I’m not entirely sure who first said, “Beware the man with only one gun…he probably knows how to use it.” I think it may have been the late, great Elmer Keith. It’s not a one hundred percent truism…there are a lot of people who don’t know how to use the gun(s) they own, unfortunately … but for a lot of people, it is true.
I suspect all y’all own a hammer and a saw. If you only own one of them, though, your carpentry abilities are going to be commensurately limited.
On a private gun forum, a friend of mine brought up an article I published a decade ago where I owned up to my identity as a
gun slut celebrant of ballistic diversity.
A decade after that was written, I still use different guns for different needs. If I’m writing up a defensive pistol, part of the test is carrying it to check for comfort, sharp edges, snags in clothing and all of that. With a competition gun, I like to shoot a match with it, but with all the COVID shutdowns of matches last year that just wasn’t possible. The same shutdowns foreclosed a lot of classes I would have taught with different guns, too. I taught with fewer different firearms in 2020 than in recent years.
Readers: your thoughts are welcome here: Same gun (or at least the same action type) all the time for everything, or a bit of change now and then?
I have versatility in carry method, but not the gun. This is due to a) budget and b) training. I’m no expert and would rather become roughly proficient with one manual of arms than a disaster with several.
Sometimes professional life dictates deeper concealment than is preferred, hence a choice of smaller, more concealble options may be selected.
When I am in brown bear country I choose to carry bear spray and a 44mag, but a small 9mm or possibly a super small 380acp may be the choice for professional attire on a particular day.
Having a variety to select from to meet the needs of that day is important, but being very familiar with each choice is also mandatory in order to deploy it effectively when necessary.
If one’s main focus for gun ownership is a particular purpose (e.g. CCW) then it makes sense to stay with that system for not only CCW but competition.
On the flip side shooting other gun types can help make one a better shooter (e.g. DA revolver for trigger control). In the example of CCW it helps to have familiarity with other guns (types, manual of operations, calibers) in case of exigencies. This could include pick up, or getting someone’s BUG as a loaner when you weren’t able to carry. This doesn’t have to require a great investment as other gun types can be borrowed or rented for familiarization training.
My choice has been to carry the same type of pistol, but in varying sizes and/or manufacturer. My initial carry gun was a full-size 1911A1 from Springfield Armory but that proved to be both awkward and heavy. My next was also an SA, but this was an “officer’s size” with a 3″ vented barrel and slide called the “MicroCompact V10”. I carried that for 15 years, and the only issue I had with it were magazines. It was very fussy about having very strong mag springs, and the Wilson Combat officer’s size worked flawlessly.
But I started looking for something a little lighter and with a Commander-length slide and barrel. I found a Sig “C3″ which combined an aluminum officer’s size frame with the 4.25” long Commander-length slide and barrel. It’s very much like the old “CCO” concept. I’ve tried over 25 different magazines with over 700 rounds through it with 3 failures to feed. Those failures were all related to one magazine, which remained at the range in a boot-stomped flattened form. Lighter weight, dog-reliable, and even though it’s got a Series 80 type trigger it’s still a very smooth and light pull.
The nice thing about all of these is that I don’t have to change my 40+ years of reflexes or manual of arms. In bear country (lots of it here in WY) I carry a full-size 1911A1 with hard-cast bullets in a .45 +P; basically the same pistol but with better muzzle velocity and penetration.
I’ve got Don Hume thumb-break style holsters in all three barrel lengths so I don’t even have to think about changing how I carry or draw, either. I personally believe that there is something very positive to be said for consistency.
After decades of lugging around a semi at work and a clone in 9 mm on my own time and for matches (unity of training), I did a slight change a few years into retirement. I ran across a revolver I’d thought highly of around 50 years ago-heavy barrel K frame S&W-that needed some TLC. The price was right and I thought I needed a project.
Makes a nice companion on the farm and has snake capability with a couple of shot loads. Doesn’t collect chaff, hay and other stuff like semis seem to. At least locally, it’s easy to be an IDPA class winner-you’re usually the only round gun shooter. But it’s not for trips to the big city or long distance travel.
However, just like you don’t want to be doing the Macarena trying to find your piece (frequent changes in carry method), you don’t want to be trying to find controls your piece might not have or deal with an unfamiliar trigger system under stress.
