The “Ultimate” Carry Gun

Posted on September 3, 2011 by


Since about a year ago, I have been on the quest for the “ultimate carry gun.” This would be the one gun to rule them all – the “if I could only own one gun for daily carry and use” gun that would fill every niche.

It would have to be big enough to handle a reasonably powerful caliber, and small enough to be concealed under an untucked shirt or jacket. It would have to be reasonably accurate, but the barrel couldn’t be too long nor the sights too big since its primary intent is to be a carry piece. Heavy enough to soak up the recoil of heavy, manstopping loads, but light enough that it didn’t get tiresome to carry.

In short, it would represent the perfect balance of performance and compromise.

What if the "ultimate" carry gun isn't an individual gun at all?

Since then, I have come to realize a few key truths. The first is that there is no “ultimate.” The “ultimate” carry gun is the one that you have on you when you need it the most.

The second is that of far more importance than the hardware – the endless arguments about platform or caliber – is the software: the skills to handle the equipment and the willingness to use those skills when necessary.

The third is that the “ultimate” carry gun for you is the one that you will actually practice with and carry. And what that means that the most important part of gun selection is that you like it and be comfortable with it.

I know many people who in the past have bought a handgun based on its reputation for power or reliability, despite the fact that the platform was one that they did not personally like and usually just get frustrated shooting. The result? I can count on one hand the number of times they’ve practiced with it year-to-date. And carrying a gun you don’t practice with is a danger both to yourself and to others.

So find a gun that you like. It should be both comfortable and visually appealing, regardless of what your style is. There are flashy guns, tactical guns, old-fashioned guns, space-age guns, com-bloc guns, rubber grips, wood grips, plastic grips… The list goes on. One of the fabulous things about living in America is the sheer variety of choices that are available to shooters.

Reliability and accuracy are at least as important as likeability and should be taken into consideration, but they don’t mean a thing if you don’t enjoy your gun. Carrying a gun can and should be an enjoyable experience. So next time you’re in a gun store, don’t let the guy behind the counter sell you something because “this is a good gun for a lady”, or, “this is what the SEALS or <insert your special operations group of choice here> carry.”

Buy a gun you like. Practice with it monthly. Carry it daily.