Concealed Carry Questions & Answers

Michael W. Loos writes [via Ammoland.com]

As concealed carry has come to the forefront in politics and state legislation fights, as the threat of terrorists on our home turf becomes a reality, as gang warfare expands, cutting a wider swath away from their urban haunts, I find more and more people who were anti-gun or sitting on the fence, asking more and more questions about the lifestyle. I find them to be truly interested in the whats and hows, and the dangers and the mindset of concealed carry. These are just a few of the concealed carry questions I get asked on a regular basis and the answers I give . . .

Why don’t you shoot to wound?

Because this isn’t a Hollywood movie and you don’t give the bad guy a chance to murder you. While punching holes in the ten ring at the range may be easy – slow, sighted and shooting at paper – in the gravest moment of your life, facing a criminal with a gun trained on you, with your mind and body reacting to screaming visceral inputs, adrenaline dumping into your body in the sudden expectation of a fight for your life,.

Next your auditory senses shutting down, tunnel vision turning your peripheral vision black, your heart rate explodes, fine motor movements devolve, your arteries constrict to keep blood close to your vital organs, your hands become hams on the bone making the practiced movement of unholstering your gun a chore – and attempting a shot at seven feet will seem like a 100 yard shot in a high wind.

The bulk of defensive gunfights take place in low light conditions at contact distance – under six feet and on average 2-4 shots are fired. From the time you decide to draw and fire to the time the fight is over will be around five seconds.

Let me say that again…from calm to full on defense of your life and those around you, will start and end in roughly five seconds. It will be terrifying, incredibly loud, shadowy and dark, horrifically chaotic and frighteningly fast.

You shoot until either the criminal is unable to continue the attack or your life is no longer in danger. You must stop the threat. You must shoot center mass. You don’t shoot to wound.

Keep in mind the Bad Guy – in many instances – is not going to fall over from one shot, stopped in his tracks or being blown backwards like in the movies. He will keep coming. The only shot that will stop a person immediately is a shot to the head or a shot to the spine – shoulder height at the neck on up to the head.

Attempting a shot to such small targets in the most dire of circumstances is at best a dicey play. Many people train by drawing and firing a ‘double tap‘ – two quick shots to center mass, assuring your best chances of being on target – while others train with two quick shots center mass followed by a third shot to the head.

On top of all this? Knowing your target and what’s beyond! LEO have an on target rate of 20%. Trying to hit a hand, or arm or foot will only ensure you miss and possibly hit someone behind your target.

When your life and those of your loved ones is on the line, you give no quarter. You stop the threat.

Why don’t you fire a warning shot?

Although their are instances of this, generally speaking, a warning shot is always a bad idea. Again, this isn’t some cop show on TV – this is real life.

First, you are responsible for every bullet that leaves your gun. Shooting into the air may seem like a good idea, but where did that round go? Might it kill or injure someone blocks away – something you would be arrested for?

Shooting into the ground? Ricochet’s and fragmented lead flying everywhere.

And what if the warning shot doesn’t stop the criminal? What if he doesn’t retreat? You have now shown your hand and if he has not fired a round yet, he will now. You had a concealed gun and the element of surprise and now you have a gun that is down one round of ammo and you have given away your edge.

In all honesty, if you feel you need to give the Bad Guy with a gun, who is hell bent on harming you, a “chance” by firing off a warning shot, you truly should evaluate whether you should carry at all.

The Bad Guy was 20′ away, why did they shoot?

The Bad Guy was 20' away, why did they shoot?

The Tueller Drill is a self defense training exercise named after the man who did the research, Sgt Dennis Tueller of the Salt Lake City, Utah Police Department.

He found, after running tests with LEOs, that an adult male could cover 21 feet in 1.5 seconds.

Since most people who train with their sidearm can draw and fire in 1.5 seconds, it means a man with a knife at that range is lethal.

At 21 feet you are in Jeopardy. At 21 feet, the criminal has Opportunity.

At 21 feet with a knife, the criminal has the Ability to bring lethal force. JOA – Jeopardy, Opportunity, Ability. Three of the cornerstones of concealed carry self defense triggers.

Aren’t you afraid your gun might go off?

