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Old January 11, 2013, 09:28 PM   #1
Doublea A
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How Do You Decide A Gun Is Worthy To Be A Carry Weapon.

For a new firearm, I turn to run about 300-400rds through it without any hiccups before carrying it. I was wondering what criteria others use to determine that a particular firearm is carry worthy.
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Old January 12, 2013, 12:26 AM   #2
kilimanjaro
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Ease of deployment, ease of carry, simple safety, and no stoppages. For me, that means a Colt 1911, or a revolver, others will chose something else.
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Old January 12, 2013, 01:14 AM   #3
chris in va
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Simple. How reliably I can hit the target I choose.
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Old January 12, 2013, 02:56 AM   #4
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First the gun has to have a good reputation and not have an internal lock or magazine disconnect. I know that rarely do these features fail but they are unnecessary features and parts that really only serve, in my mind, to add failure points to a weapon(JMO, YMMV). Then it has to fit my hand well and point well for me. A good test of this is to pick a spot of object, close your eyes and point bring the gun up to a shooting position with your eyes closed and hold. If you're pretty close to "on target" than that gun points well for you. Finally I put at least 500 rounds through it, not all in one day as I find I get tired out after a couple hundred. If the gun goes through those 500 without failure(or at least none that are the fault of the gun and not something else like ammo or magazines) and shoots well for me then I would consider trusting my life to that gun.
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Old January 12, 2013, 06:41 AM   #5
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I start with concealable test. If it is too big or heavy I avoid it. I am not going to conceal a 50 AE Desert Eagle, or a Model 29 Smith in the Texas summers, and we do not have much of a winter here.

I look to make sure good holsters are available for it.

I make sure it is south paw friendly. (I am a lefty shooter.)

Make sure it fits my hand well enough to shoot with.

Then I take it to the range.

It should eat any ammo I feed it like a greedy pig in a trough of slop.

It should line up point of impact to point of aim out to 25 yards with the ammo I will carry in it.

If it fires 200 rounds of my practice reloads (hand loads with the bullet profile, and velocity of the carry ammo I am going to use in it.) I will carry it.

I shoot at least 1 magazine a week to keep familiar with it, and to assure that it functions as it should.
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Old January 12, 2013, 07:17 AM   #6
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When I deem it reliable and when I'm confident I can shoot what I am aiming at.
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Old January 12, 2013, 09:07 AM   #7
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Easy to conceal and carry with rock solid reliability= Smith & Wesson J-frame.
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Old January 12, 2013, 09:46 AM   #8
EdInk
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It has to be reliable. I will usuallly put a few hundred rounds through it before considering it for EDC and to insure that it has it's proper mechanical break-in period. Also, it gives me a chance to become more familiar with the weapon.

It has to be a proper weight size. Some people carry a full size steep pistol for EDC. I find them to be too heavy and will simply leave it home. I prefer a lightweight (somewhat compact) pistol for CCW. Through trial and error, one will determine a size and weight tolerance for their gun. (Personally, I find stuff over about 22oz too be annoying in anything other than a duty holster.)

It must be of a minimum/maximum caliber. The purpose of carrying a firearm is for self defense. It is important that it be chambered in a caliber to sufficiently stop an attack on your life. (My personal minimum is .380acp) Equally, it is important to have a caliber that you can shoot well and handle recoil based on the chosen platform. (I stay with .45acp or below for CCW.)
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Old January 12, 2013, 09:55 AM   #9
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I always shoot a few hundred rounds through the model before I will seriously think about buying it. I will rent or borrow. If I'm comfortable with the gun and can shoot it well I will do ccw specific research on blogs and forums to get an idea of the general consensus on how the gun conceals, what type of holsters people are getting for it, that sort of stuff. Once I buy the gun I will put between 350-500 rounds, during a single session, of mixed type and power. If I don't get any malfunctions I will carry the gun around the house for awhile then, if all goes well, it will be my new carry gun.
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Old January 12, 2013, 10:08 AM   #10
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First of all a gun has to be reliable. That means function and caliber that will actually do what it is intended.

Second it has to be concelable (light and compact) while wearing summer clothes (here in Houston that is 9 months a year). If the bad guy knows you're carrying it's game over.

Third it has to be accurate. I prefer lasers, so it has to have laser that will fit. With picatinny rails and universal lasers to mount on them we have more choices and lower prices then ever.

This is my choice for around $400. Keltec PF-9 George Zimmerman chose this one also.
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Old January 12, 2013, 11:56 AM   #11
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I like to run my guns through an IDPA match. In that way I get to run the gun how I am going to run the gun. Moving shooting, from the holster, from concealment in odd positions about 100 rounds in a match.
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Old January 12, 2013, 12:20 PM   #12
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If it looks something like this:



Gets my approval.

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Old January 12, 2013, 11:38 PM   #13
Blue Duck
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Size, caliber, weight varies on the clothing, temperature, and where I am going, etc. Those things can mean that I might carry anything from a 4 inch model 29 to a NAA 22 mag mini revolver, or maybe a lightweight commander to a 32 Kel-tec.

What matters on whether a gun makes the grade or not is reliability, reliability, reliability in that order. Shoot-ability, Weight, safety features, and lack of stupid modifications to original designs, all figure in to favorites, but it's unreliability that gets a gun discarded quicker then anything. I have no use for a gun that has any reliability quirks, period.

