Originally Posted by mahall
I keep a 629 S&W 44 mag loaded in my night stand! If needed, I want "SURE" knock down power even if I don't strike a kill shot! The knockdown strike will surely allow the following shots to do the trick!! I don't play small ball when it comes to home defense! In my opinion, a large caliber revolver should be used for home defense!! I do own some Semis that I carry!! Even though a high capacity 45 has plenty of knockdown power, the reliability of a big boy revolver mag makes the most sense to me! And yes the good ole 12g shotgun is the very best!! But very hard to fit in most night stands!
A surprising number of folks think the 44 Magnum is the ultimate man-stopper handgun cartridge. No doubt another factoid courtesy of Hollywood. However, historical data shows that the best 357 Magnum (96%), 40 S&W (94%) and 45 ACP (96%) have better one-shot stop records than the best 44 Magnum (92%). Interestingly, the lowly 9mm's record is 91% - my 9mm round of choice has a record of 90%.
Location, location, location. Just like in real estate, shot placement is King. If the shot doesn't hit something critical, then it matters little what the caliber was. A well placed 380 or 38 Special round is more likely effective at stopping the threat than a poorly placed big bore round. The same line of thinking shows up in deer & elk hunting discussions. Lots of folks swear that a 30-06 or 308 is needed - because they are poor shots - when a 243 is plenty capable of dropping any deer and have dropped many elk.
Lastly, one of the major problems with extremely high-powered handguns like the 44 Magnum, 10 mm and 45 ACP +P+ is big-time recoil. Recoil affects the first shot, not just the second shot. The problem is that very few folks can shoot a Magnum caliber gun (this includes rifles) without flinching. Practice isn't pleasant, so the body learns to flinch. As a result, accurate shot placement is difficult, so difficult that the caliber can't make up for the loss of shot placement accuracy. The second issue is follow-up shots - much slower as a result of the time it takes to recovery from the recoil, muzzle blast, etc.
If you think you can handle that 44 Magnum just fine, I'd like to watch you shoot it in an IDPA match that simulates self-defense scenarios. My personal experience is that I can shoot a 9mm pistol (either my Nighthawk 1911 or M&P 9 Pro) significantly faster and
more accurately than I can shoot any of my 45 ACP 1911's (Nighthawk, Ed Brown or Springfield TM) as a result of those recoil-related issues. Likewise, I shoot my S&W 686 almost as fast as I shoot the 45ACP 1911's but the S&W 625 is noticeably slower and my hits are less accurate.
After carefully looking at the real world data, my preferred compromise - they are all compromises - is a Sig P226 Elite Stainless in 40 S&W with an SCT mag holding 15+1 rounds. I've used this particular Sig in competition where I'm nearly as fast with it's DA/SA trigger as I am with the 1911's trigger, plus the heavy all stainless Sig absorbs 40S&W's snappy recoil making for fast spot-on follow-up shots. Lastly, the Sig P226 points more naturally than anything I've ever owned so point-shooting is quite effective to nearly 15 yards. While revolvers are infamously reliable, I've never had a failure with any of my P226's, so I see little advantage to the revolver to offset its limited capacity.
Lastly, there is always the shotgun. Actually, a pair of Mossbergs. Should the SHTF in such a cataclysmic way that defending the perimeter became necessary, then there are AR's, etc.