THE BEST CALIBER FOR CONCEALED CARRY
As originally published in Wide Open Spaces
Article by Tatiana Whitlock
Concealed carriers often debate about which caliber is the best for personal protection.
The great caliber debate has been raging for decades. The topic sparks heated debates filled with ballistic reports and psudeo-science. When it comes to which caliber firearm you select for your concealed carry gun most refrence what the current Military and Law Enforcement agencies are using and go with that.
For the average citizen legally carrying concealed is .45cal better at stopping an attacker than 9mm? Is .40cal better than 9mm? What about a .22mag? The answer is as simple as it is complex and it is ultimately up to you, the consumer to decide.
So, which caliber gun do I buy? For many new to shooting for personal protection, the 9mm provides a reliable load, manageable recoil and budget friendly option. Manufacturers have evolved this round as materials and technology have advanced and have reintroduced the 9mm as widely accepted personal protection option.
Would it be appropriate to put a .45 with +P rounds in the hands of an arthritic seventy-four-year-old man and expect him to shoot to slide lock within a three-inch grouping under stress? No. Therefore, the .45 is far from the best round for him and a 9mm would be a more responsible and appropriate choice.
Select the gun that fits your physique and level of training budget. In addition to the physical size of the gun, consider how many rounds it can hold. The higher the capacity, the more bullets, and the more life-saving options the gun provides in any caliber.
Regardless of the gun you select the most important factor in the caliber debate is not something that can be purchased at the checkout lane. It’s you. The gun is only as capable as the person who pulls the trigger.
Your investment at the retail level is only a portion of the overall investment you must make in yourself to be proficient with your equipment. Will emptying a magazine of .22mag in a well placed four-inch grouping on an advancing attacker cause fatal results? Absolutely. Would emptying a magazine of .45, .40 or 9mm in the same manner stop an attacker? Absolutely. The commonality here isn’t in the amount of bang in the gun it’s how accurate and effective the person shooting it is.
Becoming familiar with your gun and mastering shot placement under stress is key to success. Once you have your gun, practice ammo and have selected a reputable personal protection load appropriate for your gun, it’s time to hit the range.
Training with ball ammo keeps the wallet happy and is great for new shooters to learn with. However, few folks carry ball ammo in their every day carry gun. It’s is vital that you invest in a box or two of various brands of personal protection loads and see what cycles best, and goes bang every time, through your gun. Reliability of your equipment and proficiency of your skills is what will save your life.
Bottom line: the fastest most accurate grouping of shots placed on target wins fights. Regardless of caliber, mastery of your firearm and your ability to respond appropriately under stress will dictate more about your survivability than the caliber of the gun. If your shots aren’t accurately placed in lethal targeting zones then no caliber of any power is going to give you an advantage.