Minimum capacity for SD (not HD) in your opinion?


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el Godfather
May 1, 2012, 08:07 PM
Dear THR,
What is the minimum capacity handgun would you consider for self defense when you are out of the house and not in your vehicle?

Consider and discuss your circumstances and need for concealing. Do share with us the handgun that you actually carry for the said purpose.

Thank you

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45_auto
May 1, 2012, 08:17 PM
Can't see how the minimum capacity anyone would consider could be anything but one.

Given a choice between nothing and a single shot derringer, who would choose nothing?

needmorecowbell
May 1, 2012, 08:27 PM
My 5 shot SW 642.

The M
May 1, 2012, 08:32 PM
I feel more than prepared with my 7+1 .45acp.

R.W.Dale
May 1, 2012, 08:36 PM
I alternate carry between a five shot 2" 9mm revolver and a 5 shot 5" 357 magnum. Depending on if I'm going to be doing rural or urban stuff.

I have carried a 17+1 rd 9mm and honestly didn't feel any better armed. In fact I'm more confident in the low cap revolvers because my first shot draw times are so much better.

rcmodel
May 1, 2012, 08:38 PM
I carried a single-shot .22 derringer years ago when that was all I had or could afford.

A 7 shot 1911 .45 ACP made me feel all warm & fuzzy for many years no matter what came along.

I don't feel unarmed with 5 shots of .45 Colt in a Colt SAA either.

Today, I feel perfectly comfortable with a 5-shot S&W .38 revolver, or 7 shot SIG P232 .380.

Unless I was going to the big inner-city, to see the elephant, late at night.
But I ain't about to do that.

rc

firesky101
May 1, 2012, 08:53 PM
There are plenty of decent options out there that carry 5 rounds, and are extremely concealable. If you really had to conceal, or it was all you had, I could still feel safe with a derringer.

thefamcnaj
May 1, 2012, 09:02 PM
For me my 6+1 Kahr cm9 for summer carry would be the minimum, I'd want to carry.

foghornl
May 1, 2012, 09:12 PM
Since my only DA revolver is an RG-38Spl, my EDC is a 1911-A1

skoro
May 1, 2012, 10:15 PM
What is the minimum capacity handgun would you consider for self defense when you are out of the house and not in your vehicle?

I feel well protected when carrying my 5 shot S&W j-frame.

Serenity
May 1, 2012, 10:17 PM
I don't carry (yet) but I did take the k-frame 38 special with me on a road trip and felt just fine about the capacity UNTIL I saw three really sketchy guys at a gas station who gave me serious creeps. I wasted time inside until they drove off and they headed South, thank goodness.

Doug S
May 1, 2012, 10:18 PM
I'd rather have more rounds, but when it comes down to it, it's pretty easy to carry a 5 shot snub about anywhere. I wouldn't want to go any lower than that, if given the choice.

coolluke01
May 1, 2012, 10:27 PM
I really like the idea of a higher round count. I carry the Glock 26 with a mag extension to make 12+1. I want enough rounds to be able to be effective and deal with multiple assailants. I also think that if a situation were to draw out time could really be a factor. A assailant who is behind cover and me behind cover could be a situation where round count could win out. I haven't always carried an extra mag because of the difficulty. But i'm rethinking the value of that extra mag, and I've been trying to carry one when I can.

beatledog7
May 1, 2012, 10:50 PM
5 rounds, every time I can.

mavracer
May 1, 2012, 10:57 PM
Zero, I quite often leave my house without a gun.

X-Rap
May 1, 2012, 11:05 PM
I like 15 and a reload if there is room. I have and will continue to carry 5&7 shot guns but I don't have any illusions about what may become a deficiency of ammo.

Agsalaska
May 1, 2012, 11:13 PM
I too often carry nothing. But for the purpose of this thread I would say my taurus snubnose 38. I am quick and very accurate with it. There will always be situations where you dont have enough ammo or gun no matter what you carry. But i live in the desert, its hot, and I like being comfortable. The chances of me actually needing a weapon are extremely low and needing more than 5 shots are far lower than that. So I am willing to risk that .0001% chance that I would need more than five for comfort.

Now If I am going to WalMart at 2am or something like that I carry my Glock or a Kahr K40 with an extra magazine. So that is what 13-15 rounds? But thats not too often. In fact I dont think I have carried either this year.

Usertag
May 1, 2012, 11:14 PM
I would say a Minimum of 5 rounds.

Devonai
May 1, 2012, 11:41 PM
I always carry a spare mag, regardless of pistol choice, so that would be at least 17 rounds (S&W 4566 or Makarov), and as many as 37 rounds (Beretta 92FS with Mec-Gars).

I have had too many magazine related mishaps in training to not carry a spare mag. They are rare, but if you drop your primary magazine clearing a jam, do you really want to be rooting around in the dirt or mud trying to find it?

A spare magazine takes up so little space on the belt, and they're usually so easily concealed, that I have never felt the need to go without one. Exceptions to this rule include situations where carrying on the body is impossible anyway, such as the beach.

orionengnr
May 2, 2012, 12:25 AM
I carry a single stack 1911 in .45 acp every day--8 + 1.
In the past, I have carried a single stack 9mm (6 + 1), and on occasion, a six-shot revolver in a caliber such as .45 LC or .41 Mag.

MachIVshooter
May 2, 2012, 12:38 AM
Five. And anything that holds fewer than 8 rounds, I carry a spare mag/speedloader.

shiftyer1
May 2, 2012, 12:48 AM
Lowest capacity for me is five.......even my lowly derringer carries 5.

gigemlaw
May 2, 2012, 01:09 AM
Depends on where you mean by "out of the house not in your vehicle". I like having one carry for low threat and another for increased threat.

For the office or local restaurant I carry p238. If I am going downtown at night or if I know I'm going to a questionable neighborhood I carry XD Subcompact 9mm.

Generally, I wouldn't have a problem carrying a 5 shot snubbie for low threat situations. Anything lower capacity than that I can't think of much you would carry outside of a derringer-type weapon, and I would not feel comfortable with one of those.

1858remington
May 2, 2012, 01:10 AM
2 rounds here... Bond arms derringer in 44special

Shoobee
May 2, 2012, 01:17 AM
5 rounds in a large bore compact revolver would be the minimum, with a spare speedloader or two in your pockets elsewhere. The speedloaders on one side balance-out the revolver on the other side.

BemidjiDweller
May 2, 2012, 01:20 AM
The lowest I have ever carried is 6+1, not because of any personal minimum capacity limit, but because that's how much my LCP holds.

Rail Driver
May 2, 2012, 01:41 AM
I carry a full size 1911 and a reload. I generally use 7rd magazines and carry cocked and locked (7+1), but if I'm going to an area where the crime rate is high I sometimes carry a 10rd magazine in addition to the extra 7rd magazine.

In the past I've carried 5 and 6 shot revolvers (.38sp or larger caliber) and I was comfortable with it, but times have changed, and with the failing economy and increased racial tension in my area my feelings have changed.

Generally in my area, self defense situations tend to involve fewer than 3 aggressors. I'm confident enough in my (continuing) training and stress management skills that 7 rounds is plenty for me to be comfortable as long as I've got an extra loaded magazine with me.

Cosmoline
May 2, 2012, 02:58 AM
Minimum? One.

Bobson
May 2, 2012, 03:28 AM
Can't see how the minimum capacity anyone would consider could be anything but one.

Given a choice between nothing and a single shot derringer, who would choose nothing?
Very clever response; I couldn't help but agree when you put it that way haha.

Having said that, I carried nothing for years, and even if I had the option to buy a single-shot derringer for 1/5 of the cost, I wouldn't choose it over a 5-shot J-Frame. Five shots is my answer.

Sergei Mosin
May 2, 2012, 03:45 AM
Never really thought much about capacity as a determining factor. There aren't too many revolvers with less than five shots or too many autoloaders with less than seven, so I guess those would be the minimums. A gun holding fewer rounds than that would likely be chambered for a cartridge too small for most tastes, or be so small as to be extremely unpleasant to shoot if chambered in a larger cartridge - which probably explains the profusion of five-shot .38 Special revolvers and 6+1 .380 automatics.

