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By Timothy Tarkelly

I bought my first pistol for concealed carry earlier this year. I’ve been around firearms my whole life and have hunting weapons and a .22 LR revolver for plinking, but it was only recently that I decided to take the next step and purchase a pistol that’s actually designed for self-defense.

As a newly-married public school teacher, I don’t have a ton of money to throw around, so I made a price-conscious, but reliable choice. Of course, a lot of gun enthusiasts, Facebook trolls, content creators, and even writers for reputable magazines would have me believe that I’ve wasted my money. 

When I set out to research my options, I found an insurmountable mass of conflicting information. Whether it was based on brand, price, caliber, or concealability, there is a wide range of competing narratives around what “works” and what doesn’t.

What I found is that for every possible variable, there is a voice out there saying that if you don’t buy exactly what they tell you, you’re simply doing it wrong. This form of gun absolutism in the concealed carry world is antithetical to its goal: educating and arming the public.

That won’t happen if we allow gun culture to remain in the hands of arrogant commentators who have sold out our goals in the pursuit of controversy and clickbait.

Every gun owner has their own personal preferences and needs, and that’s a good thing. We develop them based on our experiences and our aspirations. One may say that a Remington .30-30 is the best deer rifle because all three times they used it they got a deer. Similarly, they may say a slug gun is the best weapon for deer because someone they know and trust uses one to great success.

There is nothing wrong with those approaches. However, it becomes unproductive when we decide that our experiences (and those we may aspire to) are the only ones that count.

Bagging the right game or tearing up a bullseye with your firearm of choice doesn’t give you authority over the experience of others. It’s actually possible for two things to be true.  Two (or more) guns can simultaneously be good choices.

Hunting and shooting forums are rife with baseless claims amounting to “your GLOCK can’t be a good gun because my Springfield is the best.” Even more egregious are claims based on financial privilege.

It’s All About The Money

Authority is often unearned. If someone writes a review, he must know what he’s talking about, or so we often subconsciously decide. However, if you read the subtext of various gun reviews you can see the comparisons they’re drawing and where they come from.

The gun-buying audience is diverse. We come from a variety of economic backgrounds, but reviews across the web (and sometimes in reputable gun-related magazines) would have you believe we are all materially wealthy. When looking at a review for a budget-friendly manufacturer, reviewers occasionally disparage what they find, not because it’s objectively bad, but because it’s different from what they’re used to.

The reviewers aren’t actually saying the guns don’t hold up or perform well in their intended use. They’re saying they don’t compare to their high-dollar competition. 

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to own a Beretta 1301 Tactical Shotgun. Off the shelf and with no modifications, its MSRP is $1,7200 (actual retail is about $1500). When someone suggests to their reader to “go ahead and spend the extra grand for a gun that will actually work,” they’re telling us a whole lot about their worldview and how they view their readers.

In my entire life, I’ve never had an “extra grand” I could throw down on anything, especially when there’s an effective alternative for much, much cheaper. 

This attitude extends beyond the few writers who clearly have a brand-oriented agenda. Brand loyalty makes sense if the brand has met your needs time and time again. But if it’s based on anything else, you’re just giving a company that doesn’t care about you free advertising, and paying a steep price in the process. Regardless, it shouldn’t be used to fuel weaponize one’s preferences.

People don’t realize how much their views are skewed by what they have. Looking at some of the claims gun enthusiasts make regarding brand, price-point, and “effectiveness,” we see a lot of brand absolutism and fanaticism out there.

“If you don’t care enough about your life to spend over $500, don’t even bother.”

I recently read a Reddit discussion about a Smith & Wesson revolver and its Taurus equivalent. My question essentially boiled down to, “Since they’re basically the same, is the S&W worth the extra money?” The learned response I got was, “If you don’t care enough about your life to spend over $500, don’t even bother.”

Is that really what we believe? If we want everyday citizens to be armed and have the ability to defend themselves, do we really want to gatekeep over price? If someone is working hard, has a family at home, and is looking for a way to keep them protected, do we really need to police how much money they’re spending?

If someone buys a Hi-Point JHP 45 to protect their home, is our response going to be that they literally shouldn’t even bother loading it?

That line of thinking seems contradictory to a lot of other pro-gun other talking points people spout. Not to mention, when analyzing data in regards to surviving attackers, the most common factor is having a gun. Period. We all know the old adage; the best gun for defending yourself is the one you have and know how to use. All the red dots in the world will do nothing for you if you can’t hit what you’re aiming at.

When you press the naysayers, you usually find that they have no experience with the weapons they’re so triggered by. If they’ve used them at all, you similarly discover that they didn’t use them properly, didn’t clean them, bought the wrong ammo, etc.

There is an even more likely scenario: they didn’t know how to use it at all. If someone has only ever shot a high end 9mm with a comfy grip and a compensator, they might be overwhelmed by how much one feels a .45 ACP bullet run through a stock polymer pistol. 

Finding Your Preferences…And Your Haters

We could sit around all day and debate about how many rounds one needs to be truly “safe.” In fact, I have spent a whole day debating this before on a camping trip as my friends and I spent a weekend shooting each others’ guns at an outdoor range.

When it comes to pistols, I like small guns. I don’t know why. Maybe, it’s because of my childhood obsession with James Bond and his small but notoriously lethal PPK and its tiny, single stack magazine.

My EDC gun is a subcompact pistol: the Taurus G2S. I tried every pistol in its price range and it was the one that fit my hand the best. It was as simple a decision as that. I haven’t had a single feeding issue, and I’m pretty damn accurate with it.

I own a simple IWB holster for it as well. For a hunting trip I’m going on soon, I decided I wanted an OWB holster that would keep the gun covered as I moved through the forest and braved the cold, wet weather. I purchased a Sneaky Pete holster that keeps the gun completely enclosed. I love it, by the way. I honestly might use it for EDC through January and February when I’m fully bundled in my winter coat. 

I posted a picture of it on Facebook and got a surprising number of negative reactions. Let me be clear: this was in a Facebook group for Taurus owners, and I still was getting a lot of blowback for my gun (and holster) of choice.

