Handgun Firepower

So what is Handgun Firepower and how to we score it?  This is a little more scientific than Durability and Reliability.

I look at the Energy (ft/lbs) that a standard target round produces at the muzzle and multiply that by how many rounds the gun carries.  Let's say that a round produces 300 ft/lbs at the muzzle and has a 10 round magazine.  That would be 300 x 10 = 3,000.  If another handgun has a 350 ft/lbs at the muzzle and 8 rounds than it's score would be 2,800.  So the first gun would have more energy and of course score higher.  

Now the upper ranges of that are of course going to be the big boy rounds, like the 44 mag and the 50 caliber Desert Eagle, so you can probably guess which ones will score the highest.

I will not score each gun and just compare it within it's own class, so you probably won't find a sub-compact at the top of the list, but you will still be able to compare them to each other.

So does this sound reasonable?  I hope so.  You may hear people talk about stopping power, which is mostly the percentage or likely hood of stopping a person with one shot.  I didn't choose to rank this, because that is more about the bullet than the quality of the gun.  A 45 ACP will have more stopping power than a 9mm, most likely.  I don't really want to get into shot placement vs. stopping power and all the rest of the arguments that seem to follow along when talking about self-defense rounds.

This will really be a good category to look at if you are concerned about how much punch you will need, or want if you decide to carry concealed.  I carry the Glock 27, which has 9+1 of 40 S&W ammunition.  Not to shabby for a sub compact.  Oh, one more thing, I don't count the +1 for the chamber because I'm assuming all handguns have a chamber.


I like the "handgun firepower" of this gun.... (FN Five-Seven)


To understand how we review Handgun Accuracy, click here.


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