Friday, October 14, 2011

Caliber Calibration

Unk linked to a NJT posting about the .40 (or, as we call them here in The FBI Are Wimps Land, 10mm short). Unk's not too impressed with that round, T-Bolt thinks it's not awful, pointing out at least it starts with a ".4" like it otta.

All in good fun but the thing -- the real thing -- is that unless you routinely face insane dope fiends from an early-20th-Century illegalfy cocaine propaganda speech (it's turning the lower classes into killbots!) ,[1] for civilian self-defense, there is not all that much effective difference between .380[2] and .38 Special at the bottom and big old 10mm and .45ACP at the top of the list: they'll make most assailants interested in something other than hurting you. None of them -- not one -- can be relied on as a one-shot manstopper and if they could knock a man down just by impact, they'd knock you flat when they went bang, too, just you ask Newton. Shot placement will make any of them a lot more certain to stop a bad 'un but y'better be ready for a follow-up.

Weerd Beard got Unk linky-love too, over the Conditions Of Carry (originally devised, it should be remembered, to describe the 1911's permutations of carry, nothing else; it gets all bent up when we apply it to other handguns.)

Way more important than caliber, even more important than readiness condition of your sidearm (with the caveat that if you're carrying for self-defense, it should be ready), is if you are ready.

Have you developed safe habits? Have you worked on your draw? Have you worked on your shooting, and if so, do you shoot often enough? --Have you considered that you may have to use deadly force on another human being?

If you've not done those things, if you're lazy or lax, you're not going to make up for it with a bigger calibers, a hotter load or a better projectile.

Carry what you can carry. Carry what you like practicing with. Learn not just to shoot well but to handle guns well. It's more than making two-handed hits in the X ring.

Then you'll be as qualified to josh your friends about caliber choices as Unk and T-Bolt are. I don't think I'm quite there yet.
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1. The amount of frikkin' racist hysteria frothed up in that effort is hardly believable. So much so that any time I read or hear "We've gotta ban _____ because it makes the ____ unstoppably violent," my BS detector goes off. Maybe there's some cocktail of speed, crack, testosterone, Mountain Dew and an acetone enema that really does do that -- in which case, why isn't the U. S. Army using it?

2. Tam looks askance at the runt of the litter. She's right in that it is way down there at the bottom of the class with a straight D- report card; I include it because I think it's the smallest caliber that will change an angry man's mind -- but sometimes they don't notice. In terms of direct physical effects, well, it's better than a sharp stick. Skill and readiness still trumps caliber.

14 comments:

Keads said...

Well said! I agree completely. It does not matter to me what caliber you carry, the will and skill to use it if needed will carry the day.

Yes, two handed square range stuff is important. That is only the place to start however.

Opinionated Grump said...

acetone enema? AOwwwww!!

Ritchie said...

It's my understanding, from the outside, that the U.S. Army depends on discipline and accuracy. Plus artillery. Lots of artillery. And the occasional hacking with the e-tool. If you will examine an original e-tool or a faithful replica, note that one edge of the blade is chamfered. Choppo-diggo.

Drang said...

I'm still looking for an original e-tool with the pick. Jeeze, Louise, those things are rare. The only thing the newer tri-fold model has is that it's all steel, so the entire thing can rust, and it folds up smaller. But you get less leverage, and I'm not convinced the triangular handle is better.

And I think Drill Sergeant Dailey did threaten one of my platoon-mates with an acetone enema once...

Skip said...

'Cause they don't make a .46.
Kinda like my big ol' govt. under my fat shirt.
YMMV

perlhaqr said...

Bobbi: PCP apparently really does make people crazy strong / violent, and it's not just propaganda. Unfortunately, it also seems to cause induced psychosis, which is bad for discipline.

Also, I work on campus here. Carrying a firearm is not merely a firing offence, it's actually illegal. Dangit. So I don't. Grr.

Skip: .460 Rowland

Tango Juliet said...

Caliber War

Jim said...

(sigh) Now you post this, just hours after I crowed about my new carry gun in a noble caliber, which Guffaw and I agreed must start with .4 and be succeed by a digit greater than 4.

Know where I can find a nice .32-20? :)

warlocketx said...

Guns are tools, and like any tool, users need practice in using it and awareness of its capabilities and limitations in order to be effective. This is why I don't carry. I know myself well enough to be aware that I don't have the self-discipline to use it effectively. It's not something I like about myself, but better to be truthful, don't you think?

All the drug prohibitions were sold originally using racism, Progressive elitism, or some combination thereof. The granddaddy of them, opium prohibition, was targeted directly at Chinese; cocaine was cheap enough to be a lower-class entertainment, thus sneered at; and I'm old enough to remember people talking about suppressing "n-r junk joints" where blacks used marijuana because alcohol, with taxes applied, was too expensive for them.

westofthewest said...

My freaking daughter's is bigger, it starts with a 9...oh wait.

russell1200 said...

Why stop at .46 caliber?

You have the 11" round from the Deutshland class. That should reduce some of the shot placement issues.

They were referred to as pocket battleships after all.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutschland_class_cruiser

Sport Pilot said...

I've seen a lot of GSW victim's, most from .380 or 9x19.Of the .40 S&W all were LOD and DRT. .45ACP either accidental or suicide. In the end it came down to shot placement.

Drang said...

FWIW, Marshall & Sanow said (in one of the books, dunno which) that the "number one one-shot stopper" was the .22LR.

WV: eflues. Yeah, that's about what it's worth...

elmo iscariot said...

The amount of frikkin' racist hysteria frothed up in that effort is hardly believable. So much so that any time I read or hear "We've gotta ban _____ because it makes the ____ unstoppably violent," my BS detector goes off.

I can only assume you've seen Reefer Madness. The musical remake, not the original.

"Do your children enjoy jazz music? For I am here to tell you that Cab Calloway, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, and the whole weed-blowing ginger-colored lot are merely masquerading as musicians and are, in fact, agents of evil! Reefer slows down the smoker's sense of time, allowing him to squeeze in unnecessary "grace notes", giving this voodoo music the power to hypnotize white women into indulging in acts of _unspeakable_ degradation!"