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View Poll Results: Preferred carry cartridge
9mm 81 31.76%
22LR 1 0.39%
45 ACP 38 14.90%
45 Long Colt 4 1.57%
357 Magnum 19 7.45%
38 Special 60 23.53%
380 ACP 21 8.24%
40 S&W 9 3.53%
25 ACP 2 0.78%
Other 20 7.84%
Voters: 255. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 05-21-2024, 11:47 AM
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Default Preferred every day carry cartridge?

I am curious as to what people on the forums carry and why?

Mainly I am interested to see what went into you deciding cartridge X was right for you, after weighing the pros and cons. Almost every round has strengths and weaknesses.

I carry 22LR, which many people caution against, and I get the downsides to be sure.

Weaknesses:
1. Failures to fire: Definitely a concern, even with Federal Punch, I get about 20 per 1,000 shots fired. I use a S&W 43c revolver which allows me to simply pull the trigger again if this happens. I would not carry 22LR in an auto, however, because the time to fix the failure would be too much.

2. Lack of stopping power: Federal punch has really developed a fantastic little round, however, I am not going to kid myself into thinking the ballistics are anywhere near more center-fire defensive loads. I realize I will have to aim certain places and practice a lot to ensure I am able to hit those target zones, God forbid that is ever required.

3. Lack of penetration: Even with punch being arguably the best, where I live I do have my doubts that it would be adequate through a heavy coat with layers underneath or a larger threat. I do think it would be enough, but the fact that is even in doubt is a downside for sure.

Strengths
1. Low Recoil/Easy to shoot: As a novice compared to most of you, I find 22 to be a delight to shoot and I shoot it very well. I trust myself to hit what I am aiming for and have faster follow-ups than I do with 38/357.

2. Affordable/abundant: I like practicing with what I carry and I can buy a ton of punch in bulk orders of 5,000 rounds for a reasonable price. 22LR is also almost always easily found, which is a huge plus for me. When I used to carry 38/357 cost was not the only challenge, availability was also a concern and likely will become more of one as time moves on.

3. Lightweight: My gun loaded is barely heavier than my smart phone, so I do not even notice it when carrying in my pocket

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Old 05-21-2024, 11:55 AM
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9mm in a Sig P365. Reason? To my thinking, it's enough. Lots of people would disagree, but 11 9mm's in a small pistol ticks most of the boxes for me. Enough firepower and easy to carry. Everything is a compromise, but a P365 with me is far more useful than a 1911 that isn't.
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Old 05-21-2024, 12:01 PM
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I prefer a single-action auto...always have. Depending on weather...mode of dress...it's one of three...A Colt Lightweight Commander or Defender...both in .45 ACP...or just as likely a S&W CSX 9mm these days.

I carried a revolver off duty for years when restricted to revolvers and never felt underarmed. A self-loader is simply easier to carry and more concealable.
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Old 05-21-2024, 12:03 PM
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Frankly, I don't see a significant difference between 9 mm and .38 Spl +P. This time of year the one handgun I don't go out of the house without is an old/ancient High Standard derringer loaded with .22 Mag snake shot. Others many also be along for the ride out here in rural America.
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Old 05-21-2024, 12:04 PM
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I want it to be a surprise.
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Old 05-21-2024, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
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I want it to be a surprise.
I imagine yours being a flag that says ¨Bang¨ like the joker for some reason
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Old 05-21-2024, 12:22 PM
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The poll specifically says “preferred”, so that is how I voted. I prefer to carry one of my 1911’s in 45ACP and often do.

However, sometimes weather, location, or mode of dress dictates otherwise.

I prefer the 45 due to the known capability of the round, and my ability with the platform. It’s been my carry for decades. I have confidence in the pairing and carry either a 5” or 3” as the situation warrants.

That said, in the summer, in the south, sometimes you just can’t dress around the larger heavier automatic. In those cases I go with a 380 automatic, or a J frame in 38. (I don’t see the advantages of 357 in a J frame, so I just went with a 38.). Both of these are very lightweight pieces and can be concealed multiple ways. Often it will be the 380 in pocket mode and the 337 38 on my ankle.
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Old 05-21-2024, 12:25 PM
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S&W 642 the majority of the time. The ballistics are okay and it is just so convenient. I think most of the calibers we carry would not stop a threat by knocking it down with one punch (pun intended, ) but would cause a ner’do’well to think again and maybe decide to vacate. If it wasn’t so inconvenient to carry a 12 gauge, that would be the ticket!
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Old 05-21-2024, 12:40 PM
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J frame model 38 if in the pocket, model 637 if in a IWB or sometimes an OWB holster. Old school Winchester 110gr Silvertips in either. Not +P but proven expansion from a short barrel.
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Old 05-21-2024, 03:10 PM
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Sig 365 9mm. Pocket carry and easy to conceal. If you have a problem that 11 rounds of 9mm won’t solve, your choice of carry probably doesn’t matter.
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Old 05-21-2024, 03:48 PM
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I prefer to carry .40 S&W. Why? Because where I live, there are more than just two-legged predators to worry about so I carry a cartridge powerful enough to deal with anything I might encounter.

