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Difference Between 9mm and .45

The 9mm and .45 caliber pistols are two of the most popular choices for personal protection. Although they are both handguns, there are distinct differences between them that a buyer should consider. The main difference between the 9mm and .45 is the size of their rounds. The .45 has much bigger and heavier rounds than the 9mm.

The biggest implication of the size of the bullet is stopping power. .45 rounds have more stopping power because of the greater mass of the projectile. Imagine the difference between getting hit by a tennis ball and a bowling ball. If you want to incapacitate or kill your target very quickly, the .45 would do a much better job than the 9mm. Of course, this does not take into account the skill of the shooter.

The downside of firing larger rounds like the .45 is the amount of recoil being produced. In general, .45 pistols produce a lot more recoil than 9mm pistols. Recoil can move the pistol significantly and can greatly affect the aim of the shooter if not proficient in handling the pistol. This is also where practice comes into play. .45 rounds are more expensive to purchase than 9mm rounds. So if you want to practice a lot but want to keep the cost down, the 9mm is a better option.

And then, there is the number of bullets that you can have in each clip. 9mm clips have more bullets than .45 clips because the bullets are thinner. The extra bullets can come in handy when you miss your target or if you have a lot of targets. The size of .45 rounds also has an effect on the design of the pistol. .45 pistols have fatter and thicker grips to accommodate the bullet, the clip, and to provide a rigid handle. This can be a problem for people with smaller hands who can’t grip the pistol properly or with ease. Proper grip is necessary in order to fire the weapon properly and accurately hit the target.


.45 rounds are bigger and heavier than 9mm rounds

.45 rounds have more stopping power than 9mm rounds

.45 pistols typically produce more recoil than 9mm pistols

.45 rounds are more expensive than 9mm rounds

You can have more 9mm rounds in a magazine than .45 rounds

.45 pistols typically have bigger and fatter grips than 9mm pistols

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  1. .45 ACP has a snappier but shorter recoil than 9mm. It may or may not be “bigger” in that it is a more powerful force expanding in a shorter amount of time than the 9mm.

    The “stopping power” myth is largely exploited due to the amount of energy each individual .45 ACP bullet has in flight. However, FBI statistics show a .45 ACP takes down individuals in roughly the same amount of shots as a 9mm.

    The one advantage .45 ACP has over 9mm that very few shooters debate is when shooting through windows or cars; a .45 ACP projectile has much more mass than a 9mm, which means when it goes through lighter obstacles it tumbles way less. So in a self-defense situation where a shooter uses his handgun from his car without putting down his windows or through his windshield, his shots tend to be more accurate.

  2. The device you load a pistol and most modern rifles with is a magazine not a clip. A clip is a device for loading certain older rifle magazines. Most modern rifles do not use them, no pistols use them.

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