Gun “Experts” and their Idiotic CCW Choices

Written by Greg Ellifritz

Topics: Articles

  • SumoMe

Written by: Greg Ellifritz

FireShot Screen Capture #053 - '18 Experts Pick Their Concealed Carry Weapon of Choice' - www_tactical-life_com_tactics_18-experts-concealed-carry-wea

I recently read one of the most ridiculous gun articles I’ve seen in a long time. In 18 Experts Pick Their Concealed Carry Weapon of Choice, some supposed “experts” reveal their chosen CCW gun and the rationale behind why they carry it. The article is obviously intended for beginners and provides some absolutely horrible advice from some people who have no idea what they are talking about. Go read the article. Then come back and we’ll discuss the problems it advocates.


The “expert” advice contained in the article can be classified in a couple different ways. Some of these people are not experts and should be ignored. They have no idea how bad their advice is.


Some of the “experts” are true gun experts (competitive shooters), but don’t know anything about self protection. Others are obviously biased by their industry ties and sponsorships.


Some of the “experts” interviewed are true experts, but their advice may not be good advice for you to follow. Bill Rogers is one such example. I’ve seen Bill shoot. He would be deadly with a .22 derringer. His choice of a 9mm snub revolver carried in a pocket is likely a good choice for his lifestyle. Would I advise most beginning shooters to pocket carry a 9mm snub? Absolutely not.


Other folks interviewed provide perfectly reasonable advice about defensive firearm selection and carry.


The problem with articles like this one is that the average reader has no idea who is credible or whose advice to follow. Should he carry a Taurus Curve without a holster or a .50 custom 1911 in an IWB holster?


Everyone is limited by his or her own experiences, myself included. Often times we don’t know what we don’t know. I’m far from being omniscient, but I have taught defensive firearms skills full time for more than 15 years. I had cops on my range daily for 13 years as the training officer for my department. I work at a high volume shooting school. My experience isn’t limited by just the guns I’ve shot and carried. I’ve seen just about every possible variation of gun and holster combinations come through my classes. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t.


I’m not going to comment on each of these experts’ choices. I will, however, provide some general commentary based on my experiences over the years. Hopefully, that might steer some beginning shooters in a better direction.



• Traditional double action guns (like the Sig 239, Beretta 92, and S&W 4516) are generally harder for students to learn to operate than the striker fired or DAO guns. Mastering two different trigger pulls and remembering to de-cock under stress make the traditional DA auto pistols more difficult to master.


• I’ve been uniformly unimpressed by any of the firearms made by Taurus. I see more problems from this brand than almost any other “quality” handgun manufacturer I see in my class. I would suggest that you avoid Taurus guns. While there are individual specimens that likely perform fine, as a whole, the brand sucks.


• The Ruger LCP has been hit or miss in my students. Some work well. Some don’t. If you choose to carry this weapon, I highly recommend that you carry the newer model with the better sights and smoother trigger.


• The Ruger LC9 is generally less reliable than the LCP. I wouldn’t carry one. If you are looking for a small polymer 9mm, the Glock 43, S&W Shield, or Walther PPS are better choices.


• 1911-style pistols are truly guns for experts. Unfortunately, most of the folks carrying them defensively aren’t anywhere near the “expert” level. The 1911 will take far more effort and maintenance to maintain reliability than any of the modern striker fired guns. If you treat your gun like you treat your lawnmower, the 1911 is not a good choice for you.


• Snub-nose revolvers are also experts’ guns. It takes a lot of practice to shoot a snub well. Most new shooters looking for a small carry gun would be better off with a mid-size semi automatic pistol than a snub revolver.


• You don’t need a 10mm or .50 AE auto pistol for defense against humans. In bear country, they would make great weapons. Against humans, not so much. The increased recoil and blast make fast followup shots difficult. Practice sessions are both fatiguing and expensive. There isn’t any substantial increase in stopping power over the common service calibers. Stick with 9mm, .40. or .45 instead.



• Hornady Critical Defense rounds are advocated by a lot of people on this list. They aren’t bad rounds in some calibers. They are less than stellar in others. In general, the Critical Defense line is eclipsed by the Federal HST, Speer Gold Dot, or Winchester Ranger bullets. If given the option, choose one of these rounds instead of the Critical Defense load.


• Winchester Silvertip ammunition was state of the art in 1987. Ammunition technology has improved greatly since then. Silvertip hollowpoints do fine in bare flesh, but perform horribly if shot through heavy clothing or any intervening barriers. There are much better rounds on the market than the Silvertip.


• The selling point of MagSafe ammo is it’s lack of penetration. In most calibers, it only penetrates six to eight inches maximum in flesh. While that is great if your primary goal is avoiding a bullet pass through, it isn’t so great if your primary goal is to stop the attacker. Choose a defensive round that penetrates at least 12″ of ballistic gelatin.


