More about selecting a handgun

On the prior page we suggested that the 9mm Glock 19 as a good choice for your first self defense hand gun. If you really want a larger caliber, Glock offers 10 mm, .40 and .45-calibers including the Glock 36 - a nice choice for concealed carry. Glock's are not flashy. They're just an inexpensive, easy to operate, easy to handle pistol that's safe, reliable and highly effective at close range. (Click to enlarge.)

You may get advice to buy a different brand name. As the saying goes, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery and the Glock design (along with the Colt 1911) is one of the most imitated hand guns of all time. You may get advice to buy another manufacturer. There are many hand guns modeled after the Glock - including Springfield Armory, Sig Sauer, Kimber, Kel Tec and so on - which are excellent hand guns with many loyal fans.

You may also get advice from other's that you need certain kinds of sights, or caliber, or barrel length for accuracy, etc., and that's fine too. Even if you decide to purchase a different gun, here's some information to consider when choosing your first hand gun.

"The handgun was conceived and designed as a close-range weapon. The history of its use as on offensive and defensive arm by private citizens, lawmen, and members of the military had repeatedly confirmed its effectiveness at this range and established it as the dominant close-quarter combat weapon. This history has also shown a clear pattern with regard to the circumstances in which a handgun will typically be used. The vast majority of recorded handgun shooting incidents have had three things in common: they occurred at very close range, in low light, and under conditions of extreme stress. . . .

. . . The FBI's 1992 Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted report provides details of officers feloniously killed by firearms over a 10-year period. According to this report, . . . if you are involved in a gunfight, there is an 88 percent chance that it will occur at a range of 20 feet or less . " - From Bullseyes Don't Shot Back: The Complete Textbook of Point Shooting for Close Quarters Combat by Rex Applegate and Michael Janich.
The authors go further regarding the importance of simplicity of action and equipment in stressful situations, adding ". . . average shooters quickly develop the ability to keep their hits 6 to 8 inches apart at ranges out to about 20-30 feet. This standard of combat accuracy will enable you to consistently hit head-sized targets at typical combat distances. It will also enable you to effectively target your opponent's vital organs in a gunfight."

With regard to power versus utility, Applegate and Janich add ". . . Mot legally armed citizens and many off-duty law enforcement officers prefer ["pocket pistols"] to their big-bore brothers because they are convenient to carry and easily concealed. These small guns are also popular backup weapons for on-duty officers carrying large caliber sidearms.

""When it came my turn to do an edition of the Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery , I said among other things, ' There is no easier pistol to learn to shoot well !' It’s the truth, and the statement deserved the italics, then and now. The manual of arms is drastically simple. Insert magazine. Rack slide. Pistol will now shoot when trigger is pulled. End of story." - From Tactical Gear Magazine article by Massad Ayood discussing the Glock line of pistols.

point Return to previous page
Back To Top