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Caliber Debate
09-04-2015, 06:51 AM
Post: #1
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Caliber Debate
I am posting this because I thought it was interesting and wanted to hear reaction.

First below is a post by Bill Wilson of Wilson Combat (as re-posted by Larry Vickers). Wilson took a survey on caliber choices. After that post Rob Leatham responded with a clarification of his choices and had the following to say about the .40.

What do you think about Rob being the only one to say .45, and what do you think of his statement on the .40?


FROM BILL WILSON:

"I did a survey of some of the most experienced shooters/trainers I personally know and here is the question I asked them all.

Assuming you had to buy your own pistol and ammunition (type of your choice) for combined self-defense and self-defense range training use, which caliber would you choose, 9x19mm Parabellum, .357 Sig, .38 super, .40 S&W, 10mm or .45 ACP ?

I surveyed the following and their answer:

BJ Norris 9mm
Bill Rogers 9mm
Bill Wilson 9mm
David Bahde 9mm
Ernest Langdon 9mm
Frank Proctor 9mm
Ken Hackathorn 9mm
Larry Vickers 9mm
Mike Seeklander 9mm
Paul Markel 9mm
Paul Howe 9mm
Paul Buffoni 9mm
Rob Haught 9mm
Rob Leatham .40
Super Dave Harrington 9mm"

ROB LEATHAM RESPONSE:

"To be clear, my answer was based on subtle phrasing difference of the question originally. It was self defense and range training. Later changed to self defense and self defense training after the survey. As I told Bill, I chose .40 as it is the most versatile for competition and basic range training for me. As a cartridge in general it is the worst design in the history of mankind. As the question now stands, all about self defense and training for it, I would have answered with .45."

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09-04-2015, 07:16 AM
Post: #2
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RE: Caliber Debate
(09-04-2015 06:51 AM)Dutz Wrote:  I am posting this because I thought it was interesting and wanted to hear reaction.

First below is a post by Bill Wilson of Wilson Combat (as re-posted by Larry Vickers). Wilson took a survey on caliber choices. After that post Rob Leatham responded with a clarification of his choices and had the following to say about the .40.

What do you think about Rob being the only one to say .45, and what do you think of his statement on the .40?


FROM BILL WILSON:

"I did a survey of some of the most experienced shooters/trainers I personally know and here is the question I asked them all.

Assuming you had to buy your own pistol and ammunition (type of your choice) for combined self-defense and self-defense range training use, which caliber would you choose, 9x19mm Parabellum, .357 Sig, .38 super, .40 S&W, 10mm or .45 ACP ?

I surveyed the following and their answer:

BJ Norris 9mm
Bill Rogers 9mm
Bill Wilson 9mm
David Bahde 9mm
Ernest Langdon 9mm
Frank Proctor 9mm
Ken Hackathorn 9mm
Larry Vickers 9mm
Mike Seeklander 9mm
Paul Markel 9mm
Paul Howe 9mm
Paul Buffoni 9mm
Rob Haught 9mm
Rob Leatham .40
Super Dave Harrington 9mm"

ROB LEATHAM RESPONSE:

"To be clear, my answer was based on subtle phrasing difference of the question originally. It was self defense and range training. Later changed to self defense and self defense training after the survey. As I told Bill, I chose .40 as it is the most versatile for competition and basic range training for me. As a cartridge in general it is the worst design in the history of mankind. As the question now stands, all about self defense and training for it, I would have answered with .45."

A loaded question (pun intended)...

Training rounds, cannot be considered without cost entering into the equation.
Also, who is doing the training is important too. How much gun can you handle?
Given that bigger holes are best in a self defense situation that says .45ACP is best.
How many rounds are needed? Will 14 rounds of .45ACP work or do you need 17 rounds of 9mm? If you are a terrible shot, 9mm probably the correct choice.
If the weapon is going to be concealed, what size firearm is a reasonable trade off?

"An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." -Col. Jeff Cooper
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09-04-2015, 08:41 AM (This post was last modified: 09-04-2015 08:42 AM by Dutz.)
Post: #3
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RE: Caliber Debate
I have never been hunting, so I have never put a round of ammunition into anything living: 2, 4 or even 6 or 8 legged creatures (although the 6 and 8 legged ones don't need more than my boot).

Therefore I am interested in reading what those who have, have to say. Especially guys like Vickers who spent 15 years in Delta Force and put a lot of rounds into bad guys. Although when he was putting those rounds in, there were probably a lot of bad guys, so I get his desire for lots of rounds without mag changes.

With my experience I am left with theory. I figure the most likely scenario is similar to that church where the guy stands, pulls his gun, and takes 5 seconds to recite his gibberish. I have those 5 seconds to assess, react, draw, and fire; seven rounds should do me just fine, and if I am relying on my confidence and skill to hit the target and re-sight there is no question I am taking the 1911.