“Two guns are one, and one is none,” may be the best grammar. You never know what good things will happen with one gun. Proficiency, familiarity, convenience, etc. On the other hand, our old enemy Murphy’s Law is always lurking in the shadows. Revolvers and semiauto pistols each can glitch in some way. Had it happen with one or the other more than once, but never with two guns on the same occasion. Three guns might beat two, but are decidedly less convenient to carry. 21 guns belong on a battleship, or Mas, when he demonstrates CCW. Friend TN_Man, the great Miculek, and other aficionados may have even more than 21, and more power to them. (Go, 2020 Election Rescue. Go, fight, win!)
Mas – I see that you want to start out the New Year by bring up the old, old question. What is the “General Purpose (do everything)” firearm? Instead of the “One Ring to Rule them All”, you are asking about the “One Gun to Rule them All”. 🙂
I have often read the opinion of older gun writers who state that a medium frame 357 Magnum Revolver (Say a S&W Model 66) is the “One Handgun”. It is stainless steel so it is durable. It has adjustable sights so it will shoot a wide range of ammo (everything from soft target 38 special wadcutters to advanced high-tech self-defense ammo to fire-breathing Buffalo Bore “Heavy” 357 magnum hunting ammo). It can be used for plinking, target shooting, self-defense and even hunting. Although it is considered light for big game, the 357 Magnum has killed just about every species in North American including the Great Bears.
Others argue that no handgun can match a long gun. Jeff Cooper invented his “Scout Rifle” concept in the search for the “General Purpose” rifle. His idea, as we all know, was a light-weight .308 Win. (7.62 NATO) bolt action carbine with some special features added.
John Taylor, in his book “African Rifles & Cartridges”, also debated the “General Purpose Rifle” question albeit from a heavy game perspective. His choice? An English, “First Quality” double rifle in 375 H&H Magnum!
All the above opinions were delivered by experts in the field of firearms. Given that noted experts can come up with such widely different opinions, it should be clear that the “One Gun to Rule them All” is a myth.
Guns are like golf clubs. You select the one that best suits your current task. Unless you intensely specialize to a single form of shooting, to the exclusion of all others, then you are going to need a battery of firearms to handle multiple tasks efficiently.
If there truly was “One Gun to Rule them All” then there would not be thousands of different models of handguns, rifles and shotguns on the market as exists today. There would only be “The One Gun” along with a selection of ammo for it. There would also likely not be a firearm and ammo shortage since the concentration of production of the “One Gun” and its ammo would make for massive economies of scale and a simplified supply chain.
All you have to do is look at all the bare shelves, in the gun and ammo stores, to know that the “One Gun” is mythical! 🙂
I knew a guy who killed a black bear with a 4″Model 19 and one 158 gr JHP Magnum round. It worked, but I wouldn’t want to go looking for a bear armed with this only. But the beast had him cornered so there was no other option.
Don’t think bare shelves is a diversity statement…it’s a statement on desperation
puts e in mind of a long standing truism floated by our writer here: any gun will do if YOU will do”. That aside, having familiarity with one gun in particular does remove a lot of the stress factor when push comes to shove. That said, having moreoptioins in your collection never hurts. a .22WRF revolver or semiauto is fun to shoot with, and cheap to feed. But I’d hate to be stuck with only that one if the ship hits the span. In that case I’d want my usual sidekick, of which model I keep several on hand. If soething shoudl take one of them out, I’ve got more of the same. Some are prettier than others, so I carry the ugly ones daily. But should they and I part ways for some raeson, I will not hesitate to replace them with one of the beauties. In my hand they are all the same.
Familiarity wins when stress is turned up.
For concealed carry I wouldn’t want to switch my EDC with any regularity but rather switch if need be only to a new normal. Even though a backup may be a different platform, it’s always the same backup. That said, I play/practice/train with everything.
