WARCHILD wrote:Personally, I think the theory of choosing a bullet based on "one shot stop" percentage is BS. That scale has some flaws, first and foremost being that the scale does not factor out the psychological element; when shot, a majority of people will fall down even if the wound is not ultimately fatal. That's true even ifthe gun is a .22.Thus, the majority of shootings would be "one-shot stops". I say would be, because have you ever heard any gun instructor advocate shooting once and seeing what happens? No; firearms defense courses and LE departments alike advocate shooting at the threat tillit is no longer a threat.Therefore, it is often difficult to determine whether the first shot did the trick thus making the second unnecessary, and in reality the study used to develop the chart actually UNDERestimated the number of one-shot stops for many calibers.I found this Hatcher rating for handgun calibers for "one shot stop" effectiveness, in one of my gunbooks. I posted this question on the nationalforum and got no answers. Does anyone know about this rating scale and wheather or not it's accurate?
Third, ratings for these are dependent on percentage of studied cases. To accurately represent the bullet's real-world effectiveness in a shooting, the number of studied cases must be substantial (like thousands). For some calibers that are rated on this scale, those kind of statistical numbers are not available because they are less documented that more common calibers.
I prefer the FBI standard: the gun and bullet should be capable, at nominal handgun distances (up to 15 yards), of penetrating 12 inches of bad guy. Given that bar, the best caliber is the largest of these that a shooter can fire under control and quickly, and the best gun is the one that the shooter is most comfortable with and that has an acceptable capacity for the scenarios the shooter will likely encounter.
That all boils down to:
- Pick the largest caliber you can control in a practical shooting situation. I'm not talking slow-fire at a target in a range; you need to be able to empty a clip at about .5s per shot or faster, accurately enough to put those shots into vital BG areas. If you can't do it with at least a9mm, practice. If you can control a .40's snap, great. If you don't mind a .45's push, that's even better.
- Pick a gun with ergonomics that feel comfortable, controls that are easy to manipulate, a grip that suits your natural pointing preference (practice drawing and pointing; if the sights aren't pretty close to lined up when just point-firing, you'll either need significant practice or a different gun), and with the largest mag capacity you can find among the guns that fit and feel right. If you're planning on carrying concealed, size is another consideration, but for OC you can pretty much holster anything you like.
- Pick a holster that will allow for good retention, but fast draws. I've personally never needed more than an Uncle Mike's, but this is totally personal preference and what works for one guy ends up in the bottom of the drawer for another.
- Pick a defense cartridge (expander)that reliably feeds in your gun, passes the FBI penetration tests, and is inexpensive enough that you can afford tofire off at least twenty or so rounds a month to stay in practice with your defense rounds and verify they'll still feed in the gun.
- Break in that gun (500 rounds or so, whether the manufacturer says it's needed or not), verify the reliability of the defense ammo in that gun, and then carrythat gun with that ammo in that holsterwherever the law allows.
Follow those steps and really it doesn't matter what particular gun model, caliber or ammunition you use; you'll have a weapon you are familiar with and that you can trust. Those are the two biggest X-factors, over and above simply having a defense-caliber gun of any sort, that will make you most able to protect your life and those of your loved ones.