The great caliber debate and the FBI’s reversion to the 9mm.

One common argument is that Game doesn’t exist because its proponents tend to argue on the internet regarding the best way to practice Game.  This is nonsense, because all this proves is that people often squabble on the internet regarding topics they have a passion for.

When it comes to defensive handguns, the most common internet squabble is what caliber is the best choice.  Lucky Gunner created a spoof video lampooning the attitude displayed by many .45 ACP aficionados on the subject:

The irony of the Lucky Gunner video is that while it accurately portrays the smugness of some .45ACP and big bore revolver fans, it does so from a more subtly smug 9mm uber alles perspective.  This new smugness follows the FBI’s 2014 announcement that it was moving back to the 9mm.  Prior to the 2014 announcement, the FBI’s 1989 report Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness was the source of big caliber smugness.  To my (non expert) eye, both reports share much in common, with the standout difference being how the FBI approached the subject of hollow point expansion.  The 1989 report warns against relying on hollow point expansion when selecting handgun ammunition (emphasis mine):

Permanent cavity can be increased by the use of expanding bullets, and/or larger diameter bullets, which have adequate penetration. However, in no case should selection of a bullet be made where bullet expansion is necessary to achieve desired performance.35 Handgun bullets expand in the human target only 60-70% of the time at best. Damage to the hollow point by hitting bone, glass, or other intervening obstacles can prevent expansion. Clothing fibers can wrap the nose of the bullet in a cocoon like manner and prevent expansion. Insufficient impact velocity caused by short barrels and/or longer range will prevent expansion, as will simple manufacturing variations. Expansion must never be the basis for bullet selection, but considered a bonus when, and if, it occurs. Bullet selection should be determined based on penetration first, and the unexpanded diameter of the bullet second, as that is all the shooter can reliably expect.

The 2014 announcement argues that hollow point technology has advanced sufficiently in recent decades such that this is no longer the case:

Projectiles are what ultimately wound our adversaries and the projectile needs to be the basis for the discussion on what “caliber” is best

· Contemporary projectiles (since 2007) have dramatically increased the terminal effectiveness of many premium line law enforcement projectiles (emphasis on the 9mm Luger offerings)

So far, so good.  But the 2014 report goes a step further and argues that all three common defensive calibers are equal in terminal performance (emphasis mine):

One should never debate on a gun make or caliber alone. The projectile is what wounds and ultimately this is where the debate/discussion should focus. In each of the three most common law enforcement handgun calibers (9mm Luger, .40 Smith & Wesson and .45 AUTO) there are projectiles which have a high likelihood of failing law enforcement officers and in each of these three calibers there are projectiles which have a high likelihood of succeeding for law enforcement officers during a shooting incident. The choice of a service projectile must undergo intense scrutiny and scientific evaluation in order to select the best available option.

There is little to no noticeable difference in the wound tracks between premium line law Auto enforcement projectiles from 9mm Luger through the .45 Auto

· Given contemporary bullet construction, LEO’s can field (with proper bullet selection) 9mm Lugers with all of the terminal performance potential of any other law enforcement pistol caliber with none of the disadvantages present with the “larger” calibers

The extent to which a projectile expands determines the diameter of the permanent cavity which, simply put, is that tissue which is in direct contact with the projectile and is therefore destroyed. Coupled with the distance of the path of the projectile (penetration), the total permanent cavity is realized. Due to the elastic nature of most human tissue and the low velocity of handgun projectiles relative to rifle projectiles, it has long been established by medical professionals, experienced in evaluating gunshot wounds, that the damage along a wound path visible at autopsy or during surgery cannot be distinguished between the common handgun calibers used in law enforcement. That is to say an operating room surgeon or Medical Examiner cannot distinguish the difference between wounds caused by .35 to .45 caliber projectiles.

The problem with this argument is subtle.  Note that the FBI is now simultaneously arguing that:

  1. Given adequate penetration, what matters is the diameter of the projectile making the wound.
  2. The diameter of the projectile making the wound is insignificant.

This self contradiction is obviously nonsense.  The FBI isn’t merely arguing that modern hollow point performance makes the 9mm good enough, it is arguing that caliber doesn’t matter.  But if caliber doesn’t matter, why is the improvement in hollow point performance critical to the FBI’s move back to the 9mm?

The motivation for this doublespeak appears to be a desire to equalize the shooting performance of stronger and weaker FBI agents.  From the 2014 report:

The 9mm provides struggling shooters the best chance of success while improving the speed and accuracy of the most skilled shooters.

As Massad Ayoob notes, prior to the FBI moving back to the 9mm, strong shooters were issued 40 cal weapons, and 9mms were reserved for weak shooters (emphasis mine):

Certainly, as a general rule, in platforms of similar size, shape and weight, the 9mm will have less recoil. This will be a particular concern with new shooters or “remedial shooters” who tend to flinch or jerk their triggers in anticipation of recoil. Many law enforcement agencies (including the FBI prior to announcing an agency-wide return to the 9mm) had been in the practice of replacing poorer shooters’ .40-caliber Glocks with 9mms of the same make.

Women of Caliber blogger Kellene argued that bigger “macho” calibers are scary for women to shoot in her 2009 post The Caliber Wars for Women (emphasis mine):

The reason why I fiercely advocate this point is because many women hesitate to shoot a .40 caliber. They are much more successful in their shot placement when shooting a smaller caliber. Thus it’s shameful to have a woman stopped or frustrated in her pursuit of gun ownership because some macho, misinformed man tells her that a strong caliber (that knocks her on her butt when she shoots it) is useless. One thing that men simply don’t realize is that women are physiologically more sensitive to the loud bass sound of the bullet igniting than men are. Women are literally more affected by the sound of a .40 caliber+ than men are. The sound resonates through them longer than it does in men. As such, the sound literally rattles a woman.

From a feminist perspective, allowing men who shoot well to retain their macho .40 cal weapons and issuing women 9mms is untenable.  From a political perspective, the FBI had no choice but to move all of its agents to the weaker caliber while claiming there is no longer any difference between calibers.

This isn’t to say that the FBI made the wrong decision, as given their organizational needs the 9mm strikes me as the obvious choice given the tradeoffs between the calibers.  None of the big three calibers are perfect, and especially with modern hollowpoints I wouldn’t argue with anyone who decided the 9mm is good enough in terminal ballistics.  But the FBI is now claiming that there are no tradeoffs between calibers, which simply isn’t true*.  Others, especially ammunition makers and sellers have their own vested interest in claiming caliber doesn’t matter, and it is all about the projectile:

The problem with this argument is that while hollow points have gotten better for the 9mm, they have gotten better for the .40 and .45 as well.  See the results from Lucky Gunner’s ammunition tests here.

*Massad Ayoob’s three part series on the subject here, here, and here is the best treatment I’m aware of.

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104 Responses to The great caliber debate and the FBI’s reversion to the 9mm.

  1. Corinth Arkadin says:

    In all fairness, the FBI is a corrupt bureau, diversity writ large & completely against the interests of the American people.

    They should be not even be issued weapons unless they are SWAT duty and if they need a weapon, they draw it from the armory. They are an investigative body, not cops.

    Even military officers don’t carry sidearms in their daily duties.

  2. greyghost531 says:

    It is amazing the arguments feminist use for female short comings are the same arguments used in the 70’s by “sexist’ to not have women in the first place. BTW the FBI technical staff must be getting speaking lessons from the egalitarian/complementarian preachers.
    Make sure that 9mm is at least 124 grains our girls need the best they can handle.

  3. okrahead says:

    All pistol rounds are only to give you enough time to get to your long gun. Even 20 gauge slugs are more powerful, more effective, and much easier to use than the vaunted .44 magnum.

  4. TheLastStand says:

    Every SWAT operator I ever met carried a .45 as his duty sidearm. With full size handgun along with full battle rattle to carry a few extra mags, the main points against the .45 are moot.

    I carried both a Glock 30s and a Glock 19 as cc handguns. Since both are about the same size, I ultimately favored the Glock 19. 5 extra rounds in the same size package, and the accuracy of my followup shot swayed me. Though after doing grip exercises for a few years, I might give the .45 another chance.

  5. Lexet Blog says:

    FBI originally wanted the 10mm because it was awesome, but you have to have large hands and good control to handle it.

    .45 can’t penetrate for crap. It’s a good round for home defense, and for target/competition shooting because it shoots like a dream.

    But if I’m in a shootout, I want a 9mm with as many rounds as possible. That round penetrates.

  6. Anonymous Reader says:

    Great stuff, except you left out one part: the FBI chose to issue 10x25mm (10mm) after the Miami Shootout, as a technological fix to tactical errors. The 10mm proved to be a rather robust cartridge, like the .41 Magnum revolver cartridge. It was difficult to shoot for many agents – a lot of FBI agents have undergraduate degrees in accounting, or JD’s in law. They aren’t generally drawn from cops.

    The .40 S&W was supposed to give 10mm performance, in a frame almost as small as the 9x19mm.Physics decreed otherwise, and many 1st generation .40 S&W pistols proved to be short lived because the cartridge beat them up badly enough to break parts. The powder typically used at least initially was fast burning, leading to .40 S&W having a very sharp initial impulse and pressure spike. Putting it in a 9x19mm frame made it more difficult to control. Especially for women…

    Uh-oh. A caliber that beats girls hands up? Better rewrite that.

    The term of art that I remember from the 1990’s is “small hands”. It wasn’t that women had a problem shooting 10mm or .40 S&W, it was the people with “small hands” who, well, erm, uh, just about always turned out to be women. Who needed to be issued a 9x19mm and nothing larger, because only hits count. Loud noises don’t even get a participation award.

    As an aside, hand size does matter. A pistol needs to fit just as a pair of shoes does, and if the fit is poor it will hurt to shoot more than a few rounds, so practice is always painful…this means most small frame .38 Special revolvers are not good things for newbies to try shooting, by the way. The proper way to figure this out is to dryfire handguns, then try some out on a rental range.

    Returning to the OP: nothing man-portable is 100% reliable in stopping an attack, so therefore no handgun can possibly ever be used to stop a fight, so obviously Game is fake.

    QED.

  7. Anonymous Reader says:

    But if I’m in a shootout, I want a 9mm with as many rounds as possible. That round penetrates.

    If that is your criteria, you could have even more rounds with good penetration by switching to 5.7x28mm.

    https://infogalactic.com/info/FN_Five-seven

    Plus if you get a P90 PDW you’re all set to go through a Stargate.

  8. Gunner Q says:

    Kellene isn’t too wrong about those macho men. I’ve seen them in real life and one would think North America was overrun once again with herds of buffalo, to hear them talk. Buffalo with mad cow disease. But she couldn’t admit to being physically weaker than them.

    I consolidated all my handgun calibers to 9mm in preparation for future California ammunition bans (now in effect), figuring that would be the most common gov’t caliber. So far, so good! That means I’m stuck with a sissy caliber but that’s okay, I’ll only ever be shooting sissies with it.

  9. Opus says:

    Calibre, Theatre, Manoeuvre, Centre etc – and why in a nation which rightly uses the Imperial System of Measurement even if it cannot spell is bore measured in the Metric system?

    Should politicians succeed in ending the ownership of hand guns expect a torrent of knife crime. Even so, I once had a double-barrelled shotgun pulled on me on an eviction but mercifully the unhappy man failed to fire and I and my colleague survived (but my Mother said I was a sissy for being upset by this life-threatening event and the indifference of the Landlord Farmer seeking possession – I was only nineteen).

  10. okrahead says:

    Opus,
    Bore is measured in metrics for the 9 because Europeans designed it. US designed cartridges are still generally noted in images erial units (.327 being a modern example). 10mm is clearly designated as such due to the FBI wanting to say “ours is bigger” to proponents of the 9.

  11. Rum says:

    I have on my desk, beside the KJB, the 6th edition of “Combat Handgunnery” by Massad Ayoob.
    (The little Arab guy.)
    Basically, what he said…
    Another source of Truth that I greatly respect in these matters is the site nononesenseselfdefense. If it is even still up after the great ban on truth that tech is enforcing.

    I spent a lot of time working in various Emergency Rooms. The thing is, you almost never see a victim of a long gun injury in those places. There are two reasons for this: Criminal Actors nearly always use pistols and long guns kill so very quickly — forget the ER.

  12. okrahead says:

    Imperial units.

  13. goFigure says:

    Calibers are measured in both Metric units and Standard units. Like many other thinks in the USA.

  14. Anonymous Reader says:

    Opus
    Calibre, Theatre, Manoeuvre, Centre etc – and why in a nation which rightly uses the Imperial System of Measurement even if it cannot spell is bore measured in the Metric system?

    ‘Cause that’s how we do things west of the Pecos, cuz.

    “Bore” is reserved for hunting stories…

  15. tayous1 says:

    It’s all about what is cheapest to shoot nothing more nothing less! They could care less about what is best they care about what cost less!

    If the argument was light fast bullets that had little recoil then the 5.7 would be the caliber! It was not even tested because of $$$!

  16. Anonymous Reader says:

    One thing that men simply don’t realize is that women are physiologically more sensitive to the loud bass sound of the bullet igniting than men are.

    Speaking as a handloader, I must say most men would be pretty sensitive to the sound of a bullet igniting…surprised and even alarmed, too.

  17. anonymous_ng says:

    USArmy shooter friend put it this way: more bang pellets > fewer bang pellets.

    He also pointed out that how the gun feels in your hand is irrelevant. With which gun do you shoot better is the question.

  18. Pingback: The great caliber debate and the FBI’s reversion to the 9mm. | Reaction Times

  19. From a feminist perspective, allowing men who shoot well to retain their macho .40 cal weapons and issuing women 9mms is untenable. From a political perspective, the FBI had no choice but to move all of its agents to the weaker caliber while claiming there is no longer any difference between calibers.

    Dalrock, I’m a little confused and pobably just misunderstood what you arevarguing. Are you saying (and please correct me if I’m wrong) that the reason the FBI has changed from .40 to 9 mm is because there are now more female FBI agents, and feminists don’t want them to get 9 mms while the men have .40s?

    If I have understood what you were arguing, then I must say I don’t really understand where you’re getting that impression. I read the article by Kellene and nowhere in there does she say that men should not have their .40s, only that women usually do better with a 9 mm. Which is generally pretty much true.

    Of course, it may be true that feminists are behind this. I personally usually blame everything that’s wrong in our society on them. But in all fairness, I didn’t see any feminists complaining about men having .40s. Did I misunderstand what you were saying?

  20. William Newberry says:

    This change in law enforcement calibers has caused a major drop in sales of .40 cal. Pistols.
    If a person wants to sell a .40 nowadays they will take a loss, if you like the caliber this is the perfect time to buy.
    I personally like the .40 much more than the 9mm . I’ve owned many 9mm pistols in the past 30 years and have never been very impressed with them. They are inexpensive to shoot, that sums it up for me.
    I believe in larger caliber sizes for better performance. History proves it. How can anyone believe otherwise? Anyone that hunts knows this .

  21. Dalrock, I’m a little confused and pobably just misunderstood what you arevarguing. Are you saying (and please correct me if I’m wrong) that the reason the FBI has changed from .40 to 9 mm is because there are now more female FBI agents, and feminists don’t want them to get 9 mms while the men have .40s?

    I hope he’s not because it’s an ignorant argument because 9mm has been very popular with federal law enforcement agencies for decades. It’s cheap, good enough and easier to train agents on than a 0.40 let alone 0.45.

  22. Dalrock says:

    @Sunshine Thiry

    Dalrock, I’m a little confused and pobably just misunderstood what you arevarguing. Are you saying (and please correct me if I’m wrong) that the reason the FBI has changed from .40 to 9 mm is because there are now more female FBI agents, and feminists don’t want them to get 9 mms while the men have .40s?

    If I have understood what you were arguing, then I must say I don’t really understand where you’re getting that impression. I read the article by Kellene and nowhere in there does she say that men should not have their .40s, only that women usually do better with a 9 mm. Which is generally pretty much true.

    Of course, it may be true that feminists are behind this. I personally usually blame everything that’s wrong in our society on them. But in all fairness, I didn’t see any feminists complaining about men having .40s. Did I misunderstand what you were saying?

