Monday, November 24, 2014

Concealed Carry: The Perfect Gun

Someone asked me the other day what gun I thought was the perfect carry weapon. I said, “One that goes bang!” I was semi-joking. The serious half of that answer is that wheat ever is carried needs to be reliable, needs to go bang. This is the most important thing. Everything else is secondary.
Conceal ability is next on my list. Not necessarily the size of the weapon. It doesn’t have to be small to be concealable. Sometimes that helps though.
The person who carries regularly today is very likely not a life-long gun enthusiast. They may only own one gun for a specific purpose: personal defense. They aren’t shooting on the weekends with their family, they aren’t hunters, and they aren’t willing to wear a tan vest every day or otherwise dress around their gun. They want something with a high degree of what I call carryability, and slim 9mms are very carryable.
I like those 9’s too. First of all I like the 9mm round. In the ballistics I’ve seen I don’t see a big enough difference between a 9mm and .40 to justify carrying a .40.
When I started shooting in the late 60’s and through the 70’s .38 and .357 were king calibers. The guns that went with them were not very petite. A Colt Python is not real concealable even in a 4 inch barrel! Well, gone are those days and I say good riddance! Gun makers now must care about the different customers they have to compete. Many more women are buying and shooting and they usually have smaller hands. So the gun makers have complied. Manufacturers have been responding not only with single-stack designs, but also with less girth in the area of the grip that is held between the thumb and index finger of the strong hand and with deeper in-cuts at the top of the back of the grip area. If a gun doesn’t fit a person’s hand well, they will not be able to shoot it intuitively or naturally. Their shooting will be forced and mechanical, which means their efficiency, will suffer.
A list of features I feel would be a perfect carry/defensive gun are:
Perfect reliability
Striker fired
At least a 4 inch barrel, 5 inch preferred
No manual safety
Ten plus 1 single-stack magazine capacity
Magazine must extend beyond the bottom of the mag well
Ambidextrous magazine release
Big ejection port
Rounded front of the trigger guard
Trigger pull of 6 pounds or less
First shot trigger travel of .5 to .6 inch, short reset
Tapered leading edge of slide at muzzle
Low bore height, relative to the hand
Non sloping sights
Non slip rear slide serrations
Simple take down and small number of field stripping parts
Some pistols come very close to most of these. Some are way off. The first point, reliable, is what I seek most. Don’t give me problems that I need to take care of even if your guarantee and customer service is the best.
Remember, a carry gun is only good if you have it with you. Remember to bring a gun to a fight. Then, keep yourself out of that fight as long as you can and by any means. Your gun is your last resort!
Semper Paratus