A friend sent me an email earlier and I want to share the email and my response with you:
What type/manufacturer to you use/recommend for 9mm
2. Defensive purposes
Hi Friend –
I think I mentioned that 25 years ago a concealed carry permit was impossible to get in most states.. but now all but a couple make it easy. The end result of this is a very competitive gun market with many more manufacturers with a plethora of styles, types, designs, and price points unique to the concealed carry market has ensued. Or in other words a cra&load of choices. Good choices for the most part. But from these choices there are only 2-3 I’d personally bother with.
Why? I get many students in a class (for almost a year now) step up to the firing line, most with their shiny new guns their gun dealer recommended.. and I observe malfunction after malfunction. I don’t call it a malfunction unless it can get you killed.
Malfunctions occur for one of three primary reasons. Defective gun or magazine. Defective ammo. Defective shooter.
A defective gun could be poor design, burrs or other whatever left behind in the manufacturing process, tolerances not within spec (a tight gun), not re-assembled properly after cleaning, etc..
Defective ammo I usually just ammo being mismatched for a gun If you don’t shoot a 1000 of your practice loads then you and the gun aren’t ready to carry or depend on. If you don’t shoot at least 300-500 of your carry loads through the gun and magazines you’re going to carry.. you’re risking your life.
Defective shooters. If you don’t hold a pistol (a pistol is defined as a semi-auto, not a revolver) properly the gun will malfunction. Not to mention if you can’t hit what you’re aiming at, or you hit the wrong thing..
I also believe in a “system” approach. A system of models that range from at one end the Airsoft models you can practice with inside your home and the gun Airsoft model will still fit inside your carry holsters, to a .22 long rifle version you can practice at the range with on fundamentals, getting over flinching, or just having fun. You can also use them to train a new shooter. A system should have a small flat model for light clothing, a full size high capacity model for a car and/or home gun, and maybe a compact that falls between.. all three with your carry ammo which for now we’ll call 9mm and not get into why. A system approach lets you use weapons for various uses that all have the same controls and familiarity of operation, feel, and shootability.
With all that said, one is the pick of 65% of law enforcement agencies nationally.. the Glock. Glock by itself doesn’t meet the system approach, but with the help of a non-licensed Airsoft manufacturer and a very good .22 conversion manufacturer they qualify.
Next, is a model that’s has a 30 year newer design and from a gunsmith point of view it shows. And it shows big. The Smith and Wesson M&P (military and police) line. They cover 100% of my requirements above.
A third choice is the venerable 1911 design John Browning so generously gave to us, but I’m not going to go into this third choice because it takes a ton of cash to get into it at the proper level which includes not only equipment but also a training level most aren’t willing to reach.
Let’s start with Glock. Pick a compact or full size Airsoft from one of the few Airsoft manufacturers who make Glock models. Go for a green gas version with a metal slide, poly frame, just like the real thing. Next pick a Model 19 which is currently and has been for some time the most popular weapon selected for concealed carry. You could buy 2-3 of these and stop here. You’re carry, home, and car gun would be covered very well. But if you want a full size for the home or just to practice with then the Model 17 is the way to go. Then, select an Advantage Arms .22 conversion kit for your favorite Glock model for inexpensive training use described above. And finally, a single stack flat and slender Model G43 is rumored to be announced at this months SHOT SHOW.
Smith and Wesson Airsoft in a licensed version you can find on Amazon. Next, the M&P full size in 9mm. Followed by a M&P Compact, a really nice M&P .22, and a flat slim single stack 9mm which is number 2 on the list of most oft purchased fro concealed carry.. the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield.
Study the size, weight, and capacity of these weapons and it will start to make sense to you in a big way. Something else important is aftermarket support for night sights, trigger, and all the other accessories that help you individualize your weapons for you. Glock has more support than anyone but the 1911 and the next best covered in the Smith and Wesson M&P series.
You probably noticed I didn’t make a difference between your 1 and 2 choices, practice and defensive purposes. This is because on more levels than I have time to explain it only makes sense to train with what you carry and carry what you train with. Where you can draw a line between the two is in your practice rounds but that’s another topic for another time.. ;)
After you study these choices I’m sure you’ll have other questions.. I’ll be here.