For Conceald Carry; A .22 Mag, .32 ACP or a .38 Special?

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by Rhuga, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. Rhuga

    Rhuga Member

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    I want to really thank you folks for all the patience you have had with me over the last couple of weeks and all the great info you have shared.

    I am waffling between buying a .32 APC and a .38 Special either in a pistol or revolver for concealed carry. The CZ-70 makes a great .32 ACP Auto. EAA, Charter Arms, and Rossi make a great .38 Special revolver with a 2" barrel.

    With .38 Special, 4" barrel revolver I can place 6 shots in a 10 inch diameter pattern at 25 ft, normally. But, with a .22 LR I can put a tighter pattern than that at the same distance of about 4-5 inches. This is at rapid fire.

    So, my thinking is this: maybe with a .32 ACP which is more powerful than the .22 LR that I can perform better with a 32 ACP auto over the .38 Special which is heavier and a little more bulky. Also I had many thoughts about a .22 mag in a nice auto or revolver in a inside the pants holster.
    Do you folks have any ideas?
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
  2. popgun

    popgun New Member

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    there are not many reliable 22 mag semi auto handguns, but several co. make a revolver in that caliber.
  3. hunter29180

    hunter29180 Well-Known Member

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    for CC recommend the 38 over your other preferances. that being said try one of the 357 with 4 in bbl. you can still load the 38 specials but if you feel the need you can also shoot the 38 special +p's, +p+'s and the 357 mag in the same revolver. course if youe preferance is a semiauto then the choices get smaller.

    it really comes down to what you are comfortable with handling. Me being a old fat fart like anything starting with 4 or larger for primary..but then for back up i am prone to carry a .22 lr or mag. many game wardens carry a .22 or .380 as a back up. in times when a cilvian is their back up person, they have found almost all people can use these with comfort. thats why it became my preferance for a Back up weapon.
  4. carver

    carver Moderator

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    http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/results.html

    The above link will give you some really good information on the different calibers you have mentioned.

    As far as I'm concerned I will take a .38 over either the .32, or the .22. All three calibers will stop a threat, but the question is when? If a person is threatening my life I want him stopped NOW, not later! We all know that shot placement is everyting, but under stress, and possibily under fire, how well do you really think you can place those shots? Most experts tell us that the .380 is smallest caliber to be considered for SD, and I agree with them.
  5. user

    user Active Member

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    Definitely a .38 special, of those choices. 9mm in semiautomatic is pretty much the equivalent. Anything smaller is likely to make your attacker angrier. Anything more powerful is just more flash/bang/recoil. You can get some really nice, used S&W 4" K frame revolvers chambered in .38 from about three hundred bucks, and that would be my suggestion. They're not the smallest and lightest possible, but I've never had a problem with CC'ing them. I do not recommend a gun chambered in .357 unless you really want to shoot .357 - the use of .38's in such a gun will eventually erode the end of the chamber where the plasma shoots out around the end of the .38's case, which is shorter than the .357's case. Not a problem for occasional use, but a steady diet of .38's will eventually damage the cylinder. Much better to get a gun chambered in .38 to begin with.
  6. hogger129

    hogger129 Active Member

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    Out of all those, I'd go with the .38 Special, but .32 ACP ain't bad.
  7. Chinook

    Chinook New Member

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    Given the usage of the firearm, and ammo you are trying to decide on... I would go as BIG as possible. Chances are good, the threat is not going to be inside of 25 feet, and if you can put a round, or all 6, in a target the size of a saucer, or small plate... You have the threat under control.
  8. 6x6pinz

    6x6pinz New Member

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    need to watch that. The statistics show between 7 to 10 feet for SD engagement.

    but the 38 is the best choice of the three
  9. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

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    "Likely to make your attacker angrier" is a very irresponsible statement! Smaller calibers are deadly, too.
    I have never seen a .357 cylinder damaged or eroded from shooting .38 Specials-even after thousands of rounds.

