MAKE SURE YOU TEST YOUR CCW HANDGUN BEFORE YOU PURCHASE IT
October 17, 2018
You can read a lot of reviews on the best handguns for concealed carriers and for every positive review there is a concealed carrier that will tell you that that model did not work for them. There is no universal one-size-fits all handgun for every concealed carrier. If there were, there would not be so many handgun manufacturers or so many different models of handguns. Review re a good place to start gathering information about different models and their pros and cons. Talking to friends about their favorites is another good source of information. Before you head out to purchase that handgun, go and rent that particular model or take a class where you can shoot different guns and try out the ones you like.
Until you hold a handgun in your hand and fire it, you really cannot tell whether the grip will fit you well. If you are going to carry the gun for concealed carry as your everyday carry gun or for personal protection, you must experience the gun firsthand and feel comfortable that it is going to function and perform well for your use. You wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a test drive and you shouldn’t buy a gun without giving it a proficiency test. You need to feel comfortable that you can shoot accurately with your concealed handgun at different distances, with different ammo and that you can draw and shoot quickly and safely.
There are so many parts to a handgun that can trip you up so you need to be able to operate it, load and unload it, try various ammo in it, draw and shoot from our holster or preferred carry method so that you can evaluate it for yourself. A handgun is an expensive proposition these days so you can’t afford to buy a gun without knowing whether you can rack the slide, wrap your finger around the trigger, grip it comfortably, or handle the recoil. After you have bought the gun, if it isn’t going to work well for you, you are pretty much stuck with it.
What’s the best way to give a handgun a proficiency test? Take it out to the range and run it through some test drills.
The reliability test. Be sure to put it through a variety of weights and types of ammo because it is important to know what the best type of load your gun can handle without malfunctions or stoppages. You do not want a handgun that will malfunction or jam up when you need it to protect yourself. That should narrow down your gun choices to your top 2 or 3.
Now it is time for the accuracy test. Set up your targets, draw and start shooting in sequence 4 shot groups. Use a few different shooting positions such as two-handed, one-handed and vary the distance at 3, 5 and 7 yards. Observe the size of the shot groups and where it hits the target. Does the gun pull to the right or left? Does it shoot high or low? Will you have to make a lot of adjustments in your sights and shooting stance to fire that gun? If it requires too much adjustment, is it really worth owning when you could find one that requires only minor adjustments?
Don’t forget the load test. Take the gun apart, clean it and put it back together and load your ammo. You don’t really get a good feel for a handgun until you have eyeballed all of the parts and had to work with them hands on. How long does it take you to load the weapon? Is it fairly easy to disassemble for cleaning and reassemble?
Don’t risk our life on a handgun that sounds good on paper, do your homework and give it a proficiency test before you spend the money to purchase it. You’ll gain the peace of mind knowing that you can comfortably rely on your gun to be accurate and easily accessible when you need it.