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  #1  
Old 05-28-2010, 07:16 PM
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Default Which is more powerful? .45 or .357

230 grain .45 ACP vs. 158 grain .357. Which one has more stopping power? Both seem to be about the same price.
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:43 PM
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The 45 does...with the right bullets.
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:50 PM
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Dead heat.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt C. View Post
Dead heat.
+1 to that
IMO barrel length and distance to your target will come into play also. Over penetration may be an issue with the .357, all in all you can call it a draw.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:49 PM
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I got to ask.

What bullet would you suggest for a .45acp in select social situations? For some reason, I have concerns about which is the best so called "one shot stopper."

Without reloading bullets, which brand do you feel is best?
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:50 PM
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Energy Calculator

Crunch the numbers; draw your own conclusions.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:53 PM
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Would you rather be ran over by a motorcycle going 180 mph or a semi truck going 65 mph? The end result is probably going to be the same. Just different physics principles at play.
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:16 PM
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The best loads in each caliber, from full length barrels, should work about as well. In short barrels, I think the higher velocity of the .357 is a real plus since the .45 operates at much lower velocities. As barrels get shorter, the .45 may not be as reliable of an expender when heavy clothing is involved. Modern ammo is much better than that of the past so poor expansion doesn't seem to be as big of a problem as it used to be. Also lighter bullets, such as 200 and 185 grainers, can give snub .45s the velocity boost that they need .

The .45 generally will produce bigger expanded diameters, whereas the .357 generally will have more energy and some loads throw off serious secondary fragments.

As a service cartridge, many prefer the more powerful 125 gr. .357 offerings. I certainly do. Hot 125s should be good for over 700 fpe. from a 6" gun.
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldman45 View Post
I got to ask.

What bullet would you suggest for a .45acp in select social situations?
When a piece of low-life scum is trying to kill me or mine...I would hardly call that a "social situation." ~

And if I did pull the trigger on him, the bullet would be a 200-gr. Gold Dot.
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
230 grain .45 ACP vs. 158 grain .357. Which one has more stopping power?
Depends upon the ammo being used and type of bullet. In the .357 mag the 125gr JHP has a better record than any other ammunition.


Last edited by Steve C; 05-28-2010 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 05-28-2010, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldman45 View Post
I got to ask.

What bullet would you suggest for a .45acp in select social situations? For some reason, I have concerns about which is the best so called "one shot stopper."

Without reloading bullets, which brand do you feel is best?
I carry either 230gr Federal HST or 230gr Winchester Ranger T-series, but would be fine with using gold dots or XTPs in either 230gr or 200gr.
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Old 05-31-2010, 04:12 PM
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Oh goodie, a caliber war! (never saw one of these before ...)

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Old 05-31-2010, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by labrtvr View Post
Which is better for hunting, a 30.06 or an .270?
Well, isn't it obvious?
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:00 PM
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Not trying to start a war. It's an obvious question. If I asked which was more powerful, a .380 or a 9MM, would there be a debate? I don't think so. The .45 has a heavier bullet (230 grains vs. 158), but the magnum is a magnum, and I have fired the 45 ACP out of a revolver, and the .357 sure had more kick.

Just answer the question if you have an opinion, and keep the comments to yourself.
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbm6893 View Post
Not trying to start a war. It's an obvious question. If I asked which was more powerful, a .380 or a 9MM, would there be a debate? I don't think so. The .45 has a heavier bullet (230 grains vs. 158), but the magnum is a magnum, and I have fired the 45 ACP out of a revolver, and the .357 sure had more kick.

Just answer the question if you have an opinion, and keep the comments to yourself.
Go back and read the first reply...it's mine.
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:17 PM
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Since no one else has mentioned the obvious. The real answer is the one you can contol, and effectively put on target. Always depending on what that target is. Both work well for BGs, other targets might change the choice. I don't like .45 for hogs or bears, in those circumstance I'd want something else. Usually, in that kind of country I've got a .44 mag.
And magnum is really just a label.
I'm not up on enough science to tell you the energy transmitted to the target etc., if that's what you're looking for.
I've shot a boatload more .45acp than I have .357 so I personally trust it more. But I'm not shooting thru barricades or windshields etc.
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Old 06-02-2010, 12:39 AM
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The information posted on the following site may shed some light on the discussion about effectiveness of different calibers.

