The Overwhelming Choices of Off-Duty Firearms: A Quick Overview

Jan. 16, 2020
It can be overwhelming choosing an off-duty firearm. Here is a look at some of the latest compact and subcompact options.

Choosing the right firearm for your needs requires taking into consideration a variety of factors. These include grip and recoil, size of the firearm, and safety features. Always choose a firearm you are comfortable with and enjoy shooting. 

Accuracy is dependent on how familiar you are with your firearm and how comfortable you are with it. When choosing a compact or subcompact firearm, especially for concealed carrying purposes, barrel length and caliber should be taken into consideration since some concealed carry licenses covers specific calibers the shooter has qualified for. Springfield Armory has a new, smaller handgun called the Hellcat. This subcompact firearm is 9mm and is only six inches in length but includes high capacity—at least 13 rounds. It also has an Adaptive Grip Texture offering more control of the firearm. Another unique feature is the Optical Sight Pistol (OPS) configuration. The OPS has a removable, seamless, cover plate that allows for direct mounting of a micro red dot to the slide.

Additionally, the 9mm XD firearms from Springfield are solid choices when it comes to compact and subcompact firearms as they are easy to conceal. The XD Mod. 2, 3 inch offers GripZone for a better and more comfortable grip and includes three different textures to choose from. Additionally, this firearm has almost two times the capacity in its magazine than other weapons designed for concealed carry. The XD Mod. 2 is equipped with the High-Hand grip relief as well as the High-Hand beavertail. These enable the hand to be positioned higher, in line with the barrel bore, reducing the recoil effect. Other nice features include the no-snag trigger guard which reduces contact with the holster and clothing, as well as the safety grip.

SIG Sauer has come up with a few subcompact options that are ideal for concealed carry as well. The P365 Nitron, Micro-Compact is a 9mm, lightweight, striker-fired firearm. Though small in size it holds 10 rounds with 12 and 15 round magazine options. Barrel length is barely over three inches with an overall length of just over five inches. This compact firearm has a good grip that is firm yet easy to maintain. The Beretta APX Pistol now comes in a single stack sub-compact, 9mm version. In particular, the APX Carry ODG was designed with law enforcement and military in mind as it takes into consideration the ergonomics of duty weapons. The ergonomics allow for solid control including an easy to use slide catch, aggressive slide serrations, a reversible magazine release and a smooth trigger pull. Easy to conceal, it includes a removable chassis that may be adapted or modified with replaceable grip frames making this striker-fired pistol an excellent choice for concealed carry purposes. Also, this particular model is sleek and thin with no snagging points, and is equipped with trigger safety, and is easy to use.

The Smith and Wesson M&P M2.0. has only a 4-inch barrel length. Though small, it is versatile and may be used for concealed carry purposes or for the range. The M&P M2.0 is made with an Armornite, stainless steel slide. This 9mm is small but is equipped with a larger capacity magazine holding 15 rounds. As far as safety features, there are a few choices with this particular handgun. It may be purchased with or without the thumb safety feature and comes with four different palm swell grip sizes that are interchangeable.

Always choose a firearm you are comfortable with and enjoy shooting.

If you are looking for a completely different type of compact firearm, the Mossberg MC1sc subcompact 9mm pistol has good ergonomics that take into consideration palm swelling making the firearm more enjoyable to shoot. The flat-profile trigger improves usage and the Safe Takedown System is a unique feature that does not require the user to pull the trigger while attempting to disassemble the firearm. Additionally, this gun has a slim profile and is light in weight making it ideal for concealed carry; the MC1sc weighs 22 ounces when fully loaded. It also has a more natural feeling grip. Additional features in this firearm include multi-angle slide serrations which allows for better manipulation of the slide and a stainless steel slide with Diamond-Like Carbon Coating. The barrel measures 3.4 inches and there is a reversible release for the magazine. The MC1sc was made with protection in mind. The extended trigger guard allows for easy access and use and the polymer frame is reinforced with glass making it a durable firearm. It is equipped with Mossberg Clear-Count polymer magazines that have a flush-fit of six rounds as well as an extended magazine to hold seven. These are high in wear-resistance and provide low friction.

The Walther Arms PPS M2 is another sound choice for concealed carry purposes as it measures only one inch thick and a barrel length of 3.2 inches. Additionally, the grip is comfortable and allows the user to have a better handle on the firearm allowing them to manage the recoil. The ergonomic grip offers good traction for left handed or right handed shooters. The PP2 M2 is available with a Crimson Trace Laserguard option. Lasers can be a great addition to concealed carry weapons without adding too much overall weight to the firearm. Whether you’re a new user of compact firearms or have been using them for years, a laser feature might be helpful.

The GLOCKs 26, 43, and 43X are all popular choices for concealed carrying purposes. For instance, the GLOCK 26 Gen 5 (or ‘Baby Glock’) is a compact version of the other, more traditional versions of their 9mm. This 9x19mm, has several similar features to each of the other GLOCK models. In particular, this version has a new barrel that allows for better accuracy. Also, the slide is ambidexterous making it extremely easy to use. The firearm is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand making it ideal for concealed carry and the recoil on their 26 Gen 5 is designed to absorb the majority of the kickback when firing, giving it a more comfortable feel when firing. The 43X is a relatively new, subcompact gun choice with a slim frame. This 9mm is similar to the GLOCK 43 but has slightly different frame dimensions and holds 10 rounds. Likewise, the Glock 48 is similar to the 43X in that it has a comfortable grip and same frame length. The Ruger LCP is another choice offering several compact versions as well. The 3701 model is a .380ACP with a barrel length of 2.75 inches. The overall length of the firearm is 5.16 inches. That combined with its light weight makes it ideal for concealed carry. It includes a finger grip extension floor plate. This can be added to the magazine which improves both grip and comfort for the user. Additional options include a 6 round magazine. The Ruger LC9 is a 9mm, striker-fired pistol that allows for a more accurate shot. Also included is a checkered grip, which offers better support, and a variety of safety features. These include (on most models) manual safety, magazine disconnect, and integrated safety for the trigger.

Compact revolvers can be another choice for concealed carry purposes. The Ruger LCR .357mag double-action from Ruger is a good option as it is light in overall weight, yet weighs just enough to make it easy to control when firing. The LCR incorporates stainless steel into the frame with a Hogue Tamer Monogrip which is designed to absorb recoil. The Colt King Cobra Carry is light in weight with a six round cylinder and a two-inch barrel. Like Ruger’s LCR the King Cobra Carry is also a .357mag firearm and incorporates stainless steel into the design.

Features to Consider

The advancement of grip options, striker-fired designs which make for a lighter trigger pull, laser attachments, and added safety features make finding and customizing your concealed carry firearms easy.

All compact firearms are made for both men and women. However, choosing your firearm of choice may not be dependent on gender. It may boil down to how the recoil and grip feel. Which, in all actuality may differ between men and women. If possible, try out a few in order to find the one that is the very best fit for you. The way it feels when you hold it and shoot it will determine your choice for which firearm to carry concealed.

Choose the one you are most at home with. Ensure that the firearm you carry is one that you are completely at ease with. The more comfortable you are with your off duty weapon the better you can protect yourself.  

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