Are you Dirty Harry?
In the movie, Clint Eastwood refers to the .44 Magnum as “the most powerful handgun in the world,” and movie audiences ate it up.
When I first saw the movie, that got me thinking:
What if you pulled the trigger… and the attacker KEPT ON COMING?
That can happen if you don’t understand what “stopping power” is, and a while back, I talked to pioneering self-defense expert Peyton Quinn about just that.
What You Need To Know About Stopping Power
There are a lot of handguns and even shotguns and rifles on the market.
When you’re choosing a firearm, one of things you’ll need to think about is whether that weapon truly has the power to stop someone who is attacking you.
But what is power, exactly… and is there a difference between stopping power and killing power when choosing the best weapon for home defense?
There is a difference, and it’s a big one, between “stopping power” and “killing power”.
The Difference Between Stopping Power and Killing Power
Killing power is simply the ability to kill someone hit with it… eventually.
Stopping power, on the other hand, is the ability of a bullet to prevent the person hit with it from continuing to attack you.
The reason this is important is because, even if you shoot an attacker and hurt him badly enough that he eventually dies, if he can still attack you before he eventually bleeds out, shooting him doesn’t help you.
He might still be able to hurt and kill you before his body finally catches on to the idea that he’s been mortally wounded.
The Dead Man’s Ten Seconds
In the Old West, the time between shooting a man, and the time when he finally fell and died, was called “the dead man’s ten seconds.”
In other words, if you shoot someone who is coming at you with a club or a knife…
…He might have a few seconds to stab or club you before he dies from the gunshot wound.
That’s the reason good firearms instructors will tell you that you should seek cover, and increase the distance between you and the attacker, after you have shot him.
Get Off The Attacking Line!
If the attacker is coming at you with a club or a knife, that means you still have to get off the attacking line even though you have already shot him.
Unless the weapon you are using has extraordinary STOPPING power, that is.
If your weapon DOES have good stopping power, then shooting him will neutralize him.
The problem is that most hand guns are pretty much under-powered when it comes to stopping the human body.
They will kill you, yes, and they may even stop you, but in a lot of cases it will take some time for that to happen.
The Last Word On Stopping Power
Just because you shoot a man does not mean he will just fall down and die.
He may not even slow down.
He will almost always have some time, measured in seconds if not in minutes, to attack, hurt, and kill you.
Choose a firearm that has adequate stopping power, not just the ability to deliver a fatal wound.
Once you’ve done that, make sure to train to keep yourself alive during that time between when your bullets strike… and when the attacker actually STOPS.
How Confident Are YOU That Your Gun Has Real Stopping Power?
Please Share Your Thoughts And Experiences Below…