Firepower - for size and weight?

This is a discussion on Firepower - for size and weight? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; OK folks - your personal thoughts on this. What do you carry or consider carrying that fills this niche? Your own limits for size and ...

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Thread: Firepower - for size and weight?

  1. #1
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    Firepower - for size and weight?

    OK folks - your personal thoughts on this. What do you carry or consider carrying that fills this niche? Your own limits for size and weight apply.

    I feel that my SIG 226 with 15+1 gets close - even if some will condemn the cal. So much is a trade-off.

    Does the 1911 with std 7+1 ''cut it" ? Or do you seek more? I mention this out of deference to my worthy forum friends who are ''Slabside o'philes''
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    I've never really worried about capacity but I do worry a lot about overall size and to a lesser degree weight.

    I know I should shut up about the XD but this gun and some of the Taurus PT series I have handled have a very nice size. If they were any smaller they'd feel awkward.

    That's a big part of the reason I resigned myself to going with the XD instead of trying to hunt down some perfect carry revolver that didn't exist.

    I will state however that I will make maximum use of the capacity of any gun so long as I don't affect reliability. My Ruger uses 17 round magazines, I put the 12 rounder in the XD, and I load all five or six chambers in all of my revolvers. Why not make maximum use of a tool's capabilities?

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    I used to want the High Cap but find i shoot the 1911 the best and feel comfortable with that fat 230 grain bullet .. Rember if it doent expand it dont get any smaller and takes 2 115 9mm to equal 1 45 230 ..

    Ive tried carrying the 9mm and still do but feel more comfortable with the 45 must be a infeariorty(sp) complex

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    I carry a Kahr 9mm (7+1 rounds) with a spare magazine, loaded with 124 grn Gold Dots. For me it is the minimum adequate round, and if I were carrying anything with less than 7 round capacity, I might as well carry a revolver. I have also considered the XD and a S&W 4" 1911 Scandium, as I would really like more capacity and/or a larger diameter bullet, but right now I'm going with the easiest to carry and conceal.

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    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bud White
    Rember if it doent expand it dont get any smaller and takes 2 115 9mm to equal 1 45 230 ..
    In weight, yes, but the energy transfer of the two is going to be substantially higher due to the simple fact that the 2 115 gr bullets are going much, much faster.

    I'm relatively comfortable with my 13+1 in my 226 in .357, but am keenly aware it represents 3.5 seconds or less of ammunition.

    I'm not comfortable with 7+1 or 8+1 - and as I put it to a local doing the combat shoot thing, "If I drop my mag during your El Presidente stage with my 226 in 9mm, I'm throwing more ammo on the ground than you started with."

    I'm all for shot placement.

    My last few encounters with bad dudes in the wild have been in teams. I don't think any pistol I can carry will provide me with the peace of mind to know that they'll happily drop at two or even three shots per bad dude. More is better, and I'd rather have more on the floor on my accelerator than I need or more in the mag or more in the fridge, even if I don't actually *need* them that second - they're still available.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

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    I carry .45

    It's just what I am used to shooting.
    I would not feel naked or undergunned with a nice high quality 9mm if it fit my hand perfectly.
    I have tons of magazines & related "stuff" all for Colt & SIG .45s so...I'm not about to go out and buy a 9 mm (UNLESS it's a Rohrbaugh 9) because that would be one hellova BUG in my o-penguin.
    Maybe when I get older and more mature like P95Carry I'll switch to the SIG "LIGHT" in 9
    ME - >:chairshot < - Chris

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    Hello. I think perhaps as much as logistics, our personal preferences enter the equation on what we carry with regard to weight vs. size vs. "firepower". A fellow who simply prefers .45 ACP will find plenty of true and meaningful reasons to carry an arm capable of the caliber. Those expecting to face multiple opponents might find good reasons for a higher capacity 9mm or .40 S&W. The gent or lady whose main fear is the "street thug" might opt for something more concealable as might the fellow carrying for protection despite legalities or mandates at his job site. The uninformed might simply believe that " a gun is a gun and a bullet is a bullet" and without concerns for practice, accuracy at speed, or even the handgun's longevity, buy something that's small at the lower end of the pricing envelope.

    I can speak only for myself in terms of absolutes.

