August 31st, 2008 10:18 AM
Should I carry a mini-cannon?
A very good friend of mine is a millwright by trade, which is why I believe he tends to "overbuild" things beyond what I would think is necessary for the job it is intended to preform. If I were to ask him to weld up a small hibachi grill for camping, he would probably make it out of 1/2" plate steel with a miniature nuclear reactor power plant to drive the 36" bellows fan needed to stoke the charcoal to 2200F.
This seems to be the way some people decide on which weapon they should carry for self-defense. The reason I believe is they may be basing their decision on which caliber, barrel length, ammunition they need because of what they perceive will be the situation in which they will need to use their weapon to defend themselves.
As I understand the statistics, the scenarios in which someone would need to defend themselves have that 90% of the gunfights are within 9 feet or 3 yards with 3 shots fired within 10 seconds (IIRC). Yet, most people buy a gun, ammunition, sights and train for fights starting at 21 feet or 7 yards out past 25 yards simply because they believe this is where the fight will take place, so they logically believe they need to carry a pistol configured as if it were a mini-sniper rifle.
A .25, .32 or .380 caliber fired at point blank range into someone's gut or under their chin, should to be plenty of deterrent for the 90% +/- odds of how your gunfight may occur. Of course there is always the situation that you will be under-gunned, with not enough ammo to be able to eliminate the threat out to a distance that requires a 6x power scope on a .308 Model 700, but for the statistical normal scenario we as armed citizens will run into a snub-nosed revolver in .38 caliber will do the trick.
:Okay let the arrows fly:
August 31st, 2008 10:32 AM
I shoot 90% of my shots at 7 yards or less,but I also shoot out to 25 yards and occassionally practice at 50 yards.If you can hit COM consistently at 10 yards then you will be able to hit at closer ranges and even tho most SD do occur within 10 feet I practice for the unusual too,such as a mall shooter that may be at 25 yards using cover,if he's not aware of your presence you can get off accurate controlled shots from cover but if you do not know where your gun shoots at 25 or 50 yards that is not the time to try to figure it out
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .
August 31st, 2008 10:36 AM
No arrows from me !
It all depends on the threat you face at the time. Statistics aside, no one has a crystal ball that can predict what threat you may face in the future. Most folks tend to ramp up with as much as they can CC in a practical manner. For me, I often carry a LCP in my pocket, whenever I go somewhere that I feel is risky I carry a larger gun.
A BG armed with a stick is likely going to split upon seeing a mouse gun pointed at him. A deranged guy shooting up a mall with a rifle is not likely to notice a small gun.
Wasn't it Clint Smith that said "no one in a gunfight ever wished for a smaller gun"
Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.
August 31st, 2008 10:55 AM
Practice and tactics is the secret to survival! My wife likes a 45, me, I like a 9. Number one point is move and shoot, Number two point is be able to hit on the move! Also, I changed my point of aim a few years ago as more little darlins are wearing body armor, about 5" up from COM. Aiming higer COM puts a nice pattern above most body armor and increases head/spine hits. Shooting here still gives you a big target area and vital system damage.
August 31st, 2008 10:59 AM
I agree with you (the op) in part. My EDC is a 5 shot snubby and I feel it is the right weapon for me.
I think though that most people on here will tell you they carry a larger heavier gun because they can. I mean why not? It's only a few ounces heavier and an inch longer or whatever. Carrying any gun is inconvenient, and it's only slightly more so with a larger one. Having a gun that you have confidence in is truly important. Let's face it with a good holster a glock or a 4.25 in. 1911 isn't very hard to conceal.
Statistics are great but what if you're situation is one of the ten% that isn't categorized. You just might change your tune.
It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.
August 31st, 2008 11:01 AM
Originally Posted by LastManOut
Without getting into the statiscal probabilities of one thing or another but focusing on the goal: Self Defense. To not be prepared to defend yourself in 10% of the encounters for which you have armed yourself is the same kind of logic used to not be armed. If you have trained to succesfully defend yourself in the 10% as well as CQB and all in between then will be more likely to successfully defend yourself or others. I hate to know I could save a loved one only if my snubby could reliably hit COM at 45-60 ft.
