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View Full Version : 9mm best SHTF choice?


Evo
02-24-2010, 12:27 PM
So my initial assumption was that the best choice of caliber for a bug out pistol was a 9mm, being that this is the NATO and thus military issued round. However the serious lack of 9mm JHP ammo both in stores and on the internet is making me rethink this. Also I know that the CHP uses .40, not sure about the LAPD or LASD. Anyway, does anyone else think it may be easier to scrounge .40 S&W than 9mm in an emergency situation? BTW I'll of course keep as much as possible on hand as well but carrying nothing but ammo is not a good idea either.

HCz
02-24-2010, 12:30 PM
LAPD is moving towards .40SW, IIRC. LASD is still using 9mm.

CornFedWB
02-24-2010, 12:30 PM
I'd say 9mm is a pretty good choice. Either that or .45 auto. I wouldnt want a .40, your not only concerned about the LEO and Mil having stuff you can use, but other prepers. IMO .40 is the least popular of the three.

ap3572001
02-24-2010, 12:31 PM
MOST LE officers in USA carry a .40 on duty. ( As far as I know). However a 9mm is VERY popular. Its a tought call.....

Sheepdog1968
02-24-2010, 12:37 PM
Sounds like OP wanted choice on pistol make. There are many fine choices such as Sigs, Glocks, Springfields, Beretta 92fs, HKs. All will be fine for your use. Find which one fits you best as its a very personal thing and one size doesn't fit all. Most important thing to do is take several classes on shooting. And yes, you will quickly spend more on classes than the cost of the pistol. This is money well spent.

Gryff
02-24-2010, 12:46 PM
.40S&W is the most common police round. I would guess that 9mm is the overall most-popular round among civilians (or maybe .38Special).

POLICESTATE
02-24-2010, 12:49 PM
9mm I would say, NATO and potential UN peacekeepers would be using it. Of course if you were scrounging .40 off someone you'd probably just use their weapon as well. Guns are just as scrounge-able as bullets after all ;)

Personally I go with 9mm and .45 Auto.

SJgunguy24
02-24-2010, 12:56 PM
My choice is 9mm all the way. My mags hold lotsa rounds, and ammo can be found just about anywhere in the world.

Juice5610
02-24-2010, 1:00 PM
9mm I would say, NATO and potential UN peacekeepers would be using it. Of course if you were scrounging .40 off someone you'd probably just use their weapon as well. Guns are just as scrounge-able as bullets after all ;)

Personally I go with 9mm and .45 Auto.

Quoted for truth

Viper49
02-24-2010, 1:09 PM
One more pistol should mention are the CZ75. The CZ75 are good 9mm pistol at a reasonable price as well. :D

Evo
02-24-2010, 1:10 PM
Just for reference I currently have a HK USPc in .40 as my primary HD pistol and and my wife has a Sig P226 in 9mm.
I don't shoot .45 nearly as well as .40 or 9mm for some reason.

evidens83
02-24-2010, 1:15 PM
G19 with 33 rnd rebuilds FTW :p

Blade
02-24-2010, 1:16 PM
If its for a bug out bag, I wouldn't spend big bucks on anything fancy. 9mm would be my choice as you can carry more of them as well as bigger magazine capacity. This would leave more room for other stuff...like food and water. Would you rather have 16 rounds of 9mm or 8 rounds of .45acp? IF your a good shot then it only takes 1 bullet to stop an assailant. I would recommend a Ruger SR9 a SW M&P or a Glock in 9mm if you want specifics. If you live in CA like I do, then to stay within the law you can only carry 10 round clips. This takes away the advantage of the 9mm REGULAR capacity mags. Thats why for me its .40sw 10 round mags. Then again if SHTF, obeying the gun laws in CA would be the last thing on my mind :p

SJgunguy24
02-24-2010, 1:17 PM
One more pistol should mention are the CZ75. The CZ75 are good 9mm pistol at a reasonable price as well. :D

CZ's are nice guns. For me at least I like Glocks for a SHTF situation. I can fix anything that goes wrong, 1/2 the internal parts can be swapped between different models.
If my G17 goes down I can use that mag in my G26 back up. Robust, simple, and easy to maintain.

