Handgun Capacity: Quality or Quantity?

Black SIG P228 9mm in case with cartridges

Whenever a feature on the revolver, .45 auto or a high-capacity pistol is published, the comments often center on round capacity. A perceived need or real need is the debate. The national debate on magazine capacity is also a heady subject. I leave the political debate to the experts at the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation. My views are four square for liberty and freedom.

I own a number of high-capacity rifles just for the hell of it. Damned if I will let Washington affect my buying habits—and I have enough magazines for the duration, just in case. The question is important when it comes to personal defense. Rifles for military use have followed a progression from single-shot to under-the-barrel to rotary magazines, plus en bloc and detachable magazines.

Twenty rounds appears to be the manageable limit for .30-caliber battle rifles. The shorter, mid-range calibers may use 30-round magazines, with 20-round AR magazines almost passé. There are larger magazines available, ranging from 60 to 100 rounds or so. In my mind, they are purely recreational. They are great fun, but they destroy the handling of the rifle, at least in my hands. and few are reliable. That said, the real question is handguns.

While the AR 15-type rifle seems to have settled into the 30-round standard as most practical, handguns are all over the map. A service-grade handgun in .45 ACP may chamber eight rounds. A high-capacity 9mm may chamber 18. Many carry high-capacity 9mms and two spare magazines while attending to their daily business. The question is: Are they prepared Americans or tactical hypochondriacs?

Then there are those who carry five-shot .38s and no spare gun loads. Are they taking their lives in their hands, or do the statistics support their choice? If you do your research, conflicting events support either theory. Sometimes, you will need a significant number of shots. Other times, one or two will suffice.

As Colonel Jeff Cooper said, “Statistics are primarily useful for rascals to impress fools.” After taking the usual boring mean, mode and statistical analysis classes, I understand the validity of some statistics. Probability and possibility must be considered in personal defense, however.

The Mindset

The mindset is a tremendous field of study. The modern mindset may be colored by the cinema and fiction more than first-hand accounts of critical incidents. There are those who trust a revolver and little else. They believe a single, hard hit from a Magnum revolver is superior to a flurry of rounds from a less powerful self-loader. There is something to that mindset.

On the other hand, having grown up with men who carried revolvers, those in service for any length of time carried two revolvers. For all except the most practiced shooter, reloading a revolver during a gun battle is not an option; drawing a second revolver is a viable solution. Surely, we all practice to make the first gun load work.

The first three shots are the most important. With some luck, you will have sufficient focus to manipulate a piece properly and make a hit. I see a low-level of dedication in many training courses, and that simply is not going to cut it in the real world. If you take seriously a study of high-round-count gunfights, you realize the reason they are high-round count is because there are a lot of missed rounds.

Some believe the .45 ACP is the superior personal defense cartridge. They hedge their bets with a high-capacity handgun. In my experience, the greater girth of the grip and heavier weight of the high-capacity .45 are counterproductive and lead to a handgun that is more difficult to use well. However, a 10-shot, double-action, first-shot .45 in the form of the SIG P227 or Baby Desert Eagle are interesting service pistols.

There is an understanding among shooters that handgun calibers are poor stoppers compared to rifles and shotguns. The weak .38 and strong .45 are more alike than different when compared to a 12-gauge shotgun. So, we may need a lot of shots, and we better have a lot of shots is the theory. Still, a bigger bullet makes a larger wound and lets out more blood.

Others split the difference and adopt the .40-caliber cartridge. As time goes by, I have increasing respect for the .40 caliber. By the same token, I see students attempt to use .40-caliber compacts that kick too much. A mid-size .40, such as the SIG P229, offers a high degree of protection.

Then there are high-capacity 9mm handguns.

I see more concealed-carry handgun shooters adopt revolvers more powerful than the old 5-shot .38 standard. The .357 Magnum snubby and .44 Special short-barrel revolver are popular. I believe a 7-shot .357 makes sense. A five-shot .44 does as well because a heavy-frame .44 is too much for constant carry. However, most concealed-carry permit holders use self-loaders.

I took a hard look at some of my favorite high-capacity pistols and compared each on a performance basis and to understand how much magazine capacity is tied to my appreciation of a pistol. I doubt I would enjoy the CZ 75, HK P30 or SIG P226 as much if were they 10-shooters. I know I would not. I would adopt a .45, hands down.


The CZ 75B rail gun and SIG P226 Navy Model are similar, tactically. Each is accurate and reliable. However, the CZ has a 17-round magazine, which was accomplished by adding an extended base pad. So, I have an 18-shot 9mm pistol. That is impressive and means I have three shots each to five targets plus a three-shot reserve.

The problem is I do not like those base pads. They add unnecessary bulk and are the only reason I use the SIG more than the CZ. Those base pads make the pistol more difficult to conceal, and I think they also affect the balance, although that may be subjective. I cannot recall how many times I have seen aftermarket base pads break and fail during a training class. They are a convenient item for some, but I do not use them on any of my handguns.

The CZ magazines are factory units and never have failed, yet they add bulk. I think it is particularly unwise to choose a compact handgun then add the bulk of a magazine extension. Why not simply choose a full-size pistol, with its longer sight radius and superior handling? The extended magazine is just as long as a full-size grip and does nothing for handling.

Then there is the PK 30. It is lighter than the other full-size 9mm pistols and demands concentration; however, it rewards a practiced shooter with excellent accuracy. I would feel as if my options were proscribed if it were a 10-shooter. I am certain I would adopt the .40 in that case. With the Winchester +P loading, I have confidence in this handgun.

And there are the light and lovely 9mm compacts. I am somewhat enamored of the SIG P228, a classic, out-of-print pistol. The P229 is heavier and simply does not have the same feel. Do I honestly sweat over the P228’s 13-round capacity compared to the SIG P226’s 15 rounds? Of course not. Among the favorite 9mm handguns is the 9-shot HKP7M8. I no longer own one and lament the loss. The high-capacity HKM13 did not come off as well, I think. By the same token, I would not feel under armed with the P225 9mm, and the P228 handles at least as well. The Beretta 92A1 compact is an impressive piece, particularly in the Inox version, and a treasure to own and fire.

Which Totem do We Worship?

It all comes down to personal preference in what we carry, and then we hope for the best. Few are prepared for the worst-case scenario: multiple, motivated opponents. A bank robbery by an armed team or a take-over robbery at a pharmacy or jewelry store come to mind. If you are caught in such an action, you should be prepared. It is not unusual for such teams to decide to eliminate living witnesses. They do that for their own safety and to avoid identification and imprisonment, and sometimes they do it for the hell of it.

There are options.

Some years ago, I interviewed a young cop who did not act when he witnessed an armed robbery at a fast-food restaurant. There were two gunmen with handguns, and all the young man had was a five-shot .38. He did not believe he had a fighting chance. I suppose I could have asked him why he carried the gun, although I did not.

Then there was Arlene Beckles. On Feburary 5, 1994, NYPD cop Beckles was in a styling salon when three gunmen attempted to rob it. She fired her five-shot .38 dry, dropping one robber for good and wounding the other two.

What is Your Mantra?

There are two important considerations: caliber and capacity. Some vary the theme from day to day and for each situation.

But a gunfight is the same, and the demands constant, whatever piece you carry.

  • A five-shot .38 for a quick trip to the 7-11 is common.
  • Then, when traveling, perhaps a 9mm and a spare magazine.
  • Others believe the .45 automatic is the best combination, offering good hit probability with a fight-stopping cartridge.

The bottom line is you must consider your situation.

Master the firearm you have chosen. Be certain it is reliable with your chosen load, and the magazines are reliable, service grade and do not protrude beneath the magazine well. They must fit flush as every firearms designer, from Browning to GLOCK, intended. Capacity is a good thing, provided you can deliver the payload accurately. Practice and become formidable with your handgun.

The life you save may be your own.

Do you think quantity is the deciding factor when choosing your handgun? Or do you think it is quality? Share in the comments section.


About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.

Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Rifle Magazine
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns

Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (308)

  1. @Dr Dave: “I want a shoot around corner attachment”……what?……Surely a surgeon can build a slightly more logical scenario and argument for his point of view……OK, we get it, you’re a surgeon….but that doesn’t make you an armament expert.

    @G-Man: “no single round is better than the next”…….Wrong!!…..Hello?……So I should stop paying $40 a box for Underwood 10mm 200gr XTP and just go to the 99 Cent Store and buy a box of 22LR?……NO!……The answer is that if you’re comfortable and accurate with a larger caliber, then you have the advantage. If you cannot handle your own gun, then a 15YO hood rat can kill you with a 22LR.

    @Bob H: Thanks for your olympic biathalon example. Excellent point!!!!

    1. @G-Man: OK I get that you seem to come from a higher level law enforcement perspective. I get what you’re saying about LE choosing specific weapons and calibers for specific purposes. I do that too, but not nearly on their level of expertise.

      But still, I disagree with anything you said trying to minimize the effects of larger ammo over smaller ammo.

    2. @ ss1: Don’t take my word for it, it’s not even my opinion. I was originally in your camp. But years of training and experience has proven to me otherwise, as has a plethora of coroner’s reports that irrefutably establish that ammo of all shapes and sizes do crazy unexpected things and no two results are ever identical or guaranteed to be more lethal than another.

      For over 30 years I’ve professionally watched ballistics sciences attempt to unravel the mysteries behind these often unexpected results. The only thing that science has confirmed is it remains astonishingly unpredictable.

      What has changed over the years is the emergence of embedded surgical medical professionals into our tactical teams. So now these surgeons witness and contend firsthand with real-world gunshot traumas as they occur in the field and all the way through to the OR table. Many are world renowned and have had their findings published in law enforcement training curriculum so others may learn and benefit from these tragedies.

      One thing they emphatically continue to relay to us in training courses is that a larger round has no correlation to the lethality over any other caliber. Time and time again the evidence shows it is shot placement, of any caliber, over size that determines the effectiveness.

      This seems to hold true in my previous case example where a 45 is what saved the life, where a .22 would have reached the artery. There really is nothing more to be said on the issue.

    3. Not to prolong an argument that will NEVER be resolved to universal satisfaction, but you do realize that your two statements- the results of any GSW are “astonishingly unpredictable” and “Had it been a smaller round of ball type ammo as in a .22 or 5.56 it would have continued through to sever the artery resulting in immediate death.”- stand in direct contradiction of one another, don’t you? 😉

    4. Damn Bob H, you are good!!!!

      Also, let me add this G-Man critique…….”a 45 is what saved the life, where a .22 would have reached the artery”……………Well let’s not forget that a 45 ACP is a very low velocity caliber. If it would have been a 10mm, it would have created a large cavity AND penetrated to the artery. Now G-Man will tell me why the FBI turned down the 10mm in 1961 or something like that. Hey, too bad for them!

    5. @ ss1: If you don’t mind, I would prefer in the future you address me as “G-Man Critique Extraordinaire”.

      I will assume you were being facetious because the FBI never turned down the 10mm in 1961, or at any time in its history really.

      They still use it to this day in all their standard issued Glock 22s and 23s. Back in the ‘90s they just had the 10mm shortened for a lighter load and renamed it the .40 S&W… of which has become the most widely used law enforcement round in the world to date.

    6. @G-Man: I’m not one of the historians on this forum and I whipped out “1961” because of that, and because I’m working. So I did a quick check on Wiki just now. Apparently the FBI “de-commissioned” the 10mm in the 80’s. But according to Wiki, certain special tactical units may still use 10mm.

      No matter what the FBI does, it’s obvious from my posts that I’m passionate about 10mm.

      Most of us already know where 40 S&W came from, and now it is a separate caliber with it’s own Glock models.

    7. @ ss1: You being a fan of the 10mm (and rightly so), I just wanted to ensure you were aware the FBI never formally issued the 10mm out to their SAs.

      This all happened in a fluid flurry so-to-speak from 1989 to 1990. Once ballistics testing had concluded the Director quickly authorized the switch to the 10mm and an initial order was placed. However, the first trials for agents at the firing range did not go well. That led to their redesign of the 10mm into the shortened version that we have all come to know as the 40 S&W.

      As to not waste the 10s already ordered, they issued them for use to their S.W.A.T. and Hostage Rescue Teams. This led Glock to develop their Glock 20 (10mm) which is still manufactured to this day.

    8. @ bob h: In all honesty, yes I did realize that myself. I was actually hoping no one as astute as yourself would catch it for fear it would ruin a good point.

      We hear war stories all the time about how, “The Doc said a half inch to the left and I’d have been a gonner”. At some point I’m sure some doctor was correct to say that. So given there is some probability of accuracy to those scenarios I don’t feel your catch should diminish my point – that being, it is not an exact science.

      Good catch though, so Kudos.

  2. I’ve been reading the back and forth here and thought I’d weigh in. The bottom line here is that there isn’t one. No one side has any more right to their claim than the other. And you all are ridiculously engaging in a futile argument if you think you do.

    We are giants when compared to the minute size of any projectiles that can be hurled into the human body, yet you guys continue to argue over fractions of an inch or millimeters between sizes.

    There are however facts to back up an overwhelming consensus amongst professionals ranging from FBI forensics labs to world famous pathologists and that is – ammunition size has proven to be less of a factor in their studies. It is instead the specific ballistic characteristics and shot placement that was the final deadly defining factor.

    Case and point – a victim of a 45 wound survived due to its larger ballistic mass and hollow-point characteristics which guided it short of a major artery. Had it been a smaller round of ball type ammo as in a .22 or 5.56 it would have continued through to sever the artery resulting in immediate death.

    At a minimum, science has already established the final conclusion on such arguments which is that size is the least effective point from which this topic should be debated. Again, it is ballistics characteristics and shot placement.

    Rather than calling the .22 round a joke or relegating it to only children, I think a more advisable path would be to show respect for the round that has killed more people than any other in history.

    I would instead offer up a more eloquent way out of such arguments by encouraging each of you to show you possess the knowledge and intellect that no single round is better than the next – because each has its specific place and valid application for a purpose.

    If challenged, I would refer to those that already know and have well established there are various rounds and weapons platforms for varying degrees of threat and application. Law enforcement and military personnel know this already. Even within their agencies they apply different ballistic weapons to each different subgroups and teams based on the specific regions and long or short term missions they’ve been assigned.

    For example, an officer on vehicle gate duty would be equipped with a sidearm round designated for windshield impact and pass-through followed by soft target penetration. An officer expected to patrol housing areas may instead carry a round better designed to not exit through soft tissue and walls due to close quarters.

    I submit the smart argument is really no argument. But rather you should exude and share your vast understanding of condition based effectiveness for each type of round and weapons platform. Each exists for a reason and has earned their place and purpose in the market.

  3. Ok challenge time
    lets get 30 guys 28 on their side and you and me on our side. You have say 20 shots of 40 S&W and I will bring 20 shots of 22LR. My weapon will be Ruger 10/22 with a Picc rail I want full optics day and night and flashlight and a sound exciter to make the shots LOIDER .I want a shoot around corner attachment and lasers. ALL well tuned at say 30ft but whatever I need t know precisely what they are tuned for.

    They get simple hand weapons with all the ammo they can tolerate. Who will win? We will of course. While they are flipping and flapping trying to put us in the cross hairs changing the shorts enduring the pain of ever single shot colliding with human flesh we will have won. Contact is criminal remember that it isn’t what you have left or what you delivered it is what you delivered that mattered. Telling me you connected in the lower leg means nothing but my 22lr is going to connect mid-body or throat every shot and a half dozen there won’t be any concern of return fire I can simply unload the rest of the mag where I need to and call it a done deal. The stats NEVER talk about shooting in times of on coming weaponry. I don’t know about you but if I pull it AND use it I KNOW there is forthcoming weapon fire coming at me. The few extra rounds of 22 properly placed while they are still trying to figure where I am and get cross hairs focused is MORE then enough to clean up house. Now in that 1% of 1% or 1% that the other side has military type 3 ammo vests with front and back plates taking the vest up to NIJ level 4 I am screwed unless I can get all throat and head shots but other then that unrealistic scenario I win every time. It is simply getting lead on target and knowing where that target is. You need to cut open 20 or 30 beings to know where to focus and where to avoid. I gave you a freebie right below the chin in the to of the neck is a 100% kill and for those of you who are coming up with a kidnapping it severs the spine so no concern of them slicing the victim as they fall. The vic just falls and runs the pirp is RIP
    Either eye ovoid the mouth too easy to go down the air passage or feeding rube but in either ear 2: below the Adam’s apple is also goo. Instead if hitting center mass slow down, close in, shoot for precision and win rather then shoot crazily and win after exhausted 3 mags od refills
    Precision is key slow down there is no hurry most shooting events the parties are too involved in shooting to run and do the job right. Toss the TV and use what us anatomically correct and I bet you won’t need a refill or to carry a monster weapon that makes Speedos look ridiculous
    Dr D

    1. This is getting just a bit ridiculous. I’ve seen quite literally hundreds of people shot with handgun calibers, both survivors and those killed. The total number of rounds expended in those shooting incidents easily exceed 1000.
      The idea that a GSW to an extremity will disable an attacker with *any* handgun caliber is silly “armchair expert” stuff. Unless a major bone is broken it simply doesn’t happen.
      The assertion that a .22 LR round to the throat/neck is both immediately fatal AND easy to hit is more silliness and I don’t care how “cool under fire” the shooter is or how high tech of a firearm he is using. Look at Olympic biathlon competitors. They *practice* precision shooting while their heart is pounding. Their rifles are specifically designed to achieve utmost accuracy and tailored to fit them perfectly yet they still miss targets MUCH larger than the 1″ x 2″ kill zone of a throat/neck shot and that’s when no one is shooting back.

  4. After 25 years of slicing and dicing human bodies what I can tell you is when the radio squawks GSW we know the results aren’t going to be good. Caliber is important more so as Bob has mentioned for the ability to put lead on target then to get XYZ inches of penetration or ABC of expansion. Bottom-line I have picked out 50 cals from guys who lived to talk about it and single 22LRs that we tossed in the evidence bag and the body whisked away to the coroner
    I would MUCH prefer to hit a shot straight through the upper portion of the windpipe with a 22LR (causing instantaneous death due to spinal cord separation) then to wing someone with 7 shots to the extremities with a 44 mag or 40 cal S&W

    1. @Irchard and @Dr Dave:

      Your 22lr logic is flawed. I’m sure if I took the time, there are countless stories of bad guys being shot 8 times with 22lr who didn’t get stopped. Plus, many of us have heard the stories of troops complaining that enemies shot with 5.56 kept coming. And at least 5.56 has extreme velocity. 22LR is for children, and for hit men at point blank range. Anyone else who wants to REALLY defend themselves needs a bigger caliber. There are plenty of guns and calibers to choose from that can shoot straight enough to kill on the first shot.

      My Ruger 44 Magnum Super Redhawk is CAN’T MISS with it’s long barrel. I use Hornady self defense loads at home for safe expansion. My Glock 20 Gen 4 10mm is accurate enough at 15 yards to use in my home. But I do have my shotgun nearby for special situations.

      But 22LR is a joke. Why everyone is hoarding these things I will never understand. But then there’s a bunch of things discussed here, either by article writers, or public posters, that I will never understand either.

  5. From what I’ve read about statistics, hospital records show more peoiple are killed with 22’s than any other caliber. So why do you need a cannon? One 22 shot to the head is better than 15 shots to the arm with a .40 or my book. Good training and good shot placement means a whole lot more than caliber.

  6. Hi ss1,

    Well I looked and it is $29.99 now. But the TMJ (total metal jacket, which has the copper jacket also on the base of the bullet) used to be $27.00. I bought a bunch of it at that price.

    It has 718 foot pounds of energy.

    And yes, he has trouble keeping it in stock. You have to stock up on whatever loads he has in stock and maybe wait for another load you may want.

  7. Hi Guys,

    Not only is Underwood more powerful than any other 10mm that I can find, it is also priced better. I get some as little as $27 a box.

    If one shoots the large manufacturers 10mm ammo, it is little more than 40 S&W. Some is less than 500 ft pounds. But I have underwood that is over 800 foot pounds.

    Just google Underwood ammo. I have ordered some one day and had it at my door the next day.

    Also the owner there has answered every one of my emails by the next day, and has even called me on the phone and I have called him on the phone. Try to get that kind of service anywhere else.

    1. Yes Lou, it’s really weird (and actually not fair to buyers) what major manufacturers have done with 10mm.

      Let me know where you got Underwood for $27 because I paid $40 on their website for 200 hp xtp.

      If anyone does go there now, they are currently out of 10mm. Last month they had hundreds of boxes of 50, but someone made a huge order. They told me they’re getting more brass at the end of this month.

  8. I’m signing off early this evening!
    Will look forward to picking up the thread tomorrow!

    Regards to all, Carl

  9. Am I correct that this is an aftermarket coating job? Cerakote is a pretty good exterior coating material. Its user friendly and I belive that you can get it in rattle cans but I have only used the bulk product and only once or twice. To the best of my knowlage, once cured will hold up very well to gun cleaning solvents. I’d take a very close look at this DE 50 before buying including a complete field cisassembly. Inspect all the riding surfaces and take a magnafing glass to inspect for cracks, wear, and over compression of riding surfaces. I just can’t tell you if $1500 is. Good deal or not unless I could see the firearm up close. Do you know anyone who is a gunsmith that you could have take an independent look at it for you? Does the dealer have a history on it? How any rounds fired? Why it’s being sold? Did it have any hot hand loads fired in it? Questions that should be asked when looking at a used firearm of this caliber and unique design. I think that the color is fine. It is one of the colors I’ve used on several platforms.
    I can’t stress enough that you get a very good look at this firearm. If there is one thing about it that dosnt feel right, look right, or a question that can’t be answered with satisfaction. Don’t get it! Use your common sense and don’t just buy it ….. “Cause”
    That’s all I got, wish I could be more positive about this but don’t want you to get screwed.
    Lou, over to you! Any thoughts or suggestions?

    1. Ditto to what Carl said.

      Condition is everything on a used firearm.

      You can even use a type of dye to show up cracks, but I doubt the dealer will let you use that.

      Rack the slide and see if it is smooth. My dealer would let me fire it. I would fire it slow and then fast. I would only load one round at a time the first time.

      Check the bore and chamber with a borescope. If there are defects in the bore, I would pass at that price.

      I have bought several used firearms knowing something was wrong and got a really good price because of that. I have been able to fix everyone of these. But I seem to be pretty handy fixing mechanical things.

      I bought a AR-7, that would not fire, for almost nothing. Gunsmiths will not work of these guns, so that is why the person sold it so cheap.

      When I tore it apart and analyzed it, I thought the hammer spring seemed to be installed wrong. I installed it the way I thought it would strike with more force and put it back together. It now works fine.

  10. Carl and Lou,

    I found a reputable retail store that has a DE 50 cal for $1500. But it’s CERAKOTE FLAT DARK EARTH. He said it looks like the color of dirt. I entered that into Google images, and I saw one. It was also called coyote tan.

    Any comments?

    What would I clean this with on the outside?

    Thanks for any advice you can give me. I’m an impulsive buyer.

    1. Hi ss1,

      I have absolutely no experience with cerakote. I would google “cerakote’ and see what they recommend cleaning it with.

      You could also google “cerakote reviews” and see what others say about the coating and how to clean it.

    2. Carl,

      I did it by accident. I went to you tube for the video and copied the web address as it was playing.

      Then came here and pasted the web address. To my surprise, the web address did not appear, but the video appeared.

    3. ss1,

      Cerakote is a ceramic coating.

      It should be harder than frozen woodpecker lips.

      You should be able to wash it like a dish.

    4. Ss1, Cheaper than dirt has a brand new DE 50 AE in Burnt bronze for $1319.

      Shipping is only about $20 and you can use their site to find a dealer in your area that will receive it for you and it lists the fee they charge.

      My dealer does not have a shop, but I go to his house. He charges me $20 a gun.

    5. Lou and Carl,

      I just arrived home again.

      * The Cerakote Flat Dark Earth is made specifically by MRI for Sportsmans Warehouse, a huge retail store similar to Cabelas. The Sportsmans Warehouse guy told me this. This is a new gun. This is not like a gun shop where you wonder where it came from. It’s a very classy place to buy a gun.

      * I have not had a chance to watch either video yet, but I will.

      * Lou thanks very much for spotting that on CTD. I have bought guns from CTD before. Last night as I fell asleep I was saying check CTD, but I totally forgot. So I’m going there right now. If I buy it, do I owe you a finders fee?

  11. Damn it Lou!! I wish you would just be clear in your opinions!! LMAO!! What a good write up !

    I’m fond of three handguns for bear and the bush . . .
    — For hiking and as a tent/camp pistol I have the 4″ Judge in 45LC / .410
    — for creek fishing, hiking and hunting in Southeast AK, Kodiak and the
    lands between its gonna always be a .454. At the moment and for the
    foreseeable future that will be my snubby Taurus
    — helicopter, plane, snow machine, boat, bush construction projects, and
    just general throw it in the backpack with the bull whip and go looking
    for treasure and stuff is my 4 5/8 Blackhawk in .41 mag. Its from 1976
    and been with me a very long time now, right hand cross draw

    There ya go. Everybody got their fav’s! All the better if they do the job intended!

    1. Carl or Lou,
      Is the 454 Casull also able to fire .410 shells? I know my Uncle (who was an outstanding hunter and also a very humorous man) used a handgun when we were kids Quail hunting. He would prove to us that he could shoot Quail as good with his pistol as we could with our 20ga. He was right!!! Whatever it was it chambered .410 shells. He was a dead eye with whatever he shot with. I really miss he and my father and those days…I am not able to ask him what that pistol was.

      What are your thoughts on one manufacturer vs another for a weapon of this caliber?
      Taurus? Raging Bull in believe?
      Ruger? Redhawk I believe?


    2. I don’t think that a standard .454 cylinder like on the Tauras Bull is long enough to chamber a .410.
      The Judge is the only purpose designed firearm that I know of to accommodate the .410 shell by making the cylinder long enough for them and the 45LC.
      The Taurus in .454 is in my estimation the best of all those manufactured. Its massive enough to handle any .454 load. But somewhat lighter and easer to carry. I’m also fond of the stubby barrel. Given that such a firearm as this will be used within very short ranges like 25 or 30 feet. A short barrel of 2.5 inches dosnt inhibit its performance.

      My guess is that your Uncle was fielding a Judge! Yours is not the first story I’ve heard of people birding with it!

      Hope this was a help.

