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TomT404
18th November 2007, 19:32
What would be the ideal firearm to cary for personal defense if that was the route a person wanted to take?

What to consider: Caliber, Size, Consealability, Acual use in a situation.

Would love to get some feedback on any of this.

Thanks, Tom Thornton

Duanew
18th November 2007, 21:47
Things to consider when buying a weapon.
1. It has to be reliable
2. YOU have to be able to hit with it under extreme stress.
3. It has to be a size that you will carry with you when you intend to carry a gun.
4. It is not a substituite for common sense and awareness.
5. It may only be used legally in the MINORITY of self defense situations.

Duane Wolfe

Juan Perez
20th November 2007, 05:24
Currently, I'm assigned the Glock 26 as my carry weapon. For my current duties, it fits the bill in as far as concealment and reliability. Also, we are pretty accurate with them. But, then again, we get to fire about 2,500 rounds a month with them.

Jitsumania
16th December 2007, 06:34
As a civilian with a CHL in Texas I carry a Smith and Weson 6904, 9mm. Have had it for 3 yrs with no complaints. Older pistol but very reliable in construction and accurate shooter. Conceals well with IWB (in waistband holster). Will be replaced after the new year with a Glock 27 40 cal. A bit lighter and good shooting gun with a bit more stopping power than a 9 mm. Like the balance and feel, strips down easier as well for regular cleaning. Second choice is a compact Kahr 45 cal.

TonyU
16th December 2007, 15:22
I'm a firearms instructor. That, with my interests and collection of firearms I've shot many of the pistol manufactures out there.
I'm am biased towards Browning 1911 style designs (.45's) and Glocks.
I currently carry a Glock 21SF in .45, on duty and off duty. Fortunately with my body structure and clothing I hide large frame autos very well.
On those rare occasions where I have to attend a formal affair I wear a snub nose .38.
Either way you have already received some good advice hear. Do some research. There are a ton of manufacturers and calibers out there.
Even though I hate S&W semi's (love their revolvers though) stick to the major brands and calibers. Do not go no less than a .38.
If you can go to a local gun store, feel the guns, ask questions and if they have the option they may have guns you can test fire.
Make sure it fits in your hand comfortable, good clear sights that can also be seen in low light situations. Check that you can hold the weapon and a flashlight if need be.
Once you make the purchase make sure you get the right holster for it. If you decide to utilize an inside the pants holster (IWB) make sure it's of good quality. One that doesn't collapase when you take the pistol out. On that note make sure you practice drawing and re holstering. Many people forget being able to put the gun away smoothly and quickly is just as important as being to draw it.
Also if you have children keep it secure it from them. Depending how you feel it may be a good opportunity to teach your children about firearms and safety.
Finally once you get it practice, practice, and practice. Like martial arts it's a degradable skill.
Good luck.

Amir
16th December 2007, 16:41
Not a gun expert, rather more of a simplton in this subject.

But I guess this is the reason I noticed the most important factor is missing. Buy a gun you will find comfortable to carry daily.

A better shooting gun will not be of any significance if it will remain in your house safe (the place most guns are, due to their being uncomfortable to carry). Look around, check how most people around you carry their guns. Unless you are one of them, forget the LEO, whose guns are not concealed.

It would be better to have a couple of bullents less in the magazine, a less accurate gun, and with lower stopping power. But having it one you at the critical moment.

Further, check the gun is comfortable for you to hold, and you can fire with in a fairly accurate level at a standard civilian range (I think it is 8m distance) from the end of the first introoduction lession (can be done with ease if the gun matchs you, and your criteria is hitting a human sized target - not the small shooting competitions score rings).



Amir

TonyU
16th December 2007, 16:45
But I guess this is the reason I noticed the most important factor is missing. Buy a gun you will find comfortable to carry daily.

Amir

No, it's not missing. You just said it better. :)

Joseph Svinth
16th December 2007, 20:23
For pistols and revolvers, as said above, the weapon should:

1. Feel good in your hand.

2. Not be so heavy that it causes your pants to sag.

3. Not bulge out of your shirt every time you move.

Something not mentioned, though, is 4) cost of ammunition and 5) bullet design.

The 2,500 rounds per month, mentioned above, is more ammunition than a National Guard or Army Reserve infantry company got to shoot each year during the 1990s. Why? Money. Back in 2001, the gub'mint was paying about $0.12 per round of 9mm ball, and about $0.33 per round of .45 ACP ball. So, if you shoot that much military 9mm ball, you're looking at $300 a month in ammunition, and if you shoot that much per month in military .45 ACP ball, then you're shooting $825 a month in ammunition. Ergo, the US military's change to 9mm from .38 Special and .45 ACP had little or nothing to do with the handguns, and a lot to do with the cartridges fired in those handguns.

