.22 rifle vs. .38 handgun

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by CampingJosh, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. I understand now what you're saying better. Yeah it is interesting how close the energy seems.

    Velocity is a useful number to a guy. He can use that along with bullet weight to closely guess a given trajectory. Add in the ballistic coefficient etc etc and he can guess really damn close. I say "guess" because air temperature, humidity and mother nature have the right to change their minds at any moment and play games with velocity (i.e. trajectory/your close and far zero).

    But energy in ft-lbs? It is a general guess at what a bullet might do.

    People who make and sell ammuntion love ft-lbs. It makes a bar to measure against that shooters (customers) can see. It's just like in casinos....games where a percentage of wins vs losses is displayed gets more players. But that percentage from past plays has zero effect on the next plays. None. Looking at ft-lbs is kind of like that.

    Car makers and dealers love horsepower. It sells cars. But real car guys look at a whole lot more than just horsepower because they know it takes more than that to make a car go fast. Torque, powerband, etc etc.

    Marketing is marketing.
  2. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    South Carolina
    Yep, Delta you're right... Ft-lbs really isn't a measuring stick for ammo performance on live game or for self-defense. If a .22 can nearly measure up to a .38 in energy production then our instinct really should take over to say that this figure doesn't necessarily give a good measure of terminal performance.

  3. Yep. Not to take away from the little .22 LR; it is an extremely important and useful weapon. It really does inflict damage out of proportion to its size, but not as much damage as medium bore handgun cartridges.

    Really the very things that make the .22 so well suited in general shooting tasks (hunting small game, plinking, target, hiking, emergency firearm) also make it a poor choice for use against most human threats. For the record, even organizations that use the .22 LR on humans only do so with total surprise and an extreme situational advantage to begin with.
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