My Personal Handgun Caliber Dogma

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

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  1. azrn

    azrn Member

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    I carry a 45 acp Glock 30 with a 10+1 mag and also have the 13+1 mag . this should be enough for CCW. My back up gun is a pocket 380 that weighs 10 oz and fits nicely in my front pocket.
     
  2. tomrkba

    tomrkba Member

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    9mm/38 Special Auto: Great capacity, minimum terminal ballistics for defense. Its power is in controllable burst fire and ability to fit into smaller framed semi-autos. This gets us guns like the Glock 17 and the little SIG P365 or Kahr PM9.

    40 S&W/Too Weak to be 10mm: Snappy recoil for nearly no benefit over quality 9x19mm ammunition. I'd carry it if I had one. Good enough.

    .380/The Useful Little Guy: It's not great, but a tiny gun smaller than my hand is not great either. Carry gun, when you need a gun while wearing a Speedo. If you're going to use a weak caliber, at least make it work with the gun.

    .357 Magnum/"Make mine a 357": 40 Wannabe doesn't come close. Millions of words have been written about it, probably most of them by Skeeter Skelton. It's well proven and well known.

    .38 Special/Please upgrade me ASAP: It's below the threshold for defense in the same revolver size for 357 Magnum. Short barrels (under 3") just don't offer the level of terminal ballistics that are needed. Avoid this round and the small J-Frame revolver unless it's the heaviest caliber you can use due to injury or infirmity.

    .45 ACP/The World War Winner: Still works and is still great. Capacity is a problem, as are small guns. Best to just carry in a full sized gun with Federal HST or Speer Gold Dot (maybe a few others too if they work in your gun).

    10mm/The Nuke of Semiautos: Who wouldn't want 15+ rounds of hot 10mm? Bodies explode, limbs are torn off, and stops are 110% guaranteed be it bear or man. Okay, so I exaggerate just a little bit.

    44 Magnum/Big Boy of Carry Revolvers: Needs no introduction. We know what it can do on the top end. People FORGET what it can do on the BOTTOM end. It's a GREAT self-defense round if you slow it down with bullets calibrated for expansion at those velocities. Think of it this way: 230 grains of 45 ACP at 850-875 FPS, or 240 grains of 42 caliber greatness at 1,000-1,150 FPS. The latter hits much harder, but isn't so hard to control. At around 1,050 FPS, it's very controllable with good shot to shot recovery with deeper penetration if desired. Match the load to the bullet.
     
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  3. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    If capacity and expansion was all I really cared about, I would just carry my rifle.
     
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  4. Old_Grouch

    Old_Grouch Member

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    This is the only part of your post I would challenge. Have you seen the Lucky Gunner gel tests?
    Some 2" barrel results:
    Fed HST 130 grn Micro: .73" expansion/13" penetration. (.73 is bigger than many of the .40 S&W they tested)
    Winchester 130 gr PDX1 Defender +P: .63 expansion/12.3" penetration.
    Winchester 130 gr Train & Defend: .59 expansion/13" penetration.
    Remington 125 gr Golden Saber +P: .62 expansion/13.9" penetration.
    All of the above exceed the FBI minimum penetration requirement with some pretty impressive expansion from 2" barrels.
     
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  5. tomrkba

    tomrkba Member

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    That's the FBI minimum. I could care less about their standard as 12" is too little. I want a minimum of 16", preferably more. The reason is angled shots, barriers, layers of clothing and the squishy variables (adrenaline, determination, etc). I know people freak out about "over penetration", but it's an overstated risk that can be mitigated with good tactics.
     
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  6. tomrkba

    tomrkba Member

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    I disagree with this:

    "Just enuf capacity to make you take your shot instead of triggering the mag dry in hopes you nicked something."

    In watching years of Active Self Protection, the mentality displayed here is not what happens in a real fight. It directly contradicts what people do and how they perform while being shot at.
     
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  7. tomrkba

    tomrkba Member

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    While "marksmanship is king" is a great sentiment, you should really spend some time watching ASP videos. Over time, you're going to see a few things:

    1) People shoot to slide lock or get a few extra dry fire reps in on their carry revolver. Ironically, this was told to me in 2001 by Steve Silverman of Firearms, Research and Instruction in my first through third training classes.

    2) The ammo you have in your gun is the ammo you'll have for the entirety of the fight unless something weird happens to give you enough time to do it. I think he saw one or two reloads in the thousands of actual fights reviewed. Ten rounds seems to be a pretty good minimum, but it goes really, really fast. Sixteen in the gun is better. This is why I like the S&W N-Frames in 357 Magnum: I get eight shots of 357 Magnum. I really like the Glock 17 and 19 pistols for the capacity despite the caliber. I find the eight shot 45's to be pushing the bottom limit too much. I can't predict what I'll do in a real fight since the situation will never be what I imagine it to be, but I can certainly prepare in advance by carrying a Glock 17, 19, 20/21 or 29/30 with full size mags. Maybe I won't use it all, but it's there if I need it.

    All that is cute, but sometimes people need to prove it to themselves. Get a moving dolly platform, put 4 rubber wheels on it, some holders for 1 by 2's, and eyebolts (one on each side and one facing the shooter). Attach 75- 100' ropes to the eyebolts. Plant a two pulleys about 10 yards apart and another set about 15 yards in towards the shooter on an angle. The shooter stands about 5 yards from the target centered between the pulleys. Install an IDPA target on two 1 by 2's and put them in the stand. On GO, one person pulls one rope to make the target move left and another pulls it to move it right. The shooter should shoot it while standing still and while moving.

