“What gun should I buy?”

  • Glock 17 RTF2


“What gun should I buy?”

This is a question that I get asked a lot. My first question is, “What is the intended use?” Most people are asking about their first carry gun or home defense gun. While I’m quick to suggest a Glock 19 or 17, depending on the person and their intended use. I also make it a point to tell them to go rent as many guns as they can.

“Oh, a 9mm and not a .40? Why not something with more stopping power?” This is yet another question I see often. Some people will listen to my advise and stay with the 9mm suggestion. Others will feel a need to get the largest caliber they think they can control.

I’m a big guy and I can control every caliber I’ve fired. I can even shoot a 12ga shotgun one handed without issues. This doesn’t mean it’s practical or ideal. One of the biggest advantages of 9mm is follow-up shots. Sure, the .45 is a smooth shooter with more of a rolling push than a sharp snap. But it still has more recoil. Remember that physics still applies, even if you’re shooting a $4,000 .45.

A secondary benefit to 9mm is capacity. If bullets are opportunities to stop a fight, don’t you want more opportunities?

We know, through science and AAR’s from shooting incidents, that critical hits to the CNS (central nervous system) are what stop fights. Getting hit in other areas may stop a fight, if there’s enough psychological impact to the attacker, but more times than not you’re waiting for blood loss. Waiting for blood loss can take some time, if ever. In fact, the person may die of an infection days later instead of even bleeding out. So hits are what count, and hits to the CNS are what stop fights.

Live in a state that limits magazine capacity to 10 rounds? 9mm still has the benefit of being faster to shoot. It’s also cheaper to shoot.

I’ve attached a picture of what I keep for home defense. It’s a Glock 17 RTF2 with a X300 Ultra light, Warren Tactical night sights, 3lbs Connector, internal polishing, Jentra Plug, extended slide stop, extended magazine release, and a 33 round Glock magazine.

I own a .45, a 10mm, a shotgun, and a AR. My long guns are not good options for me because I have kids, and I may need to have a hand free to carry kids or manipulate items. Having the weapon mounted light is crucial to one handed weapon manipulation. Having a 33 round magazine also allows me to worry less about ever having to reload. I don’t know about you guys, but the last thing I want to worry about is running out of rounds, especially if I only have one hand free.

Would another gun work? Most likely. But I pick my tools for their intended purpose. My G17 has a purpose of allowing me to use it one handed inside the home.


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Greg Ryman is a certified NRA instructor and RSO. He is also a California DOJ Certified Handgun Safety Instructor and a Certified Glock Armorer. Greg has been shooting for over 20 years and is the owner of Ryman Tactical.

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