Smallest caliber you will carry


No Fear
October 30, 2008, 02:43 AM
I just love my Taurus .17 HMR snub nose. Anyone else carry a small caliber gun?

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October 30, 2008, 02:46 AM
Well, I do subscribe to the 1st rule of gunfighting......

Have a gun.

But .17?

I dunno........

Kind of Blued
October 30, 2008, 02:57 AM
Nooooo way.

.38 Spl. +P JHP or 9mm +P JHP minimum.

Not a lot of squirrel muggers in the Rockies.

October 30, 2008, 02:59 AM
there's no .45 option.....:)

October 30, 2008, 03:01 AM
there's no .50 AE button :neener:

October 30, 2008, 03:02 AM
haha, just messin. i voted .32 ACP, although realistically, 9mm would be the smallest I'd go.

rust collector
October 30, 2008, 03:55 AM
.380 for me. No need to go lighter with P-3AT and LCP keychain specials.

October 30, 2008, 04:00 AM

I don't see 9mm on here...:neener:

October 30, 2008, 04:56 AM
9mm minimum 45 preferred

Deus Machina
October 30, 2008, 05:50 AM
I guess I'd carry a .22LR, but I voted Magnum. it's the smallest I think may not just be a run-and-gun.

If I actually had a choice in the matter, .380.

October 30, 2008, 06:32 AM
For an always-have-one somewhere-on-me kind of CCW, .380 would be the minimum caliber for me.

October 30, 2008, 06:46 AM
9mm is the smallest I carry, and it's loaded with the best ammo for the caliber, Federal HST+P or Gold Dot SBHP or other name brand HP's. My PM9 is small enough to conceal in anything I'm likely to wear in public, so why carry anything less powerful?

I enjoy shooting my 22's, and they are fine for small game, but not for defense.

Mark K. C.
October 30, 2008, 06:50 AM
.380 absolute smallest.

October 30, 2008, 07:02 AM
What's caliber that I WILL carry?

I /will/ carry ANYTHING in lieu of something better.

If I get something better, I'll carry that instead.

October 30, 2008, 07:04 AM
I said .22 since I carry one when I am hiking at times as a trail gun. For CCW my smallest is a .32 acp.

Ala Dan
October 30, 2008, 07:05 AM
I voted .32 ACP also in honor of my Seecamp LWS-32; but it seldom gets
carried~! :uhoh: ;)

McCain-Palin On Nov. 4th~!

October 30, 2008, 07:35 AM
9mm :neener:

October 30, 2008, 07:36 AM
No 9mm???

October 30, 2008, 07:38 AM
Where's the 9mm choice? :neener: Not worth carrying anything smaller. :cool:

October 30, 2008, 07:47 AM
The smallest caliber I've carried is 9x19mm. I don't own a firearm I CAN carry in a smaller caliber. I don't plan to start carrying my High Standard Citation or my 6" S&W K-22 any time soon.

October 30, 2008, 07:56 AM
In 4-years if Obama is president, we'll be thinking if the country should re-elect him and whether or not a 0.177 caliber air gun is good enough for self defense. :)

October 30, 2008, 07:57 AM
9mm or .38 special

October 30, 2008, 08:23 AM
Anything's better than nothing.

If I had a .22 NAA Mini revolver, it would probably find its way into one of my pockets pretty frequently. I carry a .25 fairly regularly, because its the only really easily concealable gun that I have. If I had a J-frame .38, it would probably replace the .25 in most situations, but I don't feel naked carrying the little automatic.

A mouse gun is still more effective than harsh language or bare knuckles.

October 30, 2008, 08:28 AM

Of course I do use +P+, super hyper velocity, magnum, hollow point, dum-dum, AP smart rounds.


The recoil is a little rough, but if the bullet misses, the huge ball of flame will singe the bad guy.


Yes, in reality, I have in the past carried my tiny Walther TPH.

October 30, 2008, 10:21 AM
I voted 22 l.R :confused: but I would really choose my Bond derringer with the first shot being, 45 acp and second shot .410, double 0 buck. :D

October 30, 2008, 10:25 AM
The bare minimum for me is .380, but I haven't carried anything smaller than 9mm in a long time. With the Kahr PM9 and P9 Covert models being as small as they are, I really don't feel the need for anything smaller.

October 30, 2008, 10:34 AM
My Chief wont let us carry anything less than a .380 on duty as a backup.....for several reasons.
1. Stopping/Takedown power
2. You own every bullet that comes out of that gun and a .22 goes WAY too far and has way too much penetration to "be responsible" for it.