• Carrying the same bullet that your local police department carries is usually pretty good advice…unless your local PD carries semi-jacketed soft point .45 acp ammo. Does such a round even exist? If your local PD carries a good round, it might be useful to copy them. Just recognize most cops aren’t gun guys and some agencies choose horrible bullets for their officers


• Federal Hydra-shock ammunition is similar to the Silvertip discussed above. It is at least one generation behind the most state of the art bullets available today. I would generally avoid it, except in .380 acp, where it seems to perform pretty well.


• There is nothing magical about the Winchester Black Talon ammunition. It retains a cult following and some people carry it thinking that because it was discontinued, it miust be “too deadly.” Not true. Winchester discontinued it because of bad publicity. The Ranger SXT is a functionally identical bullet. Besides, the Black Talon stopped being produced in 1993. Why would you trust your life to 25 year old carry ammo?




• Carrying an Uncle Mike’s inside the waistband holster is the uniform identifier of an amateur shooter/tactician. These holsters are cheap and provide a minimally effective way of carrying the gun. They are not carried by professionals. These holsters have clips that don’t stay secured to the belt, collapse when the gun is removed (making reholstering without muzzling your support hand impossible), and are made from flexible material which may cause the trigger to be accidentally moved to the rear when holstering. Avoid them.


• Fobus is another brand that screams “amateur.” Their products are crap. Don’t carry them. And carrying a tiny gun in a Fobus paddle holster is absolutely ludicrous. Tiny guns are meant to be carried in places larger guns can’t be. If you are going to carry in a paddle holster covered by a coat, carry a full sized gun in a paddle holster that actually retains the gun. Anything that says “Fobus” on it should be relegated to the scrap pile.


• Hybrid holsters like the Alien Gear or Crossbreed often cause problems as they age. They may be comfortable initially, but I haven’t had many students wear them successfully on a daily basis for a long time. If you are carrying IWB, I would generally recommend and all-leather or all-kydex holster, not a hybrid.


• Carrying a gun butt forward on the strong side is a poor choice. The draw is slow and awkward. Retention is difficult. You almost always muzzle yourself when presenting the pistol. Don’t do it.


• Small of the back holsters are stupid. They print every time you bend forward. They are slow to draw from. They are almost impossible to defend from a gun grab. Avoid them.


Did I make any of you mad?  Do you feel the need to rabidly defend your criticized carry choice?  If you are so set on your carry method and pistol choice, then why even read the article?  Don’t post your irate and butthurt comments.  You can think I’m an idiot.  That’s fine.  Continue carrying your Taurus pistol in your Fobus small of the back paddle holster.  I’m sure that you are the special snowflake who can make it work.


The rest of you might be able to learn something from my many years of trial and error.


Choose your gurus well.




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80 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Don Worsham says:

    I think that article was more of a sales tool than anything else. It was from a gun magazine after all.

  2. Old 1811 says:

    On holsters:
    Once upon a time, while chasing a miscreant, I hit a patch of ice on the sidewalk and took some flying time, landing flat on my back on the sidewalk. Another time, walking down the outside stairwell in a project, I stepped in a patch of ice (I tell myself it was just water, but it probably wasn’t) and slid down a flight of metal-tipped concrete stairs on my back. Two good reasons not to wear a small-of-the-back holster. (I’m not a fan of wheelchairs.)
    I actually own a Fobus paddle holster. I use it if I know I have to visit a GFZ like the PO or the hospital. It’s easy to take off and put back on in the car. But I never go out in public with it.

  3. MattW says:

    Spot on, especially about the ammunition. Being honest with myself I have to admit that I’m still a novice despite having been a “shooter” for over 10 years. I used to buy Hyrda-Shoks when I first started carrying until I read that they are old-tech and have problems with some heavy clothing. Made me ask the question – why still make it if the HST is better?!?

    Interesting about the hybrid holsters. Being in Texas I tend to carry small pocket guns 8 months out of the year, so my MTAC and other hybrid holsters live most of their lives in a drawer and don’t see daily use.

  4. George Schoelles says:

    I think you were probably nice in not going on from here. Two things that stand out and I feel strongly about are:

    1 Cheap holsters: They always break at the wrong time

    2 Expert Guns, especially the 1911: An enormous amount of practice in the “CORRECT” handling of these are necessary to not getting yourself or loved ones killed.

  5. caleb says:

    Great article, as per usual, Greg.

    What would be interesting to me instead, is seeing a list of “real” experts and their carry habits … I have a sneaking suspicion that we would see a LOT of similarities down to holster, carry position on the body, ammo choice, even make/model of handgun … from the top trainers/educators like yourself who are out there today.

    (As opposed to people who just pick something they like and defend it)

    P.S. until I got half way down the list, I was thinking the article must have been sponsored by Hornady Critical Defense Ammo lol.

    • Greg Ellifritz says:

      But that article would be boring. You’d see nothing but “Glock 19 or S&W M&P 9mm carried in an IWB holster either appendix or behind the hip.” The guns the real pros use are remarkably similar.

  6. Ron says:

    Greg, I could not agree more about poor gear choices.In my opinion, there are but A FEW logical carry choices for most folks. Fitting the gun to individual hand size should be high on the priority list I feel. I have had multiple complaints about the new model LCP and the sights snagging holster (pocket) as well as pants pockets. Nothing is going to be challenge free here.