No. One of the four cardinal rules of gun safety… Finger off the trigger until your target is acquired and you have made the decision to shoot – The gun can only go off with a finger on the trigger. Modern guns are made with internal safeties – hammer blocks, firing pin blocks and transfer bar blocks (revolvers) – that prevent guns from accidentally going off from drops and bumps. Modern holsters cover the trigger and trigger guard, so nothing can get caught in the trigger and cause an accidental / negligent discharge.

Why would you need more than one magazine of ammo?

Gun Magazines

How many rounds of ammo to carry is a very personal choice. I carry only the 6+1 in my Kahr CW45 when I’m in and around the general area where I live. That being said, going on a car trip or to other towns or cities, I always carry two extra seven round mags on my offhand side. This gives me a total of 21 rounds of defense. Some people, like those who might carry a Glock 19, feel comfortable with the 15+1 that gun holds. Others will carry a couple extra mags, bringing their on hand total to 46 rounds.

To each their own. But two things to keep in mind;

  1. One famous gunfight happened in Illinois where a Police officer hit the bad guy 17 times with Speer Gold Dot JHP 45 ACP, including hits to the liver, lungs and heart.. and still the assailant kept coming. He was finally stopped at close range with three shots to the head. The officer fired 33 rounds and reloaded twice…You never know how much ammo you may require.
  2. No one ever survived a gunfight and said, “Damn, I carried too much ammo!”

Why bother carrying a gun where it’s safe?

Because when it becomes unexpectedly unsafe, you will need your gun and you won’t have it. And hell, if you know where a violent crime is going to take place, you could make a mint off an app that told the populace where and when…

“Don’t go to the Dunkin Doughnut’s on 5th avenue this morning! Around 8:27 am, there will be an robbery at gun point! On the other hand, the block that intersects Elm and Main will be clear all day! Feel free to enjoy!”

If you carry, then carry all the time. I carry from the moment I get dressed, until I go to bed.

Aren’t you afraid a child would find your gun?

No. A responsible gun owner keeps his weapons out of the reach of children. Any gun not on my hip is in my safe. Although the fear driven media would have you believe that children die in gun accidents by the thousands, the reality is – according to the Center for Disease Control – Less than 1.5 percent of all accidental deaths under the age of 14 are due to the use of a gun.

Accidental drownings? 17 times more often, yet we never hear about a crusade against pool owners.

You Carry Cocked and Locked?

Cocked and Locked

The term “Cocked and Locked” pertains to the standard Condition One carry of a 1911 style handgun.

One round in the chamber, hammer cocked, safety on. Although the thought and the picture of a gun sitting in a holster in that carry condition seems dangerous, the truth is certainly counter intuitive.

The 1911 has three safety’s… One is the grip safety… the gun must be in your hand to disarm the safety. The second safety is the thumb safety, which must be in the down (fire) position. The third safety is your finger off the trigger until your target is acquired and you are ready to shoot.

The gun cannot go off with your finger on the trigger and the thumb safety off but your hand not pressing the grip safety. The gun cannot fire with your hand on the grip safety, your finger on the trigger but the thumb safety on. The gun cannot fire with your hand on the grip safety, the thumb safety in the “fire” position and your finger off the trigger.

Truly, one of the safest guns ever made. Thank you, John Moses Browning.

No safety on your gun?

My 1911 and my Walther P22 both have manual safeties, the 1911 includes a grip safety and the Walther includes a magazine disconnect safety, though I don’t carry the Walther and rarely the 1911.

My Kahr CW45 and my Taurus TCP 380 are without safeties. Both the the latter are carried with one in the pipe. There is no danger of the gun going off unless I have placed my finger on the trigger, and if my gun is unholstered and my finger is on the trigger, then the situation is dire and with the hi-stress, physically debilitating flight or fight response taking over, dumping adrenaline into my system, I will be glad I don’t have to attempt disengaging the thumb safety before firing.

Why don’t you use safety locks?

If my gun isn’t on my hip, it’s in my safe. If an intruder comes into my home, I can open my safe and I’m ready to go. Having to take the extra time to remove a safety lock, in that situation, isn’t the smart thing to do. If the gun is kept safe and out of the reach of others, there isn’t any need for safety locks. It’s an unnecessary redundancy.

Why a .45? Why not a .22?

Ammuntion Calibers

I prefer stopping power over quantity. The .22 is a small, high speed projectile that makes a very small wound channel. The .45 is slower, heavier and the wound channel – using the correct ammo – is devastating. That being said, caliber is a personal choice. Although the .380 is considered the smallest effective carry caliber, it is often said that a .22 in your holster is better than the .45 you left at home.

