For a First Handgun, is 9mm or .45 ACP a Better Choice for Home Defense

If you are new to handguns, there are so many great choices available, and the different features can be overwhelming, especially when you are looking for the best handgun for home defense.

Two of the most popular caliber handguns, the 9mm, and the .45 ACP, often make the cut when someone new to firearms is trying to decide which handgun to purchase for home defense.

When it comes to deciding between a 9mm or .45 ACP, knowing the characteristics of each can help you make an informed decision.

The 9mm

A German engineer in 1902 introduced the first 9mm caliber pistol. It was made for a new handgun at the time, the Luger semi-automatic pistol.

The effectiveness of the ammunition and the gun eventually led to many countries adding 9mm weapons to their arsenals.

In the last 50 years, the 9mm has gained in popularity. Most manufacturers make 9mm versions of handgun lines the company markets.

Today, the 9mm handgun remains popular among civilian firearms as well as law enforcement because it is compact and easy to handle.


* A 9mm round helps minimize recoil, which results in increased shooting accuracy.

* Compact and easy to carry.

* Under stress, you can fire rounds and regain your sight picture quickly without the gun moving up or back much.

* Pistols that use the 9mm, due to the relatively small size of the round, usually have large or extended magazines available that permit 15 or more shots without reloading.


* The major concern people have with the 9mm is that the bullet is too light and unless you make a kill or disabling shoot with the first round, your opponent may be able to fight back or escape.

The .45ACP

The .45ACP is a handgun cartridge designed around the same time as manufacturing of the 9mm began.

John Browning invented this caliber in 1905 to use for his Colt semi-automatic pistol.

The U.S military adopted this as the standard round for the Colt M1911, the primary pistol used by the U.S military until 1985.

In 1985 the military began using the Beretta M9 pistol that uses 9mm ammunition.


* The .45 caliber ammunition is readily available.

* Former soldiers typically favor the .45 due to familiarity and the ability of the round to stop an aggressor even if the person is hit in a non-life-threatening area of the body. So it has amazing stopping power.


* The larger size of the round compared to the 9mm, means you will experience more recoil.

* It may take a split second longer to realign your sight picture on target.

* The .45 ACP ammo is also more expensive than 9mm ammo.

* A .45 magazine holds fewer rounds on average than a 9mm magazine due to the size of the round. This can also affect concealability.

What one is best for home defense?

Ultimately you are the best judge as to what is the best handgun for home defense.

If are worried about accuracy and want to have more rounds available without taking the time to reload, a 9mm with an extended magazine or high-capacity magazine is the best option for you.

If you want a round that with one shot has a greater chance of rendering your opponent incapable of responding, then a weapon that uses .45ACP is a better choice.

Before buying your first firearm, research how to handle and operate a handgun safely. Spend some time at the range experimenting with both pistols, which can help you gain confidence in your weapon and how to use it safely.

Be the first to like.

    Author: timothyharvard

    Share This Post On

    Pin It on Pinterest

    Share This