For those who are contemplating a concealed carry weapon, some early decisions must be made. Firstly, you will need a gun that is light; after all you’ll have to carry it all day. Nobody wants to carry a bandolier of magazines or speed loaders. In states limiting magazine capacity, this would include a 10-round magazine with one backup magazine. If in a state with no magazine limitations carry what you will with a backup mag. If you’re a wheel gun fan at least two spare speed loaders. If your weapon is a single stack magazine with only about 6 or 7 shoots consider carrying two spares.
Your weapon should be simple in operation, though with sufficient safety features for a safe carry. Your caliber should be compatible with your skills. For most, new shooters and even the old hands, the 9mm Parabellum is probably good choice. It combines reasonable capacity and with the right load will perform admirably. It is universally available with moderate recoil and good combat accuracy.
Glock 19 or 43
A gun like the Glock G19 or the single stack G43 9mm are good choices. They are priced right, are reliable, simple (Just point and shoot no external safeties), and provide acceptable combat accuracy. With quantities of relatively inexpensive surplus ammo available the novice can hone his skills with target practice and reloading drills. And don’t disregard used shooters. Have gunsmith look it over, but most used guns are a bargain with many with only a box or two of ammo put through them. Pawn shops are good choice and most gun shops take in trades.
380 Auto or 9mm Short
The only other caliber probably for the beginner is a 380 Auto, a shortened 9mm, but full 9mm pistols are nearly the same size. Revolvers may suffice if the person is willing to put in the effort of learning speed loaders, versus the hand to hand action of the auto pistol magazines. It takes practice to master speed loaders, particularly in low light conditions. Another consideration is weight and size. If the grips are short and uncomfortable consider another weapon or a magazine extension. Lighter and smaller also means more muzzle flash, more felt recoil and lower accuracy.
Getting Guns Back from the Police
Of course, any of the pistols contemporary with Glock are good buys, with guns from Ruger, S&W and many of the foreign models. Springfield’s XP series are popular, as well a Sig-Sauer, Walther and offerings from HK and FN.
Just remember if you use your gun in defensive situation you will have to hand it over to the police pending investigation, and depending on jurisdiction a 50-50 percent chance of ever seeing it again. It is what it is. A $400 Glock verses a $1000 Sig, your choice. Might want to keep a spare shooter and mags in your car if you need to give up your primary carry. Also contemplate the reason so many law enforcement personnel carry a back-up. A 380 auto or 32 Magnum as a backup may expand your options.
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Make sure your choice is comfortable and figure in the budget and process some range time, you owe to yourself to be proficient and capable. Shooting Range Industries offers custom shooting ranges for your practice and training. Contact us to learn more.