As someone once said: “It depends” … Money can be a constraint on some, as we all know the true cost of a firearm does not end with the initial purchase. For others it is the various laws in the area where they live. Others their occupation etc. In my case, a military career influenced the firearms I have acquired. Having somehow lived to 73 y.o. through multiple combat adventures from Vietnam to Desert Storm, the firearms here reflect a military background. As you remember, there are a few legal “buzz guns” and the familiar WWII firearms as in Garands, M-1 Carbine and M1911’s. But after 18 years in Colorado, concealed carry is my choice these days. Suffering various military derived ills, I favor what Ed Lovette described so well as “The Snubby Revolver” as expanded upon by Grant Cunningham… meaning a S&W J Frame .38+P in a Galco pocket holster most days. Fortunately I no longer go out and about at night crushing crime as a Reserve LEO so the various J Frames we have here meet the needs of myself and my wife. Not a true “gun slut” but yes, there are Glocks, Sig’s, many S&W’s, Springfield Armory, Kimbers, Beretta’s, a few Brownings etc… each with memories and a possible future use depending on what happens perhaps in the US Congress this month? As for long guns? For now “I disremember senator” but we can “reach out and touch someone” at 600 yards if the winds are cooperating… Be safe in Florida.
Oh yes, I do like to have at least something ready to hand that can reach out and touch someone at 600 to 1000 yards. I HOPE things never come to that, but having the capabilty……. just in case. Blue domes come to mind……
Years ago I remember seeing a guy I’d never seen before at an IDPA match with the grips of his 1911 being held on with duct tape. I turned to my buddy, pointed out what I saw and said to him, “that guy is a shooter!”
As it turns out, that guy was Jake Di Vita. He is an IPSC Grand Master, and he destroyed everyone that day.
He probably used the tape to keep the grip safety down. That was pretty common back in the day.
I like to have some familiarity with whatever “battleground pickup” may be available. Do try to keep the feel for double action revolvers, da/as semis, 1911 and safe action semis. Even single action revolvers. That said, it’s 90% glock and 10% 1911 carry time.
One of the most quoted lines from Bruce Lee is “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
My way of applying it to the handgun, is to practice (dry fire, drawing & range time) with each one I carry, so they all feel like that “one kick practiced 10,000 times.”
I’m in total agreement with Kevin. Most of the time I carry one particular handgun brand and model, of which I have two slightly different configurations – one for EDC and one for competition. If I need something smaller for EDC I do have a second – different brand – one, but practice regularly with all three.
In this instance, I am an advocate for diversity. I am not sure who coined the phrase “Less is more” (probably a guy named Lester Moore) and “One more is never enough” seems a bit over the top. My thinking is that the “right” number of guns should be limited only by one’s ability to be proficient in each and all and that all serve their own purpose. That said, my present inventory is down to 5.5 guns (one has a conversion kit) but I will always have a special place in my heart, if not in my safe, for “just one more”.
Roger in NC,
“Variety is the spice of life.”
When I need better concealment I choose a Walther PPS. When my cover garb is more appropriate I carry a full size Beretta or a 1911. They key is to be proficient with both using a LOT of dry weapons training.
Hi from Evans, Wa. I have a Wa.CCP and I carry Springfield 45ACP Subconpack V10 for years ! And as a backup I have a 22 ! I find that does me just fine !
I do not limit myself to just one brand of bourbon. I enjoy variety. Guns are no different. I enjoy shooting, anything.
And there is the right tool for the right job mentality. A CCW is different from a duty carry is different from a long range silhouette shooter.
Either way, variety is the spice of life.
Oops! Sorry. I made the above comment before reading every post. Let’s see if I can add something new. I suppose having a variety to choose from is a luxury, but in America, the line between necessities and luxuries is pretty blurry. What other countries call luxuries are necessities in America.
I live in the Northeast. Consider the fact that for thousands of years, Americans in this area lived in wigwams. Who would live in a wigwam now? But they did it for thousands of years.
People complain about air travel. Intrusive inspections, narrow seats, emotional support boa constrictors and selfish passengers. But the people in airplanes should remember that poorer Americans traveled in Conestoga wagons pulled by oxen as recently as the 1880s. It sure is nice to have choices, and be spoiled.
I have preferred a 1911 (external safety!) for many years, so my IWB and pocket carry guns all also have an external safety. In case of extreme need, I won’t have to think which type gun I’m carrying!
I have taken 2 of your classes with my CZ 75b and done fairly well. Since the last class a couple of years ago I have lost about 100 pounds and have started carrying all the time, when I can. I have also gotten a Springfield XDS and have become very comfortable carrying it owb with a cover garment. Part of the comfort is with everything going on my wife was finally able to see that if needed I am the only one that can be there. I am hoping to get to the August class in Nebraska and use my newest firearm.
