Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Which is the Best Concealed Carry Handgun for YOU in 2016? We Break It Down
What is the Best Handgun for Concealed Carry in 2016?
“The best handgun for concealed carry is the one you have with you when you need it.”
OK, that statement is not quite right. A handgun that you have with you may meet rule number one of a gunfight (bring a gun) but the handgun you have with you may be sub-optimal for the occasion. Before we get to optimal, the adequate handgun is one with which you are well-trained and is powerful enough to destroy your target. Broadly speaking, bigger calibers are more powerful than smaller calibers. Please do realize that compared to most rifle calibers, handgun calibers are quite weak.
Here is the scenario: You have decided to take the plunge. You have finally decided to get your handgun carry permit. Since “the best handgun for concealed carry for me” may well be different from “the best handgun for concealed carry for you,” you will have to do your own research. Just to get a feel for how a handgun fits you, you can visit gun shows (as long as they are still legal), pawn shops and your local gun store. Most sellers will happily let you handle the merchandise, particularly at a gun show.
How a handgun feels in your hand is only one aspect of choosing your “everyday carry” (EDC). Many ranges will let you rent handguns, and that should give you an even better feel for the weapon. However, many really nice range guns may be larger and more difficult to conceal than smaller handguns. One trade off is that more concealable handguns may be easier to carry but quite a bit more “snappy” to shoot. Some very concealable, but more powerful handguns may even make your hand hurt after just a few rounds. They can really get the job done, but are not a lot of fun to shoot. And, if it is not fun to shoot, you may not train with it as often.
If you are planning to open carry where legal to do so, your planning choices will likely differ. One thing to consider, though, is that you may find yourself in a situation in which it would be more prudent to legally conceal your handgun rather than carry it openly. You may want to choose a handgun that is relatively easy to conceal for your EDC even though you plan to open carry. That way, you have only one handgun with which to become trained. In the business of our everyday lives, time seems to be the most strictly regulated commodity.
Since no one can really tell you which handgun best suits you, you will have to decide which handgun best meets your needs. I cannot list every possible option, so will just provide some of the more popular choices as your “jumping off point.” One of your initial requirements may be affordability.
As many of you are aware, the President made a big production of “taking action” on gun control this week. What is not as obvious, and has been missed by much of the mainstream media, is that the President’s actions are smoke and mirrors with no legally binding changes….The President’s guidance documents are largely just a restatement of existing laws and a wish list of actions that would need to be passed by Congress (and likely will not be). The definition of who is “enaged in the business” of firearms has not changed and is firmly established by both law and case law. Unlicensed persons are still allowed to sell firearms from their personal collection provided all Federal, state, and local laws are obeyed….As we clearly state on our website, all transactions on GunBroker.com are made in full compliance with all federal state, and local laws, using licensed federal firearms dealers as transfer agents. Federal law requires those dealers to run a background check on the buyer. There is a strict compliance system in place and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms audits dealers for compliance.
Here are Gunbroker.com’s top 5 sales of new semi-automatic pistols and new revolvers for November and December 2015. These choices are worth investigating:
As a reader of NewsFoxes.com you probably already know that under existing law, one cannot purchase firearms online without a Federal Firearms License (FFL) or a Curio and Relic (C&R) license (for certain specified firearms). A C&R license holder is a collector license, not a business license. Someone in the business of buying and selling firearms may not do so under the less expensive C&R license. To engage in the business of buying and selling firearms without the FFL (whether in person, on the internet, or at gun shows) is illegal.
Some of the most popular carry pistols are also very affordable and small enough to be carried in your front or back pocket.
There are a number of choices in the “pocket pistol” category. Some of the most popular pocket sized carry pistols (and this category may depend on the size of your pocket) are the Ruger LCP, the Kel Tec P3AT & P32, the SIG P239 & P938, the Glock G42, and the venerable Russian, East German or Bulgarian Makarov. If your favorite pocket pistol was not mentioned, please let us know in the comments.
Following his return from the Youtube ban, Hickok45 reviewed a new offering from Remington, the RM380. I would be remiss if I did not mention that Hickok45’s sponsor (if that is the right word) are the folks at Bud’s Gunshop. I’ve purchased from them and I know they are a fantastic source for affordable firearms and have great customer service:
For some, “racking the slide” on a semi-automatic handgun may be too difficult. (Give the SIG P238 a try before you give up on a semi-automatic — it is *really* easy to “rack the slide”). However, if a semi-automatic just is not for you, there are a number of concealable, light-weight, revolvers from which to choose. The Smith and Wesson 686 and Ruger LCR lead the sales of that category on Gunbroker.com.
