First time CCW gun


August 17, 2007, 09:25 PM
Hi guys, I am a reader of the THR forums and first-time poster. I admire your knowledge and diverse opinions. So I want to ask a question about, or get some opinions on, potential options for first CCW for me.

A) I like cheap ammo, 9mm would be nice, but I don't think .38 special is much more expensive...for training and just plain plinking

B) I will be training extensively, and if I narrow it down more, it may come down to which gun fits my hand better, "feels" better, etc.

C) Cheap price is good, but I want a good deal too, and if I get more bang for my buck but have to pay more I'll be satisfied.

The options (tentative, in no particular order):

S&W SW9VE: Like the price tag, seems reliable from reading, fairly concealable, nice capacity compared to other options.

kel-tec PF-9: Love the size, apparently the kinks are mostly ironed out...if it's reliable enough, seems like the best option, considering price. Hard to find around here!

Charter arms undercover (.38): Best of both worlds? Hear it's ultra-reliable, I like the price, nice size, excellent weight, good stopping power. Can it occasionally hold .357, or is it strictly .38 special?

S&W J-frame airweight 642 (.38): Like the hidden hammer. worth extra $$$ over CA UC? Nice looking gun.

EAA Windicator: Just threw this in here because some people seem to think it's better than the CA UC. I dunno, would like opinions on it.

As you can see I'm all over the place. But hopefully you can weigh pros and cons, etc. I don't want to hear "get a glock." If you have a clear winner out of these, tell me why. And I appreciate any and all suggestions. This may come down to whether you like autoloading 9mm or revolvers better, and that's ok too.


If you enjoyed reading about "First time CCW gun" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
August 17, 2007, 10:37 PM
I just bought my wife a Rossi .38 special, and she loves it. the rounds are cheap, and the gun is dead on upto 35 ft. it's a snubnose so it doesn't have range, but most gun fights are with in conversation distance. I carry a Springfield XD .45 and i swear by it. rounds are more expensive but it is totaly worth it. I know both my wife's and my gun will fire every time no matter what.

August 17, 2007, 10:52 PM
S&W 642 would be the only of the revolvers you mentioned that I personally would spend my money on. You would be well armed with the 642 and be able to carry it very easily.

A cheap good quality 9mm that i'd look at is the Kel-tec P11, 10+1 rounds in a very concealable gun.

In bigger guns there are many good ones, but they take more effort to carry.

If you want bigger look for a used Glock 19, they can be had for $350 or so and are one of the best CCW guns out there.

Good luck and take some kind of basic handgun training class,


August 18, 2007, 01:20 AM
I appreciate the input. The 642 sure is nice lookin'. Can it tolerate some .357 reliably, for actual CCW, or is it just a .38? I know some .357s take .38 but I dunno about the reverse being true of the 642...

Glocks are nice but I prefer sacrificing a BIT of capacity in order to keep it pretty small. Can't afford to buy a big "winter" gun, summer CCW, AND glove box piece all right now! So I figure on getting a smallish piece for everything.

I definitely plan on taking a class, etc, etc, shooting a lot, and so on, so don't worry about that. Whatever I get I'll know how to use it, which is the most important part obviously! :)

August 18, 2007, 01:24 AM
The 642 is a .38 special only gun, you have to buy a .357 magnum to be able to also shoot .38 special in it.

How about a Glock 26? Close in size to the 642, but 10+1 rounds of 9mm.

The 642 will work fine for CCW, but something like the Glock 26 would give you a little more capacity, range and accuracy.

Either way good luck,


Black Adder LXX
August 18, 2007, 08:07 AM
The 642 is on my list. If you want 357, you might want to shoot ANY 357 snubby before you buy... If you want to go 357, maybe a Ruger sp101, a little more weight to help felt recoil, and no internal lock.

August 18, 2007, 08:48 AM
I really like my pt140pro. You may hear some bad things about them ,but I have never had a problem with mine. I have shot cheap ammo, defense ammo, mostly reloads and never had a failure of any sort. The trigger is a little stiff. I have numerous handguns and it continues to be my carry of choice. Of course they also make it in 9mm.

