Should You Carry A Competitive Pistol Instead Of A Micro Compact?

Image courtesy European American Armory Corp.

The question of which pistol to carry when carrying concealed will likely never be definitively answered. Why? Because much of the answer is simply going to be based on each person’s subjective preference for different accessories, different available features, and practical considerations such as the size of firearm that can be concealed on one’s person (for example, a small woman will have to only carry smaller pistols simply because a larger pistol will print through her clothing much more clearly than on a big guy).

Still, within those considerations, there are a huge number of options available. Many people will default to carrying a micro compact pistol such as a Sig Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield Plus, or Springfield Armory Hellcat, all of which have been incredibly popular over the last few years.

One writer over at the NRA’s Shooting Illustrated site chooses not to carry a micro compact, though. No, this writer chooses to carry a competitive pistol, a Girsan MC9 T, pictured above, as their concealed carry. They write:


I really don’t want to open up the whole “competition will get you killed in the streets” argument here with the MC9 T, because first off I don’t buy into it, and secondly I think competition is a fantastic way to hone your skills while testing your gear. Girsan’s MC9 T is designed for the competitive crowd, there’s no denying that – one look at the lightening cuts in the slide, magazine well funnel and custom trigger will tell you that.

However, the pistol is about the same size as a Smith & Wesson M&P full-size, Glock G17 or FN509, all of which we’ve featured on “I Carry” previously and are eminently good concealed-carry options. In the case of the MC9 T, you get a few slick upgrades and the ability to add EAA’s proprietary FAR-DOT red-dot sight for an MSRP about that of a plain-jane pistol. That’s a great value. If you’ve been thinking about getting into competitive shooting, the MC9 T presents an affordable option that can also serve as a concealed-carry pistol.

With a 4.6-inch barrel, overall length of 8 ¼ inches and a weight of 25.6 ounces, the MC9 T is on the larger side for concealed carry, but still certainly possible. Again, remember that the slightly longer barrel means greater sight radius for more precise shots, and is the part that is easiest to conceal. The grip is the harder part to conceal — you might opt to remove the magazine well funnel for daily carry. The MC9’s grip lends full support when shooting, always a good thing. Controls are ambidextrous, there’s a manual safety should that be a concern, and the MC9 T comes with interchangeable backstraps to better fit it to your hand.

So, should you carry a competition pistol for your concealed carry weapon? That will depend on your needs and wants, but if you’re looking for a larger than micro compact pistol to carry, the writer above certainly seems to appreciate the Gasin MC9 T. This may be a pistol for you to consider, too.



  1. I believe what you carry really does come down to personal choice. There are guns I wouldn’t choose that some wouldn’t agree with, and I think that’s a common debate among concealed and open carry proponents.
    I also subscribe to the “Carrying Something Is Better Than Carrying Nothing” belief. Therefore, while some personal choices may be questionable, as long as whomever can deploy and respond to a threat, is reliable, and can hit the target, that’s what really matters.

  2. I guess if the question is, “…a micro compact versus a _competition_ micro compact…” this is a good choice. But in my own personal shooting world, “competition” means longer barrel, lighter trigger, smaller magazine (if any) and custom grips. I do target shooting, but not with a micro compact, and my competition weapons probably wouldn’t be a good choice…unless my assailant happens to be 10m away and holding still. 🙂

  3. A very good point. From what I see at our local range, Comp guns are set up for Competition Shooting, which is a completely different situation from a Defensive Shooting situation. Competition Loads are tailored for the gun, because accuracy, speed, and function are the main goals. Most of the folks I see use handloads tailored to their guns. No one at our range uses defensive loads for competitions. So the question of how these guns would function with defensive loads is one I would be asking.
    There’s also the potential legal implications. What if some Prosecutor uses the Comp. Pistol’s fine tuning against you? Modifications run from minor to major depending on the gun and it’s purpose. Modifications could conceivably be used to show intent to create a more lethal weapon. That’s one reason I don’t carry handloads, because I could just see some Lawyer attacking with the idea that I designed a more lethal load.

  4. Hmm – ‘almost’ as interesting of a discussion as the long standing debate of 9mm vs .45 vs pick ‘your’ favorite caliber. Bottom line should be – find what combo of gun/gear/caliber works best for YOU and practice, practice, practice. There, I resolved the whole issue!

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