One of the things that I get asked every week is how to choose the right handgun for someone.  If that person is simply going to keep the gun at home for personal defense the answer is easier to discover.  However, if they plan on carrying the gun for CCW or off duty  work the answer isn’t as simple.  It’s kind of like asking what clothes you need to buy this year.

Obviously for off duty carry the main goal is to have a firearm available if you need one.  This has led many to buy very clever little guns.  These do fulfill this first rule by always allowing you to have a firearm available no matter the weather or dress code.  To me this is the last option gun.  Great in a pinch, but you wouldn’t want to stake your life to it.

I can already hear the chorus of boos from the last paragraph, but let me explain.  If you took that gun to one of our advanced classes you would quickly find that it is not sufficient to complete all the tasks well.  The diminutive size, lack of sights and quality controls make it hard to run well.  I am sure there is an exception to the rule, but not many of you would choose that when you have the opportunity to carry something larger.

When the weather and dress code allow a larger gun I will always opt for one of my 1911’s.  I conceal this gun well IWB with my body type.  Some of you won’t be able to do that with your body type.  You must find a way that works for you.

When the weather gets cooler, and I don’t have to take off my coat as much, a full size or compact Glock is my choice.  Again, my body type makes this gun uncomfortable for IWB carry, so I need a longer coat and the right situation.

The point is that you must experiment.  My first choice would always be my Glock because I have shot it so much in competition and carried as an LEO, but it isn’t always practical for me to use it.  You will probably have to start with one firearm, but be ready to add one or two more to make the best of all situations.