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View Full Version : Open Debate: Capacity vs Stoping power



Punisher11
02-08-2012, 11:54 AM
Many internet gun forums have at least 5-10 threads on "What am best caliber for defense?" or "45acp > 9MM."

The question becomes a mix of whether you want a slow hard hitting projectile, or a light and fast one. We can all agree that these two rounds are, at the very least, combat effective. Both rounds have been shot by numerous military and law enforcement agencies around the world. Both have their fan boys and every single popular brand has guns in these calibers.

So what are you missing? Consider this: the tried and true 1911 contains 8+1 rounds (with a flush fitting magazine), the double stack 9mm (Beretta, Sig, Glock, etc) can have a capacity of 17+1 rounds. So? the stopping power of the 45 is good enough to over come the capacity limit. Ive heard that numerous times. Realize though, most people consider a self defense situation where one must eliminate one, possibly two threats, at the most. Thus why you see many revolvers still being used as great personal defense weapons. However, the uncertainty in the world around us, I think it would be much better for you to be equipped with more rounds to deal with an unknown number of threats.

Think of this scenario: you are awoken by the sound of breaking glass and banging at your door. Seems like someone(s) wants to get in badly. you draw your weapon from your night stand, possibly a flash light and proceed to investigate. did you strap on your vest? how about your thigh holster rig? are you currently in your boxers? chances are you went out the bedroom with gun in hand, no spare mags and no gear what so ever.

whats the ol' boy scout motto? Be prepared. The odds of survival are much in your favor if you are able to carry more ammo in the weapon. Since you do not know how many possible threats lie outside your door, I'd always suggest carrying more than you think you need. But the reality is being woken up in the middle of the night, putting your action plan together may leave you with just seconds to react, which means you grab the weapon most accessible and prepare to defend yourself.

Consider the higher capacity weapon, though lower in stopping power, if you need that quick grab gun. Extra rounds may save your life.

Grey_Runner
02-08-2012, 01:21 PM
There is always the logic that says you can split the middle. A .40 or .357SIG pistol can hold up to 12+1, putting it neatly in the middle of the .45 and 9MM, both in capacity and stopping power. While the extra recoil and penetration brought on by the .357SIG has to be considered the .40 (165 gr Remington Golden Saber) has muzzle velocity of 1150 ft/s making it 200 ft/s slower than the .357SIG (125gr Remington Gold Saber JHP) while having an energy rating of 365 ft/lbs (at 50yds) vs 372 for the smaller and faster .357SIG. The .45 has an energy of 355 ft/lbs at 50 yds and a muzzle velocity of 855 ft/s (Remington Gold Saber JHP) while the 9MM has a muzzle velocity of 1180 ft/s and energy of 327 ft/lbs and 50 yds (Remington Gold Saber 9mm +P JHP).

If you look at the numbers, one could make a argument for using just the .40, but we all know ammo varies from box to box and brand to brand. You also have to consider that you (as far as I know) can not get a 1911 in .40, so you have to consider what you like holding vs what you like shooting.

As .357SIG shooter I am biased. I love the recoil and the report of the .357 and I am of the belief that putting two holes in someone with one shot is better than one hole per shot.

Double R
02-08-2012, 01:28 PM
I think it all relies on the situation. For humans, a double tap from a .22 to the dome is probably more than enough.

Personally, in my perfect world, I would have multiple calibers for multiple occasions because I will most likely have more than one weapon.

It's like asking, which is better a 150hp Crotch rocket, or a 500hp muscle car?

Punisher11
02-08-2012, 01:33 PM
There is always the logic that says you can split the middle. A .40 or .357SIG pistol can hold up to 12+1, putting it neatly in the middle of the .45 and 9MM, both in capacity and stopping power. While the extra recoil and penetration brought on by the .357SIG has to be considered the .40 (165 gr Remington Golden Saber) has muzzle velocity of 1150 ft/s making it 200 ft/s slower than the .357SIG (125gr Remington Gold Saber JHP) while having an energy rating of 365 ft/lbs (at 50yds) vs 372 for the smaller and faster .357SIG. The .45 has an energy of 355 ft/lbs at 50 yds and a muzzle velocity of 855 ft/s (Remington Gold Saber JHP) while the 9MM has a muzzle velocity of 1180 ft/s and energy of 327 ft/lbs and 50 yds (Remington Gold Saber 9mm +P JHP).

