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Old 02-18-2012, 20:25   #1
rohanreginald
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Best defense caliber of all time...

Today I had a thought about handgun cartridges and figured since we have arrived with certain calibers through evolution, there must be a single handgun cartridge which is the overall best.

So I was thinking that there have been famous shootouts that have caused significant change in handgun calibers such as the 1986 FBI Miami shootout. These incidents have helped the evolution of certain calibers. So here goes my thoughts.

The 10mm came into existence in the early 80's. Shortly after the Miami shootout occurred and FBI adopted the 10mm. The 10mm was too powerful for standard issue so it was dropped by FBI. However the 10mm had certain desirable characteristics such as better trajectory and range than the big ol .45. So the .40 S&W was created to address recoil.

The 40.S&W was then considered by some to have lost velocity so the .40 was then evolved into the .357 sig. This is where current evolution ends so the .357 Sig must be the best defense handgun caliber.

But wait...

So too has the .45 ACP evolved. The .45 ACP has evolved into the .45 GAP. The GAP retains the same characteristics as the ACP but in a shortened cartridge which allows for many more platforms for this cartridge.

So in reality the .357 Sig and the .45 GAP have evolved the most. Therefore the .357 Sig and .45 GAP must be the all time best handgun cartridges.

Since the .357 Sig is really shooting a 9mm projectile this ironically this brings us right back to the 9mm vs .45 debate. Any thoughts?
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Old 02-18-2012, 20:32   #2
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125 gr at 1350 fps or 230 gr at 850 fps. I don't want to get hit with either or anything in between.

Last edited by cowboy1964; 02-18-2012 at 20:33..
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Old 02-18-2012, 20:42   #3
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Just because something is new doesn't make it the best. Being old doesn't mean its the best either. Miami was more about bad tactics than a weak round. But the FBI was not going to admit that. The FBI does not like admitting mistakes.
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Old 02-18-2012, 21:17   #4
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.38spl+p LSWCHP has been performing for longer than any round I can think of at the moment. I cant think of any load that is unchanged for as long as still considered a viable option.

I like .38spl and have been carrying it for years. I started carrying the Gold Dot Short Barrel load a few years ago, but would have no problems going back to the old FBI load.
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Old 02-18-2012, 21:28   #5
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10mm is the best self defense auto cartridge unless your a pansy!
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Old 02-18-2012, 21:45   #6
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230gr FMJ .45
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Old 02-18-2012, 21:47   #7
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Pfft .25acp is where its at.

Last edited by dkf; 02-18-2012 at 21:51..
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Old 02-18-2012, 21:57   #8
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I see the 357sig & 45GAP as progress but this does not mean the other flavors aren't effective.
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Old 02-18-2012, 22:08   #9
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hard to beat the 9mm IMO, despite it's limitations.
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Old 02-18-2012, 22:26   #10
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9mm probably has more kills than any other round. (Germans started in and most of the world carries it now, so it wins buy sheer numbers)

357Mag was carried for a decade or better by so many police forces is the US it many have the most one stop shots on record. Again a numbers game.

38SP have been around since 1898, lots of stops.

Of the modern rounds you can pick any and be safe. Modern bullet designs make them all very effective. (9mm, 10mm, 11mm (45ACP) 357SIG 40SW, 38SP, 357Mag, 44SP and 44mag or even 45LC, if you must. And of course some carry the 50AE!!)
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Old 02-18-2012, 22:34   #11
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if my math is good

.45, 230gr @ 850fps = 369ft-lbs/ke

.357sig, 124gr @1350 = 502ft-lbs/ke

I think the sig wins
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Old 02-18-2012, 22:59   #12
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The best caliber? The one you have on you when you need it,9,40,357sig or mag,45 any and all will do the job IF you do yours.
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Old 02-18-2012, 23:37   #13
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Since we didn't specify handgun calibers I am going with 50BMG. Nothing says "get of my lawn" like the business end of a ma duece. hahaha
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Old 02-18-2012, 23:56   #14
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Defense caliber? I'll go with a 12 gauge


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Old 02-19-2012, 00:05   #15
PrecisionRifleman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KARTMAN90 View Post
Defense caliber? I'll go with a 12 gauge


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That's always my choice when at the house as well. Love my 870 Police.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:05   #16
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The 22 LR is probably the one most used-it has killed more of anything (people too) than all the rest of the non-war calibers put together.
I have known 3 people who were killed by gunshot -all three were done in by 22LR-this is not proof just a personal story.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:22   #17
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We are talking self defense and STOPPING power her guys, not killing potential.

If Best = most one shot stops, then the .357 magnum wins

If best = best shot placement , then the .22lr wins

If best = most concealable, then .380 wins

If best = most economical, then 9mm wins

If best = ft lbs of energy, then S&W 500 magnum wins

If best = best compromise between size and power, .40S&W wins

My point is they are all useful for different reasons, or we would all have guns in only one caliber, and wouldn't sit around debating which was best all day. I like 'em all.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:58   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9mm +p+ View Post
The best caliber? The one you have on you when you need it,9,40,357sig or mag,45 any and all will do the job IF you do yours.
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:26   #19
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:22   #20
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Defense against bad people, or general defense anywhere and everywhere on earth? You just had to stop after the 10mm, with the lighter bullets (135gr going 1600fps) you are looking at the ultimate man-stopper, a commander size 10mm 1911 all de-burred and smoothed out my be the ULTIMATE caryy gun. Then you load up some 165gr hollowpoints and you can defend yourself against mountain lions. Then load up some 200gr's and can defend yourself against bigger cats like tigers in south america or lions in Africa, and then after you have came so close to death all these times you can load up some 230gr hardcast loads going 1000fps and you have protection from small bear or other enraged animals. I think 10mm has the title boys. can be loaded to 800ft-lbs in high strength handguns, and shoots very flat, and is naturally accurate.
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