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Why I Carry a 9MM Handgun

Why I Carry a 9MM Handgun

Why I Carry a 9MM Handgun

The other day I ran into an acquaintance (who I barely know) and he told me that he’d just purchased a .45 caliber handgun. He said he loved the gun, but the only problem was he couldn’t shoot it. All of his shots were going low and he couldn’t ever hit the target.

Next, he asked me what type of gun I carried and I told him my carry gun was the Glock 19 9mm. He looked at me kind of funny and said “a 9mm, why don’t you get a manly gun like I did?”

I had a nice laugh, especially since this fellow asked me to give him a private shooting lesson. I told him I didn’t have time and quickly left the store thinking to myself “if I’m ever in a duel, I hope he’s my opponent.”

So why exactly do I carry a 9mm and why do I think you should too?

Well, it’s not because I don’t love a .45 and the feel of my Springfield 1911 in my hand. It’s because I’m able to keep my ego in check and realize that the only reason I carry a gun is to protect my life and the lives of my loved ones. I don’t do it to be “cool,” to be “manly” or as a way to impress my buddies.

And the fact is, if I’m ever involved in a self-defense shooting situation, I have the odd feeling my “target” is not going to be standing perfectly still like it is when I’m at the gun range. This means if I’m shooting its likely going to take multiple hits to bring down an attacker. In other words, if it’s a dynamic situation where people are moving my hits might end up in the arm, leg, chest, any number of places.

And it’s for this very reason I carry the 9mm.

You see, the 9mm lets me get off a quicker burst of shots because it has less recoil and enables me to get my gun back on target quicker. If you think that all you need is your .45 and one bullet to stop an intruder, then what if that one round hits him in the arm? By the time you’ve got one round off, I’ll have 3-4 with my 9mm and the attacker will hopefully be stopped by then.

In addition to allowing me to shoot more shots more quickly, the 9mm also lets me carry more rounds. I realize the majority of gun fights are under 6 rounds, but I still prefer a 15 round magazine to an 8 round magazine. After all, the way life works your defensive encounter will be the 1% of gunfights that requires 10 or more rounds. (Don’t forget multiple attackers and the “flash mobs” we have these days.)

Remember, shot placement is what’s important. I have several friends that are doctors and surgeons who see gunshot wounds all the time. (They work in terrible Baltimore, MD.) These friends tell me that people often survive gunshot wounds no matter the caliber because the handgun round in general isn’t that powerful. That’s why you’ll likely need multiple ACCURATE hits. And if you’re like the fellow I ran into the other day and you’re carrying a .45, not only will you be slower with your hits, you’ll be less accurate if you don’t practice often.

The bottom line is, I’m very comfortable carrying my 9mm Glock and if the day ever comes where I have to defend my life I’m more than confident the 9mm round will serve me well. Are you comfortable and confident with your gun?

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  • Rick246

    Yes I am and I carry a glock 30 sf…a 45.

    • Anonymous

      awesome gun i have the same one

    • arkansas dave rudabaugh

      i know it was real when i ran into that flash mob, they started singin and dancin to.. its fun to stay at the YMCA by the village people, thats when i pulled out my 9 and smoked every last one of em,!

  • Jcmoffitt

    I carry a Glock 23C .40 caliber weapon.  I also own a Ruger P95 9mm.  I am a little bit more accurate with the 9mm because I have used it more.  I would agree with you, in that, the 9mm is easier to shoot because the recoil is less and easier to handle.  I think that the key here is practice, practice and more practice.  I would be that is where most of us are lacking.  I wish we had some sort of realistic shooter training here in Charleston SC.  Going to the range and plinking at a stationary target is better than nothing but it does not provide me with what I would need for a real life encounter with a bad guy (or gal).  

  • Caffeine

    don’t forget the 9mm is slightly more reliable to feed and extract due to the tapered shell. 

  • Anonymous

    good to know

  • Anonymous

    Good point regarding the ‘flash mobs’… my XD40 is 10+1 and I do prefer the 15 ‘opportunities’ my P85 gives me.

  • OtherBrotherDaryl

    Regardless of the caliber of pistol we carry, it is our responsibility to be proficient with that pistol. I would have taken the opportunity to give him that private lesson and, perhaps, helped him to become more efficient with his chosen handgun.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Montoya/1402180006 Tim Montoya

    If someone is super accurate and proficient with a .45 cal handgun. He will be more accurate and quicker with a 9mm.

  • Anonymous

    You make a good point in this article.  It is difficult however when everyone is so confident with the .45 ACP being the best at stopping power, and I want something smaller for CCW and my smaller hands.

    • Arthur

      The .357 magnum has the highest one stop shot. And also the .9mm has a higher one stop shot then the .45acp so I don’t know where you got your facts from. Bigger bullet does not equal better bullet. 

      • Urmom

        some one has not seen the bullet impact videos on myth busters… hahah

      • Anonymous

        Interesting, can you tell me more about this?

      • Austin

        No, a .50 does.

  • Tom Silva

    if you need multiple.9mm shots to render the same effect as on well place.45  ACP round It is Quality of the shots that counts not the quantity. I Know of a prison inmate twho survive 29 9mm Hits to the torso, hips and thighs,  from 9 officers from  three different law enforsment agencies his cohort in crime succumed to 2 .45 ACP hits to the thorasic cavity from one security guard.,   it is not the size of the shot group it is where the shot group hits. that counts in any gunfightand.  we all know practice make perfect. there are nmulligans in a gunfight.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Miller/743275334 Matt Miller

    If you’re torn between the two, just do what I did and get a .40 s&w :D

    • Handymandrew88

      hollow point .40 s&w is probably the best way to go.

  • yup

    you do realize that a “flash mob” is when a bunch of people start a choreographed dance at the same time…it’s stupid, but probably illegal to start shooting them.

    • Handymandrew88

      yeah i don’t think he bothered to look up “flash mob.”  it just sounded like one of those scary things happening “these days.”

      • Handymandrew88

        good article though.  i’ve read that the 9mm and the .40 s&w can be powerful enough to induce hydrostatic shock, provided one is using hollow point rounds, and they offer better control and speed than some giant .45.

        • Mike

          Exactly. That’s why my concealed carry is a Walther PPQ 9mm.

    • Kevin

      nope,

      silly person on the internet, there is more to life than what you see online. There are in fact flash mobs from gangs and other troubled youths that involve multiple people showing up to beat some random person down.

      As for the carrying a 9mm instead of a 45 that is a personal choice and if the author is more comfortable with a 9 then so be it.

    • Mattfenn23

      there are also flash mobs where i live (philadelphia) where about 150 people gather to start running through a small area doing as much damage as possible

    • MWaG

      It’s also been used to describe the people he’s talking about; groups of people who gather with little premeditation, usually loosely coordinated by social media or text, and who begin violence with little provocation. Phrases change, and it seems a bit juvenile to split these hairs when you know what he’s talking about anyway.

      I usually see more mature behavior on gun forums, but I guess everything trickles down to the Facebook crowd eventually…

      • Luckythirteen13

        I agree..when it comes to something as serious as carrying a weapon..the immature comments should be strictly kept on facebook..not a gun forum.

        “Of good moral character “j

    • luvinmylc9

      I don’t know. I’ve been around groups like that. I’m inclined to critique it with my 9mm

    • Anonymous

      I don’t know where you live but the kind of “flash mobs” I’ve been reading of are prone to violence.   Flash mobs who choreographed dance are a TV myth.   Watch your back with any “flash mob” and get the hell out of the way fast.

  • Downthetowelheads

    hmmmm so you say to use the handgun you are fastest and most accurate with? The one you have the most confidence with? Because I hate to break it to you, but the only non-rimfire handgun I own quicker AND more accurate than the rifle is my Super Blackhawk…guess at the caliber, its the factory chamering.

  • yankee420

    a 9mm flys faster. simple. you will need thos 4 to 5 shots compared to 1 shot by an ACP 45. in the arm he will be on the ground crying. IN THE HAND. get over your ego. ur 9mm is a pussy gun and it shows from how many shots you need to take down one jiggaboo. go get a .40 same rate as the 9mm but the puncture rate of the 45. simple.

    • Bob Marley

      That’s how I rate my guns: “How many shots does it take to take down one jiggaboo?”

      Always make sure to think about the shots-to-jig ratio. 

      • tpd223

        Nice way to leave a racist scumbag comment.

        Thanks for making all gunowners look bad, jackass.

        • Luckythirteen13

          REALLY…LEAVE THAT SHIT OFF THIS FORUM..WHERE ARE THE ADMINISTRATORS?

    • Dancinfestus

      Great!! I always look to take advice from an illiterate pot-smoking racist!!!  Ooops, almost forgot the obligatory ALL CAPS!

      • bananaspy

        How do you know he smokes pot?

        • Jasper323

          Google “420″ bananaspy

      • JustVisiting

        How do you know he’s a racist?

        • Fark

          are you stupid or something?

        • http://www.facebook.com/big.gay.al Albert Lowe

          I suggest you google “jigaboo” then you’ll know why.

    • Common Sense

      I have a .45 ACP and i agree with the author. It seems more prone to jam, less accurate and just bigger. If you’re carrying a gun around for self defense, it should be something easy to conceal, accurate and fast. One shot may be more powerful and do more damage, but if someone will get up from a shot in the arm from a 9mm, chances are they’ll do the same from a .45 ACP.  Next gun i’ll be getting will be a 9mm, specifically for self defense. I got my Springfield 1911 for fun at the range more than anything else. On another note, this doesn’t apply for everyone. What works for one person, may not work for all.

      • Not as ignorant

        Ok. First off, you are not concealing anything unless you have a concealed carry licence. Doing so without one would be illegal. Second whether a gun jams or not depends solely on the quality of the manufacture, and how well you clean and maintain it. There is no difference in how often a 9mm jams and a 45 jams. Thirdly, if you were to shoot someone in the arm with a 9mm it would hurt like hell and leave a small hole. If you do the same with a 45 they wouldnt be able to use that arm because the larger calliber bullet would tear through more muscle and tendons, rendering the arm useless.

        • gun totin engineer

          you only need concealed carry permits in some states.  In VT where I am however you do not.  In fact we have no gun laws (other than federal.)  From the time i was 15 i could carry any concealed weapon.  9mm is the best for concealed self defense and will do plenty of damage per hit while allowing a reasonable back to target time. (momentum is a function of mass and velocity.  increasing either will increase bullet damage so the faster 9mm rounds mean that the 9mm and the .45 are a lot closer than you might think)

          • http://www.facebook.com/big.gay.al Albert Lowe

            I shoot 9mm and .45ACP, Frankly, I don’t see that much of a difference.  I can empty either weapon, with reasonable accuracy, in relatively short order.

            Regardless what I’m packing, whether it’s a 9mm, .45ACP, .357 magnum, or 9x18mm Makarov, I shoot until the target is no longer a threat.  

        • tpd223

          You really have no idea what you are talking about.

          ALL service caliber handguns leave bascially the same size wound track, period.  This is an easily checked fact.

          Many gunshot wounds, of any caliber, don’t hurt at all.  This is a common thing to find out when debriefing shooting survivors.  Also a fact.

          many people have been shot with large caliber handguns, including through the arm, with a .45, and haven’t slowed down one bit.

          Having been around firearms traing for large organizations for over 25 years I can say for certain that what pistols have stoppages depends on the pistol and the ammo, but almost all of the 1911s I see go through courses have a far greater rate of stoppages than any of the service style 9mms on the market.

      • youy

        its more the gun because of gas expansion (longer barrel = more velocity = more range, power, accuracy.)

    • Fark

      i bet you have a tiny dick

      • Mason Rideout

        I bet you were molested as a child, probably by your father or some one you looked up to, otherwise you wouldnt be so concerned about knowing what a mans penis size by learning what type of weapon he prefers in a gunfight. Please grow up sir.

    • tpd223

      Yankee, you are a complete idiot, and totally ignorant of what you speak.

      The 9mm works fine if the shooter gets good hits, nothing works if you don’t.  The fact of life is that ALL service caliber handguns leave basically the same hole in tissue, doctors and/or coroners can not tell the difference in tissue between wound tracks made by .38s, 9mms, .40s, or .45s.  Fact!

      There are NUMEROUS cases of .40s and .45s failing to put people down even with multiple hits, you thinking a single arm hit with a .45 is a done deal just shows how completely ignorant you really are.

