June 29, 2003, 01:59 PM
If I could find a way to conceal one and not look weird, I'd opt for a 12 gauge riot shotgun as my carry piece but that is obviously way out of the question. I've read about the true blue full size 1911 .45 cal guys who carry theirs everyday and say they can hide their gun no matter what they wear even in their thong down at South Beach. Some folks say you have to have at least a 9mm with 10 round double stack mags and two spare mags hidden somewhere on your body. Why do we all seem to want to carry cannons? My Dad, many years ago was a LEO and he went to work every day with a .38 spl Colt Police Positive and six spare rounds on his belt. I realize the world is different today and often times the BG's out gun the police but we as good guys who are legal CCW license carriers also seem hell bent on out gunning the police. How many of us can honestly say that they know someone who as a private citizen has actually been involved in a gunfight? Since I left Viet Nam 29 years ago, I don't know a citizen who has had to "break leather." Now I'm sure there are some out there that have experienced that need but that is the exception rather than the rule. When I flew in my Huey in Nam I had 50cals hanging out the windows and there were times I wish they were 20mm's or Howitzers but I had to make do.
My question: How much firepower as citizen CCW licensed people do we really need? I live in Florida and my uniform of the day is shorts and "T" shirts. When fully clothed I too feel the need to pack a cannon so I carry a Glock 33 .357 Sig, in shorts its a PPK/s .380 or a KT P11 9mm, sometimes it's a "D" frame Colt six round .38spl. After reading so many threads and magazine articles about what should or should not be an effective caliber handgun, I'm becoming paranoid about my personal weapons and Ive begun searching yard sales for an old 12 gauge snake gun, maybe then I will have the perfect carry piece. Until someone comes out with a 10 round, 12 oz. 454 or 50 cal with a 2" barrel that's accurate out to 50 yards, I guess I'll just have to make do with what I have. Sure hope that .357Sig will do the job WTSHTF or maybe I need to buy a .45cal 1911 or should I get Cor-Bons, maybe MagSaf's or should I get Gold Dots for the .357, maybe I should get 3 more mags for the Glock. Dam anybody got a 12gauge snake gun for sale? Any body want to buy a .38 or a .308 or a 9mm?
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June 29, 2003, 02:34 PM
I think everyone will concede that handguns on the whole are pitiful stoppers as compared to shotguns and rifles, so why not carry the largest one can handle and still conceal, reasonably well.
I carry a 1911 and you might ask why? Because I can. Because I am an excellent shot with it. It fires a round with a suitable performance threshold and if the bullet fails to expand it starts out at .45 diameter.
I have to dress to accomadate it, but then I would have to do that with most any handgun and I can still dress in a manner that will not look out of place just about anywhere .
The police are limited by bureacracy and budgets and liability. I don't have that problem. I am not going to be facing down the police in a confrontation, but possibly some of these well armed bg's that are running around nowadays.
Carry what you feel comfortable with, based upon the situation in which you live and have a long and hopefully uneventful life. I intend to, but I am also prepared for the possibility of not getting my wish.
June 29, 2003, 02:36 PM
Depending on what i'm wearing I carry either a 3" .38sp or a 4" .45acp, but never any extra ammo.
June 29, 2003, 02:46 PM
It's all relative.
I'd rather have a single shot .22 than no gun at all.
I'd rather have a .25 auto than a single shot .22.
I'd rather have a .32 auto than a .25 auto.
I'd rather have a 9mm than a .32.
You can go as far as you want with this. There are trade off's for concealability, weight, power, capacity, etc.
You need to decide the minimum gun that will make you comfortable on a daily basis and against the Goblins that you are likely to face.
The average guy here would feel pretty smug with a hi capacity .45 and 4 extra mags.
Is that gonna be enough when the 6 terrorists with AK's and level II body armor attack you?
What are the chances this scenario will play out?
June 29, 2003, 02:51 PM
What are the chances of that happening?
June 29, 2003, 02:56 PM
Given that it is likely that the first shot or two is going to end the matter I don't like carrying anything that hampers my ability to get lead on target. For me, the 1911 is the convergence of a few desireable traits and my ability to shoot. The 1911 comes to hand and double taps better and faster than any other pistol I have yet tried. The .45 ACP also throws as much lead per round as practical in a pistol round.
I almost wound up carrying a Glock 30 after trying it, but the pistol "squirms" in my grip and that grip is too fat for my tastes. No Da/SA pistol need apply as I consider them to have a built in handicap to fast, and smooth, shooting.
I will be very curious to try out the XD-45 if it hits the market at 10+1 rounds or better, but still feels like a 1911 in the hand somewhat as the current ones do.
June 29, 2003, 03:00 PM
You are confusing two different things.
1. The likelihood of something happening.
2. What you will want if something really does happen.
It is indeed very likely that most folks will never need a handgun.
But if they do need one, they will probably want a powerful one.
If there is a confrontation it will probably be two or three very large and drugged up gentlemen against you alone. How does that P32 sound now?
Your post reminds of those folks who say "Well, I carry my 1911 when I'm in the bad part of town, but in the suburbs crime is less likely so I carry a .22 derringer." The percentage of risk is not the same as the type of risk. The type of risk is the same wherever you are, and that is what you should base your carry selection on, not the likelihood of using it. None of can foresee the actions of criminals. They can drive, you know, and sometimes they are smart enough to realize there's more money in the nice neighborhoods.
June 29, 2003, 04:01 PM
Most everybody will make do with what they are comfortable with.
My own view comes from my LEO background (thankfully I'm retired now) and my own comfort level. I dress to carry a lightweight 1911 variation of one kind or another. I shoot it well (better than other models) and have confidence in it and myself.
I will tell everyone that when I was my department's firearms instructor I contacted and talked to dozens of LEOs around the country who had been involved in shootings. Not a single one of them ever said they wished they had had a smaller, less powerful handgun with less ammunition.
You won't need it until you need it BAD!
June 29, 2003, 06:55 PM
I don't care if you carry an NAA Mini and a ray of sunshine in your pocket. "We" combined with the word "need" is for commies. ;) For me, I need a full size 1911. Believe it or not, I find the G33 harder to conceal than my full size 1911 due to the slightly thicker frame.
June 29, 2003, 07:14 PM
Hey, tovarish Flory, we need to go shooting.:D
Let your software determine your hardware.:cool:
June 29, 2003, 07:29 PM
Any that leaves a nice deep hole.:evil:
June 29, 2003, 08:35 PM
A retarded paratrooper's $.02
Many of the previous posts have addressed various aspects of your question, and there really isn't just one answer. Statistically, the average CCW holder will never need any level of power from his/her handgun. It's just not that common an occurrence to get involved in any kind of firefight, statistically average, or not. If the question then becomes, "assuming I am involved in a gunfight, what will I need?" My answer is, "The more the better." Caliber has been hashed and re-hashed, but I think 9MM-.40-.357-.38-.45 are all more alike than different. I carry a Glock 19 with standard-capacity ( 15 round) mag in the well, and always have at least one more loaded mag on my person, or close at hand, because with that pistol, I can hit more targets, faster, and more often than with any other handgun I have tried. ( And I've tried most of them.) I'll probably (hopefully) never need even the round in the chamber, but "it's better to have it and not need it, than need it, and not have it."
June 29, 2003, 09:26 PM
Hey Para.2 - your last line - "it's better to have it and not need it, than need it, and not have it." says it all.....AMEN!
June 29, 2003, 09:43 PM
I personally favor the largest most powerful round I can conceal. That is why, after more than two decades of CCW I am packing a G36 Glock. Of course any of the proven fight stoppers is as good or almost as good. I also carry a MK40 Kahr and a SP101 in .357 Mag from time to time.
As far as an extra mag. You miss the most important aspect of having an extra mag. If you have a serious stoppage that goes beyond a tap-rack solution an extra mag is the only way to quickly get back in the game.
Mil Novecientos Once
June 29, 2003, 10:12 PM
How Much Handgun Power Do We Really Need?
IMHO: big bullets makes big holes and shot placement is the key. Carry the biggest caliber you can shoot well.
June 29, 2003, 10:22 PM
For me this is somewhat ''best cal for time of year''!
Now and for remainder of hot weather ... unfortunately best I can conceal adequately is 2" snub ..... but, better 5 shots of that than zilch .. of course.
Once more clothed then back to P series ....... was P95 but now having P97, favor that as ideal ..... I know it'll ''do the job'' ....... if needed. If concealment was no issue then I'd always go up in cal and power ..... whether Redhawk, Desert eagle ......... but on other hand .... there is ''manageablity'' too ....... perhaps getting the useful double tap counts some ..... and real hot loads in heavy cals may not cut it.
