So you have finally decided to carry concealed on a daily basis. Or maybe you’ve had a carry license for a while and you’re in the market to purchase a serious carry gun. Whatever the case, your decision to carry daily is not unfounded. The world is becoming more dangerous each day.
The variables for the selection of a concealed handgun can be almost endless. The following five considerations can aid you in your quest for the perfect carry gun.
Let’s start out with the obvious: Concealability of your chosen pistol. While this may seem straightforward, it can prove to be a challenge. How you carry is, of course, unique to you and your daily habits. Suffice to say that a good carry system in the form of a holster or other method is essential. But the gun itself must lend itself to practical means of concealment.
Most likely, the upper size limit would be along the line of a Glock 19, the Smith and Wesson 2.0 or the Springfield XDM 3.8 models. The average person may find these handguns a bit too challenging to easily conceal day to day. A single stack pistol or a snub nose revolver will probably fit the bill, and there are some excellent choices. The S&W Shield, Glock 42 or 43 models and the Ruger LCR all come to mind. With the appropriate carry system, any of these guns can be easily concealed day to day.
Here I am mostly referring to caliber as related to ballistic performance in defensive use. We could write volumes and debate till the end of time about what the best pistol caliber is for concealed carry and self-protection. Realize that most any handgun caliber that you would realistically carry concealed has limitations on how effective it can really be on another human. So the age-old debate of 45 ACP vs 9mm is easy for me. I like the 9mm because of the higher round capacity it will offer in any handgun of comparable size to the 45 ACP. Have no doubt: I love the old 45 Auto. But with the advent of increased ballistic performance in 9mm ammunition, better recoil management and higher round count, I usually opt for the 9mm.
Consider that I see everything, from 22 rim fire to 44 magnum, show up in concealed carry courses today. And while there may indeed be a time and place for both of these extremes, somewhere in the middle is probably more realistic.
Have your doubts? Consider that the most commonly used pistol caliber today by the U.S. military and American law enforcement is the 9mm.
I must mention reliability of the gun itself in this section. This means: Does the gun fire and cycle every time I pull the trigger? If the gun is too picky about the ammunition you feed it, get rid of it. Some guns on the market today are more accurate than others, but all are accurate enough for defensive purposes. When it comes right down to it, I will sacrifice a bit of accuracy for reliability every time in a defensive handgun.