    This is a fair question, as I didn’t really elaborate. I don’t think Kellene is arguing that men shouldn’t have their .40s. I also haven’t found feminists complaining that men had men’s guns and women had women’s guns in the FBI. What I see is much more typical of feminist discussion. Some agents didn’t shoot well with the .40 cal, and were issued 9mms instead. As Anon Reader noted above, sometimes this translates to “small handed” shooters, but in the examples I’ve found it is “novice”, or “weaker”, or “remedial” shooters. This is the PC rule. You can’t say women are different than men, or if you do, you have to walk on eggshells while doing so. It is theoretically possible that there wasn’t an obvious pattern regarding who was failing with the .40 and had to be issued a 9mm instead. I don’t buy it, and I doubt you would either. Moreover, in our new feminist friendly world there is no way an organization like the FBI would be allowed to have what amounted to one “macho” gun for men, and another “remedial” gun for women.

  23. Anonymous Reader says:

    Anonymousng
    USArmy shooter friend put it this way: more bang pellets > fewer bang pellets.

    That’s been big green machine doctrine since Viet Nam. The FBI’s requirements are not the same as those of the green machine.

    He also pointed out that how the gun feels in your hand is irrelevant. With which gun do you shoot better is the question.

    Hairsplitting. The green machine issues tools regardless of how well they fit, from time to time there are problems. In fact a gun that doesn’t fit well in a person’s hand is a gun that will be difficult to shoot accurately with. This is why competitive pistol shooters do not all run the exact same firearm, and in fact in unlimited class the “spaceguns” are extremely individualized.

    But since a US Army shooter disagrees with some things, Game is fake.

  24. Horsemanbombadil says:

    SOoooooooo tl:dr

    Big Gun go Boom
    Scare little women agents
    All agents get wittle quiet gun.

    Is that what I am getting out of this?

  25. Dalrock says:

    @Il Deplorevolissimo

    Dalrock, I’m a little confused and pobably just misunderstood what you arevarguing. Are you saying (and please correct me if I’m wrong) that the reason the FBI has changed from .40 to 9 mm is because there are now more female FBI agents, and feminists don’t want them to get 9 mms while the men have .40s?

    I hope he’s not because it’s an ignorant argument because 9mm has been very popular with federal law enforcement agencies for decades. It’s cheap, good enough and easier to train agents on than a 0.40 let alone 0.45.

    I think the 9mm fits the FBI’s needs, even setting aside the feminist ramifications. As you say, it is “good enough”, cheaper to shoot (both with ammo and wear and tear), lighter, and higher capacity. But even if this weren’t the case, the FBI couldn’t for political reasons keep the .40 as an option for the men who would elect to carry them.

  26. Horsemanbombadil says:

    Buried in all the technicals about competing calibres

    Women were scared of the noise? That is a factor in weapon selection?

    What’s next? Fireman (forgive me firefighter) axes are too heavy so all FDs will issue hatchets?

  27. okrahead says:

    12 gauge is better than 10mm is better than 9mm; hence 9 is okay, 10 is preferably and 12 is best of all, which validates gbfm AND proves game works.

  28. Anonymous Reader says:

    This page has brief discussion of two different Smith & Wesson 10x25mm pistols; 1006 and 1076, with mention of a third the 1026.

    https://infogalactic.com/info/Smith_%26_Wesson_Model_1006

    “Issues” essentially boils down to “some agents/officers could not qualify with them”, i.e. too much gun for the person.

    Ironically the FBI adopted the 10mm because of the Miami shootout, a failure of tactics[1] that was blamed on pistol calibers including .38 Special and 9x19mm. Yet not many years later the agency was back to 9x19mm with nary a murmur.

    Again, because men differ on pistol calibers, Game is fake…

    [1] Nothing I have written should be construed as a criticism of the agents on the scene. They performed heroically against two “high dedication” career violent criminals. FBI higher-ups chose the CYA route later on.

  29. What I see is much more typical of feminist discussion. Some agents didn’t shoot well with the .40 cal, and were issued 9mms instead. As Anon Reader noted above, sometimes this translates to “small handed” shooters, but in the examples I’ve found it is “novice”, or “weaker”, or “remedial” shooters. This is the PC rule. You can’t say women are different than men, or if you do, you have to walk on eggshells while doing so. It is theoretically possible that there wasn’t an obvious pattern regarding who was failing with the .40 and had to be issued a 9mm instead. I don’t buy it, and I doubt you would either.

    Nope, I wouldn’t buy it either. Thank you for elaborating; that makes perfect sense now.

    Moreover, in our new feminist friendly world there is no way an organization like the FBI would be allowed to have what amounted to one “macho” gun for men, and another “remedial” gun for women.

    Yes, that’s true.

    And yet, oddly, isn’t that what we have in most sports? What are women’s sports other than the remedial version of men’s? It’s such an illogical argument that feminists are trying to make.

    Anyway, the easier solution for the FBI would’ve been to hire more transwomen agents. They’re already doing a fantastic job of making an absolute mockery of feminism by winning all of the women’s sports competitions.

  30. greyghost531 says:

    Sunshine Thiry was playing dumb.

  31. okrahead says:

    Doesn’t the WNBA use a smaller ball than the NBA? I have no idea what this means for game.

  32. Ken says:

    Don’t worry. Now they can “justify” pumping 10 or more rounds into a suspect. This is going to make them use more ammo on us “to make sure”. That also will leave them with political correctness issues.

  33. I couldn’t tell where you were going for awhile but you got there!

  34. I think the 9mm fits the FBI’s needs, even setting aside the feminist ramifications. As you say, it is “good enough”, cheaper to shoot (both with ammo and wear and tear), lighter, and higher capacity. But even if this weren’t the case, the FBI couldn’t for political reasons keep the .40 as an option for the men who would elect to carry them.

    I think the women brought the issue to a head. The real issue for the FBI is that their precious image of being the “Marine Corps of Law Enforcement” if you will is tarnished by admitting that they have to hand out different weapons to people who cannot hack it. Then people have to ask “why do you have agents who can’t hack it?” And the answer to that doesn’t just end with “because feminism,” it ends with “because we were never that good in the first place.”

    Consider this:

    Moreover, TIME’s analysis shows a surprisingly low rate of success for the thousands of cases the FBI investigates and sends to the Justice Department for possible prosecution. Over that same time period, the Justice Department has ultimately won convictions in fewer than half the cases the FBI referred for prosecution, with a conviction rate of 47% last year, the data showed. That fell well below the average of 72% for all agencies. Prosecutors themselves have rejected many of the FBI’s referrals before they ever got to court. The bureau’s low success rate in these cases has remained largely unchanged in recent years.

    The FBI is dangerously close to becoming a joke to the public and their egos cannot take it. This is way bigger than da wymminz who want to play cop.

  35. Lexet Blog says:

    Until you run out of rounds and no one in your region carries your special French rounds

  36. Anonymous Reader says:

    Until you run out of rounds and no one in your region carries your special French rounds

    Belgian! Not a Frenchie, a Belgie!

    PS: Lexit doesn’t like my caliber suggestion, so Game is fake.

  37. wodansthane says:

    The FBI is disingenuous?! Who knew? The real point should be about proper shot placement. That is what allowed a 19 year old to kill the (then) world-record grizzly in the 1950’s with a .22 short. That being said, larger calibers are still preferred for bear hunting.

  38. JRob says:

    https://www.alloutdoor.com/2018/09/14/glock-20-ends-bear-attack-just-barely/

    If not a centerfire rifle, shotgun, or a .44 magnum or higher handgun caliber, a hot 10mm ain’t too bad if a man insists on a semi-auto. Not sure if these larger/hotter handgun calibers produce any cavitation as long guns do.

    10mm is also a great “roll your own” round.

    Is there an upcomimg Title IXmm? Any caliber you do I can do better?

  39. Scott says:

    There are around 20 .25 projectiles in a #3 buck shot shell. Every time you pull the trigger.

    I have 8 rounds of it ready to go, plus two really big dogs.

  40. Anonymous Reader says:

    If not a centerfire rifle, shotgun, or a .44 magnum or higher handgun caliber, a hot 10mm ain’t too bad if a man insists on a semi-auto.

    It is close to the .41 Magnum with hot loads, such as Buffalo Bore.
    A better tool would be a revolver in .44 Mag or .500, but much better would be a rifle in .45-70.

    Of course, the best defense against bear is to not get attacked.

    Not sure if these larger/hotter handgun calibers produce any cavitation as long guns do.

