Good self defense caliber?

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by ravenslay3r, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. ravenslay3r

    ravenslay3r New Member

    27
    0
    0
    Looking to buy my first gun. Want it primarily for home-defense, and possibly CCW in the future, but will also be doing alot of range/target shooting initially.

    I was originally leaning towards a larger caliber for the stopping power, but the guy at the shop made the point 9mm is far more economic.

    So what caliber splits the difference? Something thats still kind of cheap, but will stop an attacker with fewer hits?
     
  2. Duck

    Duck New Member

    140
    0
    0
    Is .45 ammo really that expensive? I've never owned a 9mm or a .45 so I've never really paid attention. I know the .40 is expensive to shoot, but I thought the .45 wasn't bad.
     

  3. ravenslay3r

    ravenslay3r New Member

    27
    0
    0
    I took a quick look through wal-mart and it seemed 9mm was around $12.50 a box and most others started around $18-30 a box.

    However not all boxes were clearly marked with a qty, and within each caliber there seemed to be many different kinds of rounds, with a large price variation so it was hard to get a good comparison.
     
  4. Duck

    Duck New Member

    140
    0
    0
    Well, your best bet is to shoot a bunch of them to see which one you like the best. For most calibers, the cost of ammo should be very low on your list of priorities for picking a weapon. It's different if you're talking about something exotic, but for standard calibers pick what you like and what fits you.
     
  5. tekarra

    tekarra New Member

    112
    0
    0
    Do you have an Academy store nearby?
    I buy Blazer aluminum case 9mm form them at slightly under $7 a box. Have never had a problem.
     
  6. Chuck

    Chuck New Member

    286
    0
    0
    When it comes to the security of yourself and your family and property, does a few bucks matter? Get the .45 if you plan to carry it. As for home defense, you can't beat a 12 guage shotgun with Number 6 shot. The shot is big enough to make a difference without killing the neighbors too.
     
  7. ravenslay3r

    ravenslay3r New Member

    27
    0
    0
    Thanks

    Good points. Thanks for the comments!
     
  8. ravenslay3r

    ravenslay3r New Member

    27
    0
    0
    It's all a balancing act!

    Idealistically, if the choice becomes one of "dead or alive" than money should be no object. Realistically however:

    Technically speaking, it's just me; no family or property in the [current] equation. And there is a sliding scale of "cheap guns, no guns, or no food".

    Most concrete, decisive advise i've gotten so far, maybe I should take it..

    In all seriousness, is this still true in a condo complex when the neighbors are a standard 4-inch interior wall away? I may have to give this consideration.
     
  9. Catfish

    Catfish New Member

    514
    0
    0
    Cheap don`t mean much if your dead. I`m a wheel gun fan and my choice for ccw is the .44 mag., but I would carry nothing smaller than a .357. In semi auto I would never carry a 9mm, .40 S&W is the bear min. and a .45 auto would be better. The smaller cal`s. will kill people, but if you trying to stop a big guy that is on dope it won`t stop him. Big heavy bullets even if at lower velosities, make better stoppers than smaller faster bullets. Even if they don`t kill the guy he`ll stop and if nessary you`ll have time for a secound or third shot.
     
  10. Jay

    Jay New Member

    736
    0
    0
    Don't fall prey to the caliber wars. Don't forget that firearms are one of the most subjective topics around. Would you buy a pair of shoes just because several other folks suggested that particular pair?

    Go to gun shops, gun shows, local ranges, and get your hands on as many guns as you can. Several of them should feel pretty good in your hands. I'm talking about just comfort. A few of them will really feel "just right". Most likely, that manufacturer will make different calibers in a similar frame. If the handgun doesn't "feel right", you'll never shoot it enough to become proficient with it. If you're not proficient with it, you might as well have a baseball bat.

    Just my opinion, and worth at best, 2 cents. :rolleyes:
     
  11. Chuck

    Chuck New Member

    286
    0
    0
    Baseball bats work well too. :D
     
  12. Dgunsmith

    Dgunsmith New Member

    426
    0
    0
    Caliber:

    Take a hint from law enforcement:

    All these used Glock 9's are from PD trade-ins going to 40 S&W.
    9mm w/ 124 Gold Dot HP is a killer.

    40S&W is better, meets FBI standards formulated after famous Miami shootout.

    45acp IS the bench mark to which all pistol rounds are compared.

    In Federal LE : 40 S&W is king except Secret Service is 357SIG.
    Texas DPS went from 45acp to 357SIG and has had Great Results.
    California CHP went from 9 to 40 S&W and has had great results.

    But remember, as Clint Smith says @ Thrunder Ranch...IF you brought a pistol to a gun fight...you didn't plan well !
    Enter the 12GA shotgun or Urbine Carbine in 223.

    Econmoics have a consideration....shoot some and see what feels good in the hand and is controllable. Learn to reload if you start to shoot a bunch and save more on ammo. Have a secure way to store your guns.

