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Discussion Starter #1
Picking a carry gun

A lot of people ask me what to look for in a carry pistol. Well I do not pick carry pistols, I chose fighting pistols. I own pistols of varying quality, design, and cost. I train with them often, carry them more but should the occasion arise I have to fight with my handgun there are several things I look for:
Reliability
Magazine capacity
Availability of spare parts
Ease of maintenance
Accessories (support gear)
Cost

Reliability being the number one area I really research, test, and become absolutely convinced that it is as close to 100% reliable as it gets. (First anything mechanical can and will break at some point in it’s life). This is not from hearsay but from a collaboration of research and my own first hand testing. When I test a handgun for my personal use as a carry weapon I will shoot it a lot (500 rounds), chunk it in the dirt, kick it around, pick it up and expect it to function (for another 500 or so rounds) just like it was before it got all dirty. I am not beyond taking it to an extreme and really punishing one. When I am done I have confidence in that pistol. I go home, disassemble it (all the way down) clean and inspect all components for damage, lube and reassemble it and perform a function check. Chances are you will catch me with one of three guns on, a G19 I have been carrying for years, a G17 that is almost as old, and a SIG P226. I am confident that all three of these guns are as close to 100% reliable as you will find. I do sometimes tote a Wilson Combat CQB, but very seldom due to low magazine capacity.

Magazine capacity is important to me for one reason; I had rather be shooting if I need to, than to be reloading.

Spare parts, as I said earlier anything mechanical will break at some point. So inspecting and replacing worn parts is important. Getting them easily and economically is a vital aspect of that for me.

Ease of replacing parts, cleaning and inspecting. I do not want to have to be a freaking mechanical engineer or own a tool company to do this.

Accessories and support gear are important to me because most stock pistols come with crappy sights, I do not want to have to wait 12 to 24 weeks for the holster and magazine carriers I want nor do I want to have to spend $500.00 to get them.

Cost is vital thing as most of us (at least not me) are not millionaires and cannot spend tons of money on a handgun. All of my carry guns are in the 400 to 500 dollar range and they work.

Things that I shy away from are small subcompact guns, yea I know there easy to carry and conceal, but one day if the purpose I am carrying should ever arise I do not want to be skimping on reliability, shoot ability, magazine capacity, and controllability because it was easy.

One of the sorriest excuses you hear in gun stores is “it is a good gun for a woman†what the hell does that mean? Women can shoot the same guns as men, if you don’t think so I can introduce you to a few women that can take a G22 and smoke your ass on any given day. The difference is mindset, determination and training.

It comes down to picking gear that works, not because it is cute, small, cheap, lightweight, or someone gave it to you and the worst of all, “the gun store guy told me it was a good gunâ€. Of course he told you that honey, why would he be selling it if it wasn’t? MONEY

The little itty bitty ballistic binkies all have a place in life, the Keltecs, Baby Kahrs, J-Frames, Raven, Beretta Tomcats, NAA Guardians and so forth. They are either a good back up gun or a nice dust collector. They are not fighting guns! If you have to draw one you will most likely indeed be fighting for a life.
 

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True. I took my mom to the range one day, thinking she'd like my Ruger Mk III. She's got a lightweight Taurus .38 that she doesn't use nearly enough. She ended up shooting my .40 Hi-Power more than anything. If she had the strength to rack the slide I'd tell her to get her own... :D
 

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What is your professional opinion on weapons with a manual safety?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have no problem with manual safeties, as long as you train with them and know how to operate them under stress. I am not particularly for or against single action, double action or striker fired guns. They just have to be reliable. With training one can work any of them in amazing fashions beyond their own beliefs. Good training and coaching will have you doing things with your pistol you never imagined yourself doing.
 

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I would never purposefully intoduce a gritty substance into a device for which I paid good money . . . but I am glad somebody did it.
 

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So, the Sig P226 that you carry... have you torture tested it?

How'd it hold up? I don't want to do all that to mine but it'd be nice to hear about how it worked.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have done this to several SIG's to include the 226 I have now, I have absolutely no problems picking up the SIG and going to it. I like the SIG Very much.

Some here have seen me do it with one or two of my guns.
 

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Firearmz said:
Magazine capacity is important to me for one reason; I had rather be shooting if I need to, than to be reloading.
Obviously, more is better. But I chose to compromise in this area based on two other parameters that were more important to me: a slightly smaller gun (I want to actually carry it) and a larger caliber (just in case I have to make a buffalo flip end over end twice) are preferred items for me over magazine capacity. My personal experience, anecdotes, and actual studies have lead me to believe that I am going to need the better (my opinion . . .) bullet over the extremely small chance of needing a larger quantity of the lesser bullets.

