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tlech29 01-21-2014 11:25 PM

Best caliber for knockdown power and defense
Which of these three calibers would you stake your life on and which has the best ballistics for defense carry ? 9mm , .40 , 45 Recoil is not part of the equation...I am a bigger guy and can shoot all of these fairly well. Just curious as to which to carry.

SSGN_Doc 01-21-2014 11:29 PM

Any of the three with the right ammo. They're all handgun calibers with no magical powers.

danf_fl 01-21-2014 11:32 PM

It doesn't matter on the knock down power if you can't hit with it.

Size does not matter. I've seen 300lb guys who cannot handle a 9mm, and I've seen a girl who weighed 90 (soaking wet) out shoot others with her .45.

Technique is key and added in skill.

Would I feel under-calibered with a 9mm? No. A .40? No. A .45? No.

What do I carry? It depends on what is on the schedule. A full size 1911 does not conceal well in speedos.

tlech29 01-21-2014 11:40 PM

I have all three calibers. I guess the question is which caliber is more likely to allow the perp return fire even when struck with one of these calibers ?

danf_fl 01-21-2014 11:46 PM

All three!

There is no magical bullet for a handgun that will stop with one hit every time.

Consider deer hunting and what calibers are used. The hunter shoots the deer and, more often than not, has to follow a blood trail. And most of the time that is with a rifle in a caliber with more FPE than any handgun.

Olsen 01-22-2014 12:03 AM

IMO it all comes down to what you're more comfortable shooting or which caliber you personally favor. All 3 will do the trick if you have the right ammo and hit where you're aiming. Pick one and become proficient with it.

therewolf 01-22-2014 12:05 AM

This is just an opinion.

I like the .45ACP, for a couple of good reasons.

First, it's a larger cross-section, and a slower bullet.

Second, it doesn't tend to over-penetrate, compared

to others. So the bullet spends it's terminal energy

in the BG. Granted there's no exit wound, but also less

collateral damage.

awahlster 01-22-2014 12:13 AM

A .45ACp slug is .452" across a .40SW slug is across .400 a 9mm is .355"

so the difference between a .45ACP and a 9mm in cross section is only 22%

My 1911 holds 8 +1 rounds for a total of 2070 grains (with 230 gr slugs) the wifes Astra A90 holds 18 + 1 for a total of 2793 grains (with 147 gr slugs)

It all evens out in the end some how.

JonM 01-22-2014 12:31 AM

Only things I have ever seen that have "stopping" power are usually mounted on naval vessels. Handguns rifles shotguns and machine guns do not have stopping power regardless of cartridge.

Big holes leak faster than small holes. Simple math. Poke a .45 hole in a bucket of water and poke .35 hole in a bucket and poke a .4 hole in a bucket. Which buckets empties the quickest??

The goblin beating your face in is a bucket of liquid how quickly do want that bucket to leak??

My theory on self defense is carry the biggest as in diameter caliber you can shoot quickly and accurately and can carry on you everyday. You may only land one round make it count.

hawkguy 01-22-2014 12:33 AM

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Originally Posted by Axxe55 (Post 1488378)
knock down power? doesn't exist. if you are talking about what to use to stop a BG, then either rapid blood loss or CNS shutdown is what stops them. knock down power is used in the movies and TV, not real life.

my personal preference? accurate shot placement. it trumps caliber just about every time. carry what you can hit accurately with. use reliable SD ammo and with accurate shot placement, you increase your odds of surviving an attack from some violent offender looking to do you harm.

being able to handle the recoil doesn't always mean being able to hit accurately. i have seen some large guys that could handle the recoil on larger magnums, that couldn't hit the broad side of barn.

completely untrue. there are two guns that guarantee a quick and sudden death every time either one is used.

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