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Texas Department of Defense What is a Concealed Carry Gun?

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his is a subject we have touched on before, but I felt we had left a lot unsaid, so we are going to visit it again. For the purposes of this article we are going to consider a “handgun” the combination of the actual firearm, and the cartridge it shoots. The magazines today seem to be full of new handguns intended for concealed carry. However, as I look at these new wonders I

see a great many that are singularly ill suited for that task. You see, a handgun that is well suited for concealed carry is at best a compromise between power and size. A powerful handgun must be fairly large or it is uncontrollable. A concealed carry gun must be small enough to conceal, so it cannot use the most powerful cartridges. Also, if a gun is too powerful it will simply blow right through the intended target and cause collateral damage to other, probably innocent, standers by. This is something that is to be avoided at all, or almost all, costs. So we must again compromise and

BENCH TEST

Kimber Solo

kimber has just introduced a slick little concealed carry gun called the Solo, or Solo Carry. As I write this I just got my test gun and shot it for the first time yesterday. In short, I like it. The trigger is described as “singleaction, striker fired.” It feels very much like a short double-action pull and has a lot of free travel before the striker falls. It is easy to shoot, as my first group was easily covered with a small hand. The size of the gun rather limits the type of ammo that can be fired in it. Kimber has this to say: “Solo is designed to function optimally using premium hollow-point selfdefense factory ammunition with bullet weights of 124 or 147 grains. While other ammunition may perform well, lighter bullets and inconsistent pressures that can be found in 40 |

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lower-quality ammunition may lead to decreased slide cycle time and compromise function.” This is true of most of the smaller guns in the more powerful calibers. I test-fired the gun with both Speer 124-grain Gold Dot Hollow Point and American Eagle 124-grain full metaljacket ammunition and it performed flawlessly with both, putting both in the same groups at 15 yards, which was the farthest I shot the little gun. While the grip is tiny, allowing me to barely get two of my big fingers on it, it is large enough to give me a sure shooting grip. In fact, my little finger F i s h

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| Self Defense | | Concealed Carry | | Tactical | by Steve LaMascus find a cartridge that is powerful enough, but not too powerful, in a gun that is small, but not too small. We can immediately rule out the true brutes, powerful cartridges like the .454 Casull, the .460 Smith & Wesson, the .500 S&W, and the .44 Magnum, unless loaded down or used with .44 Special ammo. Now we have to decide if we are going to carry a semi-auto or a revolver. This is a difficult decision, because the one deciding must first take a good, hard, unbiased look at his or her abilities. The less skilled and less experienced are much better off choosing a revolver. A revolver is far easier to learn to use well than the more complicated semi-auto. When choosing the cartridge we must, also, judge our own curled under the bottom of the magazine may be a minor advantage in control. The magazine holds 6 rounds, meaning a combat load of 7 with one up the pipe. The slimness of the single-stack magazine adds to its concealability. The barrel is 2.7 inches long, which will cut down the velocity a bit. It has an ambidextrous thumb safety and an easily reachable, ambidextrous magazine release. The sights are the standard three-dot type. The frame is high-grade aluminum. The only place it comes up short is that I would like the safety levers to be a bit more prominent. All in all the Solo is a very good choice for concealed carry. On a scale of one to ten I would give it an eight-plus. —Steve LaMascus Photo: Photo KIMBER credit

2/9/12 4:29 PM

March 2012  

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