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What are the features of your "ultimate carry pistol" ?

TGO David

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It's helpful to stop and think beyond the borders of brands, makes and models and think about features that you find ideal in a thing. 

Whether it be a car, truck, boat, toaster oven, computer, smart phone, pair of boots or shoes, pocket knife or... a gun.  Sometimes after you jot down a list of things that you find desirable in an item, surprises are found when you overlay that list on top of what's available out there.  Sometimes you find that the thing you thought was the perfect embodiment of those characteristics isn't so perfect after all.  🙂


SO... if you had to list the most desirable features of a handgun for carry purposes, what would they be?  AND, just to make it meaningful... force rank them in order of importance.

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1. Reliability 

2. Ergonomics

3. Carry options (holster availability)

4. Aftermarket parts availability 


My opinion is accuracy is on you and capacity depends on size or type of firearm you desire. 


Great topic discussion David.




Edited by kwe45919
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57 minutes ago, kwe45919 said:

3. Carry options (holster availability)

4. Aftermarket parts availability 


Great topic discussion David.


I'm glad you mentioned those two criteria!  I can't tell you how many times "Carry Options (Holster Availability)" has put a damper on, or just flat ruined, an otherwise great handgun for me.

And aftermarket support is incredibly important as well.  In fact, I would wager that these two things have stopped some excellent handguns from seeing widespread adoption among law enforcement agencies.


Thanks for the kind words.  🙂


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No Manual Saftey!!         Had a Metro Officer tell me some time back he was working off duty at the Stop&Rob and three guys walked in with guns and the only thought rushing through my head (is the safety off my Hi-Power?

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1)Can I accesses this handgun quickly and reliably.  (Grab)

2) Can I draw quickly and accurately (Yank)

3) can a point and fire quickly (Fire)

Of all of my carry guns one stands out.  I can draw and fire faster with it than any of them. It my old Smith and Wesson model 36 3" with the square butt grip.  I didn't want to admit it so I tested all my guns again and Chief's Special still won.  Five shots in today's environment is just not enough and speed loading a wheel gun during a gun fight is out of the question.  That's why I back up my J-frame with a Sig P365 or other semi-auto.

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  1. Reliability.  If I can't get through hundreds of rounds at the range without any issues then how could I trust it for the 3 rounds that I might actually need one day?
  2. Lack of manual safety.  I have done training classes with and without safeties.  Many times I have pulled the trigger and after a moment of disappointment disengaged the safety and pulled the trigger again.  Training for it only works if you will ALWAYS have guns with manual safeties and I can't promise that.
  3. Point and Shoot accuracy.  For some reason the way my hand/wrist work I can point and shoot anything that has nearly a 1911 geometry pretty well.  But when I draw a Glock I am always off and have to adjust the aim before I pull the trigger.  Something about that angle is just off for my hand/wrist.  So when choosing a potential carry gun I need to draw and see how far off the sites are before I adjust aim.  If that is too far off then the angle is just wrong for me.
  4. Weight/Size.  No matter how great the gun if it is too heavy or bulky then I might not carry it as often as I should.  Any gun that is with you is better than the one you left at home.
  5. Capacity.
  6. Market Support.  Must be able to buy mags, holsters, .....
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1. as dependable as an anvil
  1a. fits my hand

2. recorded fight stopping success

3. balance, heavy enough to shoot quickly/light enough to carry

4. hammer fired

5. auto loading

6. available replacement parts

7. available holsters (multiple)

8. not plastic

my favorite can only muster about half, it's heavy, and has NO support in holster/parts. my new EDC is plastic. I would be fine with my 8 shot revolver but I shoot autos much more naturally.




Edited by papa61
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1. Reliability 

2. fit in hand. Doesn’t matter how good I shoot it, the grip on an XD just gives me the willies. Like walking around in a wet sock or licking a tongue depressor. 

3. Ability to accept multiple mags. I like a Glock 26, but like to have a 17 or even 20 round mag as a backup. 

4. Night sights. 

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