Choose Your Weapons

by Lloyd P

Glock handguns

This is a Glock 23 with three calibers and a Glock 20 with two

In much simpler times when gentleman wanted to settle a dispute of honor they called for a duel. “Choose your weapons” was the traditional start of the events once they had assembled. Dueling pistols, swords, even Bowie knives were sometimes used as tools to settle the disputes. Although it sometimes played out with each party firing into the air and then walking away with honor in tact or regained as the case may be – with no harm done.

It did not always end without loss and there are some very famous duels in our US history. While I’m very glad we don’t settle disputes this way any longer, the fact is many of us feel we are involved in a different form of dueling today. We are dueling with much more complicated situations, events and scenarios more significant than simply defending one’s honor. In fact, many people feel that any number of possible events could occur that might justify or require the ability to protect ones, life, liberty, property or loved ones.

While the polls show that a majority of Americans believe our leaders are not leading the country in the right direction, there are some good things going on out there. One huge area of improvement is the increase in the numbers of people arming themselves and getting training on the safe and proper use of firearms. State governments across the nation are strengthening and even encouraging the use and personal carry of defensive weapons, both concealed and openly carried.

This has had the result of lowering violent crime to its lowest level since statistics have been recorded. This includes every place where private carry and use of firearms has been loosened or confirmed and the only places in the nation where violent crime has increased is those localities where the local governments have bucked the trend and have made it harder, or continue to restrict the personal carry and use of personal firearms. Things can change quickly and you do not want to be a victim of violent crime. If I may adapt an old adage here – you can only be a victim if you haven’t been warned, after that you are a volunteer.

With so many entering the firearms market it is understandable that people are asking questions about what weapons to consider and what choices should be made concerning ownership of firearms. While we have all heard the adage “experience is the best teacher”, I do not subscribe to this opinion. In fact I believe experience is not the best teacher, someone else’s experience is. Who wants to learn about a rattlesnake bite or a hand grenade by experience?

I bet most of us wished we had not learned about having a car accident by experience! And so it is with firearms and related issues, what we can learn from others can be indispensable in the long run. Even if you are in a position to have unlimited choices of firearms and ammunition it makes little difference as you cannot use all of them at once or have everything available to you when you are in a critical position of need. So choices must be made, and if the right choices are made from the beginning even as other items are added the expense and time involved will not increase exponentially.

Experience is not the best teacher, someone else’s experience is.

Choosing a general purpose hand gun is often the first consideration when a person decides to enter the world of firearms ownership or the world of firearms for preparedness. There are so many options, colors, calibers, sizes, materials and the list goes on and on. How about starting with the idea of keeping things simple, useful, effective, flexible and commonly available?

Before actually choosing which hand gun might be your best staring point it is quite advisable to look at what caliber you will want in a defensive handgun. One should, of course, choose a cartridge that is adequate for the purpose of self-defense. But it should also be available, affordable and shootable by the person who will use it. You could choose something like the .38 super and you would have a cartridge that is totally acceptable as a self-defensive round, but it is not readily available or particularly affordable, so why consider it except for specially purposes?

The handgun … an entire class of arms that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense…it surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home. U.S. Supreme Court, District of Columbia V. Heller June 26 2008

Let me keep things simple for the sake of discussion – the most commonly available, affordable shootable cartridges that are at least adequate for self-defense in a handgun would include the .380 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol), the 9mm (9mm parabellum / 9mm Luger), .38 S&W (Smith and Wesson), .357 S&W Magnum, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. There are other great cartridges such as the .357 Sig, 10mm, .41 Magnum, .45 Colt, and .44 magnum, but these each fall short of our criteria in at least one area or more.

The .9mm is the most popular center-fire handgun cartridge in the world. This is supported by the fact that it is the military handgun cartridge for more militaries in the world than any other, including the NATO nations which includes the USA. Having a firearm that can be fed by readily available ammunition is a wise choice so long as the cartridge also meets all of our other standards.

While the 9mm has been replaced by the .40 S&W as the choice of carry for most police departments in the USA, the civilian still has a greater choice of useful ammunition available than the militaries of the world who are limited to the less effective full metal jacketed bullets, also called ball ammunition, because of treaty obligations. Police departments actually use handguns as their primary weapon where as militaries do not. So when in comes to handgun use perhaps it is wise to consider what the vast majority of police departments choose to use. This would be the .40 S&W. So while the 9mm is the most widely used cartridge in use by militaries, the .40 S&M is the most widely used by police departments across the USA.

The 9mm is cheaper to purchase in most cases, and it is widely available. If you consider that shortages might be a possibility in the future (they have been in the past) – a lot of people choose the 9mm in part at least with the thought of future availability as a major factor, even though the .40 S&W has more “stopping power“. Unless you are able to purchase a lifetime supply of ammunition at the time you acquire your handgun, this is a consideration.

But why not start with a choice of firearm which allows the use of both – or even more? This gives the flexibility of not only stocking up with your primary choice of cartridge, but also gives you the option of using another widely available cartridge should that be the available one in the future. While the 9mm is generally more available, what if in the future your source for ammunition was more closely related to your local police department than your national military?

“The .40 S&W caliber is the overwhelming top choice of police departments today.” Massad Ayoob – Police officer & internationally renowned firearm and self-defense instructor.

Those who choose a .357 revolver know the flexibility of having the possibility of using .38 Special ammunition for cost savings and enjoyable practice shooting with less recoil, yet using the same gun for both types of ammunition. But is this possible with the semi-auto pistol? It is if you plan ahead properly.

I shoot a lot of 9mm ammunition for practice and fun, and I don’t do it in a 9mm hand gun. How is that possible you might wonder? It is possible by using a .40 S&W handgun with a barrel designed to fit that firearm, but chambered for the 9mm. It is not possible to use a .40 S&W barrel in a 9mm, so it is necessary to choose the .40 S&W from the start even if you will be shooting 9mm as your primary ammunition choice, but then you will have the option of shooting .40 S&W if and when you choose to.

I do this with Glock pistols. All that is required is using an aftermarket 9mm conversion barrel designed for the handgun in question from suppliers such as Lone Wolf Distributers and also using the factory magazines for the caliber in use. A 9mm magazine works perfectly in a .40 S&W Glock. There are also after market conversion barrels for the Springfield XD pistols from Bar-Sto.

If you live in Delaware, Dallas, Maine, Tennessee, Virginia or other places where the .357 Sig is used by law enforcement you might choose a handgun in this caliber and use the same drop in barrel to shoot the .9mm. In fact the .40 S&W and .357 Sig factory barrels can be exchanged readily and the same magazines are used for both cartridges, but most people do not have a reality available source for inexpensive .357 Sig ammo.

After your basic firearms – invest in ammunition! The more you have, the better off you will be for a number of reasons. The cost isn’t going down. Ammo is also a good barter item. Unless you reload your own ammo you are vulnerable to the market on both price and availability. You never know how long you will need to depend upon the ammo you currently have.

Kel-Tec-2000 and Glock handgun

This Glock and Kel-Tec-2000 use the same caliber & magazines

Let’s face it, once you have your basic firearms stocking up on ammunition would be a priority. Without ammunition the handgun is useful for a paperweight or an attempt to bluff an attacker, neither of these would be high on your list of reasons to purchase a firearm. After you acquire your basic battery invest more in ammunition than on additional firearms. You don’t want to have more firearms than you can feed.

