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dlyn454

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Handgun stopping power - Wednesday, February 01, 2012 7:22 PM ( #1 )
An interesting study of handgun stopping power.
 
http://www.buckeyef irearms.org/ node/7866
<http://www.buckeyef irearms.org/ node/7866>
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Wednesday, February 01, 2012 7:29 PM ( #2 )
that my personal opinion but the best man stopper for a pistol is .45 ACP and for a revolver 357mag
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Wednesday, February 01, 2012 7:40 PM ( #3 )
I agree with his final conclusion. Carry what you like. It doesn't matter as long as you have it with you when needed and can hit your target.

FYI I carry a Kel-Tec P32 (7 rounds of .32 ACP FMJ) with me all day, every day, and I never feel like I'm underpowered. It's good enough to get me out of just about any situation and small enough to carry all the time.
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Wednesday, February 01, 2012 7:44 PM ( #4 )
Become a good enough shot to put your first round in the bad guy's 10-ring and a .22 will be a 100% one-shot stopper

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dlyn454

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Re:Handgun stopping power - Wednesday, February 01, 2012 7:54 PM ( #5 )
Yeah I figure just like with a knife, its where you make the wound.   And by the way--'body or head' is not good enough.   I listened to a kid who had set a 12 ga off in his mouth.  He was going around lecturing HS students against suicide.   He had turned his head sideways at the last instant and it blew off a large part of his face--But didn't get the brain.  We are much like zombies.  You want a certain instant stop, you gotta get the brain or upper spine.  You can 'let the air out'  or 'drain the hydrolics', (lung or circulatory system)  but that takes a while.  You can break down the support structure by busting a knee or hip---that will stop 'em from chasing you, but if they have a gun they can keep shooting.
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Wednesday, February 01, 2012 8:07 PM ( #6 )
There's also stories of dudes who get shot in the arm or leg with a .25 or some other small caliber and it stops them in their tracks. There's just too many variables to imagine.
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Wednesday, February 01, 2012 8:14 PM ( #7 )
great info! i thought it would be info on 50AE (desert eagle) because cartridge is on pic but nothing :( oh well!!!
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Wednesday, February 01, 2012 8:20 PM ( #8 )
I was taught to aim for center mass.  I've been in situation where my life has been threatened, and with the adrenaline pumping and heart pounding, I doubt, I could aim and hit a moving target of the brain or spinal cord.  If it was a stationary target at close distance with plenty of time to shoot, sure no problem, but how often do we get to play hitman, other than at the range with paper perps. 
If I'm hitting center mass, I want to do the most damage possible to stop the threat or put the fight out of them.  It's up to the capability and comfort of the shooter, but I would want atleast a 9mm with good hollow points at the lower end and 45acp at the upper.  Anything more, IMHO is a bit costly to practice, and recoil makes it bit difficult for average shooters.
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Wednesday, February 01, 2012 8:35 PM ( #9 )
Delightful to read Greg Ellifritz's name on this article. I had the honor and good fortune to take a CQ shooting class at TDI in southern Ohio and he was one of the instructors. The way it was explained to me, the body is like a hydraulic cylinder; the more holes you put in it, the less optimally it functions. The one shot stop (or the one punch knockout, or ikken issatsu) appeals to our desire for instant gratification, but the reality is that people usually take a lot of abuse to shut off the lights, and any martial training, armed or unarmed, should prepare one for that. Ikken issatsu is a happy piece of luck when it happens.
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Wednesday, February 01, 2012 8:48 PM ( #10 )
I won't EDC anything less than a 9mm anymore. I used to have a Ruger LCP .380 ACP, but the ammo costs almost twice as much as 9mm and has less muzzle energy. I really like .40 S&W both price-wise and power-wise, but I can't carry quite as much .40 S&W as I can 9mm in the same sized gun. .45 ACP has slightly less muzzle energy than .40 S&W and requires a larger-framed gun with even lower magazine capacity. Therefore, I choose 9mm because it's inexpensive, widely available, reasonably powerful, and allows for a relatively high magazine capacity. I'm more concerned about engaging multiple targets quickly and accurately than I am about putting several large holes in one target.

I have a suspicion that most people buy the Ruger LCP and the Kel Tec P32 and P3AT because the guns themselves are small and inexpensive, but they don't consider the ammo price that makes practice almost cost prohibitive. I also have a suspicion that many guys who think .45 ACP is the only way to go are 1911-myopic and simply choose tradition over any common sense. I think anyone who chooses to carry a handgun chambered in 9mm or .40 S&W has made a wise choice.

