Thread: 6 Rounds?
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Old November 12, 2012, 01:23 PM   #54
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Join Date: February 12, 2005
Location: North central Ohio
Posts: 6,518
Why I believe the question of weapon ammunition capacity, which kind of bullet, which caliber and even the type of handgun (revolver vs semi-auto) to use for concealed carry can never be entirely resolved nor can there ever be a right or wrong answer for every person or for every situation:

Revolvers are inherently less complicated to operate, less dependent on the type and quality of ammunition and less prone to malfunction. But semi-autos can carry more ammunition and are faster and simpler to reload.

In terms of ammunition capacity, if you need at least one more round in your weapon to survive a shoot-out, you really need it. But most gun fights are (probably) statistically settled with six shots or less.

Everything else being equal, a more powerful cartridge (i.e., .25 cal. vs .44 Magnum to cite an extreme comparison) will stop an adversary quicker than a less powerful cartridge. But more powerful cartridges generally necessitate being housed in a larger and heavier platform; cost more to practice with; generate heavier recoil and noise, making required quick follow-up shots less quick and reduce ammunition capacity in similar sized weapons.

Carrying a pistol with a high ammunition capacity is especially appropriate when it's necessary for a person to be in a high crime neighborhood or in situations where the likelyhood of trouble (civil unrest following a natural disaster or in a riot situation for examples) is more predictable. But concealing the weapon adequately is compromised by having to hide a larger one; wearing attire dictated by hot weather can make the task of concealing a large handgun even more difficult and there is the argument that people are more likely to carry a lighter and smaller weapon all the time than they are to carry a heavier larger one ever (better to have a .32 cal. Beretta Tomcat in your pocket because it's convenient to carry concealed and be armed than leaving a .45ACP SIG 220 on the shelf at home because it's uncomfortable to carry concealed and be unarmed to, again, pose an extreme example).

Even which kind of projectile (hardball vs hollow-point) to use is debatable. Most people acknowledge that, generally speaking, hollow-points (I use the term generically, as I understand that the word "hollow-point" includes a vast array of choices that offer different performance criteria) are better "man-stoppers" and penetrate less in environs (inside residential homes, in areas crowded with people, inside an airliner, for examples) where less is better. But people advocating FMJ ammunition for self-defense argue that hardball sets the standard for extreme reliability in most semi-auto pistols; that there are times when greater penetration is an advantage (when your adversary is wearing heavy clothing or when he is returning fire from cover like an automobile for instances) and that hardball ammunition is much cheaper to practice with than is the pricey and more esoteric hollow-point ammunition.

People simply have to assess their own circumstances, needs and priorities when deciding on which handgun is best suitable for their unique purpose(s). People who are serious about carrying a handgun for self-defense need to understand that no one else can choose for them and that every choice is, by definition, a compromise. And, because no one handgun will ever come close to covering every base, I'm an advocate of having different ones to choose from so as to best accomodate every practical contingency that I might encounter in my every day life.

Finally, whichever handgun(s) is/are decided on, there is no substitute for good training and plenty of practice. Far better to be proficient with a .22 revolver and carry it for self-defense than to be packing a 1911 semi-auto pistol that has never cleared leather.
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