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Is it platform or caliber?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by MikeJ, Jun 25, 2005.

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  1. MikeJ

    MikeJ Member

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    In choosing your home defense handgun do you put more emphasis on the platform, i.e. auto that is SA, DA/SA, DAO or revolver etc. or do you pick the caliber first and then decide which gun to handle it?
     
  2. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Yes.

    In all seriousness: I think there are minimum calibers worthy of consideration, as well as preferences for firearms one may have to grab and put to good use on an instant's notice at 3:30 in the morning. For myself, it's a revolver, since I've never had full faith in semi-automatic pistols, and the minimum caliber is .357 magnum. If someone were to concoct a truly reliable semi-automatic in that caliber or heftier, I'd have to reconsider the platform.
     
  3. Black Majik

    Black Majik Member

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    BOTH.

    In choosing a home defense gun is just like choosing a CCW. There are criteria that must be recognized in an effective home defense firearm.

    Therefore, there is 1 pistol that works best for me. I picked it because of platform AND the caliber I enjoy most.

    The 1911 platform and the .45 ACP round. What else would you expect??? :D
     
  4. KurtC

    KurtC Member

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    Must have all four of these features:

    .45 acp
    DAO
    Metal
    Quality
     
  5. MikeJ

    MikeJ Member

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    Kurt- based on your criteria what did you wind up getting?
     
  6. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine member

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    It somewhat depends on your home.
    An apartment dweller wouldn't have the same requirements as me, having a little land out of town.

    My home protection includes the house, a couple shops and a barn/garage about 40 yards around the house.
    Even though I have a couple shotguns by the doors, loaded with 00 Buck or #4 Buck, the shotgun becomes marginal and spreads too much at 40 yards.
    So during the day a Bushmaster M4 or AK or Bushmaster pistol is the better home protection for me. At night I walk around with a laser equipped S&W J frame.

    So first thing is to decide what kind of protection is right for your home situation. Then go from there.
     
  7. Boats

    Boats member

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    For me anyway, I have come to find that platform trumps caliber in that I like .45ACP, 9mm and .357 Magnum pretty much the same. They're all back-ups at home to a shotgun, and on the street, are pretty indistinguishable in terminal effect in that odds are they're all going to likely perform worse than a shotgun. :D
     
  8. chaim

    chaim Member

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    Platform!

    In revolvers I trust anything .38spl and up (I'd probably feel comfortable with .32H&R mag as well). In autos I'm happy with 9mm and up, and I'll take a .380.
     
  9. Berg01

    Berg01 Member

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    MHO, shot placement and reliablity are the top requirements for a CCW; shot placement comes with practice, reliability comes from a good gun using quality ammo and which is properly maintained. My P228 with Pro Load 124 gr. +P GDHPs (condition 2 carry), works for me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2005
  10. Frandy

    Frandy Member

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    My primary warning system platform ( :D ) is the four dogs we have. Though totally harmless, the two greyhounds and Italian grehound announce anyone with a resounding welcome. As for the Shi Tzu, he'll take hold of your pants and never let go. :rolleyes:

    As for firearm platform, I have no preference. The following continually demonstrate reliability through range practice:

    Loaded and ready within the home:
    • Mossberg 12 gauge
    • 4" GP-100 with .38 +P 129 gr. Hydrashocks
    • HK USP 45 compact with 230 gr. Hydrashocks
    • Sig 232 with Rem. 102 gr. Golden Sabers (Just added but not considered a primary home defense weapon.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2005
  11. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

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    The goodness of the gun is paramount. As long as the caliber is adequate for its purpose, everything else is secondary.
     
  12. sm

    sm member

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    Platform.

    My criteria : Gun must fit shooter in a platform they can quicky and safely manipulate the controls, and get quick accurate hits with. Ammo must be reliable and mags as well if a semi.

    Shot placement and being the firstest doing so - is paramount to surviving. Platform allows one to do these better.

    Not the ammo, caliber or what Team Walrus uses - what each individual shoots best.
     
  13. bad LT

    bad LT Member

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    Probably not important - all pale in comparison to my 12 gauge :evil:
     
  14. 38SnubFan

    38SnubFan Member

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    Platform!

    I vote "Platform" since the gun has to feel good in the hand and is something I can handle comfortably and shoot accurately.

    From there:

    For autoloaders, I prefer a .40 S&W on up, with special preference to .45 ACP (less "snappier" recoil for me).

    For revolvers, my minimum is .38 Special.

    -38SnubFan
     
  15. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    I'll go platform too ... and my latest carry choice was SIG 226 ST.. That decided I then went for capacity as well as economy (I use it for IDPA). Thus 9mm - giving me 15+1.

    I find that works well tho would in no way mind the same gun in .40 !!! :rolleyes: :)
     
  16. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

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    Platform for me too. The gun has to fit me or it goes down the road. I prefer larger calibers like 40 and 45, but a quality 9mm in a gun I can shoot well isn't shunned.
     