While I cannot mention all of your possible options, I would be negligent if I did not mention that some folks really love their M1911 old school .45ACPs. It is a solid choice with a great reputation. Did I mention “old school”? (I admit that I have carried my single action cowboy pistol in .45 Long Colt, taking “old school” to another level).
After you’ve made your choice, Kevin Michalowski of the US Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) and editor of Concealed Carry Magazine, has some great tips. Here he is speaking of how to make a change from one carry rig to another, but many of the principles would be the same whether you are changing up a pistol/holster combination or making a pistol/holster combination choice for the first time. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a USCCA member and recommend that you consider joining this organization if you carry a handgun.
No matter which concealed carry choice you make, please, please, please carry with a holster that effectively covers your trigger and keeps your firearm in place even when you are active.
What’s my choice? I like my Kahr Arms CM45 (in .45ACP). It is thin, concealable and packs a powerful punch. I have friends who prefer their Glock 23 in .40 S&W and still others who really like their Smith and Wesson M&P Shield in .40 S&W or in 9mm Luger. So, no…..I cannot really tell you which is the best concealed carry firearm for YOU for 2016. What YOU can do, however, is share your thoughts on what makes YOUR optimal concealed carry handgun for 2016.
Monday, August 29, 2016
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Friday, August 12, 2016
Gun “Experts” and their Idiotic CCW Choices
Written by: Greg Ellifritz
I recently read one of the most ridiculous gun articles I’ve seen in a long time. In 18 Experts Pick Their Concealed Carry Weapon of Choice, some supposed “experts” reveal their chosen CCW gun and the rationale behind why they carry it. The article is obviously intended for beginners and provides some absolutely horrible advice from some people who have no idea what they are talking about. Go read the article. Then come back and we’ll discuss the problems it advocates.
The “expert” advice contained in the article can be classified in a couple different ways. Some of these people are not experts and should be ignored. They have no idea how bad their advice is.
Some of the “experts” are true gun experts (competitive shooters), but don’t know anything about self protection. Others are obviously biased by their industry ties and sponsorships.
Some of the “experts” interviewed are true experts, but their advice may not be good advice for you to follow. Bill Rogers is one such example. I’ve seen Bill shoot. He would be deadly with a .22 derringer. His choice of a 9mm snub revolver carried in a pocket is likely a good choice for his lifestyle. Would I advise most beginning shooters to pocket carry a 9mm snub? Absolutely not.
Other folks interviewed provide perfectly reasonable advice about defensive firearm selection and carry.
The problem with articles like this one is that the average reader has no idea who is credible or whose advice to follow. Should he carry a Taurus Curve without a holster or a .50 custom 1911 in an IWB holster?
Everyone is limited by his or her own experiences, myself included. Often times we don’t know what we don’t know. I’m far from being omniscient, but I have taught defensive firearms skills full time for more than 15 years. I had cops on my range daily for 13 years as the training officer for my department. I work at a high volume shooting school. My experience isn’t limited by just the guns I’ve shot and carried. I’ve seen just about every possible variation of gun and holster combinations come through my classes. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t.
I’m not going to comment on each of these experts’ choices. I will, however, provide some general commentary based on my experiences over the years. Hopefully, that might steer some beginning shooters in a better direction.
• Traditional double action guns (like the Sig 239, Beretta 92, and S&W 4516) are generally harder for students to learn to operate than the striker fired or DAO guns. Mastering two different trigger pulls and remembering to de-cock under stress make the traditional DA auto pistols more difficult to master.
• I’ve been uniformly unimpressed by any of the firearms made by Taurus. I see more problems from this brand than almost any other “quality” handgun manufacturer I see in my class. I would suggest that you avoid Taurus guns. While there are individual specimens that likely perform fine, as a whole, the brand sucks.
• The Ruger LCP has been hit or miss in my students. Some work well. Some don’t. If you choose to carry this weapon, I highly recommend that you carry the newer model with the better sights and smoother trigger.
• The Ruger LC9 is generally less reliable than the LCP. I wouldn’t carry one. If you are looking for a small polymer 9mm, the Glock 43, S&W Shield, or Walther PPS are better choices.
