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Old December 3, 2012, 01:56 PM   #1
Olympus
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Recommend a Handgun

Just switched to a belly band carry method during work hours and its been the best choice I've made in terms of carry. I could never find the right gun and holster combo to go with thin button-down dress shirts and thin slacks and suit pants. And I can't afford to buy a new wardrobe in a bigger size just to accommodate my CCW. So I found a belly band and have been wearing it daily for about 3 weeks and love it.

Over the years, my CCW has gotten smaller and smaller in hopes of successfully concealing in dress clothes. Went from an officer 1911, to a Ruger SR9c, down to a Sig P238. But now that I have the BB, I can go up to a slightly bigger gun since its not getting tucked in my waistband now.

I'm really looking for an all-metal gun. Alloy or steel frame. Preferably 9mm. And I'd prefer not to have polygonal rifling as I have tons of lead reloads that I'd like to use for practice. I thought I found a winner with the Kahr MK9, but found it has polygonal rifling. Sig 938 is in the running. Unsure about a Colt Defender 9mm. Can't find a Solo. Don't want to pay the price tag of an EMP. Any others I should be considering?
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Old December 3, 2012, 02:07 PM   #2
loose_holster_dan
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the colt defender is nice. mine is in 45 and kicks like a mule, but the 9mm should be reasonable.

i'd try to borrow a friend's all steel handgun, load it up with hollow points, and see if your belly band still stays in place. when i used to use a belly band, i had to wear it inside my belt line, so the belt would help hold it up. the stretchy material will stretch more with a heavy gun than it does with your p238.
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Old December 3, 2012, 02:09 PM   #3
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Well I've actually got a lot of adjustment on the band. If it stretches too much, I can cinch it down a little tighter. I'm already wearing it fairly tight as is.

I've actually tried my 2.5" S&W 66 full of .357s and it was no problem. But that gun means a lot to me and I don't want to carry it.
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Old December 3, 2012, 02:22 PM   #4
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Whats your problem with polygonal rifleing. Do you load and shoot lead bullets . If so look at the lite weight CM series or CW series pistols. You can have these in 9mm 40 or 45. but the 9MM are easy shooting. There also LITE weight. No safeties to deal showing or snagging with a light smooth trigger pull. Metal pistols just weight to much and with older plastic frame handguns being around for 25 years they simply hold up as well as some of these aluminum framed pistols. Theres kahrs owerslike jacko at kahr forum has 30,000 round + thru a pm9
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Old December 3, 2012, 02:33 PM   #5
loose_holster_dan
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my longer handled autos tended to want to hang outwards a few degrees. makes it kind of obvious under a dress shirt. mine was tight too. in fact, i could barely fasten it. are you wearing it in true belly fashion, or s.o.b. like i did?
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Old December 3, 2012, 03:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahrguy View Post
Whats your problem with polygonal rifleing. Do you load and shoot lead bullets . If so look at the lite weight CM series or CW series pistols. You can have these in 9mm 40 or 45. but the 9MM are easy shooting. There also LITE weight. No safeties to deal showing or snagging with a light smooth trigger pull. Metal pistols just weight to much and with older plastic frame handguns being around for 25 years they simply hold up as well as some of these aluminum framed pistols. Theres kahrs owerslike jacko at kahr forum has 30,000 round + thru a pm9
Yes, lead reloads. I thought I put that in my OP but may have left it out accidentally.
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Old December 3, 2012, 03:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loose_holster_dan View Post
my longer handled autos tended to want to hang outwards a few degrees. makes it kind of obvious under a dress shirt. mine was tight too. in fact, i could barely fasten it. are you wearing it in true belly fashion, or s.o.b. like i did?
I'm not looking for full size gripped models here. Just something a little bigger than what I have now.

I wear the band around my stomach with a dress shirt and pants. I position the gun at differing positions, but always somewhere between 2:00 and 4:00 on my strong side.
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Old December 3, 2012, 05:49 PM   #8
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if you're stuck on metal, look at the cz pcr. otherwise, look at the walther polymer line.
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Old December 4, 2012, 10:56 AM   #9
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Just like for all of us you got to figure it out for yourself. I can get 3 fingers on a cw9 kahr but maybe a larger hand can't . The tp might work well for larger hands. All trial and error.
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Old December 4, 2012, 12:38 PM   #10
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I sometimes use a Belly Band, inside my belt line. As was mentioned earlier, it can help with stretching and such-- even for those of us with small waists/lots of room to cinch.

Over time, I have used mine to carry a PF-9, LC9, and SR9c. I have even put my PPQ in it a few times. The SR9c and smaller options are very comfortable in it.

I think that the perfect deep-conceal option for a BB is probably something like a Walther PPS, S&W Shield, Walther PPK/S, or Bersa Thunder 380. Something slim through the slide, but with a grip long enough to easily secure purchase on for a quick and clean draw.

I would probably not carry steel in one, in order to preserve the band.
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Old December 4, 2012, 01:00 PM   #11
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How well does the belly band method secure safeties and triggers as compared to a holster? As long as it's secure, the P938 fits well. If not, you might want to go for something with a longer or heavier trigger. Sig P239 is a nice gun but kinda big and not great capacity. I also liked the CZ PCR suggestion, or a CZ RAMI.
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Old December 4, 2012, 01:10 PM   #12
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I'm with you about the Mk/K9. The poly barrel is the only thing I don't like about it. It sits in my safe most range trips as I use lead exclusively.

I contacted Kahr and asked if a CW9 barrel would drop in. It doesn't.
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Old December 4, 2012, 01:18 PM   #13
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the belly band is a holster that i just plain don't feel safe with a chambered round unless the gun has a nice, stiff manual safety (or my p7).
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Old December 5, 2012, 02:35 AM   #14
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Sig P-239. Proven reliability and a real tack driver. I don't like to take a chance on pistols that have not been around long. I like em with a proven track record, and the 239 fits the bill for me.
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Old December 5, 2012, 09:19 AM   #15
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STI LS9 (9mm) or LS40 (40 S&W). Its the smallest/slimmest 1911 style gun - all steel construction, specifically designed for carry.

Last edited by Skans; December 5, 2012 at 09:46 AM.
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Old December 5, 2012, 09:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
I'm really looking for an all-metal gun. Alloy or steel frame. Preferably 9mm.
Quote:
Went from an officer 1911, to a Ruger SR9c, down to a Sig P238
SIG 938. The guns you have all have good, short triggers ..... lotsa time and money invested in muscle memory for that. The 938 would be very similar.

I would say EMP, but you don't want to pay $1000, so .....

Were it me, I'd use the 238 and cash to get the EMP ..... but I already have mine.
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Old December 5, 2012, 11:09 AM   #17
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It's definitely a tough call.

I don't have any qualms about carrying the 238 in the band. The safety requires a good bit of force to engage and disengage. And with the safety firmly pressed against my side, I have little worry that anything will be getting I between the gun and my body to disengage it.
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Old December 6, 2012, 10:05 AM   #18
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Old December 6, 2012, 10:26 AM   #19
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If I was wearing a belly band and had all that room I'd carry a Glock 29, or if I wanted a revolver an SP-101 3 inch with 180s in it would work too. I'd rather have the Glock 29 though.

Front pocket you can fit an S&W 642, or Kahr PM9, but I guess theres nothing to stop a person from putting a j-frame, or PM9 size 9mm in a belly band. Same goes for the different caliber sub-compact Glocks. For example, I can think of a lot of worse choices than a Glock 26 in a belly band.

The oft quoted minimum for defenses is .380 and I don't doubt that people can successfully defend themselves with .380, .32 ACP, .25 ACP, 22 Magnum and even .22 lr. I've just made the personal decision to not carry anything less than .38 Special and the 9mm Parabellum. Some may want nothing less than a .357, .45 ACP, or 10 mm and thats perfectly okay too, if that individual has the skill to effectively use the more powerful handgun cartridges.
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