For shooting people, it is generally agreed that, other things being equal, 10mm (.40 caliber) or larger bullets has better stopping power than do 9mm/.357 caliber bullets. Even so, bullet design matters. Thus, a really good hollow-point .380 may produce similar blast effect on gelatin as does a military .45 ACP cartridge.

For shooting people who are not wearing body armor, you probably want to take a look at hollow-point bullets. Since the Second South African War, when the Boers used hollow-point hunting bullets fired from Mauser rifles, militaries have not used hollow-points too often. This has nothing to do with the lip service that the Army likes to give to its strict adherence to the Hague Convention. (As you will recall, that was the international treaty that prohibited aerial bombardments of cities, poison gas, unrestricted submarine warfare, and expanding bullets.) Instead, it is because hollow-point bullets do not reliably feed into mass-produced self-loading weapons. Consequently, if you plan on shooting hollow-points through your semi-automatic pistol, please test fire regularly to ensure that your pistol likes the particular cartridge that you are using. Otherwise, you'll be clearing a lot of stovepipe jams. Stovepipe jams are annoying on the range, and potentially fatal in social situations.

Hollow-point factory loads are not cheap. For example, a box of 50 rounds of .45 caliber hollow-point currently runs about $35 (plus sales tax, if applicable). Thus, shooting hollow-point, that's $1,750 per month in ammunition costs, assuming you practice as much as Juan does. The cost of .40 S&W is about the same -- bulk reloads run maybe $70 for 300 rounds.

Smaller cartridges are not necessarily all that much cheaper: .380, for example, is not the most ballistically impressive cartridge ever designed, but the pistols chambered in that caliber come in some remarkably small packages. For daily carry, the small size is definitely a consideration. A box of 50 rounds of .380 hollow-point costs about $16.25. Meanwhile, Russian-made .380 comes in bulk at $110 per 500 rounds.

For revolvers, .38 Special is affordable. For example, one can buy 1,300 rounds of .38 Special wadcutters for just $289.

Still too much money? Well, then, how about a) buying a couple pistols, one chambered in something larger that you shoot at a rate of perhaps a hundred rounds per month, and another chambered in .22 Long Rifle that you shoot like crazy, or b) buying a .22 LR conversion kit for your Glock or Government Model? Cost of .22 LR is around $27 per 500 rounds. That's about $0.054 per shot, and handgun shooting literally doesn't get much cheaper than that.

TommyK
17th December 2007, 04:38
Hi Joe,

The only thing I disagree with is your last paragraph. Felt recoil, bullet velocity and a slight wind can make a diference when using .22LR for too many practice sessions. I agree a '40' or higher is generally more effective, but be careful that the use of .22LR to save some coin does not take you off your mark.

TommyK

Joseph Svinth
17th December 2007, 10:56
Well, if you shoot enough to become a reincarnation of Annie Oakley (who did, by the way, shoot .22 LR), you could use .22 LR as your primary piece. Both the Mob and Mossad reportedly liked Rugers -- they're so cheap that one has few qualms about dropping the piece into the river after the social work, the ballistics are really hard to trace back to your weapon in the event that the cops manage to recover it from the river, and half a dozen rounds popped into the eyes or the back of the head reportedly do the job. Fairly quiet, too, all things considered.

Not the greatest defensive cartridge, but hey, it beats throwing rocks, and some of the pieces are so small that a practiced shooter might get off several rounds before the other fellow even knows you've got something in your hand.

As for the kits for the Glocks and Government Models, the idea is that you shoot a few hundred rounds a week using the .22 LR, and a few dozen more rounds a week in the social caliber. That way, you shoot a lot, but don't go bankrupt in the process.

Jeff Cook
17th December 2007, 11:50
Winchester White Box FMJ 9mm at Wal-Mart is running less than $15 for 100 rds. It is a great target round if you want to practice your tactical handgun skills on a commercial range and still be able to buy a latte at Starbuck's on your way back home - assuming you can find a commercial range that lets you practice tactical skills. Good luck with that!

Or you could just make friends with a guy like me who has property where you can shoot for free and I grind my own coffee beans. ;) Sorry, but I LOVE bragging about being able to step out the back door, rip off 500 rds in various calibers, and not have to worry about the neighbors calling the police. Every now and then a neighbor will call up and say "Jeff, sounds like you are shooting the SKS. Can I come over and pop off a few?" I live in a GREAT area. :D

By the way, I recently purchased a Springfield XD. I spent some time firing it and the Glock 19. The G19 is an excellent weapon, of course, but the XD is the gun for my hand (turns out my wife prefers the G19 - she has a smaller hand, and the XD looks and feels like the 1911 in the hand). If you guys have not checked out the XD and are considering a purchase, I strongly encourage you to do so. It has some features that the Glocks do not have, and it has exceeded the Glock Torture Test standards.

