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Thread: Seasonal Caliber Selection

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    Regular Member afcarry's Avatar
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    Seasonal Caliber Selection

    At the risk of starting an argument I am going to start a thread about caliber selection since at our last meeting there was a brief discussion on the topic. Unfortunately, I will be going geek with some ballistics as I understand the topic, so comments are always welcome. Hopefully I wont go too much into it and become boring.

    As you may or may not know, I do change my carry weapon with the time of year, and thus change my caliber of choice accordingly. But first, I have to give some background. When I carry in civilian clothes, my intent is not to kill any individual in the interest of self defense. Ever. The worst I would ever attempt to do is incapacitate. Ending somebody's life is an unfortunate but somewhat common result of this, however, it is not the result sought.

    There are many theories or schools of thought on the topic of ballistics, and the one I most commonly subscribe to is the pressure wave hypothesis. This simply means that other factors being equal, bullets producing larger pressure waves incapacitate more rapidly than bullets producing smaller pressure waves. This does not necessarily mean that the biggest bullet will always have a greater effect, but rather the bullet that transfers more energy will have a more noticeable (and usually faster) result. So begins the argument of 9mm v .45ACP. Wave magnitude falls off with increasing distance from the point of origin unless reflected by a boundary or confined to an internal structure. An internal pressure wave created in the thoracic cavity will be reflected multiple times by the sides of the cavity. Since pressure wave magnitude is inversely proportional to penetration depth, cutting penetration in half doubles the pressure, if kinetic energy is the same. However, the potential for increased incapacitation is limited, because the wave must be created inside soft tissue and close to major blood vessels or vital organs to have its effect. A bullet that barely penetrates the thoracic cavity has little effect. Incapacitation effects are reduced for penetration depths below 9.5 inches.

    The 9mm 124 grain bullet from DoubleTap Ammo shot at 1295fps from a Glock 19 resulted in just under 750 PSI pressure wave, which will probably cause brain damage, and - assuming you hit center mass - will cause a drop in approximately 7 seconds. The .40S&W 150 grain bullet from DoubleTap Ammo shot at 1275fps from a Glock 23 resulted in just over 800 PSI pressure wave, which will also probably cause brain damage, and - assuming again you hit center mass - will cause a drop in approximately 6 seconds. These are all great results, but the thing to keep in mind is that these are all penetration tests in pure unclothed flesh simulate. Come winter time, your average John Doe will probably not be wearing a tank top. Hollow points act as cookie cutters, if you will, turning the best of the best hollow points into non-expanding ball ammunition when coming into contact with jackets, shirts, overalls, snow pants, etc. This fact greatly simplifies the argument, since there is no need for consideration of weight retention, expansion rate, or any of the other benefits of hollow point bullets.

    In winter time, you have to (or at least, I do) change your thought process to accommodate the climate. In the winter time your body in an attempt to remain warm will create more cardiovascular constriction - there will be less blood flow at any given point in the body. This will delay the processes of traumatic shock, hemorrhagic shock and exsanguination. This results in another ballistic school of thought: The "Big Hole Theory." Every Cro-Magnon man, woman and child has believed since the beginning of time that bigger is better. In this case, I also believe that to be true. If all of my ammunition is ball ammunition, I would rather have a magazine full of big balls. There are no fantastic numbers to display here, there are no statistics on cold weather shootings, and unfortunately, the effort required to go through all coroner's records of shooting to see the difference in terminal results by season is far more then any of us that I know of are willing exert.

    So In the winter, I carry a .45ACP. In the summer I carry a .40S&W, and I am confident that at any given time of year, I am properly equipped to do whatever necessary to defend myself and my family in the most efficient manner possible, and I encourage you all to as well if you don't already.
    An individual should not choose the caliber, cartridge, and bullet that will kill an an animal when everything is right; rather, he should choose ones that will kill the most efficiently when everything goes wrong

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    Regular Member Richieg150's Avatar
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    Hhttp://www.chuckhawks.com/ammo_by_anonymous.

