My Personal Handgun Caliber Dogma

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by LookAtYou, Apr 28, 2022.

Tags:
  1. stanley_white

    stanley_white Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    246
    Location:
    Washington DC
    The ammo shortage during COVID19 put me irreversibly in the 45 ACP camp.

    Why?

    Because while Gold Dot Hydra Shock 9mm Fancy Cor Bon whatever may expand to .70 and penetrate 18+ inches, if you can't find any, you're likely stuck with 115 grain FMJ.

    If, due to an ammo shortage, I had to choose between crappy 9mm ammo and crappy 45 ACP ammo, I'd choose the latter...in a Glock 21 of course.

    -Stan
     
  2. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2019
    Messages:
    591
    My favorite 9mm is a 8 shot.
    A old Star BM.
    Enuf heft to be stable.
    Just enuf capacity to make you take your shot instead of triggering the mag dry in hopes you nicked something.
    The BM 8 shot mag is loads more fun to load than a 12 round mag.

    Revolver training seems to reduce magazine diarrhea.
    Also BYOA.
    Bring your own ammo.
    You earnd it, you spend it as your wallet allows.
    Your not as apt at mag dumps if its coming out of your own pocket.
    Also pick a better class of shooting buddys.
    There are some out there that have more dollars than sense.
     
    jstert likes this.
  3. TransAmConvert

    TransAmConvert Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2020
    Messages:
    70
    I think it's platform dependent.
    .45 makes the most sense in a 1911 for the capacity and recoil.
    9mm makes the most sense in say a P365 and also in some full size guns where the grip is just wide enough to have great capacity in 9mm but not .40 (hi power, 92).
    .40 makes sense in S&W 3rd generation to me.
    .357 is the best balance of power and capacity in a K or L frame to me.
    Generally the designers chose an original chambering that matches the gun well.
    The point is it's not worth comparing cartridges without considering the platform. I pick a gun I like and shoot well first, then consider its optimal caliber. This however leaves you with many calibers. 9mm really is the king because all the guns mentioned or that I would carry come in 9mm and then you'd only have that caliber to stock and I couldn't fault that logic either.
     
    Old_Grouch and jstert like this.
  4. LookAtYou

    LookAtYou Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2020
    Messages:
    225
    I like the less recoil and larger expansion of the .40
    Also, not thinking about spray and pray at all. However one decides to shoot is up to them. I'm just looking at the numbers. .40 has double the capacity in the sized gun I would carry it in. Can't act like that isn't huge.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2022
  5. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Messages:
    10,282
    Location:
    South Eastern Illinois
    If you can cc it, .45acp is never a bad choice.
     
  6. LookAtYou

    LookAtYou Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2020
    Messages:
    225
    You're right, like if comparing the Glock 20 and the M&P40 Compact, the Glock 20 actually wins out. It's just the Glock is also a 4.6" barrel. Super full size. I keep ease of ccw in mind at all times. .40 is much more versatile in size of guns. From the Glock 27 (3.4" barrel), M&P40 Compacts (3.6" or 4"), etc. Way more practical in my eyes.
     
  7. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,670
    Location:
    FL USA
    Sticking to the calibers listed in OP:
    9mm - my minimum for SD (Glock 17/19 as a primary, Sig 365/Kahr PM9 as a "backup"/2nd gun)
    40 - Gen 5 Glock 22 recoils on par with 17.5 thanks to the thicker (heavier) slide - excellent to shoot & carry.
    380 - I do not have to carry 380 and I don't. (9mm minimum)
    357 - I'm not a revolver guy, I'd rather have a Glock 19/17/22 than a revolver for SD.
    38 - I'm not a revolver guy, a 38 snub is not a primary and a Sig 365 or Kahr PM9 is preferred as a 2nd gun/ "backup".
    45 - A 1911 is okay as a carry gun as is Glock 30, either of these are top choices if under a 10 round limit (which I'm not).
     
  8. LookAtYou

    LookAtYou Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2020
    Messages:
    225
    I also always keep ccw in mind, as whatever I get, I wanna carry. .40 has much more versatility in platform sizes than 10mm. Imagine the Glock 27 or M&P40 3.6" vs the Glock 20 as far as ease of carry. This aspect, for me, is HUGE, as I wanna carry my guns. I wouldn't wanna carry a G22, as I'm not a fan of full size carry.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2022
    jstert likes this.
  9. LookAtYou

    LookAtYou Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2020
    Messages:
    225
    Yea, you're right about the capacity. I mixed that one up. The extra energy/recoil of 10mm over .40 isn't worth it to me regarding self-defense against humans, which is what I'm focused on. .40 will still perform VERY effectively.
     
    BigBlue 94 and jstert like this.
  10. LookAtYou

    LookAtYou Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2020
    Messages:
    225
    If you had to choose, which Glock would you carry though? Daily. Would you be down to carry the Glock 20, or it'd be a bit much? This is a big part of why I choose .40 as the optimal powerhouse. Much more versatility in the size of guns.
     
