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Best .45 for concealed carry? (Read 34606 times)
David G
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Best .45 for concealed carry?
Dec 1st, 2010 at 11:56am
 
Okay, I have decided that the PPK and the P232 are beautiful guns but I will not be buying either of them as, after some research, I have decided against anything less than a 9mm for self defense. Now that I have decided that, it has been suggested that I consider a .40 or .45 instead of a 9mm. Further, it was suggested that a Kimber compact .45 is the way to go. Thoughts? Thanks in advance!
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Mike W
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Re: Best .45 for concealed carry?
Reply #1 - Dec 1st, 2010 at 12:34pm
 
I bet my life and the lives of my family on my everyday carry gun, a Springfield V10 Ultra. It is an Officers size compact .45.  I did have some work done on it at Springfield's custom shop.  I also own other full-size Colt 1911's and 1911 variants.  Two of those have had some work done by Bill Wilson's shop.

I have never owned a Kimber, but have shot two of their full-size pistols.  They are VERY nice handguns.  Both were un-modified, straight-out-of-the-box guns and both were exceptionally well finished and incredibly smooth functioning right from the start.  I can see why they have garnered a lot of attention and very favorable reviews.

They are a bit pricey, but if the two I was exposed to are any example.....they are good values.
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Re: Best .45 for concealed carry?
Reply #2 - Dec 1st, 2010 at 3:51pm
 
David G.,
This is not a response to Mike W's post above or anybody's specific post, just a general observation.  Virtually anybody familiar with handguns will concede that the 9mm is an adequate self defense round.  Some will say the .380 is the smallest adequate self defense round.  Those familiar with self defense will assure you that shot placement is more important then shot caliber.  There is a group who believe if it doesn't start with a 4 it isn't adequate.  If a bigger bullet is the key to adequate self defense, I would suggest we all forget about handguns and carry rifles or shotguns instead.

What I am trying to say is that you shouldn't believe everything you hear.  Opinions are like certain parts of the human anatomy - everybody has one.
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Re: Best .45 for concealed carry?
Reply #3 - Dec 1st, 2010 at 6:05pm
 
Dave49 wrote on Dec 1st, 2010 at 3:51pm:
David G.,
This is not a response to Mike W's post above or anybody's specific post, just a general observation.  Virtually anybody familiar with handguns will concede that the 9mm is an adequate self defense round.  Some will say the .380 is the smallest adequate self defense round.  Those familiar with self defense will assure you that shot placement is more important then shot caliber.  There is a group who believe if it doesn't start with a 4 it isn't adequate.  If a bigger bullet is the key to adequate self defense, I would suggest we all forget about handguns and carry rifles or shotguns instead.

What I am trying to say is that you shouldn't believe everything you hear.  Opinions are like certain parts of the human anatomy - everybody has one.


+1 Dave... Couldn't have said it better myself.  I've never been one to follow the crowd either.

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Re: Best .45 for concealed carry?
Reply #4 - Dec 1st, 2010 at 8:25pm
 
David G wrote on Dec 1st, 2010 at 11:56am:
Okay, I have decided that the PPK and the P232 are beautiful guns but I will not be buying either of them as, after some research, I have decided against anything less than a 9mm for self defense. Now that I have decided that, it has been suggested that I consider a .40 or .45 instead of a 9mm. Further, it was suggested that a Kimber compact .45 is the way to go. Thoughts? Thanks in advance!

After many years of carrying Glock 9mm's I have just recently switched to the G 36. I decided to go with the .45 for my every day carry because I have always liked the .45 but always kept one as a home or car gun but not for EDC. I convinced myself that the G 36 with 6 + 1 would be a good choice to try and I am very glad I did. This is a great gun and I can trust my life with it because In my 13 years of shooting Glocks, I am still waiting for my first malfunction! Cool
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David G
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Re: Best .45 for concealed carry?
Reply #5 - Dec 1st, 2010 at 9:14pm
 
Dave49 wrote on Dec 1st, 2010 at 3:51pm:
David G.,
This is not a response to Mike W's post above or anybody's specific post, just a general observation.  Virtually anybody familiar with handguns will concede that the 9mm is an adequate self defense round.  Some will say the .380 is the smallest adequate self defense round.  Those familiar with self defense will assure you that shot placement is more important then shot caliber.  There is a group who believe if it doesn't start with a 4 it isn't adequate.  If a bigger bullet is the key to adequate self defense, I would suggest we all forget about handguns and carry rifles or shotguns instead.

What I am trying to say is that you shouldn't believe everything you hear.  Opinions are like certain parts of the human anatomy - everybody has one.


