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Stopping Power

This is a discussion on Stopping Power within the CCW forums, part of the Gunner Forum category; Here is an interesting article on the subject by Greg Ellifritz. He does extensive research and reaches logical conclusions. One interesting fact is many one ...


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Old 02-14-2020, 06:34 AM   #1
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Stopping Power

Here is an interesting article on the subject by Greg Ellifritz. He does extensive research and reaches logical conclusions. One interesting fact is many one shot stops aren't because the perp is incapacitated but they just don't want to be shot again.

https://www.buckeyefirearms.org/alte...stopping-power

Last edited by Terry_P; 02-14-2020 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:13 PM   #2
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I've never put much faith in stopping power studies, or I wouldn't be carrying a .32 ACP ........Even in his discussion, Ellifritz contradicts his own numbers, which have the .32 looking better in some ways than a 9 or 45 !

Okay, bullet energy is important, but so is avoiding over-penetration from too much velocity. So, which do you favor? HP design will reduce penetration, but cuts penetration in half through heavier clothing. You need a faster bullet?. RN lead will expand a little compared to FMJ, and both penetrate well. Slower bullet?. Is the perp going to be indoors in just a shirt, or oudoors with a coat? Who knows?

Bullet sizes are not that much different. A .45 bullet is 33% bigger in diameter than a .32, but that difference is thirteen hundredths of an inch. Not very impressive when you do the math. A 9mm is 12% bigger, or four hundredths. Wow. A HP design will maybe add 28%, short barrels don't do as well, to those sizes after impact, but the differences don't change. Do I really expect someone to drop dead faster because my bullet is a few hundredths bigger?

Bullet weight seems to matter more than size. There are 457 grains to an ounce, so a 115 grain 9mm is significantly heavier than a 72 grain .32. A tenth of an ounce. But, weight increases recoil and reduces velocity given the same load.

Looking at the studies, it seems too much of one thing hurts another. So a bullet of medium size, weight, and velocity would end up being the best compromise? A standard velocity 9 or 38, both of which are actually .36. And it has to be concealable. Makes my .32 look a a bit better, if I stick to ball ammo. For my .357 SP101, I decided on 125 gr .38 Spl XTP Hornady. Lighter, faster than 158 gr, for less recoil and moderate expansion in a snub.

The bottom line is having adequate penetration, where you hit, and can you carry it well. The other numbers don't matter very much.

Just my two cents.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:28 PM   #3
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I like the 45 ACP with 230 gr JHP's. It will penetrate where it needs to go and should your perp be one that doesn't want to quit the it will turn out the lights the party's over.

The stats seem weird but I think what they are really saying is hits on target count.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:50 PM   #4
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But, you normally carry a lot smaller than a .45.

I tried to be brief, but all the factors took a little typing.....

I think "stopping power" will be a never ending disagreement. Too many variables. Too many people that have to have "blow the bad guy into the next county" power.

JMHO, that's fine, if they like carrying a 2 1/2 pound gun that's like concealing a VW, without a corresponding gain in performance. I've never seen a need for bigger than 9 or 38, and they don't carry that well, except a J-frame or LCR.

Any handgun is a bad compromise. If we knew we were going to need a gun, we'd leave the house with something a lot bigger....

Last edited by bearcatter; 02-14-2020 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 02-15-2020, 04:57 AM   #5
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Night stand is a 45 and I do have a IWB to fit the Sig P320 compact but it is a bit of a load. Normally I have the P938 9 MM in the pocket. If I could find a pocket sized .40 I'd probably go for it.
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:20 AM   #6
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In my one and only, and I hope ever] gun fight my weapon "at hand" was a 12" Crescent wrench at 0 feet, the gun stuck in my back. He dropped like a ruck and I quit the job. I was 18 at the time. Turned out the guy was a drunk off duty cop from the bar next door. He was just having some fun, I didn't thing it was funny and he had quite a headache when he woke up.
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Old 03-13-2020, 12:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry_P View Post
I like the 45 ACP with 230 gr JHP's. It will penetrate where it needs to go and should your perp be one that doesn't want to quit the it will turn out the lights the party's over.

