Question of the Day: Does Carrying a .45 Make You Over-Confident?

In Massachusetts, carrying a magazine that holds more than ten rounds is strictly verboten. So I slap a .45 caliber Glock 30SF into a kydex holster and call it good. In Rhode Island, a 17-round Caracal mag’s good to stow. And so I do so. In Texas, heat! Pocket carrying a five-shot .38 snubby’s about all I can stand. In general, I try to carry as many rounds of as large a caliber as I can. But that’s me. I’m not a caliber snob. But Sr. Noir’s not wrong: there are millions of gun owners who worship at the church of the .45, ready, wiling and oh so able to lord it over their lesser-calibered cousins. While I don’t begrudge the .45istas their freedom of religion I worry that they’re over-confident in their round’s “stopping power.” Many, if not most of them don’t seem to understand that caliber is just another variable that may or may not determine your target’s ability to kill you or your loved ones dead or worse. They’re  . . . complacent. Your thoughts?

comments

  1. avatar Scotch Bingeington says:

    It does if you believe that it’s substantially more effective than 9×19, .40 S&W, .357 Sig or virtually any other intermediate semi-auto pistol round.

  2. avatar Anonymous says:

    Its all about bullet placement. Knock down power is … vague and illusory.

    1. avatar MikeM says:

      Did you watch his other video about typical 9mm carriers 😉

      1. avatar Melquiades says:

        That was the first thing I thought of when I read his comment.

        1. avatar Scrimshaw says:

          +1

  3. avatar John says:

    45 is a proven man stopper, no doubt. However any round can kill if placed properly. Shot placement is just as critical I’m a 45 as any lesser size. But, just like automotive engines, their is no replacement for displacement

    1. avatar AZ47 says:

      typical stereotype. a guy who thinks .45 is the end-all caliber also thinks there’s no replacement for displacement.

      here in the future we have turbocharged motors with DI, CDI, EFI, and a shit ton of other far superior advances. just like the 9×19 and .357 sig have been tuned to perfection in lightweight, reliable, accurate guns that weren’t designed a century ago.

      1. avatar Will says:

        There’s still no replacement for displacement, because when you do all of that stuff to a bigger engine it still makes more power than the smaller. It’s physics. Now there may be “substitutes” for displacement.

        1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          You could say the same about engine speed. A three liter engine that revs to twenty thousand RPM’s is going to make more power than a seven liter engine that revs to seven thousand RPM’s.

        2. avatar Justice06rr says:

          As much as I like fast cars w/ big engines like V12’s or V8’s, the downside is usually added weight and expensive price. A $90k Nissan GTR is just as fast as a $200k Lambo, if not faster (and you can buy 2 GTR’s for that price).

          Guns are kinda the same, you’re doing the same thing. In the end, the better shooter (or driver) wins no matter what.

          The problem with larger calibers with less capacity is that you’ll be reloading a lot more if the need arises….

        3. avatar C says:

          Toyota F1 team was allegedly getting about 740hp out of their 2.4L in ’06

      2. avatar C says:

        In both cars and guns there is no substitute for being able to put it where you want it to go.

        1. avatar Quacky says:

          Sorry blinky but that doesn’t work. you dont get more power just by running the engine faster. your peak power isn’t actually at your peak RPM. you dont want to rev the nuts off that 3 liter to get to that usable power either.

        2. avatar C says:

          This guy does a good job of laying out the principles of cars. http://www.youtube.com/user/EngineeringExplained

      3. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

        TO: AZ47
        RE: Stereotypes? .45 cal?

        Funny how some people can’t accept reality over their stupid imaginations.

        Regards,

        Chuck(le)
        [The Truth will out…the .45 has a century’s worth of proven history against drugged-up hostiles…..and stupid people can’t accept that.]

      4. avatar Ardent says:

        And if I supercharge and Nos a larger displacement engine I get? That’s right, more power than the smaller, similarly tuned engine. Same goes for cartridges, more case capacity = more potential power. It won’t go away. That said, very few people carry a real powerhouse like a .44Mag or above, and performance of ‘even’ a 9mm with appropriate ammo is more than acceptable. I personally carry a .45, but if I’m confident it comes from extensive experience, not the pistol. I’d never feel under armed with any reasonable pistol in any reasonable caliber.

  4. avatar ST says:

    Here goes nothing.

    What I’m about to say is certain to offend many.
    Consider yourself warned.

    Still there? OK.The old school of thought which says the .45ACP is the best defensive round is false.No disrespect to the Great Colonel Cooper,but he was 100% wrong about that ethos.Plenty of bad guys got sent to their final resting place with 9mm-and sometimes even with smaller rounds.

    Shot placement is the only determinant of stopping power.15 opportunities to kill an attacker beats 7.Carrying a .45 may make its owner feel better,but that feeling and attendant ego boost is for naught against an adversary with a .380ACP and a cool hand.

    1. avatar din says:

      STFU, hippy.

      1. avatar John says:

        OK Din, I’m trapped here waiting for a wedding to start (not mine). This made me LOL. Thanks!

        1. avatar Accur81 says:

          In Arrowhead, CA? Cause I’ve got a wedding soon myself.

        2. avatar Matt Richardson says:

          I thought people got married to ESCAPE Arrowhead. I am so confused right now.

      2. avatar Carry.45 says:

        I appreciate you.

      3. avatar C says:

        Damn long hairs.

    2. avatar MN Matt says:

      Makes sense to me!

    3. avatar Anonymous says:

      I like my 10MM! It has more power than a 45 and holds more rounds in a mag as well. Best of both worlds. However, in a defensive gun use, if I shoot a guy in the leg I don’t expect him to fall over dead like in the movies.

      1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

        I see you’re not packing these fancy new black mamba venom tipped bullets.

      2. avatar William says:

        EXACTLY what Mr. Noir was lampooning that slid past you like a Mako Shark in a debris-filled pool.

        That said, I think the issue is largely a false one. I’ve loved the .45 since my first shot with one, but it’s not magic.

      3. avatar WLCE says:

        I heard the 10mm will make a person disappear in a shower of sparks and vanquish his/her entire lineage too.

        1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          Hahahaha. You win this round of responses.

        2. avatar WLCE says:

          im actually making fun of myself because i spent the first half of my life carrying a 45 (in what you ask? well im glad you asked sir. It was the 1911 😀 and going through a hot pistol caliber phase, which included 10mm.

          I owned a S&W 1006 and Colt 1911 both in 10mm too. I never admitted to myself that I shot like shit with both of them, that they were comparatively inferior in reliability, and expensive to shoot and keep running.

          Then I slowly and begrudgingly accepted that polymers were real guns and 9mm wasn’t too wimpy after all (and that 45 isn’t mushroom cloud laying motherf^cker). Now I have a Glock 19 for EDC.

    4. avatar Charliebull33 says:

      A modern striker fired .45 with 13 round clips, best of all worlds.

      1. avatar Charles5 says:

        Hair Clips?

    5. avatar Justice06rr says:

      Wrong.

      Because in movies everyone shot with a 45 is thrown back 10ft in the air and instantly dies. If you get shot with a 9mm you just limp and keep fighting. Hahahahah

    6. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

      TO: ST
      RE: Heh

      Please explain the M1911 .45 cal ACP’s success in putting down the most determined assailors, i.e., drugged up Muslims in the PIs in the early 20th Century and Taliban in 21st Century Afghanistan.

      And in the latter where the 9mm failed.

      Regards,

      Chuck(le)
      [The Truth will out….and yokes like ST won’t enjoy it…..]

      1. avatar GWB says:

        So much wrong here. The 1911 wasn’t used in the Philippine-American war. M1873 .45 Colt revolvers eventually replaced the .38 Long Colt 1892 revolvers. The 9mm Lugar did not appear in that conflict either.

        And really, if they had problems putting down the Moros with rifles a freaking side arm will do nothing skippy.

        1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          Oh…Gee….

          ….maybe all those official military portraits of ‘Putting Down the Moros’, with the campaign capped officer shooting a sword bearing Moro with his M1911 need to be recalled…..

  5. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    I am in MA for 13 more days so I will no longer be mag restricted. I have handguns in .45, 9mm and .40. My .45 holds ten rounds and I would carry it over my other two due to the potential to stop a threat and my ability with that handgun. When I get to KS I am upgrading to standard 17 round mags for the normal free state capacity. I would rather have a few more rounds to sling down range and it leaves my options open.

  6. avatar Conrad says:

    Muzzle energy, and energy transfer. Actually .40SWs have as much or more muzzle energy than a .45ACP… the slightly smaller diameter doesn’t really make much of a difference. Also the faster the bullet, the more secondary energy shock trauma is created than just the primary cavity.

    1. avatar Dryw says:

      I fear you have fallen prey to fun store mythology, Conrad.

      There’s “permanent cavity”, and “temporary stretch cavity”. There is no accepted scientific basis for “secondary energy shock trauma”.

      More than you ever wanted to know about ballistic research: http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=34714

    2. avatar tdiinva says:

      Effective energy transfer is a function of mass not diameter. Everything else equal a heavier bullet from the same caliber transfers more energy to the target than a lighter bullet, i.e., you get more energy into the body with a 230 standard 45 ACP round than you do with a 185 grain round.

      The FBI has played down the role of the temporary wound cavity because it did not support their purchase of the 40 caliber. If the only thing that matters is the permanent wound channel than any of the popular handgun calibers would be more lethal than any standard military round because 9mm leaves a bigger hole than 5.56 or 7.62. Since we know that a wound from a 5.56 round fired from even a short barreled M-4 is far more lethal than any pistol round you should know that the FBI is blowing smoke.

      From the standpoint of a citizen DGU any pistol round has a near 100% stopping power since the object of the DGU is to make the bad guy stop his attack. All the empirical evidence shows that the mere presence of a weapon cause most BG to stop his attack and run away.

  7. avatar the last Marine out says:

    For CCW the best is the one you can carry unseen , small cal. use head shots , open combat nothing but a 45 acp.

    1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

      As if any civilian can get a ‘head shot’ in the ‘open combat’ of a home invasion scenario.

  8. avatar germanguy says:

    Greatings from Germany. 😀
    I heard a lot of myths about the caliber issue. So I asked myself, why not asking my question to people who shut know some answers.
    Is the .45ACP really better than the 9x9mm or the .40?
    If it is so, what is the differenc?
    Or is maybe the 4,6x30mm from the H&K UCP or the 5,7x28mm from the FN even better?
    I would be happy if somebody here could explain the differences to me.
    With regards.

    1. avatar Conrad says:

      The best round is the one that can be most accurately fired, with maximum energy, has the design to penetrate any armor (or heavy clothing) of the target, and impart all remaining energy on the target…

      In my opinion, that’s a cannon…

      1. avatar germanguy says:

        Nice joke at the end.
        Here you don´t have to ask you´re self what weapon should i choose. The only choices you have is to call the police and hope that they will be there in time or get a knife from the kitchen.
        But my questions are serious. I have not much knowledge about guns, except for things you can find on the interent, but this doesn´t help you if you get to the question i asked above.
        Here in germany you can´t walk to the next gun range or store and try it out.

        1. avatar Conrad says:

          Yes, I’m sorry. There’s no perfect design, always tradeoffs. In my opinion the 5.56NATO round is a great balance of the idea of penetration then damage by fragmentation, except against heavy battle armor. I think the 5.7×28 round has similar merits for closer distances and suitable for pistols as well as carbines.

        2. avatar B says:

          Watching ballistic gel videos, 9mm defensive rounds seem to be at least equal to standard pressure 45 defensive rounds from the same company. In a couple it looks like the 9mm does more damage. I would never feel under-gunned with a 9mm as long as I can use expanding bullets. If you are stuck with FMJ then I lean more to 45. Bigger hole with slightly less chance of zipping through.

        3. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          You should consider taking a trip to the Czech Republic. I understand ‘machine gun tourism’ is very popular there, and you can actually go and shoot fully automatic guns as well as handguns.

        4. avatar tdiinva says:

          You can’t be serious about the 5.56. There are 243 Winchester rounds with the same bullet weight as the 5.56 but with 50% more muzzle energy. The 5.56 is nothing more than a varmint round and not the best one at that.

    2. avatar Dazen Cloud says:

      The lauded benifit of the .45 is the “stopping power” or energy 45 when loaded just right and in a long enough barrel has a good deal of energy but in practical terms it is on the same level as 9mm and .40 in power and effectiveness but lacks in capacity and controllability. For a long time since the creation of the .45 ACP and the 1911 the .45 was the most powerful commonly used handgun cartidge and the fact that it was the standard issue US sidearm didn’t hurt it’s popularity. But with recent technology and newly created calibers .45 acp is no longer the king of the semi-automatic handgun world. That being said I myself carry and prefer the .45, but that’s just because I like it, not because it’s better.

      1. avatar germanguy says:

        Thanks a lot sir for the nice explanation.
        So not more to say here.

      2. avatar Mark N. says:

        I completely concur. I have .36, 9mm and .45 handguns. I just prefer shooting the .45. All will kill, given proper shot placement. It’s just a question of what you hit and how quickly it causes the aggressor’s blood pressure to drop. Hit muscle, he ain’t stopping (although he may be deterred). Hit a major blood vessel or the brain, then he stops–but not necessarily immediately. There are many persons who die of a single shot, and many others who suffer multiple wounds without permanent injury. The idea of larger calibers is that the larger diameter (and higher impact force) is more likely to hit something critical, either by direct trauma or secondary wounding from the impact. But more people die from .22s, it is said, than any other round.

    3. avatar the last Marine out says:

      in the 1800’s the US Army used the 38 , in real combat this would not stop an attacker, so the U.S. Recalled the 45 colt back to combat and later went to the 45acp 1911 pistol 7 rounds to 6 in the 45 colt, the 45 had a good record of stopping attackers in combat, and the best record of combat kills over the 9 mm Luger and 38 ,, and the 45 1911 had good record of working in bad conditions… the German 9 mm Luger has a long record of jams in combat etc..the 380 has the worst record all around . The 22 L.R. was great in rifle for small game, but poor as defense… that’s the history, the 40S&W is just a faster 9 MM but is used most by police as is easy to handle, but about the same as the 38/9MM.

      1. avatar germanguy says:

        Thank you all very much.
        Now I see a bit more clear.
        A special thanks to the last Marine out for the history lesson.

      2. avatar jwm says:

        Failures to stop in the Philipines with the blackpowder .38 round the Army adopted to replace the .45 colt are legendary. The problem is that it’s not the whole story. The holy warriors in the PI were using drugs and going on one way missions, much like the suicide bombers of today. The .30-40 Krag was also failing to stop the knife and sword wielding fanatics. A lot of Americans were coming up with shotguns to use in the desperate close range fights.

        In the reading I’ve done on the matter in thePI the shotgun was the only gun that was consistently rated as a good stopper under those circumstances.

        1. avatar WLCE says:

          JWM youre absolutely right.

          the part where the 45 was reintroduced into service is where the legends stop with the 45 guys (to paraphrase the late Paul Gomez)

          They fail to mention the krag failing to stop moro insurgents too. And everybody knows the krag, despite its limitations, is far more capable than any 45 caliber handgun.

        2. avatar Ropingdown says:

          The shotgun is the best man stopper at close range and high speed. The pistol is meant, without adding too much weight or bulk, to give people courage when their other guns are broken.

      3. avatar HurpDurp says:

        #1. During the Philippine-American conflict the .30-40 Krag was also incapable of stopping the very fierce Moro troops. The choice of either the .38 Long Colt or .45 Colt did not matter on the battlefield as both were inadequate rounds.

        #2. After World War 2 the US government admitted multiple times that the 9mm Luger is a superior round compared to the .45 Auto.

        ““From an analysis of these facts and the requirements for penetration of skin and bone, it can be readily appreciated that the .45 caliber bullet is of little value as a wound-producing agent except in the softer tissues and at near ranges. The bullet often fails either to penetrate or to fracture bone and practically never shatters bone in the manner common to the rifle bullet or fragment. The Japanese and German sidearms with muzzle velocities of approximately 1,100 f.p.s. were much more effective as antipersonnel weapons than the .45 caliber weapon. While the same bullet with its characteristics was used in the submachinegun, multiple hits probably compensated for the weaknesses, so apparent in single shots.”

        http://history.amedd.army.mil/booksdocs/wwii/woundblstcs/default.htm

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Somewhere in the pre internet days I’d heard that a government study concluded that if you used only fmj rounds and hit the person with only one round then the 9mm inflicted fatal wounds more often than the .45. What that stat means in the age of +p hollowpoints is anybody’s guess.

        2. avatar WLCE says:

          but, but thats impossible!

          the 1911 forums told me the 45 ACP is superior in every way than the wimpy, anemic 9mm!

          It has more stopping power
          It is a bigger bullet
          Why do I need 15 rounds when i can only have 7?

        3. avatar Carry.45 says:

          My self defense rounds are 165 grain efmj .45 that fly at about 1150. I’d love to know I’d anyone thinks that’s wise or stupid. Because I really don’t know.

    4. avatar Harv says:

      I’ll take a .357 mag over a .45acp any day for stopping power.

  9. avatar Matt in FL says:

    I don’t own a .45. My first handgun was a .40, because I was new to guns and based on what I “knew” I thought the .45 would be too much gun for me, and I thought the 9 mm wasn’t enough gun. And my friend had a Glock in .40. So I bought a .40.

    As time has gone on, I’ve learned what they mean when they talk about the “snappy” recoil of the .40 as opposed to the “push” recoil of the .45. There’s definitely a difference in comfort level and “getting back on target.” If I had it to do again, I probably would not buy a .40. I might buy a .45. Or I might buy a 9 mm. I would definitely buy the Compact version of my XD(M) next time. Buying the full size grip was a mistake. But whatever caliber I decided on, it would not have any effect on my “confidence level.” My EDC is a P238 in .380, because it’s much easier to conceal in Florida clothes than my XD(M), and it doesn’t affect my confidence one bit.

    1. avatar Ropingdown says:

      In agreement with the ‘snappy’ issue, I think Colion got the issue wrong based on cheap talk. I shoot and carry .45ACP in a variety of pistols for reasons having nothing to do with some myth: It’s about the recoil and muzzle blast. I’d been given 1911’s for use twice in the military. As a civilian years later I first bought a 9mm. I was surprised to find the velocity of recoil worse than .45ACP in equivalent weight guns, and I felt the sound, muzzle blast, was going to deafen me. The .40, borrowed, was just worse. I went back to .45ACP for good, in 1911’s and Glocks. I also have a Glock G20 10mm for field carry with appropriate loads, and I like to shoot my S&W Model 41 with friends for sport. The apparent fact that .45ACP doesn’t stop perps less than 9mm or .40 is sufficient for me.

      1. avatar MN Matt says:

        My thoughts exactly on .40 being “snappy.” The two guns I’ve actually handled that are most comparable would be an XDs and a G27. I greatly preferred the Springfield.

        1. avatar Carry.45 says:

          Xd over glock 23 or 27 all day long. And I fell in love with the triggers on those xdm’s as well.

      2. avatar Dazen Cloud says:

        Geez what kind of 9mm did you get that had more recoil that the .45? The recoil of the .45 isn’t bad when you have 2.5lbs of good ol’ 1911 damping it but the same goes with the 9mm. Honestly the heaviest recoil I’ve felt came from a .38 special but that was with a snub nose shooting a very very heavy self defense round.

        1. avatar Ropingdown says:

          Dazen Cloud: I didn’t say “more recoil,” but rather worse (faster) recoil velocity. Recoil has an absolute measure based on bullet weight, and a felt recoil which has three main factors (that I know of). Each cartridge has as a typical burn rate and muzzle velocity. These combine to tell how fast the bullet goes from zero to the rated velocity. The less burn time and greater the muzzle velocity in a given barrel length, the higher the recoil velocity. The type of action obviously has an effect, as does the weight of the gun.

          For an interesting comparison look up the velocity of recoil for a 12 gauge load compared to a light elephant rifle, say the .375 H&H. You’ll find the everyday 12 gauge has a higher recoil velocity: You feel more punch because the powder burn happens over a very brief time interval. (Chuck Hawks used to provide the tables. I assume he still does.)

          Finally, muzzle blast: The .40 and 9mm work at much higher chamber pressures and produce greater velocities out of narrower barrels. These conspire to guarantee that the gas expansion is much greater upon barrel exit, at higher gas velocities. The bullet, too, will produce a sonic boom, a high-pitched crack.

          So the .45ACP produces slightly slower recoil velocity, less intense muzzle blast, and no loud crack. It throws a heavier slower bullet that makes a bigger hole. Every caliber is a compromise, for sure.

        2. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          Roping – would you say that in regards to gas operated rifles the system impacts felt recoil as well? To use an example – I have a short stroke piston AR and a Sig 556, which is long stroke piston, both in 5.56. The AR has very sharp, abrupt recoil which seems to dissipate very quickly. The Sig has more progressive, less intense recoil that still seems to throw me off target a bit more.

          I’ve always chalked that up to the high pressure gas driving the piston to violently strike the key in the AR, versus the comparatively low pressure gas driving the piston rearward in the Sig. I’ve never read anything to back that up though.

          Thoughts?

        3. avatar Ropingdown says:

          Blinky: Felt recoil is affected by (at least) these: The force applied (acceleration x bullet weight) modified by gun weight, time over which the force is applied… and passed in the opposite direction of force, and recoil device or pad type. I know the length of the gas tube and pressure at which the gas must operate worsens felt recoil (a rifle-length gas system AR feels better than a carbine or shorter-length system. I assume the same factors (velocity of the gas, of the cylinder, weight and length of cylinder) matter for a piston system. But there is another issue (that I am simply not expert about…) which is the axial effect of two different piston systems. Given the design of the AR bolt, I do not believe any piston-system add-on can avoid some degree of off-center force on the rifle. These will vary between your two rifles and the force should be primarily upward affecting muzzle rise (Critique and comments welcome from those with relevant expertise…..)(boy, that Holiday Inn was comfortable!)

        4. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          Thanks Roping… that makes sense, particularly in regards to the off center recoil in AR’s… when I get that SCAR 16 (a gun with a proprietary short stroke rather than an add on) I’ll keep that in mind when I’m assessing the recoil.

      3. avatar William says:

        My feelings pretty much exactly. I just feel better shooting a .45 ACP.

    2. avatar Carry.45 says:

      Absolutely right about the .45 being easier to shoot than .40 or 9mm. Being rusty from the ammo shortage I went to the range, set up my target and sent it down to 15 ft. From the draw (like a dgu) I emptied my 1911 as fast as I could. Probably 8 seconds total. I had only shot this gun once before. I put 8 out of 9 rounds into a palm size group over the right breast. The first shot was the flyer and it landed on the liver. I could never do that with my previous carry which was an M&P 9c. None of this is to toot my own horn it’s just I’m fairly new to being a gun guy. So those results are from someone with about a year of firearms experience with two months of rust built up.

      1. avatar Labman says:

        Interesting conversation. Just bought my first .45 1911 a week ago. Thought it would probably recoil something like a .44 mag…myth busted. I love the gun! Groups are good, double taps are okay for this early in the game and recoil is very straightforward with minimum “flip”. I like the idea of a “big hole” in my enemy, especially if it’s not where I intended to put the first shot due to factors like “adrenalin dump”, “tunnel vision”, etc. I also like the fact that it goes “Boom” not “Bang”…the noise is quite impressive.

        I have .22, 9mm, .40 G23 and now the heavy 1911. I carry the .40 because I like the smaller size and weight. Having said that, the .40 does have a lot of muzzle jump but I’m not planning on shooting it over 10 yards and by record, most confrontations occur at less than 7 yds.

        Most here talk ballistics and placement, which are certainly important but bullet type also plays a part. Some of the new cartridges with fast-expanding bullets and low muzzle flash are pretty important. Being blind after your first shot is not conducive to winning the war and a fast expanding bullet dumps most of it’s energy quickly…which is a good thing.

        After shooting the 1911, I’m going to go shoot an XD in .45 and see how the weight change alters my perception of the .45. Still, we’re all different and you should carry what you shoot best.

