Applying Nuance to EDC

Matt Landfair

Matt Six Actual
Staff member
When we discuss the nuance of defensive firearms for the individual we can get into the weeds and 8 dimensions of considerations to weigh. Conversely, it is even easier to fall into the trap of one size fits all if that option is proven on a large scale. So let's limit this to a singular type of firearm, capacity, barrel length, weight, and only two related calibers.

Pictured are various sized S&W revolvers with capacities from five to eight, different length barrels, different weights, different grips, a couple can only fire 38 Special while more can shoot both 38 Special and 357 Magnum. Several of these were carried overtly in uniform while some were carried concealed by law enforcement.

Can you provide reasoning behind carrying any one of these over another or the rest?

If you can't carry anything more than the tiny five shot 38 m36, does the largest and heaviest m28 fit your needs?

Assuming you already have proficiency with defensive weapons and associated skillsets, before buying your next gun assess your mission. What does that mission entail? Next, what are your needs defensively? Do your mission and defensive needs conflict? Does your current defensive firearm work with your mission? Can it be improved? Within the picture are essentially variations of the same gun and having these as an example shows how finely tuned we can be with our carry choices- I haven't even touched on holsters, belts, and carry methods.Obviously there are more variables than what is shown, but this covers the topic well enough.

With time, experience, training, and knowledge we can refine our options that fit our needs better. We don't need to settle for the generic answer that works for most, but who have different missions.

#nuance #smithandwesson #gunsofinstagram #revolvers #PrimaryAndSecondarynuance of firearms selection.png
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In terms of mission, for pure civilian self-defense I would pick the biggest of the snubbies that I can comfortably conceal. That's because most incidents are likely to be happen at very close range, where I don't need to aim very precisely. I'm also a big guy, so I can probably hide a bit more than a skinny lady. This would enable me to defend myself on a parking lot, but not e.g. step in as a Good Samaritan scenario like in Indiana recently.

If I viewed my mission more as a Good Samaritan including defending against active shooters, like Indiana, I'd try to pick the best shooting gun out of the lot. That probably means one of the two at the top right, with the longer barrel and full-size grips.


I might modify "biggest ... that I can comfortably conceal" to something like /most capable/. I don't carry a revolver (own, just do not carry) so mine are autos and I think capacity, ease of shooting, balanced with concealability and comfort.

I have one that's a good example of each step not always being that useful a change.

Right now I almost entirely carry a small gun, or a full size duty gun. But I used to have a third size. This was pre-RDS and WML so don't judge me on that. They were:
• Kahr P9 (small, flat - 5+1)
• Star M243 Firestar Plus (same height, length but thicker grip, 13+1)
• S&W 5946 (full size service pistol, 15+1)

But... at some point as I upgraded stuff I realized the Firestar was not giving me all the advantages of concealability I could for the reduction in capacity, accuracy, recoil control (so followup shots, reduction in firepower as defined in delivery over time), etc. Too thick, and the grip was not as abbreviated (even with flat floorplates) as a true concealment gun needed. So, nice gun with custom melt job in NP3 that I love, but grew to never carry.

Which if you aren't getting it for the OP, is nuance. It SEEMED like the Firestar was smaller and it was indeed more comfy due to small weight etc over the service size gun, but the concealability is only fractionally better, so I started rarely carrying, and then to simplify and focus training I just stopped putting it into the rotation entirely. Slightly coarser divisions worked well for me.

(FWIW, my current carry is still the Kahr but upgraded to RDS and WML, and the service gun is an M&P 9 4.25 pro with RDS and WML, so I upped to 17+1).