Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 43

Thread: How much firepower is recommended?

  1. #1
    Regular Member flagellum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    North Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    385

    How much firepower is recommended?

    So I started to think about this after I had a wierd dream last night. Basicaly what it came down to in the dream was I was carrying my pocket .380, and had to engage two close range targets who were trying to carjack my little brother and I. In the dream I drew on both men, and while focused on the man to my left the man to my right pulled a weapon of his own. In my haste and confusion I ended up firing off all 7 rounds in my .380. I ended up running dry after striking both targets at least once, however not enough to drop them both. I ended up taking multiple hits from the gunman.

    It made me consider a few things:
    Is 7 rounds enough?
    Is .380 enough firepower to drop a man?
    Is a micro gun accurate enough that I can fire it and hit my targets under stress?

    What do you guys consider to be adequete firepower, as far as caliber, gun size, and ammo capacity?

  2. #2
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Free, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    3,855
    9mm or .38spcl +P is the minimum I consider adequate power. I greatly prefer .45ACP, then .357 magnum. I've always considered 7+1 in my CCO SIG more than adequate for 99% of places I go. That 1% would mean carry an extra mag--or two. Most places, the 5 in my Taurus snubbie, 135gr Gold Dot +P short barrel, are just fine. If I'm going someplace where I think a gunfight may start, I'll have my M-4 with three extra mags of penetrator 5.56 NATO in the car.

  3. #3
    Regular Member 4angrybadgers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Hattiesburg, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    411
    Hoo-boy, this should be interesting. There are a LOT of differing opinions on those questions.



    My opinion: if you can afford, carry comfortably, and shoot comfortably something bigger (in calibre, capacity, and platform size), then get something bigger. Where that line exists is different for different folks in different situations. That's why many carriers own several different guns - each one serves a different purpose under different circumstances.

  4. #4
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    North Chesterfield, Va.
    Posts
    34,627
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    9mm or .38spcl +P is the minimum I consider adequate power. I greatly prefer .45ACP, then .357 magnum. I've always considered 7+1 in my CCO SIG more than adequate for 99% of places I go. That 1% would mean carry an extra mag--or two. Most places, the 5 in my Taurus snubbie, 135gr Gold Dot +P short barrel, are just fine. If I'm going someplace where I think a gunfight may start, I'll have my M-4 with three extra mags of penetrator 5.56 NATO in the car.
    If I am even contemplating going someplace a gunfight may start, I am doing something wrong.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  5. #5
    Regular Member sFe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Laurinburg, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    139
    I think they said it best on the sportsman channel last night. The smaller calibers are good to get you out of bad situation, but not to stay and fight with. In other words fire and flee.
    For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. Carl Sagan

    When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours - Stephen Roberts

  6. #6
    McX
    Guest
    absolute ditto on what grapeshot said!

    PS: Loved the live of bambi eating popcorn, mind if i swipe it?

  7. #7
    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Yorktown, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    2,803
    Quote Originally Posted by flagellum View Post
    So I started to think about this after I had a wierd dream last night.
    First off, you shouldn't be playing first-person-shooter games right before bedtime if they are going to give you nightmares.

    Secondly, since it is a dream, you reach under your baseball cap and pull out the 50 caliber machine gun and cut the two badguys in half at the waist!

    In real life, shot placement is most important, (along with situational awareness to avoid or be ready). Bigger is typically better unless 1) you can't control and shoot accurately with the caliber, 2) can't afford to buy another gun or can't afford to train because of the cost of ammo & range time, 3) won't carry it because it is uncomfortable. Any gun with you is better than a larger caliber gun left (at home, in the car, etc).

    So rent some guns or go to the range with friends and try their guns until you find something you like. I like 45acp, others like 40s&w,9mm,etc.

    Also don't eat lasagna right before bedtime!

    Edited to add: There are many guns out there with hi capacity. Most shots miss their mark 50-80% of the time so having more bullets gives you an advantage, but you are also responsible for those misses. In 45acp you can range from 7-16 rounds, 40S&W up to 18 rounds, and 9mm up to 20 rounds. People have said that the vast majority of shootings are in the range of 3-5 shots. If multiple people are attacking I would like to have more than 8. Instead of more capacity in the gun you can always carry more magazines too.
    Last edited by 45acpForMe; 07-23-2010 at 09:09 PM.

  8. #8
    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Navasota, Texas, USA
    Posts
    2,524
    I carry a full size 1911 in 45ACP in either Federal Tactical Bonded or HST's 14+1 and an extra mag and a S&W Airweight in .38 Special+P with Silver Tip hollow points with 2 speed loaders. If I miss with 54 rounds....I need to practice a lot more than I have been......which is once a week.

    Started to get rid of the Airweight, but with a 1 7/8" barrel it will drive nails at 20 feet...go figure.

