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Why do you choose the gun and caliber you use for defense?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by The Drew, Jul 12, 2006.

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  1. Autolycus

    Autolycus Member

    Feb 13, 2006
    In the land of make believe.
    I wanted a lightweight carry gun that had decent capacity and was comfortable to hold.

    I also wanted a DAO trigger as I prefer one type of trigger pull. I do like manual safeties but I wanted my CCW gun to be without one.

    I ultimately chose the HK P2000 with a LEM trigger.

    I like the 9mm and the .40 S&W. I chose the .40 S&W because it is a very good compromise between a .45 ACP and a 9mm. In the case of the P2000 I was going to have to choose between 12 rounds of .40S&W or 13 rounds of 9mm. I felt that there was not much difference in capacity so I figured I would go for the bigger caliber and the one I felt would stop a threat better.

    When I move this will be my daily carry gun. I may also have a P2000SK with the LEM trigger and in .40S&W to back it up as well.
  2. Panthera Tigris

    Panthera Tigris Member

    May 31, 2006
    I also wanted small because larger weapons are just too uncomfortable. I don't like the higher calibers, and I am very accurate and quick with 9mm than 40 or 45.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2007
  3. ARTiger

    ARTiger Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    This got me to thinking as to what I carry when and why. At last count I have 42 handguns (Seems like a lot to me, but I'm sure - I hope at least a few on this board have many more than that even.) 75% or so of those came to me in the last 2 years by way of inheritance and also having time to shoot more and the money (finally) to buy some nice guns.

    Lately for CCW, I carry a Glock 29 (DoubleTap 180 gr.) or a .40 S&W M&P compact (CorBon DPX's) . I know the calibers will serve my needs in most any situation and these guns are the smallest/lightest I have that I can shoot well all the time. Occasionally I may carry a Para Wharthog or a Ruger SP 101 as well. Those were my 2 CCW's before the plastic guns found their way into my pants.

    At home I have a Ruger P90 (Glaser Silver) or a S&W model 24 4" (Rem. 240 gr. LSWCHP) in the nightstand because these guns are the full sized handguns I trust implicitly. The P90 gets the nod over several 1911's (including a Wilson) because it's NEVER failed to do what I want it to, I've shot it more than anything else and can probably do so blindfolded and it's also very accurate. The Mod 24 is the equivalent in a revolver. Backing those up is a Browning BPS 12 ga. 3" pump with 00 buck and a magazine extension.

    When at my cabin I open-carry a S&W Mod 586 or a Colt Trooper on my belt (Buffalo Bore 180 gr.). If hogs have been around, ths may change to a Mod 629 .44 magnum. The same 629 with the first 2 chambers loaded with shotshells is on me in spring and summer at the cabin for snakes.

    My dress-up low risk CCW is a HK P7M8 (Corbon 115 Gr. DPX).

    In the car/truck is an old Charter Bulldog - well hidden.

    So far I've never had to use any of the above on a 2-legged critter and I hope that trend continues. My "cabin wheelguns" have dropped quite a fwe 4-legged ones though. Also, I am starting to warm to a .460 "hand-cannon" for deer/black bear hunting at longer ranges.
  4. W Turner

    W Turner Member

    Jun 13, 2003
    Hillsboro, AL
    When I can carry, it's a SW642 about 90% of the time.
    -It's easy to slip in and out of my pocket when I have to.
    -It's potent enough for serious work(especially when loaded with the 135gr. Gold Dots).
    -I know it will fire upside down, up against a body or through a jacket pocket. When a pocket gun is your primary it HAS to work everytime.

    The other 10% of the time it is a Springfield Armory Lightweight Gov't Model
    -1/2 lb lighter than an all steel gun
    -My best group with it is 2" offhand at 25 yards (I was having a VERY good day)
    -It has proven itself reliable with my carry load
    -It conceals well when IWB

    I am working on buying a holster for my 3" SW Model 13 so I can carry it OWB, just haven't gotten around to ordering the holster or speedloader pouches yet.

  5. possum

    possum Member

    Oct 12, 2005
    Concord, N.C.
    my carry guns and all my handguns for that matter are .40 for the time being.
    i carry a kahr k-40 and an xdsc .40 depending on the weather, and what clothes i am wearing.

    the reason i carry the particualr pistols is that they are great accurate, and extrememly reliable handguns that i trust mine and my families lives with. plus the added bonus of there size.

    i like .40 because it is a great medium IMHO. i get more capcity than, a .45 (generally) and more knock down power than 9mm, but yet it still fits in a frame size that i can easily hold and shoot comfortably. most pistols in .45 are two big for my hand.
  6. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    Tossing a wrench in the works

    I informed hso what I was doing.

    For seven days I did not carry concealed , nor did I carry any knife , other than a SAK classic.

    Understand, my travels include some evening, to late night times, not the best areas of town, and Non-CCW areas anyway.

    Why? Real simple. Firearms are not a magic talisman against evil, no matter what brand, platform, caliber or type of ammunition used.

    Focus on your individual skill sets, get training and continue to practice for YOU what you can with what you got to work with.

    Federal Bldg, I cannot carry. Why worry about it, accept it, and use my energies toward the skill sets I have in case something comes up while I am walking toward or coming back from.

    Another location, same thing. Hey, I am nearing 52 and I have no problems getting a ride in a Golf Cart with an armed off duty LEO. That is what he was there for.

    I cannot carry on a College Campus I attend , and I attend night classes. Yep, I got plans and back up plans.

    Maybe I am getting old and indicative of the times I was raised in.

    Run what you brung.

    Sage advice is knowing how to run what you brung. Even if that means NO CCW.

    Focus on the target - not the equipment
    - Will Fennell

  7. SoCalShooter

    SoCalShooter Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    That's for me to know and not you!
    I prefer my HK USP 45 for HD, hunting and I would carry it if I was allowed.
  8. Raise

    Raise Member

    Jun 27, 2010
  9. skoro

    skoro Member

    May 2, 2008
    My home defense guns are 38/357 revolvers. I like the idea of no safety, no slide, and no magazine springs to mess with. :)
  10. oldbanjo

    oldbanjo Member

    Jul 8, 2010
    Years ago I had a lot of auto's, Due to safety's being different on every gun, I sold them and went to revolvers. I used to use 38 but now I want something that will go thru a car door so I use a 357Mag.
  11. akadave

    akadave Member

    Apr 12, 2010
    I carry a small revolver of at least .38 +p caliber most of the time for expediency. I have several 1911's but they are terrible CCW for my purposes, even my S&W 1911SC. While I would rather have a 45 ACP on me at all times, I have to compromise with the small revolver because otherwise I would leave my CCW home more often than carry it.

    I would actually rather carry my custom 9X23 which holds 20 rounds and kicks a 124 gr. slug along a 1400 fsp or greater but its built on a 1911 frame.
  12. Raise

    Raise Member

    Jun 27, 2010
    I hear ya...especially if you need it at 3:00 in the morning...the wheel gun would be my nightstand gun as well.
  13. LawofThirds

    LawofThirds Member

    Apr 19, 2008
    If it's automatic, it's mid sized to large and 45.

    If it's a revolver, it's .38/.357 and small to mid sized.

    Honestly, I look for the best combination of caliber, capacity, energy, shootability (a completely subjective matter, which is why I didn't go with .40 S&W) and availability (which is what killed the 10mm)
  14. John Parker

    John Parker Member

    May 14, 2009
    9mm goes through a car windshield. I've done it both from inside and from outside.
  15. Dnaltrop

    Dnaltrop Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    I'm "blessed" to be tall, making a great swath of Full sized guns small enough to almost entirely hide in my hand. (and making many small guns, doorways, cars etc a complete Pain)

    .45 Revolver at the bedside safe unlocked while I sleep, next to the .40 M&P that rests at the small of my back right now until I go feel up a variety of IWB for comfort before laying down my money.
  16. JoeSlomo

    JoeSlomo Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    Full size 1911 .45 ACP....

