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For self defense, a handgun should have a momentum rating between 20 and 30 for best effectiveness. Ratings over 30 indicate excessive power for self defense but are preferred for big game hunting. The further ratings drop below 20, the more it indicates sub-standard self defense performance. The numbers in ( ) are Momentum rank order. Muzzle Energy in ft lbs are included for reference and are in rank order in [ ].

Pistols

(1) 25 ACP 50 gr @ 760 fps, Momentum = 5.4 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 64 ft lbs [1]

(2) 32 ACP 65 gr @ 950 fps, Momentum = 8.8 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 130 ft lbs [3]

(3) 32 ACP 71 gr @ 905 fps, Momentum = 9.2 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 129 ft lbs [2]

(4) 380 Auto, 88 gr @ 1000 fps, Momentum = 12.1 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 195 ft lbs [5]

(5) 380 Auto, 90 gr @ 955 fps, Momentum = 13.0 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 182 ft lbs [4]

(12) 9mm, 115 gr @ 1155 fps, Momentum = 19.0 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 341ft lbs [15]

(13) 9mm, 124 gr @ 1120 fps, Momentum = 19.8 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 345 ft lbs [16]

(17) 9mm, 147 gr @ 990 fps, Momentum = 20.8 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 320 ft lbs [13]

(24) 357 SIG, 115 gr @ 1564 fps, Momentum = 25.7 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 625 ft lbs [35]*

(19) 357 SIG, 124 gr @ 1329 fps, Momentum = 23.5 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 486 ft lbs [29]

(20) 357 SIG, 147 gr @ 1186 fps, Momentum = 24.9 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 459 ft lbs [28]

(21) 40 S&W, 155 gr @ 1150 fps, Momentum = 25.2 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 455 ft lbs [27]

(26) 40 S&W, 165 gr @ 1110 fps, Momentum = 26.2 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 452 ft lbs [26]

(22) 40 S&W, 180 gr @ 990 fps, Momentum = 25.5 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 392 ft lbs [19]

(27) 45 ACP, 185 gr @ 1000 fps, Momentum = 26.4 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 411 ft lbs [23]

(29) 45 ACP, 200 gr @ 940 fps, Momentum = 26.9 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 393 ft lbs [20]

(30) 45 ACP, 230 gr @ 850 fps, Momentum = 27.9 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 369 ft lbs [18]

(34) 10mm Auto, 155 gr @ 1410 fps, Momentum = 31.2 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 684 ft lbs [36]

(35) 10mm Auto, 180 gr @ 1240 fps, Momentum = 31.9 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 615 ft lbs [34]

(36) 10mm Auto, 200 gr @ 1050 fps, Momentum = 32.9 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 587 ft lbs [33]

Revolvers

(6) 32 H&R Mag, 85 gr @ 1100 fps, Momentum = 13.4 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 228 ft lbs [7]

(7) 32 H&R Mag, 95 gr @ 1030 fps, Momentum = 14.0 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 224 ft lbs [6]

(9) 327 Fed Mag, 85 gr @ 1330 fps, Momentum = 16.1 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 334 ft lbs [14]

(14) 327 Fed, Mag 100 gr @ 1400 fps, Momentum = 20.0 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 435 ft lbs [25]

(18) 327 Fed, Mag 115 gr @ 1300 fps, Momentum = 21.4 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 432 ft lbs [24]

(8) 38 Spec, 110 gr @ 1000 fps, Momentum = 15.7 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 244 ft lbs [8]

(10) 38 Spec, 125 gr @ 950 fps, Momentum = 17.0 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 251 ft lbs [9]

(11) 38 Spec, 140 gr @ 900 fps, Momentum = 18.0 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 252 ft lbs [10]

(15) 38 Spec, 158 gr @ 890 fps, Momentum = 20.1 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 278 ft lbs [11]

(16) 357 Mag, 110 gr @ 1295 fps, Momentum = 20.4 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 410 ft lbs [21]

(25) 357 Mag, 125 gr @ 1450 fps, Momentum = 25.9 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 584 ft lbs [32]

(31) 357 Mag, 140 gr @ 1360 fps, Momentum = 27.2 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 575 ft lbs [31]

(32) 357 Mag, 158 gr @ 1235 fps, Momentum = 27.9 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 535 ft lbs [30]

(37) 41 Mag, 170 gr @ 1420 fps, Momentum = 34.5 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 761 ft lbs [37]

(38) 41 Mag, 210 gr @ 1300 fps, Momentum = 39.0 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 788 ft lbs [38]

(23) 44 Spec, 200 gr @ 900 fps, Momentum = 25.7 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 360 ft lbs [17]

(28) 44 Spec, 246 gr @ 755 fps, Momentum = 26.5 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 311 ft lbs [12]

(40) 44 Mag, 180 gr @ 1610 fps, Momentum = 41.4 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 1036 ft lbs [44]

(39) 44 Mag, 200 gr @ 1420 fps, Momentum = 40.6 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 896 ft lbs [41]

(42) 44 Mag, 240 gr @ 1350 fps, Momentum = 46.3 lb-f/s - Muzzle Energy = 971 ft lbs [43]

*(41) 45 Colt 225 gr @ 1350 fps, Momentum = 43.4 lb-f/s – Muzzle Energy = 911 ft lbs [40]

(33) 45 Colt, 250 gr @ 860 fps, Momentum = 30.7 lb-f/s – Muzzle Energy = 411 ft lbs [22]

*(43) 45 Colt, 250 gr @ 1250 fps, Momentum = 44.6 lb-f/s – Muzzle Energy = 868 ft lbs [39]

*(44) 45 Colt, 300 gr @ 1200 fps, Momentum = 51.4 lb-f/s – Muzzle Energy = 959 ft lbs [42]

* T/C and Ruger Only Loads

If you chronograph loads in your own gun, you can compute the exact Muzzle Energy:

Energy in ft lbs = Velocity (in fps) squared divided by 450240 times bullet weight (in grains). Example using the above 45 ACP, 230 gr load: 850*850=722500/450240=1.605*230=369 ft lbs.

Momentum can be computed too: Momentum in lb-f/s = bullet weight (in grains) divided by 7000 times velocity (in fps). Same example as above: 230/7000=.03285*850=27.9 lb-f/s