What gives you THE most knock-down power


April 23, 2006, 11:04 AM
Of any readily available civilian weapon? Is it a 12 gauge with slugs? Or is it some kind of rifle? I am talking about for two legged strung out on dope hulks to the biggest bear in NA, all inside of 50 yards? If you really wanted to knock em down and make em stay down, what would you use?

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Nathaniel Firethorn
April 23, 2006, 11:08 AM
Lincoln Navigator.

- NF

April 23, 2006, 11:27 AM
People and critters require two different approaches...
I'd say the most effective for 2-legged varmints would probably be a short-barreled 12ga shooting 000 buck. I don't like slugs for people due to overpenetration concerns. As for handguns, I'm a big & slow believer....45ACP, .44spec...

For 4-legged types, I'd still go with buckshot in that scattergun, with maybe a slug in the chamber. And since you seem to be including the big Grizzlies, I'd drop the .357 & .41mags that would suffice for black bears and recommend a minimum of .44mag and up (energy-wise) in a handgun. I'd also look into a short, powerful close-range rifle like the Marlin lever actions in calibers like .444, 45/70 and that new big bore (.450 Marlin?). They carry enough energy to take the edge off a bear's appetite...

April 23, 2006, 11:29 AM
Cement Truck

April 23, 2006, 11:34 AM
Everyone is a comedian!:neener:

Pistol Toter
April 23, 2006, 11:45 AM
Kentucky, Apparently there is no mystical, magical, silver bullet, gauge or caliber; each has it's trade offs, one or another. Certianly there are some that are better than others. I carry a .45 acp with 230gr jacketed hollow points or a snub nose .357 with 125gr jacketed hollow points. I own a 12 ga pump that is loaded with 2 3/4" 00 buck. I feel that is enough for my personal protection. I hunt small game with a .22lr single shot or a .410 bolt action and thats all I need. I'm not going bear or bore hunting but if I were I would want something considerably more powerful than the above, something with a fair sized well developing projectile, bumping along at a pretty good clip, delivering lots and lots of energy. What would I use? I don't know, but a 30-06 or .308 or .300 mag, something like that. I know that there are lots of fellows that bear and bore hunt and that's great for them, but..., both are down right dangerious and I just have never had the desire to go 8 rounds with either, call me chicken if you want. The answer to your question is not simple and is largely objective. The intended use, hand held or shoulder fired but the bottom line is placing the projectile in a critical area that gives the required results. Seldomly will one firearm give across the board results.
Regards P.T.

April 23, 2006, 11:45 AM
There have been many discussions of "stopping power" or "knock-down power" on THR - use the Search function to look for them. However, the basic answer to your question is that there is no such thing as "stopping power".

There are simply too many factors affecting any round's performance. To name just a few:

1. Resistance of the target. A hopped-up drug-user won't feel pain or shock in the same way as a "normal" person. An animal high on adrenaline will react very differently to the same bullet strike as one that's peacefully lying down, or grazing, and not expecting trouble.

2. Transfer of energy. The most powerful round in the world won't do much good if it can't transfer its energy to the target. A super-duper-felon-stopper-Magnum-blaster round that simply punches a neat hole through the target and goes on its way rejoicing won't do much to stop that target.

3. Bullet placement. A central nervous system (CNS) hit - i.e. brain or spinal cord - will usually stop matters right there. A circulatory system hit will do so after enough blood loss has occurred to affect the brain. Hits anywhere else won't necessarily incapacitate.

4. Local conditions. In extreme cold, vasoconstriction reduces blood loss significantly, so that a victim may take much longer to lose enough blood to stop being a threat. In warm weather, this doesn't apply. Also, heavy winter clothing (or fur) may impede a bullet's passage, or its ability to expand - in summer, lighter clothing or fur won't do the same.

There are many other factors involved - these are just a few.

My personal choice for something to impart as much shock as possible would be a Brenneke 12ga. rifled slug against a bear or something like that, or a .45-70 Garrett Hammerhead, or a good rifle in .375 H&H Magnum or larger round. Against a two-legged target, the slug will still do a good job. Outside that, any decent expanding round in .308/7.62x51mm., 7.62x39mm., or .223/5.56x45mm. should do. Accurate shot placement is still essential.

