May 212019

which gun to buy

Question from one of my students-Which Gun To Buy :

I would like your opinion on these guns I’m considering for dependability and effectiveness for Concealed Carry. Glock 19 & 43, Sig P365, Walther PPS, Taurus G2C?

Buying a Handgun is like buying shoes it has to fit your hands and you need to be able to work the controls when you buy it.

Find a Gun That Fits Your Hand?

First of all, you can never go wrong with a Glock. I’m a Certified Factory Glock Armorer and they don’t pay me anything to say this. Glock is the number #1 firearm for law enforcement around the world. All the bullshit about Glock accidents is just that. Every case I have ever read about was a straight out and out a safety violation in one regard or another.

If I were picking which gun to buy the 2 you mention are wonderful. The Glock 19 is the overall best gun they have ever made, That being said it just does not fit some people’s hands which you know is the number one criteria for picking a gun. Its like picking shoes it has to fit. The original Glock 43 was one of their best sellers, but the new 43x and its brother the Glock 48 is hands down a better gun. Reliability is their trademark and anything that goes wrong is easily fixed. You can never make a mistake buying a Glock. If you don’t like it you will lose about a hundred dollars on the sale of a used one. Which gun to buy should always consider reliability.

The Sig P365 and the P320 its bigger brother are good guns and I have shot them both, and some people like the gun and it is a great self-defense handgun. Historically Sigs prices have been too high for most of us in the Blue Collar world to afford. I would love to own a $$P226$$.  The P365 and the big brother P320 have been the first affordable and nicely built firearms Sig has produced. But they are not a Glock. Some people will argue this point. But it’s like Chevies and Fords. I happen to be a Ford man. The 365 did not feel as good in my hand so it was not a choice for me.

What I bought for Concealed carry Handgun

You know I am currently carrying a Walther PPS M2 and I like it a lot. The PPS M2 (Polizei-Pistole Schmal / Police Pistol Slim) is carried by a lot of Law enforcement in Europe for off duty carry. Don’t get an M1 it’s the old version. This gun feels great in my hand and shoots well. I think this is a great gun for anyone for concealed carry. Of course, I had to put sights on mine cause I have the start of “OLD MAN EYES” and the sights I choose are great to see and acquire a target with both day and night.

But, truth be told I intend to switch to my Glock 48 as soon as I get some sights on her cause I love the way it shoots (longer barrel- more velocity- less recoil). But again it is harder to conceal because it is an inch longer than the Glock 43x her little brother.

Unfortunately, I am not a fan of Taurus products.  However, I know if you read enough articles they are on the comeback trail, but I believe this is just like any other purchase you get what you pay for. Reliability is one of those things affected by price.

Which Gun To Buy?

The one gun that you left out was The Smith and Wesson S&W Shield. I have become a fan of these guns but it has to be the model without the safety, and to be honest the Performance Center addition of this gun is hands down worth the extra money. There you have it. My TWO CENTS worth on those guns. Most are great some are better. The one that’s the best is the one you have with you when you need it. My choice of a caliber which is always secondary would be 9mm Luger.

Buying a Handgun is like buying shoes it has to fit your hands and you need to be able to work the controls when you buy it.

Update 12/15/2019 I am currently carrying the new Glock 48 and its the best pistol for concealed carry I have ever owned. With the longer barrel it’s easy to manage recoil and it comes with  10 round magazines. There is already someone making 15 round magazines for this gun!!

Some articles on a similar topic:

May 192019
small caliber handgun

S&W Bodyguard .380

Small Caliber Handgun discussion always happens this time of year its almost summer and here we go again. The age-old question always comes out when its warm and we want to wear fewer clothes. Can I defend myself with a small caliber handgun? Namely, everybody wants to carry that little.380 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) that they can hide easily in their pocket or IWB (inside the waistband). Well here are some facts to consider.

Can you put shots on target with your small-caliber handgun?

So what we are talking about here is can you in a timed session put meaningful shots on target. Some say 3 rounds 3 seconds at 3 yards from the carry position in a circle that’s no more than 6 inches. Can you do that? If you can you have a good chance of surviving a deadly force encounter. If you can’t you better get to the range and do some practice so you can. I have more drills and skill tests for anyone wishing to get them from me for practice.

Remember to follow the rules of the range you will be practicing at. Some ranges do not allow drawing from the holster. Some ranges allow it but only drawing from a strong side belt holster, not from a purse or a pocket. Can you shoot from a retention position? This can be a very dangerous thing to practice without being taught by a professional the right way to do it. My last article about Draw From The Holster talked about the low number of instructors who are certified to teach these methods so be careful how you proceed. Any Instructor that does not have PPOTH (Personal Protection Outside The Home) Certification is not certified to teach any draw from the holster concepts.

Small-Caliber Handguns Can Difficult To Hit The Target?

Part of being able to hit the target is grip. Can you get a proper grip on this small-caliber handgun? The grip is the first step in a proper draw from the holster routine. Many people have hands that don’t fit the small caliber handgun. If you can’t get a full grip on the gun (fingers hanging off the bottom) or little finger curled under the magazine, it’s going to be hard for you to control those shots and to shoot the handgun safely. I see men whose hand covers the entire gun. One remedy is to get a magazine extension. This allows more fingers to get a grip on the mouse gun.

Sights Can Be Hard To See

Sights on the small-caliber handgun are usually nonexistent. there are a couple of problems with this. First is sight radius. sight radius, when referring to iron sights, is the distance between the rear sight and the front sight. The longer the sight radius is, the more accurate the shooter is able to be as the front sight post will appear to be smaller, covering less of the target. Just the opposite exists with small-caliber handguns. A lot of these guns have sights that cannot be changed. Sometimes you can paint the front sight with a bright color to solve some of these problems. Finger Nail Polish does a good job in either bright red or orange color.

Proper holsters are a must when dealing with these guns. Remember a good holster retains the small caliber handgun so it can not fall out when turned upside down. It retains its open position for safe re-holster, and it covers the trigger guard completely. Kydex holsters tend to be the best choice, but don’t work well in your pocket.

Caliber Size The Old Argument

Caliber size and cost of ammunition come into play with the small-caliber handgun. It’s true that the .380 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) has come a long way ballistically speaking. The velocities are getting better and the gel tests are sometimes impressive, but here is what I think. Ammunition for the .380 ACP handgun is about 50 percent more expensive than 9mm Luger. That means that those who watch their pennies won’t shoot often enough to be proficient.

You have to shoot these small-caliber handguns frequently to get good with them. The other thing I look at is that technically speaking a .380 is a short 9mm. I don’t know about you but I need a full power caliber that will get the job done. In my opinion, the .380 ACP is not that round. That being said if I was going to carry this gun I would look at tests with self-protection JHP(Jacketed Hollow Point) ammunition for that gun.

Check The Tests On Ammunition

I would carry the ammunition that performed the best out of that gun. (Ballistics By The Inch) or some other source. Remember to always fire your concealed carry ammo in your small-caliber handgun to make sure it does not malfunction. Some of these handguns are what we call in the industry ammo specific. What that means is some guns don’t operate reliably with certain types of ammo. You have to test your gun to make sure it is reliable. For me, that means shooting an entire box of concealed carry ammo without any malfunctions. Again Speer Gold Dot, Federal Hydra Shok, Federal HST, and Hornady are all reliable makers of this type of ammo.

FBI Has Information on Shootings

Here’s what we’re talking about. The FBI says most self-defense encounters happen within 3 yards are over in 3 seconds with less than 3 rounds being fired (about the distance of an automobile). Can you grip your small-caliber handgun, draw from your carry position, line up your sights, and put 3 shots on target in 3 seconds or less. If you can great have a great summer. If you can’t you have some work to do. And by the way, you also have to be able to shoot that small-caliber handgun at some distance cause 10% of the time you could need those skills. The other thing you might want to consider is to get acquainted with shooting in and around vehicles. Here is an excellent inexpensive vehicle tactics online training course that I highly recommend. The other area of concern is situational awareness and understanding of transitional spaces.

Many people survive close encounters because they knew something was about to happen. I can help with many of these training issues. You have to be proficient with your concealed carry handgun no matter what you choose, both for your own safety and the safety of others. Have a safe and fun summer.

Articles of Interest:

Recommended reading for anyone who is serious about learning gun laws

Dec 102017

Choosing a defensive firearm

choosing a defensive firearmThroughout the year I have published many articles from different sources about picking firearms and ammunition for self-defense. Here is some information for you to consider when choosing a defensive firearm and ammunition for self-defense.

Instructors polled at a recently held high-level instructor conference (not the NRA) showed that the two handguns that were most prevalent in their daily carry. The choices were Glock and Smith & Wesson M&P series firearms.  90% of those instructors polled we’re carrying a 9mm caliber firearm.  The firearms broken down into the two biggest categories by the manufacturer. These were 40% Glock and 26% of them were carrying a Smith & Wesson M&P series firearm. Reliability was the reason these two guns are carried the most. When you pull the trigger on these self-defense guns they are more likely to go bang every time. It was stated that no one at the conference was carrying a Springfield XD series gun and that only one person was carrying a 1911 style handgun.

Ammunition An Important Factor

The instructors were also polled about their defensive firearm rounds. 74% were using either Federal HST or Speer Gold Dot. A small percentage were using Hornady Personal Protection rounds. 68%  of those polled were carrying standard pressure rounds no + P or + P +, as some state,  standard P or no P was the choice of professionals. Many in the group were carrying guns that had been modified with sites or grip enhancements like stippling. About 75% of them were in possession of some type of emergency medical equipment.

