View Full Version : Short-barrels in 9mm, .40, and .45
This is for Doc (and others):
Since terminal performance appears to be affected by barrel length--which can result in lower bullet speeds--I am curious as to whether there is any good data on 9mm, .40, and .45 terminal ballistic performance in shorter barrels, for examples, Glock models 26, 27, 30, and 36?
Perhaps, I missed it elsewhere, but I don't recall seeing such.
Speer and Winchester offer .38 spl. short-barrel ammunition, but I am unaware of such in popular semi-auto calibers.
My take on reading thru the amazing amount of info here is the following...
9 & .40 are "less" effected in terms of terminal ballistics out of bbls 4" or less. I think the threshold that has been tested is down to a 3.5" bbl (glock 26 size) or some of the smaller Kahr pistols.
In regards to the .45's I "believe" that it was stated that .45 ACP performs most consistantly when out of a Govt length bbl 5", The Commander length at 4" was pretty good, but I remember reading about some potential difficulty using it in pistols whose bbls were under the 4" lenght. I could have misinterpreted this, I am sure others will correct me if I am off the mark. ;)
I am in the slow and heavy camp b/c without penetration out of a handgun, you arent left with much IMHO. Heavy for caliber also seems to be prefered in shorter bbls as the powder tends to burn more complety in the bbl thereby pushing the bullet into is velocity window in order to get the performance you would anticipate. Using 9mm loads with higher powder charges +P / +p+, you tend to burn much of that +p up once the bullet has already left the end of the bbl ( in the air). This results in alot of flash and perhaps not enough speed to get that round to open up and penetrate reliably.
Again, I could be wrong. If I am I would welcom a "straightening up".
Best of luck!
Speer offers a "short barrel" (SB) load in 9mm Luger as well. However, notice below which load has the smallest percentage of velocity loss when fired from a short barreled Kahr pistol.
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