“What is the importance of capacity?” “Do I really NEED 15+1?” “Does it really take an entire magazine to eliminate a threat?” These are questions to ask yourself BEFORE you make a financial commitment to a conceal carry handgun. Some gun owners advocate carrying the maximum amount allowed by comfort. While some gun owners sacrifice a high capacity magazine for the sake of an easier concealment. To be frank, its not going to take 15 rounds to neutralize your typical threat (unless the suspect is on bath salts, PCP, or has a metal endoskeleton). HOWEVER high capacity magazines DO play a critical role. Lets look a this scenario.
The Great X Factor…Multiple Assailants
Man pulls into his garage with his family. As his automatic garage door closes, one suspect grabs the bottom of the garage door and holds it. This allows his armed companion to slide under the door to proceed to assault the driver. As the suspect opens the driver’s door, he his showered with 3-4 shots to the torso and flees out of the garage. The driver pursues the assailant that was holding his garage door and donates a pair of shots to him and then delivers 3 more shots to another accomplice. I counted approximately 10 or 11 shots. (Watch closely and tell me if my math is off).
What if the property owner had a Subcompact conceal carry weapon like the Glock 42, Or the Glock 27, or the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard? All of these are VERY popular conceal carry weapons that typically have a magazine capacity of less than 10 rounds. If he had been carrying one of these low capacity weapons and encountered multiple DETERMINED attackers…he and his family in the vehicle would have been in serious danger. Compact or full size pistols will typically offer well over 10 rounds while still being highly maneuverable. Its not barbaric. Its just a case of “You’d rather have it and not need it…than need it and not have it”. Just remember..if you choose a lower capacity weapon (less than 10 rounds)…be ready to flee if necessary. It may be difficult to hold your ground against multiple assailants.
“Can I control this gun?” “Can I thread the needle with it?” “Is this handle too small?” “Is this too much recoil?” These are key questions to ask yourself BEFORE purchasing a handgun for conceal carry. A person that decides to conceal carry is doing so because of personal protection. Buying a gun that is cosmetically appealing is NOT as important as getting one that you can control and shoot accurately. Think of them like cars. You may WANT that Ford Excursion because your friend has one and its pretty. But you may not be able to AFFORD weekly fuel costs, maintenance, and tires. You may find the Excursion extremely hard to parallel park and control while on the freeway. So is the Excursion actually for you? Maybe you should go with the Ford Fusion or the Taurus. Going to a gun range and trying rentals is a GREAT idea to familiarize yourself with different handguns. IF you are investing in personal or home defense you NEED to be able to comfortably shoot your handgun AND be able to place shots where you need them to go.
“Is this gun bulging out of my pants?” “Can I do an appendix carry?” “Can I carry on my hip?” “Can I carry on my back (6’o clock)?” “Would I have to carry this gun inside my waistband (IWB) or Outside the waistband (OWB)?” These are questions to ask yourself BEFORE purchasing a handgun for conceal carry. CONCEAL CARRY IS NOT CONCEAL CARRY IF YOUR GUN IS TOO FRIKKIN BIG!!! IF YOUR GUN IS BULGING OUT OF YOUR GARMENTS..ITS NOT CONCEAL CARRY ANYMORE!!! Rentals at a gun range will give you a perfect opportunity to see how this gun feels on/in your waistline. Holsters will provide extra security, stability and comfortability to your conceal carry firearm. Observe yourself in the mirror with your gun in your waist to see if it bulges or imprints itself.
“Is this gun too heavy?” “Does it make my pants sag?” “Can I sit down with it comfortably without re adjusting it?” Comfortability will be a crucial deciding factor while conceal carrying. IF YOUR GUN IS NOT COMFORTABLE (WHILE STANDING AND SEATED) OR TOO HEAVY, YOU WILL BE A LOT LESS LIKELY TO WANT TO CARRY IT. Again, Rental guns will provide a great opportunity to examine a gun’s comfort for conceal carry.
“Can I extract my weapon with one hand?” “Can I extract my gun CONSISTENTLY with one EFFICIENT/SWIFT MOTION and acquire a target without getting my garments caught in the way?” Ok..lets say your conceal carry gun is accurate, the perfect size for you, perfect weight, is extremely comfortable, and amazingly concealable…but you have trouble throwing that covering garment out of the way to extract and aim down range…This will take practice. If you EVER have to draw…it will need to be SWIFT…and EFFICIENT with as few motions as possible (For example…an attack by a dog will command the use of a ONE handed extraction). PRACTICE ON YOUR EXTRACTIONS WITH AN EMPTY CHAMBER.
“Does this gun have too many knobs?” “Is this gun easy to breakdown”? “Is this gun easy to clean?” Ask yourself these questions before you get your gun. Gun rentals are an easy opportunity to evaluate user friendliness. If a gun is user friendly (like Sig Sauers, Glocks, SD’s and SW’s) you will be more likely to disassemble it and clean it. Regular disassembly and cleaning will virtually guarantee 100% functionality. If you are conceal carrying, this is critical. A failure with your weapon during a self defense response will lead to disaster.