Largest caliber legaly justified for defense

This is a discussion on Largest caliber legaly justified for defense within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm looking into purchasing a large caliber revolver and would'nt likely carry execept in the woods for animal protection but would like to be able ...

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Thread: Largest caliber legaly justified for defense

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    Member Array GregDepot's Avatar
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    Largest caliber legaly justified for defense

    I'm looking into purchasing a large caliber revolver and would'nt likely carry execept in the woods for animal protection but would like to be able to use it as home defense or a bug in the car Possibly. i already have carry guns. From what i've picked up from magazines the rounds only justifiable if it was used in law enforcement witch looks like 41 mag. Is 44 mag only justified in certain situations and is 454 casull out of the question? I have the guns currenty in my sig witch should be more than enough for defense i was just curious on the legality Of larger calibers. Sorry for the grammar im on my phone until i unpack my pc
    Mossberg Maverick 88, Saiga 12, FN FNAR, SKS, SKS Paratrooper, AK-74, Marlin 60, Mosin Nagant 91/30, Browning A bolt II, Kahr PM9, Hi Point C9, Glock 20 (29 chop), Walther P22, Tauras PT92AF, Colt LE6920, Marlin 60SN, Mak-90

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Any self defense shooting that is jusified does not depend on caliber. The problem with too much gun is overpenetration which could wound or kill an innocent bystander, in which case your real nightmare begins with civil lawsuits. Choosing a weapon is like choosing a tool, so pick the one that applies for the given chore at the time, and save yourself alot of headache. A 41-44 is more appropriate in a woods/forest setting.

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    Welcome to the forum from Virginia.

    For home defense, or out camping/hiking it shouldn't matter what caliber. As for a carry weapon, you need to check state laws. Some states do put a limit on caliber. I know maximum bullet size in Oklahoma is .45.
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    Member Array b1780's Avatar
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    Caliber has nothing to do with what is justified in a SD shooting. As others have said you might need to worry about overpenetration, but if the SHTF and you are justified in your decision to shoot, then caliber is the least of your worries. Shoot what you are accurate, safe and comfortable with.

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    Senior Member Array Devone6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregDepot View Post
    I'm looking into purchasing a large caliber revolver and would'nt likely carry execept in the woods for animal protection but would like to be able to use it as home defense or a bug in the car Possibly. i already have carry guns. From what i've picked up from magazines the rounds only justifiable if it was used in law enforcement witch looks like 41 mag. Is 44 mag only justified in certain situations and is 454 casull out of the question? I have the guns currenty in my sig witch should be more than enough for defense i was just curious on the legality Of larger calibers. Sorry for the grammar im on my phone until i unpack my pc
    As already stated above if it is a self defense situation where you believed "life was in danger" then the caliber wouldn't matter as long as there isn't a specific state law restricting the caliber for concealed carry. But even that law wouldn'tapply to the home, or open carry in the woods-animal protection.

    Just a point though, if you consider a hand cannon for concealed carry, be careful of the mind set "if the SHTF and you are justified in your decision to shoot, caliber is the least of your worries". If you are carrying a 454 Cassull or 500 S&W Mag concealed in downtown Altanta (just for example, any major city could be used here) and you shoot someone, even in a legal justified shooting, if you are sued or should an indictment for whatever reason be sought, you better believe the opposing legal council will try to paint a picture of someone who carrys the biggest gun around for no other reason than to find a reason to shoot someone with it. The jury will hear, "The police only carry ______, so why would (your name here) carry something five times as powerful??? Blah blah blah"

    Now I notice you state the upper northwest part of the country as where you are, so you would have an excellent defense in that part of the country with " I carry the 500 for protection against bear attacks, and it is what I happened to have with me that day".

    Now, some may say I'm wrong, carry what you want concealed, 2nd amendment says you can, etc...... but I speak the truth and they know it, that is why they get so upset on the topic.

    So, for Washington State you would probably be alright, and I'm not saying you would lose in court in Atlanta because you carry a 454, but you would probably have to defend why you were, and the just because I can isn't the best defense.

    On topic, I think you would be fine with one of your posted guns for concealed carry, and any caliber hand cannon in the car as you said, in that you could justify having it as woodland protection, if you needed it for a defensive shooting.

    You can have anything you want in your home, and if you need it in defense you ok.

    PS, I love large calibers, take a look at the S&W 460 Magnum. Shoot 45 Long Colt for fun (cheaper too), 454 Cassull for a little more umphh, and then 460Mags for the seriuos stuff.

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    Senior Member Array Sportsterguy's Avatar
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    I pack a 3" 657 S&W .41 mag loaded with Speer 210 gr. Gold Dots HP's in the winter when it's cold and everyones bundled up. It may seem like overkill but you NEED penetration to hit the vitals and there are some big men out there with their leather jackets on. A shoot through will bleed out a BG much quicker with an entrance and exit wound. I've used this round on smaller whitetail deer and it does a number on them. On one of them I took a slight quartering shot from 27 paces that did not exit the the deer but did hit it's heart, lungs and busted its front shoulder. The buck weighed 163 lbs and did not know what hit it.

