A lot of self defense instructors recommend the 9mm for a carry round.

However, it has been used unsuccessfully in several police shootouts, such as the 1986 Miami FBI incident and the 1997 North Hollywood Shootout.

If the 9mm is so popular as a self defense round, why does it not have a great service record where LE usage is concerned?

5 Responses to “why?”

  1. Handguns, in general, don’t have a great service record. Handgun lethality is about 33% of long gun lethality (rifle or shotgun). What happens is that cops, just like everyone else, are raised on exaggerated TV and movie depictions of people getting shot, and they expect real shootings to look like fantasy ones. You can shoot a deer in the heart with a .30-06 and it can run for 5-10 seconds before it drops. A violent human can do the same thing when shot in the heart. I had a student 2 years ago who shot a robber 3 times in the chest with a .45 ACP. The robber “looked stunned and then ran out the door”, eventually running for 5-10 seconds before dropping.

    I am convinced that most of the “opinion” that’s out there about one caliber or another not working is deeply rooted in these TV-influenced unrealistic expectations.

    Modern 9mm ammo (particularly +P ammo) performs better than what was available in the 1980s. For that matter, improvements in bullet design has improved performance in all calibers.

    The other issues are (a) most cops can’t shoot that well and (b) even those that do, don’t shoot that well in combat, because of the higher stress. Remember the FBI autopsy pictures I showed in class and where the hits were? That guy was shot 17 times with .40 and .223 and did not instantly drop either.

    Those that believe that there is a “magic handgun bullet” or magic caliber (usually believers in .40 and .45) do so mostly out of Y-chromosome and testosterone poisoning, not out of a review of existing information on the subject. Conventional wisdom in the private sector training world is that caliber in a handgun, beyond the 9mm level, simply does not matter – accuracy and speed do.

    12″ of penetration using the FBI test method is widely considered to be the acceptable standard for handgun ammo. 9mm+P, .40 and .45 all meet that standard.

    • Any opinion on Hornady Citical Defense FTX in 9mm? It is 115g and not a +p round…would it not be acceptable? Would it be better to go to a 9mm+p than using the Hornady Citical Defense FTX?

      • I like Critical Defense as a round, since it makes up for some of the short comings of using standard JHP ammunition.

        I believe that non +P is okay.

      • I’ve got a similar take on Critical Defense as KR does. It looks good on paper and it seems a noble cause, but it needs a LOT more real-world data before I’d be willing to trust my life to it.

        If you check my blog, I’ve tried to gather some data on Critical Defense, but there’s just not a lot out there other than a few people shooting rounds into wetpack and making comments. I do think that they strive to have self-defense ammo in non-+P is a reasonable thing to strive for (not everyone can handle +P ammo) but again… when your life is on the line, is that good enough? Well, probably better than nothing but still… I’m not yet willing to trust my life to it.

  2. Hornady generally makes good ammo – their “XTP” match grade bullets are the most accurate handgun bullets I’ve ever shot. Speer Gold Dot 124 gr +P is the 9mm defense load that seems to be most popular and most well regarded by all the trainers I know. I’m a big fan of not wanting to be the first person to shoot someone with a new product. For competition being on the leading edge is good – but for something mission critical I think going with something that’s well proven is a good idea. Too much at stake to be the beta tester.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: