Let’s talk about handgun stopping power

45s

We’re going to open with a quote:

“…there is no appreciable difference in the effectiveness of the 9 mm and the .45 ACP cartridges.”
Vincent J. M. Di Maio, GUNSHOT WOUNDS: Practical Aspects of Firearms, Ballistics, and Forensic Techniques SECOND EDITION, Page 150.

45s

The reason why I open with that quote is because it goes to a point I’ve wanted to make for a long time. When you tell someone that they have to carry a .45 or a .40, you’re creating a mindset that sets that person up for failure. “You have to carry a .45 because it has more stopping power” – well that’s great, but I’m issued a 9mm for work; does that mean I’m going to get killed because of my duty gun caliber? That mindset of failure isn’t a problem for experienced, talented shooters, but imagine someone is a new officer, with minimal firearms experience. It can absolutely create problems.

I mentioned on Friday that if I could kill one gun myth, it would be that the AR15 isn’t reliable because “it shits where it eats” as a DI gun. I thought about that a bit longer, and realized that what I really wanted to kill was the myth of handgun stopping power. If you’re talking about service cartridges like the 9mm, .357 Sig, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP, they all do the same thing. Even the legendary .357 Magnum in modern loadings isn’t going to blow a man up into a shower of sparks. Yes, when you start getting into heavy magnum loads for rounds like .44 Magnum or some of the crazy magnums things change, but that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about practice service pistol cartridges.

So the question is why do people get so invested in handgun caliber wars? Because for most people guns aren’t a dispassionate purchase. In a perfect world, every gun selected for self-defense would be selected as free from bias as possible, but evaluating only the objective good and bad features. Unfortunately, that’s not usually how these things work, and people will let their feelings drive choices for the self-defense guns. Honestly, that’s not a bad thing when you’re picking between say, a Glock 19 or an M&P9, and decide on the M&P because you like the way it “feels” in your hand. Or if you’re choosing between a Beretta or a Sig and go with the Beretta because it looks cooler. Where the feels become problematic is when it drives self-defense purchases to do things that, for lack of a better term, aren’t smart. Like buying a gun from a sub-par company.

There’s a place for feels in gun purchases. I own a lot of guns because I like them, even if they’re not practice. For example: basically every revolver is not as good as a carry gun as a semi-auto. It’s just true. And I will often let my feels drive me to carry a wheelgun, because I like them more and as such am more likely to train with a wheelgun. I’m not immune to this by any stretch. That’s what causes caliber wars as well – people make emotional investments in their self-defense purchases, which is why some people react poorly when you tell them the fact that .45 doesn’t have any more “stopping power” than a 9mm. It’s not a rational thing, it’s an emotion thing.

They’re not hearing “All service handgun calibers are equal so it doesn’t matter what you carry,” what they’re hearing is “you made a bad choice and are wrong and dumb” regardless of whether or not that’s what is being said. When I carry a semi-auto, I carry a 9mm. I have in the past carried .40s and .45s as well, but anymore I just carry a 9mm because it’s easier to shoot well and holds more bullets. That’s if I’m not just being lazy and carrying a j-frame in a pocket or something, which honestly happens quite a lot. But even then I’m starting to carry my j-frame less and carry my Shield more…because for the same footprint I get 3 more rounds.

The bottom line of this post is simple: caliber wars are stupid. If you believe that your .45 is going to magically put a guy down harder than a 9mm, you’re wrong. It’s not. It’s just another tiny handgun bullet, and they’re all really not that great anyway. So instead of worrying about how hard your bullet hits, go to the range and get some trigger time in. It’ll be a better use of your time.

72 thoughts on “Let’s talk about handgun stopping power”

    1. The FBI is stupid I guess. I mean they put all that time and effort into research and because you have an opinion, then the number one crime fighting institute in the western world, MUST be daffy. Of course there is no difference in the physics of kinetic energy and potential energy in velocity vs. mass. Thank god someone has pointed out that science is just nonsense when common sense will suffice???
      Gel tests and penetration tests are simply inexcusable nonsense when it comes to MY opinion. I don’t understand all that gibberish, so I state an opinion as fact and then see how many morons sign on to my bullshit.

