A Pair of 32s

I would have love to have written “A Brace of 32s” in the title, but I can’t because they’re not exactly alike. They’re close, however. I’m referring to a couple of Ruger Single Action Revolvers that have made their way into my collection. One is a Ruger Single Six .32 H&R Magnum and the other is a Ruger Single Seven .327 Federal Magnum.

Ruger Single Six and Single SevenKind of look alike, don’t they? It really is hard to tell them apart, but one does hold six rounds and the other seven. Up to a point, they both shoot the same types of ammunition. They both shoot .32 S&W Short, .32 S&W Long, .32 H&R Magnum, but only one of them, the Single Seven, also shoots .327 Federal Magnum.

I took them to Mississippi recently and thought they would be part of my family shooting adventure back on my grandparent’s farm. But rain shortened our outing and these never got fired. I really wanted to compare them, so I took them to the range last Sunday afternoon and put them through their paces, which for me simply means running a target out to 10 or 12 feet and punching holes in paper.

I didn’t have any .32 Short ammo on hand so I started with the .32 S&W Long. With that ammo you couldn’t tell a bit of difference in the two guns except for the fact that one shoots seven rounds before reloading while the other only shoots six. As far as shot placement, recoil (or lack thereof), sights, grip, etc. I could tell no difference.

Then I loaded them with .32 H&R Magnum cartridges. Still, there was no discernible difference. You can’t shoot .327 Federal Magnum in the Single Six, so I set it down and loaded the Single Seven with some Gold Dot .327 Federal Magnum. Loud – it’s loud! And the paper goes flying back when it is struck by one of the bullets propelled by that cartridge. That’s always fun to see, because even my .357 Magnum doesn’t send the paper swinging like the .327 does.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Just what are these guns good for? I could probably crank up a Earth, Wind & Fire record for you and let them declare “Nothing! Absolutely Nothing!” and you might agree. But – they really might have some use. For me, it’s just fun, or perhaps the fun of letting someone else have some fun while I watch. But  there was a day when I’d have used either one for rabbit or squirrel hunting. Or to keep the critters out of the hen-house. These days I don’t have a hen house, but I do have snakes and the .32s make a pretty good snake gun.

Way back before we knew better, cops in Europe considered the .32 enough gun. Even Teddy Roosevelt had some on the force when he was Chief of Police in New York City. But these days, we all pretty much understand it’s not such a good self defense caliber.

That’s not true of the .327 Magnum, however.  Here’s a little ballistic chart for you:

Cartridge Bullet Wt. Muzzle Vel. Ft./lbs Energy
.32 S&W Short 85 680 87
.32 S&W Long 98 778 132
.32 H&R Magnum 80 1150 235
.327 Fed. Magnum 100 1500 500

How about that .327 Federal Magnum? Not, too shabby, huh? It’s actually a favorite caliber of mine for personal defense, but of course these guns are little larger for daily defensive carry. But for a packing gun, on the trail or camping out, either would be ideal. And for just plain plinking fun, the .32 ammo isn’t very expensive and is still readily available. So, two Rugers for fun, that will belong to some of my grandkids someday.

How Important is Comfort Level?

In 1969 my employer had a Chevy pickup that I drove for work. Something about it didn’t feel right to me. I’d owned and driven an older Ford truck for years and the seating was just different. In the Chevy I always felt like I was sitting too far forward and leaning over the wheel and I never could find a seat adjustment that felt right to me. Chevy owners in that time frame probably would have had the same discomfort level driving a Ford.

What’s that got to do with guns, you ask? Hold on, I’ll get there, but I want to fast-forward this auto analogy a bit. I drive a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. I love it! My wife drives a Denali SUV. She Comfort Zoneloves it. I don’t like getting in her vehicle and she doesn’t like getting in mine. We don’t particularly enjoy driving each others’ vehicles, either. Why? The seating and mirror adjustments are off, the controls are different, the accelerators require a different touch – they’re just different. But they’re both excellent vehicles and they are up to the tasks we expect them to perform.

Now to the guns. A few weeks ago I wrote about comfort while carrying a gun. Today I’m writing about comfort while shooting a gun.

In the past several weeks I’ve shot four different handguns to test their functionality with several types of ammunition, with the added goal of just staying in practice. The guns were a S&W M&P .40 ACP, a Sig Sauer P229 Legion 9mm, a .45 ACP Sig Sauer Commander-sized 1911 and a Glock 23 Gen 4. I was satisfied with how each of them handled the ammunition I fed it, which was a mix and match combination of Ruger ARX, Speer Gold Dot JHP and Fiocchi JHP. These are the rounds I primarily depend on for personal protection.

Results on the target were not much different from one gun to the next, with the exception of the Sig 1911. That particular SIG allows me to consistently put all the rounds I shoot into a small ragged hole, usually the size of a 50-cent piece from a distance of 10-12 feet. With each of the the other three I was successful in creating a tennis ball size ragged hole with some scattered rounds an inch or two outside that hole.  Any one of those handguns would be “comforting” to have in a defensive situation.

But this article is about being comfortable, not just having something that is comforting. I’m always comfortable shooting that Sig 1911. The aiming is natural and consistent. I never even think about trigger pull, it just happens as I’m squeezing the trigger and I get the results I want almost every time. The sights line up naturally without me even thinking about it.

The M&P is the same way. I’ve always felt the S&W M&P was one of the most comfortable guns to hold and shoot. I keep one by the bedside and my wife has one on her side of the bed. I like it as a carry gun, especially now that I’ve learned I can shoot .40 caliber ARX ammo comfortably. If I wasn’t such a 1911 fan, the M&P would probably be my every day carry gun.

The other two guns give me pause when I’m shooting them, especially the Glock. There’s something about the Glock sights that just doesn’t work for me, especially on follow up shots, like when you’re doing a double-tap or a timed drill. It takes me a couple of seconds, to get those sights lined up and I’m always squinting or moving my head around to get the proper sight picture.

The sights on my Sig P229 Legion are very close to the Trijicon night sights I prefer on my carry guns  but with an improvement that sets them apart. The dot on the front sight is a different color and is slightly larger than the rear sights, making it easier to pick up.

Here’s picture of the different types of sights I encountered during these shooting trips. Yes, I know the sights are not aligned for hitting the target, but this will work for illustration purposes.:

Handgun Sight Differences

The SIG 1911 has sights almost exactly like the M&P in the center. Maybe, that’s a big part of the reason I feel like I shoot these guns better, the fact that the sights are familiar to me and I like them. But I don’t think that’s the biggest reason. I do struggle with the Glock sights, and I don’t struggle with any of the others, but I think the biggest reason might be grip. The M&P line has always enjoyed a following because it fits the hand so well and something about the angle of the grip and the alignment of the bore axis makes for less “felt” recoil than many other handguns of similar size, weight and caliber. I put “felt” in quotes because recoil is somewhat subjective. There are ways you can measure the foot-pounds of pressure being exerted on the hands, I guess, but what we shooters deal with is what we feel, not necessarily what’s actually there.

Between the Glock, the Sig and the M&P, the M&P just feels better in my hand, I line the sights up quicker and when I shoot it, I feel less recoil, all of which make for a better shooting experience as long as my rounds hit the target where I expect them to.

Between the Glock and the Sig, I like the Sig better. It’s got a better feeling trigger and the sights work well for me.

Among them all, however, I still pick the 1911 as the one I am the most comfortable shooting. Do you know what that translates into? I’ll choose to shoot it more often, which means I’ll practice with it more often and I’ll get better and better with it.

That’s why comfort is important.

The Reason We Sell

I read most of every gun magazine that hits the stands. I’m a gun guy and a firearms instructor and much of the information that’s in those magazines helps me be better at what I do. That said, I can’t help but notice most of the wording on the front of the magazines, in the advertisements and in the article titles is designed to sell guns. “Rimfire fun! .22 Long Rifle Conversions”, “.45 ACP PERFECTION!”, “Sexiest XDm Ever!”, “9mm CC Shoot Out!” Makes you want one, right! Or two, or all of them!

Hi Cap .45I’m all for selling guns. I’m in the business. And like any business owner, I’ve got rent to pay, suppliers to keep happy and employees I want to take care of. I can’t do all of that without selling guns, along with the ammunition, accessories and training to go along with them. But to me, it’s not about selling merchandise as much as it is about helping people. You see, deep down in my heart of hearts I believe people should be able to defend themselves. I believe they should be able to stand up against a tyrannical government, if it becomes necessary. And I believe people in a free country should be able to responsibly own guns because they’re cool, they’re fun to shoot and frankly, just because they want them.

