Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lethality vs. Stopping Power, 3

Continued from "Lethality vs. Stopping Power, 2"

I have known of police officers who carried .357 magnum revolvers or .40 S&W autoloaders as their sidearms who also carried a .380 (or smaller!) caliber handgun as a backup. They somehow think that if they couldn't get the job done with 6 (or 12) rounds of .357, that the .380 is waiting in the wings to save the day.

To me, this seems backwards. If my large caliber primary weapon could not stop an adversary, I think I'd want something even larger as my backup. Just my opinion. Maybe it's that a Ruger Super Redhawk makes too big a bulge in an ankle holster.


Caleb said...

The main problem with carrying a gun is bulk. Sure for home defense you can have a .44 mag or anything else you want, but for carrying every day its a different story. Yes, a bigger gun would stop a criminal better than a smaller one, but not if you left it home because it is too much of a hassle to carry down to the corner convenience store. I would rather have a .380 with me than a .44 at home.

Gravelbelly said...

Although I was specifically addressing a practice by police officers, your observation with reference to civilian carry is apt.

Question: is your major concern bulk ("spatial dimension") or weight?

Caleb said...

Both weight and size are problems. If it is too big it is hard to conceal and if it is too heavy you feel it and get tired of carrying it. Also, ease of carry is a major concern. I don't want to have to put on a shoulder holster every time I go out. I prefer the pocket carry. Size would keep a gun out of your pocket and weight would cause your pocket to sag and become uncomfortable.

Hey, thanks for the great blog!

Gravelbelly said...

Have you read my post, "Point Shooting Aid"? The Clipdraw eliminates the bulk which a holster adds to the concealed carry problem.

I can slip my government model inside my waistband & it's not only secure, it's virtually invisible to an observer. Although I know it's there, the weight difference -- to me -- feels negligible.

At $20, the Clipdraw is cheaper than a good concealed-carry holster, and (imho) more useful.

Thanks to you & all the other great people who encourage me by coming here to read.

Emil Bandy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emil Bandy said...

Just FYI, but large cal. and firepower doesn't necessarily always equal bulk, or weight. See Here:

My personal opinion is that I wouldn't carry anything under a .40 cal. in Semi. and .357 mag in revolver... but that's just my opinion, Aslo, yes, it is correct, that depending upon the weapon, you might have to change the method of carry, and maybe even the clothes you wear. As far as the 'hassle' part... well... don't take this in a wrong way, but I'd personally say that unless someone is willing to deal with the hassle, then they might want to reassess why they are carrying in the first place. Carrying is a lifestyle, not a hobby.

Again, just so ya'll know, that wasn't meant in a accusing or offending way.... just my opinion, with the reasons why explained.

Gravelbelly said...

Emil, your choice of calibers appeals to me. One thing, though. I do not recommend you judge another man's level of commitment by the gear he chooses.

My barber, for example, is the most dedicated pistolero I know, and if it were not for him, I wouldn't even know I was a sheepdog.

Moreover, he's a great fan of large bore weapons (.45-70, .45 Long Colt, and 10 guage shotgun, to name a few). Yet, there are times and circumstances in which I've known him to carry only his
S&W Airweight (.38 cal).

Still, in a real showdown, I'd trust my back to him with his .38 more than I would most guys who carry hand cannons.

In a similar vein, some guys like Krav Maga, while I like WWII combatives. But when you're fighting for your life, more depends on your heart than on your style.

Gun, knife or empty hand, it all goes back to character. And don't forget that what ties us together is not that we agree about our choices of gear or technique. Our unity lies in the calling of God to serve Christ, our King.

From that perspective, I trust that you & Caleb are a lot more alike than either of you thinks.

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. said...

The post was good here, but the comments are even better!


Emil Bandy said...

Caleb and Gravelbelly:

I apologize if my comment was viewed in that light, as I said in the previous comment, it is only my personal preference to carry a large caliber weapon, and I would never allow that to interfere (and never have) with my relationship with another person.

Again, I apologize, and again, the comment was not meant in any accusing or offending way.

Caleb said...

Hey, Emil. No offense taken here. I appreciate your comments. I looked at the picture of the gun you gave the link to. Looks good. I will have to check it out sometime.

Gravelbelly, I think the clipdraw is a cool device. I haven't seen it before and I think I will have to try it out.

And I definitely think that the mindset and ability to respond quickly and well to a situation are far more important than the weapon chosen.

And, lastly, it truly is God who watches over us and keeps us safe when unarmed or when surrounded by a regimen of armed friends.

Gravelbelly said...

(Single tear rolls dramatically down one cheek)

"It's a Kodak moment." Proud to have you both on our side.

The Black Knight said...

I can't remember all the details so I will try to give a summary of a true story I read in one of my fathers gun magazines.

A lone sheriff and his deputy knew that the KKK were planning a parade in their hometown, they agreed to let the parade take place but on the condition that no one in the parade wear a mask. That way if violence broke out they would know who to blame. Parade day came, along with lots of bad guys wearing masks. During the confrontation between the sheriff and the klan leaders, the sheriff was tackled and shot. The deputy was surrounded and his right arm pinned by several men at once so he could not access his main gun, however he was able to access his smaller concealed .38 with his left hand and turn the tide.

If my memory serves me correctly, he was able to access it for two reasons. 1 it was small enough to conceal and the bad guys didn't even know he had it. 2 it was set up to draw with the left hand and the bad guys were not expecting this.

Food for thought.

Gravelbelly said...

This is one of those exceptions that proves the rule. Thanks for posting it.

Also, think about the tactical errors here. Why, in a situation in which the officers judged a high probability of violence, did neither of them have a weapon drawn in the midst of a "confrontation."

Weapon of choice in this case would be a pump shotgun. The click-clack of chambering a round will get a crowd's attention right now.

Still, stuff happens, and it's good the deputy had a hideout gun.

dlr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dlr said...

I don't believe the handgun I currently have (SA XD-45 Service) would be a good match for the clip-draw.

I too favor big bore autos but I would be comfortable carrying a.38 snubbie or less... somethin' beats nothin'!

From what I've read, knockdown power is very rarely the deciding factor in a firefight. The first well placed shot usually is... emphasis on well placed.

Also, refer to Gravelbelly's gun-in-hand comment. It's hard to out-draw a man already pointing a gun at you.