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 as 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 it is 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 gunfights 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?