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In Defense Part 2; Concealed Carry 9mm Auto, .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol), 10mm & More

We now return to the autos. The 9mm’s range from the 9mm Largo, hard to find, 9mm Parabellum probably the most popular center fire handgun cartridge in the world, and the 9mm Makarov, the Soviet/Russian round that shoots a .365-inch bullet, versus .355 inch for the other 9mm cartridges.

9mm Auto

The 9x19mm Lugar or Parabellum is used in virtually every country and the official NATO pistol cartridge the 9mm dominates the world’s markets. With modern expanding bullets the 9mm does yeoman duty as a defensive cartridge. It is probably carried by more people than any other cartridge, has become the defacto standard for law enforcement and the military. Available in a bewildering variety of firearms, the 9mm rules the roost. Everything from single stack magazine weapons with a very similar foot print to .32 ACP and .380 ACP pistols to high capacity magazines in duty weapons there very few in the gun fraternity that doesn’t include at least one in their armory. The adoption of the 9mm auto was as much of a political decision and was to bring us into alignment with our NATO allies to ease ammo supply. But if faced with the proposition of using a 9mm with non-expanding jacketed ‘ball’ ammo or the choice of a .45 ACP with ‘ball’ ammo, most would probably opt for the .45 ACP, “it ain’t gettin’ any smaller”. But with modern expanding ammunition the 9mm is a credible man stopper.

.45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol)

We’re familiar with the .45 big bore crowd. The only concern with the .45 ACP is penetration. There have been incidents when .45 hollow points have failed to penetrate the body cavity when the target was wearing heavy winter garments. Studies have shown that it takes about 300 fps (feet per second) velocity to penetrate human skin. The forty-five chugs along at a sedate 800-900 fps. Not a high penetration velocity margin. Like the 9mm there are very few of us shooters who don’t have a .45, usually a 1911 of some sort in gun locker.


How about the more recently introduced cartridges like the 10mm, .40 S&W and the .357 Sig? The 10mm was developed to satisfy FBI specifications for a new duty cartridge. This study resulted from the 1989 Miami shootout where multiple FBI agents were wounded and two were killed. Armed with shotguns (2), three 459 S&W autos in 9mm and the rest with snub-nose S&W revolvers were confronted by two serial bank robbers. Subsequently in search of the Holy Grail of defensive cartridges, the FBI introduced the 10mm. The frames of the early 10mm were too large for smaller handed agents, and the recoil and muzzle flash caused difficulties in qualifying. The cartridge was a 10x25mm high pressure and was two large to fit into the standard frame. The Miami shootout led to the adoption by many departments of the auto pistol replacing the traditional police revolver.

40 S&W & .357 Sig

To accommodate the smaller or standard frame auto, the 40 S&W (a shortened 10mm) and the .357 Sig were introduced. Both are high pressure cartridges, and both are shortened to fit into a standard frame capable of handling cartridge case lengths in the 22mm region. The 357 Sig introduced by Sig-Sauer was an attempt to turn the .357 Magnum performance into an auto pistol. The 357 Sig is a necked down 40 S&W case which is a shortened 10mm case. Though a little harder on the gun, the 40 S&W and 357 Sig are admirable defensive weapons. If you live in rural areas with large game or predators the 10mm auto is probably a good defensive choice. The 10mm based cartridges have more muzzle flash than the 9mm and forty-five autos. The recoil is stiffer, and these cartridges don’t lend themselves to recoil sensitive shooters.

.44 Caliber

Most who carry a sidearm in the bush prefer a revolver, as they can be had in a variety of loadings, are reliable and can be had in calibers big enough to offer protection against the largest predators in the American continents. The .357 is a mainstay in areas where confrontation up to black bear size is a possibility. But in Alaska it is the .44 Magnum that is supreme. Large calibers are available but offer diminishing returns with higher recoil and muzzle blast. A miss with the M1 Abrams 120mm is still a miss. So large bore handguns north of the 44 caliber are maybe a bit more than can be handled by the average shooter.

Custom Shooting Ranges for Concealed Carry Firearm Practice & Training

Choose a weapon to counter the possible threat, and that is amiable to proper concealment. Your defensive needs in the wilderness vary considerably to concealed carry in an urban environment. ‘Choose, but choose wisely.’
Shooting Range Industries offers custom shooting ranges. Contact us for more info today!

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