Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by WisBorn, Feb 14, 2021.
Sorry, I knew that I would miss a couple.
38 Super and 32 H&R Mag have a good size following.
I would go with 9x19, .38 Special, and .45 ACP for my three picks of Best Carry Cartridge. Runner-ups would be .380, .38 Super, and .44 Special.
My favorites are not the same as what I think are the “best.” I could nominate .45 ACP as a best, and a favorite. My first handgun chambered .45 ACP. The .357 Magnum could be a best, and, a favorite. My favorite individual handgun, visible in my avatar, is a .357 GP100, and was used in a defensive incident. Both .45 ACP and .357 Magnum have been duty pistol cartridges, in my personal past. (I worked as a big-city police officer, for 33+ years, and am now retired.)
9mm would be a cartridge that I consider a best, but would not necessarily be a personal top-three favorite.
Aging has caused recent shifts in what is suitable for my hands to continue shooting, and social isolation, made necessary by the panic-demic, has inhibited my ability to test some potential new bests, and potential new favorites. I already traded-away my Glock G19 pistols, in 2020, when they became too much, for right thumb and wrist. (Actual swelling, that persists; not just discomfort, though, thankfully, full-sized 9mm Glocks remain my “orthopedic pistols.”) It remains to be seen whether I will continue to shoot my 3rd-Gen S&W Nines. So, whatever votes I cast, today, are subject to change, whenever we can safely visit shooting ranges, again. (My wife is at a higher-risk, so we are all the more careful, regardless of local emergency orders and procedures.)
Past top-tier favorites have fallen from that height. The first to tumble was .44 Magnum, in 1985, when I realized it was a just a bit much, for routine use. I shifted attention to the .41 Magnum, for police duty and for personal carry, for about five years. I finally admitted to myself that I have K/L/GP100-sized hands. I was an early adopter of .40 S&W, in the early Nineties, for some personal carry, and used it for police duty from 2002 to 2015, when it was the employer-mandated standard. But .40 S&W was battering my aging hands, by age fifty, and I was able to start using 9mm while on duty, in 2015. I have not fired .40 since 2014.
While I don't believe there's a "best" when talking about handgun cartridges because most of them perform nearly identically, I can see why the 9mm is the winner in this poll so far. That being said, while I own a 9mm carry gun it practically never leaves the safe so that's not what I chose.
.357 mag K6s for most of my carry
.380 lcp when I pocket carry
.38 special 442 for those few times I forget to grab a gun, since it stays locked in a safe in my vehicle.
boring choices for my lcp II, glock19 and glock30: 380 acp, 9mm luger, 45 acp.
i'll add 357 magnum and 45 long colt for when i carry my blackhawks on my side.
After some thought it would go something like this. A 41 mag 7.5-6 inch barrel for hunting. 4 inch barrel 41 mag for woods walking. And a snubbie 41 mag for town walking. Then it one caliber and done.
I could only pick 9mm once.
I like big relatively slow bullets so, .45 acp, .44 spl and .45 colt. Runner up would be a .41 mag loaded to spl velocities.
What I have tended to carry most often over the last few deacdes are 25acp and one of the 32 family, either 32acp or 32S&W long. I have carried others but as said above, for the last few decades it's been the smaller calibers.
I picked the three top vote getters:
The rest are "wanna-bees"...
The 38 Special group begs to differ...
9mm because capacity
357 for the revolvers
and then 10mm because 10mm is best mm
I reckon you are probably right except that in the revolver world (which I forgot) .357 and .44 mags are king....
I was just referring to this particular poll which has 38 Special in 3rd.
That is sound selection.
Although, for "small stature" or shooters with wrist ailment, the double stack could be 9mm.
9 for around town
.40 for when I head into the woods hiking (200 gr. HC-FN)
.44 Mag when the woods contain big brown furry critters with a hump on their back (305 gr HC-FN)
9x19 pocket carry
.45 ACP IWB
.357 Magnum for open woods carry
My three favorites for carry include:
380 acp for a little gun pocket carry (hot, hot days and nicer attire)
38 special j frame pocket carry (most of the time )
41 mag pack and big pocket carry (also owb for woods carry)
I started the thread and I also would add 45 acp, 357 mag, 44 mag.
If I could only have one it would be 357 mag.
I picked 9mm, .45 acp, and "other". It's what I have, along with 22 and 32.
9mm- baseline. It can do 95% of the work 40 can, and you get more in the same size mag.
45 acp- for when I decide I want to carry a 1911. I've got some JHP, but wouldn't be afraid of carrying ball if I had to.
Other- I have 3 calibers not listed, which I think covers the spectrum if need be.
9x18 Makarov, I can carry in my CZ 82 to give me 12+1, or in my P64 for 6+1 in a pocket piece. 9 Mak is a bit hotter than .380 but overlaps the same guns- note I don't care for polymer frames, so it doesn't bother me that Glock doesn't have one. The guns can shoot steel cased (they are designed for that), so practice ammo is as cheap as 9x19 in a normal time. Hornady makes some JHP, as does PPU and Silver Bear. Fiocchi, PPU and Geco all make brass cased if that's your concern. Some gripe about less expansion with those HP's, but I've read a lot of folks prefer ball in .380 for expansion purposes anyway.
7.62x25 Tokarev- My Tok is quite a slim pistol, and if I need something with extra penetration this would be a good choice. Plenty of surplus Tok ammo around, along with commercial PPU Tok and Fiocchi 7.63 Mauser (which runs just fine). PPU has some JHP if I worried about that.
Worst case scenario (like this panic run), 9x23 Largo. I have a couple Star Modelo Super's, and going from 9x19 to 9 Largo is just a barrel swap. Being an obscure caliber, it's not as easy to find, but once you do, you're not fighting with millions of other buyers to get that last box. There's surplus, which isn't as reliable in my experience as the Tok surplus; and a couple of specialty makers also put it out. One loads JHP's. This is ammo basically equivalent to 9x19 in ballistics, in a familiar 1911 style platform.
I picked .45 ACP, .38 Spl., and 9mm. My 4th would be .380. I have carried all of those, as well as .22 LR.
The best one is the one you are carrying when you need it.
Even though I own many of them, I seem to grab the 357 sig most
9MM, 45ACP, and 357 for me
I don't want to oversimplify but for most people I think the best carry choice is 9mm in an auto or 38 in a revolver, depending on your platform preference.
I carry an M1911 in .45 ACP. But right now I'm wearing a Colt New Service in a pancake holster.
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