Giving up proficiency in favor of power.


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Ankeny
August 27, 2011, 07:48 PM
I have been going to pose this question for awhile now, but I have been hesitant...just because. ;)

We all know there is an endless debate over capacity vs. caliber, etc., and some folks will always weigh in on the side of accuracy and proficiency. I agree, proficiency is important, but just how proficient is good enough and what about trading off a bit of proficiency in favor of "power"?

At one time I carried a lightweight commander sized 1911 stoked with 230 grain Golden Sabers. As the miles accumulated on my hands and joints, I dumped the lightweight commander and the heavy loads in favor of a Glock 19. I opted for less recoil and higher capacity. Over time, I migrated back to the 1911 platform and I picked up a Kimber Pro Ageis. Try as I might, (over the course of several years) I just couldn't get over my love affair with the 1911 in .45 caliber. I know the lightweight 1911's in .45 are becoming more difficult for me to shoot "fast and accurately", so this time around I went for an all steel commander sized pistol, a Dan Wesson V-Bob to be exact. I am shooting 230 grain XTP loads that chrono at 900+ and there is a bit of recoil.

Honestly, I can shoot both the Glock and the Pro Ageis faster on the clock in the case of multiple shot and multiple target scenarios. Heck, countless IDPA and IPSC shooters have shot millions of rounds that give us stats showing the difference in "proficiency" between "major" and "minor" loads in comparable (or the same) platforms in the hands of shooters with similar skill sets.

I guess the question is this. How much proficiency are you willing to give up of a larger caliber? How does one decide?

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klutchless
August 27, 2011, 08:30 PM
Strictly up to the person and their capabilities. I know people who carry 22 for defense simply because of speed and accuracy.I don't carry anything less than a 9mm once again it's just what I am comfortable with.I make no sacrifice with power over proficiency. If I can't shoot it well it doesn't matter what caliber or load it is.

buck460XVR
August 27, 2011, 08:59 PM
I too see no reason to give up proficiency in favor of power. One of the most used phrases on this and every other gun forum is "shot placement is key". This is true whether the handgun is used for SD or for hunting and for good reason. I hunt deer with .357, .44 and .460 handguns. Recoil from any of these is much more than with my 5' Colt Government and 230 ball ammo. Even so, I use 200 grainers in the Colt for SD, because they shoot the best, and are the most accurate....for me. If I couldn't hit squat with the .45, I'd have no problem moving down to a 9mm, if it were a tackdriver in my hands.

The problem I see way too often is folks trying to compensate for their lack of proficiency by going to a bigger caliber or shooting "hot" or "+P" loads in their handguns. Their reasoning is "if I make a bad shot, the larger, faster bullet will make a bigger hole." I ask, "a bigger hole in what? The air beside them?". Shoot what you are accurate with and you won't need to worry about power.

chhodge69
August 27, 2011, 08:59 PM
I've read several of these threads lately and it boils down to personal preference and comfort. And, since only a small fraction of us civilians will ever have to
USE our guns for their intended purpose, it's academic.

but, to answer your question I chose .45 ACP/8 rounds min and I don't feel I personally sacrificed anything since I've never shot a 9mm 'carry' pistol faster than I can shoot my .45

Burt Blade
August 27, 2011, 10:27 PM
There is a certian value for "confidence".

If you are comfortable with your choice, and confident it works, you project that state. An opportunistic predator does not normally go after an alert, comfortable, confident target.

Confidence helps defeats fear. You are more likely to survive if you beleive it ahead of time.

"Good enough" is good enough. The alert, confident, and skilled person with a .25 Baby Browning is far more formiddable than an oblivious and fearful novice with a .50 GoblinBopper.

I much prefer a .45, but will carry a .32 if the need for concealment is great.

oldfool
August 27, 2011, 10:36 PM
How much proficiency are you willing to give up of a larger caliber?

None

a 22 rimfire will never be a 45, be it 45 acp, 45LC (or 454 Casull)
and no handgun will be comparable to a same bore rifle, not with both loaded to same relative SAAMI specs for each

but misses do not count at all, and something like 85% of gunshot victims survive (IIRC), provided the response team is not excessively far away, pretty much no matter what handgun round is chambered

but aside from extreme disparities in caliber, shooting what you can shoot most accurately quicker, and can bring sights back on target quicker for each successive round thereafter trumps the power factor difference in any of the 'popular' SD handgun rounds

one shot kills don't really happen that often
one shot stops involve a great many things, many of which go beyond the actual damage done by that 1st shot
mostly... don't ever depend on one-shot, irrespective of caliber
but it takes more than 3 or 4, you are probably doing it wrong

aim, practice, shoot what you hit with best
make the that 1st shot count, and be ready to let the 2nd one go when the sight picture is there
there are very few of the 'very best places' to hit that 'target' and those places are actually pretty small

Old krow
August 27, 2011, 11:00 PM
How much proficiency are you willing to give up of a larger caliber?

My answer is probably none at all. That will however also extend to giving up proficiency for capacity as well. I've seen this debate go both ways. That is of course assuming that there is a quantifiable amount of disparity between any two calibers or platforms that I am comparing for their given purpose.

How does one decide?

As long as I am choosing a gun in one of the more common calibers I am generally okay with the power. If it's an extremely close race (hitting a gnat vs. taking off a gnat's appendage), I'd opt for capacity provided that the caliber were one of the 4 common calibers used.

Right now the closest race that I personally have going is between my 9mm and the 1911. The 9mm is still trailing behind but the practice sessions are closing the gap. That could change. I base that on; weapon manipulation, 9ispeed, accuracy, sight acquisition, follow-up shots, shooting from behind cover, shooting from a draw, and not necessarily in that order or all inclusive.

waidmann
August 28, 2011, 12:06 AM
Dealing with family members and others facing age and debility due to disease etc. I'd rather have them picking off shirt buttons with a PP in .32 ACP than scraping ribs or punching clouds with a .45 ACP.

I can not disagree with the idea of carrying all the gun you can handle. but, shot placement is still king.

9mmepiphany
August 28, 2011, 12:49 AM
Shot placement is king, but there is a trade-off of power and proficiency

In .45ACP, I was willing to give up the power of a 230gr +p load over a normal pressure 230gr loads, because the heavier load was harder to maintain a rate of fire of 5 shots a second...I was barely able to shoot at 4 shot a second...with equal accuracy.

In 9mm, I was willing to give up the additional accuracy of the 147gr slug (~.5"@15 yards) for the additional velocity of the 125-127gr slug...plus it seemed to run smoother in my gun.

I really believe that there has to be a hard deck in defensive ammo. Not because I believe smaller calibers can't be as effective...I've seen some devastating shooting with a .22lr...but because defensive shooting is often conducted from less than ideal positions and at less than ideal angles. A .22lr is excellent when targeting the central nervous system, but you can't guarantee that you'll have a clear shot at those areas

DenaliPark
August 28, 2011, 12:56 AM
I have been going to pose this question for awhile now, but I have been hesitant...just because. ;)

We all know there is an endless debate over capacity vs. caliber, etc., and some folks will always weigh in on the side of accuracy and proficiency. I agree, proficiency is important, but just how proficient is good enough and what about trading off a bit of proficiency in favor of "power"?

At one time I carried a lightweight commander sized 1911 stoked with 230 grain Golden Sabers. As the miles accumulated on my hands and joints, I dumped the lightweight commander and the heavy loads in favor of a Glock 19. I opted for less recoil and higher capacity. Over time, I migrated back to the 1911 platform and I picked up a Kimber Pro Ageis. Try as I might, (over the course of several years) I just couldn't get over my love affair with the 1911 in .45 caliber. I know the lightweight 1911's in .45 are becoming more difficult for me to shoot "fast and accurately", so this time around I went for an all steel commander sized pistol, a Dan Wesson V-Bob to be exact. I am shooting 230 grain XTP loads that chrono at 900+ and there is a bit of recoil.

Honestly, I can shoot both the Glock and the Pro Ageis faster on the clock in the case of multiple shot and multiple target scenarios. Heck, countless IDPA and IPSC shooters have shot millions of rounds that give us stats showing the difference in "proficiency" between "major" and "minor" loads in comparable (or the same) platforms in the hands of shooters with similar skill sets.

I guess the question is this. How much proficiency are you willing to give up of a larger caliber? How does one decide?
There is essentially very little difference between service calbers in terminal performance, so says DocGKR and a whole bunch of other really smart ballistics scientists, that translates as "why restrict yourself to only eight, when you can have seventeen that work just as well?"

Damon555
August 28, 2011, 04:27 AM
All the power in the world won't do any good if you can't hit what you're shooting at....

sixgunner455
August 28, 2011, 04:36 AM
Placement and penetration count. The popular service calibers all penetrate to about the same depth, and do about the same amount of permanent cavity tissue tearing up on the way.

I have a 9mm, and .38 Specials, and one .357 for hiking (makes me more comfortable in black bear and mountain lion country, though it's probably not really necessary). Except for when I'm hiking, that .357 only ever has .38 Specials loaded in it. The magnum loads have a specific mission that the service loads aren't as suited for. In the SD context, I'm not enamored of more recoil, and avoid it at the range, too. I prefer guns that are comfortable to shoot, that I shoot extremely well. Nothing wrong with that.

Shadow 7D
August 28, 2011, 04:39 AM
Close counts in horse shoes and handgrenades
Maybe they need to learn how to throw?

Ankeny
August 28, 2011, 09:15 AM
Thousands of competition shooters, shooting millions of rounds of ammunition, have established databases with hundreds of thousands of entries that clearly prove beyond any doubt that it is easier (if the same scoring is applied) for a competent shooter to run with a minor caliber vs. a major caliber (such as 9mm vs. 45 ACP) "fast and accurately" (multiple target transitions, follow up shots, etc.) in identical guns within popular platforms (Glock, 1911, XD, etc.). Furthermore, the ability to shoot fast and accurately is diminished as the power factor of the ammo used increases with the same gun, such as a full size 1911 shooting a 200 grain slug at 165 pf (825 fps) vs. a 230 grain round going 900+ fps. Physics is physics and recoil has its effects.

I too bought into the idea that all good loadings in self defense rounds are pretty much equal and I didn't want to give up any proficiency. That's why I went with a 9mm. If one buys into that logic it is foolish to shoot anything larger than a quality round in a 9mm auto.

Still, I think the .45 ACP with a stout loading has a place on my hip. This is a great piece of advice "If you are comfortable with your choice, and confident it works, you project that state." The same poster also said, ""Good enough" is good enough." That thought should apply to proficiency and caliber equally. In my feeble mind, I am still good enough with a .45 even though I am better with a 9mm (that is changing with age). I suppose where the rub comes in is I am still hard pressed to believe I am better off with a 9mm just because I can shoot it better. After all, if I shoot a .45 good enough, and if I have more confidence in the .45 over the 9mm as far as terminal performance, isn't it OK to sacrifice some speed in the equation of speed, power, and accuracy?

valnar
August 28, 2011, 09:17 AM
When I read the title of this thread even before the first post, I thought somebody was going to argue that they had to go below a 9mm because recoil, like a .380 or .22lr. Now that I see you only went down to a 9mm, I don't see what the fuss is about. 9mm is more than adequate to take someone down with accurate shot placement - no more or less than with a .45.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
August 28, 2011, 09:34 AM
It's a tough argument, if we are talking strictly defense shooting, say anything within about 7 yards (21').

I think, if shooting something that is 10' away, it isn't going to make much difference if the bullets are flying at the maximum speed possible for that bullet at the expense of having a group that is perhaps up to .5" larger at that range!

Now, change 10' to 20' and over, and I think there is a valid argument.

That is just my opinion.

MrBorland
August 28, 2011, 09:45 AM
So, what is proficiency, anyway? A Master IDPA shooter is more "proficient" than a Sharpshooter, and may win the match, even though the sharpshooter may have dropped fewer points. Nonetheless, both shooters demonstrate proficiency. If the master gave up a bit of one type, they gained it in another.

I don't think it's as much a matter of how much proficiency to give up, so much as when there's a glaring lack or disregard for it. Caliber/capacity doesn't trump that.

InkEd
August 28, 2011, 09:46 AM
I tend go with the majority opinion, that there is a balance between the two factors. Most anything under 500lbs would be stopped easily with a .44mag BUT it is bit too much for most situations and the recoil is rather serious. The popular handguns calibers .380 and above seem to work well and can be adapted to a variety of platforms.

Daveboone
August 28, 2011, 09:58 AM
The bullet that misses doesnt accomplish anything, and if you are counting on the 2nd, 3rd of 15th round to do the job, maybe the other guy counted on his first.
I have carried and shot .38s, several 9mm, I forget how many .357s, .380s, .22 rimfires, big frame, small frame, etc. Ultimately the arm that I consistently got out and got on target the quickest was an inexpensive .22 PPK knockoff. It fit my hand, had a doable trigger pull and just plain fit. at 10 yards for some reason I could draw from concealment and shoot that quickly and consistently better than anything else. That is not to say that at the target range I shot that best. Because of that, I prefered to carry that for many years more than anything else, but I have simply worn the little bugger out and will not replace it. For the past several years I have been carrying and shooting a J frame .38 alot, and shooting it much more. I am now becoming close to the consistency of the .22. I would never bother to carry something I didnt have total instinctive familiarity with., and knew I would hit what I want, where I want.

BullfrogKen
August 28, 2011, 11:09 AM
I'm not sure if you've defined what you're giving up accurately. Rather than call it proficiency, we could describe it as top edge speed and performance.

Accurate, quarter second splits is still fast shooting. I'd be more concerned about the ability to work the gun one-handed, in unconventional stances, while maintaining accuracy at an acceptable level of speed.


My hands have gotten worse over the years. I can control a .45 in a lightweight Commander, but my times are slower. I don't shoot .357 magnums much in my revolvers, but I can handle .38 Specials just fine. The days my hands and wrists are a real mess I carry a revolver. The disease can make the ability to work a semi-auto questionable some days. Otherwise I'm usually carrying a moderately powered 38 Super. Not quite Major PF, but not wimpy either.

Loosedhorse
August 28, 2011, 12:54 PM
I've dropped from full house .357 125 gr loads to mid range (Golden Sabre), or even .38 +P to improve split times. Same with 10mm, where I've already moved to 135gr bullets at 1400, and may drop further to 125gr loads soon.

In both cases, still plenty of power IMHO, but I shoot the milder loads a bit quicker. I wouldn't be prepared to drop to .22LR.

jimbeaux82
August 28, 2011, 02:44 PM
To answer your question - none.

Only hits count. If you need to power down a little to get hits, by all means do it!

Old Shooter
August 28, 2011, 02:57 PM
It ain't the noise that kills 'em.

CraigC
August 28, 2011, 03:04 PM
None, proficiency is everything.

oldfool
August 28, 2011, 04:03 PM
I don't know why in threads like this some always insist that others are suggesting people ought drop to 22 rimfire to achieve proficiency; that's just silly, but "it happens every time"
Nobody suggests that for anyone who is not severely impaired by a physical handicap that precludes all else.

Few here (or anywhere) are Master Class IPDA shooters. Extreme few could outscore 9mmE on a IPDA course of fire with no power factor rule restrictions whatever, no matter what caliber in hand. But anyone who can achieve 'proficiency' with a rimfire can do equally well with a light-to-mid range power factor "service caliber", all it takes is a fairly modest amount of regular practice.

People will argue themselves blue in the face over whether or not 32 acp or 380 acp 'ought' be considered a 'service caliber' but even the best of the best throw faster, tighter groups with lighter vs heavier power factors.

I really do not think the intent here is "Would you drop down a step in caliber" to get quicker splits in game competition. (The obvious answer being, yes of course, so long as it makes the power factor rule)
I think the question is "Would you go up a step in caliber, and deliberately give up something in your own known speed/accuracy simply because you truly believe -
a 9mm will surely kill them quicker than a 380 acp
a 45 acp will surely kill them quicker than a 9mm
a 10 mm will surely kill them quicker than a 45 acp
a 357 will surely kill them quicker than a 38+P
a 44 mag will surely kill them quicker than a 357

and there a lot of people on gun forums who really would do that, no kidding, they would answer yes

but not me

I can do six in two or 3 DTs in three, with a 6" 22 rimfire k-frame or a 6" 357 k-frame with 38+P JHP, no difference in speed & accuracy ... 357 mag recoil bothers me not a tad, I am about half deaf anyway, but I know for a fact muzzle rise with 357 will slow me a tad.. and at my excuse for "speed" I cannot afford to lose what little there is of that. I am not a tad ashamed to back off the speed(?) a bit on days they ain't hitting where they ought, either.
My hands never were great and they ain't never going to see "60 years young" again, no matter the practice round count nor tactical training expertise. I shoot what I can run.

so... No, I won't rely on magnum magic, I will run 38+P, and throw 'em as quick as I can hit with 'em, and hope muscle memory trumps nerves.

But I a carry a single stack 380 acp, because six 6" k-frames don't CCW wear well with shorts & t-shirt, but that Colt does. I am significantly slower with the 23 oz pistol than with the full size revolver, to achieve same accuracy level, which I will not give up for speed.

and I do not buy into all that "you can get same size/weight in a 9mm, with more power" yada yada... because no, you cannot get it in a compact nine without a lot more muzzle flip than a locked breech steel 380 acp, and that will slow you down
(duhh, why do you think they are so unforgiving of 'limp wristing', people ??),
even if you really could CCW as well (a mighty dubious proposition for any plastic fantastic or double stack)

so.. yes, I will give up power factor for speed and/or accuracy
and yes I will give up power factor and even some speed for accuracy

but no... I will not drop to 22 rimfire for speed and accuracy... it's just a mighty convenient practice tool.. and cheap

that's my story and I am sticking to it
god bless you if you have quick hands, great eyes, and can throw 44 mag out of a snubbie at GrandMaster speed and accuracy :)

Ankeny
August 28, 2011, 04:08 PM
Now that I see you only went down to a 9mm... Yes, I did power down to avoid giving up "speed". But since then I have gone back to a .45 and in so doing I gave up some speed and accuracy. Frankly, I am surprised by the number of folks who say they wouldn't give up any proficiency (let's call it speed and accuracy for the sake of a more powerful cartridge.