Compromize ..... as ever, usually the deal. And that for me will be .45 or 9mm.
Double Naught Spy
June 29, 2003, 10:23 PM
How much handgun power do we really need?
The question is way too vague to be useful. The value system is wrong as well. By asking how much we need, it seems to imply that there is an amount that is sufficient and hence amounts over that point would be more than we need.
How much do we need? For what? You can play the stats game all you want. Just how likely are you to come against 6 terrorists with AKs and level II body armor? I don't know, but I am sure it isn't a high number. For comparison to real life experience, how many times in my 20+ years of adult life have I come across armed bad guys who threatened me in some fashion? As it turns out, I have had the exact same number of experiences with regular bad guys who threatened me with harm as I have had with encountering 6 terrorists armed with AKs and Level II body armor. Does this prove anything? Of course not. What is does hint to is the fact that whenever I may have an encounter, I have no way of knowing in advance if it is going to be the simple crackhead mugger, organized crime, or terrorists. What something like a terrorist enounter is statistically unlikely, such encounters do happen to people who, like me, had a much greater statistical chance of being mugged by the local crackhead.
When it comes to a life threatening event, stats only serve as a historical reference and mean nothing to whatever particular situation you are in at that moment. Statistically speaking from the FBI's crime records, compliance will assure you of being unharmed 88% of the time. In 12% of the cases where folks complied, they were still injured or killed after complying. When you encounter a bad guy, assuming you comply, will you end up in the 88% or 12%? How do you know?
So how much is enough? I don't know. Enough is probably in amounts that I can't physically carry. From another thread, I did have a frightening revelation. I carry a full-sized 1911 and 2 spare 8 round mags most of the time. Inclusive for the time of mag changes, I have approximately 15 seconds of firepower. What idiot would claim to be well armed against an unknown opposition (in number and strength) with such a small amount of firepower as 15 seconds might provide? Actually, that would be about 8 seconds of shooting and 7 for the 2 mag changes. I either need to start wearing body armor, carrying more ammo, or both. I have no consolation in the fact that most gun fights for civilians last no more than a few seconds because if my particular battle goes a little long, then I could run out out of ammo before the fight is over and that is not a good position to be in. As I understand it, running out of ammo before the fight is over means that your chances of survival drops significantly.
I am a huge fan of proper footwear. Hard-soled shoes and cowboy boots often offer poor traction on cement. Flip flops are a joke to run in, much less trying to turn corners quickly. One of the most effective forms of defense for many people, armed or not, is still the physical removal of themselves from the situation and often that is on foot.
June 29, 2003, 10:27 PM
One of the most effective forms of defense for many people, armed or not, is still the physical removal of themselves from the situation and often that is on foot. Now that, DNS, is something I place great store by .... as i feel should most. Once boxed into a corner tho, well ......... let business commence!:)
June 29, 2003, 11:13 PM
These post are always a hoot, you get every answer possible. I always remember sitting in a bar one night with a buddy/coworker who was also in sales, talking gunswhen another patron starts explaining what we need to be carrying and what amount of ammo was minimum. After the guy wanders off, my buddy who served two tours in Vietnam as a forward artillery observer with the rangers told me " We didnt carry that much ammo in combat"
June 30, 2003, 01:19 AM
I just hope I have one when I really need it. 9mm, .45, .40, .357 whatever.
June 30, 2003, 04:12 AM
I'm pretty sure I don't need handcuffs and a giant fighting knife.
June 30, 2003, 06:48 AM
Nope, no handcuffs...I'm not taking prisoners and I'm not a policeman.
Ditto, on carrying the giant knife. However, if it goes in the pot around my truck or quarters all types of cutlery could appear.
Working in the ER has taught me one thing about firearms: Bring a longarm to a gunfight, if at all possible.
I wear shorts and a Hawaiian shirt in the summer and carry a 1911 full size.
June 30, 2003, 07:10 AM
"What are the chances of that happening?"
Likely about the same as the WTC getting blown up? IOW, not too likely, but stuff has happened.
I'd hazard it gets more likely as time passes. Look at the Isreali situation. And then remember the jihaddists want the same thing to come to pass here in the States.
June 30, 2003, 08:39 AM
Carry the minimum (At least.) that you would WANT to use in a life/death situation.
If you're comfortable with a .380, so be it...
I'd like at least 6 rounds of .45 acp, .357 mag, or 357SIG.
My carry selections all seem to use that as a minimum.
