I love handguns. Pistols and revolvers alike. I also sell handguns professionally
for a living to fund my gun habit. Still I am saying this: most people don’t need another handgun*.
By “most people” I am not talking about people with enormous discretionary income. They can do whatever the hell they want with their money. Rather I am talking about the average person like me and probably you who has to budget their spending reasonably carefully. Handguns are fun to shoot and easier to store but they have an extremely limited engagement range that suits their primary purpose but leaves you with fewer options in a broader area of engagement.
Everyone needs an adequate assortment of handguns.
– A “duty” pistol
A pistol that is full sized and holds 15 rounds or more as a standard capacity. You should have multiple magazines for this firearm. Examples would be the Beretta 92 series, Sig Sauer P320, Glock 17 or CZ P-10/P09.
– A concealable carry pistol
This is a pistol that is small enough to reasonably conceal on your person, preferably in some sort of concealed carry holster. It is inherently going to be lower capacity, usually 8-12 rounds, and probably less accurate as most have a much shorter barrel (often around 3″) versus a duty pistol with a barrel length of 4″ or more. Examples: Sig Sauer P365, Springfield Hellcat, Glock 43x or Smith & Wesson Shield.
|Sig Sauer P365|
– A spare or two
Shit happens and especially when shit hits the fan so the old saying two is one and one is none applies here.
An important note of personal preference: all of the pistols you rely on for life or death scenarios or TEOTWAWKI situations should be the same caliber. Don’t get a .45 duty pistol, a .380 carry gun and a 10mm backup. More about this in the next post.
Another note. You might notice that in my examples I didn’t list any revolvers and I didn’t list any 1911 pattern pistols. I love revolvers, 1911s not so much, but for practical purposes you can’t get around their limited capacity. Even a Taurus 692 revolver can only hold 7 rounds and most 1911s hold under 10 rounds. I really like revolvers for their simplicity and reliability but in 2021 reliability for a reasonably maintained semiautomatic pistol with decent ammo is pretty near 100%. Revolvers are fun to shoot for sure but this isn’t the Wild West so strutting around with a big iron on your hip isn’t going to get it done.
A third note. Quality does matter so the pistols you choose, especially one and two, should be the very best you can afford. Having said that, the very best does not necessarily mean the most expensive. Most solid concealed carry pistols are between $500-$650. Duty pistols can be a little more, but probably not much more.
Have enough handguns to serve their purpose, and that purpose is to keep you alive when you don’t have a rifle readily accessible. Right tool right job. There are places where you just can’t carry a rifle around so pistols are only choice.
So where should you be focusing instead of buying yet another handgun?
I have kinda come late to this position but your rifle is where the vast majority of your focus should be. Growing up we shot a lot of shotguns, sporting clays and bird hunting, and a fair number of pistols for fun. We were not a rifle family, I think the only rifle my dad owned was a semi-auto .22 for shooting squirrels. As a result I am way better at shooting clay pigeons with a shotgun than I am shooting a rifle. Up until recently I had almost zero experience in things like optics and how to disassemble an AR-15. I need to get way better with my rifle because I am unlikely to be attacked by a horde of clay pigeons.
What I am trying to say is this, assuming you have 3-4 handguns that serve the appropriate purpose, you should be investing in making your rifles the best they can be. Upgrade the trigger, invest in a better optic, get a good sling set-up. Have spare parts, as many as you can reasonably afford and store. Maintenance items like cleaner and lube. Get good with your pistol but get much more gooderer with your rifle. Most of us have limited financial resources and all of us have limited time to work with so pick and choose what you are focused on carefully.
Listen, do what you want with your money. I am just a random dude on the intrawebz and I can neither confirm nor deny that I have significantly more than “3-4” handguns. But we are into crunch time here and this eye of the storm we are in won’t last much longer. Use the brief respite to get everything into the best order you possibly can, while you can. My two cents? Use the lion’s share of those limited resources to get your rifles to be the best they can be.
* Technically an AR pistol is a handgun but I am not talking about that. An AR pistol with at least a 10″ barrel is a great option for most situations.
My duty pistol is also my carry pistol, a S&W mod. 5906, 15 plus 1. I also have a Taurus G2C, 12+1 for my bedside stand pistol and my wife has a G26 for her bedside stand pistol. It also acts as her carry pistol when I take her out anywhere. She's disabled, so she doesn't get out much.
My only revolver is a Roughrider .22 convertible pistol with the regular and magnum cylinders. We also have an Italian .25 pocket pistol shoved in a backpack with a box of ammo, just in case.
Between us, we have six rifles and one shotgun, although I'm thinking about selling a couple of the rifles.
Need has NOTHING to do with it.
A few years ago I would have agreed but in this environment I am saying we have to be selective in how we invest.
I am loathe to ever sell anything unless I turn around and use the money for something else.
Good advice Arthur. I've been very conscientious about common calibers due to a severe lack of storage space. Even taking great care Ive still ended up with .22, 9mm, 5.56, .308 and 12g. due to the considerations of various needs. No such thing as one tool for every job. As much as I would love to round out my collection with a 1911 45acp, and a revolver & lever action rifle in 357mag, I simply cannot justify bringing another caliber into the mix. Been buying spare parts, mags and optics since the plague hit and the shelves emptied, but have my eyes open for a subcompact in 9mm, should the gods smile upon me.
Crap, to late for that. I have an wide assortment of multiple calibers. I guess I'll just keep collecting.
Sound advise though.
I was thinking more on a going forward basis for people who are looking to spend some money over the next few months.
P365 and Hellcats are hovering at around or just under the $500 mark and most of my distributors have a bunch in stock. That is probably as cheap as they will get.
30 years ago making min wage I could afford to go shooting 45/70 for gopher reduction. These days making better wages the idea of using anything but 22lr on the little buggers is wateful of $$.
I tend to be more old school on handguns. have a couple of sig's 220 and 226 for social work.
of course back in the day, more people where shot with 22 than any other. easy to shoot, quiet compared to others and able to get a hold of anywhere in the world back then. look at old school 22
semi auto from back then and see what I mean. I love my old school 22 ppk.
I am standing to inherit a very old school Ruger Mk I someday, .22 pistols are a blast to plink around with.
45/70 for gophers seems a little Caddyshack to me
you can not beat a 22lr pistol for up close quiet work. a lot of the old fixed barrel ones worked great at that. slide up to the target, stick it under their armpit and dump half the mag into them.
chances where the sound of the shots could not be heard over 10 feet away. we might need a few tools
like that here soon
Yup. Probably done with acquisitions. Mebbee a 1911.
TWO WORLD WARS!
very sound advice. plus with ammo coming down some I STRONGLY encourage new peeps to address that if you aren't really deep in rifle ammo… as in 1,000s fix it now before more guns are considered plus the spare parts you already mentioned
I generally consider 2500 the minimum round count for your rifle and half that or so for your pistol but that is a lot easier if you only have a couple of calibers.
We also used to use 12ga. It ranch country the farmers used to pay us 10cents a body for them.