Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

average handgun power between calibers...

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Koda, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,189
    Likes Received:
    2,976
    I wanted to be able to compare various handgun loads by muzzle energy and determine a "benchmark" for each caliber in regards to power.
    Note: I am not a handloader... all of this is for off the self loads anyone can order or buy at a store.

    Not that it really matters, this is just for fun and not scientific and most likely full of holes. to keep it simple I compared only muzzle energy (ft lbs) and selected calibers of my interest. I know not all things are equal... barrel length, bullet weight etc but the idea is that for whatever caliber I might be interested in I'd have an average benchmark in ft lbs of muzzle energy. My sampling data is not consistent... calibers that I shoot I took as many as over 20 load sample data. Other loads that I don’t shoot but I find interesting I took only as little as 3 data samples to get an average. I know its not consistent but really, this takes a lot of time to sit and copy paste info from manufacturers websites.

    I put it all in a spreadsheet. I’m not a spreadsheet guru so I simply manually added up all the data sample muzzle energys for each caliber and divided the total by the sample amounts for the average and manually put that in another sheet for comparison (shown below). Then I sorted the Total Average column buy low to high. I thought the results interesting so then I made another column and typed in only the average of only the top 3 most powerful loads for each caliber.... (I ran out of time for some...)




    average energy.jpg

    average energy.jpg
     
    Medic! and Joe13 like this.
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,774
    Likes Received:
    7,014
    salmonriverjohn and Medic! like this.
  3. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,189
    Likes Received:
    2,976
    yeah, almost half of the 45 loads I looked up were +P because I was instinctively clicking on self defense loads (hollowpoints). Same for the 9mm.

    what I should have done is gone thru that link you shared and averaged those...
     
  4. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,189
    Likes Received:
    2,976
    true, I started this to visually compare different loads and after I compiled enough data I decided to see what all the averages were between the calibers.
     
    Joe13 likes this.
  5. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    6,707
    Likes Received:
    10,873
    I like all this kind of stuff personally.


    I wouldn't want to be shot with a .22 much less a 9mm or .357mag so some of the more detailed nuances like penetration and expansion and weight retention are all hypothetical to me for self defense conversations.

    Nice to just casually glance and say caliber X is approximately 20% more powerful in terms of muzzle energy.
     
    Hook686 likes this.
  6. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,189
    Likes Received:
    2,976
    all true. but with so many loads out there I was able to conclude a simple benchmark. Example on a shelf full of options I'd look past a Remington 147g Golden Saber JHP at 320 ft lbs because I know most 9mm's can offer more... I'd pass it up and look at other options.

    Originally I started the spreadsheet to see what 10mm round I wanted to buy and it just kept growing over time. Its nice to see on one page various options that interest you to compare.
     
  7. Brutus57

    Brutus57 Skagit County Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,427
    Likes Received:
    5,689
    Just remember how many times that cop was shot with 9mm, hit 3 times and was still able to get out, run, and...put some rounds down range and wound his would be assassin wearing the white outfit.

    Brutus Out
     
  8. Kruejl

    Kruejl Hillsboro Moderator of the Coriolis effect Staff Member Gold Supporter Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    1,905
    Likes Received:
    2,411
    Thanks for this. Like you I find myself fascinated with my 10mm and what it's specs are.
     
  9. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,189
    Likes Received:
    2,976
    you know, honestly this is a good reminder you are correct. I should step back from trying to analize all the "data" and not try to read more into it than it is. It was interesting to see various loads on one page and so I naturally thought "which one is best" and I was looking for away to quantify that... but really that isnt what its about. Thanks for sharing. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
    titsonritz likes this.
  10. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,189
    Likes Received:
    2,976
    originally this started as a way to compare which "woods load" I wanted to buy for 10mm. Here is a screenshot of the 10mm data...

    10mm.jpg

    10mm.jpg
     
    titsonritz likes this.
  11. Boboclown

    Boboclown North Carolina Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,188
    Likes Received:
    1,117
    +1

    Tbh, if you hunt you can probably figure out that one shouldn't rely on muzzle energy to determine effectiveness. I've taken deer down here with .45 ACP out of a carbine. With proper placement and the right ammo selection you could probably do it with a 9mm too. If they work on deer, they definitely work on two legged critters.
     
    Joe13 likes this.
  12. tac

    tac UK, Oregon and Ontario. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,019
    Likes Received:
    3,259
    Even a ten foot pound projecitle through the eyeball beats the heck out of a miss with the 450 ft lb wonder gun.

    tac
     
    h2oguy, 41Slinger and Certaindeaf like this.
  13. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    6,707
    Likes Received:
    10,873
    So I agree with the above but my need for a gun as defense is maybe not the average persons so those things are less of a concern for me. As long as it puts holes in my enemy, where I want them, then it will work for my purposes.

    I use a gun like a knife, to compliment my fighting style and not as a sole means of protection.

    Even with ALL of the threads on this forum dedicated to it, we could start another one on "the best handgun caliber/bullet/load is" and have it hit 10 pages in a couple days. Mostly because all of our training and practice is for "hypothetical" problems.

    I'm just fine with a 9mm, I do put defensive HP ammo in it but also have a mag of 124g FMJ's that I keep on me; Hp's won't penetrate solid objects well; However, at point blank range while I am grappling with an armed or not attacker, I don't really care if the exit wound is a FMJ'S 9mm hole or a bunch of shrapnel. They will bleed out soon enough for me most likely.

    My comment was just that I enjoyed some of the simpler graphs that just deal in ft energy.




    "Saying it has a mere 320 ft.lbs. of energy doesn't tell you anything, it is nothing more than a 1980-90's thought process."

    It tells me my .357mag has about 40% more kick then my 9mm...:p
     
    Koda likes this.
  14. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,774
    Likes Received:
    7,014
    The US Army (for a very long time) has deemed that 45fpe is the "ticket" to lethality.. a shard or ball from a grenade.
     
  15. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,774
    Likes Received:
    7,014
    But that's the thing though.. not all "holes" are equal.. by a long shot. The classic hole maker, the semi-wadcutter is the true benchmark.. and penetrates deeply, through-and-through a moose from nose to anus. The lame is hardball. Then there's tweaked and engineered HP's. They all have a use and all make "holes" though.
     
  16. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    6,707
    Likes Received:
    10,873
    Any length barrel with any load in it, pressed up under the jaw and aiming up into the head will do what I need it too.


    I am not arguing that there is a bullet for every situation, just that I'm not quite as worried about it as some folks here are.
     
  17. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,774
    Likes Received:
    7,014
    You've got to be kidding. Is one always able to be in "cuddle mode" with an attacker or a 200lb game animal? wtf
     
  18. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    6,707
    Likes Received:
    10,873
    Honestly... Yea. If you think you will assess the threat, draw your weapon and still need to aim at something further away then point blank then you are far superior to me and I'm ok with that.

    In the city, you will have your attackers well within your 21 feet before you realize your the victim. Which is why I spend more time training for CQC then aiming and shooting, I've been shooting since I was 4 years old and can hit anything I aim at.

    I have only been practicing hand to hand (or with weapons) since I was 8 years old and only seriously as a survival tool since my 20's.

    YouTube street fights and you may find that things do not go quite like most defense instructors would have you believe.

    That and at 6'1" and 240lbs, "cuddle mode" is likely the last place an attacker wants to be at with me. I'll bite, gouge eyes out and crush a windpipe if attacked and they are within an arms reach. Should I not be able to reach my gun or knife for some reason.

    If we are talking in the woods, well that's why I carry a rifle and use my pistol as "backup".

    Laugh if it sound rediculous but we all prepare a little differently and see different threats that need to be trained against.

    I certainly would not recommend my tactics or fighting style to my 5'6" wife...
     
  19. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    2,189
    Likes Received:
    2,976
  20. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,774
    Likes Received:
    7,014
    Lol. Do you know what a handgun is capable of or are you just ignorant, lazy and cheap? indeed