  11. TarDevil

    TarDevil Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Messages:
    2,329
    Location:
    NC Coast
    That's a lengthy process for me, but I can tell you it would be something in 9mm.
     
    jstert likes this.
  12. Mike J

    Mike J Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Messages:
    3,024
    Location:
    Georgia
    Some random thoughts.
    .380-I don't own one, prefer 9mm I did get a .380 for a female family member that is averse to recoil. It is a Shield EZ. It is large enough to be easy to shoot well. I have shot .380 out of a P3AT. Nasty little bugger.
    9mm-Seems to be enough. I like it for micro or mid-sized guns.
    .40-my usual carry. I believe it is an effective round. It is best used in guns originally designed for the round (not shoehorned into 9mm guns).
    .45 ACP-I believe it works. Usually chambered in larger, harder to conceal guns with less magazine capacity.
    .357- I've never owned or shot a .357 Sig. If you watch Paul Harrell's service pistol caliber comparison videos on YouTube he seems to think it is the best. I'd like to have a .357 Sig barrel for my M&P 2.0 40 Compact. .357 Magnum-When I was deer hunting on a friends place & I ran across a hog while walking out it got my attention so to speak. When I went back & hunted there afterwards instead of carrying the .40 I usually do I carried a 4" barreled .357 Magnum revolver. When the hog & I encountered each other I had my rifle in my hands. It put a tree in between us & took off before I could get on it with my rifle. My thoughts were I could get on something quicker with an iron sighted handgun than a scoped rifle. They are quick.

    The thing is ammunition selection is just as important as caliber & which firearm you choose.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2022
    TarDevil and jstert like this.
  13. jstert

    jstert Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2013
    Messages:
    627
    Location:
    ne and sw
    during the fjb ammo drought i noticed that 40 was always in stock. it’s not for me though, too much sharp recoil and i’m mostly a revolver guy. if i were younger and fitter, needing one caliber for deadly-serious woods and street work, i would pick a 40.

    as i age out i’m moving inexorably towards 38sp and 22lr. 38sp can be wild (+p) to mild (wadcutters) and revolvers are mostly k.i.s.s. 22lr is easy and cheap for lots and lots of fun practice.

    380acp is ok too in a s&w shield ez, which works as easily as advertised, but ammo is relatively pricey. i am kinda tempted to try a 9mm ez only because 9mm ammo is ubiquitous and relatively inexpensive but i’m more into downsizing these days. otherwise 9mm, and 45lc/acp, is why i like my two ruger blackhawk convertible single action revolvers.
     
    SSBN617b likes this.
  14. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    6,213
    Location:
    Yakutsk, Sakha Republic
    Every caliber has a reason why it was invented. My take (Glock biased due to my experience, but you get the idea, other striker pistol brands may match up):

    .380. Great for mouse guns. Low recoil. But low performance. Best examples Kahr p380, Glock 42.

    9mm. Popular because it's cheap and easy. Great for subcompacts. Sadly, its light recoil......is still recoil. Best examples in ccw's: Glock 43x, Glock 48. Best fullsize: Glock 45, 17, 19. CZ Shadow2. CZ Ts2. Largo Arms Alien. Atlas 2011.

    40. The goldilocks round for me. More power, more reliability, and more consistent ammo shape. 40 can still be further improved, for a cost. Anyone tried expensive slow powder and 200gn bullets yet? In my hands, .40 has more felt recoil than 9mm, but exactly the same muzzle flip (fullsize pistols). So my splits are about identical. Best examples: Glock 23.4. Glock 22.4. Glock 35. CZ Ts2. Atlas 2011. Cheely 2011.

    .357 Sig. Same as 40, but great for car doors and such. More blast, more cost. Falling out of style.

    .45. Best by far, for unarmored targets. Light recoil. Low blast. Old school musket that gets it done. Best examples: Dan Wesson Valor, Dan Wesson Specialist Commander. Guncrafter Industries. Glock 41.
     
    Autodidactic and jstert like this.
  15. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    62,492
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    Favorite, sure, but "The King" shouldn't be qualified as "Adequate". ;)

    My carry guns are mostly 9mm. Modern 9mm defensive ammunition has advanced to the point that the old "If it doesn't start with "foty" then it ain't worth betting your life on." no longer holds. Frankly, the latest defensive shooting studies lean towards a clear impression that having anything that puts 30 cal and larger on target is "adequate".
     
    aaaaa and TarDevil like this.
  16. WisBorn

    WisBorn Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2020
    Messages:
    1,949
    Location:
    Wisconsin Again
    The 40 s&w is the best ccw option out there??? Why are most of the used auto loaders at gun shops in 40 s&w? Why are there no new 40 s&w in those shops?

    I think the public opinion is that the 9mm has secured the spot as the ccw popular choice. Many of us gun nuts have our personal choices. In auto loaders I prefer the 45acp for IWB and OWB and the 380 for my pocket carry. The 10mm is a great for wondering in the wilderness with good capacity and reasonable power. Human threats are still your biggest threat in the wilderness....
    The 40 s&w tries to to be the compromise, but really doesn't do anything better than other cartridges!
    If you like the 40 Please carry it. I will carry something else.
     