    Edit: If you have to ask; you ain't got 'nuff.
    Last edited by rodbender; 07-23-2010 at 10:09 PM.

  9. #9
    Regular Member sraacke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Saint Gabriel, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    1,222
    One of the main advantages of Open Carry is being able to have a fullsize duty pistol with plenty of ammo at hand. Is 7 rounds enough? I'd rather not have to find out. Is .380 enough? Depends. Again, I'd rather have better options.
    Tell you what, read this story of a off duty LEO who found himself in a gunfight armed with only a .38 cal revolver against a guy with a hi-cap Glock. The LEO ended up on the ground, his gun empty, begging for his life and the bad guy standing over him ready to execute him.
    http://www.policemag.com/Channel/Pat...3-30-1996.aspx
    Read that and then tell me you want to walk around OCing something like a 7 shot .380. Hey, don't get me wrong, I started OCing with a Bersa .380 but stories like this changed my mind. In this day and age, if you are OCing it should be a modern, combat caliber handgun loaded with rounds capable of doing the job.

  10. #10
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Tampa
    Posts
    32
    You should immediately go out and buy a .50 BMG. and strap it to your back. anything less and your practically defenseless.


    Really tho, 9mm +p, and up is enough.

  11. #11
    Regular Member KansasMustang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Herington, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    1,005
    Again just me saying it, nothing less than .40 cal for CC, and .45 cal for OC. Ten rounds in mt PT140 and 13+1 in my XD45. Plus a spare magazine for both. 27 rounds for the XD and 20 rounds for the PT140. Nothing less makes me feel comfortable.
    Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. Thomas Jefferson

  12. #12
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    316
    Quote Originally Posted by flagellum View Post
    So I started to think about this after I had a wierd dream last night. Basicaly what it came down to in the dream was I was carrying my pocket .380, and had to engage two close range targets who were trying to carjack my little brother and I. In the dream I drew on both men, and while focused on the man to my left the man to my right pulled a weapon of his own. In my haste and confusion I ended up firing off all 7 rounds in my .380. I ended up running dry after striking both targets at least once, however not enough to drop them both. I ended up taking multiple hits from the gunman.

    It made me consider a few things:
    Is 7 rounds enough?
    Is .380 enough firepower to drop a man?
    Is a micro gun accurate enough that I can fire it and hit my targets under stress?

    What do you guys consider to be adequete firepower, as far as caliber, gun size, and ammo capacity?
    To answer all three of your key points, "It depends."

    Many folks say that the majority of self defense shooting incidents only use up three rounds. Many also say that .380 is a bare minimum, but even a .22 is better than nothing. Accuracy of course will depend on a combination of the gun, the distance you're shooting, and your own accuracy and proficiency under stress.

    That said, it sounds like this dream was pretty vivid, and that it certainly has garnered your attention. If it's something you are truly concerned about, perhaps you should look into a beefier sidearm solution. I'm not saying that you absolutely should make a change, but it can't hurt to hit up a shooting range, rent some guns in different calibers and capacities, and see where that leads you.

    I've actually been looking into a .380 (in the form of a Ruger LCP) as both a backup gun, and as a 'primary' for circumstances where concealment is the #1 priority for whatever reasons. I personally won't rule the caliber out, as every caliber/capacity combination has a place and time, and sometimes it's just not practical to carry my normal piece.

    For reference, my normal sidearm is an H&K USP in .40 with a JetFunnel installed and 16 round magazines. I carry with one in the chamber, the magazine fully topped off, and the safety off with the hammer down for a DA trigger pull on the first shot (SA thereafter.) I certainly don't "feel" outgunned with that setup, and I'm fairly accurate with it as well. My other rig for light concealment is an H&K P2000 in 9mm. Again, topped off, no safety, hammer down, etc. (13 + 1 rounds_ and again it's a rig that I'm comfortable with and able to shoot decently.

    Regardless of the situation, I'd always opt for the larger gun (easier to control) with more capacity (more bang attempts) and a higher caliber round (bigger hole) if I can, but if it came down to it, I wouldn't feel a .380 to be insufficient. If I did, then perhaps I'm entering an area that's unwise.

    Something else that might be of value to you regardless of the firearm you carry... more training. Seeing that you are in Vegas, you certainly have a few choices, and good training can help no matter what you carry.
    Last edited by Thoreau; 07-25-2010 at 11:51 AM.

  13. #13
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Free, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    3,855
    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    If I am even contemplating going someplace a gunfight may start, I am doing something wrong.
    Sometimes you go where you have to go.

  14. #14
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Mo.
    Posts
    279
    If any of you answered this question, you were duped!

    Firepower (caliber in this case) has absolutely nothing to do with what you carry, in a manner of speaking. Let me explain before you jump on me.

    Shot placement is paramount. If you cannot make your shots count, even a .44 Mag won't be much good, especially if you miss altogether in a high stress situation.

    Dead is dead folks. Put a .22lr high velocity hollow point in the right place and even a human will go down for the count. But who want's to risk a .22lr? Most of us won't.

    So no matter what you choose as your defensive caliber, remember...your response will only be as good as your training. Fail to train, you'll fail to respond properly. Oh, and I'm a 9mm and .45ACP friendly individual.

  15. #15
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Free, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    3,855
    Quote Originally Posted by heresyourdipstickjimmy View Post
    If any of you answered this question, you were duped!

    Firepower (caliber in this case) has absolutely nothing to do with what you carry, in a manner of speaking. Let me explain before you jump on me.

    Shot placement is paramount. If you cannot make your shots count, even a .44 Mag won't be much good, especially if you miss altogether in a high stress situation.

    Dead is dead folks. Put a .22lr high velocity hollow point in the right place and even a human will go down for the count. But who want's to risk a .22lr? Most of us won't.

    So no matter what you choose as your defensive caliber, remember...your response will only be as good as your training. Fail to train, you'll fail to respond properly. Oh, and I'm a 9mm and .45ACP friendly individual.
    I agree with what you said, but can't figure out how we were "duped"? And "firepower" refers to capacity, not stopping power, in a discussion of small arms. I'd rather miss 'close' with a .45ACP than a .380. That has to be a consideration as well.

  16. #16
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Mo.
    Posts
    279
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    I agree with what you said, but can't figure out how we were "duped"? And "firepower" refers to capacity, not stopping power, in a discussion of small arms. I'd rather miss 'close' with a .45ACP than a .380. That has to be a consideration as well.
    And yet another one who refuses to actually read the original post. So I'll quote it for you. Feel free to scroll to the OP for your personal duh-huh moment.

    "Is 7 rounds enough?"
    "Is .380 enough firepower to drop a man?"
    Last edited by heresyourdipstickjimmy; 07-27-2010 at 08:24 PM.

  17. #17
    Regular Member Phoenix David's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Glendale, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    629
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    9mm or .38spcl +P is the minimum I consider adequate power. I greatly prefer .45ACP, then .357 magnum. I've always considered 7+1 in my CCO SIG more than adequate for 99% of places I go. That 1% would mean carry an extra mag--or two. Most places, the 5 in my Taurus snubbie, 135gr Gold Dot +P short barrel, are just fine. If I'm going someplace where I think a gunfight may start, I'll have my M-4 with three extra mags of penetrator 5.56 NATO in the car.
    Last time I went some place where I thought a gunfight might start I brought along about 543,000 of my closest friends.

    A lot of time the gunfight comes to you. So based on my experience, training I decided many years ago that I will always carry a full size pistol OC or CC.

    My motto on what caliber to carry is carry the largest caliber you can effectively control and load it with hottest factory round you can buy, your not going to shoot them all day so who cares if they cost $1 each. So I carry a full size .45 ACP pistol with 230 grain +P JHP. Because magazines can malfunction or you may need more rounds I carry a spare magazine. Well if you can carry 1 spare magazine you can carry 2.
    Freedom is a bit like sex, when your getting it you take it for granted, when you're not you want it bad, other people get mad at you for having it and others want to take it away from you so only they have it.

  18. #18
    Campaign Veteran GLOCK21GB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    4,348
    ( 17 ) 115 grain + p hollow points in my G34....more than enuff.
    http://youtu.be/xWgVGu3OR4U AACFI, Wisconsin / Minnesota Carry Certified. Action Pistol & Advanced Action pistol concepts + Urban Carbine course. When the entitlement Zombies begin looting, pillaging, raping, burning & killing..remember HEAD SHOTS it's the only way to kill a Zombie. Stockpile food & water now.

    Please support your local,county, state & Federal Law enforcement agencies, right ???

  19. #19
    Regular Member Phoenix David's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Glendale, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    629
    Quote Originally Posted by Glock34 View Post
    ( 17 ) 115 grain + p hollow points in my G34....more than enuff.
    Yep until you go to cover and the baseplate comes off, seen it happen.
    Freedom is a bit like sex, when your getting it you take it for granted, when you're not you want it bad, other people get mad at you for having it and others want to take it away from you so only they have it.

  20. #20
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Mo.
    Posts
    279
    Quote Originally Posted by Glock34 View Post
    ( 17 ) 115 grain + p hollow points in my G34....more than enuff.
    Have you tried any of the heavier ammo in the 34? If so, how does it like if?
    I'm still seated in the 115 grain world for the 34 and I'm not sure if I'm willing to try anthing else as I might discover it likes that as well...more money, more money.

