Practical firearms discussion: size and weight considerations

Discussion in 'Firearms and Hunting' started by Xenamnes, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. Xenamnes

    Xenamnes Well-Known Member

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    With the proverbial explosion of shall-issue concealed carry across the majority of the united states, the market for subcompact handguns has become filled with a myriad of selections for the public to choose from. Each model is different in its own right, but a significant number of them are similar in terms of size, weight, overall dimensions, caliber, and magazine capacity. Largely it comes down to personal choice on the part of the person seeking to carry them.

    However the matter is complicated by the existence of reliable subcompact nine millimeter semi-automatic pistols. Some differ from the smaller caliber firearms by only a matter of millimeters and ounces, or even percentages of ounces. Thus leaving one to question why do the smaller caliber firearms continue to exist and maintain such popularity, if the differences between them and the larger caliber options appear to be so minute. Is a five millimeter difference in overall length and/or width, or two ounces difference in weight, truly so significant?
     
  2. perdidochas

    perdidochas Well-Known Member

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    My guess is that some of the reason for the continued sale of the smaller caliber firearms is shootability. An almost identically sized .380 will be easier to shoot than a 9mm, just based on the cartridge.
     
  3. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Donor

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    I know a guy who used a couple .22 pistols for private security. He claimed from experience that volume of fire was preferable to knockdown ability in most scenarios. I dunno if I agree, but im sure plenty do
     
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  4. dave8383

    dave8383 Banned at Members Request Past Donor

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    He's wrong.
     
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  5. 6Gunner

    6Gunner Banned

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    There was a pithy comment common in the warrior community back when I was coming up: "Friends don't let friends carry mouseguns."

    I personally believe in the law of diminishing returns: you can make a gun TOO small. It becomes hard to manipulate effectively, certainly hard to shoot accurately, and they tend to shoot anemic calibers that do little more than offend the sensibilities of a would-be attacker.

    For myself, I've spent time looking for that true "Goldilocks" gun; i.e. just right in all areas. In the end, I settled on a gun just big enough to give me a full shooting grip, that sits correctly in my hand to point well naturally, that has sufficient punch to effectively interdict an assailant, weighted to make recoil control easy but still be light enough for all day carry, enough capacity to hang in until the fight is done, and the reliability sufficient to be trusted to protect my life with.

    In the end, I have a list of firearms that meet my standards for carry. Following are my Top 3 choices:

    1. Colt Commander - The original lightweight "martial artist's" pistol. A little larger than some other models on the market, with an 8 rd. capacity, and some would argue it's a "dated" design, but it's still one of the best balanced, fastest handling pistols I've ever worked with.

    Custom Commander.jpg

    2. S&W 469 9mm - Compact, light, with a 12-rd. capacity in a surprisingly small but shootable pistol. Shortest trigger reset of any service-grade self-defense gun I've ever used.

    469 S&W.jpg

    3. Glock 19 - Probably the current king of CCW pistols, known for its reliability, durability, and capacity vs. size ratios available today.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Turtledude

    Turtledude Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    a 469 is the first gun I bought purely for carry and used it to shoot a mugger. Its a great choice but there are others with grips I prefer. I carry a Beretta 84 with hot 380s Holds a ton of shells and with a hammer down, 1911 style safety, its the safest gun I can think of for appendix carry. No chance of something in my pocket (usually a DeJammer keychain, a knife or two etc ) causing an AD
     
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  7. Crownline

    Crownline Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion size and weight has become a numbers game much like horsepower ratings and compound bow velocities. Numbers sell. I recently picked up a bersa firestorm because it was on sale and looking at me. .380 being a minimum caliber, I would carry it during shorts and sandal weather.
     
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  8. TOG 6

    TOG 6 Well-Known Member

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    I have a XD40 subcompact for concealed carry w/o an over-garment. Size and weight are acceptable
    When I open carry or concealed carry under a jacket, I carry a full-size XDM45 or 1911 in 10mm. Size and weight are acceptable.

    I'm not too worried about the weight - size determines concealibility and I want to remain concealed.
     
  9. 6Gunner

    6Gunner Banned

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    Ergonomics are a funny thing; a gun that feels good to you might feel terrible to someone else. The .469 fits my hand like it was made for it and points like it has eyes when I'm driving the gun hard in training.

