In 2018, is anybody voluntarily shooting .45ACP extensively on their own dime?

In trying to break through my current plateau to the next skill level, I have been blazing through my seemingly endless stockpile of .45ACP.  The assumption being that whenever I exhaust the majority of the stock, it will either be relegated to novelty status or phased out entirely. 

In 2018 when the 9mm has risen back to the top, and there are MORE good 9mm platforms than .45 platform, and more bullets can be carried for less (weight and cost), I'm having some trouble justifying it. 

Thoughts?

"Pain, we endure...faulty weaponry, we do not."

Original Post

As retirement looms and I'll probably be fuzz-that-was volunteering at the National Law Enforcement Museum, I've considered purchasing a G-30 of some flavor to abide by D.C. gun laws  While I like the idea of a G-30SF just because it was allegedly created at the request of LAPD SIS, I suspect I'll go with a G-26.  While I think the G-30SF would fit my hand better, it seems wasteful to purchase and maintain skills with a different caliber.

And before anyone asks, I'll try, but I have no idea if I'll be able to sneak you into the Museum free.

In my career I was issued .38, .357, 10mm, 9mm, 40, and .45 in that order. The county I worked in has three Interstates and one WV “corridor” kind of an innerstate.  We shot a bunch of road injured deer every year.  

Visually, 10mm hit the hardest.  .45acp appeared to create nearly as much impact but wasn’t as immediately lethal.  .357 (Silvertips and 125gr Remingtons), various .40 and 9mm loads weren’t as dramatic and seemed interchangeable.   I didn’t shoot any deer with the .38 ammo.

I know that 9mm is the current darling of the shooting world but in my experience living animals notice a hit from the .45acp more than the .40 or 9mm.   Then again, people frequently shoot the 9mm better. 

As a retired dude paying for my own ammo and schlepping around in low crime areas I’ve gone over to 9mm and plan to “shoot till they change shape or catch fire”.

hope that helped.

Nah, I'm all about the placement.  Too many look-in's on people shoots to say there's a difference. 

Even before the big "return" to 9mm, I was deeply leveraged into 9mm as well as .45ACP...so trends mean little to me.

I also am of the mind that the big 3 (9, 40, 45) are all too darn close to matter performance (or lack of performance) wise for that to matter with one major exception: You live in an area with capacity of less than 10 AND hollow points are not an option.

Despite living in IL, capacity (at present) isn't an issue and we have no predators/wildlife that would require more firepower than 2-legged vermin.  Beyond that, I'm skipping the tactical stuff and going full-sized 10mm or better as a mere backup if bring mauled/eaten is a concern.

"Pain, we endure...faulty weaponry, we do not."

I shoot a ton of .45 ACP for competition to make major power factor in USPSA and because it is what’s 1911 is supposed to be chambered in. That being said I’d run 9MM exclusively otherwise for everything with no reservations. A 9MM paired with a carbine (both with good ammo) is hard to beat...

Joined: 13AUG2010         Location: Southern Arizona 

My first thought is, if you are trying to break thru your current plateau PB, I hope you're wearing O2, 'cause that's a high mark and the air has got to be thin up there!

Although not LE, I grew up on the 45 ACP and began shooting 9mm in large volumes in only the past 15 yr or so.  Not fortunate to shoot what Hack calls OPA (other people's ammo) I reload my 45 ACP for my different platforms - 1911s, HK45c and PPQ, and do I dare say - a S&W M25-2!!.  You are spot on the large volume of quality platforms for 9mm and the tech advances in ammo.  Not too long ago LAV said a 1911 in anything other than 45 ACP was a toy.  Say what you want, but there was a time when 1911 9's could be quirky and its not so much an issue today.  

Totally agree with you on shot placement is key and today's 'Big 3' ammo are all so close in effectiveness you could cover 'em with a quarter.

I like my 9mm's just fine (hell I recently picked up a G19x) and I probably just an old guy who can't/won't give my 45's up.  What the hell do I know, I just recently discovered the joy of 38 super...……….. but that's another topic! 

Ranger325

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" George Orwell

In high cap mag ban states, the .45 still makes sense. That, and the fact that I prefer (and shoot better with) a 1911 than any other platform makes it my primary. I also reload. 

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It's not that life is so short, it's that you're dead for so long.

The .45-70 is the only government I trust

"I was raised in a place called America...
It's gone now, I wish you could've seen it"
- a WWII vet

 

Joined: 1/30/06 3:34 PM - Location:MA

I read and talk to people a lot, see a lot of people shoot, but have never had bullets coming at me (on purpose) so, FWIW: 

For around 20 years I have cast a suspicious eye on the many pieces of Total Proof that bigger handgun cartridges are notably better. Even though no one (much) quotes e.g. Marshall and Sanow anymore, their overall gist and their anecdotal methodology (bullshit, lies) infuse many of the conversations. No one much says stopping power or one shot stop, but they still mean it when you get into it. 

