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Does Shot Placement Make .40 and +P Obsolete?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by BADUNAME4, Aug 17, 2009.

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  1. BADUNAME4

    BADUNAME4 Member

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    I wonder to what extent shot placement with a standard load 9mm, for example, is significantly more important than 9mm +P or "moving up" a bit more to .40. I currently have no 9mm or .40 and would like to keep it nice and simple. Having 124 gr. AE or WWB along with some standard 124 gr. Gold Dots might be just the ticket. Or, maybe the same in 165 gr. would be "better" if it's possible to determine "better".
    The discussion could go in many directions so have at it if you like. Of course, I could always just stick with .45's and call it a day (there is a lovely CZ 97B at my trusty local shop screaming for a home).
    Thanks.
     
  2. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

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    I'm not sure what your question is. Shot placement is important whatever caliber you use. Keep it simple and stick with .45.
     
  3. bri

    bri Member

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    I'd keep the .45, then also buy a 9mm and .40. Variety is the spice of life!
     
  4. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Shot placement is indeed a critical component in stopping a lethal attack, and doing so quickly. I have never heard of an instance where a solid hit in the opponent’s central nervous system didn’t stop hostilities.

    However, doing this requires precise marksmanship under what must be called “difficult conditions.” There are a lot of people out there who put too much dependence in so-called high performance ammunition because they lack the requisite marksmanship skills, and need a security blanket.

    It may be argued (and it will be) that high performance ammunition offers advantages regardless. That may be so, but there are enough cases on record to show that multiple hits don’t necessarily stop a fight, unless they are placed in the right spot, and when that happens the particular design of the bullet may not matter.

    The bottom line would seem to be: Pick a gun/ammunition combination you can place your shots precisely with, and then practice. :scrutiny: ;)
     
  5. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    Does .40 and +P make shot placement obsolete? Nope.

    Neither is the reverse true.

    .40 and all the +P ammo is here to stay.
     
  6. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

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    I agree 100% with Old Fuff. Shot placement is the most important factor in stopping power, by a wide margin. Forget the ballistic black magic and practice.
     
  7. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    A less-than-adequate shot with a .45 is no better than a less-than-adequeate shot with a 9mm.

    If you can hit your intended point of aim rapidly and consistently with your 9mm, but can't do so with the .45, then stick with the 9mm.

    If you can do so equally with either gun, then the .45 offers some advantages in penetration capability, size of wound cavity, and energy delivered.

    However, 9mm may offer some advantages of capacity (if you feel better defended with lots of follow-up shots), cost (practice is more important than cartridge or platform), and recoil (the harder it is for you to handle the recoil of a certain gun and cartridge combination, the less self-defense capacity you really have).

    -Sam
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2009
  8. chuckusaret

    chuckusaret member

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    Shot placement is stressed by all the professionals, but when the average guy is being mugged/attacked by the BG it is very hard to be concerned about COM shots. I carry a .40 cal with a 12 round mag and hopefully, if I am ever mugged, one of the twelve (12) rounds will hit the BG COM.
     
  9. jaholder1971

    jaholder1971 Member

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    Shot placement is primary beyond everything else.

    After that, it's whatever tears, cuts and crushes the most soft and hard tissue in and around its path without over penetrating into an innocent.
     
  10. blikseme300

    blikseme300 Member

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    A miss is over penetration

    Shot placement is critical. The caliber wars are just so much hot air. Super duper ammo types offer no advantage if you miss. A reliable automatic, firing hardball and hitting the intended part of the antagonist trumps any supposed advantage of large(r) calibers and specialty ammo.
     
  11. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    A non-sequitur.

    Shot placement is critical.

    The stopping effectiveness of a well-placed shot is influenced greatly by the projectile.
     
  12. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    IMO, that's not a very good plan if the other guy hits you COM the first shot or two.

    Like I was telling a girl yesterday (who does very well), a miss is not acceptable. If you miss the other guy may not have missed. So, consider if you miss, the fight is over, you have been shot.

    Nothing but every shot COM is acceptable.
    Of course we don't do that all the time but in practice I consider the fight is over the first shot I miss and I have lost.

    There is no scoring system, just winning or losing.
     
  13. David E

    David E Member

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    Me, I want it to be the FIRST shot ! (and every necessary shot thereafter)

    Then why aren't the "highly trained" police, FBI, etc all using .22 rimfires?

    Shot placement IS key, but less than ideal placement is helped by a better caliber/bullet choice.
     
  14. TXHORNS

    TXHORNS Member

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    When it comes to defending my life I like to have every possible advantage I can think of or afford. Of course shot placement is key, but I dont train everyday in high stress situations. I practice as much as I can, probably a few days each month. I carry a 45 for self defense as I want my first shot to do as much damage as it can, those seconds are critical if someone is shooting back at you and I want to stop the bg as quick as possible.
    So, to answer your question, I dont think either are obsolete because shot placement is not guaranteed by most shooters. Self defense advocates will always be looking for that extra edge in a gun fight. And I don't blame them.
     
  15. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Shot placement makes discussions about which caliber is better obsolete.
     
  16. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I honestly think that real-world difference between all of these things we love to argue about so much is of little significance. I think you would have to go to one end of the options. (115 gr 9mm FMJ), to the other (.45 ACP 230 gr HST) before you can see any discernible difference at all in effectiveness.

    IF shot placement is key, and IF good hits are very difficult to get in a real fight, then the best option is THE GUN YOU SHOOT BEST. I shoot a .45 1911 best. If you are interested in the other calibers and pistols, I would recommend buying them (if you have the means), or renting them (if you don't), to get a good feel for each of them. MY EXPERIENCE shows that a .40 pretty much always has snappier recoil than the same pistol chambered in .45.
     
  17. ThrottleJockey72

    ThrottleJockey72 member

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    Generally speaking of course, a heavier bullet is always "better" as it has more energy to transfer.
     
  18. Lonestar49

    Lonestar49 Member

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    Ok, but in a real, non-perfect world..

    ...

    In a perfect world, I would agree, but..

    Using the right, or left, edge of the (*grey box) lower pic of each JHP caliber bullet spread, let's say the *edge is a vital nerve or organ. Hit it, by just a tad/millimeter and the damaged nerve or organ starts to disable the BG. The more it is severed, the more the, slightly, less than perfect shot, begins to disable the BG's humanly function/s.

    [​IMG]

    Using the right or left *edge as the key-hit spot, now start moving each caliber over left or right, as in a near perfect shot, one millimeter at a time.

    As you can see, the larger caliber/spread will touch/hit the *edge before each of the smaller calibers does, for the very most part, shot for shot. All shots being equal until the edge is completely taken out and what you have left is a_truth that IF each caliber shown is the near perfect shot, to start off with, then the larger caliber/spread is gonna hit the *edge/nerve/organ first as the shot is moved left or right.

    Bottom line is: The larger caliber is gonna have a more forgiving result based on the same shot placement because they simply cover more area/spread and key contact points based on equal shot placements being slightly off, in a non-perfect world.

    Bigger bullets are more forgiving than smaller bullets, being less forgiving, based on all things being equal from the beginning in a equal, but non-perfect world/shot.. placement

    OMMV, of course, based on what caliber gun one can shoot with the best, first shot, accuracy, with quick, fast, follow-up shots, with accuracy, at what distance one considers the_key HD/SD distance/s. My choice and use is with a 40 caliber for, the very most part, up close and out to 35ft.

    But, I also use a 45cal, and 9mm, as well, with full confidence. But feel free to shoot the messenger.. ;)


    Ls
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2009
  19. LightningJoe

    LightningJoe Member

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    Well-placed shots can only be affected by penetration.
     
  20. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    There is always a trade-off:

    I don't think anyone has disputed that big diameter bullets make larger holes then smaller ones. But if you are going to put larger bullets into smaller guns you run into other problems such as recoil control. Carrying larger guns may not be practical for a number of reasons.

    I had the privilege and pleasure of knowing a number of interesting people that were well accomplished in this gunfighting business, and also the subject under discussion.

    In particular, one was an officer in the British Special Air Services. (SAS), and the other was a World War Two marine officer, a U.S. Border Patrolman, and later gun magazine writer named Bill Jordan.

    His usual armament was a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum, and he was quite handy with it. But for a back-up/off duty gun he suggested that a then new S&W airweight snubby chambered in .22 WRM had much to be recommended!

    Yup, .22 WRM, and he put that into writing.

    I was surprised to say the least, so when we happened to meet I ask him about it. He grinned and said, “Well I did catch some flak over that, but you know that little cartridge has practically no recoil, great penetration, and it will work if you put that little pill where it’s supposed to go.” He was right of course, and he had plenty of experience and knowledge to back his opinion. It should be noted that in plain clothes or uniform, his usual sidearm was a .357. But when he didn’t want to lug that much iron around he considered the smaller one would do.

    My other friend in the SAS also had plenty of experience. He was sort of a James Bond type without the girls and gadgets. He’d had a number of encounters in places like Northern Ireland, The Middle East, and Argentina. He explained that in his business, the mission defined what weapons (if any) would be carried. He was an absolutely deadly shot with any firearm you might hand him, and his motto was, “Train, practice, and then practice some more.” In plain clothes his handgun (if any) was likely to be 9mm/.38 Special or smaller – mostly smaller. He considered the old Colt 1903 Pocket Model in .32 ACP (hardball of course) to be a great choice, because as he put it, “It always works.” Another of his favorites was a Colt Police Positive/4 inch chambered in .38 S&W (not Special). “Handy little piece,” is the way he put it.

    By now I suspect that some of our members are hitting their respective heads against a wall. Obviously the above gentlemen weren’t always doing what is so often posted on The High Road as “the right way." But I also suspect that we don’t have many – if any – members that can match their credentials. :uhoh: ;)
     
  21. gbran

    gbran Member

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    A well placed .177 pellet is better than a miss with a 45acp, especially since we all know the larger the caliber, the less chance of a hit.

    I'm about sick of this BS.
     
  22. Lonestar49

    Lonestar49 Member

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    ...

    Agreed, and I believe the David and Goliath version..

    But sometimes ya have to find the laughter in old business..

    [​IMG]

    This should help.. lol


    Ls
     
  23. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    Unless you can get your assailant to attack you while hanging on a target carrier, "shot placement" is imprecise at best.

    In a real fight, you'll be doing good to achieve center of mass. Center of mass with a .40 S&W is better than center of mass with a 9mm standard velocity.
     
  24. speaksoftly

    speaksoftly Member

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    There should be, in my opinion, countless hours of training for anyone who carries a pistol. Shot placement is the most important aspect of any defense or offense and should be trained and trained repeatedly. The Israeli Mossad is one of the scariest outfits in the world and they use .22LR Berettas. If you need a huge round then perhaps some more time at the range is in order.
     
  25. minutemen1776

    minutemen1776 Member

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    My rule of thumb is to shoot the biggest and/or most powerful cartridge that you can shoot well. Stepping up to a bigger cartridge will do you no good if the extra power ruins your marksmanship. Also note that your "best" cartridge may be different according to the weapon you're using. For me, the biggest cartridge I can reliability shoot well in a compact auto is 9mm. However, in a full-size auto, I can get consistent hits with a .40 S&W.
     
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