Behind the Scenes

How I Review Carry Guns

Easily one of the top five questions ...

… I get asked as an online editor for FMG Publications is something along the lines of, “So, what are you carrying today?” The assumption of the person asking: I’m carrying a concealed handgun (or so I also surmise from the way they are checking me out, head to toe, looking for some telltale sign). The thing is, their assumption is accurate; I usually carry everywhere I go. And to be frank, in my work as an online editor, I’ve reviewed carry guns by carrying them in just about every place on my person where there’s a proper holstering system available.

The person asking me the question usually is a trusted friend; someone who understands the whole gun thing or who at least is genuinely interested in learning more. Otherwise I never tell anyone about it. After all, concealed carry means not only physically concealed but also verbally concealed. So I’ll answer this trusted friend accordingly: a Glock, a 1911, a CZ, or whatever make/model it is. I’ll also reveal the holster I’m using: Crossbreed, Blade-Tech, or Galco, and so on.

Then, I usually get a follow-up question like this: “So, how long do you carry a gun before you know enough about it to write a review?” It’s a good question and I have a few criteria by which I operate:

First, I won’t carry a gun I haven’t test fired. So the first order of business is to get to a range and make sure the thing works, hits where I aim, cycles reliably, etc. Also, I fire it using the actual ammunition I’ll carry in it. 

Second, I won’t carry a gun unless I have a properly fitting holster for it. Although you might be able to make it work with gun/holster sizes that are “close enough,” I insist on an exact fit.

Nothing surprising yet.

Third, I won’t write a review of a carry gun until I’ve fired it and carried it virtually every day for at least two months in the same holster. This allows what I consider to be a reasonable amount of time to get used to the gun on my hip (or elsewhere on my person), how it draws, and so on. It allows, if applicable, for any holster or gun belt break-in to occur.

These guidelines and others help me provide you with some real-world insights on the nuances of carrying this or that gun in this or that holster. There’s more to carry reviews, of course, but hopefully this look behind the scenes provides an interesting foundation for what goes into the gun reviews you read here.