We even had a couple wars in the last 17 years, and have gotten stories (here even) of those who had to use ball in their 9mms and made it out to tell the tale, despite the assurance from the all-calibers-that-start-with-a-four crowd it's a peashooter. 

Handguns are mediocre at their jobs. All of them. Changes of caliber, bullet construction, etc. offer very small performance effects. 

The only old school lessons we can keep are, I think: 

  • The handgun is what you use to fight your way back to the rifle you shouldn't have put down in the first place
  • Bring friends with guns
  • Only hits count
  • Shot placement matters more than what you are shooting
  • Under pressure, you don't rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training
  • Only perfect practice makes perfect

 

Shoot the cheapest moderately-effective cartridge you can, to get the trigger time and get better at hits and placement (and speed...)

Carry the most gun you can, with the broadest possible definition of most.  Data indicates that means more of any moderately-effective bullets. Even well trained good guys miss under pressure, and enemies move more than cardboard, so hits and shot placement become tricky in the real world. I am happy to say 17 9mm will always be better than 8 .45s. 

(ETA: If your limit is 10... things get trickier. You need to find if you shoot 9, or 40, better enough to matter, or if practice on your carry platform is more important. Me, I am not at ALL sure that 8 .45s is better than 10 9mm for everyone)

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

I've got a boat-load of both.  I have probably 10,000 rounds of each on-hand.

I shoot and reload .45s the most.  My kid shoots an M9 the most because he competes at Army and national-level.

Hand-loading means I can download to powder-puff up to sunburn and X-ray from muzzle flash levels.

@ranger325... always unfailingly kind; I'm only trying to actually be as good as what you tell people.

And now LAV's got his vids up of him lovin on a 4.25" 9mm aluminum-frame too so that kinda goes along with my original sentiment.  10 years ago (maybe even 5), a 9mm 1911 was a gamble...maybe not so much today.   That being said, you can bet your sweet behind that if I've got upwards of $3k to burn on a 9mm single stack I'm running back to a P210.

"Pain, we endure...faulty weaponry, we do not."

Sinister posted:

I've got a boat-load of both.  I have probably 10,000 rounds of each on-hand.

I shoot and reload .45s the most.  My kid shoots an M9 the most because he competes at Army and national-level.

Hand-loading means I can download to powder-puff up to sunburn and X-ray from muzzle flash levels.

Hypothetically, if you didn't handload, would that weigh differently on your decision?

"Pain, we endure...faulty weaponry, we do not."

While I still have a rack of Colt 1911A1s and a real Springfield Armorey 1911 and a Combat Commander, I seldom shoot them.  Too many rounds and the wrist joints don't like me. 

Npt as big an issue with the Glock 21s &30s, but I'm sharing the mid-size S&W M&P .45. It's basically G19 size and I have it with both irons and a RMR. I'll keep shooting and buying .45 Auto, but shoot equal amounts of 9mm, mostly through G19s, like 40 minutes before this email.   YMMV. 

If I still reloaded, it would be .45. 

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“Speak softly and carry a big stick;  you will go far. “

 Theodore Roosevelt

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Joined: 29 May 2008          Location: AZ

Im invested soildly in 9mm (GLOCK) and have carried that caliber exclusively for the last 10 years.

In have at least 5-10 years left on the job and dont see myself going away from it. 

However, as i switched my agency over to 9mm, i have a significant amount of .40 FMJ and HST on hand as well as .45.

i beleive in having firearms available to accomodate available ammo in the event my primary caliber is unavailable. Along these lines  of thought i also have a COLT 9 mm AR15.

I picked up a mint LE trade in Gen4 G23 for $240 as well as a lightly used Gen4 35. Ill pick up a G30 or 21 for the same reason. Ill keep them and the ammo on hand as part of a cache or backup but probably will stick with the 9mm.

"Without training they lack knowlege, without knowlege they lack discipline , without discipline they lack victory"

 

“Go as hard as you can, for as long as you can, and then quit.”

 

Joined: October 2, 2007

Even in the competition world 9mm is making big headroads into Single Stack division. With quicker split times and 2 extra rounds depending on the stage it can make a big difference (even being scored as minor). Guys are finding that the ease of shooting 9mm outweighs the fact you need to be more accurate to be competitive shooting minor. If my hands/wrists/elbows get too sensitive for .45ACP I’ll jump over to a 9mm 1911 before hanging it up. 

Joined: 13AUG2010         Location: Southern Arizona 

Malpaso posted:

In high cap mag ban states, the .45 still makes sense.

Exactly.  Before the ban here, I was carrying a HK USP9 with a jet funnel and 18rd white mags. 

I know a lot of people figure that because I can't carry more than 10rds, no sense carrying a full size frame when 10 can fit in a smaller package.  I say that is quite wrong.

I bought what I thought would be the ultimate CT 9mm, the HK VP9SK.  While I love the thing to death, I bought it for a unique purpose and never planned on carrying it.  I took the jet funnel off of the USP and loaded up some 10 round magazines, took the VP9 as well and shot them side by side.  No contest.  USP by K.O.  I just shot that pistol better and even though I would be 8 rounds down in capacity without the jet funnel and 18rd mags, at least I figured I could make what I had count. 

Before the USP and after a HKP713, was the 1911.  As Malpaso mentioned and I know for a fact people here have said it's bullshit, I just shoot better with it than any other handgun I have ever owned.   I created my 9mm stockpile years ago when just about every PD in CT went to .40 and they were trading in all of their 9mm for credit.  I still have most of that because I then was able to piggyback on a regional LE ammo deal where I could get anything in the Federal catalogue.  So .45 it was.  I have never hand loaded pistol ammo and only match or heavy magnum rifle ammo because of my good fortune.  And even if I did, it would be for practice.  I would never carry ammo that I made myself.

But that brings me back to 9mm/.45 is virtually the same in effect.  ( I will NEVER by a 1911 in 9mm.  That is blasphemy of the highest order and an affront to God.)  I hate bouncing from pistol to pistol so it's back to the 1911 for now and leaning toward the HK45c as it's replacement.

 

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IT'S A COLT.  THEY'RE LIKE THE HK OF GUNS.

HRH The Most Reverend Consig

"I'm always down for good beer and the potential for violence." Fellow LFer. 

 Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done. 

 

 Joined: 28 Nov 2004: 0037hrs        Location: The worst run state in the U.S

John, I’m right there with you on 1911’s in 9mm, but...they shoot really, really...really good. I’ll keep the .45ACP flag waving in my 1911’s until I physically can’t do it anymore. Just as JMB intended. 

Joined: 13AUG2010         Location: Southern Arizona 

I can't remember who said it to me or the exact quote, but the gyst was if you were going to hammer a blunt, 16-inch-long piece of rebar through someone's chest, it doesn't matter if it's 3/8" rebar or 1/2" - it matter what the rebar goes through. 

As retirement looms for me, I want the cheapest ammo I can get. I don't think any one caliber is magic, and "hitting hard" means nothing with pistols in my worthless opinion.  I'm not super gunfighter man, but I've seen personally and heard of second hand every caliber failing.  I've also seen an awful lot of people disabled and killed by all sorts of calibers (even got to see a suicide by a muzzle loader rifle once - dude shot ex-GF and her new BF with a .22 rifle, then stuck the muzzle loader in his mouth). Seems to me pistols just poke holes. 

I'm going to carry what I can afford to shoot enough to stay decent with. I'll also have some other guns that I am unlikely to ever shoot but they're just cool (a 1911, a 1903A3, etc).  Not a collector per se, but have a few "that's neat" guns. But I'm not going to buy lots of ammo for them and shoot them a lot. 

 

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It's easy to make assumptions about puppies strapped to missiles, but good science requires research.

 

Joined: 12-2005          Location: Central OK

Carried a G30 for 14 years. Swapped to a Shield with the arrival of Mini Murphy. Got hired by an agency carrying 21s. I will be among the last to convert to 9mm, because of my scores and i had a new pistol.  I will keep a few hundred .45 around, but once i get a 17, it'll be all 9mm except for specialty stuff like hunting.

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So low speed, i'm in Park.

"I could stand to hear a little more.." Jayne

Training is brief. Death is forever. PAY ATTENTION.

Joined: 6/14/03 1:02 PM

XTCBX posted:

John, I’m right there with you on 1911’s in 9mm, but...they shoot really, really...really good. I’ll keep the .45ACP flag waving in my 1911’s until I physically can’t do it anymore. Just as JMB intended. 

I couldn't even hold one at Jojo's.   I felt its evil through the glass case.  That said because of our mag ban, they are really popular.  More than one person has told me that shooting a 9mm in a 5" steel 1911 is like cheating.  They love them.  Of course, while I believe them, I will not talk to them anymore.  Heretics. 

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IT'S A COLT.  THEY'RE LIKE THE HK OF GUNS.

HRH The Most Reverend Consig

"I'm always down for good beer and the potential for violence." Fellow LFer. 

 Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done. 

 

 Joined: 28 Nov 2004: 0037hrs        Location: The worst run state in the U.S

Only 1911 I actually really liked 100% was a Colt commander GSP. In 9mm. Straight from the Gunsite pro shop in that config, even with a weird low safety. Hell of a nice gun.  

Even at friend-pricing, it was worth too much for me to buy when my friend decided he didn't use it enough, so we all let it go to someone more relevant (I forget details, but API instructor, vaguely involved in specifying the gun maybe?) who still uses it last I saw.

A 1911 in 9 is arguably better than one in .45. The nice ones I have seen are super, super nice. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

I grew up shooting .45s almost exclusively, so I still mostly carry a full size M&P45. I do have a RMR'd G19 that I do carry from time to time though. probably next year, the positions will switch and the M&P will become the back up pistol.

Mechanical and electrical engineers build weapons systems; civil engineers build targets.

 

Location: Southern New Hampshire

Consigliere posted:
XTCBX posted:

John, I’m right there with you on 1911’s in 9mm, but...they shoot really, really...really good. I’ll keep the .45ACP flag waving in my 1911’s until I physically can’t do it anymore. Just as JMB intended. 

I couldn't even hold one at Jojo's.   I felt its evil through the glass case.  That said because of our mag ban, they are really popular.  More than one person has told me that shooting a 9mm in a 5" steel 1911 is like cheating.  They love them.  Of course, while I believe them, I will not talk to them anymore.  Heretics. 

Best to not sully yourself with one as a holy man. Being full heathen myself I’ll probably end up with one at some point, but being 7 months into a wait on a full house 1911 in .45ACP it’ll be a good long while... 

 

Joined: 13AUG2010         Location: Southern Arizona 

Rick R2 posted:

Just to stir the pot,  I believe some of the early Colt Commanders were produced in 9mm.  So maybe these new 1911 lite pistols aren’t complete heresy.    

In any event I’ll stick with my BHP.  

They publicly released the 9mm lightweight Commander in 1950 to after designing it for the Army on a request in 1949 for an officers gun. 

Joined: 13AUG2010         Location: Southern Arizona 

I often vacillate between the Glock 27 I have (with a boatload of ammo) to a Glock 43 I'd need to buy to a smaller .45ACP gun like a 30SF or Commander sized 1911. Then the commander in 9mm enters the pic...

I hate this place sometimes.

if you want a man to keep his head when the crisis comes you must give him some training before it comes. - Seneca

shoobe01 posted:

For around 20 years I have cast a suspicious eye on the many pieces of Total Proof that bigger handgun cartridges are notably better. Even though no one (much) quotes e.g. Marshall and Sanow anymore, their overall gist and their anecdotal methodology infuse many of the conversations. No one much says stopping power or one shot stop, but they mean it when you get into it.  

Marshall and Sanow were completely bogus and have long been discredited.  They fabricated their info, and their methodology was horribly flawed.

If you read their own fine print,  they excluded EVERY situation where one or more rounds were fired and a person was not stopped so more rounds had to be fired from their one-shot stop numbers.

Their one shot stop numbers are meaningless because they do not factor situations when one or more shots was not enough to stop someone and more shots had to be fired.

What they did is create a formula that claims to calculate one-shot stops but is grossly flawed because it deliberately excludes the most common one-shot failures--all situations where one shot is fired and it fails to stop someone so additional shots need to be fired.

 Successes are meaningless unless you factor in failures. And Marshall & Sanow's numbers do not factor in a major number of failures, therefore they have no meaning.   Their end result was grossly inflated numbers.

Further,  the people who M&S claimed to get the information from like the RCMP, the NYPD, the LAPD, the LASO, the ISP, the PASP, the DSP, the TDPS, the USMS, the USBP, USINS, the FBI, the DEA, and the USSS have all previously issued official responses stating specifically that they have not at any time corresponded with either Marshall or Sannow and not one of the shootings in any of the books comes from their files.

 

 

I was a very high round count .45 shooter for decades.....and I am paying for that now.  My hands are a disaster.  I shoot 9mm because I sort of have to and because I live in a place where I can carry what I want.  When I was in California, I used to generally train with 9mm to save my hands at the end and carry .45’s.  I still believe .45 is a better stopper, it is just not the big difference it was before.  9mm has gotten a ton better.....but .45 ACP +P HST is about as good as it gets on humans coming out of a pistol, and it helps that HK’s tend to shoot it really well and can handle the pressure.  

Like many, I have no interest in a 9mm 1911.  A .38 Super Commander with a 9mm top end as a convertible.....that is a project sitting at MARS Armament in line, but more as a want than any sort of realistic carry gun.

"If I had a Grandpa, he would look like Delbert Belton"

Let those who love the LORD hate evil. The one who guards the lives of his godly ones will rescue them from the power of wicked people. Psalms 97:10 Trooper Troy Duncan-EOW 5-19-84 Deputy Erik Jon Telen-EOW 8-21-2001

I carry a .45 on duty, by choice 20+ years so far.  Still carry it and any courses I go through are on my dime.  Department has gone from 9mm to .40 being issued with .45 authorized.  Rumor is that 9mm is coming back as issued.  Ill still carry my .45 til I'm done with this game.  Outside of department training and quals, I average approx. 3000+ rounds yearly all on my time and dollar.

Up until about seven years ago, I shot a lot of .45 ACP, mainly in local IDPA/USPSA matches, while carrying a .40 Glock.  A medical condition affected my right arm and I switched to 9mm.  Hadn't shot much .45 for a long time, even though I'm about 90% recovered.

This year, I bought a boatload of Winchester .45 from an estate, cheaper than I can reload.  I've been shooting more .45.  Using a timer, definitely can tell the difference between the .45 and the 9mm/.40 Glocks.  I can shoot the FBI qualification course with a Glock 17/19/22/23 at instructor level (90%+).  With a Colt Combat Elite or full size S&W M&P, I pass, but nothing special.  Still accurate, but have to throw out the shots over the time limits.

Back to the M&S one-shot-stops--someone once wrote it was like calculating the percentage of first-cast catches for a fishing rod, then ignoring all the times you make multiple casts before getting a bite.

Lot's of good comments here.  While I carried a .45 Auto for a quarter of a century both on-duty and off since I got free ammo, I generally prefer more bullets in the handgun and the easier shooting of a 9 mm. 

Nonetheless, I agree in large part with this quote:  "In high cap mag ban states, the .45 still makes sense.

Dagga Boy posted:

  I still believe .45 is a better stopper,  .45 ACP +P HST is about as good as it gets on humans coming out of a pistol)

 

This is what i fed our agencies UMP's back in the day (2000-2007) 

Will probably have to order some more just to have on hand. 

"Without training they lack knowlege, without knowlege they lack discipline , without discipline they lack victory"

 

“Go as hard as you can, for as long as you can, and then quit.”

 

Joined: October 2, 2007

Well, I have to say this actually has been most helpful in confirming what I thought to already be true but not completely letting me throw the baby out with the bath water. 

In conclusion, my days with tactical/duty-grade .45's are coming to a close.  Where I was once 60/40%   9mm to 45ACP ratio will probably go 90/10% and maintain the 1911 in .45ACP because of what it is.  Leaves me some wiggle room to explore something like 10mm as my time spent out West continues to increase or return to 45ACP later if for some reason I move to a worse state or IL becomes even shittier.  I'll make hay with the 9mm while the sun is shining. 

 

"Pain, we endure...faulty weaponry, we do not."

Here in the land of the 10 rnd mag ,  the .45  has called to me on several occasions. Each time  I have resisted[but it's getting harder].  Of my nines , only the BHPs have neutered mags . The p38 and the P7 are already single stacks.The rest of my handguns are sixguns. I mentioned in the Commander thread about a Norinco, but , alas , it was sold out from under me.

Eat til you are tired sleep til you are hungry

I'm not a gun guy, but I do tend to pay attention to discussions when I come across them.

As I get ready for a transition from LE back to private life more than likely for good, I went out and picked up an M&P recently to help out with that transition (CCW, and possible private sector jobs).   The reason why I went 9mm when I've been dead set against it for so long is because of something Pat said a few years ago, which is being echoed here.     

Then again, we're a different crowd than most and probably can do a lot more damage quicker with a 9mm than lower skilled folks can with bigger rounds 

"A cop's last shift before retirement should include either a UFO sighting or Bigfoot report and a stolen car full of coked up, naked strippers."

I've been fighting a strong urge to get a HK 45C for about 10 years now, I'm really hoping you guys will kill that desire for good. 

PRAISE THE FALLEN

SSG Kevin Roberts KIA 7-May-08         SPC Peter Courcy KIA 10-Feb-09

1Lt Nick Dewhirst KIA 20-July-08          PFC Jason Watson KIA 10-Feb-09

CPL Charles Gaffney KIA 24-Dec-08

 

Joined: 2/21/04          Location: Seattle,  WA

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