Of all of the negative comments, my favorite is a pair I received from one user. He first said, “What the actual **** is this wannabe holster? I suggest getting a better holster.” That was followed by “And it’s the single stack. Hope you don’t need more than 7 or 8 rounds.” I edited these to improve grammar and remove emojis, but the point remains.

He was hardly an outlier. Go to YouTube and look at “serious” gun content creators talk about minimum round counts for concealed carry. In the same breath, they’ll tell you that the difference between 10 and 12 rounds can be the difference between life and death, but that if you’re not willing to carry more than 8 rounds, you shouldn’t even waste your time carrying a pistol at all. 

I realize that my budget-oriented approach may seem strange to a lot of people. When I went to buy a new shotgun, I wanted something that could bag game as well as serve as a home-defense weapon. I am the only person I know who goes squirrel and goose hunting with a Winchester SXP Marine Defender, but I do, and it works. 

What’s the point?

Why do we own guns? I thought we were all in this to exercise our rights and defend our lives. It just seems that far too many people are in this for other, less obvious reasons.

Some just want to flex the worth of their toys and feel like they’ve purchased proof that they are, in fact, better than everyone else. We’ve tied too many false notions (many about themselves) to their gun ownership.

It’s not a tool designed to make you feel tough or invincible. It isn’t some form of means to a social end. Perhaps, we should all evaluate what draws us to buying the guns we do and to the online communities and publications that celebrate them.

In the meantime, I’ll proudly carry my single stack pistol in the strangest holster I can find. 

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    • Early Gerry Rafferty, (and Billy Connolly), ‘Stealer’s Wheel’ :

  1. In this article, a man gets called poor and opts to publish his major league malding.

    No, but in all seriousness, there are certainly guns out there that offer exceptional value, and they’re usually only a couple hundred bucks over the bottom-barrel junk. Sure, not everyone can afford a custom 2011, but that’s not really the expectation either. You don’t have to be “rich” to buy a $500 used glock or a $60 kydex holster.

    If you DO want to shoot your guns and carry regularly, you’ll often find the limitations of poor quality products rather quickly. Go to a good quality Concealed Carry training class with that Sneaky Pete holster and see if they let you even use it. Confucius says… outlook not great.

    • That last bit ……..yeah after I did a few other classes I was able to do some alternative carry drills but it is not a desired environment for the teachers for a number of reasons.

    • “..only a couple hundred bucks..”
      And if I had your money I could burn mine. Do you have any evidence to demonstrate the superiority of your beloved Glock over the Taurus?

      • I must be really fukked up, I own BOTH Glock AND Taurus, AND Ruger, AND S&W, AND A Rock Island, AND an AMT .22 Automag AND…….. Never paid more than $600 for a handgun but I do invest in decent leather holsters IWB, OWB, Shoulder and Ankle rigs…. One rifle over a Grand most in the $500/$600 range Got a new old stock 1932 Mosin Nagant for $75.00 and a 1916 Gewher 98K (aka Mauser) for $100 with the stock intact… High end ammo for defensive use, cheap stuff for killing paper… Not a gun snob or a “Glock Boy” each of my guns have a particular purpose (that’s what I tell my wife anyway) I see something I like; I buy it, I don’t care whose name is on it…

      • “Do you have any evidence to demonstrate the superiority of your beloved Glock over the Taurus?”

        They have a well-earned reputation of going ‘Boom’ when asked.

        Glocks are the Honda Accords of handguns. Nothing flashy, and nearly as corrosion-resistant as humanly possible. It’s a solid handgun for people not interested in being a gun nut…

        • That Block/Honda analogy is perfect. Just like with Hondas that sell themselves and are reliable appliances, you can really “rice” them out. I have a bone stock one that is kept that way for purpose and another I use to death as a hole punch that’s sexy and fun.

        • “Glocks are the Honda of the gun world”

          And, just like Honda, there are cars/guns out there that are just as reliable and do the same thing for less money.

          As for the $500+ carry gun, my response would be that if the gun gets confiscated for whatever reason, you aren’t out much if they take your Taurus as opposed to a Kimber(or other high priced brand). I would rather I lose my Canik TP9 than my Chiappa Rhino should that happen- it would also be easier to replace the TP9 than the Rhino 60DS.

          I’ve ran into the fanbois at the counter as well. The retired police officer that swears by a Sig over even a Glock that had me tempted to ask to see the Hi Point in the case because I’d heard they make excellent guns to beat someone to death with while making a dead-eyed stare at the counter guy. He swore I wanted that Sig .40 cal in the case over what I was looking at, and that buying the $700 Sig and a $200 conversion barrel and different magazines would be a better choice than the $400 gun I was looking at.

      • I own 2 Taurus pistol and I am lucky to get through a Mag with either. I’ve had a live round stuck in the chamber and been unable to open the action to extract it. Firing it didn’t do it. I had to go after it with w rubber mallet. Both guns have a round count of well over 500, which is my standard break in for any gun. Both were bought new.

        Never had a single problem with any of my Glocks. I would imagine owners of Sig, Beretta, Ruger, S&W, and even Highpoint can say the same. No doubt others as well. Hell I’ve got a Davis derringer that has never malfunctioned. But Not Taurus. I’d much rather the author had bought a Highpoint than a Taurus if money was that tight.

        I am pretty sure he will get 1 shot off with his Taurus, and likely 2 if he needs to defend himself. That may be enough. But if that was my only choice to carry I’d want a lot of rounds through it and some of those in classes before I would trust it.

        • I have a G2S that has never jammed or failed in any manner in over 1000 rounds. The accuracy is within 1 minute of bad guy. What else do I need?

        • I have a G2S that has never jammed or failed

          I have had a similar experience with a Millenium G2 that I’ve owned for 4 or 5 years, never failed to chamber, fire or eject a round… Not anywhere near a thousand rounds through it and I will never use it for EDC (that position has been held by my G29 for the last 20 years) but I do occasionally carry it on my ankle as a backup… My wife has carried a Taurus .38 Special for over twenty years (just a wheel gun kind of girl) and resists whenever I suggest updating…

        • No one races cars at a high level using a stock Ford Focus, but they work fine
          to get you from point A to point B.

