What Is “Enough Gun”?

Published October 17, 2013 by
Filed under Carry, CCW, Equipment, Self Defense

Earlier this month, I wrote a piece on concealed carry guns for women at Shooting Illustrated that’s proven to be quite popular with men and women alike. One of the consistent comments I’ve had about the article is that some of the guns that were a popular choice for concealed carry, like the NAA .22 Revolver and the Kel-Tec PMR30 are in “sub-optimal” calibers for personal defense. 

Which begs the question, what is an “optimal caliber” for self-defense, and what happens if you go over or under it?

Well, that’s kinda like asking what is the best car: You’re going to get a lot of answers, and they all depend on the  context. Most experts will tell you, though, that something in the range of 9mm-.45ACP range is where you want to be, and in that range, I personally prefer 9mm, but smart people disagree on this issue, so there is no “right choice”. 

What happens when you chose a gun that’s in a smaller caliber, like .380 ACP or .22 Magnum? Well, you need to make up for the lighter, slower bullets in those guns by throwing out more of them at your target. 

I carry a Kel-Tec P3AT in .380 ACP on a regular basis, and that is considered by some to be “sub-optimal” because it fires a lighter  bullet at slower speeds than it’s bigger cousin, the 9mm. I make up for this fact by putting a laser sight on it to make sure my bullets go where I want them to. I don’t feel “undergunned” when I carry the P3AT, because I’ve practiced with that gun enough to know its limitations and can work around them. Is it my first choice in a defensive gun? No, if given the choice, I want to have a rifle with me if I can. Actually, I want a whole bunch of people with rifles with me (Like, say, a company of Marines) if *know* I’ll be getting into trouble on any given day. 

But I don’t know that on any given day. All I know is that I can carry small, lightweight guns in small, lightweight calibers almost everywhere I go, which fulfills the first rule of a gunfight, namely, have a gun. 

Having “enough gun” is something I’ll leave for another day.

Comments

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 TeamGunBlogger // Oct 17, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    So what is “Enough gun”? What changes do you need to make if you chose a small-caliber firearm as your defensive gun? http://t.co/CSiLTSOHKz

  • 2 ExurbanKevin // Oct 17, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    RT @TeamGunBlogger: So what is “Enough gun”? What changes do you need to make if you chose a small-caliber firearm as your defensive gun? h…

  • 3 CalmCarryNet // Oct 17, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    RT @TeamGunBlogger: So what is “Enough gun”? What changes do you need to make if you chose a small-caliber firearm as your defensive gun? h…

  • 4 The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, moves on... - Misfires And Light Strikes // Oct 17, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    […] it comes to guns, or go over and read something from The Gun Blog Blacklist or my thoughts on “sub-optimal” defensive calibers instead, and we’ll pick it up on […]

  • 5 steve lucas // Oct 18, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    never underestimate a 22 the caliber of choice for mafia .and only a fool would underestimate a 380 here’s the catch placement my friend

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