Caliber sizes and Physical Limitations
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Caliber sizes and Physical Limitations

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Old 11-01-2013, 12:04 AM   #1
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Default Caliber sizes and Physical Limitations

I always see heated debates around the interwebs about what is the best caliber for personal defense.Many answer with larger calibers like .45 ,.357,etc.
But with someone like me,it isn't that easy.I had an accident in my teens and broke both my wrists so even today they still bother me with pain.The one caliber I can comfortably handle in a self defense gun without agonizing pain is a .380.But that of course depends on the gun and the size and weight of the gun.In a 9mm,firing a Glock 17-19 and Beretta 92 FS is very tolerable,but firing a 9mm in say a Kel-Tec PF9,P11,and LC9 is torture.The smallest pocket 9mms I can tolerate for self defense and not during a 100 round range session is the Beretta Nano,and Glock 26.In a .380,the Ruger LCP and Kel-Tec P3AT were agonizing,but the S&W Bodyguard was tolerable,the best ones that were very manageable and comfortable to shoot were the Bersa .380,Walther PPK/S,and Beretta 84F.
I also have tried .38SPL revolvers.S&W Chief's Special snubby was the best,the Taurus 85 was kinda tolerable,but a bit painful,but the Ruger LCR,OUCH!
I know there are still many compact and concealable pistols for concealed carry I have yet to try that may be better than ones I have tried.And these were all fired using standard pressure non +P FMJ and JHP ammo.
The last large caliber I fired in a concealable size was a Glock 30 and it almost jumped out of my hands.Even the full framed Glock 21 was not very pleasant to shoot.A friend has told me I should try a 1911 so I may try one as I have never fired a 1911 before,nor am I very familiar with them.
I do work out to try strengthening my wrists,and it does help.
Anyone else physically limited?Any advice would be gladly taken.
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Old 11-01-2013, 12:29 AM   #2
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You can only do the best that you can do. Use the largest caliber that you can comfortably handle and shoot good patterns with. After all, a .22 revolver is better than no gun at all.

There are numerous devices that you can get on the market to increase wrist and hand strength. You can even buy a firm rubber ball and squeeze it while walking, watching t.v., etc.

Best wishes and good luck.
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Old 11-01-2013, 12:37 AM   #3
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For someone with the situation you have described I would recommend the Glock 19 Mid-Size Pistol. Today although the 9mm is not my prefered cal. and only a personal issue. With the excellent new defense rounds out there today like Hornady Critical Defense and others like Gold Dot they are very effective. And they do not produce any excessive amount of recoil which is an excellent issue in your case due to the effective powders and loads, the performance is in the bullet and the weight of the Glock Model 19 which dampen the recoil compared to the very small compacts. I know the Model 19s are not as small as one would like but you have to weigh your objective for the best selection. I also carry a P-380 Kahr in hot weather because it conceals very well and especially in an ankle holster when wearing T-Shirts and light pants. Certainly not my choice of calibers but better to have it on me than in my truck glove box when I might need it! I do carry Hornady Critical Defense in it at the present and Federal Hydra-Shocks in it prior. Gold Dot is also a good choice for defense in any caliber. Other times I carry a Glock 27 40 Cal and a Rock River Arms 1911 4.5 in. Commando (Later known as the Pro Carry Model).
Good luck on your selection and keep us informed, pictures and Range Report!

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Old 11-01-2013, 12:47 AM   #4
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This is why I usually do g recommend just one gun as a "one size fits all". Everyone has their own limitations, strengths in shat they shoot best, and personal preferences along with desired roles for the pistol. Sounds like you've fond some good comparison shopping and have already compiled a good list of pistols that are and aren't a good fit for you.
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Old 11-01-2013, 12:49 AM   #5
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I have followed civilian armed conflicts for over 50 years. I can not recall one where a .500 Magnum would have changed the out come. The little pocket pistols have protected civilians for centuries. A carry gun for a civilian is for his or hers personal protection. You are not a police officer who must respond to armed conflicts. The .380 should serve you well.
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:25 AM   #6
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Perhaps the LC 380 would work well for you?
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:40 AM   #7
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Try a FNS 9 they have a very stout recoil spring. Or a 1911 in 9mm would be good as you can change the recoil springs to preference and weight of solid steel helps. Also I recommend any H&K. They were the first to develop the dual recoil spring and my USP has little felt recoil compared to some other pistols.
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Old 11-01-2013, 03:47 AM   #8
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I think you have tried a lot of good caliber a and weapons. I generally stay between 9, 40, and 45. I'm not limited though. You're on the right track a 9mm 1911 is a great shooter(38 is also an awesome 1911 caliber). The M&P line in 9mm is one of the most comfortable as well as the easiest to shoot IMO. But if that doesn't suite you your gonna have to adjust or find another way to defend yourself.

Caliber isn't as important as shot placement. The argument between lethal vs incapacitation is a different one as well(why I prefer 45).

I've been going to a few completions lately and seen people shoot different guns with little success and then say it's the gun or some excuse. Almost all modern guns and calibers are good. Some are better but it's mostly preference. If you don't shoot it well or you don't like it the problem is YOU not the weapon.

Good luck
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Old 11-01-2013, 05:09 AM   #9
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Check out a CZ83.

.32 caliber.

You'll thank me later...
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:24 AM   #10
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I recommend going to and click on "Compare Handguns" up near the top. You can search by basically whatever parameters you want. If I were you, I'd try to use that site to find a heavier 9mm that you consider concealable.

I agree that a 1911 in 9mm is probably going to be your best bet in terms of eating up the recoil.

I also agree, that any caliber that you can control and shoot accurately, and will have on you, is good.
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