I am often asked what handgun a person should buy. I usually try to avoid a direct answer because there really is no correct answer. Despite my explanation as to why I do not want to answer that question- it really becomes unavoidable and I am going to finally give my advice. Remember, this is just advice, feel free to take it or leave it. I carry a Glock 19. I have a tactical light and carry 2 spare magazines. My daughters carry the smaller Glock 43’s. They fit their hands well, but the downside is that they are single stack magazines and carry less ammunition. My wife carries a Glock 26, which is essentially the same size as the Glock 43, but has a double stack magazine and thus carries more rounds and has a slightly wider grip. These are all 9mm guns. Caliber is always a hotly debated subject- if you have another opinion- fine carry what you want. All handgun rounds are “ballistically deficient”- they do not have the energy or knock down power of a rifle or shot gun. You gain speed and maneuverability at the expense of delivered energy. The 9mm allows me to carry more rounds and the recoil is more manageable, allowing me to be more accurate and faster. I have carried other guns including the subcompact Sig938, a Beretta 92FS (both 9mm) and a Colt Commander 1911 (.45ACP). My go to gun though is the Glock 19.
Why the Glock? I recommend the Glock because Glocks are a notoriously rugged, and simple to use; they have built in safeties that require no additional steps to use, nor a de-cocking levers which require additional steps, they are more than practically accurate, and they are affordably priced, making them the ideal fighting tools for individual operators. Think of the Glock as the AK47 of handguns. Simple, not really that pretty to look at, but you can beat the hell out of it and it will still work. I have down some customization to the standard off the shelf gun. I would suggest that you consider 4 modifications. First, I added low light tritium sites. I then replaced the trigger group. I also added an extended magazine release. I found I struggled a little with the factory release. Finally I added a custom slide. The custom slide is a little lighter, shaving a few ounces of the weight of the gun and the textured surface allows me to rack the slide with one hand off just about any surface. We can do this custom work for you or provide the same parts that we use.
Why the taclight? Because most gunfights take place in low/no light conditions, we recommend having the powerful and programmable light which allows you to navigate, conduct searches, identify targets, as well as blind and disorient adversaries. Many instructors recommend a light that automatically turns on when you draw from your holster. These lights will turn on the instant you draw your handgun without having to fumble with any switches. That may be a definite advantage, but mine needs to be turned on manually. My rational is I want to control the light and may not want to give away my position. However, the counter argument is that because gunfights typically happen in close ranges (7-yards and closer), which means you will save invaluable time by having your handguns taclight activate automatically without having to fiddle with an on/off switch under the stress of a lethal force encounter.
Why the holster? You need your gun close and easily and quickly accessible. There are many options to carry, but in all reality a holster on your belt remains the best possible option. Make sure when you buy the holster, you purchase one that will accommodate your light.
Why the magazine pouch? Because bad guys often travel in packs to increase their chances of success, and “Murphy’s Law” (whatever can go wrong will) is in full swing during a lethal force encounter. You should prepare for these possibilities by keeping a spare magazine on your body in order to be ready for both multiple adversaries as well as a any magazine malfunctions that could lead to a stoppage in your firearm. Remember, at the time of a gunfight, you are only half as good as you were last time you trained on the range.
Irrespective of what weapon you choose, to take our handgun courses, you will need the gun and a light, holster and 1 (preferably 2) extra magazines along with a magazine pouch. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call.