"...the most definitive one-shot stop I ever saw was a subject found seriously dead with a single, small hole in the middle of his sternum. You could plainly see the position of his heels in the dirt and he had simply fallen over backwards. His feet never moved. The weapon: a cheap .25 pistol loaded with 50-grain ball ammo." Charles E. Petty, Feb 2007
My grandfather had not one, but two .25 ACP pistols, among his handgun inventory. If he was in a suit, it was one of those little .25's in his pocket. Now let me say those tiny little roscoes functioned without fail. Knowing him he had them polished up real good inside.
When I was old enough to get into serious handgun shooting, and be exposed to those shooters who pronounced absolutely that anything besides a .45 or a .357 or a 90mm recoiless or something was inadequate, I questioned him about those little .25 ACP pea-shooters.
He explained to me by telling me in detail how before I was born, at a job he had there was a guy who came to confront thise dude for sleeping around with his wife. They fought a minute and at some point the hubby decided he wasn't getting beaten by a guy doing his ol' lady. So he pulls a .25 ACP and point blank pops him 6 times in the chest and walks away.
As my grandfather told it, the guy shot crumbled to the ground. He couldn't move. The last minute of his life was spent begging my grandfather to not let him die. This was while he and another guy there was trying to load the late homewrecker into the backseat of a vehicle.
So as he put it kinda like this, which I reckon is true, deadly shots through the vitals with a .25 is just as effective as anything else if you do your part. He was a WWII vet, '41 to '45 in North Africa and Europe as a rifleman, so he was no stranger to gunshots either.
And my experiences lend me the same opinion. A large handgun bullet may allow you a bit more margin of error in shot placement, but if you do your part the caliber is really secondary.
I have seen with my own eyes that 9mm ball or .45acp ball aren't vastly different upon hitting center mass on a man. That stuff about a .45 hitting a knee cap and exiting the kneck was never witnessed by me. But I seen a pair of 9mm from ten feet into sternum make a man drop to his knees. I believe the .45 is more effective, but not enough more so that other calibers are obselete.
I saw a documentary with some medical insight into handgun gunshot wounds. Using the same formula to determine the kenetic energy in foot-pounds of a .45 ACP 230 grain bullet at 850 fps, a frozen turkey falling off a kitchen countertop actually hit the floor with more kenetic force over all. No reasonable CCW handgun has enough power to justify poor shot placement.
On head shots....they are hard to achieve...and a man's skull is often known to deflect every caliber including .357 magnums. An eye socket is a damn small target when you are being killed.
Caliber size...some people like to point out that .380acp/9mm kurtz used to be a police cartridge in Europe...and every time this is mentioned ten people will point out that European police rarely need much firepower etc etc. But did you know that .380 ACP has been an authorized cartridge choice for duty carry by the Texas Rangers for over 100 years and counting?
Lastly, there is a statistic saying that every year, 80% of handgun shootings are not even fatal. How much do we actually know...or how much do we think we know?
All those guys who say, "A .25 ACP would just piss me off". Hey bro...go stand in front of one then