Shoot More Or Shoot Harder

I wrote some time ago about how there are extended magazines available for some autoloaders.  These enlarged magazines allow for more rounds to be fired before having to reload.

ruger p89 with two standard magazines and one extended

ruger p89 with extended magazine

This particular essay was in response to a reader who stated that they wanted to increase the firepower of their main defensive arm.

All of that is well and good, but I have since received a small number of missives from my readers insisting that having more shots doesn’t increase the firepower of a weapon.  The only way to do that is to switch to a gun that is chambered for a more powerful round.  Having more rounds to shoot isn’t firepower, but a gun that is more effective with each shot fits the bill.

model 686 357 magnum revolver

autoloader with 15 rounds

The gun on top is a revolver chambered for the potent .357 Magnum cartridge, while the one below is chambered for the 9mm Parabellum cartridge.  The revolver fires a mere six rounds before requiring a reload, while the autoloader uses magazines that hold fifteen rounds each.  If you judge firepower by how much shooty, then the autoloader wins.

But hold the phone!  The .357 Magnum has ammunition available that is more then twice as powerful as the 9mm Parabellum offerings.  If you think of firepower as meaning hard shooty, then the revolver is a clear winner.

So which side is correct?  Is firepower how many times, or how hard?  That mainly depends on where you live.

It has been my experience that those who dwell in the northern areas of the United States mainly insist that firepower depends on how many times you shoot, while those from southern states prefer to think of firepower in terms of how effective each round turns out to be.  Up north they think of fire, while down south they think of power.

It all comes down to personal preference.  Choose whichever you prefer.

5 thoughts on “Shoot More Or Shoot Harder

  1. The side is correct that can perform good shot placement with whatever weapon they have. If you can’t hit the broad side of the proverbial barn with either the .357 or 9 mm, it doesn’t matter which you have. If you can make good hits with the 9 mm and can’t control the .357, use the “nine.” If your hands are too big to effectively use the 9 mm, but you can control the .357, use the magnum. It’s all up to the individual.

  2. I’ve been testing some medium and large frame .357 revolvers for the blog, and I have to say, the extra velocity (and the ability to use 158/180 gr. hardcast bullets) does provide a noticeable increase in power per shot. If I lived in a state with magazine capacity restrictions, I would seriously consider carrying one.

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