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Stopping power - top loads for each caliber

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by flyskater, Jan 6, 2012.

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  1. flyskater

    flyskater Well-Known Member

    Saw this

    States that a 223 has better stopping power than 357 mag or 45 acp based on actual shootings. I would think an expanding 357 or 45 would make bigger holes than a 223 and thus more lethal. (even a fragmenting 223)

    How credible is that data? I don't want to open up another can of worms, but I found the site accidently as I was in the market for a PLR-16. (yeah 9" barrel = less velocity).
  2. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Well-Known Member

    Well, yes, an expanding .357 or .45 make larger holes, at say .5 and .75.
    But the .223 has far more energy. Enough that it actually does impose hydrostatic force, resulting in a .223 hole--surrounded by hamburger.

    The 2000 FPS a .223 has over a .45 really does make a heck of a difference on the effectiveness. If a bullet at 2700fps upsets inside tissue, the energy isn't contained almost entirely to the lead, as it is (generally) with handgun rounds. Dumping that much energy inside something makes for a serious mess.
  3. Gunnerboy

    Gunnerboy Well-Known Member

    shoot someone with a 223 watch em shoot back , shoot someone with a 45 watch em hit the deck dead ... pretty simple to me
  4. fallout mike

    fallout mike Well-Known Member

    Gunnerboy, are you serious?
  5. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Well-Known Member

    Someone insert the beating a dead horse icon.

    .357 125 grains seems to be standard (pretty much anything in .357 or above does the job quite well.
    .45 ACP with the 230 grains is a fav among many.
  6. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    "Stopping Power" is a hotly debated idea that appears to be more wishful thinking than fact.

    Regarding that listing...


  7. 357 Terms

    357 Terms Well-Known Member


    A hangun round is a handgun round, A rifle round is something quite different.
  8. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member


    This indicated to me just how big the difference is. Another thing is that at 2500+ FPS, it is a lot easier to control what the bullet does than at 1000 FPS.

    One of the things, too, that I've read is that with a .223, sufficient velocity is necessary to achieve decent results. I don't remember the exact number off-hand, but in general an 18-20" barrel works good out to the listed effective range (Army application), a 14.5-16" barrel works good in short-to-medium range (hence, good for CQB or HD, not as good on the guy 400 yards away), and the shorter barrels start to lose effectiveness.

    This is specifically for the ammo the military uses. I believe heavier ammo would have better results.
  9. Stophel

    Stophel Well-Known Member

    Rifles are not magic wands either.
  10. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

    Technical reviews rarely contain the terms "bad joke" and "nonsense;" however, they are common terms in hatchet-jobs.

    Perhaps an anti-stopping power reference that at least pretends to be objective would be more helpful? :)
  11. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Heh. Perhaps. You'd have to take that up with Duncan MacPherson and the journal Wound Ballistics Review.

    However heated his introduction may be, the editors let it stand.

    Sometimes very pointed language is a warning sign that the conclusions drawn by the author are based on something other than fact.

    On the other hand, these days we seem to have shyed away from stating things unambiguously and with conviction.

    You'll have to read the published study to decide which you think describes Mr. MacPherson.
  12. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

    Well said! However, I would say it is more likely that someone has decided to emphasize only the facts that fit his belief; and wants to make sure that others "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." (Perhaps a version of cognitive dissonance, a very stubborn human frailty.)

    I have read "Letters to the Editor" wars in various professional journals where the urbane "my respected colleague" is understood to mean something very different--which you will likely get in its pure form if you talk to the author. :D

    However, yes: I find the general "you're stupid and your mother's stupid, too" tenor of the "stopping power" vs. "penetration is king" debate very odd. It is designed not to persuade by data, but convince by emotion. Such rhetorical ruses have a fine tradition, but don't really belong (IMHO) in any discussion that claims to be scientific.

    To the extent that someone who is a "professional scientist" engages in such verbal tactics, I place the blame on him: such a person should know the rules.
  13. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    Deus Machina is absolutely correct.

    Gunnerboy, take some gallon milk jugs full of water out and shoot them with .45 and .223. (Or my favorite, 22-250.) The .45 will rupture and splatter them. The high-velocity bullets of the .223 will make them explode. Yes, between handgun bullets, the .45 makes a bigger hole. But compared to RIFLE bullets, no, they don't.
  14. Gunnerboy

    Gunnerboy Well-Known Member

    who cares about the size of the hole its the fact that its combat proven that a 45 is far more effective in stopping power than a 223 and im not talking about ranges of 300m or 100m but effective ranges for both.
  15. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    No argument there! His tone doesn't help establish the truth of his position.

    So what did you think of the evidence he presented and the conclusions he drew?
  16. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Is it? What data are you using to establish this?
  17. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Well-Known Member

    Are you implying that 45's produce more rapid death than .223?
  18. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    Wait, not the

    rounds work in very un-mysterious ways
    a bullets maximum 'knock down' or 'stopping power'
    is no more than the equal force it exerts on YOU specifically your hand during recoil

    Best bet is to choose a modern bullet construction in the caliber of your choice
    so you can hit what you shoot at.

    that's stopping power, putting rounds on target.
  19. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    Sam, he must be talking about those secret .223 pistols they have been issuing everybody in the army, you know the ones that are SO secret we've never heard of them...


    now let the comparisons begin...
  20. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    I didn't get one. :(
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