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Old February 8, 2014, 02:57 PM   #1
ryanjblajda
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Beginner Searching for a CCW

Firstly, hi my names pretty obvious, im pretty lazy when it comes to screen names.

So i was not raised shooting, or around many firearms but after moving out of my little hometown in NH and moving Orlando i see the need for having a personal firearm for both ccw purposes and home defense. i have a friend that i go shooting with whos father is/was a police officer and he has alreay taight me the basics and is now working on teaching me the finer points of shooting.

I am 20 currently so i want to go out shooting at least 10 more times before i turn 21 in May so i can have a pretty informed choice and experience so i feel comfortable with what i want to purchase for a ccw.

There are two handguns i have in mind right now, the ruger sr40c and the glock g27 gen 4

i would appreciate any tips and advice you guys have.
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Old February 8, 2014, 03:13 PM   #2
ClydeFrog
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Florida resources, choices....

First, welcome to the forum & the shooting sports.
Here are a few decent sources & sites to find useful information about guns and the metro Orlando area...
www.gunvideo.com www.nra.org www.handgunlaw.us www.gunlawguide.com www.mylicensesite.com www.floridafirearmslaw.com www.myflorida.com www.brownells.com www.mpro7.com www.gunzilla.us www.italiangungrease.com www.weaponshield.com .
I'd look at the top rated Glock 23 .40S&W. It's able to be converted to 9x19mm, .357sig or a .22LR with a special kit. There are good semi-auto pistols & medium frame revolvers(DA only) out there too for carry/defense.
As for ranges in Orlando, Id look into Gander Mountain Academy in Lake Mary FL, Shoot Straight & a few of the public ranges around the space coast(Daytona Beach). Reigs in downtown Orlando(441) is okay. They are low key & relaxed. The gun shop & rental range is in a "shady" area so don't expect much.
Gander Mountain is clean, safe, well run, & they have computer simulation ranges too.
There is a Bass Pro Shop near Orlando's International Drive & Festival Bay Mall(which looks run down but is being developed).
Florida is not a open carry state yet. You can open carry handguns while hunting, camping or fishing.
Id close by advising you use only factory made rounds for carry or protection. No reloads or hand-loads.
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Old February 8, 2014, 03:40 PM   #3
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First thing I would recommend is to get some training from a certified handgun instructor. Being a police officer DOES NOT qualify someone to teach firearms, and it doesn't even mean they know much of anything about firearms at all. I have seen police officers who were absolutely abysmal shots and didn't how to properly hold a handgun. I've also heard some of the worse firearm advice from police officers.

I'm not saying that ALL police officers can't shoot and don't know anything; I've known some police officers who were VERY good with firearms and very knowledgable too. But I'm just saying that you should NEVER take the firearm advice of a police officer simply because they're police officers.

It's actually a very common problem for new shooters to rely too much on the "expertise" of police officers and military members; the problem is they're less skeptical when they receive bad advice because they have a misguided trust that those people must know something about guns, even if they don't. I made a thread about this very subject a while back:
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=508860
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Old February 8, 2014, 03:57 PM   #4
ryanjblajda
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my friends father is definitely one of the few who knows what they are talking about. im not skeptical per se but if something seems off ill call someone out on it.
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Old February 8, 2014, 04:24 PM   #5
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While I've never heard of any serious issues with the Ruger SR line of guns, I won't own one. The SR line has an internal key lock, magazine disconnect, and a manual thumb safety. To me these features are superfluous and I loathe extra junk on my defensive guns. The lock and mag disconnect complicate the gun's design and can serve as failure points and I just don't trust them. Some people like the idea of being able to disable the gun by dropping the mag in case there is a struggle over the gun. That's your call but I prefer to not have it. The manual safety I'm just worried about it getting bumped on or forgetting to disengage it. Lots of training would circumvent this but as I said before, I just don't like extra stuff on my gun that doesn't need to be there.

