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Old September 8, 2012, 11:51 AM   #1
mrt949
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Had to ask the experts !

What would make you chose one caliber over a different one for cc .Barrel length 3 in to 3.5 max. Same pistol 9mm,357 sig .40 sw & 45acp. Add revolvers in the question 1 7/8 to 3. max, 38 sp,357 mag ,44 sp ,44mag.& 45 acp.. With all of the ammo mfg .making sbl ammo. what's your choice ?

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Old September 8, 2012, 12:03 PM   #2
MTSCMike
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For me...

If 1911 platform... .45 ACP (best reliability from that platform)
If Glock Platform... .40 S&W (largest caliber available in std frame size)
If "mini" Platform... 9mm (more managable from small frames)

You didn't ask but if revolver platform... 38 spl (easy to handle and proven performance...not .357 mag due to EXCESSIVE blast and flash)

Just my $0.02
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Old September 8, 2012, 12:29 PM   #3
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I choose my retirement pistols the same way I chose my off-duty pistols, and I have several of each in the common service calibers of 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP, with barrel lengths ranging from 3", 3.25", 3.46", 3.5" & 3.75" ... and I'm about to order a Shield 9 (3.1" barrel).

Caliber isn't as high on my list of priorities as it might be for other folks, but then as a firearms instructor & armorer I do a fair amount of shooting, allowing me to maintain my skillset with the different calibers. (Recoil forces, recoil management & controllability are factors to consider, granted, which is why I do a lot of training & practice.)

Although I'm a longtime .45 enthusiast, owner and shooter, I tend to prefer the smaller guns I use chambered in 9mm nowadays.

I like my .40's because they're so similar in overall size & weight to my 9's, whereas the .45's are just a bit larger when it comes to some grip frame dimensions.

Just depends.
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Old September 8, 2012, 02:07 PM   #4
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I also have and use several in .38, 9m/m, and .45 both ACP & colt(or long colt)
Shoot each at lest monthly(SD drills not just paper punching) What gets carried is based on what is being worn, where I am going, ect.
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Old September 8, 2012, 09:19 PM   #5
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I chose 9mm because it has decent power as a round and is not terribly expensive to shoot. I had to save for a while to buy the pistols that I wanted and I don't have hundreds of extra dollars every month to buy ammo. I can buy enough to go practice a couple times a month. If I had chosen a larger, more expensive caliber I would be able to shoot even less than I am able to with 9mm.

I would like to upgrade to .40 when I am able to though.
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Old September 8, 2012, 09:27 PM   #6
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Love my .357 mag. Shoot some 357's through it, but mainly .38 spl's. Then carry .357's for the power. But with the tiny autos, .380 is ok, but I'd go with 9mm. Biggest blast for the package. Gettin a lil bigger the .40 is the way to go. If you are going to carry full size, go .45 ACP. Overall, no smaller than .380 or .38. My opinion, hope it helps.
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Old September 8, 2012, 09:43 PM   #7
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I have 357 Mags, 357 Sigs, 40 S&W, and 9mm. I carry a 357 Sig. (Baby Glock) same size as 9mm and 40, same punch as a 357 Mag. 357 Sig is loud with recoil between a 9 and a 40.
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Old September 8, 2012, 09:52 PM   #8
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Would take a book to answer, and then nobody would agree.
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Old September 9, 2012, 01:20 PM   #9
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Money...

My choices have "involuntarily" changed of late so it's pretty much all 9mm for me (still maintain several different calibers, just don't shoot them but several times per year). In place of my 1911 .45acp lack of shooting I bought a GSG 1911-22 and it's a hoot to shoot. So 9&22 is every week, .45acp quarterly with lots of 12g trap scattered in there. Economics sucks .
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Old September 9, 2012, 07:31 PM   #10
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Would take a book to answer, and then nobody would agree.
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Old September 10, 2012, 05:51 AM   #11
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I like 9mm with a long barrel. Low recoil and great accuracy.

