Stopping power / cal. ??'s


Daven

"Gimpy"
Ok, we've all heard the old wives tales about caliber. How a .22 won't kill someone who is heavy or stoned. How a 357 will go through the person, wall and tree behind it, etc.

I have seen show's and documentaries about this and know when shooting through a fridge, sofa, counter, or other blockade, almost all calibers do it. Some not as effective as others. But most do.

SO, the question is this, I have my 1911 in .45 which I love, but I am in the market for a BUG and am highly thinking about a Bodyguard .38 cal. I rented a 38 at the range today and was very impressed. It wasn't the bodyguard, but the basic J-Frame. I've never been much into wheel gun's but this one impressed me.

So, as my 1911 is my primary, and having a 38 as a back up gun, what do you think? I welcome any opinions.

also, on rare occasions I will leave my 1911 at home and only carry the 38 as a pocket gun. How likely are the changes it WON'T stop an attacker?

And yes, I have heard that more people die from .22's than from any other calibers. I don't think that's true, but who knows.

Thanks,

Gimpy.
 

More people die from .22s because there are soooo many of them out there it's true. As for Handgun stopping power it's a myth. You want stopping power get a rifle. This week marks the 25th aniversary of the "Miami Shootout" in which 2 heavily armed bank robbers took out 4 FBI agents killing two of them.

The reason I bring that up is because according to the reports one of the agents fired what later turned out to be a killing shot into one of the robbers the very first shot. After taking that shot the robber was able to take on the FBI agents and kill two of them. His partner was able (after sustaining a head shot from a pistol) was able to exit their vehicle and make it to an empty FBI vehicle and continue the fight.

"Stopping Power" on a hand gun comes from multiple hits.
 
Stopping power is hitting the target with any round that stops the attack. With that, 1/2 mass times velocity squared.
 
Platt was the guy who did all the damage...killed two FBI agents and seriously wounded four more with a Mini-14. Was shot 12 times before going down for good.

His buddy Matix didn't provide much support for the team. Fired one birdshot round total from a 12 ga. Died after six hits.

Result, two dead serial bank robbers, two dead FBI agents and four more seriously injured...all by .223 rounds.

4½ minutes, ~150 shots exchanged.

So yea, don't take a knife to a gunfight. And keep your head down if you've got a handgun and the other guy's using a centerfire rifle.
 
Platt was the guy who did all the damage...killed two FBI agents and seriously wounded four more with a Mini-14. Was shot 12 times before going down for good.His buddy Matix didn't provide much support for the team. Fired one birdshot round total from a 12 ga. Died after six hits.Result, two dead serial bank robbers, two dead FBI agents and four more seriously injured...all by .223 rounds.

4½ minutes, ~150 shots exchanged.

So yea, don't take a knife to a gunfight. And keep your head down if you've got a handgun and the other guy's using a centerfire rifle.

I think you miss the point of my post, I emphasised it in your post for your convenience
 
Here are my simple thoughts. Especially with the two calibers you have listed, it is all about shot placement and following up until the threat stops. Beforehand, it is all about evaluating your specific threat and trying to make an educated decision, weapons capability and limitations knowledge, training and practice. For example. In my case, i am perfectly comfortable in my local area to be armed with a 5 shot .357 snubby. When I travel (especially through high crime areas), i bump up my carry to a 1911 with the snubby in the car. Car jackings and gang activity is not prevalent in my area. Home break ins and stop-and -rob scenarios are more likely. Could my evaluation be wrong, well, yes, but more than likely it will be the scenarios I listed. The 38 will do the job if you do.
 
Yep, lots of people get killed with .22 rounds; there are lots of .22's out there. But very few are instantly stopped. There's a huge difference between stopping and lethality. And since one shoots to STOP [the threat], not to kill (never say your intention was to kill), we should be interested in stopping power. I think the Hatcher formula or Cooper's Short Form are good estimates for pistol rounds, though recent advances in bullet design make them a bit dated. Marshall & Sanow have written some fascinating (and much debated, of course) books on stopping power.

