What is your minimum defensive caliber?


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Sergei Mosin
February 5, 2013, 08:01 PM
What is the minimum caliber you carry (or would be willing to carry) in a defensive handgun? Does the answer change if considering a BUG vs a primary?

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MedWheeler
February 5, 2013, 08:05 PM
.22 Long Rifle. That's the minimum, though I cannot remember the last time I left my property with a gun that wasn't in a larger caliber. It's probably been years, and likely was on a trail somewhere.
I have several other choices available. My most-frequently carried piece is in 9mm. When I'm going to and from work (a "no-carry" profession), I have a .32 in my pocket.

Fryerpower
February 5, 2013, 08:05 PM
.22 bug gun in shorts in the summer time.
9x18mm Makarov the rest of the time.

Jim

SDGlock23
February 5, 2013, 08:08 PM
Smallest I've carried and felt somewhat comfy with was a 380, Ruger LCP. But there are small 9's out there like the Kahr CM9 that are inexpensive, not much bigger and pack more punch. I sold my LCP when I got the CM9, and to me there's no point in a 380 when there are great small 9's out there. Since then I've upgraded and pocket carry a Kahr CM40.

Deltaboy
February 5, 2013, 08:11 PM
22 lr.

Teachu2
February 5, 2013, 08:16 PM
At one time I carried a .22WMR derringer as a BUG, but these days I carry 9mm or .45acp. Bigger holes bleed better!

browningguy
February 5, 2013, 08:21 PM
If all I had was a .22 that's what I would carry. On a regular basis the smallest I carry is a .32.

tekarra
February 5, 2013, 08:22 PM
9 mm or on occasion .38 spl.

M1key
February 5, 2013, 08:27 PM
9mm...Glock

M

franco45
February 5, 2013, 08:34 PM
LCP as a primary in the summer and as a bug to a 9mm or 38 special in cold weather.

gbran
February 5, 2013, 09:10 PM
http://www.chuckhawks.com/825_express_mag.jpg
.44 mag, .825 G&S Gold, .825 G&S Platinum, .357 mag

Delawarean
February 5, 2013, 09:19 PM
.32 ACP minimum

I prefer at least .38 Special, though.

beatledog7
February 5, 2013, 09:26 PM
.38SPL (not +P) or .380ACP. I don't have a carry gun in .22LR, but I'd carry that as well.

miles1
February 5, 2013, 09:39 PM
.38 special or .380

L-Frame
February 5, 2013, 09:49 PM
for regular cc I carry a 3" GP-100 with BB 158 gr. SWCHP +P's, but kicking around the house with shorts (or whatever) on I have a Keltec .32.

gulogulo1970
February 5, 2013, 10:01 PM
9mm, a Glock 19, I keep wanting to buy a small 380 but can't seem to do it.

I tell myself why buy a 380 when I can get a Kahr CM9 that is almost as small?

beatledog7
February 5, 2013, 10:08 PM
why buy a 380 when I can get a Kahr CM9 that is almost as small?

I can think of one reason, and it's a good one for many shooters. In a really small pistol, the increase in size and weight of "the same" model from .380 to 9mm is minimal, but the difference in felt recoil and therefore time to accurate follow-up shots is proportionally much greater. The itty-bitty .380 is simply more controllable.

Garmangabis
February 5, 2013, 10:08 PM
At least one .45acp P220 with two spare magazines - my entire wardrobe reflects this decision.

IMHO, never compromise the gun you carry, get a high quality holster.

JoelSteinbach
February 5, 2013, 10:12 PM
38spl 158gr lwc, is a big hunk of lead for a pocket carry round

jon86
February 5, 2013, 10:15 PM
Sometimes, I don't carry a gun. But I do feel well armed with 38 special+p.

gulogulo1970
February 5, 2013, 10:15 PM
At least one .45acp P220 with two spare magazines - my entire wardrobe reflects this decision.

IMHO, never compromise the gun you carry, get a high quality holster.


So, sometimes more than one P220? I'd have to change my wardrobe to ponchos and raincoats.

