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45 ACP vs 9mm in subcompacts for SD

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by arnettjd10, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. arnettjd10


    Mar 4, 2012
    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.
  2. Clutch Cargo

    Clutch Cargo Amsterdam Haze

    Nov 29, 2010
    I've never owned a 9mm so I gotta go with the .45.

  3. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    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.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2012
  4. 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.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  5. 9mm +p+

    9mm +p+

    Mar 1, 2005
    Old Dominion
    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.
  6. dkf


    Aug 6, 2010
    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: Oct 11, 2012
  7. oldsoldier


    Jun 22, 2008
    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: Oct 12, 2012
  8. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Glockoholic

    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.
  9. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    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.
  10. SCSU74

    SCSU74 St. Cloud Proud

    Jul 24, 2010
    The Northwoods
    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:

    Sent from my iPhone... which probably auto-corrected something wrong
  11. CaptainXL


    Nov 20, 2009
    This page compares 9mm +p with .45.

    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 ).
  12. 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.
  13. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    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.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2012
  14. barth

    barth six barrels

    Oct 7, 2011
    The Free Zone
    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...
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  15. PaulMason


    Feb 10, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  16. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    a 9mm pistol and two .45s. If I had a few minute's notice, I would choose the .45! :cool:
  17. SCSU74

    SCSU74 St. Cloud Proud

    Jul 24, 2010
    The Northwoods
    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

    Sent from my iPhone... which probably auto-corrected something wrong
  18. Redstate


    May 17, 2011
    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.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  19. Berto

    Berto woo woo

    Sep 15, 2003
    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.
  20. Tiro Fijo

    Tiro Fijo

    May 31, 2011
    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. :supergrin: