Handguns, Cartridges, and Image...

This is a discussion on Handguns, Cartridges, and Image... within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; ...or, does the impression one wishes to project ever play a part in handgun/cartridge selection. Perhaps it even overshadows efficiency, controllability, or suitability for the ...

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Thread: Handguns, Cartridges, and Image...

  1. #1
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    Handguns, Cartridges, and Image...

    ...or, does the impression one wishes to project ever play a part in handgun/cartridge selection. Perhaps it even overshadows efficiency, controllability, or suitability for the task when choosing a handgun for personal defense.

    The thought occurs to me that, deep down, I never thought of myself as a .38 Special kind of guy.

    The 1911 .45 has always had a great appeal to me with its businesslike appearance and those fat, squat, "manstopping" cartridges. I've toted one, mostly in the past. The Hi-Power offers clean lines and sophisticated looks ... and holds lots of ammunition. It is bound to make its owner appear sophisticated too. It comes in 9mm, a cartridge which sounds impressive as it rolls off the tongue. At least the anti-gun media sometimes seems to think so. Some of the more modern semi-auto designs of European origin look as efficient as the more respectable sedans coming from that same continent. Other "plastique-fantastique" models, both foreign and domestic, offer the semi-auto ugliness that appeals to those who prefer to project the sly fiction that their gun is "just a tool," all while they extol the virtues of the choicest molded polymer product of the gunmaker's art and consider the advantages of being seen to own one. Many of these semi-autos shoot a veritable fountain of ammunition, held within their double stack magazines.

    The semi-auto fans also have their shrunken versions in .380 or .32 ACP that are so near and dear to the heart of many. No one publicly admits to .25 ACP.

    Big bore revolvers and their cartridges seem useful and manly. The large revolvers chambered for the various .44s and .45s or the .41 Magnum are always appropriate and make a statement about their user to be sure. Even the ubiquitous .357 Magnum revolver seems svelte, yet potent, like an expensive European sports car with a powerful engine featuring too many cylinders.

    Some handgunners like the .38 Special round but only in miniaturized snub revolvers, preferably with the lightest weight a space-aged alloy can provide. With the available clothing options and with effective holsters of all types now marketed, can a few ounces difference in "toting weight" really be all that perceptible? Or must one be seen to be toting the lightest, latest, and greatest?

    There are a lot of interesting choices out there and effective arguments may be made for the purpose of most of these choices. I have some of these models and would like to own and shoot some more of them however I remain stuck in a rut with the old plodding .38 Special. When shooting fun and entertainment was called for, the .38 Special revolver was always trotted out. When things were happening, a .38 Special tended to be there. When a need for self protection was anticipated, a .38 Special revolver was generally within reach. It has most often been in a medium sized revolver rather than a runt. What used to be considered medium weight is now unacceptably heavy in some circles ... most circles apparently.

    Now I'm sleepy and this thread seems pointless so I'll post it anyway. Do folks concern themselves too much with image when selecting their concealed carry handguns? What is the current handgun buying public currently thinking?

    For the record I always thought a lot of the .44 Special and the .45 ACP. I'd secretly like to be thought of as more of a .44 Special or .45 ACP kind of guy. I have the guns for these two cartridges. I just have a .38 Special habit and am comfortable enough with it to not try to break it.

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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    I carried a .38 revolver both in the Military and as an LEO. I trusted my life to it on several different occasions and it did not let me down. However, it became clearly obvious to us the we were very outgunned when we came up against semi-autos with larger magazines that could be quickly changed. We did not have the speed loaders back then and had to load each round one at a time. That is the reason for moving away from the .38 revolvers, not that they were bad guns, but that they did not allow us to compete on a level playing field. I still own and shoot the .38 revolvers as they are really great guns and fun to shoot.

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    Senior Member Array Texag's Avatar
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    I chose 9mm because it's cheap and available everywhere ($9.47/50 at WM).

    With modern HPs it is effective, controllable, and has a high capacity within a frame suitable for carry.

    "Image" had nothing to do with my decision, practicality everything.