I, too, carry a .45 ACP. I believe in big bullets, bore area and momentum. My Beloved Kathleen recently downsized from her old duty .357 (could only be carried in a purse, given the way she dresses) to a nice Magnaported Airweight Centennial loaded with +P .38 Special JHP ammo. (If any female readers wonder how she carries, go to Link Removed and check it out; she loves it.) I think a .45 primary and .38 Special BUG would be hard to beat. Now, will the backup to the backup be a .32 or a .22?? :)
 
More people die from .22s because there are soooo many of them out there it's true. As for Handgun stopping power it's a myth. You want stopping power get a rifle. This week marks the 25th aniversary of the "Miami Shootout" in which 2 heavily armed bank robbers took out 4 FBI agents killing two of them.

The reason I bring that up is because according to the reports one of the agents fired what later turned out to be a killing shot into one of the robbers the very first shot. After taking that shot the robber was able to take on the FBI agents and kill two of them. His partner was able (after sustaining a head shot from a pistol) was able to exit their vehicle and make it to an empty FBI vehicle and continue the fight.

"Stopping Power" on a hand gun comes from multiple hits.


this is why i went with the .40 s&w over a 9mm, and why the f.b.i. added this round to their duty belts. no bullet unless a .50 will get you a one drp hit, but a .40 and .45 will be your best bet in getting close to it.
 
Gimpy,

The .38 is a good choice. Was the LEO caliber of choice for many years. We got a Ruger SP101 .357 for the wife cause she couldn't rack the slide on an auto. She shoots .38 special + P for SD and loves it. I got a Ruger LCP .380 for a BUG and it's become my warm weather primary. I say now I wouldn't go lower than a .380, but for years and years my primary was a .25 auto. It did stop a carjacking/robbery with no shots fired, so I guess it did it's job. ANY weapon can be a deterrent, although Treo is right (for once) about so many .22's being the reason for so many deaths. Almost everyone has one or two .22 handguns and rifles. Usually bigger is better, but CC does require compromises. If I could conceal a Ruger Blackhawk .41 Magnum (my favorite handgun of all time) with an 8" barrel, it would be my only CCW.

The caliber used, as a rule, is a compromise for CCW, but ANYTHING is better than nothing for SD.
 
.45 acp primary with a .38 special back up is a good combination. For Self Defense ammo in .38 look at the Corbon DPX and the Speer 135gr +P Gold dot, both give excellent terminal performance out of short barrels.
 
Ok so I guess we went a bit of topic. So the LA shootout agreed it was a tactical mess. But remember they bad guys where covered in heavy kevlar covering there arms, legs, body and also remember that the kevlar they had on was rated up to a 357 Magnum. So shooting a 9mm, 40 SW or 45 ACP will just not do the job.

Also the first bad guy dropped because the bullet hit on an unprotected area and that is why he dropped. the other guy took several shots and he did not drop because of impacts from handgun caliber hits. He put a bullet to his head. So, just remeber handguns are not very effective against people with body armor. Most body armor is rated to stop penetration agaist .22, 25acp,38spl,40sw,45acp,357mag and some up to 44 mag (U.S, Palms).

But if you are in a situation as a civilian against a bad gun with body armor... well...Lets say you are either James Bond or you pist of the Cartel or Mafia and they have a hit on you and on this scenario..well your chances or surviving are zero to none.

I think a 38spl as a backup if just fine. get a small 40sw or 45acp. there are alot of small frame guns that fall in to the category.

Khar has some good small 40sw.
you also have Rugers KLCR and LCR 357mag and 38spl
Kel-tec pf9 9mm
springfield xdm or xd models.

for most of your encounters a good 380 will do just make sure you get some good ammo.
Also think about the scenarios you may encounter and think about the possible firearms and ammo that would provide you with an acceptible solution. (stopping power and index of penetration against over penetration and accuracy)

In a dynamic encounter you will not be able to think about stopping power, aming, penetration or even overpenetration. You will be lucky if you have time to aim. ( your going to point shoot, so practice that point and shoot).


But all and all. Good placed shots go a long way in stopping a threat.

hope it helps.
 
The .45 / .38 combination is a good one. I carry it often (Glock M21SF and S&W 438 Bodyguard). I have read about everything that Evan Marshal has written, and I tend to go with his stuff a bit more than the "Jello Junkies". However, any discussion on stopping power has to start with the understanding that a lot of "stopping power" relies on a person's desire to stop in the first place. Also, the only guaranteed one shot stops are those that take out the central nervous system. As many hunters know, a heart or lung shot is NOT an instant stopper for something that does not want to give up. A person who dies from his wounds in 30 - 60 seconds can still kill a lot of people in that time.

