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2/4/2018 12:42 AM
I carry my Walther PPS with only 7+1 and no spares. To be honest, I don't want to be inconvenienced with more weight and bulk. If the issue was more pressing I would be wearing body armor. My gun is reliable, accurate, I shoot it well, and I have a good holster. I may be a firearms enthusiast, but I accept the world is not safe and seek a reasonable balance between carrying and living my life.
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2/4/2018 4:42 PM
This tends to be an endless conversation, with no real 'right' answer.

If you think of the gun strictly as a tool (and detach yourself from whatever personal bias you might have toward "this" or "that" type of gun), then select your tool based on the most likely use/s that you anticipate needing the tool for, just as any contractor would when loading up to head to a job site for the day. Depending on where you live, where you work, etc. you may be quite justified in carrying 15+1 and a spare mag and a backup piece. For other people, that's complete overkill, based on the most likely scenarios they can reasonably expect to encounter in their daily life, and a 5-round revolver with a full speed strip is probably more than they will ever use in their lifetime (hopefully, if you are a private citizen).

We all love guns. And we take some comfort from carrying them and feeling prepared. But at some point, a dose of realism should probably temper our choices - preparing for a remote probability of a remote probability of a remote probability gets a little ridiculous. Going down the rabbit hole of all the obscure "what ifs" can become absurd. At that point, you may as well leave your house every day in a haz-mat suit and carrying a lightning rod, 'cuz a disease outbreak and/or being hit by lightning are probably a lot more likely to happen than whatever fantasy tactical multi-shooter scenario that you may have cooked up in your head. Then again, depending on where you live, maybe that scenario is something that happens on a regular basis.

What I carry around town is going to be different than what I carry in the backcountry around where I live, where grizz, lions and wolves all exist in healthy populations. In either scenario, I do everything I possibly can to avoid ever having draw a firearm in the first place.
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2/5/2018 2:19 PM
I got to thinking and I realized "mag capacity" is kind of the wrong question. The first question is how effective you want to be with regard to accuracy, distance, and speed. Once that question is answered, then you can ask the follow on question. Personally, I'm fine with a handful of shots for most of what I do. The catch being that I require those to be fast and accurate shots out to at least 10 yards. That immediately rules out j-frames and most sub-compact pistols. And really, it rules out any pistol that doesn't have at least a G19 length grip. In that form factor, even the single stacks hold around 8+1 in 9mm. Then I've found that my belt sits on my hips better if I have a magazine on the opposite side from the pistol (There is also the school of thought which I don't necessarily subscribe to that says magazines are the number one failure point so you should have a spare). So right away, the minimum number of rounds I'd be carrying is around 15 in a single stack and 30 for a double-stack. 30 feels like overkill but is the minimum I'd have just for balance reasons if I was carrying a doublestack pistol (which I am these days).

We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
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2/5/2018 9:03 PM

I've been thinking about this a good bit especially since the thread on the S&W M&P 2.0 5".

In the military there is the framework of most dangerous and most likely threats.

For purposes of the all around handgun, I think it's best to analyze the threats by breaking them into a woods and town framework.

Woods - most dangerous would be a grizzly attack (given you are in griz country); most likely would be a couple or three human attackers trying to attack or rob.

Town - most likely would be a home invasion or a robbery by 1-2 assailants.  

Most dangerous would be some sort of attack by two or more rifle armed terrorist in a scenario that forced you to use a handgun offensively to take the fight to them.

Let me explain...In most active shooter events, the CCWer would probably be best advised to break contact and escape with his family and not take the fight to the terrorists.   That said, what if your choice is to fight or die or watch your family die?  Two examples:

1.  You just have dropped your kids off at school and as they enter and you start to pull away you hear rifle fire and screams from the building that your kids just entered.

2. You with your family in the car and are stuck, as in not moving at all, in the middle lane of a six lane freeway and you hear multiple rifle rounds.  Looking in the mirror on your door, you see two men with AKs 200 meters back working their way on foot in your direction, shooting into the stuck cars they pass.

Pre 9/11, scenarios where a handgun armed citizen might have to fight a rifle armed opponent were much less likely.   Now scenarios which might call for fire and maneuver with a handgun like using a few rounds to suppress the opponent in order to get to the next piece of cover are much more of a possibility. This puts a greater premium on magazine capacity.   One can use a single stack and just carry extra mags but each mag change is an opportunity for something to go wrong. 

Would be interested in your thoughts or other ways of looking at this.

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2/7/2018 6:47 AM

Here is my 2 cents…

From the research I have done.

Shootouts vs Shootings. “Shootouts” throughout history have tended to consume a lot of ammo. "Moral fire" from both sides until someone gets lucky, runs out of ammo, or help arrives. “Shootings” on the other hand have tended to be pretty brief affairs. Our awareness and skill help determine whether we find ourselves in a shootout or a shooting.

If you start out in a deficit of both initiative and skill on the violence flowchart you are apt to need lots of ammo on hand. If you miss the cues to the violence ramp-up and then continue by shooting poorly…well you better bring extra mags.

The research seems pretty clear. If you are only getting peripheral hits on humans (or animals) you are apt to need a lot of ammo! If you can keep all your rounds in a fist size (human head or chest) or grapefruit size (animal chest) target then you probably will only get 1-3 shots before the target drops...even if you want to shoot more.

There also seems to be a higher likely hood of having one or the other hand/arm injured in a shooting. Having a higher capacity pistol may limit the necessity to reload one handed should you become injured.

Rob Letham or Jerry Barnhart in a prickly mood could probably pull off stuff with a J-frame and 158 SWC that the rest of us couldn’t. The ability to hit fist size targets up close, from concealment, in failing light, at speed covers a lot of ground.

The real question is… “At my current skill level how many rounds will I need to hit a fist sized moving, angry, pissed off, target or three, while I am drawing from concealment and shooting on the move.

For me a Glock 19 with a Aimpoint T1 is my personal tipping point. Any thing smaller and my hits and speed suffer. Anything bigger and any improvement is marginal.

Your skill level, training, and cool head probably have more to do with your ammo requirements than the external variables in my opinion.

Talk is cheap...lets compare fur checks.
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2/7/2018 8:50 AM

Good points, all. It's good to see sensible discussion around these topics.

I think it's also worth pointing out that we tend to focus a lot on discussing and debating hardware - caliber, capacity, barrel length, etc. But the overwhelming stats show that in private citizen armed encounters (not LEOs, not Military....), it's extremely rare that hardware is a significant factor in determining the outcome at all. Rather, as Strow suggests, a lot of how armed private citizen encounters play out comes down to the "human" factors - training, awareness, etc. Included in this is all of the potential encounters that never even ended up happening because training and awareness (rather than anything to do with hardware) led to those encounters being successfully avoided/mitigated without a firearm ever being drawn, much less fired. But the latter is a lot less exciting and clear cut to discuss...

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2/7/2018 9:33 AM
I'm a card carrying gun-nut so I enjoy the "hardware" discussions as much as the next guy, but more often than not, it's simply irrelevant.

Recently, Tom Given's (Rangemaster) released some statistical data (link below) relating to 64 of his former students that had been involved in a deadly encounter. Only two (2) ended up on the wrong end of the stick and the common denominator with those two was the simple fact that they were UNARMED. The rest came out on top and it didn't really have anything to do with their choices in gun, holster, ammo, sights or carry position. Those stats are a snap-shot of the reality that has existed since the dawn of time .... it's nothing new.

Along those lines ......

The overwhelming majority of the self-proclaimed (civilian) gun-toters that I'm familiar with only carry a gun a few hrs in the evenings after work and on weekends. Every one of those folks will argue their choice in hardware makes them better prepared than some guy that carries a small gun in his pocket 14+ hrs a day - EVERY DAY.

In most places around the country, I might not feel too warm and fuzzy working as a motel or convenience store clerk, doing pizza delivery, or driving a taxi with a 5-shot revolver. I certainly wouldn't if I was defending a jewelry store, pawn shop or gun store. But having just said that, just about every LEO in the country (myself included) carried a 6-shot revolver up until the mid-80's and did just fine for the most part.

But, wherever you happen to live and play, you'd better be able to handle the kind of bad stuff you see on YOUR 6 o'clock News every night because that's the threat you'll most likely encounter. Be prepared to handle the probable before worrying about the possible, but understand that you can't predictably deal with either if you're unarmed.


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2/18/2018 1:11 PM

A couple items, if I missed someone addressing them, my apologies. First, I have carried concealed (licensed) for years. Revolvers and, now, semi-auto as I finally trusted the reliability of semis (Glock is my choice after a lot of research; I have carried other semis, though). My first Glock carry was a model 43 (9mm). Six in the magazine, though I tend to relieve a semi's magazine pressure and carry one less than capacity. For that pistol, I wanted the extra magazine for a few more rounds. BUT, the main reason for an extra magazine, I believe, is for when the magazine (the weakest link) jams. I now carry a Glock 19 (9mm, gen 4) with a 15 round magazine. AND an extra magazine. NOT for the extra rounds (if I cannot deal with a few bad guys with 15 rounds, I best not be carrying at all). The extra magazine is in case the one in the gun jams. I can hit on-target (15ish yards) fairly quick (3 seconds usu.) with this pistol (from concealed). I don't think I'll ever need a 'fast draw' from concealment but I do practie. I've shot thousands of rounds through the G19 (it is totally not picky), and I trust it, literally, with my life. I clean it occasionally BUT, it doesn't seem to care that much (I have shot 700 rounds through it, no clean/lube, in a 4 day class with no problems). I ALWAYs carry defensive round hollow points, and only factory loads. If I ever had to use it (thank God I have not, and do not want to), I want the bullet to stay in the bad guy. PRACTICE until you trust that you can hit what you want when stress is going through the roof. PAY someone for good training. I like Front Sight though there are many good training groups out there. PRACTICE the malfunctions you may have (failure to feed, stovepipes, etc.). PRACTICE emergency reloads (oops ! you forgot your TACTICAL reload ? PRACTICE those also). Ok, enough, thanks for reading - I hope it helps someone.

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