Colt-45
02-24-2010, 1:18 PM
9mm, 45acp and 38 special seem to be the most popular. The abundance and price of 9mm ammo is making me want a one lol. As for the 40sw I wouldn't be too sure about getting ammo from LEO's . in a SHTF situation they would probably turn into gun grabbers.....

sigfan91
02-24-2010, 1:22 PM
If the fit really hit the shan, as in world war Z scenarios, think about this: you get to a military installation to get supplies. What kind of pistol ammo will you find?

SVRider
02-24-2010, 1:30 PM
If you are really torn, pick up a G22/G23 and get a 40-9 conversion barrel, then you have the flexibility to shoot either. While you are at it, pick up a .22 upper and you can accomodate 3 common calibers with minimal additional weight/space from a single frame.

Just my $0.02....

SVRider
02-24-2010, 1:43 PM
...I guess I didn't really answer your question though....

For bug-out, I'd want to keep weight down and I'm not looking to get into a fight. 9mm would be my choice (higher capacity at lower weight). Keep yourself 4~6 boxes of whatever you choose (after you've tested reliability). This means you've got 200~300 rounds with you (maybe 10lbs).

You should be avoiding the need of it in the first place, and if you do, I can't imagine realisitically needing more than a few shots to either stop or scare whoever away. If you find yourself in a situation requiring mag-dumps, you are really in the wrong place.

If you are bugging out, water at 8lbs/gallon is going to add up quick and is of much more importance and probable need than thousands of rounds of ammo.... If you are bugging-in, then feel free to stockpile away.

Not sure if this helps you with your thought process, but I consolidated all of the ideas from the Bug-out Bag thread into a couple of worksheets. It's not intended to be everything you should have, but rather ideas that you can pick and choose from. There are a lot of things that will be much more likely needed/important than thousands of rounds of ammo, at least in my book:
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=229061

Again, just my $0.02....

Good luck with your decision....

Nippy
02-24-2010, 5:19 PM
You going to walk up to a military installation and ask for ammo? They going to just hand ammo out to anyone that asks? You going to walk up to a police officer in a SHTF situation and ask for ammo? No they going to take your gun away before they give you ammo.
So your going to find ammo on the streets? In a house? How many houses do you plan on searching for ammo before you give up?
I guess you could happen to run across a military post that made a last stand against the zombie horde or giant hamsters. But then you know from the movies the zombies are close by and you probably don't want to be scrounging for ammo.

So go with 9mm. You can carry more and you can have more in one mag. Count on yourself to have what you need. The decision to buy a gun based on a caliber that you might scrounge is logistically insane.

-edit-
Also your wife shoots 9mm, go with what she can shoot or have her shoot what you can shoot. You could be incapacitated and she would be your line of defense, better to have her use something she has shot well with.

smittty
02-24-2010, 6:00 PM
The short answer is 9mm. I'm a little confused how/why anyone would think otherwise.

During this past year it was real obvisous to me that most people were looking for 9mm handguns. You could go into any gun shop and look see what guns are on the shelf, lot's of 40's, few 357's, couple higher priced 45's but it was rare to see a 9mm on the shelf. Reason, that's what everyone was buying. Same for ammo, the frist to go was 9mm and the first to be resupplied/restocked was 9mm. This is the pistol round that is most common and that's not likely to change anytime soon!

Mstrty
02-24-2010, 6:33 PM
If its SHTF your talking about. You have to take into account that supply caravan your hijacking might not be from this country. In that case they most likely wont have a supply of .40.
9mm is the most likely handgun round that most any country will have when they hit our shores.

bigcalidave
02-24-2010, 7:03 PM
Where can you NOT find 9mm online these days? Almost everyone has ammo back in stock, check out ammoengine and find some supplies. My BOB will have some sort of cheap (glock) 9 with a bunch of high caps and a few hundred rounds. Not gonna worry about carrying any more .45 than I have on my person already, that (the 1911) will get tossed or buried as soon as it becomes dead weight.

till44
02-24-2010, 8:40 PM
I have seen ten times as much .40 ammo on shelves than I have seen 9mm in the last year. If your concern is finding ammo now, a .40 isn't a bad choice.

Ranger20
02-24-2010, 10:02 PM
So my initial assumption was that the best choice of caliber for a bug out pistol was a 9mm, being that this is the NATO and thus military issued round. .