Most who carry, choose their weapons for a variety of reasons…

Comfort – my Taurus TCP .380 is about 15 oz loaded, my Kahr CW 45 is 27 oz loaded and my 1911 is 2.75 lbs loaded. So some days the weather and clothing dictate what I carry. I carry the Kahr most often, followed by the Taurus, while the 1911 is my overnight, home defense pistol.

Stopping Power – The most popular caliber is probably the 9mm. Versatile in that it is lighter for carry, allowing a double stack mag that doesn’t break your back, has good stopping power and is relatively inexpensive to buy and shoot. Basically stopping power is as follows .45, .40, 9mm, .380 – for semi autos. Wheel gun users (revolvers) have the added choice of .44 magnum, .357 magnum, and all others in between – 38 special, 10mm and some I’m forgetting. For a backup gun, some still use a .32, .25 and or .22. Do your research, weigh the pros and cons and decide for yourself what your carry needs are.

Ease of Use – Racking the slide on a .45 can be difficult even for men. Many people prefer a gun that doesn’t kick (recoil) so hard, allowing a quicker target acquisition. Men, women, older people, people with health issues (arthritis, gout) may find the lighter weight .380s to be easiest to rack, while others may prefer the simple yet just as effective revolver.

So, in the end, it all comes down to what is most important for you, what works for you, what you are comfortable with. Rent and test guns available at your LGS before buying, or ask a friend to try his guns.

Why do you use hollow points?

Hollow Points

There are many kinds of ammo – Lead ball, full metal jackets, frangible and hollow points, just to name a few. But for defensive use, Jacketed Hollow Points are the preferred ammo. To explain it simply – the end of the bullet, instead of being tapered, is hollowed out. The bullet, in most instances, is covered in a Full Metal Jacket made of copper. When the round is fired, the bullet, upon impact with the bad guy, expands, making a larger wound channel, yet stopping before exiting the body – keeping anyone behind the bad guy safer.

The idea is two-fold. More damage is done with hollow points, meaning the fight should be over quicker and with fewer rounds expended, while due to their expansion, the round will stop in 12-15 inches on impact on the human body, so it won’t over penetrate.

FMJ – full metal jacket – ammo, will make a smaller wound channel and tends to over penetrate, putting bystanders at risk.

Most, if not all police departments use hollow point ammo. If it’s good enough for LE, it’s good enough for those of us who carry for defense.

Why a semi auto instead of a revolver?

I prefer the semi auto handgun over the revolver for three reasons. First, I don’t like the balance of the revolver – it feels odd in my hand. Second, I find it easier (for me) to reload a semi auto with a magazine over trying to reload a revolver (though those practiced in reloading their revolver are amazingly fast).

And third, the width of a semi auto is about 1″ making it easier for me to conceal.

Others like the feel of the revolver and the fact there is no racking of a slide or any of the reliability issues that some semi autos have – though you should never carry a gun that hasn’t had several hundred rounds thrown down range. Going ‘click bang’ every time is paramount.

Stopping power or one shot stop?

Carlsons 9mm Snap Caps : http://goo.gl/PM040U
Carlsons 9mm Snap Caps are a great dry fire training tool for your gun: http://goo.gl/PM040U

The one shot stop is television / movie fiction. With rare exceptions – head shot, spinal shot – the majority of criminals are not stopped by one shot and they certainly don’t go flying ass over tea kettle backwards.

Even after being shot multiple times, many can still turn and run, going a block or miles before either succumbing to their wounds or getting to an Emergency Room, where they are promptly arrested. And many keep right on coming.

All we can do as part of the concealed carry lifestyle, is train hard and practice, practice practice.

What are snap caps?

Snap caps are fake ammo rounds used for practice. Usually colored (blue and red seem to be the most common) they allow for safe practice with your carry gun. You can practice loading and reloading, clearing stovepipes, failure to feed (FTF), failure to eject (FTE) and jams. Side note… when practicing, all live ammo should be out of the room while triple clearing your weapon for safety.

Holsters?

Holsters are another area of personal choice. Many will tell you they have a box or a drawer filled with holsters they use, have used, will use again and don’t use at all. After hearing the tales of holster mania, I feel lucky I’ve found holsters that are comfortable right off the bat. Most all holsters cover the trigger and trigger guard.