So I’m not down on the fancy, eye-grabbing magazine covers or article titles designed to create the desire or need for this firearm or that firearm. But I am down on some of the marketing techniques that suggest to people that are brand new to firearms that this is the gun they need to own, when in fact it probably isn’t.

Let me give you some examples. A recent article in a popular gun magazine  was titled “Today’s Top 12 Concealed Carry Pocket Pistols”. The intro went like this:

Want something that is powerful and portable? Compact yet capable? Omnipresent but not overwhelming? Well, there are many choices out there, with a broad selection of compact autopistols and revolvers (as well as interesting derringers and the like) in powerful and capable chamberings available.

The listing started off with the S&W Bodyguard .380 auto pistol. Okay, I will sell you one of these if you give me every indication that you know what it is and why you want it. But if you’re a first time pistol buyer, especially if you’re  woman, I am not going to sell you that gun without insisting first that you go rent one and shoot it. Even then, I’ll want you to look over some of the ballistics charts and hopefully, understand just why a .380 is such a minimal caliber for personal defense.

The other day one of our students showed up at a Handgun 101 class with a Ruger LCP.  Not a Ruger LC380, but an LCP. She wanted to learn everything about her gun because the next day she was coming to a License to Carry Class. I must confess, without singling her out, I kind of dissed her gun. Not hers specifically, but I did talk about little guns, little calibers and the shortcomings of them, pointing out that it’s not just about the effectiveness or non-effectiveness of the .380 round. I discussed recoil and how difficult it is for a small lightweight gun to absorb recoil, leaving your hands to do it. I discussed additional facts that in my humble, but somewhat educated and informed opinion, are important to know. Facts like:  the little guns like the bodyguard don’t hold much ammo, they don’t offer much to hold on to, they have a short barrel and short sight radius and in general are just not very easy to shoot accurately and effectively. And most importantly, the ammunition they shoot is not very powerful compared to just moving up one notch in caliber.

The student in my class smiled throughout my little discussion and seemed to not have her feelings hurt. The next day she passed the License to Carry Shooting qualification with her bodyguard. She passed, but not with flying colors. She asked the instructors if she could shoot again with another group, this time using one of our 9mm handguns. They pulled a SAR B6 9mm out of our loaner bag and she shot the qualification test again, this time with a much higher score.

In my mind the bottom line of this story should be that she came back to our shop and bought a SAR B6. But that’s not what happened. She’d spent hard-earned money on that Bodyguard and at least for now, that’s the one that will have to do.

Beretta Pico

Okay, here’s another article, this one from Personal Defense World. The article’s title was:  380 Pocket Pistols Under $700 That Deliver Instant Self-Defense.  The first gun on their list was a Beretta Pico. Now I love Berettas.  The M9, the PX-4 Storm — these are great pistols. The Nano, not bad, but the Pico is just too darned little.

Here is how they tout it:  “At only 11.5 ounces, the ultra-compact Beretta Pico pistol is easy to carry all day long. Chambered in .380 ACP, the Pico was designed by Beretta to be flat and snag free, so that it slips into a pocket or holster without any obvious bulges.”

No doubt it’s easy to carry, but as I’ve said to my students many times. Carrying isn’t the objective. Defending yourself is. If the only objective is to carry, we’d all carry lightweight, snag-free tiny little pocket guns. But the objective is really to have a gun that will defend you.

I’ve yet to see any of the Picos shot in my classes fire more than two or three rounds without some type of stoppage. It’s probably not the gun, but the shooter, trying to hold the gun in way that lets it function.

My purpose in this article is not to be critical of a bunch of different guns, but to make you think twice about whether or not the gun you want to carry for personal defense will actually do the job of defending you.

I bought a little .380 myself. It’s a Taurus 738 that fits in a little pouch that you can put on your belt and most people would think it’s cell phone or PDA. I shoot it occasionally, just for fun. But do I carry I carry it for self-defense? Only if I want an additional backup gun.

Shoot Like a GirlI want you to think about something. What kind and size of guns do the police carry?  What kind and size of guns to the LTC instructors you may know carry? You don’t find them carrying little guns. You don’t find them carrying small calibers. Or, if you do, I can almost guarantee you they are new to the business. Those of us who have really studied what goes on in the real world, those of us who have shot a lot of different guns, those of us who have studied real-world ballistics, rather than the fancy headlines in magazines and advertisements, are pretty careful about what guns we carry. Those of us who are instructors and who sell guns, have totally different perspective on what we recommend than does a typical gun salesman in a retail establishment.

