9mm suggestions

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by Alexandro Faria, May 29, 2016.

  1. spekieries

    spekieries AH Senior Member

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    R/H I do not want to derail the post and I do not want to turn this in a caliber argument. The effectiveness of a handgun caliber rests on 3 legs according to the experts. 1. Penetration 2. Permanent wound canal and 3. the ability to shoot the largest that you can shoot accurately. Multiple hits is an important factor when you need to stop some one that means you harm

    www.buckeyefirearms.org/alternate-look-handgun-stopping-power
    www.chuckhawks.com/handgun_power_chart.htm
    http://dailycaller.com/2013/07/16/defensive-carry-caliber-and-incapacitation/2/
    https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2012/8/29/handgun-stopping-power-sizing-up-your-options/
    http://monsterhunternation.com/2008...gun-statistics-and-why-theyre-a-load-of-crap/
    https://www.scribd.com/doc/252518687/Handgun-Wounding-Factors-and-Effectiveness

    Some articles that gave me clarity. Yes, knockdown power and one shot stopping power in a handgun is a myth. A lot of research is done by Law Enforcement Agencies. They wont use something that won't work. FBI has reverted back to 9mm P.
     

  2. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    @spekieries fair enough. The overarching theme is "always bring a gun" because a .22 short even beats no gun at all. That's why I said for the purpose of the original post if he needs a 9mm to bring something like a Kahr PM9 or a keltec or a ruger LCP or a rohrbaugh. Regardless of caliber, it needs to be the smallest thing you can carry so you do indeed consistently carry it. While I've not used one, I also hear great things about the Springfield XD series and I believe they have teeny tiny model.

    safe travels.
     

  3. larry4831

    larry4831 AH Fanatic

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    Kimber ultra carry 2.......nice pistol
     
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  4. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hi spekieries,

    I agree with you on the "knockdown / one shot stopping power," in regards to typical handgun ballistics being questionable.
    Over the 28 years that I was a Police Officer, I noticed there were usually two other starkly decisive factors, besides what calibers were used.
    What usually proved time and time again to be the most important factors during shots fired confrontations, were almost always; WHEN and WHERE the looser was shot, not so much what caliber they were shot with.

    That being said, as mentioned earlier in one of my typically tedious and wordy rants (not unlike this rant for instance), I believe the 9mm to be a somewhat adequate bad guy repellent, but only in the hands of that rare soul who can remain calm during an armed confrontation and thereby shoot fast & straight.
    When I say "shoot fast," I mean before he shoots you and my idea of "shoot straight," with sort of borderline adequate cartridges is referring to throat, brain, spine hits.
    So, if a person is not able to consistently get those types of hits under stress, he or she definitely had better learn to use a larger caliber and concentrate on larger area/torso hits when the armed bad guys bum rush him or her.

    Regarding "when" - I have used a movie line to illustrate that point while training new Police Recruits.
    In one of Clint Eastwood's old Spaghetti Westerns, as some gun slinger was busy threatening to kill Eli Wallach, old Wallach promptly shot the man dead and then declared: "If you're gonna shoot ... shoot, don't talk".
    So, if you're ever confronted by Cop killers, armed robbers, etc., there is definitely wisdom in those words.

    Related Topic:
    It is my opinion that The FBI and other domestic Law Enforcement Agencies, choosing to issue the 9mm, typically do so for either political reasons and/or so that all of their members, including their petite ones, can run it through the quarterly qualification shoots that, these days include malfunction drills and such.
    The 9mm recoil spring being a bit easier for dainty hands to compress under the stress of mean old mister stop watch.
    In other words, my impression is that it's not so much whether the 9mm is adequate because, as adequate as it may be in the hands of a very-cool-under-pressure type of Officer or Agent, nonetheless history shows that cartridges like the .357 Magnum, .40 S&W and .45 ACP are noticeably even more so (it's a broomstick vs baseball bat thing).
    This becomes especially obvious when shooting through car windshields and car doors (about 40% of all Police related shootings here during my 20 years with The Anchorage Police Dept.)
    This is not to mention that in cold climates, people usually wear heavy coats and the 9mm definitely does not penetrate heavy clothing as well as the three above mentioned more powerful cartridges.
    Also, cold weather reduces chamber pressure, equating to lower velocity.
    Last but not least, more and more bad guys are wearing body armor these days.
    In the tests I saw, the best of 4 cartridges tested for penetrating, was the 180 grain .40 S&W cartridge.
    (All were done with Federal brand hollow points).
    Incidentally, hollow point bullets are erratic performers, unless the hole is huge, the bullet is soft and the velocity is high, according to what I have seen.

    9mm / 124 grain
    .357 / 125 gr
    .40 / 180 gr
    .45 ACP / 230 gr

    All that being said, I have carried a vintage Browning P35 in 9mm at times but, mostly because I was hunting rabbits with it, in the winter when the bears were hibernating, and/or travelling to and from the local shooting range with it.
    Not wanting to carry a second/larger caliber handgun, while already carrying the full size P35, I just relied on the 9mm to get me through any potential bad guys that, might raise their ugly head at the gas station or anywhere along the road somewhere, etc.
    Perhaps might stop for a pizza to take home, etc. (the damn zombies seem to be almost anywhere nowadays).
    Likewise, I carried it briefly when I was a Narcotics Investigator, because my .45 was in the shop, to have it's worn down ejector and poor quality barrel replaced plus, Bo-Mar sights installed.

    Parting Shot as it were:
    Back in the 70's or 80's, LAPD quit their revolvers and issued 9mm Beretta Model 92 auto-pistols to it's general sworn members (Patrol Officers, etc.) but their SWAT unit all were always issued the Model US 1911 in .45 ACP caliber.
    Along about that time, the Chief of LAPD had said something like; "I will not authorize large caliber side arms or hollow point bullets for my Line Officers because, too many of them have been mobbed, mauled and shot with their own weapon".

    Incidentally, LAPD SWAT at that time, had successfully rescued more hostages by far, than any outfit in the World, Civilian, Military or Mercenary.
    So, such elite outfits as The Israeli Moussad and US Navy SEALS, just to name a couple of the many, paid LAPD to train with LA's SWAT guys.

    Those two LAPD handgun caliber concepts, as they pertain to defensive handguns for law abiding citizens, forward thinking enough to carry a pistol in these shaky times, should speak volumes on the topic of what caliber to choose.

    Today as retired, I now work in Armed Security/plain clothes and am issued a Glock .40 and 180 grain HP ammunition.
    But, not being much of a Glockster - On my own time, I usually carry my Sig P226 in .40 caliber with 180 grain flat nose ball or, my as mentioned .45 ACP - 1911 with 230 grain ball.

    Walk softly and carry a big stick,
    Velo Dog.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2016

  5. spekieries

    spekieries AH Senior Member

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    Velo Dog. Yes I actually agree with your view point. The other debate said go smaller and make enough hits. I agree with multiple hits with the largest caliber that you can shoot accurately. I concealed carry (P07 in a sticky) because often the large city's has home intrusions in sunny South Africa. I am not violent of nature but i sure love my wife and children.
     
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  6. Michael Dean

    Michael Dean AH Enthusiast

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    My recommendation for someone looking to purchase a specific type of handgun is to go to your local range where they allow you to rent them and try a few different ones out. What you consider compact, may not be compact for me. What fits well in my hand may be too small for you. If the handgun is for carry, the type of holster you decide upon will also make a difference. I have a Kahr 9mm single stack that fits my hand well, is compact and is easy to conceal.

    The only way you're going to know if the firearm is right for you is to send a few shots down range and get a feel for the weapon. Choosing the right style holster is almost as important as the choice of firearm.
     
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  7. IronCowboy

    IronCowboy AH Veteran

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    I'm coming up on half of my life spent as a handgun instructor, I thought I might share my advice.

    First - be very aware of this - the weapon you are searching for does not exist. good carry weapons do not make good competition weapons. Period. The things which make them good for competition make them impractical and even dangerous for carry, and things which make them good for carry make them insufficient for competition. Even for IDPA type matches.

    Secondly - the FBI has not "gone back to the 9mm." The FBI HAS, however, granted accommodations to allow smaller framed (driven predominantly by females) agents, such if the recruit fails the qualification course using a standard 40s&w, they are allowed to retest, then potentially qualify with and carry a 9mm. It's an additional option, not the new issue weapon.

    Beyond that, and to the point of the thread. My personal hammer guns start with Sig and end with happiness. The P226 is a standby, but I also have a pair of P224's, a P938, a 225, and a 239. I carry the 224 the most, albeit the most difficult to conceal other than the full figured 226 since it's a double stack. Among several other brands, the sig's stand tall for my wife and I.