It’s kind of like when I worked undercover narcotics in the the ’80s and early ’90s…I carried a Colt Officer’s Model .45 daily, a Colt Mustang Pocketlite .380 as backup and a Remington Rand / Colt Govt. Model .45 (polished nickel finish) on raids and search warrant service. Three different pieces in two calibers, but all the same action. Oh and the reason for the bright finish…I wanted the bad guys to SEE that .45 before they noticed the scruffy looking guy in the PD raid jacket. I intentionally left the barrel in blue so it looked like about .60 caliber from the business-end. Nowadays around the farm (I’m retired) my daily carry is a 60’s model Colt Cobra for the occasional feral dog. And on another note, as a member of the church security detail, I carry a Glock 19 because all the other members carry DA 9s and when I act as their instructor, I want to teach with an piece similar to theirs. Different tasks, different tools.
Interesting subject as I just took a large number of guns that I have and traded them in for the one that I’ve wanted. I sold 7 guns that were getting more safe time than range time. I bought the 10mm I have been wanting and loaded it up with RMR, White light, compensator, and a few other mods. Happy to say I am now a one (auto) guy and I love it. Best gun I have ever owned. Honing my skills with this platform and tweaking it as needed. I have greatly improved my range work and technique. I also now only have 1 revolver, 357mag 8rd. Also getting very proficient with that as well. Maybe some day in will build up the collection again, but for now I am really enjoying the specific focus of just one of each.
About the third Texas CHL class I taught, back in 1995, an old cowboy (the real deal) asked if he could take the practical with his single-action .44. He shot faster than those with semiautos and reloaded faster than those with DA revolvers. He ended up the 50-round test, shooting out to 15 yards, with two “fliers” in the 9-ring. He’d been carrying that gun 40 years.
After class he asked if he needed to modernize. My opinion was, “Ain’t broke. Don’t fix it.”
OTOH, shooting different guns is fun, so I do. I also teach different classes, from the license classes to Hunter Education to the “this is the end the bullet comes out of,” so what is appropriate for one student, isn’t for another.
But the gun I carry is consistent.
Different guns…..same manual of arms…AHMEN!
Be alert, be safe…KNOW WHAT YOUR DOING.
“The weapon(s) should fit the mission”. I believed it 50 years ago and it’s still valid today. Besides it’s nice to have a choice here in the civilian world.What a dull world if only restricted to one firearm. Having said that….Gramps had only one pistol he carried his entire adult life, a 1911 he acquired before being shipped “Over There”. Expensive and hard to come by at the time he never would say how he got it. When he passed away in ’87 it was under his pillow when he took his last breath, cocked and locked!. Dad said a local ahem…”businessman” owed Gramps “a favor” and compensated him with the new pistol.
I feel about ammo the way you feel about firearms.
I used to be a one gun guy, I carried a Glock 17 all the time. It worked, it was all I had. I got a good holster and made it work. Now, I’m a fan of a three gun ccw battery. A truly compact gun that gets carried 80% of the time, a pocket gun for when I’m home in shorts and a t shirt and a full sized gun that is in a duty/battle/war belt and doesn’t get carried all that much. I train most with the compact gun, then the pocket gun and least with the full sized gun. I’m using a FN FNS9c, a Glock 42 and a Glock 17, but there are lots of other guns that could fill the role.
I carry different side arms, but all have the same manual of arms, so transition from one gun to another is of little concern for me.
Over the last 7 years since WI legalized concealed carry, I have carried the G30 and then the G19 to start. I only carried the G19 for a short time then jumped on the single stack bandwagon. Years later I realized I am faster with a double stack and have been carrying the G33 now for 2 years. I find the Glock subcompacts the best compromise on size and capacity.
I shoot a lot of IDPA, USPSA and GSSF. I’m a master in GSSF and I can tell you it is difficult to be proficient with various guns, mainly different brands. I shoot the Walther PPQ in IDPA/USPSA and Glocks of course in GSSF. It is difficult to switch between the 2 and takes me a while to get good again when switching platforms. Grip angle, grip, trigger all comes into play. It’s best to stick with the same firearm to be at your best.
I was about to switch from my XDS .45 to possibly a Sig 9mm as a carry gun, but 9mm ammo became unobtainum. I can still get 45 hardball often enough, and even was able to stockpile it too.