August 18, 2007, 09:25 AM
Of the guns you listed either the 642 or the Kel-tec would be my choices. If going a smith auto i would suggest either bump up to the M&P or look at the 39xx series ( 3913 ect.. ) if you want a thinner auto . They do cost a bit more than a sigma but it imho is money well spent .
After many years of ccw i have pretty well settled down to a couple of Kahrs and am extremely happy with both of them . I will suggest you also look at the Kahr CW series ( avalable in 9 and .40 ) . It is a bit more economical than the p series and is getting good reviews .

Mat, not doormat
August 18, 2007, 04:49 PM
Are you an experienced shooter, new to CCW, or altogether new? If can already shoot well, the guns you listed are all viable options. If not, and you're wanting the gun to learn to shoot with, as well as to carry, then I'd suggest getting one that's easier to shoot, for a first gun.

The Sigma is difficult to shoot well, because it has an absolutely horrendous trigger. The new generation is affordable, and reliable from what I've heard.

Kel-tec. I've had experience with p-32s, P3ATs, and P-11s. I've not yet shot one of the PF9s, however. In my experience, they have been reliable, surprisingly accurate for such a small package, and affordable. However, the triggers are failry heavy, and as small guns the recoil and short sight radius make them difficult to shoot well.

The revolvers: first off, the .357 Magnum cartridge is derived from the .38 Special, being the same thing, merely using a case which is 1/10" longer, and a lot more powder. As such, .357s can shoot .38s, but not vice versa. Once again, snubbies aren't easy guns to shoot, but they are generally reliable, and fairly easy to carry.

Differences between snubbies and compact autos, for carry purposes: if you wear dockers or other loose fitting pants, snubbies can often be effectively pocket carried. the autos you've mentioned, though on the small side, are probably better holster guns than pocket guns. If you wear jeans or other close fitting pants, a slim auto on the order of p-32 or p3ats can make better pocket guns than the snubbies.

For learning to shoot, as well as carry, I can't think of a better gun than a CZ75b. they're inexpensive, ($350-400) 9mm, high cap, reliable, and accurate as all get out.

Full size guns aren't that hard to carry, as long as they're slim. To me, bbl length is easy to hide, grip length slightly less so, but width is amlost impossible. I can hide a government model 1911 easier than I can a kel tec P11.

As always, ymmv.


August 18, 2007, 05:37 PM
I would suggest a Glock 19 or Glock 26. They are great carry guns and relatively cheap.

August 18, 2007, 06:00 PM
As far as the revolvers go You really can't go wrong with either the charter or the smith. I would recomend a bit heavier smith than an airweight if your just starting out shooting.

The sigma is a good defensive weapon for an auto. They are cheap to get. you get the S&W warranty. And the triggers are not as bad as they are made out to be. I carry a sw40ve everyday. I have to use a glock for work but I prefer the feel of my sigma over a glock. My sigma has never had a FTF or FTE in almost 3000 rounds.

Best of luck to you in whatever you choose.

August 18, 2007, 07:51 PM
conwict, welcome to the forum...

I own and carry a S&W M638 Airweight which is almost the same revolver as the M642 and I'm very happy with it. Like said above, the M642 is rated for .38 Special +P, but it's not a .357 Magnum. Firing a ultra-light .357 Magnum is not pleasant so I would suggest you test fire one before you decide to buy a Aitlite.

ALSO, some people in this thread have told you a snub nose revolver is only for up close SD, that's NOT true. Those who feel it's only good for short SD are not willing to spend the time to become proficient with their handgun. The short sight radius and barrel does make it more difficult to shoot well but the gun itself is no less accurate than revolvers with a longer barrel. I can shoot my snub nose very well at distances of 25 yards and some old-timers I know hit 3"/4" groups out to 50 yards. I'm very tired of hearing a snub nose is a "belly gun" just because it's not as easy to shoot well as a 5" pistols.

As you know, revolvers and pistols are very different so you will have to decide which you feel more comfortable carrying and shooting. That will be your first decision, then which gun in the group to buy will be next. Like you have already said, it will probably come down to which is most comfortable in your hand. That goes a long way to shooting it well.

