After 20+ years in law enforcement, I am frequently asked what caliber is best. Since we debate a lot of .31 vs. .36 vs. 44. in this forum, I thought I would post my opinions.
I am a California expert witness on Narcotics, Collision Investigation and Ballistics. I have attended many autopsies and witnessed guys take hits from .44 Magnum, .357 Magnum, .45 ACP and 12 gauge slugs and not only still shoot, but run and physically fight arresting officers.
Many times, people will buy the bigger caliber, or the most modern gun they can afford, in hopes it will be more ‘lethal,’ or, at the very least, make them a better shooter.
Shot placement is stopping power, plain and simple.
There is no ‘magic bullet,’ least of all the anemic loads available in .40 S&W that are so highly touted.
Read about the George Deeb shooting where the suspect, not on any type of narcotic, took 17 hits from .40 S&W and .223 Remington and still shot back (accurately) and fought arresting officers.
The investigation claimed a single shot felled Deb, but this was proven untrue at autopsy. No vital organs were hit, his chest cavity filled with blood and he eventually suffocated, but that could not be attributed to any single shot.
I realize we will not likely use a C&B for self-defense, but whatever you carry, pratice and shot placement is critical.
In my career, I have had people at gun point with a Grendel P-12 in .380 ACP and never felt outgunned because I knew I could hit my target.