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Old March 9, 2013, 12:40 PM   #1
firme67
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First CCW to purchase?

I have just finished my CC class and am looking to get my first "small" concealable handgun. I am either looking to purchase a semi-auto 9mm or a 38 Spl J-frame style revolver. The reason for these calibers is that I have a large frame semi in 9mm and a large frame revolver in .357/.38, and this would keep the ammo buying simple, plus I currently have a decent supply of each. I will eventually (hopefully) end up with both of my CC gun choices, but just wondering which one a guy should buy first.

I have been around guns, both long guns and pistols my whole life, and am comfortable shooting both the semi auto pistols and revolvers. However, I have just shot as a hobby and hunting so this idea of concealed carry is new to me and as I have never CC before.

Choices I am considering at this point are:

Semi-Auto: Kahr CM9, Ruger LC9
Revolver: S&W 442/642 or Ruger LCR

Thank you in advance for your suggestions, please feel free to reccommend other models of handguns for consideration.
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Old March 9, 2013, 01:15 PM   #2
whip1
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The revolver choices are all good. They take a bit of practice to get used to shooting them well. I just bought a Glock 19, and couldn't be happier with it. If it's too big, maybe think about a G26.
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Old March 9, 2013, 01:28 PM   #3
Garycw
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First CCW to purchase?

SIG P938 would be my 1st choice. SIG 229 or Glock 26


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Old March 9, 2013, 03:45 PM   #4
bikerbill
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I carry, and train, with both a Kahr PM9 and a Smith 637.

For me, the Kahr is a far better choice. It's accurate and, for me, far easier to obtain maximum accuracy with the fewest expended rounds. I am on target with the first few shots out of the Kahr and going through a box of 50 gets me to where I want to be.

The j-frame takes far more practice with each session. I enjoy shooting it, so I take it, and I do carry it on occasion, but the Kahr has so much more to recommend it that the Smith gets less and less use. More rounds available -- 7 or 8 as opposed to 5; far easier to reload, magazine vs. speedloader or speedstrip; far less recoil, especially with +p rounds; and easier to conceal, especially when pocket carrying, flat and thin vs the width of the cylinder.

The CM9 is the one you should consider, IMHO ...
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Old March 9, 2013, 04:31 PM   #5
Cheapshooter
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I have both a KAHR CM9, and a Ruger LCR. Either is an excellent choice with the KAHR being a bit easier to conceal. Also the CM9 holds two additional rounds with a 6+1 capacity.
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Old March 9, 2013, 05:22 PM   #6
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If you go for the CM9 I'd also suggest springing for a Kahr 7-rd. mag to enhance it's versatility.
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Old March 9, 2013, 05:44 PM   #7
Nathan
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How much med to large frame experience do you have?
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Old March 9, 2013, 06:36 PM   #8
Cheapshooter
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All suggestions aside, If you live in an area with a gun shop/range that rents guns reasonably near it is a good idea to rent several to try. How you personally feel about a gun, and how well you shoot it is far more important than how happy I, or anyone else is with a particular gun.
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Old March 9, 2013, 10:56 PM   #9
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S&W Shield
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Old March 9, 2013, 11:00 PM   #10
orionengnr
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I own a PM9 (similar to the CM9) and have owned at least six j-frame S&Ws. I still own the Kahr, but do not currently own a J-frame. Does that tell you something?
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Old March 9, 2013, 11:03 PM   #11
firme67
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Thanks all. I live in rural America and there are no ranges within reasonable distance. I handled the CM9 at a gun show, really liked how it fit me.....should have bought it when I had the chance.....

@Nathan: I received a 4" Royal Blue Colt Python from my parents for my graduation gift 15 years ago, I shot it probably 100 rounds and then decided that it was WAY to nice of gun for a 19 year old farm kid to be shooting for fun, so I put it in the safe, I have maybe shot it 10 or 15 times in the last 5-7 years. I also traded a guy out of a Ruger Redhawk, as partial payment for a motorcyle, and that is the revolver I have shot the most over the last several years. As far as semi auto goes I have been shooting a 1911, and a Taurus 24/7 for about 7 years now.
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Old March 10, 2013, 08:34 AM   #12
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If you are equally confident with either, in the current climate of ammunition shortages I'd lean towards a revolver. For me, with semis I have to fire about 400 to 500 rounds of cheap FMJ, then at least 100 rounds (if not 200) of the pricey JHP stuff before I consider it reliable for carry. Finding that much ammo right now is darned difficult. OTH, with a revolver I'm fine with a careful inspection + 50 to 100 rounds cheap ammo + a box of carry ammo.

Your standards may be different, this is just something to think about.
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Old March 10, 2013, 08:57 AM   #13
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LCR
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Old March 10, 2013, 01:14 PM   #14
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I'd go with the LCR. I'd also try the G26 as well.
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Old March 10, 2013, 03:35 PM   #15
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I own a PM9 (same as the CM9 but with a few more features), LCR, and a 637 J-Frame. I've not had the pleasure of shooting a LC9. With that being said, any of your choices would certainly suffice. Personal preference, semi vs. revolver, would be the major decision maker for me. I prefer a magazine reload over a speed loader/strip. I'm not sure I would let my decision be influenced on current ammo availability.....it will pass....and I assume you intend to keep this handgun fora while. Buying a specific model now, based mostly on ammo availability, is not a good reason, IMO.
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Old March 10, 2013, 03:53 PM   #16
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Good idea on the caliber choice. Both are good defense rounds with the proper bullets.

Ditto on trying several before you buy.

You should not get caught up in the latest and greatest. You should chose one which fits you and you can shoot best.
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Old March 11, 2013, 07:20 AM   #17
loose_holster_dan
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stay away from the mouse guns like the lc9. the kahr isn't bad. look at the walther pps. good size for 9mm.
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Old March 11, 2013, 10:44 AM   #18
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Have you considered a Ruger SR9c?
Slightly bigger than your other choices, but still easy to conceal. Especially with the 10 round mag. I even carry mine with the 17 round mag, IWB no problem.It is my EDC.
MUCH better trigger and accuracy! A very good shooter.
Something to consider,
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Old March 11, 2013, 11:57 AM   #19
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It boils down to what is comfortable for you. The guns you mentioned are all decent guns. I have both a 642 w/CT grips (wife's) and an LCR (mine). I recently sold the 642 to get her an XDS. But to the point, I liked the grip and feel of the LCR and she like the grip and feel of the 642. They are both good revolvers and do the same job. As for the autos you mentioned I have no experience with the LC9 but I have shot a Kahr and really like them. I would try to get out and handle them and see what fits you best.
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Old March 11, 2013, 12:21 PM   #20
redhologram
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Like mentioned above, it boils down to personal preference. I prefer semi-auto's personally, 9mm. Sure, ammo isn't easy to find at the moment, but it'll pass.
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