Ben,I can get a box of 96 rounds of Bulgarian Surplus 7.62x25 Tokrev for $21.95-
FMJ Ammo : Ammunition To Go
And a pistol chambered in that round for a couple hundred to go with it.
Its also pretty abundant.
If you were to argue "abundent in SHTF scenerio resupply",where your re-supply is coming from police or national gaurd armories,then I could hypothetically argue you weren't taking enough advantage of 96 rounds for 20 bucks to begin with.
As for the 'biggest',you sort of sold yourself out with the ".500 caliber" comment.
Alot of people like to say that if penetration and shot placement were all that counted,then we'd all be carrying .22's.
Well if power and size were all that counted,we'd all have huge hand cannons that require an artillery team to fire them.
The bottom line is that of the most POPULAR calibers (because thats all they REALLY are) 9 para,.40 S&W,and .45ACP,the size and power differences they have between them are really not that big an issue,and one won't give a perceptible difference in real world performance over the other.
As for specops choosing whatever over whichever,its actually a cultural phenomena more than an actual scientifically proven fact,as to why more Americans choose .45 caliber guns over the others.Plenty of special forces worldwide choose other chamberings.
Americans culturally like big bore guns.
They've been by our side for hundreds of years.
We won the west with them.
Luger even had to produce 2 special .45 caliber models of the famous P.08 just for the American trials.Even tho it won its infamy chambered in 9x19.If the pistol and the caliber didn't work,history would regard it as it does the Nambu and its ineffective cartridge.
And thats not the case.The P.08 is well known and appreciated and its best known in 9x19.
Speaking of ineffective cartridges.......
What I find amusing,is the Philippine Moro Rebellion stuff that comes up in every one of these "caliber war" type discussions.
People claim that the .45 acp was what 'dropped' the Moro hordes and we switched over to it because the caliber we had was insufficient.
This does not properly reflect on the 9x19 at all.
In fact,one could look at the numbers between the standard (notice: I said STANDARD,there are certainly ways to improve on anything) loadings of .380acp and the .38 LC and arrive at a very interesting conclusion-
That while the .38 Long Colt is a bigger(heavier),slower moving bullet and the .380 is a lighter and faster bullet; the two are both relatively questionable in their performance in combat.
Most likely,this is because both of these cartridges exhibit limited energy which results in limited penetration.
In the case of the Moro Uprising,I'd have switched to a more powerful cartridge then the .38LC,too.
Of course a .45acp is going to be better at penetrating and killing hostile and intoxicated tribesmen wearing bamboo body armor than something with the energy of a standard .380acp.
But then,I'd bet good money that 9x19 would be much better in such a situation too.
However,in actuality,it was the pump action 12 gauge shotgun represented by Brownings venerable M97 that proved to be the great manstopper in that conflict.
In fact,the energy for penetration to hit and effect wounds to vitals that cause a man to "stop",can be found in all three of the popular handgun calibers we're discussing.
Now,whether or not even several well placed shots will do the deed,has been the subject of inconsistency and debate as each and every shooting is an unpredictable situation that has no 2+2=4 certainties.
And that means that in some circumstances,even the .45acp,even a 12 gauge 00buck load will not 'do the deed'.
The best we can do is to choose a caliber that has the ability to do the job at hand and learn to use it well.
This in no way,shape,or form is to denigrate the effective -which it is- .45acp cartridge or to disrespect the excellent and reliable -which it is- 1911 pistol.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with either,as there is nothing wrong with a personal or cultural preference for them.
These guns have been in service for a long time,and deserve respect.
But then,the same could be said about most 9mm pistols and the 9x19 parabellum cartridge as well.
Venerable guns in both calibers have earned their place in history.
Ultimately,the 3 main cartridges,and even the 7.62x25 tokarev I mentioned to make a point above,have the necessary power to penetrate and effect damage to the target in vital areas that will make the target "stop".
Thats whats really important in selecting a handgun cartridge.
That,and that the user feels confident in and is capable with the weapon and cartridge combination he has.
I would feel just as confident with one of these cartridges as any other,given a good handgun to fire it with and the ability to practice with it to become familiar and competent with it.
Gimme a glock,hi-power,1911,S&W even a tokarev TT33 -whatever- and 300 rounds for practice and I'm G2G.