Most instructors I know have been asked what is the perfect gun? The answer to the question is like locating the fabled unicorn. I am not sure I have found the perfect gun for myself let alone know what would be someone elses perfect gun. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered before we can answer the larger question of what is the perfect gun.
How will this gun be used?
Will you use it for EDC? (every day carry) Concealed or open? An EDC pistol should be a firearm you shoot well and can carry somewhat comfortably. You may shoot a Desert Eagle in 50 AE well but at four and a half pounds will you want this gun on your body all day every day? I sure wouldn’t! If you plan on concealing the size of the firearm may be an issue. I can conceal carry a full sized 1911 and most people would never know I had a firearm on me. Do to the size and weight of the full sized 1911 I do not find it comfortable for all day carry. If you are a smaller guy or petite gal a full sized firearm may be hard to conceal.
Open carriers know that if you open carry a larger firearm may be more comfortable than trying to conceal the same firearm. Openly carrying one can be less concerned with it not printing or catching on clothing.
If the gun is used as a home defense gun do you choose a rifle such as an AR styled rifle? A shotgun perhaps? Maybe a pistol? All of these have advantages. An AR is maneuverable, accurate and has a higher capacity than the shotgun or pistol, unless the pistol is an AR pistol of course. A shot gun loaded with buck shot will have a negative effect on an intruder in your house. A pistol is easily carried room to room and can be effective as well. Also a consideration for lighting of some sort should be done.
How much ammo is enough?
I have never read an account of a gun fight where the survivors said “boy I wish I wasn’t carrying that extra ammo” but I have read accounts where the losers of the fight had no ammo left. I know people who carry 100 rounds on their person every day. Some carry less ammunition but carry a second firearm as a back up. I also know people who carry their firearm with only the ammo the gun will carry. If you aren’t comfortable with the 17 rounds in your Glock 17 by all means carry extra mag(s). Do you want to carry a firearm that has a double stacked magazine or do you have small hands and a single stack fits your hand better?
Polymer or Steel?
In the 80s a new styled firearm swept into the market, it wasn’t the first one but it was the first to become very popular. The Glock 17. Since the introduction of the Glock 17 it has become extremely popular with police and militaries around the world. Many Police Departments in the US carry Glock firearms. Before that time was the age of steel. Revolvers, 1911’s and other semi auto pistols. To this day many people like, carry and use the steel dinosaurs. Others consider the old guns as antiquated and not up to the standards of the new polymer firearms, which there are many. Now along with Glock, Smith and Wesson, Springfield, Ruger and others have well made reliable polymer guns.
So what do I carry? What is my “perfect gun”? My EDC is a Colt Defender in 9mm with an 8+1 capacity with an extra magazine or two. For me this gun has the desired combination of size, weight, shootabilty and accuracy that I desire. I can carry it in a IWB holster or OWB holster fairly comfortably. I am pretty accurate with it and for now trust it to protect me in the worst situations that I pray never happen. What is my perfect gun? I’ll let you know if I ever find it.