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Old October 7, 2012, 10:49 AM   #47
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Join Date: December 20, 2008
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 2,863
9x19 JHP has come a long, long way; other than something like, say, shooting through a windshield (and even the bonded stuff does that well), I just haven't seen any terminal ballistics data that convinces me a .45 provides enough appreciable difference to make stepping up to it a requirement.
I agree. I carry a 9mm or a 380. I have respect for the 45, but I also don't think it is as great IN COMPARISON to a 9mm as people would have you believe. Remember, you don't have to carry FMJs and you shouldn't and that is where IMO much of the "the 45 is much better" talk comes from. I feel safe with a 15 rd gun with 9mm +P rounds.

A well placed .22LR at close range will kill somebody.
A 44 magnum at close range that misses will only make a very loud noise.
Amsdorf, I know you meant this only as an example. This is not directed at you. I want to bring up something here though regarding this example. I personally think the 44 magnum to be a poor SD choice for many reasons. One would think on the surface that the 44 magnum would be a better man stopper (assuming you hit the person) than say a 357 mag. I've always said that I don't believe that, because frankly, the 44 mag is just too powerful. I am referring to the concept of terminal ballistics, where a human, does not have enough tissue, size, etc to use up very much of the 44 mag's energy (assuming the typical SD range). The 44 mag would be like the cliche hot knife through butter whereas a 357 for example, would use nearly all, if not all, of its energy, and would expand more IMO than a 44 mag on a person. The 44 mag would IMO over penetrate / slow to expand because of its greater energy whereas a 357 will expand more and penetrate less which makes it superior for this application, IMO. I know different loads could change this some but between the 44 mag not expanding as much because of its superior energy, and the possibility of great collateral damage, I think the 44 mag is somewhat a poor choice for SD. Notice that the chart (who knows how accurate it really is) Frank Ettin posted reflects a higher percentage of 1 shot stops with a 357 magnum than a 44 magnum. For all of its energy, the 44 magnum didn't do better than many common pistol cartridges which I think supports my assertion. These chart results could be potentially because people aren't as accurate with the 44 mag but there is no way to know now.
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