Saturday, March 26, 2005

Why the "9"?

For a very long time I have wondered why the Madison Police Department carries tiny handguns like the 9mm. This may sound sexist, but we have a lot of female officers here in Madison and I think they like the 9mm guns because they don't kick (and they are cheap to shoot, but that goes for everyone).

I assume if you are using a weapon in self defense you want it to, well, work. There are many stories about Madison Police shooting criminals and then the criminal keeps on terrorizing, rather than dropping dead. I once ran into an officer at a convenience store and he had on his hip a revolver. I asked him what caliber and he told me that it was a .38. .38? I understand that you can get some hot loads for a .38, but lets step up to something real. When I said how 'bout a .357? He said well, this .38 can do a lot of damage on your leg or arm. Again, if someone draws a gun or knife on me, I sure as hell am not going to shoot for the arm.

I have heard stories from very reliable sources that the .357 revolver was devastating in close quarter combat in Vietnam.

I was reminded of all of this when I read this 'after action report' written by some of our Army folks after an ambush in Iraq. Yes, it could be fake, but sounds pretty real. Here is my favorite part:

******The 9mm round was a terrible decision for the Army to make. The 9mm Pistol replaced the .45 caliber Pistol just as I was leaving the Army. Believe me, one round from a .45 would have done more than wound the enemy soldier. Special Forces, Seals, Rangers, etc, and all those who engage in CQB (Close Quarters Battle) are being issued or buying their own .45s. There is an old addage: "Never go to a gun fight with a handgun that uses ammo that doesn't start with a "4".
Which reminds me, time to hit the range and give my HK USP .45 Compact with Stainless Steel slide a workout today. Ain't it pretty?

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