Self defense handgun choices and why.

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by brutus51, Sep 20, 2020.

  1. brutus51

    brutus51 Member

    Apr 7, 2013
    Curious to know what others think as for me:
    In the home I chose a commander length 1911 in .45ACP. for the following reasons:
    1. Night sites.
    2, big bullet.
    3. low muzzle flash
    4. Won't blow out my eardrums

    Concealed carry, Here's where I get a bit fickle based on climate.
    1. Commander length 1911 in .45ACP. for all reasons listed above.
    2.Commander length 1911 in 38 Super because it comes close to .357Mag.
    3. Colt Cobra for hot weather prefer 38 special over 9mm punybellum.
    4. Sig P365 also for hot weather.
    5. Colt pocket lite .380ACP for really hot weather.

    Woods carry:
    1. S&W 625 .45Colt pre-lock mountain gun.
    2. S&W 629 .44Mag. pre-lock 6" barrel.
    That's my choices, what's yours? :cool:
    qwert65, spraay, AZAndy and 2 others like this.
  2. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Southwestern Ohio
    Glock 19 on my side, Walther CCP on hers. Tactical shotgun in the closet and a couple of other handguns strategically placed in the house.

    Carry Glock 43X or Sig P365 in summer, Walther PPQ M2 or Springfield XD 45 in winter

    Woods Glock 20 10MM with Underwood 220 hard cast ammo.
    Buzznrose and rabid wombat like this.
  3. Rexster

    Rexster Member

    Mar 25, 2007
    SE Texas
    Home: Well, inside the home, I am going to reach for a shotgun, if at all possible. I have a pair of Benelli M2 shotguns, with Comfort-Tech stocks, which are Plan A. I have trained to use them at close quarters. One of them was my duty shotgun, in my final two years of big-city policing. Of course, this page is about handguns, and, so, full-sized, all-steel, Les Baer 1911 pistols. I have two that have been vetted, and are kept loaded. Each has front night sights, though one has totally dimmed, with age, and I am not inclined to replace it. Fighting can be a 360-degree thing, and any opponent from my 3 to my 9 can, potentially, see my night sights. All-steel, full-sized 1911 pistols are “orthopedic” weapons, as compact pistols, even 9mm, have become too much for my right thumb and wrist. The low muzzle flash and lower-decibel sound signature are pluses, indoors.

    Defensive Carry: I have largely defaulted to Ruger and S&W .38 and .357 revolvers, from SP101 on the small end, to GP100 on the large end. In the middle are K-Frames, and Speed/Security Sixes. It is not unusual for me to carry two, as much for ambidextrous access as for “back-up” purposes. I am left-handed, but right-armed, so the draw is more natural from the right side, but shooting can be more natural natural lefty, though DA revolvers are a perfect ambi-choice. When the urge is there, I will still carry a 1911, out and about. And, any of these revolvers, especially the larger ones, might be called upon for home defense, if it happens to be more handy, at the moment.

    Woods Carry: In my region, SE Texas, this need be no different from town carry, except that I might opt for a longer-barreled handgun. I have GP100/K/L-sized hands, so that normally means .357 Magnum, though I do have a Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan, with a GP100 grip on it, if a bigger bore were to seem necessary. I have an interest in traditional-design single-action revolvers, so, might opt for such a sixgun, if it were to “feel right,” at the moment.

    When-This-Pandemic-Ends, General Utility Gun: Glock G17 and G19x. I need to train regularly, with Glocks. Training has not been happening, nearly enough, in 2020. Dry-fire helps with 1911 and DA revolving pistols, but I need to live-fire Glocks. I will never shoot a Glock as well as a 1911, or, especially, a GP100, even when I do train regularly. A Glock is, however, easily cleaned after getting filthy, accurate enough for most defensive occasions, and holds a large reservoir of ammo, so has its uses.

    Special, Occasional Niche: Seecamp LWS-32. Not frequently carried, but, now and then, a special, unusual need arises.
  4. Rexster

    Rexster Member

    Mar 25, 2007
    SE Texas
    I’ll add that my wife is most comfortable with mid-frame DA revolvers, so in any circumstance where we might be sharing one or more weapons, it is likely to be a K-Frame S&W, or a Ruger Speed Six or GP100, or some combination of these.
  5. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

    Mar 16, 2014
    The wife has a Mossberg 590 and S&W 380 Bodyguard. A variety of Glock 22/23’s in the house. Carry a 23. Like @Rexster , SE Texas is not big on four legged predators...