  7. Driscoll says:

    I remember the “This gun is perfect for the small of the back,” line from the guy behind the gun shop counter in the movie Survivors. Robin Williams, playing the straight man, asks something along the lines of, “Oh, you mean for when you sneak up behind someone?”

  8. Rick Bunting says:

    “A special snowflake” sums it up perfectly!

  9. Chuck Haggard says:

    MY years of experience completely agree with your years of experience Greg, except that Silvertips don’t even work well on open air shots on tissue, too much expansion, not enough penetration.

  10. Steve says:

    Thanks for another good article Greg, however I am surprised that you included snub nose revolvers as an expert only gun. I have always considered them to be an excellent beginner choice. They are simple, reliable, conceal easily, and are inherently safe because of their long heavy trigger pull.

    As far as accuracy is concerned I don’t think that a beginner is going to make the 24 yard head shot anyway. Aren’t we more apt to deal with a COM shot at 6 to 8 feet instead ?

    In cased you haven’t guessed, I carry a snubby most of the time 🙂

    Best Regards.

    • nw says:

      I carry a snubby myself and while it does take some practice I don’t know that I agree with it being only an expert’s gun.

      Then again my usual snub is a 2″ K-Frame Model 64, so the extra weight, larger grips and larger sights make it much easier to shoot than the J-Frame airweights most people tend to carry. (The trigger is pretty nice too).

      With a good IWB or pocket holster and belt I find it easy to carry and conceal with any outfit.

    • Rick says:

      A J Frame is barely smaller than a Glock 19 and larger than an M&P shield. It is also much harder to shoot well than either. I meet very few people that know how to disassemble and clean a revolver.

      Snubbies are definitely expert guns and not for new shooters. In beginning pistol classes I require all of our students to fire two shots from a S&W 642 or 442 and two shots from an XD45 tactical. Much to their surprise they have all said that the XD is much easier and more comfortable to shoot.


  11. TatendaZim says:

    Bravo. Excellent article. There are so many more reliable and modern choices in firearms and ammunition now available than when I first started shooting. Some of the “experts” brand loyalty and antiquated views are in evidence in their preferences. Even I, being of the 1911/Hydra-Shok era, realize better choices are now available. Unfortunately, many new shooters don’t have the sense of perspective to understand when a preference/recommendation is based upon a bias. There is a difference between: “Here’s what I do.” and “Here’s what I do and you should do the same the thing.” I still carry a 1911, but would never suggest that a new shooter do so. Even though I know there are better choices, I am a victim of my own bias based on 15+ years of experience with that platform.

    You mention issues with the LCP and LC9. Does the the LC9s (the striker fired version) also have the same issues?

  12. IamP says:

    FWIW, I’ve been putting rounds down range for over 40 years, both military and civilian. IMO, the worst handgun for a beginner is a Glock and similar guns. While these striker fires handguns are fine fine guns, what makes them a good defensive weapon also makes them unsuitable for a beginner. The problems is that one needs to do very little to make it go bang. AD and ND happen all too frequently. One may say that any AD/NG issue is caused by the operator and not the gun; and that is both correct and the problem. Too many beginners have learned, but not fully utilized, finger/trigger discipline to make these guns safe for them. If a beginner insists on a striker fired gun, then the Springdield XD series with a grip safety is more suitable. I’ve seen, and corrected, too many beginners who have their finger on or against the trigger when drawing, holstering, and various points in between. They need to develop the memory of proper finger discipline before using a fun that will go bang so easily. A small revolver or DAO would be safer. But, Glocks and their like are not for beginners; rather, it’s more for someone who is already experienced with the proper use of a handgun.

    • Fishman says:

      I’m a beginner to pistols (only 8 months, and only 3 of real practice and training), and a beginner to CCWs.

      After a LOT of research I decided on the M&P Shield, safety version because I’m a noob, and absolutely love it. I’ve also already shot about 2k rounds in it (and I’ve tried a lot of other guns as well), and take what I’m doing very seriously. This is an expensive and time consuming endeavor. I don’t think the issue is that “striker fires are bad for noobs” but that a lot of people don’t take the time to really understand their gun or the money and time it takes to get good with it.

      I reside in Illinois, and recently completed the CCW training they require. The accuracy test is laughable. 70% hits on a target placed at 5 7 and 10 yards. The target is a standard human silhouette. No one really “failed” it but it was sad seeing some LONG time gun owners who were all over the paper, shooting in ideal conditions.

      People like that are probably safer with a DA gun, heck I have one I really like (M&P BG 380) and it would take a monumental amount of idiocy to accidentally shoot that gun. 10 lb trigger pull, breaks only on about a 95% full trigger pull, and heck if you are ultra worried it has a safety (way to stiff to use in a draw though). Its also the hardest gun I’ve ever shot with and had a SWAT team guy I know say in an emergency with it, he would aim for the head knowing its going to be hitting the body. Basically what I’m trying to say is that “safer” carry guns are usually harder to shoot, which is also bad for a shooter who is not putting a lot of ammo down range.

      Basically people just need to shoot/train more. If a noob is dangerous with a striker fire, they shouldn’t probably carry at all, they are not ready.

  13. Michael Bane says:

    Excellent article! I would take an LC9 striker over an M&P Shield, but that’s nitpicking (and Ruger is a sponsor, so think what you will). I have lots more rounds through a variety of LC9/380s as well…shrug.

    Ironically, since I completely slagged my right knee, I have become intimately familiar with crutches, canes and yoga and sweat pants to clear the massive brace. I’ve settled on a boring Ken Null shoulder holster and an LCR 9mm…easier draw for me than anything belt-mounted (even when there’s a belt) or pocket carry, and I’ve shot the LCR a lot. YMMV. Shoulder holster for G26 on the way.

    Michael B

  14. Carl McNeill says:

    I agree with most of this. A snub nose is basically a belly gun. Small of the back is a horrible place to carry in case you fall back. You could get a spinal injury or not be able to get your gun out. One thing you failed to mention is having a good belt for holster. I think having a belt that’s made for carrying a gun is as critical as the holster itself. It makes carrying much more comfortable and your gun doesn’t sag as much. I have both a Springfield XDm in the full size and in compact both in .40. I think Springfield makes a very dependable striker fired gun. My compact is easy to conceal. I had to put a Pierce pinky extension on the mag but it fits fine in my hand. I have a Kingtuck holster that’s like a Crossbreed holster and it’s not that comfortable. I prefer an OWB holster to an IWB. Whatever you decide to carry be sure to practice with it.

    • DonM says:

      Small of the back was a preferred carry location for British soldiers in WWI, when they spend a lot of time belly down in the mud between various shell craters.

      Other than that, I would avoid it.

  15. Steve S. says:

    Wow. There are some….interesting choices in that article.

    Concur 100% regarding Taurus polymer pistols. Or their revolvers, for that matter. I got chewed out at one gunshop I worked in for telling people that I wouldn’t trust a Taurus as far as I could throw it.

    Having said all that, I do have a Taurus 1911, but all internals have been replaced with Cylinder & Slide parts.

  16. Pete Stewart says:

    I’ve been carrying a PPS in a Crossbreed Supertuck for over 10 years, and the only issue I had was moving from appendix to nine o’colock (Lefty) due to putting on some middle age weight! What kind of issues are you witnessing with your students that I should be on the lookout for?

    Many thanks.

  17. Drew says:

    Great article. As someone extremely new to pistols this is very helpful. Although there is so many “gurus” out there it is hard to find out what is legit and what is straight up BS.

    I agree with Caleb on a boring article talking about who is a pro and the equipment they use.

  18. Earl Smith says:

    Hi Greg. Really important things to consider. Having carried a wide variety of handguns daily for almost 40 years, I long ago learned that most handguns have their peculiarities and holsters … Well, they can prove FAR more problematic than one would imagine once you start wearing them every day. I am a firm believer in working with your carry gun(s) in the holster you’ll be using. That practice is why I no longer do ankle holsters. As to ammo, I have seen very thing from .22’s and ..25’s to 12 gauge shotguns and their damage to the human body. I think people forget that our goal isn’t to kill the offender. It’s to stop him/her from their deadly course of action. Oh … And as a 1911 guy … I agree that you really do need to be a competent gun handler. Everything is pretty say at the range. But it gets complicated when your target is shooting back.

  19. Earl Smith says:

    Sorry for the typos!!

  20. Jon Sotelo says:

    Good article but something a lot of people don’t take into account regarding ammunition choice is a round that performs amazing out of aa 4in barrel might have horrible terminal ballistics out of a 3in.

    Also FWIW I’ve had my crossbreed for 5 years now and it’s still my favorite holster. Where have you seen failures?

  21. terry ducker says:

    i dont go into motor cycle shops or gun shops for a reason….to many experts….

  22. Rod De Leon says:

    The big problem with this article is that in asking these “experts” what they carry, the writer is tacitly suggesting that this is what EVERYONE should carry. The few people on this list who truly are experts have made personal choices that may not be suitable for everyone. The single good thing about the article is that they list the affiliation of the so-called expert. Thus, anyone can see that if a certain company is signing someone’s paychecks, there may be some bias involved in the decision.

    Finally, as to snub-nose revolvers, I think they are a bit of a conundrum: they are both a rank beginner’s gun and an expert’s gun. Even someone who has never even held a gun before can pick up a snubby revolver and shoot it. However, it takes an expert to shoot one well. Anyone falling in the middle of that curve is probably better served by something more forgiving to shoot.

  23. Kim D Campbell says:

    “…special snowflake…”
    Consider that one stolen.
    As for the actual content – there’s a reason yours is one of the web sites I list on my “useful links” handouts I give my students.

  24. jurkowitz says:

    Just wanted to share a quick anecdote – I’m a firearms instructor for a large LE agency and I recently had a chance to help out at a large event which included the presence of our top SWAT guys. I’ve never seen so many Fobus holsters in one place; it was kind of alarming. I asked one guy why he picked the Fobus and he said he bought it because it met the department’s minimum holster criteria and, more importantly, it was cheap. I can’t help but shake my head because I’ve seen first-hand how terrible those holsters are.

