Does Size Matter?

Does Size Matter?

This is a discussion on Does Size Matter? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My wife and I just finished with our CCH class and have been talking with my friends and family with the city PD about what ...

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Thread: Does Size Matter?

  1. #1
    New Member Array jwesteman's Avatar
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    Does Size Matter?

    My wife and I just finished with our CCH class and have been talking with my friends and family with the city PD about what gun to choose? My wife never picked up a handgun until the class, and I sold my Colt 45 many, many years ago -- but was a pretty good shot during that time. I can consistently shoot a 2" pattern with a .22 Ruger at 10 yards. My wife -- well -- she hits the target.

    Now for the issue: everyone is telling me to go with a Glock 19, and buy a Walther P22 for my wife (she's pretty small). But, I don't like the size of the Glock - and going with what another author wrote -- "I would rather have a .22 in my hand than a .45 in the truck."

    Another thread wrote -- "I would use a P22 as a last resort gun..."

    But, isn't that was a CCH is all about -- last resort?

    So, if I can unload 10 rounds of .22 into a 2" circle, do I need a 9mm?

  2. #2
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    Array nn's Avatar
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    10 rounds probably not, 1 round
    and you may need a .357.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    if I can unload 10 rounds of .22 into a 2" circle, do I need a 9mm?
    The actual question is " if I can unload 10 rounds of .22 into a 2" circle, while running backwards in a dark parking lot , tripping over bottles , and dialing a cell phone at midnight the day that _______ (fill in the blank ) got me up at 3am and i have not slowed down since ." Now just for spice lets add someone shooting at you while you do all the above . Do you really want that .22 or would you prefer a little more " horsepower " at the far end of the fight ?
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
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  4. #4
    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    I choose large and heavy - and so 226 ST - 15+1 - it has become about my ideal.

    I do tho acknowledge many folks have limitations - work factors, carry garment options - lots of things.

    But I will say to anyone contemplating carry choice - go as large as you are able, within your constraints. make that also a gun you can become so familiar with it becomes a third hand.

    Small is better than zilch - naturally - but give yourself the biggest edge you can - JMHO.

    Oh and - near forgot -

    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

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  5. #5
    Member Array Kankujoe's Avatar
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    Welcome to the endless debate!!! You're about to get a few hundred (maybe few thousand) different opinions.

    For me it is all about ease of carry (concealment) and shot placement. Carry what you are comfortable shooting both in accuracy and reliability.

    I have carried various calibers and have now settled on .380acp (9mm short). It is an adequet round for self-defense and does not recoil too harshly in guns that are small enough for easy concealment. I CCW with a pair of Kel Tec P3ATs. They work great for me... accurate, reliable, adequet and very comfortable to carry concealed.
    Last edited by Kankujoe; November 12th, 2006 at 08:48 PM.

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  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    I again go with something bigger i wont carry anything smaller than a 9mm To each there own if you think a 22 will get it done in ever reason you might need a gun then have at it but ill take my 45 anyday over a 22 course i practice a lot and wont be missing with my 45 anymore than i would a 22

  7. #7
    Member Array gotammo's Avatar
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    shoot what you shoot the best if all you have is a 22 then a 22 it is. One shot from a 22 can kill you as dead as a 454, placement is better than size. I say shoot the biggest you can comfortably shoot and shoot well.

  8. #8
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    Array rocky's Avatar
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    Less than x ring hits with a large caliber will help stop a threat faster than less than x ring shots from a .22. As said, a self defense situation isn't just standing and punching paper.
    If the .22lr was all that good of fight stopper (even with accurate fire) LEO's would be using it. Bigger, faster bullets will do more damage and stop aggression faster.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson

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  9. #9
    VIP Member Array artz's Avatar
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    everyone is different.
    My sig line says it all...
    " Refuse to be a victim, make sure there is a round chambered ! "

    Just call me a pessimistic optimist !

    U.S. Navy vet 1981-1992

  10. #10
    Member Array plblark's Avatar
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    Woman shot in head 6 times ... still alive and well...

    It doesn't say which type of 32 it was.

    That said, one of the local Carry guys has seen a person with a .45 to the head who lived... It can happen.
    I use this as an illustration. Anything is possible. I think the lighter caliber means you're playing the percentages closer. More things have to go right for everything to work out. The larger caliber, the more marginal you can go without failing. IIRC, everything but a Central Nervous System shot might not stop a determined attacker for up to 15 seconds. It might convince someone not to continue the attack. It might shock them. It might be a great shot placement and make the mythical one shot stop...

