Help me choose my first carry gun!


November 20, 2007, 03:43 AM
Sorry for another one of these threads, but I need some help fitting a firearm to my criteria and would really appreciate your help.

Well in about 44 days I will be 21 years of age and elligable to buy my first handgun. I've been waiting for this day for a LONG time and have always had a fascination with handguns. I'm planning on purchasing two handguns one of them being a Kimber 1911 .45acp and the other one is still up for grabs. I plan to have the Kimber primarily as a range and home defense gun while buying another to carry once I get my CHL. I am here to ask advice on a good firearm to make my first carry gun.

Criteria :
-Needs to be compact considerng I live in Texas and do not want to wear excessive clothing. I usually wear jeans, boots and a T-shirt and I would like to carry it in the small of the back or IWB at the 4 o'clock position.
-I am open to semi-auto in which case I would prefer .45ACP or a revolver in which I would prefer .357.
-Needs to hold a decent amount of ammo, for semi-autos preferably 6+ (No Derringers etc....)
-Can be of any manufacturer as long as they are reputible and have quality products.
-No 9mm :D
-I would like to stay under $600
-Again compact is the key issue for me because I don't wear baggy clothing and do not want to print.

I have been looking around at a bunch of different firearms and a few caught my eye including the SA XD Sub-Compact in .40 (do they make a sub compact in .45?), Glock 30, Glock 36. I am pretty open to ideas and plan to try out quite a few before I pick out my carry gun. Thank you for your help!

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November 20, 2007, 04:02 AM
If you're looking for a compact .45 Auto in a reliable small package take a look at the Taurus PT145. You get a small yet shootable pistol that actually holds 10+1 rounds of .45 ACP yet it's no larger that the so called sub-compact pistols now out that cost twice as much or more. It's available in both Blue ( and Two Tone ( It's a DA/SA pistol that weighs only 22 oz. Taurus has a new DA only .45 ACP out too but it's no smaller than the PT145 but holds only 6+1 rounds and is only 2 oz lighter. It's the PT745 ( It has gotten very good reviews too so if you would rather a DA only pistol take a look at it.

You are going to get a ton of suggestions and most will be good. This is just one option to look at and either can be bought new for under $400.

November 20, 2007, 05:59 AM
ArchAngelCD, thanks for the suggestion, I will definiteley look into the Taurus PT145. I plan to write down all of the suggestions and hopefully after I turn 21 head to the shop and check them out.

I think I just fell in love with the Sig-Sauer P220 Carry....I was looking around at some other options and came accross this firearm and can't get it out of my head :D . It seems to be a little out of my price range....for now...but who knows how generous Santa will be this year ;) . Any comments or opinions on the Sig-Sauer P220 Carry?

November 20, 2007, 05:36 PM
The Sig 220 is in a totally different class than the Taurus PT145. It is also in a totally different price class too. You won't go wrong with a Sig pistol, they are very well made and reliable too.

November 20, 2007, 05:41 PM
Try shooting different brands in different calibers.

November 20, 2007, 05:42 PM
If your state law allows you can buy in private sale 18-20

November 20, 2007, 06:03 PM
I owned a Kimber Custom II, Kimber Pro Carry II, Colt New Roll Mark 1991, and a Colt XSE Combat Commander.

Four 1911s, so I have some experience.

The Colts are about the same price as the Kimbers. I prefer the Colts as their firing pin safety is more proven and reliable than Kimber's firing pin safety. Research 1911 firing pin safety mechanisms. Colt uses the "Series 80" mechanism while Kimber uses the "Swartz" or "Schwartz" mechanism.

The fit and finish of current production Colts is as good as Kimbers. Both are very good.

Other than the Pro Carry II, these 1911s are heavy guns to conceal carry. I find the weight to be uncomfortable to the point that I sold all of my 1911s.

The Pro Carry II has an aluminum frame, but without the weight, recoil is increased to the point that .45 ACP didn't "push." Rather it felt similar to .40 S&W and had a snap to it and the muzzle flip was quite harsh.

As I said, I sold all of the 1911s and bought a Smith & Wesson M&P full size. The M&P is light weight and the recoil is very controllable. I recommend it.

As for revolvers, I've owned a 6" Smith & Wesson 66, 4" Ruger GP100, 6" Ruger GP100, 4" Smith & Wesson 686, and a snub nosed Smith & Wesson 642.

Other than the Smith & Wesson 642, these revolvers are heavy guns to conceal carry. I found the weight to be uncomfortable to the point that I sold all of my revolvers.

The Smith & Wesson 642 has an aluminum frame and has a lot of recoil. I kept this gun despite the recoil because I can conceal it in almost any clothing.

Finding a gun that works for you is a very personal thing. I took me 12 tries to find the gun for me!

November 20, 2007, 07:18 PM
GlockamaniaŽ, I have shot a few different calibers and have came to the conclusion that I feel most comfortable with the .45. I guess it's a personal thing, but the .45acp is the round I want when my life is on the line. I am open to .357mag or possibly a .40, but highly prefer the .45.

LAR-15, I believe Texas does allow it, but for my carry gun I want to buy new and not possibly worry about others problems. I just want to have 100% confidence in it.

Ragsdale85, I am planning on getting a 1911 and another gun to carry. My 1911 will not be my carry gun unless I happen to be wearing heavy clothing or hunting. I am open to a snub nose revolver such as the S&W 642 in .357. How would you say that compared in concealment to say your Pro Carry II? Is it easy to conceal IWB? I will look at the Colt 1911 also and compare it to the Kimber.

Thanks for all your help so far guys! Keep them coming.

November 20, 2007, 08:20 PM
Don't get caught up in caliber debates.
Don't get caught up in which manufacturer is best.

Shop for a handgun just like you shop for shoes. Get your hands on as many handguns as you can. Some of them will feel pretty good in your hands. When you think you've narrowed the search down to suit your criteria, pursue the ones that felt the best. If you buy a handgun that isn't "just right" in your hands, I don't think you'll want to shoot it enough to become proficient with it. Many calibers are available in similar frames, and styles.

Just my 2 cents worth...

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