Making The Case for Small Caliber Carry

I know that the first thing that you read is small calibers and immediately go so you mean .380. Or if you are a 44 Mag fan anything that is under the sun below it is a “smaller caliber”, but I am thinking really small.

How small?

How about in the realm of 22?

Now I can hear it now, “THAT IS NOT ENOUGH GUN TO DO ANYTHING”, but I would like to argue that we as a community may be overlooking some very versatile calibers that are good for all shooters, and provide a great option for some shooters, and for certain situations.

Let’s take for example going hiking in the woods because that is something that a lot of folks start doing now that the weather across the country is starting to come out of winter. Where I am, the biggest threats I need to worry about are snakes or coyotes, with the latter being very rare. Now, if my family, dog, or I step wrong and gets a venomous snake between our legs, it becomes interesting.

Do you reach for your 44 magnum or even 9mm in your holster? Have you ever tried to hit a moving target with that 9mm when your adrenaline is pumping? It’s difficult on a good day. So one of the guns you could look at would be a small 22-magnum revolver. Lightweight, and when loaded with CCI Shotshells (think miniature shotgun shells) it is good for dispatching such issues.

While you might think this is an unlikely scenario, many years back I had a rattlesnake under a log I stepped over with my then-puppy in the lead. Knowing that my family jewels were well within striking range makes you really think about these things.

Also, 22 Mag is enough to take care of coyotes (maybe a little light unless with the right ammo) or any feral dogs we might come across.

Other unique ideas might be something that is truly unique, and I have written about in the past, the 5.7×28. With Ruger introducing its 57 and the FN 57 being around for a while now, this pistol packs a lot more than what people may think. First, this is a .224 caliber bullet, which is the same diameter as your AR15.

The second is these bullets are moving…. most are seeing a speed of about 2300 feet per second with a 40grain bullet. So, what it lacks in mass, it makes well up for in velocity. This is phenomenal for creating hydrostatic shock, the impact wave that causes damage with most high-velocity rounds. Another added benefit is the capacity.

For a standard Glock 19, it is 15 rounds, whereas the FN and Ruger come in at 20, with the FN having aftermarket mags at 30 rounds.

The other thing to note is the weight of the rounds with the firearm, which weighs a lot less than the standard loaded Glock, so in conjunction with my JM4 Original holster, it is amazing for all-day carry.

The other thing I like about it is it is low recoil for one-hand shooting compared to your standard 9mm/40/45, which can make it a great vehicle firearm because you might need your hand to escape the situation.

The final note I wanted to mention, these are things that have worked for me and have filled niches where carrying the standard pistol in 9mm or 45 might not be the easiest. The North American Arms 22 revolver I can hide damn near anywhere, and the 5.7 has about the same profile as a Sig or Glock in a similar holster.

While I don’t think any gun is a do-all for you (sorry 1911/45ACP fans), I do think that smaller caliber pistols do have a place in some people’s arsenal, and if you are going to carry, I highly recommend you carry with the best holster, like ours at JM4.

Next up, check out our blog post about which 380 pistols are the best.

Author: Ian Bolser