I wouldn't feel bad with 8+rounds of 9mm, but I currently have no gun fitting that description.
I don't like having lots of ammo on my person, makes you kinda look like you're looking for a fight.
Two airweight .38 special 5-shooters provide redundancy, acceptable firepower, and ideal weight distribution.
They hide like a dream.
June 30, 2003, 09:51 AM
Someone once said that carrying a handgun isn't supposed to be comfortable, it is supposed to be comforting. The right answer is to carry as much gun as you can hide and use effectively in a given situation. Because we all should recognize that handgun caliber weapons are simply lousy weapons. What you are choosing isn't how good a weapon you are going to carry, but degree of weakness. I don't feel well armed with a 5" 10mm, because I'm not. It is just less marginal than something weaker. But situationally, it often isn't practical to carry a G3K around (or a 5" 10mm, for that matter). Choose the best tool you can for the job at hand and get on with life. Specialization is for insects... versatility is virtue.
June 30, 2003, 10:58 AM
1. Chances are most will never need their CCW.
2. Usually when you need the CCW, you just need a Gun any gun(not many people want to get shot, and most can't tell/don't know difference of caliber from a single look, they will usually leave when they see gun or when they get shot at) to solve problem.
3. All the people I know that have been in shooting situations outside of full war used handguns. None of them had any quick effect:
First one was using a 9x19 and landed at least two HITS in the heart lung area. Bad guy then jumped out a window and ran away (wasn't ground floor). Was found dead few blocks away by LEO.
Second one was a LEO shooting to protect another officer. I don't recall what caliber, but he talked about the not so good feeling he had as he kept shooting, and HITTING, the badguy and he didn't go down. This guy is still active duty last I knew, often has to carry what he is issued. But on his own time he often carries 44 magnum. IMHO this guy is probably the most dangerous person I have met. His level of situational awarness is impressive.
Third was a LEO working undercover, got shot by a 9mm. The 9mm didn't do much (not solid hit) and LEO returned fire with his 44 special (loaded to mag levels, his department only authorized specials :) )
Fourth was a rookie LEO first day on the street in Chicago. Was shot and injured. Managed to draw his duty weapon and kill badguy. He left law enforcement after that. He said it wasn't the getting shot. It was the way he was treated for killing the bad guy!!! Remember the LEO was shot before he even drew his firearm.
I figure having a gun is first problem. Having a 2nd gun is next problem. Having a BIG gun is last problem.
Currently I use Kel Tec P32 &/or P11. But am upgrading to J frames. When I can I carry 4" 357 (magnum loads) or 44 (loaded with specials usually) plus one of the little guns.
June 30, 2003, 11:23 AM
I carry the largest caliber that I can manage, in a concealable, reliable gun that I can handle well with one hand, even with my weak hand. I need to be able to shoot the entire mag/cylinder without my trigger finger weakening or my wrist uncontrollably shaking.
I carry a BUG and an extra mag/speedloader for the primary gun. Sometimes I'll carry more, just because I can.
If I ever actually need more than my primary gun, I must be in some deep doo-doo. :uhoh:
June 30, 2003, 12:47 PM
Great thread....I follow some "common CCW rules" same as alot of people.....
1) carry the largest caliber gun with the most rounds available that you can shoot very well.
2) my back up mags are a back up to my back up gun............2 guns more than not.
3) Be aware of your surroundings.....PERIOD!
4) Be nice and polite to everyone you meet everywhere...just be prepared to kill them, if you have to!
5) When Im with my kids....which is about all of the time....be extra aware and trust no one.
If I could carry a snubby Casull.....I would....and yes, I may be nuts :what:
June 30, 2003, 02:02 PM
Umm, this is indeed a personal thing. I plan to go home healthy. And after putting four rounds into a palm sized group right behind the shoulder of a nutsy pit bull/ shepard mix attacking kids and teachers at a school, I figure a few rounds might be needed if something "serious" does happen.
You know, that dog was really rude: it did not make an appointment. But then thugs and terrorists don't either. And folks like dogs.
Every time I catch myself thinking my Glock .40 or Hi Power is too big and heavy, I think of my bathroom scale and its suggestion on how I can cut back on a lot more unnecessary weight. This helps keep my head on straighter. Sometimes I grumble about this, but these things are meant to be comforting, not comfortable. Hugging my Sweetheart, sleeping in our bed, and sharing life with my family are comfortable things. Hospitals and coffins are not.....
