Concealed Carry Bro Science


Have you ever heard of Bro Science? Bro Science originated in gym culture and is a term applied to the not-so-scientific tidbits that spread throughout the gym. It typically goes something like this, “Bro, if you do fasted cardio, you’ll kill your gains.” Or maybe something like this, “Bro, if you do bench press with both legs on a balance ball, you’ll increase you get sick gains!” That’s Bro Science, and over time, I realized that the firearms industry has its own Bro Science that’s spread amongst gun shops and ranges, and today, we are pointing out the biggest aspects of Bro Science. 

Handgun Stopping Power – The King Of Bro Science

One of the key tenets of this whole thing is the lack of any real scientific backing. If you start asking questions, then it falls apart. That’s what happens when it comes to stopping power. If someone says, “Bro, .45 ACP has more stopping power than 9mm,” then ask them what stopping power means. 

What’s the measurable aspect of stopping power? What creates stopping power? Is it bullet size? Weight? Speed? How do you measure stopping power? It’s a nebulous term that’s just kind of made up, especially with handguns. With rifles, we have secondary wounding characteristics, but with a handgun, we just got the tissue damage caused by the cartridge going directly through flesh. 

Hydrostatic Shock and Handguns 

“Bro, .357 SIG can impart neurological hydrostatic shock! If you hit a bad guy in the gut, you can stop their heart!” Make no qualms about it; hydrostatic shock exists. It just requires a heavy bullet moving extremely fast to do so. There is no handgun round that creates any form of measurable or effective hydrostatic shock. Even in rifles, the concept is controversial in terms of its effectiveness on animals of various sizes. You won’t get hydrostatic shock from the .357 SIG, the .44 Magnum, or any other handgun round. 

Big Bullets Are Always Better 

There has been a huge shift in the world of firearms concerning bullet size, but you’ll still hear the American mythos of a bigger bullet is better. Plenty of people still advocate for the .45 ACP. Sometimes a bigger round has its advantages, but for concealed carry and defensive use there isn’t much of a notable difference in .45 ACP, .40 S&W, and 9mm. A lot of folks accept that, but switch the conversation to pocket pistols. 

“Pocket pistols have to be .380 ACP bro; it’s the smallest caliber you can carry!” You can swap a pistol for a revolver and a .380 for a .38 Special. Sure, those rounds work fine, but are there better alternatives that might be a little smaller? Calibers like .32 ACP, .22 LR, .22 Magnum, and .32 H&R Magnum work and have less recoil and more capacity. 

White Lights Give Your Position Away 

“Bro, if you have a white light on your gun, the bad guys will know exactly where you are!” Somehow, in 2024, this myth still percolates. Regardless of what we do, it doesn’t seem to improve. Social media posts about weapon lights are full of folks proclaiming the bro science about weapon lights making you a target. 

In reality, weapon lights allow you to identify threats and prevent you from shooting an innocent person. Sure, light discipline is important, and you should be trained to use your light appropriately. It doesn’t make you a target, and if the threat has a light, then they might spot you before you can spot them. Lights won’t make you a target in your typical home defense or concealed carry environment, that’s just bro science.

Dutch Loading Is Superior 

“Bro, I alternate hollow points and FMJs; that way, I can shoot the XZY barrier.” I’m not sure why it’s called Dutch loading, and I hope I don’t offend any Dutch people. The idea of Dutch loading being an efficient tactic boggles my mind. You might have to shoot through some kind of barrier, so do you want to use FMJs? How often can you locate any civilian self-defense shooting where this was a factor? 

Even if you could, most hollow points do pretty well through barriers these days. Loading FMJs means every other round will overpenetrate a wide variety of things. This includes people. FMJs are the champs of over-penetration, and that’s why they deserve to be in the range. There are some guns where FMJs make sense, like .22LRs and similar small caliber guns. For most cartridges, it’s JHPs all the way and don’t let bro science tell you any different.

Bro Science and Concealed Carry 

The Bro Science in the gun world is very real. The key to seeing through it is to just ask questions. Ask why that works, why it is better, what it means, etc. The good news is that there is more truth out there than ever before and more means for it to be delivered. 

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