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[ED: In response to reader requests, this is part of a series of posts by TTAG writers revealing their choice of carry guns.]

Most of my carry is with a beat up GLOCK 17 and/or the no longer manufactured S&W 337. It has a 3.2 inch barrel on the Scandium frame with the titanium cylinder. Loaded, the GLOCK weighs a smidgen under two pounds (31.8 ounces); the 337, just under one (15.4 ounces), according to my digital scale. The ballistics of 9mm+P delivers a 115 grain .355 inch projectile at about 1350 fps; the .38+P, a 125 grain .357 inch projectile at about 950 fps . . .

The revolver has HI VIZ adjustible sights and Crimson Trace Lasergrips. The GLOCK has TRUGLO TFO combination light gathering and tritium sights.

There are two answers implicit in the question, “Why?”

Quite a while ago, a well-known gun writer described the optimum every day carry (EDC) handgun. Paraphrased, he said it had the capacity of Maxim machine gun, the knockdown power of a .45-70, the recoil of a .22 short Olympic pistol, the size and weight of a lipstick case, the ergonomics of a Colt Woodsman, the accuracy of a sniper rifle and is absolutely reliable. In short, an EDC (in the real world) is, by necessity, a compromise of a number of desirable characteristics.

In my opinion, the GLOCK comes closest to optimizing those desirable characteristics with excellent capacity and power in a lightweight, easily carried and easily shot frame. While not a target pistol, it has good “combat” accuracy and legendary reliability.

The 337 is a compromise intended for more discreet and backup carry. It’s only half the weight of the GLOCK, almost as powerful, and is a little easier to conceal. It slips into a pocket fairly easily. The laser adds night sight capability and a bit of visual deterrence. Given the current paucity of .22 ammunition, it’s hard to imagine two ammunition calibers easier to come by than 9mm and .38 special.

The second “why” is more important. The primary reason I carry is for political purposes. As a member of the gun culture, of mature age and independent means, the chances of needing an EDC for defense of self and others are fairly low. The chances of needing to defend the Constitution from clear and present political dangers are everyday and common.

Carrying a firearm confirms the right of citizens to use force. It confirms that the ultimate sovereign is the individual citizen, not the state. It confirms that the federal and state constitutions mean something; are not infinitely malleable by the courts, and that government is limited by the rule of law.

Openly carried weapons visually and boldly declare that the Second Amendment is not merely faded ink on dusty parchment, and that the right to self defense is known and cherished. It’s the equivalent of the rattle on the snake or the May Day military parade. It warns our enemies, foreign and domestic, “You do not want a piece of this.”

That, fellow people of the gun, members of the gun culture, is what and why I carry.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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  1. “You do not want a piece of this.”
    As a fellow of a bit older gen set, I couldn’t agree more.

  2. Dean, good post, nice guns, like the look of firearms that have signs of wear/use. No mention though of best/favored method?

  3. From the little I know about Glocks, I understand that they all have a “Tennifer” finish. My understanding of this finish is that it is exceedingly durable. Two part question here, sir. Does your G17 have a Tennifer finish? if so, how in the world did whoever wear so much of it off? I own a Springfield with a Melonite finish. In the 2+ years I have owned it, it has been to see “Helen Bach” several, many times. Still looks almost new. I have friends that swear by the finish on their Glocks. What happened to yours? THANKS!

    • Even the Tennifer finish will wear. I’ve been carrying a Gen4 G26 almost daily for 2.5yrs in a leather ankle holster. By it just mostly riding in it and only being removed at an average of twice a week, it is starting to show some high edge wear on the slide and the metal trijicon sights. It has a factory replacement extended slide release and all the finish is about gone on that part.

    • That looks like a first generation Glock to me… So it’s probably been around for 25 years or so. It should look worn if it’s been carried a lot.

    • All that is worn is the black finish that is put over the tenifer treated slide. The slide is still tenifer tough, just the black finish they addd after that has worn. It is very common. If one is so inclined things like cerecoat stick around a lot longer.

    • Tennifer is one of the most misunderstood terms in the gun world. Tennifer is a heat treating process only. This allows glock to use less hard steel that is easier and cheaper to mill. They then apply this Tennifer process that hardens the part.

      The actual finish on a glock is parkerizing or some type of moly-resin type paint depending on the pistol.

    • Look up Ferritic nitrocarburizing on Wikipedia. The ‘tenifer’ doesn’t refer to the black finish but to the case hardening done by Ferritic nitrocarburizing. It hardens the surface and gives corrosion resistance. The black stuff is just a coating on top.

      • Well, thank you ever so much. I had looked on Wikipedia for Melonite, which also referred to Tennifer, black nitride, etc., but for some reason, I was of the opinion that the black color was part of the process. All told, this process is fantastic! Not only more corrosion resistant than the stainless steel used for firearms, but as you indicated, makes the surface super hard without, apparently being brittle. Pretty amazing stuff.
        Thanks for the info! Ever considered a small 9 for concealment vs. your revolver? Just wondered. My choice – Springfield XDs, 45ACP, 3.3. Love it!

  4. I had the 242 Smith. An aluminum N or L frame with a 7 shot titanium cylinder. Weighed 19 ounces empty.

    It was an impulse buy and I never really got to like that gun. My daughter liked it so when she left the nest it went with her. Like her mother she’s a decent shot that believes in the RTKBA. She’s just not a gun person. Revolvers are best for people that want a gun but have no desire to field strip, or tap and rack, etc.

  5. That’s pretty much why I carry too, but I still carry concealed. As Socrates said, ‘when you see two men walking you can always tell which one is the slave and which one the freeman – the freeman is armed.’

