Fernando,Relative to stopping power, if worst comes to worst, what are your thoughts re. a .40 or .45 vs. a 9mm hollow point? Would they have roughly the same stopping power, even though the latter is a smaller bullet (at least a the point of leaving the gun!)Thanks, Jim
These days you have very well made JHP ammo. With quality hollow point ammo, shot placement is FAR more important than if hitting with a 9mm, .40 or .45.
9mm is usually the most reasonable choice because it allows you to shoot cheaper ammo for lots of practice, it is readily available anywhere where ammo is sold, guns that chamber 9mm have greater capacity and when loaded with premium ammo 9mm is enough to get the job done.
Now, as important as shot placement is, and it is the key factor, I wouldn’t really want to go for less than 9mm. Good 9mm JHP will work when putting enough rounds in the right place, but smaller rounds may fail to penetrate or do enough damage even with relatively good shot placement. Some people that don’t understand much about ballistics and haven’t done much research as of what to expect from each caliber think that as long as you put the round in the right place, that’s all that matters. Such people have told me they carry a 22LR because they will shoot to the head, and it doesn’t matter the caliber, a shot the head means you’re going down. Well… that’s not entirely correct. There are plenty of cases in which 22LR, and .32s failed to penetrate the skull, especially when impacting at an angle.
At the same time, and even if the difference is small, more power is usually preferred. While I would go for a 9mm as may first and only handgun, if I could get to choose I would rather carry something a bit more powerful, in my case 357 SIG or 40 S&W if I cant go for the SIG. Shot placement is still important, but experience tells us that with a bit more power, in average, you will have better one shot stop rates. Sure, handguns are all underpowered when compared to long arms, but 357 Magnum 125gr. JHP sure has better one shot stop rates than 9mm ball.
45ACP is a great round, but the difference is marginal when compared to premium .40 JHP ammo one shot stop rates, and you can have it in a smaller gun with more ammo capacity and less recoil.