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Size matters or does it? (best pistol frame for you)

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Mark D. is a police officer in Illinois…

He worked at a local high school about 100 miles west of Chicago where he became acquainted with current and former students.

One morning, around 8 am, students were preparing for a graduation ceremony.

This was when a 19-year old former student entered the school and began firing shots in the hallway.

After firing several shots, the student ran outside the building. This is where Mark confronted him.

The two exchanged gunfire and the former student was taken into custody. The suspect was treated for injuries but survived.

Authorities didn’t release the shooter’s motive or intentions.

Dixon Police Chief Steven Howell said: “I could not be more proud of the police officer. Because of his heroic actions, many lives were saved.”

“With shots ringing out in the hallways of the school, he charged toward the suspect and confronted him head-on.”

The school was placed on lockdown and students barricaded in classrooms.

Thanks to the heroic actions of the officer a tragedy was prevented.

Now, we don’t know the exact pistol used by the officer, but chances are it was a full or mid-size weapon.

Many departments choose to issue the Glock 17 because it is a full-size framed pistol.

But obviously, pistols come in all different sizes.

In fact, there are so many configurations, calibers, and accessories that you can make your gun any way you want it.

However, there are so many different size options in pistols that it can be confusing, making it hard to choose the right one for you.

That said, here is a breakdown of the most common pistol frame sizes and how to decide which is best for you.

Full-size frame pistols:

Full-size pistols are designed to meet the needs of law enforcement and the military.

They are also popular for competition shooting and home defense as well.

A few of the more popular full-size pistols are the Glock 17 and the 1911.

These types of guns can be used for concealed carry, but they aren’t ideal.

That’s because they are harder to conceal and might give away that you are carrying a firearm.

While it varies by manufacturer, most full-size guns weigh over 2 pounds loaded.

Typically, they are about 8 to 9 inches long – so again, they aren’t the best option for concealed carry.

However, the reason full-size pistols remain popular is that they are easier to shoot.

The full-size grip makes the gun easy to handle, plus the weight of the gun adds some recoil resistance compared to lighter guns.

These bigger frame guns can usually hold more rounds, and having a 16-20 round capacity can be a huge advantage in a gun fight.

If you are looking for a full-size pistol, you may wish to consider the Glock 17 and the Sig Sauer P320.

Mid-size/compact pistols:

Mid-size frame pistols are commonly referred to as compact pistols.

These pistols are usually about an inch shorter compared to full-size frames, and they also weigh a little bit less.

Compact pistols are popular for concealed carry because they are easy to hide and don’t bulge under your clothes.

Even if you have large hands the grip on a compact pistol is still easy to grab.

The best thing about mid-size frame pistols is that they offer the advantages of full-size pistols, but are smaller and easier to conceal.

The drawback to compact handguns is that the larger calibers can be harder to shoot in the smaller frame.

For example, a .357 in a compact pistol is more difficult to control without a lot of practice.

A few popular mid-size handguns to consider are the Glock 19 and the Sig Sauer P229.

Small frame/ sub-compact pistols:

Sub-compact pistols are usually carried as backup weapons (or sometimes as pocket pistols).

They’re typically six inches or less in length, and thinner in width…

Which means they can be concealed with little chance of being seen.

So, these smaller pistols are also ideal for carrying when going for a run or working out.

However, the smaller pistol size can be harder to shoot.

Their small size means that they can also be difficult to grip. Plus, most smaller frame handguns have shorter barrels, creating more muzzle rise after firing.

But with practice, you can get a comfortable grip for your specific pistol and learn to handle the recoil.

Now, a subcompact wouldn’t be my first choice for home defense because they leave less room for accessories and hold fewer rounds.

But if you are looking for something to carry concealed, and size is important, they can be a good choice.

A small frame pistol I would consider looking at is the Sig Sauer P365.

When trying to find the right pistol for you, decide what is most important to you.

Is that concealment? Number of rounds? Recoil? Muzzle rise?

All these factors come into play, so be sure you know what you value most.

If you want the best of both worlds a mid-size pistol might be your best bet, but there is no one size fits all option.

Whatever gun you think is the best for you always go to your local gun range and rent it before buying it.

You could even rent all three different size guns.

The one you feel the most comfortable and confident shooting is the right pistol for you.

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