Originally Posted by trooper357
After looking at velocity charts for muzzle, 50yd, and 100yd. I think my best bet for a small lightweight gun is either a 10mm or 357mag. They are fairly equal and both have very good penetrating. The 9mm is close behind. Of course these are smaller and lighter than the 45 auto. So knockdown would be the 45 but to kill, I would think the 357 or 10mm? Also, how about recoil/kick since it will be a small pistol with around a 4" barrel. Probably a Glock. Considering all, I want a gun that is easy to control if I need to get several shots off in a matter of a few seconds. Not for target practice! LOL
Your limiting factor for performance is Bbl. length.
A Light/hot/fast .357 like the 140 gr. Barnes is good out of a 4" Bbl. But when you get heaver? Most of the extra power goes into recoil and fireworks.
I know Underwood make some scary 180 gr. 10 mm Auto loads that would be about the top for game killin' power, 'cept that out of a less than 4" Bbl. they would be pretty close to a .40 S&W load w/ a whole lot more recoil and fireworks.
Now, If you wanted a Specialty Pistol, and had a few extra bucks to spend, you could get an aftermarket Bbl. for something like a Compact G29 10 mm, say the Lone Wolf 4.6"
? That would give you a reasonably small and light pistol w/ a pretty good big-game punch shooting the Underwood 180 gr. fodder.
Recoil would not be pleasant, but shoot-able.
200 gr. +P .45 ACP also move along pretty well and because of the bigger piston of the bullet diameter, they are more efficiently out of shorter Bbls. Recoil will still be what it is... no escaping Physics, but not as bad as full-throttle 10 mm stuff.
I have carried and shot Compact Glocks in both .45 ACP and .40 S&W in the field. Light/small/comfortable to shoot. Truncated metal jackets for the big stuff because it penetrates well, and currently HST hollow points for the Two-legged stuff because it blows a nice hole a foot deep.
...And then there's the Ruger SP101 4" in .357 Mag...