Categories
Ammunition

Rob vs. Rob: A Return of the Great Caliber Wars

I’m old enough to recall the debates of .357 Magnum vs. .45 ACP in the gun magazines. Those arguments came before the rise of the Wonder 9 pistols of the mid to late 1980s.

Once semi-automatic pistols became the norm at police departments and with shooting enthusiasts, I witnessed the arguments of 9mm vs. .40 S&W (and skirmishes over the .357 SIG, 10mm, .400 Corbon and others.)

bullet effectiveness

I thought that shooters got the ill-informed bickering out of their system during those decades and people were off to settle more important issues. Issues like what is the best technique to add an electric fan to your holster or what style of Realtree matches which caliber.

I’m afraid I was wrong.

Recently, Springfield Armory announced a Mod.2 version of the XD-S pistol. Like the original XD-S, Springfield Armory introduced the first guns in .45 ACP. I would expect the company will follow its existing pattern of introducing the follow up gun in 9mm.

It seems that the choice to introduce the gun first in .45 caused some small dust up in social media. At about the same time, competition shooter Rob Leatham, a Springfield Armory representative, put out a video about his preference for the .45 ACP.

In Leatham’s video, he talks about the .45 ACP being “more powerful” than the 9mm. He seems to imply that because the .45 ACP cartridge tends to have more momentum than the 9mm, that it is a better choice for self-defense. Leatham could have demonstrated this with a paper shooting target but opted instead to knock down some steel targets to better illustrate his point. (Ed. note: Leatham’s original video appears to have been taken down.)

In the video, he specifically mentions trainer and author Rob Pincus. Pincus holds a  preference for the 9mm cartridge as a self-defense round.

In response, Pincus posted a bit of a tongue in cheek article that offers evidence to the 9mm cartridge’s usefulness in actual self defense encounters. You can read that article here.

I should note that Leatham and Pincus have worked together in the past, and I believe they are friends. I have no reason to believe there is any animosity between them.

I have a great deal of respect for both Leatham and Pincus. Both have accomplished a great deal in their respective careers. In this video they talk about the calibers and “controversy” here:

https://youtu.be/7LL2-HiE8j4

Leatham is an accomplished competition shooter. However, in the original video – which has been removed – Leatham appears to make an argument that the .45 offers better “stopping power” than the 9mm based on the concept of momentum. I haven’t heard a serious argument made for momentum being an indicator of load effectiveness against an attacker since the early 90s. I was a bit stunned by his emphatic assertion that momentum as being something of significant note.

However, Leatham appears to suggest in the above video that he wasn’t making any references to the effectiveness of the cartridges in stopping a violent attacker. He said the video was made while he was in his “annoyed mood” and that he might have “snapped” during a conversation off camera about the differences in the two cartridges. Leatham even admits that he was being a “smart ass” with his comment about 9mm being adequate for people that can’t handle .45 ACP.

People rarely make good decisions when they are angry, and the original video may be an example of that.

During the last 30 years, we’ve seen significant advances in both bullet technology and lab testing of defensive loads. Additionally, emergency medical personnel have been interviewed and surveyed to get their insight into the effectiveness of various bullet wounds.

By and large, what is most likely to stop a violent attacker is multiple gunshot wounds delivered quickly into vital areas. That could be from a 9mm, .38 Special, .45 ACP or virtually anything else that can penetrate deeply enough to cause massive bleeding by hitting the heart, lungs or other areas. Barring a hit to the central nervous system (brain and spine), rapid blood loss is what will shut down an attacker.

A quality 9mm hollow point will do the job as effectively as a quality .45 ACP round. Some might argue that extra width gives the .45 a slight advantage in wounding capacity, while others will say that the decreased recoil of the 9mm allows for more rounds to be delivered into the attacker.

My opinion: both will get the job done. Carry what you like and treat everyone’s opinion with a healthy degree of skepticism.

Categories
Optics and Sighting Systems

The Best Combat Handgun Sights

Online discussions regarding what makes the best combat handgun sights will too often devolve to arguments over sighted vs. unsighted fire. The armchair warriors and keyboard commandoes often come out in strong support of their various, yet inexperienced, views.

Unfortunately, the clamor of fools often drowns out the voices of reason and experience.

Categories
Ammunition

The 9×18 Makarov Ammunition for Self Defense Guide

If you are looking for 9×18 Makarov ammunition for self-defense, you may have had a hard time finding a load that meets your needs. Unlike the .380 ACP or the 9mm Parabellum (aka Luger or 9×19), the Makarov round does not enjoy a wide range of commercially loaded hollow point ammo.

Categories
Ammunition

Remington Compact Handgun Defense Ammo

Remington logoEd. note: It appears the name of the new ammo may be Ultimate Defense – Compact Handgun.

Remington appears to be ready to launch a new line of ammunition for the concealed carry handgun market according to information obtained by GunsHolstersAndGear.com.  The new Remington Compact Handgun Defense ammo is designed to deliver optimal performance out of small, defensive handguns.  Although the information is deemed to be reliable, there has not been any official announcement from Remington about the ammo.

The new ammunition will use a brass jacketed hollow point similar to those already found in the very successful Golden Saber line of ammo.  Hollowpoint bullets for the Compact Handgun Defense line are likely designed to open more slowly than those loaded in the other lines to give the bullets greater ability to penetrate more deeply.  However, the bullets are still expected to deliver good expansion.

Categories
news

There’s Never a CCW Holder When You Need One…

It is really a shame that none of the defenseless victims in this crime was a CCW holder with the ability to respond appropriately to an armed felon.

In this video, a man is shown walking up to a restaurant, which appears to be a take-out place.  In other words, the area for the customers is very small with no seating for eating on the premises.  When the armed criminal gets to the business, he begins firing at the occupants of the small, confined area and tries to make entry.

The only defense the occupants are able to muster is to try to take cover behind about 6″ of wall directly next to the glass door and try to keep the door closed.  The suspect fires through the door multiple times and three people are ultimately injured.  Through luck or divine intervention, the victims are not killed.  Somehow, the victims were able to keep the criminal outside until he ran the gun dry and fled.

Can anyone tell me what proposed law would have prevented this felonious assault?