If you run out of ammo you will need to locate some, if you have extra you are in a position to barter – or practice more. If you choose a system which is flexible from the start, you have more options. I know a lot of people who choose a 9mm as their primary cartridge simply because it is the most readily available adequate cartridge even though they would like the added security of a more powerful cartridge like the .40 S&W. Why limit your choice?

By choosing carefully you can have the option of using both. While I have read of some problems with aftermarket conversion barrels – after firing thousands of rounds of ammo through mine I have not experienced any failures. I have learned that the barrels work best with some slight lubrication on the outside where as the factory barrels work best with no lubrication.

The flexibility does not end here either. Once a hand gun is acquired with conversion barrel, you might like to add a carbine such as the Kel-Tec Sub-2000 in either of your cartridges and use the same magazines as you use in your semi-auto handgun. This gives the person a real broad flexibility with a minimal expense just by planning ahead when purchasing the primary defensive firearm & cartridge.

The 10mm is not a widely popular hand gun cartridge because it is more powerful than necessary for most self-defense situations. Because of this it is more expensive to shoot. So why is it so popular in local areas such as the Rocky Mountain west? Because there are four-legged varmints as well as two-legged ones there! Lions, and wolves and bears (oh my!). So what if you live in an area like this and would like the added power of the 10mm but you don’t want to give up the flexibility, affordability and availability of the other cartridges listed? Simple, use your 10mm barrel when in the wild, and drop in a .40 S&W barrel when you are near pavement or the shooting range.

The Glock 20 10mm even has a factory drop in barrel available which is designed specifically for handgun hunting, something not available for any of the lesser cartridges. There’s even a 10mm conversion carbine available from Mech Tech (Also many other caliber choices) for those who want to have the flexibility of a carbine for certain uses such as hunting or patrol. While I love the 10mm, I do not suggest it as a choice for the average person for reasons listed earlier, but it is totally possible to have a common cartridge such as the .40 S&W for common and general use and have a specialty cartridge like the 10mm available for the same firearm if proper planning is done before purchasing your weapon.

There are other options available also, while not quite as simple or as inexpensive as a conversion barrel for a .40 S&W to 9mm, a 10mm Glock can be converted to shoot .45 ACP by simply purchasing a new slide & barrel for the similar sized frame. Since only the frame is considered the “firearm” by the BTAFE, a new slide can be ordered through the mail thus avoiding additional paperwork and expense of purchasing an entire new firearm. This is also possible for those who have a .45 ACP but would like the 10mm, perhaps for hunting. The magazines from each caliber fit perfectly in the grip of the other. Glocks are not the only brand for which this is possible, but check before you purchase if you feel you might like this flexibility later. Along the same line, there are .22 conversion kits for various hand guns that convert your 9mm, 40 S&W, 10mm or .45ACP into a .22 rimfire for practice, plinking and flexibility to shoot and stock up on very cheap .22 caliber ammunition.

If you shop wisely you could start your battery with a pistol and conversion barrel that will shoot two or more common calibers of ammunition, a carbine that shares the same magazines as your handgun and as much as 1000 rounds of ammunition for the current average cost of one AR-15. However if you already have an AR-15 you also have a very flexible firearm. Most AR-15s shoot the useful and widely available 5.56×45 /.223 ammunition. If this is what you have you, have the option of adding a drop in .22 LR conversion to shoot .22 rimfire cartridges through the same barrel. Of course the AR family of rifles can be easily switched from one caliber to another by changing one upper for another.

This gives many options for other barrels, like longer for more velocity, heavier for heat displacement or other calibers. However, when it comes to our criteria of simple, useful, effective, flexible and commonly available we are primarily looking to the .223, .22 and the 7.62×39 which is currently widely available and quite reasonably priced. There are also uppers for pistol calibers which use special magazines.

For those who have a pistol in 9mm, .40 S&W or .45 ACP who also would like the simplicity and reliability of a revolver there are a number of revolvers which are chambered for these calibers. Charter Arms has a revolver chambered for the .40 S&W that is quite nice and does not require the use of moon clips to hold the rimless cartridges most used by pistols. For those who use the .45 ACP in their pistol the S&W Governor is a revolver that can expand your flexibility.

The Governor is a follow up of the very popular Taurus Judge which will chamber both .45 Long Colt and .410 shotgun shells. The Governor matches this and also accepts the .45 ACP. While I like the .45 Colt cartridge it does not meet our requirements of wide availability and reasonably priced, but with the right ammunition it is functional as a handgun hunting cartridge or for use against lager predators. While you might not purchase a dedicated .45 Colt revolver, if you have a .45 ACP and would like a revolver in this caliber having the .45 Colt adds flexibility. While the .410 shotgun shells are advertised as being great for self-defense personally find them very useful for small game, vermin, venomous snakes and game birds up close.

These ideas are meant as helpful suggestions with which you can increase your flexibility with your personal defense arm by careful planning and forethought. Flexibility, dependability, and adaptability are each keys to survivability. Choose your weapons – thoughtfully.


  1. Good article, I like shell convertions my source for them is MCA Sports 2800 West 33rd Anchorage Ak 99517 checks only, I have conversions for .223 to .22 and 7.62 x 39 to .32 that all I need is ammo to make them work when you just don’t need the noise,many others are available.

    • Right is RIGHT-wrong is WRONG says:

      Great article Lloyd P with much needed gun info. Because some women have hard time chambering a round in an automatic pistol (pulling the slide back with an over hand grip) I think it would be helpful to address this issue as an addendum to your article. For automatics like Glock’s there is a two or three finger metal loop that screws on the serated area of the back of the slide that anyone can put on themselves with just a screwdriver. It does not screw into the slide itself but snugs into the serated grips on the side of the back of the slide. In a survivalist life or death response to looters breaking in your front door to steal your water the trigger fingers of the women standing shoulder to shoulder with us men may mean the difference between keeping your water or stealing it from your neighbor survivalists. After rereading your article it is my opinion the gun info you give us should be archived in all of our computers.

      • OhioPrepper says:

        Right is RIGHT,
        You bring up a good point on handling the slide, and I will offer two additional things to know and practice.
        On a traditional semi auto with an external hammer, cocking the hammer before pulling the slide back, will relieve about 1/3 of the force required for the action.
        If that doesn’t help enough, there is another simple thing to do.
        We typically hold the firearm in our strong hand and pull the slide back with the weak hand. Using the same grip, instead of pulling the slide back with the weak hand, hold the weak hand firm and steady and PUSH with the strong hand. At least on traditional external hammer firearms, I’ve rarely seen either one of these techniques or the combination, fail to work, with of course the second technique utilized alone for striker fired devices.

  2. My four sons says:

    Good article I especially agree with others experience is a great teacher. I vented about this before but I was at a very popular sporting goods and hunting retailer a few months ago looking around. And the hero wannabe clerk was trying to explain things to a “wanna buy my first pistol” customer and his bragery of how the trigger finger is your safety and blowing off all of his fire arms knowledge at once obviously overwhelming the poor guy. I stopped and asked him several question
    Do you currently have a gun in the house?
    His answer no.
    Do you have children in the house particularly young children?
    Yes was his answer.
    Do you intend to train with an instructor and regularly shoot this fire arm?
    Yes was his reply.
    I attempted to explain to the salesman that why his years of experience may make him incredibly safe this man has children that have never lived with a gun and an external safety is no guarantee but every added level of safety in his instance may be a great benefit. I also explained to the gentleman that a semi-automatic pistol takes regular use if you wish to be proficient at its use. While a revolver is a simpler machine to use it eliminates the additional safety and it was up to him what he felt mote comfortable with.
    And while I do not disagree completely with the salesman on several points taking a moment to consider your customer means a hell of a lot more than brandishing all of your knowledge and B.S. on a guy all at once.

    • My Four Sons……….i have owned semi-autos and revolvers my whole life, but i bought one of the striker-fired glock type pistols , and i just don’t feel safe with it….my thumb still searches for the safety……it also still searches for the hammer………the beretta and the 357 s&w go with me but the glock usually stays in the drawer in a holster………..old habits die hard,,,,

      • OhioPrepper says:

        While the Glocks are indeed great firearms, as an RSO (Range Safety Officer) and instructor who often works with new shooters, they have always made me a bit uneasy. I can walk the firing line behind the shooters with their firearms benched, and generally ascertain the condition of the firearm, except for the Glocks.
        The other issue I have with Glocks is that nearly all of the accidental discharges (AD’s), quite often into a leg or other body part I’ve seen of any note, occurred with Glocks, often when reholstering, with some little piece of leather getting into the area of the trigger guard. Although I don’t own any of them (for now), I have numerous friends, including other instructors who love them; however, if you have one, you need to take that ever vigilant extra care when handling, especially around a holster when either drawing or reholstering.

        • Hello Ohioprepper, yes i remember the football player that shot himself in the leg awhile back..may have had a pocket knife or tube of chapstick in his pocket that hit the trigger…well glock did away with the small thumb safety but require a holster to be mandatory at all times…..i am going to trade the glock for a sig p938 first chance i get.

        • Ohio, did you ever have them drop the mag. and cycle the action? By this I mean clearing the weapon. There is also a technique of having an empty chamber and pulling the slide back while extending the firearm. I hope this helps.

          • OhioPrepper says:

            Thor 1,
            I’m not sure of the context here; but, removing the magazine and cycling the action is IMO the ONLY way to clear any semi-auto firearm.

            • OP, no disrespect intended but, it just sounded like you were saying there was a safety issue with your trainee’s.

              You said you couldn’t tell if the Glocks were loaded. If the trigger is forward at least the internal hammer is cocked. IMO

              From a fellow NRA member.

              • OhioPrepper says:

                No disrespect taken, just didn’t understand your point; but, I do now. It’s just that when you’re walking the line behind shooters at the ready, the condition of many semi autos can be ascertained by looking at the controls to see the status of the safety to see if it is still engaged, and that’s something you cannot do easily on the Glocks. All it means is that an RSO must pay a little closer attention to those shooters. When the guns are benched, whey are all laying muzzle down range with the magazine removed and the slide locked open, so that is not an issue.

    • Curley Bull says:

      I’ll not put down Glocks, they are apparently well made tools or would not be so popular. I tried out one years ago that an LEO was trying to sell and I had a hard time hitting the target with it. Tried it again with my P-89 and could lay them right in there. My nephew got talked into trading his Ruger 45 in on a Glock 45 when he went to work as a prison guard and he had the same problem. He took a loss on it and got another Ruger. We both think it was the more squared grip, or maybe it was just us. Anyway, no one in the family owns a Glock.

      • Hello Curly Bull , blocks appear to be very reliable , and trust worthy..but.. about the only time i use the block is if i hear something outside at night and need to check on it…it has a light mounted under the barrel..when it comes time to flip the switch on the light i always wonder if i am going to hit the trigger at the same the dark you are just feeling blind..i guess i just don’t take into account the looong pull the trigger has…or i would not be as concerned….just not use to the long pull yet…..but i am use to having a round chambered in the beretta with the hammer at half-cocked and all i need to do is flip the safety off and thumb the trigger full back which only takes a blink of the eye and its ready slight pull on the trigger and bang….i suppose it is just what a person is use to….but i can stick the beretta in my pocket or my waist band and have no worries, with the glock i would never even consider either of those options….just stuck on my old habits i quess…..

        • i need to proof read my comment before i hit post comment , apparently the spell checker is not familiar with glock but does know block….

      • CB,I shot a 1″ group at 30 yards,good enough for me. They are a love em or hate em gun.
        There was this gang banger in the range once with a tech 9, he ran the target out and emptied a 30 rnd mag at a silhouette target grazing it at the hip with 1 rnd. He said well I guess he didn’t get away. I laughed! The range owner yelled at him for rapid firing of course but he new me and I proceeded to slap a 33 rnd mag in my G17 . The gang banger said woe what’s that? I told him it was a Glock and emptied the mag in a 1″ center mass bullseye burst and told him he didn’t get away either. Lol He promptly left and the range own yelled at me too but with a smile and a wink. Lol
        Firearms are a choice and you have to use what you are comfortable with or can afford.

        • OhioPrepper says:

          Thor 1,
          I’m amazed that the gang banger could empty a 30 round magazine from a Tec-9. I’ve never seen an Intratec firearm that could fire that many rounds in a row without a jam. Although they use them in Hollywood shows like some super weapon, all of the ones I’ve seen in different calibers were junk.

          • Yeah they are junk but amazingly it didn’t and this guy thought he was in the movies. He was holding it sideways and moving his arm like he was throwing the bullets down range. Lol Wish I had it on video.

            • OhioPrepper says:

              Thor 1,
              It’s already on video in at least a half dozen Hollywood produced movies and TV shows, which is where that idiot got both his firearm recommendation and his training. LOL

              • OP, Lol you are right. Maybe he trained them lol!!!
                What else I was trying to explain was a technique from Garrett Machine. It is a video called counter terror warfare with the combat pistol. Amazingly he is using a Glock.
                The handgun is holstered with an empty chamber discharged. Upon drawing the weapon he grabs the slide while pushing the gun forward thus chambering a round ready to fire. It sounds like a lot but practicing gives you muscle memory and becomes the norm. It also gives you an extra second or two if someone gets your weapon because you know it’s empty but they don’t. If you are not wearing a retaining holster.

      • OhioPrepper says:

        I love my P-89 and the new P-95, which is a bit lighter for carry.
        Glocks are OK; but, a good friend and MAG member has a suppressed Glock 40, that for some reason shoots as good, at least for me, as my Rugers.

        • OP, I own 3 rugers, sadly they are carbines/rifles. I have shot some of their handguns,the black hawk is an impressive piece. I don’t like the Berreta/Taurus 92, it always felt junk to me.
          My G17 isn’t exactly factory. Match grade compensated barrel with a buffer and steel guide rod with changeable springs depending on how hot the load is.

          • OhioPrepper says:

            Thor 1,
            I guess I never much thought about it; but I have quite a few Ruger firearms. I started with a Blackhawk in .357 magnum which was used for deer hunting after replacing the old plow handle grips with Pachmayr, a single six, and a mark II. I had a mini-14 ranch rifle which I sold when I purchased my first AR (a Colt match HBAR). I added the P-89 back in 1989 and recently a P-95 for carry, since it is a bit lighter than the P-89; but, identical otherwise, except for the addition of a decocker safety instead of just the decocker only on the P-89. I’ve passed on my 10/22’s to the boys, except for one I’ve restocked into a nice little bull pup version. While this may seem like a lot, I’ve still minimized the calibers and other than that, one cannot have too many good quality firearms.
            I kind of agree on the Beretta; but, although I’ve shot a few, I’ve never owned one. As for compensators, triggers, etc. I’ve always done OK with factory stock and just learned to use them as is.