Good luck with choosing and always make safety job #1.

August 18, 2007, 08:06 PM
Of the pistols and revolvers you listed, the 642 is the only one I would trust.
The PF9 is larger than necessary, the Charter is unproven (and Charter Arms revolvers of recent production have come up sort in the relaibility department) and so on.

As far as the relentless Glockers go...
How about a Glock 26? Close in size to the 642, but 10+1 rounds of 9mm.

A loaded G-26 weighs about twice what a loaded 642 weighs. If you think that insignificant, give each a try. In all fairness, it also has twice the magazine capacity. That said, I have yet to find a double-stack anything that is a viable CCW.

Good luck, Rich

August 18, 2007, 10:01 PM
That said, I have yet to find a double-stack anything that is a viable CCW.

It really does depend on how you plan to CCW, doesn't it?

The ONLY pocket-carry piece that's worked for me has been the S&W 340. However, if you're willing to take the next step to an IWB (inside waistband) rig, then I can carry my huge-mongous Glock 21 without a printing problem, and I'm a 5'-10" 165-lb guy.

So, if you want to go IWB, given your self-imposed limts (cheap, comfortable to shoot, and reasonable price), I really would suggest a G19. They're commonly available for under $500, parts are ubiquitous, the platform is proven, it's a comfy piece to actually shoot a lot, and its manual-of-arms is simple.

Runner-up suggestion would be a Sig 229, but that's a bit more spendy.

Just my experience: stay away from the Kel-Tec, Charter, and EAA offerings. Yes, they are initially cheaper. But is your life, and the life of those with you, worth an extra $200?

The lightweight snubby revo is a great tool, but be aware: shooting a small, light snub is no fun, and you're therefore not likely to practice with one very much, which actually makes them dangerous (for most people) in my opinion. Yes, they're diminuitive and feel nice in the hand, but they really are an "expert's weapon." Don't believe me? Try shooting aimed doubles at 10 yards with any reasonable .357 load!


August 18, 2007, 10:05 PM
Orionengnr: I think it would be a better CCW simply because of capacity and in my area 9mm is cheaper than .38. However I also prefer autoloaders to revolvers. However as a beginner he may have an easier time using a revolver. But I think reloading a revolver is a little harder than an autoloader. Especially if your left handed (like I am).

August 19, 2007, 01:49 AM
I carry the S&W 642 or the G26 on a regular basis and am more comfortable with the 642. I do like having twice the amount of ammo available with the G26 without having to reload. Practicing with 9mm should be way cheaper than .38 special.

I just mentioned these two handguns because I don't own any of the others that you have shown interest in. I do think that hammerless on a carry revolver would be the way to go. I came real close to buying a S&W 638 but thought the single action option would be a real lint catcher. Good luck with your purchase.

August 19, 2007, 06:50 AM
If you want more bang for your buck with a CCW gun, I would recommend the XD 9 subcompact. It is easily concealed, is plenty powerful enough, and it's cheap(er) to shoot. You can also put the 16 round magazine in it for home defense. It is accurate and very reliable. It is definately multi talented.

August 19, 2007, 12:42 PM
Lots of replies, thanks everyone.

The only strike thus far against the Sigma is the trigger, which I will have to try for myself, and the only thing I might not like (apparently) about the 642 is the recoil/comfort factor.

BTW, is the 642 identical to the 442 except for color? If so I like the way the 442 looks.

A little about me: I'm ~6' 200ish (fluctuates, I am into weight training) and I have shot quite a bit. No experience with revolvers that I can recall, though. I am 20 years old and will be 21 in November, so I am going to go CCW whenever I can get my permit.

Like I said, I really get into learning new things, so I'm not worried about a "learning curve."

I like the look/idea of a revolver, but autoloaders are cool too...the extra clip I could carry is a definite bonus.

So far it looks like the 442 is winning for reliability and size though.

August 19, 2007, 01:18 PM
1911 with a 22lr conversion kit?
you get cheap practice with the trigger, and 45acp for when you need it

August 19, 2007, 02:04 PM

Like the suggestion but it's just too bulky. As stated basically I need something that fits in a pocket and doesn't pull my pants down...also the 1911s I've seen are just plain heavy... right?

