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Choosing a Primary and Concealed Carry Handgun

There are many handgun models on the market today in a wide variety of sizes, calibers, action types, finishes, and other mechanical features. Some have safeties, many do not!
Modern day handguns do have safety features built-in like a grip or tang safety, loaded chamber indicators, double-stage trigger’s and magazine disconnects. After that, it’s the space between your ears that keeps you safe!

Self-Defense handguns are grouped into three categories

  • Primary Guns
  • Concealed (Compact) Carry Guns
  • Backup Guns

A Primary Handgun is your general full size handgun. It’s has the full size frame, is of a comfortable caliber that allows accurate hits, and has a large ammunition capacity. With a primary gun, I can wrap all my fingers around the grip and get an excellent hold. I can also swap out magazines quickly and efficiently without worry of pinching my fingers and I can hang full size lights and lasers off the gun.

A Compact (Concealed) Carry Handgun is the ‘smaller brother’ of the full size gun. It has a shorter grip which lends to better concealment, but less ammunition capacity. Whereas the full size gun (9mm) might have 17 or 19 rounds in the gun, the compact version would have 12 rounds or less.

Sub-Compact handguns are even smaller than compact carry handguns and of course they have even shorter grips. Whereas the concealed carry gun would hold 12 rounds, the sub-compact version might only hold 7 or 8 rounds. Sub-compact handguns can be good as backup guns that may ride in a pocket or ankle carry.

Buying your first handgun
If you are buying a first handgun, it’s best to start with a primary handgun because it’s much easier to learn the fundamentals with a good primary handgun. Even better is to learn on a .22 semi-automatic first. Once you have the fundamentals down, move on up to the center fire defensive handgun.

Caliber recommendations
For a defensive caliber, 9mm is a good place to start, but .38’s are just fine. With the advent of modern day ammunition, even the lower defensive calibers have more punch compared to yesteryear, they are more reliable and cycle better.

Top of the Line – ‘Brand name’ Manufacturers
Springfield Armory
Sig Sauer
Smith & Wesson

Smith & Wesson, Ruger and Taurus make the best revolvers on the planet. As a backup gun, revolvers are an excellent choice. They are very reliable, can be fired while pushed up against the body of an assailant and can be fired from inside a coat pocket, etc. When it comes to a house gun, Revolver’s are known for their reliability and simplicity to operate. For more information, see my revolvers document.

Rick Cross
Be Safe CCW
Mobile: 702-275-1625
Email: RickCross@BeSafeFirearms.com

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