Skip to comments.THE STOPPING POWER OF DIFFERENT HANDGUN CARTRIDGES
Posted on 02/22/2003 8:34:22 PM PST by 2nd_Amendment_Defender
General Julian Hatcher, a noted forensic pathologist, in the early 1900s developed a good formula to determine the theoretical stopping power of a firearm cartridge. His formula has withstood the test of time and validation from other studies and data related to stopping power.
You want a handgun cartridge that has a Hatcher value of over 50 for the most effective stopping power. Values over 55 have diminishing returns in that you dont gain any significant increase in stopping power for the extra recoil and control you must cope with. Handgun cartridges that dont make a value of at least 50, should not considered for self-defense. If the rating of your handgun cartridge is under 30, it only has about a 30% chance of producing a one shot stop. Hatcher Ratings of 30 to 49 raise a one shot stop to approximately a 50% chance. Ratings of 50 or higher produce a one shot stop about 90% of the time.
Handgun Cartridge Type ..................... Hatcher Rating
.45 ACP full metal jacket 230 grain .......... 49.1
.45 ACP jacketed hollow point 230 grain ...... 60.7
.44 Magnum full metal jacket 240 grain ....... 92.3
*.44 Magnum lead wad cutter 240 grain ......... 136.8
.44 Special full metal jacket 240 grain ...... 51.6
*.44 Special lead wad cutter 240 grain ............. 76.5
.41 Magnum full metal jacket 230 grain ............. 54
*.41 Magnum lead wad cutter 230 grain .............. 80
10 millimeter full metal jacket 180 grain .......... 50.3
10 millimeter jacketed hollow point 180 grain ..62.1
.40 S&W full metal jacket flat nose 180 grain ...... 53.4
.40 S&W jacketed hollow point 180 grain ....... 59.4
.38 Special full metal jacket 158 grain ...... 26.7
*.38 Special lead wad cutter 158 grain ............. 39.7
**.357 Magnum full metal jacket 158 grain ..... 32.7
**.357 Magnum lead wad cutter 158 grain ............ 48.5
.357 SIG full metal jacket 147 grain ................ 36.6
.357 SIG jacketed hollow point 147 grain ..... 45.2
9 millimeter full metal jacket 147 grain ............ 32.3
9 millimeter jacketed hollow point 147 grain ... 39.9
.380 Auto jacketed hollow point 95 grain ..... 18.3
.32 Auto jacketed hollow point 71 grain ...... 11.1
.25 Auto jacketed hollow point 50 grain ...... 3.7
.22 Long Rifle jacketed hollow point 40 grain ... 4.2
* Jacketed hollow points will have the same rating as wad cutter bullets if the bullet hollow tip is greater than 1/2 of the caliber of the bullet.
* .357 Magnum ratings are taken from a firearm with a 3 inch barrel. Longer barrels will raise the rating of the round.
Go with the .45
The .40 is perfectly adequate as long as the modern hollowpoints work. Unfortunately they have a tendency to pack with material from heavy clothing and fail to open. That is when you need the .45.
Try any of the hot 185gr hollowpoints in warm weather, and switch to Federal 230gr Hydroshocks for winter.
1st Choice and everyday carry is a 1911A1 in 45ACP. Kimber IMHO is the only company making one that does not have to be tweeked out of the box by a gunsmith. Peek at the Kimber Stainless Pro Carry for that one. My 1911A1 is a custom Clark Meltdown.
2nd Choice of late is the new SIGP239 in 40 Short & Wimpy or .357SIG (I have both barrels and mags so I swap calibers sometimes).
I have a Glock 23/19/30/21/34/35 and like em all. The SIG 220 in 45 ACP is a great duty gun as is the SIG 228 in 9MM. The browning High powers are really nice too. My addiction starting to show yet ?
Key is to get what works for your needs. If a CHL day to day carry then weight and carry concerns are primary in some cases.........Lots of possibilities .
My choice is the 1911A1 as that is what I have carried and used the most and I tend to lean towards something I call muscle memory-matic when it comes to speed , presentation and accuracy in self defense mode.
Hope I helped, ....Stay Safe !
