I’ve been getting enough questions about this I thought I would dedicate a post just to choosing the right carry gun. Everyone is looking for an answer of one specific pistol. That simply isn’t the case. I’m sorry to have to say that but it’s true. It would sure make my job easier though.
A good carry gun needs to meet several criteria.
- A good carry gun needs to be in a caliber you can easily get amunition for.
- It needs to be a major, reputable, brand.
- It needs to be a model you can easily get a concealed carry holster for.
- It needs to be a size you are comfortable with and one that feels comfortable in your hands.
- And finally, it needs to be a caliber that will get the job done when you are under stress.
Which guns does that add up to be? Don’t ask me it’s your gun. That’s a bit blunt but let me explain. The gun that fits good for me may not be the same one for you. I like 1911’s that are .45 acp but I’m 6′ tall and 250lbs. The gun that fits a 5’5″ 110lb woman may be something much smaller and she may only be able to handle a 9mm.
Ok, listen closely I’m about to give you the best advise you will get on this subject. Find a gun shop with a range. Almost all of them will have guns you can rent plus the cost of ammo. Try every pistol they have until you find a match for you. The shop employees can point you in the right direction but at the end of the day you need to get your hands on the guns and see which one really fits you.
So, let me help you along the process. Here are some reputable brands:
- Para Ordnance
- Baby Eagle
- Smith & Wesson
That should get you started with a good brand. The more the brand is used the more readily available the magazines are and no you can’t get by with only one. You should have a minimum of 3 for carry (one in the gun and two extras).
Now the list of calibers I would suggest to anyone is quite a bit smaller. You need a caliber that allows you to have a good supply of ammunition. Yes, I said that earlier but that point needs to be hammered home a little. Let’s list them out:
- .45 acp
- 40 S&W
- .357 Sig
Those calibers are listed both from the first I would suggest to the least and from most power to the least I would recommend. It is important to have enough foot pounds of energy to make a bad guy think twice. Note I didn’t say anything about stopping power. That is a misnomer. 90% of people admitted to an emergency room with pistol wounds actually survive. Therefore, one shot stops are really meant for Hollywood.
Take this into consideration. While I lived and worked in Arkansas there was a young man that thought he would rob a convenience store. The clerk pulled a .44mag from under the counter and shot the moron in the heart. They found sizable chunks of his heart all around the store. The young man ran approx 100 yds across a clearing and died, having bled out. No consider that a .44mag can kill most anything in North America. Still not a one shot stop. The key to defence will always be shot placement.
So, take all this into consideration and go forth “well armed” to your local gun store and find the right carry weapon for you.