My 1911 goes in a Crossbreed SuperTuck – an in-waist-band (IWB) hybrid holster (Leather and Kydex) that is of high quality and comfortable. My Taurus TCP goes into a DeSantis PocketTuk reversible holster – IWB or pocket carry. For pocket carry it is critical you use a holster that covers the trigger and nothing else goes in that pocket.

My Kahr CW45 has an Alien 1.0 hybrid IWB holster that I do not like – its cheaply made and uncomfortable – and a Clinger “Stingray” kydex holster that I absolutely love. I also have a cheap shoulder holster for my 45’s that I do not like. The crossover in back sits too high on my neck for comfort. I would love to get an Andrews Leather shoulder holster or a Galco rig, but with prices for a quality shoulder rig running between $150 and $250 dollars, it’s a little steep to pay out that money and find out it isn’t comfortable.

Holsters often come with adjustments for ride height, cant (tilt) and retention, but in the end, they must be comfortable enough that you carry every day.

Can I really carry a loaded gun into the mall or other public area with one of these permits? – See more at: http://www.youcancarry.com/faq/#faq8

What if you get shot, how do I shoot then?

There are drills that we practice for not only that situation, but if you have to carry something or someone with your off hand.  These kinds of drills start with off hand shooting, drawing from your strong side holster with your weak hand, reloading with one hand, using your belt or the heel of your shoe to rack the slide one-handed, practicing with your guns strong hand controls with your weak hand and on and on… the education and training never stops.
Practice and training.  Training and practice.  They go hand in hand to keep us safe.
——–
Read more at NewGunnerJournalMichael W Loos‘ new book “I’m Married… Shoot Me!” is the harrowing tales of your average husband. Children, insanity and manly cowardice, all wrapped up in love – now available through Lulu.com.

52 Responses to Concealed Carry Q&A: Guns for Beginners

  1. I recently developed a love affair with the 32. Acp and 25. Acp. Started carrying a 32 acp occasionally. Love it. But I can’t help but sometimes catch the feeling that it is not enough should something bad happen.

    Carrying the biggest gun you can still rings true. Great article.

    • I was able to get a Beretta Tomcat in .32 ACP Inox with CT laser grips, two boxes of Hornady HP and a box of practice rounds for 200 bucks. While I don’t have much use for it I convinced my wife to start carrying in the car. She felt more comfortable carrying something with an external safety as none of my handguns have one. Baby steps to getting her to full time CCW

    • CC is going to be the end of gun rights. Way too many gun nubies impusively buy a gun, take a hollow course on CC, and start shooting off their mouth and packing their heat with attitude.

      Imagine listening to a CC spout off on the nuances of defensive ammo as if they invented the stuff. It’s like playing Call of Duty makes you an operator. The constant chatter about CC does not make you safer, make the public safer, nor show support for gun rights. Instead it scares everyone whether gun lover or not.

      Sorry, but I got to call em like I see em. I’m in for the long run, not the fads.

      • Who says concealed carry is a fad? My spouse and I both started carrying concealed several years ago and I cannot see either of use giving it up any time in the foreseeable future. The same goes for everyone else I know carries concealed … or even openly for that matter.

        • Several years is a fad. I got my great granddad’s .32 he used to CC when taking the horse drawn wagon into town. Got my grandpa’s .45, and my dad’s 10mm (got old and moved to a G42). And my own G19. The new CCer is into gun jewelry, not protection. It’s no fun to carry if you cannot brag about it.

          May you never have to use it, but turning CC into a lifestyle instead of a way of life is where function turned to fad.

          Carry on. Literally. And quietly.

      • Did you just go all hipster on the trendiness of the carrying a weapon…

        “Carrying a gun is so mainstream, now. I was into it back before it was normal and popular. So, I started carrying an onion on my belt – you probabaly haven’t heard of it.”

        • “…which was the style at the time. i didn’t have any white onions, because of the war…”

      • Are you insinuating that I am a CC n00b because I’m trying to get my wife to CCW? I have over a decade of training and practical experience between the Army as an 11B and my time as a LEO for a department that takes firearms training very seriously.

        Concealed carry is not a fad. It’s a growing movement that brings many new gun owners to the table and opens their eyes to the benefits of armed self defense. The growing number of CCers is one of the best things to ever happen to the gun community.

