why does the military use 9mm instead of .40 or .45 acp?

if it comes down to using your pistol wouldn't you want more stopping power than the puny 9mm. i know each clip has more ammo with a 9mm but you cant use that ammo if the bullets don't stop the guy and he gets you


also i relize 9mm is cheaper but a soldiers life is worth more

Update 2:

i meant realize

8 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Because 9mm is the 'NATO standard' pistol caliber.

    Personally I think that the 9mm has proven to be ineffective in combat and the M9 pistol insufficently durable for combat use. Since the .45 is simply too much round for the smaller troops - I think that the .40 caliber should be our 'next generation' pistol round.

    In addition I think that the 5.56mm round is also outdated and needs to be replaced with the 6.8mm.


    Source(s): Iraq vet.
  • 10 years ago

    1. 9x19mm is not only a NATO standard but an international standard. Very, very few nations use .45 ACP and nobody is using .40 S&W so far as I know.

    2. There is very little difference in real-world stopping power between a .45 ACP and 9x19 Para in a military loading. The 45 bullet is heavier but the 9mm is much faster and actually produced considerably more muzzle energy. When it gets right down to it, no pistol in a military FMJ loading is a great manstopper.

    3. What pistol cartridge a nation uses makes no difference. Pistols are a weapon of desperation, last resort. Mostly they are a fashion accessory for officers.

  • C
    Lv 6
    10 years ago

    Cheaper ammo and more ammo per magazine are two key factors. The other main factor is that most older versions of 45 pistols were fairly large and had a nasty recoil. It was felt that soldiers with smaller hands would have trouble using .45's but that is no longer the case with modern .45 subcompact pistols and .22 conversion kits for training. It just takes so long and before a new pistol is purchased it must meet all requirements from all branches of service.

    Source(s): .
  • Mike is right, but to add to his answer and dispel some myths. The 5.56 round at effective range is and is meant to be a lethal round. It's ballistics are quite lethal! The 6.8 does have advantages over 5.56 and we will will see if NATO buys into it.

    Look, the reason ball ammunition is utilized as more to due with treaties and politics that the "better to wound than kill" misnomer! Unlikely that our enemies in the last 60 years gave or were allowed to give the same attention to fallen comrades-in-arms as Americans. I know:' "a wounded soldier takes two to carry him to medical attention thus removing 3 from battlefield rather than killing just one" Ridiculous! It's doubtful that those advocating suicide bombing care about those fallen in the battle. Precisely why "some" units "are" using hollow points in limited capacities and head shots are prefferable to "double taps". As for handguns in combat: They have their place, e;g. some close quarters work and entries as well as a back up. As to: "they are an orament for an Officer" obviously he has not seen what most officers carry into battle and I'm not talking about just Lieutenants and Captains!

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  • 10 years ago

    So we could intergrate with those limp wristed Europeons. I found it funny that the 45 replaced the 38 for the knockdown and the 9mm has less stopping power than the 38 special. But I guess if you can put the rounds into the enemies chest you still kill them.

  • 10 years ago

    9mm is defined as the NATO Standard. Part of the reason for this is the same reason NATO utilizes a 5.56 round. It is a weaker round on purpose; it costs the enemy more money to take care of a wounded soldier than a dead one.

    For example; a squad of insurgents comes under fire. If one insurgent is struck by a 5.56 or a 9mm, two or three other insurgents will be combat ineffective as they will be carrying him off the battlefield. 5.56 and 9mm are designed to injure, not kill.

  • 10 years ago

    Cheaper ammo and bigger magazines. Many cops feel the same way. They'd rather wound all their enemies than kill 8 out of ten of them.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    MikeGolf is right.

    Source(s): Army Scout
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