So you have decided to conceal carry. Whatever the reason you now have a variety of unique choices to make. Besides considering when will you carry, or how often should you carry? First and foremost what are your state requirements for carrying a Handgun. Do you live in an open carry state or do you live in a concealed carry state. The USCCA has a great interactive map that not only gives you state laws, but also reciprocity for gun permits, in other words what other states recognize your states Resident Handgun Permit.
So now you have to decide on what handgun to carry. Whether you have a budget you have to work within or the sky is the limit you need to find a reputable gun store to help you. Some things to consider is the amount of inventory they have. And secondly and most importantly the knowledge of their staff. One of the first questions they should be asking you is what is your intended use of the handgun? Is it for target shooting, hunting, personal home protection, or to conceal carry?
You might be wondering why this matters so much. Well immediately you obviously don’t want to use a 9mm for hunting, when you need something like a 44mag or larger depending on the game you are hunting.
When concealed carry or open carrying you need to consider how you dress and what you wear on a normal day. You need a handgun that will conceal well on you. Carrying a Glock 19 that is a staggered stack mag and is a much thicker and longer gun might not be the best choice for you if you are a skinny or wear tighter clothes.
Another question we always ask is do you wear a belt? Why is this important when buying a handgun? The belt is the backbone of handgun carry and provides support to concealed carry much like your spine is the core to your body. So if you don’t wear a belt you obviously don’t want a heavy gun that will constantly pull on your clothes, pants, shorts, etc. Or if you do then you need to consider the best holster based on the gun you bought and how you dress.
A handgun and holster should be matched to you and how you dress and what your intentions are for the gun. They should not be based on what is on sale or what is in stock in the store. Besides all the normal of what gun fits your hand, or you as a shooter. Which is another discussion we can cover in another blog post.
So what does all this mean. If you cant find a shop to help you, find an experienced person to help you select a handgun for you based on the following core points…
1. How are you going to use the handgun….target, hunting, concealed carry, etc
2. What handgun fits you, what fits your hand and what caliber will be enjoyable for you to shoot.
3. What will conceal well and easy for you based on your body and how you dress.
4. What you feel comfortable with.