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I lust for the .454 Casull Ruger Alaskan as it can use the .45 in black bear country and the .454 in Grizzly territory. I often carry a Ruger .357 Mag, SP-101 for conceal carry and the .454 would serve for .45 Colt conceal carry.
After reading the Grizzly/dog walking story at http://www.fieldandstream.com/against-all-odds-at... I wonder if even my .45 bear load is enough in Grizzly territory.
I meant no criticism of any shooter who practices as much as possible. I also do not have a large wallet, in fact I am retired and living on a fixed income. I shoot my inexpensive stuff much more than my expensive rounds. I reload what I can, when I can. Often enough I am shooting cap and ball as it, like .22 lr, is extremely cost effective. That being said, a semi-auto pistol that has not been fired or practiced with (snap caps mean you don't have to always go to the range) recently means that you are not as proficient with clearing drills, presentation, the full manual of arms as I think you would want to be when you are quite literally playing 'you bet your life' on your skill with that weapon.
Not sure which role you want the 9mm t0 fill. Ken Tec makes an excellent 9mm (their P11) pocket pistol with 10 in the mag and one in the tube. It is a DA only and makes an excellent back up weapon for carry or a primary carry weapon in summer with the lighter clothing. Sig makes some excellent full size 9mm although they are a tad more expensive than Kel Tec. If you are not concerned about 'rounds in the mag' issues, any revolver in .38 Spl or .357 Mag makes an excellent weapon. The Ruger SP101 in either caliber is excellent and the .38 Spl with modern bullets is as effective as the 9mm. I am a fan of Hornady's Critical Defense ammo since that round is designed to expand properly with the muzzle velocity from a handgun.
A full sized handgun (a 1911 in .45 ACP say) makes a lousy concealed weapon. I tried it and it was literally painful. It is a great home defense because of higher muzzle velocity and less recoil that a smaller weapon but I could not carry it concealed. Open carry was fine but concealed was out. As a .45 bigot I conceal carry a Colt Combat Commander. Still difficult to CC but doable at the cost of more recoil and less muzzle velocity due to shorter barrel and lighter weight.
Best advice is to find a gun range that will rent weapons and try several, see what fits your hand and what you can use. Try several types and see works best for you. Remember that you must practice and keep current. I don't like to shoot the P11 because it recoils more than my .45 ACP. You can't beat physics - light weight equals more recoil and small size means less weight.
I agree, outside of some very specific roles, none of them civilian or survival, less lethal just does not seem to have a place in my armory.
A good turkey load, #4 shot, may be the ideal shot for inside the home. Heavy enough to stop the bad guys (it is designed to stop a tough bird at 50 yards or so) but not so heavy that over penetration is an issue.
Just my not so humble opinion.
Your point about recoil is well made. If you are recoil adverse (I am getting that way as I get older) a 20 gauge is as effective as a 12 at close combat distances. Only the corner can tell you if a 12 or 20 was used and he will find that out by counting the number of pellets in the body.
Just my not so humble opinion.
no disagreement, sir, but remember, perfect health means dying as slowly as possible. As I have aged, my health has deteriorated. There will come a time, when survival is no longer possible. That is not a pleasant thought but it is reality. You can delay that reality by prudent prepping of body and gear but you can not permanently postpone it.
Texas is very friendly to home owners defending themselves, their family and their property. In other states, the fact that you actually had a firearm to use can send you to prison. One of the reasons I live in Texas is the attitude on self defense.
If your state prefers to keep you helpless then you have my sympathy, sir. I would recommend you consider moving to a different location where you are not dependent on the whims of local politicians for your family's safety.
I do agree with you that if you talk to the police without benefit of attorney, you may well spend some time in jail. Such injustice does occur, even in Texas, so be careful.