Question on caliber and accuracy

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by hindubandit, Apr 17, 2009.

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  1. hindubandit

    hindubandit New Member

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    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.
     
  2. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    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....

    JD
     

  3. hindubandit

    hindubandit New Member

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    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.
     
  4. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    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.

    HOWEVER:

    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:

    JD
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2009
  5. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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  6. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  7. Yunus

    Yunus New Member

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    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.
     
  8. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  9. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  10. Catfish

    Catfish Member

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    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.
     
  11. Rimfire McNutjob

    Rimfire McNutjob New Member

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    A lot of it has to do with the shooter as well. You are going to shoot better with a gun you can handle.

    If you are new to shooting you don't want to go out and start shooting a 500 smith with your buddies dino stomper 450gr bullet rounds you want to start at the 22lr and work your way up to the bigger ones.

    I started shooting 22lr at about the age or 7 by the time I was 9 I was shooting full power 357mag loads. Granted the Revolver was big 8" barrel made me fell like Dirty Harry.

    Some has to do with how big the gun is. A 2" snubbie in 44 mag is going to move more with you shoot it vs a 2" barreled 38 spec shooting low end loads.

    Now the best thing about rimfres is they are dirt cheap to shoot. I go threw 500 to 1000 rounds of 22 in a single range session. I will shoot 200 45acp in my 1911 and I am done. cost me to much to be burning them up like that.

    the Federal bulk 22lr is .026 cents a round that is almost 3 cents a round. I reload my 45acp and it is still 8 or 9 cents per round. that is 4 times as much money.
     
  12. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    I would like to know how you reload .45 ACP for 8 or 9 cents... unless you've had bullets, powder, and primers laying around for a very long time. Jacketed 45 bullets are about 13 cents each, primer is 4.5 cents, and depending on grains and powder type you're looking at about 6 to 9 cents. and that's assuming you are using your own brass. ***What's your secret?***
     
  13. dnthmn2004

    dnthmn2004 New Member

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    Do what JD said, go to the range and rent as many guns as you can. Also, its a good idea to take a firearms safety course. And keep asking questions! There are no dumb questions, just dumb answers. I think all of us were in your situation at one time.

    If I were to recommend your first handgun, you should buy something in 22lr. Learn the basics of shooting. The same principals apply to no matter what caliber you are shooting. The best part about 22lr ammo is its cheap! You can get 500 rounds for less than $20 as opposed to 50 rounds of 45 ACP for $30. You can shoot all day and not break the bank.

    When you think your ready to move on to a larger caliber, you can always trade in whatever gun you bought towards your purchase. Although I think a lot of us still have our first gun :rolleyes:.

    Either one of these will do just fine. I personally have the Walther P22 and love it. Simple field strip, easy to clean, and its just like every other handgun in that it has a slide. (thats the only reason I don't like the Mark III)

    Ruger 22/45™ Mark III™ Rimfire Autoloading Pistol (KP678HMKIII) Overview

    Product: P22 Pistol - 3.4"
     
  14. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    Don't trade or sell your guns... just add to your collection.
     
  15. rugermike

    rugermike New Member

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    As stated first and foremost make sure you have training for the firearm you plan on using. So many people go out and buy something from a Brand store and these people could care less if you know anything at all?:mad::mad:
    Find a local shooting club and trainer to teach you the right way!:)
     
  16. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    Are these just gross internet exaggerations? Or are you guys being serious? Liquify vital organs? Leave her skull empty?


    Not true at all. I can't stress this enough. Bullets aren't magical, especially not from common handgun cartridges. At handgun velocities, the amount of tissue damaged is equal to the amount of tissue crushed, which is only proportional to the diameter of the expanded bullet and the depth to which it penetrates. The best .45acp bullet is still going to do nothing more than leave a ~penny-sized hole where you aim it.

    Chuck Taylor's ASAA -Stopping Power

    Handgun Stopping Power: A Dialogue

    Stopping power - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Myth of Energy Transfer

    Energy Transfer and other Bullet Bullistics


    *edit*

    And to the original poster, the reason people buy smaller calibers is for the lower recoil, smaller size, or in the case of 9mm (compared to larger pistol calibers) and .22lr (in the case of ALL calibers), cheaper practice. However, no, caliber his little (if nothing) to do with accuracy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2009
  17. HM2Grunt

    HM2Grunt New Member

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    As far as the results you get with a size of bullet, it has to do with the speed at which you push it. During the American civil war, the bullet of choice was a heavy, pure lead bullet, 500 plus grains in weight going along at a maximum velocity of 753fps with an ennergy of 525 foot pounds at 100 yds. This took arms and legs off if you were unlucky to get hit. Bullets for killing men today, have been becoming smaller over the years and pushed at higher speeds to achieve what the civil war bullet could do by pin balling around inside a body achieving similar damage. Today, for practical war reasons, the smaller bullet pushed at a faster speed means lighter rounds, which means that more rounds can be carried in a soldiers' combat load, when most soldiers have the capability for automatic fire. But you don't have the same concerns as a soldier, so pick any size bullet you like to shoot. As far as what each bullet is said to do be able to do, it depends on what you what to do with it. You wouldn't want to use a .22 on a charging elephant(unless you had previously kissed your loved ones goodbye), or want to shoot a squirel with an elephant gun. Your choice of bullet should be about what you want to do with it, target, hunting, or defense, and if you can shoot that cal. proficiently. Do some more research, fire the type you are interested in before you buy one. I will bet you that there are some nice S&W m29s out there because somebody saw one in the movies,"the most powerful handgun in the world" bought one, fired it, found it to be too much for their tastes, and putt it away in the closet to never shoot again. (Of course, if you did, a S&W m29 is worth more today than what you would have paid originally. But I digress, that had nothing to do with the original discussion, sorry.)
     
  18. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter

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    Bandit,

    JD and the other are right on he money as to their great advise. Getting in on this thread late in the game I just wanted to share my two cents. Being new as you advised, like them I would advise going to a range and trying several weapons. Bottom line as I take it you are speaking of two weapons instead of just one. One for self defense (CCW) also possibly and one for shooting and learning. I would highly recommend looking into a Ruger 22 Semi-Auto Target Pistols or the Browning Buckmark type target pistols to learn basic handgun safety and shooting fundamentals. And also to achieve proficiency and success in the beginning while you are learning. That is very important as a beginner! Also they have hardly any recoil at all! One of the biggest mistakes new handgun shooters make is going with a larger caliber weapon which costs more to shoot, are less comfortable to shoot and also can easily create bad habits. Like flinching for example which is hard to cure as a new shooter. While with the 22 cal pistols they are inexpensive to shoot which means you will shoot more, they are comfortable to shoot and as Dillinger stated easier to control without developing bad habits. Later after you get some experience under you belt then acquire a larger caliber for personal defense and future CCW. By the way! NEVER SHOOT WITHOUT GOOD EAR PROTECTION! and especially with being a new shooter! Good luck and all of us are here for assistance when needed. JD and some here are very educated in most all areas of weapons and the shooting sport!
    Good luck on your selection!:)

    03
     
  19. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Gents- the thread is from 2009. I think he got his answer a few years ago.
     
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