However, I don't have to shoot one several hundred rounds before I will carry it. If it shoots a couple boxes of shells without failure, I feel pretty good about it, but if it hangs up even once, then it's going to get a much more extensive test. But there are other things to watch out for. Like can the magazine release be inadvertently activated too easily. Or does the safety operate in a fool proof way or not if it has one.
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Old January 13, 2013, 08:32 AM   #14
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living in ny since ammo capacity means nothing I look at the following,

1. reliability
2. availability of ammunition
3. effectiveness at different ranges
4. conceal-ability
5. comfort.
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Old January 13, 2013, 08:55 AM   #15
4V50 Gary
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Reliable first. Accuracy second.
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Old January 13, 2013, 11:35 AM   #16
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1. reliability
2. concealability
3. reliability
4. reliability
5. accuracy (must have the capability of putting all rounds MOD (minute of dirtbag) as fast as I can get them off.
In other words, 642
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Old January 13, 2013, 06:04 PM   #17
Eppie
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Wolfman131,
Give me a break. That is a ridiculous criteria. I've got 10 pistols that can do that and, in my opinion, not one of then would make a suitable concealed carry pistol.
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Old January 13, 2013, 09:10 PM   #18
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In order:
  • Can I shoot it well?
  • Can I carry it using the methods that are acceptable to me and to the law?
  • Is it reliable?
  • Does it carry enough ammunition to give me a fighting chance against two attackers with typical miss rates and factoring in the typical effectiveness of handguns in this general performance class?

Why in that order?

I won't consider a gun for carry unless I can shoot it well. It doesn't make any difference how well it conceals or how reliable it is, or how much ammunition it carries if I can't hit the target accurately and rapidly.

It doesn't matter how reliable it is or how much ammunition it holds if I can't carry it. I will never consider a Glock 20 as a carry pistol because I can't conceal it. The facts that it's reliable and very effective don't enter into the equation because, for me, it's not a suitable gun for carry/concealment due to its size.

If reliability were hard to achieve, this might move higher on the list. As it is, there are a number of reliable pistols out there. So I can move it down the list with confidence knowing that once I've achieved shootability and concealability I will still be able to find a reliable pistol that meets my needs in the other categories above this one.

Capacity isn't the end-all, be-all, but I'd like to have enough that I'm not relying on the gun primarily as a talisman. I have it on reliable authority that it is hard to hit a target that's moving and shooting back, and if missing is a real possibility then I think it's important to have enough in the gun to be able to miss a few times and still have a chance of scoring two solid hits on two opponents with what's left in the gun.
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Old January 13, 2013, 10:24 PM   #19
Deaf Smith
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Quote:
How Do You Decide A Gun Is Worthy To Be A Carry Weapon
1. Reliability. It HAS to work and work well.
2. Simplicity. Simple to operate, simple to maintain for YOU. Some people can handle more complex machinery under pressure than others.
3. Reasonably accurate. For me if it shoots in a 4 inch circle at 25 yards off a rest that ok. But as long as #1 is met then the more accurate the better.
4. Reasonably powerful. Yes .45 is a bit better stopper than .40 and .40 a bit better than 9mm but if you can't control that .45 or .40, go to a 9!
5. It must be controllable. If you can't control it to get the required amount of power, speed, and accuracy then it's worthless.

All this has to be inside the parameters of what size of weapon you can conceal on any given day. Winter you can conceal a larger piece, but in hot summers you might not be able to conceal much more than a S&W J .38.

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Old January 13, 2013, 11:51 PM   #20
jason_iowa
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Would I carry it into combat as a side arm. If yes its ok if no then I would not carry it.

I disagree with the people who say something is better then nothing though. It's to big of a responsibility to carry something ineffectual. Peoples opinion of ineffectual does vary however.
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Old January 14, 2013, 03:29 PM   #21
The Great Mahoo
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The biggest factor for me is my overall level of comfort with the gun. That's comprised of how well I can handle it, how easy it is to conceal, what controls/safeties I need to worry about getting used, and the amount of trigger time I have on it.

Perhaps most importantly, there is an underlying subjective factor on whether or not I actually like the gun for whatever reason. There are plenty of guns that I respect and have no trouble with, but wouldn't choose to carry myself, even if I can shoot it well and conceal it comfortably. They just don't do it for me.

Generally, I like small guns, with ~3" barrels, with 5-8 rounds of something potent. I like y triggers a bit on the heavy side, but demand they be consistent; none of that DA-to-SA garbage for me. And bonus points if reloads are easy to manage.
My top choices for the last several years have been:
1. Ruger SP101 3" in .327 - Carried IWB with speed strips, or OWB with speed loaders.
2. Glock 36 carried either IWB or OWB with a spare mag in my pocket.
3. NAA Guardian 32acp carried in a pocket holster with spare mag in opposite pocket.

I'd like to find a Commander style 1911 to become a primary carry gun, but my Paraordinance LDA 1911 has ruined me on the triggers. I like that long, smooth pull on my model, but can't find one in a smaller version than my 5".
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Old January 14, 2013, 03:37 PM   #22
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Rarely malfunctions, basic functions, accurate in my hands both fast and slow, and under stress.
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Old January 14, 2013, 03:46 PM   #23
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Reliability and concealabilty for me. Power would be a distance 3rd priority.
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Old January 15, 2013, 12:03 AM   #24
SFsc616171
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How Do You Decide A Gun Is Worthy To Be A Carry Weapon.

Last new out-of-the-box Taurus M82, prepared it, checked it, did all the unloaded parts moving check. Went to range, loaded, aimed and fired ... in the 9x and 10x from the first to the last cartridge from the box I bought at the range, DA and SA! Bought another, different loading, different grain weight, same grouping, an inch higher. No malfunctions. Sometimes necessary carry is OTB, so this 4-inch barreled revolver will work fine!
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Old January 15, 2013, 09:47 AM   #25
donato
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I really wonder if all those carrying today really go through all the hoops detailed in this thread.
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