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Old February 7, 2013, 10:52 PM   #1
KABA1791
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Trying to decide on my first ccw

Ok. I've read some of the other threads concerning choosing a CCW. I've Googled & YouTubed till I'm blue in the face. I'm just trying to make as much of an informed decision as possible. I'm trying to decide on my first CCW. I'm supposed to receive my carry permit in a couple of weeks, so obviously, I'm new to carrying. I would really appreciate some advice from some of you who've been carrying for a while on the following:

1. Revolver or semi? I'm about 90% sure I want to go with a revolver just because of my inexperience. I own a SW M&P 9c and love it, but not sure if I want to carry it or not. I'm pretty short & stubby; even though it's a compact, it's still seems kind of big for me to carry.
2. How to carry? I just need some help on this. I know it's like the CCW, personal preference, but I just don't know which way to go.

Any help would be much appreciated!
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Old February 7, 2013, 11:23 PM   #2
jason_iowa
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Even compact revolvers are not all that small. I would find a place that rents guns out and shoot a few to see what fits your needs best.

I have put tens of thousands of more rounds through an auto but I enjoy revolvers a whole lot. Either way buy the best quality one you can afford and you really can't go wrong.
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Old February 8, 2013, 12:08 AM   #3
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If you’re ok with only having five rounds the S&W J-Frame revolvers are very popular. They come in different calibers, but I think most folks seem to favor the .38 +P for carry.

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Old February 8, 2013, 07:48 AM   #4
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BarryLee is right in that the S&W J-frame is very popular. The Ruger LCR is also popular.

As far as the semi v. revolver issue, there's certainly nothing wrong with choosing a revolver. Plenty of our members CC revolvers on a daily basis. They do have a lower capacity and fatter profile, but you also don't have to worry about magazines or having a slide pushed out of battery.

How to carry: it depends on your mode of dress. Don't overlook the value of a quality holster and an honest-to-goodness gun belt. Being able to carry comfortably goes a long way to making carrying every day a reality.
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Old February 8, 2013, 08:02 AM   #5
loose_holster_dan
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i have carried j-frames, pocket semis, ultra-compact semis, compact semis, medium semis, full sized semis, all in steel and poly. i have carried striker fire, squeeze cocking, SA/DA, SAO, and DAO. i have carried in leather, nylon, and kydex. i have carried on my hip, in the small of my back, and in my pocket.

overall, i have settled on ultra-compact to medium sized semis with polymer frames and striker fire triggers in thin kydex holsters carried iwb on my hip.

ultra-compact to me is something in the size range of a walther pps, sprinfield xds, or kahr cw9. it is single stack and just large enough to fit all fingers on the grip. the smaller it is, especially in width, the more comfortable it is to carry. i like rounded edges so it doesn't dig into my love handles. compact is something like an hk p7 or springfield xd sc. medium is something like a glock 19 or walther ppq.

i choose polymer striker fire, because they are the lightest and easiest to operate. you pull the trigger and it goes bang. no safeties to worry about. the simpler the better in a self defense situation when your adrenaline is high. we are not highly trained gunfighters. we are civilians trying to defend ourselves.

kydex offers 2 advantages. first it is thinner than leather, so it is more comfortable and easier to conceal. second, it is a rigid shape, so it stays open for easy reholstering and protects the trigger.

i like the hip for smaller guns because this allows for easy access and minimal printing. as your rotate to 4 and 5 o'clock, the handle tends to print. if you can comfortably access all the way to the small of your back, this is a good place to conceal, but if you suffer from plumber crack like me, you will telegraph the presence of your weapon every time you bend over. the gun will jut out straight back.
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Old February 8, 2013, 11:18 AM   #6
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How is PPS for carry?

I don't mean to thread-jack, and if it appears like it, I apologize.

I've been meaning to find some more info about cc for summer dressing (shorts/t-shirt) and seriously have been considering PPS for that purpose. Instead of creating a new post, I figured I add to this thread... if anyone have more info in terms of how to carry and how it's like to carry PPS, please share.

Thanks.
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Old February 8, 2013, 11:24 AM   #7
loose_holster_dan
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the pps is my favorite to carry. in the Fist 1AK holster on my hip, it completely disappears with any untucked shirt, even a tshirt. i even lounge around on the couch and watch tv with my feet up and i'm totally comfortable. my wife cuddles up to me and doesn't even know when i'm wearing it. it's trigger is far superior imo to the glock or xd triggers.
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Old February 8, 2013, 11:47 AM   #8
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I would ask one question.

Do you now or do you have any desire in the future to hunt?

It isn't a deal breaker either way, there are folks who hunt with semi-auto sidearms; but in the hunting fields revolvers are -generally- the rule and semiautos -generally- the exception.

What I have found is it takes a lot of range time to stay sharp with one type of sidearm, be it semiauto or double action revolver or single action revolver. Staying sharp/ competent/ "on" with two kinds of sidearms takes even more range time.

Personally I do hunt, my wife hunts, some of my children hunt, I dropped the hammer on about 3000 rounds of DA revolver last year just for personal use.

For me personally, I just in the last month or so bought a SA revolver for CCW.

For me personally, when I shoot DA revolver I let my wrist rock a little bit so part of the recoil goes into rotating the gun instead of slamming into me. When I shoot SA revolver I let the whole gun rotate in my hand - the hammer spur ends up right beside my thumb. When I shoot semi-automatic I stove pipe a lot.

I am not the sharpest tool in the shed. I figure I am going to need about 5k rounds in my new SA to get really good with it, and probably another 1-2k to stay "on" with my existing DA. There are folks who can pick up any old sidearm, SA, DA s-a and burn the barn down with it. I am just not that good a shooter, and admit to envying the folks who can do it.

For me as a hunter expanding my side-arm muscle memory from DA to DA and SA opens up the possibility of some really nice SA hunting guns in my future.

In the short term, I feel the best choice for summertime CCW for me -already comitted to .45Colt and already comitted to DA hunting sidearms - is short barrel SA.

If you aren't going to hunt there are a bajillion good quality dependable semi-autos to consider, and they have a lot going for them; mostly fast high round count reloads.
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Old February 8, 2013, 12:21 PM   #9
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Poindexter

gotta know, what S.A. did you select.

thx.
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Old February 8, 2013, 12:52 PM   #10
Nathan
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Find a smaller gun in a substantial caliber that you shoot well. For me, that is 1911(45 Auto), Kahr P40(40 S&W), S&W 640(38 spcl/357 mag), etc. I also would like a cerakoted S&W 13 to be on that list.


Then find 2 -3 holster for that gun which you like the fit, carry position, etc. For example:
1911 - Milt Sparks HR Limited(like a Versa Max 2), Alessi Shoulder Holster, Rafter OWB

J frame - pancake, iwb, pocket

I like to have 2 -3 options for each gun as I don't want to feel like I can't carry with the outfit I'm wearing. There are some rigs which get more use, obviously.
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Old February 8, 2013, 10:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Revolver or semi? I'm about 90% sure I want to go with a revolver just because of my inexperience.
This is the exact reason to NOT get a revolver. Whatever you do, do not attempt to learn to shoot with a small revolver. What you should get is some training. Start with NRA Basic Pistol (it's a safety class with some shooting). You may wish to take a few private lessons before moving on to a two day defensive pistol course.

The reason is revolvers are more difficult to shoot. You will need more time to learn trigger control. After that, you'll need to learn to manage the recoil for rapid fire. Keeping the rounds on target is more difficult than with a semi-automatic handgun. If you're up to the challenge, then buy a revolver with at least a four inch barrel. I found that a gun with a five inch barrel is easier to shoot, especially during rapid fire.
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Old February 9, 2013, 02:55 PM   #12
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New shooters; gun owners....

