Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Using The Right Tool For The Job

A weird thing about living in our era of every kind of gun under the sun is that people still think every gun should be able to do everything. An example I ran into the other day was on one of the gun channels I subscribe to but don't really watch that often from a guy called Hegshot and he was talking about a carry gun he absolutely hates, the Springfield Hellcat. The thumbnail for the video says it all: "This gun sucks". 


Full disclosure, the Hellcat is my everyday carry gun so I obviously do not think it sucks. As an FFL I have access to anything I want at dealer cost so I only own what I want to own. I like the way it fits in my hand, I like the sights for quick acquisition in a pressure situation, I like that the flush fit mag holds 11 and the extended mag holds 13 in a subcompact. That is huge and something other manufacturers are trying to emulate, like the new Smith & Wesson Shield Plus and the Ruger Max-9. 

One of his complaints was the alleged inaccuracy of the Hellcat and he mentions specifically that he can't get dime sized groups at 50 yards (around the 6:13 mark). That might be true, I haven't ever shot my Hellcat at targets 50 yards away. The more pertinent question is why you would be shooting at a target 50 yards away with your micro-compact pistol in the first place? 

Step back for a second. What is the purpose of an everyday carry gun? I can only speak for me, but my EDC gun needs to be:

1. Concealable and small enough to carry comfortably. 
2. Reliable
3. Something I can hit the target at close quarters range. 

50 yards? That is half a football field away and that isn't where these sorts of engagements happen. The FBI standard is 7 yards. At 7 yards can you draw and hit what you are aiming at center mass? Maybe you are out to 25 yards, but 50? At 50 with any handgun in the heat of the moment I wouldn't bet much on my ability to hit a chest sized target and the further away you get, the more likely you are to miss and hit something or someone you don't intend to. Bottom line, if I ever have to use my EDC it will be close up and quick. I won't have time to set my feet and adjust my shooting stance, I will pull and shoot. For me, that makes the Hellcat's high vis U-Dot sights a great choice. I can get on target quickly and naturally, and this is critical, with sufficient accuracy for the ranges I will be shooting at.


If I want to shoot at 50 yards with a handgun, I will get out a much larger pistol like the Beretta 92X. I have the Centurion which is slightly smaller than the full size and a metal framed 9mm pistol with a 4.25" barrel is way more accurate at distance than a polymer 9mm with a 3" barrel. Size does matter, amirite? If I am just home and meeting customers, I can open carry the 92X no problem but when out in public and wanting to be more subtle, the Hellcat is a much better choice in that situation.

Different gun for a different task. 

I don't hunt grouse with an AR-15 and I don't shoot clay pigeons with a .45. 

We all have budget constraints. I would love a custom double gun from Holland & Holland or Purdey. I don't have tens of thousands to buy one and don't really have a need for one. Sure this H&H double rifle in .500 Nitro Express would look great in my gun safe but it is also about a quarter million dollars and probably a several year wait. So I will have to stick to something a little more reasonable to shoot deer.


Anyway, my point being that apart from budgetary considerations, you should always use the right gun for the job. This is true with just about every scenario. If you show up to play 18 holes with nothing but a putter, you will have a long day. Building a house with only a single screwdriver won't work. So your everyday carry gun should be a gun that is made for....everyday carry. I like the Hellcat but I also like the Sig Sauer P365. I am not a giant S&W Shield fan but a lot of people like them and I just got a new Ruger Max-9 in the other day that is OK. If you want to shoot at 50 yards, get a duty sized pistol that is made for that. An EDC pistol is designed to be used under stress at close range to save your life. 

Shop accordingly and when you shop, ask yourself "What is the primary purpose of this purchase?". An AR-10 in 6.5 Creedmoor is heavy but very accurate at long range, so you buy that to shoot at distance and not as a home defense gun. A Mossberg 590SP 12 gauge with a cylinder choke is great for home defense but not so much for shooting geese or turkeys. Get the right tool for the job and if you don't know what the right tool is, find someone knowledgeable and ask, do your research but don't rely exclusively on gun channels on Youtube.

There are few purchases you will make that you hope you never have to use but if you do have to use it can mean the difference between life and death. Make sure you have the right gun for the purpose because if you have to use it, you might not get a chance to regret your choice if you choose poorly.

8 comments:

  1. Yes, but which handgun is appropriate for a toddler birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese? How about Mother's Day at Golden Corral? A quick late-night bite at the Waffle House?

    I live in constant dread of making a terrible social faux pas by packing the wrong heat for an important social occasion. Imagine the embarrassment if everyone else is totin' H&K to the barn-raising and you are the Glock outcast. Miss Manners should really get on this.

    /sarc

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    1. The Hi-Point is appropriate for most social occasions in that community, for more formal affairs the Glock is a must-have accessory.

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  2. I just got my Taurus G2C in a few weeks ago. I took it to the range and tried it out. It's good at 7 yards, but I did one 5 Rd set at 10 yards and that's about as far out as I'd want to try to hit something with it.

    On the other hand, I wouldn't hesitate to shoot my S&W mod. 5906 at 50 yards.

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    1. Exactly. The G2FC is a great gun for those short range engagements, that is what it is made for.

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  3. I bought a used Hellcat to try out. It came with a red dot. I don't shoot those, and felt I need some experience with one, since I'm a gunsmith. It's fine. No complaints. It's not my EDC, because my situation is different. My EDC is a full size 1911 stuffed in my belt "Mexican carry". It works for me, because I'm in a wheelchair. Can't see it, and it doesn't pull my pants down. YMMV.
    I regularly engage steel at 15, 25, and 50 yards with it, and would have no trouble making a chest shot on a human at 50.
    Anyhoo, don't let this guy stop you from giving a Hellcat a try.
    Respects,
    The Old Goat

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  4. I love mine, works perfectly for my needs. No red-dot here, those are just one more thing that can break.

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  5. Been carrying a Hellcat for a couple years. Shoots great, carries great.

    If only I had a dollar for every unsolicited opinion in the gun culture...

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    1. I suspect there are a lot of dollars behind a lot of gun guys on Youtube

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