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 Post subject: What caliber
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2001 11:38 pm 
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Froma legal viewpoint is it better to shoot an assailant [ provided justification] once or twice with a .44 magnum than 7 times with a .25 ACP ?

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Van Canna


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 Post subject: What caliber
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2001 1:29 am 
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I know nothing about this from a legal standpoint, however, I'm wondering what a jury might think about someone who carries a 44 magnum vs a small caliber pistol.

I know the law considers both legal weapons and as a person licensed-to-carry, there shouldn't be any stigma attached to electing to carry the larger weapon. However. . .

I'm sure someone must be thinking about the rule of "reasonable force"! Someone shoots the BG with a single big-bore shot and kills him. Was this "reasonable force"?


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GEM


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 Post subject: What caliber
PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2001 8:08 pm 
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I was about to leave the forum after posting the statute on dangerous weapons, a statue which makes an MA's teeth grit.

I remember when it was first passed, circa 1973 and beating my gums about it with GEM sensei at that time.

And as to this post by GEM, sensei, I think for once I totally agree with Panther in the logical over view of the total package of necessary force, perceived unreasonableness by using larger caliber weapons.

Infact some PD's have banned the use of 357 Magnum's. From my own observations, I have seen PO's electing (when they can) to carry 380 pistols, 9 mm pistols, and 40 Cal. pistols.

Panther didn't mention the use of .22 long rifle BG's use of that cal. as a preferred weapon for the back of the head shot, either as a drop gun or as one difficult to identify.

Even that is getting tough with forensics used by the FBI.

George, I think that the trend toward gun horror as perceived by the public, is well entrenched, the fate of the defensive shooter could be the result of the impact of the media and the public trend at the time, both influencing the finder of fact (the jury) and even the judicial authority ala the Louise Woodward (the Nanny) case.

Larger caliber, very brutal; excessive force.

More than one shot; premediated manslaugher
(aggravated).

Maybe even the perp (now victim) was even carrying a loaded shotgun with double ott.
Who cares? He didn't get to shoot but the defender gets the business.

Alan K


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 Post subject: What caliber
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2001 5:44 am 
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It makes little difference what you carry, if a politically motivated prosecutor wants to vilify you, (s)he will.

"Yer honah, tha defendant was obviously lookin' for an excuse to pull out his 'Dirty Harry' .44 magnum and mete out some ole time 'vigilante justice'..."

OR

"Yer honah, tha defendant shot the victim nine times! We all know that it doesn't take nine lethal shots to stop an attacker, so it is quite obvious that the defendant was 'enjoying' his 'vigilante justice' by shooting the victim again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and AGAIN! That's nine times!"

Reasonable force? Using a firearm (regardless of caliber) is considered "deadly force" and requires you to be in imminent danger of death or grave bodily harm... period. If the criteria are met for use of a firearm, the caliber is unimportant. And no matter what the caliber, a politically motivated prosecutor can make you sound worse than Hannibal Lechter... (Even if you only shot as a complete last resort to protect yourself and your family from a gang of drug-crazed serial rapists/murders.)


Now that the pessimism is out of the way, here's some reasoning on carry calibers:

If you carry a 9mm, .40 (liberty), .38 special, .357 magnum and it becomes an issue, try this reasoning:

"The reason I chose to carry a XX caliber handgun was simply because I talked with law enforcement personell to get their opinions. That's what they carry, so I figured if the police thought it was the caliber to carry, then they should know."

That especially works well for the 9mm or .40 if officers in your town carry those... and for the .38 special if the officers in your town still carry revolvers. (I recommend against carrying the .357 magnum, because even the police quit carrying that for the simple reason of over-penetration. However, during the winter months, carrying .357 magnum loads can be justified by pointing out that the police often went to those loads in the winter to ensure penetration into heavy winter clothes.

If you carry a .45 ACP, a similar claim can be made. Especially if you are ex-military and old enough (read fortunate enough) to have served when the military pistol was the 1911-A1. Then you just say that it's the caliber that Uncle Sam taught you to shoot, so it's the one you picked.