Bear in mind that for any target, multiple hits are the rule, rather than the exception, unless you hit the CNS right off the bat. Never rely on one round to do the job.

April 23, 2006, 11:45 AM
If you're not worried about a trip to the hospital to have your hands sewn back on there is this. Loaded with Raufoss rounds naturally.:)

.50 BMG Pistol

Jamie C.
April 23, 2006, 12:02 PM
Y'know, those ACME anvils seem to do a helluva number on coyotes.... can't say how they'd do on bears though... Would undoubtedly ruin the average crack-heads day, however. :D

Still, failing a tall structure to drop one off of, I'd have to go with the 12 ga. with a tube full of slugs. Would probably do a "home hollow-point" job on 'em first though....


April 23, 2006, 01:03 PM
12 pounder.

April 23, 2006, 01:42 PM
For maximum stopping power, you want one of these:


Malone LaVeigh
April 23, 2006, 03:07 PM
"Stopping" power has enough problems, but it wasn't the question. "Knock-down" power in particular is a myth bred in numberless gunstores, movies and playgrounds across the country. The physics just don't work, hence all of the humourous posts that did a much better job than I of making the point.

April 23, 2006, 03:19 PM
Ah yes, the myth of knock-down power.
Just get one of those scissor spring loaded boxing gloves.

April 23, 2006, 03:45 PM
I say a fully loaded mack dumptruck. Your aim wouldn't have to be precise, you could even aim the hood ornimanet towards the left or right of the perp, and still take him down. How many pistols can you do that with? :neener:

April 23, 2006, 03:52 PM
You only have to look at what the guides in Alaska pack to follow up a wounded Grizzly, or the PH in Africa uses to follow up dangerous thin skined game. A 12 guage shotgun will do the trick, slugs at a distance of 50 yards or more, 00 buckshot at closer range. Awesome stopping power.

April 23, 2006, 03:57 PM
This is why you should get a milsurp rifle...attached pigsticker can be handy when ubermajic bullet works not....

April 23, 2006, 04:02 PM
A .22 through the eye socket will do it.
A Barrett .50 rifle through the Bad Guy's love handles won't even slow him down.

April 23, 2006, 04:18 PM
As far as knock down power is concerned, I'd have to nominate my old college room mate's sweat socks...one whiff and they would knock down anything. They got banned in Boston and NYC. LOL

April 23, 2006, 05:27 PM
"A Barrett .50 rifle through the Bad Guy's love handles won't even slow him down"

dude have you ever been prarie dog hunting? they explode even with a .22hornet!!! thats what would happen to fattie. there is so much energy with a 600 grain pill going 3500 fps it creates a massive air cavity and would rip him in half.

April 23, 2006, 06:32 PM
When I went to Alaska, my guide (and several others) carried a 12 ga pump. 1st round was buckshot (to the face) folowed by slugs. This I'm told is fairly successful on bear, so I suppose it should work on 2 legged critters too.

For a handgun to work on both big critters and people, you gotta look at the biggest threat. Big hardcast bullets for the critters and expanding bullets for people. You could compromise with an XTP type bullet if you had to protect against both.

April 23, 2006, 06:49 PM
Tactical nuke would beat the cement truck, hands down, for most knock-down power.

In the realm of firearms, it is all really based on what you can handle.

Top of the heap would be rifles chambered in heavy machinegun rounds, ala the barrett in .50 BMG

Next would be the superultramags using african game sized, things like 460 weatherby, 10.57 meteor, 500 A-Square, etc. next would be these same cases topped with 33-38 caliber bullets, Then I suppose the older, less high velocity african big game loads like 416 rigby and the like.

Of course, the number of people who can handle such a heavy recoiling firearm are pretty few and far between. Step down a notch to the 300 ultramags and the like, you still have one hell of a recoiling load, even the venerable 338 gives one solid kick. Now, the 338 is going to be excellent moose and grizzly medicine, and will sure as hell take any fight out of a 2 legged opponent if you place the shot on his torso, no matter how hopped up on dope or religion he is.

Then finally you get into your average true rifle loadings, things like 30-06, 8mm mauser, 303, etc, etc, and you can basically do this all the way down to 22 short and cb caps.

Handguns are pretty much the same thing, as far as standard production models, 500 S&W tops the chart, with such things as teh 50AE, 480 ruger, 454 casull following, but still well outperforming the 44 mag, Then I suppose-41 mag/10mm, -357/45acp, -40 S&W -9mm --38 specuial -380acp-32 H&R mag-32acp-25/22LR with lots of unmentioned ones in there somewhere too.

It all depends on who much gun you can handle. A 500 S&W too big to carry won't do you any good, and a 44 mag that recoils so much you cannot hit isn't going to be worth a damned, whereas a .22LR that yuo can hit with is going to be worht at least something.

April 23, 2006, 08:23 PM
If it's one gun for everything, and they absolutely have to stay down my 458 Win works a treat with 500 gr. softpoints. Moveing down in power a little my .50 Beowulf AR with 11 in the mag would be a decent choice (325 gr. slug at 1900 FPS). But also a 300 Mag, or 30-06 would probably do ok. For the big bears going after them with just a handgun seems to be not the brightest idea.

Standing Wolf
April 23, 2006, 08:29 PM
The .44 magnum is the most gun I can shoot quickly and accurately.

April 23, 2006, 08:59 PM
The 3 leading causes of death in the United States are:

1. Heart Disease
2. Chuck Norris
3. Cancer

I'd say Chuck Norris has plenty of knockdown power.

Fred Fuller
April 23, 2006, 09:03 PM
I'll take a 12 ga. Remington 870 with a barrel 18- 21" long, and loaded with 00 buck and Brenneke slugs for the first eventuality. Were I going where there were serious bears like grizzlies I believe I'd rather take along the .45-70 Marlin, after I secured the proper ammunition from Garrett for it. The 305 gr. 'government loads' I have now seem a little anemic for that use.


Molon Labe
April 23, 2006, 09:25 PM
The most powerful round in the world won't do much good if it can't transfer its energy to the target.Are you referring to "energy dumping"? If so, this statement is wrong.

The primary "kill" mechanism is the permanent cavity made by the bullet as it passes through blood vessels, organs, muscle, bone, nerves, etc. Hence the most important factor is the depth of penetration made by the bullet. Bullet diameter is also important, but secondary to depth of penetration. Bullet energy is only important in the sense that more energy = more penetration (all else being equal).

April 23, 2006, 09:27 PM
2 mile wide meteor.

April 23, 2006, 09:28 PM
M1 Abrams, if you miss with all 40 shots at 4+ miles with the 120mm smooth bore cannon, you can still get him out about 1200-1500 meters with the TC's Ma Deuce, if he's still comin' at you you got the gunner's 7.62mm coax and the loader's M240. If he manages to evade all that you can always run his butt over and teach him why tankers refer to dismounts/infantrymen as "crunchies".

HTH :neener: :neener: :neener:

April 23, 2006, 09:45 PM
A super-duper-felon-stopper-Magnum-blaster round that simply punches a neat hole through the target and goes on its way rejoicing won't do much to stop that target.

I load for at least a softball sized exit wound. Volleyballs are nice too but IMO they don't necessarily provide for a noticably quicker stop. Stopped is stopped after all and "a neat hole" such as you'd get with a FMJ it isn't. I prefer the term "bullet performance" over "energy transfer" since there is obviously much bullet rejoicing being done to the background scenery. :)

April 23, 2006, 10:23 PM
a Dodge Ram Quad Cab 4X4... followed closely by my 500 Nitro-Express double rifle, then my .338 Lapua Mag., and then my .300 H&H Mag...

April 23, 2006, 10:32 PM
SKINCs, if they ever make one to fit into a rifle-sized launcher.

April 23, 2006, 11:11 PM
Sorry Tanker, the Infantrymen got an answer for that. It's called the AT-4 and the Dragon anti-tank missile. Now it is the Javelin missile with the phasing out of the Dragon.
To paraphrase my Drill Sergeant, "Turns them into gelatinous muck.":neener: :cool:

April 23, 2006, 11:16 PM
there is so much energy with a 600 grain pill going 3500 fps it creates a massive air cavity and would rip him in half.Hmmm... 3500fps? Rip him in half? Hmmm...

Don't Tread On Me
April 23, 2006, 11:37 PM
What gives you the most knock-down power?