  21. #21
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Alabama, ,
    Posts
    1,338
    What are you trying to survive?
    Within 1 mile of warez, BMG-50 and staggering amount of ammo, and body armor.
    Downtown Daley Chicago, 40-50 cal, 75-150+ rounds, +2 backups. (cops will get at least one of them)
    Huntsville AL, 9-45, a couple mags and hope the chief don't see it on your hip.
    Six flags, 32 no spares, they wand so gotta travel light.
    Livingroom 38 or 9mm for comfort no extra mags, but plenty of others within easy access.
    Your carjack dream, a snub nose .44 so you can use it in the car, and some nice 20" rims to run them over with.

    How bad is the area you want to leave in one piece, and how far is it to a safe house?
    Simple answer "All you need is a cell phone to call the cops with!", ask any police chief.

  22. #22
    Founder's Club Member PrayingForWar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    The Real World.
    Posts
    1,705
    How much you can effectively put on target, that will effectively neutralize an attacker is the basic answer. For me an XD.45 is the answer. Everything has a variable though, when I travel through places I'd rather not be, I keep a 9mm carbine or an AR close by.

  23. #23
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Mulligan's Valley
    Posts
    4,830
    The more firepower, the better. Handguns are not magic death rays. They are weak, hard to aim, and generally low in capacity. Being someone who was shot by a 7.62 Tok, I am especially critical of lower power bullets with little energy transfer, but accuracy is definitely more important.

    The ideal sidearm is one of the only things that's debated more than M16 vs AK, or 1911 vs Glock. There are a lot of opions, and most of them valid. It's just that there are countless variables. Like concealment needs, caliber restrictions (more so in other countries) size and shape of hands, capacity restrictions, recoil recovery time vs power, costs, stupid internet debates, things like that.

    So all that being said, I have a couple of thoughts.

    Even Larry Vickers, pretty much agreed to be the biggest name in 1911's, has stated that a major weakness of the system is the capacity, and that is with a .45. Personally, I think that 16 rounds of 10mm is a nice basic minimum of firepower, but that's just me.

    If you have to carry an itty bitty gun, it's possible that a bigger caliber might be harder to manage under recoil. If you practice with a .22 pocket gun to the point where you can do rapid double tap head shots at a BG target out to 15 feet, you might just be a lot better off with that than a Scandium .57, or a pocket Glock, even though the .22 is a zombie rules gun, and the bigger calibers might drop an assailant with a gut shot.

    You mentioned accuracy. That is dependent on a number of things, and that is only a question that you can answer by trying different techniques and practicing all the time. Certainly though it's crucial, especially for a smaller caliber gun with a smaller capacity. That's not to say that you need one hole accuracy at 20 yards, but you should practice to consistently shoot silhouette targets with the amount of accuracy you feel you would need.

    In any event, the crucial thing, as Clint Smith has put it, is to be able to run with the gun you've got. Not to day dream about how one day you'll have the best gun possible, or how one day they'll make a gun that fixes your predicaments.

    The last thing I'll say is that if I had to carry a 7 round 380, I'd practice as I do with my single stack .45. I'd draw the next magazine with one hand at the same time I drew the gun itself if doing one handed shooting, and I'd definitely spend a lot of time practicing reloads. I'd also try to determine whether it was easier for me to get the maximum speed and accuracy with one handed point shooting or 2 handed shooting, because contrary to Jeff Cooper loyalist beliefs, point shooting works well at short distances you're likely to be attacked at, and without weekly practice. But some littler guns aren't that good at it.

    Rant mode off, hope that helped.
    Last edited by Michigander; 07-30-2010 at 12:02 PM.

  24. #24
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    San Antonio, ,
    Posts
    181
    I'd use nothing smaller than a 9mm, and the mag would be filled with JHP. I have a XD-40 and a 1911, both in condition 1 and both chambered with JHP (unless I go to the rage with them).

    (Assuming both bad guys are equally distant from you) If you drew down on one, and the other pulled a weapon, you have to acquire the armed bad guy, and take him out. If the first guy also draws a weapon (assuming simultaneously), shoot him immediately and find cover from the other potential threat.

    Beyond that, it's a dream, so there's no reason you couldn't win that one.

  25. #25
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Free, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    3,855
    Quote Originally Posted by heresyourdipstickjimmy View Post
    And yet another one who refuses to actually read the original post. So I'll quote it for you. Feel free to scroll to the OP for your personal duh-huh moment.

    "Is 7 rounds enough?"
    "Is .380 enough firepower to drop a man?"
    ".380 has no firepower. It has or hasn't "stopping power." Are, not "is," 7 rounds (of firepower) enough? Depends on who's shooting. I asked you how we were 'duped.' Still waiting to hear that revelation.

    edited for spelling..duh
    Last edited by Gunslinger; 08-03-2010 at 11:54 AM.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •