What gun should I get? If I had a dollar for every time I was asked that question, the gals and I'd be living on a ranch out west by now. There's an endless number of blog posts, gun magazine articles, online reviews, and opinions out there on this topic... so why not one more.
As a firearms instructor for almost three decades now... I've had the opportunity to shoot just about every handgun out there including a few shots recently through an SCCY 9mm, a Glock 42, and Remington R51. Now, a few shots of a gun is a great introduction, but when it comes to recommending a gun to someone... I have a simple philosophy... I education, YOU decide.
So with some discussion with my gals, we'll take a look at five of our personal guns for all of you gals to consider for concealed carry. So without any more delay, from our collection... the gals and I recommend you consider three compact pistols including the Glock 26, Ruger SR9c, or Smith & Wesson M&P9 Compact... or for something a bit more slender... consider two compact, single-stack pistols... the Ruger LC9 or Smith & Wesson M&P Shield in 9mm.
Why you ask, well... here are ten things to consider:
1. They are all 9mm... which is an acceptable self-defense cartridge with ammo widely available in many configurations. The ammo is not expensive to practice with and the recoil is controllable for most folks and significantly less than similarly sized guns in .40S&W or .45ACP.
2. All the guns have usable sights with enough of a sight radius (the distance from the front sight to the rear sight) to allow for decent accuracy and precision when acquiring sight alignment and sight picture in a hurry or stressful situation. No little "nubs" on these guns like a Ruger LCP or Kel-Tec 3AT. Additionally, the sights are all replaceable with aftermarket options if you want something different than the stock offerings.
3. They all have a trigger pull that most gals will find acceptable. All are striker fired except the Ruger LC9, which is double-action-only and has an easy trigger pull, but some might find it a bit long.
4. Three of the guns have interchangeable back-straps to allow you to customize the size of the grip to better fit your hand.
5. All of the guns are compact enough to be easily carried concealed without printing through your clothing or they can be carried in a purse... although I don't recommend off-body carry for a number of reasons.
6. All of the guns have slides with spring tensions that are easily cycled by most folks.
7. All will accept and have higher capacity magazines available so you can carry a ten-round magazine in your Glock 26 with a fifteen-round spare magazine from the Glock 19 if you want. Carrying a higher capacity magazine or adding the extended grip floor plate to your magazine for these guns also offers a "pinky perch" for a full grip with most folks.
8. All of these guns are popular enough to have a wide variety of IWB, AIWP, OWB and other holsters from many manufacturers and concealed carry options such as Crimson Trace laser sights available.
9. These guns are available for between $300 and $600 which make them affordable for most folks who want a quality gun that will last a lifetime. It is really hard to find a new, quality handgun under $300 to $400.
10. All the guns have good track records and the manufacturers have excellent reputations for service and repair.
Hey... wait... what about my gun... or that gun... or XYZ gun? There are other guns out there that will work just fine. The Springfield XD Compact and XD-S come to mind... the gals and I just don't own any... but we've shot them... and look at the criteria discussed in the ten things listed for you to consider... there are other guns out there that meet those considerations.
So if you're a gal (or even a guy) and your looking for a gun to carry... from my gals and I to you... Five guns for gals who carry...