  17. Gunz

    Gunz Member

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    The platform helps me to be comfortable so I can carry it all the time. The caliber helps me control the shot. The nicest compromise I found was the SP101 hammerless with 158gr or even 180gr 357 mag. This was the one I can wear IWB, and bend over, stoop, walk, run, etc. with no problems. It is snag resistant, and it is reliable. I was so surprised I found my used one for $250 OTD.

    The only other one I found to work was the very narrow and slim K9/T9 Kahr. The narrow slide and low profile really fits the comfort issue. 9mm +P in 124 Golden Sabre or even the snappy Hirtenberger +P+ FMJ are nice.

    All of the other sizes have slides too thick in width, too tall in the bore, weird hammer, sights, and no good safety.

    Body types and comfort preferences vary.
     
  18. Mikul

    Mikul Member

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    I choose caliber first. I can do this because we are fortunate to live in a time where there are so many good guns available. No matter which caliber I choose, there is a good platform available for it... within reason (I still can't find a great platform for 7.62x25). I choose the caliber for a specific task: 9mm for defense, .44 for hunting, etc.

    Then I just need to find a reliable plaform that doesn't offend me.
     
  19. Universal

    Universal Guest

    I will go with platform first and caliber second. I choose a revolver for my home defense weapon and I like the .38 Special for the purpose. I would use a different caliber if I had to but the .38 is my first choice.
     
  20. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Platform - love CZ pistols, and the PO1 fits me like a custom made glove. The 9mm caliber can be termed light by some, but with good quality ammo, the percentages are very close in all decent calibers.
    Mikul, a GREAT 7.62x25 platform - PPsH-41!!! :p
     
  21. LeadPumper

    LeadPumper Member

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    Platform or Caliber?

    Well, as I've been taught, and I teach others: for a defense handgun it first must be reliable, then accurate, and lastly; powerful enough.

    If it won't go bang, it's a club.

    If you can't hit the broadside of a barn at 7 yards, it doesn’t matter how powerful it is.

    or as I often misquote "a .22 to the tear duct is better than a .50 to the arm"

    -so-

    in direct answer to your question: it must be the right combination of caliber and platform in your hands, for your conditions.

    Change the hands, or change the conditions, and the caliber and / or platform may change.

    That being said, I prefer (and recommend) a consistent trigger style (whether SA, striker or DAO is personal preference), a midsize frame gun with a 2+ inches of barrel in at least 38+P (or 9mm for auto-loaders).

    Ideally, you want the largest caliber you can hit the fastest with, first time, every time.

    Shoot well, shoot often.

    -LeadPumper
     
  22. Dionysusigma

    Dionysusigma Member

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    In descending order of importance for HD handgun:

    1) Price. Can I afford the thing? I'm not going to spend $2000 on a custom 1911 or somesuch. On this note, I don't own any guns that cost over $600.

    2) Size. Can I hold and manuver it properly? NAA .22s and Desert Eagle .50s need not apply... things around the Beretta 92FS or 5" 1911 size are the norm.

    3) Caliber. Will it stop them/it if I do my part? At least a 9mm is preferred, and nothing over a 10ga. :D

    4) Controls. Does operating it feel natural in case I panic? Any gun that doesn't release the mag by a button near the strong hand's thumb--like a Walther P99 or HK USP, or any European gun that clamps onto the bottom of the mag--is not preferred. No revolvers for me, only because I've never fired one and, because of this, wouldn't be comfortable using one to defend my home.

    5) Capacity. The more, the better. However, I'd rather have five shots of .44 mag than 30 of .22lr.

    6) Reliability. Will it work when I need it?

    7) Availability of spare parts. If it breaks, can I fix it?

    8) Cool factor. What movies was it used in? Are they movies I like? :D (Seriously, though... I'm trying to be honest here) I'll pick a Beretta 87 Target over a Ruger Mk. III because I love the movie Equilibrium.

    9) SA/ DA-SA/ DAO/ Pump/ Semi/ etc. I usually go with DA-SA or DAO whenever I can, based solely on preference. I just like 'em better. *shrug*

    That's just me, though... :)
     
  23. Zach S

    Zach S Member

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    Platform.

    Being a 1911 guy, caliber is not really an issue, since most are chambered in .45acp. However, if I had to choose between a second-gen G21 and a third gen G17, I'd go with the G17 since the slimmer grip is a much better fit, even though .45 is my prefered round and I hate the fingergrooves.

    Even though they arent different platforms, the grips are different enough.
     
  24. BioDemon

    BioDemon Member

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  25. Surefire

    Surefire Member

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    1. Gun first (must be quality--i.e. reliable, ergonomic, durable, accurate, etc)

    2. Chambering is secondary factor. For home defense, I prefer .38 special or greater. The exception is for carrying at home--I'll use a .380 at times--the Beretta Cheetah is so reliable and fits my hand perfectly that I feel my chance of getting solid hits is good, and the size makes it easy to carry without weighing me down.
     
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