Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Few Thoughts on Handguns

Handguns are a topic of much debate these days. Today I will not discuss the political aspect, but one of the many practical aspect of handguns.

If you are going to carry a handgun for personal protection (and I don't know why anyone wouldn't), there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, carry a gun you are comfortable with and know how to use. This might seem self evident at first, but you would be surprised by how many people carry based on what a friend has, what the guy behind the counter told them to get, brand loyalty, etc... Buy a gun that fits your hand, is comfortable, and is easy for you to manipulate the controls.

Next, buy enough gun! This part will need some explaining. I see no need to carry a little bitty .22 no matter how small and easy to conceal it is, or a .25 for that matter, neither are enough gun. At the least go for a .32. Now here is where it starts to get really tricky. Get a gun that you will carry with you everywhere. I understand that that caliber and knockdown power are a must in a pistol, but don't buy something that you cannot, or will not have with you at all times. It is impractical and impossible to carry and conceal a Smith & Wesson .500 Mag. Although it will definitely pack enough punch. Here is where even the lowly .32 trumps the big dogs, at least you will have it with you when you need it.

There are plenty of knowledgeable shooters out there that say don't carry any handgun that the first number is not at least a "4". Most of the time I agree with this, but if you are of small frame, elderly, bothered by recoil, etc... this just won't work for you. You will have to go with the .32, the .380 auto, 9mm, .38Special, etc... Nothing at all wrong with that, if that is all you can manage. Anymore there are advances in ammo nearly everyday and with the right defensive load and practice nearly all will work as intended.

I am sure some of you are wondering by now what I carry? Well that depends and I will explain. I have two different carry pistols one a bit larger than the other. Which one I carry depends upon what type of clothing I will be wearing. The handgun that is always with me is a Kel-Tec .380 in a Nemesis pocket holster. It will fit in a jacket pocket, a pants pocket, pretty much anywhere I want it to go. When clothing permits, it is also my backup handgun and I conceal it somewhere on my weak side. It is very small and concealable. However it does take a bit of extra practice because of its small size. The other handgun I carry regularly is a Glock 27 in .40S&W. It is larger, with more recoil, but more effective. It usually rides in a Fobus paddle holster, but I have also been experimenting with some inside the waistband holsters.

So there you have it a few brief thoughts on carrying a handgun. This is just a starter topic and thoughts on what to look for if you decide to carry. I will get into more detail later about practice drills and other thoughts about concealed carry, but that will be for another post.