  10. avatar jwm says:

    Nothing screams amatuer as loudly as that old, “I carry a .45 so I don’t have to shoot them twice line.” No handgun that can be realistically carried 24/7 is a one shot stopper. The 9mm, the .40, the .45, the .357, the .38 may stop an attacker with 1 shot. But don’t count on it.

    I don’t know what the stats are nowadays but in the 70’s it was reported that the 2 calibers that killed more people in this country every year were the .22 and the .38. Does that mean they were the kings of killing power? No, it just means that they were abundant and most likely to be used because every one had one or the other.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      “No handgun that can be realistically carried 24/7 is a one shot stopper. The 9mm, the .40, the .45, the .357, the .38 may stop an attacker with 1 shot. But don’t count on it.”

      Well said.

      While “one shot stops” can happen, they are not the norm. That is why some people practice “double taps” (two quick shots without aiming precisely to the attacker’s center of mass) which tend to be much more effective. And people who really take self defense seriously practice “Mozambique drills” (a “double tap” and then a somewhat slower, more carefully aimed shot to the head). Regardless, keep in mind that an average adult male is capable of attacking for at least 10 seconds after a perfect shot to their heart from a handgun.

      The .45 ACP is only better than other calibers when using full metal jacket bullets. Modern high-quality hollowpoint ammunition is about equally effective in .38 Special, .38 Special +P, 9mm, .357 Magnum, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP.

      In my opinion there are only two reasons to lean toward .40 S&W and .45 ACP and these considerations are probably not important for most people. First, the heaviest bullets (180 grain for .40 S&W and 230 grain for .45 ACP) will penetrate auto glass without deflecting even when the bullet’s path hits the glass at a fairly oblique angle. Lighter bullets (in the 115 grain to 125 grain range) tend to deflect quite a bit at oblique angles of impact. Second, hollow point bullets sometimes fail to expand; and if a bullet fails to expand, the larger the diameter of the bullet, the greater the probability of at least nicking a major artery.

      Since it usually requires multiple shots from a handgun to stop an attacker as quickly as possible, the calibers with less recoil (.38 Special, .38 Special +P, and 9mm) are usually the “best” choice for most people. (Less recoil means faster follow-up shots.)

      1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

        TO:
        RE: Say WHAT!!!??!?!

        The .45 ACP is only better than other calibers when using full metal jacket bullets. — uncommon

        Yeah…..Right…..as if a hollow or claw point won’t make a more destructive wound.

        Regards,

        Chuck(le)
        [Talk about dumber than ‘dirt’…..]

  11. avatar Cliff says:

    I like Colion. I have ever since the first video rant I saw him do several years ago. I am glad he’s a gun guy and an intelligent spokesman for guns and gun rights, but when it comes to things you really know nothing about, Colion, STFU. Amusing discussion of the .45 ACP, the topic here, was immediately soured by an unnecessary slap at Scientology. Let’s keep it civil here, guys, and try to avoid ad hominem attacks at others philosophical beliefs while questioning something that can be statistically quantified like relative strengths of pistol rounds. Just sayin.

    1. avatar Dazen Cloud says:

      When it come to the superiority-complex of people who truly believe the .45 ACP is the hammer of god I think most gun guys know something about it. And as for the “but when it comes to things you really know nothing about, Colion, STFU” comment, isn’t that a little hypocritical, especially since the call for civility in the discussion right after making that little comment. Honestly I think anyone who has spent more than 15 mins at a gun store or any time at a gun show will encounter the .45 fanboys and I have heard on more than one occasion that a 9mm is unreliable and the .45 is a one shot man stopper from the occasional fudd or gun store employee.

      1. avatar Cliff says:

        You seem to have missed my point, sir. Would I have been the only one to comment if the reference in this clip had been to Judaism or Catholics or …? I only wish to point out that the denigration of anyone’s religion in this context, whether or not you agree with that philosophy, and especially if you don’t understand it, should be discouraged. But thanks for playing.

        1. avatar Albert Wong says:

          You were offended when Colion when he called 45ACP fanboys the “Scientologists” of the caliber fanboys. You proceed to go straight to the “S.hut T.he F.uck U.p” bomb? Wow… So Colion only gets a pass when you agree with what he says? His 9mm video was entertaining as hell and guess what the top comment was? DO THE 45ACP! So he does, and this is the reaction?

        2. avatar WLCE says:

          your point is noted

          drop the f^cker

          it was a subtle religious joke.

        3. avatar Ben says:

          I wouldn’t be offended by either one, but seriously, Scientologists can go screw themselves.

    2. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      I like my .45, I just wish I could find some white box to feed it.

      Hail Xenu!

    3. avatar William says:

      C’mon. The Elron Heads used to put RATTLESNAKES in their critics’ mailboxes. That’s not a “civil” “religion”; that’s a CULT!

  12. avatar Gyufygy says:

    .50 BMG. Because shot placement is overrated.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      With .50bmg you don’t need a gun. Just hold the casing in your hand and stab them with the projectile end.

      1. avatar brian says:

        From across the room.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Never thought of it like that. St. John the Browning designed a short sword that could double as ammuniton. Fvcking genius.

      2. avatar Gyufygy says:

        Imagine with a bullet that big, even if you miss, the fragments could still put plenty of hurt on a dude.

        Short sword + ammunition + hand grenade

  13. avatar Blehtastic says:

    I’m seriously considering 10 MM, replace .45 with 10 mm in his video and that’s how I feel about 10 mm.

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      That’s right. 10MM is the best. Except when you are trying to find ammo for it… or if you are trying to minimize penetration power or long range lethality in urban environments. Or if you have tiny weak hands.

      1. avatar TRUTHY says:

        10mm ammo is no harder to find than any other right now.

      2. avatar APBTFan says:

        Over penetration is no more an issue with the 10mm than it is with any other service grade calibers. Use the right bullet.

      3. avatar Dryw says:

        Throughout the Great Ammo Shortage of ought 13 the ONLY thing on the shelves around here has been 45LC and 10mm. In large quantities to boot. At one point I seriously considered a pistol of those flavors simply due to the glut of ammo available.

        Thankfully, the 45LC urge passed like a bout of bad gas. Have owned a 10mm in the past, and was singularly unimpressed using the commonly weak commercial ammo. Handloads are a different story, but I am time impaired with my other metal children as is.

        1. avatar Ropingdown says:

          DoubleTap produces very good 10mm in a wide variety of loadings as to bullet type and velocity. Mail order is the way to go if your state law permits it, no?

        2. avatar Dryw says:

          Agree wholeheartedly, Ropingdown.

          But as the ten mike was a red-headed stepchild in the family already (only weapon of that caliber), the additional hassle of building up a single-weapon stock of ammo which was not available locally didn’t appeal to me.

          In the interest of streamlining I have done away with all but my absolute favorites in the more esoteric calibers… which showed an unusual amount of foresight on my part considering the difficulties acquiring gun food as of late. It’s hard enough to feed the 45s already.

        3. avatar APBTFan says:

          Underwood Ammo has a load using a 135 gr Nosler at an honest and consistent 1,600 fps. Great ammo at great prices.

    2. avatar Evan says:

      I’d be there with you if quality ammo was easy to find. When I say quality, I mean properly loaded 10mm. Not 10mm loaded down to 40s&w specs. Otherwise pic your poison with the other calibers in an semi auto. I love my 1911, and I shoot it very well, but it’s not what’s riding on my hip right now. It’s a glock in 9mm.

      1. avatar AZ47 says:

        a Glock 20 rides on my hip every day. concealed IWB. I have no complaints. and I carry a mag of Doubletap hard cast and a mag of 200gr buffalo bore. 30rds of massive power in the most reliable handgun I know of. I don’t bitch about the size or weight and no one has ever noticed it, so it seems concealability isn’t a big issue.

  14. avatar disthunder says:

    I got a good chuckle out of the whole thing, even the scientology jab.
    But everywhere it legally can, my 1911 commander is still going with me.

  15. avatar brian says:

    The one thing nobody seems to mention when talking about .45 is that the 1911 is a thin gun. What you lose in capacity you gain in compactness.

    And in the slave states, if I’m magazine limited, I’d rather have 7 or 8 in .45 with a spare mag than 10 9mm and no spare.

    (Vagary of the new law in CT – can’t carry any LCM’s as spares, even if downloaded to 10 – so if you don’t have or can’t get 10 round mags for your favorite piece, you’re underarmed.)

    1. avatar Dazen Cloud says:

      Why would you have an extra mag of 45 but not 9mm, now your not making any since. There are also 9mm 1911’s and single stack 9mms just as thin if not thinner than the 1911.

      1. avatar brian says:

        A bit more info – I live in Connecticut. We are allowed to own magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, but we can’t take them out of the house when not in a pistol unless they are empty and locked up. And when they are in the pistol, they are limited to 10 rounds. So if you have (say) an M&P 9mm full size with its factory 17 round mags, you’re carrying a regular mag underloaded with 10 bullets and one in the chamber. And no spare.

        And since 10 round mags are as rare as hen’s teeth, that’s ll you’re getting.

        But if you buy a 1911 that comes with 2 or 3 mags, you can carry both of them and the one in the gun, fully loaded. Same with a single-stack 9mm, really.

        But one big reason people go with 9mm compact or full size is the double-stack mags are anywhere from 10-17 rounds as opposed to the single-stack 1911 mag at 7 or 8.

        1. avatar MN Matt says:

          I see your logic now. And that law is retarded. But I suppose that’s old news…

  16. avatar tdiinva says:

    Ultimately the reason I carry a 1911 is that I have been shooting one for ever and it is the most accurate handgun for me.

    1. avatar janitor says:

      makes sense, shoot what you know and what you can handle…rule one, have gun….

  17. avatar dwb says:

    I’ve seen 150lb deer go 200 yards after being shot almost point blank with a slug. I have also seen videos of people surviving two+ .45 acp to the chest. Statistically, about 80% of handgun shots are survived. The body is an amazing thing, you can survive for quite a while on adrenaline alone. If you want to stop a mammal “instantly” you have to shoot it in the head, which is pretty darn hard to do on your best day. I personally think the weapon with the most “stopping power” is the one you are best able to wield effectively in a stressful situation. Or: a .50 BMG.

    The video is funny though.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      I don’t agree. I’ve shot 3 whitetail deer at 30-80 yards with Hornady LeverEvolution 325 grain .45-70 for a Marlin XLR Each deer was shot through the heart, or through the heart / shoulder. Each deer was knocked down with the single hit, and not one got up or took a step.

      The .45-70 isn’t a “death ray,” but my friend who hunts with me just bought one as well. We hunt on a 40+ acre plot in WI, and a deer who hops the property fence is probably a lost deer. I’ve had heart shot deer go about 75 yards with a .30-06, but then again, all this stuff is campfire talk.

      Also I’ve got to add that the single deer I shot with a .454 handgun loaded with the 200 grain Hornady JHP at 2000 FPS from a beautiful Ruger revolver also dropped immediately with a lung shot.

      I’ve not done anything with the .45 ACP other than punch paper or bowling pins. I like the capacity of the .40, but the 9mm and .45 are both legit. Were I stuck with a diminished capacity magazine I would pack a .45. The wife will eventually get a 9mm or .380 because she is recoil sensitive. Nothing in my experience points to a .45 bullet at less than 1000 FPS being a “death ray,” or a good 9mm JHP as being inadequate.

      1. avatar dwb says:

        Shot placement. I have also had deer only go only 5 yards when shot with my bow. A perp is not going to stand still and give you a clean shot like a deer. I gotta plan and assume the best shot in a stressful situation will be my worst shot in the field.

        1. avatar Mosinfan says:

          Well said.

        2. avatar tdiinva says:

          Shot placement is another one of those “amateur” concepts. Shot placement is not independent of the round used. Good shot placement with a 50BMG round covers a much larger area and volume than a 22LR round.

        3. avatar dwb says:

          sure, or a hand grenade. but indoors, with kids in the next room presents constraints. outdoors, well, i can squeeze a mossburg in my shorts but thats about it.

