Which handgun caliber is best?
This has to be the number 1 question that I come across on the Concealed Nation Facebook Page. There has always been a lot of talk as to the effectiveness of calibers in a self-defense situation, and everyone will always have their favorite caliber and the reasons they choose that caliber to protect themselves.
I’m going to put this debate to rest today.
I could make a lot of work for myself and outline all of the popular calibers with ballistic results to back up claims, but I’m not going to. If you are going to carry a firearm and abide by the 4 Rules of Gun Safety, you’re on the right path. My biggest issue with the caliber debate is when people don’t recognize over-penetration issues. Regardless of the type of ammo you carry, you’d better be sure as to it’s stopping power.
Ok, let’s put the caliber debate to rest:
The Most Effective Caliber in the world is:
The one you are comfortable and proficient with.
It’s really that simple. People have successfully stopped bad guys with a .22LR. If your shot placement is there, it should be effective. To the person who is going to mention something along the lines of “Well, what if the BG is wearing a bunch of layers of clothing?”, I say this; it’s better to have a firearm than to not have one. If the victim is comfortable and proficient with a .22, don’t expect them to carry a .40 and have the same accuracy. Maybe the .22 is all that they’ve ever shot, or maybe it’s the only caliber they’ll ever be comfortable with. It’s not up to us to make these decisions for them, and it’s in their best interest to be proficient with what they actually have on them (and available to them).
Recommending a certain firearm or caliber to someone is alright, but forcing a decision on them to carry a 1911 .45 isn’t going to help anyone if they aren’t comfortable with that firearm.