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Poll 1: 9mm vs .45ACP

Let us have a little fun. On the right side of the webpage there is a poll where you can pick between 9mm and .45 ACP. Make your choice! Got something to say about it, post it as a comment here.


In a week, we will put up a new poll, and talk about the results of the old one.


Results are in:

Only 80 people voted. At least we can say those 80 all made good choices. Fortunately both rounds have had the benefit of decades of improvements in bullet designs, powers, and pistol designs.

As Dyspeptic Gunsmith pointed out, .45 ACP can be loaded much much hotter, but you need to make sure you have a gun that could handle that.

Matt pointed out the much lower cost of 9mm. It seems like when I get cheap .45ACP ammo to practice with, it costs me around twice as much as 9mm. It is nice to be able to shoot more.

We will need to think of some more interesting polls for the future.

12 thoughts on “Poll 1: 9mm vs .45ACP”

  1. .45 acp because I started shooting pistols before reliable hollow points became available…and I’m still using the same tools I bought decades ago.
    If I were starting out these days I’d go with a 9MM in a reliable platform.

  2. Is much as it pains me 9mm for the cost and it is good enough with premium HP ammo.

    Though, I regularly carry a .38 Super. Does that make me a gun hipster?

  3. I’ll take the .45 for two reasons:

    1. I like mass in any round. Velocity decreases as a bullet goes downrange. Mass stays mostly constant. If I could defend myself by hucking a railroad locomotive overhand in a fight, I would. Alas, I cannot, so I choose the handgun round with the most mass for my purposes.

    2. The .45 ACP can be loaded far hotter than it normally is, if you know what you’re doing in handgun design or ‘smithing. Since I do, I like a round which gives me some room for improvement – and the 9×19 doesn’t give me much room for improvement. The case is usually almost full of powder with most any handgun powder in the 9. The .45 ACP? Great gobs of room to increase a powder charge. Same deal in the .45 Colt – huge amounts of room for additional powder.

    Now, this can result in misery and grief in the wrong hands – eg, those shooters who mindlessly just pull the lever on their progressive presses, not bothering to check if they’ve double-charged a .45 case. I don’t use progressive presses, and this is one of the reasons why. I use an assembly line of single stage presses, so I get to check every round, at least by eyeball, that comes off the powder throw.

    Use .45 Super cases and a fully supported chamber, and you can get some dramatic improvements in the .45 ACP.

  4. I though not a great shot with a pistol(still learning how to learn)years back at a friends home in the sticks went out shooting with him and his .45,learned later a 70 and only mod was sites and a bit of customizing on the tail.I had for decades shot/owned rifles and shotguns and a few times shot pistols with expected beginner results but that day with that pistol was hitting a array of paper/coffee cans ect. with results that pleased him so much he went to wally world a half hour drive away and got a 250 round box and said while up there keep shooting,so did a few days and had fun and was actually hitting things aimed at on a fairly regular basis for beginner,asked if he would sell me the pistol and was a negative but did work with me and set me up with one and the journey began.

    Since then have had chance to shoot a fair amount of other pistols but still feel the 1911 is the one that feels the best for me and thus enjoy time with it and feel I am learning.The only other firearm that has been as much fun for me despite the maintenance is a .45 black powder,just something about the effort to load/the smoke to a degree and the cleaning all make it a fun experience and have actually hit what I am aiming at with it,so the learning to learn journey continues.

  5. It depends on which gun and which case I’m using. I have several 1911’s. Some use conventional barrels, which have unsupported chambers. One I have uses a “ramped” barrel, where the case is better supported.

    .45 Super cases have thicker walls, but fit into a ACP chamber.

    In .45 Colt guns, I look for a modern revolver with “tighter” chambers than historic chambers compatible with black powder loads.

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