Too Large and Too Small?

Discussion in 'Concealed Carrying & Personal Protection' started by firearmy, May 17, 2007.

  1. firearmy

    firearmy New Member

    What would you consider too large for ccw and what is too small?
  2. tom98915

    tom98915 New Member

    Too large is what you cannot conceal in a practical and comfortable manner. Too small? Anything smaller than you can carry is too small. The army did a lot of tests on small vs large caliber ammo. Obviously the .45 won due to its bullet weight, size and ability to knock down. But that's my opinion. One thing that's most important regardless of size - shot placement.

    A few years back a long time friend of mine who was a military policeman had an ordeal with just that. He went to pick up a deserter at a bar who was a great big Samoan guy (he said this guy was around 300lbs) that pulled a knife on him. The bar owner shot the guy 6 times in the chest with a .38 revolver and the guy did NOT go down. My friend pulled out his .45 auto and dropped the guy in his tracks with one shot.

    Comments anyone?
    Last edited: May 17, 2007

  3. Moe M.

    Moe M. New Member

    First, too large is anything that you end up leaving at home because it's a pain in the butt to carry for any reason.

    Second, too small is any gun with a power level under .38 Special.

    PS- I have never seen anyone take more than two hits center mass from a .38 spec. that didn't go down, I have seen a MA. State Trooper use all eighteen rounds of .38 spec.'s that he was carrying about twenty years ago on a 360 lb. man, the guy went down after the last shot, none of the hits were to the heart or lungs, his fat ate most of them.
    The shots were traded at about 20 or so feet distance from each shooter, if you are going to carry, you need to learn to hit what you aim at.
    Probabley the best known gunfighter of American history was Bill Hickock, who gave this advice, don't worry about what the other guy is doing, "take diliberate aim, and take time to shoot, in a hurry".

    I have a lot of favorites, the 1911's, mod. 19 S&W, I have a custom mod. 59 that is thirty years old, had thousands of rounds thru and has never failed me, a five shot mod.60 3" in .357mag that's a bear, my carry gun is a SS 642 airweight .38 spec. it's light enough and small enough to carry all day long, and it's powerfull enough to get most jobs done, if I do my part, and it's easy to care for.
  4. Enduro Guy

    Enduro Guy New Member

    I CCW a Kel Tec P-32 (32 ACP) with a laser sight and a ten round magazine. I wouldn't go any smaller if I were you. It's a better back up gun than it is a primary, but it is so easy to conceal and is very, very reliable. I do have a S&W 357 Magnum that I carry when the conditions are right for it. But damn, it's like carrying around a boat anchor.

    Bottom line, I'd rather have a 32 in a battle with a BG than a 357 at home.
  5. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    Too many variables to give you a definite answer on this one TS.

    How big is your frame? How big are your hands? What is your level of training? What is your comfort level with handguns? Where do you live and what clothing do you wear regularly during the times when you would be carrying?

    A .32 isn't going to do you much good against a guy dressed in long johns, three shirts and a parka because it's 18 below in Minnesota.

    A .45 isn't going to do you much good if you can't carry it because it's pulling your shorts down around your knees while walking the beaches in Miami.

  6. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

    Yep you're gonna look real odd on the verge of a heat stroke just cause you have to run around with your "Dirty Harry Special" in a southwest summer wearing your coat , and digging through your pockets for your Keltec in winter with bullets flying everywhere isn't a good idea either .
  7. h&k bigdaddydieseldan

    h&k bigdaddydieseldan New Member

    Well said JD there is just to many damn variables that come into play :eek::eek:
  8. G21.45

    G21.45 New Member

    :) There are guidelines for too big: Most people won't CCW a handgun with a 6" barrel. As far as caliber goes? Today, it can be anything from 22 lr. to 10mm. (And, often is!) Most people, also, start to become uncomfortable when carrying more than 2 1/2#'s of metal (40 oz) on one side of their belts.

    Is there any such thing as too small? No, not when it's a backup piece. You can successfully defend yourself at an ATM with a 22 caliber derringer. (However, if you need to pull it then you're, also, going to have to use it quickly before your assailant moves out of range in order to reengage!) What you aren't going to do with a mouse gun is, something like, stop a bank robbery or successfully engage multiple assailants. My own rule-of-thumb for, a 'small handgun' is when a knife suddenly appears to be more useful.

    Myself? I frequently carry a 32 acp semiautomatic. Can it be used effectively? You bet it can; but, primarily on one individual who's at or inside 12 yards. Whatever handgun you carry you should be able to use it to consistently place a minimum of 5 rounds into a 6" circle at 21 feet. If you can't do this then, maybe, you need to be carrying a different gun or else hiring a bodyguard. ;)
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2008
  9. user4

    user4 New Member

    Much depends on YOU. I always wear shorts so If I plan on sticking a gun down there, I have to worry about them falling to the ground and giving John Q. Public a thrill. Obviously, I have to come up with more creative means to carry. Shoulder holsters are great for nearly any size of weapon you plan to carry.

    If your question pertained to the appropriate CALIBER of weapon to carry concealed, then I'd say 9mm or .38 is the lowest you go. .380 autos are a waste IMO. Does anyone own a .380 that DOESN'T jam at some point. Not worth the risk.
  10. G21.45

    G21.45 New Member

    :confused: What kind of 380 auto are you shooting?

    My German-made Walther PPK-S has never jammed in more than 30 years of use. The big thing I don't like about 9mm kurz pistols is that they are all blowback operated and, for their size and caliber, tend to kick like a mule!