    Test anything you choose in advance with quality personal defense ammo...FMJ hard ball is suitable for practice only. In 9 or 40 it may over penetrate and may bounce on hard surfaces. What ever cal you choose, load it with defense ammo like local police use....helps in court later.

    Take some instruction at a local NRA gun club is a good starting point !:D
     
  13. Dustoff

    Dustoff New Member

    14
    0
    0
    Type of ammo vs caliber

    What everyone has said here is true. Be sure to take in to consideration the type of ammo appropriate for ccw/home defense. Carry something fragable or at least expandable, like Horady T.A.P. or Extreme Shock. NOT round nose FMJ-they will penetrate walls (and the human body). A slow, heavy projectile is better. If you have little handgun experience, try to rent different calibers and weapons to guage your tolerance to recoil. Most important: After you make your purchase-Practice, Practice, Practice.
     
  14. Duck

    Duck New Member

    140
    0
    0
    The thin walls may not completely stop a shotgun round, but it will slow it down a lot more than it would a pistol round (the exception being frangible rounds). The more I read about your situation, the more I'm leaning towards the shotgun. I've got a 20ga Remington sitting right beside my bed. I figure if someone breaks into my house at night, the shotgun will be more effective and I don't even have to worry about over-penetration. The first round is size 8 shot and the other two are slugs. I've thought about moving up to size 4 shot for the first one, but the idea of packing some scumbag's chest full of birdshot just does something for me.
     
  15. ravenslay3r

    ravenslay3r New Member

    27
    0
    0
    Thanks All

    Hey all, Just wanted to say thanks for all the advice. I'm still shopping around and trying to decide what I like, but all your comments have been very helpful!

    :)
     
  16. perc71

    perc71 New Member

    3
    0
    0
    When it comes to home defense, go with the handgun that you are comfortable with. Your comfort with your weapon will be the decisive factor in a life and death situation because it simply enhances your accuracy. Caliber of a pistol is irrelevant if you can't hit your target. Like they always say " A hit from a .22 is a heck of a lot better than a miss from a magnum .44"
    :)
     
  17. PRM

    PRM New Member

    69
    0
    0
    One Shot Stops

    Don't get caught up in movie hype - there are few one shot stops with hand guns. We see actors picked up and hurled backwards in the movies; physics will tell you, if the weapon is that powerful, the person who fired the shot will also be hurled backwards.

    Rifle cartridges have a lot of velocity and create secondary wound channels. This equates to lot of damage.

    Handgun cartridges do not have that velocity. Basically you are punching holes. Unless you hit a major bone or the central nervous system, the fight goes on until one or the other bleeds out. Yes, different people will react to the noise and injury in different ways. But, a determined individual or one under the influence of alcohol or drugs can and will in some cases continue the fight.

    You will have to get hits and continue to do so until the threat stops. If your first couple of rounds center mass are not doing the job - change aiming points; they could be wearing body armor. We all like to shoot targets on the range that have one big hole. We have pride in our skill, but on the street is that really practical. If the first round had no effect, how much is the second going in the same place.

    Last, attitude is your edge. You may get hurt, this don't mean you are out or are not going to survive. You will do what you train to do. Part of that is mental preparation. The internalized will to continue until its over.
     
  18. ravenslay3r

    ravenslay3r New Member

    27
    0
    0
    .40 S&W for me!

    I finally choose as Beretta PX4-Storm in .40S&W!

    This gun holds 14+1 and can be extended to 17+1.

    I figure thats almost as much punch as a .45, but with the hi-cap of a large 9mm! I also think this round will be a little more manageable than the .45 in terms of $$$, weight, recoil etc.

    Haven't shot yet, but it feels comfy in my hands. It's a touch heavy fully loaded, but then thats ALOT of lead, I'll get used to it.

    The cartridges are certainly intimidating enough, I felt a bit like Bruce Willis in "last man standing" loading those mags. :D
     
  19. henryk

    henryk New Member

    72
    0
    0
    I was just talking about the Beretta Storm Sub-Compact in .40 S & W which will be out January or February 08. I am hoping it will be smaller or at least close in size to the Glock G27. If it is, I will buy one on the spot. The large frame PX-4 Storm is too big for me for CCW purposes as is the Glock G22 that I use for home security. Anyway, I like the .40 S & W as a minimum for CCW. Sure beats my little .380 ACP.

    Good luck with your new .40 S & W Storm. I know you'll like it. :)
     
  20. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Active Member

    4,077
    4
    38
    Self defendr cartridge

    Altho bullets from today's modern ammo has came a long way thus making the smaller calibers more effectine(lethal),The simple fact of the matter is the bigger bullet is,the more knockdown power it'll have. I like .357 or .44 5 shot wheelguns due to the fact that they are extremely simple to operate. As far as a semiauto,.45 acp or .40 s&w in that order.