    3. Hi Scott,

      Sorry about your loss of these two.

      A lot of rifles chambered in 45LC will also fire the 410.

      Of course Taurus makes a lot of handguns that will fire both 45LC and 410 shotgun. Now S&W also makes these revolvers.

      Taurus also makes many revolvers that fire 45LC – 454 Casull – and 410 shotgun.

      Not all 454 revolvers will fire 410 because the cylinder is not long enough.

      Some revolvers made for both, only shoot 2.5″ 410 and some will also shoot 3″ 410.

      The Raging Bull Judge will shoot all three loads. You are prepared for snakes, birds, bear. or near anything else with it.

  12. You and I may need to speak further in this concern!
    I have a very nice Remmy 700, F-grade Custom Shop in 7mm mag that might be right up your proverbial alley. This was an inherited rifle of one of my grandfathers it’s topped with a very nice Zeiss optic and has the original box of Remingtom ammo that was bought with the rifle. Seven of the 20 rounds are expended and that is the total number fired from this rifle. I don’t know why he had this done in the costom shop a Remmy or for who. Its in its original box with all its paperwork. I belive its a 1967.
    As I have been recently pairing down my collection and I don’t have any family that would appreciate or use this fine example of the Remmy Custom Shop and have been considering selling it. It is of no use to me and shouldn’t just collect dust in the back of one of the gun safes. I’d rather see it go to someone who would enjoy it and maybe pass it on than make a profit on it. It is flawless, unscratched, and the bore is in mint, mirror condition. Stock is a beautiful Corsican Walnut burl. There more too. If this is something that might interes you let me know. It’s not going anywhere so no tripping over the keys with a lot of misspelled words and incomplete sentences. In an effort to reply!

    1. Hi Carl,

      700 sounds absolutely beautiful.

      Did you get my email at the address you gave ss1

  13. Lou,
    Have you looked on to see if you can find that 7mm that’s in your heart? I’ve had good luck finding several items there including hard to find ammo.


    1. Thanks Scott,

      I have bought guns on Gunbroker before. I just have nit had the time to look there lately. But I will keep that in mind.

  14. Three WHOOTS for Lou!!!
    Whoot, Whoot, Whoot!!!’
    Very nicely done! You do good work!
    And has been said before . . . .

    “Thus endith the lesson!!”

    1. Thanks Carl.

      I would be remiss if I did not now post what would I choose, myself, for brown bear protection while hiking in bear territory.

      Would I choose the DE with the 7 rounds mag, or would I choose a revolver of only 5 rounds. Or would I choose something else.

      Would I like a DE, well of course. I never met a gun I did not like or see some purpose for it. But is it the next gun on my list, or are there other guns I would buy before the DE ?

      The DE does not have a decoking lever, or an ability to fire double action. So if one is going to carry with a round in the chamber, they have to carry with the safety on. The safety is rather hard to disengage rapidly. This could be a real problem if one finds themselves in a real emergency. The very large grip comes into to play here, and makes the safety rather hard to operate. Someone with very large hands might not have this problem.

      The DE also has a history of jamming for some people. Others claim this is not a problem. It seems that the pistol may need a large person to fire it without the pistol acting like you are limp wristing it. In other words a smaller person may not have enough weight to push back on the pistol for it to operate with total reliability. This has little to do with strength, but has to do with how much a person weighs. This is really a very large powerful pistol.

      The other downside is it’s size and weight.

      I would consider a double action revolver in 454 Casull. I can buy a Taurus raging bull for far less money. It is over $600 cheaper. The 454 ammo is more available and cheaper. The 454 has factory loadings that are more powerful than the 50 AE or 44 mag. It is a smaller and lighter package. It is 19 oz lighter, and that is a lot when hiking many miles, or all day.

      More power: the 454 is simply more powerful in the factory loadings. Plus there are far more loadings available.

      The revolver is less complicated to operate and more reliable. Just draw and pull the trigger; OR if you have time, draw, pull the hammer back and then fire. It is simply easier and faster to get into action in an emergency than the DE.

      Less rounds: the 454 revolver has more power, but less rounds. For home defense or self defense against men, I chose the double stack mag pistol, because men sometimes travel in gangs.

      But Brown bear attacks are almost always by a single bear. Certainly if I can not stop that bear with 5 rounds, I will not have time to fire any more if my gun held more. Or if I had more time to fire more than 5 rounds, I was too far away to be under threat of my life, and should not have fired on the bear at all. In my opinion, 5 rounds is plenty for bear protection. ( that is, of 454 )

      So I would choose the 454 revolver ( Ruger and others also make one) for bear protection while hiking. With the money I saved I could also buy a 1892 Winchester lever action clone in 454.

      The 1892 Winchester lever action in 454 is also a good choice for bear protection. It only weighs about a pound more than the DE. It is far more powerful than either the above. The longer barrel gives it a lot more power. BUT make sure you stroke the lever with authority and make a full stroke. Other wise it can jam.

      But I would choose the 454 revolver over it, for it’s ability to be carried in a holster. I can climb with ease with the revolver, but the rifle will slow me down.

      Another choice is the 10mm pistol with 16 rounds, each with 800 foot pounds of energy. These do not have as much power as the 454, but they carry three times as many rounds. It only weighs about two pounds, or even less. You can buy it in hammer fired, or striker fired.

      This is what I chose even before the 454. I would like to get the 454 next. The 10mm pistol has the advantage of being good for bears or gangs of men. If I can not stop the biggest bear with it, I needed more training.

      Now if we were talking Africa, that would be a different story. I would choose the 454 way before the 10mm. But for North America, I chose the 10mm first.

      I also considered the voice of those who have years of experience in this area. So many park rangers (that is in bear country) have chosen the 10mm for their sidearm, that it brought about a revival of the cartridge. They like it because it is good for bears, wolf packs, or gangs of men.

      10mm ammo – regular factory ammo for the 10mm is NOT full power. It is only a little more power than the 40S&W. BUT there are several small ammo makers that load the 10mm to full power. Double tap, Buffalo Bore, and Underwood all load to full power. Underwood has the most powerful, AND their ammo actually preforms as advertised. The Double Tap is slower then the advertise.

      I would carry my 10mm EAA hammer fired pistol with Underwood ammo in it. I have protection against brown bears, wolf packs, and gangs of men.

      IF I was going into a territory where I knew bears were the main danger, and there was little danger from men and wolfs, I would carry the 454 double action revolver.

      So why do I still want a DE in 440 Cor-Bon. How about I just want one. Make mine Burnt Bronze.

    2. I should have said that the 454 may have more recoil than the DE50AE. The gas operation absorbs recoil and it a very nice feature of the DE.

      BUT one can fire 45LC in the 454 for practice which is just plain fun to shoot. You can get loads anywhere from 300 foot pounds to over 2000 foot pounds for this revolver. That is the nice feature of the 454.

  15. Dear friends,

    Since so many have ben showing an interest in the Desert Eagle, I thought a short post about that weapon might be in order:

    It weighs about 72 oz or about 4.5 pounds.

    It is a very large handgun. that is almost 11″ long, but is not much thicker than normal at 1.25″. But the grip is really large from the back of the grip to the front because the 44 mag is a long cartridge.

    It is also very expensive at almost $1700.

    Most pistols are either blow back action or recoil operated. The DE is neither.

    It is gas operated like a M14. It also has a rotary bolt like a AR rifle. This makes is very strong and so able to fire really powerful cartridges.

    The gas is bled off of the barrel and fed down a tube to piston in the front and that piston moves back to rotate the bolt to open it and leave the slide go back. Very strong action.

    Another outstanding feature is the fact that the barrel does not move as in a recoil operated pistol. The barrel is mechanically fixed to the frame ( it is able to be taken off, but is fixed during firing) so that makes it more accurate. The same reason a PPK is so accurate for a small pistol.

    Another feature that improves accuracy is the polygon barrel. This also increases velocity and power. The DE is known for it’s long range accuracy. The fact that you can replace the 6″ barrel with a 10″ or a 14″ barrel also adds to this.

    Now the things against the DE.

    I have a Kel-Tec SU-16C that has a 30 round mag and fires the 5.56 rounds (it is a piston AR) that weighs the same as the DE, 4.5#.

    I have a Kel-Tec Sub 2000 in 40S&W when loaded with +P ammo has 44mag power out of it’s 16″ barrel ( 1080Foot Pounds) It is lighter than the DE at 4 #.

    Some might point out that these weapons are the same weight and more useful. BUT, neither would be as good to stop a large brown bear as the DE. The small light carbines are better at long range than the DE, but not as much power at short range.

    The DE is the only choice I know of if a person wants enough power to reliably stop a brown bear and does not want the very severe recoil of a 500 S&W revolver. The DE also has the advantages ( and also the disadvantages of) a semi auto pistol over a revolver.

    1. Lou,

      THANK YOU SO MUCH for such an excellent overview on the DE. This really helps people understand what it’s all about.

      And you are totally correct about the comparison to the S&W 500. Plus I think they only hold 5 bullets. Plus the guys at my local range told me there’s been some mishaps with those things, like people shooting the roof on the 2nd shot.

      As far as the Kel-Tec goes, it’s interesting that you have one, but I don’t see any comparison to the DE 50. They are in 2 different worlds, in my opinion.

      BTW is your Kel-Tec fully automatic?

    2. Ss1, I can’t afford automatic weapons. When I buy new ones I only buy if a get a really good deal.

      I buy a lot of used guns that have something wrong with them that I think I can fix.

      I like the Kel-Tec Sub2000 in 40 S&W.

      It compares to the DE44. Because when fired out of the 16″ barrel the 40 S&W +P ammo is equal to a 44 mag. Almost 1100 foot pounds. It also has a 22 round magazine. 22 rounds of 44 mag power will stop most anything.

  16. Hey Lou,
    The Burnt Bronze is indeed a fine looking color for the DE line!
    I was aware that barrel leanths could be changed. Didn’t know that the basic platform could be used for all available calibers!!
    Most of my experience with DE and MRI/IMI has been with the very fine but diminutive .40 Baby DE/C. An getting to play some with the BiL’s toys was a plus of course. A rule of thumb: The next best thing to owning your own is having a family member that lets you borrow theirs!! LOL.
    I’ll just keep putting my money into my passion for Long Distance Shooting. After all “its the next best thing to being there”! I have a lot of fun developing long distance loads and bullets.

    1. How long of a distance Carl? Let’s talk tomorrow.

      I wasn’t the biggest fan of that article/video recently with the guy who kept the log book and went to the nth detail, but I’d still like to practice long distance shooting because I have a 308 with a bull barrel and tight rifling that is up to the task. I know where to practice at 500 yards, and maybe 1000, at a dedicated range, but I’ve never done it.

      Talk to you tomorrow.

    2. MORNING SS1!
      I’m always happy when talking about my passion for Long Distance Marksmanship Its been a passion since I was a kid, a career path for a bit, and just a pleasure these days as well as a valued hunting skill set on several levels.
      As a side discussion I think we might do this off forum and thread. Drop me a contact at if your still interested in talking.
      The .308 is a traditional and great foundation round for Distance shooting given a good work up hand load or a factory load that you platform likes, the patience to learn the basic skill set and techniques, a shooter of moderate skill may easily take their .308 out to the 800 to 1000 meter envelope. The .308 is very effective and accurate at 500 meters. Learn to shoot at this distance and ones hunting skills benefit greatly.
      As to the gentleman you refer to keeping a shot log or what known as a DOPE log its not something that a general sport shooter might do but for a detected marksman, sniper, distance/hand loader, or bench shooter this kind of data record is a critical component to their various skill sets and need’s for different reasons. I keep a log for each of my distance rifles and for all my hand load development. Really not as crazy as it sounds when one is looking at taking shots in the 1500 to 2000 meter envelope or beyond as may be accomplished with some calibers and specialized platforms. For the hunter that’s going just add “accurate distance shooting” to their skill set its helpful but not necessary. Drop me a line and we’ll talk if you still interested.

    3. Carl and Lou,
      I wasn’t listening that late last night no Sir sorry! Catching up this morning…
      Very interesting and insightful feedback from you both. Enjoy your tour and time at that range shooting the DE357 and other interesting weaponry I’m sure.

    4. Morning Scott,
      Lou got a good center on these DE’s! His information was great! My, “Are you listening” was meant in a humorist manner! LOL, this forum stuff works pretty good when we stop pissing on one another , makes it well worth the effort.

    5. Carl Sir I totally got the humor.
      I 100% agree with your pissing on each other remark. There is no need for it and I have certainly been guilty of a bit but not in this case. I’ve enjoyed yours, Lou’s, Dr Dave’s and a few others perspectives and I appreciate everyone’s perspective but as you know and many have said we all don’t have to agree but I do feel we should respect these perspectives and opinions.
      Once again Sir, humor received and understood!

      Thank You

  17. Hey Scott,
    Just a quick clarification . . .
    I understand your concern where it comes to manufactures and one product being great and one being only a bit different and not so go.
    Its a valid consideration in most cases.
    I’d bet that it dosn’t apply to MRI as it does to others. I have no empirical evidence to back that statement just some common sense thinking an DE’s I’ve had an opportunity to handle and fire.
    My reasoning is that MRI is a relatively small producer of firearms who have spent a great deal of this R&D time in the development of Magnum firearms of the highest order. Its what they do. Their success has been excellent! Their products are well received and found around the world. The question that comes to my mind is . . Would they produce and market a .357 auto pistol that wasn’t as good or better than their very successful .44 mag or .50? Given what they ask for these big DE’s my guess is that the .357 is likely a sweetheart just like the other two.
    I’m going to be passing thru Los Vagus in the near future and there is a gunship there that I think has these DE’s for rental on their range. I sent an email to Roger the owner asking if they do, if so I’m going to stop in and have some range time with one and I’ll let you know what I think of it then. I’m as curious now as you are!

    1. Hi Carl,

      The 357DE should be one of the most reliable DEs. The 357 was the first DE they made. Then they added the 44mag, and later the 50AE. They also produced a 41 mag for awhile.

      The one I would desire most is the 440 Cor-Bon. It uses the case of the 50AE necked down to a .429 bullet. A 44 mag uses a .429 bullet so it uses the same bullet.

      The 440 Cor-Bon screams out of the DE and produces almost 2000 foot pounds of energy. But these are very rare.

    2. Sorta like a 357 Sig on massive Steroids!
      I believe I saw one of these some years ago at the Spokane Gun Show there’s a memory there but its not to clear. Maybe if was the Anchorage Sportsmans Show? No matter. Indeed a very hot round. It would be a fine addition to one collection. I wonder how the barrel and slide would have held up over time? If I ever need something like that I’ll just use a rifle!

    3. Hi Carl,

      For everyone’s information that did not know, Magnum Research has been bought out by Kahr Arms that is owned by the son of the so called Rev Moon, who runs the Moonies.

      Sad to see these small companies being bought out by larger ones.

    4. LOL! This really cracked me up before signing off my PC and going to bed.

      I went to the Kahr website just now and I see the similarities in the 2 websites.

    5. Hey Lou,
      I read this in Shotgun News when it happened in 2010. I was reminded again about this when looking at their bio page, all the founders are still with the company as I understand it and it seems that they may have built some kind of protections for the company and product line into the sale agreement. Who knows for sure. Its a shame to see something so good get gobbled up.

  18. Hey Lou,
    Sorry if that was unclear.
    I know that the DE chambers the .44 SW munitions. I didn’t mean to imply that it was .44 AutoMag munitions
    I was just saying that the last time I reloaded for a .44 mag Auto round was for an Auto Mag some years ago. At that time you cut down .308 cases to get your brass.
    Reloading for the DE in .44 SW would be the way to go these days I’d think unless you can afford and get .44 SW ammo for it at your local or on line.
    Misunderstanding was unintentional.

    1. Carl,

      Hey, no problem, I am 70 and still looking for something that I am able to do right.

  19. SS1, I wouldn’t sell the nine, it’s a personal thing with me. 9mm is the most popular round in the world, along with .22lr. If the s*it ever hit the fan bad enough that we find ourselves in a lawless world, then it will be far easier to find the common ammo than will the more exotic. Remember, manufacturing will also likely be gone in that situation. That said, a 50AE can be fun to shoot.

    1. Tank,

      That’s a perspective I need to think about. I wish I could afford a 50AE without selling anything. Maybe I need to put my 44 magnum up for sale, and trade it for a bigger, badder large caliber pistol.

    2. Hi ss1,

      Here are some considerations of why to hang onto the 9mm and sell the 44 mag instead:

      The 9mm is the most popular round in the world, like already pointed out

      If you ever need a low recoil pistol ( like needing to teach a young person to shoot) the 9mm will do fine, while the 44 will certainly not do. Power is nice, but there are times when low recoil is needed.

      The 9mm is also a little smaller the 10mm pistol, (thinner) which might also come in handy some time.

      The 50 AE will fill the role of your 44 mag. Except for being even bigger & heavier.

      You can buy a 44 mag barrel for the DE later. If you do buy a 44 mag barrel for the DE it will be far less recoil in that platform than a revolver. It is semi auto and so absorbs recoil with the spring, and it is heavier. The 44mag in the DE is a pussycat to fire.

      However the 50 AE is NOT a pussycat in any gun. I would consider seeing if I could rent one at a range, or fire one of somebody you know. Of course I think I remember you saying something about firing your 44 with Buffalo Bore 300 gr +P heavy ammo. That stuff kicks like a mule in my 44.

    3. Hi Lou,

      Now 2 guys have told me to keep my 9mm, and you really have me thinking. Plus there could be a time or function when I may desire less penetration risk, for whatever reason. I guess there’s a reason why it’s so popular throughout the world.

      I like your sentence: “The 50 AE will fill the role of your 44 mag. Except for being even bigger & heavier.”

      Plus I can get more money for the 44 magnum, and all the ammo I have on hand.

      And speaking of the original topic of this article, although the 50AE is bigger and badder than the 44, IT HOLDS A LITTLE MORE AMMO, and that’s what I’ve been arguing for since this article was posted.

      Lastly, that 32 round Beretta 9mm mag I have is pretty awesome!

    4. Hi ss1,

      WOW, 32 round mag !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      That alone would be reason enough for me to keep the 9mm. But of course only you knows what will work best for you. We are only giving you things to think about.

    5. Hey Lou,
      At first I was going to go off the deep end about your comment of the .44 being a pussycat . . . . . After a moments thought about the loads I had shot in my BiL’s DE44 and realized that they were either heavy hunting loads or heavy hand loads and that my view of the 44 bring a “pussycat”might be a bit skewed. Thought back to shooting the .44 Auto Mag with standard loads and remembering that it was surpriseing lay plesent. My apology for making an assumption not in evidence!
      For the .50?? . . . Not a FUN gun! It’s just about anything else one might choose to describe it with . . . .
      — expensive
      — massive
      — impressive
      — big
      — loud,
      — big holes,
      — a full mag weighs more than most pistoles . . .
      — comes with a porter to help carry it ….. optional . . .,
      — can drop a target by the bullet just passing by and sucking all the oxygen away! . . . ,
      — can incapacitate in a 270 degree arc from the muzzle blast …… Really!? . . . ,
      — should NEVER be fired indoors except in an emergency and then only if the shooter is
      wearing protective gear . . . ,
      — like a shot gun, IT’s appearance stops all conversation . . . No kidding!,
      — will clear the range of all other shooters till your done. . . .
      — may be destructive to back stop burms, . . . ,
      — recommended to be fired only thru the long axis of a car or truck . . . Something about the
      engine as a back stop!?!?! . . .
      — not thru the cross axis access unless one is aiming AT the engine,
      — the terms, “enjoyable”, “FUN”, “pleasant”, . . . . . . No so much! seldom used!!

    6. NOTE: For some reason not all of my comment got posted the last bit of it follows . . . . . .

      Let’s not forget that the .40 SW is in reality the 10mm Short! Could be likened in design and intent to the .306 from the 30.06 parent or .380 from the 9mm.
      40’s spec’ and ballistics are just a bit less than its parent 10 mm. Within the pistol engagement envelope they are so close as to be nearly identical.
      Never thought of getting a .44 barrel for the .50 DE !! Is the magazine the same? I never paid it any attention. I’m not sure that I’d not like the experience of an auto load like a .44 mag, BB, 300gr+P. Think I’d have to load them one at a time!

    7. Hi Carl,

      You can change from 50AE to 44 mag by changing the barrel and magazine. You also can change to the 357 by changing the barrel, magazine and bolt.

      You can change from 50AE to 440 Cor-Bon by changing the barrel. They use the same mag and bolt.

      Some people have one gun that shoots all five cartridges.

      You also can change from the 6″ barrel to a 10″ barrel, or a 14″ barrel.

      Changing barrels can be done in a minute.

      WOW, I was looking at that burnt bronze finish. That is really great looking.

  20. Too SS1: I agree with you. The sight is here to both share and argue different points of view. If people don’t like what is said, well, to bad. We all have the right to disagree, so just don’t take it personal.

  21. Hey ss1,
    The BDEC .40 is a top three for me. I can’t say enough about this platform! It may be the most accurate, out of the box, pistol I have ever owned. No BS, I’m not the only one who thinks so. I have heard this from other owners including my brother in law who thinks that “disposiable income” has only one use.
    My Baby DE/C is basic black. I’m not even sure if the BDEC is or was offered in Crome or any other color but black.
    Now my brother in law has the .50 in Titaninum Gold Tiger stripes. Not my choice . . . but impressive in a flashy kinda way. He also has one in .44 mag in the Satin Crome that I think is very handsome. I like shooting the .44 more than the .50 too. I think its a head issue for me and I just feel more comfortable with the .44.
    NOW, Magnum Reasearch has come out this year (2014) with a new color called “Burnt Bronze” …. If I was making choices, and had the billfold big enough to get one in every caliber, and a new gun safe to house them all I’d get every one in this new color!!. I think its very sharp!
    I am unable to tell any differance between an MRI or an IMI produced Eagle. I have had the opportunity to handel current production of both lines and would feel confident seggesting either to someone who’s looking. The quality control and ability to keep the bar very high hold true for both producers. My BDEC is a somewhat early design model, not even sure its in production any longer as I can’t find my model under either IMI or MRI current product lists. Guess I won’t ever be getting rid of it then!
    Bottom line, I think its one of the finest examples of firearms design and exceptional production that exists of current producers. Beyond being an end user and having had the oppertunity to handel other offerings from IMI and MRI as well as my opinions stated above I can offer little more insight.
    There worth every penny as far as I’m concerned and in this case you get what you pay for! Hope this helps in some way. Its a great choice from my POV. My other carries are an XD .45 and an XDm Tactical in .40 very pleased with both. There are several other of the XD series in the safe too but for carry its the two above. About the only XD or XDm that’s missing from their and my own lineup would be an offering in 10mm . . . Just because.

    1. I spend some time educating myself on MRI and their Desert Eagle. I hadn’t really paid much attention to this manufacture before so a thumbnail sketch of my ongoing search is here for your own interest. Readers Digest version . . . is that Magnum Research holds all the Patents, and Intelectual Property, Designs and manufacturing rights. They have used IMI and several other companies as their manufacturing base. Besides IMI there have been several others over the years. Point being its all in the hands and control of MRI which to a great degree explains the first rate QC over all generations and variants of their product. If I understand this correctly the differance cones down to either being “licensed” to make a product or being hired to manufacture a product using specific materials and exacting engineering and techniques to produce a repeatable product. MRI dose not license its products for manufacture. It hires a manufacturing company to produce its product to their repeatable spec. Still reading more maybe later but that’s the important point!

    2. Carl,

      I read and analyzed all your comments. Again, you give me confidence in buying one. All that is left now is waiting for someone to buy my 9mm to help me justify the purchase, and decidng if I should sell my 44 magnum and go with my two 10mm’s as my small pistols, and the 50AE as my big one.

      The bronze finish looks AMAZING!! It’s also not as expensive as satin chrome. But I worry that’s it’s not time tested, because it’s new, and the word “ceramic” is used to describe the finish. What is your opinion?

      One big advantage of the black is it’s not as flashy. I’m sure the black is a robust finish, and all I’d have to do is take care of it properly, and it will outlast me.

    3. Hi ss1,

      I know nothing about that bronze coating on the DE. But a ceramic is a compound that is made up of a metal chemically bonded to a nonmetal.
      The bond is an ionic bond and is the strongest type of chemical bond. As a result ceramics are very hard. That means is should not scratch, but some ceramics can chip.

    4. . Hey SS1,
      I’m going to stick my neck out here and suggest that the Burnt Bronze finish will be as strong as those finishes that MRI have previously used and that have a proven history. I do not know what their testing procedure is or has been in this concern but supect that they do …. nothing … that hasn’t been proven out thru a fairly rigorous process on their part. These guys just don’t seem to do anything by half measures. At all, ever.
      I have already put out a request to several shops and gunsmiths that I deal with fairly often to let me know when they get one or know of one that I can perhaps get my hands on. We’ll see where that leads me.
      The Black finish is very sturdy. I’ve now had my BDE/C for going on five years now and it’s seen everyday use durning about 90% or so of that period. Although it shows some wear as one would expect , it shows far far less than other platforms that are newer and have had less carry time.
      I’d be willing to the chance on this new finish given the reputation of MRI for producing excellent products. I’ve never found anyone who dosnt find MRI’s offerings to be a cut above! Maybe a bit heavy for some, and somewhat old school with an exposed hammer, but no one has cast them aside out of hand.
      I didn’t mention the trigger in previous comments. My BDE/C .40 trigger is very crisp with a very smooth but very small takeup when used in SA. DA operation has no takeup and only a slightly increased pressure requirment. Let off in SA and DA mode is very smooth, sharp, crisp and positive. SA is 4.5 to 5.5 lbs and DA 11 to 12lbs or so. Normally I’d have a trigger with this weight spec honed a bit to lighten it up but have not found the need to do so with this platform.
      You may expect the same quality of trigger in the .50 or .44 DE. As these are SA only platforms the triggers are right around 4 pounds or so. 4 very crisp smooth pounds . . . the first time I fired a .50 I accused the owner of having the triggered lightened which was not the case. It’s just simply a very very good production trigger. You want to have a solid grip on one of these Hand Howitzers before stroking the trigger with your finguer. I would also suggest, from expierance, that for at least the first few times you shoot one . . . Make sure your hands are dry …. and only load ONE (1) round in the magazine until you know how it responds when fired. I am not one to tell an expieranced shooter how to shoot, unless their being unsafe or might just need a suggestion from outside eyes, but in the case of this platform in either .44 or .50 you just want one round in the mag the first time or two out. Twice in the past I’ve been on the range when a first time DE .50 shooter lost control and droped it on their first shot cause of the unexpected recoil and sharp muzzel rise. It simply was pulled put of their hand They both had full mags inserted and there were, fortunately , no accidental discharge due to being droped. I’m pretty sure that a discharge at the ankle to knee level of a .50 round would be a very unplesent expierance. So, just for the first several shots I’d suggest this operating procedure. Up to you of course.
      I have heard that there is a threaded barrel option for supressor use for the DE .50. I have not been able to confirm this rumor but would not be suprised to find it true. I like to use suppressors when ever I can as I find the current suppressor technology to complement pistol, rifle and certenly full-auto platforms preformance in almost every instance. Maybe not so much an option on a carry pistol…maybe… but useful all the same. I’ll wait for another time and blog to go into Suppressor for rifle and full-auto.
      Once again, I hope I have been some help to you in getting a clear picture as how you may proceed. Look forward your next reply.

