There are countless arguments about what is the best carry gun but we can cut through all of them quickly—every single one of them is wrong. The reason is simple. Underlying all of these claims is an assumption that there is such a thing as the one and only “best” defensive handgun, and there’s not. Even when you try and narrow the field down to concealed carry, uniformed duty or military service, the same fallacious logic applies. There is simply no “best” gun.
Instead of looking for some jack-of-all-trades solution to every problem, we need to think of carry guns in the same context that military Special Forces teams use when they gear up. They select their weapons and equipment based on a given mission and the term they use to describe a lot of their gear is mission specific. We should view carry handguns this way as well.
There are three factors to consider in the “mission profile” of a concealed handgun when dictating an optimal choice in handguns. First, what is the anticipated level of threat? Are you going over to your in-laws for a barbeque or are you wandering around Bourbon Street at 2 AM on Fat Tuesday? Second, what attire will you be wearing? Is it shorts and a t-shirt in sweltering hot and humid Houston in mid-summer or is it frigid Minneapolis in the dead of winter? Third, what level of concealment is required? Are you a cop or a properly licensed CCW (concealed carry weapon) holder?