Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pocket-Carry Proclamations

I bought a P64 some time back and it has been a great little gun, especially since I paid well under $200 for it. As I discussed previously, it isn't perfect. The biggest problem is that it's a commie relic, and so suffers from common communist complications (i.e. bad trigger, poor quality metal, lack of fit and finish). My solution is most likely going to be the Ruger LCP, and here's why.

Though the LC9 is probably closer to the P64's footprint while being more powerful, the LCP is just stupidly easy to hide. The P64 is sort of my "deep concealment" piece, and the LCP would be better at that. Ammunition variety is slightly better for .380ACP, though that really isn't part of my consideration. Both the 9mm Makarov and .380ACP are pretty slow movers, and I doubt their effectiveness with HP or frangible ammo. I would rather poke a small hole deeper than make a bunch of ugly but ultimately non-lethal flesh wounds. I'm not saying it's bad to carry hollowpoints in a small caliber, in fact ammo companies have probably tuned their .380 ammo to perform at .380 velocity. Makes sense. I'm just saying that in my head, a low-energy round has a better chance of piercing blood-bearing organs if it is an FMJ. I may come around to carrying .380 hollowpoints, but right now, I'm not inclined to do that. See some great ballistics gel tests below:

The guy in the film is correct that bone would have been a factor that could have prevented the "over-penetration". I would bet that hitting a bone on the way in would have slowed those little guys right down. Having shot cow skulls out on the farm, I can say that bone does pretty well at stopping handgun rounds.

The Gold Dot here only made it 10" into the gel block. I'm not sure that would be real impressive if it would have caught a rib on the way in...

And even worse, Win Ranger-T only made 8", though with impressive expansion. Again, what good is expansion if it doesn't penetrate?

There are a number of other .380ACP ammo tests that also show either erratic or poor penetration with HP ammo. Remington's 102gr Golden Sabre failed to expand, and others that did open up made it less than the FBI standard of 12" in a calibrated block. You can carry what you want, but if I can get an LCP to feed FMJ flatpoints, I'll carry those.


James said...

Tad carries his LCP in a pocket holster. Looks for all the world like a big wallet. That thing is just plain tiny, and I can actually shoot it fairly well despite the lack of sights and long heavy trigger.

The LC9 is slightly wider than the P64 in the slide, and slightly narrower in the grip. It's also much, much lighter.

I don't think you'd have a problem concealing an LC9 unless you want to use it in a pocket or ankle holster. You'd have ammo commonality with your M&P as well, which means you'd be able to carry the same hollowpoints. That's exactly what I do with Ranger T's.

The stupid safety features on the LC9 can be easily removed as well - mine is missing it's magazine disconnect and thumb safety.

The Flatland Gun Nut said...

The wallet holster is primarily why I want the LCP more. I want a rig that's too small and too comfortable to rationalize leaving at home. My laziness has become pretty astounding, which is why none of my pants fit anymore.

The ammo commonality would be nice though. Ranger T in 9mm is pretty impressive. I killed a massive snapping turtle with a single round, which was amazing since those things are usually like trying to kill the Black Knight from Monty Pyton.

James said...

I worry about .380 after having shot it side-by-side with 9mm on steel. The difference is pretty huge. The LCP is an awesome gun for the price though.

The Flatland Gun Nut said...

Oh, I agree. 380 makes at best 200ft/lbs. The only reason to choose it is platform size. If I can shoot it well, I'll feel ok with solids on board. I can't imagine loading JHP in 380 after those abysmal gel block tests. Not that gel tells the whole story by any means, but 8-10" in gel probably doesn't bode well for real-life application.

I'm going to the city tomorrow to get the car worked on. I'm going to stop off at Scheels and play with the LCP and LC9. Maybe a Shield or Sig 290 if they have it.

James said...

I like the Sig P290 - CDNN has (or had) them for around $500. The minimal beavertail seems conducive to appendix carry.

The first-gen Sig 290's have a more or less full DA hammer like the LC9/LCP, and like the Rugers they don't have second strike capability because of around 10% pre-cock. They fixed this in the second-gen.

The Flatland Gun Nut said...

Well, I played with the LC9 and LCP and I think I want the LCP. I'm willing to shoot FMJ if it means I can hide the gun virtually anywhere (insert gay joke here). The LCP is just TINY, which will make my lazy ass carry it every day.