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    I carry a gun for a living. As a contractor, my customer can fire me on a whim, really. Therefore, I am forced to be careful about my purchase and carry decisions, to include the type and brand of clothes I wear and the type and brand name on my firearms.

    I really like to shoot my RIA .45 and think it's a decent gun for the money. But I won't be caught dead around a customer carrying it, on the off-chance they may recognize it as a low-budget shooter.

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    Member Array Dsimon11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    ...or, does the impression one wishes to project ever play a part in handgun/cartridge selection. Perhaps it even overshadows efficiency, controllability, or suitability for the task when choosing a handgun for personal defense.

    The thought occurs to me that, deep down, I never thought of myself as a .38 Special kind of guy.

    The 1911 .45 has always had a great appeal to me with its businesslike appearance and those fat, squat, "manstopping" cartridges. I've toted one, mostly in the past. The Hi-Power offers clean lines and sophisticated looks ... and holds lots of ammunition. It is bound to make its owner appear sophisticated too. It comes in 9mm, a cartridge which sounds impressive as it rolls off the tongue. At least the anti-gun media sometimes seems to think so. Some of the more modern semi-auto designs of European origin look as efficient as the more respectable sedans coming from that same continent. Other "plastique-fantastique" models, both foreign and domestic, offer the semi-auto ugliness that appeals to those who prefer to project the sly fiction that their gun is "just a tool," all while they extol the virtues of the choicest molded polymer product of the gunmaker's art and consider the advantages of being seen to own one. Many of these semi-autos shoot a veritable fountain of ammunition, held within their double stack magazines.

    The semi-auto fans also have their shrunken versions in .380 or .32 ACP that are so near and dear to the heart of many. No one publicly admits to .25 ACP.

    Big bore revolvers and their cartridges seem useful and manly. The large revolvers chambered for the various .44s and .45s or the .41 Magnum are always appropriate and make a statement about their user to be sure. Even the ubiquitous .357 Magnum revolver seems svelte, yet potent, like an expensive European sports car with a powerful engine featuring too many cylinders.

    Some handgunners like the .38 Special round but only in miniaturized snub revolvers, preferably with the lightest weight a space-aged alloy can provide. With the available clothing options and with effective holsters of all types now marketed, can a few ounces difference in "toting weight" really be all that perceptible? Or must one be seen to be toting the lightest, latest, and greatest?

    There are a lot of interesting choices out there and effective arguments may be made for the purpose of most of these choices. I have some of these models and would like to own and shoot some more of them however I remain stuck in a rut with the old plodding .38 Special. When shooting fun and entertainment was called for, the .38 Special revolver was always trotted out. When things were happening, a .38 Special tended to be there. When a need for self protection was anticipated, a .38 Special revolver was generally within reach. It has most often been in a medium sized revolver rather than a runt. What used to be considered medium weight is now unacceptably heavy in some circles ... most circles apparently.

    Now I'm sleepy and this thread seems pointless so I'll post it anyway. Do folks concern themselves too much with image when selecting their concealed carry handguns? What is the current handgun buying public currently thinking?

    For the record I always thought a lot of the .44 Special and the .45 ACP. I'd secretly like to be thought of as more of a .44 Special or .45 ACP kind of guy. I have the guns for these two cartridges. I just have a .38 Special habit and am comfortable enough with it to not try to break it.


    The .38 was there for you and Indiana Jones as well! He makes .38 in a medium sized revolver look bad ass. As for me, I carry a Glock in .40S&W- perfect amount of conceal-ability and knockdown power for me. However, I am an avid hiker and my next purchase is definitely going to be a .44 magnum. I may also conceal it in the winter. Could you imagine some some BG's face when you drew and presented a .44?

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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    I'm too ugly to worry about my image.

    My EDC is a Glock, image had nothing to do with purchasing that sidearm. There are WAY too many better looking guns to be seen with.
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

    (Sometimes) "a fight avioded is a fight won." ... claude clay

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    If I was worried about image I'd have $1,500 - $2,000 pistols instead of $500 - $700 pistols.

