Handguns and Ammunition Forum banner

Which Chambering Would You Pick?

4169 Views 26 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Guest

If you could have all the semi-automatic pistols that you wanted, but, they could only be chambered for one of the above listed cartridges, which one would you pick & why?

Thanks For Your Votes & Replies,
The Sockman
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
9mm, cuz I like it. :)

And there are so many good choices, since I can have as many as I want. (do I have to pay for them?)


Hello. If going strictly with factory ammo, it would be 9mm. There are some awfully good "high performance" loads available in several bullet weights and in both standard and +P or +P+ varieties. Practice ammunition can be had very inexpensively compared to about any other centerfire with the exception of possibly the 9x18mm Makarov.

Were I handloading, I'd opt for .45 ACP. Like the 9mm, there are a myriad of effective loads available but I've almost always had better luck getting cast bullets to group well in this caliber and at both low and high ends of the velocity range for a given bullet weight.


My apologies to the 9mm crowd, but I'll have to go with the "bigger is better" crowd. My pick is .45 ACP.
Having said that, if I'm going to be carrying an SMG AND a pistol I'll take the 9mm...simply because everyone uses the darn stuff.

If we're talking strictly semi-automatic pistols, despite my affinity for .45 ACP, I'm going with 9x19 Luger.

There are hundreds of pistols chambered for it all over the world. 115 grain FMJ is probably the world's standard for centerfire ammunition, 124 grain NATO is available in almost every country. And 124-147 grain hollow points are extremely effective despite being smaller than the .45.

The only exception I'd make is in countries where it is illegal to arm oneself with the same or larger caliber than police carry(usually 9x19mm). In this case, I would actually opt for the .22 Long Rifle. Not because it's a great defense cartridge, but because it like the 9x19 is available almost everywhere in the world. I have a small .22 automatic pistol(Erma copy of Walther PPK) that I can put in my pocket...I'd probably opt for something like that to carry. Simple, effective, extremely cheap ammunition, and available virtually everywhere.

my initial response to this, and as a result, my vote, went to the .45ACP. there were 3 reasons for this:

1: you can get some reaaly neat .45ACP revolvers too.
2: It is a lower pressure cartridge than many on the list and brass lasts longer
3: It is a reliable cartridge in a variety of loads.

given all of that, the 10mm Auto is also an attractive chois as it woyuld allow a variety of loadings and would also be a good hunting cartridge.
That's easy. All of my pistols are 45 ACP. Since you didn't mention revolvers....
.45, until they make a nice concealable .46 for a reasonalbe price (life was so simple before the .50 G.I.
:(" title=":mad:" border="0"/> ).

See less See more
9mm - already picked that as the chambering for all my pistols (as opposed to my revolvers).

- Lots of effective loadings from factory
- Relatively inexpensive and available
- Can put lots in the gun and more in my pocket (i.e. hi-cap magazines)
- lotsa good, reliable handgun designs in both service pistol and compact sizes, e.g. Glock 17/19, BHP, Sigs, Kel-Tec, Kahr, Rorbaugh, ad infinitum
- Can even get J-frame size revolver in 9mm (used S&Ws, and Taurus and Charter still make them)
- Can get carbines in 9mm if you really want to be fanatical about ammo interoperability (and I have those tendencies...)
- I have a pile of 9mm FMJ on the shelf to shoot with that I bought when I was single and more gainfully employed!
- If 9mm prices ever go up, I have a ton of 9mm brass if I ever need to reload (see previous item).

Hello & Thanks for all the replies,

I kinda thought the 9mm would lead in this poll, but, I really figured the .45 would be a little closer than it's been so for.

I'm not the least bit surprized at Jim's reply, and I would have probally had a heart attack and died right here, especially if he voted for something that didn't start with a 4, Jim your replies are Great, Please keep'em coming Sir.

BTW; I also voted 9mm, for many of the same reasons already stated above.

Thanks Again Everyone,
The Sockman
9mm Since that's what my BHP is in.

Lots of surplus and commercial ammo out there at realitvely reasonable prices

Easy to reload
The 45 ACP because it has the high first round fight stopping out there. The 9 mm is in the neighborhood of 80 something percent , the 40 S & W is at around 92 percent and the old 45 is at 94 percent or higher. Granted it depends on whos papers you read as to the actaul percents but the 45 usually comes out on top of all of them. Besides if I ever do have to shoot someone I would want the largest thing out there. You guessed it the new 50 Cal is on my wish list of new toys to buy. This is just my 2 cents for what it's worth. Kurt P. Be safe out there.
.45ACP. No other cartridge of standard pressure, recoil level, muzzle blast and flash, and actual effectiveness is out there currently, and can be had in such a slim and durable package as a 1911.

'Cause I like medium bores! (.45's also) ::)

Seriously, I started with the 9mm (S&W 39-2). I listened to a couple of .45 shooters who claimed the 9mm penciled through a person rather than dump the energy like a .45. Traded the Smith for an Auto-Ordnance .45. Also bought a Colt .45.

Now I carry a Colt Pony (lite) .380 and Makarov 9x18. I hope to buy my father-in-laws S&W 469 9mm one of these days, he's been talking about getting rid of it (he's a .40 fan).

Mr. Stephen A. Camp (among others) has helped considerably in enlightening me on the effectiveness of the 9mm. Thanks Mr. Camp!

I've come full circle.
See less See more
38 Super because I have never found a 38 Super that I can't shoot well.
The "appeal to authority" argument does not impress me too much, since often the there is a lot of uwarranted assumption of authority. Neither do most polls give much hard and fast ground for decision making.

However, Scott Reitz, retired LAPD SWAT officer and fairly well known trainer had an interesting article in SWAT last month. He related his informal survey of the several different divisions of LAPD who get into the most gunfights (last time I checked these units have a gunfight every 30 to 45 days!) and many of whom can chose their own caliber (SWAT carries 1911s but the other divisions carry their choice from a laundry list of authorized guns and calibers).

Of those dozens (if not hundreds) of officers *in those divisions - not the entire LAPD*, 100% of them opted for the .45 ACP chambering (I got the impression that this is in several different makes and models). You can't get 100 cops to agree on what color the squad cars should be!

While that is not the be all end all, nor is it "scientific". I think it does mean a little something. I supose at best I find it "interesting."

See less See more
.40 S&W. Anything you can do, I can do better..... :-*
.40 S&W. Anything you can do, I can do better..... :-*

Were glad your sure of yourself, a persons confidence & mind-set is very important.

Take Care,
The Sockman
Thanks Sockman! I am 100% sure that I am not sure.
Confidence and mind-set might get you through a gunfight, though. I just am not as big a fan of the 9mm as the rest of the board is. I don't dislike it by any means. I just like .40 a bit more.
See less See more
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.