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Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by MattyT, Feb 1, 2013.
In your opinion, what is the most underrated/underestimated caliber for self defense/carry and why?
Not fully understanding your question,
I would rate the lowly .38 Special as the most under rated / under estimated round.
The .25 auto. Why? 2 reasons.
First, it SHOULD be "underrated". Small, light bullet without a lot of power behind it.
Second- having said that, a well made .25 auto WORKS. The cartridge feeds much more reliably thru an auto than a .22 rimfire. They are small enough to be carried inconspicuosly.
Would it be my FIRST choice for a defensive arm? Oh HELL no!
Would I like to get SHOT with one? Again- Oh HELL no!
I recently have a sparked interest in .22 mag. Everything I've read leads me to believe its a very fun round. On top of that, I saw last week that Ruger came out with a .22 mag LCR that looks pretty sweet. I know they make defense loads now (gold dot, hornady, etc.) and I was curious if anybody would trust their lives to a .22 mag revolver or any other "under the radar" rounds that aren't .357 mag or .45 acp. I usually use my handguns for hunting sidearms as protection but also rely on them for HD.
Don't forget,it's not the size of the bullet but where you place it.
when asking that question, you have to look to the person being asked. if a person feels only a 45 acp is the acceptable caliber to carry, then they would have you to believe anything smaller is underrated and unacceptable.
i will counter with this, any firearm irregardless of caliber is much better than nothing. personally i don't want to be shot with any caliber!
I'll nominate the 9 mm Luger. The Rodney Dangerfield of handgun cartridges.
Your probably thinking, "9mm? Seriously? Everyone has at least one 9 mm."
To which I say, "You're right. But how many of those people actually see it as a good SD cartridge?"
We always hear the 9 mm recommended for any number of reasons, but it's always because:
Ammo is plentiful & easy to find.
Recoil is more manageable.
Nearly everything has been chambered for it at one time or another...and so forth.
But how often does anyone ever see it recommended for it's Self Defense capability. Hell, whole new cartridges have been invented just to avoid using it. (.40S&W & 10 mm anyone?) If that's not a snub, I don't know what is.
I maintain that the 9 mm's reputation for a lack of stopping power and over-penetration came about due to the use of FMJ ammo. I feel comfortable in my belief that with properly designed 9 mm HP SD ammo, it will work just fine. Certainly no worse than .38 special which has not too terribly different performance properties, but without all the baggage.
I don't carry a 9 mm, for the simple reason that I don't have a "carry" type gun for it. This may change at some point.
That question is too broad to answer. I read that the Mossad used .22 short for close quarters wet work, and used them to good effect. Two shooters in direct contact with the victim and emptying full mags did the work and people in the next room would not hear the action.
Most small calibers are underated because they are under-powered for practical self defense work. It doesn't mean that they can't be deadly. In self defense, you might deliver a wound that would cause death in ten minutes, but your opponent may only need five minutes to kill you.
Most experts suggest, that for self defense, that you use a caliber that will cause a very rapid drop in blood pressure of your attacker; something that opens big, nasty holes in vital parts.
My wife has been telling me that for years.
All good answers!
For me it would have to be the 22lr and 25acp. With the right gun any round can be either worthless or useful.
A good shooter (gun not person) with the right ammo for cycling reliability and you've got a recipe for something that can, has, and will continue to kill, thwart, and defend when called upon to do so.
There are too many variables to play what ifs. All I can say is my 22s put a hole in targets just the same as my nines and 45s. They do so as accurately and even quicker (due to lessened recoil) than the aforementioned bigger brothers.
Say what ya will, but until you've been in a gun fight where the guy shooting you had a 22 and you something else, where there were no other parties involved and it was do or die, and you came out on top, the 22lr is just as good a round for self defense than you're beloved 9mm, 40sw, & 45acps. Better than, I'd argue.
i agree with the 9mm being an under-rated round. i've had people tell me the 9 is "a p*ssy round" then praise the .357 mag in the same breath....they don't realize the bullet is the same size. and with the right loading, travelling at similar speeds.
I remember studying some cartridges and being astounded at the power of the 7.62 x 25mm Tokarev cartridge. This .30 may have a relatively small and light bullet but damn if the fast rounds don't have an amazing amount of power. I think it was the higest power to weight ratio. An underrated round for sure especially if you need silver-bullets for Werewolf Zombies. And tho I'm not a fan of Ruskie Milsurp, and even think it's an ugly gun, the Soviet TT-33, "The Russian 1911," was a decent enough gun...
Then there was the .32 H&R Magnum -- not the worst tradeoff for an extra round, and if you look at the .327 Federal Magnum I am a little surprised it hasn't grown exponentially in the burgeoning CCW market.
I own handguns in most of the smaller calibers and i wouldnt feel too undergunned carrying any of them. But i prefer 9mm and .45 for my primary carry cartridges. My subcal pistols serve as BUG's, Church guns, HOT as hell day guns, and fun all around plinkers.
Ed Cantrill famous lawman who shot 20 combatants during his career. Ed was an expert with any firearm and very deadly. Ed was a Highway Patrol officer and Town tamer in the West.
I knew Ed in the 1970s when he was a Livestock Detective in the "Hole In the Wall" country. Ed carried a .38 Mdl. 10 on his belt. It was the Mdl. 10 he used in the fast draw that killed Mike Rosa.
Not well known was his favorite weapons. Ed carried a pair of 4" Mdl. 48 S&W .22 Mags in a custom shoulder rig. He told me many times they were deadly weapons. Being on horse back much of the time 100 rounds of .22 Mag. was easy on his pony.
He was a man hunter. Ed never seemed to have much use for the big bore handguns. I just kept my ole 1911 covered up during our visits.
I was reading Elmer Keith's bio, "Hell I was there." A lawman was carrying the new .38 Special and shot a robber 5 times while getting shot himself. The robber eventually died from his wounds.
Elmer told him to use a heavier round to put the man down w one shot. This lawman did not have the skill base of Ed Cantrill. (Not many do) and was killed in his next gunfight.
I'm happy about the resurgence of the 22mag - I own a pair of derringers in the caliber - but I do wonder about Elmer's advice when I carry light.
Yet, a LCP in pocket is still better than the 45 left at home.
I have several different caliber handguns, if it came down to which one I'd choose if I could only have one, it would have to be a .357 mag. revolver. Both caliber & platform are time-proven performers. There are a lot of sexier rounds & guns out there but if SHTF, I'll defininately be packin' a .357 mag. revolver somehow, someway! The .38 spl. (ugly sister/gets no respect) packs plenty o' punch and can also be shot from a .357.
I like the .38 Super Auto. Seems like not many others know about it.
If you consider that I carry my LCR 22mag in my pocket about everywhere I go...then, yes... I guess I trust my life to it. I really love the little pistol and loaded with "critical defense" rounds...it's no slouch!!