Monday, June 20, 2022

My very first "carry gun"

When I was in my late 20s, my boss at my new job strongly recommended I get a gun and carry it at work. Who knew pet stores were so dangerous?

Well, it wasn't the pet store in particular, it was the strip mall the store was in. Businesses around us (especially the Subway sandwich place* two spots down) kept getting robbed at gunpoint. 

Plus, we often had to take the trash to the dumpster out back. In winter, the one light over the dumpster wasn't terribly effective after dark, leaving lots of deep shadows. We rarely went out alone, but even with two people, it's better to have two armed people than two unarmed people. Right?

I had wanted a carry gun for years, so I didn't need a lot of encouragement.  My co-workers were happy to show me what they carried, and the pros and cons (as they saw them) of their own choices.

My favorite gun store only sold black powder guns, so I went to my second favorite gun store to get a carry gun. I knew nothing about such guns, but I told the guy my situation and he directed me to a used gun that wasn't terribly expensive and was simple enough for a beginner.

It was a Charter Arms Undercover, .38 special. Five-shot revolver with a two-inch barrel, manufactured in the mid-'70s.

I loved the gun immediately. I still do. He steered me right.

I could shoot the Undercover well, and the short barrel didn't seem to hurt the accuracy at all-- which surprised me since I'd heard so many people say it would. Maybe the aim was just that instinctive for me. The only drawback was that the grip was really small, and the kick was substantial. And the one time I forgot to put in my earplugs before I shot was painful enough that I didn't forget again. 

During a period of "great personal upheaval", the Undercover and I parted ways. I also soon began wanting more power and/or more capacity, so my path led away from the 5-shot revolver realm. Rarely have I been as satisfied with any other gun, though. In fact, I was distinctly dissatisfied with all of them for a variety of reasons, particularly the discomfort of carrying them, compared to the 2" barrel Undercover. At least until I bought the Sig P365 a couple of years ago (which I also love).

Recently I was reunited with the Undercover. I had nearly forgotten how much I liked it. I would probably never use it as my primary carry gun now, but I have been reacquainting myself with this old friend and am still impressed with it. No knock against my mid-1950s S&W Airweight Chief's Special .38 special, but I still think the Charter Arms Undercover is a better gun. I definitely like it better.

That's just my 2 cents (which, adjusted for Bidenflation, is basically worthless).

*Coincidentally, the only armed robbery we had in the next town I lived in (while I lived there) was also the local Subway, directly across the street from the pet store I worked in at that time. What makes Subway so vulnerable or attractive to aggressive losers?


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