Saturday, November 21, 2009

Top Two CCW Picks:S&W M&P 340 & Glock 26

Pictured are the Smith & Wesson 340 M&P and the Glock 26 which are My top two concealed carry firearm choices currently available for the average Citizen.The M&P is a super light enclosed hammer Revolver weighing in at a mere 13.3oz unloaded & holds 5 rounds of .357 or .38 Special and will weigh in around one pound(16 ounces)loaded. The Glock 26 is chambered in 9mm & is a bit heavier at 19.75 ounces empty and 26.10 ounces loaded,but it holds 10 rounds which is twice the capacity of the 340.The G26 will also accept any of the higher capacity Glock magazines,so you could carry the 10 round mag in the gun with a 15,17 or even 33 round magazine for reloads or simply carry it with one of the higher round count magazines.
The advantages of the M&P 340 is that it is much easier to carry on a daily basis due to it's shape & lightweight.With it's fully enclosed hammer(Centennial frame)it provides a snag free draw & can even be fired from a coat pocket since there is no hammer spur to snag plus the DAO feature eliminates possible claims that you cocked it creating a "hair trigger" should you find yourself in court after using it in self-defense.In close quarter combat, a snub nose revolver is the most difficult handgun to disarm due to it giving the assailant very little to grab onto to wrest it from it's rightful owner.Most Civilian defense encounters take place at very close distances. Long range "shoot-outs" are extremely rare outside of Law Enforcement work & Military action.A revolver can't get knocked "out of battery" like a semi-auto can in a grappling situation & revolvers are not ammo sensitive and are usually utterly reliable.The M&P comes with a Scandium alloy frame and Stainless Steel Barrel & Cylinder.The Black finish is a ION Bond Black Diamond finish and it has XS Tritium night sights,which greatly improve the ability to get a sight picture compared to other short barreled revolvers.Overall length is 6.5 inches & barrel is 1.87 inches & trigger pull weight is roughly 10 pounds.
The Glock 26 gives you double the round count,which while statistics show that in most physical defensive encounters, most situations are resolved in 3's(3 seconds,3 feet,3 shots),but you never know, so it is comforting to have those extra rounds available.The Glock is also simply easier to shot & more accurate,but not as efficient in the super close quarter ranges of reality self-defense.The 3.46inch barrel will give better ballistic performance compared to the 1.87inch barrel of the 340 unless you are using .357 Magnum rounds in which they will outperform any 9mm in the Glock. Another advantage the semi-auto has is ease & speed of reloads when compared to the tediousness of loading a revolver(even with speed loaders & speed strips),but it's not likely you'll have to reload(remember,we are talking Civilian self-defense,not Military or Law Enforcement).
G26 trigger pull comes in at 5.5 lbs & is short relative to the S&W.I prefer a heavier trigger on a defense piece,so I retrofit all my defense Glocks with NY2 triggers to bring the trigger pull weight up to that of a DAO revolver.It won't help your target shooting,but is a good safety feature in a close quarter,adrenaline charged defense encounter.
So,both are great guns & either will serve you well for daily CCW.In warmer weather,the 340 is easier to conceal IMO and won't weigh down your cloths should you pocket carry.I personally feel the ultra light weight combined with a relatively heavy trigger pull of the 340 and similar Revolvers make for an extremely safe gun since the weight of the gun itself is not heavy enough to significantly act upon the trigger should the gun be jostled around(pocket or purse carry)or a mistake is made when reholstering etc. and something got accidentally caught in the trigger guard.There are Pros/Cons to both Revolvers & Semi-Auto's & the choice which one to choose is a personal decision based on your perceived needs/possible needs. I own both & choose according to my environment,weather/clothing & perceived threat level as well nature of possible encounters.