• Gabby and Kris Garren

From Single Army Man to Having a Wife New to Firearms

Beginning: Love of the 1911

Coming from a past Law Enforcement background along with being ex-military in the Military Police, one of the key components of my firearm selection comes down to mission. What is the problem that I am trying to solve? From there I extrapolate my selection based on numerous arcane criteria to solve said problem or problems with a particular weapon choice. Now having said that, I am a bit old school in the sense that I find no firearm as sexy as a really nice custom 1911. Old slab sides was my companion for many a year in the Army, occasionally opting for my Beretta 92SF or a Browning High Power once I was out. When my wife started to dip her toes into the waters of the gun culture 2.0 (Hat tip to Michael Bane) I found myself rethinking my selection and my personal mission parameters. Prior to her joining me on this journey, the responsibility of being the armed adult in the room always fell to me as she had no desire to carry. The one time I had her at the range with my .45, she shot it once, placed it back on the counter, and stated she would not be shooting that one again. So even though I found the recoil to be more of a push than a smack, her aversion to recoil made it simply too much gun for her at that particular time. Soon we were going through the selection process to find her “the perfect gun” . It goes without saying, none of the firearms I owned at the time fit the bill, too big, too much recoil, too heavy, just too …..you name it, there were reasons not to like it. So we went to the range and we rented a half dozen or so polymer and steel options from M&Ps to Glock’s, XDs, SIGs, etc. We took our time making sure she weighed all the options, making no decision too rashly. How did it fit in her hand? How was the point of aim? Which one was she more accurate with? Was the recoil tolerable or too much? Could she manipulate the controls easily? Was the gun too small or too large? How about that trigger? and slowly we made our way through all of the options on the table. Along the way we discovered a few things, she wanted to keep the controls as simple as possible so we moved away from the external safeties or de-cockers. She wanted a name brand so she could count on reliability. So we stayed with what I considered tier 1 vendors.  She didn’t want a caliber starting with a 4, so 9 millimeter it was or even a .380, but nothing smaller as she had done her research and she wanted it to still be effective.

Not Glock, Not Glock, Not Glock…..

All this time in my mind I was thinking not Glock, not Glock, not Glock as I had always thought them to be the least attractive of all the polymers. So in the end what did she select? Yep, Glock - Go figure. This was well before the G43 and G42’s came out so it was the G17, G19 or G26. She loved that gun and since that time she has pretty much purchased every 9mm and .380 option that Glock offers in order to cover all purposes from home defense to concealed carry, general range practice and competition shooting. Now you might recall I started out the article talking about my mission, my problem to solve, etc. So what does this journey my wife went through have to do with my mission and weapons selection? I came to the realization that it had everything to do with it. My mission was to protect my wife, my family, and myself. In order to do that, I needed to make my personal selections as flexible as possible to now include my wife and her capabilities or I would be limiting the possible success of my stated mission. John Moses Browning’s divinely inspired design no longer would do. What if, God forbid, something were to happen to me but my weapon was the only one available to provide the needed solution? Under pressure during a dynamic critical incident would she instinctively remember how to swipe off the safety to engage the bad guy? Not likely given her distaste for all handguns with a 4 or 5 in the caliber designation and her general practice with a firearm that does not utilize an external safety. So I was forced to rethink my strategy and my firearms selection.

New Beginning: Okay, A Glock…..

I know what you’re thinking, since I kept saying earlier “not Glock, not Glock, not Glock” what did I end up with? That’s right - A Glock. I still think it’s ugly but ugly like a hammer, ugly like a power drill, ugly like a screwdriver, utilitarian and solid as a rock. So now fast forward seven years from that day, and a few more Glock’s later, she carries a G43 most of the time. When we go to the range or to IDPA competitions  she takes a G34, or a G17 and her home defense/bedside choice is a G19. I carry a G26 or a G43X most of the time and occasionally a G19. My home defense/bedside gun is a G36 in .45cal because …well, I had to do something with that .45 ammo I had left over. So in closing the main point is to assess your overall mission and plan to make sure your solutions are in line with your missions intent. At this point my wife can handle any of my firearms starting with a G and ending in Lock, as well as, the ones she initially had an aversion to. So even if something happens to me, she can respond and still get home to our family at the end of the day. So by making a few changes in my overall mindset I have improved our survivability as a team 100% and that, my friends, is my mission.  

Written by: Jeff Garren

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