Balancing Your Choice In Handgun Power Vs Shot Capacity In A Defensive Handgun

Discussion in 'handgun related' started by Grumpy, Dec 10, 2020.

  1. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    one of the guys I handload for and occasionally hunt with, brought his single action ruger 480 handgun over and showed me an inside the waistband concealed carry holster he had a local shop fabricate for that revolver,
    he asked me if I thought the revolver was a good choice for concealed carry use?
    (similar to picture below)

    I broke up laughing:D at that idea
    I said some defense attorney, for the two guys widows who were behind the guy you shoot, during a robbery, while he was robbing you, might think so, but personally, I think there's better choices, once a bullet exits the intended target extra power is wasted, and you damn sure won,t get rapid repeated shots on target either (not that youll need to if the first center mass shot connects)
    I reminded him that there is a rather nice double action ruger snub nose revolver available and he can hand load ammo down to more reasonable power levels than the 400 grain handloads at near 1200 fps he is currently using

    speer sells a decent 275 grain hollow point bullet for that use
    Id have started with 9- 10 grains of unique powder

    I would suppose the first few questions you would rather reasonably ask yourself would be...
    if its a defensive tool,
    it is almost by definition designed to be used at rather close ranges

    what or who are ,and potentially how many potential adversaries,
    are you defending yourself against?
    what are the most likely range and time limitations involved
    will this weapon choice ,be used for concealed carry use?
    is the choice of my equipment or my options legal in the area I will be in?
    how dependable and effective will my choice be?
    how often can I train with and how much skill is required in its use?
    how likely is it that you can avoid any confrontation?

    I can tell you after reading various accounts from survivors, that the average distance in the vast majority of cases,
    I read about involving either ANIMAL or an ANTAGONIST CRIMINAL
    the attack will be carried out from MUCH closer distances and allow you far less time to grasp the situation and react before you may be seriously injured than most people might think.
    there is no magic bullet or best cartridge, shot placement and given no other option other than fight or die
    ... In most cases, survivors stated that rapid, repeated and accurate shots on target are the critical factor in a good defense,
    having read hundreds of accounts of muggings, home invasions, and various attacks by animals its statistically rare to have more than 4-6 shots fired, or more than a 2-4 seconds window, available for the intended victim to arm and prepare or have a shot taken at the threat, or have the threat at more than 20 feet.
    people generally are far easier to repel or disable than animals
    I put that down to people who have some concept of what being shot might be, where animals must be physically damaged, structurally(skeletal) or organs and blood loss, internally and in considerable pain before they back off.
    many animals and people are so adrenalized they don,t immediately recognize the damage inflicted.
    shot placement in all cases is critical, and the more shots striking vital organs or breaking skeletal support the faster the results are seen.
    theres lots of similar discussions on the internet,
    from what I read and have seen hunting Id suggest the 9mm para, and 38 spc (300-400 ft lbs on target)are about the reasonable lower limits for effective use against a human assailant,
    and while shot placement is more critical than power, a 357 mag or larger (550 ft lbs on target) gives you a marginal edge on animals.
    the 10mm and 41 mag have proven to be effective on many animals with rapidly applied multiple hits,
    if good quality ammo was used, and certainly would be very effective on a human if the user has the skill to use it effectively,
    the 41 and 44 mag are about the largest cartridges that can be easily used and controlled if you have extensive practice.
    so why would one select the larger more powerful pistols like a 454 cassul or 500 S&W?
    these calibers are designed for hunters, not defensive use,
    but a single-center mass hit can be devastating,
    penetration is far deeper and you might not get a second shot on a pissed-off, bear or cougar.
    having a pistol that can drive a projectile lengthwise through a bear and exit destroying everything in its path along the way has advantages.
    if you're concerned with selecting a concealed carry pistol Id select nothing smaller than the 9mm para, and 38 spc and suggest you practice rapid accurate shot placement on as 4" diam, target at 20 feet constantly,
    if you're more concerned with something with teeth and claws I'd certainly go with a 10mm or 357 or larger handgun,as a minimum, but again suggest you practice rapid accurate shot placement on as 4" diam, target at 20 feet constantly,

    BTW if you handload
    speer gold dot bullets have a very good reputation for both expansion and penetration in simulated ballistic gelatin
    in most calibers, if pushed to reasonable high velocity

    related info you should read through
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
  2. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    one of the guys I hunt with rather frequently has just acquired a smith and wesson 500 mag revolver with a fairly short 3.5" barrel.
    ( love the feel of that revolver)

    Now, realistically, I don't understand the real reason why you would want to carry such a heavy and large revolver ,
    as a primary defensive concealed carry weapon,
    with only a 5 shot capacity and then limit its potential power by using reduced power loads,
    and Id point out that such a short barrel and sight radias limits the effective accurate range ,
    now GRANTED CHANCES ARE VERY GOOD, THAT IF you'll be using a revolver defensively ,
    IT WILL BE at very short ranges ,
    15-20 yards would most likely be a quite ,long range shot in this scenario,
    so a short 3.5" BARRELS NO MAJOR ISSUE,

    yet for hunting its a bit limited, and Id certainly want full power loads against something using claws and teeth,
    and for hunting Id certainly use full power handloads with 440 grain hard cast bullets.
    (and limit shots to the range I could consistently and rapidly hit a 6" diameter paper plate shooting off hand)
    but he was looking for significantly reduced recoil level handloads,
    for fast accurate repeat fire,
    that still pack's a significant punch,
    especially against a human attacker,
    now if your more concerned with rapid repeat fire, with decent punch,
    I think a 15 shot 10mm glock is the way to go,
    (yes thats a very impressive revolver Id love to own)
    one way to drastically reduce recoil is to reduce both the projectile weight and powder charge
    and you would have a problem getting under about 350 grains in a 50 caliber bullet,
    but with a sabot you could use a 180-240 grain 44 caliber bullet in a 50 caliber revolver,
    the 240 grain is the lightest weight that the 50 caliber sabot fits well,
    and you could easily use a 15 grain load of blue dot powder to produce a full power 44 mag level load using the 50 caliber sabots and 240 grain hollow point 44 caliber bullets,
    (much lower recoil than a full 500 S&W handload) in a 500 smith and Wesson,
    to produce a very powerful, but reduced recoil load in that revolver ,
    for personal defense against anything you might encounter
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021

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