No; this isn’t another rehash of the typical (and long standing) debate about which caliber is better or best. I hope, by now, true handgun students have realized that the debate will never be settled. What is “best” is a purely subjective choice that combines caliber, weapon make and model, shooter competence, comfort and more. Instead, this brief article is meant to describe a recent selection process some of my family members had to go through as we sorted handguns.
Now, going into this it’s important to understand that I don’t have a storage container full of guns; nor is my gun safe simply overflowing with choices. That said, I HAVE always had enough handguns in my safe that each member of my family could have one in an emergency situation, were it justified or necessary to arm them. I have a wife and four children. Three of my children are grown and married and don’t live with me. That only leaves me three people at home to arm: myself, my wife and my youngest son. Until recently, my choice of guns to select from included:
- A Springfield Armory 1911 .45ACP
- A Kahr CW4543 .45ACP
- A Glock Model 17 9mm
- A Glock Model 19 9mm
- A Browning High Power 9mm
- A Walther P22 .22lr
In an emergency situation my intention was, knowing how my emergency gear is structured and what my plans are, the two .45ACP handguns would be mine. The Glock 17 would be my wife’s. The Glock 19 would be my son’s. That would leave us two guns as spares or for barter if the need ever arose (thinking long term, down the road). Then, things changed.
The Glock Model 19 9mm was always meant to be a gift for my oldest daughter when she was old enough. I let her know about it when she graduated from Basic Training for the Army and was holding it for her until she was over 21 and had a stable enough home situation that she’d feel comfortable taking it with her. My oldest son (just for the record) received a Glock Model 22 .40S&W as his graduation gift from the U.S. Marine Corps, but, again, it stayed in my gun safe until he was 21 years old and was in a position to take it with him. On a recent visit home, my daughter indicated that she was ready to take her Glock 19 with her, so it’s no longer in my safe (obviously, all transfers have been done legally).
That changed what I had available… and then it changed again. I came into possession of a Beretta 96FS Centurion; a 10-round .40S&W. Essentially, in my assortment, the Beretta 96FS-C replaced the Glock Model 19. The decision making process came in when I realized that the Beretta’s grip might be just big enough to be uncomfortable for my son’s not-quite-full-grown-yet hands. The other side of that coin was the fact that if he wanted the Glock 17 (remember, it was intended for my wife?) then I had to make sure my wife was okay with the Beretta (or I had an excuse to go buy another handgun).
As it worked out, the Beretta’s grip was both too big and too short to fit my son’s hand comfortably. The grip circumference is larger than he’s comfortable with, and the shortened frame leaves the butt of the grip digging into the meat of his palm. He found the grip on the Glock 17 much more comfortable. Additionally, and this was his point, the Glock 17 holds 17+1 rounds of 9mm – a round he is comfortable and competent with – while the Beretta 96FS-C holds 10+1 rounds of .40S&W – a round he has virtually no experience with.
So, with his choice made I have to rework holster platforms and adjust my planning for the number of magazines each handgun has so I can account for that in each family member’s bug out gear. Additionally, I now have to start stocking .40S&W ammo. I haven’t had to do that for awhile.
I shared all that to ask this question: Have you included “assigned weapons” in your bug out plan? If not, do you have enough weapons to do it? If so, have you considered cross-ammo compatibility and/or trying to make sure you have weapons with cross-magazine capability? My current armory won’t allow such (at the moment) but you never know what the future might hold…
Keep staying prepared!
Did you find this information helpful? If you did, consider donating.