CCW question.


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Inebriated
July 13, 2011, 05:17 PM
Hey guys, I've been researching heavily into what to carry when I can (11 months and counting lol). Up until now, I've been pretty set on .45 ACP in a Sig P250 Compact or, if I am able to drop the extra cash, a Sig P220 Carry. But I've been looking into revolvers now, and I'm kind of liking .357 Magnum as another option. So my questions are;
1) What are my options for a defensive load? Can I get a reliably-expanding round?
2) What are the thoughts on revolvers for IWB? Is it comfortable compared to a semi-auto (I'll most likely pocket carry, but it's still good to know)?
3) What is a good site to look at the ballistics of .357 compared to other common handgun rounds?

I appreciate any input!

EDIT - apparently this is my first post... Coulda sworn I've posted here before... lol

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Rexster
July 13, 2011, 05:49 PM
Welcome to the forum!

You referred to pocket carry, Which indicates a smaller weapon, so the Short Barrel Speer Gold Dots would be a good place to start. NYPD has had good success against bad guys with the .38 +P version, and the bit of extra speed from the Magnum can only make performance better. We have had one local shooting incident with the Magnum version, and the decedent died instantly. He didn't even live long enough for his heart to pump blood all over the place. My wife was the on-scene forensic investigator for the M.E., so this is not some war story pulled off the Internet.

Second question. I like revolvers for some IWB carry, there being a couple of points on each side of my anatomy that accommodate the contours of a revolver quite well. I prefer, however, a holster like the Milt Sparks PMK, outside the waistband.

To expand a bit on pocket carry, keep in mind that bad guys do not usually announce themselves from across a street. The first clue of an attack may be the first hit, or the sudden appearance of a weapon in your face. Body alarm reaction makes us crouch in such situations. Getting to a pocketed gun can be very problematic in such conditions. It can be very comforting to have a hand already on the grip of a pocketed snubby, as one passes through a particularly bad area, but living life with a hand constantly placed thusly is going to be quite limiting. I like a pocket rig, with the Kramer rig being a great one, but
not for my only handgun.

As for the ballistics question, I won't get deeply into that. There are discussions on that subject right here on THR. I tend to stay out of such discussions, knowing the .357 Mag has done well in the real world, repeatedly, including one summer night in 1993, for me, when one shot totally and instantly changed one bad guy's channel. (125-grain JHP Federal silver-box Classic; Ruger GP100, 4" barrel)

Fanboys of the .357 have exaggerated its performance, and is detractors have fired back with criticism that was not always fact-based. That is the nature of the Internet. In my region, various agencies have used the .357 to good effect, enough times, that I have no problem selecting a .357 weapon to defend my life. keep in mind that modern defensive cartridges are largely engineered so
that the bullets perform much the same regarding penetration and expansion. People are still supporting arguments with data that is quite simply out of date. For example, older 125-grain
bullets tended to fragment violently, while all modern bullets tend to hold together. Older bullets in
many other weights in the various cartridges tended to not expand as much as a defender might
desire, but newer ammo tends to be better; expansion is commonplace these days. Keep in mind, I
just have to ask the Missus about such things; she says expansion is the norm with JHP ammo, in
all the common defensive cartridges.

Well, looks lime I said a bit about ballistics, after all. Note, however, the lack of numbers and figures.

Inebriated
July 13, 2011, 06:02 PM
Thanks for the info, man! I am not sure about pocket carry yet. I'll look around here to see if I can find some good discussions about the round, and I've also just starting looking at ammo choices. Lots of great ones out there (more than I thought). And it's nice to know that people get good results out of it. Not knockin' 9mm, but I don't hear a lot of stories about .357 having to shoot a guy 8 times (I know, even the largest caliber is useless without shot placement, but still...).

Lawdawg45
July 13, 2011, 08:50 PM
"Pocket carry" and ".45 acp" are not usually used in the same sentence, but your experience may vary. Most of the .45's will do very well in a quality IWB such as the Crossbreed Supertuck, and the revolver or .380/9mm semi auto would work for the pocket. You also could have the best of both worlds with something like the Charter Arms Bulldog revolver in .44 special.;)

LD45

Inebriated
July 14, 2011, 01:25 AM
"Pocket carry" and ".45 acp" are not usually used in the same sentence, but your experience may vary. Most of the .45's will do very well in a quality IWB such as the Crossbreed Supertuck, and the revolver or .380/9mm semi auto would work for the pocket. You also could have the best of both worlds with something like the Charter Arms Bulldog revolver in .44 special.

LD45

I didn't mean pocket carrying the Sig. I was just saying that since I am looking at a fairly small revolver, the options were open for that. And I didn't really look into .44 is because I like the ability to practice with .38SPC (a little cheaper, in my experience, than .44SPC or .357 Magnum), and let some females shoot something that isn't as "hot" of a round. I appreciate the input!

Lucky Derby
July 14, 2011, 10:50 AM
Welcome.
The .357 is a great round with a plethora of good defensive ammo choices. However in a gun that is light enough for pocket carry it will have enormous amounts of recoil. Even a .38 has a lot of recoil in thes guns. I have a lightweight J frame, which, IMHO, is as big and heavy as big as one would want to pocket carry. With .38+P it has more recoil than my 3" SP101 shooting full house .357.

As far as comfortable IWB carry, I have found that a good holster and belt are really the determining factors, much more so than auto vs revolver. Also buying pants a size or two larger than you would if not IWB carrying helps.

Inebriated
July 14, 2011, 02:50 PM
Yeah, the more I look into IWB stuff (right now it looks like a Crossbreed), the more I see that it's really the most practical thing.
And I'm thinking I'll go to the store and just try out several different revolvers when I can, and see which I like best as far as carrying and shooting.

Thanks!

threefeathers
July 14, 2011, 03:55 PM
One of my son's has gone to an Sp101 snubby as his carry. He is strong, a trainer for a MLB team and can handle the 125 grain bullet. He uses the
Crossbreed as his holster.

OldCavSoldier
July 14, 2011, 04:18 PM
I usually carry in a cross-draw holster an S&W M642 with standard velocity .38SPL 125gr JHP loaded with a speed loader of the same. When I am in the back country fly-fishing or need something smaller, I carry an M60 J-mag with .357Mag 158gr JHP loaded with speed loader of the same. If I can accomodate something a little larger, I carry an M686 7-shooter 3-inch with the same .357Mag 158gr JHPs loaded. My fishing buddy usually carries a Ruger Service Six .357Mag 4-inch. Several times we have been glad to have been armed and never thought we were ever under-gunned. (We can both put the bullets where we want them to be, even when the adrenalin flows....)

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