Now, medical and similiar issues can be different, and can change what a person can do.
No flames intended, just trying to share some straight headedness.
July 2, 2003, 12:01 PM
Winter: Kimber Aluminum Compact .45
Summer: Colt Mustang Pocketlight .380
I hope if I ever need a gun, I'll need it in winter...
July 2, 2003, 12:19 PM
I need the 2 extra mags to keep the gun from making my pants sag :uhoh:
So 25 rounds of 9mm and a German tactical staplegun for me!
July 2, 2003, 02:46 PM
I hope if I ever need a gun, I'll need it in winter... Keith . that too is my frequent thought!!!:p Snubby will do right now but way more at ease with the ''stronger'' solution.:)
July 2, 2003, 06:20 PM
When I flew in my Huey in Nam I had 50cals hanging out the windows and there were times I wish they were 20mm's or Howitzers but I had to make do.
My 2 cents...
You may have to make due with whatever YOU DECIDE to carry. A Small & comfortable mouse-gun may not be enough when facing a 6'3", 300 pound person that is trying to kill you.
9x19 or .38 Special is my personal minimum.
July 2, 2003, 08:18 PM
I tote with me whatever I can effectively conceal in my right front pocket.
Right now, that would be a Smith 340SC .357 mag.....a good combination of lightweight, concealability, and power. I hope I never have to draw that gun and aim down on someone but it's nice to have something that packs a wallop, if needed.
Yes, I'm a snubby fan; I've owned about 9 of'em and after shooting them for years, I can handle them pretty well. I still like the no-brainer simplicity and reliability of the small revolver......nothing tricky or fancy, just very effective and deadly in the right hands.
Plenty enough for me.
July 2, 2003, 11:32 PM
It has been said: "No handgun is too little to carry, or too big when you really need one". Personally, I carry a 5" 1911 or a Glock 23 mostly, I have noticed however, that a 240 grain 44 Mag. with a 8 or 10 inch barrel is just as effective as a 30 30 Windchester. A little hard to conceal.:D
You pose an interesting question. My thoughts are that you need the amount of power that you trust to stop an attack and save your (or another's) life. If you honestly trust, and have such highly refined skills that you can accomplish this with a .22, then so be it. If on the other hand you believe that something larger is required, just as well. Myself, I choose to carry a Steyr in .40S&W. My belief is that it has enough "Smack" to get the job done if needed.
As for the post regarding 6 terrorists with AK's in Level II body armor:
Though HIGHLY unlikely, I won't say that it can't happen to someone somewhere given the world we presently live in. Who knows what those nuts will try at some future date. However, I will say that I've been tagged by an AK and other readers that have had a similar experience will agree that it's not something you want to repeat. Attempting to engage one (let alone 6) with only a handgun, regardless of it's supposed power, is a real good way to get yourself and any other bystanders that might be present dumped in a hurry.
July 3, 2003, 06:09 PM
Carry what you are comfortable with, just carry!
G29- hot weather
G20- cold weather
I always carry one extra mag, and the loads are SCREAMING!
July 3, 2003, 10:14 PM
I reckon that in the "terrorists/AK" scenario, the CCW should stay concealed until the most opportune time. In that case, perhaps smaller is better. No handgun is sufficient to engage in such a firefight, but if you are able to convince the BGs you are just another frightened sheep, you could get close enough to one to make it count.
That said, I'm carefully eyeing two guns for power, concealability, and affordability:
Bersa MiniThunder in .40 S&W
Kel-Tec P-11 or P-40
Currently I carry an S&W 6906 with 12 of 9mm and feel better than not carrying anything. My Makarov conceals better, but every time I think about carrying that, I read another of these damn threads and get to thinking I need more.
July 4, 2003, 12:47 AM
God willing I may never have to use a weapon on anyone. But the reason you have one is in case something like that happens. And you MAY have to deal with multiple aggressors and such. You may never need more than six rounds of .38 or more power than a .22 had. But what if you do?
If you can carry it and still conceal it why not do so? Now if you can't conceal a .45 and eight extra mag or a 9mm and eight extra mags then you can't, so don't.
"Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it."
July 4, 2003, 01:35 AM
Another aspect most seem to forget is practice. I don't want to carry something I am not comfortable shooting, or something where ammo is so expensive that I can't just take it to the range and shoot 200 rounds without my pocketbook hurting too much.
July 4, 2003, 08:51 AM
How Much Handgun Power Do We Really Need?