I had the opportunity to buy the Glock 26 or 27 for an exceptionally good price (less than $400), but they are a little too small for me. Great backup weapons though. MAJ Perez, is the G26 your primary or backup weapon? Are you using the extended mags so you can get your whole hand on the weapon? Are there any misfeed issues from gripping the bottom of an extended mag? What are your groups like at 25 meters? I am still considering the purchase of a G26, and I trust your opinon above all others on this.

Jeff Cook

Duanew
17th December 2007, 12:54
[QUOTE=Joseph Svinth;456188]For pistols and revolvers, as said above, the weapon should:

1. Feel good in your hand.

2. Not be so heavy that it causes your pants to sag.

Buy a decent belt.

3. Not bulge out of your shirt every time you move.

Buy a decent holster and belt.



For shooting people, it is generally agreed that, other things being equal, 10mm (.40 caliber) or larger bullets has better stopping power than do 9mm/.357 caliber bullets.


There is no such thing as stopping power. Of course that extra 0.02 caliber makes all the difference. It's generally agreed upon by people who prefer bigger bullets. It's where you put the round that counts. A well designed bullet that expands but doesn't exit also helps-but there are too many variables in real fight to guarantee anything.

Even so, bullet design matters. Thus, a really good hollow-point .380 may produce similar blast effect on gelatin as does a military .45 ACP cartridge.

Gelatin will show penetration, permanant wound cavity and temporary wound cavity (if you have high speed film). If you have a blast effect your muzzle is too close to the jello. A good .380 (Gold Dot) will expand to or beyond a .45 caliber. The .45 will not expand and will continue well beyond what is considered appropriate penetration (12-18 inches). A good .380 will stop in that area. Unless you are forced by law to use FMJ don't. It over penetrates and zips through with little immediate effect (ask NYPD why they finally switched to FMJ). If you cannot use hollow points Federal makes EFMJ-expandable FMJ-see their website.

This has nothing to do with the lip service that the Army likes to give to its strict adherence to the Hague Convention. (As you will recall, that was the international treaty that prohibited aerial bombardments of cities, poison gas, unrestricted submarine warfare, and expanding bullets.)

The agreement was never signed by the U.S.

Otherwise, you'll be clearing a lot of stovepipe jams. Stovepipe jams are annoying on the range, and potentially fatal in social situations.

Stovepipes are a failure to extract/eject properly. The empty casing gets caught as the slide closes, protruding from the chamber resembling a stove pipe. If they fail to chamber you end up with a failure to feed/fail to go into battery situation-which still sucks.



b) buying a .22 LR conversion kit for your Glock or Government Model?

For the Glock I would recommend the Advantage Arms kit over the Ceiner. Lock back on an empty mag and reliability are the two main reasons.

Duane Wolfe

Brian Owens
17th December 2007, 21:38
...There is no such thing as stopping power....
Hogwash, stuff, and nonsense!

Joseph Svinth
18th December 2007, 04:38
Although the United States did not sign the Hague Convention of 1899, it did sign the Hague Convention of 1907. See specifically Article 23 (e), which states, in part, "...it is especially forbidden -- To employ arms, projectiles, or material [sic] calculated to cause unnecessary suffering." One can certainly argue about whether fire storms and atom bombs represent arms, projectiles, or materiel that cause unnecessary suffering for civilian populations, but for purposes of cartridge design, the US Army generally accepted this premise until 1985. Then, in 1985, the Judge Advocate General published a position paper that stated, in part, "...expanding point ammunition is legally permissible in counterterrorist operations not involving the engagement of the armed forces of another State." This changed some rules for counterterrorist operations, but did not change any premises for armed combat against the police or military forces of a generally recognized state. As I recall, said JAG paper also referred quite proudly to the USA's strict prior adherence to said Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 in the areas of cartridge and bullet design.

Bianchi, DeSantis, and Don Hume (for example) make some really nice pistol belts, but if you wear dress slacks or suits, then you will have to get the 1-1/4" size in order to get the belt to fit through your belt loops. My guess is that a Desert Eagle .50 will cause even the best 1-1/4" belt to sag in fairly short order. A Chief's Special, on the other hand, should fit fine for years.

If one is Annie Oakley, than .22 LR is without doubt the handgun cartridge of choice. If one is not such a sure shot, then most people feel better dressed carrying something chambered in a larger caliber.

Bottom line? Buy something you like from the get-go. Otherwise, you'll be swapping and trading for years, and still not have what you want.

Brian Owens
18th December 2007, 06:06
...Still too much money? Well, then, how about a) buying a couple pistols, one chambered in something larger that you shoot at a rate of perhaps a hundred rounds per month, and another chambered in .22 Long Rifle that you shoot like crazy, or b) buying a .22 LR conversion kit for your Glock or Government Model? Cost of .22 LR is around $27 per 500 rounds. That's about $0.054 per shot, and handgun shooting literally doesn't get much cheaper than that.

...The only thing I disagree with is your last paragraph. Felt recoil, bullet velocity and a slight wind can make a diference when using .22LR for too many practice sessions. I agree a '40' or higher is generally more effective, but be careful that the use of .22LR to save some coin does not take you off your mark.
Since the typical "defensive" use of a handgun occurs at a range of less than 5 metres -- that's right; not 500 metres, not 50 metres, but 5 metres -- and since the adreneline rush and the psychomotor effects of stress change such things as perceived recoil, muzzle flash, etc., there is really little reason to fear that practicing with a small caliber handgun will throw off your large caliber game. On the contrary, it can enhance it.

Learning proper draw, body positioning, instinctive first-round aim, etc. requires practice and lots of it, and using .22s, as Joe points out, can save a lot of money.

The military and many police departments and protection agencies go even further and use laser engagement systems for much of their training; not just for safety, but also to save money. The equipment is a one-time purchase, as opposed to the ongoing expense of ammunition purchases.

Duanew
18th December 2007, 13:45
Hogwash, stuff, and nonsense!


If someone stops aggressive action when shot by a pistol it is caused by:

Individual choice-not related to the diameter of the bullet. Unless you choose to scream-"I shot you with a __________" and they have some kind of psychological reaction to it.
Physical injury caused by the projectile hitting something important-not related to the diameter of the bullet. It relates to the depth of penetration and the accuracy of the strike (did it hit something important).
A .44 Magnum to the pinky isn't more effective than a .22 to the brain.

Duane Wolfe
"Amateurs talk hardware, professionals talk software."

Duanew
18th December 2007, 13:52
Although the United States did not sign the Hague Convention of 1899, it did sign the Hague Convention of 1907. See specifically Article 23 (e), which states, in part, "...it is especially forbidden -- To employ arms, projectiles, or material [sic] calculated to cause unnecessary suffering." One can certainly argue about whether fire storms and atom bombs represent arms, projectiles, or materiel that cause unnecessary suffering for civilian populations, but for purposes of cartridge design, the US Army generally accepted this premise until 1985. Then, in 1985, the Judge Advocate General published a position paper that stated, in part, "...expanding point ammunition is legally permissible in counterterrorist operations not involving the engagement of the armed forces of another State." This changed some rules for counterterrorist operations, but did not change any premises for armed combat against the police or military forces of a generally recognized state. As I recall, said JAG paper also referred quite proudly to the USA's strict prior adherence to said Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 in the areas of cartridge and bullet design.

Bianchi, DeSantis, and Don Hume (for example) make some really nice pistol belts, but if you wear dress slacks or suits, then you will have to get the 1-1/4" size in order to get the belt to fit through your belt loops. My guess is that a Desert Eagle .50 will cause even the best 1-1/4" belt to sag in fairly short order. A Chief's Special, on the other hand, should fit fine for years.

If one is Annie Oakley, than .22 LR is without doubt the handgun cartridge of choice. If one is not such a sure shot, then most people feel better dressed carrying something chambered in a larger caliber.

Bottom line? Buy something you like from the get-go. Otherwise, you'll be swapping and trading for years, and still not have what you want.

What about those nasty military snipers who use hollowpoints?

Duane Wolfe

Chuck.Gordon
18th December 2007, 20:22
What would be the ideal firearm to cary for personal defense if that was the route a person wanted to take?

What to consider: Caliber, Size, Consealability, Acual use in a situation.

Would love to get some feedback on any of this.

Thanks, Tom Thornton

In what situations do you find yourself that you NEED a personal firearm?

Are you a cop, a Soldier?

If so, provide details.

The weapon you _need_ will be dictated by the circumstances you use it in.

Brian Owens
18th December 2007, 20:58
...A .44 Magnum to the pinky isn't more effective than a .22 to the brain.
No, but a .44 to the center of mass has more stopping power than a .22 to the center of mass, a .44 to the brain has more stopping power than a .22 to the brain, and a .44 to the pinky has more stopping power than a .22 to the pinky.

A .22 to the chest can kill -- one nearly killed Ronald Reagan -- but it can take long enough to do so that, in a defensive engagement, the assailant dies only after killing the defender. The shocking power of a heavier and differently shaped round is more likely to have an immediate stopping effect.

The Brits found this out first hand when the big game hunters in Africa were being killed by elephants and rhinos who had been shot with well-placed rounds but didn't die quickly. That's when the first "magnum" calibers were devoloped.

The US Army found this out in the Phillipines, the NYPD has studied it, the FBI has reams of data on it, etc., etc., etc.

This isn't exactly rocket science.

TomT404
19th December 2007, 00:42
In what situations do you find yourself that you NEED a personal firearm?

Are you a cop, a Soldier?

If so, provide details.

The weapon you _need_ will be dictated by the circumstances you use it in.