So for those reasons my gun of choice is a glock. I don't own an M&P but I would not hesitate to own or carry one. (without the optional mag disconnect or thumb safety of course)
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Old February 8, 2014, 04:24 PM   #6
Theohazard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanjblajda
my friends father is definitely one of the few who knows what they are talking about.
My point is that, as an inexperienced shooter, you have no way of knowing if he actually DOES know what he's talking about without double-checking everything he says with other sources. But I'll take your word for it, though I still recommend taking organized instruction from a reputable instructor.

EDIT: I'm sorry, I completely forgot to welcome you to our forums. Welcome! You'll find we often have spirited debates here on TFL, but we almost always keep them civil (sometimes we need the the help of the mods, however ).
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Old February 8, 2014, 04:25 PM   #7
g.willikers
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Welcome.
Either of the pistols you have mentioned would do, just fine.
Which ever one you choose isn't nearly as important as just getting really used to it.
Learn good techniques and practice, practice.
That's far more important than cogitating over brands, models and calibers.
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Old February 8, 2014, 04:31 PM   #8
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Welcome to TFL, ryanjblajda!

There are lots of good choices for CCW out there, and both the SR40c and the G27 are among them. I don't own either of those pistols, but I handled a number of them when I last went looking for a pistol. I don't care for the size of the G27 and would look at something a little larger. I went with the G19 (same size as the 23 that ClydeFrog mentioned), but I'm in a position to carry OWB with a jacket almost year-round. You may not be.
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Old February 8, 2014, 04:50 PM   #9
Theohazard
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I, too, carry a Glock 19 as my CCW. I think the simplicity of the design means many people have an easier time shooting it well. As long as you follow all the safety rules and keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to fire, the safety-less design is completely safe.

Keep in mind that I'm not just referring to the Glock itself; any similar design is also a great beginner choice. Some like the ergonomics of the S&W M&P, and some like the extra peace-of-mind of the Springfield XD and XDm's grip safety.

There's also nothing wrong with a DA/SA trigger design (like the SIG P229) for your first gun, just make sure you constantly practice the transition from the first long, heavy DA pull to the subsequent short, light SA pull.
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Old February 8, 2014, 05:14 PM   #10
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Czech out the CZ75 line of guns.
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Old February 8, 2014, 05:41 PM   #11
ryanjblajda
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Beginner Searching for a CCW

yeah the sr40cs safety and such are steering me towards a glock or somwthing else. a different friend also suggested the czech cz75. im also looking at one of the s&w sd40
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Old February 8, 2014, 06:41 PM   #12
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I got a couple For one, while in FL, you'll probably be wearing shorts when it warms up. The handguns you picked will have to be on a good holster and a good gun belt to be as comfortable as possible. And do you really want to be walking around with a couple lbs (-ish) on your person in the heat and humidity. I originally carried a SigSauer P250 Compact in 40S&W for my first year in FL. Then I picked up a KelTec P3AT .380acp so I can go out in shorts and a shirt and have my KelTec in my front pocket and be comfortable. Second, someone above stated to get formal training. I could not agree any more. Training is invaluable. Spend some money ($50-100 roughly) and take a Basic Firearms Course/CCW. I grew up shooting (almost 25 years now) and took a course a couple years ago. The instructor taught me things that I didn't even realize.
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Old February 8, 2014, 06:44 PM   #13
ryanjblajda
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Beginner Searching for a CCW

yeah i never wear belts especially with shorts (i hardly wear pants, im pretty much always in a set of shorts called Chubbies) so im not sure if there is any holster that would work for that type of short like a belly band or small of back holster. in the colder months i usually wear a zip up hoody, with shorts lol and i think a shoulder holster will probably work and be most comfortable during those months.
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Old February 8, 2014, 07:39 PM   #14
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Since your a shorts all year person and don't wear a belt, a shoulder holster is a good option. But how are you planning on covering it up? Winter is not a big deal since it can be covered with a jacket or button up shirt. Summer is whole other animal though. I'm just trying to give you some ideas to think about. That's how I ended up with several carry guns. As weather changes, you'll have to adapt with it. Does that mean you'll need multiple CCWs? No. Just planning ahead for your setup to be comfortable and you shouldn't have a issue. If you get to the point of being uncomfortable, you won't want to carry at all.
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Old February 8, 2014, 07:56 PM   #15
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Unless you go with a gun the size of a credit card, you'll want to dress 'around' your pistol. This may require a fairly loose overgarment with a random pattern to break up the rig's profile. Traditionally this meant a Hawaiian print shirt but that along with a fanny pack screams 'I'm packing'.

Just another thing you'll have to consider.
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Old February 8, 2014, 08:45 PM   #16
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I would personally go for the Glock 19 or 26, but it depends on what you're comfortable shooting, can afford, and can conceal....

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Old February 9, 2014, 02:22 AM   #17
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Sources....

There are a few decent K(firearms) classes in the metro Orlando area. S2 Institute, www.S2institute.com of Largo Florida is one of the better programs for entry level gun owners. Many of the cadre & instructors are ex-military or retired sworn LE. They are quoted by local media often or used as background sources for topics such as counter-terrorism & personal defense.

Not all trainers & programs in Florida are top rated. Research any K instructor or cadre first. They should be licensed by the Florida Div of Licensing & have good records(no - actions or complaints). These points can be checked online in Florida.
A few armed security(G) schools & instructors were busted in 2013 for using fake records and false weapon qualifications. Approx 300 G officers had fake training records.
W/concealed licenses are valid for seven/07 calendar years. Your home address is not listed on the plastic ID card & the general public can not access your personal records from the Div of Licensing database(name, address, etc).
The Florida W license is also valid in approx 36 states but Id keep an eye on www.handgunlaw.us for updates & changes(which occur often ).
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Old February 9, 2014, 07:51 AM   #18
ryanjblajda
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i think in the summer my best option is definitely a bellyband holster used in the small of my back. i usually wear a tshirt that hangs fairly loose in that area, so it wouldnt print, unless i bend over, which i usually dont do.
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Old February 9, 2014, 09:29 AM   #19
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You'll go through was most do....first you'll buy for magazine capacity. Then you'll learn how big and bulky those are. Being in Fl, you'll go micro...as in LCP, great pistols especially for summer months and temps. I still carry mine most days and it's a great little partner when the temps shoot north of 80. I can't imagine carrying anything larger when it gets hotter than the fires of algore down there. Buy the gun that fits your lifestyle best.

You'll be surprised how well a LCP in a fobus holster will conceal with a pair of shorts no belt and a untucked T.

For your first the best choice for HD and CC is the 40c IMHO. Great trigger, reliable, extended and compact mags and priced right. And believe it or not the manual safety isn't that bad of an option. Then start saving for a LCP or other micro 380.

If you're hung up on the 40 you may want to eventually pick up a single stack 40 and real full sized 40.
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Old February 9, 2014, 09:49 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanjblajda
my friends father is definitely one of the few who knows what they are talking about. im not skeptical per se but if something seems off ill call someone out on it.
Respectfully, since you don't know anything about shooting other than what this man has taught you, you have no way of knowing if what he taught you is correct or totally off-the-wall. Most likely, unless he is a police academy firearms instructor, it's somewhere in between. Further, in order to obtain a carry permit in Florida, you will have to submit proof of having completed some kind of course that includes firearms safety training. You will need a certificate of completion -- you can't just put on your permit application "I went shooting with a buddy's father who is a cop."

The types of training that Florida accepts are listed on the state's web site, which you can access through the Florida page at www.handgunlaw.us .

