Factors to Consider When Selecting a Everyday Carry Pistol


Selecting an everyday carry (EDC) pistol is a significant decision for responsible gun owners. The right choice ensures you have a reliable, effective means of self-defense that comfortably integrates into your daily life. Below are key factors to consider when choosing an EDC pistol, ranging from legal considerations to personal preferences and practicality.

Legal Considerations

Before you even begin looking at firearms, it’s crucial to understand the legal framework governing concealed carry in your jurisdiction. This includes:

  • Concealed Carry Laws: Research the specific laws in your state or country regarding concealed carry permits. Requirements can vary significantly, including background checks, training courses, and restrictions on where you can carry.
  • Firearm Restrictions: Some areas have restrictions on the types of firearms you can carry, including caliber sizes, magazine capacities, and specific models.

Size and Concealability

The primary purpose of an EDC pistol is to be carried concealed comfortably throughout your day. This makes the size of the firearm a critical factor:

  • Compactness: Smaller pistols are easier to conceal under clothing but may have smaller magazine capacities and be more challenging to grip and shoot accurately.
  • Weight: A lighter firearm is easier to carry for extended periods but may have more perceived recoil.


The caliber of your EDC pistol affects both its stopping power and its shootability:

  • Stopping Power: Larger calibers, such as .45 ACP or .40 S&W, are generally considered more effective in stopping threats but can be more challenging to control, especially for less experienced shooters.
  • Recoil and Control: Smaller calibers like 9mm are easier to shoot accurately and control, making them popular choices for EDC. They also allow for higher magazine capacities.


Your EDC pistol must be reliable, as it could be the difference between life and death in a self-defense situation:

  • Track Record: Research the reliability of different models and brands through reviews, forums, and from professionals. Some firearms, like the SIG SAUER 1911, are known for their durability and dependability under various conditions.
  • Maintenance: Consider how easy it is to maintain and clean the pistol. A firearm that’s easier to maintain will likely remain reliable longer.

Ergonomics and Fit

A pistol should feel like an extension of your hand; if it’s uncomfortable or awkward to hold, it’s probably not the right choice for you:

  • Grip: The pistol should fit comfortably in your hand, allowing for a firm, secure grip without any uncomfortable pressure points.
  • Controls: Ensure you can easily reach and operate the firearm’s controls (e.g., safety, magazine release, slide stop) without having to shift your grip.


Magazine capacity might influence your decision, especially if you’re concerned about multiple threats:

  • Higher Capacity: Pistols with double-stack magazines offer more rounds but are bulkier and harder to conceal.
  • Lower Capacity: Single-stack magazines provide fewer rounds but make for a slimmer, more concealable firearm.

Sights and Accessories

Consider the type of sights on the pistol and the availability of accessories:

  • Sights: Look for clear, easy-to-use sights. Night sights can be a valuable addition for low-light conditions.
  • Accessories: Check the availability of holsters, additional magazines, and customization options like grips or trigger upgrades to enhance performance and comfort.

Training and Familiarity

Your ability to effectively use your EDC pistol is as important as the firearm itself:

  • Practice: Regular practice is essential. Choose a pistol that you will enjoy shooting and can afford to practice with frequently.
  • Training: Consider taking defensive shooting courses with your EDC pistol to become proficient in its use under stress.


Finally, consider the cost of the pistol and the ammunition it fires:

  • Initial Investment: EDC pistols can range from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars. Determine your budget and consider the best option within that range.
  • Ammunition: The cost of ammunition for practice and defense should also be considered. Some calibers are more expensive than others, which could affect your ability to practice regularly.


Choosing an EDC pistol is a personal decision that should be made based on thorough research and consideration of your specific needs and circumstances. It’s not just about selecting a firearm; it’s about choosing a tool that you are comfortable and proficient with, that meets your self-defense needs, and that you can carry legally and responsibly every day. Remember, the best EDC pistol is the one that you will carry consistently, can handle effectively, and meets the legal requirements of your area. Regular training and familiarization with your chosen firearm are just as important as the firearm itself to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.

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