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Handgun Stopping Power Study

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  • Handgun Stopping Power Study

    https://www.buckeyefirearms.org/alte...stopping-power

    Has anyone seen this? While the 45 beats the smaller automatics such as the 9mm and the 40 S&W in the number of rounds until incapacitation it is best not to take that at face value, interestingly the .38 Special has lowest and best rate of all four. The author proposes some answers for the this. The majoriy of 9mm shootings studied utilized ball ammo which disadvantages it. Also, another point to consider is that the 38 special is chambered in weapons with a slower rate of fire than it's competitors. While a cop with an semi-auto may have pumped 4 rounds into an individual in the heat of the moment, the truth of the matter is that after 2 rounds the person may have already had all they could have taken. On the other hand, a private citizen acting in self defense with a .38 revolver may only have had time to put 2 rounds in someone before they hit the ground. The 45 also beats the 9 and 40 in the percentage of instances that only required 1 shot before incapacitation, but again the .38 bests all 3. The .357 magnum and Sig (unfortunately they're counted as the same) track very close to the 38 but slightly better.

    I feel that it lends an interesting creedence to the notion that there is no x factor such as stopping power in handguns and that your organs probably won't notice a few hundredths of in inch of diameter difference (more of funtion of good expanding bullets, anyway) or the greater "stopping power" brought with higher weight vs the "shock" of higher velocity. In other words, so long as a properly expanded bullet with sharp edges gets pushed through an organ artery, it probably didn't matter which one you used.

  • #2
    No offense intended but that 2011 article's conclusion is probably obsolete because of many factors. There have been many innovations in bullet design since then. Here's an alternate view that I subscribe to - it's more about shot placement (as long as the bullet has adequate penetration).
    Handgun Caliber Choice and The Myth of Stopping Power by Greg Drobny This article was first published on Unapologetically American.   Americans love
    Last edited by PigHunter; 01-24-2019, 06:58 AM.

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    • #3
      I heard the FBI left the 10mm because the females could not shoot it.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by PigHunter View Post
        No offense intended but that 2011 article's conclusion is probably obsolete because of many factors. There have been many innovations in bullet design since then. Here's an alternate view that I subscribe to - it's more about shot placement (as long as the bullet has adequate penetration).
        I don't don't understand the point you're trying to make. What you cited and what I cited don't seem to be in any type of disagreement. Also, your link was originally published in 2014, and I know that within a 3 year period there was no type of ballistic devlopment that gave the 45 any advantage not also exploited by any other cartridge, nor has that happened in eight years. I just don't what type of devolpment we've had that makes that article's conclusions "obsolete."

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        • #5
          Bullsquat. .45 ACP is the manstopper. No debate necessary.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by crm3006 View Post
            Bullsquat. .45 ACP is the manstopper. No debate necessary.
            No one said it's not. But there are other calibers that perform well too. And many of those have lighter recoil

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Harmonious Fulmination View Post

              I don't don't understand the point you're trying to make. What you cited and what I cited don't seem to be in any type of disagreement. Also, your link was originally published in 2014, and I know that within a 3 year period there was no type of ballistic devlopment that gave the 45 any advantage not also exploited by any other cartridge, nor has that happened in eight years. I just don't what type of devolpment we've had that makes that article's conclusions "obsolete."
              Let me clarify, it's old school to think the 9mm can not hold its own in a firefight. Advances in bullet construction have helped elevate the cartridge's effectiveness. Shot placement is still king.

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              • #8
                The 45 acp is a man stopper with good ammo with a fmj then it is no different than a 9mm. There was a study done a few years back and an LA county medical examiner who had seen hundreds of shootings said that a 357 mag with a 158 grain hollow point caused the most trama and tissue damage he had ever seen excluding a 12 gauge shotgun, even passing up the 44 magnum. He claimed to have investegated many shootings and alot of 357 magnums, the 357 seemed to be the handgun of choice fir suicide in the 80's by his account. Which leads me to ask a question. What has changed since the 80's when the 38 special, 357 magnum, 44 special and magnums that law enforcement carried was something you did not want to get in front of? I have two 9mm, one 45acp, and a 44 magnum super redhawk alaskan with a 2 1/2 " barrel. I like the 9's because they are light but the 44 with a 210grain sierra hp is my favorite defense gun yet.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by crm3006 View Post
                  Bullsquat. .45 ACP is the manstopper. No debate necessary.
                  When I saw you had commented I kind of expected a "my opinions are fact, end of discussion" comment with no regard for considerate and reasonable thought. You didn't disappoint.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PigHunter View Post

