If You Could Have Only One Carry Piece For SD What Would It Be?

Seeing as I’m currently rocking a Zastava M70 in a custom IWB holster, I’ll go with it… good IWB, small enough to fit in cargo shirts pocket w/ manageable weight.

Given a “No. 2 Option”, it’d have to be a revolver of the Colt ‘73 Pattern, plow grip, 4-3/4” barrel, in .357 or .44 Magnum.
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I've asked myself this question for a few decades.

Depending where I lived, it might vary.

Mountains, with dangerous critters? Revolver. A .44MAG, .45Colt or a .357MAG.

Consistent deep concealment in urban environs? Snub .38Spl. In earlier days the ammunition was a lot more common than most anything else. Nowadays it's given way to pistol ammunition on store shelves, which may be a consideration for some folks. I spent time in the last 15-20 years looking ahead and gathering some to prepare for any shortages in my retirement.

Less need for deep concealment in urban environs? Toss up. A solid medium-framed revolver in .357MAG/.38Spl ... or .... a compact/subcompact 9, .40 or .45, depending on the availability of modern factory JHP ammunition.

If you'd asked me 40 years ago, I might've said a .45ACP Colt Commander or Government Model. The ammunition takes up more space, and pistols require magazines, though.

If I had to grab One Handgun for an extended period of time, like when we had to evacuate for the big fires? It's hard to beat a snub .38Spl. No magazines needed. Ammunition can vary without having to be concerned about feeding. Less concern about grip stability supporting the cycling and feeding. Simpler trigger action ... for someone familiar and well-versed with DA revolvers, at any rate. It's not uncommon for folks who didn't develop much of their foundation skillsets using DA revolvers to cause themselves problems if they short-stroke a DA trigger and don't allow proper recovery. Shooter-induced issue, though.

Of course, considering the small size of the 5-shot snub, when we were loading our larger SUV to evacuate the things we considered important, if the fire reached our property ... and space was at a premium ... it was very easy to grab more than one snub to carry, and another to stow. ;) A few boxes of ammunition took up more space than the snubs. ;)
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I only have two "Carry Pieces" now.

A Glock 19 and a Glock 26. If I had to pick one or the other it would be the Glock 26 for those times when I had to absolutely deep conceal it
Good to see another Glock 26 vote. After being my EDC carry for 21 years now, I have still to find another handgun that covers all the bases as this fine 9mm.

It's near to perfect. Thin to conceal, reliability a standout , accuracy excellent, capacity 10 +1.

The Gold Standard for Self Defense carry.