On a different note, I'm still baffled as to why companies continue to produce revolvers chambered in .38 Special, and why people continue to purchase them. It seems like common sense to me to only chamber these types of revolvers in .357 Magnum so that both .38 and .357 can be fired through them. What is the point of limiting a revolver to .38 special? The difference in overall firearm length couldn't need to be more than 1/8" and the difference in production cost must be almost negligible. Anybody have any thoughts about this?

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dlyn454

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Re:Handgun stopping power - Wednesday, February 01, 2012 9:15 PM ( #11 )
I agree with about all that has been said.  I do think there are a lot of other factors .  Like as a hunter it is a bad idea to be 'over-gunned'.  Meaning having a super magnum you can't shoot well.  You are better off with a lighter caliber you can shoot.  That might explain why the magnums don't do much better than standards.
And ammo selection counts at least as much as caliber.  Like the guy says in the article, a lot of people shoot ball in their autos.  If there was some way to sort by type of ammo, that might change things a lot. 
And though I believe what I said about placement being most important, I will feel OK with a .22 when thats all I can carry--but given the choice, I think a bigger round gives me more margin for error.  And lets the air or blood out faster.  I do think expecting a guy to go down in 5 secs is unrealistic unless you hit that nervious system.  I'vee seen too many game animals keep going quite a ways with solid hits.

As for why they still make .38s---I have wondered the same thing.  As you say, the size difference is insignificant.   All I can guess is that a lot is marketing.  A lot of people are scared of the .357.  Many don't know you can shoot .38s in it.  And a lot of people just know ".38 is what cops use."  
I think .38s are a valid choice.  but I would get a .357 just so I had the option of using .357 ammo---if for example I couldn't get .38s.
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Wednesday, February 01, 2012 10:03 PM ( #12 )
One of the reasons a lot of people still like .45s is the lack of over-penetration.  Using a pistol for self defense is a lot easier when you aren't worried about what's behind the target as much.  Also, they do have proven reliability with stopping power even if they aren't the end all be all caliber.  I'm a fan of the 2 pistol classics the 9mm and the .45ACP.  I don't think you can go wrong with either, though I have been wanting to try the .40 lately.  Just haven't decided on a make or model for it yet.  Any suggestions?
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Wednesday, February 01, 2012 10:51 PM ( #13 )
DLYN454-Yeah I figure just like with a knife, its where you make the wound. And by the way--'body or head' is not good enough. I listened to a kid who had set a 12 ga off in his mouth. He was going around lecturing HS students against suicide. He had turned his head sideways at the last instant and it blew off a large part of his face--But didn't get the brain. I personally treated 2 people who had injuries like this, shotgun under chin attempted suicide-turned head at last second. I also treated a guy who took 3 12ga 00 buck rounds from 3 feet. Broken right shoulder, collapsed right lung, superficial right leg wound. He tried to escape 2 days later. I also treated a guy who gave himself a going away party, went upstairs and shot himself in the temple with a .25. He waited a while, didn't feel particularly bad, put a band-aid over the wound, and went back down to the party. An hour and a half later, he sat down in his chair and died.
<message edited by fudo on Wednesday, February 01, 2012 11:58 PM>
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Thursday, February 02, 2012 12:04 AM ( #14 )
I agree with Ellifritz. Carry what you want.
Carry what you want, and get good at it. Quit worrying about what the round will do, and concentrate on what you will do.

I got over the whole stopping power debate back in the early 90's. After reading hundreds of articles by Ayoob, Cooper, Taylor, and a host of gun legends all concluding that their preferred round was the one, it became obvious that the argument can be made for any of them.

I'm also a firm believer in the philosophy that the .380 in your pocket is far better than the .45 on your dresser. If someone will actually carry an LCP, then they should buy an LCP. A 1911 won't do anyone a bit of good on the street if it's at home.

I've never subscribed to the wundernine mentality. I failed to be impressed in the 80's by the multiple high capacity DA/SA 9mm pistols that exploded on the market. It seemed like every week someone came out with a design which would squeeze in just 1 more round above what the competitors did last week.

I've been out of the Marines for a very long time, and I'm not a cop or a private investigator, or mercenary, or terrorist. I don't see any need for me to carry around a 15 round magazine of 9mm or anything else.
Considering that most gunfights are actually extremely rare and generally involve 2-3 rounds, what kind of hell would have to break out for the average joe to get into a 15 round sustained gunfight? Or 30 rounds for that matter, since the advice is always to carry an extra mag.

Wunderniner's will advise to never carry a 1911, because it only has a 7+1 capacity. You should get a Glock/Beretta/H&K/Sig with a gazillion rounds. And I always laugh when they add, ..."or a .357."

