What is the minimum caliber you need to feel safe?

Stopping power depends less on caliber than it does on shot placement. A
.22LR to the central nervous system will do a heck of a lot more damage and have a lot more stopping power than a .45 to the leg.

Stopping power depends less on caliber than it does on shot placement. A
.22LR to the central nervous system will do a heck of a lot more damage and have a lot more stopping power than a .45 to the leg.

The statement is basically true. However, a .380, 9mm, .45ACP, etc. to the CNS is more effective, does a lot more damage, and stop a BG quicker than a .22LR in the same place.

Shot placement is important. But shot placement with a viable SD caliber trumps shot placement with a .22LR, .25ACP, .32ACP, or shingshot with a pebble IMO.
I picked the 9 mil. over the .38 because I felt a revolver would "print" more in shorts pockets than my Kel Tec P-11. Plus that round is the lease expensive to buy so I can afford to practice more.

That's my golden rule. Choose a gun in the caliber you can physically handle and afford to practice with. If you can't hit the target, it doesn't matter the size of the round. :)
If I am working and think I might have to go tactical/offensive I carry a 45ACP or High cap 9mm., If its just every day duty, I carry whats easy, and that is most often a Kel Tec P11 or P3at..........
Just remember, that handguns are for the most part very low performers in one shot stopping power. If you want to increase hand gun performance, you have to increase diameter and weight of projectile, not velocity.....and as others have said, its where ya put em that counts, that can only be realised by training and practice......... and in a real life, live or die situation you are not gonna have very long to think about it........ shot and move, or shoot and take cover, ya got to be thinking all the time, what would I do if it happens here... right now!........ the more you learn and train, the less chance you will make a mistake when yours or your family's lives depend on what you do. When you put that gun on this morning you choose to walk the warriors path............learn to be a warrior or leave your guns at home.........................Just my opinion, sorry for the rant:)
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For daily carry I pack a Makarov PM, which is 9x18 as opposed to .380 acp (9x17). I choose FMJ instead of HP because penetration to vital areas is a must, and HPs don't penetrate so well with small calibres.

But with this configuration, I feel pretty good. I'd be nervous with .22LR though. Don't know whether it would get through that leather jacket..
I bought my .32 before I really got into concealed carry, actually the day I was getting my permit. After reading a lot, it seems that .380 was the lowest caliber to really use. But I still carry just my .32 sometimes, its better than nothing. When I get a revolver it will be a .38 or larger, I think.
A 32 is definately better than throwing rocks!! :)
I like 9mm, but since the first time I fired a .40 I won't go back. To me there is little difference in recoil. As far as magazine capacity my PX4 holds 15 rounds and fits my hand like a glove. I also have a P94 which is nice but I like the PX4 best.
I feel confident with the hitting and tearing power of the 45ACP. I'm prepared to compensate for the lesser hitting and tearing power of the .32H&R Mag and 380 that I am sometimes compelled to carry with follow-up shots.

Bang + Bang + Bang = [size=+2]BANG![/size]


"The Right of the People to move about freely in a secure manner shall not be infringed. Any manner of self defense shall not be restricted, regardless of the mode of travel or where you stop along the way, as it is the right so enumerated at both the beginning and end of any journey." B.E.Wood
I carry .45 acp (Glock) every day. But when I can't carry a gun it's the kel tec .380 that I take. I have to admit that the .380 makes me feel a little under gunned. But a .380 in the pocket is better than a .45 in the safe.

So what is the minimum caliber you need to carry to feel safe?

MINIMUM is .50, but I will settle for anything the begins with a .4X:D
I usually carry a 9mm Makarov (9x18). I love my 45 and my 9mms too but bulky for what I own.

I read a post by a lawyer on another forum abotu his experience with shootings, influenced by a pathologist that claims he has difficulty identifying the caliber that made the wound...a hole is a hole, smaller going in and larger coming out if it came out. Usually in a gunfight the distance between a BG and the GG is small therefore caliber size is somewhat insignificant.

A loaded gun is way better than a rock to throw no matter what the caliber!
Here were my selction rules when it came time to decide CCW:

Going into a fight for certain: don't go
Probably will be a fight: .308, 7.62x39 or 12gauge
Is there going to be a fight?: largest caliber you always have on you and can control well.

For me, this was .32acp in a Kel-Tec P32. Thought about the .380, but it didn't hold open on the last round, and it kicks a little more. Add on the +1 mag extension to the P32, and you have 9 shouts of quite controllable "NO!"
.38 spl. is the smallest I'll be caught leaving the house. Though I have to admit one of my .38's usually fall into a back up role. 9mm is really the smallest primary defensive caliber for me.
My choice for most of the time is 9mm. However when I run or other times that may require something small I carry my Tomcat 32 cal. I would rather have the 9 but the 32 is better than a rock.
The BIGGER the Better!!!

I'm definitely a 45 ACP guy, but a 40 or 44 special does fine. I have 3 men in my immediate family that ended up shooting a bad guy with a 45 auto, and all were using ball ammo, and all went down immediately and hard. I consider the 9mm to be the least, for me that is, if carrying a semi-auto. If I carry a snubby revolver it will be 38 or 357 mag. I have carried a 32 acp and a 380 auto, but it makes me a little squeamish. I saw a narc pull a Walther PPK and fire an entire mag into a tanked up bad guy putting 7 rounds into his stomach and lower chest. He fell to the ground and then got up cussing. He was bending over and holding his gut, but he got up!:eek:
He fell down again and just sat there, saying you didn't have to shoot me. The bad guy dropped his gun, but was sitting on the ground by it. He fell over and later died at the hospital. By the time the shooting was done, maybe 2 0r 3 seconds, everyone was behind cover and had guns drawn. We had just pulled up when we saw the bad guy pull a gun from his waistband. The narc just got his shots off faster. He was carrying Federal 90 grain classic JHP's in the Walther. Ever since then, I hate to carry a .380. Not to say it will always happen that way, BUT.........:confused:
A Barrett semi-auto in .50 BMG, a 12 ga with 8 rds, a 7.62 X 39 with >10rds. or a .223 carbine with several 30 rd mags would make me feel safe. The foregoing usually being impractical, my usual carry gun is a 9X19mm with .38 snub as BUG or a 9X18 Mak for carry in the pocket of cargo pants when I'm not wearing a cover garment. Large frame revolvers have adequate power but are hard to conceal. If I could, I would go armed like Josey Wales, or Mad Max when he unloads a boatload of guns upon entering Thunderdome, but chronic back pain limits how much weight I can carry.

Edit-afterthought. Emotion overcoming reason I like my E. German Mak so much that I don't feel queasy with it. It works EVERY time and I can hit what I shoot at with it. 1911 Bubba's narrative is informative, but note that the .380 DID put the BG on the trailer, and legal considerations aside he could have been shot some more with a mag change. "He fell to the ground and then got up cussing. He was bending over and holding his gut, but he got up!" The average peon (as opposed to a cop) could escape or if necessary, or shoot him in the head while he's cussing and getting up. The police are tasked with taking the miscreant alive if possible for processing by the legal industry. The threatened peon is only responsible for staying alive and unharmed. This is not to suggest that .380 is the caliber of choice, but the BG did fall down and did die later, thus preventing him from harming the minions of the law and saving the taxpayers the costs involved with his legal defense.
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