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Confused... Handguns too powerful for self-defense?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Trey Veston, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    We only needed to read your first sentence in order to dismiss your entire "expertise" on this subject.
     
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  2. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    A near miss.

    The educated opinion is that all of the commonly used service calibers, when loaded with premium defensive ammunition, differ little in terms of terminal ballistics effectiveness.

    Well put.

    They are following the lead of the FBI. The FBI Training Academy at Quantico has concluded that (1) modern 9MM ammunition with premium bullets gives up nothing meaningful in terms of terminal ballistics to larger rounds; (2) the lower recoil allows a greater rapidity of fire, and therefore a higher probability of a timely physical stop; and (2) the pistol can hold more ammunition.

    Not really. "Hand strength" and frequency of shooting practice are not the dominant factors in firing rapidly with combat accuracy. The same laws of Newtonian physics govern all shooters.

    Assuming that the .25 does not encounter bone or heavy clothing. And "properly placed" rounds are a probabilistic thing-- the shooter cannot see the internal critical body parts to aim at them..
     
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  3. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    This statement is bizarre. Recoil control is a matter of technique and strength - because of Newtonian physics, not in spite of it. Hitting a baseball a long way is a function of technique and strength, "even though" the same laws of physics apply to all athletes.
     
  4. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    really? I hadn't thought of that. thank you captain obvious.
     
  5. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    well not without x-ray glasses anyway.
     
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  6. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Just pointing out that, while "placement" definitely has a huge impact on terminal performance, relying on "placement" as a reason to not worry about comparative differences of terminal performance effectiveness between different rounds isn't entirely satisfactory. People (not necessarily you) sometimes say the word "placement" as a way to stop all discussion about various aspects of terminal ballistics.

    It's not wrong, just as it's not wrong to say that it's best to avoid gunfights entirely.
     
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  7. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    Lots of talk - one anecdote. Saw a person (kind of new) take a handgun course with a Glock in 357 Sig. Person stunk. Instructor let said person use a 9 mm. Didn't stink. Recoil was the issue.
     
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  8. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    We are not speaking of recoil control per se--we are speaking of the overall effects of recoil on the ability to fire rapidly.

    Every shooter can fire a service-sized 9MM more rapidly than comparable .40 or .45.

    Hand strength does of course figure in, as does technique, but it is not really the dominant factor.

    In addition to angles associated with bore axis, the drivers are the masses and velocities of the projectiles and of the other effluents, and the mass of the handgun.

    Unlike the baseball, the motion imparted to the bullet results from a chemical rreaction, with the same velocity from any shooter.

    The best way to realize that is to go to a one or two day course in which numerous people--women, big men, smaller men, police officers, ranked competitors, and new students--shoot at steel plates.

    Sit back, watch, listen, reflect, and learn.

    One will learn that in general, the faster shooters are those that use the lighter calibers, and/or the larger, heavier guns.

    After a couple of days of that--during which I also participated--I realized that I was at a relative disadvantage with my .45, and so were some better shooters.
     
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  9. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    There's probably a lot of truth to that, but don't forget about the people that make a living writing about such matters.;)
     
  10. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I have, of course, observed a lot of the same things. As a general proposition, if you hold all else equal, someone shooting a less powerful round will be able to shoot subsequent shots sooner, and will have to devote less effort to avoiding marksmanship issues arising from pre-ignition anticipation.

    That said, with a suitable gun, excellent technique, and adequate grip strength, it is absolutely possible to shoot the same kind of splits with, say, major power factor .40 as with minor power factor 9mm for targets at close to moderate ranges... because in both cases the gun can be controlled to such an extent that trigger finger speed and visual processing time are the limiting factors. So I would disagree with the claim that "Every shooter can fire a service-sized 9MM more rapidly than comparable .40 or .45."

    To go to a relatively extreme example, let's look at some slow-motion video of Charlie Perez. Charlie is a big guy with exceptional hand strength. He's shooting a big gun. He's shooting major pf .40 cal ammo in this video. With the level of recoil control that he has, recoil is not the limiting factor in how fast he's able to shoot at moderate distances.



    Similarly, I took a Ben Stoeger class a couple of years ago where he ran his Production division gun (with 9mm ammo) one day and his Limited division gun (with 40 ammo) the next day. He didn't shoot worse or slower with the Limited gun, but he did say that he has to pay more attention to grip and recoil control.

    I would say that there's the level of recoil that a given shooter can handle fairly well with ease, the level that they can handle fairly well with some effort/attention, and the level that begins to impact performance even when attention is being paid. Those lines fall at different places for different people. There are a non-trivial number of people who can get that second line up above .40, .45, and even 10mm. Where that line is for a given shooter absolutely depends on things like technique and hand strength.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
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  11. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Rob Pincus does not measure splits, but he contends, on the basis of his own observations and those of his instructors of hundreds and hundreds of shooters over the years., that all shooters should be able to score more hits in the sane time with a 9MM than with .40, all other things being equal..

    He describes why he moved from a .45 to a ,40 to a 9.

    I skipped the .40.

    "LevelsT might be used to describe relative comfort, but the equation F=MA does not define a step function.
     
  12. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    I think it's also important to point out that some guns have a trade off for energetic payload. It goes beyond worrying about what is beyond your target and has something to do with making sure your gun/caliber of choice doesn't hinder you in the process.

