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This may have already been posted before but here it is anyways. I always would argue to carry the largest caliber you could safely shoot accurately but this article brought to my attention that all calibers are fairly close. The gentlemen who did this research obviously put a lot of time and effort into creating this. Click on the link and look at the facts.

An Alternate Look at Handgun Stopping Power
 

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I think it was posted already, but it is a good read! I did not want to get a 9mm, but I have read that there are lost of good ammo that make them close to .40 cal or .45 so I decided since the 9mm was cheaper I would be able to shoot more and get better and more confident. I think this proves shot placement is definitely important!
 

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I read it & while it's interesting, few real conclusions can be drawn. Without specifics; number of avg shots per target, bullet type, actual shot placement, etc, results are extremely skewed. Real world, yeah, shot placement matters more than caliber. Trying to say the 380 is equiv to a 357mag or 45acp w/ identical shots is laughable. Sure, big surprise, headshots stop fights w/ just about any caliber.
If one feels fine carrying a 22/25/32 mousegun, that is entirely on them. Me, I believe caliber does matter to a point, bullet design is more important than caliber, at least at 9mm & above. If we could all guarantee shot placement, then a 20rd/22lr would be enough for 99% of all SD/HD situations, & it's just not.
 
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