I don't need to cary a firearm. I am just looking to buy one to have in the house and for recreational shooting. I was just curious in case I decided I did want to carry. Oh, I am just an ordinary citizen, NO law enforcement or military background.

Tom Thornton

jdostie
19th December 2007, 06:22
Since the typical "defensive" use of a handgun occurs at a range of less than 5 metres -- that's right; not 500 metres, not 50 metres, but 5 metres -- and since the adreneline rush and the psychomotor effects of stress change such things as perceived recoil, muzzle flash, etc., there is really little reason to fear that practicing with a small caliber handgun will throw off your large caliber game. On the contrary, it can enhance it.

Learning proper draw, body positioning, instinctive first-round aim, etc. requires practice and lots of it, and using .22s, as Joe points out, can save a lot of money.

The military and many police departments and protection agencies go even further and use laser engagement systems for much of their training; not just for safety, but also to save money. The equipment is a one-time purchase, as opposed to the ongoing expense of ammunition purchases.

If this is so, would a pellet gun for example be useful for such practice? Let's say you were thinking about purchasing a pistol in the future, but holding back for financial considerations . . . would practicing with a pellet gun be worthwhile?

Chuck.Gordon
19th December 2007, 06:45
I don't need to cary a firearm. I am just looking to buy one to have in the house and for recreational shooting. I was just curious in case I decided I did want to carry. Oh, I am just an ordinary citizen, NO law enforcement or military background.

Tom Thornton

Ah, that clarifies things a bit. For home protection, if you seriously live somewhere you will actually need it, a shotgun (12-gauge, with the shortest legal barrel) is the easiest to learn and use.

However, it's not very discriminating.

Handguns require some training and (IMHO) regular practice for proficiency. If you go with a handgun, you need to decide if you want a man-stopper or something with more rounds available.

Some gun stores keep a selection of firearms for tryouts. If you can get your hands on a few different weapons, and find out what feels good in your hand, what you can handle, etc, then you can start getting an idea about what handgun would be right for you.

Do some research and find a handgun training program that will teach you how to handle, store and use the weapon you choose. I cannot reiterate enough -- training is important. In terms of learning to use a weapon for self protection, going down to the creek and plinking around is simply not sufficient. Find a school, learn the ropes, practice regularly.

Store and maintain your weapons properly. Far too many deaths are caused by someone (often a kid) getting their hands on a loaded firearm that was in the wrong place.

Brian Owens
19th December 2007, 06:49
If this is so, would a pellet gun for example be useful for such practice? Let's say you were thinking about purchasing a pistol in the future, but holding back for financial considerations . . . would practicing with a pellet gun be worthwhile?
Absolutely.

It is, of course, neccesary to do some if not most of one's training, at least up to a basic standard of proficiency, with the weapon one will be carrying; but learning the basics of sight picture, stance, movement, etc. can be done with multiple weapons...including pellet guns.

My first hundgun was a CO2 powered Crossman pistol, a replica of a Smith & Wesson revolver, I got when I was in 9th or 10th grade. I must have shot more than a thousand rounds with that thing over the course of three or four years. When I went into the Air Force I fired a "real" revolver for the first time during my police training (we used the S&W Model 19 back then)...and I scored Expert left and right handed (although I'm better left handed). I credit my Crossman with giving me a head start on the training I received at the academy.

Vedenant
19th December 2007, 08:46
A .22 to the chest can kill

It's true, you know. The gun used in the recent school killings in Jokela Finland was a .22 caliber Sig Mosquito. There was some discussion on the papers about how it was lucky that the sorry son of a ...... well you know what, who committed this, didn't get license for a 9mm that he applied for. But when you consider that 8 were people shot dead and not one person who was shot survived the wounds, and each victim was shot several times it really didn't make any difference which caliber the gun was. Maybe luck would have been that he had gotten license for a monster .500 S&W he couldn't controll and maybe there could have been not so many dead... who knows.

Duanew
19th December 2007, 11:12
No, but a .44 to the center of mass has more stopping power than a .22 to the center of mass, a .44 to the brain has more stopping power than a .22 to the brain, and a .44 to the pinky has more stopping power than a .22 to the pinky.

A .22 to the chest can kill -- one nearly killed Ronald Reagan -- but it can take long enough to do so that, in a defensive engagement, the assailant dies only after killing the defender. The shocking power of a heavier and differently shaped round is more likely to have an immediate stopping effect.

The Brits found this out first hand when the big game hunters in Africa were being killed by elephants and rhinos who had been shot with well-placed rounds but didn't die quickly. That's when the first "magnum" calibers were devoloped.

The US Army found this out in the Phillipines, the NYPD has studied it, the FBI has reams of data on it, etc., etc., etc.

This isn't exactly rocket science.

A .22 or a .44 to the pinky won't stop anyone unless they decide to stop. A bullet to the brain will stop someone if it hits the right stuff regardless of caliber or bullet type.
Shocking power and stopping power are two different things. Stopping power doesn't exist. Shocking from hydrostatic shock only occurs in rounds traveling over 2,000 (usually rifle rounds).