STRENGTHS:
  • Starts with a four, need I say more?
    It's generally agreed upon that when dealing with four-legged predators, you want cartridge that's at least .40 caliber.
  • Straight-line hard barrier penetration.
    .40 S&W has a reputation for being able to pass through solid objects without deviation, thus ensuring that your shots stay on-target. Shot placement is king, after all.
  • An excellent balance between power, concealability, and control.
    .40 S&W delivers more muzzle energy than 9mm Parabellum or even .45 ACP, in a frame size equal to 9mm, yet target acquisition between shots isn't adversely affected.

WEAKNESSES:
  • "Snappy Recoil"
    A common complaint about .40 S&W is that it has greater felt recoil than 9mm Parabellem or even .45 ACP. For many it can be unpleasant to shoot, potentially causing them to develop a flinch.
  • Lower Magazine Capacity than 9mm Parabellum.
    You lose between 2 to 3 rounds of capacity with .40 S&W compared to 9mm Parabellum, due to the larger diameter of the bullet.
  • "It's a dead cartridge!"
    As of 2016, Law Enforcement agencies at large have switched to 9mm Parabellum, which flooded the market with cheap police trade-ins, thus lowering demand, so a number of manufacturers have stopped producing firearms chambered in .40 S&W. According to some, this means that the cartridge is "dead" that its decrease in popularity is permanent, it will never make a comeback, and soon nobody will guns of ammo for the cartridge ever again.
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Old 05-21-2024, 03:57 PM
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Thirty-eight: (1) Available in a very light J Frame; (2) Easy to pocket carry; & (3) It worked when I had to use it during my LE career. Second choice is the LCP .380 when I cannot adequately conceal a J Frame.
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Old 05-21-2024, 04:59 PM
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Other: 9x23 Winchester is my preferred cartridge for EDC. .357 Magnum ballistics. A 4” 1911 with an Officers frame holds 8+1 is is 2 ounces heavier than my Sig P365 XL.
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Old 05-21-2024, 05:21 PM
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9mm Kahr PM9, IWB left

Small, light, easy to carry, sufficient (I believe) firepower, not worried about wear, safe to carry without a safety.
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Old 05-21-2024, 05:34 PM
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The caption very much says it all.

https://smith-wessonforum.com/attach...0&d=1716327250

Kevin
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Old 05-21-2024, 05:55 PM
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P365 in 9 …….or a 380 Seecamp when wearing my speedo.
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Old 05-21-2024, 06:39 PM
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There are three guns that I usually carry depending upon dress and situations. All three are chambered for different calibers.

I voted for .357 mag because the gun I prefer to carry is my 640. It fits in my pocket with a Mika holster and is loaded with Speer Short Barrel 135 grain rounds. The 640 has a little heft to it so it requires a good belt.

On days like today when working outside the 640 is to heavy for basketball shorts, so I opt for my 642 with the same Speer Short Barrel load, just in .38 Special.

Usually in the winter with some sort of cover garment, I'll be packing my .40 caliber Shield loaded with 165 grain HST's.

I feel pretty comfortable and confident with any of the three and practice with them regularly. Oh, and at any given moment, I may have 2 of the 3 on me. It was tough answering the poll.

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Old 05-21-2024, 07:02 PM
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I pocket carry a Model 649 every day. .38 Special. It's one to ride the river with. The gun itself is not heavy, easily hidden, and .38 Special FMJ semi-wadcutters will git-r-dun!!! Recoil is unimportant. That's why I carry a steel gun.

On rare occasion, and depending on a number of factors, clothing being a factor, I might fall back to a .25 ACP but you want to know EDC and it's .38 Special.

I switch to a 9mm in my pocket when I head to places that I consider to have too much temptation and targets of opportunity for goblins. Still, not EDC.
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Old 05-21-2024, 07:06 PM
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I understand that no one wants to be shot with anything, and we can afford to practice more with 22LR, and psychological stops are a thing; but I can’t see less than a 38/9 minimum because what if it’s dark and he can’t see I have a gun? What if it’s a dog/other critter and doesn’t know he doesn’t want me to shoot him? I still have to stop them with what I have.

