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Old March 4, 2013, 12:27 AM   #1
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Compact or Full for CC

Looking to purchase a gun that I would primarily use as a CCW. My main issue is that I have rather large hands so the many of the compacts do not fit comfortably in my hand. I have looked at the S&W M&P 9 and .40 both full and compact versions.

Any advice on which to go with? or maybe even another model.

And yes, I understand that actually handling the weapon is the best way to figure this out but I am looking for suggestions to make it a shorter process.

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Old March 4, 2013, 12:34 AM   #2
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The shorter barrel length makes the M&P Compact somewhat easier to conceal. The shortened grip frame might leave your pinky finger dangling if you have large hands, however. As a compromise, you can get the Compact version but use the standard length magazines with an extender from X-Grips like this one -- I have the X-Grips extender for three of my pistols and like them (Sig P220 Carry, SW M&PC, 1911 CCOs).
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Old March 4, 2013, 03:21 AM   #3
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Compact or Full for CC

I second KYJim on the compact M&P with the X-grip. I have both compact and full size .40. I've carried the full size concealed for a couple years but I find myself carrying the compact with X-Grip concealed full time now. They both shoot identical as far as I'm concerned or can tell, so the compact with the full size grip is a double win. I have small hands so I use the smallest blackstrap, you would probably be the opposite, using the largest one.
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Old March 4, 2013, 07:22 AM   #4
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Ergonomics DA-only pistol, carry...

There have been many advances in semi-auto pistols for carry or duty size in the last 10 years.
I'd start with a simple robust DA only pistol like the new Walther PPX in 9x19mm or .40, the Beretta PX4 Storm in 9x19mm or .40(C or constant action), the S&W SD40 or SD9 with tritium sights; HD types.
The SIG P226R or P229R has a alloy frame but is highly rated for fit in either left or right hand. The .40 or .357sig with the DAK(Double Action Kellerman).

I like the .357sig for defense or duty use(s) but the .45acp, 9x19mm or .40 are powerful & fast(vel).

Night sights & a 1913 rail are good features. A DA only design is safe & prevents bogus claims of cocking hammers or firing in a reckless way.

Learn your area's use of force & firearm laws/statues and get formal skill training.

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Old March 4, 2013, 12:11 PM   #5
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I haven't carried anything smaller than a Ruger SR9c for about a year. When I started experimenting with carrying larger options, I quickly learned that I could carry more gun, very comfortably. I strongly recommend experimenting with carry method, location, and weapon size. After a short time, you should identify a tipping point in terms of size that you can or can't easily conceal.
Currently Own: Beretta PX4 9mm, Glock 23 (Gen 4), Glock 19 (Gen 4) x2
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Old March 4, 2013, 12:20 PM   #6
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I have carried a full size with no issues at all. Honestly, the grip makes some difference (enough so that I currently carry a CCO) but I've noticed no notable difference at all in barrel length and personally don't even have an interest in semi-autos with less than 4" on the barrel.

The Glock 19/CCO/M&P45C seem to be the best all around pistol size for concealed carry based on my experience. If you have large hands I wouldn't be scared of a full size though.
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Old March 4, 2013, 02:56 PM   #7
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I carry a full size Sig P220R. I have no issues either. I just prefer the full sized pistol to most others.
" The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to
keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect
themselves against tyranny in Government.
..." - Thomas Jefferson
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Old March 4, 2013, 05:35 PM   #8
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Re: Compact or Full for CC

Subcompact....oh wait...not a choice. Compact then.
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Old March 4, 2013, 05:55 PM   #9
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Do not forget to take your wardrobe & climate into consideration. If you live in Florida and are constantly wearing shorts and a T-shirt, a compact will just be much easier to conceal for most of the year. OTOH, if you live in North Dakota, usually wearing jeans and an untucked shirt, then a full-sized pistol is a lot more feasible.
I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. If you need some honest-to-goodness legal advice, go buy some.
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Old March 4, 2013, 06:05 PM   #10
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Get a good IWB holster, and dress around the gun (not the other way around). I've concealed a Glock 21 in T-Shirt and Shorts in 110 degree weather, without trouble. It doesn't get much more fullsized than that.
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Old March 4, 2013, 07:55 PM   #11
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I carry IWB the M&P full size no issues
M&P- the other dark meat
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Old March 4, 2013, 08:17 PM   #12
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I live in Illinois and we are slowly working towards a shall carry bill that will hopefully get the last state in the union in line with our 2nd Amendment and concealed carry.

I have a full size Ruger SR40 and SA XDm 9mm. I like them both and was wondering if I would have to buy a compact or subcompact to conceal. I'd prefer not to buy a carry only handgun if I can comfortably carry the full size. I am encouraged by the remarks of many that a full size is a viable option.
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Old March 5, 2013, 02:44 AM   #13
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I carry an M&P 40C or a M&P Shield 9mm, depending on what I'm wearing. I carry IWB, so the extra thickness of the 40C is noticeable to me (a relatively skinny guy). Although I prefer shooting with the extended mags on each gun, I carry with the shorter mags. I find I still shoot about as accurately with either mag (just more comfortably with the longer ones), and equally important, I find I can conceal them better. When concealing, the barrel length (for me) is less of a factor than the length of the grip/mag. I carry a P226 OWB on occasion, and it's the grip that I have to worry about hiding, not the barrel.
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Old March 5, 2013, 11:43 AM   #14
the jigger
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Over the years I have carried S&W 640, Glock 23, Witness compact, XD9 sub-compact, and currently carry a 1911 commander. The commander is comfortable, accurate, and fits my large hands. There are many out there so I don't have any brand recommendations;however my two are a Colt model 70 and an American Classic by Metro Arms.
If you're gonna get old you better be tough;Gettin' old ain't for sissies!!
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Old March 5, 2013, 11:53 AM   #15
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The Commander has always been the perfect size and balance for me. But I don't own one any more so I carry a Govt. model. With a good belt and holster it can be carried all day with comfort. And it's a little easier to hit with for me. If you come across a 9mm Commander that hasn't been hacked on, buy it.
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concealed carry , help! , smith and wesson

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