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Old 07-19-2017, 01:10 PM
patrickd patrickd is offline
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Is the 38  good enough for defense?? Is the 38  good enough for defense?? Is the 38  good enough for defense?? Is the 38  good enough for defense?? Is the 38  good enough for defense??  
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Default Is the 38 good enough for defense??

After reading this I say hell yes the old timer 38 is plenty good. Even if it did take a couple of shots.
Man shoots mammoth 820 pound wild hog in his front yard | AL.com
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:16 PM
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Has some great info for you
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:40 PM
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The .38 Special has served Americans well for over 100 years. Nobody likes getting shot, not with a BB gun and not with a .22 and definitely not with a .38 Special. Shot placement is the key. A .22 in the heart works a far deadlier magic than a .38 in the shoulder. But if what you are going for is a fight/threat stopper, which is really all anyone ever needs from a technical perspective, then the .38 Special is more than good enough to do the job. The only reason I am presently carrying a 9mm and not a .38 is for the flatness and concealment capability. I have carried a .38 with me daily for many years and never felt under gunned.
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:44 PM
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If you do your job, your .38 Special will do its.
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:50 PM
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I watched the video, but unless I missed it he never stated the weight of the bullets. While velocity aids in shocking power weight aids in penetration. Was he using the same weight bullets in the 9mm as in the 38?
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISCS Yoda View Post
The .38 Special has served Americans well for over 100 years. Nobody likes getting shot, not with a BB gun and not with a .22 and definitely not with a .38 Special. Shot placement is the key. A .22 in the heart works a far deadlier magic than a .38 in the shoulder. But if what you are going for is a fight/threat stopper, which is really all anyone ever needs from a technical perspective, then the .38 Special is more than good enough to do the job. The only reason I am presently carrying a 9mm and not a .38 is for the flatness and concealment capability. I have carried a .38 with me daily for many years and never felt under gunned.
What 9mm gun do you carry, Yoda?
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Old 07-19-2017, 02:00 PM
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The .38 Special is good enough. When used with good 158 grain lead semi-wadcutters at adequate velocities it is highly effective, assuming good hits.

No cartridge and no "trick" bullet is highly effective with bad hits.
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Old 07-19-2017, 02:17 PM
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the .38 special is a good self defense cartridge.....
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Old 07-19-2017, 02:37 PM
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Shot placement is requirement number one. If you can hit what you are shooting at any REASONABLE caliber will do the job, including a .38.
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Old 07-19-2017, 02:45 PM
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"Caliber" doesn't win fights, "Tactics" wins fights.
In the right hands, properly applied, .38 Special is more than "good enough".
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Old 07-19-2017, 03:17 PM
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In a word, yes. I was a working cop for 30 years and had the misfortune to be drawn into three on duty shootings, each w/my issued thirty-eight. It dropped the bad guy and I made it to retirement, still carrying a J frame loaded w/Speer Gold Dot 135 grain +P. Even though there are more modern weapons it's a platform I'm comfortable with in retirement. UPDATE: Went to the range today (8/9) w/my 340PD and ran a couple of cylinders of +P and as well as around 100 rounds of range fodder. Shot paper plates @ three, five, seven & ten yards. This little gun is amazing.
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Old 07-19-2017, 05:22 PM
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Yes it is ... with decent cartridges that you can deliver to the right place to get the job done. I tend to prefer 158 grain bullets, either the lead semi wadcutter hollowpoints like the old FBI load , or a good lead or jacketed semi wadcutter style. The jacketed loads will be called soft points and will have a flat point above the jacket. It's even better if your handgun will handle +P loadings but the standard loads will also work. It will be your level of accuracy with the gun and cartridge regardless of caliber or platform you use that will make the difference. You should use whatever you can handle and shoot the best!
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Old 07-19-2017, 05:39 PM
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To steal a quote...(maybe from this site?):

"the only place the .38spl is not an effective defense round is on the internet"

I trust it...mostly because I shoot them reasonably well and guys with way more experience than me carry .38's daily.
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Old 07-19-2017, 06:02 PM
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More times than not I am carrying a 38 spec+p and I don't feel unsafe with it. Carry it with confidence.
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:56 PM
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I'm good with .38 special. As other have said, you do your job and the cartridge will do it's job just fine!
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISCS Yoda View Post
The .38 Special has served Americans well for over 100 years. Nobody likes getting shot, not with a BB gun and not with a .22 and definitely not with a .38 Special. Shot placement is the key. A .22 in the heart works a far deadlier magic than a .38 in the shoulder. But if what you are going for is a fight/threat stopper, which is really all anyone ever needs from a technical perspective, then the .38 Special is more than good enough to do the job. The only reason I am presently carrying a 9mm and not a .38 is for the flatness and concealment capability. I have carried a .38 with me daily for many years and never felt under gunned.
Exactly mine thoughts. I cut my teeth on revolvers, carried a model 15 as my duty weapon for many years. I now carry a Kahr PM9 for the same flatness, even though it's not big increase in round count (5 vs 6 or 7 depending on magazine). Reason of the Kahr is the trigger pull, to me, is as close as any slider has come to a true DA revolver feel.
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:26 PM
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Yes. Absolutely.
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:36 PM
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In answer to your question, let me show you what happens when a 125 gr .38 hollowpoint fired from a S&W 586 with 6" barrel hits something (also shows you what happens when you do something stupid like pulling a trigger before checking to see if the gun is loaded.).
I was standing about 5 feet from the mirror when gun was fired.

1st pic shows where it entered the mirror frame.
2nd pic shows exit hole on other side of wall in hall bathroom.
3rd pic shows what happened when it hit the sink.
4th pic shows actual hollowpoint bullet after it hit sink.

Didn't take 5th pic but it would have showed me dropping to my knees and thanking God it wasn't my foot.

Hope that answers your question.( There are still small pieces of the sink embedded in bathroom wall)
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:55 PM
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The 38 will not only do the job, it will shine in the process. I recently posted a thread about arthritis of the hands making me have to go to a recoilless handgun for SD. I went to a 22 Compact but before I did that I researched the lethality of the 22. After many hours of research I finally was comfortable with the decision. The 38 is an upgrade from the 22LR.

For the doubters, accuracy is the determining factor in a gunfight. A 22 between the BG's eyes is better that a 45 in his arm

Now let's try multiplication. Three 40 gr bullets form a 22 is roughly equal one 115 gr from a 9mm. How about if I can deliver those three rounds as fast and more accurately than the single 9mm round. And I can because I have no recoil to deal with.

Next week, I am going to run a test to see how many gr of 22 lead I can put on target in a five shot burst at 25 feet. I will post the result in a thread here.

With a 38 laying in a couple rounds within a couple seconds the result would be devastating to the BG. Sure and simple.

The kill formula is not hard to understand. The force on target is a multiple of the the weight of the bullet times the velocity. It makes no difference if the weight is distributed over sequential rapid fire rounds or a single round. 120 gr of lead will incapacitate if the hits are rapid sequentially and well grouped. The secret to a small caliber SD gun is accuracy with speed. Combined they are lethal.

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Old 07-19-2017, 11:40 PM
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Old 07-20-2017, 09:03 AM
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A lot of bad guys are taking a " dirt nap " because of the 38spl . It's been serving a call to duty , for over 100 yrs w/military and law enforcement around the world . And it will continue to serve .
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Old 07-20-2017, 03:24 PM
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Well, when I posted this question I already knew it was. That guy in Alabama in the included link dropped an 820 lb wild pig with one. That alone tells the tale. Pigs tend to be twice as tough as men.
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Old 07-20-2017, 05:01 PM
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Wow, that is one big pig!
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:45 AM
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I think a .38 has its real strength in its shootability. A steel frame gun and standard loads can be comfortably used by most anyone. The .357 barks and bites and needs training to overcome. There are loads that can be made that are super deadly in a .357 and super uncontrollable. 22 grains of Win 296 behind a 125 grain XTP vs. 3.5 to 4 grains of Clays behind a 125 grain XTP is an illustration of wild .357 vs. mild .38. I'm fine with a .38; it's something I understand and can wring the absolute best accuracy out of. I bought a .357 for versatility.
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Old 07-21-2017, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickflst View Post
This guy is by far the best gun guy on YouTube. I recently just discovered his work and find it to be superb, with a laid-back style that is hard to find.

I believe the .38 is more than enough for defense in most circumstances, with the right ammo of course. No, it is not as powerful as the .357 Magnum in any gun. Many 9mm rounds will perform better. But how many super compact and light guns can launch a 158 grain hollow point downrange at a decent velocity?
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Old 07-21-2017, 08:39 AM
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I watched the video. Very informative. I think I learned what I have herd all along. Carry what I like, what I can carry every day, and what I can shoot confidently and accurately.
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Old 07-21-2017, 08:54 AM
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Most stops of a criminal with a gun there is no shots fired. I don't think the criminal cares if it is a 38 special.
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Old 07-21-2017, 10:08 AM
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I hope I never get first hand knowledge but I continue to try and be ready.
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Old 07-23-2017, 10:07 AM
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As a rookie LE in Miami back in 1967, first service revolver was S&W Model 10 .38 special.. we were forbidden from carrying
.357 and no auto loaders.. eventually when auto loaders became more user friendly with the advent of reliable da/sa models like the Smith 39 and 59 9mm, we changed over.. not because of
the difference in effectiveness but rather the increased capacity
Of 15 rounds with the autos.. so today the same holds true for
civilians as well as police officers..

Shot placement is everything in defensive shooting, especially
when using a handgun.. years later when investigating homicides, I worked cases where a single .22 LR caused a fatal wound and others where a victim survived multiple hits from a 45 ACP..
So although I would not recommend anything less than a .380
for EDC, stopping an offender with a handgun is not a perfect
science no matter what you carry.. hence, as they say, some gun is better than no gun.. So carry what you are comfortable with
carrying ALL the time.. The only downside to the .38 is lack of capacity (5 to 7) since only available in wheel guns..
My load of choice being Speer GD 135 gr.
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Old 07-23-2017, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavnamvet View Post
As a rookie LE in Miami back in 1967, first service revolver was S&W Model 10 .38 special.. we were forbidden from carrying
.357 and no auto loaders.. eventually when auto loaders became more user friendly with the advent of reliable da/sa models like the Smith 39 and 59 9mm, we changed over.. not because of
the difference in effectiveness but rather the increased capacity
Of 15 rounds with the autos.. so today the same holds true for
civilians as well as police officers..

Shot placement is everything in defensive shooting, especially
when using a handgun.. years later when investigating homicides, I worked cases where a single .22 LR caused a fatal wound and others where a victim survived multiple hits from a 45 ACP..
So although I would not recommend anything less than a .380
for EDC, stopping an offender with a handgun is not a perfect
science no matter what you carry.. hence, as they say, some gun is better than no gun.. So carry what you are comfortable with
carrying ALL the time.. The only downside to the .38 is lack of capacity (5 to 7) since only available in wheel guns..
My load of choice being Speer GD 135 gr.
Im all in with cavnamvet's opinion. That's why I carry Two J-Frames or my 7 shot Snub and a J-Frame. Extra Speed Loaders are in my pocket.
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Old 07-23-2017, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john14_18 View Post
...let me show you what happens ......when you do something stupid like pulling a trigger before checking to see if the gun is loaded......
...pic shows exit hole on other side of wall in hall bathroom.....

Looks like you wrote, "I will not pull the trigger in the house." 100 times.

Yes. Thank goodness you and all others were okay but that sink has seen better days.

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Old 07-23-2017, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tx40d View Post
Wow, that is one big pig!
We in bama already had a hogzilla hoax a few years back.
Penned up,grain fed, headline grabbing trophy' hogzilla.
Turns out the latest hogzilla killer owns a taxidermy shop, how convenient that trophy walked onto 'his' porch...38 caliber??? Bigger headlines....the slaughter house used to kill cows with one 22 round...daily
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:07 AM
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I sure hope so. My J Frame is my off duty carry and my on duty BUG. As many here have stated I've taken a liking to the Gold Dot short barrel load.
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:27 AM
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Default They aren't that different in weight.....

9mm run from 90 grains to 147 grains (and higher which I am experimenting with) while .38s run from 110 to 160 grains (typically). Both do well wilth 125 gr. bullets.
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:27 AM
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I sure think it is for most cases! Just going out I grab a .38+P Ruger LCR and stick it in my pocket. (its in a pocket holster) It conceals well and no one know its available if needed

I certainly hope I never have to prove out the "enough" part!

