selecting a good self defence handgun

Discussion in 'handgun related' started by grumpyvette, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    YOUR first step is in reading and fully understanding YOUR STATES LAWS and YOUR LIMITATIONS IN WHAT YOU CAN LEGALLY USE


    the next step is understanding you need to learn how to use your weapon of choice effectively and quickly if its needed and that requires practice on a regular basis

    the third step is realizing it won,t do any good to own a firearm and keep it locked up, so get a carry permit and keep it with you!

    THE FORTH STEP, is realizing
    MOST commonly carried handguns are TOTALLY INCAPABLE of stopping a determined attacker with randomly placed shots ,
    only critically placed hits too vital organs or
    structural support,
    and multiple hits are likely to be quickly effective

    I can tell you from decades of hunting experience shooting wild hogs, at close range, (20-60 feet) that a 45 acp is marginally effective
    a 357 mag or 10mm both have proven to be much more effective at rapidly killing hogs in hunting conditions,
    and a 41 mag and 44 mag and 45 lc loaded with proper heavy for caliber hard cast bullet,
    hand loads are and have repeatedly been proven to be, more effective.!

    thus I would consider cartridges like the 9mm, 380, 38spc,
    and even the 40 S&W to be less than ideal for self defense.

    the ammo used is critical , where you hit any threatening
    aggressive opponent and the projectile used is critical

    there's always a personal compromise youll need to make , or judgement call in selecting,
    the best match in the choices you personally value in hand gun's, shot capacity,
    accuracy, penetration, dependability and
    Id strongly suggest you consider 130 grains of bullet,
    and about ,
    400 ft lbs of muzzle energy a reasonable lower power level, anything with over about 800 ft lbs,
    is unlikely too be easy too shoot well, rapidly your goal here is to be able to physically disable a violent attacker rapidly, and yes proper shot placement on any adversary critical.

    S&W 1006 10mm

    decent quality suspenders, and a quality stiff belt with added belt loops that have d-rings or slide clips for the suspenders to clip securely to the stiff belt, solved the issue of how to carry a heavy pistol comfortably for me and had worked for decades
    Ive found the inside the waist band
    VEDDER comfort tuck holster extremely comfortable
    I've used one for a couple years daily to carry a 10mm glock model 20
    those suspenders are generally worm over a tee-shirt and under a long waisted dress shirt over the holster and suspenders




    "The Florida "Castle Doctrine" law basically does three things:

    One: It establishes, in law, the presumption that a criminal who forcibly enters or intrudes into your home or occupied vehicle is there to cause death or great bodily harm, therefore a person may use any manner of force, including deadly force, against that person.

    Two: It removes the "duty to retreat" if you are attacked in any place you have a right to be. You no longer have to turn your back on a criminal and try to run when attacked. Instead, you may stand your ground and fight back, meeting force with force, including deadly force, if you reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to yourself or others. [This is an American right repeatedly recognized in Supreme Court gun cases.]

    Three: It provides that persons using force authorized by law shall not be prosecuted for using such force.

    It also prohibits criminals and their families from suing victims for injuring or killing the criminals who have attacked them.

    In short, it gives rights back to law-abiding people and forces judges and prosecutors who are prone to coddling criminals to instead focus on protecting victims.

    think it thru, everything's going to be a compromise in one way or another
    you damn sure are better off avoiding any confrontation you can back out of rather than escalating it to the point a weapons used from a financial and legal stand point. almost anytime a firearm is used your talking about spending tens of thousands of dollars in lawyer fees even if your 100% justified in self defense.

    but as the saying goes, better to be judged by 12 than carried in a coffin by 6
    almost any gun can produce wounds that will eventually prove fatal, or be a deterrent, under some conditions, but it takes good shot placement and a minimal power level to produce a wound that's highly likely to stop a determined adversary quickly ,under most conditions,if hes intent on doing you a great deal of harm at spitting distances , ESPECIALLY if hes on drugs or basically insane. IT does you little good to shoot randomly placed holes in an attacker that will prove fatal in 30-45 minutes, if he cuts your throat or shoots holes in you during the first 5 seconds of the violent confrontation
    IF your forced to fight, for your life,if your opponents not down and out, DON,T STOP SHOOTING!
    FAILURE to destroy the CNS (BRAIN OR UPPER SPINE) will usually NOT RESULT in instant stops
    even several center mass hits with most good effective hand gun calibers that will eventually prove fatal, will not insure the attacker can,t continue to fight for a few seconds or minutes, even non-survivable wounds don,t necessarily, stop an antagonist instantly, and in those few seconds you could be mortally injured, so if your forced to fight it makes a great deal of sense to select the most effective tools available and to have the practice and experience to use the tool effectively

    common handgun cartridges less powerful than a 9mm are fairly well accepted as having potentially marginal performance in some conditions ,some of the more powerful cartridges having significantly more power will take training and experience to master , as far as rapid fire accuracy,and ease of rapidly placed repeatable hits on target, but tend to be more effective once mastered.
    the 357 mag and 40s&W and 45acp have all been well proven and effective, IF the correct ammos used by a skilled shooter. effective combos require a skilled & experienced, user, and an effective cartridge used in a dependable & accurate handgun, used by an owner whos staying aware of his

    solid hits from a reasonably powerful handgun in the red outlined area in the upper torso tend to get the desired results

    read ... spx?c=0408

    selecting a defensive hand gun is an individual process where your forced compromise to achieve a reasonable balance between your personal ability to control, hard hitting power and its higher recoil levels and your guns basic operator friendliness, your choices in caliber and firearm increase or decrease your speed and accuracy, and its that speed and accuracy with its mandatory lower recoil and power levels,that will tend to dictate you choices, only hits count, but only carefully placed hits on an opponent with enough destructive power, will quickly end a threat, if they can be depended on to destroy the central nervous system, organs or major skeletal structure of your opponent

    for most people who are willing to train, frequently the 38spc and 9mm in a medium size revolver or pistol are easily handled
    for most people the upper recoil levels of the 10mm and 41mag and the lower load levels in the 45acp, are controllable but for some people ,borderline excessive
    the 357 mag, 40s&w and 44 spcl and moderate 45acp loads, fall in the mid range, the the 10mm and 41mag and the lower load levels in the 45acp,are certainly usable, but require frequent training to excel in their use

    only practice and familiarity with the tools and skills lets you select the best compromise for you.

    keep in mind the average defensive gun fight is at under 30 feet and less than 3-5 shots are fired
    FACTORS, you need to consider carefully

    your going to need to balance
    conceal ability & size
    stopping power
    easy access
    speed of accurate repeat fire.

