Magazines (the reading kind), was Re: GUNS/TOOLS: Needed? was: etc. etc.

From: Michael M. Butler (
Date: Fri Jan 12 2001 - 19:53:15 MST

Mike Lorrey said some stuff, which I quote out of order and interject
comments on:

> Read gun magazines and books,
> become one of those guys at the grocery story people look leery at for
> reading 'those gun magazines'

Warning! Warning!

Unfortunately, most gun magazines exist, like most car magazines, to
sell copies of themselves and thus to sell advertising. No matter how
knowledgeable a single author sounds, do not swallow any "party line"
whole. Be skeptical. Keep learning.

> If stopping power is what you are interested, dropping a perp
> immediately with little chance of him continuing an assault, then you'll
> want to use a larger caliber pistol round, from 9mm, .40, .45 ACP, .45
> Special, .45 Long Colt, .44 magnum, .454 Casull, or .480 Ruger. Hollow
> point ammo, especially +P powered hollow point like Cor-Bon is highly
> effective in stopping a perp, but oddly enough less likely to kill them
> from wounds than a small caliber like .22 (because they don't go into
> shock as easily from smaller calibers, they bleed easier).

Umm. Well. *Ahem*. The Marshall and Sanow notion of the ultrafast light
projectile in larger calibers sure seems to sell a lot of magazines.

However, there is a lot of terminal ballistics work by Dr/Col Martin
Fackler and others that suggests that "big, slow" does most jobs better
than Cor-Bon. So, for instance: One of the best rounds for .40 Lib is
the 180 Gr. JHP Golden Saber from Remington, which dawdles along at just
about the speed of sound.

Check out the work of the International Wound Ballistics Assn. and Peter
Kasler's book _Business Partners_.

Never count on "stopping power". Always count on placing shots until the
assailant stops.

IIRC, some LEOs in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area alternate hollow points
and ball (regular bullet-shaped bullets with a funny name for historical
reasons) on the theory that hollowpoint might not penetrate far through
an assailant's layered winter clothing.

> At this
> point, 9mm and .40 Liberty are the primary self defense calibers, with
> .45 ACP and .44 magnum close behind. .454 Casull is a powerhouse round
> that only a well built man over 6 feet can really handle with ease.
> Now, if concealability is your thing, then you could look at a .25, .32,
> or .357 caliber gun. SeeCamp, and some clone companies make some decent
> very compact .32 caliber autoloaders that fit in the pocket of one's
> khakis with little or no 'printing' or sag.

With smaller calibers, placing shots properly is even more important.

> The Airlite .357 and .38
> special revolvers from S&W and Taurus are made from titanium and are
> extremely light with similar concealability.

There are also small .45 ACP weapons with slightly higher capacity well
worth considering.

> Before you choose your gun, make some friends at a local club and tell
> them you are shopping and would like to try what they have if they are
> willing. Don't buy your first gun new from the manufacturer,

Also: don't be flummoxed or confused by all the different calibers, etc.
Manufacturers like to come up with new things to sell. As a result, the
actual diameters of many bullets with different names are surprisingly

Important example: A .38 Special round is actually just about the same
physical size as .357 Magnum, BUT NOTE that you don't want to shoot .357
Magnum in a gun built to shoot only the lighter, older .38 Spl
cartridge. And it's a bad idea to shoot +P or +P+ higher-velocity loads
in a weapon that was not built to take the strain of these "hot" loads.

There is an excellent CD-ROM available for book-learning about firearms,
as an adjunct to real training from a real live instructor. I'll post
the URL if there's interest.

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