Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

I'm not a real Cowboy, but I play one in the movies.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

How Much is Too Little/Too Much Gun?

James Rummel at Hell in a Handbasket has a post on the acceptable range of calibers for use in a defensive handgun. He teaches this kind of stuff and I'm just a layman with a lot of guns, so keep that in mind as I disgorge my opinions. The textbook answer to the lower range is .380 ACP. I agree with this...I'd never pack anything smaller in a defensive gun. But what if a .32 is all you have or can afford? Or even a .22 LR? All I can say, if you're packing an ultra-mousegun, is to carry the best ammo possible, ensure your weapon's mechanical reliability is flawless, and practice. You certainly can't count on a one-shot stop, so don't take just one shot. If the SHTF, I'd be triple-tapping immediately, without waiting for results.

At the upper range, I'd say .44 Special, yes, .44 Magnum, no -- at least carry-wise. If you're packing a .44 Magnum, you'd better be in danger of bear attacks or out hunting, because any juror in your shooting case will see Dirty Harry's gun as an offensive weapon. If this is a "nightstand gun," anything goes, as long as practical considerations are made. Will the ammo penetrate the walls and endanger others? Will the lightweight prefrangible ammo cycle the action of your Desert Eagle in .50 AE? Can you access it quickly but prevent your children from doing so? Will the flash from your compensator ported snubbie ruin your night vision?

Update: Zendo Deb of TFS Magnum left some good thoughts in the comments. If you can afford to, use the most powerful gun that fits your hand and shooting abilities. Take into account how/where you're going to wear or stow it. And for a home defense gun, don't limit your choises to pistols only! As for racking the slide of a shotgun...some might not want to give any audio clues to the intruder. That's another personal choice to debate...could be my next post!


  • At 7:15 PM, Blogger Zendo Deb said…

    As an ex-NRA instructor (I recently let my credential expire, as I was not in a position to teach classes) - where was I? an instructor who taught mostly women, I can tell you a couple of things.

    Men usually want one of 2 completely opposite things. Either they want their wives to use a .45 or .357 because that is what they use and "it is the best damn gun out there." Or they want their "little women" to use a .22 or .32. (I think this is mostly due to a concern about who has the bigger equipment in the family.)

    The real answer is in 2 parts. 1. everyone is different and should select their own weapon. 2. Buy the largest caliber you can shoot accurately.

    You may not think a .22 is up to snuff, but I can empty a 10-shot magazine through a .22 pretty damn fast. That said, I get even a petite women comfortable with a.380 or 9mm, or .38, not everyone will warm up to the .45 (not recoil per se, but recoil springs make it hard for some smaller people to wrack the slide. Also .45's tend to come in one size, large. (Try to find a .45 with a small grip.) Not everyone will like a magnum.

    For next to the bed, don't discount the trusty 12 guage. The sound of the slide alone can scare people off - it is very distictive on something like a Mossberg. (Although a friend maintains he scared off a burglar by wracking the slide on his .45.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Visits Since September 11, 2004