Now that I have your attention, let me explain ‘why’ it doesn’t matter.
Meme credit: Fromtheguncounter.
The choice of any given gun without context and then criticizing another’s choice without context is poor form. Someone saying you should be running a full size P320 with a dot and a X300U and two spare magazines on or you’re just [stupid, unprepared, don’t know _______] or some other variant of ‘my rig is superior to your rig’ is discounting one of the most crucial aspects of picking one…
Your day to day lifestyle.
Your carry needs to integrate conveniently enough into your day-to-day that it becomes an easy habit. For some of us our lives are permissive enough that any choice would work. I can carry that P320 with light and optic, I have. It isn’t an overly difficult thing to do comfortably.
But these days you’ll catch me schlepping a P365 with the longer 12 round grip module and the stock night sights and maybe a spare mag… maybe.
What changed from P320X300U507CX2 to P365?
I tried the P365 and it was comfy. Simple as that.
In all reality the P320 wasn’t ever strongly in the EDC rotation. My P229 was, and that isn’t wearing a dot or light either. It was simply the comfiest handgun I owned that I shot well. My day-to-day is largely 9-to-5 in a casual office environment dealing with business clients via electronic means and sitting next to a giant hosting farm of servers. Our door is RFID access locked. My most common interactions are with USPS, UPS, and FedEx.
The long, short, and anywhere in between of it is that there is no pressing need for me to upgun to something where a light and dot if I don’t want to. I can, I have, and I maintain the ability to do so is a very smart idea, but it isn’t my daily option.
Some of the best shooters I know who run some of the best guns and can make them work like a well oiled machine carry a j-frame. That is it. A pocket light, some medical stuff, their wallet, and a small comfortable pistol of some form.
Rule 1. Carry a gun.
Key emphasis on a.
This only has two caveats, or addendums is perhaps the term. It is a gun that you can run and a gun that does run. If it is reliable and you are reliable with it, good. Primary requirement met. This is far and away the single most important item in carrying. Just like driving, can you drive that vehicle and does the vehicle drive?
Every additional consideration is a balance in additional capabilities vs additional inconvenience as you are adding size, weight, holster restrictions, ancillaries, and so forth to the equation.
Going from my P229, a 15 shot 9mm, to a P365, a 12 shot 9mm, didn’t drastically change what I can do with my carry gun. The carry gun is there to get me out of the sudden close contact fight and the-hell-outta-dodge. If I foresee a situation where I believe I need a larger pistol with more capabilities, I will bring that gun. If I run into a situation where that setup up would have been useful and I don’t have it? Well, tough tamales for me then.
The short short short version is that I am not regularly in areas where a larger handgun with more capacity or a light would benefit my expected out comes. Especially since I carry an administrative pocket light if I am in a situation requiring additional illumination for PID on a threat. Is that ‘ideal’? No, it takes away one hand on the gun but the realistic odds of me being in a illumination situation where I am so unsure of PID that I need to bring in the pocket light to the gun and not the gun to the light are slim.
Meaning, I am much more likely to be using the light and need to draw the gun, something I practice, than need the gun and suddenly need the light for PID on a threat I already felt the necessity of drawing my gun against.
So what I am saying is…
What I am saying is if you are carrying a gun with a light (or spare mag or other value add ancillaires), good. You aren’t wrong to do so. But if you do not carry those and someone is seriously giving you the ‘you’ll be killed in the streets!‘ treatment, one of you is delusional… and it isn’t you.
Without additional environmental context, like you working at night, you often are out in the dark after hours, or your commute happens in the dark, it makes no significant difference to your outcomes if you have a light or not on your weapon. Especially not compared to your ability to draw and effectively get on target, deliver shots, address injuries, and continue working to solve your problem. Your Streamlight or Surefire was not make or break if you were significantly impaired in any of the former situations.
Priorities of focus.
- Run an effective gun, meaning you and the gun
- Consider ancillaries in the capacity they will influence your probability of a positive outcome.
So go with what you will reliably bring with you all the time that you can.