When it comes to picking a self-defense round, the age-old debate of 9mm vs 45 ACP instantly comes to mind. I’m almost certain there are a few guys already rushing down to the comments section defending their carry round. I’m sure you’re probably wondering where this is going so I’ll give you some background on how this article came into existence. Earlier in the week, I was checking out a local gun shop, keeping my 6ft distance, and managed to hear an older man tell a young woman she needs to carry a 22 LR pistol for self defense. The guys behind the gun counter as well as myself all immediately had a confused look at his caliber choice as an adequate round.
Now don’t get me wrong this wouldn’t have been that odd of a story because let’s face it, people make stupid comments all day every day. What really took this encounter to the next level is when he started talking about his own carry piece. I was in complete disbelief when this guy pulled out a Smith & Wesson 617 revolver. For those of you who don’t know what a 617 is, it’s a 10-shot 6″ barreled .22 LR revolver weighing in at 44 oz. I have never been in such disbelief before because of someone’s carry gun, so let’s jump into why it’s important to have adequate stopping power when carrying a concealed firearm.
Important Factors to Consider
There are a number of things to consider when looking at a concealed carry firearm from weight and size to caliber and shootablity. Probably one of the most important factors when looking at what round to carry is your ability to manage recoil. There’s a huge difference in recoil management in a large man compared to a smaller stature elderly woman. Everyone is different when it comes to size, ability, and what fits their needs best. There are a number of great choices whether it’s something like a micro-compact handgun to a full-size duty pistol, there are plenty of options on the market in various calibers.
As a general rule, most would agree that 380 Auto is the smallest round you’d want to use in a self-defense situation. In terms of energy transfer and stopping power, it’s fairly agreed upon that you shouldn’t go below a 380 Auto as a general rule. Now there are always exceptions and it’s not out of the ordinary that elderly individuals will carry a 22 LR because that’s all they can handle in terms of recoil and chambering a round before going out in public. The most important thing is to be armed in a situation and if that’s all you can handle because of arthritis or injury, then that’s what it needs to be.
Advances In Technology
The great thing about ammunition companies pushing the boundaries of various calibers, we now really do have the technology to improve energy transfer and create a more effective round at stopping the threat. 9mm as a whole has been improved significantly in terms of ballistics and energy transfer to the point where departments are switching back from 40 S&W to 9mm due to comparable velocity and energy transfer numbers. Combine that with cost savings and you’re starting to see 9mm become a real powerhouse in terms of effectiveness and affordability in training.
Don’t worry though, I definitely have not forgotten about MUH 1911 guys either! With all the new advancements in bullet technology, the 45 ACP in both 185 gr and 230 gr have increased in velocities and energy transfer in offerings by companies like Hornady and Federal. I took some 230 gr Federal Hydra Shok from 1991 and compared it to a box that was produced in September of 2019. I grabbed the chronograph and after 20 rounds of each batch, there was about a 12% increase from the older rounds. So when you’re sitting around with friends, you can claim that you have 7-8 mini nuclear bombs packed inside your gun because technology has improved them!
Choosing the Correct Handgun/Ammo Combination
Over the last 5 years, there has been a tremendous amount of new carry guns to come onto the market making it easier to carry an adequate powered round daily. Some guns like the Glock 43, SIG P365, and Springfield Armory Hellcat have let people carry a ton of firepower in a smaller package. Smith and Wesson also came out with EZ grip 380 Auto and 9mm variants making it easier for people to chamber the first round.
The beauty of all these innovative guns is the fact people can stop carrying older .25 Auto and .32 Auto pocket guns, and instead get something just as compact with more capabilities. This is why testing out your carry ammo is vital especially for individuals who may not have great recoil management but want to carry. With the selection of low power to +P+ rounds, there’s a self-defense round out there for nearly anyone.
After sitting down and really thinking about what the elderly man said about 22LR is utter insanity to me. Carrying a revolver that’s heavier than a steel 1911 chambered in 22LR is not only a poor choice it’s borderline reckless. Thankfully though there has been an overwhelming number of new concealed carry options available on the market today. This makes sure anyone can find the perfect carry gun for their needs without putting themselves at danger.
Whether it’s carrying a smaller gun with more effective self-defense rounds or carrying your favorite classics with updated self-defense hollow points, it gives people a better chance at defending themselves. Let me know what you think about ammo selection and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the old man’s carry choice in the comments below. If you have any questions please feel free to shoot me a message on my Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.