You’ve taken the first step and bought yourself a defensive handgun. Good job! Now here are some suggestions for what you need after that purchase. Check it.
By C. Hill
You can get by with anywhere between 4 to 6 magazines. This is plenty for any training classes and can always be added to over time. Remember with magazines, the more the merrier. These extra magazines bought at the time of gun purchase will inoculate you against any panic buying or ban threat price hikes and with our gun rights hanging by a thread these days it’s important to secure your standard capacity magazine future. Depending on your gun the mags you need could be inexpensive and easily sourced or the exact opposite. Make sure you try to get magazines from the manufacturer these will typically be best in your gun. Certain models do have reliable functional aftermarket options (Mecgar mags for CZs and Berettas and magpul PMAGS for Glocks) but this is not always the case.
This is where things can get rough. At this time I believe the market for holsters is more saturated with crap than the AR market. The best advice I can give you is to list a few decent companies and hope that you just pick from that list. The current offerings from Raven Concealment Systems, Guncraft, Veil Solutions, Persec Systems, Pitbull Tactical, Armadillo Concealment, Milt Sparks Holsters, and Keeper’s Concealment have all passed my personal smell test with a little bit of time with each. The holster needs to do a few things:
- Cover your trigger guard with rigid material (kydex or thick real leather)
- Remain open after removing the gun so the gun can be holstered one handed safely and simply
- Not require any extra special movements or techniques to get the gun into action
- Not require you to break any safety rules to holster or draw you handgun.
If you purchased a Glock you need new sights. The standard sights are barely serviceable and need to be upgraded immediately to something more robust. If you did not buy a Glock and you have standard contrast or 3 dot sights a replacement is still warranted but not completely necessary. My recommendation is to either get some Dawson or Warren tactical fiber optic sights or pick up some Ameriglo or Trijicon HD night sights. There are other options available but I have found these to be great sights that are easy to source.
You need lubricant, cleaner, a boresnake or rods and a bore brush, and a nylon and bronze brush. Our recommendation is Slip2000 EWL for lube and Slip2000 725 for cleaner. The boresnake and or rods and bore brushes are for the barrel, and the nylon and bronze brush are for general cleaning and removal of carbon and dirt. Lucas gun oil and fireclean are also good options if you’re not going with Slip2k. If you use ball bearing grease or you like to put car lubricant on your gun understand you are repurposing something to complete a separate and different task.
We will start with defensive ammo. This can be a varied and confusing choice if you make this hard on yourself. To make things easy I’m going to recommend some proven high quality defensive ammunition choices. In 9mm we want to do Federal HST 124 P or 147gr standard pressure or P, Speer gold dot 124gr P or 147gr, or Winchester ranger 147gr or train and defend 147gr. For civilian defense these loads are all available at any given time in local shops and on the internet. In 40 sub in the same companies in 180gr variations and 45ACP go ahead and run the same stuff in 230gr. If you feel the need to stray from this list know that you are leaving the realm of proven loads with tons of lab and street data. I’m not terribly interested in the newest hyper velocity Armageddon bullet. Remember this list is meant as a guide to make life simpler for the new gun buyer. If your ammo isn’t listed don’t take it personal.
Training is a critical component of purchasing and owning firearms. Seek at the very least some basic private instruction or an introductory group class so you can know the ins and outs of shooting and handling your new gun. There are local instructors that can run you through basic manipulations and procedures to get you functional and if you look hard and do your research you can find a really great one. After you get your bearings seek out a credible 1 or 2 day course with a nationally recognized instructor to get even more comfortable with how to run that gun.