One of baseball’s loftiest achievements is the elusive .400 season batting average, last attained by Ted Williams in 1941. Today, any player that can consistently hit .300 or better can easily command a multi-million dollar salary.
This is roughly the same proficiency as a law enforcement officer.
In his recent article “If More Is Better, Why Are There No More .400 Hitters In Baseball?” on USConcealedcarry.com, author Rick Sapp reported that a 2014 FBI study questioned whether a larger caliber bullet could more effectively stop an adversary than a smaller caliber one:
“The intent of the report was to study — yet again — the effectiveness of caliber… The FBI noted that most law enforcement shootings result in only about 30 percent of the rounds hitting their target.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
A 30% performance rate in professional baseball is considered hugely successful. The same proficiency in law enforcement is often considered to subpar at best and in many circles, dismal.
In order to offset the perceived inefficiency, the caliber of the weapon used by law enforcement is often considered to be the equalizer. Stopping power is defined as the ability to incapacitate a target from further resistance. This, in theory, makes sense. The larger the weapon’s caliber, the more stopping power the shooter has.
Yet in reality, a target can be incapacitated with any weapon. Most law enforcement personnel load their weapons with hollow-point configuration or expanding full metal jacket bullets. The most common calibers are .38/.357, 9mm, .357 SIG, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. Needless to say, any of these can inflict serious damage.
At 30% proficiency, a clip of 6 bullets only yields 2 hits at best and may not incapacitate the target. The pressure on a law enforcement officer using deadly force in volatile situations is exponentially greater than that of the pressure on a major league hitter, whose greatest fear is a bruised thigh or shoulder from a wild pitch.
Law enforcement officials use their weapons when lives are on the line. Most would agree that more bullets are better than larger bullets when it comes to firepower. As mentioned earlier, a clip of 6 bullets only gives two target hits at best, but a clip of 12 or 15 with a backup magazine increases stopping power considerably.
So like the professional hitter who does not want his entire season average based on two or three at bats, an officer on the street prefers to have as many opportunities to bring down the target as possible, no matter the caliber.