Thursday, March 7, 2013

Caliber Conumdrum

Not 'being' there, and just as a look back through the patchwork of history I've noticed and committed to memory...

Pistol rounds. Everyone has looked for the 'most effective' caliber to maximize the utility of this less than ideal solution to "If I can't carry a rifle..."  The caveat is in place that if you have to get into a gunfight, have a gun.  Even better, have a rifle. (and friends, with THEIR rifles, &c.)

So we start the era after the great war with 2 rounds of great utility.  The .45 and the .38.  But lets not leave well enough alone.  How do we improve upon them.  So Elmer Keith comes along and make magnum rounds for the pistol.  .357 being popular.  But that's too much.  .44 magnum is too too much.   How so people stuck to .38 special and .44 special.  But then you are back to square one.  Is there a happy medium?  .41 revolvers become popular in the 70s and 80s.   And the Miami shootout changes everything when the FBI has a bad scene and decides they need a change.  The way the FBI goes, general law enforcement goes, and the general republic from them.  So a 10mm come about.  But it is too much, like a .41 magnum is too much.  So it is stepped down to the .40. 

So that should be the be all end all?  Well...  Now no one is happy with it.  For those that don't like snappy, it has too much recoil.  For those that like big it isn't big enough.  For effectiveness it isn't really that much better than 9mm.  Or worse than a .45.   (Notice revolvers by the wayside at this point so the best 'smallish' round is still .38 inches in diameter but it is the 9mm.)  We are so into esoteric details that we are essentially splitting hairs. 

So, like I said, no one is happy.  But the impossible is asked for.  The effectiveness of a .44 magnum (or, 7.62x51!) with the recoil of a .38 special in a package that will fit in your pocket.  Well, wish in one hand and poop in the other and see what fills up first. 

You are better served practicing lots.  Practicing under stress.  Practicing in the weather.  Pacticing when you feel poorly.  Practicing with whatever you shoot well as long as the caliber is somewhere between .38 and .45.  Practicing so that you have the shot placement as good as you can get. 

Then you are practicing your awareness and your tactics. 

Gah, I need to get to the range more, and draw more, and think about scenarios more.


abnormalist said...

My thing is two fold.
1. I dont think anyone who has ever survived a gunfight thought to them selves "Man I wish I had gone into that with a LESS powerful firearm"

2. I like big bullets and I cannot lie... Add more powder and let them fly!

I usually carry a 45 auto loaded up with 230 grain HP. Or I will occasionally tuck a 380 in my pocket if I'm really concerned about concealment.

I just got a 34oz 44mag 4" barrel, and I LOVE that little beast... Almost giving serious though to something in the 454 range as that little guy is sooo much fun.

Tam said...

.41 was never popular. It died in the crib and only survives as a caliber for gun hipsters.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Hey, Frank James, L Niel Smith, and a Robb Allen born 10 years earlier all count as mainstream, Tam...

The Contrarian said...

The .41 may not be popular, but hell, at least you can find ammo for it now. I suppose that counts for something.

.45ACP+P said...

Practice shooting any pistol you can get ammo for. Fundamentals will improve your results, whatever your carry choice. I will still prefer a .22LR to a sharp stick and I HAVE trained with a stick (Kendo).