More recently I’m thinking big bore. Low-pressure rounds will be a lot easier on *me*. 45ACP and 44 Special have plenty of bite, without the bark of a 357 or 9mm. I’d like to keep the minimal hearing I have left.
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Old 05-21-2024, 07:08 PM
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I like 9, 45, 40, 10mm, 44 spl and 38/357, but the guns I most often carry are chambered for the 38/357.
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Old 05-21-2024, 07:12 PM
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I'm one of the guys who voted for "other".
As in ANYTHING other than a 9mm.
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Old 05-21-2024, 07:17 PM
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I prefer the 40 mm, preferably in the M32, but this is frond upon by most, so I usually settle for something else from .22 to .45 cal. I'm not fixated on caliber, preferring reliability, shot placement, adequate penetration, ease of use, and ease of concealment - and lots of training.
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Old 05-21-2024, 07:32 PM
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Persuaded by all the hype (and considerable logic, 6 rounds, less recoil) around the Lipseys UC earlier this year I decided to jump on the .32 train a few months ago after carrying .38 SPL for 20 years+. I went with an LCR .327 over the S&W though. Ive owned a .38 and .22 LR LCR for over a decade with no problems whatsoever. The 327 has been equally reliable so far. With .32 S&W Long wadcutters its as much fun as the .22.
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Old 05-21-2024, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
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Persuaded by all the hype (and considerable logic, 6 rounds, less recoil) around the Lipseys UC earlier this year I decided to jump on the .32 train a few months ago after carrying .38 SPL for 20 years+. I went with an LCR .327 over the S&W though. Ive owned a .38 and .22 LR LCR for over a decade with no problems whatsoever. The 327 has been equally reliable so far. With .32 S&W Long wadcutters its as much fun as the .22.
That's awesome 😎 I've wondered how those things perform. I've heard mixed results on QC but those that good ones seem to really like them!
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Old 05-21-2024, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
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I'm one of the guys who voted for "other".
As in ANYTHING other than a 9mm.
Why the hate for the 9mm?
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Old 05-21-2024, 09:25 PM
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I prefer to and do OWB carry my Sig P239 chambered in 357 Sig (8+1) during the cooler months, but pocket carry a Sig P365 in 9mm (12+1) during the warm months here in Florida.
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Old 05-21-2024, 10:05 PM
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For me, the size of the gun and ease of carrying are the important things for concealed carry.
Caliber is immaterial.
I only carry pocket guns. It may be a .380 for a few months, then a small S & W Air Weight 8-shot revolver in .22 LR for a few months, etc.
Occasionally I will carry a 5-shot .38 Special on the belt,’but not very often.

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Old 05-21-2024, 10:31 PM
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I have and have carried .38, 357, .45 ACP, 9mm and most recently the new to me S&W 432UC. After carrying a revolver for the first 9 years in LE, I switched to carrying a semi auto, both a HP and a 1911. I carried a 1911 for years both on and off duty. I have now mostly gone to striker fired 9mm pistols and two J frames. I have a 649-2 and the new 432UC. I switch back and forth depending on what I am doing and where I am going.I don't much care for mouse guns for a number of reasons that I have stated in the past. When camping or hiking up on the Grand Mesa above my town, I often opt for a larger caliber revolver in a K or N frame.
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Old 05-21-2024, 10:38 PM
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45acp preferred, 9mm gets the nod more often. The Glock 26 rides pretty easy at 12:00. The 21 really wants to be OWB with a slight drop, but does OK at 12:00.
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Old 05-22-2024, 09:12 AM
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The 40 S&W gets the nod even though I often carry my 9mm model 3953 in the summer months. Fall, winter, and early spring months I like my Smith 4053, which is built on a metal .45 frame that tames recoil and makes it a tack driver.
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Old 05-22-2024, 09:30 AM
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Why the hate for the 9mm?
You mean the high and mighty .35acp?

I don't hate it but I can do so much better. Since I'm buying the next round....why settle?

"easy and cheap" isn't on my self defense menu. I don't have to award a city contract to the lowest bidder or qualify a class of recruits who can't shoot.....no plastic bullet squirters for me.

And besides, I already own a Beretta 92fs....is there another 9mm that matters?

This picture tells the story.
The bullet impact on the left is a 9mm and the strike on the right is .357SIG.
A Pic is worth a thousand words and this Pic says it all.

I also carry 40s&w, 45acp, and. 357 Magnum.

Now before you get your dander up.....I know all about how "modern 9mm" is almost as good as...(fill in the blank). Heck, I even own a Bond Arms derringer in 9mm....is there another 9mm that matters?

