Details for Pistol

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There are almost 200 different pistol calibers. But there are only a few that are popular and even less that will matter to you as a new shooter and prepper.

The most common pistol calibers are:

  • .22 Long Rifle
  • 9mm
  • .38 ACP
  • .40 S&W
  • .45 ACP

The best round for most new shooters is the 9mm, formally known as the 9x19mm Luger or 9x19mm Parabellum.

Frankly, the 9mm round is probably the best pistol caliber for almost any prepper, regardless of experience. Personally speaking, I have owned pistols across all of those popular calibers but over time I’ve standardized all of my prepping gear to 9mm.

It is one of the most common rounds used by police forces and militaries around the world. The FBI recently switched all of their agents over to the 9mm after decades of research.

The 9mm is an excellent mix of the things you would care about in an emergency situation. It’s extremely popular, so you’re more likely to find it for purchase in normal life and when scavenging after SHTF.

It’s easy to handle for new shooters and won’t kick you back. People will often describe the 9mm as fun to shoot because it packs power but doesn’t make you feel like you’re holding a cannon in your hand. As a new shooter you want to learn control, so having something you can handle without intimidation is important.

It is a smaller round than the other popular calibers, which means you can fit more rounds into the same sized magazine.

Until you become an award winning crack shot, being able to hit your target is more important than how hard the bullet hits your target or if the wound is 10% larger. That’s a big reason the FBI made the switch – they found that it’s better to have 15 rounds of a bullet with 90% stopping power than 8 rounds of a bullet with 95% stopping power.

If you’re extremely nervous about handling a firearm, or maybe you want to teach your children in the 8-15 age range, the best caliber choice is the .22 Long Rifle.

It is the weakest of the popular calibers and, to be honest, the center of many gun jokes. But the 22 LR is a great way to start, especially for children, because the gun will barely move when you fire it.


Yards Shooting Range
1951 Leech Ave
Sioux City, Iowa
Call (712) 224-4220


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