    Unless there is simply no other way, I will not carry less than .38 +P in the typical snub J-frame. This lightweight 5-shot revolver is probably what I'd have if the balloon went up unexpectedly around the house or in my immediate neighborhood. I do carry one speedloader at all times as well, but practice regularly with my carry gun, an S&W Model 642. This is my "always gun" and is often my primary. When carrying a "real gun", the always gun becomes a BUG.


    Some folks prefer the .380 ACP to the .38 snub as a carry gun. Most often, the reasons cited are less recoil and greater shots between reloads. These are valid reasons, but I personally cannot bring myself to trust .380 ACP. IF the soon-to-be released DPX in .380 from Corbon performs as well as I hope, I might have to rethink this position. Right now, I'll stick with the snub. That does not mean it's the right choice for everyone.

    As this is typed, the snub is pocketed and there's a Ruger SP101 3 1/16" bbl .357 less than two feet from my strong hand. It is loaded with Remington 125-gr. .357 Golden Sabers. This less-than-full-power magnum load was chosen as it's the most potent I can handle accurately and at speed if using but one hand...as could happen in a fight. It is a belt gun due to barrel length and weight.


    The old J-frame .38 loaded with my choice of defensive rounds is what I'm armed with most of the time. I suggest that the old gun store "habit" of recommending these to everyone wanting a "little gun for the little lady" is a mistake. These require practice for accuracy, particularly in rapid-fire, and there is some "kick" to them in the lightweight versions. I've shot regularly for 30 years and was a police firearm instructor and even now, I find that I must practice regularly with this choice of weapon to stay capable.

    I'd feel well-armed with the Ruger and the S&W and a reload or two as I honestly believe that unless taking on a gang intent on robbery (as can sure happen in some of the larger cities like LA jewelry store owners can attest), we'll either solve our problem in the first few shots or be beyond caring if facing competent aggressors.

    That said, I frequently carry either a Browning 9mm Hi Power or 1911 pattern pistol in .45 ACP. Both are usually loaded with Winchester Ranger ammo, 127-gr. +P+ in the 9mm, and 230-gr. std. pressure in the .45, although I sometimes carry Golden Sabers.


    This rather plain Mil-Spec is relatively new. I've carried it on ocassion, but not as much as some of my older guns. I normally use 7-shot magazines in my forty-five caliber 1911's. It is not fancy, but has had some minor tweaking. It has not missed a stutter in over 2000 rounds. Whether we choose revolver or autoloader, regular or lightweight, the defense gun must be reliable.

    Both are carried in good holsters and using a heavy belt. I've found that the all-steel guns are not tough to tote if using belts/holsters appropriate for the job and have tended toward the steel guns in recent years.

    I have no real burning concerns about magazine capacity. I feel plenty confident with 7 + 1 in the .45 and the usual 13 + 1 in the Hi Power. I like the Hi Power quite a lot but the fact that it holds nearly twice as many shells per loading as the traditional 7-shot mag/single-stack .45 was not a primary consideration.

    Please do not think I'm condemning or saying that the higher capacity guns are not needed or are useless; I'm certainly not intending to and I do NOT subscribe to limiting "high capacity" magazines only to LE or the government.


    The Glock 17 or Springfield XD are about the lightest full-size, high-capacity autoloaders I'm aware of. For folks insisting on these characteristics in a carry gun, these might make very viable choices.

    I do have a couple of lighter weight 1911's. These are either .45 Commanders or the Springfield LW 5" 1911. They are a bit easier to carry, but to me, it's not by much and I do find the heavier all-steel guns a bit easier to shoot accurately at speed.


    Neither the Hi Power or the .45 Colt-caliber Mountain Gun shown are either the lightest or heaviest of handguns made. I've carried both of these guns for hours on end w/o problems in good leather and on a proper belt.

    Were I told I was going to have to face and fight 5 guys at one time (and I couldn't sneak away or call in the Marines), I'd probably opt for my Hi Power or a Glock 17, but I certainly wouldn't feel "lost" if I had to use an 8-shot 1911. I find the Hi Power and the 1911 5" guns to be the autos I shoot best and still believe that placement is power.