          The Taurus G3C is an ok basic pistol, though he should have bought the double stack version of it.

  2. Yada, Yada, Yada. Another Snowflake whining, because he can’t wade through the BS and figure it out for himself. Yes, most of it is BS. Typical of the results coming out of the Liberal/Progressive Democrat Educational Indoctrination system. Formally known as Public Education.

    • Yes. This is a BS article. More gun snobbery. I’m happy with my Ruger P89. And my Hi Point JHP 45. But I would buy a Glock with a binary trigger.

      • Had a P89 back in the early 90s. was quite happy with it. like all the guns I had back then I wish I still had it.

  3. Some say the best carry gun is the one that you actually carry, way better than the one you don’t. Of course a rifle with a backup shotgun and pistol or SMG would probably be the best load out for most scenarios.. not practical obviously.

    Typically you don’t even need your gun, you may never need it for a self defense scenario. Except for when you suddenly do need it… unfortunately it’s hard to predict what scenario that will be or what might be required.

    Side note… what’s with all these freaky body part advertisements, it’s pretty disgusting.

    • “Side note… what’s with all these freaky body part advertisements, it’s pretty disgusting.”

      YouTube keeps feeding me ads on how I can become ‘instantly hard’. The opposite is more like it… 🙂

      • I like the tick look a likes.
        I hit a deer with my truck and thought ” Hot diggity damn.” Then when I looked it over its head was covered in ticks.
        Scored twice, ticks on the purp and deer meat too.

  4. An excellent, and timely, article. Thanks to that author for writing what needed to be…. His gun fits him and he likes it. Other opinions matter not. And Shlumpus, he specifically said his sneaky Pete was for carry -while hunting-, not a word about range usage.

  5. The author cites numerous examples of reviewers, authors, or commenters passing off superficial experiences or emotional biases that contradict objective facts – implicitly acknowledging that objective facts exist, while also seeming to insist “Shut up about your objective facts if they conflict with my feelings.”

    Some guns cost more to deliver capabilities a new / infrequent shooter would never notice, or for superficial reasons that don’t add capability at all. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any junk guns, or that an experienced shooter is a bad person for pointing them out.

    There are no perfect guns, but once you define requirements and conditions, there are absolutely objective differences in fitness for purpose. There are also guns that are objectively less suitable for purpose than numerous other available and affordable guns. Does that make them “worthless” [worth less than nothing]? Maybe not, but that’s a stupid way of framing the problem unless you literally have zero choices beyond Gun X or nothing.

    • You missed his point entirely. He was actually describing about 75 to 80% of the “bad, stupid choice” gun comments right here on TTAG. It’s endemic to the site. We all have our favorites and have this incredible drive to “school” the neophytes about the horrible choice they made. I prefer my Kimber Custom Shop CDIII in 45 ACP because, after all, it’s the finest gun on the market! Right? You get my point?

      • A good technique to exclude biases is to consider an idea in simplest terms.

        Leave guns and TTAG out of it for a moment and consider (as a general principle) the idea of a neophyte saying “Whatever gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling based on my nonexistent to minimal experience is what’s best for me; I will not weigh facts, logic, or the education, training, natural aptitude, real-world experience, etc. of people who actually know what they’re talking about, but will cling to my superficial emotional whims regardless.”

        Imagine, for instance, a Seaman Recruit who takes that attitude in regard to all the veterans in his chain of command; an orderly in a neurosurgery ward, a high school kid interning at NASA. It’s categorically idiotic regardless of what job, hobby, or other field of human endeavor you plug it into.

        • Willful ignorance/general stupidity can be encountered on both sides and can be correct in spite of itself. You know just to complicate a discussion. With that out of the way learning more and actually figuring out what may work best for self/others is the ideal for all involved but reality often has other plans.

        • SAFE,
          As always, I appreciate your insightful feedback. The difference between you and OP is that you don’t make the leap to equating “Every expert is a fallible human being and makes the occasional mistake” with “A newb who knows nothing knows more about what’s best for him than all experienced shooters put together, because feeeelings.”

          The fact that even experts make mistakes is an argument for openness to more outside feedback (including constructive criticism, even when it isn’t necessarily worded constructively) for purposes of comparison.

      • For some folks, that ‘extra coupla hundred bucks’ is a genuine hardship.

        If I ever fall on hard times again, I would have zero shame in carrying a Hi-Point, compared to Lorcin, Jimenez, or Phoenix, etc…

        • There’s a certain (very low) barrier to entry for quality / reliability, which (as others have wisely noted) is well worth saving up for; beyond that, it’s about good judgment that is actually easier and cheaper to acquire through critical feedback than spending hundreds on classes, practice ammo, etc.

          Case in point: I’ve been searching for a long time for a pistol combining the best of both 1911 ergonomics / SAO trigger, and modern pistol updates. I found one with a few flaws for $479 and was able to correct those flaws for a few dozen additional dollars. Today I read about another take on the idea for $1999, that IMHO is less effective in certain ways. I would never have built a better pistol for 1/3 the price if it weren’t for openness to candid comments from shooters with direct experience.

        • As a collector of ring of fire guns I’d say definitely take the high point. The others might function as liberators but they are much better as collectibles.

      • He is very often is with his posts and I tend to learn more when I argue with him over finer points.

      • JWT,
        Thank you very much! That means a lot, and I agree with your other (safety) comment as well. Where else would someone find out about an unsafe holster, other than openness to criticism from experienced users? Certainly not the manufacturer.

  6. Dudes narritive is toxic, find what you like and use it. Now get your opinion and feels out of our Rights.

  7. RE: “When someone suggests to their reader to “go ahead and spend the extra grand for a gun that will actually work,” they’re telling us a whole lot about their worldview and how they view their readers.”

    What the do it for me money crowd is saying says they do not know how to make an inexpensive firearm run. For the most part their experience with firearm internals consists of regurgitating what they have been fed by some yoyo with 35,000 plus incomplete sentence posts, etc. As for teacher pay to afford a firearm…get a side job during summer vacation.

