I read about the concept of the “One Man Gun” on the Breach Bang Clear blog a while back. The idea really stuck in my head. Some guns are only meant for one bad guy.
With the popularity of small, single-stack pistols for concealed carry, we need to know the limitations of those platforms.
Situation Dependent Gun Choices
While I fully agree with the idea that a small gun that you comfortably carry all the time is better than the large pistol you leave at home, there are limitations to this statement.
If you travel in a relatively safe part of town, and are typically not in large population concentrations, a smaller pistol may be just fine for your daily carry. In areas where there are larger population centers, or high crime rates, a handgun with a greater capacity may be more useful.
Some of the smaller concealed carry pistols on the market are not meant for multiple bad-guy engagements.
Keep in mind, single-stack 9 mm handguns like the Glock 43 or the Smith & Wesson Shield have minimal capacity for ammunition. Each of these small pistols only holds 6-7 rounds in their magazines unless you have an extended magazine.
Compare these choices to a Glock 26, or Heckler and Koch VP9sk where you have 10+ rounds in a magazine for only a small increase in size.
Compare further if you are carrying a Glock 19, H&K full-size VP9 or Smith & Wesson full-size M&P. Each of these handguns carries 15+ rounds of ammunition.
The general idea is: if there is a greater chance you may encounter more than one assailant, you should consider carrying a bigger gun and extra ammunition. It may mean that we make different choices in concealment clothing or holsters, but that is a sacrifice to think about
Gun Choices in the Era Of Civil Strife and Terrorism
Unless you have been living off the grid up in the mountains of Montana recently, you have seen news stories of our dangerous world.Over the past few years we have witnessed increased violent protests/riots. Violent protestors have shut down Interstate Highways and targeted police officers with violence. Antifa, an anarcho-communist group is openly operating in the US and calling for violence against anyone who disagrees with them.
Europe is under siege with weekly terrorist attacks. Terrorists are armed with guns and knives. Some use vehicles to run over people while others use bombs to target little girls at pop concerts. It is naive to think this isn’t going to come to the United States at some point.
I fully admit, a gun is not going to help much against the bomb wielding terrorist. In many of these scenarios you want to be armed and trained. Whenever possible, I always want to carry a gun to defend myself and my family.
Should my luck go bad and I end up in a situation where either a violent protest starts where I am, or a terrorist attack happens, I do not think I want to solely be carrying a “one man gun”.
How Much is Enough Gun?
I can’t answer this directly. This is up to you and, unfortunately, your assailants to decide.
I choose to carry a full size 9 mm handgun with two extra magazines whenever possible. I use high-quality, defensive ammunition and regularly perform maintenance on my guns.
Even in a riot/terrorist attack, this may not be enough. It all depends on the number of assailants, their willingness to do violence and what armament the bad guys have.
Personally, in such situations, I would prefer having my defensive rifle handy.
In recent years, many police and police SWAT units have adopted the patrol rifle because of its effectiveness in mass violence scenarios. The reason I carry a pistol, is that my rifle just doesn’t conceal very well.