5 Reasons To Carry a Single Stack



The number one selling point of the single-stack pistols is how easy they are to conceal. Length is still an issue, usually, so they don’t make good pocket guns. Most are about an inch wide, though, which makes them great for appendix carry.GLOCK 43, Springfield XD-S .45, Taurus Slim

Multiple options for carry

If you aren’t inclined to carry appendix, or small of the back, there are other options. The single-stack guns are easy to conceal strong-side, out of (or in) the waistband. Get a thin holster that doesn’t add girth, and cover it up with a coattail or a long shirt. The single-stacks are even good candidates for cargo pocket carry, which makes carry in the summer easy (if not immediately, instantly accessible).

Increased caliber selection

A brief study of single-stack pistols shows just how rapidly they’ve developed. .380s like the PPK gave way to other .380s. 9mms followed. Then Springfield Armory rocked the concealed carry world with the .45 ACP XD-S. It wasn’t long before GLOCK dropped the 43, bringing a single-stack 9mm to the top spot.

Walther PPK, an early single stack


This whole line of guns, though, regardless of the brand, has one thing in common. They are small, which means there isn’t a whole lot to hold onto. They can be jumpy. The harder hitting calibers have more muzzle-flip. But they are more easily controlled than the .380 mouse-guns like the Kel-Tec P3AT, or the Beretta Pico.

Thin is in. The Kel-Tec P3AT.


In the end, everything centers around compromise. A good single-stack looks like an actual gun. In many self-defense situations, that can be enough. It may not be as impressive as a full-sized GLOCK, but it can make a point. And the short barrel may drop off some pressure, but it still delivers good ballistic performance.

Honor Defense Honor Guard 9mm


In the end, every point on this list points to compromise. And these guns are excellent options for those who won’t compromise on their self-defense.

David Higginbotham is a writer and editor who specializes in everyday carry. He was a college professor for 20 years before leaving behind the academy for a more practical profession in the firearms industry.

    • http://aliasbarackobama.blogspot.com/ Dr. Ron Polland

      I carry it’s little brother, the PT709, as my EDC. I keep the big brother, PT111 G2, for HD. Both guns operate the same way.

    • Brian Mooney

      Ben, the statistics (esp. for non-LEO shootings), just aren’t as anywhere nearly as solid as you seem imply when writing about an “average” of three rounds or an “average” of three attackers. A lot is “suggested” in the reporting, but nothing is really “established.” You are reading way too much into way too little.

      If nine rounds were typically needed, five-shot revolvers would be woefully inadequate for CCW. But they are not. Even the venerable 1911 would come up short in your scenarios, at least without a quick snack of another seven cartridges. Yet what stats we do have indicate reloads almost NEVER play a decisive or any role in civilian self-defense shootings. (They don’t even play an important role in most police shootings.) This has been established well enough for good, informed instructors to significantly downplay or even omit reloading exercises as part of training or recommended training drills.

      That said, I am not one to complain about carrying a handgun with higher ammunition capacity. Not in the least. I, too, prefer nine or ten to five when convenient. Why not? I, too, respect the capacity of good .380 ACP. But we still need to be careful about claiming that we can accurately describe the “typical” civilian shooting situation. Indeed, there is also the FACT, extablished, by Dr. John Lott among others, that in the great majority of instances, when a gun is pulled in self-defense, it is not fired.

      My conclusions are, (1) don’t feel undergunned with a 5-shot .38 Special if you can shoot it well, and (2) if you communicate that confidence clearly, shooting may be unnecessay. (Massad Ayoob put it perfectly, “There is something about the bearing of an armed man that disinvites attack.”) Likewise, if a much higher-capacity .380 ACP leaves a person feeling undergunned, well, that’s his or her decision (even if you and I disagree with that person) and he or she should find something else that gives them confidence.

      It would be great if we had better stats. But we don’t. What we have right now is tenuous at best and must be treated as such, with caution.