GLOOB
May 2, 2012, 04:30 AM
My minimum would be 2. In case I miss, at least I'd have made a loud noise, and maybe I won't need the other shot.

Lawdawg45
May 2, 2012, 06:17 AM
I suppose it would be 5 for me, in my J-Frame. I carry different guns according to the threat scenario, but whatever I carry (even a single action) I always have a minimum of 2 reloads on my person.

LD

pockets
May 2, 2012, 09:41 AM
ONE ... that would be the minimum ... as has already been stated.

And yes, during the past several decades and ups/downs in life, I have carried a single-shot now and then, or more often a 2-shot derringer. Sometimes you just have to go with what you have. Luckily, these days a polymer pocket pistol takes up about the same amount of room in my pocket.

.

tdstout
May 2, 2012, 09:48 AM
Lowest capacity for me is five.......even my lowly derringer carries 5.

Not to hijack the thread, but what derringer carries 5? I normally only see 2 shot derringers.

357SIG
May 2, 2012, 11:25 AM
I only carry a semi-auto pistol fro defense, simply because I can do everything much faster with one. I carry a spare mag as well. The lowest capacity pistol I have is my P220ST, so the least amount of rounds I will carry is 17. I don't feel I will use 17 rounds in any particular incident (of course, it could happen), but I do think 10 would be my minimum in any situation. I see gunshot wound patients enough to know that there is no magic caliber and no magic bullet...just pure luck (even with good shots). It would not be a far stretch to use 5 rounds or more on one guy who is high on a drug, or seriously drunk. Another unfortunate reality is that people in this category are often the ones to engage in violent crimes.

357SIG
May 2, 2012, 11:27 AM
My friend has a .22 WMR derringer with a 5-shot cylinder. Other than that, I've not seen any others.

dprice3844444
May 2, 2012, 11:52 AM
glock 26 10 rd in the gun,2 g17 17rd in other pocket.

Dr.Rob
May 2, 2012, 11:55 AM
6, doesn't matter if it's an auto or a revolver. Six minimum.

(Note: I don't own a 5 shot weapon or I might have said 5.)

loneviking
May 2, 2012, 12:00 PM
Yep..six minimum and of a heavy caliber. .357 caliber with 158 gr. Hollowpoints out of a Mod. 19 is my preference.

56hawk
May 2, 2012, 12:25 PM
10 for an auto.
5 for a revolver, but I'll always carry at least one speed loader so I still have 10 rounds on me.

mavracer
May 2, 2012, 12:29 PM
Ok if i carry a gun the answer is probably 5, even though I do have a 2 shot derringer I keep a speed strip with it an load the center two rounds in the gun when i put it in my pocket then put the speed strip with the other four in my pocket. I usually have a reload for whatever I'm carrying but occasionally I'll just throw the J frame in the pocket to run to the store.

Teachu2
May 2, 2012, 12:45 PM
As I get older, and the world gets uglier, I'm in the process of changing over from a 5-shot .38+P snubbie to a 10+1 .45acp G30. Ugliness is traveling in packs more often these days, at least in my perception. The G30 is an improvement over the snubbie on nearly every point: fits my hand better, one hit will nearly always get the job done, double the round count....

X-Rap
May 2, 2012, 01:08 PM
While I consider myself to be a fair shot I anticipate a certain, perhaps a high percentage of shots in a true life and death struggle to be less than lethal and perhaps miss their mark all together. For this reason I prefer the higher capacity of the double stack 9mm. Having never been in such a life and death situation I can only look at what has been documented and there is a fairly high count of shot to stop in high stress shootings that have been shown on LE dash cams and security cameras. The shooters vary from cops to gangsters so I don't think this is judging a certain demographic so much as situations.
My view of being less than comfortably armed with revolver or single stack capacities comes from my experience at shooting on the move to reach cover or (as they say) getting of the X.
4 or 5 rds can go in a hurry and if there is the chance of multiple assailants, by the time you reach cover you might have run dry.
I'm not advocating a spray and pray mentality and every situation will have to be processed at the time it happens (very quickly) but if you are going to win you must put some rounds down range and at least some must hit. I just want enough rds. to do the job.

