Caliber sizes and Physical Limitations

Discussion in 'Concealed Carrying & Personal Protection' started by WillWork4Ammo, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. WillWork4Ammo

    WillWork4Ammo New Member

    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.:)
  2. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 New Member

    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.

  3. Sniper03

    Sniper03 Supporting Member Supporter


    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!

  4. SSGN_Doc

    SSGN_Doc Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

    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. :)
  6. Pasquanel

    Pasquanel Proud to be an American Supporter

    Perhaps the LC 380 would work well for you?
  7. rifleman77

    rifleman77 New Member

    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.
  8. j4454

    j4454 New Member

    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
  9. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

    Check out a CZ83.

    .32 caliber.

    You'll thank me later...;)
  10. JW357

    JW357 New Member

    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.
  11. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter

    Agree w/JW and others here WILL. I do understand what your dealing with. Because of degenerative Back and Shoulder injuries, I "Stepped Down" from 45 to 9MM. My wife has terrible Carpal Tunnel & very bad Arthritis and has trouble with most Autos. I saw someone mention the LC380. Both of us have shot this gun and found it reasonable to handle. Any larger gun that will eat up recoil is going to be harder to carry concealed except in winter clothes. ( I did once put a pump action 22 under my winter coat back east to "Discourage" a young man trying to steal the mirrors off my Wife's Pontiac)...
  12. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

    a 9mm 1911 has almost no recoil...
  13. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter

    Yup,..that's why I want a few...
  14. DeltaF

    DeltaF New Member

    The heavier the gun the lighter the recoil. Try to find a balance between a gun you can comfortably lift and a recoil that you can handle. It's going to be hard to fit in a CCW package, they're usually on the light side. What you need is the heaviest CCW you can comfortably carry in the smallest caliber you can find. I would check into some heavy compact 9mms. Maybe a 1911, or a glock clone with a bit more weight to it. Be sensible about it though, obviously stay away from anything with bad ergonomics/top heavy etc.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
  15. Artbrownsr

    Artbrownsr Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

    Will, several years ago I broke my right wrist on a fall to the ice, after three pins and cast for 6 months was removed I went to a pool donned a snorkel set and a float belt with a glove that enhanced the pull of water, I one handed without kicking lap after lap for 1 1/2 -2 hours a day for 3-5 days a week.
    Before the incident I was very strong in hand and wrist ( mercy type contests, NOT arm wrestling) after the incident I was very weak, after 8 Months of laps I was half my former strength, after one year I was back to my normal strength. I also was following my Orthopedic instructions and they were aware of my laps in the pool.
    Best of luck to you Will and GET STRONGER!
  16. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter

    And to add to what Delta and Art just said: work that hand out! You don't need to bear a lot of weight on your wrist. You need to make your hand make your wrist do the work.
  17. bntyhntr6975

    bntyhntr6975 New Member

    A co-worker was in a similar situation. She could handle her .380 (Walther I believe) without issue, and several full size pistols, but found her newly aquired G19 a bit too snappy for her wrists. We put a Firedragon dual action recoil spring/guide rod (very similar to what the sub compacts use) in it and it made a considerable difference. Before, 1 mag was all she could stand. After the swap, she could shoot several mags and walk away without hurting the rest of the day. Just an option thats out there.
  18. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

    It sounds to me like you are the one with the 'experience' here and you should be advising others with similar disabilities.:cool:
    I have had this come up in my class a lot as I teach many women, some elderly. You already nailed it when you said you have tried several guns and know which ones will work for you. You can't do much more than that.:)
  19. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    I am stuck with weight limitations on what I can carry (30 oz max) on my belt and not have my back giving me trouble. Anything heavier and I have to wear heavy suspenders or a shoulder rig. I have several hand guns that are just under 30 oz in 9mm or 357/38spl. I mostly carry a Sig P238 380. Light and compact enough for pocket carry but it does not beat you to death like a P3AT or LCP both of which I no longer own. Better than the Bodyguard too. It is very easy to shoot and very accurate. If you want a 9mm, look at the Sig P938 or the S&W Shield. If you want a revolver, look at the Ruger SP101. The 2.2" weighs in at 27-28 oz loaded and is very mild with 38+P.
  20. PRM

    PRM New Member

    No Other Reason Than I Just Like Em...

    I've got larger calibers and have no problem with shooting them. And, there are days on the farm when I will have either a Colt SAA .45 or .44 Special on me. But the one gun that always goes in my pocket regardless of anything else is the NAA Black Widow. Carries no harder than a pocket knife and the .22 Magnum is a nice little pocket round. Mine has the .22 LR cylinder also, which is nice for the range ($$$). The Black Widow has the larger Magnum frame in the minis. It also has a two inch heavy barrel, enhanced sights and over sized grips. At 15 yards, I can get 2-3 inch groups with this little gun.

    Bigger may be more effective - but the .22 Magnum is always with me :)


    Attached Files: