EDC

SMALL HAND­GUNS ARE MORE CON­VE­NIENT FOR EV­ERY­DAY CARRY, BUT HERE’S WHY LARGER HAND­GUNS ARE BET­TER.

Gun World - - Contents -

YES,

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.

MORE VER­SA­TILE

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

CON­VE­NIENCE.

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

Hunter.

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.

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