I have .38. and will keep that, as it allows me to reload. The round is acceptable. I have the gear already. I just need to find the pistol that somehow disappeared in my parents house..... who knew something like that would be so hard to find?!?!?!
The conundrum comes from wanting to choose between 9mm and 7.62x25. I can get an inexpensive pistol in either caliber. So....
My needs: It must be comfortable for my wife to shoot. It must be relatively inexpensive. It must be an adequate choice for defense if a natural disaster hits and things go down for 4 weeks or so (my wife is suggesting I might want to shoot a tornado in self defense. She is right).
7.62x25Common. Very common.
Well documented performance.
Lots of choices for sub-sonic and super sonic loads. Though I"ll not be getting a suppressor anytime soon.
Currently cheap. Easy to stock up on.
Cons:Not commonly used. Availability based more on import schedule than political winds.
Very light recoiling.
Currently inexpensive. About 60% of the cost I have been paying for new .38. Though 2x the price of cheap 9mm.
Interesting options for reloading with rifle bullets. Mostly lighter ones (sub 100 gr)
Extremely reliable penetration. Can even punch through some light armor.
7.62x25If a "gunpocolypse" happens this November, prices will be through the roof. Availability may dry up as anybody who sees it buys it.
Penetration may leave something to be desired when facing heavy clothing or barriers.
My biggest worries are having a supply of ammo during a gunpocolypse and continuing to train with the weapon/ammo. One school of thought is to get something with low demand so you can find it in tough times. Another is to stock deep now. Not sure which strategy to follow.Loud.
Big flash at night/dusk/dawn.
Less common. American supplier is expensive (about what I pay for .38). Foreign supply dependent on imports.
Less well documented defensive performance.
I loved shooting 5.45 and 7.62x54 during the 2012 gunpocolypse. 40mm was always available in my experience, as was .357 Sig. I suspect 7.62x25 will again be available. However, 9mm and 5.56 bounced back the quickest as makers focused hardest on those rounds. Towards the end, 7.62x25 was hard to find as imports had slowed in favor of 9mm and other, more common rounds.
I"m not concerned with "commonality" and "battlefield pickups" or "bartering for ammo" type situations. If that kind of SHTF hits, my rifle will be more important than my pistol. I"m mostly concerned with being able to shoot/train for the next 2-4 years. And if a natural disaster hits, I"m interested in being able to protect myself.
Let me know what y'all think! Thanks a bunch!