Best Handgun Caliber
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The Best Handgun Caliber for Self-Defense Gets Reviewed From a Practical Perspective

Greg Ellifritz has released the results of a study that determined the best self-defense caliber once and for all.

Shooters love to fight with each other about the best handgun caliber for self-defense. Should you use a 9mm or a .45 ACP? What about a .22 Long Rifle or a .44 Magnum? While handgun ballistics tests are great, nothing can really compare to data from real-world incidents.

Well, Greg Ellifritz conducted a study where he analyzed nearly 1,800 shootings involving a number of different handgun calibers to see what he could find out regarding the effectiveness of each one for self-defense.

Watch the video to see what he learned.

So here are the summarized results:

  • Stay away from the small "mouse gun" calibers like .22 Long Rifle, .25 ACP, and .32 ACP.
  • Shot placement is the single most important factor in stopping an assailant.
  • Shotguns and rifles are much more effective than any handgun for self-defense.
  • If it's not practical to carry a shotgun or a rifle, there isn't a big difference in the performance of the major handgun calibers (.380 ACP, .38 Special, .357 Magnum, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP or .44 Magnum).

Basically, we would all be better off if we spent more time at the range practicing than trying to find the best caliber for self-defense. As the results of Ellifritz's study show, there isn't a big difference between most handgun calibers.

So, you'll be setting yourself up for success if you just pick a caliber, use high-quality self-defense ammo (not FMJ!), find a reliable handgun and learn how to shoot it well. At the end of the day, it honestly doesn't matter much if you're using a .380 ACP, a 9mm Luger, a 10mm Auto or a .44 Magnum, as long as you place your shots properly.

For more information, you can read the results of Greg Ellifritz's study on his website.

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