CHL and Mouse Guns
This is the third in a series of articles that should be of particular interest to CHL holders. My first article was on the necessity of obtaining a CHL in today’s world, along with some of my basic convictions that one should consider when carrying concealed.
The second article, and to my mind, the most important subject to CHL holdersis is the legal aspect of carrying—both before and after a shooting. You never want to be in the unenviable position of discharging your weapon and saying: OMG. What happens now?
It would be wise to keep in mind that CHL could also be read as Carry Hidden and Legal.
This article is about mouse guns. So what’s a mouse gun? No bunko, it’s not a gun for shooting mice, chipmunks, or any other critter that can be weighed on a postal scale. A mouse gun is one of small caliber but not necessarily in a small frame. Some mouse guns are as big and of sufficient weight to be classified as heavy weights, and there in lies the rub. Actually there are three rubs to consider when choosing your personal carry weapon; regardless of what category you might put it in; namely: Caliber, Size, and Weight. These criteria’s must be carefully measured against your strengths and weaknesses if you’re serious about carrying daily. A gun that is too heavy or to big or to powerful for you to handle is a gun that you will leave at home more often than not and that is a rub that can, if you pardon the pun, get you rubbed out. The solution to this conundrum is simple: You need more than one carry gun. And one of those guns will, out of necessity, be a mouse gun.
Mouse gun calibers are all of the rim fire cartridges, 25ACP, 32 ACP (AKA 7.65mm Browning) and all antique cartridges, such as the 32 S&W, 32 S&W Long, and all other calibers that fall under the power curve of the 38Sp. It was not to long ago that the.380 ACP was also in the mouse gun category. But due to the advancements in metallurgy and propellants, the .380 has had a status upgraded. It is now considered by many to be the minimum caliber one should carry as an every day carry gun. In fact, there are many gun writers today that believe that the 38 Special should be your minimum carry caliber. In reality, and to put in plain and simple language, the minimum caliber that one should carry will vary from day-to-day and from month-to-month. In other words, what gun you’ll be carrying during the winter months is not going to be the same gun that you’ll carry in the summer months. And that’s good. Now you have sufficient justification to purchase more than one gun. And that’s a nice place to be. If I knew that my day would end badly, I would carry a sawed-off 12 gauge shotgun; but I’ve been told that it isn’t considered PC to do so in polite society. This is why mouse guns and other alternative carry options, such as Kimber’s Pepperblaster II have become vital additions to add to one’s personal protection arsenal.
On of the more popular mouse guns available today is the 32ACP, and one of the smallest guns in this caliber is the Kel-TEC P-32. With a 7+1 capacity and an AOL (over all length) of 5.1 inches, and a 6.6 ounce frame, it is more than likely to be left in one’s pocket as opposed to being left on the kitchen table. A step up from this cartridge is the .32 H&R (Harrington & Richardson) Magnum. This caliber works nicely in theTaurus 731 Ultra-Lite DA (double action) Revolver. The Taurus 731 weighs17 ounce with an OAL of 6.5 inches. The .32 H&R Magnum propels an 85 grain bullet to a muzzle energy of 237 ft-lbs. This is a nice increase over the .32ACP, which propels a 71 grain bullet to a muzzle energy of only128 ft-lbs. We can make a quantum leap in muzzle energy (334 and 435 ft-lbs depending on load used) when we go to the Ruger SP101 revolver in .32 Federal Magnum; but the leap is so great that it propels this cartridge out of the mouse gun category and into the full frame category. The Ruger SP 101 has an OAL of 8 Inches and weighs 28 ounces, which is bigger than many .357 Magnums and too similar in size to many .45ACP semi-auto pistols. This gun is definitely not a mouse gun, regardless of the criteria you wish to judge it by.
Let’s get back on course…mouse guns are by definition dimensional small, light weight guns of minimal caliber. A gun that can’t be dropped into your pocket and forgotten until needed is not a mouse gun but rather a serious carry gun. When your mouse gun starts to look more like a S&W 340 M&P (Military & Police) .38/.357 revolver with a carry weight of 13.3 ounces and an OAL of 6.3 inches, it’s time to reconsider your mouse gun requirements; that is, if you have any at all.
Now that you’re carrying a mouse gun, have you thought about tactics? It’s a MOUSE GUN bunko…it’s not a go to war gun. It’s a get out of a bad situation weapon. It’s your “Mae West” and that in it self is a comforting thought.
Mouse gun Tactics (Good advice for any CHL holder to heed)
- If you are in a situation that is going bad, get a grip on you mouse gun quickly, if not sooner.
- Do not draw your concealed weapon until absolutely necessary.
- Absolutely necessary for me is when the Bad Guy (BG) is within three to four yards and closing.
- If possible exit the situation before it escalates into a shooting match. Don’t start the confrontation. Remember that you are holding a mouse gun and not a Glock, Sig, S&W, or customized 1911.
- Stay calm…draw from a concealed position or when the BG isn’t looking your way.
- No preamble to shooting like “Make my day.” If you must shoot, then shoot and shoot and shoot until the BG is down.
- And my favorite piece of advice…Pray to God for guidance that all will end well for you and for all the innocent people that have walked into a bad situation. And also pray that your attorney is not vacationing in the Keys when you pull the trigger.
If any of you are wondering what mouse guns Scorpio carries, wonder no more. I carry a .22 WMR High Standard Derringer, two Kel-Tec P3ATs, and the Kimber Pepperblaster. And I’m still looking for another mouse gun that can fulfill my particular requirements.
My final thoughts on mouse guns: If you can handle and hide something bigger, please do. But always keep in mind that any gun is better than no gun at all. Forget what you have in your gun safe; when you need a gun, you need it NOW. Hence, the popularity of the mouse gun prevails and always will prevail wherever and whenever a small defense weapon is the only option open to you.
Pax vobiscum (Peace be with you)