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View Poll Results: Best combat caliber?
.357 mag 14 16.47%
9mm 23 27.06%
.44 mag 4 4.71%
.45 acp 51 60.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 85. You may not vote on this poll

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Old February 25, 2009, 05:37 AM   #1
.408cheytac
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Best combat handgun caliber in existence?

Hey guys, I'm not a gun expert like most of you guys but I would like to know which is the best combat handgun in the world?

The parameters are:
a)it can be a pistol or revolver
b)it should be semi auto or auto
c)can include military or civilian caliber
d)it should function with JHP and FMJ rounds
e)cost and availability is not a consideration
f) it is meant for a holster so need not be concealable
g)the gun should be reliable(from personal experience only, that is please don't tell that the gun was around for 96 years so it must be reliable).
h) expected for 10 to 25 yard range
i)considering the user is average size (5ft 10 inches medium built with availability to practice around 7 hrs a week.

Thanks in advance

Last edited by JohnKSa; February 26, 2009 at 12:55 AM. Reason: Rule 4.
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Old February 25, 2009, 05:54 AM   #2
nate45
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Oh noes, here we go again, it seems like just yesterday we were discussing this, oh wait it was yesterday.

Well, for starters you left out the .40 S&W and 10 MM and a few others, but it doesn't really matter cause there is no best.

There is no "one better defense caliber". One type of pistol/cartridge combination may be better for you than the others. The best person to make that decision is you .- so sayeth the nate
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Old February 25, 2009, 05:59 AM   #3
evan1293
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Liberator .45
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Old February 25, 2009, 07:00 AM   #4
.408cheytac
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Yeah, you might be right about the "best".

But you dont expect some one to use a .22 rimfire on an elephant because there is a 0.0000000001% to kill it! I've heard of some one dropping a cape buffalo with .22 hornet).

So I'm expecting an answer which is a combination of theoretically best and practically best. Any way please keep posting.

Last edited by JohnKSa; February 26, 2009 at 12:49 AM. Reason: Rule 4.
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Old February 25, 2009, 07:11 AM   #5
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Any service caliber with JHP's designed for the law enforcement market is going to offer substantially identical performance: ~12" of penetration and >.6" recovered diameter, with good weight retention even after defeating barriers.

Pick the caliber name you think sounds the coolest, and then get it chambered in the gun that will most impress your friends. You can tell a pistol is good if a lot of people have it mentioned in their signature lines on this board, or have tattoos of the manufacturer's logo. Also, do a thread search here to see which ones have been mentioned most often in threads entitled "_______ RULEZ!"

You're welcome.
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Old February 25, 2009, 07:15 AM   #6
Keltyke
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The "best" combat caliber is one the shooter can shoot the most accurately and the quickest.

Of that list, for ME, I vote .357 magnum. You left out several good combat rounds.
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Old February 25, 2009, 07:46 AM   #7
KSFreeman
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It's just a pistol, who cares?

.408, welcome to TFL. Remember, in the gun culture, when it comes to "the best", the subjective is objective.
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Old February 25, 2009, 07:46 AM   #8
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10mm
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Old February 25, 2009, 08:27 AM   #9
BillM
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a) pistol or revolver
b) semi auto or auto
e) cost and availability not a consideration


Well heck---that's easy!

Webley-Fosbery semi-auto revolver, caliber 455 Webley.
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Old February 25, 2009, 08:35 AM   #10
Canthros
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Best combat caliber is the biggest, heaviest, fastest bullet you can hit your target with consistently. Accuracy is king, and that's your part of the transaction. After that, it's all commentary.

If you're really going to hit a range for seven hours a week, I would think you ought to be able to get good enough with any of those calibers in reasonably short order. .44 Magnum will probably take longer than the rest, and will cost more.

Assuming money's no object and the rule of cool is most important, get a Deagle in .44 Magnum. It can be had in gold chrome tiger stripes! Otherwise, look real hard at something like a Glock or an XD in 9mm or .45ACP, or a good double-action revolver in .357 Magnum.
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Old February 25, 2009, 09:09 AM   #11
alistaire
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Hey, where is .577 Snider? That's the ultimate handgun round.
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Old February 25, 2009, 09:13 AM   #12
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You forgot 357sig,increasingly popular with LEO as well as civilians...
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Old February 25, 2009, 09:13 AM   #13
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The best handgun he asks?

All of the above answers to your thread are correct. However, to get right to the point, my choice would be a .45 auto. This thread was started by a new guy on TFL, (only been online with us a couple days from his thread), So to keep it simple and answer his question, my suggestion to him would be:

A good quality .45acp automatic pistol, loaded with 230 grain bullets, (Powerball ammo by Cor-Bon). He wanted to know what we think is the best caliber he should choose for self defense is all he asked. After he purchases his weapon/ammo, go to the range and practice loading and shooting for confidence and performace in the event you have to use it one day for protection of yourself and/or family.
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Old February 25, 2009, 09:33 AM   #14
Canthros
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I feel like I should make a couple quick addendums to my earlier reply.

1. The best gun is the one you carry.
2. I seriously doubt that most of the posters here are gun experts. I'm certainly not. Some of the posters (including some who have replied here) absolutely are, however, and I will stand by my earlier reply.

