I teach Concealed Carry classes from time to time in Colorado. Students ask me what is the best pistol to buy. I tell them, “I don’t know, I don’t have enough information.”
Although a 45 cal will stop and more likely kill an attacker breaking in your home, can a 45 cal be easily concealed in thin layer clothing out in public? Do you work at a gym and wear shorts or do you work in business attire? Are you a construction worker or do you work in cold environments where you wear thick layers? For females, do you wear a dress or skirt, business slacks, shorts or pants? It’s easier to conceal between the upper tighs of a female wearing a dress or skirt. Are you a female that wants to conceal in a purse, and how big is your purse? Do you wear a large jacket and is it appropriate to the climate? Are you in areas that are more likely to encounter gangs or large number militia groups? For guys, do you wear your pants at the waist or half way down your butte? Do you need a pistol that would only need to hold one or two bullets and hang from your neck? Or would you more likely need 15 rounds in your magazine to counter multiple attackers? For some, a single or double shot Dillinger may work and for others a lager 9 mm or 45 cal. Do you want to carry concealed on multiple locations on your body (leg/boot, waist/hip, armpit, back, forearm or around a neck chain)? Many people wouldn’t bother you, if you pulled out a squirt gun that looked real. The criminals mostly want to hit easy prey targets and walk away (or run) from anyone that brandishes a pistol of any caliber. Criminals know that even if a 22 cal hits them, it would at least draw blood, which, if left at the scene of the crime, may ID them. Can a 22 cal kill an attacker? Indeed! History proves this. Can a 9mm (or mid-range/power bullet) kill? Of course it can. But all you really need to do is “stop the threat” and then escape, if possible. Sometimes you may need to kill, to eliminate the threat to yourself or others. So how good of a shot are you under stress (not just at the shooting range). The more you train, the better your odds. Buy a 22 cal for the jog around town and to practice with (since the bullets are cheap). Buy a 9 mm (or any mid-range/power size) for times you wear regular attire that can conceal your “side iron.” Buy a 45 cal to carry in your brief case, car, office desk, or trench coat. Some people like hammerless, others like the visible hammer because it becomes very intimidating when you hear and see a hammer drawn back. The sound and sight of a hammer being pulled back means “serious business,” and that alone may cause the aggressors to rethink their actions and run. Some don’t like the hammer because it may snag on clothing. Some like the revolvers and some like magazine fed pistols. Revolvers may carry less ammo, but how many shots would you need to aid in your escape or to “stop the threat?” Revolvers may be bulky, so take this into consideration. Some feel the revolver is less likely to jam and for females–they may like the revolvers for feeding ammo. Many women with long nails do not like feeding magazines with ammo. Some people like the black-look to conceal more during the dark and others want the chrome pieces to flash out and show the attacker that they are holding a serious piece of shiny medal which is less likely to be a black toy gun. Everyone has their preference and budget. You can always start with an inexpensive 22 (or any small size cal) and later buy a larger cal. We are not superheroes that need the biggest and the best to fight crime nightly. Buy something now that is in your budget and practice your aim under stress to see how you can handle your weapons and how effective your aim is at various distances. Many expert shooters at the range do average, at best, under stressful situations. Try to conceal and draw your weapon quickly (without shooting off your feet). Do this after trying on different outfits. Some prefer “no safety” on their pistol because if they are going to draw it, then they are going to shot it. For a novice to average shooter, I recommend a safety, but practice putting it on safe and taking it off safe quickly. Make sure to try a variety of holsters and see what works best for your situation. A good pistol with a lousy holster is not a good combination. Single or double action is also a preference. Go to the range and practice both and see what works better for your aim. Look at your targets and see which one you do better at. The proof is on the target. I personally like single action and ”no safety,” but I have both. I like the cool chrome but I have black pistols also. I have a variety of holsters for different outfits. I enjoy all of my weapons. I like the power of the 45 1911 but I like the price of the pistol and ammo for a 22. And if I go out looking for small game the 22 works wonders. I like my pistols to multi task for hunting, sport shooting and personal protection. Have “Attention Deficit Disorder” (ADD) with your training and change it up often. Buy what you can afford and when that gets boring, save up for the next piece. Know your local laws for concealed carry and never point at anything you are not willing to shot to protect yourself or others around you. If you cannot conceal carry in certain areas, find out if you can carry it in a seperate case or visibly carry it. If you cannot carry at all in possibly dangerous areas, then carry a knife, medal/tactical pen or baseball bat. Keep a clear head and think before you touch your weapon. Never drink and touch a weapon! Always do the right thing!