And why not carry smaller calibers?

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by cluznar, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. cluznar

    cluznar New Member

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    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.
     
  2. MoHawk

    MoHawk New Member

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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..."
     

  3. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

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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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  4. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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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.
     
  5. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

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    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
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  6. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     
  7. robertusa123

    robertusa123 New Member

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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
     
  8. DeltaF

    DeltaF New Member

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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.
     
  9. blackxpress

    blackxpress Member

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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.
     
  10. duddie10

    duddie10 New Member

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    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 :)
     
  11. Donn

    Donn Active Member

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    It's only getting up to 27 here today.
     
  12. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    Carry what ever you feel comfortable with. The small caliber handguns do tremendous damage bouncing around inside the victim and not exiting. Most of the choices in carry guns is driven by firearms marketing. I have never heard of civilian being disadvantaged by the caliber of the carry weapon. :confused:
     
  13. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    I carry a .45 because it's what the classic 1911 is chambered in, that's what I wanted, and so that's what I bought. I've carried a 22lr as a woods gun, and a k frame .357 as my daily carry also.

    I am considering a smaller gun. When I got the dog my son and I adopted, the guy that runs the rescue let me shoot his M&P9c. I freaking LOVED it. I worry about my finger hitting that mag release though. The middle finger of my dominant hand was resting right on top of it.

    My dear old mom carries a JA22 and likes it. She had to put the first hundred rounds or so through it with -2 in the mag to break it in, but since then it's run perfect. She calls it her "get to the truck" gun. Her truck gun is an M&P40. I've been considering the JA22.

    Fact is, I think something like over 80% of BGs shot in self defense survive. And they RARELY ever continue the fight in the face of loud noises. Actually, watch any surveillance video of one getting lit up by an LAC, and it's really quite hilarious how fast they try to get away from anyone who stands up for themselves.

    My opinion is that larger calibers just aren't necessary for SD guns. I carry what I carry because the gun I wanted was chambered for it. I have no desire to kill anyone again.
     
  14. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    "Liked......"
    Couldn't be said any truer.
     
  15. HOSSFLY

    HOSSFLY New Member

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    Yup-
    Hell I got tired of never finding any BG's to shoot with my big heavy 45's so I just started slipping my little pussified kel-tec 380 into my back pocket :p
     
  16. G30USMC

    G30USMC Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Go big or go home :D
     
  17. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    Over the many decades of hunting big game I have used many handgun calibers. Back 40 years ago the "Wonder" nines were the way to go. I was guiding an Antelope hunter from Pennsylvania. The hunter wounded an Antelope and discovered he had lost his ammo box.
    My personal carry weapon at the time was a S&W Mdl. 39 9MM. I was able to approach the "Goat" with in 15 yards. I had a magazine of super magic 9MM hollow points. It took 7 well aimed shots to put the animal down. The facts are a .22 Mag. will kill a pissed off Mtn. Lion with one round. I really think all this caliber dispute over CC weapons is based more on drama than experience.:)
     
  18. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    Hollowpoints shouldnt be used on animals. They are much tougher than humans. I can dig up youtubes of 45-70 hp disintigrating on a hog shoulder if your interested... no one disputes the 45-70 can and has killed plenty of american buffalo.

    It boils down to using the right bullet for the job at hand.

    Hollow points arent good for anything but defense against goblins.

    I carry a 380 all the time because its small discrete and allows me to never violate the prime rule of self defense. I prefer a good 45 i sometimes also carry a 9mm when the situation allows.
     
  19. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If I think I might run into a mountain lion when hiking or jeeping, the 357 is loaded with 158 grain semi jacketed soft points. I use them in the rifle too.
     
  20. jarrodsquito

    jarrodsquito New Member

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    There is no reason to not carry a smaller caliber

    There really is no reason with quality ammunition to not carry a smaller caliber but there actually are several reasons you should.

    First lets talk about the mythical powers of the .45ACP. It has a little under 10% increase in power vs a 9mm. It was developed because in warfare it is generally accepted that hollow points are "illegal." The U.S. is not a member of the Hague Convention and has never agreed to it but has followed it. The slower traveling .45 ACP has less chance of going all the way through the threat and transfers most of its energy to the threat.

    With modern defensive ammunition the bullets expand and are more effective than FMJ. A 9mm Defensive round is far superior to a .45 FMJ. Guys who love the .45 ACP will defend it to the bitter end. They also will carry a less effective bullet (.45 FMJ) because their 1911 that they cant even think could be inferior to a striker fired gun will jam if they feed defensive ammunition.

    A smaller caliber defensive round can give you the ability to shoot faster and more accurately with an even greater effect to the target. You have less recoil to manage and can carry a smaller lighter pistol.