Even in the times of muskets, people had their favorite weapons, perhaps with customized features or maybe because the of trusted the gunsmith who made them, and this hasn’t changed.
With the number of brands and calibers available, people have their own reasons for choosing the pistol or revolver they most trust for their defense. Even though most people have an opinion on which gun is “the best”, it really depends on the user and what they want to use the weapon for. Even though either person can use either gun, clearly a 250 pound police officer is going to choose a differently than a 125 pound woman. More importantly is whether the gun’s primary purpose is home defense or concealed carry.
The main difference between home defense and conceal carry guns is the size and weight you’ll be working with. At home, depending on the circumstances, you may open carry in a comfortable holster, have the gun in a readily accessible drawer, or even sitting out on a tabletop. For concealed carry purposes, the gun needs to be small and lightweight enough to carry comfortably beneath the user’s clothing.
Consider how even back in the days when police used revolvers, Colt, Smith & Wesson, and Charter Arms made handguns specific for the needs of a uniformed officer to carry on his hip and a smaller version for plainclothes detectives to carry under their suit. Generally speaking, most people aren’t going to conceal Dirty Harry’s .44 Magnum, but agree it’s great at home.
So, is the handgun you’re eyeing for home defense, or concealed carry? Let’s take a look.
- Taurus .357 Magnum: With a standard 6-1/2 inch barrel (which can be replaced with 4 or 8-1/2 inches) the .357 magnum round is designed for maximum stopping power. Alternatively, it can be loaded with .38 caliber bullets for lighter bullets and more control with multiple shots.
- Glock 17: Many people consider the Glock to be the standard of a well designed pistol, with 17 rounds of 9mm Parabellum ammunition being plenty to stop any attacker.
- Beretta 92: Used for years by the U.S. Military, the Beretta chambered in 9mm is as effective as the Glock, some people may prefer one or the other based on the handle size and angle along with the safety mechanisms used.
- Colt 1911: Any list of personal defense handguns has to include the 1911. The .45 caliber rounds provide more stopping power than the 9mm for people who don’t mind the extra weight and recoil of the weapon.
- Walther PPK: It fires a .32 caliber round, which although not as powerful as other bullets on the market is going to be plenty for most defensive situations.
- Kel-Tec P-32: Also chambered in .32 ACP (or 7.65x17mm), the P-32 is often promoted as a secondary weapon for uniformed police officers. Kel-Tec is known for their innovations, and the small size and weight of the P-32 makes it easy to carry while remaining concealed yet still delivering when needed.
Whatever your shooting needs are, the most important thing for gun owners is to be comfortable with the weapons they’re working with. We hope this list is a helpful jumping off point if you’re in the market for a new handgun.
~ Ready to Fire News