I carried a Star PD .45ACP with 7 rounds for years. I currently carry an XD40sc with 9+1 or a Sig P238 .380 with 6+1 depending on clothing, and I'm perfectly comfortable with my level of protection with any of them.
If I can't handle a situation with 6 or 7 rounds I assure you I'll be retreating. And in all probability it will be before half of them are fired.

Not that I have anything against high capacity handguns. I happen to own a couple of them myself. But one should carry what one is comfortable with. If that happens to be a certain capacity, or a certain caliber, or both so be it. Confidence in your equipment inspires confidence within yourself, which will definitely serve you well in a time of crisis.

If someone likes and would carry an LCR with it's 5 rounds, I'd advise them to pick one up in an instant. The point is to buy what you will carry, and carry the darn thing. And practice until you're proficient with it both in accuracy and deployment.

I won't call any common caliber ammo cost prohibitive. It's true .380 got pretty expensive during the shortage, but today they're about half of what they were at their peak.

Current average prices per 1000 rounds for common FMJ ammo:
9mm Luger: $225.00= .23¢ ea.
.40 S&W: $260.00= .26¢ ea.
.380 ACP: $275.00= .28¢ ea.
.45 ACP: $359.00= .36¢ ea.

If you can afford to practice with a .40 you can afford to practice with a .380. If you can't afford either buy a .22 and practice with that.
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Thursday, February 02, 2012 1:03 AM ( #15 )

the link didn't work for me...

Lott did a fantastic study on one shot stops, in the final analysis there was only a reasonably small spread between the top stoppers, tho the .357mag 125gr at around 1400fps proved to be the best stopper from over 400 actual shootings.(97% one shot stops)
People should remember hand gun ammo isn't the best stoppers, if you want to put down a soft skinned biped go with a rifle. Hand guns are for DEFENSIVE purposes, not for offence. Never take a pistol to a rifle fight....LoL(if you can help it). Another point, ANY fire arm is better then none in a SHTF situation.


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Re:Handgun stopping power - Thursday, February 02, 2012 1:54 AM ( #16 )
The human animal is a beautiful and terrible creature, capable of limitless compassion and unfathomable cruelty.
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Thursday, February 02, 2012 3:05 AM ( #17 )
Good topic. Lots to be debated. Both my grandfather and father retired from Detroit police. DPD has a "if you can qualify with it you can carry it" policy for side arms, issues Glock .40 cal.s (before this it was a S&W mod. 10), and does not allow the use of expanding ammo. As a kid it was usually gun heaven around our house when Dad's buddys came around. They carried EVERYTHING! from .38's to 45 colt. Since we are talking about the 70's and 80's here there were very few semi autos but there were a few 9mm's. Many opted for the .357 but .44's (both mag and special) were popular too. One friend in particular was in love with his S&W .45 colt. His reason for carrying it was he wanted the biggest bullet he could use. All of these guns worked when they had to, some better than others, but then again some cops shoot better than others. You can't stop what you can't hit so a big caliber isn't any help if you don't shoot it well. Better armed with a "weaker" caliber and insure your shot placement.
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Thursday, February 02, 2012 4:11 AM ( #18 )
Magius
 
I won't call any common caliber ammo cost prohibitive. It's true .380 got pretty expensive during the shortage, but today they're about half of what they were at their peak. Current average prices per 1000 rounds for common FMJ ammo: 
 9mm Luger: $225.00= .23¢ ea. .
40 S&W: $260.00= .26¢ ea. .380 
ACP: $275.00= .28¢ ea. .45 
ACP: $359.00= .36¢ ea.




.380 may have dropped in price at gun shows, but in Wal Mart I'm pretty sure that .380's selling for about $38.00/100 and 9mm is selling for about $22.00/100.

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Re:Handgun stopping power - Thursday, February 02, 2012 9:39 AM ( #19 )
Regardless of the never ending caliber war:

Look at "% actually incapacitated by one shot (torso or head hit)"

Multiply that by two and see what % you get.  So 2 x .22 = 120%

So I figure, stick with what you are comfrotable with and learn to do accurate double taps.
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Thursday, February 02, 2012 10:37 AM ( #20 )
spareparts


Regardless of the never ending caliber war:

Look at "% actually incapacitated by one shot (torso or head hit)"

Multiply that by two and see what % you get.  So 2 x .22 = 120%

So I figure, stick with what you are comfrotable with and learn to do accurate double taps.



