This is a hot button topic. EVERYONE has an opinion about the perfect concealed carry self-defense pistol because everyone is different. While some big guys WILL NOT stay in the same room with other shooters who do not acknowledge that the 1911 is THE best pistol, or folks who speak only one Austrian word; “GLOCK,” or others with a slight frame who are perfectly happy to carry a .380 Kel-Tec. Kahr 9mm or Ruger LCP.
Some “experts” believe that a self-defense pistol is useless unless it starts with a “4” while others know that the new, well-engineered 9mm bullets have almost ALL the impact of a .45 ACP or really dislike the bitchy muzzle flip of a .40 S&W. Some CCW holders are competitive shooters or spend a lot of time either training with great instructors or practicing at the range while too many just read stuff on-line, buy the trendy gear and pack pistols that they rarely shoot. No matter; our industry welcomes and needs every single one of those people.
As a result when the question about what is the best CCW pistol is asked, it ALWAYS breeds both informed and uninformed or experienced and inexperienced points of view. No matter; people need to carry what they feel they are most comfortable with and if that is based on what they can afford, or an opinion based on years of shooting or because a big pistol would be impossible to conceal with their frame or the clothes they wear, then it is not a wrong choice.
My choice? My actual options are based on my particular set of circumstances which are;
- I have a heavy frame with more of a gut than I like
- I live in an areas that RARELY allows jackets or layering
- I like to wear shorts with and without a belt
- My shirts are either Polos or Tommy Bahama
So what does that leave me? A full-size service pistol in 9mm, .40 S&W or .45 ACP would stick out like a sore thumb or make my shorts sag to my knees. While I have and will sometimes carry a .380 Kel-Tec, .25 Beretta or even a .32 Colt (like Bogey used to shoot Colonel Strasser in Casablanca) in the bottom of my cargo pocket, right now my preferred CCW pistol has the power (with the right ammo) to stop any assailant, has a white LED light, a fiber-optic/tritium illuminated rear sight, a targeting LASER yet still can fit unobserved in one of my pockets without making me look like a plumber on the job – you know; say NO to crack.
So what is my perfect CCW weapon? It is a Glock G43 with a LaserMax white LED light that attaches to the trigger guard and a LaserMax rod guide LASER. Why a LASER? Well why the hell not? Firstly, it is an incredible visual deterrent to remind a miscreant that not only that they have been identified doing something you strongly disagree with, but that a bullet could follow. That being said, it is not my go-to primary sighting system but in situations when it could be handy I will have it with no expense of bulk or weight as it just replaces the factory rod guide and spring for only about $289.00. The dedicated LaserMax CF-G42-LC light is made for attachment to Glock 42 and 43 semi-automatic pistols puts 115+ lumens of bright white light on target, resulting in not only faster, more accurate shots, but gives you proof positive that what you are shooting at is what you want to shoot at. The light has a 10 minute automatic time-out prevents inadvertent battery drain that is activated by an ambidextrous TAP ON/TAP OFF that can be easily programmable for steady or disorienting strobe mode. The light comes with a free pocket holster and has a MSRP of $149.
What is my go-to primary sighting system is the MAKO Meprolight FT Bullseye. The FT Bullseye is a sleek, low profile single sight that replaces the standard rear sight of all Glock pistols. An all-in-one sight, the Bullseye does not need a front sight because it combines fiber optic and tritium technology by just centering a lit dot within the circle for endless first-round hits. It has a low-profile design and the bright reticle draws your eyeline for an extremely fast targeting solution. The FT Bullseye is available in orange or green dot/circle and Meprolight guarantees the tritium to last 12 years at a MSRP of $199. Since it is from Mako who publically markets their products only AFTER being beta tested in combat, Meprolight successfully eliminates the need to look for the front sight for situations where all you should be looking at is the bad guy intent on harming you or others. Not a bad idea.
So there you have it; my CCW pistol gives me day and night, multiple targeting options with an illuminating light and a half-dozen round magazine that I can easily conceal in my pockets using the form-fitting pocket holster that comes with the LaserMax light even when I am biking around. My reliable 9mm Glock provides me with the confidence that if I am placed in a self-defense situation I know I will prevail. That confidence is what EVERY self-defense pistol should provide, and if it doesn’t then and only then will you NOT have the perfect self-defense pistol.