Best caliber for knockdown power and defense

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by tlech29, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. tlech29

    tlech29 New Member

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    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.
     
  2. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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

  3. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    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.
     
  4. tlech29

    tlech29 New Member

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    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 ?
     
  5. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    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.
     
  6. Olsen

    Olsen New Member

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    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.
     
  7. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    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.
     
  8. awahlster

    awahlster New Member

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    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.
     
  9. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    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.
     
  10. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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

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  11. p35bhp55

    p35bhp55 New Member

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    Which one fits your hand best? Which do you have or are willing to buy a good holster for? Which can you draw and fire quickly and accurately? Which one are you going to have plenty of mags and ammo inhouse for? Which one holds your interest enough to practice with? I can answer these questions for myself but it's tough to guess for others. As far a caliber goes, who cares, the only time a pistol knocks someone down is on a screen. Unless you get close enough to clunk them in the head and in that case get a 1911. :0 Full size and all steel.
     
  12. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    It's personal, and sometimes counterintuitional.

    I've got a buddy, 5' 6", about 130 lbs, doesn't even shoot

    22LR rifles very well. But give him a full size 1911, shoots it

    like a pro. So you can't just assume you won't be able to handle

    .45ACP.
     
  13. tlech29

    tlech29 New Member

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    I dont know about the " knock down power" only existing in movies or fairy tales. I have literally knocked down , rolled over , and dropped deer dead where they stand in their tracks. So I would say it exist. Id actually say out of the 7 deer i have killed with soft point762 x54 literally were knocked down and stopped dead in their tracks. Wheras when I used a 243 deer would always move more even take a few steps or run . So yes I do believe different calibers do in fact have more " knock down power"
     
  14. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Member

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    For sheer knockdown power, nothing beats a Louisville Slugger baseball bat!

    Bob Wright
     
  15. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

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    It is physically impossible for a shoulder-fired rifle to "knock down" a human or a deer. If it did it would also knock the shooter down when he fired the shot.
    It's that equal and opposite reaction thing......
     
  16. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    In 2011 police shot 1,146 people in America. Of that number 627 were fatal. Police have for the most part modern weapons and regular shooting qualifications. The average armed citizen is not as prepared as police officers for armed confrontations. It maybe less about the size or caliber of the weapon. It is more about mental preparation. Hesitation driven by fear will be the deciding factor.:(
     
  17. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What he said!:D With 'modern' defense ammo they all produce about the same wound cavity. It is ALL about hit probability!;) By the way there is no such thing a 'knock down power' unless you are in the movies.:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
  18. boatme98

    boatme98 New Member

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  19. txpossum

    txpossum New Member

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    Bottom Line: Get the .45.
     
  20. chloeshooter

    chloeshooter New Member

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    I swear this retread thread makes me so bloody tired. Same crap over and over and over.......

    Let's just shoot you with all three and you tell us which one knocked you down the most ;)