If you look at the numbers, one could make a argument for using just the .40, but we all know ammo varies from box to box and brand to brand. You also have to consider that you (as far as I know) can not get a 1911 in .40, so you have to consider what you like holding vs what you like shooting.

As .357SIG shooter I am biased. I love the recoil and the report of the .357 and I am of the belief that putting two holes in someone with one shot is better than one hole per shot.



True, but those arounds are still relatively high (or rather higher) priced and is not as globally available. Most major US areas do carry the .40 (and read that as wal-mart is carrying them), and the 357sig is growing, but the world market right now is flooded with cheap and easily attainable 9mm.

the 1911 has the 40cal now, though .357sig is still being adopted by the major brands

ISPKI
02-16-2012, 01:57 AM
I see this arguement all the time. WHile the 45 acp round definately has more stopping power than a 9mm, that doesnt mean the 9mm cannot stop a person. One decent center of mass shot from a 9mm is easily enough to stop someone, it is also cheaper and much easier to control than a .45. Also - these situations are extremely chaotic and most people are not prepared (mentally) to take out a criminal. Your average person will be shaky and terrified and will most likely miss their target several times.

civcmatt
02-16-2012, 05:41 PM
Im kinda in the middle with the .40. thats the reason i bought a 40 was for a few reasons. 1, it was able to hold 15+1, and it had good stopping power, plus they were cheaper per round than 45ACP. to me thats the all around winner imo. my 9mm is a 16+1, so really its only 1 more bullet than the .40........

But on the argument of stopping power, ive heard numerous accounts where the 9mm wasnt stopping people in Iraq with 4-5 shots mid mass? thats why the military is switching over to a higher caliber for their sidearms. with that said though, im sure that a higher grain 9mm hallow point to the chest has a lot more stopping power than a FMJ. im not sure about you guys but i have Hallow points in my 9mm, my wifes .380 and i have personal pertection dual slugs surrounded by pellets in the shotgun at all times around the house.


so my vote, you wake up ur groggy, its dark, your scared, heart beating hard.....your prolly gonna miss, higher capacity with hallow points.

Naloxone
02-16-2012, 11:00 PM
birdshot for home defense? :true story:

Punisher11
02-16-2012, 11:16 PM
i guess you can use bird IF you have no other choice, but i highly recommend getting either #1 or 00 buckshot for home defense.

ISPKI
02-17-2012, 01:25 AM
I could see a 9mm not stopping people wearing body armor, but we are talking junkies off the street, not determined terrorists who have been at war for centuries. The majority of your average run-of-the-mill criminals probably havent been shot before while robbing a house.

civcmatt
02-19-2012, 02:08 PM
afgans cant afford body aromor....lol

and street junkies are all coked out or some shit, they dont feel bullets for a lil bit. havent you ever seen scarface....snort mountains of coke get shot 85 times with assult rifles, what makes you think 9mm will stop them?



but in all seriousness most people would prolly drop pretty quick when getting popped by anything. most people dont want to get shot.

However, due to laws in our state, you come into my house you will be stopped, because i will kill you. im not getting sued for you breaking into my house and me shooting you. so you die, then its my word against your word.....and your dead so you dont have too much to say.





brings up a good point, what are the laws in your cities/states about shooting someone thats breaking into your house/car.
here if your life is threated you can shoot them, just not in the back. but if they are outside of your house you can get charged,even if its on your porch or property, inside your house your golden, however they can sue you for shooting them.

Stealth
02-19-2012, 02:31 PM
Your taking down a human not a bear. 9mm is just fine.

EXCellR8
02-19-2012, 02:32 PM
...however they can sue you for shooting them.

not if head shot :D

Das Kapitalist
02-19-2012, 03:13 PM
Your taking down a human not a bear. 9mm is just fine.

What about someone who is half man half bear and half pig?

Punisher11
02-19-2012, 08:05 PM
jp and shaun love child :troll5:

civcmatt
02-26-2012, 08:00 PM
not if head shot :D

thats why kill is gonna happen!


What about someone who is half man half bear and half pig?

manbearpig is indestructable....im super cereal!

c_morse
02-27-2012, 12:13 AM
I'd like to add a third factor to this equation, at least as it applies to most of my self-defense preparedness.

That factor is conceal ability.