    Ive carried the glock 10mm or 1006 S&W , most of the time since they became available
    because I think its about the best possible cartridge available in a semi auto hand gun that can easily be carried
    a good 45acp is my second choice
    I generally carry a glock 20 in 10mm with one spare magazine, now its true that the standard mag holds I think its 14-15 cartridges, so in theory that one mag one would assume would be sufficient.
    BTW if you carry a GLOCK swap to a STAINLESS STEEL GUIDE ROD AND SPRING its known to both stand up to heat and wear issues better than the factory plastic rod and increase durability and they are so dirt cheap to swap out your foolish, in my opinion, too not do so!

    stainless steel (better durability)
    tungsten (heavier for minimally reduced recoil, and increased durability)

    commonly carried handguns are TOTALLY INCAPABLE of stopping a determined attacker with randomly placed shots , only critically placed multiple hits are likely to be quickly effective

    but having a complete spare loaded mag can be advantageous.
    a short example might help.
    one of my good friends is a SWAT cop, in a recent drug lab bust the criminal types were taken by surprise, and not a shot was fired, but as one drug guy was being hand cuffed he spun around while still in cuffs and kicked at the officers next to my friends groin, the officer dodged but in the process his glock 17 went flying and hit the pavement, the end cap retaining the spring and cartridges ejected out of the gun leaving the now useless mag body still seated, in the pistol.
    my friend helped control the situation then picked up the dropped glock 17 and simply swapped in a new magazine.
    now that might have been a darn rare event, but crap does happen, mags come out, get damaged or lost and having a spare mag got the gun functional in seconds.
    consider what condition you would be in without a spare magazine, under similar conditions.


    I vastly prefer a small HIGH QUALITY sheath/belt knife, as a secondary back-up Steel-13RTSM-Recon Tanto?search=tanto&category_id=79
    I suppose a great deal depends on both the person and the way you carry, Ive had zero issues carrying the G20 or S&W 1006
    but then Im 6'3" 270 lbs and the holster I use for either is easily concealed under the loose, & long waisted shirts I almost always wear, the lower shirt hem hangs easily 6-7 below the lower belt edge

    most of my friend's and I have concealed carry licenses , most of us carry, most of the time,and have for decades, you'll need too buy a decent holster, to protect the gun. and be aware some gun designs are far less prone to accidental discharge from being dropped, plus carry with an empty chamber is not a bad idea in many cases,if your gun is not equipped with redundant safety features
    BTW if you route the belt around the outside of the holster instead of under it like this picture shows its going to make it conform to your body lines far more uniformly,and be far harder to spot,under a long shirt, and yeah!, make it a bit harder to draw in a huge hurry, but if your keeping aware of your surroundings,in most cases youll have at least a few seconds warning to prepare, your chances of getting into a gunfight are very low, your chances of survival in a gun fight without a gun , where your attacker has one alone,and you lack training and a gun,is abysmally lower, having a gun and knowing how to use it effectively and remaining aware of your surroundings makes a huge difference.

    OK IVE always felt that the main concern is having a tool that will get the job done effectively, rather than just having the easiest gun to carry concealed, while its true , that to be useful the choice must be carried with you almost all the time so you'll have access to the handgun should it be necessary, having a handgun for self defense is a bit like carrying a fire extinguisher in the car, you need to have fast easy access, but you sure hope you'll never need to use it, and some thought about where you go, what you do, and how you go about it can lower the odds of it ever being necessary for you to use either one!
    IF your forced to fight, for your life,if your opponents not down and out, DON,T STOP SHOOTING!
    BUT, THAT BEING SAID, if your forced into a fight ,combat experience over the last 100 years has shown that anything significantly lower or less powerful than about a 9mm parabelum , is mostly a physiological crutch, that may make you feel more secure ,more than ITS REALLY AN effective weapon, that's effective at stopping a determined adversary, and once you get close too or get above the power level of the 44 magnum theres a serious trade off in speed of accurate repeat fire, and weapon size that's not generally to your advantage.
    commonly carried handguns are TOTALLY INCAPABLE of stopping a determined attacker with randomly placed shots , only critically placed multiple hits are likely to be quickly effective

    you better be 110% sure your fully justified before reaching for a gun, and not let emotions effect sound judgment! just because you've got a handgun in no way means that's necessarily the best tool or choice, running away, a good swift kick to the opponents family jewels , a quick punch in the opponents nose,or some apologies might be a far better route even if your 100% justified in fighting
    so the more common calibers to choose from are..
    yes theres a good deal of info in the links you should read carefully, as your LIFE might depend on getting the choices correct

    9mm parabelum
    38 super
    38 spc
    357 mag
    357 sig
    40 S&W
    41 mag
    44 mag

    reading material, theres a great deal of useful info in these links ... ation.html

    personally I really feel the 45 acp plus p and the 10mm , 41 mag are the best calibers, because they provide plenty of power without huge recoil, and I darn sure want a good center mass hit to count ... 0Faith.htm ... NBLST.html ... istics.pdf ... nding.html

    after many years of research and practical experiance, and having several S.W,A.T. team members as freinds ,
    IM going to suggest the
    357 mag
    are probably the better choices,

    but the AMMO used has a HUGE effect on the results, because ONLY the bullet and its correct placement will directly effect the target,
    so selecting a caliber also requires selecting the correct ammo.Ive found that ammo makes a huge difference in a glock 20 accuracy
    Ive also found the better aftermarket 6" barrels DO aid accuracy, and BLUE DOT powder and a 180 grain seem to be a sweet combo in my pistol
    theres now a factory 10mm glock 6" and 9" barrel versions

    if you can,t COMFORTABLY carry your handgun of choice all day/every day,
    you don,t have the correct holster, pistol or mindset!
    [​IMG] ... box-of-100 ... 1e62ab7005 ... er&Source=

    and if you don,t practice being constantly alert too your surroundings, practice use of caution in selecting when, where and how you travel, practice enough to be reasonably fast, accurate and effective with your handgun, no handgun will do you much good, and keep in mind a knowledge of some basic martial arts skills will greatly enhance your security.
    naturally we can,t practice shooting (BAD GUYS) but you might find attending martial arts classes, and going to the local shooting range,or learning to hunt with a handgun or shooting bowling pin matches very helpful.

    heres my selection, as the best possible combo (FOR ME) it might not be for YOUR USE, but it sure out performs the typical 45acp and 9mm Ive tested and equals or exceeds the hot loaded 357 mag in most cases

    Ive been using a glock 20 10mm with a 6" wolf barrel for about 8 years now as a concealed carry and hunting handgun with ZERO malfunctions or complaints but then Im 6'3" and 260lb so It hides well, 1500fps with a 155 soft point has 750ft lbs plus and works effectively
    commonly carried handguns are TOTALLY INCAPABLE of stopping a determined attacker with randomly placed shots , only critically placed multiple hits are likely to be quickly effective ... ucts_id=38

    this style holster used so the pistols barrel and forward slide rides in your jeans watch pocket and with a long tail shirt like Hawaiian, or dickies work shirts conceal the pistol very easily


    think thru your purchase VERY VERY CAREFULLY, YOUR LIFE MIGHT , DEPEND ON THE GUNS ACCURACY,RELIABILITY and STOPPING POWER.........BEING AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS, and THINKING THRU YOUR POTENTIAL OPTIONS BEFORE THINGS GO WRONG IN EACH LOCATION HELPS A GREAT DEAL , your choice of a 40 cal is good,but think thru the pistol, IM always stunned and amazed at the guys that select small caliber, short barrel, lousy sights style, easily concealed hand guns under the idea that it probably won,t get used so anythings better than nothing.......Id suggest sticking with a FULL SIZE COLT, GLOCK,TAURUS ,S&W, BERRETA, its YOUR SKILL AND LEVEL OF PRACTICE WITH THE GUN AS MUCH AS THE GUN THAT MATTERS, if forced into a fight but THE OBJECT IS TO AVOID THE CONFRONTATION, OR TO WIN QUICKLY /DECISIVELY IF FORCED,TO FIGHT... its not to have a gun

    PRICE, SIZE and DESIGN, need to be considered but its the guns
    look at it this way, IF you KNEW for a FACT you would be attacked by some psycho with an axe sometime in the next 30 days and you would be limited to defending your family with whatever pistol you selected, would you opt for a different choice?
    ease of concealment and cost drop far down the list if failing to stop an assailant results in your death and your families.
    like when purchasing a fire extinguisher the objects not to (have one) BUT TO HAVE ONE LARGE ENOUGH AND EASY ENOUGH TO OPERATE TO decisively control the potential threat, IF your forced into using one at allI have had very good results from an out of the box EAA 45 acp I carried for many years, probably the most accurate and dependable pistol I own as long as its kept clean , oiled lightly and you use full power 230 grain mil style ammo, (GET THE WONDER FINNISH THAT LOOKS LIKE STAINLESS)
    I carried that before I had my current GLOCK#20 10mm

    it will shoot tighter groups than I can off a bench rested hold, easily 2" at 50 yards with some ammo off the bench, and with iron sights thats amazing

    a bit of useful glock pistol generation info
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2018
  2. DorianL

    DorianL solid fixture here in the forum Staff Member

  3. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    10mm and 45 acp, 357 mag all look like a good choice but ID sure like some detailed feed back from actual field results on dozens of real opponents under combat conditions before trusting my butt to any hand guns stopping power, given a choice
    Ive used my 10mm glock on DEER and HOGS and have zero doubt that it does the required levels of damage on impact, but delivering a mortal wound is not the same as an instant kill.
    YET anyone that thinks a easily concealed handgun is a great fight stopper needs to come on a wild hog or deer hunt.....because Ive seen more than a few deer and pigs that weight less then most men take hits from a 45acp,357 mag or 10mm at close range and take off running as if untouched.... anything short of a spine or brain first hit handguns wont consistently tend to put 150-200 lb pound game down instantly on the first shot and most guys in high stress conditions on a moving target even at under 30 feet don,t tend to hit where they think they were aiming.... now swap to a 12 ga with slugs or buckshot,or a carbine in 308win-30/30,270 win or a larger caliber and results from a good hit tend to improve.
    I was recently given a very lightly pre-used holster which I find works rather well with my full size glock 10mm
    if you can,t COMFORTABLY carry your handgun of choice all day/every day,
    you don,t have the correct holster, pistol or mindset!
    these metal belt clips on the vedder holster hold, it in place on the belt and fit the belt more securely, better than the plastic belt clips on the aliengear holster , but the aliengear holster is molded to fit the gun both securely and allowing a bit easier draw
    IF you feel like dirty harry was your idle, a 44 mag loaded with 15 grains of blue dot powder under these speer hollow points certainly has the potential for one hit stops, but its certainly not the ideal round or caliber for making extremely rapid repeat shots ... spx?id=190

    youll need decent sites you can see in crappy lighting ... sets/i-dot



    Barnes XPB 115gr HP (35515) such as loaded by Cor-Bon (DPX09115)
    Winchester Partition Gold 124gr JHP (RA91P)
    Winchester Ranger-T 124 gr +P JHP (RA9124TP)
    Winchester Ranger Bonded 124 gr +P JHP (RA9BA)
    Winchester Ranger-T 127gr JHP +P+ (RA9TA)
    Winchester Ranger-T 147gr JHP (RA9T)
    Winchester Bonded 147gr JHP (RA9B/Q4364)
    Speer Gold Dor 124gr JHP
    Speer Gold Dot 124gr JHP +P (53617)
    Speer Gold Dot 147gr JHP (53619)
    Remington Golden Saber 124 gr +P JHP bonded (GSB9MMD)
    Remington Golden Saber 147gr JHP (GS9MMC)
    Federal Tactical 124gr JHP (LE9T1)
    Federal Tactical 135gr JHP +P (LE9T5)
    Federal HST 147gr JHP (P9HST2)
    Federal HST 124gr JHP +P (P9HST3)

    40 S&W
    Barnes all-copper bullets (140 & 155gr) loaded by: Cor-Bon (DPX40140)
    Winchester Ranger 180gr JHP (RA40T)
    Winchester Ranger 165gr JHP (RA40TA)
    Winchester Partition Gold 165gr JHP (RA401P)
    Winchester Bonded 180gr JHP (Q4355)
    Speer Gold Dot 155gr JHP (53961)
    Speer Gold Dot 180gr JHP (53962)
    Federal Tactical 165gr JHP (LE40T3)
    Federal Tactical 180gr JHP (LE40T1)
    Federal HST 180gr JHP (P40HST1)
    Remington Golden Saber 180 gr JHP (GS40SWB)


    Barnes XPB/TAC-XP 185gr HP loaded by:
    Cor-Bon (DPX45185)
    Taurus (TCB45ACP185HP)
    Winchester Ranger-T 230gr JHP (RA45T)
    Winchester Ranger-T 230gr JHP +P (RA45TP)
    Federal Tactical 230gr JHP (LE45T1)
    Federal HST 230gr +P JHP (P45HST1)
    Federal HST 230gr JHP (P45HST2)
    Speer Gold Dot 230gr JHP (23966)
    Speer Gold Dot 230gr +P JHP

    I see guys post questions like this, frequently,
    sometimes the calibers listed are different like 357 mag vs 454 cassul or 44 mag, etc. or you can just post a question on any two calibers you like but the same basic question is how do you choose the best defensive hand gun caliber, do you select the more powerful, or the higher magazine capacity , the easiest to get ammo for or the most accurate, or the easy to conceal, or the least expensive.

    step back and think of this as selecting a tool to do a job and under what conditions your likely to use the tool.
    obviously using some past experience helps make a better decision, and in my opinion your looking for a tool that will damn near always get the job done with a single or at most two reasonably well placed center mass shots, because you probably won,t have time for more in a true self defense situation and ranges will generally be at under 15 yards, most likely under 3-5 yards, so pin point accuracy might not be as critical as the ability of a projectile to penetrate to the vitals on a large opponent from nearly any angle and thru light concealment cover.
    personally I think the range starting with the hot loaded 9mm para-357 mag, 40 S&W-45 acp,44 special, 45 lc 10mm, 41 mag all fall in the correct range with some loads.
    yes you can go more or less powerful, but your either giving up impact power and penetration or the ability to rapidly place repeat shots on target due to recoil, and increasing size that may cause ease of concealment issues.

    well theres a link there for double tap ammo and thats usually what I carry , but I hunt with and use reloads for practice and use a dillon 550 progressive to run off a few hundred cartridges at a time

    all the comparative data between different calibers and pistol vs rifle etc might seem to indicate that caliber and power does not mater as much as most people think it does, but they IGNORE the fact that accurate shot placement, a knowledge of anatomy is critical, simply shooting at the adversary's torso and hitting it someplace does not indicate a well placed shot,as any hunter knows or learns, put a shot through the heart,, both lung's or , liver shots that destroy a lot of tissue as the pass through and exit, are generally fatal,

 ... /1/RL_550B ... 5a55e2c39c
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2018
  4. DorianL

    DorianL solid fixture here in the forum Staff Member

    Hehehehehe, I thought this would be the first concern to pop up.

    Let's consider the laundry list:

    - concealability & size
    - accuracy
    - depenability
    - easy access
    - speed of accurate repeat fire.

    I'd add penetrating power and number of rounds in the mag.

    I have shot one of these things and the are remarkably compact, easy in hand and smooth in operation.

    I have seen the specs on durability - mud test etc. They are very good. On you tube you actually see some fools dipping their 5-7 in a pond and then shooting it.

    As for stopping power
    things get a bit more murky there. What is kinetic energy?


    Since V is squared it plays a larger role.

    The question is: what actually incapacitates?

    Hitting the right thing and breaking it? The transfer of that energy? How does the energy transfer? Is it the slowing of the bullet down but not too much? A larger hole? Blood loss or...

    Lots of theories...

    This handgun is relatively new and gaining quickly in popularity. I think in terms of stopping power time will tell as people vote with their pocket book.

    I'd certainly buy this and since it can fire very accurately in rapid succession... well there is a term known as "double tap"

    :mrgreen: D
  5. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member


    I insist on carrying a glock #20 10-MM and,
    the wife carries a S&W 38 VIRTUALLY EVERYWHERE, ALL THE TIME....
    you might want to think thru the consequences of being un -armed ,now you don,t necessarily need a gun, but at least carry a large easy to access pocket knife! you probably found out that you can carry for years without it being necessary, but like a spare tire or a fire extinguisher, once you need it you need it easily accessed and in perfect working condition, and like you found out, failure to have instant access can have a big down side!
    ONE of my neighbors carries like I do, but he is (OLD SCHOOL) and carries a stainless govt 45 ACP,
    a few years ago a guy pretending to be a lost pizza delivery guy, ... tried to do a home invasion , pushing his way into the home with a 22 pistol, my buddy after punching the guy ran screaming for his wife to grab the 12 ga shotgun, forgetting for a few seconds about the 45 pistol in his belt,.... when he reached the kitchen he remembered,.... drew the pistol, spun around and saw a guy with a bloody nose exiting the front door, cops later caught the guy,who told them, my neighbor was lucky, the guy had tried to shoot him, after getting his nose busted, but had forgotten to release the safety, and on hearing (12 GAUGE!) decided staying around was less than smart,and became convinced when he saw the old guys 45 pistol


    I was asked what hand gun brands I would avoid, well, I had until recently a good friend who owned a gun-shop,
    he was in business for over 50 years in the same location and he was also a damn skilled gunsmith,
    every time I briefly mentally toy with the concept Of buying a Taurus I read threads like this...
    probably why I only own & use S&W, glock,EAA,CZ,DAN WESSON, and ruger handguns.
    no mechanical device is flawless,
    all require frequent inspection,cleaning maintenance and lubrication ,
    but some brands have a well deserved reputation for durability and accuracy
    one of the local gun-shops was owned by a friend (who recently passed in his 80s) who would only sell tauras, lorsen,and rossi, handguns,
    if you insisted on ordering and buying one, and he would start the conversation by informing you,
    that he would not take it back or service it if you bought one,
    he said many times Id rather loose a potential sale, than allow a customer to walk out with something that's not dependable.
    now that was not the only brand's he tried too avoid selling,
    but he was one totally honest guy and would tell you if you asked,
    ( exactly what brands he had constantly had issues and returns on, and what worked with very few issues)
    (I REALLY wish DAN WESSON would bring back the larger revolvers and accessories like spare barrels)
    Id point out that a serious defensive handgun MUST by definition ,
    be easily able to stop any assailant with a single well placed center mass shot,
    and no handgun would be ideal under all conditions.
    it must be at least semi easy too carry and conceal,
    and be totally dependable, theres dozens of handguns that could reasonably be chosen ,
    but, too put the odds of success in my favor,
    Id want something with at least a 150 grain projectile and at least 500 ft lbs of impact energy
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2018
  6. 91redragtop

    91redragtop Member

    Not saying my opinion is worth much, but with 16 years of Military and civilian law enforcement experience, I have carried and shot many handguns. I am WAY partial to any weapon that Heckler and Koch produces. I currently carry a P2000SK in .40 cal. as my off-duty concealed weapon. I have been assigned a Glock 23 .40 cal. as my duty weapon for the last 8 years and IMO, other than the reliability, I am not a fan of the Glock pistol at all. To me, they are about the worst shooting guns of any handgun that I have ever shot. I have to work to place consistent groups when doing rapid double taps. I was certified as a small arms instructor in the military and know how to shoot pretty good. They just don't feel real balanced and smooth to me when shooting rapid-fire. My H&K will fall consistently back in line and group really well, as will the Beretta M9s and other 1911 models handguns I have shot. I know Glocks are reliable as you can get and that is a plus for many who won't clean their weapon as they should. I don't know how I feel about the lack of external safeties in the hands of untrained shooters. That is something I am not a big fan of. I have extensive training in the safe handling of firearms and I am not above making mistakes especially in high adrenaline situations. Without PROPER training i would suggest someone purchase a weapon that has external safeties and remember....All firearms are always loaded, treat them as such. Too many have died cleaning or mishandling unloaded firearms that turn out to actually be loaded. Not trying to bust anyone's chops, it's just I am OCD about firearms handling and safety. One last thing, we just switched to the 45gap round at our department. I am a big fan of this round. Too bad you can't get an HK P2000SK in this caliber.
  7. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

  8. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    having access and knowing how to use a handgun is a bit like knowing how to use and owning a fire extingusher, but if your sane you would rather never use either one to save your life but if it became mandatory to do so or die! having a decent one that gets the job done correctly and having instant access to the necessary equipment in an emergency , is far preferable to waiting for the local government authorities to respond, and basically for the same reason, it may be far past the point you can save what your trying to protect, a few minutes differance can easily be the differance between a scorched wall,and cleaning up a few singed items and dealling with a fully engulfed house, in flames leaving nothing to save in the fires case, or having threatened or shot an intruder, vs being dead or having to morn over dead famaily members in the case of self defence with a hand gun.

    try this little experiment

    right now!
    you hear glass break, you call out to your family , you hear screams,you see, the back doors being chopped apart, you reach for the phone its dead, because someone cut the line, you look down accross the house to see some nut chopping thru your back door with an axe and your kids are screaming for help, would you rather try to run next door and hope you can get a call thru and the authorities arrive in time, or defend your home.
    sound crazy, sure it is but that exact thing happened locally, the home owner grabbed his lever action deer rifle and shot the nut case dead in his kitchen, it turned out the nut case was totally wacked out on drugs and thought his wife was leaving him and he was going to kill her and his kids, how did we find that out, well he had chased her and the kids out of his house,after trying it and screaming his intentions and he had put gashes needing several stiches, in one kid and the wife, as they ran from the house, he had attacked the house behind his( thinking INCORRECTLY) thats where they had run too, the home owner who shot the crazy,had never even met the nut case before he chopped thru the kitchen door.
    one of my freinds was the parramedic that was called to treat the kid and widdow with the axe cuts, both were 100% sure that he would have killed them if not stopped

    I rather recently visited a local gunshop/range with several friends, who brought several different handguns for one guy to try who wanted to try a couple different hand guns before deciding on what he wanted to purchase as he just got his conceal carry licence.
    theres always concessions to be made in cost, size power,accuracy etc. and you darn sure need to think through the choices , and the potential consequences those choices will have on both your likelyhood of constantly carrying that pistol and its potential effectiveness if your forced to use it!
    realistically, youll most likely never get forced into a life or death confrontation, but like having several fire extinguishers in your home your far better off never using them than needing one badly and not having access when its needed.
    if your in the market ID suggest you think about what you would grab, very carefully, if your limited to a handgun and thought about what might be needed if some drug crazed lunatic was busting in your front door with an axe, and screaming your one dead SOB when I get in there!, I doubt your first choice will be a tiny 22 caliber-380 caliber pocket pistol when your going to be forced too confront some axe wielding nut case in 10 seconds.
    yes far fetched but you certainly need an effective tool/weapon not a mental security blanket that is hopelessly under powered to do an effective and quickly effective defensive job, having the attacker die an hour after he cut you and your family into chunks, from a couple gunshots you managed too place in him as he splattered your brains on the wall is going to be little satisfaction
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
  9. rbl2

    rbl2 Well-Known Member

    I like your analogy of fire arms and fire extinquisers. I keep both in my house. I generally carry a side arm when going in town and I always have a fire extinquisher in my 26 Chevy. Both are cheap insurance.