            • OP, my rugers consist of a 10/22(no self respecting prepper should be without),an old 180 prefix mini 14 and a M77 in 30-06. I picked up the same AR for my first AR, it is a real tack driver right out of the box. As far as the add ons for the Glock, it just makes it more stable with virtually no recoil so the followup shots are basically where the original shot was placed.

            • Curley Bull says:

              Blackhawk .357, 6.5″ barrel was my first also. 1972. Still got it. Also hunted with it. Sent it in to Ruger for the safety upgrade.

              • OhioPrepper says:

                It sounds like we have basically the same firearm. Bought mine in about 1977, so it already had the transfer bar. I used it primarily for deer hunting; but, now it’s pretty much relegated to demonstrating a single action handgun in our classes, and for general plinking (with 38 special of course). My deer gun is now a TC contender with a scoped .357 barrel.

    • Last night at church a brother told me that he saw a brown bear cross the road that he was driving on. Goes to show you what caliber to consider when choosing a handgun. You may need to defend yourself from something something bigger then you think.

  3. “…commonly available, affordable shootable cartridges that are at least adequate for self-defense in a handgun would include the .380 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol), the 9mm (9mm parabellum / 9mm Luger), .38 S&W (Smith and Wesson)…”

    The .38 S&W is not .38 special. The two are not interchangeable. The .38 S&W is an older cartridge used in older guns. I have an old Colt Police Positive that fires this round.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      You bring up a very good point that is often lost on even experienced shooters. The .38 S&W was developed in the late 1800’s and is actually a .38 caliber cartridge with the bullet diameter of 0.38 inches. It was externally lubricated similar to the .22 rimfire cartridges of today, and was widely marketed and sold to police departments in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. When metallurgy got better and we were able to produce an internally lubricated bullet with better ballistics, the same basic case was kept with the bullet being slightly smaller, in this instance, 0.357 inch, while the case remained approximately the same 0.38 inches. Convincing users of the earlier cartridge that the smaller bullet was just as good, after all the marketing to sell the original, the new cartridge was simply name 38 Special, which implies that it’s still .38 caliber, even though it is not.
      In the mid 1930’s, Elmer Keith along with others, added about 0.1 inches to the case length to hold more powder, and called the new cartridge the .357 magnum (for the large magnum bottle of champaign in use at the time). It was as I understand it, developed both for hunting, and for law enforcement as a handgun with more stopping power for use against vests and automobiles.

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        OP why is the 38 (all 38 cal and 357 Mag) called a 38 when in truth is’s a 35 cal? Never understood this.

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          I remember an interview with Elmer Keith and they asked him why he used a 44, His answer ” Because they don’t make a 50.”

          • OhioPrepper says:

            I’m no expert here; but, as I understand it, it’s at least in part due to marketing.
            The 38 special and the .357 magnum go into detail to the thousandths of an inch and are indeed in the 35 caliber, as is the 9mm (.356 caliber bullet) and the .380 auto or 9mm short (Kurtz or Corto) at .355 diameter.
            Also keep in mind, that technically, the caliber is not the bullet diameter; but, the measurement of the rifling from land to land, and the bullet needs to be a little bit larger than that to seat into the rifling for both a pressure seal and to engage the rifling enough for spin.
            I hope this makes sense.

            As for the interview with Keith, I’ve seen similar things attributed to him. He seems to be a rather colorful character.

            As a side note, I still plan to be in Findlay tomorrow by around 0800 and will probably be there for a few hours. I’ll try contacting on ’52 simplex with no tone.
            Chuck this is OP. OUT 4 now.

          • OhioPrepper says:

            After rereading my post, I guess I didn’t really answer your question. If you read my post above on the why and wherefore of the original 38 caliber vs. the 38 special, you’ll see that when the internally lubricated bullet was used and seated inside the case (actually the ID vs. the original OD), the change happened. The .380 auto (9mm Short, Kurtz, or Corto) used the samething to imply that it was a larger bullet.
            BTW, I was at the Findlay hanfest today from 7:45 until 13:10. I called the national VHF calling frequency (146.52 simplex with no tone) about every 10-15 minutes and never heard you answer. Did you have a radio there & turned on? If we had gotten together I brought a clean food grade bucket and some N95 masks to leave with you. Perhaps Lima on October 15th.

            • Chuck Findlay says:

              My Dad got up at 2-Am and stepped on the dogs rope toy (why he was walking through the house in the dark, I don’t know) He hit his head and bruised up his arm pretty bad. He also cut his forehead open real good.

              It would not stop bleeding, he’s on (rat poison) Coumadin (a blood thinner)

              We were at the hospital till 7:30 AM. They did a scan of his head, X=rayed his arm, did a few blood test. We mostly sat around and waited, and waited, and waited.

              No problems with him other then a gash on his head and a bruised arm that he can’t lift above his chest.

              I did not get home till 8:00 Am, And would not have had time to get to Findlay and set up to make any money.

              A few ham friends went and said it was smaller then last year. Ham radio is slowly disappearing. No new blood is being injected into it because of smart phones and a public that is getting dumber every year. Sad, but it is what it is…

              • Chuck Findlay says:

                OP, I don’t know if I’m going to Lima, it’s 80-miles and if it is a new fest I don’t know if it will have the people to make it worth a 160-mile trip?

                As far as Findlay, I told a friend I wanted a DSP filter and he brought me a “West Mountain Radio” ClearSpeach filter ($25.00) Their web site says it sells for $220.00

                Here is what he got for me.


                I only plugged it in to see if it works, and it does. Looking forward to playing with it in the next few days.

                He also got a Radio Shack DSP filter ($5.00) but I don’t expect much out of it. It needs the wall power supply (I have a few doz of them) and the cables.

                I use to have a Time Wave DSP filter but sold it after the divorce.

                I think my next Hamfest will be Ft Wayne, have to look up the date for it.

                • Chuck Findlay says:

                  For the last few hours I have been playing with the West Mountain Radio, ClearSpeach filter. This thing is nothing short of awesome, it cleans up the sound on a noisy signal great. It looks simple (an on-off switch, volume and filtering) because it has so few knobs. For the most part I like more knobs to play with so I can fine-tune a signal. But this thing does it with one-knob.

                  I even tried it on the computer, I have the 80’s TV show Airwolf and have been working my way through the DVD’s on the computer, and this filter will filter out the helicopter background (engine) noise and still let the voices come through. It’s clear it’s optimized for human voice.

                  Anyone that is a Ham radio guy, you NEED one of these. I see why it cost $200.00. It’s worth it…

                  MD I was looking at U-Tube videos on this filter and I ran across this video on CB radio.


                  It would make a good video to post here to give some good debate on radio use. He does a good job showing the use and why of CB radios.

                  He’s a Ham guy that sold off most of his ham radios. I don’t agree with doing this as ham radios give a person more options then a CB.

                  But there is a good portion of people that don’t need ham radio, will never get into ham radio and this video talks to that person.