Hence I stay with the XDS and added a P14-45 to the inventory.
I am a dead shot with .45 Colt (CAS) but I had to switch to .45 ACP due to ammo availability.
I hope people stay with their 9s because it makes 45 available.
Good to conserve your expensive, scarce, .45 Colt ammo. You may decide to start handloading. A simple, inexpensive Lee Loader gets many people going. Choosing a .45-Colt-compatible powder that fills the case to just below bullet base seating depth is to be considered. You can also trim a plastic powder measure level with your desired load. Both policies help a lot in preventing inadvertent powder overcharge. First thing might be to find thorough instruction from a trustworthy, teaching hand-loader with a powder scale. You -Tube is at least a resource. An adequate crimper is essential, the more so the lighter your handgun. Crimp jump and compressed loads are hazardous. Please, no smoking on site!
My EDC is a a S&W Mod. 10-6, circa 1975. If I need a little deeper concealment I carry my wife’s Sig P-250 sub-compact. Since both guns are double action, I only need to be mindful of the grip differences. Would I like something with at least the Sig’s capacity in a more formidable capacity? You bet. But I have some negotiating to do first. The Mod. 10 serves me well, so I am not uncomfortable with it a s an EDC.
Know the machine. Carry as many as you comfortably can. Which, in many cases there will be different actions, dimensions, etc., Just work them all, dominant AND non dominant.
David Kenik was asked why he carries two guns; his answer was “… because carrying three guns would be too ostentatious…” Mas knows the story.
I agree with TN_MAN’s comment that having “one gun do it all” is a myth. But I can think of two guns which are so popular that they come close to filling that one gun idea for many. That would be the AR-15 in the USA and the AK-47 everywhere else.
I believe in constancy, I need a pistol to be a part of my body, like my index finger. Where it points, the shot must go. I have 5 – 1911 pistols in a rotation of carry. Les Baer custom 5″, Springfield Emp 9mm 3″, Springfield Target model in stainless 5″ with adjustable sites replaced with Tritium sites, a New Springfield Ronin 5″ 9MM and a Colt Series 70 Government 5″ model (one of the last series 70’s made by Colt)
All have the same sites, same grips and same low mount Gunsite safety’s installed. All Triggers are tuned crisp and set at 4lbs with reset travel pretty close to the same. The holster is in the same place every time (around 3:30 on the waist) as well as the 2-3 mag pouches to balance the belt load. (at about 8-8:30 every time)
I also carry a BUG on the left ankle…Scandium frame M&P 357 revolver and an automatic SOG 4″ blade Clipped on my left front pocket.
I have some striker fired Glocks, and Khars and can shoot them pretty well….but the 1911 is my go to gun.
If the stuff hits the fan, training and practice will take over, more than likely, I will perform without thinking about what to do with a 1911 in my hands. Good combat grip, draw, extend, sites on target, safety off, finger on the trigger to take out the slack, ready to launch bullets as needed.
Thanks for the opportunity to share my comments, MAS
In Mass, new handguns have to come with 11 pound, safety triggers, and S&W will not change the stock trigger in my M&P to a state police 6 pounder. And I’m hesitant to put in aftermarket due to legal issues if I end up defending my life.
So my Colt has a 6 pound, while the Smith is double that.
Mass laws are insane.
Happy New Year Mas,
for years I used to be the one gun man. If it wasn’t a magnum revolver, I had no use for it. My one gun for years was a 8 3/8″ S&W 29 then I switched to a 629. Of course this is pretty much a hunting revolver. When I practice I was can shoot it very accurately, 4-5″ groups out to about 75-80 yds with open sights. Then one day I went shooting with a friend who didn’t like magnum revolvers and he insisted that I shoot his accurized WWII vintage (an Ithaca marked “Prop. of US) 1911. Wow, it was an eye opener! I didn’t know a 1911 could shoot so nice. I only shot it out to about 30 yds but I out shot him with his own gun and I was sold! I bought my first one in 1991 and had it tuned and later added a Defender in .45. I guess I’m rather promiscuous when it comes to handguns now a days. Besides the 2 Colts, I still have the 629, a Taurus Mod.85, a Keltec, a Glock 42 (EDC), a Ruger MKII target and recently picked up a S&W Mod. 65 at a pawn shop. There’s been others that I tried but didn’t like so they were sold. I see the ones I’ve kept as all fulfilling different purposes or for different situations. I know I should get more time with the Glock since it’s my EDC and maybe I’ll make that my New Year Resolution! Between them all the big Smith, my first Colt and the Ruger target by far get the most range time. But when things go bump in the night, it’s my first 1911 that I reach for!