    Mid way through remodeling my house there was a small fire in the living room. No one knows what started it, spontaneous combustion is all I can think of. This much I know, without the fire extinquisher I would have lost my house and every cent I had spent on it as I had yet to buy insurance.

    Someone once asked me why I carry a fire extinquisher with my 26. Cheap insurance was my reply.

    In either case, be it a fire extinquisher or a fire arm, I would much rather have it and never need it then need it and not have it.
  10. rlphvac

    rlphvac reliable source of info

    taurus has a 45/410 the judge if you fire off a 410 3inch mag. at someone & it doesnt stop them turn & run cause they aint human its a little big to carry concieled but is good for the nightstand I carry aS/W airweight 38 fits nicely in my pocket & no one knows its there
  11. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    I try to run at least 500 cartridges thru a pistol and clean it several times before Ill carry it for defensive use,I carry a glock 10mm as a personal weapon,with the correct ammo, its reasonably accurate, powerful, and its the totally dependable, and almost immune to rust, and ,that is its the totally dependable powerful, and almost immune to rust,is the big selling point to me.
    moisture, and resulting rust and potential for that damaging the gun over time is a major concern, if you carry concealed 24/7/365
    I used to carry a stainless 1006 S&W,(still do some days) it required almost daily cleanings and re-oiling, I still do that with the glock but I see less indications thats mandatory with the glock #20
    the S&W 1006 is noticeably more accurate and thinner in the grip,but I had one failure to feed,(bent magazine lip) in several hundred cartridges at the range and its exposed hammer can occasionally be a P.I.T.A., so its a trade-off,both work with good ammo, but the glock seems to be rather bullet proof in dependability.
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  12. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    his ought too scare you .....
    I don't usually post stuff like this, but I got it from a buddy who is an officer here in NJ and got it from a guy who is on the US Marshals NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force. It's probably as objective as it can get. Saddest thing is that it shows that Cops are basically Good guys who don't want to hurt anybody if they don't absolutely have to, and the Bad Guys just don't give a damn.

    If you don't have time to read the whole thing, just check out the part at the bottom that I bolded in red text....

    New findings from FBI about cop attackers & their weapons

    New findings on how offenders train with, carry and deploy the weapons they use to attack police officers have emerged in a just-published, 5-year study by the FBI.

    Among other things, the data reveal that most would-be cop killers: --show signs of being armed that officers miss; --have more experience using deadly force in "street combat" than their intended victims; --practice with firearms more often and shoot more accurately; --have no hesitation whatsoever about pulling the trigger. "If you hesitate," one told the study's researchers, "you're dead. You have the instinct or you don't. If you don't, you're in trouble on the street."

    These and other weapons-related findings comprise one chapter in a 180-page research summary called "Violent Encounters: A Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation's Law Enforcement Officers." The study is the third in a series of long investigations into fatal and nonfatal attacks on POs by the FBI team of Dr. Anthony Pinizzotto, clinical forensic psychologist, and Ed Davis, criminal investigative instructor, both with the Bureau's Behavioral Science Unit, and Charles Miller III, coordinator of the LEOs Killed and Assaulted program.

    "Violent Encounters" also reports in detail on the personal characteristics of attacked officers and their assaulters, the role of perception in life-threatening confrontations, the myths of memory that can hamper OIS investigations, the suicide-by-cop phenomenon, current training issues, and other matters relevant to officer survival. (Force Science News and our strategic partner will be reporting on more findings from this landmark study in future transmissions.) Commenting on the broad-based study, Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato, called it "very challenging and insightful--important work that only a handful of gifted and experienced researchers could accomplish."

    From a pool of more than 800 incidents, the researchers selected 40, involving 43 offenders (13 of them admitted gangbangers-drug traffickers) and 50 officers, for in-depth exploration. They visited crime scenes and extensively interviewed surviving officers and attackers alike, most of the latter in prison. Here are highlights of what they learned about weapon selection, familiarity, transport and use by criminals attempting to murder cops, a small portion of the overall research:

    Weapon Choice

    Predominately handguns were used in the assaults on officers and all but one were obtained illegally, usually in street transactions or in thefts. In contrast to media myth, none of the firearms in the study was obtained from gun shows. What was available "was the overriding factor in weapon choice," the report says. Only 1 offender hand-picked a particular gun "because he felt it would do the most damage to a human being."

    Researcher Davis, in a presentation and discussion for the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police, noted that none of the attackers interviewed was "hindered by any law--federal, state or local--that has ever been established to prevent gun ownership. They just laughed at gun laws."


    Several of the offenders began regularly to carry weapons when they were 9 to 12 years old, although the average age was 17 when they first started packing "most of the time." Gang members especially started young. Nearly 40% of the offenders had some type of formal firearms training, primarily from the military. More than 80% "regularly practiced with handguns, averaging 23 practice sessions a year," the study reports, usually in informal settings like trash dumps, rural woods, back yards and "street corners in known drug-trafficking areas."

    One spoke of being motivated to improve his gun skills by his belief that officers "go to the range two, three times a week [and] practice arms so they can hit anything."

    In reality, victim officers in the study averaged just 14 hours of sidearm training and 2.5 qualifications per year. Only 6 of the 50 officers reported practicing regularly with handguns apart from what their department required, and that was mostly in competitive shooting. Overall, the offenders practiced more often than the officers they assaulted, and this "may have helped increase [their] marksmanship skills," the study says.

    The offender quoted above about his practice motivation, for example, fired 12 rounds at an officer, striking him 3 times. The officer fired 7 rounds, all misses.

    More than 40% of the offenders had been involved in actual shooting confrontations before they feloniously assaulted an officer. Ten of these "street combat veterans," all from "inner-city, drug-trafficking environments," had taken part in 5 or more "criminal firefight experiences" in their lifetime.

    One reported that he was 14 when he was first shot on the street, "about 18 before a cop shot me." Another said getting shot was a pivotal experience "because I made up my mind no one was gonna shoot me again."

    Again in contrast, only 8 of the 50 LEO victims had participated in a prior shooting; 1 had been involved in 2 previously, another in 3. Seven of the 8 had killed offenders.


    The offenders said they most often hid guns on their person in the front waistband, with the groin area and the small of the back nearly tied for second place. Some occasionally gave their weapons to another person to carry, "most often a female companion." None regularly used a holster, and about 40% at least sometimes carried a backup weapon.

