21 December 2021

Living With 9mm

I've toted .45 ACP in both a 1911 and modern striker fired guns.

First the Glock 21, then a Springfield M1911 A1 USGI then a S&W M&P 45C.

I've carried 9mm several times as well.  S&W M&P 9, S&W M&P 9 Sheild and Shield-Plus and S&W Model 59.  (Glock 17 and Beretta M9 as well if you count my military experience).

I've carried a couple of not 9mm nine-millimeter guns too.  S&W 640-3 in .357 Magnum, Colt Pocket Hammerless and SIG P238 in .380 ACP plus a Colt Gov't Model in .38 Super.

We'll just ignore the years I packed that FIE Titan in .25 ACP illegally in Iowa.


Except for the .25 nearly all of them perform the same in gelatin in the FBI testing with similar ammunition.

That's an important caveat.

But since the difference between .45 ACP and 9mm with the same brand JHP is not obvious at a glance, more beans and a lighter gun is better than fewer shots and a heavier gun.

If you shoot a .45 way better and more consistently than any 9mm you own, pack the bigger bullets!  Shot placement still matters WAY more than what caliber you're using.

While true, nothing is going to make that .45 hole smaller, modern JHP hardly have problems getting expansion any more.  Some brands do, but they're older designs or based on older designs.

For example, "ancient" Federal Hydra-Shok, when it expands, compares favorably to several modern loads.  The problem is that it doesn't always expand and clogging with clothing is the most common reason.  It's a ball round if this happens.

Technology marched on and performance through clothing improved.

Does this mean you should throw away your Hydra-Shok?


Go ahead and use it until it's gone, but don't replace it with Hydra-Shok once it's shot up.

Use it as range ammo.  Use it to test if a gun will feed hollow-points because if it feeds this, it'll feed the newer stuff!

But don't fret about it.

Check out LuckyGunner's ammo comparison charts to get an idea of what should work and what doesn't.

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