The Army switched to the .45 in the Phillipines because the .38 couldn't penetrate the Moro (?) warriors body armor. The .45 had better penetration through intermediate material-that isn't stopping power-that's penetration. There were still many instances of soldiers being killed by .45 "victims".
The NYPD uses the 9mm.If their studies had shown larger calibers had better "stopping power" then why aren't they using them?
The FBI has reams data on bullet performance -penetration, expansion with and without intermediate material in ballistic gelatin. Do they ever mention "stopping power".
Talk to any ME and they will tell you when looking at a gun shot victim they can't tell the difference between or identify the caliber used.

Do some rounds penetrate better than others, yes. Do some expand better than others, yes. If you want to call a round that reaches the vital area due to the proper amount of penetration and strike something vital-stopping power go ahead. It isn't.

Take the Mark Coates shooting. The officer dies from a .22 that hit his arm traveling up into his chest cavity and striking his heart. His assailant who was big and fat was shot 5 times with a .357. Bad guy survives. So in that case the .22 had better "stopping power" than a .357.

The original comment was that bigger calibers have better "stopping power". Nope, different bullet designs perform better at penetration and expansion than others. Pick whoever you want to use Marshall and Sanow, the Strausburg Study, the Police Marskman Study, Fackler, etc. Anyone of the studies will show that certain bullets in certain calibers perform better than other types of bullets in other calibers-9's better than .44, .45 better than .38, .38 better than .45, etc.

And your right it isn't rocket science-it's ballistics.

Duane Wolfe

Duanew
19th December 2007, 11:16
If this is so, would a pellet gun for example be useful for such practice? Let's say you were thinking about purchasing a pistol in the future, but holding back for financial considerations . . . would practicing with a pellet gun be worthwhile?

I just had a student who couldn't qualify do so after repeated practice with a BB gun. The habituation of numerous repetitions of the trigger press, sight alignment over road the habit of jerking the trigger. Yes it will help. Champion shooters dry fire their weapons hundreds if not thousands of times a day-creating the good habit.


Duane Wolfe

TomT404
19th December 2007, 16:18
Ah, that clarifies things a bit. For home protection, if you seriously live somewhere you will actually need it, a shotgun (12-gauge, with the shortest legal barrel) is the easiest to learn and use.

However, it's not very discriminating.

Handguns require some training and (IMHO) regular practice for proficiency. If you go with a handgun, you need to decide if you want a man-stopper or something with more rounds available.

Some gun stores keep a selection of firearms for tryouts. If you can get your hands on a few different weapons, and find out what feels good in your hand, what you can handle, etc, then you can start getting an idea about what handgun would be right for you.

Do some research and find a handgun training program that will teach you how to handle, store and use the weapon you choose. I cannot reiterate enough -- training is important. In terms of learning to use a weapon for self protection, going down to the creek and plinking around is simply not sufficient. Find a school, learn the ropes, practice regularly.

Store and maintain your weapons properly. Far too many deaths are caused by someone (often a kid) getting their hands on a loaded firearm that was in the wrong place.

I have family and friends in law enforment and I have gone shooting before. I definatly prefer a hand gun to a shotgun (just my preference) I was looking at a Browning Pro 9mm I really like the look, size, and amount of rounds it holds. I did find a school in my area that teaches firearm use in self defence that I do intend on taking. I am also interested in the gun for recreational shooting. Ater I first pulled a triger I was kinda hooked. I have always used a friends gun or rented a gun at the range. I just recently bought a Mini Revolver ( NAA-Pug 22m ) haven't shot it yet though. This gun don't seem practicle for defence or home use (unless last resort) but I really liked the size and look of it and had to have one. I want to purchase one more gun and the Browning Pro 9mm caught my eye.

JimP
19th December 2007, 19:14
Duane, interesting you would mention trooper Coates. I teach that video in my classes (engagement dynamics). You have been spot-on in your analysis here. The BEST round is the one you can hit someone with - and hit accurately. It is all about shot placement. It does no good to carry a .45 if you can't hit squat with it.

I have also done a bit of work with the FBI and their ballisticians - particularly their head dude. Speaking with him the other day - as far as BALL ammo is concerned, .45 is better than .40 cal which is marginally better than 9mm. But, that is BALL ammo. When you start looking at hollow-points; DPX, etc, all of them are decent for personal defense. Pistol rounds just make poor "man-stoppers". You need to put holes in the dude and the more holes, the better. There is no "magic bullet" or one-shot stop round out there. One of the argumants AGAINST 9mm as a CQB or defensive round is over-penetration. That round really cooks.

