Shopping for a new pistol is always fun and your choices and options are nearly limitless. There are some beautiful guns out there and rest assured, you will pay for that flashiness.
If you think about it, that’s really all it is: “flash” – It’s not practical, it wouldn’t even be desirable in a gunfight.
Let’s break it down – What do you really need in a tactical handgun? Or, if you have a permit, what components will make sure you get the best concealed carry gun?
All you really need is the bare bone essentials. This should include practicality, reliability, safety, and accuracy.
That’s it! All the other bells and whistles need to go, you don’t need them and you certainly don’t want them in a gunfight. The goal is to have a simple and reliable weapon that can get rounds on target.
Is the gun practical?
This means “Keep It Simple Stupid” (KISS). Can someone with a very limited knowledge of handguns pick up the weapon without ever handling it before and automatically know everything about it? Can they load, unload, and fire the weapon without any outside instruction. You don’t actually have to do this (and it’s not suggested that you do) but you want to ask yourself, “Is this weapon easy to use?”
Is the gun reliable?
This comes down to simplicity. We want a gun that has the least amount of mechanical or moving parts as possible. The more things that are going on inside that gun means the more things that can break inside that gun.Is the gun safe?
This doesn’t mean that your gun needs to have a manual safety, in fact, for tactical applications it’s not recommended. A manual safety adds a mechanical component to the gun and slows your draw.
The only time your gun should come out of the holster anyways is when firing at the range and when you’re planning on killing somebody, so a manual safety is not needed. You do however, want some internal safeties that will ensure the only way for that weapon to be fired is to have someone pull the trigger.
Is the gun accurate?
This primarily comes down to the shooter because most modern handguns are at least semi-accurate. Some are better than others but the best way to solve the accuracy problem is just to get some trigger time.
What about concealed carry options?
When you’re carrying concealed you still want to maintain all the bare bone essentials but size comes into play. This is entirely individual preference but remember that whatever you give up in size, you also give up in accuracy.
What caliber is best?
Obviously a larger bullet is going to create a larger wound but that’s not the only factor you want to consider. Remember that the larger the round, the lower your magazine capacity will be. In many cases, it may be beneficial to sacrifice a little take down power for a smaller caliber that will give you more rounds on target, less muzzle rise and faster follow on shots. You may even want to consider using a concealed magazine holster like the Snagmag to give you even more rounds.
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