    The Sig P226 is a sufficient competition pistol, given proper action chosen and modifications, and is a great OPEN CARRY option. The P224 isn't great for either, too big for carry, too small for competition, but it does allow use of full size 229 mags, so given the right sights and an extended barrel with a muzzle weight, it can keep up on the firing line for most matches. The single stack models which are good for concealed carry will leave you high and dry in any match platform, as their capacity limit will add what feels like HOURS to your splits. For bullseye type competition, the smaller framed guns won't ever get you on the board either, but then again, nobody really shoots 9mm for their centerfire anyway, and you'd have to have a 22 and a 45 for a full match, which you said you don't have.

    One nice advantage with some of the Sig models, as well, is the option to change barrels and mags to swap calibers/cartridges. I have 9mm, 40, and 357sig barrels for my P224's, giving me the option to choose on any given day which I want to shoot or carry.

    I'm an ambidextrous handgunner - as all handgunners should be. I predominantly carry left handed though. I have never had trouble operating right handed guns lefty, and in many instances, it's actually an advantage.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016
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  8. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hello IronCowboy,

    I agree that anyone who carries a firearm for defense, should train up properly/thoroughly with either hand.

    Serious Boxers can throw a decisive punch with either hand.

    Serious Defenders of The Innocent should be able to shoot exceptionally well with either hand, (especially under the stress and pressure of openly defying The Grim Reaper).

    Serious Warriors do not have a weak side.

    Great minds think alike,
    Velo Dog.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
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  9. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    Hi Alexandro,

    Being as you are pretty young and I was there not to long ago myself, I will give you my two cents, such as they are.

    First off, as a 21 year old (the legal age to purchase a handgun in the U.S.) I new a lot more from reading than from actual use. I too had preferred metal framed guns as opposed to polymer. I thought that the metal would be hardier and they just feel more substantial in my hand. I wanted to carry and I thought I knew enough about guns that I could make an intgelligable decision. It toook me a couple years and a crummy job to discover that choosing a good concealed carry handgun as a tool is about 50/50 knowledge and experience respectively.

    At the age of 22 I went to work in Albany, NY as an armored car guard in 2008. the sidearm I chose was a S&W 39-2 in 9mm, mainly because it was what I could afford at the time right out of college at it fit my criteria, all metal, 1911ish and 9mm DA/SA and met the company's criteria for what I needed. It was a single stack, aluminum allow framed short recoil pistol and I shot it fairly well. But it took a beating. I think everyone who has ever HAD to carry a pistol can agree with me. Your carry/issue piece gets BEAT! Getting in and out of vehicles and generally being strapped to my hip all day, I had to wipe the sweat and dust off of it each night before I put it in my safe. It was an external hammer gun and about once a month, I would snag the hammer on a piece of clothing or my bag and once I dumped about $80,000 on the parking lot in front of a price chopper:mad:. I replaced the walnut grips with diamond checkered pachmyer rubber grips and by the time I left purchased a new gun a year later, they were pretty well worn flat on the right side. (they were on my right hip and that is the side the rubbed against everything.) Carrying my gun became a chore, and chores are better suited for tools that are designed specifically for them. Enter the polymer framed gun. Polymer is stong, somewhat flexible and hardy. It can be molded so it is cheaper to produce and cheaper to buy and stands up to the rigors of EDC that I went through.

    Striker fired is what most Police and Militaries use for a reason. They are durable, foolproof and they work. (proven ones anyway). Think Glock (I know they are hideous but they work), S&W M&P etc. I went with the Springfield XD 4" Service model and never looked back. This is the same pistol as the Croatian Military and police use, Just that there it is called the HS2000. It fit my hand perfectly and pointed instinctively. The next time I went to qualify I always had a first round hit because the trigger pull doesn't change between your first and second shots and overall, I just shot better with it. Sure, it wasn't as pretty, but it was a tool. I don't buy wrenches because they are pretty. I buy them to work. A carry gun is Honda Civic. A competition gun is a Ferarri.

    Now while i have changed to believing in striker fired guns, I absolutely agree with IronCowboy that the Sig is a great choice as well... If you have the money. They are expensive. And as a carry gun, even if you baby it, it is going to get dinged and you're going to get holster wear. I do love a good sig though... they shoot like a dream for a duty pistol.

    Now this isn't to diminish your aspirations at all. I just believe in a realistic approach to carry. You're going to carry it 99.99999999% of the time and probably never have to use it. I was in a profession that required it and mine never even had to clear leather. Do you want to beat up a $1,000 competition piece that way. I say you use it as an excuse to get a carry piece and then a good .22 like the S&W 41 for competition. Unless you're going to run IDPA, That gun is fun as I'll get out to take to the range and practice at 50 yards with... If you're going IDPA or other similar competition, I say a 1911 has a trigger that is hard to beat and the weight steadies the pistol for a better balance. I know some people carry them, but it feels like a boat anchor to me.

    Again... This is just my take on it and you can feel free to disregard it.:)
     

  10. Lrntolive

    Lrntolive AH Fanatic

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    I see there have been a lot of good suggestions on here. The argument for power or cartridge size is mute if you're not comfortable with the caliber and cannot place shots center mass properly.

    That being said, here's my take based on the requirements you set forth in your post.
    $650 range limits you to a few brands
    FN - this one you've already mentioned
    Beretta - The storm series would be the only option if you want to carry. The M9s, 92s or 96s would be rather large for that, but you might be a big enough guy that it wouldn't be a problem with an IWB holster
    CZ - This is another great option as they have many sizes to choose from

    Your biggest issue is that you're a lefty and most do not have an ambi safety with a hammer gun, much less an ambi magazine release. If you could afford a little more, you could try a 1911 style 9mm with ambi safety and ambi magazine release. There are so many manufacturers, that I won't even try to list them.

    Good luck and shoot straight!
     

  11. Desperatezulu

    Desperatezulu AH Veteran

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    To add my 2c (ZAR cents, so they don't register on many scales!) - unless you're an auto handgun afficionado, just get a Glock (in SA). The availability of guns, plus parts, upgrades and gunsmith familiarity won't be beaten in SA. The exotics may look nice but availability is an issue in our backwater market.

    The CZ P07 is a realistic alternative in SA in terms of availability and service support. But the Sigs, HKs etc not so much - plus they are pricey if cost is a consideration.

    As a carry gun, polymer frames are hard to beat. Sure they may feel cheap and plasticky etc but they work and require minimal maintenance, plus there are big weight benefits. If you're not carrying and/or competition shooting, then there are perhaps better options.

    I prefer the 40S&W round over 9mm but there is probably not enough difference between them when arguing pros & cons ('knockdown' power vs carrying capacity vs cost etc) to justify not going with your personal preference.

    Obviously if you're passionate about handguns and you're willing to go the extra mile waiting for what you want, then my comments above should be ignored:LOL:
     
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  12. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    Just to add a little to that, I don't know whether you can get a Springfield XD down there but, they are everything a glock was orignially intended to be. The only thing polymer on them is the frame. unlike Glocks, the trigger, recoil guide rod, sights and all the passive safeties are made of steel. While in no way a beautiful handgun, it does have an ambidextrous mag release and only passive safeties (grip safety, trigger safety and loaded chamber indicator.) Just food for thought. In the U.S. They go for about $500-$550 brand new and come with a cheap holster, mag pouches and 2 magazines. Mine has about 8,000 rounds through it and I have run it all the way from powder puff loads (125 grain @750fps) all the way up to +p+ and it runs like a champ. In fact, in those 8,000 rounds, I can't think of a single non-user induced malfunction. the sights are blocky and square with a slight taper. While some people see that as a problem, they have a very real purpose besides sighting the weapon. They can be snagged on the lip of something or on your belt to clear and rack the slide in case you're down to using one arm. I've shot glocks, sigs, rugers, S&W, etc. and I think that the XD/HS2000 was as well thought out as any of them. I would look into it if you can easily aquire one in SA. I don't know as they would be cheaper or more expensive there. They may be imported under a different name. Even the ones that come to the U.S. are made in Croatia. They are available in 9mm, .357 Sig, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. Any of those calibers will do fine for you.

    I know everyone (Most Americans) says that the 9mm is chosen for political reasons, but not always. The Illinois State Police have used 9mm Speer Gold Dots for years loaded +p and they have been very successfull. Israel has issued it for years to their IDF. The IDF use their equipment ALL THE TIME. Great article here->http://www.tactical-life.com/gear/45-acp-vs-9mm-ammo/#bsum-chapman. For every 1944 U.S. GI that said "This .45 knocks them down like a baseball bat..." I am almost positive that there is a German soldier walking around to his buddies with his Walther P38 saying "Diese 9mm klopft sie ab wie ein Baseballschläger." I don't think there is enough of a difference in the big 3 auto calibers to make a real world difference. Where the round hits is SOOOO very much important. Just like in hunting. Best of luck!
     
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  13. Rob404

    Rob404 AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    As seen in my previous post I carry the plastic fantastic Springfield Arms XDS (in 45acp) but the same piece is available in 9 and 40, mine was right at 500.00 Retail,
     

  14. TallGrassHunter

    TallGrassHunter AH Veteran

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    As a fellow lefty, CZ 85. 17 rounds per mag.
     
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  15. colorado

    colorado AH Fanatic

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    I have a Springfield Pro for a carry weapon. A friend of work was buying another pistol and bought a nice Sig in 9mm. He asked what I thought and I told him "If I want to make someone angry, I'll just insult them ..."
     

  16. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    I know you're being facetious, but...This might have been true in 1980. But modern bullets and powders have put all of the (I'll call them weak because they are) auto pistol calibers on the same diminutive page. Differences in effectiveness between .45, .40, .357 sig and 9mm have been shown to be statistically insignificant. If the .45 were that much more effective, people like the IDF, Mossad and German GSG would have ditched their 9mm's years ago, but they haven't because they realize that they aren't gaining a whole new world of effectiveness for the expense of swapping gear and training.
     

  17. colorado

    colorado AH Fanatic

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    I was just joking, it's a tradeoff between pros on the 45 side, stopping power of a single shot, and cons compared to the 9mm (extra weight and lack of bullet capacity in the 45 as compared to the 9mm. As always shot placement is the most important and in a self defense scenario, against bears or humans, being able to be cool, calm and deliberate under extreme pressure is probably the most important factor. My friend did think it was funny though.
     
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  18. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    I know... it's just one of those buttons that all too many people push that I just can't let go... most of the time it is the ignorant tacticool crowd in the LGS, that only read "soldier of fortune" magazine that are touting the effectiveness of a .45 and almost in the same breath state that a 9me is junk and should be relegated to shooting houseflies and mice and leave the real work to the "real men". I have owned both and shot both extensively. I even used a .45 ball round to try to kill a pig one day for butchering by shooting into its the head from the front. It took the shot, squealed a bunch, spit out a clot of blood and then ran around for a minute until someone with a shotgun and slug shot it again in the head and put it down. I don't think a 9mm would have been much more effective, but it's added speed might have made it punch through the skull a bit better.

    I am not a 9mm guru. I just don't live under the false pretense that a .45 is a one shot fight stopper and the 9mm needs 15 rounds because it's only suitable for shooting lame chickens and is only slightly better than slapping someone with a dead ferret... Americans are the only people who live under that delusion.
     

  19. TallGrassHunter

    TallGrassHunter AH Veteran

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    Talk about one-upmanship, he's facetious and you accuse multiple governments of utilizing reasoned logic. I suspect economic considerations far out weighted the effectiveness of the different calibers.
     
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  20. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    That was my point. As I said, I think the effective difference between the calibers is so small that economics outweighs the practical differences. So why not go with a round that is cheaper and the firearms hold more of because, statistically anyway, it is essentially as effective in its role as a larger, heavier, more expensive and less capacious caliber. I am just challenging the 1 and done mentality that most people have toward the .45, thinking that they could shoot someone in the foot with it a drop them from 200 yards. But the 9mm isn't powerful enough to punch through heavy clothing? (seriously, I have heard that argument between two men at a gun shop once.)

    I am not Gung Ho 9mm. I don't think it is a divinely inspire cartridge. I am realistic in what I expect from any pistol. Which is unfortunately more than I can say for a lot of the .45 ACP gurus out there. If you want to carry a .45 I have no problem with it. Just don't start telling me how it is leaps and bounds ahead of the 9mm and getting hit by one is like being struck by a wrecking ball and the 9mm is like a bee sting. If all that were true. Governments, who spend so comparatively little on pistols and ammunition anyway, would always opt for the more effective caliber, because lets be honest... It isn't that much harder to shoot anyway. I would point to the new man portable anti armor/aircraft missiles.... They are like 20x the price of a stinger missile but governments pay more for less of them vs. buying boatloads more stinger missiles because of their incredibly enhanced capabilities. They want to equip as many men as possible with the best equipment they can so that they will win conflicts.

    I wasn't dissing @colorado in any way. I respect his opinions as they are well founded and thought out. My reply wasn't so much directed at him as it was just putting it out there for the sake of the thread, in case someone came in with the ".45 ACP is Thors hammer and 9mm is akin to slapping someone with a canoe paddle" mentality. There was no offense intended at all.

    But this has all gotten so far from the original OP. I apologize if I have steered this somewhere it was not intended to go. :S Off Topic:
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016

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