By Rob Pincus
Concealed carry of a defensive pistol is a balance of compromises. Subcompact pistols are the perfect balance of carryability and shootability for a huge number of people. If you are carrying a subcompact pistol, or considering doing so, these tips are key to your success!
- Practice the same way you would with a full-size pistol. The type of pistol you carry doesn’t change the type of events you may have to deal with. Three- to five-round bursts into the high center chest at nine to 15 feet should still be the core of your defensive shooting practice.
- Use a good holster that lets you get a solid grip on the gun before you begin to draw it. Smaller pistols are harder to shoot and often harder to get a good grip on for most people. Set yourself up for a solid grip by using a quality holster carried in a way that promotes an efficient presentation ... and be sure to practice with it!
- Carry an extended magazine as a spare. Aside from the obvious advantage of having more rounds available to you, extended magazines are also easier to retrieve when you need them and easier to insert into a subcompact pistol. Unless your pistol requires them to be used, it is not recommended to have sleeves around the extended magazines that match the contour of the grip.
- Avoid manual safeties that require separate actions on defensive pistols, especially subcompacts. Smaller guns have smaller levers. Combine small levers with the grip issues presented by small handguns and you can find it difficult to disable a safety on a subcompact gun safely or efficiently with your strong hand only.
- Consider aftermarket sights and a laser aiming device. Traditionally, subcompact guns come with poor sights for defensive shooting. Upgrading to the same type of sights you would put on a full-size defensive handgun is a viable option. Even with good sights, the short sight radius of a subcompact gun limits your ability to reach higher levels of precision. Adding a small laser aiming device will expand the circumstances under which you can achieve defensive accuracy.
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