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.380
 

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As a regular carry gun, probably .380. However, If I needed to carry a .22 it would certainly be better than nothing. Lots of people have been killed by .22's.
 

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You will get a lot of opinions on this topic. Personally, I won't carry anyhing less than a 9mm, but I do have a .380 BUG.
 

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9mm would be the smallest I would consider "a good carry caliber".
Sometimes you have to go with something smaller so .380 would the absolute smallest I would carry.
 

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9mm. I have this deep fear of running into some drugged out lunatic on pcp that has super human strength or that same person breaking into my house. Sort of like my darkest nightmare. I have chosen to carry 40 cal but was initially thinking 45. I just go for overkill on everything I do for some reason.
 

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.380 and....shot placement, shot placement.
 

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.380 is smallest for me, but I carry 9mm or 38 special revolver daily
 

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44 magnum if my Smith 629 was not so damn big and heavy. Clint never had to conceal his ;)

for me, 9mm
 

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Actually I wouldn't go smaller that 9mm or .38. The .380 would be the one that I would say it's better than nothing but my first choice.
 

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45 for me. Go big or go home.
 

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9mm for me. You get 20% more velocity, with more than 40% more bullet weight than a .380. It comes out to almost 175% more energy from a 9mm than a .380.

There have been various real life shootings with a .380 where the attacker eventually fell, but not after inflicting grave harm to the defender. Ask Mas Ayoob about his research on real life shootings with the two, and he agrees.

The .38spl is not much better in terms of ballistics than a .380. But it has the advantages of coming in +p and +p+. +p+ is the only way I would carry a .38spl and feel alright.
 

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Energy doesn't mean anything expansion and penetration is what counts and the .380 is a trade off. You can get adequate penetration but no expansion or you can get good expansion with shallow penetration when using the .380.

The .38 will do both with the proper ammo.
 

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I often carry a 5.7x28mm.

Caliber is far less important than shot placement, speed, and accessibility.

In terms of the caliber size of the bullet is far less important than what it does to tissue.
 

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Good shot placement with an under penetrating or expanding bullet will be a fail no matter about shot placement. The FBI shootout is a perfect example of this. Two examples from the shootout. Perfect shot placement and the bullet stopped 1" short of the heart. Perfect shot placement and the bullet stopped in the sinus cavity.

The bullet size (expansion) and depth of wound (penetration) what determines what is going to happen to the tissue how can caliber not be important.
 

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Good shot placement with an under penetrating or expanding bullet will be a fail no matter about shot placement. The FBI shootout is a perfect example of this. Two examples from the shootout. Perfect shot placement and the bullet stopped 1" short of the heart. Perfect shot placement and the bullet stopped in the sinus cavity.

The bullet size (expansion) and depth of wound (penetration) what determines what is going to happen to the tissue how can caliber not be important.
And poor shot placement with a .300 win mag is still going to leave an opponent capable of killing you.


Its a circular argument.

The calber debate is overhashed and stupid. Pick a caliber thats capable of reaching internal organs. Practice regularly, and shoot until the threat stops. Most commercially available defensive calibers today are more than capable of performing well, and certainly capable of ending a fight if used properly.

Additionally I should point out that the 1986 shootout was not an example of perfect shot placement. Platt was shot through his right arm, before the bullet entered his chest, stopping shy of his heart. Hence the arbitrary 12" standard penetration in ballistic gel.
 
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