Last week, I talked about the importance of having a different type of firearm to carry concealed when you’re out west. As a result, last week’s article started some great debates and conversations in my inbox about having a powerful handgun vs having a handgun with capacity. The old-timers came out of the woodwork last week to defend their holy grail 1911 handed straight down from the heavens by John Browning himself. So after a fair amount of debate, let’s dive into what’s a better application when talking about concealed carry handgun choice.
Important Considerations To Consider
The number one determination for what type of handgun to carry is where you live in the United States. Someone in rural Wyoming is going to typically have a much different handgun than someone who lives in Miami. It’s all about picking the right tool for the right job. Comparing something for the mountains of Montana to the streets of Atlanta is like comparing apples to cinderblocks, it just doesn’t work. Having a large caliber handgun out west where you have the potential to encounter grizzly bears and mountain lions is reasonable. Having that same big-bore handgun or revolver in south Florida is ridiculous.
My point is it’s important to be conscious of where you live and what you need for self-defense. A simple way to look at it is whether or not you’ll be dealing with wildlife when it comes to self-defense. If you’re just dealing with the human factor, then it’s probably alright to look at a 9mm of some variant. The biggest issue with having a heavy-hitting handgun is the fact they typically weigh more. This just creates issues later down the road when you want to run out of the house quick and don’t want to deal with the bulk. Eventually, you’ll be in a rush and just say the hell with it and leave without your gun. Some of you can deny it but we all know there will be that one day you leave it at home which defeats the purpose.
Body Type and Style
A huge consideration to look at when it comes to the overall size of your carry gun is your own body type and how you dress. There’s been a number of times I’ve seen a slim-frame individual try to carry something like a full-size Beretta 92 or M&P which just doesn’t work. Depending on your size, it will either allow you to carry various firearms or limit your choices. Bigger guys will typically have an easier time concealing if they have love handles or extra weight because it’s not as easily seen than someone who is incredibly skinny. Next time your significant other complains about your eating habits just say it’s for carrying concealed.
Style is the other big factor when it comes to carrying a concealed handgun. Younger guys typically have more issues than the older crowd when it comes to style. Having tight-fitting skinny jeans on it is harder to carry a full-size handgun than something like a comfortable relaxed-fit pair of jeans. Being conscious of your clothes when carrying concealed is a fairly important aspect most don’t talk about. If you have tight clothes and the wrong handgun, chances are it will be pretty clear you’re carrying a firearm and may even be considered brandishing in some states so it’s important to wear clothes that fit properly and give you enough space to carry a concealed handgun in. It’s never a bad idea to buy sizes one step up bigger or just conceal into the fitting room and test it out before buying clothes.
Specificity is Key
The old saying goes if you fail to plan, you plan to fail which can 100% be applied to carrying concealed. There are a number of times where people want to bring a full-size .40 S&W or .45 ACP as their main carry gun. If you live in a part of the country where the weather is typically cooler then this isn’t a problem. There’s plenty of people out west who will either carry concealed or in the open. Having firearms in public is more welcome in certain parts of the country than in others. If you’re going to train and carry only one firearm, make sure it’s something you can carry and shoot effectively.
Having a firearm you can carry for a specific purpose will typically feel more natural than trying to make something work because it’s what you have. Trust me, I’m fully aware it’s a budget issue for some, and that’s perfectly acceptable to carry what you have. In general, though there’s no reason to force yourself to carry a large heavy firearm if you can afford to purchase and train with a handgun that suits your needs better.
This exact reason is why the Glock 19 is so popular among civilian shooters. The Glock 19 is in such high demand because it has a reasonable carry weight while offering 15+1 capacity as standard. Adding something like a baseplate can increase your capacity without adding a lot of weight or bulk. Within the last 5 years, companies like Glock and SIG have come out with extremely small pistols with capacities of larger framed handguns making it really the best of both worlds. Guns like the Glock 48 with a Shield Arms magazine or P365 with 10, 12 and 15 round magazines. These options give you the best of weight and capacity while maintaining a respectable amount of stopping power with modern 9mm self-defense ammunition.
I know this is probably a fairly straightforward easy concept for some of you, but you would be shocked with how many questions I get weekly about going back to basics and figuring out how to carry when you’re new. Over the past year, there has been a flood of new conceal carriers so it’s always good to go over basics for those people in the back who may not always know what’s best. What are some things you look at when looking at concealing a handgun? Do these factors influence your personal choices when it comes to carrying concealed? Let me know in the comments below. If you have questions, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. As always, stay safe out there guys.