energy: handgun

There are probably several out there, but this table certainly provides a great summary to help sort through conjecture with real numbers on cartridge type-bullet weight-velocity-energy. I took a subset of his information to put it below, but you can see the whole thing at Chuck Hawks’ Handgun Cartridge Power Chart. His chart format is much prettier and contains more than twice as much information than I posted below.

Opinions are all over the place as are a lot of various test procedures and results. You can get someone to support just about any flavor, but personally I am just beginning to get comfortable that there is enough energy to stop an assaliant when your defense cartridge delivers around 400 foot-pounds of energy. More is better EXCEPT if it is not comfortable for the shooter.

9mm is good. .40 is good. Plenty of them will do if you will do.

Modern bullet design and powder formulations have improved things a lot. The .38 Special has a new life better than the old one. There are no WRONG answers, but you should at least pay some attention to the details.

I have not yet spent the time to master column control in HTML, so they mush together. Deal with it. You just read across the columns with the far left and far right being the most significant information.

Caliber + Load + Bullet + MV (fps) + ME (ft. lbs.)

.22LR CCI, Rem, Win Hi.Vel. 40gr.LRN 955 81
.22LR CCI Stinger 32gr.LHP 1262 113
.22WMR CCI +V 30gr.HP 1450 140
.25ACP Winchester 45gr.Ex.Pt. 815 66
.25ACP All 50gr.FMJ 760 64
.32ACP Winchester 60gr.STHP 970 125
.380ACP Federal 90gr.JHP 1005 200
.380ACP Federal Hydra-Shok 90gr.JHP 1007 200
.380ACP Cor-Bon +P 90gr.JHP 1041 217
.38Spec. Winchester +P 158gr.LHP 790 280
.38Spec. Cor-Bon +P 115gr.JHP 1243 395
9×19 Glaser Blue 80gr.Frag. 1555 430
9×19 Winchester 115gr.STHP 1225 383
9×19 Remington +P 115gr.JHP 1288 399
.38Super Remington +P 115gr.JHP 1300 431
.357Mag. Federal 125gr.JHP 1442 580
.357Mag. Remington 125gr.SJHP 1468 583
.40S&W Glaser Blue 105gr.Frag 1449 490
.40S&W Cor-Bon 135gr.JHP 1300 507
.40S&W Remington 155gr.JHP 1140 447
10mm Winchester 175gr.STHP 1250 607
10mm Winchester 180gr.JHP 1055 445
.41Mag. Winchester 210gr.JHP 1300 789
.41Mag. Winchester 175gr.STHP 1250 608
.44Spec. Remington 240gr.LSWC 851 384
.44Spec. Cor-Bon +P 180gr.JHP 1000 400
.44Mag. Cor-Bon 180gr. Urban 1200 576
.44Mag. Winchester 210gr.STHP 1301 788
.45ACP Federal 185gr.JHP 1001 411
.45ACP Cor-bon +P 185gr.JHP 1150 544
.45ACP CCI-Speer 200gr.JHP 975 422
.45ACP Remington +P 185gr.JHP 1129 519
.45Colt Winchester 225gr.STHP 920 423
.45Colt Federal 225LHP 900 405
.45Colt Cor-Bon +P 200gr.JHP 1100 537