SMALL HANDGUNS ARE MORE CONVENIENT FOR EVERYDAY CARRY, BUT HERE’S WHY LARGER HANDGUNS ARE BETTER.
I know the standard argument: A small handgun that you carry is better than a larger one that you leave at home.
But maybe you shouldn’t be leaving the larger one home.
Your self-defense tools should be chosen primarily on the basis of effectiveness and not on convenience. You wouldn’t choose a defensive knife with the smallest blade possible because it fits in your pocket better. The same logic holds when it comes to choosing your handgun.
GET A GRIP
Those who choose to carry a tiny handgun regularly as a primary weapon need to get a grip—I mean literally. A handgun that affords a full grip is much easier to control, especially when shooting one handed. That’s a real possibility if you’re injured, fending off an attacker or dragging a downed companion to cover.
A larger gun can be more of a deterrent, as well. Some miscreant approaching you, knife or baseball bat in hand and intent on doing you harm, is more likely to make a tactical retreat at seeing a more prominent firearm in your hands.
There are many times when a small handgun just isn’t the practical choice. I spend a lot of time outdoors, and a larger handgun offers more versatility.
YOU WOULDN’T CHOOSE A DEFENSIVE KNIFE WITH THE SMALLEST BLADE POSSIBLE BECAUSE IT FITS IN YOUR POCKET BETTER. THE SAME LOGIC HOLDS WHEN IT COMES TO CHOOSING YOUR HANDGUN.
If I’m taking my dogs for a run in the woods (they run; I walk), I often carry a larger handgun. Should one of the dogs meet up with a rabid raccoon, I want to be able to make an accurate shot beyond usual combat distances. Rabid animals can be tough to put down. Some extra stopping power is welcome in those instances.
If I’m trekking through bear country, I might choose a handgun in a heavier chambering. When I’m hunting deer, I usually carry a handgun in addition to a rifle. That handgun has to be large enough to down a deer. Yet, because such a handgun would be the only one I’d carry on a hunting or camping trip, I have to be able to conceal it reasonably well, too. Then, after switching to lighter loads, it can double as my concealed-carry gun should I venture into town for the day.
I’ve experimented with many types of carry guns, including many small handguns. If I’m honest with myself, however,
YOUR SELF-DEFENSE TOOLS SHOULD BE CHOSEN PRIMARILY ON THE BASIS OF EFFECTIVENESS AND NOT ON
I have to admit that when I was carrying a tiny gun, I wasn’t as well equipped to handle the recoil, make an accurate shot or stop a threat. In short, I was armed mostly with false confidence. I wasn’t really prepared to effectively fight for my own life, except in the most narrow of circumstances. For me, barring those times I have to up the power level for hunting, a midsized gun in 9mm or .45 ACP suits most occasions best. GW
Mid- to full-sized handguns are still concealable, but they are also easier to shoot well and are often more versatile. This pistol is a Glock 20SF, the light is an HDS Systems EDC
Tactical, and the knife is a Cold Steel Ultimate
One of the author’s favorite carry guns is this Glock 19 in 9mm (left), but lately, he’s been putting this Oriskany Arms 425FP Commandersized 1911 in .45 ACP to the test.
Good choices in revolvers include the Smith & Wesson Performance Center 627 eight-shot .357 (left) and the Ruger GP100, also in .357.
Full-sized pistols, such as this
Glock 21 in .45 ACP, are not difficult to carry under a cover garment if you use a quality belt and holster. This belt holster is
from DeSantis Gunhide.
Handguns suitable for hunting and field use that can also be pressed into duty for concealed carry include this Glock 20SF in 10mm (left) and Smith & Wesson 629 Mountain Gun in .44 Magnum. Although this Canik TP9SF in 9mm is considered a full-sized service weapon, it’s light enough to be carried concealed comfortably and is much more controllable than pocket pistols of the same caliber.