Concealed Carry Hand Guns - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - Steven Paul Bar­low, Edi­tor

Some­times it’s like tak­ing candy from a baby.

I’ll re­ceive a new gun on loan from a man­u­fac­turer, get to shoot it, put it through some drills and re­ally de­velop a fond­ness for it. Then, just when I think that this is the gun I should be car­ry­ing reg­u­larly, I have to send it back.

The painful truth is that I can’t buy ev­ery gun that I test. Part of the prob­lem, of course, is that I like most types of hand­guns: sin­gle-ac­tion re­volvers, double-ac­tion re­volvers, DA/SA au­tos, 1911s, striker-fired pis­tols. You name it, I’ll find some­thing I like about it.

At the same time, I’ve never been hes­i­tant about ex­press­ing my dis­like of cer­tain fea­tures. Cock­ing ser­ra­tions at the front of a slide, ex­tended magazine re­leases and pink poly­mer frames are all things I can do with­out on a pistol. All of those things come down to per­sonal pref­er­ences, and I have mine.

Yet some­times there are real de­fi­cien­cies that tran­scend per­sonal pref­er­ence. It’s not just a pref­er­ence that a gun should be re­li­able, it’s a ne­ces­sity. And if it’s not re­li­able, I’m go­ing to tell you about it. No one has ever pres­sured me into say­ing good things about a gun if I didn’t truly be­lieve them.

So why are so many gun re­views gush­ing with en­thu­si­asm? The main rea­son is that the ma­jor man­u­fac­tur­ers are turn­ing out very good prod­ucts these days. They have to in or­der to stay com­pet­i­tive. When you look at all of the great hand­guns avail­able to­day, there’s no doubt that these are the good old days you’ll tell your grand­kids about years from now. An­other rea­son you see mostly fa­vor­able re­views is that writ­ers tend to be se­lec­tive about their as­sign­ments. They want to shoot the good stuff.

Hav­ing such a vast se­lec­tion of ex­cel­lent hand­guns is a good thing. Hav­ing to choose among them is dif­fi­cult. To new­com­ers out there, I would sug­gest try­ing as many dif­fer­ent types of guns as you can. Then, when you de­cide on one gun, shoot it a lot. De­velop your abil­i­ties with it. Make it your gun. Don’t keep bounc­ing from one to the other.

To more ex­pe­ri­enced shoot­ers, I would sug­gest keep­ing an open mind and oc­ca­sion­ally try­ing to shoot some­thing new. There’s noth­ing wrong with stick­ing with the gun that used to be­long to Gran­dad if it func­tions flaw­lessly, you know where it hits and you’re able to shoot it well. A good gun should last sev­eral gen­er­a­tions.

But, don’t over­look in­no­va­tion. Gun expert Chuck Tay­lor’s will­ing­ness to adapt is a good ex­am­ple. He could have stuck with a 1911 of the type that helped him to make it back from Viet­nam. Or he could have said the Glock he came to love a bit later was all he could ever want in a pistol.

And while he still rates those guns very highly, Chuck has found there are ben­e­fits for him with the Smith & Wes­son M&P.

As for me, I have my old fa­vorites. But when it comes to the new guns, I am a kid in a candy store.

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