Today I’d like to talk about the best handgun for carry. Many people ask this question, and rightfully so – handguns aren’t cheap and you don’t want to make the mistake of buying one that just doesn’t work for you and your situation.
This just happens to be something different for each individual.
Choosing a handgun is a personal choice, and one that can only be made by you.
That said, here are some tips to help you pick the right one!
- First, you have to realize you may need more than one handgun and/or holster. Don’t let that overwhelm you though, you’ll know what you need as you carry more.
- Consider how and where you will be carrying, this is crucial to helping you decide what will work. Are you going to be carrying in large metropolitan areas, in the country, a little of both? What type of clothing do you typically wear (dress, casual, sweats, loose, tight).
- Are you more comfortable carrying openly or concealed? Does your style of dress allow for your preference?
- Do you need to be able to remove your firearm easily? For example, you want to carry to and from work, but cannot carry into your office do to company policy, or you have to remove it to pick up your kids from school or daycare, etc.
- Have you considered alternative methods to belt carry, such as ankle holsters, thigh holsters, shoulder holsters, SmartCarry or Thunderwear, Flash Bang bra holster and pocket holsters?
- What caliber are you comfortable shooting?
- What is the largest caliber that you can shoot well?
- Is weight a consideration? Remember, it’s going to be on you often.
- Consider single stack vs double stack, a single stack handgun is usually thinner, but carries less rounds, while a double stack is usually wider but carries more rounds.
- Have you thought about carrying an extra magazine? (You should.) How are you going to carry the extra magazine?
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider here and we’ve hardly touched on the actual firearm itself.
You want to choose a firearm that is from a manufacturer known for reliability, some examples are (in no particular order):
- Springfield Armory
- Smith and Wesson
- Rock Island
- Sig Sauer
All of these (and many more) have many various models to choose from. Single stack, double stack, pocket size, sub-compact, compact, full size, revolvers, pistols, single action, double action, single action/double action, etc.
Some of them will also be somewhat adjustable by changing the grips width or length or even slides to make them longer or shorter.
What not to do:
- We do not recommend asking someone what gun you should buy, then blindly go out and buy it. It may be a very good recommendation, but may not be best for your particular needs or abilities.
- Do not buy a gun from any manufacturer and start carrying it right away thinking it is reliable out of the box. No matter what brand you buy you will need to buy various ammunition for it and find out what it likes. Just because someone you know has the same make and model and it shoots ‘x’ brand of ammo well, doesn’t mean yours will – however it’s usually a good place to start. Be prepared to buy a few different brands of both target (full metal jacket) and defensive (hollow point) ammunition. Go to the range and see what both you and the gun shoot well. That is, after you follow the manufacturers instructions on cleaning it first, usually guns are coated with lube to prevent rust.
- Lastly, we do not recommend purse carry. If that’s all you can do then by all means, go for it. However, if your purse is snatched there goes your handgun. If you are going to purse carry, then please practice best methods to retain your purse, and always remember to be aware of your surroundings.Of course, this applies to all methods of carry.
Whatever you choose, carry safe, carry often, and remember to practice, practice, practice!
If you need your permit to carry, or just want to see what it’s all about – take the first step and attend one of our classes! We typically have at least one per month and would love to have you join us.
Some popular carry guns:
S&W 642, S&W M&P Shield, S&W M&P Compact, Springfield Armory XD/XD-M, Springfield Armory XD-S, GLOCK 19, GLOCK 26, Ruger LCP, Beretta Nano, Kahr CM9/PM9, Taurus TCP, Sig Sauer 938/238, 1911 variants.
Most of which are available in various calibers with different model number designations (GLOCK 21, GLOCK 36 for example).