A common question that I am often asked in different variations is, ”What pistol do you carry for everyday carry, for an application of fire, or when the environment is unknown?”
I looked at some blogs that provide more of a form of advertisement or to get key words circulated around cyberspace. What are the 10 best handguns for everyday carry? It is simple: I do not believe it is made by one company, but it’s probably the one that’s with you. This handgun is the same one that the shooter can apply accurate fire as quickly as possible based on his/her level of training. The best handgun is a combination of training and selecting a middle-of-the-road reliable and properly manufactured pistol. The gun companies do not like to talk about training because that is not what they are selling. They want to sell you the latest widget. Just place a battery in, point, squeeze, and a laser beam will shoot and take care of all your problems.
Here are my criteria for carry. 1) How concerned for my safety am I? 2) What is my opposition? For example, if I am going to West Baltimore to an ATM machine at 3 a.m. in the morning for some moronic reason, I would carry the biggest Glock I have along with the largest capacity magazine and a HK21 7.62 beltfed. I guess that I am not smart enough to avoid that situation. Just call me cuckoo.
3) Comfort and carrying method are additional criteria. If I am in a place that is fairly pleasant, a wheel gun is fine. If the area indicates high crime a possibility exists that instead of dealing with one dirtbag, you will be dealing with several at once. In that case, you need more rounds, so I would carry a Glock 19, appendix carry, with a spare magazine of Glock 17, which holds 17 rounds. Part of lifelong defense is awareness of surroundings, and if you have to carry more than that, you will have to decide if the juice is worth the squeeze.
4) Keep the platform simple. I personally do not like to waste time with costly holsters, putting stipple on the grips, and other things I do not need. A reliable, high-capacity pistol and a handheld flashlight or small rail mounted lights are good, but please get trained for low-light tactical situations. You MUST know when, where, and how to shine a flashlight tactically so as not to put yourself in more danger.
5) Seek training from a competent, experienced, instructor with a good track record, and who understands adult-learning methodologies. Some of the YouTube stars and “internet heroes” I have seen have only carried a concealed weapon for a couple of years domestically in the U.S. They are trying to tell others how to do it, and some people are paying them money to listen to them. I have been doing concealed carry since 1988 in various countries with threat profiles from open conflict to lame, with various styles of carry, and with many different weapons.
6) Show restraint I am not into threatening with a gun. It is either a deadly force situation or not. Check the surroundings, and quickly evaluate the distance, perceived intent, their ability to cause you death or bodily harm, age and mental state of the opposition, and background, and work your way out of that without having to break leather, or now, break plastic. Pulling a weapon out may escalate to nuclear meltdown level and transform into the top story on the evening news, so show restraint. Do not skin the smoke wagon if you do not need to. If you have exhausted methods of de-escalation, make it a shooting; don’t make it a gun fight.
Lastly, I want to dissuade people from being blog lizards. Be wise and do not listen to everything these pretend YouTube instructors are posting. If you like the content, hit the like button, subscribe, hit the notification bell, and share it with your friends. Get crazy and do it all! Talk to you soon.