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The Quest to Find the Perfect Carry Gun

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A friend of mine is on a quest to find the perfect—for him—carry gun. He has settled on double-action revolvers and is trying to choose between several models from Smith & Wesson and Colt. That he is concerned with DA revolvers is neither here nor there. What is interesting is how he is going about the selection. A selection, by the way, that will work for any of us whether semi-autos or revolvers are what appeal to us.

He has chosen three shooting drills that require a minimum of ammunition. One drill focuses on speed, one on accuracy and the last on long-range performance—out to 50 yards. He shoots the drills only once or twice per range visit and he records the results to compare at his leisure. And, in his case, he has been doing this since about January as time permits.

This is a very analytical approach and one that is giving some positive results. Several guns that he started with just simply didn’t match up to the performance of others, and were soon set aside. Other guns have taken their place in the tests. It is a pretty effective way for a shooter to determine what works for them.

With semi-autos, one might compare several makes of striker-fired guns, or 1911s or DA semi-autos. Or, you might even mix and match—see which of the different platforms work best for the individual.

The three shooting drills cover the challenges that the armed citizen is most likely to have. Obviously, speed is required for those nasty in-your-face attacks. But, a fellow would want good accuracy should he have to make a head shot on a crook that was holding a family member hostage. And, finally, there may be times that a person has to reach out there and deal with a problem beyond 25 yards.

My friend and colleague Ed Head writes the Skill Checks column for Shooting Illustrated. Plenty of excellent shooting drills can be found there. Give it some thought and then set up some head-to-head drills between the guns that interest you the most. You may be shocked. You may be surprised. But it’s an excellent way to find the gun that suits you.

Article by Sheriff Jim Wilson

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