Concealed Carry Ballistics: Challenging the Stopping Power Conventional Wisdom

I recently had some time on a business trip to sit and ponder the merits of various calibers, concealed carry platforms, and the wealth of data we enjoy these days. Folks such as ShootingTheBull410 and LuckyGunner Labs have done us an incredible service in applying terminal ballistics research to the types of handguns and barrel lengths we routinely carry.

I’ve had a long love affair with the idea of carrying a .357 Magnum revolver. A smooth DA trigger, a legendary cartridge, and the pride of training to employ a classic (if possibly outdated) design…it turned into an emotional drive.

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3 Responses to Concealed Carry Ballistics: Challenging the Stopping Power Conventional Wisdom

  1. M. Sage says:

    This part right here: “According to the FBI, we can only rely on the narrow channel of damage that an expanded handgun bullet produces; meaning, a round placed into the left lung of a bad guy isn’t going to create a violent over-pressure and collapse his right lung. With a rifle firing an effective load for a given situation, we may see trauma extend well past the bullet’s narrow path.”

    Fact. Handguns poke holes, rifles destroy stuff.

    The one thing he’s not looking at is split times with each caliber. Same handgun, same shooter, same accuracy standard, you’re going to be able to deliver 9mm noticeably faster than most of the other calibers.

    As for the stubby .357 vs a 9mm…

  2. Elk Tracks says:

    I followed the links out of curiosity,
    because I love packing my S&W 360.
    Lite, compact, concealable, comfortable;
    Perfect for all light clothing social events.
    Disappointed with the general evaluation;
    Until I opened the pdf file of Ballistics Table.
    My ammo I carefully selected for the gun ;
    Barnes TAC-XPD ; 357 Magnum 125 HP ;
    Did not disappoint me on it’s performance.
    Pen. 14.2 ; Exp. 0.75 ; Vol. 6.3 ; Looks good!
    Low flash powder, good bullet, low recoil too;
    Point of impact, right there for my fixed sights.
    Easy to roll a beer can, 10 paces, double action.
    One load is all I need/use for most my firearms.
    If I need to do a different job; I use another tool.

    I liked my Rem Golden Saber 40 S&W 185 gr.
    Penetration might be a tad much though . . .

    I need to check out the Win Ranger +P/45 ammo.

    Thanks for a very good article Ken!

  3. =TW= says:

    .357 is a great cartridge, available in varieties suitable for everything from snubbies to carbines.
    But if you prefer to carry a semiauto you may have to choose something else. Most will consider 9mm or .45ACP.
    9mm has the advantage of increased capacity, and improved ammo tech has significantly increased its potential effectiveness.
    Equal to .357? Maybe not.
    But it’s in the ballpark

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