TRIGGERED: The Cape Gun Works Blog
By A.K. Arbalest
14 July 2021
What is the best caliber for a defensive handgun?
This is a question we get very often in License to Carry classes, and in Pistol Handling 1. The answer people expect is something like, “The one with the biggest knock-down power”. Knock-down power may be good, but let’s think this through.
Most new gun owners tell us they want a firearm for home or personal defense. “In case someone comes in my house” is a reason we hear on almost a weekly basis. These new gun owners come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. The reasons they give may be similar, but with pistols, one size does absolutely not fit all. Shooters who want to own a firearm for home or personal defense need to be able to fire with defensive accuracy. Simply put, this means that a shooter can place most of his or her rounds in an area about the size of a piece of paper, at a distance of about 15 feet, into the high center chest of a threatening target. One shooter may be able to do this with a .45 caliber. Others may not. For some of us, a .22 caliber is all we can manage. We have to bear in mind that the objective is to end the threat…and to accomplish this, accuracy is at least as important as mere power.
A large person with large hands may be very comfortable with a .44 magnum revolver as an Emergency Defensive Carry (EDC) firearm. For others, it might not work at all. They might be more comfortable with a .380 or 9mm pistol, or even a .22 Remember, the most powerful handgun in the world isn’t worth much unless it can be fired with accuracy. And how is such a handgun carried? The same carry method does not work for all people.
The choices to be made are very important, but they are highly individual. How can a newly licensed shooter decide what is right? One of the best ways is with a private lesson at Cape Gun Works. Our staff will listen to your concerns and ideas, and help you find and choose the right caliber firearm for your defensive needs. Your instructor can make suggestions based upon body type, age, skill level, and other individual needs. Then, you can decide what is right for you, and proceed on your knowledge journey with confidence. Remember, the “best” handgun for personal defense is the one that you can shoot with defensive accuracy. We will help you find it.
Give us a call, or simply book a private lesson online. See you on the range!