    Both the wife and I shoot 1911’s, but I like the compromise of the 40 cal. Had the bullet and round selection been available for the 9mm when I decided, I would have gone 17/19....I am not a Glock fanboy, but they are an appliance and they work when you mash the bang switch.
    qwert65 and Rexster like this.
  6. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    May 26, 2007
    I'm in transition at the moment. For years my nightstand gun has been a G21 in 45 ACP with a mounted light. It has night sights, but they stopped working some years ago. I'd much rather have the mounted light anyway.. I don't buy into the hype that 45 is any better than 9mm, but I like the gun and shoot it well. It is too big to be practical for me to carry so it sort of fell into night stand use by default. A shotgun and AR are nearby, but neither would be the 1st thing I'd reach for indoors. If something moves outside they would go.

    I don't have any issues with a Glock with a loaded chamber when carried in a proper holster, but won't chamber a round in a Glock kept in a night stand drawer. I'm moving to a Smith M&P 45 with a safety that I picked up used recently at a great price. They come with 10 round mags, but factory 14 round extended mags are available and I have 2 for it.

    I'm OK with a loaded chamber in a gun with a safety in a nightstand. Or a true DA trigger pull. That gives me 2 more rounds than the Glock. I wouldn't carry it with the extended mags, but would with the 10 round mags. With the addition of an Apex trigger kit I shoot the Smith as well as my 1911's and better than the Glock. And it is small enough to be a practical carry choice. Another range trip and I think I'll have enough confidence in it to retire the Glock.

    For years I carried a G19 or a Kel-Tec 380 depending. Lately though I've pretty much settled on a Sig 365. With the 10 round mags it isn't that much harder to conceal than a 380. With 12 round mags I can get enough grip that I shoot it as well as my G19. I own 2 G19's. While neither is the 1st thing I reach for anymore they ain't for sale. They are just too good.
    X62503 and rabid wombat like this.
  7. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Home Defense I have 12 ga Mossberg and Benelli Shotguns, a Sig p400 AR pistol converted to 7.62x39, Sig and S&W .40 S&W pistols, a Taurus .44 mag revolver and two Taurus .357 mag revolvers in various locations. I consider the p400 to be my 'main' HD weapon. It, the shotguns and one pistol have lights and Red Dots. The 40 S&W ammo is Federal 165 gr HST. The Shotguns have shorty 12 ga shells and the Russian ammo is the standard Wolf military ball ammo. The 44 mag has full house semi wadcutters.


    Reasons, well I'm pretty good with the shotguns and the p400 has larger ammo capacity and magazines. The 7.62 is IMHO a superior shortish range round than a 5.56. The various revolvers are long-term stashes (e.g. kitchen, workbench, office) while the p229 RX is my bedside buddy.


    All of the pistols except the 44 mag live in holsters, the rifles live in their rifle bags while the shotguns are just stashed and handy. (I live alone with my large dogs).

    The rest have all migrated to 9mm weapons. Many have lights. I also carry a separate light at all times and also in packs. Ammo is mostly Federal 147 gr HST Tactical or Speer 115 Gold Dot.

    OWB Carry: P365XL with TLR-6 light in Level II duty holster

    IWB Carry: p365 with TLR-6 light in kydex holster

    Pocket Carry p365 with or without TLR-6 light in kydex holster

    Sweat pants (belly band) p365 manual safety no light in kydex holster

    EDC pack carry p365 SAS in a velcro holster in a pack pocket. No front sights mean no snag on the holster.

    Field Carry: Sig mk25 (open carry in Level II kydex holster) and / or Sig M11A1 (concealed in kydex holster)

    If hunting then my DDM7 converted to 6.5G with 2-6 IER Firedot Scout scope and Streamlight TLR-2

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
    HPCadm17 likes this.
  8. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

    Feb 15, 2012
    SA, TX
    With very little exception, all my carry or home defense guns are Glocks (9MM, .40, .45ACP, and 10MM) or AR’s.

    No sense making things complicated...
    ThomasT and Hartkopf like this.
  9. 357smallbore

    357smallbore Member

    Feb 14, 2015
    Libby MT
    Home is a Spas 12 and AR15
    EDC/CCW is either a Ruger Speed Six or a SD9VE
    Car&Truck gun is Ruger LC9s or Shield 9mm
    Forest/Woods is Ruger Redhawk 5.5 44mag
    Wife carries Snub 38 and a LCP

    Because they work, we like them and they meet our wants and needs.
  10. NorthBorder

    NorthBorder Member

    Mar 7, 2011
    2 miles past the end of the earth
    My XTS 9 is my EDC and HD. All others are locked up in the safe.
    If I wake up from a dead sleep I don't have to think about the manual of arms. I just point a shoot like my camera. For woods carry I have either a RIA 10 mm or a 45LC Ruger.
  11. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

    Feb 10, 2016
    Fl panhandle
    In theory, some type of Glock for most applications, because they work great and are highly "imprinted" on me. In practice, I cc a shield 9 because I don't care for the Glock 43 and I live in Fl, where "summer wear" is pretty much "year round wear".
    Tcruse likes this.
  12. JR24

    JR24 Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    The center of the mitt
    My wife much prefers 9mm so the bedside handguns are 9mm, she's got a 228 and I've got the EDC X9.