        What I will agree with you with is that some do run their mouths too much on social media about their newfound carry enthusiasm. OPSEC is underrated

      • I’ve carried since 1980 daily. Long before there were permits or permits were even something people thought you should have. I doubt it was even legal to do so but concealed is for a reason. People talk about it now because its legal in most places. Before nobody said anything as carrying a gun was viewed as something only criminals did. I don’t consider it a fad, its no different than carrying a knife. Just another tool I keep handy. The government could come out tomorrow and say ccw is illegal, all permits are revoked. Wouldn’t matter to me, I would still carry. I don’t ask permission to excercise my rights and I certainly don’t pay a fee. I also try to not enter into one sided contracts with the government, which is what you do when you apply for a permit.

  2. Some good advice. my 2 cents – R-E-V-O-L-V-E-R. Add an HKS speedloader if you feel you need it. Not those damm speed strips.

    • Forgot to add “wet noodle” in front of speed strips. Love to have a 6 shot .357 snub that used full moon clips.

      • I don’t think full moons are a good idea for carry, I can see them bending too easily with protracted time in a pocket etc. then you get screwed when they bind the gun up. I suppose a proper hard pouch would protect them but I generally put my speed loaders in my pocket. I personally I prefer Safariland comp 1s.

        • Those might be the ones I don’t like. Is it the push in type? if so I’ve broken 3 or more. HKS always. Shove in turn clockwise, snap shut, shoot.

        • They are the push type. I’ve never broken one myself. I took a comp 1 fully loaded with 357 magnums and threw it as hard as I possibly could at the ground and it didn’t break. I figured that was a good enough test for me.

  3. As to the question of “Why .45, why not .22LR?”, the answer for me is quite simple… ammo quality. There have been plenty of times I’ve shot .22LR, even with so-called “quality ammo,” where there are duds. Maybe only 4-5 in a brick if I’m lucky… but it happens far more often with rimfire ammo than it does with centerfire ammo. Often enough that in a defensive situation, I don’t want to run the risk of NOT having the gun go bang when I need it to.
    Stopping power aside, you need to be able to count on your gun each time, every time. .22LR ammo does not give me that confidence.

    • While I have encountered more duds with plain white-box .22lr than with white-box 9mm, but so far I haven’t ever had a dud .22mag. And when deciding between an NAA revolver in .22lr or mag, that personal statistic figured largely into making the choice…. even though the tiny barrel means there’s not much difference between the two besides noise.

  4. Tom Givens would disagree with the statement “The bulk of defensive gunfights take place in low light conditions at contact distance”.

    For his students, the most dangerous place is what Givens calls a “transitional area”. The best example is a parking lot. The person attacked is preoccupied with getting into or out of his car.

    Typical range is 3 to 5 yards. The advantage of a firearm over other weapons is that it works beyond arm’s reach. Criminals know that, too.

    None of Given’s students have ever used a flashlight during a defensive shooting. Apparently, darkness is as much of a handicap to criminals as to their victims.

  5. “Why don’t you shoot to wound?” implies that carriers are shooting to kill, which is not the truth.

    “We don’t shoot to wound or to kill– we shoot to stop the threat. Period.” Nothing more needs saying. For the questioner to continue questioning the issue is simply to argue against carrying.

    “Why carry a semi-auto (or revolver or -vs-revolver)?” goes along with carrying extra ammo. I go into fits every time I hear Beck talk about how great the derringer is and how it’s the only weapon a person will ever need. Two shots? even .410 buckshot? All one will ever need? Really, Beck- join the real world, OK?

    Sorry, ranting.

    • Good point. I’d rather say simply that I shoot to stop the threat. Whether or not that shot is fatal depends on many factors beyond my control.

  6. “For pocket carry it is critical you use a holster that covers the trigger and nothing else goes in that pocket.”

    Do not all holsters need to cover the trigger? This sentence seems to imply that covering the trigger may not be as important except for pocket carry… All holsters need to do this… isn’t that correct?

    • Too many people remember the Andy Griffith Show episodes where Barney grabbed his gun and shot the floor without ever getting it out of the holster.

      It’s important to explain to the uninformed that real holsters don’t work that way.

      • There’s a goofy pocket “holster” I often see advertised in various gun rags that’s intended to disguise a pocket gun as a wallet. The drawback is that it covers everything on the gun EXCEPT THE TRIGGER. That’s not a holster. I don’t know what it is, but it’s not a holster.

