Concealed Carry & Home Defense

CCW Weekend: The $250 Taurus Or The $1,200 Sig?


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By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters

Here’s a good question to ponder: how much should you spend on a carry gun? Really, the answer is whatever you want to and/or whatever you can reasonably afford, but the idea is that perhaps there’s a dollar amount beyond which you shouldn’t spend on a carry gun.

Granted, some of us are poor. Some of us are cheapskates. Some of us have more money than Croesus and think “you know, I think I WILL get another Wilson Combat this quarter!” So there’s something of an economy of scale when it comes to what each person is willing to put in a concealed carry holster.

That said, the salient point is still if you should invest a bit more heavily in a carry gun or spend just enough to get a carry gun that works?

A good deal of why it’s a pertinent thing to ponder are practical considerations.

First of all, a CCW gun is actually going to take a certain amount of abuse. Holster wear is going to occur no matter what sort of holster you carry in, be it a custom leather holster, a hybrid holster or what have you.

Granted, some produce less holster wear than others.

Point being, the act of holstering and carrying a gun produces cosmetic wear. There’s also going to be the run of the mill wear and tear from shooting. Blued or parkerized finishes show signs of wear as more rounds are fired through the gun and so on; use of any item, even one as relatively simple and durable as a gun, is going to produce wear and tear.

So, if you buy a gun for wholly or even partially aesthetic reasons, the aesthetics are going to suffer somewhat.

Additionally, in regards to function, the truth is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a gun that’s reliable and accurate enough for use as a carry gun. Police departments everywhere carry plastic fantastics that cost less than $500 in-store even without the Blue Line discount.

There are bargain basement guns from a number of brands that are known to shoot as well as pistols costing double the sticker. There are also well-known lemons, some having higher price tags than they should.

So, it’s not necessarily the case that you have to spend a lot to get a carry gun you can bet your life on.

Additionally, and this is something not everyone thinks about, if you ever have to use your gun in self-defense…you might never get it back. Even if charges are never brought, or you are acquitted, your pistol may languish in evidence for years and if you even get it back it may be ruined.

If you blew $4,000 on a custom 1911 that’s going to hurt. If you spent $300 on an M&P Shield it’s not such a big deal.

Guns are tools, and while there is something to be said for buying quality tools, there’s also something to the idea of being able to easily replace one if necessary. (That and no 12mm socket will be easily found. Ever.) Some people argue that you shouldn’t become too attached to a carry gun, since you might lose it if you ever have to use it. Any guns with sentimental value should live in a safe, such people claim.

Then again, you should carry whatever you feel comfortable with and/or want to, but can also shoot well. If that’s a $1200 Sig, a $3500 Nighthawk Custom, a $500 Smith and Wesson or a $250 Taurus, then that’s what you should carry. However, if you’re looking to get a carry gun, how much you’re willing to lose along with the wear and tear – and also the fact that you don’t need to blow too much to get a dependable carry pistol – is arguably something you should bear in mind.

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Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit