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Self Defense Caliber

TheSilentOneTheSilentOne Member Posts: 104 ✭✭
edited July 2009 in General Discussion
I have been thinking about getting a pistol for concealed carry. What is the smallest caliber that would still be effective. Is a .38 the smallest you should go for carrying.
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Comments

  • redneckandyredneckandy Member Posts: 9,085 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You just opened a can of worms.
  • JorgeJorge Member Posts: 10,656
    edited November -1
  • SpartacusSpartacus Member Posts: 14,415
    edited November -1
    personally, i don't carry smaller than .380.
    I think a .32 would be OK but i don't own a gun in 32.
    alot of folks think that 9mm is the smallest for SD.
    heck, a 22lr or .222 would probably get you out of a jam (unless the other guy had a bigger gun)but I doubt anyone carries one as their primary weapon.
  • William81William81 Member Posts: 20,758 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Get ready for many different thoughts on the question........

    I would not carry anything smaller than a .38 special myself. But that is just based upon my own gut feeling and what I am comfortable with. The platform is small enough to conceal, yet big enough for me to get a good grip on it.

    I like the looks of smaller firearms, but they are too small in my meathooks to be able to draw safely and comfortably.

    I know guys that carry .22, .22 Mag, .25, .32, .380 etc and are comfortable with their choices. Someone will say it so I will be first.....having a gun when you need it is better than not having one....
  • mrseatlemrseatle Member Posts: 15,806
    edited November -1
    A nice compact .38 special revolver.
  • JorgeJorge Member Posts: 10,656
    edited November -1
    Seecamp.jpg

    To put it another way, the Seecamp .32 ACP in my pocket trumps the S&W 629 in .44 Mag that's left in my safe.
  • grumpygygrumpygy Member Posts: 53,466
    edited November -1
    The one you can shoot effectively. Meaning hit what you aim at.
  • DBMJR1DBMJR1 Member Posts: 1,841 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I'll carry a .22LR, Heck, I'd carry a .22 short if I had one that was trustworthy.

    Mostly I carry a .38spl.

    If all I had were a sharp stick, I would carry that.

    If you seriously need a one shot stopping caliber round, stick with the .45acp. With my .22, I intend to dump 9 into my target, reload, and dump 8 more. That ought to stop the average man.

    I don't even believe my .38 is a one shot stop. Even with Hornady Critical Defense Ammo. I will empty the darned thing, reload, and assess the situation.

    Even the venerable .45acp fails to stop in one round. A coworker took three to the back. Still ran a distance. Still around too.

    Rifle rounds provide the absolute best stopping capability.

    My suggestion, an American Arms Grizzly Derringer in .45-70. That ought to work, if you don't flinch and miss. Can't imagine why you'd devolope a flinch shooting one of those.[:D]
  • txlawdogtxlawdog Member Posts: 10,039 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I don't carry less than a .380 caliber, which includes 38 and 9mm size.

    Although, I have seen everything down to a 22 kill someone. It would be usefull as well. Carry what you are comfortable with.
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 32,962 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I would carry a .380 at minimum.
    You just can't beat the .38 special.
  • gap1916gap1916 Member Posts: 4,977
    edited November -1
    Yep, You opened a can of worms. 9mm for a semi auto & 38spl for a revolver is what I have read over the years and experienced. Many have stated .380 or 32acp work well. For the expert marksman any calibur will work. In stress bigger is better. Law enforcment in the US use 9mm, .40s&w and the 357sig. US military carry 9mm and 45acp. Do the home work. My 2 cents [8D]
  • TheSilentOneTheSilentOne Member Posts: 104 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I like this gun for carry, but I don't think it is worth the $550 they are asking for it. http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=132765050
  • JorgeJorge Member Posts: 10,656
    edited November -1
    Try a similar package in Scandium.
  • KEVD18KEVD18 Member Posts: 15,037
    edited November -1
    sweet jesus and mary not again....
  • elLOCOmuthaelLOCOmutha Member Posts: 54 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    .50 Cal.! Seriously, I don't carry anything less than .380 but my constant companions are my .45 and my Ruger LCP backup.
  • RtWngExtrmstRtWngExtrmst Member Posts: 7,456
    edited November -1
    Study the facts about stopping power.

    http://www.handloads.com/misc/stoppingpower.asp?Caliber=5
    These are fact based on actual shootings.

