After having a concealed pistol license in Washington for 10 years, I finally decided that I should put it to use and buy a gun that I can actually carry. Washington state law requires you have a concealed pistol license (CPL) when you:
- Carry a pistol concealed on your person.
- Carry or place a loaded pistol in a vehicle.
- First, in the course of my business I regularly carry fairly large sums of cash and fear someone deciding that I am expendable in their effort to rob me.
- Second, our office was burgled the other night. While waiting for the restoration company to arrive at 2am in the morning, I realized how vulnerable I was. Rather than wait inside the office which was missing a plate glass window in the wee hours of the morning, I decided to wait out in my car (and didn’t feel much safer).
- Finally, I like going out on hikes to either explore or to photograph and am always leery of the characters I might run in to. So far I have ‘met’ some interesting characters but who’s to say the next one won’t be unstable.
Having decided I want a pistol I can carry concealed on my person, I now have to choose which gun I want. In researching the various guns I know I want to have at least a .380 and no more than a .45 though the 9mm seems to have the most going for it. It is large enough to be effective for self defense yet not so large as to make the gun difficult to shoot. Another positive is that 9mm ammunition is usually the least expensive large caliber ammo available.
I checked out some of the ‘single stack’ guns like the Diamondback DB9 and Ruger LC9. The advantage of single stack ammunition magazine is that it allows the gun grip to be narrower but this ‘feature’ limits the number of bullets to usually 6 rounds per magazine. A double stack magazine, like the Glocks will allow 10+ shells per magazine though this makes the grip wider and thus more difficult to conceal. Personally I like the feel of the double stack grip in my hand. I also read a number of accounts of these small single stack guns being uncomfortable to shoot. This is usually justified by saying they are designed for personal defense, not target practice. The problem is that you need to be comfortable shooting any gun you plan to use for personal defense. The only way to do that is through lots of practice at the target range.
Next, deciding which gun to buy.
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