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Seasonal caliber swap?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by PlayboyPenguin, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    Feel free to point out my stupidity if anyone thinks I am a wackjob for doing this, but does anyone else adjust their caliber choice to coincide with the seasons?

    I am not a ballistics expert by any means but when cooler weather rolls around I like to up my caliber choice. I do this because I would rather have 6 rounds of .40S&W or .357sig in the winter time than I would 7 rounds of 9mm. The main reason being the fact that in the winter months badguys are more likely to be wearing heavier clothes.

    In my own non-scientific tests at home (Using my PM9, MK40, and P2000SK) I have noticed that .40S&W and .357sig do a better job through denim and fleece than similar 9mm rounds. So I am heading out today to pick up a Kahr PM40 (similar to the size gun I did my testing with) to replace my Kahr PM9 for the winter months. When summer rolls around again, and people are wearing lighter clothes, I will go back to the higher capacity PM9.

  2. SquackDaddy

    SquackDaddy Marion County Member

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    I think what you are proposing makes total sense. I usually carry a G30SF, but during the winter months when I can wear heavier cover garments, I will carry a .357 Mag revolver with a couple speedloaders. I believe, just as you do, that a little more penetration capabilities can go a long way. :thumbup:
  3. raindog

    raindog Portland, OR Active Member

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    Comparing some FBI data:

    Speer Gold Dot 155gr .40S&W JHP, penetration on clothed gelatin: 18.1", 17.7"

    Speer Gold Dot 115gr 9mm JHP, penetration on clothed gelatin: 22.15", 22.65"

    Less data on 357Sig but it seems to be between them in terms of penetration.

    If you're strictly looking at penetration, then 9mm, eh? Though lots of humans are not 22" thick...

    However...keep in mind that there are 9mm and .40S&W rounds that penetrated less than 14", and these tests were not with heavy denim, etc. Which emphasizes the point I'd like to make - it's all about the specific round you put in your gun, not something as generic as "9mm vs. .40". You could load your gun with frangibles and they'd probably splatter all over someone's leather jacket. On the other hand, FMJ is from any of these guns would probably go through someone on both sides...maybe rattle around a bit inside that leather ;-)

    I think a high quality JHP is going to serve you well regardless of season. The ideal is something that expands well and penetrates deep. I carry 9mm Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P JHPs 12 months out of the year ;-) Same thing in .40 would be good as well. Unless the bad guy has Kevlar on, a Gold Dot in the chest is going to ring his bell, regardless of his North Face Coat.
  4. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    That is why I made sure to say "similar rounds" in my original post. I would never compare dissimilar rounds of different calibers. Although the 9mm did pretty well in our tests, well enough for me to trust it as my usual carry round, it did suffer a great deal more than the .357sig and .40s&s when heavy clothing became a factor. Even though the 9mm did well against the .40s&w and .357sig in basic penetration tests the later round's performance dropped off a lot less sharply than the 9mm when it was going through jacket material. :)
  5. smithmax

    smithmax here Member

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    I know a lot of people up their pistol size in the winter because it's easier to conceal a 1911 under heavy clothes than it is under summer clothes.
  6. swoop

    swoop Milwaukie, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Since you intend to replace your PM9 with a PM.40 you won't even feel a change but the bad guy might. I change every winter, gives me a chance to use my OWB holsters that lay around all summer. By the way, good choice on your new winter carry.
  7. the4thshake

    the4thshake Portland Active Member

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    A quality bullet in any of the major calibers will penetrate heavy clothing. Putting those bullets into a vital area is more important than how big they are.
  8. techieguy

    techieguy Well-Known Member

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    That's the great thing about the 1911... Being so thin it conceals nicely even in summer clothing (that I wear wear anyway... no speedo's for me:bluelaugh:)
  9. NK777

    NK777 West of Portland Member

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    Doesn't everybody do this?

    Yes as stated in a few of my posts here I carry either a micro 45 acp or Ruger LCP 380 in the summer and a fullsize 1911 in the winter.
  10. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I don't change calibers due to the seasons, even though there is a lot to be said in favor of your decision Playboy. I usually pack a .45 no matter the season. The only time it's different is when it's more convenient to pack a much smaller gun and I take a .380 or a .38 Special. That all depends on what I'm wearing.
  11. dario541

    dario541 medford, or 97504 Member

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    Hornady claims that their Critical Defense loads are designed to penetrate clothing before they do their thing.
  12. Mr.510

    Mr.510 Belfair Washington Member

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    I'm with orygun who said:
    Except I always pack a .45! :thumbup: I'm in favor of always carrying the same weapon in the same holster. Familiarity and muscle memory are very good things, especially if you need to use them under stress. I suppose switching between two weapons that are identical other than caliber would still be OK.... but then why not just carry the larger caliber all the time? Capacity? I'm a civilian. Above all else I want every round coming out of my gun to connect with a BG so I don't hurt an innocent. I want to fire the fewest number of rounds possible and I want each of them to be as devastating to the BG as possible. How often does a civilian's weapon run dry in a SD shooting? I can only recall a couple incidents where a reload was done, and they were done from cover in an extended encounter with multiple BGs. In both cases the good guy's gun was a six shot revolver. There's eleven HST +Ps in my XD45C right now. If I'm attacked by four BGs the first three get Mozambique'd but the last guy will have to settle for a double tap, sorry buddy. ;)
  13. beararms5000

    beararms5000 Seattle Member

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    Same for me: 45 ACP regardless of the occasion.
  14. Hawaiian

    Hawaiian Tigard Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I know a lot of folks change in the summer for concealment reasons. I am old and don't wear tight fitting shirts in summer. I don't change my carry. HK45c IWB and if I don't want to carry that way, it is a Kahr PM9 in a pocket holster. The PM9 is enough for me to control. I do not want to go with the PM40. If I need to move up, I will just carry the HK45c.