This is good advice and much appreciated. Everyone says that shot placement is always key; if you miss it doesn't matter what you are shooting. As a newbie needing a lot of practice, I might go broke shooting .380 versus 9mm. So, I know for a fact that I will get more shooting time with 9mm, especially since I can practice with my Glock17 as well. I understand that shooting the .380 takes more practice at 10 yds. Is this true? Ultimately I will carry what I can shoot well. I will try several before I buy ... I'd like to get it to 3 or 4 finalists.
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Re: Best .45 for concealed carry?
Reply #6 - Dec 2nd, 2010 at 11:05am
 
David, what is the smallest, lightest, reliable .45 ACP you can effectively handle?  With this gun, how fast can you place follow-up shots on target?  The recoil on a compact .45 has to be felt to be appreciated.    

Re .380 ACP, I own a Sig P238 and yes it requires a lot of practice...at least that's been my experience.  Almost sold it because of a variety of issues I was having...some with the gun, some with me.  However, I now prefer the P238 over my 1911 for concealed carry.   
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Re: Best .45 for concealed carry?
Reply #7 - Dec 2nd, 2010 at 12:15pm
 
Perhaps the point of my response to David G about stopping power was missed.  I'll try again.....

It is ironic that law enforcement in general, and the FBI in particular, focused on handgun stopping power AFTER the infamous 1986 Miami shootout. 
The irony is that increasing LEO firepower was the concern of the study when, in fact, it was a single WELL-AIMED shot from a .38 back-up gun that killed the bad guy. 
But from this study came the promotion of the 10mm. The politicians said, "well....10 is bigger than 9 so it must be better for our cops". And the infinite expansion of 15+ magazine capacity pistols.  If you doubt this, ask a Virginia State trooper who was on the job back in then.

I would never presuppose or advise that "spray 'n' pray" or simply throwing a bigger bullet is the key to effective lifesaving defensive firearm handling.

But I will say this.....and yes it is my opinion (and I have an opinion just like I have one part of my anatomy that was referred to earlier)....If I am ever put to the test (again) I, personally, would prefer to put a WELL-AIMED BIG BULLET on target than a well-aimed smaller bullet on target.
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David G
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Re: Best .45 for concealed carry?
Reply #8 - Dec 2nd, 2010 at 12:24pm
 
Mike W wrote on Dec 2nd, 2010 at 12:15pm:
Perhaps the point of my response to David G about stopping power was missed.  I'll try again.....

It is ironic that law enforcement in general, and the FBI in particular, focused on handgun stopping power AFTER the infamous 1986 Miami shootout. 
The irony is that increasing LEO firepower was the concern of the study when, in fact, it was a single WELL-AIMED shot from a .38 back-up gun that killed the bad guy. 
But from this study came the promotion of the 10mm. The politicians said, "well....10 is bigger than 9 so it must be better for our cops". And the infinite expansion of 15+ magazine capacity pistols.  If you doubt this, ask a Virginia State trooper who was on the job back in then.

I would never presuppose or advise that "spray 'n' pray" or simply throwing a bigger bullet is the key to effective lifesaving defensive firearm handling.

But I will say this.....and yes it is my opinion (and I have an opinion just like I have one part of my anatomy that was referred to earlier)....If I am ever put to the test (again) I, personally, would prefer to put a WELL-AIMED BIG BULLET on target than a well-aimed smaller bullet on target.


I got that from the thread, so I am clear!
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Re: Best .45 for concealed carry?
Reply #9 - Dec 2nd, 2010 at 12:25pm
 
David G,
I found that shooting my .380 required more practice simply because of the way the smaller frame fit in my hand.  Being accustomed to larger frame autos and and revolvers for most of my shooting, the smaller frame required a more significant adjustment than I originally expected.

I am confident with it now, but it did take some time to adjust.  That's when the availability and cost of .380 ammo may become a serious consideration as a component of your evaluation.
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David G
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Re: Best .45 for concealed carry?
Reply #10 - Dec 2nd, 2010 at 12:27pm
 
Old Zebra wrote on Dec 2nd, 2010 at 11:05am:
David, what is the smallest, lightest, reliable .45 ACP you can effectively handle?  With this gun, how fast can you place follow-up shots on target?  The recoil on a compact .45 has to be felt to be appreciated.    

Re .380 ACP, I own a Sig P238 and yes it requires a lot of practice...at least that's been my experience.  Almost sold it because of a variety of issues I was having...some with the gun, some with me.  However, I now prefer the P238 over my 1911 for concealed carry.   


