Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Best handgun SHTF caliber and weight

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by dodging230grainers, Nov 7, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. dodging230grainers

    dodging230grainers Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    YMMV, but I think (normally being a 45acp guy) that the best bullet one can have for SHTF in his/her handgun is a 9mm 147 grain FMJ bullet. It provides incredible penetration through a variety of obstacles, is a quieter bullet, has less recoil than snappier 124 grain loads, and did I mention penetration? Normally I would choose FMJ .45acp as the way to go but recently I gave it some thought and I have come to the conclusion that in SHTF penetration is number 1, not wound channel size. I'm not talking about everyday situations, only SHTF. And please, no caliber wars:neener:
    What do you guys think?
     
  2. HighVelocity

    HighVelocity Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    2,176
    Location:
    IDPA junkie in DFW, TX
    I'll buy into your 9mm theory as long as I can have a Glock 18 and a backpack full of loaded 33 round mags. :evil:
    Seriously though, let me be the first to say "Shot placement is more important than caliber".
     
  3. Rob1035

    Rob1035 Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,091
    Location:
    MD, USA
    with the rifle caliber debates, I normally side with the folks who want the smaller, lighter cartridges, with this though, i dunno how much of a weight advantage 9mm has over .45. Capacity yes. I myself am a '9 is fine' camper, its what I shoot the best, and what I have.

    A g19 with a ton of mags would be my SHTF pistol. My 26 would be in my boot or something.
     
  4. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    14,650
    Location:
    Centennial, CO
    I'd be tempted to grab the 45 but I shoot the 9mm more. Practice practice practice.
     
  5. Beach

    Beach Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
    Messages:
    12
    .45 acp, Glock 21 all the way, if it has to stay concealed for the time being. Otherwise I would go for a rifle if I knew I was going to a gunfight.

    My G27 is the always gun though. It would not be a bad contender in the SHTF scenario with the 29 rd mag on board. Normally I dont carry a spare mag.
     
  6. Rob1035

    Rob1035 Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,091
    Location:
    MD, USA
    I actually curious why in "SHTF" penetration would be more important?
     
  7. f4t9r

    f4t9r Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,670
    curious why in "SHTF" penetration would be more important?
    +1
    I would think it would be better to put them on the ground and that would make me go 45
     
  8. dodging230grainers

    dodging230grainers Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    I do not mean penetration in flesh, I mean penetration of objects. This would be exceptionally true if you live in a big city with countless numbers of large structures and cars.
     
  9. Rob1035

    Rob1035 Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,091
    Location:
    MD, USA
    ok, I guess it depends on your definition of SHTF.
     
  10. RyanM

    RyanM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,412
    Location:
    PA
    If you want maximum penetration, why 9mm over 158 gr .357 magnum then? 147 gr @ 990 fps vs. 158 gr @ 1235 fps = no contest. I could see why you wouldn't want .41 or .44, since those are a little more scarce, but .357 and .38 are common enough that you'd have a fair chance of scavenging or trading for some.

    According to my Crazy Insane Terminal Ballistics Calculator (patent pending), performance of handgun rounds is as follows (all figures assume the bullets don't tumble or deform):

    147 gr @ 990 fps 9mm
    ballistic gelatin: 33.6"
    generic wood: 12.1"
    mild steel: 0.113" (assuming a solid block; more penetration for sheet steel)

    158 gr @ 1235 fps .357
    ballistic gelatin: 41.5"
    generic wood: 17.1"
    mild steel: 0.185"

    180 gr @ 1015 fps .40 S&W
    ballistic gelatin: 33.0"
    generic wood: 12.0"
    mild steel: 0.115"

    230 gr @ 860 fps .45
    ballistic gelatin: 29.3"
    generic wood: 9.6"
    mild steel: 0.083"

    So 9mm and .40 S&W are just about tied, and both have an advantage over .45. But .357 magnum is the king, in this case.
     
  11. dodging230grainers

    dodging230grainers Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    I guess the old king (357 MAG) must have slipped my mind...I suppose I was referring to autoloaders. Without a doubt though if I had to have a revolver in a SHTF situation it would be a GP-100 with a 4" barrel and 180 grain FMJ loads running around 1100 FPS:what:
    But in an autoloader, the 147 grain @ 1000 FPS 9mm FMJ takes the cake.
     
  12. Rob1035

    Rob1035 Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,091
    Location:
    MD, USA
    There's always the Georgia Arms (147gr @ 1050fps) or Double Tap (147gr @ 1135fps) 9mm options, but then I noticed the original poster mention FMJ ammo. In the case of using FMJ only, I'd probably want a bigger caliber.

    Actually, if SHTF (however your version works), I'd want at least one long gun to use before I needed to worry about which handgun round works the best.
     
  13. browningguy

    browningguy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Messages:
    4,572
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I've got a couple of 9mm's, but my regular carry guns are .40's. And I'd stay with a good HP round in either case. A pistol is the last line of defense, it's what you use to fight your way to a real gun. With expanding ammo you have an improved chance of incapacitating the BG quickly if/when you hit him.
     
  14. roscoe

    roscoe Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    2,301
    Location:
    NV
    I vote for a .357 - far more versatile. In SHTF you might have to hunt, shoot through car doors, who knows what. Get a variety of .357 ammo from 125 grain .38 special hollowpoints to 200 grain .357 hardcast and you should be able to handle it all. Plus, you can get a lightweight 7 or 8-shot revolver if weight is really the main issue.
     
  15. zahc

    zahc Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Messages:
    1,961
    Location:
    TX
    Glock 20. 15+1 10mm.

    It's like a .357 revolver. With three instant reloads.
     
  16. el44vaquero

    el44vaquero Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Messages:
    616
    Location:
    NE Oklahoma
    +1 .357 mag
     
  17. dodging230grainers

    dodging230grainers Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Speaking of which, anyone used Speer Blazer Aluminum 9mm 147 grain FMJ target loads? They are dirt cheap and are loaded hot from what I hear.
     
  18. gunfan

    gunfan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    678
    Location:
    Western U.S.A
    Do ya think?! :rolleyes: :evil: ;) :neener:
     
  19. Justang

    Justang Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Messages:
    387
    Location:
    So Cal
    I was thinking the same thing. Why have a 9mm when you can have a 10mm...
     
  20. Joey2

    Joey2 member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Messages:
    306
    Location:
    Hawaii
    I have a question about the 9mm. I am not slamming

    the people who prefer it. Here is my question: Since the 9mm. became the carry of law enforcement we see more people shot repeatedly with the 9mm. before being brought down.

    I have a 9mm. and would not want to have my life depend on it. I know, I know the ballestics are far superior to the .38 Spl. I prefer the .38+P, .357 and the .45.

    One of the advantages that is repeated is that you can carry more rds. in the handgun. Do you really need more rds. capacity if the .45 does the job with 1 rd.?
     
  21. Rob1035

    Rob1035 Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,091
    Location:
    MD, USA
    I shoot my 9mm better than any .45 I've shot. For me, I'd rather have good shot placement than a 'superior caliber'. Thats a whole nother debate.
     
  22. _N4Z_

    _N4Z_ Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Messages:
    1,014
    Location:
    Michigander lost in... The Yonders, Oklahoma
    357mag

    .357mag, 158 grain, rem semi-jack hp (with the pretty scalloped jackets :D )

    launching from a 6" gp100.
     
  23. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Messages:
    4,755
    Location:
    Utah
    Ryan M:

    Close, but my 158/357 loads do 1550. Nice horsepower there.

    I also vote 357 for SHTF. Why? Look at rounds per pound and rounds per square foot of storage space. VERY tough to beat. And in my book 9mm ain't got enough oomph. This statement is NOT A FLAME WAR STARTER, just my opinion. If you are comfortable with 9mm, fine by me.
     
  24. kevin387

    kevin387 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Messages:
    194
    Add one more vote for the 357 in 158 grain jhp or jsp with the rifle to match.
     
  25. Borachon

    Borachon Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Messages:
    537
    Location:
    South Mississippi
    Best kind of ammo?

    Something weird enough that others won't loot it before you get there.

    Some Japanese ammo maybe.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page