There’s been some talk of bringing back the .45 in US military circles for years – basically since the Beretta M9 was adopted. Well, for the US Marine special operators, that talk has been pretty much put to bed – at least for the time being. The Marine Times reports that Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command has officially dumped the .45 and chosen the 9mm GLOCK 19 as the issue gun for their men. Previously, the men could carry one of three approved sidearms, one being the Colt 1911, but not anymore.
Why? It has to do with money, and that the men can carry it both concealed off-duty as well as into battle in a full battle rattle.
From the Marine Corps Times:
Marines opt for the 9 mil over 45s for special operatorsFor Marine special operators, the never-ending debate over whether the 9mm or .45-caliber round is the more powerful bullet has been settled.Previously, the classic .45-caliber Colt 1911 was one of three pistols that Raiders were allowed to carry, but now the 9mm Glock 19 is the only pistol that Marine special operators can take into battle, said Maj. Nick Mannweiler, a spokesman for Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.“We put our money behind the 9mm round fired by an extremely well-trained marksman carrying a Glock 19,” Mannweiler told Marine Corps Times.
There’s all the usual blather about the GLOCK 19 satisfying the Marine operators’ needs and so forth.
Interestingly enough, the same story says the FBI is bailing out of the .40 S&W and returning to the 9mm Parabellum in its duty guns.
The arguments boil down to this: The .45-caliber round is the bigger bullet, so it has the “knock down power” to neutralize any adversary with one shot; while pistols that fire 9mm rounds are generally more accurate and can carry more bullets. Where a bullet hits the human body is also a major factor on whether it inflicts a mortal wound.
Even though the .45-caliber cartridge has more propellant, the 9mm round usually has more penetrating power because the smaller round faces less air resistance on its nose as it files through the air, said Neil Clapperton, a firearms and forensic expert with the Rhode Island State Crime Laboratory.
The .45-caliber round is also more expensive than its 9mm counterpart, Clapperton said. For all of these reasons, the FBI is moving from Smith & Wesson .40-caliber pistols back to 9mm handguns, he said.
What do you think about the Marines and the FBI returning to the 9mm?
I’m a 9mm guy myself, as I find carrying a high-cap .45 Auto – specifically my XD45 – weighs on me after 10 hours or more, especially with a pair of extra magazines. My GLOCK 19 is perfect for me with the extra ammo in a comfy holster. Others, like a good friend and former special ops warrior himself, likes to remind me that my 9mm may or may not expand to .45 caliber or more, but his .45 will never shrink.
Share your thoughts in comments!