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Discussion Starter #1
Can any one make a list of all calibers you feel/deem effective for self defense(handguns only) in the order of least-to-most effective.
Please include competition and "wildcat" cartridges as well.

The reason for this is to help me know where certain cartridges that I haven't had that much experience with fall in the SD spectrum and to help me place all my "doubtful" souvenir cartridges in the correct order.

Fire at will!
 

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You want them listed in order of least effective up to most effective?

Why do I get that strange "gut feeling" that a Friendly Neighborhood Caliber Wars is impending?:biggrin2:
 

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sounds like too much work to me , the most effective round is the one i happen to be carrying with me NOW the one at home isnt near as good a stopper for an imediate confrentation
 

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Discussion Starter #5
QKShooter said:
You want them listed in order of least effective up to most effective?

Why do I get that strange "gut feeling" that a Friendly Neighborhood Caliber Wars is impending?:biggrin2:[/QUOTE

Of course, Situation Awareness and Shot Placement is #1.

This for informational purposes more than bickering back and forth. I would like a "1-Shot 1-Kill" approach to this, no follow-up shots(hopefully this will keep a war from starting).
But I'm looking where cartridges like 32NAA, 9x23mm IMI, 9x25mm and etc fall in.
 

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I am not sure how to order them as you ask, nor what "effective" means exactly. But very marginal might be 380/9m makarov. Marginal is 38 special and 9 mm, acceptables include 39+p, 9mm+p, acceptable plus includes 40, good includes 357, 44 special, 45 acp, and great/overkill includes 41 mag, 44 mag, 10mm, and really big stuff not suitable for any handgun you want me to practice with..
the velocity and energy depends on barrel length, so I suppose a 38 special for example may be marginal in a snubbie and fine in a 6 inch revolver.
personally I carry a 480 ruger converted to full auto fire with a belt fed mechanism...:biggrin2:
 

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1man said:
This for informational purposes more than bickering back and forth. I would like a "1-Shot 1-Kill" approach to this, no follow-up shots(hopefully this will keep a war from starting).
But I'm looking where cartridges like 32NAA, 9x23mm IMI, 9x25mm and etc fall in.
There is no 1-shot 1-kill guarantee in a handgun. Read recent FBI information on the subject.

Shoot until your target ceases to be a threat.
 

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I don't think a list of calibers would be the best possible list in deeming what is neccesary for self defense.

A better list would be where to hit with the caliber of your choosing would be the best for self defense...
 

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Choose what suits your ideal-for-carry platform and learn to use it, and well.

Folks will for ever have thoughts on what is ''best'' and thus the seemingly eternal debate. A shot from a Smith 500 that misses (even if muzzle blast puts the guy down :wink: ) is no good compared to two fast useful hits with a 9mm!

One aspect comparing the low power with ultra high power too - is user controllability. Two or three relatively and fast accurate shots from a .380 could well prove more effective than a bad .44 mag shot with very slow follow-up.
 

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Any caliber that you will carry on your person (on your person), not under the car seat or back home will work. It could be a 22lr, .25 auto, 32 or .380 auto on up. Make sure that you have shot many rounds down range with the gun and that you can hit what you point at. If the gun is too big you might not carry it all of the time. The under the car seat/back home thing again. Yes I known most will make fun of these same calibers. But I do not see any one volunteering to get shot by one. Get to know some peoples with a CCW and spot check them, you will find that the ones with the big guns do not have them on their persons all the time. After 26 years in Law Enforcement/Military and required to carry 24/7, I known it is a pain to hide a big heavy gun. Big gun is for Raids, small gun (BUG) is always on my body.

frankmako
 

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Unrealistic expectation for any handgun caliber... or even rifle calibers.

A .380 COM beats a .308 in the forearm.


1man said:
I would like a "1-Shot 1-Kill" approach to this, no follow-up shots
 

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As far as I am concerned the 38 and 9mm are the beginning of what I feel comfortable with for stopping power. Going up to what ever you feel comfortable shooting.
Mike
 

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P95Carry said:
A shot from a Smith 500 that misses (even if muzzle blast puts the guy down :wink: ) is no good compared to two fast useful hits with a 9mm!
Ahh but after the muzzle blast knocks him down he more likly to stop what he was doing or be so shakey when he gets up second shot will be easy ..

2 fast hits from a 9mm still aint gonna = one good hit from any 50 cal


Ohh and i wont carry anything below 9mm
 

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Barring all that has been said regarding placement and the like, these are my thoughts. My favorites are also noted.

minimum: 380, 38spl
acceptable: 9mm
very good: 40s&w*, 357sig
premimum: 45acp*, 44spl
top o da line: 357mag*
overkill: 44mag

my opinion includes common defense sized handguns. the hunting rounds as well as the mouse rounds were not included because, while they will work, the market has provided better choices in acceptable concealable packages.
 

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Imo, anything less than a cruise missile leaves me undergunned. So, I plan on shooting multiple times rather than relying on a 1 shot idea.
 

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What you could do, is take all the ballistic statistics off the web, plug them into Microsoft Access (or similar database) and sort by criteria (force of impact, muzzle velocity, etc...)
 

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As I read it, 1man's "one shot" request was regarding one post per, to prevent back and forth "mine's better" arguments.

IMHO, provided you are above a minimum power floor (say, 9mm), the cartridge really matters much, much less than placement.

Matt
 
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