(Atticus James) I was asked which caliber I think is best out of the 9mm, .40 S&W and the .45 ACP.
This is not an easy question for me to just flat out say one is better than the other as I own and love all three calibers. Sure the 9mm is cheap to shoot and has low felt recoil so it is fun for most all shooters. The .45 acp has that manly “I eat my steak bloody and get into boxing matches with bears” feel. The .40 S&W is a middle of the road round as it was designed to have as much of the best of both the 9mm and the .45 acp.
Before I get to what I feel is the best of the three calibers I would like to give my view points on all three
.45 ACP Review
The first caliber of the three I ever owned was a Glock 21 chambered in the .45 acp and I have shot so many rounds of .45 acp that I am very comfortable with the weight and felt recoil.
When I think of the .45acp I think of the Colt 1911 as they are both very iconic together.
Just some of my thoughts on the .45 acp
· In the middle of the cost range between the .40 and 9mm
· Heavy on the felt recoil. After firing the first shot your arms may move so much that it will take longer to get back on target for the follow up shot.
· The ammo is very common and when not in an ammo shortage very easy to find the ammo at competitive prices.
· An all around good caliber to carry as a secondary when hunting.
· Not all shooters are comfortable with the size and felt recoil of the .45.
The sizes of a lot of .45 handguns are large so they are not as easy to conceal. Not that there are not small frame .45s but when you are shooting a .45 you want to have as much grip on that firearm as possible.
The 9mm is a good all around caliber. The round is not a clear winner to me in any one category so I believe the round should be looked at overall rather than broken down.
The round can have improved ballistics in some categories with a change in bullet weight or bullet type (ball to Hollow-point) depending on what your end goal for the round is.
When moving up in the caliber world from .22lr, one of the next steps to the general shooter might be to the 9mm.
· The ammo (Target or non defensive rounds) tends to be less expensive than the .40 or .45.
· The small round generally means less felt recoil (means better follow up shots)
· The market is flooded with different brands and models of 9mm so the average handgun is not going to be as expensive.
· More rounds can fit into a magazine.
.40 S&W Review
As I said before, this round was designed with the thought of trying to take the best of the 9mm and the .45 acp and build a new round altogether.
The .40 S&W has become one of the more popular conceal carry rounds only surpassed by the 9mm (in a recent poll conducted buy gearsofguns.com) and followed by the .45 ACP.
Even with the popularity the .40 it is still the most expensive (per factory) round of the three.
· Slightly lower to equal to the 9mm when looking at magazine capacity
· Similar ballistics of the .45
· Less felt recoil than the .45
· Larger round (to the 9mm) means bigger hole.
Generally speaking, when people compare the 9mm to the .40 to the .45 acp they are comparing gun to gun to gun vs. ammo to ammo to ammo. When you factor out the gun and solely look at the ammo your opinion may change based on the type of shooting you plan to use the ammo for.
I love that the 9mm is inexpensive to shoot and still has felt recoil (unlike the .22lr)
I love the .45 ACP because of the manly “I eat my steak bloody and get into boxing matches with bears” feeling.
And I love the popularity and ballistics of the .40 S&W.
Written by Atticus James
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Gearsofguns.com
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