I personally carry and love a Ruger LCP, chambered in .380. It has a 6 shot magazine capacity plus one in the chamber. I began my concealed carry odyssey with a Glock 23, of course chambered in 40 S&W. Great weapon, 13 round magazine capacity, awesome reliability... just one small problem. Even with it being a compact model, it's still HUGE to me and a pain to conceal, and just generally a heavy ass weapon to carry around and be comfortable with. Each time I carried, I always had to be conscious of if the weapon might be seen. I couldn't jump into a vehicle without adjusting or removing it. It was generally a pain to remove from concealment in any type of quick fashion.

All those observations led to me purchasing the LCP. I loaded and carry it with Federal Premium Defense (Hydra Shock) ammunition, and am fully confident with it after several trips to the range. I have no problem believing that if faced with a hostile situation, that weapon will stop the person coming at me, even if it does take more than a couple of rounds to do so.

A small story to accompany this: My dad had always concealed carried some sort of 1911. His latest was a compact AMT. After my return from Iraq, we took a family vacation to Gatlinburg. I had my weapon, my brother had a .380 Beretta (can't remember the model), and dad had the AMT. My brother never really carried his, so it was just Dad and I. Well for any walking, or going into restaurants, sitting in the cars, etc... Dad would remove the AMT and leave it in the glovebox. My Ruger never left my pocket the entire trip. I went everywhere with it and was completely not burdened by it.

Dad saw that, went home, and promptly purchased an LCP and now carries it just as I do - in a small pocket holster.

So for me, it comes down to comfort, convenience, and conceal ability more than caliber or capacity.

Just my $.02

Lil Binky
02-27-2012, 02:09 AM
I honestly keep guns in different calibers and they are all for different dress styles.

I generally carry a S&W MP.40 when wearing jeans and a jacket, but I also go as low as my Walther P22 when wearing a t-shirt and khakis.

In the pants holster for the Walther and paddle style for the .40 and 9mm. I am more worried about effective shot placement during high stress situations. I have never had any formal "tactical" training, so it would all be a learning experience.... Lol

GVB109
02-27-2012, 02:17 AM
Both my friends that carry concealed usually carry their 9mm. But thats because they both love the FNH FNX9. I dont see a issue with stopping power when your talking 10 yards out, people and not bears.

Punisher11
03-01-2012, 08:57 AM
I'd like to add a third factor to this equation, at least as it applies to most of my self-defense preparedness.

That factor is conceal ability.

I personally carry and love a Ruger LCP, chambered in .380. It has a 6 shot magazine capacity plus one in the chamber. I began my concealed carry odyssey with a Glock 23, of course chambered in 40 S&W. Great weapon, 13 round magazine capacity, awesome reliability... just one small problem. Even with it being a compact model, it's still HUGE to me and a pain to conceal, and just generally a heavy ass weapon to carry around and be comfortable with. Each time I carried, I always had to be conscious of if the weapon might be seen. I couldn't jump into a vehicle without adjusting or removing it. It was generally a pain to remove from concealment in any type of quick fashion.

All those observations led to me purchasing the LCP. I loaded and carry it with Federal Premium Defense (Hydra Shock) ammunition, and am fully confident with it after several trips to the range. I have no problem believing that if faced with a hostile situation, that weapon will stop the person coming at me, even if it does take more than a couple of rounds to do so.

A small story to accompany this: My dad had always concealed carried some sort of 1911. His latest was a compact AMT. After my return from Iraq, we took a family vacation to Gatlinburg. I had my weapon, my brother had a .380 Beretta (can't remember the model), and dad had the AMT. My brother never really carried his, so it was just Dad and I. Well for any walking, or going into restaurants, sitting in the cars, etc... Dad would remove the AMT and leave it in the glovebox. My Ruger never left my pocket the entire trip. I went everywhere with it and was completely not burdened by it.

Dad saw that, went home, and promptly purchased an LCP and now carries it just as I do - in a small pocket holster.

So for me, it comes down to comfort, convenience, and conceal ability more than caliber or capacity.

Just my $.02

i has beretta 84, 13 rounds of .380, but its not so small as to comfortably fit in most people's pocket (i can pull it off, but thats because big pants)

now a days, the 9mm is getting smaller, than instead of carrying a slim and compact 380, you can have the same round count but with a much more powerful round.

