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(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
Gears of Guns is a gun blog dedicated to bring information about everything in the Firearm industry. Gears of Guns strives to post the newest guns and latest gun related info we can. We personally try and test as many guns and products as we can. We talk to manufacturer’s representatives and ask the questions that you want answered. We spend many hours researching the information that we present here on the Gears of Guns blog so that you know that the information is true, tried and trustworthy. Visit: www.gearsofguns.com
This is my second year to attend the show and I still haven’t gotten over how big the show truly is. I don’t want to throw a ton of numbers at you but I will share a few numbers like 1600 booths and 67,000 attendees and $73 million injected into the Las Vegas economy.
67,000 people seems like a lot but the best way I can think of to share how big the show really is to tell you about the city I live in which has a population of about 48,150 (as of 2012) in a 10 square mile area. My city is almost 19,000 shy of being the same size as what goes through the halls of SHOT which is a five floored convention center.
At the Kriss booth at media day at the range checking out the guns
After 4 full days, I wish I could say I saw the whole show but I know that I saw maybe half of what there was to see and do. I spent my time making the contacts I need to, to get the products we review on this website at SHOT Show. The crew is good at visiting as many booths as they can with the very limited time we have and bring back as many pictures and info on the new products for 2014.
I am hoping that the crew will be shooting some SCARS in 2014
On the first day of the show from 8:30am until 5:30pm I had walked only half of the big room and felt that was a big accomplishment seeing as the show is 12.5 MILES of walk way.
The show doesn’t run perfect with so many cogs all moving at once but for the size and amount of people who show up every year the NSSF Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade Show is one awesome show.
I am not a big fan of Las Vegas since I don’t gamble and I drink very little but with that said I am willing to put up with it once a year for one of the most impressive trade shows in the world.
A few months back I was contacted by Redring Shotgun Sights to see if we would be interested in reviewing their sight.
Of course I said yes since shotguns are one of my favorite firearms. They relate so well with one of my favorite quotes by Ashleigh Brilliant “To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first, and call whatever you hit the target.” With the shotgun I just pull the trigger and tell everyone that I wasn’t aiming for that clay pigeon but that there was a fly that I hit with extreme accuracy. Now that I have the Redring shotgun sight I have been refining my clay pigeon hitting abilities since they can be a trickier target to hit than that fly I mentioned earlier…
All joking aside, this sight has been a nice addition to my two shotguns. The sight compliments the Browning BPS and gives a look of tacti-cool when I have it on my Mossberg 500 Flex.
The sight is, in my opinion, over priced at this time at about $749. Since you can buy an EO Tech for $300 for an AR tactical platform that is battle proven with higher accuracy, for the consumer market this just seems high to me. Let’s face it, the sight can cost more than the shotgun it is attached to. However don’t take that comment as saying the sight is not worth having if you like shooting your shotgun for hunting or sport. The Redring shotgun sight quickly improved my accuracy and even helped retrain me back to using the bead when the sight was turned off.
After about the third trip with the Redring I was hitting about 9/10 or 10/10 and I was able to teach someone who had never shot clays before to hit 5/10 in about 15 minutes of shooting. I believe that says a lot for the product.
A few changes I personally would like to see:
If they would make the sight a quick detach since it takes a few minutes to change the sight from one gun to another.
A lower price would open the market to all classes of shooters.
I have enjoy using this sight and I keep it on my Mossberg because I am almost always hitting my intended target with it on. Flies no longer have to be on the lookout for me!
Calibers available: 9mm Luger, 9×21 IMI, .40 S&W
Barrel Length : 6.8inches including muzzle device (175mm)
Overall length: 15.5 inches (395mm)
Weight: 5.2 Pounds (2400g)
The BCM Europearms PM4 Storm semi-automatic carbine is designed in Italy and has its roots based in the Spectre M4 which was developed by the Italian company SITES in 1980s. This firearm was designed by the same people who designed the Spectre M4 (seen below).
The BCM Europearms PM4 Storm was designed for the civilian and security markets. The availability outside of Italy is unclear to Gearsofguns.com at this time.
The platform does not have a manual safety since the firearm uses its own proprietary SA/DA trigger group. The first trigger pull will always be double action only and each subsequent trigger pull will be single action similar to that of a revolvers SA/DA trigger.
MSRP for the pistol is 1200 euro and 1400 euro for the carbine.
Caliber: 7.62 NATO
Action: Gas operated, Semi auto center fire
Receiver: Aluminum upper, polymer lower
Barrel: 16.25″ cold hammer forged, chrome lined
Overall Length: 38.5″ and 28.5″ with the stock folded
Trigger pull: nonadjustable, single stage; 6lbs, 5oz
Empty Weight: 8.0 LBS
Capacity: 10 or 20 round proprietary box magazine
The SCAR Mk 17 was a new addition to the U.S. arsenal that entered service in 2009. It fires the bigger 7.62×51 NATO round compared to the 5.56 that the US uses most. This versatile solution was made by FN Herstal out of Belgium for the US SOCOM forces.
The 75th Ranger Regiment were the first soldiers to get their hands on the SCAR’s first models. The US military has canceled orders on the Mk 16 version of the SCAR and has started to get the SCAR Mk 17 with plans to purchase 5.56 conversion kits for the rifle. This was one of the competing firearms to replace the aging M4 Carbine.
For the civilian market, FNH has also created a semiautomatic version imported over as the SCAR 17S. SCAR is an acronym for “Special Operation Forces Combat Assault Rifle,” with the name proclaiming its original intended purpose.
