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A good friend of mine is an emergency room surgeon and use to go with all the swat teams on their assault/entry's from his locality, and HE said that if he was working on someone that was shot, he hoped it was with a 9mm and if HE was doing the shooting, it would be with a .45......so......again, shot placement is the number one factor in my book.
 

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9mm for self defense.....

Due to better powders that give high velocity with less pressure, the 9mm has become better for self defense than ever before. I would not feel undergunned if I carried any of my 9mm guns. If desired, I could carry my hi capacity STI Eagle in 9mm, which holds 17 +1, and carry a 140 mm extra mag that holds 21 rounds.

However, my normal carry is a 1911 Commander in .38 super. I built and made the gun to my specs., using an STI fully supported W/N ramped bull barrel. My self defense loads are equivalent to a 125 gr. JHP .357 magnum round. Even with these hot loads, the all steel Commander absorbs recoil better than the polymer guns, and allows fast and accurate follow up shots. I use a 25# mainspring and a Commander length 18# recoil spring. I use 10 round mags, so I have 10+1 in the gun plus one spare 10 round mag on my opposite hip.

If trying to decide between a 1911 in any of the major calibers such as 9mm, .38 super, .40 S&W, or a .45acp..... shoot what works best for you.....any of these calibers in a good self defense load will do the job if you do yours....which is to get good shot placement...! :rock:
 

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The following is worth less than 2 cents, but this is what I was thinking:

I was looking and looking because I REALLY wanted a Kimber 1911!
Haven't been shooting very long (the last year), and never in the military or LE.

The more I read, and the more I reviewed, and the more videos I watched, I settled on the capacity of 9mm (15+1) p226.

Yes, its a "bigger" gun, but at 6'2" and 270, I'm not too worried about hiding the extra size.

I am worried about capacity! My next gun will be a 1911, but thats because I want a range queen - I WILL continue to carry 9mm.
 

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BlueSky, I think you made a good decision for your purposes ... and consistent with probably most of the input here in this thread.
 

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All else equal, a slightly bigger hole will be slightly better. However, you should also factor in capacity, recoil management, and cost, all of which favor the 9mm. Keep in mind that it's accepted as a reliable self defense round - it's not like we're talking about a .22LR. I wouldn't even really feel undergunned with a .380 except that it has no advantages over 9mm really.
 

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The following is worth less than 2 cents, but this is what I was thinking:

I was looking and looking because I REALLY wanted a Kimber 1911!
Haven't been shooting very long (the last year), and never in the military or LE.

The more I read, and the more I reviewed, and the more videos I watched, I settled on the capacity of 9mm (15+1) p226.

Yes, its a "bigger" gun, but at 6'2" and 270, I'm not too worried about hiding the extra size.

I am worried about capacity! My next gun will be a 1911, but thats because I want a range queen - I WILL continue to carry 9mm.
Based on what you've written , you seem to have a new shooter's perspective.... perhaps your focus should be on developing your skill set rather than the magazine capacity. Your first and foremost concern should be YOUR ability to get rounds on target, quickly and effectively. In another thread about IDPA v USPSA, someone said that there's no timer in a gunfight, so gun games can't be 'realistic'... while nobody's recording split times, there most certainly is a clock in a gunfight. When it runs out, somebody is dead or incapacitated... if its you, you LOST.

If you think you need 15+1 to improve your odds of getting hits, there's a fatal flaw in your thought process- actually 2. First, every miss gives your opponent more time and opportunity to do you harm. Its cliché, but you can't miss fast enough to win a gunfight. Second, each miss has potential criminal and civil liability attached... if me or mine get hit because you decided that 'spray and pray' is a valid tactic, you'll be living in a cardboard box or 6x8 cell...

My intent isn't to be hyper critical, but to offer a different perspective, a different thought process. There's much more to selecting a defensive pistol that magazine capacity.
 

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Based on what you've written , you seem to have a new shooter's perspective.... perhaps your focus should be on developing your skill set rather than the magazine capacity. Your first and foremost concern should be YOUR ability to get rounds on target, quickly and effectively. In another thread about IDPA v USPSA, someone said that there's no timer in a gunfight, so gun games can't be 'realistic'... while nobody's recording split times, there most certainly is a clock in a gunfight. When it runs out, somebody is dead or incapacitated... if its you, you LOST.

If you think you need 15+1 to improve your odds of getting hits, there's a fatal flaw in your thought process- actually 2. First, every miss gives your opponent more time and opportunity to do you harm. Its cliché, but you can't miss fast enough to win a gunfight. Second, each miss has potential criminal and civil liability attached... if me or mine get hit because you decided that 'spray and pray' is a valid tactic, you'll be living in a cardboard box or 6x8 cell...