    5. Carl,

      Thanks again for taking the time to type a wealth of information.

      I agree with you, from all your experience, that if MRI offers burnt bronze, it most likely has gone through some serious R&D.

      I will take your advice about recoil very seriously. I have shot my Ruger Super Redhawk 44 magnum 1 handed, and even left handed, many times. The worst kick I’ve ever had on any pistol was using Buffalo Bore +P 300gr with my Ruger, with 2 hands. With that being said, the 50AE is a much bigger cartridge, so I can make no assumptions whatsoever.

      But this is what I live for. My personality gravitates towards the bigger guns. When I was OCD over golf a few years ago, I was ordering heavy aftermarket weights on Ebay to screw into my TaylorMade SuperQuad driver (that had adjustable weights).

    6. Hey SS1,
      No problem and as long as your into big pistols , Google this one!

      ,50 BMG ” THUNDER” made by Triple Action LLC. in Logan UT.

      This child of a demented mind would indeed be a handfull !! LMAO! To funny.

    7. Hi Carl P,

      Your post has a lot of very good advise. I always load only ONE round in any gun the first time I fire it. Some might think this is overkill on safety. But considering the consequences could be the death of someone, I do not think so.

      Not long ago an idiot gave this girl a 500 S&W revolver to try for the first time, and it was fully loaded. She fired the first shot and the recoil was so severe for her that the gun came back into her forehead with her finger still on the trigger and fired a round into her head. It killed her of course. I know most have heard of this, but this is for those who have not.

      Also the hammer fired pistol is an older design, but not outdated. It has some advantages over the striker fired pistol as you probably know. But I write this for someone who might not know.

      I have a Glock 10mm which is striker fired and a EAA 10mm which is hammer fired. I greatly prefer the EAA over the Glock. The Glock may be the better choice for self defense, but the EAA is far better for hunting.

      I shot groups with the EAA that are half the size that I am able to shoot with the Glock. The short light and crisp single action pull of the EAA is much easier for me to fire when better accuracy is needed.

    8. Well Lou,
      There’s just something about ones thumb in control of a hammer that’s has a …..focusing …. effect to ones mind and seems to make a clearer view where ones situational awareness is concerned. Or its works so for me that way. I too like the EAA and agree with your opinion in its concern.. I’m very fond of my Delta Elite in 10mm. It has a permanent home in my pre electronic era Jeep truck with my back country gear (I restored an FC-190). That said, if wishes were horses then, Springfield XD or XDm would also have a 10mm in their line up!

    9. Hi Carl P,

      Good comment. While pulling the hammer back does make for a lighter, shorter, crisper trigger pull, it also put more focus on the shot.

      Kind of like shooting single shot, or a single action revolver. In your mind you have one shot and you focus on making it count.

      Where with the striker fired pistol you focus on what it does best. Putting a lot of rounds in the center mass of the target.

    10. Carl P,
      What are your thoughts on the difference between the DE357 vs the DE44 if one were to make an investment in this platform?
      Would you recommend in your experience one over the other?
      I’ve fired the 50 before and while it is an experience most should try in a controlled setting, I’m not sure I would enjoy owning long term. To me the 357 or 44 would be better investments?


    11. Hey Scott,
      I’m going to fly a bit blind here, I’m not altogether sure I’m the best source to make a suggestions. I’ll respond from what I know and what little first hand knowledge I have had. And with that qualification . . . .
      I have never fired the DE .357 but would expect it to function and operate exactly as the .44 and .50 which I have. I think the first question that needs answered in deciding which is your best option is to decide what its use is going to be.
      What are you planning it to be used for?
      If your going to hunt with it then I’m going to lean towards the .44. If your intent is for personal defense defense I’d think that the .357 will do quite nicely.
      Question two should be: availability of munitions in your area or by mail? What costs are you willing to expend for ammo? Do you reload? Which would be easiest to reload? (I’m going to guess its the .44 as the last time I loaded .44 mag auto ammunition we cut down .308 rifle cases to make the brass. But that was a long time ago and for the .44 AutoMag it may be different now).
      I’m thinking that neither of these platforms is what one would like to take out to the range “just for fun”. There is a brutality in their recoil that would negate these “being” an enjoyable afternoon.
      From an investment view point I personally think that any of the MRI Desert Eagle’s in any of their calibers, as well as there rifle products would be an above average and worthy place for one to place some money.
      Another question, minor but important, is how you might have to carry this piece of hardware. The only way I’ve seen that they are comfortably transported is in a chest rig holster. I can’t imagine carting this on ones hip!
      They are expensive but I truly believe that in their case you will get what you pay for and then some.
      That’s the best I have to offer I’m afraid. I wish I had more experience to fall back on.i I have only fired perhaps 60 or 65 rounds between the .44 and .50 of my Brother in Laws. Quite a few more with the .40 Baby DE/C.
      I hope this may have been of some help. There must be a web site for those interested in the big bore DE’s where you may find more information to better help you make your decision.
      If I was backed into corner at this moment I’d have to choose the .44 hands down I think.

    12. Carl P,
      Thank you very much for your perspective. It helps.
      I’ve always wanted a DE but never saw a true need for the 50 other than for bragging rights or just to collect such a beast! To answer one of your questions…I don’t have the desire to hunt with it in the SE area of USA where I currently reside but maybe some day with my intentions to move into western states where we vacation regularly that may change. I’ve honestly never hunted with handguns so I don’t posses a perspective on it first hand. I prefer my rifles and shotgun hunting currently. As far as self defense, I would say that it would be more of the purpose but your challenge to me as to how I would carry is a valid one and I agree that the hip is a no go practically and the chest rig would be a better bet. I was just curious as to the functionality of the 357 vs the 44 because even within brands/manufacturers the caliber vs performance is not equal. I love the Beretta 92 9mm my wife shoots but I hated my Beretta 96 40 that I had and sold. Just did not perform the same. To me anyway…personal preference.

      Thanks again for your feedback and the corner of the 44 is a good one to be in if that’s your call.

      Have a great weekend Sir!

    13. Hi Karl,

      I know you said you are writing on a gun you don’t own, but it is your brother’s gun. I do not own one either. But I have a friend in Dallas that has one in 44 mag. I don’t fire it often, because I live in Ohio.

      But his DE44 was NOT chambered in 44 automag, but was chambered in 44 S&W magnum. It is a rimmed case and you can buy ammo at Walmart, when they have it.

      Every DE I have seen in 44 has been chambered in 44 S&W magnum, not 44 auto mag. But your brothers gun might have been 44 auto mag.

      The 44 automag is a rimless case and the 44 S&W magnum is a rimmed case for those who do not know. The 44 S&W magnum is the common round most call 44 mag.

    14. Sorry Carl, I spelled you name with a K instead of a C. I have a friend named Karl. Habit !

    15. Hi Scott,

      Since that was useful to you, here is some of my thoughts that may also work for you, or may not.

      Since you were thinking about the DE357 vs DE44:

      The DE357 cost three times the cost of a revolver in 357.
      The DE357 weighs 72 oz and my revolver in 357 weighs 40 oz
      I can carry my 357 revolver with ease. It is very accurate.

      My 357 revolver is just plain fun to shoot. I have owned 3 different ones at different times. A S&W combat masterpiece – A Ruger double action – and a Taurus Tracker double action 357 revolver.

      They all were fun to shoot and not too light to make the recoil unpleasant. The Smith was a jewel. the Ruger was tough, the Taurus is not as pretty as the Smith, but it is may be my favorite.

      It has a 6.5″ ported barrel and it has the least recoil of the bunch. The 357 really needs a 6″ barrel to be more efficient. Also the rubber grip absorbs some harshness. But it has a .002″ cylinder gap, and so it is very accurate and a little more power. I do not know if all Taurus 357 come with this tight of a cylinder gap. The Tracker is meant for hunting and so the small gap. For combat a larger gap would be better. You can shoot more rounds without the cylinder jamming with the larger gap, but you lose some power and accuracy.

      But my point is this. The 357 revolver is cheap, light, small, easy to carry, accurate, and fun to shoot. The only time it is a little snappy, is with Underwood high power ammo (800 ft pounds)

      I think the DE357 might be a little overkill for a 357. in other words, it is bigger and heavier than it needs to be for that cartridge. And certainly even with the Underwood ammo a heavier Ruger should be large and heavy enough.

      The DE44 is a different story. The DE is heavier at 4.5 pounds (72 oz) and really tames the 44 mag in my experience shooting it.

      A 44 mag revolver is smaller and lighter, but the recoil is much more severe. Especially with Buffalo Bore heavy 300 grain ammo. The heavy stuff (up to 1600 foot pounds) really kicks like a mule in my revolver. It is not really fun to target shoot with that stuff. I sure it would be fine in the excitement of a hunt.

      One other observation about the DE.

      Some have problems with jams in the rimmed cases. Especially the 44. Others do not have this problem or have solved it.

      The 50 AE is a rebated rim. The rim is smaller than the outside of the case. So it seems to be much more reliable for most people. Semi autos have history ( I am sure you know) of having trouble shooting rimmed cartridges that were designed for revolvers. The 44 mag is a rimmed cartridge. The 50 AE is not.

      I feel sure you already know most of these things, but sometimes when we are in the excitement of considering a new gun we do not remember some of them at the time.

    16. Scott,

      Of course if one wants a 357 that is as tame as a full size 9mm pistol, then the DE357 may be the gun for them.

      My oldest son is 6 foot, 200 pounds and is a Marine. He doesn’t like a lot of recoil. I have guns that are fun to me, that he does not like to fire. He was in the Marine 1st division in desert storm. Their leaders told them they would take 50% casualties. He is certainly not a wimp or weak in any way. Maybe he has had enough violence. He had to put his friend in a body bag over there.

      Some enjoy the recoil and to others it is not worth the trouble. That is why they make so many different kinds of guns.

    17. SS1 , Just gotta ask , what is the purpose for wanting a .50 ? I’ve shot a couple and it isn’t something I’d ever use for anything .
      I commercially fished AK for over 30 years and was in the back country 2-4 days a week hunting , sport fishing and just investigating all the nooks and crannys . I took a rifle .338 or .375 for big bear protection . Never even occurred to me to pack a sidearm but this is the only reason I can even think of as a “just in case” weapon .
      Anyone else want to weigh in ?

    18. Dennis,

      Before saying anything, I have slept on this idea, and my mind is fresh this morning, and I know exactly what I’m going to do. I’m keeping my Ruger Super Redhawk 44 magnum because it’s stainless, I love it, and I can hit the 100 yard target while standing. You DON’T let go of something you like. I’m selling my 9mm and an old rifle I don’t like. I have already tried to sell both these on-line, but now I know how to sweeten the deals. They WILL be sold soon. It will be no big loss because I don’t like either gun.

      Regarding the guys telling me to keep the 9mm, I have multiple assault rifles and so much ammo that if SHTF (as Tank suggested), my biggest problem would be food and water, not ammo. I also have 1000 rounds of 10mm and 44mag combined at least.

      I’m not just a talker here. I already did research on-line last night, and I have 3 dealers to call today or Monday, that are offering satin chrome and black models at prices cheaper than other dealers. 1 of the dealers is top notch, excellent rep, where I bought my Ruger brand new.

      Here’s the answer to your question.

      I’m a weight lifter and I’m always hyped up on pre-workout formula when I go to the range. The big guns are a huge turn on to me. Recoil and shock is not an issue, it’s a turn on. Before I get any weird replies to this, the rangemasters like me and compliment me for following rules so well.

      Yes, bears!! I’m a hiker, but I have stayed in the city and not gone to remote trails (alone) because of bears. There are many bears in the places I’d like to hike in remote areas, and the 50AE would give me confidence.

      There are some other reasons as well, dealing with bad guys, like REAL, REAL BAD GUYS, but I don’t want to explain those here, and will not say anything more on that topic.

      Reason #4. Who DOESN’T want to have the finest pistol ever made!!!!??? I can’t afford them all, but I can make this one happen for me.

      I took time to write this, but today is too busy and I can’t write much today.

    19. Hi ss1,

      Buying a gun is not only a practical decision, the emotions are also involved. There is nothing wrong with just liking a certain gun, or disliking another.

      I have always wanted a 7mm Remington Mag. Both the Remington 700 and the 7mm R mag came out the year I graduated from high school. BUT when I bought one, I made a mistake and did not buy the one I really wanted ( to save money).

      Now I simply hate that rifle and have always wanted to sell it. I need to get it out of the safe and list it somewhere.

      ss1, we like what we like and we do not like what we do not like. Nothing wrong with that.

    20. Thanks for the re-assuring thoughts Lou!

      Trust me I have made so many bad buying decisions like you did with the 7mm. Mostly with cars and trucks, but some with guns. The Ruger 44 magnum was an EXCELLENT DECISION.

      Have a great Sunday!

      I’m leaving for the gym now, so will not see any other replies for a while.

    21. HiHo Lou,
      I not a big fan of the 7mm mag for the most part. I do own several but mostly as investments. Its a fine cartridge within its envelope and has served hunters well for many years since it was introduced. It has found particular acceptance and favor in the lower 48 for most hunting done there. It just doesn’t preform to my expectations or needs as I’d like.
      If your still looking for an excellent field rifle in this caliber, however, that won’t break the bank and comes from a very fine line of firearms may I suggest the Tika T3, a Sako product. For a cost of often much less than or equal to Ruger, or Remington but with one of the finest production barrels made (its a Sako component), a bolt and trigger that out of the box that feels and preforms as if you just spent $1500 on an action tune up by a gunsmith and a loaded and scoped weight that still lets you carry it all day with no problem . . . . This may be a platform to consider. My general hunting and working rifles now are composed of mostly Tika’s because of their exceptional performance and lower cost. There are a few others, a Mossberg 4X4 in .300 WM that is very handy, and a Ruger .458 Alaskan. The .375 Weatherbey that my grandfathers bought together and gave me when I was old enough (14!) to be allowed on the yearly family trek to Africa to hunt. The two of them had been hunting in Africa since just before WW I when taken there by their fathers as teenagers or so the family story is told. Stories for another time.
      Take a peek at the Tika, I think you’ll find its a kindred spirit. They have several models in 7mm to choose from.

    22. Hi Carl,

      I agree that the Tika is a very fine rifle. Sako quality at an affordable price.

      When my oldest son wanted a long range rifle I recommended the Tika. He bought one in 270WSM.

      But the heart wants what it wants. I want the Remington 700 in 7mm mag for historical reasons. I am concerned about the quality since the buyout. So I am looking for a very nice used one that was made before the buyout.

    23. SS1 , Thanks for your reply . I have several horses and pack into the some of the most rugged country in the lower 48 .
      I always have a rifle with me for grizzly . Grizzlies (all bears) are notorious ambushers and lay in wait off the trails .
      I’ve invested in some 10mm’s just for that reason and because most times you’re only able to shoot one handed and as I’m not a big man the 10 is about all I can handle . I’ve shot several of the big boys but one handed is out of the question .
      Alaska was different and would see grizzlies every day or brownies and of course tons of blacks. Only times I have had problems was with grizzlies and have come close to having to kill 4 or 5 over the years . Even had a cub leaning against my leg while in a tree when mama’s on the ground trying to figure out where I was . Never went deer hunting without at least my .338 and mostly my .375 .
      I don’t shoot guns for fun anymore and I’ve got a bunch but some I just want to look at .

    24. Dennis,

      You and I lead very different lives I guess. I’m a city guy, and don’t recall ever seeing a bear in the wild……yet. Your bear experience is shocking to me. Also, good thing there’s no grizzlies in my state.

      I’m a huge 10mm fan, as I have noted elsewhere in this forum, and also in the recent Glock forum. Here’s a tip for you that may help, unless you already know. Go to the Underwood Ammo website. They have the strongest 10mm ammo. There’s even some velocity comparing videos there under some of the different 10mm offerings. I have the Underwood 200gr XTP’s in most of my magazines.

      Just now I looked up .338 and .375 on a ballistics chart, and I was wondering if you have the magnum calibers, and if you have any advice for me if I want one big, powerful rifle in that range of caliber?

      Regarding the 50AE that we discussed, I was on the phone with Magnum Research today and learned a lot about the different coatings. I’m heavily leaning toward the BRUSHED chrome model, but have decided I must sell at least 1 gun BEFORE I buy a Desert Eagle.

  22. I agree that practicing unsupported and week hand shooting is very important. One should never assume that they won’t get hurt in a confrontation.

    1. Tank- Great point by you and a few others including the author of this post I believe. We (myself included) often neglect this important aspect of training and weapon handling.
      Thanks for you and others sharing and reminding us of that!!

  23. No worries SS1 & Scott, thanks for your comments!
    I considered not submitting my comment, as I was pretty sure of the response. I got what I expected. As an Alaska resident I just felt I should speak up. Apperently I wasn’t clear in my comments or they were simply not understood. Sometimes you just come up against closed minds that will only consider what they think they know. I won’t make this error again. Following Scott’s advice and reading into SS1’s reply I’m going to bit my lip and stop stop commenting except where the thread is valid and has substance. Thanks for both your comebacks!

  24. @Bob you commented to one of my posts and I got an email with it but I can’t for the life of me find it to reply to it so I will cut and hopefully paste it then reply as below:

    Dr. Dave, I think “Most gun owners secretly pine away their days praying to someday be able to use their weapon” is an inaccurate overgeneralization. There are undoubtedly owners like that but I think they are in an very small minority. In my thirty years as a police officer in a major metro area I was in more than my share of situations where deadly force would have been legally justified yet I never had to use that force and I don’t think I’m exceptional in that regard..

    You and I are professionals and have been psychologically had the “energy” taken out of us by hours and hours of drills and practice. Plus many more hours of street life unlike the average forum member. That is why we are calm in the presence of trouble and violence. (that training has been invaluable for me as a surgeon I operate MUCH differently then my colleagues do since nothing riles me up)

    Read the energy in most not some but most of the posts on almost any gun related forum and you definitely get the sense that most people actually “believe” that someday they WILL use their weapon to defend themselves. A survey was done a few years back in I think Psychology Today (no I am not in mental health I am a surgeon but my sister is a clinical Psychologist so we talk) Anyway the survey was of gun owners who carry their weapons routinely. The majority (read over 80%) actually believed that at some point they would draw their weapon and a slightly smaller percentage over 70% actually believed they would use the weapon in self defense. That staggered my brain when I was told about it! That tells me that they are amped up to almost error on the side of use rather then the side of non-use. Bob you and I have been trained to use the LEAST amount of defense necessary to subdue the action if that be crossing the street a half a block early so be it. Now we have a small advantage over laypeople in that we CAN and should and in fact in many locals MUST first warn then draw then warn then fire. In 13 sates if a layperson were to do that he or she would be arrested since demonstrating a weapon without an absolute need to use it is a misdemeanor and withdrawing it is a felony. But in context of our conversation read the posts about this great thread of caliber choice and you definitely get the “feeling” that most members (not all) absolutely believe that someday they will be in a situation where lethal force is required. I know 30 year veteran LEO’s like yourself who have never pulled their weapon short of the semi-annual qualification and yet here we have lay folks who actually believe that they will be put in a position whereby the only option is to draw and fire. The ONLY time I have ever fired any of my weapons was during a raid. I have never been “out and about” and needed to withdraw any of my weapons be it main or back-up and CERTAINLY not my rifles or shotgun. I have been in some very nasty places surrounded by some pretty nasty guys and there was always a better option then to draw and fire. Now remember I worked only in drug interdiction so I don’t know about bank robbers or crazed domestics or even bar room fights but in the but*h*le world of drugs with literally hundreds of raids under my belt the ONLY time I pulled and used my weapons were in those raids. The average gun “enthusiast” who has a CCW totally believes that there will be a day that he or she will use their weapon. That is not a bad thing. I retired from law enforcement a long while back and still have a “desire to be well defended” but I do so with the odds totally set against me ever having to need to use any of them ever again short of plinking or killing cardboard. Of course I also don’t plan on working at a 7-11 on the nightshift anytime soon either. 🙂 Dr Dave

    1. Dr. Dave,

      So you are a surgeon, and also spent 30 years in the police department. That’s quite an achievement and interesting career combo. How did you pull that off?

      Also, regarding the “secretly pining away” comment, from my standpoint it’s being in a constant state of readiness, because who wants to be the guy with all the guns who gets shot or attacked because he didn’t prepare himself and be ready. It’s a difficult task to be in a state of readiness. Last year I took my wife out to a huge entertainment center with restaurants and shops, and I let my guard down with not having my pistol beside me when we were driving out of the parking lot, and I was surprised by a thug who tried to sell me something when he leaned out his car window. When I refused he cussed at me, but it could have been a lot worse because I dropped the ball by not having my gun ready. That was a huge wake-up call for me. So you need to act like you want to use it in order to be in that state of readiness.

    2. @ss! no that is backwards I was in drug interdiction before becoming a surgeon so it was about 10 in LO and 28 or almost 29 now in surgery. Best preceptorship for the rigors of healthcare I could have ever gone thru.

      As far as your comment about you and your wife. So let me understand something; you were in a car driving out of the place and someone without a weapon (or atleast the obvious appearance of a weapon) is yelling something out of his car and you somehow feel justified in using deadly force to interrupt that activity???? You need to only use deadly force to defend one’s life. What part of life or death were you in at the time? Seems like you survived unscathed. Were the police called? Was a report filed? Was there a need for EMS? You can’t use deadly force because someone pissed you off. That is called Murder in the second degree or if you are totally lucky manslaughter. That is exactly my point here. Your PROPER response was to hit the gas and AVOID the confrontation not roll down the window and engage him. I know as a gun carrying enthusiast it feels good to know that you can whip it out and show that SOB who’s in control but then you had better be prepared to kiss your wife, family and all your savings and more goodbye. And the insurances that are sold in case you do shoot someone in the range of $1M they are a TOTAL joke. They won’t even scratch the scratch let alone scratch the itch of the legal costs of defending a murder trial. Average murder trial legal expense in the US for a first round acquittal is $4M doubles with each appeal. My whole point is to avoid the situation not dive in and encourage it. I wouldn’t have been in your situation for 2 reasons. 1) my cars all have weapons and 2) I would have driven away so as to not need to use them with windows rolled up speeding if need be. I am not any better then the next guy especially anyone on this forum so I don’t want it to sound like I am the know it all here but I am a true believer in what Alan Branca Esq. calls “Tactical Retreating.” Doing whatever it takes to avoid the confrontation and then only after there is no other option will I take a positive stand and use PROPORTIONAL force to stop the situation. BTW I see that Alan’s site is on Cheaper then Dirt’s and Shooter’s Log front page as a sponsor it will do EVERYONE good to read his blog and buy maybe buy his book (no financial interest but what he says is spot on). The legal system is not at all what most think it is and is more likely to ruin your life then any gun fight. Dr Dave

    3. Dr. Dave,

      It looks like you invented your own reality on what happened to me, just so you could lecture on things I ALREADY KNOW. I watch the news, read articles, and I’m VERY intelligent, and I know all these things about the use of deadly force and it’s ramifications.

      Now here is what happened.
      1) I was searching for a parking space in a parking lot that was very full because of a sporting event. My window was open ALREADY.
      2) A car equal to my car’s height drove beside me, and the driver held an object that looked like a parking ticket out the window, pushing it right at me. He looked friendly so I said what is this?
      3) He placed it in my hand and told me it was a mini rap CD, and he showed me many CD’s. He asked for money. I tried to be polite because I was in a great mood, and after a little bit of small talk I said no thanks.
      4) He said “you’re a little bitch, aren’t you?”, and I just drove off.
      5) I was very angry, but I still had to park my car so i could take my wife to eat. I had no gun, so I put both my pocket knives (very specialized large folding attack knives) in my pockets so i could walk back toward the restaurant we were going to. Even though I was very angry, I was just acting like a normal person walking to the restaurant, but prepared to defend myself if confronted PHYSICALLY. Let me repeat that….PHYSICALLY!!

      So what I was trying to explain today is that this thug could have pulled a gun or knife on me instead of calling me a bitch. He was 3 feet from me. These things are happening all over the country Dr. Dave. There is a CTD article out this week about the “knockout game” that thugs are doing to innocent bystanders.

      I felt like an idiot that I didn’t have my gun in the car. I felt like an idiot for letting this guy make contact with me. I’m a cautious person, but who would have expected a thug selling rap CD’s in his car in a very, very classy venue. I’m embarrassed as hell about this story, but I’m sharing it so SOMEONE may learn from it. I learned from it bigtime!! I have taken multiple measures and even practiced some things.

      So I stand by my original comment. You MUST act like you want to use your gun if you’re going to have a chance of using it quickly and properly when events come out of nowhere. If you’re a dimwit and you use it the wrong way, you go to jail. But if you’re smart and practiced, you can save your life.

    4. Dave , I disagree with your statement of wanting to “act” like you’re wanting to use your weapon . I find that to be a ridiculous statement . Being prepared to use your weapon is what it should be .
      I’ve had lots of experience being shot at and returning fire but that was war time . Being cool under fire is something you learn , conditioning if you will . However plans go awry instantly and controlled panic happens .
      I watched a guy shove a .38 into a guys forehead and I thought the guy was gonna be dead . That’s when I started to carry and have been now for 30 years . I don’t think that I’ll ever have to use it but I’m ready if needed . I carry because “maybe” I’ll have to use it .

