Ultra-powerful compact pistols like this Sig Sauer P290 in 9mm provide shooters with an easy to carry yet extremely powerful self-defense tool.

The type of training you receive these days depends a great deal on how “high-speed, low-drag” your defensive handgun instructor believes he is. The country is seemingly flooded with “operators” who believe they are the light and the way with regard to defensive pistolcraft. Some can shoot, some can teach—but most try to turn the average citizen into a door-kicker on a hostage rescue team wielding a full-size fighting pistol within a week.

When carrying a smaller pistol chambered for a powerful load, like the Diamondback DB9, the recoil can be potent. The answer to firing this gun safely is lots and lots of practice.

Students walk away with a smile and a certificate and then purchase a big fighting pistol just like their instructor who has muscles almost as large as his ego. Like with everything else in life, common sense is the ship that logic sails on. If you believe that you and your neighbor who live in suburban America need the same training and handgun as SEAL Team Six members, knock yourself out. If you follow that same logic we’d all be riding to church in a Humvee and fishing for bluegills out of a Zodiac boat.

The Diamondback DB380 in .380 ACP (left) is extremely slim and compact, making deep concealment easy. Shown with an inside the waistband VersaCarry holster.

Recently we’ve seen a rash of sub-compact handguns become available from most manufacturers who have traditionally offered full-size duty and honest-to-goodness fighting pistols. The public has gravitated to these little guns for obvious reasons. They are easy to carry and easy to conceal. And, after all, the first rule of a gunfight is to have a gun.

The Sig Sauer P238 (right) fits nicely into a Yaqui Paddle holster from Galco Gunleather and can easily be concealed by the user with a buttondown shirt or light jacket.

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