        1. Unfortunately, I do now. Thanks for the info. I studied the articles out there right now and the official acknowledgement by the FBI in their press release.
          Maybe the FBI has changed their Rules of Engagement as far as firing through windshields, thick clothing, and other barriers. Maybe the FBI just doesn’t engage in firefights like they used to?
          I have seen the gel tests for 9mm through .45 and even .357. To say gel tests are the same, no matter the caliber refutes their own results. Penetration and wound cavity are NOT the same with regard to caliber according to their own gel tests.
          Maybe the new stable of agents have no background in handling firearms and recoil is a much bigger impediment nowadays. From my expansive readings of many old timers in both law enforcement and with extensive firearm experience, a .357 Mag is the best caliber hands down for both penetration, wound cavity, AND STOPPING POWER.
          Of course, anyone who has fired the magnum understands that recoil is substantial in this caliber and that seems to be the entire argument nowadays. “I can shoot better with less recoil.”

          Most everyone must concede that shot placement is the number one most valued factor in a firefight. However, most firefights, most exchanges are NOT executed under gun range or training conditions. Teaching recruits and veterans how to maintain accuracy with substantial recoil prepares them for more diverse engagements.

          In the articles I read, in particular the FBI announcement, it is acknowleged that most LEOs do not hit their target, while simultaneously touting that the 9mm is easier to shoot and aim. My point is that at the gun range, the 9mm might reduce the moa errors, but in high stress shoot outs will not provide the advantage being touted. If you can’t shoot under life or death stressful situations, then you can’t shoot effectively!

          Maybe we need to hire LEOs and FBI agents that first and foremost can handle the recoil of a more powerful handgun and stop the Politically correct hiring that mandates employing individuals from whom powerful handguns prove a liability. The .22 LR has almost zero recoil in a handgun and I’d wager most shooters have their best accuracy with this caliber. But, what is best for most shooters doesn’t make an LEO or FBI agent who should be, a cut above.
          How far ‘above’? How about .357 magnum and above?
          Can’t cut it?
          Find another trade, one that doesn’t require you to have the ability and desire to arm yourself, ‘to the teeth,’ so to speak. Calibers higher than the 9mm can all be mastered to produce equitable results.

          Is training dead? An agent who can’t hit the target with a .45, can’t hit with a 9mm either. Can’t handle the recoil of a .357 magnum? Find another line of work….. please.

          1. You realize you are going to have far more shots with a 9mm than a 40 or 45. Nobody argues that there isn’t a difference between any of the combat calibers. But the terminal ballistics advantage of 40 or 45 are so slight that the advantage goes to what can be carried the most of. Coupled with faster and easier shooting of a smaller caliber, it makes sense to switch to a 9mm.

          2. FBI also used to teach a one handed flashlight hold over the head… Yah, lets get back to the good old days of training.

          3. It seems like you are comparing info and data that is old and outdated. I would take a modern 9mm (HST, Gold Dot, etc) cartridge over the .357mags that my Grandfather carried in his service revolver.

          4. LMAO

            “Oh so you think you know better than the FBI huh!!?!?”

            “You know the FBI is switching to 9mm right?”

            “B-b-but…. w-well… I guess the FBI doesn’t know what it’s talking about!!!”

            You do know bullets are not static unchangeable relics from a lost era archaeologists dig up for us to use right? Ballistics technology can improve yeah? lolol

        2. I also carry a 9mm for personal defense against other men, but I carry a hot 10mm in bear country with a full 15 rounds of the hottest ammo I can make! Remember double tap the home invader but shoot every round at the charging bear! LOL

  1. But if you’re saying the stopping power doesn’t make a difference, doesn’t that mean 9mm wins because of price, availability, recoil, and capacity?

    Shit. Now that’s gonna get me pounded by people.