IdahoSkies
February 5, 2013, 10:22 PM
Probably a 22 lr. Though my daily carry is a .32, and that goes almost everywhere with me. Can't think why I would have a 22lr and not my .32.

Garmangabis
February 5, 2013, 10:30 PM
http://http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c223/ZMadPoet/Twinrigunholstered.jpg
So, sometimes more than one P220? I'd have to change my wardrobe to ponchos and raincoats.
Sometimes twin 629s, with the proper holster, just a light vest.

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c223/ZMadPoet/Twinrigunholstered.jpg

Zardaia
February 5, 2013, 10:36 PM
Bare min .380, generally only as a bug or when jogging. 9mm min for edc, .45 prefered/actual edc.

Analogkid
February 5, 2013, 10:42 PM
I have carried a few 22 short Astra cubs and Colt Juniors.
I try to carry my sp101 with full house .357 for the most part though.

John828
February 5, 2013, 10:43 PM
I'd carry any caliber versus carrying nothing, but I have never carried less than a .45

For lack of a better phrase, I am of the mindset that being situationally aware is 95% of the battle, the other 5% is training.

rchery59
February 5, 2013, 11:54 PM
38 special for me, wife carries .380

radar1972
February 6, 2013, 12:19 AM
.380 or .38 special

C0untZer0
February 6, 2013, 12:20 AM
9mm & Rorgbaugh R9

Rohrbaugh R9
Caliber:9mm
Barrel:2.9in
Length:5.2in
Height:3.7in
Weight:13.5oz
Capacity:6+1 Rounds

Bovice
February 6, 2013, 12:21 AM
Smallest I've carried is a 9mm. But I much prefer larger calibers because I can handle them.

VINTAGE-SLOTCARS
February 6, 2013, 12:28 AM
My standard carry is a Sig p220 in 45 acp. My smallest carry is a Beretta 948 in .22 with CCI stingers.

Takem406
February 6, 2013, 12:34 AM
I only own 40's and we've got a 38 but I'm not a stubby fan so it just sits in the car.

In God and Glock we Trust

MICHAEL T
February 6, 2013, 12:35 AM
I drop a 25 Beretta jetfire in my pocket some times . I live in country and going to local little general store . Not like living in a large crime city. Their its 9mm of 45 when I visit. .

ArchAngelCD
February 6, 2013, 01:50 AM
I was going to say a 500 S&W Magnum but that would be a lie since I don't own one so I will have to go with the .460 S&W Magnum instead...

JEB
February 6, 2013, 03:30 AM
.380 ACP in a ruger LCP for me. typically it is carried as a BUG except for when i am in a situation that requires deep concealment, then it is my primary. generally speaking, i wouldn't want less than a 9mm for my primary.

Powerglide
February 6, 2013, 05:43 AM
Still carry a 1903 Colt 32.

bannockburn
February 6, 2013, 05:48 AM
In a semi-auto it would be a .380.

In a revolver it would be a .38 Special.

Deen Macheen
February 6, 2013, 06:01 AM
I don't have a 22lr pistol, but I would feel safe if I did. Smallest caliber I have carried is a .30 cal (actually a 7.62x25) in my CZ-52. It was my sidearm while I was doing bail bond recovery. Had JHP in the mag with FMJ in the resaerve mag just in case I came across a bad guy with body armor (.30 cal at 1500 fps will penetrate level 2 armor FYI).

Now that I am semi-retired, I carry my 357 mag snubbie or my Taurus pub defender with 4 pellet 000 buck.

45_auto
February 6, 2013, 07:21 AM
What is the minimum caliber you carry (or would be willing to carry) in a defensive handgun? Does the answer change if considering a BUG vs a primary?

Minimum caliber I carry is 0. I'm not one that lives his life such that I need a gun within reach 24 hours a day.

bikerdoc
February 6, 2013, 07:31 AM
380 on sunday rest of the week 45 357 or 9

The_Armed_Therapist
February 6, 2013, 08:20 AM
Minimum backup: .22LR
Minimum primary: 9mm

I'd be comfortable with .22LR as a backup. Though, I use .32acp currently as my backup, and would ideally prefer .380.

As a primary (I always carry a primary in addition to the back-up), I would never go less than 9mm. I usually carry .40sw as my primary, though I would ideally like 10mm, or .45acp.

vba
February 6, 2013, 08:49 AM
Made my decision long ago in the 9mm, presently in the form of the Kahr cm9 or S&W M&P9c. The former is my hot months summer pocket carry and the latter for when it is cooler. In the late fall/winter it is the Colt 1991A1.

Skribs
February 6, 2013, 10:47 AM
I actually believe in carrying the minimum. I carry 9mm, and would not carry a lighter (.38 spl or .380 ACP, for example) hollowpoint. I like the extra capacity compared to the other options out there.

For my "can't carry" shorts, I currently have a .380 but I'm looking at going down to a .32, because I don't think there's much difference between .380 and .32 if I'm going FMJ on both.

mdauben
February 6, 2013, 11:11 AM
What is the minimum caliber you carry (or would be willing to carry) in a defensive handgun?
The "smallest" caliber I currently have for SD is 9mm. I've been thinking about a .38 SPL pocket gun loaded with +P ammo, but I would hate to go any smaller than that. Certainly even .22LR is better than nothing, but given I can be armed with better, I see no reason not to be.

Does the answer change if considering a BUG vs a primary?
As a non-LEO I don't generally feel the need for a BUG so the point is moot.

Chevelle SS
February 6, 2013, 11:13 AM
22lr

CZ223
February 6, 2013, 12:36 PM
Got an LCP in my pocket right now. My 1911 is on my my right hip.

mrnic3guy1989
February 6, 2013, 01:16 PM
My minimum is .32 acp in my Tomcat. That is what I carry when I shouldn't be carrying and obviously can't conceal my G21.

2zulu1
February 6, 2013, 01:32 PM
At my place minimum is 38 Super in a 1911 or 357 mag S&W. When traveling to town minimum is 9mm Hi-Power, typically it's a 1911 in either 38 Super or 45 auto.

Dnaltrop
February 6, 2013, 01:41 PM
I usually carry .45 colt, and alternate with a .40.

Anything is better than nothing, but I wouldn't be "happy" with less than a .38spl/.380

BSA1
February 6, 2013, 03:11 PM
22 L.R. but 22 Mag is running a close 2nd.

Bobson
February 6, 2013, 06:18 PM
9mm in a primary carry; .38 Special in a BUG.

threefortyduster
February 6, 2013, 07:08 PM
Got a .32, carry it sometimes, but when I'm in an area that tends to have a more diverse type of people around, I much prefer the a .380+. My preference would be the .357 I normally carry or a .40.

Sergei Mosin
February 6, 2013, 07:32 PM
I'm surprised by the number of people who view .22 rimfires as acceptable. I've had so many misfires over the years that I'd never trust a rimfire cartridge in a defensive situation if there was any alternative.

rcmodel
February 6, 2013, 08:07 PM
8-shot .22 LR in a 317 S&W with a Crimson Trace Lasergrip & CCI Mini-Mags.

Attila the Hun would fall down with 8 rounds in his eye sockets, nasal cavity's, or heart.

If thats too big and heavy at 11 oz, a flatter 10 oz Kel-Tec P3AT .380 in my jeans pocket would do as well.

rc

Spike_akers
February 6, 2013, 08:26 PM
357 sig as minimum, and .45 as regular. will never carry 9mm, because it has too much penetration and less stopping power than the 357 sig...

TennJed
February 6, 2013, 08:41 PM
22 short

Dr.Rob
February 6, 2013, 08:45 PM
.380


My 22's are target pistols and not suited to CCW.

My .25 is almost 100 years old and more of a novelty/range toy.

My .32-20 has too long of a barrel for CCW, though I suspect the cartridge is hot enough.

I don't own a dedicated .38 special revolver.