There are many other things that this rifle has improved on from the current assault rifles the US uses. This rifle contains a short recoil system similar to a Saiga shotgun, allowing a cleaner operation than a direct impingement system. FNH is claiming a 90% cutback of the carbon build up in the action over the AR style of rifles. This should mean a lower amount of maintenance that you would have to perform to keep this firearm functioning.
The short recoil system helps lessen the recoil with shooting larger calibers. A firearm with short stroke recoil has a heavy bolt carrier assembly that the piston is in contact with for only a short amount of time. The recoil force is spread over a longer period of time with this beefy bolt carrier, allowing for more accurate follow up shots on target.
With the SCAR 17, the controls are mostly ambidextrous. The magazine release and the safety can be operated from both sides of the firearm but the bolt catch is only on the left. The charging handle is actually attached to the bolt like an AK is which is potentially dangerous to the user, and will reciprocate with the bolt while firing. While firing a firearm with a reciprocating charging handle, it can throw off the balance of the firearm while shooting.
For the past year I have been looking for a new range to move my company to.
Since before I was blogging I always shot at a public range and after almost 3 years trying to write the best reviews I could with the amenities that range had I was frustrated. I would be working on a review and want to make a video to show the different parts of the gun or how the gun works and when I would get back to the office I would watch the video and it would sound like *BANG* Hi, my name is Attic- *BANG BANG BANG* *ONE SHOT A SECOND!* -sofguns.com *BANG*. that just doesn’t make for quality videos.
This article is by no means a diss on that range or even public ranges in general. I know that they have their place and for most gun owners are the best place in the world.
I will give my pros and cons to public ranges
· Range officers everywhere to keep everyone safe.
· Safety rules like one shot a second to keep people from thinking they are Rambo the first time they ever pick up a MSR.
· Public ranges are relatively common in populated areas in the USA.
· Some have pro shops that can help you with basic questions about shooting and there is a good chance they have shooting clubs that meet out there if you are looking to get into that.
· For the gun owner who doesn’t get to the range but just a few times a year this is an inexpensive way to shoot.
· Typically there are experienced shooters who might be able to lend a hand if you are having problems.
· Safe for all types of shooters
(If you have a pro or con I might have missed please comment and share your thoughts)
· Gun owners who shoot a lot can get bored.
· Public ranges typically have restrictions on types of guns and ammo that can be shot there (This is for safety reasons).
· Public ranges can get crowded at anytime.
· The noise level can get intimidating for new shooters.
· If you have more than one gun, space for cases and gear can be limited.
· Some ranges have a max amount of time you can shoot.
· If you are a frequent shooter cost for the range fees get overly expensive.
· The length of the ranges may not give you the distance you are looking for.
With all of that being said I have my own cons as a gun blogger that make working from a public range rather difficult.
Space for guns, gear and crew.
Safety rules that stop us from testing triggers,holsters,over 10 rounds in a magazines, etc.
Since this has been making reviews and shooting more difficult I started looking to friends of the GEARS crew for help to see if they had a ranch we could shoot at and every time the answers were the same. No, we don’t know of a place or sure but it is a 5 hour drive out there. I googled ranges in my area before and most were unable to help me any better than my current public range and that was when I spotted TDSA.net.
For any of you who follow Colion Noir on YouTube or watch Video Tuesday here on our site you might have seen Colion shooting targets from a golf cart and thought hey that is really cool… Well the cat is out of the bag. He was at TDSA in Ferris, TX.
I had seen when he released his video what range it was and never really thought about it again until I came back across the site when I was searching for a new range again and read the amenities they offer there.
|7 Pistol Ranges:
Other Ranges (used for training and shooting matches):
[Taken from the TDSA website]
After reading all of that I was amazed and had to set up a meet with the Owner of TDSA, Len Baxley.
A few Mondays ago Panzer and I drove down to meet with Len and see this range. The drive is about 45 minutes from where I live and the whole time I was thinking about the new and different reviews I could post on the website.
We pulled up and met Len in the classroom/his office and we sat down and started talking and getting to know each other. After 30 or so minutes of talking with Len and reading about his range I knew this is where the GEARS Crew would be shooting from. I told him that I didn’t need to see the range that I was ready to just sign up as a member. We talked for another 30 minutes when he said we should go and at least look at the range. He gave us the introduction/safety tour. About halfway through the tour, I looked around and saw no other members were at the range. It was the most quiet and peaceful gun range I had ever been at!
Len is a no-nonsense kind of guy. He has built a range that is designed with a different kind of shooter in mind. This range is not for the gun owner who doesn’t shoot all that much or for the shooters who aren’t looking to take their shooting abilities to new levels. Len stresses that you are not going to have that range officer to keep you in check, this is the kind of place were you have to be in the mind-set that safety is your job.
I like this range because it opens new opportunities to the GEARS Crew and to the reviews we can offer.
If you live in North Texas and this sounds like the kind of range you are looking for, than CONTACT Len Baxley and tell him Atticus sent you.
The past few years shotguns have been making bigger splashes in the tactical side of firearms which has made me want to “Buy a shotgun, buy a shotgun”.
The Saiga-12 lets your AK training cross over to a tactical shotgun with minimal learning but uses large bulky 10 round box mags or the uncomfortable 20 round drum mags.
The Kel-Tec KSG gives you the short, close quarters that LE and military might look for in a shotgun but it is a pump-action and to switch tubes can be a little weird.
The video review from Gunblast talks about being able to color code your tubes so you can carry different rounds in each tube. This application is great for LE and military because you can keep 4 door breaching rounds in one tube, 4 beans bags in another and 4 buck and 4 slugs in the last two tubes for a total of 16 shells.