which is better?

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by llama.45, Feb 12, 2005.

which is better defense?

  1. 9mm

    113 vote(s)
  2. 38 special

    84 vote(s)
  1. llama.45

    llama.45 New Member

    Jan 21, 2005
    9mm or 38 special?

    what do yall think?
  2. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    I have both but like the 9mm best with Personal Protection HP ammo, because of greater capacity, if needed. My CCW 9mm is a Browning Hi-Power with 15 round mags, Browning made/sanctioned under license.

    I have a Smith Model 60 as a back-up with Personal Protection HPs. Carry it on the ankle, when wearing long pants!

  3. Neil

    Neil New Member

    Sep 7, 2004
    Stanwood washington
    I have had both for ccw, but I liked the balistics of the .38spl. but when it all comes down to it either will keep you alive.
  4. Tony Mig

    Tony Mig New Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    The Sorprano State
    I voted for the tried and true .38 Spl. The .38 has a much wider range in regaurds to bullet weight & design, and a larger case capactiy for a wider variety of powders from Bullseye fast, to 2400 slow.
    A much more versitile cartridge, and with good marksmanship and a well placed round, it'll do it's job..
  5. IShootBack

    IShootBack Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2002
    For What?
  6. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    I'm with ISB here. Pray tell us what and why you want a comparison. One is .355 and the other is .357. What is it you really want to know?
  7. llama.45

    llama.45 New Member

    Jan 21, 2005
    for a self defense round
  8. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    What are you looking for, stopping power or spray and pray power?
  9. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

    Do you prefer a semi-auto or a wheelgun?

    In a semi-auto.....obviously, 9mm.

    In a revolver.....obviously, .38 Special.

    (Yeah, yeah, I know. There a few autos that take .38 Spl. and a few revolvers that take 9mm....but the 9 is primarily a pistol cartridge and the 38 is primarily a revolver cartridge.)

    Just cartridge vs. cartridge......38 Special. Greater case capacity, much larger bullet selection, and inherently more accurate.
  10. 147 Grain

    147 Grain New Member

    Aug 26, 2005
    9mm's easy recoil and rapid-fire make it a better caliber.

    Load it up with.........

    * Double Tap 147-gr. +P
    * Ranger T 147-gr. (RA9T)
    * Golden Saber 147-gr.

    ....and there you have the top 3 performing self defense rounds on the market - bar NONE!
  11. JohnK3

    JohnK3 New Member

    May 5, 2003
    Sorry, 147gr, but just kinda have to yank yer chain here:

    "rapid-fire?" Do you have a problem hitting the target the first time that you have to throw lots of bullets downrange rapidly? [grin] Also, I've never found a problem with recoil in a .45ACP except when I've been shooting .22lr through the Kimber all day and switch back to the .45 barrel and forget the difference. [grin]

    Now, for the serious stuff:

    The 9mm was designed with 115gr in mind. In the 15 year Marshall-Sanow study of thousands of actual shootings, comparing rounds based upon "one-shot stop" statistics, the 115gr. Cor-Bon +P achieved the highest of all the 9X19 rounds, with a 91% effectiveness. As the mass of the bullet went up and the velocity of the bullet went down, the percentage of effectiveness went down, not up.

    Your assertion that 9mm has better stopping power is correct, however, as the best 9mm, the Cor-Bon 115gr. +P loads outperform the best .38 Special loads by 8%. The Marshall-Sanow study showed 115gr. Cor-Bon +P .38 Special with only an 83% effectiveness rating in "one-shot stops."

    Recoil on the 9mm is actually greater than the .38 Special in +P. In a 2.25 lb. gun firing a 115gr. bullet at 1100 fps, you'll get right over 4 lbs of recoil. That's the .38 Special. If you're shooting a 9mm in a typical 1.5 lb gun with a 115gr. bullet leaving at 1250 fps you'll get 7.3 lbs of recoil delivered to the shooter's hand. Of course, this changes if you use an extremely lightweight revolver or a heavier pistol. Your mileage may vary.

    Reference: http://www.chuckhawks.com His references are listed on his webpage. Unfortunately for many, it is now a subscription site for most of the more useful information, including the above statistics. Fortunately, he doesn't charge an arm and a leg, just enough to keep the site going.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2005
  12. Seems like any pistol I can buy that shoots 9mm also has a variation with .40 cal...ya know.

    An exception being the Browning Hi-power (as fars as I know it doesn't have a .40 cal variant)but if I got room for that then I got room for my 1911; and I ain't leavin' behind my .45 for no 9milli.

    I don't guess the .38 Spl looks better on paper than a 9mm, but I shot plenty of both and always felt better about the .38. More than a few nights, before I had a .45, I left my CZ-75 at home in favor of a plain Taurus 85 loaded with hydrashoks.
  13. denfoote

    denfoote New Member

    Mar 24, 2003
    I have 9mms out the ying-yang!!! :eek:
    That's all very well and good.
    However, you know what goes with me 90% of the time when I step out that door???



    It shoots well too!!


    I keep it stoked with 125gr Golden Saber .38spl +P!!! :D
  14. yoric

    yoric Former Guest

    Nov 5, 2005
    Marshall just makes all that crap up as he goes along. Every time that he's DARED reveal one of his "sources", a checkup has always proven him to be lying or mistaken about what really happened.

    Revolvers wear out of time pretty quickly, the 9mm, especially in SA format, is a lot easier to hit with more swiftly, with more power. Neither one amounts to much, tho. Most of what the 38 is "tried and true" at is failing to stop men, as is the case with all but the "meanest" 9mm's as well. The 9mm is wussy-loaded in the USA. It can be loaded to over 700 ft lbs of power, but the typical load has half that much energy.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2005
  15. Actually, I think it depends much more upon the circumstances of carry than on the caliber. Like Denfoote, the handgun I most often carry is a .38 snubbie loaded with +Ps, though my rig is a Smith 637 loaded with Speer 135 grain Gold Dots instead of the Taurus/Golden Saber he chooses. Both, I think, are excellent however. I will also carry a 9mm sometimes (usually a Steyr M1), if the circumstances I'm in allow me to carry a larger handgun. I categorically refuse, though, to carry one of those damn miniature 9mm DAO automatics like the Kel-Tec because I can't hit the broad side of a barn with it past about 5 feet. The trigger pull on one of those takes so long that you could go out for a full meal and a couple of drinks befoe it goes "bang!" With the snubbie, at 30 feet, my targets look like the one Denforte uploaded.
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