Via Kim tu Toit we find out that some people are surprised that hundgun usage by the military is higher than expected in Iraq.
It's urban combat; you don't want to be swinging a rifle the size of a broom handle around in cramped quarters! It impedes your ability to do your job, runs the risk of having you spotted by the enemy, and is unwieldy when you need to be quick.
Unfortunately, our troops are saddled with the 9mm pistol, which I loath with every fiber of my being. The M9 pistol has to be one of the worst guns I've ever fired, and NOT just because it's 9mm. The slide is steel, but the frame is aluminum, causing the gun to have more recoil than my .45 ACP, without any of the benifits of the larger caliber. Target reaquisition sucks. Don't even try to double tap, your second round will be more dangerous to any low-flying birds than to your target. And since the military uses ball ammunition instead of hollowpoints, the 9mm load looses any kind of advantage you would get with a smaller round. So although I doubt that any high ranking member of the Pentagon will read this, I'm still putting it out:
Bring back the M1911. I'm begging you.
Here are a few charts from Chuck Hawks to emphasise my point. The Beginners Guide to Stopping Power illustrates a few things that every firearm user should know. The Handgun Cartridge Power Chart lays out the test results in black and white. My only quibble is that the tests done with the 9mm only used hollowpoint ammo, not the ball ammo that the US military uses. But in comparing "One Shot Stop", the 9mm (+P) JHP OSS ran at around 83%-91% with hollow points. The .45 ACP JHP? 94%. Nuff said. In combat, every last little bit of power helps.