Sam Jacobs from Ammo.com sent me a few links to some articles they've been working on comparing the ballistics of the 9mm with the .357, the .38 special and the .45 APC. 9mm is very common. I started my daugher off on a 9mm and kept her there. That's what she prefers. She likes semi automatics. She hates revolvers. I like both. If you use your thumb to cock the hammer the trigger pull on a revolver is much better. If you don't it's kind of irritating for a target shooter. The trigger pull on a revolver is painfully long if you don't cock the hammer first.
The first article is entitled 357 Magnum vs 9mm: Revolver or Semi-Auto for Self-Defense? For those of us in Canada that is totally hypothetical because handguns aren't for self defense here. They're just for target shooting. However, we do have some American readers that might find it interesting. Canadian readers will find it interesting because it explains how much kick you can expect when shooting it at the gun range. However stopping power is important for hunting.
You can't hunt with a .22. You can only shoot gophers with a .22 and why the hell would you want to shoot a gopher. You can't hunt with handguns in Canada but you can hunt with lever action rifles that are chambered in .357 and .44 magnum. You can shoot a deer with a .357 and you can shoot a black bear with a .44. I dunno about a grizzly. Best to have a shotgun for that. Shooting a grizzly would be just for self defense. They're protected. In Churchill they have polar bear tours and all the guides carry shotguns. They don't shoot the bears. They use blanks and shoot in the air to scare the bears so no one gets attacked.
The second article from Ammo dot com is entitled .380 ACP vs 9mm: The Concealed Carry 9mm Showdown. Again entirely hypothetical for those of us in Canada because we don't have conceal carry permits. It is of interest because it compares the .38 to the 9 mm which are very similar as far as kick goes.
The third article is entitled 9mm vs 45 ACP:The Greatest Pistol Caliber Debate.
My grandfather had a Colt .45 after the war. That's probably the most practical as far as stopping power without too much recoil.
He passed away when I was very young and my parents got rid of it because they hated guns. I would have loved it but I was too young at the time. I haven't shot a .45 much. Certainly not recently but I have shot a .44 magnum lots. That's my favorite caliber now. Not too big and not too small. Just right. It does have a lot more kick then a .357 but it's very manageable in a lever action rifle. I don't waste my time with a .50 cal. Too much kick and you can't hit anything like the big rock and the small rock analogy from the movie Braveheart. I find a 12 gauge shotgun with a pistol grip very uncomfortable to shoot. 9 mm is very comfortable.
OK so I'm not going to get in a pissing match over this. IMO a .22 is a child's gun and a pink .22 is priscilla's gun. Everyone has their own preference. For me a .22 is too small while a .50 cal is too big. That's just me. That's my preference. My son hates guns. I've never taken him to the range because I have respected his preference. He's a great person. At least I don't have to worry about him shooting anyone. Taking a life, unless it's to stop them from taking a life, is a horrible thing.
Shooting squirrels is kind of Dr Phil. I'd have to be pretty hungery to eat a squirrel or a rat for that matter. They resorted to eating rats when the castle in Derry was under siege. I'm a hiker not a hunter. When I see wild life I want to take it's picture not shoot it. For me, moose tastes a bit too gamey. Deer is OK but who wants to shoot bambi or a rabit for that matter. We had rabbits for pets. I prefer beef but if the manufactured famine hits, being able to hunt is important. If you want to eat squirrels and pigeons go right ahead. I'm going to try and find something else.
A few years ago I was taking the gondola down from the Sea to Sky. There was a couple with a dog there and the attendant wanted to know if I was OK sharing a gondola and he asked me do you like dogs? I said naw I prefer beef but I'll be happy to share the gondola. They didn't appreciate my sense of humour nearly as much as I did.
In Canada the most common hunting cartridges are the .30-06 and the .308. Both fire a .30 cal projectile. The .308 has a little less powder behind it than the .30-06. The .30-06 came out first back in 1906. American soldiers used the .30-06 in WWl.
The .308 came out in the early 1950's. The M1 Garand was used in the Korean war and has an internal magazine like the SKS except it fires a .308. I'm pretty sure that's what Clint Eastwood had in the movie Grand Torino. The idea was the .308 had almost the same stopping power as the .30-06 but it was a bit lighter. You could fit more bullets in a box when shipping them to war. The .308 in a bolt action is my personal preference for a hunting cartridge.
The Americans love their .223. That's even lighter than the .308 and was designed for the M16 which is fully automatic. When you're shooting full auto, you don't want an overly heavy load. We don't shoot full auto in Canada. We're not allowed. The .223 is also used in AR 15's. That's why it's America's most popular cartridge. Every American home should own an AR 15. Just like every Candain home should have a refurbished SKS with a synthetic stock. They sell freedom buckets of .223 ammo. Those are pretty cool. However, you can't really hunt with a .223.
There's a debate about whether or not it is ethical to shoot a deer with a .223. The experts say yes it is depending on placement. If you shoot it in the head or heart it's an ethical kill. They say the .223 is good for hunting coyotes but then again, who wants to hunt a coyote? Are you gonna eat that? I'm not. You can hunt with an SKS but you can't hunt with a full metal jacket because it goes right through the animal without killing it. You need a soft point or hollow point for hunting.
Another factor is cost. Ammo is expensive now. Everything is. The bigger the bullet the more expensive it is. The nice thing about the .22 is that it's cheap to shoot. You can buy 9mm by the case fairly reasonably. The nice thing about a .357 is that they also fire a .38 special which is a bit cheaper. You can buy those by the case as well. .44 magnum are a bit pricey. I save my brass for those because I'm going to start reloading my own .44s. .223 is a little bit cheaper than a .308 but it's still about a buck a round out of the freedom buckets with 300 rounds. So, find your preference and don't forget, you can rent them at the gun range and try them out first.