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Old September 26, 2012, 12:40 PM   #1
fullsize only
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Why carry compact?

I am a 5'8" 176lbs man. I used to carry a subcompact xd 9mm, and a glock 26. One day my cousin brought a g17 to the field and let me shoot it. In one day with the g17, I was shooting the same grouping at 50yds that I consistently shoot at 30yds with my g26. We traded guns for the day and I carried the g17 all day. It took getting used to but was do'able. I thought about it, concealment or accuracy? Comfort or capacity? A little more research and realized I am losing some BANG from my ammo. So I traded my g26 for a g17, the subcompact for a fullsize xdm 9mm, and a 4" sp101. 357, which I carry one of the three everyday. My BUG is a 2" m85 Taurus. No one notices my "bulge" and I can carry all day. In a real situation, every advantage counts. What do you guys think?
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Old September 26, 2012, 01:40 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

As you can see there is a compromise between conceal ability and shoot ability. There are things you can do with the smaller guns to make them shoot better, for me it means making the smaller gun larger, which to a point defeats the purpose of the smaller gun. I will use my Glock 27 as an example. I choose to run G23 mags with grip enhancers to give me a larger grip and more capacity, I find it carries better AIWB.
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Old September 26, 2012, 02:04 PM   #3
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I started carrying with small pistols. After a year or so, I transitioned to full size or close to full size carry guns.

My state makes it easy to carry without having to worry about printing, but not all areas are the same. Some areas have much tighter regulations regarding printing and brandishing. If I lived in an area that made printing a illegal or at least a huge concern, then I'd probably carry smaller guns.

For some people, they just prefer to carry something that requires less effort to conceal. They don't want to dress around the gun all the time and that's a decision for every person to make on their own.
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Old September 26, 2012, 02:07 PM   #4
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Just going to throw in the fact that when someone says "Nobody sees my gun," what is actually true is that "As far as I am aware, nobody reacted or said anything to me about my gun."
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Old September 26, 2012, 02:10 PM   #5
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You have discovered the reason why many carry a full size in jacket/cold weather and a compact or subcompact in warmer weather. Some times it is hard to dress around the pistol and not look really out of place.
Out of curiosity, how do you carry your m. 85? I use a S&W 642 in pocket holster most of the time.
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Old September 26, 2012, 02:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Why carry compact?
Easier to conceal a smaller gun.

30yd vs. 50 yd. group size is pretty irrelevant for self defense purposes: You'd have to do some pretty vigorous mental gymnastics to come up with a scenario where 50 yard accuracy would be important in a self defense situation. If such a case did arise, you might have some difficulty convincing a jury that you had no other option than to take careful aim and shoot a guy half a football field away because you felt you were in immediate danger of death or serious bodily harm .....

The odds of you needing a gun are generally pretty small*, and if you do, ANY gun will do in most cases, because generally, nobody wants to be shot with anything. In the small minority of cases where the gun is actually fired, the odds that it will occur at greater than conversational distances are pretty small as well.....


* provided you do everything else you can to avoid bad situations and people..... if you are going to sit in your car in a part of town known for trade in recreational pharmacueticals in the wee hours.... you are going to skew your odds just a bit....
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Old September 26, 2012, 03:09 PM   #7
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If it works for you, excellent. I think everyone has different needs & wants when it comes to carrying their SD weapon. For some, deep concealment and comfort is more important. Others, like you want the most capacity and wring the most from a cartridge and stick with full-sized options. Gotta love this country, eh?
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Old September 26, 2012, 03:28 PM   #8
zombietactics
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Quote:
... I carry one of the three everyday ...
Well, you have the most important part handled.

Quote:
... In a real situation, every advantage counts. What do you guys think? ...
I think that in a real situation, the specific choice of weaponry (assuming basic fitness to the task) or wrangling about slight advantages at the margins is almost meaningless. The only way to get less meaningful is to start arguing calibers or holsters.
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Old September 26, 2012, 03:30 PM   #9
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From your experience shouldn't the question be "Why carry subcompact?"?

Seriously though, compact(m&p) for me because it fits all my needs for carry. Big enough grip that it's comfortable, short enough slide/barrel length to not poke uncomfortably while seated. Conversely, small enough grip to conceal well, and long enough slide/barrel to have decent sight radius.
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Old September 26, 2012, 03:40 PM   #10
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sig,
I carry the M&P .40 compact, using a Kholster IWB Crescent holster.
Carry slightly past 3 o'clock, and for me it is VERY comfortable, walking or
sitting. Personally I love the compact for carry, and find that for me it is as
accurate at the range than any other of my handguns.
Regards,
SN
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Old September 26, 2012, 03:51 PM   #11
sigcurious
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I didn't say that it is uncomfortable.
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Old September 26, 2012, 03:56 PM   #12
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sig,
Didn't mean to say you did.
Sorry.
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Old September 26, 2012, 03:59 PM   #13
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No worries, I was just confused as to why it was addressed to me.
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Old September 26, 2012, 06:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Just going to throw in the fact that when someone says "Nobody sees my gun," what is actually true is that "As far as I am aware, nobody reacted or said anything to me about my gun."
My thoughts exactly.

