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Old November 11, 2013, 07:10 PM   #1
couldbeanyone
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How many shots is enough

How many shots, of what, is enough for concealed carry self defense? What say you and why?
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Old November 11, 2013, 07:17 PM   #2
Bob Wright
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I reckon five for me, .44 Special, 240 gr. JHPs.


Why? I figure one should be enough, two at most. I'm a little wary, so don't give would-be hoodlums a chance to get me in a situation where they out number me.

I'm the most vulnerable when pumping gas, so if there are several suspicious characters around, I keep going.

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Old November 11, 2013, 07:50 PM   #3
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I normally carry a 15 shot semi auto. If I'm packing a 5 shot revolver, I need to miss less often.
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Old November 11, 2013, 07:56 PM   #4
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I feel confident with .38 Special 5 shot revolver but to each his own. Personally, I've never felt that I've needed more than that to feel safe.
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Old November 11, 2013, 08:28 PM   #5
BigD_in_FL
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ONE is enough - if you're good enough. Most of us are not that good, so a J frame of 5 would be the minimum
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Old November 11, 2013, 09:07 PM   #6
James K
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Defense against what? In the usual game or TV scenario, the good guy is attacked by 125,486 screaming terrorists, so he needs 125,486 rounds.

Seriously, for many years as a LEO, when in "civvies" I carried a Model 36 and one speed loader, and thought that I was adequately armed. (Never needed to fire a shot, but that is another story.)

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Old November 11, 2013, 09:38 PM   #7
couldbeanyone
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James K posted: defense against what?
All I can say is, against whatever. I usually carry a 5 shot 38 or two. I like the reliabilty of a revolver and I like the ability to walk through a dark parking lot with my gun in my hand in a jacket pocket. But, I can shoot an automatic more accurately. Just trying to get a sounding on other peoples thoughts.
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Old November 11, 2013, 09:43 PM   #8
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I EDC a SIG P290RS (8+1 9mm), I always carry 2x8rd reloads for 25rds total.
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Old November 11, 2013, 09:47 PM   #9
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This one is easy.....According to Gov. Cuomo the answer is 7

Now realistically I feel pretty well armed with a Model 36. I do carry at least one reload (usually 2) just in case. If I opt for the 1911, it's 8+1 plus a reload for a total of 17. Not that I think I need that many rounds, I just like to be prepared for the worst I guess.

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Old November 11, 2013, 10:11 PM   #10
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Can you have multiple magazines on your person in NY?
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Old November 11, 2013, 10:34 PM   #11
Willie Lowman
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Ten in the magazine, one in the chamber of 147 grain 9mm goodness. I have some spare mags but I can't think of a single time when I have ever carried a reload.

In these colder winter months I sometimes carry my G23 and that puts me at 13+1 rounds of 165 grain goodness.
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Old November 11, 2013, 10:36 PM   #12
Deaf Smith
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Quote:
How many shots, of what, is enough for concealed carry self defense? What say you and why?
Hmmm...

My crystal ball I use to predict how many shots I will need in gunfight is kind of cloudy.

It says I might need none, one, two, three, four, .... 10, 11, oh and it goes on!

Seems the crystal ball says some self defense situations just need the gun displayed but in others, especially with three or more attackers, it can take lots.

And folks, in places like Memphis Tennessee three man teams of robbers are quite common.

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Old November 11, 2013, 10:42 PM   #13
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I might be sorry some day if I get into one of those unlikely situations, that could happen, where I need to survive a fire fight but I do not let it keep me up at night. But I generally only carry whatever the capacity of my side arm is. Most often 8+1 9mm or 6 .357, occasionally 15+1 9mm, rarely 7+1 .45
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Seams like once we the people give what, at the time, seams like a reasonable inch and "they" take the unreasonable mile we can only get that mile back one inch at a time.

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Old November 11, 2013, 10:55 PM   #14
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I choose to go with 13+1 of 40 S&W. I have never carried a reload when carrying this gun.

About 15% of the time and dictated by attire, it is 6+1 of 380 ACP, and in this case, I always carry 1 spare mag of 6.

It is an impossible thing to know how many rounds you MAY need, but my mindset is that if I need more than 14/13, an extra X probably will not do me any good as the situation has already turned South.
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Old November 11, 2013, 11:20 PM   #15
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This question has been asked many times and always with similar answers.

Some say 5-6 is enough or even more than enough. If you never have to use your gun then it may just be the perfect number?

Even well trained LEO's can dump a 15 round mag in a few seconds and not hit the target while under fire/stress.

Some say you can never have enough ammo if you end up in a gunfight. I personally feel it's just like gathering firewood in a survival scenario, once you think you have enough go get some more! It gets cold in a hurry when the wood runs out and you could be permanently cold if the ammo runs out!
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Old November 11, 2013, 11:30 PM   #16
Dragline45
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I don't like to carry anything less than 6+1 for a total of 7. Used to carry 5 shot snubs for a few years, but for such a hard platform to shoot 5 rounds didn't do it for me.
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Old November 11, 2013, 11:45 PM   #17
8bit
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This is one of those questions that's impossible to answer. Maybe 1 is enough. Maybe 20 is not enough. I think it all boils down to what you are feel safe and are comfortable with.

Personally I feel perfectly safe and comfortable with a 5-shot revolver.
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Old November 12, 2013, 12:13 AM   #18
Nick_C_S
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Statistically, isn't the average gunfight something like 1.7 rounds?

