Sub-compact/compact CCW Caliber choice
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View Poll Results: What do you carry Sub-compact/compact CCW
.380 ACP 1 4.00%
.38 Special 0 0%
9 mm Para 9 36.00%
.357 Sig 1 4.00%
.357 Mag 2 8.00%
.40 SW 5 20.00%
.45 ACP 6 24.00%
Other 1 4.00%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-13-2013, 09:11 PM   #1
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Default Sub-compact/compact CCW Caliber choice

Ok I don't think this thread has been done before.

This is NOT about what type of handgun you carry.
This IS what caliber you carry in a sub-compact or compact CCW. If you don't carry sub-compact or compact CCW, then this thread may not apply directly (yes, there is no firm definition of what compact is, but lets keep it real and go by what manufacturers classify their products by).

Let's make some assumptions/limitations here about a few things.

  • Shot placement is always key, more so than caliber.
  • You are limited to 10 round magazines.
  • For CCW, you will be using JHP.
  • Generally smaller caliber will give you more rounds to carry than larger rounds, but we are talking about the difference of around 4 rounds (6 in large cal; 10 in smaller cal). This can mean a difference of life or death, especially with multiple BGs.
  • Larger calibers make larger holes.
  • Smaller caliber has less recoil and likely better accuracy by an average shooter, as larger caliber will have more recoil and potentially less accurate.


So if my guidlines above are accurate, what do you carry with the above assumptions/limitations in sub-compact or compact CCW? Do you go with smaller caliber and more rounds, or larger caliber and less rounds? (these are general statements, as there are double-stack .45 ACPs out there in compact).

Please feel free to correct anything I'm incorrect about
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:41 PM   #2
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I'm carrying the PX4 storm subcompact. With both Winchester PDX1 and Ranger bonded 40. 10rnd mags.

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Old 02-13-2013, 10:20 PM   #3
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I carry as a go to work pistol a small 16oz 9mm with one extra magin the pocket. I also iwb a compact 9 or 40sw. . But i have a 380 micro for when only smaller is needed.

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Old 02-13-2013, 10:29 PM   #4
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that chart has been posted numerous times.

people arent analgous to ballistic gelatin, even in the most generous of terms. human tissue are much much more tough than a hunk of jello. internal organs are very resilient and can withstand an amazing amount of damage. the only part of that graphic is the last little bit right before the 12" mark where the hole is the thinest. thats a permanent wound channel.

most handguns with the exception of things like 10mm and 357magnum do not generate enough speed for the temporary cavity (the big gaping hole in the begining of the graphic) to play any real role in a self defense shooting.

think of it like you have a bowl of water and you punch down in it hard then compare it to taking you foot and stomping it hard. a hand gun is like your fist. its going to displace a little water but not do much to lower the water level. your foot with a stomp is going to make a great whopping bunch of water remove itself permanently.

with subcompacts you lose a LOT of velocity and SD bullets already are extremely borderline for reliable expansion once they hit clothing objects in pockets or bones. compaound that difficulty they have in full size guns by slowing em down even further and you begin to see the issue of believing these ridiculous charts.

dont put your faith in fancy graphics created to sell ideas book or bullets put more effort in to getting good at landing center mass hits with your chosen firearm.

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Old 02-13-2013, 10:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonM View Post
that chart has been posted numerous times.

people arent analgous to ballistic gelatin, even in the most generous of terms. human tissue are much much more tough than a hunk of jello. internal organs are very resilient and can withstand an amazing amount of damage. the only part of that graphic is the last little bit right before the 12" mark where the hole is the thinest. thats a permanent wound channel.

most handguns with the exception of things like 10mm and 357magnum do not generate enough speed for the temporary cavity (the big gaping hole in the begining of the graphic) to play any real role in a self defense shooting.

think of it like you have a bowl of water and you punch down in it hard then compare it to taking you foot and stomping it hard. a hand gun is like your fist. its going to displace a little water but not do much to lower the water level. your foot with a stomp is going to make a great whopping bunch of water remove itself permanently.

with subcompacts you lose a LOT of velocity and SD bullets already are extremely borderline for reliable expansion once they hit clothing objects in pockets or bones. compaound that difficulty they have in full size guns by slowing em down even further and you begin to see the issue of believing these ridiculous charts.

dont put your faith in fancy graphics created to sell ideas book or bullets put more effort in to getting good at landing center mass hits with your chosen firearm.
I understand completely. One of the things I have seen is the .45 ACP JHP not penetrate enough through heavy clothing. Knowing that there is never a perfect answer, and with the concern of overpenetration of FMJ, I'm just curious what's being carried and why.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonM
that chart has been posted numerous times.

people arent analgous to ballistic gelatin, even in the most generous of terms. human tissue are much much more tough than a hunk of jello. internal organs are very resilient and can withstand an amazing amount of damage. the only part of that graphic is the last little bit right before the 12" mark where the hole is the thinest. thats a permanent wound channel.

most handguns with the exception of things like 10mm and 357magnum do not generate enough speed for the temporary cavity (the big gaping hole in the begining of the graphic) to play any real role in a self defense shooting.

think of it like you have a bowl of water and you punch down in it hard then compare it to taking you foot and stomping it hard. a hand gun is like your fist. its going to displace a little water but not do much to lower the water level. your foot with a stomp is going to make a great whopping bunch of water remove itself permanently.

with subcompacts you lose a LOT of velocity and SD bullets already are extremely borderline for reliable expansion once they hit clothing objects in pockets or bones. compaound that difficulty they have in full size guns by slowing em down even further and you begin to see the issue of believing these ridiculous charts.

dont put your faith in fancy graphics created to sell ideas book or bullets put more effort in to getting good at landing center mass hits with your chosen firearm.
Well I can't put it any better. But I will add that smaller cal dose not mean less recoil.
My .40 is snappier than my .45.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:52 PM   #7
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Ok, maybe I'll just lose the graphics and just ask the question.

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Old 02-14-2013, 01:03 AM   #8
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45 hydra shock or hornady critical defense

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Old 02-14-2013, 02:25 PM   #9
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.40 and or .380 depending on situation.

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Old 02-14-2013, 06:33 PM   #10
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I prefer .40 for the best blend of mass, velocity and round count. I think most agree 40 is snappier at first than others. However after hours of practice I could never fire another gun as accurate as my Glock 23. Pick a weapon you are comforatble with, then choose caliber, then practice til you are better than anything else.
my .02

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