    - Ergonomics fit my hand very comfortably.
    - Control features I like, where I like them to be.
    - Sturdy with weight that aids in recoil management.
    - Easy and fast to fire.
    - Reliable, and accurate enough to land percentage shots on masked targets well beyond common defensive ranges.
    - Sleek, easy to conceal.
    - Large, heavy, slow round provides good penetration and generally not as prone to deflection as some of the smaller faster rounds.
    - I use it for defense, training, and in competition for familiarity and proficiency.

    To each their own...
  17. Prosser

    Prosser Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    Trial and error, and changing theories.
    When I first went shooting, I got to shoot all the self-defense calibers, except the .40/10MM, not invented yet, and went to .45 ACP like a duck to water.

    Liked small and powerful, and, ended up with a Detonics Mark VI in 451 Detonics level loads, 200 grains, 1200 fps, speer flying ashtrays. These worked very well, leaving some very large holes in bad guys.

    Next, for home defense, a 45 Colt, with heavy loads. Ocean for a back stop.
    The 45 Colt was under the pillow, allowing me a chance to get to the M1A and AR15 under the bed. Also had Mac 10 45's around, with silencer. That was the first choice, but, that was long ago, and, they are no longer legal.
    32 rounds, 7000 grains in under 2 seconds, in a very small apartment, with near no noise was certainly appealing.

    As I moved, stayed with the .45 Colt SA.

    Now, we have bigger guns. .475 and .510" Linebaughs with expanding bullets give you a 2 bore sized hole, with .44 mag recoil, at 2 bore velocities, or more. I still have 45 Supers around, and, 7.62 x 54R Mosin Nagant M44 is my favorite, light in the house defense rifle. Easy to handle, combat trigger, bayonnet, and good sites.

    For carry, we live in a police state, so, it has to be deep concealment.
    The best for that is the Kahr PM9. I would like a PM40, but figure the difference in capacity and punch isn't worth another caliber. I can accurately shoot the PM9 headshots, at combat ranges. The other was a scandium 360PD. With medium .357's its body shoots only at combat ranges.
    The smiths are the only gun I can really throw in a pocket.

    I've changed in a way. I keep electronic muffs within reach, and a vest on the end of the bed. Everyone complains about the blast of the .357.
    The more I thought about it, the more I like the idea. It's like setting off a flashbang in an apartment. Disorient, deafen, blind, and they get shot.
    What's NOT to like about that? If the .357 is bad, what about a light bullet .475 or .500 load? 2 bore rifle hitting, without the penetration, and a huge flashbang.

    Yes, I know, this isn't the average philosophy. Also, the guns I like shooting are the ones I think I should be using for defense, since I am more likely to hit my target with them.
  18. searcher451

    searcher451 Member

    Jun 15, 2007
    For me, it's no great mystery at all. The ammo that I use is designed for the pistols that I use for self-defense, and I choose the pistols first ... because they best fit my hand and eye and because I'm good enough with them through long years of practice to protect myself and my family. My primary self-defense round is 9mm because my primary self-defense pistol is a alther P99C.
  19. Shadowdancer

    Shadowdancer Member

    Jul 13, 2010
    I don't always carry, but when I do, it is a Sig P238. It is light enough to not even notice. It is thin enough that no one else notices. I'm accurate enough with that that I know I would hit whatever I was aiming at. And it is comfortable to shoot so that I get enough practice with it. My previous carry gun was a S&W Airlite 38 +P. Shooting it was like having someone pull a cheese grater out of my hand.
  20. 167

    167 Member

    Apr 24, 2008
    I carry a G22 to maintain continuity with what I have to use at work and because I get free ammo from work:)
  21. Drail

    Drail Member

    Jan 17, 2008
    Listen very carefully to people who have shot large dangerous animals and lived to tell about it. Elmer Keith is a good example. Ross Seyfried is another. I personally carry a .44 Spl. with cast SWC handloads.
  22. Sapper771

    Sapper771 Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    11 up and 3 down
    I carry Glock pistols: Durable, reliable, lightweight, combat accurate, simple, easy to field strip, easy to detail strip, easy to clean, not ammo dependent, tenifer , strong aftermarket support, proven.

