Monday, September 12, 2011

The "Right Size" Handgun

Members of the CZ family of handguns come in large (full size), compact and sub compact variations from the big SP-01 and 97 through the compact sized P-01 and P-07, down to the subcompact 2075 RAMI and 83 models.

Good advice for choosing a defensive handgun is to get the most powerful handgun you can handle that you will actually have with you.  When we want a handgun for concealed carry, light weight and compact size start becoming desirable features.  The CZ P-01/P-06 is compact, light weight and very easy to shoot and with 14 rounds of 9mm or 10 rounds of .40 it carries an impressive payload of firepower.  The subcompact CZ 75 RAMI is even smaller and lighter, easier to conceal and carry, still delivers 11 rounds of 9mm or 8 of .40, but the tradeoff is that it is more difficult to master than the larger models.

Even uniformed law enforcement officers carry lighter weight guns on their duty belts these days.  Sometimes full sized polymers similar to the SP-01 Phantom but more often they are compact polymer framed pistols in the same size/weight class as the P-07 Duty.

Does this mean that the full size heavy defensive pistol is obsolete? Absolutely not!  The best defensive handgun for the house or car is the most powerful one you can handle.  Even the .45 ACP CZ 97 or Dan Wesson Valor 1911 will easily fit in the drawer of your bedside table or the glove box of your car.  The diminutive Smart Car, while too small for just about everything, is still big enough to hold a full size hand gun.  If the .45 is too much to handle or you are like me and simply prefer the increased magazine capacity of a 9mm in a defensive pistol, take a long look at the SP-01in either the manual safety version or the SP-01 Tactical with the decocker.  Both are big, full sized guns, with lots of heft to help you shoot them quickly and accurately. As a bonus they come equipped with an accessory rail that is a great place to stick a light.  Any gun securely stored for protection in a bedroom should have a light attached or lying beside it. Should you ever need it, it will most likely be in the dark, and you must be able to identify your target.  Remember that as the size and weight of the gun increases it becomes easier to control (perceived recoil decreases) allowing you to shoot a more powerful cartridge than you could have in smaller, lighter gun.

The only time that less weight and smaller size are advantages in a handgun are when it is the handgun you choose to carry on you all day, every day.  Whenever it is a handgun for under the counter, beside the bed, or under the car seat size makes a big difference and bigger is better and heavier is easier to control and shoot.