I carry a 9mm (Springfield EMP) both on/off duty conceal (+P HP) and I LOVE it. Small frame (1911 style), light, easily managed, no snags, etc. :evil:

Gun Slinger
October 30, 2008, 10:34 AM
9x19 is the absolute minimum for me.

October 30, 2008, 10:34 AM
Of the weapons I have DW's CZ 82 (9X18) is the smallest I would go. But it's more the weapon than the caliber, because I'd choose it over a .45 Llama any day.

Ragnar Danneskjold
October 30, 2008, 10:39 AM
.380 for me. I don't own one yet, but when I do, I'll carry it as a back up on duty. Nothing smaller though. I did carry a .22lr when that was the only pistol I had, but that was only for a few months til I had enough money to by a .45ACP.

October 30, 2008, 10:40 AM
As far as the smallest I would carry... anything to be honest; a .22 short single shot in hand is better than nothing.

Personally, my german pre war vintage .32 PPK (Bond... James Bond...) is the smallest I have been carrying lately.

October 30, 2008, 11:18 AM
38 Special at minimum & prefer a 45 acp.

October 30, 2008, 11:26 AM
I carry a 9mm or .38+p.

In looking for a gun for my wife, I may get a Walther PPK in .380, although I wouldn't carry it.

October 30, 2008, 11:28 AM
Judge 410 slugs and 0 buck

October 30, 2008, 11:35 AM
I carry my wife's P3AT to the gym, so .380 is the smallest caliber I feel comfortable carrying (my EDC is a .40).

A .17 Snubbie would be fine if you're primary concern is rabid squirrels.

P. Plainsman
October 30, 2008, 11:38 AM
The poll is not well designed. .380 ACP should be a specific choice. A whole lot of people seem to draw "the line" there.

Kind of pointless to have all those fine distinctions among little rimfire calibers on the poll. What's much more significant is whether the respondent is someone who would seriously consider carrying any rimfire cartridge, or instead insists on at least a .380, or a .38+p/9mm. (OK, maybe the .22 Magnum deserves to be a choice, since there is a "dissenting" school of CCW that emphasizes penetration and would actually choose a .22 Mag over a .380.)

Me, I've carried a .380 ACP, and can imagine circumstances where it would make a lot of sense (tiny Kel-Tec or Ruger pistols for extreme deep concealment when that's all you can get away with). So I would vote .380 ACP. But I didn't like it.

I usually carry a .38 Special +P snubnose revolver (with the 158 grain FBI Load) or a compact 9mm pistol loaded with 9mm+P. These are much more reassuring, especially the 9mm+P.

October 30, 2008, 11:45 AM
VERY none of the above. If I'm forced to work with any of these calibers, I'll be glad I have a knife too.

October 30, 2008, 11:50 AM
9x18 mak is the smallest i would carry. i like shooting 22lr but i would not carry it for protection

The Bushmaster
October 30, 2008, 12:20 PM
No smaller then a 9mm X 19. Couldn't vote...

October 30, 2008, 12:30 PM
Personally, I prefer .45, but I actually like the 5.7. It might be small but it has a surprising amount of stopping power.

October 30, 2008, 12:44 PM
my usual carry is 45 ACP but in a pinch I will go down in size. 380 ACP is the smallest that I would carry.

October 30, 2008, 12:44 PM
There should have been a .380 and 9mm choice.

October 30, 2008, 12:48 PM

October 30, 2008, 12:51 PM
.380, and I don't even feel very confident in that.
I'm sure those smaller calibers have done the trick many times but I just picture a bad guy saying "ouch! quit it!"

October 30, 2008, 12:51 PM
i dont carry anything less than half an inch in diameter

October 30, 2008, 01:00 PM
i voted .17 because its better than nothin

October 30, 2008, 01:04 PM

October 30, 2008, 01:16 PM
.22 lr is the smallest I will go, but only as back up. .380 is smallest for primary. I like .44 mag the best. Also what about 7.62X38r?

October 30, 2008, 01:18 PM
What about 7.62x25?

October 30, 2008, 01:19 PM
.380 for me for smallest.

I *might* carry a .22 for those hostile squirrel infested areas though

October 30, 2008, 01:25 PM
.38 spl smallest for me.

October 30, 2008, 01:34 PM
Well, I don't actually own anything suitable for carry smaller than 9mm (9x19).

