Defensive Carry banner

1 - 20 of 79 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,241 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
With the resurrection of the zombie thread there does appear to be some interest in this topic but as was pointed out there are some pretty compelling reasons not to carry one.

First and foremost is that today there are relatively few people who can really run one effectively compared to one of the more common service pistols, especially if we are talking about a 44 magnum.

Bullet selection with a magnum revolver is critical. The vast majority of factory ammo for the 44 and 41 magnum and to some extent the 357 magnum is designed for hunting large game. The critical difference I see is that in hunting you want deep penetration with minimal damage to the meat (surrounding tissues) and self defense you need adequate penetration and damage to surrounding tissues is a bonus as it adds to bleeding and subsequent compliance thru either pain compliance or hypovolemic shock.

The other critical factor is that we want to limit over penetration. I believe that there has been too much concern for over penetration in defensive handgun use.

It should be noted that no maximum penetration standard was established. This reflects the judgment that underpenetration of a handgun bullet presents a far
greater risk to the law enforcement officer than overpenetration does to an innocent bystander. Considering that approximately 80% of the rounds fired by law enforcement officers engaged in violent encounters do not strike the intended targets, it was deemed somewhat unrealistic to attach too much significance to the potential risks of overpenetration on the part of those that do. Nevertheless, in assessing the potential volume of wounds created by the test bullets, greater attention was given to the potential tissue displaced up to a depth of 18". For practical purposes, penetration beyond that range would most likely carry the
bullet outside the body.
Taken from the
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin November 1989 Volume 58 Number 11
Taken in context, overpenetration can be mitigated with tactics and placement, underpenetration cannot.

With magnum revolvers in the SD role I prefer light for caliber bullets generally. With the 357 mag I was never a fan of 110 and 125 grain bullets. I then leaned something when discussing LE shootings with a colleague. We stumbled onto the fact that bullet construction was another critical element that we had been over looking. The Border Patrol for a year or so issued 110 grain Remington JHP's. The one shooting I saw with that load was up close, frontal with no cover, when fired from a 2 1/2" S&W model 19 the 2 bullets struck COM and disintegrated killing the BG immediately. LA Police office Stacy Lim was shot thru the chest with a 110 grain Winchester, the bullet I believe nicked her heart yet she was able to kill her assailant and survive the wound. The thicker jacket on the Winchester retarded expansion and I believe it is what saved Stacy.

I preferred the 145 grain STHP for use in 357 magnums.

In the 41 magnum I have no preference as I have very little experience with it. With the 44 magnum I prefer the Remington 180 grain JHP or the 44 special 200 grain Gold Dot loaded to magnum velocities. Here is an expanded 180 grain JHP fired from my model 69 in an extremely unscientific exercise, it is laying on a quarter and weighs 110 grains.

IMG_20161201_075205943.jpg

Magnum revolvers are big and heavy, when compared to the polymer wonders of today, limited ammo capacity is also seen as a negative by some. With whatever carry gun you use, reloading is a critical skill. I use speedloaders with revolvers, after carrying a revolver for decades speed strips are a step above dump pouches and a step below belt mounted loops, and several steps below speedloaders in speed of action.

We often hear people talk about noise, flash and recoil. Those are mostly range issues, but if you are not accustomed to it, they could have negative repercussions for anyone using them. Magnum revolvers are not for everyone, I have been using them for decades and have tens of thousands of rounds of magnums fired so it is second nature to me.

If the guns do not fit you, you will not be able to use them to the full advantage. The way my hands are made N frame Smiths do not work for me. I want the grip area to fit centered in the notch at the back of my hand and the trigger in the "power notch" on my index finger for a double action revolver. An N frame is just 1/10" too long for me. I can shoot them, but prefer the model 69 Smith.

Is the ammo capacity an issue for SD? I don't think so as long as you carry proper reloads and know how to do it. Especially with the 44 magnum properly loaded I think that the power level transcends the capacity. With the 357 magnum I think that with 4" and short barrels it is challenged by the 10mm, 40 S&W (with faster 155's), 357 Sig and 9mm +P+. The 357 magnum is rarely a bad choice.

If you do your part to master the revolver, reduce or eliminate misses it is a perfectly viable choice, but it is not for everyone and it requires dedication and commitment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,140 Posts
I can't Handel 357 in the little Five shot Snubs any longer. I now carry 135gr. SGD 38 spl. +P. It has a good record on the street. The only time I shoot 357 is my midrange reloads in a 4" ported gun.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,140 Posts
Just yesterday I carried my Alaskan with Gold Dot Short Barrel 44 Mag and when I walk the dog I'll carry the same gun. With proper ammo selection the 44 Mag is a viable defense tool.