    5. In your reply above the no=umber one issue that any self defense trainer will tell you is you NEVER EVER go into a scenario ANGRY. You mention being angry or explanative over 5 times just in this post alone and I can only assume this incident was not this past weekend. You see the situation as a perfect place to be both aware AND armed. The LAST place I want a citizen armed is at a outdoor sporting event in a stadium style arena. Guns are illegal in almost all such events so the best you could have gotten was an altercation in the lot. Now lets look back over the REAL events of that situation and how it differs from your interpretation of the scenario. In the scenario the “thug” was looking to get into a fight over selling some CD disks. I say he was looking to sell the discs and was moving from person to person until he found a sucker to buy them. I would tend to doubt that in a public lot with thousands of fans that this guy was looking to slice and dice anyone who said no to his request. Is he a nice guy worthy of bringing home to mom? NO WAY in fact he is definitely not someone I would have even allowed the window to remain open for once he started to communicate with me. On the flip side was this guys behavior deserving to die over? From nothing I have heard you say did this EVER even CLOSELY come up to the level of needing deadly force to protect oneself. No weapon, no violence, just a big mouthed rocker/rapper looking to sell his wares not die over the situation. Had you had a gun you more then likely would have transfer your anger and energy into a situation that would have left atleast one dead and others answering to the law enforcement folks. ALL gun owners need to be hands on trained more about when NOT to use weapons then on when they can. The law basically considers you guilty until you can prove your are innocent (not in agreement but that IS the facts when it comes to civilian gun usage). If I was on the scene I would have had no choice but to atleast detain you if not arrest you. I am sorry but I don’t see anything close that escalated to the level of needing self protection to the level of deadly force. A raised window is a start driving away is next calling 911 comes to mind etc… Boatloads of things come up LONG prior to drawing and firing a weapon. and it has NOTHING to do with being a former LEO or current surgeon “protecting his money as some have suggested” It is all about following the least used of all the senses called common sense. Using the LEAST amount of force to stop an action from continuing. As Bob pointed out I would prefer to shoot someone in the shoulder if that is enough to stop them and then go and render emergency assistance. It is not my place to be judge jury and most off executioner that I leave up to the folks society has determined should make those decisions. NOT ME! Dr Dave

    6. Dr. Dave,

      This was well written and I cannot argue with your logic. I agree with your analysis of what this guy was all about.

      I know I’m in extreme danger of getting arrested if I point a weapon when I’m not in danger of murder or mayhem. I could have only pulled a gun if he took it further. But remember, I had forgotten my gun anyway. My original story was to give an example of what could happen when you’re too lazy about gun preparedness.

      I can think of 2 high profile incidents in my city between citizens, with road ragers. Both times the shooter went to jail after killing an aggressor who did not have a weapon. I think about this all the time. I will think about your comments too. But I will still have a gun by my side in the car, just as many people, good and bad, have as well.

    7. @ss1 REALLY good post and I am sorry that you had to witness your situation. I AGREE preparedness is sort of what I call “situationally aware.” Being aware of what COULD go down before it does COUPLED with the abilities to either avoid or alter the situation.

      I absolutely agree sometimes there is no way to avoid so one has to alter.

      I altered a situation as a civilian only once in Philly in 1983. I was leaving a restaurant to go and pick up my girl friend and bring her back to the restaurant for the balance of the get together. I knew in advance “situational awareness.” I knew to always park a car under a street light regardless of what time of the day it was so that when you got out it would be lit enough to see the rear seat as well as the keyhole. I also had keys in hand to prevent the need to fumble finding them. BUT I also had my skicoat unzipped so as to not have to fiddle with either raising it up or unzipping it when and IF I needed to draw my weapon.

      I got about 20 feet or so from my car and realized the street light was burned out or defective (was light when I parked but dark now). At that point a “typical perpetrator type” from that basic area of town approached me and said “Hey white boy I think I am going to mug you” Now remember this is the 80’s not the 2000’s (A few years after the Philly fires that burned down a huge section of town by the cops trying to get The Move group to leave Philly) So I simply replied “Ok I don’t want any trouble I will give you my wallet and you go” So as is typical and what I have been “trying” in vane to explain to you all, by taking to him I was in control and he was taken out of his game.

      He expected me to give him a hard time he expected me to “punk up” or try to take control or somehow resist or say no or get in his face etc.. Like 99% of you would likely do based on your comments.. I instead coward down and let him think he had total control. I pulled my coat back while saying “I am getting the wallet for you be cool” I reached to my right rear butt area and rather then withdrawing my wallet I drew out my Walther PPK. BUT at this point I also knew I was much safer by being closer to him so I kept walking toward him while drawing the weapon (letting him think I was compliant as well). There for an instant with his folding blade in hand and my PPK touching his forehead the next thing he realized was that his brains were about to be on the trunk of my car. He fled saying nothing not even “sorry for getting pee on your shoes” (yes he had pissed himself). I never fired a shot not because it wasn’t “within my rights” to, but because it simply wasn’t necessary at the moment. I know this guy converted to Caucasian for atleast 5 minutes anyway he was as white as a sheep while he ran down the street. I went to pick up my girlfriend THEN filed a police report (probably not my smartest decision but I was concerned she would be at the train station alone and no cell phones back then).

      The local patrol and the two detectives who were dispatched took everything down and not knowing I was a Federal Agent as well a med student decided to “lecture me about how I should have handled things” and so I have been “trying to word things correctly” to this group. The lead detective said “Son you remember one thing from now on; dead men make the best witnesses for the defense, You should have shot him dead” I thanked him for his advice and sure hoped that he and I would never meet on one of my drug busts because I knew that the paperwork would be far longer then needed be and that the perps that we spent so much time money and effort working on to get information up the food chain would all be dead and unable to be pressed for that precious info. He used the concept of “Able to” not “Had to” I am sure this professional file is filled with shooting reports as well.

      There is a big difference between Need to, Want to, Able to, and HAVE to. I only use my weapon when I HAVE to the others are just “options by law” Just because we CAN doesn’t mean we HAVE to or even we SHOULD. Vigilante Justice is for Bronson fans. Dr Dave

    8. Dr. Dave thanks for sharing your story. All I can say at this point is WELL PLAYED.

      Other than that, if you notice the other posts, I’m doing a lot of thinking and analyzing on a Desert Eagle 50 cal purchase, plus writing ads to sell 2 guns, plus working at home.

      I’m glad we have understood each other’s viewpoints for the most part.

      Hey, my wife is going in for rotator cuff arthroscopic surgery in 2 weeks. Can you give me any tips?

    9. @ss1 although I am not an Orthopedic surgeon I specialize in cancer surgery my mom has had it done twice and even at her age (first was in her mid ’70’s second was in early ’80s it was a total no brainer. So start off telling your Mrs. to go in and RELAX. This procedure is today like the tonsillectomy of yesterday. My buddies do them en masse one right after the next all lined up line fish and the results are spectacular. the ONLY issue is the immobility afterwards. Regardless of how well she feels afterwards she HAS to follow the docs directions about how much motion she is allowed or the whole process falls apart. the muscle must heal before it is put under tension. You can really relax as well the post op portion is easy all you need to remember is stupid things are going to be really hard for her. One that comes to mind is the simple act of wiping one’s six. If she is having her dominant shoulder done it is going to be REALLY hard to wipe so be ready to help. 🙂 Yucky thought no one thinks about it until afterwards. Same thing for shooting with the less dominant hand no one thinks about it until the first shot from the perp takes out your dominate hand AND drops the weapon so you are trying to draw and use your opposite hand to draw and cock your weapon BACKWARDS. She is going to do really fine especially because you said they are doing it with the scope. That is 99% of the battle right there. The tiny incisions are so much easier to heal then the “split method” that they used to use. Please write and keep me posted as to how she does please. Also make sure you tell the surgeon about EVERY drug and vitamin and supplement and the like believe it or not they ALL make a difference. Even stupid stuff like digestive probiotics can affect the way drugs work so both the surgeon and the anesthesiologist need to know . Holler if there is ANYTHING I can do to help her or you. Dr Dave

    10. Dr. Dave,

      Thanks for your warnings about post-op behavior affecting the final outcome. I will read this email to her.

      It’s her non-dominant hand, but she had Karpal Tunnel done on her dominant hand in May and she apparently handled everything by herself.

      I do appreciate all the great advice from you!!

      And yes, staying on topic here, I need to really ramp up the shooting practice with my left hand. That can make it more fun anyway.

    11. Hi Dave,

      Reading your post made me think of all the times I have drawn a weapon to protect myself.

      Back about 1970 I left the teaching profession and Engineering profession to drive a moving van for North American Van Lines. I was in about 40 states and Canada in 9 months.

      When I was in Cleveland Ohio this very large man jumped onto my truck ( it had a step like a running board) and said, “I want to borrow some money”. With his tone of voice their was no doubt in my mind he was trying to rob me. (we often had several thousand in cash on us). My tire knocker was right next to my right hand and I grabbed that I started to hit him as hard and fast as I could. He decided to jump off and look for an easier target.

      I drove to my home town ( it was about 70 miles away) and stopped at the local gun shop. I bought a Browning High Power in 9mm for $90, if I remember correctly )

      On very next trip to Newport News Virginia I was looking for a truck stop and there were none. I was so sleepy I could hardly keep my eyes open. So I drove to the local North American agent and to park in his lot. We had been told not to do that, but I was desperate.

      I pulled in and stopped and pulled on the Maxi Brake. I slumped over the doghouse and did not even turn the engine off, I was so sleepy. But in my mind these pictures kept playing of a very old truck that pulled across the gate to keep me from driving out. I also saw a lot of guys hiding behind every barrel etc. I finally was able to wake up and grab my High Power. This one man climbed up the side of my truck and as he looked into my still open window, all he seen was the wrong end of a 9mm barrel. He dropped off of my truck and yelled, he is going to shoot our a**. I watched as about 10 guys climbed onto that old truck and sped away.

      I rolled the windows part way up and climbed into my sleeper and got a good nights sleep.

      Some one tried to rob me quite a few times during the rest of the 9 months. That Browning High Power saved me many times. Sometimes I had to draw it and sometimes I only had to tuck it into my belt for the aggressors to see. But I was never robbed or hurt.

      I traveled in states that did not allow me to possess a firearm and crossed the border into Canada. I had to choose, would I rather be caught with my gun, or would I rather be caught without it. I will not write what I decided on the safest action to take.

    12. @Lou for fear of alienating a good guy and getting the group all riled up from what I read of your above the point that missing was the very most important thing in personal safety. SITUATIONAL AWERNESS. Every situation you listed above you either knew better going in or made a critical error. You drove around with doors open windows down and after being specifically told NOT to park you did it anyway. Yet you thought that the best solution was to use lethal force to eliminate the problems. I don’t want to keep commenting in detail as I REALLY like your posts and we seem to agree on many things but this post basically is what I have been talking about when I say that many find things to be able to use deadly force or atleast draw their weapon when in reality what should have happened is they avid the situation all together.

    13. Hi Dave,

      Thanks for your very kind reply. Your comments are appreciated and very valid for today. But you have to also be aware that this all took place in a different era of our nation. Things were much different then. There was no such thing as CC training for the average person.

      We had no A/C in the trucks back then. You had to drive around with the windows open when it was 90 degrees or pass out driving. With the windows up it was unbearable in those trucks back then.

      You are correct we were told at the week long training, the agent was not the best place to park, but they also told us sometimes we might not have a choice. That short week we leaned how to drives semi, including backing while turning into a narrow alley, parallel parking etc. We also had to learn how to do the paper work, and how to inventory the household goods, and how to load and pack those goods onto the truck. The company simply did not allow enough time to train us. I might add the whole program failed and I was one of the few that did not quit or get fired.

      In the parking lot of the agent; those 10? men had taken very aggressive action by blocking me in. It was late at night and they had no good reason to be there. In fact I have reason to believe that the agent himself put them up to it. He alone knew I was coming in that night. The very next day they kept trying to steal pads while we are unloading the truck.

      I had every reason to think my life was in danger, and believe to this day that it was. If that man, who was twice my size, had reached through the window and dragged me out of the truck, it would sure have been too late to draw my weapon then.

      My only point was that some people are in a dangerous situation, because of what they do or where they live. In that 9 months that Browning was a tool that was used to save my life many times.

      I am very thankful that I have not had to draw my weapon in the last 30 years. I am also thankful that someone was looking after me, and I was not even aware of it at the time.

    14. Lou,

      I just read your post about 1970, and Dr. Dave’s reply, and I believe you had every right to protect yourself in the hostile environment you were in. I see nothing wrong with anything you did. Anyone who disagrees was not there with you on those dark nights, dealing with real people, instead of speculating on some internet forum.

    15. Hi ss1,

      Thanks for the comment. I have given this some thought since I wrote that post and do not see anything I could have done much different at the time.

      Pulling in that lot and seeing all of those guys trying to hide behind barrels and stacks of pallets was alarming enough at 2 or 3 in the morning. But when yblocked my ability to leave with that big old truck, then I knew what they were up to. I was not a second too soon pulling my weapon.

      Reading about your situation with the aggressive CD seller; I do not see anything that you did wrong.

      When we are trying to go about our business in a peaceful manner and someone threatens violence to us or our family; then we can not be expected to react perfectly in the instant we have to do so.

      Men pass laws, but God’s law is far above all of those laws. Everyone has the right to defend their life IF someone is truly trying to harm them or their family.

      The first order of business is to protect yourself and your loved ones.

      Of course we should study the laws and try to follow them. We should train and think about how to react in different situations. BUT when suddenly you are in danger of being killed; you do not have time to go through a check list. You can only react and hope that you react properly and in a way that you and your loved ones are not harmed.

    16. Thanks Lou. I agree with everything you said, especially when you said we cannot be expected to react perfectly, and not having time to go through a checklist. With many reports I’m seeing on TV, even police don’t react perfectly. Contrary to what I’ve said here about ex-cops, I usually am on the policeman’s side in the police shooting news stories.

    17. Dr. Dave- I don’t mean to cast aspersions on any forum members but I think it is possible that there may be a “keyboard cowboy” factor here. What I mean is when one is sitting in the safety of one’s home typing an anonymous forum post a certain level of braggadocio tends to sneak in even though the writer may be the very epitome of pacifism. If these conversations were taking place face to face I doubt a majority of those involved would say their involvement in a shooting incident is either inevitable or desirable.
      The truth is I spent 30 years as a police officer in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. In more than a few of those years Chicago was our nation’s “murder capitol” and the murder and shooting *rates* of some of the suburbs I worked in were actually much higher than in the city. I spent 8 of those 30 years in patrol, 10 years as a detective in violent crimes, 6 years investigating officer involved shootings, 4 years in gang crimes/narcotics, and 2 years chasing firearms traffickers. I drew my pistol countless times but never found it necessary to shoot anyone. I say all that not to establish any expertise but simply to pose the following question to what I believe is a minority of concealed carry permit holders who think their involvement in a shooting is inevitable.
      If a police officer can spend 30 years actively seeking out violent criminals while working in some of the most violence ridden areas outside of a war zone and never have to shoot anyone why in the world do you think your involvement in a shooting incident is “inevitable”?

    18. Bob –
      You are spot on Sir!
      You, Dr Dave, Carl P and Vincent have been pretty accurate and insightful with you advice and life experiences.
      Your statement of “keyboard cowboys” is pretty dead on. Sounds to me like there are a few folks posting and reposting that have a serious case of little big man syndrome and/or they are just bad at attracting negativity in their lives. My father tought me many years ago to be prepared for anything but he also taught me that if you go looking for trouble generally you will find it or it will find you.

      As I suggested yesterday to Carl P I believe…
      It’s just best not to engage certain folks on these forums due to their tendencies to be argumentative, combative and take certain comments and comparisons far too serious. The replies to this note will most likely illustrate my point…


    19. Bob and Scott and Dennis,

      1) You don’t need to be an ex cop to have opinions on this website. Cops have vests, the best weaponry, and do their work in teams. They may not be able to indentify with what ordinary people face in their lives when unexpected things happen with shady people. When we are faced with these things, we are on our own, and we cannot say “What would Dr. Dave do?”, LOL!!

      2) If Dr. Dave is who he says he is, then he’s is wealthy surgeon who probably thinks about protecting his hands (for surgery) and his big bank account from lawsuits. This may be the reason for his passive approach and extreme focus on lawsuits. Other people don’t have to think like him.

      3) Scott, if I’m a keyboard cowboy, you’re a little SNIPER over there. 2 days ago you wrote a sorry-ass note saying to me “YOU WIN”. I knew it was fake. I knew you would be back. So when you showed up again whining about me in the 3rd person, continuing to send little jabs, I just laughed to myself because I’ve had to deal with your type in person, in the office. I have zero respect for you Scott.

      4) OK so I’m a keyboard cowboy because I have opinions, I’m a decent writer, and I don’t back down unless someone really proves me wrong. As far as real life goes, I don’t back down either. That’s why in my real life example, I parked my car, put my knives in my pocket, and walked back toward the area where the idiot was, because that’s where the restaurant was.

      5) And Dennis, regarding your comment about my phrase “act like I want to use it”, I knew it didn’t sound right and that some people wouldn’t understand it, but each of us have to do whatever it takes to put ourselves in the proper mindset to constantly be prepared and ready. We have to search for ways to not let our guard down, because if you study criminals like I do, they like to strike when you least expect it.

    20. ss1,
      This is direct to you and intended for you.
      You are a small man with BIG words that “demands” or feels entitled to respect without offering any real respect for others in return.

      Thanks for validating my point.

      Best of luck to you and those around you.


    21. And Scott, this one is for YOU.

      I am not a small man. Wrong again.

      I don’t need people on this website to respect me. I come here to learn and argue, depending on if the topic is lively.

      I don’t want to write as much as I have this week, yet emails arrive from THIS PARTICULAR ARTICLE touting things I either don’t like or disagree with (1911’s, 45ACP, know-it-all ex-cops, aggressive people). In fact, there are many articles here I don’t subscribe to, either because they’re too boring, or they may make me say things that are better left unsaid on the internet.

      Ending a negative or inflammatory comment with comments like “best of luck to you”, or beginning with “with all due respect”, are just throwaway words that tell me someone has some issues (whatever they may be).

      And in real life, “those around me” seem to like me, whether they are a stranger or coworker or family member. Again, it’s one of your little jabs embedded in a best of luck message.

    22. Hey SS1,
      I know your kinda busy with having to respond to other issues at the moment …. but when you get some time, just wanted you to know I left some info for you on MRI and the Desert Eagle. Bottom of page 9 or top of 10 maybe . . .

    23. For ss1- I could be wrong but I’m guessing you consider me one of those “know-it-all ex-cops” even though the only time I mentioned my experience was to ask a question of those that think they will almost certainly become involved in a shooting. I was the one that used the term “keyboard cowboy” and I thought I’d made it clear I wasn’t denigrating any forum member but simply pointing out a tendency by many people to make statements online they’d never make in a face to face conversation.
      Bottom line, if anyone chooses to carry a handgun every day because they feel it enhances their personal safety I don’t care so long as they are: 1) responsible non-criminal adults; 2) do so safely; 3) realize every firearm is the product of compromises in the design and manufacturing processes and; 4) also realize that, unlike in movies and television, even justifiable violence in self defense has consequences in the real world.

    24. Bob,

      I agree with your 1-2-3-4 points. They all make sense.

      I’ve been called much worse than a keyboard cowboy. This isn’t my first rodeo on internet forums. I’ve been in different types and flavors of forums. It’s like welcome to the internet, where people can say anything they want at any time, as long as the moderator doesn’t ban them, or as long as they don’t say anything that catches the FBI’s attention….LOL!

      BTW, some people are WORSE face to face, than their personas on the internet. This is a general comment about the internet. It has nothing to do with me.

    25. It’s all in the terminology . When I wanted to use my gun it was when I “wanted” to kill someone as it was my job .
      I’m not trying to put words in your mouth but being prepared is maybe what you were trying to say and I agree with you that how you said it was confusing to me .
      The only time I drew on someone was about 11pm when a guy came down my driveway ( a mile long ) and had larceny on his mind . My neighbor had a for sale sign where our land connected up and he was looking for an empty house . It was not a pistol but a sawed off . He was a very lucky man .

    26. Bob
      I “think” we are saying the same thing. You followed the law and were forced to be in situations that MOST citizens SHOULD be smart enough to avoid. You were always able to avoid drawing your weapon or atleast not firing yet daily on several forums I read but many not post on I hear of guys bragging how they drew down a perp and showed them who’s boss. The law we have on the books today and at the time the Constitution and the Amendments were drafted did not suggest that crime enforcement should be left open to the populace at large it was designed to be done by employees of the governing branch by folks trained to do so BUT it left the rest with the ability defend themselves against over aggressive governments the type we had just left behind in Jolly Old England. At no place were out forefather’s expecting all the citizens to be walking around as vigilante types exercising their right to carry weapons to substitute that right for the entrusted and trained and equipped legal system that it implemented. If you could spend 30 years shot free being FORCED into bad situations I think most forum members can surely go 30 years with a bit more situational awareness and error on the side of run rather then shoot and ask questions later. Dr Dave

    27. @ Dr. Dave: I don’t know which history books you’ve been reading but the reality was far from that which you proclaim. It was the responsibility of every able-bodied man to maintain a weapon in defense of this country. And our Forefathers knew very well that citizenry were to be depended upon and expected to act as the law throughout vast, yet sparsely populated territories of the time.

      Officially sworn law enforcement was scarce and in its place was often made up of self-proclaimed or elected town’s folk with no training at all. It was their expected duty to make arrests and hold criminals in custody until a territorial governor, judge, marshal, or cavalry could be dispatched to such remote territories.

      Armed posses were created on a moment’s notice from average untrained town’s folk to enforce laws and search for criminal suspects. The Framers were very aware to anticipate such facts as they drafted the Constitution and the Amendments that followed.

      To this day citizenry still have the authority to make arrests while the military has lost theirs via the Posse Comitatus Act. A citizen’s continued right to arrest has stood the test of time and been upheld by the Constitution.

      Citizens are the first line of defense even prior to the arrival of law enforcement, and should be armed accordingly.

    28. Hi Gman,

      You are certainly correct:

      The President of the US back then, Thomas Jefferson, said it was every man’s duty to own a gun and know how to use it.

  25. Carl,

    I see no need to insult or imply that others are ignorant to make a point.

    This thread is about pistols and Jeremy’s comment used the example of rifles only to make a point about pistol calibers.

    You mock and imply insults ! Why not just make your point about pistol caliber, whatever that was.

    Are you trying to disagree and say that rifles have NOT gone smaller in caliber as an overall trend.

    If that is the case, it seems you are the one that is out of touch with reality.

    I have no need to go to Africa to kill large animals. I certainly do not eat elephant. If you choose to do so that is your right.

    But for your information the 7mm Remington mag and the 300 Win mag are the most popular magnums in this nation. Both far below the 45-70 in caliber. Also many brown bear guide in Alaska carry the 7mm Rem Mag.

    I ,for one, am not going to drag around any 50 BMG to hunt in North America.

    1. Carl,
      Good Morning.

      I would suggest you not waiste your time engaging those on this post or others that have no interest in respecting anyone’s opinion that differs from theirs.

      Some individuals seem to be easily insulted by comments or references that you, myself and others try to make and would rather hold tight to statistics from their small sand box of life.

      I feel it equally insulting and disrespectful that there are those out there that feel dismissive of others viewpoints and ways of life…no matter how eloquent they state it.

      Have a Great Day Carl and thank you for your real world perspective and ability to speak real world.


    2. “others viewpoints and ways of life”?……Like when you mentioned The Rockettes, and Justin Beiber and Leonardo Dicaprio? Dear Lord what’s going on over there Scott?……Let me outta here already….LOL

  26. When this debate comes up I wonder why for hunting rifles currently most folks are trending toward a lighter/smaller round with higher speed. Almost all are less then 40cal. Other then on safari almost no one uses a 444 or other big bore guns. Why is a high speed small bullet great for hunting, but looked down on for self defense? Even the black powder folks are using lighter weight sabots and banded bullets.

    1. Hi Jeffery,

      You have asked the right question !

      We have progressed from 76 caliber muskets to rifles that shoot 7mm bullets (.284″) – no person in their right mind would argue that the 7mm Remington magnum is not a good choice to hunt large game.

      The long smaller diameter bullets have a much higher sectional density and go through the air easier with less loss of velocity than large diameter bullets. So they hit harder at long range with a recoil that most are able to tolerate. Who wants to carry around a 50 BMG rifle to hunt with.

    2. The person who is not in their right mind is one who makes ludicrist , illogical statements and show there ignorance of a subject that they apperently know little or nothing about.

      A .50 BMG may be exactly what one wants to carry depending on what’s being hunted. There’s even a couple of lightweight versions out there that are comfortable to pac around and have quite manageable recoil.
      The 7mm Mag is a fine hunting round, at ranges of less than 300 meters and at thin skinned animals such as deer and possibly Elk close up.
      Bear, Moose, Bufflo, Musk Ox, Cape Bufflo, Kudo, Tarn, to name just a few, ….. not so much. I’m guessing that if you have hunted you have only done so in the lower 48 and know little about hunting big game or large dangerous animals in other parts of the world. Maybe I’m wrong but don’t think so. You also seem to have a skewed idea as to what might be considered heavy or sharp recoil. So I’m also presuming you have little expierance with what that really is either.
      But, this blog is about pistols and we can save this part of your education for another blog that’s about large bore rifles and their pros and cons. I’ll look forward to that discussion.

  27. ss1; I recall that my co-worker had his choice of how he wanted his AE .40 cal. built, either normal rifling or the newer method. He chose normal rifling for that one. He had the newer type on his AE .50 cal. I guess that I’m just going to have to Google it, if I want additional information on the subject. I had hoped that you might shed some light on it for me…

    1. Rocky, there is nothing “new” about polygonal rifling. It was developed over 100 years ago in England and has been used by some manufacturers in certain applications ever since. The main difference between it and traditional rifling is the number of lands and grooves (there are more) and the depth of the grooves (shallower). It’s proven advantage to the shooter is longer barrel life. There’s also a theoretical advantage in accuracy. The disadvantage is barrels “lead up” much more quickly if unjacketed bullets are used.
      As an aside, anyone that claims a bullet fired from a polygonal rifled barrel can’t be matched to a specific firearm is badly mistaken. That matching is done every day in forensic labs all over the world.

