Defense Prepare Weapons

What is the Best Pistol?

The short answer?

“The one you can hit a target with and one you can and will carry ALL THE TIME.”

Before you buy a pistol

Visit a local range, or a friend and try firing different pistols. Try out a Glock, Sig Sauer, Ruger and any others you can get your hands on. Start with a 9mm Glock, Sig or other pistol. Focus on small size and light weight so you can carry it ALL THE TIME. If you can not hit your target with a 9mm, try 380acp, then if 380acp is too much drop to a 22LR.

Do not buy any pistol or rifle unless you plan to practice using it! 

Using a pistol requires knowledge. It requires that you learn to use and maintain it properly. You MUST practice. A lack of knowledge and practice is extremely dangerous. It can result in killing yourself or someone else unintentionally.  Having a pistol without knowledge is more likely to get YOU killed than protect you.

Only buy a handgun you can accurately shoot

You need to be comfortable firing the weapon and must be able to consistently use it in a stressful situation, whether its a knife, pistol or rifle. A weapon you can’t or won’t use is a liability. The rifle or pistol is a tool for hunting or defense.  A larger caliber (that you can control) is better than a smaller caliber.  

Plan to pay at least 3 times the cost of the pistol

The pistol plus locks, cases, holsters, sights, magazines, ammo and cleaning gear is going to cost a lot. And training with a pistol can be expensive, especially for range time and even more ammo. The real cost is more like $2000 plus the cost of the pistol.

What matters when buying a pistol?

Size. The physical size of the pistol is CRITICAL.  A pistol needs to be small enough to go in a pocket or belly/belt holster. The size of the ammo impacts the conceal-ability also. The 45acp, 357 and other larger rounds, will limit the number of rounds you can carry every day. Smaller is generally better.

Weight. If you want to conceal carry every day, the weight of the pistol AND the weight of the ammo will impact your ability to carry it every single day. Ounces are pounds when you carry all day. Lighter is better.

Accuracy.  I might fire a Glock 43 well and you might not.  You might fire a Sig P365 or a Ruger LCP well and I might not. Personal preference, hand size, grip, posture and style are all things to consider when buying. Accuracy is what stops bad guys.

Caliber.  The type of ammo, 380acp, 38 special, 9mm, 357, .40 S&W, 45acp or even the lowly 22LR. The larger the round the bigger the kick and the fewer you can carry in a concealable handgun. 

Best Pistol Recommendations?

Pistol Make & ModelAmmoBase Rounds WeightSize
Ruger LCP II 
Click for prices

10.6ozBarrel: 2.75” 
Overall: 5.16” 
Glock 42
Click for prices
13.8ozBarrel: 3.25” 
Overall: 5.94” 
Kel-Tec P11   
Click for prices
9mm10+114ozBarrel: 3.1”
Overall: 5.6”
Ruger LC9S   
Click for prices
9mm7+117.2ozBarrel: 4.5”
Overall: 6”
Sig Sauer P365   
Click for prices
9mm +P10+1
17.8ozBarrel: 3.1”
Overall: 5.8”
Springfield Hellcat  
Click for prices
9mm +P
17.9ozBarrel: 3”
Overall: 6”
Glock 43  
Click for prices
17.95ozBarrel: 3.39” 
Overall: 6.26” 
M&P Shield 
Click for prices
380acp8+119.1ozBarrel: 3.7” 
Overall: 6.7” 
M&P Shield 9  
Click for prices
20.8ozBarrel: 3.1” 
Overall: 6.1” 
Glock 26 Gen 5 
Click for prices
17, 24, 31 and 33
21.7ozBarrel: 3.42″
Overall 6.4″
M&P Shield 2.0 45  
Click for prices
22.7ozBarrel: 3.3” 
Overall: 6.5” 
Glock 19 Gen 5 
Click for prices
17, 24, 31 and 33
23.99ozBarrel: 4.02” 
Overall: 7.28” 
Glock 17 Gen 5
Open Carry  
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19, 24, 31 and 33
24.97ozBarrel: 4.49” 
Overall: 7.95” 
Springfield XDM  
Click for prices
4513+132ozBarrel: 5.31” 
Overall: 8.3” 


Ok, so I listed a bunch of pistols. The bad news, is, it does not matter what pistols I like.  It ONLY matters if you fire it well.

Example: As a family we tried firing a dozen pistols. We were very accurate with the Glock 26 Gen2, but every single one of us got pinched by it. No one wanted to fire it because of the pinch – even though we fired it well.  I could not buy a pistol that our entire family was unsure of firing.

Selecting a Pistol

How does the pistol fit in your hand? Do the sights line up naturally?  Some people like the angle of the Glock others like the Sig or Springfield.  If there was a one size fits all there would not be so many pistols in the market. 

Some guys in WWII were horrible with the Springfield rifle but great with TommyGun.  You need to try out weapons to know what will fit you personally.

What about the 22LR?

Many people don’t recommend the 22LR.  However, a 22 is still better than no defense at all.  It is lethal but has a 31% one stop shot failure rate compared to 13% to 17% with all other centerfire ammo types. This means you are 2x as likely to NOT stop someone with a single shot with a 22LR.

There are multiple downsides to the 22LR. It is it is a small round. It does not penetrate through glass or barriers well. It is limited in stopping range. It is rim fire not center fire which leads to miss fires and fail to fire. On the positive side it is very small and inexpensive.  

The Ruger SR22 22LR pistol is a great little semi-auto pistol. It is a 10 round, 17.5oz 3.5” Barrel with overall length of 6.5”.  In a TEOTWAWKI situation the SR22 might be a real alternative because 10/22 is so cheap and lightweight. 22LR is the most plentiful ammo in made in the USA followed by 9mm then shotgun then 556.

The Walther P22 QD, Smith & Wesson M&P22C and Ruger LCP 22lr are decent small to mid-sized semi auto pistols. Some other 22lr pistols include the: Heritage Rough Rider revolver, a number of NAA 22LR revolvers, and Glock 44.

Ammo Standardization

Ammo standardization means you try to get all your pistols and possibly even rifles in the same ammo. The two most common pistol options are 9mm and 22LR. There are carbine rifles that fire 9mm and even the popular KelTec Sub 2000 9mm with a magazine matching Glock, Beretta or Sig.

Remember – Buy the pistol, ammo and rifles that fit your need or “mission”, that you can hit the target with.

More About Ammo: Try out ammo on targets before you buy a lot. You might be way more accurate with a particular type of ammo in a particular rifle or pistol. Stockpile ammo when it is on sale. Store it in a cool DRY space. Old military ammo cans are cheap to store bulk ammo and have seals.

How many?

So how many pistols should you own?  If you ask most preppers the answer is “YES” or “LOTS” or “ALL OF THEM” or “As many as you can afford”. I recommend a pocket pistol for every family member, preferably two.  And even more if you are worried about TEOTWAWKI.

I strongly recommend buying the pistols in sets of two or more. Buying the same pistols at the same time ensures parts can be shared between them. Almost any prepper will tell you, two is one and one is none

Consider a couple of backup revolvers chambered in your primary pistol ammo.  A revolver has much fewer moving parts so less to break in SHTF and TEOTWAWKI.  Be warned they are not as fast to reload even with moon clips.  

Why Pick a 9mm Pistol?

I recommend a 9mm because it is widely available and is a good balance of power and size.  Choose a compact 6 to 11 round semi-auto pistol -Sig P365, Sig P932, Ruger LC9S, Glock43, Glock26, S&W Shield and numerous others.  (see list Best Pistol Recommendations above)

You might also consider the: 380acp, 38 special, 357 or 45acp. I know i am a broken records but ONLY purchase a pistol you can consistently hit the target with. Find a friend who has guns or go to a range and try each type of weapon.  The largest caliber you can consistently hit the bullseye with is the one you should get (possibly downsizing to the 9mm or at least 45acp if you can handle a Desert Eagle).