    The second video Dalrock linked to has a very good discussion of that. I know I learned a lot.
    Bottom line: any bullet under 2200 f / sec doesn’t produce a big enough temporary cavity to do much damage.

    Anything man-portable is not a sure one-shot stop, so Game is fake…

  41. JRob says:

    okrahead commented upthread, use the handgun to fight your way to a long gun.

    The North Hollywood shootout in 1997 was a watershed event which changed LE doctrine nationally, as did 1986 Miami shootout. Miami killed the service revolver. North Hollywood added a SLR and shotgun to nearly every patrol car.

    Still, nothing gives the tingles like a fresh felony.

  42. Dan says:

    ALL pistol calibers from a handgun are INADEQUATE for the task. They pale to pointlessness when compared to the proper standard…..a centerfire rifle round. But few people have the luxury
    of keeping a rifle at hand all the time. That is why the handgun was created. As has been pointed out 9mm ammunition of today is vastly superior to 9mm ammunition from 3 decades ago (as in the type of ammo carried by the FBI during the Miami Shootout in 1986) But the same research that makes 9mm better now also makes ALL OTHER handgun ammo better now than it was then. The FBI can issue whatever it wants to it’s agents. As can any other agency. For the average citizen the decision making process should be based on several factors with the number one factor being which caliber/gun can you shoot ACCURATELY. The next factor is a distant second, how likely are you to face multiple assailants. LEO at all levels frequently face multiple criminals. Thus the need for LOTS OF BULLETS. 9MM allows for the carrying of MORE ROUNDS in the same space.
    A big deal in a firefight. Citizens RARELY get in a ‘firefight’ where they must prevail. The goal of a citizen is simply to SURVIVE. Thus while lots of bullets is never bad it’s not the end all be all of decision factors. For LEO the advice is to carry what your training shows to be what you shoot best if you have a choice. If not then practice with what you are TOLD to carry. All others the best
    advice is to find out what works best for you in terms of accuracy and ability. If recoil makes you scared to shoot than shooting big recoil ammo is stupid. But for everyone the key to effective use of whatever you carry is PROPER PRACTICE. The caliber and style of weapon comes after practice.

  43. Red Pill Christianity says:

    A lot of these comments are highly insightful and Annonymous Reader is right when he said the FBI draws a lot of “experts” with college degrees and lawyers into their ranks. These types are not exactly cops with street cred and survival skills or even family backgrounds that teach theirs kids gun safety or firearm handling. A lot of them are left wing academics that have never even fired a handgun until FBI academy in Quantico.

    There is no doubt any changes being made by virtually any Fed agency has to take account the Female sensibilities these days. One very capable Navy officer was relieved of his command for simply telling his sailors to “cheer like you are at the strip club” when the VP came in for a speech. Apparently, some of the FemiNazis in the ship too offense and a couple anonymous complaints managed to remove a highly effective and capable officer from his command. So in America today, losing a war because your best people, from Chief Petty Officer Gallagher (just acquired of false accusations by Beta Millennials under his command) to this Navy officer making a joke about strip clubs, are sidelined to meet the sensibilities of Beta Millennials or women, it is all good. After all, so what if we have having less effective equipment and pathetic officers, as long as LGBT, women, and Beta Millennials are happy. *roll eyes*

    Now… The 9mm, as a lot of you pointed out, has large cap mags in a “flush fit” setting, with low overall weight and ease of reloading as its best attributes. The 9mm is great because you have a hi-cap firearm that is somewhat easy to conceal when needed, fairly lightweight, and that is easy to reload and easy to shoot. You can fire a 9ner fast and accurately due to low recoil and low climb. The round works. 9mm Parabellum means “prepare for war” in Latin, so the round is effective., especially in HP.

    Honestly, most average shooters will need a lot of rounds for self defense unless they are well-trained in shooting. So a large cap mag (easily available in 9mm) is a great choice. I personally view the whole thing differently, as every round that comes out of a gun used in self defense is a potential lawsuit by your average ambulance chaser, so you better hit the target with as few rounds as possible ad not hit anyone’s property or persons, as you are liable to be sued over it.
    Leftist prosecutors consider an “empty mag” self-defense to be a potential murder, costing you tens of thousands in defense attorney fees (unless you have self-defense insurance, which I highly recommend), so I would advise caution when emptying out a mag against an intruder or a street criminal. We have seen this happen even to police officers who will empty out a magazine in the heat of life and death and be charged. Shoot the “wrong race” of criminal, and empty out a mag and you may have BLM or some domestic terrorist group on your doorstep the next day.

    I am a big fan of Glocks in 10mm. These are simply hand cannons, I kid you not. You will need some wrist practice to be good at shooting 10mm, but the stopping power is unreal. 🙂

  44. A lot of these comments are highly insightful and Annonymous Reader is right when he said the FBI draws a lot of “experts” with college degrees and lawyers into their ranks.

    College degrees are required for federal law enforcement today. In fact, they’ve been required for a long time. The agencies that consistently outperform the FBI require them too. The difference is that most of these agencies would assign the role of “analyst” to someone who is an expert, but doesn’t have the instincts of an agent and/or can’t shoot worth a damn. The FBI has analysts, but it’s the only one that tolerates this sort of inability in its agents because they experts and really really want to carry a gun and badge.

  45. greyghost531 says:

    The FBI would be better off getting patriots than indoctrinated college marxist. That is why they are so bad and corrupt. You can’t have what is going on today in politics with out it. This thing with the 9mm is PC over actual standards.

  46. Lost Patrol says:

    The term of art that I remember from the 1990’s is “small hands”.

    In the mid-80s US military the term I remember was “NATO standard”.

    Put on your tinfoil hats because this is how I recall the story.

    Those old .45s had been around for 75 years as individual issue. Some of them were so well worn that you could hold them muzzle straight down, wiggle it a bit, and make sounds like a tiny cowbell as the barrel bounced off its bushing. They still worked though. A very satisfying bang as many readers here will no doubt recall fondly. You were only meant to shoot somebody with it as a kind of last resort and up close.

    The end of Vietnam, advent of all volunteer force, and I-am-woman-hear-me-roar; all came together from the mid 70s and began to increase the numbers of females in the ranks. The Women’s Army Corps was disestablished in October 1978. In October 1979 all enlistment standards became the same for men and women for the first time. In 1980 the first class at the US Military Academy graduated women officers. The numbers of women began to steadily increase from this point.

    By the early 1980s it was obvious these same women were having difficulties with the .45 and so began the US military search for a new personal sidearm that culminated in adoption of the Beretta M9 (in 9mm) in 1985. That’s when I saw my first one. It was nice. It launched bullets as advertised.

    The official line was the (apparently now urgent) requirement to go with the NATO standard of 9mm, lest anyone link women, large bangs, smaller hands, or float any other suspicions about the reason for change. One cannot argue the logistical and political sense behind this. One can only ponder the timing, since NATO standard had already been 9mm for decades.

  47. Scott says:

    Slightly off topic, but related to the college degree/law enforcement thing.

    https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1993-08-25-mn-27825-story.html

    Note that the article is from 1993.

    In the early 1990s, I wanted to be a cop. In particular, LAPD or LASD. I applied for both, and they also had a program by which your application would be processed for positions in the local departments like Beverly Hills, Culver City, Santa Monica, etc.

    When I sat for the written portion of the LAPD process, two officers, one hispanic male and one white female were proctoring the test. They gleefully got up to the calk board at the begining and started describing, in detail, their hiring quota that was being employed. A series od numbers and codes were written on the board. The bottom line was, they had about 200 aoplicants each cycle. and they were hiring precisely 2 white males. Almost all 200 of us looked like that.

    I made it through that phase. I obtained a 100 on the oral. I passed the psych test.

    As my application was grinding through the process, I was assigned a background investigator and had my first meeting with him. He told me, “you look great on paper, but you won’t get hired. You are a white male. Maybe if you had a college degree or were a veteran? What will happen is in a few weeks you will receive a letter saying we disqualified you on a background thing. THE BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION HAD NOT YET STARTED but it was a foregone conclusion I would wash out at that phase.

    I thanked him for his honesty and went back to my regular job to await my rejection letter.

    The process was similar for the county sheriff.

    I decided I needed to get a college degree–in anything–if I ever wanted a law enforcement job. By the time I was finished, (and a veteran) and moving on to graduate school my life had changed so much that I no longer wanted that. I still wonder sometimes, would I have made a god cop?

