Good/Bad Areas and What to Carry

A little off topic, but I was at our local indoor range a couple of weeks ago and there was a young woman who wanted to return an airweight 38. After she left I mentioned to the old man behind the counter that I didn't think that's a great gun for a new shooter, because they're difficult to shoot well.

He corrected me. They are not meant to be shot. They're not meant to be aimed, they're belly guns, he's carried one for the last 20 years, he's never shot it, because the only thing they're good for is putting the gun in someone's belly and pulling the trigger.

Why did S&W spend the money to cut rifling into the barrel and put that little pointy thing on the end of the gun, if you're not supposed to point it at a target and shoot once in a while? I've been doing it wrong this whole time.

I'm an almost average pistol shooter on my best day, and even I can hit center of mass on a silhouette sitting still with a snubby at 25 yards. It's definitely not natural skill. Everybody else's target retrieval system must be broke, because the other 9 lanes seem to get stuck inside of 10 yards. I think I just happen to get the one lane that will let you run the target all the way back, and if I paid for the whole lane I'm going to use the whole lane.

Yeah, there wasn't any shortage of folks who used to call snub revolvers 'belly guns' because they didn't consider them accurate. Of course, that didn't stop skilled revolver shooters from using them in snub-only competitions, even some that ran targets out to 50+ yards. ;)

Granted, the very attributes that are generally considered to make little snubs so practical and handy for concealed carry are often the same attributes that make them harder to shoot. Even revolver shooters who did well with full-size revolvers could have some trouble running the little snubs accurately and controllably, but that's because the little wheelies demanded more of the shooter, skill-wise.

It also wasn't uncommon to hear some folks refer to the little snubs as being guns better suited to 'experts. Dunno about that, but it did generally take some more focused attention to developing the skills to shoot them fast and accurately. ;)

They aren't for everybody. I'd not think to start someone getting into shooting handguns, as defensive weapons, on the little snubs. Especially not the lightest models, or with +P (for those models rated for +P).

Then, there's the MAGNUM caliber 5-shot snubs, which can be daunting in their recoil ... or downright brutal to shoot.
 
I could carry one of my target or hunting revolvers and hit human-sized targets at longer ranges. My 7.5" SBH is a tack driver.

The trouble is that Huntsville Hank or Three-Tooth Jim could easily smack me in the head with a brick while I'm trying to get the 7.5" barrel out of my pants.

If someone has practiced a bazillion reps for decades until it's muscle memory, I'm sure they can draw a service pistol faster than anything else.

I've been carrying snubbies and small semiautos since the late 80's. I shoot them regularly and have lots of practice drawing them from my usual carry methods. I'm slower drawing a larger pistol, especially with a cover garment. I've carried them, but to me they seem more awkward and slow.

The compromise I've decided on is is to sacrifice longer-range accuracy and capacity in favor of small size and perceived quicker draw. It seems to me like the wise course for my particular situation. YMMV.

These fit bigger coat pockets or the bib pocket of overalls. I like shooting them. :)


 
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Okay, I probably deserved that. I was kinda snarky.

But am I really the only person that sees even a full size handgun as a compromise here? There are a lot of plausible situations in which a handgun is deficient against an attacker, more and more often armed with a long gun.

Most people in the worst case scenario, even with a full size handgun, are better off to leave. Just go home and watch it unfold on the news. I'm under no illusion that I'm going to shoot it out with a firearms instructor with a rifle from the other end of a bowling alley. A full size pistol and 2 15 round mags of ammo are just more to weigh me down as I beat feet out a fire exit.
Any handgun is a compromise, and the main compromise is being able to always have it on you and readily available, if and when should you need it.

Of course, theres a list of descending percentages with them too (just like long guns), and it seems many choose the ones at the bottom of that list, for all sorts of reasons, instead of choosing something that gives them the best chance out of the compromise. But hey, we all make our choices, and hopefully, they are based on some sort of reality, at least as far as it comes to what you might need it for and why supposedly youre carrying it.

Truthfully, I think a lot of people look at and treat the guns they carry more as a fashion/status statement, and dont really put in the time and effort to be the best they can be with whatever it is they choose, and that becomes exponentially more important, the lower on that list the choice goes. Just because you have a gun, doesnt necessarily mean youre "armed".


If the weight of a full sized handgun and a reload or two are enough to be a problem for you running away or doing anything physical, you have other problems that need to be addressed. ;)
 
Okay, I probably deserved that. I was kinda snarky.

But am I really the only person that sees even a full size handgun as a compromise here? There are a lot of plausible situations in which a handgun is deficient against an attacker, more and more often armed with a long gun.

Most people in the worst case scenario, even with a full size handgun, are better off to leave. Just go home and watch it unfold on the news. I'm under no illusion that I'm going to shoot it out with a firearms instructor with a rifle from the other end of a bowling alley. A full size pistol and 2 15 round mags of ammo are just more to weigh me down as I beat feet out a fire exit.

I would hope you would pop off a couple rounds at the bowling ally shooter, Walmart, mall shooter before going out the emergency exit.
I believe that comes down to mindset.

Maybe my mindset / experience is different having lived and worked in a war zone as an unarmed civilian. The 1st or 5th time I experienced incoming mortar and rocket fire I could've called it quits and gone home for good - taken the emergency exit. I stuck around for multiple years.

Fight or flight - I think you need to set in your mind what you will do when presented with that situation. What are the consequences of fighting back vs fleeing. You may die doing both.

If I have the means to stop one of these AH's shooting up a bowling ally, shopping mall, etc. I have committed to using those means.
 
I don't get the basic premise. Better areas have nice gun fights. Your attackers are nicer? So in the market, mall, house of worship in nice areas only 'nice nuts' go there. Or is it that in bad areas - mobs of evil will come for you?

For me it is simple:

1. Quality handgun - Glock 19ish and extra mags as EDC if legal
2. Snubby or J frame when dress or other circumstance prevents carrying #1.
3. "NIce" has nothing to do it with it.

Yes, it is convenient to carry a J frame when mowing the lawn. When in public places, nothing is 'nice' anymore.
 
I would hope you would pop off a couple rounds at the bowling ally shooter, Walmart, mall shooter before going out the emergency exit.
I believe that comes down to mindset.
I agree with just about everything you said except this part. I'm going to start carrying a Taser now.

That way I can incapacitate whichever member of my party has the bright idea of lobbing handgun rounds in the general direction of a guy at the other end of a bowling alley with a rifle with an optic.


Would you expect a statoinary attacker?
I would LOVE to have someplace to shoot at a moving target or go beyond 25 yards with a pistol. There's no range like that in our county, at least not open to the public. Not for at least 20 years. There was a private range, but they shut down the 50 yard static pistol range. The IPSC club had a little practice bay, but that went out about the same time. Too many people around.

I sold my old house a couple of months ago, and am just about settled in at the new place. This place is a little more rural, maybe there's something around here.
 
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We seem to do a lot of variations on this topic at least a couple of times a month.

Mostly, we seem to agree on much except our own personal philosophy on risk management.

By which I mean that many prepare for a possible bad situation based on statistics ("Statistics show I won't need more than 5 rounds;" "most self-defense shootings are at three yards, over in three seconds, with only three rounds fired" -- but guess what? Where do these oft-repeated statistics originate? I've been looking for this documentation for two decades, and no one keeps these statistics).

So, a J-frame or tiny .32 ACP in a pocket. Okay, you've accepted the risk.

But then consider the big rise in such violent crime like the "jugging" crimes in the wealthier suburbs and communities in places like L.A. and throughout the nation. Multiple armed criminals. Home invasions involving multiple armed intruders even in rural areas.

Other prepare for the worst-possible scenario, every day, no matter where they are going. Glock 19 or SIG P-229 with two spare mags, every day, everywhere. even down to the corner store (funny how some guys only throw a J-frame in a pocket for a trip down to the convenience store, when these places are victims of armed robberies so often), out to the mailbox or mowing the lawn.

I think maybe for some of us, it all comes down to what we've experienced or witnessed over the years. Crime, and Murphy, have both visited me -- and my immediate family -- on more than one occasion over the past three decades or so. Enough for me to believe that I might need to be more wary, and have bigger and better tools, in "good areas." And if for whatever reason -- NPEs or the need for deep concealment arise -- then the decision has to be made, do we really need to go there?
 
It's a free country, etc.

But realize, anecdotal experience isn't real life. If you are better with a gun because it's the gun you know best, that doesn't mean it's the better choice because of its attributes. It's better because you know it better. If you can draw THAT MUCH faster with it, I would be mildly curious to compare rigs for both. I suspect one is at a disadvantage.

I preach to everyone, the goal is not to be best prepared to shoot someone the goal here is to NOT GET SHOT. This means minimizing risk in all areas of your life that you can. I don't know if you have any choice at the moment in where you live, but I would be focused on getting out of there. When people tell me; "I'm going to the bad part of town tonight, so I'll take my gun." NO. WRONGO. The correct answer is to just not go there. So if there are factors in your life that make it dangerous, I would steer you to change those aspects.

And if you are in a high threat environment, that isn't where I would pick the option with the shortest range, the heaviest trigger, and the lowest capacity.
 
Couple months ago someone was robbed broad daylight in a good area. Not to far from where I live. At a kroger gas pump. Crime happens everywhere. This is a affluent part of town. $500,000.00+ homes before this madness happened.
 
After reading all of the many responses and thinking about it a lot, IMHO the "wear a bigger pistol in a scary place" is a poor general rule. If that's what you trained with for decades and it's what you're comfortable with, it's your best choice. Otherwise, maybe not.

It will be in the low thirties this morning when it's fully light and my dog takes me for a walk. I will have a small handgun in my coat pocket. There are probably people who can pull a service pistol out from under their coat faster than they can draw one from their coat pocket. I can't. It's not even close.

Likewise, it was 110 multiple times this summer. It was still in the 90's right before sundown when I would walk. Maybe I could hide a full-sized service pistol and a couple of mags under my light clothing when I left the house. Maybe. By the time I got home, drenched with sweat, it wouldn't be very well hidden and maybe not easy to draw. Clothing that's soaked in sweat is clingy.

In my situation, the advantages of a service pistol (more capacity and more accurate at longer ranges) aren't that relevant, and seem outweighed by its drawbacks (larger, heavier, slower). YMMV.

I definitely don't have to worry that groups of villains from worse parts of town will come here to loot and pillage. I live in the worst part of town. :)

 
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Sounds like you've convinced yourself without even trying. Solves that worry, eh? :thumbup:

As long as you're honest with yourself and realistic about things, and continually work to be the best you can with what you choose, and how you choose to carry it, you'll be way ahead of those who don't. At least you'll know and understand any deficiencies that come with it you learned in doing so, so they aren't a surprise when you need them most.
 
In all honesty I just look at this as a matter of personal choice. Ever since I started carrying a gun I have been looking for the perfect carry pistol. I started with a Ruger P944 (.40 P94). Next came an XD-40 service, then a Kel-Tec P-11, then a Taurus Millenium Pro PT-111 G-2, then a M&P 2.0 40 Compact 4". Recently I've been carrying a Ruger Max 9 with the 10 round magazine & the 12 round magazine on my off side. I have went full sized to micro to compact to micro. There were things I liked & disliked about just about every one of them. I am not willing to carry a rifle with me on my daily commute. I honestly like compact pistols but even those can be difficult to conceal. The little Ruger is very easy to conceal because it is small. It also requires better technique because it is small. If something happens will it be enough? There are so many variables at play I honestly have no idea but I am pretty sure it is better than being completely unprepared. I don't like snubnosed revolvers & wont carry one but if that is what works for you I will not criticize your choice either. We all make our choices & take our chances. Tallball I hope you never have to use your revolver.
 
This is sort of a reverse perspective. Since we moved from an area with a touch of shootings and muggings (even in their 'nice areas') to a smaller town with some of the country's lowest crime rates - I think that I'm more liked to see the nut rampage as a threat than an economically motivated mugging. I grant you jugging can happen. Thus, I would prefer the semi and extra mag EDC. Never had a problem concealing it. The pocket gun for those constrained circumstances.

However it is moot in NYS, since the folks who launched Buren miscalculated the effects in NYS - the total loss of carry rights and Scotus has slow walked, refused to deal with it. The side effects - drug abusers, domestic abusers, now bump stocks are trivial BS compared to what actually happened here. I don't care if someone can get a bump stock if Scotus cannot clearly take a case and decide cleanly without some ambiguous rules - which will be quickly overturned when Clarence or Thomas leaves the court.
 
I will have a small handgun in my coat pocket. There are probably people who can pull a service pistol out from under their coat faster than they can draw one from their coat pocket. I can't. It's not even close.
Regardless of the neighborhood, and within reason, regardless of the temperature, the defensive incident, should it occur, is likely to be of largely the same general nature .

Self defense is about a lot more than shooting, but once shooting becomes necessary, the defender should stive to be able to draw very quickly from a holster while moving off line, and hit two upper-chest-sized targets a few feet apart a total of, say, six times in less than three seconds within a range of three to five yards, and have some ammunition left in the gun.