  25. Chuck Hustmyre says:

    While working as a federal agent, I carried my Sig 228 in a Fobus paddle holster under a shirt or jacket for years and liked it very much. They still seem okay to me.

  26. Snowflake says:

    I guess I’m the snowflake – LOL. Carried a Taurus PT-111 for 13 years, put a couple thousand rounds of ammo through it (not a lot by some standards), and just now replaced the recoil spring. I’m not butthurt at all about your article. I’ve just never had a problem with the Taurus.

  27. great article, many thanks, guess i’m a member of the “i hate glocks” club for many reasons but the main one is for me they don’t shoot well. and they’re plastic, and they have an abysmal trigger. i shoot competitively and a steel frame, hi-cap, 9mm with tritium night sights (IMI baby eagle) works best for me. heavy? yes. goes bang every time? yes. and it’s the “goes bang every time” that’s most critical in a carry gun. most defensive shootings take place in poor light. if you can’t see the sights you won’t hit the target. the tritium’s eliminate that problem. also, i prefer a pistol with a hammer rather than a striker. you always know what the gun is up to with a hammer and the safety/decocker makes safeing the weapon reliable with no AD’s. something you should never permit yourself, ever. would i recommend this for a beginner? no way. or any autoloader for that matter. generally, especially for ladies, i recommend an airweight revolver in .22 cal. It’s low maintenance, reliable, and light which means there’s at least a chance you will carry it rather than leaving it at home, in the car, etc. with current ammo costs most will never gain proficiency with a centerfire handgun. .22’s will bring you up to speed without breaking the bank. handguns are basically expert’s weapons anyway and i’ve seen beginners empty their pistol or revolver at a standard target at spitting distance and miss completely with every shot. better a hit with a .22 than a miss with a .50 AE. muzzle blast won’t stop an attacker and chances are you will only have time for one shot. make it count!

    • Bob says:

      I will have to disagree with your comments on Glocks and plastic guns. I have a Beretta 96, a Kimber Ultra Carry II, a Taurus PT1911(which is actually quite accurate, as is my Raging Bull .44 Magnum). I had two different XD’s, a Subcompact in .40 and a Compact in .45. Both shot extremely well and were dead reliable, in fact more so than the Beretta, a metal gun. It works fine but takes more concentration in the grip to make it function correctly. I unfortunately had to do some horsetrading and ended up with a Glock 27. It is also super reliable, one hang up on break in and that’s it. It conceals better than the XD, which is why I got it. As far as shooting horribly, no, if the sights are properly adjusted, it’s awesome. Also, my son was a sniper in the military who also qualified expert with the M4 and M9 Beretta. He has a Beretta 92 but the guns he normally uses are various Glocks. I guarantee, having seen him shoot, if you’re remotely in range and he shoots at you, you will either be horribly wounded or you’re dead. I wasn’t a plastic gun fan, but the NRA picked the XD’s as a favorite several times, so I got the ones I had, they were awesome. I love my metal guns, S&W .357 L-Frame too, but the Glocks are easy to shoot, as easy as any semi-auto to learn to shoot-trigger control is vital no matter what you shoot, and the way the bore and grips are set up, they manage recoil as well as my metal guns do. Sorry, you have no basis to criticize them. A bazillion LEO’s in many different agencies wouldn’t use them if they were as bad as you say, with so many other choices available.

  28. Old 1811 says:

    P7M8? Does this guy drive a Peugeot, too?
    I won’t argue with his contention about the quality of the P7; it’s the most accurate handgun I’ve ever fired. Shooting a P7 is like pointing your finger. But I’d never carry one on the street; its trigger pull is WAY too light. And if you’ve ever fired a 50-round qual course with one, you’ll appreciate Nomex gloves, at least on your trigger finger.
    It hasn’t been made in 30 years, so where do you get parts or magazines for it? Quality issues aside, it’s like saying you should carry a Model 39.
    In my opinion, the P7 (and the .50 GI) is a niche gun. But then, I’m not an ex-operator. Just an ex-LEO and academy instructor.

    • Steve S. says:

      Was looking at gunbroker & ebay for mags for my P7 PSP. Well over 65.00 each for most of them! Love the pistol, but it’s a range gun only now days.

      • Old 1811 says:

        My point exactly. Not to mention that if you have to use it, it will sit in an evidence room for years, and in some jurisdictions you’ll have to sue to get it back. I wouldn’t carry an irreplaceable heirloom-quality gun for self-defense.

    • Bill S says:

      Actually, the P7M8 was produced until 2005…a short 10 years ago. Parts are available.

      I trust my life to one daily — carried in either a Matt Del Fatti or Milt Sparks IWB rig.

      I know I’ll hit what I’m aiming at, and I am very comfortable with the manual of arms and the excellent trigger.