    Heres a great read on the subject on the BEST self defence rounds.When I'm carrying my .357,I have 158 gr HP/XTP 1610fps. rounds in it.In my opinion,the .357 is the best handgun round bar none,the problem with most people is you either get a revolver,with the most,8 rounds in it,or a semi-auto with 9+1 rounds,which will be larger than most will want to carry.

    When I carry my .40 S&W,I have the Cor-bon 135 gr. JHP 1325 fps.

    ANALYSIS OF VELOCITY:
    The faster a bullet is traveling, the more energy is created. Energy developed at the muzzle must be transferred or "dumped" into the target to be effective. Energy transfer is aided by bullet expansion. The higher the velocity, the more rapidly the expansion, the more effectively the energy is expended into the target. This explosive expansion dumps the available energy quickly, creating tremendous shocking power, and causes immediate STOPPING POWER! Stopping Power means SAFETY.
    Psalm 144:1 Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
    Psalm 144:2 My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me. Pro 14:15 The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

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    Regular Member Richieg150's Avatar
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    I have never thought about changeing ammo with the seasons,it just takes to much thinking for my little brain.It may be a good thing to do,I just have never gave it a thought.In my mind,If I have a bullet that has stopping power and penetration power,such as a higher velocity round,I'm about as good as I can be.I HOPE I NEVER have to use my weapon in a self defence situation,but as far as I'm concearned,if I ever DO have to use it,muzzle blast,noise,or whatever will be the LEAST of my worries.
    Psalm 144:1 Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
    Psalm 144:2 My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me. Pro 14:15 The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

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    Regular Member afcarry's Avatar
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    CorBon makes excellent - possibly the best ammo I agree (Every time I buy it I find myself pulling them apart and stuffing everything back into a nickel case), and .357SIG is a nice chambering. With your analysis of velocity and your example of your carry round, it makes clearer my point though. In winter you can not safely rely on the expansion of that hollow point. Non-expansion can lead to gross over penetration (especially in a .40S&W case necked down to a 9mm), and greatly reduce the amount of energy "dumped" since there is still much of it being carried through the backside of your target.
    Last edited by afcarry; 02-14-2011 at 06:53 AM.
    An individual should not choose the caliber, cartridge, and bullet that will kill an an animal when everything is right; rather, he should choose ones that will kill the most efficiently when everything goes wrong

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    Just carry a 500 S&W magnum. If the bullet don't stop them the concussion will.

  6. #6
    Regular Member Richieg150's Avatar
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    {The higher the velocity, the more rapidly the expansion, the more effectively the energy is expended into the target. This explosive expansion dumps the available energy quickly, creating tremendous shocking power, and causes immediate STOPPING POWER! Stopping Power means SAFETY. }

    If I understand this statement correctly,higher velocity = more rapid expansion.

    When carrying my S&W Model 27,I load it with the Federal 357B 125 gr. JHP.When carrying the DE , I load it with 158 gr. HP/XTP.Here is that article on Ammo selection if anyone wants to read it:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/4089866/AM...EFENSE-FIREARM
    Psalm 144:1 Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
    Psalm 144:2 My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me. Pro 14:15 The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

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    I carry a glock 29 year round. I searched for quite awhile for a single platform that would fill every role I needed it to.

    Summertime: Duplex DT 230gr rounds (turns my 11 rounds into 22 projectiles)

    Winter: 135gr noslers (fragments after contact so my long-feared over-penetration is moot)

    So I don't change caliber seasonally, but I do change the characteristics and love how 10mm offers such versatility.

  8. #8
    Regular Member ChiangShih's Avatar
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    I -usually- carry a 9mm(G19) in the summer and a .45(XD45) in the winter. I haven't given a lot of thought in the respect of ballistics, it was more of a CCW decision. The 9mm was simply easier to conceal, if I needed to, in the summer and the .45, which is my choice caliber and gun, could easily be carried and concealed in the winter. It is interesting to consider all of the thought and variables that influence ballistics; however, I don't read into it as much as a should. I often stack my magazines with two types of the same caliber (FMJ, HP, FMJ ,HP, etc.) I've heard some arguments for and against this, one of the most recurring being the question of consistency between each shot, but for me personally, as long as you use comparable pressure and grain rounds, I don't notice and it doesn't show in my groups.
    Tiocfaidh Ar La

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    Regular Member Richieg150's Avatar
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    The 9mm was simply easier to conceal, if I needed to, in the summer and the .45, which is my choice caliber and gun, could easily be carried and concealed in the winter.

    This is off subject,but reading this made me think of a guy I work with.He has a CCW,and bought a .380,because he was afraid anything bigger would be hard to conceal.I have tried to reason with him on getting something alittle bigger,like a .40 or .45 for example,but he's afraid someone can tell he is carrying........hmmmmm alrighty then.
    A few weeks ago we met to eat lunch,met in the parking lot.I hobbled in on my crutches,we ordered and sat down.While we were sitting there eating and I asked him if he was carrying he said no,he asked me if I was,and I replied of course.I had a long sleeved workshirt on not buttoned up with a tee shirt on under it.I asked him if he noticed by my cloths and he said no,then I opened my shirt and low and behold was my Desert Eagle .357.I told him if you didnt notice from the parking lot to ordering food to sitting down,that I had my Dersert Eagle,why would you worry about someone noticeing you carrying something alittle bigger that your .380.He just smiled and shook his head.You would be surprised at how much a baggy or unbuttoned shirt will conceal.If you like your .45, carry it,its just like open carrying,you will eventually get more at ease when you do it.
    Psalm 144:1 Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
    Psalm 144:2 My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me. Pro 14:15 The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

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    Regular Member afcarry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richieg150 View Post
    {The higher the velocity, the more rapidly the expansion, the more effectively the energy is expended into the target. This explosive expansion dumps the available energy quickly, creating tremendous shocking power, and causes immediate STOPPING POWER! Stopping Power means SAFETY. }
    Ahh, good ol' CorBon selling paragraph. It is true, higher velocity gives you more of a temporary cavity. But the hollow point to be considered safe HAS to expand. All the +P power that CorBon boasts in non +P chamber pressure has to reliably stop in your target. If it does not, then you have over-penetration, which is less lethal (energy spent on the outside of your target) and less safe (for the person behind your target). So you can change to a lower velocity round in anticipation of over-penetration; Or in the case of some other people I know, change type of ammo. Some choose to use Glaser Safety Slugs or a similar product.
    An individual should not choose the caliber, cartridge, and bullet that will kill an an animal when everything is right; rather, he should choose ones that will kill the most efficiently when everything goes wrong

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    Regular Member ChiangShih's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richieg150 View Post
    ...If you like your .45, carry it,its just like open carrying,you will eventually get more at ease when you do it.
    Yeah I see what you're saying but it is not specifically a caliber thing. I bought the 9mm Glock 19(compact g17) specifically because it was smaller and more comfortable to conceal. Also, the 9mms were cheaper than my .45s but that is another story.
    Tiocfaidh Ar La

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    Regular Member afcarry's Avatar
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    true, weapon choice is important for those CCWers who are not FULLY committed like Chiang here...lol.
    An individual should not choose the caliber, cartridge, and bullet that will kill an an animal when everything is right; rather, he should choose ones that will kill the most efficiently when everything goes wrong

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    Regular Member Richieg150's Avatar
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    Smile

    Here here,I'm not bashing chang....I was just pointing out my friend thinking that anything larger than his .380 would be hard to conceal,I thought that it was funny.
    Psalm 144:1 Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
    Psalm 144:2 My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me. Pro 14:15 The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

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    i carry a ruger sr9c. 10 and 17 rd clip. easy to conceal. good enough for a self defense situation i think.
    .22 or a .45 in the head usually the same result.
    .22 or .45 in center mass usually enough to send the punk running with some holes in him.
    perp surviving or not is the luck of the draw. (literally)

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    while i use some self defence rounds instead of just regular ammo, i not to worried about changing the calibers. b/c i believe its more about shot placement, then caliber size or bullet type. i generally pratice 2 shots the chest one to the head. the last thing i am worried about if i attacked, is if i killed him. the main goal is for me to live. but if i was purposely trying to make sure i only wound him and not kill him, then mabye i consider that a bit more.