I do keep an extra ammunition handy, just in case.

My normal carry gun is an Hk USP 45C. It has functioned flawlessly for me, but I have not intentionally put dirt in it.

I was pretty content with a Glock 22 (.40) for years before that, but the Hk was my choice when I did not have somebody else making the choice for me.
 

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With all of that having been said, circumstances frequently force me to carry a little .380 . . .

:roll:

No magazine capacity and no big, heavy bullets!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Malum Prohibitum said:
With all of that having been said, circumstances frequently force me to carry a little .380 . . .

:roll:

No magazine capacity and no big, heavy bullets!
Like I said, they all have their place and if yo are forced to carry a small gun then I guess thats one of those places.
 

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Malum Prohibitum said:
Obviously, more is better. But I chose to compromise in this area based on two other parameters that were more important to me: a slightly smaller gun (I want to actually carry it) and a larger caliber (just in case I have to make a buffalo flip end over end twice) are preferred items for me over magazine capacity. My personal experience, anecdotes, and actual studies have lead me to believe that I am going to need the better (my opinion . . .) bullet over the extremely small chance of needing a larger quantity of the lesser bullets.

I do keep an extra ammunition handy, just in case.

My normal carry gun is an Hk USP 45C. It has functioned flawlessly for me, but I have not intentionally put dirt in it.

I was pretty content with a Glock 22 (.40) for years before that, but the Hk was my choice when I did not have somebody else making the choice for me.
That's the beauty of double stack .45s and hands large enough to handle the grips.

With 13+1 rounds in my G21 I rarely carry my 15+1 Ruger P95.
 

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Great write up!

I've been going round and round on the "perfect" carry gun for me. Its really hard to beat a glock. I keep coming back to my G33, however I'm finding I can carry my G19 and G32 almost as easy.

I also consider personal shootability important. I really like my HK's, but I can consistently shoot a tighter pattern faster with my Glocks.

I do put a little consideration on total gun weight. Now I'm not comparing a G19 to a Kahr PM9, but equivalent weapons. For instance, my P229 and G19 are very similar in size, however, the P229 weights a fair amount more being all metal. Assuming I can shoot both of them just as well, they conceal the same, and both reliable, its hard for me to want to carry the extra weight. Not to mention the 2 less rounds.
 

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I think I am one of the few here that daily CCs a Glock 30. I considered all the points which have been made previously in this thread and felt the only downside to my Glock 30 is the overall weight. With a good holster (I use the Comp-tac CTAC) and good belt this is much less of an issue.

I have a reliable weapon which I shoot as well as any of my others. I have 10+1 capacity and the benefit of the .45 big bang. All this in a small frame. Win Win.
 

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Great points, thanks Ken.

I too have opted for the lower mag cap for the bigger bullet. I've been carrying my Colt 1991 for 12 years now and shot more than 2000 rounds through it. This one has gone bang every time the trigger was pulled.

Chris

ETA...However, my wife does carry a G19, so when we are out together our bases are pretty well covered.
 

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I've seen Ken abuse (test) a G19.....it is one TUFF gun.....glad I saw it done...glad it want my gun….glad I have 2 of them; thinking about getting a 3rd....I have no doubt they will function properly when needed.

Take a class from Ken and you will be convinced higher mag capacity is more important than the size hole the gun makes..... In Ken's words "dead is dead".

Mark
 

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I compromised to some degree, but I bet I can take out a BG with the 10+1 shots in my XD Sc, if the time comes. In fact, I am betting my life on it, everyday. It hasn't failed me, even in Ken's sandy, gritty, sweaty class. It has good availability of accesories. I like the accuracy, reliability, and the fact that I can drop the mag even if I am shooting weak handed to reload. Oh, and the spare mag has 16 rounds :)

I said it before, I'll say it again, this XD Sc sitting right next to me as I write this ain't for sale ;)
 

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Chances are you will catch me with one of three guns on, a G19 I have been carrying for years, a G17 that is almost as old, and a SIG P226
Friends, trust those of us who attended Ken's two day class. NONE of us will EVER duplicate the abuse we subjected our guns to during that class when we're carrying in our day to day lives for self protection. Guns are like cars, clothes or food in that we all have our personal preferences and styles that we like. However, when you really get right down to it, what looks great in a glass gun case as a work of art just might not be the weapon you wanna trust your life to.

People like Ken don't only push their weapons to the extremes for one weekend....they do so most weekends. When I hear a statement like his above, I tend to listen. Some can make all the jokes they want about "plastic guns" or Glocks in general but there's a reason they're trusted to deliver day in and day out by those who really need it.

My primary is my G19 and G26.....but I'm guilty of carrying a Kahr PM9 for convenience.
 
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