Do choose your defensive guns based on caliber or platform?

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More caliber for me Main gun 45acp then snubbie for summer in 357 could say winter is caliber specific and summer is platform but i dont deviate from those calibers at this time
First and foremost, platform ... then cal ........ for example I like both my P95 and P97 . they are comparable platforms ... but if a cal choice now, then P97 has it!

For revo's .. snubs ... it is mostly down to convenience and scale of 38/357.


If you ignore or discount either the caliber or the platform when you select a defensive weapon, you will find your effectiveness wanting when the rubber meets the road.
As long as I don't have to worry about a saftey I'll shoot it. That being said I have not had much experiece with wheel guns, exept my dad's S&W .357 with a 9" barrel. Not much of a CCW piece, but it has a sweet trigger.
I find after trying nearly everything, my favorites tend to be Glock 9mms and 1911 .45s. I'll still try something else if it's 9mm or .45, but I seem to always come back to Glocks and 1911s. I'd really like to find a nice, reliable 9mm 1911.
For defensive handgun, do you mean for home or concealed carry?
I consider caliber first. If I don't believe in the bullet doing the job, it doesn't matter how concealable the gun (platform) is, how well it handles, etc.
The I consider the platform and specific need. I have larger handguns for around the house, and I am saving for the right shotgun. In my traveling days, I kept a larger handgun in the passenger seat.
I chose the 1911 due to ergonomics and trigger. At first I wanted a 9mm 1911 but the range officer (a Korean war vet*, been there done that especially at Kelly Outpost) and hours of web browsing convinced me that you should stick to the original platform caliber.

*In case you don't know about the Puertoricans that beat the crap of the North Korean a Chinnese commies here is link to a brief history of the 65th Infantry.,13506,701994|700546,00.html
chaim, you and I base our choices the same way. If you don't like it, doesn't feel good, you won't practice and will never be as good when you need to be.
For defensive handgun, do you mean for home or concealed carry?
Yes:evil: :neener: . Really, both and either. How do you choose your defensive handguns (as opposed to those that are just for fun)? If your criteria for home is different than carry then say so, and why. Either way for me I'm comfortable with all major service calibers, so long as it is one of those other criteria normally come first. Other people may be big bore guys at heart, but carry a 9mm because it is more comfortable- that's fine too. I'm just curious who are platform and "it depends" people and who are caliber loyalists.
I look at the 'need' as well as the platform and caliber.

I carry a Kel-Tec .32 in a pocket almost everywhere, because it is small and can be concealed in just about anything.

I carry my .45 in cold weather when I wear heavier clothing that conceals it well

I carry my GP-100 .357 when I don't carry my .45 (loaded with .357 when out hiking and .38's when 'in town')

When not carrying the .45/.357 and during the summer I carry a S&W 6906 because it conceals well for me.

If I'm out mowing the grass at home (my two next door neighbors are the sheriff and a city police officer) I tend to carry my .32 only, of course I tend to have a .22/410 A6 Springfield scout for vermin, close at hand.
Neither. It's not optimal, but my current job dictates what I wear, and what I wear dictates what I can carry. I carry the biggest gun in the largest caliber I can conceal in my work cloths. That's usually a Kahr PM9, but when it's cold out I can turn the heat off, wear a sweater, and move up to a G36. On weekends its a different story.
I choose my defensive handguns based on ergonomics!!
I carry what fits my hand.
Currently, the short list is:

Glock 36

Kahr MK9 Elite 98

Pistolet Makarova

Kel-Tec P3AT.

Four different carry guns in four different calibers (and each fitting a slightly different niche)...I knew I liked you denfoote. Forget "formulas" and go with what you like.
For ME, the right carry gun, of whatever caliber, has the bonehead operational simplicity and safety of a revolver--for those times when excrement takes wing and coolheadedness goes out the window.
Within that platform, of course, I can ballistically achieve whatever I want. Because we live in a time of plenteous guns, I do this with multiple revolvers; but could do it just as easily with one k-framed 357. What a wonderful tool it is.
Platform matters more than caliber, to me. I also care about the quality of a given specimen of gun!

Example: say I want a small snubbie DA defensive wheelgun. I have a choice between a Charter Arms in 44, an S&W 940 in 9mm, and a Charter 38Spl. I can afford any one of 'em, I'd really like the 9mm but wouldn't sneer at the 44 either, but the 9mm's barrel looks like crapola and the 44's action is loose as a goose in every direction...while the 38 is rock solid, perfect timing, really tiny barrel/cylinder gap and good trigger feel.

What I *did* do was get the 38. Best $186 I ever spent. Some years later had a chance to outshoot a guy using a 40 Glock shooting at a torso-sized metal trash can as a target 50 yards out. I hit it 5 for 5, he was batting about 50% :D.

I'll never part with that critter.
I'm all about the soul of the weapon, not the caliber - I firmly believe that a .22lr through the eye socket in under a second will beat a .45acp in the foot. For that reason, the first thing I look at is the reputation of the specific weapon and its manufacturer. If these both meet my requirements, I'll look at the weapon as a candidate for my teotwawki cache.

For example, I bought a SA loaded 1911 that turned out to be a POS. The rep of the weapon is great, but the manufacturer seems to have problems. I learned my lesson, here.

Then I bought a Colt 1991, b/c I "needed" it for work. I got a great deal on this pistol so I really couldn't pass it up. Even if it had needed work, I would have come out cheaper than buying new and modifying. Great weapon in a great caliber.

Most recently, I bought a Browning High Power. The 9mm Luger/Parabellum is a lightweight in the cartridge world, but there are plenty of them in the handle. The weapon feels great in the hand and balances very well. The natural-point characteristics of the design more than make up for the small caliber. That and the fact that it's a weapon that would easily work for my mom or girlfriend.

My next purchase is going to be either a Colt Trooper MkIII or a S&W 686. Shooting .38spl rounds, these ladies recoil very little. Either one points great and has a wonderful trigger.

Above all, how does the weapon strike you? That's my first question. When I look at a Glock, for all their reliability and such, they just don't make me want to pick them up and fondle them. If I absolutely needed a gun that I wasn't going to worry about, like a dedicated truck gun, a Glock might be the ticket. However, once you've looked into the deep, rich blueing on my BHP, going with a Glock just doesn't seem to be an option.

The Samurai sword is absolutely functional....but that didn't stop them from being made into works of art that the Samurai could carry with pride.

To each his own. I prefer to be fast enough to put the bullets on target with all due speed. The size of the bullet does not matter.

in for the form of some sort of S&W revolver.


Leaning heavily in favor of the .44 Special, with the .38/.357s in BUG role.
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