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Old April 5, 2013, 02:33 PM   #1
simonrichter
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Caliber choices for the real tiny ones...

While up until the 90ies (or so), pocket guns usually were made in correspondingly small calibers like .22lr .25 ACP, .32 ACP or .380 ACP (or .32 SW or 38 SPL for the wheelguns), the real tiny mouse guns even in .22 short.

In recent years, that seemed to have changed, since there are a lot of real small guns in calibers which were formerly confined to full (or at best compact) size service pistols. Now there are even guns which could be considered mouse guns dimension-wise while being packed with 9mm, or even .40 S&W and .45 ACP.

I wonder whether it makes much sense packing such an amount of power into such small guns, in terms of controlled firing and muzzle energy. E.g. is a 9mm out of a, say, 2,5inch barrel that much stronger than a .380, taking into consideration that the .380 was originally designed for short barrels while the 9mm must exhaust an enourmous amount of unburned powder, propelling the bullet only a little more...? At the same time, in any case, the 9mm is going to kick a lot harder, not to speak of .40 and .45...

I'm sure you firearms wizards on this forum will enlighten me
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Old April 5, 2013, 03:43 PM   #2
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The super small guns in .45 ACP, and .40 S&W are prone to choking if one limp wrist them. I have seen a few guys that did great for one or two mags. After fatigue caught up they started limp wristing, and FTF problems started.
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Old April 5, 2013, 04:05 PM   #3
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That's a good questions, simonrichter - and one that I hope to learn from as well...
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Old April 5, 2013, 05:08 PM   #4
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45-70 in a derringer!

Heck, if you are going to do it, go big... after all you do have two hands and two barrels; after shooting one barrel per hand, you are done! No need of additional rounds, as you don't have a third hand to pull the trigger even if you did.

Discussion of said piece:
http://www.greatlakes4x4.com/showthread.php?t=199993

I kind of ascribe to being able to accurately fire and control any firearm for more than two rounds. Personally have .380 in LCP as my "mouse gun". Any larger cartridge goes in a larger firearm for me.

YMMV
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Old April 5, 2013, 06:39 PM   #5
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i want it

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Old April 5, 2013, 07:43 PM   #6
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The Rohrbaugh in 9mm is the same size as most 380s - yet it packs a LOT more power - the new Boberg would be even better because it adds another inch to the barrel in the same size package
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Old April 5, 2013, 08:17 PM   #7
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The smaller the pistol the harder they are to hit with, so more practice is needed. Practice, if painful, is not likely to happen often. And yes, you lose power with a shorter barrel since you can't burn the powder up in those lengths in most cases, some new ammo is addressing this.

In the end, I am not a fan of the larger calibers in small pistols. For me, they don't make sense.
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Old April 5, 2013, 08:17 PM   #8
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Now there are even guns which could be considered mouse guns dimension-wise while being packed with 9mm, or even .40 S&W and .45 ACP.
I think our definition of mouse guns may differ. By my definition, an LCP is right on the edge of being a "mouse gun". Anything smaller gets in the door, regardless of caliber. Anything larger (even if it is a .25)...no, sorry.
It is not the caliber, it is the size and weight.

Quote:
...is a 9mm out of a, say, 2.5 inch barrel that much stronger than a .380, taking into consideration that the .380 was originally designed for short barrels while the 9mm must exhaust an enourmous (sic) amount of unburned powder, propelling the bullet only a little more...? At the same time, in any case, the 9mm is going to kick a lot harder...
I think you need to review Newton's Third. In all these years, it has not changed. That is to say, if it kicks a lot harder, that is your answer right there.
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Old April 6, 2013, 04:50 AM   #9
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I think you need to review Newton's Third. In all these years, it has not changed. That is to say, if it kicks a lot harder, that is your answer right there.
uuups - indeed, making a point there... Still, the question is whether the additional challenge in terms of handling is worth the few extra ft/lbs (or joules, as I would put it) it doubtlessly brings.

Typically, a .380 out of short barrel (say 2,5 inches)will bring something around 240j (~178 ft/lbs).

In contrast, a 9mm performs at around 550j (~407 ft/lbs) out of full size service gun's barrel (say, a G17). The question is: How significant is the drop of ME with a barrel, say, half the lenght?

