Choosing the Right Concealed Carry Handgun for You

There are a plethora of options and decisions to be made when it comes to selecting a concealed carry handgun. Most people want the most powerful, smallest in size, night sight and laser equipped, high capacity, recoilless handgun that weighs little more than the ammunition it carries for a bargain price. Unfortunately, in a world of compromise, this is a classic example. The concealed carry handgun for the serious carrier is a well thought out tool that speaks to the specifics of the individual’s need and utility.

 

As a responsible citizen, the selection for concealed carry equipment is wide open. With so many choices to make, it is hard to narrow the field down to one gun and its support equipment.

 

In keeping with the applied methodology of Objective Based Training, from which all classes at the SIGARMS Academy are based on, selection of a concealed carry handgun can be simplified significantly. There will be compromises for sure, but most likely they are compromises that we can live with once the concept is understood.

Let me say that what you are about to read is not all encompassing but it will give you food for thought and a starting point in the selection for the optimum concealed carry handgun for you.

Why you are carrying a concealed handgun in the first place needs an honest answer. Is it because you are an armed professional or are you a responsible citizen carrying concealed because you are exercising your right to legally do so?

As an armed professional the equipment selection is often limited to the issue duty gun or an optional piece that meets a specific criterion like brand or caliber parameters. Usually a qualification course must be satisfactorily completed as well to verify a maintained proficiency with the handgun of choice. Some organizations are more permissive than others but, nevertheless, some of our decisions regarding weapon and ammunition are already made for us.

This leaves us with decisions on carry location, holster type, and how much spare ammunition to carry and where to carry it among the other items necessary for the job.

As a responsible citizen, the selection for concealed carry equipment is wide open. With so many choices to make, it is hard to narrow the field down to one gun and its support equipment. At the SIGARMS Academy we feel that the simpler you keep things the better. This means rather than having a variety of different types of guns and support equipment for the same job, make the best selection you can at the time and train hard with that equipment so that when the “time to perform” comes, your likelihood of success is great.

Using Objective Based Analysis to study the subject further, we’ll first look at what the anticipated use of the handgun might be. As a responsible citizen it is reasonable to expect that an encounter requiring the use of a handgun would be in close proximity to the adversary and possibly take place in a spontaneous time frame with less than ideal light conditions. This suggests that the gun needs to be carried in a location where it can be quickly drawn and driven to the target with a single handed grip that is conducive to delivering effective fire utilizing the methods of point shooting taught in our classes.

 

… if the concealed carry handgun can’t be drawn and driven to the target to deliver the full complement of ammunition (if needed) with a high hit probability, another option should be exercised.

 

The recommendation for this application would be to carry a properly fitted gun, in a concealed holster on the dominant side, with the grip frame positioned so that a firing grip could be accomplished with a natural placement of the hand. The holster should be constructed so that a single hand recovery to the original carry location could be affected in case both hands were needed for control of the adversary or escape.

An individual’s body size and type will determine whether the carry location should be in front of, at, or behind the point of the dominant side hip, inside or outside of the trousers, or at another location meeting the criterion. Waist size and individual range of motion of the dominant arm factor in as does the variety of body positions that the person may find them selves in when the gun is needed. Keep in mind that you may be standing, seated, flat on your back, or anywhere in between when the need for your gun is imminent.

Hand size is of particular interest when selecting a concealed carry handgun. If the gun is fitted properly to the shooter so that the muzzle is naturally positioned on the target as the hand is extended toward the target, the size and type of handgun can be validated for optimum performance. The size of the palm impacts significantly on the grip size that a shooter can accommodate and the length of the trigger finger is the final reference to determine the ideal sized pistol or revolver.

That being said, there is such thing as a handgun being too small for practical use. If the grip of the gun is so small that at least two fingers can’t be wrapped around it, stabilizing the gun for multiple shots is going to be challenging. The trigger must be pulled to fire the gun. Some hand sizes in proportion to gun sizes will not allow for sufficient range of motion to fully pull the trigger to fire the gun. The point is that if the concealed carry handgun can’t be drawn and driven to the target to deliver the full complement of ammunition (if needed) with a high hit probability, another option should be exercised. You just can’t miss fast enough to achieve success. It is bullet placement that is essential to realizing a positive outcome with a handgun.

Sights for the concealed carry handgun are a matter of personal preference. In a close range street encounter there is a good likelihood that they won’t factor in as essential items. However, the fact that they are there, and are what you are comfortable with, gives a psychological advantage for success.

 

If you want to get the best information available as to bullet performance on living tissue, contact several trauma room surgeons and see what they have to say about terminal ballistics in actual cases.

 

Ammunition selection is a highly debated issue and one of the things that keep us in the unending quest for the “magic bullet”. If you want to get the best information available as to bullet performance on living tissue, contact several trauma room surgeons and see what they have to say about terminal ballistics in actual cases. You will find it interesting what the medical folks say as compared to accepted beliefs in the firearms community. Again! It is bullet placement on the target that is essential to realizing a positive outcome with a handgun.

Have enough ammunition with you for a reload. The recent event of the Trolley Square shooting in Utah was a lesson learned in having extra ammunition available when the shooting starts.

The preceding information should help significantly in either validating your present choice of a concealed carry handgun or the selection of the best one to fit your needs. Above all, have a gun and be able to use it when the need arises.

 

About the Author:

Rated as a Class “C” Coach by the National Rifle Association, George has a long list of Instructor certifications from Federal and State Agencies as well as private training organizations.

George Harris

[ George Harris has spent over 30 years in the field of Adult Education with more than 17 years at the SIGARMS Academy. George completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia and earned his degree in Communications from the DeVry Institute of Technology. He has focused his efforts in the arenas of small arms, small arms training and combat skill development. George has evolved from an Infantry Soldier, Small Arms Repair Technician, and Drill Instructor to become the Coach and Firing Member of the Internationally recognized United States Army Reserve Combat Marksmanship Team. As a competitive shooter, George has the coveted distinction of being Distinguished with both the Service Pistol and the Service Rifle.

Rated as a Class “C” Coach by the National Rifle Association, George has a long list of Instructor certifications from Federal and State Agencies as well as private training organizations. He holds Armorer Certifications from the major firearms manufacturers currently producing small arms for law enforcement and the military.

George is active in a number of professional organizations which include among others, International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, American Society for Training and Development and American Society for Industrial Security.

As Director of the SIGARMS Academy, George is committed to the safe and successful use of firearms by armed professionals and responsible citizens alike through using the SIG Principle of Training: Simple Is Good! ]

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