How to Choose Your Concealed-Carry Chambering

The caliber and handgun choices are many ... here's how to pick what's best for you and your lifestyle.

posted on October 12, 2022

Thanks to the recent Supreme Court Bruen decision, millions of Americans now have the chance to carry a concealed handgun for personal protection. If you're one of them, one of the first questions you're likely to ask yourself is what caliber—e.g., what size projectile—is best for concealed carry (CCW). There's a lot of debate on the subject, driven by the science of ballistics and personal experience, but the question of "which chambering should I choose" is actually secondary. The first question you should answer is which size and type of gun is best for your lifestyle. This is for two reasons: First, most defensive guns are available in several calibers; and second, that the gun you have on you is always better than the gun you left at home. 

So if the real question is "which gun should I choose," then the answers have to come from you. What type of activities do you engage in daily? Do you spend a lot of time driving? Exercising outdoors? Do you plan to carry on your body, or off your body in a purse or backpack? It's important to be realistic with yourself about how much gun you're going to be able to have on you consistently, and how well you can shoot it. Larger calibers offer better stopping power, but can be tough to shoot from a compact or subcompact gun. 

Becky Yackley is a competitive shooter, brand ambassador and mother with an on-the-go lifestyle, so she has a wealth of experience and expertise to draw from. In this video from Winchester Ammunition, she and friends Lakeisha Woodard and Ben Frank will walk you through the nuts and bolts of this decision. The trio will demonstrate how some size firearms work well for some types of carry, but are less than ideal for others ... and how that ought to inform your purchases and training. 


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