1. BladeForums has ZERO TOLERANCE for extremism or calls of violence. We request your assistance dealing with this as we do not want to see the site shut down due to violent threats. Please see this thread here in Tech Support: https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/bladeforums-has-a-zero-tolerance-policy-towards-threats-of-violence-extremism-be-warned.1769537/

More Stopping Power - .40 or .45?

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by Slidetechnik, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. Mitchell Knives

    Mitchell Knives Knifemaker Moderator

    May 21, 2000
    Which ever one you can shoot the most accurately.

    Neither has any "stopping power" if you miss.
  2. Old CW4

    Old CW4 Banned BANNED

    Sep 8, 2006
    I just happen to have in my hand the very latest study derived from nationwide police records concerning 'one shot stops.' These are actual shootings that occurred here and there with detailed info as to weapons, cartridges, etc.

    My SO captain partner provided the study. We were both surprised by some of the latest results. For years, the 357 mag has been Nr One, and the 45 ACP Nr Two. The 357 remains Nr One but here are more of the latest figures. As always, the accuracy of the shooter is paramount. A HP 230 grain 45 tearing out a heart and lungs might not be as quick a stop as a 22 LR to the bridge of the nose. A recent FBI study of one shot stops states that only three types of hits virtually guarantee a stop: To the head that destroys the brain; to the neck that severs the spine; and a large caliber directly to the heart that destroys that critical organ. Although a heart shot does not always instantly incapacitate an attacker while brain and spine shots do.

    357 mag: 727 shootings, one shot stop percentage 96%.
    45 ACP: 85 shootings, one shot stop percentage (average) 76%.
    40 S&W: 58 shootings, one shot stop percentage 95%.
    9MM: 141 shootings, one shot stop percentage 90%.
    And just for comparison:
    22 LR: 1007 shootings, one shot stop percentage (average) 32%.

    Shotguns, 12 gauge:
    OO buckshot: 528 shootings, one shot stop percentage (average) 91%.
    #4 buckshot: 337 shootings, one shot stop percentage 82%.
    Slugs: 197 shootings, one shot stop percentage 98%.

    223, 23 shootings, one shot stop percentage 100%.
    308, 218 shootings, one shot stop percentage 100%.

    Gee, I wonder how my BFR 45-70 handguns would do....? Bottom line, the 40 S&W is a wicked cartridge! Also a hell of a lot easier to shoot for many folks than 357s or 45s. Also, don't 'poo-poo' the 'little' nine mm.
  3. Mitchell Knives

    Mitchell Knives Knifemaker Moderator

    May 21, 2000
    Interesting data. I'm a bit suprised to see that 9mm and .40 beat .45.

    32% seems very respectable for a .22.
  4. jill jackson

    jill jackson

    Sep 5, 2006
  5. Bernoulli


    Jun 15, 2007
    Many years ago the NRA had a study of fatalities from police shootings (shooting the bad guys). The 9MM was the most deadly caliber. I don't believe it was figured by the shot, just by the caliber involved causing a fatality.
  6. RickJ


    Mar 2, 2003

    Got to agree with that! 44 Magnum is accurate too!
  7. SIFU1A


    May 12, 2001
    imho "one shot stop %'s" are BS, that book by marshall carries no weight at all with most folks and is based on what he "claims" to have been told, i have seen postings by folks who he "claims" to have used there data and they claim they never spoke to him, so i would be wary of anything in that book.

    as far as .40 vs .45 imho it depends on the ammo, ball i would go w/the .45, good modern ammo like ranger/golden sabre/gold dot the differnce is small, very small, i have seen pics of gel shot by 9MM /.357SIG/.40 & .45, all with ranger ammo, and the difference in wound channels was nil, i doubt ya could tell one from another if it wasnt labled "a" is 9MM, "b" is .357SIG, etc, so imho any of the service calibres will do the job if you do yours.

    sure .44 magnum will do ok too, if ya get a good hit, i dont really care to lug around a 4" bbl 29 'smith myself though on a daily basis.
  8. AFCCT vet