Nice gun but not my "match."

August 19, 2007, 02:09 PM
PLEASE don't buy a .357 revolver snubby :scrutiny: !!! Shoot a .357 medium to large frame revolver and then imagine scaling that down to a 12 oz. handgun. OMG it would be horrific. Go with the .40 cal G27 / S&W 642 (maybe with crimson tracer grips).

August 19, 2007, 02:30 PM
I'm very happy with my Glock 26. 10+1 rds of 147gr +P 9mm in a very compact package. I can get fist sized groups at 25m with it too, very accurate despite it's small size.

I also have a Kimber Pro Carry II 1911 that I plan to use as well when I'm wearing the right clothing. I've found it to be a little harder to conceal than my G26 (obviously).

August 19, 2007, 02:32 PM
I am def leaning toward the 642 kashton.

I am welcoming any and all replies still, I am flattered to have 20 replies to my thread, be it ever so 'umble. ;)

Another question to tack on here, what should I expect to pay for my CCW class/license? I saw $100 quoted on one website, and $300 on another.

I know how to fire and load a gun, I know about escalation of force, I know how to avoid a confrontation. I want the bare bones of it. How LITTLE can I get away with paying and not cheat myself? $100 sounds decent but I am a college student, $50 would be perfect!

Thanks as always.

August 21, 2007, 12:33 AM
Bump, would love to have the CCW class question answered :)

August 21, 2007, 01:23 AM
Depends on where you are. In Oregon, I got my license for $90. $25 for the class, $65 for the license, background check, and fingerprints.

August 21, 2007, 06:44 AM
$150 for the class and application in TX.

A lot depends on the quality of the class -- I've been to one "bare minimum" course in Louisiana; it was a complete waste of time, but cost only $50. Another I went to cost $300 but it was a 4-day event, with guest speakers including a lawyer, PD detective, and IDPA shooting instructor.

As long as your screen name has nothing to do with your criminal record, you should breeze right through. Just be aware it's gonna be an awful lot tougher to shoot a good score with a 642 than with a larger pistol.

Good luck...

August 21, 2007, 03:25 PM
i started off with a glock 23 as my ccw piece. as long as you have a good belt holster and cover garment, it works great. however, most of the time i am unable to carry on my belt. so i switched to a smith wesson 642. the advantage to me is, there are some places that i can carry the glock, and some places, like work, where i cannot conceal it very easy. the 642 can be concealed and carried anywhere pretty easily.

It depends on what state you live in as to how much your license, and training will cost you.

August 21, 2007, 08:04 PM
a good gun for a great price is a used S&W Model 10. You can get a great deal on police trade ins from J&G. I like the 3 inch barrel, but you can get a 4 inch or 2 inch if you like. great gun and mine is VERY accurate.

August 21, 2007, 10:00 PM
Richard, no, it is from Great Expectations. Interesting question though. The $300 class sounds fabulous but I can't afford it now so I guess I'll do a 'nothing' class and do my own research for the rest of the stuff I need to know.

Thanks for the tips, md and claymore. Although I think the Model 10 is gonna be hard to find used where I live, and isn't worth (to me) the extra 30 shipping+40 transfer+whatever it already costs over the 642.

Looks like the 642 it is. Same gun as the 442 right, only different finish?

August 21, 2007, 10:03 PM
If anyone is still looking at this thread, I have another question.

I got a book by RK Campbell and it, well, sucked. "The Use of the Handgun in Personal Defense"...didn't even go into detail on anything.

I am now ordering Ayoob's "In the Gravest Extreme."

Any other recommended reading?

August 21, 2007, 10:49 PM
The 442/642 is defenatly worth the extra $$$. It is probally one of the easiest guns to conceal and uber comfortable. However if you are a total gun noob, it is a gun that takes lots of practice to become accurate with. But once you do, it is a rewarding feeling to be able to blow a 10 ring out with a
1 7/8's inch barrel. And after shooting an airweight a 9mm feels like a toy.