That does not require a 'service pistol". It is much more difficult to do that with a compact semi-auto than with a larger pistol; it is very difficult for most people to do that with a snub DA revolver (and one would forgo the idea of (having remaining ammunition; and with a piece containing only five shots, one is really assuming risk.

There are concealable and shootable single column semiautomatic pistols available from Glock and Smith and Wesson ,and an impressive new one from Avidity Arms, that should fill the bill.

The "neighborhood" is not the driver. The driver is the event.
 
As long as you carry the handgun that you are most proficient with, fits your lifestyle and normal manner of dress and is an adequate caliber (.38 Special or larger) you've made the right decision. The idea that one needs a different firearm for different situations is silly. During my LE career I started with an issue Model 65 .357 revolver and two speed loaders for a total of 18 rounds, then the department adopted SW 5906s, then Glock 21s. When I went to work for a department that allowed personally owned weapons I went back to the 1911 platform that I learned to shoot with. At no time did I feel that I was inadequately armed.

It's about software, not hardware.
 
As long as you carry the handgun that you are most proficient with, fits your lifestyle and normal manner of dress and is an adequate caliber (.38 Special or larger) you've made the right decision. The idea that one needs a different firearm for different situations is silly. During my LE career I started with an issue Model 65 .357 revolver and two speed loaders for a total of 18 rounds, then the department adopted SW 5906s, then Glock 21s. When I went to work for a department that allowed personally owned weapons I went back to the 1911 platform that I learned to shoot with. At no time did I feel that I was inadequately armed.

It's about software, not hardware.
Yeah but,

I mean let's be honest you also had body armor and backup and a shotgun or an AR-15 or in some jurisdictions maybe even an actual M16 in your car. Plus you had chemical Mace or OC spray or CS gas. Plus impact weapons on your duty belt and I'm certain that at some point a medkit made an appearance.

I can't speak for where you're at but in Colorado Springs I've seen this happen too many times not to see the pattern.
If cop does a traffic stop when he calls it in if there's another cop in the vicinity they start heading in that direction. Which I personally think is a good idea let's not talk about Software > Hardware when you're cruising around town in the last of the V8 interceptors
 
I've been places where I'm ok carrying a .22 and places where that .22 was a third gun to a full-sized 9mm and 4" S&W M19.

Today, my orbits are tamer. I still prefer to carry a full-sized 1911, but find myself increasingly carrying an LCP II in .380acp, a pistol which I originally bought for bicycle riding and funerals. I generally do carry a reload for it.

Were I to carry a J-Frame or even a .380acp like the LCP II in dangerous places, I believe I'd opt for a New York reload.
 

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Yeah but,

I mean let's be honest you also had body armor and backup and a shotgun or an AR-15 or in some jurisdictions maybe even an actual M16 in your car. Plus you had chemical Mace or OC spray or CS gas. Plus impact weapons on your duty belt and I'm certain that at some point a medkit made an appearance.

I can't speak for where you're at but in Colorado Springs I've seen this happen too many times not to see the pattern.
If cop does a traffic stop when he calls it in if there's another cop in the vicinity they start heading in that direction. Which I personally think is a good idea let's not talk about Software > Hardware when you're cruising around town in the last of the V8 interceptors
A private citizen shouldn’t be out looking for trouble. There is a huge difference between someone who has a duty to act and a private citizen who is free to avoid trouble. Are you honestly suggesting that the average person needs 25 pounds of equipment on his belt?

If you know how to use the firearm you are carrying, it’s limitations and capabilities then you aren’t going to put yourself in a situation where you are inadequately prepared.

If I felt that I was going to need an AR and 12 magazines in a certain location I wouldn’t go there. We talk all of the time about the “load out” that members carry in their day to day lives. I wonder how much “stuff” people carry is based on an actual assessment of the probable threat and how much is carried out of a desire to be prepared to repel a human wave attack. My son told me about how as an Infantryman on his first tour in Iraq they started out carrying 10 - 12 magazines. After several engagements they figured out they were weighing themselves down with more ammunition then they needed to get through an engagement and having some left to hold them over until they could get back to their vehicle or were resupplied.

But again, the average private citizen is not a patrol officer or an Infantryman in a combat zone.

I've been places where I'm ok carrying a .22 and places where that .22 was a third gun to a full-sized 9mm and 4" S&W M19.
Were you there as a private citizen or someone with a duty to act? If you were a private citizen did you ever draw a weapon in those places?

I spent a lot of years where I never left the house without two guns and extra magazines. My loadout changed drastically once I no longer had a duty to intervene in other peoples problems.
 
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