    The .41 mag was designed to be the ultimate man stopper for law enforcement. The standard round was the Remington 210 gr. JSP which penetrates much more than the Speers. Most officers had a hard time qualifying with the model 58 Smith & Wesson's recoil and swapped back to .38's or went to the .357 mag. I can't get the shots off as quickly compared to my 1911 but it's an accurate revolver that I feel very safe carrying.

    The ballistics on it are very close to the 10mm and there are quite a few folks packing that round.
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    Senior Member Array Devone6's Avatar
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    Side note, I wasn't disagreeing with you b1780, your post is completly correct, just making a point on the difference between concealed carry and woods/home use.

    My heroes are Veterans and My Father (who was a veteran).

    I believe prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance should have REMAINED in schools, and the Ten Commandments should have REMAINED in schools, courthouses, and everywhere else it was before the ACLU got involved.

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    Welcome...

    from Central Florida!

    Well, .45 is big enough...keep the .44 mag for the woods.IMHO

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    Member Array Stealie's Avatar
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    I agree, .45 ACP is my EDC. I also like my .357 wheel gun, plenty of stopping power.
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    Senior Member Array adaman04's Avatar
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    Remember that we aren't justifying this stuff to fellow gun owners, it's soccer moms and a prosecutor.

    I'm not going to start laying out scenarios, but the prosecutor will have all kinds of good questions about the caliber of your firearm being popular for self defense against grizzly bears.

    Beyond how it "looks" getting up in to big mangnums, your odds of overpenetration go way up in most cases.

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    Member Array glock45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stealie View Post
    I agree, .45 ACP is my EDC. I also like my .357 wheel gun, plenty of stopping power.
    + 1 I carry a G30 .45 acp (EDC) or a Ruger SP101 in .357 mag.
    Both are awesome SD choices, the .357 mag may be better for the woods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Devone6 View Post
    Just a point though, if you consider a hand cannon for concealed carry, be careful of the mind set "if the SHTF and you are justified in your decision to shoot, caliber is the least of your worries". If you are carrying a 454 Cassull or 500 S&W Mag concealed in downtown Altanta (just for example, any major city could be used here) and you shoot someone, even in a legal justified shooting, if you are sued or should an indictment for whatever reason be sought, you better believe the opposing legal council will try to paint a picture of someone who carrys the biggest gun around for no other reason than to find a reason to shoot someone with it. The jury will hear, "The police only carry ______, so why would (your name here) carry something five times as powerful??? Blah blah blah"
    Sadly, the prosecution made exactly that argument in the notorious Harold Fish case. Fish carried a 10mm auto as he hiked in the AZ back country, principally because we have critters out here who might prefer to be the diner, not dinner. The caliber issue by itself was not enough for the initial conviction (finally overturned on appeal), but it was one more argument stacked up like cordwood.
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    Member Array agksimon's Avatar
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    The following is tongue in cheek, for those of you who might take this seriously.


    Carry a rifle and use the following in court if you have to use it in a shooting:

    Courtroom Legal Self Defense

    "Your Honor, regardless of whether he could have shot well enough to hit my client, the gun the deceased had in his possession was capable of inflicting a lethal wound from a mile away. Fortunately, my client had a telescopic sighting device on his weapon which he used only for lawful self protection and the deceased didn't, so my client, even though his life was in grave danger, waited until the very last moment; waited far longer than a reasonable man should have waited; until the deceased was dangerously close to him; more than close enough to kill or inflict serious injury on my client; only about 400 yards away. My client had no choice but to shoot him. A clear case of self defense, your honor."

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    And then there is the old .50 AE (Action Express) as was chambered by the Desert Eagle and a revolver maker or two.

    Last but not least would be the S&W .500 which for carry would be the 4" short barrel revolver.

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    Smith & Wesson Model 500 .50-Cal. Magnum Is The King Of Handguns - Popular Mechanics

    Those are the largest of caliber by varying power levels.

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    Member Array GregDepot's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info the calibers of hanguns i have currently are 357 mag 6" ruger gp100, glock 27 40 s&w, kahr pm9 9mm so the glock or kahr cover urban ccw and the 357 probaly with buffalobore 180gr heavy or sumthing of that nature could cover most other things if needed. Im currenty stationed in kansas but go home to the northwest on leave but then again i could be stationed anywhere next. This is more a just in case kind of thing and i dont plan on hunting or anything with the weapon unless out of necessity.
    Mossberg Maverick 88, Saiga 12, FN FNAR, SKS, SKS Paratrooper, AK-74, Marlin 60, Mosin Nagant 91/30, Browning A bolt II, Kahr PM9, Hi Point C9, Glock 20 (29 chop), Walther P22, Tauras PT92AF, Colt LE6920, Marlin 60SN, Mak-90

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