I'm a big 1911 .45 platform guy but also use a S&W M&P in 9mm frequently. During my trips to Iraq I always carried a Glock 26 IWB. I NEVER unloaded it or took it off me. I think its crazy to be in a war zone and not be armed; but, that's me. The 9mm is good enough as a back up for the Tier-one guys and the SAS, why not "joe"? Nothing wrong with it if you can shoot it.

As far as military snipers using "hollow points"?? They aren't hollow points. They have an open cannelure for accuracy. They are not DESIGNED to expand upon impact and you do not violate the hague by using them.

Surgere
19th December 2007, 21:04
One of the argumants AGAINST 9mm as a CQB or defensive round is over-penetration. That round really cooks.

Jim,
I don't mean to shift the thread, but would that be because of the high velocity of the round or the smaller diameter? Combination? Just wondering...

Duanew
19th December 2007, 21:50
As far as military snipers using "hollow points"?? They aren't hollow points. They have an open cannelure for accuracy. They are not DESIGNED to expand upon impact and you do not violate the hague by using them.[/QUOTE]

My office mate (20+ in JAG) says they are hollowpoints. An open cannelure should reduce accuracy thus the influx of the "plastic" tipped rounds-accuracy and additional expansion. Aren't they using the 168 gr. boatail hollowpoint for the .308? Based on some of the .50 sniper videos those must be the exploding rounds.

PS I use the video to.

Duane Wolfe

Duanew
19th December 2007, 21:55
[QUOTE=Chuck.Gordon;456356]Ah, that clarifies things a bit. For home protection, if you seriously live somewhere you will actually need it, a shotgun (12-gauge, with the shortest legal barrel) is the easiest to learn and use.

However, it's not very discriminating.

It is if you aim it. At the average distance of a room 15 ft. the pattern would be five inches using the old rule of thumb -inch for each yard-better off to pattern it with the round you intend. I would suggest Federal 8 pellet 00-depending on your shotgun it should be around 2-3 inches.
If the shooter is inexperienced the 20 gauge might b e a better choice-same velocity for 2 3/4 shell only a smaller payload-faster back on target, cheaper to shoot and if you don't know what your doing less painful.

Duane Wolfe

Brian Owens
20th December 2007, 05:13
...Stopping power doesn't exist.
Yes, it does.


...Do some rounds penetrate better than others, yes. Do some expand better than others, yes. If you want to call a round that reaches the vital area due to the proper amount of penetration and strike something vital-stopping power go ahead. It isn't.
I do, and it is.

And reaching a vital organ isn't enough to qualify for the "more stopping power" moniker. It has to reach a vital spot without overpenetrating, thus delivering its energy to a vital spot, and it has to deliver sufficient energy once there. Otherwise you might just end up with a (relatively) slow bleeder.


...The NYPD uses the 9mm.If their studies had shown larger calibers had better "stopping power" then why aren't they using them?
There are a number of possible reasons. You'd have to ask them.

Among the possibilities: 9mm is deemed "enough" by some committee.
Commonality with other agencies/jursidictions.
Cost.
Kickbacks from a 9mm manufacturer.
Who knows? It doesn't change the facts: all else being equal, the bullet with more mass will have more stopping power.


...The FBI has reams data on bullet performance -penetration, expansion with and without intermediate material in ballistic gelatin. Do they ever mention "stopping power".
Yes.


...Talk to any ME and they will tell you when looking at a gun shot victim they can't tell the difference between or identify the caliber used.
True, but they can tell the difference between high energy and a low energy rounds. And the ME only knows the person is dead, while witnesses can tell if the person walked a block before dying or was dropped in his tracks.




...Take the Mark Coates shooting. The officer dies from a .22 that hit his arm traveling up into his chest cavity and striking his heart. His assailant who was big and fat was shot 5 times with a .357. Bad guy survives. So in that case the .22 had better "stopping power" than a .357.
In any individual case there can be varying circumstances that can produce unexpected outcomes.

I choose not to bet my life on freak occurances.


...The original comment was that bigger calibers have better "stopping power". Nope, different bullet designs perform better at penetration and expansion than others.
Of course bullet shape, material, velocity, etc. matter.

But, if powered to equal muzzle velocities and made of the same materials, a .45 ball has more stopping power than a .38 ball, a 9mm NATO flat nose has more stopping power than a .380 flat nose, a .338 Silvertip has more stopping power than a .270 Silvertip, etc.

You have to compare apples with apples and oranges with oranges.

Jeff Cook
20th December 2007, 12:01
Brian, to expand on your argument further, it is the momentum - mass x velocity - and how much of its kinetic energy is transferred into what the bullet strikes. Obviously, if the bullet penetrates and continues out the other side, not all of its kinetic energy is transferred into the target. That is bad.

Bottom line: smaller mass can be overcome with greater velocity (because there is more momentum), IF the bullet does not punch all the way through the target, and all of its kinetic energy bleads off into the target. However, a smaller bullet moving at a greater velocity stands the chance of punching through.

