I’m looking at the latest hot new carry gun, and it is so different from the past I have to wonder: Is science fiction finally here? We were promised flying cars, and instead we got social media. Hmm, now that I think about it, they didn’t promise us anything about everyday carry. We just did it.
What they didn’t predict was something like the SIG Sauer 365 I’m looking at—with an RMSc red-dot optic on it.
Sure, we had compact pistols back then, but they didn’t hold this much ammo. For something this small, you had the choice of a five-shot snubbie or a six-shot 9 mm. Or a double-stack mag, 10-shot 9 mm with the proportions of a brick. No thanks on that one. Today, the Sig 365 and others like it hold 10 rounds in a package that is smaller, sleeker and more ergonomic than ever.
We were told that the .45 was twice the cartridge of a 9 mm. Well, with hardball, maybe. With modern hollow points, the 9 mm closes that gap. It isn’t the same as the .45, but it is closer than in the past. Closer by a useful amount. As a result, the 10-shot magazine (with 10 more right away, or even larger-capacity magazines) holds a more than useful supply of emergency-solving items.
When red-dot optics first appeared, they were large, heavy, fragile, expensive, fragile, ate batteries like breath mints, and oh, did I mention expensive? Despite all that, we competition shooters had to have them because they won matches. Once they were refined enough to not quit, you had to have a red-dot on your pistol if you expected to win. The heavy part is perhaps a bit of a slam. It wasn’t the weight of the optic that was the burden, it was the mount. Red dots had to be locked into mounts that bolted to the frame, not the slide. Now they are light enough—and durable enough—that they can be mounted directly onto the slide.
We all carry now. Back in the bad old days, the number of people who could qualify for a concealed pistol license (CPL) was vanishingly small. I worked in gun shops in and around a very large and dangerous city. And I had to make my case every time my CPL was up for renewal. Not just to keep it a general (carry everywhere), but to keep it at all. You’d think they would want someone who had 24-hour access to a gun store to be protected. Now, the percentage of CPL holders in at least three states is in the double digits of the adult population. In 10 more, the rate is over 8 percent. That means that some places you go there will be one person in 10 who is likely to have a firearm on them.
If you only paid attention to the nightly TV news, you’d think America is more dangerous than ever. It isn’t. Crime is the lowest it has been since I first learned to drive a car. (It was a 1968 Plymouth Fury, in the driver’s education program from the local dealer—for those who want to know.) And yet, there are more guns than ever. I’m not saying one caused the other, but it sure is interesting.
To quote an '80s rock band: The future's so bright, I've gotta wear shades.