As to what gun you should buy -- only you can answer that, and you can decide only by shooting as many different brands and types as you can get access to. Glocks are certainly popular and have a reputation for reliability, but some people think they aren't comfortable to shoot. Your other choice is also a solid pistol, but again it may not be comfortable to shoot. The SR40C has a VERY short grip, and the .40 S&W round is a bit "snappy" in recoil. My own opinion is that the .40 S&W is not an appropriate choice for a compact pistol, it's better suited for a full-size duty weapon.

I would suggest that, before you narrow your choice down to two pistols, you back up a few steps and follow a decision tree. First, decide if you want to start with a revolver or a semi-automatic. Then decide if you want a full-size pistol or a compact. Then decide what's an appropriate cartridge to chamber in whatever size pistol you have decided on. Only then do you know enough to start looking at and eliminating specific pistols.

Almost nobody has shot all the guns available, so any advice you receive is likely to be affected by what guns a responder actually knows. I tend to avoid giving such advice, because I prefer 1911s and I know they aren't the best choice for new shooters.

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; February 9, 2014 at 03:48 PM. Reason: Typo repair
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Old February 9, 2014, 10:38 AM   #21
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Quote:
Firstly, hi my names pretty obvious, im pretty lazy when it comes to screen names.

So i was not raised shooting, or around many firearms...
Welcome Ryan. I don't have the time I used to, so I'm not around that much, but I am still a member of several firearms forums, and this is one of the best (and may be the best). There is a lot of good information to be found.

As for not raised shooting, me too. My dad is a member of all the big anti-gun groups (he was raised in a house with firearms, go figure), so my first time shooting was in Army basic training.

Quote:
There are two handguns i have in mind right now, the ruger sr40c and the glock g27 gen 4
While I don't own either, both are certainly good guns and good carry guns. I have not been a huge fan of Ruger autos in the past, but the current crop of newer Ruger autos are interesting (I can see owning an SR40C and one of their 1911s in the next few years myself). I'm not a huge Glock fan, but they do make very good guns (they just don't do it for me, and I've considered them several times in the past).

Some here have suggested the larger Glock 23 over the 27. In general, a larger gun holds many (non concealment) advantages over a smaller gun, but the Glock may be the exception. I've heard from many different owners on multiple gun forums that they find their G26 (9mm version of the G27) shoots as well or better than their larger G19 (9mm version of the 23). I don't know if that would translate to the G27/23 though due to the greater recoil in .40S&W. Usually though, a larger gun means greater recoil control and the longer sight radius should mean greater practical accuracy. However, the larger gun is also harder to conceal than the smaller gun (a major consideration with Florida summers I would assume).

Personally, I'd suggest going with a 9mm instead of a .40 for a first gun. With proper defensive ammo it is still a good defensive caliber, yet it is a good 10-30% cheaper than .40 allowing more practice time and with 10-30% more shooting for the money you will quickly become a better shot. 9mm has some advantages for all shooters (new or not) as well: quicker follow up shots due to less recoil, and greater capacity in comparably sized firearms being the main advantages. BTW- I am a fan of .40S&W so I'm not just trying to steer you away from .40, nor am I trying to start a caliber war, I'm just trying to suggest what I think is the better choice for a new shooter (and suggest some considerations you may or may not have thought about).
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Old February 9, 2014, 10:51 AM   #22
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Quote:
yeah i never wear belts especially with shorts (i hardly wear pants, im pretty much always in a set of shorts called Chubbies) so im not sure if there is any holster that would work for that type of short like a belly band or small of back holster. in the colder months i usually wear a zip up hoody, with shorts lol and i think a shoulder holster will probably work and be most comfortable during those months.
While the two guns you mentioned are good candidates for the one gun to do it all/only gun role (range, home defense, and carry), given your usual dress you will probably need to re-examine either the gun you intend to buy or your mode of dress.

If you want the guns you mentioned, or any gun that is big enough to be reasonable for all duties (range, home defense, CCW), you will probably need to consider changing how you dress (it can be as little as going to shorts with belts). There are a wide range of styles of shorts that take belts. Then, with a good gun belt, an IWB holster and a tee shirt you could conceal just about anything you are comfortable carrying, even in shorts.