I also own and carry LOTs of .38spl S&W revolvers....better than a 9mm?

An old saying goes along the lines of "Comparison Kills Joy". It's true in a lot of things.
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Old 05-22-2024, 10:12 AM
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For 100 years (give or take) the standard civilian/police round has been some form of .36 caliber, whether revolver or pistol. When guns and ammo in the most popular chambering are inexpensive and plentiful it’s natural for many to gravitate towards them. The .40 S & W, as good as it is, was an anomaly - it may come back someday but not to the same degree as the 1990 - 2010 time frame.

Also nothing wrong with .44 Special, .45 ACP, just not inclined to carry one or anything smaller than .36. Choose one of those and practice a lot.
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Old 05-22-2024, 10:17 AM
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Sig 365 in 9mm for CCW.
Weekend carry is usually tailored to what I might be doing.
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Old 05-22-2024, 10:20 AM
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Experience has taught me if the gun doesn't carry easily ...
it doesn't go out the door with me .
Humans are Lazy by nature .
At my stage in life an Air-Weight J-Frame gets shoved in a pocket ...
The 1911 45 acp and the model 58 41 magnum get left at home.
38 Special I shoot well and feel confident with .
Another round I like is 22 WMR - Winchester Magnum Rimfire ...
I do not feel underguned with 7 rounds of 22 WMR in a J-Frame ...
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Old 05-22-2024, 10:26 AM
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9 or 10mm, double stacked mag.
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Old 05-22-2024, 10:34 AM
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I owned a beautiful Colt 1903 chambered in .32acp. It was from 1921 and the fit and finish was like a piece of jewelry. Then I learned that it wasn't drop safe. That meant that I had to stop carrying it. But not because it was "only" a .32acp.

I have a Kel-Tec P32 that is the perfect pajama or bathrobe carry. Not because it is "only" a .32acp but because it's small and lightweight.

As I hopefully continue to age I can see that my needs and wants are going to change too. I don't think I would choose a Beretta 21a BECAUSE it was only a .22lr. I can already (at 70) feel the effects of a day at the range with my .45acp 1911. My wrists and elbows bark at me. So, I consider practical things like the tip up barrel so no slide racking.
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Old 05-22-2024, 03:17 PM
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'Voted' .38SPL

'Preference' can be a variable thing, because the reason(s) may be based upon something factually relevant, or just someone's feelings. Kinda depends.

In my case, for this poll, I chose .38SPL, Not because of any particular attribute of the caliber, but because I often choose to pocket-holster carry one or another of my S&W J-frames as retirement weapons. Sure, a couple of them are chambered in .357MAG (a caliber I've always liked), but I commonly carry .38SPL in them. It comes down to controllability, recovery and accuracy during rapid shot strings. Using +P, and sometimes standard pressure loads), simply offers me an advantage, overall.

Now, that's just because I mostly pocket-holster the snubs. if I were going to talk (vote) about the belt guns I've carried for a few decades, it would be 9mm, .40 S&W, .45ACP or .357MAG (larger revolvers). The choice would depend on the day, really meaning the size/weight of what I was going to choose to carry. Since I've carried all 4 of these calibers as issued weapons over the years, I find all of them practical and satisfactory. Just depends what i feel like toting around on any particular day. I've certainly put in the range time to have gone through many ten's of thousands with all of them.

Now, while we all likely have our 'favorites', when it comes right down to it, handguns are still the definition of a compromise when it comes to defensive use of firearms. Long guns (shotguns and rifles) are usually more capable and 'more effective' in many ways, but they aren't easily carried and concealed on a belt, let alone in a pocket holster.

I've said it before ... when I was carrying issued .357MAG, 9, .40 & .45 duty weapons, I never felt particularly 'well-armed'. Just armed. From my perspective, 'well-armed' began when I had the time to take the 870 from the rack in the veh, or in later days it would've been a rifle. Handguns were just ... convenient.

Different strokes for different folks, though.
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Old 05-22-2024, 03:35 PM
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.380 is my choice. As mentioned above if it is a hassle to carry it won't be carried. Glock 42 is my primary and sometimes a Ruger LCP if I think the odds of using it are extremely remote. Despite the naysayers .380 95 gr FMJ will get the job done for the average person for SD who is not an LEO.
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Old 05-22-2024, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Ingramite View Post
I have a Kel-Tec P32 that is the perfect pajama or bathrobe carry. Not because it is "only" a .32acp but because it's small and lightweight.
I have always—ignorantly, I might add—questioned the need of pajama or bathrobe carry. Then I saw this article surfing the internet one evening.

