CCW caliber?


A2 Buckeye

New member
Hi All,

I'm in the process of getting my Michigan CDL (I should be carrying by Thanksgiving) and currently own a S&W Sigma 9mm. I want to buy a new weapon when the license comes through.

This is my first post here on USACarry, and I am pretty sure of two things:
1) This topic has already been covered somewhere on these forums.
2) It will generate a bunch of differing opinions.

I know #2 is true from discussions I've already had with gun shop personnel, firearms instructors, LEOs and friends who already carry.

So the question: what caliber to carry--9mm, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP?

I am comfortable with the 9mm and have thought about loading with +P ammo for defensive purposes. An instructor in a recent course recommended .45 ACP (I'm a pretty big guy), but a cop acquaintance claims the .40 has the same stopping power as the .45 because of its higher muzzle velocity.

Thoughts? Opinion? Comparisons of muzzle energy?

Thanks in advance for any info!
 

Firefighterchen

OC for Tactical Advantage
Use the search tool to find the answer. It has come up quite a few times.

To sum it up, whatever you can use the best is what you should be carrying.

A miss with a .45 has no "stopping power" while a well placed rock can stop a threat immediately.
 

TheSp8

New member
My primary carry is a Taurus 24/7 in .45 acp. I'm a fan of heavy bullets. That said, the best one for you is the one you can shoot the best. My backup is a 9mm. I have faith in both calibers.
 

jtg452

Member
It doesn't matter what I think. It doesn't matter what the LEO, the gun shop guy or your buddies think. 'Cause we aren't the ones that are going to be shooting the gun- you are. So, what do YOU think is best?

Carry as much gun as you can:

1. Conceal comfortably.

2. Shoot accurately.

Any one of the 3 choices will do the job IF YOU DO YOUR PART. Go with what you shoot best.
 

gkeil961

New member
Its not the caliber that makes a difference, if you can not proper place your target, then it is useless for higher caliber...... What ever caliber you choose, go with the highest grain, maybe even consider a +P round.

Like stated above, my carry ammo is that the local PD uses..... Winchester PDX1...... Whatever you choose, put a box of your carry ammo through it, to ensure out will cycle through the weapon.

I have course a 9mm, less money for practice, and proven caliber

How this helps
 

cougaram

New member
It doesn't matter what I think. It doesn't matter what the LEO, the gun shop guy or your buddies think. 'Cause we aren't the ones that are going to be shooting the gun- you are. So, what do YOU think is best?

Carry as much gun as you can:

1. Conceal comfortably.

2. Shoot accurately.

Any one of the 3 choices will do the job IF YOU DO YOUR PART. Go with what you shoot best.

Absolutely, and that applies to what brand of handgun too.
 

Phillip Gain

New member
My recommendation for a firearm for ANYONE:

"Purchase the largest caliber handgun with the biggest capacity, that you will feel comfortable carrying on a daily basis."

One thing that I would add to this: If you're thinking about pocket carry, the only firearm I recommend is a hammerless revolver. (Not one with a "bobbed" hammer but one where the hammer mechanism is contained internally.) The biggest advantage of pocket carry is to actually be able to point and shoot from inside the pocket; semi-autos fail to eject and "stovepipe" (jam), while pocket fabric tends to tangle up in the hammers of conventional revolvers. Either situation renders your firearm useless after one shot. And in pocket-carry calibers, you WILL need more than one shot.

Also - DON'T BOTHER with a +P or +P+ round unless your firearm has a barrel length of at least 4 inches. The powder charges in these rounds will not fully burn in a shorter barrel...which means a larger part of the charge burns OUTSIDE the barrel...which means increased noise and muzzle flash with NEGLIGIBLE increase in velocity to the bullet.

Some links for your further research:

Brass Fetcher Ballistic Testing
Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness - FBI Academy (requires Adobe Reader)
 

golddigger14s

SFC At Fort Lewis, WA
9mm, Hornady Critical Defence. Also remember MI is an open carry state, but you will need the CPL for when you get in your car.
 

RJ_Whitlock

M&P 9mm
Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm with Winchester PDX1+P, in a Blackhawk Serpa Sportster holster. I'm a big guy myself and this works perfect for me. The M&P is a way better version of the Sigma, it has interchangeable palm swells too to maximize comfort. They are also pretty reasonably priced, well at least here in MN lol.