I would consider a .380 or .38 special.

Probably take .380 over the .38spl, due to recoil and capacity concerns.

Of course, if things are desperate, anything better than nothing. Except the .25, of course.

You're not allowed to carry a .25 loaded. Jeff Cooper said so.


October 30, 2008, 01:34 PM
None of the above!

October 30, 2008, 01:53 PM
.380 although I definitely prefer something larger. I'd go with the 380 if I couldn't conceal anything larger. My .380 is so small and concealable I can not really see the need to ever go smaller.

October 30, 2008, 02:02 PM
A Kahr in .40 S&W

October 30, 2008, 02:04 PM
.500s&w special derringer.

October 30, 2008, 02:07 PM
I'd carry a .17 HMR if that was all I could possibly conceal. Even a tiny gun is better than no gun.

A .32 ACP is just below what I would feel comfortable with, I feel just fine carrying my .380 P3AT.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
October 30, 2008, 02:11 PM
500 Magnum

However, my pants might be down around my knees (like the current young fashion) and my one leg will get shorter than the other one.

October 30, 2008, 02:34 PM
If a 32-20 handgun was made that could be concealed and I could use as well as my current handgun of that caliber I would feel more than comfortable with it.

I guess it goes back to what my Dad is very fond of saying - a .22 ball in the brain beats a .45 ball through the window. Use what hits your target.


October 30, 2008, 03:03 PM
I have a 25acp for a bug but I always carry my Kahr MK9.

October 30, 2008, 03:10 PM
2. You own every bullet that comes out of that gun and a .22 goes WAY too far and has way too much penetration to "be responsible" for it.
You might want to revise that statement there... But yes, i agree, as a professional police officer, your off-duty gun could be used differently that a non-cops gun.


October 30, 2008, 04:01 PM
9mm Parabellum. MAAAAAAYBE a .380.

I really don't know if I'd feel undergunned carrying a CZ-52 in 7.62x25, though.

October 30, 2008, 04:06 PM
There's what I have carried, what I will carry, what I prefer to carry, and what I do carry. Those four are almost never in agreement. But I do like mouse guns and am not above carrying one.

October 30, 2008, 04:19 PM
9mm is the least I will carry.

October 30, 2008, 04:23 PM
For me its either .38spl or .380. Small enough to conceal easy but large enough to have some punch. Although if all I had was a .22lr I would not simply surrender and say "sorry I dont have enough gun to fight"

October 30, 2008, 04:23 PM
lol you put 5.7mm and .22; .22 is 5.7mm, unless you mean 5.7 x28mm, but i dunno how many people carry around FN 5-7s

October 30, 2008, 05:23 PM
Sometimes i carry nothing, any gun is better than that.

October 30, 2008, 05:34 PM
I've been told that caliber doesn't matter and that it is all about shot placement.............. so all I carry is a Crossman .177 air pistol.

Just remember, a hit with a pellet is better than a miss with a .45.

October 30, 2008, 05:39 PM
I voted .22 LR because there was no .22 Short option.

30 years ago the smallest bug I owned was a Beretta Minx .22 Short.

And it was way better then nothing!

Now, I have a Kel-Tec P3AT .380 that weighs about the same.

October 30, 2008, 07:45 PM

October 30, 2008, 07:46 PM
I clicked 22lr, only summertime when I need it's extremely small size and thin profile (Walther TPH) otherwise .380.

XD-40 Shooter
October 30, 2008, 10:55 PM
None of the above for me, I will not carry anything smaller than 9mm. The Kel-Tec P-11 is very concealable and packs a pretty good punch.

October 30, 2008, 10:57 PM
22 l.r.
Shot placement is everything.

October 30, 2008, 10:59 PM
I will OCCASSIONALY carry my Bersa Thunder .380 (not an option on the poll) but prefer not to be lighter than .45acp.

October 30, 2008, 11:02 PM
gbran said: "Just remember, a hit with a pellet is better than a miss with a .45."

Why in the world would anyone miss with a .45? :confused: :rolleyes:

Kind of Blued
October 30, 2008, 11:30 PM
I'd carry a .17 HMR if that was all I could possibly conceal. Even a tiny gun is better than no gun.

The issue many of us have with that statement is that such a situation simply cannot exist.

What's the smallest gun chambered in .17 HMR? A Taurus snubby? Taurus offers the exact same gun in .38 Spl...