      2. avatar Carry.45 says:

        Get her a damn fine .380 then. Any of the pocket .380’s have substantial recoil. Now if you’re thinking a somewhat more substantial design the Walther PPK is a hell of a shooter. Has your wife shot a .45?

        1. avatar Matt in TX says:

          I would also point you toward a Walther pk380. Big enough to suck up recoil, small enough to hide easily. Mine is my truck gun.
          My Ruger LCP (so easy to hide) is a real hand stinger with hotter ammo. But, when weather and clothing work together, I carry an XD .45 compact.

        2. avatar Accur81 says:

          She’s shot .40, .22 LR, 5.56, 12 gauge trap loads, and 6.8 SPC. I’ll definitely have her try a variety of options, but she doesn’t like the .40 (Glock 27) or the 6.8 (CMMG M4 LEP II piston / Magpul MOE lower) due to the recoil. I may put the question up to TTAG readers, because I appreciate good advice. She currently has a Taser C2.

        3. avatar Mosinfan says:

          I carry a Sig P232 stainless. Great gun for medium to small hands, conceals well, and it’s the one I’m most accurate with.

        4. avatar Carry.45 says:

          I was thinking a p238. I have no familiarity with that one. If it works for you that’s the best gun in the world. I like te looks of yours way better though. I just looked it up. Hadn’t heard of it before.

        5. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Accur81, I have a SIG P238, and it is by far the most comfortable shooting of all the .380’s I tested. I actually didn’t have a chance to shoot one before I bought it, so it was more or less a leap of faith, but I shot nearly a dozen others. The S&W Bodyguard was my “intended purchase” until I shot it and hated it. Even after a single mag I was already feeling a bruise in the web of my hand. I can shoot my SIG comfortably until my wallet groans. Everyone who has shot my P238 has loved it (for what it is, of course (i.e. “not a .45”)).

          That said, it is the 1911 manual of arms, which means external safety, and for some people, that’s a dealbreaker. If it’s not, I recommend you get one in your (her) hands before making your (her) decision.

          I’d send you mine, but I carry it every day.

        6. avatar Carry.45 says:

          By the time I was done pulling the trigger the first time on the bodyguard the muzzle was pointed about thirty degrees off. I noticed it and corrected of course but goddamn it was unnerving. Long long pull

        7. avatar Matt in FL says:

          My issue with the Bodyguard was that the profile of the grip where it hits the web of your hand is basically a square with the corners radiused a bit. The gun is very thin, so I understand why it’s built that way, but it just wasn’t comfortable. The Kahr P380 is built similarly. In contrast, the backstrap of the P238 is a continuous curve into the scales on either side. Although the Kel Tec P3AT doesn’t have scales, it has a similarly comfortable curve to the backstrap, but since it’s so light (basically half the weight of the loaded P238), it still smacks your hand pretty smartly when you shoot it.

        8. avatar jwm says:

          A81, my vote is for the Sig P238 also. It is an excellent pistol and should serve her well. The Beretta 84? .380 is also a winner. But i believe the Sig isn’t quite as bulky feeling to me.

  18. avatar WarsawPactHeat says:

    Confidence in one’s ability to shoot and experience with one’s weapon is key, regardless of caliber. I disagree with the caliber debate to a large extent and do agree that some may place more confidence in a cartridge’s stopping power than they do in the competence they demonstrate with their weapon.

  19. avatar Davis Thompson says:

    F=MA.

    1. avatar Thomas Paine says:

      PV=nRT

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        PV = k

        1. avatar Lucas D. says:

          Uh… E=MC2!

    2. avatar Ropingdown says:

      The complication, of course, is that F does not equal effect on the perp. It’s just another factor with impact point, bullet design, diameter of permanent wound cavity, and robustness of the perp.

      1. avatar Ropingdown says:

        Davis: Oops, I missed it. Did you really mean MA=F as in Massachusetts people wanting a full-spectrum carry permit are F’d? Maybe F=NYC also seems like a law of nature?

        1. avatar Mosinfan says:

          +1

  20. avatar MIKE B says:

    its all about location location location, cant take a man down if u dont hit him, and hit him in the right place.

    1. avatar Mosinfan says:

      +1

  21. avatar O.E says:

    I carry .50 roundball with 80 grain of BlackPowder slaving its fart ass stank off behind all that hurt.

    I also dont register nor beg the man for access to my salvation, unlike the J.Moses Browning cabal.

  22. avatar Carry.45 says:

    .

  23. avatar Kevin says:

    This wouldn’t be any fun if we couldn’t argue about calibers!
    How many gun rag articles about what’s better. That said, with practice anything more than a 22 will get it done.

    Now, you also want to make the biggest hole. That means 45acp.
    Really, why leave the house weak and under gunned when the 45 is available.

  24. avatar Nobby says:

    Yawn.

  25. avatar John C says:

    I’m g2g with a 1911 or a 44. special or magnum. Many Medal of Honors earned with the 1911.

    If I could carry a Browning 50 cal machine gun, that would be my first choice.

  26. avatar janitor says:

    im sure the wife could shoot all manner of “man stopper” but she seems to be more on target with 9mm. so i got 9mm. evidence suggest that if you start sending rounds down range at a baddie regardless of caliber they typically leave quickly….they dont stop and ask if its a 22 or 45. because if its only a 22, they are still gonna rob you. do a quick search on all the defensive gun use vids here and i bet you 90% of the time if the perp isnt discharged to jesus they make a hasty retreat.

  27. avatar Bob says:

    Ehat they call high capacity magazines we should call:
    From sixpack70: free state capacity magazines

    They can play games with word well so can we.

    1. avatar O.E says:

      Winner!

  28. avatar Blake says:

    Dead from a good looking firearm (1911) versus dead from an ugly firearm (Glock) still equals dead. If you’re alive after the encounter and the bad guy is dead, then you brought along the perfect gun for the situation.

  29. avatar Ken says:

    You carry what you want. I’ll carry what I want. Beyond that, both of us STFU.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      Well, that seems unnecessarily dickish. Why are you here, if not to take part in the conversation?

      1. avatar Shenandoah says:

        He’s being a fun sponge.

        1. avatar Carry.45 says:

          Tampon maybe? No offense meant ladies present

        2. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          Oh man, fun sponge! I’m enjoying that more than I should be.

      2. avatar Ken says:

        That WAS my taking part in the conversation. Geez, can’t a guy have a little fun now and then??

  30. avatar Paul53 says:

    You can shoot paper, cans, my neighbors yappy little white dog (please, please, please) and ballistic gelatin all day long. You aint got squat (but I could get some sleep). After 30 years as a paramedic and trauma RN, trust me that the 3 most important factors when shooting for self defense are location, location, location! Adrenalin causes the body to reroute circulation to the organs most needed for survival. The quickest kill shot is the central nervous system: the alleged brain or spinal column. Heart, lungs, and muscles are next. Everything else has decreased blood supply and will take much longer to stop the action. Everybody can choose for themselves, but if I’m attacked I don’t want to wait for the DB to die of a wound infection. I carry 15 rounds of 9mm, in the gun I shoot best. The more I shoot, the better chance of hitting something important. For me, carrying 15 rounds of .45 is impractical, but would be nice. While there are many aspects and variables in firearms for self defense, I’d say location is at least 90% of the job. I have my Kevlar jock strap on, so let’s hear how wrong I am.

    1. avatar Thomas Paine says:

      winner.

      1. avatar Paul53 says:

        Thanks for the positives. Had a patient get a .22 through the forehead. X-rayed his head and the bullet had fragmented or left pieces as it bounced around. X-ray looked like the stars at night there were so many white spots.
        Had an 18 year old put a .38 to one side of his head and fire. Bullet went strait through and out the other side. He’d lobotomized himself! No active mental function, but he was breathing, heart beating, vital signs pretty good without assistance. Made a great organ donor.
        Had a teenager with a .22 rifle shoot at a deputy. Deputy returned fire. Hit him once in the buttock, once in the opposite lower leg. Both rounds cut the same nerve, the one that allows you to lift your foot to make a right angle at the ankle. Kid got permanent foot drop on both legs. Weird!

    2. avatar WLCE says:

      hmmmm, another medical professional that sums up experience that it really doesnt matter if the wound is 9mm, 40, 45, 357 sig, etc.

      imagine that! it must be a nationwide conspiracy against the 45 ACP

    3. avatar Matt in TX says:

      Old trauma tech in xray. I agree. It is very easy to damage a human body. It is very hard to damage it enough to shut it down completely. We are made to take damage and keep going.

      1. avatar Gyufygy says:

        So fragile, yet so resilient. An amazing machine, the human body, and non-human bodies, as well!

  31. avatar Tom W. says:

    Lots of folks in prison (and out) ask rapper .50 cent,,,,, about all those 9mm scars they have, yet I own two 9’s and have seen ammo technology greatly improve and just celebrate diversity. Right down to my Kel-Tec .380 with Speer Gold. Practice the wall drill, hits in any caliber matter. And yes, for the zombie apocolypse, a G21 in 45 is on the must grab.
    Jus’ sayin’

    1. avatar jwm says:

      A lot of people get shot with a lot of guns of different makes and calibers. Most people shot with a pistol survive. Regardless of caliber. That has more to do with EMS and trauma centers than it does the effectiveness of the caliber in question.

      If the zombie apacolypse starts people that would have survived in better times will die because medical care will be impaired as well as all services during the apocalypse.

      It can become a numbers game in surviving the tribulations that may come. Carry 50 rounds of .45 or 100 of 9mm.

      1. avatar Paul53 says:

        FWIW, in 30 years all the GSW’s I saw were handgun or shotgun. Never once a long gun wound.

      2. avatar Carry.45 says:

        Ya man zombie apocalypse might even mean carrying a .22. No need for size if you need a headshot. A .22 will go through a 4×4 so I wouldn’t be worried.

  32. avatar cj texas says:

    I think Mr. Noir needs to do a video on people who argue endlessly about calibers and who take youtube videos way too seriously. Find a gun that you will carry all the time and shoot well and you will be further ahead of the curve than you think.

    1. avatar Ropingdown says:

      cj, none this stuff is serious. There might be some facts in there, but the spirit of the thing is more like playing poker online with regulars.

  33. avatar DJC1012 says:

    After trying to decide what caliber pistol to buy for the drawer beside my bed…
    I’m going to buy a .45 tomorrow!
    Not because of anything I read in this amusing thread though. I was poking around in a friend’s garage trying to help him set up for yard sale. I was opening tons of boxes that hadn’t seen light in, who knows how long, and lo … there they were … 12 boxes of 50 rounds .45 ACP 1911 military issue from ’74-’76.
    He just gave them to me for helping him. I tried , no seriously, honestly, to pay him but he said “no”.
    So how could I not buy the appropriate hardware?
    Glock I think, given the “number of rounds” issue discussed herein.

    Oh yeah …
    Then I pulled back this tarp and there was a 62 ‘vette in mint condition …

    (just kidding about the ‘vette)

  34. avatar Jeh says:

    It depends on the person for the most part. A guy carrying a .22 can be more confident then one carrying a .45 if he knows he’s good with it. It also matters where you hit, a shot to the heart is more effective then one to the leg, and in terms of using a certain caliber, a .45 is technically better then most pistol rounds. Gel tests (for example) that repeatedly show a larger wound with a .45 then say a .9mm cant be wrong.

    1. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Your shot placement with a .9mm would need to be SPECTACULAR..

      1. avatar Swarf says:

        Perhaps, but I’d rather be packing my Kel-Tec BBQ with 832 rounds of .9 than 7 rounds of .45 any day.

  35. avatar Joseph says:

    I carry a .45 most all the time, except off duty (LC9), and even then if venturing into areas of Houston. However, I know from personal experience as well as from experiences of some fellow officers that it is not a death ray. Hey, it’s a HANDGUN round.

    1. avatar Ropingdown says:

      Aside: In my experience LEO’s much prefer people to arm with a handgun. The target usually doesn’t die. LEO’s seem much less eager to have shotguns come out, because it screws up the municipality’s homicide statistics.

      1. avatar dwb says:

        That’s interesting, I never thought of it like that.

