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Old 11-03-2013, 11:29   #1
MtBaldy
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Idle curiosity

There are endless arguments claiming "stopping power" is a myth and kinetic energy is a meaningless number when talking about a handgun cartridges effectiveness. The other night bored with nothing to do I created the following chart. It only includes Gold Dot self defense ammunition. What struck me is how many of the generally accepted most effective self defense loadings are near the top in terms of kinetic energy. I have always maintained kinetic energy, with a well designed modern expanding JHP bullet, is one of the key parameters that should be considered when choosing a self defense caliber/cartridge combination. Anyway, here's what my little exercise in futility produced:

Speer Gold Dot JHP Muzzle Energy Descending Order

980 .44 Magnum 210 gr
584 .357 Magnum 125 gr
535 .357 Magnum 158 gr
518 .45 ACP +P 200 gr
506 .357 SIG 125 gr
500 .327 FedMagnum 100 gr
496 .40 S&W 155 gr
488 .45 GAP 185 gr
484 .40 S&W 165 gr
453 .45 ACP 185 gr
420 .40 S&W 180 gr
418 .45 GAP 200 gr
410 9mm Luger +P 124 gr
404 .45 ACP 230 gr
374 9mm Luger 115 gr
364 9mm Luger 124 gr
340 .44 Special 200 gr
317 9mm Luger 147 gr
312 45 Colt 250 gr
248 .38 Special +P 125 gr
196 .380 Auto 90 gr
123 .32 Auto 60 gr
63 .25 Auto 35 gr

My two carry loads are .40 165 gr Gold Dots and 9 mm 124 gr +P Gold Dots. I'm fairly confident if I do my part either round will do it's part. It does look like there is fairly high correlation between kinetic energy and cartridge effectiveness but I wouldn't want to try and put a number on it. So?
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Old 11-03-2013, 13:21   #2
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I wonder where my 9mm ccw load fairs? 115gr JHP +p+
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Old 11-03-2013, 13:54   #3
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SCmasterblaster..."I wonder where my 9mm ccw load fairs? 115gr JHP +p+"

I have a question for you. Rather than run a +P+ load, have you ever considered just moving up a caliber?

I have asked this question to several people who run +P+ ammo and (in my mind anyway) rather than deal with the recoil... why not just move up a caliber?

I would be interested to here you thoughts on this question.

Thanks
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Old 11-03-2013, 15:16   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCmasterblaster View Post
I wonder where my 9mm ccw load fairs? 115gr JHP +p+
484 .40 S&W 165 gr
453 .45 ACP 185 gr

432 Federal 115g 9BPLE +P+

420 .40 S&W 180 gr
418 .45 GAP 200 gr


Looks like it's in good company.
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Old 11-03-2013, 15:33   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kentguy View Post
SCmasterblaster..."I wonder where my 9mm ccw load fairs? 115gr JHP +p+"

I have a question for you. Rather than run a +P+ load, have you ever considered just moving up a caliber?

I have asked this question to several people who run +P+ ammo and (in my mind anyway) rather than deal with the recoil... why not just move up a caliber?

I would be interested to here you thoughts on this question.

Thanks
I only carry 9 and 45. I like the larger caliber, but in the small pistols I carry, the difference in round count is a much larger percentage between the two. I don't plan to miss, but I'm also a realist. I don't feel under powered with any round in either caliber.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:39   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtBaldy View Post
484 .40 S&W 165 gr
453 .45 ACP 185 gr

432 Federal 115g 9BPLE +P+

420 .40 S&W 180 gr
418 .45 GAP 200 gr


Looks like it's in good company.


That's why pound for pound I still love the .40 S&W. You get the terminal ballistics of all but the heaviest .45 loads in a 9mm size pistol.

The Glock 22. A 16 shot .45 in a pistol the size of a 9mm.

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Old 11-04-2013, 03:11   #7
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Yeah, but that .357 Sig blows it away in the same size case and pistol!
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:14   #8
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Yeah, but that .357 Sig blows it away in the same size case and pistol!
In energy but not bullet weight. Light bullets have their limitations and so do velocity dependent rounds.

I won't knock the .357 because it does have it's merits but not enough for me to dump the .40 or .45 in favor of it. Besides, the .40 and .45 still make the bigger hole.

You can't argue with that!

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Old 11-04-2013, 07:14   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEOH212 View Post
That's why pound for pound I still love the .40 S&W. You get the terminal ballistics of all but the heaviest .45 loads in a 9mm size pistol.
:
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ Husker View Post
Yeah, but that .357 Sig blows it away in the same size case and pistol!
Quote:
Originally Posted by NEOH212 View Post
In energy but not bullet weight. Light bullets have their limitations and so do velocity dependent rounds.
:
Between .357Sig and .40S&W I wouldn't say the .357 blows the .40 away for a few ft.lbs of energy. it has more but not by much.

