Monday, March 26, 2012

My Gun is Better Than Your Gun! (CCW Part 1)

Part 1 of 3 on CCW or Off Duty carry.

As I said in my last post, the next posting would be from Trek af MDFI. This should help people out when choosing a CCW/Off Duty carry handgun.

This can be found on the MDFI facebook page here:


“My Gun is Better Than Your Gun!

The other day I was at my local gun emporium when I noticed one of the salesmen entangled in quite possibly the most challenging sales situation of an honest gun broker- “What gun should I buy for my first defensive carry option?”

The individual was a pure novice- having recently completed his basic state-required concealed carry course. But unlike many that I witness who have just completed their first firearms course- he had not promoted himself to “Call of Duty: Wal-Mart Ops Specialist” or “Arm-Chair Expert of All Things Firearm.” (Generally preceded with the purchase of whatever handgun was on the cover of some gun magazine recently….or Desert Eagle .50.)

This individual was very interested in learning about the pros and cons of every option available: Revolver or Automatic? Full-size, Mid-size, Compact, Sub-Compact or Noisy Cricket? .22 Long Rifle or 20mm?

Now to save the reader a lot of not-so-important details, we spent quite some time focusing on some popular carry options for the responsible citizen- but more importantly, dispelling so many of the ridiculous drivel-fueled gun tidbits that can be found on

The first and most often encountered is the statement, “You MUST carry a .45- it’s the only caliber that will work effectively.” Riiiiiiiiight….and I heard that .45 caliber pistol vaporizes badguys into a red mist too. Sigh.

Now right now- someone with a .45 on their hip just reeled back from the computer because some guy dared to insult the mighty fo-five! Not so at all- but we do need to get a few things straight.

Bullets have two primary abilities:

1. “Stopping Power.” - The ability to disrupt the Central Nervous System, Skeletal Structure…basically- stopping the actions that caused the use of lethal force.

2. “Killing Power.” - How long and Will the subject expire from the effects of the bullet on the body.

The decision of what caliber your concealed carry defensive pistol is chambered in should be looked at from a multitude of different angles. Firstly- we must acknowledge that handguns caliber weapons are poor choices at stopping/killing man sized animals. Period.

Handgun ammunition, regardless of caliber- generally move at speeds of 800 to 1300 feet per second- speeds that will completely penetrate a human body, but create a very small permanent wound cavity that is caused by the projectile “pushing” flesh out of its way.

Due to this fact, modern handgun defensive ammunition generally incorporates a “hollow-point” that is designed to expand when the projectile strikes the water-filled body of the assailant, increasing the size of the wound, and transferring all of the energy of the projectile to the subject in what is called, “hydrostatic shock.”

When Full Metal Jacketed handgun ammunition (FMJ), bullets that are completely covered in copper are used in a defensive role, the round does not expand, travels roughly straight through the target, and often penetrates the body possibly causing danger to those that were not the intended target. Unless a direct hit to a critical area of the body is scored- FMJ ammunition may not provide a great deal of stopping power to a motivated assailant. (Lack of STOPPING POWER should not be confused with a lack of KILLING POWER…the assailant may bleed out from the wounds, but may have had time to complete their nefarious deeds….like make a sequel to the Green Hornet.)

Rifle caliber weapons on the other hand OBLITERATE flesh due to their speeds of 2500-3000 feet per second. Currently, the American Journal of Wound Ballistics rates the Russian 5.45x39 as the most lethal small-arms cartridge in use today due to the destructive “figure-8” wound cavity it causes as the projectile yaws and disintegrates in the targets body. (This is where Tom F, AK 74 Master, techno dances a bit…)

So now we have this:

1. Handguns are inefficient killers

Undoubtedly, some of you might be saying, “Well then- a 45 MUST be a better choice than a 9mm or .38 Special for defense!”

Fair enough- let’s talk turkey.

This debate is a direct result of war and the ridiculousness of allowing politicians to have their hand in the way it’s fought. Due to the “rules of war,” members of the United States Military are restricted from using “Hollow-point” (a.k.a. Dumdum) ammunition due the “horrific wounds” they cause- and thusly, left to carry FMJ ammunition. (Kinder, Gentler War)

This is not an issue when a soldier is carrying an M16 with a 55 grain FMJ projectile pushing 3300 fps- but when the same soldier is armed with a Berretta M9 with 124 grain 9mm ammunition pushing 1200 fps- they are at a disadvantage.

