How to Get Started Choosing a Concealed Carry Handgun
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Thread: How to Get Started Choosing a Concealed Carry Handgun

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Evansville, Indiana
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    2

    How to Get Started Choosing a Concealed Carry Handgun

    If you are thinking about buying a gun for self defense and you are overwhelmed by all of your choices, find out what you need to know before you buy.

    First and foremost, you have to decide that you can take a human life if necessary. No, it is not like television or the movies, you cannot count on shooting them in the leg to stop the threat. When a person applies for a law enforcement job, they will almost always be asked if they can take a human life if necessary. If the person answers, "No," then that applicant will be passed by.

    All law enforcement officers are taught to shoot for the center mass of the chest and all civilians should be taught the same thing by any competent firearms instructor. In the state of Indiana citizens are guaranteed by law that they can protect their person, their family, their home or an occupied vehicle against attack. Indiana is a "Castle Doctrine" state and it is also a "Stand Your Ground" state. The stand your ground doctrine says that you do not have to flee an attacker, you can stand your ground and stop your attacker by whatever means is reasonable, up to and including deadly force under certain conditions of the law.

    As a civilian, when you buy a gun for self defense, you may find yourself in a situation whereby you have to defend yourself, your family, your home, or your occupied car against a deadly threat. In this case you will have to react quickly, most likely in a fraction of second you will make your decision and fire your gun to defend yourself. Again, any firearms instructor worth his salt will teach you to fire as many rounds as it takes to "STOP" the threat.

    People are influenced by what they see on TV or in the movies. They think that one shot from a handgun will stop anyone. You could not be more wrong if you tried. Yes, one well placed shot can stop the threat, but you cannot count on that. For example, did you know that you can shoot someone in the heart and they can still kill you before they die. You can shoot someone in the head and in some cases they can still continue to fight.

    At HARD TARGET Firearms Training in Evansville, Indiana, we teach our students to fire mutiple rounds to the center of the chest (two to three rounds) and then we tell them that if the threat is still a threat, immediately go to head and do your best to deliver a well aimed shot to the eye or nose area. If someone is trying to kill you, the fastest way to stop them from accomplishing their mission is to kill them. Yes, I said the nasty word "kill." If they are dead, they can no longer injure or kill you.

    As a former police officer (33 years of service), I was always taught to say in court and in my paperwork, "I shot to stop the threat," not that I was "trying to kill the SOB!" But we all know that when you shoot to the center of the chest that death is a likely result, so let's call a spade a spade and call it what is. You are doing your level best to "kill" the person that is trying to kill you. Sounds fair to me.

    Okay, I went the long way around the barn, but I wanted to make sure you understand that shooting someone in a self defense situation may very well result in the death of that person. Can you handle that? If you cannot, do not buy a gun, it will be worthless to you. Actually, it will become a liability for you.

    Once you have decided you can take a human life if necessary, then you will have decide what you want to do with that gun. Do you want to carry it on your person for self defense? Do you just want to keep it in your car (not recommended)? Do you want to just keep it in your home or business?

    Let's take on the last question first. If you just want a gun for home defense, I do not recommend a handgun, I recommend a Remington 870 pump, 12 gauge shotgun. I can teach most anyone, no matter what size you are, to shoot a shotgun accurately and without pain. A well trained person with a shotgun is scary as hell. A 12 gauge shotgun is about as close as you can come to a "one shot" weapon. By "one shot," I mean that it only takes one shot to stop the threat. No weapon guarantees this, but a 12 gauge will come as close as any weapon system.

    If you are going to carry the gun on your person for protection, you will want a gun that is small enough and light enough that it is easy to conceal and carry all day long. You will not see too many people that actually carrry a full size 1911 type pistol all day, every day, because it is big and heavy and it gets real old, real fast carrying a gun like that.

    I have guns that I recommend to my customers, but I will not go into my list in this article. You just want a gun that is a 9 mm or larger caliber. That is not to say that .22 cannot work, it can and will work, but I do not want my life to depend on a .22 caliber pistol, so I cannot in good conscience recommend it for you.

    No matter what caliber of handgun you choose, choose a good quality gun, do not skimp here, you may regret your decision later when your life is depending on that bargain basement gun you bought. The other thing you need to know about handguns regardless of the caliber is, "Handguns are notoriously bad fight stoppers." I have said this a thousand times.

    Here is what I mean by this statement. When our military personnel go into combat they carry a high power rifle, not a handgun. If they carry a handgun, they carry it as a backup to their long gun. As an old detective, I have seen a lot of shootings over the years in Evansville and I can tell you that most people shot with a handgun do not die. As a matter of fact, national statistics show that 80% of all people shot with a handgun survive their wounds.

    If the bad guy can survive his wounds, he can still kill you. So why on earth do we want a handgun for personal protection? This is an easy one to answer, it is easily portable and concealable. You must understand this so that you do not get it in your head that the .44 magnum revolver you carry will not always stop the threat like you witnessed in the "Dirty Harry" movies. The best advice I can give is, forget what you have seen in the movies. For the most part, what you have seen in the movies is completely unrealistic.

    Okay, you have decide that you can kill someone if necessary, and you have decided on a gun, so what is next.

