In general, the first mistakes that a user makes when it comes to carrying a concealed pistol or revolver is to refer precisely to what type of weapon is most appropriate. It seems that there is some kind of prejudice that shrinks in our minds the size of the ‘ideal’ weapon, often based on the wrong parameters.
As a general rule, the weapon intended for our purpose has the same requirements as the main one. In fact, I would recommend using the same weapon that we use for service or to practice with reactive targets. Not much less, the important thing when the weapon is not uncomfortable is not the size, but the type of holster and the position that we choose. Personally, I have carried standard size Beretta, SIG, HK and Walther guns, and none of them is compact, without any problems or discomfort. On the other hand, and as instructed by certain instructors, it is much cheaper to buy a good holster than a new pistol.
If we finally choose another weapon, the ideal is to acquire a compact or subcompact version of the service such as Glock 17, Glock 19 or 26, so that they do not change ergonomics or caliber, and hopefully we can take advantage of training and spare chargers for both.
What general characteristics must a weapon possess for this function?
Basically, it is the same as the main weapon. In this order, reliability, ergonomics and power, to which we will add a 4th, the size, or rather, certain parameters within their dimensions that will make their shape more or less evident under clothing. Traditionally, two types of weapons have been used for this task which are as follows;
Small semi-automatic pistols of.22, .25, .32, .380 and similar calipers, we already know that these weapons present two problems as reliability, being their smaller mechanisms, they affect and power, although a .22lr is better than nothing. However, they remain very attractive to people who put comfort and sometimes the price at the time of choosing.
Short barrel revolvers in calipers .32, .38, .44 and .357 Mag are available in other interesting calibers such as.45 ACP. This is one of the most frequent choices. In fact, until the arrival of the subcompact Glock, 90% of US police officers used weapons of this type. They offer a good stopping capacity in a compact system with great reliability. The latest models made of titanium, scandium and even polymer are as light as pocket guns.
At present we have a new type of weapon, ultra compact pistol. Basically, these are trimmed versions with less barrel and less grip of the service gun. The advantages are obvious in terms of ergonomics and training, as well as taking advantage of the ammunition of the main weapon. Thus, in the size of a revolver of.38, we have 10+1 cartridges of 9mm Luger and it would also be a good choice.