It is very insightful to take the information that professionals think is important for their daily survival and use it to make good choices in your self-defense firearm purchases and daily carrying options.

<Most professionals carry a Glock or Smith and Wesson M&P series handguns.
-Most professionals carried a 9mm caliber gun.
*Most professionals used Federal HST or Speer Gold Dot ammo in those guns.
>Many are prepared for some type of medical emergency.

Many of us make choices when Choosing A Defensive Firearm based on many factors.  Sometimes those decisions are based on finances or style. This information does not come from someone trying to sell you something. Most articles written in the industry are promoting an item so that people will buy it. This information was provided by professionals in the business of training people and it is what they use to protect themselves and their families.

Articles of Interest:

Mar 232019

Self Defense PrioritiesGetting Your Self Defense Priorities in Order

Getting your self defense priorities in order is a good idea. You do not want to put the cart before the horse so to speak.

I listened to Andrew Branca the other day on this subject and I thought it was important so I put together my thoughts on the matter.

Get A Gun– many people come to me without a handgun and they say “I need to know what handgun I should buy“.  Handguns are like shoes they have to fit your hand and you have to be able to work the controls. Find a good quality gun one that won’t let you down when you need it. There are several top brands of handguns on the market just like there are cars. Some people like Fords some Chevys. It’s most important that you find a handgun that fits you properly. Most brand name dependable handguns are gonna cost between $400 and $600. Yes, there are guns that are under $300. When your life is in danger are you interested in that bargain basement shooter that may or not work when the time comes. I have helped many of my students acquire a good handgun for self defense thru my contacts in the industry. Small guns while easy to hide have many problems.

One of Your Self Defense Priorities is to Learn To Use The Gun-

Gun Safety– the 4 rules of gun safety are paramount. Don’t leave home without them.

Daily handling and common tasks- loading and unloading, proper holstering and unholstering, cleaning your gun, transporting your gun, locking your gun in your vehicle when you’re going somewhere you can’t take it. These are all skills you need to develop.

Learn to Shoot- now you have to learn to put shots on target. This can be done in a number of ways but it all comes down to practice. I take my level 1 students to the range and get them started with all the proper form. Grip, stance, trigger press, and sight usage. Then they can practice in the proper way and not develop bad habits. Dry fire techniques are great for learning self defense shooting and should be practiced when you can not go to the range.

Learn to properly Draw form the Holster- many people try to learn drawing from the holster by reading a book or watching a video. Getting good instruction from a qualified Instructor goes a long way in learning this important skill. You cant see the mistakes you are making on your own. Someone needs to watch and be able to coach you so that you can learn the finer points of skilled holster draw. Remember shooting ranges have specific rules about drawing from the holster. Many times you can do things with an Instructor that you can not do on your own.

Learn When You Can Use The Gun- this self defense priority is where everything comes together. You can learn all the wonderful things about using your gun and then when it comes time to use it make a terrible mistake and violate the laws of self defense.  Andrew Branca has some wonderful education materials on this subject and I suggest that you at a bare minimum read his book. Other educational materials are also available from him such as online webinars and CDs.

Get Self Defense Insurance- this is the very last thing you should be thinking about. After all other self defense priorities are handled then you should think about protecting yourself and your family with self defense insurance. There are currently about nine products on the market. Some good some not as good. I am currently recommending the USCCA programs as it has many benefits and is rated as one of the best. I have a spreadsheet for all the popular plans and the benefits for each. Just ask and I will send it to you. One of the learning opportunities in this area is a CD produced by Andrew Branca, it is excellent and I have done the course myself.

Other Articles of Interest:

Aug 242017

mouse gun for concealed carryOne of my students recently came to the range wanting to learn to shoot her mouse gun for concealed carry. A mouse gun is most often considered a category of small revolvers, or semi-automatic handgun sometimes called a pocket pistol. I’m not going to call out any particular brand every manufacturer has one they say that is intended for concealed carry (CCW) self-defense. Remember these guns need to be holstered even in a pocket or purse. Typically such small pistols are of .380 ACP (9mm Short) caliber or less, with .32 ACP, .25 ACP, .22 Long Rifle and .22 Short calibers also being common.



One of the things she figured out quickly was that the recoil was hard to manage. Anytime you shoot a short barreled gun recoil is going to be significant and velocity suffers. It’s harder to get a good solid grip on small guns even with smaller hands.


Then came the bad sights. Most of these small guns have terrible sights and many are not changeable. The sight radius is short on these guns. When referring to iron sights, the sight radius is the distance between the rear sight and the front sight. The longer the sight radius is, the more accurate the shooter is able to be (as the front sight post will appear to be smaller, covering less of the target. A trick I have learned on these mouse guns for concealed carry is to paint the front sight with bright color fingernail polish.

Ease of Operation and Safety

Then the ease of operation and safety come into play.  Some have a manual safety some do not. The ones that have a safety many times are not easy to operate. It very easy to point the muzzle somewhere it’s not supposed to be, and many shooters have put their hand in front of the muzzle trying to operate their mouse gun efficiently. Many of these guns in my experience are not easy to lock open properly and some do not even have the ability to be locked open  (slide stop) for inspection and safe handling. Then there is the finger on the trigger problem. It’s easy to get your finger where it doesn’t belong on these little guns.  It has been said that these guns are for seasoned gun handlers, not beginners or those just learning.


Then finally the ballistics. Most of these guns shoot a small caliber round that is less likely to stop an attacker when necessary. As you can read in one of my recent postings on Facebook, tests show that these calibers underperform. Remember velocity is lower because of the short barrel and when the bullet has no velocity it does not expand as it should. So the bottom line is that you have to be an expert shot with your mouse gun to really be able to defend yourself properly.

Ease of Concealment

While it is true that the mouse gun for concealed carry is easy to conceal many of the compact guns are just as easy to conceal and they have much better features to ensure that you can take care of the task you are carrying the gun for in the first place.

Articles of Interest:

May 312018

Concealed Carry Handgun with SafetyMany people are confused about safeties on a Concealed Carry Handgun and what they are all about. First, if a Concealed Carry Handgun has a safety you are obligated to use it. You don’t get to pick and choose. If a safety is present then not using it is failing to operate your firearm safely and correctly. You can’t look at a similar gun and say well that gun doesn’t have a safety so it must be optional.  Manufacturers put safeties on guns for many reasons. It’s a safety rule for handling firearms that goes way back. Remember when you took Hunters Safety you were taught that when the gun is loaded you put on the safety. Then when its time to fire the gun you take the safety off and fire. This is how guns with safeties must be operated. Safe triggers and grip safeties are safety features, not safeties. A Safety is an on/off switch. Safeties can fail they are mechanical devices. Anything mechanical can break you can not totally rely on a safety. Some people think a gun without a safety is not safe. That is not true many Concealed Carry Handguns are made without safeties because it just one more thing to have to do when you pull your gun for self-defense and it takes time. Safety is in keeping your finger off the trigger until its time to shoot( Rule #3). Sure this takes practice but that’s how firearms are operated safely.

Why is it that Concealed Carry Handguns are considered safe when they are holstered? Because in a proper holster you cannot access the trigger when the gun is holstered. Guns do not fire unless someone or something pushes the bang switch. Second many Concealed Handguns now are made without safeties and that doesn’t mean they are not safe? You will notice that on most revolvers there are no safeties. Generally speaking, this is because of the long double action trigger pull that is required to fire them usually about 8-10 lbs of pressure. One of the things I see a lot is that the safety is hard or impossible to operate on some of the chosen firearms. When you pick a gun and decide that’s the Concealed Carry Handgun you want you should have no problem operating all the features. If you can’t operate the safety it isn’t going to get any better later. I’m not gonna pick on guns in this article. I’ve carried many guns with safeties that worked properly, and I’ve seen many that are hard to operate, and I’ve practiced many hours with those firearms. If I picked one up today I instinctively know how the safety works and where it is.

Many people that have carried 1911 style handguns know that a safety is essential on that style gun. This is because the 1911 model gun is a single action gun with a very tiny trigger pull. It’s really easy to have an accident with a 1911 style Concealed Carry Handgun if you are not using the safety properly. The other thing I like about no safety is in my carry rotation (wearing different guns for different seasons or styles of dress) all the guns operate the same way draw, point, and shoot. When I carry a gun like a 1911 for concealed carry I have to have some orientation time and I will carry it for some period of time, not just one day. Switching guns often that operate differently is a good way to get confused have an accident or maybe not be ready when you need the gun.

Then there are the people who solve all these problems by rational thinking. I have children! If they get hold of the gun maybe they won’t be able to figure the safety out, or I can’t keep my finger off the trigger so I need to have a safety, or I just don’t put one in the pipe that way I won’t make a mistake. If any of these ring a bell maybe you need some more training!

Update September 2018
I am seeing a move towards the AIWB (appendix inside the waistband) carry mode. This mode is the fastest to get the gun on target and explained by some to be the most dangerous method of carrying a concealed firearm. You are pointing your gun at the femoral artery in your leg and your Manley toolbox if you are a male. Some advocates of appendix carry have moved to guns with safeties and or traditional DA/SA (double action-single action )guns that are hard to pull the trigger. Thus preventing the dreaded accidental discharge from a Glock type weapon stuck in the front of your pants.

Articles you may be interested in:

Learn To Shoot Pueblo Colorado

Concealed Carry Permit Renewal Pueblo Colorado

Guns for Sale Colorado’s new Law