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9mm vs .40 vs .45 | Which Is Better For Self Defense?



Feature | Three guns on a wooden table | 9mm vs .40 vs .45 | Which is Better for Self Defense?

Who do you think wins in the 9mm vs .40 vs .45 face-off? Read and learn which of these calibers is the best in the business.

9mm vs .40 vs .45 Debate | Which Is Better for Self-Defense?

Caliber Facts

There has always been a debate over the best caliber for self-defense. There are those who are adamant that .45 caliber is the best, due to its stopping power.

Others think 9mm trumps all or the .40 caliber has its own merits. Truthfully, all of these calibers are awesome.

In reality, is a .45 caliber going to stop an intruder more effectively than a .40 or 9mm? Let's look at the facts and make a decision from there.

1. Caliber

Three bullets | 9mm vs .40 vs .45 | Which is Better for Self Defense?
Whatever caliber to get hits on target quickly and effectively counts more than having one caliber versus another. Statistically, 7 out of 8 people who shot with a handgun survive. This is largely due to the level of trauma care we have in the United States.

RELATED: What’s The Best Handgun For Beginners?

2. Shot Placement

Target shooting using cardboard | 9mm vs .40 vs .45 | Which is Better for Self Defense?
Handguns are relatively ineffective weapons but are used because we cannot carry long guns or shotguns with us at all times. Gun owners have to decide 9mm vs .40 vs .45 for concealed carry, not sure how these will affect their shooting.

A specific caliber is less important than an operator's ability to get effective hits on target. Shot placement is key to neutralizing a threat.

If you miss all of your shots on a .45 caliber, then the bigger caliber did nothing for you. Same goes for a .40 and a 9mm.

If you are missing a lot of shots of any caliber, you aren't neutralizing your target. It's the hit to the chest or head that are most likely to take a target down.

3. 9mm vs .40 vs .45 Accuracy

Two handguns | 9mm vs .40 vs .45 | Which is Better for Self Defense?
I am personally more accurate on my 9mm Beretta than I am on my Colt 1911. I still love my 1911, but personally, I am much better at handling my 9mm.

The point is, many people think they NEED a bigger caliber handgun to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. Whatever gun and caliber most effective for you is the one you should use.


You can also check out this full video on 9mm vs .40 vs .45 courtesy of USCCA:

No matter what caliber you have and use for self-defense, be sure you practice as much as you possibly can with it. You would also want to be more in touch with quality firearms information so you can arm and defend yourself effectively.

If you want your shooting skills to improve, knowing the right caliber to use will give you a particular advantage in a given situation.

Does the article give you an idea on which caliber suits you best as a shooter? Do you now have a better understanding of the 9mm vs .40 vs .45 comparison? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2015 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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    March 23, 2017 at 9:53 PM

    When the late president Reagan and his escorts were shot, they were shot with a 22 caliber.And the intended target and the agents were also shot as it is well known.None of the agents shot that sadly fell to the ground were able to get up.I do not need to rehash the terrible and unfortunate damage Press Secretary Brady sustained.All calibers are dangerous,and specially if they rounds hit the target areas mentioned in this article.I respect bb guns as well.

  2. Teeroovengadum Kevin

    February 23, 2017 at 5:56 PM

    Many professionnal shooters said That they dont feel undergunned carrying a .22 or a .32 for self défense.I agree with That because the Most confortable the gun Is the more You Will want to carry it and train with it.The Most important Is shot placement and i think That the Kel Tec P-32/7.65 Is the Most confortable for That.It is even lighter than the lightest .22 and have Great reviews telling That it Is very reliable.Id love to Read comments from those of You who have tried it and carried it.
    Best regards

  3. Russ Mathuss

    December 18, 2016 at 9:22 AM

    I,I would like information on cross draw. I have a bad shoulder and can not reach high enough, so I cross draw
    could you give me any tips. I use a S&W shield 9MM and a Browning 25 for a back up

  4. stan

    July 1, 2015 at 6:50 PM

    I have all three…..S & W 9mm..Glock 23 .40..Springfield Armory XDS .45 ACP….

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