What is Your Everyday Carry (EDC) Gun, and Why?

I'll start by saying, I don't actually care what gun you carry. I have no vested interest in Glock, SIG Sauer or Smith and Wesson selling more guns. The point of this post is to get new and existing concealed carriers to think of why they carry the gun they carry, and in doing so find out if it truly is the best gun for them to carry.

So the question is, which gun you carry, and more importantly, why?

It's the First Handgun I Carried, and It Works for Me —

Many people carry the gun they do because it's the gun they first bought and ‘it works for them‘. For most of us, the knowledge we have of the attributes of different gun makes and models grows as we study more about concealed carry and self defense. So, as our understanding increases, we should assess our handgun choice considering new information.

You may have started out with a small double-action-only Ruger LCP, but after understanding a bit more about different pistol action types, you may desire the benefit of a single-action semi auto handgun.

Advances in Engineering —

Another reason to reassess why we carry the gun we carry is because of advances in engineering. It was in 2018 that SIG Sauer upended the entire concealed carry handgun market with the P365. SIG got 10,12 or 15+1, 9mm rounds in the same sized gun as the 8+1 Smith and Wesson Shield, or 6+1 Glock 43.

If you wanted 10+ 9mm rounds in a smallish handgun back then, you had an option like the Glock 26. But the Glock 26 was much heavier, thicker and not as shoot able as the P365. In the few years since the P365 debuted, other manufacturers have engineered fantastic options that balance size, capacity and performance that just weren't options before.

P365 9mm Main Image With 12-round Magazine

Not that carrying a Glock 26 is a bad thing, but if you're still carrying one only because it's the smallest 9mm with a 10+ capacity, you're missing out on many options.

Aftermarket Gear Options —

Similar to advances in handgun engineering, companies are constantly designing products to help make carrying a gun safer or help in performance. An example of this could be something as simple as holster selection. Many times, the first holster anyone owns is a generic universal one. Once they train more, they realize the holster is not ideal as far as performance or safety. But if the gun you carry isn't popular, you're likely not going to have a wide range of holsters to choose from.

Another example is something that the industry is currently going through, and that is the use of pistol optics. Optics on handguns isn't new, but putting one on your defensive pistol has only really become popular within the last 6 years or so. And it's only the last couple years companies started producing most all their handguns ready to accept an optic. The problem is, if you want to add a pistol optic to your handgun and it didn't come from the factory ready to go, you must send your slide in for milling. If this describes your situation, this is a perfect time to reassess what you want out of your everyday carry gun, because it might make sense to sell your current gun and just purchase a new gun that is ready for an optic.

p365 shield rmrsc

Assessing Reliability —

Many people use the popular, modern, self defense handgun models from companies such as Glock, SIG Sauer, Smith and Wesson, and Walther, and there is a lot of data out there on general reliability for these models. Every company can produce a lemon, but if you've experienced some reliability issues with increased training, you need to consider fixing it, or ditching it for something else. Here is a post on what we recommend when assessing the reliability of an everyday carry handgun.

Finally —

I'll end the post with my personal story of the first gun I carried concealed and why. The first gun I carried concealed was a .40 Glock 27, that I carried off duty. Our department issued me a Glock .40 Glock 22 for duty and I thought it would be a great idea to carry the same caliber off duty. My wife purchased it for me when I graduated from the Police Academy, so it also had nostalgic value. Even after the department switch from .40 Glock 22s to 9mm Glock 17s, I stuck with the trusty G27.

My reasoning was that I shot it well, but looking back, the real reason probably had less to do with how I shot it and more with my attachment to the gun my wife purchased for me. That, and we have a tendency to stick with what we've always done because, in our minds, changing can feel like we made a mistake at first.

I saw the benefits of carrying something like a Glock 19, but I figured I couldn't comfortably carry or conceal ‘such a big gun'. These justifications kept me tethered to a Glock 27, when in much better options existed. Could I shoot the G27 well, sure. Did it ‘work for me?” of course.

