Reasons To Consider A 1911 9mm Instead Of .45 ACP

Reasons To Consider A 1911 9mm Instead Of .45 ACP


Reasons To Consider A 1911 9mm Instead Of .45 ACP

Believe it or not, there are some very good reasons to consider a 1911 9mm instead of the classic .45 ACP chambering. Not that there’s anything wrong with .45 ACP; it’s a great round and a decent 1911 makes shooting a big-bore cartridge an absolute breeze. However, the same gun chambered in 9mm is very much worth your consideration.

A 9mm 1911 Is Entirely In Keeping With Tradition

The testbed model for what became the 1911 was the Colt Model 1900, which was not actually chambered in .45 ACP. John Browning started work on the pistol design in the 1890s, and the first iteration – the M1900 – was actually chambered in .38 ACP, a very similar cartridge to the 9x19mm round in many respects.

Muzzle velocity of .38 ACP and 9mm are very similar, though the ACP has somewhat more muzzle energy. Initial factory loads actually had to be detuned a bit as the Colt M1900 and subsequent versions (such as the M1905) couldn’t quite handle the power of early ACP loadings, which had significant zip – early .38 loads had a 130-grain projectile moving at almost 1,300 fps out of the barrel.

However, ammunition makers turned the heat back up in the late 1920s, reloading .38 ACP to it’s original higher-power specifications and branding the hotter loads as .38 Super.

The difference between .38 ACP and 9mm is that .38 ACP has a longer case (0.9 inches vs 0.754 inches) and is semi-rimmed, whereas the 9mm is rimless. Given the shorter case length, the 9mm Para also has higher chamber pressures. However, the Army wanted a .45, so the .45 ACP was devised and first used in the Model 1905 and eventually adopted in the Model 1911.

So, it could be said that the 9mm or at least a very similar round was employed in the platform from the very beginning.

Furthermore, the first production 9mm 1911 was actually released by Colt in 1950, the Colt Commander on commission from the Armed Forces looking for a lighter-weight and compact pistol for officers.

Clearly, the lighter round than .45 has had an association with the platform all along.

Advantages Of A 1911 9mm

There are several advantages of a 1911 9mm, first and foremost being the additional capacity. Granted, the single-stack magazine means that you get an additional 2 rounds in most magazines, so up to 9+1. However, some magazines for 9mm 1911 pistols can bring that up to 10 rounds, giving the person carrying up to 11 rounds.

While far from high-capacity by modern standards, that’s still not as bad as the 7+1 the pistol holds of .45 ACP (or 6+1 in Officer frames) so that’s something.

Additionally, standard procedure for adapting the 9mm cartridge to the platform is usually done with a thicker barrel, whether it’s done with or without a bushing. The additional front-loaded weight will soak up recoil (which would be mild in a full-size anyway) and make follow-up shots a breeze.

Also, and this is something to think about, the single-stack capacity is only three fewer rounds than standard capacity of the Browning Hi-Power. 1911 pistols in 9mm can be had for around $500 from some of the import makers; a BHP is going to run you about close to double that. While there are some mechanical differences, they’re pretty slight – either way it’s a John Browning-designed single-action 9mm. One of them just has a grip safety and has to be reloaded a little more often at the range. So, if you have a jones for a BHP but don’t want the expense…this would be a solution.

It Makes 1911 Concealed Carry A Little Easier

Another good aspect is 1911 concealed carry. While many people carry a Gov’t frame every day (and there’s nothing wrong with that!) the fact is that the recoil of .45 ACP in a smaller gun (such as a Commander or Officer frame) can be punishing to some shooters. One of the compact frames, chambered in 9mm will be much easier to deal with.

There’s also the running costs. While .45 ACP is hardly the most expensive round ($20 for a box of 50 hardball rounds is common, though it may be more or less at your LGS) the 9mm round is just cheaper by upward of $5 a box in some cases. (Even cheaper if you run the REAL cheap stuff.) Over a few years of shooting that adds up.

Additionally, the truth is that no handgun caliber has anything close to “stopping power,” except maybe the large magnums. Placement and quality of ammunition have far more impact, so to speak.

So why not get a 1911 9mm? A while back I wrote a 1911 pistol shopping guide that may help you narrow down your search. There is a whole lot of upside, and not much downside.

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The award-winning P365 has redefined the micro-compact pistol category, quickly becoming one of the most coveted firearms in the industry.

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Smith & Wesson M&p Shield Ez 9mm Pistol With Manual Safety, Black - 12436

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 9mm Pistol With Manual Safety, Black

The next evolution of the M&P Shield EZ pistol, the M&P9 Shield EZ encompasses all of the M&P Shield EZ features, now in the powerful 9mm caliber.

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Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for Alien Gear Holsters, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. He also contributes a bi-weekly column for Daily Caller. In his free time, Sam enjoys camping, hunting and spending time at the gun range as often as possible.
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First: I chose the 9mm because I do not wish to kill someone, just merely stop them if they mean to try and kill me… I do not like violence, but if you try, I will defend myself. Ezekiel 33

Second: I chose the 1911model because my grandfather use to have one of these around his house when I visited; and I always loved how it looked and felt. It was also one my first weapons I ever fired.

