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.357 magnum vs .45 acp metal jacket which gun is more powerful? ?

In terms of raw stopping power; which gun is better?

Is there a list of handguns by stopping power online anywhere?

12 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    Semantics here, a .22LR has the same energy as a .38 Spec. but less stopping power unless you shoot to kill. The Israelis use the 1911 model .45 because it is the best at point to aim shooting, the US military used it because it was faster for reloading and operated better than a revolver when dirty.

    Moral of this is: It does not matter unless you hit what you aim at!

    Vet-USAF / CCW / NRA / USPSA-UPSC / Gun owner for life

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  • 1 decade ago

    The .357 magnum is marginally more powerful than .45 ACP.

    .357 magnum - Velocity = 1,410 ft/s Energy = 574 ft-lbf

    .45 ACP - Velocity = 1,080 ft/s Energy = 518 ft-lbf

    Mostly, it depends on which gun you'd like best. (Yes, it seems the .45 ACP has more fan base in the other answers) As to the other answers, they are wrong, the .357 magnum is a lot more powerful than the .45 ACP. (More than capable of blowing someone's arm off) Yes, the .45 ACP bullet is a little bit bigger, but your looking for stopping power. If you need an automatic .357 magnum, Desert Eagles are chambered in .357 magnum, .44 magnum, and .50 AE. Otherwise, you can easily find a cheap revolver from Rossi chambered in .357 magnum just as reliable as more exspensive counterparts. This information is freely accessible from

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  • The .45 is 2.36mm larger. For perspective the difference between a .22 and .30 caliber is 2.06mm.

    That said there are way to many factors to add to give a definitive answer.

    Distance from target being a big factor.

    Both will make anyones day really bad or make you really dead.

    My favorite analogy was during a pre-fire talk. I asked the officer training us, prior to firing on the .45 range, "Why the .45 and not a .38?" His answer "If I shoot you in the hand with the .38 it will put a hole in your hand. If I shoot you in the hand with the .45 it will probably take your arm off at the elbow!"....."If you are within 25 meters"

    The .357 will come out of the barrel going over 300ft per second faster so maybe you loose the hand. but not half your arm?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    .45 ACP has the most effective stopping power.

    "357 Magnum - Once the king of law enforcement handguns, this caliber has also been replaced by large capacity auto-pistols. The data collected for this caliber came from 2 and 3 inch revolvers, not the longer barreled type. The top round was the Remington 124 grain JHP followed by the same loading by Federal. Both loads achieved a 91% one hit stop rating. Most other loads ranked in the 80% area with the Federal 158 grain Hydra-Shok achieving a 78% rating."

    "45 ACP - This caliber has been around for almost 100 years and is still the top rated round. More police agencies are using this round due to its proven stopping ability. The large diameter, heavy bullet is the basis for the "momentum" theory of stopping power however actual results in shootings show a mix of "light and fast" and "slow and heavy" rounds. The Remington 185 grain Golden Saber was involved in 148 shootings and caused 142 one shot stops for a 96% rating followed closely by the Federal 230 grain Hydra-Shok which caused 200 one shot stops in 211 shootings for a 95% rating. Eight of the 16 loadings examined rated above 90% one shot stops while 5 others rated in the 80s. The poorest stoppers were the Remington, Federal and Winchester 230 grain FMJ rounds which achieved 62% one shot stops."

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  • 4 years ago

    357 Magnum Energy

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  • 1 decade ago

    For stopping power look at energy.

    Kinetic Energy = 1/2 x mass x velocity^2

    The .357 magnum is a smaller projectile, yet higher energy due to higher velocity.

    The .45 is a larger projectile, with lower velocity, thus smaller energy.

    For maximum stopping power, you want high energy with a projectile which will cause as much damage as possible.

    A hollow point .45 will most likely cause more damage than a solid .357 magnum even though it has less energy.

    Stopping power when a projectile contacts flesh is determined by the localised stresses it causes.

    A solid round will have higher localised stresses, and possibly pass through, almost a pencil hole through a person.

    The hollow points have lower localised stressed and damage the surround tissue a great deal. As the projectile contacts the flash it begins to deform changing its contact area. With hollow point projectiles it is common to see a pencil size entry point, with a huge gaping exit hole.

    Stopping power is also based on momentum

    momentum = mass x velocity

    Where some rounds may have higher energies, they might have lower momentum.

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  • 1 decade ago


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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Six of one. Half dozen of the other.

    Statistically speaking, the .357 has a slight edge over the .45.

    I own both and if I had to bet my life on one, it would be the .45. Less muzzle blast and easier to reload. I wouldn't worry a bit about its hitting power.

    GMG2 USN 1977-1981

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  • 5 years ago

    .45acp fmj is a known one shot man stopper, It has been tested by the police and by the armed forces.

    It has been tested through all of our wars since 1917. A definite winner!

    .357 is comparable but slightly lighter as far as ''stopping power''

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  • 1 decade ago

    Either one will have no problem putting you down. He made a good point the .45 is easier to load and has a greater ammo capacity. I personally find the .357 easier to hit something with.

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