Terminal ballistics as viewed in a morgue
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Old 06-02-2010, 01:40 AM
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Talking BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

FEDERAL--200gr expanding fmj 45acp..........
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:00 PM
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I am going with the .357 Mag., in both 125 and 158 grain HP. I would choose it first. I fired into an old washer once, to see what would happen; I stood to the side and fired. The bullet ripped out of there and tore a gash with each shot. Each was about as long and wide as the top half of my thumb.
I have used it to stop a dog: and it strikes like lightening.
Even so, I have been back and forth on this, because those are my favorite calibers.
I have seen a .45 FMJ stopped by a coffee can, I shot it and the bullet struck the rim of the can.
In praise of the .45, let me add that the can flipped into the air at least knee high. It acted like it did not know which way to turn first. In more praise, I have fired 185grain Remington +P's in my .45 and I love that round: It is one of my favorite loads.

Last edited by mistermills357; 05-07-2012 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:20 PM
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My answer to your question, and just my own opinion is the better of the 2 you offer is 45 acp. I think the better anti-personnel round for the .357 is the 125 grs JHP at 1400 from a 4" BBL
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:22 PM
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There is a paper entitled "Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness" presented by the FBI Academy Firearms Training Unit.
The full text may be found here:
http://www.firearmstactical.com/pdf/fbi-hwfe.pdf

Excellent 20 minute read and the final paragraph sums it up quite nicely:
Kinetic energy does not wound. Temporary cavity does not wound. The much discussed "shock" of bullet impact is a fable and "knock down" power is a myth. The critical element is penetration. The bullet must pass through the large, blood bearing organs and be of sufficient diameter to promote rapid bleeding. Penetration less than 12 inches is too little, and, in the words of two of the participants in the 1987 Wound Ballistics Workshop, "too little penetration will get you killed." Given desirable and reliable penetration, the only way to increase bullet effectiveness is to increase the severity of the wound by increasing the size of hole made by the bullet. Any bullet which will not penetrate through vital organs from less than optimal angles is not acceptable. Of those that will penetrate, the edge is always with the bigger bullet.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:04 PM
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I say the .45, but across the spectrum, pistols to rifles, I am a moderate velocity heavy bullet guy. That said the .357, .45, 10mm, .44Spc & Mag are the Major league players. I like a .45 or .44 better than a .357 (for several reasons, hearing and recoil among them), but I like the .357 better than the 9mm and its ilk of bush leaguers, and as it happens I'm carrying a .357 today.
I guess what I'm saying is if I knew I was going to get into something, I would opt for a Government .45, but walking around not knowing whether anything will happen and carrying a 66 .357 doesn't bother me.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blujax01 View Post
There is a paper entitled "Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness" presented by the FBI Academy Firearms Training Unit.
The full text may be found here:
http://www.firearmstactical.com/pdf/fbi-hwfe.pdf

Excellent 20 minute read and the final paragraph sums it up quite nicely:
Kinetic energy does not wound. Temporary cavity does not wound. The much discussed "shock" of bullet impact is a fable and "knock down" power is a myth. The critical element is penetration. The bullet must pass through the large, blood bearing organs and be of sufficient diameter to promote rapid bleeding. Penetration less than 12 inches is too little, and, in the words of two of the participants in the 1987 Wound Ballistics Workshop, "too little penetration will get you killed." Given desirable and reliable penetration, the only way to increase bullet effectiveness is to increase the severity of the wound by increasing the size of hole made by the bullet. Any bullet which will not penetrate through vital organs from less than optimal angles is not acceptable. Of those that will penetrate, the edge is always with the bigger bullet.
Doesn't .357 tend to penetrate more than .45acp? Yet .45 is a bigger bullet. HMMM. Heck alot of 9mm loads penetrate better than .40 and .45. Kinda of contradicts that last line.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:18 PM
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The 357 with the 125 gr bullet has an excellent track record unequaled even today from all the accounts I've read. Something like a 97% stopping power factor(not hit in the knee cap of course). Tremendous damage to tissue. Penetration is nothing like the 45 ACP with ball ammo which has been know to penetrate excessively-like 2-3 ft in ballistic gelatin compared to 13-15 inches for the 357. The 158 gr soft points or SWC's and heavier will penetrate more than the 125 gr JHP.If you can stand the noise indoors you can't beat the 357 for defense purposes. Various LE agencies carried them for years and have reported huge successes in stopping the bad guys.

