by: Amanda Suffecool
In gun circles there are many great debates. These confusing debates can lead people to question: “is my choice right or wrong? Do I need to change?” Others consider them more like the great debates of Ford –vs-Chevy, Browns –vs- Steelers, Boot cut –vs- straight legged jeans. Basically, it’s opinion: yours, mine, hers, and ours. Rely on experts and experience of friends – and Remember – folks are giving their opinions, based on what works for them: their opinion. And you know what they say – Opinions are like noses, everyone has one!
Two Sides of the Same Coin discusses questions confronting new shooters, not giving the “right” answer, but giving information and viewpoints to enable the reader to come to the right answer – for her. Shooting is a very personal sport and what works best for one individual is often unworkable for another. This is especially challenging for new shooters. Each issue will discuss one of the questions that plague new shooters, concealed carry holders, and women who want to learn more about their firearm. Generally the question will come from a shooters’ forum which gives answers and opinions all across the board. We will try to explain the background behind what is being said and why the answers can sometimes (most times) seem at direct odds with one another. We give information for the reader to come to the right answer. So, if you have a special question, let us know!
Question: “My Carry Gun is the RUGER LCP. I need to get more range time with it, but I have one problem. The little thing has such a kick, it REALLY leaves my hand sore.”
Answer Positive: “I carry the same gun. All I can say is practice, practice, and more practice. Go to the range with several guns and start by shooting the heaviest gun and work your way to the lightest.”
Answer Neutral: “Add a rubber grip to the gun to help absorb recoil. Loosen you grip a bit and it will not snap quite as much. Wear shooting gloves.”
Answer Negative: “I hate the LCP. Sell it and buy a….
Smith & Wesson Bodyguard
Kimber Solo Carry
Sig Sar .380
Kimber Carry Pro
A universal discussion point remains on the merits of a lightweight gun compared with a heavier one. Remembering this basic point of argument places the issues, and answers, in context. Concealed carry guns are designed to be lightweight, stripped down, without all the bells, whistles or options. This makes them easy to carry, easier to conceal and more likely to be with you when needed – but a difficult gun to shoot. Without the weight and mass to absorb the recoil, a lightweight gun transfers that recoil to the shooter. After shooting more than a few rounds from a lightweight conceal carry firearm, shooters frequently comment that the firearm is “snappy, kicks, hurts my hand, hurts my elbow, and is hard to shoot.” All true statements about lightweight guns in general.
You will find that larger guns are much more fun to shoot. I personally prefer to shoot a .45 for recreational shooting instead of my .380 polymer handgun. The weight and size of the .45 assists in absorbing recoil. Less recoil means you take less of a beating each time you pull the trigger. Not only does that make the day at the range much more enjoyable, it keeps the shooter from learning bad habits such as anticipation or flinching when pulling the trigger.
The advantage of a concealed carry gun that fits you is: if you are comfortable with your gun you will have it when you need it. Selecting a heavy gun for concealed carry requires more dedication, more deliberate decisions about how to accommodate the firearm. Heavier guns have fewer carry options, fewer positions for comfortable carry. Gals who are slender, petite or small-statured have limited concealment options. Larger guns are harder to conceal on ladies who are wearing form-fitting clothing. It is not impossible, just more difficult, requiring more effort. “Difficult” makes it much easier to decide to not carry today, and that is not a decision we want you to make.
Taking a concealed carry class is easy; selecting a gun takes a small amount of time and a credit card. Making the commitment to carry daily—that is the part that takes effort. It takes effort, commitment, good decisions, good gear and consistent follow-through. The gun will feel odd, heavy, and obvious in the beginning; be assured it will get better with time. Remember getting used to push-up bras? High heels? Carrying a cell phone? Getting used to a change, adding a new habit takes time, at least 21 days of specific behavior change. Make the decision to carry and stick with it. It is the only way to be sure you actually have the gun when you need it.
In talking to different shooters, each is adamant that their choice of firearm is the best, and it probably is –-for them. Really look at your girlfriends: are you the same size, height, weight? Do you have the same reach or hand size? No -– then why expect a single handgun design to fit us all? Understand that the fit of a gun in different hands is different; what is comfortable to a small-statured, small-handed gal will not fit someone who is 5’9”. Select a handgun by holding it, by sighting down its barrel, and by shooting it. Experiment with conceal carry options. Try several firearms thoroughly and make the best choice for you. Research natural point of aim and use that skill set to assist in selection.
Once you choose your firearm, embrace the decision and practice. That is really the deciding factor. No gun selection is wrong for you; no one else’s gun is better. Select the firearm that fits you, your lifestyle, your mode of dress, your hand strength, and your likes. Then embrace that decision and practice. Practice at the range, handling, shooting, concealing, accessing, and cleaning your gun. Be comfortable, be confident and REALIZE that guns are tools that help us in our daily life – when we have them with us.