Great Caliber Choice Article

[From Ammo.com](Handgun Wounding Effectiveness Guide for Law Enforcement https://ammo.com/articles/handgun-wounding-factors-guide)

For those who love to, or insist upon, a debate about calibers, or worse, those who actually believe in 1 shot stopping power.

Recommend you read this article in full, especially the linked story in it about the LEO who switched from 45 to 9mm after so many hits with 45, to body areas that are supposed to stop people,failed him…

My personal statement here is, the only 1 shot stops that exist are on Hollywood screens,unless you carry a 50 Desert Eagle (no thanks, I’d carry a 10lb sledge first), and can land shots exclusively to the forehead every time, or maybe can magically hit the cerebral cortex every time…but we’re talking about EDC, self-defense or duty guns here, so…

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It’s all about the ammunition choice & shot placement. I choose 9mm carry guns. The Hornady critical defense ammo 115gr is perfect for my EDC. With a bit of research, the best ammo for your pistol can be found. My full size pistols get a +P or ++P hot bullet because they are quality handguns that can handle it. My 45s are the same way. Both are 1911s & have hot Federal ammo

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If the occurrence of the LEO is the same story I’m referring too, he switched to 9mm for capacity reasons, not .45 being ineffective. His logic is just, more bullets is better. I watched a podcast with him and he doesn’t hate on .45 he just likes the capacity.

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I could have sworn I read this back in the 90’s when the 10mm was adopted by the FBI. I really wish they would put a date reference on the original article. I won’t get into a heavy, slow bullets vs fast, light bullets debate though.

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Continuing from my previous reply…

Hmmm… The ammo.com article says “written by: Sam Jacobs,” but it seems like it’s pretty much copy and pasted from: US Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Firearms Training Unit, FBI Academy, “Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness,” (Quantico, VA, July 14, 1989), 8. If I’m reading it right, it was written by Special Agent Urey W. Patrick.

Is this not potentially plagiarism?

Here’s the link to a copy of the FBI article from 1989: “Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness”.

Here’s the link to the ammo.com article: “Handgun Wounding Factors: An Effectiveness Guide for Law Enforcement”

BTW, the original article has many Dr. Fackler references…

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With current technological advances in the field of ammunition manufacturing you can get ballistic speeds from a .45 that are similar to a 9 mm. Capacity is always going to be on 9 mm side. But if I can’t stop whatever I am shooting at with 40 rounds of .45 I probably should not have been shooting at it.

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On their part, dynno. On my part, I referenced it as the page I was reading asked…

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@Smiddy
Potential plagairism on their part… IMO.

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I’m a simple guy. In my world, in order of criticality to me: (1) What caliber can I afford to practice with? (2) What caliber can I most consistently deliver on-target? (3) Does that caliber/brand have sufficient penetration? (4) What weapon can I comfortably carry everywhere I go? For me, that is a 9 mm that I shoot 2-3 times a month.

My world view is driven by dozens of my CC friends who shoot their .45 thumpers once a decade, with the expense of ammo being their biggest excuse for lack of practice. Are they really going to be ready?

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thanks for the original web site from MN, great national anthem on their link. Wow lots of reading!

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I know a few people that don’t own .45s and don’t shoot often, too. Cost is not the excuse. I like and shoot my .45. I practice with my .22 cal and 9 mm, also. A few dollars one way or the other isn’t going to break me. Right now .45 ACP is much easier to find than 9mm, so there’s that. :slight_smile:

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Hey Dave, agree 100% with you. Cost isn’t the real issue, it’s just the one they cite. I guess the reason I mention them is that they’re the purists, the “gotta have one-shot stopping power.” They look at my low dollar 9mm with upturned noses. The one I’ve delivered thousands of trouble-free rounds with …

