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

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