Stopping Power: How Much Is Necessary?

Roy’s Insider Tips #434

October 2012

Stopping Power: How much is necessary? American Handgunner Editor Roy Huntington discusses this important topic and debunks the myth surrounding “miracle bullets” and “one-shot stops.”

7 thoughts on “Stopping Power: How Much Is Necessary?

  1. EricScott

    Excellent presentation. I especially like the low key approach. I agree you should train. I got mine participating in IPSC. I learnt to clear jams, to load ammo that didn’t jam, and to take enough time to line up on the target. Not bad for a 55 year old with trifocals! I never got above D class, but after 5 years I was calm enough to be safe off the leash.

    1. Phillip Martin

      Of course good training is important but bad training is detrimental at best. The question is who sells good training. It seems that in today’s market place everybody who puts on tactical pants is selling some training program.

  2. Paul Neskow

    Perfect! I have been saying exactly this for so long I think I’m hoarse. Still, I get all the +P and +P+ arguments, and I am not impressed.

    I wish you had gone into rifle vs handgun ammo/power. There is a similar mystic about the 5.56 NATO round that just doesn’t match reality. It is, at best, a low-medium power cartridge, akin to the old .30-30, and no magic round. Given knowing I am going to a gunfight I would take one of the .30 calibre battle rifles any day.

  3. Mike Cauvel

    Great presentation. I agree with most of it. Training is vital. I disagree on the .380 being enough gun. Guess its better than no gun though. I have a question regarding ammo. I hear so much about buying “good,quality ammo”. I buy very little ammo, maybe only half a dozen boxes every few years. I load my own. Been doing it for 30 years. Never seen any articles on loading for the defensive handgun. I can count on one hand the misfires I’ve had since loading my own. I trust my loads.

  4. James McCubbins

    Excellent article, Roy! And on a personal note, that is one imressive mustache! Will be gving you a run for your money as soon as I retire this summer!
    I’d like to add a bitin defense of your caliber issue- coming from now 20 years of policework. Of the homicides I worked back in the early to mid- 1990’s, the standardcaliver of choiceby the assailants, was .25 auto. Collected the empty shell casings myself. Yet one case I worked, the victim was shot 4 times in the torso with a .44 Magnum; not only did he live, byt the guy crawled atotal of two city blocks down to a highway, flagged down a motorist who picked him ip and drove him to an E/R.
    Shot placement way more important than caliber, from my experience. But I keep a .357 Model 65 in the kitchen and a S&W Governor with .410 Winchester PDX ammo by the bed. .380 and .38 my off duty carry, FYI.

  5. Don Hacklander

    Great video Roy. As our mutual friend and mentor Gene Wolberg told us years ago, he’d seen very few failures to STOP with any decent caliber and bullet combination, but he’d seen a lot of failures to HIT.

    Keep up the good work my friend.

  6. Robert Deuble

    Thanks Roy. Your common sense knowledge and information is always so refreshing. It’s the shooter and the training that’s most important not the firearm.

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