    • Oh please, you get your panties in a bunch if anyone even hint at disagreeing with you. Everyone here knows I’m right.

    • “For the most part their experience with firearm internals consists of regurgitating what they have been fed by some yoyo with 35,000 plus incomplete sentence posts, etc.”

      Might consider reading your own post. LOL!

  8. Confucius says, skill over gear. Far too many people with very expensive pistols were unable to outshoot me and my Canik when I got it, my first pistol and all I could afford. Carried it for years before going to my Glock that does…exactly the same thing. I’ve competed with my stock Glock 19 and beat dudes with 2-6k 1911s that couldn’t shoot for crap. Jerry Miculek with that Taurus would destroy me and my now red dot equipped Glock 19 any day of the week no question. Far too many focus on the gun part of gunfight but not the fight part. Seen too many gun snobs that couldn’t hit a target at 25 yards and couldn’t sprint 100 yards without passing out and at that point why carry when you’re going to die from heart disease, one of the leading causes of death. Priorities.

    • Skill over gear, indeed.

      The now-defunct Front Sight training academy (a cautionary tale on how to take an excellent organization 25 yrs after its founding and run it into the ground because the owner didn’t understand business) had its motto: “Any Gun Will Do, If You Will Do”.

      I miss FS and the instructors. The best four years of gun training I’ve ever had.

      • I bought into the whole schtick out there. Became a “Guardian Member”. Ignatz had the right idea and execution. Bottom line is that Covid did him in. He had a lot of debt which he was handling til he got shut down completely. What pissed me off was the cavalier way the paid members were handled by the new organization. I miss training out here a lot. Oh well.

        • Fortunately, I took full advantage of the time leading up to the (as of yet unannounced, yet inevitable to those who saw the writing on the wall) bankruptcy and changeover, and attended a lot of shotgun and handgun courses, going all the way up to Combat Master Prep. Voluntarily repeated the beginner and midline courses multiple times to keep the juices flowing with fresh perspective from the different instructors.

          TBH, I preferred the Advanced Tactical courses over the Combat Master Prep, but TEHO.

          I took a local entry tactical course here in SoCal. Not the same. More expensive and less effective. I miss FS. I miss the drive out to NV, hanging a left at Baker on the I-15 and driving 90 mins the back way to Pahrump thru Mojave Valley. I really miss staying at SaddleWest and being permitted to *take my guns into my room*, an ode to old Nevada (no hotel in Vegas will allow you to do that).

  9. You made your choice based on what’s best for you. Why do you care what anyone else says? Screw ’em.

  10. It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools for a failure. As a craftsman, I have my favorite brands of tools. They “fit me” in most cases. Estwing 20 oz rip hammer. Klein linesman’s pliers. I could go on, but the point is, I can use almost any hammer, in any size, or any style to drive a nail. Yes, I can pick up your 3 pound shop hammer, and drive nails, without damaging the wood I’m driving the nails into. And, I can use your granny’s little 8 ounce claw hammer to do the same. I’m not as comfortable using those tools, but I can use them.

    If you’re really a gun person, you will make do with whatever is at hand. And, you won’t mock anyone else for their choice of tools.

  11. I’ve bought inexpensive firearms (there’s a difference between that and cheap), but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like nice (that usually means expensive) firearms. The stainless 3″ Rossi square butt .38 I bought my girlfriend that was living alone in Gainesville and attending UF was inexpensive. The Hi-Points I recovered at crime scenes were cheap.

    • Can’t say I ever saw an affordable revolver (centerfire) under 550 but region probably has a lot to do with that.

      • Been several years now, but I picked up a nice Ruger Redhawk at the Pensacola gun show for under $200. Of course that was while St. Barry was in his second term. But then I’ve also seen people pay over 5 bills for a well-used Colt or S&W revolver at the St. Paul gun show back in the early 1990’s.

        • Awesome re Redhawk, decade and change later I was very happy to pick one up a bit over 3x that (compared to MSRP of the current production). Really pushed me further into reloading when I actually got to shoot more for less after a few hundred rounds. For those s&w’s back in the 90’s I would assume prelock at that price.

  12. Amen!!!!

    I bet there are a lot of Israelis who now wish they were allowed to possess a Galil, a Tavor or even an M-16. However; these people would be elated if they had a Glock or better yet, a Remington 870 loaded with buckshot. The best self defense gun is the gun that you are actually allowed to own and can afford, and also keep reasonably available for self defense.

    • Hey that remind me! Gotta get that Taurus with the rebate now🤓 Instead of a Kali Key since no one has a clue if the gest er Ill po-leece would know if my AR is “legal”. My wife is completely on board & for the 1st time ever always has a gat with her🙄🤓All my 6 Taurus’ ran(& run)quite well because I’m not inept. My only Hipoint not at all. If I want to show off I’ll have my gorgeous wife on may arm…

      • I would swing my hi point carbine at someone before trying to shoot them with it. If that tells you anything about my confidence in my hi point carbine.

  13. I am a very fanatical, highly skilled competitor, EDC, handgun hunter. I have considerable income but there’s no way I”m paying what smiths or gunmakers today want for a top of the line gun, but then i have the skills, info and tools to do the work myself. Those super-duper 1911’s never get carried and many of them get shot very little or not at all. I do agree, tho, that if you cant/wont crap the $500 more for a decent gun, you also wont spend the several thosuand $ on practice ammo and instruction needed to be worth a hoot with that pistol. You can sell your plasma for $80 per week, or get a half time college loan for $3000.

  14. Except sometimes things really are unsafe, and you might not be experienced enough to know it. For instance, carrying a pistol in a flexible holster that doesn’t solidly block movement of the trigger.

      • Not at all, and I wish this site would go back to blocking people that intentionally engaged in them and continually posted off topic and ad-hominem attacks.

