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Pistol Calibers

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"It all depends..."

For my first Quip of 2014, I will talk briefly about trends in serious
pistol calibers.

When asked about pistol calibers and guns, and which is "best," I'm
reminded of this poetic advice given to aspiring poker players by one of my
favorite authors on the subject, John Vorhaus:

"Poker is a challenge, built on tendencies and trends
And many tough decisions, upon which a session bends
So, when I'm asked for advice by strangers, or by friends,
I look them squarely in the eye and answer,

'It depends'"

... I am just a politician
Who, waffling, contends
'It's poker, folks. It just depends!'"

After several decades of great popularity, at least among police, the
40S&W is currently losing market-share, to the 9x19!

The 357SIG, which languished for a decade, then suddenly garnered
popularity, particularly among state troopers, is now singing what may be its
swan-song, rapidly losing ground, again to the 9x19!

The 45GAP, if not still-born, never really got off the ground. Today,
demand for 45GAP ammunition, and pistols in that caliber, is close to zero.

The 45ACP retains its popularity, against all assaults, but its cadre of "
true-believers" diminishes slightly with each year's passing.

The 380Auto, disdained by purists coast-to-coast, continues to grow in
popularity among freshmen, just now deciding to go armed. Are they
delusional? Many probably are. But, at least for some, there are few other real

Many of my colleagues, for whom I have much respect, now advocate "
standardizing" on the 9mm (9x19). They are persuaded that the 9mm, with
high-performance ammunition, represents the equivalent in stopping power of nearly
any other popular, serious caliber, at least any that is commonly carried.
Their logic is difficult to dispute!

Texas State Police (DPS), after pioneering the 357SIG, and issuing SIG
pistols chambered for that round to its troopers for many years, is now going
to the 9mm! Reasons cited are comfort, less wear-and-tear on guns, and cost
of ammunition. Other states may follow.

"Trends" are fickle and unpredictable. Logic and facts often play only
minor rolls. As in art, one dies of hunger, or becomes a millionaire, for
no other reason than the whim of fashion.

So, when asked about pistol calibers, like John Vorhaus, I usually answer,

"It all depends."

It depends on a person's size, strength, size of his hands, degree of
personal commitment to (or even interest in) our Art, fiscal means, lifestyle,
likely threats, where/how he lives, what is likely to be most available,
personal sensitivity to recoil, noise, concussion... and a host of other

Continuing with Vorhaus:

"For I can't give affirmation
To your certain situation
Without better information,
Followed by some cognation,
And some subtitle calculation,
Not to mention computation,
To the point of constipation!

And now, with no more hesitation
I'll complete your education,
And leave you with this explanation
Though the argument distends,
In the end... it all depends"

It does indeed! So, make a decision, and don't look back. Make firm
plans, but don't be too proud of them. Be bold, but cautious; courageous, but
not foolish; clear, but flexible; realistic, but not self-indulgent. Don'
t con your friends, and don't con yourself. Think clearly and make sound
decisions, and stop worrying about being, nor looking, "cool"

You came into this world buck-ass naked, and it is fairly certain you will
carry nothing out, including titles and status, when you leave. Everything
in between is just fluctuation. Get over it. Get used to it.

In the end, we're all dead anyway. In the interim, let us audaciously
take complete responsibility for our own lives and fortune. Let us never
give-up and never give-in, and ever go armed.

What caliber?

Take your pick... it all depends!


John S. Farnam