                    Let me clarify, it's old school to think the 9mm can not hold its own in a firefight. Advances in bullet construction have helped elevate the cartridge's effectiveness. Shot placement is still king.
                    That's the point the original article and me were making, so agreed.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JasonT View Post
                      The 45 acp is a man stopper with good ammo with a fmj then it is no different than a 9mm. There was a study done a few years back and an LA county medical examiner who had seen hundreds of shootings said that a 357 mag with a 158 grain hollow point caused the most trama and tissue damage he had ever seen excluding a 12 gauge shotgun, even passing up the 44 magnum. He claimed to have investegated many shootings and alot of 357 magnums, the 357 seemed to be the handgun of choice fir suicide in the 80's by his account. Which leads me to ask a question. What has changed since the 80's when the 38 special, 357 magnum, 44 special and magnums that law enforcement carried was something you did not want to get in front of? I have two 9mm, one 45acp, and a 44 magnum super redhawk alaskan with a 2 1/2 " barrel. I like the 9's because they are light but the 44 with a 210grain sierra hp is my favorite defense gun yet.
                      I switched from 40 S&W to 9mm mainly because the 9's lighter recoil allows me to have a higher rate of 'aimed' shots. Bullet design has come a long way in the last 30 years and shooting studies haven't caught up. However, at home my preference is the short barrel 12 gauge pump. Handguns are always some kind of compromise

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Harmonious Fulmination View Post

                        That's the point the original article and me were making, so agreed.
                        My bad, must be lack of sleep rattling my thinking, lol!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Harmonious Fulmination View Post

                          That's the point the original article and me were making, so agreed.
                          The 9mm is a reliable defense round, just not the best pick. Out of all semi autos I would prefer a 10mm I just don't own one due to my liking of the 44 magnum. I have considered a 1911 style 10 mm as it out performs all the other semi autos with out a doubt. Anyone who don't favor the 10 mm just ask the alaskans who carry it fir bear, or Ted Nugent who deer hunts with it to 100 yards.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JasonT View Post


                            The 9mm is a reliable defense round, just not the best pick. Out of all semi autos I would prefer a 10mm I just don't own one due to my liking of the 44 magnum. I have considered a 1911 style 10 mm as it out performs all the other semi autos with out a doubt. Anyone who don't favor the 10 mm just ask the alaskans who carry it fir bear, or Ted Nugent who deer hunts with it to 100 yards.
                            There is certainly a point where greater energy translates into greater terminal ballistics. Nobody argues that a 44 magnum is the same as a 9mm. My point is that among common cartridges (9, 40, 45), while some prioritize weight and width over everything, some speed and user benefits, and some a combination, they all suck; none are "man stoppers" by any definition, let alone relative to each other. Whether top loadings in rounds such as the .357 and 10mm increase terminal damage to any relevant degree I don't know.

                            Prepare yourself for a lot of absolutely meaningless speculation:

                            I would however agree that yes they are certainly better options for toothy animals. There are notable differences between people and animals and how we defend from them, though. For humans expanding bullets are the thing, for animals non-deforming bullets are common. The fact that bullets we'd consider a disadvantage against humans are THE choice for whatever angry collection of sinew, bone and muscle might bother you says a lot I think. In humans the goal is to maximize bloodloss, and our organs are conveniently located in our direct front facing incoming fire. With animals, your just trying to get to something important. Whether it be organs, a joint or through a thick skull your main goal is actually making sure the bullet can get to it (I don't usually buy into sectional density jargon as it is quickly made irrelevant by frontal expansion but in this case it might explain why an exceptionally slow round with a large frontal diameter such as the 45 ACP is not the best choice for bear defense). This might be why gains in weight and speed are more worthwhile for animal defense than for human. My left lung might not notice that the projectile passing through it was heavier than standard but thanks to a hotter loading still traveling at the same speed as a lighter one, although when trying to punch through a large tough muscle and break a bone behind it that could make all the difference.
                            Again, this is all just speculation on my part on matter I'm no expert on, so don't hold me to it.

                            As for killing deer with the 10mm, many deer have been killed with 10s, 45s, 40s, 357s, etc, and I think it is a lousy way of hunting them if you have a better alternative.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JasonT View Post
                              The 45 acp is a man stopper with good ammo with a fmj then it is no different than a 9mm. There was a study done a few years back and an LA county medical examiner who had seen hundreds of shootings said that a 357 mag with a 158 grain hollow point caused the most trama and tissue damage he had ever seen excluding a 12 gauge shotgun, even passing up the 44 magnum. He claimed to have investegated many shootings and alot of 357 magnums, the 357 seemed to be the handgun of choice fir suicide in the 80's by his account. Which leads me to ask a question. What has changed since the 80's when the 38 special, 357 magnum, 44 special and magnums that law enforcement carried was something you did not want to get in front of? I have two 9mm, one 45acp, and a 44 magnum super redhawk alaskan with a 2 1/2 " barrel. I like the 9's because they are light but the 44 with a 210grain sierra hp is my favorite defense gun yet.
                              If you could point me to this report I'd really like to read it. I've read as much as I can about actual wound channels but from what I've heard all the common handguns don't do anything indistinguishable from the others.

                              Comment

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