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Yes, to a point where the weapon is no longer practical or convenient to carry.

CD
 

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I would agree with Cmbat Diver pretty much, except I would say yes, to the point where you are still ab le to hit what you're shooting at twice in rapid succession. I know folks who are devoted big-cartridge devotees, but who can barely make one hit and are hopless with a double-tap. This, in my opinion, is not good for a defensive piece. Such folks are better off with a .22, or at least something they can handle.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, to a point where the weapon is no longer practical or convenient to carry.

CD


I should have clarifield the premise better. Is a larger caliber in a self defense caliber better than a smaller self defense caliber
 

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I think Jeff Cooper had it right when he said you want the heaviest chambering you can control. That means control well enough to have the necessary speed and accuracy for a gun fight, of course. Absent that, any gun is better than no gun, and I think that applies in both directions. One too light, used with enough accuracy, will still end the fight in your favor. With a gun too powerful or not configured for fast follow-up shots (I'm thinking of Contenders and Encores in .45-70's here), aiming to make the first shot count will still stop the fight.

This question often winds up becoming an argument between fans of the 9 mm Parabellum vs. fans of the .45 ACP, but in the broad scheme of things, that's really a pretty narrow range of "heavy" verses "light". I've had some luck loading up the 32 H&R magnum to near .327 Federal pressure levels, and with a flat meplat bullet (I use hard cast full wadcutters seated out to full SAAMI maximum COL), I can say I honestly would not want to be on the receiving end of one. I once spent a little time with the old LAR Grizzly .45 Win. Mag., and actually found it a reasonably controllable shooter. The main drawback was just the size of the grip frame needed for those long cartridges was not entirely "handy" for fast presentation.

So, I think you can find your personal limitations for "heavy" in a package you can handle and go from there. The admonition that a fight is stopped by the first decisive hit, and not necessarily by whomever is first to fire still applies.
 

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the heaviest chambering you can control quoted from unlenicks post X 2,as we spoke earlier why am I going to hit you with a 5lb hammer when I can swing a 25lbder?
 

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I love my S&W 460 but for a self protection not a chance. the recoil is way to high the percusion with out hearing protection will deafen you and recovery for a second shot well forget it. So begger is not necessarily better I use a S&W 357 mag. with hollow points but after looking at the 32 H&R Mag. like unclenick mentioned I may just get one of those
 

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This from a small man in Iowa that just wants to survive the day and go home.

I will avoid conflict with anyone to achieve that!

Rule #1 is that Cheezywan survives the day.

Rule #2 is that everyone survives the day.

Rule #3 is that rule #1 is much more important than rule #2.

Respect that, and we both go home.

Baseball bat or howitzer? I'll use what I have to survive the day.

Respect to all.

Cheezywan
 

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I have always maintained yes. I came by this conslusion from my own testing and hunting experiences


After reading these 16 pages there conclusion matches my own

http://www.firearmstactical.com/pdf/fbi-hwfe.pdf

I am inclined to agree. From a hunters and especially a black powder shooters point of view, bigger (within reason) is better. Or as Jeff Cooper (via Uncle Nick) said shoot all the chambering you can. That is all you can fully control. For some that's a 9mm or 40. For some it's a 45 or 10mm. I am a big bore kind of guy. However... someone once said that quantity has a quality all it's own. I prefer to carry a G30 45acp. My G17 9mm has about an equal level of difficulty to conceal but it has just under double the rounds in it. The 9mm is also a lot more powerful in some versions than it used to be. The 40 S&W is excellent. So I consider them and others a reasonable alternative to my 45. I still prefer the 45 and shoot the G30 very well but can't deny there are plenty of good options in smaller calibers. I am also with Jeff Cooper in thinking the 10mm is at the top of the heap for cartridges that will stop a fight fast. Never shot one though. Just always stuck to 45's.
 

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i've carried for about ten years now, and as a law enforcement officer, i was once in a weapons discharge incident, where we unfortunately had to engage an assailant. The perp in this case was carrying a .380 auto, and he got a head start on the draw.
there is no doubt that carrying a 45 was the difference between one life and multiple lives cost.

a 380 WILL NOT PENETRATE A VEST, and you can keep firing after it hits your armor
a 45 will imbed itself in the car door behind the targets chest.