    2. Thanks for clarifying Bob. Rocky had really piqued my interest yesterday.

      Now that you identified what this is, just now I got the paragraph below from the Magnum Research FAQ, and it sounds pretty damn good to me:


      The Desert Eagle features the innovative polygon rifling system. To the uniformed eye used to seeing the sharp edges of the land and grooves of typical rifling, the Desert Eagle pistols bore does look almost smooth and featureless. The polygonal rifling reduces gas leakage and bullet distortion and promotes higher velocity; longer bore life and easier cleaning. Accuracy is typically as good or better than conventional rifling, which is probably why many Desert Eagle owners claim that it is the most accurate pistol they’ve ever shot.

    3. I was aware of this type of production rifling but never paid to much attention to it.
      Pulled out my Baby Desert Eagle Compact (.40) what was given to me as a gift some time ago and sure enough it’s almost like a smooth bore until you get a little light on it. Then you see the lands an groves! Never really noticed this before. This is one of my favroit sidearms. Made in Isreal by IMI, Ltd. for MRI, US, it’s all steel, making it a bit heavy for most people and shooters in these days of polymer lowers but the functional design, simplicity, clean form, solid ergonomics, superb engineering and excellent accuracy make it an everyday choice for me and one of several constant “traveling” companions. You know when its in your hand. If you have a largish hand as I do its sometimes diffucult to find a comfortable “compact”. I’d suggest if that’s your problem and your looking for such a sidearm that you take some time to find and handel one of these. It’s not for everyone as most may find it heavy. I would not suggest this as a choice for a woman as the weight may be an issue. If your looking for a solid and dependable tool this is possibly your answer. I’ve had a bit over 2500 rounds thur this one and never a misfire, stovepipe or jam. The tollarances now are nearly what they were when new. Little wear shows and only in those places one would expect to see it. It eats anything feed it with no complaints is very fond of Hydroshocks and Barns .40. It shoots as well dirty as clean and accuracy is not noticeably effected. 10+1rnd capacity, DA/SA, Hammer fired, half cock or decock safety with or without round in chamber, three dot sight. I like to carry it at the small of my back a bit high and canted for right hand draw. I’d think that it would do well in a shoulder rig too. I belive that it would work as well as ones primary as it most e certenly does as ones secondary or backup even though it only has 10+1 capacity.
      Its a consideration that’s worth a look if your in the market for a compact built like an Abrhams Tank with about the same accucry and reliability.

    4. Carl,

      The way you describe your Desert Eagle gives me confidence and motivation to own one. I’m probably going to go all the way and get the 50AE. I have no issues with weight or recoil.

      Do you have strong feelings one way or the other about owning the chrome nickel model as opposed to the basic black model? I may need to save money and get the black one, but I don’t want to have regrets later on.

      Also, Israeli vs USA model? What are the pros and cons?

      Thanks for any info you can provide.

  28. Much of the feedback here is equating the 45 only through an 8-shot 1911. It must be noted that my XDm 45 holds 13 in the mag. So if you carry a couple of extra mags, you possess nearly 40 rounds.

    In contrast, my wife’s XDm in 9mm holds 19 in each mag, for a total of 57 rnds with all mags.

    Ok, there is the firepower, so what? Our main point or question is “How do you train and how often?”

    For us, we train frequently. After having attended Frontsight, Thunder Ranch, and Gunsite, we take what is most needed and practical to what is relevant to our environment and circumstances. Within this training, we attempt to induce stress to help prepare for that moment we hope will never come.

    We have become very good with our rifles and handguns. Even though I chose the 45, my 5’5” 120 lb wife is extremely accurate, fast, focused, and determined with her 9mm. I feel privileged to have her covering my back.

    Whatever skill we have is because of our willingness to train and openly critique our progress and abilities. For us, it is not a question of what caliber we employ, but the degree of our proficiency in using the firearm we have chosen should we ever come before that extreme threat.

  29. Hi Rocky,

    Thank you for your very kind reply.

    I did not know the guy he hit, but you are probably right, the guy must have had a forehead like a bear.

    When I lived in Florida a pack of feral dogs were killing cattle and sheep. These dogs came across my property and I yelled at them ( I did not want them on it,( my wife sometimes took our little boy for a walk ) The leader whirled around and the hair on his back stood up as he growled at me. I could tell this was a very dangerous dog. I reached into my garage and took out my Charter Arms AR 7. I shot that dog at about 50 yards right in the chest. He immediately charged at me, but found he could not run far with the hole in his lungs. He crawled under a tractor and died.

    People would say the 22LR is not big enough to shoot very large dogs. If I had been 10 feet away, they may have been right. But at 50 yards the 22 was enough. Of course at 10 feet it would have hit much harder too.

    Speaking of the 5.56 I moved onto that ranch in Florida with the understanding I would get very cheap rent for watching over the property. The owner had over 100 large very expensive tractor batteries stolen in a year. They were taking them as fast as he could buy them.

    I simply took my Mini 14 out and practiced with it in the field. I would hit empty plastic milk jugs as quickly as I was able. I would empty the 30 round mag very quickly. The stealing stopped immediately.

    As I was coming back from a run one day, I seen this man out on his porch of the row houses across the road from my driveway. When I said hi and told him who I was, his reply was, “O your the guy with the machine gun”. That answered why the stealing had stopped. Not one thing was taken while I lived there and my garage did not even have a door on it.

  30. ss1; I was fortunate enough to have a co-worker who brought in his new AE .50 cal. and offered to let us adjourn to the adjacent range to test fire it.
    I adopted the Weaver stance (my preferred combat stance) and when I popped the cap on it, I almost got a new knot to rub on my forehead. Be prepared for the recoil. While it’s manageable, it’s quite a bit more than the .45s that I’ve long been used to firing.
    He said that, at that time (2006?) that cartridges were costing him about $1.50 apiece. He was forced to take up reloading, just to be able to afford to fire the gun.
    He also had a quite nice AE .40 cal. with him.
    I was, up to that point, unaware that the AE (and Glock?) have a unique sort of ‘rifling’ that, instead of lands and grooves, has a barrel that is bored out with wave like humps that cause the round to spin. Leaving no commonly discernible rifling marks upon the spent round. I think that it does leave some marks, but not the sort that are of any use, other than to help eliminate all of the other weapons that might have fired the round. Perhaps you can inform me better about this aspect of the firearm.

    1. Rocky,

      I’m sorry but I’m not technically astute with, nor have ever studied, rifling characteristics. The only time I’ve paid attention to rifling recently was when I selected a Savage 10T 308 because I was told it had advanced rifling characteristics.

      Thanks for warning me about the 50AE. My feeling about the ammo is buy from Underwood, don’t shoot as many bullets as you would with another gun, and just make your practice really interesting to compensate for not shooting it much.

      I still need to call Magnum Research and find out what’s up with all these rumors about needing 44 magnum +P in order to make it work. I’m 50/50 on whether I’d like to buy the 50 or 44.

    2. Rocky I just now looked inside both my Glocks, Gen3 and Gen4, and they both have rifling.

  31. Hey Lou,

    I’m not on a .45 crusade. I agree that shot placement is everything.
    As for deer with a .22; I had a coworker, who shot and killed a decent sized buck, out the back door of our place of employment, (over bait) with a .22 mag. rifle.
    Speaking to the .45 head shot coming back…; Not to be racist or anything, but I’ve read that some segments of the human race have thicker skulls, than others. Either that, or the distance was too great, or the cartridge under powered. 800-900 fps muzzle velocity for a .45 is common. Getting slammed in the forehead by something going that fast would, normally knock someone on their a$$ and most often involves penetrating their thick skulls. If it occurred at the typical distances of between 3-10 Feet, within which most shootouts occur.
    (The area between the eyes, at the bridge of the nose, is a pretty much defenseless target, with very little to stop a round from entering into the cranium, so I’m assuming that the shot placement was centered, yet above and not between the eyes).
    We must recall that our M16s and AR15s are shooting a .22(3) round, albeit higher powered. While NOT, as often portrayed, as ‘High Powered’ round, it is more a middle powered round, which was originally a chambering best suited for Varmint hunting. Our military adopted it as, not a means of killing the enemy, but as a means of wounding them, thus removing 3 opponents from the battlefield, as two others are required to remove an injured foe, as opposed to only one being removed, if dead. It also is lighter, enabling our soldiers to carry far more of them, than the previously used 308s.
    Interestingly enough, as recounted by other commenters, the higher velocity of the .223 or 5.56mm, when coupled with the lighter weight of the round, causes them to take some interesting routes, after entering the human body, which caused the Viet Cong to absolutely Hate those ‘little black guns’.

  32. ss1 – goodness you and Lou “The Professor” are like two young high school girls on Facebook right now trying to bully everyone else into agreeing with you that Justin Bieber is cuter than Leonardo DeCaprio.

    Lou “Professor” I respect your opinion about velocity vs mass and yes I do know what the equation is for energy and than velocity is squared but please move on and respect others view points that they may not like to shoot a +P 9mm or 40 load. Statistics can and are easily manipulated everyday and have been for years. If you choose to live your life in front of a chart or in a classroom that’s fine, some of us would rather experience things and stand with what works for them.

    Let me end with this…

    If I had a choice of having either of you by my side with your 9mm, 40 or 357 loaded weapons and you are proficient at using them vs using what I feel is a better round (for me) the 45 to help defend my family and friends I would gladly have you there. I would hope you would feel the same way?
    If I’m as good with my 45 in reaction time and accuracy as each of you are with whatever round or weapon you choose then that’s what should matter!

    I assure you my training and life experience do qualify me to make this statement!


    1. Scott, so apparently if you argue for a lap dog 45ACP, in your mind and your little analogies you’re a Navy Seal, and if you argue against it then you’re a little school girl. You’re funny!

      I never touted 357 or 9mm+P. I touted what I believe in and have by my side always, 10mm. But apparently you conveniently left that out of your “ending” comment.

      But yes, in agreement with Lou, I would rather use a 357 than a 45ACP.

    2. ss1 – You Win!

      For your earlier comment today of all of the 45 ACP Lovers in America you sure seem to have an exact opposite emotional attachment to the 45 or them bordering on hatred.

      10mm Great Gun and Great Loads absolutely no dispute from me!
      Continue to carry and use with sincerely the best of wishes to you.

      i will stick with my “lap dog” 45 and will be just fine i assure you.

      But for the purposes of this discussion…Again You WIN because that obviously is what you are looking for is someone or anyone to concede that your viewpoint and only your viewpoint is correct.


    3. Just wondering, I was thinking about the 10mm conversion barrel for my Glock 30. I know the frame of the 30 is the exact same frame as the 29.
      But will it work the same? Different extractor would help.

    4. Vincent, I know nothing about conversion barrels. I would call GlockMeister if I were you.

    5. Hi Scott,

      I certainly would never discourage anyone’s help because of the round they used.

      I have already stated that shot placement is far more important that any of these other factors.

      BTW, I am not a Professor, but a Mechanical Engineer. I do tutor students in calculus and physics.

      Why insult us, we have not insulted you dear friend. I am not a girl or in high school, and certainly never implied or said you were.

      But since you have brought the subject up, let me say this: I am 70 years old, I squat 400# and bench press my own weight. I run 8 miles on my runs and work out 4 or 5 times week. I do not think any man likes to be compared to a school girl.

      A good rule is to treat others as you would like to be treated. Don’t you agree.

    6. Lou – My apologies to you Sir.

      Your last comment if i may quote…
      “A good rule is to treat others as you would like to be treated.” is exactly the essence of my messages somewhat back and forth this afternoon as part of this debate/conversation. You and ss1 seem to be adamantly opposed to anyone else’s viewpoint about 45 ACP rounds vs anything or everything else. You at least (i will and must acknowledge) have depth and temperament with your replies. i have attempted to say or express multiple times that if you choose to use a certain round and you are safe and proficient at it, then please continue to do so.
      – 9mm Great Guns and Rounds
      – 10mm Great Guns and Rounds
      – 357 Mag Great Guns and Rounds
      – 44 Mag Great Guns and Rounds
      – 45 ACP Great Guns and Rounds (i personally prefer this)

      i am truly sorry if i offended you Lou Dear Sir!

      i was not calling you a school girl but simply expressing how your actions on this forum were trending but in fact i am myself as guilty as you in this.

      i have the upmost respect for your tenure in life and seemingly accomplishments and preference of weaponry all i wold ask is that regardless of age 70yrs or 45yrs as in myself, we are all due respect and having and open mind to others view points is part of earning and retaining that respect..

      With all sincerity and respect to you Sir

    7. Hi Scott,

      I apologize for not answering this post, but I did not see it till now.

      I certainly accept your apology and forgive any wrong you feel you have done.

      I myself apologize if I have made any of my arguments with too much zeal.

      I certainly do respect you as a person and as fellow gun owner. We are being attacked by those who desire to do away with guns and we must all stick together.

      You certainly have the right to choose any firearm you so desire. My arguments have been to state my opinion of what I see as truth. That does not mean that I can not be wrong, and you right. But I still reserve the right to state my opinion.

      I assure you if you are ever a victim of aggression. and I witness it, you can count on my help.

    8. Lou, as I said in another post, I’m a gym rat too.

      I have a serious question for you, because your stats are impressive, and I’m somewhere over 40.

      The question is how do you feel about alcohol consumption affecting gym and running performance? Do you drink at all? I’ve been drinking twice a week, and I’m not sure if this is affecting my performance.

    9. Hi ss1,

      All I can tell you is my experience and the opinion that I formed from it.

      I used to drink and sometimes heavy, like 30 or 40 in a night. But when I passed out and they had to carry me, it embarrassed me so much I quit. That was the first and only time that happened.

      But later I would sometimes have one. One day I took this girl out for dinner for her birthday. I ordered a carafe of table wine. No one, including her wanted any. So as not to waste it I drank it. I got just a very little buzz for few minutes.

      The very next day as I was lifting. I had to take 10 to 20 pounds off of the bar for every exercise. That is when I quit almost entirely. It just made exercise so much harder, that it was not worth it to me.

      I am 70 now and I eat all organic food. I credit that for a lot of my success. But part of it is just my reaction to being so small. I only was 4′-10 when I was in 10th grade, but I was also a year younger than everyone. I did not have a set of weights, so I did many sets of pushups every other night. I did them with my hands in different positions and even standing on my head along the wall. I did a total of 2500 in a night. ( I was only 5′-6″ when full grown)

      In grade school I was always so scared because I was so small. There was this bully who beat on everyone. He might have outweighed me 4 to 1. He grabbed me and threw me on the ground and put his knees on my shoulders. He started slapping me in the face, and I told him to stop. He slapped me once more. I do not know how I got up, but the next thing I was looking at him, and his eyes looked terrible, he was bleeding from the nose and mouth, and had these welts all over his face. He was crying like a baby.

      It was a very small town and nobody ever bothered me again.

      But I have to mention the main reason I think I have had this strength. I gave my life to The Lord Jesus Christ when I was 32. He has saved my life so many times, I could not count them.

      When I was 44 they told me that I was going to die. Well I am now 70 and still alive.

    10. Thanks for the info Lou. So basically you don’t drink now.

      I just have 2 margaritas twice a week. I just thought I’d ask you because I have never heard of a 70YO guy doing the kind of physical stuff you’re doing.

      I’ll keep this short because it’s off topic. Thanks again.

  33. Rocky – I have plenty of the 230gr ammo as well and agree with you and actually prefer that weight of round. I was trying to illustrate a point of the approximate average weight of a professional dancer vs a Marine or SEAL.

    Just trying to add to the conversation while keeping it somewhat light and less combative.


  34. Scott, you mentioned ‘.45 HP load at 185gr’. My Auto Ordinance M1911A1 clone only likes 230 grn. JHPs or ball ammo. I know that I need to have some ramp work done, but why shoot such lighter rounds? For additional velocity? You would seem to be giving up a lot of knock down power, inherent in the .45 ACP chambering to attain only a little velocity.

  35. Hi Rocky,

    I do not understand your reasoning. First you seem to support the position that the 45 ACP will not over penetrate like the 357 and 9mm +P. Now you are implying that the 9mm will not penetrate a vehicle.

    Comparing loads at the same level, the 9mm simply penetrates better than the 45 ACP. It is simple physics, which I teach. The 45 has a little lower sectional density and lower velocity. You state that your 45 goes 1100 ft/sec. While I agree that is a good load for the 45; but my 9mm loads go around 1500 ft/sec. I have 40 S&W loads that go 1500 ft/sec also.

    But +P loads are not needed to penetrate a car door or windshield. A 9mm will go through a car door or the windshield. So will a 45 ACP. I have 40 S&W +P loads that I have shot through 1/8 ” steel plate in a full size pistol. These loads are even HP. But they are going 1500 FT/ sec.

  36. Lou, I’ve yet to hear a lot of complaints about people shot with the .45 ACP still standing and shooting back in short order, after being hit. Even a non lethal shot placement will usually knock someone off of their feet, or at least spin them around, due to it’s large diameter slow moving round. That’s one of the reasons that the FBI HRT uses them as well as many of our Special Operators, knock down power. A high velocity round can have through and through penetration and yet not cause the person shot with it to even slow down much, as our military found, with the 9mm ball ammo. Haji just keeps on coming. It has to do with what one expects, from being shot. Some will just fall down and submit, while others, fully expecting to die from their efforts will just keep on coming. If it were all about velocity, then most police departments wouldn’t be moving to larger diameter rounds, leaving the 9mm behind, they would be buying the FiveSeveN instead. Even our military is , now, considering a change of weapons and rounds, after their experiences in the Middle East. (I think, but am not certain, that the Marines have already went back to the .45ACP) We went to the .45 after switching to the .38 revolver, due to the Muslim Moro’s, in the Philippines, not being slowed down by the smaller round. In Iraq and Afghanistan, our SOG troops quickly went through all of the older 1911’s the Army still had on stock and were forced to special order new ones. The Berretta, in 9mm just wouldn’t cut it. We only acquiescenced to go to the 9mm due to NATO pressures. The 9mm has Never been a ‘one shot stopper’, even with JHP rounds, which is why most PDs are going to the .40 cal.JHP, instead. Larger bullet diameter and still a larger capacity than the 1911. Where I have recently moved to, NW SC, they’re all using the .45 ACP.
    Years ago, while in the Peace Officer Academy, we viewed a video wherein a SC Trooper shot a perpetrator 6 times, emptying his .357 revolver into the overweight perp., who proceeded to kill him with one (lucky) shot, from his .22 mini revolver… shot placement is everything…
    I’ve pistols in calibers ranging from .22 all of the way up to .45 Colt Long. I absolutely Love my M1911A1, but then I was weaned on one, at an early age, having enlisted just after my 17th birthday and becoming an MP. Having said that, I more often carry my .40 cal. as a compromise between bullet diameter and number of rounds available. I can carry two extra mags, and still have more ammo available, with the .40, as opposed to 4 extra ones, while toting my .45.
    Having said That, you just can’t double tap with a double action pistol with the rapidity of a single action only one. Another reason why I still prefer the old 1911 to newer weapons platforms. A double action/single action usually results in the first shot being thrown off, unless you practice doing single shot only repetitions. The S.O. that I’m still, affiliated with went from the older DA/SA S&Ws 9mms to the newer DA S&W M&P 9mm. While other organizations in the area went larger caliber. My Sheriff’s thought processes were weighed heavily on political aspects of shooting and killing someone, as opposed to simply shooting and stopping them. In my humble opinion, he’s surrounded by too many lawyers.
    note; European Police have traditionally used the 9mm Kurz (German for ‘Short’) aka .380 ACP, which we Know lacks penetration power. This is, once again, mostly due to political considerations.
    btw; I carry a Keltec P3AT on my ankle as a backup, at all times. In colder weather, I use the FMJ rounds in it, to offset a possible lack of penetration due to heavier clothing. Yeah, I know, I need to upgrade to a Keltec 9mm (or some other extra small auto) for a backup. Revolvers, while reliable, are too heavy (on my opinion) to wear on my ankle.

    1. Hi Rocky,

      Several comments

      The 38 failed because of slow velocity not bullet diameter. After all the 357 mag shoots the same bullet.

      Try Buffalo Bore for 380 ammo. I load mine with their +P solid load. It has around 290 ft/ # of energy and penetrates over 18 “. I do not use HP ammo in my 380 either. My 380 is small and quite snappy, but I do not worry about it having enough power.

      As to knock down or stopping power:
      I know a man at my gun club who shot a man with his 45 ACP right between the eyes. The man survived and brought a gang back to his house to try to kill him. This is not to knock the 45, but only to say that anything can happen. BTW he went out with his AK and they all piled back into their cars.

      The little 22 LR has killed more people and game than maybe any other round. I have read that the 22LR is used to kill more deer by poachers than all other rounds combined. I do not know if this is true, but it came from a pretty reliable source.

      I do know that a 22LR can kill at 400 yards. On one hand I do not want to be hit with an air rifle, let alone a firearm. On the other hand no handgun kills with every shot.

      And we all know that shot placement is the most important factor. You are better off to hit a man with a 25 auto, than miss with a 12 gauge.

  37. Lou, Scott. This got far longer then I had intended but I can’t see where I’d shorten it up and say what’s was on my mind.

    Just curious but Exactly which Alaskan guides that your aware of or know use 7mm for Brownies? Most here that I’ve come across prefer and carry 45.70, .338 or .300 for BB’s. When talk turns to the Southeast Coastal Browns and/or Kodiak a 7mm doesn’t even enter into the discussion. Having hunted up this way since I was a kid I’m pretty sure that 7mm isn’t a top choice for them. It’s not that you don’t see them or that they aren’t used here. They are, they are a popular mid caliber rifle round. A guides job is to protect his clients, bring down wounded game, and do it with deliberate dispatch, with as few shots as possible, while not endangering their party. I wouldn’t and I’m pretty sure those who I’ve had the privilege to spend time in the bush with wouldn’t trust that job to 7mm mag. When I have friends come up to hunt from the lower 48 I always carry either my .338 WBM or lever 45.70. Wounded and pissed off Brownies or for that matter Moose are not to be fooled with.

    As to the issue of velocity being the defining factor in the lethality of a bullet. I’d have to say, not. Its certainly is an important factor but it is neither definitive nor deciding.

    I’m certain that the FBI stats are correct for the test criteria that they used and for the results that they were attempting to determine. They are after all the government, got the money, and time for this kind of thing. These tests and evaluations may even be definitive but I don’t think I’d rely in that info set alone to determine what may or may not be best for you.

    You forget at add in the data of the .40 SW, which is just slightly below the .357 mag stats but well above the 9mm, with the exception of the +P which is higher at the muzzle and has a bit more energy at the muzzle too but drops off quickly after that. The .40SW is after all nothing more than a cut down 10mm. Much the same as the .380 (also called the 9mm Kurz or Short) that is simply a cut down 9mm Parabellum. The comparison stops here as the .380 is isn’t quite in the same league as the .40SW.

    Bullet density and cross section are also important factors to take into consideration when determining lethality. Terminal ballistics are simply not the sole concern matter of velocity. Velocity may indeed be a deterrent to terminal lethality in some cases. The balance that one might be most likely concerned with in terms of a defense or offensive pistol round is that which imparts the highest degree of terminal energy across the cross terminal section of the bullet on or within the target. In simple terms, do you want a hi velocity FMJ or HP (which due to its velocity may or may not expand to its designed spec.) that enters then exits a target there by only expending a portion of its energy in terminal ballistics into the target and a small wound channel or would you prefer the round the that enters its target , penetrates, mushrooms/expands and just before exiting … stops, having expended it full potential, hydrostatic shock and 100% of its remaining energy at impact in that target?

    The .45 ACP is indeed a large slow moving round. That is also one of its great strengths. Its one of the reasons that it was chosen and served our military for so long and to a smaller degree still does. Lethality is at best a relative term when in discussion of any of these pistol calibers or for that matter most calibers. Effective Shot Placement within the existing and fluid threat envelope regardless of caliber decides what is a lethal shot or not.
    If at say 15 feet you shoot a target in the leg with a say .22LR they may go down but they are also very likely to return fire as they are still very much threat. If however you double tap them in the center mass at shoulder and sternum hight they will still be a threat still but far more likely to be somewhat more shocked, disoriented and slowed allowing for a follow on, terminal shot. A double tap to the head is likely to be terminal but at its worst case will certainly allow for the follow up shot from just the shock of impact. The hydrostatic stock of a .22 is not as great as 9, 357. .40, or .45. Its terminal ballistics are not as great by any means but it will do the job if asked to preform within its effective envelope. Much as any of theses handgun rounds will do. I prefer the the first single well placed round to the first two that are not. But …. that’s just me, and that’s all about how one was taught or trained and how they train now. Most civilians, ex-military and for the most part the majority are simply not well trained or accomplished pistol shots within a real threat environment. All the specs in the world do not stack up to making a first round shot that is terminal or at worst allows for a second round shot to dispatch a target providing one has been trained to accomplish such a task and keeps that skill set sharp. Lethality is about shot placement, it may be backed up by all the stats and tests and real world data and likely is. But one on one, its were you place your shot that determines the outcome of a situation.

    Can you tell me that you can come out of a deep sleep, heart pounding, retrieve your weapon from wherever you keep it, (maybe your glasses too?) chamber a round, remember your training and be able to make an informed and competent snap micro second decision in the dark at 3am on the staircase in your home where life may hang in the balance ? It would be tough it turns out to be your son or daughter home a day early from school maybe wouldn’t it? On wait!! You had your flashlight on so could see??? . . . . Unless you have been trained in the use of a flashlight and handgun combo you may well be dead before you get the opportunity to manage your situation. Or maybe you blind the person with your light and they throw up there hands and you pull the trigger out of instinctive fear? Bang . . . AND YOU CANT HAVE THAT SECOND BACK. I’m not proposing that you be unarmed just that you be responsible about being armed. Responsible means educating oneself, training in a real world environment, applying that training and keeping it crisp.

    I’m not going to convince you of any of this and that’s not my intent or even worth the time to try. You will either determine some of this for yourself or you won’t. Look beyond the data, tests and studies. What we forget to determine or ask is what was the criteria that governed them ( these tests and evals) and exactly what was their intended outcome expected. They are important but don’t tell the whole story.

    The data you may be looking at as gospel may well be skewed if you don’t determine how it was acquired, under what conditions, the intent of the test, how often it was successfully repeated, and so forth, in the first place! Get some real training, standing at the range punching holes in paper targets ma get one proficient with a firearm but still leaves them inept and ill repaired in a situation where life may hang in the balance. There are lots of open competitions and range schools that can provide the basic skill set and allow one to test those skills.