    My other principal objection to 380 caliber and under handgun cartridges is their use severely restricts the distance at which you can effectively engage a target; but, let's face it, 5 or 6 rounds to the head is going to stop anyone; and, inside 10 yards, you should be able to do that with your mouse gun - Right!

    (This is the main reason, 'Why' I carry a 32 acp Beretta, 'Alley Cat' as a BUG with its pronounced wide backstrap rather than the more prestigious - but also much narrower framed - Seecamp. That nice wide backstrap on the Beretta enables me to more accurately place my shots over distance! As a matter of fact I'm able to transition from a full-size Glock to a much smaller, 'Tom Cat' without so much as blinking. My first shots will NOT be off; and, it's all because of Beretta's wide backstrap.)
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  11. teknoid

    teknoid New Member

    In a word, yes. Two actually. The Bernardelli is a 1960's vintage, and has been in the family for twenty years. Oddly enough, it has never jammed in thousands of rounds. The Bersa is less tested, but so far, no jams or failures.

    The only jams I've had were in a springer 1911 (turned out to be a defective mag), and a PA-63 (worn out mag). Obviously, neither is a .380. I usually carry a revolver as primary, but wouldn't hesitate to trust either .380 BUG.

    As for the OP, I usually suggest carrying as much gun as is comfortable. Otherwise, it ends up staying at home. It won't do much good, in that situation.
  12. PRM

    PRM New Member

    Too large - too small

    Good posts on this one. Personally, if I have to use a gun in self defense, I figure it will be close up and missing won't be an issue. I would not count on one shot to stop the threat, regardless of calibre. I have generally found smaller guns are better for ccw in warmer weather. Larger ones carry well in colder weather with bigger garments (coats).

    Reminds me of a story a sheriff once told about attending a social function armed with his pistol. A lady asked him if "he was expecting trouble?" "No maam," he replied, "If I was expecting trouble I would have brought my rifle"

    The best gun is the one you have with you.
  13. Durendal

    Durendal New Member

    I was carrying a colt 1911 since 1987 when I received my permit till two years ago when my wife gave me a sig P220 for Christmas. I live in Florida and sure it gets hot here but no problem with a big gun. I’m 5’10”, 175lbs and cover up with a light weight button down shirt left unbutton. I use a Galco Miami Classic shoulder holster. I’ve never had a problem as far as concealing, even when I take the family to Disney. But please, don’t tell anyone at Disney you are carrying, they don’t like it.
  14. pioneer461

    pioneer461 New Member

    That depends on you. What works best for anyone else, won't necessarily work best for you. Go to a well stocked gun shop, or gun show and see which one strikes your fancy. Caliber wise, my personal minimum caliber is 9mm. There are many small handguns on the market these days which are large caliber.

    I personally have no problem carrying a full size .45 acp, but do not feel undergunned with a light weight snubby .38 with good ammo in my right front pocket.

    Try some on, and if you can take 'em for a test drive.
  15. gorknoids

    gorknoids New Member

    My AMT Backup will jam if I have a slack wrist, like any other auto-loader will. Once every 200-250 rounds, but I haven't polished the feed ramp in quite a while.

    But on this theme, does anyone have a website which explains CC options and equipment examples?
  16. Texanbybirth

    Texanbybirth New Member

    Shot placement is important no matter what round you are using. It is more important with small rounds though. A guy I knew from high school recently took a .45 to the chest. The bullet deflected off of his sternum and took out most of his liver. He called the front office of the high school where he was a coach and started the lock down and got help. He is coaching at Baylor University now. The BG is in jail and I hope he rots there.
  17. Mark F

    Mark F Active Member Supporter

    Any gun left behind must be TOO BIG...

    Any gun in your hand when NEEDED is probably perfect.

    Any gun you can't hit with may be useless...

    Sometimes I carry a Makarov 380, other times I carry a CZ 83 380, many times I carry a CZ 75B 40 S&W. It's not so much WHAT you carry, but the fact that you should ALWAYS carry... and get proficient with all carry guns.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
  18. Mark F

    Mark F Active Member Supporter

    +10 for you. I have several 380's. While I'm not 100% confident in the 380 caliber in general, they do carry comfortably. My CZ 83 (380 caliber) has been 100% reliable regardless of brand and type of ammo. It is a 12+1 capacity and its deadly accurate. My Russian Makarov (also 380) is an 8+1 and it's been 100% reliable for over 22 years now.

    As carry guns go, these are the ONLY TWO 380's I totally trust with my life... the rest are un-reliable for FTF, FTE, and you'll end up DOA.
  19. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

    My carry gun is 10 yr. old FEG PMK380. It's a Walther clone and can produce 2-4" groups at 15 yds (if you can see the sights!) It only jams with Hornady truncated cone bullets - so I don't use them. It has never failed to feed or eject with 95gr. Speer GDHP ammo. As far as stopping power, the data says that 70gr. Glaser Blue or Cor-Bon 90gr. HP offer 75% and 70% one-shot stops,respectrively. Considering the magazine holds 8 rds, I figure I have 4 opportunities to get it right. I would rather carry a .380 and not know it's there, than carry a 2lb piece of steel for a modest 10 -20% gain in one-shot stopping power.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2008
  20. h8dirt

    h8dirt New Member

    I have a Walther PPK/S. IMHO it is a POS. Jammed hard after 75 rounds of stock harball ammo and had to be sent back to S&W for repair. It took me three weeks to talk to a person and another 4 to get it fixed. Crummy pistol; crummy service and support. Anyone thinking about a Walther should get their head examined -- too many good options.