Choosing between 9mm, 38 super, .45acp?

Discussion in 'General 1911 talk' started by BCD 45, Mar 28, 2019.

  1. BCD 45

    BCD 45 Well-Known Member

    Feb 13, 2019
    From what I read on the 1911addicts, there is a lot of people leaning towards the 9mm caliber now. So my question is: If you were buying a new 1911 in the $1200 to $2500 price range just to have and shoot at the range, would you choose a 9mm, 38 super, or a.45 acp? If it's a small size it could double as a carry gun, like a Defender or something of that nature.

    And another twist, if you decide a little later to sell the gun, which caliber would be the easiest to sell provided the gun in question is in excellent condition.

    Thanks for your thoughts and replies.

    Jim D
  2. oldshaky

    oldshaky Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2019
    If I didn't handload I'd get the 9mm for the cheap ammo. Since I load I'd get the .38 super.
    You can hotrod it or load it down. Plus, I've never owned one.
    I think a quality 1911 in excellent condition in any caliber would be easy to sell.

  3. Dallas Knight

    Dallas Knight Max Otto von Stierlitz

    Jun 22, 2015
    It’s a trick question, right?

    xerts1191 and Capthobo like this.
  4. oldshaky

    oldshaky Well-Known Member

    Feb 26, 2019
    On second thought, the correct answer is get all 3.
  5. Sneaky One

    Sneaky One Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2016
    Probably the 9mm makes the most sense. But I don't own one. I like 45 and 38 super.
    Karsten, xerts1191, gps man and 2 others like this.
  6. Descartian

    Descartian Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2017
    As someone who owns all 3 and 1911/2011’s in many other calibers, get the 9mm.

    Cheaper and easier to shoot for a novice. It’ll be easier to sell as a lot of people are going towards the 9mm (not all you purists).

    38S and 9x23 are great rounds but are expensive to shoot and are better carry calibers. The extra velocity and energy aren’t going to do squat to a target.
  7. Descartian

    Descartian Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2017
    I forgot to add, I often carry a 9mm. Modern 9mm ammo is more than sufficient for self defense duty.
  8. tarosean

    tarosean Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2013
    If I had a pretty purse to go with my gun. I'd have to choose 9mm:cool:

    If ya have hair on your chest the others apply.. :p
  9. WC145

    WC145 Every day is Saturday and every night's a party!

    Jan 1, 2013
    Buy a quality .45 first. Then buy the gun you want in either 9mm or .38 Super and have a gunsmith fit a barrel for the other caliber so you can shoot either from the same gun by changing the barrel. I have a Colt ORM 1991A1 that was a .38 Super from the factory but now has 9mm and 9x23 Winchester barrels fit to it, this allows me to shoot a variety of ammo through the same gun. That said, few guns are faster shooting or more fun than a full size 1911 in 9mm. And if it is primarily going to be a range toy I wouldn't go any smaller than a Commander, it's plenty concealable but still large enough to soften the recoil of a 9mm and shoot fast and accurate. Defender size guns are not fun range guns, larger pistols are easier to shoot accurately.

    Also, if you're worried about resale value or ease of flipping it you're buying the wrong gun to start with.
  10. DSTallguy

    DSTallguy Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Sep 13, 2017
    Full size 1911 I’m a 45 ACP / 10mm fan. I carry them. Handloads make this a soft shooter or strong shooter.

    Double stack 9mm - Wilson EDC X9. I carry it. My main EDC. Factory Ammo is cheap and all loads are mild-medium.

    I like the 38 Super in a LW bobtailed Commander. I carry it. I’m new to the caliber but so far I like it a lot. Fun on the weekends and it’s a versatile if you handload.

    See! I’m no help at all!
    Sneaky One and Mr. Knight like this.
  11. july19

    july19 Womb? Weary? He rests. He has travelled. Supporting Addict

    Sep 16, 2013
    The 1911 in .45 acp is the quintessential pistol; 38 Super is No. 2. Please don’t throw any rocks at my glass house.
    I don’t know where the 9x19 ranks but I own one but not a 38 Super. Oh, and a .45 acp version.
    WC145 and Sneaky One like this.
  12. jfrey

    jfrey Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Oct 10, 2012
    I have plenty of 1911s in .45ACP so I don't need another one. However I recently bought a LB PII in 38 Super and I love it. Plenty of power and low recoil. I also have plenty of them black plastic pistols in 9mm so I don't need any more of them either.
    Old Sea Dragon likes this.
  13. simonp

    simonp Well-Known Member

    May 27, 2016
    As others have said if you reload .38 super is a great round, if you don’t it’s a pain in the rear - buying in bulk is hard to find, it’s expensive and frankly everyone will tell you where it excels is when you load your own.

    If you are going to shoot it a lot, and why buy it if you’re not ;) then 9mm is cheaper and easier, Federal HST is plenty good as a SD round if you carry it.

    Resale? Honestly I never buy considering that as a factor but if you want to then - .45 always seems to be the best seller in 1911s but as you noted 9mm is getting more and more popular in a 1911, I honestly don’t think there would be Much difference in value between two equal 1911s in those 2 calibers

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Sneaky One likes this.
  14. azguy1911

    azguy1911 I'm done buying guns, I'm just a bystander now

    Oct 22, 2015
    There's no "resale" discount with 9mm over 45, maybe 38 super has a "slight" resale premium.

    For mostly range why throw more expensive 45 acp and 38 super at paper, 9mm is perfect for this application.

    Lastly, the stigma that 9mm's don't function as well is hogwash.

    Conclusion, go 9mm
  15. Wheels No More

    Wheels No More Long gone

    May 12, 2015
    9mm is the correct answer for you.
  16. Fred_G

    Fred_G Known Agitator

    Dec 29, 2015
    .38 Superb for the win.
    gps man likes this.
  17. Dwe

    Dwe I'm a terminal 1911 Addict!

    Sep 4, 2011
    When haveing to choose between
    two or three things I want, my choice
    is usually to rank them if possible and the figure out a way to get the all.
    In order of preference of course :cool2:

    In this case if I didn’t reload it would be 9mm>.45>38 Superb!

    If I reloaded it would be just the opposite. 38 superb, 45 and 9mm.

    But I eventually got them all.
    Fred_G, gps man and oldshaky like this.
  18. Dwe

    Dwe I'm a terminal 1911 Addict!

    Sep 4, 2011
  19. dakota1911

    dakota1911 Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2015
    Have them in 9mm, 38 super, 45, and 10mm.
    Where you live, your knowledge of the 1911 platform and if you reload or not may influence your choice.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
  20. jaydoc

    jaydoc i'm riding a turtle!

    Aug 10, 2012
    This question is like asking if I prefer blondes, brunettes or red heads....
    The answer is “yes”

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