When it comes to choosing a caliber for you to shoot, there’s always plenty of debate. Let’s face it…we’ve all got our own favorites and many of us aren’t shy about telling you what they are and why we like them.
But one of the most hotly debated choices is between two very similar rounds…
Is it better to shoot 9mm or .45 ACP?
To be completely fair, both 9mm and .45 ACP each have their own unique advantages and have good points about them.
However, the 9mm is a better round in general…especially for beginners who won’t be able to utilize the .45 ACP’s unique advantages.
Here’s some of what makes 9mm better than .45 ACP…
Concealed carrying a .45 isn’t a problem. The problem comes from the fact that it has a low ammo capacity when compared to other guns that you could concealed carry.
As you can imagine, this can be a problem for a beginner because their aim isn’t going to be that great and will end up missing a lot of shots. To be frank, they need all the extra ammo they can get.
A typical 9mm handgun for concealed carry could carry as much as 15+1 rounds, but a similar .45 handgun will only carry 8+1 rounds. That’s almost half as much!
The other problem is the increased recoil that comes with .45 ACP. The less recoil a gun has, the better. Recoil messes with your ability to accurately fire shots one after another.
Of course, experienced users can minimize this recoil and get used to it…but why add that extra layer of difficulty? Especially when your life could be on the line?
Many shooters are attracted to the .45 ACP because it has a reputation as a “big, manly round”. While there’s some truth in that, it isn’t nearly as much as you would think.
The idea is that since the .45 ACP is bigger, it therefore has more stopping power. But mass isn’t the only thing that counts when it comes to stopping power. There’s also the matter of velocity, and the 9mm wins that battle.
So yes, the .45 ACP has a little bit more stopping power, but this minor increase isn’t worth the other drawbacks of using it.
Here’s a quick reference for the pros and cons of the .45 ACP:
Benefits of .45 ACP
- Widely available ammunition
- “Slightly” more stopping power
- Easy to reload
Drawbacks of .45 ACP
- Low capacity magazines
- Stopping power is over-hyped
- Heavy weight
- High recoil
- Ammo is more expensive
- Bigger learning curve for new shooters
Even if the .45 ACP isn’t as good as 9mm, it’s still fun to shoot. So go ahead and buy that .45 handgun you’ve been looking at, just as long as you know what you’re getting into.