It’s very simple: The police usually will not be able to save you. Don’t get me wrong, as I have been a law enforcement officer for many years. Police want to get to you, but the majority of the time the incident is over by the time police arrive.
That’s one reason I believe in my right, and your right, to protect ourselves and those around us. But do not take your decision to carry lightly. Once you have made this decision, stay well prepared and confident with your firearm and carry system. A fellow instructor once told me “it has to become a lifestyle” when it comes to your personal defense, and by necessity your own well-being and preparedness. I couldn’t agree more.
So, what do I carry? It depends on many factors. When I teach concealed carry classes, I talk to students about tradeoffs when they begin carrying a concealed firearm. Considerations include concealability of your handgun, single-vs.-double-stack magazine models, caliber, ease of operation, dependability and comfort.
If your carry handgun and carry system are not comfortable, then you will not carry for long. This brings to mind the quote, “The gun you have on you is better than the one left at home.”
My selection for carry on any particular day is driven by such factors as weather (hot or cold outside?), activities and location planned for the day, and attire.
The following comprise my concealed carry selection 98 percent of the time:
Smith & Wesson Shield in 9mm. I like the feel of this pistol; it’s streamlined and easily concealable. I shoot it well and have found it to be very reliable. It comes with eight- and seven- round magazines, plus one in the chamber, and it is a reasonable carry gun. I most often carry this pistol in an appendix position. I like the Guardian Angel holster system that provides a leather or soft back with a firm Kydex outer portion. I most often carry a spare magazine, too.
Glock 19, 9mm. Likely one of the most common handguns for concealed carry. Very reliable with good accuracy and a great mid-size carry gun with a magazine capacity of 15. I will carry in a Guardian Angel or SpetzGear appendix or belt-mounted Kydex, pancake-style holster.
Glock 42, 380 Auto. When I need to go small with a high degree of concealability, this is my choice. I carry in the appendix or pocket position via a BladeTech or Sticky holster. The Glock 42 is very reliable and suitable for those attire-limiting occasions. The Glock 42 comes standard with a six-round magazine, but plus-two extensions are available for the magazine.
Ruger LCR, 38 Special. Very concealable and problem-free from an operational standpoint. The 38 Special cartridge has taken care of its share of “bad guys” over the years, and there is a wide variety of good defensive ammo available for this caliber. I often carry in the appendix position in a soft-sided Sticky Holster.
I have no opposition to larger caliber handguns, such as the 40S&W or the 45ACP. I have and will carry these caliber guns on occasion. It all boils down to your comfort and ability to shoot and handle the gun well.
Other EDC items I am seldom without include; a spare magazine or ammo source for my carry gun du jour, a flashlight (most often a Steamlight ProTac-2L), a good blade (or two), and a tourniquet (CAT, SWAT or comparable).
If you’re a person who has a high degree of concern over the caliber issue, perhaps keep in mind the following: Carry the largest caliber handgun you can shoot well and will commit to carrying every day. And then train well, train often. After all, you are carrying to protect yourself and those you care about.
What are your favorite EDC guns? Share your thoughts in the section below: