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Old 10-11-2012, 17:35   #1
arnettjd10
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45 ACP vs 9mm in subcompacts for SD

I was wondering what would be more effective, the 45 acp would only be moving around 650 fps and the 9mm around 1000 fps. Those are only educated guesses. I have a XDS in 45 but i am thinking about getting it in 9mm when it becomes available. The extremely low velocity of the 45 out of such a short barrell has me questioning its effectiveness.
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Old 10-11-2012, 17:40   #2
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I've never owned a 9mm so I gotta go with the .45.
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Old 10-11-2012, 17:48   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnettjd10 View Post
I was wondering what would be more effective, the 45 acp would only be moving around 650 fps and the 9mm around 1000 fps. Those are only educated guesses. I have a XDS in 45 but i am thinking about getting it in 9mm when it becomes available. The extremely low velocity of the 45 out of such a short barrell has me questioning its effectiveness.
Depends on ammo choice. From my 1911OM, most 230gr std pressures is stll making 770fps +, the 200gr XTP is doing 850fps & most 185gr are still over 900fps (revised after looking it up in my notes). The bigger issue for me is ammo cap. The 1911OM is 7+1, which is fine, but a G26 is 10+1 IN about the same size package.
Some guys will go to +P ammo, btu I find it increases recoil quite a bit more in short bbls. So drop a bullet wt & pick th evel back up. My OM loads is the 200gr XTP from Hornady or the 185gr RGS, quite hot @ 900fps+ in the shorter bbl.
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Old 10-11-2012, 18:06   #4
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I am not the least bit concerned about the velocity of the Ranger 230+p bullets coming out of my G30SF on my nightstand. Nor would I worry about the HST 180's in my Gen4 23 should I grab it out of my safe or the 124+p's in my G26 in the glove box of my car.

All three will do the job just fine.

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Old 10-11-2012, 19:42   #5
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Personally I'd go 9mm with a +p or +p+ load, 45's below a certain velocity range just don't seem to be near as effective as out a 4.5 or 5" barrel. The added velocity of a hot loaded 9 out of a short barrel will still have some hope of expansion.
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Old 10-11-2012, 21:22   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beforeobamabans View Post
I am not the least bit concerned about the velocity of the Ranger 230+p bullets coming out of my G30SF on my nightstand. Nor would I worry about the HST 180's in my Gen4 23 should I grab it out of my safe or the 124+p's in my G26 in the glove box of my car.

All three will do the job just fine.

Welcome to GT, by the way.
Glock may list the G30 as a subcompact but it sure is not even close in size to what the majority of the industry considers a subcompact. Sounds to me like the OP is referring to an actual subcompact, along the CM/PM 9 or 40, SW Shield and etc.

Myself I would rather have the extra capacity of the 9mm and the better shooting manners. I don't really care what caliber it is 5+1 really does not instill much confidence to me.

Last edited by dkf; 10-11-2012 at 21:22..
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:42   #7
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I chronographed Golden Sabre 185g standard pressure rounds through my XD-S. The velocity was 930fps. I chronographed 230g HST standard pressure at 810 FPS. Good enough for me. I'm going to test them again in a week or so over another chronograph just out of curiosity to see if my machine is reading high. It has always been on in the past though.

Last edited by oldsoldier; 10-12-2012 at 04:43..
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:26   #8
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The shortest barrel .45 I've ever chronographed was the G30sf, which has about a 3.75" bbl. Regular 230's did around 775-800 fps out of it. 185gr +P Golden Sabre averaged 1025 fps. From an approx. 3" barrel I can't see a normal 230gr bullet going much slower than 750 fps.

I had a PM9/CM9 Kahr (3") but never really messed with chronographing it much. The extra speed I'm sure will help the bullets to expand a little better perhaps.

My CM40 Kahr (3") does pretty well. Factory 165's do about 1100 fps and 155's around 1150 fps while factory 180's do around 950 fps. Not bad at all from a 3" barrel.
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Old 10-12-2012, 09:48   #9
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XDS pushes 230gr around 740 fps from what I've read, but it has a 3.3" barrel. I wouldn't expect a 3" to be less than 700. Too slow for my taste though. I prefer a 124gr 9mm at 1100+, plus the higher capacity and easier shootability.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:00   #10
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In the gold dots i use 9mm as well and in some cases better than .45. I would choose the 9mm every time. I am talking in regards to 124g+ p in 9mm and 230g in .45. Below is a link that let's you compare the different loads and how they perform in the FBI test:

http://le.atk.com/ammunition/speer/handgun/default.aspx


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Old 10-12-2012, 11:59   #11
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This page compares 9mm +p with .45.

http://le.atk.com/ammunition/speer/h...=23611%2C23975

The heavier .45 has and maintains more energy.

Use the Kenetic Energy formula below to determine the Kenetic Energy of ANY load.
( E = M x V2 / 2 ). M=bullet weight. V=Velocity E=Energy

IDPA power factor formula calls for a simple product of mass and velocity ( P = M x V ), the IDPA power factor is a representation of momentum, rather than kinetic energy ( E = M x V2 / 2 ).
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:38   #12
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I think short barrel .45s just loose to much velocity. I would have to go with the 9mm +p. the smallest .45 for me would be 4'' barreled guns for reliability and velocity with the exeption of the G30 at 3.75'' and undisputed reliability.
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Old 10-12-2012, 13:03   #13
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I think short barrel .45s just loose to much velocity. I would have to go with the 9mm +p. the smallest .45 for me would be 4'' barreled guns for reliability and velocity with the exeption of the G30 at 3.75'' and undisputed reliability.
Well, I have seen more than my share of ammo failures in G30/G36. No gun is immune. I have 100% reliability w/ my 1911OM, many say it's not possible, but mine just eats everything, even 200grLSWC that give a G30/G36 constipation. Vel loss in a short 45acp is less than other calibers, but it it really bothers one, drop a bullet wt. The 200gr XTP still makes 850fps+ in my OM & the lower 900fps vel actually helps the various 185gr JHP as they expand less & penetrate deeper. The problem w/ subcomp 45 is reduced round count. That is when I start looking to a 9mm +P as in my G26.
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Last edited by fredj338; 10-13-2012 at 20:50..
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Old 10-12-2012, 13:05   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnettjd10 View Post
I was wondering what would be more effective, the 45 acp would only be moving around 650 fps and the 9mm around 1000 fps. Those are only educated guesses. I have a XDS in 45 but i am thinking about getting it in 9mm when it becomes available. The extremely low velocity of the 45 out of such a short barrell has me questioning its effectiveness.
HK45C 3.9" barrel actual chronograph results;
1) .45 ACP Federal HST +P (P45HST1) averaged 929 FPS.
2) Speer Gold Dots 200gr +P are averaging 880 FPS.
3) Winchester 230gr Ranger T (standard velocity, not the +P load,) averaged 886fps.

That works for me...
Caliber Corner

Last edited by barth; 10-12-2012 at 14:21..
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Old 10-12-2012, 13:19   #15
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You are missing a few points in the determination - bullet design, weight of the bullet and gun capacity.

http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/45auto.html


http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/9luger.html

Last edited by PaulMason; 10-12-2012 at 13:30..
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Old 10-12-2012, 13:42   #16
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I have both

a 9mm pistol and two .45s. If I had a few minute's notice, I would choose the .45!
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Old 10-12-2012, 18:47   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainXL View Post
This page compares 9mm +p with .45.

http://le.atk.com/ammunition/speer/h...=23611%2C23975

The heavier .45 has and maintains more energy.

Use the Kenetic Energy formula below to determine the Kenetic Energy of ANY load.
( E = M x V2 / 2 ). M=bullet weight. V=Velocity E=Energy

IDPA power factor formula calls for a simple product of mass and velocity ( P = M x V ), the IDPA power factor is a representation of momentum, rather than kinetic energy ( E = M x V2 / 2 ).
The .45 has hardly any more energy based off the link you or I provided. It is basically a push, I'd rather have more bullets and less recoil with results that similar


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Old 10-12-2012, 19:01   #18
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I was surprised to see the Ranger T 230 gr. averaging around 850 out of my G36. That is what I carry in my G36.

