I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard people spout the common “wisdom” of carrying an inexpensive gun that you don’t care about. They’ll argue that if you’re ever involved in a shooting the police are going to confiscate your pistol and, if you ever see it again, it won’t be until years later.
Well…let’s play this out a little.
First, the oft-heard assertion that your firearm will be confiscated isn’t always accurate. In a clear-cut case of self-defense, which is presumably why and how you’re most likely to use your firearm, it often will not be.
Police don’t take the victim’s self-defense gun as a matter of course, they do it if they might need it as evidence in a legal case against one of the parties involved. If you aren’t going to be charged with a crime, they aren’t going to need evidence against you.
If your assailant wasn’t involved with your firearm in some odd way (e.g. you held him at gunpoint, but he then grabbed your gun and tried to gain control of it) then it likely won’t be needed as evidence against him.
Whether that’s obvious at the scene or determined within a couple of days, if everything is above board and your self-defense case is patently clear, your gun likely will not be taken or will be returned fairly quickly.
Now, your mileage may vary on this depending on where you are. But the following holds firm.
Either way — even if the gun is retained for a couple months or longer — it’s a small price to pay for having had the best tool for the job when the job was required. The dang thing just saved your life, right?
Carry the most reliable pistol that you shoot the best, can conceal comfortably enough that you’ll carry it regularly, and can afford. Full stop. The gun you trust the most and shoot the best. Period. If it’s $800 instead of $240, fine. It’s your life or that of a loved one. Don’t choose a carry gun based on how little it’ll hurt if — and it is an “if” — it’s confiscated.
If the shooting is questionable or you’ve done something wrong, yeah, that firearm is going to be taken and used as evidence against you in court and it’s going to be retained by the authorities until and unless you’re acquitted. In that scenario, where you’re headed to trial, likely accused of something very serious, is the possible loss of a nice handgun rather than a cheap pistol really something you’ll care about?
Me thinks it wouldn’t even make the top ten list of your concerns at that point. In fact, it would be so far down the list it wouldn’t even register.
Besides, do you really want to be the guy pictured next to his pink SCCY in all of the news coverage? No, no you don’t. I will see it and I will make fun of you.
Whether the headline is “Hero saves the day” or “Self-defense gone wrong?,” I’m pretty sure you want your mug seen next to a respectable pistol.
Sure, okay, maybe that’s a little silly. Maybe a little vain, too? But it’s the exception in that sort of news coverage to not have full name, headshot photo, and gun photo of the suspect or, in some cases, the “hero” or Good Samaritan.
I’d absolutely pay a few hundred extra bucks to be seen next to my optic-equipped P365XL instead of a cheapy little [insert your least favorite, bargain brand here]. In the winter months, when I’m wearing a jacket or some other outer layer, I’ll often step up a size or two with my carry gun and switch from AIWB to strong side OWB.
In that scenario, as seen in the photos here, I’m often carrying my Hudson H9 or my H&K P7. Since Hudson went belly up, my H9, of which not many were even made, is now a collector’s item. My refinished HK P7 with its true color case hardened slide, Nil grips, Trijicon sights, etc., is legitimately one of the nicest in the country.
Yes, I carry them. No, it doesn’t concern me that, in the unlikely event that I have to use one, it will be confiscated by the police. Even if that scenario plays out, it will have been worth it to have carried and used a firearm that I trust, shoot very well, and am not embarrassed to be photographed with.
So, dear TTAG readers, my advice to you is this…carry the reliable gun that you shoot best and can carry comfortably. If that’s a nice gun that costs more, then carry a nice gun. Carry a really nice gun. It’s worth it. And you’re worth it, too.
Whatever you do, don’t leave a better gun at home and carry some cheap POS just because it might be confiscated should you have to use it. I mean, it’s only your life and your reputation, right?