Monday, April 30, 2012

9mm vs. .45 Saga Continues On......

I love it when people talk about various calibers and how effective or ineffective they are. Listen folks in general pistol calibers are relatively ineffective.  There are 3 ways to incapacitate a threat. 

1. Psychological shock / Trauma usually resulting from a physical trauma or wound.

- Someone is injured with a non life threatening wound or trauma and they die as a result of chemical imbalances in the brain leading to complications. i.e Heart Arrhythmia

2. Neurological shock / Trauma i.e. shot to the head, or spine causing instantaneous death or paralyzation.

- For the majority of carry holders, most under pressure are not going to be making head shots. First off you should never have been trained to shoot for the head, (Aim small (HEAD) miss big, aim big (BODY) miss small) your adrenaline is pumping, your scared, your adversary most likely is not standing still. You get the point. You shoot for the body and try to pierce the spin, more than likely the bullet from most pistols, .45 inclusive does not normally have the energy after traveling through the body to break the spinal cord. Not to mention how perfectly centered your shot would need to be to even have a chance in the first place. So most likely this is not your best option.

* Many will say you are supposed to shoot 2 or 3 to the chest then one to the head. I say I agree, but from a Law Enforcement perspective looking at the skill levels of the masses who carry I am thinking about how would a jury look at your case.

Head shots are possible, but understand depending on circumstances create potentially more liability to you. You could miss,( most likely). Worst case your dead as a result. Or your missed shot hurt an innocent bystander. Best case you have to explain why you are so militant to a jury of your piers half whom hate firearms and have no idea why anyone would have one in the first place. So.... Do what works best for you. Just my 2 cents from 20 years plus experience as a Law Enforcement Certified Firearms Instructor. Center mass shots are the norm of what is taught and determined to be acceptable as a reasonable and prudent person would agree. So they say.

**A head shot will most likely incapacity your threat immediately. I personally feel is the best option for someone who is highly skilled, trained and practiced, but there again depending on circumstances. 

With that said maybe your best option is to learn from professionals and train often the techniques you learn.

*** Regarding my statement above about calibers.. YES, I know a .44, most .357's and 10MM's can punch the torso and out the spine. Most people do not carry these calibers for defense however and if they do well, over penetration is not a good thing. There is no way you can follow up shots ACCURATELY as fast as a 9mm for example. The recoil is much more. Bigger caliber handguns make bigger muzzle flashes, hold less capacity in ammo and are usually louder. Moving on...

3. Bleeding Blood pressure loss as a result of several center mass shots will hopefully cause an aggressor to quickly lose his fight. 

-Keep in mind this is not instantaneous like a well placed head shot. So you could still be potentially injured or killed even if you mortally wounded someone in a self-defense scenario.

**Statistics show that most altercations involving carry caliber handguns end as the result of the victim or the aggressor bleeding to death and not always at the crime scene. 

With that said...........

Thought you may find this interesting. Notice that there really isn't a significant difference considering a 9mm can be fired more accurately and faster than a .40, .357 sig or .45 due to muzzle flip / recoil control issues.

So is it better to have a little more tissue damage per hit or more hits?

We noticed shot placement and how many shots on target go down significantly when we take the same shooters and run them through the same drills first with a 9mm and then with various other larger powered calibers.

You make the decision for you! I am just passing on information.



  1. Its really a great knowledge you have shared with us, and all the three way you described is appreciable. Thanks for sharing.

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