    I also have to chuckle at my personal experience with the Beretta 84; my ex wife had one, and she didn't like to shoot it much because she complained it "hurt" her hand. I scoffed at that; admittedly, I'm a strong guy whose never given recoil a second thought... until we took it to the range the first time. I hadn't considered just how dramatically different a blowback-operated pistol can feel from a short-recoil locked breech pistol, and the first round I fired out of that little Beretta startled me with just how sharp the recoil was compared to my 469! That Beretta was a great, accurate little pistol, but she smacked the palm a mite when you fired her!
     
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  10. An Taibhse

    An Taibhse Well-Known Member

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    Like my tool collection where I have a broad range of tools, some multi purpose and some specialized, I have owned and carried many pistols for different purposes. At one extreme, I frequently carry either a .22 mag NAA Pug (almost in my pocket anyway as a backup to other ccw guns) or Kahr PM9 when I cycle which I do 40-60 miles three or four times a week, weather permitting and at the the other end, my HK45C foe CCW in colder weather also used loaded with .450 SMC when hiking/fishing in black bear country to my big bore Alaskan when up fishing in AK. I have carried a number of pistols for CCW in my life chambered in .22 to .450 SMC depending on what I had, the weather and concealment options. As for carrying a mousegun, it (with one more more blade backups) is better than rocks and depends on the concealment situation. Different tools for different needs.
    I have long searched for that magic gun and cartridge that could do everything... still searching. But with each gun I carried, I knew it’s limitations and always maintained proficiency counting on bullet placement over power regardless of the chambering and gun. But, my selection for carry in my ever changing routine and changing concealment needs, I select my gun/chambering based on the most terminally effective (based on likely threat scenarios) largest mag capacity I can effectively conceal. Aside from the guns I listed above, I have a range of others, most fitting multiple categories of uses.
    Normally, when I consider getting a new pistol, aside from collector interest, I am looking for one that fits my hand, that ergonomically sights naturally for me and offers versatility in carry senarios. For instance, one of my carry batter is a G26, which, strangely enough is more accurate for my than my G19, and allows me to carry with a range of 9mm cartridges and allows for 10+1 for low profile and can use other
    G mags, like a 15+1 G17 mag with an Xgrip spacer if practice. Even with 10+1 for concealment, it also allows one or more G17 mags to be carried as spares. My G26 is my Swiss Army knife, a multiple role/use gun.
    I am a big fan of the 1911, I have provided customization/tuning services for three decades, and carried a highly customized/tuned Springfield Micro Compact (with Kimber 7 Rnd mags) for years, but when I discovered .45 Super and then .450 SMC rounds (making some .45 ACP platforms more versatile, I replaced it with my HK45c that had the frame that could handle the power (also fit my hand perfectly).
    My current battery has guns that fit many overlapping purposes, provides versatility, reliability, fit me, and I am highly proficient with them all, and maintain that proficiency. I am still looking for the magic hollywood combination, but short of that, am always looking to optimize my battery.
    Of late, I have been getting lots questions about the FN 5.7×28mm. Lots of hype, including potential ability to defeat body armor, but as usual, until I do my own testing I have a good bit of skeptism. However, I am interested to see if and where I would fit in my battery and range of uses, and if it would fit my hand. We haven’t had one in the shop to test, but when we do...
    It used to be more clear, the distinction of mouse guns vs the 4s and above. But with modern ammo design, many mouse guns can perform better than their past comparables... I suspect the bigger factors for consideration are reliability, how accurate you can be, how well you can follow up shots, and capacity.
     
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  11. Turtledude

    Turtledude Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    true-it kicks more than my 938 SIG in 9mm
     
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  12. Well Bonded

    Well Bonded Well-Known Member Donor

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    Simple answer, yes.

    Smaller caliber firearms smaller sized firearms can actually have greater stopping power than equally sized larger caliber firearms because the ammunition designed for the smaller caliber takes into account the shorter barrel's utilized in such firearms, whereas many times a larger caliber round is designed for a longer barrel and when used in a chopped design does not achieve the muzzle velocity the round was designed to deliver and a large amount of the powder is wasted burnt outside of the barrel.

    This not only lowers the muzzle velocity it increases muzzle flash, which can be very dangerous in a low light defensive shooting.

    As to the myriad of selections to choose from, this is the firearms industry responding to one of the fastest growing segments of the personal protection handgun market, females.

    Traditionally self defense firearms have been largely been purchased by males, sometimes for a female and many times those for a female purchases where incorrectly or poorly thought out, that's changing.