It is only natural that a forum like this will get a lot of talk about guns. But the particular firearm you are carrying is probably the least important aspect of your defensive strategy. The best way to be guaranteed to win a gunfight is to not show up to it. Tactics is #1. STAY out of trouble in the first place. Another important thing to keep in mind is that only 25% of encounters involving an armed citizen end up with shots fired. That's right, 75% of the encounters end as soon as the actor discovers that the "victim" is armed. It gets worse after that. Only about 8% of the gunfights end up with anyone getting hit! Now, if you have made it to the point that 1) your tactics suck and you are in a gunfight, and 2) the bad guy was not afraid of your weapon, and 3) you actually got a shot off that hit the guy, THEN what you are carrying starts to matter.

The .38 is not that good of a stopper in any loading, particularly with the short barrels in the J-Frames. According to Marshal's data, the better loads fired from a .380 have slightly better stopping power than anything fired from a 2" .38 Special, and that includes the +P. And to top it off, there are some .380's that will carry up to 13 rounds in a standard magazine. However, the .38 Special will certainly kill if you hit someone in the right place. 65% one shot stop rate beats the heck out of a sharp stick! I must believe this or I would not own and often carry .38 Special J-Frames.
 
The .45 / .38 combination is a good one. I carry it often (Glock M21SF and S&W 438 Bodyguard). I have read about everything that Evan Marshal has written, and I tend to go with his stuff a bit more than the "Jello Junkies". However, any discussion on stopping power has to start with the understanding that a lot of "stopping power" relies on a person's desire to stop in the first place. Also, the only guaranteed one shot stops are those that take out the central nervous system. As many hunters know, a heart or lung shot is NOT an instant stopper for something that does not want to give up. A person who dies from his wounds in 30 - 60 seconds can still kill a lot of people in that time.

It is only natural that a forum like this will get a lot of talk about guns. But the particular firearm you are carrying is probably the least important aspect of your defensive strategy. The best way to be guaranteed to win a gunfight is to not show up to it. Tactics is #1. STAY out of trouble in the first place. Another important thing to keep in mind is that only 25% of encounters involving an armed citizen end up with shots fired. That's right, 75% of the encounters end as soon as the actor discovers that the "victim" is armed. It gets worse after that. Only about 8% of the gunfights end up with anyone getting hit! Now, if you have made it to the point that 1) your tactics suck and you are in a gunfight, and 2) the bad guy was not afraid of your weapon, and 3) you actually got a shot off that hit the guy, THEN what you are carrying starts to matter.

The .38 is not that good of a stopper in any loading, particularly with the short barrels in the J-Frames. According to Marshal's data, the better loads fired from a .380 have slightly better stopping power than anything fired from a 2" .38 Special, and that includes the +P. And to top it off, there are some .380's that will carry up to 13 rounds in a standard magazine. However, the .38 Special will certainly kill if you hit someone in the right place. 65% one shot stop rate beats the heck out of a sharp stick! I must believe this or I would not own and often carry .38 Special J-Frames.

Sanow and Marshall, while attempting to be scientific, has too many flaws and confounds to be good science.

Again, where you hit them is more important than what you hit them with!

-Doc
 
Ok so I guess we went a bit of topic. So the LA shootout agreed it was a tactical mess. But remember they bad guys where covered in heavy kevlar covering there arms, legs, body and also remember that the kevlar they had on was rated up to a 357 Magnum.

That's all fine and good but we were refferencing the MIAMI shoot out
 
"Stopping Power" on a hand gun comes from multiple hits.
Treo nailed it. No such thing as "stopping power/knock down power." The only way you will stop an attacker with one shot is with a head shot or spinal column shot. That is a small target in a critical situation, especially when you factor in all the possible "unknowns" like: moving target, low light, adrenaline, fear etc.
I carried .45 cal for years thinking it would give me an advantage with stopping power. I'm a very good shot ... at targets or training excercises, like most everyone else. But when you consider that most LEO's miss 70% of the time in a real gunfight, the only practical thing to consider is multiple shots. So now I want more than 6 to 8 rounds in the chamber and mag. I want that doubled if possible. Shoot em in the big parts till they stop doing what ever it is that made you shoot at them in the first place, and have some extra in case they got friends. Thats my thinkin.
 
Aren't must gun fights under 8 round? In which case if either the bg or you don't run away by then, or the bg or you aren't dead...more than 8 rounds doesn't matter that much. Just my opinion on statistics I've read.

But...i agree with most of the above, placement over power.
 
They ALL have stopping power! (It is the "knockdown" power that is a myth concocted by Hollywierd.)

There's something about getting shot that takes the "fight" out of most BGs. I've personally seen a number of people shot; and I've been in several confrontations. In every instance the fight they had to begin with, turned into FEAR.

It's my belief; even the "FEAR" of being shot will "STOP" most attacks immediately. If I'm not mistaken, the facts of CC and self-defense also hold this belief to be true.

That being said; I own both a 38 and a 380. I have no reservations about their effectiveness as a bug; or PCW for that matter. As a matter of fact, some guns that have personally saved my a$$ are: a 38sp stubby, a 22lr revolver, a 380acp; and in two other instances one was a dbl barrel SG and one was a HP hunting rifle.
 
Ok, we've all heard the old wives tales about caliber. How a .22 won't kill someone who is heavy or stoned. How a 357 will go through the person, wall and tree behind it, etc.

I have seen show's and documentaries about this and know when shooting through a fridge, sofa, counter, or other blockade, almost all calibers do it. Some not as effective as others. But most do.

SO, the question is this, I have my 1911 in .45 which I love, but I am in the market for a BUG and am highly thinking about a Bodyguard .38 cal. I rented a 38 at the range today and was very impressed. It wasn't the bodyguard, but the basic J-Frame. I've never been much into wheel gun's but this one impressed me.

So, as my 1911 is my primary, and having a 38 as a back up gun, what do you think? I welcome any opinions.

also, on rare occasions I will leave my 1911 at home and only carry the 38 as a pocket gun. How likely are the changes it WON'T stop an attacker?

And yes, I have heard that more people die from .22's than from any other calibers. I don't think that's true, but who knows.

Thanks,

Gimpy.


Gimpy,

First off, I'll post up the stopping power survey (magazine and issue if I can locate it) for you when I get home. It's going to illustrate there's about a 50-50 chance on ammo reliability all the way up to the .45ACP. So ammo choice isn't as important as shot placement and multiple shots (no one shot will do the trick unless you hit the Medulla). That research covered the .38spl, 9mm, 45ACP, and I think the .357mag....but I need to get the article in my hands to quote it accurately and give you the location to find it. I can confirm it's from Police Marksman Magazine.

Second, I'm in the same boat as I love the .45ACP. So, if you're looking at keeping your caliber consistency I'd like to suggest you look at some of the Kahr 45's and other single stack 45's out there. Some of their newer stuff is quite compact and would make a great BUG as well as keep you in one caliber for carry. Hopefully Kimber will take the Solo 9mm concept into a super small .45 platform, I'd own one in a hurry if they did.

I'd also like to give you a head's up on the Bodyguard 38's. I've had students in concealed carry classes that have had issues with them, so I've backed away from those permanently. My first experience was in-shop where we managed to get a Bodyguard to lock up, no movement at all, with the trigger fully rearward. My next experience was when the bad lasers were getting out. My final experience was a double-occurrence on the same day. Students had the Bodyguard 38 and I kept hearing "click" with either no cylinder rotation or cylinder rotation without a discharge. I figured it had to be because the cylinder wasn't locked in place and considered it user-error. It wasn't. I was able to successfully replicate it on 2 different Bodyguards and achieved both results when the cylinder was properly closed and locked.

This is known as bad ju-ju in the defensive world. If it fails at a critical juncture, and it will, it's going to get someone killed.
 
Any mechanical device will fail at some point. So,I carry guns in pairs(New York Reload). It is faster to draw a second gun than to fix a problem with your primary gun. I started doing that 35 years ago. Also,A good friend's father was a ww2 vet and long time pawn broker. He said that having a plan "B" was always a good deal. He said, "carrying guns in pairs avoids confusion when things get interesting. Also, if you are down to your backup gun, you are probably in more trouble than you were in when you started, so you need a bigger gun, not a smaller one.
 

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