I did forget about 7.62x25. It's a great round for which not many manufacturers chamber their guns. Consequently, most modern carry guns, due to advances in metalurgy, are smaller, lighter, and fire a larger, more powerful round.

A small calliber does not always mean a small gun.

October 30, 2008, 11:34 PM
.38 super...

October 30, 2008, 11:44 PM
I voted .22 LR because I, too, subscribe to the theory that the first rule of a gunfight is have a gun. My S&W Airlite 317 is really easy to pack along almost anywhere. That said, the gun I most often carry is my USPc in .45 Auto.

October 31, 2008, 01:39 AM
The smallest caliber I WILL carry is a .22 short. Of course, I would only do this if I had no other option.

October 31, 2008, 05:01 AM
I don't see any reason to carry anything smaller than a .380. Can people not figure out how to conceal the P-3AT, even in summer shorts??

The smallest I will carry is 9x19. I can't carry where I work, so they don't need to know.

October 31, 2008, 09:07 AM
I carry a Taurus 9mm revolver sometimes... I'm pretty sure that would be the smallest considering I love fall/winter so I can conceal a 1911 under heavy clothes!

October 31, 2008, 09:36 AM
38 spl or 9mm Luger

B yond
October 31, 2008, 11:43 AM
What's the smallest gun chambered in .17 HMR? A Taurus snubby? Taurus offers the exact same gun in .38 Spl...

Maybe just a little smaller than a Taurus snubby. A little cheaper too.

I carry a .22mag mini revolver when I can't carry something bigger. It's reliable, and bigger than nothing and goes places my 380 and 45 cannot. Besides, ideally the TNT HP ammo I carry in it should expand to do some decent damage. It might not be a guaranteed instant kill, but getting shot with it would sure as hell change an attacker's behavior.

Also, when I present it in self defense the ensuing laughter gives me time to escape.

October 31, 2008, 01:32 PM
I carry a P32 on occassion. I am not inspired by it's caliber, but it's better than nothing...

I would carry something smaller, if the situation demanded it and if I had something else to carry but right now my P32 is my smallest firearm.

October 31, 2008, 01:47 PM
380 acp is the smallest I'll go for people, I will carry a .22lr when i'm out whistle pig hunting, you know, for those aggressive ones who come after you while you're reloading the 10/22... :D

That being said, I always carry 9mm+P in an MK9. The P232sl is a safe queen now!

November 1, 2008, 08:50 PM
With several 9mm, 38 spcl and even .357 guns out there well under 18 ounces and pocket sized....why choose even a .380 anymore? I guess I can understand the really light .380 smeltecs but a .25 or a .22 or a .17????????

November 1, 2008, 09:05 PM
ccw I use a 442 with 38 Special +P I also have used 9mm and 40S&W. Remember that a 22lr in your hand is worth two 45's at home.

Byron Quick
November 1, 2008, 09:11 PM
My .45 is on my hip when I leave home in any season. My Keltec P3AT is in my pocket.

November 1, 2008, 09:12 PM
45 acp so i didnt vote

November 1, 2008, 09:19 PM

November 1, 2008, 09:41 PM
I have a 25ACP, it is something I can sneak into work, no guns policy. Do I trust it as a man stopper? No, but I look to shot placement. If I can get a good head shot and a bullet manages to penetrate the skull, I might have a fighting chance. Ok, there are a lot of ifs, but it is better than nothing.

November 2, 2008, 12:05 AM
Smallest caliber I will carry is .223 :evil:

November 2, 2008, 01:06 AM
Smallest caliber I will carry is .223

OUCH, good answer.

i change my answer to this also.

Kind of Blued
November 2, 2008, 01:09 AM
I carry a .22mag mini revolver when I can't carry something bigger.

Thanks for cluing me in to the NAA, but I still think I have a point. Why would anyone carry a .17 caliber NAA when one could carry a .22 Magnum NAA?

Or why would one carry a 5.9oz NAA when one could carry a 6.3oz P3-AT? I mean, you can conceal it in swimming trunks... I just don't see a situation where you just "can't get away with that extra four tenths of an ounce".

That being said, there are people that will carry something tiny and ineffective because it's what they have. That, of course, makes a great deal of sense. I just don't see a reason anybody would ever be so burdened that they have to carry anything less effective than a .380.

November 2, 2008, 04:12 AM
.30 caliber (7.62x25) is the smallest caliber I carry.