        • The wallet “holster” is ridiculous. That’s what it is. If you need something just to keep the pistol from turning over in your pocket, as small semi autos could do, get a laser on a .380. With a square gun in a square pocket, it should stay put.

  7. Very good article, I will save for future reference when needed.

    Just some minor editing is needed, such as the use of terms like “double stack mag.” I would also eliminate the whole “stopping power” discussion and simply say that law enforcement agencies use 9mm or larger calibers because of their experience in terms of what is necessary to stop a threat.

  8. Why not shoot to wound?
    We ARE shooting to wound. We wound them in the most efficient way to incapacitate. By no means there is the intention to kill, not at all.

    Why no warning shot?
    An assailant not stopped by the sight of a gun wont be stopped by the noise of it. The bullet coming down may, but not always, cause serious damages.

    Compared to my own gun which i know and have control of, i’m more afraid of getting shot by a perp than my own gun.

    Children who cannot safely be around guns wont find my gun. Parents stupid enough to do the contrary run over their kids with the truck or leave them to drown in a pool anyway.

    Why a larger projectile diameter?
    Well, it’s a balance between diameter and mag capacity. Suppose we had cartridges in all projectile diameters that can all penetrate 12″ at least. Somebody would prefer a 22cal with 30rd capacity while others prefer 50cal with 7rd, and then there are everyone in between. Factually there are only 3 predominant ones, 9, 40 and 45. Recent youtube trend is 9mm. You do not have to comply.

    Aint gonna touch on revolvers, pun intended.

    • Warning shots put the shooter in tricky legal water. Most areas will interpret a shot fired as use of deadly force, legally speaking, regardless of whether it was intended as a warning/threat, or in self-defense. The problem comes in where if the shooter simply wanted to use “threat of force” to demonstrate a willingness to shoot if necessary, when no actual use of deadly force was necessary. Declaring “stop or I’ll shoot!” is considered a THREAT of deadly force, while actually shooting is USE of deadly force. If you want to threaten, do it with words. Don’t fire the gun unless actual use of deadly force is warranted.

  9. I’ve shot deer with 12 ga slugs in vital areas and watched them run 50 yards. Be prepared to empty the gun into a 230lb guy who has been lifting weights in the joint and is high on painkillers.
    Only a drop in blood pressure works and that takes a artery hit. Once the blood pressure drops it’s lights out.

  10. Interesting stuff but lost in the macho fantasy of “how many rounds should I fire” is the fact that the most dangerous person an armed citizen will interact with is a cop. If the cop is not in uniform, then ten times more dangerous. If the cop is off-duty and out of uniform, even more dangerous when he grabs your gun, and you are supposed to let him.

    Watch out if you travel through Illinois with a concealed carry license. NRA state lobbyist Todd Vandermyde put Duty to Inform in Rep. Brandon Phelps HB183 “NRA backed” carry bill in 2013. The anti-gun police unions that opposed citizen carry in IL for 40 years wanted legal cover so they can kill armed citizens and grab their guns. EVERY violation of the IL carry bill is criminal, 6 MONTHS or 1 YEAR in jail. So the cop (or police impersonator) who questions you has the excuse to make an arrest, which means he has the excuse to use force, which means he can kill you at will. Then be cleared by the prosecutor, since Vandermyde gave DTI to the police.

    The original “NRA backed” carry bill that passed in June 2013 wasn’t dangerous enough, so in May 2015 Phelps and his pet rat Vandermyde snuck through an “improvement” on a Sunday in May when NRA members were asleep in their trailers. The SB836 “trailer bill” codifies gun seizure, language supplied by the anti-gun IL State Police. I am not making this up:

    “If a licensee carrying a firearm or a non-resident carrying a firearm in a vehicle under subsection (e) of Section 40 of this Act is contacted by a law enforcement officer or emergency services personnel, the law enforcement officer or emergency services personnel may secure the firearm or direct that it be secured during the duration of the
    contact if the law enforcement officer or emergency services personnel determines that it is necessary for the safety of any person present, including the law enforcement officer or emergency services personnel. The licensee or nonresident shall submit to the order to secure the firearm. When the law enforcement officer or emergency services personnel have determined that the licensee or non-resident is not a threat to the safety of any person present, including the law enforcement officer or emergency services personnel, and if the licensee or non-resident is physically and mentally capable of possessing
    23 the firearm, the law enforcement officer or emergency services personnel shall return the firearm to the licensee or non-resident before releasing him or her from the scene and breaking contact. If the licensee or non-resident is transported for treatment to another location, the firearm shall be turned over to any peace officer. The peace officer
    3 shall provide a receipt which includes the make, model, caliber, and serial number of the firearm.” Thanks Todd!

