I’m done. I’m not going to do it any more. I’m not going to carry a tiny mouse gun anymore. That’s over. As a main carry gun, of course. Maybe as a backup piece, or a hold out. But no more as my main carry gun. It’s time to go big.
Why do we carry at all? Think about this for a minute, or more. And think about the possible scenarios that might require you to actually have to use your concealed carry gun. In any of these scenarios, does it play out that you would be better off in those situations with a smaller gun? Or did you, like me, come to the conclusion that you would rather have as much gun as you can?
You have a CFP, or more commonly a CCW Permit. Most States do not require you to carry a specific gun. You have the option to change it up. If you have the option, why not go big when you can? Let me tell you, it doesn’t matter to the Anti-Gun Biggots what gun you carry. They have never said “Oh, its okay, he only has a .380.” In fact, they have tried specifically to ban small guns because they are more concealable. Remember they made a run against Saturday Night Specials? They don’t care. That being the case, f you are going to get wet, you might as well go swimming. Should you have to use your weapon, and you end up in a court of Law, they will make no distinctions regarding the size or type. Or if you are in a store and lift your arm up to reach a top shelf item and someone sees the grip of your pistol. They call the cops no matter what it is and when The Bronze approaches you they don’t make any distinction either. You are either legal to carry, or you are not. Size does not matter.
The last several months I’ve been packing bigger guns. Mostly full sized duty pistols. Government Model 1911’s, Railed Commander 1911’s, Beretta 92FS and full sized Storms, Glock 22’s. The smallest gun I’ve carried is a Glock 23. None of these are Mouse Guns or Pocket Pistols. Each on let’s you know you have a “fist full of Iron”. Or advanced polymer as the case may be. As I write this, on my hip right now is a Springfield 1911 .45 and there is a great deal of satisfaction in having it on me.
Bigger guns make fewer compromises. They hold more rounds, are more reliable, more accurate, maybe more powerful, and are certainly more intimidating. The more intimidating the gun is, the more likely you won’t have to actually pull the trigger. The only disadvantage to them is the greater challenge of carrying it concealed. To carry a full sized gun concealed, you are going to have to take a bit more care in your holster and wardrobe selection.
Thankfully the good folks at Crossbreed Holsters can help us out. The Supertuck is available for many handguns, including the big 92FS. This holster allows for the big gun to be carried comfortably, inside the waistband, all day long. For me, that’s the advantage I need. Because I’ll wear a gun from the time I get out of bed until I give up on the day and go back to bed.
Normally I wear Pancake style rigs, wide, outside of the waistband holsters that help contour the shape of the gun to hide it, and pack more comfortably while wearing normal sized pants. I find this to be an advantage when riding a motorcycle. The downside to a pancake rig, is that the length of the gun makes it easier for the muzzle end to peak out from under your jacket or shirt.
This isn’t so much of a problem during most of the year. But during the peak of the summer, wearing jackets and sport coats becomes less than ideal. During these times, as much as possible, I’ll wear a Mechanics style shirt or a Bowling shirt. If one is less fashionable, or a huge fan of Weird Al, you can wear a Hawaiian style shirt. Anything that can be worn untucked, loose, and can cover up the whole gun. But this is me and I am not required to wear Business Casual. But even then, there are still ways to carry a full sized gun.
Not long ago I was talking about packing large handguns with a local Police Officer. I mentioned that I was packing a Beretta 92FS and he didn’t believe me. I was in the process of selling him a Beretta but he was balking on the purchase, thinking it was too big to be carried undercover. I was wearing an Under Armor polo shirt. You should have seen his eyes when I pulled my Beretta 92FS out, cleared it, and laid it on the counter. I can’t repeat what he said, but he was clearly surprised that I had it on me as he normally could tell if someone was packing or not. After that, it became a discussion regarding holsters instead of the gun. To end this story, he bought the gun and has enjoyed it ever since.
I live in a very rural area of Utah. My front yard is a farmer’s field. We get all sorts of wildlife here at “Ogre Ranch”. Some big, some small. One night I came home on my motorcycle, late and in the dark. I shut off my bike and jumped off. As I stepped around the big KTM Enduro, I saw a dark shadow and eye shine. Something was there in the shadows beside my house. I don’t remember drawing, or even making the decision to draw, but suddenly my gun was in my hands and that gun was in a ready position as I was squinting to try to identify what was over there in the shadows. At that moment, a full sized duty sidearm was very comforting. The only problem was that I didn’t have a light mounted on my weapon and my normal companion of the Surefire Aviator flashlight was with me but tucked safely in my backpack. Inaccessible and useless to me as this didn’t feel like a time when I could shrug my pack off and dig through it to find my light. Instead I was there, gun in hand, waiting until I could ID this thing as a threat or not. I could hear it breathing. I could see it’s eye-shine, and that was it. It really was a freaky moment. The moment ended though when my wife pulled up and her headlights illuminated what I was in a standoff with. It was a large Mule Deer Buck. I can chuckle about it now, but in that moment of looking into the unknown, had I been armed with something small and mousy, I’d probably have been a lot more uncomfortable with the situation.
This goes back to what the great Clint Smith has said. Guns are not supposed to be comfortable, they are supposed to be comforting. He is exactly right. I don’t recall ever being in a situation where I was comforted by packing a tiny little gun. I remember one time I needed something small and concealable where low profile was critical. A .25 Caliber Baby Browning the answer. I could stand there with my hands in my pockets and still be ready to draw that little pistol. I thought it was a perfect solution. Until I needed it. I reached into my pocket and grabbed the little gun, but didn’t draw it. Let me tell you, that pistol offered no comfort. In fact, I let it go and instead opted for the ASP Baton tucked inside the waistband. At least that felt solid. It felt like a weapon. The .25 felt like a squirt gun. In this situation, neither was required to be used, thankfully. But it impressed upon me that the small gun was useless. Harsh Language proved more potent. That was the last time I bothered with the .25. I think I remember that I traded it for a few boxes of ammo.
I’m not saying that only huge hand cannons are the way to go. I’m just saying you don’t have to limit yourself to tiny guns.