I have very limited experience with guns I don't own, and only have handguns in two of the calibers listed. Can't recommend the specific .357 revolver (it's very cool, but I wouldn't want to carry it), but either the Browning Hi-Power (a Mk III, FWIW) or the CZ-75 (SP-01 Tactical, i.e. extended mag, light rail, and decocker) seem like good choices to me. The Hi-Power won't like heavy (i.e. +P or hotter) loads, though.

If I had unlimited resources, I would be looking at a Hi-Power in .40S&W to convert down to 9mm. IIRC, the .40S&W HPs have a heavier slide and stiffer recoil spring. With a 9mm barrel, they should handle most any commercial 9x19mm load just fine.

Last thing: if you really need stopping power, get a carbine, rifle or shotgun.
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Old February 25, 2009, 09:33 AM   #15
.408cheytac
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You see I'm a part of an Indian armed force medical service and .357 is the standard police round here. I don't like .357 for that reason.

I'm considering .44mag or .460v s&w(seems to be versatile with 3 ammo choices).

We usually travel with 6 men armed with AK 47 or INSAS rifle(a crap 5.6mm Indian made rifle). We have to go to mostly tribal areas full of insurgents(mostly armed with stolen .303 lee enfield british rifles previously used by our police dept,and 7mm mausers) plus we have trouble with elephants ,leopards and tigers. We do wear class 4 body armour but once for some reason we got split (got charged by a leopard protecting cubs ) i was left out unarmed! Thats a scary situation but that day no one got hurt luckily. I dont want to repeat that! And I don't like to carry heavy rifles because all this happens once in a year or so but i have to walk around 20 km every month with it in jungle terrain!

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Old February 25, 2009, 09:49 AM   #16
alistaire
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cheytac, can you get good hollow points like Federal, Corbon etc? If so ANY of your options will be good. If you can't, then the biggest bullet you can get a good supply will be the best choice, provided you can shoot it well. The recoil of a 9mm is about half of the recoil of a .45 ACP or .44. An advantage of ammo used by the local police or army is that in times of shortage, you can get ammo from the local boys. If you are the only guy in 100 miles using .44 you are on your own for finding ammo.

Regards.
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Old February 25, 2009, 12:10 PM   #17
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I think the best combat handgun caliber is 7.62X25. It's a good performer for military use: lots of oomph, penetrates a Kevlar helmet, not too much recoil, etc. Face it though, folks, whatever our individual preferences, it's a 9MM world out there.

If they only made a nice, modern pistol for 7.62....
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Old February 25, 2009, 01:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Well, for starters you left out the .40 S&W and 10 MM
Yeah, I noticed that too.
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Old February 25, 2009, 01:22 PM   #19
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Sorry but anyone that thinks a pistol is best for combat is an idiot

Don't get me wrong. I'm a pistol instructor and love shooting pistols but for armed combat - if you think a pistol is good for combat your an idiot.

I carried the 1911 45ACP but I was a medic in a heavy armor division. I'm right next to (or should I say behind) an M1A1 that had a 120mm cannon that can reach out to over 3 miles.

For infantry you need a rifle. The best is still the 7.62 (308). You can reach out to over 600 yards easy. The 5.56 (.223) is more in the range of 300-400 yards. A pistol is more in the 50 yards or less range and realistically like 25 yards at most. For combat weight is the foremost. Have you ever carried an M1 or M14 for 12 miles and a combat load of ammo? Try taking your BB gun the next time on a hike and you can begin to appreciate - that weight is important for combat. That is why the .223 has taken over. It's light and the ammo is light too. The soldier can carry more ammo too.

So, you get your pistol but I'll shoot you from 600 yards away in my foxhole. :-)

For a sidearm: I want my trusty 45 or 9mm loaded with hollowpoints (whatever is issued since you really don't have a choice - do you?).
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Old February 25, 2009, 02:02 PM   #20
alistaire
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He doesn't need another rifle. He wants a pistol for when he misplaces his 6 riflemen that accompany him on the job...
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Old February 25, 2009, 02:04 PM   #21
lee n. field
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.45 ACP'll do ya.

So will the rest you listed (with the arguable exception of .44 Magnum).

And some you haven't. (.40 does everything 9mm does, better -- how's that for a flame war starter?.)
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Old February 25, 2009, 02:06 PM   #22
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Old February 25, 2009, 02:11 PM   #23
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I bet that dead horse the guy is beating was killed with a .45ACP.

That's a sign I need to quit this thread. Sooooo long.
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Old February 25, 2009, 03:49 PM   #24
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From the additional information you posted it seems to me that what is needed is ability and training more than caliber. It doesn't matter what caliber you are carrying if you can't produce the pistol and get it into action when you need it most. Find some shooters and and ask them if they know somone who can help you with some training in defending yourself with a pistol. If they don't know anyone personally, they should know of some schools where you can go for training. Contact the schools and tell them your situation. Tell them you are trying to decide on the best firearm for your situation and ask them if they have loaners you can try. All this will probably not be cheap, but you will gain the information that will help you make the best decison for your situation.

Good luck!
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Old February 25, 2009, 04:02 PM   #25
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Bestest Ever

I would think that it would be whatever the US Military buys. Or the one you feel most comfortable having. KISS
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