Some years ago I  taught handgun operations to federal security contractors working for the DEA. That agency insisted on contractors carrying the magnificent HK USP pistol. The USP is a wonderful firearm but it is too large to be the sole issued handgun for a force that includes smaller men, and women. The U.S. Army learned that lesson after adopting the large-framed Beretta 92F. A Sig Sauer was offered as an alternative for military law enforcement shooters with smaller hands.  The perfect handgun is a bad choice when it doesn’t fit its shooter’s hand.  Here’s a few things to look for in checking the fit of your handgun:

Placing the backstrap of your hand squarely in the web between your thumb and forefinger (don’t slide your hand, you will alter grip and recoil management), are you able to place the first joint of the trigger-finger on the trigger of your revolver? Can you place the pad of your trigger-finger on the trigger of your pistol? Can you dry fire your weapon without moving your finger or hand? The finger is weaker when stretched than when naturally extended. Too large a handgun can cause poor and even unsafe trigger control.  Some shooters may notice the trigger-finger “bunches-up” and the trigger press forces the finger to point into the trigger. In that case, the weapon is too small.

Another test is for the pistol is the ability to lock the slide in the rearward position by using the shooting hand to engage the slide lever.  You cannot safely manipulate the slide and the lever simultaneously with the non-shooting hand. Remember the shooter has to perform these tasks in the dark and under duress with defensive and hunting weapons; the effort needed should be light.

The good news is there is no perfect handgun but there are many excellent choices. There is no reason to carry a weapon that doesn’t fit your hand.