  36. avatar NWGlocker says:

    I need more popcorn.

    Carrying a 45 would make me less confident than the person carrying a long gun.

  37. avatar Michiganjedi says:

    I used to debate and read about this issue endlessly and have carried everything from 380 to 45 colt. I’ve read much of Cooper’s commentary and love for the 45 (and disdain for the 9mm and the poodle shooting 5.56) and I have Elmer Keith’s books (Hell I was there and Sixguns) where he was a favorite for 44 mag/44 spl. But I carry a 9mm. Stephen Camps articles on the matter were the turning point for me.
    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/Have%20No%20Faith.htm
    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/9mm%20vs%2045.htm
    And really, if 9mm or 380 are so harmless and ineffective, would you like to take a hit w/one??

  38. avatar Lucas D. says:

    Okay, Colion, you want a practical, non-hyperbole reason why I carry a .45 instead of a 9mm? Because I can still feed it. I’m down to one box left of 9mm white box, so I can’t practice enough with it anymore.

  39. avatar Richard says:

    Your one those people now live in state does allow have more than seven rounds in you gun. So which rath have 45acp that care issue one or two rounds or 9mm may use all seven round stop some one from killing you. Now make issue harder live state that think hollow points are evil well not allow you use them defend your self. The stoping power history 9mm ball ammo sucks becuase enough mass do damge where 45acp history little better.

  40. avatar csmallo says:

    If you don’t want to carry a .45/.44, then a Super 38 is always a manly choice.

  41. avatar JDuke says:

    I carry a .45 most of the time, but that’s because I love the 1911, not because I drink the Koolaid. I think .380 and above are all good SD choices.

  42. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    I love my 44 mag and 45’s, but I would prefer to carry one of my S&W 500’s if they weren’t so damn big. I also like my Glock 19, but I now mainly carry the S&W 642 because it’s light, accurate and always dependable. I’ve never had a stovepipe or misfeed or any type of jam with the 642, and that’s what you really need in a carry or home defense gun.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      The 642 is one wicked little machine. My pocket feels so empty without one. It’s 15 ounces of pure comfort.

  43. avatar AZ47 says:

    I don’t think choosing a caliber is about being over confident. it’s about COMFORT. if I carried a .380 with 6rd capacity, I’d be concerned it might not be sufficient. reliability and manipulation are also major factors. carrying a Glock allows me to feel comfortable that if I pull the trigger, it will send rounds down range. 15 high velocity 10mm rounds that will make devistating wound channels. it’s a comforting feeling of security.

  44. avatar Andy says:

    I’ve carried or carry about every caliber out there. The one study I’ve seen that sheds any light on this issue would indicate that the .357 magnum is perhaps the best stopper out there but they will all do the job. The advances in bullet design over the last several decades pretty much negates the bullet diameter issue.

    1. avatar Matt in TX says:

      BINGO! 20 years ago the anemic 380 ACP was almost a joke. Modern bullet tech makes me confident that this round will do the job. Because of this I can carry more often, when my (wait for it) .45 is too big/bulky.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        The .380 requires a little more research into ammunition, though. I was carrying Critical Defense in my .40, so when I got my .380 I picked up the same thing. After doing a bunch of reading and YouTube video watching, I decided that CD is not the best choice in .380. Test after test showed incomplete and inconsistent expansion compared to the same round in .40. I’ve since switched to Federal Hydra-Shok because those seemed to have the best, most consistent results from the reading I did. There may be yet a better round out there that I haven’t discovered yet, but I did see a clear difference between those two, enough to make me decide to make the switch.

  45. avatar chuck says:

    .357 for me but you still have to put the bullet in the right spot. Too much noise and muzzle flash at night, though. Is the .357 Sig any better in this respect? I have never fired one.

    1. avatar Matt in TX says:

      Big flash and big bang. No difference.

      1. avatar Lucas D. says:

        Recoil is marginally softer with a .357 SIG because the pistol absorbs some of it to cycle the action, but for the most part if you can handle one you’re okay with the other.

    2. avatar BlinkyPete says:

      Packaging, if we’re comparing .357 mag to .357 sig. Similar performance, but you’ll find many more semi autos that can take .357 sig. Plus, there are many popular brands that can easily swap between .357 sig, 9mm and .40 with just a barrel change.

    3. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

      TO: chuck
      RE: .357 mag

      ….you still have to put the bullet in the right spot. — chuck

      Heh.

      Why bother with having to ‘put the bullet in the right spot’? When one bullet in almost any part of the body will put the poor sap down?

      Regards,

      Chuck(le)
      [.45 cal, because it’s just silly to have to shoot somebody twice.]

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        “Why bother with having to ‘put the bullet in the right spot’? When one bullet in almost any part of the body will put the poor sap down?”

        Because it just doesn’t work that way in the real world, you screaming nincompoop. Do the world a favor, and stay away from gun counters where you might influence new gun owners with your nonsense.

        1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: Matt in FL
          RE: More Mere Stupidity

          Because it just doesn’t work that way in the real world, you screaming nincompoop. Do the world a favor, and stay away from gun counters where you might influence new gun owners with your nonsense. — Matt in FL

          Actually, winning in battle DOES ‘work that way in the real world’.

          You don’t care for that? Sounds like—as we call it in the Army—a ‘personal problem’.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          P.S. Picked up another .45 ACP at the Tanner Gun Show in Denver yesterday.

        2. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Who said anything about “winning in battle?”

          I was referring to your “one bullet in almost any part of the body will put the poor sap down” bullshit. That’s Hollywood talking.

          Of course, I’m probably wrong, and given your vast and varied military experience, you’ve probably personally seen people get thrown 10 feet backwards from being shot, too.

      2. avatar WLCE says:

        “Why bother with having to ‘put the bullet in the right spot’?”

        Because even 45 ACP doesnt kill with one shot you F^CKING IGNORANT DOUCHENOZZLE

        1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: WLCE
          RE: ‘Ignorant’? Moi?

          ….you F^CKING IGNORANT DOUCHENOZZLE — WLCE

          You talk’n to me?

          If you are, you’re ‘projecting’.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [The Truth will out….one way or another…..]

        2. avatar WLCE says:

          Im telling you that youre being a ignorant douchenozzle because such a statement is pure idiocy.

          the fact is that you have to put the bullet in the right spot with a 45 ACP too.

  46. avatar PPs43 says:

    Here’s an argument in favor of more bullets and less caliber from someone who knows.

    From Doug Ross Journal
    Sunday, May 26, 2013
    SHHH, NO ONE TELL CUOMO OR BLOOMBERG: Why one police officer carries 145 rounds of ammo with him every day

    After a gun battle that changed his life, Sergeant Timothy Gramins dramatically upped the amount of ammunition he carries with him each and every day on the job. And no one tell the aspiring dictators Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg of New York: but Gramin also carries multiple high-capacity magazines.

    An expert marksman, Gramins expended 43 rounds (of 47 he routinely carried), before taking down a single assailant. The murderous perp simply would not stop attacking, despite being shot 14 times with .45-cal ammo — including six hits in supposedly fatal locations.

    The most threatening encounter in Gramins’ nearly two-decade career with the Skokie (Ill.) PD north of Chicago came on a lazy August afternoon prior to his promotion to sergeant, on his first day back from a family vacation. [He heard an alert] that a male black driving a two-door white car had robbed a bank at gunpoint in another suburb 11 miles north and had fled… Unknown at the time, the suspect, a 37-year-old alleged Gangster Disciple, had vowed that he would kill a police officer if he got stopped.

    …He was scarcely up to highway speed when he spotted a lone male black driver in a white Pontiac Bonneville and pulled alongside him. “He gave me ‘the Look,’ that oh-crap-there’s-the-police look, and I knew he was the guy,” Gramins said… The next thing he knew, bullets were flying. “That was four years ago,” Gramins said. “Yet it could be ten seconds ago.”

    With Gramins following close behind, siren blaring and lights flashing, the Bonneville zigzagged through traffic and around corners into a quite pocket of single-family homes a few blocks from the exit. Then a few yards from where a 10-year-old boy was skateboarding on a driveway, the suspect abruptly squealed to a stop.

    “He bailed out and ran headlong at me with a 9 mm Smith in his hand while I was still in my car,” Gramins said.

    The gunman sank four rounds into the Crown Vic’s hood while Gramins was drawing his .45-cal. Glock 21.

    “I didn’t have time to think of backing up or even ramming him,” Gramins said. “I see the gun and I engage.”

    Gramins fired back through his windshield, sending a total of 13 rounds tearing through just three holes.

    A master firearms instructor and a sniper on his department’s Tactical Intervention Unit, “I was confident at least some of them were hitting him, but he wasn’t even close to slowing down,” Gramins said.

    The gunman shot his pistol dry trying to hit Gramins with rounds through his driver-side window, but except for spraying the officer’s face with glass, he narrowly missed and headed back to his car.

    Gramins, also empty, escaped his squad — “a coffin,” he calls it — and reloaded on his run to cover behind the passenger-side rear of the Bonneville.

    Now the robber, a lanky six-footer, was back in the fight with a .380 Bersa pistol he’d grabbed off his front seat. Rounds flew between the two as the gunman dashed toward the squad car.

    Again, Gamins shot dry and reloaded.

    “I thought I was hitting him, but with shots going through his clothing it was hard to tell for sure. This much was certain: he kept moving and kept shooting, trying his damnedest to kill me.”

    In this free-for-all, the assailant had, in fact, been struck 14 times. Any one of six of these wounds — in the heart, right lung, left lung, liver, diaphragm, and right kidney — could have produced fatal consequences…“in time,” Gramins emphasizes.

    …reaching either [of his long guns in the trunk] was impractical. Gramins did manage to get himself to a grassy spot near a tree on the curb side of his vehicle where he could prone out for a solid shooting platform.

    The suspect was in the street on the other side of the car. “I could see him by looking under the chassis,” Gramins recalls. “I tried a couple of ricochet rounds that didn’t connect. Then I told myself, ‘Hey, I need to slow down and aim better.’ ”

    When the suspect bent down to peer under the car, Gramins carefully established a sight picture, and squeezed off three controlled bursts in rapid succession.

    Each round slammed into the suspect’s head — one through each side of his mouth and one through the top of his skull into his brain. At long last the would-be cop killer crumpled to the pavement.

    The whole shootout had lasted 56 seconds, Gramins said. The assailant had fired 21 rounds from his two handguns. Inexplicably — but fortunately — he had not attempted to employ an SKS semi-automatic rifle that was lying on his front seat ready to go.

    Gramins had discharged 33 rounds. Four remained in his magazine… Two houses and a parked Mercedes in the vicinity had been struck by bullets, but with no casualties…

    Before the shooting, Gramins routinely carried 47 rounds of handgun ammo on his person, including two extra magazines for his Glock 21 and 10 rounds loaded in a backup gun attached to his vest, a 9 mm Glock 26.

    Now unfailingly he goes to work carrying 145 handgun rounds, all 9 mm. These include three extra 17-round magazines for his primary sidearm (currently a Glock 17), plus two 33-round mags tucked in his vest, as well as the backup gun. Besides all that, he’s got 90 rounds for the AR-15 that now rides in a rack up front.

    What the Statist fails to understand is that the law-abiding citizen deserves every bit of protection that a police officer does. Because if the citizen can’t be trusted with firearms, why should the government?

    1. avatar Mosinfan says:

      He ended the fight with a head shot. Could have been done with a .50 BMG or .22lr. Or anything in between.

  47. avatar the last Marine out says:

    The pistol at best is only a last resort(better that Nothing) for SHTF the rifle is a must, shotguns second best, hits count the most, head shots are best, heart shots second best ! why? as the man said people can be shot with 308Win or 3006 Spring. and still kill you if close enough , they may die in 20 seconds but still kill you. the worst is people on drugs … seeing even the 556 Nato can kill with one shot, but i seen people get shot 15 to 20 times with 556 Nato 55 g. FMJ and still keep running … AS they say … it’s not written in stone…The 58 mi. in our civil war was very deadly, than again people still lived with more than one hit. the man ask what you carry , it’s what can you cover the best in CCW carry , and winter coats allow you to carry a full size 1911 45 and a backup , but summer dress even a 22 mag . is better than nothing..

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      The Minie ball was the most deadly round every fired from a military rifle. The only difference modern surgical techniques would make is in the post amputation survival rate.

  48. avatar Ralph says:

    I asked the opinion about caliber effectiveness from some people who had been shot with .45s, .40s, 9mm, .38 spl and even the .380. I didn’t get any answers since they were all dead.

    Man, I hate talking to dead people.

  49. avatar Joe says:

    Here is a simple test. Hold a 9mm in one hand and a .45 in the other and ask yourself, “Which would I rather be shot with?”

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      Which doesn’t take into account that the smaller one would be moving ~40% faster.

    2. avatar Ropingdown says:

      Is there a test for whether a blond or brunette is better? Mary Ann or Ginger? Single Malt or Cognac? Why drown in the paradox of choice? They’re all good. But let me tell you why Mary Ann is the one……

      1. avatar The Original Brad says:

        Agree Mary Ann wins. All natural, down-home, practical. Ginger was too high maintenance and those tend to be so across the board, in public and in bed.

        Wait, what were we talking about? Oh yeah, the .45 or whatever.

  50. avatar Dracon1201 says:

    If I can place a .45 and 9mm the same way, and the guns hold 13 and 15 respectively, then why wouldn’t I pick the .45?

  51. avatar Carry.45 says:

    I carry a .45 because I shoot the 1911 the most accurately and quickly. Plus it adds about 2.5 inches to my wang. Win win

    1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

      Hahahahahaha… I hope I die long before juvenile humor stops being funny.

      1. avatar Carry.45 says:

        My grandfather was a plumber. If he’s any indication it doesn’t stop.

      2. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

        Heh….

        …I and all the women in my family—spouse and two adult daughters—pack .45 ACPs, with Crimson Tracer laser targeting systems.

        That’s not ‘juvenile’. That’s reality.

        1. avatar Carry.45 says:

          He’s not talking about that. Read the whole thing before you go saying things that make you look foolish.

        2. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: Carry.45
          RE: He’s Talk’n about What???!?!

          He’s not talking about that. Read the whole thing before you go saying things that make you look foolish. — Carry.45

          If he’s not talking about the length of his penis, please explain it better.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          P.S. My longest .45 M1911 ACP is longer than anything he could whip out….unless he was some porno stud.

        3. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          Heh….

          ….my initial reply doesn’t seem to be showing up.

          Probably because of my reference to some p o r n o – s t u d business…..

          Go fig….

    2. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

      I took second place in an infantry-heavy armored combat brigade pistol competition. I swear by the M1911A1.

  52. avatar Kvjavs says:

    I’m getting really tired of the caliber debate.

  53. avatar Jacen says:

    I personally believe is all about how much recoil you can handle, what gun you are firing from and how good your training tells you are.

    1. avatar Pascal says:

      Uhm, I will say as a firearm instructor, it is much more about what gun fits you. I have seen too many women who were “pushed” into a gun that did not fit them and ditto for men as well. I recently helped one women switch from a Glock to S&W M&P 40c and her shooting improved to the point she ended our shooting session with getting 10 shots in the 10 ring from 50ft where before she was all over the place. The M&P simply fit her hands better. Just today I helped someone who had purchased a 92FS and could see he was struggling with his grip. He used my M9 with narrower back strap and Glock-like sights and his groups improved immensely.

      Too many people purchase guns because they are cool or because somebody who was an “expert” or sales person trying to make a sale versus something that fits them and for the purpose they want.

      I love my Sig 226 dearly, but to this day I can shoot my XD and Glock 21 better than any gun I own.

  54. avatar Pascal says:

    The only wrong caliber you can carry is none at all. However, all this talk makes from some hilarious comments and posts all around the internet gun forums.

    Readers of TTAG have read posts about everything from 22lr to 45 to #00 killing bad guys dead, the only mistake you can make when a bump comes in the night is to turn around and have nothing to shoot.

    The point of Mr Colion Noir 9mm and 45 ACP spoofs is to show just how stupid the whole debate has become and to poke fun at ourselves.

    Choose whatever you want, just don’t choose not to carry.

    1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

      Choose whatever you want, just don’t choose not to carry. — Pascal

      Like a .22 short will stop a rapist or mad dog.

  55. avatar Model 31 says:

    I prefer the 9mm. Plenty lethal and before the shortage, I could practice more for less money than with the .40 and .45 which helps my placement…

    1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

      9mms are for the ignorant.

      Two incidents last year, where a 9mm caused a head shot, failed to stop the perp.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        If 9 mm is for the ignorant, I suppose you carry two?

        1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: Matt in FL
          RE: Heh

          If 9 mm is for the ignorant, I suppose you carry two? — Matt in FL

          Your continued ‘stupidity’ never ceases to amaze me.

          I carry .45 cal ACPs. So do all the women of this family.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [Stupid, adv., Ignorant and proud of it.]

      2. avatar Model 31 says:

        Well Chuck…first off the 9mm didn’t cause the shot to the head. Second, you’re pretty lite on specifics where your “two” incidents last year are concerned. Third, I can fully respect your thoughts about how effective you feel you are with a 9mm. However, many of us are very effective with the 9mm. Finally, as Mr. Farago solicited “thoughts” on the subject I had assumed each was allowed their own. Besides, a person that would charge anyone defended with a 9mm simply because its a 9 would have to be fairly ignorant of the 9’s capabilities themselves.

        1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: Model 31
          RE: Heh

          ….you’re pretty lite on specifics where your “two” incidents last year are concerned. — Model 31

          Try THIS! SFB.

          And THIS!.

          You ‘low-information’ types are beginning to become something more than a mere ‘bother’ in this country. Indeed. In my personal and professional—27 years in the infantry and Airborne, Ranger—you’re becoming a ‘threat’ to national security. Let alone yourself and your family, friends and neighbors by your stupidity.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [Be Prepared….]

          P.S. You mention who Mr. Farago solicited thoughts?

          THESE COMMENTS OF MINE HAVE BEEN MY ‘THOUGHTS’.

          You challenged me. I replied…..

        2. avatar Matt in FL says:

          The plural of anecdote is not data.

          I can find no specific information about where the home invader was hit.

          I can find no specific information about where the robber in the grocery store was hit, other than the shooter’s statement, who just said “forehead.” OK, but how? Direct, graze, what?

          Neither one of those, without further information, can be used as evidence that the .45 would have done better.

        3. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: Matt in FL
          RE: No Confirmation

          The plural of anecdote is not data.

          I can find no specific information about where the home invader was hit. — Matt in FL

          That’s because you are something along the lines of ‘evil’. That’s the worst case scenario. Otherwise you are merely ‘stupid’.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [Stupid, adv., Ignorant and proud of it.]

          P.S. About finding ‘thinks’….

          ….I doubt you could find your fourth-point-of-contact using both hands.

        4. avatar Model 31 says:

          Chuck, I admire and thank you for your service to your (our) country. I sincerely mean that.
          That being said, I’m not going to bother reading your links because as in your own words I am an “ignorant” “low-information type”. I suspect they support your statements though.

          As to the big ol’ threat I’ve become, you may be right so I’m going to sell all my guns and vote for the Democrats from now on. /sarcasm

          You are probably more knowledgeable on the subject of firearms as well as more proficient at handling them than I. However, even in my grand “ignorance” I have managed to turn a few indifferent folks toward supporting 2A rights proposals and candidates since Newtown.
          Your skills and knowledge would be invaluable should the shooting ever start. I would argue that you are not a threat to yourself or National Security, but you may be a liability to the pro-2A issue with the way you try to talk down to us that do not have the full breadth of knowledge you possess. It can be a real turn off to folks new to guns/shooting and unless the shooting starts, their votes still matter.

        5. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: Model31
          RE: Admiration

          I don’t give a flying flip about admiration, medals or letters of appreciation.

          What I DO care about is whether or not people learn to save themselves, their families, their friends and/or neigbhors.

          If you don’t quite ‘get it’, you’ve only yourself to blame for the blood on your hands.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [Be Prepared….]

        6. avatar Model 31 says:

          yea…I don’t care anymore.

        7. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: All
          RE: Heh

          yea…I don’t care anymore. — Model 31

          What can you expect from someone who doesn’t care “anymore” about their own selves, family, children, friends and neigbhors?

          In a word?

          NOTHING!

          They don’t really care about anything. Probably ‘liberals’ at heart. Murdering millions of babies every year.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [The Truth will out….eventually….]

  56. avatar Bill From Texas says:

    I carry a .380 8 rounds plus 1 7 rd mag always
    Add a 9mm 15 rds plus 2 15 mags most of the time if concealable
    and a .45 9 rds plus 2 8 rd mags when out on hunting trips
    All Sigs

    1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

      Sounds like—as we call it in the Army—a ‘personal problem’.

      Why carry all that different weaponry when ONE, i.e., the .45 cal ACP, can handle the vast majority of possible situations you find yourself in?

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        Uh… his .380 is more than enough gun for any situation I’ve ever found myself in.

        1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          Have you ever been up against someone high on ‘bathsalts’, to the point he assaults you naked and wants to eat your brains?

        2. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Have you?

  57. avatar Ropingdown says:

    I’d rather have some say in deciding which Assistant DA is going to review my case than the caliber that was instrumental in the matter.

  58. avatar DJStuCrew says:

    Lots of great (and funny) comments here. My only contribution is from my science nerd perspective. We’ve all heard about the Volkswagon and garbage truck in physics class; the damaged caused is all about mass times velocity. So a Volkswagon would have to travel twice as fast as a garbage truck into a building to do the same amount of damage. We know that .45 rounds are notoriously slow and heavy, yet they’ve been excellent “man-stoppers” since their introduction. Bullet technology, which some of y’all have addressed, runs across the board, so one caliber doesn’t really benefit any more than any other.

    What makes the 9mm so formidable is that the smaller round travels at sometimes twice the speed of the .45! So “damage” might be even greater depending on the bullet’s weight. A better example is the FN Five-seveN, which shoots a tiny speck of a round that’s smaller than your average .22, but blows it out the barrel at speeds in excess of 2,000 fps! The pistol itself holds 20 rounds, and the cartridges look like tiny necked-down rifle rounds (which is the idea). It’s this power factor, not the size of the bullet, that makes the Five-seveN so popular with the military and special forces, and such a deadly killer at Fort Hood.

    So yes, if all bullets traveled at precisely the same speed, the .45 will be the winner every time (shot placement aside). But change up the velocity and the other calibers can do just as much damage with less mass.

    Oh, and as noted with the FN pistol, a high round count is another factor. Whatever speed you throw them at, more hits are better than less! I’m a capacity snob. I carry as many rounds as my gun will hold (we can do that in Michigan so far) and I also carry more than one gun. This might be a good solution to the slave-staters who are stuck with some arbitrary round count limitation written by people who have never looked down the barrel of a thief’s pistol. Limited to revolvers? No worries — carry 2 or 3! The “New York reload” works in EVERY state!

    We now continue with your normal thread.

    1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

      TO: DJStuCrew
      RE: The ‘Garbage Truck’ Scenario

      Heh…..

      Too true. I’ve got several such driving up my alley every week.

      The city reports it loses over 200+K annually on street repair from multiple garbage services working the same ‘turf’.

      Yet the city does nothing to save the money by ‘organizing’ service.

      WHY AM I REMINDED OF THE IDIOCY OF MATT IN FL?

      Regards,

      Chuck(le)
      [The Truth will out….not that fools will admit to it…..]

    2. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      I’d take an AR carbine and it’s puny 55gr. bullet over a 1911 any day.

  59. avatar Michael says:

    .45 kills your soul

    1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

      Wrong!

      The .45 kills the body.

      Only God kills souls.

      P.S. However, if you’re shot in the foot, THEN the .45 kills your ‘sole’.

      P.P.S. Thinking on the clever play on words, i.e., ‘soul’ vis-a-vis ‘sole’, I’m reminded of my morning ‘constitutionals’, while I was still in ‘harness’. I’d be chugging along in the dark on a ‘countrified’ road in Denver and singing to myself some gospel song…..

