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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been thinking tonight (no comments please :smile:) about the hi power or 9mm. I've tried to read a lot from the so called experts re: ammo. Seems the general consensus is that heavy and slow is better than light and fast. Don't know if I agree, but that is a personal preference. I have seen posts on other websites re: hi powers that are customized for different people, and they are from professions that would be concerned about firepower and stopping power. Special Forces, SWAT, and general branches of the military comment that the hi power is a great weapon. Is it the weapon or the caliber or both? Maybe the question that I am trying to ask is a 9mm enough weapon for people? I have a few and I like it. Can't say that I can shoot my 45 and 40 as quickly and accurately as the 9. Not trying to start a 9 vs 45 debate, but looking for opinions re: the caliber/weapon. Hope I'm not rambling too much. It's late, and I am waiting for this damn server to finish building. Have a good one.

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I would like to clock in on this one. My personal views on this are conflicted; here they are anyway. I am active duty military, a US Navy Russian and Ukrianian linguist. The school for that is the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA. Lots of special forces guys go through there. I am not one of them, but I knew a few casually. I asked them, like I ask just about everyone with experience, what they think of certain guns. I want all the info I can get in order to continue to make my own personal decision. I try to not let any ego get involved and I am not married to any particular school of thought. I just want to find out what works. One of the guys on what used to be SEAL TEAM 6 was speaking with me about guns. I told him I had a sig P226 and he told me he had some mags to give me. 8 of them he said, he had them left over from when he used to carry that gun. I thanked him and asked why he was giving them away, what was the deal, did he not like the sig P226? He said it was a good gun but needed to have the pins in the upper replaced every 30,000 rounds. (wish I had reason to do that). I asked why he didn't like it. His response, and I quote, was: "I shot a guy with 9mm and he kept on coming, I shot a guy with .45 and he dropped like a sack of shit". (pardon the language). I said, "if that is true then why do you guys carry the 9mm?" His response was that he was trained to go for all head shots. The guys they were dealing with were mainly terrorists and they had to expect that they had body armor on, so all head shots from the get-go was the plan. 9mm lets you shoot more guys in the head between mag changes so they went with 9mm. I asked him about bullet weights and he said he liked 147 grain because if a target was presented from the side you needed the extra bullet weight to shoot through the arm bone and still get into the chest cavity.

I am not presenting this conversation as the gospel truth on the subject, just as information for you to consider. My personal opionions on this are these: 9mm is fine if you are going to go for head shots all the time, everytime. I am not going to do that. I am first of all hoping to God that I never have to shoot anyone, and if I do then I am going center of mass and evaluating the effect before I change my plan. Center of mass gives me a better chance of solving the problem so that is my plan. For me then the answer is .45acp. Like everything else it is a trade off, but it is my answer. This guy I was talking to also had switched to a .45 as he preferred its stopping power. I think hi-powers are great guns. But I think they are great guns just like I think that Henry lever actions are great guns - meaning that they are really cool with lots of history, but not what I would choose to have with me in a personal confrontation. I prefer a 12 gauge with slugs or an M-14. I settle for a 1911 or a .357 depending on the dress code.

Now, with all that said, I still think that getting bullets on target is the important thing, whether it is IPSC, IDPA or a real crisis you are dealing with. I try to shoot the most powerful gun that I can shoot WELL. If I thought I could shoot a 50AE well under duress and conceal one then I would do that. For me the 1911 in .45 is the largest bore handgun that I feel comfortable concealing and shooting quickly while under duress. You need to pick you own answer on this. What is the pistol for? How well can you shoot it? In the end it really comes down to the person and not the gun. That guy I was refering to, I wouldn't want to be in a fight with him even if he was a mile away and I had a sniper rifle and he only had a spoon as a weapon. He'd find me and kill me and what he used to do it wouldn't matter much after I was dead. You are betting your life on it, not mine or anyone else's, so I say you should get whatever gun you like and will practice with. Just don't do what I have been guilty of doing (trying to get better now) - spending all your money on cool gear and no time or money on learning how to use it. Good luck to you whatever you decide. - Jake

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Hello all. I see it this way: ANY handgun commonly used for self-defense against humans is lacking in power and placement becomes critical. The fact that, as was noted in the previous post, that one of our good guys shot a dude with a 9mm and he "kept coming" and then he shot a fellow with a forty-five and he dropped like a "sack of sh&&" doesn't mean that much statistically. I'm very, very familar with two cases in which 9mm provided
one-shot stops, one fatal at the scene, on

Having said that, I do believe that the .45ACP in its better loadings can exceed the
9mm's best loads, but there remains quite a bit of "ballistic overlap" between the two in terms of load effectiveness.