As long as I'm carrying almost 3 lbs of gun I'm not loading it with 44 SPL.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
309 Posts
I usually CCW my S&W model 640 with 145 grain Silvertips and 12 additional rounds in an ammo dump pouch. I recently purchased the new S&W model 66-8 and considering adding it to my CCW rotation. I would CCW it in a vertical shoulder holster. The 4.25" barrel would really enhance the ballistics over the 2.25' barrel on the 640. I never feel under gunned with a 5 or 6 shot revolver.
I aspire to my 3-3-3 rule; 3 shots in 3 seconds at 3 feet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
953 Posts
Well, I carry a 32 H&R Magnum six shot J frame sometimes. Not what most people have in mind when they say Magnum.

I've been practicing with my LCR 357 using low to mid range Magnum loads. I like the Speer 135 Gr 357 Magnum gold dot. I figure it has the same bullet as the 135 Gr 38+P short barrel load -- but more velocity. Also tried some Blazer Brass 158 grain 357 Magnum loads in the LCR. They are a bit hotter than the Speer.

The Blazer Aluminum load is significantly lighter, but is a cheap practice losd.

I have yet to try 357 Magnum critical defense and Gold Dot 125 gr.

When I get to the point where I'm confident I can take multiple shots and actually hit what I'm aiming at, the LCR 357 may become my main carry gun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,241 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I aspire to my 3-3-3 rule; 3 shots in 3 seconds at 3 feet.
Do you know where that came from? It came from data collected by the FBI on officers killed in shootings from the 1960's and 1970's. So in essence you are ready to lose the fight. You should, with that gun be able to put 5 shots on target in under 2 seconds from the holster at that distance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,241 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Well, I carry a 32 H&R Magnum six shot J frame sometimes. Not what most people have in mind when they say Magnum.

I've been practicing with my LCR 357 using low to mid range Magnum loads. I like the Speer 135 Gr 357 Magnum gold dot. I figure it has the same bullet as the 135 Gr 38+P short barrel load -- but more velocity. Also tried some Blazer Brass 158 grain 357 Magnum loads in the LCR. They are a bit hotter than the Speer.

The Blazer Aluminum load is significantly lighter, but is a cheap practice losd.

I have yet to try 357 Magnum critical defense and Gold Dot 125 gr.

When I get to the point where I'm confident I can take multiple shots and actually hit what I'm aiming at, the LCR 357 may become my main carry gun.
I had an LCR and could never warm up to it. That thing is a bear with magnums.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,089 Posts
I am pretty adaptable to any caliber, be it a revolver or auto.

Pretty much agree with you Bob, in that I prefer power over capacity.

Now personally, I don't believe in the shock factor part of the equation pertaining to the perceived advantage of magnums as a reason for their choice, but I do agree that the overpenetration concern has been grossly misrepresented all the way around.

I really like the 40s&w. Especially with a 180 weight bullet. If I had to choose what I thought was the best combination of reasonable size for carry, capacity, consistent penetration qualities, and shootability, it would be a 40 loaded as mentioned.

This bullet was recovered under the offside hide, actually was hanging halfway out, after a 15 yard shot on a medium game animal with a chest diameter of 12-15 inches wide, penetrating bone on both sides.
IMG_1125.jpg IMG_1126.jpg

As much as I prefer revolvers, magnums or otherwise, I believe one would be difficult to find a caliber that does any better and still meet the realistic requirements of a CCW weapon as I outlined earlier.

I think with the right bullet, about any platform/caliber is more than adequate.
But the lower on the caliber scale you get, the more important adequate penetration becomes.
However, this can be negated somewhat by bullet weight more so than increased velocity for a more consistent result.

A 44 or 45, in a revolver is never a bad choice, or one where one needs to stress over ammo choice.
Same with 45 auto.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,241 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I am pretty adaptable to any caliber, be it a revolver or auto.

Pretty much agree with you Bob, in that I prefer power over capacity.

Now personally, I don't believe in the shock factor part of the equation pertaining to the perceived advantage of magnums as a reason for their choice, but I do agree that the overpenetration concern has been grossly misrepresented all the way around.

I really like the 40s&w. Especially with a 180 weight bullet. If I had to choose what I thought was the best combination of reasonable size for carry, capacity, consistent penetration qualities, and shootability, it would be a 40 loaded as mentioned.

This bullet was recovered under the offside hide, actually was hanging halfway out, after a 15 yard shot on a medium game animal with a chest diameter of 12-15 inches wide, penetrating bone on both sides.
View attachment 164778 View attachment 164786

As much as I prefer revolvers, magnums or otherwise, I believe one would be difficult to find a caliber that does any better and still meet the realistic requirements of a CCW weapon as I outlined earlier.

