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The Great Defender: You’ll Want This By Your Side When It Hits the Fan

by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition:

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, over the past weeks, we have gone into great detail on firearms, caring and maintaining firearms, and why preppers should diversify their ammunition supplies. This week, we are focusing on the .45 ACP – a worthy cartridge with a long and unique history, and it is also worth your consideration with regard to home defense and survival, for a number of reasons we’ll outline here today. So, without further adieu, let’s get started!

The History of the .45 ACP Cartridge

I want to discuss the .45 ACP cartridge. This information is worthwhile and the cartridge itself has a great deal of history behind it. In 1898 the Spanish-American War (characterized by Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders) came to a close, but the Philippine insurrection did not. The Moros (Philippine islanders) were able to take a hit from the .38 handguns and the .30 Krag rifle the Army had in service…and keep coming. They could not, however, “soak up” the .45 Long Colts and the 12-gauge buckshot used from personally-owned Colts and Winchesters. Yes, back then, many could carry their own choice of weapons.

Two officers were crucial in determining the choice back in 1904. At the behest of Brigadier General William Crozier (appointed Chief of Army Ordnance in 1901, a new position created by President Theodore Roosevelt), a board was formed comprised of two men. Colonel John T. Thompson (Ordnance) and Colonel Louis A. LaGarde (Medical Corps) were tasked with finding the optimal sized cartridge for the U.S. Military. LaGarde’s report contained the following summary:

“The Board was of the opinion that a bullet which will have the shock effect and stopping power at short ranges necessary for a military pistol or revolver should have a caliber not less than .45[caliber].”

Shotgun News, November 1, 2011, p. 13; article:

“High Standard M1911A1,” by Peter G. Kokalis

There we have the first glimmerings of the beginnings of the .45 ACP, and I must mention the author of the article referenced, Peter G. Kokalis was the Senior Editor for Shotgun News with a lifetime of experience in shooting and reloading, as well as being a combat veteran. Kokalis summarized the .45 ACP cartridge’s capabilities most eloquently. In essence, he clears up a lot of misconceptions relating to kinetic energy of a round. Most people equate high velocity with knockdown power. For long-range shooting, this holds to be true in many cases.

Short-Range Combat

What we’re dealing with here is short-range combat…where you (the homeowner) are protecting your house and family from a break-in at close ranges. In such ranges, you will need stopping power. Here are some terms you need to keep in mind:

Wound Track – the path of the bullet through the body, also referred to as the “permanent cavity.” Three factors influence this wound track:
Yaw – the way the bullet tumbles through the body after impact
Expansion – of the bullet itself, also referred to as “mushrooming”
Fragmentation – the way the bullet disintegrates in the body after impact as it moves through the tissue
Temporary cavitation – the path opened up as the bullet travels through the vital organs…a path that “rebounds,” or bounces back into original position, though not without damage to certain organs

Depth of penetration is the most important factor, as Kokalis outlines here, in this excerpted segment of his article:

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