Stopping Power

HERE is a good read with regard to “stopping power”; that mythical term gunwriters have used for years in an attempt to describe something they don’t understand. Reichert does what I think is a good job of laying down the facts with one exception; he does not talk about pain. From a defensive handgun standpoint, pain is your friend because your intention is to stop your attacker. If you cause enough pain you can make anyone stop what they are doing and the purpose of a defensive handgun is to “stop!”

I’m not claiming to be an expert in this field but common sense is hard to ignore. American Rifleman magazine will soon be running a feature article on “stopping power” that takes a unique approach to answering the question. In that article you will be able to review the test results of 100 defensive handgun loads.

Don't underestimate the effectiveness of standard 9mm hollow points. From a full-size pistol this 115 grain Federal load will penetrate almost 15 inches and expand to about .60 caliber.


About gunwriter

Born and raised in the West Virginia hills, Richard literally grew up in the woods. He has chased coon hounds until daylight, waited out whitetails perched high in an oak, canoed the New River and hunted from the Montana Mountains to the Green Hills of Africa. During service in the Army and later as a municipal police officer and Special Agent with the railroad police, Richard obtained numerous certifications in small arms instruction. He has trained military personnel, law enforcement officers and civilians in the application of firearms for defensive, competitive and recreational use. Richard won the West Virginia Governor’s Twenty Award for law enforcement, the West Virginia National Guard State Pistol Competition and earned his Distinguished Medal with pistol. Badge turned in, Richard is now a contributing editor for several magazines. He was the compiling author of the book, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter and conceptualized and contributed to Selecting and Ordering a Custom Hunting Rifle. Richard also contributed a chapter to the John Velke book, The True Story of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. Richard has patents on a riflescope reticle and a revolutionary bullet testing media. A hillbilly at heart, Richard lives on Shadowland - his shooting range in West Virginia - with the most understanding wife in the world, their three kids and a very protective ridgeback hound.
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4 Responses to Stopping Power

  1. Wayland Pluhar says:

    We have this discussion around these parts a lot. Mainly when it comes to acceptable hunting cartridges for deer or elk. Most people will agree that a .223 rifle is under powered for elk, but those same people will hunt elk with a compound bow without a second thought.

  2. RG says:

    Thanks VERY much for passing this on. REALLY good information!

  3. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Make that: Amen Waylan

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