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    While all of this is interesting it's a little over my head. I carry a .40 cal S&W with a 4 1/2" barrel year round no one notices when i have it concealead and i keep it fully loaded with 180gr Hornady TAP hollow points. Not sure what difference that will make season by season

  17. #17
    Regular Member Richieg150's Avatar
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    Im wondering if,you had to use your weapon,and you either killed the person or wounded them,and their BLOOD SUCKING lawyer,would try to demonize you by saying something about changing ammo per season,ect....Something like,one kind of ammo wasnt good enough,you had to switch it as the seasons so you could make sure you had enough penetration to kill them, otherwise they may have just been injured.They could possibly twist it to try and say you were actually anticipating having to shoot somebody ect.....Its a shame we live in a world with no common sense on issues like these,but as long as we have BLOOD SUCKING lawyers,and absolutely no accountability for our own actions,I'm thinking sometimes we have to look for the worst case scienero that could be brought against us.When I took my CCW class,we had a lawyer come in,(Im thinking it was Kevin Jameson,Im thinking I spelled his name wrong),he recommended useing the same ammo as the Police,just incase this issue was brought up in a shooting.Then you could say something like,you were useing the same ammo as the police because you figured if they use it ,it would be a good round,and a good round for personal defense,because the Police arent trying to kill criminals,just stop them.Just somthing to think about...........
    Psalm 144:1 Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
    Psalm 144:2 My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me. Pro 14:15 The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

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    lol...and the lawyer can keep talking and talking. if it comes to that he sounds desperate for evidence

  19. #19
    Regular Member afcarry's Avatar
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    Ill deal with a lawyer as long as I can ensure my family will be safe, I don't care. Thats not the priority.
    An individual should not choose the caliber, cartridge, and bullet that will kill an an animal when everything is right; rather, he should choose ones that will kill the most efficiently when everything goes wrong

  20. #20
    Regular Member ChiangShih's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richieg150 View Post
    ...their BLOOD SUCKING lawyer,would try to demonize you...
    The best defense against this is a blood sucking lawyer of your own!
    Also, might I suggest your hire your defense attorney from another jurisdiction or circuit. IMO, if your DA doesn't know your PA or Judge, hes more likely to defend you properly.
    Last edited by ChiangShih; 02-26-2011 at 12:50 AM.
    Tiocfaidh Ar La

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    Quote Originally Posted by afcarry View Post
    CorBon makes excellent - possibly the best ammo I agree (Every time I buy it I find myself pulling them apart and stuffing everything back into a nickel case), and .357SIG is a nice chambering. With your analysis of velocity and your example of your carry round, it makes clearer my point though. In winter you can not safely rely on the expansion of that hollow point. Non-expansion can lead to gross over penetration (especially in a .40S&W case necked down to a 9mm), and greatly reduce the amount of energy "dumped" since there is still much of it being carried through the backside of your target.
    If overpenetration is a major concern, make sure you hit center mass or you can over penetrate with ANY caliber.

    I carry 357 SIG in a Glock 32. My last concern is having TOO much power and I carry hollowpoint to reduce penetration and increase shock. At 1450 FPS, the SIG delivers power similar to a magnum and in a Glock 32, capacity as well.

    That's WHY LE helped develop it.

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    Regular Member tcmech's Avatar
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    I carry a 45 most of the time, but when deer season rolls around I switch over to a 44 mag during the weekends. I live in Virginia and hunt in a rifle county so it is legal here.

    Some days my 357 or one of my 9mm's will feel lonely and I will carry them instead, but most of the time it's a glock 36.

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