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Old June 2, 2017, 06:54 AM   #1
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How much gun?

I'm curious what makes everyone here tick when it comes to choosing a weapon to carry.

I know some who only carry if they head toward an area they perceive as dangerous. Most carry whenever they can, but feel perfectly confident with a micro .380 pistol. Others are ok with only 5 shots, so long as those 5 are of a big caliber.

Others carry full-sized duty pistols with at least one full spare magazine. And yet others add a micro .380 to this.

What made you decide how much gun to carry?

For myself, I honestly feel safe 99% of the time without any specific protection because it's about twice per year I venture into any areas that could be considered high crime. So on top of that, a single-stack that's easy to conceal, easy to remove when necessary, and carries 6-7 rounds has never felt insufficient. I also don't really get into the "carry rotation" much. One gun that's small enough to conceal but big enough to stop an attack is great, and it's either on me or locked in a safe. I clean it at my range most of the time, and for the most part it's never been outside its holster (loaded) at home.

Some have told me I'm basically stepping into my own grave anytime I leave my house with anything less than 17 rounds

Yet somehow I'm thinking the odds of getting into a 34-round gunfight in a suburban grocery store while buying OJ are slim.

I guess everyone has their own point of "enough's enough." If we didn't we'd all be wearing body armor and night vision goggles (which honestly would be really cool...)

What led you to your decision?
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Old June 2, 2017, 09:32 AM   #2
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I used to carry 9x18 Makarov but have moved up to 9x19 as my finances have solidified. I carry 8-10 when ccw depending on whether my clothing demands single stack or allows double. If I am working in cargo pants, I will carry an extra magazine in my side pocket, but not always.
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Old June 2, 2017, 09:56 AM   #3
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For pocket carry a .380 pretty much reigns king. For everything else .40, 9mm and .45acp subcompacts are pushing .380 size firearms concealability and are perfect for IWB carry. From here, the biggest decision for me anyway, is capacity and muzzle rise to get back on target which is why I carry a 9mm.
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Old June 2, 2017, 10:08 AM   #4
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For pocket carry a .380 pretty much reigns king. For everything else .40, 9mm and .45acp subcompacts are pushing .380 size firearms concealability and are perfect for IWB carry. From here, the biggest decision for me anyway, is capacity and muzzle rise to get back on target which is why I carry a 9mm.
Full size, like 16-18 rounds? Would a single stack + extra magazine be equivalent to a double stack with twice the rounds?

I cant stand pocket carrying--those little guns are too damn hard to hold onto
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Old June 2, 2017, 10:55 AM   #5
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For me a compact 9 was the best option. I found with that gun and proper IWB holster and belt I carried most of the time. The degree of comfort, concealability and effectiveness with proper ammo made the decision for me.

Anything larger, heavier or more cumbersome led to me not having it with me.
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Old June 2, 2017, 10:57 AM   #6
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First, If I know I am headed toward someplace I might need my gun, I change my itinerary.
No one should intentionally go into a "bad" area.
I always carry a gun. I carry a gun because I might need it. That's the same reason I fasten my seat belts and buy insurance.

I don't fasten my seat belts when I head for the most hazardous stretch of highway, they are always fastened and I stay away from places that might require them to save my life. The same goes for the gun.
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Old June 2, 2017, 11:24 AM   #7
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"...would be really cool..." NVG are hard on your eyes and body armour is hot and heavy if it's the high priced stuff.
Anyway, carry what you can shoot best. The chambering isn't terribly important. Neither is the number of shots. You're not going into combat or heading for a fire fight.
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Old June 2, 2017, 11:37 AM   #8
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Shootist, I don't intentionally go in to trouble either. For many of us in or around a major city avoiding all areas where the likelihood of violent crime is higher is easier said than done. A visit to either one of the children's​ hospitals in my metro area with a grandkid requires being in less than perfect areas.

Truth is there are no perfectly safe areas, which is why we carry guns. We cannot predict where or when trouble will find us, or when we, "might need a gun."