If you carry a .44 magnum, you haven't done your homework. These are fine pistols for stopping buffalo, rhinos or going deer hunting, but usage during actual incidents shows a problem with over-penetration which reduces the stopping power. One of the ways that a bullet stops an assailant is by transfering the energy into the assailant. With the .44 magnum, the round has a tendancy to pass through the assailant and this means a wound, but less energy transfer. When a bullet stops inside an assailant, the energy transfer actually causes more internal damage because of shock to the systems. When it passes through, that systemic shock is greatly reduced and the assailant can continue to function until blood loss (sometimes minutes) or other damage finally catches up with the assailant. The .44 magnum isn't a top choice for a defensive round because of this... and the fact that those suckers are hard as heck to conceal! Image (Similar arguments can be made for the .50 AE and the .454 Casull)

So that leaves the smaller calibers: .22s, .25, .32, .380...

There are really only two reasons to chose one of these calibers. Concealability and/or controlability. Let's take them separately.

Controlability: There are some people who have a hard time with a .40 or larger caliber. Generally speaking, those people can find a home with a 9mm handgun, however on some occasions even a 9mm seems to be too much for some. Personally, I know petite women who can shoot a .44 magnum accurately and feel completely comfortable carrying a .45 ACP pistol... I know other women who carry a .40 and have no problems. However, I have met people (men and women) who just can't seem to control even a 9mm accurately and maintain an acceptable target reaquisition time. (the amount of time it takes to get back on target for follow-up shots... extremely important criteria.) I know of one woman who went from a .40 to a 9mm simply for that reason. In most cases, a person who can shoot and control a .380 properly will be able to handle a 9mm with a little training and practice. I know of an elderly couple who use small .22s as their personal defensive tools. That was all their arthritic hands could comfortably handle... and having anything is better than having nothing.

Concealability: One of the main reasons why some people prefer the .380 or .32 caliber pistols is for their smaller size. However, it should be noted that many 9mm, .40s and even .45s come in small compact sizes which are every bit as small as these other pistols. With the exceptions of derringer or very small "pocket pistols", the .22s are usually found in target or "plinking" guns which are as large or larger than full sized 9mm, 40s, or 45s.

While I generally recommend at the very least a 9mm for personal protection and even try to push for a .40 over the 9mm... It is much more important to carry a firearm that one is comfortable shooting. It is also important to carry a firearm that one is comfortable carrying. Meaning, you may be the baddest SOB on the block with your S&W model 29 .44 magnum with the 8-3/4" barrel... but you aren't very likely to carry that concealed for personal defense! Having said that its better to carry a 9mm or larger, I'll now qualify that by pointing out that the .32 in your pocket when you're being attacked is worth much more than the .45 at home in the dresser drawer because its just too darn big and heavy to carry all the time.

And that is one of the best arguments against "one gun per month" that I can think of! Image




[This message has been edited by Panther (edited February 26, 2001).]


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 Post subject: What caliber
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2001 3:31 am 
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Good discussion.

Attorney Branca makes the case for the citizen using "enough gun" simply because, as Panther states, all guns, regardless of the caliber, are by definition deadly weapons.

The low caliber weapon will have to be fired many more times than a large caliber one, thereby increasing not only the risk of stray bullets killing innocents, but calling upon the defender to have to justify to a jury the need to shoot the assailant , say six times, or shooting the gun dry, as opposed to only a double tap center mass for the same results.

I am with Panther in the choice of Politically correct calibers as outlined.

I mentioned the .44 to stimulate discussion.
It is , in fact, a poor choice caliber for many reasons, defensive wise.

Now how about a discussion on politically correct bullets?

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Van Canna


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 Post subject: What caliber
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2001 12:01 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Van Canna:

Now how about a discussion on politically correct bullets?

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ah, Van...since I know that you're a Lethal Force Institute graduate, I detect a set-up to hit us with the Gospel according to Massad Ayoob. Image

But, having studied the Tao Of Jeet Kune Do myself {not to mention that my son gave me a Green Hornet video for my birthday Image} as well as some of Mas' articles, I'll submit an intercepting gospel and beat you to the preach! Image

I could make this long. Ayoob has made this long. But I won't.