    Old_Grouch likes this.
  17. Old_Grouch

    Old_Grouch Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2021
    Messages:
    467
    Location:
    Pierre, South Dakota
    I've always found the .40 a curiosity. First there was the 10mm. It was adopted by the FBI then Federal and S&W said "Hey, this is a great cartridge. Lets see if we can develop a shorter, less powerful version".
    Oh, I know. There's a bit more to the story than that. :D
     
    Autodidactic and WisBorn like this.
  18. brmiller

    brmiller Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2021
    Messages:
    95
    I have 10mm auto (one hi-cap @15+1) and 40 S&W pistols, and one .45 ACP (nightstand duty). This is good enough for me.
     
    WisBorn likes this.
  19. film495

    film495 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2019
    Messages:
    1,869
    I loaded a friends 40 S&W magazine a few times, and just based on how impossibly difficult it was I would never own one, just for that.
     
  20. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,670
    Location:
    FL USA
    Not the best, but a good compromise.

    My Glock 22 gen 5 has a thicker (heavier) slide than 22 gen 3; I finally have a 40 that subjectively recoils like a 9mm - my 17.5
    Yes, the 17 holds two more bullets; but, considering I carry a spare mag I don't feel that 16 rounds in the 22 before slidelock is lacking.

    Manufactures data, heavy clothing:
    http://www.le.vistaoutdoor.com/wound_ballistics/load_comparison/load_comparison.aspx
    9mm 124 HST +P - 13''/.61
    9mm 147 HST - 12.5''/.69
    40 S&W 180 HST - 12.5''/.80
    45 acp 230 HST - 13.5''/.87

    I've got a 21SF (gen 3) and like it, but the grip is bigger than the 17/22 grip and I prefer the gen 5 grip.
    I think 9mm is sufficient, I like the 17 and have carried it; but, the 22.5 is a nice compromise (and not much of one).
     
    rabid wombat likes this.
  21. upptick

    upptick Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2020
    Messages:
    206
    Given that every bullet potentially has a lawsuit attached to it, I favor the concept that the best self-defense firearm is the one that's never actually fired and, if fired, is shot the minimum number of times. That means marksmanship is king, .40 is superior to 9mm, and one or two holes from a controllable Big Bore like .45 and .44 special are persuasive. Personally, I just don't get the concept of the need for a "high capacity" handgun with extra magazines for the typical civilian whose objective is to break contact and not close with the threat. Hence, Glock 23 or Kahr CW45 for me.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2022
    brmiller and chicharrones like this.
  22. RealGun

    RealGun Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Messages:
    9,046
    Location:
    Upstate SC
    Capacity is overrated IMO and adds enough weight for a gun to be set aside as a carry piece in favor of a lighter rig. I carry a revolver. I do like my bigger guns but don't carry them. My bedroom gun is a G22. My range buddies are magnum revolvers. 9mm is too near the top of the list for loudness, so I don't carry or shoot that often.
     
    upptick likes this.
  23. 357smallbore

    357smallbore Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2015
    Messages:
    628
    Location:
    Custer SD
    Everyone has their opinion on caliber, and what they think they'll do if used on a perp.
    Been in the gun and ammo game a very long time. The one thing that has helped many calibers is the modernization of ammunition and powder used.
    I am a revolver caliber fan. I carry a gun chambered in 44 Special and one in 357 for ccw. I have as my backup a 38 Special.
    Now flip that coin and I do enjoy my pistols also,just not as much as the Wheelie.
    I have a 9mm I rotate in for ccw and I have a 380 I pocket carry as my backup when I am in the pistol mode.
    I have 100% confidence that any of the guns I carry will work without fail, will be enough gun and caliber to stop a threat if it arises.
    Do your homework on a gun and caliber you want. Shoot it, test it. Then buy and carry what you want.
    America, you're still free to choose.
     
    tommy.duncan and Old_Grouch like this.
  24. Old_Grouch

    Old_Grouch Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2021
    Messages:
    467
    Location:
    Pierre, South Dakota
    That right there is the key! What you want. Not what somebody else wants or, even less sensible, what somebody else thinks you should want.
    In my [not so] humble opinion the only wrong decision a person can make regarding what to carry is to choose to carry nothing. (assuming carry is legal, of course)
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2022
    Autodidactic and tommy.duncan like this.
  25. LookAtYou

    LookAtYou Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2020
    Messages:
    225
    I feel while .357mag is known for its "1 shot stop" potential, .40 isn't too shabby either when it comes to ballistics/effectiveness. .40 actually expands to a larger diameter than .357 usually. If both could stop someone with 1 shot, yet one platform gives you 5-7 shots, and one gives you 14+. What if there's multiple attackers, and you miss a few shots in the heat of the moment? I know which one I'm picking. Better to have it and not need it, right?
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice