Defensive sidearm priorities

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by TranterUK, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Ok, here's a challenge. Place the following in order of importance in your ideal handgun for self defence:

    a) Large magazine capacity.

    b) Reliability.

    c) Weight.

    d) Hard hitting calibre.

    e) Accuracy.

    Now hang on, we want them all, but think it through, you may value an effective calibre over large capacity, or the reverse. Maybe start by figuring what you would place top of the list, or bottom.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2009
  2. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    B) Reliability
    C) Weight
    D) Hard hitting caliber :D
    A) Large magazine capacity
    E) Accuracy

    At least that's what I think right now... that opinion may change in an hour or so.

    Accuracy is pretty low on my list because I've never seen a gun that couldn't hit a man-sized target at 3 yards. I've shot a few with which I couldn't consistently hit a man-sized target at 3 yards, but it was me, not the gun.

    EDIT: I included "size" into the weight consideration.
  3. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

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    For a concealed carry piece I would choose this order:

    b) Reliability.
    c) Weight.
    e) Accuracy.
    d) Hard hitting calibre.
    a) Large magazine capacity.

    If I was openly carrying this is the order:

    b) Reliability.
    e) Accuracy.
    d) Hard hitting calibre.
    a) Large magazine capacity.
    c) Weight.
  4. carver

    carver Moderator

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    a) Large magazine capacity. I think that I need a large magazine capacity, because if someone is shooting at me, I'm most likely to miss a lot, trying to shoot back! Besides, you never know how many BG's you are going to incounter.
    b) Reliability. Any gun I carry must be reliable.
    c) Weight. Weight isn't as important as having the ability to defend myself.
    d) Hard hitting calibre. I suppose that any calibre is hard hitting, as long as the penitratin is there. I know I don't want to be shot by any of them!!!! I used to think that only the largest of bullets was needed, but not any more!
    e) Accuracy. Like CampingJosh said!
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  5. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    So far, so good...

    See where were going here? With a few more we will start to get a picture for the ideal defensive handgun. :)
  6. 1. Reliability is absolutely #1 for any firearm. If it won't go "bang" 99.9999% of the time when you press on that little sliver of metal underneath the frame, it as useless as t**s on a boar hog!

    2. Weight. The firearm that is so heavy and uncomfortable to carry that it gets left at home may as well be a paper weight . . . or a boat anchor.

    3. Caliber. The caliber must be sufficient to get the job done, but it needn't be able to reduce the target to nothing but assorted atoms floating in space. Last time I checked, it is difficult to make a target deader than dead, even if you splatter him all over the landscape!

    4. Large capacity. Actually, this should read "sufficient capacity." It is rare indeed for a civilian to get into a sustained fire fight, though for a LEO this factor should probably be higher on the list. The "spray and pray" method only works in the movies. Learning to shoot the weapon accurately should be where the emphasis is placed.

    4. Accuracy. Important but not critically so. At self-defense differences it matters not a whit whether the weapon will put all rounds into the same hole or only into a small pie plate.
  7. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

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    a) reliability
    b) accuracy
    c) hard hitting caliber
    d) large capacity magazine
    e) weight

    On second thought, if the first two were really that important I suppose a .22 would be the ideal sidearm...so let me revise this.

    a) reliability
    b) hard hitting caliber
    c) magazine capacity
    d) accuracy
    e) weight

    I have previously owned a number of handguns and currently own an XD 40. I have an affinity for 1911 .45's though and they are my all time favorite. Having said that I have recently come to the conclusion that the 9mm auto is likely the perfect self defense carry caliber for me. Though not the most effective cartridge and undoubtedly I'd want more to go to war, I believe it is adequate to do the job for a civilian. Probably the best all round compromise of the attributes listed. How can you beat a 19 rd capacity in the new XD 9's?
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  8. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    If I may..... D) we can throw out the window. No concealable handgun is currently chambered for anything close to hard hitting; .45 ACP and .357 Mag included. Relatively speaking all defensive handguns are puny tools...like digging a grave with a garden shovel.