Let me suggest to you that before you buy your next gun you seek out a veteran instructor. Let that instructor talk to you about your shooting experience, about your need for the gun, how you intend to use it. Then try to shoot one if you can. I’ve told the guys at my shop that if it’s not the right gun for you, they can only sell it to you if you have been advised of how it may or may not work for you and you are twisting their arm and throwing money at them.

We need your money, believe me, we do. But we want you to have a gun, or guns, that you like to shoot and can shoot well, and which will stop bad guys if that’s what you need. If you just need the gun to punch holes in paper or put game on the table, maybe it’s not as critical. But if there’s a chance you would have to use the gun to defend your life, we want it to be capable of doing that. Let me say that another way. If you’re a lady, I wouldn’t sell you a gun for personal defense that I wouldn’t provide for my wife for that same purpose. If you’re a girl, I’ll have to take that analogy to my daughters-in-law and my granddaughters because I don’t have a daughter, but you get my drift.

Comfortable or Comforting – Why Not Both?

Clint Smith, well-known firearms and self-defense trainer has a saying:  “Carrying a concealed handgun is not supposed to be comfortable, but comforting.” Okay, if you can’t comfortably carry, I guess I can go with that. But, I carry comfortably every day, and I know others who do as well and most of us carry BIG guns.

Here’s another saying that has merit:  “Same gun, same place, every day.”  I don’t remember where I heard that one, but I’m pretty sure it was another well-respected firearms trainer. If I were just an armed citizen, I’d probably go with that and if I did, it would probably be my Sig Sauer 1911 Emperor Scorpion Commander. When I do carry that gun, using my D.M. Bullard belt, IWB holster and dual magazine carrier for my two spare magazines, I rarely give it a second thought except to touch it from time-to-time to remind myself it’s there or to practice my draw, which I still do several times a day. When I shoot that gun, it goes “bang” every time I pull the trigger and the bullet holes go right where I expect them to go. I have confidence in that rig and I find it both comfortable and comforting.

I’m not just an armed citizen, however. I’m an instructor, certified by the Texas Department of Public Safety, the National Rifle Association and Texas Law Shield, entrusted with the responsibility to help other armed citizens prepare to defend themselves and their families, should the need arise. And I’m a firearms dealer. So with those added responsibilities, comes the need to broaden my experience so that it encompasses a variety of firearms and carry rigs. In order to honor that responsibility, I make it a practice to carry different guns from time to time.

You might be surprised by the size of them. My first daily carry gun was a Taurus 24/7 Pro. After that a Smith & Wesson M&P. Both guns are available in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP, all with the same external dimensions, so carrying a .45 takes no more space than carrying a 9mm.  For a while I carried a Springfield XDm 45 with 4.4 inch barrel. Each of these guns I’ve carried in an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster worn at approximately 3 o’clock with one or more spare magazine pouches carried IWB at 9 o’clock.

When I joined the 1911 bandwagon, it was with a Commander-sized handgun. In 1911 parlance, Commander means 4.25 inch barrel, full-length grip. Sometimes you’ll see the barrels as 4 inch or 4.2 inch, but generally 4.25. I find I can carry a Commander-sized 1911 with 9 rounds of .45 ACP, using a Colt flush-bottom magazine and I’m both comforted and comfortable.

What about other guns, those bigger ones I mentioned? All this week I’ve been carrying a Sig Sauer P229. I had ordered a D.M. Bullard holster for a P226, knowing it would also fit a P229 and just to make sure I wouldn’t be misleading anyone if I recommended it, I put on that holster, along with a dual mag carrier that holds two double stack 9-mm magazines, and here it is Thursday and I can’t say I’ve had an uncomfortable moment. That’s a nice gun, sixteen rounds of 9mm in it and 30 more rounds in case the terrorists show up when I’m eating lunch somewhere or maybe even at my office.IWB Carry

These pictures are not me. This is just a new shooter, trying stuff out, but look, he’s already figured out he can wear his shirt tail out or tuck it in, and he can keep his gun hidden from prying eyes, even when it’s not a tiny pocket pistol.

