When it comes to carrying a firearm, there are plenty of things to consider and think about. While things like style and price are important, neither the aesthetics nor the price should be determining factors on choosing a handgun that you intend to carry every day and rely on.
The ideal concealed carry weapon should be a gun that you would feel comfortable carrying every single day and relying on in a life or death situation. Here are a few things that you may want to consider when choosing your concealed carry handgun, and some questions you may want to ask yourself before making a purchase!
Gun Size and Form
One of the most important things when it comes to shooting a handgun comfortably and accurately is how it fits in your hands. Everyone is different, so everyone will have different likes and dislikes on form and what feels the best to them. There are guys with really thick thumbs that may not be able to work a recessed magazine release button very easily, or others with small hands that don’t fit well on certain grips. Everyone’s hands are different, including yours! Find what fits your hands the best.
It is much better to have a handgun that fits well in your hand and that you are confident shooting, than to be shooting a gun just because it is a certain brand or has certain features. Try out as many different guns as you can before making any decisions, as you may find that a gun that you thought would be a good choice might not be the most comfortable in your hand.
Calibers for Concealed Carry
Once you find the gun that fits perfect in your hand and that you can aim properly, it is time to think about the caliber. There are plenty of different handgun calibers out on the market, but they are not all created equal.
The most common concealed carry caliber is usually the .380 ACP or the 9mm. These two are popular for their smaller size, although shooters who can handle a bit more recoil might opt for something like the .40 S&W or the .45 ACP. The most important thing to consider when choosing a caliber is not only being able to put the first round on a target, but putting multiple rounds on a target quickly and accurately. Testing out a gun at the range is a great way to determine this.
If you can quickly and accurately put multiple rounds on target and are confident with the gun, then that is probably the caliber for you. There are many smaller guns out there meant for conceal carry that do not handle recoil very easy, as well as bigger guns that may be harder to conceal but handle the recoil better. All things considered, when you decide on a caliber you will have to think about things like:
- Price point
- Magazine Capacity
- Physical Size of the Firearm
How Many Rounds is enough?
There will always be a tradeoff between physical size of a firearm, its caliber, and how many rounds it can hold. For concealed carry guns, you want something fairly small in order to be able to comfortably carry and hide it on your person. Some people prefer the higher round count of guns like the 9mm, while others like the power of the .45 ACP.
Magazine capacity can easily be related to one simple question: how many rounds to you plan on firing? If you answer one or two, then virtually any gun will do. Many shooters, however, consider the possibility of situations that may require many more rounds than that, and might opt for not only something with a little more magazine capacity but also carry backup magazines (or both).
If you do carry backup magazines for your sidearm, get into the habit of training with them as well. Training to quickly change them out while shooting is much more important than the actual magazine capacity. Think about you and your intended use of your concealed carry weapon, and try to be realistic in how you might use it.
Choosing the right concealed carry weapon might be a long process or seem overly complicated, but if you intend to trust your life with it, shouldn’t you make the best decision possible? Choosing a handgun is much more than the price tag or how it looks, and these should probably be considered very last. Get out there and try out as many as you can, and you are sure to find the perfect concealed carry weapon for you!