    In motor vehicles, they most often kept their firearm readily available on their person, or, less often, under the seat. In residences, most stashed their weapon under a pillow, on a nightstand, under the mattress--somewhere within immediate reach while in bed.

    Almost all carried when on the move and strong majorities did so when socializing, committing crimes or being at home. About one-third brought weapons with them to work. Interestingly, the offenders in this study more commonly admitted having guns under all these circumstances than did offenders interviewed in the researchers' earlier 2 surveys, conducted in the 1980s and '90s.

    According to Davis ,"Male offenders said time and time again that female officers tend to search them more thoroughly than male officers. In prison, most of the offenders were more afraid to carry contraband or weapons when a female CO was on duty."

    On the street, however, both male and female officers too often regard female subjects "as less of a threat, assuming that they not going to have a gun," Davis said. In truth, the researchers concluded that more female offenders are armed today than 20 years ago--"not just female gang associates, but female offenders generally."

    Shooting Style

    Twenty-six of the offenders [about 60%], including all of the street combat veterans, "claimed to be instinctive shooters, pointing and firing the weapon without consciously aligning the sights," the study says.

    "They practice getting the gun out and using it," Davis explained. "They shoot for effect." Or as one of the offenders put it: "[W]e're not working with no marksmanship. We just putting it in your direction, you know. It don't matter as long as it's gonna hit you if it's up at your head or your chest, down at your legs, whatever. Once I squeeze and you fall, then if I want to execute you, then I could go from there."

    Hit Rate

    More often than the officers they attacked, offenders delivered at least some rounds on target in their encounters. Nearly 70% of assailants were successful in that regard with handguns, compared to about 40% of the victim officers, the study found. (Efforts of offenders and officers to get on target were considered successful if any rounds struck, regardless of the number fired.)

    Davis speculated that the offenders might have had an advantage because in all but 3 cases they fired first, usually catching the officer by surprise. Indeed, the report points out, "10 of the total victim officers had been wounded [and thus impaired] before they returned gunfire at their attackers."

    Missed Cues

    Officers would less likely be caught off guard by attackers if they were more observant of indicators of concealed weapons, the study concludes. These particularly include manners of dress, ways of moving and unconscious gestures often related to carrying.

    "Officers should look for unnatural protrusions or bulges in the waist, back and crotch areas," the study says, and watch for "shirts that appear rippled or wavy on one side of the body while the fabric on the other side appears smooth." In warm weather, multi layered clothing inappropriate to the temperature may be a giveaway. On cold or rainy days, a subject's jacket hood may not be covering his head because it is being used to conceal a handgun.

    Because they eschew holsters, offenders reported frequently touching a concealed gun with hands or arms" to assure themselves that it is still hidden, secure and accessible" and hasn't shifted. Such gestures are especially noticeable "whenever individuals change body positions, such as standing, sitting or exiting a vehicle." If they run, they may need to keep a constant grip on a hidden gun to control it.

    Just as cops generally blade their body to make their sidearm less accessible, armed criminals "do the same in encounters with LEOs to ensure concealment and easy access." An irony, Davis noted, is that officers who are assigned to look for concealed weapons, while working off-duty security at night clubs for instance, are often highly proficient at detecting them. "But then when they go back to the street without that specific assignment, they seem to 'turn off' that skill," and thus are startled--sometimes fatally--when a suspect suddenly produces a weapon and attacks.


    Thirty-six of the 50 officers in the study had "experienced hazardous situations where they had the legal authority" to use deadly force "but chose not to shoot." They averaged 4 such prior incidents before the encounters that the researchers investigated. "It appeared clear that none of these officers were willing to use deadly force against an offender if other options were available," the researchers concluded.

    The offenders were of a different mind-set entirely. In fact, Davis said the study team "did not realize how cold blooded the younger generation of offender is. They have been exposed to killing after killing, they fully expect to get killed and they don't hesitate to shoot anybody, including a police officer. They can go from riding down the street saying what a beautiful day it is to killing in the next instant."

    "Offenders typically displayed no moral or ethical restraints in using firearms," the report states. "In fact, the street combat veterans survived by developing a shoot-first mentality.

    "Officers never can assume that a criminal is unarmed until they have thoroughly searched the person and the surroundings themselves." Nor, in the interest of personal safety, can officers "let their guards down in any type of law enforcement situation."
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  13. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    one factor I seldom see mentioned , is that you'll rarely need a gun, but if you need one chances are good the range will be under 15 feet and if you fail to stop an attacker almost instantly your chances of surviving drop rapidly, as the time increases,as your only justified if your opponents armed as well in most cases, your so carrying is a bit like having a fire extinguisher, it sits hopefully unused for decades, but it damn sure better work , instantly if its required too, and if you do you'll need it very badly, by that Im pointing out that once you produce a firearm your in a whole different world legally from just kicking some creep, in the groin or punching him in the nose. once you pull a gun you better be totally justified in killing your opponent, on the spot 100% of the time
    and that its always a judgment call, get it right and you save your life and maybe other lives,but get it wrong and you loose your rights and go to jail or get killed.
    not all problems are best resolved with a gun, walking away, apologizing even when the other guys totally wrong or a jerk, beats confrontation and legal issues, and having some martial arts skill is a huge plus.
    one of my martial arts instructors was at one time attacked and attempted to be robbed, as he got into his car,as he left an ATM, he kicked the guy robbing him in the knee cap, bending it backwards, then stomped on his attackers neck as he tried to retrieve his gun, and only then reached for his gun, and cell phone, luckily all the action was on the atm video and he was in no trouble even though the attacker was seriously injured , and the attacker claimed he was the victim, and the creep claimed my friend attacked him when the cops arrived
    if he had taken the time to draw a gun he probably would have gotten shot, but having the gun prevented the creep from reaching for his once he dropped it
  14. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    watch this video
    yes the store owner died ,because he was robbed by scum,because he was not observant and prepared, because he didn,t effectively defend himself due to equipment failure and lack of practical skill and practice with his pistol
    for another reason a revolver is a good choice for self defense..just point and pull the trigger.

    a good quality 357 mag with 6 sure shots beats any hi cap automatic that won,t fire every time, but if you carry an auto carry cocked and locked, so simply pointing and releasing the safety, and pulling the trigger in one motion gets you into action, that's why under stress a GLOCK 45 or 10mm makes a great deal of sense, theres almost nothing that can jam and reliability is almost 100%
    if this shop owner had skill and his weapon functioned he had at least a decent chance of stopping the crooks and surviving
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2016
  15. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

  16. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    IF youve selected a small caliber pocket pistol as your carry choice, Id invite you to go wild hog hunting with your handgun of choice so you can see for yourself how the difference in bullet weight and striking energy makes a huge difference in how effective a handgun can be. and how hard it is to precisely place shots on a moving adversary.
    now you may think that's not a fair test, but most hogs weight in the same 140-250 lb range that most adult human males fall into and a drugged up man is likely to be just as hard to stop.
    FRANK, is one of my good friends and he shot a large totally pissed off hog with his 9mm loaded with hollow points until the magazine was empty, at point blank range and got seriously bit, and slashed, as a result, keep in mind you may be able to out maneuver and out think a hog and the hogs got no knife or gun, but IT will open your eyes to the potential risk of being under gunned,

    BTW bring a buddy you trust with a pump 12 ga loaded with sabot slugs to extract your butt from the pissed of hog, if you use a 32 or 380 pocket pistol, because he may be needed
  17. grumpyvette

    grumpyvette Administrator Staff Member

    The "Center Mass" Myth and Ending a Gunfight
    By Jim Higginbotham

    Surviving a gunfight isn't what you think it is. Do not
    let conventional wisdom get you killed. A well place round to "center mass" in your attacker may not take him out of the fight. Lots of people stay in the fight after "center mass" hits, and some even win it. If you expect to win your gunfight, you have to make sure that you have effectively ended the threat of your attacker. One, two or even several well placed "center mass" shots may not do what you think it will, and learning to recognize this before you gunfight may save your life.

