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Old 06-29-2019, 10:25 AM   #1
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Magazine capacity limitations and the 1911

Defensively speaking---

I live in a state where there's a 10 rd cap on magazines
9mm=10 in the mag +1 up the spout, so 11 rds total
.45 1911=8 in the mag +1 up the spout, so 9 rds total
This puts a different spin on things---9 rds of .45 jhps that upsets to a .53 mushroom vs 11 rds that upsets to .45 mushroom.
9 shots x230gr= 2070gr total weight vs 11 shots x147= 1617gr total weight (providing 100% hits)
Which gets there "fustest with the mostest" as that Civil War General is reputed to have said?
Which might stop the fight faster?
Where do you place your bet?
Also, a 1911 can have a much sweeter trigger, which might make up for the negligibly greater recoil if the 9mm is plastic or alloy vs a steel frame 1911.

Within the legal mandate of limited magazine capacity, Ol' miss slabsides begins looking pretty good!
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Old 07-02-2019, 01:02 PM   #2
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First of all, get out your callipers and measure out .08 of an inch. That's the difference between the .53 and .45 you stated. It's not that big is it?

Now, thing Kinetic energy (KE). That's the energy something hitting something else generates to the object it hits. It's based upon mass (think weight) and velocity (think speed). In our case, dealing with small arms ballistics it comes in grams and feet per second. Size isn't a factor.

You can go here for an on-line, plug-in calculator: https://www.calculatorsoup.com/calcu...cs/kinetic.php

Do any .45 ACP ammo you think you would use, any 9mm you think you would use, and get their respective KE. Still not much difference. That hard ball .45 bullet isn't going to knock a man down as so many gun store heroes have spouted since time immemorial is it? A car will. A truck will. A kid on a bike might.

Here's the point. How big the bullet you hit somebody with isn't a huge factor. How much KE a bullet as is a slightly greater factor

It is shot placement that does the job and not much else. You have to hit the vital zones. That means head and heart. More hits (holes) closer together (grouping), the better.

The bottom line is carry what you like and are good using it. I'll add that a lot of the guys who go bad places and do dangerous stuff are going with 9mms because they can get more hits on target in less time because of the lower recoil impulse of a 9mm has. The .45.s recoil impulse is higher, and to them, it slowed them down.
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Old 07-02-2019, 03:09 PM   #3
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The latest study I've seen (Ellifritz?) showed that the number of rounds until incapacitation was 2.08 (so really 2) for a 45ACP and 2.45 (so really 3) for a 9mm.

Eleven 9mm rounds is 4 BGs +1 extra round and nine 45ACP rounds is 4 BGs +1 extra round, which is a wash.

So the question is how fast you can get three 9mm hits vs two 45ACP hits? Are you really 50% faster with a 9mm?

Personally, I don't know, but I'm going to find out the next time I have access to a timer when I'm not at a match. I don't have a carry weight 45, so I'll do my personal experiment with full sized handguns of both calibers.
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:30 PM   #4
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The trouble with relying on statistics is that the BG might not have read the same book
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Old 07-02-2019, 11:45 PM   #5
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John Joseph, that's true enough. Also, there is the question; is anyone sure that they want to bet their life on statistical data from number crunching technocrats?

As a young soldier on his way to Vietnam for the TET 1968 'festivities', I came to the conclusion that a well developed and practiced weaponry skill set and excellent marksmanship was going to offer me the possibility of coming back home in one piece and not in a box. I spent countless hours of my own time practicing every skill from acquiring sight pictures, to mag changes in various positions (You don't always get to stand there and take your time do you?), dry firing, and shooting from all and sundry positions. I did this both kitted up for the bush and with just belt kit.


In the end, it comes down to each individual to make his or her personal choice, doesn't it?

Last edited by abninftr; 07-02-2019 at 11:46 PM. Reason: Bl**dy typos!
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Old 07-03-2019, 02:42 PM   #6
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I agree completely. Being able to use the tools you know work best and can depend on, and have confidence in using is a very good thing---better than relying on hype.
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Old 07-05-2019, 04:28 PM   #7
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I have never had people shooting at me, and I made a living as an engineer using stats, so I know how questionable stats can be. But the guy who did the study, Greg Ellifritz, is a patrol officer and trainer. He explains how he did the study, has a number of different data categories for each caliber, and caveats for the results he got. So I'm inclined to trust him on this study. The major difference in his study for the 45 and 9mm results were how many rounds to incapacitation on average.

As a retired engineer, I can tell you a relatively small difference in the size of a hole in a pressurized hydraulic system can have a significant difference in the time to a catastrophic failure of the system. Also, most modern 45 ACP hollow points expand more in the .6 to .8 range. Nerves are like wires in the body, so a small difference in expanded diameter can make a difference in hitting one or missing it entirely. The same can be said for blood vessels or connective tissue like tendons and ligaments.

But use what you are comfortable with. I personally carry a 7+1 single stack polymer 9mm with a reload most days.
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Old 07-05-2019, 07:37 PM   #8
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Fair enough Mate. I agree that the best pistol and ammo combination to carry is the one you are most comfortable with, and use the best. It is truly a matter of personal choice.


I will only add that two very reputable, and well-regarded firearms instructors wrote two books on handgun stopping power about 30 years ago. They used top grade data from actual shootings. It wasn't many months before a lot of what they wrote was being debated. Handgun stopping power was very much on shooters' minds since Miami was still a topic.
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