  29. Chris says:

    I agree with the article for the most part, but disagree about hybrid holsters. I’ve used the N82 Tactical Professional series holster for some time and it works great. As for the cheap Uncle Mike’s IWB holster (Blackhawk makes them too,) I think they are of minimum quality, but don’t see an issue with someone using them on a budget if it works for them. I don’t think DA/SA guns are that hard to master. The U.S. Military is able to train most service members on the Beretta M9 successfully.

    • Bob says:

      Yep, the Crossbreed that I had for my XD Subcompact was a very comfortable holster, and had good retention. The Alien Gear one I have for my Glock 27 works pretty well too. And yeah, it just takes practice with anything. My son was a sniper in the Marines and Guard, among other things, shooting everything from the M9 to the .50 Barett and he qualified expert with the M9 as did his step-sister in the Army. He has a Beretta 92 but he usually carries Glocks in various calibers and sizes and they are dead reliable and accurate.

  30. Allan says:

    Great article. I live in an open carry state, but I occasionally use a shoulder holster. I’m left handed and draw across my chest where the pistol is sitting under my right armpit.

    I would be interested in your views about shoulder holsters for concealed carry.

  31. ORRonin says:

    Great article! Very accurate information and conclusions. I would offer only one further opinion. For me, personally, the very best gun in a real crisis is the one I have on me, loaded and test fired, at the critical juncture I need it.

    If I get caught in a situation where things are falling apart societally, and I don’t have a gun with me, the very first thing I will do is get one, any loaded gun, and from that point on I will trade up accordingly as opportunities present themselves.

    The real key to being a good pistolero is what is between your ears and in your heart, and not what you are carrying. I think people focus too much on what gun is carried and not enough on developing and maintaining the proper will and situational awareness to recognize a threat and to act immediately to neutralize it.

    • Doran says:

      Excellent Response in my opinion but we know what most of those are worth.
      A good marksman of even one that knows his/her gun can make an inexpensive gun look like it is the end all and vise versa.
      My pistol is not the most expensive but it shoots well for me and is accurate.

  32. BackinBlack says:

    I read the original article and felt like I was on a crank website half the time. I spent about 10 minutes trying to understand how a butt forward, strong side carry would work and eventually gave in to the headache.
    The only point I would disagree with you on is the Alien Gear. I’ve been wearing on almost daily for 2 years and it’s worn very well. It’s an original with the thick leather backing. I don’t like the new ones with the thin leather backed by neoprene. Those don’t hold up.
    Great article. I appreciate learning from those who’ve spent the time learning how the world spins.

  33. Great article. I agree with everything Greg says, although I have an oldr Taurus PT-145 and a Ruger LCP that are both dead-nutz reliable.

    We obviously think alike. Greg, you should be afraid — be very afraid! 😉

  34. Bob says:

    Got to disagree about the Uncle Mike’s style cheap fabric holsters. There is nothing available on the market that adds less overall thickness to your IWB carry. The key is not to expect a one hand re-holster(who needs to be fast on a re-holster anyway). You remove the holster, place the gun in it and put it back in your pants as a unit. I’ve carried AIWB with Glocks every day for over 15 years, done thousands of live fire draws from concealment and the only holes in my body are the ones nature intended.

  35. ensitue says:

    Back in the day, when I was thinner, I carried a 4″ K-frame square butt in a high ride Safariland leather rig and it barely printed. I also carried a 1911 in a low ride suede IWB with same results. Today neither combos would work and so I have resorted to packing a small piece in my pocket

  36. Tom R. says:

    This was one of the most common sense filled articles I’ve read in a great while.
    I’ve carried a gun now for 46 years and I really get a good laugh out of some of the so called experts that are online these days.

    Keep up the good work.

  37. Mark Fitton says:

    I often carry a second gen LCP, the one with the slightly better/larger front blade than the original product. I’ve only made three tiny mods to it: Hi-viz paint on the front blade, Talon granulate grip tape and polished the feed ramp. The little gun runs. Only maintenance to date has been replacing the recoil spring set, which I thought prudent given the round count.
    The trigger? Meh. It’s preferable to some other pocket .380s, not as good as the high-end mouse guns, but can be mastered with range time. In .380ACP, the HydraShok is indeed my choice, with Hornady’s XTP being my second.
    Other thoughts:
    Re Hornady Critical Defense: It has tested well from approx 3″ barrels such as the Shield, so that’s what I stoke in my own 9mm Shield.
    Re snubs: Generally agree, but would add that I think most people CAN learn them if they’re willing to put in the time. I occasionally carry a 642 with the Chicago load.

  38. Geno says:

    Great article.
    I have observed almost identical results on the range as a CPL and LE instructor. Two ballistic workshops from Johann and Federal made me a believer in HST ammo (along with the FBI and Michigan State Police who are both going to 9mm).
    I’m ok with people expressing opinions on what they like to carry and why, but they should not be recommendations for the general population necessarily.
    I’ve had the good fortune of shooting hundreds of guns in my classes and my personal opinion is not not waste money on HiPoints or Taurus. I’ve seen bullets from Hi Points keyhole at 25 ft. Taurus life expectancy tends to be about 100 rds.
    My own guns are Glock 19 or 34 for duty and a Glock 26 for off duty with a G19 B/U magazine. Tough, durable, accurate, easy to maintain and they WORK.

