Caliber question

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by caa, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. caa


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    Jan 27, 2013

    Lots of people comment on the effectiveness of caliber and ammunition and you've written on the issue (for example here:

    Just recently I came across the arguement for 9mm that I had not seen before, articulated by some trainers like Rob Pincus ( As I understand the theory, it is:
    - statistics show that multiple hits matter more in stopping an attack than caliber
    - 9's carry more rounds and are easier to control for multiple (faster) hits
    - therefore, 9's are better.
    This is supposed to refute the "one-shot stop" idea supposedly favoring larger calibers, and it leads these trainers and other enthusiasts to prefer 9's over 40's or 45's.

    I'm curious about your assessment of this idea. I took a course many years ago from a trainee of Jeff Cooper's. We were taught to be proficient with a 45 and not to stop with less than a double-tap. In time since I took that course there have been lots of studies and new bullet technology, which you talk about in your article. (I, of course, am catching up on the technology and discussion that happened in the meantime, which I missed.) Still, do you buy the 9mm argument, or do you think think that with proper training and multiple hits 40 caliber or 45 caliber are superior?
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

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    Nov 6, 2005
    It's not either/or. Both theories are valid. Sometimes the circumstances don't give you long enough a time window of the opponent's exposure to take advantage of the higher capacity of the 9mm. (If there's only time to get one hit, you want it to be a HARD hit.) Hit potential is going to be largely a factor of how rapidly the shooter can recover from recoil, and that's going to vary shooter to shooter. Many veteran shooters are very close in their time/score ratios with 9mm vis-a-vis .45.

    Be very familiar and experienced with both, and make your own informed decision.