This is repetitive from some of my earlier articles, but here it is one more time:

  1. Get a GUN belt – not just a regular belt. A GUN belt – thick leather, two layers, made specifically for guns. I have belts made by Crossbreed and by D.M. Bullard that fit the bill.
  2. Buy your pants a little larger than normal, maybe even two inches larger, you’ll have to experiment. Most of my pants have some elastic in the waist, so that helps, but for you skinny guys and gals, just buckle down and buy you some bigger pants.
  3. Get a good IWB holster from somebody like D.M. Bullard and White Hat (we sell both of those at Texas Gun Pros), Alien Gear, or Crossbreed. I’ve heard others rave about Milt Sparks and Galco, but I tried both of those and went back to my Crossbreed or D.M. Bullard holsters. Probably just a matter of preference.
  4. Get a spare magazine carrier to go with your holster. You can’t carry too much ammo. All of that “if I can’t get them in 6 shots . . .” is head-in-the-sand baloney. You do not KNOW what you might encounter from which you would need to defend yourself or your family.
  5. Wear your gun and your spare magazines every day, all day. If it’s not comfortable at first, make small adjustments here and there until you are comfortable. You can comfortably carry.
  6. Summertime, wintertime, it makes no difference. A gun on your hip doesn’t care how long your pants are, so all of this “I need a smaller gun in the summertime” just doesn’t make sense if you REALLY DO WANT TO DEFEND YOURSELF or your family.


What I Like About Taurus

Taurus 24/7The first semi-automatic handgun I spent any time with was a 9mm Taurus 24/7 Pro. I used it to qualify for my Texas Concealed Handgun License and I carried it for the first year or two of concealed carry. When I began to understand the advantages to bigger bullets, I added a .40 caliber 24/7 Pro and then a .45. If you look way back at some of my early blog articles, you’ll see where I did some comparisons, noting the external dimensions were the same, but the inside diameter of the barrel and the size and capacity of the magazine were where you saw differences.

As I was learning about handguns and trying different ones, I somehow let the original Taurus handguns get away. When Taurus came out with the G2 version, it just didn’t feel right to me. I liked the old ones better. Some years passed before I got another of the original, a .45, but I have one now and I don’t believe I’ll ever let it get away. There’s nothing particularly great about it, but there’s nothing to complain about either. It’s just a good, solid, reliable .45 that looks nice and shoots well.

Taurus PT111 and Taurus 809CThere are two Taurus pistols I find myself recommending frequently, especially to new shooters looking for a concealed carry or personal defense pistol. Those two are the PT-111 and the PT-809C. These are about the same size. One has a hammer and one is striker-fired. You can get similar models ins .40 S&W, but I usually recommend the 9mm. The capacity for each is 12 + 1. The size of these firearms compares quite favorably to many of the single-stack 9mms that are so popular like the M&P Shield, Glock 43, Springfield XDS, but they carry 13 rounds instead of 6 or 7. To me, it just makes more sense to have more ammo, especially when the guns aren’t that much difference in size. Yes, they’re a little thicker, but with the right holster that won’t make much difference to the majority of people willing to just try it.

Taurus .327 MagnumI’d me remiss if I didn’t talk about some of the Taurus revolver family. They make so many different models I find them hard to keep up with, but I own a couple that are worthy of the missions I’ve assigned them. My little Taurus .327 Federal Magnum revolver is in the center console of the wife’s Denali. It’s a great back-up gun in a worthy caliber, ready for action if needed. For fun, you can shoot tame .32 Long or .32 Short or if you want a little more, .32 H&R Magnum. Or you can load it up, as I usually do, with the ammo it’s made for, .327 Federal Magnum and you’ll be well-defended.

Taurus .22 Magnum TrackerAnd in the Jeep, in a bug out bag, is a Model 992 Tracker with .22 Magnum and .22 Long Rifle cylinders. It will do for dispatching varmints, for gathering small game for food, and even protection if needed. The long barrel helps with accuracy, you can sight it like a rifle if you want to, and the sturdy frame can stand a lot of abuse, not that I abuse it any, but it is in the back compartment of the Jeep.

Taurus owns Heritage and we shoot a lot of their little .22s in our training classes. They also own Rossi, and I’m a real fan of Rossi reproduction rifles. When you buy a Taurus, you’re buying a lifetime guarantee, and though I’ve seen references to customer service problems in the past, the few times I’ve dealt with Taurus customer service, they’ve been extremely helpful and very prompt with their service.

