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Regarding Caliber Wars...

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by click clack, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. KenW.

    KenW. Senior Member

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    I believe it is not necessarily the size of the holes (provided it is a centerfire caliber that will penetrate decently); but where they are placed. And how many.

    If I can place three center of mass hits with a 9mm in the same amount of time it takes to place two .45s, which is more effective?
     
  2. k_dawg

    k_dawg Member

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    .50 BMG is the perfect anti-personel round.

    All others are a compromise.
     
  3. coalman

    coalman Member

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    I agree it's better (in terms of individual proficiency) to be more effective with a lesser caliber than less effective with a greater caliber. Most shooters are average. So, that's a valid argument in favor of 9mm for most shooters. And, the additional capacity may help offset skill level, not to mention possibly being favorable in the dreaded "gang 'o thugs" style attack of urban lore. I like and use 9mm in higher capacity handguns like a CZ (CCW), Glock (range/game), Beretta (HD/SHTF) and Sig. I prefer .45acp in the 1911 (CCW) and in the Glock 30 (CCW).
     
  4. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Senior Member

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    The true "king" in all of this is a thorough understanding of the interplay among the variables. The "queen" would then be proper application of that understanding. The "jester" is thinking that any one of the variables always matters most.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  5. Tcruse

    Tcruse Member

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    For any caliber discussion to make sense, you have to agree on what is the measure of effectiveness. If you are talking about power/size then .357Sig, .40, .45, and 10mm will be better than 9mm. If you use the FBI standard, then all of these with the best bullet design will perform the same. (ref: http://www.winchester.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/flash-SWFs/law_bullit.swf )

    My opinion is that for self defense, you can have too big and too powerful. You want your bullet to go deep enough to hit vital areas and to not go out of your target to hit unintended targets. You want expansion so as to make a big hole. As a civilian, shooting through barriers (like cars) is probably not something that would be easily justified.

    For large 4 legged threats, then get a 10mm or some other powerful caliber (assuming that you do not have a rifle as an option)
     
  6. David E

    David E Senior Member

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    3 hits of .45 in the same time frame as 3 hits with the 9mm
     
  7. fastest45ever

    fastest45ever Member

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    Favorite pistol rounds:
    .500 Linebaugh Maximum
    .475 Linebaugh.
    .500 JRh
    .45 Super

    Anyone want to try just one?
    ;)

    I get REAL sick of this stuff. You have handgun rounds that START at 1700 ft-lbs of energy, and go up to 3200 ft-lbs. In other words we finally have rifle power in packable five guns. Also they are
    bullets the size of class 5 stopping rifles. In other words, they do a LOT of damage.

    My friends like to shoot buffalos with these rounds(not the 45 Super). They are, after many observations, equal too, or more effective then my .375 H&H rifle.

    So, lets get this straight: size does matter, both in bullet weight, diameter, and length, and when you add velocity you get a rifle in a packable five gun.

    As to how effective these kinds of rounds are on humans:

    The only .375 H&H on a human report I could find was an AD, while hunting in Africa. Blew the guys arm clean off, and he died from blood loss.

    Kind of curious if you all can find a cases where people require multiple hits from .375 H&H to stop them...
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  8. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Senior Member

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    Tcruse-

    That is not what defensive pistol bullets do. ALL service-caliber pistol premium defensive ammunition will completely traverse a human target under most circumstances. You can NEVER plan on a bullet stopping in the target. If I thought a cartridge was likely to stop in the target, I wouldn't carry it. I want a wound channel from one side to the other, with a gaping exit wound. If it doesn't, then there is tissue that didn't get damaged, blood vessels that didn't get cut.
     
