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Quest for Caliber

Posted by William Chadwick on

The Age-Old question…  9 or .45?  The others follow suit of course with a small array of defensive rounds in the line-up all with the intention of completing one single task. Stopping the enemy in his tracks, dropping the enemy in his tracks, and doing so more efficiently and effectively than any of the others.  Caliber debate in its natural form is almost always volatile as with most other serious questions when life and death are on the line.  What one’s personal preference to use for killing whatever reason may it be has deep seated serious intentioned and often times gravely earned feelings and that is to be expected and respected.  None the less we are addressing this issue because the final verdict has never been reached or has it...   While any and all of the defensive rounds are in no doubt deadly just like all race cars are fast, the track will not matter for these bullets as pole position and its trophy are represented by victory or death. Like Bill wrote the book “No second place winner”.  This is no new discussion for me as it takes me back to November 11th, 1996.  I was attending Dallas Christian High School and on that morning in Second Period English I turned in my deeply researched and genuinely cared about report titled “Defensive Combat Handgun Loads”.  I’d enjoyed English Class but never so much as when I was given the ability to choose a topic.  I stood with the same round then as I still do today and that is the 9mm.  That’s 21 years since I wrote that and 30 years behind the gun.  It has not been a love hate relationship. Quite the opposite as I have always loved the round and have experienced relatively zero problems with the round that entire vast amount of time and so the field test continues. I cannot say the same of other rounds that have inherent problems either simply due to being underpowered, overpowered, too wide of a diameter or simply a high-pressure design. To expand on this matter would include a concoction of shot placement (where you intend to hit the enemy), accuracy (your ability to place the round where intended), time till back on target (recoil management / site acquisition / trigger prep and break), reliability (Doing so repeatedly and faster than the adversary) and capacity (don’t run out of bullets first.. that’s just gotta suck).  So… no ballistic gel here or charts of statistics lost in time, no stories about the .45 winning 2 world wars or the 9mm not getting the job done, not the rise and fall of the .40cal… Just my two cents from all my experience combined. From shooting at Grandpa’s farm to working as a firearms instructor and running the range year-round.  Not telling anyone to change anything but telling everyone to change everything if they are undecided on what defensive round will make the bad man go away.  Until next time, stay dangerous and I’ll see you on the range.


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