If you are in the market for a self defense carry weapon, let me do you a favor. Don’t buy a pink pistol. Or a teal one, or a purple one, or any other cutesy looking, girly inspired gun. Guns are not toys.
While the intent of this post is to help you choose the right pistol to carry for self defense, it is unfortunate that I have to start off telling you what not to buy. The gun industry has always been, and still for the most part is, male driven. Marketing ploys such as “color sells product,” and “women love pink” have led manufacturers to create pistols (and rifles) in numerous feminine colors with the intent of capturing us as a new audience. Not only is this insulting, it is also dangerous.
Have you ever considered that colored pistols look like toys, especially to children? Or how difficult it must be for law enforcement to decide whether a gun is real or a toy in a life or death situation? Or how about when you pull that pink pistol out to defend your life. Do you think that your attacker will take you seriously? Trust me when I say that it is not an easy thing to make the choice to fire a killing shot, as it comes with grave consequences. An attacker running at you and laughing at you will not only erode your confidence, but possibly distract you enough to allow him to disarm you. Pistols drawn in self defense are meant to be intimidating. Pink pistols make you look timid, not intimidating.
I recently asked for some advice in a blogging group that I participate in regarding my logo for this page. When I posted my rough images, I was met with extreme negativity and was told that all of them were scary, offensive, and made them feel uncomfortable. For the record, they were. That was the whole point. Self defense weapons are not meant to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. They are serious business. My images were of various pistol in your face, combat boot wearing grannies with the blog name spelled out in bullets. It was suggested to me that I should instead use a pink gun in a granny purse, with cursive feminine writing to spell out my blog name. REALLY?! This goes against every principle I believe in. Not to mention I would be laughed out of every potential advertiser and affiliate marketing venture I may seek in the future. As of this writing, I do not have my logo done yet. But you can bet it won’t be pink and fluffy.
So now that we have eliminated pink and other colored pistols as smart choices for self defense carry weapons, what do we look for in choosing a suitable pistol? This isn’t such an easy question to answer. The best analogy I can come up with is comparing it to Harry Potter choosing his wand in the movie The Sorcerer’s Stone. The first wand he picked up and flicked caused a card catalog to spew its contents across the room. The next one caused a lamp to explode. But when he had the right one, he knew it. While you won’t be bathed in soft light, be wide eyed and have the perfect background music playing, you will know when you are holding the right pistol in your hand. It will just feel right.
Because pistols come in all sorts of sizes, calibers, styles and weights, it may seem daunting to find just the right one. Not only is each grip is different, each trigger pull is different, and each action tension is different as well. Plan on spending a good bit of time researching and handling hundreds of pistols before you buy one. The best place to start this process is at a gun show. Even if you are scared and clueless when it comes to guns, go to the next show in your town and just walk around. Go table to table and pick up every single pistol on them. If the vendor asks you if you need help say, “No, I’m just looking.” Take notes. Take pictures. Jack the slide back. Dry fire them. Hold them out for several minutes to get the feel of the grip, and each ones weight. There is a very good chance you will gravitate toward the same pistol, or the same pistol manufacturer, at every table. I have no explanation for this, just that this seems to happen to every one I know. It is quite enlightening to realize this. Guns are kind of like jeans or shoes, in that one brand seems to fit you best. Find that brand. My brand may not be your brand and that is ok. For the record, I love the Smith and Wesson M&P 2.0 Compact 9 mm. I carry it every day. I had my “Harry Potter moment” at a gun show, and it honestly took me by surprise. I had been carrying an old 1911 45 caliber Auto Ordnance dinosaur. My dad gave it to me when I was 18. Thirty two years later I still love that pistol, but I feel a connection with the M&P that I never had with the Auto Ordnance. It has become a part of who I am.
There is so much to consider when shelling out $500 plus for a self defense pistol. In my next post, I will break down every aspect of the process. I promise you will not be disappointed. As always, feel free to leave comments and questions! Just click the comment button at the top of this post, under the title!