  • OneshotOnekill

    You can bicker and debate all you want on which handgun is the best, but the truth of this matter is, our second amendment rights are always in jeopardy and as an AMERICAN I believe that we should not only HAVE the right to keep and bear arms, we should EXERCISE that right. Personally, I roll with a S&W .357 Magnum. Old school. 6 shooter. But I’ll tell you one thing, if I hit you once, I won’t need to hit you again. And at around fifty cents a bullet, you can bet your ass I’ll make that shot count.

    • Jason

      try a .50.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GEJAOLOGQQI3U3GHVEV5G7N7IM uncledude

    none of you guys are ever going to shoot anyone in self defense, but by all means, let the 9mm/.45 debate rage on. 

  • Konraden

    It surprises me how often people like to argue this, and how meaningless it is. My boss carries a .40, and he talks about how he just doesn’t like how “weak” the 9mm is, and he’s too small to carry a .45.

    I’m comfortable and accurate with a .380 and a 9mm, and the .380 is easier to conceal on my frame. Some guy with a Bersa Thunder 380 who hits you twice versus some guy with a .45 who makes a lot a noise but not hits? It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to solve this puzzle.

  • Leopold

    a 9mm is a .45 set on stun!

    • Makbawgs

      Lol Red shirts carry 9mm.

  • Grant

    Have you ever had to use your Glock 19 9mm handgun to nimbly fire some shots into someone who was attempting to hurt you or your loved ones? 

    • Algernon_rattus

      I say we take off, and nuke ‘em from orbit: Only way to be sure!

  • wb5hvh

    Like John Wayne said when looking down the bbl of a 38, “If you shoot me with that and I find out about it . . . ”

    I’ve been in 6 fights with a 45.  When you shoot someone with a 45 they stop doing bad stuff right away.  With 36 caliber stuff they don’t.  I have a friend who shot a burglar 17 times with a 9mm and the burglar filled a suit against him.

    This story is stupid.  A bullet distorts tissue at 10 times the bullet diameter.  Anyone know the formula for the area of a circle, (rhetorical)?

    • Goober

      If your friend put 17 rounds in someone and they were able to sue him, he’s a lousy shot!  If I put one 22 round in your head, my 27 years working in the ER tells me you will stop.

  • ronald

    the only way i can feel secure and egotistical around inferior people is when i have the smooth sexy handles of an m60 in my hand….and yes i have a license to carry it with me at all times. I”M SO MANLY

  • Wugrutt

    A bunch hooey about faster shooting. You are perpetuating misinformation and have no data to back it up. On the other hand, both sides of the 9 v 45 debate are misinformed and make assumptions to to fortify their position rather than empirical data. Seriously, both calibers are used by military and police all over the world today…

    With the advent of so many choices of ammo for all hand gun calibers, pick something you are able to shoot often and take pistol combat classes. Shooting standing still and from a bench are not going to help when the SHTF.

    Practice and prepared minds win… not caliber.  Getting caught up in this shit is stupid and not getting your head and skills where they need to be.

    • Presticle13

      It’s 6 of 1 and a half-dozen of the other. I carry my Glock 17 when I know I will be around large crowds,like at a shopping mall, because the 9mm round will fragment after hitting solid barriers like concrete or wood. And if (God forbid) I miss the attacker and hit an innocent bystander, the 9mm will NOT likely kill them with just one shot. On the other hand, if I’m planning on being in an office environment that’s less crowded- I prefer my Glock 30sf in .45 caliber because of the proven one shot knockdown.
      I scored expert with both firearms and both calibers and that’s just using “reflexive fire”- no sights, rapid draw from the hip and double-tap.
      I was extensively trained in the Army during deployment in Iraq about reflexive fire and I feel confident about any caliber I choose.
      I only say that because I see most often at the range where people have their targets 15 feet away and spend 20 seconds aiming and perfecting their breathing and trigger squeeze.
      Forget about that!!
      If that’s how you train, that’s how you will fight and you will LOSE!!
      Reflexive fire is,in fact, very easy to learn.And it is what you will actually do in a combat situation.Try it. Roll the target back to 75 feet and just unholster and shoot the target as fast as you can without using sights. You might be surprised.
      Once you see that it can be done quite well, it doesn’t matter what caliber you choose to carry.

      • Acetomato

        ?? 9mm fragmentation?? LOL.  Only if you are shooting special fragmenting ammo.

    • Tracker 3/9

      It begs the question. . . .  How many of you folks have actually Shot For Blood?!?! 

      Having spent more than 30 years training people, including SWAT Teams, SRT and HRT, in the combative use of firearms, and been in the Danger Zone repeatedly (retired USMC & Contractor) -putting rounds into the bad Guys, I can tell you there is no “Magic” bullet, caliber or gun.

      I’ve seen BG’s put down with .22 LR, and every other caliber made.  Fast, accurate shot placement is key to suriving any dynamic combative engagement, be it civilian or military.  If you can’t put rounds into the ‘Ticker’ or ‘Light Switch’ (brain bucket – Mosambique) you may not go home.

      Having said that – I’ve carried all manner of calibers, but .380 is the back-up gun to my back-up gun. .380 is reserved for ‘Bad Breath’ distances with occular cavity hits (Light Switch)!

      Key to survivabilty is:

      1. Does the gun fit your hand and does it point?  For you gun range commandos this may be a moot point.

      2. High capacity magazines are better, with spare reloads.  Running out of ammo in a gun fight is not an option!   Been there, done that!  Not good!  Having armed buddies close by IS a life saver, but don’t count on it.  I got lucky – once.

      3. Wolves (BG’s) travel in packs.  See #2 above.

      4. Did you get proper combative weapons training?  Train wherever you can, whenever you can, and with as many ‘Good’ instructors as you can.

      5. Do you practice dynaminc, combative shooting drills on a regular basis?  300 rounds per week is minimum for adrenalin surge innoculation.

      6.  Do you carry a back-up gun?  If you carry a gun, carry two – or three, depending on environment.

      7. Have you actually developed the proper ‘Mindset’?  Many are Ready and Able, but not actually Willing.  It takes a lot to put a bullet into another human being.

      8. If you think (really) that things are about to go south, the best place to carry your personal defense tool is. . . . . .   in your shooting hand with a shooting grip – unrevealed.  the BG’s should only find out you are ready is when they find themselves looking into the black hole of the muzzle.