First let me wish you and the Evil Princess a safe, happy, and healthy new year.
While I’m a bit of a slut when it comes to guns if limited to one handgun it would be my model 58. For rifles it would be my .338 Win Mag model 70. Shotguns is the old 870.
I’ve got a few others, like a 1911, a Hi Power, and an AR, in handguns I tend to prefer the double action revolver. If I can’t sufficiently conceal the 58 I can go to the 65, 66, or 442 depending upon the situation.
As for rifles, while not the best for all situations I find the .338 Win Mag the most versatile for a majority of situations if one reloads. Yes, even more versatile than the often recommend 30-06. One just has to learn to ride the recoil.
I think it’s important to know, and be at least consciously competent with the majority of firearm actions one may encounter as you never know when you may be forced to use a battlefield pick up.
Everything is a compromise. There is an advantage to carrying always the same gun (in that the point-of-aim and other characteristics will always be the same).
But there is also and advantage to carrying the best gun you can, and for most people this is usually not the gun they will _always_ be able to conceal.
The optimal compromise differs for different people. And different people will be pleased to make different suboptimal decisions.
I will add, for the blog owner’s benefit, that in his _Book of Five Rings_ Miyamoto Musashi said that a warrior should not have a favorite weapon, but should feel confident in his ability to fight using any.
However, this advice was given to samurai — people who make their living with weapons. My advice above was for people whose training time must be significantly more limited.
In the America I hold in my mind, my 40yr old Colt 1911 would be that perfect one sidearm. But that’s not the America we have lived in for the last year or more. For today’s America, I carry a Glock 19 – recently made far more practical for dry fire by the DRYFIREMAG (Amazon – not perfect but no more racking the slide every time) – primarily because of the other team’s obvious preference for riots and swarming attacks. You know why. I use a Glock 36 as a backup, doubles as an EDC in really hot weather. They both lend themselves to concealed carry.
I’m retired now, and I train horses for a rescue, some are pretty rank, but they all have a history and they’re not telling, or they wouldn’t be in the rescue. They don’t get put up for adoption without a terrific amount of de-sensitization and that includes gunfire, so I also use a single-action .22LR and single-action .45Colt – those revolvers don’t bang on the cantle and they are much safer single-handed on the ground and when mounted.
I personally hate gun writers who suggest that because I’m still a fan of the Combat Commander 45 that I started carrying in my 20s, that I’m an old geezer who is ready for the glue factory. It is heavy, but I love the thinness of the gun, and the fact that it fits my hand like a glove. Further, since The People’s Republic of Mass limits me to 10 round mags, the 7 round mags in the 45 aren’t a major issue. I also like the 45 cartridge.
Having said that, I do carry a S&W M&P 2.0 Compact 9 around the house and barn in a kydex holster. IMHO, it’s too fat and bulky to conceal out in public, but it is far more weatherproof than the blued Colt, that rusts if you look at it wrong.
I also shoot the 9 for practice, because it’s cheaper to feed the 9 than the 45. I ordered the 9 with a thumb safety to replicate hand movements that I’ve learned on the Colt.
I’m not an old codger. I am active, vibrant, and in great shape. Not all at ready for the glue factory, but I still love the old school.
Besides. All of those young, whippersnappers carrying those plastic, new-fangled things are irritating my lumbago. Anybody got any Geritol?
Ah, I remember Lawrence Welk always telling the audience to try Geritol. “Wunnerful, wunnerful.”
Same gun (police trade in Glock 22) all the time because of my environment (Southeast and country) were anything that needs to be shot will be sick and / or on the larger size both two and four legged verity. But I have different a different carry method. IWB for the warmer parts of the year were a cover garment may only be a larger tee-shirt. OWB for the cooler parts of the year were a cover garment may be a Carhart coat or a fleece jacket and vest. I’m all of 155 lbs and 5’5″ but I’d rather have the capabilities and discomfort of service pistol then facedown an issue with less…
For what I use a gun for nowadays, mostly self defense in a semi-urban area, my main carry piece is a personally customized Springfield 1911 in .45 ACP which is every bit as accurate and reliable as any Baer, Wilson, Brown, or Nighthawk at a faction of their prices.
