9mm or .45 ACP — which caliber is best for self-defense? It’s a debate that’s dragged on for decades. In recent years, there has been a definitive shift in preference toward the 9mm as shooting instructors, armed professionals, and even the FBI have abandoned larger calibers like .45 ACP and .40 S&W. But there was a time not too long ago when 9mm was frowned upon by those “in the know.” While looking through the company archives, we found an old, forgotten, unmarked VHS tape with a clear example of this bias against the lowly nine.


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  • Michael Smart

    Was it hard to talk with your tongue firmly planted in your cheek?

  • sully v

    truer words have never been spoken…going to load up some Glock 19 mags with Speer Gold Dot 124gr. +P’s, because there is a pack of small dogs that needs to be dispatched…

  • robinjoe1

    Well who can dispute facts like that. I’ll use 9mm for paintball tournaments and nothing else.

  • Iblis Bane

    OK, that was hilarious. 😀

  • Jack Beckman

    This horse has been beaten into small pieces, and there are some who still want to beat it. Carry what you feel confident in carrying. The FBI didn’t change due to problems with the rounds or issues with ballistics, they changed because of small hands. Small hands have difficulty handling 40 or 45, while they can handle a 9. My meat hooks are quite large, so I can handle the bigger calibers. I add grip sleeves to my double stack Sig 9 mm, my Glock 30 in .45 and my S&W 9mm shield so I can have enough to grip and control. Others have difficulty hanging on with no sleeve, and want an even smaller handle.

    OK, FBI changed. So?

    • Somebody apparently didn’t watch the video…

      But since you brought it up, I mentioned the FBI’s switch to 9mm merely as a matter of fact to highlight the current popularity of the cartridge. That said, the switch had little, if anything, to do with hand size. We know this because in 2014, the FBI’s training division wrote a whole paper about why 9mm is preferable for law enforcement personnel. Hand size was not mentioned. The full text of the paper is available here: https://looserounds.com/2014/09/21/fbi-9mm-justification-fbi-training-division/

      • Jack Beckman

        Somebody didn’t notice they used a 1987 study on ballistics that somehow translates into the new and improved ballistics data used to make the switch. (It’s in the link you provided) and the note, also in the link you provided, about inexperienced shooters being able to handle the 9mm better. To me, and the increase in women in the FBI ranks, who have smaller hands than I do, that tells me that is was also about the agents being able to handle the issued firearm. I’m fine with it. It isn’t a determining factor in my choices.

        What I tire of is the frequent publishing of articles debating a topic that has been debated to the point of exhaustion and is settled. The FBI changed back to a 9mm sidearm. There, done,

        • It might be possible to interpret the video above as a commentary on the absurdity of the caliber debate rather than an honest attempt to persuade anyone to any particular point of view. But that would require a sense of humor.

          • Thomas Moeller

            Highlighting the absurdity of the debate is tantamount to saying that one should only put butter on top of pancakes (don’t stack ’em) and not between them (stack ’em). This is super cereal and ain’t no joke! I MEAN IT! Super Cereal!

        • Thomas Moeller

          blah blah blech.

  • FWIW: Old school gunwriters rarely had anything good to say about the .38 Special, other than its role as a Bullseye/PPC cartridge. “It is a Widowmaker!”

    Some even dismissed the .357 Magnum when the barrel length went under 5 inches. “You’ll lose too much velocity in short barrels, making it no better than a long barrelled .38 Special.”

    The 9x19mm was also dismissed as an inherently inaccurate cartridge, thoroughly unsuitable for serious
    target use.

  • Paul Givens

    Hilarious!! Especially the animation of the body collapsing on itself. LOL. Really enjoy the content you’ve been putting out, nice touch with the satire and “old “school” video. Keep up the good work!

    • Mike in Wa

      Between that and the rounds bouncing off the tin can.

  • Howard Kurs

    Four laughable things were in this video. The most obvious was watching 9mm bullets bounce off of tin cans without even leaving a dent. The second was claiming the .38 was an acceptable load but the 9mm wasn’t, when in fact most 9mm loads beat the .38, hands down. The third is that “only weak willed men change their minds”. It’s actually, only stupid men don’t change their minds when presented with indisputable facts to the contrary. Finally, the most ridiculous statement of all was being labeled a COMMUNIST for sharing in public that owning a 9mm was better than owning no gun at all. HUH!!!