                  • OhioPrepper says:

                    The CB video leaves a lot to be desired. As the guy really doesn’t seem to have much expertise in radio communications, which may be the reason he sold all of his amateur gear.
                    He talks about how his mobile radio is powered from a transformer, which it is not, it’s a 12 V DC power supply, and he doesn’t talk much about the current capacity of the supply; although from the video it appears to be capable of 3 amps, which is sufficient for a CB.

                    He talks about getting 12 watts instead of 4 watts by using sideband from the radio, and this is simply impossible without a complete redesign and upgrade of the power output final amplifier. Single sideband does increase efficiency; but, does not add any power out.
                    His distance discussion on how many miles you can talk is B.E, (Bovine Excrement) and he doesn’t explain HAAT (Height Above Average Terrain) at all and claims there’s no exact science for calculating or estimating the distance, which is again more B.E.
                    When he mentions sideband peaking at 7 watts or 12 watts it just shows more lack of understanding.
                    When he mentions calibration and signal ratio, I think he may be alluding to Standing Wave Ratio (SWR); but, once again misses the mark.
                    He also states, the bigger the antenna, the better the range, which has nothing to do with it. The best range comes from a combination of height and delivering the maximum amount of power to the antenna at resonance, which for a CB is not 18 feet.

                    • Chuck Findlay says:

                      OP He is explaining things in terms that a person that’s not interested in, and probably never will be interested in radio the way we are.

                      Many people don’t want to know how and why of radio wave propagation, they don’t want to know or care what the difference is between a transformer or a 12 V DC power supply. they just want it to work and will never go beyond that point.

                      I (and I suspect you also) want to know how things work, I want to be able to tune an antenna for it’s best use, want to basically know how and why it works. But most people just don’t care. They want to pick it up and talk to others. To them a transformer and a 12 V DC power supply is the same thing.

                      These are the people the video talks to.

                      Ham radio people make a big mistake in that they think everyone interested in using a radio should also become a ham and learn all the stuff they bid.

                      And I agree that it’s good to understand wave propagation, antenna types, antenna height, how the radio is powered, it’s power output, the limits of a small power cable, why some antenna feed line works at 14 MHz but won’t work at 460 MHz, and the 500 other things we know about getting the most out of a radio.

                      Even here in this BBS with all the radio / ham radio talk that goes on most here won’t ever make the jump to ham radio and even if they do, they are going to buy a JUNK Baofeng radio and think they have the radio issue solved.

                      Nothing you or any other ham says is going to change that because they just want a what-if radio, they will never turn the TV off and spend hours on end every week with a ham radio. Understanding this makes it easier to help them with the radio decision while not overwhelming them with all the aspects of ham radio.

                      And there is nothing wrong with only wanting to use radio at the lighter level of a CB user.

                      I do the same thing with gardening, I grow things, read up on it, watch and download U-Tube videos. But I don’t want to be a farmer / gardener at an expert level. I just want to put some seeds in the ground, water them and eat what grows. Many people are the same with radios.

                      As an amateur radio / shortwave radio / scanner radio guy (I lost count of how many radios I have, heck just in the bedroom there are 8 of them) we must come to understand how to help others that don’t have and never will have the passion we have for them.

                      So while the video was not what you or I would call great (I looked at it from the non-radio viewpoint) it did give info that people can use to get into CB radio.

                      As they grow (if they develop in interest in learning more) they could then seek out more info.

                    • OhioPrepper says:

                      I pretty much agree with what you said here; but, if folks look at this video and go get parts from eBay to try, they are likely to waste their money when they fry the equipment. Saying things like using a big (18 foot) antenna without understanding any details will get things cooked. While not going into a lot of technical details, he could have said that CB’s require specific antennas for the frequencies involved, and you should check to make sure your antenna is marked for use with a CB,
                      You don’t have to go into technical details; but, should at least present information that is accurate, and not try to bluff.

                • OhioPrepper says:

                  Sorry you couldn’t make it; but, doubly sorry for your reason. I used to take Coumadin; but, I’m now on just Plavix and managing things well enough. Hope things with your dad work out OK. I thought Findlay was on par with last year; but, it was definitely better than in the past decade and not nearly as good as back in the 80’s when I never missed it. Of course back then it was only about a 30 mile drive.
                  From what I’m hearing, the new / old Lima Hamfest may be pretty good. Like Findlay and others, it was a booming Hamfest back in the 70’s and 80’s, and with the large influx of new hams in the past few years, these events are making a comeback. While the hobby did take a major hit due to internet and cell phones, the removal of the code requirement and the influx of the inexpensive Chinese radios like the Baofeng have gotten the ranks growing again, at least around here.
                  Looks like you got a pretty good deal on a nice piece of equipment. All I bought were pieces parts for the Junque box, so I have things on hand to reuse some of my old gold and help the new local hams get on the air.
                  My big finds were some large rolls of coax seal for $2.00 and some connectors to connect some of my surplus TNC gear to other more common connectors.
                  Let me know if you change your mind about Lima; but, since it’s as close as Findlay to me, I’ll definitely be going.. There’s a group here talking about Ft Wayne, so I’ll have to see as it gets closer.
                  Here are some of the details on their plans:
                  2016 Fort Wayne Hamfest & Computer Expo will be held on Saturday & Sunday, November 12 & 13.

        • Chuck, It took me a long time to figure out why the .38 Special is named that, when it is in reality a .357 caliber just like the .357 magnum. It was even harder to find the answer before the internet was invented. It comes down to advertising. When S&W came out with the newer .38 Special they used the measurement from the case in the name, not the bullet, to make it sound bigger!

          There is no standardization for naming cartridges so the inventor or marketer can name it what ever they like. More often this has to do with what they think will sell (like .300 Whisper VS. .300 Blackout).

          Sometimes there can be problems with names – such as the 7mm Remington Express and the 7mm Remington Magnum. The 7mm Express was around first known as the .280 Remington, but the 7mm Magnum became vastly more popular in a very short time after it was introduced. In an attempt to cash in on this popularity Remington changed the name of the .280 to the 7mm Remington Express. Rather than increase sales it made fore un happy customers who owned new 7mm Magnums were mistakenly purchasing ammo for the 7mm Express, which can not be returned, of course. So Remington changed the name of the 7mm Express back to the .280 Remington.

          This still goes on today. The .357 SIG shoots a .355 (9mm) caliber bullet. But since it was invented to compete with the .357 Magnum it was not going to be called the .355 SIG. In reality it was designed to duplicate the 125 grain .357 Mag. load from a 4 inch revolver in a semi-auto pistol, which it pretty much does. This caliber / cartridge combination has the best one-shot-stops from police shootings according to Marshall & Sanow’s extensive research with up to 96% on shot / one stop success.

    • Kevin, you are correct, it should have written .38 Special, I guess I got carried away with to many “S&W”s in a row (God bless Smith and Wesson). Thanks for pointing that out.

  4. Very good information for those considering gun ownership. Especially the interchangeable barrel info. Lowers the cost and provides flexibility. I normally advise those just starting out to start with a shotgun, (single shot, pump or auto) get comfortable with it and buy as much ammo as they can. Second, for their first pistol I recommend a good wheel gun, normally 357.
    People at the range can normally assist anyone with shotguns and wheel guns. I don’t recommend buying semi auto pistols to anyone new to shooting without formal training from a qualified instructor and then recommend they rent and use them at the range before investing in any particular one. The cost is too high for most to purchase as an experiment.
    While I love my Glocks and my 1911s many folks hate one and love the other and often with a very strong a preference.

  5. Great article. I especially like the suggestion of a Kel-Tec Sub2000. I just picked one up that is the new Gen2. You can interchange the magazine catch/key to accommodate different mags. The one I picked up just happened to be “keyed” for S&W M&P, which is what I carry and have for a home defense weapon. Keeping with your theme of “availability”, I also ordered the Glock Magazine “key” in case I lose all of my M&P mags, or it might be all I have left to barter with and now the new owner will also have options, making it worth more to the Glock fan-boy I’m dealing with.

    I had actually purchased a Ruger PC-9 Carbine back in the 90’s and it accepted the same magazines as my Ruger P-89 Pistol. I learned the benefits of the same magazine/caliber long ago and I love the pistol cartiridge rifles/carbines… mine are very accurate, at least out to 150-200 yards. I’m thinking about a 9mm upper for my AR as my next purchase. Versatility is necessary, and awesome!

    • Had my eye on the sub 2000 for a while. You have any reliability concerns with it??

      • Personally have owned two. One in .40 sw and one in 9×19…nary a problem, they are blowback, so clean every 3-500 rounds period! Very important. Otherwise…honestly. accurate. Adds 50-125 fps or.upwards of 40ftlbs of energy to a handgun round. Makes it a viable round for zero through 100.and even 200 yards accurately.

        Personal opinion and testing alone

    • OhioPrepper says:

      I’ve shot and loved my P-89DC since I bought it new in 1989; but, have found it a bit heavy as a carry firearm. I recently picked up a P-95 which contains a little polymer and a bit less weight, making it a bit easier to carry. Other than the safety and the slightly less weight, the fit and feel are the same as the P-89 including interchangeability with the magazines, and means I can carry a lot of rounds for either gun. However you do it. One needs options.

  6. Chuck Findlay says:

    It doesn’t mater what gun you have, just play one of these when you hear strange noises in the night and the bad guys will run away…

  7. Glocks are the most adaptable and rugged plastic handguns on the market. I have 22lr,9mm,40sw & 357sig conversions.
    But for more versatility, I have the Savage 24v over and under rifle/shotgun combo. Its in 30/30 & 20ga. and also have inserts from short lane for different calibers such as 22lr,22magnum,9mm,40sw,38sp,45lc & 410ga. That gives me 9 caliber out of one gun. Great for survival and can take small to medium game. If you could only chose 2 guns to survive, this would be my choice. Although an AR or AK would also be nice. Lol

    • OhioPrepper says:

      Thor 1,
      I concur.
      The Savage 24 in .22/410 was my very first hunting shotgun. I still have it and have added a .22 WMR/20 gauge. These are a very handy, versatile, and fail proof lone gun combo in a single package.

      • Ohio, thanks. I think it’s one of the top prepper guns of all time. Maybe the “V” stands for versatile. Lol You should check out the short lane inserts. They have them for 12,16,20 &410 ga. So you could use some in the Taurus judge. The prices have gone up, I think I paid $130 for the 20ga scavenger kit and now it’s about $170. But sometimes they have sales.

        • OhioPrepper says:

          Thor 1,
          I don’t own a judge and at this point have no plans to acquire one. As both an NRA instructor and a Hunter Education instructor, I often get amazing offers direct from the manufacturers, and have purchased a few new guns that way; but, it still takes a bit of cash, and I’ve tried to limit my gauge and caliber choices to just a few. In my case I’ve standardize (or settled on) .22 RF, .22WMR, 9mm, 38 special/.357 magnum, and .380 auto, with a little bit of carry over in 5.56 for my contender.
          On the shotgun side, I own .410 (67 gauge LOL) and 20 gauge, with the DW liking the 20 gauge, and a good semi auto in that gauge with a recoil reduction system is probably one of the next guns on the list.

    • Thor1,
      I agree and still have a Savage 24 given to me in 1958. Extremely accurate and reliable in .22lr/.410 that easily breaks down in 24″ components. Also it’s quieter than an air rifle and more powerful with 33gr Remington Cebees in .22lr. One of the finest survival guns ever made.

      • OhioPrepper says:

        Rich in Pa,
        I also received my first savage 24 (22/410) about the same time, actually about 1962, and also in PA. I grew up in Johnstown (Cambria County) and loved those wooded hillsides for hiking, climbing, hunting, and just general hanging out as a kid.

        • OhioPrepper,
          I am in southeast Pa. Chester county, still good hunting country but nothing like the 1950s and 60s when you could walk out your back door with a dog and a rifle over your shoulder. I have many guns but will never part with that 1st one (savage24).

    • Right is RIGHT-wrong is WRONG says:

      Thor 1 I am looking at inserts for my shotgun. If you have shot any of your inserts please share your thoughts on them particularly on accuracy. On youtube they do not recommend using inserts in pump shotguns but shoot them to show it can be done. Do you know of any (maybe 9 or 10 inch) 556 inserts? (this means that my pump barrel will be detached and the 556 incert will be chambered). My questions come from the fact that I am a “worse case conflict survivalist” which means if I have to put a 3 inch 45 insert in to my pump to stop them from breaking down my door….so be it. Will much appreciate any incert info.

      • RRWW,no I do not have any info on that. I would not want to shoot it out of a pump for a number of reasons. But in worst case scenario. The stainless steel insert could damage your extractor. JMHO

        • Right is RIGHT-wrong is WRONG says:

          In the case for using an insert in a pump shotgun there is no extraction because you pick the shell out with a pick or screw driver (you insert by hand and extract by hand) and I believe the insert has openings on the edge where the extractor cannot grab the edge of the insert to extract. Thank you for your reply. I know my question is in the extreme. With so much gun knowledge being shared on this article I just could not keep from asking about things I in the past would try and invent plus every one responding to this article have really been great in helping each other with suggestions. Thank you again for your response.

  8. Your article quoted Massad Ayoob as saying,

    “The .40 S&W caliber is the overwhelming top choice of police departments today.”

    And it’s true, he did say that, but it was back in 2005. See . What was true then is not necessarily true now. The FBI and some police departments are going back to the 9mm. As the FBI completes its changeover, no doubt many more police departments will follow suit. According to some, today’s 9mm loads have proven to be as effective as 40sw. See and .

    • ^^^this is absolutely true, modern 9mm ammunition outpaces, and outperforms while staying controllable and accurate for a much wider range of people.

      But, caliber shmalliber…shot placement is everything…until they make a 20mm easily carried and shot handgun.

  9. One question for the author, basing whether a round is good.or.not.on size or what?

    Because, I have first hand knowledge of.and experience in putting.down feral russian hogs, and javelina with .22lr through .44 magnum. And statistically, a well aimed .22lr is just as deadly…as for “stopping power” it is a myth. Physics alone dictate that if a round is powerful enough to stop and drop a 230 pound man, it will recoil enough to drop the same.sized shooter.

    Otherwise, I agree. Consolidate choices. Think smart, more importantly, practice, allot

    • OhioPrepper says:

      I agree on shot placement. A half dozen .22 LR to center mass beats a pair of .45 ACP lobbed over the head every time.
      As for the physics, I assume you’re doing the math for Newton’s Third law of action reaction; however, there are other things to consider.
      Most handgun calibers do not knock either the target or the shooter down. The action force is acting on a very small mass (e.g., 147 grain or 9.5 gm); while, the reaction force acts against a mass that is significantly larger ( e.g., 150 pounds or about70 kg), so the reaction force is typically 5000 or more times less than the action force.
      When the projectile strikes the target, it generally doesn’t knock down anything; but, causes shock trauma and bleeding that stops the threat or drops the prey.

      • Correct, to an extent, though it is rapid exsanguination (blood loss) that does the largest part of killing. Having been shot, watched friends get shot, and shot in defense others…ive never seen this magical bullet, though I have seen shock and experienced it to some extent. (It took me two days to realize I had been hit…long story)

  10. Chuck Findlay says:

    Physics alone dictate that if a round is powerful enough to stop and drop a 230 pound man, it will recoil enough to drop the same.sized shooter.

    True enough, but like most things there is a lot more that comes into play.

    Damage the projectile does to your body is part of it.

    How your nervous system reacts to the bullet or projectile and the damage it does. (Example of your nervous system reaction that is way beyond the actual power of force exerted is being stabbed in the rear end by a pin. You will jump 3-feet, well beyond the amount of energy of the pin.)

    Damage to organs in the body and how vital those origins are. A hand or arm is not as critical as your lungs or heart as far as bullets go.

    Lowering of blood pressure to the body from blood not flowing as it should, (bleeding) is a big determining factor in a lot of shootings. Contrary to TV, most people take time to die when shot. This is mostly from blood loss.

    State of mind of the person getting shot. Some people will lay down and die, others will not. Animals tend to run and die later from blood loss.

    All of them come into play when killing a living person or animal.

    But with all that said, as far as handguns, bigger bullets tend to do more damage and stop people quicker from doing whatever they were doing that got them shot in the first place.

    Rifles have an advantage over handguns as they have velocity that few handguns do. And speed is a real factor in energy transfer and how well the bullet does it’s jo.

    Shotguns have an advantage because of how many projectiles they have, not their speed. Most shotguns are in the 1,200 feet per second range, this is about the same as many handguns. The massive amount of lead is how they kill so well, and the fact it’s so many projectiles that cause lots of blood loss and destroy so much on the trip through the body. But they do kick more as it takes more energy to get all that lead moving.

    • <blockquoteLowering of blood pressure to the body from blood not flowing as it should, (bleeding) is a big determining factor in a lot of shootings.

      Absolutely correct, rapid exsanguination –

      Had a friend take a 230 grain hard ball to upper chest, missed major arteries, but caused severe bleeding… (cleaning stupid/mistake with another individual) they spent 5 minutes looking for where bullet went before realizing it had hit him.

      Mental is everything, understanding that less than 20% of all handgun shootings die, and less than 40% of all rifle shootings die actually increases ones odds of surviving a shooting, even multiple times. Hence my disdain for the term stopping power, something promoted by Hollywood and its fans until it has become internet myth.

      Elmer and the other greats had knowledge as to what a round will do, and why it kills. I agree with the author of the article regarding having caliber ability (eg., multiple caliber types) just clarifying wording and questioning some of the approaches.

      Especially given that the fbi and many police departments are switching to 9mm again… (modern ammunition makes a difference)

      The caliber debate is a functional example of an argument between two down syndrome individuals arguing about which is best way to push a cart, it makes no sense. Unless of course you carry hardball as self defense ammunition…in which case, please, get some training.

      Before becoming fully disabled I contracted my services as a trainer for le/mil/feds in small arms tactics etc., as well as surveillance /counter-surveillance – it is amazing the sheer amount of myths that surround firearms. Thanks to the ridiculous Geneva Convention.


      I am also Massad Ayoob graduate, as well as numerous other schools…

      But only real life hunting hogs/javelina has shown me actual evidence and bullet ability.

      And yes, I will at times use a dead Javelina as a bullet / round test bed. 🙂

      • I once killed a feral pig with a headshot from a 22 lr. I did not kill with the 1st shot but I tagged him and shot him a few more times in the head to kill him. I was using stingers and they seemed to do the job.

  11. OhioPrepper says:

    Well written article. As a trainer myself, I cannot emphasize training and practice too much. As for the handgun of choice, my recommendation would be to attend a class where numerous varieties and sizes of firearms are available to try, or lacking that, find a range that allows you to try or rent handguns. There are numerous ranges in our area that will rent you a handgun for use on their range, and will discount a handgun by the rental fee if you find and purchase one.

    As for your list of cartridges, I concur. Too often I see things stated like, any good self defense cartridge must start with a 4, and in decades past that may have been true; but, modern cartridges along with proficient use are more than adequate for the self defense task, and most handgun cartridges now have rifle or carbine variants to make the cartridge dual use. My only problem with your mention of the Keltec Sub2000 is the availability. I tried for several years to get one before purchasing my CZ Scorpion; but, if you can find one, I would definitely recommend it.

    For handgun hunting, I use a Thomson Center Contender, with a variety of barrels in different cartridges, making it a versatile and fun gun to shoot; however, a single shot hinge action firearm is probably not really adequate for self defense except potentially for long range on some of the heavier calibers for back up.

    For ammunition you may also consider reloading, since one can generally reload far less expensively than purchased ammunition; however, you should never use reloads for self defense, due to potential liability on your part.

    I would encourage everyone to read Dave Grossmans “On sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs”, since firearms ownership and proficiency are only part of the total package. You need to have the right mindset, one of the sheepdog who is every vigilant and unafraid to take on a wolf if and when required. When you say:

    you can only be a victim if you haven’t been warned, after that you are a volunteer.

    I agree and would add a maxim I learned from Grossman in his Bulletproof Mind training. If you have the ability to own and carry a firearm, then you have the potential to be a force for good, a sheepdog. When you leave your home and decide to go unarmed, you have also made a choice, and on the way out the door you should look in the mirror and gently say to yourself, “Baaa”.
    Once again Lloyd, an excellent article.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      One more thing:
      On sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs may be found here.

      • Right is RIGHT-wrong is WRONG says:

        Thank you OhioPrepper for the link to “On sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs”. Even at 71 it is very comforting to truly understand for the first time my defending inclinations. Seeing my need to defend or to right a wrong in written form has caused a few big pieces of my life’s puzzle to fit together resulting in some type of personal composure. Thank you again.

        • OhioPrepper says:

          Right is RIGHT-wrong is WRONG,
          When I first read that essay and then attended Grossman’s Bulletproof mind training, I also felt a little more composure, as did my DW, a good friend and his DW who went along the last time I took the training. Taking a life is something that comes in many variants.
          Slapping your arm to destroy a mosquito or taking an antibiotic (literally, Latin for against life) to destroy an invading microbe is something we all do without a thought. As a hunter, I’ve harvested critters with quick shots like rabbit or pheasant, also without much conscious thought. However hunting a larger animal from ambush, like a whitetail deer, always left me with a lump in my throat as I took aim and started squeezing the trigger. This was a case where I knew I was about to take a life and had time to think about it.
          All of that being said, I knew in my heart that I could take a human life in the proper horrible circumstances, and for a long time wondered what was wrong with me. Grossman’s training and writings finally put things in perspective. As it seems I have been a lifelong survivalist / prepper and a sheep dog, long before I knew the details of the later.
          I know what you mean and I’m glad to help add some clarity, and hope this also helps others.

    • I have owned a number of the Kel-Tec Sub2000s and have had no issues with them. I now have a couple in the new Gen-2s which have threaded barrels as I have been using suppressors increasingly over the past few years.

      They can be hard to find sometimes, as they are popular. But I have always been able to find one at a reasonable price when I wanted one.

  12. Has anyone done a conversion on a Glock handgun from 40-S&W to 9MM ?
    I’ve looked into this some time ago and Lone-Wolf & Storm Lake have conversion barrels for all the Glocks chambered in 40-S&W.
    But besides the conversion barrel & mag change, how are you getting around the extractor size difference?
    Shouldn’t the extractor ($25) be changed as well seeing that the 40-S&W has a bigger case head than a 9mm ?
    Changing the extractor on a Glock isn’t a hard job to do, but digging out a case from an extraction failure wouldn’t be fun when I need that handgun to work.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      Just do what I do, buy another gun in pretty much every caliber ever made…

      Guns are like dollar bills, you can never have too many of them.

      • OhioPrepper says:


        Guns are like dollar bills, you can never have too many of them.

        I kind of concur; but, generally the expensive thing as with many other areas is the care and feeding. Printers are almost free; but, the ink will break you, and a lot of firearms in different calibers means less commonality of ammunition or the components to feed the loader if you reload.

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          OP I no longer believe that common caliber ammo is important as we are told it is.

          The ammo shortages of the last few years made it clear that common caliber ammo is the first thing to disappear of the shelves.

          I have numerous uncommon caliber firearms and saw ammo for them on the shelves all through the lean times of the last few years.

          22 Hornet, 32 Mag, 17 Rem, 7-mm Mauser, 41 Mag, 9 MM Ultra, just to name a few I have and was to buy if I wanted to.

          But for the most part I buy a LOT of ammo for every gun I own so the ammo shortages are not an issue for me. So common caliber and or ammo shortages are not an issue for those of that plan ahead.

          And anyone that reloads should load up on primers as they are a choke point for reloading. You basically can’t make them.

          There was a primer shortage in the 1990’s, you could not find them anyplace for the better part of 6-mounts. I had (still have) so many that I loaned the gun shop 40,000 of them (as did one other guy) to help get them through till they were able to buy them again. I was repaid by replacing them and an extra 5,000 of them.

          • OhioPrepper says:

            I’m still sitting on about 8-10K small pistol primers, more than a case of .22 and more than 2 cases of 9mm. I stocked up well before the shortages, primarily for my classes; but, all in all it worked out OK.

    • Richard, here is a link if you are having issues. My thought was more so the ejector verses the extractor due to it being straighter on the G22 verses the G17. I asked a member of the Glock team/manufacturers, if you could put a G17 upper on a G22 receiver and he said yes in a pinch but it might not function as well as original. What else is cool about Glock is if you take it in they will go through it for any rework needed. I have a 17& 22. They adjusted my sights to my spec on the 22, did a mod on my 2nd gen 17 to prevent cracking and put new sights on it for free. Very professional!!!

    • Richard, I have used conversions in my pistols extensively. I have only found that the SS after-market barrels (like Storm Lake and Lone Wolf) need a little lubrication outside of the barrel so as not to bind with extensive use. I do not know why, but the 9mm works fine in a .40 S&W gun, as does the 10mm in a .45ACP gun (and of course a .40 S&W works fine through a 10mm gun as it is the same diameter case). You only need to change out the barrel and the magazine. There is even a 9mm barrel for the 10mm Glock, but since there is no magazine made for that size frame in a 9mm I am not sure how to feed the weapon 9mms.

  13. Chloe Hills says:

    Well stated….
    Back when I set out to buy my handgun, the people I knew that owned firearms m(mostly military) their talk was all about stopping power and trigger pull … not about swapping out barrels and conversions and using the same ammo.
    Now when I did make that purchase, I went to the local shop where the owner is also on the Board of the Shooting range and instructor. I looked through the case and asked him to take out several handguns. There was 8 of them on the counter. I then picked them up one at a time to determine the fit to my hand and the weight of the gun and comfort level was. After all, you can’t hold a hand cannon if your fingers can’t reach around the grip. And so the choices narrowed down. Caliber was next and I was pretty set on .40 S&W and then it was cost of the weapon and ammo… and when all was said and done, I chose the S&W Sigma and even though it’s not their most popular, I love it… the fit, the feel, the accuracy level I’ve achieved.
    I also chose to own a revolver and again I went through the paces… and it came down to the .357 S&W.
    I’ve gotten a bit of flack from other women because I own firearms… but as I tell them, there will come a time when you will need one as I did when I caught a burglar in my home at midnight. I held him at gun point face down on the floor till police arrived. He was a pretty big guy, 6’3″… 250 lbs and could have easily done harm. When he heard that slide click and my yell to hit the floor or die, he dropped.

    • CH, God created man (woman) Sam Colt made them equal.

    • I’m a woman who was coming to work one day when security screamed at us to get down. It seemed that someone on a hill above the hospital was shooting at everyone going to work. The night before a pediatric nurse had been killed going home. At first I couldn’t fathom what was going on then I realized sitting behind a cars engine for two hours. I did my homework and and applied for CCP. It took about a year to get my permit. Been carrying ever since then. Hubby is avid hunter so he has that part covered. I’d love to get a M-6 that I could keep in my back. I really think that buying a gun is like underwear everybody has their favorite type. It just takes time.

  14. Thank you Thor 1 for those links.
    I think Glock is an Awesome company!
    Back in the mid/late 90’s I picked up a police trade-in Glock-19 (Gen-1) that Glock refurbished along with bookoo’s of 19&17 mags over the years.
    Add a G-21/45ACP & Glock-22 at a great deal.
    All those Glocks inside a cramped gunsafe only can lead to one thing………….A Glock becomes pregnant and gives birth to a baby Glock-27.
    ( that’s what I told my wife & I’m NOT changing my story )

    Seriously, conversion barrels from Lone-Wolf for both 40-cal. Glocks is something that I’ve looked into doing just to make them more versatile & flexible for available ammo or Other-Shooter-Needs.
    I love ALL firearms and run an Adoption Program.
    I give good guns a good home where we feed & care for them well.

  15. Or maybe,
    10…………, 12-mm S&W revolver with a 14-shot cylinder.
    Heaven-help-you finding a speed loader.
    It’s going to be as big as a spare tire.

  16. Good article on ammo and firearms conversions. On .22 cal , a retired SS agent recently said when using a .22 for defense,use the best possible .22 hollow points available and shoot center of mass ( no trick shooting ( head, eye etc etc )), reload, holster your firearm, call LEO’s and have a lawyer on call. Having worked in the packing house industry for 40 some yrs, one of the jobs that I did was putting down cripple and diseased animals and what we used was a .22 ( single shot pistol, single shot rifle, bullets with both lead and plastic heads) and yes we only fired from a short distance to maybe 10 to 15 feet away depending on the type of animal, but we knew what spot to aim for. Very seldom did we have to use more than two or three shells. Now I’m not saying that you should go out and take on bison or a grizzly with a .22, but I knew or worked with some people though the yrs that bragged about using a .22 to spot light deer at night and being very good at it. but that was yrs ago. and I agree with the idea of staying with the common calibers ( 9, 45, 223, and 30 cal ( 308, 30-06)), but each to their own. Like the old saying goes, the best firearm to have when you need it, is the one you have with you.

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