The problem among fellows in our loving ‘cult of the gun’ is the psychological fun of playing with this question of calibers, when it makes little difference in pistols. And it’s not until we get to rifles that it matters much. So the conventional wisdom that has evolved over the past twenty years (with technology) is that we should shoot the biggest caliber that you can comfortably and reliably hit the target where you want to with.
The Final Word on Pistol Calibers (Guns and Man-Stuff)
So: Summary of The State of the Art:
1) The relationship between your body mass (strength) and the round you’re using is probably more indicative of the round you should use.
2) Despite all our fantasies over the past hundred years, the truth is that beginning with .380 all calibers are large enough to break contact and put down a hostile.
3) That’s because beginning with .380 shot placement is more important than the caliber.
4) And a caliber that you can control is more important than power of the caliber.
5) The number of rounds are more important than caliber because in a firefight more rounds matter than the power of the round.
6) And that the hi-cap 9 (now five-seven is rising in popularity as well) has replaced the SMG because we’re better shots with the pistol than the SMG. (Hence the disappearance of SMG’s and the dominance of carbines. Also, FWIW: AFAIK: the science says FN got it right with the five-seven.)
7) And if you want to take down scary bears and mountain lions a 10mm will do in a pinch but a 44Magnum is the ‘only way to be sure’.
8) Good ammo matters. Good magazines matter. Everything else is just habituation by regular training until it’s like riding a bicycle.
9) There are a lot of idiots in the world and part of gun discipline is maintaining the gun discipline of others. (Without starting a fight) 😉
Honestly, I think this is now settled science. But is settled science gonna stop us from playing the caliber game? Um. No. Why? Does any gearhead ever stop messing with his car? Any tech nerd with is computer? Any carpenter with is tools? No. Because its FUN. 😉
Personally, instead of these ‘tests’ I prefer shooting balloons on strings moving in the breeze. Especially if it’s for who’s buying the burgers….