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Self Defense - 9mm or larger?

This is a discussion on Self Defense - 9mm or larger? within the Polls forums, part of the Smith & Wesson MP Forum category; I carry the full size 9 because of the mag capacity. After considering the nature of the most common violent crimes in my area, and ...


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no, I chose 9mm because of a reason other than the price of ammo or concealability. (please reply to this thread to explain) 245 63.64%
yes, but I can't afford anything except the 9mm rounds 25 6.49%
yes, but I can't (comfortably) conceal anything bigger. 34 8.83%
other (please reply to this thread to explain) 81 21.04%
Voters: 385. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 5th, 2008, 05:42 PM   #16
 
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I carry the full size 9 because of the mag capacity. After considering the nature of the most common violent crimes in my area, and the average number of assailants, I have decided that I would rather have the extra capacity, than the admittedly better stopping power of the larger calibers. The gangs will home invade with anywhere from 3 to 6 people at once, and they will attack you in numbers of 2 to 4 in isolated areas in public, such as parking lots, as well as the remote communications sites I frequent as part of my job. I practice frequently, just about every week, shooting at least 200 rounds at 15 and 25 yards. So I am confident of my ability to hit what I want to, and placement is important especially with the smaller round. I use Winchester Ranger SXT, 127 gr. +P+. It is the enhanced re-incarnation of the old Black Talon, and truly something you donít want to be hit with. It is the nastiest round I could find, and it is worth looking into if you are carrying a 9. By the way, after many thousands of rounds through my M&P full size 9, I have had no failures of any sort whatsoever. It has been perfect without exception out of the box.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 05:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S&W M&P Fan' post='136043' date='May 5 2008, 08:21 PM
I have seen the 9mm fail more than succeed, also how can you argue with the fact that the biggest majority of LEAs carry the 40 or 357 and not many carry the 9mm anymore. JMO ok let the flogging begin.


Not gonna flog you but, as Todd has mentioned before, LE agency's have 40s b/c it was the "new" round several years ago and the gun companies wanted to sell more guns to LE. It's easier to sell someone something they don't have than a new one of whatever they already have (9mm).



As a MP, are you also restricted to FMJ in your 9mm? If so, that may be the reason it hasn't worked so well.



Personally, after all the reading and info gathering I've never seen real evidence that shows that the 40 or 45 is significantly better than the 9 when using modern HP ammo. So, I stick to 9mm b/c of greater capacity and lower cost.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 06:07 PM   #18
 
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The more ammo you can carry the better off you are. I donno but I might be partial to the military mentality "one shot one kill" so that means I can take down more BG with the 9mm. Unless you live in one of those jacked up states which limits mag capacity.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 09:26 PM   #19
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The gun that I can shoot most accurately is my S&W 1911, so that is what I carry most often when clothing/activities allow.



I just bought the M&P .45 with the hopes that it will share the pedestal with the 1911 (I like .45s!) once I've shot it enough to build my confidence with it.



Ammo cost is a minor factor at this point, mostly because I am well stocked, having bought it at a lot cheaper prices than today's costs.



If accuracy isn't an issue, I wouldn't feel outgunned with a 9mm.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 09:35 PM   #20
 
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well what about a 380? if i wanted to carry a ppk would a 380 be good enough? i'd tend to think so but i'm usually wrong so if i'm not wrong i will be highly suspicious of you if you agree with me.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 09:40 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David' post='136137' date='May 6 2008, 12:35 AM
well what about a 380? if i wanted to carry a ppk would a 380 be good enough? i'd tend to think so but i'm usually wrong so if i'm not wrong i will be highly suspicious of you if you agree with me.
My problem w/ 380 is that you can get so many guns in 9 & 40 that are just as small as the average 380 yet offer the obvious ballistic advantage. Unless you need something tiny (think seacamp or NAA) I feel like the 380 has lost it's place. YMMV
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Old May 5th, 2008, 09:47 PM   #22
 
