Handguns are wonderful things. They’re excellent for concealed carry. I own them, carry them, and have been pleased to have one handy in bad times. It is nearly always better to have a handgun — any handgun — if you have to fight. But trying to predict what will happen or which one is best is a fool’s errand. There is no quantifiable “stopping power” and way too many variables to make anything about this predictable. The correct answer to most “stopping power” questions is “Who knows?”
My advice (or reasoned speculation) is get a gun that you like and will carry around with you. Since what little data there is suggests that guns usually stop the festivities without pulling the trigger, don’t get too lathered up about what caliber it is. More important is that it’s comfortable and that you like it, and will actually use it.
This is an old article, but still plays today. It’s one of the best articles I have ever read about “stopping power”. I agree with the good doctor, and his opinion about having a gun you will carry, shoot, and train with. I love the aesthetics, history, engineering, and the romantic notions of independence provided by guns and their variety.
However, my go to guns are a Mossberg pump gun, an AR-15, and a Glock 19. Everyone can have an opinion of what they want or need, but the bottom line is to have what you are comfortable and are good with. This is a philosophy which breeds new gun owners.
Too often I hear bad advice, unfounded opinions turned into “facts”, criticism for the sake of fandom for one brand, platform, or caliber over another. Affordability, functionality, dependability, availability, and ease of use for the shooter are often an afterthought when gun debates begin. Gun snobs and Fudds are two varieties of gun owners who do more harm than any good. They are the bigots of the gun world.
There is no crime for professing a love or devotion for one’s personal firearm choices. To ridicule, criticize, shame, or deride another person’s choices is to embody the leftist philosophy. At the end of the day, what someone chooses to defend themselves with doesn’t concern me. They have to live with their choices, good or bad, not me. Every gun in the hands of a citizen is one more deterrent to ever having to use them in defense of tyranny. Only the tyrants care about limiting capacity, calibers, rate of fire etc…
Freedom to bear whatever form of arms you see fit to defend your country, your loved ones, and this country is what matters.