That gun is for casual carry which covers about 95% of what I do. The other 5% is a .45 in a ISWBH for when I'm going into the city. Finding less and less reasons to go to cities as time goes by.
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:35 AM
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From Dr. Gary K. Roberts:

Quote:
Currently, the Speer Gold Dot 135 gr +P JHP, Winchester 130 gr bonded +P JHP (RA38B), and Barnes 110 gr XPB all copper JHP (for ex. in the Corbon DPX loading) offer the most reliable expansion we have seen from a .38 sp 2 BUG; Hornady 110 gr standard pressure and +P Critical Defense loads also offer good performance out of 2" barrel revolvers...

...There is no reason to go with .357 mag in a J-frame, as the significantly larger muzzle blast and flash, and harsher recoil of the .357 Magnum does not result in substantially improved terminal performance compared to the more controllable .38 Special bullets when fired from 2 barrels...

... As always, don't get too wrapped in the nuances of ammunition terminal performance. Spend your time and money on developing a warrior mindset, training, practice, and more training.
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:09 AM
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I own seven .38 spl. so yes would be my opinion.
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISCS Yoda View Post
The .38 Special has served Americans well for over 100 years. Nobody likes getting shot, not with a BB gun and not with a .22 and definitely not with a .38 Special. Shot placement is the key. A .22 in the heart works a far deadlier magic than a .38 in the shoulder. But if what you are going for is a fight/threat stopper, which is really all anyone ever needs from a technical perspective, then the .38 Special is more than good enough to do the job. The only reason I am presently carrying a 9mm and not a .38 is for the flatness and concealment capability. I have carried a .38 with me daily for many years and never felt under gunned.
The .38+P is my go to gun most of the time, when I lived out in the boondocks I put down a couple of wounded but still mobile deer with the .38+P after they were tagged on the road.
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:42 PM
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Summertime means 1 or 2 airweights loaded with wadcutters as daily carry. I feel safe.
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:07 PM
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My summertime CCW is the S&W 642 stuffed with Buffalo Bore 158 Grain semi wad cutter hollow point +P's.
The manufacture report over 1,000 fps out of a 1-7/8" barrel.
Thats not to shabby in my book!
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:04 PM
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As a member of the NYPD Stakeout Squad Jim Cirillo killed up to 19
armed thugs with his trusty S&W Model 10 4" bull barrel. It isn't so
much the gun or caliber as it is the guy pulling the trigger. As has been
stated do your part and the .38 Spl. will do it's part.
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCorps0311 View Post
I own seven .38 spl. so yes would be my opinion.
Only seven, lets see... 34*, 36, 37, 38, 40, 42, 49, 60**, 340**, 637, 638, 640**, 442, 642, gotta have at least one of each flavor;-)

(My wife told me this, but she may have been talking about shoes.)
*ok .38s&w but the BG won't notice.
**Like most people aren't shooting .38 spl out of them.
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Last edited by TomkinsSP; 08-09-2017 at 05:48 PM. Reason: 638, but if there is a 639 I want one.
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:26 PM
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Yes....... though I like a load that's doing 100fps out of a 3" barrel.

I really like my 3" 65s and 66s loaded with +P .38s for EDC

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Old 08-09-2017, 04:26 PM
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...it's all shot placement...

...22 rifle...world record Grizzly...

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Old 08-09-2017, 05:11 PM
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There is research on this topic involving real world evidence for the stopping power of the common handgun calibers as well as rifles and shotguns.

Google " An Alternate Look At Handgun Stopping Power " by Greg Ellifritz .
His conclusion is that there is very little difference in actual street effectiveness among handgun calibers. Rifles and shotguns are more effective.

Worth reading.
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Old 08-09-2017, 07:47 PM
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Wink Yea but,

Yea, but the mall ninja's on the net say I need a forty and two extra mags......
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
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Yea, but the mall ninja's on the net say I need a forty and two extra mags......
You need at least 4.
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wee Hooker View Post
Yea, but the mall ninja's on the net say I need a forty and two extra mags......
Those guys are posers. The real operators (and I know they are because they said so) know if you don't have a cocked and locked 1911, you might as well be shooting rubber bands at the bad guys.
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:14 PM
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The mall ninjas also haunt gun shops & ranges, offering their expertise on how to defend yourself from zombies. I'm 70 and have NEVER seen a zombie and am not sure what they are.
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Old 08-09-2017, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old cop View Post
The mall ninjas also haunt gun shops & ranges, offering their expertise on how to defend yourself from zombies. I'm 70 and have NEVER seen a zombie and am not sure what they are.
I have, they are on TV all the time. That coroner zombie is kinda cute, though she is a tad pale.
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