Article submitted by Mark Hatfield.
THE BEST DEFENSIVE HANDGUN AND CARRY METHOD
Is there really such a thing? Of course there is, I know this because because I’ve read that and been told that by the experts not just a few times but many times over a series of decades.
For a long time it was the 1911 (pronounced ‘nineteen-eleven’) when properly altered and fed with ammunition which it was not designed to use. The alterations cost more than the price of the gun. They were necessary to improve the accuracy, make it reliable when using that ammo which it was not intended to use, and make it more reliable in general, as well as making it more user friendly. Now there are several other guns which can fit that description though they require fewer alterations.
But there’s a catch. The ‘perfect’ gun is bigger (usually) and heavier (usually) than most people want to carry every day and even more difficult to conceal. One pistol which the FBI briefly adopted was so large and heavy that insider sources says many agents did not want to wear it but kept it in briefcases or in the car instead. “But’, says the purist, ‘That’s not true, all you have to do is to dress…, to wear…’. Therein is the rub, one has to dress around the gun instead of wearing what you want to wear.
I have attended courses where the instructors and some students were dressed in additional layers of clothing which was quite unneeded, even insane, in the hot Florida sun but it was needed to conceal the guns. One specific article of clothing was so used for a cover garment that it became known in some circles as sold mostly to gun carriers. The same applied to a particular short-lived fad accessory.
An organization currently has put together an optimum handgun which works well for very close work, long distance work, fast work on multiple targets, and even for shooting while running. It really does well for all these things BUT, like any tool, it needs to be in your hand to be used. With serious research and testing, a holster has been designed for these guns which can be well concealed and can allow the gun to get into the hand with amazing speed. BUT, (yes, there is another ‘but’), it works well with only one type of cover garment. Even then, it requires very careful placement to be able to wear it for hours at a time or in positions other than standing.
I have met a number of people, serious people, who have their perfect defensive gun in their perfect holster BUT, ‘I had to go to a wedding and it doesn’t work with those clothes’, ‘I can’t use it when I dress for church’, ‘It doesn’t work with what I have to wear at work’, ‘Can’t wear it when I…’. What happens then? They take a gun which they usually laugh at and just stick it in a pocket, or even worse, carry nothing at all.
Years ago exactly the same thing was true with the devotees of the ‘nineteen-eleven’. They designed the perfect gun, then carried something else. What’s that old expression? “The more things change, the more they stay the same’.
There are tales of civilians and even police who taped concealed guns to their bodies, however getting them into action when needed was quite another thing. One person who liked ankle holsters was in a situation where he realized that his gun might as well have been locked in the safe at home, such was his inability to get to it when he needed it.
It is not unusual that the ‘bad guys’ who simply stick a gun in their waistband can often get them into use faster than the legally concealed carrier can get to theirs. Part of that is because the bad guy makes the first move, but even in controlled tests the results are usually the same. The ‘good guys’ have got to learn exactly what they can and cannot do, particularly under stress, as Clint Eastwood said ‘A man’s got to know his limitations’.