Concealed Carry Choices Part 1a: Hardware

Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of articles about choosing a gun for concealed carry. These articles all contain a list of firearms that one should consider and some of those selections are inevitably ones an inexperienced shooter really has no business considering. It’s not that they’re (usually) recommending bad guns. They’re recommending guns that only very experienced shooters should be considering.


Case in point one I constantly see recommended is the Smith and Wesson Airweight J frame revolver. The light weight metal frame translates to heavier recoil. How much heavier? Well I personally can’t tell the difference in recoil between an Airweight J frame with FBI loads and a 3″ .44 Magnum revolver. In contract the Ruger LCR comes in at nearly the same weight but the polymer frame absorbs recoil making it more comfortable to fire. The lesson here; try before you buy, don’t just take the recommendation of the gun shop counter monkey. Some will be very knowledgeable, others won’t have a clue.


With weight being somewhat less of a factor to a gun’s shootability what other factors should one consider? One of the most important is fit. There’s a lot of advice on fit, but the best I’ve found is from gunsmith and instructor Grant Cunningham who says besides making sure you can reach the trigger (even if you have to adjust your grip slightly) you should also ensure your hand contacts the grip completely. This helps you control it better.


The next issue is one of sights. Good sights ensure accurate shot placement. With standard iron sights to general rule is the longer the sight radius the more accurate the gun can be shot. The downside is the longer the sight radius the longer the gun making comfortable concealment an issue. With optical sights becoming more common on handguns iron sight radius will cease to be as big of an issue. However there are issues with shorter barrels that we will discuss later that will still matter.

The Sweet Spot

In examining my own progression of carry guns I found that all the carry guns I really liked all fit into a similar size. This is the size I find I am able to easily conceal, shoot well and has the ammunition capacity/capability to handle any threats that may come my way. My most current pistol is a Glock 19. Previous “perfect” carry guns were a Colt CCO and a S&W 65 3″ Barrel. These may not be the size of guns you prefer to carry, but it is my opinion every one has that just right size. Once you find it, you’ll be able to narrow your choices more efficiently.


Stuff I found Interesting Last Week

Miami-Dade PD searching for police-impersonating robbers (VIDEO)

This is not the first time criminals have used this ruse to ransack a home. Unfortunately there is no easy solution to keep both citizen and officer safe other than to do away with no-knock warrants.

Retractable Badge Holder Lanyards and Seatbelt Cutters In Trauma Kits

A way to keep your trauma gear together and the utility of the ResQMe seatbelt cutter.

Clint Smith on how to use your rifle

Shoot To Reset

The best explanation of this technique and why you should learn it I’ve heard from Dave Spaulding.

Opportunity Cost

A good article on why you should learn the basics before you go hanging a buch of crap on your gun.

Appendix Carry vs. Hip Carry: Weighing the Pros and Cons

Mas Ayoob weighs in on a debate as pervasive as 9mm vs. .45 (9mm wins FYI…)

Glock 43, 2,000 rounds, no maintenance, no breakages.

Tam does a lot of these tests, I was curious about how this particular one would turn out for a project I had in mind. By the way if you’re not reading her blog regularly you’re missing out.

 On Deliberation

Lessons from Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp.

Strength Training for Better Shooting

No gym membership necessary

Counter Protest Driving Part 1

Counter Protest Driving Part 2

Low Ready vs High Ready

Another cousin of the 9mm vs .45 debate.

Lucid C3 Weapons Light

Looks like it might be a real good low profile light for a home defense gun. Hopefully I can get my hands on one to try out.

Maybe 18th Century Doctors Were On To Something

Wisconsin is another state that is finally realizing gun-free zones don’t offer safety and citizens should be able to protect themselves. Naturally this has a few of the usual snowflakes quite upset and they are planning to protest with sex toys. Such hysteria in the face of the exercise of a Constitutionally guaranteed right is not uncommon for some. I do however find the protest a bit ironic considering that 18th Century doctors used sex toys to treat hysteria in women.

Does Trump’s Win Spell Trouble for the Firearms Industry?

A headline in my news feed this morning proclaimed “Trump’s pro-Second Amendment platform could end gun sales boom.” Considering the volume and steady increase of sales during Obama’s presidency and Hillary’s (wrongly) foregone ascension to the Presidency I wouldn’t be at all surprised if firearms sales took a dip because people no longer feel the need to “get it now before it’s banned.”

The downside is this does mean manufacturers in the firearms business will take a hit. How big of one remains to be seen and whether or not they survive it will depend greatly on how well they prepared for this eventuality and/or how quickly and well they adapt to the change. The good news for us consumers is it means prices are likely to drop which increases the purchasing power of our strained budgets.

As consumers I think we should take this two-year respite and take stock of our current inventories, identify and fill gaps and keep up the fight for the mid-term elections. in 2018. We haven’t beaten the anti-civil rights groups down yet. At best we have stung them and they’re going to want revenge.

On a personal level this means more training classes and not just firearm shoot schools either. Medical and survival classes will be included as well. Additionally more spare parts and magazines will be purchased along with other items to help cope with emergencies. More time will also be spent focusing on local and state politics. We had a lot of turd level candidates at all levels this last time. Only by focusing on getting good people noticed by the electorate can we change that.

In conclusion, yes we likely narrowly dodged a bullet this time but now is not the time to relax. Like the old adage says: “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.”

I wasn’t expecting to make this post today

Yesterday the United States stood on a precipice, ready to jump. Today we’re still there. I wish we had done better with our nominees for all offices, but we didn’t. Maybe we should all be more active next time to ensure we get better nominees.

In the meantime it looks like there will be no panic buying, no massive price hikes, no (or fewer) shortages. So now is the time to get supplies, learn skills and plan ahead. Make a list, make a budget, make a plan and prepare.

Winter is still coming, just slower than yesterday.

Are you a Mosin-Nagant Owner/Fan? You’re gonna love this.

WeaponsMan has a story up with pictures of a late WWII Russian Marksmanship card. If we could get these translated into English I bet American Mosin-Nagant fans would snatch them up as fast as they came off the printer.

The famous the infamous and self-defense had this article this morning comparing the M1 Garand and the M16 platform as military service weapons. For their respective reputations you would think the Garand was the more reliable rifle. While it was impressive for its time, turns out the M16 wins hands down in the reliability department.

Personally I have used both an M1 Garand and the civilian legal version of the M16 the AR15 as defensive rifles. When I lived out west where the chance of a ranged encounter with a drug manufacturer/runner was possible I wanted something that could out range their preferred com-bloc 7.62×39 guns so I went with the 30-06 Garand. Now that I live in a more urban setting it’s the AR with its reputation for not over penetrating magazine capacity and ease of use.

When it comes to long guns for self-defense my opinion is that it’s best to use something appropriate for your location if at all possible. Not being much of a fan of shotguns any more. That would mean something in 5.56×45 or .223 Remington for me in a rural environment or something based on the .308 NATO or 30-06 cartridge for a more rural setting.

Taking a lesson from yesterday’s post. What can you do if you don’t own one of those and money is tight? There’s a few options that are good and other that will work if you need them to. For instance in an urban setting do you have a pistol caliber carbine? Go with it. If not how about a shotgun? With the right load and some training it can be effective a little past 100 yards.

In a rural setting just about any bolt action rifle would do. Just recently there as a sale at Wal-Mart where a Ruger American 30-06 could be had for $200. As a bonus, it takes detachable magazines speeding up the reload. However extra magazines are pricey. Just be sure whatever you get you take it to the range and get some practice with it. If you can get some competent formal training as well. It can only make you better.