One of the most common questions I am asked by my peers is, “What is the best pistol for concealed carry?” There is only one really wrong answer and that’s when a guy tells you, Oh! Oh! You have to have a Glock, Smith and Wesson, etc… I am not a salesman or representative for any Firearm Company, so I am going to give you the honest truth and how to weigh your options.
The ever famous first question – I don’t have a lot of money to spend, but I want a reliable pistol for my CCW, what should I get?
Second – My friend told me only to get a Glock, because that’s what he shoots and most Law Enforcement.
Third – I found a Hi-Point for 215 bucks down at the pawn shop and it’s brand new, what do you think?
Throw everything the salesman at the Retail Chain Sporting Good store told you out the window. (These guys usually get incentives for selling new products, just like a Doctor pushing the newest prescription drug) Here is how to choose a reliable Concealed Carry Weapon.
1. Figure out a budget for your pistol. You don’t want to skimp, because in most cases, you get what you pay for. If you can’t afford 300-400 dollars off the bat, please just wait and save up a few extra bucks. Don’t buy that hunk of junk “gold teeth gangster” Hi-Point. Also remember, you don’t have to have a “Glock” to have a reliable self defense pistol. Glock is a great gun, but not the end all be all.
2. Don’t buy some 2000 dollar STI IPSC Race pistol or HK USP Tactical. These guns are made for a specific application, and it is not Concealed Carry. You need to find a gun that is comfortable to carry with a smooth profile. You don’t want a big bulky gun with sharp edges that makes it difficult to draw. This isn’t a game of showing your friends how fancy your new piece is. This is about real life and scumbags trying to harm or kill you or your family.
3. Determine a caliber that you can accurately shoot, afford to practice, and is still enough to drop the bad guy. You don’t have to carry a full profile 1911 in .45, but you also don’t want to be trying to drop an assailant using bb’s. I personally carry 9mm. It’s cheap to shoot/practice, it’s a time tested round that is available by almost every firearm manufacturer, and it will keep the bad guy from getting too close.
4. Lastly, the only way your CCW permit is worth a damn, is if you actually carry your pistol. So you will want to find a weapon that has a comfortable profile and weight. Carry your pistol, or it won’t save your life!
5. Another thing to consider is buying “used”. Some guys will buy a gun and may not suit them the way they thought it did and they will let it go for quite a bit cheaper. New guns are great, but not a necessary expense.
6. Be sure to read up on Local and State statues regarding Concealed Carry and Self Defense. Here are a couple links to keep you legal and up to date: Wikipedia Gun Law by State , NRA Gun Law by State
Here are a few good inexpensive CCW options.
- Ruger SP 101 $350-400 used/ $450 new
- Kahr Arms multiple models $350-500 used/ $400+ new
- Keltec PF 11 9mm $300 new
- Smith & Wesson 6906 9mm $450 used/ $700+ new
- Polish P64 9x18mm Makarov $250-350 used (Polish surplus pistol, never had an FTF with mine)
When you save up some money and want a real nice one, then go for a Glock, CZ, or H&K. These are just my opinions and are open for any discussion. Please feel free to add your 2 cents.