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Old 05-07-2012, 05:49 PM
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"The 357 with the 125 gr bullet has an excellent track record unequaled even today from all the accounts I've read."

That's true, but there is an aspect of those "accounts" that I noticed a number of years ago that may be worth a comment.
In one of the gun magazines a famous writer who specialized in the "caliber effectiveness" topic that has been going on for years (decades) presented a plot of "% of one-stop" kills for various calibers. One thing that struck me as an engineer was that first, the data was a bit sparse at the high end, and second, he used a polynomial fit to generate the equation that tried to "best-fit" the data. The tendency of a polynomial fit is that there is/was a fall-off of the curve at the upper end, due to the nature of the equation.
This tended to slightly overstate the effectiveness of the .357 compared to .44's and .45's.
I would have liked to see the same data curve-fitted with an exponential fit. This would have allowed the curve to gradually go up and would have a greater tendency to flatten out at the top end.
I always felt that this would be a better way of presenting the data and would not be quite as counterintuitive as to suggest that smaller is better when it come to bullets. (even accounting for velocity differences)
From personal experience, you can generate curve fits that appear at first glance to really fit the data well, but when you look at the output carefully you can have a terrible fit except at a few points.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:57 PM
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As I generally like to say, In the overall scheme of things does it really matter??? ( we are talking SD distance and not a 400 yard shot)

Big and slow or smaller and faster, they both penetrate and make a very nasty hole.

Either one will do the job as will other calibers.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:12 PM
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Just another tool in the box for HD/SD
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:56 PM
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I don't think in the real world anyone's concerned with polynomial fit and curves but actually accounts from police departments and highway patrol encounters and what happened and how quickly. The 357 has proven itself over the decades...what, since 1935? It all seems to me to be about velocity. The 125 gr bullet is not a very heavy bullet compared to the 45 Colt or ACP cartridge with a 230 or 255 gr bullet but is moving at quite a bit higher velocity(1350+fps) whereas the ACP might break 850 or so. Consider the 300 Weatherby. There's no doubt it's a deadly cartridge as many can attest who have hunted with it all over the world. Conversely, I doubt you would get the same results from a 30-30 that shoots a similar weight bullet. That little 125 gr bullet traveling as fast as it does disrupts a lot of tissue and damage is extreme.

As for sheer power and tremendous wound potential and the proverbial "one shot stopper" as a defense round, I vote for the 357 Magnum. Having said all that, I wouldn't want to fire one indoors. That's why I keep a 4506 with 200 gr Corbon hollow points under my pillow.

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Old 05-07-2012, 06:56 PM
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As Elmer Keith used to say "A heavy chunk of lead where it will do the most good"
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:05 PM
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230 grain .45 ACP vs. 158 grain .357. Which one has more stopping power? Both seem to be about the same price.
45 THE ONLY WAY
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:10 PM
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I don't want to get shot by either! ...for that matter, I'm not real fond of getting shot by a.22, either. Heck... I once got hit in the eye with a corn cob... during a barn corn cob fight... now THAT hurt!!! It was a country thing.

Hog
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:12 PM
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We use to put berries from hedge bushes in our BB guns and shot at each other! I got hit in the side with no shirt on in the summer...now, that will smart!
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:21 PM
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comment-comment-comment.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xICEMANx View Post
Doesn't .357 tend to penetrate more than .45acp? Yet .45 is a bigger bullet. HMMM. Heck alot of 9mm loads penetrate better than .40 and .45. Kinda of contradicts that last line.
Maybe but what I took away from it was that anything after 12" is gravy. So a .45 that will penetrate 12" will do more damage than a .357 at any depth.

As others have said though, it's all academic.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:23 PM
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comment-comment-comment.
mumble-mumble-mumble ...
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:24 PM
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I laid out the argument before, I'll stick with the .357.

