One of the eventual things our students ask us as they take the next steps on their journey to #ProtectEveryday is for a great Concealed Carry firearm recommendation. Be sure to get our Concealed Carry Guide HERE and see below for a few of the guiding principles we share.
1) It’s Reliable.
This is the most important consideration for a concealed carry self-defense pistol. If you have a scenario where you feel it’s immediately necessary to avoid imminent harm through the application of deadly force it is not a time to wonder if the firearm will work. It pains me when we see students buy the cheapest pistol they can find and consistently be the shooters who experience the most malfunctions when we do live fire drills or quals. Here’s a hint- you should be thinking a brand new, reliable defensive pistol will run you between $500-$800 and you should budget accordingly. Stick to the well know, proven names- brands like Glock, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory, Heckler & Koch, FN, etc. Generally speaking, these manufacturers have a great track record of producing defensive carry pistols you can depend on in a dangerous scenario. BONUS: It should hold 8-10 rounds MINIMUM. This is because we make a few general assumptions from readily available crime data: You will not have time for a reload, You will need 4 shots per threat, and bad guys ALWAYS have friends.
We also recommend a minimum of 3 total magazines for most pistols. Ideal is 5 magazines. This is just good housekeeping in case your mags break, ou lode them, or you have a full day of training with us and you hate reloading mags. [Get more magazines for your firearm here]
2) Your manipulation of the pistol is efficient.
Ok cool, so now you have selected a reliable pistol. Now what? Now we see how you and the pistol interact. Can you work the magazine release, slide release and trigger without substantially changing your grip? Do you like how the gun “points” when you raise your grip up to eye level and look down the firearm? All of these factors must lineup for the best use of your firearm under less than ideal conditions like a high stress self defense incident. It’s also important to be able to load the magazines and work the slide effectively.
[Extra: A favorite among our more gracefully aged students who experienced significant challenges racking the slide open is the Smith & Wesson, M&P380 Shield EZ]
3) You have BRIGHT front sights on the firearm.
There’s tons of options here, but specifically I am referring to the ability for your eyes to quickly and easily see your front sight when you bring your gun up on target. This becomes especially important during duress where you may not have much (or any) time to take aim at your target. For your concealed carry pistol, we recommend a red or green “day glow” front dot with a tritium insert. The tritium insert allow the front sight to glow in the dark without needing prior exposure to light while the bright color allows the sight to be acquired quickly by the eye. [See some here] We also feel this is the reason for the prevalence now seen with Red Dots on pistols. Oh, and science seems to agree that we can see green sights easier more easily than red- see here
4) You can comfortably wear it daily in a holster.
It cannot be your daily personal defense firearm if you just leave it at home- so a proper holster and carry position are both neccessary. Most people have 3 variables to consider: Type of Clothing, Profession and Carry Position. Use these three things to select a holster that both is easily accessible to you and not easily accessible to a bad guy. [A good holster also does 3 things: Keep the firearm in place, does not collapse under pressure, and completely covers the trigger/trigger guard.] [Check out our holsters here]
BONUS: Your pistol should be striker fired and have no external manual safeties to defeat when using the pistol. This one tends to anger people. I get it, people become emotionally invested in their favorite firearms. [Most of us do] But here’s the deal- external manual safeties (Like a thumb safety) not only gets in the way, but you have to remember to activate it each time you present the firearm on target- thats extra stuff you have to remember in a life and death scenario. The less of that you have to burden yourself with, the better. Same applies to hammer fired pistols with external decockers and manual safeties. These things get in the way and complicate the nature of pistol presentation and return to the holster.