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Concealed Carry Ballistics: Challenging the Stopping Power Conventional Wisdom

Discussion in 'Self Defense and Handgun Carry' started by docohm, Mar 7, 2019.

  1. Ethan N

    Ethan N Sharpshooter

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    Federal HST is an excellent choice for any pistol caliber.
     
  2. Gunbuffer

    Gunbuffer Sharpshooter

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    All scenarios are Unlikely scenarios unless your the dude in the scenario. And that’s why we carry guns.
    And re your first paragraph, not sure what your point is. Are you distinguishing standard jhp w premium stuff, or are you saying might as well use ball ammo all the way round?

    Also, I don’t know of any comparison study incorporating this caliber I’ll mention, but I have to think that the 20rlh would give the best case of surviving a gunfight. Hand over your 20 dollar bills and Run Like Hell.

    A bit of a cheese in that last comment, but people that start dumb threads like this should be forced to use 22shorts in their carry gun.

    On a very related note, you guys like blondes or brunettes more?
     
  3. Ethan N

    Ethan N Sharpshooter

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    I reread my first paragraph and you’re right, it’s confusing. I was making two points.

    First, standard JHP do not perform well enough to be carried as a defensive or duty round. They fail to expand too often. So if you’re carrying JHP, you may be no better off than if you were carrying FMJ, depending on what your attacker is wearing and the distance between you. Everyone should be carrying a premium defensive/duty round like Federal HST, Hornady Critical Defense, or Speer Gold Dot (in some calibers). Look for ballistics gel test results for different rounds in your chosen caliber to find something that expands reliably and penetrates through four layers of denim and 12-18” of gel.

    Second, someone brought up that you’d have to pay $2-$4 per round of premium 9mm self-defense rounds versus less than $1 per round of JHP .40 S&W. That point is moot because no one should be carrying standard JHP for self-defense regardless of caliber. For good self-defense ammo, the price difference between 9mm and .40 S&W is insignificant unless you’re training with that ammo regularly or otherwise buying a ton of it. And if you are doing that, you’ll save money going with 9mm.
     
  4. Tanis143

    Tanis143 Sharpshooter

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    Two things with this paragraph: First, please post reports on JHP getting clogged with clothing as this is the first time I've ever heard about this. The video I posted Paul shot both 9mm and .40 JHP through 6 layers of clothing, 3 shots each, and all 6 rounds expanded just fine. Second, you represent the precise problem that I have with the expensive ammo. You don't train with it. If you can not train with your carry ammo how do you know how it will affect your shot? Not all ammo shoots the same. You can put 4 different brands/types of rounds through the same pistol and have a different shot group for each. Not only that but how often do you rotate out your carry ammo?

    If you are comfortable with 9mm, thats fine. But you were stating earlier that the .40 caliber is no better ballistically than the 9mm, which just isn't true. It takes expensive, high performance 9mm to even come close to standard .40 JHP. Now, if you were to open with that in reported cases 9mm stopped most threats, that's fine (this was covered in another thread somewhere). Realistically, its what you are comfortable shooting that makes the difference, that and muscle memory vs cognitive decision. I also do the bulk of my training with ball ammo as even my plain jane JPH are more expensive than FMJ ball ammo. But I rotate out my carry ammo every 4-6 months (was 6 months just in the house, now that I carry it will probably be closer to 4 months) and I use the old ammo at the range to see how it affects my shot grouping.
     
  5. Ethan N

    Ethan N Sharpshooter

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    Failure to expand is seen pretty often in gel tests of JHP. It’s common for the blame to be placed on the point getting clogged with clothing, but I’ve never actually seen that. The cause could be something else. I’m out running errands at the moment, but I’ll try to remember to dig up some examples for you later. Also keep in mind light flannel like the shirt Paul used is not nearly as dense as denim. Granted, you don’t see a lot of people walking around with jean jackets these days, but four layers of denim is meant to simulate heavy clothing.

    About as often as you. I replace it and shoot the old every six months or so. Never had any problems with primers with six months of carrying, and I wouldn’t expect to have any problems if I only rotated every couple of years even with Oklahoma humidity.