        There is a balance (one that smart people never fully achieve) in “doing what works for you” and listening to the advice of others. I know 2 people who’ve shot themselves with those style holsters and I’ve treated several other people who shot themselves holstering their guns with generic “good enough” holsters. They were doing what worked for them, right until it didn’t.

        But overall, Umm’s response above is right on target. I see it all the time. The “just the same as…” AR15 is only just the same if you don’t shoot much, or don’t need to be particularly accurate. Pistols are “just as reliable as a Glock”, as long as you don’t have 10k+ rounds a year through them. So yeah, for a set of conditions, an inexpensive tool may work, but for another set of conditions, you might as well not bother, because you’re wasting money on a tool that won’t do the job.

    • I have a box full of OWB and IWB “hard holsters”…leather, polymer, Kydex. All the IWBs are uncomfortable. I only started to consistently carry (AIWB always) when I got a Sticky Holster, at the recommendation of a TTAG’er a while back. It’s very comfortable.

      Though, my EDC has a trigger safety selector, so it gives me peace of mind when I carry (always chambered) with the Sticky.


  15. A few thoughts:
    -I just watched video of an officer involved shooting in Chicago. Officer had a Glock jam up (I heard they never do that) and she struggled to clear it for almost a minute.
    -I once bought 2 used S&W Revolvers, a K-frame and a J-frame. The J-frame locked up after a few shots and the K-frame wouldn’t work in DA. Turns out the J-frame needed cleaned horridly (the front piece that pushes on the pawl that lets the gun know the cylinder is seated was frozen.) and the K-frame had the main spring screw loose, I believe that was someone doing a “trigger job.” So much for revolvers also never failing.

    The point being is that NEW means “Never Ever Worked” and “never break” items certainly do break. Don’t care if you have a Taurus, a Smith, a Colt, a Glock or whatever. Know what you’re working with and test it. Besides that from time to time take care of it. I’m sure a lot of “junk” out there is junk because people do not care for it. There are some exceptions to this, but you’ll never truly know without testing. If you don’t learn the limits of your guns you may learn the limits of yourself.

    I’d rather be a competent person fighting with a Taurus than a screw up fighting with a race gun.

    • I’ve never had any GLOCK jam on me. The closest I’ve experienced is a tight slide cycling on a brand new one upon startup of the 200-rd break-in period during its first trip to the range. A little bit of gun butter on the rails, another box of FMJs, and it was all good.

      I’ve found that – across all the gun makes/models I’ve shot over the years – 9mm is the most forgiving in regards to the variety of FMJ/JHP ammo working with any gun’s feed ramp. .40 S&W can be picky, but usually reliable as well. I’ve never had full success with any .45 ACP using JHP due to the bullet nose profile. For that, I stick with FMJ and check each batch with a “thumb feel check” to ensure the upper lip of the casing (where the bullet is seated) isn’t too sharp, which can grab on the feed ramp. One time, I got a great deal on a dozen boxes of Perfecta, but quickly found the casings were too sharp. I had to pass each individual cartridge along a hard buffing wheel to “soften” the edge. It worked.

      • Sounds like you need a Lee FCD and the ammo wasn’t taper crimped well.

        Proves my point though, don’t assume that things work perfectly. Even if your gun is perfect your ammo may be garbage or you may limp wrist your litlte LCP or something.

        • Egg-zacktly. Know your gun. Train with your gun. Know its quirks and its strengths. Train with different ammo to find the one your gun likes best. Train again. Rinse and repeat.

          Then you’re on your way to being ready for responsible carry.

  16. Did this guy just discover the internet? He acts like this behavior is unique to the gun community (visit any interest forum). He then goes on to give very selective anecdotal evidence to back up his claims. People told him he had to spend an extra grand over a $380 shotgun in order to have a reliable firearm? Really? Then the problem is where he’s getting his “advice.” I have NEVER heard or seen the gun community say one has to spend over a thousand for a reliable shotgun when the Maverick 88 and Mossberg 500 exist. Those are always being recommended. I paid $360 for my 500.

    If he thinks gun tubers say you HAVE to carry over ten rounds, then he’s listening to the wrong people. The ones I’ve watched (who have hundreds of thousands of subscribers) have said the opposite, or at least offered some nuance (sometimes you want over ten rounds). I think it was Crimson Pirate on here who said the Active Self Protection channel claimed (after reviewing thousands of shootings) people only use a few rounds in these interactions. In higher round count interactions, extra shots fired are usually unnecessary.

    Sorry but the problem here isn’t with the gun community.

  17. “Go to YouTube and look at “serious” gun content creators talk about minimum round counts for concealed carry. In the same breath, they’ll tell you that the difference between 10 and 12 rounds can be the difference between life and death, but that if you’re not willing to carry more than 8 rounds, you shouldn’t even waste your time carrying a pistol at all.”

    Well, it is true that the “difference between 10 and 12 rounds can be the difference between life and death” – its true also that the difference between 15 and 17 rounds, or the difference between 30 and 32 rounds, or the difference between 40 and 45 rounds, can be “the difference between life and death”. Its situational dependent – and guess what, you don’t get to pick the situation but rather the situation picks you.

    I had a situation … basically; I had three 15 round magazines and after I fired my last shot needed to put the second of the two bad guys down I had three rounds left out of three 15 round magazines. Had I needed to fire those three rounds and the second bad guy was not down from those my wife and i would have died that day. I had hit both the bad guys several times each and finally one of them went down still alive but couldn’t move. It was having to cover ~30 yards under fire and engaging them and keeping them pinned down and advancing to keep them away from my wife who was trapped between them. The first guy down, the second guy was still a threat to my wife and he was firing at me, he had a ton of ammo it turned out and a lot more than I had. I had hit him several times in body parts that I could get sight of when he moved around from behind the cover of the cars with .40 but he was still up and engaging me. I finally got close enough to advance firing to within 3 feet of him and he finally went down. Had I not been able to get that close to him and he had not gone down and I needed those remaining three rounds and he still did not go down after firing those the difference between life and death would have been what ever the number of rounds would be needed after I had fired those three rounds or in other words after firing 45 rounds (three 15 round magazines). I carry a full sized Glock 22 for my main EDC (sometimes I switch off with another gun), and now carry five 15 round magazines and one in the gun for a total of six 15 round magazines.

