Your choice of tools for survival can be a somewhat difficult decision. First caliber. 25 autos are very compact, most are reliable and ineffective. A 22 rimfire packs more punch than the .25 caliber autos. You’re better off with a 22 rimfire. The 32 is very popular in Europe and was a caliber very much favored by law enforcement agencies across the pond. After all it was 007’s caliber for carry.
Reliable 380 Pocket Pistols
In the U.S. we want a little bit more when our lives are on the line. There are many, some high quality 380 Autos on the market. A 380 Kurz (German for ‘short’) is a shortened 9mm and is probably the minimum effective caliber for concealed carry and self-defense. 380’s is not endowed with tack driving accuracy given the small compact weapons they are chambered in but they do have sufficient accuracy as a defensive arm. Also known as the 9x17mm it is a favorite backup gun used by US law enforcement and was the official caliber for many western European police and government agencies.
Compact 9mm Concealed Carry
The 9mm Luger has been around since 1902 and adopted by the German military in 1908. Also known as the 9x19mm and is the dominate military pistol and submachine caliber in the world. Only eastern European and form Soviet countries depend on something different. High capacity, limited in many states to 10 rounds but some capable up to near 20 rounds, controllable, combat accurate, rugged and dependable the 9mm certainly has its advocates.
357 Sig and 40 S&W Self Defense
The 357 Sig and 40 S&W are the relatively new kids on the block. High pressure, intense calibers with a lot of muzzle flash and snappy recoil they are the favorite of Federal agents. The only downside is that being a high intensity (high power) they are harder on the gun, many of those who transitioned from 9mm to the 357 Sig and the 40 S&W admit that they shot better scores with the 9mm. Low light engagements with these calibers is a bit problematical in that the bright muzzle flash can blind the shooter, hampering re-engagement and target acquisition after firing.
.45 ACP Pistols
The 45 ACP is the king of the roost. With a history paralleling the slightly senior 9mm the 45 Auto has been with us for over a century and is still going strong. The only problems are that the muzzle velocity is a little lower, usually under 900 fps and may not reliably penetrate heavy winter clothing and that many weapons chambered for this round are large, usually all metal and therefore a bit heavy for daily concealed carry.
Effective Revolver Calibers
Effective revolver calibers are pretty much defined from the 32 H&R Magnum to the 44 Special. The dominate players are the 38 Special with +P ammo and the 357 Magnum. Most 38/357 are limited to 5 shots in the concealable revolver configurations. The 32’s in the same frame will sport 6 or 7 rounds. The charter arms 5 shot 44 Special is a very effective close in defensive and popular with wheel-gun advocates. Revolvers are bulky because of the cylinder, but reliable and can be safely carried in a pocket, particularly those with shrouded hammers. The 38’s are .357 diameter bullets, the 9mm is .355, so the 38/357’s are the revolver analogs to the 9mm. Many revolvers are now chambered for 9mm and 45 Auto.
Custom Portable Modular Shooting Ranges
Pick a caliber you are familiar and comfortable with. Although not a universal favorite the 9mm seems to be well suited for the beginner. Light, concealable weapons with comfortable recoil and lower muzzle flash and report. It should be considered by most. With experience, you may want to explore the other offerings. All argument aside, the 9mm to the 45 are all effective self-defense options. With modern bullet technologies, there is little difference in the effect on target. Only military arms with full jacket bullets can a clear argument be made for the superiority of the 45 ACP. Once you decide on a concealed carry, you will need a place to shoot it. Shooting Range Industries offers custom shooting ranges for practice and training. Contact us today!