But it wasn't until I set everything aside and really assessed why I carried what I did, I realized better options existed. It took some time to change holsters and such, but switching made my everyday carry experience better in the long run. I wish I would have realized that much sooner in my concealed carry journey.

So, what gun do you carry, and why do you choose that gun?

About Matthew Maruster

I follow my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who is the eternal co-equal Son of God. I currently live in Columbus, Ohio with my wife and daughter. I served in the Marine Corps Infantry. I was a Staff Sergeant and served as a Platoon Sergeant during combat in Iraq. After I was a police officer at a municipal agency in San Diego County. I have a Bachelors's Degree in Criminal Justice from National University. MJ Maruster Defense.


  1. hiccupp on October 7, 2022 at 4:54 pm

    My edc is a Ruger security 9 full-size, I like the way it feels in my hand and it’s not to big or bulky to holster. It’s a firearm that’s never let me down.

  2. Darkwing on October 8, 2022 at 8:23 am

    Ruger GP 100, 357, has punch, stopping power and less likely to jam

    • Clark Kent on October 19, 2022 at 12:47 pm

      But when it does jam (and it will eventually) you are in a world of hurt in a shootout.

  3. jays133 on October 8, 2022 at 7:57 pm

    My EDC/Off Duty is a Glock 43 with a spare magazine. It is small, light weight and very concealable, so I wear it all the time no mater the occasion or how I’m dressed.

    • Andy R. on October 12, 2022 at 5:58 pm

      Glock 43 is my EDC.
      At 5′ 8″ / 165 lbs. it conceals nicely with minimal printing. I also carry a Canik TP9 Elite SC occasionally. Both are as solid and reliable as a tank.

  4. peejay820 on October 9, 2022 at 6:29 am

    I went with the Glock 43X w/ a spare mag. It feels great in my hand and I love the 10 rnd capacity in a subcompact pistol.

    • T.C. on May 31, 2023 at 11:41 pm

      I carry that with the Shield arms 15 round mags, I am a 16 in gun with two 15 round mags. I just pray 46 will be enough! I see promag just modified a 15 round mag for the Glock 43X/48

  5. Jeremy Happold on October 10, 2022 at 12:14 am

    I keep going back to the Sig classic line. Started out with a P220 about 13 years ago…somewhere along the way I switched to a G23 and hated it. Switched back to Sig but a P226 Legion that I carry 90% of the time now. Other times I carry the P365 but I really like the full size gun better. Maybe I’m weird that way…🤷🏻‍♂️.

  6. Brian on October 10, 2022 at 4:21 pm

    Kimber UC II

  7. Mark Andrew Edwards on October 11, 2022 at 9:11 am

    Primary carry varies a bit, depending on what gun I’m testing or trying to gain proficiency with. Currently I carry a PSA Dagger but it could also be a CZ P07 or a G21, depending on which pants I grab.

    • Kary Russ Poole on October 10, 2023 at 1:52 pm

      Amen Brother on the CZ!

  8. Tom on October 11, 2022 at 9:15 am

    I switched about a year ago from a Springfield EMP4 to a Sig P365X with a RomeoZero red dot. Slightly more capacity, lower weight, and a red dot. I still feel slightly disloyal to the 1911 family that I carried and used for decades.

  9. Jared on October 12, 2022 at 2:32 pm

    I carry a Glock 29. I chose it for a few reasons. No other sub compact is as flexible. It’s 10+1 with 15 round magazines readily available. It can handle anything from 2 legged predators to putting meat in the freezer or putting down big North American 5 legged predators. The low bore axis and wide grip make it fun to shoot and I can shoot it well a mid 3 second Bill Drill running full power loads is acceptable for a defensive pistol.

    • AL on October 15, 2022 at 8:59 pm

      I’m in Philadelphia Pennsylvania

      I carry 2 Glock (gen 3) 17 9mm with Speergolddot 124+p as my primary carry ammo and target ammo. The 2 glock 17s are my home defense guns to. I carry for pocket carry kelp-tec p32 .32acp i carry 22 spare mags that hold 17 rounds in big cargo pockets i use DeSantis inside the waste band holster I.W.B called the “insider”

  10. Rohn on October 12, 2022 at 3:26 pm

    I switched about 3 years ago from a Springfield to a Sig P365 and love it.

  11. Darcy S on October 12, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    I carry a Taurus G3c which has been converted to a G3 XL (4″ Barrel & slide) with a Red Dot optic. It provides me with a natural point of aim with a grip that fits well in my hand.

    • Chris on October 18, 2022 at 5:30 am

      I just did the exact same thing. Prior to this I had a CCO 1911 custom built. I have a shoulder holster for it but the heft (all steel) and caliber / capacity (chambered in .40/10mm) led me to pick up the 9mm Taurus for IWB. Both are compact grip guns now with longer slides and have the external safeties in common so have a similar manual of arms. I’m considering converting the striker-fired gun to SAO as well so they can both be carried cocked and locked.

  12. Spencer Castro on October 12, 2022 at 6:21 pm

    P365 with Wilson combat grip module and flat trigger

  13. Rob on October 12, 2022 at 6:23 pm

    Let me start by saying I am a Glock “fan-boy”. Why? They just work! Also, they are easy to maintain. My first Glock was a G21 gen 3. I decided to down size to a G30. Carried it concealed for a couple of years. Talking with some friends and they talked me into another downsize. So, I went to a G36. All in .45 A.C.P. I am old school and believe in big bullets make big holes. Then I decided to go back to the G30. I didn’t feel comfortable with 6+1 rounds. At least with the thirty I have 10+1. I live in the democrat controlled anti gun state of California. So I am only allowed to have 10 round magazines. So i believe eleven big holes (.45) is better than eleven smaller holes (9mm). I know all the stats seem to prove caliber really doesn’t matter as much as shot placement does. I can shoot fist sized groups with either hand, supported and non-supported at 7 and 10 yards. The longest shot line in my house is 31 feet. By the way, I am 82 years old and practice conflict avoidance as much as I can.

    • Grover on October 12, 2022 at 8:09 pm

      I like to put the G36 upper on the G30 lower. 10 rounds in the mag with the thin upper makes a great combination.

    • Mike Renner on October 13, 2022 at 6:24 am

      I’m with you, Rob. Bigger holes ARE better! As for me, I carry a pistol in .45 ACP, whether it be a G-21, a 1911 Officer’s Model, or my little EDC Shield (with a sub compact 9 mm for backup!). Everything loaded with +P ammo, I might add. (Love the 1911s, ever since the Service put one on my hip back in ’64!).

  14. Dave R on October 12, 2022 at 8:00 pm

    I carry a Springfield Hellcat when I work my Safety team duties at my church – it conceals well and doesn’t upset folks.
    My regular EDC is a CZ 10C or a Walter PDP. They both conceal well and my preferred carry.

  15. James Ray on October 12, 2022 at 8:05 pm

    I carry a Taurus G2C. I can grip it well, shoot it well for a compact, and conceal it well. It holds 12+1 of 9mm Federal HST, 147 gr. No mods, I like it just the way I bought it.

  16. areweunited on October 12, 2022 at 9:28 pm

    I edc a gen4 g19 w/ a tlr1-hl. Sidecar style holster, specifically a T-Rex Arms sidecar. It’s my go to every day and has been for years. I tried a S&W M&P 9c for a few months and thought I’d get used to the smaller size but realized that I could just as easily carry a bigger frame firearm with more ammunition in the same footprint. 6 years and counting with a 19 and I don’t see it changing soon.

  17. paulmelton2014 on October 13, 2022 at 5:33 am

    When I go into my small town, I carry the S&W MP Shield 9. When I go elsewhere or to Memphis area, it is the Glock 19X with a spare mag.

  18. jays133 on October 13, 2022 at 7:13 am

    Reading the above comments, I find it interesting how many people have said they carry different make and model pistols. As an firearms instructor for my agency, I always advise my shooters that their off duty carry should be of the same manual of arms as their duty weapon. The reason for this is that under high stress situations your fine motor skills diminish and your brain will fall back to whatever you have trained with the most. With that said if a shooter is switching their EDC weapons, and each may operate slightly different from each other, they are putting themselves at a disadvantage if there were a need to draw and use their firearm. Just an observation.

    • paulmelton2014 on October 14, 2022 at 2:08 am

      It is easy to train with two pistols. Most LEO’s carry a backup pistol, which would make that the same situation. If you train with more than one, you become proficient with them. Just another observation, but I do understand your point, and it is valid if you don’t regularly train with all you carry.

      • Jack Zellet on October 13, 2023 at 6:25 am

        S&W performance center four inch Shield in 45 ACP. Best shooter I ever had.

  19. Mike Fed on October 13, 2022 at 8:57 am

    I carry a Glock 43x 95% of the time. I’m 6’2″ , 270 lbs. It fits my hand well. Most of the other compacts feel to small. I like the 10+1 and always carry a spare mag. It’s easy for me to conceal and fairly comfortable. I occasionally will carry my Glock 17 in a shoulder holster if I’m wearing a coat.

    Like Jay133 said….I agree with carrying what you’re trained with. I carry the 43X all the time and I train with it every time I shoot. I would rather be really good with one gun instead of ok with 4 or 5 different guns.

  20. TL on October 13, 2022 at 9:02 am

    Interesting that the article gave the G26 some flack and Walther some love as a popular company. Those are the two I bounce back and forth between. The G26 was my first, so there is some sentimental value. It also allows added safety with the SCD and is even lighter weight with the 22LR conversion. But when I choose performance over comfort, the PDP is nice. The P365 (esp in 380) and Shield Plus look attractive and worth trying out, though might be harder to control since smaller. Would also be interesting to try out a DA/SA like CZ P07 or PX4.

  21. Sea Guy 48 on October 13, 2022 at 3:17 pm

    I like a Ruger SR9c with 10 rounds +1 and a spare 18 round mag for 29 rounds available. I, unlike some like the manual safety which I may or may not choose to engage as the situation commands. Plenty of internal safeties. I also like the Ruger (or other) ARX 65 grain 9mm poly ammo. I like a formed pancake OWB holster that doesn’t ride so high on the belt. I can slide it from the 3 o’clock while seated to the 1 o’clock when standing. In cold weather I’ll exchange the 10 round mag for an 18 round with second 18 round mag for 36 +1.

  22. Makarovii on October 14, 2022 at 10:38 am

    Today I have my G19.5 on, first time since a recent surgery, my G48 was my EDC following my surgery.

  23. jays133 on October 14, 2022 at 8:28 pm

    PaulMelton2014, I must respectfully disagree. I have been in Law Enforcement for 32 years and and a Firearms Instructor for my agency the last 7 years and even if you train with both weapons platforms extensively, when in stressful situations, you will revert to one of the habituated muscle memories, which could cost you valuable seconds in a life or death encounter. I see this regularly with LEO shooters who come to qualify and cary different weapons platforms, for example a SIG P239 Off Duty and a Glock 19 Duty weapon. This is what we call a training scar. To avoid having to think and just be able to act, when the rubber hits the road, we train and train repeatedly so that our actions become almost automatic and as close to instinctual as we can produce. By training on two you are doing yourself a disservice. Your time training on separate manual of arms could be spent much much better with less negative results.

  24. Joseph Gregory on October 16, 2022 at 12:44 am

    Very recently gotten into concealed carry, to the point I’m currently carrying under constitutional in KS. I don’t have my CC Permit yet.