  9. 481

    481 Senior Member

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    M,

    I always enjoy your insights- mainly 'cause I agree with 'em. :)
     
  10. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Senior Member

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    Let's just say I've done a lot of learning and growing in the last 20 years or so. :)
     
  11. Tcruse

    Tcruse Member

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    True, if the bullet does not give an exit wound, there may be some blood vessels that are not affected. Now, is the last 1/2" worth enough to really make a difference. I do not think so. Now, if the bullet exits and hits a child playing across the street, then I do care.
    If you hit the spine with a 22LR or a .45 ACP/GAP the BG will stop.
    If you miss a vital spot, the .45 ACP/GAP will produce a bigger hole and blood loss will be somewhat quicker, but quick enough to keep the BG from killing you?
    Now, my theory is that you need to plan on multiple shots and the gun that provides more rounds will keep me in the fight for a longer period of time and also help the odds of hitting a vital spot.
    I do think that there is a lower limit for SD carry, probably 9X19 (maybe .380). Also, I think that it is easy to go too big and too powerful. I think that any of the common carry calibers (9mm, 357SIG, .40S&W, .45 ACP, .45GAP) will work and be justifiable to a jury if necessary. Now, not sure where the 5.7X28 fits into the picture.
    The fewer issues that can be exploited by the DA the better. I think that much justice is some level of gray in our legal system.
     
  12. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Senior Member

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    I do. Exit wounds are QUITE nasty.

    In the real world, you have to remember a couple of things. You have to follow rule number four ALL OF THE TIME. On the range. As a civilian, as a cop, as a soldier in Ramadi. There are no circumstances under which you get a pass on knowing what is behind your target. No matter what bullet you use, you cannot assume that it WON'T overpenetrate. You can't stand grandma behind the target because you think it's one of the 'non-penetrating' loads. You STILL have to make sure that the area behind your target is clear. In real life, you are responsible for everything that bullet hits. And the truth is, innocent bystanders getting hit by stray bullets is actually pretty rare.

    SO, if you have to follow all of the safety rules ALL of the time anyway, and you are fighting for your life, and you are armed with a handgun which is an inferior tool to begin with, how could you not want the most effective possible ammunition you can get?

    I can think of one case where someone was convicted for what kind of bullet they used. You know what? A DA who REALLY wants to hang you up is going to think of something no matter what you do. This is a question of priorities. You can't get sued or prosecuted if you don't survive. LIVE FIRST, THEN call your lawyer. A defensive shooting is the second worst thing that can ever happen to you, and you should avoid it as such. You are more likely to declare bankruptcy, get divorced, lose your job, and have to move as a result, no matter what kind of bullet you use. There is no cartridge choice that will shield you from the negative effects.

    You can try to hit the spine all you want. It's difficult to consistently do that shot on a paper target on the range. In real life, the target won't stand still for you. You are doing good if you hit the 8 ring.

    Yes, it will produce a bigger hole. The best thing you can do to increase the likelihood that you hit something the bad guy needs to keep hurting you is change 'hole' into 'holes'.

    If you are trying to hit something vital, isn't using a bullet that has limited penetration counterintuitive? ALL defensive ammo you listed, with the possible exception of the .380 (and even then it's not guaranteed) will completely traverse a human target under most circumstances. And you WANT them to.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  13. dom1104

    dom1104 Senior Member

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    I justify,
    a small piece of lead.
    Because all that I shoot
    Is already dead.

    :)
     
  14. AKMtnRunner

    AKMtnRunner Member

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    Once we get over a threshold in power, shot placement is king. One needs to know their limitations for accuracy before dismissing the advantages of having a higher caliber or powerful cartridge. Otherwise, we'd all carry .22 caliber cartridges and train for head shots. But we don't. We have to accept that there will be a margin of error in our shot placements.

    Someone posted a link in another thread to a video of Navy Seals or some other Special Forces training with 9mm. The question in that discussion was should they be using a more capable round. Well, one of the soldiers interviewed was completely satisfied, and stated "after two shots in the heart and one in the head, they won't know the difference". I'll be the last to argue that those folks need anymore with their skill. But it needs to be noted, that they use no less than a 9mm. I would submit that shot placement is king, caliber (power, more accurately) is queen, and capacity is the jester.
     
  15. SHR970

    SHR970 Member

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    The Hollywood shootout proves the bolded part of this out. 38's, 9mm's, and 12 gauges with buckshot were not effective. 40's, 357 Sig, 45's would not have made a bit of difference.

    So very true. Drugs, mental state, physical shape, and other factors are the reason that there are so many cases of people doing amazing things AFTER they have been shot. That's why a 12 gauge with buckshot is not rated 100% effective in a timely manner with one shot.
     
  16. k_dawg

    k_dawg Member

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    The damage beyond the target due to overpenetration is minor compared to the damage caused by missing the intended target.
     