  6. As a member of the gun culture, of mature age and independent means, the chances of needing an EDC for defense of self and others are fairly low. The chances of needing to defend the Constitution from clear and present political dangers are everyday and common.

    Right on.

  7. The revolver has HI VIZ adjustible sights and Crimson Trace Lasergrips. The GLOCK has TRUGLO TFO combination light gathering and tritium sights.

    The revolver has a Clinton lock too.

  8. I think you’re a little high on the foot pounds of energy produced by the 9 mm + P but 375-450 FP is still a kill wound if placed properly . The more you can get that piece of lead to bounce around inside a human torso the better your odds at making sure the threat is put on a slab .

  9. the glock may show some slide wear, but I will bet it still goes bang everytime the trigger is pulled.
    kind of like baldness and paunch on an older male. shows he has been around a few times, but still in the fight.
    great article.

  10. Carrying is good as long as you are not a psycho .
    I have the right to protect myself and if you don’t like it tough $hit.
    The 2nd Amendment was put into the Constitution so the people could protect themselves from a corrupt government. No double standards put DC politicians on Obamacare and SS.Thanks for your support and vote.Pass the word.

  11. I love this series, and this is my favorite installment so far. Thanks for the insight on carrying for political reasons. Outstanding.

  12. I’d check those chrono results. I doubt a 3″ barrel 9mm +P is pushing a 115 grain bullet at 1350 FPS. As a point of reference, the hottest results I’ve got so far from a 9mm pistol is about 1340 FPS from a Glock 35 using a 9mm 5.3″ stainless conversion barrel. That was using the Underwood 124 grain +P (not +P+) and shooting on a 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit. Underwood is hot stuff – probably the hottest handgun ammo on the market.

    I doubt even a +P+ 9mm Underwood 115 grain could reach 1350 from such a short revolver barrel. I’d say maybe. A .38 Soecial +P hitting 975 FPS from a 3″ barrel is pretty easy to achieve.

    Regardless, I’d say you’ve made great choices. 9mm and .38 +P are here to stay. I’ve carried similar guns in the 340 PD Smith, G27, G23, G35, and G19 / G34 ish 9mm conversions.

    • It is a full sized Glock 17, so the barrel is 4.48 inches. It has been a long time since I chronographed the load. The ammo box says 1325 fps for a 4.25 inch barrel. I have often carried CorBon +P, they claim 1350 fps.

      • Mea Culpa. I was envisioning that sweet revolver with a 9mm conversion cylinder. The Glock can definitely eat hot loads.

  13. Your Glock is just as ugly as my Glock(s).
    The holster wear shows within about a year of steady carry, but then doesn’t seem to get any worse/different from there – my newest carry Glock resembles the wear on my secondhand Police turn-in Glock, a gen2 G22.
    Born ugly, stay ugly all their existence. It’s really a beautiful kind of ugly, like looking at a battle scarred pit bull.

    • While I appreciate beautiful, pristine guns as works of art, I prefer guns with some honest wear and a few dings and scars. Each one has a story to tell, and I have picked up some terrific guns that have a rough exterior but shoot very well.

      Old pump shotguns and .22 rifles seem to be the most common of these, perhaps because they are such supremely useful items. We will likely see the same in 20 to 30 years from the current bubble of AR-15 clone sales.

  14. I just want to say that Mr Weingarten is easily one of the best contributors to this blog. I always enjoy his contributions.

  15. That’s a 2-pin gen2, right? I can’t tell if that is a front accessory rail or just a bit of wear on the frame dust cover

  16. Ahhhhhh-beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And some baby’s are so ugly only their mother can love ’em. I guess some feel that way about the Glock. Seems people either love ’em or hate ’em. Personally, I never felt one way or the other. I see a tried and true weapon that has proven itself over the years and continues to do so. And they can be had for a very reasonable price.

    Dean, there is a great deal to be said for your political reasoning. Truth is, that is basically the same reason I gave my dad when he questioned why anyone would want an assault weapon. I said, “Because it is my right and I can.”

    But let us not loose sight of the fact that if you are going to carry then you had better look beyond the politics of it. Because if you are going to carry then you had better be prepared to use the weapon; meaning you had better be prepared to kill someone if it becomes necessary.

    There are a lot of things one can do to make a political statement that does not involve the possibility of putting oneself in such a position. Just joining the NRA or one of the other type organizations will make a statement. But actually carrying a weapon involves a whole different level of responsibility. So, while I do appreciate your political stance, I would have to ask if you are ready to use your weapon if called upon. I realize others may be thinking I am some kind of moron here. But honestly, you never approached the issue in your article. You went around it, you alluded to it; “Carrying a firearm confirms the right of citizens to use force.” And, “…the right to self defense is known and cherished.” But this was all under the guise of your political reasoning.
    Every time I put my holster on my belt and walk out the door of my house armed I ask myself, “Am I prepared to use this?” It is one of the most serious questions I ask myself. And while I know I am exercising one of my Constitutional rights and making a political statement, I have to make sure I am ready to take another humans life if it becomes absolutely necessary. And that is not political.

    • I think I was about 12 when I first thought about that as a moral question. I was not carrying pistols at that time, but I had relatively free access to the household guns, and thoughts of defense of self and family had occurred. We lived in a pretty crime-free area, but I read many books. Treasure Island or TV shows about WWII might have prompted the thought.

      I decided the question at an early age. I decided that I could do it. It took considerable more study to understand the legal aspects, but the moral was resolved when I was very young.

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