• 1911-style pistols are truly guns for experts. Unfortunately, most of the folks carrying them defensively aren’t anywhere near the “expert” level. The 1911 will take far more effort and maintenance to maintain reliability than any of the modern striker fired guns. If you treat your gun like you treat your lawnmower, the 1911 is not a good choice for you.
• Snub-nose revolvers are also experts’ guns. It takes a lot of practice to shoot a snub well. Most new shooters looking for a small carry gun would be better off with a mid-size semi automatic pistol than a snub revolver.
• You don’t need a 10mm or .50 AE auto pistol for defense against humans. In bear country, they would make great weapons. Against humans, not so much. The increased recoil and blast make fast followup shots difficult. Practice sessions are both fatiguing and expensive. There isn’t any substantial increase in stopping power over the common service calibers. Stick with 9mm, .40. or .45 instead.
• Hornady Critical Defense rounds are advocated by a lot of people on this list. They aren’t bad rounds in some calibers. They are less than stellar in others. In general, the Critical Defense line is eclipsed by the Federal HST, Speer Gold Dot, or Winchester Ranger bullets. If given the option, choose one of these rounds instead of the Critical Defense load.
• Winchester Silvertip ammunition was state of the art in 1987. Ammunition technology has improved greatly since then. Silvertip hollowpoints do fine in bare flesh, but perform horribly if shot through heavy clothing or any intervening barriers. There are much better rounds on the market than the Silvertip.
• The selling point of MagSafe ammo is it’s lack of penetration. In most calibers, it only penetrates six to eight inches maximum in flesh. While that is great if your primary goal is avoiding a bullet pass through, it isn’t so great if your primary goal is to stop the attacker. Choose a defensive round that penetrates at least 12″ of ballistic gelatin.
• Carrying the same bullet that your local police department carries is usually pretty good advice…unless your local PD carries semi-jacketed soft point .45 acp ammo. Does such a round even exist? If your local PD carries a good round, it might be useful to copy them. Just recognize most cops aren’t gun guys and some agencies choose horrible bullets for their officers
• Federal Hydra-shock ammunition is similar to the Silvertip discussed above. It is at least one generation behind the most state of the art bullets available today. I would generally avoid it, except in .380 acp, where it seems to perform pretty well.
• There is nothing magical about the Winchester Black Talon ammunition. It retains a cult following and some people carry it thinking that because it was discontinued, it miust be “too deadly.” Not true. Winchester discontinued it because of bad publicity. The Ranger SXT is a functionally identical bullet. Besides, the Black Talon stopped being produced in 1993. Why would you trust your life to 25 year old carry ammo?
• Carrying an Uncle Mike’s inside the waistband holster is the uniform identifier of an amateur shooter/tactician. These holsters are cheap and provide a minimally effective way of carrying the gun. They are not carried by professionals. These holsters have clips that don’t stay secured to the belt, collapse when the gun is removed (making reholstering without muzzling your support hand impossible), and are made from flexible material which may cause the trigger to be accidentally moved to the rear when holstering. Avoid them.
• Fobus is another brand that screams “amateur.” Their products are crap. Don’t carry them. And carrying a tiny gun in a Fobus paddle holster is absolutely ludicrous. Tiny guns are meant to be carried in places larger guns can’t be. If you are going to carry in a paddle holster covered by a coat, carry a full sized gun in a paddle holster that actually retains the gun. Anything that says “Fobus” on it should be relegated to the scrap pile.
• Hybrid holsters like the Alien Gear or Crossbreed often cause problems as they age. They may be comfortable initially, but I haven’t had many students wear them successfully on a daily basis for a long time. If you are carrying IWB, I would generally recommend and all-leather or all-kydex holster, not a hybrid.
• Carrying a gun butt forward on the strong side is a poor choice. The draw is slow and awkward. Retention is difficult. You almost always muzzle yourself when presenting the pistol. Don’t do it.
• Small of the back holsters are stupid. They print every time you bend forward. They are slow to draw from. They are almost impossible to defend from a gun grab. Avoid them.
Did I make any of you mad? Do you feel the need to rabidly defend your criticized carry choice? If you are so set on your carry method and pistol choice, then why even read the article? Don’t post your irate and butthurt comments. You can think I’m an idiot. That’s fine. Continue carrying your Taurus pistol in your Fobus small of the back paddle holster. I’m sure that you are the special snowflake who can make it work.
The rest of you might be able to learn something from my many years of trial and error.
Choose your gurus well.