The Great Firearm Debates Part II: 9mm vs. .45 ACP!

  • Dave Propri

The topic is: .45ACP vs. 9mm. Which cartridge is superior and which one should you choose if given the choice? These are questions that will be addressed by our host, Joey Upper, and special guest Master Gunsmith Kip Carpenter.

Spoiler alert: we are going to go over some overall thoughts from the podcast as well as some of the takeaways. So if you haven’t listened to it yet then check it out here first.

At the beginning of the podcast, Kip went over a brief history of both cartridges.

The .45 ACP came to fame during WWII, although it’s been around for quite a while. During this time governments/militaries favored larger and heavier projectiles for use in warfare.

This thought process continued until sometime around 1980 when the new “high speed, low drag” 9mm cartridge flew into the picture – again, an older cartridge that thrust itself onto the main stage largely thanks to our military, along with some incredible designs featuring the cartridge (CZ-75, Glock, and even the venerable Browning Hi-Power). Not too long before this time, the .223/5.56 came into full swing thanks to one Eugene Stoner.

Kip pointed out that this caliber switch was more than likely brought about by the military’s change in mindset. The old-school ideology of a heavy knockdown cartridge made sense during WWII, but you sacrifice capacity. However, having the ability to carry more ammunition at the same weight eventually became the standard philosophy.

After this brief history of cartridges, Kip and Joey turned the conversation toward the civilian side of the house. EDC, PCC, and PDWs were discussed and the discussion culminated in a total agreement that 40 S&W was the least desirable cartridge. This seems a little off topic but in general, this is something that most 9mm vs .45 ACP debaters can agree on. 

At the end of the podcast, the arguments had been made, and the winner for the day was the 9mm, largely thanks to evolution in cartridge technology that The .45 ACP is tried and true and I don’t see it going anywhere any time soon. 

So what do you think? If you had to pick one cartridge for the rest of your life what would it be?

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