That doesn't mean that I am always armed the same though. I often carry an LCP around the house. If I go somewhere that requires deep concealment, I carry the LCP and a reload. Generally when I leave home I carry a compact 9 loaded with 10+1. I may add a 10 or 17 round reload depending on the situation. I think the need for a reload is more likely in case of a pistol malfunction than needing more ammo. Of course having more than needed is better than the alternative!
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Old June 2, 2017, 02:20 PM   #9
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Always some kind of backup gun, be it NAA Mini or Kel Tec P32. Primary shifts between Glock 22 or 27.

The number of rounds & gun are a personal choice. Like the OP stated, some feel perfectly comfortable with a 5 shot J-Frame.
Simple as ABC . . . Always Be Carrying
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Old June 2, 2017, 04:05 PM   #10
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For myself, I honestly feel safe 99% of the time without any specific protection because it's about twice per year I venture into any areas that could be considered high crime.
Feeling safe is not the same as being safe. Less crime does not mean no crime. Low risk does not mean no risk. Some people with bad intentions are savvy enough to target affluent areas and affluent people in hopes that their haul will be better. That is the rationale for going armed on a regular basis. You will have to choose whether or not to adopt that way of thinking. If you carry some you are more prepared than most people. If you carry all the time you are more prepared yet.

It is smart of you to ask reasons behind our choices instead of just asking what we chose. Personally, I used to carry a 5-shot snub (S&W 642, to be exact). The main reason I decided to change was capacity. If you accept that handgun rounds don't give you a reliable one-shot stop, and plan on two or three rounds to stop a threat, a 5-round revolver starts to look a little slim on ammo. If you realize that you might not, under pressure, make a good center-mass hit with every round, it starts to look a little closer yet. It is often said that cops have a hit rate in the area of 20%. (Someone here might be able to cite a study or two.) If you think of getting a hit rate of 20% and needing 2 hits to get a stop, the math of a 5-shot revolver starts to look pretty bad.

So I went to a Glock 26 - easily concealed, 10 round magazine, quick mag change to make an additional 12 rounds available. That is my EDC.

There are times when IWB carry doesn't work for me, though, so I also have a Sig P238 for a pocket gun. I am down to six rounds, but being a pistol I still have the advantage of quicker reloads.

Some argue that merely presenting a handgun, or discharging a round or two, will put such fear into an assailant that he or she will turn tail and run. I have never been willing to bet my life on that. Shootouts are rare, but just like the crime risk in the first paragraph, "unusual" or "rare" is not a synonym for "never."

Hope this long-winded reply is helpful to you.
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Old June 2, 2017, 05:57 PM   #11
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TailGator--yes! Very helpful!

I usually carry an XD subcompact with 13 rounds. But after a while even that becomes a bit tedious--heavy and thick.

I'm likely going to add a single-stack 9 to my collection, probably an XD-s with 7 or 8 round capacity. It's much easier to carry an extra mag when it's thinner, so I'm more likely to do so.
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Old June 2, 2017, 06:19 PM   #12
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So far I like my 642 the best. Holds 5 rounds. Make them count.
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Old June 2, 2017, 08:41 PM   #13
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Even a decent neighborhood has crime. I don't live in the millionaire part of town, or the ghetto. But I've been told my 80+ year old neighbor got caught sitting on his porch by a couple gun toting gangsters walking down the street before I moved here...

I don't have a CCW, so full size openly carried when I do. But not that often. Let's face facts, open carry is at a certain level just asking to be robbed by thugs with guns drawn while you are still holstered, or harassed by cops cause somebody "got worried".
"We need a revolution every 200 years, because all governments become stale and corrupt after 200 years."
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Old June 2, 2017, 09:41 PM   #14
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.Some people with bad intentions are savvy enough to target affluent areas and affluent people in hopes that their haul will be better.
Ok the reality is yes property crime happens every where. But when it come to strong arm robberies or armed robberies they happen at such a low rate in affluent areas you are better off getting underwriter insurance for lighting strikes.

As far as criminals shooting it out with LE, understand these criminals that go toe to toe in a gun fight with LE are in a whole different level of mind set vs. trying to get some cash from Joe Smoe. They don't expect Joe to fight back. They absolutely know LE is going to fight back and continue to bring the fight to them. So when Joe fights back, it puts them on their heels and on the defense; right where I want them to be, because now they are reacting to you and trying to flee for their own safety. Resulting in capacity being insignificant if you are proficient.

