By: Bob Delmore
Before selecting a handgun for personal defense, there are some questions that need to be answered.
The first of these is: Where am I going to carry my handgun? What is meant by this is not whether the handgun will be carried to the grocery store or not, but where on your physical person the gun will be carried.
The possibilities include belt carry, carrying elsewhere on the person, and purse carry, listed in the order of most desirable to least desirable, in my opinion. (I have left out the fanny pack. You may make your own fashion choices.)
If it is possible to dress around the gun, and to carry on the belt, then a larger handgun is possible than if the daily requirements of life demand deeper concealment. This is the preferred method of carry. Belt carry includes carrying at the 3 or 9 o’clock position, in the small of the back, or appendix carry, the last of which requires a substantial amount of training and practice to pull off safely.
For persons requiring deeper concealment than belt carry will allow, a smaller firearm is indicated. Methods of deeper concealment include thigh holsters, ankle holsters, belly bands, bra holsters and others.
The problem with most methods of deeper concealment, in addition to precluding the choice of a larger handgun, is that it takes longer to access the firearm during an emergency situation. A handgun carried in an ankle holster may be nearly impossible to bring to hand in a timely manner while being criminally accosted in a retail parking lot.
The better purses made by manufacturers such as Galco offer an easily accessible handgun of almost any size, if the purse is at hand. A firearm left in a purse away from your personal control is just about the same as not having a firearm.
(Remember that a handgun is a piece of emergency equipment, very much like a fire extinguisher, to be carried for unexpected emergencies.)
In a potentially lethal confrontation, a larger handgun is nearly always the better choice than a smaller one. A larger handgun such as a Glock Model 19 will have a longer sight radius, making it easier to hit the target, and a higher ammunition capacity than a smaller handgun. A smaller handgun, while not as user friendly and lacking ammunition capacity, is certainly better than a handful of nothing and harsh language.
Once the question of where to carry is answered, you will then have some idea of the size of pistol that you can carry on a daily basis, and can move on to addressing other questions before selecting the perfect carry gun for yourself.