THE BEST FOR CONCEALED CARRY
So you've thought it all out. You've made the decision that you want to be responsible for your own safety, and help with safeguarding innocent people around you. You've checked out the applicable laws
in your state and city and are just about ready to take the first step and attend an NRA approved
safety course. All you have to do is buy the gun you'll be carrying.
This stops you in your tracks. Now what? Which handgun is the best for concealed carry? You read
a few magazines
you pick up at the grocery store, but all of the articles say that they know what's the best, and they all suggest something different. You go to a local gun store
, but the clerks there are only interested in selling you the most expensive gun in the place. You go to a local gun range
but all of the people shooting have different ideas as to what's best.
Don't worry. I'm here to tell it to you straight. I know exactly what's the best choice for concealed carry. It's the gun you feel the most comfortable with when you carry it around.
I'm not trying to be cute (anybody who's seen me in the flesh can tell you that's
impossible). Really, this is the best answer you're ever going to get and it's the one that makes the most sense.
Check with any serious shooter and they all have their preferances. Some like revolvers
, some like autoloaders
. Hey, there's even 4-barrelled handguns
chambered for potent Magnum cartridges
. Any of them are just fine for defense. Just find out what's the best for you and I'm sure that you made the best choice possible.
There's also plenty of debate as to which cartridge is best for defense. I've just read a very thoughtful post
on the role that handguns play in the military, but for civilian defensive purposes it's best to consider handguns emergency arms to be used only in the gravest extreme. .44 Magnum
is a little too powerful and tends to go right through a target as small as a man, endangering innocent people further down range. Anything smaller than a .380 ACP
is really too small to be relied on for defense. Anything in between is just fine, and can do the job. The most popular cartridges in order of power they are .380 ACP
(AKA .380 Auto, AKA 9mm Kurz), 9X18mm Makarov
, .38 Special
, 9mm Parabellum
(AKA 9mm Luger), .45 Auto
, .40 S&W
, .357 SIG
, and the .357 Magnum
Keep in mind that
cartridges that deliver
the needed performance, but it's been my experience that there's a smaller selection of guns and loads to choose from than the choices available for the more popular cartridges. Better to stick to something listed in the previous paragraph until you have more experience.
So choose which type of gun you prefer, either an autoloader
or a revolver
. If it's an autoloader then you should pick either a full sized duty gun
or a smaller model
for easier concealment. If revolvers are more your style then pick between duty guns
and a compact sub-nosed version
. Any of them would do the job. Just don't choose a ginormous
gun that's too big to conceal
To find what's best for you, find a local shooting range
that will rent used guns
. Go once a week for a month and rent a wide variety of handguns chambered for different cartridges. Then you should be able to find the best fit.
Some of my readers will ask what I rely on for my own protection. That will be something I'll talk about another time. After all, this post most certainly isn't about me