A headshot.

No brain, no game.

Stiletto Null
April 23, 2006, 11:42 PM
On a human? Something that will tear a gap in the person's brain. Pretty much any centerfire rifle will do nicely.

On critters? The biggest gun you can swing about and empty rapidly with accuracy.

April 24, 2006, 02:52 AM
I bet the following "recipe" would produce some decent knockdown power against 2-legged critters. Have a custom wheelgun smithy make you a six-gun chambered in 12-gauge with a rifled barrel. Load it up with some of those inch-long minishells (assuming that the makers of that particular round make slugs in that size) Any "Bubbas" out there wanna give this a go? Uncle Ted, you listening?:p

April 24, 2006, 04:30 AM
In a shotgun, the 12 gauge being the most common choice, the only possible consideration would be the original-style Brenneke slugs.

Rifles are a tougher question. The most power available in a rifle would be something like a .700 Nitro Express.

Most people who have had experience with big bears will generally make recommendations like "nothing less than a .375 H&H" - or .458. For some, cartridges like the 45-70 or the newer varariations (some .45 cal) on the old .444 Marlin. For me personally, I would be happy with a double chambered for an Old World medium cartridge like the Rigby .350 No.2. That would be about the upper limits of practical shootability for me.



April 24, 2006, 05:10 AM
there is so much energy with a 600 grain pill going 3500 fps it creates a massive air cavity and would rip him in half.

Hmmm... 3500fps? Rip him in half? Hmmm...

Hmmm... I indeed would like verifiable evidence on this. I've heard some Vietnam vets claim you could shoot a man in half with 2 or 3 rounds of 50 BMG, and I've heard target shooters in Idaho claim that they've seen whistle pigs get "sucked into" the vaccum that the round creates from up to a couple inches away. On the one hand I hand think its plausible that small objects could get sucked in just as race cars draft one another. On the other hand I know the 50 BMG is a huge heavy bullet but its not as big and heavy as a car. Then again cars aren't traveling at supersonic speeds. I think this has Myth Busters written all over it.

Molon Labe
April 24, 2006, 08:56 AM
.223 has a kinetic energy of around 1600 ft lbs at the muzzle.

.45 ACP has a kinetic energy of around 500 ft. lbs at the muzzle.

Question: Which one has the greater "knockdown power"?

Answer: It depends on the situation.

Let's say I shoot a BG at 10 feet. Let's also assume that, at this distance, the .45 ACP FMJ bullet goes clean through the BG. As does the .223 at the same location.

In this situation, the .45 ACP has greater "knockdown power". Why? Because it created a larger diameter hole.

In other situations, the .223 would have more "knockdown power" than a .45 ACP.

April 24, 2006, 09:03 AM
My wife's meatloaf.


April 24, 2006, 09:28 AM
Race cars drafting each other is due to less wind resistance, not a "vacuum". At least that is always what I understood. The drafting car is not pulled along, it just doesn't have to push as hard. At 200 MPH, that makes a big difference. Small objects moving is just the wind eddys created by the passing 18 wheeler pushing air out of the way and having it come back in behind.

On ripping in half, I guess one shot in the gut taking out the spine and two shots to either side causing more damage, there wouldn't be much left but some flesh holding a person together. I'm sure it would appear as if they were ripped in half.

I don't believe the statement about a grazing shot ripping someone in half. That almost sounds like the myth of the near miss killing someone.

April 24, 2006, 10:15 AM
On another forum, a signature line goes something like:

"A good archer is not known for his arrows but for his aim".

In other words, as many here have pointed out, shot placement counts the most.

April 24, 2006, 10:15 AM
Well, my first "Hmmm" was about the 3500fps. That's a good deal higher than any muzzle velocity I've ever seen quoted for the 50 BMG.

As far as ripping in half, I don't think a non-expanding bullet at 50BMG velocities is going to rip anyone in half.

April 24, 2006, 10:27 AM
An ordinary Garden Hoe

Growing up in the country has it's advantages. We had several cherry trees, one in particular was close to the road. Us kids got the bright idea to climb up and raid this tree, save the pits and launch them at cars driving by.
Well Dad was pissed, he tossed a hoe up into the tree and knocked me right outta there.

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