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Fuel for the caliber wars

Richard Mann has a look at some numbers on how common pistol cartridges perform in terms of penetration and expansion.

12 Responses to “Fuel for the caliber wars”

  1. Robert Says:

    There was one guy that took data from all fatal shootings where caliber was known. He compiled this with how many times the person was hit. I don’t have a link to it right now, but it’s got some interesting results.

  2. Lyle Says:

    Ayoob compiled actual “one shot stop” rates for various pistol calibers many years ago, but things have changed a bit since then, with better bullet designs and new propellants, and a few new cartridges.

    One thing that hasn’t changed is the First Rule of Gun fighting; Bring a gun.

    Another thing that hasn’t changed; criminals (including politicians) prefer unarmed victims (sort of goes along with the First Rule, doesn’t it?).

    Mine’s better than yours anyway. Discuss.

  3. Robert Says:

    This wasn’t that many years ago, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Ayoob’s that I was looking at. Of course, the data he used was back as far as he could get, so it would have been skewed towards older loads and designs. If I can find it again I’ll post it.

  4. Robert Says:

    Ah, here it is.

    It was more than just fatal shootings. It boils down to “Use a rifle or a shotgun. If you can’t, then magnums (357 or 44) are better than 9MM or .45.”

    But, like you said, newer designs probably offset this some, but the magnums have new bullet designs as well.

  5. Mike V. Says:

    It was Evan Marshall, a entire day Detroit Homicide copper.

  6. Publius Says:


    I thought that was the second rule, and the first rule of gunfighting was something like “don’t get into one”

  7. Lyle Says:

    “Don’t get into one” is a good rule. Maybe I didn’t get the same rules list when I signed up for the sooper secret society of shooters (oops; have I said too much?) “Don’t get into one willingly” is probably a better iteration though.

  8. Dustin Says:

    Mike V, you’re thinking of the Marshall & Sanow study that used bad statistics and fraudulent data.

  9. mikee Says:

    Any article on caliber comparisons of handguns that does not include the iconic picture below, publicized by that blogger among others, should include it.

  10. mikee Says:


    I’ve only been reading that blog for less than a decade or so, sorry.

  11. mikee Says:

    OK, one last try. Go find “Tam” in the links to the right and click on it.

  12. Chas Says:

    Miniature pistol crap. I was shooting my Pedersoli, An IX de Gendarmerie, .60 caliber, soft lead, patched ball pistol the other day. Glorious! When can I get THAT in a single stack, autoloader? Pussified America. Glock 42 toy, my ass!