  39. Rod Dowden says:

    Good article. However nothing beats practice, practice, practice. I practice once a week 50 round per

  40. Greyson says:

    While I agree with the assessment of the original article, I feel like I should defend it a little bit. At least the article in question provides the reasoning behind the choices. That doesn’t necessarily make it a good article, and certainly doesn’t turn bad advice into good advice, but I have seen too many similar articles that focused on providing pictures of gun and no (or almost no) information on why the choice was made. At least there is some information that a discerning person can use to inform their own choices.

  41. thedude says:

    I’d be interested in why you find the LC9 unreliable. I’d just like more info on that.

  42. Fred Freeman says:

    This is a great article. The slide show is a joke. Ted Nugent expertise is limited to self-promotion.

    Ammunition has improved over the last two decades. Also, the author is dead on about the 1911 as a carry pistol. I trained and carried 1911s and Browning High Powers for over 20 years. I now carry a full size S&W M&P with thumb safety. Newer production 1911s are just to finicky, and Browning High Powers are too nice.

    My only disagreement is about hybrid holsters, and it’s only a slight disagreement. I have been carrying my S&W M&P in a King Tuk for over one year. It works for me. I find all Kydex IWB holsters supremely uncomfortable.

  43. TPSnodgrass says:

    Interesting article. Do I agree with a lot of it? Yes, I do and don’t worry about the rest I don’t agree with.All of us, have different professional and personal experiences as well as lifetimes.
    So, what does work for one, won’t work for someone else.
    There is NO panacea in carrying and using firearms daily. There is NO “perfect” handgun, holster or ammo.
    We each have to work our our own salvation in life, and what someone chooses to use in their lives, is entirely up to them.
    Personally, I’m an “old dog” and have no shame in admitting it. Screw the testosterone, I’ve got plenty and don’t need to prove it to anyone, so I’m quite confidant in my Glock 26 with G-19 magazines with grip adapters on them. Works like a charm for my hands, since I first purchased my 26 2.5 version eons ago. I’ve got a few 26s and a few 19s and like them. since I’m old school, I went to the Glock party LATE in my career and like the capacity, and accuracy of the products in MY peasant hands.Couldn’t ever afford a HK P7, so now that I can, I choose not to afford one. I like what I got, and don’t worry about the latest-greatest-tacti-cool-wunder-weapon. My brother, changes his EDC as often as he changes his socks, so be it. Im set in my ways, it is comforting, reliable, and accurate. I don’t look for trouble, I look to AVOID trouble and keep it as far away as possible, no drama, no lawyers needed. Just one cantankerous old guy’s opinion is all. To each his/her own. I pay no heed to the “What-Iffers”, have no need to play that illusionary game.

  44. Greg N. says:

    Good read. By no means am I anywhere near an expert, but from what experience I have, I concur for the most part. I have personally had good luck with Taurus guns, but given your experience, I have no issues with your criticism of them. My primary IWB holsters are all Crossbreeds, so I would be curious to know what types of failures you have witnessed in them. I am always willing to learn.

  45. Ed Harris says:

    Good article. Admittedly I am a dinosaur, one of those guys who still carries a 4″ blue, six-shot, fixed sight .38 Special. I never had any problems concealing a 4-inch revolver in an El Paso Saddlery C-Force holster. A 2-inch version of your primary carrying “six for sure” as a backup New York Reload, accessible to the weak hand, beats fumbling with a speed loader. Yeah, I’m a Colt guy. There are still some of us alive…

  46. Ivan Nikolov says:

    Great article, Greg! Shared it on my FB page.

    Just to point something out.. Where you say, “You don’t need a 10mm or .50 AE… …Stick with 9mm, .40. or .45 instead.” If I’m not mistaken .40 is a bit more than 10mm and .45 is almost 11.5 mm. You probably meant to mention only .50 AE in the first part.

    • Steve S. says:

      .40 & 10mm are both .401 diameter, with the 10mm having a longer case. .40 came about because some FBI agents couldn’t handle the recoil of the 10mm and the size of the big ‘ol S&W pistols.

  47. Chris says:

    Great read. I agree with mostly everything you have written here. The only exception one particular firearm from Taurus. As a whole, and in general, Taurus makes cheap firearms. Cheap in price and cheap in quality. I avoided Taurus at all costs because of this. That being said however, the Taurus PT111 G2 is actually pretty fantastic. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of flak for saying so, but it’s my honest opinion. After a few failures, Taurus redesigned the PT111 (and PT140 from what I understand) to it’s current production model, the G2. Not only have I heard great things about this pistol from people who own one, but I’ve even heard great things about this pistol from employees at three different ranges around my area (ranges, not stores). I took a chance, and purchased one myself. For a Taurus I had mediocre expectations for it. But after examining and firing the PT111, I have to agree with what people have been saying about this firearm. I still don’t disagree with what you have said about Taurus – their reputation as a cheap firearms manufacturer puts me off from ever considering any other model line they currently sell. I would never purchase a PT1911 or PT92 – however, I believe the PT111 G2 is worth a second look – and probably Taurus’s only exception in my opinion.