This pistol, along with a Kimber .22 LR conversion kit for less expensive practice will do anything I need for a primary carry pistol. The .45 ACP is a low pressure cartridge and the steel frame 1911 design without a useless firing pin safety and a supply of spare parts will practically last forever. Pachmayr used to make a conversion kit which fired the .308 Winchester cartridge and I wish one of those is in my possession which would make the 1911 even more versatile. Although not as capable as more powerful handguns, the 1911 in .45 ACP can be an effective defense against large, soft skinned predators if a head shot can be made with a heavy, hard cast bullet. No magnum, even the .500 S&W can be counted on to stop a grizzly bear or lion with a body shot, but a solid head shot(s) would drop that beast quickly and the .45 ACP recoils less making fast follow up shots easier. The 10mm in a 1911 or Glock 20 and 40 would be my second choice. However in my opinion, the .45 ACP is better for defense against humans as great penetration is not needed and the cartridge produces less recoil, muzzle blast and flash which is preferable in low light conditions.
If my habitat was more rural and populated by large predators, or I needed to hunt big game, I would carry my S&W model 29 with 6 1/2″ barrel or 6″ Dan Wesson .44 Magnum as that cartridge is better at longer range and the DW can take a steady diet of heavier loads with it’s stronger solid frame. The DW is heavy and not fun to carry for a long time.
If allowed a rifle or second firearm, I would pick my SIG 716 which would handle most human threats up to 800 yards and hunting to 600 yards with it’s .308 Winchester caliber and different loads to match conditions. My stainless Ruger Scout with 18″ and 10 round magazines would be adequate for hunting and defense against a few opponents, but the semi-auto action of the SIG 716 is better when one is faced with many enemies at closer range.
I would prefer to have at least six firearms available in a survival situation and choose the best ones for certain missions, but if limited to only one or two, would pick the 1911 in .45 ACP and a SIG 716, both with lots of good magazines and effective ammunition.
If I wanted to.. my Glock 29sf would work as a single CCW piece. Works well in winter but in hot Texas summers one would have to wear a vest to conceal it.
So there are times my Glock 43 is a more discrete choice.
I’ve passed the 70 year old mark and have been shooting since I was 11 years old. My very first personal gun was a winchester model 94. That rifle was my single go to firearm for many years as a hunting & self defense weapon. I bought a Ruger GP100 when they first came out and inherited a Remington Rand 1911 from my brother when he passed. To cut to the chase I’ve found the 1911 and the 357 magnum revolver to be more than sufficient to handle my self defense needs. Like many others I tried wonder nines and plastic pistols but the basic 1911 platform and a 4 inch 357 revolver of good quality are my go to choices. For carry , its a Ruger SP101 or my Sig Commander 1911 nitron carry. I also have a all stainless Kahr K9 that I occasionally carry. Like some have stated familiarity with the platform cannot be overstated. Guns really are like tools, but they are more important in protecting our rights , especially in these strange times.
Stay safe all!
I am about 95% Glock. Various sizes and calibers but the manipulations are consistent. Also I always carry on the right hip (IWB and OWB) so I won’t have to remember where it is today. I did switch back to the 45 for camping after an unpleasant experience where I had to consider whether 9mm was enough for wolf. Fortunately, I didn’t have to find out. The other 5% is a 44M when I am in griz country.
As an old gal who came late to the party, was almost 60 before I ever shot a handgun. I have a SAXD 9mm subcompact that has been my EDC for over 10 years. First gun I ever bought. I was lucky enough to take a class with Kathy Jackson to get me going and have taken a few more classes through the years. Haven’t been able to take one of Mas’s, though. I carry the same gun, the same way, every day. I know what this gun can do and, more importantly, I know what I can do with this gun. I think the most important thing is knowing yourself. How do you react under stress? For me it is consistency, with my gun, and its location on my body, muscle memory.
My military and law enforcement careers taught me the importance of redundancy, which has carried over into my retirement. It all depends on the mission. Use the proper tool for the job at hand. Drives my wife crazy, but it’s my way of life.
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