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Old November 27, 2012, 09:50 AM   #1
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Does size matter? (Not what you are thinking!)

I only get to carry when out of state since I live in IL, and on a recent trip to Texas I carried my Ruger LCP in a pocket holster. The LCP is so easy to carry concealed because it is so very small, even with the Crimson Trace laser on it. But it occurred to me that had I encountered a situation where I needed to draw my gun, would the tiny size of the LCP fail to deter a BG who might not take this gun seriously, or even think it was not a real firearm? My other carry gun is a Ruger sr40c, which while compact it is clearly a "real" gun that would be unlikely to not be taken seriously if pointed at someone. I know a 380acp can do significant damage, I am just wondering if a criminal might be foolishly confident to take on someone with what appears to be a tiny toy gun like the LCP.
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Old November 27, 2012, 01:03 PM   #2
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While size does indeed matter, you shouldn't be drawing your gun to try to deter someone by impressing them with its size. You should only draw when in immediate fear of death or serious injury in which case you should be impressing them with your exceptional marksmanship.

It is also worth mentioning that any gun pointed at you begins to grow exponentially. A friend of mine was robbed at gunpoint while working night shift at a gas station. The perp pointed a pistol at his head and demanded cash. Later he gave a description to the police including the fact that the perp had a large caliber silver pistol. The cops caught the guy and brought him back to the gas station for my friend to positively ID. They also showed him the pistol they found on the guy...a chrome plated Raven 22! My buddy told them it sure looked bigger when it was pointed at him.
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Old November 27, 2012, 01:39 PM   #3
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Don't know many criminals, but my impression is that nobody likes holes punched into their bodies whether it be a 22 or 500 S&W. If you draw a firearm in self defense, you probably should shoot. It is serious stuff. Yeah, I'd probably hesitate....
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Old November 27, 2012, 02:20 PM   #4
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If you actually need to pull your gun it doesn't really matter what the other guy thinks of it.
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Old November 28, 2012, 12:22 AM   #5
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I think the LCP and other guns like it do lose a lot of the intimidation factor, which can be quite effective in stopping things from escalating.

Experienced gun enthusiasts know that the LCP can be quite lethal in the right hands, but the intoxicated, drugged out or just plain stupid thug doesn't know that, and may scoff at your little mouse gun, possibly forcing you to shoot.

There are certain trade offs to be had for being able to enjoy that advantage of ease and comfort of carrying such a small gun.
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Old November 28, 2012, 12:37 AM   #6
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The LCP is small, but the end of the barrel is about the same size as any 9mm or 38/357. If a criminal gets a look at that hole, pointed at him, he should realize it's not a joke.
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Old November 29, 2012, 08:33 AM   #7
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Trying to impress would-be criminals with the size of your gun???
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Old November 29, 2012, 08:42 AM   #8
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If a threatening situation can be defused without shooting, it seems that this would be a positive outcome. Undoubtedly if shots are fired there will be some legal/police complications. As a minimum I assume I would have my gun confiscated as evidence and would need an attorney. If the sight of the firearm dissuades the criminal, all of that is avoided. I am not at all concerned with "impressing" the criminal, only in stopping the situation. If carrying a larger weapon is more likely to achieve that end then I would probably be better off putting up with some inconvenience as compared to carrying a smaller gun. On the other hand, since it is likely that I will NEVER encounter a situation where my gun is needed, how much inconvenience is worth experiencing just to be able to show a larger gun? I'm not sure which way I will decide in the future.
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Old November 29, 2012, 09:21 AM   #9
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I dont think it matters much, a gun is a gun, as long as it shoots lead down range. If the BG is high or drunk, it matters even less. I would not pull out a firearm to intimadate someone, if I pull the gun, odds are I'm using it.
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Old November 29, 2012, 09:21 AM   #10
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The problem is that if pulling a firearm out of concealment and pointing it at someone is justified, unfortunately you will already be in a situation where you will need to fire the gun. If you are brandishing a weapon before you are in imminent danger of sustaining possibly life threatening physical harm, you are already breaking the law (generally speaking, and acknowledging that the laws vary from state to state and are inconsistently applied case by case).

Maybe some folks say "screw the law" and will brandish a firearm before they actually need to use it. Maybe this alleviates a worse situation, but my opinion is that it is still illegal.

Personally, I ignore anyone who are farther than about 15 feet away from me. If someone becomes physically violent with me within that distance, I'm not going to have any time for "show and tell". Just my thoughts - feel free to disagree.
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Old November 29, 2012, 09:21 AM   #11
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"Bradishing" a gun in Michigan is against the law. If I had to pull, I would shoot. Given that, whether or not an assailiant is going to be afraid of the gun I carry is a moot point.
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Old November 29, 2012, 09:40 AM   #12
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Ditto on the other posts.

But if you do not have a license to carry in IL, you also cannot carry "on your person" in TX. You can have a firearm in your car. But not your pocket.
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Old November 29, 2012, 10:56 AM   #13
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But if you do not have a license to carry in IL, you also cannot carry "on your person" in TX. You can have a firearm in your car. But not your pocket.
Not going to speak for the OP, but if he has a permit from another state (several states issue permits to non-residents, including my state of Arizona) he can, in fact, carry in TX as long as the state he got his permit from has a reciprocity agreement with TX. Of course, I don't know if he does have one or not, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

In Arizona, we have "defensive display" law. It hasn't been tested in court yet, but basically it allows us to attempt to diffuse a situation by showing that we're carrying. I'm not sure I would go that far, as it could make the situation worse, however, it is legal in some jurisdictions.

Exact wording of the law:

The defensive display of a firearm by a person against another is justified when and to the extent a reasonable person would believe that physical force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the use or attempted use of unlawful physical force or deadly physical force.
In my CCW class, they said that the wording of the law said you could "display" your firearm (it would have to remain holstered, as actually drawing isn't covered) if a reasonable person would believe that you were about to be attacked with physical force. It doesn't have to be deadly force. You cannot draw unless you believe you are in imminent danger of death or serious injury. Having said that, in a case like that, an LCP might not be a deterrent, as much as something larger. But then again, don't think I would "display" my gun as it would give up a potential tactical advantage.
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