Hello & welcome to the forum;

In general, I'd read over a few posts about new or entry level shooters. 1000s of new gun owners have started to pop up in the last 4/5 years.
It's important to get the proper training, learn & understand the gun-use of force laws & to clean/service your weapons correctly.
Please know that firearms are NOT toys, props, accessories, or fashion statements. They are dangerous weapons that can injury or kill someone.
You should also join the NRA, www.nra.org . They support 2A issues & provide training resources for all types of gun owners/hunters.
Keep you weapon & related gear clean and check it often for any problems. A gunfight is the wrong time to discover your firearm or magazines are broken.
For cleaning, get a CLP like Gunzilla, LPX, Weaponshield or the top rated Ballistol. Hoppes #9 & Birchwood Casey's Synthetic Gun Cleaner are good too. A Boresnake Viper barrel cleaner makes quick work of a dirty barrel.
See: www.natchezss.com www.midwayusa.com www.brownells.com www.uscav.com www.grafs.com .
For skill training see; www.gunvideo.com www.deltaforce.com www.paladin-press.com . Take training classes with a top instructor or program. Don't go to some gun shop ranger or weekend Rambo. Good firearms instructors include; Massad F Ayoob, John Farnam, Clint Smith, Jeff Gonzales, Duane Dieter, Lewis Alebuck(check spelling).
As for firearms, I'd buy a simple DA or DA only(no hammer spur or cocking) revolver in .38spl or .357magnum. Guns like the Ruger GP100, the LCR or the compact SP101(DA only) will conceal with ease & defend you. As your skills improve, you can upgrade to a DA only pistol like a SIG Sauer DAK a HK P30 LEM or a S&W SD pistol.
I'd avoid semi auto pistols or firearms like the Glock or 1911a1 .45acp until you are ready. A .38spl +P or .357magnum will do fine.
ONLY use factory rounds for protection/carry too. No reloads or handloads!
Stay safe & enjoy the shooting sports;
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Old February 9, 2013, 03:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Revolver or semi? I'm about 90% sure I want to go with a revolver just because of my inexperience.
I don't think revolver or semi is the first choice. . .The first choice is where to get your basic gun handling training. After that, you will need to choose a gun.

When choosing a gun, choose one which you are confident in. To me, that is my 1911's and my DAO revolver. I choose the 1911 because I have to DO 3 things to fire it. Obviously, these 3 things can be done fast as it is the winningest gun in competitions.

I like the DAO revolver because it is simple point and pull, but has proven very safe in LEO hands(minimal avg training) and very fast(Jerry Miculek). I also feel very fast putting SD 357 mags center of mass to 10 yards.

So for me, the what decision is about confidense in speed and confidense in safety. In practice, these things have been proven to me over and over.

The reason I put speed and safety first is that I have proven to myself that I can CCW a larger slim gun like a 1911 all day with almost the same ease as a small J frame 357.

If it matters, I think your first gun should be a midsize gun like a Glock 23, Kahr P40, S&W K frame 3" 357 mag, CCO type Sig/Colt/Dan Wessson 1911 or full size 1911. You should handle and shoot these guns though before making your mind up. You should also know that all 1911's are spring rate sensitive and you might be better off with a gun which does not require the spring maint that 1911's require.
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Old February 9, 2013, 10:11 PM   #14
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I like a Smith J in a pocket holster.

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Old February 9, 2013, 10:30 PM   #15
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I have been trying to figure out what handgun I want for my first CCW, and I am about set on it being a Ruger SR9C or SR40C. For the price, it seems like a pretty good option. Its a compact handgun, the 9mm magazine holds 10 rounds and comes with an additional mag that holds 17 and extends the grip to make it more of a full sized handgun.

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Old February 9, 2013, 10:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
I like the DAO revolver because it is simple point and pull, but has proven very safe in LEO hands(minimal avg training) and very fast(Jerry Miculek)
The difference between Mr. Miculek and the OP is about 750,000+ lifetime rounds (according to an interview I saw awhile back).

Let's think realistically and understand that the OP is likely to never achieve that level of skill with a revolver. As mentioned by many people, a basic course is the place to start. The OP should try a variety of guns before the course if possible and ask the instructor to bring several revolvers and semi-autos to test. He or she should then attend a two day defensive pistol course using a rented gun. The OP will then have an idea of what is necessary in a defensive handgun. He or she will then know whether or not the small details of the tested guns will be advantageous or not.

Now, if the OP needs a gun quickly, then just get one. Schedule NRA Basic Pistol immediately. I tell people to buy a Ruger GP100 with 4" barrel if they want a revolver and a Glock 19 if they want a semi-automatic pistol. Both guns are very popular and can be sold with minimal financial loss if it turns out to be unacceptable for some reason.

Under no circumstances should the OP buy an S&W J-Frame or equivalent small revolver. Experts have difficulty shooting them; don't expect a positive learning experience with one. Buy one later after the OP knows what he or she is doing.

Budget at least $1,000 to the project because the gun is only part of the rig. The OP will need at least one concealment holster (lots of forward cant), a gun belt (just buy a Comp-Tac kydex reinforced belt), magazines or speed loaders, at least two ammo holders, cleaning gear, safety gear, practice ammunition, at least 200 rounds of defensive ammo, and tuition for class. Ammunition prices have skyrocketed since Sandy Hook, so $1,000 is likely low.

Finally, do not overthink caliber. Buy 9x19mm or 38 Special at a minimum. Go no heavier than 44 Magnum (but use 44 Special for personal defense) or 10mm. Stick with common calibers such as 9x19mm, 40 S&W, 357 Magnum, 45 ACP, 44 Special and so forth. Use ammoseek.com and ammoengine.com to find ammunition. The two "default" guns are chambered in 357 Magnum and 9x19mm. Both are fine for the purpose of self-defense with quality jacketed hollow point ammunition (though jacketed soft points in 357 Magnum should be fine too).

Last edited by tomrkba; February 9, 2013 at 11:22 PM.
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Old February 9, 2013, 11:31 PM   #17
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I would go with a Semi, I'm a big fan of the Ruger SR9c. Great trigger, good sights, 10-1 rounds double of 5 shot revolvers. Plus you can carry a 17 round back-up. You already have a semi so carring one is no big deal. Pick it up point & shoot, or pick it up swipe off the safety and shoot. Why limit yourself to only 5 rounds.
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Old February 9, 2013, 11:59 PM   #18
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I have at least a dozen small handguns that I can, or have carried, Semi-auto and revolver. I have settled on the Kel-Tec P32, in my pocket, for several reasons. Its ultra reliable, small, thin and light. It locks open on the last shot, and the recoil is manageable. Many people will tell you that .32acp wont get the job done, but I feel perfectly comfortable with my choice. It wouldn't be my first choice for a long range gun fight, but for an up close, fast happening attack, I think its a great compromise between comfort, concealment, and performance.

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Old February 10, 2013, 12:27 AM   #19
weblance
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomrkba
I tell people to buy a Ruger GP100 with 4" barrel if they want a revolver

Under no circumstances should the OP buy an S&W J-Frame or equivalent small revolver. Experts have difficulty shooting them; don't expect a positive learning experience with one.

Budget at least $1,000 to the project because the gun is only part of the rig. The OP will need at least one concealment holster (lots of forward cant), a gun belt (just buy a Comp-Tac kydex reinforced belt), magazines or speed loaders, at least two ammo holders, cleaning gear, safety gear, practice ammunition, at least 200 rounds of defensive ammo, and tuition for class.
You really feel that a 4" GP100 is a good CCW choice? You also feel that experts have difficulty shooting a J Frame? Do you really feel this person needs to spend $1,000 to protect him/herself?

A 4" GP100 is a huge, heavy revolver that is very difficult, and for some people, impossible, to conceal. It also wont be long before most people would give up on a revolver the size of the GP100, for concealment.