August 31st, 2008 11:21 AM
It is precisely because the gunfight is most likely to occur at nearly point blank ranges that I carry a .45. At that range it is hard to miss, for the bad guy and the good guy. When I hit the bad guy I want them to be down and out, not wounded but fully functional. If they are only wounded they may still be able to use a knife or a firearm of their own. I also agree with 173ABN about moving while shooting. Gotta move, gotta score hits, and those hits have to incapacitate the bad guy quickly and decisively.
For intimidation of a unarmed threat or someone with other than a gun or knife, any gun will do. For most of them just refusing to cooperate will do. When there is a close, immediate threat of greivious bodily harm, they need to be stopped, and they need to be stopped now.
I read an article about the difference between the design of European and American service handguns. The European handgun was being designed for the battlefield were distances were going to be large and the enemy wearing body armor. (5.7mm) The American handgun was designed for a fight at conversational distances where it was important to take out the enemy before they could use a weapon of their own. (.45 cal)
But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself...
LTC(RET) Dave Grossman
Revolutionary War Veterans Association Shooter Qualification: Cook
August 31st, 2008 11:39 AM
I turned around the other day to see a mountain lion about 20 feet from my 11 year old daughter, flicking its tail back and forth. I'm sure glad I wasn't carrying my Walther TPH.
August 31st, 2008 11:39 AM
Yep, I agree most will occur in the 10' or less range. Any greater distance one might be able to avoid the confrontation - i.e., get away. This shorter distance is what concerns me with the larger calibers and hot loads - over penetration. It really does happen more than one thinks. Do some research - mainly happens to LEOs because they are working in close proximity to each other. With the anticipated fight occurring at less than 10' is why I feel a 9mm or .380 is more than enough. If you use +P ammo, you could risk over penetration too. I think we are bordering on starting another caliber war.
August 31st, 2008 12:34 PM
I'm sorry, I thought if you were carrying a handgun, you were carrying a mini-cannon.
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August 31st, 2008 12:43 PM
i personally would not be comfortable to carry any caliber under 9mm,which is what i mostly carry w/what i think is the best defense ammo for it.....federal hst 147gr. hp
i also train at all sorts of distances...
Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”
― Thomas Paine
August 31st, 2008 12:49 PM
I'll advocate a "most you can..." position for your personal and situational limits of comfort, accuracy, and confidence. I find my AR-15 is a little long and heavy for IWB carry, besides, the optics keep fogging. :-) That usually leaves me with commander-size 1911 or my XD9SC.
Somethin's better than nothin' and the more "somethin" you have on hand, the better the odds for an outcome with your heart beating.
August 31st, 2008 02:05 PM
I knew a guy, a BIG guy, nicknamed T-bone, who was working at the airport. One evening, in the bar he goes to, he got into a argument; the other guy pulls a .25 and puts 3 rounds in T-bone's belly; that just got him furious; when the cops and paramedics arrived, the .25 shooter was unconscious on the floor and T-bone was having another drink; he was taken to the hospital, treated, and released a few hours later. The .25 guy stayed at the hospital for a week.
The first rule of a gunfight: "Don't be there !"
The second rule: "Bring enough gun"
jfl (NRA Life Member/Instructor - GOA - IDPA - GSSF - ex-IHMSA)
August 31st, 2008 03:04 PM
MY 2 cents...
It has been my observation that most people carry a gun because it is easy to carry and idea of actually having to shoot it at someone isn't really given much of a thought.
Therefore you see lot of little compact guns that because of their calibers can be built small. While I am the first to agree that ANY gun is better than NO gun, you have to ask yourself, is this the best tool for the job?
Alot of people incorrectly assume that because they can shoot the center out of a target at 7 yards, that it will translate to being able to hit a man at the distance, and nothing is further from the truth.
You have someone that is moving, someone that maybe trying to kill you, someone that has a high probability of being drunk or on drugs or both, or even in a state a mental duress and you want to do it with a small caliber.
Where I am at, most police depts. mandate a .38 Special or larger for a backup or off duty gun. There is a reason for this and it comes from years of experience gleaned from actual shootings under many different conditions.