For a lot of people, they think that bullet peformance has a lot to do with it. WRONG....

look at it this way, if your 9mm hydra shock doesnt expand on a perp like it does in geletan, because he's wearing a jean jacket, then all you've got is a 115 grain bullet that will barely break a rib on entry, and not likely penetrate the cavity....
now you have a bullet that measures less than .4 inches inside, and delivered virtually no shock. In addition to the light bullet of little diameter, you only have a single hole in your perp.... more holes= more trauma/faster blood loss.
even using a fmj wadcutter out of a 45, the bullet has 30% more surface area, and in addition has more than twice the weight/energy... you no longer have to rely on a risky "expansion" theory. And like i said before, the bullet will penetrate heavy clothing, the perp, and likely break his spine during exit, if aimed well. if not hit in the spine, you at least have a port hole in the perps back side.

most men, because of hand size can learn to shoot a 45 as fast as a 9, most women can shoot a 40 as fast as a 380.... Why unless concealed carry would you risk your life with anything less than the maximum you are comfortable with?
Practice.... practice... and become effecient, shoot solid bullets, with good sectional density.
thats my .02$ and i hope i didnt offend anyone.
 

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My CCW Bullets/Loads

My everyday CCW is a 3" Kimber and 7+1 of the original Black Talon 230gr.(Please don't start with the legalities of such a carry load) The bullets have a "reverse taper jacket" meaning basically that they are much thicker up front than at the rear. This,for excellent penetration AND expansion.

If I carry my Glock 19 is has 15+1 of 147gr Speer Gold Dots. This is my club gun and it is carried to and from the hunting club and everywhere in between. I wanted the heaviest bullet available for offense and defense against hogs and gators if need be. I might go hear and there before and after the club and the weapon then becomes my CCW for the day. I never feel under gunned given the way that I practice. The BG will most certainly get at least two right from the start.

The other pistol that I carry is my Glock 20. This mostly loaded with 180gr XTP's from Double Tap. This is primarily for scouting the places where the larger hogs roam. It is also used for hunting with the addition of a 6" Glock OEM bbl and loaded with 200gr WFNGC's,also from DT.

I will sometimes carry my Ket-Tec P3AT if I feel that I need a BUG to my 1911. It is also my around the house weapon. It is carried while mowing the grass and doing general yard work. It is on my person all the time that I am at home. It is carried with 90gr GD's from Speer. This weapon is planned to be used to fight my way to another weapon that I have loaded and ready to go throughout my house and garage.

These are my choices. I feel that I have made the right choices to protect my wife and family. Each one of us needs to do all the research into weapons and loads,then come up with their own decisions. The only bad decision that one can make is to not be armed at all times.

Stay safe -----pruhdlr
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes, there is no dening that a high capacity weapon can have a statigacal advantage in some circumstances. Of course there are high capacity 45's that hold 14 rounds in the magazine. Not as many rounds as a 40 or 9 can hold. My thinking is that as a citizen the likely hood of me getting into a protracted gun battle are very slim indeed and I prefer to carry a 45 ACP. Mine are all single stack. I carry them with 8 rounds mags in the gun with one spare 10 round mag. Fully loaded along with the spare 10 round amagazine that gives a total of 19 rounds. Should be enough I think
 

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I mostly carry a snubbie .357, as it is a handy size and weight, and conceals very well in a pocket. In a nice pair of slacks, it's a good feeling to know you are armed and no one else can tell :)

But, touching on Pigsah's comments, in the field, on the way to/from the deer camp, there is a single-action revolver close by. Usually a .45 Colt but once in a while my .500 JRH and on rare occasion, a .357 or .44 mag. Whatever I feel like carrying around the deer camp. Not gonna run into any carjackers out there but hey there are big ugly pigs running around and I want some thump at my disposal. Unlikely to run into any trouble on the highways to/from but that big revolver is there if I need it..... and I won't feel guilty if a 300gr. or 400gr. WFN goes through some methhead that wandered far from the interstate. I don't think it will be found in the door behind the perp, either :eek: and a jean jacket isn't going to have any substantial effect on the wound channel.

Something my wife said the other day touches on this thread. She noticed that when I told her mother's dog to shut up, it does.... whereas her mother doesn't seem to have any control over it. The dog knows when you mean business. Sometimes people do too! The bad guy, who realizes that the tables are turned and he is fixing to get shot by someone determined to defend themselves, may well turn tail and run, without bothering to evaluate your choice of firearm, ammo, tactics, etc....

I'll go with Cheezy's rules.

Wouldn't want to be a cop in this day and age with crackheads, etc. If I was I'd probably be trying to figure out how to carry around an AK47 on my hip..... or an 870 :D or a SAW..... :eek:
 

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I know that a 45 ACP is better then a 38, no doubt about it, If I knew I was gonna need it, I'm pack a 1911 (or better yet a rifle). But I dont know that. Chances are I'll go the rest of my life without needing to defend myself. Don't mean I'll wont carry. JUST IN CASE.

BUT COMMON SENSE PREVAILED.

I found I often left my 1911 in the truck or at home. A light pistol in the pocket beats a heavy pistol in the truck every time.

I'll stick to my 642 which is ALWAYS in my pocket. Dont have to worry about grabbing my gun when I leave the house, Dont have to worry about wheather its concealed or not, IF anyone knows. Heck most of the time I forget that its in my pocket.
 

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Bigger is better dinosaur here. My duty gun was a 1911 45ACP and I'm pretty good with it. If my sissy state allowed concealed carry I might reconsider but open carry its still my 45.

That being said I target practice regularly and hunt with 357, 41 and 44 magnums but I wouldn't use any of them for HD. A carefully aimed shot is one thing, getting surprised by a boogerman at dark thirty in your house my choice is my 357 loaded with 38 spcl. Reasoning is I am waking up and doing the adrenaline rush thing. I want something easy to handle and fast to bring to the party. My loaded revolver is my bedside gun for that reason. In my case it was largest caliber vs handling ability in a tense situation in a house filled with family members.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I know that a 45 ACP is better then a 38, no doubt about it, If I knew I was gonna need it, I'm pack a 1911 (or better yet a rifle). But I dont know that. Chances are I'll go the rest of my life without needing to defend myself. Don't mean I'll wont carry. JUST IN CASE.

BUT COMMON SENSE PREVAILED.

I found I often left my 1911 in the truck or at home. A light pistol in the pocket beats a heavy pistol in the truck every time.

I'll stick to my 642 which is ALWAYS in my pocket. Dont have to worry about grabbing my gun when I leave the house, Dont have to worry about wheather its concealed or not, IF anyone knows. Heck most of the time I forget that its in my pocket.

The intent of this thread is to discuss if there is a terminal ballistical advantage of the 45 calibers over the smaller calibers offerings.

In my experience and opinion if a smaller caliber has enough velocity which induces enough more hydraulic pressure, then the wounds are very close in size. How much more is enough vary's in my expereince with the caliber and most sef defense calibers are not speed demons by no means
 

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In defense, there are some thing acceptable, that are not acceptable in law enforcement. If the assailant flees, this is acceptable; self defense is to stop the attacker. I have always felt that a big bullet is best, such is the 44 or 45, both need little expansion and offer deep penetration. The best 45 ACP bullets are the hard hollow point and if you are willing to pay for them, they are the way to go.

My wife like the 357 magnum for her own reasons. We both agree the 45 ACP fills the bill.
 

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My dad likes to say the .45 is pre-expanded. No dependance on expansion is a big plus to my mind. The 9 mm busts light cover (e.g., the old helmet penetration tests) and pops tires better. Though loaded to the same energy, the .45's greater momentum lets it penetrate a gelatin medium further when he bullets being compared have the same nose design.

