Choosing The Best Handgun For Self Defense
To begin, there is not a “best handgun” when it comes to an individual. When choosing a handgun for self defense, it boils down to three factors.
1. How does the pistol feel in your hand, hence “handgun”
2. How well do you shoot the pistol?
3. Is it a good quality pistol?
If you can satisfy these three factors, then you have discovered the best handgun for yourself.
How does the pistol feel in your hand? This is critical, for many reasons, you overall comfort when handling the weapon is key. The size of your hands is a big factor, for instance, if you have small hands, a pistol with a bigger grip may be difficult to have full control over. On the other hand, a person with bigger hands may not have enough grip on the entire surface area of the grip. Either situation poses a potential for not having enough control over your handgun when firing it.
Newer models such as the Glock Generation 4 models are great because they come equipped from the factory with adjustable grip pads. This gives the shooter the ability to adjust the size of the grip that is best for them, giving them the ability to find a better comfort zone.
The overall ergonomics of the handgun will also play a big role in the comfort of the gun. The best thing to do is to actually hold any potential “buys” in your hand. Most gun shops and shows are more than welcome to let you safely handle as many handguns as you can, this works to their advantage as well.
The second factor is, how well do you you shoot the handgun? This is a critical aspect because when it comes down to that critical stage of pulling the trigger, can you hit the target? As mentioned in the first factor, the pistol must feel comfortable in your hand. Another factor is the trigger squeeze.
If the shooter does not feel comfortable with the weight of the trigger pull, it will dramatically effect the accuracy. Some pistols come with higher poundage triggers than other, some people like a tougher trigger squeeze, others like a “hair trigger”. Proper trigger adjustments can be done by a professional gunsmith, but that can be costly, might as well get what you want at the beginning.
Another factor can be the weight of the gun itself and also the stock sights. Unfortunately, there are not too many adjustments one can make on pistols to affect the stock weight, but you can change the sights. TruGlo and Trijicon, both make great after market sights for pistols. The night sights they offer are great for not only better visibility but may provide a better target sighting than your stock handgun.
Lastly, is it a good quality pistol? This is a very critical factor, because in the end, if your pistol misfeeds, jams, etc, you lose critical time. This factor is the only one that I will say where brand names actually mean something. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a bunch of cash to acquire a good quality pistol. This is largely due to technology and a competitive market. Here are some recommendations for good quality, yet inexpensive pistols:
These are just a couple examples, there are many more great buys out there. I encourage all potential buyers to first do research. There is an abundance of information on the internet, so there is no excuse not to educate yourself. Try as many different models as you can at the range and hold as many as you can, safely of course. Many gun stores with ranges will have a good selection of range guns you can try out. It’s better to spend a couple extra dollars to get something you really want. If you don’t you’ll wind up trading your pistol in for another down the road and wasting more money.
Lastly, practice, practice, practice, because in the end, a gun is as only good as the shooter.