Alas, all the data I could find is ft/s and grain, and it is a real pain calculating the ME out of these (so much easier with metric data)
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Old April 6, 2013, 07:29 AM   #10
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In recent years, that seemed to have changed, since there are a lot of real small guns in calibers which were formerly confined to full (or at best compact) size service pistols.
My guess and this is only a guess is “weight”. Since the invention of the reliable plastic gun you can carry 9mm or larger than guns like the PPK and have the same weight.
What do you consider the upper end (size) of a pocket gun is?
To me the smallest usable gun is like the Beretta Bobcat but its 25 is so anemic that I wouldn’t carry one for a personal defense gun and it’s too small for my hands.
Again in MO one of the best guns is the Ruger LC9 or LC380.
I have fired them both and I’m sorry I don’t feel that the 9 has that much more recoil. It has more but it’s controllable as any small auto. There are other good 380’s and smaller but the advantage of the small guns has to be weighed against their disadvantage.
Recoil is in the mind of the beholder, a pocket gun is not a target gun and when you need it for self defense you’re not going to reload it several times. You’re just going to point and shoot and adrenalin will overcome any recoil. And since the distances for confrontations by history are short again recoil and accuracy are not the most important. Practice is what’s most important.
I have owned Walther PPk’s Mauser HSc and several others all in 380. This was back in the 80’s and I carried them. But I gave them all up for carry for a slightly larger gun that was easy to carry and had considerably more energy.
Charger Arms Bull dog in 44 special.
If energy is not enough or if recoil is too much for you, then you have the wrong gun and you need to look somewhere else.
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Old April 8, 2013, 12:33 PM   #11
simonrichter
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I never doubted one CAN handle a, say, 5inch long gun in .45 ACP, the question of this thread is: Does it make sense or do the "classic" small pistol calibers do the job with only slightly less power?

Strictly spoken for myself, I have already answered the question, and for my super-small otion I prefer 8 rds of .22lr over 6 rds of anything larger.
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Old April 8, 2013, 08:27 PM   #12
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I have shot the Kel-Tec PF9 and it was fine, it even has a rail for really tiny light(?). 7 +1 rounds of 9mm JHP and you can find them for around $200-225 usually, well before the anti-gun thing kicked off full speed.
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Old April 8, 2013, 08:49 PM   #13
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My last mousegun was a PSP licensed copy of a Baby Browning .25. I tried a couple of different .22's but found the .25 to be more reliable. I recently traded it in for a Ruger lcp. The Ruger is a little larger, but is thinner and lighter. The little light guns have a bite to them, even in .32 or .380. The mini 9s can be downright unpleasant. I opted for a Kahr CW9 (over the CM9) for my CCW. I like having the longer grip with any full power cartridge.
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Old April 9, 2013, 02:54 AM   #14
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Recoil is subjective to the shooter. Some people are really botherd by it others not so much. For years I carried a kel tec 9mm loaded with +p+ ammo and I ran a lot of that ammo through the gun over the years and to me recoil really wasn't that bad. I now carry a Bersa 45acp loaded with +p ammo while its no "mouse gun" its pretty small for a 45. If I can ever track down one of the little taurus 41mags and it proves reliable you can bet it will be on my hip.
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Old April 9, 2013, 07:24 AM   #15
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I second the choice for the Keltec PF9.Good quality for the price with lifetime warranty to the original Owner.
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Old April 9, 2013, 05:47 PM   #16
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I think they finally managed to fix cracking frame issues for the most part on tiny plastic and alloy guns. And after the .454 .460 .480 and .500 revolver craze, no recoil is too much apparently .
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Old April 10, 2013, 01:57 AM   #17
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One thing that is dawning on me is how intrinsically inaccurate the 9mm is. And that is what I carry.

When I say that I'm thinking of pocket guns that shoot very accurately chambered in 22, 25, 32, & 380. And then accuracy just goes to pot when you start getting into the pocket nines. Heck, even service size 9s aren't very accurate either save the Sig p210.
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Old April 10, 2013, 02:42 AM   #18
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I go with the Taurus 732, NAA Guardian, and the Beretta Tomcat, all in .32 ACP as my back up pistols or for carry when in severely humid and hot conditions.

Granted, these are not powerhouses. But they do serve well and there is a case for the .32 ACP and the .380 ACP mini pistols.

I have no problem with shooting a mini-9 gun that has a double recoil spring assembly as that takes a lot of bite out of the recoil. So does a polymer frame.

A Taurus 709 is my primary gun right now in the CCW rotation and a .32 ACP pistol is the back up. No, it wasn't an easy gun to get used to, but it is in the "snub revolver" ballpark of small semi-autos.

Beretta makes a nice model 85 and single stack pistols are just easier for me to hide and use. Yes, it's a .380 ACP pistol. I do understand it's limitations so it is not a problem.

Sig made the 225, I own two of those, are just the right size to be able to be a primary pistol.

Since these are all more than "combat accurate" they serve their purposes well.
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Old April 10, 2013, 04:14 PM   #19
bonefamily
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Quote:
One thing that is dawning on me is how intrinsically inaccurate the 9mm is. And that is what I carry.

