Imagine if you will a device that can bring all the wisdom and information of the ages to your fingertips, no matter what time it is or where you are? It would change the world, advance civilization and re-write what man is capable of achieving.

Or we can use it to post photos of kittens and argue with total strangers.

No question the internet has changed the flow of information. Most of that is good. The internet allows us to do an end run around the increasingly biased mainstream media. We can get both sides and make our own decisions on who is telling the truth. That is historical, as it’s never happened before and sadly it probably won’t continue much longer.

I use the internet almost daily in my work. While I maintain an extensive library, it’s usually easier to find what I need on the net. All and all, the net is pretty accurate, but you need to develop an effective BS filter.

Now don’t get me wrong, I embrace the internet and think it’s the one of the greatest achievements of man. Note that this blog is on the internet. But we need to assess the way we gather information. There is no filter now and things that are not necessarily true are published, often over and over.

One debate that is endless and, in my way of thinking has taken a ridiculous direction, is about defensive handgun cartridges. To say they are all the same is foolishness.D15829But before we get into that we need to deal with all the usual masks, spin and distractions that enter the argument.


This one is always first in line.

Yes, shot placement is important. That’s true with any cartridge. But, thinking that shooters are laser accurate with a 9mm and can’t hit a house with a .45 is stupid. Good shooters are good shooters. If you are precise with a 9mm you are probably pretty good with a .45 too. If you can’t hit anything with a .45, then you probably suck with a 9mm.D15804


It’s implied that you will shoot much better with a 9mm than a .45 ACP. I gotta wonder if these guys have ever shot a handgun?

Yes, the .45 and the .40 usually have a bit more recoil and yes recoil causes issues with some shooters. But with mostly newbies, not experienced handgun shooters. The difference in recoil is simply not that great with most defensive handgun cartridges.


I recently did a test with two S&W Shield handguns, one in 9mm and the other in .40 S&W. Using +P 124 grain 9mm and 180-grain .40 S&W ammo I would have the shooters close their eyes while we placed one gun in each hand. Then they opened their eyes and shot the two guns. I would alternate hands randomly and repeated the test several times. Nobody could pick the 9mm with any reliability as there was little or no perceivable difference in the felt recoil.D18014THEY ALL SUCK

Yes, compared to rifles all defensive handguns are weak and puny. I have shot enough game and ballistic jello with rifles and handguns to fully agree with that statement. But it’s hard to carry a rifle concealed on your belt, so it’s a handgun or nothing. Compared to a handgun, a knife sucks. Compared to a knife, your fist sucks. This argument sucks.


Really? You are basing this on what science?

Oh, that’s right; you read it on the internet.

Actually, that’s the point of this rant. This was posted on the internet and it gets repeated over and over. Usually based on the results of a single, alleged test. Nobody ever verifies it as accurate, they just believe it and hit share.


You can’t argue against physics and facts, unless you are willing to admit you are stupid. I understand and accept that there are some who will do that; but for the rest of us, let’s look at some facts.

Using the Barnes TAC-XPD self-defense ammo, 140-grain .40 S&W has 120% of the energy of the 115 grain 9mm+P. The 185-grain .45 ACP carries 127% of the energy of the 9mm+P.

Many ballistic experts believe that momentum is a better measure for a bullet because it does not have the velocity bias that energy does. The .45 bullet has 143% of the momentum of the 9mm bullet. The .40 bullet carries 121% of the momentum of the 9mm.

Light bullets shed velocity faster, both in the air and in the target. The target is the important one, as retained energy aids in penetration. The .45 it has 161% of the bullet weight of the 9mm and the .40 has 122% of the 9mm bullet weight.D15806

The .45 bullet has 127% of the bullet diameter of a 9mm. The .40 has 113%. Bigger diameter, bigger hole. Sure the 9mm will expand, but so will the other bullets so it all balances out.

Bottom line, they are not the same. Numbers do not lie.

You may argue that they all suck compared to a rifle and be more or less right, but to argue that all defensive pistol cartridges are the same is to ignore math and science.

That said, carry what you want; I don’t care. But please stop believing everything you read on the internet about handguns. Make a choice, but make an informed choice.D14663

One last thought. There are always those who will turn the argument away from the ballistics and say, “let’s forget the ballistic charts and see what the morgue says about which cartridge is effective.”

OK, fair enough. The agency that shoots the most people with a 9mm is the U.S. Army, so they surely have the best database “from the morgue.” They just decided the 9mm is inadequate and are now searching for a larger, more powerful pistol cartridge.