    Obviously, psychologist/army officer worked out fine for me, so what am I going to do, be mad about it?

    Some years later, those agencies were sued for the quota thing and I heard some guys got jobs, but what difference does it make really? I mean look at the comments from the elected officials in the article, now 26 years old. Everyone–without exception– “agrees” that increasing diversity is a “good” goal for these organizations. So unless you live in a place where the applicant pool for whatever it is you want to do is so thin (like, for example a low population density, rural area) you will get caught up in this eventually.

  48. Name (required) says:

    I carry a 45 double-stack compact pistol. 10 rounds in the flush magazine, 14 in the one that extends the grip. It’s comfortable and I can shoot straight and fast. Neither my wife nor my daughters can do well with it. The biggest of them has small hands. They really do best with a 9mm single stack, with fewer than 10 rounds. So much for higher capacity.

  49. Otto says:

    As pointed out already: the 10mm is the best all around cartridge. It is small enough to allow a magazine with extra capacity, yet (because it has a larger load) it packs a punch.

    Unfortunately, it packs such a punch that female agents couldn’t handle it. Hence the FBI has gone back to the 9mm.

  50. anonymous_ng says:

    @Anonymous_Reader “But since a US Army shooter disagrees with some things, Game is fake.”

    I LOL’d

    I fouled in making an appeal to authority. He’s no more an authority because of his job than I am, but in the context of the incessant caliber wars and 1911 vs Glock debates that were droning in that online community, his advice was refreshing in the here’s what I think, take it or not manner it was delivered.

    Because advice is reasonable, Game is fake.
    (I swear this ‘Game is fake’ thing does wonders for illuminating the ridiculousness of arguments including mine)

  51. Liz says:

    This self contradiction is obviously nonsense. The FBI isn’t merely arguing that modern hollow point performance makes the 9mm good enough, it is arguing that caliber doesn’t matter. But if caliber doesn’t matter, why is the improvement in hollow point performance critical to the FBI’s move back to the 9mm?

    Because the prior to improved technology, the 9mm bullets didn’t penetrate enough. Now that they do, the size of the diameter of the bullet doesn’t matter much, what more is accuracy…because the person will have to stop when they either bleed out or have an injury that causes structural failure.
    It’s easier to hit a target if you can shoot off more rounds with accuracy, and less recoil (and more rounds in the magazine) will be more likely to allow the shooter to hit the target.
    A skilled person might see little difference between those calibers at the range, but the environment in a shootout would be more dynamic with moving targets (and the shooter would likely be moving as well). Odds of accuracy far far lower and recoil would probably matter more. Number of bullets in the chamber would matter more too.

  52. Liz says:

    Edit: Number of bullets in the chamber magazine would matter more too.
    From the link:
    Other law enforcement organizations seem to be making the move back to 9mm Luger taking advantage of the new technologies which are being applied to 9mm Luger projectiles. These organizations are providing their armed personnel the best chance of surviving a deadly force encounter since they can expect faster and more accurate shot strings, higher magazine capacities (similar sized weapons) and all of the terminal performance which can be expected from any law enforcement caliber projectile.

  53. Liz says:

    Just reading through the above and price was mentioned as well. This is no small thing. Cheaper ammo=more practice, and since placement is more important than caliber the more practice the better. I’m not a good shot (I don’t really shoot much at all), but I live with expert marksmen and they practice a great deal. We have all calibers in the home (so many arms, the last base joked that when we left half the armory left with us, and the cops joked that if they didn’t have time to get to the armory and crap hit the fan they’d just go our house), but my husband carries a concealed Glock.

  54. Dalrock says:

    @Liz

    Because the prior to improved technology, the 9mm bullets didn’t penetrate enough. Now that they do, the size of the diameter of the bullet doesn’t matter much

    9mm FMJ penetrates just fine. The reason 9mm was said to be insufficient before was the 9mm JHP didn’t reliably expand and penetrate. Good penetration is easy. Good expansion is less easy. Getting both consistently is the real challenge.

    On one side of their mouth they are saying expansion is essential. On the other side of their mouth they are saying size doesn’t matter.

  55. Liz says:

    Good penetration is easy.
    I don’t want to be argumentative, but are you sure?
    This all came to a head as was mentioned above, after the shootout in Miami.
    One of the guys took a shot that could have killed that attacker but it didn’t penetrate. Eventually the guy with the magnum they did analysis and said the 9 mm wasn’t powerful enough and that was the problem and they blamed the 9mm. Then they went to ten mm.
    Of course, there’s the possibility they made this analysis to save face (the shootout was in a residential neighborhood, and did not make the FBI look good).

    I think bullet speed is more a factor in expansion (or so I’m told). The reason rifles do a great deal more damage than pistol.

  56. Mike says:

    People argue over caliber preference the way they argue over who has the best barbecue. And no one ever changes their mind.

  57. I have nothing to say about the debate about the best caliber (I carry a 9 mm like any normal woman does). What interests me about this post is this:

    The motivation for this doublespeak appears to be a desire to equalize the shooting performance of stronger and weaker FBI agents.

    I am still not sure how Kellene’s blog post relates to proving this point. Is it because she admits that a 9 mm is a better gun for a woman, lending support to the hypothesis that the FBI is going with the smaller caliber due to the needs of women?

    In my mind, extrapolating from this article on NPR today lends much stronger support to Dalrock’s hypothesis:

    https://www.npr.org/2019/07/06/738988815/women-in-national-security-push-to-move-beyond-the-first-and-the-only

    Here we see direct quotes from government officials about the need for a massive push to significantly increase the number of women involved in national security. If we combine that with what Kellene says about women shotting better with 9mms (and we have no reason to doubt her; she seems to be an expert in teaching self-defensive shooting to women), a reasonable conclusion very well could be that the FBI is purposefully switching to what may be a less effective caliber (I have no expertise and thus no opinion on that) because they desperately need to increase the number of female agents.

  58. Brian K says:

    While I certainly agree that the integration of women into law enforcement has forced agencies to adopt a “one size fits all” approach to cartridge selection, the 9mm Parabellum and the .40 S&W perform so similarly with regards to penetration and expansion, that it wouldn’t make sense to choose the round that gives lower capacity, snappier recoil, and a significantly shorter service life for pistols. 10mm Auto is getting near .41 Magnum performance. .40 S&W is punching in the same weight class as 9mm. The juice isn’t worth the squeeze.

    Something else to consider. SOCOM and JSOC have standardized on the Glock 19 in 9mm across the board. The cool kids, who when everyone else in the military were running M9’s in 9mm, were running Glocks, Sigs, HK’s, and custom 1911’s in whatever cartridge chambering they wanted, have settled on 9 Mike Mike. CAG/Delta, SF, 75th Ranger, SEALS, DEVGRU, Marine Raiders, Force Recon, AF PJ’s and JTAC’s, are all running Glock 19’s. And while I know the DOD is trying to force the integration of women into SF and 75th Ranger, that hasn’t happened in significant enough numbers to be the reason behind standardizing on 9mm. All that said, obviously I don’t believe women should be in law enforcement, Fire Fighting, or the military. What kind of insane nation would allow it’s wombs anywhere near the line of fire?

  59. I am still not sure how Kellene’s blog post relates to proving this point. Is it because she admits that a 9 mm is a better gun for a woman, lending support to the hypothesis that the FBI is going with the smaller caliber due to the needs of women?

    This is one case where I think Dalrock is looking to put feminism out there as a serious problem for a group when it’s a symptom. The FBI has never been as good as advertised. Not even close. In the real world, the DoJ rejects a lot of their cases and loses over 50% of the ones it brings. That’s more than a shooting issue. It means that, compared to their competition, they simply suck as an agency across the board.

  60. Oscar says:

    Gents,

    The best data is always real-world data, and in the real world, people who get shot with bigger bullets are more likely to die.

    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2688536#zoi180063t3

    https://cdn.jamanetwork.com/ama/content_public/journal/jamanetworkopen/937363/zoi180063t2.png?Expires=2147483647&Signature=Ihh5he-UrsGiE2wC-O35NSr4DAJQHH7Qim6mr3I-P92cIV9PwCV5B0MfUBoFmO7LNN1a3CL33zF8VRIFQ5eApHguX3UEl9W6-NVKpbnTONqHglMRD72u4Q-5ubdqRHjtoFzR9Vbd-yaFWpz8mWBpQsa~qwrUL9qr0JNh-vNKyotuiP~t4nNKGMPkRNU5RSKYIGaaCZOvHDfhhX0sYjm7V3bFBGyqyBJazYS6EZoe9l5o3m5pr0lf7sstoSIXlEzVYXCfM9ccMOb86YUUU2iliYiuhta4dZkccTgVFTzviBD6pirC~vMUOPcf0TvpNR5Hez3mdBKAXyy8Vn9socjLSg__&Key-Pair-Id=APKAIE5G5CRDK6RD3PGA

    In the real world – in this case, Boston – people shot with a 9mm had a 56% death rate.
    People shot with a .40 cal had a 55% death rate.
    People shot with a .45 ACP had a 67% death rate.
    People shot with a .357 Mag had a 72% death rate.

    Wehther the difference is big enough to justify the disadvantages of a larger caliber (bigger, heavier gun, more recoil, less ammo) is up to the individual shooter.

  61. This is one case where I think Dalrock is looking to put feminism out there as a serious problem for a group when it’s a symptom.

    I will have to respectfully disagree with you on this point. Feminism is never just a symptom of anything. It is the action arm of a Satanic death cult. It is a serious problem wherever it is operating because its actions are always evil in all situations 100% of the time. If the FBI is kowtowing to feminists on caliber selection, Dalrock is right to point it out. My only question is if he has the evidence to support his hypothesis or not. On a gut level, I agree with what he saying. I just want to make sure the evidence supports it so that his point is well-proven.

    The FBI has never been as good as advertised. Not even close. In the real world, the DoJ rejects a lot of their cases and loses over 50% of the ones it brings. That’s more than a shooting issue. It means that, compared to their competition, they simply suck as an agency across the board.

    I have no expertise in this matter, and you sound as if you have some knowledge of the situation, so I will defer to your assessment. However, I would question if this is really relevant to Dalrock’s original hypothesis. It is possible to be both stupid and evil.

  62. Dalrock says:

    @Sunshine Thiry

    I am still not sure how Kellene’s blog post relates to proving this point. Is it because she admits that a 9 mm is a better gun for a woman, lending support to the hypothesis that the FBI is going with the smaller caliber due to the needs of women?

    Right. I take it as a given that the FBI is all about maximizing diversity. If we need women on nuclear subs, Delta, and Seal Team Six, surely we need large numbers in the FBI.

  63. you sound as if you have some knowledge of the situation, so I will defer to your assessment

    My parents were federal law enforcement. When my dad retired, he was equivalent to a colonel in pay and protocol. Retired in the mid 90s. He used to have a lot of respect for individual FBI agents, but said that the FBI institutionally was mainly gifted at taking raw talent and turning it into shit as a work product.

  64. Kirk Parker says:

    Oscar,

    You need to read those stats more carefully — the highest rate listed is for .357, which is the smallest of the diameters in the list.

  65. Dalrock says:

    @Brian K

    Something else to consider. SOCOM and JSOC have standardized on the Glock 19 in 9mm across the board. The cool kids, who when everyone else in the military were running M9’s in 9mm, were running Glocks, Sigs, HK’s, and custom 1911’s in whatever cartridge chambering they wanted, have settled on 9 Mike Mike. CAG/Delta, SF, 75th Ranger, SEALS, DEVGRU, Marine Raiders, Force Recon, AF PJ’s and JTAC’s, are all running Glock 19’s. And while I know the DOD is trying to force the integration of women into SF and 75th Ranger, that hasn’t happened in significant enough numbers to be the reason behind standardizing on 9mm.

    This is certainly great for cool factor, and should therefore reduce the smugness the lucky gunner video lampoons. But elite forces and regular infantry have a different mission than the FBI, and both have a different mission than an average concealed carrier or nightstand gun owner. Pistols are a secondary weapon for the military, and weight is at an extreme premium. In the case of elite forces, they can quickly score multiple hits. In the case of the FBI, they typically throw a mass of lead downrange hoping to get a hit (they estimate a 20% hit rate as I recall). Both need large quantities of ammo, for different reasons. Most shooters I know aren’t proficient in rapid fire, with any caliber. In fact, most ranges I’m familiar with require a full second between shots.

  66. Kirk Parker says:

    Folks, are you *sure* Kellene isn’t just a LARPer? Phrases like “knocks her on her butt” and “bullet igniting” are highly suspicious.

  67. JRob says:

    @ Kirk Parker

    To remove any doubt, “knockdown power” would suffice.

    POA=POI

  68. Dalrock says:

    @Liz

    Good penetration is easy.

    I don’t want to be argumentative, but are you sure?
    This all came to a head as was mentioned above, after the shootout in Miami.
    One of the guys took a shot that could have killed that attacker but it didn’t penetrate. Eventually the guy with the magnum they did analysis and said the 9 mm wasn’t powerful enough and that was the problem and they blamed the 9mm. Then they went to ten mm.

    From what I’ve read, it was a Winchester silvertip JHP. Making a 9mm that will penetrate deeply is easy. Making one that will penetrate deeply and reliably expand is what took decades.

  69. Oscar says:

    Kirk Parker

    You need to read those stats more carefully — the highest rate listed is for .357, which is the smallest of the diameters in the list.

    What the .357 Mag lacks in diameter, it makes up for in velocity, due to higher case capacity. But that bigger case has trade-offs.

  70. Dalrock says:

    @Oscar

    The best data is always real-world data, and in the real world, people who get shot with bigger bullets are more likely to die.

    The stats on the 357 vs 9mm are interesting. According to currently accepted wisdom, velocity doesn’t matter separate from the size of the wound. So in theory a 9mm should be roughly equal with 357. https://www.luckygunner.com/lounge/357-sig-whats-the-point/

    The link above compares 9mm and 357 sig, but the argument would be the same I think for the 357 mag. I haven’t looked at the report, but if the shooters were gang bangers I wonder if the auto loader rounds were ball, and the 357 mag was soft tip. It could also be that the accepted wisdom is wrong and the gelatin model is missing something important.

    Also, Paul Harrell has an interesting video on the problem with studies on real world shootings. He says reliable data on even the basics is unavailable, things like distance and number of shots fired.

  71. Oscar says:

    @ Dalrock

    The stats on the 357 vs 9mm are interesting. According to currently accepted wisdom, velocity doesn’t matter separate from the size of the wound. So in theory a 9mm should be roughly equal with 357. https://www.luckygunner.com/lounge/357-sig-whats-the-point/

    The Lucky Gunner video you posted made that point, then they kind of undermined their own statement by pointing out that a 55 grain .223 is more likely to kill you than a 135 grain 9mm, because the .223 has much greater velocity. Then they said that no pistol cartridge generates that kind of velocity, so it doesn’t matter.

    Well, apparently the .357 Mag generates enough velocity to make it matter.

    I haven’t looked at the report, but if the shooters were gang bangers I wonder if the auto loader rounds were ball, and the 357 mag was soft tip. It could also be that the accepted wisdom is wrong and the gelatin model is missing something important.

    Most of the shooters and the shot in the Boston study were gang bangers, because that’s who usually shoots each other, so you may be right. I doubt .357 Mag revolvers are popular with gang bangers.

    Also, Paul Harrell has an interesting video on the problem with studies on real world shootings. He says reliable data on even the basics is unavailable, things like distance and number of shots fired.

    The Boston study was conducted by a pro-gun-control group. In fact, their conclusion was that the government could save lives by outlawing larger caliber ammo. I doubt the people who conducted the study even knew to ask about FMJ vs soft tips vs hollow points.

    The data were collected at hospitals. They did have data on number of shots fired, but only when the police had that information, which they didn’t always have. There was no data on distance, as far I could see.

    So, yeah, it’s imperfect. But it’s the best data I’ve seen on the results of real shootings between civilians (with the infinite number of variables that entails) categorized by caliber.

    In short: I’ll keep my .357 Mag revolver, and my .45 ACP semi-auto.

  72. Anonymous Reader says:

    anonymous_ng
    I fouled in making an appeal to authority. He’s no more an authority because of his job than I am, but in the context of the incessant caliber wars and 1911 vs Glock debates that were droning in that online community, his advice was refreshing in the here’s what I think, take it or not manner it was delivered.