When I say that I'm thinking of pocket guns that shoot very accurately chambered in 22, 25, 32, & 380. And then accuracy just goes to pot when you start getting into the pocket nines. Heck, even service size 9s aren't very accurate either save the Sig p210.
Yes, but remember that pocket guns are not meant for too far a distant shot. They are meant for up close and personal defense shooting.
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Old April 10, 2013, 09:13 PM   #20
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I have two small pistols that see CCW use, a 9mm Kahr PM9 and a .45ACP Springfield XD-S. Neither exhibit feeding or extraction issues regardless of the time spent on the range. I can shoot them one handed, support hand only, etc. and they don't have issues. Practice is not painful....it's very fun. Maybe I practice too much. Maybe some folks don't practice enough.

While I am more accurate with the XD-S, I attribute that to the fact that the Kahr PM9 is DAO....resulting in a notable difference in the trigger styles. I don't spend as much time on it as I do my other pistols.

A typical target with my 15.9 ounce 9mm.




My mouse gun is the new NAA Sidewinder.22 Mag.

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Old April 11, 2013, 09:39 AM   #21
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Heck, even service size 9s aren't very accurate either save the Sig p210.
Don't go blaming the cartridge, there is nothing inherently inaccurate about the 9mm. IMO, when it comes to handguns just about any cartridge will best any shooter by a wide margin. Blame the shooters and blame the guns.
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Old April 11, 2013, 11:36 AM   #22
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I think people pay less attention to the idea of matching the cartridge to the gun than they should.

Very small guns are best suited to .22lr or even .22 short. Even the NAA Minis require a larger, heavier frame to handle the .22 Magnum - and a larger grip change is often recommended because the magnum mini tends to jump out of the hand using the small birds-eye grips.

I recently got a S&W 351c - 7 shots of .22 magnum in an 11-oz AirLite frame (alloy cylinder). I consider this a very good match of frame and ammo. I don't think the 10-oz scandium frames in .38 Special and .357 Magnum are a good match of frame and ammo.

The AirWeight frame, which is around 15-oz, has a steel cylinder, and is about the lightest I wish to use for .38 Special - A steel J-frame at 20-oz is much nicer with .38 Special, but the K-frame platform at closer to 30-oz is an ideal match for .38 Special. The 36-oz to 40-oz L-frame is a nice match for the .357 magnum. The very heavy N-frames make even .44 magnums somewhat pleasant to shoot.

Bottom line, it usually doesn't pay to swing too far away from that ideal match of weight to power.
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Old April 11, 2013, 02:04 PM   #23
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I mostly pocket carry (retired, live in toasty Texas, lotsa cargo shorts) so I have several small handguns using larger calibers ... My EDC is usually a Kahr PM9, one of the easiest-to-shoot guns I've ever owned ... have had a Kimber UCII for a while; again, compact size, 3-inch barrel, perhaps my most accurate handgun ... just got a Springfield XDs, don't have enough rounds through it yet to put into carry use, but so far it's a gem ... none of the trio has experienced even one failure of any kind (the Kahr has been in use since I got my plastic 10 years ago) ... all three are extremely accurate, not hard to shoot and are easy to conceal, tho I belt carry the Kimber ... modern handguns from quality makers IMHO are light years ahead of where they were even 10-15 years ago ...

BTW, totally disagree on accuracy issues with small 9s .. the Kahr certainly isn't as accurate as my XDm-9, but I'm consistently shooting 3-4 inch groups at 7 yards, plenty good enough for SD ...

I also own an NAA Pug. The quality of this gun is amazing, as is the accuracy at 7 yards or so ... I'm home and it's in my pocket now, loaded with Hornady's new Critical Defense rounds ... don't even know it's there, but I can have it in my hand and ready to go in just a second or two ... I love it ...

Agree with the above on j-frames; I have a Smith 637 and it's just about as light as I'd want to go for SD ... I'm going to order one of Ruger's new LCRs in .22mag; looked at the 351c but it was just too expensive for my budget ...
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Old April 11, 2013, 03:22 PM   #24
L_Killkenny
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Quote:
Agree with the above on j-frames; I have a Smith 637 and it's just about as light as I'd want to go for SD ...
Another reason to rain down death on the .327 and bring back revolvers in my beloved .32H&R. Ya, ya, I know. We can use the H&R in .327 guns. Don't care, the lackluster sales of the .327 have driven a nail in the coffin of all .32 cal. revolvers. The .32 H&R was going along at a good pace with many decent options. Now most of those options are gone and the .327 is what it is....
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Old April 11, 2013, 05:21 PM   #25
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Arizona,

I have a Pug .22 magnum and it's a dandy hideout gun (but ONLY a hideout gun, like in HotJocks or Thunderwear while jogging.

I only wish they hammer spur was fatter so it would be easier to cock. Then pin the trigger back and you have a slip gun.

Love that Sidewinder!

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