The caliber war
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:11 PM   #1
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Default The caliber war

Hey everyone,
So a lot of people swear by a certain caliber claiming their caliber has the most "knock down" power. This isn't a thread about shot placement but comparing calibers assuming we're hitting center mass. This thread is not about how fun the calibers are to shoot or about killing bears either.

The .45 is getting some hate from people who swear by velocity but what's the point of having a fairly big caliber traveling at high velocity (.357mag, .44mag) coming out of a handgun when the target is usually a few feet away? Also from a legal standpoint, shooting through walls to kill someone you can't see is a bit hard to defend in court. In a place like a house where you can't be certain that your family won't be in the line of fire, why would you want a caliber that is more likely to go through the robber and possibly hit a family member that is standing right in front of him? I currently have a 1911 in .45 and my next purchase will be a .357 magnum revolver (for outdoors), but I'm not sure why I would want a .357 magnum over a .45 ACP for self defense in my home. Also I'm very well aware of the pros and cons of revolvers vs semi-automatic pistols.

My question is strictly about ballistics performance of a smaller high velocity round vs a bigger lower velocity round. No doubt the velocity helps with the effective range of the round, but the limiting factor at this point becomes the shooter and the gun itself (they're not designed to be accurate like rifles at long ranges). If you're engaging targets at long ranges with a handgun, you probably brought a handgun to a rifle fight.

Let me know what you guys think.

EDIT: this might be the wrong section to post in, it's strictly about ammunition but would probably fit better in general handgun discussion.

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Old 04-04-2012, 07:10 PM   #2
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Sounds like you are starting with a lot of preconceived notions about the topic you are asking about. The caliber war come from the difference between people who want the minimum caliber they need to drop a bad guy AND have enough control to make a follow up shot if needed arguing with people who want a large enough hole in the bad guy he won't get up regardless of how much control they have. The is no meeting of the minds on this topic, it's two different trains of thought which will both work one way as well as the other.

If you want to sacrifice a little control for a bigger hole, a .45 works great. If you think you might need to walk your shots in, a 9mm works good for that cause you most likely get more tries. It's ridiculous to think your average 110 pound woman is going to blast away with a 1911 and be accurate beyond the first shot. It's also kind of silly for a 350 lb guy to be carrying a .380 around his house clearing rooms. The best round to use indoors is a lot more shooter dependent than it is ballistics dependent. 9mm - .45 are all ballisticly (made that up) similar enough to do the job at the target side of the barrel. Self defense after that is on the shooter side of the barrel.

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Old 04-04-2012, 07:17 PM   #3
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Yes I have a preconceived opinion but I may be wrong that's why I'm asking everyone. I handle my .45 just fine during quick follow up shots so I know it's a good pick for me. But for example, let's suppose that we have good control over both calibers, what would be the benefit of using a .357 magnum over .45ACP in an average engagement range gun fight? In war time, the bigger and the faster = the better, but usually that's shot out of a rifle where you have more control over your accuracy.

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Old 04-04-2012, 08:12 PM   #4
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light and fast vs heavy and slow. This topic has been "discussed" to death. Check the archives for similar threads. This topic always ends up with one or more people getting their panties in a wad. We are not going there again.

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