      1. Because it should really follow with “it wins, but by such a slim margin for all practical uses that we shouldn’t care.” If you want to pay for .45 go ahead.

  2. Yes, i agree. Most modern carry ammo is definitely designed to all deliver in the same performance envelope. 12 – 16 inches of penetration with some good expansion.

    So the bigger calibers are “dumbed down” to not over penetrate. Cause what you get at the price of more recoil is more energy. Simple physics. I’m talking about normal loads here. Not premium defensive ammo. You load a full power 9mm round with a cmj bullet and compare it to a full power 40 or 45 when seeing how it pushes a bowling pin off a table and the truth will be revealed. Bullets don’t lie.

    But when it comes to pure premium defensive ammo they are all equal and it’s personal preference all the way.

    That being said Dr Gary Roberts will tell you that the heavier mass of the larger calibers will penetrate intermediate barriers easier. Of course this also means the heavier bullets will easier break bones as well.

    I carry a 40 because i like the 40. My next carry gun will be a 9mm. For no other reason than ammo availability in South Africa.

    At the end of the day shot placement is king. But given a shot is off by the same amount of millimetres from target, the bigger bullet diameter might cut that vital artery that will end the fight.

    But then again your carry gun attributes will be different (capacity, size etc.)

    So yes, a carry gun/calibre is very subjective and the performance envelope delivery is practically identical but all bullets are not equal. Bigger is better but better is less.

    So as you can see from my post it’s 6 of one or half a dozen as far as carry ammo goes. I just hate it when people say a 9mm can do whatever a 40 or 45 can do. Cause shooting pins via SAPSF (South African Pin Shooting Federation) has shown me different. A hot 9mm load will never beat a hot 45 load. Not when it comes to moving dead weight like pins or pepper poppers.

  3. Oh i know. Flesh reacts differently to bullets as well.

    Hence i said when it comes to defensive shooting all things are equal but bullet diameter and weight.

    So whatever calibre you pick is purely subjective.

    Outside of the defensive realm I’m saying all calibres are definitely not equal.

        1. Well, that’s not strictly true – you can absolutely load 9mm to major PF, and a lot of guys who run open do exactly that. Interestingly, a side effect of me being primarily a competition shooter is that I tend to think of .40 S&W as a gaming cartridge, because its primary use (in my mind) is to make Major in Limited.

          1. Caleb, I learned something new, didn’t know it was practical to load 9mm to major power.

            All the cool kids I hang out with also think of 40S&W as a gaming round and it seems the preferred round for double stack 2011 pistols. However the really cool kids shoot .38 super, but I’m sadly to say not one of them.

          2. I cannot reply directly to bub, but I don’t recommend loading 9mm to make major. This is how brass gets ruined…and more importantly, it’s how shit gets blowed up. If you don’t want shit to get blowed up in your hands, I’d suggest a .40 or .38 super. The cases are bigger and thus the pressure spikes will be less frequent.

            As for .40 I have no use for the caliber personally. I’m a production kinda guy. I suppose you can download it to minor PF and shoot production with less recoil, but then again, you could always just get a 9mm….

  4. Caleb you are on a roll another good article. The instructor I use don’t seem to care what service caliber you have as long as you have a gun. In fact he doesn’t seem too impressed with handguns at all. Although he is a big fan of CCDW and teaches classes for those interested in getting their CCDW license his view of handguns is they just don’t have the stopping power needed no matter the caliber. His recommendation is to have a rifle as close as possible whether it’s in your home or auto as you ultimate defensive weapon if things go bad. Save the handgun for when you can’t have a rifle, trying to get to one, or the rifle no longer functions for whatever reason. BTW the guy is a big fan of the AR and 5.56 round, who would have thought it.

  5. Bravo. As someone smarter then me once said: Name the pistol caliber, and theres ten guys in every prison who have been shot by it and are walking around anyways.

    Handgun stopping power has nothing to do with the round diameter, and everything to do with the user’s skill .

  6. “Handgun stopping power has nothing to do with the round diameter, and everything to do with the user’s skill .”

    Once you get to the .38, that’s probably correct. Shy of .38 though it’s mostly not. Yes, you can be Deadeye the Eternal Marksman and be effective with .32 .38 rounds, but that’s not a practical training goal for Joe Handgun.

    There is a difference in stopping power between 9, .40 and .45… it’s just that the advantage there is typically offset by capacity and ease of use. If I have 12-17 9mm rounds in a mag I would tend to like the chances of an average shooter to survive an encounter than I would the same shooter with 6-8 of .45, or 10-12 of .40.

    Conversely, if the shooter is going to have significant skill in whichever gun they carry, to the degree that they can routinely put 3-5 rounds downrange quickly and on-target regardless of caliber, then I like that person’s chances better with the heaviest load they can reliably repeat that level of skill with. It’s just that it is typically harder and more time and training intensive to get to that point with a more ‘powerful’ gun that has much more felt recoil.

    That said, some people naturally shoot different types of rounds better. Some people are more accurate with a .45 than with a 9 or .40, for all kinds of different reasons. Always default to what works best for you, and the best way to find out what that is, is to experiment with the different calibers and see.

  7. True enough. However, if you’re in a magazine-capacity-limited state, such as NY, and you want to carry a larger size handgun, opting for a .40 or .45 over a 9mm probably isn’t going to cost you any capacity.

  8. As noted, shot placement matters. So does load selection. You would be amazed with the number of people that walk around with FMJ or obsolete HP loads. So does practicing in as realistic a manner as possible. I see people that raise the gun, go bang, bang,…. until the slide locks back. Then repeat. All of these things matter more than caliber.

  9. “…there is no appreciable difference in the effectiveness of the 9 mm and the .45 ACP cartridges.”

    Notice how he doesn’t mention 10mm Auto, because those are like lightningbolts hurled by Zeus himself.

  10. First you say M14s are overrated, then you say 9mm is as good as .45? Do you have a death wish?
    The Federal agency I retired from recently went from all-.40-all-the-time to authorizing personally-owned 9mms for primary carry. When I was an academy firearms instructor, we had a large number of trainees (all female) wash out because they couldn’t handle the .40’s recoil. I wonder if there are lawsuits on the horizon.
    And, my carry gun is a 9.

  11. I bought a .40 back in 08 when 9mm couldn’t be found and .40 was common on the shelves around here. Wish I would have bought the 9mm, ammo availability be damned.

  12. Using this reasoning, we should all carry .22 LR, because statistically there is no significant difference in stopping power! (There, that should get someone worked up!) The transfer to bigger caliber was decided a long time ago in the Phillipines, then cemented in FBI testing after Miami. New bullets make some difference and a 9mm with a premium HP is probably better than .45 ball, but it ain’t better than .45 with a similar premium bullet. If bigger bullets don’t stop faster, then take a 6.5mm to Africa for Buffalo. It will do the job, just not as fast as a .416! as for the “mindset of failure” touchy/feely BS, sorry but it don’t wash. Carry what you can shoot well, because shot placement trumps everything else! One to the cerebellum with .22LR is infinitely better than a .50 BMG whistling by the ear!

    1. No you idiot, no one ever said that. I’m going to literally cut and paste a section of the article in here because you’re apparently to damn lazy to read the entire thing:

      If you’re talking about service cartridges like the 9mm, .357 Sig, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP, they all do the same thing. Even the legendary .357 Magnum in modern loadings isn’t going to blow a man up into a shower of sparks. Yes, when you start getting into heavy magnum loads for rounds like .44 Magnum or some of the crazy magnums things change, but that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about practice service pistol cartridges.

      We are not talking about rifles. We are not talking about rimfires. We are talking about service pistol cartridges and that’s it. Also, the whole thing about “45s in the Philippines” is largely gun-forum myth.

  13. I shoot 9mm when I shoot production, and I shoot .45 when I shoot single stack. If I had a limited gun I’d shoot .40 too. If I were in a gunfight I’d grab whatever is closest. My carry gun (mostly just a car gun cause I’m not allowed to, or don’t need to carry everywhere I go) is a 9 shield.

    An interesting thing though that I learned when I was being trained by the Hornady rep at my old job at a gun shop, is that for critical defense and critical duty, (which are arguably the best hollow point rounds out there) .45 performs substantially worse than .40 and 9mm. The larger, slower bullet does not open up as reliably as the faster smaller ones, and is more likely to perform like an FMJ. The 9mm and .40 rounds are both equally reliable expanders with very similar wound cavities, although .40 is just a hair better at penetrating barriers, particularly auto glass.

    So basically, in terms of terminal effectiveness with top grade hollow points, .40 is just barely (negligibly) better at penetrating barriers than 9mm, although otherwise pretty much the same, and .45 actually is the least effective and reliable, (but only by a bit).

    I’d say shoot whatever you want to shoot.

    1. When I carried a .45, it was with HST Tactical +P for this reason. The extra velocity is needed, especially in sub compact barrels.

      Currently, I’m a Shield 9 with 147gr HST +P

  14. Way to go, piss off your readers by calling them idiots! You really have been keeping up with your liberal ideology classes, haven’t you? Since you completely missed the point….naw never mind, it’s impossible to use facts and reason to to argue someone out of a position that they arrived at unreasonably!

    1. You complained about touchy feely bs. But the moment you get called out for you complete lack of reading comprehension, or just going straight to the comments, or just being a idiot in general, you whine like a child. How bout you just take it on the chin. The fact that Caleb does not sugar coat anything is what is awesome about this site.

      1. Caleb has a responsibility to act like an adult, calling people he knows nothing about idiots is a perfect example not of being frank and open, but of bullying because he has the bully pulpit. There was no whining involved at all, I simply pointed out that he used the very tactics he complains about liberals using, calling someone an idiot because he disagrees with your point of view. He simply refused to acknowledge that once you go down the “all service calibers are essentially equal” road you are leaving the science behind. Calibers are NOT equal, regardless of whether you are discussing service calibers, rimfires, or rifles. In fact, there is a fairly extensive article here which documents 1800 shootings: http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/alternate-look-handgun-stopping-power

        The data there actually indicates that .22LR is BETTER than 9mm, .40, and .45 but does anyone actually believe that? The data in this study certainly supports it.

        So if you want facts….There are the facts. And yet, when it was pointed out that data suggests other than what he proposes, he gets all wadded up, and starts calling names, even when he was the one that said, “it’s impossible to use facts and reason to argue someone out of a position that they arrived at unreasonably!”

        You can’t have it both ways, by saying that because a 9mm is easier to shoot because of reduced recoil, you are simply also arguing that the damage on the other end (its a simple physics equation, after all) will be less. That can be mitigated by bullet design, but any design that maximizes 9mm can be used to maximize a larger caliber as well regardless of velocity, because it can be optimized for any velocity.

        Those are facts, bullet for bullet.

        There is some argument to be made that having a higher capacity magazine is advantageous, but magazines are made to be swapped, and 17 rounds of 9 is probably not a whole lot more advantageous than 14 rounds in a double stack .45. In the real world, very few gun battles run past a few rounds, though it is certainly true that some have.

        There was a man with infinitely more experience than Caleb who said something about self defense calibers should start with a 4, but I suppose someone will argue that Colonel Jeff Cooper was an old fart who didn’t live n todays world of optimized bullets!

        I’ll stick with my statement “Carry what you can shoot well, because shot placement trumps everything else!”

        BTW, I carry all three service cartridges regularly, and often carry 2 different at the same time. Sometimes I even carry 2 weapons with the same cartridge in them. I don’t really have a favorite, I choose to practice with all and try to be good with all of them.

        1. I don’t know if I should stick my 2 cents in here or not. But, I’m going to.

          Honestly, you guys are talking right past each other. You stated, “Carry what you can shoot well, because shot placement trumps everything else!”

          Caleb stated, “So instead of worrying about how hard your bullet hits, go to the range and get some trigger time in. It’ll be a better use of your time.”

          In other words, agreement.

          If you had left it at that, there would be nothing else for me to talk about. But you also stated “Calibers are NOT equal, regardless of whether you are discussing service calibers, rimfires, or rifles.”

          No one said they were equal. What Caleb said, via the quote at the beginning of the post, was that there is no appreciable difference in effectiveness amongst the 9mm and .45ACP.

          Are there differences? Of course. But the differences are slight. Is one mighty and super effective, and the other weak and inadequate? No. Even the article you linked in support of your argument says, “The results I got from the study lead me to believe that there really isn’t that much difference between most defensive handgun rounds and calibers. None is a death ray, but most work adequately…even the lowly .22s.”

          In other words, carry what you want, as long as you can shoot it well, because handgun rounds (and even the .22LR) all are about as effective as each other. They work well enough to stop the fight, and they’re better for defense than harsh language.

          You originally brought up rifles vs pistols in an attempt to point out speed vs bullet design, I think. But you missed the point entirely. Amongst underpowered (by comparison) handguns rounds, there is not a significant difference in effectiveness. The big and slow .45 or the fast but small 9mm are about equal in effectiveness. Bullet design certainly plays a part in that. But no matter how you slice it, they are all still about as effective as each other.

          If the .45 works for you, great. If the 9mm works for you, great. All Caleb was saying, don’t get all caught up in the great caliber debate and don’t fall into the trap of believing you have to have this round or that caliber or else you lose. With today’s ammo choices, any of the common handgun calibers is a good choice (except .45GAP, that’s just stoopid! :^). But you need to practice, because this isn’t horseshoes and only the hits matter.

        2. What you accuse Caleb of stating he never said, simple reading comprehension would show you that. Then you try to bring up some random link which has no scientific bearing at all. And if you need it explained to you why it has absolutely no scientific value, you really are a idiot. As for less recoil means less damage, it’s a simple physics equation, absolutely not. There is a lot more going in to it than that. There is a reason why modern defensive ammo has benefited the 9mm more than the 45.

        3. I am glad that someone included Greg Ellifritz’s analysis and that there is a link to http://www.gunthorp.com below dealing with autopsy observations. as Ellifritz noted, .22LR may work, but any rimfire ignited round may have ignition reliability issues. What caliber other than .22 LR then? 9mm will do fine. From Greg Ellifritz’s “An Alternate Look at Stopping Power”:

          http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/alternate-look-handgun-stopping-power

          9mm .40 .45
          Luger S&W ACP

          # of people shot – 456 188 209
          # of hits – 1121 443 436
          Average number of rounds until incapacitation – 2.45 2.36 2.08
          % of people who were not incapacitated – 13% 13% 14%
          Accuracy (head and torso hits) – 74% 76% 85%
          % actually incapacitated by one shot (torso or head hit) – 47% 52% 51%
          % of hits that were fatal – 24% 25% 29%
          One-shot-stop % – 34% 45% 39%

          The data suggests that there is slightly more skill (% accuracy in head or torso hits) or the effects of a longer sight radius with the .45 ACP shooters, which may contribute with a higher percentage of hits that were fatal, but that there are slightly more one-shot-stops with the .40 S&W. However, 9mm Luger works well enough. 9mm target-grade ammunition is two-thirds the cost to shoot of either .40 S&W or .45 ACP, which will encourage you to practice more. The lesser recoil of the 9mm will allow you to make quicker, more accurate follow-up shots. All three of the above calibers required on average more than two rounds until incapacitation.All three calibers had the same approximate rate of non-incapacitation. Conversely, you can deduce that all three have the same approximate rate of incapacitation.

  15. There are countless studies proving that size does matter. There are some that says it doesn’t. The fun part of many police departments is they choose awful triggers with no safeties and heavy as hell triggers that negate any recoil arguments for 9mm (and inversely increase the need for greater capacity).

    I carry a USPc .45 most of the time. My Dad carries a USPc .40S&W with an LEO trigger in the cockpit as a pilot. It had just about the worst trigger I’ve ever pulled. Practically the same gun, drastically different results. After thousands of rounds in FFDO training, I handed him mine, and his accuracy was like night and day.

    Carrying a larger caliber with an appropriate load matters. It’s simple physics. It’s why 9mm NATO ball ammunition completely sucks and has resulted in 9mm getting an awful practical experience reputation. But if your department makes stupid decisions and buys guns with god-awful triggers to “reduce negligent discharges” like the NYPD, you can expect results like what happened outside of the Empire State building. Most importantly, when picking your carry gun or what you buy, the single most important thing is buying a gun that you’re comfortable with. If you can’t handle the snappiness of a .40, or like me, find that the .357 snub nose makes you feel more effective throwing the damn thing after firing the first round, then don’t buy the gun.

    I’m 6’1″ and 230 lbs. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that expecting my wife to have the same results with my 1911 will result in a bad day at the range. If you can handle it consistently, go big. If you don’t have the meat hooks for a double stack .45, stick with what works for you.

  16. But what about a non-leo in Komiforna? I’m limited to 10 + 1 rounds in a carry gun. So it makes sense to carry the Mighty 45 over the puny 9mm.

    He says as he contemplates the S&W 642 that he will be carrying all day and perhaps all the rest of the year if not longer. Hemmm. Maybe I should put it in the safe and carry the Kahar (7+1 of 9mm) or the Pro Carry II (8+1 of 45acp) one of these days.

  17. Amen, Caleb.

    I still suspect that the “combat accurate” and “8.5×11 paper at 15 feet” proponents think that they can substitute caliber for marksmanship.

  18. I don’t have the money to Choot ’em with a .45, they’re not worth it. I’m a great first shot with a 9, and the others that follow are in quick succession and will hit them somewhere. The hollows are going to spread out so they’re going to get every bit of the FPS. Field Cannons were powerful, they were also slow. For me, the 9mm is the easiest to control and shoot accurately without extensive military training. I’m no Navy Seal, I don’t have to be dead on with a Sig Sauer. I think that where people get their emotions involved, when they mix Concealed Carry with range performance and ego.

    1. Morgue analysis of handgun ballistics is of VERY limited utility. The article you linked seems to place a lot of emphasis on the mythical “one-shot-stop” which is something that serious users of the handgun should never count on.

  19. It sounds like the depth of knowledge about loading 9mm to major PF is about on par with the knowledge about caliber stopping power around here.

    1. Stopping power I’m pretty knowledgeable on, but I confess I don’t know diddly about cartridge reloading. Too boring for me.

  20. I’m still laughing because William called the FBI “the number one crime fighting institute in the western world”. That there is funny.

    1. But the FBI IS the number-one crime-fighting institute in the western world.
      Every FBI agent I ever met has told me so.

  21. Practice is good, but not punching paper-a useless endeaver unless you are an Absolute beginner. Moving Targets, Periferal Vision exercises; hand, arm, & wrist strength training are important. How long can you hold several rolls of Quarters with an outstreatched arm in front of you.Not very long without strength training.

  22. Stopping power is mental, a human stops moving because they are hit, or not. Just stick to physics. Energy and energy transfer and it gets simpler, or not.

  23. I’m agnostic when it comes to handgun rounds that others choose. If you like the 9mm and it’s what you will actually carry then good for you. I carry an FNH FNX .45 and a Glock 10mm, both of which carry almost as many rounds as a 9mm. I’m comfortable with both and they fit my hand. You should carry what you can actually use and are proficient with. That being said pretending that a 9mm and a 10mm are equal in stopping power is silly. I can be open minded in what others choose to carry but that doesn’t mean I need to let my rain fall out.

  24. Another great piece Caleb. I just sit and roll my eyes when someone talks about the “stopping power” of their .40 . . . as if any little handgun round will transfer enough energy to blow them backwards like in the movies. I’ll take my 9mm and place my shots well.

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