    However it was an interesting post to read.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    If I was worried about image I'd have $1,500 - $2,000 pistols instead of $500 - $700 pistols.

    However it was an interesting post to read.
    "Image" is an interesting thing. Sometimes it has nothing whatsoever to do with price. If someone else were paying my bills, I'd choose a high end M1911 or Korth, or something like that.

    I do find that as a professional, you can hide behind "standard" guns to attain a certain kind of image.

    Glocks, M&Ps, Most Walther products and even some H&K fit into the $500 - $700 range you speak of, yet project an image of professionalism.

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    "Image" comes from putting all my rounds into one ragged hole rapid fire with my Glock or LCP while the big mouth in the next lane hardly can find the paper with his "great trigger" expensive 1911...
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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    Well, folks need to think back and remember that there were very real reasons why there was a move away from the trusty ol' .38 Special cartridge.

    It was because human beings were getting hit multiple times with the .38 Special and they were just not cooperating and falling down like good bad guys should do when they are hit multiple times with bulletos.

    That having been said...there have been some pretty decent improvements in bullet design and cartridge effectiveness since those days gone by.

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    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    Honestly I think the image of the .38 is of a classic American cartridge. When I think .38 I always think of some 1950's grizzled old New York homicide detective.
    -It is a seriously scary thought that there are subsets of American society that think being intellectual is a BAD thing...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dsimon11 View Post
    The .38 was there for you and Indiana Jones as well! He makes .38 in a medium sized revolver look bad ass.
    In which movie did he use a .38 medium sized revolver?
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

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    I'm sure a shrink somewhere could find in the recesses of my mind a desire to produce the image of people saying "That guy's carrying a gun!" But that would defeat the purpose of CC, so I'll have to keep that image surpressed. I hope it doesn't affect my childhood down the road.
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    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    I love this thread because it made me think about why my choice of
    CCW is what it is.
    It happened in one of those big box sports stores that also sell guns
    about 18 years ago.
    I was looking for my first defensive semi auto handgun and was asking the guy behind the counter what he though I should get.

    He said he was not able to rep one brand over the other --but--
    He pointed way down on the other end of the store at a guy and said, I went fishing last week with my friend and he was carrying a
    Glock waist deep in muddy water for hours and when we came out
    of of it he test fired it and it shot fine -- so-- I can tell you my next gun well be this one.
    He reach down and picked up a Glock G19 and handed it to me.
    There was something about that gun that was just my style ,
    I can,t explain it , but when it hit my hand it was mine.
    I now carry a G26 and feel undergunned if I carry any other brand.I just don,t trust them the way I do Glock.
    I guess I merged with the DARK SIDE that day.
    Zoe: "Preacher, don't the Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killing?

    Book: "Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps."

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Now I'm sleepy and this thread seems pointless so I'll post it anyway. Do folks concern themselves too much with image when selecting their concealed carry handguns? What is the current handgun buying public currently thinking?
    Image-shimage. I carry the gun that I think is the best for me and my situation. My "street" carry pieces are a Springfield XD9SC and a Steyr S-40 - both in OWB paddle holsters. If I'm working in the yard or around the house, it might be a Taurus 85UL in a shoulder holster. My bedside gun (assuming the BG gets past the dogs) is a Taurus Judge. Both of my "street" carry weapons are close by. At times, I've also "street" carried the Taurus 85UL, a Bersa Thunder .380, and a Steyr S-9.

    I choose guns that I can empty into the 9 ring as fast as I can pull the trigger and that have never had a malfunction. I choose a caliber/round manufacturer that I have reliable ballistics tests on and that I feel will do the job if I do mine. My SD rounds are Corbon DPX and Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel. No, I repeat, NO handgun round is a reliable "manstopper". Shot placement is EVERYTHING. I'd rather put one .25 ACP in the BG's eye than one .45 ACP in his arm. If I don't get good shots, NO round will work.

    Although I think most handguns look good in one way or another, I choose my weapons for function, and function becomes art.

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