Another good option would be a Bersa Thunder around $250-$300, you can get them in .380,9mm,.40,and .45. Plus there are plenty of great holsters out there for them.

August 22, 2007, 09:23 AM

the 442 and the 642 are the same gun except for the color of the finish. let me say this, when you get your 642/442, the trigger pull is going to be pretty stout. if you will dry fire it (dry firing shouldn't not hurt it, the S&W manual says as long as it isn't a .22 your revolver will be fine) the trigger will smooth out significantly. also, practice as often as you can. the 642/442 is a difficult gun to learn to use proficiently. so don't get discouraged if you are all over your target when you first get it. i was, but have gotten to the point that i can put all 5 in a paper plate at about 10 yards. not bragging, (like that is something to brag about!) just telling you what you might expect.

August 22, 2007, 09:29 AM
oh yeah, check out the "642 club" in the revolver thread. tons of good info. and reading there.

August 22, 2007, 06:52 PM
I would highly recommend Chris Bird's, "The Concealed Handgun Manual". I have seen various CCW courses that require this as mandatory reading. It may help in your decision of choosing a weapon as well. I would also recommend Jeff Coopers, Principles of Self Defense, not a Concealed Carry book but a great book to help in mental preparedness.
My suggestions on your handgun purchase would be to see if you can shoot them before you buy them. I am not personally a revolver guy so I can't help you out too much there. I would suggest for price of ammo a 9mm, I would also suggest a handgun that is nice to shoot, that is something that is fun to shoot at the range, the PF-9 won't probably be the best in that area, it is too light and too little. The .357 Mag won't be as fun as the .38 or 9mm. I personally think the Sigma's are given a bad rap, their triggers are not any worse that the Kel Tec's and many revolvers, once again that is my opinion. Make sure you are happy with how the gun feels, dry fire them and see how it feels, and buy the most gun you can afford, even if you have to wait a couple more weeks. Good Luck and Be Safe!

Wilson 17&26
August 22, 2007, 07:25 PM
I have enough faith in my first PF-9 (almost a year old) to spend another $170 having it refinished with a mirror chrome by AP&W.
My other PF-9 only has a thousand rounds through it but (fortunately it came from Kel-Tec with a matte chrome finish) it has yet to have a hiccup. Several hundred of those rounds were from first time ever shooters. One was a 13-year-old, 82lb girl that had never touched a gun. While the PF-9 isnít pleasant to shoot, it is dependable.

August 23, 2007, 01:21 AM
The chromed PF-9 looks very nice Wilson. Why own two? Just like 'em that much? :)

Thanks for the book suggestions bb! Ayoob's will have to suffice for now but I'll be grabbing the others off soon. Great site, got Ayoob's Extreme for like $10 used.

Everyone else, your input is very valuable to me. I am still not 100% made up. I thought it was an autoloading 9mm for me for sure at first...but now I am really leaning toward the 642 for reliability, weight concern, concealability, and durability. Only perceivable advantage of an auto for me is capacity (second to reliability though as a criterion) and possibly cheaper ammo.

I am still not made up, and I am turning 21 in 2.5 months...I should have a better idea by then. I have, btw, shot a few handguns before folks...I think I'm up to the challenge of learning a snubby. You guys are really great advisors. I am very aware of the fact that no one was dogmatic about their recommendation, and pleased about that.


August 23, 2007, 07:55 AM
I think you need to do some more looking and handling before deciding. Quality always wins out in the end, in case you don't get along with what you buy you get better trade/sale value.
Find something that fits you and in a good caliber. A used handgun may be better than new for you.
Good luck in your search.

August 23, 2007, 10:37 AM
FWIW, in Texas, if you take the class and qualify with a revolver, you are licensed only to carry a revolver. If you take it with an auto, you will be licensed to carry auto OR revolver.

May want to consider that in your plans also. If you ever want to switch from the 642 to an auto, you would not be able to in TX without retaking the class (at least, I assume that would how it works).

I understand your eagerness - BELEIVE ME!!! - but these other fellows who are suggesting you go, shoot, shop, and handle the various guns are spot-on. I'm NOT telling you to get the 642 or any other revolver for that matter; I only want you to think it through first.

