Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentMilitary · 9 years ago

What's the point of a larger calibre gun?

Whats the fuss about .44 cal or .50cal guns when a 9mm is just as likely to neutralize the target? Why do they create bigger calibre guns if it isnt used for hunting?

14 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Best Answer

    Firepower, ballistics, penetration, armor penetration, vehicle penetration, rate of fire, guarantee of a kill are all different reasons for having larger caliber weapons. A .44 and 9mm are both pistol rounds which makes their range past 50m dubious at best. Where as the .50 BMG can shoot accurately out to a mile or more. 9mm is a small light round that makes a small entry hole and a small exit hole. There are many many cases of combatants being hit with a 9mm and not going down, even after being hit several times. It simply just doesn't have the kick or the range of a larger caliber. This is due in part to the fact that the Germans invented the 9mm to maim soldiers on the battle field to tie up resources to care for them. It was never meant as a killing caliber. Compared to a .50 BMG. which can destroy up to medium armoured personal carriers and if it hits a person they will be blown in half.

    Now guessing that since you mentioned the .44 and the 9mm, the .50 you are talking about is the .50AE which is also a pistol round intended for large caliber revolvers and semi-autos like the Desert Eagle. Most of these are more for 'small dick syndrome' when the biggest pistol caliber you would ever need is the .357 mag, and smallest being the .22LR.

    Source(s): Army Scout Armorer
  • jim
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Using your examples, you are referring to handguns or submachine guns. In a self-defense situation-which is what handguns are designed for other than target shooting/plinking one's adrenaline is pumping. Unfortunately a side effect of adrenaline is one loses fine-motor-skills. These are EXACTLY the skills one needs to put a handgun on target, sight, and fire accurately. What all this means is in that situation one is likely to either miss, hit an extremity, or "center of mass". A single 9mm round does not transmit the hydrostatic shock sufficient to put a human target down-it takes multiple hits. Generally speaking, a 10mm/.45 type round DOES transmit the hydrostatic shock sufficient to put a target down regardless of where the bullet strikes on the body. Also, if the target's wearing a vest, the impact of a larger pistol round is often enough to stun the target, if not drop him as well. This is why many LE, SOF and other agencies are moving back to larger caliber weapons for sidearms and SMGs.

    A .50 caliber weapon is effective out to 2500 meters or so, and at that range can transfer enough energy to literally tear a human target apart.. A 9mm round is effective to MAYBE 100 meters or so. Which one do you want to be behind when engaging bad guys?

    Source(s): retired LtCol
  • 9 years ago

    Ballistics basically.

    A .44 is basically good for short range pistol to make sure the target is down in one shot, while a .50 cal could be used for a sniper rifle at ranges of 2000 meters.

    9mm are pretty weak and are good against an unarmored target at close range. If the target has some armor, its almost worthless. So its generally good for police work type things.

    .45 round had good knock down power, but limited range.

    5.56 is used by many countries because it was a good balance between accuracy, range, stopping power and weight per round (combat load for the soldier). It largely replaced the 7.62 because you had to trade off the extra range and stopping power for less rounds carried.

    So in summary, different rounds are used because of different ballistic capabilities and the preferences of the user based on what works best for the task needed.

  • 9 years ago

    You happened to pick the best example of why larger caliber is necessary and demonstrate that you don't have much or any experience with hand guns. Many police agencies have switched from the 9mm back to larger caliber weapons when they discovered they could empty a magazine into a criminal and he was still a danger. Likewise when we (the Army) traded in our M1911A1 Pistols for the 9mm, we knew immediately that we were in trouble. The 9mm has absolutely no stopping power. If you ever have to go to your pistol, you better be ready to use it as a hammer when the guy closes with you.

    Source(s): 25 years active Army service.
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  • Hugo
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    It's called hydrostatic shock and it has to do with F=MA. Force equals Mass times Acceleration. With a larger caliber round, you can have a larger projectile (M) and a larger cartridge case with more propellant which equals more muzzle velocity (A). More Mass and more Acceleration equals more Force which will inflict more remote neural damage that will immediately incapacitate a person rather than relying on blood loss. Think of hydrostatic shock as an impact wave that travels through the body paralyzing all the nerves. Ever hit your funny bone? What happens to your arm? It immediately goes numb and useless. The nerves are temporarily disrupted. Now imagine that happening to your entire body but much more severely. That's hydrostatic shock. Instant rag doll effect.

    In short, a bigger bullet has a better chance of instantaneously stopping someone with hydrostatic shock while a person hit by a smaller caliber bullet is more likely to be eventually stopped by blood loss which takes more time. A person in the process of bleeding out can still shoot back while the person who was dropped with hydrostatic shock was finished even before he hits the ground. "Stopped dead in his tracks."

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    9mm guns are used by police nation wide as it is the most popular sidearm. The point of having a larger calibre gun is mostly used overseas by soldiers to penetrate hard surfaces like walls and thick body armor. They will also stop them dead in their tracks. Hope this helped

  • Hayley
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Stopping power...duh.

    A 9 mm round may NOT drop a target the same way a .45 ACP will.

    Shot center mass, .45 caliber rounds will drop you...guaranteed (unless you're wearing body armor).

    @ J D

    It's force = mass x, not e=mc2

    Simple physics...a larger object will hit with more force than a smaller one that is moving at relatively the same speed.

  • 9 years ago

    A 9mm can not go as far as a 45 either. plus as everyone else said body armor can and most times will stop a 9mm but not a bigger round. Think about it have you ever herd of a sniper with a 9mm rifle.

  • Evan
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    9mm=fun to shoot at targets

    .44/.45/.50= fun to put a some one down

  • 9 years ago

    for longer ranges and in a situation where an enemy combatant is wearing body armor, you need a larger caliber to penetrate

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