    Everything else is just conversation.
  • JorgeJorge Member Posts: 10,656
    edited November -1
    Stoping power, schmoping power.

    What really counts is what's on your persona.
  • RtWngExtrmstRtWngExtrmst Member Posts: 7,456
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by TheSilentOne
    I like this gun for carry, but I don't think it is worth the $550 they are asking for it. http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=132765050


    That's a 96% 1 shot stopper with 125 gr JHP.
  • RtWngExtrmstRtWngExtrmst Member Posts: 7,456
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Polite Psycho
    Stoping power, schmoping power.

    What really counts is what's on your persona.




    If you don't care about stopping power you can carry a sling shot.
  • H.S. 10-XH.S. 10-X Member Posts: 1,360 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I would not go less than a .38spl snubnose or a small 9mm semi-auto. In my opinion I would rather have a double action only .357/.38 than anything else.
  • JorgeJorge Member Posts: 10,656
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by RtWngExtrmst
    quote:Originally posted by Polite Psycho
    Stoping power, schmoping power.

    What really counts is what's on your persona.




    If you don't care about stopping power you can carry a sling shot.


    The .32 ACP Seecamp in my pocket trumps your slingshot any day.

    [:D]
  • RtWngExtrmstRtWngExtrmst Member Posts: 7,456
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Polite Psycho
    quote:Originally posted by RtWngExtrmst
    quote:Originally posted by Polite Psycho
    Stoping power, schmoping power.

    What really counts is what's on your persona.




    If you don't care about stopping power you can carry a sling shot.


    The .32 ACP Seecamp in my pocket trumps your slingshot any day.

    [:D]



    You win.
  • JorgeJorge Member Posts: 10,656
    edited November -1
    It's much more than a matter of caliber, but whether you are comfortable enough to carry with you every time.
  • SCOUT5SCOUT5 Member Posts: 14,654 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    It really depends on your size, build, clothing style, hand size and many other issues. A thought to remember if you are going to carry concealed. If you have enough clothes on to carry a large frame handgun you can substitute a small one. If you only have enough clothes on the hide a small framed handgun a large one will not fit. So if you are only going to get one, get the one you will have on you when and if you needed it, not one you are going to leave in the truck. You can always buy a bigger one later and have 2[8D]

    Forgot to mention, mine is a 38 S&W with shrouded hammer, handy as a hammerless, but I can still shoot it single action if I want/need to. Best of both.
  • Mr. PerfectMr. Perfect Member Posts: 59,465 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by TheSilentOne
    I have been thinking about getting a pistol for concealed carry. What is the smallest caliber that would still be effective. Is a .38 the smallest you should go for carrying.

    Depends on what you mean by "effective". There's at least 3 criteria for concealed carry. First three I rank in this order:
    1) have it with you
    2) can hit what you're aiming with it
    3) can keep it concealed until you need it (the question IS about CC)


    Personally, I prefer my handguns in a caliber that begins with a 4, but that's just me. A .38 with +p ammo is a fine stopper by all accounts. I'd look at a hammerless if you're going the revolver route.
    Some will die in hot pursuit
    And fiery auto crashes
    Some will die in hot pursuit
    While sifting through my ashes
    Some will fall in love with life
    And drink it from a fountain
    That is pouring like an avalanche
    Coming down the mountain
  • Mr. PerfectMr. Perfect Member Posts: 59,465 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by SCOUT5
    It really depends on your size, build, clothing style, hand size and many other issues. A thought to remember if you are going to carry concealed. If you have enough clothes on to carry a large frame handgun you can substitute a small one. If you only have enough clothes on the hide a small framed handgun a large one will not fit. So if you are only going to get one, get the one you will have on you when and if you needed it, not one you are going to leave in the truck. You can always buy a bigger one later and have 2[8D]

    Forgot to mention, mine is a 38 S&W with shrouded hammer, handy as a hammerless, but I can still shoot it single action if I want/need to. Best of both.

    +1 on the shrouded hammer, forgot about that option.
    Some will die in hot pursuit
    And fiery auto crashes
    Some will die in hot pursuit
    While sifting through my ashes
    Some will fall in love with life
    And drink it from a fountain
    That is pouring like an avalanche
    Coming down the mountain
  • pietro75pietro75 Member Posts: 7,048
    edited November -1
    Do all that posted here really care if someone makes you for being armed?

