October 17, 2007
What Pistol Should You Carry?
I read a tonne of research on this crucial point and the answer is not an exact science. It seems that my initial thought of carrying a cannon – such as a 44 magnum – may not have been such a brilliant idea. What you will quickly determine is that each weapon is a trade-off for one reason or another.
Ultimately, the prime objective is to have a weapon of sufficient caliber that can stop a bg (fancy gun talk for a bad guy). But the selection matrix complicates itself very quickly.
My (unscientific) research concluded that anything at or south of a 45 and at or north of a 9mm should work. I chose a 40 caliber subcompact from Springfield (XD Class). I like it because the 3.5 inch barrel and light weight composites make it well suited for my personal carry tastes. It holds either 9 + 1 or 12 + 1 rounds and is extremely accurate (+ 1 means round in the chamber – be very careful, here, little grasshoppers.)
But another word that I am discovering is “recover time.” Recovery time you say! Yes, my little pepee (term of endearment for said pistol), I have discovered, has a nasty habit of rising in my hand, after each round. It rises because one of the trade offs in a subcompact is reduced grip size and weight. Both attributes increase this tendency for pepee to try and climb out of my hand with each pull of the trigger. This means that the pistol sights momentarily pass above the target and I have to re-acquire the target with each shot. I am told that I can mitigate this characteristic by practicing on the range.
Obviously, a lesser caliber (or heavier pistol), such as a 9mm, would have a quicker recovery time. I have a Walther PPK (380 acp) that has next to no recovery time, but also has a very low probability of stopping bg’s.
Ultimately, get something you can hit the target with. It does you no good to have a Colt 1911, 45 caliber, but not be able to hit a barn door with it. Many target ranges will let you lease a pistol. This may not be a bad idea in helping you determine what is best for you.
For sure, you will get an ear full from practiced shooters as to what caliber and pistol is the best, just never forget the prime objective – stop the bg.
Also, there is a lot of junk out there. This is one purchase that can cost you your life. Don’t be cheap with your selection. I have found that pistol reviews on the gun directory website is a great resource.
If money was no object, hands down, the HK P2000 would be my first choice, in the 40 caliber model. Also, any of the Glock subs would work well.