    AFCCT vet

    Sep 6, 2010
    Well, first of all I'm no expert in external ballistics.
    During my 3 tours, 1 in Iraq, 2 in 'Stan. I've had the unfortunate need to use my .45 4 times. A 1911 style.
    Each time the target dropped after about 3 ft. of travel, (Straight down).
    Go with the .45, and practice, practice, practice.
  9. ROCK6


    Feb 8, 2004
    Damn AF...the only thing they don't modernize is their sidearm:D I'm Army and when I was in Iraq our senior GO was AF and carried a .45...I was a little jealous:D

    I originally didn't like .40S&W, but it's now my outdoors pistol. I like the performance of DoubleTap's 200gr. hardcast rounds. I also like the extra capacity even though some .45's such as my XD compact, Glock, Para, FN, etc. now have double stacks.

    For urban outings, I'll either be packing a .45 or 9mm depending on my activities and attire.

  10. AFCCT vet

    AFCCT vet

    Sep 6, 2010
    Rock6, irregardless of caliber preference. Thank you very much for your service. Things got damn hairy when we were establishing the "Green zone".
    If you were one of those troops, then you had a hand in it, so you know.
  11. din

    din Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    were there any results for .357 Sig?
  12. Gear


    Oct 3, 2008

    Ah the age old question of which caliber is better. Pistol calibers are largely incapable of one shot stopping and sometimes even more than four or five rounds are required to stop an attacker. Its not about the size of the bullet my friend its about where you put it that counts. :D
  13. Gear


    Oct 3, 2008

    Not always a man was once shot over 30 times with a 9mm and once with a 12 gauge slug it took a second round from the 12 gauge to put him down.
  14. Les Snyder

    Les Snyder

    Jul 6, 2010
    pretty good reference site mentioned in the new issue of American Handgunner..
    "www.ballisticsbytheinch.com"....velocity as a function of barrel length
  15. 338375


    Nov 4, 2006
    Ya, me too... IIRC one of the big reasons the 40 was created was because many felt the 9mm was not giving good performance. Granted, there are other factors that come into play in the results, but still interesting.

    I've carried a 45 acp for years. I like bigger rounds and I like 1911's. I don't put much stock into ballistics charts. I've found that with rifles calibers, its not always a good indicator of what the cartridge is actually capable of. The first that comes to mind is the 45-70. Looks very boring on paper, but has very devastating results on animals.
  16. SkinnyJoe

    SkinnyJoe Banned BANNED

    Jun 9, 2007
    Thanks! :):):)

    Rifles it is.
  17. jill jackson

    jill jackson

    Sep 5, 2006
    The .40 was created after the the 1980's shootout the FBI had with a pair of criminals armed with at least one Mini 14, in which after being shot with a 9mm Winchester Silvertip (115 grain I believe,which stopped short of the heart) the crook killed some of the FBI agents. (I also believe he was finally killed with a .38 revolver) At first they was going with the 10mm but it was later case shortened and called the .40 S&W., because of the bigger rounds recoil.
  18. jill jackson

    jill jackson

    Sep 5, 2006
    That shootout was more of an ammunition failure IMO than a failure of the 9mm.
    A heavier round would have easily went much further and instead of stopping 1" from the heart, like the light fast expanding Silvertip, would have drove right on and ended the crooks life on the spot. (try 147 grain Hydra Shok).
  19. cliff355


    Apr 19, 2003
    Townsend Whelan once said that comparing the stopping power of various service handgun cartridges was like a discussion of seniority among second lieutenants.

    Stopping power aside - the .45 has somewhat of an edge if you load your own.

    - Low pressure. The cartridge case lasts forever. Shoot it until the headstamp wears off and throw it away when it splits.

    - Just about any powder that comes in a can will work in a .45, albeit some better than others.

    - You can cast a bullet out of just about anything that melts and it will work in a .45.

    - It is easy to see into a .45 case while reloading since they are shaped like little wide-mouth garbage cans.

    IMHO, no cartridge is easier to reload than the .45ACP.
  20. SkinnyJoe

    SkinnyJoe Banned BANNED

    Jun 9, 2007
    Thanks for the link. It seems that the agents were not up against average Joes, as far as gunhandling. :(

    Apparently there was even a movie made: http://www.davidsoul.com/thefbimurders.html
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010

Share This Page