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Shot placement is key, I practice more with 9mm because it's a pleasure to shoot & doesn't break the bank. That said, if a big bad drug crazed BG was charging me I'd rather have the biggest gun I can hold up.
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Old May 5th, 2008, 10:05 PM   #23
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chefdog' post='136139' date='May 6 2008, 04:40 AM
My problem w/ 380 is that you can get so many guns in 9 & 40 that are just as small as the average 380 yet offer the obvious ballistic advantage. Unless you need something tiny (think seacamp or NAA) I feel like the 380 has lost it's place. YMMV


i agree but it sure does suck to see something beautiful like a beretta cheetah or walther ppk and they don't come in 9mm or 40. 380 is all there is (380 + 32 for the ppk)... why can't the things be ugly then i wouldn't want one? guns of smaller calibers should be ugly, it should be a rule.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 02:41 AM   #24
 
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I have a couple of .380's, should the need for small size arise (and I finish fixing the P3-AT!).



Otherwise, an XD-9SC (in 9mm if you hadn't guessed) for a little less stealth, or a few 1911's in various sizes and .45ACP.



My M&P40 is a house/range gun.



While I believe in shot placement as much as the next guy, I prefer the odds of a .4x doing a little better if my placement's off. 9mm SD rounds aren't bad, either, but not quite....



.380's are better than nothing....



Just IMHO....



Back in the day, I carried a 6" S&W M19 Combat Magnum for uniform duty, and a 4" S&W M10HB for plainclothes work (rent-a-cop). We didn't worry about stuff like this until the M39 arrived on the scene. (I've got one of those, too.)



Regards,
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Old May 6th, 2008, 09:54 AM   #25
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9mm or larger and you're good to go. .380 is a little on the weak side and you're taking a gamble if you're using JHP. If you have to use .380, use FMJ to ensure you get the penetration you need.



I currently carry a .40, but I do have a couple 9mms that are approved for carry if I get in the mood or my .40 goes down. As soon as the Storm Lake conversion barrels are available for the compact, I will be turning my .40 into a 9mm.



Here's where I'm at now in my head. The answers to these basic questions will determine the right answer.



1. Am I using a major caliber - one acceptable for self-defense?



2. What can I shoot fast? More bullets on target in the shortest amount of time is a good thing.



3. What can I shoot fast and accurately? Fast (or even bigger bullets) won't help me much if I can't make good hits.



4. What caliber will I train with the most? For many, the price of ammo is major consideration. Whatever major caliber I shoot the most is what I should carry. It's not enough IMO to shoot one caliber the majority of the time and just "stay familiar" with my carry caliber - something I have been doing but will no longer do.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 11:04 AM   #26
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choochboost
4. What caliber will I train with the most? For many, the price of ammo is major consideration. Whatever major caliber I shoot the most is what I should carry. It's not enough IMO to shoot one caliber the majority of the time and just "stay familiar" with my carry caliber - something I have been doing but will no longer do.
choochboost:



IMHO, the gun's controls and feel need to match rather more than any of the caliber issues.



A 9mm, .40, or .45 is going to feel about the same in extremis, regardless of things like barrel length or caliber. What's important is the location of the thumb safety (if any), the action necessary to de-activate it (if any), the style of the sights, and things related to the trigger.



I put a Kimber .22LR Conversion Kit on top of an old Combat Commander a while back. It's not quite the same, but everything works the same way....



(You can train with a 1911 and carry an XD, Glock, or M&P. The thumb safety isn't necessarily there, but your attempt to release it won't take any time to speak of, even if one's not there.... Same thing goes for things like my old M39 - just turn the thing off "in holster". You don't really need it anyway. You don't want to train with the M39 and carry a 1911, though. The safety lever works backwards, and while it can be turned off and left off, the 1911 doesn't give you that luxury. You have to practice disengaging the 1911's safety.)