    Granted, you will probably never encounter a situation like the one I did there. It was unique. But the point is – the difference between life and death in DGU can be the number of rounds you have and you simply do not know when or where you might need more because the situation picks you and you don’t get a choice so its best to prepare as best you can.

    I’m not going to criticize the gun or number of rounds one chooses to carry, its their choice so they make their choices. But when that situation picks you and ya need just a little more and don’t have it, well, your choices then become extremely limited.

    • “I carry a full sized Glock 22 for my main EDC (sometimes I switch off with another gun), and now carry five 15 round magazines and one in the gun for a total of six 15 round magazines.’

      Okay, bear with me as I poke at this statement. According to GLOCK, the 22 weighs 732 grams without magazine. A loaded 15-rd magazine is 326g. So a 22 with six loaded mags is a total weight of almost six pounds. Are you saying you carry 90 rds in that heavy load on your belt as your EDC? If true, how are you concealing all that weight and firepower in warmer weather?

        • distributed…not all on belt. I have, basically, shoulder rigs I carry 4 of the magazines in with two left and two right. they lay vertical one under the other thus close to the body. My normal conceal carry summer outer wear conceals them fine under each arm. the mag holders can be detached from the shoulder rigs and clipped on to the belt though if that helps you.

        • and aside from the distributed I outlined above, one mag on the belt and the other in the gun in holster at six 15 round mags.

          and that’s how I carry six 15 round magazines and the gun in, like you asked, warmer weather. its no different than most people conceal carry with a full sized gun and one mag on the belt, just more ammo but distributed away from belt line.

      • Haz we have roving crews of young thugs carjacking in Cook county. 75 rounds of 40 cal sounds cool to ME. As for me I’ve been working out🙄😀

        • We have……10 rounds or less thankfully most of the worst gang issues are sprinkled around Syracuse Buffalo and NYC for targeting victims without gang affiliation but yeah New York reload just to have around a standard capacity magazine. Can’t wait for that court case to get moving in any circuit.

    • To 40 cal booger: Where the hell were you when this went down ? How many were you up against ? How were they armed ? Its as rare as a purple rabbit that one not in a war zone would face what you were up against.

      • I related the full story a couple of times here before in past article comments..but basically …

        We had been out shopping. Parked in a parking structure. I had the stuff at the door entrance to the parking structure,. Wife went ahead to get the car, shes going to pull it around. When she did two guys attempted to abduct her to rape and would kill her, tried to drag her into a van. One armed with a knife the other a gun.

        I see it happen from the door about ~30 yards away. I start towards her, shes fighting as they try to drag her away. As I start towards her another guy sees whats happening and I tell him to call 911 and he does. She has seen me coming, they haven’t, she is screaming and cursing at them and fighting. She screams at them “He’s going to kill you sons a bitches!” and then they look around and see me coming and the one with gun starts firing at me. That’s when she broke free and runs, but there was some construction going on inside the parking structure and unfortunately she ran right into that area and is now trapped between them. I start firing at them when she broke free, one hit just shy of ~30 yards, they go for cover between cars. But, from where she is anyway she tried to get away from there they would be able to get to her but she has cover though where she is around the corner.

        I keep advancing, cover to cover, keep firing to keep them pinned down so they can’t move towards where she is. Quick fire and maneuver all the way, the one with the gun is firing on me. I’ve hit both of them by now several times each but only in body parts I get sight of as they move around behind cover of the cars, nothing disabling. The one with the knife exposes himself and turns to run towards where she is, I put a few rounds in his lower center back and he goes down (he lived, paralyzed waist down). The one with the gun is still engaging, I keep getting closer, finally I come around between some cars and hes firing as I advance right to him at about 3 feet when I fire my final shots in center mass and hes down and dead. He still had fully loaded 15 round magazines available, I was on my last mag and knew I would run out if he didn’t go down soon.

        Then when its over, Sheriff dept rolls up. When they roll up my wife is kicking and screaming and cursing at the one that lived, he can’t move around. That sound of weapons fire in the parking structure damaged my hearing and still today I can’t hear everything clearly at times because of the damage to certain frequency ranges. The last thing I remember hearing clearly completely was my wife yelling at them “He’s going to kill you sons a bitches!”.

        These two had abducted and raped three other women before they attempted to get my wife. The first one they abducted and raped and roughed up but she got away, the second one they abducted and raped and slashed her up and left her alone and she got away. But they were escalating, the third one they abducted and raped but then spent time murdering her but they were inept at it as after they thought they had killed her they didn’t check but left the body, she was still alive and was found in time by someone coming by so she lived if you call living with that horror the rest of your life in a facility living.

        My wife was not armed that day, I was. Had she been armed they would have been killed before I could get there.

        From the time they saw me to the last shot I fired, was under five minutes on the surveillance camera video. Sheriffs department rolled up about 30 seconds after I fired my last shot.

        • If you haven’t already save that to a document file for quick retrieval for new posters. Good bad and ugly there is a lot to learn from it and I missed gun guy still having several reloads last time.

  18. My takeaway from this article: buy what fits your budget, body type/hand size, and personal preference. Reserve enough money for accessories, training and ammunition. Don’t buy what may work for the “other guy”. Remember to practice, practice, practice. My secondhand 38 snub revolver works better than your hi cap Beretta, GLOCK or Sig… if you haven’t learned how to use your chosen tool.
    P.S. to Debbie, I taught school for thirty years, worked side jobs and went to grad school… and never made enough money to afford “the high priced spread”. I’m not complaining and neither was the author.

  19. We are talking personal preferences here. Some people love GLOCK other hate it. Some like SIG others, well, you get the message. I own both GLOCKS and a SIG. I consider them both of equal value. I prefer my GLOCK because it’s a .40 SW cal. I don’t have anything against 9mm but I consider it as not having enough punch when “punch” is needed.
    There is my $.02 worth.