The Smith and Wesson J Frame is an excellent, accurate revolver, that many people find very easy to shoot. A J Frame with 38 special ammo is very effective, controllable, and needs only a pocket holster, and no where near all the things you list, to be very capable of protecting a person.

A small J Frame sized revolver, or small autoloading pistol will serve very well, and doesn't need a $1,000 budget to be effective, and reliable.
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Old February 10, 2013, 02:28 AM   #20
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I've carried N-Frames, L-Frames and J-Frames. My current three CCW handguns in California are a S&W 329PD (N-Frame), S&W 3913 (compact pistol 9mm), and a M&P 340 (J-Frame .357 magnum).

I have and do carry each of these at various times, under various circumstances. I have carried them in hip holster, cross draw holster, shoulder holster, belly band, camera case on belt, ankle holster and pocket holster. The one I like best and use in urban carry is the J-Frame in a pocket holster. Hands down it is the most comfortable and useful for me.

Years ago I carried a S&W 629 6-1/2" revolver in a shoulder holster, or a S&W 627PC in a cross draw, or belly band, and a S&W 4" 686 in a belly band, or hip holster. However these were certainly not the most comfortable, or best for urban carry, but I did do it a few times until I got lighter more compact guns.

For me the #1 method is a J-Frame in the pocket, as if I get uncomfortable I can put my hand in my pocket without being accused of brandishing. You will need to decide under what conditions you will carry a gun and what you will most likely be wearing. I suspect like most you will end up with more than one handgun and a box full of holsters. You will develop your own personal methodology.

I went with revolvers simply because the semi has too light as trigger pull and I'd sure hate to put one down my leg, or into my arm pit, or stomach because of poor trigger discipline. Start with what you are most comfortable with and shoot well.
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Old February 10, 2013, 10:35 AM   #21
jad0110
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First off, be aware going into it that your first carry setup will likely be be an experiment. In other words, most of use go through several handguns and/or carry systems before we find the sweet spot. In that regard, if you can buy a quality used firearm and save a little up front, if it doesn't work out you can always sell it for about what you paid for it.

Also, getting some training up front before you buy anything is great advice. As another poster said, buy a revolver because you are inexperienced is not the right reason to buy one. This is where the experimentation comes in I described above. If you have a friend that will let you try different guns, that would be ideal. Renting is fine too, but it can get expensive.

As for snub nose revolvers like the ubiquitous S&W J Frame, many say they are an expert's gun, due to their tiny grips, almost non-existant sights and puny sight radius. The same can be said for ultra compact autos too though. Though for most people they are a challenge to shoot, some people I know don't have any such troubles with them. My sister's carry gun is a S&W .38 Bodyguard, and without the aid of the laser she has no problems putting all 5 shots into a 2" group at 7 yards (slow fire), or onto a pie plate at the same distance rapid fire. She's a better shot than I with a snub, but I do alright as well. Same for my father. Then again, my wife can't hit a 11 x 14" target at 7 yards with my S&W 642 (she did hit the ceiling at the indoor range though ). So yes, try before buy if at all possible.

Actually, I don't carry my 642 all that often these days. Because with high quality gear (holster and gun belt) and the right attire (and with the assumption that you don't have any significant back problems), carrying larger guns isn't all that difficult. Sure, it takes some getting used to. I wore my 5" 1911 around the house for about a week before it became fairly comfortable. Today when I carry it, I hardly notice it at all. My favorite all around carry gun is a 4" S&W Model 19, and in a horsehide Lobo Gunleather IWB holster, and it is barely more noticeable than the thinner 1911.

Going back to carry gear (holster and belt), those items increase in importance as gun size and particularly weight increase. For example, web's P32 pictured above would work fine in a cheapie nylon holster attached to a $10 wal-mart belt. Such a combo however would not be rigid or stable enough to support a 4" S&W N Frame, which requires a true gun belt and a high end leather or kydex holster. Medium sized guns, like a Kahr 9mm or Ruger SP101, are usually fine with an entry level leather holster and good thick belt (not necessarily a gun belt).