Carry what you can conceal and what you feel comfortable with. I prefer full sized guns but there are simply times when a larger gun simple won't work. In those cases a Ruger LCP is my go to gun.
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Old September 26, 2012, 07:56 PM   #15
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I agree with Kreyzhorse; carry what you can but always carry. Most times, it's a G19/26 but other times it's a Shield/CM9/BG380. Just depends.
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Old September 26, 2012, 09:34 PM   #16
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Out here, the weather is hot.

I mean t shirt, shorts, sandals.

Why carry a full sized pistol?

Most self defense shootings happen within 30 feet. 50 yards is an unrealistic distance and isn't a real concern.
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Old September 26, 2012, 09:39 PM   #17
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Why not ?
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Old September 26, 2012, 11:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Why not ?
+1

I'm not in law enforcement and have no desire/need to carry a full size service pistol. On top of that I don't like to dress around my carry guns so I choose to carry small. I alternate between a Ruger SR9C and a S&W 640. I find holsters add too much bulk so I go as far as to sew pockets on the insides of my pants to hold my guns. I wear it between 4-5 O'clock and its not only comfortable but even a seasoned CC or LEO cannot spot it.

Quote:
In one day with the g17, I was shooting the same grouping at 50yds that I consistently shoot at 30yds with my g26.
I don't see how that is an advantage in a carry gun. Good luck trying to explain to a jury how you felt you had to eliminate the threat half a football field away.
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Old September 27, 2012, 12:50 AM   #19
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Quote:
fullsize only

Why carry compact?
For some carrying a compact handgun is simply a matter of taste or choice. I'm glad we are able to make that choice.

I choose to carry full-sized concealed 99% of the time. I have been carrying a 5" 1911 for about 30 years.

Your remark about accuracy at long distance (for personal defense with a handgun) makes me wonder what your expectations are of defensive handgun use. I hope that most (say 95%) of your practice for defensive purposes is under 15 yards. Work to balance your speed and accuracy.
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Old September 27, 2012, 07:21 AM   #20
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I used to think I needed to carry a sub-compact gun for CC, too, but was never happy with the reduced capacity and that they were considerably harder to be consistently accurate with. So I started carrying a Beretta Px4 compact and found it to be just as easy to conceal and just as comfortable. Luckily I can dress casually all day long so that is not an issue because otherwise I'd probably have to pocket carry something much smaller. I still will carry my 642 or even a Beretta Bobcat when I just want something but for EDC I'll stick with a bigger gun.
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Old September 27, 2012, 07:10 PM   #21
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Since you do not state your location, we are left to guess....do you live in Arizona, where concealing a full-size pistol is a challenge...or Alaska, where an outer garment is not necessarily out of place nearly year round?

Yes, I know that you can open carry in both AZ and AK...but I believe the question was aimed at concealed carry.

Also, your age and your build factor into it. Speaking only for myself, as a skinny geek, I have a bit more problem hiding a big double-stack lump on my hip. And as an old skinny geek with a back surgery...I have to work hard to carry a large and heavy gun on one side--messes with my back.

On a good day, I can carry a 4" S&W revolver or a Commander sized 1911. Unfortunately, I have not had a good day in about 2 1/2 months, and carrying anything heavier than my teeth is uncomfortable.

I am confident that will change soon, and I will be back to carrying one of the above.

In the mean time, the LCP and/or the PM9 are earning their keep.
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Old September 27, 2012, 07:54 PM   #22
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I carry a 'compact'

It is an H&K USPc40. I've checked it over a chronograph. It looses a small amount compared to the full size USP 40 I have. Not enough in my not so humble opinion to matter.

I shoot the smaller pistol just a little better than the full size. The grip is narrower and fits my hand better. So I actually have better control over the compact version.

Finally, due to the restrictions on my carry authority, I can only carry ONE pistol. The compact fits my wardrobe under all climatic conditions than a full size. The USPc is the best all around concealed pistol I have currently found; based on the above factors.

Just for the record, I have on occasion carried a standard Government Model as a concealed pistol. I have also - mostly as an experiment - carried a 4 5/8 inch Model P replica in .45 Colt. Not to mention several versions of the S&W K frame revolver in both .38 Special and .357 Magnum. So I have experience with a number of difference pistols.

However, you are all big kids and will make up your own mind.
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Old September 27, 2012, 08:27 PM   #23
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I was the complete opposite. Started carrying a full sized .45, went to a glock 19, then a kel-tec pf9, now down to an lcp for carry. As long as I can hit where I want 10 feet away, I want something small, light, and easy to carry. If I'm at home, I have a big shotgun ready to go, if I'm not at home, I'm trying to retreat, not save the world.
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Old September 27, 2012, 08:30 PM   #24
David White
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Carry the biggest gun you can, the rest is gravy!
I have and always will carry a full size pistol at all times.
Better sight radius, larger capacity.
It helps that I live in Vermont. There is no license to carry openly or concealed
If it don't fit as a concealed carry, just sling it on your hip and off you go!.
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Old September 27, 2012, 10:04 PM   #25
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There are times when you cant carry a very big gun. When I was younger I would go to the gym a lot (think back when short shorts on guys was the thing) I would have carried a tiny gun then but back then there was not as many choices as there is today.
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