To some concealed gun carriers, there is no other self-defense cartridge than the “forty-five.” It all begins and ends with the venerable .45 ACP, and they say things like: If it doesn't start with a “4” it's underpowered.
Self-Defense: .45 ACP
The .45 is a great self-defense option that is widely available throughout the entire country, that is powerful and relatively affordable.
Having owned my fair share of handguns chambered in this hard-hitter, I can attest to the power behind the large caliber bullet first designed by John Browning back in 1904.
The cartridges of yesteryear came standard with a 230-grain bullet, which is still regularly available today and by far the most popular size available.
However, common bullet weights range from 185 grains up to the original 230 with other, less common sizes also available.
Eventually, this would be the handgun load of choice for the US military, and what was used in the famed 1911 until it was swapped out for another pistol, the M9, back in 1985.
Make no mistake, a 230 grain, .45 caliber bullet is devastating even if it is only traveling at 800-900 FPS.
It is a great choice for people residing in places where hollow points are illegal because even the full metal jacket (FMJ, round tip, ball, etc.) rounds punch big holes into bad guys. To be exact, the caliber of the bullet is .451 or 11.4mm.
The ballistics on today's self-defense cartridges is markedly improved, even though the heavier bullets still travel at the same speed.
Enough with the history of the .45 ACP. Who should carry a gun chambered in John Browning's genius design?
It isn't recommended that someone brand new to shooting starts out by carrying a handgun chambered in .45 ACP. While the recoil is manageable in guns like the Springfield Armory XD Mod.2 due to the design, other guns aren't as easily handled.
Newer gun carriers would be better suited for something more tame, but almost as effective.
After all, the gun you have in your hand is better than the one you left at home, and if you're more prone to hitting your target with a gun in 9mm, carry it instead.
That doesn't mean that you can't train your way into a handgun chambered in .45 ACP, just that you shouldn't start there. As far as semi-automatic pistols are concerned, .45 ACP is one of the absolute best you can buy.
Sound Off Gun Carriers! Do you carry a gun in .45 ACP? If so, let us know what you carry, along with which type of ammo. The cover pictures are two of my choices of go-to ammo for my .45 ACP guns.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on September 17, 2020, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.