    • Greg N. says:

      I understand I am only one person, but I do have a PT1911 (aluminum frame) and have had zero failures with it. I have no personal experience with any other Taurus handgun, but have also heard good things about the PT111 G2.

  48. Barry G. says:

    Good article. I like cor-bon and Blade-Tech for my Glocks. My small Glock is a G21. The G41MOD is its companion. Yes they are bigger than some. That is the good news. Find a way to provide them the room they need. You and your big Glocks will be happy when the shooting starts.
    Also, bigger is better… my 150 pound dry chemical extinguisher saved a whole city block from burning down.

  49. mike says:

    I’m surprised by the no hybrid holsters comment.
    I have 2 whitehat holsters with maby 6 thousand hours of wear time each. I also have an alien gear that went 1 year of everyday carry (320 of 365 days) before the abs liner cracked, and they replaced that for free.

  50. Bruce Ellefritz says:

    Hey Greg, I believe we are related based on geneolgy that we have done in the past. Your article is very relavent as I am thinking of upgrading my my Glock 17 in 9MM to a S&W M&P .45. So I will go through it in more detail and give all the issues you raised due consideration.

    Have a Merry CHRISTmas, God bless.

    NRA Life Member

  51. Luke H. says:

    No disrespect intended here, but all I hear is more opinions with very little published foundation for these opinions. What it boils down to is people are too lazy and too cheap to do their own homework on this topic. If you are going to carry a gun for self defense, you need to form your own educated opinion on your equipment. Yes it will take some time and money, but if you ever need your firearm, your own research will be worth a million times what you spent.

  52. Eric says:

    An awesome article and one that needed to be written. We run an entry level class here in southern Utah every Wednesday and one of the hardest things to overcome is myths passed along by the uneducated (or ignorant though I hesitate to cast aspersions) and accepted by the new student.

  53. mike griffin says:

    Hmmm, have owned quite a few Tarus, and have found them to be reliable. Ammo slection is critical, and I agree with the majority of your comments… have had ruger, Glocck star…ETc Jam , Stovepipe… Gun care = reliability

  54. Mike Smith says:

    One small criticism.

    Sentences like “My DA had an NG/AD with my IWB on TDL…” provide no real value when the reader is interrupted for the need to pull out the Gun Site Guide to Made Up Abbreviations and Acronyms in order to decode what you’ve typed.

    Letters cost nothing to use, and are invaluable for newer readers trying to learn. If you’d like to make your posts and comments worth something to your readers, then use as many of them as you can.

    Thanks for the article, it’s nice to see someone SWFC.

  55. Keith says:

    Excellent. As a former law enforcement officer and firearms instructor, both handgun and rifle, I have many opinions most of which line up with yours. Very good article.

  56. Jerry says:

    this article is a long time coming!

  57. Mike Mckay says:

    This does seem like some excellent advice

    I recently read several articles about people accidentally shooting themselves when bending down, going to the toilet and in some instances merely reaching up high for something as well as the countless streams of examples where people (some of them law enforcement or government officials) managed to shoot themselves because they dropped their gun or the trigger was pulled accidentally whilst trying to draw them

    I would wager that a better choice of gun and holster would probably have avoided a large percentage of those “accidents” which makes them far less of an accident and leaning more towards being an education issue or a poorly informed decision

  58. Gregory Fuentes says:

    Greg, I loved your analysis. All Warriors should take every opportunity to learn, think and assimilate good advice from others. Thank you for taking the time out and writing this article.

  59. Steven says:

    I have been curious about Aliengear IWB holsters. Now I finally have found some feedback on them. However my question is, is this just propaganda or is this actually a good point. Now I know that holsters will age and wear out, but I want to get a IWB holster thats affordable for an average person who lives paycheck to paycheck while still giving real good holstering for defensive purposes and carry with comfort and safety.

  60. Stanly says:

    How about carry on in special tactical bags? Something like this one

    I Prefer Concealed Carry because in my opinion having an openly-carried firearm makes you more of a target to the bad guys. It’s a simple fact that rings true each day.

  61. Doran says:

    I read this. I accept the fact that he knows what he is talking about ….. mostly but the rant sounded like a presidential debate bashing everyone with very few positives.
    Delivery of information when teaching what one knows is as important ( almost) as the information being delivered.
    I don’t carry what some would call top of the line but I will or and I will not bash those that do.
    This article I know would turn many would be responsible carriers away.
    Knowledge is good. It must be passed on to be worth anything to anyone.
    Delivery of that knowledge in a way that presents as non intimidating is also very important.
    I do not see that here.
    As a reasonably intelligent non professional I will continue with what I have and maybe politely ask you if you want me to have your six should the need arise.
    PS….I am not associated with any of the merchandise save a Taurus 38 special that I really like. I must have one of the “few” good ones.
    Nuff said.

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