    Every armed citizen in America has a deadly serious problem if Chris Cox & Chuck Cunningham at NRA-ILA actually pay money to scum like Vandermyde to codify legalized police execution into law. That’s “your” NRA!

      • Warren- some sources show police in America have killed more citizens than American servicemen have been killed in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001. Police departments hide the figures and do not report all police killings of citizens to the Justice Dept. Or they hide the stats in other categories. Cops are schemers. Some sources show police killing over 1,000 citizens per year. Search yourself and tell us what you come up with.

        Re. the danger of off-duty or plainclothes police, reference Frank Serpico.

    • Ol’ Todd wrangled Concealed Carry through an Illinois Legislature controlled by the Madigan Chicago Democratic machine. Yes, he had Heller, MacDonald and a court ruling in his pocket. He also watched appellate courts twice overrule two additional pro 2nd Amendment challenges. I watched every session of the debates in House and Senate.Vandermyde was a lion.

      Does Il CC contain major suckage? It does indeed. But I had untold conversations with old gun guys who were convinced Il would never get concealed carry. And now we do. And not like the concealed carry like they have in NY, CA, or HI (Which the Supreme court is OK with.). DTI was a sop thrown to the ISP, which was lobbying hard against the bill till the end.

      And I’m convinced we wouldn’t have without the tireless efforts of Vandermyde and others.

      • “Ol’ Todd wrangled Concealed Carry through an Illinois Legislature controlled by the Madigan Chicago Democratic machine.” Statement implies an adversarial position.

        NRA state lobbyist for Illinois Todd Vandermyde is a creature of the Democratic Machine labor unions that Speaker of the House Mike Madigan controls. Before Vandermyde was registered as an NRA lobbyist with IL Secretary of State Jesse White, he was registered as lobbyist for the Intl. Union of Operating Engineers local 150 in Countryside, IL, where he worked for president William E. Dugan.

        150 is known as the road builders union, and is one of the largest unions in IL with membership spanning bordering states. 150 gave away $330,000 to candidates in one recent year, perhaps more than any other labor union in the state. As lobbyist, Vandermyde was not just a dues paying union member in the ranks running a bulldozer, he interacted with the union leadership as their mouthpiece in Springfield.

        150 president William Dugan was convicted by Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in 2010. Sec. of State records show Vandermyde no longer registered as 150 lobbyist in 2011. Typically when the FBI & U.S. Attorney investigate a construction trade union, there could have been possible organized crime influence. One way to find out about Vandermyde’s union associations, Chris Cox & Chuck Cunningham at NRA-ILA can require Vandermyde to provide his own FBI file for inspection by the NRA board.
        https://www.fbi.gov/chicago/press-releases/2010/cg101410.htm

        If you wish to search background, look for Donald Todd Vandermyde. Vandermyde, Madigan and the police unions are all on the same side together.

  11. Nice. This shall be shared with those who are considering joining the 2A community.

    Molon labe

    Omnia paratus

  12. Hello. I’m relatively new to carrying, though I already have a few bits of knowledge under my belt. I’m always looking to understand more and greatly appreciate an article like this. Realizing that some of this is personal taste, I keep reading about the ‘caliber’ wars, and finally have to ask: The local gunstore that my friends pointed me to recommended that I carry a revolver, in the .38 special caliber, and practice with a speed loader. Now I’m the owner of a Charter Arms 73820. So…is a .38 a large enough round to be considered defensive? And is this REALLY a good gun for self defense? For reference, I’m a 6′ woman, slender, and medium hands, though I found it sits very comfortably against my side in it’s holster.

    Edit: Oh, and the ammo I picked up is Remington High Terminal Performance Semijacketed Hollow Point.