      9. Walking around with a loaded gun closely available should give you a far more serious view of the world around you.

      10. Remember, every round you put down range, in a civilian enviroment, has a lawyer attached to it.

      Tracker 3/9

      • DevilDoc

        Everything Tracker 3/9 said is spot on.  The only thing I might add is, when you practice always practice with what you are going to carry.  You don’t want to have to waste time trying to figure out a strange gun in the middle of a fight.

      • Wugrutt

        Awesome reply. I swear you must have taught me at some point.

      • Kzn

        Thank you so much for the comment above. I felt like every word of it is the reality truth. If you said you had that much exp on the job, then I will take it as a lesson and really study and practice shooting.

      • scott will

        300 rnd per week?lol

      • Retired_from_SPOnaj

        Very well said, Semper Fi. Once you have been in an actual pistol fight, you realize that the winner is he who hits in the right place(s) first. A 9 in the right place is always better than a 45 past the BG’s ear.

    • joe

      My 9mm has a 10 shot clip and I have a spare.
      I can shot the first 10 and reload in less than 30 seconds.
      I look down for about 1 sec to make sure that my clip is going in the right way and then I hit it in.
      Done and reloaded.
      10 shots out should have scared the sh*t out of anyone and the fact that I’m now reloaded. All i should see is there back sides running.
      Now I have never been in this situation, but when I can, I practice fast accurate shooting and reloading.

      • Paul

        I have carried for years and over that time I have had to use it 3 times.  Twice it was at an ATM and neither time did I get it out of the holster.  Once the other party realized there was a gun, the incident was over.  The other time was in my office at a local home delivery service for restaurants.  Towards the end of the night there was a lot of cash in the office.  I was carrying a Glock 30 with a Lasermax internal guide rod laser.  The would be robber saw the red light below the barrel, looked down and saw the corresponding red dot on his chest.  He took off running.  The gun was a .45 with heavy fmj bullets.  Though I had a pair of spare 10 round mags I never fired a single one.  Situational awareness as well as being armed will take you a long way.

        To my mind, this is exactly how a defensive gun encounter should happen.  Had it been otherwise I would have used the gun, but when a weapon prevents a crime without being fired is the best of all possible outcomes.  I was not left talking to police, prosecutors or lawyers and spending a lot of money to defend myself for exercising my right to self defense.  Most self defense encounters involving guns do not result in guns being fired.  Will everyone have this experience whenever they need to use their gun? – No, of course not, but most often carrying a gun and being willing to use it is much more important than the caliber.

        I carry .45s because that is what I learned defensive shooting with.  I’m a big guy and as a result I can both conceal a full size .45 – a Taurus 845 – and shoot it well enough to use it defensively.

        I do recommend joining either an IPSC or IDPA league because this will provide you with weely practical practice that is far more useful than punching paper targets.  IDPA also works more with things like using cover when available.

    • scott will

      most people will die as their mindset isn’t willing to take a life. I say 9mm

  • 1911

    “By the time you’ve got one round off, I’ll have 3-4 with my 9mm” By your own admission your shots will most likely be misses, “my hits might end up in the arm, leg, chest, any number of places.”  Guess what? You can’t miss fast enough to win a gun fight. 

  • Nigel Wickenden

    Firepower is fine. Accuracy is final.

  • Macfire35

    The only problem I see with this theory is that not everyone shoots the same. 9mm does have less recoil than .45 thats why I Glock22 .40 more power stopping power then the 9mm but with the same recoil as the 9mm. the other thing you have to look at is what grain of ammo your using to. But I do agree practice, practice, practice. Thats what make the shot count.

  • Shams119

    your whole article is based as opinion, i know handfuls of ppl who can outshoot anyone with a 9mm. Its all personal preference, 9mm has its place(females, along with .380)(jk but not really), ARGUE ARGUE ARGUE ARGUE RABBLE RABBLE. xd40 for life.

  • firearms realist

    I own a 1911 and conceal carry it every day, I did not buy to to be “manly” as you would say but because that one bullet from my .45 will disable any part of an attacker i hit. I have no problems with accuracy and neither do any of the other 1911 owners that i know. I also only get to shoot every other month or so and i am more accurate at the range than anyone that is there with smaller caliber sidearms.
    Do not generalize. my .45 1911 is the perfect pistol for me, that doesn’t mean that it is the best for everyone, just like a 9mm isnt the best for everyone. Someone looking for a pistol needs to try firing a few to see which they handle the best and consider what they will use it for.
    And for anyone who wants to claim that the 9mm is better because the military uses it, well thats bullshit. Most of the men who serve overseas and have had to use them wish they still had .45s. My cousin is in the 101st infantry over in Afghanistan and he and his troops that have sidearms cant wait to trade up to .45s.

    • Wb5hvh

      Well Stated

  • Ccoetzee2000

    What is it with Americans and their problem with 9 mils? 9mm is the standard caliber used by law enforcement and combat troops, including Special Forces around the world!

  • Tim

    i agree. i carry a ruger lcp. its concealable and more than powerfull enough. accurate, and light. I also have a 38 revolver but its too large to conceal

  • heyman

    what do you got against baltimore?

  • Allenb62

    I will go against the grain and state that my 22 caliber Browning Buckmark would work just as well as a self defense gun when compared. It holds as many shells, is as accurate or maybe even more accurate, and at close range (25 yards or less) as effective. A 22 bullet to the head tends to bounce around in there and do nasty things instead of leaving. And with the price of shells I can practice all day long for what you would spend on a single box for the 45 or 9mm. The intruder would be as dead and I dont have to redecorate the wall behind them.

  • Football_king20

    I understand that. I feel perfectly comfortable with a .45 though. I very highly doubt that you can shoot 3-4  rounds in the time I can shoot one. Maybe 3 rounds in my 2 but you have to think that with a 9mm and a .45 or really any personal protection shooting you are going to be shooting at less than 10 feet. If you can’t hit a target within 10 feet you shouldn’t carry a gun.

  • Plaid_claid_rocker

    I’m still in favor of the 10mm round sch as the Glock 20 or other numerous weapons. Yes a bit of recoil but just as much accuracy and power as most conventional calibers. Also there is 357 sig the power of the bigger mag round in auto load capacity. As far as 45 vs 9mm goes.There are pros and cons for both. As far as carrying capacity. There are numerous lightweight guns available in 45 that have capacity in the same range as 9mm such as a few of Taurus’ 45 double stacks. They have a lighter weight fully loaded as conventional style 45′s do empty, with little added to recoil.Now for the 9mils there is still some stopping power there but as far as overall being more accurate this isn’t true.Accuracy is usually between barrel length, to quality of the ammo, and the weapon but mainly has to do with the quality of the shooter. They are however usually more concealable, but this is more of a preference to each person. I have my concealed license but a lot of times rather carry openly.I do this because it is more effective as a person defense than having a hidden gun.  Basically people  are less likely to mess with you if they know you have a gun on you. I own both a 45 and a 9. My 9 actually holds less rounds than my 45 because it is my cc gun, so in this I use JHP hydrashock rounds to give equal penetrating and stopping power, but in my opinion the 45 is still a better stopping weapon in the hands of someone who knows how to use it but if you feel more comfortable with more rounds then go for that. In all honestly though most of the times you have to discharge your weapon you will have to fire few rounds.Half the time just one will make a lot of criminals flee.Because honestly they would rather go after someone who’d be an easier target. So there’s my two cents do with it what you will.

  • theycallmeahick

    In my personal opinion, while a 9mm is faster and more accurate (in some cases), we’re not talking about long range killing here, and if an assailant is advancing toward me or my family, I want a large round to stop them in their tacks. I’m a larger guy, and I can control a larger caliber, so this may not apply to everyone, but a .45 ACP, .357, or .40 S&W is the way to go for me (with hollow points, not screwing around with FMJ). I don’t carry a weapon at all times, but i keep a .357 revolver in my truck, and a .45 ACP 1911 and a .44 magnum S&W revolver for home defense. That is, of course if I don’t feel pulling out the M1 garand is necessary (yeah its got a bayonet, and 8 rounds of 30.06).

  • Rtbdrtb

    you’re a fucking idiot and the epiphany of what is wrong with the world today

  • Xleo

    9 or 40 for me. The 45 is a bit too much for fast recovery times back on target for most, except for the highly trained expert that practices alot. If ur one of those great. But i love the 45 also, i have 5 nice ones however they r too big and heavy besides less rounds.

  • Shazam

    Have any of you read his “about me” profile at the bottom of the article? Ex-CIA, NRA certified instructor, etc… I’m pretty sure this guy can accurately put 4-5 shots in any experienced or inexperienced shooter before they can pull of 1 or 2.

  • Troll

    This is why I carry around an AK-47. That thing is super easy to conceal and is very accurate

  • precious821

    Hello, I would’ve agreed had I not been able to fire 2-3 quick shots equally well. Using the XD 9mm sub comp. XD.45 tactical on occasion, & XDm .40 regularly. I find getting back on target no problem. As fo # of rnds, we have 13 in .45 and 16 with the .40. The XD .45 recoils the same as 9 or 40. I would suggest trying the XD/XDm series. Looking forward to getting my XDm .40 3.8 compact this week. Thank you.

  • Hersfelder

    A rambling response:  My grandfather, who was in some really hairy firefights on the Texas / Mexico border waaaay back in the day (he carried a Colt SAA in .45LC), often said “A hit with a .32 beats a miss with a .45″  In other words, bullet placement trumps caliber.  I carried a .45ACP for lots of years because it was the only thing I had and was similar to what I trained with and used with great effect in the Army.  These days, due to arthritis, I prefer snubbies and speed loaders or small DAO autos.  The 40+ years of shooting handguns also has left me with the ability that I can *still* hit a running rabbit, firing from the hip, at ranges out to about 35 feet. 

  • MWaG

    I also carry a 9mm (CZ 75. The “Perfect Pistol” ;-) and there are several reasons for this. As the author states, you have a easier time recovering from each shot, and can count on finesse rather than the “brute strength” of the .45. Also, LOTS more rounds. 200% more, to be exact. 400% more with a spare magazine. People complain all the time about the 9mm vs. the .45, and the fact is that 90% of the world’s armed forces are using the 9mm Para, and that’s because it is an effective round. Is the .45 stronger? Sure. But it’s not a .308, and it’s only as good as the person wielding it. And if you can do the job with a .45, you can do it with anything. 9mm for the win!

  • JC

    Good Stuff.  I too carry a 9mm (XDsc9)  I do so for the simple reason that price of ammo matters for me.  I believe that if I’m to carry every day, it’s my responsibility to become as fluent with my firearm as possible and shoot many rounds very often.  I know friends with .45cal guns that will go long periods of time between practice and shoot very few rounds when the do because of price.  Chances are, I’ll be more able to draw and get well placed shots through muscle memory than them.

    plus the ability to carry 13 rounds in the small mag and 16 in the full size mag is a plus too.

  • Wmb30

    I know three doctors who have a fair amount of experience treating pistol/revolver inflicted wounds who have a different view. I’ll stick with .45 cal  

  • Btrohweder

    I agree 100%. I have been carrying my 9 mm for three years now, and feel very comfortable with it.

  • Paul H

    My grandfather told me to use the largest gun you can use reliably and practice enough with it to be able to shoot well with it.  Over the years I have participated in IPSC and IDPA which give me a more realistic workout with the gun.  Over the years I have owned many different guns in different calibers.  The one I am most comfortable with is my Taurus 845.  I’m a large man and my bulk allows me to easily conceal the large gun and it carries 12+1 rounds and I have a second mag on the off side.

    Talking with friends we often come into the great carry caliber debate.  One of my two best friends carries a Ruger LCP .380 auto and the other carries a .22mag NAA revolver.  They argue that their choices are fine because they can carry them no matter what they wear.  The friends I have who compete seem to choose 9mm. 40S&W or 45ACP and there is as much discussion of the right gun and the right size gun among them as well as what holster system is best.

    Where I come down in all of this is I chose the 845 because it is reliable and with the hammer down but the safety off it is very quick for me to get out and use.  I follow grandpa’s advice and practice frequently.  My usual routine is to break down a 100 round work into 4 25 round sets using 2 handed left, 1 handed left, 2 handed right and 1 handed right.  I have very similar holsters for left and right carry and alternate using them.  I try to practice weekly but at least every other week to keep sharp.  I think the practice and the IPSC and IDPA sessions are a bigger factor than the choice of gun or ammo, though I think my two best friends are dangerously low in both caliber and available rounds.

