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Minimum & Most Accurate Concealed Carry Caliber for Self Defense; 9mm Kurz, .45 ACP & More

In the concealed carry group of cartridges, the 9mm reigns supreme, probably the most popular cartridge in the world. Even the Russians have adopted the 9×19 in place of their 9×18 millimeter Makarov. The first number is the caliber and the second number is the case length. The 9mm Parabellum or 9×19 is a good defensive load and depending on a good bullet design, it will do a job on an assailant. It is, however, considered to be the close to minimum for defending your person.

9mm Kurz

Although the 9mm Kurz is the minimum defensive round to be considered, at close ranges it is an adequate man stopper depending on the shooter doing their job. There are many very concealable weapons in the 380 Auto or the 9mm Browning are all monikers for this round. Kurz, is German for Short. Problem is it barely makes an effective defensive round and the guns for it are lightweight and will, short barreled and in accurate at all but short ranges.

.45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol)

The .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) is a proven man stopper. Typified by the 1911 semi-auto piston, the only problem is the low ammo count in a magazine compared to other pistols. Concealed carry for the 1911 and more modern and higher copacity autos requires them to carry numerous magazines. Most 1911 design guns are at most 8 shot weapons, with 7 shots in factory magazines. Another thing to consider is velocity. Most rounds for the .45 ACP move out at about 800-1000 fps for +P ammo. It takes at least 300 fps penetrate skin. There incidents where the .45 ACP had failed to penetrate heavy winter clothing.

.40 S&W VS .357 Sig Ballistics

The complaint that many have for the high intensity cartridges like the .40 S&W and the .357 Sig is that operating a higher chamber pressures and faster moving gun parts on firing take a beating affecting the life of the weapon.
The .357 Sig is a necked down .40 S&W case to 9mm. It shoots all of the projectiles designed for the 9mm, which are .355 inches in diameter, only at higher velocity. The .40 S&W is a shortened 10mm case and .40 inches is 10mm. The slightly lower performance makes it easier to shoot, and for those who carry it on a daily basis, like law enforcement it is easier to qualify with than the 10mm. For all intents and purposes, the 10mm Auto is a magnum .40 S&W. The FBI has carried 10mm but have had problems with qualifications with the weapons chambered for the 10mm Auto. The FBI is considering a caliber change.

.327 Federal Magnum

Wheel gun lovers have essentially only four calibers. First is the .32 caliber group. The .32 H&R Magnum or the .327 Federal Magnum is a longer more powerful cartridge the .32 Mag. But is short barreled defensive handgun the Federal magnum spews flame like a flame thrower and has far more recoil. On gun frames designed for the .38 Specials and .357 Magnum you gain a shot with the .32’s. A short-barreled snub nose with six in the cylinder is better that 5 shots in the .38 Specials.

+P Rated Handguns

The next is the tried and true cartridge is the .38 Special that has been around for almost ever. Accurate and a reasonable man stopper. They have 5 shot cylinders and about a 2 ½ inch barrel. Definitely a close-in weapon and will need at least two speed loaders as well. Most carry +P .38 Special. +P Ammo in 9mm and 38 Special is only abut a 10% increase in pressure while +P .45 Colt almost double its standard specs. Plus P has obvious advantages, come with a louder report, more smoke and flame from the short barrels and more recoil. A regular diet of +P ammo can reduce some pistols to scrap iron. Those designed for the added pressures of +P ammo will be marked to indicate that. Of course, by original design .357 Magnums don’t need +P ammo. Many like the flame throwing, loud and stout recoil of the .357 Mag fired from a short-barreled revolver. The Charter Arms Bulldog holds 5 .44 Special and +P ammo is available in this caliber. The Bulldog is well made, reliable and concealable firearm.

Custom Modular Shooting Ranges & Equipment Made in the United States

So, the choices are a flat side high capacity auto or a short reliable revolver that you can easily carry in your pocket. Autos give you a choice of the .380 Auto, 9mm Luger or Parabellum, 357 Sig, 40 S&W or the 45 ACP. Wheel gunners have .32 Magnums, 38 Special, 357 Magnum and 44 Special. So, pick your poison. No matter which concealed gun you choose to carry, you want to be proficient in shooting it. Shooting Range Industries designs and builds custom portable shooting ranges to assist you in practicing and training your firearm skills. Contact us today!