The M1911 Pistol was chambered in .45 ACP and was the predecessor to the 9mm M9. The users of the 1911 were still required to carry only FMJ ammunition, but it was 230 grain FMJ ammunition that was moving just over 800 feet per second.

What has happened is we (the US) went from throwing a brick at our enemies at just over the speed of sound to launching a needle at the baddies that doesn’t want to stop. Both are LETHAL- but the 45 ballistics produced more stopping power.

Whew….ok. Sorry for that- but it was very necessary! The point of that diatribe was that as responsible citizens, we are not limited to the ammunition type we carry- so we can explore options that don’t have to rely 100% on “bullet size” for our daily carry.

Right about this point in my discussion with the concerned shopper- I was showing a variety of models of automatics that have proven themselves as reliable the world over when another individual, we’ll call him “Mall Ninja 1” to protect his identity. Leans over and says, “Don’t get any of those 9mm handguns- get a .40 caliber. Waaaaaaaay more knock down power!”

I just stared. Counted to 10 in my head and continued.

Yes, the 40 Smith & Wesson does offer more muzzle energy then the 9mm. Yes, a good deal of law enforcement agencies utilize 40 S&W. Yes, I’m not cool enough to carry a .40….wait…what?

I was taken aback at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center during one of the firearms briefings where on the screen was a Mongo….the big, bad badguy that NO ONE wants to ever run into. Here was Mongo holding the placard for his mug-shot…..with a .45 caliber hole in his forehead. Mongo was bad- and was engaged by law enforcement that scored “the” direct hit on this would-be villain…only to knock him out as the round glanced off his dome……would a 9mm or 40 done better? Who knows? Would a 5.56 rifle- you betcha.

The reality is the popular self defense calibers out there: 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .38 Special, .357 Magnum all share a “1 Shot-Stop” on a target within 10% of each other utilizing modern defensive ammunition.

As an aside- the Detroit police utilize .40 S&W sidearms and recently shot the murderer who ambushed multiple officers at the local precinct. It took the criminal over 30 seconds to die from a “mortal” wound and he never failed to stop his assault until his death.

So now we have this:

1. Handguns are inefficient killers

2. All pistol calibers are not equal, but they are still handgun rounds. (And to the smartass out there who is spinning the cylinder on his 500 Smith and Wesson Hand-Cannon……yes…you win. Good luck.)

So with the above to factoids- we know that whatever handgun we choose will not be as effective as the rifle at home in the closet AND we don’t need to be hung up on calibers (within reason.) What we do need to understand is that regardless of what platform and caliber we choose- we must be able to deliver an accurate, effective volume of fire on any lethal threat.

This is where the personal choice in firearm comes in. I am a Glock man (cause they are the best) but I don’t discount the other fine makers and styles of defensive tools out there. (Yes I do, but I’m writing that I don’t.) What we must do is find a handgun that fits three very important criteria:

1. It must fire when you need it to- It is proven to be reliable.

2. You must be able to shoot it accurately- can you handle it/ afford practice ammo.

3. You must never look at it and say, “It’s too heavy, big, bulky, red, cool, not a Glock, etc. to carry today.”

(4. Must be a Glock)

If you abide by these 3 (4) rules to choosing a defensive handgun, you are on the right track. (If you chose not to buy a Glock, you will eventually….BWAHAHAHAHA!)

So now we have this:

1. Handguns are inefficient killers

2. All pistol calibers are not equal, but they are still handgun rounds.

3. Shots must get to where they need to be.

The last and final step in the user-tool interface is training.

If you take your State of Michigan certified CPL class and call your self good-to-go you are only kidding yourself. If you never remove yourself from the restrictive 180 degree range, plinking soda cans- you’ll be hard pressed to fair well against scum who practice on a 360 degree range daily.

Don’t buy more guns- buy more ammo and training classes. There are some incredible instructors out there locally and around the country. (They carry Glocks) Get involved in your own defense and do it sooner than later.

So now we have this:

1. Handguns are inefficient killers

2. All pistol calibers are not equal, but they are still handgun rounds.

3. Shots must get to where they need to be.

4. All is worthless unless you maintain the discipline.

For any of those who might be looking to buy that first gun for defense- I hope this helped! For those shooting vets out there- Ill see you on the range. For all you Mall Ninji out there- Ninja HQ, over and out.

Best of luck and stay safe!”


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