Now though we are talking about the other side of the coin, momentum. Adding in momentum makes it more interesting. The number is not a unit of measure but they were all derived using the formula m=mass*velocity so they are comparable. Anyway, it was interesting to see my 124 gr +P 9mm was at the bottom of accepted self defense rounds in terms of momentum. What does it all mean? Beats me but it seems to be suggesting momentum is also a factor in bullet effectiveness. If I had to guess I would say bullets with high energy and low momentum, with same caliber and bullet design, are more likely to expand too fast and penetrate too little. Here's the top 15 ke rounds with momentum added:

980 ft.lbs, 304 m, .44 Magnum 210 gr
584 ft.lbs, 181 m, .357 Magnum 125 gr
535, ft.lbs, 195 m, .357 Magnum 158 gr
518 ft.lbs, 194 m, .45 ACP +P 200 gr
506 ft.lbs, 169 m, .357 SIG 125 gr
500 ft.lbs, 150 m, .327 FedMagnum 100 gr
496 ft.lbs, 186 m, .40 S&W 155 gr
488 ft.lbs, 185 m, .45 GAP 185 gr
484 ft.lbs, 190 m .40 S&W 165 gr
453 ft.lbs, 195 m, .45 ACP 185 gr
420 ft.lbs, 185 m, .40 S&W 180 gr
418 ft.lbs, 194 m .45 GAP 200 gr
410 ft.lbs, 148 m, 9mm Luger +P 124 gr
404 ft.lbs, 205 m, .45 ACP 230 gr
374 ft.lbs, 139 m, 9mm Luger 115 gr



In case anyone is interested, here's a discussion of kinetic energy and momentum on a physics study board:

http://physics.stackexchange.com/que...rly-with-speed
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:28   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kentguy View Post
SCmasterblaster..."I wonder where my 9mm ccw load fairs? 115gr JHP +p+"

I have a question for you. Rather than run a +P+ load, have you ever considered just moving up a caliber?

I have asked this question to several people who run +P+ ammo and (in my mind anyway) rather than deal with the recoil... why not just move up a caliber?

I would be interested to here you thoughts on this question.

Thanks
Well, I will get at G36 or G21 by the end of the year. I will carry a 255gr SWC in both.
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Old 11-05-2013, 15:12   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kentguy View Post
SCmasterblaster..."I wonder where my 9mm ccw load fairs? 115gr JHP +p+"

I have a question for you. Rather than run a +P+ load, have you ever considered just moving up a caliber?

I have asked this question to several people who run +P+ ammo and (in my mind anyway) rather than deal with the recoil... why not just move up a caliber?

I would be interested to here you thoughts on this question.

Thanks
The G17 has been my only Glock since 1989. I may soon get a G22.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:31   #12
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Is there an ideal hand gun round?
I know I don't want to get hit with any of them.
Bullet placement is more important than what bullet is used.
Learn to hit what you are aiming at under all kinds of conditions and what you carry is probably less important.
I have my own opinions on what I will carry and what I won't but it is up to the individual to make that decision.
Like I said, I don't want to get hit with any of them.
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Old 11-08-2013, 10:14   #13
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That's why pound for pound I still love the .40 S&W. You get the terminal ballistics of all but the heaviest .45 loads in a 9mm size pistol.

The Glock 22. A 16 shot .45 in a pistol the size of a 9mm.

Glock 22 is a 16-shot .40 S&W.
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Old 11-08-2013, 10:57   #14
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I wish some of the big boys would load some real 10mm. My load shoots a 165 GD at 1300 fps which I think pretty closely matches original load specs while not running on the hot side like underwood or double tap. My load run 632 fpe and is still shooting a bullet that's heavy enough to penetrate.
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:33   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim S. View Post
Is there an ideal hand gun round?
I know I don't want to get hit with any of them.
Bullet placement is more important than what bullet is used.
Learn to hit what you are aiming at under all kinds of conditions and what you carry is probably less important.
I have my own opinions on what I will carry and what I won't but it is up to the individual to make that decision.
Like I said, I don't want to get hit with any of them.
Carry the biggest thing you can consistently hit with. A hit with a 22 beats a miss with a 44 every time. The survival rate of a miss by a 44 approaches 100%.

Last edited by Cavalry Doc; 11-08-2013 at 11:34..
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:51   #16
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Carry the biggest thing you can consistently hit with. A hit with a 22 beats a miss with a 44 every time. The survival rate of a miss by a 44 approaches 100%.
If things pointed to my carrying a .22 I would carry a club instead.

But in real life, I carry and hit well with a G17.
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:56   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCmasterblaster View Post
If things pointed to my carrying a .22 I would carry a club instead.

But in real life, I carry and hit well with a G17.
I've actually taught classes to my local gun club on defensive handgun selection. Hands are different, some people can't flex their 1st MTPJ to 90 degrees, some have arthritis or other problems. If they can't shoot a .380, a club might not be an option either. If I could hit with a 12 gauge 2 inch barrel pistol with a 6 round mag, I'd carry one. I like calibers that begin with the number 4.
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Old 11-09-2013, 07:47   #18
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A few years ago, I read about a big tough martial arts instructor who had to be taken to the hospital after a weak little lowly white-belt's fingertip grazed his eye accidentally during practice.
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Old 11-09-2013, 07:58   #19
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A few years ago, I read about a big tough martial arts instructor who had to be taken to the hospital after a weak little lowly white-belt's fingertip grazed his eye accidentally during practice.
That s#!t hurts. Nothing like a fingernail across a cornea to change one's priorities. That's one of many tricks I used to teach to guards at confinement and interrogation facilities.
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:52   #20
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I've actually taught classes to my local gun club on defensive handgun selection. Hands are different, some people can't flex their 1st MTPJ to 90 degrees, some have arthritis or other problems. If they can't shoot a .380, a club might not be an option either. If I could hit with a 12 gauge 2 inch barrel pistol with a 6 round mag, I'd carry one. I like calibers that begin with the number 4.
12ga with a 2-inch barrel!! I cannot imagine the muzzle flash.
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