    I’m always willing to consider free advice, with the caveat that it’s likely worth what I paid for it.

    Because advice is reasonable, Game is fake.

    Exactly!

    Mike
    People argue over caliber preference the way they argue over who has the best barbecue. And no one ever changes their mind.

    Pretty much.
    Therefore Game is fake.

  73. Dalrock says:

    @Oscar

    The Lucky Gunner video you posted made that point, then they kind of undermined their own statement by pointing out that a 55 grain .223 is more likely to kill you than a 135 grain 9mm, because the .223 has much greater velocity. Then they said that no pistol cartridge generates that kind of velocity, so it doesn’t matter.

    I’m not sure what to make of it. My gut tells me they have oversimplified the model, at least enough so that they are missing a real (if not huge) difference between 9mm and 357 Sig/magnum, .40 and 10mm, 45 ACP and .44 Mag, etc. But I’m not in a position to really argue either way.

    In short: I’ll keep my .357 Mag revolver, and my .45 ACP semi-auto.

    Me too. I’ll keep my 9mms as well.

  74. Oscar says:

    @ Dalrock

    Variety is the spice of life!

    Ultimately, I think the gun an individual enjoys shooting most is the right gun for that individual. We don’t need to standardize everything, the way the military does. If a person enjoys their gun, they’ll shoot it more often, and that’s what matters most.

  75. Anonymous Reader says:

    Lost Patrol
    The official line was the (apparently now urgent) requirement to go with the NATO standard of 9mm, lest anyone link women, large bangs, smaller hands, or float any other suspicions about the reason for change.

    And so the Pentagon chose a fat double stack pistol with known flaws such as looooong trigger reach and DA / SA operation plus decocker fandango. Because Beretta. Border Patrol went one better and chose the same company only with .40 S&W, so even fatter buttstock.

    Rotating the hand to the left to engage the safety followed by rotating to the right in order to reach the looong trigger – absolutely guaranteed excellent qual scores and fighting skills.

    One instructor I know worked with various groups going to the sanbox back about 15 years ago to give them a chance in case of ambush. His pet name for the Beretta 92 was “Italian piece of ****”, but only when he was in a good mood. In a bad mood he said really bad words.

    Because some people like the M1911A1 and some do not, Game is fake.

  76. Anonymous Reader says:

    Dalrock
    On one side of their mouth they are saying expansion is essential. On the other side of their mouth they are saying size doesn’t matter.

    In the modern world cognitive dissonance is a feature, not a bug.

  77. Anonymous Reader says:

    Oscar
    In the real world – in this case, Boston – people shot with a 9mm had a 56% death rate.

    Small data sets can lead to odd results because a few outliers in the data set has outsized effect.

    Marshal & Sanow’s data on one-shot stops is controversial, so Game is fake.

  78. Anonymous Reader says:

    [probably duplicate comment, apologies]

    Dalrock
    From what I’ve read, it was a Winchester silvertip JHP.

    Yes, and that design was from the late 1970’s if I recall correctly, using aluminum in the nose. Bullet design improved hugely in order to meet the FBI’s standards after that event. Those standards are far from ideal, but they are repeatable and testable, and bullets designed to meet them have performed well in actual fights.

    First person account from Mirales:
    https://americanhandgunner.com/our-experts/the-fbi-dadeland-shootout-hero-agent-ed-mireles-speaks-2/

    Different people reached different conclusions from the Miami shootout. Therefore Game is fake.

  79. Rum says:

    Here is a hint:
    Police and other security forces overwhelmingly choose Glock hardware because… it takes much less range time and ammo to get recruits up to a minimum standard. This translates directly into major costs saving to the department.
    Look, I do not own one because I trained on older concepts. And I think civilian CC is fundamentally different than Cop- Carry. But if you think shot placement is important (which it 110% is), this fact should be given some thought. IMHO.
    (Rum is now ducking under his desk.)

  80. They Call Me Tom says:

    I’m not sure if my comment yesterday went into moderation, or if there was simply a glitch with wordpress. Either way I’ll be more concise this time, ha ha.

    It seems that, even if there were only men in the fbi, you’d still have weaker and stronger shooters. 9mm is your least common denominator to make weak shooters effective while not handcuffing the stronger shooters. It would seem that you’d start with everyone having to qualify with 9mm, then eventually qualifying with 45 auto or 10mm for those who can. 40 from what I’ve heard turned out to be a bad compromise between 9mm and 45 auto. But I’ve only shot 9mm, 45 auto, 357 and 44 magnum out of handguns.

    Fwiw, I’d never carry 9mm for bear repellent, but apparently 9mm, anecdotally, does enough to be effective for those purposes:
    https://www.ammoland.com/2018/02/defense-against-bears-with-pistols-97-success-rate-37-incidents-by-caliber/#axzz5sx5l0BFc

    So restricting to 9mm isn’t making agents ineffective, it’s just reducing the payload they’re allowed to deliver.

  81. okrahead says:

    There is, for some inexplicable reason, a shortage of highly reliable studies based on how effective different pistol rounds are at killing a man with one shot… I think it had something to do with informed consent.
    At any rate, there is a parallel field where many of us here do have experience…. killing white tailed deer.
    White tail deer are approximately the same size as human beings. Like a predatory felon, they tend to be wary, on guard, and highly motivated. Their level of conditioning is obviously well above that of most human beings.
    What round would you use to reliably stop a white tail deer?
    At “normal self defense” range (inside 5-10 yard) many would wound but not immediately drop or even kill a deer. I’m told to kill you need 500 ft lbs of energy at point of impact and good shot placement. That is easily achievable with a long gun, well nigh impossible to do consistently at range with even top notch hand guns.
    All of which is to say, a 200 lb man who is on adrenaline and intoxicants (especially if they are uppers) may be at least as difficult to stop as a white tail deer.
    I also had a friend who was an FTO and former SWAT tell me that in close quarters he would generally prefer a (large) knife.
    And any reliable firearm beats being unarmed.
    Which of course proves game works, or not, depending on which view you have of the muzzle.

  82. Paul says:

    OT: Dalrock, can you look into the development of marital rape laws versus traditional Christian marriage where each spouse has authority over the other spouse’s body?

    E.g.
    https://psychcentral.com/lib/marital-rape/
    “When a [married] woman feels that it’s just easier to give in to sex than to respect her own needs, she is being raped.”

    vs

    1 Cor 7:4
    “The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.”

    It shows that biblical marriage is practically (being) outlawed.

  83. Oscar says:

    @ Anonymous Reader

    Marshal & Sanow’s data on one-shot stops is controversial, so Game is fake.

    Yeah, well, I refrain from commenting on Game, because I’m an engineer, and you know what we engineers use for birth control, right? Our personalities.

    But I have nine kids, therefore Game is fake.

  84. Oscar says:

    Off Topic: wife complains that her husband won’t bathe.

    https://slate.com/human-interest/2019/06/bad-hygiene-ruining-sex-life-with-husband.html

    My husband and I have been married for seven years. We started out very strong sexually, but over the past few years he has stopped bathing and brushing his teeth regularly. Nothing I say or do seems to compel him to wash. Sometimes he goes more than two weeks without bathing. He’s dirty (he works a manual labor job) and he smells awful. I don’t want to be in the same room as him, and the thought of kissing him or being intimate with him horrifies me. So we aren’t having sex and haven’t been in a while. I tell him that I can’t consider a physical relationship with him because of this, but he doesn’t believe me—he tells me that it’s my problem, that I lack confidence, or I don’t love him, or I’m not attracted to him. He is very angry a lot of the time and blames his attitude on me “withholding sex.” He sees a doctor regularly and is treated for mild anxiety, but nothing seems to get through to him about this. I want sex back in my life, but not with someone who is dirty and/or who is mean to me, and I’m not sure what to do.

    Here’s the advice columnist’s response.

    I just have to say it: gross. I’m sorry your husband is neglecting himself. At a certain point—this exact point—you may need to evaluate how much you’re willing to put up with. That’s up to you. You decide when enough is enough. You decide what you’re willing to tolerate. You decide how many days a person can go without showering and still share a bed with you. You decide how much misplaced blame you’re willing to shoulder. You decide how much of his anger you’ll allow him to take out on you. You decide at what point you sit him down and plainly tell him his hygiene habits are not only killing your sex life but also, it sounds like, threatening your marriage.

