posted on Apr, 14 2007 @ 01:24 PM
The British use the 9mm L7A1 FMJ round which is loaded for subgun pressures - I have a couple of boxes lying around somewhere. This ammunition is
subject to an ATF warning in the US because it is loaded to CUP pressures which grossly exceed +P, and it is easily capable of damaging guns (and
shooters). Stupid in my opinion, but as an ammunition collector of sorts, interesting, at least for me.
Increasing the power of 9mm ball is futile if you're shooting people, as penetration is already excessive. Even a low pressure 9mm FMJ will zip
right through the average torso, wasting the energy of the round and causing very little damage unless it hits a major structure or organ, bleeding is
what kills, and for that you need a big hole, it really is as simple as that. You can load 9mm as hot as you like, and the terminal ballistics will
not differ because you need to "dump" the energy into the target. For civilians and police this is achieved via the use of expanding ammunition -
in the military, your only option for increasing the frontal area of the round is by increasing the caliber. This requirement was not understood when
9mm para was invented in 1902, but it was learned in World War I when we actually started shooting people with handguns.
There have been numerous cases of people being shot with 9mm in the US and not even noticing. The Amadou Diallo case in New York highlighted the poor
performance of 9mm FMJ which was all that NYPD could carry at the time. Diallo was shot 19 times at close range, many to center of mass, and was
still alive when arrested - only to die some time later. NYPD were forced to change to JHP ammunition and today carry the Gold Dot.
You need to approach this from the perspective that all handguns are fundamentally underpowered, even the .45ACP - a lot of people have yet to gain
that understanding. The US went to 9mm FMJ for commonality with NATO, and since then, continual combat reports from soldiers who have never used any
other handgun caliber in combat consistently claim a near total lack of effectiveness for the round.
The M9 is in use in huge numbers in the US military, our soldiers routinely carry a pistol as a backup, I have not seen this as commonly with other
nations where pistols are typically the preserve of officers only, i.e. the US forces have a great deal more exposure to 9mm usage in combat.
If we take the UK as an example, the fact that your Browning Hi powers are still servicable after 50 years doesn't so much testify to the qualities
of that otherwise fine pistol, but rather to that fact that you don't really train your troops to any great extent on the use of that weapon. In
that situation 9mm is probably a better bet.
9mm handguns make excellent pocket pistols or concealed carry weapons, but for duty sidearms there is no need to compromise either on size or power.
With the new generation of hicap .45s such as the Springfield XD45, HK45, and the Glock 21 - the question I would ask is "why stick with 9mm"?
[edit on 14-4-2007 by Retseh]