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45 ACP vs 9mm: The Ultimate Caliber Showdown for Self-Defense and Range Use

45 ACP vs 9mm: The Ultimate Caliber Showdown for Self-Defense and Range Use

.45 ACP Ammunition 

The .45 ACP round is one of the most popular and widely used rounds in the world. Dating back to the early 1900s, the .45 ACP has been used by law enforcement, military personnel, and even civilians for decades. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at what makes this round so popular and why you should consider using it for your own handgun. 

History of the 45 ACP Round 

The .45 ACP (also known as the .45 Auto) was designed by John Browning in 1905. It was developed as an improvement over previous handgun cartridges like the .38 Long Colt and .44-40 Winchester. Browning intended his new cartridge to be effective against both body armor and bare flesh. He achieved this by creating a larger round that had a relatively low pressure compared to other cartridges of its day. This allowed it to deliver more energy on impact while keeping recoil manageable. 

Uses for the 45 ACP Round 

Today, the .45 ACP is widely used for self-defense, target shooting, hunting, and competition shooting. Due to its impressive stopping power and moderate recoil, law enforcement officers often use it as their primary sidearm round. It’s also popular among civilians who are looking for an effective home defense option or just a reliable target practice round.  Additionally, many competitive shooters prefer it due to its accuracy at longer ranges compared to smaller caliber rounds like 9mm or 40 S&W. 

Pros & Cons of Using 45 ACP Rounds             

The biggest advantage of using .45 ACP rounds is their impressive stopping power—it delivers more energy on impact than most other handgun rounds without producing excessive recoil or muzzle flip. This makes it easier to control during rapid-fire sequences or when firing from unconventional positions (like from behind the cover). However, it does have some drawbacks such as lower magazine capacity (due to its larger size) and higher cost per round compared to other popular options like 9mm Parabellum or 40 S&W cartridges. Additionally, some firearms may be too small/lightweight to handle the increased recoil produced by this round without suffering reliability issues downrange (this is especially true with smaller frame pistols). 
In conclusion, if you’re looking for an effective self-defense or hunting round that still provides excellent accuracy at longer ranges then you should definitely consider using the .45 ACP round in your pistol or rifle. It offers superior stopping power compared to other popular handgun rounds while still maintaining manageable levels of recoil—making it ideal for any shooter who needs reliable performance out of their firearm no matter what situation they find themselves in! For those who want maximum firepower without sacrificing accuracy or reliability, there’s simply no better choice than the venerable .45 ACP!

The 9mm Ammo

9mm bullets travel faster out of the barrel than 45 ACP bullets do. Because of this, and the fact that the 9mm is smaller than the .45 ACP, bullets fired from it can travel farther. Since the 9mm has a higher muzzle velocity and is lighter overall, it experiences less vertical drop than the 45. The Latin phrase "si vis Pacem, para Bellum" (if you want peace, prepare for war) inspired the name of the 9mm cartridge, which is officially known as the "9x19 Parabellum." If you want peace, be ready for conflict is what this proverb translates to in English.

The table above clearly shows that the muzzle velocity of 9mm rounds is greater than that of 45 ACP ammunition. Since the 9mm is already smaller than the .45 ACP, this further increases the bullet's ability to penetrate its target. The 9mm often has less vertical drop than the 45 due to its faster muzzle velocity and lighter weight.

As an additional benefit, 9mm weapons typically outperform those chambered in other calibers.
What this means is that a 45 ACP magazine generally holds fewer rounds than the same counterpart gun that would be chambered in 9mm. The standard capacity for a 9mm handgun magazine is between 12 and 15 rounds, while some pistols have ridiculously large magazines (the Glock drum magazine comes to mind).

1911s are known as the poster boy for the .45 ACP caliber. Normal capacity is 8 rounds, however, you can get extended magazines that hold up to 15, but some can have reliability issues depending on the brand and magazine. Although there are popular Glocks such as the model 21 and 30, which are chambered in .45 ACP that hold over 20 plus rounds with extended magazines that can function flawlessly, which has changed with advancements in technology. 

The same argument goes for Glocks chambered in 9mm, which can hold over 32 rounds of ammo reliably through an extended magazine and cycle it properly. In general, though you will find that .45 ACP Caliber chambered guns have a lot less stock magazine capacity than their 9mm counterparts. That's a lot less than you'd receive with a standard 9mm pistol nowadays, as they can go up to 21 plus rounds standard such as the Sig Sauer P320 M17, adopted by the U.S Military and available to American civilians.

Shop at and find a wide selection of your favorite .45 ACP and 9mm ammo now!

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