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Handguns were designed as and have the role of a defensive firearm. They are not as powerful as they're full power counterparts (rifle or shotgun), but they are easily carried upon your person (light and comfortable), concealable and ready right now!


They were created to allow you to fight your way to the gun you really need when the fight started - your rifle or shotgun. Handgun calibers are notoriously know for their ineffectiveness, that's right - ineffectiveness. Lots of people are obviously killed by handguns each year, but most people shot with a handgun survive and a large number of those are either released from the hospital immediately or the next day.


Handgun bullets don't have the kinetic energy or 'punch' of a rifle or shotgun round and while yes, I do believe in the all mighty .45 (my primary carry gun), the smaller, faster rounds are amazing in how they can zip their way through the body.


Do remember it is all about shot placement and the ability to fight. An operator who is unconsciously competent (UC) is far more dangerous with a .22 LR handgun than even a consciously competent (CC) operator with a .45 caliber handgun.


In the years I've been doing CCW permits I've had two clients who had, several years earlier, accidentally shot themselves while re-holstering their handguns. One did it with a 9mm, the other a .22 LR. Guess which one did the most damage....yep, the .22 LR. The 9mm did leave a much larger hole as it entered the hip and came out the back of the knee. The .22 LR. though, entered the hip, traveled all the way down the leg to the heel, bounced forward to the toes, came back to the ankle then finally bounced up to the top of the ankle....OUCH!


By the way, there is a lesson in the story above....the most likely times you could have a negligent discharge is during holstering. Bringing it out or putting it away, it is imperative to do it right and make sure no clothing or other objects, including your finger, come into the trigger guard area...that's the 'go' area.


What's the biggest difference between semi-automatic handguns and revolvers? Malfunctions. Semi-Automatics can be plaqued by them while revolvers not nearly as much. Do you know the different malfuntions? There are three, Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3... Failure to Fire, Failure to Eject, and Failure to Feed (the 'mother of all failures). it is imperative you not only know of these malfunctions, but you practice, practice and practice (dry practice) the clearance of these malfunctions. Learning how to do this in the middle of a fight is a 'dead-wrong' decision.


  • Want to learn all you've just read about? We go though all of it in my class.
  • Want to know how and where to pull the concealment garment to make sure it's completely clear of the handgun? Get in my class.
  • Want to know what the five step process for safely removing and reholstering your gun? Get in my class.

For more information on choosing a semi-automatic handgun, see my document in the 'Handguns & Defense' menu entitled 'Choosing a Primary & Concealed Carry Handgun'. There are other very good documents in that section as well.