If I am in my home state state I worry much about what I carry. But if I am on a multi state trip I usually carry my 642. Because I know there will be no hassle what so ever from any booter cop, and I'll be able to continue on about my merry way.

I also know my ability, I know that I can reload my 642 faster than most can reload their semi-auto. So 5 rounds at a time is not a worry. And again knowing how -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- bags respond to a target vs. an adversary (LE) weighs heavily in my choice.
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Old June 3, 2017, 03:41 AM   #15
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It's whatever you are comfortable with - if it's a five shot snub or a semi-auto with an 18 round mag plus spares, whatever you can carry and are comfortable with. Personally, I carry a full size duty auto with two spare mags, because that's what I've been doing for decades. My choice, of course, but I hope I don't need the first round up the pipe, much less the last one in the last magazine!
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Old June 3, 2017, 06:56 AM   #16
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I always have protection. I prefer my XDS45 acp. I have two also have 7 round mags that gives me some round count and a better grip on the weapon. I carry it either pocket in a Nemesis or in a IWB at 3:30. I have lived and moved from big city areas to a smaller town of 50,000. Much less stressful and I may live to reach retirement age in a few more years.
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Old June 7, 2017, 01:59 PM   #17
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You can DM me for a few autopsy reports. I have one where someone was shot 14-17 times and remained in the fight until he was handcuffed. With .40S&W and 5.56 rounds tearing through his flesh.

Now, magnify that into the realm of multiple attackers who will have the drop on you. I say they will because you're going about your daily life and they're looking for you.

So factor in multiple attackers, missed shots, barriers, and missing vitals (upper CNS and brain stem) on those multiple attackers.

I never carry anything low capacity. I've flirted with the idea every now and then. I've even tried it out and carried 5 spare magazines (1911) but I've never committed to a low capacity handgun for anything other than a backup gun.

My main carry is Glock 19 Gen 4 with at least 2 spare magazines on me, 5 in the car and 5 in my bag. My backup gun is a Smith and Wesson 360PD with 1 speed strip in the bag. That's the "belly gun" for close contact shots.

Now, yes. I've heard all the derogatory things already. Rambo, "living in fear", or over doing it... Imagine if I said what I carry for medical? lol....that may be over doing it. :P
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Old June 7, 2017, 02:15 PM   #18
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I like 5-shot .38 revolvers.

+ easy to carry (pocket, hip or shoulder holster)
+ simple operation
+ reliable
+ safe
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Old June 7, 2017, 02:37 PM   #19
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There is the old adage that states no one ever complained about having too big a gun or too much ammo. I like that. In my hunting experience the gun is never too big. I can kill a squirrel with a 50 BMG round by taking its head off and not lose any meat, what little there is. Is it the ideal gun for that job? NO! but it not so big that it can't do the job.
I carry a 357 magnum. I am proficient with it and I carry two speed loaders that I practice using. In my car I have 100 rounds of 357 ammo so I have enough ammo and enough gun unless we are invaded by hoards of big dangerous game or the dinosaurs make a come-back. It is obvious that I don't have too much gun or too many rounds since there are possibilities where I could have too small a gun and run out of ammo.

Do I feel "under gunned"? I have never felt under gunned. I don't feel like I have too much gun either. If you find yourself feeling under gunned then get something that is bigger and you can be proficient with. In my book you can't have too much gun unless you can't shoot it well. A man has got to know his limitations.
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Old June 7, 2017, 03:24 PM   #20
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My gear is limited by a perception of my ability.

Step one: Admit that your abilities limit the situation you can deal with. For instance if 5 fully equipped delta force members decide I am a target there is nothing I am going to do to stop it.

Step two: Consider the worse case scenario that you believe you can handle.

