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Caliber stopping power

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by whoflungdo, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. whoflungdo


    Jul 15, 2008
    This is an interesting read. It's few years old and may have been posted before. What I take from this article is that one should always continue shooting until the threat ceases.
  2. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Glockoholic

    I've seen that before, it's certainly a different way of looking at the issue. Continued shots as needed is a good idea, I agree with that. Shot placement is the most critical aspect. I don't really like the term "stopping power" as bullets are far too small to physically stop someone.

  3. Kichigai

    Kichigai 気違い Was Mr30s

    Apr 13, 2013
    South Florida
    There are a lot of studies that seem to show the same type of results
  4. M 7

    M 7

    May 22, 2012
  5. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012
    I don't know how far out in the weeds this thread will get but it seems like a good place to get people to take a look at a very short, succinct and correct view of the .357SIv .40 S&W issue right here on GT. I think the expert answer to the question could be broadened to other debates without getting into "MY math formula is better than yours" debates or throwing ballistic gel at each other,
  6. PVolk


    Oct 2, 2009
    Ditto and DITTO.

    Shot placement is key. I'd be far more concerned with ones ability to manipulate the weapon under stress rather than the smaller diameter/weight/velocity differences of acceptable SD ammunition. Use what you shoot the best and practice, practice, pracitce.
  7. WinterWizard


    Jan 17, 2012
    I don't really care about "studies" as they don't take into account where the shots landed. Obviously a .22 to the heart is going to be more effective than 6 shots of .44 magnum to the stomach, legs and arms. Stats don't take common sense into account. Which is why I think any "study" is going to be skewed.

    And I own 9mm and .45, and switch off carrying both, so I don't really care about the caliber war.

  8. Coffee Dog

    Coffee Dog

    Feb 12, 2007
    East Coast
    I like your ammo perception. :wavey:
  9. Kichigai

    Kichigai 気違い Was Mr30s

    Apr 13, 2013
    South Florida
    yeah i think its fair to say that no matter what size practice practice practice is in that spirit does anyone wanna give me some ammo:supergrin:
  10. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    The term "Stopping Power" belongs in discussions about disc brakes in motor vehicles. :whistling:


    The author stated his reasons for wanting to follow his own path of collecting and considering shooting data. If nothing else, it gave him a hobby for 10 years. ;)

    His conclusions may not conform to the personal desires or biases of loyal caliber aficionados, but it suited him, and I can't really disagree with what he took away from it.

    Oh yeah, and consider exercising some caution in taking statistics out of context, or attributing more importance & relevance to them than might be prudent, such as using the .32's listed % actually incapacitated by one shot (torso or head hit) - 72% with that of the .357 Magnum & .357SIG's % actually incapacitated by one shot (torso or head hit) - 61% .

    I doubt anyone would consider changing from .357 Magnum or SIG over to the .32 ACP or Long. :tongueout:

    In no particular order:

    Training (recurrent)
    Proper practice
    Knowledge of the relevant laws
    Knowledge of tactics
    Equipment familiarity & maintenance

    Insert the "caliber and/or ammunition" bias you most prefer anywhere within that list, and then remember that it's just a handgun.

    Consider restricting your reliance upon a cherished talisman to things like using a 4-leaf clover, lucky rabbit's foot, lucky coin, etc for things like playing the lottery. ;)
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
  11. packinaglock

    packinaglock John 3:16

    May 1, 2007
    Loxahatchee Fl
    Always enjoy your posts for the level headed (experienced) input, thanks.
  12. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    De nada.

    Nothing makes me an "expert", and my opinions are just my opinions.

    I do try to temper them with some small number of years of experience & training, though.
  13. Two conclusions:

    1. Use a rifle or shotgun wherever possible and practical.

    2. Don't scoff at someone who wants to use a 22 for protection.
  14. rustytxrx


    Oct 17, 2012
    hunters discuss stopping power a lot. In these discussion carry calibers a seldom discussed. if they ARE discussed it is usually in the failures of carry calibers. pigs take 5 or 6 rounds of a carry caliber and still up.

    Hunting with a carry caliber you learn very quickly there is only one solution....shot placement. this does not mean shooting at the spot where the heart is drawn on the outside of a target like an archer target but understanding where the wound channel needs to be to get to the heart. then you have to make sure all the big bones are out of the way.

    this is a way different mindset than defensive shooting. actually it gives you little confidence in carry calibers. you quickly turn to 45 supers, 10mm and such. even then you find you have to shoot carefully and pick your shots. it brings to mind some of the western was not the guy that shot first that won but the guy that shot most accurately.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013
  15. Darkangel1846


    Jul 19, 2004
    Carry what you want but always have a back up plan. A handgun is only there to give you time to get to your rifle. Shot placement is king!
  16. robhic

    robhic WOLVERINE!!!! Platinum Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    I think all agree that placement is #1. One shot of .22lr to the eye or heart vs. a .45 to the shoulder is self-evident.

    Caliber is certainly a factor, IMO, because a .45 or 10mm (yeah, I know, 10mm will vaporize the BG... :whistling:) to the shoulder will certainly get the BG's attention! A .22 or even .38 might not.

    But the term "stopping power" again IMO, is a bit open-ended. I sure as heck would "stop" if someone shot me with a .22! Most definitely with most any caliber. I DO NOT WANT TO BE SHOT! ANYWHERE! So I would stop post haste!

    Discounting a drugged-up attacker that might not notice a .45 to the gut, I think "stopping power", at least in my case, could be ANY round to ANY part of my body to make me STOP! That kinda skews the argument, doesn't it?
  17. Paul53

    Paul53 Geezer Boomer

    Nov 27, 2011
    I could spare some ammo, depending on the size of your guest bedroom............
  18. I suspect stopping power is a term that morphed out of knockdown power. Knockdown power conjures up visions of TV shows and movies where the fellow who gets shot suddenly goes airborne and into a wall 8 or 10 feet away.

    However stopping power actually is a viable term in that it is somewhat of an umbrella phrase that doesn't insult our intelligence like knockdown power but does convey an action that can and does actually take place when people are shot. However like knockdown power, stopping power could easily turn into a false legend and eventually lose any credibility with serious gun folk.

    Until something better comes along, we are stuck with stopping power. That as long as we maintain the proper perspective and intelligent use of the term, we're going to be okay with it and will understand what the speaker/writer is trying to convey when using it. I'd hate to see it go the root of knockdown power. The idea of a 9mm, .40, or .45ACP sending someone 15 feet through the air into a parked car just doesn't get it.

    So for a nice, general description of stopping power, how about this.

    Stopping power is the ability of a round or rounds to cease the aggressive and dangerous actions of an assailant before he can do any harm or further harm to his victim(s).

    That's pretty general in that it doesn't limit or define the caliber, load, or power of the round but rather its terminal effects on the target. And if stopping power stays with this description, it works for me.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
  19. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Glockoholic

    Thinking of stopping power like one would knockdown power it would be easy (and advisable) to dismiss as being something that doesn't exist. Even though I'm not sure it's the best term, I do like it better than knockdown power.

    Earlier when I stated that a bullet is too small to physically stop someone, that's in the sense of it being able to physically stop their forward momentum. With proper placement a bullet certainly can cause a hostile person to cease their aggressive actions and hopefully stop the threat.