If you’re looking to buy your first handgun, it can be overwhelming narrowing down the gun that’s right for you. This post will continue where Part 1 left off with introducing some different handgun styles.
Duty guns are often carried openly by law enforcement and military personnel. These guns serve are ready to serve on the job. Duty guns tend to have a high capacity (often up to 15 rounds or more) and large caliber (often 9mm and upward) so that law enforcement or military personnel can depend on them for a variety of shooter scenarios. These types of handguns usually feature longer barrels and sight radiii for accuracy improved accuracy. The larger sizes make these handguns heavier than their concealed carry counterparts. A few popular examples of duty guns are the Beretta M9/92FS, the SIG P226, or the Glock 22.
Competition guns are designed for sport shooting so they options differ depending on the style (bullseye, IPSC, steel challenge, etc.). For the most part, competition guns are fairly large, like the range guns I covered in the last article. Often times, competition guns will often feature adjustable sights, match grade triggers and barrels, and enhancements from the grip and magwell, to the slide stop and magazine release. Since these kinds of handguns are designed for specific competitive use, they may not serve well for other purposes, such as home defense or concealed carry. The Smith and Wesson M&P9 Pro Series is one example of this kind of firearm.
The purpose of a backup gun is to serve in the event that one cannot access or can no longer use their primary carry gun. Law enforcement and military personnel often opt for conceal carry versions of their standard duty guns. Backup guns are also options for concealed carriers in the off chance that they need, well, a backup in a self defense encounter.
For utmost prepared carriers, there’s one more alternative: a backup to your backup. These deep conceal handguns tend to be even smaller than their conceal carry counterparts. This section of backup guns are generally designed to serve as a last resort self defense option. These “mouse guns” are small enough to carry in more unconventional carry locations, such as ankle or pocket carry. Since they are quite tiny, capacity is generally low, in some cases only one or two rounds. On the smallest end of these kinds of handguns is the North American Arms .22 Magnum Revolver. The model in the photo to the right holds five rounds. Another, larger caliber alternative with a higher caliber is the .410 gauge Double Tap pistol.
There are many handgun options, but the key to finding what’s right for you is to know your intended purpose for the gun you’re buying beforehand. A custom open gun like CZ’s Czechmate works great in competitive shooting, but, you’re destined for frustration if you plan to make it work as a carry pistol. Familiarizing yourself with each handgun type before you shop. With this knowledge, you will be better educated as a consumer, and that’ll help you pick up just what you need for an enjoyable shooting experience today and for many years to come.
Featured image courtesy of contributor Franck-Boston via istockphoto.com