    There is a self styled self defense expert under every rock, and perhaps two behind every bush, these days. If you have a pet theory on what might work on the street then you can probably find a champion for that idea who actually charges people to teach them that skill. But few of the experts out there have ever been in gunfights, and even fewer have studied real gunfights to see how things really work out when the bullets really fly for blood.

    There are more misconceptions out there than I can cover in one article but the one that probably gets to me the most, even over all the caliber wars that rage interminably in the print and cyber media, is the nearly universal acceptance that shooting a miscreant center mass with ________(fill in your favorite make, model and caliber) shooting _________ (fill in your favorite ammunition) hyper speed truck killer is practically guaranteed to get the job done.

    Having studied in this field from a number of decades, I have run into plenty of cases where bullets did not do what folks would have assumed. And I have now collected enough of these that I think that rather than being anomalies, they are actually closer to the norm. Center mass hits in a gunfight do not in most cases end the fight. Erroneous assumptions can get you killed!

    There is a well known video in training circles in which a Highway Patrol officer shoots an armed subject 5 times center mass (this is not my assessment but the statement of his immediate supervisors which are interviewed on the full version of the hour long tape) with his 4 .357 Magnum revolver firing hollow point ammunition. All 5 hits failed to do the job and the subject was able to fire one round which struck the officer in the armpit. That round wondered around in the chest cavity and found his heart. The officer unfortunately died at the scene and his attacker is alive today.

    In a class I conduct under the title "Fire For Effect" I start out by showing a video of standoff in which a hostage taker is fired on by police with .223 rifles and .40 caliber handguns. Throughout the whole disturbing sequence, which lasts about 10 seconds, the bad guy is hit multiple times in the torso with both rifle and pistol rounds. You can see him place his non-firing hand to his chest, clearly a lung is hit. However he is able to shoot his hostage 3 times, not rapidly. The hostage, a trim female, is active throughout the scene but later died from her wounds. In this case both the attacker and the victim had center mass  hits that had no immediate effect.

    I have accumulated confirmed incidents in which people have been shot center mass  up to 55 times with 9mm JHP ammunition (the subject was hit 106 times, but 55 of those hits were ruled by the coroner to be each lethal in and of themselves) before he went down. During training at the FBI Academy we were told of a case in which agents shot a bank robber 65 times with 9mm, .223 and 00 buckshot he survived! These are not rare cases. The happen quite often.

    If a gunfight ever comes your way, your attacker may fall to a hit to the liver and he may not. He may fall to two or three hits to the kidneys, intestines or spleen, but he may not. He will certainly be in bad health. He likely will not survive, but what he does for the next several seconds to a few minutes is not guaranteed because you hit him "center mass."

    Heart and lung hits don't statistically fare much better. I have three students and three other acquaintances who were all shot in a lung at the outset of gunfights. The students came to me after their fights to learn how to keep from getting shot again. Last time I checked all of those people were still alive and the people who shot them are still dead. Every one of them was able to respond effectively after being shot center mass one might even say they were shot in the â A-zone And they were shot with .38 Special (three of them), 9mm, .357 Magnum and 8mm Mauser, so it's not all about caliber. One of those was a Chicom 12.7 mm round! He lived next door to me for many years.

    So, what s a person to do? First off, realize that one shot, even a fairly well placed shot may not do the job so do not set there and admire your handiwork or wait for it to take effect. But even two hits may not get the job done!

    After years of trying to get a grasp on this I have come to look at the results of shooting a living breathing target be it a human attacker or a game animal as falling into 3 or 4 categories. They are :

    Instant Collapse this takes place 1 to 2 seconds from the shot being fired
    Rapid Collapse this can take from 3 to 15 seconds and is quite common.
    Marginal Effect this can even be a lethal hit but it takes from 15 to 300 (yes 300!) or even more seconds.
    The 4th is simply unacceptable and is a total failure.
    The last category we dont like to discuss but happens too often . We saw it recently in Washington with a Center Mass hit from an officer s pistol and the subject was still walking around the next day.

    What is effective shooting? Sad to say, it is demanding. It is also, I think, variable depending on the conditions. For example, the robber armed with a scatter gun who is standing 10 feet away must be stopped right now!  If you do not bring about Instant Collapse someone may very well die that someone may be you!

    On the other hand, if there is a gang banger launching bullets in your general direction using un-aimed fire about 20 yards away then a hit that brings about Rapid Collapse might do the job.

    I cannot imagine a Marginally Effective result being very desirable in any case, but it does buy you some time in some cases.

    How does this relate to hits? In order to achieve Instant Collapse you must scramble the â circuitry  that keeps the bad guy on the attack. That means the brain or spinal cord.

    The head is not only a fairly difficult target to hit in the real world because it moves a lot but it is also difficult to penetrate and get a pistol bullet into the place it must be to be effective. For normal purposes we might write off the head, keeping it in reserve for very special circumstances.

    The spine is not that easy to hit either. It isn't large, and to be effective the hit needs to be in the upper 1/3 of the spine or at a point about level with the tip of the sternum. I think that is around T11. But of course the huge problem is that it is hidden by the rest of the body. We are the good guys, we do not go around shooting people in the back. So the exact location is something that can only be learned through lots of practice on 3D targets. Your point of aim on the surface changes with the angle at which the target is facing.

    The bottom of the spine isn't much use. I know of several people shot in the pelvis. It did not break them down as many theorize. I am not saying it doesnt happen but in the only case I know of in which it did the person who was anchored  with a .357 magnum to the pelvis killed the person that shot him “ you can shoot just fine from prone.

    A shot, or preferably multiple shots to the heart and major arteries above the heart (not below!) may achieve Rapid Collapse, but not always. Officer Stacy Lim was shot in the heart at contact distance with a .357 Magnum and is still alive and her attacker is still dead! Score one for the good guys or in this case gals!

    So now what constitutes Marginal Effectiveness? A hit to the lungs! Even multiple hits to the lungs. Unfortunately though, most often lung hits are effective in ending the fight because the subject decides to quit the fight, not because he MUST. A famous Colonel Louis LeGarde once wrote what is considered "the" book on gunshot wounds. 65% of his patients shot through the lungs with rifles! survived with the predominant treatment being only bed rest!

    Effective Practice and "Dynamic Response"

    The goal of practice, one would think, is to make correct, effective shooting techniques a matter of reflex, so that you don't have to think about what you are doing in a gunfight.

    Most people will perform under stress at about 50 to 60% as well as they do on the range and that is if they practice a lot! If they only go to the range once every other month that performance level decreases dramatically. Shooting and weapons handling are very perishable skills. Also folks tend to practice the wrong stuff inadvertently. I put this in the classification of practicing getting killed but that too is a topic for another day.

    Let s talks about a basic response, what I call "Dynamic Response." Situations vary and this is not meant to be a universal answer, just one that will work for about 80% of scenarios.

    It is pointless to stand still on the range and shoot a stationary target, unless you simply want to polish up some marksmanship fundamentals. That is a necessary part of learning to shoot. But if you are practicing for a fight, then fight!

    Some rules.

    Don t go to the range without a covering garment unless of course you always carry your gun exposed (no comment).
    Don t practice drawing your gun fast ever! while standing still.
    Click on the link to see a short video.
    Part of the Dynamic Response is to step off the line of attack (or on rare occasions that are dependent on circumstances backwards or forwards) and present the weapon with as much alacrity as you can muster and engage the target with overwhelming and accurate fire! By the way, never assume a fight is completely over just because you canceled one threat. Dont practice standing down  too quickly. We have a video attached which will hopefully give you the right idea.

    I wish there was a formula of how to stand and how to hold you gun but there really isn't. We don t do Weaver vs. Isosceles vs. Modern Iso vs. whatever . We do not do Thumbs Crossed vs. Thumbs Forward vs. Thumb Up never mind Those are things for you to work out on your own. You use what makes YOU effective not what works for a guy who practices 50,000 rounds the week before a big match (that is not an exaggeration). Competitive shooters will throw out advice on what works for them. It may not work for you.

    There is also not one true gun . Your skill is far more important that what you carry, within reason. We are not really talking about stopping power , whatever that is, here but rather effectiveness.

    I can find no real measure referred to by some as a mathematical model of stopping power or effectiveness. And I have looked for 44 years now! Generally speaking I do see that bigger holes (in the right place) are more effective than smaller holes but the easy answer to that is just to shoot your smaller gun more a big shot is just a little shot that kept shooting . True, I carry a .45 but that is because I am lazy and want to shoot less. A good bullet in 9mm in the right place (the spine!) will get the job done. If you hit the heart, 3 or 4 expanded 9mms will do about what a .45 expanding bullet will do or one might equal .45 ball .IF (note the big if) it penetrates. That is not based on any formula, it is based on what I have found to happen sometimes real life does not make sense.

    Practicing Dynamic Response means practicing with an open mind. Circumstances in a real gunfight are unpredictable and the more unpredictability you mix up into your practice the more your brain will be preparing itself for a possible real gunfight.

    In real life, your gunfight may be dark, cold, rainy, etc. The subject may be anorexic (a lot of bad guys are not very healthy) or he may be obese (effective penetration and stopping power of your weapon). There are dozens of modifiers which change the circumstance, most not under your control. My only advice on this is what I learned from an old tanker: Shoot until the target changes shape or catches fire!” Vertical to horizontal is a shape change, and putting that one more round into his chest at point blank range may catch his clothes on fire, even without using black powder.

    We tell our military folks to be prepared to hit an enemy fighter from 3-7 times with 5.56 ball, traveling at over 3,000 feet per second. This approach sometimes worked, but I know of several cases where it has not, even "center mass."

    With handguns, and with expanding bullets, it is even more unpredictable, but through years of study I have developed a general formula, subject to the above mentioned unpredictable circumstances.

    2-3 hits with a .45
    4-6 with a .40
    5-8 with a 9mm
    With a revolver, the rounds are not necessarily more effective but I would practice shooting 3 in a .38 or .357 merely because I want 3 left for other threats. Not that those next three won follow quickly if the target hasn t changed shape around my front sight blade. A .41, .44 or .45 Colt I would probably drop to two. Once again, they are not that much more effective than a .45 Auto but I don t have the bullets to waste.

    In any case, I want to stress the part that it is more about how you shoot than what you shoot, within reason. It is also more about the mindset and condition of the subject you are shooting which is not under your control. Take control buy good bullets and put them where they count the most! And remember anyone worth shooting once is worth shooting a whole lot! (but please stop when the threat is cancelled, we don t advocate finishing shots .

    Gunfights are ugly things. I don't like to talk about the blood and guts aspects of defending life any more than the next guy. But it is our lives we are talking about here. By researching how gunfights are fought, and more importantly, how gunfights are won, it may give both of us the edge if a gunfight ever comes our way. I hope to cover many of the points I have learned and learned to train others in over the coming months. It isn't as easy to write about it as it is to teach it in person, but you can only succeed if you are willing to try.

    I hope you enjoy the ride.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2016
  18. rbl2

    rbl2 Well-Known Member

    The debate over caliber size will continue as long as there are different calibers. I was taught, and I agree, that a larger, slower moving bullet will cause more damage than a small, fast bullet. Many will argue that point especially when it comes to hunting rifles. Personally I don't think it matters if your rifle shoots at 2200 feet per second and mine only shoots at 1350 and we are both shooting at less than 300 yards, max. Most of my shots are at less than 100 yards.

    Shot placement will trump caliber every time but as you said, don't count on an instant or rapid collapse. What I was taught was to keep shooting until your foe is incapicitated and then some. The quote is, "you can't kill him enough". I must add that was military training. In the real world you may want to reconsider that final shot.

    Over the years I have known several people who have been shot, all with a variety of weapons and a variety of results. A friends mother took his .357 and put it to the center of her chest and pulled the trigger in an attempt to commit suicide. She failed. Another man I knew was shot and killed by his wifes boyfriend with a 16 ga. shot gun at point blank range. Point blank being about 4 feet. He took 3 shots to the chest and stood there. The 4th was to his head and he dropped, never to breathe again. This man was very muscular if that makes a difference. Well above average strength. He was also an alcoholic. Then there was the married couple I knew that ran a gun store. It was robbed one morning. The husband was shot in the chest and died before he hit the floor. I was told the bullet hit his heart. The wife was shot 7 or 8 times in the chest and once in the head. She lived about an hour before they were found by their daughter and the medics arrived. She remained conscious all the way to the operating room. Along the way she provided the police with the details of the robbery plus a description of the two men who shot, and unfortunately, killed not only her husband, but her as well as she died on the operating table. Had the medics been there sooner perhaps she would have lived too. I dated their daughter.

    I would venture too that someone under fire would be doing very well to shoot at a 50-60% level of his normal shooting skills.

    Every deer I have ever shot, except two, dropped within 1-2 seconds. One dropped about 5 minutes later. Upon being shot (at approx 375 yards) he bucked for a few minutes, stopped and stared back as if he knew where I was, and then walked into the brush where he watched again for about 5 minutes before walking off about 20 yards and dying. The bullet had hit him about 1" above his heart. The other deer dropped immediately upon being shot, at about 20 yards. Just as quick he was up and gone. If those two animals were capable of that so is a man.

    I've seen men hit with shrapnel, some from just a few feet away. Some were hurt very badly to say the least and still survived. I concluded that there are various factors involved in a mans survival when shot or hit with shrapnel, not the least of which would be luck and Gods wishes.
  19. IBob

    IBob Active Member

    This is the first time I looked in here.
    Some good information re weapons selection and other info I am previously familiar with.

    IBob aka Guantes, DATD creator.
  20. Doodad

    Doodad Active Member

    The wider the wound channel the better. Also the shockwave release into the body cavity and internals.I stick with my .40 in a fanny pack.I agree with one thing target practice until you can group within 2".There is no better defense than your brain ,be aware of possible attack before it can occur. When it does be the first and last to fire. :shock:

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