  20. My take on the core of this opinion piece, having BTDT for 40 years in public ed, among other things, is a fairly inexperienced school teacher who does not like to be given information that is counter to his/her/its own experiences, learned and otherwise gained, particularly if delivered in an authoritarian manner. Anyone who puts stock in comments by anonymous, or even named people on the internet, is showing a huge void in life experience.

    I believe the author is primarily in line with the all-too-common “let’s just all get along” garbage now standard in American public education. That’s all we’ll and good until we reach the point (and we’re well past it) where those who are correct must give way to those who’s opinions- often mandates, have already been proven wrong time and again. For example: Communism, as generally is promoted by public and college educators, who claim that it will really, really work if only the right people were allowed to make the choices. Cashless bail is another. In education, the notion that schools continue to pass failing students on to the next level when they have no skills in the previous is primary to American education’s abject failure.

    Good luck with your career and new marriage, Tim. And learn to shoot your little Taurus and teach your wife to use it as well. It, and you , can easily be a life saver. And come back again after you’ve been doing all three for maybe 25 years. Having put in 40 in the field, today’s stats indicate you’ll likely leave after 3-5. I couldn’t do it today- I wanted to teach, not indoctrinate.

      • Maybe, but I spent 40 years inside the public ed cesspool, in an inner city, no less. I was smart enough to not hang around administrators, teachers or drink the gov’t education’s Kool Aid, otherwise I’d certainly not be around here…

        Your experience?

      • FWIW- over the last 15 years, ending in 2013 when I retired on my own, I watched as dozens of experienced, white male teachers, as well as a fair number of military vets turned teachers after leaving the service, were fired over “sensitivity issues” and others relating to “toxic masculinity”, which wasn’t so-labelled back then but certainly is at the forefront today. Those who claim an experienced educator cannot be fired have not worked in the Des Moines Public Schools…

        That I was able to make it to retirement was a miracle- I documented everything and even used video, which was against the system’s rules, even though there were cameras in the hallways and on busses.

        Want to “fix” the US? Take back the K-12 systems first. That’s not becoming an “ass”.

        • Thank you for fighting the good fight. I wish my kids had teachers like you instead of woketard indoctrinators.

  21. Lol
    I’ve been saying these things for many years. It applies to guns just as it does with everything else. Cars, computers, jobs, homes, etc.

    There is no best. You decide what you need. If your going to social media then the point has been lost.

    There is a lot out there. This has been getting developed for hundreds of years. If a $300 hun is all you can afford then fine. Spend time with it. Spend money on ammo at a range somewhere. Know and understand it. When your ready to step up, you will. The problem is time and money. The situation could easily come up where you need 17 rounds of .45ACP but only have 6 rounds of .380. Don’t feel like you have to spend $1500 on a new gun. A 22LR is a great starting place.

    Whatever you buy. Practice with it dry firing and live fire at the range. Carry the largest caliber you shoot well and still be comfortable with.

    A Porsche is nice but a Civic will still get you there.

  22. With a headline spouting “Why ‘Gun Absolutism’ is Counterproductive and Toxic for the Concealed Carry Movement,” I thought we were about to get a lecture about why we should start acceding to the nibbling away of our 2A Rights! Thank goodness it was nothing more than a bunch of words whining about something else!

  23. A good part of this is the old Harbor Freight vs Snap-On debate. Frequent tool users will understand while occasional tool users will often also get the point and adjust accordingly.

  24. If you can’t conceal your gun. Then the caliber doesn’t matter. More power to you, if you can EDC a magnum research 50 cal pistol. But most folks can’t do that at work.

    When necessary I carry a 32 keltec. And a Charter Arms 32 HR “off duty” 6 shot revolver.

  25. I dont want anyone to have the same kind of gunm I have because then they would be just as well armed.
    Hah hah

  26. Good article. I would venture to say that 99% of those ‘keyboard commandos’ who presume to be ‘experts’ on weapon selection have never been in a gunfight. I have. An old-school cop (WW2 and Korea War veteran) who was my training officer years ago gave me some very good advice — ‘It’s not the gun, son. It’s who’s pulling the trigger that counts’. Proficiency with a weapon (any weapon) matters more than what type of weapon you use. Wyatt Earp said it best — ‘I prefer a .44, but in a pinch, any gun will do’. After 44 years of law enforcement (28 as a weapons/tactics instructor) and working numerous OIS (officer involved shootings), all other types of shootings, homicides, etc., I have seen first-hand how a gun (any gun) in the right hands can keep you and your family from harm. Choose a PDW (personal defense weapon) that you are comfortable with and become proficient with it. Also, you must have the mind-set to be able to kill another human being in order to protect yourself and others. No hesitation allowed. Deadly force incidents can be a split-second decision on your part. Be ready for it.

  27. Over many years of gun buying, I have found that in general, you get what you pay for. There’s a reason to go with established reliable companies. I have a couple Glocks, a lot of Rugers and one Smith & Wesson, and they’re all damn fine, reliable guns. I have, probably, more Kel-Tecs than most people and while they’re fun, and at least one I trust for concealed carry, they’re by no means the qualify and reliability of the aforementioned brands.

    On the Kel-Tecs, I’ve had bad (no threads!) screws right from the factory, parts that wore out quickly, and a Sub 2k that spits powder residue directly into this left-hander’s face. You get what you pay for.

    I’ve got some Taurus/Rossi guns and they’ve been somewhere in between Ruger and Kel-Tec for reliability.

    I have a cheap ZhongZhou coach gun with rabbit ears (exposed hammers) and until a couple weeks ago, I thought it was a perfectly good shotgun. Then I had some shells stick in the chamber and I broke it open with some extra force. The lug nut that holds the fore-end on just dropped right off the barrel and I lost it in the grass. Of course, without that lug, the fore-end won’t stay on, and without the fore-end locked on the gun won’t stay assembled when you break it open. Great. So I replaced it with a Stoeger a couple days later. A few hundred more than the ZhongZhou, but I expect those few hundred to make a difference in build quality (also, the Stoeger has internal hammers and screw-in chokes).

