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Caliber vs Capacity- What's more valuable in a CCW?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by St.Pete7, Aug 27, 2011.

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  1. St.Pete7

    St.Pete7 Member

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    Cartridge vs Capacity- I'm shopping for a new carry gun: with the flood of smaller, easily concealable pistols of all types and calibers on the market, deciding on a suitable compromize has been a daunting task. Currently, I pocket a S&W Model 37 with the addition of a bianchi speed-strip should I need to reload. But, with all the footage on real-world gun fights, I kinda feel like I'm straddling the minimum performance threshold with a 5-shot revolver chambered in .38spl.
    Florida's growing trend of multi-thug home invasions and robberies prompted me to seek-out a pistol with proven stopping-power, as well as the on-board capacity to engage multiple threats. I just don't know if there's a happy-median of power vs capacity that I should look for at the gun shop. Any direction or opinions would be greatly appreciated.
    -St.Pete7
     
  2. PRM

    PRM Member

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    Gotta remember this is an internet forum and with your question, you are going to get every answer across the spectrum.

    There is nothing wrong with what you have (.38 special). Nothing wrong with adding a shotgun in your home or larger caliber in your handgun, or higher capacity if that is what you feel you need. I personally would rather have a J frame on me, than bigger in a nightstand or somewhere other than where I am.

    When all the posts are finished, you and you alone will have to decide what works for you.
     
  3. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    Proficiency.
     
  4. plateshooter

    plateshooter Member

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    I choose capacity. For one threat, my j frame is fine, but for multiple threats, I like lots of bullets without having to stop and reload. My favorite is my M&P9c with full size 17 round magazine.
     
  5. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    Not to dive into the capacity vs cartridge debate, I agree that proficiency plays a role far more vital than either.

    Perhaps mistakenly so, I subscribe to the idea that anyone attempting to rob me would be a simple thug type as I am not exactly a high-profile target. An attack against me would likely be classified as a crime of opportunity and not something that has been thoroughly thought-out and rehearsed.

    Because of this, I believe if there indeed are multiple attackers, they would most likely scatter after the first couple shots remove some gray matter from one of their "associates", choosing not to dig in and fight it out until police arrive.
    So my priority is to be able to quickly produce the pistol and put a couple rounds where the they need to go.
     
  6. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

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    If you're worried perhaps it's time to get BOTH. I would say you're about ready to start drinking KOOL AID.
     
  7. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    Agree with both. Consider:

    30+1 .22WMR
    17+1 9mm
    7+1 .45ACP

    I might easily want more effective shots rather than just more shots, so the 9mm looks pretty good.

    Then again, if I like .45, maybe I should just carry spare mags and learn to reload fast? :D
     
  8. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

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    Hard to find anything with higher capacity that is close to the same size and weight of your 37 when loaded, 24oz, right. IF a extra firearm is still wanted AND you have a better half they may also have the need to shot it, size and grip need to fit and control for her too. Nothing wrong with the 37. I carried a 5 shot for 22 years. and today still don't carry a high cap pistol but do have an alternative at home. One of the lowest price house /high cap pistols would a s&w sigma in 9mm. They can be bought under 300 dollars all day long ,trigger will be like DA on your 37 and grip could be ok for small hands. Or look to a 20 ga shot gun ,something that a non-shooting spouce can learn to be profisient with. Both can be under that 300 dollar price. If only one pistol is wanted just try what you can for fit and size like a XD, glock or m&p used to save a few bucks. I know theres other too. Thee no perfect pistol for all of us.
     
  9. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

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    ....and I thought Glock Perfection Model 19 was for all of us? Getting Sigma is like dressing up with clothing from Walmart.:barf:
     
  10. Lawdawg45

    Lawdawg45 Member

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    Your post actually asked 2 different questions, one about concealed carry and the other about home defense, so I'll reply with 2 answers. For concealed carry, a proven round like the .38/.357 or 9mm is sufficient for most situations, and with lower capacity weapons reloading is paramount, so either go with a semi-auto or really work on speed reloads with your revolver. Home defense gives you 10X the selection of weapons, so if multiple suspects are a reality I'd go with a high capacity semi-auto or a shotgun with a magazine extension. If I had to choose one gun for both situations, I'd probably go with a Glock 19 or 26, which would give you 12 to 16 shots.;)

    LD45
     
  11. Geckgo

    Geckgo Member

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    I'm confused, the post says CCW but you are talking about home invasions with multiple assailants. These are not the same thing.

    as far as caliber vs. capacity??

    For the house, that means shotgun vs carbine
    for a pistol, it means 9mm vs 45 (usually)

    Seeing as how you already have a .38, which will do fine for CCW, consider a rifle and a security system for home defense, and maybe a dog too.

    Think about, if you HAVE to fire more than 5 shots... um... how many more do you think you will need and can you squeeze them off quick enough to make a difference in that situation. Maybe training might be a better way to spend the money, but I'm just playing devil's advocate on that one.

    Just my two cents, ymmv
     
  12. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

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    Works well for a lower cost house gun if you have some at home that might need a firearm when alone.

    HAY, I buy from wally world!!!!!
    Glocks are fine but don't allways fit small worth a poop. I have a glock 17 and a sigma among many others. Guess which my wife shoots. I have reworked the trigger pull to 6 lb's for 4 bucks cost and some time. She likes it. I also payed 289 new from local gun shop.
     