Skribs
May 2, 2012, 04:59 PM
I've carried both a 5-round revolver and a 6-round pocket pistol, and I've come to the conclusion that while I feel safer with that than without anything, I'd like at least 8 to feel comfortable (I figure 4 people can easily fit in most cars, 2 rounds each if I get attacked by a full car), although preferably double digits.

Of course, if that double digits is in hexadecimal, that's even better.

56hawk
May 2, 2012, 05:26 PM
Of course, if that double digits is in hexadecimal, that's even better.

If I could find a 9mm pistol with a C8 capacity magazine I'd be very happy. :D

David E
May 2, 2012, 05:51 PM
I do have a 2 shot derringer I keep a speed strip....

I submit that THIS is the new definition of "Optimist."

FMF Doc
May 2, 2012, 06:25 PM
I wouldn't carry less than 5. Luckily, 5 isn't hard to come by. As has already been said, if all I had was an antique flint lock, it's still better than nothing.

easyg
May 2, 2012, 09:42 PM
Dear THR,
What is the minimum capacity handgun would you consider for self defense when you are out of the house and not in your vehicle?

Five is the minimum for me.
As in a 5-shot snubbie.
But even then I really don't feel totally confident.

My Ruger SR9c is my usual concealed carry piece....

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n165/allenXdog/photobucket-34455-1335218747958.jpg

10+1 rounds of 9mm Para is much more comforting than 5 rounds of .38+P.

PBR Streetgang
May 2, 2012, 09:53 PM
Carry what you have. One shot is better than nothing at all. I carried a S&W 442 for a lot of years with a extra speedstrip or speedloader in my pocket.

allaroundhunter
May 3, 2012, 02:09 AM
Minimum that I would carry? 5 shot J-Frame (don't own one, even if I did, it wouldn't be my primary carry)

Minimum that I occasionally carry? 15+1 Glock 19

Minimum that I typically carry? 17+1 M&P9 FS

460Kodiak
May 3, 2012, 09:10 AM
5 shots out of my S&W 642, or 5 shots out of my SP101, depending on the season.

I used to pocket carry a Bond Arms Derringer, but it is too heavy, and only produces 2 shots. The snubs are better options.

GEM
May 3, 2012, 10:34 AM
Pocket - 5 shoot J or a 6 shot snubby of different kinds
Belt - a G26 or G19 sized Glock

Fits with my clothing regime.

David E
May 3, 2012, 10:43 AM
Carry what you have. One shot is better than nothing...

Obviously one shot is better than nothing, but this is an area where you get to select your carrygun. It is not assigned to 99% of us. You do not have to choose a single shot.

Who would choose a single shot Downsizer in .45 acp over a 5-shot .38 for typical concealed carry?

I had asked a very similar question to the OP a couple years ago: "where do you draw the line between power and capacity?" using the Downsizer example.

When some folks said a 2-shot .22 Derringer, I realized the question was pointless. This time, folks are citing single shots or no gun at all. :rolleyes:

wildehond
May 3, 2012, 10:55 AM
I personally would not like to go less than six, but would prefer about 8 min.

I think however that it is more important to make sure you can put those rounds where they count, then 5 can be plenty.

asia331
May 3, 2012, 12:13 PM
Can't see how the minimum capacity anyone would consider could be anything but one.

Given a choice between nothing and a single shot derringer, who would choose nothing?

I'll yield my time to the gentleman from Louisiana.

jmorris
May 3, 2012, 12:39 PM
I have a 2 shot 45lc that I carry (loaded with #12 shot) when I go fishing...where there is one snake there is two.

Zach S
May 3, 2012, 12:43 PM
I've never really thought about it. I would have to say five or six, as I don't like derringers, a wheelgun will hold at least five, and an auto will hold at least six. I prefer to carry at least one reload, but have ran out for a minute without one.

Since I don't like derringers, I think I'd be hard pressed to find something holds less than five or six rounds. The two smallest pistols I've owned were a Taurus Model 85 and a Kahr PM9. The PM9 is long gone, later replaced with a P9.

If I cant conceal a Model 85 or a P9 in what I'm wearing, I'm not dressed appropriately to be in public, so you wont find me in public, and a smaller pistol is useless to me.

