Quick Opinion: Your Pistol Is Your Primary
Disclaimer: This is not the official stance of The Kommando Blog. This is an opinion that represents the author alone.
For civilian self defense, guns are the great equalizers. Weight differences and experience with fights and martial arts are all rendered moot points when one inserts a firearm into the equation. For many of us (or really, anyone reading this article. This is called “The Kommando Blog,” after all), firearms are what we choose to keep us safe if circumstances grow dire enough to need them.
There is a convention in the firearms community that is upheld to a commandment-esque degree; you have a primary weapon and a secondary weapon. The primary is a long gun, and your secondary is your pistol. This is a tenet held on a pedestal of wisdom along with “don’t piss into the wind,” or “measure twice, cut once.”
For you, the average person, I believe this is backwards.
THE VIDEO GAME EFFECT
If you like guns and you video games, odds are that you like video games with guns. Many of these titles are popular and ubiquitous, filled military missions and arms; this will naturally lend itself to the military doctrine of having the namesake weapon of the rifleman play center stage. Since your fastest reload is a transition to your pistol, the natural role of secondary is filled with the humble handgun.
Movies, milsim airsoft, military history and all the other items that revolve around the world of guns reinforces this. It’s a tried and true pairing that has served those in uniform for over a century. So why exactly am I questioning it? Because your daily life isn’t a warzone and this isn’t the movies.
WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT IN A GUN?
You spend time at home, sure, but you also spend time at work. Or the gym, or school, or at a coffee shop, or going to see a movie, or getting dinner, etc. While AK’s and shotguns are phenomenal tools for self defense, they often get left at home due to public conceptions, bulkiness, and convenience.
Home invasion is just one self-defense situation out of many. Your home defense gun isn’t very helpful during a gas station robbery or a late night mugging. There are many things to consider about choosing a firearm, but there is one aspect to consider above all else, and that’s this:
In order for a gun to be useful, it has to be available. A gun in the glove box does you no good at knife point a couple blocks from the car. Your cherished Daniel Defense rifle is useless in the safe when you’re at a barbeque. The single most important thing a gun can be to you is available when you need it. This is the realm of the handgun, and precisely why it should be considered your primary weapon.
A PISTOL IS TO FIGHT YOUR WAY TO A RIFLE
This is a popular phrase in the prepping community. It has a lot of merit, but its merit is confined to a very specific situation. One that certainly may happen, but doesn’t address the several dozen scenarios that are far more likely to occur in which you would want some firepower on your side.
Etymologically, however, that phrase still supports the idea of your handgun as your go-to. It’s first. It’s what you use when things begin. It’s what you keep with you to make sure all your other options stay available. It’s simply what you’re relying on most of the time.
For the average person, you’re not walking around with 3 mags under a coat and an AR slung. It’s not feasible for daily life, or even just avoiding police harassment. So you leave it somewhere safe. What do you use to ensure you get to your place of safety in a dire circumstance? I think you probably know the answer by now.
CHANGE YOUR PARADIGM
I’m not telling you to shoot your rifle less. I’m just making a case for you to shoot your concealed carry more, and really make it a focus item for your training routine.
Your rifle is a contingency. It’s a backup plan for your regular life a la “If things go south, I’m grabbing my SKS and going innawoods!” This isn’t a sentiment for how you want to deal with regular problems, it’s a thought for when life as you know it is will cease being that way for the immediate future.
Give credit where credit is due. There is one firearm that you keep with you to see you through just about anything, and you chose it because you know it has that all important feature of being easily available to you. If your concealed carry is what you trust your life to at least 51% of the time, then consideration of it as your primary firearm absolutely should be given.