On 9x19mm

I mentioned to Christina last night at the range that 9x19mm is the best self-defense cartridge there is.

Kinda interesting coming from me, given that I don’t actually OWN any guns in 9x19mm. My bread-and-butter is .45 ACP, in my 1911, and my PM45. Why .45? Well it works, and I’m already invested in the cartridge with guns, ammo, magazines, and reloading supplies. Also I have a preference to M1911 pistols, which were designed around .45 ACP, and therefore shoot them the best.

Still the Golden Age of the 9×19 vs .45 war (and the coup that was .40 S&W) seemed to be around WWII and after when ammo was all FMJ and the various full-size guns on the market were American .45s, and European 9x19mm guns. Well YEAH, if shooting only ball ammo .45 will do a LOT more damage than the 9mm (I suspect the flat-point often found on .40 S&W ball will have the most stopping power of all), but we’re NOT! I carry hollow point .45s, and anybody who knows what they’re doing carries hollow-point 9x19mm, and once you get there, and assuming we’re using quality ammo, vs. bargain basement hollow-points, really the question of how the shoot is going to go is all about where your shots land.

So that being said Chance is currently discussing dumping his pocket .380 for a pocket 9.

Iā€™m basically simplifying my ammo stores. I may even dump my 45s.

There is something to be said about that (and also the reason why I got a PM45 rather than the PM9 or CM9, or P9 et al) Why get involved in yet another cartridge when I can carry a full-size .45, and a pocket-sized .45 and get by fine?

That being said if you’re starting from square one, 9x19mm is one of the most common pistol rounds on Earth, and there are few gun makers that don’t make a few guns in this cambering. Every ammo maker makes a few options in 9×19 ammo, and every gun shop and sporting goods store will have ammo to buy.

You can also get just about every type of gun on Earth chambered in 9×19, from the great-big Glock 34, to the pocket-sized Kahr PM9, and everything in between. Also when you compare a 9×19 gun with guns in .40 S&W, or .45 ACP, or even revolver cartridges, you get near identical terminal ballistics, in a smaller lighter package…or in a similar package but with MUCH more rounds.

If I had to start all over again and shrug off the Machismo, I might go the way of 9x19mm for all my defensive guns.

Or maybe I just like 1911s too much and would contradict all my advice about 9x19mm and guns with unnecessary safeties, as well as buying more affordable guns.

Hey there’s a reason why there are so many gun blogs, there’s just so much one can write about!

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0 Responses to On 9x19mm

  1. bluesun says:

    It’s why I picked it. Cheaper=more shooting=more accuracy=more hits on target. And when you consider modern hollowpoints, and the myth of the one shot stop…

  2. mike w. says:

    Nonsense! .357 SIG owns all! šŸ˜›

  3. RobertM says:

    I’m probably going to picking up a Glock 17 or 19 for my next carry pistol. I really want an Smith E-series but it’s really not in the budget right now as much as I would like, especially with my latest AR setback.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      Yeah just read about your AR incident. My condolences That SUCKS!

      But yeah a G17 or a G19 are awesome guns (especially a post-recall gen-4) The E-Series Smiths are cool too, but really at that point we’re not talking comparable guns.

  4. Bubblehead Les says:

    The older I get, the more lightweight, Polymer Framed Handguns with lots of Ammo in them makes me wonder why I’m still carrying around old school heavy steel pistols and revolvers.

    Oh that’s right, they’re paid for.

    Seriously, unless I was hanging around in Grizzly/Big Moose/Big Gator Country, there’s nothing a battery of .22LR, 9mm, 20 gauge, 5.56 Nato and a Good Scoped .308 Bolt Action couldn’t handle for my purposes. YMMV, of course.

    Now if only the Wife would open the checkbook….

  5. Erin Palette says:

    I realize I should invest in some hollowpoints for my S2K, but I’m a believer in “shoot with what you train with” and I can get a box of 100 9mm in FMJ for $20 at Wal-Mart.

    On the other hand, I have multiple 33-round magazines. As Stalin said, “Quantity has a quality all its own.” In any self-defense situation I plan to keep squeezing the trigger until the perp’s head hits the deck…

    • Weerd Beard says:

      Honestly speaking I’ve shot factory ball ammo side-by-side with my 230 gr +P hollow point defensive load, and while I can tell the difference between the two with recoil, its not enough to think it effects training. And heck If I log some good time with my .22 LR 617 REVOLVER I find I shoot my 1911 better next range trip. So really just train in useful ways and it’ll all help. But you REALLY should have some 9×19 hollow points if you ever have plans to deploy that carbine against an attacker. Winchester White Box JHPs are better than ball, but Its generally a good idea not to skimp on defensive ammo.

      Also make sure your selected ammo runs in the gun. I save money by running carry ammo through a dirty and dry gun. If it eats ammo when dirty and dry It’ll eat ammo clean and lubed. Or at least that’s how I see it!

