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Old 11-26-2013, 10:38 PM   #1
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Default And why not carry smaller calibers?

I have nothing against .40, .45, .357, etc.
But I know two instructors that carry smaller calibers. One carries a ,22 Mag Ruger LCR, and the other a Bersa Thunder .380. I also meet quite a few people at the range that use .22 mag, .32 acp, 380 acp, 9mm and .38 for carry. Now seeing this I really have to wonder if their are really as many people carrying larger calibers as some seem to think? Since most gun fights happen at 10 feet or less with maybe 15 feet being the distance sometimes. How big of a caliber do you really need? It is all about shot placement no matter what caliber you use. And a .22 mag, .32 acp, or .380 acp in center mass can do plenty damage. Plus the fact that you can get follow up shots off faster. I'm beginning to believe the larger calibers have a place for wild hogs, bear, etc. With smaller calibers dominating CC in society.

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Old 11-26-2013, 10:47 PM   #2
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I carry a 9mm. Before that, a .38SPL and before that a .45 ACP.


It all boils down to preference. A bigger bullet will have more stopping power. In most defensive shootings, only 3-5 rounds are fired. 5 rounds from a .45 have a MUCH better chance of stopping the threat than 5 rounds from a .22 But at the end of the day, carry what you are comfortable and reliable with.

There is a saying though, "Carry the LARGEST round you can comfortably shoot..."

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Old 11-26-2013, 10:47 PM   #3
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Start with a premise that I like to repeat over and over again. All handgun calibers suck. All are marginal for stopping a fight quickly. I choose a caliber that is most likely to reliably get 12-15" of penetration. I want a bullet that will have enough energy to expand and go deep. .38, 9mm will get there with the right loads. I do step down to a .380 from time to time. I also like .45s. But I consider them a to be Barr minimums for a fight.

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Old 11-26-2013, 11:40 PM   #4
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My opinion is different a lot of people's.

I consider what would be the minimum caliber is what I would need to put down a 100# wild hog that is in a pen with me and after my hide.

With my caliber of choice then decided, I "feel" confident that it should work on a 200# bad guy.

But some places call for prudence. I have a hard time concealing a 5" 1911 in my Speedo's.

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Old 11-26-2013, 11:57 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by danf_fl View Post
My opinion is different a lot of people's.

I consider what would be the minimum caliber is what I would need to put down a 100# wild hog that is in a pen with me and after my hide.

With my caliber of choice then decided, I "feel" confident that it should work on a 200# bad guy.

But some places call for prudence. I have a hard time concealing a 5" 1911 in my Speedo's.
I'm apologizing in advance danf_fl, but that last sentence ("I have a hard time concealing a 5" 1911 in my Speedo's.") has got to go in the Freudian slips thread
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:03 AM   #6
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The XTP's in 380 get about the best penetration (13"-14") because they dont expand as much as some of the others. It is what is in mine. 380 FMJ will over penetrate. The 40 grain 22 mag in a 2" revolver is only about 100 fps faster than a 40 grain 22lr mini mag. Use solids if you go to a 22 handgun. What I carry depends on circumstances, weather and clothing. 380, 38/357 and 9mm. Right now with the cooler weather I am carrying a 9mm. In the back country I usually carry a 38 or 357 depending on what I might run into. Summer or dress clothes it is the 380 because it hides the best.

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Old 11-27-2013, 12:05 AM   #7
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I carry the tiney keltec p32 32acp. Very small and light easy to conceal even if you in shorts and tee shirt. I also carry the keltec p11 9mm usailey when I'm whereing a jacket in fall and winter

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Old 11-27-2013, 09:36 AM   #8
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Why not smaller calibers? Easy. Smaller than 38spl and you either have A) lack of enough penetration to reach the vitals at all shot angles or B) a hole that is too small to reliably cause enough blood loss to stop the threat in time or in most cases both A & B.

Handguns suck when it comes to terminal ballistics. They don't have "stopping power." RIFLES have stopping power. Absent a CNS shot the only reliable way to stop a threat with a handgun is to poke enough holes in the right places that are big enough to cause the threat to lose enough blood to black out.

Being fatal 15 minutes after the fact doesn't cut it either.

There are only 2 ways a handgun stops the fight on the first shot.

1) The person is hurt/scared

2) A CNS strike. (Basically luck.)

Anybody that wants to talk about shot placement as a reliable factor has probably never been shot at or fired a gun under any amount of real pressure. Unless you are lucky or you are a secret squirrel type who has been shot at multiple times and killed people before, you are going to be doing good just to hit center mass while moving towards cover.

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Old 11-27-2013, 10:52 AM   #9
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I go back and forth on this. I know intellectually that my 9mm is plenty powerful to get the job done in most situations and that terminal ballistics are very similar between 9, 40 and 45. I know intellectually that shot placement is more important than bullet size and muzzle energy. Most days I feel comfortable carrying my Glock 26 for all of the above reasons. Yet, oddly enough, on those days when I do carry my 10mm I feel way more confident in my gun's ability to save my bacon should, God forbid, the need arise. Not sure why that is, actually.

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Old 11-27-2013, 11:05 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by blackxpress View Post
I go back and forth on this. I know intellectually that my 9mm is plenty powerful to get the job done in most situations and that terminal ballistics are very similar between 9, 40 and 45. I know intellectually that shot placement is more important than bullet size and muzzle energy. Most days I feel comfortable carrying my Glock 26 for all of the above reasons. Yet, oddly enough, on those days when I do carry my 10mm I feel way more confident in my gun's ability to save my bacon should, God forbid, the need arise. Not sure why that is, actually.
And if you had a pocket size 105mm youed feel like your were elpresidenta lol. Its ur though prosses. Most people do it with every thing. Cars houses boats. "bigger is better." i have to admit i do it to. Lol now i feel better. Thanx Dr phil :-)
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