I think one of the most daunting things when I first started looking for a gun was: what size bullet to get? At the time I figured all bullets kill just fine so it was just a matter of what gun I like. Ah, I was so young and naive back then.
As time has passed, I’ve learned that I was only half right: all bullets kill but some bullets kill better than others.
Let’s take a walk through some of the most popular bullets...
What we’re going to be talking about here is purely bullet size and the benefits/weaknesses of each. Now, there’s A LOT of sizes out there but I want to cover the ones you’re most likely to see and/or use. These are the ones that you can walk into just about any sporting goods store and buy. It should be noted that when I say stuff like “most powerful” or “least expensive” and such, I’m talking in comparison to the others on the list, not to everything that’s out there in the world.
When you talk about bullets at this high of a level, the most high level trait is “Stopping Power”. This is a relatively vague trait and somewhat controversial. What it boils down to is how many bullets does it take to drop a person. Granted, if you hit someone in the right spot it only ever takes one but in most situations you’re aiming for center mass (a.k.a. the chest, a.k.a. the largest target available). Some bullets have enough power or other traits that will cause damage to organs even if you don’t hit them. You might also hear about a term called “Hydrostatic Shock” but that’s an entire article unto itself.
I should also point out that the term “caliber” is nothing more than the size of the bullet. For most handgun rounds, the number is the diameter, in inches, of the bullet. That means that a .40 caliber bullet, for example, is .4 inches across. When you talk of caliber, you drop the decimal point, btw. People will look at you weird if you walk into a store and ask for “point forty ammo”.
Still with me? Good, now that all that is out of the way, let’s start with the runt of the litter....