USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Switching gears here for this column I’m going to shy away from the politics of our right to bear arms this week. Why? Well, honestly I’m kind of sick of talking about or hearing about or even reading about the problems over at the NRA and the deceptive liars in the Democrat party, and frankly, every once in a while you have to put that crap down to stay sane, so here goes.
Recently I’ve moved into and out of a few guns. What I mean by that is I’ve recently traded a few firearms and freshened up my safe with some newer hardware. I love that!
I own a few firearms but nothing excessive (Unless you're a progressive gun-hater than I guess I have an extreme arsenal and nobody needs as many guns as I have). I mean, I own 21 handguns of various calibers and keep a stash of AR15’s, a few bolt actions and lever actions I use to hunt with, a few shotguns and a couple of AR pistols and my Thompson model TM1 “Tommy Gun” by Auto Ordinance – but it’s the handguns I want to focus on here. See, I actually use my guns, all of them for various things. My SW M&P 40 CT with Crimson Trace grips for example, usually rides with me every time I mow my lawn on the John Deere. I load it with CCI pest control or “snake shot” as I have a creek running through the “holler” at the back of AAR Ranch and here in Georgia, it ain’t uncommon to run up on a well-fed Copperhead or two. If I’m not carrying that, it’s usually the SW 686 Plus Revolver with the same loads. I dunno, sometimes I like the bigger gun. While I have a couple of favorite regular carry guns, I rotate all of them from time to time, because I can, and I love them all. Sometimes they need to know that!
I have a carry rig for every handgun I own, and I actually do carry a gun with me everywhere I go ever since I was forced to pull my sidearm on two miscreants back in 2002. That gun, by the way, was a Glock 36 Pistol, and thankfully the mere sight of its muzzle pointed directly at his face was enough to stop him and his partner from advancing any closer to me (funny how that works?). Recently, I made a trip to the gun shop with my father, who just turned 80 on March, 22nd; He wanted something a little easier to handle than the KAHR CW 9 he picked out of my lineup as a gift a few years back. He was having trouble with the slide and well, he’s 80 with some arthritis troubles, so off to the shop, we go. He settled on an SW 380 Shield EZ, and I welcomed the KAHR back to its home safe!
What inspired me to write this today was a comment I received from a friend who mentioned I should have “talked my father into a larger caliber” (My dad got the gun that worked for HIM, not something anyone else thought he might need).
That conversation reminded me of a column I penned for Human Events almost a decade ago where I discussed my four personal criteria for a carry gun. Here are those exact words I wrote ten years ago, and that I stand by today, in decending order.
- 4: Be simple to use. Point and click, squeeze and bang. No levers, locks, bells, or whistles. Nothing that makes you think beyond pulling a trigger. This is a gun. It should be simple, and you should not have to worry about running a “system” when your life or the lives of your loved ones are on the line, and immediate action is required.
- 3: Power. All guns are powerful. Don’t believe me? Stand in front of your little 22 LR and have someone pull the trigger. What? I didn’t think so. This is one area where I will challenge conventional wisdom. No one wants to get shot – by ANY gun of ANY caliber, especially criminals. Yes, you should always carry the largest and most powerful caliber that you can comfortably carry and shoot and if that happens to be a .22, good for you and BAD for whoever is on the receiving end!
- 2: Reliability. You can carry the coolest custom gun in the world, but if your choice of a handgun doesn’t go POW when your booger hook squeezes the bang switch or the shot goes wide left like a peewee-football field-goal-attempt, it is worthless. Your gun MUST be reliable, and by reliable, I mean reliable right out of the box!
- 1: Comfort. This is another area where I will also challenge conventional wisdom. We’ve all heard the words that a gun isn’t meant to be comfortable; it is intended to be comforting. While true, that is old school. Nowadays, it can be both. It is no longer necessary to lug around a 2-pound hunk of steel with only seven rounds (unless you want to).
From there, I went on to list my top ten favorite CCW guns. I won’t do that here as my choices from a decade ago have changed and I’m running out of space, but my criteria for deciding on a gun remain the same. If your choice of the gun fits those four, you’ll likely be more inclined to carry your firearm, regardless of what type of gun you chose that works for you, every day, all day, everywhere you go.
Remember – that little 22 NAA Pistol in your pocket is far better protection than that badass .45 Kimber sitting in your truck console.
About Mark Walters
Mark Walters is the host of two nationally syndicated radio broadcasts, Armed American Radio and Armed American Radio's Daily Defense with Mark Walters. He is the Second Amendment Foundations 2015 Gun Rights Defender of the Year award recipient and co-author of two books, Lessons from Armed America with Kathy Jackson (Whitefeather Press) and Lessons from UnArmed America with Rob Pincus (Whitefeather Press)