09 December 2019
As a retired Sheriiff Sgt. and NRA certified LE firearms instructor, I've had the opportunity to carry lots of different handguns in my career. Also seen firsthand the results of different gunshot wounds.
Firstly, you need to carry a gun that has enough knockdown power to disable a determined assailant with one or at the most, two hits.
Secondly, you need to have a firearm available at all times if possible. That means you have to be ready to deal with a trade off between firepower and concealability. If you can stand the weight and bulk, the best gun in my estimation is a 45 auto or one of the new tupperware guns in 40 S&W.
If you carry a gun much you will soon tire of the weight and bulk of a big gun and probably leave it in the drawer where it won't do you any good if the S--T hits the fan. So, you will need to come to some sort of compromise. I'm 77 yrs old now and as I get older, the size of the guns I carry for protection get smaller and smaller.That doesn't mean that they are less lethal. I've carried a 44 bulldog, a really nice 3 inch Chief's Special in airweight and lately, the best one I've ever carried, a Ruger LC9 light weight single action 9 mm, polimer frame gun with a 3.1 ich barrel. This gun is small enough to carry it in a pocket holster in your pants pocket. It can also be carried inside the waistband and on the outside in a conventional holster. My favorite holster is a pancake holster made by Crossbreed.
The sights on this gun are very small so I replaced them with a set of fiber optic sights that really stand out in the daylight. They also have tritium inserts that show up in the dark. So, as you can see, it can be used in just about any condition you might run into. Even if you can see your sights, I would caution about shooting in the dark. Before you shoot, you must be sure of what you are shooting at.
The 9 mm round is arguably not the most powerful manstopper out there but with the advent of the new bullets that will expand readily, this cartridge has gained a large following in both the law enforcement and civilian sector. My choice of carry ammo is the Hornady Critical Defense 115 gr. FTX round. Note: this ammo is in chrome plated cases so the they don't corrode or deteriorate while you are carrying them. I've tested this round in my LC9 and it works flawlessly. This little gun also runs with just about anything else I shoot through it. I've probably fired way in excess of a thousand cast handloads in it without any problems.
The thing that sold me on this gun was the quality of the trigger pull. The Ruger engineers really hit a home run with this trigger design. It is light and smooth and has the long travel of most all semi auto striker fired guns. But, it is easy to shoot and very accurate. I've fired it a lot on many IDPA and USPSA courses and the performance of this gun never fails to amaze the other shooters. This gun even feeds the Lee 358-105 SWC bullet in wheel weights. The model I have is the Pro model with no manual safety.. It does have a trigger operated safety with the little bar sticking out of the center of the trigger shoe. I think it is safe as long as you keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire. Near the end of my LE career, we went to Glocks with the safe trigger and I carried a Glock 19 for about 5 years without incident. My theory is that in a stressful situation like a gunfight, I don't want to be fumbling around taking a safety off when all I have to do is point and shoot. I shoot this gun at least monthly to stay in practice with it but I'm not against someone who rarely shoots and practices having a manual safety. In fact, I'd feel safer around them if they did!!
Lately i've only seen this model for sale in a stripped down version at very low prices but I still think it is a good viable compromise gun to carry. It can always have a good set of Tritium/fiber optic sights installed to make it a real good carry gun. I would definitely recommend you take a look at this gun and try the trigger before you make your final choice.
Just my two cents worth......
Life member of CBA and NRA