A real eye opener for me came several years ago when I participated in several training sessions with the Deputies that I work with, in gun fight scenarios using Simunitions. At my dept quals, I always aced them or scored in the high 240's out of a score of 250. I was always considered to be one of the top shooters in the dept.
We purchased several Glocks modified for Simuntions and decided to try our skills at shooting each other instead of targets. Most of us went into the scenarios somewhat confident of our ability's and expected to "clean house".
So here we were running scenarios, not knowing what the outcome would be and we got into a bunch of "shootouts" Some were from the inside of vehicles,some were from the outside shooting in, some were full fledged run and guns and other were clearing an old house and doing room to room searches alone and with a team. Just to add some excitement into the mix, we even had actual scenarios where things had gone bad in the past and the BG's were acting out a part.
It was very educational to say the least.
The actual hits were not easy to come by at all. For one thing, no body is going to stand still and let you shoot them. When the guns come out, when they are being aimed at you, all you want to do is to get away from that muzzle.You will juke and jive and want to take cover if you can, while the paint whizzes right by you. I have seen excellent shooters running in circles shooting at each other from an arms length away and having to reload because no one was hit.
I have seen scuffles where someone up close grabbed a gun and successfully disarmed the opponent, and I have seen others try it and get painted several times from contact distance.
Occasionally, a quick reload determined the winner or the loser. Sometimes a fumbled reload was the difference, if you fumbled, you lost. If anyone thinks that a reload is an easy thing when someone at eyeball distance is shooting at you, I suggest you try it sometime,of course with simunitions or airsoft or something that wont kill you because you want to learn from your mistakes.
I always read where a shot in the eye ball or the heart will put down anyone. Sure it will if they stand there and let you do that. Since most here carry a gun for defensive purposes, the very nature of defense means that you are REACTING to a threat, not initiating it, which means you will be a step behind the action, so you are already at a disadvantage. I read of others pumping the shots into someone and stopping them in their tracks. I don't believe that either, I've seen a few gunshot victims in the ER that didn't seem to be suffering like I thought they should have been because they had been shot numerous times.
I read all of this stuff about no one wanting to stand in front of a .22, or a .25, or a .32 or even a .380. Sure they have all killed and they will continue to kill,but so can a rock or a stick or a broken bottle or a ball bat. That doesn't make them ideal for the job.
Doesn't it stand to reason that if they calibers were as effective as some like to believe that the Cops, that have to expect to shoot someone would be carrying them? In fact, the opposite is true. Most Police are migrating from the 9mm and choosing either the .40 or the .45 like my dept. carries based on real life shootings.
So, since we all mostly agree that a handgun, even a big caliber, is a compromise, why handicap ourselves with a small caliber, when there a bigger, better calibers out there ?
In every CHL class that I have ever taught, I always get the question, " which is the best caliber to shoot for self defense"?
My answer is always the same.
Use the biggest caliber that you can comfortably shoot and be accurate with.
If all you can possibly shoot well is a .22 so be it.
If you can shoot a .45 and will carry it, so much the better,
but don't consider the fact that you are carrying to mean that you will win a confrontation, because if you do everything correctly, even though the odds favor you winning, you may not. The less you train, the more likely you will struggle when you need to do everything right or you may die.
Shooting is a perishable skill that must be constantly honed. One needs to be able to draw and manipulate their weapon and bring it on target without conscious thought. It takes time,dedication and practice, lots of practice.
Here is the bottom line...
If you ever have to shoot
The bigger the hole you put in a BG that is trying to kill you, the better off you and your family will be.
and now, with the best Forest Gump voice that I can muster...
thats all I've got to say about that...
I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.
AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
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August 31st, 2008 03:51 PM
My usual carry piece is a 9mm Hi-Power with one or two extra magazines. I will occasionally carry a 5” 1911. What I carry is not predicated on how many rounds I thing will be enough or whether or not I think I need an elephant gun to bring down a bad guy. What I carry is based on what I feel comfortable shooting and what I can shoot reasonably well. Extra magazines are not for round count but, rather, to insure reliability in case I have a magazine go bad.
As for a snub nosed .38…. No I do not think you are under gunned with it, I just do not like shooting it, personal preference. Bottom line is that you should carry what you are comfortable with and what you can shoot reasonably well.
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