    I didn’t say that. I said that the FBI found no significant difference based on their terminal ballistics testing methodology. Their methodologies are designed around finding which rounds are capable of doing what they need them to do, not finding the best caliber. I’m aware that .40 has certain ballistics advantages. I would have to be to make an informed decision on which caliber is the best choice for me, and I don’t make a decision like that without being informed.

    Let me make it clear: I like .40 S&W. I’ve carried it for 9 years. I still carry it and I’m happy about that. But I will be switching to 9mm. Not because it’s better than .40 S&W, but because there are many factors that go into choosing a caliber to carry and several of them have changed in the last few years. Some of those changes are in my personal situation and priorities, some of them are objective changes like projectile technology.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  6. Subsonic

    Subsonic Sharpshooter

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    I’ve personally seen jhp rounds getting turned into fmj rounds from clothing as well as going through dry wall but I also do homicide crime scene work. Seen more people probably killed by .22s than most other calibers but it’s also about shot placement.
     
  7. Ethan N

    Ethan N Sharpshooter

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    Another way to look at the FBI thing is to say that for the FBI’s purposes, much of the modern duty ammo available performs just as well in 9mm as it does in .40 S&W. If their standard was that the bullet has to make a hole of any size in a piece of paper at 10 yards, .22 LR and .50 BMG would both perform just as well at that task. Their standard just happens to be a bit higher than that. This doesn’t mean 9mm and .40 are equally as good. 9mm is better at some things and .40 is better at others. But they’re both good at stopping bad guys from doing bad things.

    Since most law enforcement agencies have similar purposes and priorities as the FBI, they look at the FBI’s results and reasoning and can see benefits in their agency also potentially switching to 9mm. In turn, since some of my purposes (namely, reliably stopping a deadly threat) and priorities are similar to those of the FBI, the FBI’s testing and analysis helped me reason through why a switch to 9mm might be a good thing for me and my family.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  8. Gunbuffer

    Gunbuffer Sharpshooter

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    Not unreasonable points.
    One thing, Don’t make light of getting shot
    W fmj. It hurts pretty bad too. And that whole accuracy variable thing too.
     
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  9. Tanis143

    Tanis143 Sharpshooter

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    Ok, so I did some studying and see what you are talking about. Though I will say the FBI's testing methods are a bit stringent when compared to just personal carry (I doubt I would need to fire through automotive glass). So using their standards for personal protection is a bit of overkill. Plus, they don't care about the cost of the ammo, they are not paying for it. I think I might have to do some testing with my own pistol and my carry ammo to see how well it expands.

    In the end I still feel more comfortable with my .40. From what I've seen the 9mm vs .40 S&W vs .45 ACP debate has been alive for a while and probably wont end. Considering the FBI switched to .40 from the 9mm before all the new ammo hit the market tells me that with standard JHP rounds the .40 performs better.

    As far as cycling my carry ammo, I've not seen any problems with the primers, but I have noticed that after 6 months the copper jacket starts to get discolored. I know I could probably get a sand shaker to clean them, but will just cycle them instead.
     
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  10. Shadowrider

    Shadowrider Sharpshooter

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    You really should partake in some of DocGKR's writings. He's an actual doctor, and he does forensics and ballistic testing for a living. He worked with Martin Fackler. Google them both up.

    The cliff notes version is that today's modern HP bullets in handgun calibers all perform about the same through the FBI testing protocol in various barriers (essentially the same penetration into gel after passing through said barrier). It doesn't matter if it's 9mm, .45, .357 SIG, etc. This hasn't always been the case but advancements in bullet construction has leveled the playing field. Why are the FBI and LEO agencies dropping .40 like a hot rock? Is it because evil doers have physiologically changed? Nope. It's because the pipsqueak 9mm is statistically speaking "just as good" as all the others, it's cheaper to issue, and gives several other advantages to boot.

    This doesn't mean the .40 is bad now, it's just as good as it always was. Same for my personal favorite .357 Sig. I like the Sig round because it's the most accurate handgun round I've ever shot and I have knowledgable friends who have carried it for years that say the same about it. But you know what I carry most? 9mm...
     
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