Be Prepared With Your Concealed Handgun

 “Be prepared!” the motto of the Boy Scouts of America is as essential today as when adopted by the Scouts in 1907. An impossible problem can be met with the appropriate solution if we’ve made preparations beforehand. Being armed with a strong mindset as well as a powerful, efficient sidearm is the “appropriate solution” to one who would threaten us or our loved ones with deadly force. ~Tom Russell

My Preferred Handgun For Concealed Carry

Tom Russell, Master InstructorThe desire to be better prepared led me in search for a compact semi-automatic chambered in .45 ACP.   I had been carrying the Kahr P40 chambered in .40 Smith & Wesson for about ten years and was very pleased with it. The Kahr model I finally settled on was the PM45 and here are the reasons why:

1. The PM45 is a semi-automatic handgun sporting a polymer frame and stainless steel slide making the handgun very resistant to the corrosive effects of natural elements.
2. The handgun is very handsome, sporting a silver slide with a black frame. Aesthetics are not all-important but if you can have them without sacrificing efficiency, durability, and power, why not?

How to Carry Your Concealed Handgun

One of the more convenient ways to carry and conceal a handgun is in an ankle holster. This makes the handgun secure and very accessible while still being totally concealed. The PM45 is a superb ankle gun weighing only 19 oz. unloaded, which is lighter than a steel Smith & Wesson five shot .38 Special. At a little over 5.5 inches long and 4.5 inches tall it is a very compact handgun yet is still large enough to be easily handled. In other words, “It’s just right!”

Benefits of My Personal Handgun Choice

It utilizes a double-action only trigger system that is very smooth and takes a little over four pounds of pressure to fire the handgun. This is very usable and is much better than the triggers commonly found on the .38 Special revolvers that are often used for deep concealment.

The PM45 is available with night sights or standard sights. I chose night sights as most defensive situations occur in low light. Night sights have radioactive tritium capsules that glow allowing one to properly use the sights in low light situations. The PM45 sights are very rugged and provide a very clear sight picture in bright light and low light.Target practice

I have found that the Alessi and the Galco Ankle glove designed for the PM40 work fine for the PM45. These are both very well made holsters. The C.T.A.C. inside the waistband holster from would be a good belt holster for the PM45. Generally speaking, if I am dressed in such a way as to conceal a handgun in a belt holster I will go ahead and carry a full-size 1911 in .45 ACP.

Let me offer a few comments regarding the selection of the .45 ACP cartridges. Though many have used smaller calibers, such as the 38 Special, 9mm, etc. successfully in defensive situations, historically the .45ACP has proven more effective with comparable ammunition. With a fully loaded magazine and a round in the chamber we have six rounds in the PM45. An additional five round magazine resides in my pocket for a total of eleven rounds of .45 ACP, very comforting indeed.

The Kahr manual states that you should fire 200 rounds through one of their handguns in order to break the weapon in. Though others with whom I’ve spoken had handguns function perfectly fine right out of the box, my PM45 certainly needed this break-in regimen. I experienced numerous malfunctions of various types. Following the necessary break-in period the handgun now runs fine. Some may opt not to bother with the handgun because of this issue, but having a reliable handgun chambered in .45 ACP that is as convenient as the PM45 was worth the trouble.

The recoil of the PM45 is brisk as you would expect with a 19 oz. .45 ACP but is controllable. The grip frame is nicely checkered and with firm grip and aggressive stance recoil is not a serious issue.

I have known too many who were unprepared when confronted with violence. They suffered the most heart wrenching tragedies. They could have easily solved their impossible problem with the appropriate handgun training, a proper mindset, and a powerful dependable handgun that was with them when they needed it. Good, responsible people should exercise a responsible attitude in the area of personal security. This includes regular target practice.

It is my hope that you will “Be Prepared” when the time comes.

Tom Russell has a more detailed article on the Kahr PM45 in the May 2010 issue of SWAT Magazine.