My intent isn't to be hyper critical, but to offer a different perspective, a different thought process. There's much more to selecting a defensive pistol that magazine capacity.
Amen to this! Well said.

As to the FBI data, meh, whatever. People like to parrot about the data, which is fine. Data is data and is useful, but like many other things, folks forget to look at or question the "why" behind the decision to devote the time and resources to collect the data in the first place. Something has to cause them to want to do that. While I do not know what that is, nor am I going speculate, mainly because I don't care.

I have been fortunate enough over the years to have shot/trained with a number of LE/Mil guys. Some of them could not hit a bus with a belt fed, while others could ruin your day with slingshot and a pocket full of rocks. Indian vs. Arrow and all that.

9mm, .40, .45 will more than likely get the job done if the shooter does their part.
 

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Capacity will never take the place of good techniques or accuracy. But in the wrong situation you might want the extra rounds. It's best to have both.
 

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Capacity will never take the place of good techniques or accuracy. But in the wrong situation you might want the extra rounds. It's best to have both.
This ^^^^

No need to use the extra capacity if the first few rounds get the job done, but why start by giving up the possible advantage of extra rounds? Those who argue that 7-8 rounds are enough seem to build in the tacit assumption that there will be only one assailant, and/or that everyone trains to SEAL proficiency and is able to put the first round in the eye of an assailant at 25 yds. Proficiency with a firearm ranges from world class to terrible, with most somewhere in the middle. Usefulness of extra capacity also depends on what purpose the firearm serves. If primarily an HD role, if you are awakened in the middle of the night in your skivvies or less by an intruder(s), you will likely not have time to strap on your gun belt with your six extra mags; what is in the gun may very likely be all you get. When carrying, the situation is different; you are presumably wide awake, fully dressed (with gun belt and extra mags), and more situationally aware.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Thanks for all the replies. Very helpful information. Please note that I am not trying to start an emotional caliber war, but rather to hear objective points of view for both sides of the argument. That seems to be what people are providing--thanks.

Good points about carrying a higher cap gun like a Glock if you go with 9mm. I do have a Glock 40 cal. It has a 13 round capacity and lower recoil than the 1911, but I like my 1911 better. I shoot it better and it is slimmer to carry.

More rounds may be useful in certain situations, but for the average person in a self defense CCW situation (not a police shoot out or a military setting) I would think that 8 or 9 rounds would be enough. I may be wrong though.

Since I like the 1911 better and shoot better with it, I would rather carry it and would rather carry the gun that I shoot the most and am most used to. Why practice and train with a weapon that is different from the one you will carry (for those who like to shoot the 1911 at the range but carry a Glock or other hi capacity pistol).

I want to train like I fight and make my primary range gun and carry gun the same.

I am just trying to see both sides of the argument clearly. I am not emotionally attached to any particular solution. Although in some ways I would like to come to the conclusion that the 45 is better since it's what I currently have, and in others I want to hear that the 9 is better since the ammo is cheaper.

I do agree with many of the critical comments about the fbi report. It does seem a lot like it was a hypothesis that they were looking to justify. I also can't completely buy their conclusion because they don't state what any of the potential trade offs are. With any decision there are trade offs you need to weigh. They only state the advantages of the 9mm and none of the drawbacks, nor any of the advantages of the 45. The 9mm may be better but I want to know where it is lacking as well so that I can make my own decision based on my criteria and needs.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Also wanted to add the following....totally agree about shot placement and gun control vs. magazine capacity. But also understand that there may be situations where magazine capacity is needed despite accurate shooting.

For what it's worth, I am proficient with the 45. At 10 yards shooting pretty rapid controlled pairs I shoot fist sized groups all day long. I don't have an issue with shooting well with the 45. Just that the 9mm is cheaper to shoot and definitely will be a little faster.

I feel that the FBI report assumes a crappy shooter and not one that is proficient regardless of the caliber.

Matt
 

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I currently have a Kimber Aegis and a Nighthawk T4 in 9mm, and really enjoy them. I don't plan to carry either one, as I have smaller and lighter alternatives for that mission, but they're lots of fun at the range. I'm sort-of looking for a DW Guardian, and would love to have a Guncrafter CCO someday. So IMHO, a 9mm 1911 isn't heresy; it's a perfectly valid and acceptable alternative.
 

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9mm or .45 for self defense?

