Are combat sidearms worth it?

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by AxesAreBetter, May 27, 2017.

  1. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    Howdy y'all. Been looking over gear and doing some shooting lately, and I had a thought that keeps nagging at me. Are combat sidearms worth it?
    Are they worth the weight and bulk they add to a kit? Is it worth having a backup gun for when you run out of ammo, when you could have just carried more ammo in the first place?
    GOG, Ura-Ki and Dunerunner like this.
  2. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Close quarters....Close quarters: Without a combat side arm your are going to have to go hand to hand. After the side arm, out comes my fighting knife, cause I'm too damned old and angry to just let someone take my life for nothing.

    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  3. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Murphy is always lurking and hoping that your AR will run out of ammo or have a major the worst possible moment. At that instant, when you pull your sidearm to save your bacon.....that extra weight don't mean a thing. Things happen in combat, have as many tools in your tool box as you can. ;)
  4. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    It's not running out of ammo. It's if your big gun decides to stop working when close to the enemy and can't fall back.
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    You bet the side arms are worth it. Whatever plans were laid for "long" range engagement, all plans go out the window when engagement starts. Never forget to have a Plan B (and C, and D, and be ready to improvise.) Frankly, that question was answered before the Roman Empire. Centurions carried short swords as well as long ones for a reason.
  6. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Better to have it and not need it , than to need it and not have it .
  7. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    I can speak from personal experience on this, ALWAYS carry a side arm!!! Long story, so I will hit the highlights, Was on Mission holding a corner of a small town, Tango pops out around the corner firing his AK into the dirt at my strong side, and I put 10 or so rounds from my M-4 into him before my mind could even comprehend what was happening, My buddy has to transition to his shotgun as a long rifle at point blank isn't gonna work. I am finding the M-4 isn't stopping him, so I transition to my M-9 and fire it empty into the tango's chest and he finally drops! Note here, Many asked why I didn't pop the tango with the 203, I didn't even have time to think of that! besides, it would have made one hell of a mess at that range, which was about all of 30 feet!
    Three lessons here, Never trust a 5.56 with "Green Tip" or any thing other then HP ammo as it just ice picks right through, and you really wanna have good HP ammo for a 9 mm if that's your carry gun of choice! Finally, ALWAYS carry a side arm, and if possible a second compact, or even a small Revolver!!! I carry a full size pistol for a couple of reasons, 1 capacity, 2 size and weight help make it more accurate and keep it on target better, 3 usually have better sights then most concealed carry pieces, 4 Rapid mag changes are easier! 5 A good and smooth draw from the holster is usually easier and faster then many compacts unless you have a really good holster and you practice your draw A-LOT!
    AD1, Caveman Jim, Tully Mars and 12 others like this.
  8. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    Redundant and different capability in firearms is comforting. The combat sidearm, or any sidearm carried concealed may be absolutely necessary when you are not in a safe area, but would be too conspicuous if you were carrying a rifle. If things were really getting tense I would be looking at a third carry piece rather than considering ditching one.
    Legion489, Ura-Ki, Dunerunner and 3 others like this.
  9. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    As has been pointed out...the issue isn't just a matter of whether or not it's worth carrying the weight of extra MBR ammo Vs a loaded side arm.

    Having a sidearm offers additional life saving options, in case of:

    • The main armament (MBR / crew served weapon) becoming non functioning (or lost), or one may have to abandon it.
    • Injury may prevent effective use of a MBR. A sidearm may be easier to use for the self protection of the injured.
    • There are circumstances where a sidearm is more practical / effective than a MBR for some tasks.
    • Having a sidearm can enable a buddy who, for whatever reason, lacks his/her own weapon to remain in the fight, and help protect you and themselves
    • A sidearm is more practical for combat in confined spaces and in room clearing.
    • A sidearm is convenient and quicker to deploy for drivers and vehicle passengers than perhaps is the case with a long arm.
    • For civilian firearms...a long arm with a same calibre compatible side arm makes good logistical sense.
    • Having a sidearm on the person means you're always armed, even if performing two handed tasks away from your MBR.
    • Even empty, a sidearm makes a better club than an empty hand.
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  10. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    you can't bend a long barrel around a corner.
  11. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Sgt. Kasal was shot 7 times. He did not have his rifle anymore but look at his hands. As they are carrying him out, his is still ready for battle. Every weapon counts.
  12. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Some small arms barrels have been bent for that purpose....[​IMG]



    however, none are in the current US inventory...(that we know of). ;)
    Tully Mars, sec_monkey and Legion489 like this.
  13. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Just look at the Loadout for ANY Seal, for ANY Mission.... Each and every member of the Team has at least ONE Sidearm... and depending on the mission Requirements, sometimes Two or more... Same with the Long Guns... Each, ALWAYS has One, and if Mission Required, maybe TWO, or more... Kris Kyle when out as a Sniper, had his M4, a Pistol, AND the Mission Required Sniper Weapon, minimum... The Spotter usually carried his M4, his Pistol, and an extra loadout of M4 Ammo, plus the RangeFinder, and Spotting Scope.. Weight equivalent, about equal for both men... and that doesn't include the Comm Gear, and a couple of extra Batteries...
  14. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    You've hit one that is about unanimous on this site. About the only other thing that comes close is bacon. Any more doubt?
    AD1, Tully Mars, chelloveck and 3 others like this.
  15. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    Some, here and there. Haha. Been debating a lot of loadout lately (really shaking it up) and I have been debating pretty much everything. Even broke my rule about wonder 9's and picked one up to try one on for size (first auto in 4-5 years?)...still figuring it out, but the 9mm ain't making the cut. Haha.

    I normally carry a full sized revolver and a large (9"+) knife with me, been debating integrating it better into the system, ammo carry/purchase a brace of them/etc etc., and just got to wondering about it. Pistols just are not super practical as far as accuracy goes compared with how well I shoot a rifle, and I'm just trying to think through everything. Main guns, summer kit, whole works. Flippin' headache.
    chelloveck, Ura-Ki and Dunerunner like this.
  16. Legion489

    Legion489 Rev. 2:19 Banned

    No, side arms for military use are useless. Ask any "military advisor" who has never seen combat (why does Jame Wesley - coma - Rawles always pop into my head when I say "military advisor who has never seen combat"? Oh, that's right, he's a REMF, I keep forgetting. Actually that was on his website until too many people started catching on and it was removed and he now claims it was never there) and they will tell you they are useless and a waste of space. Either the sidearm or the advisor, I was never sure which they were referring too there.

    Now go ask the poor slob who has to CARRY it, often has to BUY HIS OWN for that matter, and USE IT, if it is useless. The answer to "is it useless?" is "Not only NO! But HELL NO!" (another military quote you can look up).
    chelloveck and AxesAreBetter like this.
  17. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Any of the "full Size" pistols will work, just depends on what fits you and your needs best. Some folks like Blocks ( Glock) and some like Beretta's, some like Smith and Wesson's, and some like Springfields, and then there are those of us crazy folks like me that still hang onto John Browning greatest invention for all time, the Grand Daddy of all Fightin Iron, the Mighty M1911! Point is, wrap your hands around as many as you can, Don't worry about cal. at this point, worry about the fit and the feel, and how you may want to carry it/ where you might find it fits YOU best! With today's Ammo performance, the gap we used to worry so much about is all but gone, unless you want something out side the norm ( super power) and go from there! Hell, pickin out a new Pistol is almost as fun as shootin! Once you have what you want ( at least to start out with) then get out and start training, training, and training some more, and when you think your good, then train some more! LOL
  18. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    This is what I carry EVERY DAY! 2011 series 1911 double stack in 10 mm auto! That's 18 rounds right up front and 17 per mag for each extra mag I choose to carry. I can carry it comfortably inside the waste band high on the hip about 4 o clock, or I carry it in a drop leg leather holster when I open carry! It weights around 56 OZ loaded, but if I miss shootin this, I got bigger problems to worry about! I don't recommend starting out with one of these, buying one or having one built will set ya back close to 3K, but you can build one your self for about a Grand! A 1911 at it's finest Just something to get you thinkin!
  19. Legion489

    Legion489 Rev. 2:19 Banned

    Ah yes, the 1911, it's like a Glock, only for adults. Also note the reduction in quality of Glocks the last few years and models. Both Glocks and the early (Bill Ruger) Ruger autos felt like holding a 2x4. I am told they have been much improved (or so I am told anyway, don't know and don't really care), but I figure why not stay with the one that got it right the FIRST time?
    Tully Mars, AxesAreBetter and Ura-Ki like this.
  20. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Now I'm wondering how light I could build an AR pistol or SBR. It would be heavier and bulkier than a full size pistol, but would take the same mags and ammo and share parts with an AR rifle - so basically a backup rifle better for close quarters. Keep it stripped down as much as possible with open sights and a 10 round mag in it initially to keep the bulk down. Just kind of brainstorming.
    sec_monkey, AxesAreBetter and Ura-Ki like this.
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