almost the same thing: What do you Carry mainly
Shot placement is much more important than what caliber you choose to carry...
I'm not trying to start a big debate here, but what is the smallest caliber pistol that you would use for your main carry, and why?
almost the same thing: What do you Carry mainly
Shot placement is much more important than what caliber you choose to carry...
FMJ .32 ACP is pushing MAYBE enough. Hollowpoints in this caliber tend to under penetrate.380 ACP is, technically, a 9mm round and has a much more solid track record. While shot placement really is important, proper penetration is the other side of the equation in an effective defensive round. Don't accept less than .380 ACP or 9mm Luger for your defensive needs if you can help it.
Why don't you ask yourself "which caliber would I NOT want to stand in front of?". If you are NOT afraid of a .22 then you are a braver man than I am. Stopping power agruements generally do NOT apply as engagements are typically within 20 feet which breaks into the "3 steps/1 second rule". The dischage of a firearm will or won't influence an opponents intention to attack based on MANY factors including but not limited to: intoxication, inebriation, state of mental health. Factor in the defenders skills to not only draw, but fire and place a shot UNDER DURESS and the whole caliber debate (specifically in handguns) is absolutely moot. If you had a shotgun on your hip loaded with slug ammo, the stopping power arguement would THEN and only then be valid.
What can you draw, employ and place a shot best with? THAT should be what you should ask yourself. Then ask yourself if you can beat an aggressor if the "3 in 1" rule is pulled on you.
Let me start with a story and then I will answer your question. Three weeks ago I was in a situation where I had to pull my gun along with one other guy. The guy causing the problem had a bat, weighed about 320 lbs, and was moving in every direction at once chasing his wife.
I know everyone says it's all about shot placement and for them it is fine, but as far as me I was just thinking I hope I can hit this guy somewhere if he doesn't stop.
It was at that point I was really doubtful if my 9mm would stop him so I decided that from now own I would carry nothing less than the biggest stick I could in hopes that it does have stunning and stopping power. For me that is a 45.
Since then I have also started practicing drawing and I hit the range at least once a week. And I hate to say it but everyone needs to be in a real situation at least once to show them their weak spots.
Being someone that has been in situations where I needed a weapon I have to agree with the ones touting the greatness of shot placement. The bigger weapon is great but if you can't hit what you are aiming at ten it's just a liability and you run the risk of being hurt with your own weapon.
I have been in situations more than once. They were different enough to the point that one situation didn't make any real difference in another. You are pretty stressed and the only thing that you can do for yourself is try to keep yourself as calm as possible. Getting worked up to the point that you're shaking will not help you any.
Back to topic. Any weapon that you are going to try and defend yourself with needs to be the right weapon for you. You can get 30 people to answer this post and they all will tell you something a little different. You need this caliber, this gun, these rounds etc. None of means a thing if you are not totally comfortable with your weapon and the caliber of round that it uses. what I carry has no use to you outside of the report on how reliable the weapon has been to me. Find the caliber that you shoot best. Then look for the weapon that fits you best. and pray to the higher power you see fit to that you will never need it. But if you do that you will be able to protect yourself.
Good points by all, thanks for your replies! I know that shot placement is important, but I also think that the proper weapon for you is important (as someone has already pointed out). I wouldn't want to carry a .22, but I also don't want to carry a cannon that I can't afford to fire. I'm pretty much torn right now between the 9mm and the .40 and was hoping to get some insight on which was the most popular to carry.
Thanks again to all that replied!
Well for my Main CCW I personally would not shoot anything under 9mm for Auto, 38 Special for revolver. But backup carry is a different story, I carry as secondary back up gun a NAA black widow 22mag on my ankle... i doubt ill ever have to use it but hell its lightweight enough that i dont even notice it so why not?
My EDC is a 9mm, which is a cartridge I switched to from the .40 about a year ago. The smallest I feel comfortable carrying is my .380 P3AT.
Sounds like a good reason, thanks!
If you are concerned about shooting at things that are moving, try this. Tie a balloon or two to a 4-5' tall stake in front of a good backstop with about 3' or string. On a signal, draw and fire one well aimed shot. It helps in tracking moving targets (wind cooperating of course). It's a fun excersize.
I'd have to say I'd go with a 9mm minimum as you can now get a small enough carry pistol in 9mm to justify the jump from .380, nothing against the .380 though.. But I have sufficient enough experience with 9mm I know the recoil and can hit with it. That's the real reason.
However a little pocket wonder in .380 like the P3AT or LCP, etc.. Nice way to go if that's the max size a person was willing to carry. Better something than nothing, with good ammo and ability to place shots with it.. The latter as stated, being the most important factor.
Having said that, I just picked up a .45ACP XD. Reason, I was just drawn to that particular model and want to get my feet wet shooting the ACP round. It would NOT be a carry gun however until I've proven myself capable of placement with it confidently. Until then, I'd first grab my 9mm Sig as I know where the holes are going with me behind the trigger.
To put it short... Carry only the caliber/pistol model combination you know you're proficient with, even if that's just a .22 or a .38 or a 9mm or other.
Lots of good advice here from everyone, thanks! I guess that my main concern is what is the smallest caliber that would be enough to make it worthwhile to carry. If you can make good shots with a tight shot group a .22 would be plenty, but if you are in a dark area and are surprised, are you going to be able to fire that tight shot group? I guess that I'm trying to decide on a good mix of carry size and stopping power. I know that bigger is better, but is a .50 cal. always convenient to carry?
Thanks again to everyone for their replies!
Every person will have various varied opinions on caliber and it usually is contested.. In auto's.. Anything between a good 9mm and 45ACP is typically the preferred sizes for carry in larger than pocket-carry pistols.
Trick is to become proficient at least with a 9mm if you're a newbie shooter.. Try different rentals if you can. You may shock yourself and find that you can handle larger calibers with practice, which is never a bad thing.. Gives you options.
9mm is easy to shoot. .357 Sig and .40 S&W are kinda "snappy" meaning they have a bit more recoil. 45 ACP is a good bit more recoil, even, though some find that it "pushes" rather than "pops" making it not that much more to learn to control than the .357 and .40 "middle" rounds. I may have to eat those words when I get mine into the range and have a sore wrist the next day. heheheWe shall see.
For perspective sake, the father of a roommate of mine when I was in the Army was killed by a .22LR. It was an ND from outside, traveled through the wall of the trailer and into his chest lodging in his heart. He died before the ambulance arrived (within 8 minutes). Yes, a .22LR WILL kill just like any other caliber as that is what the basic design of a firearm is intended to do.
What YOU feel MOST comfortable AND most PROFICIENT with is what you should stick with in a caliber AND firearm. If it ends up being a .22 in your pocket or ankle holster, then so be it. Buying anything because of POPULARITY or any marketing HYPE is just not an intelligent decision IMO. I could run on and on about any of my SiG's. Doesn't mean they will be to you what they are for me. They just fit, feel and work best in my hands compared to anything else I've tried and so that is what I own. Do you have the same sized hands as I do, likely not. Will my guns feel as comfortable to you as they do to me when drawing, aiming, firing, resetting, firing a follow up shot? I do not know but again, not likely.
I appreciate you wanting information and feedback. But forum threads should only be a fraction of the formula that determines your end results. Go out anf get your hands on as many as you can, your hands will tell you more than you think they can. When and as often as possible shoot any high prospects (rentals at ranges, going with friends that have a variety among them). Something may fit fine enough in a store, but when discharging a round may convince you otherwise about comfort and feel.
Reliability, maintenance and recall information would also be an area to gather information on. Most produced these days are just fine in all respects, but keep in mind that isn't always the case. The LCP for instance was (and still is) a very popular recent release. It was not so good out of the gate and a recall was ordered by Ruger. It addressed the problems and by most accounts is a decent handgun. However, it has lost (IMO) significant ground in the realm of trust as a primary CCW buy most owners. Eventually time may convince owners more one way or another regarding their trust of it, but that isn't going to happen over night.
I think that I need to clear something up. I'm not purchasing ANYTHING just because it is "popular". I simply wanted to know what the most popular caliber carry handgun is. I might buy a .22 and I might buy a DE .50, but no one person here is going to convince me of what to buy. I'm simply trying to use as many sources available to me as possible to try and make my decision. As far as renting a pistol, that would be nice if that service was available in my area, but since it's not I'm checking every other source that I can find. I'm using what information is available to make an intelligent decision. Again, thanks to everyone for their replies.
Personally, I carry the largest gun I can comfortably conceal, that I shoot well. My first choice is an XD45. That's fourteen 230 grain rounds of hollow point ammo that, under controlled practice conditions, I shoot very well. But, I can't often carry it, so I compromise with a compact 9mm much of the time, and settle for a .380 in the pocket, way too often.
A 9mm with modern SD ammo is sufficient in about any normal SD circumstance, if you can hit where you aim. But a .380 may not be, under some circumstances, and more often than not is in a platform that makes it very difficult to place shots accurately and quickly, beyond a few feet. With hollow point ammo, it fails the 12" of penetration test, in ballistic gel, that was established as a benchmark by the FBI for SD guns. There are some great expanding bullets that can make a very nasty wound, about 9" deep. But who knows what will stop a drug-zombie? You can load it with FMJ, and hope to hit the spine or pelvic bone, and that may give you the opportunity to escape.
So, if you really do need to feel confident that you can stop almost any bad guy, doped up, big and fat, wearing a leather coat, turned sideways, or whatever, you probably should have at least a high capacity 9mm, and be able to shoot it.
Both the 40 and 9mm make for good carry rounds (you listed earlier). 9mm ammo is cheaper and actually is one of the older pistol rounds out there. It's passed the test of time is what I'm trying to say. The .40 round is a little snappier than the 9mm so in smaller weapons that will be magnified. If I was to decide on a carry weapon and it was between those two I'd lean to the 9mm. It's accurate, it will make bad things fall down. and if needed the follow up shot is a little easier for most shooters.
I personally like a 45. It's recoil is not like the snap of a 40. It kind of..pushes rather than snaps back. But a 45 is not for everyone. Many of the CCW holders I am around if using a compact weapon seem to drift to a 9mm or a 45 being the recoil is more manageable. I do have a Sig Sauer P229 that is a 40 that carries and shoots very well but I would not call the 229 a compact weapon. It is not full sized..It's kind of that middle ground, like a commander length 1911 would be.
So if a compact weapon is your flavor you might want to veer away from a 40 and go with a 9mm. But if it is that middle ground you are looking for then any of those three calibers will work fine. It's more a what gun you want to use before caliber becomes a big issue. Any round will get the job done if you're doing your part. It's what round you can work with when you narrow the weapon down. Smaller the weapon the lighter it is and the more you will feel recoil. T