If you plan to use any handgun for self defense, take a basic handgun course before you purchase your handgun. That will answer many of the basic questions you have. After you get comfortable with your handgun in the range take a personal defense course, because ultimately, how you react in the time of crisis...
Best answer: If you plan to use any handgun for self defense, take a basic handgun course before you purchase your handgun. That will answer many of the basic questions you have. After you get comfortable with your handgun in the range take a personal defense course, because ultimately, how you react in the time of crisis will dictate how effective your handgun is. You can have the most powerful handgun in the world (one that might even "blow your head clean off"), but it is useless unless you can hit your target in a life or death situation.
You need to stop thinking about "lethality" and think about the "stopping" an attack. .22LR (according to some articles) kills more people than any other caliber in the US. The problem is that death is often by bleeding out or some other slow factor and can take minutes. It doesn't stop a determined attacker. .22LR has poor penetration and small would channel.
In addition to snub nose revolvers, pocket pistols tend to range from .32 ACP to .380 ACP. Most compact 9mm Luger and higher power cartridge pistols are a little too big for your average pocket. Even in your pocket, you must have a holster that covers the trigger for safety for any handgun. Many negligent discharges, some resulting in fatalities occur from improperly carried firearms. You may think shooting yourself in the leg may be non-lethal, but hit your femoral artery and you will likely bleed out before EMTs can get to you.
I have an instructor who carried .32 ACP Kel-Tec because it was so easy to keep in the pocket and he felt with his training and proficiency, he could put every round on target. Personally, I often carry a .380 ACP in the summer with shorts, etc. In the winter I more often carry 9mm Luger or .45 ACP. .380 ACP is a marginal round. If you use an expanding bullet, it may not penetrate optimally. When I carry the .380 ACP (or whatever I am carrying), I generally take it to the range and train more than just slow fire at a stationary target to minimize ME as the reason for a failure to stop.
I prefer the semi-auto .380 over .snub nose .38 special +P because it is easier to conceal and faster to reload and for whatever reason, I can shoot more accurately. A .38 special +P load with a 158 gr LSWCHP bullet will probably beat anything available for .380 acp, in terms of wound channel size and penetration.
2 days ago