Editor’s Note: This is the second entry in our 12-part Armed & Ready series from Richard Nance and Handguns magazine. The series covers a range of personal defense and CCW topics. See links below for the other entries:
- CCW Mistake That’ll Get You Killed
- Carry Guns in Gun-Free Zones
- Bad Breath-Distance Gunfighting
- When You Can’t Pull the Trigger
- Don’t Aim in a Gunfight
- Why Does the 2nd Amendment Matter?
- Don’t Make a Cop Shoot You
- Hammer vs. Striker: Which Do You Need?
- Don’t Fight Blind
- Family Held Hostage: Do You Shoot?
- Why You Need an AR for Home Defense
If you’re involved in EDC at all, you know there are numerous modes of carry for your favored CCW pistol. Inside the waistband, outside the waistband, appendix carry, ankle, pocket, etc. But, beyond where you carry it, are you carrying enough gun for your situation? In this entry (see video above) in the Armed & Ready video series, we’ll look at three different guns and carry modes to show you some of your options.
More May Be Better
There are many different carry mode options, but the most physiologically efficient way to carry a pistol is on the hip. And, if you’re going to carry this way, it’s nice to have a full-size pistol. The one we’re using here is the Range Officer Elite Operator full-size pistol in .45 ACP. This is a lot of gun and feels good in the hand, and its 41-oz. heft makes it very controllable. But while it offers a lot of power, it can be difficult to conceal.
Splitting the Difference
Choosing a carry gun is always a balancing act between concealability, accessibility, and shootability. To get a more concealable option, we also take a look at the XD-S Mod.2 in 9mm. More compact and lighter at 21.5 oz. and in a smaller chambering, the 7+1 pistol makes concealment much easier.
Admittedly, this gun is not as easy to shoot as the full-size 1911, but with its 9mm chambering and well-designed grip, you can still very effectively employ it. We set it up for appendix carry, which means you can easily conceal it, even under a light shirt. The result is a good amount of firepower in a very concealable package.
Less Can Be More
If you need an extremely small pistol that still offers good power, the Springfield Armory 911 in 9mm is a good option. Weighing in at just over 15 oz. and packing six rounds of 9mm in its flush-fitting magazine, the pistol can be carried in a pocket holster. This carry mode is not particularly accessible, but offers very low-key EDC.
While the pistol is very small, it’s still reasonably easy to shoot well. You get a decent grip on it that makes it very shootable, particularly with the extended 7-round magazine. Yes, it is lighter and smaller, but you can still get rounds on target with this one.
All three of these pistols and carry modes are more than viable for CCW, but you need to decide which is right for you based on your lifestyle, dress mode, and situational needs. From a full-size in .45 to an ultra-compact in 9mm that can fit in a pocket, there’s an option out there for you.