In short: use sufficient caliber to get the job done safely and efficiently. Avoid reloads if you can. Definitely avoid such ammunition and products that have the baggage of graphically bloody, violent names or descriptions. Do not have weapons or ammunition that are not legal to possess.

As part of your complete defense strategy (i.e., what you will do in court) you must correctly lay the foundation of your defense before a shooting occurs.

Be trained. Know the law for your area and act accordingly. Do not give a possibly overzealous prosecutor a peg upon which to hang his argument about how bloodthirsty you were, looking and aching to kill, by giving the prosecutor the unnecessary advantages of your arming yourself better than the local police; using higher powered weapons; shooting ammunition customized to kill better; shooting multiple, multiple shots; flaunting your lethal nature by using the "cop-killer special weapons and bullets!"

And if you never need this knowledge, if no shooting ever occurs in your life, all the better.

Ayoob has more to say, but it's examples and variations on the themes, IMHO.

How'm I doing, Van?

student



[This message has been edited by student (edited February 28, 2001).]


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 Post subject: What caliber
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2001 2:56 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by student:

In short: use sufficient caliber to get the job done safely and efficiently. Avoid reloads if you can. Definitely avoid such ammunition and products that have the baggage of graphically bloody, violent names or descriptions. Do not have weapons or ammunition that are not legal to possess.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Caliber: Stopping power studies (and I'm not talking the "one shot stop" numbers touted by Marshall & Sanow) generally indicate that the best choices for defensive use are:

1) .40 liberty (formerly S&W); .45 ACP
2) 9mm; .38 special (both regular and +P)
3) .357 magnum
4) .380

With a fairly significant spread across those. Other calibers were found to be "marginal" for defensive use.

You should never carry reloads for personal defense! That will get used against you in court.

The current best choices for defensive carry ammo are: Federal "Personal Defense" (which is nothing but a reduced charge "hydrashok", so carrying a "hydrashok" isn't a bad choice either); Corbon "Safety Slugs" (a frangible ammo); Remington "Golden Sabres" (yeah, it's kind of a marginal name in court, but many LEOs and the FBI use these and the Federals); Winchester "Law Enforcement" ammo (no, you aren't restricted from carrying this and if it's good enough for the LEOs, shouldn't it be good enough for you... BTW, this is the new "PC" name for an old vilified ammo Image ).

Any ammo you can purchase through a firearms store, you can carry. Some people go for FMJ using the theory that they're following the Geneva (actually it was the Hague convention, but who cares) Convention. Those have serious problems IMNSHO based on ricochets, over-penetration and reduced stopping power. Others follow the hollow-point theory to gain more stopping power, reduce ricochets, and transfer energy into the target rather than through the target. BTW, all of the previous mentioned ammo is hollow-point.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
Be trained. Know the law for your area and act accordingly. Do not give a possibly overzealous prosecutor a peg upon which to hang his argument about how bloodthirsty you were, looking and aching to kill, by giving the prosecutor the unnecessary advantages of your arming yourself better than the local police; using higher powered weapons; shooting ammunition customized to kill better; shooting multiple, multiple shots; flaunting your lethal nature by using the "cop-killer special weapons and bullets!"


1) It isn't my fault or problem if the local LEOs don't chose to carry the best available defensive rescue tools. So, I'm not "arming myself better", I'm making the best choice for personal defense I can afford.

2) Shooting factory ammo that is geared for self-defense uses is the best way to avoid the accusations of having "extra-lethal" Image ammo.

3) If the need ever arises to shoot in self-defense, I'm sure none of us would be counting the shots fired. We'll all be shooting to "stop the threat" and will fire, reassess, if threat still present, repeat the procedure until there is no longer any threat. A prosecutor can say anything (s)he wants to, I will maintain that the number of shots I fire will be only those necessary to stop the threat.

4) What are "cop-killer special weapons and bullets"? (Forgive me for yelling, but...) There's no such thing as a "cop-killer special weapon or bullet"!! (sorry, but don't buy into the media and HCI hype. These just don't exist. BTW & FYI: No cop has ever been killed by a round that defeated his body armor... ever.)

