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Old May 21, 2011, 05:03 PM   #1
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Concealed carry auto choice? features, not caliber

This isn't a caliber war, moderators PLEASE shut it down if it turns into that.

I'll consider whatever caliber you suggest.

What I am more interested in are what features one should consider. Safety? DAO? Length of barrel? Sight type? Number of rounds held and so on.

I do not want a full sized pistol as I will be living in the south where coats won't be worn 75% of the time. I'm 5 ft 10, 210 pounds, so average size, average to large hands. I don't want a tiny pistol either. Somewhere in the middle range in terms of size, but will consider any caliber.

I am very familiar w weapons, mostly rifles/machine guns while serving in the military for 8 years, but have only owned one handgun, shot it little and never carried it.

So taking that information, what would you suggest? Both specific guns and specific features?

Thanks for your thoughtful reply.
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Old May 21, 2011, 05:09 PM   #2
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I carry a Sig P239 9mm everyday. I like it for it's reliability, ease of use, and weight (29 oz). No saftey, but it has a decocker which I have come to really like. I've found if I carry another gun with saftey, I never use it.
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Old May 21, 2011, 05:32 PM   #3
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Sig 229, 357 Sig, DAK or DA/SA dpending on what you like better.
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Old May 21, 2011, 08:05 PM   #4
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For an auto, I carry a 3" &/or 4" 1911. The 3" goes in a IWB holster when carrying the 4" in an OWB holster isn't appropriate.

Both have combat sights. One has an ambi safety. The 4" gun has a full sized grip.
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Old May 21, 2011, 08:15 PM   #5
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i carry a Ruger SR9c (9mm) in an IWB holster. 3.5 inch barrel, has a trigger safety nearly identical to a glock and a manual safety (which i never use), 10rd mag.
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Old May 21, 2011, 08:23 PM   #6
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I know there is no replacement for handling and shooting the guns to find what is best for me.

What I think I am looking for is...

medium sized give or take
polymer (or reasonably light weight metal)
10 round capacity (give or take)
.380 - .45 cal (consider anything in between)

do I need a safety? I automatically go to SA/DA w safety. Why consider DAO?
not interested in revolvers at all
not interested in glocks at all

The short barrel 1911 is a good idea.

Point me to resources on selecting a concealed carry pistol if you can't guide my decision please. Again, not looking to get caliber vs caliber debate and thanks for not going there!
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Old May 21, 2011, 08:33 PM   #7
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So how would something like this

compare to a polymer .45?

Also any company make something of similar quality for a little less?
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Old May 21, 2011, 09:42 PM   #8
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How about Springfield Armory?

Try the XD9SC or XD40SC.....great guns! Don't rule out a Kel-Tec P11, either.
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Old May 21, 2011, 09:44 PM   #9
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What do you consider a "tiny" gun?
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Old May 21, 2011, 09:48 PM   #10
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I normally carry a RIA CS, but I got bored last week and started carrying my old S&W 469. Both are 3.5 inch and I carry a second magazine for the RIA.

The RIA is carried in a Galco rig OWB at 4:30 position, and the 469 in a SOB Triple K rig.
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Old May 21, 2011, 09:50 PM   #11
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Another vote for the XD9 SC. But then coming from me you would assume that already!
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Old May 21, 2011, 10:17 PM   #12
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for ccw i carry a glock 36.././. good power , small package.... backed up by a S&W 640 on ankle or kahr p380 in pocket (coat usually)

36 is simple, easy to use and hits hard, very controlable
also carry an extra mag in a wilderness horizontal tact pouch

p380 works fine for v small carry

and (yes for church) an ankle jframe is good
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Old May 21, 2011, 10:36 PM   #13
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"Also any company make something of similar quality for a little less?"

BTW, I've seen nice wooden grips for these... Really sharp-looking gun!
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Old May 21, 2011, 11:01 PM   #14
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For me the priorities are as follows:

1. Reliable (and I don't mean so long as you use XYZ bullet and hold it at a perfect angle during a month that ends in "R").

2. Portable (meaning I can carry it all day long. Since the more portable the less powerful it is, I have several options and generally carry the largest weapon the weather, my clothing, and day's routine will allow).

3. Shootable. If I can't put all the shots in a tight cluster at normal combat distances either it's too much caliber for the size or the ergonomics are poor.

4. Powerful. What that means is that it's the largest caliber and best ammo I can use without compromising 1-3 above.

5. Capacity. The more the merrier, assuming I don't compromise 1-4 above.

At this present time, I'm finding I am best served with a Glock 19 followed by a Kel-Tec .32 for those few times when I can't carry the 19. I continue to love 1911s, but it seems I'm too out of shape to carry one all day long without getting back pains.
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Old May 21, 2011, 11:31 PM   #15
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Thanks for the responses.

I've been reading the latest gun magazines (I know, I know)...

and I am impressed at the huge number of guns designed/modified for concealed carry that are now on the market.

What do I consider tiny? The little 22 revolvers and such (NAA/Charter?)

I will be living in Texas. How concerned should I be about rust/wear on the finish?

I plan on carrying occasionally, if I need to leave my very nice, low/no violent crime neighborhood and roll through the rough part of town or if I'm out late at night or some other occasion. (I understand the virtues of always being armed, but that's not my plan, could change.)

So here are the pistols I'm considering in no particular order.

Taurus millenium pro/700/738
Para carry
Springfield Micro compact
Sig 250/232/239
Colt defender
Kimber cdp
Ruger LC9
Springfield Enhanced micro pistol
kimber solo

As I don't plan on carrying all the time (I know, best pistol is the one you carry) I am not placing a premium on super compact, "mouse" type guns.

Now on to calibers but not a caliber war please! They are all good for certain things.

I am not interested in 22/25/32

I have always kind of questioned the .380 as legit for concealed carry. Are these new wonder rounds as great as I hear?

I think 9mm/.40/.45 is mostly what I'm looking at.

How many rounds is "enough" (I know that is subjective).

I tend to feel that 6 rounds of anything reasonably powerful is plenty. I really don't have any vision of fending off mobs. If I had to touch off say 2 rounds at 3 attackers, I feel that would be plenty. I don't foresee needing 17 rounds of 9mm or 3 mags worth of .45. Could it happen, sure. But I'd try to avoid that situation at all possible.

My real belief on the concealed carry concept is...yes, it should be a right.

But, if I had to pull it, that would deter most criminals.
If I had to fire it, that would deter whatever criminals weren't running away at the sight of it.
If I hit someone with a round, their fight would be radically diminished (someone high on PCP not withstanding)
And I wouldn't be engaging in some protracted gun battle. Rounds would be touched off, threats eliminated/reduced and I would head for cover/concealment/temporary safety.

Just trying to reveal my thoughts. If you disagree with me, cool, please let me know why and we can discuss. I am not uninformed, by trying to form better views on what I should carry, how often, why, how it should be carried and such.

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Old May 21, 2011, 11:53 PM   #16
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My vote is a glock 36... 6+ 1 in the chamber and carry at least 2 mags...
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Old May 21, 2011, 11:58 PM   #17
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OP said not interested in Glocks...unless I misread.

I have been mulling over one of these lately. Sig Sauer 1911 C3. 4 Inch barrel, compact defender grip. Weight, overall size is about as good as it gets for a 1911 carry gun IMO.

THe RCS 2 tone/Nitron models are the same thing, little different looking. Don't get me wrong, i'm a HUGE Kimber fan, but this gun is just a little more concealable in the grip area.

There was a point where I said I would never carry a 1911, (only because of size), but now I'm carrying my Kimber Custom II more often than anything else. It's amazing what a good holster, belt, and some good sense on your part will allow you to hide.
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Old May 22, 2011, 12:18 AM   #18
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Decide up front if you want DAO, SA, or DA/SA, that will limit what you need to look at.

Then decide how you want to carry, Pocket, IWB, Side Belt, or Behind the Back, or maybe shoulder rig. How you are going to carry will effect what you can carry in some cases. Hard to put a 4" .45 M1911 in a front pocket, but a .380 or a 9mm is something you can do so put some thought into it including while driving.

Once you have the action and the size down then you should be able to make a list of several possibles, order them by price, and try to get some range time in with some of them. Look for a range that rents shooters, heck, you might even find a member here that lives close by that would let you run a mag or two thru one of their pistols.
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Old May 22, 2011, 12:34 AM   #19
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For me, the smaller the better. If I can slip it in my front pocket and be on my way.. im there.

Ruger LCP/Kel-Tec P3AT fits that bill nicely.

I am also partial of the Ruger LCR, very nice to shoot and light.

My best advice to you is buy the gun that fits best in your hand thats the smallest your comfortable carrying. The trigger can be learned and master regardless of trigger style; just takes practice.
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Old May 22, 2011, 01:02 AM   #20
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Here's my carry gun. A Bersa UC40

Two things were most important to me, size and safety features.

The gun is a compact .40 with a 3.25 inch barrel. Like it or hate it, I had to have a da/sa with a decocker, then what additionally sold me on a Bersa was the almost 100% favorable reviews I found spread across the net. I mean do a serious search, spend some time, and there's very few complaints regarding FTE or FTF's, I have 750 rounds through it, of a wide spectrum of ammo, and haven't had an issue, except for the slide not staying open after the last round. Both feeder platforms had cracked, a 3 buck part purchased from the importer.

Most importantly was with the decocker that also serves as a trigger disconnect/safety. Where as a Sig has a decocker, the trigger is engaged in DA mode. With the Bersa, you have to snap off the decocker to engage the trigger, a simple quick movement.
Then with the price of 400 bucks, I wasn't going to cry over a nick or two from daily carry. The only thing is for as decent gun as it is, the finish is a step or two below top notch.

Also all the controls are ambidextrous and there's a keyed trigger lock for home use with kids around.

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Old May 22, 2011, 04:55 AM   #21
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Good point lcpiper.

I am ok w any of the actions I think.

I do want a safety and plan to carry w empty chamber. I know some think you should carry cocked and locked. If the situation warranted such a carry configuration. I could carry that way. But most of the time I would carry chamber empty. Hammer down and safety on.

Some DAO's have safetys?

Any advantage of dao sa or da/sa the way I intend to carry?

I need to think/study whether id be better off w 380/9 which disappears in my pocket versus a 9/40/45 which I have to "work" at carrying.

Is my logic of only carrying when I have a good chance of needing it flawed? I just don't see myself needing it in my super nice neighborhood. Although I realize bad things can happen anywhere anytime to anyone.

What is the smallest 45? Taurus? I know it wont be a 1911 design.

Thanks for the responses.

Sounds like options for concealing a 380/9 include a pocket holster as the best/easiest option. For carrying a 1911 pistol what is the best way?
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Old May 22, 2011, 07:21 AM   #22
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I have been carrying a SIG P238 for about 8 months now.
This is a small .380, in an Uncle Mikes Sidekick outside the belt soft holster.
I live in So FL, when wearing a "T" shirt it is 99% invisible.
If, dressed I have a Don Hume 30-238 pocket holster, front pants pocket.
The only "problem with the SIG is that to carry in condition 1 (round in the chamber) you rely on the manual slide safety...depends how you feel about that.
Before the SIG I was carrying my WALTHER PPS 9mm, another very nice gun, if a bit bigger...
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Old May 22, 2011, 07:57 AM   #23
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For CCW, I prefer a SA/DA snubbie or P-series Sig. The DA/SA option is, in my opinion, the better option because I believe operating a safety can be actually be a hindrance when fending off an up-close and surprise violent physical attack.

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Old May 22, 2011, 07:58 AM   #24
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g30, size, stopping power, 10+1
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Old May 22, 2011, 08:17 AM   #25
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Walther pps 9mm

I have been carrying my walther pps for about a year now. I have really come to like it very much. How slim the design is on the width really allows me to just throw my regular t-shirt over the gun. Which is always on my right hip a little angled toward the back to go with the curve there. Also the double recoil spring makes it very easy to shoot accurate and fast if needed. Take down is the simplest gun I have ever worked with. Takes down like a glock, however the side pins are easily push and you don't have to have the slide cocked back. The walther carries 7+1 of 124gr gold dot for me, which I truly think is enough to work in any situation. Adjustable backstraps is also a good plus seeing as no one has the same grip or hand size. Reliability has been top notch with this gun, have had zero issues as of yet.

A gun that I could carry in a drop in IWB holster and wear my kakhi shorts and normal large t-shirt while carrying a non pocket gun was a must for me. No one has noticed yet.

Good luck with your search. Try out multiple firearms.

Last edited by Stangcharger; May 22, 2011 at 08:27 AM.
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