The Armoury > Handguns

What is the most compact (and efficient) "get off me" handgun/pistol?

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In the early 20th century we were inundated with smallbore revolver cartridges that were less powerful than most of today's specimens. (Buffalo Bore has brought some of these "kicking and screaming" into the 21st century). a large number of today's shooters consider the .380 ACP (John Moses Browning's brainchild of 1908) has long been considered the "power floor" when it comes to personal defense pistols/revolvers.

Now that new loads and bullet configurations have improved both the ballistics and terminal pefromance have elevated what once were considered  "weakling" rounds to a somewhat respectable level of antipersonnel efficacy, what would you consider the most efficient "get off me" gun to date?

Input? Opinions?

Freehold Marshal:
I still prefer a steel framed J frame revolver in .38 Special as my minimum defensive carry piece for encounters at bad breath distances.

I carry a J frame in .38 special most times in my pocket. I have at times carried a Beretta Tomcat in .32acp although I feel it kind of small. Before I had my last back surgery I did carry it as it was small and pretty light and didn't bother my back as much as heavier guns.
I've owned .380s too and feel they are a bit small too. I did kill a feral cat with a Colt Mustang once so they're good for that anyway.

i have to mesh the caliber with the acceptable launch platform.....and so far it is a very imperfect world settling for what i need vs what i want.

at least for me the caliber takes a back seat to the bullet launching format. That is probably why we are seeing some interest from buffalo bore in the obselencent calibers and from some rimfire makers in new defensive 22 mag ammo........................people working with what they got or a gun that they find that meets their needs and then the struggle to find appropriate ammo for it.

i have yet to find the perfect last ditch gun in design, firepower, features, and ergonomics.........but it sure is fun trying!!!!!!

i choose the gun 1st and then see what calibers are available for it........for me, the most efficient "get off me now" last ditch gun is the baby browning 25 acp.........bear in mind that 1st choice is whatever is on my hip, 2nd choice is my 38 revolver that is always in my front pocket........the 25 is literally last ditch.....

Another here for the .38Spl+P as the floor level-(or the 9mm +P) for a backup weapon. If I feel the need for more power, I'll carry two primaries and a backup-but  don't own anything smaller than my SP101 and my Kahr CW45. Both make excellent backups, and have enough power to stop someone right now.

I understand Dep's situation and agree that something smaller might save his life-but I'd rather see him with the .22Mag than the .25-the derringer won't jam at stick-it-in-his-belly ranges and the .25 may. Amazing the places the .22 Mag DA derringer can ride comfortably.

The .38 Spl. ammo has been improved significantly-so I don't want to try to find a smaller round that's been improved to get to be almost what the .38 used to be. Good thing about being old-you can be hard-headed and resistant to "trends" and people just ignore you. ;)


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