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
How'm I doing, Van?


I'm not Canna-sensei, but I'd say you done pretty good. Image


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 Post subject: What caliber
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2001 3:00 pm 
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Student,

Great job. Good advice. Question is how to reconcile a good "stopping" round with a PC round. As you know, Massad states that an expert can testify as to the safety factor of certain frangible or expanding bullets as opposed to standard ammo that can ricochet all over hell and require more shots to achieve a stop.

Waiting on Panther, as I am sure he knows all this by heart. Image

***

Bingo..panther beat me to the post, and as usual he is right on target. Thanks panther. Image

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Van Canna

[This message has been edited by Van Canna (edited February 28, 2001).]


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 Post subject: What caliber
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2001 6:40 pm 
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For some reason the Reply With Quote option does not let me quote from the meat of Panther's reply.

Panther, in re your paragraph #4:

If it can be hyped as a cop killer weapon or bullet ("Ain't no sich animule!"), it will. That's the point I attempted to make. Glaser rounds or other Teflon-coated ammunition, if such exists - this is not a field in which I even pretend expertise - will be so characterized.

But I do know a bit about trial work. And if there is something that carries emotional baggage that can be used against you, a prosecutor will do so - many of them will do so even if they know better in order to get to what they believe as the proper conclusion, a conviction. Sorry if I didn't express it well enough, but from your previous writings I suspect it's a conclusion to which you already had arrived.

Thanks for the compliments, guys. Image

student

[This message has been edited by student (edited February 28, 2001).]


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 Post subject: What caliber
PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2001 8:09 pm 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by student:

If it can be hyped as a cop killer weapon or bullet ("Ain't no sich animule!"), it will. That's the point I attempted to make. Glaser rounds or other Teflon-coated ammunition, if such exists - this is not a field in which I even pretend expertise - will be so characterized.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't see how the Glasers will get you in trouble... they're called "Safety Slugs". Image The only teflon-coated round is the Winchester "Law Enforcement" ammo... the old "Black Talons" were teflon-coated. Contrary to the lies, the teflon was for two reasons, neither being nefarious. 1) reduces wear and tear on the barrel; 2) makes cleaning easier as these don't leave as much residue in the barrel. One of these rounds will not penetrate an officer's vest... and they were tested just for that after all the BS hype. But if someone wanted the most effective yet "PC" ammo, I'd suggest they use the Federal "Personal Defense" ammo. I'd love to hear a prosecutor argue that one.

"You loaded your pistol with awful, deadly, killing ammunition! You used Federal's Personal Defense brand ammunition, so you knew you were going out to kill!"

"Ummmm, no. I knew that I was carrying for personal defense, so I purchased personal defense ammunition. You had a point?"


<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
But I do know a bit about trial work.


It's OK... You'll get over it someday. Image

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
And if there is something that carries emotional baggage that can be used against you, a prosecutor will do so - many of them will do so even if they know better in order to get to what they believe as the proper conclusion, a conviction.


You are so kind... If I may put that in layman's terms, "anything the snake can do to eat what he thinks is a rat, the snake will do to eat the rat... even if it isn't really a rat, just something the snake thinks is a rat." 'Bout right? Image

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
Sorry if I didn't express it well enough, but from your previous writings I suspect it's a conclusion to which you already had arrived.


Ummmm, yeah... it's just one of my copious pet peeves. Image

Just like those who don't believe we have a right to self-defense or a right to have guns or any other right you want to name...

Think about this...

"... endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights..."

With that one phrase we have the entire crux of the beliefs of the Founders when it comes to all of our Rights. Those who maintain that we should stop further debate and repeal the Second Amendment or those who feel that a Right must be specifically recognized in the Constitution to exist have missed two key points. One being that the Ninth Amendment specifically states, "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." And the second being that phrase quoted from the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

It isn't "The Bill of Priviledges", its "The Bill of Rights". And those Rights are 1) endowed on us by our Creator (who or whatever you believe that to be) and 2) are inalienable (from Webster's: incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred).

Oops... got off the subject there. sorry... Image


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