I can't tell you how many times I have heard people say this to justify their crappy pistol or caliber choice. You know, so they can admit defeat but try to bring you down with them by trying to get you to think you are all in the same crappy situation. This doesn't fly for me for several reasons, and I hope a little logic will cause you to agree.
IT'S YOUR PRIMARY
There are several reasons why a pistol could become your primary. If you are carrying a pistol for concealed carry, then it is your primary. If you are a Law Enforcement Officer, it is going to be your primary most of the time. If you are out of ammo or suffer a catastrophic failure of your rifle in combat, your pistol will quickly become your primary. In all these cases, you might see that the reason for using the pistol is out of necessity, not out of fashion. No matter what the case is, you might want to take using the pistol seriously since it is no longer a back up option but instead your greatest weapon available to save your life and the lives of others.
IS THERE A PLAN?
When people say a pistol is just to get you to your rifle, I can't help but ask them what they are going to do if they draw their pistol against someone as a civilian. Are they going to initially engage with their pistol and then flee the scene and come back with a rifle? What about when you are out of ammo or your rifle is broken? Are you just going to run to the next rifle no matter the cost? Do you really think you will have the time to do that when you are down to your pistol? Of course, if the option is there, then take it. However, I think that people get a little dramatic due to watching too many westerns and action movies. If you are indeed on your way to grabbing a battlefield pickup, sure a pistol will serve you in the interim. However, this is rare and people give this idea a little too much attention.
EXCUSE FOR INCOMPETENCE
How many times have people claimed a pistol "is just to get you to your rifle" in order to justify their inability to hit their target, or their poor choice of caliber or type of defense ammunition? I personally can't even count how many times this has happened. It is highly annoying and it is frankly scary to think there are people out there like this that carry a gun for self defense. I imagine that these people have spent just as little time learning about their laws. Usually I hear people like this also boasting how they will kill someone if they do something as simple as touching them. This is a dangerous frame of mind to have, especially in today's environment of people hating anyone who owns a gun. All I ask is that people get legitimate training, practice in a practical way often, and study their local deadly force laws. But perhaps that is too much to ask these days. In the age of information with the internet at our fingertips, it seems stupidity is becoming more popular than ever.
Too many times people will cite the fact that pistol rounds have less POWER than a rifle round. This is true, but it seems that the intent of these individuals is to insinuate that power is a display of effectiveness. There are plenty of reports from police agencies using fast and light .357 Magnum rounds that can't penetrate worth a crap and also using 5.56 rounds that fragment and fail to penetrate even to the rib cage. Power is not the solution in determining effectiveness. Just because a pistol round has less power than a rifle, it doesn't automatically mean that the pistol does not have the ability to kill. Don't become part of this camp that tries to use this argument. Those that cling to this argument are typically just trying to find a reason for their incompetence and lack of skill.
WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?
If you have other options out there, what use do you have for a pistol? Well quite simply, the pistol is a great weapon for close quarters depending on the caliber, and as long as you aren't loading it with shallow penetrating rounds like the HST. It is handy at close distances and the proper caliber and loading can keep you in the fight with very effective results if you can make good hits. Don't think that a pistol is useless just because a rifle can give more range and power. If you wanted to get picky, I would argue that knives have little to no value anymore since they don't have the POWER or RANGE of a pistol. In fact, wouldn't it be funny to just respond to someone making ridiculous claims that a knife is just to get you to your pistol? How about going further and saying that harsh language is only to get you to your knife? If we are going to accept ridiculous statements, why not just go all the way?
When you think about it, a pistol is a secondary weapon for a soldier, and a primary for those that need something light and handy. In either case, the only reason you are going to logically use your pistol is because it is the best option available and a rifle is not an option. I don't understand how people can miss this fact, but it seems to be a common issue. Hopefully, people will stop trending towards ignorance and stupid statements, but the future is uncertain and we have a chance to be better.
Do It Rite
Alaska-Based Youtube Vlogger, Retired Marine, gun enthusiast, and passionate firearm and gear evaluator.