FROM THE EDITOR
How much do you have to spend on a good concealed carry handgun? There are generally two sides to the debate: One group advocates buying the best handgun you can afford as more expensive handguns are likely to be made of higher quality components, be manufactured to higher standards and be able to provide reliable service for a longer period. Spend the money. After all, how much is your life worth?
The second faction believes that there are plenty of good handguns out there for reasonable prices. You don’t need anything fancy or highly customized. Keep the money you save for ammo and training. After all, if you did use an expensive gun in a defensive shooting, it would rust away in a police evidence locker for who knows how long.
So, who’s right? Well, both sides are. You don’t want to skimp on tools you might need when your life is on the line. Don’t trust junk. How will you know? A few boxes of ammo and some trips to the range should always weigh more heavily than reputation and hearsay.
Yet, there are excellent values in handguns. The companies that make them might not be household names and the resale value of those guns might not be as high, but they can protect your hide just as well as that custom gun.
Too often people fall into the trap of believing they can buy their success, as if the rifle that’s twice as expensive will shoot twice as many deer or merely spending the cash on a highend handgun will leave them better protected. There is no substitute for skill, knowledge and training time no matter how much you spend.
That being said, I can’t fault anyone who wants to carry an expensive or highly customized gun. All my life I’ve driven very basic vehicles—a Chevy Chevette, a Dodge Neon, and, yes, even a minivan when the kids were young. They got me where I needed to go. But I don’t fault the guy (one of the writers for this magazine) who chooses to drive nothing other than a BMW.
Doug Turnbull, who turns out some of the most beautiful guns in the world, once told me that life is too short to hunt with an ugly gun. That hit home with me. I always carried a cheap knife, keeping the very best I owned locked away so I wouldn’t lose them or wear them out. I no longer do that. What good is it to own anything (other than a valuable collectible kept as an investment) and not use it?
I’m confident I could defend myself with my police trade-in S&W Model 10 .38 SPL, for which I plunked down exactly $100. I am just as well armed too with my Canik TP9SF 9mm, a gun that costs about a third of some other guns I own. But, I also enjoy carrying something equally effective, but a bit fancier sometimes. I’ll risk it ending up in evidence. It’s not much better having it collect dust in my safe for years.