    If all you can get is cheap, fine, but when people point out the quality disparity, they’re only being truthful.

  28. “If someone buys a Hi-Point JHP 45 to protect their home, is our response going to be that they literally shouldn’t even bother loading it?”

    I’d strongly recommend they get a shotgun instead if their objective is strictly the home. The 45 Hi-Point is over 150 after shipping at the cheapest, a Stevens 320 (imported by a major gun company and based on a proven design) costs less, and a much higher quality Maverick 88 (made in US with some imported materials) is only slightly more with after S&H differences. Besides the price, the pump shotgun will be more reliable, have more stopping power, less over penetration risk, be easier to use, be better suited to mounting a light on, and have cheaper practice ammo.

  29. Does anyone know of someone who wound up on the loosing end of a defensive gun use with a Hi-Point?

    I’ve seen lots of YouTube videos of Hi-Point torture tests and the gun never fails until destroyed.

    There was also the story about the guy that was suddenly attacked by a grizzly and his Hi-Point.45 didn’t fail him. As I recall, 8 shots and the threat was neutralized and a new rug for the dude’s hunting cabin was created.

    • TTAG had a story of a lady who did the deed with a 9mm carbine of theirs. I oddly miss mine, I wish it were double stack but otherwise it was a good weapon. It was accurate, reliable and extremely fun to shoot with good sights and good handling. You can’t ask for a lot more than that esp for the cost.

  30. My goodness what snowflake crud. One should do their research and then buy what suits their needs and be confident in their decision and go on from there rather than constantly second guessing themselves. But don’t expect everyone to confirm your opinion as that never happens especially when one buys a lower tier product and claims it is just as good/reliable/durable/etc as anything else including a pistol brand that has been extensively tested and is the choice of many agencies including Special Forces, FBI, Secret Service, Federal Air Marshall Service, and Border Patrol.

  31. I’ve had a couple Taurus handguns. Never had a problem with them. Perhaps I’m the exception. And I’ve had much more expensive firearms that were absolute junk.
    What I would recommend to any first time firearm/CC buyer is get the best firearm you can, and be prepared to go through several holsters before you find one that is comfortable and protects/retains the weapon as needed.
    We could sit here all night and debate which firearm is best for what purpose. The merits of single or double stack magazines and how much back up ammo someone should carry.
    I’ve heard of DGU shootings that required 2 rounds and shootings that went to 30 or more rounds. Myself, I carry either a revolver with a couple speed loaders in my pocket, or a 1911 with a couple spare mags. With my lifestyle, location and ingrained watchfulness, the chances of me being in a shootout with multiple attackers is slim. If I still lived in a major metro area, I would be looking for higher capacity weapons and would carry more back up ammo. Again, it depends on needs and probabilities.
    A little pocket pistol may very well be all the youngster in the article needs. I usually carry a full sized duty weapon and have a rifle or shotgun available nearby.

  32. Somebody send in a ‘Hurt Feelings Report’.

    Holy emotions, Batman. Grow some skin.

    People share copious amounts of advice, take it for exactly what it’s worth. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not applicable, and sometimes it’s garbage. Buy whatever gun/gear you want and move on with life. There are 3, and only 3, opinions/influences in your life that you should inherently trust and appropriately integrate in all circumstances: God, your spouse, and your parents (in that order).

  33. TL;DR – Most online gun guys are a bunch of dicks. Well, yeah; most online anyone about anything are a bunch of dicks, and the Internet is the giant bathroom wall that they all love to scribble on. Getting upset about the garbage they write is like seeing graffiti that says “F*CK YOU” and going “F*ck ME!? H-how DARE they!!”

  34. “and a man comes in and tells me how white my shirts can be but he can’t be a man ’cause he don’t smoke the same cigarettes as me”

    It’s hard to find satisfaction when your being told that everyones solution is the best. This has been a struggle for decades. I’ve found it easier to just avoid salesmen and learn for myself what’s what. It’s all a rat race and that gets you no where leaving you spinning your wheels in the mud. I don’t need someone from Best Buy telling me I need an HDMI cable when the device in question wont do any better than 720 resolution. It’s usually better to just set the thermostat to the desired temp and *leave it alone*. I love my Keurig coffee maker but the smarter person will still need to know how to use a percolator.

    Don’t waste your money on taking your computer to someone for virus removal. It’s better to not get the virus in the first place and the best way to do that is to know your computer like the back of your hand. Know what’s on it and what isn’t.

    Do you know when your being lied to? Well the ONLY way to know this (with anything in life) is to know the truth going in.

  35. I’ve never met a poor teacher but I do own some cheap guns. If they work they work then quit being mad about it.

    In 2023 almost every brand has an affordable SKU. There’s never been a better time to be a cheapskate than now (ignoring random ammo gluts).

    Also, picking a single stack pistol when there are several great choices for double stacks is a willful choice to buck the trend.

    • Trend is irrelevant and cheap only means just so much. I wouldn’t measure a teachers worth by the size of their bank account.

      • Certain lies need to be confronted when they pop up. The idea that teachers are poorly paid is one such lie.

        Their worth is dependant on their actions not their salary and that’s hard for some folks to live up to.

        Cheap guns are fun but you have to test them more than superior options if you decide to trust your life with them.

        This trend is literally the whole point of the article. Pretending trends are irrelevant is the last refuge of a boomer.

  36. The real message of the article is that online gun groups are like Car Shows and not Book Clubs.

    If you pull up in the PT Cruiser, you’re going to get a certain response. And in a Taurus group, half the people there are probably there to crack jokes at your expense anyhow.

  37. Reminds me of what one of my instructors in a CWP class said. “What is the best handgun to have for concealed carry? The one you have in your hand when you need it.”

    As an instructor myself, I always recommend going to a range that rents pistols, shoot a bunch of different ones and find one that fits and works for you. I have my preferences and I do not push them on other people. Happy to let them try what I have, but the decision needs to be theirs.

  38. You know what they say about opinions Tim. And it goes for EVERYTHING. Read about sneakers, golf clubs, stoves, cars, etc. Everyone’s got one and they all stink except your own.

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