I would like to highlight two of my carry guns the first will be my first carry gun. The second will be my first gun bought specifically for carrying.
Bought while I was in College from an at the time co-worker for a price that would make a gunnie today cry (it was a heck of a deal) this S&W 686 with a 6” barrel was my first handgun. later on a place I worked in would ask that all employees open carry a firearm. As I only had one this is what I carried. After my first week of open carry I obtained a Bianchi 350 Hurricane Holster, Sam Browne Belt, Safariland Speedloader Holder and some belt keepers. The holster today would be referred to as a level III security holster. I have shot tens of thousands of rounds through this gun in practice and in IDPA style competition. With loads ranging from 110 grain screamers to 180 grain hunting loads. The round it has seen most is a 158 grain cast lead bullet at 1100 feet per second. This gun has also introduced many a lady to shooting with .38 target loads. Most still shoot today. When I needed to conceal the gun (and I did) it went into a Bianchi X15 shoulder holster and either some speed strips went into my pocket or I clipped a speedloader or two to my belt.
The gun I bought specifically for carrying is the 3” S&W Model 65 .357 magnum. It can claim to have Bill Jordan as part of its heritage as he was responsible for the K-Frame .357 magnum. The gun balances well in the hand and carries like it isn’t there in spite of its weight. While this gun has not seen as much use as my 686 it does make forays out with me regularly and if I’m not packing a 1911 this is usually what resides in a pancake holster at about the 4 o’clock position. It has digested the same loads as my 686, though not nearly as many and sees the same load for practice as the 686.
This gun is also a favorite of many of the lady shooters I know and proved so popular that S&W even produced these as a part of their “Ladysmith” line. It’s good looks combined with decent ergonomics and a well-tuned trigger are part of its appeal. The other is its ability to dispense a wide variety of self-defense ammunition that could be tailored to match the user’s perceived recoil tolerance. With proper attire and a good holster the gun disappears making it one of my favorite carry pistols.