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.
The most revealing thing about post-event analysis in shootings is this: the additude of the the combatants makes almost more difference than the ordinance they bring to the fight.
I am a fair shot (Master grade) and do well on the range and in FATS training. However, I do not know how well I will react in a real life shooting situation, not having been in one (and hoping never to be in one). I do know that my reaction will count more than the gun I happen to have in my hand at the time. If I react with cool deliberation, I will be able to place aimed fire on target. If I go into "chicken without head" mode, I am dead meat cooling on the ground.
As far as weapon choice goes: No smaller than 38/9 mm and no larger than 45 cal. (.44 mag is out, not because of recoil, because of muzzel flash).
Next, nothing with a safety, fine motor control goes with high stress. If I can't draw and pull a trigger without flicking off some safety I don't want it. Training be d$#&**, if it doesn't have one I don't have to train around it. That kicks out 1911 pattern .45 cal weapons (sorry, I love'em but I would not carry one for self-defense) but there remains a whole passel of very nice revolvers and auto pistols which are available in that caliber range. Autos are nice for reloading in a speedy manner, revolvers are cool for six fast relible shots.
Revolver: 6" SS.357 mag Ruger Secuirity Six with adjustable mainspring, bobbed hammer and custom rounded butt. Great to carry and lethal to 100 yards (and yes, I can hit at that distance). Auto Pistol: Beretta 92G. Double action auto pistol with a decocker and no safety. An auto pistol with four controls; trigger, mag release, slide release and decock lever. All you do is draw and shoot.
For what its worth, IMHO.
Stay Safe !
It's a good thing I have about 500 .44 spl cases around somewhere. I guess I better hit the bench before she picks it up on Wednesday.
Of course that means she's going to need new leather, and a couple of speed loaders. That's ok, she loves to shop.
I was telling my 10 year old daughter the other day that if she wanted to catch a gun nut for a boyfriend/husband she should use Hoppes #9 for perfume.
Three older brothers and she is the one that asked: Daddy, do you have any guns we could clean?
Not afraid of guns, getting to be a good shot, and handles them safely.
I don't count on anything opening on winter clothing, so I want a big slow bullet that can do the job even if it acts like hardball. If it happens to expand, that's a bonus.
I will agree that the newer bullets like Gold Dot, SXT, Golden Saber all are improvements over the Hydroshok in reliable expansion. All by the same designer too.
Back in the old days when I was licensed I considered a 21/28 Thompson loaded with a drum of 180gr Super Vels the ultimate house gun. It also gave a feeling of security if I had to respond to a burglar alarm from my business.
I hope for her sake our bodies don't match. I had 2 Detonics totally customized by Briley some years ago, and a lady friend carries the engraved one concealed all the time. They need a little melting, like all 1911s and a special holster. Holster makers tend to just shorten the barrel part of a standard holster and call that a Detonics or Officer's Model holster. They tend to flop over and drop out. The holster must be designed to ride lower on the belt, so that the end of the barrel is in the same location relative to the belt that a commander's barrel end is. That puts the butt down lower on the belt which makes for more comfort and a much more secure carry. The same aplies to the short Para Ordnance pistols.
That is no longer a reasonable assumption.
Now that the understanding of the hydraulic mechanisms of expansion have fed into bullet design, expansion of hollowpoints is a significant factor in lethality.
Expansion must never be the basis for bullet selection, but considered a bonus when, and if, it occurs. Bullet selection should be determined based on penetration first, and the unexpanded diameter of the bullet second, as that is all the shooter can reliably expect.
I dunno, I've shot stacks of wet phone books with .44 mag semi wadcutter and semi wadcutter hollowpoint--Hornady XTP.
One beer case stuffed with wet phone books shot lengthwise hardly even slowed down the SWC's. However, the XTP hollow points generally stopped in the phone books, and showed expansion... Same weight 240gr and same load 23gr W-W 296.
Then again it may not be a good model for human tissue... I dunno...
I cary over the hip and under the shirt or jacket. If it's really hot, I give up and cary an AMT Backup .45 in Thunderwear.