Concealed-Carry Handgun Permit Qualification

Defensive Handguns

  • Revolvers The caliber of these revolvers: All are .357 Magnum/.38 Special
  • Semi-automatics The caliber of these semi-automatics: Are all .40 caliber


Revolvers vs semi-automatics: The revolver holds much less ammunition, these are 5, 6, and 7 shot models. But they are extremely reliable, they fire every time the trigger is pulled, almost never jam, and are easily maintained. All but one, #9, are both double-action and single-action (DA/SA). Meaning the hammer can be cocked back with the thumb to fire the weapon … single action. This reduces the trigger pull to 2-4 pounds and assists in carefully aimed shots at distant targets. Or the trigger can be pulled without cocking the weapon … double action. This increases the trigger pull to 7-12 pounds and allows the weapon to be fired with less accuracy but very quickly at close-up targets. #9 is a double-action-only weapon (DAO). It has no exposed hammer and can only be fired double action. The mix of revolvers below are from five different manufacturers and all are made of steel (black or stainless) except #8 and #9 … those two are composed of lightweight titanium. There is a mixture of adjustable and fixed sights, barrels from 1” to 6.5”, and nine different configurations of grips. After firing all of these, the shooter will have an excellent idea as to what action, weight, barrel length, sight configuration, and grip is going to suit him/her best. Or it might determine that the student prefers a semi-automatic? Either way it will remove all guesswork when deciding which handgun to buy.

  1. Ruger GP-100, large-frame, 6-shot, 6.5” barrel, stainless steel, with adjustable sights, and partial walnut grips. Exceptionally accurate.
  2. Taurus Standard, large frame, 6-shot, 6”, barrel, stainless steel, with adjustable sights, and Hogue custom grips. Exceptionally accurate.
  3. Rossi Six, medium frame, 6-shot, 6” barrel, stainless steel, with adjustable sights, (Rossi is especially suited for smaller hands), lighter than a large frame. Exceptionally accurate.
  4. Smith & Wesson Companion, medium frame, 6-shot, 4” barrel, stainless steel, with fixed sights (fixed sights reduces the cost of a handgun). A 4” barrel is considered “all purpose” – long enough to be quite accurate and short enough to not be unwieldy.
  5. Taurus “Tracker,” medium frame, 7-shot, 4” barrel, stainless steel, with adjustable sights, a ported barrel, and a shock-absorbing grip. Especially accurate for a 4” barrel (also comes in 2”, 6”, and 7” versions). An excellent 7-shot revolver for the money. A favorite of a large percentage of our students.
  6. Ruger SP-101, small “heavy-frame (very solid),” 5-shot, 2” barrel, stainless steel, with fixed sights and small rubber grips. Small enough to be concealed, heavy enough to reduce magnum recoil significantly, very durable.
  7. Charter Arms “Pug .357,” small frame, 5-shot, 2” barrel, black steel, fixed sights, a ported barrel, “full hand” grip to reduce recoil and increase accuracy. Quite inexpensive and very concealable.
  8. Taurus “Titanium,” 5-shot, adjustable sights (very rare on a snub-nose), 14 oz., “shrouded hammer” – the hammer is protected so as not to snag on clothing when withdrawn, 1.5” barrel, extremely concealable. Several other manufacturers make a “shrouded hammer” titanium DA/SA handgun.
  9. Smith & Wesson M&P 340, small frame, 5-shot, 1.7” barrel, 24/7 Tritium Night fixed sights, internal hammer (double action only), will not hammer-snag when withdrawing from clothing, laser grips, recoil cushion on rear of grips. Extremely concealable … arguably the most concealable .357 revolver on the global market at this time.
    Sidebar: S&W also now makes a .357 340-PD, also M&P (to military and police specifications), with an exposed hammer in Scandium that has a weight of 10.8 oz.


Semi-automatics vs revolvers: Lots of ammo' in the semi-auto, even the little G27 (#5) has 10 rounds. It always shoots on single action (2-7 pound trigger pull), it can be reloaded very quickly with another magazine. But it can jam and one must understand how to quickly rectify that situation and it has a lot of moving parts and is more labor/time intensive to maintain than a revolver. The Glock .40 cal. handguns, compared below in their five different sizes below, are used in the class. Glocks, for their simplicity (the average semi-auto' has 71 parts, a Glock has 28) and no on/off safety to complicate things -- the safety is deactivated automatically as the trigger is pulled. Forty caliber for the happy medium in defensive stopping power. Some 91% of all federal, state, and municipal law enforcement officers are issued weapons in .40 caliber, many of them Glocks -- for good reason. The Glocks in this class have a mixture of notched/target sights and 3-dot tactical night sights, you will shoot both.

  1. Model 24, compensated "long slide," with a 6.1" barrel, 4.5 pound competition trigger, extended magazine release, and a magazine that holds 15 rounds.
  2. Model 35, compensated slide, 5.3" barrel, 4.5 pound competition trigger, extended magazine release and a magazine that holds 15 rounds.
  3. Model 22, Called a "Standard" Glock because it is the issue handgun for so many organizations. A magazine that holds 15 rounds, 'has a 4.5"" barrel and a 5.5 pound standard trigger.
  4. Model 23 "Compact." Small enough to be used as a concealed-carry weapon. Standard 5.5 pound trigger, 4" barrel, 13 round magazine. Often carried by plain clothes officers.
  5. Model 27 "Sub Compact." Standard 5.5 pound trigger, 3.5" barrel, 9 round magazine. 'Can be concealed quite easily, often a "backup" weapon for law enforcement officers who are carrying the Model 22 as their primary weapon.
< back >