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Old October 27, 2012, 03:54 PM   #1
rebs
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concealed carry choice ?

Which would you choose between a Smith & Wesson 38 snub nose and a compact 45 acp or 9 mm auto ?
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Old October 27, 2012, 04:09 PM   #2
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Way too general a question?

What are your carry preferences? IWB, pancake holster, paddle, crossdraw, 3:00, small of back, pocket, etc.? How compact a 9mm or .45?

For pocket carry I find lightweight snubs and very small .380 autos (like the Ruger LCP) to be the ideal combination of concealment and caliber. For IWB, an auto under 1.3" wide or a J-frame sized snub seems best because you want it to be narrow. Barrel length and butt height can be worked around, but I prefer a gun that is 5" or less tall and with a 4" or shorter barrel for IWB. For any kind of belt holster you can probably go bigger more comfortably, but concealment will be sacrificed the larger you go.

I have a number of carry guns to choose from when I am out of MD (I have a UT permit). I sometimes carry a S&W 1911SC (a lightweight Commander sized .45ACP 1911), a Taurus PT140 Millennium Pro (a compact .40S&W), a S&W 65LS (a 3" K-frame .357mag loaded with .38+P), or one of several snubs. I have just recently shot enough rounds through my Ruger LCP to be confident with that and it will likely replace my 442 as my pocket gun when used as a backup (I'll probably carry the .38spl 442 when the pocket gun will be the only gun). I've recently bought a SIG P290 (a subcompact 9mm) that has close to enough rounds through it for me to add it to my carry list, and I just bought a Kel Tec PF9 (another subcompact, pocketable 9mm) that I haven't shot yet. So, I have one of each (plus a few calibers you didn't mention).

Any will do the job. Find a gun and caliber combination that you like, that feels good in your hand, that will conceal how you want it to, and that you can handle well at the range (quick follow up shots, accurate shooting), and that should be your carry gun (or guns).
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Old October 27, 2012, 08:09 PM   #3
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I prefer inside the waist band carry at about 3:00. As far as caliber is the 38 spl a good round or would a 9 MM be better ? How difficult is it to CC a commander size 45 acp ? I have a Colt gold cup and it is kind of big for CC.
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Old October 27, 2012, 08:39 PM   #4
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I find a commander size easy to concealed carry. Of course I am a bigger guy and can concealed carry a full size 1911 without much of a problem.
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Old October 27, 2012, 09:27 PM   #5
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I would choose whichever I shoot and handle best, if put to that kind of choice.

As it happens, I carry both a K-frame (3" HB Model 10), as well as two different compact-sized 9mm semi-autos. As well, I have a sub-compact sized 9mm semi-auto. I train and practice extensively with all three (the 9mm sub-compact is new to me - so I am not ready to carry that one yet). I feel equally at home with any of them - and equally protected.

The most important issue is training and preparation. That starts with familiarization with one's chosen carry gun.
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Old October 27, 2012, 10:19 PM   #6
chaim
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Quote:
I prefer inside the waist band carry at about 3:00. As far as caliber is the 38 spl a good round or would a 9 MM be better ? How difficult is it to CC a commander size 45 acp ? I have a Colt gold cup and it is kind of big for CC.
I like IWB and think it opens more options.

I like both 9mm and .38spl. While the 9mm has more velocity and more power, the .38spl being a revolver round has the advantage of more efficient hollowpoint designs. The 9mm may be a little better overall for self-defense, and it is cheaper for practice ammo, but I am a big fan of both rounds.

As for the Commander sized 1911s (and other similar size and weight .45's), they are a great CCW weapon. I guess the question is if you want only one CCW gun or two. They are about 10oz lighter than a full-sized 1911. The height is the same. there is about a 3/4" difference in length. IMO they are good for about 75-85% of the time, but once in a while they may be a little big. If you want to buy a smaller gun for the once in a while that you need something smaller (maybe a lightweight J-frame or an LCP) it is a great CCW gun. If you want one gun that will work for about 90% of the time a smaller 9mm or .40 would be in order. Still, you'd need something smaller about 10% of the time. If you want one gun that you can always carry, something like a Kel Tec PF9, S&W Shield, SIG 290 or one of the small .380s are about as large as you can go.

We all know that any carry gun is a compromise. A gun small enough to carry all the time will either be in a lesser caliber (like .380) or it will be pushing the envelope on size for the caliber and be less pleasant to shoot. I think a Commander sized 1911 is a terrific carry gun, but it depends upon what compromises you are willing to make.
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Old October 27, 2012, 11:31 PM   #7
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Glock 26 over my S&W 38, about the same size and just as easy to carry everywhere, including pockets.
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Old October 28, 2012, 01:20 AM   #8
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.44 mag ruger vaquero w/5 1/2" barrel
OR
J-frame .38 +p

depends on my mood.
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Old October 28, 2012, 01:30 AM   #9
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I would use whichever one I am the best with. Where you hit is the most important part of using a firearm for self defense.

