Re: which caliber for all around use?
more points to remember with choosing projectiles for anything really, but buckshot especially or different caliber slugs:
equal mass and equal velocity, a smaller diameter will penetrate more.
equal velocity and diameter, the higher mass object will penetrate more. i.e., round balls
equal diameter and mass at higher velocity will penetrate more.
The .500 will certainly approach 12g slug loads as far as muzzle energy, the heavier and faster loads are ringing in roughly 2500 ft/lbs! ouch. and with a smaller diameter, they will penetrate better (depending on bullet choice). Barrel length might alter those results though too. and recoil management is a huge difference.
Only shot the .500 once, even in a heavy handgun, it was ridiculous. 12g shotgun, super easy to control/manage.
most 12g defense loads deliver close to 3000 or more where pistol is usually 250-400 ft/lbs.
Another thing to remember is that heavier bullets retain their velocity and therefore muzzle energy at greater distance than a lighter round.
so a .357 for instance, the 125gn is a great choice for close to medium ranges due to the higher velocity where the 158 will deliver better performance at longer distances because it does not shed energy as fast.
"Loud noises don't end gunfights.... well placed shots do."