What should you carry?

I always get asked this question when people find out I carry - what gun should you carry?

Find the one that works well for you and you will carry. Period. I don’t give them a brand or a model.

The next question is usually what caliber and ammo should I use? My response is usually along the lines of what do your local law enforcement officers use? If it’s good for law enforcement it’s good for me and it will be easy to defend that choice in court if - Heaven forbid - I ever have to defend myself.

What do the police carry? Scott W. Wagner gives you some idea in his blog post:

What does your local law enforcement carry? What guidelines do you give people who are starting to carry?

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@Dawn I agree with the general premise. I always tell someone to find a gun they like and will carry all the time in a caliber that is not too much for them. All of my law enforcement career was Glock in either 9 mm or .40. Most of Jefferson County/Louisville departments carried either Sig 9mm or Beretta 9mm but then switched to Glock 9mm between late 80s and early 90s. In early 2000s there was a switch to .40 because there was a huge shootout in Jeffersontown, KY, and the bad guy was struck an obscene number of times and just would not go down. Turns out he was on PCP. More recently, many departments are allowing officers the choice of 9 or .40.
After I retired, I decided on 9 mm because of handling cost and availability. And, I always preferred Federal hydrashok but have since switched to HST.
The point being find what you like and will carry, it’s a personal decision.


The most important important thing is to have a weapon that you will actually carry… No matter how tactical or spiffy a handgun may be, if you can’t comfortably carry it, every day, every place w/o changing the way you live odds are it will wind up being at home in the safe or sock drawer. In either case, it’s doing you no good… For SD, Better to have a Kel-Tec P.32 in your pocket than a $3000 Custom 1911 in the safe at home

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Again, whatever you handle best and trust the most. Here I believe it is mostly Glock 9mm.