I know that if you read articles or forums posts written by me, you will see phrases like “any caliber from 9mm through .45acp will work equally well” and “at least shoot a 9mm” crop up often. There is a large, robust set of of research data showing those calibers, through handguns, will be functionally effective in the same manner to the same degree and can, in general, be relied upon to cause self-defense “stops” given adequate accuracy on the part of the shooter.
Does this mean I believe anyone who carries a smaller caliber than that isn’t going to be able to defend themselves?
Not at all.
Plenty of attackers in self-defense situations have been stopped by people with .22s. And in the majority of self-defense situations involving defensive gun uses (DGUs) the attackers have been stopped without a shot being fired. As such, the first rule of concealed carry is simply: HAVE A GUN.
It you don’t….then you’ve failed the “concealed carry” portion of your test. Hopefully, you’ll manage to pass the “unarmed defense” section, when you are attacked. (I’ll note that section of the test is normally a LOT harder.)
So if what you carry is a two-shot .22 derringer, I’m not going to say you are wrong. Do you carry it every day, everywhere? Good, then you are obeying the first rule of concealed carry.
Does that mean I think you are making good choices regarding your concealed carry? Well, that’s a separate issue. While it is true that the vast majority of defensive gun uses end in either no shots fired or one shot fired, it is ALSO true that sometimes more is required.
That’s a different topic, though. First Rule: HAVE A GUN. Carrying it doesn’t mean that magically you will be protected from harm, but having it means that you have the tool that most often ends self-defense situations without harm to you if used properly.*
Have a gun.
(Note: the “if used properly” part is also important. Again, that’s a different topic though.)
Next Rule: Rule Two of Concealed Carry