The stats seem weird but I think what they are really saying is hits on target count.
I like that gun and round myself, it stops a man and it doesn't kick that hard either.
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Old 03-13-2020, 12:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
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In my one and only, and I hope ever] gun fight my weapon "at hand" was a 12" Crescent wrench at 0 feet, the gun stuck in my back. He dropped like a ruck and I quit the job. I was 18 at the time. Turned out the guy was a drunk off duty cop from the bar next door. He was just having some fun, I didn't thing it was funny and he had quite a headache when he woke up.
Ha, ha, ha, that is funny. A 12" Crescent wrench is a pretty heavy club to swing. You might have cracked his skull a little bit.
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Old 03-14-2020, 06:06 AM   #9
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I showed the article to the gunrange guy.
He explained why the 32 was picked as a killer.
He said years ago the 32's could be bought for $10-$15.
Every thug (black or white) bought them.
It was a time when bar room fights and bootleggers carried.
Many were shot and he indicated that the 32's were the gun of that time.
So, go figure.
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Old 03-14-2020, 07:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grease Fire View Post
Ha, ha, ha, that is funny. A 12" Crescent wrench is a pretty heavy club to swing. You might have cracked his skull a little bit.
He may have! I know I still remember it like it was yesterday and the Blue 55 Chevy I was working on at the time. LOL
Shortly after I moved on to another service station the Seattle area had a rash of station robbery / killings and we all started carrying full time, no CC then, heck, I was only 18. We also has someone in the back office armed until closing. Turned out to be two guys from McCord AFB. Fun times growing up in the big city!
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Old 03-14-2020, 07:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KimberLover View Post
I showed the article to the gunrange guy.
He explained why the 32 was picked as a killer.
He said years ago the 32's could be bought for $ 10-$ 15.
Every thug (black or white) bought them.
It was a time when bar room fights and bootleggers carried.
Many were shot and he indicated that the 32's were the gun of that time.
So, go figure.
I carry a Guardian 32 simply because it is the smallest high quality gun in an effective caliber. A 25 is no more effective than 22, and 22 being rimfire gives ignition and feed issues. So, 32 it is.

Local, .32 Auto is still a bit pricey, I get Aguila for $ 18. Other brands are around $ 22-25. I see 9mm for $ 12-15.

Last edited by bearcatter; 03-14-2020 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 03-14-2020, 08:58 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by bearcatter View Post
I carry a Guardian 32 simply because it is the smallest high quality gun in an effective caliber. A 25 is no more effective than 22, and 22 being rimfire gives ignition and feed issues. So, 32 it is.

Local, .32 Auto is still a bit pricey, I get Aguila for $ 18. Other brands are around $ 22-25. I see 9mm for $ 12-15.
Sometimes I carry my Kel-Tec PF-9. It is 5.85" long, .88" wide, weighs 12.7oz empty, and holds 7+1 rounds of 9mm.
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Old 03-15-2020, 06:17 AM   #13
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The Colt New Police Revolver in 32 S&W was the official NYPD firearm when Teddy Roosevelt was Commissioner. They went to the 38 SPL in 1908.

https://www.range365.com/history-nypd-sidearms/
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Old 03-15-2020, 09:04 AM   #14
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"Stopping power" and "knockdown power" make for interesting conversation. I can remember watching our butcher as a kid drop a half dozen 300lb hogs with a 22lr. I remember thinking 405 grain buffalo bore ammo from my 45-70 was going to knock elk off their feet. It did once, when I shot high and hit her in the spine, messing up a good chunk of the backstrap. I remember hearing my cousins talk about their great grandad getting his family thru the depression poaching deer with his 22. Until we can launch a piece of lead the size of a coffee can proficiency and shot placement trumps all when it comes to this topic. I picked up that ruger 57 the other day and I'd love a keltec pmr 30. My problem is Colorado, in its infinite wisdom limits the full potential of those two with their mag capacity laws. Keltec doesn't even offer a Colorado compliant version so I'll have to move if I want to own that one.
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