      • Erin Palette says:

        That bit about shooting dirty is a good idea. If I ever get some hollowpoints I’ll go that route so I’ll know they feed without having to eat an entire box.

        But do I really need them? I admit I’m not a ballistician at all, but FMJ has been serving our military loyally for years. Why can’t it stop a home-invading goblin?

        Or are you saying that I may only get one shot so that shot had better be as devastating as possible?

        • Weerd Beard says:

          All of The Above. First up I’d argue how well FMJ ammo is serving our troops, but also you’re not in a war zone, you’ll be in a home invasion or maybe a breakdown of law-and-order.

          The ranges may be very close meaning you might only get a shot or two off before the distance is closed. Also remember that not all of your shots may hit, and you’re responsible for every shot that leaves your gun. a Jacketed round is less likely to penetrate through your attacker (and the wall behind them) and is more likely to dump energy into building materials if the round misses.

          Also you might shoot a guy so filled with holes he whistles when he drops….but there’s always a chance none of those shots may be “stopping” shots. Better to have a round that spreads its damage around than one that just pokes holes.

          Overall you’re better off in every way with expanding ammo, and while the stuff is crazy expensive compared to the usual stuff you feed your gun, its not THAT bad to pick up a few boxes and use sparingly for testing.

          • MikeR says:

            On the subject of practice ammo and carry ammo, it’s worth noting that (at least in 9mm) Speer makes Lawman FMJ ammo that matches the powder charge and projectile weight of their Gold Dot defensive ammo. Gold Dot hollowpoints seem to be some of the best out there for defense, and you can find the Lawman matching loads for practice for $10 – $11/box of 50 if you keep an eye out for sales. The Lawman ammo also seems to shoot 25% or so tighter groups for me than Remington UMC, which in turn shoots better than Winchester White Box. I suspect (purely annecdotal) that Speer has a little tighter process control and produces more uniform loads.

        • mike w. says:

          If you want cheap, reliable, easy-feeding hollowpoints you can’t beat Federal 9BP. It’s old technology sure, but still beats using FMJ.

    • AuricTech says:

      I’ve been buying 124-grain American Eagle FMJ at Sportsman’s Warehouse (@ $16/50 rounds), which matches the weight of the 124-grain Hornady XTP rounds I buy for self-defense. My SR9c seems to like both rounds; I plan to test them both in my Cx4 Storm carbine this weekend (I have been using 115-grain WWB in my Cx4, but I’d like to standardize on one bullet weight).

  6. Critter says:

    i never really had a ground squirrel problem bad enough to get me all excited about 9×19.

  7. Bought my wife an XDm in 9mm for Christmas, then we decided to get me a Christmas present too. I was about to grab an identical gun for myself when my wife said I should look at the 1911s again. She knows I have always been in love with the design, but never could find the time to get one…..

    So now I have a 1911, after 10 years of lust. I will probably get an XDm compact in 9mm for myself later, but now I have a .45, and I get to tell people it’s God’s own caliber.

    Effectiveness of caliber aside, I seem to shoot .45 better than I shoot 9mm.

  8. Cargosquid says:

    Since I inherited my 9mm and shot the Beretta the military (there is STILL something wrong with writing that) instead of the .45….I’m familiar with the “snap” of the 9. Could the feel of the recoil be what makes the .45 so well liked among so many shooters?

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  10. This is pretty close to the reasoning I came up with in a response to a Mad Ogre post a couple of weeks ago… http://balloongoesup.blogspot.com/2011/11/9mm-vs-45-round-1.html

    Great minds think alike!

  11. CTone says:

    Interesting. I just sold my 1911 to make way for another 9mm. I’m basically standardized in the cartridge now, which sure does help in the logistics dept. Considering how invested I’ve been in the 1911 in the past though, and the quantity of .45 acp ammo I have, I’m going to pick up a rattletrap 1911 in the near future for BBQs and such; but it’s 9mm for all my defensive guns.

  12. LKP says:

    I carry either a Beretta 92fs or a Sigpro 2340 (40 cal). The recoil is about the same to me. I carry a Sig P239 on my job and have to qualify twice a year. I practice on my own and mostly shoot the Beretta because the ammo is cheaper. Since most shootouts are 7 yards or less (for law enforcement) my former supervisor advised me to do most of my shooting at 15-20 yards. He said if you can hit the target consistently at that distance close in will be a snap! And he was right!.
    I think it really comes down to personal preferences and how much you are willing to practice. Everyone in my office owns 40’s or 45’s. I’ve never felt like my 9 was inadequate for protection. I know the latest fad is the move to 9 and 380 mini’s. I also have a Beretta 92 compact but seldom carry it anymore. Once I realized that it was not uncomfortable to carry a full size pistol in my MTAC holster I didn’t see the need to carry a mini when I don’t need to.

  13. Jerry says:

    It’s okay, Mr. Browning. You can stop rolling now.

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