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Best Defensive Ammo: 9mm vs. .40 S&W vs. .45 ACP

The debate on which is the best defensive pistol caliber continues.

Best Defensive Ammo: 9mm vs. .40 S&W vs. .45 ACP

Best Defensive Ammo: 9mm vs. .40 S&W vs. .45 ACP (Handguns photo)

When most shooters talk about “serious” defensive pistol calibers, the conversation usually bypasses the .32 and .380 ACP and centers around the 9mm Luger, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. And the general areas of contention usually revolve around controllability, capacity and power.

The much-used term “stopping power” has been bandied about by handgunners since, it seems, the dawn of time. But the actual physics involved aren’t as disparate as they might seem, despite the passionate arguments from one side or the other.

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