Texas CHL (Concealed Handgun License) has been renamed to Texas LTC (License to Carry)
These are only size examples, not loaded with personal protection bullets. As shown, .22 Long Rifle, .22 Magnum, .380, .38, .357, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP. Go to your local range and see if you can rent different ones, or find an instructor in your local area, that will allow you to shoot the different size calibers.
9mm is the best blend of capacity and stopping power
The recommended CHL pistol calibers are (listed in our recommended order):
We are not talking about home protection, competition etc, only CHL (CCW) carry
Why we think that 9mm is best for LTC (CHL) carry:
The benefits of the 9mm semi-automatic caliber are:
Items to consider about the 9mm semi-automatic caliber are:
The semi-automatic .45 ACP is a great caliber and that is why the military and many professional shooters carry 1911 style handguns.
However, it is a much bigger bullet than all of the other recommended calibers. Because of this, it is more difficult to shoot when in smaller concealable chassis, and you can’t carry as many rounds in the magazine.
The benefits of the .45 ACP semi-automatic caliber are:
Items to consider about the .45 ACP semi-automatic caliber are:
Many competition shooters choose the .40 S&W as there preferred caliber for competition shooting, but remember we are talking concealment carry.
The .40 S&W is the “best of both worlds” between 9 mm and .45 ACP. Smaller bullet with more speed, which equals more kinetic energy than the 9 mm. Since it is smaller than the .45 ACP, than you can carry more bullets in a magazine then the .45 ACP, but not as many as the 9 mm.
The benefits of the .40 S&W semi-automatic caliber are:
•Magazine holds more rounds than the .45 ACP since the bullet is smaller
•The .40 S&W is faster (hotter) rounds, large bullet, which means great stopping power than the other recommended calibers, except for the .45 ACP
Items to consider about the .40 S&W semi-automatic caliber are:
•Smaller than the .45 ACP, but still larger than the 9mm. Still less rounds per magazine than the 9mm
•Very “Hot” round, and can be difficult to control for the novice shooter
The .38 Special or .357 Magnum caliber are two different rounds, but they both calibers fit in the same revolver chassis, or at least .38 Special fits in a .357 Magnum Revolver chassis, but not vice-versa.
Our recommendation is to use .38 Special personal protection rounds in a .357 Magnum Revolver, but be careful with the small “feather weight” (alloy chassis) concealment revolvers. The powerful personal protection rounds can be difficult and uncomfortable to shoot. Surprising enough these are usually the first pistol that women are sold by many gun shops. This probably38 Special Size vs 357 Magnum isn’t the best choice for your first CHL Concealment Pistol, since they are difficult and uncomfortable to practice with. A regular weight revolver chassis or a single stack 9 mm semi-automatic make a better choice.
The benefits of the .38 Special or .357 Magnum revolver caliber are:
Items to consider about the .38 Special or .357 Magnum revolver caliber are:
Can be an extremely compact or small frame making it extremely easy to conceal:
The .380 semi-automatic doesn't a lot of stopping power. The only reason why it is on the recommended CHL Concealment pistol is due to the fact that it can fit in a extremely compact chassis. This makes it extremely concealable, making a great secondary or backup weapon.
Items to consider about the .380 semi-automatic caliber are:
Since I know that many people will bring up the .357 Sig as a recommended CHL Carry Pistol caliber. While there are many fans as this caliber, this isn't one that we recommend.
Here is why:
My students often ask me about using a .22 Magnum caliber for self defense.
As with all of the most common self defense calibers, technology advancements have improved the effectiveness over the last decade. Since the objective is to “stop the threat,” can the .22 magnum caliber accomplish this?
The three ways the threat is stop when someone draws a pistol in self defense are:
While the .22 magnum can accomplish the above; it does have limitations. A larger caliber is recommended. However, the .22 magnum is an easier round to handle the recoil, so many can benefit by starting with it, and then working their way up to larger ones.
In other words, if this is a BUG (Backup Gun), a starting point, or the only thing that you can afford or carry, then it is better than not having a pistol with you to help defend yourself and your family!