When life is on the line - Where you trained matters! close ×

CCW Tips And Tactics, Part II

DC Reed/Director

Part II

Choosing a CCW Weapon

The choice of a good CCW firearm is ultimately a personal concern and based on your abilities. Some people prefer the simplicity of a good revolver, but the thickness of even a .38 caliber can make it harder to conceal. Semi-automatics are slimmer to a degree and often easier to hide on your body, but require a bit more training and familiarity depending on the exact make and model.

Most firearms that are easy to conceal will be smaller with shorter barrels and lighter weights. While easy to conceal they will not be as accurate, probably have very minimal sights, and if too light may be hard to control more than for the first shot. This can create a good deal of concern unless your target is very close or you train a great deal.

Firearms that are a bit larger with longer barrels will be more versatile, easier to shoot effectively, and more accurate. They will have better sights, generally better trigger pulls, and with the right gear still be concealable. Weight and size of the weapon become the factor here, so your decisions as to belt, holster, and concealing garments are more critical. The key factor to concealing a larger firearm is not barrel length, but the length and thickness of the grip or butt. Long, squared off firearm grips print easily when you are moving or bent over.

So, when considering a specific weapon, some things to consider:

  • a) Can you grip the weapon properly with one hand? Can you effectively grip the weapon as high as possible on its backstrap? The higher in your hand you can hold the weapon, the more efficient, the more controlled, and more accurate the firing sequence will be. Does the weapon feel too heavy or off balance? (if so- you may not carry it as often. Understand, however, the more heft to a well balanced weapon generally the less the perceived recoil.) A too light weapon may be hard to control and thus lose efficiency while firing. A too heavy or imbalanced weapon may be too hard to hold effectively on target.
  • b) Can you obtain a good purchase on the trigger with the first pad of your index finger and hold the weapon securely with one hand? Can you smoothly press the trigger fully through to its break efficiently and without jerking? A ‘good’ trigger is a bit hard to define and somewhat individual in nature. Also Single Action triggers (Colt 1911/ Browning P35), Striker Fired triggers (Glock, S&W M&P) and Double Action triggers (Beretta, Sig Sauer, most revolvers) all have very different mechanisms and the merits/faults of their respective triggers should be compared.) Generally though, a good trigger is first – no ‘longer’ than necessary, no more ‘heavy’ (hard to pull) than necessary, and have no more ‘over-travel’ (movement after the shot breaks) than necessary. Then, during follow through, have as short a ‘reset’ as possible.
  • c) Does the weapon have functional easy to see (for your eyes) sights? Just bright paint or colored sights do not equate with being easy to pick up under stress. Pay particular attention to the front sight. During a proper draw stroke and presentation, does the front sight stand out against various backgrounds? In all lighting conditions?
  • d) Are there readily available parts and accessories, particularly magazines and quality holsters? Buying the latest thing may mean no specific holster being offered for months.
  • e) With a proper two handed grip and good quality ammunition, is the weapon and caliber controllable during realistic firing conditions? There is a tradeoff between ‘comfortable’ and ‘comforting’, meaning it may be easy to fire but of an inferior caliber/bullet configuration that won’t adequately protect you. Go for the most powerful weapon you can fire accurately – and to a somewhat lesser degree, rapidly. (A person might fire one shot from a .44 magnum accurately enough, but their follow-up shots are very slow.)
  • f) Does the weapon have a reputation for reliability? Some guns seem to require constant attention from an armorer. Others have established records for firing hundreds or thousands of rounds without a hiccup. Do your research, and pay particular attention to tests with military style weapons and police contracted weapons.
  • g) Last but ABSOLUTELY NOT least- accuracy. If you cannot hit with it- get rid of it! Assuming you’ve had training and know the fundamentals of an accurate shot, and given you’ve tested a variety of ammo (and absent a hard dedication to master that one gun) you must understand that some weapon/ammo combos are just not for you.

I have had students who desperately wanted to be a 1911 45 ACP shooter but were never quite able to match the accuracy and speed they achieved readily with a Glock 9mm.

My advice, learn to love the gun you can reliably hit with. A well placed set of shots -on target and on time – beats poor and late performance, but with a cool gun, every time!

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus

No Response

Leave us a comment

No comment posted yet.

Leave a Comment