Sub-compact/compact CCW Caliber choice

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by KJG67, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. .380 ACP

    1 vote(s)
  2. .38 Special

    0 vote(s)
  3. 9 mm Para

    9 vote(s)
  4. .357 Sig

    1 vote(s)
  5. .357 Mag

    2 vote(s)
  6. .40 SW

    5 vote(s)
  7. .45 ACP

    6 vote(s)
  8. Other

    1 vote(s)
  1. KJG67

    KJG67 New Member

    Ok I don't think this thread has been done before.

    This is NOT about what type of handgun you carry.
    This IS what caliber you carry in a sub-compact or compact CCW. If you don't carry sub-compact or compact CCW, then this thread may not apply directly (yes, there is no firm definition of what compact is, but lets keep it real and go by what manufacturers classify their products by).

    Let's make some assumptions/limitations here about a few things.
    • Shot placement is always key, more so than caliber.
    • You are limited to 10 round magazines.
    • For CCW, you will be using JHP.
    • Generally smaller caliber will give you more rounds to carry than larger rounds, but we are talking about the difference of around 4 rounds (6 in large cal; 10 in smaller cal). This can mean a difference of life or death, especially with multiple BGs.
    • Larger calibers make larger holes.
    • Smaller caliber has less recoil and likely better accuracy by an average shooter, as larger caliber will have more recoil and potentially less accurate.

    So if my guidlines above are accurate, what do you carry with the above assumptions/limitations in sub-compact or compact CCW? Do you go with smaller caliber and more rounds, or larger caliber and less rounds? (these are general statements, as there are double-stack .45 ACPs out there in compact).

    Please feel free to correct anything I'm incorrect about ;)
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  2. SigArmored

    SigArmored New Member

    I'm carrying the PX4 storm subcompact. With both Winchester PDX1 and Ranger bonded 40. 10rnd mags.

  3. hardluk1

    hardluk1 Active Member

    I carry as a go to work pistol a small 16oz 9mm with one extra magin the pocket. I also iwb a compact 9 or 40sw. . But i have a 380 micro for when only smaller is needed.
  4. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    that chart has been posted numerous times.

    people arent analgous to ballistic gelatin, even in the most generous of terms. human tissue are much much more tough than a hunk of jello. internal organs are very resilient and can withstand an amazing amount of damage. the only part of that graphic is the last little bit right before the 12" mark where the hole is the thinest. thats a permanent wound channel.

    most handguns with the exception of things like 10mm and 357magnum do not generate enough speed for the temporary cavity (the big gaping hole in the begining of the graphic) to play any real role in a self defense shooting.

    think of it like you have a bowl of water and you punch down in it hard then compare it to taking you foot and stomping it hard. a hand gun is like your fist. its going to displace a little water but not do much to lower the water level. your foot with a stomp is going to make a great whopping bunch of water remove itself permanently.

    with subcompacts you lose a LOT of velocity and SD bullets already are extremely borderline for reliable expansion once they hit clothing objects in pockets or bones. compaound that difficulty they have in full size guns by slowing em down even further and you begin to see the issue of believing these ridiculous charts.

    dont put your faith in fancy graphics created to sell ideas book or bullets put more effort in to getting good at landing center mass hits with your chosen firearm.
  5. KJG67

    KJG67 New Member

    I understand completely. One of the things I have seen is the .45 ACP JHP not penetrate enough through heavy clothing. Knowing that there is never a perfect answer, and with the concern of overpenetration of FMJ, I'm just curious what's being carried and why.
  6. lbwar15

    lbwar15 New Member

    Well I can't put it any better. But I will add that smaller cal dose not mean less recoil.
    My .40 is snappier than my .45.
  7. KJG67

    KJG67 New Member

    Ok, maybe I'll just lose the graphics and just ask the question. :)
  8. kiabe1

    kiabe1 New Member

    45 hydra shock or hornady critical defense
  9. FrontierTCB

    FrontierTCB Active Member

    .40 and or .380 depending on situation.
  10. Dizzll

    Dizzll New Member

    I prefer .40 for the best blend of mass, velocity and round count. I think most agree 40 is snappier at first than others. However after hours of practice I could never fire another gun as accurate as my Glock 23. Pick a weapon you are comforatble with, then choose caliber, then practice til you are better than anything else.
    my .02
  11. freetobefree

    freetobefree New Member

    Xd 40 subcompact and XDs 45
  12. truevil1313

    truevil1313 New Member

    I choose .40 for the poll, only because that is what I am carrying today. I carry a .40 or a 9mm everyday.