So, what is proficiency, anyway? That's an excellent question. In a shooting match like IPSC or IDPA proficiency shows up in the form of match results. For folks who don't have a timer and/or a way to shoot drills, proficiency is probably pretty subjective.

I'm not sure if you've defined what you're giving up accurately. Rather than call it proficiency, we could describe it as top edge speed and performance. Yes, that is correct, I have given up top edge speed and performance in favor of "power". I know several other shooters who have chosen to do the same. Perhaps we are just to old school to accept the notion that bigger isn't better. :D

Loosedhorse
August 28, 2011, 04:32 PM
I don't know why in threads like this some always insist that others are suggesting people ought drop to 22 rimfire to achieve proficiencyI mentioned .22LR in my post, but I didn't "insist that others were suggesting" anything.

I said that I have decreased two of my carry loads away from max because I shoot the lighter load better. I am sure that I could shoot a .22LR even faster because there's less recoil, but I have decided not to go that far.

The OP asked how much proficiency one is willing to give up for power, and so I thought it was on point to mention that I was NOT willing to go lower than the loads I mentioned just to gain a bit more proficiency.

In other words, I have given up some "power" (full-throttle .357 and full-weight 10mm loads) to gain proficiency; but also have given up some proficiency (faster shooting with .22s) to gain power. Why would that be a surprising or objectionable statement?

oldfool
August 28, 2011, 04:53 PM
"insist that others were suggesting"
you and that other fellow in that other thread can throw more flames at one another on that one, Loosedhorse

all I said was "it happens every time"
this thread is still young, be patient
at least we haven't yet seen "volunteer to be shot with" here.. yet
donchajustluv caliber wars ???

JohnBiltz
August 28, 2011, 05:49 PM
I felt I gave up power to gain proficiency when I sold a .40 to go back to 9mm. Never regretted it. I felt I gave up a marginal amount of power for a big gain in handling and speed. I still feel that way.

JohnKSa
August 28, 2011, 06:29 PM
I think it's safe to say that a caliber change for a carry gun affects more than just proficiency and power. Maybe considering more of the variables will make the decision easier.

Here's my shot at a list of things affected by your carry gun caliber choice, I'm sure that I've left a few things out...

Proficiency (Accuracy/Speed)
Power/Terminal effect
Capacity
Weight
Size
Practice Issue 1: Ammunition Costs
Practice Issue 2: Wear & Tear on Handgun
Practice Issue 3: Wear & Tear on Shooter

Shadow 7D
August 28, 2011, 06:38 PM
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/proficiency
2 - the state of being proficient hence
: well advanced in an art, occupation, or branch of knowledge

As you should be able to bring your KSA from one gun to the next, wouldn't SWITCHING to the gun you shoot BEST, be increasing your proficiency?

So maybe a better way to phrase this, is
'is choosing another caliber that I can shoot better worth the loss of power'
because if you are proficient, you will hit with BOTH

orionengnr
August 28, 2011, 10:34 PM
I shoot a 1911 better than anything else.
Hence, I am not "giving up" anything except magazine capacity.

I shoot every week, and am pretty confident in my chosen caliber and platform. :)

Lawdawg45
August 29, 2011, 05:52 AM
It's interesting that the sister thread to this one was locked by the administrator, I guess us old shooters are just too opinionated.:rolleyes:

I guess this type of question is like asking which is more important, the magazine or the barrel? Obviously one is dependant on the other, but both must be present and maximized to be effective. While I'm an advocate of a decent, powerful caliber with 2 re-loads, I've also frequently carried a SA (with re-loads) and my wife feels more comfortable with a .22 mag revolver, so I'll go on record as saying carry what you're comfortable and consistently accurate with.;)

LD45

mavracer
August 29, 2011, 07:00 AM
proficiency is much better at making up for power than power is at making up for proficiency.

oldfool
August 29, 2011, 07:52 AM
Lawdawg45 (again) makes good points
"carry what you're comfortable and consistently accurate with"
that sums up what I do believe the majority consensus would support
comfort, competence, confidence, consistency.. it's an interacrtive progression, not a vs. vs. vs.

JohnKSa also offers good points
"a caliber change for a carry gun affects more than just proficiency and power."
I do believe CCW choices inherently imply more compromises than at-home, and I do choose different handguns for at-home vs CCW.
Acknowledged, there are merits in arguments to the contrary, that you should always carry same (whatever it is you shoot best of all, with speed & accuracy & confidence).

In any event, I do not propose that all should do-as-I-do
in matters of life or death, there is really only one vote that counts.. your own
(and in matters of marriage, don't argue with the wife, like Lawdawg45, let her choose her own !)

PS
yeah, all us old shooters are too doggone opinionated, and it do get too doggone overheated from time to time ;)

Lawdawg45
August 29, 2011, 08:36 AM
"proficiency is much better at making up for power than power is at making up for proficiency. "

I agree Sir!

LD45

tinygnat219
August 29, 2011, 08:46 AM
Depends on what one is giving up to remain "proficient". If it's .40 S&W to 9MM, I don't see an issue. If it's .357 magnum to .38 SPL I don't see an issue. If' it's 9MM to .22LR, I DO see an issue unless one has some serious health issues where 9MM recoil is simply painful (I know some folks with rheumatoid arthritis who simply carry .22LR b/c anything more is severely painful).

In short, carry the most powerful round you can shoot most proficiently with. However, .22LR should be the exception. It's a rimfire cartridge that is known to misfire more often than not.

Loosedhorse
August 29, 2011, 09:06 AM
Uh-oh: you mentioned .22LR! :eek::uhoh:;)

sugarmaker
August 29, 2011, 09:15 AM
The point at which you start getting into bad technique as a result of recoil / muzzle blast is a good stopping point. For both rifles and pistols, the point where I can't keep 10 out of 10 in a 9 inch circle from the position I intend to shoot from is my stopping point for both range and power. Also (rather arbitrary) I need energy (FP) times bullet weight (grs)/100 greater than 1000 at the point of impact for deer hunting.

Lawdawg45
August 29, 2011, 01:07 PM
"In short, carry the most powerful round you can shoot most proficiently with. However, .22LR should be the exception. It's a rimfire cartridge that is known to misfire more often than not."

Let me lighten the room up a bit and share a personal story. I had a partner in the late 80's that was a power lifter and he looked like a tree trunk and could bench 450+ lbs. He was known for carrying a Ruger Redhawk in .44 mag or a custom 1911, but one day I met him for lunch off duty and he was carrying a Beretta .22 LR:eek: After I picked my jaw up off of the ground I asked him what was up with the BB gun, he replied "Oh I'll shoot em in the neck 7 times then beat the living sh** out of them!":D

LD45

easyg
August 29, 2011, 01:27 PM
Yes, shot placement is king.
But caliber matters too.


Question: Why do we have so many different calibers and loads?


Answer: Because some calibers are more effective than other calibers for certain tasks.


Self defense: Humans have been shooting humans since the invention of firearms.
And over the centuries we (mankind) have learned a thing or two about which calibers and which loads are more effective at quickly stopping human aggressors, and which calibers and which loads are less effective at quickly stopping human aggressors..
We have also learned which calibers and which loads the average human can control and shoot accurately from a handgun.

Personally, I don't see any reason to use less than .38 Special or 9mm para for self defense.
Both of these calibers are easy enough for the average adult to shoot accurately for self defense purposes, even when shooting with only the weak hand.
And both are plenty powerful enough to quickly stop an aggressive human.

Ankeny
August 29, 2011, 04:47 PM
comfort, competence, confidence, consistency.. it's an interacrtive progression, not a vs. vs. vs. Yup, true enough. I see several posters have given up power in favor of being more proficient. Which of course, I did a few years back. To get back on track, I am asking about going the other direction, giving up "proficiency" in favor of power. In my case, I went from a 9mm to a .45 ACP with some really stout loads.

I agree if you can't hit the side of a barn with your whomp-em-stomp-em loads, throttle back a bit. On the flip side, if a shooter can really rock with a 9mm, is there anything wrong with moving up to a .45 if you go from "rocking" to shooting a little slower in order to maintain accuracy. It looks like the majority opinion is that would be a bad move.

sixgunner455
August 29, 2011, 06:22 PM
Ankeny, I *can* shoot a .45, quite well. I don't really like it. Whatever advantages it might give the shooter, it doesn't give enough, in my opinion, to justify switching.

mavracer
August 29, 2011, 06:54 PM
I agree if you can't hit the side of a barn with your whomp-em-stomp-em loads, throttle back a bit. On the flip side, if a shooter can really rock with a 9mm, is there anything wrong with moving up to a .45 if you go from "rocking" to shooting a little slower in order to maintain accuracy. It looks like the majority opinion is that would be a bad move.
There are two parts to proficency with a handgun speed and accuracy. I agree that if the added power causes accuracy to fall off that's a bad move. If your split times slow down just a bit to maintain accuracy, well now your dancing with the devil so to speak. Because that's a guessing game. Your first shot is not going to be slower and while more power might slow down the second, it could also make it unnecessary.

