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What really is "enough" gun?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by StuckintheUK, Oct 6, 2003.

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  1. StuckintheUK

    StuckintheUK Member

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    There have been a lot of threads here recently about “under powered†calibres (.32 .22 etc) for self defence. Whilst the general consensus seems to have been that a larger calibre is advisable assuming you are accurate with said calibre, most would still carry a .22 if that’s all that was available.

    These threads left me wondering what really is minimum power for a pistol used for CCW purposes that you would carry before leaving it at home in preference of other non gun weapons?

    50ft/lb

    25ft/lb

    10ft/lb

    1ft/lb ?!?!?! Where is the cut off point?

    This is certainly not intended as an inflammatory subject to views either side of the “what’s enough power†debate. I’m just curious to see what the average arrives at!

    StuckInTheUK
     
  2. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Energy as measured in ft*lbs means nothing with regard to "stopping power." To "stop" someone right now you need to either disrupt their central nervous system or cause enough blood pressure loss for them to lose consciousness.

    The first requirement is penetration. At least 10-12" is preferred. From there on, the bigger the hole, the better.

    I personally wouldn't carry anything under 380Auto. There are extremely compact 9x19 pistols today, so there's really no point in going smaller.

    -z
     
  3. StuckintheUK

    StuckintheUK Member

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    Zak,


    I probably should have explained myself better, whilst I realise that many compact 9mm /.380 etc are available. The point I was trying to make was that assuming they were not, how little power would you be willing to carry.

    Thanks

    StuckInTheUK
     
  4. Stoney

    Stoney Member

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    Enough gun is the one you have when you need it. If all you have is a .22

    when you need it , that's enough gun. I never seen a gun that I wanted

    pointed at me, be it .22 or .45
     
  5. Zach S

    Zach S Member

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    The smallest I've carried was a .38 special, rare occurance. Most of the time its .45 ACP. At the moment, those are my only two choices, obviously the .45 is prefered, and the .38 is the smallest I'd carry.
     
  6. Spot77

    Spot77 Member

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    Agreed on the .380 part...That's about the smallest cal. I would consider....

    But the 9mm's are compact enough to carry and target ammo is way cheaper....
     
  7. Okiecruffler

    Okiecruffler Member

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    Honestly, I think anything under a 32acp and I would trust a nice pointy blade more.
     
  8. Keith

    Keith Member

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    I carry a .760 acp or a .90 acp depending on the time of year.












    That's a .380 or a .45 with double-taps...

    Keith
     
  9. Rich357

    Rich357 Member

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    If I had to use a .22 lr pistol for SD, I would feel pretty comfortable with my my old Browning Challenger or my 5 1/2" bull barreled Ruger MkII, loaded with 40 gr high speed solids. These pistols are accurate, reliable and fast handling.

    I wouldn't feel comfortable my little Beretta .22 lr, 21A. But, if that is all I had it would be better than nothing.

    Rich
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2003
  10. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    When things go bad, you may have a gun and if so then that gun is the best gun, if only because it is the ONLY gun you have. That does not mean it is enough gun for what is needed. Just because you have a gun does not make it enough.

    The concept of 'enough' gun or caliber is troubling. I fail to understand the fixation with what people think is enough. If you think about it, 'enough' implies a minimal standard. When it comes to needed force, nobody wants a minimal standard when it comes to self defense and yet this is what people continually look for with guns.

    When it comes to defense, maybe what should be considered is what is too much gun? What is so powerful that its use will put others in jeopardy if use, such as with significant over penetration.

    I seriously doubt there is such a thing as "enough gun" that we could use as individual defense weapons. 'Enough' would imply that whatever it touched with its power would be instantly incapacitated or dead. That amount of power would undoubtedly be too much power for many situations.
     
  11. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    I once carried an Astra Cub in .22 Short simply because it was smaller than my key case. One conversation went like this:

    Friend: "What would you do if you were attacked? Where would you shoot the guy?"

    Me: "The gun is pretty accurate, so I would put a bullet over each of his eyes."

    Friend: "Why? Is that a thin part of the skull?"

    Me: "No, but the blood would run down in his eyes and blind him, and I would throw the damn gun at him and run like hell."

    Nuff sed.

    Jim
     
  12. mr. e

    mr. e Member

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    What great reasoning! I like the way you think, Jim. ;^)
     
  13. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I occasionally carry my Walther P.P.K. .380 A.C.P. I don't consider it enough gun, but when you're facing a couple hours almost flat on your back in a dental chair, it's nearly enough gun.

    As far as I'm concerned, the key issues are bullet placement, bullet placement, and bullet placement. Since I'm only fairly accurate, I try to give myself an edge with the .357 magnum rather than the less powerful .38 special or nine millimeter.
     
  14. Apple a Day

    Apple a Day Member

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    155mm. Prefer self-propelled. :evil:
     
  15. Moparmike

    Moparmike Member

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    Nahh, 203mm, self-propelled.:evil: :neener:



    Technically, any gun that stops the thread is enough gun. Get a gun with rounds that will penetrate and expand. Remember, you arent shooting to kill. You are shooting to live, and stop the threat.

    When in doubt, fire the whole mag!:D :scrutiny:
     
  16. Ryder

    Ryder Member

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    I'd carry any gun if that is all that was available. You just need to adjust your tactics (aim point and range) in order to accomodate the lower power.

    I am not limited in my selection though so I choose a gun which can give me greater flexiblity. One never knows what the situation requires in advance.
     
  17. BerettaNut92

    BerettaNut92 Member

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    I think 'enough' is a matter of comfort than an objective equation. Something RELIABLE of .38 caliber or higher (well .223 is good too) than I can hit well with on demand.

    For most occasions, my P7M8 and a few spare mags is good, if I'm having pho or boba, I like to pack my Beretta, a few spare mags, a P7M8, two knives and a few friends.
     
  18. Camel

    Camel Member

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    Enough gun, although a bit difficult to conceal.
     
  19. Mikul

    Mikul Member

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    If I wouldn't carry a 9mm, I would carry a .45. They're not difficult to conceal.

    From there I would have to consider 10mm followed by .357 magnum.
     
  20. kalibear45

    kalibear45 Member

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    Suburbian "light" carry (in case you get attacked by some suburbian gangstaz in their tricycles) = .380 (Walther PPK, for ex.)

    Woods carry (for bear, mountain lions, and other critters) = .44mag (329PD, for ex.)

    Urban "heavy" carry (when your knee deep in da ghetto) = .45acp (S&W P99, for ex.)
     
  21. sanchezero

    sanchezero Member

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    In my mind the problem isn't so much the POWER as it is the shootability.

    Any gun will do if you will do, but really, what can you do? Can you hit a guy in the eyesocket with your creditcard sized .22LR while dodging bullets yourself?

    I need enough gun to get my hand on; for me the smallest stuff I'm happy with is a Jframe or P9 size. I prefer to carry a bigger gun and haven't ever had a problem concealing one.

    With the microKahrs available, there doesn't seem to be a good excuse to carry .25ACP anymore.

    :)
     
  22. Poohgyrr

    Poohgyrr Member

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    Hmmm.. If I was stuck with something really small, like a .32 ACP or less, or even a .380, I'd probably have other items available as well. But that's me, and YMMV. Pencils, knives, pepper sprays (heck a can of nasty hair spray might work), yadda yadda, are all alternatives to think about. I've seen a lot of as**oles (calling them what they are) carrying baseball bats. Around the home, good dogs that bark would be mandatory.

    And a trained person who is good with a knife is a true terror, a very serious threat.
     
  23. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    I would take anything I could get.

    The ability to do injury, however small, to an attacker before you have to go at it hand-to-hand is invaluable.

    If I had nothing else, I'd throw something.

    If he persists and you have to fight him tooth and nail, you're going to be very thankful for any damage you were able to inflict at a distance.
     
  24. Soap

    Soap Member

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    "Enough gun" is the gun that can stop your attacker immediately. Since there are so many variables, there isn't one clear cut answer. You might have a situation where a person is shot with a .22 in the chest and they go down right away. You may have another situation where the BG takes four .45ACP slugs before they stop. Just remember, it is a handgun. Therefore it sucks in the power department. The solution is to make your choices caliber and gun wise, then train like crazy for all possible situations.
     
  25. David4516

    David4516 Member

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    I think anything .380 ACP or larger is just fine for carry.

    The smaller calibers make OK back up guns, but I don't think I'd want to use one as my primary...
     
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