The Clash of the Cartridges: .357 Magnum vs. .45 ACP - Gun News at Guns.com
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:44 PM
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This is the way I look at it, a 20mm cannon is useless if you can't hit anything with it. In short, it is the ability to call your shots at realistic ranges under pressure...not which is bigger or most powerful.
A Beeman Air Rifle can be just as deadly as a S&W M28 or a Colt 1911 in the right hands.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColColt View Post
We use to put berries from hedge bushes in our BB guns and shot at each other! I got hit in the side with no shirt on in the summer...now, that will smart!
Yes! Shooting across the road taking cover in the ditches... it was really something. Later we graduated to pine cone wars (using green pine cones of course). Then came the ultimate... Whamo Wrist Rocket Slingshots using pecans. One of those things from inside 15-20 yards would really light someone up. When we all moved up to bows and arrows, we rapidly decided to stop shooting at each other There was just to much risk of injury.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:20 PM
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Default .45 vs. .357

After reading that post from the guy in the morgue now I'm a skeered to go outside with my little J-frame .38! I'd have to shoot 'em 15 times it looks like and they still might get me.

Shoot, might just as well leave my .38 at home and plan on running as fast as my 64-year old legs can carry me.

Problem is I just can't figure out a good way to carry a great big pistol with a caliber that starts with 4.

What should I do?

Terminal ballistics as viewed in a morgue
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:44 PM
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Default It all depends...

Which are you a better shot with? What platform? Are you shooting through barriers? Oh, my, so many questions, hmmmm?

Okay, here's the long and short of it...

Placement, placement, placement...

A .44 caliber S&W revolver holds the longest record of accuracy in history- STILL... Though not "powerful" compared to round count, bullet weight, nor velocity of some of today's firearms, it still has NO equal in the most important category... Comparing the 230gr .45acp with the 158gr .38 Special, is like apples and oranges... As no handgun, that I know of, can use both calibers, it's a subjective at best...

If you were to compare, say, S&W's Governor, using .45 Colt and .45acp, out of the same weapon, comparison's could be made, and objectively so... Here, the .45LC can be loaded to exceed the pressures found in a .44 Remington Magnum. However, the use of full-moon, half-moon, and third-moon clips would be efficacious, vis-a-vis HKS' speed loaders, where you have "all, or nothing at all." The ability to use 6, 3, or even 2 rounds in combination to reload, is awesome...

Which hit's harder? .45acp over any standard velocity .38 Special. Which is more accurate? Ever see the great movie, "Any Given Sunday?" That's it, in a nutshell... Accuracy is everything...

Use what you shoot best- don't let "experts" sway you. Go to the range, and find out for yourself. THEN, practice, practice, practice, and never stop practicing...

As for speed, Wyatt Earp put it best. "Make haste, slowly..." In other words, placement/aim, making your first shot count, was paramount to survival...

OA, out...

Gee, here's where I show how OLD I am... I should have used .357, instead of .38 Special... Okay, here's where the velocity vs mass comes into play... .357 is, indeed, faster and lighter. So, too, was the 9mm. Using this as a baseline, the .45acp has stopped more people in combat, when used in the same theaters of combat as the 9mm... Same goes for the .38 Special. In police combat, there have been more kills, with .357, as not that many police or LEO organizations used .45acp. Where there was commonality, cops invariably preferred the .45acp. The most highly regarded .357 goes back to the SuperVel load of 125gr. at more than 1450fps. Dynamic results were encountered, but that was before the FBI tests developed after the Miami Massacre... Today, so many perps wear soft to hard body armor, that you NEED blunt force trauma, just to get their attention... It used to be the venerable FTS drill... Armor, helmets, shields, and face plates have obviated that... No more, two to COM, one to the head... NOW, use all three to the head, if necessary... With the .45acp, you have less chance for a small, fast bullet to curve around the skull, just inside the skin... One 230gr. SCHP, and all you need is a sponge and a squeegee...

My choice? Bigger is better... 200gr +P trumps light and fast...

OA

Last edited by OldArcher; 05-07-2012 at 10:55 PM. Reason: Clarity and expansion of theme
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:12 PM
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And if I did pull the trigger on him, the bullet would be a 200-gr. Gold Dot.
+1.
I also like 125gr more than 158gr in .357.

Last edited by Powder Burns; 05-07-2012 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:34 PM
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When the .357 came out there slogon was "The .357 takes the proof out of bullet proof."
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:24 AM
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230 grain .45 ACP vs. 158 grain .357. Which one has more stopping power? Both seem to be about the same price.
Check out this website, might be helpful.