  17. kingcheese

    kingcheese Member

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    Sounds good, but if your nervous, and shooting to protect yourself, i know, i want a gun that can deliver the most power possible
     
  18. splattergun

    splattergun Senior Member

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    para bellum
     
  19. sgt127

    sgt127 Senior Member

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    All said and done, I have seen quite a few people shot. If the bullet hits the right spot, AND goes in deep enough, it shuts them off. A big fast bullet, that doesn't hit the magic spot works just as well as a slower, smaller bullet that doesn't hit the spot.

    With modern ammo, most of the common defense calibers .38 and up, will, generally, go deep enough to reach "the spot" (whatever it may be).

    You can shut off a biological creature several ways.

    "Oh poop, he has a gun, I'm out of here" (only works on humans)
    Get shot, it hurts, I'm done.
    Get shot in the brain or spine, body shuts off, they are done.
    Poke holes until enough hydraulic fluid leaks out, they quit working.

    So, lets say we get a shot at the spine. A 9mm misses. Would that extra 1 MM in a .40 have hit the spine? Maybe. Would the extra 3 MM of a .45 have hit it? Maybe.

    Can you shoot the 9mm dramatically faster than a .45? If you can shoot 3 9mm's for every 2 .45's do your odds of hitting the spine (aeorta, brain etc) go up? Again, maybe.

    Will the three 9 mm holes cause more fluid to leak out faster than the two .45's?

    I don't think there is an answer. No matter how hard we try, no matter how hard we seek the single answer, its not there. If there were truly a definitive answer, we would all be carrying the same thing because it has proven it is the best, under all conditions for all people.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  20. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Senior Member

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    Heh!

    A brother of mine once explained to me how they thought of the 20 mm Vulcan (M61A1) in the Air Force. He described it as an "anti-personnel weapon". The 30 mm was the weapon of choice for the hardware.

    Ahhhh...6,000 rounds per minute of 20 mm anti-personnel rounds weighing in at 3.5 ounces each and delivered at 3,450 fps.

    Now THAT's perfection!


    Well, from an Air Force perspective, anyway. I'm Navy myself...I say the 16 inch guns top that. What they lack in rate of fire they make up for in range (20+ miles) and mass (up t0 2,700 pounds). Crunch THAT through your energy calculations at 2,950 fps. Yeah, baby!


    'Course, portability and concealability suffers somewhat with these...


    :neener:
     
  21. 481

    481 Senior Member

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    I like that. Very concise.
     
  22. coalman

    coalman Member

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    Nice, concise post sgt127.

    Given typical aggregate expansion of 1.5x - 1.6x for both, more net surface area is contacted by two .45's vs. three 9mm. What's hit will always matter, but you will never know what's hit until it's hit. I often see this as two camps of assumption: 1) you will have multiple hits on target (9mm = capacity/control) or 2) you will make every hit most effective (.45acp = caliber).
     
  23. sgt127

    sgt127 Senior Member

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    That pretty much sums it up.....
     
  24. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    People assume caliber does
    not matter in causing harm,
    Bear knows what matters.

    In English, try shooting a brown bear with a .22 and see how much shot placement matters. Remember you only get one try. Now tell us all whether you want a .22 or a .44 (magnum). Size matters. I think deep down we all know that. And why do people think they can be more accurate with a smaller round anyway? And why do people think modern bullets only come from 9mm handguns? Didn't other calibers get improved too?
     
  25. CZ223

    CZ223 Senior Member

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    This is only my opinion

    and it probably does not matter but, I believe in carrying the largest, most potent, caliber that you can shoot accurately in a gun that you are competent with. That is why I carry a 1911 with 2 spare mags. When it comes to guns carried for protection I rate them based on how accurately I shoot them, Caliber, capacity and, of course, concealability. With that said, the Glock 23 comes out on top bar none. The only reason that I don't carry it on a daily basis is that I shoot the 1911 slightly better and I don't have a VMII for my Glock 23.:( Reliability is also a factor and again, the the Glock comes out on top, for me anyway. I have nothing against the 9mm, 357, 38 special or even the lowly 380, they all serve a purpose and I have owned, still own, and will own all of them into the future. When it comes to my primary though it will be a 40 or 45 and I need no other reason than that is what I like.
     

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