Modern 9 mm is better than what was available back when the FBI was studying the issue. The Miami shootout was a big eye-opener for the ammunition industry and they acted on it, learning to make rounds that both expand and penetrate, where previously you had to choose one or the other. Nonetheless, I am slightly acquainted with one fellow who was shot through the thigh with one of the improved modern 9's (Federal Hydra-Shok) and it exited without expanding. So they haven't solved the problems to the point of being a guarantee.

Martin Fackler pointed out that, at autopsy, pathologists are typically unable to discern a handgun bullet hole made by a solid from one made by a hollow point. That's not true of heavy magnums loads, and is certainly not true at high power hunting rifle velocities. But among the more common defensive round power levels, apparently hydrodynamic temporary cavities are usually just that; temporary. So, if you get a gremlin hopped up on something that lets him feel no pain, or even, as in the FBI shootout, just on a lot of fight or flight adrenaline, hydrodynamic shock in this power range can turn out to be of no more than theoretical value. I don't know how you go about studying how often temporary cavity pain actually shortens stop time over what a solid would achieve? You kind of just have to go by subjective impressions of those who've seen both in action.

Jeff Cooper became a fan of the truncated cone bullet design by the end of his life. Reports had come in from his contacts that they were stopping faster than hardball. The flat meplat makes a temporary cavity (which might answer my previous question) but it also does crushing damage as compared to a round nose. It would be interesting to learn whether that crushing damage has more shock effect on nerves than temporary cavities do? I don't know how to study that conveniently, either?

In any event, between expansion reliability issues and hydrodynamic shock impressing gremlins unreliably, I long ago decided to opt out of the expanding bullet argument altogether. Blunt solid projectiles in .45 ACP or in .44 Special for my 3" Charter Bulldog (when I need smaller size and weight) are my personal preference. But I do enjoy experimenting with both smaller and larger rounds to see what they can be got to do?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Your vast knowledge is always appreciated in these threads. Your post summed up my feelins on the subject very well. When all aspects are considered I also have elected to go with the larger bore hand guns
 

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My dad likes to say the .45 is pre-expanded. No dependance on expansion is a big plus to my mind. The 9 mm busts light cover (e.g., the old helmet penetration tests) and pops tires better. Though loaded to the same energy, the .45's greater momentum lets it penetrate a gelatin medium further when he bullets being compared have the same nose design.

Modern 9 mm is better than what was available back when the FBI was studying the issue. The Miami shootout was a big eye-opener for the ammunition industry and they acted on it, learning to make rounds that both expand and penetrate, where previously you had to choose one or the other. Nonetheless, I am slightly acquainted with one fellow who was shot through the thigh with one of the improved modern 9's (Federal Hydra-Shok) and it exited without expanding. So they haven't solved the problems to the point of being a guarantee.

Martin Fackler pointed out that, at autopsy, pathologists are typically unable to discern a handgun bullet hole made by a solid from one made by a hollow point. That's not true of heavy magnums loads, and is certainly not true at high power hunting rifle velocities. But among the more common defensive round power levels, apparently hydrodynamic temporary cavities are usually just that; temporary. So, if you get a gremlin hopped up on something that lets him feel no pain, or even, as in the FBI shootout, just on a lot of fight or flight adrenaline, hydrodynamic shock in this power range can turn out to be of no more than theoretical value. I don't know how you go about studying how often temporary cavity pain actually shortens stop time over what a solid would achieve? You kind of just have to go by subjective impressions of those who've seen both in action.

Jeff Cooper became a fan of the truncated cone bullet design by the end of his life. Reports had come in from his contacts that they were stopping faster than hardball. The flat meplat makes a temporary cavity (which might answer my previous question) but it also does crushing damage as compared to a round nose. It would be interesting to learn whether that crushing damage has more shock effect on nerves than temporary cavities do? I don't know how to study that conveniently, either?

In any event, between expansion reliability issues and hydrodynamic shock impressing gremlins unreliably, I long ago decided to opt out of the expanding bullet argument altogether. Blunt solid projectiles in .45 ACP or in .44 Special for my 3" Charter Bulldog (when I need smaller size and weight) are my personal preference. But I do enjoy experimenting with both smaller and larger rounds to see what they can be got to do?

+ 1 -- well said.
 
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