Because you are being bitten by a wonderful but expensive hobby. Guns, ammo, licensing, holsters, etc. add up fast. Be sure you buy what you like and like what you buy. You've got three, four months. Spend the time well, Grasshopper. ;)

If you want smaller autos, consider the Springfield XDsc (I've seen it as low as $450 new), MPc ( has it for $440), and Taurus Millenium Pro PT111 ( - $260). All are good, CCWable guns. Get it in 9mm and not only do you have a good defensive caliber, you have an affordable round to practice and learn and become proficient.


August 23, 2007, 11:23 AM
S&W 642 in a Mika pocket holster. Belive me...this is one weapon you can/will carry easily, presents very fast, and always goes bang when you pull the trigger. Autos come and will never regret buying the 642.

Wilson 17&26
August 23, 2007, 12:01 PM
The chromed PF-9 looks very nice Wilson. Why own two? Just like 'em that much?

Itís like shoes, you donít wear the same ones to church that you wear hiking. Now my wife has a different colored mousegun (P-32/P-3AT) for every purse. That can present a cleaning problem (Iím the designated cleaner) if she takes them all to the range to test fire on the same day :(

August 24, 2007, 08:36 AM
Quoheleth, I'll have to look up North Carolina laws regarding that. Useful advice...but strange law. Anyway great advice, I know it's very tempting to just plunk down some cash for a gun and call it a day, but I will def. research with a more hands-on type motive now.

Dwarren, thanks for the advice.

Dawg, thanks for helping reinforce what I'm (probably) really already leaning towards :p

August 24, 2007, 02:15 PM
I did a lot of research and handled a lot of guns. I just bought a 642 today. I made up my mind a few weeks ago but was just waiting for the best deal.
I've got a Mika pocket holster on the way.
Around here (FL) most gun shows have a concealed weapons class for $50. A few months ago they were $35. I understand they are the bare minimum but they do fill the requirement.
I used a hunter's safety course that I took years ago to fullfill my requirement so I didn't have that expense. The actual permit cost me $117.

August 28, 2007, 01:24 AM

Thanks for informing me about the Mika product. Looks great, and VERY reasonable! Let me know how it works, please. I am very intrigued by the pocket holster idea, only concern being speed of draw (vs IWB).

I am glad to see you chose the 642, and it definitely looks like it will be my choice as well. Did you get the round or squared version?

Thanks again for turning me onto that product, let me know how it works for you.

August 28, 2007, 01:29 AM
What did you pay for the 642 if I may be so bold as to ask? ;)

August 28, 2007, 02:03 AM
Here is a picture of my Model 638 in a Mika round cut pocket holster. He makes a great product for very little money. I highly recommend this product.

August 28, 2007, 07:16 AM
conwict: Sir; Yes you are all over the place:), and I see that as a good start.
I haven't read the others comments, so no condemnations please.
1. the cheapest ammo; 9mm
2. highest capacity G17
3. reliable G17
4. reliable revolver .38
4. reliable revlover .357
5. .38 cheaper to shoot
6. .357 may have better stopping power?
7. conceal ability ?
a. G17 full size summer; not to good
b. revolvers 6 series good year round
My choice; year round; 638
reason: concealable, lightweight, Double or single action, .38 t p, car carry
negatives: 5 rounds.?

With any unit: Compromise's exist.
With any unit: practice make familiar company
With any unit: Confidence is the key.

Break your particulars down into 'your' understandable forum;
scatter gunning creates difficulties. .

Have you came to a good place to ask your questions? YES: these folks know what works for them.

I can and do choose different carry guns; winter different from fall, spring different from summer.
The only unit I reach for regularly: 638


August 28, 2007, 10:12 AM
Conwict, I sent you a PM answering most of your questions but forgot to answer a few.
I ordered the round cut holster. Robert Mika told me the square cut would be more for cargo-type pockets. Heck, for 20 bucks, get both.
As far as speed of draw, from what I understand, the holster will stay in place when you draw your pistol. I imagine that's what those horizontal ribs are for, to keep the holster in place.
Good luck, I think you are making a great choice.

