Adam asked in SportsOutdoor RecreationHunting · 1 decade ago

Question about 45 acp stopping power?

I just got this new Kimber Ultra Carry .45 acp in a 3" barrel. Is the short barrel going to provide me with enough velocity to accurately penetrate and stop an individual.


-I am not an expert when it comes to guns and ammo. I didn't realize shorter barrels affected overall velocity until after I purchased the gun.

9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    AJ, the pistol you purchased for self-defense is an excellent choice. You should also be100% confident with that decision! Beware, of so-called Internet “gurus” who perpetuate misinformed information or focus on statistics that only marginally pertain to real-world situations. I believe that many of these so called experts exist to only convince themselves that their firearms are superior. So let me answer your question and put to rest your concerns.


    A favorite handgun for self-defense and conceal carry is the Smith-Wesson J-frame revolver. The J-Frame revolver can be chambered for either the 38 or 357 magnum round and has a barrel length of only 1 /7/8”. In addition many leading manufacturers are building sub-compact firearms with barrel lengths shorter than 3”. The reason is that larger heavier pistols are more difficult to conceal or cumbersome to carry. When it comes to conceal carry being able to adequately conceal the pistol without “printing” is the utmost importance. The lighter/smaller pistols are easier to conceal and consequently more frequently carried than their heavier larger full size cousins.


    With regards to barrels many factors affect accuracy. However, barrel length generally affects “theoretical accuracy” more than “mechanical accuracy”. A longer barrel means a longer sight radius, which means less over-correction of sight picture, and tighter “operator margin”. Factors that truly affect a barrel’s accuracy are stiffness/heaviness, twist rate, tolerances and material. Kimber’s Ultra Carry uses a match grade barrel which is built to higher tolerances than most barrels. Most companies generally reserve match grade barrels for high-end versions of their pistols. For example: Springfield has the tactical, Sig the X5, Beretta and HK their respective elites, Smith & Wesson their Performance Center and etc.. The point I am trying to make is that “Operator accuracy” will be more of a factor than “mechanical accuracy” for you when shooting your Kimber. Accuracy issues will most likely be a result of your shooting skills not your pistol’s mechanical performance.


    Yes longer barrels produce higher velocities by allowing the propellant (powder) more time to burn and expand within the confines of the barrel. Increased velocity means increase in energy and flatter bullet trajectories. However, in the realm of pistols where encounters are measured in terms of feet not yards the 45 ACP round will be effective. Now consider that most encounters involving self-defense occur within ten feet. Despite the velocity loss of a shorter barrel the 45 ACP round when fired from a 3” barrel will still penetrate at least 12” of soft gelatin (FBI’s penetration requirement). You can expect a loss of about 90 fps at 10 feet when comparing the performance of a 5” vs a 3” barrel.


    My preference for a self-defense pistol has several similarities to the Kimber Ultra that you purchased. Although not a Kimber, I selected a pistol with a single stack magazine for the 45 ACP. I also selected a pistol with a match grade barrel and highly polished feed ramps. More importantly width and size were important as this pistol was intended for conceal carry. Good luck and practice safe.

  • 4 years ago

    Yes. But with regards to a 1911, you have to know what you're buying. Some of them are built to tight tolerances and won't feed hollow points well, some of them are built to loose tolerances so that they will feed everything. If you're not experienced with it, I would let someone who is experienced with 1911s help you out when purchasing one. Brands like Rock Island Armory are always a safe bet. Springfield Armory is what I own and carry. I have a couple Colts and two custom builds as well but I don't carry them. ----------------- Yes the .45 ACP is a proven stopper. The military switched over to 9mm because of NATO, not because 9mm was better than .45. The 1911s they were using at the time were also 40 years old at least and most of them were worn out and needed rebuilds and the people at the top thought it better to spend the money on a new pistol - the Beretta 92F. I carry a .45 90% of the time, and a 10mm Colt Delta Elite the other 10%, but the 10mm is a much snappier recoil to it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Oh yes it will provide all the stopping power you need. You give up about 60 feet per second for every inch of barrel you reduce. At 25 yards the difference in knock down power is very little what you do loose is some accuracy at greater ranges. That's not a issue for a self defense weapon.

  • 1 decade ago

    I have a Springfield XD .45 with a 4" barrel, and it provides me with a lot of power. The 3" barrel would give you minimal loss of velocity. I would be more concerned about the loss of accuracy, however, that can be fixed with a little bit of practice.

    Good Luck and enjoy your new gun!!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The accuracy will be diminished with the short barrel. But, this gun was made specifically to be a concealed carry gun for self defense. At the close ranges anticipated for this type of gun accuracy will not be an issue.

    Stopping power is also not an issue with a 45 at close range.

    If you ever happen to be unfortunate enough to shoot an attacker at close range and he is still moving. I apologize for being in error here and Irecommendd you shoot him again.

  • 1 decade ago

    No problems - You've got a great pistol (I own a Kimber CDP) - the main thing to do is practice unitl you get comfortable shooting it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    yes center mass at 22 ft,,,,,,,,, the 3 second rule in tactical

    Source(s): exp
  • 1 decade ago

    Yes it is plenty lethal and deadly for your purpose.*

    Source(s): " Only a Criminal or Tyrant is afraid of the Armed Citizen."
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Why ask the question after you purchased the gun ???

    The gun will do it's job just fine, if you do....

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