When you discuss self-defense tools it’s inevitable that what you use is wrong. There is only one valid set of self-defense tools and that’s the set I personally use! At least that’s how the conversation usually goes whenever I see it crop up. A recent blog post explaining why the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) chose the 9mm has rekindled the defensive caliber wars. Once again we have the “Why carry anything other than 9mm” crowd arguing with the “Everybody should carry a caliber that starts with .4” crowd.
I got drawn into this conversation because, well, I like to troll. My daily carry gun is a Glock 30SF, which is Glock’s sub-compact .45 for those who don’t know. When I mentioned this in the conversation somebody asked why I’m stupid enough to “carry a 100 year-old round?” Setting aside the fact that the 9mm is older than the .45 I fully admit that my choice of defensive rounds is anachronistic. Resources for handgun ammunition research and development is predominantly going towards making a better 9mm. If you want the best modern research can provide in your handgun then you should go with 9mm. Combine this with the fact that handgun ballistics suck regardless of the caliber you use and it’s much smarter to have more small rounds in the gun than fewer larger rounds (to a point obviously, a .22 wouldn’t be my go-to defensive caliber).
So why do I carry a .45 when I admit that a 9mm would be a better choice? Because I like the .45. It’s that simple. And since I’m not constantly involved in gunfights or am likely to be in a situation where having 16 rounds instead of 11 rounds will be the defining factor in whether or not I survive I feel as though I can choose my caliber based heavily on personal preference. While the 9mm is a great handgun cartridge, one that I would argue is superior to the .45, it just doesn’t have that timeless feel, at least for an American like myself, as the .45.
The bottom line is I like anachronisms and combining old with new. I wear mechanical wristwatches, my go-to rifle is an AR chambered in .308, most of my code is written with command line tools, and my toothbrush isn’t electric. On the other hand my wristwatches are made of superior modern materials, go-to rifle is chambered in .308 but based on a more modern platform, code is written using a modern computer with a modern operating system, and manually operated toothbrush has been designed for superior plaque removal. Likewise I choose to carry a .45 but have it loaded in a more modern tactical Tupperware pistol (I like the 1911 but it’s heavier, more expensive, and has more sharp angles to dig into my side).
This justification throws most tactical Tommies into a fit of impotent Internet rage and that amuses me. I guess the fact that my defensive plan doesn’t revolve around what is objectively best and instead takes into consideration what I personally prefer is some kind of mortal sin. And admittedly my plan is unlikely to save my life if the Golden Horde invades the Twin Cities. But I’m happy with what I carry, like to shoot it and therefore practice with it regularly (huge plus side to carrying what I personally prefer), and am covered for a vast majority of defensive situations I’m likely to encounter. Life is too short to throw personal preference to the wind and one can strike a balance between the bestest tools evar and the tools they prefer for reasons unrelated to self-defense.
I also realize that this post, along with other self-defense posts I’ve written, will been seen as bad self-defense advise by many others. Let me make a preemptive rebuttal to those people. Nowhere have I ever claimed to be a good source of self-defense advice. I’m not a certified anything outside of the computer industry and have never claimed to be. The number of defensive situations I’ve been involved in can be counted on the fingers of a double arm amputee. And I’ve never claimed this blog to be anything other than a giant opinion piece. What I offer here is an insight into my thought process when developing a defensive plan in the hopes it helps others think about their defensive plan from a different angle (because the more angles you approach something from the better the overall plan is likely to be).