Now arm yourself for that situation. Because I believe I am limited to being able do deal with 2 or three competent and determined attackers carrying 10 rounds is more than enough for me. I hope I have no attackers. Should I have attackers I hope the are incompetent and undetermined and retreat at the first sign of resistance.
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Old June 8, 2017, 08:03 AM   #21
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every time I leave the house, I have 'enough' gun with me. Most of the time, lately, it's been a .45 ACP Springfield XDS with three spare mags.
Minimum would be a .38 Special J frame Smith, with several speed loaders. Bad things happen to good people, even in 'safe' areas. If you are serious about self protection, you bear that in mind.
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Old June 8, 2017, 08:35 AM   #22
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I carry a S&W Shield 9mmc. It's small, light and if I need more ammo than it and one spare mag has, I've got a lot more serious problem's than fire power. Gun hide's away easily. I carry about 100% of the time. Not because I think something might happen at any moment but because if something did happen and my gun was at home, be awfully stupid I think. I doubt I'll ever need it but if I do, it's there and barely noticeable to even me! I also have a P89 and I just can't imagine carrying that bug heavy sucker all the time. Very nice gun but not for concealed carry!
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Old June 8, 2017, 08:44 AM   #23
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The biggest cal. you can shoot, conceal, and it has to be comfortable. It may be a 45 ACP or it may be a 22. Not all of use are the same. Not every one practices to the point we can shoot the heavy calibers or the bark of a sub compact 9mm,

A 45 wont do you any good if you cant shoot it.

It has to be small enough that you can conceal it. No one should know you're carrying. Adding to that you have to have access.

And lastly, and probably the most important. It has to be comfortable. It has to fit so as you can carry it all day and never know its there. Kind of like an old shoe. If its not comfortable, you're going to end up leaving it home or in the truck. Regardless of caliber it wont help you if you don't have it.
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Old June 8, 2017, 12:37 PM   #24
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Good thread. I have a few thoughts.

First, the first line of self defense is situational awareness and choosing not to put yourself into dangerous situations. For example, how many times have you heard the news story, "Such and such celebrity was outside of a nightclub at 3:00am and __________ happened." Well, newsflash, nothing good happens outside of nightclubs at 3am.

Those who want to avoid trouble avoid troubled places.

I live in Upstate NY, in the Rochester area. The city of Rochester is a high crime environment. I have chosen to house my family in a very rural community, even though I have a bit of a commute. I looked at the statistics and made the choice to live in a place that is generally "safe."

That's the first step in self defense, but since crime still does happen in "safe" areas, we have step two.

Secondly, you choose the tool that best fits the job and follows the rules. I live in a concealed carry and limited capacity state... which basically rules out large/high capacity guns. There's also the fact that I'm borderline OCD and can't stand when things are poking/jabbing at me (uncomfortable), so I tend to carry small guns. And, since I only have 10 rounds, I want to make sure I can hit a high percentage of those rounds. So, I have chosen to carry a 9mm, which I'm slightly quicker and more accurate with on follow up shots. An accurate shot with a 9mm will kill just as well as something bigger, according to most of the research I have done into credible sources, and even if it does give up a marginal amount of "effectiveness", I'm more concerned with my confidence in controlling my weapon under stress.

I don't carry an extra mag when I'm away from home on quick trips to the store or whatnot. I don't see myself ever getting into a firefight in this situation. I'm not a law enforcement officer looking to take out bad guys. I'm a guy trying to get his family home safely at the end of the day. With that said, if we're traveling far away or gone for an extended period, I often throw an extra mag or two in the bag. Just in case.

At my house, however, we're..... well stocked with available ammunition. I'll fight to the death over that place, which is my duty and my right. We have plenty of ammo queued up and ready should we ever, God forbid, need to use it.

When I'm in the woods around my house, my biggest concern is rabid small animals (raccoons and coyotes) and wild dogs. For this, I carry the P-01.

Short answer:
- Shield 9mm
- CZ P-01 9mm
In God we trust.
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Old June 8, 2017, 12:39 PM   #25
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Another note:

There's an additional reason I choose to carry a 9mm and keep them around the house. In the event I'm incapacitated or something, I want to have a gun around that my wife can handle and shoot confidently. She's WAY better with a 9 than a 45.

It's simple and a no-brainer to me. If I lived alone, yes, it would be 12 guage shotguns and a full sized USP 45. But I don't. So it's a 9. And I'm 100% comfortable with that.
In God we trust.
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