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IM(not very)HO any of the jacketed hollow point works fine (presuming it feeds well in your gun). Full metal jacketed is ok for plinking but not much else. However shot placement is always king, no bullet anywhere can make up for the bullet that didn't quite hit the mark.
 

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This:

However shot placement is always king
A successful Mozambique with a .380 beats a graze with a .44 mag every time.
 

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Whatever you choose, plan on practicing with this ammo regularly.

Shot placement and proper control including follow through are the most important consideration.

Ask your local police agency what they use... It's always a good response if you ever have to testify that you asked the local police what they used when you selected the ammunition you use.

"Why did you choose the Golden Sabre +P 9mm ammunition you shot the deceased with?"

"Because that's what the local police agency told me that they use, and have found to be both safe and effective..."
 

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IM(not very)HO any of the jacketed hollow point works fine (presuming it feeds well in your gun). Full metal jacketed is ok for plinking but not much else. However shot placement is always king, no bullet anywhere can make up for the bullet that didn't quite hit the mark.
Irv, in your recommended book by Jim Cirillo; "Guns, Bullets, and Gunfights", the most interesting part of it to me was his extensive ballistic experimentation trying to find the most effective bullet form. Since then I've done a lot of thinking about what I have to carry for self defense. Practice ammo is another matter, I just go cheap!
 

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Everyone has made good and valid points but I would like to touch on Bob k's post. Much of the wonder in the wonder 9's is bullet technology that makes use of intelligent engineering to try and produce an effective hollow point that expands reliably. At 3.1 inches you are giving up some velocity so a heavier bullet even if it fails to expand may give you the extra penetration needed to get the job done.

Its kind of what you run into with 38 special. Much of the expanding (expensive) bullets just dont expand because there is not enough Umph. A lead 158gr SWC or WC at normal 38 pressure will do a fine job though.

So if I were going to carry what I consider a micro 9 ... I might seriously consider going 147 if you dont get feed issues. If it expands .. awesome but if it doesnt it should at least get a heavy bullet deep enough to stop the threat. Some guns just dont like the 147 gr though so be sure to buy a box and test some.

Having said all that .. gangbangers are killing each other pretty regularly with Walmart winchester white box.
 

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I have been hearing that there is a debate about which is the most effective....9mm. .40 S&W .45 ACP. While I've heard of it, I never actually seen it. Does anybody have a link to this debate article??? I use...what ever I happen to choose....but 9mm is pretty cheap to shoot......which means that you may shoot more. Shot placement is always important.....no matter what you use!!! ;)

I would think that, a bigger .45 ACP bullet, would be more effective than the smaller.....WITH THE SAME TYPE BULLET!!!! You can't compare apples to oranges!!!! But, why is there a debate? Bob
 

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The debate exists because some of us like to argue! Generally anything that is .38/9 mm or bigger should suffice IF you hit the right spot. I prefer to carry at minimum a 380, but winter is here so I can switch to my Kimber 45. Ive also found a J-frame .38 inan ankle holster to be reasonably accessible. Let me ramble back on topic here. Caliber is important. If you are using something bigger than 32 (let’s not argue about my 327 or 32NAA) then be sure that you are comfortable carrying it and accurate shooting it under stress. A .22 in your hand is better than a 44 mag back in the gun safe.
 

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I have been hearing that there is a debate about which is the most effective....9mm. .40 S&W .45 ACP. While I've heard of it, I never actually seen it. Does anybody have a link to this debate article??? I use...what ever I happen to choose....but 9mm is pretty cheap to shoot......which means that you may shoot more. Shot placement is always important.....no matter what you use!!! ;)

I would think that, a bigger .45 ACP bullet, would be more effective than the smaller.....WITH THE SAME TYPE BULLET!!!! You can't compare apples to oranges!!!! But, why is there a debate? Bob
I didnt see anywhere in the thread any mention of "the Debate" and the OP has already chosen his gun and caliber of choice.

The debate happens on just about every gun board and for the most part is supported by fans of this caliber or that based on performance in gel tests ... Ummm which we all know are real life results right :rolleyes:

If the debate is to be taken seriously then there should be enough data available on real life shootings to quell the fringes. From what I have read to date ... the caliber that IS the stopping champ is the .357 in 125gr.

Having said that .. I agree .. shot placement is nearly everything and I will reiterate .. gang bangers are using 9mm 115gr win white box to kill each other in record numbers. When you get your ammo from the trunk of a car choices are limited.

Still ... I usually use 124 gr standard pressure gold dots or HST's in my 9mm's with 4 inch bl but were I to drop to a shield size gun I think 147 is a good suggestion. The gold dots I started purchasing and have a ton of after finding out what Cops were using at the time.
 

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Hornady's Critical Duty passes the FBI's battery of testing, so that's what I've been carrying. Thankfully I've never shot a person with it, but it's rough on armadillos and coyotes.
 