Ankeny
August 29, 2011, 11:10 PM
Your first shot is not going to be slower and while more power might slow down the second, it could also make it unnecessary. My thoughts exactly. My second shot with a .45 runs about 25-30 per cent slower than with a 9mm. I don't mind giving that up, but it seems I am in the minority. ;)

9mmepiphany
August 29, 2011, 11:56 PM
I don't mind giving that up, but it seems I am in the minority.
I think a bit of that hinges on one's belief that they are good enough and calm enough to make that first shot and never need a second.

Having seen shooters, who were not untrained, miss from as close as three feet when shooting under pressure...I'm not quite willing to take those odds

Shadow 7D
August 30, 2011, 12:37 AM
THIS ^^^^

It's all fun and games till someone is shooting AT YOU
then, the majority of shooters, who have NEVER experienced this before, will proceed to mag dump and duck...

It's like a ropes course I was on once, the top leap was to a trapeze bar 6' above and 5' (jump 5 feet and catch a head height bar) out from the top platform, 88' above the ground. Most people missed something they can do easily on the ground, they are CAPABLE, but under the pressure of jumping off a tall platform (tied to a rope) they fail to.

Stress makes you do funny things

Lawdawg45
August 30, 2011, 08:12 AM
"It's all fun and games till someone is shooting AT YOU
then, the majority of shooters, who have NEVER experienced this before, will proceed to mag dump and duck..."

100% truth, and while you're a wise person, you're in the minority with this statement. Too many folk think their range expertise will carry 100% into a gunfight, heck I even see a noticeable drop in accuracy with Deer hunters when they move from the range to the field, and yes I include myself in that category. I missed a nice 8 point last year at about 60 yards, even though I was consistently placing rounds in an 8 inch circle at 75 yards with iron sights.:banghead: :D

LD45

harmon rabb
August 30, 2011, 09:31 AM
about the only time i'd do that is to move up from a 22. otherwise, it's not worth it. i'll take a hit with a 380 or 9 over a miss with a 45 any day (which isn't that great of a comparison for me I guess, because I shoot 45 well, but you get what i'm saying).

back when i had more limited carry choices, i stopped carrying my g27 in favor of a cz-82. yeah, i stepped down from a 40 to the lowly 9x18... because i was a far better shot with the cz than the glock.

Ankeny
August 30, 2011, 07:15 PM
I think a bit of that hinges on one's belief that they are good enough and calm enough to make that first shot and never need a second. I suppose that's a valid observation. In my case, I don't mind being 25 per cent slower on the split with a .45 because I think a square range split of .19-.22 with the larger caliber is good enough.

Dave T
August 30, 2011, 10:57 PM
To the OP, I'm in much the same position in that I'm just not as fast as I once was and Magnums just plain hurt. I spent all but the first 9 months of my LEO career carrying one model or other of Colt 45 ACP so I have both a sentimental attachment and great familiarity with the 1911 and it's most famous chambering.

My suggestion would be to tone down the 45 ACP load. My preference is 200g bullets. I can definitely tell I shoot them faster (better recovery) than 230g and I'm comforted by the fact that JM Browning's original design of the 45 ACP was a 200g bullet at 900 fps. I found a factory JHP that duplicates that and I shoot it very well. If your arthritis is worse than mine you could even go down to 185g bullets to keep your "proficiency" up with your chosen 1911 in the right caliber. (smile)

Dave

BCRider
August 31, 2011, 01:32 PM
Ya know.... the whole issue of what adrenalin does to a shooter in a situation is a great topic. It deserves it's own thread.

It doesn't take a LOT of it either. There are those who have found it ruins their aim even in a match where they are just facing a timer and a stopwatch and taking their time. Can you imagine the effectiveness of such a person in an actual altercation? And for any of us that have some paintball playing in our backgrounds we've also had a glimpse of what adenalin can do to a person's talents when faced with pain even if there's no risk of injury.

It would also be interesting to find out what percentage of CCW shooters also paricipate in variouis shooting compeitions that mimic to at least some degree real life scenarios. I'm only familiar with the IPSC and IDPA styles. But to my mind participating in IDPA seems like at least a good way to drill for a real situation than just standing and perforating paper. Playing paintball isn't a bad option either. First off you're being "shot" at and secondly it teaches you to move under fire in response to movement by the aggresors that are trying to outflank you or negate your cover. Neither share all the factors or the risk of a real firearms engagement. But they do introduce the simple fact that you don't just stand, draw and blaze away in a movie western style.

fastbolt
August 31, 2011, 02:59 PM
Lots of great discussion.

Personally, since I've been issued 9's, .40's & .45's at one time or another (and I own several of each), I've seen the ebb & flow of my abilities with each as time and occasional injuries or other health issues have arisen.

There were times I felt I could live on the difference between carrying the harder recoiling .40 or .45 over one of my 9's ... and then those other times I felt I was better served staying with a 9mm.

There are just so many potential conditions and circumstances which are always going to be beyond our ability to control. Why ignore that little voice of experience if it tells us that deciding one way or the other is the better choice for us at any given time, despite what prevailing "wisdom" may have to say at the time?

I like to think that it's the nature of any particular edge we're determining for ourselves, not some definitive all-or-nothing choice that we face.

I also suspect that sometimes a more familiar, or comforting, platform may figure into our likely decisions as much as "power".

As much as I've expressed a preference for 230gr defensive loads in .45's, if I found the reduced recoil force of a 200gr load made me feel more confident in continuing to use the .45 instead of a 9, it would seem perfectly reasonable (and prudent) to consider making that change.

Age catches up to us all. Injuries, cumulative or otherwise, as well as infirmities can rob us of our youthful vigor and capabilities. Facing a life threatening injury or disease can change someone's perspective, or cause them to embark upon a path of continuing re-evaluation of many things.

Who's to say for someone else where some single arbitrary "line" exists that defines what's "giving up proficiency or power"? If someone decides to change how they choose a handgun for defensive purpose, it's still the mindset, experience and a lifetime of acquired knowledge that's going to driving the use of the weapon, after all ...

Choose however you decide is best for your needs, at any given time in your life, even if you have reason to change your mind at some later time, for whatever reason you feel is appropriate. You need only justify and explain your reasons to yourself.

That ought to be good enough, don't you think?

Ankeny
August 31, 2011, 09:24 PM
Choose however you decide is best for your needs, at any given time in your life, even if you have reason to change your mind at some later time, for whatever reason you feel is appropriate. You need only justify and explain your reasons to yourself.

That ought to be good enough, don't you think?

I couldn't agree more. I threw the topic out for discussion just because it is something I wrestle with from time to time. The replies have been interesting.

minutemen1776
August 31, 2011, 10:11 PM
I say you should shoot the most powerful cartridge with which you can remain proficient given your current commitment to practicing. For me, I don't get to shoot my pistols as much as I want, but I can regularly shoot 9mm well. .357s, .40s, and .45s take more work for me to shoot well. If I had more time to practice with them, I might carry one of those. Since I don't, the 9mm is my go-to caliber almost always.

fastbolt
September 1, 2011, 01:23 AM
I couldn't agree more. I threw the topic out for discussion just because it is something I wrestle with from time to time. The replies have been interesting.

I suspect any number of us wrestle with such issues from time to time. ;)

Deaf Smith
September 1, 2011, 08:05 PM
I guess the question is this. How much proficiency are you willing to give up of a larger caliber? How does one decide?


I'll give up most of my proficiency for a sack of grenades. Other than that, no matter what gun I use I expect to hit the target with the first round.

Handguns are weak and shot placement is a must, regardless of power. So you look at how well you can make a reasonable hit in a reasonable time. And that can vary depending on circumstances!

Might need to be lightning fast to bet the other guys lethal attack. So power means nothing if you are to slow. And it means nothing if you miss!

It has to be a balance. To much power and you risk missing or being slow (or both!)

Just how much depends on each individual. Some can shoot a hot loaded .45 lightweight auto fast, some cannot get past a 9mm.

Just depends on each individual.

Deaf

orionengnr
September 1, 2011, 10:53 PM
In short, carry the most powerful round you can shoot most proficiently with.
Cliche, but true. I found out a long time ago what I shoot best with...a steel 1911. It sure isn't the easiest to carry.

Took some effort to get to the point where I can carry one every day, year round, but worth every bit of the effort.

Ankeny
September 2, 2011, 12:06 AM
In short, carry the most powerful round you can shoot most proficiently with. I disagree. If we all carried the round we are most proficient with we would have bunny fart loads...;)

Rexster
September 2, 2011, 09:30 PM
I backed away from heavy large-bore magnum loads, early in my handgunning days, in order to improve proficiency. I sold the S&W Model 629, and stayed with the .41 Magnum, with less-than-max loads. This was giving up power to improve proficiency, and also to lessen the cumulative damage cause by recoil.

I later backed away from Airlite revolvers for the same reasons.

There is a point of diminishing returns. I could carry target wadcutters in my medium-framed .357 revolvers, but I carry magnum ammo, with the horsepower of the ammo depending upon the individual weapon. Some of my sixguns have grips that do not control recoil as well as the original, pre-Hogue GP100 grips that are on most of my Ruger sixguns.

With autos, none of them have seemed less accurate just because they had bigger bores. I carry .40 auto pistols, simply because my employer mandates the .40 for duty pistols. I do not lose sleep, wondering if a 9mm might allow me to place more rounds on target per unit of time.

I have never considered faster split times to be an indication of greater proficiency. That is simple science. I cannot change the laws of physics.

RandyC
September 3, 2011, 08:42 AM
When I read the post title I thought this would be an easy one. Then I read your post.

Clearly there is no one-size-fits-all answer that will fit every shooter and firearm.

Whatever we carry is ultimately a tradeoff of sorts and a personal decision, but hopefully a well informed one realizing our capabilities.

Prosser
September 4, 2011, 09:18 PM
"I guess the question is this. How much proficiency are you willing to give up of a larger caliber? How does one decide?"

Your original question assumes we can carry wonder 9's. Here, in the PR of **********, our wise state has outlawed over 10 round magazines in semi-autos.
So, much of my comments will have to be based on that.

For a carry gun, I find 45 Super/451 Detonics works for me. It nearly doubles the kenetic energy of a normal 45 load, and, puts me close to 45 Colt ballistics. I have no problem shooting this quickly, since I put in many hours prior. I've kind of solved carrying it here, in a Detonics Combatmaster. Worked before. I currently have a full sized Kimber Custom II retimed for 45 Super as well. 230 grains at 1100 fps.

I am willing to sacrifice a bit of accuracy and second hits, since most handgun defense issues would be at very close range, or they aren't defense, at least in this state.

At short range, I'm after a couple things. Accuracy is nice, but, I also want something very loud, and has as much flash as possible. I want the bad guy stunned by these factors as well. I also want something that is moving, creating a decent sized hole, regardless of caliber, due to velocity.

All this said, there is a point where I HAVE to give up on power vs. accuracy, control. This is full house .357 Magnum loads out of a scandium snubby. Most I can handle is Fioochis' 148 grain HPS at 1140, or 158 HP lead, Buffalobore, at 1040 fps.

I also have a PM 9 for those summer days were the Detonics is too heavy to carry, or too hard to conceal in shorts.

If I lived in a free state, I would be inclined to carry a large single action as a primary, with the Detonics as a secondary. I think a lot of the Magnum 'bite'
can be reduced by using the bottom of the reloading tables instead of the top, and, using a lighter for caliber bullet. One of my favorites is a .475 Linebaugh, with 275 grain speer HP's, at 1450-1550 fps, out of an FA 83.

The combination is easy to shoot, and accurate. The gun weight really helps as well.

I guess my real answer to your question is to something like are you willing to give up a fast second shot, not accuracy. I've found that the big guns,
due to being custom revolvers, with excellent triggers, and, many are just flat out inherently tack drivers, .475 Linebaugh in particular, is that I increase accuracy by going more powerful, not loose it.

In other words, you have setup a question that is not proper, logic wise.
Flawed premise make for flawed responses.

Ankeny
September 4, 2011, 10:45 PM
In other words, you have setup a question that is not proper, logic wise. My premise is based on DVC, Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas, accuracy, power, and speed. My logic is not flawed. Your interpretation and understanding is flawed. :)

Prosser
September 5, 2011, 12:37 AM
Your post implies a false dilemma: that to have more power you have to give up speed and accuracy. You ask how I evaluate it. If my choice can INCREASE my accuracy, due to lots of practice, and a style adapted to 45 Super level loads, how about I don't give up anything?

I would evaluate the situation on the following criteria:
First: Is the increase in horsepower enough so it justifies any reduction in second shot ability?

If my .475 Linebaugh is more accurate then any gun I have, plus it hits
like a 375 H&H rifle, or harder, since the bullet, if it opens, ends up the size of a two bore rifle bullet, is it worth putting up with recoil similar to a .44 Magnum lite load?

Since everyone always says if you are going to a gun fight, take a rifle or a shotgun, I'm going to take a revolver that hits like them over any service caliber. I think the tradeoff of a slightly slower second shot is going to be worth it, if the energy is 4-7 times as much on target, with a MUCH bigger
hole then even some service caliber RIFLES.

Not to mention most SD incounters are 3-5 shots, and over.

If the bad guy is wearing a vest, I would also like something that hits hard enough so he knows he was hit.

Do Jerry M. and that other guy Bob Munden that shoots a .45 in quick draw give up anything by going with .45 Colt?

JohnKSa
September 5, 2011, 02:47 AM
Not to mention most SD incounters are 3-5 shots, and over.I think a lot of people don't really understand what this means. A lot of folks seem to think it means that gunfights only require a few shots. The real point is that they're over FAST.

If you take too long to shoot it may be over (and lost) before you fired enough shots to win it. It's not like the other guy is going to be standing there doing nothing while you fight the muzzle back down from vertical to crank off your second shot. He's going to be busily poking holes in you, and if he connects a few times while you're fighting recoil from the first shot, it certainly won't help your accuracy and follow-up speed--even if he's using a .22.

It's true that you can't miss fast enough to win. But it's important to remember that it's also true that you CAN shoot slow enough to lose....I also want something very loud, and has as much flash as possible.You'll be there too, the blast and flash won't do you any good either. I am willing to sacrifice a bit of accuracy and second hits...You have to get first hits to get second hits. It's good to plan on a hit on your first shot but important to remember that the odds say you won't get it. People have a remarkable tendency to miss when they're being shot at. It doesn't help to make choices up front "to sacrifice a bit of accuracy" for "something very loud" with "as much flash as possible" and recoil to match.

Vern Humphrey
September 5, 2011, 10:24 AM
how proficient is good enough and what about trading off a bit of proficiency in favor of "power"?
Two simple sayings you should bear in mind:

You can't miss fast enough to win.

You will suffer a 90% skill degradation in combat.

You should seek to master whatever gun you use so you do your best shooting with it -- I can shoot my M1911 about as well as I can shoot my Colt Woodsman.

Inebriated
September 5, 2011, 11:07 AM
You should seek to master whatever gun you use so you do your best shooting with it

THIS!

Ankeny
September 5, 2011, 03:12 PM
Your post implies a false dilemma: that to have more power you have to give up speed and accuracy.
This is from my original post:
Heck, countless IDPA and IPSC shooters have shot millions of rounds that give us stats showing the difference in "proficiency" between "major" and "minor" loads in comparable (or the same) platforms in the hands of shooters with similar skill sets.

Maybe I wasn't clear about the accuracy part...or the speed part. The time to the first shot and the accuracy of the first shot shouldn't be "power" dependent. But when it's time to rock and roll against the timer, the speed of the follow up shots (depending on the difficulty of the shot) degrades in order to maintain comparable accuracy. To argue otherwise is contrary to a very extensive worldwide database...and common sense.

I think this thread has run the course.

Prosser
September 5, 2011, 03:32 PM
Why do I have these films running in my head when you say that?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcZHVspVIDs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLk1v5bSFPw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWSvjgNOJyo&feature=related

Any idea the loads these gentlemen use in their .45 Colts?

JohnKSa
September 5, 2011, 04:04 PM
You're not really suggesting that those gentlemen chose their caliber and loadings because they were "very loud, and had as much flash as possible", so that someone wearing a vest would know that they've been hit, or to try to equal rifle performance, etc?

It's certainly true that people who shoot for a living can develop an impressive level of proficiency--that's why they are among the very few people in the world who shoot for a living. It's not evidence that going up in power won't hurt proficiency, it's just evidence that if you can spend all day doing something you can get really good at it.

Besides, if you read or watch enough of their stuff, they will tell you that they're better with light calibers. Munden actually did a piece for Shooting USA debunking the idea that trick shooting was easier with his .45Colt than with a lighter caliber. Part of his "schtick" is that he's not shooting light loads or plinking calibers--because it proves that what he's doing is even more difficult than it might appear.

If you poke around, you can find a quote from Rob Leatham indicating that he shoots better scores/times with a 9mm than with the heavier handgun calibers.

In other words, while it's definitely possible to develop amazing proficiency with heavy calibers if you have the time to practice daily, you still get a benefit in stepping down to something lighter.

The key is in finding an good balance. On the whole, I don't really think that a shooter of Ankeny's level is hurting himself significantly by choosing a .45ACP over a 9mm athough that could change with time if his physical issues worsen. But right now he's probably struck a good compromise.

On the other hand, moving out of the service pistol class entirely to focus on things like maximum blast & flash and attempting to equal rifle performance with a magnum class caliber is definitely going to result in a significant and practical performance degradation. It's certainly your choice, but putting all your eggs in the terminal performance basket is questionable logic if one truly looks at all the evidence.

For one thing, stopping failures happen even with rifles and shotguns. For a second, multiple attackers are a real possibility.

Both of those issues mean that downplaying the necessity/importance of second/subsequent shots is unwise.

Prosser
September 5, 2011, 05:40 PM
I was asking does anyone know what loads they are using in their .45's to do these stunts?

You can load .45 so it recoils less then 9mm pretty easily, since both of the guns those guys are using are heavier then your average 9mm. Or, you can download it to the point where it recoils the same.

Generalizations about calibers are pretty difficult to justify.

160 grain bullet at 865 fps is a minimum .45 Colt load. Probably have less recoil, due to the same grains of powder as 9mm, but, instead of being at 32k PSI, it's at 8K psi.