    Females have discovered they can decide what is right for them, not some guy they know or are married to, and gun dealers have for lack of a better term, matured and are training their sales people to serve that market, no longer are the words "honey bring your boyfriend along and we can pick one out for you," uttered by a counterman.

    The firearms industry also based on research and focus groups is beginning to fully understand the female market is more than sheer firepower and magazine capacity and has quickly figured out ergonomics and the way a firearm looks are key to making the sale, the days of hey Hon here is a black 9mm, stick it in your purse and everything will be just fine are long over.

    In the male world firearms where commonly purchased by the three "F's" Firepower Form and Functionality, while that matters to the female market, equally important is what the firearm looks like, black is out, pastels are en vogue.

    Heck, there are conversions of Americas Rifle-15 in Muddy Girl with pink slings, that's not a male thing.
     
  13. 6Gunner

    6Gunner Banned

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    There's some truth to what you're saying. I was eminently surprised recently to read an article clearly demonstrating enhanced performance with some .38 Special +P ammo over .357 Magnum ammo given similar projectiles because the velocities out of, say, a 2.5 inch barrel, worked better with the Specials than the Magnums.

    That said, "greater stopping power" is one of those phrases that I don't think means as much as some appear to believe. When you get right down to it, we don't fight with handguns because they're the optimum tool for the job, but because they are convenient to have on our person in the event of an unanticipated assault. Any rifle or shotgun brings greater utility to interpersonal combat than a handgun, and has far greater "stopping power" to bring to the table than any handgun. I spent a goodly portion of the early years of my career disproportionately focused on the ".45 vs. 9mm" debate; but now I realize that ANY service pistol caliber - be it .38/.357, 9mm, .357 Sig, .38 Super,.40, 10mm, .41, .44, .45 ACP - will do the job effectively if you put the shots where they need to go. In the end, it is the individual behind the gun more than the gun itself that will tell the tale.

    Truth. A big fireball in front of your face in a low-light situation can not only give away your position but destroy your night vision. Then all you see is a big blue sunspot.
     
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  14. Well Bonded

    Well Bonded Well-Known Member Donor

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    While shot placement is primary, what I call greater stopping power plays a major role in self defense.

    Lets look at .45 ACP.

    Take a .45 230G JHP and fire it from a Government model, even with an off of center hit, that bullet will expand and displace a lot of fluid, not Hydrostatic Shock but the same hydraulics.

    So John Homeowner is awakened by a sound he never heard, sort of sounded like someone broke some glass, waking up and realizing someone is breaking in, he grabs his GM 1911 and while in his underwear carefully starts to do a clear of the home, from the shadows of the bedroom he can clearly see a person in his living room who is holding a firearm in his right hand.

    John has three children, their bedrooms are down range.

    Stupidly, John yells "drop your gun," the burglar being high as a kite, responds by raising his gun and lets loose with a few rounds, under fire John fires back, it's a off the center mass hit, but the burglars knees fold and he drops.

    What happened, the round expanded and the greatest amount of stopping power was delivered within the body and the hydraulics of stopping that round within the burglars body sent him into shock, he might not die, but he's out for now.

    This is not the same as the Hydrostatic Shock proponents claim, it's related, but different.

    So lets give John a 1911 Officers Model load it with the same 230G JHP same powder load and run it again.

    This time, the round lacking the proper muzzle velocity fails to properly expand, does a through and through and then punches through the hollow core into one of the children's bedrooms.

    The burglar while being seriously injured, but suffering with a whole less pain induced by hydraulic shock doesn't go lights out, and empties his gun into wherever that shot came from.

    Had John loaded that gun with a type of ammo designed for the shorter barrel and a lighter tip, say 185G, there is a good chance the results would have been the same as the 230, in the Government model.

    For personal protection the ammunition must be matched to the firearm.

    And is what I refer to as stopping power.

    And that is also why most comparisons of .45ACP and 9mm are flawed.

    That is why manufacturers of personal defense ammunition are working with matching the load to the firearm, muzzle velocity is what gunners argue about, the tactical side of personal self defense push's many more factors into the real world of it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
  15. Xenamnes

    Xenamnes Well-Known Member

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    Does such not pertain to ammunition rather than the firearm itself?

