Carrying a Big Gun is Stupid


    I know, that HK USP45 looks wicked operator and it’s a lot easier to shoot well than your 638. But where is it right now? In your safe? Big handguns are more fun to shoot and we can shoot them much faster and more accurately than little guns. But most folks end up leaving their full size pistols at home most of the time. Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ever carry a larger gun. Especially if you have a solid reason, like for large animal defense when you’re out in the sticks. Even just because you enjoy carrying that fancy 1911 in the nicely tooled leather holster at a social gathering. It really isn’t carrying a big gun that’s bad. It’s leaving your Beretta 92F at home because it might print at the grocery store and you’re too macho to carry a P3AT that’s stupid.

    Even more stupid is if you’re the kind of guy who has so much self worth tied up in the gun you carry that you are too proud to carry a “wimpy” 9mm. If you’re carrying a full size .45 because you think it’s more powerful, then you are a fool. Now, before you get out the pitchforks and torches, I’m not saying that .45 isn’t perfectly suitable for carry. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t be carrying one for the wrong reasons. Even worse, if you are one of those rare cats who thinks that carrying something ridiculous like a Desert Eagle impresses anyone, you are a child. Of course, no one reading this is that foolish, though. TFB readers are smarter and more astute than any other group of people in the world. And because of that, you’re probably thinking, “Isn’t this the same guy who told us a couple weeks ago that carrying a tiny gun was stupid?”

    Yes. I am that guy. And I meant every word in that article, just as I mean every word in this one. Carrying a little gun, when you have the opportunity to carry something larger is dumb. Carrying no gun at all because you are too stubborn to buy a gun that’s comfortable and concealable or worse, carrying an awkward hand cannon that you don’t shoot well and can’t control is also stupid.

    A smaller gun might be more reasonable.

    If you’re a gun guy, you probably have several handguns. The best handgun to have in a fight is the one that you shoot best. And the one you shoot best is probably the one you like shooting most. But if that’s in the safe, it doesn’t matter how fast you are with it. You should be carrying a gun you shoot well, and you should also be carrying all the time. That means you will have to compromise a bit. Get a proper belt and holster for the largest gun that you can reasonably conceal in the activities that you normally engage in. Depending on what your day looks like, that could be pretty small.

    Then shoot the snot out of that gun. Take some classes with it. Shoot some steel competition games with it. And don’t worry about what some jackass on a gun blog tells you to carry.


    Andrew is a combat veteran of OEF and has performed hundreds of ballistic tests for his YouTube channel, The Chopping Block ( He is an avid firearm collector and competitor and lives with his family in Arizona. If you have any questions, you may email him at [email protected]