[ED: In response to reader requests, this is part of a series of posts by TTAG writers revealing their choice of carry guns.]
Hi, my name is Dan and I’m a lazy concealed carrier. I pack every damned day, but don’t subscribe to the carry-the-biggest-gun-you-possibly-can school of thought (though I know I probably should). I make the comfort vs. caliber and capacity calculation each morning and usually shade toward the former, especially now that I’m operating in the balmy to blazing clime that is Austin and vicinity. So when it comes to heaters, the heat is a big factor in what I carry . . .
I was as disappointed as the rest of the gun world seemed to be a couple of years back when GLOCK did a head fake right before the SHOT Show and the new pistol everyone expected to be the long-anticipated single stack nine turned out the be the much less anticipated G42, a .380. But then I shot the littlest GLOCK at Media Day and – whaddayaknow? – it had much to recommend it. The 42 fit my homonculoid tiny hand, was accurate, soft-shooting and more pleasant to carry than a wallet stuffed with $100 bills. But while you can certainly find JHP ammo that performs well in .380, let’s face it…9mm really is a better choice for most personal defense situations.
So after a sufficient amount of time during which the sultans of Smyrna sold a gaggle of 42’s, they finally released the gun everyone had really wanted — the G43. For me, the 43 fixed everything that was “wrong” with the 42 – a bigger bullet and better reliability in just about the same size package. Perfection, as it were.
While I’ve accumulated a few carry options for my little nine so far, I lean toward more concealment whenever possible. That means inside the waistband (sometimes even under a tucked in shirt) in a SHTF Gear hybrid rig. But the minimalist Lenwood Specter Kydex shell I’ve been testing has become a frequently used option, too (review soon). For those days when the ultimate comfort of OWB is called for, I recently bought an Alien Gear Cloak Slide and also have been trying out a StealthGearUSA FLEX OWB (again, reviews coming shortly).
As I imagine is the case with most carriers, the G43 isn’t the only gun I tote. When the weather is cooler and more clothing provides more coverage, I’ll strap on an FNS-9c (a gun I like a lot) in a GunfightersINC Ronin. And while I generally prefer to keep the fact that I’m armed on the down low, I have a Safariland 578 GLS Pro-Fit retention holster for carry at events like the Texas Firearms Festival and for those special times after December 31 when I’ll fancy open carrying here in the Live Music Capital of the World.
A couple of other safe-dwellers sometimes make it into the rotation, too. There’s my trusty Gemini Customs 642 and occasionally even a little BODYGUARD 380 that slips so nicely and unobtrusively into a pants pocket (in an Uncle Mike’s). It just depends on the temperature, my clothes and my mood.
All in all, though, more days than not, it’s the G43 that’s pressed into service. While your mileage may — and likely will — vary, for me Gaston’s little gun gives me just the right mix of caliber, comfort and concealment. And to those who say it sorely lacks the fourth ‘c’ (capacity) you’ll be pleased to know that this is now giving me the option of 8+1 rounds of dissuasion. Let the second-guessing begin.