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Old 05-08-2012, 08:15 AM
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Re: OP. More powerful. It's a wash. Optimum loads in either caliber produce energy levels approximately similar to the point that any difference is irrelevant. If the issue is on target effectiveness, it depends. Some out of emotion will laud whatever they have used, seen used, etc. Experience is by many valued beyond theory advanced from any source.

Some will appeal to FBI research, which to some degree may be of worth. Some will prefer testing that is closer to that done by Thompson-LaGarde substituting goats for live cattle and human cadavers. Personally I don't know of anyone existent who has shot and killed enough men to know what they are talking about. But, there is a pool of men who have done so. That is the pool of policemen across our nation.

The very highest one shot stops are recorded for the .357 Magnum. According to Handgun Stopping Power by Marshall and Sanow, Fed. and Rem. produce 125 gr. JHP loads that penetrate 13-13.5 inches in 10% ballistic gelletin and produce 96% one shot stops. There are similar effective .45 ACP loads with penetration of up to 13.3 inches and 94% one stop shots. The difference is likely not meaningful.

Personally I've only shot game animals. I've killed and seen killed deer, hogs and various small game. I've watched heavy caliber rifles fail with good hits. I've seen deer drop like they were struck with the hammer of thor even though the round used was only a .30-30 or a .243 Winchester. I've killed a lot of deer using a plain .30-06. Not one has ever stood back up after I shot it. They all died on the spot. Does that mean the .30-06 is infallible. Of course not. It is simply my experience.

So... back to the OP... which is more powerful? Depending on how you want to weigh the evidence, factors, etc. involved, it will be the .357 Magnum... or the .45 ACP. It all depends. From my perspective, I prefer the .357 Magnum. I've seen what it can do. For that reason a 4" 66-2 occupies our bedside table loaded with 125 gr. Rem. JHP's. At across the room or down the hall distances it will doubtless live up to its 96% reputation. On the shelf underneath that nightstand is a RIA 1911 loaded with Winchester 230 gr. FMJ's. I haven't gotten around to buying a JHP load for that pistol. When I do, it will be loaded with them. And it will be on that shelf. If in a time of need it is the first thing that comes to hand, in comparison to the .357 Magnum, it will almost certainly be equally effective. Which ever comes to hand first will not be of much concern.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:03 PM
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Yes! Shooting across the road taking cover in the ditches... it was really something. Later we graduated to pine cone wars (using green pine cones of course). Then came the ultimate... Whamo Wrist Rocket Slingshots using pecans. One of those things from inside 15-20 yards would really light someone up. When we all moved up to bows and arrows, we rapidly decided to stop shooting at each other There was just to much risk of injury.
Yep, we had a sweet gum tree out back and I'd use the "cuckle berries" that fell to the ground (different from dingle berries) and use them in slingshots. Hurt like hell!
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:59 PM
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My leanings are to the big chunk of lead moving at modest velocity. Muzzle energy figures make interesting conversation, as do geletin test data, but experience "shooting stuff" with both types of bullets speaks volumes.

The 36 caliber hi-tech hollow point, segmetated screamer may just fail to expand. The 230 gr 45 caliber round will always be at least .45 inches across.

The term "magnum" only refers to chamber pressure, it isn't some magical bullet property. Getting the job done with half the chamber pressure has advantages.

The 45 is known for excellent penetration (some call it excessive), but sometimes you have to shoot through something to hit your target.
A through and through will generate twice the number of "leaks" than will an entrance wound only.
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:59 AM
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Without possession of indisputable factual information,capable of being presented as an evidentiary article,which would lend credence to,or support a certain degree of accuracy,free of speculative assumption,in determining and providing a logically presumable correct answer to your question,I would decline to express a definite opinion.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:53 AM
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Dead is Dead no matter how you get there!
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:25 PM
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Without possession of indisputable factual information,capable of being presented as an evidentiary article,which would lend credence to,or support a certain degree of accuracy,free of speculative assumption,in determining and providing a logically presumable correct answer to your question,I would decline to express a definite opinion.
Wow if I took that stance I wouldn't even need an Internet connection!
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:29 PM
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Either one works fine. Shot placement is the key.

John
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