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The debate happens on just about every gun board and for the most part is supported by fans of this caliber or that based on performance in gel tests ... Ummm which we all know are real life results right :rolleyes:

If the debate is to be taken seriously then there should be enough data available on real life shootings to quell the fringes. From what I have read to date ... the caliber that IS the stopping champ is the .357 in 125gr.
At the risk of completely hijacking the OP's thread, I'd point out that there are numerous articles, studies and books written by person's that have been in actual shootings supporting a particular caliber, load, bullet weight, configuration, etc. The data is there, but just like with our amateur opinion's, the experienced 'experts' don't all agree, what a surprise! Today we have many effective ammo configurations for nearly every caliber that simply wasn't available even 10 years ago. My advice to the OP and anyone is to research what's available for your weapon and decide what you as the owner and operator thinks is best. After that, practice, practice, and practice even more, then begin to consider if whatever it is you're carrying has sufficient capacity to carry on an extended battle, things like that. For 12 years my police officer son carried a Glock 21 in 45 ACP, but 3 years ago moved to a 9mm platform based on demonstrated advancement in ballistic performance for that caliber ammo and because he could carry much more ammo in his weapon/extra mags. He's been in two shootings over the past three years; one with his rifle, but the last one was using his 9mm and it proved to be lethally effective even when having to penetrate automotive windows and car doors. That said, he won't part with his original Glock 21! ;)
 

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I think the stopping power debate has been beat to death and everyone has his likes and dislikes. The key is to choose gun and caliber capable of consistent accuracy and then practice with it until it's automatic muscle memory. Putting too much emphasis on having the latest Super Eviscerating Hollow Point makes me wonder if a person has ever seen the effects of a plain old lead semi-wadcutter on a thin skinned animal.
 

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Fine choice of pistol. Ammo? Well, it depends. I've seen one man shot ... .357 S&W Mag. Homeowner emptied revolver at the man and then reloaded and shot him some more on the floor. Big mess. Probably would have been the same w/ any decent pistol round. Dead is truly dead. Have seen numerous hogs shot w/ revolvers ... mostly .44 S&W Mag. and ... believe it or not ... .38 Special using plain Jane 158 gr. round nosed lead bullets. Church member used the .38 Special. Knew how to shoot. Point is ... caliber is not so big a deal. Have to be able to get hits on target.

Would strongly suggest that you consider using whatever is used by your local LEO's. Will be helpful as you at least narrow down your choices. Use practice ammo of the same weight or as close to it as possible. Don't fiddle w/ the boutique ammo. Stick with what has been tried and found to produce results on the street. Later, if you want to, the boutique stuff will be available. Sometimes kind of fun to see how it does. Underwood does make some remarkable ammo in a variety of calibers. Their .38 Special loads are impressive. Doubtless their 9mm stuff would be in the same class. Sincerely. bruce.
 

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Bullet placement is key.

Bullet placement is rarely perfect in the high stress environment of a gunfight.

And.......in the case of a "not perfect" shot.......we know that a bullet from a .45 forms a bigger wound channel and does more damage than a 9mm.

Yet........I often carry 9s and .38s.

Why?

Comfort and concealability.

I may someday regret it. Who knows?
 

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One other thought. My identical-twin brother (deceased) was a career LEO. One night we were sitting up watching a cowboy movie, etc. I was looking at a Colt SAA that he had just bought ... .45 LC. He was opining about the merits of the various cowboy calibers. Something he said stuck w/ me. He said, when it come to bullets holes, a hole is a hole. Put holes in people and they calm down. If one is not enough, use more. I mentioned about officers dumping a magazine into someone and he said it didn't matter. He'd seen folks go full automatic with revolvers. Training was fine. Never enough of it. But the minute things get bad, no one is playing target shooter. Told me ammo was cheap compared to hospital, recovery, therapy. Told me if it came to it, shoot till the criminal is down. If they stand up, shoot some more till they stay down. I think the key word was "down." I figure it still applies. Sincerely. bruce.
 

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One other thought. My identical-twin brother (deceased) was a career LEO. One night we were sitting up watching a cowboy movie, etc. I was looking at a Colt SAA that he had just bought ... .45 LC. He was opining about the merits of the various cowboy calibers. Something he said stuck w/ me. He said, when it come to bullets holes, a hole is a hole. Put holes in people and they calm down. If one is not enough, use more. I mentioned about officers dumping a magazine into someone and he said it didn't matter. He'd seen folks go full automatic with revolvers. Training was fine. Never enough of it. But the minute things get bad, no one is playing target shooter. Told me ammo was cheap compared to hospital, recovery, therapy. Told me if it came to it, shoot till the criminal is down. If they stand up, shoot some more till they stay down. I think the key word was "down." I figure it still applies. Sincerely. bruce.
What if there is only time for one shot?

Then the perp gets behind cover and kills you.

One can't just see gunfights in terms of a dozen shots.

One shot stops are the way gunfights are won successfully and with no collateral damage.

Thus it is probably wise to go with the most powerful gun you can handle quickly and reliably.

It is rarely feasible or smart to rely on "putting a bunch of holes" in people.
 
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