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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Perhaps those more knowledgeable can help me understanding something: I keep reading that modern bullet technology has brought the 9MM up to the level of larger/more powerful calibers (357 sig, 40, 45) - that there is much less difference in performance between these calibers than there used to be. However isn't that same modern bullet technology available in the larger calibers too? If so, then wouldn't the difference in performance between 9MM and the larger calibers be maintained? Or, does the modern bullet technology raise the performance of 9MM to a greater extent than it does for larger calibers? I haven't seen that question addressed (though I haven't looked that hard). Does anyone know, or have a perspective on this? Thanks.
 

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First of all, there is a ton of misconception on this subject. While modern technology has made some improvements, the fact is that the 9mm has always been an effective bullet. Perception, based on one FBI shootout, clouded the minds of so many. As it turns out, the agency that determined that the 9mm was ineffective is now citing "modern technology" as the reason it is now "effective". It is an older bullet than the 45ACP, and it has worked for years in Europe.

Another misconception is that one handgun cartridge is vastly superior to another. It's not. Not until you get into the super cartridges like the .454 Cassull or the .500 S&W Magnum. When talking about the standard service caliber handgun cartridges, they all suck. One argument is that the bigger the bullet, the bigger the hole, etc., but when you talk about this with surgeons, many will tell you they cannot determine whether someone was shot with a 9mm or a .45ACP. Couple that with the fact that the difference in diameter btwn the 9mm and .45ACP is not much...your odds of stopping someone with a .45ACP isn't much better than stopping them with a 9mm. :cool:

Some people will tell you to carry the biggest thing you can control, and I suppose there is nothing really wrong with that; however, here is something I offer for consideration. Why would you want to run the risk of having to control a larger caliber under the stress of your fight or flight nerves exploding when the fact is you're not really getting any discernible ballistic advantage? Why would you want to limit yourself in capacity just so you can carry a "45" when you're probably going to hit your target with a 20% efficiency, on average, if you get in a shoot out? Of course, this just food for thought, but the truth is you don't have a significant advantage over a 9mm b/c you carry a .40 or a .357 Sig. You just don't.

You're more likely to die while you're waiting for the other guy to bleed out regardless of whether you shoot him with a 9mm or a 45 than not, simply b/c a 45 ain't gonna cause that much more blood loss, and you're not going to control a .40 any better than you can control a 9mm, all things being equal. Carry what you want, but there's no real significant advantage one caliber has over another to warrant citing one is better. The rest is just smoke-filled coffee house ****.
 

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BTW, Mattix was also shot with a .357 Magnum, and a 12ga shotgun before he killed those agents, but you didn't see the FBI calling the .357 or 12ga ineffective. It was total BS. They just didn't score lethal shots on a very determined foe. Plain and simple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ah, okay that makes more sense. The starting point assumption that there are significant differences in the calibers is incorrect to begin with. 9MM hasn't actually "caught up" because it was never that far behind, so to speak. Thanks.
 

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I mostly agree with the above about different calibers and as a rule, they're not that significant. The difference in 9mm & 357Sig kinetic energy is just under 200 ft-lbs - that's significant for a 125gr bullet.

That said, I carry 357Sig because of its increased performance over 9mm - which equals increased barrier penetration - for example, a car door.

Here's some data from Wiley Clapp you may find interesting.

Then again, here's some other data the kinda follows Clapp, but also brings up some other interesting data.

Comments about being able to control the round, and capacity are spot on. If you have trouble controlling a hotter round you should avoid it and never forget that capacity might be your best friend when needed.

As always, YMMV.
 
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Ah, okay that makes more sense. The starting point assumption that there are significant differences in the calibers is incorrect to begin with. 9MM hasn't actually "caught up" because it was never that far behind, so to speak. Thanks.
You're right. That is not to say that the .40 or .357 Sig is not at all superior to the 9mm, but there are so many issues at play that there simply is not way of definitively claiming one is "better". You have bullet weight, different pressures, the determination of the other guy, etc., so many variables. They all will kill you, and all of them have left people alive, but the truth is the 9mm never was "inferior" on the whole.

Now, when you're talking about the advances in bullet technology, such as bonded rounds vs non-bonded rounds, etc., then yes, it has helped, but it has helped all bullets across the board. A FMJ .45ACP will pass straight through someone just as easily as a 9mm will. Granted the bigger and slower moving bullet is going to hit a little harder, but...it is still going to pass through in most cases. Obviously there are variables there as well, such as clothing, distance, etc., but you get the point.
 
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