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What gun/caliber to oppose an active shooter?

Discussion in 'Education & Training' started by ThePhonMan, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. ThePhonMan

    ThePhonMan Spokanistan Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    With the recent active shooter situations that have occurred a raging debate has reignited between my neighbor and me.

    I carry an H&K USP45C daily and he carries a government issued Sig in 9mm (he works for one of those 3-letter federal agencies). We have debated several times the pros and cons of more bullets (9mm) versus (alleged) greater one-shot-stop percentages (.45).

    Without getting into religious wars about caliber, terminal ballistics, temporary and permanent wound cavity characteristics, etc., I’m curious what the forum members think about how much gun and how many bullets they would want/need in an active shooter situation if they were carrying concealed. It’s not easy to conceal an AR or shotgun so let’s assume long guns are not an option.

    The old, dated FBI stats on “average gunfights” (take place at less than 20’, 8 or less rounds expended, less than 10 seconds in total duration, etc.) don’t apply in an active shooter situation so this becomes somewhat new ground for discussion on what would be the most effective in this specific situation.

    I carry a .45 because I know what I can hit under duress and when I do hit it, it will probably fall down with very few rounds (or the blunt force trauma when wearing a vest will disorient the active shooter long enough for me to permanently end the situation). That's my logic at least.

    I’m interested to hear any other opinions and reasoning you may consider specifically in the active shooter scenario.

    And, yes, I know this is a purely academic exercise since all situations are different. I’m just interested in the various approaches that people may use to come to their conclusion on what makes them comfortable.
     
  2. ron

    ron Vancouver, Washington Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    The gun that you have with you. Don't mean to be flip-id but you have to carry a gun comfortable enough to have with you at all times.
    Now I own several larger caliber and capacity hand guns but I carry a compact light weight 8 shot 9mm. S&W 3913 . I feel confident with this gun because
    it is very accurate. I can easily make a hit on targets out to 50 yards. Those little carry guns are great to carry but how well can you shoot it?
    The best gun in the world does you no good if it is not with you when you need it.
     
    nwwoodsman and (deleted member) like this.
  3. MrNiceGuy

    MrNiceGuy between springfield and shelbyville Well-Known Member

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    Depending on the day I'm either carrying a 5 shot 38spcl, an 8 shot 45acp, or a 21 round 9mm.

    Placement is more important than caliber.
    Carry whatever you can shoot the best and still keep concealed.
     
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  4. ThePhonMan

    ThePhonMan Spokanistan Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    Great point Ron. The HK is by no means a small gun and I've carried it most days for the last 5+ years. On some occasions I carry a Glock 19. The HK is shockingly easy to shoot even compared to the larger frame .45s I own. I am very confident with it but that comes from regular practice.

    Like MrNiceGuy suggests, I think I may need to pick up a 5 shot 38 for the occasions when concealed is only available with a pocket or smaller holstered gun. I don't like the alternative of not carrying. I look at concealed carry as my obligation to friends and family.

    Brian
     
  5. mkwerx

    mkwerx Forest Grove, OR Well-Known Member

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    If the biggest concern is active shooter, i would pick an FN five seven. Low recoil and punches through body armor. CNS shot would turn the lights out quickly.

    But that scenario, despite the events of the last two weeks, is the least likely we will face as armed citizens, so i would stick with what has been working. For me that has been high cap 9s. That is solely becayse 9 is cheaper than .45. I like both. If cost to shoot was less a factor i would carry a glock 21 or para 14-45. High cap .45 and have best of both worlds.
     
  6. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Brass Fetcher of you tube fame and a consulting firm on calibers and bullets for different security firms (just so ya know they're not a you tube hack) did some tests between 9mm and 45acp defense rounds. Half of the tests concluded that the 9mm was their choice because the damage wasn't too much less and the 9 had GREATER CAPACITY.

    So a high cap 45 ,G21,would be my choice. Or my G20 10mm
    I have no problem with doing it the Israeli way and arming with an AR too.(for the schools)
    But for every day Mall/cinema active shooters,the largest caliber you can shoot very well is the way to go.

    Heck a perfectly placed head shot with a 22lr works for me
     
  7. Will_Power

    Will_Power OR via OK Active Member

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    If there is an active shooter situation with a .223/7.62x39 (not to mention his potential load-out of mags), I'm not engaging him with my 15 or 31 rounds of 9mm (14+1 loaded and occasionally a 16 round backup).

    I have no John Rambo fantasies or a secret wish to "get" to use my handgun "for real."

    I am extricating myself and those around me as quickly as possible. If I have to draw, it means I have nowhere else to escape to, and things have gone from fear of death to real-deal, imminent fear of death.

    That's not even taking into consideration the legal and financial ramifications of me as a private citizen engaging a bad guy in this sort of scenario and missing then potentially injuring an innocent bystander.
     
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  8. ron

    ron Vancouver, Washington Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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  9. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Yeah legal ramifications would be my first thought when someone is shooting folks in a mall or school.
    Heck Maybe I should put my lawyer on speed dial so I can ask him...

    "Hey Paul,I'm in a mall and I am carrying.What? NO can't play golf Saturday.Anyway, Do you think it's a good idea to shoot this guy that's killing folks in here? Yeah I didn't think so either. Yeah I shouldn't think of anyone but ME. Can't talk now,have to run,haha,literally,haha"

    Yeah ,maybe we should have our guns taken away thinking like this.
     
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  10. mkwerx

    mkwerx Forest Grove, OR Well-Known Member

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    If your sole concern is #1 - so be it. There are a few folks, however, who would willingly engage a shooter at a mall, a theater, a school, wherever.

    Those who would have probably already given this serious thought, even before Clackamas Town Center, Sandy Hook, Aurora, etc. You can sit back and say they're full of it, or it's just internet bravado, you may call them fools, wanna-be-heros or whatever - but there ARE people out there, people on this very forum, who would risk their own lives to stop a mad man bent on killing or hurting others.

    While no one can be 100% on how they will react to a situation before they are placed there - we can see how we have handled stressful situations in the past to get an idea of how you might react in the future.

    I will say that if I were in a situation like the CTC incident, I would try intervene, even if it put my own life at risk. It's a decision I am willing to live with. I believe that saving innocent lives is worth the risk to my own. I'm not a cowboy, I don't carry a gun because it's cool, I have no delusions of becoming a hero. I carry a gun to protect myself and my loved ones - but am also willing to use that gun to protect any other innocent person. That's just the kind of person I am - it's the kind of person I have always been. I wouldn't just keep on walking if I saw someone getting their *** beat either, or a woman being raped, or a child being beaten. Sometimes doing what you think is morally right comes with personal risk. I personally think it is the morally right thing to get involved and try to stop a would-be mass murderer.
     
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  11. sheepdip

    sheepdip Redland Well-Known Member

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    well said, mkwerx. the s.o.b. deserved to die. too bad a good guy didnt get to take him out.
     
  12. raindog

    raindog Portland, OR Active Member

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  13. raindog

    raindog Portland, OR Active Member

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    Long-time netizens may remember The Red Zone, which was an exercise run on the rec.guns newsgroup back in the early 90s. A guy invented a number of scenarios and for each, he posted the scenario, people discussed, and then he posted the conclusion.

    One scenario was the active shooter scenario. You're in a coffee shop and a guy with a Kalishnikov walks in and starts shooting. There's no cover in the coffee shop that will stop 7.62x39. You're near the door. What do you do?

    Some people said they'd draw and engage.

    Some people said they would step outside and dial 911 (on the nearest payphone as I recall - well, it was the early 90s before everyone had cell phones :) Some were called cowards but the reasons people gave were:

    1. lack of professional training (it's a crowded coffee shop), might hit innocents, etc.
    2. legal concerns (some states have a "duty to retreat" though I'm not a lawyer and am not sure how it applies in this scenario)
    3. they had kids, etc. and felt they had a duty to their children (not dying) that outweighed their duty to strangers
     
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  14. sheepdip

    sheepdip Redland Well-Known Member

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    and then of course you kill the shooter, then your whole life history is under the microscope. god help us if we did something goofy when we were younger. lets say just for argument you see something similar to the clackamas deal. what if a ccw had seen the S.O.B. coming into the mall and capped him before he commited a crime. who is in trouble now?
     
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  15. sheepdip

    sheepdip Redland Well-Known Member

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    sorry, didnt mean for it to be such a troubling question
     
  16. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    1. People are most definitely getting shot ANYWAY.If I can get out the door because the guy isn't looking at me,I run away instead of shoot the mother bubblegumer?
    Not sure I understand this thinking. He just walked past you,through the door you were sitting by.He's gotta be within feet. Maybe take your gun home and sell it.
    2. Legal concerns. Well I'll take my chances on that one if I can save 1 life.
    3. Send the kids out before you,as I would guess any parent would,tell them to run to the next store and then engage.
    See if the guy happens to catch you leaving,or if he still has a gun,then he is still a threat to your children and you. Who says he will stay in the store and not follow you out?

    See number 3 trumps all others since he is still a threat to you if he is alive and holding a weapon.
    How about you decide to leave and then find out your teenage daughter was there and was killed after you fled? Or some other relative?

    Boy that legal battle would seem easy pickens against losing a child

    But hey,that's just me.
     
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  17. sheepdip

    sheepdip Redland Well-Known Member

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    seems to me that if a normal citizen capped a guy running, carrying an ak, dressed in dark camo and a mask. in macys you would be a hero!
     
  18. badclam

    badclam willapa bay Sunny SW WA Active Member

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    My favorite pistol to shot is my Kimber 1911 full size, but I carry a Glock 29 10mm. The 10mm round in a Glock platform is just so powerful, and dependable, and concealable, that I can't not carry it. I have to carry for wild animal encounters also. I shot all the time as I live in the middle of nowhere. I have targets set up 24-7 in front of dirt piles all over, including out my front door in front of where I park. I imagine different scenarios like having to engage an active shooter from my vehicle. I pull up turning left so I can open the door and hide behind the engine and shoot over the hood. I also practice pulling and loading my rifle quickly and engaging targets. I pick stumps while I'm walking around at unknown distances and shoot. Practice, practice, practice. I have become proficient with my sidearm at all distances out to about 50 yards. I know exactly what kind of accuracy me and my sidearm are capable of, and more importantly I know when the odds are bad for a hit. I love to shoot and love to practice. I am very confident with my G29.

    When I can't carry the G29, I carry a Kahr PM9 with +P ammo. I don't practice enough with the Kahr so my decisions would be different if i was caught with only the Kahr. It would be a more difficult to engage with the Kahr so cover, or first shot, and range become more important. I think I'll shoot my Kahr tomorrow.Thanks.
     
  19. misplacedtexan

    misplacedtexan Beaverton, OR Active Member

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    I carry a XD chambered in 357 sig, seems good enough for a vast amount of state police agencies and now some federal alphabet soup types.

    No handgun will produce enough power to put down anyone in one hit, unless you hit them (against the odds) in the head. The laws of physics (every action has a equal reaction) don't allow for it. Personally I'd look for a higher round count in one magazine over larger bullets.

    Remember, when you step onto a two way range you WILL miss. How many times can you afford to miss?
     
  20. Will_Power

    Will_Power OR via OK Active Member

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    Boy, that is some good ole boy gun logic if I ever heard some. Raindog said it so well I'll repeat what he typed:

    Statistics bear that fact out repeatedly.

    I realize some folks here figure they are real regular Captain Badasses with their micro-subcompact pocket guns or itty bitty 1911s and able to make all the goodenough groupings they could ever dream of from 25 yards out while taking their time against those scary, dangerous paper targets, but your 5, 6, or 7 shots aren't likely to make it all on target in the middle of a kinetic, adrenaline-pumping emergency scenario, and those couple of rounds that hit the bad guy aren't a guarantee to physiologically put him down - especially if he's that special type of psycho that engages in mass shootings.