      ….”Why so downcast oh my sole”….tongue firmly in cheek….

    2. avatar jwm says:

      Only when you try to buy a box of shells, Michael.

  60. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

    TO: Robert & All
    RE: Apologies

    Sorry not to be here at the onset of THIS discussion. We were out buying another .45 cal ACP.

    EEYEAHS!!!!

    I am a born-again .45 cal believer!

    Have been ever since I was a company armorer for a bunch of paratroopers.

    Being a professional infantry officer—having been a sergeant who had run an arms room before that, and the best one the 82d Airborne AGI said he’d ever seen—I can attest to the effectiveness of the famous US Army M1911A1, a .45 cal ACP, as THE MOST EFFECTIVE sidearm….for crew-served weapons teams and officers not expected to hoist an assault rifle.

    But don’t just rely on MY personal and professional opinion….consider the Rangers who rescued the SEAL team that went in to get Osama bin Laden during Operation ANACONDA.

    The SEALs find that their objective has ‘bugged-out’ of the hidie-hole they were told he was in. So they attempt to fly away….only to get shot down.

    Here the poor SEALs are on some desolate knoll crying for HELP!!!!

    The high command sends in another chopper with a platoon of Rangers on board to extract them from their dire predicament.

    The rescue efforts chopper gets shot down.

    So now both the SEALs and their erstwhile rescuring Rangers are stuck on the same desolate knoll fending off the approaching Taliban, keen on wiping out the offending infidels.

    Well….as it turned out, the SEALs were apparently all sporting ‘official’, read that as ineffective, miiltary firearms. We’re talking 9mm/.38 cal crap.

    Meanwhile the Ranges had their standard issue ‘long-gun’. But they’d also self-armed themselves with the famous .45 cal ACPs, as opposed to the POS PC Berreta 9mm.

    When the dust had settled and they were counting the LAST MEN STANDING, it was reported in the After Action Review (AAR), i.e., debriefing, that the only thing that saved the SEALs and Rangers was the .45 cal ACPs the Rangers HAD EQUIPPED THEMSELVES WITH.

    The Taliban dead they inspected on the battlefield were all high on QAT, a popular drug in the region. The drug caused them to ‘fight-on’ after being hit by the miserable bullets fired from 5.56 and 9mm weapon.

    The only thing that put them down and they STAYED DOWN was the round from the .45 cal ACP.

    RE: The Moral of This Story

    If you want to save your life against the most ‘determined’ opponent, the .45 cal IS YOUR BEST OPTION!

    No IFs, ANDs or BUTs about it.

    RE: Other Examples

    There’s the incident at some quick-service facility where some CCW carrier stopped an armed robber, armed with a shotgun. He emptied his 9mm of 13 rounds. Hit the perp several times: chest and head.

    The perp FLED!?!??!?!

    The case of the single-mother with daughters hiding in an attic. The home invader didn’t want the electronics. He wanted the women.

    When he stuck his head up through the attic access. she emptied her 6-shooter .38 spl at him. Hit him FIVE TIMES, HEAD AND NECK.

    He told her not to shoot him again, backed out, walked out and drove away.

    In my professional opinion anything less than what starts with a “.4 cal” is worthless. And I have doubts about the mere .40 cal/10mm.

    If you’re in it for the ‘win’…..the only sidearm is the .45 cal.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [.45 cal, because it’s just silly to have to shoot somebody twice.]

    1. avatar WLCE says:

      TO: Chucklef^ck
      RE: LMAO!!!

      are you shitting me!? LMAO!!!

      so the 1911 with seven shots of 45 ACP was more effective than fifteen of the 9mm M9 beretta???

      bullshit.

      You obviously have never read about the Mk 262 or Mk 318 either when it pertains to 5.56. It is anything but a “miserable little round”.

      The difference between 9mm and 45 is minimal. BTW, elite units carry 9mms for that very reason.

      FLAME DELETED
      WLCE

      P.S. http://www.mdtstraining.com/Wound_Ballistics_101.pdf

      P.P.S. Ask a trauma surgeon, doctor, or EMT the difference between the 9mm, 40, and 45 wound channels.

      P.P.P.S. http://www.wafb.com/Global/story.asp?S=4527526

      P.P.P.P.S. http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/handgun-stopping-power

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        WLCE, you’re wasting your time. This guy is delusional. Out of his mind, batshit, looney-tunes, unhinged, nuts.

        Nevermind the fanatical devotion to the .45’s superiority in the face of all evidence to the contrary, there are several places where his responses to others (mostly me) have had nothing whatsoever to do with the subject at hand. For instance, this comment and his response, where I said I couldn’t find specific information about something, and his response indicating that my inability to find that information made me “evil” or maybe just “stupid.” OK, I get stupid, but evil? Really?

        And then, when he ran out of slightly less batshit crazy things to say, he resorted to the old standby of calling me “jealous.” Of what, I don’t know. But clearly I’m jealous of it.

        As I said, you’re wasting your time. You can post comments that make him look dumb, or you can just let him continue to do it to himself.

        1. avatar WLCE says:

          Oh come on.

          You know its like a cat playing with a mouse. I can’t help it. 😉

          45 ACP fanboys amuse me to death.

    1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

      TO: HolyDriver
      RE: More BS

      Shot placement is NOT everything.

      You shoot someone with a .22LR then you HAVE to have a headshot to a soft spot in the bone.

      You shoot someone with a .45 cal, you hit them near anywhere and the go down.

      Hope that helps….but I have SERIOUS doubts.

      Regards,

      Chuck(le)
      [The Truth will out….but not to idiots until it’s too late for them….or their loved ones…..]

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        “You shoot someone with a .45 cal, you hit them near anywhere and the go down.”

        That’s bullshit, pure and simple. And I’m not even going to stretch it into farce and say “Oh, so if you hit them in the hand, they’re gonna fall down?” Keep it confined to the torso and pick your spot. Hip, shoulder, gut, even chest, there have been people shot there with a .45 who didn’t “go down.” They may have expired eventually, but they didn’t just fall down like they do in the movies.

        I’m not saying it never happens, but to say that they’re going to fall down instantly each and every (or even most of the) time is just .45 fanboy bullshit. It just doesn’t work that way.

        Your line of bullshit is just propagating a myth that I’ve heard dozens of times at gun counters.

        Oh, and to address the original question, based on this and his several other responses pushing the same crap, I think we can say that, “Yes, carrying a .45 does make Chuck Pelto over-confident.”

        1. avatar Carry.45 says:

          Chucko is really making me rethink carrying my 1911….

        2. avatar Matt in FL says:

          As in, “I wouldn’t want to be a member of a club that would have him as a member?”

        3. avatar Carry.45 says:

          Right. Call me carry9

        4. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          Please go tell that to the Rangers who rescued the SEALs during Operation ANACONDA. Preferably in some bar after several drinks.

          Be sure your medical coverage is up to date.

        5. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Just because your strawmen might be Rangers doesn’t make them less straw-like.

        6. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          By the way….

          ….what does any of your ad homs have to do with the topic at hand?

          I’ve noticed this in you over the last little while.

          You seem to be somewhat ‘jealous’ here, in this blog. Why is that?

          [If you had a life in the first place, you’ll never have a mid-life crisis.]

        7. avatar Matt in FL says:

          I’m not jealous. There’s nothing for me to be jealous of. You’re a guy on the internet. You could be a 12 year old girl for all I know.

          My comments are very short on ad homs. I’m questioning your “facts,” like “you hit them near anywhere and they go down,” which has been shown time and again to be bullshit, right up there with “you don’t have to aim a shotgun.” The .45 is not a “lazer beem.”

          I only question YOU when you try to back up your “facts” not with evidence, but with important sounding words like Ranger and SEAL and Operation ANACONDA, trying to give your bullshit more weight by riding on the coattails of others. If you want credibility, point me to the AAR’s where the Rangers credited their survival only to “mah trusty .45.” Those were your words: “…the only thing that saved [them]…” (emphasis mine)

          SHOW me, don’t TELL me. Because as I said, you’re just some guy with a keyboard.

        8. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: Matt in FL
          RE: Jealousy, Anyone?

          Your line of bullshit is just propagating a myth that I’ve heard dozens of times at gun counters. — Matt in FL

          Go tell that to the survivors of the incident in Operation ANACONDA I cited. Some of the Rangers are probably still hanging around Benning School for Boys, training new aspirants.

          Again, I advise you to have your medical coverage paid up.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [You haven’t lived, until you’ve almost died.]

          P.S. Been there. Done that. Didn’t eve get a t-shirt for it.

        9. avatar Matt in FL says:

          It’s fine, I’m done with you (as the rest of the board breathes a sigh of relief). Your comments do a better job of undermining your credibility than I ever could, anyway.

        10. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: Matt in FL
          RE: Heh

          It’s fine, I’m done with you (as the rest of the board breathes a sigh of relief). — Matt in FL

          Don’t let the screen door hit you in the fourth-point-of-contact on your way out.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [The Truth will out…..]

        11. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: Matt in FL
          RE: ‘Over-Confidence’

          Yes, carrying a .45 does make Chuck Pelto over-confident. — Matt in FL

          I’m not ‘over-confident’ because I pack a .45 ACP.

          I AM ‘over-confident’ because I’m a born-again Christian who is also well trained and versed as an Airborne-Ranger.

          I KNOW where I’m going when I leave this ‘venue’.

          Howze about you?

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [Now is the time for every Man to take his MasterCard and buy an AR-15 and a .45 cal ACP, with plenty of ammo — The Christ at the Last Supper, paraphrased and updated]

          P.S. About ‘over-confidence’…..

          ….Confidence comes from knowing how to do things. Things like:

          • Fougas
          • Thermite
          • Conducting Ambushes
          • Leading larger groups of men in combat ops

          Do you know how to do any of this?

          And YES, DHS considers me and men trained like me to be a ‘threat’ to themselves and Obama.

          Am I ‘ashamed’??????!!!??!

          Three guesses….first two don’t count….

        12. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: All
          RE: Matt in FL & ‘Back Up’

          I only question YOU when you try to back up your “facts” not with evidence, but with important sounding words like Ranger and SEAL and Operation ANACONDA….. — Matt in FL

          This person seems to have SERIOUS problems with either (1) using the web and/or (2) facing facts.

          Shiite….I provided links to evidence supporting my reports about the ineffectiveness of 9mms in civilian combat operations.

          I’ve reported repeatedly of my brothers-in-arms defense of themselves using .45 cals.

          And yet this character can’t (1) accept my honest report or (2) do research to confirm it?

          What is WRONG with this person?

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [The Truth will out…..]

        13. avatar Carry.45 says:

          For what it’s worth, I couldn’t get through your posts. You were making my brain hurt with the things you were saying. Matt was spot on and made me laugh when he called you a nincompoop. When someone calls you that it automatically holds water. Please, If you think I’m wrong. Re-read your posts and tell me a same person could read all the way through them. Matt that may or may not say a little about you too :p

        14. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: Carry45
          RE: Can’t Quite ‘Grasp’ the Thoughts?

          For what it’s worth, I couldn’t get through your posts. You were making my brain hurt with the things you were saying. — Carry45

          What was I saying earlier about ‘thoughts’? And following such? Something about ‘low-information’ types to Matt?

          You fit it.

          I apologize for thinking above your ‘head’. But I’m a Mensan. Please don’t hate me and others of my sort because we’re a tad more intelligent than you seem to be. Just hope and pray we’re Christians at heart.

          Regards,

          Chuc(le)
          [What would you do with a brain if you had one in the first place. — Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz]

          P.S. We’re not the ‘Wizard’…..

          P.P.S. Please remember that Christians are not about ourselves. But something much higher and more benevolant…..

        15. avatar Carry.45 says:

          As a matter of fact I respect people more intelligent than me. I admire wit( something you lack). An you just had to bring up Christianity. I went to church until I was 18. The type of Christian you are is the reason I’ll never return or bring my son. He can read the bible an hour a Sunday and I’ll let him receive his own message. Wwjd brother.

        16. avatar WLCE says:

          hey chucklef^ck,

          Rangers dont carry 45s.

          The only “elite” unit that uses the 45 ACP is DEVGRU, MEU(SOC), and a Delta. Even then, SIGs, Berettas, Glock 19s and 22s were more common. Maybe its because pistols mean f^ckall in the big picture?

          Ill gladly make such a trip to such a specific location to Fort Benning to debate the 45 ACP with such a specific group of gentlemen. It wouldnt be my first time. I’ve been known to issue challenges to 45 fanboys and embarrass them with my “9mm peashooter”.

        17. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: Carry.45
          RE: You, Your Son and Christ

          It’s not my problem that you wouldn’t recognize Christ if He kissed you on the cheek.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          P.S. In the Army, we’d call it a personal problem….

          P.P.S. Maybe you should find a good Seeker church and attend their Bible study group. Preferably one for men.

          Heck. I’ll even pay for your access to my group in teleconferencing….when they reconvene from the traditional Summer hiatus. We meet Friday mornings at 0630 hrs Mountain Time. Indeed, I call in from 100 miles away. It’s the most honest-to-God Christian church I’ve ever encountered. And with 60+ years experience, I’ve encountered a LOT.

        18. avatar Carry.45 says:

          Thank you for the offer but I’m done with having someone tell me how to praise god and be a Christian. I lnow what being a christian means. I’ve been to enough churches and dealt with enough in-your-face religious fanatics to know its not for me or my family. Too judgmental. My son will read the bible and interpret it himself and with me and his mother.

        19. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: WLCE
          RE: What Rangers Carry

          Rangers dont carry 45s. — WLCE

          The Rangers that went in to rescue the SEAL team that had been shot down after attempting to take out bin Laden during Operation ANACONDA were packing their own sidearms.

          Not the stupid 9mms issued.

          Their After Action Report said that their using their personal weapons was the only thing that saved them from the hopped-up Taliban coming up the knoll to get them.

          Hope that helps…..

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [Intelligent people know what is BEST for them.]

        20. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: WLCE
          RE: 9s vs. 45s

          I’ve been known to issue challenges to 45 fanboys and embarrass them with my “9mm peashooter”. — WLCE

          What’s this? You’ve actually KILLED people in competitions over 9mm v. .45 cal?

          Interesting. Where do you live?

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived. — Marine Corps Rules for Gunfighting]

        21. avatar WLCE says:

          TO: Chucklef^ck
          RE: Horse Manure

          “The Rangers that went in to rescue the SEAL team that had been shot down after attempting to take out bin Laden during Operation ANACONDA were packing their own sidearms.”

          Packing their own sidearms???

          So tell me, how would they get their own ammunition? Which ammunition did they use? please answer the question carefully because I’m going somewhere with this.

          Also, have you checked the regulations as far as bringing personal weapons to the war zone?

          “Their After Action Report said that their using their personal weapons was the only thing that saved them from the hopped-up Taliban coming up the knoll to get them.”

          So

          1.) A 45 ACP round, with .12″ difference (the width of a fingernail) and roughly 100 joules of energy difference, not to mention a seven round magazine versus a fifteen round one in the Beretta, was enough of a difference to affect the outcome of that battle?

          2.) More of a difference to affect the outcome of the small arms engagement then long guns (M4s, etc)???

          BAHAHAHAHAAHA!

          “What’s this? You’ve actually KILLED people in competitions over 9mm v. .45 cal?”

          HAHAHAHA!!! Sure /Rolls eyes

          “I challenge you to a duel, sir” (with southern aristocratic accent) LOL!!!

          “Interesting. Where do you live?”

          Montana. And believe me, there’s no dueling here. LOL. Still have friends in Benning; we will get into a argument over 9mm and 45ACP then drink ourselves silly.

          No Regards,

          WLCE

      2. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

        TO: Carry45
        RE: Heh

        Chucko is really making me rethink carrying my 1911…. — Carry45

        As we say in the Army…..”Sounds like a personal problem.”

        But it’s no skin off of my nose if you prefer to go about ‘disarmed’.

        Regards,

        Chuck(le)
        P.S. But don’t expect intelligent men to want you in their ‘foxhole’ when the Fit Hits the proverbial Shan.

        1. avatar HolyDiver says:

          Chuck,

          Im not gonna start this off by saying what ever you wrote in the 50 string argument above me with “bullshit” like you do but as an answer to your first reply to my link i present you:

          http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/05/daniel-zimmerman/defensive-gun-use-of-the-day-small-caliber-edition-2/

          http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/03/daniel-zimmerman/defensive-gun-use-of-the-day-small-caliber-edition/

          Both Non-Head Shot related and both ended 2 dirtbags lives. I personally carry a .45 not going to say any more than its what I carry. Leave it at that. But to disregard such a caliber(any caliber for that matter) is ignorance at its finest. I can kill you with my .177 cal bb gun at 500FPS if I have correct SHOT PLACEMENT!
          Along with the other DGUs i presented to you, there was one on this site that I can not find that was the best. Exhusband threatened wife, new husband waited in living room with .22LR Rifle, ex husband forced way in, new husband plugged him, one round to the chest, Dead On Impact.

          PROOF

          And denial of such will just prove you are extremely stubborn and no offense, suffer from auto unedumacationability disease, the same that plagues our left leaning compadres of the gun grabber breed.

        2. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: HolyDiver
          RE: Bite Me, Buckie

          I could give a flip about your ‘shot placement’ arg. Just as I’ve stated to other idiots here.

          You hit someone with a .45 in their forearm, they’re going down. Not that they stay down. They could get up. But by then you’ve probably shot them again.

          Hit them in the torso and they’re likely to stay down.

          Hit them in a leg and they WILL stay down.

          The .45 cal was developed to cope with drugged up Muslims in the PIs during the Moro rebellion. It served well there. It served well against the drugged up Taliban in Afghanistan.

          You don’t like recorded results? Sounds like a personal problem.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with a “.4” — Marine Corps Rules for Gunfighting]

        3. avatar WLCE says:

          TO: Chucklef^ck
          RE: Hilarity Ensues

          1.) Did you know that any respectable civilian gunfighting course teaches “shot placement”? Did you know any experienced warfighter abides by the class of “shot placement”?

          2.) BAHAHAHAHAHA! Once again, ask a trauma surgeon if someone will get taken down with a 45 ACP to the arm. I promise he/she will laugh at you.

          There are police shootouts where a criminal was shot multiple times with a 45 ACP and was still alive and squealing. Hell, there are shootouts where they were still alive and squealing with a shotgun or rifle shot.

          “The .45 cal was developed to cope with drugged up Muslims in the PIs during the Moro rebellion. It served well there. It served well against the drugged up Taliban in Afghanistan.”

          Thats part of the story. The truth is that the 45 Colt was also ineffective. There were instances of the 30-40 krag being ineffective, and it being a rifle, it is substantially more effective than any handgun cartridge of the era.

          “You don’t like recorded results? Sounds like a personal problem.”

          It sounds to me like you have your ego invested in your caliber and gun.

          Hilarious. Don’t worry. I’ve encountered your type before.

          No Regards,

          WLCE

      3. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

        TO: Matt in FL
        RE: Heh

        Just because your strawmen might be Rangers doesn’t make them less straw-like. — Matt in FL

        May I suggest you take a trip up to Fort Benning and say that to a bunch of Rangers in some bar there.

        Regards,

        Chuck(le)
        P.S. Make CERTAIN your medical insurance is up to date. You’re going to need it.

      4. avatar BlinkyPete says:

        “You were making my brain hurt with the things you were saying.”

        Not to mention the post structure.

        Chuckles –

        You don’t need to write posts like blogs, emails or bath salt induced rants, spell check is your friend, and the Rangers are not. They told me so. Today was our monthly barbeque.

        1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: BlinkyPete
          RE: [OT] Formating Issues

          You don’t need to write posts like blogs, emails or bath salt induced rants, spell check is your friend…. — BlinkyPete

          In this sort of venue, the formating with citations works great.

          ….and the Rangers are not. — BlinkyPete

          Come here and say that to my face.

          Make sure your medical coverage is up to date.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [Guns don’t kill people…I kill people. — US Army Airborne-Ranger-Infantry]

        2. avatar Matt in FL says:

          I have come to the conclusion that I have never before in my life come into contact with someone who I am more certain is completely out of their mind. Like batshit, scary crazy.

      5. avatar WLCE says:

        ALCON,

        shot placement isn’t everything, however, we are talking about comparing 9mm to 45 and the other similar pistol cartridges. The difference between 9mm and 45 is roughly .12″ and 200 joules of energy.

        The next person who brings up the 22 lr strawman is going to get pistol whipped. Im not even kidding.

        http://www.mdtstraining.com/Wound_Ballistics_101.pdf

        1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

          TO: WLCE
          RE: TARGET!!!!

          The next person who brings up the 22 lr strawman is going to get pistol whipped. Im not even kidding. — WLCE

          Preferably with a long-barrel .45 ACP.

          Regards,

          Chuck(le)
          [The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get. — Marine Corps Rules for Gunfighting]

        2. avatar WLCE says:

          TO: Chucklef^ck
          RE: Pistol Whip

          Ill let the pistol whipper use my Colt 10mm.

  61. avatar Paul McCain says:

    I am not a caliber snob.

    I think that carrying any ammo in a caliber that include “.45ACP” in its name is a good decision.

    If you don’t, you are an idiot.

    That is all.

    😉

    1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

      There is no such think as ‘snobbery’ when it comes to personal defense.

      You either live or you die because of your ‘choice’.

  62. avatar Tom RKBA says:

    It’s called 45 Manly, not 40 Short & Weak or 9mm EuroPellet. Only 88 Magnum is better!

    1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

      Too funny……

      I like the German 88. It was a fascinating tool. But a bit heavy on the hip and hard to conceal for CCW.

      If I’m going to go above .45 cal. I prefer sporting the M79, 40mm grenade launcher.

      I was pretty good with it.

      Indeed. During the May Day Riots in DC, 1971, I was the designated grenadier for my platoon of paras from the 82d in support of the DCPD.

      My only complaint was there was no place to mount the bayonet…..

    2. avatar LongBeach says:

      That 88 magnum stuff makes me laugh every time, without fail.

  63. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    You can throw a Kleenex over all three calibers if you ask me. The original loads for the German and American armies were 124gr. @ 1150fps from a 4 inch barrel and 230gr. @ 850fps from a 5 inch barrel respectively. That gives the 45 a 4 foot pound advantage for it’s extra inch of barrel. And the 45 was going to be at 820fps but the army changed it at the last minute.

    I stick with the 9 because it’s more economic to shoot and you can pack more firepower per square inch of magazine. I do find 45s more enjoyable to shoot than 40s. But if a 9 (especially +P) won’t do it you need a 44 magnum or better yet a rifle or shotgun.

    1. avatar Chuck Pelto says:

      TO: Some Imaginary Governor of Mel Brooks Concotion
      RE: The 9’s

      You can have your 9. But don’t expect any intelligent person to wager on your chances of survival in a gunfight.

      There’s something of a difference between politically correct ‘economy’ and ‘survival’. I mean, you may save a lot of money using a 9, but how will you spend it when you’re dead?

      I’m reminded of an encounter with the 3d Brigade, 82d Abn Div, XO, when I came on duty as a 2LT SDO. He was working late when I inspected the HQ for security. He was locquacious and did a father-son talk. Told me about he was a young LT and had saved every penny he could.

      Then he was sent to Nam. Then he got shot. Then he almost died. And as he was recovering in the hospital, he realized how all the money he had saved would be spent by someone else, had he died.

      Regards,

      Chuck(le)
      P.S. I wonder what The Greek would give as odds for survival in a gunfight between 9ers and 45ers…..

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        I didn’t know the VC had .45s.

        Statistically your chances of surviving a single gunshot wound from a handgun are about 80% and your chances of surviving multiple gunshot wounds from a handgun are about 10%, so I guess that would be a point in favor of the handgun that holds more than 7 rounds.

  64. avatar Brannon says:

    The best caliber is the one(‘s) you carry on you everyday. I personally carry a 9 one day, 40 on another, and a 45 on another day. Does not matter to me. Im comfortable shooting all of them.

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