Unk linked to a NJT posting about the .40 (or, as we call them here in The FBI Are Wimps Land, 10mm short). Unk's not too impressed with that round, T-Bolt thinks it's not awful, pointing out at least it starts with a ".4" like it otta.
All in good fun but the thing -- the real thing -- is that unless you routinely face insane dope fiends from an early-20th-Century illegalfy cocaine propaganda speech (it's turning the lower classes into killbots!) , for civilian self-defense, there is not all that much effective difference between .380 and .38 Special at the bottom and big old 10mm and .45ACP at the top of the list: they'll make most assailants interested in something other than hurting you. None of them -- not one -- can be relied on as a one-shot manstopper and if they could knock a man down just by impact, they'd knock you flat when they went bang, too, just you ask Newton. Shot placement will make any of them a lot more certain to stop a bad 'un but y'better be ready for a follow-up.
Weerd Beard got Unk linky-love too, over the Conditions Of Carry (originally devised, it should be remembered, to describe the 1911's permutations of carry, nothing else; it gets all bent up when we apply it to other handguns.)
Way more important than caliber, even more important than readiness condition of your sidearm (with the caveat that if you're carrying for self-defense, it should be ready), is if you are ready.
Have you developed safe habits? Have you worked on your draw? Have you worked on your shooting, and if so, do you shoot often enough? --Have you considered that you may have to use deadly force on another human being?
If you've not done those things, if you're lazy or lax, you're not going to make up for it with a bigger calibers, a hotter load or a better projectile.
Carry what you can carry. Carry what you like practicing with. Learn not just to shoot well but to handle guns well. It's more than making two-handed hits in the X ring.
Then you'll be as qualified to josh your friends about caliber choices as Unk and T-Bolt are. I don't think I'm quite there yet.
1. The amount of frikkin' racist hysteria frothed up in that effort is hardly believable. So much so that any time I read or hear "We've gotta ban _____ because it makes the ____ unstoppably violent," my BS detector goes off. Maybe there's some cocktail of speed, crack, testosterone, Mountain Dew and an acetone enema that really does do that -- in which case, why isn't the U. S. Army using it?
2. Tam looks askance at the runt of the litter. She's right in that it is way down there at the bottom of the class with a straight D- report card; I include it because I think it's the smallest caliber that will change an angry man's mind -- but sometimes they don't notice. In terms of direct physical effects, well, it's better than a sharp stick. Skill and readiness still trumps caliber.
2 weeks ago