    1. E) Accuracy is paramount. True, anything on the shelf will hit a man at 3 yards. I respectfully disagree that a man-sized target is adequate. The accuracy needed for realistic self-defense is a coffee saucer sized area. If I cannot connect with the A-zone/9-ring at a distance I intend to use the weapon, all else is useless. For example, a G17/1911 I can hit an A-zone at 25 yards...PPK/s 15 yards...derringer 3 yards etc, based on my intentions. So I place E) first.
    2/1. B) Reliability is directly beside #1. Not after. If it doesn't go boom.......
    3. C) Weight. The lighter/smaller it is, the more it gets carried. A heavy handgun as the day goes by just gets heavier and heavier.
    4. A) This goes back to #3. With polymer frame handguns even more so, when you double the ammo you nearly double the felt carry weight. Put a 10 rnd mag in a Glock, then put in a 17 rnd mag...it is a difference.

    I'd say a F) should be here for price of ammo. The price of .45 ACP has steered lots of folks towards .38 Spl, .357 Mag, and 9mm. Those enthusiasts shooting daily/weekly, competing, attending schools where ammo is self provided etc that don't reload are very conscious of price....only shooting 1,000 FMJ rounds a week means about $320 cheaper per month to fire 9mm than .45 ACP....500 rounds a week $160 a month cheaper etc. You can save enough money by choosing a more affordable caliber to fund another hobby.:)
  9. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    my choices are. b.) reliability c.) weight d.) hard hitting caliber (anything from 38spl +p and up) tied for last are e.) accuracy and a.) large magazine capacity. never bought into the large magazine capacity idea with one exception the browning HP. as for accuracy. if you practice enough and learn how your gun shoots you can nail a target with bent sights. just as long as you know how to conpensate for the quirks of your weapon.
  10. graehaven

    graehaven Well-Known Member

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    I like USMC's take and I like what Delta had to say too. Both have combat experience (I think, right?) so their opinion carries more weight (haha) than mine.

    That being said, I go also for (f): Start executing all the violent felons, and we won't have to carry so often and everywhere! :mad:
  11. Dirtypacman

    Dirtypacman New Member

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    1) Reliability
    2) Weight.
    3) Accuracy.
    4) Stopping Power/Hard hitting calibre.
    5) Capacity

    1 is obvious, 2 is for ease of concealment, 3 has to be , 4 gots to have them hit the floor, if 1,2,3,4 are proper 5 does not need to enter the equation for me as a priority.
  12. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

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    Graehaven, in the name of full disclosure, I'm neither a combat vet nor have I ever had to fire shots in anger; I've come very close, but that's a whole other discussion. I have spend most of my adult life bearing arms for a living, primarily as an infantryman but also in military law enforcement and security forces.

    I am far from a defensive firearms authority and as far as I'm concerned, my opinion only carries more weight than yours when it comes to my own personal situation. I'm just sharing my opinions and trying to learn from the collective experience of our TFF compatriots.

    Tranter's premise with this thread is interesting and I've sort of been thinking about it lately, but in a bit of different way. My son has discovered Indiana Jones and we've been watching those movies on a semi-regular basis. I always smile at the scene early in ROTLA when Indy tells Marcus that he's always careful while at the same time tossing an S&W revolver into his suitcase.

    It sometimes makes me wonder what handgun I'd toss in my bag for a similar situation. There is no expectation of or desire for combat, but the understanding of going places and doing things that would put someone in a position where they may have to defend themselves with vigor. If nothing else it's a great mental exercise and fun sharing thoughts and opinions with everyone else here.
  13. Doug.38PR

    Doug.38PR Member

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    1) reliablity
    2) accuracy
    3) hard hitting caliber
    4) weight
    5) Large magazine capacity


    I typically carry a service revolver or a snub nose small frame revolver.
  14. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    That, is what its about :)
  15. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

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    Reliability is number one period.

    Caliber (.38/9mm min) next.

    Everything else is a secondary consideration.
  16. Ursus

    Ursus New Member

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    B-E-D-A-C From More to less important
  17. 1.s.1.k

    1.s.1.k New Member

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    1911 enough sead
  18. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

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    b) reliability

    d hard hitting calibre

    e accuracy

    c weight

    a large cap mag

    I know people generally want small handguns for CC. I personally dont care for small packages. In winter when I carry, it's a full size 10mm. I use a horizontal shoulder hoslter and a light jacket over it. In summer I use a Galco paddle holster on my hip with a loose fitting shirt to cover it. If someone sees the buldge, screw um. I've done my job by covering it up.
    If your gonna carry then I think you should carry something worth a terd.
    I am only 5'6" and stocky so its hard for me to conceal. I decided years ago to do what I needed to and not worry about who might see a buldge. Thats my .02
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
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