I'll take a maglight over a single shot derringer. If there's a good chance they're close enough to hit with the derringer, I take a step can reach them with the club, er, maglight.

Skribs
May 3, 2012, 12:44 PM
The problem with the "with the choice between 1 and 0, I'll take 1" argument is that it doesn't really tell the person who is going out to buy a CCW anything. It just says the obvious (that N is better than N-1).

When you go to buy a gun, or are picking between two you already own to carry, or are evaluating whether you need a different one, your choices aren't 0 or 1. It's anywhere from 1 to 21 (not including extended mags or the PMR-30). So the question is, where on that scale would you feel comfortable.

A better way of wording it would be "at what point do you feel you're sufficiently armed for any self defense encounter you will likely be involved in, as opposed to just 'well, it's 1 more than before' or 'better than nothin'?"

David E
May 3, 2012, 02:03 PM
I have a 2 shot 45lc that I carry (loaded with #12 shot) when I go fishing...where there is one snake there is two.

But never 3, eh? :rolleyes:

Doug S
May 3, 2012, 02:36 PM
Obviously one shot is better than nothing, but this is an area where you get to select your carrygun. It is not assigned to 99% of us. You do not have to choose a single shot.

Who would choose a single shot Downsizer in .45 acp over a 5-shot .38 for typical concealed carry?

I had asked a very similar question to the OP a couple years ago: "where do you draw the line between power and capacity?" using the Downsizer example.

When some folks said a 2-shot .22 Derringer, I realized the question was pointless. This time, folks are citing single shots or no gun at all.


Agreed. Some folks just can't get over themselves enough to not argue semantics...whether the argument is valid or not doesn't seem to matter.

mavracer
May 3, 2012, 05:01 PM
I submit that THIS is the new definition of "Optimist."
I want to be a pessimist but i just don't think it'll work out.

seriously you can one more round yourself right up to the point the load's so heavy you can't run fast enough to avoid trouble, what then.

allaroundhunter
May 3, 2012, 05:04 PM
seriously you can one more round yourself right up to the point the load's so heavy you can't run fast enough to avoid trouble, what then.

I don't care for the "one more rounding myself", my judgement on 5 being the minimum is that I plan for a 2 bad guy minimum, at least 2 shots to each bad guy. (And finding a gun with a four round capacity is just hard work)

A 2 shot derringer just doesn't cut it for me.

Skribs
May 3, 2012, 05:13 PM
AAH, there are 4-shot derringers. I don't know how rare they are, though.

allaroundhunter
May 3, 2012, 05:13 PM
AAH, there are 4-shot derringers. I don't know how rare they are, though.

Far too impractical.

David E
May 3, 2012, 05:56 PM
The C.O.P., the "Compact Off-duty Police" is a 4 shot DAO .357 (tho they allegedly made one in .22)

If you think this gun is practical for SD, then you've never pulled the trigger on one.

Waywatcher
May 3, 2012, 06:02 PM
Yeah, I saw it posted before: Who would choose nothing if it was that or a single shot... so I guess the minimum is one.

My lowest capacity gun is 5, fwiw.

Robbins290
May 3, 2012, 09:03 PM
8 rounds, smith and wesson 3913

browningguy
May 3, 2012, 11:34 PM
Generally the lowest capacity pistol I ever carry is one of the mouseguns with 6+1 capacity.

dataDyne
May 4, 2012, 08:25 AM
No more and no less than five shots

Mike J
May 4, 2012, 10:38 AM
For me I would say six. I usually carry either a XD-40 or a Kel Tec P11. The XD has a capacity of 12 + 1. The Kel Tec has a capacity of 10 + 1. Sometimes if I am going to the woods I take an old Dan Wesson .357 with me though & it holds 6. If carrying an auto I usually carry a spare magazine. Spare mags are small enough & light enough if I am going to carry a gun it is very little extra trouble to carry a spare mag.

mdauben
May 4, 2012, 12:27 PM
I would say a 5-shot .38 special would be the "least" I would willingly carry. Sure any gun is better than no gun, but I would not be comfortable with a .22 or a 2-shot derringer for SD.

beeb173
May 4, 2012, 05:02 PM
2 rounds here... Bond arms derringer in 44special
And I thought my KelTec pf9 w/ +p ammo was rough. You must have cast iron wrists!