    I was carrying a Bersa Thunder .380 that I was borrowing from my mom until I could get mine. I spoke to several coworkers who are LEO who most suggested a PSA Dagger, but ended up going with a Taurus G2C 9mm 12+1. Reasoning: the slide is black/grey zebra stripe. My beautiful wife has a genetic condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. The awareness ribbon for that condition is zebra stripe. She is a big reason I am carrying. Not only for my protection, but for hers as well, and our three boys. My knowledge is increasing and I’m sure in a few years, I will likely be looking for a more advanced firearm, but for now, I made the emotional purchase. I’ve only had it for maybe two months, but I actually like the way it feels in my hand.

    • Clark Kent on October 19, 2022 at 12:50 pm

      Save your Bersa and Taurus firearms for range practice. They should not be used for self defense purposes. Kind of like relying on a seat belt made out of cardboard.

      • Chris on October 21, 2022 at 10:59 am

        Wrong. A cheap gun can kill you deader than a hammer. Anything you plan to carry should be ironed out at the range. Its how I discovered my Glock failure. Cardboard seatbelt? ——–.

  25. USPSA/IDPA/GSSF Competitor on October 27, 2022 at 6:26 am

    G19Gen4 with Sticky holster, Storm Lake barrel, Trijicon tritium sights, a spare magazine, and all loaded with Hornady Critical Duty. G19 previous gen was my first pistol. Began carrying my new Gen4, tried a P365 but went back to my G19 since overall size was minimally different and it had a higher capacity (25 v 31). My coat pocket pistol is the LCR .38 Special since it is less likely to jam if shooting from the pocket.

  26. Denys on November 2, 2022 at 2:17 pm

    I carry a Ruger Max 9 + extra mag. Appendix position. Comfortable

  27. richard on November 14, 2022 at 6:26 am

    My EDC since the 70’s is a S&W 49. Extra speed load always. Carry the backup in my car, S&W 4586 with extra mags.

  28. Bugs on November 16, 2022 at 4:46 pm

    I carry a Kahr CM9 with a +1 base plate for 8 rds. in the gun with another 8 on the belt; the Kahr offers me the most flexibility for comfortable/accessible concealment, from pocket carry in the summer to a semi chest rig for colder months. I get about 100 + rounds a month in IDPA matches so I’m confident with smaller capacity.

  29. Tyvon on December 19, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    My EDC is a Ruger SR-45. I carried in the military a .45, I’m comfortable with a .45. I appreciate the power, and know of it’s usage. It offers flexibility and familiarity.

  30. Chris h on October 20, 2023 at 3:56 am

    Had carried a shield 9mm then a hellcat but i got too fat for iwb so went to pcoket carry with a lcp max but 380 though lethal is a bit weak for punching through heavy clothes or even a car door. So to have the same discreet pocket carry i enjoyed i picked up a diamondback db9 gen 4. Its brutal to shoot at the range, but in self defense you ant gonna pop it more that 7 times. 7 rounds of 9mm in a lcp.sized package. Plus if you ever have to use it the cops arent going to confiscate a 600 dollar gun.

  31. Gianni D'Angelo on February 7, 2024 at 9:57 am

    I have a concealed carry license in the State of New York. I know, difficult to get. However, I am grateful for the right, and yes, also the privilege, My every day carry guns are the Mossberg Mc1sc, and the Glock 43. The Mossberg is built like their shotguns, extremel tough! Easy to shoot, and 100 percent reliable. Ive put over 1500 rounds down range with this tiny beast. With all kinds of ammo, it eats everything, flawlessly! Very small, 19 ounces, very comfotable to carry, a next to zero print. Highly recommended! The second pistol in my rotation is the Glock 43, in FDE. It’s a looker, and a shooter. Obvious Glock performance, and reputation. Identical specifactions as the Mc1, which makes it just as concealable. Slight issue with tight magazine springs, but easliy resolved after break in period. 500 rounds down range with no issues. Glock has always made an excellent handgun, and there’s no exception here. Also highly recommended These two sub compact 9 MMs are in my opinion, spectacular carry pieces!

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