    Next will be covered in the next article. You will have to decide on your carry ammo, you will need to know and understand the law, you must get professional training, and you must practice and practice often. I hope to hear from you.

    Guy Minnis, Director of Training
    HARD TARGET Firearms Training
    Evansville, Indiana

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Daytona Beach, Florida
    Posts
    55
    Ithaca model 37 is on my list. One thing I really like it it loads and ejects from the bottom, good for both left and right hand shooters..

    Right now I have my CZ75 with JHP loads, but am looking at the Taurus 9mm revolver for something more compact..

  4. #3
    Good info Guy. one additional thing that I tell my students when they buy a handgun for defense is "Does it fit you?" I find many new gun owners ask others what kind of gun to buy, or a guy is buying a gun for his wife or girlfriend. Once they have narrowed down what caliber they would like to carry they need to go to a shop that has a good selection and see what fits their hand and see if they can operate the action correctly. Many go for the cheapest they can find. I'm sorry, quality and reliability costs. If they are going by lower cost, the action may be harder to operate ie Keltec vs Sig Sauer. The Keltec is less than half the cost of the Sig but the recoil spring is much heavier and harder to operate with limited hand strength. Other points to consider is the size of the trigger guard and the diameter and reach of the frame size/ trigger reach and does the top of the strong hand clear the bottom of the slide during operation. An example of the latter is a Walther PPK being shot by someone with big hands. I still have the scars from the slide. I usually point out pros and cons of different guns and let them make the final decision but at least they are aware of the basics when selecting a gun.

    Jeff Perry
    Tennessee Firearms Training Academy
    Pulaski, Tn.

  5. Thanks

    Thanks for posting this thread. I'm currently considering making changes to which guns I have, for home and personal protection. I look forward to your next post on the subject.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    washington state
    Posts
    817
    great posting. i hope that would be gun owners read your post before buying. i also hope that once thy decide a gun is right for them that they will take their time in the selection process. i realize that while you live in indiana and i in washington the same basic principles apply to wherever you are. it was the same when i went through the california peace officers standards and training classes. i intend to share your post with a lady i know who is thinking about getting a gun. keep up the good work.

  7. #6
    I carry a Taurus 709 Slim inside my waisband, strong side. I think it is a wonderful weapon, never have had a problem with it. I also have a S&W 669 but I like the slim better for easy carry. In order to carry all the time, you have to be comfortable or you will tend to not carry as often. I also believe the rounds carried issue is overrated. I believe eight 9mm rounds is plenty to get me out of danger. Just my opinion.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Seminole, Florida, United States
    Posts
    10

    Great Point & I Will Add One More

    When selecting a firearm for concealed carry it needs to be comfortable to shoot, or the person will not take it to the range and practice with it enough.

    Getting a concealed weapons permit is just the beginning of a change in lifestyle that includes hours of practice for an incident that will only last for seconds.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Evansville, Indiana
    Posts
    2

    Wow what a great bunch of people!!!

    I have to admit I am new to this thread stuff, so forgive me if I screw it up. WOW! I am impressed with the group that has responded. You all make very good points. I am going to do my best to respond to everyone’s comments. I hope you can all see this.

    The person that was talking about carrying the slim line Taurus 9 mm in your waistband, I hope you mean you are using an inside the waistband holster. I am sure that you know that carrying a pistol simply stuck in the waistband is not a good idea, but some may not know this.

    For those that do not know why, you have to be able to hang on to your gun in all sorts of situations. What happens if you find yourself in a scuffle that does not require deadly force and because of the scuffle, your pistol falls out on the ground? This can suddenly turn into a deadly force encounter because you have accidentally introduced a weapon when it was not justifiable.

    I know that some of you may think, "Oh I will never get into a pushing, shoving, wrestling type match, but that is just the thing, we can never say "never." We don't know what will happen or when it will happen or how it will happen. Make sure you always use a good, secure, quality built holster to hold your handgun and do not forget how important a good gun belt is. Not a dress belt like most people use to hold their holster, but a belt designed to hold a holster with a gun in it. That is why they call it a gun belt.
    Buy a good gun, buy a good holster, and buy a good gun belt. Many of you will also want to carry extra ammo so be sure to not skimp on the ammo pouch.

    I promise you will never regret this advice. Okay, I know I just said “never,” this one was okay, wouldn’t you agree? I really look forward to interacting with the people that are members of this organization. When you get down to brass tacks, we are all very much alike. We love guns, we love to shoot guns, and we believe in the Second Amendment.

    Thank goodness for our brilliant forefathers that wrote our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. We are so fortunate to live in this country. Let's do our best not to screw it up.

    Guy Minnis, Director of Training
    HARD TARGET Firearms Training
    Evansville, Indiana

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    2,784
    This thread has been closed now that we're posting these articles to the new homepage.

    You can reply to the article in its new location here:
    How to Get Started Choosing a Concealed Carry Handgun | USA Carry
    Last edited by lukem; 02-08-2011 at 06:42 PM.


    Memberships: NRA, GOA, USCCA
    Guns: Glock 26, Ruger LCP, Beretta 90-Two .40, Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact 9MM, Beretta Tomcat, Bushmaster Patrolman M4

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