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What caliber in a handgun is considered the BEST man stopper?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by ORHunter79, Apr 1, 2012.

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What caliber is considered the BEST man stopper?

Poll closed May 1, 2012.
  1. .22 LR

    2 vote(s)
    2.2%
  2. .380 ACP

    1 vote(s)
    1.1%
  3. 9 mm

    3 vote(s)
    3.3%
  4. .40 S&W

    3 vote(s)
    3.3%
  5. .45 ACP

    25 vote(s)
    27.2%
  6. .38 Special

    1 vote(s)
    1.1%
  7. .357 Mag

    32 vote(s)
    34.8%
  8. .44 Mag

    4 vote(s)
    4.3%
  9. 500 S&W

    17 vote(s)
    18.5%
  10. Other (please list caliber and reason)

    4 vote(s)
    4.3%
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  1. ORHunter79

    ORHunter79 Member

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    Ok, so what brought this is on, is I keep reading the .357 Mag is the best man stopper in a handgun. There are so many choices out there. I know most folks won't carry a 500 S&W or a .44 mag but for home defense wouldn't that work better than a .357 mag? Would a .357 Sig be better since it has a higher capacity?

    So I'd like to settle the debate once and for all what you consider to be the best man stopper (outside rifles and shot guns).

    What handgun would you reach for when something goes bump in the night and why? There are so many things to consider, caliber, capacity, semi vs revolver, barrel length, etc.

    Also, this is outside "what you can shoot the best", "what ever you practice with the most", "whatever you carry everyday", "shot placement" etc.

    I think we all know, if you miss, it's useless.


    Please vote and tell us why.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  2. RhinoDefense

    RhinoDefense Member

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    There is no best. Handguns are poor fight stoppers. We use them because they are convenient.
     
  3. ORHunter79

    ORHunter79 Member

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    Thanks but that doesn't help really. I guess I should have said the best "handgun" caliber. I'll change the title.
     
  4. RhinoDefense

    RhinoDefense Member

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    You don't get it. It doesn't matter what cartridge the handgun is chambered in, there is no best handgun and there is no best handgun cartridge. The "best" doesn't exist and will never be developed.
     
  5. ORHunter79

    ORHunter79 Member

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    That's only until I invent the DEATH RAY!!!!!:evil:

    But thanks anyway, you are entitled to your opinion.
     
  6. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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    I have a .45acp in my nightstand. ;)
     
  7. Big JJ

    Big JJ Member

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    The answer would be specific to the user and how they will carry the gun.
    You would also have to consider the purpose (i.e. defensive vs combat,L.E vs privete citizen) of the gun.
    For me only it is a 5 shot revolver in .357 mag. loaded with .38 special +P ammo.
    I prefer the Ruger LCR but there are other guns that fit this purpose.
    My reasons are:
    It is for self defense only.
    It fits the pocket in a holster without printing.
    It is light enough to carry all day.
    The caliber will do the job.
    Shoots every time with no jams,racking,safty, or any other problems a common citizen would find challenging in a stressful situation.
    I am not in a combat situation.
    If I was in combat I would only use this as a backup gun and I would go to a 40 or 45 caliber gun.
    This works for me and is just my opinion may not be right for everyone.
     
  8. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I'm not trying to be a jerk, but there are so many things that are subjective in this question, that you may as well not even ask it.

    A 500 is by far the most powerful, but would blow your ears, and windows out so is this good? Control for follow up shots would suck unless you are Andre the Giant. Over penetration would be a huge concern, and the lack of expansion and high velocity would likely cause it to pass through the intruder and do no more damage, and possibly less energy transfer, than an expanded 44 hp.

    44 will still blow your ears up too but control would be "easier". Overpenetration can be big.

    You know,this could take for ever to write.............

    Here's the bottom line. The theoretic best man stopper doesn't exist. Statistically, .357 and .45 acp both have outstanding track records for ending fights with fewer shots. No, I'm not going to sight a bunch of references. If you want to know for sure, Google is your friend.

    The "best man stopper" in my mind is a combination of 3 things.

    1. It is the most powerful caliber handgun that YOU can accurately shoot, and consistantly hit your target, in a very quick way.

    2.It is the model handgun you can do this with.

    3. It is the caliber that you are the most confident you can use effectively and well enough to remove collateral damage fears. This empowers a person to use the gun for self defense and not be affraid. Nothing is better for the cause of gun rights than an armed citizen who stops a threat and uses their gun effectively and responsibly.

    Caliber is only one dimension of a good "man stopper".

    For me it is an FNP45 loaded with 45 acp +p, and also a Ruger SP101 in 357, loaded with 125 gr hps. My 460 is a bit much, but works if loaded with 45 Colt +p.
     
  9. chhodge69

    chhodge69 Member

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    Reach for a shotgun
     
  10. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    "once and for all" eh? There have been some who have debated that for over two centuries, so good luck with that project!

    But wait! I'm confused. Is the question what we all here on the forum consider the "best man stopper"? Or is it... "what you (meaning my own personal opinion) to be the best man stopper"?

    If it's the latter I can tell you my own uninformed opinion. It might not be right but it has the value of being mine.

    Inside a rifle or shot gun I find it too dark to see anything well enough to take a good aim, so I'm glad we are outside of the long gun. I find the best "man stopper" to be...wait for it...a baseball bat. But if I have to use a handgun I'd say any standard service caliber in a gun I can shoot accurately and at speed. Loaded with a bullet designed for the job of defense and suited to the caliber I'm using. The biggest factor is the shooter/gun interface and bullet construction and not the caliber.

    tipoc
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  11. ORHunter79

    ORHunter79 Member

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    Yep, YOUR opinion.
     
