The correct answer is: none of them. I didn’t say you had to choose one caliber to get shot with. I asked if you would be willing to get shot with a “tiny” little .380. The most important part of a gunfight is to finish the gunfight with the same number of holes in your body that you started with.

Of course you would not be willing to get shot with a .380. But many people still cast dispersions on the smaller calibers. The truth is, no handgun caliber has any real stopping power. Don’t believe the Hollywood hype.

What you need in a handgun is one that you are comfortable training with and carrying all day. Fill that handgun with good quality, modern defensive ammunition and you will have a weapon capable of doing what you need it to do. At that point, it is a matter of your ability to put multiple rounds on target quickly. You may stop the fight through causing serious blood loss, but more likely you will stop the fight because your attacker no longer wants to get shot — by a pistol of any caliber.

Does Caliber Matter?

Don’t choose your gun based on caliber. Choose it based on reliability, carry comfort and your ability to shoot straight.