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Have any of you ever been face to face with a situation and found your gun wanting?

I've had it happen twice in my life. The first time was when I had a J-Frame .357 Magnum, so loaded, and three stray dogs running at me. The second time was in dealing with an honest to goodness badguy that had spent his time "bulking up" in prison.

The man literally scared the crap out of me, by his size and ability to inflict harm on others with his hands. I considered the 9mm I carried at the time and didn't think that even with good shot placement he was stopable. Truth be told, I even questioned the 12 Guage, in regards to it's effectiveness in stopping this person.

I'm not new to dealing with badguys and gals. It's sort of an occupational hazard for me. Most of the people I'm confronted with I have no doubts as to my abilities, or the abilities of my tools. In those two cases I did. First, with the dogs, the lack of what I call sufficient firepower was what had me wanting. With the second situation, I felt like I had just met the real life Terminator. The man's biceps were as big as my thighs. I might be short and trim, but I'm not a 90 pound weakling either.

After dealing with this individual I went back to the .357 Magnum Revolver for a while, with the "full house" load. Later I switched to the 1911 loaded with 230 Grain +P loads. Now I'm packing a .40 S&W caliber. They are all good defensive loads, but some people are just about impossible to stop.

Having seen my fair share of people that have spent time "bulking up" on the inside I have reaffirmed my belief that any and all handguns are marginal at best for defensive purposes. Some are just a little less marginal than others. If one needs to use a handgun for defensive purposes doesn't it make sense to use the most powerful, yet socially responsible caliber one can effectively conceal or shoot?

I eagarly await your replies.

Biker
 

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BikerRN, I too have been rethinking my "what should I carry" decisons of late.....between the people I tend to see around me and the stories I read in the mag's/newspapers and on line, I am thinking I need to carry the biggest caliber I can, even if it means really changing my attire. I used to feel comfortable knowing I "just had a gun" when in cargo shorts and a tank top with my LCP or PM9 in my pocket...but lately I have been feeling a bit under gunned......I went out yesterday to my LGS and looked at 45's (Glock 36, SA Small 1911) just to get a bigger, fatter bullet, in a slim frame so I will carry more than just a pocket gun, but in those cases capacity is limited so I am stuck trying to "figure it all out".
 

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Just MHO...... Studies show that the most common defensive rounds, 9mm, 357 sig, 40 S&W, and 45 ACP all have right at the same penitration and expansion (same bullet type) in ballistics gel. Your shot placement is FAR more critical than the caliber OR the amount of rounds carried. 20 rnds in the extremities MIGHT deter even the most detirmined individual, but a dbl tap to the heart & 1 to the head WILL stop them!
My father in law & family was attacked in their house. He was shot once through the arm & he said he didn't even feel it. He didn't even realize he was shot till it was all over. But that is for a different thread...... :)
 

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Uhhhhh no, at least not while carrying this one. :rofl:

Seriously that is something I remind myself about all the time. Granted most of my "carry hours" are with a LCP which is better than nothing, but can definitely be inadequate. However, I do a good job ramping up to a more appropriate gun when I feel necessary and I do it for the very reason's in your OP.

I too have experienced that last minute, I wish-I-had-a-bigger-gun thought. :comeandgetsome:
 

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It is normal to feel that when faced with a threat. Ideally, you want a rifle, or the ability to call in an airstrike, but you dont always have that available. When the chips fall, all you can do is rely on your training and what you have chosen to carry, both in firearm and in ammo.
 

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Uhhhhh no, at least not while carrying this one. :rofl:

Seriously that is something I remind myself about all the time. Granted most of my "carry hours" are with a LCP which is better than nothing, but can definitely be inadequate. However, I do a good job ramping up to a more appropriate gun when I feel necessary and I do it for the very reason's in your OP.

I too have experienced that last minute, I wish-I-had-a-bigger-gun thought. :comeandgetsome:
Bet you scare women away when you put that in your SmartCarry. :scratchchin:
 

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Biker - With all due respect, I would rather have 16 rounds of 9mm than 5 .357 facing the guy you described.

A while back at USCCA, a member told of shooting a shotgun-wielding drunk 7 times with a .45. The guy only stopped because his shotgun jammed. He walked home, and was arrested. Yes, he survived.

Point is all handguns are marginal. You make that up with shot placement, and firepower. To me, firepower means lots of ammo, not fewer bigger bullets - because even a .50 is small compared to a human torso. Gabe Suarez tells of a criminal that survived (and evaded police) after a through-and-through with a 12 gauge slug!

I make up for the lack of power of a handgun with high capacity, and a laser, which helps with aim while under stress. I'm as comfortable with that as I can be. I find I can get more rounds into the target more quickly with a 9mm than a .40 or .45, and I get more capacity.

That's what works for me.
 

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Just added as a FYI.
Regarding a multiple dog attack...dogs are pack animals and always with an Alpha dog - if you can quickly determine which dog is the lead dog.
Shoot and kill that one first. That will usually end the attack.

Regarding terminating a hulking Terminator - Go for the multiple head shot.
Anybody is stoppable no matter how huge they are are if you plant Lead into the brain case.
So you need a carry cartridge powerful enough to crash through facial bone which is not all that thick or dense in human beings.
A good 9mm can handle that task as will even a HOT .380 if your bullet placement is good.
Use the tip of the nose as your intended POI and that way if you are hitting high or slightly to the left or right, you're still good to go with a stopping shot that will easily break facial bone.
 