    • Howard Kurs

      Two more ridiculous things in the video were seeing the 9mm bullets strike the can at such a low velocity that they must have been thrown by hand rather than been fired by a pistol. The second was claiming that a 9mm barely penetrates and usually leaves a “PAINLESS” flesh wound. Tell that to the millions worldwide who were killed by a 9mm, more than any other round in history, and far more than the .45 ACP, not to disparage the .45 but this is a known fact. I’d like to see this jerk take a “painless flesh wound” from the lowly 9mm, even with WWII hardball fired from that German Luger in the video!!! The video was filled with 100% total distortions from beginning to end. Even the claim that his father thought it was “high time” that a three year old learn his way around the pistol is unbelievable, unless his father was just as much of an idiot as him!!!

      • Dalton

        What’s even funnier is the people who take obvious sarcasm and satire as a serious video. Honestly, I don’t know how you can’t tell that it’s not meant to be taken literally.

        • Howard Kurs

          So, how are you so sure that it was satire and not meant to be taken literally, the whole premise was the inferiority of the 9mm vs the .45 ACP, and this seems to be the reason it was presented by Lucky Gunner. Before you disparage me, please realize that many supposedly serious films were viewed as satire years later. Did you ever see “Reefer Madness”, a perfect example of this!!!

          • Dalton

            Because I’ve been reading this blog for a long time. And this author, besides being extremely knowledgable about firearms in general, also carries or has carried several types of 9mm pistols over the years. Would he really do that if he believed this way? Also, because it is so obvious that no serious gun blog would allow something like this to be posted if it was not entirely in jest. And because the joke is so obvious. I mean, no one, not even 45 fan boys think 9mm rounds bounce off of tin cans.

          • Thomas Moeller

            Because the satire was evident from the get go.
            VHS from the vault… He looks the same then as he does today except for the obvious old timey effects applied in editing.
            A Satirical Look at .45 v 9mm… Why does anyone need this to be explained?
            As was said of some folk when I went to the academy… There will always be people constantly in the state of hair triggered to the dumbass mode.

          • James Wegman

            See if you can buy a sense of humor somewhere! No background check needed!

      • John Carter

        I was told that 25 acp shot through pocket pistols would bounce off those old thick glass coke bottles back in the 60s.

    • Pyrrho

      The Joke

      Your head

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  • Nicolas Harris

    I love watching these luckygunner videos, Chris is a great communicator! I’m wondering if anyone would be willing to make a comparable argument in regards to the superiority of the 12ga. I know lounge has a series on shotguns and it seems there is no room for the lowly 20ga in there.
    Nic

    • 20 gauge theoretically has the potential to be very effective, but it’s not really practical to own for home defense. The ammo is more expensive, and defensive ammo is difficult to come by. 20 gauge recoil is not significantly less than 12 gauge with reduced recoil loads. 20 gauge shotguns in a configuration suitable for home defense are not common and parts and accessories that fit these shotguns are in short supply. If the market had more support for 20 gauge, I would be a bigger fan, but as it is, it’s a frustrating platform to work with.

      • Nicolas J Harris

        It sounds like the reason 20ga is not ideal has more to do lack of respect and less to do with efficacy. Thanks for your response, Chris.
        Nic

  • bdbender4

    What a hoot! Most excellent, dude!

  • Timothy McCoy

    That’s it! This video has soured me completely on both 45 and 9mm.
    I’m going back to my .25 Colt to punish you all.

  • AndyV

    I figured I’d read my 100th article com this to see if anything had miraculously changed. I’m glad I opened it. Cracked me up.

  • zlittle

    Spoken by a man that’s never been 9 shot.

  • Burt

    I have both. I prefer the way the .45 shoots over the 9mm but I wouldn’t want to get shot by either one of them. The best gun is the one a bullet comes out of when I need it to.

    • Beachhawk

      The video is rather silly. I also prefer to carry a .45 ACP, but sometimes my clothing choices dictate a smaller pistol. On those occasions, I don’t feel under gunned by carrying a 9mm. “The first rule of gun fighting is to have a gun.” Any gun is better than the super powerful, custom-made, safe queen you left in the nightstand.

  • Go Cubs!

    I was shot by a German soldier back in 43 by a 9mm, same thing it bounced off.
    I laid waste to him with my m1 carbine.

  • tommydagun

    It’s funny, but has anyone ever noticed that service-grade handgun calibers have largely clustered in diameters between either roughly 9mm (or about 35-36/100ths of an inch) or 44-45/100ths of an inch (or about 10.9-11.5mm) since the 1840s, when it was the Colt Paterson (.36 caliber) vs. the Colt Walker (.44 caliber), and then the 1851 Navy Colt (.36) vs the 1860 Army Colt (.44)? Those two general ranges of bullet diameter have dominated service handgun calibers pretty much for almost the entire history of repeating handguns, with only the occasional emergence of a 10mm/.40 caliber-range intermediate (e.g., the .38-40 Winchester and modern 10mm and .40 S&W) or as competition.