The question of the “best” carry caliber is subjective and depends on various factors including personal preferences, comfort, proficiency, and intended use. Different individuals may have different opinions based on their experiences and needs. However, several popular carry calibers are commonly recommended for self-defense purposes:

  1. 9mm: Widely regarded as one of the most popular and effective carry calibers due to its manageable recoil, high magazine capacity, and availability of ammunition.
  2. .380 ACP: Slightly smaller than 9mm, .380 ACP offers lighter recoil and smaller firearms, making it a popular choice for concealed carry, especially in compact or subcompact pistols.
  3. .38 Special/.357 Magnum: These revolver calibers offer proven stopping power and are often chosen for their simplicity and reliability, particularly in wheelgun platforms.
  4. .40 S&W: Known for its strong performance, .40 S&W offers a balance between stopping power and controllability, although it may have slightly more recoil compared to 9mm.
  5. .45 ACP: Renowned for its stopping power, .45 ACP delivers heavy bullets with significant energy transfer, although it typically has lower magazine capacity and higher recoil compared to 9mm.

Ultimately, the best carry caliber is the one that you can handle comfortably and shoot accurately while meeting your self-defense needs. It’s essential to practice regularly with your chosen caliber to maintain proficiency and confidence in your ability to use it effectively in a high-stress situation. Additionally, factors such as firearm reliability, concealability, and legal considerations should also be taken into account when selecting a carry caliber.

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