Early Century - .45 & 9mm
Late Century - .357 Sig & 10mm
Steve and Mike,
You both bring up valid points, and I had considered both of them. The answer is that I don't have an answer. The points I made were simply from the point of view of being an interesting discussion. While the topic of ballistics has been studied for years, it is very difficult to arrive at precise outcomes for any type of research. There are simply too many variables to try to account for in any given situation. I was not intending to say that the performance of the two rounds is identical, only that they are similar.
I think I will stick to my personal preference of medium to large diameter bullets at moderate velocities. I would not feel ill protected were I to carry either a .38 or a 9mm, but I do prefer to have a gun that launches a larger bullet. This is in part due to a larger permanent wound channel and partly because of the superior penetration of inanimate objects such as glass, car doors, ect. that larger calibers offer.
Having used a .45 in combat situations, I can say from first hand experience that it does a fine job. Judging from accounts of many law enforcement agencies, shooting a variety of cartridges, both the .38 and the 9mm have shown themselves to be effective with proper shot placement as well. There is little doubt that any of these calibers would be a suitable defensive firearm, but there can certainly be interesting discussion of pros and cons of various calibers without starting a "Caliber War". Thanks for throwing your hat in the ring and keeping it civil and thoughtful.
In answer to the question that is as old as guns themselves....The best caliber is the one that you can reliably put rounds on target in a timely fashion with. Oh yea, my personal definition of stopping power: The ability, in a combat situation, to deliver the FIRST TELLING BLOW.
Thanks agin for your input guys,
I also concur that any of the popular defensive rounds will work fine with good shot placement, and that software is vastly more important than hardware. I was merely disputing the assertion that 9mm and .38 Special are ballistically equivalent, which they plainly are not.
I think the three of us have successfully managed to hi-jack this thread. Once again, thank you both for both your comments and the way in which they were presented.
The way I see it Elmer Fudd used a wok to kill the wabbit with and I think it was a .45
CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG...?
we all know .45's will rock your world!
Because I know it will WORK!!! ACP45
Today I believe it is as much about availibility as anything. I shoot only 9mm, when I can get it.
I can shoot my S&W model 60 very accurately using 38 +p. With a hair trigger, I have a very steady hand. I'd hit my target 5 times all grouped within 1 to 2 inches. With my 45, that accuracy disappears because of trigger pull, recoil, etc. The same 5 shots would be 2 or 3 hits with a larger grouping. Wouldn't the less powerful 38s be better than the more powerful 45s in this situation? Obviously, more practice with the 45 would help, but I don't think it would ever reach the other's accuracy.
What I'm asking is it better to have five hits with the 38 or two with the 45, if all hits were in the same area?
Whatever you're shooting best I guess. I like a 45but that's what I've shot most of my shooting life and I use it well. If I shot a 38 best I guess I'd use that.