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I was lucky enough to get quality training early in life. When I was 17, I took defensive handgun courses with Chuck Taylor and Mas Ayoob. In addition to making me a vastly better shooter, this training influenced my gun choices.

My first carry gun was a Colt Commander .45 in a Leather Arsenal IWB holster. Mas told me to carry two spare magazines, so I dutifully did so. I lived in the Northeast at the time, so I also had a J-frame .38 that I'd throw in an overcoat pocket in the cold winter months. I shot the Commander in IDPA-type competitions, and so I stayed very familiar with it. These two guns were my mainstays until I moved to Arizona.

A couple of years ago, I started shooting Glocks. I took some training with a Glock 19, but wasn't terribly fond of it. But the Glocks had gotten their hooks into me! They were lightweight, virtually rustproof, totally reliable, low maintenance, easy to shoot well, and inexpensive. I ended up buying a Glock 26 from a coworker, and it is now my main carry gun. I also bought a 17 for more general shooting, and I took the 17 to Front Sight in Nevada for additional training. Both wear Crimson Trace Lasergrips and tritium sights. Naturally, I use Galco holsters exclusively, mostly preferring the Royal Guard IWB.

I carry the 26 probably 95% of the time. (My wife stole the 17 from me and it typically rides in her holster handbag, replacing her previously favored CZ75B!) With a Pearce grip extender, the 26 works great as an IWB or belt gun. If I replace the mag with one with a flat baseplate, it becomes a pocket gun in my cargo shorts. When I go to bed, I replace the mag with the full-sized 17 rounder that I carry as a spare and put it in my night table. Great versatility!

I also have a couple of Kel-Tec pistols, a P32 and recently-acquired P3AT. I use the P32 when I am dressed lightly (exercise clothing or swim trucks) or when wearing a suit. I will replace the P32 with the P3AT once I have shot the .380 enough to be satisfied with its reliability. I use a Galco Pocket Protector holster for this gun.

So, after half a lifetime, the Commander has been pretty well retired to the gun safe. I sold the J-frame. Now I am always armed with a "plastic fantastic" of some type!

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