I've carried a .45 all my adult life and can attest to its stopping power. In Vietnam, one round to the body cavity was sudden death, even a round in any of the limbs was a death sentence unless there was prompt medical attention to halt the blood flow and parts loss.
That was with GI ball ammo. I've used +P hollow points on 200-250 lb. wild hogs and they are a tougher breed than old Charlie as I have had to use a second shot on occasion.
Remember, sportsfans, it ain't nothing like the flicks! You don't call "Cut!" and re-shoot if you miss.
So, unless your are dead solid perfect on each and every shot even when coming out of a sound sleep or drunk, anything less than a .40 is foolhardy. A .45 anywhere in the body cavity will put just about any critter down-- Or atleast make 'em stop to recline and think while you get off that second tap to the headbone.
When I came back to the world, I slept with my cocked 'n loaded .45 under my pillow and my K-Bar under my right foot. I have mellowed with the passing ages, the K-Bar is now on the end table.
That's my "toe" story and I'm sticking to it.
Save your money and buy a real gun.
Re: The 1 kt nude. That must be one ugly unclothed to be that effective
I have carried a 1911A1 in one form or another - old rattletrap Army issue, Combat Commander, stainless Officer's Model - for most of my adult life. Recoil has never been a problem, and I'm a relatively small woman (5'6" and at the age of 47 I wish I still weighed 140!). The straight sides of the 1911 fit my hand better than the rounder grips of a revolver.
I recently picked up a SIG P245 and I like the double action feature. Once I got the bugs worked out of the magazine (heck of a spring - didn't want to accept that last round) it works like a charm.
I also like the .44 Special and if I carried a revolver that would be it. One of our more famous judges, Charles "Two Gun Charlie" Worrill, an ex-Texas Ranger and Industrial League baseball umpire (both high risk occupations), used to preside on the bench with two loaded .44 Bulldogs. He used one for a gavel (with an empty cylinder under the hammer - my dad asked him and the response was along the lines of "Think I'm a derned fool?") If it was good enough for Judge Worrill, it's good enough for me.
A-yep. Of course, there are some folks who spend so much time shooting all sorts of stuff all the time, they can pretty much pick up anything and hit whatever they want within effective range.
I'm working on that myself... !
Gotta love the story of "Two Gun Charlie"! The world's a smaller place for not having folks like that anymore.
My interest in CCW has been mostly hypothetical (except for a short stint in DC's war zone where I carried a 2.5" Smith Mod. 19) but it looks like New Mexico is going to pass it this year. I'd better start thinking it over more.
Clearly Squantos' recommendations will not lead anyone astray. The .44spl from charter arms is an excellent self defense piece. The .38spl's are adequate for self defense and to be honest even a .22LR or .25acp has its uses. A .22lr slug through the eye is a much better stopper than a .50 cal S&W through the wall, albeit not as impressive in terms of blast and recoil.
Kimber makes an excellent out of the box .45acp, although it will cost about $750. Geffen makes a good out of the box .45acp for about $350 retail. A $150 trigger job and one has an excellent .45acp for about $500. The lady who partly owns the range I go to carries a Fuscia framed Charles Daily .45acp (10 shot based upon the CZ design). My late wife carried a 4inch bbl .357 magnum revolver in her purse anda 2inch bbl .357 for back up. In short whatever your wife is comfortable with that she can hot her target with is what she should carry. The more comfortable she is with it the more likely she is to shoot. The more likely she is to shoot the more likely she is to become comfortable with other guns and concurrently aware of what is available and what the advantages and disadvantages are with each sidearm.
The problem I had with shooting one gun almost exclusively was not that my practial accuracy with other's suffered, it was that the manipulation for things like reloading started to get hardwired. I remember shoving on the triggerguard of my Kimber to drop the mag, since I'd been shooting a Walther P99 alot and thinking "This would be really embarassing under certain circumstances."
I like to think I know how to use several guns. I personally have some guns that I really do not like very much so I do not own any of that type. I for one do not like the feel of the Glocks, the new Walther designs, and some of the S&W designs. I could adapt to them if I had to but I really do not desire to do that.