There have been volumes written about concealed carry guns and what is the best caliber and which guns are better and how many extra mags to carry etc. I will not get into that debate because almost everyone has valid points instead I will give you my 'philosophy' in regard to concealed carry. Some people don't want to carry all the time (or at all) and that's fine, it's a free country but if you do here is my thoughts. I want to say up front I am referring to concealed carry only, meaning a gun you have on you walking around and not one in your car or home etc.
First of all the very best gun to have if you need it is the one you are carrying. I will agree a high capacity 9mm is better if you need to protect yourself or your family than a .380 pocket pistol but if the .380 is in your pocket and the 9mm is in your safe at home then the .380 is by far superior, so the first part of my philosophy is have a gun you will always carry.
Secondly, train and practice with the gun you want to carry. It does no good if you can't control you weapon or put shots where you need them. If you were hunting wild hogs a 22 LR round between the eyes would be far better than a 300 win mag round which grazes his rump, which also means you have to know the limitations of your weapon.
This leads to my Third point, I don't believe in trying to provide for every conceivable situation, if you do that's fine but I tend to think this leads to problems addressed in my first point and that is if your only carry gun is a 1911 with 2 extra mags then chances are you won't carry it all the time like running out to the store for a few minutes in your shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops. Again I am referring to concealed carry only here, not a gun in your car or in your home because that is a totally different subject.
What do I mean by "every conceivable situation" ? well first of all I tend to think most common threats are at very close range like a robbery so this is my primary concern. If I saw a mob causing trouble for example I would steer well clear and not inject myself or my family into a potential situation for harm so chances are slim I will need a hi-capacity weapon. This also means if I was walking around the grocery store my CC choice would be different than hiking in the mountains.
Most of the cases you hear about where someone fired multiple shots it's because they could not deliver the shots where the threat was neutralized, (thence the reason for rule #2 above) and they almost always involve someone at home or in their car in which case you should be better armed with something like a shotgun or other suitable choice.
So I thought I would take a few post's to show you how practice my philosophy. This could be a forth point as well.
My friend Stephen always says "back-up to a back-up" so I though my first installment would be my back-up. This is my North American Arms 22 Mag, 5 shot revolver. It is one I always carry. 99.1% of the time I have a primary carry piece as well but I carry this one all the time. The only time I would not have it is if I was in a location where I had to go through metal detectors in which case I would leave it in the car till I returned. It stays on my dresser at night with my keys and change and is the first thing I put in my pocket. I drilled a hole in the grips which allowed me to run a braided piece of 550 cord through the grip frame. The primary reason for this is I don't carry it in a holster and it is so small and it gets lost in the other pocket 'stuff' but I when reach in my pocket I can feel the braided cord. The lanyard serves it's purpose because by feel I can pull up on it and either separate it from my change so I can grab my change without removing the gun as well or I can reach in my pocket and feel the cord and by pulling up on it the gun is positioned with the barrel pointing down so I can get a proper grip on it and my thumb covers the hammer to avoid snagging on the pocket, as it clears my pocket I use my thumb (already in position) to cock it so by the time it is drawn it is ready to fire. The gun is small enough and is covered mostly by the hand and if drawn correctly it would not be recognized as a gun until too late by a would be thug.
With practice it can be drawn and fired in one second or less. I understand it's limitations so I would not try and fire it other than almost point blank range but I can assure you a 22 mag hollow point in the chest or stomach would not be fun and beats throwing rocks.
There are other pocket pistols which will work as well but this is my choice, it's stainless and wont rust in a damp pocket, there is no magazine to get dislodged, there is no safety but by design the hammer is designed to rest on the cylinder between the rounds so accidental discharge (by the hammer) is impossible, and I maintain the very best safety on a gun is between your ears.
Concealed Carry Philosophy Part II Here.
Concealed Carry Philosophy Part III here
Concealed Carry Philosophy Part IV here