Based in part from the questions I get from my readers, and in part from conversations with people who have told me of their own mistakes, as well as those I made on the way here, I have decided to put together my list of the top three 1st carry gun mistakes people make. As guns are expensive, and buying one that is inappropriate for the task of concealed carry is hard for some people to correct, I hope this list will help people when they are about to make their first purchase of a concealed carry handgun.
Small Gun Fixation
One thing that people tend to give an excessive amount of focus on is in finding the tiniest gun possible for concealed carry. True enough, you can carry one of these dinky little semi-auto handguns in a pocket and no one will be aware. But you do need to remember that the small package comes with a sacrifice in accuracy and how well you will be able to handle the recoil. Less weight means more felt recoil. The accuracy is a real issue when you consider what happens if you ever have to use your firearm.
Big Gun Envy
The opposite extreme is another common mistake, one that I made myself, and that is buying a gun that is too big to conceal. My first “carry gun” purchase was a full-sized double stack 9mm. Geeze Louise, I couldn’t hide that damn gun, and to make matters worse, I was so paranoid about some snowflake going into a full-blown public freakout because they knew I was carrying that I often didn’t bother to carry. Eventually, I carried it all the time, but that was a year into owning it. I was hung up on the idea of having 16 plus one, and this was me not noticing that I do not live in a war-zone and that in my 50+ years on this planet, I have never needed to draw a gun on anyone, much less fire seventeen rounds at them.
And finally, people get hung up on this or that caliber. I have heard people say, in all seriousness, that a 22 wouldn’t stop anyone. Really? I guarantee that if you shot me with a 22, I would immediately stop doing whatever it was that made you decide to shoot me in the first place. Accuracy matters, and shot placement matters, the caliber is a lot less important than many people think. Nevermind the fact that I seriously considered buying a revolver chambered in 45-70.
My advice is to buy something that you will carry, and that you will practice with. It needs to be concealable, but not to the point of sacrificing your ability to protect those whom you are intending to protect. I carry a snub nose revolver chambered in 38 +P. If you prefer a 9mm, that is a good option. I don’t even think that there is anything wrong with carrying the smaller calibers, I think that this is a truly individual choice, but study and think. There are gun ranges that allow you to rent a gun. If you find one that does, take advantage and see where your skills are and what your best options are. As always, likes and shares are deeply appreciated!