Firearms, Ammunition, Reloading and Shooting

Testing Three Super 9mms!
Browning Hi-Power
SIG P226
Glock 17 Gen 4

Browning Hi-Power Browning Hi-Power Browning Hi-Power

by Joe W Gorman

Pity the aging gun writer. He’s racked his brain to come up with unique story angles in an effort to “sell” an idea to a magazine only to be stopped in mid-sentence and informed that his idea is not interesting. Or it’s been done. Or to “call back after lunch.” All this “idea selling” has led to irreversible brain damage. It’s a ruthless business in which good men are beaten down and left bloodied on the curb like mangy dogs.

There’s a bad side too!

The aging gun writer’s eyes have lost the ability to focus clearly on handgun sights which sometimes leads him to wear 1 diopter glasses in an attempt to see iron sights more clearly. This makes the target hyper blurry for target shooting. But still, he soldiers on, crafting words carefully to redirect attention from his age-imposed limitations.

He has also accumulated biases and experiences that have led him to certain “truths” about guns. These truths sometimes generate tremendous pain and loathing when a paradigm shift slaps him in the face like Ike Turner on a binge drunk.

I have suffered these slaps.

My truths were first shattered back in the early 90s when Colonel Jack Lewis asked if I’d look into “that plastic .45” (The Glock Model 21) Sure I would, I said.

All my heroes considered the 1911 to be “the best.” These guys had fought with pistols and their opinion held tremendous weight with me. So Arnold Schwarzenegger’s motherland makes a .45 out of black Tupperware? Great. Yeah, sure, I’ll test it.

I wanted to hate that Glock 21 and send it back to Osterreich with a “Go Home” Hallmark card. But I couldn’t. It fed everything and gobbled it up, even spent range brass!(I’ve found while the .45acp Glock will do this, the 9mms won’t). It was definitely “combat accurate” and I’m sure you could bury it in a bucket of sand and piss and seawater overnight and it’d function the next day.

So here I am.

Twenty-five years ago I thought of the 9mm as a great defensive caliber, for a girl. Not a man’s gun by any stretch. The caliber had failed so badly in the infamous Miami shootout that the FBI went down the whole 10mm/.40 caliber road. Men shot .45s by God!

Ok, so technological advances in bullets have closed the gap between the effectiveness of 9mm and .45 to where the differences are negligible. The FBI is going back to 9mm. 9mm, given modern defensive ammunition, is a great defensive round!!!

Slapped again!

I still bitterly cling to my “conceal a full size pistol whenever I can” truth. I want every advantage I can have. I shoot full size duty weapons much better than their compact counterparts. 90% of the time, I carry a full size semi-automatic pistol.

I present to you, fair reader, a shootout. A shootout between three respected—gulp—9mm duty pistols! - Continued -

Manufacturer Factory Ballistics Bullet type Bullet weight (grains) Muzzle Energy (ft.lbs.) Muzzle Velocity (fps)
Winchester FMJ 115 362 1190
Winchester Silvertip 115 383 1225
Winchester JHP 115 383 1225
Winchester PDX-1 (+P) JHP 124 396 1200
Winchester Train and Defend FMJ 147 295 950
Remington FMJ 115 335 1145
Remington High Terminal Performance JHP 147 320 990
Federal American Eagle FMJ 115 344 1160
Hornady Critical Duty +P FLEXLOCK 135 369 1100
Hornady American Gunner XTP 115 341 1155
Hornady Critical Defense FTX 115 332 1140

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