“Why are you so grouchy?” my young grandson asked one day. He’d obviously been listening to his dad—my son—who, at times has been the reason for my being grouchy.
Reflecting on the subject, I found that too often, I lament that things aren’t as good as they should be—something closer to perfect. That applies to the car I drive, the political party that gets my vote and, yes, even the handgun I carry every day.
Getting the chance to shoot and evaluate new handguns might seem like a close-to-perfect job, but … . Okay, there’s really nothing to put after the “but”; it’s a pretty cool job. The result, however, is that I’m continually reevaluating my EDC choices.
Once Upon a Time
It wasn’t always so. For years, I carried a full-sizes Glock G17 on duty, a compact Glock G19 off duty and a subcompact Glock G26 when traveling light. All were loaded with Speer 9mm 124-grain Gold Dot hollowpoints. What more did I need?
I still have that Glock G19 (an old Gen2 model), and it’s still a great handgun. And I carried the Glock G26 with me on errands before sitting down to write this today. But I came to like some of the other guns I tested. And several became my EDC choices.
There’s the Oriskany Arms 1911 425FP (Commander-sized .45) with FDE Cerakote finish and Trijicon night sights. What a great gun! But I mounted a Streamlight TLR-6 light/laser on it and liked it so much that I didn’t want to take it off. So, I thought, This will be my house gun.
Besides, by that time, my Ruger American Compact .45 arrived. In my opinion, it’s one of the most underrated handguns out there. It fits my hand better than any other polymer-framed pistol; and, as a result, sight acquisition is very fast. It’s in that midsized class that I believe is best overall. It’s rugged, reliable and accurate, and it became my EDC gun.
But then, the hunting season came around, and I was spending more time in the woods. And Ruger had come out with a stainless 1911 in 10mm. It offered a lot more power for wilderness carry. I thought, Why shouldn’t this make a good EDC gun all year?
I had a love affair as well with the Smith & Wesson’s Model 66 .357 Magnum revolver when it was introduced with a 2.75-inch barrel. And the HK VP9SK still holds a dear place in my heart.
What’s it This Time?
Now, the gun that has most of my attention is the Ruger SR1911 Officer’s Style in 9mm. It has a stainless steel slide with a 3.6-inch bull barrel over an aluminum frame that sometimes looks gray. At other times, depending on the light, it has a blue tint. The grips are G10, gray and textured with stylized wings from the Phoenix bird taken from the Ruger logo.
It has full-sized, three-dot metal Novak sights. It comes with two eight-round, stainless steel magazines. It’s accurate and reliable and about as small as I’d want to go for an EDC gun. It’s also a classy-looking pistol. That won’t mean much in a defensive situation—but just looking at this gun makes me feel, if I say so myself, less grouchy.
Other benefits as a carry gun include its naturally slim, single-stack 1911 design and an excellent single-action trigger—probably one of the primary reasons the 1911 has stayed popular so long. Takedown is easier than with traditional 1911 pistols, because there’s no barrel bushing.
Whenever I purchase a new gun, I immediately look for an assortment of holsters for it so that I’ll have options in how I carry.
Two of the holsters I have for this Ruger are made by Galco. The first is the Corvus, with a carbon-fiber finish that can be converted from a belt holster to an inside-the-waistband holster with the included hardware. The second is the Summer Comfort, an open-top leather IWB holster with a reinforced lip for easy re-holstering. It’s held in place by two belt loops, with snaps fitted to allow for easy removal of the holster.
A third holster I have is a Sticky Holster. It has no loops or clips. The idea is to tuck this inside your waistband and simply cinch your belt over it. I have to spend more time with it before I have full confidence carrying it this way. However, you can use it as a conventional pocket holster.
The Ruger is a bit big for pocket carry, but it would work fine with some of my pants that have deep pockets.
Keep My Secret
Your own handgun choices might differ from mine, but it’s hard to argue that the ones I’ve mentioned here aren’t all quality guns.
So, do I really have the right to be grouchy? (If you can keep a secret, I’ll tell you that I’m really smiling like a crazy man on the inside.)
Sturm, Ruger & Co: Ruger.com
Sticky Holsters: StickyHolsters.com
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the September 2018 print issue of Gun World Magazine.