Aaron, you absolutely hit the nail on the head! When I was first taught to shoot, it was with a .22 and the instructors drilled in us to always double tap, which we then did with the Uzi, M16, etc., etc. This is an excellent point and a great habit to have in my experience, for its heightened and measured practicality, accuracy, and efficiency. 
<message edited by sasquatch on Thursday, February 02, 2012 12:09 PM>
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Thursday, February 02, 2012 12:42 PM ( #21 )
MM60 said, "On a different note, I'm still baffled as to why companies continue to produce revolvers chambered in .38 Special, and why people continue to purchase them. It seems like common sense to me to only chamber these types of revolvers in .357 Magnum so that both .38 and .357 can be fired through them. What is the point of limiting a revolver to .38 special? The difference in overall firearm length couldn't need to be more than 1/8" and the difference in production cost must be almost negligible. Anybody have any thoughts about this?" I used to wonder the same thing. I was in the market for a compact snub as a back up carry weapon. At the time, the .357 snubs were *substantially* bigger and beefier than dedicated .38's. The .38 snubs (I ended up buying a S&W 642) were derived from older designs that chambered what we've come to think of as "standard" .38 Special, or non +P. They were metallurgically improved to be able to handle +P loads without any dimensional changes, but I believe a steady, high volume diet of +P loads would accelerate wear. In contrast, the compact .357 revos of the time were designed from the ground up for a steady diet of full house .357 and were bigger than I wanted to carry. Personally, I questioned the ballistic advantage of .357 over +P .38 out of a two inch barrel and the trade-off in muzzle blast and recoil. Besides, the whole point for me was small size, so I preferred the .38 chambering. I believe many people feel that way and manufacturers can build a smaller gun to less exacting standards if they're chambered in .38 Spl.
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Thursday, February 02, 2012 2:27 PM ( #22 )
Win their hearts and minds - 2 in the heart, 1 in the mind.
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Thursday, February 02, 2012 4:08 PM ( #23 )
MM60


Magius
 
I won't call any common caliber ammo cost prohibitive. It's true .380 got pretty expensive during the shortage, but today they're about half of what they were at their peak. Current average prices per 1000 rounds for common FMJ ammo: 
9mm Luger: $225.00= .23¢ ea. .
40 S&W: $260.00= .26¢ ea. .380 
ACP: $275.00= .28¢ ea. .45 
ACP: $359.00= .36¢ ea.




.380 may have dropped in price at gun shows, but in Wal Mart I'm pretty sure that .380's selling for about $38.00/100 and 9mm is selling for about $22.00/100.


I haven't been to a gun show in about 2 years, so I don't know what their prices are currently. I agree 9mm is going to be cheaper, since it's the most widely used handgun round on the planet. Factories run bigger batches of them and components are cheaper.
The prices I listed come from bulk sellers like Ammoman and Gunbroker, but even in smaller quantities.380ACP falls between 9mm and .40S&W, or between .40S&W and .45ACP consistently.

Cheaper Than Dirt has Remington UMC:
9mmx19 - $54.44/250 or $21.78/100 = .22¢
.380ACP - $68.85/250 or $27.54/100 = .28¢ ea.
.40S&W - $74.93/250 or $29.97/100 = .30¢ ea.
.45ACP - $88.14/250 or $35.26/100 = .35¢ ea.

BassPro has
Winchester white box:
9mmx19 - $12.99/50 or 25.98/100 = .26¢ ea.
.40S&W - $16.99/50 or $33.98/100 = .34¢ ea.
.380ACP - $18.99/50 or $37.98/100 = .38¢ ea.
.45ACP - Unavailable.

Remington UMC:
9mmx19 - $14.99/50 or $29.98/100 = .30¢ ea.
.380ACP - $18.99/50 or $37.98/100 = .38¢ ea.
.40S&W - $19.99/50 or $39.98/100 = .40¢ ea.
.45ACP - $24.99/50 or $49.98/100 = .50¢ ea.

The BassPro prices for UMC for all calibers seem a bit out of line to me. The point is that .380 is no more cost prohibitive than .40S&W.


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Re:Handgun stopping power - Thursday, February 02, 2012 7:33 PM ( #24 )
This article has some very interesting results on animals in terms of relative stopping power with handguns: http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/9mm%20vs%2045.htm

For those who don't want to read the whole thing, the author shot javelinas with 9x19 and .45acp with a variety of loads and whitetail deer with 9x19, .38 Super, .45acp, and .44 Spl, again with multiple loads.  He noticed no discernable difference in how the animals reacted in either case, regardless of caliber, as long as the bullet penetrated well. 

