Lessons Learned From the Wrong Gun: Part 1 | USCCA

A fellow instructor who teaches our U. S. Concealed Carry Association women’s curriculum likes to make a confession in her training classes. It’s a statement that rings very true for me … and likely for a lot of other gun owners. And it’s summed up as such: “I confess … I am the proud owner of a gun I don’t like.” Anyone else feel a pang of truth when reading that statement?

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/blog/lessons-learned-from-the-wrong-gun-part-1/

Yep, I bought a gun I liked a lot, but after every effort I knew to make, I could not get the gun to shoot well from my hands. I wanted it to work because I liked it, but I was forced to realize I was falling prey to liking the least important aspects of a gun, and struggling to make it work.

Conversely, later on, I bought a gun I didn’t like, meaning that it didn’t appeal to me aesthetically, especially since I was not a fanboy of the brand, but, being a quality and reliability guy, and adding the fact that it fit me well and shot well from my hand, I bought the gun i didn’t like anyway. Because that “ugly brick”, as I call it, is a formidable, reliable, accurate, tool that I know will serve me well. And that’s what it’s about.


Comfortable to shoot in your hands and be able to hit the target. That is what I said in another post, I think it was yesterday.

I never met a gun I did not like and would like to try and shoot. I would like to try them all before my time is up. Unfortunately, my bank account says not gonna. :metal:


I think one thing that would really help would be a list by category of guns that might be best suited or chart that compares them based on recoil, weight, grip size, ease of operation, etc.
I have made recommendations for many women, and they all start with “pick it up–does it fit your hand?”
followed by working the action safely, then rental, shooting, etc.
WORSE thing–to your point–is having someone else pick out a gun for you sight unseen. This is most often a failing proposition.
The company I teach with in OH provides a “Sampler Pack” opportunity during the range time–for a nominal fee (I think $35) you can you about 15 carry type handguns to see what fits and what doesn’t; what you are comfortable with and what you’re not.
While he had quite an outlay of capital to build his pack (calibers from .22 to .45), it’s truly the best idea for a new shooter IMO.


Just a smidgen. I have a Beretta APX Compact, and it’s just a tiny bit too small for me. It’s bigger than the APX Carry, by a lot, but my pinky could possibly slip off the grip in a real situation.
I love the gun as far as it shoots, it has a very low bore axis and is really easy to get back on target, and this is, from what I’ve read, common across all three sizes of this weapon - the carry is a completely different weapon, incompatible with the other three.
At first I was going to get the Centurion grip frame for it, as it’s a chassis-based weapon, but I decided I’d rather save up and get the full size model to carry, and keep the compact for a dedicated home weapon, or ‘replacement’ weapon should the worst happen, and the LEO want my firearm until the case is settled.
TL;DR Love the gun, but it’s a bit too small for my hands.

Not only is important to fit and be able to press the trigger but I have many students, ladies and gentlemen, who can’t reach or manipulate the mag release button.

Every time it has boiled down to a firearm that is too small. They’ve had to crinkle up their palm in some weird contortion to be able to almost press the button.

Lady or gentleman, you must have the hand strength to be able to cycle the slide.

To recap the OP, make sure the firearms fits by being able to press the trigger correctly, press the magazine release button, engage or de-engage a safety, and be able to cycle the slide.

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