  38. As you all know I started out in drug interdiction running a unique team of federal and state agents from Virginia to Boston and am also a surgeon. I can tell you I have pronounced MANY a felon (and bystander) dead with a simply tap of a 22LR as well as 380, 9mm or 45ACP pretty much all equally over the past 30 years. The key to stopping power and death potential is not velocity or mass it all comes down to placement. One well placed 22LR into the oral cavity will severe the brain stem and it is lights out with NO concern of hand movements to retaliate or the like. But a 45ACP to the outer portion of the less dominant hand and the assailant most likely will not even flinch. Placement over plays all other variables. So with that in mind what have any of you trained well enough on that in a super adrenaline enriched situation where the perp has one arm around your wife’s throat holding a 50cal Judge to her temple can you squeeze off a shot well enough to insure you hit one of the sweet spots before he pulls the trigger and you see your love mate disintegrate before your very eyes? You see these are all what we train our agents for as “TV scenarios.” They never happen in real life only on Fox. My guys HATED to train TV scenarios because they KNEW they were unrealistic and were unlikely to ever happen but we did them ONLY to get them to raise their adrenaline so they acted while jacked up rather then cool calm and collected. In real life it is ALL over in under 14 seconds average and none of the conversations so far discussed matter. The key as Bob suggested is simply being aware enough to be in control of the situation and then having something to use to wake the opponent up to the errors of his/her ways. MOST gun fights are not fights at all. RARELY do both parties get off shots. If a citizen is carrying and is positionally aware either he or she backs away and all is done or he or she takes control of the situation and all is done in 4 maybe 5 actions usually without weapon discharge but if discharge is required then one shot to one purp is usually all it takes even in a multi-perpetrator scenario. The ONLY time I was in jeopardy for a gun fight was when someone went into the mess looking to be a freaking hero. Read the accounts of self defense shootings in the news and 100% of the time someone finally got his chance to be the hero and legally took it. Yeah for them! I would much prefer to take over the scene all the while keeping my pieces holstered. Sure I am VERY capable and legally allowed to stop many a situation with gun power the key is not to defend one’s self via lead and powder it is the ability to understand that hell is going to break lose BEFORE it does and either walk away or interrupt the flow so it never gets to the point of exchanging target acquisitions. Unless the perp’s purpose was to go on a killing spree (pretty dang rare) the simple fact that they were out to rob or simply destroy a house or the like and met up with resistance is more then enough to stop their forward action and most will flee or atleast give up. All the “fire fight” scenarios are for is training purposes ONLY; even those of us who get paid to enter into such scenarios don’t usually actually get into those scenarios. Lets face it life is a stage interrupt the script and people panic. Our job is to be the director not the actor. If you train yourself to take control you don’t even need to squeeze off a shot to alter the script enough to win. Dr Dave (BTW statistics are a fools method to convince naysayers to change their point of view NONE are trustworthy so ignore them ALL regardless of who created them they all have an agenda)

    1. Doc, if I had seen your comment I wouldn’t have posted mine! Good read and advice.

    2. Dr Dave – Thank You for your comments and perspective above and you are 100% dead on on my humble opinion!!

      The great thing about this site and this Great Country is that no matter what your view, opinion or stance is on something, it’s that you have the right to express it openly.

      Fellow weapon owners and Americans…keep on expressing yourself responsibly and firing whichever weapon you prefer equally as responsibly. Remember that we all don’t have to agree to be correct!


    3. I agree shot placement is the key! But most of the time that key gets thrown out the window. In high pressure situations you lose fine motor nerve stability Your target is any torso shot because the stress of the situation doesn’t lend itself to a finer window in shot placement. Even if you practice more than the next guy, most of us are not professionals
      and can’t get the training or enough practice to pull off a tight window shot. That’s the main reason that I carry my .45, it buys you more time because of the shock value of the initial hit. That sp-lit second could mean an awful lot.

  39. My Brother-in-Law, who is a farmer, had his house broken into well out into the rural area of his county. The burglars must have been interrupted, as they left in a hurry and left their cudgel with nails in it behind. Evidentially they came down from the Detroit area.

    In short, it doesn’t matter Where you live, as the bad guys are willing to Travel to your area.

  40. In reply to ‘Lou’, who was touting the .357 mag. as a defensive weapon vrs the .45 ACP; While it’s true, that the .357 mag has far more velocity, than the sub sonic .45 ACP, it is also more likely to travel completely Through your assailant and harm another, innocent, person behind them, or if in a home or apartment, or even in closely situated houses, through the walls and harm another innocent person , even in their beds. The .45 will not do that, making it a far better self defense round, than the .357 mag. in defense circumstances. Especially when taking into consideration, that most shootouts occur between 3 – 10 Feet.
    If the FBI statistics are what you’re reading, then explain why the FBI Hostage Rescue Team carries .45 ACPs… Why our military is unhappy with their 9mms, Why most police departments stopped carrying the .357 Mag. revolver, etc.
    While the .357vmag is most assuredly a powerful and formidable round chambering, it is also a special use cartridge, in my book, for only those circumstances wherein you wouldn’t have to pay attention to the above mentioned factors.
    It would be a great Bear defense round, say for instance, when the black bear was on my front porch, a few weeks ago, if it had aggressed against my wife, when she went out to investigate the noise in the middle of the night, instead of running away, as it did. Even though I do own a .357 Mag. revolver, it wasn’t what I would have been trying to protect her with, as I keep my Taurus Judge, with 000 and 0000 ought buckshot loaded up and next to my chair. Of course I have speed loaders with .45 Colt Long, for reloads, next to it.

    1. Hi Rocky – I never said I would chose the 357 for self defense. I simply stated that is was more lethal than the 45 ACP.

      I do promote the 357 as a good hunting revolver.

      There is no doubt that the 45 ACP is a good choice for a handgun if one is in a crowded situation. It’s lack of penetration works in it’s favor in that situation. But one has to be aware that the 45 ACP might not penetrate deep enough to stop an assailant with one shot.

      The military shoots ball ammo. HP ammo is not allowed. So the 9mm is not a good choice for them with ball ammo. But with high velocity HP ammo the 9mm is a good one shot stopper and also will not over penetrate.

      BUT as far as the government being our guide for reasoning: with an idiot like Obama in charge, anything is possible to happen there. One could also use their example an say that homosexuals and women make better soldiers than straight men.

    2. I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with you on that point! Not all .45 loads are equal. If you are going to compare ball ammo with a high velocity 9mm, It’s apples and oranges. The loads I carry in my .45 go at 1100
      fps And have over 12″ of penetration.Then flatten out like a barbed wire bottle cap! I don’t know of any human that will not be instantaneously
      dropped by this load! And if your bad guys are in a vehicle, good luck with that 9mm load!

    3. Vincent this is getting fun. So let’s have some fun…
      Thanks for your comment and seemingly agreement of my view of the 45 round.

      I’d like to illustrate my mindset in a humorous but hopefully impactful way.

      **9mm +P HP load at 115gr to 124gr equals = 115lb to 124lb Radio City Rockette Profesional Dancer with Spiked 6″ High a Heels on.

      **45 HP load at 185gr equals = 185lb United States Marine or US Navy SEAL with his Lugged Combat Boots on.

      Now, while I would be worried about 12-15 115lb to 124lb Radio City Rockettes coming at me with their High Heels on and possibly getting kicked in the face with that High Heel and in fact it would do damage (penetrating) me…I am much more fearful of 8-12 185lb Marines or Navy SEALs coming at me with their Boots on and getting kicked anywhere!!

      I’ll Take my Boots vs High Heels.


    4. Hi Scott – You are neglecting velocity. You only compare the bullets mass and the number of rounds. BTW to get energy of a round, you square the velocity.

      It is well known in the NFL that some of the hardest hitters, the ones that cause the most injuries, are the smaller players. The defensive backs are moving faster and hit hard. If your 124 # rockette could run a lot faster than the 230# marine ( in her high heels) she would hit harder than the marine. Of course her body would also have to be as hard as the marine.

    5. Scott,

      A 10mm with a 200gr XTP makes your 45 look like Boy George dancing for Elton John.

  41. @ ss1 – Yes, their favorite saying seems to be, a bigger hole lets life leak out faster, or something like that.

    But if we are going to wait for a person to bleed to death, he can shoot us and every member of our family while that life is leaking out. It is velocity that causes hydraulic shock that stops a person dead in their tracks, not bleeding to death. There is not much blood loss in these shootings, just instant death.

    The only purpose of a handgun is to fight my way to my rifle. A rifle shoots a small diameter bullet at very high velocity. The closer a handgun imitates the rifle, the better it is.

    I absolutely love my replica of my 1892 Winchester. It is so beautiful and a true work of art with the blued steel and wood. The 44 mag is a lot more power than the black powder cartridges of old. It holds a lot of rounds. One could do worse for home defense.

    But I would not pick up that rifle to defend my home if attacked by a group. I would grab my less beautiful, and less historical, AR magazine fed rifle that holds 30 rounds. I can reload another 30 in a second. I can recover from recoil way faster. I can shoot far more shots with far more accuracy.

    John Moses Browning was a genius the likes that we may never see again. I love all of his designs. But they have been surpassed, just as those big slow cartridges have been surpassed. Even Browning himself designed an improved Semi auto handgun in the Browning High Power in 9mm. It has a higher velocity round and holds way more rounds. But it is easier to manufacture with less parts. It is also more reliable with those less parts.

    The High Power is also stronger and can shoot a higher pressure round with is fully supported case. The 45 ACP is a low pressure round because the 1911 does not fully support that case. Because there are so many 1911 out there, I do not think a high pressure 45 ACP will ever be readily available.

    The 1911 will never die, just as the Colt Peacemaker will never die. The single action revolver still has a good purpose, many use it in modern designs loaded with 454 Casull for brown bear defense.

    But there are better options for concealed carry for self defense than either of these handguns today.

    But if a man chooses a 1911 or even a single action revolver for self defense, that is his personal choice. I can respect that choice as long as he says he just likes that gun. NOT popular legends that are not true.

    1. Lou,

      The 44 magnum is excellent, and for people who are tentative about penetration, they can buy 44 specials in the same gun and achieve the same results as a 45 ACP.

      I however prefer the 10mm, since the only semi-auto that shoots 44mag is a Desert Eagle, and I’ve heard that they are very touchy on which ammo you use.

      If you have a 10mm, you don’t have to worry about 9mm +P.

      I agree with your other comments. I just wanted to insert the 10mm into this discussion.

    2. Hi ss1′

      I do own two 10mm pistols, a Glock and an EAA. I like the EAA better.

      You are correct the 10mm makes all other rimless pistol rounds look pretty weak. I have put holes in 3/16 steel plate with mine. Of course that is mild steel and not hardened steel.

      I was not interested in the 40 S&W until I started buying Underwood ammo. They used to make a 40 S&W round that traveled at 1500 feet/ sec. It would put a hole in an 1/8″ steel plate from a handgun.

      I have not bought a Desert Eagle either. It is so large and heavy that my Sub 2000 is lighter, just as much power with the 40 S&W Underwood ammo, and about a third of the price. Folded up it is not that much longer.

      We all have the same problem, too many guns and not enough time or money.

      I have to admit, if I had an endless supply of money I might have one though.

    3. Lou,

      I’m very happy to hear you own 2 10mm’s. I own a G20 Gen4 and G29 Gen3. If your EAA is the one with the 6 inch barrel, I’m jealous! I saw it recently at a gun show and I thought it looked pretty cool.

      VERY INTERESTING YOU MENTIONED UNDERWOOD. I have many 10mm mags loaded with Underwood 200gr HP XTP. It’s 1250FPS, and both my Glocks handle it well, although the G20 is much smoother.

      I may be upgrading to Underwood 44 magnum ammo soon. They really mean business when it comes to potent offerings.

      As far as Desert Eagle’s go, the 50AE is on my wish list, but I do have to watch my budget. And Underwood supplies 50AE as well.

      Lastly, that’s fantastic to hear you bench press your weight, at your age. I’m a gym rat too.

  42. Thanks for your kind reply Scott. But you imply that Lewis and Clark are off topic. In self defense my point, which is on topic, is that velocity is the most important factor that decides how lethal a round is, not bullet diameter.

    You did not answer my point about the FBI stats. They show that the 45 ACP is NOT the most lethal. But the 357 and even 9mm +P rounds are more lethal.

    We all have a choice to consider real world statistics, or to believe our own opinions.

    1. Lou I’m happy to see someone who knows the truth. America seems to have a love affair with the 45 ACP, and yet any view of a ballistics chart will show lackluster performance. This is what perplexes me. The average poster here adores the 1911 45 ACP. Less bullets, less firepower.

    2. Lou & ss1 – guys you are getting all fired up (no pun intended) on FBI Stats on lethality. What are the stats on reliability with round mis-fire 9mm +P vs 45? In my experience with my weapons of which I have all calibers mentioned in previous posts, the 45 is my preferred most reliable round and will stay that. I have had far too many round mis-fires or jams with +P loads vs standard 45 ACP.

      So ss1, yes I have a “Love” for it…as do tens of thousands if other gun owners and professionals.

      Lou I’m not questioning or disputing the validity of your stats of FBI stats and I do understand the lethality and physics of velocity vs size but in physics the whole equation of ENERGY and it’s destructive effects is a combination of both. I never said the 45 ACP was the most lethal.

      Thanks guys for your passion and good shooting with whatever you are good with.


    3. Hi Scott – Thanks for the very kind reply. I have passion for many guns also. Especially the designs of John Moses Browning.

      But I would never question the reliability of the Glock or many modern designs like the HK etc.

      I have many 9mm pistols and have never had a malfunction with even one. Even my Kel-tec P9 has been perfect in function from the day I bought it. I know that many have problems with this design, but many can be chalked up to inexperience. I had a S&W Shield in 40 S&W that was simply a single shot pistol, it jammed on every shot. But I fixed that gun and it is now reliable.

      My experience with 1911 is different than yours. I have had lots of malfunctions with it. BUT it is not an expensive handmade gun. But neither are my 9mm pistols which are all reliable.

      I hope your 1911 gives you the very best of service.

    4. Lou – never said I had a 1911. I own HK USPs in 45 and 9mm. They are tremendously reliable.

      Again, enjoy whatever you shoot best with in YOUR hands.

  43. Lou – thanks for your insight, but we’ve gone from personal defense in real day scenarios to Lewis and Clark expeditions? I will stick with my 45 as a first choice. I also have 9mm with +P rounds, I also have a .308 and they are all good for what they are but the bottom line is the user of the weapon in most cases. If I hit a target with a 22LR properly vs missing a target with a 12ga, whichnonebis more effective.

    Thanks for you response to my post.

    – Scott

  44. Scott – read the FBI stats. What you say simply is NOT true. The 357 magnum is has a far higher one shot stop percentage than the 45 ACP. Not only the 357 but even some +P 9mm loads have a higher one shot stop percentage than the 45.

    It is NOT the diameter of the bullet that means the most, but the velocity. That is why we do not still use 69 caliper muskets, but use bullets as small as 7mm ( .284 dia) to kill brown bears.

    Lewis and Clark had to shoot their first brown bear 11 times to stop it with the 69 caliper. But many Alaskan Brown bear guides use the 7mm rem Mag to stop brown bears with one shot. The difference is velocity.

    Certainly you would agree that the small 308 rifle bullet is more lethal than the 45 ACP. The 308 is much smaller. The only difference is that the 308 in moving much faster.

  45. For me the quality and quantity are both important in a defensive weapon, after all you want the gun to go bang when you need it to, and having enough ammo can save ones life, that’s why I always carry an extra magazine…we all hope we never have to use a gun , but we never know when something bad will happen, in my life time my guns have saved my life on three different occasions, and I never had to shoot or kill anyone, but I know I wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t been prepared, in my case lives were saved , mine and there’s….

    1. @Don H I agree that I have never heard anyone complain about wanting less ammo in a gun fight but after carrying professionally for many many years I can tell you that the shear bulk gets old really quickly. I carried two weapons (as required by all undercover agents in our division) and extra mags for both. In my case the weapons were different calibers so I needed back-up mags in both 45ACP and 380. NEVER EVER used up all ammo in fact only reloaded one weapon once. Real life is NOT like TV. I have had team mates who have emptied both weapons and all mags and I have used up all ammo in my M16 once. Dr Dave

  46. I think speed and shot placement is the key to defending with a gun.. Defending yourself or others from eminent danger will require a suitable reaction in seconds and the distance will probably be a few feet and never more than about 7 feet. I like a easy to handle gun that can be presented quickly and fired accurately. . I looked for a gun that fit my hand and trigger finger. The action needed to be intuitive and simple. Inexpensive ammo so practice is affordable. I practice point shooting and some sight shooting. I plan to carry all the time and avoid no weapons allowed locations. I want to be ready to effectively defend my self and others when required.

  47. Hey John H,
    I’m not altogether sure that Id be comfortable living in an area where I was only comfortable within easy reach of a firearm all the time because I am constantly expecting the ” inevatable” in life to come crashing thru my door. Seems to be more stressful than need be. The question is how will you really know when “it’s the time” for “instant force”? Aside from the situation of a forced entry by an armed perpetrator on your home or person where is the determination made? I’m asking out of coursity as I don’t live in an area where I have to be concerned with the human element but do to a far greater degree the non human interactions. Here a firearm is simply another tool chosen for a perticular job same as an ax or a hammer. It just seems somewhat outside the bounds of normal behavior to live with that kind of fear or stress and letting it place you in such a defensive position.
    I’m not cutting on you as I haven’t walked in your shoes so don’t know the position you find yourself in. Its simply from my POV it seems very odd position to place oneself in and I’d like to better understand that mind set.

    1. @Carl P I TOTALLY agree with you. Way back in the ’70’s and ’80’s when I worked in drug interdiction we had a statement that said “Just because I am paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get me” I an VERY well attuned to my surroundings and because of that I definitely NEED my weapon far less then someone who is not. Surely cutting the grass in my neighborhood is no place for a weapon or for that matter no need. But then as you suggested if it became necessary I wouldn’t be living here for long. Dr Dave

  48. The only time I plan on drawing my weapon is to stop a threat to me or mine. Thus I believe in gun control, I.e. hitting only what you aim at. For home defense quantity could help,as most home invasions involve multiple assailants. In other situations a few well placed shots should suffice.

  49. There are things that are inevitable in life. When you wait at a long red light, it finally changes, and here comes an emergency vehicle through the red and killing your green. So you have to wait again. I carry a Glock everywhere. Have it on the couch beside me when I watch TV and ready for that home invasion. On the bed stand beside me (no children in house).

    But just like that red light, when I need the pistol, that will be the one time in months that I do not have the weapon on hand. Maybe cutting the grass and not wanting to sweat all over it. But I’ll try to be ready, and if I am armed, INSTANT FORCE will be used. There is no other option.

  50. I believe I have answered the question as best one can for myself. I like revolvers so I bought a S&W R8 .357. 8 rounds on moon clips…with a little practice reloads as fast as most semi-auto’s if I need to reload. I have many handguns from Colt SAA to 1911’s to Sig to Glock, etc. None offer better ergonomics, trigger or knock down power from my perspective. Concealment is the only limiting factor and that is not an issue when used in my conceal carry 5.11 undershirt.

  51. to Dr. Dave: I agree, using a weapon to warn off someone is very often the action that starts a whole worse problem. Many street thugs and pro criminals, will take the act of showing your gun, as a sign that you are afraid to use it, and act accordingly. I also don’t like trying to injure a purp. if the situation calls for deadly force then use it as such. An injured criminal can often still kill you, plus in the world we’ve got today, an injured criminal might sue you. So in my opinion, put them out , that way they can’t argue with your story of what happened and try to sue you for not letting them kill you. After all, the criminal has made the decision them selves on what their life is worth. So be sure what your life or that of your loved ones is worth. Not hate just common sense.

    1. to tank:
      I hope you realize that if you ever have to employ deadly force the estate of the deceased will sue you. Statements like, “put them out so they can’t sue”, put a huge smile on plaintiff’s attorneys’ faces and those statements can and do become known.
      Shoot to stop the threat and when the threat is over STOP SHOOTING AND IMMEDIATELY RENDER WHATEVER AID YOU CAN. That is not only the right thing to do, it will also work in your favor in subsequent civil actions .
      By the way, are you insured against the legal liabilities of using deadly force? I personally carry a one million dollar policy to cover that very thing and one million is just barely adequate.

  52. I am a quality vs quantity believer but I own/have both. I would suggest to anyone the .45 ACP is the most lethal and proven handgun round. My H&K USP full size with factory 12rnd mags is my #1 choice and it’s smaller USP Compact w/8rnd mags is a viable carry option that I also enjoy shooting. I agree that you should pick a weapon (irregardless of load) and “master” it! It is the person behind the weapon that does it justice…for Right or for Wrong!

  53. I don’t intend to get into a genuine gunfight, as those are extremely rare for anyone who doesn’t go poking into the private business of irritable armed people (gangsters, cops, etc). My gun is for quietly persuading certain individuals that there are other, easier targets nearby, or else for a frantic “sidestep/quickdraw/rapidfire” sort of thing as I get the heck away from whatever is coming at me. Covering my retreat, basically. I like the 9mm for that job – lighter kick, more shots, and logistical advantages like economy, availability, etc. I may be giving up a bit of “stopping power” (maybe), but I think I’m making up for it with a couple more shots and the ability to place them faster as I break contact. I think a lot of people are imagining more of a video game scenario where they take a position and start methodically popping targets, but if I have time and room to do that, I have time and room to just leave.

    1. @The Other Scott not sure where you live but there are a dozen states Mass included that using your weapon as you describe is against the law. If you pull it you do so as the only way to protect your life stop a perpetrator etc… Pulling it to “quietly persuade” is for law enforcement officers ONLY. I would check with your state on that but until a month ago here in Florida pulling a weapon without there being eminent threat to life or… was a felony (we have no open carry but allow CCW) and firing a warning shot was also a felony under the assumption that if you had the opportunity to shoot a warning then you were not in immediate threat of dying. That has since been changed here but I know that in Mass doing what you suggest will get you arrested and charged with a felony and possibly with attempted murder. Check out Andrew Branca Esq’s site for specifics. Bottom-line the demonstration of or use of a weapon is limited to protecting life and it must be proportionate to the incident at hand (can’t bring out a weapon to stop someone from yelling and threatening you for example) There has to be a REAL threat to brandish a weapon. His site will explain much more in much greater detail. He is one of the nations leading authority on protecting your rights with a gun. Dr Dave

  54. I find that any weapon that you are familiar with, comfortable with and accurate with, to be a good choice . Personally, I prefer a handgun with adjustable V backsight and a straight front site to my liking. I hate 3 dot sights, probably because I learned with a V sight. For me it’s automatic sighting. Why the “modern” autoloaders do not give you a choice I cann fathom, which is why I own no new hand guns.

  55. I’m a fairly big guy with large hands. I carry a Glock 30 with a Glock 21, 13 round mag.The grip extension with the 21 mag is a perfect fit for my hand!
    It’s the best of both worlds in higher capacity and larger bore. It is also extremely accurate and comfortable to carry. One of the most reliable handguns made, and pretty cheap for what you get. I also like the idea of not having to fumble with a safety in a pressure situation.

  56. A topic that never gets old. Good article.

    A couple of tense situations with dangerous game convinced me that my primary sidearm should be a revolver with an auto-loader backup. I’m not certain that I could recover from a jam on the second round even though I practice.

    If the first 5 rounds don’t do the trick, I’ll take my chances then with the auto-loader.

  57. The subject is round capacity in handguns. The S&W 38 Special Airweight I use to carry only has 5 rounds, which is not bad for a pocket pistol in a low threat environment. But I always felt under-gunned with only five rounds and no speed loader. So I spent several months reading reviews and visiting gun stores looking for the perfect concealed carry gun.
    I never found the perfect one, but found the 7+1 round Ruger LC-9, which is small and light (1 LB). I liked everything but the trigger and the snappy recoil. Replaced the trigger, trigger bar, and springs. It now shoots well and conceals well with 8 round capacity in the gun and a 7 round magazine in a belt holder. With 15 rounds available I think I can fight my way back to my truck where 30 round 7.62 cal. magazines lurk. P.S. A Sig is nice but too expensive for most people.

  58. Unless I missed it , the most important consideration is the comfort factor . Taught Trap and Skeet for many many years and also Archery . If it doesn’t feel good your shooting will suffer greatly .Same with pistols .
    Personally I prefer big magazines as long as the balance does not suffer. I have a .40 that is very handy and very concealable and holds 17 rounds . My main guns and one I carry are 10’s and both hold 16 rounds . Recoil is really a non factor for me as the ergonomics are fantastic .
    Some love the 1911’s however they feel bulky to me and there are a great many that cost between $550 and $700 and I have a few and not once have I had any problems with them after thousands of rounds .
    If it isn’t comfortable for you get rid of it , there are others that will feel like an extention of your arm and that’s what you want , period .

  59. You like the Sig 228 but don’t like the 13 rd mag. Take that mag and throw it in your range bag for training. Buy yourself a nice 226 15 rd mag and slide it right in to a flush fit on your German made 228. Problem solved.

  60. ‘The first three shots are the most important. With some luck, you will have sufficient focus to manipulate a piece properly and make a hit…. If you take seriously a study of high-round-count gunfights, you realize the reason they are high-round count is because there are a lot of missed rounds.’;

    The author has seemingly forgotten, that during times of high stress, the body loses it’s fine motor muscle controls, which accounts for the plethora of high round counts, in documented shootings.

    The only thing that can be done to counter this is practice, practice, practice, until one’s larger motor muscle groups have developed muscle memories and can enable one to make more on target first and subsequent shots, in times of high stress.

    Unless and until one makes the effort to acquire such motor skills and even thereafter, one should always plan on having more ammo available, than he/she deems necessary. It could very well mean the difference between life and death.

    1. Rocky absolutely true one can partially overcome flight or fright impulsion and autonomic nervous control by practice BUT only on the level of professional shooters in competition or “some” super shooters like SWAT or Sierra level LEO agents. The average CCW owner doesn’t even come CLOSE to practicing enough in high stress situations to allow for that reprogramming of body response. The reality is while you are dispensing your weapon at the “bad guys” in hope of stopping the action they are dispensing their weapons on you. Statistically a multi-shot event on a single assailant is done and over in under 4 shots TOTAL from both sides and in a multiple shooter scenario the defensive shooter is shot in less then 5 shots TOTAL and gets off at most 7 or 8 shots (3 missing and possibly hitting innocents AFTER being hit). So having a 15 round mag is GREAT in theory and better still on the range or at the shot house but in reality you won’t get to the end of the mag in fact you won’t get to even the end of the 1911 mag so the extra shots are more likely going to hit a by-stander as you are still firing while falling down or writhing in pain from your injuries then you will to hit the perpetrator. I am ALL for high capacity as our right to have carry and own but in reality unless you are perched on your front porch defending a group of purps heading up your driveway to your home you won’t likely ever use them or use them safely. Dr D

  61. You are right, it takes $1500 to buy a reliable 1911. But a Glock and many other modern pistols are reliable for far less. Many can not afford $1500, but can afford the Glock or others. I have pistols that I paid $300 for that have I have been shooting for many years and have never once had a malfunction of any kind.

    John Moses Browning was a genius. And the 1911 is great historical pistol. BUT Browning himself IMPROVED the design in the Browning Hi Power which is a double stack 9mm.

    I have Browning designed lever action rifles, and enjoy them. BUT I use my semi auto magazine fed rifle for home defense. The lever actions are a thing of beauty, but they have been surpassed by modern designs for home defense.

    1. Not to take anything away from Glock but you don’t need to spend $1500 to buy a reliable 1911. I own three 1911 pattern pistols: a five inch Colt 1911a1, a Colt Officer’s ACP, and a custom 2011 STI. I paid $500 for the first (used) and $800 for the second (new). The 2011 STI was a wee bit more (okay, a LOT more) and all three function reliably with Speer Lawman, Federal HydroShok, and hardball ammo.

    2. I agree with Bob here. Although you certainly CAN spend %1500 on a 1911 you absolutely do not HAVE to in fact you could easily spend half that or less and not compromise quality. I might own the largest personal collection of 1911’s and short of the investment pieces (serial numbers in 2 digits) the amount of sub $1K pieces out there is tremendous. I prefer my 45 to almost any polymer I have used. I like so many other former Federal LEO’s use a 19911 and a 380. (or 38) depending on my mood and need. On duty I always had the 1911 then my back up was either my PPK or my S&W 38 snub. Best of both worlds. In drug interdiction I NEVER EVER had a real reason to finish all my ammo either. Sure in practice I did all the time but in reality I never had a need to go from one weapon to the other or for that matter reload the 1911. I know the possibility exists but I can bet you that if you are in gun fight and you have exhausted your 1911 someone else has hit you as well. We always think that we will need to carry boatloads of ammo because there might be so many bad guys we need extra. Remember some of those bad guys are better trained then we are. Shooting 4 bad guys and not getting wounded or killed is a feat of great chance and solid believe in God. I can bet you will be hit long before you get to your second or third mag or swap out to your back up. Those guys aren’t paper targets awaiting your arrival. Dr D

    3. Thanks for pointing out something that seems to elude a lot of people, namely that anyone attacked by multiple armed assailants *is* going to be shot long before they run an 8 round mag dry. If one thinks about it the advantage even in a one on one attack is to the attacker NOT the guy or girl legally defending their life. Action beats reaction every time. In a multiple assailant attack then the only question is will the wound be debilitating? I’ve seen many civilian shooters practice assiduously but I’ve yet to see even one civilian shooter practice weak hand shooting and very few practice even unsupported strong hand shooting. Over the past 30 years I’ve investigated literally hundreds of shootings and in almost every one where a shooter was wounded at least one of the wounds was to the hand holding the gun. Before I’d even think about how many rounds I could load in my pistol I’d concentrate on how well I could shift my pistol into my weak hand and continue to fight effectively.
      By the way, in all the shootings I investigated I can think of just one instance where a shooter reloaded OR ran their gun dry. In the vast majority of them no shooter fired more than 9 shots.

    4. Bob your discussion is really making me think.

      I have practiced with the weaker hand, but less than 5%. I need to step that up to 25%.

      Also, knowing that I would probably be wounded in a home invasion, I think I need to get a security door on the front door, even if it’s a rental home and I would be buying it for the owner.

      In other words, I’m only 1 person, and I can only shoot 1 gun. Why not get a security door and reduce the chance of something bad happening.

    5. I’m not quite sure how you define a “security door” but realize that most home invasions begin when the resident OPENS their door. Unless their door is so flimsy a solid kick would break it open I’d advise a homeowner to invest in an inexpensive video cam and intercom setup before I’d suggest replacing a door. Statistically speaking though unless you are living in a high crime area or associating with thugs you are more likely to be injured by a falling tree branch than you are of being targeted by a home invasion crew

    6. @Bob once again we agree. We read all day long on forums about this and that level of protection but in the real world you definitely have a better chance of being hit by lightening then attacked by someone with a gun UNLESS you live in an area that is violent by nature AND you are not situational aware. In all my years I too can’t recall any break ins that weren’t either after hours when the owner was asleep and they came through a window or the like OR the homeowner/occupant let them in voluntarily. So basically no “security” door is going to matter. Getting a better sense of situational awareness is prime. Looking out a window NOT close to the door being knocked on (even if it is upstairs)or installing a peephole camera system is a good start. Looking physically thru a peephole is a great way to get dead. As far as the after hours break in goes they ENTER thru a window or garage and EXIT thru the door with “your stuff” so bulking up the door makes it harder for them to exit and honestly I want them to leave easy so the security door is opposite of what I want. Although I am well equipped and VERY well trained I much prefer to not be a hero and or go thru the hassle of killing someone. If they break in and realize that they would rather leave so be it. I am quite OK with NOT shooting them. BUT that philosophy comes with years and years of dealing with criminals. Most gun owners secretly pine away their days praying to someday be able to use their weapon. NOT ME! Been there done that filled out the reports in triplicate and don’t need the hassle. My door mat reads “Protected by S&W There Is NOTHING Inside Worth You Dying For!!” Using restraint is a process that is not learned thru exercise it is engrained by time in gray. Dr Dave

    7. Dr. Dave I spotted a flaw in your thinking. The door mat will attract a burglary when you’re not home, with bad guys thinking you have a lot of guns.

      Also, serious bad guys, like meth addicts or gangsters, will bring more aggression and firepower after seeing your floor mat.

      One of you guys was trying to minimize the chances of these things happening, like saying there’s more chance of a tree falling on me. I can tell you that in my city there are reports of home invasions on the news every day. This is what I prepare for. I believe that all the people here who fear the government or Obama invading their homes are worrying about the wrong threat.

    8. Scott unless you live in an area known for gang violence criminals don’t break into homes looking for weapons they go in looking for cash and or valuables that can be fenced to buy drugs. Weapons are not worth nearly as much on the open market as a Sony PlayStation gizmo or Wii University. I can buy a stolen H&K 9mm for under $200 any day of the week in any US city. Guns they have, drugs they NEED/WANT. Cash is king in the criminal world. Home break-ins happen in every city in America and guess what there is NOTHING you can do about it except to give the perp a reason to “shop” somewhere else. Having a burglar alarm and a sign telling them it is there makes the house just a tiny bit less desirable. Will it prevent a determined thief who knows he wants your house? NOPE but then nothing short of a team of armed guards will. BUT given a choice between your alarmed house and the guy next door with no obvious alarm guess who they choose? It is VERY VERY rare that a house is cased (another TV scenario) thieves simply pull up to a block and start hitting the easy “marks”. I live in a gated community (first level of defense) second the entry gates are controlled by armed guards (second level of control) then the house is alarmed (third level) and last all the valuables short of the daily use stuff like I suggested above the video crap etc is locked away. They aren’t going to get the guns that is a myth that the perps will go into a house to get the weapons no “responsible” gun owner will leave them as one of you suggested on the freaking coffee table while watching TV (unless of course they live in hell or are a bit paranoid) most of us keep our weapons in safe but CONVENIENT places where we can get at them but are out of sight and certainly aren’t easy to find or get at if found. Most break ins are smash and grabs. They happen in a few minutes not over hours. If you want my guns you will need cutting torches and or heavy chains and a dual axle truck with a lift gate. Neither of which will be available on a typical smash and grab and certainly both will be noticed by security guards on rounds or neighbors. Once again as I have been preaching it is ALL about situational awareness. Both for you and your neighbors. Have a conversation with the folks around explain when you are going to have service done on your houses. If they see a truck in front and guys going in and out and they weren’t told about work being done they will call 911 NOT pull out their shotguns to investigate. Anything to deter someone from your house or neighborhood is a good thing. Neighborhood watch signs, alarms with signs (not having the signs along with alarms tells me you are a wannabie hero and are thinking more about catching and killing then protecting. I think I will move out of your neighborhood or atleast pressure you to move. The issue of crime is simple they don’t want to make it hard as much as you DO want to make it hard. They want easy fast and profitable. Cut your freaking shrubs back this isn’t Walt Disney World’s Garden Contest, alarm the place, and put signs up to the fact, and put out motion lights, etc… They will go find the slob down the street with the open windows with the key to the front door under the plastic rock on the front porch to rob. Dr Dave

    9. Dr. Dave, I think “Most gun owners secretly pine away their days praying to someday be able to use their weapon” is an inaccurate overgeneralization. There are undoubtedly owners like that but I think they are in an very small minority. In my thirty years as a police officer in a major metro area I was in more than my share of situations where deadly force would have been legally justified yet I never had to use that force and I don’t think I’m exceptional in that regard.

    10. Lou, I have to disagree that it takes $1500 to acquire a “reliable” 1911. There are several very reputable manufactures out there who produce very “reliable” 1911 for well under $1500. Rock Island comes to mind and most of their product is well under a grand.
      I’m not 100% sure but the P-35 Browning Hi-Power might be the very first of the “Z” stack, hi-cap pistols produced that were successful and still produced today. Anyone have a comment on that history? They are one of my favorites.

  62. Just read an interesting article concerning US Military, FBI and several large police forces concerning the .40 vs 9mm considerations. Worth a read, thought it might be revelent here. by Matthew Cox

    Has to do with the Army considering going to .40 and the FBI going back to 9mm along with several LE departments.

  63. Now here’s a guy that has his head on straight! The best “be prepared” setup is a quality full sized handgun with “normal” high capacity. (Diane would like to call anything over one “hi-cap”. However, here’s where reality sets in. Following the rule that “the best gun in the one you have with you”, since I stay in a relatively low risk community, concealability takes precidence over firepower and I choose to carry a light weight and highly concealable compact 9mm. I feel like I’m one step up from the pocket carried 380 in power and capacity, and my rig is just a concealed. Should I go to a higher risk area, I accept the discomfort and bulkiness of a full sized rig. My choice.

  64. What did I tell my boys when they went shopping for their first handgun?
    MOST of the handguns are of excellent quality, solid, dependable, accurate, so it becomes a matter of which one FEELs right. All hated my Block. It just didn’t fit their hands. One went for Springfield, One for an F&N with external hammer. They carry full size, I carry compact. We’re all comfortable and competent with our choices.

  65. The glock isn’t a better arm than the 1911 it’s plastic and the sights are shitty, my Kimber can buy 3 glocks and that’s not exaggerated 1480$ We are adults and don’t call people names or say moms basement references and try to impress people by belittling others it just makes you well a bit aggressive is all and I’m sure I speak for the majority when I say don’t make words if they aren’t kind or informative, or hell I’ll settle for kinda informative so there’s my 2 lincolns

    1. Dale your “settle for kinda informative” comment made me smile. I know people love their Kimbers, and they are finely crafted weapons. But still, going with the topic of this article, quantity vs quality, there’s no way the 1911’s make up for their lack of bullets. I see too many cops in my city carrying Glocks.

      Now for instance if Taurus came out with some pistol with the same caliber that held 22 bullets, but had serious breakdown issues, then you have an argument with quality over quantity.

      Regarding my rude comments last night, I lost my temper with Chris, and will not back down from aggressive people like Chris. I’ve seen people here write an 8 paragraph complicated essay just to basicially tell someone —- —, LOL. I just did it my way, with some rude humor.

      Regarding the cost of your Kimber, we all have to be careful with the costs and marketing and reputations of weapons and ammo (unless we’re rich), because you can lay down some serious money in this shooting hobby. For instance, why do some people pay $1000 for a Trijicon ACOG or Red-Dot, when I paid $27.95 for a 4 reticule red dot at a doorbuster sale, and recently used it with an old rifle with a pitted barrel to place 90% of my shots in an 8″ circle at 200 yards? In other words, the rifle did the very best it was capable of doing with it’s barrel.

  66. Why compromise? I recently picked up a Para Ordnance 14/45 (the Black Ops) and while it’s not a typical CC sidearm, it is quite doable with a good holster. Typically I carry a TAURUS PT145 MILPRO with 10+1 capacity and another 10rnd mag. Nice thing is, the Para’s 14 rounders work well in the MilPro as backups when needed.

    I prefer .45s and 1911s as thats what I was trained and qual’d with 30yrs ago as an MP.
    The Para is the 3rd 1911 I’ve owned since I got out and the first 45. The fact that it buddies up with my EDC makes a great team for Scenario 3gun and SHtF. And I’ve seen the stopping power of 380s, 9s, and 45s. A 380 can do the job nicely but conditionally, the 9 a bit better, but the 45 is hands down devastation. And in high cap, best of both worlds. But that’s just my opinion, lol.

  67. I’m a big fan of make every shot count , but having 1 shot per foe is always a bad mistake with a hand gun.

    When I feel like open carry it’s a glock 19 Gen 4 with 15+1 rounds of the tried tested and proven corbon 115 grain +p. When I conceal carry it’s a s&w m&p shield 8+1 with the same load.

    Im not a world class shot but i sport a qualified expert via USMC pistol qualification standards, which may not be a huge deal but I know how to hit my intended target out to 25 yards. I’m confident that if I deploy either of those weapons I’ll do enough damage to save a life…. maybe even my own.

    I hope I never do…..

  68. I gave my wife a Sig 228 years ago. It was made in Germany, according to the marks on the pistol. I don’t understand why they went to the 229 as the 228 is one of the best pistols ever made. My wife now has a carry permit and we like the Sig 938 just in time for her acquiring a permit. I really like the S&W M&P Shield that I first looked at when at a gun store in Texas. But, when I the Sig 938 and found it to be even better handling than the Shield I picked that as the best (for us) carry gun.

    Do I prefer Sigs? Well, not always. I also have an old S&W 5943 I shot at a gun range. It was a rental gun that I rented and bought because I liked it so much. I believe the frame is aluminum.

    I have two CZ75s–one a compact. The compact is one of the finest pistols I know, but pretty heavy for EDC.

  69. As a bounty hunter I trust my life to a sig p226 I used to carry a glock 19 g2 until it failed, I trust the 9mm as much as I do any large caliber, If I shoot it’s to kill, and if you put as many down the range as I do you can put one where it needs to go, 9mm is ok for me and my team one caliber for our smg’s and our pistols

  70. In response to Frank Latham. Don’t ever sell yourself short as “only a fly boy” my brother. You “fly boys” were like angels from heaven to me whether it was for close air support or evacs. The resilience of the human spirit pushing the body amazes me as well. Many moons ago when I visited the FBI range in Quantico, there was a sign that read; “Once the decision to fire has been made, you will fire and continue to fire until all hostile activity has ceased.” I doubt that sign survived the floods of political correctness, but I have those words committed to my few remaining neurons. Thanks for your service my brother!

  71. In response to Frank Latham. I think you might be missing my point partner, no doubt because I didn’t express it that clearly. Let me put it another way. Things don’t have attitude! I’ve seen huge men hit with a .22 LR in the thigh, scream out in pain, drop a weapon, and beg for help. I’ve also seen a man absorb eight hits from a .45 ACP and still keep coming. The Miami FBI 1986 shoot-out, someone else mentioned, is a great example. My point was simple; Since the theme of this discussion was quality vs quantity, given the potential of multiple adversaries, determined adversaries, and the detrimental effect that fear, adrenaline, and inexperience can have on the accuracy of a defender, I would opt for larger round capacity vs the latest “wonder” bullet by whomever. When they finally make a phaser, I’ll be carrying that. Until then, I would stick with a well fitting gun with a large capacity that I shoot extremely well. Being a retired United States Marine, former law enforcement officer, born and raised in an area of the Bronx they use to call Fort Apache back in the wild days, that’s just my opinion. There are exceptions to every rule. Being that the odds of any one individual being involved in a shooting are almost astronomically low, most of these discussions are academic, and provide peace of mind rather than fool proof protection. And to that I say; “If a single shot flintlock pistol makes you feel well armed and protected…so be it.”

    1. This is in response to Edgar G. I appreciate all of your thought here Edgar, and you can write it well enough to put a smile on my face. I believe I understood your point initially, however I failed to address it properly. Reading your background as a jar head (all due respect), and law enforcement is worthy of great admiration. I remember Fort Apache in the wild days myself. I’m only a flyboy vet who hung out in a bad part of the South China sea. I have great respect for every man who wore the Globe & Anchor. I also know that I am getting some of the best information available on the topic. I am just a little daft in understanding pain control and adrenaline. I really get the idea, and know it does exist, the though of someone able to will themselves forward in a situation like we have discussed still amazes me. When it comes to our side, those were the guys we called heroes. Thank you for the Honor.

  72. There are always going to be different options on what is the best gun to carry, where I live we have 4 seasons, and that has me carrying different guns and calibers, cold winter weather I use my SPRINGFIELD TRP 45 ACP, OR ANY OF MY 40 S&W’S in the spring and warmer weather I carry HK P2000 40 s&w or one of my Glock’s 27 gen 4 26 gen 4 or my 19 gen 4, I must admit I didn’t care for the early Glocks for fit and feel, but the new Gen 4’s are just awesome, and they haven’t let me down, they go bang every time and are very accurate, my Springfield XDM is also very reliable and accurate, I always carry an extra magazine with me at all times for all my guns, so bottom line the gun has to feel right in your hand and be reliable at the same time, and this will differ from one person to another depending on body size….

  73. As far as personal defense is concerned, I certainly understand the appeal of magnum revolvers, but my personal preference is and likely always will be the 10mm Auto caliber, and my Glock 20. If stopping power is an issue, the 10mm Auto carries more kinetic energy at 100 yards than a .45 ACP does at the muzzle, so it hits noticeably harder at any range, and the initial hole is only 0.05in smaller. JHP rounds, such as those made by Double Tap and Buffalo Bore insure that the high muzzle velocity of these rounds does not enable them to penetrate walls and endanger bystanders. 15 rounds of high-powered JHP 10mm Auto is no joke. And at 10 yards I can shoot this well enough to same-hole paper targets, so I’m definitely getting enough practice.
    For carry purposes, I like my Glock 19, and I use Atomic +P JHP ammunition for this purpose. 15 rounds of this is similarly no joke.

    1. Are you serious with this?!
      You said: “the high muzzle velocity of these rounds does not enable them to penetrate walls and endanger bystanders.”

      Tell you what; why don’t you have your wife and kids stand behind a wall in your house while you empty a full magazine through that wall. You can stand as far away from the wall as you’d like, and those rounds will still penetrate the wall AND the family members!!!
      Your Glock with those hot loads will do the same thing!

    2. JP, you really, really, need to clarify what kind of wall you mean. If you are referring to a solid (not block) concrete wall with steel reinforcement, fine. If you mean a concrete block wall with the blocks left hollow, that wall SHOULD (not the same as WILL) contain individual rounds. If you mean an interior wall – well, those walls won’t stop a fist.
      You do not need to take my or anyone else’s word for this. YouTube is stuffed full of videos that demonstrate what happens when bullets hit walls. All kinds of bullets, all kinds of walls. Take note of the bullet type and cartridge that the shooter uses, the construction of the wall and the RANGE at which he shoots the wall. Also note the number of rounds fired and how close together the hits are. These videos are very instructive and I think that you will find them helpful.

    3. “It would have to be an unusually thin wall.”
      Not really…drywall is usually 1/2″ thick, two sheets is 1″….it’s CHALK….
      The odds of the round touching a stud in the wall is measurable but minimal. I’ve seen the un-scientific tests (those are the best) and you WILL kill someone in an adjacent room if you shoot at a wall. JHP, EFMJ will penetrate. Drywall does NOT act the same as flesh and muscle tissue. Barely slows it down.

    4. You need to see what happens to these JHP rounds when they hit a wall.

      Go to Box O Truth and watch how many walls they go through. You will be surprised. Even the lowly 32 auto will go through a door. A 9mm will go through several walls of dry wall.

    5. JP – my 10mm 135 grain JHP rounds will go through a pretty thick steel plate. My 40 S&W JHP +P loads will go through a 1/8″ steel plate. I have done this test myself and seen with my own eyes.

    6. Are you seriously trying to tell me that a 10mm JHP won’t penetrate a wall that is made from two pieces of drywall?! Even a .22 will penetrate that! And here you are bragging that your 10mm round “carries more kinetic energy at 100 yards than a .45 ACP does at the muzzle”!
      Do yourself a BIG favor and get a hold of some drywall and see just how many layers of it your 10mm will penetrate at your 10 yard distance!

    7. Knock me over with a feather. The ranges near me don’t allow anything but paper targets, and while outdoor practice is legal where I live, my landlord wouldn’t allow it.
      Frankly, I buy JHP bullets specifically with the intention of reducing the penetration. So this is a bit of a shocker to me.
      You’re right, I didn’t know what I was talking about. I haven’t done those tests, and I can’t do them. Now I’m a little concerned.

      …..Or not. I wasn’t talking about not penetrating drywall. I can penetrate two layers of drywall with my fist, if I get some momentum going; I’ve done it before. It hurts of course, but I have enough mass and strength to do it. I live in Florida, and our annual hurricane problem means that a lot of buildings in the state have at least a few interior walls that are concrete, which I don’t believe JHP will get much penetration on.

      That was what I was thinking about when I talked about not over-penetrating: concrete and brick and wood. Not drywall. Sorry for the confusion, gentlemen. I realize how stupid what I was saying might have sounded to you, but frankly drywall didn’t even cross my mind.

    8. Hey Chris, why don’t YOU go stand behind JP’s wall instead of telling him to put his wife and kids there you idiot.

    9. Hey Chris, it may not be my place but I’d appreciate it if you might tone it down a bit and think more in terms of constructive criticism instead of “put your kids an wife behind a wall ….”. That kind of “logic” just devalues your own position and cuts into any respect you might have had.
      Its possible he just dosnt know and needs additional factual information and a redirect to a more informed path. He’s trying to do the right thing with the wrong information. It might be helpful to point out the light at the end of this tunnel for him. Maybe that way, if he ever has to defend his family he can do it with a solid understanding of the reprocussions. These kind of statements serve no positive purpose at all.

  74. The most important consideration for carrying a firearm is the type that you are willing to carry every time you go out. If you don’t have it with you, DAH!
    The second consideration is the type of scenario you perceive yourself getting into. I believe there are two types of scenarios you will encounter when you leave the house. You will be in a place where someone with a weapon is either robbing or threatening somebody (store robbery , domestic dispute, mob violence or just stumbling into a situation where people are in a serious dispute). This scenario is probably not going to be up close and personal, probably more than the standard 3-7 yard, and you would have time to draw and aim. With distance involved you would probably want a full sized firearm unless you are extremely versed in smaller guns.
    The second scenario is up close and personal, someone comes up to you and demands you wallet, cell phone, etc., or tries to hijack your vehicle, or just picks a fight with you and he has a weapon. You will probably be within 3 yards of each other and if you plan on doing anything you are just going to pull your gun point and shoot. A compact firearm of a decent caliber would be all that’s needed.
    Now the big question is which of the above scenarios are you going to run into. Which of the two percentage wise is probably the most common scenario? You might pick one and carry the firearm you think will do the trick. Or you might say, I’m going to carry the best size gun and caliber I am willing to strap on every time I leave the house.
    There is no clear answer to cover every situation you might run into. The pundits and pseudo professionals seem to prefer big and powerful. But the people I listen are the ones that say carry what you feel comfortable with and make sure you have it with you when you need it.

  75. I think we overlooked the fact that Mec-Gar, the manufacturer of factory Sig mags, makes flush fit 18rd P-226 mags. This article overlooks that fact and leaves the large 226 close to the same category as the 13-15 round guns.

  76. Thanks again for your reply, I’m not trying to sell you a Glock, I’m just saying what works for me. A Glock may not be the right gun for everyone, but it is the only gun I own and shoot that has never jammed. Keep it clean and lubed and you can count on it.

  77. Mr. Campbell is pretty politically astute. After reading his comments, I noted he really didn’t say anything.

    Rather than being politically correct, what Mr. Campbell should have said was that the hysteria today about high capacity rounds and stopping power is sheer nonsense; none of which is grounded in reality or facts.

    The facts are that the overwhelming majority of shooting incidents occur within a short distance. Furthermore, only a few shots are fired.

    There certainly is a necessity for high capacity magazines for Police Officers, but not to the degree presented.

    The reality is that we in the USA are living in a highly effemnized society which breeds hysteria rather than calm reasoned analysis.

    Now if Mr. Campbell would have said THAT, he would have made a salient point.

    What is even more absurd is the way people train. They train as if they are practicing highly skilled military operator skill sets. This too is nonsense for the average civilian.

    You would have a better chance of a Great White Attack in Lake Michigan than to actually have to utilize these skills.

    The sad reality is that 90% of all this “gun wisdom” is pure nonsense and completely devoid of reality. It comes down to hysterical people carrying guns with incredibly bizarre misconceptions of reality.

    And the end result of this reality is that it puts EVERYONE in greater danger and actually makes us LESS safe.

  78. Some years back I carried either my single stack HK P7PSP 9mm, or a Walther single stack P5 9mm. I was very fond of both pistols and shot them well. I would usually have a spare magazine in my pocket. Later I went to a high capacity HK USP 9mm. I love the gun and find it easy to shoot well and easy to conceal with the right holster.

    In the past two years however I went to the HK 45C. A single stack .45 that is accurate, reliable and easy to conceal. I have confidence that I will hit my intended target and that the .45 Hydroshocks will do their job.I still carry a spare magazine. Their is much to be said about the usefulness of a high capacity pistol, but confidence in your firearm and the ability to use it well carries a lot of weight in choosing a carry piece.

    The best defense possible is to avoid bad situations. Stay out of known trouble areas and you’re far better off than ever having to draw your weapon to protect your life. A good article by the way.

  79. I always carry a Kahr 9mm in my pocket & when in my car, I add an XD-9 with 18 rd mag. I prefer quantity. My son says that if U can’t drop ’em in 1 or 2 shots that U shouldn’t be carrying anyhow. Well, some just ain’t gonna drop with 1 or 2 shots. My main objective is personal protection & if needed, enough to eliminate the threat. I’m looking at a 45 just to have for home defense, but for general carry & self-defense, I’m going with my 9mm. And I love having one in my pocket. Big isn’t always better, & if U do your job….the ammo & gun will do the rest.

  80. @ bob: This is in response to your reply to ss1 on page 1. I truly made an attempt to refrain from commenting because I don’t want to appear antagonistic. However, had you only offered your opinion without official credentials I might have been able to dismiss your comments and move on; but I feel you do this forum a great disservice when you “preface” your comments with authoritative prefix, and then go on to advocate a concept that flies in the face of all we in law enforcement have ever been taught.

    It is not my intention to offend, but for you to have been in law enforcement for 30 years as you claim and yet opine in defiance of the most principled concepts within conflict engagements involving the use of deadly force, is simply irresponsible.

    I don’t know what they’ve been teaching over there at the Chicago PD, but I would suspect it is not too much of a departure from the rest of the Nation’s police training and tactics. That being – one of the most consistent elements of training throughout all law enforcement is sustainability during a gunfight. And to do so would require weapons that support the largest capacity magazines available to law enforcement.

    So while my combined military and law enforcement training and experience stems from 32 years on the federal side of government, I have worked on enough local multi-agency taskforces to know capacity is a consistently trained piece of knowledge throughout most police departments.

    Such a lesson resonated across all law enforcement agencies back in 1986 after the deadly Miami shootout between seven FBI agents that were outgunned by high capacity weapons used by just two bank robbers. This single tragic event that took the lives of two agents, crippled three, and severely injured two more – forced the change in law enforcement weaponry to from revolvers to higher capacity magazine automatics across the entire Nation and made that event part of most academy textbook training regardless of the agency.

    I could go into officially documented hit versus miss scenarios, shot placement, ballistics gel tests, and caliber variations… but none of that matters when there is one inarguable conclusion: Under any circumstance inside or outside of law enforcement, in life in general, where a decision of quantity becomes a question, “MORE” will always be the better answer. So when a particular class of weapons platform offers “MORE” rounds than another, that does in-fact make it superior.

    1. G-Man I either missed or was too busy to remember Bob’s comment on page 1, so thanks for bringing this up.

      I don’t care about Bob’s Chicago PD mumbo jumbo. He simply is using faulty logic. Yes it’s important to make the first 2 bullets count, but it’s a dynamic situation and you don’t know where it’s going (like a home invasion with multiple intruders), so I’m not going to load 8 in my 15 round mag because Bob thinks it’s not proper….haha!!

  81. In response to Frank Latham, your observations are well grounded. However “the laws of physics” you mention are the laws supreme when referring to inanimate objects; breathing critters are an all together different ballgame. As I mentioned earlier, without a hit that severs the central nervous system connection; “stopping” an aggressor is the result of one of five factors. Exsanguination, physical disruption of a supporting skeletal structure which impedes mobility, damage to a major organ that causes a disruption to oxygenated blood to critical organs causing them to shut down, pain tolerance, and mind set. Now although exsanguination refers to bleeding that occurs to the outside of the body, the factor that causes the disruption to oxygenated blood I mention is really just internal bleeding, possibly accompanied by catastrophic damage to the heart, lungs, or liver. Either of these will cause a “stop” eventually. Skeletal damage causes pain and mobility issues. Pain can be over come by the mind. People have been known to drag themselves quit some distance with three destroyed limbs. Fear, which can heavily influence the setting in of shock, can also be controlled by the mind. Blood loss is the main cause of shock, but mental toughness can help slow down the onset of shock. To sum it up, other than CNS disruption, all other methods to generate a “stop” take time! Some as quick as seven to ten seconds and others several minutes. Assuming your adversary (and we are also assuming there is only one) is armed with a firearm; How many rounds can he or she get off in 10 seconds? There are great self defense rounds on the market. You mention one in Hornady’s Critical Defense ammunition. The three hits you mention represent 20% of a 15 round magazine! My point was simply that a person with a tough mental attitude and determination can absorb a lot of damage, before they cease being a threat. Given all that along with possibility of multiple attackers, having more ammo on hand to increase the damage and facilitate the bleeding is a stance that is very hard to argue against.

    1. In response to Edgar G. I understand the point you are making relative to inanimate objects however when mass meets opposing mass, energy is released, and with these respective rounds, a good deal of energy. The round I mention has a tendency to tumble creating a lot of damage to the aggressor. It is talent, and good luck to hit spots you mention as well. The extreme pain and blood loss definitely will have greater impact on the individual. Would this also not be true given significant muscle tearing and probable small bone breakage? We both realize there is a great difference in the forearm, and the chest or calf and thigh. With no real experience in this arena, would the larger muscle tear also bring on shock much more quickly? As I am certain you know when defending your family, every shot counts whether one or multiple aggressors.

  82. I’m a believer in Hi Cap side arms. More is better on most levels. From a purely personal perspective I’m not a fan of The Glock product line. Its a matter of an uncomfortable fit for my hand nothing more. I understand that others have the same issues. The Springfield XD’s and XDm’s however are very comfortable and have been my choice since the first .40 compact XD I used. I’ve added to the compact with an XD in .45, an XDm Tactical in .40. It’s all about personal choice when all is said and done, what anyone else may say might be helpful but in the end … don’t mean a thing. The receiver of the output of the business of ones personal choice certainly doesn’t care what that choice is! That your choice served you better at the moment of crossed paths than their choice did gift them is the only defining factor I’d think. It’s not about Glock, or XD, 1911 or any other of the many fine products in existence .
    It’s really about what you have to do in the first second of a bad situation with your first two shots and how well you can do it with the choice you made when it counts so you make it to the next second. That’s what I think matters. As to the rest, like the old saying . . .”don’t mean nothing, just doesn’t matter”. You all be safe out there.

    1. I am guessing, since you don’t like Glocks because they don’t feel right in your hand, that you have not shot a GEN 4 with the changable backstrap. My Glock is the most comfortable gun I have ever handled.

    2. Yes this is true Craig. My Gen4 feels the same way. I placed the medium backstrap on mine, and it actually helps me shoot it more steadily than my Gen3 and my Berretta.

      I really should have brought this up last week when some other guy on another CTD article kept repeating over and over about Glocks having crappy ergonomics.

    3. Thanks for your reply, glad we cleared that up. My Glock 17 is my favorite gun, but at 5’6 and 150 pounds it is just too big to carry concealed.

    4. Actually Craig, you guessed wrong. I had hoped for a fundamental change with the Gen 4 and I have given a friends a workout at the range and although it’s an improvement there is still something not quite right in how its seats in my hand. At this point it may be my preconceived perception as I have never found a Glock to be “comfortable” in my hand. I’ll give it a few more try’s yet in case I’m wrong. The XD’s also have these interchangeable backstraps and I use the “medium” one. I think the XD’s came out with this mod before Glock did. I’m not exactly sure what it is that is different between the two lower shapes exactly. There is a “sharpness” in the heal of the hand and “pinched” sensation in the thumb web that I find with the Glock frame that isn’t there with the XD’s. I don’t think that Glock has bad ergonomics at all. They simply just don’t do well in my hand. I appreciate everyone’s loyalty to the Glock for reasons both real and precived. I’m sure that it serves most end users quite well, just as my XD’s have served me. So, I’m sorry but I’m still not and likly never will be a Glock camp follower. The several Glocks I do own will remain for others to use. My girlfriend has glommed on to my 17 and prefers it but she also likes her .44 bulldog too, a wheel gun that I find very uncomfortable to shoot which she finds very funny! There you are, different hands different perceptions. At some point I’ll get out the micrometers and maybe have the two lowers 3d scanned and blueprinted to see where this difference really lies. Actual design or my hand/head connection. Now that I’m thinking about it, I wonder if it may be more to do with weight, balance and center of balance more than shape ergonomics? I hadn’t given this a great deal of thought beyond it being “not comfortable”. Time to find out the why’s of this.

  83. I own a Kahr CW45. It is smaller and lighter than my .22 Sig Sauer.I keep it loaded with185 grain JHP, that small of a gun has alot of recoil with the more common 230 grain rounds. It holds six in the magazine and it fits in my pocket.

  84. I carry a glock 22 in a thumb break style holster. This was and is my first gun not my first experience with guns by no means. I have gone to ranges and practiced drawing with it I feel comfortable with the 15 round magazine and one in the chamber. I have had to pull it out a handfull of times to stop an incedent and or correct someones attitude but have not had to fire it in defense yet. I was torn for so long on revolver or pistol but when it came down to price beat out alot of the larger framed guns.

  85. I’ve been looking at the Sig P250 compact 45cal. What’s your thoughts on the weapon. I’ve always loved the 45, shoot it a good bit in military. I mostly carry a 22 snub in pocket. let me know about the P250. Thanks, Rod

  86. I Carry a G17 G3. I found Edgar’s remarks regarding the determined aggressor quite interesting. I simply ask the question because of my novitiate status. A determined aggressor is able to push himself forward regardless of the laws of physics? My G17 carries only Hornady Critical Defense where a 45ACP may carry the same manufacture style from Hornady. Considering a hit to the same location by either bullet the physical energy released by the 45 is superior to the 9mm even though they will both do great damage because of design. Assume an aggressor is hit by 2-3 rounds of either load is there not a significant chance that this aggressor will drop? I have a hard time with mind over physics considering the arms. I do agree that the aggressor may be temporarily stopped, and push forward more slowly as movement increases damage. I would find it difficult to accept that an aggressor could continue with the same vigor.
    Thanks. I appreciate any feedback, and enjoy reading these well thought comments.

  87. I carry a glock 27 in summer with the mag extension I feel I have much better control. In the winter I carry my HK USP compact I carry the glock with iwb and the HK with a fobus retention my wife carries a sw mp 40 we use 180 grain hollows in all 3 weapons we carry a 40 for a few reasons the biggest is the splits the difference between the 9 mm and a 45 you have higher capacity than a 45 and a larger round than the 9

  88. always felt that if I could not stop anything with my 5 shot 357 or 7 shot 45, I sure would not want to be there to begin with. remember DON’T shoot till you see the whites of there eyes.

  89. I choose to put concealability ahead of firepower so I carry a single stack mini 9mm. Use of the newer hollow point bullets makes up for much of the difference between the 9mm and the 40 cal with much less recoil. That’s important for guys like me who get limited practice with their weapon of choice.

  90. My personal sidearm is a Sarsilmaz K2 that holds 14 rounds of .45acp. It is a beast of a sidearm weighing in at 40ozs unloaded. Wide grip with double stacked mags and a steel frame. I will never own anything else for personal carry unless I’m carrying concealed. I would suggest picking one up for anyone who wants the best of both worlds

  91. The writer has impressive credentials and a solid background. He also has an obvious predilection for SIG firearms. Although there is extensive discussion regarding how much ammo is enough, in reality it’s fairly simple. Trained law enforcement types involved in shootings miss the target close to 80% of the time. Statistical research substantiates this beyond any doubt. Unless we are talking central nervous system hits, one shot stops depend heavily on the mindset of the perp. A determined aggressor will keep pressing the attack despite being hit two or three times. At times they will not even be aware they have been hit. More ammo is better, plain and simple.

    1. I agree Edgar. That’s why I’ll take my Glock 20 over a 1911 any day of the week.

    2. Edgar, isn’t it nice that we still have the freedom of self-protection and the incredible choices of the means to do it?

  92. I own an old S&W model 60, 2 Glocks (17 and 22), and a RIA Tac-II MS 1911A1. The one I carry the most is the .38, usually with 2 extra speedloaders in my pocket, but I have, on occasion, carried the Glock 22 in a Blackhawk Serpa holster. Most of the time the .40 Glock is in the top drawer of my garage workbench, the 9mm Glock, which is equipped with a CT laser, is in the nightstand next to the bed, and the 1911 is in the drawer of the table next to my recliner in the family room. All four weapons feel good in my hand, which was the primary purchase consideration. The most important piece of advice I’ve ever read (on this forum, I think) is NEVER go into an area with a gun that you wouldn’t go into without a gun.

    Great article, as usual, Bob. I don’t think I’ve ever run across anyone on this forum that I wouldn’t want to have my back, regardless of what their weapon of choice is.

    1. I carry the glock 22 also so and have the Blackhawk serpa holster and I love it feels great easy to draw with the simple press of the button

  93. I like both wheel guns and auto’s. Wheel guns in .38/.357, autos in 9mm. I will carry a revolver around town generally 5 or6 shoot, on trips a 9. Mag capacity varies, some have dbl stacks others single, I worry more about having spares w/me than # of rounds in each. I’ll even carry a .22 auto from time to time. Light and easy to hide and handle, better than nothing. I train with all my guns often, with my family. Know your gun and do the best you can if the need comes up.

  94. I had a very interesting exchange with a gentleman on another thread on this forum a couple of days ago about Murphy’s Law.
    In Aug of 92 my partner and friend,along with another officer were shot, with my partner being killed, by a mentally challegened 16 yr old with a single shot break action 20ga using low brass 7 1/2 shot.
    There were so many things that went wrong in those few minutes that I( still) wonder if some days the entire universe just says “f•ck it, lets blow some peoples minds”…
    Those two officers, between them, had over 70 YEARS Law Enforcement experience.
    Well armed,well trained and highly experienced, yet a punk who couldnt write his own name took a piece of crap gun and some cheap shells and wiped the floor.
    The list of other things that shouldnt have happened but did reads like a true ” comedy of errors” but there wasnt a dam•ed thing funny about any of it.
    Point is, no matter what you do, how you train or equip yourself,or what you prefer to use,the other guy only has to get it right once but you have to get it right every single time.
    Y’all Be Safe.

  95. Bob,
    What a pleasure to read such a great piece of writing! Even better the comments reflect the line of reasoning and logic. A pleasure indeed.
    There are so many factors to consider when one considers the handgun. In no perticular order one might include, operational enviroment, target specifications, engagement envelope, weight, caliber, platform type, material of composition, size, how its to be carried and so forth. There are other considerations to consider such as type of munitions, effective range and so on.
    If I understand the basic tenant you put forth here, it’s that the choice(s) one makes are their own and should fit each individual to their requirments You take the additional step, ( and I belive this to be the important point and often overlooked) you streanthen that tenant by making the decision and choice an informed and educated one. Not just cause it holds lots of bullits, or is light weight, or pretty. But by what as a tool it will be required to accomplish. I agree. For every job their is a specific set of tools, one must find that tool that works to their best advantage, and provide optimum proformance within its operational envelope per the demands one places on it.
    I have never been a Glock, Sig, or Baretta fan for service sidearms. My evolution went from the issue .38 S&W revolver to a .357. Followed by several 1911’s in .45APC, culminating in a early Bill Wilson Combat that my dad had made for me just before I went to Vietnam. It went thru several modifications over the years uncluding a threaded barrel, better low light sights, better grips, polished and stoned and served me for many years until it was retired. I had also been issued a P-35 Browning 9mm Hi-Power which is the only service handgun that has stayed with me regardless of others I have carried over the years. To me its the one that’s “perfect” every time. I can’t say enough about the XD and XDm series. I lean heavly towards the .40 cal offerings but have loaded out with the .45 on occasion. They fit well in my hand, operation is flawless and surpurb, they are simple to operate and maintain. Each comes with everything you need to be operational the moment you open the box. The are excellent service sidearms for a relatively inexpensive cost. None of those I have carried have ever let me down at a critical moment. I was gifted some years ago in the Middle East of a Baby Desert Eagle Compact in .40. 10 round magazine, all steel, DA made by IMI Ltd. It may be the most accurate .40 compact in the world, this one certenly has my vote. When home, it is a constant companion. One gets used to the heavier weight and I like it in a cross draw carry. Its out of the box tollarances, accucwry and operation rank within the top three compacts available in the world from my point of view.
    There are others, for other purposes from just fun to protection…. A Taraus in .41 Mag or my Ruger .454 for fishing trips in the north country. The Ruger mkII, A PMR30 and a Judge .45LC/.410 in the boat emergency kit. Aldo a fairly new Ruger 22/45 ultralight in .22LR. Loaded it weighs 1lb , 3.4oz!! With the Outback II can threaded on its just 1lb, 7.2oz !!
    Sorry, the point here is simply my support for this well stated position you have kindly provided . It’s always a pleasure to find that your own views have a footing and foundation beyond your own thoughts and considerations. Pete sends …

  96. G-Man,of course any gun can jam,even revolvers.
    24 yrs ago,when I became a cop,I purchased a Sig 220, and , as near as an old guys memory can serve, Ive had two failures to function, and one of those was due to a Ball round seating all the way down in the case.
    On the flip side, my Dept went to the G21 in 2004,and issued the Gen 4 a few months ago.Ive had several failures,some of which I attribute to the requirement that the Dept armorer be the only one to break down the slide with its weird set up to be able to clean the firing pin face.
    Its a matter of taste, as in religion, politics, dogs, knives or guns.I have preferences that no amount of facts or presentations or arguments will change.
    I even purchased my Gen 3 when we changed over.
    I still prefer my Sig, even if it only has 8 rds.
    I also swear by Springfield Rifles, Cold Steel knives and German Shepherd Dogs even though I am 100% certain somebody will “just know” there are better choices.But when I go in harms way,I want what I want and feel comfortable with.

    1. I was recovering from a surgery so I had time to watch all of the Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman trail live every day. I do not recall the type of ammo load Zimmerman used as ever being a point of interest presented by the prosecution. Now it is entirely possible I missed that part so please correct me if I’m wrong. I now wonder if the outcome would have been any different had the prosecution focused on that. She seemed to be more interested in his intent as a wannabe cop. Anyone care to weigh in?

      @ Flick: 32 years and counting in law enforcement here. I have to say I can’t argue with you there. I’ve seen so many changes over the years – everything from weaver to isosceles, .45 to 9mm then to .40. Body armor has lost so much weight over the years that it would be a winner on The Biggest Loser. I don’t even want to get started on sensitivity training, investigative techniques, Intel, and the many changes to team tactics training.

      So now I’m waiting for them to say we have to do breaths again along with chest compressions during CPR. Between all the mandatory update training and changes, somewhere a guy (or gal) has to stick with certain acquired preferences they’ve accumulated over the years. So I’m with you on that.

      By the way, you’d be correct in your choice of Shepherd and Cold Steel.

    2. @ Flick: Sorry, that first paragraph in my last post to you was meant for another CTD article. Please disregard. Thanks.

  97. Glock vs 1911….Glock wins because it holds way more bullets. There is nothing magical about a 1911 that makes it worth this disadvantage. That’s why I own Glocks.

    1. Before retiring a year ago I was a police officer for 30 years. Nine of those years were spent in patrol in the Chicago area before being made detective. My assigned duties for the remaining 21 years included 8 years investigating violent crimes, 6 years investigating officer-involved shootings, 4 years in gang crimes/narcotics, and 3 years chasing firearms traffickers.
      I mention all that as a preface to disagreeing with ss1. Almost without exception every shooting I ever investigated where a shooter- civilian or police- was armed with a pistol with a high cap mag the first rounds a shooter fired were ineffective “spray and pray” shots. The number of “spray and pray” shots varied. Sometimes it was 3 or 4 and other times it was more then 10. I can recall several incidents where the shooter ran his high cap pistol dry without even coming close to hitting his target. Two of those incidents stand out in my memory because the shooters were both trained SWAT team members and were considered expert shots. One even competed successfully in IPSC and PPC shoots.
      In contrast, those shootings where a shooter was limited to 5, 6, or 8 shots one of two things occurred. Either that shooter won the fight (stopped another shooter) or they lost the fight (was stopped) while they still had rounds available. I honestly believe that having “way more bullets” available before reloading is an actual detriment for the vast majority of people.
      I’m not suggesting anyone should switch from a high cap pistol to a two shot derringer, just that no one should think having more rounds available makes one handgun superior to another. The only shots that count are the ones that hit.

    2. 15 years ago I was involved in the investigation of an on-duty shooting. An individual on the run tried to set up a Sheriff’s Deputy at a local big box store. He got two uniformed patrol officers instead. he decided to flee on foot. One of the officers pursued. The subject shot two rounds from a Glock 17 under his arm as he ran. He struck the pursuing officer twice in the chest. The officer was wearing a vest. The officer returned fire as he dropped to the ground. The officer unloaded 14 rounds, Hydroshock, from his Glock 22, striking the subject twice. The subject died at the scene. The officer lived and we are both preparing for retirement in the next 2 to 4 years.

      Another co-worker responded to a Wal-Mart for a call of a stabbing with the suspect still in the store. A nutcase stabbed an employee. The officer entered the store and shot the suspect once, center mass, using a Glock 21 loaded with HST, when he approached her and failed to follow directions to drop the knife. He dropped and was transported to the hospital. He survived the shooting only to die a couple weeks later because the wound became infected while he was in the county prison and he failed to notify anyone until it was too late.

      My reason for posting this is that when it comes down to it many shootings come down to luck. You can spray and pray or you can crack one dead center. You can take a lucky shot or be practiced. You can have hi-cap or not, you can have big caliber or not. “Just have”. Carry something you’re comfortable wand practiced with. I don’t care if it’s a Kimber or a Kel Tec. Carry something.

      I’ve got two 1911s in 45 acp and three Glocks (21,30 & 36) in 45 acp. I carry based on what I’m doing and where I’m going.

      Carry what you know and what you are comfortable with.

    3. A short time after the shooting at the big box store we switched from the G22 to the G21 for patrol officers and to the G30 for plain clothes.

    4. Shootings “CAN” come down to luck.

      Mis-typed the earlier comment and there’s not Edit option once posted.

    5. Yeah, who wants a 1911 anyway? They’ve only been reliably defending people from aggressors and killing them dead for over 100 years.

    6. Chris your point holds no weight. All guns do that. Hope you’re happy with your 8 or 9 bullets dude.

    7. All guns will NOT do that as reliably well as a 1911, particularly with only one hit.. And unless you hit what you shoot at, a whole fist full of rounds won’t do you much good “dude”!
      Let me ask you a real simple question and see if you can get any point other than the one on top of your head “dude”.
      Why do you think that so many of our soldiers, particularly special opps, have gone back to using a 1911 and many of it’s variants in a combat zone, rather than the issue Berettas with twice the magazine capacity :dude”?

    8. Hey DUDE, 1911’s are NOT more reliable than Glocks or most any other guns just because YOU say so DUDE. I’m going to carry my Glock 20 Gen4 with pride and confidence know I have 16 rounds. You can live in your little 1911 fantasy land DUDE. Oh they sure are perty little guns aren’t they DUDE. Maybe you caress it at night Chrissy Boy. But it only holds 8 or 9 bullets DUDE.

      You can quote all the special ops stats you want, but you’re just a poster on an internet forum and you probably play a special ops game in your mom’s basement DUDE.

  98. To me, the first question is “What caliber can you handle well in a stress-filled moment when your life or someone else’s life is on the line?” From this launching point you can now begin to explore your options which become quite personal. A 9mm in +P+ has some pretty intersesting stats; so does the 40 S&W, but can you handle the snappy recoil? The 45 is a lovely manstopper at 230 gr HP whether it emanates from a big Beretta, Springfield XDm or the small XDs …any of which can be learned to be handled with practice. So find the caliber you can shoot well under stress, then buy the small version for concealmernt, the bigger model to go on an extended hike, and the big high capacity for the home invasion. Then practice, practice, practice…

  99. Bob, my personal choice is 230 g Black Talon 45 Super or my 460 Rowland 185 g JHP for personal defense round in my 1911 A-1. I also have a 38 Super Remington 130 g+ P JHP which I use as my back up 1911 A-1. My magazine are 10 round and with 4 spare mags on my hip and one mag in the 1911 A-1 I can carry lots of fire power when needed.

  100. Rural home or farm of course nothing less than Lake City Nato in a light AR with minor attachments and 30 rnd mag.
    Why LC NATO rnds; Because body armor is cheap and even trauma plates readily available.
    30 rnd mags because of the raise in number of the smash and crash entry teams and being rural the thefts of farm equipment and whole
    households electronics means multiple perps .
    A very close friend once came hometo see a small u- haul in his driveway and after dumping family off down the road and calling cops, he returned to assault his own home with his 45 and the Marlin camp 45 from his trunk, because the county cops had to finish their pizza before coming.
    Look, as article says, no one wants to get in a shootout, but that does not mean you will neve be in one; Having multiple rounds could give you fire
    suppression during those initial seconds of an assault by multiple
    Another factor being that on your ranch or farm they may not all be
    standing side by side. And you may want to keep them down as you
    Attempt to leave danger zone
    Then there is a tactic that demands you push the assault upon them by
    As to your small or damned near any revolver why does no one poin t out
    that most people, even trained, during stress hold high on the weapon, causing misses even at very short range, but many small semis grips cause same bad form and give ya slide bite of hammer cloutMid size thin 1911 perfect design except for rnd count but spare mags to go!
    As to semi autos why no mention of target ballistics if pistol held sidewards( GANG BANGER ) which is not at all uncommon under stress.
    Of course I am too stupid to pass the numerical test so was just wondering.

  101. Well,a gun with a 50 rd magazine that jams after one shot is pretty much a boat anchor while one that carries 7 in the mag and fires all of them reliably is a better choice, yes?

    1. @ Flick: …Unless it jams too. Any gun can jam; and every gun has, or will eventually. I say the more rounds the better regardless of the weapon’s platform. Sure one should always chose a personal defense weapon with a proven standard of reliability, but that should be combined with avid training that also includes Immediate Action Drills. Training for a weapon’s malfunction is every bit as essential as target training. Stay well.

  102. Bob, Your piece about speaks for itself. Personnel choice. I carry a G36 with Hydro-Shok, my choice. I carry it for one thing defensive actions against threats to me. I have no intention of inserting myself into a multi-person gun fight that is for the cops and swats. If I could save someone else’s life under the same conditions that I feel I have to be prepared to handle I would intercede. The basic reason for me to be armed is to protect myself and family. I am looking at because they are fun to shoot on a range and higher capacity’s just offer me the advantage of reloading mag’s. less. Having first hand experience as what a .45 does to the body makes me feel it offers a one shot KD. Thank you for all your good info. J.

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