Find a gun that's reliable and that you are comfortable with, a load in a caliber that gives adequate penetration, and don't sweat the rest.
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Friday, February 03, 2012 3:55 PM ( #25 )
It would also be very helpful to see penetration statistics, too.  I was watching Weaponology and saw a round-nose .45ACP go through a car door, through the driver, through the passenger and out the passenger door.  EEEek!  That was an eye opener for me.  Now, I am all about E&E and getting out of Dodge.  If I get trapped, then I want to position myself so that I am not raining bullets on neighborhood houses and pedestrians in the area.

As for the report referred to up top, neat to see the figures.  Unfortunately, each event is unique, and this will make the statistics vary too much to draw hard conclusions from.  There are so many differences between each shooting event, it is hard to use them all as similar events for statistical purposes.

Ultimately, nice to have any gun.  Better to have a shotgun.  And best to do what you can to avoid getting into a situation that will require any of these, because the fall-out in legal and financial actions after the shooting is not worth it.  Especially in states that reward criminals who are prevented from do their illegal actions.

Best regards to everyone and for the link to the shooting data.

RkyMtn
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Friday, February 03, 2012 5:05 PM ( #26 )
fudo


Win their hearts and minds - 2 in the heart, 1 in the mind.


lol outstanding fudo I agree 100% .45Acp or .22 long both targets should be a man stopper
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Re:Handgun stopping power - Friday, February 03, 2012 8:37 PM ( #27 )
I figure it is like blades.  Many of us would choose a sword if we could.  A few carry a Bowie.  Most of us carry a tactical folder or small fixed blade.   The least of 'em is better than nothin.  The smaller it is the better you need to be.
A mistake many people make as novices and reluctant gunners is wanting an itty bitty gun.   Thats backwards.  A novice needs a good size gun with good grips and trigger and sights.   Little guns are extra hard to shoot well.
Other people try to substitute power for skill.  Thats just as much a mistake.   The magnums are graduate level guns.   They are for after you have mastered less powerful guns.  Managing blast and recoil are a whole extra skill. 
And as this article shows, you don't need a .44 magnum to defend yourself. 
"One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them."  Thomas Jefferson to George Washington. 1796 Psalms 144:1 Blessed be Jehovah my rock, Who teacheth my hands to war, And my fingers to fight:
fudo

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Re:Handgun stopping power - Friday, February 03, 2012 9:57 PM ( #28 )
If you saw the level of damage that a very skilled knife fighter can do in 5 seconds, with a 3" bladed knife, you wouldn't be able to sleep at night. I saw a demonstration once where the man with the gun and the man with the knife started 6' apart, facing each other. In 4 seconds, the man with the gun was overwhelmed and received 11 fatal wounds and slashes that would take hundreds of sutures to close. Bruce Lee once was asked what he would do if he were attacked with a knife, trapped in an elevator. He said that he would do his best to kick the other guy to death, before he was killed. If I'm using a pocket knife to defend myself, a bunch of bad things have already happened. I'm out of ammo, retreat is blocked off, and no cavalry is coming over the hill.
War to the knife, knife to the hilt

 

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Ghene

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Re:Handgun stopping power - Saturday, February 04, 2012 2:19 AM ( #29 )
I've always felt confident in my ability with and stopping power of my Ruger GP100 with .357 magnum loaded.  And just in case I need follow up shots my walk about vest that I conceal with I carry a few extra speed loaders just in case.  I'll probably never have to use them in defense but its nice to know they are there.  But really outside of multiple assailants I don't see any fight needed more than 6 magnum rounds.

But it is interesting to see the stats for a .22lr.  Considering some fire arms snobs say it would be ineffective in self defense but stats seem to indicate a pretty good amount of stopping power.  And I've always wanted a .22 for fun at the range because rounds are so "lol cheap" 
...but veangeance is a brutal beast not held by any cell
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Gary

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Re:Handgun stopping power - Saturday, February 04, 2012 6:27 PM ( #30 )

Where do you see demonstrations where some one actually gets killed?  Uganda?  North Korea?  




fudo


If you saw the level of damage that a very skilled knife fighter can do in 5 seconds, with a 3" bladed knife, you wouldn't be able to sleep at night. I saw a demonstration once where the man with the gun and the man with the knife started 6' apart, facing each other. In 4 seconds, the man with the gun was overwhelmed and received 11 fatal wounds and slashes that would take hundreds of sutures to close. Bruce Lee once was asked what he would do if he were attacked with a knife, trapped in an elevator. He said that he would do his best to kick the other guy to death, before he was killed. If I'm using a pocket knife to defend myself, a bunch of bad things have already happened. I'm out of ammo, retreat is blocked off, and no cavalry is coming over the hill.


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Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. -Benjamin Franklin 
 
Imhoff's Law:
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