    For carry I like 9mm also for a number of reasons, but mostly because I can get hits on target faster, easier, with 9mm over .40 and .45. Used to prefer the .45, even while slower, but I've come to require lighter guns for carry and dislike .45 in small, light, guns.
    ThomasT and Buzznrose like this.
  13. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    South Eastern Illinois
    AR pistol with weapon light and RDS, 30rd mag ..and a commander 1911, in an electronic safe under my bed.

    My best ccw is the ruger sr9c.
    It is lightweight, railed, loaded chamber indicator, compact that shoots like a service sized gun. 10rd or 17rd mags. No sentimental value. Reloads are easily carried. Trained, tried, and true. I see a growing trend of multiple assailants.?

    Woods carry is whatever I want that is fun. No serious threat here. Maybe a rabid skunk, lol.
    Often it is a cap n ball, or a SAA.
  14. WheelGunMan

    WheelGunMan Member

    May 19, 2016
    U S A
    EDC is a Sig P365XL carried appendix in an IWB kydex holster. Nightstand is a HK P30 next to a high lumen hand held flashlight.
  15. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

    Feb 12, 2011
    For home defense there is a HK VP9 in the bedside table, a CZ Shadow 2 in my reloading work table, and my XDs 45 is in the couch side table. There is also a loaded Sig P220 10mm in my dresser because that's what I carry in the woods most often.

    My carry gun is typically a Sig P938 Legion, or if it's obnoxiously hot, my XDs-45. In winter it's an HK P30SK. My carry guns are chosen based on my ability to conceal them effectively under my chosen apparel, so I know I WILL actually carry them, and on a cartridge that can, in my opinion, repel an attack effectively. I wish capacity was higher for my summer carry guns, but it is what it is, and I shoot these guns well. They should prove adequate to save my life based on the lifestyle I lead. And if they aren't I won't be around for anyone to say "Told you so." So I won't care.

    I typically carry a ZT or WE brand frame lock flipper knife also. Certainly not ideal for last ditch effort, but they open with one hand, and same as my carry gun, I carry one consistently.

    Home defense is chosen based on what I shoot fastest and most accurately based on my current collection.
    brutus51 likes this.
  16. Hartkopf

    Hartkopf Member

    Nov 11, 2019
    I carry a full size Glock because I can conceal it, fits my hand and holds 18 rounds. Same for home defense. Both guns have over 1200+ rounds through them with zero malfunctions.
    rabid wombat likes this.
  17. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

    Mar 15, 2009
    Free State USA
    I've not carried smaller than a Glock 19/23 in over 3 years; Glock 23 is my minimum; but, I've carried a Glock 20SF/22/35 just as much.
    Home - What I've got on (likely that Glock 20SF/23/22) if awake; Glock 20SF is handy if I'm in bed.
    Woods? How/ why did I get lost? :p - that 20SF is at a premium for woods.
  18. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    For summer carry I had been pocket carrying a Keltec P3AT, but with everything going on I decided to upgrade to a Sig 365. Bigger caliber, larger capacity and I can still pocket carry. Might turn into my year round carry gun.

    For home defense I have a HK USP 45 as my dresser gun and a Mossberg 500B that is readily available in case something goes bump in the night.
  19. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Deep in the Ozarks
    I carry a full-size M1911 (currently a 25-year old Kimber Custom Classic) because tens of thousands of Moros, Mexicans, Haitians, Germans, Russians, Nicaraguans, Japanese, Italians, North Koreans, Chinese, North Viet Namese, Viet Cong and Arabs can't be wrong.
    brutus51 and EMC45 like this.
  20. Koroner

    Koroner Member

    Nov 11, 2019
    southwest Utah
    Why just handguns?