    • A 38 special with proper hollopoints is adequate for EDC self defense. It’s anywhere below or above a 9mm depending on what loads you got. As to whether a revolver or a semi, firstly i’d say any gun is better than no gun and there’s nothing wrong with revolvers. So be confident. Just practice really, really hard with that reload and your accuracy and see how you perform under stress.
      If you have adequate strength to keep a stiff wrist and run the slide properly, and you do not carry in a pocket or a purse, consider a semi for your next purchase. There’s virtually no advantage to a revolver if you can carry a semi in a belt holster and shoot it without inducing malfunctions. Just remember to keep a stiff wrist and stay off the movement range of the slide.

    • Depending on the length of barrel for .38s, jacketed hollow-points may not have enough velocity to reliably expand. Even the extra power of +P is lost with a 2″ barrel. This is why I recommend high quality lead semi-wadcutters for short .38s. They deform and flatten to diameters as large or bigger than JHPs, and the sharp edges on the nose of SWCs tend to cut tissue rather than push it out of the way.

    • The .38 Special is adequate, and the .38 Special +P is better. Ammunition “power” is generally measured in foot pounds. There’s also a difference between the energy and velocity on the box versus the actual power output. Revolver barrels less than 2 inches may not push JHP bullets fast enough to expand. That limits their effectiveness.

      Carrying a small .38, combined with an awareness of your surroundings, already makes you much better prepared than most other people. Many have made that choice, and it’s a fine one. Your revolver, with standard .38 Special loads, probably holds 5 shots with about 200 foot pounds of energy. By comparison, the Glock 19 I typically carry holds 15 + 1 rounds of +P ammo that has more than 400 foot pounds of energy. A full sized .357 holds 6 rounds and produces around 550-650 foot pounds of energy per shot. An AR-15 holds 30 rounds with about 1,200 foot pounds of energy per shot. A shotgun holds 5-8 rounds (or more) with 1,200 – 3,000 foot pounds of energy per shot. The shotgun has a well-deserved reputation for having the ultimate in close range stopping power and intimidation effect.

      Shotguns and rifles are much more effective and powerful than handguns. As a police officer, or at home, I’ll grab a rifle or shotgun if I’m really expecting trouble. And I’ll release my dogs to search the house or yard.

      I’ve been in violent confrontations, and do my best to carry the biggest handgun with the most possible ammunition. That makes me the most prepared for trouble.

      There are other times I just carry a .380 ACP with 6 + 1 rounds, which is very similar in power output to your .38 Special. That allows me to dress and carry more comfortably. I’d have less firepower in a gunfight, but any gun in your hand is better than a bigger gun left back home in a safe.

      Carry what you are comfortable with and practice with the same gun(s), ammo, and holster(s) combination that you wear around town or your home. Practice increases skill and preparation, and will make you much better prepared for the stresses of an actual fight.

      There are also some very good training programs like FrontSite or local classes at a good range where you can move, draw, and shoot.

  13. Overall a pretty good article, but it certainly would have been improved by leaving out the whole stopping power thing. Statistically speaking the difference in “stopping power” between .22LR and .45 ACP is insignificant, so why put stress there, where it is not supported by the available evidence?
    Also, as pointed out by JasonM: 10mm is a semi-auto (or full auto) round, not a revolver round. Hint: its CIP name is 10mm Auto — it’s right there in the name.

  14. One other point about semi-auto vs. revolver…
    This may not matter to an experienced shooter that knows not to do this but for a beginner or someone that doesn’t shoot a lot it may tip the equation in favor of the revolver. Revolvers won’t malfunction if you ‘soft hand’ them.

    • This is incorrect on both sides of the equation: there are plenty of semi-autos that do not suffer from malf due to “limp wristing”. Also, my buddy got a revolver and it was malfunctioning on about every other round when he fired it double-action style; I had 0 malfunctions at all with it; obviously there was some sort of failure to actuate it aggressively enough on his part (or perhaps he was being too aggressive; I have no idea how he was managing to “limp wrist” his revolver, but he did as Riker and “made it so.”)

      Probably a better way to put it would be: revolvers, being less complex machines, are less likely to suffer from malfunctions.

      • Probably a better way to put it would be: revolvers, being less complex machines, are less likely to suffer from ND’s – there fixed it.

  15. “Basically stopping power is as follows .45, .40, 9mm, .380”

    It’s one of those gun store guys Nick mentioned.

  16. I am a cheap bastard. In the rare event that a .22LR round does not go bang at the range, I will extract it then reintroduce it to the chamber at 180 degrees to the mark made on the rim by the firing pin. Usually it fires. But this only applies with bolt action small bore rifles, as we use at our club.

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