    Right now, my "best" answer would be for a person to do some serious soul searching and decide the parameters he or she felt were absolutely essential in their carry gun such as caliber, action type, weight limitations, etc and then be sure that they were willing to put forth the time in training and practice to be competent in the gun's use. When they were, I'd suggest staying in practice and if they liked their (reliable) defense gun, go with it.

    Best.
    Last edited by Stephen A. Camp; September 10th, 2005 at 12:46 AM.

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    Member Array scratchy wilson's Avatar
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    Good post Mr. Camp

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    Hello. Thank you, sir. I'm glad it was of interest.

    Best.

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    I carry a Kimber CDP Compact in 45, 90% of the time. It hasn't had a hiccup in the 2,000+ rounds I've fired through it since new. It's only 28 oz unloaded which makes it reasonably light. I find no problem with recoil or muzzle flash firing Federal 230 gr HydraShoks. The other 10% of time I carry a full size Rock River Arms Custom 5" 1911.
    To me the 1911 is just the best natural pointing gun I've ever fired, (and trust me I've fired LOTS of guns) You have to go with what feels best. I'm not concerned with having only 8 shots before a reload. As was said earlier, I think at that point neither one of us is going to care anymore.
    However, I wouldn't feel undergunned in any situation with a reliable high cap 9m/m.

    Shot placement is SO much more important than caliber.
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    Senior Member Array BlueLion's Avatar
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    P95 Slabsides is my friend and I love it dearly. However, when I picked up my model 37 it became a sometimes carry because it some what prevents me from moving freely. I worry about printing or even the weapon being seen. But, my model 37 can go any where and I am not worried about either. Yes, so much is trade off in regards to caliber, round size and shot placement. I am awesome with ol' slabside and ok with the 38.

    I don't know I figure if I have more than two and they don't run when those hot speer gold dots start exiting the buidling then I am in combat and in that case let me push the pause button and get the 1911 with a resume that is more qualified than the former Fema Director. Why because being former military I have extensive expierence with the pistol and I am fully aware of what it will do when placed in all types of environments. However, currently my fobus and garrison belt do fine in supporting the 1911, but all things may change when I invest in a good belt and a better holster. For, now pass me "little moochie" I need to head to Walmart for some milk.
    Listen, Think and React.....Nuff Said.....

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    Thx for all the input and in particular to Steve - wow that was both unexpected and, extremely detailed and interesting. I thank you Sir for your trouble.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    Senior Member Array tanksoldier's Avatar
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    I consider 6+6 rounds of .357, +6 more rounds of .22 mag in the BUG enough to get me out of trouble. I'm not a cop and I'm not conducting military operations, I just have to get myself and my wife out of the killzone.

    Now, in a survival situation I'll have more plus the shotgun and hopefully the carbine I plan to buy soon... but even there I'm not conducting offensive operations, the purpose of the weapons is to eliminate threats to me and mine, preferably from cover, not go out looking for trouble.
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

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    Ditto the thanks for the considered thoughts and nice photos. Especially the observation about gun counter gurus recommending to the newg (for gal) a lightweight .38 Spec and +P's.

    I find the std weight 4" .45 easier to control. After debriefing the gals in class about the .45 myths, they all find the officer's (micro, ultra) single stack the most comfortable. Their smiles say it all as they learn to lock their wrists working up to hardball. (make sure they wear a hat and high necked shirt to deflect hot brass) They all seem to hit better with the 45 than the snubbie, it's easier to carry, almost as light in the alloy version, and the 3" with Federal 165gr HS is downright fun (the 3" tube cuts down velocity and thus recoil, also.)

    If home defense is called for, and the gun will not occupy a role in their life style, maybe a good, heavy GP100 4", loaded with .38's, in a "finger touch" bedroom safe, would be appropriate.

    My deep cover P3-AT BUG requires a lot of practice, and can be uncomfortable to shoot. I think FMJ, to get as much penetration, may be better than HP. I also await the arrival of Cor-Bon DPX, as I know what it does in .45.

    If shot placement is so important, and it is, I still prefer the 45 8+1 with one or more 8's at 8 o'clock.
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    Choices, choices, choices, for summertime I feel very comfortable with my Khar MK9 6+1 for CC because it is so easy to conceal. In the winter I usually go with something with a little more firepower. In a survival situation I will go with the 223.

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