When it comes to every day carry (EDC), one of the most enduring debates is what size gun to carry. Should you carry a fullsize gun like a Taurus G3 Tactical, or are you better suited with something smaller and easier to conceal like the GX4 TORO? Well, as you might imagine, the answer is “it depends.” To understand, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each size of gun.
Full Size Gun: Pros
There are a number of really good reasons to carry a full size gun, but we’ll start with the most obvious: they’re easier to shoot. A Model 82 revolver is easier to shoot than a 605 2-inch, a TH9 is easier to shoot than a TH9c, and a G3 is easier to shoot than a G3c. You cannot defeat the laws of physics, and bigger guns are just easier to shoot.
Secondly, bigger guns hold more rounds, and while most civilian self-defense shootings are low-round count affairs, having more rounds on board makes everyone feel better. This is even true with revolvers, where medium frame revolvers can have 7 rounds compared to small frame revolvers with only 5.
Finally, it’s easier to mount a wider variety of accessories on full size guns. For example, the G3 TORO accepts lights and optics with ease. Finding lights and optics that fit micro guns can be more difficult.
Full Size Gun: Cons
However, full size guns aren’t without faults. The biggest, and I say that intentionally, is that they’re big, which means they’re harder to conceal. Although the use of high quality holsters from companies like PHlster, Dark Star Gear, and JM Custom Kydex can help manage that issue, a bigger gun is always going to be harder to conceal than a smaller gun.
That brings us neatly to the most important pro of a micro or sub-compact gun, and that’s how easier they are to conceal for the average citizen. 99% of people are going to have an easier time concealing a 2-inch Taurus 856 or a G3c than they are a full size gun. Simple as that. Plus, when a small frame gun uses the same advances in holster technology as a large frame, they become nearly indetectable to anything but a metal detector.
Plus, with advancements in magazine technology, guns like the GX4XL can hold up to 13 rounds while still maintaining that ultra-small footprint.
The cons for small guns are basically the inverse of the pros for big guns. Small guns are harder to shoot well, and they’re harder to mount accessories on.
Ultimately, your choice on carry gun needs to be driven by your lifestyle and goals. If maximum concealability is your goal, small guns are going to be the thing you need. But if you need to be able to shoot well, go big or go home.
For more information, check out this installment of the Concealed Carry Debate: