Comparitive Overview - Most effective calibers

This is a discussion on Comparitive Overview - Most effective calibers within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Have not seen very many new threads in the past few day's so I'll try to stir the pot with the following. While enjoying some ...

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Thread: Comparitive Overview - Most effective calibers

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    Comparitive Overview - Most effective calibers

    Have not seen very many new threads in the past few day's so I'll try to stir the pot with the following. While enjoying some coffee with a couple of friends at the local WM, we stated discussing what are the most effective round for CCW, (in the most general defination). Each of us came up with a little different hierarchy of rounds. My listing was the .45 ACP and the .357 Mag. Just under the effectivness of the above are the .40 S&W, .44 Special and 9mm. Below these are the .38 special and .380 ACP.

    Throwing this bone out in the yard to see if anyone else wants to chew on it. :chairshot

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Well ina auto i think 45 rules and a wheelie 357 mag ... course a 44 mag would be awesome but not real controlable im not much on 40 short and weak think i would actually rate the 38 above it so say 45 357 38 and 9mm course its all subjective

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    On gun forums generally - this is an oft and sometimes over chewed bone!

    So much depends on platform - or if you like - what is the largest gun and cal you can conceal and be comfortable with. I have 9mm in my SIG right now - and do not feel disadvantaged - much as anything because of capacity and such a great gun for accuracy.

    Leaving aside the round count - I am equally at home with M28 and six Corbon .357's inside.

    Different strokes for different folks - and all that. Plus the ol' fave - better some gun than no gun!
    Chris - P95
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    I rarely hear anyone talk about one of my favorite rounds for a wheel gun, the .41mag. It really is a good, flat shooting, hard hitting round without the recoil of the .44mag and would be a very effective defensive carry caliber I would think. I'm not much into revolvers, do they not make many .41mag guns? Any idea why?
    Bumper
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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    smith makes one and ruger makes one not sure if taruas does... Main reason 41 never really picked up was smith chambered it in the 44 mag frame so most people figure if i go the weight might as well get the boom..


    i would mind a 2 1/2 41 mag my self love shooting my uncles blackhawk im gonna get one soon

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    I have taken a different approach. I have created in my mind a continuum of effectiveness which changes often as I learn and experience more.

    My continuum goes something like this:

    22 LR
    25 ACP
    22 Magnum
    32 ACP/380
    9x18 Makarov

    38 Special/9x19

    357 Magnum
    40 S&W/44 Special
    45 ACP
    44 Magnum

    This continuum is not strictly based on any sort of objective data. My thinking is that if I were limited to only a single shot derringer and forced to choose a caliber for it from a list, what caliber would I look for?

    Or another way to look at it: If I knew I was going into a fight with a handgun and had time to make elaborate preparations, what caliber would I want to use?

    Everyone has some level where they feel "Okay this is probably enough". For me it's .38 Special. I feel any less is okay only if it's a backup or there's some other circumstance.

    I also don't think I'd be comfortable trying to shoot any caliber more potent than .38 or 9mm Luger out of anything short of a full size gun.

    Edit:

    This is a good read and it sums up my thoughts on the subject:

    http://www.firearmstactical.com/hwfe.htm

    Physiologically, no caliber or bullet is certain to incapacitate any individual unless the brain is hit. Psychologically, some individuals can be incapacitated by minor or small caliber wounds. Those individuals who are stimulated by fear, adrenaline, drugs, alcohol, and/or sheer will and survival determination may not be incapacitated even if mortally wounded.

    The will to survive and to fight despite horrific damage to the body is commonplace on the battlefield, and on the street. Barring a hit to the brain, the only way to force incapacitation is to cause sufficient blood loss that the subject can no longer function, and that takes time. Even if the heart is instantly destroyed, there is sufficient oxygen in the brain to support full and complete voluntary action for 10-15 seconds.

    Kinetic energy does not wound. Temporary cavity does not wound. The much discussed "shock" of bullet impact is a fable and "knock down" power is a myth. The critical element is penetration. The bullet must pass through the large, blood bearing organs and be of sufficient diameter to promote rapid bleeding. Penetration less than 12 inches is too little, and, in the words of two of the participants in the 1987 Wound Ballistics Workshop, "too little penetration will get you killed." Given desirable and reliable penetration, the only way to increase bullet effectiveness is to increase the severity of the wound by increasing the size of hole made by the bullet. Any bullet which will not penetrate through vital organs from less than optimal angles is not acceptable. Of those that will penetrate, the edge is always with the bigger bullet.
    Last edited by Euclidean; March 19th, 2005 at 11:20 PM.

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    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bumper
    I rarely hear anyone talk about one of my favorite rounds for a wheel gun, the .41mag. It really is a good, flat shooting, hard hitting round without the recoil of the .44mag and would be a very effective defensive carry caliber I would think. I'm not much into revolvers, do they not make many .41mag guns? Any idea why?
    I looked into .41 Mag Bumper, and I decided that although there's more in production for .41 right now, I liked .44 Special better.

    Maybe a lot of people feel as I do?

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    As far as handgun calibers go I would say the 41 mag is a great round for self defense. I carried it for almost 18 years. When my boss told me I had to get certified with an auto I went with a 10 mm. As few years ago I was asked to look at a shooting from a former co worker and it became more than a favor it turn into a 2 year study. the end result was the same as I had learned many years ago ,shot placement was first and caliber was second.
    The loads I use for carry according to the Marshall studies are about in the 80% one shot stop with 9mm. The 40 loads were in the 90%. I shoot the 9mm better and faster than any other auto loader with the 45 acp running a close second. If I took more practice time with a 45 I should be better. Now when I carry my wheel gun its my S&W Model 57 with a 2 1/2" bbl that Magna-Port made years ago loaded with SilverTips.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bumper
    I rarely hear anyone talk about one of my favorite rounds for a wheel gun, the .41mag. It really is a good, flat shooting, hard hitting round without the recoil of the .44mag and would be a very effective defensive carry caliber I would think. I'm not much into revolvers, do they not make many .41mag guns? Any idea why?
    Here are three by S&W, Bumper. Check out the top one.
    http://www.firearms.smith-wesson.com...sw_activeTab=1

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    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    The Model 57 looks very interesting.

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    handguns suck....next thread.

    The most effective calibers are fired from centerfire long guns.

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    I carry a 9mm. I feel comfortable that my excellent little CZ PO1 will put that hi speed pill right where it needs to go. I also carried a 4 inch 38 for a while, and wouldn't feel underarmed if I had to again. Good loads and bullet placement are the keys.
    If total government control equals safety, why are prisons so dangerous?

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    While I readily concede that the .45 ACP is the king ( a 9mm may expand, but a .45 won't shrink) I carry a 9mm more than anything else when off duty. I shoot it so much better than anyting else out there, and I am firmly in the shot placement camp. I also use a .357 wheelgun at times, but I feel perfectly well armed with .38+p rounds in it. I have a G27 that I carry a good bit, but I am not a huge fan of the .40.

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    The most effective calibers are fired from centerfire long guns.
    I very much doubt any of us here would take issue with that!

    We are tho for most part dealing with concealed carry - handguns - yeah! At worst - it is all we have but that merits maximizing their use - in whatever way we can - even if circumstances allow us to have that handgun - and get us to our rifle!
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    I think the main reason why the 41 mag isn't so poular is the limited bullet weights available. I have a friend that has a 3 screw Ruger Blackhawk in a 4 5/8 " Barrel. He loads that gun up with 210 gr hollow points where it's like the hitting power of a 44 mag. Moves right thru pine trees like a freight train! GREAT ctg, just like the 45 Long Colt when hand loaded. Taurus has a couple of Titainuim guns in 41 and 45LC.....5 shot wheelies...about the size of a K Fram Smith.. I've handled boght and they were very appealing to my eye.

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