I learned something about making assumptions. According to linguistic scholars, the Latin root of the word “assumption” is “ass”, meaning… ass. That’s how I usually feel about making an assumption before considering the facts and applying a few minutes of brain power.
I made some assumptions early in my concealed carry career back when payphones freely roamed hotel lobbies and airport gates. One of those assumptions was that I needed to carry a small handgun, especially in the summer. When I look back on those days, I now see it wasn’t really a question of “having to” but more an issue of “wanting to.” That’s an important distinction.
The problem with this minimalist approach became clear as I gained more carry and defensive shooting experience. I just didn’t have the same degree of confidence with puny subcompacts that I did with larger pistols. It’s not just the capacity difference, but that’s certainly a factor. The other consideration was my ability to shoot well – and quickly. You can certainly hit your target with a subcompact gun, but for me, it’s a heck of a lot easier with a larger pistol. The size and increased surface area, weight for recoil management, and longer sight radius allow me to perform better – much better. So, I switched. I stopped my eternal search for the smallest and lightest pistol I could find, bit the bullet, and started to carry a normal-sized pistol.
Especially in the summer, when you’re likely to be wearing shorts and t-shirts rather than blazers, jackets, and winter coats, it’s tempting to think it’s impossible to conceal a compact (mid-size) or full-size handgun. If you only carry outside the waistband, there’s some truth to that. You’ll need a bulky and long untucked shirt to do it, but it can be done. Inside the waistband carry, on the other hand, is a whole different ball game. With 63% of the average handgun covered (that’s my carefully researched made up statistic) by your pants, shorts, or skirt, all your light summer cover garment has to hide is the grip.