Table of Contents
Selecting a daily-carry handgun
Potential gunowners have access to a diverse selection of defensive handguns. It is advised to choose a gun that have as many of the following qualities as possible:
- Manufactured by a reputable company with good customer service
- Is a proven model with a track record for reliability
- Is slim, compact and lightweight to comfortably fits your hands
- Has useful, easy-to-see sights and a smooth, clean trigger pull
- Comes with a ready supply of holsters, magazines, upgrades and accessories
- Is of an affordable and comfortable caliber for regular practice
Additional Magazines or Reloading Devices
A legally concealed handgun should be carried with the means to reload it. For semi-automatic pistols, this means additional magazines. For daily-carry guns it is advised to keep enough spare magazines on hand to swap out the magazines that are carried because it provides a good deal of flexibility.
Extra magazines are handy to have at the range to either reduce load time and having a few more magazines will keep the pistol up and running in case one of them malfunctions, is damaged or lost.
For revolvers, there are strip loaders that hold between five to six rounds of centre-fire pistol ammunition in a straight line so that two rounds can be loaded into the cylinder at a time. Strip loaders have a flat profile so they can be comfortably carried in a pants or coat pocket.
Holsters and magazine carriers
You should always use a holster when carrying a gun – to keep the gun where you need it, in the proper orientation and to protect it from dirt and damage that may cause it to malfunction.
No carry system is immediately comfortable, they require a break-in period for the holster itself and the body surface against which it’s riding. If possible, have a holster tested or try different styles until you find the best balance of features.
The most important gun safety rule is to treat all guns as if they are loaded and act accordingly. There are only two places that a loaded gun can be safely stored at any given time, in a holster on your person or inside a secure storage device.
There are several product options for safe gun storage and one of the best all-around options for first-time handgun owners is a quick-access strong box that is small enough to fit in a drawer but large enough to hold a gun, spare magazines and a few other small items. It can be bolted down for added security.
Handguns that are carried on a daily basis tend to get dirty quickly, especially if it is carried in a pocket.
First-time gun owners can start with a tool kit that contains a cleaning rod, brushes and a barrel jag. After working with the gun for a while, it will become clear if more specialized, single-purpose products, like a dedicated bore scrubbing agent, will be needed to keep the gun up and running.
At least strip down and inspect your gun at least once a week until you get a feel for how often it must be cleaned.