    Anyone shooting this drill is going to experience 24" groups and that six to ten rounds does NOT last very long. It takes quite a bit of work to keep all shots in the B zone, much less the A zone. It's worse doing it while moving. I stopped carrying a six shot revolver and my Ruger LCP because of this drill.

    Anyone who thinks this is "spray and pray" is not thinking. It's "Try and hit but it's hard as Hell" and "Dangit! Why won't the target cooperate?"

    3) People tend to extend the arm and fire. Some will manage to get a two handed grip and some are never in the position to do so. Almost everyone moves at least two or three feet or steps; very few "stand and deliver".

    Breaking contact is great in theory but fails in gun fights. People fight it out because it goes so fast -- it's over in 2-5 seconds. Those that break contact are typically criminals fleeing the area because of the wall of lead coming their way. I see it over and over and over again.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2022
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  8. TarDevil

    TarDevil Member

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    "Tactics", I agree - in principal. Sadly, a true SD scenario won't likely offer a victim the chance for an optional shot. So "too much, too little" is an unmitigated chance.
    "Overstated" I'll admit my intro to handguns fell short of such information.
     
  9. tomrkba

    tomrkba Member

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    I think the problem really stems from agencies injecting this into their curricula after being sued. It likely will never be an issue for the average person who gets into one gun fight every 70 years.

    As for "tactics" ... it may happen...or the tactic is to just run to cover while shooting. One never knows. Watch lots of the ASP videos and see what happens. If you don't like the analysis, just turn off the sound and watch the events yourself.
     
  10. Old_Grouch

    Old_Grouch Member

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    Over penetration should be of little to no concern. When the FBI adopted the 10mm the then head of firearms training was interviewed and his answer to a question regarding over penetration worries summed it up better than anything I have heard before or since. "Considering that statistically 80% of shots fired by law enforcement officers don't hit their intended target I don't think we need to worry about over penetration of those that do."
    It's now been over 30 years since I read the article so that may not be a word for word quote but it's very, very close.
     
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  11. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    For many, I expect that carrying a gun big enough for all that will not happen, yet they might have the gun that is better than the one they left at home.
     
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  12. LookAtYou

    LookAtYou Member

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    You say capacity can add enough weight for a gun to not be carried, yet you prefer a revolver? Which one do you carry? An empty 3" 686+ (36 oz+) is heavier than my fully loaded 9mm M&P 3.6" (15+1) with heavy for caliber 147 grain ammo (33 oz total). You must have a airweight or a snubby or something?
     
  13. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    That is a very astute question. My current carry is an Interarms Rossi 851 (38 Special) 4" that weighs 33 3/4 loaded with ammo carrying 158 grain bullets. There was no science to my statement, but I see that I was not incorrect compared to your numbers.
     
  14. md7

    md7 Member

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    At heart, I’m a KISS type person

    I figured since 9mm is so popular, then it must be popular for good reason. So, I ccw a 9mm and use good ammo.

    I like 1911’s and a 5” government in 45 ACP is what I stick with. That puts me in the 45 camp

    A good 4” 357 mag revolver is kind of like a staple for my gun collection. And it keeps me in 38/357.

    I figure all em are fine for range and self defense if I do my part, and it’s not too many calibers to try and keep up with either.

    Nothing wrong with other calibers at all. I’m just content with the ones I’ve got and enjoy shooting them
     
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  15. LookAtYou

    LookAtYou Member

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    Well 33 3/4 is more than 33. So your setup is heavier than my semi-auto setup, and a lot of other ones too, as M&P's are slightly heavier than other semi-autos, like Glocks for example.
     
  16. LookAtYou

    LookAtYou Member

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    I would recommend Hornady Critical Defense FTX 125 Grain or Speer Gold Dot 135 Grain Short Barrel for excellent .357mag self defense ammo.
     
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  17. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    A rifle is not concealable a handgun is.

    A Sig 365 is easily concealable and offers 11 round capacity; length & height of the Sig 365 comparable to a snub revolver:
    https://www.handgunhero.com/compare/sig-sauer-p365-vs-smith-wesson-model-642

    https://www.handgunhero.com/compare/smith-wesson-model-66-combat-magnum-vs-glock-g19

    I don't see Rossi 851 as a option, but given the weight and 4'' barrel its likely heavier & bigger than a loaded Glock 19.
    6 rounds versus 16 is a easy decision for me; Glock 19 > revolver. (In a "good area" for a "quick trip to the store" and in the FL heat, no problem.)
     
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  18. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    Feel better?
     
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  19. John_R

    John_R Member

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    Hi cap people: "You need three 17 round mags and a BUG because you never know!"
    J-frame people: "Shot placement is everything.
    The rest of us: "Average encounter is 5 rounds or less; but just because you have 17 rounds doesn't mean you have to use all of them. Carry what you like."
     
  20. John_R

    John_R Member

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    So the "average 5 rounds and 5 yards" or whatever is wrong? The above sounds like gang fights, not average citizens stopping an armed robbery.
     
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  21. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    If we need to quibble about 3/4 ounce, I think we're done here.
     
  22. LookAtYou

    LookAtYou Member

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    Not quibbling, it's just the fact that you said "but I see that I was not incorrect compared to your numbers", when in fact, you were.
     
  23. tomrkba

    tomrkba Member

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    Go look at the videos. It sounds like you need to update your information to reflect current crime trends.
     
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  24. tomrkba

    tomrkba Member

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    People do stupid stuff all the time, including carrying a gun with no interest in fighting with it. They live in this little world where convenience is the priority over correctness.
     
  25. tomrkba

    tomrkba Member

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    It is popular because it permits moderate capacity (8-12 rounds or so) small framed semi-autos that are built to cater to that part of the market of shooters who prioritize convenience.
     
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