Handguns are the most effective form of self-defense ever created. If you choose to carry concealed, you need to use a handgun with a suitable caliber that you can control. The following are five of the best handgun calibers and among the most popular ever made.
The 9mm Luger parabellum round is possibly the world’s most versatile caliber. It certainly is among the most popular pistol calibers due to its widespread availability and compatibility with a large number of pistols. Most full-size 9mm pistols also can hold more than the 10-round maximum imposed by many states.
The round has been around ever since Austrian Georg Luger developed the round along with his now-famous and highly collectible Luger semiautomatic pistol. The 9mm gives you good stopping power and is reasonably light.
The .45 Colt Automatic Pistol (ACP) cartridge debuted with the legendary and still very popular Colt Model 1911 semiautomatic pistol. The .45 ACP is a heavy round used in the legendary Thompson submachine gun that cleared trenches during World War I and helped defeat Nazis in World War II.
The .45 ACP is shorter than the traditional .45 caliber black powder cartridge that helped to tame the West, but it delivers the same wallop that makes the Colt Model 1911 among the most valued military pistols ever produced.
The .40 Smith & Wesson is more potent than a 9mm and delivers a heavy wallop like the larger .45. Its smaller size enables .40 caliber pistols to hold more rounds than most .45-caliber pistols. That makes it a popular choice among many police officers.
The .38 Special has been in widespread use ever since it became the common sidearm of most police forces across the nation from the 1920s until a change to semiautomatic pistols in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
The .38 is one of the most popular pistol cartridges ever used and was a standard for law enforcement before the .40 caliber replaced it with semiautomatic pistols. The .38 Special cartridge is slightly shorter than the .357 magnum cartridge and can be used for target practice in .357 magnum pistols.
.22 Long Rifle
The .22 LR (long rifle) is the first rifle round that many shooters used while learning how to safely handle and use firearms. The round is light, small, and ideal for target shooting and light hunting duties. The recoil is very light and enables shooters to keep their eyes on the target shot after shot.
The .22 LR also is a very popular pistol round that can be very effective for self-defense. The .22 LR is one of the most common handgun calibers used at shooting ranges and in compact pistols. It also is among the most affordable.
You need to match the handgun caliber to your physical stature and intended use. Those who are small and light should choose a caliber that will not overpower them. But regular practice can make any caliber work.