I'm not sure what a .7 round is though.
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Old November 12, 2013, 12:17 AM   #19
Chaz88
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Quote:
I'm not sure what a .7 round is though.
It is 7/10 of a centimeter or 7mm. So apparently one of the incidents used in the data set included a shootout with 7mm Rem. Mag. rounds.
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Seams like once we the people give what, at the time, seams like a reasonable inch and "they" take the unreasonable mile we can only get that mile back one inch at a time.

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Old November 12, 2013, 12:25 AM   #20
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However many it takes to stop the "Threat"!! Could be one or a dozen or more!!! Some are tougher to put down than other's.
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Old November 12, 2013, 12:29 AM   #21
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I was reading an interesting analysis of "stopping power", which took a somewhat different approach. Most, that are or are claimed to be based on observed shooting results, use percentage of "one shot stops" as the sole yardstick.
Someone took a look at what happens when one shot didn't stop the altercation, which would include the results of a lot of shootings that would be excluded if you were interested in only one-shot stops.
What was discovered was that there really wasn't a huge disparity in handgun ammo performance in one-shot stop cases, but if one didn't stop it, there's a strong correlation between the size of the bullet and how many additional shots were "required" (fired).
So, if you know for a fact that a single shot is going to end it, you might as well use a .22, but if you don't know how many rounds it's going to take, it's likely that the bigger the bullet, the fewer additional rounds will be required.
I carry a .45 that's loaded 6+1, and sometimes carry a 9mm loaded 13+1, and I'm comfortable with either (and sometimes both).
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Old November 12, 2013, 01:16 AM   #22
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Quote:
What was discovered was that there really wasn't a huge disparity in handgun ammo performance in one-shot stop cases, but if one didn't stop it, there's a strong correlation between the size of the bullet and how many additional shots were "required" (fired).
Do you remember where you read this or who wrote it? I'd really like to read it.
Quote:
How many shots is enough?
It depends on the situation.

I've never had to fire my gun in self-defense yet, so at least to date, for me, no shots has always been enough.

In many cases, a single shot is sufficient to end the attack--not usually because it disables the attacker but because it rearranges his priorities without the need for a second round to hammer the point home.

And in some cases, it takes more than one shot--generally when the attacker isn't ready to give up easily.

Here's a very basic/simplified overview of the multi-shot scenario.

If you talk to the experts, they tell you not to expect that a single handgun round will be sufficient to stop an attacker. So let's assume that we might need 2 hits to have a good chance of ending the attack. It may take a lot more than that, or it might take only one, but 2 is a good place to start.

If you read police shooting reports, you'll find that, unlike in the movies, people often miss what they shoot at. Especially when the target is moving and shooting back. In shootouts with criminals, police officers score a hit with about every 1 out of 3 shots, on average.

If you pay attention to crime reports, you'll find that criminals like to keep the advantage in their favor when possible and that means that it's not terribly uncommon for the criminal to bring some backup to your self-defense shooting.

So let's say you encounter 2 attackers, you shoot about as well as the average police officer and you need to hit each attacker twice to have a good chance of winning (surviving).

Assuming you get to shoot all your shots before getting disabled or killed yourself, and assuming you're good enough to avoid wasting bullets on an attacker who has already been hit twice and is therefore already disabled (according to the rules of our simple scenario), your chances are as follows.

The first number is the number of shots in your self-defense gun. The second number is your chance of making 2 hits on each of 2 attackers before your gun runs empty--assuming that your hit rate is 30% .

5 : 3.1%
6 : 7.1%
7 : 12.6%
8 : 19.4%
9 : 27%
10: 35%

If those numbers make you want to swallow hard, and then get up to go watch TV in hopes that you'll forget them quickly, we can look at the less challenging situation where there's only one attacker but all our other assumptions remain unchanged.

5 : 47.2%
6 : 58%
7 : 67.1%
8 : 74.5%
9 : 80.4%
10: 85.1%

Here's more on the topic.
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=494257
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Old November 12, 2013, 01:16 AM   #23
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How many shots is enough

There are a variety of studies that some will swear by and others will rail against. When you step back and look at the common points, it's basically like this:

- most private citizen defensive gun uses (DGUs) involve 0-2 shots fired.

- reloads are extremely rare (one analysis of 482 documented DGUs determined that about 0.5% in the study involved reloads)

- in the vast majority of uses, the stop is psychological. The bad guy quits, because "GUN!!!"

Caliber is a non-issue in most DGUs. A 5 shot J-Frame is plenty for the average DGU. A person could carry one and be well prepared for most cases. When it comes down to it, we're ALL playing the odds to varying degrees. If a person is content being ready for most situations, I understand. Personally, I prefer to prepare for exceptional circumstances.
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Old November 12, 2013, 07:01 AM   #24
trigger643
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I've been legally concealed-carrying since 1989. 95% of that time it's been with 5 rounds of .357. Occasionally it's been 16 rounds of 9mm. Rarely it's been 8 rounds of 45acp.

In that time this has been sufficient, backed with thousands of practice rounds down range.

To date no ZombieNaziNinjaBabyRapers have crossed my path, though I did have an interesting encounter once in Kansas City (opening my jacket was sufficient to reinforce my message to the concerned citizens I needed no assistance with a flat tire).

Last edited by trigger643; November 12, 2013 at 07:10 AM.
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Old November 12, 2013, 07:13 AM   #25
ClydeFrog
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Firepower....

When some say "use enough gun" it's not a issue of carrying 5, 10, or 15 rounds. It's a issue of using the best type ammunition for the caliber & having good marksmanship skills.
Learning what rounds work best & training properly will work best.
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