I carry a Ruger GP100. Specifically a 3″ Wiley Clapp model in one of the very few non plastic 3″ IWB holsters available, made by Bianchi. Why? Mostly because it’s what I like to shoot. Like a lot of people, when I first got my carry permit I thought I needed a single stack 9mm, so I picked up a Taurus PT709 and carried it for a few months. It was reliable and accurate enough for most defensive situations, but it just didn’t feel right . . .
I have large hands and I quickly learned how easy concealing a weapon was under my baggy t-shirts. Frankly I felt a little silly carrying such a diminutive weapon. I tried carrying a Ruger P95 for a while and before I knew it I was lugging around my Beretta 92fs every day.
Then a couple of years ago I finally got around to expanding my firearms collection into revolvers with a .44 Magnum Blackhawk. I had a .357 Blackhawk a couple decades ago and hadn’t shot a revolver since. I thought the recoil of the .44 might take a little getting used to, but I was able to shoot it pretty much right away from an unsupported Weaver stance at 50 yards and I could cover all six holes with one hand. Under the same circumstances I could get nearly all of my shots on a full-size silhouette with the Beretta, but this was significantly more accurate in my hands anyway. So I started the search for a carry revolver.
I really like the GP100’s Novak sights. It’s got the gold bead front and none in back. The shorter sight radius doesn’t seem to matter one bit. I also love the older style grips with the wood side panels. I’ve never picked up an auto that felt that good in my hands. I replaced the original side panels with a set from Altamont after I dinged the originals. I like the extra checkering. I also added a lighter hammer and trigger return springs which probably took about a pound off the pull weights in both DA and SA.
I could argue the advantages of a revolver over a semi-auto. Sure, they’re more reliable, but to be honest I’ve run several thousand rounds through my 92 without a single malfunction. Most of us live in relatively safe neighborhoods and we tend to stay away from people and situations that attract trouble. And when trouble comes it’s often resolved without firing a shot.
I compensate for the six-round capacity by carrying full pressure Double Tap 158gr. hollow points, not any of the downloaded “carry loads,” and a speed strip. It might be a little on the heavy side, but with a good belt it easily carries better than the PT709 did with a poor belt.
Mostly I carry the GP100 because it’s what I like to shoot and it’s what I shoot well. Very well. And that gives me confidence. If the need arises to shoot a beer can off the top of a bad guy’s head at 20 yards, I’m prepared. If I’m attacked at close range, I have six extremely powerful rounds to make my attacker rethink his life decisions. I don’t get enough range time or ammunition to waste it brushing up my skills with a weapon I just don’t care to shoot. Like most everything else in life, find out what you’re good at and do it.
(See the rest of the posts in this series here. Send your What I Carry and Why submissions with a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org with WICAW in the subject line.)