Shooting the Breeze
Concealed carry

A compact 9mm.

Carrying a concealed weapon of any type is a very personal decision.

The Founding Fathers identified certain rights that were undeniable or inalienable. For many of us, this right to choose our own method of self-preservation is something we take for granted, and that has become the downfall of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

As a sportsman, hunter and former law enforcement reserve, I have staunch beliefs regarding these rights of “the people.” For me, carrying a means to preserve the sanctity of my wife and children’s lives, as well as those I love and cherish outside of my immediate family, has taken the form of a pistol. I have carried a few different makes and models over the years, with the full-size Glock 22 in 40 Smith & Wesson proving to be my most consistent carry gun.

When I was younger and carried a badge, I did not mind when the pistol I had in my waist band would show itself every now and then as I was reaching up to help someone retrieve something from a high shelf or as I stooped over to get into or out of a car. Now, I am much more aware of how the general public views, or better yet does not view, my personal choice in protection.

There are times and places I still openly carry a pistol, such as in the wild woods we are blessed to be surrounded by here in Grant County. For those occasions, I still prefer to have a larger caliber handgun strapped to my side. Even when I am bow hunting, I carry some form of full-size pistol or revolver — one never knows when the ever-more-present cougar or bear would rather not yield to my intrusion into their domain, and nothing speaks louder in the woods than shots fired from a short-barreled handgun.

Interactions with wildlife, especially mountain lions, have been on the increase in most Western states. Recently, Oregon lost its first citizen to an attack on a young woman by a cougar in the Mt. Hood area. Whether you choose to carry every day or just when you’re in the woods, choosing the right handgun for your needs is important.

Now that I find myself badgeless, I have chosen to downsize my personal protection piece so as not to draw attention to myself or my capabilities. In today’s market of micro carry guns and slim single-stack palm pistols, there really are a plethora of platforms that will very effectively discourage a would-be attacker.

I have family members who have chosen to carry the AirLight offerings from Smith & Wesson, others have chosen a heavier piece like the GP-100 from Ruger and others prefer the little North American Arms .22 LR in their tiny five-shot revolvers.

My current choice for concealed carry is the little Sig 365 in 9mm.

Whatever you choose in caliber is not quite as important as choosing a side arm that you want to carry and are comfortable with as part of your everyday life.

Are you shopping for a handgun for daily use? Have any recommendations or favorites? We would love to hear from you at!

Marc LeQuieu is a former wildland firefighter, professional hunter and gunsmith.

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