From my opinion, pistols need to serve a dual role purpose – just like rifles or shotguns. Whether its on your hip while walking around the yard, or in your hand while hog or deer hunting, be sure to pick a caliber that will get the job done.
5. 22 long rifle – inexpensive, light weight, takes care of small pest with little or no problems. The light recoil makes the 22 a great choice for small framed adults, teenagers learning to shoot and people who do not like the recoil of the larger calibers.
One of the big bonuses of the 22 long rifle, it can be shot out of a pistol or rifle, this makes it a dual role caliber. From a stockpiling point of view, and you intend for everyone in your group to be armed, the most inexpensive route is the 22 long rifle. When a brick of 550 rounds cost between $12 – $20, its cost effective to stockpile thousands of 22 rounds. For $200 someone could probably buy more 22 long rifle then they will shoot in a 10 years – do that with 9mm, 40S&w, 45ACP or 357Sig.
4. 38 special – less recoil then the 357 magnum, can be shot out of pistols and rifles chambered for 357 magnum, easy to reload. From my reloading experience, the 38 special can use 6 grains of unique, which is the same charge that I used for the 9mm. With 6,000 grains in a pound of powder, that means you can get around 1,000 38 special loads from 1 pound of unique.
Stockpiling the 38 special – a lot of police still use the 38 special to qualify their officers, this makes 38 special brass easy to find. If your looking for a cheap, easy to find, easy to reload round to stockpile, the 38 special is going to be difficult to beat. I remember going to gun shows and seeing 38 special brass by the5 gallon bucket load.
Its the light recoil, abundance of brass for reloading, ease of reloading and ability to shoot out firearms chambered for 357 magnum that puts the 38 special at #4.