  • TANSTAAFL_NEAZ

    To quote Col. Jeff Cooper: Yes 9mms expand but a .45 doesn’t shrink. The problem your acquaintance was having is due to the drop a .45 has over distance but that can be compensated by aiming high. I have a Ruger P90 and I can guarantee you that I can place three rounds center mass as fast as you can. However, when it comes to a .45 It only takes ONE hit anywhere. That is why the UIS military is considering going back to the venerable .45 ACP. My carry piece is a .357 Taurus 605 with a three inch barrel my carry ammo is 120 grain Federal Hydrashoks . You see I am a wheel gunner that dabbles with autos. Why double tap when one round from a REAL gun will do the trick.

    • tpd223

      It often takes more than one hit with a .45 to put a bad guy down, and then we are talking quality hits.

      The idea that the .45 is a death ray because “it only takes ONE hit anywhere” is complete misinformation perpetrated by folks who are ego driven, lieing, and/or completely ignorant.

  • Jimwsv

    who needs more than one shot – only those that dont practise. this is why i prefer a .45 – it takes one shot not 2 or 3 like a 9mm

    • tpd223

      You are seriously out of touch with reality.

      The .45 OFTEN fails to put people down with one shot, as does any other service caliber handgun.

      I also know of dozens of 9mm shootings where only one shot was needed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O3RLEG23XZH5IWGADDCBHWWJFQ tpd223

    Some of the best reasons to choose the 9mm were left out of this article.

    Ammo cost is a big reason.  9mm ammo costs much less than .40 or .45, allowing more practice for the same investment.

    Recoil is another, many times you can’t get two hands on the gun, 9mms are more forgiving of this.  I know lots of folks who think they can run thier pistol, but they can’t do so one handed only.

    The reliability and durability of the available platforms is another thing to think about.  The Glock 9mms, as an example, are as reliable and durable as an AK47, they run regardless of ammo, clean or dirty, tac light mounted or not, shot “limp wrist”, whatever.

    Fact of life is that all modern service caliber pistol bullets leave basically the same hole in tissue, one gets a wound ballistics advantage measured in hundreths of an inch (if that), an advantage so small with the larger calibers that it becomes not worth the baggage of the extra cost and recoil.

  • Bikerbill

    My EDC is a 9mm and a reload … I’ve never felt undergunned, tho I do have a .45 available as an alternative … a good hit with a .22 is better than a miss with a .50 …

  • kwaichang

    Jason said it all and I couldn’t say it better.  Well said.

  • Doggoats

    I carry the Glock 23 .40 sw for the same reason you carry the nine, it is all in what is comfortable for you and what you practice with. Plus the .40 gives me a more powerful shot.

  • Pete

    I’m not going to get into an either/or. They each have their place and I’ve got several in both calibers.

    But I’ve had 40+ years of .45 shooting in various firearms. I don’t stop at one round and see if it’s done the job. I can shoot my .45s accurately and quickly with no more problems than my 9mms.  

     And I won’t argue that more capacity isn’t better than less. But the key ingredient is and always has been, using the tools you have effectively. Practice shooting. That doesn’t mean just putting holes in paper exactly. It means drawing, moving, shooting and working on senarios that lead to the elimination of threats to you and your loved ones.

  • Anonymous

    Good article.  The “manly” gun was what was issued to the officers during the Korean conflict.  None of those city boys could handle the noise or recoil.   The 45 is a good weapon but not for everybody.  The 9mm replaced the 38 for police work for several years when the semi-autos first come out and pushed the revolver to the back shelf.  I still prefer the revolver in 38 or 357 and I do carry a 9mm as a back up.   It has saved by back side several times in my career. 
    Thanks for the article.  Maybe the “manly” boys will take heart. 

  • Cheryl

    I love the 9mm. It’s all you really need :)

  • Sherm Risdall

    Being a former CIA officer I’m surprised to see that he feels a 9mm will shoot four times faster than a 45 ACP.  That being said the 9mm, 40 S&W, and the 45 ACP are all effective with quality self defense ammunition and good shot placement. 

  • Luckythirteen13

    Point well made. I will be carrying a 9mm as well.

  • Rgf2908

    If there is any validity to the premise that shot placement really counts, carrying a weapon that you can actually control and shoot effectively, regardless of the size of the projectile makes much more sense than carrying a bigger handgun that you cannot control. Misses by a BIG caliber are less effective by far than direct hits with smaller calibers. 

  • Smileycj305

    I carry a Glock 23, .40 cal… I like it, and I shoot it well.. I understand your choice,
    and I respect it… There are hundreds of carriers, and hundreds of opinions…. I
    like my Colt Commander better… But, I too, carry 13, an abundance.. I don’t expect
    to be involved in a “fire fight”, but you never know…also carry two extra, for a total
    of 40 rounds…

  • Rockercarl

    I agree with Jason Hanson’s article. I carried a .45 for four years in the military and met many men who “ liked”  it but couldn’t  qualify on the range without a .45 caliber pencil.  Whatever you carry, get comfortable shooting it with accuracy and speed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YZLA45HWSWTJUMIOJF27GJEQIU Lui Pestana

    You are right.  Though I feel a foot taller carrying my 1991A1 colt .45 my choice is my .9mm browing high power. I dont look at it as I have more bullets to shoot but I have more chances to miss before I run out and end up in deep sh…. I’d rather have one .9mm in the other guy then no .45′s.  And no, I’m a pretty good shot in fact, but on the range in the bright sunlight with no need to seek cover or evade is no comparison to the real thing.

  • Jpatrickwood

    Jason, I am happy to know that you have come to realize your own limitations. Either stick with a 9mm or find a good .380 or .32

  • Anonymous

    More important than what you carry is why you carry what you do.  By that, I mean, was it an informed decision when you chose your carry weapon or was it what somebody told you who didn’t know much more than you did yourself.

    Recently a friend of mine from another city called to ask me for some advice on purchasing a carry weapon.  He was all set to buy a Glock 23 because he knew that I favored that weapon.  First, I told him some weapons to definitely stay away from or, at least, research thoroughly before purchasing them.  There are some guns out there that look like a bargain but are not.  Then I told him to read everything that he could find about various makes and calibers.  Everything from manufacturers specifications to owner reviews are very easy to find on the internet and are very helpful.  I suggested that, next, he go to a gun store that had an indoor range that would loan or rent handguns for use on the range.  He and his son did this together.. 

    My friend came away with .40 Springfield XD and his son bought a 9mm Sig Sauer.  Personally, I think that they both made a good decision.  It was well informed.  Because of this, neither of them is likely to see something later, in the lane next to them at the range, that they like and then want to trade or upgrade from what they have.

    There are guns and calibers that are so large or so small that they’re ridiculous.  However, the bell curve is going to take a slightly different shape from one person to another.  Arm yourself with information and chose the gun that fits your expectations and abilities as well as your hand.  My petite 16 year-old granddaughter can keep a three inch group with a .22LR target pistol.  Given a .40 she’s doesn’t do so well and complains of the kick but with a J frame .38 in her hand it would be a fatal mistake for a BG to confront her.

  • jkgunnr

    Speaking as a woman gun owner, There’s absolutely nothing wrong with
    the 9mm as a defensive round. Although you will find lots of people
    getting very emotional in the argument about 9mm vs .40 vs .45, the actual truth
    of the matter is that, in use, there is little difference between various
    handgun calibers. Want proof of that? Here it is: if you wander through any
    firearms board on the web, you can find page after page after weary page of
    people arguing about these issues. They would not be arguing about it so
    interminably, or get so emotional about their opinions, if there were a
    definitive or obvious best. There is only one thing that everyone
    involved in the caliber wars always agrees upon: shot placement is king. If you can put the
    bullet into your attacker’s boiler room or computer, that is going to put your
    attacker down a whole lot faster than if you hit him in the left big toe or miss
    him entirely. Being able to put the bullet where you want it takes
    practice. So the caliber that is best at stopping attackers is whatever caliber
    you are willing to practice with — a
    lot. That’s the one thing everyone involved in the caliber debate does agree on.
    The 9mm has two practical issues going for it that make it a very good
    choice for someone just getting into handgunning. 1) All other things
    being equal, it is softer-recoiling than most other defensive calibers. That
    means that learners are less likely to develop a bad flinch and more likely to
    practice a lot. Did I mention, practice is a good thing? 2) 9mm is the
    absolute least expensive defensive caliber. With ammunition prices going
    steadily up with no end in sight, this is not a minor factor for many of us. If
    you feel guilty about spending too much money on ammunition, you’re less likely
    to practice as much as you must in order to develop a good skill level. And as I
    said before, practice is a good thing. So that’s my personal take on the
    9mm vs .40 question. Sorry if I sound abrupt, not trying to.

    jkgunnr
    LC9 (I love it)

    • Mike

      Well there you go folks. It took a woman to end the debate. I could not agree with you more. I use a Walther PPQ 9mm and I’m dead on with it. I Use JHP’s and love it.
      Thank You Maam I appreciate what you said !!

      Mike

  • Jamescalico2

    Ditto,thats the same reason my ccw is a glock 19 or 26 .Before i had to retire for medical reasons,myduty weapon was a glock 23,a40 cal. and to me the felt recoil of the 40 snappy and i don’t care for it!But a 45 acp the felt recoil is more of a push and doesn’t have the snappyness of the 40 cal. But whatever you carry make it something that you feel you are comfortable and accurate with and shoot as regular as you can.Keep up your skills.Takes some training classes learn something new,it will keep you sharp and you”ll enjoy it!

  • camelbelly

    It seems to me that many of you are missing the point here it is not about the caliber of the weapon but with the users accuracy .It has always been my policy that if it is necessary to use your weapon in self defense then shoot to kill not wound!

  • Ghost_rider249

    Great article and I also carry a glock 19!!

  • split it

    Glock 23. Perfect mixture of power and capacity.

  • No

    And what if I can shoot my .45 better than I can a Glock 9mm? Should I switch just because you say so?

  • Richard Borts

    Good points Jason, and although some may say they cant be trusted a laser to me would be a reasonable choice,to help with recoil with almost any gun

  • BaconSammich

    Good article… Personally, I’m one of those guys that carries a 1911… not for the ‘manly’ feel though. The pistol just feels right in my hands. And I’m quite proficient with it… I’m at the range about every other day (One of the perks of being a co-owner of a small firearms manufacturing company).

    • Duckworks

       Browning’s gem is an ergonomic masterpiece.

  • http://www.counterviolenceinstitute.com Shepard Humphries

    Good points Jason, amen & thanks!  :)  An argument can be made for a Desert eagle 44 mag, but round capacity and marksmanship abilities might be important…just might…lol
    Shepard Humphries

  • Anonymous

    Caliber is not nearly as important as shot placement.  I’ve heard the argument on the knock-down power of a 45.  Sure it’s a heavy bullet but as a 22 year paramedic, I’ve seen a man walk out of the hospital after 2 weeks that was shot in the head with a 45 (not a glancing blow but grey mater on the opposite side of the car).  I’ve seen a 16 y/o die from a single GSW to the chest from a .22  I’ve seen multiple other fatalities from .22 cal as well.  That little bullet bounces around inside the body tearing up everything.  The larger cals. often go right through (as the .45 did).  I choose the 9mm. because the higher velocity will penetrate deeply enough to do serious damage & with the proper bullet it will expand & expend all of it’s energy inside the body. 
    Bottom line, like others have said before me, choose what you can shoot well & practice!

  • shane

    Nice double negative in the first paragraph.  Terrible writer, bad blog.

  • Mason Rideout

    My name is Mason Rideout and i have been in a gun fight with a .45 and i would chose my .45 over a 9mm glock anyday, I fired one shot and hit my target( who had just put an AK47 in my face) in the neck at aproximatly 10ft away, the other two gangsters in the room with guns ( a 12 guage and 9mm) both turned and ran when they saw me pretty much decapitate their commrad right in front of them, I only needed one shot and he died before he hit the ground. I don’t mean to talk smack i believe any calibler can win a gunfight in the right hands but what your argument pretty much came down to was if your a bad shot you need a 9mm and i agree but 5 9mm shots won’t do as much damage as one well placed .45.

    > Google ” Mason Rideout” click the link on deadly south tulsa shooting if you dont believe me. 

    • MadMax

      Mason, I read the article. I admire your courage! you are the man!

  • Floridabread

    well you see there dip shit, we live in the real world, and i carry a “Manly” colt 45 because shooting twice is just stupid. i’m not retarted so i dont miss when i shoot. i’m not a bitch, so i can handle a real recoil and not be afraid of it. so whether its a 9 or a 45 i still put it right between the eyes. and your worried about your family getting hurt? but you wanna spray rounds down range like a damn somolian rebel. after viewing your judgement calls and your reasoning i would say you shouldnt be allowed anywhere near a firearm or allowed to reproduce. your going to get us all killed. my 80 year old grandmother carries a bigger gun than you and she never talked about having to shoot anyone more than once. the way to shoot an attacker is with controlled fire, not with a point and pull the trigger as fast as you can.

    • Duckworks

      Not to belabour the point, but a 12 ga. shotgun makes a .45 look feeble. Nine 00 buck pellets equals the velocity and energy of nine .357 bullets…at once. And, with the onerous ‘safe storage’ rules here in Canada, having a shotgun at the ready in my home is MUCH simpler than a handgun (only cash-in-transit guards and the like are allowed to carry guns). If you want real power, use a long gun.

  • Anonymous

    Boring, boring beyond belief.  Have a gun, make it one you can hit with.  Bigger is better!

    • dokie

      yap. I agree with you sir.

  • Anonymous

    No matter what the caliber or frame of your weapon (compact or full size) if you don’t practice and can’t hit the object you are shooting at you’re just pissing up a rope and looking for expensive problems when you can’t hit what you are shooting at in a defensive challenge.

    I shoot on a regular basis many guns from a 5×7 up to 45 cal and can nail a 2 inch group at 10 yards in under 2 seconds with all of them. My 5×7 is the best weapon I have for putting round after round through the same hole, very accurate with next to zero recoil.

    I carry a .40 S&W PPS, why the concealability of the PPS exceeds the FN 5×7, yet the 5×7 hold up to 30 rounds in a mag and the PPS max of 7 rounds. There are trade offs with every choice, go with whatever fits your needs and with what you can take the wings off a humming bird on the move…The key is practice and improve what you do. Don’t just empty a mag and wonder why the caliber you are shooting is missing the mark.

    CLEET Certified and CCW Licensed

    ~~ My Guns Are Locked In My Safe, Over My Shoulder Or Strapped To My Side ~~

  • Cameront21

    Could not agree more. For myself the fact that I can afford to shoot nearly twice as many 9mm rounds as I could afford to shoot .45 means I am much more confident and experienced with my firearm.

  • Joe

    I have Glock  9mm and when I hear someone coming down the drive way, I meet them at the back door with it in my hand. Now you must understand that we do not use the front door and the driveway goes to the back door only. Plus I live “WAY OFF” the road, that when they can see my house, they KNOW that they are at the right place or are REALLY LOST. They still have to drive 400 feet to the house or can turn around at that time. My place is very remote and if someone wanted to break into a house and not be seen, than they would try my house. Their only problem is that they can not tell if I’m home until they get to the back door area. Than it’s to late. I’m armed and it’s loaded.If they do not get out and let me know who they are, then I ask them who they are while I call 911.All of my kids friends have been met at the back door at least once, unless we knew they were coming. I would think that by word of mouth alone, that everyone knows I carry a 9mm.I been here 12 years now and only 1 time did I have someone come to the house that I did not know. when they saw the gun, they said that they were lost and left… fast. that was 10 years ago.

  • Duckworks

    Something you folks might consider: hoop stress–the more slender a pressure vessel, the inherently stronger it is. The relatively slender 9×19 is less likely to kaBOOM! than a .40 at the same pressure. And the larger diameter .45 is also highly susceptible to kaBOOMs. With 9s out there having 500 ft/lbs energy (+p+ 115gr), why bother with the only marginally punchier .40s and .45s?

  • simon hoare

    I live in the UK and you lot scare the crap out of me ..

  • Kzn

    I feel that this article speaks for my choice in my mind when I need to purchase a self defense pistol.

  • youy

    .45 is for the calm shooter because the bullet is more recoil so spray and pray is pretty hard. 9mm is more bullets in clip and more down range and less recoil. its pretty much all skill and which one you train with. another thing is the will which comes from experience. oh and a 9mm fine tuned gun is very accurate but a m1911 extremely fine tuned with thousands of dollars is the most accurate pistol you will get. oh and frangible rounds might be good for defense or a good hollow point mostly the frag for malls and stuff with hollows for home. 9mms might be better for crowds because you will probably realize after the first round that they are innocent and it would do less damage.

  • Anonymous

    So you carry a 9mm because you “don’t want to be cool.”
    If it actually takes that long to pull the trigger on your .45, I suggest you replace the trigger. A 9 is going to take about 3 rounds to put someone on the ground, what’s the point?

  • Hunleyman1

    Excellent observations all! And, you are precisely correct in your assertion that some put their egos & imaginations ahead of prudence.

  • http://profiles.google.com/holly.slavic Aitch Slavic

    I read that the Conn. shooter had 9mm–two of them–Is this true? If so, why is this his weapon of choice vs. something else.?

    • Michael

      Magazine capacity? Plus, if you’re a monster shooting at kids you don’t need a powerful round

      • http://profiles.google.com/holly.slavic Aitch Slavic

        very true.

  • trob6969

    The vast majority of incidents that occur when someone has to defend themselves happen at very close range so you probably wouldn’t have time to get off multiple shots with any caliber. So I prefer to have the caliber that produces the bigger hole with one shot. After seeing the video of the ex boxer who attacked a police officer and was shot three times in the torso at point blank range with a 9mm and not only did the attacker keep attacking but he literally didn’t even flinch, I decided to NEVER trust a 9mm to save my life.

  • scott will

    The old soldiers with their .45s were also carrying a RIFLE! Their mindset was ALWAYS ready to kill.I don’t walk around ready to kill. When God forbid I have to use my glock, I will be panicking and have tunnel vision. Article made perfect sense to me.Also everyone knows the 1911 is a sweet gun. It is heavy with a light trigger MADE for that round.

  • RnageMedic

    I have been thinking for a while why do I use the .40? I started with a.40 99% of my training was done with a .40 and all around I love the distinct sound of the .40.

  • Retired_from_SPOnaj

    Go to the range, not once, but several times. Rent and fire different pistols and revolvers with different rounds, .380, 38 Special, 9mm, 40, 45 etc. Settle on the combination of pistol/revolver and round that feels most instinctive for you, and with which you can consistently place the most rounds in the right place on the target. Then start researching the most effective self defense round for the weapon that you have chosen. Practice with that round, of course, but also practice-a lot-with regular ball ammunition. Get very proficient.
    It’s a long, expensive process of discovery, but what is your life worth?