But at 3 pounds fully loaded with one in the chamber I am not likely to have that, so I will have the XDS, also in .45.

For me 15-19 rounds indicates I am in a firefight and if I live I will be doing some serious re-assessment on where I go and how I review my surroundings.

Again, just theory.

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09-04-2015, 03:10 PM
Post: #4
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RE: Caliber Debate
Dutz, kind of my view too... Military service weapons in a fire fight might not be a very good indicator either as they are using ball ammo. The 9mm (Nato or +P) 124 grain is considered not up to the job by the military. I think 9mm JHP are however a good round, not as good as a .45 ACP JHP, but a good round. With CCW, I carry either a LC9S (7+1) or a FNS 9mm (17+1). If it were a combat weapon, I am carrying .45 ACP. In a combat situation, if you have to use a sidearm, you have probably made a really serious judgement error, and if you survive, you need to re-evaluate your choices.

"An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." -Col. Jeff Cooper
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09-16-2015, 10:49 PM
Post: #5
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RE: Caliber Debate
I won't get into the whole caliber/ballistics/Ford/Chevy thing. For the average civilian carrying for that "just in case" moment, shot placement matters more IMO. It's more a training issue than a caliber issue in my mind. It doesn't matter what round you are firing if you don't hit the target.

With that said, I've never shot at anything but paper, so take this for what it's worth.
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09-17-2015, 03:06 PM
Post: #6
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RE: Caliber Debate
Agree with Karl B. Better a good shot on target than a large caliber miss. Can't remember where I saw it now, but I liked the statement as to who was to be feared more in a shooting competition, " the guy with the $3,000 gun, or the guy who had a cheap gun and shot $3,000 of ammunition". see also shameless plug for RDA skills and drills, which is great fun.
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09-18-2015, 07:51 PM (This post was last modified: 09-18-2015 07:57 PM by rwhite135.)
Post: #7
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RE: Caliber Debate
(09-04-2015 06:51 AM)Dutz Wrote:  ROB LEATHAM RESPONSE:

"To be clear, my answer was based on subtle phrasing difference of the question originally. It was self defense and range training. Later changed to self defense and self defense training after the survey. As I told Bill, I chose .40 as it is the most versatile for competition and basic range training for me. As a cartridge in general it is the worst design in the history of mankind. As the question now stands, all about self defense and training for it, I would have answered with .45."

This comment to me just reeks of stupidity. If it is the worst cartridge design in history, how can it also be the most versitile for competition and basic range training? In my opinion the most versitile for competition or basic range training would be the 9mm, out of the ones on the list. If I have to pull a handgun in defense, I want a .40 S&W or a .45 ACP. To me basic range training would include how to handle reloads, learning to sight in the pistol, learning speed drills, etc. The 9mm is good for that due to the light recoil in a service sized pistol. In a fire fight, I want one of the other 2 because they hit harder regardless of what the FBI thinks. Once one has the basics down they can train with those in a larger caliber pistol. I actually learned the basics on my grandfather's old .22 LR revolver before he moved me up to a "real" pistol caliber using his old S&W Model 27.
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09-19-2015, 07:13 PM
Post: #8
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RE: Caliber Debate
When using any sort of “like” ammunition for comparison, the .451″ bullet of the .45 ACP is going to make a bigger hole than a .355″ 9mm bullet. That allowed, the FBI Training Division noted that with modern ammunition, the difference in actual wounds in human bodies is so slight that doctors can discern no difference between the wound channels caused by 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP handguns.

Borrowed from a Bearing Arms Article...

But I don't believe there's enough of a difference between the 9mm and .45 ACP to justify the loss of both capacity and the ease of handling. I love my .45, and I don't doubt that it could do more damage... but at the end of the day I don't think that it would make any difference. Of course, I've also not shot at anything but paper. I just watch as many videos and read as many articles as my poor little eyes can stand.

Also.. for me, I choose a XDm 3.8 compact 9mm and a XDs 3.3 .45 ACP.. So the XDm gives me 8 more rounds which I think is an advantage.

He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”

— Luke 22:36, NIV
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09-20-2015, 06:06 AM
Post: #9
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RE: Caliber Debate
With newer firearms designs, you can get a 1911 that holds 14+1 (Para, STI, or a used Llama). Newer polymer framed pistols, such as the XD(m) also hold that many. Pistols chambered in .40 S&W only sacrifice 1-2 rounds versus a 9mm. The days of saying the 9mm is better due to round count are behind us. If you need more than the XD(m) 40's 16+1 or other pistols' 15+1, then you're either in the wrong neighborhood or need to work on your shooting. We've already debated the whole "9mm is just as good as..." delusion that the FBI has and so I won't go into that again here in this thread.
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