Finally, tom is correct about budgeting for the true costs (training, gear, ammo, gun, possible new clothing to dress around the gun of your choosing, etc). One aspect to consider in favor of a revolver (not that this should be the only deciding factor) is the general lack and expense of ammo at the present time. For me personally, I don't require a revolver to fire nearly as much practice and carry ammo before I trust it for carry duty. Before I carried my 1911, I fed it 500 rounds of cheapie stuff and something like 150 to 200 rounds of expensive hollow points before I trusted it. Given the current ammo shortage, I'm not sure that I could fine 200 rounds of hollow points to test ... not to mention afford it in my present situation.
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Old February 10, 2013, 10:50 AM   #22
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To add to the post above, you will also likely find that one carry gun isn't really optimal, just like owning one screwdriver or one pair of shoes isn't really workable. As much as I love carrying my 4" Model 19, there are times (like when my back is acting up, or if I'm working on the car) that it just isn't practical to carry. That's when a smaller gun comes into play.

Some folks here are blessed with the ability to shoot an ultra compact gun as well as larger platforms, but most of us (myself included) aren't able to do that. So we make compromises. The handgun I shoot best is my 4" S&W Model 28. It makes even me look like an expert shot. For me, missing is almost impossible with that gun. I carry it when I can, but it is a fat pig, so it doesn't get carried everyday. It typically gets carried when I'm going someplace with a higher threat level, and I dress around it. I shoot my smaller Model 19 almost as well, so it gets the nod most days. I also have a S&W Model 66 2.5" and a Model 13 3", both with round butts and compact walnut service stocks, that get carried when I need fairly deep concealment (such as when where a T-shirt). The 1911 gets carried when I need my pockets free of speedloaders for other stuff, as I have a mag carrier for the spare mag.

Then, I have my puny S&W 642, which can be carried about anywhere doing any activity. Though I shoot it relatively well, I'm just not as confident with it as the larger guns described above.

This is just as example for your consideration. The guns you select may well end up being different, but some of the rationale you use to get there may be similar. The end goal is to always have a gun (one that is obviously reliable) whenever it is legal to have one.
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Old February 10, 2013, 11:52 AM   #23
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I struggled with this analysis for a year. I'm a revolver guy--from way back. I've never liked autos. I like shiney silver wheel guns. So, when I got my CCW permit, I went straight for the revolvers.

But, when I finally made my decision, I bought an automatic. My choice was the Beretta Nano. For me, it all came down to thinness. After sticking countless revolvers and autos in my waistband, my pockets and under my shoulder, thin autos won the day.

I'm no ballistics authority and caliber choice was secondary. I felt that I'd be comfortable with anything from .380 to 9mm to .38spc. But, a comfortable carry was vital. The Nano is not a lightweight, but it's thin and tucks away nicely. For me, it was #1-comfort and #2-everything else.
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Old February 15, 2013, 10:55 PM   #24
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I have held the m&pc and shot the full size. Great gun, i am actually considering getting one, I would carry that. If you want a revolver i have heard nothing but good things from the ruger lcr, or an S&W 442 comes to mind. Personally i would carry the M&P in an IWB holster, there are a lot of options that vary in price, i would get a supertuck they are nice. A good sturdy belt is very important, check online for gun belts and reinforced belts that is crucial. Wearing slighly larger tops is also a good idea. I wish you the best in your journey and i hope you find something that will work for you
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Old February 16, 2013, 05:40 PM   #25
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Quote:
You really feel that a 4" GP100 is a good CCW choice? You also feel that experts have difficulty shooting a J Frame? Do you really feel this person needs to spend $1,000 to protect him/herself?

A 4" GP100 is a huge, heavy revolver that is very difficult, and for some people, impossible, to conceal. It also wont be long before most people would give up on a revolver the size of the GP100, for concealment.