Honestly I'd rather carry a full sized 9mm or .45 or .357, but I have a couple reliable .380's.

mnhntr
February 6, 2013, 11:07 PM
38+p in a revolver or 9mm in a Semi auto.

yellowgate
February 6, 2013, 11:43 PM
.357

pockets
February 7, 2013, 08:16 AM
I guess it's .22 Short. Since I own dozens of pocket pistols from .22 Short, Long & LR, to .25acp, to .32 acp, to .380acp.
I do own 'larger than pocket' pistols in other chamberings. I have a 9x19 with me today. But I have no problem carrying a pocket .32acp on most occasions.
.

joecil
February 7, 2013, 08:45 AM
I have carried 9mm on occasions but normally a 45 ACP. Never owned anything smaller in a gun that I would carry. Now I've owned 32, 22LR and 22 Mag but all in wrong type of gun to carry.

303tom
February 7, 2013, 09:00 AM
.22 cal.......................

C0untZer0
February 7, 2013, 09:03 AM
A Rohrbaugh R9 in the front pocket for primary, and for backup...


Another Rohrbaugh R9 !!!


In the BACK pocket !

tuj
February 7, 2013, 09:34 AM
9mm, the loads today are quite impressive with consistent expansion.

460Kodiak
February 7, 2013, 10:14 AM
.38 special. Usually carry a .45 or .357 though.

Queen_of_Thunder
February 7, 2013, 12:12 PM
41mag

scotjute
February 7, 2013, 02:23 PM
.38 spl +P

jimbo555
February 7, 2013, 04:28 PM
9mm or 38spl. my 22 is for plinking and target.

MedWheeler
February 7, 2013, 04:43 PM
45-Auto writes:

Minimum caliber I carry is 0. I'm not one that lives his life such that I need a gun within reach 24 hours a day.

You simply could have abstained from the thread, rather than injecting sarcasm or condescending words.
Except for those of us who are required by professional duty, none of us carry because we live in such a manner that requires us to "have a gun within reach 24 hours a day." In fact, none of us actually needs a gun at all.
Those of us who carry do so because, if the lack of a need for it suddenly changes, the change will likely be quite sudden (kind of like keeping a fire extinguisher in the home; it's not needed until it is.)

Autolycus
February 7, 2013, 06:03 PM
For my primary CCW I will not carry anything smaller than a 9mm. As far as a BUG, I will go as small as a .380 ACP or a .38 special if carrying a revolver. As of right now I usually carry a Glock 19 and if I need a smaller gun then I will carry my Glock 26. I like having a 9mm gun and being able to use the larger magazines if I need to.

U-235
February 7, 2013, 06:09 PM
.380 or .38 Special

jmb100
February 7, 2013, 06:20 PM
380 ACP in either Ruger LCP or Sig P238, but I have carried 22 LR CCI Stinger in a Beretta Bobcat in national parks where 22 LR is the largest caliber allowed.

bill3424
February 7, 2013, 07:14 PM
.380 or .38spl for me.

Kiln
February 8, 2013, 04:32 AM
.22lr is the minimum. I'd even trust my Rohm RG23 (either of them) for it. I know, let the crucifiction begin.

Deen Macheen
February 8, 2013, 07:09 AM
I'm surprised by the number of people who view .22 rimfires as acceptable. I've had so many misfires over the years that I'd never trust a rimfire cartridge in a defensive situation if there was any alternative.
I thought we were just talking caliber, rather than the dependability of rimfire, which I completely agree with. My wife wanted a 22 Mag until she found out it was a rimfire.

Now there's an idea: 22 mag in centerfire? Naw, it would become the .327 in redo :)

45Frank
February 8, 2013, 09:03 AM
32 H&R Mag. I can hit what I shoot at. Don't matter what you have if you miss regularly. :evil:

460Kodiak
February 8, 2013, 09:07 AM
but I have carried 22 LR CCI Stinger in a Beretta Bobcat in national parks where 22 LR is the largest caliber allowed.