August 28, 2007, 11:15 AM
If you are interested in good read from a man who's been there. I reccomend anything by Gabe Suarez. Not a lot of tatical crap like the pusedo "experts" tout. Just good sound tatics. One that comes readily to mind is "The Tatical Advantage".

August 29, 2007, 07:02 AM
Since you mentioned price, it depends on the gun and caliber.

In .38 Special, I use REMINGTON 125 grain JHP +P. You can get it in 100 round boxes at WALMART and through mail order sites if you local gun shop does not have it. I found that it shoot close enough to point of am not to be a problem and REMINGTON semi jacketed hollow point is a proven design.
In small guns like the S&W 5 shot models, you may want to practice with standard velocity ammo and just use this for qualification and carry.

For .357 magnum, there is only one load, the WINCHESTER white box 110 grain jacketed hollow point (jhp). It recoils the same as a heavy .38 special load, but is more effective and flatter shooting. It is also very inexpensive, at half the price of most .357 magnum defensive ammo.

The 125 grain jhp loads are more effective, but they recoil much harder, have much more muzzle blast, are louder and in some brands can have a bright flash.


For 9mm, I use +P jhp ammo for carry. You can get inexpensive jacketed hollow point ammo from WICHESTER (usually more accurate and cleaner) and REMINGTON (most reliable feeding ammo) at WALMART and many sporting goods stores
Right now I am using FEDERAL HS 2 +P, but most +P 9mm jhp will do the job. Select which is the most reliable (always the first factor) and accurate. If your gun or you do not like +P, standard velocity ammo like GOLD DOT or HYDRO-SHOK are good choices.


My opinions are based on my experience with the ammo that mentioned.


Elm Creek Smith
September 1, 2007, 02:40 AM
In Oklahoma I completed the shooting portion of the training with a rental 1911A1 .45 so I could carry semiautos, revolvers, or derringers. I regularly carry a S&W M13 3 inch RB and a KelTec P32. The S&W is loaded with Winchester 145 grain Silvertip .357 ammo and is controllable, but not pleasant to shoot. Any of the 125 grain JHPs in .357 may be better stoppers (though even less pleasant), but my S&W likes the Silvertips accuracy-wise. However, pleasant doesn't factor in when it's a serious social occasion. You are a bit taller than I, so a 3 or 4 inch revolver shouldn't be a problem.

The S&W 642/442 would be good choices, but I like more power. I've found that the irregular shape of revolvers seem to conceal easier than semiautos, but that's just me.


September 1, 2007, 01:01 PM
Since you seem to be keying in on the 642, an excellent choice by the way unless you prefer the 442 in blue/black finish let me introduce you to my favorite.

I purchased a 642 put some Crimson Trace laser grips on it and in a Mika pocket holster or your favorite IWB (Inside Waist Band) or IWB (Inside Waist Band) holster for economy, reliability, simplicity and versatility I can't imagine a much better revolver choice.....

If OWB or IWB then the weight of the X42 will pose no issue. If you decide you want to pocket carry then the lighter the a point.

Hence if you don't mind spending more money take a look at and handle a relatively new offering from S&W the M&P 340.

Here is link to a thread where most has already been stated.

Forget about whether you ever put a .357 round through it.

It's a betterment of an almost perfect platform. To be trite and a bit too much today..."this thing rocks".

September 1, 2007, 05:34 PM
The 642 is .38 Spcl +P - the .357 Magnum is 1/8th of an inch
longer so it cannot be chambered in a gun chambered for .38 Spcl.

The 642 has a 1.9" Bbl. and is Alloy/Stainless in construction at
15 oz.

Consider the MOdel 60 - same frame but it is all stainless for the
frame, cylinder and barrel, and it is chambered for .357 Magnum,
Bbl. Len. choices in 2 1/*" or 3" It weighs 24 oz.

imho, I think the MOd. 60 with a 3 inch Bbl. would be
be more controllable along with it's weight.
and you get adjustable sights.

September 2, 2007, 05:08 AM
You won't go wrong with a Glock 26 or an XD Sub-Compact.

If you enjoyed reading about "First time CCW gun" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!