    Buy the gun you shoot best.
  10. Clipper

    Clipper Active Member

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    I'm with Bill, .38's are not going to hurt your .357! Been there, done that a lot! Yes, there may be a build up in the cylinder, but it is easy to remove, will NEVER "hurt" your gun, easy to remedy.
  11. Boris

    Boris Former Guest

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    plasma?
  12. aryfrosty

    aryfrosty New Member

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    Mark Twain once was reported to have said..."It ain't the size of the dog in the fight that matters. It's the size of the fight in the dog." I have .22lrs, 22 mags, 32acp, 380acp, .38spl, .357mags, 9mms, .44spls, and ,45acps I will happily carry concealed and depend on. Shot placement matters more and only practice, of course coupled with a good dose of natural ability, will ensure good placement. That presupposes that you have a quality firearm and good ammo. Don't think I'm a total dummy. We're in the "silly season" and 30+ years as an LEO have taught me to anticipate things like that. My CCW for the season is an S&W 669 with one spare 12 rd mag. 147gr Remington hps will help ensure that the desired effect is attained in need.
  13. 3/2 STA SS

    3/2 STA SS Active Member

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    Here in Florida I would feel comfortable with any of those in my front right pocket. My Kel Tec .32 goes everywhere with me and the S&W 642 does as well when I have to wear a jacket.
    I had the mini .22 mag revolver and found it to be more of a toy that a serious weapon.
  14. focusmaniaczx3

    focusmaniaczx3 Member

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    why hasnt anyone suggested the kel-tec pmr-30? it is a semi-automatic .22 magnum power house that holds 30 rounds in a double stack magazine all bundled up in a handgun that appears to be about the same size as a mid-size glock and maybe smaller. recoil is nearly non-existant and the putdown power is there not to mention that you have 30 freaking rounds to take down your target. im on a waiting list for one right now as it is. kel-tec had some problems with keyholes at first (tumbling bullets) so they recalled the first batch of units and put a tighter twist on the barrel and have not had a hiccup since.
    notice the lack of recoil even under rapid fire.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CTizq4NCto
    and alot of people keep talking about the magazines having such terrible feeding issues especially under rapid fire. i say eat me and watch this VVV
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=O6GxFws8B7k
    http://www.keltecweapons.com/our-guns/pistols/pmr-30/
    read up on it if you are interested. the 22magnum being the exception to the rule i wouldnt carry anything smaller than a .38 personally. i actually dont even own a .38 i have a .357 and 9mm as the smallest carry pistols that i own until i get my hands on a pmr-30.
  15. gcalloway

    gcalloway New Member

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    I am a fan of the 38 from the three you suggested, but the first rule in a gunfight is to have a gun. So buy the one you will carry. I myself carry a Ruger LCP for everyday use ut on special occassions when I am out of my office I usually carry a Smith 38 with 2" barrel. Self defense happens at such close range long range practice is just what you do for confidence. Up close and personal you need a weapon that is like an instamatic camera. you just point and shoot.
  16. Smokeater52

    Smokeater52 New Member

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    I would have to reccomend the .38 or a 9mm. I have carried the S&W Bodyguard as well as the XD sub-compact 9mm. Both are very good guns. At first I was all about the .38 wheel gun because of it dependability, but after 3000 rounds without a single problem, I love my XD. It all boils down to what is comfortable to you. Hope this helps!
  17. aryfrosty

    aryfrosty New Member

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    Smokeater I think your last statement said it best. In the final analysis the weapon a person carries with the intent to possibly use it in self-defense should be the one the carrier feels most comfortable with. I have "enough" of a collection that I can carry what I wish to and I practice as often as possible in order to be familiar with them. But I admit to being most comfortable with a Smith M-64, 3". I have found myself gravitating to it many times when I "Suit up" to go out into the public world. I have personally done the action work and I know it well and know I can count on it.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011
  18. BikerNut

    BikerNut New Member

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    It's a cool-looking pistol and I'm personally tempted to buy one just because it's so unique... but it looks a lot longer than a mid-sized Glock, though I have not seen the two side-by-side.

    Concealed carry handguns that are large, bulky, heavy or uncomfortable tend not to be carried by the average guy (average gals get to carry in their purse).

    I'd recommend a 9mm mid-size auto for two main reasons: (1) it's flatter than a revolver, and holds against your anatomy more comfortably; and (2) most hold more than six rounds.
  19. Dirtypacman

    Dirtypacman New Member

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    me 38 hands down
  20. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    KelTec PMR-30 is advertised as a "full-size" handgun. Here's the specs:

    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
    Calibers: .22 Magnum (.22WMR)
    Weight unloaded: 13.6oz. 385.6g
    Loaded Magazine: 6oz. 170.1g
    Length: 7.9" 200.7mm
    Height: 5.8" 147.3mm
    Width: 1.3" 33.0mm
    Barrel length: 4.3" 109.2mm
    Sight radius: 6.9" 175.3mm
    Energy (40gr): 138ft-lbs 187J
    Capacity: 30 rounds
    Trigger pull: 4-6 lbs 17.8-26.7N
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