Handgun Bullets And The Myth Of Stopping Power

Americans love their handguns. From the classic Colt revolvers of the 19th century to John Browning’s beloved 1911 design and beyond, handguns occupy a special place in American culture.

Everyone has their favorite, of course, and often that shows by way of CAPS-LOCK-ON arguments on ye ol’ internet. This becomes very prevalent when discussing which caliber is the best choice for defending one’s home against possible intruders, zombies, or leprechauns (seriously—they’re out there and they’ll get ya).

As someone with a decent amount of knowledge regarding handguns and very little preference one way or another regarding caliber choice, I figure I could offer a sound voice of logic that will inevitably calm everyone down and bring some sanity to this argum…. Hahahaha just kidding—this discussion is probably more heated than any political debate out there and people lose their ever-loving minds. So just assume that a good number of the people reading this will do backflips after reading a couple more paragraphs.

To keep this simple, I’m going to limit the range of my article to handgun bullets between 9mm and .45 ACP. I’m not going to get into whether or not a .50 is a billion times better or if a .22 magnum is a great choice because, to be honest, that’s not really where the debate lies—and some of it will be addressed by what I write anyway.

Okay, so now that everyone is ready to jump on their computers and beat me to death with the butt of their Jeff Cooper Commemorative 1911, let’s begin by going to a crazy source. Not a quote from some world-renowned shooter; not a first-hand account from a law enforcement officer; and not the guy at your local gun store. No, we’re getting way more outlandish than that and consulting…

Human anatomy and physiology.

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