    Case in point: I'm carrying a .357 snub nose today. I've got some ammo at home that will light up a fully lit range with a fireball that will engulf your entire field of view. Even out of the shorter barrel, it is putting some good heat on the bullet that will thump a thicker animal pretty well or penetrate cover a lot better than a .38 special. However, today I am carrying the gun stoked with .38 special +P. Why, I'm not out in the woods or in a situation sitting in my office where I need the raw power to try and push a 125gr bullet at 1200fps at the trade off of having my ears shattered and my vision temporarily impaired by the flash. I've still got 7 rounds of premium ammo loaded in my gun, but if I should need it I will achieve good penetration and energy on target without the added energy of the .357 affecting my senses. If I'm out in the woods, the .357 flash won't be as bad due to all the natural light. The sound won't pound off the steel and glass and concuss me. I might run into something that needs a bit more pep than a .38 special so it gets the flamethrower rounds.

    So to me, it's less about a gun being too powerful and more about a round being less than ideal for my needs. I tend to carry a .38 around work, .357 in the woods, and a .45 acp for bump in the night defense. I would love to have a 10mm. I think a big ol' Glock 20 would be comforting while on a bear hunt or out in the wilds during Moose rutting season or something. However, I live nowhere near big bears or moose (of any size), and I don't hunt. Besides being a really energetic round, it wouldn't fill much of a reasonable void for me. The important thing is that I shoot all of them often. I think "too much gun" is a real thing when it results in misses when you need it the most.
     
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  13. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    You lost me at "Pincus" and "does not measure splits." :p

    You're absolutely right, but please re-read what I had to say about recoil not being the limiting factor beneath a certain point.

    If you took a USPSA target, could you keep .22lr shorts in the A-zone at 7 yards any easier than .22lrs out of a full-sized pistol? I doubt it, because you can probably keep the muzzle from ever leaving the a-zone with the more powerful of those two rounds. The splits aren't coming from recoil, they're coming from the time it takes your finger to get off the trigger and back on, and/or the time it takes to visually process that the sights are within some acceptable state of alignment. Once you're at the point where the trigger speed is the limiting factor, then further reduction in F=MA won't add speed.

    So the non-stepping line of F=MA intersects with the line of each person's level of recoil control at some different spot. I contend that it is within the range of human capability to get the two-handed recoil control line for large, steel-framed pistols such that, at close to moderate distances, there is no speed difference between 9mm and some other service-caliber rounds.
     
  14. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Member

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    People go wacky over ballistics, some people hold thoughts and beliefs that simply aren't true, of course they're entitled to their opinion. Overpenetration can happen with any caliber, but I tend to think that if a handgun really is too powerful, it's more akin to the idea that the load in question isn't really suited for "social" use and/or the amount of recoil can severely limit a persons ability to place multiple good hits. I'm sure a .500" 400gr JHP moving out at over 1500 fps would be quite effective, I'm just not sure you're going to be able to have follow up shots that are worth a crap. Now of course the .40 S&W only has slightly less recoil.... I'm kidding of course... but I say that because many people embellish .40 recoil.

    People who say you can put more 9mm on target than .40 are really arguing split times and split times mean absolutely nothing to anybody other than competition shooters and even then you can reload to mitigate that. Anyone out there with just a small amount of training can put just as many .40's or .45's on target, quickly, as they could 9mm. Also 10mm is possibly the most overhyped cartridge in recent history, in no way is it too powerful. I mean it won't do anything .40 or .45 won't do, but yet it's also too powerful? No, it's just people with a lot of bad information.
     
  15. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Uh... splits are just the quantification of the latter.
     
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  16. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    I apologize for my snarky remark. I see so many posts that over think over read the subject matter at hand and start trailing off the topic.... I mistook yours for one.
     
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  17. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    That would be a reasonable hypothesis to test.

    However it is not borne out by the majority of observations.
     
  18. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    I cannot buy that, and neither does Rob Pincus or the folks at the FBI Training Academy at Quantico.

    Nor do I see any reasonable basis for such an assertion.

    Here's Rob: "Physics dictates that the 9mm is going to be a more manageable round (lower recoil) than the .40 S&W out of any particular firearm. So, no matter how much you train and how much you practice, everyone should be able to shoot a string of Combat Accurate 9mm rounds faster than they can fire a string of .40."
     
  19. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    It’s tested daily in USPSA matches.
     
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  20. JTHunter

    JTHunter Member

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    While the .380 and smaller may be marginal, I beg to differ on the 9mm. Using good quality hollowpoints, the 9mm has a slight advantage over the .357 due to the higher capacity of the magazine. In terms of power, the .357 outstrips the 9mm but is limited to 5 or 6 rounds. Only the compact 9mm (concealable types) have a low "round count" (7-8).
     
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  21. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Yet 9MM is now widely considered superior by most experts for real handgunning.
     
  22. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

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    I agree wholeheartedly. I wear my Anaconda on my hip at the store because it makes a lot of idiots take notice. That said, at home my go to self defense handgun is either my 9mm Extar or my .357 Ruger, depending on what room I'm in when things might (hopefully never) get exciting.(it's about proximity to which gun)
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
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  23. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    Too powerful based on over penetration is a myth that pales into insignificance when faced with the reality of the fact that the majority of shots fired in self-defense never hit their intended targets.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
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  24. brutus51

    brutus51 Member

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    ^ The 9mm punybellum is only considered superior by those who haven't shot the all American .38 Super. Just my opinion.:p
     
  25. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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    That's interesting. I'd love to see the study that went over self-defense shootings and figured out the number of shots fired and number of misses. Do you have a link to the study or a reference of it?
     
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