Stopping Power or Surgical Accuracy


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Wanting to replace my carry sidearm, a 1911 due to 40 Oz. of weight, I found myself puzzled on which direction to go. Only having a budget of $600 or so a commander sized 1911 is out of question. My problem is based on two candidates for a carry pistol. I'm looking to at a Kahr (TP45,CW45) or a Sig Sauer 232 (.380).

I read a publishing's range test report on the Sig 232 and was vary impressed to find out how surgically accurate in was. At 25 Yrds. in five shoot groups the the tightest was 0.63 in. and the largest where a mere 1.88 in.
7+1 capacity and a baseplate mag catch seem to be the only downfall.
I do like the Da first shoot and Sa following shoots with decocker over the Da only Kahr.

The Kahr I don't know any thing about though I have herd of accuracy at 25 yrds to be around 2.5 in. to 6.0 in. not to impressed there but you can't say one bad thing about a .45 cal flying brick. I'm going to look at both this weekend, holding the pistols in hand might help. I like the power of the 45 but would like something accurate due to the lack of training I have, yet. :sad2:

sigs are some sweet weapons, however i found with my big hands that there is no way i could draw and shoot in rapid succession without it biteing my hand. the 380 version i mean. ive got a 239 which is easy to conceal accurate and extremely reliable. rarely ever get to carry it though my wife confiscated it as her personal defence weapon. If you are looking for a 45 look at the kimber ultra carry II, its very light the recoil is manageable and accuracy is great mine was about 750 new. thats my primary carry gun have no problem concealing it. should you be looking for something smaller those smith and wesson airweights are approx 15 oz. combined with a set of collins lip grips it can be hidden on your waist or in your pocket plenty accurate for what it is intended and more knockdown than a 380, 5 shots and garanteed not to have failure to feed problems approx $440.
Ahh the surgical versus take down question!!!! Well here is the deal. I will be the first one to say you do not need the largest caliber to take a person down. .380 and above all do the trick quite nicely. I think the best thing there is to carry the largest caliber you can handle, shoot, and carry concealed in the manner you like. My rule of thumb is if it only holds a few (under 8 or so) it better be a big caliber so I dont have to hit the person more than once, more for others. The lower the caliber the more shots I may need per person to take down therefore the more total capacitance. I second the Kimber. Although I do not own it, its a great carry 1911 style and it shots accurate. Now for the issue of surgical ability. If you are purchasing this handgun as a target pistol or competition, I would be more concerned at the 2.5 inch to 6 inch waiver at 25 yards. Although thats really not too bad considering its a .45. I've never been in a real gunfight, thank the skies. However, I have participated in many simulated gun fights of some shape or form. Even with the concious understanding that it is a drill or fake, there still is an element of adrenaline that hits you. Your eyes tend to tunnel vision, your muscles tense up. Its a lot harder to hit things accurately when you are in a flight or fight state. You can through training get adjusted and more capable. But the average person react almost the same in simulated and even more so in actual fights. Accuracy is important, but it takes on a different tactical meaning in a fight. It tends to be more shoot from the hip or flash sight pictures. They are very quick shots of the front sight overshadowing the centermass of your target. Statistically most encounters happen within the 17 yard line, and a great deal more happen within 3 yards. No matter what you carry think in terms of strength in take down with accuracy. Yes I know I did not help in choosing between the two. I think the greatest issue here is the depth of your typical concealment and if that gun can conceal well. Plus how that gun fits you and if it shoots comfortably. If the .380 fits well and conceals how you like. Great, go with that, just understand that you may need to send a brother or sister along with the first shot to stop the assailant. If the .45 conceals well and fits well in your hand, wonderful. You may have to work on accuracy a bit more, but you will have more take down potential. Hopes this helps, dang if I always end up with a novel. :)
Since you like the .45 ACP caliber, I'd suggest a Glock 21 or Glock 30. You can use the same ammo you currently use in your 1911. They're easy to maintain, shoot and carry.

Go to a gun shop, pick up everything there...and I mean EVERYTHING. Figure out what your preferences are. DON'T BUY FOR PRICE. If the only Sig you can afford is a .380, look at a Glock that might fit better. The problem I see is that you're trying to justify your purchase because you're limiting your purchase to $600. There are MANY quality firearms for less than $600. The Kahr's are quite nice, but have you shot one? That .45 is likely to throw your shoulder out of socket if you're not used to it. Kahr makes 9mm's & .40's, as well.

While we're at it, why not limit your budget to $500, and save $100 of that for a quality holster? Another big issue with buying a new carrying firearm is availabilty of accessories. What good is a kickass new pistol that you have to Mexican carry because nobody makes a holster for the newfangled thing?


Rule 2: Narrow your selection to guns that you can afford.

Rule 3: Narrow that lot further to find a few that have readily available carry options.

Rule 4: TRY IT OUT FIRST. Rent one, borrow a buddy's gun, go to the range.

Rule 5: THEN buy one. If you find one you love, but it's more than you can afford, see if has one in your price range. Used Sigs can be found for $650 or less. They're factory certified and as good as new.

I hope this helps....
I don't know about the 45, but I have a Kahr CW9 and am very pleased with it. It is my dress clothes gun. Very easy to conceal due to its thinness. For a small handgun it feels very good in my hand. They say there is at least a 200 round break in period. I have never had a failure to feed or eject from it. It was the first semi auto my wife ever shot. I told her to lock her wrist and all went well. There is something strange about the magazines. If you shake them around too much the top round will fall loose. (at least with the 9mm). If you try to ride the slide back down when you rack it, the round will not go into battery. However, if you lock the slide back and release the slide lock, no problem. I feel it is a very nice handgun for the price. It has a very nice double action trigger pull.
You mentioned your current carry is 40 oz. I'm not certain but I'm guessing when the CW45 is loaded you're gonna be 30 or more oz. For low weight you're gonna have to go polymer frame. Choices are endless if you go there!
Gun Show Weekend

There is a gun show this weekend so it looks like I'll be able to put my hands on a large variety of pistols before i make my decision. I will try to go unbiased but I'm thinking definitely a .45, It just makes sense to have cartridge I can feed multiple guns so I can buy in bulk. Plus I can handle the large caliber just fine so a pissed off mule in my hands won't bother my sooting to much even if I go flyweight.(Nothing could kick more than my Kel-TecPF9 w/ +p ammo)

The TP45 Kahr I was talking about seems to be my main candidate as of this moment. I've found that they only weigh 20 oz empty and add 6 oz for 7 rounds of .45 so I'd cut my carry weight down almost a full pound. It was also mentioned that a kahr TP45 kicks the same or less than the kahr .40, so props there. If I find what I'm looking for tomorrow It's straight to the range for break in and function test I'll let you know how It goes. Thanks for all the impute. Mike,
You didn't say what you were using to carry that 1911.

Maybe my reading comprehension is lacking, but I find that I can carry a "big" gun in a good holster with a good belt. I carry either a 4" N-Frame Smith or a Ruger GP 100 with a 3" tube. Both are carried IWB.

I also have a 1911 that I will be transitioning to soon. That one will be going in a Mitch Rosen ARG, another IWB Holster. You may find yourself better off investing in a good belt and holster, if you haven't already.

The list of holster makers that I recommend is short: (Use or have used)

Matt Del Fatti
Milt Sparks
Mitch Rosen
Greg Kramer

All these guys make good belts too. If you want just a Belt, Bruce Gibson at makes a good belt and so does Jim at

New Kahr CW45

I'm using a Comp-Tac M-Tac with an extra stiff riggers belt from 5.11 best belt and still stiff as concreat after 2 years of carry. The 1911 never shifts and is very comfterble, yet I was looking for somthing a bit shorter, lighter and still have a big bite.

NEW KAHR CW45 18.8 oz plus 7.0oz of load and a mild kick-----
Today at the gun show I did buy a Kahr CW45 and procedid straight to the range for the 200 round break in and 60 rounds of Speer gold dot +p hps and only had 4 stopedges with the break in and zero with the 50 rounds of carry ammo.
Accuracy was good with average 2.5-3.0 inch groups at 15 yrds:icon_wink:

I'm pleased with my choice I'd now recomend a kahr 45 powerer house to anyone. Mike,
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OK, my apologies.

Lots of people complain about the gun when it's really the Belt and Holster causing the problem. I incorrectly assumed the same was true in your case.

mea culpa. :)

I'm not a big Glock fan however, with your financial situation I'd consider the new Glock 30SF. It's a very reliable .45 that conceals well and won't break the bank! :icon_great:
Why the big deal on accuracy at 25 yards for a carry gun? In Mich the threat is real at 21 feet and closer so your legal to shoot. They view it at 15 yards your not in danger yet,(so use that time to line up your sights,me) until the enter into the shooting zone. In other states how close do the BG need to be before your considered in danger and can shoot?
dang if I always end up with a novel. :)

Keep up with them. I learned from that book.

Only thing I could bring up is if you have a current carry piece don't let price stop you. Save up for what you really want. I'm guilty of this (in the past) now I look and find what I like and then I look at price. If it's way out of line I put it on my future buy list. I stay in budget but If I want something bad enough i'll wait for a year for it.
Why the big deal on accuracy at 25 yards for a carry gun? In Mich the threat is real at 21 feet and closer so your legal to shoot. They view it at 15 yards your not in danger yet,(so use that time to line up your sights,me) until the enter into the shooting zone. In other states how close do the BG need to be before your considered in danger and can shoot?

Most gunfights or shots fired at bad guys occur at 7 yards or less. If you want the most compact formidable defense weapon, get a Kel-Tec P3AT and load it with Buffalo Bore +P 380 ACP Gold Dots which attain 1100 fps in the little Kel-Tec. The gun weighs about 8 ounces empty and 11 ounces fully loaded. You can carry it in a pocket with shorts and a tee shirt in warm weather. It's the ultimate in concealed carry. Check out this link to see the potent stopping power of this gun when stoked with Buffalo Bore 380 ammo:

Link Removed

BTW: I have a big choice in defense guns ranging from a 1911 45 ACP down to a 22 but, the Kel-Tec's the one that's readily concealed in any attire with the possible exeception of a "speedo". :)
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You bought the right gun.

Going back to your original post, there is no reason to carry a large .380 when you can carry a similar or smaller 9mm or larger gun, presuming you can control it.

If "precise placement" was easy to do when someone is trying to kill you, then cops would carry 30 shot .22's.

I will be the first one to say you do not need the largest caliber to take a person down. .380 and above all do the trick quite nicely.

And you base this on what ?

It sounds like you're saying the .380 is just as effective in a gunfight as a .45 or 10mm

I've never heard of anyone that's been in a gunfight who wished their gun was a smaller caliber and held fewer rounds.

The only reason,

I was concerned about a fair amount of accuracy up to 25yrds. Was that in a fight you'll most likely be gaining distance from your threat so if you start out at say 7yrds and side step out to, or past 25yrds, you'd better be able to hit a ducking and weaving target with out lighting up whatever is behind your point of aim(civilians,ect.). I know thats a considerable distance for self defense but you can't start a firefight and yell time out because your target is out of safe range. I'm probably just trying to be to prepared if there is such a thing. All in all I think the Kahr .45 was the wisest choice I could make.

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