GEM
May 6, 2012, 11:43 AM
As far as derringers - there were the old 4 barrel Sharps and some remakes in 22 LR by HJS. Iver Johnson's web page said they were going to do one but I never saw it. The COP is a heavy thing - best used on Battlestar Galactica.

Now on the old TV show, Yancy Derringer - he carried Sharps. One up each sleeve. One in each vest pocket and one in his hat. And a sword gun. That's a hint. Pluse he was accompanied by his native - American buddy with a double barreled 12 gauge.

MyGreenGuns
May 6, 2012, 12:29 PM
I feel well protected when carrying my 5 shot S&W j-frame.^Me too. I usually carry a 16+1 XD9, but its real easy to tuck the .38 in a pocket and go.

I have and will continue to carry 5&7 shot guns^I would never mess with someone carrying 5-7 shotguns! :what: Oh wait, I read that wrong. :rolleyes:

Of course, if that double digits is in hexadecimal, that's even better.

If I could find a 9mm pistol with a C8 capacity magazine I'd be very happy.^I was going to call you guys nerds, til I realized I knew what you were talking about.

No more and no less than five shots^Why no more?

Swing
May 6, 2012, 12:48 PM
Five-round snub, pretty much.

NMGonzo
May 6, 2012, 01:15 PM
as small as i can carry is the kel-tec

spring and fall is big carry

summer and winter is small.

Stevie-Ray
May 6, 2012, 10:46 PM
7 rounds of .45 ACP, 3" 1911, 8 rounds of .32 ACP, KT P32. Carry both normally, either one is minimal for me.

WvHiker
May 7, 2012, 01:20 PM
Right now I'm wearing a five shot 3" .357 with a quickstrip in my pocket, having just got back from an early morning romp in the woods. I feel comfortable with this setup. Outside the woods I carry .38+p the same way, if I carry the wheelgun.

After I hit the showers to head off to work (I work nights) I'll put in a G19. I like the 9mm a lot better here in town, especially with the end of WVU's spring term and the resulting parties/riots.

420Stainless
May 7, 2012, 01:50 PM
I sometimes carry a 6-shot revolver and am comfortable with only that. I don't own one, but a 5 shot snubby would be okay with me too. Don't think I'd ever feel comfortable dropping down to two or one round in something concealable. I don't generally carry reloads on my person, only in my vehicle.

So I'll go with 5.

Sgt_R
May 7, 2012, 02:05 PM
For self defense when out and about, 6+1 in .380 is as low as I go. My preference, when my wardrobe allows for it, is to add 10+1 of 9mm and a 10 round reload.

For home defense, I like 19+1 of 9mm and/or 30 of 5.56x45.

R

M1key
May 7, 2012, 09:41 PM
7+1 in a 380 but I haven't had the nerve to carry it yet :rolleyes:

normally 9+1 in a Glock 27 or Glock 33 or Glock 30 :cool:

M

Ben86
May 8, 2012, 06:46 PM
For CC my minimum capacity is 6, as in a pocket sized auto. That said my preference is 17 in a full sized auto. ;)

The_Armed_Therapist
May 9, 2012, 04:54 PM
Kahr PM45... 5+1 capacity w/ one spare mag. No need for less. 6+1 of .380 w/an extra mag is minimum, too... 11 .45 or 13 .380. I see no reason to ever have less than 11 rounds on you.

The_Armed_Therapist
May 9, 2012, 04:55 PM
My usual... 31 rounds of .40sw and 15 rounds of .32acp. Not ideal, but far exceeding minimum requirements. ;)

Skribs
May 9, 2012, 05:30 PM
I actually decided to start carrying extra magazines when I ride my bike, for the purpose of increasing the weight and therefore getting a better workout. My standard load when riding is now 33 rounds of .40.

JohnBiltz
May 9, 2012, 08:32 PM
I'm comfortable carrying when I have a 10 round capacity. Which is not the same as my minimum that I would carry. I'd say that would be 5. I would consider myself armed and able to defend myself with 5 under most circumstances, the most common circumstances but I would not be comfortable because I'd be worried about multiple attackers.

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