Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Caliber of choice

Anonymous said...
I live in Costa Rica part of the year. This weekend I finished my 2nd seminar in AMOK!, a knife fighting discipline. It is not that I plan to become a knife fighter. I want to know how to defend against it and also how to get me blade into play. My friends in Costa Rica think I'm paranoid. I'm the only one of them who has not been robbed or mugged.
Ferfal, I have a question. CR is an NPE for me as a tourist. As such I carry only a Glock 19, no holster...a "clip-on') with just that magazine (loaded with DPX) so I can toss the gun if I need to do it. I prefer the 9mm and a few additional rounds to the 357 SIG. What made you decide on the 357?

Take Care

9mm or bigger LOADED WITH PREMIUM JHP AMMO, will do the job, some will do it a bit better than others, but just a bit.
I have no problems with my Bersa 9mm as a self defense weapon. I keep it loaded with Gold Dot +P.
The 357 SIG gives you some more stopping power and penetration.
In case all I get is one, not so well placed shot, I prefer a 357 SIG shot.
Other like 45 ACP, 40 S&W or 9mm. They are all good as long as you use good ammo.
If you can only get FMJ, definitely go for “big and slow” (45 ACP).
As long as I can choose, I prefer the very fast, violent expansion of a 124 GR JHP traveling at over 1400 fps.



Anonymous said...


Thanks for answering my question about the 357 SIG. I carry Corbon 115 gr +P DPX in my G19 in Costa Rica. (I carried 124 gr +p GDs before I saw the research on DPX.) The DPX round is well-known for its penetration and expansion.

Take Care,

Fitpro on warriortalk

livefree said...

fitpro---What is an NPE?

What are the ramifications of getting caught by CR authorities with a handgun?

Did you buy the gun in country?


livefree said...

What is an NPE? What are the ramifications if you got caught carrying a weapon by the Cr authorities?

Anonymous said...

So the posters' plan is to shoot someone, ditch the gun, and run away? Sounds like a murder conviction if you are caught because if you were only defending yourself why did you have an illegal gun and run away?

I would come up with a better plan. Maybe stick with a knife unless you want to live inside a costa rican jail.

Kyle said...

NPE = non-permissive environment.

In other words, concealed carry is a NO-NO for this person in Costa Rica.

The idea here is that, even if you are legally and morally justified in defending yourself, you will get sent up the river for violating the law.

This individual has decided that, although it's illegal for him to carry a firearm in Costa Rica, he will do so, as the alternative is worse.

People make this decision all over the world. We're all big kids, functioning in different environments. You could say the following applies:

"It's better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6."


"I'd rather live and ditch my gun, or flee the country, than reduce my chances of survival by that magnitude."

In a PERMISSIVE environment that respects your right to defend yourself, yes, you stick around and account for your actions.

In a NON-PERMISSIVE environment, you weigh the risks and make a decision that you are comfortable with.

I carried a handgun in a third world country for defense of myself, my wife and her mother. I never had to use it, but had I done so, we would have had to hop the border immediately, as POSSESSION of a handgun by the great unwashed - especially a foreigner - would result in imprisonment for years with barely a trial, and forfeiture of all available assets, as well as blackmail for those that remained in the US. But the risk of DEATH was high enough that it was worth the risk.

It would have been better not to go, maybe, but it had to be done. You makes your decisions and takes your chances.

Anonymous said...

caliber choice...old advice:
any caliber that starts with 4.
new advice: the caliber you have.
so...big and slow is the best. however, choose a caliber that will
accompany you everywhere. while you're reading this.....is your loaded and ready to fire gun within arm's reach?

Bones said...

A .22 in your pocket is better than a .45 at home in the safe. Of course a .45 in your pocket is better still. Use what works for you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for explaining my point, Kyle. People who have not lived in a violent 3rd world country can't understand why anyone would need a pistol. There are routinely murders everywhere, even in daylight. There was a robbery, with 2 killings, 75 mtrs from my office at noon one weekday. As you mentioned, I've decided to protect myself rather than put myself at the mercy of the criminals. A recent survey of 5 cops revealed that 3 of them would carry a gun even if it was illegal. As for the person who equated it to murder, go live in a violent 3rd world country and get back to me in a year on how your views have changed...if you're still alive.


Anonymous said...


No one equated it to murder, but I do equate it to a bad plan which will create the perception that you are a murderer. Your best case scenario is fleeing the country and a murder charge? Ever thought that you might get extradited right back to Costa Rica to face the charge, after you have given up any possible self-defense claim by carrying an illegal gun and fleeing?

If it doesn't work out you will probably have many years to sharpen your knife-fighting skills in a costa rican prison.

Anonymous said...

This will be my last comment on this subject. Unless you have spent years living in dangerous third world countries, you might ask yourself how much of the reality of the situation you actually understand. I always have pepper spray, a blade (and I'm trained to use it,) and a gun. The LEAST amount of force needed will be used, always. I have no desire to harm anyone or anything.
Lets say you find yourself in a dangerous place, so dangerous that some of the police advise carrying a handgun even if its illegal. On the way home from the bodega (grocery store,) you, your wife, and your child notice several males following you home. You think this might be paranoia, so you cross the street. So do they. They're pace quickens and soon they are immediately behind you, with one jumping in front of you to stop your progress. They tell you in broken English that they want your money and jewelry. You quickly comply. Now they speak rapidly, too fast for you to understand. Then the person in front of you says they are going to take your wife and child into the alley for a "fiesta" and they want you to get on your knees. They immediately begin beating you as they take away your wife and child. How do you think this situation will end? If you don't think this scenario ever happens, ask Ferfal how often it happens in Argentina.


theotherryan said...

Carrying a full sized gun is fine and dandy if you will do it all the time. Even when "just going to the store real quick for a pint of milk" will you take the time to put it on?

Some folks will carry a full sized handgun 24/7/365 which is great. A .380 or .38 is a heck of a lot better than a pocket knife or harsh words.

Heck I would take a little .22 Beretta knockoff (taurus makes one) over a knife in a fight any day. A couple rounds to the face will give anyone an attitude adjustment.