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There was a time in the not-so-distant past when a 5-shot snubbie or a steel-framed .380 was considered adequate for self defense. For many (most?) people who weren't engaged in combat operations or LEO careers, one handgun of that size and caliber was considered plenty good. I think most of us slept just fine having such a weapon nearby ... and not even on our person.

About 30 years ago, I felt OK with an Iver Johnson TP-22 loaded with Stingers. I seldom carried it, but kept it close at hand. Then, the uproar over the 1986 FBI shootout in Miami gained prominence in shooting circles and even the much-vaunted Winchester 9mm Silver Tips were brought into question. Then entered the 300-pound meth head who couldn't be stopped with multiple hits from a .45 ACP and I felt under-gunned with my little .22 pistol and I moved up to a single stack S&W 9mm (can't recall the model) and I was fine for about 5-10 years with that pistol nearby ... again, seldom carried.

Speaking for myself, with the advent of the Internet and forums such as this one, with too much time on my hands, I began seeking higher capacity and heavier calibers and I bought my first Glock, a model 27 in the winter of 04-05. From that point forward, I've been buying and selling handguns, seeking the Holy Grail of service caliber, high capacity, light weight and reliability. It's been an elusive search and a bit risky, meeting potential buyers and sellers in public parking lots.

Now, according to the FBI violent crime statistics, the incidents of actual violent crimes against persons and property have been dropping to a significantly lower level for a number of years, but I persist in this quest to a lesser degree due to my advancing years (now 70 years old) and a felt need to simplify guns, calibers, magazines, holsters, mag carriers, etc.

Armed with a pair of G42s (which I've found I can shoot very accurately), a G26.5 and a G23.4 with a 9mm conversion barrel, I hope I've reached a logical plateau in what appears to be a safer world.

Funny thing is, my wife and I have backpacked across Europe a couple of times within the last 7-8 years, totally unarmed, and I've never felt paranoid. We also began spending more time in New York City after our daughter married a man whose career was based in that city. We actually LIKED the city and would walk the streets at all hours of the day and night and never felt at risk.

And, in my current home(s), I seldom feel like my threat assessment is rising; quite the contrary, it seems to be falling.

Perhaps I'll get back to that simple, minimal life of 1-2 handguns and a shotgun for hunting and home defense.

How about you? Do you relate to what I'm asking?

I've got friends and acquaintances who are retired LEOs and/or combat veterans and their position ranges up and down the spectrum now that they're not facing armed enemy combatants or violent perpetrators. Some have adopted a minimalist approach to firearms and some have 'geared up' for a world they see as growing more ominous. A couple of my high school buddies who did tours in Vietnam as infantry and mechanized troops won't even touch a gun and own none.

I'll be curious about your responses.
 

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While I would never consider myself well-armed with a .22, I have carried my Colt Agent (6 shot) and a single-stack 9mm Ruger EC9s (7+1) in the recent past and didn't feel particularly undergunned. I think the move toward higher capacities is fueled as much by the guns being available as anything else. I put aside my Ruger in favor of the P365. Had the P365 not been available, I'd probably still be happily carrying the Ruger. Others have done the same, succumbing to the siren song of higher capacity in a pistol of the same or smaller size. If you can get higher capacity in the same size pistol, why not? Having carried a gun on a daily basis for over 30 years, I have come to appreciate having the smallest, lightest option available, but I won't compromise on caliber. If my dress won't allow me to carry the P365, I change the way I'm dressed, not my pistol.

I don't have a "need" for more than a single pistol. If it can protect me while I'm out and about, it can protect me at home, but I do own more than one. I see no need to pare down my modest collection, tho. To what end? They don't take up a significant amount of space. They're not valuable collectibles I can cash in on. I do shoot most of them at least occasionally, although most of my range work is done with my current EDC.
 

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Mr. Awesome
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If you read some of the “is five shots enough” or “carry jframe” threads, you’ll see a lot of people still find themselves well armed with such weapon systems.

By the math, having any firearm is “heavily armed“ (in the US). Go to any public place, that isn’t firearm centric, with a j-frame. It’s very likely you’ll be the only one in possession of a firearm. J-frame versus knife or fists is a stout advantage. In the unlikely event others are armed, they may have “better fighting handguns” than you, but that doesn’t mean you won’t win a gunfight.

Even among gun enthusiast, a lot don’t carry everywhere. Of those who carry, very few are choosing full grip handguns. Even fewer carry a reload.

If you carry a decent loadout and a reload, you are better armed than everyone except those out looking for a fight.

Of course, if you need to use your firearm, more is always better.
 

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I'm a practicing minimalist in all aspects of my life. A Glock 17, 43 and S&W 686 meet all my handgun needs.

I still do a little deer, antelope and bear hunting. So I have 3 bolt action rifles set up from short to very long range. Plus 2 shotguns for upland game and HD.

I'm fine with the lower capacities of the 43 and 686. But I've never been in a gunfight either and there is a very high percentage that I'm more likely to get into a physical altercation than a shooting one.
 

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There is no one size fits all answer here, like most complex subjects.

Most people will never need any gun for SD, much less a loaded one, much less more than 1 shot. The numbers say you would be better of buying shark attack or lightning strike insurance.

But numbers can be misleading and taken out of context. People need to seek their own comfort level.

We still have the freedom to do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Excellent responses. Thank you.

I sometimes feel like I'm spending too much time thinking about this subject, perhaps as a result of clever marketing by the firearms and ammunition industries, perhaps because I've got too much time on my hands since retirement in 2010. I'm also swayed by current events and would guess most of us are.
 

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im not tacticool at all i have alot of pistols in alot of calibers and i carry a little keltec .380 everyday because its NEVER failed to fire and its soo small and light i dont notice i even have it. it holds 6rd in the mag and i dont bother with the whole +1 deal. i figure if i need more than those 6rds of .380 then nomatter what i had, it wouldnt have been enough anyways
 

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Concealed carry generally was not a big thing before the states slowly began legalizing it starting in the late 80s, and the notion really took off in a rather short time. So, lots more people have a handgun than used to be the case.

Obviously that time frame coincides with the double stack service pistol becoming enormously popular.
 

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I didn't live in a state that allowed me to CCW until 2010 and I was already an avid shooter by then, and even then didn't start carrying until I felt the need to do so (aggressive unchained partially feral dogs in the area getting into it with my lab. Very, very rural town) so my opinion and value has always been about something that will get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Nothing's changed once I moved to the more civilized lower 48, I'll gladly take a bit more hassle and discomfort for something that I shoot very well and I have high confidence it'll get the job done.

Never shot mouse guns or calibers well enough to trust, myself. YMMV.
 

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Enigma
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Threat assessment:
I assess that if I have to defend against a threat, I want 9mm minimum and carry accordingly, everywhere, consistently.
I also assess that being at slidelock and threat(s) not incapacitated would suck, so at least 8 rds in gun.
 

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There was a time in the not-so-distant past when a 5-shot snubbie or a steel-framed .380 was considered adequate for self defense. For many (most?) people who weren't engaged in combat operations or LEO careers, one handgun of that size and caliber was considered plenty good. I think most of us slept just fine having such a weapon nearby ... and not even on our person.

About 30 years ago, I felt OK with an Iver Johnson TP-22 loaded with Stingers. I seldom carried it, but kept it close at hand. Then, the uproar over the 1986 FBI shootout in Miami gained prominence in shooting circles and even the much-vaunted Winchester 9mm Silver Tips were brought into question. Then entered the 300-pound meth head who couldn't be stopped with multiple hits from a .45 ACP and I felt under-gunned with my little .22 pistol and I moved up to a single stack S&W 9mm (can't recall the model) and I was fine for about 5-10 years with that pistol nearby ... again, seldom carried.

Speaking for myself, with the advent of the Internet and forums such as this one, with too much time on my hands, I began seeking higher capacity and heavier calibers and I bought my first Glock, a model 27 in the winter of 04-05. From that point forward, I've been buying and selling handguns, seeking the Holy Grail of service caliber, high capacity, light weight and reliability. It's been an elusive search and a bit risky, meeting potential buyers and sellers in public parking lots.

Now, according to the FBI violent crime statistics, the incidents of actual violent crimes against persons and property have been dropping to a significantly lower level for a number of years, but I persist in this quest to a lesser degree due to my advancing years (now 70 years old) and a felt need to simplify guns, calibers, magazines, holsters, mag carriers, etc.

Armed with a pair of G42s (which I've found I can shoot very accurately), a G26.5 and a G23.4 with a 9mm conversion barrel, I hope I've reached a logical plateau in what appears to be a safer world.

Funny thing is, my wife and I have backpacked across Europe a couple of times within the last 7-8 years, totally unarmed, and I've never felt paranoid. We also began spending more time in New York City after our daughter married a man whose career was based in that city. We actually LIKED the city and would walk the streets at all hours of the day and night and never felt at risk.

And, in my current home(s), I seldom feel like my threat assessment is rising; quite the contrary, it seems to be falling.

Perhaps I'll get back to that simple, minimal life of 1-2 handguns and a shotgun for hunting and home defense.

How about you? Do you relate to what I'm asking?

I've got friends and acquaintances who are retired LEOs and/or combat veterans and their position ranges up and down the spectrum now that they're not facing armed enemy combatants or violent perpetrators. Some have adopted a minimalist approach to firearms and some have 'geared up' for a world they see as growing more ominous. A couple of my high school buddies who did tours in Vietnam as infantry and mechanized troops won't even touch a gun and own none.

I'll be curious about your responses.
It depends on where you are at as to increasing or decreasing the odds of needing more "firepower" than a .22.

I'm happy with a 5 shot snobby or compact .380 in the small town that I live, yet, in more urban areas, with groups of attackers, I would want a hi capacity 9mm. A shotgun is very devastating indoors against a few attackers, but in a riot situation, I want a hi capacity AR or AK.

The most effective small arms for fighting, I feel, are a high capacity 9mm and AR or AK type rifle.

Those veterans who refuse to be armed, that's a personal choice. As a veteran, I DO feel the need to be armed with more than a .22 and a shotgun.

Personal choices depending on the person.
 

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Excellent responses. Thank you.

I sometimes feel like I'm spending too much time thinking about this subject, perhaps as a result of clever marketing by the firearms and ammunition industries, perhaps because I've got too much time on my hands since retirement in 2010. I'm also swayed by current events and would guess most of us are.
What kind of encounter will be faced? Is it a single attacker that provides an unobstructed, frontal torso shot? Will it be someone on meth or spice that doesn't feel pain, has super human strength and doesn't respond to serious injury? Is it going to be multiple attackers? What is your experience level with dynamic, fluid, fast-paced scenarios?

These are all legitimate considerations. I have fought people that haven't noticed they've been tased. Respond to O.C. spray by wiping it off their faces and then saying, 'come get me'. I have broken 13 ribs on a prisoner, shattered his eye socket and broke his nose...and he was still not stopped and trying to actively kill me. I've seen multiple people, shot multiple times and were not stopped. Including head shots with 45acp. There really is no guarantee how it's going to happen or what the variables may be.

I will carry an LCP or LCP II on occasion if I'm just around the house or if I have to get dressed up for a wedding or some other occasion where it's harder to conceal a larger weapon. It's a compromise that sometimes has to be made. Better to have 'a' gun than 'no' gun. But it isn't my first choice. Having seen what I've seen, dealing with the effects that drugs can have on people gives you a larger perspective. Honestly, if 'Joe normal citizen' could have shadowed me on some of my shifts they would have gone straight out to the gun store and bought the largest/highest capacity pistol they could manage. So that is really the best advice I can give; carry the largest/highest capacity pistol you can manage and WILL carry on a regular basis AND train with it in high stress situations. Anything less is simply putting yourself further behind the 8-ball.

So yesterday my son and I went for a walk around our neighborhood. We both felt comfortable just slipping a LCP in the pocket. Later today however I'm heading out shopping and errands and it will be a Sig P365 w/12-round mag and 15-round spare mag. I've both qualified with this pistol and run it through an Outlaw match so I know it's capabilities and my abilities with it. This is something that is my EDC 99% of the time so I know I will have it and carry it. If I were heading out of town I'd likely have my Glock 19X as well.

So it all depends on your perspective of likely threats, what you've experienced in your life and what you feel is reasonable.
 

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Although this is not a Political theme, it does emulate a theme that voted for MrBiden as you and some others have done.

Crime, has not gone down in Chicago and violence still does persist in major cities.

I still have Insurance that exceeds my loses and carry in accordance with that theme. I prefer NOT to need a Firearm nor Insurance but do so for common sense.

Nothing has changed for myself, and I have no intent to, a 26 with 13 rounds is the norm and will remain so.
 
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