I am a little stumped by the "experts" pistol comment. The 1911 has to be one of the easiest handgunsguns in the world to shoot well.
Me too. Even I can shoot a 1911, sometimes :smile:

Seriously, I find it is much easier to raise a student to an adequate level of serious marksmanship (meaning being able to control the pistol in rapid fire at close range) with a .45 1911 than with a Glock 19, 22 or 23 or even a Sig or Browning 9mm (but it is close).

Put another way it takes less rounds to reach the adequate level. But then I do beleive that you cannot get it out of a book or from a video. Instruction and / coaching are important parts of building a foundation to train on.

You can expend thousands of rounds in practice but if you do not know what you are doing you will only be reinforcing bad muscle memory... only perfect practice makes perfect.

Food for thought,
Jim Higginotham
 

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Neal:

I paid $9.85 plus shipping from Jerry's, not sure if there was a quantity discount on it or not, but bought several thou.

If you shoot 10mm, Zanders has Remington 180gr for $8.99 for 50, which basically means you are buying the brass.

Btw, Neal, the IDPA match is this sunday. I will try to email you the url for their site.
 

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Yea, Jerry's case price is less than $10 per box. I did not know your were talking volume prices. Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you about the match.

Neal
 

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http://www.cheaperthandirt.com will sell you a white box of 9X23 soft tips for $10.50. I meant to call them up and see if they carry silvertips but haven't yet. As a newbee to the 9X23 caliber (and a big 1911 fan) I wish I had more experience with this. I can tell you this though -- I have hungered for the $$ to send my .38Super Colt off to Dane for THE conversion, but managed to get my hands on a new Colt 9X23 Win barrel. The only change I've made so far is a 24lb. recoil spring, and i've had not a single problem out of it. It shoots better than me currently, the only gripe I have is that barrel is blued and I have a stainless Colt.
I've yet to shoot a .357Sig, and once again I wish that more ammo manufacturers were out there with Winchester as I'm not a reloader either. But the recoil I find is milder on my 9X23 than my Kimber's .45 push, and when you're shooting at gongs it sure is need to hear the plate yell back at you as soon as you pull the trigger.
 
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