    Beyond that particular matter, how does the cavity of a hollow point projectile avoid becoming clogged with material and tissue upon contact with the target, which could potentially inhibit proper expansion?
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
  16. Well Bonded

    Well Bonded Well-Known Member Donor

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    It is a combination of both, barrel length is half the equation, if we have a 3" barrel and that firearm is loaded with ammunition designed to achieve a certain muzzle velocity when fired from a 6" barrel the ballistics can get all messed up, the result will be the bullet leaving the barrel before the charge is properly burnt.

    So the solution is, you know the barrel is 3", you know what the SAAMI pressure it will handle, and you know what muzzle velocity you wish to achieve.

    Well to get there you change propellants, going from a slower to a faster burning propellant, then to achieve the MV you desire you go with a more energetic powder as long as the barrel can handle the pressure safely. In addition maybe lowering the tip weigh will allow for a faster acceleration, yea the lighter tip will impart a lower hydrostatic shock then a tip with more mass, but that can to a degree be overcome with an increased muzzle velocity.

    And that is basically why in self defense the round must be built to match the firearm it will be used in.

    While bone can be a problem by distorting the tip, humans lack thick enough skin to thoroughly plug a tip, basically in a human target expansion starts just as the tip go's sub dermal and what ever flesh is in the tip is pushed out as the tip expands.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  17. jmblt2000

    jmblt2000 Well-Known Member

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    I carry a Kel Tec PMR30 as my primary CC weapon and I have a small 32ACP as a backup. The PMR30 carries 30 rounds of 22 magnum. The Hornaday Critical Defense 22 magnum does as much damage as the Critical Defense .380.

    The .32ACP ia s good littlebpalm sized gin that is great if you are in an extremely crowded or a piled on situation. It is very hard to remove a gun that only sticks out of your hand by an inch or so .
     
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  18. Tim15856

    Tim15856 Well-Known Member

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    Didn't want to start a new thread and this looks like an OK place to post.

    Yesterday, took the 11 year old grandson to Gander Outdoor and bought him his first firearm. A Mossberg 500 youth model in 20 ga. Comes with a slug barrel and three chokes, he'll be ready for most game. His stepdad is a big time hunter, but I doubt he will take him, he won't invite me either. So, I will need to look into public places and get him started probably with squirrel hunting. I took into the woods behind my house with two squirrel sized plastic bottles. He completely missed the first shot but hit dead center on the next two. I might try him with skeet clays too.
     
  19. Tim15856

    Tim15856 Well-Known Member

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    The PMR30 is single action only, how is the trigger pull?
     
  20. Well Bonded

    Well Bonded Well-Known Member Donor

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    How's he handling the recoil?

    Big child or just a 11 year old?

    The reason I ask is I have a buddy who wants to buy his 14 yo daughter a "real" firearm, him and mom are divorced, but mom has no problems with firearms, as long dad stores all of them, other than her carry gun.

    She lives with her "new" boyfriend and he's not to into firearms and she has no where else safe to store them.
     
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  21. Tim15856

    Tim15856 Well-Known Member

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    He's a string bean and had no trouble with the recoil, but the store didn't have much of a selection so I bought #9 skeet shot, I will try him with a 3" magnum or slug load soon. I'd think she could handle it. If you get a Rossi single shot 20 ga they cost about $135.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
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  22. 6Gunner

    6Gunner Banned

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    Well, I still say "stopping power" is not as relevant as people say. Currently, the top 9mm defense loads succeed just as well on the street as the top .45 load. There's a reason why .357 Sig and .40 are falling out of favor in law enforcement circles; because they're finding that the 9mm is bringing more utility to modern urban law-enforcement through improved ballistics and improved terminal performance than the other two. Some agencies still use the .45, which is certainly a good round with a century of effective performance behind it, but the .45's main adherents remain in the civilian market.

    Don't get me wrong; I like the .45 and still use it regularly, but despite years of turning my nose up at 9mm I now have a couple that are part of my regular carry rotation.
     
  23. dave8383

    dave8383 Banned at Members Request Past Donor

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    The warrior community? Ha ha.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  24. Xenamnes

    Xenamnes Well-Known Member

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    The whole concept of "stopping power" relates to termination of a threat, via perforation of a vital organ and resulting in shock from rapid blood loss, or termination of the central nervous system. Thus shot placement is the key factor of importance. Why so many do not understand such is still not known.
     
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  25. Jestsayin

    Jestsayin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    My choice, Sig P365. Tiny, accurate, 10+1 or 12+1, 9mm.
    In a Vedder LightTuck it disappears AWIB.
     

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