November 2, 2008, 10:00 AM
.22 firestorm holds 10+1 of your favorite cci shotshell or hollow points

November 2, 2008, 12:28 PM
Why carry less when more is needed? Will having one be better than throwing rocks?
Carry what you are comfortable with but remember to always carry!
My minimum is 9mm.

November 2, 2008, 12:48 PM
Where is the "none of the above" choice? I would risk my life to none of those. Nothing below 9mm for SD.

November 2, 2008, 12:53 PM
.380 in a semi-auto, 32 H&R Mag in a revolver.


November 2, 2008, 02:38 PM
Cooper be damned. I carry .22LR in a Beretta most of the time. With my current budget, it's the only thing I can afford to practice with regularly.

November 2, 2008, 03:49 PM
A small calliber does not always mean a small gun.

That being said, there are people that will carry something tiny and ineffective because it's what they have. That, of course, makes a great deal of sense. I just don't see a reason anybody would ever be so burdened that they have to carry anything less effective than a .380.

One good reason I've seen more than once is for EXTREMELY recoil sensitive shooters. They may not be common, but they do exist. I've met one person who is only comfortable with 22 because of severe arthritis. I've seen another that flinched with anything smaller/lighter/more powerful than a steel 22 revolver. One of those two (can't remember which) described the recoil of an all-steel S&W 9 mm semi auto as being "severe".

In response to quote #2, 1st sentence, that certainly is a valid reason. My father-in-law is looking to getting his first gun for home protection, and he has a VERY tight budget right now (he's been hit back-to-back with several unexpected expenses). So for now, the best he can do is a rough/ugly but functional H&R single shot 20 gauge.

But as I told him, with a some practice one can become deadly proficient with such a weapon.


BTW, my minimum caliber would be a 22LR, (not a.17 HMR) simply because of ammo cost. But I shoot more potent platforms just as well, so I carry 38 Spl and 45 ACP and feel fine with either.

November 2, 2008, 04:23 PM
Why in the world would anyone miss with a .45?

Bodel's rule #15 (or maybe 16) Don't think that because you can shoot a 390 on a comfortable range with still targets you cannot miss when you are scared enough to *expletive deleted* your pants.

B yond
November 2, 2008, 06:32 PM
Or why would one carry a 5.9oz NAA when one could carry a 6.3oz P3-AT? I mean, you can conceal it in swimming trunks... I just don't see a situation where you just "can't get away with that extra four tenths of an ounce".

Maybe they live in CA and cannot easily get a P3-AT (since it isn't a CA-approved firearm).

There's an old saying that there's a time and a place for everything. That applies to guns too. These little mouseguns wouldn't exist if there wasn't a time and place for them.

JT in VA
November 2, 2008, 06:33 PM
three eight

November 2, 2008, 07:04 PM
"other small caliber"


November 2, 2008, 07:09 PM
Well the 22lr has probably killed more people and critters than the next 5 combined, so it works even if it is small.

November 2, 2008, 07:19 PM
Maybe they live in CA and cannot easily get a P3-AT (since it isn't a CA-approved firearm).
Yes. Unless through intergamily transfer or LEO sale the average Californian can not have one. If I cluld I would.

Thanks B yond, for the Acknowledgement that we can not get some firearms...easily ast least.

I think that would be a good challenge based on Heller. I wish I could find a FFL that would sell and attempt to DROS a PAT-3

November 2, 2008, 07:19 PM
.38 special

November 2, 2008, 07:25 PM
Well the 22lr has probably killed more people and critters than the next 5 combined, so it works even if it is small.
Probably, but there is a difference between "kill" and "stop". I want my attacker to be stopped.

November 2, 2008, 07:40 PM
6_gunner writes:

"Anything's better than nothing.

"If I had a .22 NAA Mini revolver, it would probably find its way into one of my pockets pretty frequently. I carry a .25 fairly regularly, because its the only really easily concealable gun that I have. If I had a J-frame .38, it would probably replace the .25 in most situations, but I don't feel naked carrying the little automatic.

"A mouse gun is still more effective than harsh language or bare knuckles."

I reply:

I disagree: While you are standing there flat-footed with your right hand behind your back trying to fish that little gun out of your hip pocket, I can break a rib with a left hook. Your ribs are, after all, completely exposed in this pose.

You would have been better off boxing with me.

I have actually won quite a few fights like this - not in spite of the fact that my opponent had a gun, but because he did. He was bigger than me; he might have won a boxing match. But he was so focused on his gun that he neglected even to take a proper stance or protect his ribs in any way.