My comments about the flash bang is in reference to S*M's "research". A LOT of those .357 one shot stops came at night, at close range, with officer's using BUGS. Sort of tongue and cheek, but, a fireball at point blank range, along with the .357 bang, and getting shot might have a serious psychological stopping power, accounted for by statistics, but not properly attributed to the factors that created the stop.

Your points are well taken. Rob Leatham's comments and the shooting games
give us a real good idea at what point proficiency decreases. IIRC, the .38 Super was so popular because it makes major, using a very light bullet, at high velocity, out of a heavy gun, resulting in effectively little or no recoil.
115's at 1320 fps?

If you really want to take this to another level, start getting into the exact loads used, and at what point proficiency decreases.

My limited experience with 3000 dollar race guns has been with .38 Super,
no recoil, muzzle brake on top of that to reduce muzzle lift, and a Glock 34,
same muzzle brake, plus just over major .40 S&W loads.
Both guns had recoil pretty much by sound, not into your hand.

I just ran the recoil numbers for the race gun I shot:
Recoil Energy of 4 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 12 fps.
Yet it makes major?

for 9MM: 125 at 1170: Recoil Energy of 4 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 11 fps.

If I run 155 grain .45 ACP at 1100 fps, out of a 1911, I get these recoil numbers:
Recoil Energy of 4 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 10 fps.

You can also run that bullet with a minimum load down to 930 fps:
Recoil Energy of 3 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 9 fps.
That gives you 25% less recoil then 9mm.

So, you can run a 1911 with loads that give you LESS recoil then 9mm, with half the pressure, using the same number grains of powder. The end result is a setup that should be on a par with 9mm for speed.

To discuss this more fully, we need to bring out what Ankeny is shooting in
his guns, and what he intends to use, on a more specific basis.

Ankeny
September 5, 2011, 07:31 PM
Why do I have these films running in my head when you say that? You should have those films in your head because they show exactly what I am to explain. In the fast draw scenario with Bob Munden, the time to the first shot is not dependent on the load. In Jerry's case, he is shooting multiple shots on multiple targets using light recoiling bunny fart loads.
In USPSA shooting he uses a Model 25 revolver shooting loads that make major with a cushion.

As far as shooting major with a race gun, that's apples to oranges (that's why there are divisions) because the race gun is ported and comped. I have well over 200,000 rounds through various .38 Supers.

I explained in the original post that I went from a Pro Ageis to a Dan Wesson V-Bob. I was shooting 147 Golden Saber in the 9mm and 230 XTP ammo in the .45 ACP. FWIW, my "proficiency" level is USPSA Grand Master.

Prosser
September 5, 2011, 08:19 PM
OK:
So, you went from a 2 pound gun, shooting 147 grains at 990 fps, maybe, 320 ftp.
Recoil Energy of 4 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 11 fps.

To a 2.2 pound gun, shooting 230's at 950 fps:Energy of 461 foot-pounds for a 230 grain bullet at 950 fps.
Recoil Energy of 8 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 15 fps.

You doubled your recoil. My question is how did this effect your times?
What did you shoot with .38 Super?

Why not compensate the Dan Wesson if you are concerned about recoil
effecting your shooting? Certainly you have a whole bag of tricks from so much
shooting experience to set the Wesson up to alter the recoil effect?

If you have lost that much in 'proficiency' from the recoil increase, you can always try the 165 grain flat points at 1100 fps.Energy of 443 foot-pounds for a 165 grain bullet at 1100 fps. Thats' a pretty fast bunny farting, but still both heavier, and faster then the bunny turds coming out of your 9mm. ;-)

Depending on your location, and demographics a Light, fast, .45 semi-expanding bullet might work for you...

How much has the move to heavier bullets effected your splits?

GLOOB
September 5, 2011, 08:54 PM
The speed argument implies that you'll have time for a second shot. Just cuz you have 17 in the mag doesn't mean you'll use more than one.

Prosser
September 5, 2011, 09:03 PM
In a perfect world I'd carry a FA 83, .500JRH, with LFN's or a wadcutter, at 1250 fps, and around a 180 grain bullet.Recoil Energy of 8 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 13 fps. I like my bullets pre-expanded, and, at that velocity, on hitting bone, it's likely the bullet will expand as well.

Odd that that combination is very much what Lee Jurras used, although at much higher velocity, in his .44 Magnum to take every game animal near on the planet.
Recoil Energy of 19 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 19 fps.

I currently have another way to go: 440's LFN's at 950 fps for Recoil Energy of 21 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 21 fps. That's real near Lee Jurras' favorite .475 Linebaugh load. For some reason, it just seems to work on EVERYTHING.

45_auto
September 6, 2011, 03:39 PM
Odd that that combination is very much what Lee Jurras used, although at much higher velocity, in his .44 Magnum to take every game animal near on the planet.

How many of those game animals were shooting back at him?

If you're talking hunting, there's no reason not to carry the most obnoxious caliber you can. Once you drag it back out of recoil and blink the muzzle flash out of your eyes, it's no big deal if you missed your target.

Doesn't work quite the same way if the target is shooting back.

Possibly you could carry a recording of a pump shotgun being racked on your Iphone to play just before you shoot. Maybe that will scare them off when you miss your first shot! :)

Prosser
September 6, 2011, 04:03 PM
Possibly you could carry a recording of a pump shotgun being racked on your Iphone to play just before you shoot. Maybe that will scare them off when you miss your first shot!

Why use a shotgun? 525 grain bullet .510" at 1350-1550 fps is pretty darn near the same as double OO buck, but penetrates better. :evil: Pretty close to the Sharps 45-90, but, with a bigger bullet, and heavier. Worked on millions of buffalo...

45_auto
September 6, 2011, 06:33 PM
Worked on millions of buffalo...

Spears and clubs also worked well on millions of sabre-toothed tigers and mastodons throughout the centuries - still doesn't make them the first choice for self defense .... ;)

Strykervet
September 6, 2011, 06:44 PM
I don't have to give up much. I like to use a larger platform when possible. For instance, I carry a 10mm, but I use loads slightly more powerful than a .40.

Dirty Harry, in the movie of course, used a .44mag loaded with .44Spcl. for just this reason.

Maple_City_Woodsman
September 6, 2011, 08:44 PM
A 32acp will nearly through-penetrate an unarmored target (light clothing) with many ammunition types. Some .22LR loads can come close to that from a +3.5 inch barrel, and a .22mag can match that from a 2" barrel.

With modern ammunition, just about anything can penetrate deep enough to puncture a lung, or perforate the heart so long as you avoid heavy bone.

Thus the two important questions become:
1) How long will it take to disable the target
2) how accurate the individual shooter can be with the weapon in question when under stress.

The first question favors a heavy bullet, and second one favors a small cartridge with low recoil.

The reality is that either answer will be correct for certain scenarios, and both will be inappropriate in certain others. Thus the individual must decide for themselves, and train around the weakness of their chosen platform.

PabloJ
September 7, 2011, 01:28 AM
I shot about 800 to 900 rounds 200 to 300 at time through my alloy framed S&W 457. With Hogue replacement grip the gun was surprisingly pleasant and easy to shoot. I do not see why anyone should have to give up proficiency for power. Is there something out there more proven then .45ACP (besides .45LC of course).

45_auto
September 7, 2011, 07:04 PM
I do not see why anyone should have to give up proficiency for power.

Maybe because they want to be able to get off more than one shot and actually have a chance of hitting the bad guy before he fills them full of holes? When someone starts shooting at you in the real world, you'll find it extremely rare to hit them with your first shot when you return fire. You may find it interesting to research the reasons the FBI moved away from th 10mm.

The F.B.I. briefly field-tested the 10 mm Auto in a 1911-frame platform as well as a M1928 Thompson-type submachine gun before adopting the 10 mm Auto round in the late 1980s along with the S&W Model 1076 (a short barreled version of the 1026 with a frame-mounted decocker). During testing of a new service caliber, the F.B.I. concluded that the full power of the load would result in undesirable recoil.

Get a S&W 500. Fire a cylinder of full power 350 grain bullets (about 2000 feet per second, 3000 ft-lbs of energy). You'll find that your recovery time is MUCH greater and your accuracy is MUCH less than what you are used to with your .45.

Your 45's are generating about 400 ft-lbs of energy. They only have about 13% of the power of the S&W 500.

Do you really think you could be just as proficient with something that recoils about 7 times as hard as your .45?

Maple_City_Woodsman
September 7, 2011, 07:15 PM
This would be the perfect place for a 5.7 fanboy to derail the thread, by mentioning how quickly a shooter can gain proficiency with the platform, and how fast the recovery time is between shots.

Good thing I have far too many scruples for that. :D

Prosser
September 7, 2011, 08:15 PM
Akeney:
OK:
So, you went from a 2 pound gun, shooting 147 grains at 990 fps, maybe, 320 ftp.
Recoil Energy of 4 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 11 fps.

To a 2.2 pound gun, shooting 230's at 950 fps:Energy of 461 foot-pounds for a 230 grain bullet at 950 fps.
Recoil Energy of 8 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 15 fps.

You doubled your recoil. My question is how did this effect your times?
What did you shoot with .38 Super?

