Is concealed carry a hobby?

An interesting side discussion spun off from the “Revolvers are obsolete” post a few days ago. A couple of people noted that despite me calling revolvers obsolete, I still chose to carry one every day. Even though I know that there are other, better guns out there, I carry a J-frame.


Why then, if I state that revolvers are obsolete would I still choose to carry one? There are two reasons, and the first is directly from the title of the post. At its core, concealed carry isn’t something I need to do. I don’t know if I’d go so far as to call it a hobby, but the fact of the matter is that I don’t need to carry a gun every day. I choose to; partly because it’s my right and partly because I might need a gun. But I don’t have to carry a gun, so my personal choices become important.

I spend a lot of time talking about ideal gear, and the reason for that is because people are more likely to carry and shoot a gun that they like. Our mission here at Gun Nuts is to help people like good guns. But there is a lot of room for personal choice, because there are a lot of good guns out there. I’ll use my J-frame as an example of my point. I acquired this J-frame by trading a S&W Shield for it. The Shield is about the same size, but lighter, holds more ammo, is easier to shoot well, easier to reload, and when comparing .38 Special to 9mm fires a better round. The M&P Shield is by almost all objective measures a better gun that my 640.

But the Shield didn’t really blow my skirt up. I like carrying the 640, there is a certain je ne sais quoi about the wheelgun that the M&P Shield just doesn’t have. So I made the choice to carry the revolver because it’s still a perfectly good gun, despite not being as good as the Shield.

I can afford to do this because as noted above, concealed carry for me isn’t mandatory. I don’t have an agency telling me I must carry on and off duty, I’m simply an armed citizen making an educated choice about my personal safety and my Constitutional rights by carrying a gun. So I can afford to carry a gun that may not be optimal, because I like it more. Since I like it more, I’m more likely to actually carry it on a day to day basis than a gun that I’m just sort of “meh” about.

Carry good guns. Get good gear and good training. But don’t get too wrapped up on carrying the perfect gun. If you have a gun that’s acceptably reliable, accurate, etc, and you happen to like it more than you like the Tactiblaster 9000 that all the hotshot trainers are carrying, don’t sweat it. They don’t have to carry your gun, and you don’t have to carry theirs.


  1. Good discussion, enjoyed reading. I would totally agree that if you feel the need to carry, carry what you are most comfortable with. Agree with earl, that regardless of what you carry,chances are that you will never need to pull the trigger!

  2. It’s not the odds, it’s the stakes.

    I get carrying a gun you “like” more than a gun that has better specs on paper if it’s because you’re more likely to practice with the one you enjoy. But having carried probably close to 20 different models of guns over the past fifteen years, never once did I consider their “je ne sais quoi” as they were being carried. In fact, I can scarcely remember a time when I really gave much thought to the gun in my holster at all as I was out and about.

    1. That’s because you’re a Philistine, my friend. However, your recent embracing of the 1911 gives is all hope for your soul.


      But in all seriousness, I don’t think about my gun once it’s in the holster, but the process that puts a specific gun there does get some thought.

  3. Maybe a bit off topic but… I find revolvers tend to not change much over the years. Pretty much the same models that I carried 50 years ago are still with us. Not so with automatics. It seems that nobody every espouses carrying an old model (except for 1911s). Yet I find a seldom fired 30 year old S&W automatic will be just as effective as the new models we see today. I’m not a fan of striker fired models but like S&W. Too bad they have dropped most of their hammer fired models in favor of the striker fired M&Ps

  4. For why I need a gun the size of a J frame, the J frame is actually a better gun than the Shield, because pure performance on shooting drills isn’t the only thing I need my BUGs to do.

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