Ding ding ding.... there is "your" answer...

In your bug out sceniero Capacity is a benefit. 9-40-45 all will work of course... But I agree the 9mm is a good choice for a BUG OUT. Having standard capacity mags also adds to the value as you can carry more rounds vs weight... and if it's truly a bug out Im not concerned with what once was the state of California which would prob be no longer... Mag restrictions... only survival. ;) I'm sure Diane Feinstiens pistol won't have 10 rounds only either....

aLbe
02-25-2010, 1:09 AM
well guys, i got my eyes on XD45,S&W M&P, glock .45 (see which model fit in my hand better).

someR1
02-25-2010, 11:20 AM
well guys, i got my eyes on XD45,S&W M&P, glock .45 (see which model fit in my hand better).

Best thing to do is goto the range and rent some guns...and pick what you like best!

loudninja
02-25-2010, 11:24 AM
another vote for 9mm for when shtf.
more bang per magazine.
less weight
manageable recoil for double taps

Shotgun Dave
02-25-2010, 12:01 PM
My idea of a SHTF would include an invasion of laser mounted bears launched by the Soviet resurgence so in that case no, 9mm would not be the best SHTF choice.

dfletcher
02-25-2010, 12:07 PM
I'm going to be well stocked up on everything - EAA Witness with separate slides for 9mm, 40 S & W and 45 ACP. And maybe the 10mm for more determined stuff. :)

hkusp9c
02-25-2010, 12:08 PM
9mm gets my vote

stix213
02-25-2010, 12:45 PM
Anyway, does anyone else think it may be easier to scrounge .40 S&W than 9mm in an emergency situation?

My assumption is as soon as a real SHTF situation occurs, all the shops and other sources you would "scrounge" up additional ammo would be cleaned out in short order. So I wouldn't expect to find really any replacement ammo beyond what is in your closet already - 9mm or .40S&W.

So I would just get the hand gun you want, and stock up some extra ammo if you are concerned about supply.

I've got about 1k rounds of 9mm so I think that would last me (most of it target ammo, but getting shot with that would still ruin your day)

CornFedWB
02-25-2010, 12:51 PM
Most serious prepers consider 3000 rounds per gun average...

tbhracing
02-25-2010, 1:05 PM
I am a total fanboy for 9mm when the SHTF and every day life. And I have a lot of it (over 6k rounds) ready to rock.

foolthomas
02-25-2010, 1:23 PM
I think realistically your shtf gun should be a gun you are most efficient with with a good balance of features vs personal comfort (ex double stack/ more rnds vs single stack/better comfort or accuracy). The debate over caliber could rage forever. However, I don't think it should be dictated based on what you will find available in a given scenario. Obviously don't get a gun in 9mm makarov or something but you should have your ammo and mags well stocked. On a side note, .40 is a nice balance of power and penetration through hard objects/cover. I personally like 45 just based on my accuracy with it. Just some food for thought.

Jimmy310
02-25-2010, 3:07 PM
Id say the more you can carry in your mag the better. Some people will only have 10rd mags. 10 rounds of 9mm (in a glock) is better than 8 rounds of .45 (lets say in a 1911) when you have 10 zombies you gotta kill.

DTOM CA!
02-25-2010, 3:24 PM
I say a Glock 26 9mm. Light weight, 10+1 Capacity or more, Compact, Reliable and will hold any Glock 9mm clip. It fits many places unnoticed. I would not take the .45 because what if you need to give it to a family member (Wife or kids) for safety or to cover you. Just do not try and shoot something over 50 feet away.

gabe123
02-25-2010, 4:32 PM
In SoCal, I think there're enough fans for each of the 3 most popular calibers for pistol: 9mm, 40, and 45. You can choose any one of those 3 and stick with it. The differences between those 3 are very little with today ammo. There are not a lot of things that 40sw or 45acp can penetrate and 9mm can't. If you want real penetration or stopping power, you must get into rifle territory anyway. For SHTF, here're my criteria:

1> Reliable and expendable. It must function 99.99% of the time, with minimal maintenance. It should be affordable enough that I don't care about retained value or nicks and starches. Glock, CZ, Sig Pro, M9, fit the bill nicely. The more mags the better. Have a minimal cleaning kit ready with your guns too.