    I carry a Glock 17 most of the time. If not the G17, then I carry the G19 or G26. Having the three sizes of the same platform gives me a decent level of flexibility. The G17 magazines will work with all three sizes. The G17 has the same external dimensions as my duty weapon (G31). The G17 has a healthy mag capacity of 17+1 rounds, with the option of using mag extensions or the G18 33 round magazines.

    The 9mm cartridge is reasonably cheap to buy, cheap to reload, easy to reload, widespread useage both here and abroad, is a NATO caliber, and is effective if paired with proper shot placement. I like it personally because it is economical.
  23. jonboynumba1

    jonboynumba1 Member

    Oct 16, 2007
    My daily CCW is a GLOCK 23 .40 because in a Bianchi 82 carrylock -it's the smallest lightest thing I trust that my big hands fit and is still in a decent caliber. I've been shooting GLOCK so long that it's second nature...I like 1911's more on the range...in the real world of daily carry GLOCK is lighter and more reliable IME. My cold weather/going to the woods sometimes carry piece is a GLOCK 21SF in a DeSantis speed scabbard (largely because it has the stupid piccatinny rail and it's hard to find anything that fits it without spending an arm and a leg...I THINK the newer 82 carryloks MIGHT fit it now...will find out next time I order. Both carry 13+1 capacity in a caliber that starts with "4"! Both have polished internals and 3.5# connectors netting a decent 4-4.5# trigger. Both have wolf one piece non captive guide rods...the 21 runs a stock 17# wolf spring....the 23 a +1 19pound. I'ce carried plenty of 9mm's as well...I generally preffer a .45 but a .40 packs better....I may retire the 23 eventually with a KHAR PM45...just haven't found a deal on one yet. The caliber isn't really that important as long as it's one of those 3 and I have ammo I like...I'm least picky about .45 ammo...I find it the most fun to shoot...though a 1911 wins over the 21 SF for range work! I'll build another one up eventually.

    I just added a Ruger Super BlackHawk 7.5" .44 in blue yesterday....cause it's purdy and I want to handgun hunt mostly this Fall...and while I've been thinking about a 10mm barrel for the 21....well I traded into it no cash amd it's aweful pretty....may end up hunting BOTH! So I have a fun weekend at the range planned!
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  24. oldfool

    oldfool Member

    Jul 18, 2009
    Thomasville, Georgia
    in all cases, "shootability"... what works for me in my own hand, and throws 'em where I think I want 'em to go

    for casual wear
    Colt Government 380 acp, super easy IWB carry, enough handle, enough barrel, and enough weight to point and shoot real well, plain vanilla grade FMJ

    for often rides with me in vehicle
    older model Rossi SS revolver, 4" six-shooter, very reliable, stands up to in vehicle conditions real well w/ minimalist maintenance, no major financial loss if ever unfortunate enough to have it stolen whilst in the store or chow down, any plain vanilla grade 38sp round

    for at home
    S&W 66, 6" revolver, 38+P JHP, enough gun to get it done

    for in her "purse"
    Ruger 3" SP101, 38+P JHP

    for zombie black russian attack squirrel invasions
    his & hers 357 mag lever actions, 357 JHP

    for rabid whitetail attack deer
    30-30 lever action
  25. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Member

    Oct 6, 2009
    central IL
    I just got my first pistol, a SA XDm 3.8" in .40 S&W. I chose the XDm because I wanted a gun that I felt I could safely carry in Condition I like a Glock, but I do not care much for my dad's G17. The XDm has many added features that the Glocks don't as well like the chamber indicator, the cocked indicator, the backstrap safety, and interchangable grips. This was my first pistol, so I wanted it to be a somewhat all around gun for a while.

    I chose .40 S&W because it seemed a pretty good compromise between 9mm and .45 ACP. I read somewhere that with lighter loads, the .40 mimics the ballistics of the 9mm and with heavier loads, it mimics the .45, so I figured it would be a good all around round without sacrificing too much capacity.

    Since I live in the great state of Illinois, I can't carry period. Stupid Chicago. Otherwise I would be carrying it full time.

    I also have a Remington 870 stocked with 00 buckshot in the bedroom at home.

    Planning on getting a small carry pistol like a Kel-Tec or Kahr, but until I get out of Illinois it's kind of a moot point anyway.
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