I am providing a forum for voicing your opinions.  I claim no 
responsibility for any opinions expressed here.


Small/Light and Fast vs. Big/Heavy and Slow

If I had to make a guess, I would guess that this is the most often 
and most hotly debated issue among the 'experts'.  Everybody has an 
opinion on most subjects and this subject is certainly no exception.

Personally, I'm not a fan of small bullets.  I'd rather carry a .40
or .45 any day over a 9mm.  Does that mean I would not carry a 9mm?  
Certainly not, but I don't prefer it.

I agree completely, as most do, tactics and mindset are infinitely 
more important than what size/type/caliber gun you carry.  Give me a
.25 and all day long I'll outmatch a guy with a .45 with no training 
or bad mental conditioning.  That doesn't mean I want to carry a .25.  
It simply means that the gun is not necessarily the most important
thing in a fight.

The main requirements for a sidearm are that it is dependable and
reliable.  If you pull your gun and have to shoot, your gun must work.  
That is not negotiable.  If you go out and buy a $250.00 brand new 
.45, and never get a shot off in a fight because it jams, then you're
no better off than if you didn't have a gun in the first place.  A gun 
that doesn't work is less effective than a good club or a knife.  

On the flip side of that, an $800 .22 that fires every time, but doesn't 
stop the attacker is not any more effective.  I hear people all the time 
say "Well, I wouldn't want to get shot by it."  A couple of days ago, I 
was in a gun store, and the salesman was trying sell a .22 to a lady.  
One of the things he said was that he knew people that didn't want to 
carry .22's because they are too small.  He said his response to that 
is to ask "Ok then, where do you want me to shoot you with it?", to which 
people always respond "I don't want to get shot with it."  Therefore, in 
his mind, the .22 makes a great personal defense weapon.  Just because
you "don't want to get shot" with a weapon doesn't necessarily make it 
a good defense weapon.  I wouldn't want to get shot with a pellet gun, 
but that doesn't mean that I would carry one for personal defense. 

Another argument for small caliber weapons is that a lot of assassins 
use them, and a lot of people have been killed by .22's.  

When you shoot an attacker, the object is not to specifically kill him.  
The object is to stop him from doing whatever it is he is doing.  Even 
with a good center hit, or several good center hits (no matter what the 
caliber), the person may not die, or he may die after he completes doing 
whatever he was doing.  If an attacker is trying to kill you and you 
shoot him, if he stops trying to kill you, does it really matter whether 
the bullet kills him?  There are plenty of instances where someone was 
shot and continued on doing whatever they were doing.  One instance that 
comes to mind is a man in Georgia that was fighting with a police officer.  
At one point the police officer shot the man IN THE CHEST once with a .45.  
The man continued to fight for about 8 minutes before a passerby stopped 
to help.  Yes, the mighty .45.  Oh yeah, the man did not die. 

Another instance happened here in Memphis.  A man broke into a house.  
There was a woman home at the time.  She shot him 5 or 6 times in the chest 
with a .22.  The man grabbed the gun from her, tried to shoot her, realized 
the gun was empty, and ran from the house.  He was found several blocks away 
passed out in the street and eventually died at the hospital.

One other instance I can think of, a man tried to rob a jewelry store.  The 
store owner shot him once in the chest with a .45 (the mighty .45 again).  
The man turned and ran out of the store, then collapsed outside, where the 
police arrested him.  This man died later after being taken to the hospital.

Shooting the suspect had the desired effect in only one of the above incidents, 
and even then only by accident.  Instead of running out of the jewelry store, 
the man could have just as easily started shooting.  The mighty .45 took about 
30 seconds or so to 'stop' the man.  Thirty seconds is an eternity in a gunfight.  

All this being said, especially in light of the three incidents quoted, I am 
not advocating that you must carry a large caliber weapon.  There are many 
incidents where a large caliber weapon fails to stop an attacker.  There are 
also many similar incidents where a small caliber weapon does stop an attacker.  
I am simply advocating that you not choose a caliber based "I don't want to be 
shot by it."  Choose your caliber and/or gun based on reasonable research, not 
on how somebody feels about it or other hearsay.  I prefer to carry as large a 
caliber as reasonable, but I am not in any way implying that you have to.  That
is simply my choice.  We must all live or die by our own choices.

Robert V. Robinson "Robbie"
My Experience and Training