Why not compensate the Dan Wesson if you are concerned about recoil
effecting your shooting? Certainly you have a whole bag of tricks from so much
shooting experience to set the Wesson up to alter the recoil effect?

If you have lost that much in 'proficiency' from the recoil increase, you can always try the 165 grain flat points at 1100 fps.Energy of 443 foot-pounds for a 165 grain bullet at 1100 fps. Thats' a pretty fast bunny farting, but still both heavier, and faster then the bunny turds coming out of your 9mm. ;-)

Depending on your location, and demographics a Light, fast, .45 semi-expanding bullet might work for you...

How much has the move to heavier bullets effected your splits?
?
This is the specific increase the OP was talking about. He would be able to best answer his own question.

Skribs
September 8, 2011, 07:57 PM
Kinda long post, but I was bored at work when I read the topic, and it's something I've been looking at for when I get my next handgun, so I put a lot of thought into it.

When you talk about trading proficiency for power, I am assuming that "proficiency" means how fast you can get accurate follow-up shots on the target. I am also assuming you are proficient enough to get an accurate first shot on the target. To use a gamer term, you are essentially looking at Damage Per Second. (That is, if I understand the topic correctly).

The way I see it, there are two types of power you can look at. The first is the difference between a 9x19mm, a .357 SIG, and a .357 magnum. I've never been involved in the shooting of a live person or animal, but from what I can tell, hydrostatic shock is only going to cause permanent tissue damage at 2000+ FPS, which even the magnum isn't going to easily obtain. The permanent wound cavity caused by all three rounds is going to be 9mm wide (or the diameter of the expanded bullet, which it looks to me would be about the same). Thus, your options are a 9mm hole with 17 rounds in a G17, and minimal recoil; a 9mm hole with 15 rounds in a G31, with noticeable recoil; or a 9mm hole with 8 rounds in a S&W 627, which will have a lot of recoil. In this case, I do not see the point in going for anything but the 9mm.

The other way you can look at it is size, such as the difference between a 9mm and a .45 ACP. In this respect, you DO have a bigger hole, so there is a benefit to going bigger. I personally look at the diameter as a direct relation to the amount of damage it can cause to the target (as opposed to the surface area of the bullet), because the way I see it, it's the surface area of the wound channel (not the volume) that bleeds, and short of a CNS hit, rapid drop in blood pressure seems to be the most reliable method of physiologically stopping a suspect. The amount of crushed tissue, on the other hand, is so small in the human body, that the difference is miniscule. Assuming you would multiply the diameter by pi and the penetration depth, then you can directly compare the diameter of the bullet.

Looking at it this way, you have a 9mm round vs. an 11.5mm round. The larger round offers roughly a 25% wider wound channel. What does this mean? To me, it means that if you shoot 25% faster with a 9mm than with a .45 (so, 5 shots in 2 seconds with a 9mm, 4 shots in 2 seconds with a .45), then you'll get the same surface area. If you shoot even faster with the 9, then the 9 is better. If you're closer with the .45, then the .45 is better. It may not be the most scientific way of looking at it, but from a gamer perspective, it seems to me to be a simple way of looking at it.

More opinion from someone who has virtually no experience in terminal ballistics: I think if you hit CNS, caliber doesn't matter. The target will most likely be down, and you don't need a follow-up shot. If you're not hitting vitals, or the vitals you hit are not going to incapacitate the target during the shootout (meaning he'll collapse 10 minutes later), then caliber doesn't matter. It will most likely only matter if what you're hitting will cause the target to stop during the gunfight, or if the slightly larger bullet causes you to hit something that the 9mm would have missed (which is mostly luck).

Anyway, just my ramblings and thoughts, but its the way I'm looking at it. Personally, I'm going to go with a .45, simply because I don't think I'm that much faster with a 9. More of my delay in follow-up shots is user-induced rather than recoil-induced.

Smokey in PHX
September 8, 2011, 07:59 PM
I believe proficiency should be the priority over power. In a critical situation where a person might have to shoot at another to maybe keep a significant number of people from being hurt accuracy counts. Less power can also result in less chance of a bullet pass through and hurting another person.

Cop Bob
September 8, 2011, 08:32 PM
This reminds me of an argument I heard in 77 or 78, folks arguing about Dan Pastorini having the stongest arm in the NFL or some such,, That he could throw a football 70 yards flatfooted... My reply was yep, he can throw, but what good is it being the fastest gun in the west... if you can't hit nothing? Pretty much settled it...

You never give up proficiency for power,, What good is a missed shot? a 22 between the running lights is much more effective than a 44 mangle-em in the big toe... Same thing with capacity.. having 15 shots is great, but if you can't wrap your hand around it, and therefore can't control it.. then you have reverted to spray and pray.. While I do give credit to the power of Prayer.. I pray and practice for accuracy.

Speed and firepower are nice, accuracy is certain..............

45_auto
September 8, 2011, 09:03 PM
You never give up power for proficiency

You may want to edit that lead-in to your second paragraph, it's the opposite of what you're saying in the rest of your post.

montgomery381
September 8, 2011, 09:28 PM
Most engagements are 7 yds or less. If you can put all of your rounds in the chest of a man sized target as fast as you can acquire the sites and pull the trigger you are good to go. If you can do that with the first magazine out of your 1911 went you are at the range then go with that. Chances are if you have to use your weapon it is going to be over within a matter of seconds and you probably won't go through more than one magazine. My point, is that in a real life situation you will not need to worry about shooting 200 rounds or even 50 rounds into a chest sized target and you won't be thinking about how your hands and wrists are going to hurt tomorrow.

9mmepiphany
September 9, 2011, 01:10 AM
If you can put all of your rounds in the chest of a man sized target as fast as you can acquire the sites and pull the trigger you are good to go.
Not quite.

Tests have shown that one's abilities will degrade by 50% under the stress. Even if you believe the distance at which an encountered, you'd really need to be able to shoot into 6" or less (4" would be better) at that distance to have any sense of comfort

montgomery381
September 10, 2011, 12:07 AM
I stand corrected. American Rifleman a few months back laid out a drill where you draw a fire five shots at a five inch target five yards away with the goal being all five in the target in five seconds. This would be a good test to rate your proficiency by.

9mmepiphany
September 10, 2011, 02:03 AM
American Rifleman...laid out a drill where you draw a fire five shots at a five inch target five yards away with the goal being all five in the target in five seconds.
While that is a standard that I have heard before...and there are surely differing definitions of proficiency...I think that standard might be more accurately characterized as acceptable

To my mind a standard of proficiency can be measured in the widely accepted Bill Drill (attributed to Bill Jordan, Bill Rogers, and Bill Wilson). The drill consist of:

1. "A" zone hits on a IPSC target (6"x10"; but often shot on a 6" plate)
2. At a minimum of 7 yards
3. At a signal, from the holster...hands starting above your shoulders
4. In 2 secs...this is a goal for a Master class shooter - the record is ~ 1.2 sec.; 2.5-3 sec is good (proficient)

Prosser
September 10, 2011, 05:57 AM
9mm:
Where do you shoot, what range, that allows you to even do rapid fire drills?

If I did this stuff in Concord, I'd be banned for life...

P
PS: Seems that after Ankeny says:
"FWIW, my "proficiency" level is USPSA Grand Master."
It's not worth him reviewing his own thread. I must wonder if the goal of the thread was to be able, after a long discussion, to post that sentence.
I would certainly like answers to these questions:
Quote:
OK:
So, you went from a 2 pound gun, shooting 147 grains at 990 fps, maybe, 320 ftp.
Recoil Energy of 4 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 11 fps.

To a 2.2 pound gun, shooting 230's at 950 fps:Energy of 461 foot-pounds for a 230 grain bullet at 950 fps.
Recoil Energy of 8 foot pounds, and Recoil Velocity of 15 fps.

You doubled your recoil. My question is how did this effect your times?
What did you shoot with .38 Super?

Why not compensate the Dan Wesson if you are concerned about recoil
effecting your shooting? Certainly you have a whole bag of tricks from so much
shooting experience to set the Wesson up to alter the recoil effect?

If you have lost that much in 'proficiency' from the recoil increase, you can always try the 165 grain flat points at 1100 fps.Energy of 443 foot-pounds for a 165 grain bullet at 1100 fps. Thats' a pretty fast bunny farting, but still both heavier, and faster then the bunny turds coming out of your 9mm. ;-)

Depending on your location, and demographics a Light, fast, .45 semi-expanding bullet might work for you...

How much has the move to heavier bullets effected your splits?

Doc3402
September 10, 2011, 09:11 AM
Generally speaking, if you are talking about self defense situations the last thing you want is nail driving accuracy. Sure, you want your shots in the target, but putting them all through the same hole is counterproductive. I say give up the accuracy in favor of penetration.

Here is the basis for my opinion based on decades of rescue work. Failing a high spinal cord separation, there is no such animal as a sure thing one shot instantaneous stop. If you can't sever the cord, you need to cause as much internal bleeding as possible as quickly as possible. You need multiple vital organ hits to do this. Even a hole in the heart is not a sure stopper, as evidenced by more than one patient I have picked up over the years.

