Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pet Peeve #1:

"It doesn't matter what caliber you're using for self defense. I worked in the ER for 78 years, and saw over 40,000 people a week killed by .22s..."

Variant: "Shit, someone should tell all those guys that have been killed with 9mms and .38 Specials that they’re not dead and they should get back up."

This one's made all the more painful by the fact that it often comes out of the keyboards of people I otherwise respect.

Can we please banish this "witticism" to the Land of Brady Statistics? If somebody's trying to hurt me or my family, I care about whether I can stop him right now, not whether he stops breathing on a table an hour later.

If we don't measure self defensive successes in dead bad guys, why the hell does anybody think invoking corpses makes for a valid rallying cry in the caliber wars?


  1. OTOH, outside of the land of buffoons, Jack Weaver had a point when IPSC was sorting out major and minor power factors. Wuote: "It doesn't matter if I use a .45ACP or my favored .38s if I'm going to shoot the man in the eye..."

  2. Heh. :)

    I get the concern over power, and yeah, "caliber doesn't matter" is oversimplifying. Of _course_ a more powerful gun will have a better chance on average of stopping the bad guy fast. But personal factors--whether the gun fits your carry needs, how it feels in your hands, whether you can naturally operate any controls, whether you're comfortable with the recoil--matter so much more that caliber seems pretty trivial once you get up past the .38sp range. If you put the round where it belongs, any decend cartridge will do the job. If you don't, it won't.

    So I actually agree with the folks who don't take caliber too seriously. I just think "lots of people have been killed with .25s" is a weak argument.

  3. Jack Weaver was a friend of one of my now deceased friends who was party to the argument on the side of .38Sp not being worthy of major power factor, but Weaver had been shooting .38s and other revolvers of similar ballistics since he started shooting handguns and was quite good with them, as you know. He though of anything past a .38Sp as "noisy overkill". But he practiced a LOT.

    Of course, if somebody doesn't practice a lot, I prefer them to carry a lesser round so they don't kill me. Last week I "attempted to instruct" a Uni of Tex college professor who kept pointing a 1911 places other than down range at the public range. guy is smart in some ways but sure doesn't take direction well. I suggested that if I were to instruct him again, he would only be allowed an airsoft. ;-)