Why Consider a Revolver?

It is a good choice depending on the situation. It is somewhat harder to conceal and for most people a magazine is easier to reload quickly than a moon clip/speed loader. 

If I had to pick just one revolver… I am not sure what I would pick. Maybe would go with Ruger LCR22 or LCR9 because of the widely available ammo or the Ruger LCR357 because it gives you the option of 357 and 38 special ammo.

If I wanted a 22LR revolver, I would consider the Ruger LCR22, Ruger Single Six or Ruger Single 10. The larger ones will likely last multiple lifetimes. The big advantage is even if the round doesn’t fire, just pull the trigger again.  Note: the trigger pull on most revolvers is harder than a semi-auto pistol.


Before you chose a pistol, consider its use.  

Best open carry pistol?  An open carry pistol is one that is in a belt holster or shoulder holster. Consider the Glock 19 – 17round 9mm pistol.  9mm is available everywhere and it is 2 to 3 shots to stop someone.  Others to consider include: Sig Sauer, S&W, Springfield, FN, and Ruger. Remember if you fire a pistol better BUY THAT ONE.

Primary Conceal Carry / Every Day Carry (EDC): The 10rnd Sig Sauer P365 and 11rnd Springfield Hellcat are good for a primary Conceal Carry Weapon (CCW). Popular alternatives are the Ruger LCP, Glock 43 and the S&W Bodyguard. If you are ok with a physically larger pistol consider other pistols such as the FN, Beretta, Ruger, Walther, H&K and 120 other manufacturers.

Backup gun? We recommend the Ruger LCP II for deep conceal or backup gun or “BUG”. Note the LCP II doesn’t support +P ammo. I prefer +P but will take the LCP II anyway (a gun is better than NO gun). Others include the tiny NAA revolvers.

Why Smaller Pistols? I recommend the Bug or EDC small to mid sized pistols. A smaller pistol can go in a pocket and weighs less. You are more likely to carry something that is not huge. A military phrase is “Ounces are Pounds” meaning carrying something all the time makes it seem MUCH heavier than it is. So smaller is good (assuming you shoot it well).

Ammo standardization?  I said it already but I am saying it again, consider picking a primary pistol, shotgun and rifle ammo.

If you are getting a single type of pistol for the entire family, you can share parts and expertise.  The LCP 380, Glock 43 or 9mm Sig P365 is good for deeper conceal. For a larger pistol, the 9mm Glock 17 or 19 is a good pick because there are a LOT of those around.


Related Links

James Franklin Originally published Sept 2020

Community Defense Prepare Tactics & Strategy

Now What?

The world is going to hell in a handbasket. What can a single person do? In a word, Persevere.

“Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.” George Washington

Take Action

  1. Work to be self reliant
  2. Read the constitution of the USA 2 times (get a copy)
  3. Plant a garden, then try perennials (apples/berries), then chickens, then the four footed critters.  Know where your food comes from and how to get it yourself if necessary.
  4. Team up and attend EVERY public govt meeting. Stick your nose into everything. School boards, election commissions, town, village, city, county, state or federal. Show up.  The soldiers who died on Normandy beaches showed up, the fireman and police who died in the line of duty showed up.  The least we can do is sit through some crappy meetings and speak up.
  5. Run for office. Get out there or at least help someone on your team get out there and represent us.  We won’t agree 100% of the time, we might even fight but we will support the rule of law, the US Constitution and freedom without question.
  6. Work to eliminate any rules, laws, policies or standards that do NOT comply with the US Constitution and State Constitution.  
  7. Vote with your $. Buy local. Buy products and services that build up the Country.
  8. Team up, build up your community, work together, work with your church and community centers. Look out for your neighbors, take personal responsibility.
  9. Get your family and friends (your team) to do take action, and review this list.