So I bought a Rock Island version of the 1911-9mm and it has never jammed, of course I know how to field stripe it easily and, keep it regularly cleaned. It does not have a bad weight to it neither. Like a character once said, in my favorite movie ‘Snatched’
“If it does not work, then you can always hit’em with it”

Darryl Hadfield

If your intent is to not kill anyone, you probably shouldn’t be carrying. Concealed Carry is in every state, a means to use lethal (i.e. DEADly) force in self defense.


I thought pretty much the same thing when I read kbmyk’s comment. To merely “stop” someone, you should be carrying pepper spray. If someone is trying to kill me, I want that person DEAD. First.


Forget pepper spray, that does not stop someone with Terminator style sunglasses. The Taser will, although if used on a heart patient it might kill them.

Fred Miller

I’ll pull my gun, make them take their pants off, and shove a can of pepper spray up their butt before I tase ’em in the ass to set the can off. Then I’ll shoot ’em because their hollerin’ annoyed me. It’s a Trifecta.


Long as you practice the 3 S – shoot, shovel & shut-up.

Fred Miller

Shovel? Nah! Too much like work. Bad guy+woodchipper=Lake Ontario. Over, done with, gone.


Ok, you can have it your way, SWCSU. Just more letters to spell out…


How does one spell out a letter?


I’m sure you had the best of intentions when you wrote: “I chose the 9mm because I do not wish to kill someone, just merely stop them if they mean to try and kill me”. I just want to say the 9mm has amassed its share of deaths just like other calibers. The truth is ALL calibers kill. You seem like a good decent young man, but you may want to rethink carrying a firearm because death can indeed be the tragic outcome of you defending yourself and you need to be prepared to accept that reality. I’m a retired cop (four decades of service) and I really want you to be armed and trained, but I also want you to realize that ANY caliber can and will take human life. God Bless you and stay safe!


Most common firearms deaths are from the tiny round, the .22LR. Even a LEO wearing a vest died from one.


Bullshit, .22LR does not penetrate the soft L3 vest even. But it will kill soft targets. It was the close range assassins’ weapon of choice during the mafia wars of the 40s-60s.


I hope you like the taste of it because that is a fact. You forget that they do not provide complete coverage in many cases. In his case, it entered thru a gap in the side and tumbled around inside. Lethal unlucky shot but still only a .22LR. The vest did him no good.


So you agree it does not penetrate vests. Fact !


Never said it did. I said that he died even though wearing body armor and it was a .22LR that killed him. In the old days it was known as the “golden bullet”. The one placement shot that could kill or destroy an object.


So you argue for the sake of argument… We have no argument.




killing the death threat is the only way to STOP it . an injured, wounded man you do all he can to take you with him, why do you thing LEOs are trained to shot two ctr mass third to head in case of body armor ? they want to go home at the end of the day.NO one wants to kill some one. but that choice is not made by you but by the attacker. If you have problem getting your head around that fact maybe you should think twice about carrying. . the police have cases on the books where Bad guys have taken a doz. + hits and still return fire . there’s a reason to shot to kill in a life or death condition.


I’ll take a Glock in 40S&W over a 1911 in either 9mm or 45ACP.


I’ll take a 1911 over any Glock. And a S&W 4006 over any Glock in .40S&W.

Fred Miller

Nah. A .40 shoots like an overblown .380. I’ll take my 9mm or my .45 with Pow’rballs any day over a .40. Friends don’t let friends shoot Glock. They shoot Smiths, Rugers and Sigs.

Fred Miller

I’ll take a Sig 1911 .45 over any .40 any day, especially a crunchy trigfered, fugly Glock. .40 is an overblown .380, and just as snappy. If I want a larger caliber than a 9mm or .38, I’m not going halfway.


Then why not get a 50AE?


I’ll keep my Ruger p345 IN .45 ACP it’s been a very dependable pistol for over ten yrs.

Jim Lagnese

Hmmm…If I want a 9mm, there are better choices in terms of most things. If you like the ergos, that’s fine, but it’s a lot heavier and holds fewer rounds. If I wanted a smaller bore 1911, I might get a 38 Super or just stick with the 45. It’s really much ado about nothing.


But make sure whatever you choose is on the Kalifornia approved “Not Unsafe List”.

Jim Lagnese

I don’t live in CA. I live in AZ.


My bad, I remember you talking about the stupid CA “Not Unsafe List” at some point.

Jim Lagnese

In some ways, I am glad not to live in CA. I did 40 years in NY, that was enough.


I don’t listen to Airheads, do you ?


No, and I don’t like listening to Hillary-tree music either.


While I know Billary is a pair of disgusting Irish Mafia Assassins, bare in mind your “rebloodicans” upheld all gun bans since 1933.comment image

Green Hornet

staying with 45acp 1911, condition 1
Tell me why so many people like Glocks? Tried them don’t like them


Because Glocks are vastly superior to 1911s.


Reliability, no safety switch, less parts to break down, less weight (questionable).
Downside – high recoil, mitigated by replacing the original parts with these: low pressure trigger & mid. pressure recoil spring.
9mm has a flat trajectory as opposed to the higher power or caliber rifle like rise & fall.
Only thing I like in the overall .45cal. is lower recoil.


New inbreed weapons with no purpose. Is the gun industry that bored ?
Want to make more money ? Give the people the same discounts you gave the Federal Terrorist Union. Unpatriotic, scumbag, merchants.