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Old April 5, 2007, 12:03 PM   #1
Foofer
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How Big is too Big for Conceal and Carry?

I am entertaining the idea of getting a 4" barrel revolver for conceal and carry, but I'm concerned that might be too big. Any of you pack revovlers as large as a 4" barrel or more?

Oh yeah, I've seen Dirty Harry, and that's a wee bit too big for me to tote around.
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Old April 5, 2007, 12:10 PM   #2
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IMHO, 4 inch is the ABSOLUTE minimum. Six inch is far better. I carry six inch, and 7 1/2 inch barrel revolvers in shoulder holsters, and find them MORE comfortable, and easier to conceal than a 4 inch in a "cowboy" holster.
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Old April 5, 2007, 12:41 PM   #3
Shadi Khalil
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Four inch as the minimum? You must be a big dude! I think a 3incher is about as big as I can carry.
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Old April 5, 2007, 12:49 PM   #4
mustangdan1963
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There are many factors to consider, not just firearm size. Your body size/shape, how you normally dress, where you want to carry...these things all go into the decision of what size your carry gun should be.
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Old April 5, 2007, 01:03 PM   #5
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A 4" model 500 pocket carries well!

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Old April 5, 2007, 01:13 PM   #6
BillCA
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+1 on MustangDan's comment.

I'm 5'8" tall and my weight has increased with age (desk-jockey spread). I used to be able to carry a 4" K-Frame pretty well under a medium weight jacket (e.g. a long, insulated windbreaker). If you wear a (L)arge jacket, you'll probably want to wear an Extra Large (XL) jacket if you aren't slim.

It's not the length of the barrel that's critical (usually), but the size of the cylinder and the grips. Round-butt grip frames with close fitting smooth grips will show up less than a square butt frame (no pointy lower end on the grip). The cylinder width dictates how much "bulge" you'll see around the belt-line with a close fitting garment.

Where barrel length may play a part is sitting down. It can poke into any excess of your "gluteous maxiumus" (yer butt) which can either be uncomfortable or can push the gun up in the holster. Your build dictates this.
(this applies to autopistols too.)

If your style of dress is jeans & t-shirt or slacks and a knit polo shirt, you'll have a harder time hiding a K-frame just due to the cylinder bulk. On the other hand, if you can wear a sports jacket, sport coat or business jacket it'll be easier to hide.
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Old April 5, 2007, 01:26 PM   #7
john in jax
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I sometimes CCW a 4" GP100 in a DeSantis Pancake holster that keeps it high and tight against my body.

Sadly the best shooting, most acurate, revolver I ever owned - - a 6.5" S&W 629 Classic - - I got rid of because it WOULD NOT conceal comfortably. I'm 6'00" and 300lbs I can conceal a lot of guns, but that 629 in a vert. shoulder holster was ONLY comfortable when standing. While sitting, getting up and down, etc... it was always in the way.

IMO 4" or shorter is best for CCW. BTW width is important too, the big fat cylinder on an N-frame is harder to conceal than the much smaller J or K frame.
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Old April 5, 2007, 02:04 PM   #8
Foofer
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Quite frankly, I have been considering the GP100 4" since I enjoy my 6" so much. I know there's a 3" GP100, but it has fixed sites.
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Old April 5, 2007, 02:13 PM   #9
tex45acp
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The biggest I carry concealed, and only at the ranch, is my 4" Ruger Redhawk in a DeSantis Scabbard, worn OWB.


My usual carry weapons are both 4" semi's.

Wilson Combat Professional 1911 in a Milt Sparks Versa Max 2 carried IWB


or a Springfield XD-45 Service in a Brommeland Max Con V carried IWB
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Old April 5, 2007, 02:16 PM   #10
cheygriz
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Quote:
Four inch as the minimum? You must be a big dude! I think a 3incher is about as big as I can carry.
Depends on how you carry. Even a "BIG DUDE" will have trouble concealing a decent sized gun in a cowboy holster.

A "little guy" can easily conceal a 6 inch barrel "N" frame S&W in a quality shoulder holster.

For years, I carried a 6 inch Ruger Security Six in a "cowboy" style Hi-ride duty holster when I worked patrol division. (I think that those damned uncomfortable duty belts and holsters are what turned me against cowboy carry.) I also carried the same gun in a Bianci shoulder rig as my "off duty" piece.
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Old April 5, 2007, 02:23 PM   #11
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I've been routinely carrying a 3" Smith M25 lately, and I know I can comfortably conceal up to at least 4" Mountain Gun with the right holster. I'm still waiting for the right holster to pack my 6.5" M29, however.
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Old April 5, 2007, 02:33 PM   #12
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I'm still waiting for the right holster to pack my 6.5" M29, however.
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Try the Bianchi X15. About as close to perfect for that gun as you're likely to find.
http://packinheatleather.com
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Old April 5, 2007, 03:06 PM   #13
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I don't think anything larger than a Smith M66 2.5" barrel. For me, my Smith M60 with a 2" barrel has been my backpacking companion for years. I've never felt under-gunned with the little j-frame. I haven't had to use it in the last 27 years, but I have confidence it would work for both 2- and 4-legged critters if I needed it.
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Old April 5, 2007, 03:40 PM   #14
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I carry a 4" Model 29 or a Birdshead Vaquero in a fanny pack almost daily.
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Old April 5, 2007, 06:35 PM   #15
CarbineCaleb
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The limit

I carry this puppy in an OWB holster and can conceal it pretty well under a loose windbreaker. My pappy always told me to bring enough gun! It looks kind of big, but it's actually a pussycat with my handloads that run about .38 Special energies.

P.S. The only trick is to make sure that you have a sturdy belt to support the howitzer, or you may have an embarassing moment in public. Hint - if you feel a breeze, just act natural and excuse yourself...

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Old April 5, 2007, 08:32 PM   #16
Doug.38PR
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I carry a 4 inch service gun revolver.







Here it is in shoulder holster.


Works for me fine. If I need to take my coat off I just stuff it under my shirt. If I can't wear a coat at all, I have a really neat way of tucking my shirt in around my ISWB holster and covering the clip with my cell phone holder. (don't like to do that though because it's a little less comfortable and harder to get to the gun)
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Old April 5, 2007, 08:58 PM   #17
ATW525
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cheygriz, I actually have an X15 that fits my Mountain Gun. It's not a bad holster, but I don't find it terribly comfortable. I have a PS6DA holster on order from Mernickle Holsters. It's a three slot design and from the pictures it looks like the gun will ride high when worn crossdraw with the cylinder completely above the belt line, so I'm optimistic about it.
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Old April 5, 2007, 08:59 PM   #18
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Alot depends on your size, shape, weather conditions.....when it's around 100 or more here it's jeans and t-shirt time. A shoulder holster just won't work.
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Old April 5, 2007, 09:44 PM   #19
Arizona Fusilier
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Roger to all that "depends" stuff.

Here in Phoenix, you wouldn't be wearing a sport coat too often. Shoulder rigs are out.

You can put a bit of hardware in the cargo pockets of many stylish shorts, that are often quite in fashion to boot. Really becomes more of a weight/momentum thing as you walk, as opposed to a pure concealment vs. size issue.

Remember, having different seasons, styles, and social occasions all translate into excuses to buy more guns!
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Old April 6, 2007, 11:27 AM   #20
Greguw
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Depends on How Big you Are !

The bigger you are the smaller the guns look ...LOL . I have a buddy who is 6"8 and 380 lbs and everything is small to him ...LOL
I was consider getting a galco holster for my .454 alaskan and carrie that !
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Old April 6, 2007, 12:18 PM   #21
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I am 5'11" and ~160 lbs. I carry either a P85 or a 6" Dan Wesson .357 IWB under a square-tailed vest. How big is too big? If it doesn't fit your hand, it's too big.

Pops
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Old April 6, 2007, 12:26 PM   #22
Voyager AL
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I carry a 4" N frame in a CrossBreed IWB. Comfy. Not often, but wear it with a polo shirt over it..I am thin, with a beer belly.
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Old April 6, 2007, 02:14 PM   #23
johnyoung
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I'm 6' 3", 240 pounds. I carry a Glock 21 inside the front of my pants, covered by my shirttail. With the help of my beer gut, the big pistol becomes invisible.
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Old April 6, 2007, 02:35 PM   #24
Mike Irwin
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"IMHO, 4 inch is the ABSOLUTE minimum. Six inch is far better."


Uhm.... OK.


I guess I must not be serious about my self defense. My normal carry gun is a 2" .38 Spl., 5 shot, and no reloads...
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Old April 7, 2007, 06:41 PM   #25
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I carried a 4" S&W Modle 66 in the winter here in Deep East Texas. I sold it to a friend that had to have "that gun". I am picking up a N-frame 520 w/ a 4" barrel Monday & will carry it next winter. How big is too big? Depends on how cold it is & if you will invest in a quality gun belt & holster.
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