When taking a look at handguns for concealed carry, there are a few options most people will go towards. Most individuals will pick a semi-auto to carry daily and call it a day. Even though those are great options for the majority of situations, there are a number of places around the country where some may need different firearms to carry. This could range from big bore revolvers to smaller unique pistols that have a very specific purpose. This all started for me last week when my dad started carrying his Kahr Arms CM9 to protect himself against snakes and mountain lions. As a result, we ended up having a fairly lengthy conversation about what’s useful depending on where you’re at. Let’s dive into different guns for different uses in certain parts of the country.
Glock 19 And Other Mid-Size Handguns
Having something like a mid-size or compact semi-auto is typically what most people will choose for daily carry. In a city or suburb setting, having something like a Glock 19 is a great choice. It’s fairly lightweight for the capacity and incredibly simple to use under stress. This is similarly the case for other models like the SIG P320 and FN 509 series. The VP9 is an excellent simple choice for a firearm as well since it’s a double stack that’s easy to manipulate and control under stress. These types of handguns are the industry standard for a comfortable firearm to carry concealed.
Such handguns are great for urban and developed parts of the country where people are the biggest threat to your safety when you leave the house. For many people in the southern or west portion of the United States, it’s semi capable but does not offer effective stopping power for wildlife and taking out potentially dangerous animals. Snakes are probably the most difficult to hit with a semi-auto handgun since they will often times move horizontally but it’s still possible. Having something more diversified to handle smaller targets as well as larger threats is the best way to go in that setting.
In the last Concealed Carry Corner, I went over some of the benefits of revolvers for self-defense and carrying concealed. Over Christmas and the New Years’ holiday, I went down and visited my family in rural Missouri. I will usually stop by the local gun shop to check out what’s new, and to my surprise, almost everyone was carrying a Smith & Wesson 686 or similar style revolver. It’s interesting how different regions have unique firearm choices.
Large Caliber Revolvers
Most of the guys who worked in the small gun shop I visited had either a .357 Magnum or .44 Magnum and it’s typically what they carried around every day. Another guy had a Smith & Wesson Governor as his daily carry. After seeing their handgun choices, I had to stop and ask why they carried revolvers instead of a high cap semi-auto. The two with standard revolvers both agreed the biggest threat in town wasn’t the 600 residents but rather the wildlife right outside of town. He began to explain the mountain lion problem they had along with other wild animals that roam around the Ozarks.
Other places like Montana and Alaska have a fairly large population of bears and cougars. Having something with a bit more firepower isn’t a bad idea when you’re more likely to encounter a large predator rather than a mugger. Now I’m not saying to go out and grab a Smith & Wesson 500 for carrying concealed, but having a 4″ revolver in .44 Magnum is a great option when wildlife is a concern.
When I started chatting with the third individual who carried a Smith & Wesson Governor, I was extremely curious why he chose that over everything else. He simply explained to me it was for all the snakes on his property. Having the ability to have .45 ACP as well as .410 shells in your handgun can be a definite advantage out in the wild. Some claim it’s a great option for car defense as well but I don’t have enough experience with the handgun to confirm or deny that. Regardless, these style handguns have grown in popularity over the last decade because they have proven to be fantastic snake guns.
Another great option for snake guns is the Bond Arms derringers. Before the Taurus Judge and Smith & Wesson Governor came out, the Bond Arms derringers were some of the best snake guns on the market. The little derringers may only have two rounds but can be concealed in a pocket easily without having a big bulky gun on you. Bond Arms derringers may be somewhat antiquated by today’s standards, but they still have a valid use.
Validity aside, having one of these derringers can be a ton of fun to shoot at the range. Having the ability to switch out barrels to change calibers is a great way to shoot with 9mm at the range and then switch over to 410 when you go out in the woods. Carrying something like these little derringers may not be a common choice but they certainly are useful in certain situations.
Traveling around the country and shooting in different regions has definitely made me understand and advocate for different carry options depending on your climate and region. Certain guns I would immediately dismiss normally are extremely useful in other regions of the country. There tends to be a lot of judging that happens when people talk about their carry guns. It’s important to keep an open mind and understand certain firearms are much more effective at certain tasks than others.
Let me know what you guys carry out of the ordinary in the comments below. I’d love to hear about your preferences and why you carry what you do. If you have questions feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.