Ever since the Thompson-LaGarde ammuntion tests in 1904 at the Chicago stockyards, the stopping effects of the .45acp have become over exaggerated.
The Army tested the .45 vs. the 9mm using FMJ round nose ammo, so naturally, the bigger bullet had more effect when shooting the cattle.......the Army went with the bigger bullet due to their testing, and rightly so. The 1911 .45acp is still a very viable self defense gun and round.

However, the modern 9mm guns with good JHP self defense loads are also very viable for self defense. As mentioned in a previous post, shoot the gun and ammo that you shoot best. A 1911 .45 with eight round mags will hold 9 rounds in the gun if carried cocked and locked. The chances of needing more than 9 rounds in a gunfight are very remote. If a person is faced with an unruly mob, it may be best to seek cover....and if you are forced to fire a shot, most will run from the gunshots like cockroaches scattering from a bright light...... Criminals want to find easy prey.....they do not want to get in a gunfight over an attempted robbery. Psychopaths and terrorists are a different story, but the chances of ever facing this are even slimmer.

If you decide to use a 1911 9mm, it is still a viable self defense round with good JHP self defense loads. A 1911 9mm can hold 11 rounds in the gun when carried cocked and locked using 10 round mags. 9mm ammo is one of the cheapest pistol rounds to purchase at retail, and is one of the cheapest rounds to make if you reload your own ammo. You can purchase more ammo for less cost, so you can get more trigger time. Most people find the 1911 9mm easier to control when shooting fast follow up shots....

If you already own a .45 and you shoot it well, there is no reason to change. However, if you want a less expensive solution to train and get more trigger time, a 1911 9mm is a good option.....a man can't have too many 1911 guns!
 

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Since I like the 1911 better and shoot better with it, I would rather carry it and would rather carry the gun that I shoot the most and am most used to.


I am just trying to see both sides of the argument clearly.

Although in some ways I would like to come to the conclusion that the 45 is better since it's what I currently have,

and in others I want to hear that the 9 is better since the ammo is cheaper.

that's what you're looking for?? ....well this is easy then.
Buy a 1911 (I'd personally choose Dan Wesson over Kimber any day)

to the caliber....

45 is better because it's a bigger, fatter, heavier bone smashing slug.

9mm is better cause it's cheaper


they'll both poke holes, tear flesh and make things bleed
as has been said, shot placement counts most

pick your poison and don't overthink it


..L.T.A.
 

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This ^^^^

No need to use the extra capacity if the first few rounds get the job done, but why start by giving up the possible advantage of extra rounds? Those who argue that 7-8 rounds are enough seem to build in the tacit assumption that there will be only one assailant, and/or that everyone trains to SEAL proficiency and is able to put the first round in the eye of an assailant at 25 yds. Proficiency with a firearm ranges from world class to terrible, with most somewhere in the middle. Usefulness of extra capacity also depends on what purpose the firearm serves. If primarily an HD role, if you are awakened in the middle of the night in your skivvies or less by an intruder(s), you will likely not have time to strap on your gun belt with your six extra mags; what is in the gun may very likely be all you get. When carrying, the situation is different; you are presumably wide awake, fully dressed (with gun belt and extra mags), and more situationally aware.
Amen
 

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The right answer is shot placement. And many especially "little caliber guys" want to end the conversation there. I guess it makes them feel better to say it.

My experience tells me that shot placement against a target where conditions are not perfect and "Time and Space" is whipping by at a breakneck pace you need to consider a "not so well placed shot / hit" as a possibility. Maybe even a probability.

So my answer is "which cartridge offers the most damage to a target hit in a less than perfect CoM / CNS strike. What single cartridge will do the most damage? The best / modern 9mm cartridge or the best / modern .45 ACP cartridge. I think it is common sense.
 

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Compact 1911 45 = 7 rounds. XDM9 Compact = 14 rounds. They are both the same size. Its dark and lonely when I get to the office at 5am. The occasional weirdo is out walking around. Stray Dogs and Raccoon's as well. Its in an industrial area. I always feel better with the XDM and the additional rounds. I have a full size 1911 attached to my desk in a safe thing. Confidence is in my opinion important. I like the capacity.
 

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Going back to your original post - I don't think using a 9mm 1911 just to get one additional round will make any difference. If you can shoot it better and you'll practice more, that can be the difference. But it sounds like you already own 1911s in 45, so you'll have to buy the 9mm 1911s; that will offset much of the cost savings. If you can shoot a 9mm 1911 significantly better than a 45, use that; else it doesn't matter.
 
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