If you are not willing to change your wardrobe at all then you'll probably need to go smaller on the gun. The new micro-9s are nearly as small as the small .380 pocket guns of the past, and certainly no bigger (and often smaller) than the PPK and snub-nose revolvers that were the deep concealment options for not all that many years ago. Some, like my SIG P290RS, are actually as comfortable as a much larger gun making extended range trips possible with the gun. Others, like my Kel Tec Pf-9 are not very comfortable after a box or so of 9mm. There are quite a few good options in 9mm: S&W Shield, SIG P938, SIG P290RS (I love mine), Ruger LC9, Kel Tec Pf-9, Kahr P9, Kahr PM9, etc. There are even a few good ones out there in .40S&W if you really want to go with a .40 (though a pocketable .40 will not be fun at the range). If you want to go even smaller, the new crop of small .380s completely disappear, my Ruger LCP is barely bigger and heavier than my cigar and pipe lighters (I usually pocket carry it when I carry it at all- I'm more likely to have my P290).

Try the bellyband of course, but many people who start with them find they don't like them and move on to something else (they can be slow on the draw, and they can be uncomfortable). Of course, other people swear by them, so if they work for you, terrific!
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Old February 9, 2014, 10:59 AM   #23
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I just feel like putting in a word for single-stacks... As a non-LEO ordinary citizen, I don't feel a need to carry more than a 7-shot piece unless there's a high-risk job involved. "Always carrying" is the key for me, and as the years pile up, the increased comfort and concealability of single-stacks has won out. I can always pack an extra mag if I'm feeling a need...

So, consider an S&W Shield in .40, a Walther .40 PPS, or a Kahr CW40 or P40.
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Old February 9, 2014, 11:06 AM   #24
Derbel McDillet
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Ryan,

I moved to central florida from seattle a few years ago. My carry gun in seattle was a glock 19 and it concealed easily year round under a light jacket or flannel shirt. I discovered in florida that with shorts and light fabric shirts that the glock 19 was too much gun (bulk & weight) to comfortably carry and keep reliably concealed. Since moving to florida i acquired three other guns for ccw: 1) glock 26, 2) kahr pm9, and 3) a seecamp .32. Of the four pistols i carry the kahr and seecamp the most - the kahr in a milt sparks executive's companion leather inside the waistband (iwb) holster and the seecamp in a leather pocket holster from grizzle gunleather. I carry the glock 19 and 26 sometimes during the winter months and/or when i feel a need for greater magazine capacity than the kahr. (Im going to replace the kahr with a Sig p290 soon.) (All my defense guns use the same manual of arms.)

You can try a bellyband holster but its probably going to be hot, sweaty and uncomfortable. I recommend against small of back (sob) carry because if youre shoved and fall onto your back you can seriously injure your spine.

If you're going to ccw you better get used to the idea of wearing a belt.

For what its worth i wear shorts almost year round. I wear a muscle t-shirt with a short sleeve button up shirt as a concealment garment. (I'm considering an outside waistband (owb) holster with a size "tall" t-shirt as a concealment garment for those days when its windy outside.) Where im going with this is your method of ccw will evolve as you gain experience and experiment. Ive been ccw'ing for 30 years.

Like many others i suggest some training by a certified instructor. I suggest you check out titusville rifle and pistol club, about 5 miles east of I-95 on highway 46. You can find their website by searching google. They offer NRA classes for a reasonable price.

Good luck!

Last edited by Derbel McDillet; February 9, 2014 at 12:08 PM. Reason: correct "I-5" to "I-95"
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Old February 9, 2014, 12:45 PM   #25
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Go to the range and rent

Look outside those two guns at others. Most things come down to personal preference. Having many different guns to choose from will make you a more informed buyer.
I recommend a revolver as a first gun. They are simple and pretty much universal to learn on.
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