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Old February 23, 2018, 06:52 PM   #1
KLCane
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Getting my concealed carry permit soon, need some opinions on a carry weapon

I am a couple of weeks away from getting my permit and I want to get a carry gun beforehand. I want to make sure I am comfortable with it prior to actually carrying it.

Anyhow, in doing my research and talking to people, I have narrowed it down to 3 different firearms:

-LCP 2M&P
-Bodyguard 380
-Remington RM380

I should premise this by saying that I live in South Florida, where it is usually 90+ degrees and 800% humidity, so it is a ton of t-shirts and shorts. I really want/need an extremely light gun (10-15 ounces) that won't print.

I am going to be practicing with this gun a lot, so I really want something built well.

Thanks guys!

Last edited by KLCane; February 23, 2018 at 07:17 PM.
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Old February 23, 2018, 07:23 PM   #2
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1. A carry gun should be comforting, not comfortable.

2. First rule in a gunfight is, have a gun!

If you could increase the size/effectiveness just a little, you'd be better off.
If you're going to practice a lot, wouldn't 9mm actually be cheaper than .380? Seems like .380 is priced higher than it "should" be.
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Old February 23, 2018, 07:27 PM   #3
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Of all 380s I recommend a Sig Sauer P238. The HD handles better because it’s heavier.

Get a few different holsters. Always carry a spare magazine for malfunction, but having extra rounds is helpful.


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Old February 23, 2018, 07:31 PM   #4
KLCane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickB View Post
1. A carry gun should be comforting, not comfortable.

2. First rule in a gunfight is, have a gun!

If you could increase the size/effectiveness just a little, you'd be better off.
If you're going to practice a lot, wouldn't 9mm actually be cheaper than .380? Seems like .380 is priced higher than it "should" be.
Unfortunately, it is something I have to consider. I am in southeast Florida where it is bathing suits and t-shirts. I need something really light and easy to conceal.
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Old February 23, 2018, 07:52 PM   #5
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Mini CCW

Consider 9mm in Glock 27 and the King Tuk IWB holster.
Consider Walther PK380 (380 ACP) in an Alien IWB rig.

Small handguns are hard to master; long shooting sessions tend to hurt.

With your CCW you should be able to constantly score multiple hits on a 3x4 inch index card from 3-yards to 15-yards from the draw. This is not easy to do with a mini gun.

Have you shot any of the guns you are considering?
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Old February 23, 2018, 08:03 PM   #6
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Some people tailor their wardrobe to accomodate their carry gun.
Some select a carry gun that fits their wardrobe.

Whatever you decide upon, I will tell you that I know more shooters that traded in their .380 for a 9mm because of things like recoil and cost of ammo. Plenty of 9mm options exist that are easy to conceal.
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Old February 23, 2018, 08:08 PM   #7
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There's nothing wrong with a 380. I like the Smith Bodyguard.
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Old February 23, 2018, 08:40 PM   #8
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Those little .380s can be snappy. Take a look at the kahr ct380 or the Ruger LC9s. Both are slim, the ruger is 17oz, the Kahr 15oz, and both are a lot easier to handle and shoot than the pocket pistols you listed. If you are set on one of the three, I'd go Ruger LCP.
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Old February 23, 2018, 08:48 PM   #9
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I'm probably in the minority [usually am], but if I decided to get my carry permit, and decided on a 380, I would question [seriously] why I am carrying. What do you believe your threats to be? Do you believe you can defend yourself with a 380 against the types of threats you foresee? With the understanding that a) 80% people survive a handgun shot, b) the reasons to use your weapon is that someone else has one and is threatening you [your family], c) the capacity and stopping power of the 380 are marginal [at best] - have you actually thought about more than your clothes or the weather?

With great respect, I believe your choice of a 380 is superficial at best and would reconsider.

"I'm going to practice with it a lot..."

No. No you're not. Life gets in the way.
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Old February 23, 2018, 08:55 PM   #10
KLCane
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^^^^

Thanks for the honest and forthright reply. I am thinking of more than clothes and weather, but if I have a carry pistol that I know I won't carry, it doesn't do much good. I am simply not going to carry something that is too heavy or that I will be nervous about printing. I am not sure where you are from, but here in South Florida, guns are a really, really touchy subject - even before what happened last Wednesday. I would rather carry something that may not be ideal for defense than not carry at all.
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Old February 23, 2018, 08:56 PM   #11
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You need to go somewhere where you can rent those pistols (or try a friend's) and shoot them before buying. I recently helped a new shooter go through the CHL process. They were dead set on a tiny .380 until they actually shot a few pistols. They ended up going with a S&W M&P 2.0.
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Old February 23, 2018, 09:06 PM   #12
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Try the gun before you buy it.
Including in the holster you want to use.
And while some poopoo a .380, it’s good enough for James Bond
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Old February 23, 2018, 09:20 PM   #13
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A LCP is a great pocket carry, summer heat gun. Handle and shoot one prior if you can.

It's a great carry gun but makes a crappy range gun.
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Old February 23, 2018, 09:22 PM   #14
Number10GI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KLCane View Post
^^^^

Thanks for the honest and forthright reply. I am thinking of more than clothes and weather, but if I have a carry pistol that I know I won't carry, it doesn't do much good. I am simply not going to carry something that is too heavy or that I will be nervous about printing. I am not sure where you are from, but here in South Florida, guns are a really, really touchy subject - even before what happened last Wednesday. I would rather carry something that may not be ideal for defense than not carry at all.
Don't worry about printing. When I first started carrying I felt like everybody could see the imprint of my pistol and were ready to scream "gun". Most people are completely oblivious about what is going on around them and most won't even think a small bulge is a gun. I've been carrying a long time now and really don't give a rat's butt if there is a small amount of printing. No one has ever said anything to me if they even noticed it in the first place. If someone ever asks me about a small bulge I'll tell them its a colostomy bag, wanna see it?
Keep in mind that the 380 is really not much more than the bare minimum for a defensive weapon. I have one and sometimes when I'm in a hurry to take a short trip to the store I'll slip into my pocket, but my 9mm S&W Shield is my primary gun. There are some very small 9mm pistols that can be carried in a front pocket but use a pocket holster. I have been really happy with the DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster.
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Old February 23, 2018, 09:22 PM   #15
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Too heavy?

I suppose I forget that not everyone is like me, nor lives in similar environments.

You may be surprised what a good solid belt can carry, and what quality holsters and good cover garments can conceal. Even in the heat/humidity. Skinny jeans will not be your friend, I am afraid.
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Old February 23, 2018, 10:10 PM   #16
CDR_Glock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KLCane View Post
^^^^



Thanks for the honest and forthright reply. I am thinking of more than clothes and weather, but if I have a carry pistol that I know I won't carry, it doesn't do much good. I am simply not going to carry something that is too heavy or that I will be nervous about printing. I am not sure where you are from, but here in South Florida, guns are a really, really touchy subject - even before what happened last Wednesday. I would rather carry something that may not be ideal for defense than not carry at all.


I understand about discrete carry as I used to live in Florida. I did carry a Glock 27 at the time. I always wore Tommy Bahama shirts, though.

As for MINIMAL carry, I even carry two North American Arms 22 Magnum revolvers.


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Old February 23, 2018, 10:28 PM   #17
KLCane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDR_Glock View Post
I understand about discrete carry as I used to live in Florida. I did carry a Glock 27 at the time. I always wore Tommy Bahama shirts, though.

As for MINIMAL carry, I even carry two North American Arms 22 Magnum revolvers.


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Tough sledding down here right now when it comes to firearms.
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Old February 23, 2018, 10:41 PM   #18
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First of all find a range in your area that rents guns if possible. Try as many as you can. Don't be in a hurry to buy something by the time your permit comes.
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Old February 23, 2018, 11:02 PM   #19
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KLCane - didn't you just post last week that you are new to shooting. You have a GP100 with about 200 rounds through it. Now you're about to get a carry permit.

Do yourself a favor [and everyone that's within a bullet's distance from you] get some training and experience before consider carrying a firearm in public. Carrying a firearm is a lifestyle change and huge responsibility. You are not ready to carry a firearm. Sorry to be blunt.
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Old February 24, 2018, 02:18 AM   #20
sakata8242
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Quote:
I am going to be practicing with this gun a lot, so I really want something built well.
None of the guns you listed are what I would describe as guns most people would enjoy or are willing to shoot frequently for any sustained amount of time. Their virtue of being tiny and lightweight also makes them very snappy and unpleasant recoil-wise. People quickly find that they’re not much fun to practice shooting, or find they just can’t simply shoot them very well for numerous reasons. These little pocket guns are not for novice shooters - they are much more difficult to bring into action, and shoot quickly and accurately compared to larger guns.

I also wouldn’t put much faith in their longevity. They may be made well but a small lightweight gun will not hold up to thousands and thousands of rounds being fired through it as a larger heavier gun will.

Finally, a carry permit is only the first, bare minimum step to carrying responsibly. The last thing you want to be is a liability - that means seeking out additional, advanced training - not just in shooting the gun.
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Old February 24, 2018, 03:53 AM   #21
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Quote:
Do you believe you can defend yourself with a 380 against the types of threats you foresee?
Yes
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Old February 24, 2018, 03:55 AM   #22
moosemike
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You are not ready to carry a firearm. Sorry to be blunt.
You're not the judge of that. You're just some high and mighty guy on the internet. You won't be there to protect the dude if he finds himself in a situation and things go sideways. His gun will though.
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Old February 24, 2018, 04:46 AM   #23
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As someone who is a pocket gun enthusiast and shoot them each week, I would advise not to get one unless you plan on doing frequent and diligent training.
They can be difficult to shoot for someone with little experience. And I am not talking about just going to the range, pulling the gun up and taking your time, getting the proper stance, and squeezing the trigger etc. I mean pulling the gun and shooting fast into center mass.
As least this was the case for myself. It took many thousands of rounds down range to get where I thought I was proficient. 10 years of shooting them on a consistent basis I have learned a little about them. For one , even when mastered, it is important to keep honing the skill with frequent, moderate training.
My personal advice is to get one with a strong double action. Stay away from a light trigger. Once you get use to a a trigger like this they become your friend and can be shot as well or better than many of the "light Crisp" triggers advertised and much safer to carry and handle quickly.
Become proficient in Point and shoot skills. This alone takes a lot of dedicated practice and training. Get one that with night sights. Although you will not be using the sight directly, when point and shoot skills are learned, they give a great Peripheral tool to help with fast action at night.
I have heard so many times over the years the comment "These are not range guns". I say "the hell they are not". You take it to the range and you do all kinds of drills, just like any other gun, multiple targets, different ranges, double taps etc. I train as if my life depended on it.

You might want to start off with a bigger gun and move down as you gain experience. JMHO
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Old February 24, 2018, 08:02 AM   #24
t4terrific
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As a Floridian, I started pocket carrying in 2009.

I figured it’s the only way to conceal with a t-shirt.

Unless Sig figures the p365 out, the Kahr PM9 is still the best 9mm true pocket pistol.

Why go with .380, when you cal get a 9mm?

A couple of years ago, I realized that a Glock 19 was easily concealable at 3:00, withe a slight forward cant, under a t-shirt, with the right holster. The t-shirt can’t be short or tight.

I use Ultimate Holster with a single clip and the antimicrobial backing. I have 3 of the holsters and rotate them out (like I do my shoes) to let them air out from sweat and such as that.

A pocket gun’s better than nothing, but a “service pistol” is much better.

I have carried a Glock 19 or 23 that was for two years.
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Old February 24, 2018, 08:16 AM   #25
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While the OP is the only one who can decide what gun is right for him, the fact is that .380s can be noticeably smaller than similar 9mms. My P938 might be small for a 9mm, but my LCP is A LOT smaller. There is no acceptance standard for carry... if a .380 works for the OP, then go with that. If he can fit a 9mm without getting to the point that he will leave the gun home due to comfort issues... then go larger. But if you come up with an excuse to not carry a .380... then you likely wouldn’t be carrying a 9mm by that point.

Out of the options given, I’d pick the Ruger (I have the older version). Remington... would be the only one I’d say be careful with. The M&P should be good to go, but I’ve also heard mixed views on the Bodyguard.

If you are putting the gun in a humid environment, likely with some sweat contacting it, I’d go with a plating like NP3 or CPII (on costs, I’d go with CCR’s CPII; they are out of Tennessee and very good people... just might take a little bit to get it back). When I first pocket carried my LCP, it rusted pretty quick... as I have like battery acid sweat. I sent the gun to CCR, especially the screws for the CT grip, and never had an issue since.

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