2> Easy to operate. I can teach my gun-hating family members to shoot in 15 minutes. 1911 being a SAO doesn't fit the bill here. Revolver should be best. 9mm is easier for beginner to shoot, too.

3> Minimalist. All of my SHTF guns should share the same caliber (hence the first 2 guns in your collection should be of the same caliber). Plan to have enough ammo with you. Don't count on the "good guys" giving you any ammo. Have your ammo in boxes ready to go. I myself have ammo in 2 boxes. I plan to grab both of them, but can always dump one if I can't carry the weight.

4> Pistol is only good to keep you alive till help arrives. If you think it's gonna be a long one and prepare to live like a caveman, prepare accordingly.

grammaton76
02-25-2010, 4:53 PM
Should SHTF ever happen... 40S&W or 45ACP (I keep both around) all the way. I keep a few thousand rounds at home in both.

If the situation should ever arise that I have run out of all my 40S&W, I am confident there will be far more than enough "spare" 9mm handguns and ammunition lying around. Their owners will either be room temperature or be working on getting there.

SERIOUSLY - why do you guys stress so much in your SHTF prep, on the subject of being able to keep your one special gun and several hundred rounds for it? If I have to dump several mags post-SHTF (excluding zombies), I can't imagine a situation where I'm still breathing, and would not have dropped an armed assailant. Are you just planning on leaving guns and ammo lying around?

smittty
02-25-2010, 9:45 PM
I think differently from most of the replies here. I would only keep on hand what I can carry because anything more won't do me any good. I feel leaving ammo behind would work against me because it would probably get into the wrong hands and possibly be used against me later on.

I feel the same about the number if guns I keep...why have more than I can take with me?

someR1
02-25-2010, 10:05 PM
2012 ...jebus:eek:

gabe123
02-26-2010, 3:07 PM
I think differently from most of the replies here. I would only keep on hand what I can carry because anything more won't do me any good. I feel leaving ammo behind would work against me because it would probably get into the wrong hands and possibly be used against me later on.

I feel the same about the number if guns I keep...why have more than I can take with me?

THat's what I have in mind too. 1 or 2 hand guns and enough ammo to carry on my back. That's about it. I can't imagine a SHTF situation here in the US that would last longer than 1 week. The country is too big to fall over night. There's also zero chance that a natural disaster can hit half the country at the same time. Movies are just that, movies. I think all the zombie movies really put some fear in people.

tbhracing
02-26-2010, 3:41 PM
I say a Glock 26 9mm. Light weight, 10+1 Capacity or more, Compact, Reliable and will hold any Glock 9mm clip. It fits many places unnoticed.
Good enough argument to support the Glock 19 as well.


(Just please dont say clip, it bugs. Thanks) :)

curtp11
02-26-2010, 4:49 PM
As long as they keep sending them, you can just keep resupplying off them when they are room temperature. Take all, leave the carcass.......

k1dude
02-26-2010, 6:10 PM
THat's what I have in mind too. 1 or 2 hand guns and enough ammo to carry on my back. That's about it. I can't imagine a SHTF situation here in the US that would last longer than 1 week. The country is too big to fall over night. There's also zero chance that a natural disaster can hit half the country at the same time. Movies are just that, movies. I think all the zombie movies really put some fear in people.

New Orleans lasted more than a week. With earthquakes, we could be just as bad off if a monster hits.

Also, if the US were ever to fall, it will likely be from within. Never say never. Look at the Civil War and all communist revolutions. None of them only lasted a week.

mblat
02-26-2010, 6:21 PM
THat's what I have in mind too. 1 or 2 hand guns and enough ammo to carry on my back. That's about it. I can't imagine a SHTF situation here in the US that would last longer than 1 week. The country is too big to fall over night.


So was Soviet Union.

There's also zero chance that a natural disaster can hit half the country at the same time.

It doesn't need to. Major earthquake in Northern California will leave 8 million people affected by earthquake directly and 14 million in Southern California by affecting water supply. If you think that could be solved in one week.... well...

Movies are just that, movies. I think all the zombie movies really put some fear in people.

That is said - you are correct. If there is no effective help withing a week or so in major metropolitan area like LA you chances of survival is close to zero anyway - regardless of number of guns, caliber and how much ammo you have stored.