When I first became a concealed carrier, I did not have to do any shopping. My father gave me his .22 handgun when I finished school and moved into my own place, which needless to say, was not in the nicest neighborhood. He and I went to the shooting range every weekend so that I could get a handle on my newly acquired gift and to improve my marksmanship, should I ever had to use it for self-defense.
The first day I was given the .22 from my father, I just thought this was just me inheriting his handgun that he hardly ever used in the recent years. It was one of the last times at the range that my father revealed to me that he gave me the .22 for a reason: “I knew it would be the easiest one for you to hold and get comfortable with. Same thing happened with your mom when she went shooting for the first time with your grandpa back in the day.”
For me, I never had to research and find out what type of gun would be best suited for me. Thankfully, my father already knew and nipped that in the bud, and to this day, I still have that trusty .22 at home.
But even if you do all your pre-purchase homework and find a gun that matches your criteria, there could be a moment where you might find that an upgrade is in order. This isn’t to say that the gun is faulty or bad, but perhaps there is something that would be more appropriate, based on you, along with your CCW abilities and concerns. Here are few possible signs that it might be time to change your handgun for something better:
You should feel comfortable with the size of your handgun, with being able to hold, grip, shoot, have proper trigger finger placement etc. Typically, bigger pistols have more accuracy because of their fit and the reduced recoil. With a large pistol, you also have the benefit of a longer sight plane. However, when it comes to your CCW, a smaller gun might be more handy when carrying. Concealing a smaller pistol will be easier, and there’s less weight to carry compared to a larger gun.
If your gun feels too big or heavy for any of the above, then it might be a good idea to consider finding something that will fit you better, both with shooting and concealed carrying.
Smaller calibers mean less recoil, faster and more accuracy. Larger calibers will inflict more energy and damage. The type of caliber is primarily based on the user’s preferences, but considering what you aim (no pun intended) for with your CCW, it is good to examine what sort of caliber would meet your standards. If you’re looking for fast follow-up shots and more chances of accuracy, then perhaps starting off or switching to something small might help. If you need something with a lot of force and penetration, then definitely look into the larger calibers.
This might be one of the most important factors when it comes to purchasing and/or upgrading your firearm. While you might be hitting up the range for practice on a regular basis, your accuracy could suffer because of poor compatibility between you and your gun. Particularly for those experienced with handguns, if you notice that you are lacking either point shoot or sighted accuracy, maybe it is because the gun is too heavy, too big in size, too big in caliber, etc. Lack of accuracy should motivate any CCW user to consider finding a gun that is more appropriate for their individual characteristics and needs.
Nearly every first-time gun user will have to take some time adjusting to their gun’s recoil after they shoot. However, if after time, the recoil is still slowing you down and not allowing you to have quick, more accurate follow-up shots, then this could be a sign to find something different (maybe even something smaller than what you normally carry).
- Bullets & Accessories
Bullets play a big role on choosing the right firearm for yourself. There are no perfect bullet types and every sort of bullet will have its pros and cons. The question is whether or not the type of bullet gives you as the individual carrier more pros. Important things to consider with your bullets: weight, penetration, energy, shape, projection and distance, and more.
If cleaning, dismantling and caring for your handgun is a difficult and infrequent chore for you, then it could be time to look for something a little more low maintenance. For your gun to last long, and to remain powerful and functioning, it is important to apply some TLC. For a great step-by-step guide, check out this Wiki article.
Read Also: Pistol Maintenance: Key Lubrication Points
When you find your comfort levels are dropping with your gun, it is time to look into something that you can handle better. Changing guns doesn’t mean you need something bigger or stronger necessarily. It also doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a mediocre CCW user. Every gun owner is different, and sometimes we just need to find the right gun that will complete us.