PT1911One area in which Taurus doesn’t get its just dues is with their 1911 models. Taurus builds their 1911s well and they include something like 17 features that gun guys have been taking their Colt and other 1911 models to gunsmiths for years to have added. Feature for feature, it’s hard to beat a Taurus 1911. They are offered in .45 ACP and 9mm and with a variety of finishes. If you’re not a 1911 person, but think you’d like to try one, the economics and the quality of a Taurus PT-1911 should make it an attractive option to consider.

Handgun Observations from an Owner/Shooter/Instructor

I like guns and especially handguns. I use handguns on a daily basis for personal protection, for instruction and for fun. I like shotguns and rifles, too, but they are not day-to-day companions like handguns. While reading a book on Sig Sauer written by Maas Ayoob, I started thinking about how he shared his experiences with various models and it occurred to me that my readers, gunshop customers and students of our various classes might enjoy reading about my experiences with various handguns they may be considering.

So, I set about to write separate articles on the brands that I’ve come to appreciate, listed not in an order of any kind of favorites, but in Alphabetical Order. They are:

I hope you enjoy the separate articles, and hopefully they will help you in some of your own gun-buying experiences.

What I Like About Beretta

Beretta is the oldest name in firearms manufacturing. The company has had the same family ownership for well over 500 years. Beretta is the current supplier of handguns for the majority of the United States Army personnel that use handguns and is in the running for the next generation of handgun the Army may choose.

Stoeger Cougar 9mm
Stoeger Cougar 9mm

My first Beretta was a Cougar, Model 8000. Actually, it wasn’t really Beretta, but was a Stoeger Cougar. Beretta designed the Cougar line and produced it for many years, but when they acquired the Turkish company Stoeger, for some reason, they moved the Cougar tooling to that location and Stoeger started producing the Cougars. They come in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP, but mine was a 9mm. This is a sturdy gun, very easy to operate, accurate and trouble-free. My son Phillip owns it now, so it’s still in the family and we use it in some of our instruction classes to introduce new folks to handguns. It now sports a nice-looking set of wood grips.

I followed up the Cougar with a PX-4 Storm 9mm. One thing that sets the PX-4 and Cougar apart is the way their barrel lock/unlock mechanism operates. When the gun is fired, the barrel rotates almost a quarter of a turn before it unlocks and starts rearward. This turn actually absorbs some of the recoil, making these guns relatively soft-shooters. They’re made of steel, so their weight helps absorb recoil as well. I find the slides easy to operate on both guns and when we use them for our Handgun 101 classes, many of the students also find them easy to operate.

Beretta PX-4 Storm
PX-4 Storm

The PX-4 comes in several configurations.  The Type C has no external safety. Type F has an ambidextrous external safety/de-cocker and Type G has the ambidextrous lever, but it only works as a de-cocker, not as a safety. Mine came from the factory as Type F, but I converted it to Type G when I was using it as a carry gun. The safety on these guns is pushed up to go off and to me that’s an unnatural motion that I would just as soon not have to deal with when under pressure.

If you practice good trigger control an external safety is simply an extra item that is not needed in a handgun, especially if the safety is somewhat hard to get off. These guns are double/single action guns, so the double-action first trigger pull is plenty of safety.

Beretta makes the PX-4 in Compact and Sub-Compact models. Both work well for concealed carry. The Sub-Compact does not have the barrel-rotation recoil-reducing feature that the Compact and Full-Size models have. All of the models discussed come with 3-dot sights. I’ve had night-sights installed on both the Cougar and the PX-4.

Beretta M9
Beretta M9

My next Beretta was an M-9, the military designation of the Model 92F. I don’t shoot this gun much, but I’ve no doubt it’s a fine shooter. People in the military seem to have a love/hate relationship with them, but that’s true of all military guns. I’ve noticed that a whole bunch of former Army guys who come through our License to Carry class are shooting Beretta M9s as their personal defense guns.

Beretta Stampede
Beretta Stampede 45 Colt
Beretta Bobcat
Beretta Bobcat

I’ve got two more Berettas. One is a Beretta Bobcat 25. I took it in on trade and consider it just a nice-to-have small gun. It’s a tip-up model that might come in handy if you just absolutely have no strength to rack the slide on any type of semi-automatic handgun.  The other is a cowboy gun, a 45 Colt Beretta Stampede. It’s the prettiest of my cowboy guns. It shoots pretty accurately and could be used for self-defense if needed.