Example: Sig P938 (the up version of the popular P238)
http://www.sigsauer.com/CatalogProductDetails/p938-extreme.aspx

civcmatt
03-11-2012, 01:58 PM
I personally carry and love a Ruger LCP, chambered in .380. It has a 6 shot magazine capacity plus one in the chamber.

my friend has the Rugar LCP, personally i HATE IT! he carries it and loves the thing. i feel its too small, and the kick is pretty big for a tiny lil gun IMO....i personally like full size guns, but i understnad the conceled part.
so for my wife, shes very small, tiny hands and cannot grab my gun comfortably, so we bought her a Sig Sauer P238
http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQAF-Rwn36tri8f-ksymnEwez2PlfSTQdlyEFeHyvrxSUbZkxHzCH-wf6Wi3A

still chambers a .380, she can hold it perfectly for her and normal target practice and such, and i can carry it on when we are together in my pocket and its no bulkier than my cell phone. when i shoot it, it feels comfortable in my hands, and i feel like im carrying a "real" gun, unlike i feel wiht my friends LCP.

only thing, ive noticed that the P238 is kinda sketching in shooting, dunno if its the Ammo or gun, but it will fire an entire clip just fine, then wont shoot 2 or 3 bullets, then will shoot fine. :shrug:


however, shooting both guns, kick, feel, comfort....Sig P238>LCP all day everyday

Punisher11
03-11-2012, 07:00 PM
p238 has the weight to back it up, the light weight LCP has nothing mitigating recoil

eNder
03-11-2012, 08:07 PM
After shooting my first pistol match. I'm starting to think stopping power might have the edge. For the steel plate to fall you needed to hit a certain spot. If i'm running and gunning, i want the damn thing to just drop.

Germinator
03-16-2012, 07:26 PM
I dont have alot of experience with pistols, but in my opinion stopping power always wins. Higher magazine capacity always seems to try and replace good quality shooting. I cannot think of any situation in defending a home where you would need more then 8+1 rounds in one magazine. Make your shots count by practicing and being efficient with whatever weapon your gonna use and you have no need for 15 rounds.

Germinator
03-16-2012, 07:26 PM
That, and cutting a line in competition shooting still counts as a hit. Better chance of doing that with a .45 then a 9 mm.

Punisher11
03-16-2012, 07:29 PM
I dont have alot of experience with pistols, but in my opinion stopping power always wins. Higher magazine capacity always seems to try and replace good quality shooting. I cannot think of any situation in defending a home where you would need more then 8+1 rounds in one magazine. Make your shots count by practicing and being efficient with whatever weapon your gonna use and you have no need for 15 rounds.

how bout when you have 10 intruders coming to your home?

Punisher11
03-16-2012, 07:33 PM
After shooting my first pistol match. I'm starting to think stopping power might have the edge. For the steel plate to fall you needed to hit a certain spot. If i'm running and gunning, i want the damn thing to just drop.

your impacts were low, thats why they werent falling... but the 45 does make poppers go down easier

Krawnic
03-16-2012, 07:47 PM
lol, if 10 armed intruders come into your home, your going to need more than one pistol with 15 rounds. Unless youre rambo, or pun of course.
And if there are 10 unarmed intruders, I'm sure after you put the first two or three down, the rest will flee.

ISPKI
03-18-2012, 01:26 AM
lol, if 10 armed intruders come into your home, your going to need more than one pistol with 15 rounds. Unless youre rambo, or pun of course.
And if there are 10 unarmed intruders, I'm sure after you put the first two or three down, the rest will flee.

...Unless they are zombies... Which is why god created 12 gauge shotguns...

Punisher11
03-18-2012, 09:56 AM
lol, if 10 armed intruders come into your home, your going to need more than one pistol with 15 rounds. Unless youre rambo, or pun of course.
And if there are 10 unarmed intruders, I'm sure after you put the first two or three down, the rest will flee.

lol. my point being, more capacity lets you be prepared for more in the same configuration (one gun, one mag)

eNder
03-19-2012, 11:31 PM
here's a pretty good video on the differences between 9mm and .45 ...to sum it up. As long as the bullet (not the cartidge) meets standards it doesn't matter which is better stopping an assailant. The winner comes out to be the one that can hold the most ammo legally. I add legally because if you get into a gun fight with a mag that holds more than 10 in new york you may stir up trouble that might not work out in your favor. If it doesn't work out in your favor the whole conversation is a moot point because you lose.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dA36NYLqns

Punisher11
03-20-2012, 08:37 AM
That's why I buy so many mags, and pay premium for prebans. I will always carry a minimum of 16 (15+1) on the 92