  13. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    Once you have a suitable cartridge, and an accurate firearm to launch it, I'm gonna have to go with proficiency. If you can hit the badguy between the eyes every time with a .22 caliber Walther P22, but can't hit squat with a .45 caliber 1911A1 sporting a drum magazine..., then you need to use the .22 pistol.

    Granted that's a grossly overt illustration, but seriously, if you have a tough time hitting your target with a certain handgun, the caliber choice is moot.

    Proficiency means not only being able to quickly reload, under stress, as well as clear jams..., it means you have thought about, and even done a walk-through in your dwelling, of how you would defend yourself, where you'd make use of cover, who else in the house you'd need to protect, etc.

    LD
     
  14. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Accuracy
     
  15. 357 Terms

    357 Terms Member

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    Shot placement! I feel very well armed with my 5 shot sp101 for CC, in a SD situation chances are you are gonna run out of time before you run out of rounds. If your first round hits its mark your need for 15 more is greatly diminished.
     
  16. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

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    There are those that talk proficiency/shoot-placement. The problem is the pucker factor which may void all preconceived notions. Staying cool, calm, and collected may or may not occur. In the end the choices we make may not determine the out come and no one promises you tomorrow.

    My observation which may or may not be correct is that people walk around mentally fat, dumb, and happy. Random selection/target of opportunity occurs when we are in our biosphere being oblivious to the world around us. This is much like people that pick their noses:what:while driving thinking no one is going to notice their preoccupation.

    I’m not getting into the caliber/capacity discourse. I’ve made my selections that I’m comfortable with.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  17. RickMD

    RickMD Member

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    Quite a few years ago I was working in Houston and had some free time on my hands. I walked into a gun shop where a grizzled, old, retired, Texas Ranger was working behind the counter. I told him I was in the market for a 9mm. He gruffly said, "What do you want it for?" I sheepishly told him that I had a 1911 but wanted something with more capacity.

    His reply was, "You ever been in a gun fight boy"? I muttered no. He snarled, "If you ever gotta fire more than seven shots in a gun fight, my money says you're a dead man anyway".

    I did walk out with a Browning Hi-Power...
     
  18. 481

    481 Member

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    Speaking strictly to the question as it relates to individual concealed carry, I'd go with "capacity" over "caliber" since the difference between calibers these days is pretty minimal given the high quality JHP ammunition available to us all should we elect to use it.

    I have no problem carrying a 9mm as a "minimum" SD caliber- did it for years as a sworn LEO and never felt "undergunned" since I relied on my training to see me through some very bad experiences.

    When it comes right down to it, if I am carrying concealed, I am likely all by myself as I am now retired, have no "back-up" (can't call for it on the radio) and no partner to rely on if "outnumbered" so the more doses of "felon repellent" that my gun (a Glock 17 loaded with a total of 18 rounds) has on board, the better I feel about being on my own. At least one (two is better) extra 17 round magazine is also a "must have", IMO.

    As for home defense, the answer is a rifle and the Arsenal SAS M7 is always nearby and loaded with a 30 round mag full of 7.62x39 124 gr. FMJs.
     
  19. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

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    Set and Match.

    Close this thread; it's over.
     
  20. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    Proficiency? So, proficiency trumps capacity and caliber?

    Huh. I take it then you carry a .22 CB single-shot pistol...but are very proficient! :D

    I think that even proficiency is aided by good caliber choice, or by good capacity...or both.
     
  21. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    PROFICIENCY AND ACCURACY TRUMP EVERYTHING

    If that's all you can make hits with then yes you'd better carry a 22cb. After all a 22 to the pinky is still more effective than a 45 fired into the wall.


    Now in the 21'st century handgun ammo is so good than with similar cartridge classes there really is no longer a debate about which cartridge is better.

    32 vs 45 sure there's a difference. But 9mm vs 45? Pfft! There's only one kind of dead


    ---
    - Tapatalk post via IPhone.
     
  22. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Sometimes I don't even carry a gun. proficiency to me includes stuff like situational awareness. the easiest way to survive a gun fight is avoidance. :scrutiny:
     
  23. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    Only hits count, you cannot miss fast enough to win a gunfight.
     
  24. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    If all I had was an Airweight J-frame, and liked it, but wanted more ammo capacity, I might want to add a second J-frame, if street carry was the goal. Indeed, I frequently do carry multiple SP101s.

    In one's home, where light weight and concealment are not needed, the weapon choice should be based upon one's defensive plan, and the environment. If the plan is to stay in place, and repel intruders, I cannot think of a better weapon than a shotgun, in most environments. If one must move about the home while defending, such as might be important if one must defend others in other parts of the home, the shotgun may not be a good choice, due to length and handling characteristics. (I do search interiors of homes with a shotgun in my hands, as part of a team.)

    There is nothing wrong with a large pistol that feeds from a double-stack magazine, if one has the proficiency and self-discipline to use the ammo wisely, to good effect. Fourteen to twenty quick misses is a recipe for disaster, especially if there are unintended targets downrange.
     
  25. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    Oh. It wasn't clear to me before that the definition of proficiency and accuracy was the ability (while presumably aiming COM) to hit the pinkie!

    That's what I would call broad side of a barn "accuracy." Yeah, I guess that level of proficiency is important--good point! :p:rolleyes:

    Now, just limiting the discussion to all those who have attained that high bar of proficiency: which is more important, caliber or capacity?

    ;):D
    It's funny, in a way: the OP asks of A and B, which is more important? The question as stated would logically allow three possible answers: A, B, or both are equally important.

    But I guess some feel the correct answer is C, or Z...or anything except what the question actually asked about. :D:banghead:
     
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