Jeff Cook

Duanew
20th December 2007, 13:12
[QUOTE=Brian Owens;456455]Yes, it does.


I do, and it is.

And reaching a vital organ isn't enough to qualify for the "more stopping power" moniker. It has to reach a vital spot without overpenetrating, thus delivering its energy to a vital spot, and it has to deliver sufficient energy once there. Otherwise you might just end up with a (relatively) slow bleeder.



So essentally we are saying the same thing- You call a bullet that hits a vital spot and not over penetrating with sufficient energy-stopping power. I'm saying that in order for a handgun bullet to perform it has to penetrate deep enough to hit a vital target. The key phrase is "hit a vital target". Without accuracy and proper penetration (expansion can aid) you don't have "stopping power". The key factor, accuracy isn't a function of caliber.
Pistol rounds are not reliable fight stoppers. A pistol is what you use to fight your way to a long gun. No pistol round or caliber can guarantee a one shot stop (i'm not saying you said that). You shoot till the threat stops regardless of the weapon-pistol, rifle, shotgun, slingshot, ect.
If you put a bullet into the heart bad guys can go on for up to several minutes even though their heart is destroyed (caliber and bullet design not withstanding). There are inumerable cases to prove it. You name your favorite bullet/caliber and you will find failures.
There are two ways for a bullet to mechanically shut down a human being. Clip the electrical impulses by damaging the brain or spinal cord which will usually be instantaneous or effect the oxygen supply by shooting the heart/lung area. The body will then continue until it shuts down from oxygen deprivation to the brain-which can take a long time. Then you also have the even more unpredictable human factor-how high, drunk, crazy and/or motivated is this person?
My choice of caliber/bullet is the .40 SW/165 gr.Federal Tactical in a Glock 23. Not because of stopping power. Because I get a higher capacity magazine (I believe I can miss in a fight) that will fit my little hands better than a .45. It performs well through intermediate material (FBI study)-because bad guys hide. It performs well in the expansion and penetration criteria. It shoots well in my gun. I don't consider or count on "stopping power". Unless your definition of stopping power includes accuracy, penetration and expansion.

Please post the link to the FBI study that mentions "stopping power" I would love to read it..

Duane Wolfe

TonyU
20th December 2007, 13:31
I backed out of this thread becasue we went form someones asking about gun recommendations to bullet size, stopping power, so forth and so on.
Not that it's a bad thing, especially as it can be very informative and fun. And has alot to do whit the gun selection. But I think anyone that has any experience with firearms will agree that one will come across a whole gamut of opinions on what gun or caliber is best.
Ask the same question about a car, or oven better, martial arts.

So I'm putting my opinion here based on my experience as a firearms instructor and an investigator on shootings (LEO and non). Which as you can see I think we're all on the same page.
Now, I've seen a .25 be lethal and I've seen a .40 caliber go through a person's chest without so much as a scratch to any of the vital organs.
Why I opine to stick to the major calibers .38 and above and stick with the firearm you can shoot well, and accurately. Why the major caliber? As has been mentioned nothing is 100% sure, but has a greater percentage of success from different variables, i.e. distance, clothing, weather, stress, fear, so forth and so on.

Good thread.

Btw, I'm a .45 advocate. :D

JimP
27th December 2007, 21:59
Duane - no offense, but if your office mate tells you they are hollow points and illegal - tell the dude to get another line of work. Refer him to Hays Parks Article on that topic. They are in use in combat today.

Duanew
27th December 2007, 23:33
No he is saying that the hollow points are legal.

Duane Wolfe

TonyU
28th December 2007, 01:49
http://www.thegunzone.com/hague.html

Duanew
29th December 2007, 15:58
http://www.thegunzone.com/hague.html

Thanks, anybody care to explain to me how a hollowpoint (ogive I believe would be the proper term-not cannelure)

can·ne·lure /ˈkænlˌʊər/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kan-l-oor] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. a groove or fluting around the cylindrical part of a bullet.
2. any groove or fluting on a cylinderlike object.

aids in accuracy. I understand how the boattail aids in accuracy. They can say what they want about the hollowpoint performing like a solid-I ain't buying it.


Duane Wolfe

JimP
29th December 2007, 18:08
They are not hollow-point. They are open-tip. You are correct in the 168 grain in use of today. there are also some 175 Lake City match in use that do real well.

My nomenclature was jacked up on the Cannelure; I was thinking some other dimension of the round.

BTW, Hollow Points are NOT legal for use "as a means of combat". Hence - the distinction between hollow-point and open tip. Its in the "design" that the distinction lays.

You can use hollow-points for CT missions or in other missions not of an international armed conflict nature. But, for open wafare, the hague proscribes them.

Other than that - I don't care much about what its called or when its used so long as its used with sufficient frequency to kill those that would wish to harm us.