Regards,
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Old May 6th, 2008, 11:26 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMMAssociates' post='136219' date='May 6 2008, 11:04 AM
choochboost:



IMHO, the gun's controls and feel need to match rather more than any of the caliber issues.
Yes, that is an important factor in choosing a pistol, as is pistol-to-hand fit and some other things, but the context of this thread and my comments where regarding caliber specifically.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 12:53 PM   #28
 
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I chose No



I prefer my 18 9mm rounds + 17 backup rounds.

A 9mm to the hand and a 45 to the hand both suck but neither are show stopers per say.

Shot placement is what counts and with 18 shots to place if one don't hit the sweet spots I deserve the results.





9mm is lighter and I can carry more, shoot more, and therfore will me more comfortable in a defense situation.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 02:31 AM   #29
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamworth' post='135970' date='May 5 2008, 09:52 PM
Hi all,

I'm asking because I'm looking into buying a new handgun for carry. I'm a big guy, so I wouldn't have trouble concealing a larger gun. The only thing keeping me from getting the .45 is the price of the ammo, but I would rather not let money get in the way of self and family defense. I want to know is there any other reason to go with 9mm? I know the .45 puts bigger holes in the BG, and 9mm are just as deadly when accuracy is a moot point. The best question to ask you is:

If you carry a 9mm, do you ever wish it were a .45, or did you choose the 9mm round over the .45 (or other 'larger' rounds) for any particular reason?

For an objective response: accuracy is a moot point, concealability is a moot point, and personal opinion is a moot point. Thank you all for your time.


Accuracy and concealability are hardly moot points not worthy of consideration.



Both of my made in Germany SIG .45's will outshoot my M&P 40c accuracy wise. But my M&P is far easier to carry and conceal than they are. Just look at the difference in size, of my M&P 40c with my full size SIG P220:











Now bullet wise, it certainly is hard to argue against the .45. Compare this Corbon .45 Hollowpoint load:











With a Corbon 9mm load:













Like some of the others here, I split the difference, and went with the 40 compact. The gun is no bigger than the 9c model. And if I cannot hit an attacker after firing 11 times, I figure odds are pretty good that I myself will be dead before that point.



I also carry a Taser International Model C2 to handle situations where I would want to instead use non-lethal force:





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Old May 8th, 2008, 02:54 AM   #30
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choochboost' post='136211' date='May 6 2008, 04:54 PM
-edited for brevity,.



Here's where I'm at now in my head. The answers to these basic questions will determine the right answer.



1. Am I using a major caliber - one acceptable for self-defense?



2. What can I shoot fast? More bullets on target in the shortest amount of time is a good thing.



3. What can I shoot fast and accurately? Fast (or even bigger bullets) won't help me much if I can't make good hits.



4. What caliber will I train with the most? For many, the price of ammo is major consideration. Whatever major caliber I shoot the most is what I should carry. It's not enough IMO to shoot one caliber the majority of the time and just "stay familiar" with my carry caliber - something I have been doing but will no longer do.


Gotta agree with the comments above, I don't care who you are, caliber affects both accuracy and rapidity of fire. Also, your circumstances may affect your choice. It's been noted that multiple assailants are much more common. What's a typical LE response time in your area? Ammo capacity might be an issue here. Health can also be an issue. The various itis's (Arthritis, Bursitis, Tendonitis, etc.) can drastically affect what you can manage to properly control. Post operative recovery can also make previously easy actions painful or impossible-without outstanding motivation. Almost forgot: how good are you shooting with gun hand only? How about support hand only?



FWIW, I lugged a 1911 for about 18 years before switching to a 9mm. Not only don't I feel handicapped, I think I'm at an advantage. Your have to remember that the weapon is but a tool. You need to select the tool that allows you to maximize your capabilities. Over the years I've spent on ranges I've seen a whole bunch of people who would have been much better off with a "less manly" round. "There are no magic bullets."-Evan Marshall.
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