    Rem 1187 totally tricked out (light, combat bolt handle, sidesaddle, McClure trigger)
    FN SCAR 5.56 even more tricked out (including light with strobe capability)
    Kimber TLE Government , nite sites, Surefire light
    Kimber TLE Commander with same
    Zenith 9mm (essentially an SBR) iron sight
    Zenith 9mm Holsun red dot

    light carry; Sig 938
    summer lighter carry Ruger LCP or Colt pocket .32acp
    super light carry NAA .22mag
    "expecting trouble" CZ 9mm or Les Baer Thunder Ranch (depends on number of bogeys)

    New York City a stout cane and small fixed blade

    Alaska wilderness 10mm Banshee and Glock 10mm (came clips)
    S&W 610
    S&W .44mag 6"
    Taurus .45LC pump with bear loads (good for Utah high country too)
    Benelli M3 Super 90

    California 10 shot Ruger .40 with Police Carbine that takes same clips
    Rem 870
    any single stack 1911
    disassembled Beretta .22 in my pocket (reassembles in seconds)

    My ranch? All of the above and strategically placed Tannerite. (The social distancing that I get there probably keeps me healthier than my guns.)
  21. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    Twelve years ago, I bought a Model 642. It was light, smooth, and simple, ant it would slip into a jeans pocket.

    I decided I wanted an option with more capacity. I bought an M&P Compact. It stung my trigger finger, and I had to soak my hand after 50 shots, and the ambidextrous safety had a worrisome habit of disengaging.

    I signed up for a high-performance defensive pistol shooting course. They said to bring a service-sized semi-auto and ammo for two days of shooting. I compromised, and bought an officer-sized STI Guardian .45.

    I could shoot a thousand rounds without my hand giving out. But after a while I got tired of the weight.

    I bought a Ruger SR-9c--a great shooter, it was the same size as the 642 with twice the capacity.

    After a single shooter-induced error that could have been fatal--failure to disengage the safety after drawing--I decided I wanted something with a grip safety. I bought a Springfields XDS 9 4.0.

    Great except for the trigger--for me.

    I now carry a Smith and Wesson Shield EZ 9 with only the grip safety.

    I like a grip safety, but I would not be averse to carrying something without one.

    Health issues over those twelve years have made the "EZ" the best, except that the .45 has lower sound pressure.

    I have gone from pocket carry to IWB to OWB. OWB seems the most comfortable.

    Same thing in all seasons. Same gun, same holster, every day. No "rotation".

    What would I recommend for others? I wouldn't...it's up to them.

    I would caution against using anything with a whole lot of sound pressure in the house. I should mention that shooting a heavy recoiling gun a lot can cause cumulative nerve damage, joint damage, and tendon damage. One needs only so much penetration anyway.

    Too little capacity could prove catastrophic, and a whole lot makes the thing heavier.

    I recommend taking a good defensive shooting course and seeing how one does in the drills.
    Old Dog and Rexster like this.
  22. Ernie Bass

    Ernie Bass member

    Aug 10, 2019
    No Town N.C.
    Among other things is my Mossberg Flex 20ga. cruiser. I like changing out the grips during range sessions.
  23. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 15, 2012
    I'm mostly a 'one gun, all the time, every time' kind of guy. I've been through a 1911, a G19, and now my Shield 9. I've consistently moved smaller and smaller, but I'm about to reverse that. I'll make the move to my Shield 45 as soon as I'm confident that it's reliable. At that point, my Shield 9 will be come my "dress clothes" gun. Until then, it's like this:
    1. Going to the grocery store -- Shield 9
    2. Going out to eat -- Shield 9
    3. [Insert activity here] -- Shield 9.

    I did say "almost," so I should qualify that. I do have a Ruger LCR for those times when I pocket carry. That usually means it's just too danged hot for a cover garment.
    Old Dog and bannockburn like this.
  24. IdaD

    IdaD Member

    Oct 30, 2018
    It changes some but currently:

    Home: AR15. Much easier to use proficiently than a handgun, especially in a stressful situation, and far better terminal performance, ability to engage multiple threats and longer range. Compared to a shotgun, it's handier, higher capacity, less recoil and more accurate (for me).

    Concealed Carry: LCP or Shield. This is dictated by clothing, I'll go with the Shield IWB if possible or the LCP in a pocket if I can't do the Shield. Sometimes I'll go with the LCP for comfort reasons, too.

    Truck/Bag Gun: M&P 2.0 Compact. More firepower than the handguns above and easier to shoot, but still pretty compact to stick in my door or console or even on IWB if I want.

    Woods: Whatever rifle is suitable for what I'm hunting, or if I'm not hunting the M&P 2.0 Compact OWB.
  25. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

    Jan 13, 2018
    SE WI
    I just switched my EDC from a 1911 to a Glock 26. The 1911 was getting a little painful to carry and it was starting to affect my golf game. So I gained a couple of carry rounds and lowered my golf scores a couple of strokes. A Henry 357 and a Dan Wesson 15-2 are generally the HD weapons of choice.
    Haven't started carrying a truck gun yet but if I do it will be a Colt 1991/A1.
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