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hindubandit 04-17-2009 11:24 PM

Question on caliber and accuracy
I'm new to the gun world and when I see different guns I wonder about what caliber says or does it really matter? Why would someone want a .22 over a .38 ? I understand the philosophy bigger is better and bigger could tear something up or take down a deer, but what about Accuracy? Does bigger take away from that when it comes to smaller guns? I don't think it does but I'm just asking.

I plan to purchase a couple so I'm doing a little research. The berettas police force use look attractive.

Dillinger 04-17-2009 11:45 PM

You're on the right track, but you are asking the wrong questions.

ANY cartridge can be accurate if it's put in the right weapon. There are .22's that are FAR more accurate than monster handguns merely because the monsters are tougher to hold on target.

More than half of accurate shooting in the mental/physical aspects that go into shooting/shouldering the weapon and going through good, consistant shooting techniques. That is where practice comes in.

If you have a .22lr - with almost no recoil, you are far more likely to practice with that caliber as opposed to the S&W .500 Magnum that is going to make your arms sore, your wrist ache and your ears bleed with just a few rounds down range.

Is the .500 Magnum more of a man stopper? Absolutely. But if you miss all six shots because the damn thing scares the hell out of you everytime you pull the trigger, all you have is a really loud distraction to getting yourself shot.

You need to go to a pistol range that rents pistols and try out as many as you can afford too.

Don't be afraid to start small. Everyone I have taught to shoot has started with a .22 and moved up from there....


hindubandit 04-18-2009 02:42 AM

I see what you're saying. I rather have a lighter gun anyway to start out with. I'm sure it's plenty for all practical purposes. I see in popculture little gangsters shooting a bad weapon but unable to hit his target or even hold his gun.

Do smaller bullets normally penetrate as deep into their target as a bigger one fired from equal distance? It seems bigger ones would have more momentum because they're heavier, do they fire with the same force and distance respective to their size? not to get nitty gritty here. ha.

Dillinger 04-18-2009 02:58 AM

Again. You are asking the right types of questions, but you are asking the wrong actual question.

Okay, here is a short and skinny about bullets....

What you are looking for is feet per second ( fps ) and bullet weight in grains ( .gr )

If you have 180gr bullet traveling at 1100 fps, it's going to penetrate further than a 230 gr. bullet traveling at 850 fps.


The heavier the bullet, the greater the wound channel, the greater the chance the person you are shooting is NOT getting up.

Personally, I love my 230gr. .45acp traveling at 900 fps and seeking blood over 115gr. 9mm traveling at 1300fps.

But that is just me.....:rolleyes:


Mark F 04-18-2009 01:43 PM

This will shock you! How about a .380 to the forehead, it passes clear through your head and you survive? And make tea...

Woman gets shot in head, makes tea - Weird news-

matt g 04-18-2009 04:19 PM

I love shooting my 1911, due in large part to the recoil and muzzle flip. I bore quickly when in comes to .22 LR, just because there is no challenge to deliver quick, accurate follow up shots.

I also love the lethality aspect of the .45 ACP round. I know that if I have to deliver a shot in defense of life, it will disable an attacker. A 230 gr., large cavity, defense hollow point, when delivered center mass, will leave a massive wound channel and liquefy vital organs near the wound channel.

Having said that, if you can't control a .45 ACP, there is absolutely no sense in owning a pistol chambered for it, unless you get a conversion slide for it.

If you've never owned a pistol and don't have much experience with them, a large caliber pistol and .22 LR conversion slide would be the optimum choice. The .22 LR would allow you to spend all weekend honing your handling and marksmanship skills, while the large caliber would afford maximum lethality, should the need ever arise.

Yunus 04-19-2009 11:46 AM

There are probably thousands of calibers out there. For a first time buyer however I would stick to something that is very popular. IMO you need to ask yourself what is the purpose of this gun I am buying. Is it to plink(just shooting targets or cans or whatever) or is it for Home Defense or for hunting or whatever. Basically because there are so many calibers available you can find them in any configuration you want, small/big, fast/slow.

One last thing, if you have never really fired before, .22 is a great way to start for many reasons, the biggest being it is far cheaper than anything else you can shoot. If your going to buy a couple space them out a little so you can try your first gun and find out what you like/dislike about it and make a more informed decision on your second gun. Plus some states require a time period before you can purchase another gun, check your laws or ask your local dealer for the info.

Mark F 04-19-2009 12:02 PM

One thing I can say is, that lady would not have survived a 45ACP to the head. Lucky for her it was a .380 and probably an FMJ at that. A point blank 45 would have removed the entire innards of her skull.

When it comes to taking down a Bad Guy CALIBER is EVERYTHING and shot placement is the icing on the cake.

c3shooter 04-19-2009 01:19 PM

Well, that's why Breyers has 31 flavors of icecream. Some like chocolate, some like strawberry.

I have a Winchester Mdl 71 lever action- cal .348 Winchester. Enough power to drop a moose (literally) I also have a couple of Marlin 39A- lever action 22 rifles. Ummm- lemesee know- .348 Winchester- about $50/ 20 rounds. 22 LR, about $14 per 550 rounds. .348- pretty stout recoil for a 200 lbs man. 22lr- no real recoil for an 80 lb girl.

Would not go hunting elk or moose with the 22- but which one do you think gets more range time?

Penetration will have a NUMBER of variables- bullet diameter is one. Weight, speed, shape, and composition are major factors. A 22 short might penetrate an inch of wood- a 30-06 metal piercing bullet (heavier, faster, pointy bullet, hardened steel) will penetrate FEET of wood. My .220 Swift uses a small, light, incredibly fast bullet- my 45-70 can put a bullet THROUGH a whitetail deer.

Look up terms relative stopping power, temporary wound channel, and calculation muzzle energy. Will getcha started. Warning- slippery slope! Before you know it, you will be arguing with other shooters- 9mm vs 45, 30-06 vs .308, etc.

As far as accuracy, MOST rounds are more accurate than most shooters- however- a faster bullet has a flatter trajectory- a slower bullet requires more attention to range, since it's path may look a bit like a rainbow. With a .45 ACP at 200 meters, do you hold 5 ft or 6 ft above your target? With a .223, maybe 4 INCHES above target (depending on zero). However, the 55 gr bullet from the .223 gets pushed off course relatively easy by a 20 mph cross wind- the 230 gr 45 does not.

Like I said- 31 flavors.

Catfish 04-23-2009 12:20 AM

If your going to buy a couple of guns one of them should be a .22 rimfire. Reason being they are the cheapest to shoot and the more you shoot the better you get. If your looking for a self defience gun the largest caliber you can handle comfortably. If the gun is not comfortable for you to shoot you might as well throught it at them. I personaly am a wheel gun fan. ( revolver) and my carry gun is a PD 329 S&W. That is a .44 mag. that weights as much as a .38 sp. Very few people will shot over 1 round through the gun, but I have been shooting big bore handguns since 1967 and just like the recoil. If I could conseal it I would carry my .500 S&W, but you have 40 years less experance than I do.

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