Best Concealed Carry Calibers

Best caliber for concealed carry

Gun owners will rarely agree on the best caliber to use for concealed carry guns. Obviously, the type of gun will dictate, to a degree, what type of ammunition you will use. The type of weapon and ammunition will also depend on your level of experience.

Training

Novice shooters should complete a training course before shooting or buying any gun or ammunition. Range practice will guide you to choose the right gun and ammo for your unique situation. Instructors can help you decide which ammunition is comfortable for you to shoot, given power and recoil. The instructor will also help you to decide which type of ammo would work best in situations you may encounter. Most people carry concealed for personal protection. You should ask yourself why you want to carry concealed. The answers to those questions will help you choose between a .22, 9mm, .380, .357 or a many other choices.

Choosing the Best Caliber

Shooters choose the following calibers most often for concealed carry: .22LR, .357 Magnum, .38 Special, .380 ACP, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and 9mm. Each

.22 LR

The .22LR is a light round that many argue isn’t powerful enough for concealed carry. However, that’s not always true, especially if your aim is to scare off an intruder.

.357 Magnum

Munitions makers designed the .357 Magnum by adding more powder into the case of a .38 caliber. Law enforcement liked the round and it became a go-to for defensive shooting.

.380 ACP

The .380 ACP is a shorter version of a 9mm round. The ammo has light recoil and sufficient stopping power for this purpose.

.40 S&W

The .40 S&W was created by shortening a 10mm cartridge as well as reducing the powder charge. The round is larger than a 9mm, but it can fit in a pistol designed for 9mm. The round, a good choice for self-defense and concealed carry, remains a popular choice for law enforcement and civilians.

.45 ACP

Gun enthusiasts love the .45 ACP. Its incredible stopping power has made it popular with the military, law enforcement and those that want to carry a large caliber for protection. The only downside is it muzzle flash and recoil, which are still manageable for the right user.

9mm

The 9mm Parabellum is the most used ammunition cartridge in the world. Police and military use it for most pistol applications. It has good stopping power and is readily available from most manufacturers.

Conclusion

Shooters should educate themselves not only on the caliber of a round but also the various types of ammunition that are made for each. These include full metal jacket, hollowpoint, and soft hollowpoint, among others. You must discover which caliber is best suited for your use, is the most practical and most affordable. Once you do that, you will enjoy your weapon for many years to come.

.380 for Self-Defense

.380 is a popular off duty weapon for police.

People who carry concealed for self-defense often choose larger calibers for their stopping power. The .380 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) remains one of the most popular rounds on the market. Shooters prefer the round because it is lightweight and easy to carry with minimal recoil and muzzle blast. Police officers often carry a .380 as a backup weapon. Hobbyists and competition shooters choose the ammo for backyard shooting, competition and plinking.

 Development of .380 Ammo

John Moses Browning created .380 ammunition for the Colt Model 1908 Pocket Pistol in 1908. Browning designed the ammo after the .38 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) cartridge, which was made for blowback pistols. The military used .380 ACP ammo until it was replaced with the 9mm.

In 1912, .380 ACP ammo was introduced in Belgium, where it was named the “9mm Browning Short.” Military forces used the round throughout World War II until many replaced it with the more popular 9mm cartridge.

Other names for .380 ACP cartridges  include 9mm Browning, 9mm Browning Court, .380 Auto, 9mm Short, 9mm Corto, 9mm Kurz, and 9×17mm. The .380 Auto should not be confused with .38 ACP.

The .380 Auto for Self-Defense

People looking for a self-defense weapon may choose the .380 ACP for its accuracy. The round has a moderate recoil and muzzle blast which works well for novice shooters. The round feeds easily and the guns chambered for this round are dependable. The ammunition is better than the .32 Auto, especially when it comes to stopping power. As a result, the .380 ACP has become the standard minimum chambering for law enforcement, military and self-defense use.

The popularization of the 9mm caused a decrease in sales for the .380 ACP until the mid-2000s, when the demand increased for lightweight pistols suitable for carrying concealed. Manufacturers have responded to the demand for weapons chambered in .380 ACP and have also begun to mass produce the ammo to be sold in bulk. The mass production allows consumers to buy .380 rounds for less money at retail sites as well as through online markets.

Stopping Power

The stopping power of .380  ammo is sufficient to stop a threat.  Some experts dismiss the round because it is smaller and less effective than larger handgun calibers. For example, the 9mm has more firepower, but the performance isn’t much different. The .380 round performs like a .45 cartridge rather than the .32 ACP, which is closer to its size.

While the cartridge may be weaker than larger calibers, the lower recoil is a benefit to novice users since the gun is easier to fire. The shooter also has less recovery time and can fire faster, which means a great deal when the shooter is acquiring a target. Manufacturers continue to chamber handguns for the .380 ACP, including subcompact models that are ideal for concealed carry.