When you’re the token gun guy and you have friends that aren’t, you get asked about “which gun should I buy for x” a lot. Frequently. For me it’s either “which gun should I get for competition” or “which gun should I get for CCW/home defense?” Here’s how each of the conversations almost always go.
Which gun for home defense/CCW
Friend: Hey Caleb, what gun should I get for home defense and CCW?
Me: Get a Glock 19.
Me: Because it’s small enough to conceal every day, large enough to shoot well with a modicum of effort, holds a reasonable amount of bullets, chambered in a proven cartridge, and has a reputation for hell and back reliability.
Friend: But I read on the internet blah blah blah grip angle?
Me: Fine. Get an M&P9.
Me: Because it’s small enough to conceal every day, large enough to shoot well with a modicum of effort, holds a reasonable amount of bullets, chambered in a proven cartridge, and has a reputation for hell and back reliability, and doesn’t have the same grip angle as a Glock.
Friend: Oh, okay. So you carry one of those two?
Me: (sighs deeply) No, I carry a 1911.
Me: Because I have the time, resources, and most importantly interest in devoting a not insignificant part of my life to the study and practice of shooting, and because I like to maintain my guns beyond “squirt some lube on them and leave them be.” You should get a Glock 19, and after you’ve shot 10,000 rounds through it then decide if you like something else.
Some day I’ll have that conversation and my friend will just say “oh okay” and go buy a Glock 19, but probably not. Now it’s time for the competition gun conversation!
What gun to get for competition?
Friend: Hey Caleb, what gun should I buy for IDPA/USPSA competition?
Me: What do you carry?
Friend: A Glock 19/M&P.
Me: If you have enough magazines, shoot your first couple of matches with that, and decide whether or not you want to upgrade from there. You may not need a new gun if your focus is on practice with your carry gun.
Friend: But I want a new gun just for competing!
Me: (sighs deeply) Okay, get a Glock 34/M&P Pro.
Me: Because it has the exact same manual of arms as your carry gun, shares a caliber, and in some cases may even share magazines. It’s the easiest way to get started without spending a ton of money, and if you like shooting matches and want to upgrade you can always upgrade the existing competition gun or shop up for something more purpose built.
Friend: So what do you shoot?
Me: (answers with whatever I’m getting paid to shoot at the time)
Me: Because I’m getting paid to.
Now, that conversation has one variable; and that’s when the person has some kind of weird special snowflake carry gun that doesn’t enjoy massive aftermarket support. Then I tell them to get a Glock 34 or an M&P Pro right from the get-go.
I’d be willing to bet that a lot of my readers have had almost the exact same conversation. If so, let me know in the comments!