An officer under my command was shot a few years ago with a .40 S&W (Glock 22) using 180 gr JHP. (Don't remember the brand, but the bullet did expand and did fragment a bit.) The officer was hit in the torso and lost a kidney when all was said and done, and nearly died. However, when originally shot, he didn't know he was hit. Other officers eventually made him sit down.

Several years ago, two officers under my command shot and killed a burglar who was a mental case and tried to kill them. He was shot at about 18" from the sternum with a 12 gauge Remington 870 using Winchester #4 buckshot. The entrance wound was the fabled
"rat hole" about 2.5" in diameter in his sternum. Post mortem later showed that his heart was shredded by the pellets. At the same time that he took the shotgun blast, he received a .357 Magnum Remington 125 gr SJHP to the neck from another officer's S&W M686 4" revolver. How that bullet managed to miss
anything of importance is beyond me, but it did!

This suspect's reaction was to say, "I didn't think you'd shoot me." At that point, he SAT
down with his back against a utility room wall, gurgled something and died.

Thus, I don't get too fired up anymore about
9mm vs .45 vs .357 vs .40, etc.

With the handgun, some loads ARE better than others. Some calibers ARE better than others, but NONE will do the trick without placement.

I've been taken to task before because some insist that one cannot get proper placement.
Evidently some can, as the one shot stops I've personally seen have been the well-placed ones. "It is what it is," and placement remains the ultimate determinant in "stopping power."

I use the 9mm HP for defense. I use the load I think is one of the best and I practice with it. I do the same with my forty-fives, but at speed, I find myself able to deliver the first shot more accurately and with less time using the BHP.

What works for me may not work for you. With work, the 1911 might just be the thing for you, especially if you find yourself feeling more comfortable with that large, gaping hole in the bbl.

The main thing remains the willingness to actually make a center hit on a living human and having the skill to do it with the weapon of choice.

But, all of the above assumes merely the defensive aspects of the handgun!

I am NOT one who sees only this use and use my nines, forty-fives, .44s, .357s, and so forth on paper, plinking, and taking small game.

Best to all and hopefully none of us will have to shoot anything human, but if we do, I hope that the good guys can get the hits.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Stephen A. Camp on 2001-07-27 00:58 ]</font>

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Hello all, I have never had to shoot someone never even had to pull a gun, but I have had one very close by a few times and felt secure with it. I did have an uncle ,a bus driver who was shot with a 22 lr back in the 60s and it proved instantly fatal. I do not put that much faith in any handgun round. If I were trying to stop someone I would probably go with a 357mag 125gr jhp in a 4" barrel, but I have said this before if I were limited to a 1860 Colt 44 I would not feel to under armed in most situations. The key to any firearm is burning powder, shoot it enough and you will probably handle it well if the time comes. My son-in-law is a State Trooper and a few years ago his partner was shot in a traffic stop by some idiot with a 22 auto pistol. 10 rds in about 4 seconds and the trooper never had a chance to clear his weapon. The badguy was killed a couple of days later but not before killing a police dog with the same 22. I guess if 1 shot stopping power is essential maybe an 06 in 125 gr. might be the ticket but it may be hard to conceal a contender.
Just my opinion add 50 cents and you can get a cup of coffee

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If you can read you see the general theme of the replies is Nothing is enough when your ass is on the line.

I'd like to carry a 155mm in a shoulder holster if I could. I FEEL more comfortable with a .45 ACP

Anything else I say could be disputed and argued by a 9mm diehard.

I've got a Belgian Hi Power that I love and will never get rid of but I don't think I would carry it unless for some reason 9mm was the only thing available.

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The 9mm vs. .45 debate is one that will likely go on forever. Although I acknowledge the relative superiority of the .45 and the .357 in terms of pure "knockdown" power, I don't think that's all there is to it. I have been shooting my H&K P-7 for over 20 years. It feels like an extension of my hand at this point. With quality ammo, that 9mm inspires alot of confidence in me. I can shoot a .45 but I shoot my P-7 much more accurately and faster.

When I teach folks to shoot, they inevitably ask about which caliber and what gun they should buy. I tell them that they should try lots of different guns until they find the one gun and caliber that they are comfortable with. Then they should practice, practice, practice. In my book, confidence in your weapon and your ability to employ it accurately and effectively is much more important than the particular caliber.

If I was on a SWAT team entering hostile situations, I would probably want to carry a .45 ACP or a .357 SIG or a 10mm or a 9X23mm. However, since most people don't face that situation, comfort, compactness and confidence takes precedence over caliber.

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201 Posts

I notice you live in PA. One aspect of the 9mm vs .45 debate is the .45 being a better choice against heavily clothed adversaries.

You may wish to consider the lighter, slightly more compact BHP as a summer gun, and use a .45 when the weather is cooler. Your adversaries will be wearing thicker clothing, and you will also be wearing heavier clothing, aiding in the concealment of the larger/heavier pistol.



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: TimB92020 on 2001-07-28 13:12 ]</font>
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