“If you are going through hell, keep going.” ― Winston S. Churchill

Ensure Communications

  1. Assume EVERYTHING you do electronically or near electronic devices is watched. But don’t stop speaking.  Speak like you are telling a million people something.  Speak honorably, openly and freely.  If you are getting shut down- find a way to speak.  Choose your words.
  2. Get Signal (smartphone app) and/or Viber on your Smartphone, and make sure your friends and family have it. It is also FULLY encrypted but Signal and Viber use data (internet) for texting and voice, so it will increase your data plan if you pay per GB for data. I do not recommend Telegram because not all communications are encrypted (its ok just not my fav).
  3. Use freedom loving Social Media Gab & Parler (if it ever recovers). If you get locked out of Facebook or Twitter – consider leaving those services permanently.  Even if the app is blocked, you can go to the websites. I no longer recommend MeWe because they are banning specific political groups.
  4. Create 3 or more unique emails. 1st for junkmail/registrations.  2nd for friends and family and 3rd for banking/payments etc.  
    • Use Hotmail, Yahoo or such for your 1st junkmail (when vendors force you to register using an email).  
    • Consider secure services like: Protonmail, Tutanota, CounterMail or Posteo (europe) for 2nd and 3rd email addresses.  
  5. Turn on two-factor (two step) authentication for your phone, email, social media, banking etc.  Two-factor is absolutely necessary. Turn it on ANYWHERE you can.  If you don’t know how, ask your friends and family. Get everyone to use it.
  6. Use LastPass Family (cheap) or Keepass (free) to manage your passwords.  Set different passwords everywhere don’t reuse them. Longer passwords (pass phrases) like “I want 2 drink beer!” are harder to crack and easier for you to remember – customize them to something specific to you.
  7. Remember to cancel every account you are not using (credit cards, social media, services, email, etc)

“We Mutually Pledge To Each Other Our Lives, Our Fortunes, and Our Sacred Honor.”  Learn where the quote is from.

Stock Up

  1. Ensure you have a minimum of 6 months of Food, water, meds – rotate it for use.  Even if nothing bad happens you will have food if there is a power outage or you get laid off.
  2. Get Multiple first aid kits and learn how to use them (one in each vehicle)
  3. Get rechargeable AA and AAA batteries and a charger.  They will cost more money up front but save you $ in the long run.
  4. Household supplies
    • Purchase Heavy duty long lasting clothing, boots, shoes, jackets.
    • Warm blankets, wool blankets – in case you have to camp in your house
  5. Have a way to cook without electricity  
  6. Get $1mil in identity protection – or at least block new credit so you are less likely to be the victim of identity theft.
  7. Create a get home bag for each vehicle.
  8. Get at least 2 of everything that is critical (one is none, two is one) and standardize wherever possible.

Here are ways more stock up related items:

Try to get at least 2 people in your group to do the following

  1. Get a HAM radio license – a cheap good handheld is the BaoFeng BF-F8HP.  If you can afford it and have the space purchase a base station with a large antenna and base station.
  2. Get first aid training.
  3. Learn to hunt
  4. Learn to fish
  5. Get your conceal carry license.  Focus on small lightweight pistols you can carry every day, and practice, or don’t get a pistol.  
  6. Start Beekeeping – or at least support local beekeepers. Honey lasts forever.
  7. Learn trades: welding, forging, plumbing, electrical, etc.
  8. If you have skills, TEACH SOMEONE.


Many of us are military veterans, or served in another way: police, fire, teachers, healthcare or just volunteered in the Cajun Navy.  We may or may not have sworn the oath.  If you haven’t said it, say it to your family – say it out loud to each other – and keep it.

“I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion;

I will act in good faith working to improve the lives of everyone in all situations, respecting the sacrifices of those who died before me;
So help me God.

If you feel alone or outnumbered, remember

‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’ — Margaret Mead 

In dark days, remember these words 

“Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.” ― George Washington

God Bless – and even if you don’t believe in God, take action that will leave a positive legacy.

James Franklin, Great, Great, Great Grandson of Silence Dogood 

Related Post:

Last updated 9/21/2021

One last quote – it is worth re-reading…

“If you can keep your head, when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master; If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools

If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!”
― Rudyard Kipling