There is an ever growing number of concealed carry advocates, and there are more gun owners now than ever before in recent history. Many of these folks have bought their first gun, others are quickly looking for their second gun or their first ideal concealed carry pistol.
This post is meant to get you started down the right path to figuring out what kind of pistol you should look at getting.
What makes a good concealed carry gun?
A good concealed carry gun will be one that you can shoot well, is reliable to almost a fault, can be concealed, and has enough aftermarket support that you can find a holster for it.
Let’s take a look at each topic more in depth.
Shoot it well:
You need to be able to shoot the gun you carry well-enough that you can effectively defend yourself with it. This, ultimately, means that you go to the range to not only do target practice, but some more advanced training.
What is this more advanced training? You need to be able to do stuff like draw your gun from your holster on a consistent basis.
Most people cannot do that most basic of “advanced” technique but is arguably THE most important aspect about defending yourself with your concealed carry gun. After all, that’s when you get your pistol into the fight and form your grip that the rest of your fundamentals rely on.
You don’t want to adjust your grip after the draw because that can be detrimental to your success.
Taking this to the next level, I’m a firm believer that any gun you pick up — you should be able to shoot well. However, not everyone will be able to do this so you at least need to be able to master your own personal firearm to the best of your ability.
Finally, your gun needs to be one that you’re not afraid to shoot for whatever reason. Meaning, that if you can’t afford to shoot your gun because it’s chambered in 357 SIG or one of the other more expensive calibers, you should get something else.
Or, if you have a 357 Magnum revolver but only shoot 38 Special because it’s cheaper, you could find yourself up a creek because the two loads are entirely different in how they feel recoil wise, which also affects how fast you shoot follow up shots.
Any gun has to be ready for primetime. What I mean by that, is that the gun has to work when you pull the trigger.
If it doesn’t actually work when you pull the trigger, what’s the point? The best way to know for sure if your gun is reliable is to shoot it and see for yourself.
This also means that you need to maintain your pistol to keep it reliable, to include any necessary part replacement at correct intervals, like your recoil spring.
It goes beyond that, though because it has to work well as a whole from the sights to the magazine and everything in between.
The entire point of concealing your gun is that nobody else knows that it’s there. This can be hard to do based on your body and what you’re made up of, as well as the next point which is aftermarket support.
Suffice it to say that any firearm can be concealed. I say that as a 300 pound male who carries a full sized pistol on a regular basis.
But you might have to work at it and it may take a while for you to get to that point.
This means that you may need to try different holsters to get it to work.
This is one of the most under-thought of aspects of concealing a firearm. I have guns that I struggle to find a holster for. It’s not as hard as it used to be, but when you take into account the above point about concealability and the fact that you may need to work at it, you have a harder time when there are less options.
This is one of the reasons why certain pistols do better than others. There will always be more holsters for the SIG P365 and the Glock 19 than for guns like the Laugo Alien will even though the Alien is one of the best-shooters I’ve ever had the pleasure of shooting.
Capacity is less important to some folks than it is to others. Some defenders believe that if they can’t get the job done if 6-shots or less then they’re screwed anyway.
I’m a firm believer that I want as much ammo on me as I can comfortably carry. That may just be the ammo in the gun, and other times it’s an extra mag.
Therefore, sometimes I only carry a revolver because in what I’m wearing it’s the most comfy. I’d rather have the revolver on me than nothing at all.
The five rounds in my 38 Special snub nosed revolver is the max I carry on those rare days I don’t feel like getting out of my sweatpants in my pocket holster.
Most times, however, I carry a pistol with a much better capacity like this SIG P320 AXG Classic or the SIG p365XL. Both of those links, by the way, take you to my review of those pistols if you want to read them.
Leave your thoughts on this in the comments below.