    Like all adults, you have to make these decisions for yourself. Only you can say how much longer you’re willing to put up with your husband’s literally stinking attitude. Good luck.

    Does that sound reasonable?

    Now let’s see how that shoe fits on the other foot.

    My wife and I have been married for seven years. We started out very strong sexually, but over the past few years she has stopped watching what she eats and exercising regularly. Nothing I say or do seems to compel her to lose weight. Sometimes she downs a whole pint of ice cream in one sitting. She’s obese and she looks and feels awful. I don’t want to be in the same room as her, and the thought of kissing her or being intimate with her horrifies me. So we aren’t having sex and haven’t been in a while. I tell her that I can’t consider a physical relationship with her because of this, but she doesn’t believe me—she tells me that it’s my problem, that I lack confidence, or I don’t love her, or I’m not attracted to her. She is very angry a lot of the time and blames her attitude on me “withholding sex.” She sees a doctor regularly and is treated for mild anxiety, but nothing seems to get through to her about this. I want sex back in my life, but not with someone who is obese and/or who is mean to me, and I’m not sure what to do.

    Now let’s see the advice columnist’s response.

    I just have to say it: gross. I’m sorry your wife is neglecting herself. At a certain point—this exact point—you may need to evaluate how much you’re willing to put up with. That’s up to you. You decide when enough is enough. You decide what you’re willing to tolerate. You decide how many years a person can stay obese and still share a bed with you. You decide how much misplaced blame you’re willing to shoulder. You decide how much of her anger you’ll allow her to take out on you. You decide at what point you sit her down and plainly tell her that her eating and exercise habits are not only killing your sex life but also, it sounds like, threatening your marriage.

    Like all adults, you have to make these decisions for yourself. Only you can say how much longer you’re willing to put up with your wife’s literally unhealthy attitude. Good luck.

    Is that still reasonable? If not; why not?

  85. Lost Patrol says:

    AR

    And so the Pentagon chose a fat double stack pistol with known flaws such as looooong trigger reach and DA / SA operation plus decocker fandango.

    We’re left to imagine that feedback from chicks was positive, because, why else? Hey man, a foreign stranger speaking English with an accent, glossy finish, stylish European cutout slide showing some chest, er, I mean some barrel, for no apparent reason. Even that fancy decocker that goes both ways if you know what I mean. I figure that if our women didn’t like it something else would have been found.

    And in fact I’m informed that they have grown bored with it and an entirely new model is on its way to an armory near you.

  86. The voice of reason says:

    Give them all 10rd 9mm’s. A rifle is for killing, handguns are best for assination or suicide. Let’s stop this American concealed carry jerk fest over any pistols, if you need to kill get some that facilitates. If your an oversight committee, do your fucking job.

  87. Liz says:

    There are some obvious practical limitations to carrying a rifle on the day to day.

  88. I also had a friend who was an FTO and former SWAT tell me that in close quarters he would generally prefer a (large) knife.

    I would believe it. The nice thing about any sort of blade is that the only way to stop it is to stop the hand, wrist or arm.

  89. (And that’s a lot easier said than done unless you’re an Aikido master or something)

  90. John James R. says:

    Ha ha Oscar. I was just getting the thoughts in my head about how to do exactly what you did there. I couldn’t believe it when I scrolled down. Another angle of gender reversal; Imagine a culture that is so male-centric that men who don’t bathe are lauded for ‘staying strong’ and ‘being proud’ and ‘fighting matriarchal concepts of hygiene’ That’s the kind of praise and triumphalism that our fat girls are parading around with these days. The lack of physical health in our females is so far and away the number one issue in gender relations these days. It’s basically the only issue. It might lead to other issues but it is the foundation of this whole crumbling mess.

  91. Gunner Q says:

    The voice of reason @ 11:35 am”
    “A rifle is for killing, handguns are best for assination or suicide. Let’s stop this American concealed carry jerk fest over any pistols”

    This is like saying “swords are for killing, pocketknives are for assassination or suicide”. The lesser weapon you have is always preferable to the greater weapon you don’t.

    Even a handgun chambered in .25 Loser is a useful tool in a confrontation.

  92. Red Pill Latecomer says:

    Oscar: Is that still reasonable? If not; why not?

    Because a Real Man would Man Up! and take Leadership of his poor hygiene and weight problem, rather than unmanfully complain about his wife’s Godly Corrections.

  93. Anonymous Reader says:

    Lost Patrol
    And in fact I’m informed that they have grown bored with it and an entirely new model is on its way to an armory near you.

    The Beretta 92 is going to be replaced, therefore Game is fake.

  94. Even a handgun chambered in .25 Loser is a useful tool in a confrontation.

    Your opponent is 6’6, weighs 300lb and high on PCP, but thank God you didn’t pack that .25 because anything less than .40 would be completely pointless.

  95. Dan says:

    Regarding .25ACP ……

  96. Jon Patch says:

    I have had 357 for many years and it is great, but not for carry for me, just for home defense. I consternated many weeks when selecting a new pistol and settled on HK VP40. I like it very much, but will say it is more difficult to shoot and learn characteristics than 9mm I have tried out previously. For me the 9 is more accurate and easier and quicker to recover back on target. I don’t regret the choice I made, but accuracy, especially under pressure and high stress, has to be a major factor. You can’t practice for that. One day I will add a 9mm to the arsenal, probably HK VP as well – pricey but exceptional firearm. The comments regarding long gun and shotgun superiority are spot on. I have a 30 carbine close at hand for home defense, better than shotgun for me because very maneuverable in tight space and 15 rounds in the standard magazine, which I also have a stock mounted pouch with two additional magazines, more than enough. I have a Beretta 380 pocket gun for cc also. It’s tiny but badass

  97. Jon Patch says:

    Also, my Grampa walked and fought his way across France in WW2 with that carbine and with a 1911 Colt Combat. After the war he had the carbine in his duffel and the 45 in his coat and they announced on the dock in England that weapons had better be turned in “or else”. He was nervous about doing so at that point, so kept the carbine stowed and dropped the Colt in the harbor on his way up the gang plank. Whenever he told the story he would get a faraway look and state, “those bastards never checked…” anyhow, if he had made it home with that, I’m pretty sure I would be a .45 ACP guy.

  98. American says:

    This is one of those topics where I don’t really care what the studies show, I’ll take a .45 over a 9mm every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  99. JFP says:

    Bah, sorry I missed a good caliber/gun debate. My take on the .40 is simply that it is a bastard creation of the FBI trying to hide their agents incompetence/bad training/arrogance.

    It was rather funny to see the vaunted Glock lose some of its luster with the Gen4 models being designed around the .40 because Glock prefers to sell to government agencies over civilians and thus caters to gov desires first (some say only). Only to have the gen4 glocks in 9mm start having feeding/ejecting problems, because Glock was too cheap to use dedicated 9mm springs.

    Best advice I got on glocks ten years ago was to buy the gen3 model before they stop selling them.

  100. Anchorman says:

    I own and shoot all common calibers.

    More than recoil, I’ve found it more comfortable firing full size pistols, regardless of caliber.

    I still carry a Glock 19 for conceal (or snub .38), but my favorite to shoot is my full size Sig 320 .45. And it has a lot to do with being regular size.

  101. Anchorman says:

    JFP,
    My Glock 19 is Gen 4. Probably fired between 1,500 and 2,000 rounds.

    I shoot cheap Tula ammo.

    I’ve never had a misfeed or jam.

    Anecdote, I know, but I haven’t had issues and it’s my life-on-the-line CCW.

  102. Anonymous Reader says:

    No argument about caliber is complete without this scene from Red Heat

    A Soviet cop character played by Ahnold disagrees about “most powerful handgun” so Game is fake…

  103. Anonymous Reader says:

    PS: Language warning on the movie clip. Apologies.

  104. A. Selene says:

    9mm was the dominant cartridge when the 1986 Miami shootout occurred. It remained the dominent cartridge until the Assault Weapon Ban took effect, limiting everyone to no more than 10 rounds in the magazine. So then people started switching to .40 S&W in order to get the most power in 10+1 shots. After the AWB sunset, everyone migrated back to 9 mm because the minimal benefits of .40 over the 9 were outweighed by the greater recoil and loss of magazine capacity when using the .40.

    I think the main reason that the FBI went for 10mm is because that was what the Sonny Crocket character on Miami Vice used.

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