This firearm might not work for you, but it's defiantly worth looking into.
 

eaccents

New member
Ballistics research

Hi All,

I'm in the process of getting my Michigan CDL (I should be carrying by Thanksgiving) and currently own a S&W Sigma 9mm. I want to buy a new weapon when the license comes through.

This is my first post here on USACarry, and I am pretty sure of two things:
1) This topic has already been covered somewhere on these forums.
2) It will generate a bunch of differing opinions.

I know #2 is true from discussions I've already had with gun shop personnel, firearms instructors, LEOs and friends who already carry.

So the question: what caliber to carry--9mm, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP?

I am comfortable with the 9mm and have thought about loading with +P ammo for defensive purposes. An instructor in a recent course recommended .45 ACP (I'm a pretty big guy), but a cop acquaintance claims the .40 has the same stopping power as the .45 because of its higher muzzle velocity.

Thoughts? Opinion? Comparisons of muzzle energy?

Thanks in advance for any info!


First, "Welcome!"

Second, if you are truly a Buckeye in A2, it's a good thing you are getting a CPL :) Kidding of course! :)

In all seriousness, we all face this decision and you will have to find your own way.

I am a fellow A2-ite, and I tend to be the research type. To that end, I did a ton of reading, but I would have to say that the most interesting reads are the following 2:

Link Removed

Ammunition For The Self-Defense Firearm

Personally, I carry 9mm pistols and use Corbon DPX 115gr in all of my pistols. It is hot/fast, reliable, and scientifically proven to have excellent penetration (see first article)

Choose the firearm that you shoot WELL, arm yourself with ammo that you are comfortable/confident with, and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.

As someone else said here, "a hit with a rock is better than a miss with a .45."

Best,
 

slag_it!

New member
I am new to this website myself. I agree with what Phillip and Jtg and others have said about what you feel comfortable with. No sense getting anything you do not like.
 

tuts40

New member
Yes you will get a thousand answers. But grasshopper, the only one you need is right here:

I know this has been said, as a guess, maybe 1,312 times this year in various forums and maybe 36 times (plus or minus...) here, but I'll type it again: "any gun will do if YOU will do". Put another way, as said maybe in the neighborhood of 17,804 times in various forums and perhaps around 198 times here: "Shot placement trumps caliber". The rest of it is just rearranging the furniture, wouldn't ya say?
 

Keltyke

New member
Like Kenny Rogers said in "The Gambler", "Every hand's a loser, and every hand's a winner..." Shot placement is always king. A .22 can stop - or not. A .45 can stop - or not. Carry what you shoot best.

The "best" gun is the one YOU like, not anyone else. It will be a compromise of:

1. Fit - It should fit in your hand like you were born with it there.
2. Reliability - It should go BANG about 99.8% of the time you pull the trigger.
3. Accuracy - In YOUR hand. It's how well YOU shoot it.
4. Concealability - It should be comfortable enough to wear and easy enough to conceal so you won't leave it laying on the dresser at home.
5. Cost - You don't want to scrimp on your "life protector" weapon, but you probably don't need a $1,000 Kimber, either.
6. Enjoyment - The caliber and gun should be fun to shoot. If it isn't, you won't practice with it like you should.
 

JohnLM

New member
Phillip Gain:230349 said:
My recommendation for a firearm for ANYONE:

"Purchase the largest caliber handgun with the biggest capacity, that you will feel comfortable carrying on a daily basis."

One thing that I would add to this: If you're thinking about pocket carry, the only firearm I recommend is a hammerless revolver. (Not one with a "bobbed" hammer but one where the hammer mechanism is contained internally.) The biggest advantage of pocket carry is to actually be able to point and shoot from inside the pocket; semi-autos fail to eject and "stovepipe" (jam), while pocket fabric tends to tangle up in the hammers of conventional revolvers. Either situation renders your firearm useless after one shot. And in pocket-carry calibers, you WILL need more than one shot.

Also - DON'T BOTHER with a +P or +P+ round unless your firearm has a barrel length of at least 4 inches. The powder charges in these rounds will not fully burn in a shorter barrel...which means a larger part of the charge burns OUTSIDE the barrel...which means increased noise and muzzle flash with NEGLIGIBLE increase in velocity to the bullet.

Some links for your further research:

Brass Fetcher Ballistic Testing
Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness - FBI Academy (requires Adobe Reader)
How do you feel about the Ruger SP101 hammerless? I wouldn't consider it for pocket carry but I have one and I like it a lot. It shoots 357 and 38
 

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