A quick Google search for “Best Concealed Carry” or “Best handgun for xxxx” is an enlightening thing.
Advice abounds, of course—the gun culture of the Internet is nothing if not rife with opinions. These vary from comprehensive lists of handguns for concealed carry, to outright slide shows of pure gun porn. Now, there’s nothing wrong with any of that—it’s good to compare options before trying out a new handgun, and who doesn’t like to look at photos of beautifully crafted firearms? However, when it comes to choosing the right handgun for a given situation, there’s one factor that trumps all of the above. No list can quantify this critical factor—spoilers: I’m not going to tell you what the perfect handgun is—and no one’s opinion trumps it.
That factor is you.
You’re an individual, living your own life in your own way. Your height, build, level of physical fitness, and style of dress are likewise unique to you. So while advice and reviews are great, even necessary, the most important thing is to try a variety of options and pick the one that best fits your individual needs. So while I can’t tell you what the perfect handgun is for you, I can suggest some things you might consider in making your own choice:
- Your Area of Operations (AO): It’s like clothing, or shoes, or cars: What works in rural Alaska isn’t necessarily suited for suburban Ohio or urban Florida. Size, caliber, availability of parts and ammo can all be affected by this, so make sure to take stock of your surroundings and environment.
- Your Style of Dress. Whether you’re carrying concealed or open, what you wear shapes how you carry—and vice versa. You’ll probably end up planning your carry around your wardrobe and your wardrobe around your carry, particularly in inclement weather. Whatever you decide, you have to be able to draw quickly and cleanly if the time comes.
- Your Home and Work Environment. The physical layout of the spaces you live counts for something. If you spend a lot of time in the car, you’ll need to take into account ways to make your handgun accessible while seated. Ditto if you work in an office. Larger pieces can be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces—make sure you can handle it.
- Your Comfort with Carrying. The perfect handgun, at home in your safe, is of no use to you; the only one that counts is the one you have with you at the time. Make sure you trust your choice, that is is reliable and accurate in your hands, and that you’re confident in your ability to carry safety.
- Follow the Law. Again, this varies widely by state—though the are some great resources for concealed carry available. Make sure you know what you can legally carry, where you can legally care, and all other relevant aspects of handgun law.
So, in short: there’s no magical perfect handgun out there—though I’m willing to be there’s probably a perfect handgun for you. Take your time, get some experience, and make the right choice. You’ll be much happier for it.
Good luck, and stay safe!