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Cartridge Consideration-9mm Luger The .40 S&W

A strong case for 9mm

It is an age-old debate amongst civilians, competitive shooters, Law Performance Officers and Military when it comes to the ideal handgun cartridge. The winds have shifted several times over the years

with comparisons of ballistics, capacity and ease of shooting. From a nonmilitary or LEO perspective I have drawn a few conclusions based on the man individuals I have instructed and my own journey in shooting.

As the title indicates, I believe the 9mm to be an ideal cartridge for most people recreational, self-defense and Law Enforcement. I have arrived at this conclusion working with many new, intermediate and midlevel shooters. Many of these were Law Enforcement Officers. The nature of my instruction focused mainly fundamentals of grip, sight picture and trigger press and follow through. Very basis stuff. But what I found and the conclusion I have drawn is that unless an individual is putting in consistent work most cannot adequately handle the larger .40 or .45 calibers. If we are being honest, most of Law Enforcement Officers are not afforded the opportunity to train at a high frequency which makes mastery of their sidearm a challenge. The penalty for lack of mastery is very high. Recoil control is greatly diminished which affect the ability for fast follow up shots. The increased recoil also has an effect on accuracy a shooters natural tendency is to anticipate the higher recoil.

Significant advancements in projectile design further give weight to the argument that for most a 9mm is the right choice. This coupled with the lower cost to shoot and train and high capacity available is a pretty clear reason many Law Enforcement Departments are coming back to the 9mm.

All this being said, the .45ACP is one of my favorite cartridges and when fired out of a 1911 feels like you are taking part in history. But the fact remains, a 1911 is a challenging firearm for most to shoot well without superior grip strength and a significant amount of training.