I think with the right bullet, about any platform/caliber is more than adequate.
But the lower on the caliber scale you get, the more important adequate penetration becomes.
However, this can be negated somewhat by bullet weight more so than increased velocity for a more consistent result.

A 44 or 45, in a revolver is never a bad choice, or one where one needs to stress over ammo choice.
Same with 45 auto.
Yes but for SD I will take the 180 grain 44 @ 1500 fps over the 180 grain 40 @ 980 FPS.:tongue:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,423 Posts
Great writeup, Bob!

The only "Magnum" I've ever carried to speak of was a 2-3/4" Security Six, a long time ago. I have several .44 Mags, but aside from the M69, I consider all of them too big for practical CC. The M69 is doable, but not generally my first choice. I'd likely carry it with .44 Specials anyway, so might as well just pack the Bulldog. The M69 is primarily a backup sidearm while hog hunting.

As much as I love revolvers, I think the plastic fantastics better serve my CC needs. Shield most of the time, occasionally moving up or down in size to the M&P 9C or CM9, respectively. The .38 snubs see frequent coat-pocket or tackle-box duty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,129 Posts
Though I haven't publicly carried it often, I do enjoy carrying my SP101 OWB with .357 158gr XTP's when I can get away with keeping my jacket on all day. I have my eyes on a few different IWB holsters for my 3" and after the holidays one will be in a box on its way to me. And if anyone in my immediate family can take a hint, I will have Altamont grip inserts to make it purdy(er).

100_1646.jpg

The SJSP are for walking the woods. Though now that I have acquired a 4" Security Six, the SP101 is going to step down from being my woods carrying piece.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,089 Posts
Yes but for SD I will take the 180 grain 44 @ 1500 fps over the 180 grain 40 @ 980 FPS.:tongue:
These 180's are 1100fps from G22.

Ill agree the 180/44/1500 is hotter.

But I believe the pro/cons favor the 40S&W.

With the 40 you don't have the flash and concussion of the lightweight 44, which is important to me, especially for an indoor shooting scenario.
You have 15 shots, vs 5 in the M69
Quicker, easier trigger combined with a lighter easy shooting carry gun which promotes accuracy.

And ballistically, the 40 has a longer sectional density promoting penetration characteristics with a bullet more apt to hold together and not fracture, promoting straight line penetration.

Thats just my opinion of course, but I think they are all valid and worth consideration.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,905 Posts
I have 3 357 mags GP100 , Security Six both with 4 inch barrels ..... I was recently looking for a smaller 357 mag for personal protection carry .. I found this Taurus 605 at Academy at a goid price .. Locks up tight on all cylinders... Advertised weight is 24oz , but on my scales weight is 20.5 oz ... This revolver is J frame size . Easy to conceal ...Remington 125gr SJHP 357mag
The newer grips on this revolver are absolutely wonderful..

 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,890 Posts
I feel pretty confident with my S&W Model 60 3" Jframe with Hornady +p .38spl PD loads. I don't carry the .357 because I wouldn't want to light one of those off in a car.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,423 Posts
I feel pretty confident with my S&W Model 60 3" Jframe with Hornady +p .38spl PD loads. I don't carry the .357 because I wouldn't want to light one of those off in a car.
Trust me, you don't want to light off a .38 +P in the car, either! :blink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,893 Posts
I wont use 357 stub nose guns not enough benfit over recouil to me ..327 mag yes

Ditto 41 and 44 mag ..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,050 Posts
I normally lean toward heavy for caliber bullets but, I prefer the mid range 357 in my 3" SP101 as it works well for me in fast follow up shots. Hornady Critical Defense or Golden Sabers in the 125 flavor. For the full size 5" GP100 I only carry Buffalo Bore 180 hardcast or Littlestone 200 grain hardcast but, that gun is solely for critter defense. Bob, have you shot any heavy hardcast in your 69? Like the 305 grain variety from BB?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
565 Posts
I have 3 357 mags GP100 , Security Six both with 4 inch barrels ..... I was recently looking for a smaller 357 mag for personal protection carry .. I found this Taurus 605 at Academy at a goid price .. Locks up tight on all cylinders... Advertised weight is 24oz , but on my scales weight is 20.5 oz ... This revolver is J frame size . Easy to conceal ...Remington 125gr SJHP 357mag
The newer grips on this revolver are absolutely wonderful..

The Taurus 605 SS deserves it's own cult following. Mine will put 38 wadcutters into a grapefruit sized group at 50 feet if I do my part. I've been carrying it loaded with 110 grain Winchester 357's. It's a hoot to shoot. Kind of like a cherry bomb going off on your fist.:gah:
 
1 - 20 of 79 Posts
Top