Concealed or Off-Duty Carry of Smaller Handguns Kenny Perry Special Skills Coordinator
Obviously, everyone wants to carry the most powerful caliber weapon they can when carrying concealed. Unfortunately, that .50 caliber Desert Eagle or 6-inch .44 Magnum revolver is not very conducive to concealed carry. With the abundance of small, quality 9mm pistols, it is easy to pack a serious caliber. Witness the popularity of the Glock 43 and the M&P Shield. There are still many folks who desire smaller, more easily concealed hardware.
That desire does present a slight problem - those smaller calibers lack the “get up and go” to provide proper expansion and adequate penetration. The FBI’s eight-part terminal ballistics test used to measure these parameters was a result of the failure of their chosen 9mm load to perform with adequate penetration in the well -known 1986 Miami shootout. The bullets exactly met the expansion and penetration design criteria, but failed to reach the nine inches of penetration criteria.
The current standard for self-defense loads specifies 12 to14 inches of penetration in bare 10 percent ballistic gelatin and as much expansion as possible without compromising penetration. With marginal loads like the .380 Auto or .38 Special from a two-inch “snubby” revolver barrel, expansion generally only comes at the expense of penetration. The loads that do expand reliably, to create a larger wound path, generally provide marginal to substandard penetration.
Small caliber pocket pistols Some people will decide to carry even smaller caliber pocket pistols. The .25 and .32 auto cartridges that are chosen many times are only providing a false sense of security and are unlikely to stop a determined adversary. If you choose to carry one of these “hideout guns”, it generally requires a full-metal-jacket load to penetrate deep enough to find something vital on your enemy.
.22 Long rifle caliber Choosing to conceal carry a handgun in .22 long rifle for defense is of limited usefulness. There are reliable pocket pistols and flea-weight revolvers made for the .22 and even folks with very limited hand strength — from injury or arthritis — can fire them effectively.
The value prices and ever increasing availability of .22 ammo allows folks to practice enough to deliver the kind of very limited short-range precision you need. If this is the choice you make, utilizing 40 grain or heavier loads with a solid point — not hollow point — would be the best choice to get the best possible penetration. The optimal target area would be the triangle formed by the threat’s eyes and nose.
Train to fire a series of several quick rounds into a small target at close range. With practice, that little .22 pistol might be able to keep you breathing and surviving.
Ultimately, when choosing to use a small handgun, be sure to make careful choices in the ammunition you use to protect you and yours.
House Bill to toughen the subsequent DUI penalty Robert Lacey Basic Training Coordinator
HB 1403 is being presented this session of the Virginia Legislature to toughen the penalties on DUI offenders in Virginia. This bill is asking to amend 18.2-270.C.1. Code of Virginia, which basically states a conviction of three DUI’s under 18.2-266 within 10 years the third conviction shall be a Class 6 felony. The section continues to state that the sentence of this is a minimum mandatory 90 days in jail, unless the three offenses occurred within 5 years, then the jail time is to be 6 months.
The new bill is asking to toughen the current time allowed for these convictions to move out to 20 years instead of 10 years to become a felony. Subsection C.3. under 18.2-270 is also falling under this same change stating the punishment of a fourth conviction within 20 years (versus 10 which it currently states) shall have a sentence of 1 year minimum mandatory and a minimum mandatory fine on $1,000.
This is a much tougher stance on DUIs subsequent offenses. The number of DUI’s in Virginia over the last 25 years has been cut in half due to better deterrence efforts and tougher laws for inital offenders and repeat offenders. HB1403 is another step in the deterrence effort.