    I wear shorts and a T-shirt and keep my compact on my right hip. I think that it may be slightly noticeable at times, but, I don't really care.

    Here in Idaho we don't have the strict brandishing laws of some states.
  • stickem upstickem up Member Posts: 294 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    i've heard good things about the .17 single shot rugers
  • wittynbearwittynbear Member Posts: 4,518
    edited November -1
    ideally nothing less than a .45.
  • gregoryhart1gregoryhart1 Member Posts: 518 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I like a .357. You have the versatility of being able to fire .38's for practice with the added power of the .357 for carrying. OR you can stay with .38 ammo if you need a little less recoil. I'm a big fan of revolvers for their simple operation and reliability. Granted you lose some capacity, but you will most likely have enough ammo to eliminate the threat and make your escape.
    Of course, that's just my opinion and I'm sure there's many that will disagree with it.
    GH1[:)]
  • use enough gunuse enough gun Member Posts: 1,485 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Carry what you want and what's comfortable for you. I prefer to carry something big that I would bet my life on stopping anyone with one shot. Dave
  • wsfiredudewsfiredude Member Posts: 7,998
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by TheSilentOne
    I have been thinking about getting a pistol for concealed carry. What is the smallest caliber that would still be effective. Is a .38 the smallest you should go for carrying.


    To a large degree, it depends upon the person and their level of proficiency.

    I have three that I carry at different times:

    Sig P226 9mm
    S&W Model 10 .38
    S&W 351 PD .22 Mag
  • iwannausernameiwannausername Member Posts: 7,131
    edited November -1
    The 22 with you is better than the 45 left at home 'cause "its too big" or "i can't conceal that in this weather"


    So honestly, it is your decision. Also, you'll probably end up with a few different CC pistols, holsters, etc. so you can dress weather appropriate and still carry
  • k_townmank_townman Member Posts: 3,588
    edited November -1
    I have a 32 S&W Long. At one time, this caliber was used by law enforcement agencies in the USA. That would be the smallest I would want to carry.
    Get a 4" 500 S&W. Then you'll know you'll never be out gunned. [;)]
    Oftentimes just the presence of a gun will deter most folks. Learn to be proficient, with whatever you choose.
  • slipgateslipgate Member Posts: 12,741
    edited November -1
    You're a fool to carry anything less than a Desert Eagle in .50 AE.
  • quickmajikquickmajik Member Posts: 16,324
    edited November -1
    .380ACP, 9mmluger/parabellum or .38 special

    My favorite is a cz-82/83 or brettta 84/taurus PT58

    Some good examples of each

    sub 10 oz class .380
    Kahr P-380
    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=132752446
    KeltTec P3AT
    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=132980358

    double stack .380
    Beretta 84
    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=132891016
    CZ-83
    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=132941722

    Taurus PT58(my second favorite) 20rnd capacity.
    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=132957297


    Sub compact 9mm
    Glock 26
    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=132912989
    Para PDA
    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=132432957

    Snubby .38 spcl, Well smith makes all kinds. I never liked the tiny revolvers, they make my palms tingle or bleed.
  • River RatRiver Rat Member Posts: 9,022
    edited November -1
    I used to think little pocket autos were the way to go, until my wife bought an S&W snubbie in .38. You just can't beat them for simplicity, one-handed operation, etc. I hate that long double-action trigger pull, and reloading is more troublesome, but otherwise they are ideal for personal self-defense situations. We often fail to consider the importance of simplicity when choosing a defense handgun.
  • k_townmank_townman Member Posts: 3,588
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by slipgate
    You're a fool to carry anything less than a Desert Eagle in .50 AE.

    Do you carry yours in your mouth? [:0]
  • bhale187bhale187 Member Posts: 7,798
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by RtWngExtrmst
    quote:Originally posted by TheSilentOne
    I like this gun for carry, but I don't think it is worth the $550 they are asking for it. http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=132765050


    That's a 96% 1 shot stopper with 125 gr JHP.

    98% of statistics cited in an argument are made up on the spot.
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 32,962 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    until my wife bought an S&W snubbie in .38. You just can't beat them for simplicity, one-handed operation, etc. I hate that long double-action trigger pull, and reloading is more troublesome, but otherwise they are ideal for personal self-defense situations. We often fail to consider the importance of simplicity when choosing a defense handgun.


    That is so true. Simple is better than complicated.
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