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I'm a little confused here

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by circa81, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. circa81


    Sep 19, 2006
    From what I've been reading about the new high power cartridges that can be used in regular sized semi auto pistols, the .50 GI is supposed to blow everything else out of the water. But looking at these stats...

    .400 corbon: 588*ft·lb

    .50 GI: 591*ft·lbf

    10mm: 750*ft·lbf

    .357 sig 614*ft·lbf

    The 10mm still is far and away the king. Even the .357 Sig is more powerful then the .50 GI. Is there more to these statistics then what's given?
  2. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Cool Guy

    Mar 25, 2003
    I think they are basically trying to put out that its the biggest, heaviest bullet, .50GI aside, that is commonly available in popular handguns.

    While other loadings may have more energy, it still has the largest diameter, and heaviest bullets availble. And I am sure with the right bullets, expansion and penetration should be impressive.

    Im no expert here, just my thoughts on the subject.

  3. BOGE

    BOGE Millennium Member

    Mar 21, 1999
    A .219 Zipper has the same energy as a 50-70 Gov`t. Would you shoot a buffalo with a .219 Zipper?

    Avoid the energy pitfall.
  4. circa81


    Sep 19, 2006
    So what's the most important statistic?
  5. RedHaze

    RedHaze Handgunner

    Aug 23, 2009
    SE WA
    A combination of expansion to damage vitals and enough penetration to reach them. But more important than those is your ability to put the round where it needs to go when it needs to go there. IMO
  6. NonPCnraRN


    Aug 6, 2010
    It depends on what your goal is. I just left a site where a shooter loaded Beartooth 265 gr WFN hardcast bullets at over 1000 fps from a 6 inch Lone Wolf ported barrel installed in a G21. The same ammo in a 5" 1911 set up appropriately did 940 fps. Either weapon in the hands of a skilled shooter will turn a deer out to 50 yds into venison sammiches. It just depends on what your goal is and to what length you are willing to alter a stock weapon. That round will punch lengthwise through a deer. Probably not a good gun for defending the bedroom. I can see loading the 357 Sig with 95 gr .357 cal bullets that would explode in little varmints turning them into red spots in the dirt. Velocity and energy figures are basic units that give you a very rough ability to compare one cartridge against another similar cartridge. But as others have pointed out those figures alone don't mean much. For instance a 10mm 230 gr WFNGC out of a Lone Wolf barreled G20 would compare more favorably to the previously mentioned 45 ACP 265 gr load than the 95 gr 357 Sig load, although theoretically energy figures could be close. There are many things that still can't be explained such as why a 44 mag can leave a wound in a deer larger than a 30-06 at the same distance. Or why a 44 or 45 cal WFN bullet with a meplat of .34-.36 inches at 900-1000 fps will create a wound all out proportion to what the raw energy figures would have you believe. I have seen deer hit at 60 yds with a 250 gr SWC from a 44 spl single action Ruger Blackhawk at 1000 fps that left a golf ball sized wound in the off side chest wall and wrecked everything in its path. If you were to just look at the energy figures you'd think the hunter should be locked up for being unethical. Yet that hunter using that load will get his deer every year. That is why I think even the 200 gr 40 S&W Double Tap ammo out of a G22 would have similar results for a hunter using a Glock instead of a single action revolver. That bullet with a meplat of .32" at over 1000 fps will harvest a deer if the hunter does his or her part. That doesn't mean that a 357 Sig with similar energy levels would be equally up to the job. Maybe on a picture perfect broadside heart/lung shot with a premium bonded hollowpoint, but not a raking shot that needs to penetrate a shoulder bone to get to the heart/lung area. I have seen photos of a 1800 lb bison that was dropped by one 340 gr LFN hardcast bullet at about 1200 fps out of a custom 5 shot Ruger Bisley. The guide was flabbergasted that a pistol would do what hunters with a 338 Win Mag took 3-4 rounds to do. I guess this is just my long winded way of saying energy figures will give you a ball park idea of what a cartridge can do but in the end only experience will show you exactly what a cartridge/gun combo is capable of doing.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2010
  7. Daryl in Az

    Daryl in Az Enjoying life!

    Aug 31, 2007
    "Energy" is likely the least effective way, when used all by itself, to measure the capabilities of a handgun cartridge.

    Look at momentum, too; maybe even Taylor KO to get a better idea of it's capabilities.