What national park is this a rule in? I've never heard this.

herkyguy
February 8, 2013, 09:11 AM
22 WMR in a Ruger Single Six, only because I've carried it a few times running errands after a day on the ranch.

jmb100
February 8, 2013, 10:48 AM
Regarding 22 LR concealed carry in national parks in North Carolina, the following is quoted from http://www.ncwildlife.org/Default.aspx?tabid=416&IndexId=2053

1. According to the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of Interior, people who can legally possess firearms under federal and state law can now possess those firearms in the national parks in that state. This pertains to anyone with a concealed carry permit.

2. National parks should not be confused with national forests. In North Carolina, the Nantahala, Pisgah, Uwharrie and Croatan national forests are also designated as game lands.

3. Game land regulations allow .22 caliber pistols, with barrels not greater than seven and a half inches in length and shooting only short, long or long rifle ammunition, to be carried as a sidearm on game lands at any time, other than by hunters during the special bow and arrow and muzzleloading deer hunting seasons.

4. QUESTION: I hold a North Carolina concealed carry permit. May I carry my concealed carry firearm on game lands when it isn’t a hunting season?
ANSWER: Game land regulations allow .22 caliber pistols, with barrels not greater than seven and a half inches in length and shooting only short, long or long rifle ammunition, to be carried as a sidearm on game lands at any time, other than by hunters during the special bow and arrow and muzzleloading deer hunting seasons.

P-Dog
February 8, 2013, 11:17 AM
9mm min. But I also agree with others here, if all I had was a .22, then that's what it would be. Preferably, a .40 for me. I'd worry that in a "situation" having a .22 would require very good shot placement in a high adrenaline / reactive scenario. The higher caliber, in my mind, increases the margin of error in regards to shot placement and stopping power.

Roadking Rider
February 8, 2013, 11:51 AM
For me it's a .380.

TonyT
February 8, 2013, 12:37 PM
I only carry one gun. Usually its a Kahr PM-9 in a pocket holster but soemtimes it's a Glock-36. I am reminded of an old S&W add for the early 1900's which stated that more people both good and bad were shot with 32 cal S&W than other guns. Shot placement is critical.

460Kodiak
February 8, 2013, 02:12 PM
Thanks for clearing that up jmb100 and for the info. It is a stupid rule, to be sure, but it's good to be informed. Jeez, a .22 in black bear country? Note to self: Stay out of NC.

doc2rn
February 8, 2013, 04:04 PM
Smallest I have carried is a Beretta Minx, but the norm is a S&W mod 10.

Inebriated
February 8, 2013, 04:10 PM
I draw the line at about .22LR and .17 HM2.

I fall into the "any gun is better than no gun" camp.

jad0110
February 8, 2013, 05:02 PM
I draw the line at about .22LR and .17 HM2.

I fall into the "any gun is better than no gun" camp.

Agreed, though I do prefer medium or large bore centerfire rounds. The least potent gun I carry is a snub nose .38 S&W 642, and I have no qualms doing so, other than the fact that it is not as easy to shoot as other larger guns I carry.

My wife has a .32 ACP Colt 1908 and though I don't rely on it for protection, it is her house gun and I would have no problems using for protection on it either.

MCgunner
February 8, 2013, 05:13 PM
I carry a .22 LR mini revolver as back up and sometimes forget to put my 9 in my pocket and my Ruger SR22 up when I go to town. I carry a .22 magnum, Hornady CD in a NAA Black Widow, on Sundays.

It's pretty low threat around here. We moved away from the big city. I have property here with small game on it, so like to carry a little .22 a lot. My fave for just carrying is a little Rossi Revolver. It's twice as accurate as the SR22 with its best load and I just shoot it better, but I carry it on a belt so it's hard to forget when I'm going to go to town. :D When I take it off, I still have the 9 in my pocket.

mljdeckard
February 8, 2013, 05:15 PM
.380 if it is a hot loading, like those offered from Double-Tap. And honestly I would steer most people to something bigger.

Otherwise, 9mm.

481
February 8, 2013, 06:43 PM
Minimum for me is 9mm.

Subcompacts available in the caliber like the Kahr PM9 and KelTec PF9 make having to go to the .380 unnecessary (at least for me).

