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Most EFFICIENT handgun caliber?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by shadow9, Dec 24, 2012.

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  1. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    There is no point in efficiency if it does not to the job. For example my Mazda gets 42mpg but I am not pulling my boat with it! It would be neither safe nor efficient when put to that task. When it comes to self defense pistol cartrages life begins at 9mm which is a superbly efficient cartrage. My self defense load is a hefty 147gr XTP propelled by only 4.7gr of Longshot powder it squeezes out just over 1000fps.
    I get more impressive numbers from the 40 S&W for sure but I am burning nearly twice the powder to do so.
     
  2. 918v

    918v Member

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    The 40 can be pretty efficient with 180s and Long Shot powder.
     
  3. CountGlockulla

    CountGlockulla Member

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  4. Surculus

    Surculus Member

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    PHP:
    That's pretty cool! What's the original source 4 the brass?
     
  5. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I've always considered the .44Spl and .45ACP to be very efficient. Unlike cartridges like the .357Mag and 9mm, the big bores do not need a lot of pressure or velocity to be effective. The ACP makes far better use of its capacity than the cavernous .45Colt. The .44Spl is much more useful than the .44Mag for most purposes. In mid-frame guns like the Colt SAA, it'll do everything the .45Colt will with less powder a greater safety margin.
     
  6. mdi

    mdi Member

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    Seems like a lot of posers have effeciency mixed up with versitility. How do you measure effeciency? Most energy to the target per charge of powder? Effecient as best preformance per dollar? :confused:
     
  7. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    .22 Short. Centerfire would be the .25 Auto with a light bullet and charge.
     
  8. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

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    I think it may be 40 S&W when looking at service cartridges. When looking at W231, it takes about 5.0 grains to drive a 180 grain bullet around 950 fps. It takes 6.0 grains to achieve 900 fps with a 185 grain bullet in 45 ACP. Whereas for 9mm, it takes 4.8 grains to get 1080 fps when using only a 125 grain bullet.

    I know you didn't want math, but it looks like 40 S&W does a pretty good job efficiency wise when looking at service cartridges.
     
  9. flipajig

    flipajig Member

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    My vote is for the 44 mag and my choice for Dilivery would be a Thompson Contender.
    From mild to wild or mice to Moose it will get the job done.
    As for powder several will work from fast burners for mild and slower for the wild.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  10. Hungry1

    Hungry1 Member

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    I missed that issue, what did they say? :)

    Thanks
     
  11. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Member

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    I would have to say that for pistols, 9mm would be my opinion of efficient.

    I would have to say the .223 as well (contender with pistol grip. A buddy in the military and I used to shoot .223 with his contender all the time at cactus and jack rabbits in West Texas) For a small bullet, it can pack a punch.
     
  12. Naybor

    Naybor Member

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    Earlier I mentioned .22LR, but thinking about it, for most small game + coyotes, I would consider a .22 Mag for "efficiency".

    For practice, still .22 LR.
     
  13. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    Sorry, but I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all answer.

    The most efficient is the one YOU prefer & will practice with!

    The gun I think is most efficient, you may not like.
    And the only gun worth anything is one YOU will practice with.
     
  14. 918v

    918v Member

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    22 Short
     
  15. shadow9

    shadow9 Member

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    Most velocity for powder use, which can be affected by best use of case space. This, in theory, offers the best impact/terminal effect given recoil.

    I focus on recoil largely because it generally determines the weight of your platform you can accurately shoot with (which, IMO, lighter-is-better for most general situations. Even in BR, a lighter-kicking caliber will still put the hole in the paper, and with less jostling to the shooter at the starting line)


    To recap:
    The "most efficient for harvesting X game" isn't necessarily being focused on, as a well placed 6.5 Grendel HAS dropped bison, and I'm sure there's more than one 1st-year deer out there that's either rotting or seriously wounded from a poorly-aimed .300WM that some 1st-year yahoo figured would be "most efficient" for deer.

    With a well-placed shot (which is more easily accomplished with less recoil) the 6.5x55 or .308 CAN BE as effective as even the great .30-06, with a lot less resources used and recoil given (given, of course, use of a quality bullet).

    THUS: 9mmP really seems to take it, and .45 Auto isn't too far off either.
     
  16. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Seems like many did not understand the question.
     
  17. Hastings

    Hastings Member

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    I know this might create a bit of controversy, but if the 45acp is considered a possible second to 9mm in terms of efficiency based on case capacity, powder volume, bullet weight and velocity, I will have to put my vote in for 45gap over 45acp. Given the same bullet weight (up to 200gr) it takes me between .5 and .9 grains less powder in the 45gap to match the velocity of the same bullet in 45acp (depending on powder type, bullet weight, and desired velocity). I tested 45acp, 45gap and 45colt with the same bullets, same powder, and same goal velocity using a chrono to verify the results. 45gap was the most efficient while 45colt obviously has the most flexibility.

    I'm not commenting on the versatility, availability, or platform options of the 45gap cartridge, but it definitely gives equal velocity for less powder with the lower weight bullets. By the way, it also works well with hardcast bullets up to 255gr. The velocity potential starts to drop as you get above 225gr in bullet weight, but a 255gr keith-style swc at 800 fps is nothing to sneeze at.

    Before you pounce on me for mentioning this cartridge, let it be know I much prefer the 40s&w and the 45colt cartridges to any others.
     
  18. Esoxchaser

    Esoxchaser Member

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    Taking the wallet into consideration I would say the most efficient are the 9MM Luger and .22 rimfire. That's why they are 85% of my hand gunning.
     
  19. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Member

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    I see it as how much power you can develop with the smallest case (brass size)
    Or at least no wasted space....

    The old cartridges like the 45 colt have huge case sizes because they were developed for black powder.

    The 9mm Luger is fairly good, as is the 40 S&W cartridge.
    While I have not played with it much, I think the newish 327 Federal might be a contender.

    The 500 S&W could also be considered since it delivers the power of old hunting rifles in a pistol size case.

    The old 7.65mm Mauser (from the C-96 broom handle pistols) and the nearly identical Soviet cartridge are also pretty hot for their case sizes.
     
  20. tbob38

    tbob38 Member

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    9mm easily over the 45acp because it operates at a higher pressure. 40 S&W should be right up there too. Rimfires run at too low a pressure to compete.
     
  21. MrCountyCop

    MrCountyCop Member

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    I have always liked the 45 ACP....easy to load and easy to shoot
     
  22. MrCountyCop

    MrCountyCop Member

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    38 Special! They did another last year or the year before and 38 Special was 1st or 2nd in that one also.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  23. USSR

    USSR Member

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    I'm with Kachok. I don't worry about efficiency. Suitability for the task at hand and sufficient accuracy are my only concerns.

    Don
     
  24. CountryUgly

    CountryUgly Member

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    10mm, take it to the bank, done deal, nuff said.
     
  25. Clark

    Clark Member

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    56-50 centerfire brass cut down to .45" long.
    I made the dies that use one press on top of another to form the lead ball into a bullet while in the case.
     
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