One New Years Eve I had an opportunity to pick up two outstanding citizens that had been shot by the same gun during a bar fight. One of them was hit 5 times in the abdomen. He was able to walk out to the truck, and an hour later he walked to the restroom to give a urine specimen. The other patient darn near died on us. He was hit once in the left wrist, severing the radial artery. The gun was a .25 Raven. In the abdominal patient the .25 was unable to penetrate deeply enough to reach vital organs. In the wrist patient it had plenty of power.

There is something else to consider. In a GSW a patient's body will bleed. We know this, and it follows that the faster they bleed, the sooner the threat from them goes away. What many people don't consider is that the body is a closed cavity and as the patient continues to bleed, the bleeding will actually slow down if there is nowhere for the blood to go. A .380 sized hole will not allow much blood to escape the body. A .45 hole with an exit wound will.

Let me mention another case to illustrate my point. Years ago I had the misfortune of picking up a young teen that had been shot once close range in the femoral and common iliac arteries with a 12 gauge loaded with #8 shot. The cause of death on this child was respiratory arrest. He still had a palpable carotid pulse when the blood in his abdominal cavity reached the point where it put enough pressure on his diaphragm to stop his breathing. It took a half hour to reach this point, and during the first ten minutes of the call he was conscious, alert, and had full use of his upper extremities. In spite of the fact that he was dying he had more than enough time to do whatever he wanted to do had this been a mutual combat situation.

These cases point to an important consideration in shootings. The only person that came close to a rapid death, and the only person that couldn't have returned fire was the guy shot in the wrist. He was also the only person that had adequate drainage of blood to help speed hemodynamic compromise along.

To sum it up, big hole in and bigger hole out seems to end things sooner.

gordy
September 10, 2011, 09:23 AM
If you can't hit the second shot in a good place, Then what is the advantage of more power? If you have all day to hit the target than it does not matter.
But if speed is important, than control is also.
I would rather be good at hitting the 2nd and maybe the 3rd shot center mass fast, than being a big macho man with a gun I can't control.

oldfool
September 10, 2011, 09:53 AM
gosh Doc3402, comparisons of 25 acp vs 45 thru-n-thru is a bit of a stretch
Subject here is essentially "service" calibers, as in stepping up one, or down one, or even just chosen loading in same caliber, it's not 17HMR vs 50 BMG nor #8 shot for skeet

nor is anyone talking "nail driving" target pistolas, just talking about how fast you can throw a decent service caliber round out under stress and follow up with a few more of same (and pretty much keep 'em all in a 6" or less circle at very modest range)


the question pertinent to stopping an armed and violent aggressor is all about what happens in the first 2 to 20 seconds.. or 2 to 5 seconds if you prefer.. and as you just said, they don't that often just drop stone dead, not even with just one thru-n-thru 1/2" hole in them

PS
yeah, ok, some of what Prosser shoots might make a tad larger than 1/2" hole coming out the other side ;)

Cop Bob
September 10, 2011, 10:54 AM
You may want to edit that lead-in to your second paragraph, it's the opposite of what you're saying in the rest of your post.
Thanks... the dyslexic side of my "Mad Cow" must have kicked in....

montgomery381
September 10, 2011, 12:17 PM
The further, faster and more accurately you can shoot the better, no question. If you can perform the Bill Drill there is no doubt that your shooting is up to snuff and some would say exceptional. The number of shots was not specified but I am assuming it is 5 shots. The vast majority of shooters though, neither can afford or have the time to achieve that level of shooting. So, as it pertains to the the original question I think that it sets a lofty goal that may lead people to carry a smaller caliber and possibly leaving them lacking on stopping power. I hesitate to refer to someone calling themselves an oldfool but he pretty much has the right idea on the topic depending on his definition of modest distance. I would say that once a person can get the 5 shots in 5 secs in a 5 inch circle at 5 yards that they move it back to seven. Just because 20 feet is the widely accepted distance at which an aggressor with an edged weapon can be considered a deadly threat and therefore deadly force is permitted.

9mmepiphany
September 10, 2011, 01:46 PM
9mm:
Where do you shoot, what range, that allows you to even do rapid fire drills?

If I did this stuff in Concord, I'd be banned for life...

P
I shoot at SacValley in the Action Bays available to members. That is where I instruct also. I think I have mentioned previously, that I recently had a fairly new shooter come out and put 5 rounds into 1.5" (she called the 3rd shot out...the half inch) at 5 yards at a pace of about 4 shots a sec. We hadn't worked on her draw yet and we weren't trying for accuracy...just trying to get her to see her sights faster and co-ordinate her trigger press. My policy is "If you don't improve, You don't pay"...she had to pay ;)

..If you'd like to try it some time, drop me a PM and we'll work out a time when you can drive up

PS: Seems that after Ankeny says:
"FWIW, my "proficiency" level is USPSA Grand Master."
It's not worth him reviewing his own thread. I must wonder if the goal of the thread was to be able, after a long discussion, to post that sentence.
Somehow I didn't read it that way

I think it takes a certain experience (proficiency) level to truly appreciate the balance needed to place accurate shots on target. I've found that USPSA Grand Masters, that I have known, are always wondering and looking for a better solution to the problem/balance...that is how they got to that level

oldfool
September 10, 2011, 03:17 PM
"Somehow I didn't read it that way"

nor did I
some do that, some don't do that
you and Ankeny don't do that

TonyT
September 11, 2011, 08:38 AM
Very much an individual choice issue as well as ones needs for proper concealment. I carried a Glock-36 for some time but found that i could not conceal relaibly at all times and finally opted for a Kahr PM-9. I still keep 45's in the car and at home and carry the G-36 when applicable. In terms of accuracy one has to remember that one is responsible for every shot from his gun and should choose a weapon which insures proper shot placement.

Ankeny
September 11, 2011, 07:09 PM
It's not worth him reviewing his own thread. I must wonder if the goal of the thread was to be able, after a long discussion, to post that sentence.

I would certainly like answers to these questions: I have answered most, if not all of the questions posed by "Prosser" along the way. My intent was to simply pose the original question and see how others feel, but of course with the thread drift, folks who don't bother to read the thread before they post, and so forth...the original intent has been lost on some.

I think where I went wrong was assuming that everyone would agree that "proficiency" suffers when certain variables enter into the picture, but it seems not everyone even agrees on the physics involved. From my personal experience, the ability to shoot fast and accurately is diminished when increasing power within the same platform, say going from a really light target load in a .45 steel 1911 to a "self defense load" in the same gun. The same is true when switching calibers like going from a 9mm lightweight commander to a .45 light weight commander. Similar problems arise when one goes to a lighter gun such as going from a steel 1911 in .45 ACP to the same gun in a lightweight alloy version.

As I have posted before, I went from a lightweight commander in 9mm to a steel commander in .45 Auto. As an old school "bigger is better" type of guy, I like the .45 ACP. I have carried 4 different commander sized guns in the last 20 years, two alloy framed .45s, one steel .45 (my current gun) and a 9mm lightweight commander. Of the four, I shoot the 9mm the best. When I went from 9 to 45 I made a conscious decision to sacrifice some "proficiency" in favor of more "power".

The thread isn't about me or about me trying to make a decision. The thread is about folks who have been faced with the decision of whether or not to sacrifice some "proficiency" in favor of "power". I am just curious how people decide which direction to take.

...are always wondering and looking for a better solution to the problem/balance... Guilty as charged. I guess I just over think things. I think the people who just pick a gun they like, in a caliber they a comfortable and confident with, then practice as they see fit are on the right track. Chances are any gun will do if the person will do...

JohnKSa
September 11, 2011, 07:29 PM
From my personal experience, the ability to shoot fast and accurately is diminished when increasing power within the same platform, ... when switching [to more powerful] calibers ... when one goes to a lighter gun ...Which means that your experience meshes well with that of other accomplished shooters, that it is in harmony with the laws of physics and that it reinforces the Major/Minor scoring philosophy found in some practical pistol competitions. ;)I think where I went wrong was assuming that everyone would agree that "proficiency" suffers when certain variables enter into the picture, but it seems not everyone even agrees on the physics involved.The physics governing recoil are well understood and their validity is not affected in the least by the fact that some people don't agree with/believe/understand them.

You didn't go wrong, you just ran smack up against the fact that people often believe what they want to believe in spite of what the facts say.

9mmepiphany
September 11, 2011, 07:45 PM
You didn't go wrong, you just ran smack up against the fact that people often believe what they want to believe in spite of what the facts say.
This is one of the ultimate truths of the internet forums...unfortunately this also exist in the real world

oldfool
September 11, 2011, 08:05 PM
"I guess I just over think things."

Keep right on thinking, Ankeny. There is no such thing as "over thinking it" except if/when letting it get in the way of yourself whilst the sight picture is getting there.

There are a LOT of us average-joe weekend shooters who will never be on the competition line against you, who benefit by the shared experience, if only via cyberspace... and also benefit by the shared questions.

(no disrespect intended to Prosser who has also contributed much to to our understanding of handgun shooting & caliber performance)

It's a gun forum, and not unlike the guns we shoot, it gets a little HOT every now and then, but the mission, the shared common purpose, is nonetheless the same.

I myself, in spite of already knowing everything worth knowing, have benefited greatly by the multiple perspectives to be found here on THR., even considering the oft delayed reaction time, you know.. "sometimers"

be well, and thanks

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