The Smith and Wesson J Frame is an excellent, accurate revolver, that many people find very easy to shoot. A J Frame with 38 special ammo is very effective, controllable, and needs only a pocket holster, and no where near all the things you list, to be very capable of protecting a person.

A small J Frame sized revolver, or small autoloading pistol will serve very well, and doesn't need a $1,000 budget to be effective, and reliable.
First, it seems like the person is a new handgun shooter. Perhaps he or she is very experienced, but these sorts of questions typically come from new folks. As such, the recommendations are geared towards a gun that is good to learn with and carry. I feel the Glock 19 is one of the best choices for the new shooter who wants to carry. There are better guns, but it's the blend of attributes that make the gun attractive as a general carry gun.

The GP100 is not a huge, heavy revolver. The Ruger Alaskan is a huge, heavy revolver that little old me carries in the appendix position. It's 50+ ounces of 44 Magnum fun! It's also not that difficult to deal with as an EDC gun. The primary problem is the long grip; it really needs some sort of boot grip. It seems like many people are more concerned about convenience rather than choosing a gun they can fight with. Too many people that concealed carry is about winning a fight and is not about dragging a gun around all day.


Ruger Alaskan in 44 Magnum with AIWB holster and two speed strips and protectors

Ruger GP100 revolver carry is not difficult. I also carry S&W N-Frames, including the TRR8 with 5" barrel. The trick is to carry it in a split loop holster on a solid belt and mount a boot grip on the gun. The holster needs lots of forward cant. Wardrobe needs to accommodate the gun, but that can be achieved with a sport coat or larger shirt.

Here's the most important part: carrying a larger gun trains the owner how to avoid printing! It makes them think of their movements, wardrobe, gun and gear during carry and teaches them to be more careful in order to avoid being spotted. This is a good thing and carrying a pocket gun around will not do that.


Ruger GP100 in Milt Sparks PMK holster

In addressing your point regarding the difficulty of shooting a light J-Frame with short sight radius: I am not the only one who knows it is a difficult gun to master--especially out to 25 yards. It is definitely not for beginners and many instructors will tell you the same thing. They won't have a positive learning experience due to recoil, short sight radius, heavy-ish trigger and small grip. Trigger control is essential with these guns and it is better for them to get decent groups. The instructor may then diagnose their shooting and provide appropriate advice. But, with J-frame, the instructor may have difficulty separating out the variables (trigger, sights, recoil, grip) and the student has to deal with everything at once. By all means, buy one since it's great for dropping into a pocket! But, don't try to learn shooting with it.

The vast majority of people who carry concealed will never attend a two day defensive handgun course. They will never really achieve proficiency with their handgun. In their mind, the ability to hit a large paper target on the typical gun range is as far as they'll ever go. They won't ever be able to perform a double tap and keep both bullets within one inch of each other, properly and quickly clear a jam, or even reload quickly. Therefore, they need all the help they can get and tiny handguns do not assist them in their shooting. I wish it were otherwise, but it's not.

I know that people are not pushing the boundaries of their skill by how they shoot and the condition of their guns and gear. Many people do not realize that magazines and speed loaders are expendable items. They get attached to them and avoid dumping the magazine despite poor performance. Talk to any instructor who runs lots of people annually through courses; they spend quite a bit of time debugging guns that need some maintenance.

Finally, regarding price. Please review the post. The $1,000 is the budget for the gun and gear. Have you ever added up your receipts for a new carry piece? The total cost typically exceeds that and today's ammunition prices are not helping. I find it necessary to budget for test ammo since not all semi-autos like the same JHP ammo. Even my revolvers get tested with JHP ammo, though I expect them to work and it's really for familiarization. I don't buy just one magazine (or speed loader); I buy at least ten. The Comp-Tac kydex reinforced belt costs 10% of the budget alone. Night sights add another $100 to the bill. Magazine holders are now pushing a minimum of $30 for leather and go up from there. Cleaning gear, extra holsters and spare parts all add up.

Last edited by tomrkba; February 16, 2013 at 06:02 PM.
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