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Old 10-12-2012, 19:32   #19
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Either would be fine, just choose a decent load.
The .45acp doesn't need much velocity to be effective, and it still will get plenty in a short bbl.
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Old 10-12-2012, 19:34   #20
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If I were running ATK I would market a .45 ACP 200 gr. HST to the public that went an honest 800 fps in short barrel .45's. I'd then offer a 115 gr. 9mm HST that went an honest 1,300 fps in a 4" 9mm. Then I'd sit back & count the money.
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Old 10-13-2012, 13:19   #21
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You can't really know what any particular load & .45 or 9mm pistol are going to produce, velocity-wise, until you fire some random samples of any particular production lot.

Even then, that's only going to tell you about the consistency & observed standard deviation of the velocity ... from that gun, using loads from those production lots.

None of which is going to tell you how the bullets fired from those production lots, from that gun, are going to "perform", expansion & penetration-wise.

We look for trends among the big name company products, compared against stated "performance specs", and hope for what the manufacturers tell us they observed in their in-house QC testing to occur with some consistency in real world conditions.

All of that said ...

Last time I volunteered the use of my CS45 (3.25" barrel) for some gel testing, using the Ranger SXT T-Series 230gr loads, in both standard and +P, the data I got back showed something like 802fps & 839fps on at least a couple recorded shots (fired into gel covered with 4 layers of new denim). They looked like this:
Caliber Corner

Of course, at the same time a Colt Commander was also used (4.25" barrel), and the recovered rounds looked like this:
Caliber Corner

Maybe the notching cuts on the one not-fully-expanded bullet were too shallow? Dull cutter? Just one of those things?

Then, some 147gr & 127gr +P+ SXT T-Series rounds were fired from a CS9 (3" barrel), and they did this:
Caliber Corner

What's it all mean? Dunno.

I've quit worrying about it, though. I use small 9's, .40's & .45's loaded with one or another of the newer designed hollowpoint loads made by one or another of the major American ammo companies (who have acquired experience making ammo used b y LE/Gov users) ... and I focus my attention on weapon maintenance, as well as my own skillset, training/practice regimen and maintaining my mindset.

Some days I may choose my CS45 (6rd mags), or my original 4513TSW (also 6-rd mags), or one of my single stack 9's or .40's with 7 or 8-rd mags ... or a double stack 9/.40 with 9/10-rd mags ... or even my full-size .40 with either 10/12-rd mags, or one of my single stack or double stack .45's (7, 8 or 10-rd mags). Just depends.

I've even got some various loads using different "premium" bullets designs, too. 9mm loads run from 115gr +P+, to 124gr +P, to 127gr +P+ and 147gr. I might have different loads in different 9's, depending on what box was at hand when I last loaded the guns.

My .45's run mostly 230gr, and of those it's mostly standard pressure ... but I do have some older and current production RA45TP (+P), and maybe even some RA45SXTP (+P) left over. Not much in the way of 185gr or 200gr +P left over, I'd think.

.40's? 165gr & 180gr loads, but a small amount of some 155gr loads (not my first or second choice).

Much of the time I'm carrying one of my 5-shot J-frames, though.

9mm versus .45 ACP?

Sure. Whichever. Suit yourself.

Got a special bullet design (make or manufacturer) you like? Great. Good for you.

How well can you use whatever you choose, under highly stressful & demanding conditions, though?

If you can't "perform" under the worst of conditions, putting the fired rounds where they must go in order to obtain optimal effect in an intended threat target, are you relying on the difference in caliber and/or bullet design to somehow offset things?

I tend to put first things first, meaning the owner/user/shooter part of everything.

Then the equipment, of which caliber and the specific ammunition are just a couple of considerations (and maybe not the most critical aspects, either).

As usual, just my own rambling thoughts.
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Last edited by fastbolt; 10-13-2012 at 13:21..
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Old 10-13-2012, 14:16   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnettjd10 View Post
I was wondering what would be more effective, the 45 acp would only be moving around 650 fps and the 9mm around 1000 fps. Those are only educated guesses. I have a XDS in 45 but i am thinking about getting it in 9mm when it becomes available. The extremely low velocity of the 45 out of such a short barrell has me questioning its effectiveness.
650 FPS? I'd go with the 9mm for sure.
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