Australia: Thirsty snakes slither into toilets | CNN
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Old 05-22-2024, 04:38 PM
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9mm in a SIG 365 platform.

XL or X with Holosun 507K on board when cover garment allows.

Standard 365 in a Mika when pocket carry is utilized.

On occasion a Glock 43 that was worked over by David Bowie at Bowie Tactical Concepts.

Always carry a spare mag. Not because 11 rounds shouldn't be enough but because of malfunction possibilities. Not that the 365 has had issues but why tempt fate.

Current round is Hornady Critical Duty 135 grain, standard velocity. Figure FBI went with Plus P version and I can use their data in justifying the choice.

The new G2 Gold Dot has promise as well but will see down the road.
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Old 05-22-2024, 05:09 PM
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A lot depends on where you live and where you must go. Always a J frame 38 in the pocket and add what ever else may be needed on any give day.
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Old 05-22-2024, 05:23 PM
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I suggest if one carries a sidearm…along with a reload carry a set of handcuffs and learn how to use them. If you’re in a situation where you need to unholster…whether you pull the trigger or not…you may need to restrain the person who is the threat. You really should avoid keeping an unrestrained person while waiting for law enforcement or an ambulance.

If someone is enough of a threat that the potential or actual use of lethal force is required you cannot trust the threat won’t still be a threat unrestrained.
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Old 05-22-2024, 05:43 PM
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It's really interesting that 9mm and 38 special are running so closely. I would have thought that 9 mm would be way ahead of 38 special.
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Old 05-22-2024, 05:53 PM
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It's really interesting that 9mm and 38 special are running so closely. I would have thought that 9 mm would be way ahead of 38 special.
I’m guessing there’s a lot of traditional minded gun owners here…maybe generational?
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Old 05-22-2024, 06:02 PM
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This forum is slanted toward the J Frame carrier so no surprise.

In regard to handcuffs, pardon the thread drift, I carry a concealed weapon to protect myself.

NOT to arrest people.

Those days are gone and not a CCW carriers concern. Would paint you as some form of vigilante, just itching to get involved. And frankly correctly so.
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Old 05-22-2024, 06:36 PM
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And besides, I already own a Beretta 92fs....is there another 9mm that matters?
Yes, the Taurus PT92. It's basically a Beretta 92, but with the safety/decocker in the proper position.

Knife + handgun photo thread-taurus_pt92afs-kabar_ussf-jpg
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Old 05-22-2024, 07:46 PM
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I am curious as to what people on the forums carry and why?

Mainly I am interested to see what went into you deciding cartridge X was right for you ...
I am a retired Policeman working in the Big City. I have been to lots of murder cases. I also have Death Threats from Convicts in Prison.

For Self Defense or Home Protection you want to end the threat. I know several cases where the bad guy and good guy killed each other.

The most important thing is Professional Training so you have a better mindset when a lethal threat comes to you.
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Old 05-22-2024, 08:46 PM
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You mean the high and mighty .35acp?

I don't hate it but I can do so much better. Since I'm buying the next round....why settle?

"easy and cheap" isn't on my self defense menu. I don't have to award a city contract to the lowest bidder or qualify a class of recruits who can't shoot.....no plastic bullet squirters for me.

And besides, I already own a Beretta 92fs....is there another 9mm that matters?

This picture tells the story.
The bullet impact on the left is a 9mm and the strike on the right is .357SIG.
A Pic is worth a thousand words and this Pic says it all.

I also carry 40s&w, 45acp, and. 357 Magnum.

Now before you get your dander up.....I know all about how "modern 9mm" is almost as good as...(fill in the blank). Heck, I even own a Bond Arms derringer in 9mm....is there another 9mm that matters?

I also own and carry LOTs of .38spl S&W revolvers....better than a 9mm?

An old saying goes along the lines of "Comparison Kills Joy". It's true in a lot of things.

No dander here.

I don't own a 9mm, I was just curious.

I carry a Sig P226 in .357sig on occasion.

The gun I probably carry the most is my M&P 45c. No safety. I shoot it well, decent sized.

Have tried to embrace a J Frame. Even own one. Just don't shoot it nearly as well as an auto.
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Old 05-22-2024, 08:48 PM
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.38 Special in a J Frame, most days.
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Old 05-22-2024, 09:03 PM
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It depends...........On what I"m doing, where I might be going and what I might expect to encounter...........I'm not tied to any one caliber. In any given week I am subject to carry.......

38 spl
9mm
45acp
40
10mm
357
44 mag
45 Colt
.........Lots of pistolas.....Lots of choices......
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