45 ACP, also in a big heavy gun, is a close second.

What works for you, though, is a mystery.
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Old September 10, 2012, 01:39 PM   #12
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I pick the platform first....1911, Sig single stack, sig double stack, revolver ...or whatever....based primarily on what I shoot the best / but that is based on the controls, grip angle, triggers, how it fits my hands.

size, weight, barrel length, etc ...of the platform 2nd....

then caliber 3rd ...

round capacity is a distant 4th ...
------------
There are so many good Defensive ammo options out there today - in almost all calibers ...that caliber is really a secodary issue.
-----------
My primary guns are 1911's ...(either 4" or 5" guns in 9mm or .45 acp )...
My "desk guns" are primarily S&W revolvers...in 4" ...in .357 mag ...model 19's, or 66's or 27's ....
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Old September 10, 2012, 01:48 PM   #13
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Would take a book to answer, and then nobody would agree.
Hydrostatic shock! Knockdown power! Miami Shootout! Let the games begin.

The truth of the matter is that you need to use what you shoot well within reasonable boundaries. Everything else is tangential.
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Old September 10, 2012, 01:50 PM   #14
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I choose 9mm, because I can afford to practice with that more.
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Old September 10, 2012, 03:21 PM   #15
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1. Must be reasonably effective for self defense
2. Recoil must be manageable
3. Magazine capacity
4. Ammunition cost

My choice is 9mm/.38 Special
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Old September 11, 2012, 12:38 AM   #16
peacefulgary
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Quote:
What would make you chose one caliber over a different one for cc .Barrel length 3 in to 3.5 max. Same pistol 9mm,357 sig .40 sw & 45acp.
9mm Para.

High capacity, effective caliber, quick follow-up shots.

Quote:
Add revolvers in the question 1 7/8 to 3. max, 38 sp,357 mag ,44 sp ,44mag.& 45 acp.. With all of the ammo mfg .making sbl ammo. what's your choice ?
.38 Special from snub nosed revolvers.
.357 magnum from 4"+ revolvers.
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Old September 11, 2012, 07:35 AM   #17
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What would make you chose one caliber over a different one for cc
"The end justifies the means"

My desired end result is to be alive to go to bed and go to sleep at the end of each day.

That said, my CC must be able to provide the safety / security to arrive there.

My choice of CC to make that happen is a 1911 in .45ACP, 8+1 w/backup.

I don't trust anything any smaller, . . . especially if I feel there is any possibility that I may be entering thugville anytime today.

May God bless,
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Old September 11, 2012, 07:49 AM   #18
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Get what makes you happiest. Out of the choices you described, it doesn't make any difference.
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Old September 11, 2012, 10:35 AM   #19
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I usually see a gun looking forlorn forgotten and 'unloved' in a display case with other used guns and something comes over me. My eyes glaze over, my pulse and breathing speed up, and my wallet appears in my hand as if by magic. I recognize the manufacturer's name, I read the model may and glance at the caliber, but at that point all that matters is that it Just Feels Right. I just go with it.

Fortunately, this does not happen often.

Hey, come to think of it, this is how we wound up with our dog!.
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Old September 11, 2012, 10:52 AM   #20
fastbolt
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Revolvers now?

I own 9 snub revolvers at the moment (up to 3"). Of the 4 that are chambered in .357 Magnum, I typically only carry Magnum loads in 2 of them, with the rest seeing either +P (if rated for it) or standard pressure loads.

After reliability & accuracy, I look for recoil management & controllability in my lightweight snubs. That's why a couple of them (pair of M&P 340's) see more use with +P loads than Magnum loads.

Many years ago I owned a pair of snub .44 Spl's, but problems with them caused me to get rid of them.

I started carrying a M36 3" off-duty early in my career (only because the 2" models were popular for off-duty, and hard to find in my area back in those days). My Ruger Speed & Security-Six snub's were heavier and bulkier than I sometimes wanted to carry off-duty.

I finished my career once again carrying various S&W snub's off-duty, and now they serve me as retirement CCW weapons more often than not.

Short-barreled, lightweight revolvers are generally harder for many folks to accurately & effectively shoot (compared to larger revolvers), and they often require more training & practice in order to use them as well as larger revolvers (or pistols). The very attributes that make them attractive for lawful concealed carry also make them harder to shoot. Just depends on the experience and skillset of the owner/user.
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Old September 12, 2012, 02:02 AM   #21
mrt949
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Post of the month

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Old September 12, 2012, 07:36 PM   #22
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Big gun like a 1911 may as well be a big caliber.
Smaller gun might be whatever you can stand recoilwise.
I have hand problems so my "little gun" shoots 38SP rather than 357. Normal carry is a medium sized 9mm with a smallish grip. Recoil I can stand with useable power factor.
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Old September 14, 2012, 12:24 PM   #23
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.357sig...

In general, I'd say the .357sig is tops for most defense uses(sub compact, CC size, duty size).
It offers great specs with most barrel lengths, feeds well and has high KE levels.
Recoil & muzzle blast are the only - things you ever hear about with the .357sig.
The 9x19mm(9mm Luger) is the next "best" subcompact/duty size caliber. It also feeds very well, offers a large # of rounds, & the +P/+P+ 9mm rounds has good power/KE.

The .40S&W is okay but not as well engineered as the .357sig round, IMO.

For DA/DAO revolvers, the .44spl offers a lot. The .41 & .357 magnum rounds are proven loads too. For deep concealment or 2nd gun use, the .38spl +P is fine. Many modern JHP & special pupose loads are now out there.

CF
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Old September 14, 2012, 12:52 PM   #24
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Quote:
In general, I'd say the .357sig is tops for most defense uses(sub compact, CC size, duty size).
It offers great specs with most barrel lengths, feeds well and has high KE levels.
Recoil & muzzle blast are the only - things you ever hear about with the .357sig.
The 9x19mm(9mm Luger) is the next "best" subcompact/duty size caliber. It also feeds very well, offers a large # of rounds, & the +P/+P+ 9mm rounds has good power/KE.

The .40S&W is okay but not as well engineered as the .357sig round, IMO.

For DA/DAO revolvers, the .44spl offers a lot. The .41 & .357 magnum rounds are proven loads too. For deep concealment or 2nd gun use, the .38spl +P is fine. Many modern JHP & special pupose loads are now out there.
Without getting into a caliber war here, . . . the .45ACP seemed to not make it's way onto that list.

It has "the" proven track record, . . . having created more ghosts than all the rest put together.

9mm, 40, and .357 SIG offer round count, . . . .45ACP offers proven productivity.

May God bless,
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Old September 14, 2012, 03:21 PM   #25
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Just my standard response to all caliber debates/questions:

In the 9mm/.40S&W/.45ACP range, there is no difference in the actual wounds or other terminal effects caused. This assumes roughly analogous cartridge types of course. *

I base this opinion upon interviewing coroners, forensic pathologists, trauma surgeons, etc.

The almost universal opinion has been that there is no discernible difference in the actual wounds created. Forensic pathologists generally won't even testify to the round caliber, except in the most general of terms (i.e. "consistent with a handgun") unless there is a recovered projectile. They simply cannot tell otherwise, with any degree of accuracy.

All other things being equal, if anything besides the wound profile is "stopping the threat", I'd really like to know. Otherwise this information should be a controversy stopper. I am not so naive as to think it will be, however.

Shoot what you like, and learn to shoot it well. In the grand scheme of things:
  1. Placement is King
  2. Penetration is Queen
  3. Everything else is a Court Jester, dancing around trying to get attention.

* (It's easy to tell an FMJ round from a an expanded one, just nearly impossible to tell 9mm FMJ vs. .45ACP FMJ, for instance)

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