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Had a guy on parole supervision. He was 6'7" and well over 400 lbs. He went to jail to begin with because he fought 10+ cops by himself and was winning win a fluke stopped the fight. He is schizophrenic and bipolar. He is harmless as a one winged gnat when on his meds. But when off he was pretty much indestructible. I called him Juggernaut, like the X-men Character. It was so bad, that his house was on the line of two jurisdictions, and the LEO agencies would both respond to disturbances at the house and then call dispatch and argue over which side of the house he was in. All so they wouldnt have to deal with him on the call. With that in mnd, I was a parole officer charged with going to his house by MYSELF on random basis, "unarmed". I often wondered if my .40 G23 I didnt carry would have stopped him when necessary. I definitely feel what Biker is getting at.
 

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Every time I’ve ever carried a J-frame. My CCW instructor carried a micro 1911 or a J-frame. When asked about a reload he said “I figure if I can’t end the problem in 5 to 7 shots, I’m in trouble anyway.” This might be true when talking about a single assailant, but that J-frame would shrink to a pea shooter in about 1 second if 3 perps walked around the corner.

If the attack is so severe that you are emptying your gun and it’s not working, it’s time to shoot another area. He might be built like a refrigerator, but he might also be wearing body armor.
 

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Now think about stopping THAT guy when he's moving toward you trying to snuff you with a ball bat and wearing a heavy leather coat and an insulated flannel shirt + an undershirt and you're armed with a .32 acp.
Don't even bother w/ COM.

Had a guy on parole supervision. He was 6'7" and well over 400 lbs. He went to jail to begin with because he fought 10+ cops by himself and was winning win a fluke stopped the fight. He is schizophrenic and bipolar. He is harmless as a one winged gnat when on his meds. But when off he was pretty much indestructible. I called him Juggernaut, like the X-men Character. It was so bad, that his house was on the line of two jurisdictions, and the LEO agencies would both respond to disturbances at the house and then call dispatch and argue over which side of the house he was in. All so they wouldnt have to deal with him on the call. With that in mnd, I was a parole officer charged with going to his house by MYSELF on random basis, "unarmed". I often wondered if my .40 G23 I didnt carry would have stopped him when necessary. I definitely feel what Biker is getting at.
 

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Yes, I have, but for a slightly different reasons. I'm not worried about being able to put down a human or dog.
I chose to carry a 45 at work for one simple reason; It tears the heck out of cars and gets to the occupants. Sounds goofy, but its the truth. Most of the LEO shootings I've seen first hand had vehicles involved. I wanted to be sure I could punch through windows or sheet metal with ease. A few summers ago I was involved in a shooting with several officers. I got to see the difference in with a 9mm, 40 and 45 going through a modern Chevy. All but the 45's were stopped by the car, 5 of the 7 45acp found there target and did the job.
 

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Ok... I guess MY answer to your question is no......
I carry in a 40S&W.... one gun, 2 mags 10 each w/ one in the pipe
I have not wished for a larger caliber.......

Wished for a rifle..... but thats what handguns are for.......
to fight your way to your rifle...... right?
But not for a larger caliber.....
 

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SHOT PLACEMENT! You have to carry with what you are comfortable and proficient with.

That said no one ever said,"I wish I had a smaller gun."
 

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Yes, I have, but for a slightly different reasons. I'm not worried about being able to put down a human or dog.
I chose to carry a 45 at work for one simple reason; It tears the heck out of cars and gets to the occupants. Sounds goofy, but its the truth. Most of the LEO shootings I've seen first hand had vehicles involved. I wanted to be sure I could punch through windows or sheet metal with ease. A few summers ago I was involved in a shooting with several officers. I got to see the difference in with a 9mm, 40 and 45 going through a modern Chevy. All but the 45's were stopped by the car, 5 of the 7 45acp found there target and did the job.
Interesting. Was caliber the only difference in this case? Or were the .45’s FMJ while the 9mm and .40’s were JHPs?

Just curious, as every test I’ve seen showed that modern cars are poor cover against most modern pistol cartridges.
 

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J-frame, 1989.
Traded for a .44 Charter after just such a moment.
That .38 felt pretty inadequate.
I count myself fortunate I did not have to put that last ounce and a half on the trigger!
 

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Interesting. Was caliber the only difference in this case? Or were the .45’s FMJ while the 9mm and .40’s were JHPs?

Just curious, as every test I’ve seen showed that modern cars are poor cover against most modern pistol cartridges.
Most of the test I have seen were no very scientific or complete, and none could replicate real world factors. But that is besides the point.

All the shots through the sheet metal were angle shots, from the side/rear of the car. The bullets travel up the side of the car, from the rear quarter panel towards the door, then entering the passenger compartment and into the seats. Most of the 9mm and 40 were stopped in the door or body panels, those that made it through were stopped by the seats. The 45's made an impressive rip through the body panels and had no problems getting through the seat to their target. It was obvious to the naked eye what cartridge did what to the body panel. To be fair though, some that made it that far did not penetrate the target. Some did, some did not for what ever reason.
All ammunition used was JHP, if I had to guess I'd say it was Speer GD. I know the 45 was.
 

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Yes, I have, but for a slightly different reasons. I'm not worried about being able to put down a human or dog.
I chose to carry a 45 at work for one simple reason; It tears the heck out of cars and gets to the occupants. Sounds goofy, but its the truth. Most of the LEO shootings I've seen first hand had vehicles involved. I wanted to be sure I could punch through windows or sheet metal with ease. A few summers ago I was involved in a shooting with several officers. I got to see the difference in with a 9mm, 40 and 45 going through a modern Chevy. All but the 45's were stopped by the car, 5 of the 7 45acp found there target and did the job.
You know, when you look at the ft/lbs of energy. a hot 9mm compares nicely to a .45. Same for the ballistic gel.

But this paints an entirely different picture. Thank you for this information.

I may prefer to shoot 9mm, but I don't think I'll ever consider it _about_ equal to a .45 ever again.
 
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