Trust me on this: If you are talking to me and reach behind your back for any reason, I'm going to hit you in the ribs before you can count to one. If it turns out that you were just scratching your ass, well, that's too bad.

Most of the weapons being discussed in this thread are intended for assassinations where one already has the weapon palmed and just sneaks up on one's intended victim and shoots him in the back of the neck. If I knew someone brought a .25 to a meeting with me, I would jump him - no questions asked, no warning. If he has a .45, I would just go through with the meeting - no worries.

November 2, 2008, 07:45 PM
Usually I carry my Kel-tec P11 (9mm), but in a pinch I always have my North American Arms mini revolver which is .22 LR. It unnoticeably fits in my front pocket and is smaller than my wallet.

November 2, 2008, 07:52 PM
You forgot .380 (9mm Kurz/Short). Along with .38 Sp, is probably recognized by most professionals as the smallest caliber that one should use for defensive purposes.

November 2, 2008, 07:56 PM
I voted the .22 RF as question was what's the smallest I WOULD carry. The smallest I DO carry is a .38 special snubby.

November 2, 2008, 08:18 PM
22lr smallest i have better than nothing!

November 2, 2008, 08:20 PM
None of the above.

November 2, 2008, 09:03 PM
.38 or .380, so I guess .380 but did you mean as a primary carry or a backup to my backup. In the bug for my bug I used to carry a .22 auto deep concealed.

B yond
November 2, 2008, 09:18 PM
if I could get one, I would carry this:

In case I get attacked by a cockroach. :)

November 3, 2008, 01:37 PM
This is a true story. It occurred in the late 1930's and was witnessed by my father, who was about six years old at the time. He lived in a small ranching community in southern Colorado.

Two men came to town to fight. (I don't know why.) They walked down the center of the main street from opposite ends of town. Unlike in the movies, there was no slapping of leather. Each man had drawn his pistol in advance and was carrying it in his hand. Also unlike in the movies, there was no discussion or ultimatums given. They just commenced to fire on each other as soon as they were within range, which was probably about 20 to 30 yards.

One man was armed with a Colt 1911, which was considered an exotic military weapon in those days. The other man was armed with a .22RF revolver, which was a typical sidearm among ranchers.

The man with the Colt was a lousy shot. He held his weapon in one hand and fired it as fast as he could pull the trigger, missing completely - not even close. The man with the .22 was a marksman. He stood with his feet perpendicular to his opponent, extended his right arm straight out and carefully and repeatedly shot his opponent in the chest.

The man with the Colt fell flat on his back and lay there gasping for breath. His muscles twitched and he drummed the heels of his boots on the ground. Apparently drawn by curiousity, the man with the .22 walked over and peered down at the man he had just shot. Not yet dead, the man on the ground raised his Colt and shot his opponent squarely in the chest, killing him instantly.

At this point the townsfolk, who had been standing on the sidewalk watching, came forward and attempted to perform first-aid on the man with the Colt - the other man was quite dead. My father stood in the background and watched. He thought, "That man is choking. They should roll him over so he can spit." Unfortunately, being only six years old, he did not speak up to tell the grown-ups how to perform first-aid.

They pulled the wounded man's shirt off and bandaged his wounds. That was stupid. It should have been clear that his problem was not the holes in his skin, which were barely bleeding. His problem was the bullets lodged in his lungs, six inches below the bandages that they were applying.

If they had rolled him over and cleared his airway, he might have lived. None of his wounds were grevious. In another ten minutes they would have stopped bleeding on their own. But the man did not live another ten minutes. Lying flat on his back, he drowned in the blood that was pooling in his lungs.

So there you have it: A real-life encounter between a man with a .45 and one with a .22 pistol. You can decide for yourselves which one was better armed. And, if you learn anything from this story, never stand over someone that you have shot. He might not be dead yet.

November 3, 2008, 03:02 PM

November 3, 2008, 03:04 PM
.22 mag, because I do.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
November 3, 2008, 03:08 PM
I sometimes carry a .22 revolver out in the woods, for squirrels - so that's what I voted. But if you meant for self-defense only, it's .380 acp. I used to carry a .32, but no need for that since a .380 now can be had just as small.

November 3, 2008, 03:23 PM
the .380, should be a minimum and sometimes it is quite simply all that I can carry, due to what I am wearing. I do not think I would be comfortable with anything less (heck I keep finding myself wishing the .380 was something more). I know .22's have been are are carried and have even used effectively by many, I just don't think I would be willing to carry one.

November 3, 2008, 03:34 PM
I'll say 32/380 ACP I prefer to lump these two cartridges together as all my researching indicates there is little very little performance difference between he two. In some respects 32 is better and in others 380 has advantages.

32 will typically penetrate better and offers more shootability and capacity in the same platform

380 will make a SLIGHTLY larger wound channel and ammo variety is better, the rimless case doesn't hurt.

Niether cartridge offers reliable performance with anything other than FMJ there's simply not enough energy present <velocity> to make FP's work properly. With these two rounds hollow points either don't expand at all, or if they do manage to expand penetration is completely insufficient

November 3, 2008, 03:42 PM
I don't have the gun to carry anything smaller than 9mm or .38spl.

If any of the ammo makers would invent the .100 rimfire, I'll sign up.;):D:neener:;)

November 3, 2008, 03:55 PM
380 is the smallest, I EDC a .40

November 3, 2008, 06:46 PM
.380 is the floor for me. And I don't like carrying it.

Colin Doyle
November 3, 2008, 08:19 PM
I didn't see the .700 Nitro Express on the list. :confused:

Actually... my every-day carry is a NAA mini revolver in .22WMR, so I voted accordingly.

November 3, 2008, 08:38 PM
The smallest I have is 9mm.. but shopping for a 380 pocket pet.

.... and 22lr beats a pillow fight.

Just One Shot
November 4, 2008, 04:11 PM
I'd carry a BB and a sling shot if it was all I had!

November 4, 2008, 04:59 PM
.380 can get the job done with a +P round and is small enough not to be noticed by those who know how to look for a concealed firearm.

November 20, 2008, 10:03 AM
hmm...i'd carry anything as a 3rd backup. lol. but i guess 32 acp is the smallest i'd carry as a BUG. 9mm is the smallest I'd feel comfy with if there was any chance someone might shoot back.

Still Too Many Choices!?
November 20, 2008, 10:34 AM
SorryI didn't read the whole thing, and I can't participate in the pole... Wheres the option for .40 S&W :D, lol...

Still 2 Many Choices!?

November 20, 2008, 10:46 AM
i voted other, because .380 is the smallest i'd go.

November 20, 2008, 10:53 AM
For Self Defense: .380 ACP as a BUG. 9MM as a primary.

For Hunting: I carry a .22 Pistol as a sidearm to my rifle. It's for "mercy" shots on downed prey, or a chance at a particularly annoying squirrel.

November 20, 2008, 11:25 AM
.380 / 38 special

November 20, 2008, 07:54 PM
Right now the smallest I carry is a .380 ACP, but if I have no other options I will always obey rule #1 of a gun fight, which is: Bring a Gun! (even if it's a .22 LR Derringer) :D

November 20, 2008, 08:56 PM
You forgot the commie caliber. 9x18 Makarov:neener:. I might be wrong though since its in between a .380 and a 9mm luger, and might not be a "small" caliber.

November 20, 2008, 08:58 PM
Without reading the entire thread... where is .380? This is by far the most popular small caliber out there.

November 20, 2008, 09:02 PM
north american arms 22 short

November 20, 2008, 09:20 PM
By checking "other small caliber", I'm indicating none of the above. I don't carry anything smaller than a 9mm Gold Dots in an XD Sub-Compact. I "wouldn't" carry anything smaller than a .380, if I had one. I've been eying a Ruger LCP for summer shorts carry.

Gun Slinger
November 20, 2008, 11:50 PM
Had to check "other small caliber" since the smallest caliber that I will carry is the 9x19.

November 21, 2008, 12:02 AM
.38 special.

Still 2 Many Choices!?
November 21, 2008, 12:32 AM
I agree with thos that say,"If I owned one, .380 is as small as I would go".

Still 2 Many Choices!?

November 21, 2008, 01:10 AM
A BERETTA 948 .22 with h/v h/p's

November 21, 2008, 01:50 AM
a 9mm for me, placement is the key.

tasco 74
November 21, 2008, 03:07 PM
and very good advice.. never assume anything.... i still condend that 4-6 .22 rimfire shots to the center of mass will screw up anyones evening...............

November 22, 2008, 05:13 PM
380 for me as well, My smallest carry pistol is a Bersa model in the 380 caliber.

I have several 22 pistols and such but I wouldn't bet my life on them. I know the saying of a 22 in the hip is better than a 45 in the safe, But when I know I am going out and I am not carrying my revolver then the smallest I carry is a 380, and thats not very often.

November 22, 2008, 05:23 PM
I voted .22LR, not being sure if .25ACP counts as bigger or smaller.

However, I would only carry that if it was all I had, I don't trust it to stop somebody, and I'm not sure I would feel safe with it.

I guess I'd carry a .17HMR if it was all I had, but I don't trust it to pentrate through bones of any kind.(Which is a necessity to achieve good stopping power.)

The Annoyed Man
November 22, 2008, 09:28 PM
Either my P3AT .380 (as a last resort), or my 642 in .38 spl. In Texas, the minimum caliber requirement for a CHL qualification is .32 caliber. Fortunately for me, there are very few occasions when I cannot carry my Kimber .45.

November 23, 2008, 02:00 AM
.22 Mag is grossly misrepresented, in my opinion. I have seen what it is capable of, and I never want to be on the wrong end of one. Sure, my regular carry .357 is way superior, but in a summer "shirt sleeve" serious meeting, among sheep (not sheep dogs - descriptive, not disparaging), that extra concealment of a small, flat NAA Black Widow is comforting. My wife is not able to safely rack a P3-AT, and I really don't like them at all (doesn't fit my hand); to each his/her own. Just so you practice with whatever you carry.

November 23, 2008, 04:49 AM
I've carried .22LR when nothing else was available.

November 23, 2008, 10:52 AM
The smallest I own or will carry is either .38 super or .357 magnum.
Regular carry is either .45 or .44.


November 28, 2008, 05:51 AM
I carry a tauruspt22 with Stinger lr rounds. i hear all the talk about 22 rimfire duds,however , i must have shot at least 5000 rds of cci mini-mags in addittion to the stingers and never have had even one failure to fire,?? because i can afford to shoot every day and i do, i hit what i aim at with my taurus i feel very confident in my ccw 2245

November 28, 2008, 02:32 PM
My smallest carry gun is a 32, but I would not hesitate to carry a 22LR in say an 8-shot revolver.

November 28, 2008, 02:48 PM
9mm or .38 special

I concur

November 28, 2008, 04:49 PM
Springfield Armory 1911 Micro Compact in .45acp:D

November 28, 2008, 06:06 PM
9mm. I had a pretty bad experience with 380 being under powered, so I won't go below 9 now.

November 28, 2008, 06:09 PM
A .17 is a really hot round with alot of knock down power. Coyotes falling like a bag of well (you know what) I would not be afraid to carry this in a pistol but a prefer a .38+P

November 28, 2008, 06:26 PM
I voted .22 only because that is the smallest I have available. However, the correct answer is the largest caliber I can get my hands on.

November 29, 2008, 08:38 AM
I voted 22 mag because my 9mm is at S&W getting the bugs out and I carry my 22 mag while waiting for the 9 to come home.

November 29, 2008, 03:57 PM
mpc12, would you care to share your experience? I have .380 and 9mm, and it would seem to me that there is not a whole lot of difference between the two.

November 29, 2008, 05:20 PM
Voted .22 lr, (my ccw is .45 acp) because ....

Coming from a rural family and a poor area where poaching was a way of life, (Northern WI.) I KNOW that a .22 can kill anything you'll find in the woods (or on the farm), and I KNOW that's it's virtually impossible to tell where a single .22 shot was fired if it's over 100 yards away. Or even closer in heavy woods!. Even more difficult at night.

A .22 pistol is just the ticket for putting a squirrel, grouse or rabbit in the pot while hunting bigger game, so my normal hunting rig is a .308 rifle and a .22 handgun (Buckmark). On those occasions the 1911A1 stays at home.

As for Self Defense ... it's still better than a pointy stick ... usually!

As always, JMHO, YMMV!


November 29, 2008, 09:58 PM

November 29, 2008, 10:33 PM
Just got back from a 350 mile road trip for TG Dinner. Two states. I have CCW in both. We stopped at a couple roadside rest areas, open areas so the dog could pee.

But mostly we went to dinner at relatives.

No firearm. The relatives are fine with firearms. I just didn't feel a need.

The scale model, working naval cannon in the trunk doesn't really count as a firearm.

Jefferson Herb
November 29, 2008, 11:32 PM
.22 Mag , Surgons hate em and there's not much the intended crook can do except make peace with his maker.

November 30, 2008, 04:26 PM
32 magnum

November 30, 2008, 04:30 PM
357 X 5 = -xBG

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