That is the question. “Well, what pistol should I buy then?” At the very least, your firearm should meet certain criteria: does the weapon fit your hand; does the weapon meet your functional needs; and is the weapon concealable or comfortable to carry? Although there are a myriad of reasons to carry a firearm, for the purposes of this article, concealed carry will be the primary application. So, the decision to carry a firearm has been made. First and foremost, does the weapon fit the shooters hand? Sure, pocket pistols are neat and maybe even cute, but if they aren’t practical then they are about as useful as a pocket-paperweight. If the weapon is too large, or more commonly too small, a proper grip is difficult to achieve and will therefore directly effect, negatively, a shooter’s performance. The length of the index finger and the size of the palm of the hand are the main factors in correctly fitting a pistol. The index finger should lie comfortably across the face of the trigger. Too much, or too little contact with the trigger can cause added movement during the shot delivery process. The size of the palm is equally important. Small palms and large pistols make it difficult for a shooter to operate functions such as the magazine release, as well as the slide lock lever. A proper fitted pistol should be easily manipulated by the shooter, without having to compromise a proper grip with the shooter’s dominant hand. A special tool for the right job: does the weapon meet specific functional needs? Personally, parts (to include aftermarket accessories, holsters, et cetera), ammunition availability, and the cost of said products are crucial when meeting functional requirements. Unfortunately, as with many industries, you get what you pay for (to an extent). So, be mindful of this aspect. Bottom line: shoot what you can afford. It is a suspicion of mine that all bullet holes hurt. So, if a shooter can guarantee hits on target, regardless of caliber, the age old caliber debate is a moot point. Lastly, is the weapon comfortable to carry and or concealable? For women, this is by far the most difficult consideration. Women’s clothing and contemporary fashion standards/expectations make this task (concealability ) exceptionally difficult. At the end of the day though, if a weapon isn’t comfortable or concealable, are you really ever going to carry it? Personally, I prefer to carry the largest handgun (referring to size, not caliber) that I am comfortably able to conceal. I carried a handgun, the only one I had for years, that was unbearably uncomfortable. I even have the scars to prove it. Just because you can conceal a ball of barbed wire in your pants, doesn’t mean you should.
Hopefully this post was helpful, despite being an exceptionally superficial glance at how to properly fit a hand gun. I am sure the weapons expert behind the gun counter has lots of “advice” for you, but when in doubt please seek competent counsel from a qualified instructor or armed professional. Most instructors that I know of, would be happy to open a dialogue about properly fitting a handgun.
The Training Is Never Over