I have no experience with either a .380 or a .45; I intend to rent at a range and try a couple of each before I buy. I have heard about the recoil of a .45 but have never had the opportunity to experience it first hand. If I can rent 4 or 5 of these two calibers and maybe a compact 9 mm, which guns should I try? BTW, I am learning so much here and I am grateful for everyone's input!
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Re: Best .45 for concealed carry?
Reply #11 - Dec 2nd, 2010 at 5:09pm
 
God (or evolution, or whatever) made us all a little differently so our hold and hand strength and reaction to recoil differs.  For me a .380 is a bit snappish -- that is, it slaps that little round out there.  The frame for most .380's is a bit smaller than for pistols using larger rounds, so the "felt" recoil is pretty pronounced. 

My 1911 clone is a Para Ord  1445 (double stack magazine) and weighs a little more than your usual 1911.  Because of this extra weight and the relatively slow moving .45 round, which also weighs more than a .380 (90 gr. vs. 230 gr.) the felt recoil for a .45 is more like a pronounced push.  The ergonmics (if your hand is much like mine) cause the gun to be pushed back instead of upwards.  I find recovery time from the .45 to be less than from the .380, though not by so much that I am willing to abandon the .380. 

I've also got a smaller version of the 1911, the Llama MiniMax.  It's about the same size as the General Officer model of the 1911.  It too, because of its ergonomics, comes straight back into the hand rather than having a pronounced muzzle flip.  I have not tried any of the more compact .45's that are out there, but Steve1911A1 owns probably the smallest version ever made. 

I came back to the .45 late after a series of love affairs with .44 MAG, .357 MAG, .38 SPL, and the 9 mm, which I still respect and love greatly.  Still, I appreciate the additional heavy carrying capabilities of the .45 round and feel more comfortable with it. 

I use a J-frame-sized Rossi for my usual backup and sometimes carry a Grendel .380.  My Last Wife just bought a S&W Bodyguard .380 and it shoots great -- not quite as snappish as the Grendel or other .380's I've fired, but still speaks with authority. 

As xXx (and others) would say:  Any gun will do, if you will do. 
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Re: Best .45 for concealed carry?
Reply #12 - Dec 4th, 2010 at 8:06pm
 
Back to your question, I can fondly recommend the Kimber Ultra Carry II. It is light weight with an alloy frame and holds 7rds in the mag. I also suggest the Kimber Pro Cary II. It is a little larger( eight rds) and both can be carried concealed easily. With either you can get four fingers on the grip.
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Re: Best .45 for concealed carry?
Reply #13 - Dec 6th, 2010 at 12:43pm
 
trlhrv wrote on Dec 4th, 2010 at 8:06pm:
Back to your question, I can fondly recommend the Kimber Ultra Carry II. It is light weight with an alloy frame and holds 7rds in the mag. I also suggest the Kimber Pro Cary II. It is a little larger( eight rds) and both can be carried concealed easily. With either you can get four fingers on the grip.


This interesting information as I am getting this everywhere I turn. Related to this, then, is the question of getting a Kimber chambered in 9mm or go for the .45? One caliber for multiple guns makes sense economically. I believe the Ultra in stainless comes in .9mm...  thoughts?
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Re: Best .45 for concealed carry?
Reply #14 - Dec 6th, 2010 at 4:51pm
 
I am now carrying a Glock 23 (my first purchase), soon to move that to a Kahr CW40.... my home defense weapon is a Springfield XDM in .40.  Just for ease of use, I have decided upon keeping everything in the .40 caliber, not because I necessarily like it more / less than others.

Now, with that being said, if I was to do it again?

Most likely not. I find the .40 is significantly more snappy than the .45 or the 9mm's that I have shot.

Since as posted previously, it won't be the size of the hole (necessarily) that stops the attack, but the placement of that shot that saves you, that means practice and plenty of it!  Just looking at the price of .45 vs .40 vs 9mm, you would be able to spend a LOT more time using your full size round if using something chambered for 9mm.

I have fired a Kimber .45 several times, and I fired that significantly more accurately then I have EVER fired the Glock 23 (even after a thousand plus rounds).  Surprisingly, the Kahr CW40 was very accurate and surprised me there.  However, the 1911 type controls don't get me too excited for an every-day carry weapon.

The Glock, XDM, S&W M&P (I believe), and the Kahr along with others, have different forms of safety's than the 1911's and a feel that makes me more comfortable with them.  While a 1911 style may work for me for a home-defense weapon, not for edc. 

Would highly suggest you go to a shop where you can "feel and fondle" several handguns that you may consider, and then hopefully test fire them there, or find a range that will let you rent the ones you are interested in.... try the .380 ($$ ammo).. the 9, .40 and .45....it'll all come down to personal preference.

Good luck, hope the information you get from the guys here helps!
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