    But you can't miss fast enough to win and the small gun you have with you beats any gun in your safe when the SHTF.

    My advice: Carry what you can shoot well but don't discount a bigger gun. Go to the range and rent / try several. Network, join a local carry group.

    For me, I have a few friends with permits and guns. I ended up carrying theirs on my property before buying. I was surprised what I could comfortably carry concealed.

    I started with a UltraLight Taurus 85 (J-Frame) 5 shot in .38 spcl.
    I moved to a 1911a1 in ,45acp
    Currently, I go with a XD-9 4" model and the J-Frame often substitutes depending on dress.

    If I was advising a friend, I'd suggest trying a pocket revolver. Light, small, and the fastest draw is when you already have the gun in your hand. Just saw Maas Ayoob on Personal Defense TV (Outdoor channel) and he showed off a pocket draw from a Mika holster. He mentioned it as a great way to have your hand on the weapon without seeming agressive.

    Did I throw in enough concepts or should I stir it up a bit more?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array blueyedevil's Avatar
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    These days there are so many more options as far as carry pieces. Alot of guns on the market now are just as small, light and concealable as your p22, in calibers up to and including 9mm. So unless you are really incapable of handling a larger caliber carry piece (doubt it), I would recommend you step up in caliber at least a little bit. Not to mention, .22's tend to have more failures than good quality centerfire guns. I've seen very few .22's that can go through half a dozen mags without at least one or two failures. I'm sure someone has one, but I've seen few. I would'nt recommend going lower than .32 and the .380's, .38's and 9's would probably be alot better. Even though I'm one of the guys who finds himself carrying a .32 most of the time.

  12. #12
    ckd is offline
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    Welcome to the quest. First don't buy your wife anything; despite good intentions it will be money not well spent. I know, I've done it. Don't make our mistakes. What did work: I would strongly recommend getting her comfortable shooting with your 22 Ruger before having her even try a more defensive caliber. My wife can shoot a 12 ga SG and a 40 cal. Glock well, but she doesn't enjoy it. Shoot whatever you can rent or borrow before you decide on the issue of caliber. Have her window shop at a gun store with a good selection, just to see what feels comfortable in her hand and what she might realistically be able to comfortably carry concealed. I have a subcompact G27 that we got a Advantage Arms 22LR conversion kit for, which she loved to shoot; got quite good with. She liked shooting a G19 but it was too big to carry, a Keltec P3aT nice sized by too much recoil and poor sights, she ended up with a Kahr PM9 with Tritiums which she actually shoots well and carries. She probably shot 20 handguns before she picked one that was "just right". We shoot together frequently and she has taken a defensive pistol course - she has changed from being terrified of guns to carrying with confidence. Good luck on the journey, just let her pick the pace.

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Ti Carry's Avatar
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    I won't carry anything less than a 9mm either, that is just my preferance. In fact, I don't carry a 9mm even, I carry a .45 but sometimes a .40. If I need to use it some day and things have gone that bad to were I am firing my CCW, give me the big stuff. Training is all part of this too. Many only take there CCW class and call it good, pack a gun and many times never even practice with it much if ever or seek further training.

    IMO, if you have a lunitic on your hands full of drugs, 10 rounds of .22probably won't take care of it, 10 rounds of .45 may not either but I will take the .45's given the option. To me, with the .22 the fight could rage on, I don't want that! I want to stop the threat right now and end it as quickly as possible. I believe that the larger rounds will do that for me, it's proven and so that is what I am comfortable with to carry. With training/practice you can shoot just about any gun caliber in the 2" pattern you speak of at 10 yards easy.

    To each their own though. If a .22 does it for you then that's what you should carry. I know of not a single trainer that would recommend one to carry but would say it's better than nothing at all. It's a personal choice.

    Train and train hard, you might not get a second chance to make a first impression!

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  14. #14
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    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
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    One Point About A .22...

    If you're up close and defending yourself, in a life or death struggle...a .22 in the 'eyeball' will stop the attacker...
    However, with my .45, I may remove both eyeballs, and the eyeball holder...

    Stay armed (with something)...stay safe!

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  15. #15
    Member Array robinsonre's Avatar
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    Buy the largest caliber that you WILL carry, not that you can carry.

    That's the advice I've always been given and it seems rock solid to me.
    "Life exists at a level of complexity almost beyond our ability to comprehend. It's a well known fact that if you try to take apart a cat to see how it works one of the first things you have on your hands is a non-working cat" - Douglas Adams

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