View Full Version : Compact carry benefits

September 15, 2011, 06:56 PM
Are the compact models that much better/easier to carry?

Does the handle being 3/4-1 inch shorter make that big of a difference? How about barrel length?

Specifically I'm talking about the Ruger SR pistols and S&W M&P compact versions, but it seems a lot of companies make compact/carry versions of their mid/full size pistols.

September 15, 2011, 07:08 PM
I really don't know if compacts are (in general) all that much easier to carry.

I used to carry a Colt LW Commander and now my EDC is a compact: (Para Ordnance 6.45 LDA).

It is easy to carry, even to forget it's there, although it weighs a bit more than the LW Commander.

It is easier to conceal.

I never thought I'd care anything about carrying a DA of any kind, but the LDA changed my mind.

IMHO, if you can, you just keep trying different things and, one day, there's the perfect thing for you.

I suppose something may come along that I like to carry better than the LDA, but I'm not looking.



September 15, 2011, 08:12 PM
The 2 biggest things that make CCW effective are (1) handle length and (2) width of the gun.

In CCW, handle length is more important than barrel length because it's the handle that is most likely to print. All things being equal, you want a shorter length handle for more effective CCW. The width of the gun is critical too. Single stack weapons are better than double stack and there is a noticeable difference.

You combine a shorter handle length with a single stack and you have a CCW winner. Either way, you want at least one of those components to be in your CCW gun but both is better. Of course, if you don't care about printing then it really doesn't matter and you can go full-size.

Good luck!!

September 15, 2011, 08:40 PM
Interesting. The way I see it, bigger handguns are easier to shoot well than smaller guns. You have more sight radius, and bigger sights, and more to hold on to. All of this allows you to shoot better, faster.

It is true that the odds are against me ever needing my carry gun, so a compact version seems to somewhat justified, even if it may be a tad harder to control under stress. Critical thinking say that if I do need it, it will be life or death so I need something very easy to shoot, not some teeny no sight thing that's hard to shoot at a relaxed range! Mr Smith tells us that we only fight with a handgun to get back to the rifle that we shouldn't have laid down in the first place...So my 1911 is very compact already if compared to a rifle.

I've carried and shot a full size 5" 1911 since 1984 and consider it to be the Tricycle of combat handguns. Yes, it's pretty big. Yes, it weighs 39 oz.., but when you grasp it and drive it, it's like a Tricycle and is a mindless interaction of efficiency, it just works and hits...easily. This does not happen (for me!) with smaller handguns. I bought my Wife a S&W 38 snub and so of course I shoot it too, and oh my god, how does this thing work? :o

I couldn't hit anything with it at 21 ft. I couldn't hit at 15 ft with it. Not until I backed all the way up to 5 ft and slow fire with it could I begin to learn how to control that gun. I sure respect all you cops who can shoot with J frames...I need a Tricycle.:D

September 15, 2011, 08:59 PM
The 2 biggest things that make CCW effective are....
Attitude and reasonably proper gear and attire. With that, and you can carry pretty much anything you like with little troubles.

Ive carried full sized guns on a daily basis most of my life, as well as a double reload, and more often than not, a back up gun as well, and truthfully, to much other junk. Im not big, nor do I dress out of the normal (jeans, tee shirt, oxford shirts, fleece/sweat shirts in colder weather, etc), and Ive never had any troubles. Im always amazed when I hear people complaining a PPK is just a little to big and heavy, or I cant possibly hide a P220. :rolleyes:

Ive also never understood the whole "fashion accessory" thing these days with people and their guns. Seems many have a little gun for every outfit and day. How do they keep it all straight? Where did I hide it today? Wait now, this isnt the right mag for this gun. This is Tuesdays mag and I have Thursdays gun. Why do they insist on shorting themselves when it comes to something they might need to save their lives?

As far as someone spotting some little hint of your gun, 99% of the people dont have a clue as to whats going on around them, even when its right next to them. They arent looking for slight bulges in your shirt or pocket, they are to busy worrying about their trivial little lives, and sorry to burst your bubble, but youre just not that important, unless of course you insist on making yourself so by acting a little hinky or like youre up to no good. If you keep checking out your own butt, or playing touchy feely with yourself, people will notice pretty quick. Go about your business like you belong there (You do, dont you? Well, even if you dont :)), and no one will pay you any mind.

September 15, 2011, 09:05 PM
I think your personal body type and size is a big factor in concealing a firearm. The size of the grip is a big factor for me. I personally don't feel the barrel length does, It's more of comfort thing for me. The width doesn't seem to be that big of a factor either for me. A single stack would be easier to conceal vs. a double stack. Although it depends on the individual,width of the gun and the holster plays a big role as well. You just have to find a good combination for you.

I am about 175 5'6" and i carry a M&P 9c 3 1/2" barrel with a Comp-Tac M-TAc holster carried at 4:30. This combo works well for me personally.

My other carry combo's are a Glock 23 4" barrel in a DeSAntis holster which is decent but a little harder for me to conceal. The Glock's longer grip tends to poke out easier for me making it more noticeable, but still not bad for cooler weather when wearing jackets. The 4" barrel tends to bump when i sit sometimes which is a little annoying but not a big deal.

I also carry a LCP in my pocket. i don't have a holster yet, it's currently on order. It's easily concealable no matter what your wearing but not much protection either,but it's better than nothing.

September 15, 2011, 10:15 PM
I bought a Fobus HK1 (OWB) holster...

standing in the mirror with it under a t shirt...thought to myself....ok! this isn't going to work!

so I threw a button up shirt over it, still no dice

so either I need to do IWB or need a shorter handle.