Another point for the "Stopping Power" myth.

Another point for the "Stopping Power" myth.

This is a discussion on Another point for the "Stopping Power" myth. within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was buying a new pistol today in my caliber of choice, 9mm. The salesperson was going on about it being weak and the stopping ...

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Thread: Another point for the "Stopping Power" myth.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array AdamSean's Avatar
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    Another point for the "Stopping Power" myth.

    I was buying a new pistol today in my caliber of choice, 9mm. The salesperson was going on about it being weak and the stopping power of a .45 ACP. I said my piece about modern ammunition and shot placement along with capacity. Then a gentleman spoke up behind me about his first hand experiences. He was a paramedic who has seen gun shot victims range from .22 to .45 and said what I was telling the salesperson. A .45 is not going to knock someone over like being hit with a sledgehammer. And shot placement is key, no matter the size of the bullet.

    And so I will continue to carry my caliber of choice. I will never say a .45 is a bad round, it is a very effective caliber, but not for me. I shoot a 9mm very well. And that is what matters when your life is on the line. Its all personal preference. And that is truth.


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    9MM worked for Z man and out of Kel Tec PF9 at that.
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    It seems that penetration is often overlooked in posts about calibers. People take a 9mm, put it into a short barrel and expect it to perform as advertised. Does not work that way. You can place all the shots you like at someone standing sideways towards you and unless you can penetrate through his clothes, muscle and bone, you are just going to hurt him. It is always shot placement and penetration unless someone changed the laws of physics since the 60's.
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    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
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    Penetration is key. If you cant get to something vital you still probably will stop the attack unless its a very determined violent one simply due to pain and a persons reactions for the most part to being shot with anything.

    But if your attacker is high been shot before and realizes shot isnt necessarily dead or even wounded that badly or very desperate and determined then stopping them means getting rounds into the engine room. Most calibers from 22 up have been known to do that. But when your life is on the line and seconds count I just personally feel better with the more potent calibers. A 9mm will likely get it done. A 40 45 or 357 mag arent the hammer of Thor either. But I just like bigger Thor hammers just in case LOL.
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    Distinguished Member Array sealteam20001's Avatar
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    Here in Alaska. we have those critters called BEARS. And calibers matter big time. a 9mm will just get him pissed!! we start with .44 mag. hp. on up to .500 cal. Bigger is BETTER. I carry a s&w 460v ..in the bush and leave my .45 1911 in the truck.

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    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    Standard 9mm IS pretty weak. 9mm +P is acceptable.

    The main reason for choosing .45 over 9mm, IMHO, is that it's much more effective if the round fails to expand, which is always a possibility. I believe it's fair to say that it's a better "stopper," because this factor makes it more reliable in doing damage, but only if you hit with it, and have enough ammo for the encounter. They both have advantages that about balance out.

    Old_Dog makes a good point about short barrels with 9mm. From the various numbers I've perused, on average, it seems you lose about 5% velocity and 10% muzzle energy going from a 4" to a 3" barrel. Not a deal breaker if you want a small gun, but something to keep in mind. In the end, anything that makes holes in a person is a weapon that can save your life.

    Oh, and .357 Magnum from a 3" or longer barrel beats all of the above.
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    VIP Member Array Jaeger's Avatar
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    Handily.
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    VIP Member Array StormRhydr's Avatar
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    PDF rounds in standard 9mm are not "weak". I wont shoot +P, as I practice and train with non +P rounds, and dont want to have hotter rounds to deal with if and when crunch time comes.

    Quote Originally Posted by maxwell97 View Post
    Standard 9mm IS pretty weak. 9mm +P is acceptable.

    The main reason for choosing .45 over 9mm, IMHO, is that it's much more effective if the round fails to expand, which is always a possibility. I believe it's fair to say that it's a better "stopper," because this factor makes it more reliable in doing damage, but only if you hit with it, and have enough ammo for the encounter. They both have advantages that about balance out.

    Old_Dog makes a good point about short barrels with 9mm. From the various numbers I've perused, on average, it seems you lose about 5% velocity and 10% muzzle energy going from a 4" to a 3" barrel. Not a deal breaker if you want a small gun, but something to keep in mind. In the end, anything that makes holes in a person is a weapon that can save your life.

    Oh, and .357 Magnum from a 3" or longer barrel beats all of the above.
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    Distinguished Member Array Arborigine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sealteam20001 View Post
    Here in Alaska. we have those critters called BEARS. And calibers matter big time. a 9mm will just get him pissed!! we start with .44 mag. hp. on up to .500 cal. Bigger is BETTER. I carry a s&w 460v ..in the bush and leave my .45 1911 in the truck.
    Bears have been killed with .22 longs, so once again shot placement is as big a factor as caliber. I prefer to have both, but life requires compromise at times.
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    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StormRhydr View Post
    PDF rounds in standard 9mm are not "weak". I wont shoot +P, as I practice and train with non +P rounds, and dont want to have hotter rounds to deal with if and when crunch time comes.
    "Weak" might be too strong a word. Maybe "less reliable" is a good way to put it, as it has less energy to overcome possible complicating factors like poor angles, barriers, and dealing with an HFG (Huge Freakin' Guy).
    "Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of the way... The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way."

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    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arborigine View Post
    Bears have been killed with .22 longs, so once again shot placement is as big a factor as caliber. I prefer to have both, but life requires compromise at times.
    People have been killed with pellet guns, too. Still not a good choice for defense, no matter how good a shot one is.
    "Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of the way... The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way."

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    Senior Member Array wishyouwell's Avatar
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    VIP Member Array Jaeger's Avatar
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    I suggest you read this:
    Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance (revised edition): Stephen Herrero: 9781585745579: Amazon.com: Books

    Then come back and tell us how good an idea it is to shoot a bear with a .22, or a 9mm for that matter. Most of the time they find a dead bear and a half eaten, fully mauled dead guy the bear has non .44, .454, .500 mag holes it it. You are better off throwing your 9mm at a bear and running than you are shooting it and making it mad. I wonder how steady your hands would be with a 9ft brown bear comming at you at 35 mph? Even with a large frame magnum revolver your chances aren't great.

    Incidentally, my Inuvaluit name is "Afraid of Bears".
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    All I can say on the subject is. The statement about the standard pressure 9mm round being weak is laughable... Any round traveling at or above 1000FPS is not something that should be considered weak; if it hits hits ya in a good spot and you don't receive medical attention, chances are, you're gonna die, and there's a good chance you are DRT. Sure one's allowed their personal opinions and all, but fodder is fodder at the end of the day.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaeger View Post
    I suggest you read this:
    Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance (revised edition): Stephen Herrero: 9781585745579: Amazon.com: Books

    Incidentally, my Inuvaluit name is "Afraid of Bears".
    My HighTailIt name is "Deathly Afraid of Bears." Hey, cousin ... is that you??

    Spent a bit of time around larger black bears, and a few of them got cranky. Can't imagine a fully-angered brown at three times the size.


    As for the "caliber" question: it still comes down to Placement, and Penetration. Hit the right thing, and the target's going down. Fail to hit it, and it won't matter how good of a miss you've had. Hit such vitals more frequently, more quickly, that is essentially a "better" round. Hit 'em less frequently, less quickly, less reliably, that is essentially a "lesser" round. Within those basic params, most anything will work ... so long as it achieves the Placement and Penetration required for that target at that time.
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