Chaim: I would like to know what the more efficient hollow point designs are available for a .38 compared to what's available for a 9mm. Being as the .357 is my favorite round a more efficient hollow point is something that I would appreciate knowing about.
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Old October 28, 2012, 05:51 AM   #10
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Thank you for the replies, I do carry a full size 1911 sometimes during the winter months when wearing bulkier clothing, but am looking for something smaller for summer months when wearing less clothing.
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Old October 28, 2012, 06:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
I would use whichever one I am the best with.
Thats your answer.

If you make some adjustments in clothing choice, you can carry a 1911 year round with little effort. I did it daily for the 20+ years I carried a 1911, and Im still doing it with a Glock 17 with no troubles.
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Old October 28, 2012, 11:36 AM   #12
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I carry a full size M&P in jeans and a t-shirt. A commander size 1911 should be easy with a good IWB holster.
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Old October 28, 2012, 01:10 PM   #13
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Depends on the dress situation and what you think you shoot well.

Shooting a snubby is not as easy as a semi. Some folks find 45s are harder to shoot.

If you own all, might be fun to try them in a IDPA match or the like.

Personally, I alternate between a 642 when pocket carry is the mode and a 9mm Glock for belt. I have a 1911 which I shoot in matches but it's touch to big for comfortable carry here. Yes, I know all the carry holster variants and have a closet box full of such.
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Old October 28, 2012, 08:19 PM   #14
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I have a 642 and an LC9. Sometimes you feel like a 9 sometimes you don't.
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Old October 29, 2012, 12:59 AM   #15
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I think Glenn has this right.

If my dress calls for pocket carry, then the j-frame gets the nod. Otherwise, inside the waistband with a full size.

I did look at the Kahr PM9, but found that the LONG trigger reset was problematic and awkward for me.
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Old October 29, 2012, 07:19 AM   #16
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3:00 iwb, based soley on comfort of sitting and moving around - small frame semi-auto. i personally prefer a 9mm in small frame autos.
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Old October 29, 2012, 12:51 PM   #17
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I carry a .38 snub in my right-hand pocket because it will not pull my pants down and the chances of actually having to use it very slight. Nevertheless, I never leave home without it.
Being a "revolver person", I have no idea what the others posting here mean by, "...Shooting a snubby is not as easy as a semi...". But then, I shoot one of my double-action revolvers nearly every day (I have a home range).
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Old October 29, 2012, 01:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Being a "revolver person", I have no idea what the others posting here mean by, "...Shooting a snubby is not as easy as a semi...". But then, I shoot one of my double-action revolvers nearly every day (I have a home range).
combination of heavy DA pull and awkward grip angle (for semi shooters)
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Old October 29, 2012, 01:11 PM   #19
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I prefer to stick with 9mm for my handgun round. I carry a CW9 at 4 o clock daily.
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Old October 29, 2012, 07:06 PM   #20
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Would I choose???? Yes, I do all the time. Depending on where/when and how I want to carry at any particular time I carry either my S&W 638, Ruger SP-101 (.357) or SA 1911 Micro-Compact .45. Hell, Sometime I carry a Beretta .25. I'm just saying it's up to you to determine what and how many to carry.
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Old October 29, 2012, 08:53 PM   #21
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I would choose the autoloader.
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Old October 29, 2012, 09:05 PM   #22
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Though its an extremely general question for me it's still an easy one. 9mm auto of some sort.
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Old October 29, 2012, 09:25 PM   #23
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Quote:
How difficult is it to CC a commander size 45 acp
Not as easy as a Springfield EMP!

The new SIG 938 intrigues me......
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Old October 31, 2012, 06:47 AM   #24
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Quote:
Chaim: I would like to know what the more efficient hollow point designs are available for a .38 compared to what's available for a 9mm. Being as the .357 is my favorite round a more efficient hollow point is something that I would appreciate knowing about.
I was referring to the fact that due to the need for auto rounds to feed, auto and revolver bullets have always been designed differently. Revolver hollowpoints don't need to be designed so they'll feed and have usually been made with wider (and more likely to expand) hollowpoints. With some of the terrific designs out today it may not be the consideration it used to be, but I can't help but see it as a continuing advantage.
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Old November 1, 2012, 12:03 AM   #25
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A Kahr PM9 is my carry choice & it is on me always if I am dressed. I shoot it well & do not even notice it's there weight wise.
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