  12. ORHunter79

    ORHunter79 Member

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    Not a jerk at all, and thanks for your response. I know caliber is only one dimension, but people still insist the .357 is king, that's why I want the know the opinions of the folks on the THR.
     
  13. Thompsoncustom

    Thompsoncustom Member

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    Trying to understand your exact question here. Are you asking if each of these calibers were shot in the same place on the target which would be the best one?

    What exactly are we comparing? if it's just say each caliber in the same shot placement the .500 would win hands down everytime, so i'm guessing that's not it, what are you requirements? As above, shot placement is one of the things excluded are we assuming the all shots are equal?
     
  14. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Member

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    There are only two ways to turn off a human machine. Damage the central nervous system in order to stop movement signals to the body, and puncturing holes in organs to cause blood loss. CNS damage is pretty much instant, but hard to hit. Causing blood loss can be done by puncturing almost anywhere on the torso or even appendages, and is helped by larger holes from larger bullets...but it's much slower than CNS damage.

    The "ideal" caliber for you is going to hedge your bets. It will be something with which you can easily make several shots in close succession with a good chance of hitting part of the CNS(spine or brain), and it will also damage enough organs and cause enough blood loss that the body will run down on it's own if you did not hit the CNS.

    Go too small and the holes you make won't leak enough to cause a fast enough bleed out. Go too big and you have fewer chances of making CNS hits and each shot will be less accurate. A hit is always better than a miss of any caliber. So you want a gun that carries enough rounds where you can fire a few rounds at the target, increasing your chances of hitting him at all, and still have rounds left in the gun for when you miss or if there's other targets. Caliber does not exist in a vacuum. Real life shootings are not done in a lab against ballistic gel with one round. Capacity matters. Misses will happen.

    Asking about what round, if only one round is fired, will cause most damage if it hits in the same spot is a nice theoretical question, but it doesn't pertain to reality. The bigger the round, the generally less accurate you will be with it, especially with followup shots. And if any round hits the spine, the question doesn't matter anyways since they will all turn the person "off".


    Are we asking what caliber has the best chance in your hands of being used against a person? Or what single round of what caliber performs the best in a controlled setting? The answers will not be the same.


    OP: How are you training to shoot? Fire one round and reassess? Two rounds? Three? How many targets are you anticipating when you pick your caliber/weapon? How many misses are you accounting for (plan for at least half of your rounds to miss completely)? Do you want any rounds left in your gun when the engagement is over?

    I train for 2:2:2:2. A controlled pair each time I fire, two possible targets, firing the pairs at each target twice in case the first pair missed, and being able to repeat the whole engagement twice without reloading. That means I do not carry pistols that do not hold at least 16 rounds. The old mantra "one is none, two is one" rings true for self defense shooting, hence my break down.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  15. firesky101

    firesky101 Member

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    I was wary with this one, as it is april 1st. The OP seems to be on the up and up though. I did not vote, as all are capable it is all about skill and control-ability. What is right for my 90 lb wife, is not the same as what is right for my 250lb father. Pretty sure a .500 would do more damage to her than what she was trying to hit (emphasis on the trying). I typically have a double stack 9mm, but that is my preference. So the best man stopper is what you can hit with.
     
  16. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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  17. Pyro

    Pyro Member

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    Wait..what?
     
  18. ORHunter79

    ORHunter79 Member

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    Thanks for all the responses. To clarify some people swear by the 45ACP, others by the .357, and yet still some contend the 9mm is the best since it's low recoil and follow up shots are easy.

    To answer one of the questions, I practice three ways. Slow controlled fire, Mozambique drills and empty the mag as fast and accurately as possible with immediate reload at the end into to the ready.

    And no this was by no means intended to be an April 1st/fools post.

    I really want to know why people choose one caliber over another.
     
  19. ORHunter79

    ORHunter79 Member

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    Meaning those requirement are obvious. I'd like to know why people choose what they deem as the best man stopper.

    As I said before some swear by the .45 , because it make a big whole; others on the other hand swear by the 9mm because you can make up for the size of the by volume or follow up shots.

    Not sure how else to ask my question.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  20. baylorattorney

    baylorattorney Member

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    10mm or .357 magnum
     
  21. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    The best at stopping a man?

    Really there's no comparison of the calibers you listed.........the 500 S&W Magnum.

    I say this after shooting many different objects with many different handgun calibers and seeing the effects

    The other calibers are not even in the same league as far as sheer power and destructiveness.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  22. sirsloop

    sirsloop Member

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    From that list....500 S&W hollow points hands down are the most effective.

    If you choose others from not on the list, you might as well put something like .50BMG or some other absurd round in there (.458 win mag, .500NE, .700 NE, a cannon etc).

    A .500 S&W magnum can do everything...something like three times a .357 magnum can do. Its ~three times the powder, ~three times the bullet weight, same or greater bullet velocity, in a revolver. I own both and the .500 S&W is an ABSURD cartridge compared to a .357. It will not only kill you, it will remove entire body parts from you.

    Whats practical to carry on your person daily? Probably .357 magnum is the most a person would want on their body in a size thats capable of being fired in a life or death situation (S&W scandium revolvers).

    .357 Magnum H110 max load:

    1128023659_hQx3y-XL.jpg

    .500 S&W Magnum H110 max load:

    i-MhxMZFH-XL.png


    /thread.

    I'd love to see the logic behind the people that voted .45ACP or .357 magnum. How is that a better man stopper than a .500 S&W magnum or larger round. I'm very interested.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  23. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    .50 BMG shot from a Maadi Griffin.
     
  24. TonyT

    TonyT Member

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    The one you can handle with accuracy and speed.
     
  25. sirsloop

    sirsloop Member

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    accuracy and speed set aside.
     
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