I dunno, how much handgun power can I get? :uhoh:
July 4, 2003, 12:51 PM
"How much do we really need?" Enough to reach a "vital organ" or a CNS area of the human body. In the summer, human "blood" is "thinner" reative to the winter months, this can lead to a quicker "bleed-out". In the winter, in many areas, people are wearing heavier clothing and sometimes "long underwear", that will hold human tissue together and prevent blood loss. As many poeple have noted, a handgun is a poor subsitute for a long gun when it comes to "power", therefore whatever you choose should be at least able to "tag" a vital organ. Me, I'm 6' 3" and 168#, so if I get hit with anything it will penetrate the depth required if the shot is well placed. A friend of mine is 5' 11" and 320#, your bullet might need a little "extra" to convince his "body type" of a change in status.
July 4, 2003, 10:54 PM
"I don't like having lots of ammo on my person, makes you kinda look like you're looking for a fight."
Followed immediately by:
" Two airweight .38 special 5-shooters provide redundancy, acceptable firepower, and ideal weight distribution. They hide like a dream."
Not meaning to give offense, but am I the only one who finds this statement a little humorous? Carrying extra ammo or an extra mag makes you "look like you're looking for a fight," but carrying TWO GUNS doesn't? :) I'm not saying either is necessarily a bad idea - the logic just struck me funny. To the average (non-gun) person (or jury), I think it would seem a lot more reasonable for the average citizen to be carrying some extra ammo than two guns.
July 4, 2003, 11:13 PM
If you do need it, really need it, then you probably can't carry enough firepower.:D
July 5, 2003, 05:21 PM
Hey Tamara, remember The Monster?
You know, my STUPID gun. The derringer in 7.62 x 39.
Sven's video clip (http://www.imageseek.com/sven/2003_04_19/7.62x39.mpg) of me shooting the silly thing. Keyword here is "ouch!". The audio is bit out of sequence, probably due to the substantial muzzle blast. The first BIG boom right before I say "oww!" is the report from the derringer. What doesn't show up is 3-ish foot fireball.
I guess my beefiest handgun is the Springfield Armory S.A.S.S. 1911 adapter chambered for .358 Winchester. This one is a couple steps WORSE than The Monster. The Monster weighs about 20 ounces and shoots a 123-grain bullet at a guestimated 2000 fps. The S.A.S.S. weighs in at around 66 ounces and shoots a 200-grain bullet at a guesstimated 2100 fps, or a 250 at 1950. The .308-chambered barrel is comparitively easy to withstand, although it is by no means a walk in the park.
T/C Encores come chambered in bigger calibers yet , but I have no interest in shooting them. Even the Hand_Rifle_Guy has his limits.
Conversely, on my list of dangerous ideas is to get a pair of Cabela's 12-guage muzzle-loading double rifles and cut them down into Howdah pistols with 12"-16" barrels. That'd be 1-1/4 ounce/550-grain roundballs moving out at 1000-ish fps, out of an unknown weight gun.
I dunno, how much handgun power can I get?
Does that help answer your question? I've been researching that exact question the direct way. So far, I haven't damaged my wrist, but I think I'm pushing the envelope.
But a 12-guage double gun with, say, 6" barrels might actually be concealable. With a load dialed back to around 600 fps, it might actually be reasonably shootable. Introducing lighter-weight hollowpoint slugs (3/4-ounce/300-grain, for example.) at the same speed would help even more. With an un-expanded diameter of .729, the smash-factor would be quite decisive on the receiving end. Swaging said hollowpoints out of pure soft lead might allow for expansion even at very low velocities. Imagine .729" soft lead balloons turning inside-out within a target. Overpenetration? I don't think so.
Another approach might be the system used in the British Webley calibers, which is a heavy, loong bullet with marginal stabilization which results in tumbling on impact. In the context of a 12-guage double gun with slow rifling twist set to accomodate roundballs, this might be quite easy to achieve.
And of course, the intimidation-factor of looking into the face of a pair of 12-guage bores means you mostly don't need to actually fire the thing. (*Click-click!* "You STILL want my wallet?") Accuracy is less important as well. Howdah pistols are for scraping tigers off your elephant at zero range so they don't climb into your howdah basket. They'd be plenty accurate for any range up to across-the-street.
Handgun power? As much as conveniently possible, thanks. But that's my specific hobby. I am well-known madman, and my standards are FAR from universal.
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