Ehtereon11B
February 8, 2013, 08:17 PM
In a backup gun it would depend on what I am carrying. Revolver would be a .22 Mag. Semi-auto would be .380ACP.

Primary carry would be 9mm.

WRGADog
February 8, 2013, 10:27 PM
I prefer one of my small 9's (Solo, PM9, Nano, PPS, G26, XDsc). All depends on how I am dressed.

David White
February 8, 2013, 10:39 PM
Tarus TCP .380 is the minimum I carry.
It's always my M&P .40 though.
I keep the .380 on me as my bug and my .40 as my primary.

Airbrush Artist
February 8, 2013, 11:22 PM
Colt .38 2" Snubby Detective Special, Easy To Carry, Fast To Draw,and I can group 4 of the 6 rounds on a CD at 12 yds..and the other 2 pretty close.

788Ham
February 8, 2013, 11:57 PM
.38 Spl. +p's

Manny
February 9, 2013, 12:44 AM
While I got my LCR-22 as a training gun for my KLCR loaded with .38+p's, it too is nothing to sneeze at with 8 rounds of CCI Velociters.

psyopspec
February 10, 2013, 10:21 PM
.380 for an absolute minimum if discretion is of utter necessity, with 9mm as a minimum preference.

Filmtex
February 10, 2013, 10:47 PM
Everyday carry is a .40, smallest-.380.

easyg
February 11, 2013, 10:36 AM
My minimum is .38 special from a 4"+ barrel.

Less than 4" it is 9mm Para.

steveo452
February 11, 2013, 04:18 PM
Everyday carry is a kimber .45acp, The minimum for my primary CCW would be .38spl. in a revolver or 9mm in a pistol. But as they say anything is better than nothing.

roadliner
February 11, 2013, 10:02 PM
Bigger is better, right? I normally carry a 45 acp,, with a Ruger LCP 380 being the smallest I carrry. But a 32 acp saved my life one night with a one shot stop. If I could chose at the moment of needing it, I'd do the 45 everytime.

Tomcat47
February 11, 2013, 10:20 PM
This question was asked in a firearms class by a few people new to the carry idea this past weekend.

I made this statement: ( my opinion - and I stated that! )

I said for concealed carry/personal protection I recommend nothing less than .32 caliber......

However everything less than .32 caliber beats not having one!....

Then the nuts and bolts of the discussion .... "what do I buy?" and mostly asked by females. I said take a little money go to local firing range and rent some guns that appeal to you in different calibers. When you find the one you like, you will know it!

This can save you a lot of money in the long run. And when you get the gun you like because it feels good, you shoot it good, you can manage the recoil etc. You will have confidence in it and yourself with it and you will shoot it! If you get something on an opinion or a whim and you do not like it, you will probably not shoot it or have confidence in it, and eventually will not even carry it.

golden
February 12, 2013, 12:16 PM
My smallest caliber is the .32ACP. I would prefer something larger like a 9m.m., but the smallest gun I shoot and carry on a regular basis is the BERETTA Tomcat in .32ACP.

Without the Tomcat to carry, my smallest would be the .380ACP. I prefer the .380 over the .38 Special because I prefer semi-autos over revovlers. In a full size revolver like the COLT Official Police or S&W model 10, I would use +P loads which recoil more than I want in a AIRWEIGHT S&W.

Jim

Akita1
February 12, 2013, 12:58 PM
.380 is the smallest I have (to carry). Prefer my 9mm and my .45 would be ideal but it's heavy.

beeb173
February 12, 2013, 01:24 PM
choosing between a 380 and a 9mm is like walking into 7 Eleven and not paying the extra nickle for the super big gulp. i just can't do it! :)

skoro
February 13, 2013, 01:17 AM
Mine is 380.

JoelSteinbach
February 13, 2013, 12:26 PM
NIHO i read your comments, on 45acp, What is your carry weapon

powderx
February 13, 2013, 12:49 PM
22lr hv. ;)

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