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Paul, I am not a caliber snob. I like my 9 mm PX4 Storm, too. It was the first PX4 I owned. Neither do I believe in “one-shot stopping power”, still need to hit the target. I just like the how well my .45 shoots. I have the PX4 Storm in both 9 mm and .45 ACP. The 9, a sub-compact, has a much lighter recoil, but a bit more muzzle flip. The .45, full-frame, recoils more straight back through my arms, but it is a much heavier recoil. You definitely know you fired your handgun when you shoot a .45. :slight_smile:

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@Paul1

If it will help you change your world view a bit I shoot a couple of hundred rounds a week through my .45 Calibre “thumpers”. I’m an old guy and set in my ways. When I was growing up it was all about the 1911. I have a number of them. As a matter of fact I don’t own any other Calibre of pistol.

YMMV

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I’m a .45ACP guy. I CC a Kimber CDP Ultra+CDP 7+1 and I always carry a spare mag minimum.

In my mind the best caliber is the one you shoot best. My Grandson likes the 40, my daughter likes the .380, my son likes the 9mm. My encouragement to all of them is STAY TRAINED UP!

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I’d rather have a .22 pistol than none at all! I regularly carry a .380 and my shot placement is excellent. I know I have only 7 rounds but 7 is better than nothing and at the very least could buy me time to get away quicker.

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Just going to leave this here. There’s a lot to caliber choice that doesn’t always show up in most articles. A big one for me is I have been able to find 45 acp during the current ammo shortage. Everyone’s fighting over 9mm but my mags are fat and happy with 45 :sunglasses:(I have 4 handguns, all different calibers, I have my favorite, but I like having all the options. We know 9mm, 40, and 45 will all get the job done) For real though, this link is a good conversation.

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@Scoutbob
You bring up probably the most important consideration of all… if you ain’t got it you can’t shoot it.
Beyond that if I characterize bullet/caliber selection articles and discussions from over the years I think they fall into two basic camps…
Those who are about accuracy… pop the the pump, sever the spine, or put one between the eyes. Fast flat shooters committed to one shot one kill.
The other camp is those who are all about dumping as much energy as possible on target. Big heavy, typically slow, bullets that are expected to expand and dump massive amounts of energy on target. Bone, Shoulder blades, etc, and dense muscle groups are ideally suited to receive all this energy and the resulting trauma.
Intellectually, your own loss of fine motor skills during a condition red event is likely to preclude pinpoint shot placement (accuracy). There is even the chance of psychotropic whatever chemical of the day influencing an assailant’s behavior and capabilities. It would seem then that dumping as much energy necessary on target would be the prudent approach to countering a life threatening advance from an assailant (force = mass x velocity x shot count)
So now for the math
124 grain 9mm = 339 ft. Lbs.
185 grain 45 auto = 411 ft lbs.
12+1 9mm = 4407 ft lbs available energy
15+1 9mm = 5424 ft lbs available energy
7+1 45 auto = 3288 ft lbs available energy
15+1 45 auto = 6576 ft lbs available energy

I’m sure someone will remind me energy on target is a function of distance, some may over penetrate, and some may miss. But from a purely analytical perspective I would bet my lunch that the math above provides directionally correct guidance.

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I took this screen shot a few months back. The entire video and article was around finding the balistic differences in the caliber of pistol ammunition. Take it or leave it… but here are their findings…

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I repeat:

Carry what you wish, it’s up to the individual to decide. However, the point I was attempting to make is that regardless of the handgun caliber you choose, 1 shot stops are rare.

That said, when using a silhouette to train, with whatever caliber I have in my hands, I practice by attempting 2 to the heart, 2 to the throat, and the rest of the mag or cylinder to an imaginary 2 inch strip across left and right eyes, from temple to temple. If possible, I try to make these hits while moving. But, most ranges don’t permit that sort of movement so I have to go to family property for such practice…

In any case, it is not ever going to be the caliber choice that stops the threat, but continuously good shot placement, while under stress. Consider: a round of 44 magnum to the shin vs 4 rounds of 9mm to the head…

I pray I never have to use a gun to defend myself, but I also pray no one is stupid enough to make me do so.

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