Full Size vs. Sub-Compact Semi-Autos


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Maximum1
November 24, 2007, 10:08 PM
In MY opinion with all the NEW breeds of Sub-Compacts on the market today like: Springfield's XD9sc, S&W's M&Psc. Walther PPSsc, etc I don't see any need to carry a full size pistol anymore...They're too heavy, too bulky and hard to conceal and only offer DISADVANTAGES over these new breeds of sub-compacts.


What's you opinion?


Poll clarification...Just in case

Yes = There is a need to carry a full size.
No = There is NO need to carry a full auto.

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Autolycus
November 24, 2007, 10:12 PM
I disagree. I feel the full size guns are generally more accurate, they give the bullet better velocity, and I feel they are less prone to malfunction. Not to mention there will be less recoil.

Airman193SOS
November 24, 2007, 10:16 PM
I don't own a full-sized gun. In fact, I think that my SIG P239 is the upper limit for size for me. I'm sure that accuracy is improved with full-sized weapons, but I do quite acceptably with my smaller weapons, and they are much easier to hide and much more comfortable because they are (comparatively) light.

Service size weapons are simply not my bag. Take that for what it's worth.

Maximum1
November 24, 2007, 10:16 PM
Poll clarification...Just in case :)


Yes = There is a need to carry a full size.
No = There is NO need to carry a full auto.

Airman193SOS
November 24, 2007, 10:21 PM
Wonderful. I read it as a yes affirming your assertion, so it's already dorked up.

The way it was asked, you may as well have asked us if we've stopped beating our wives.:neener:

AK103K
November 24, 2007, 10:38 PM
I agree with Tecumseh. I've carried pretty much full sized guns my whole life. Never found them to be heavy, bulky, or hard to carry. I'm only 5'-6" 165# too.

Most of the "smaller" guns really are not all that much smaller than their full size counterparts. They carry less, usually are harder to shoot well with, and some breeds are not reliable below full size.

Autolycus
November 24, 2007, 10:42 PM
I wanted to add that a lot of the full size guns have greater capacity. It may not be an issue. Some guns only lose 1-2 rounds but others can lose more.

My biggest concern is losing velocity. I know .45 ACP firearms dont do very well in sub-compact size guns with a loss of velocity. Not to mention the loss of capacity. Yet it seems that .45 ACP is the most popular round for THR members to carry concealed.

In a smaller caliber such as a 9mm or .40 S&W I would not be concerned.

MCgunner
November 24, 2007, 10:45 PM
My Kel Tec is slower due to short sight radius than a full size gun, but it shoots 3.5" groups at 25 yards. It may not be a bullseye gun, but it's plenty accurate for a combat/service gun and it fits in a pocket in south Texas summers. Hell, I hardly ever carry a full size gun anymore, usually a .38 snub revolver or the KT.

KrankyKraut
November 24, 2007, 10:52 PM
For self-defense CCW purposes, and within self-defense range, the sub compacts are plenty accurate enough. In CA, mag capacity is limited to 10, so that's a moot issue. Even in other states that don't have the limitation to 10 rounds, the difference between, say 14 and 16 rounds is in the vast majority of cases negligible.

makarovnik
November 24, 2007, 10:52 PM
You gotta appreciate the longer sight radius and faster followup shots of a full size. Not to mention the sometimes higher capacity and sure grip of a full length handle. However, comfort and concealability are probably more important to most people. Carry the biggest gun you are comfortable with, and I don't necessarily mean just the size of the hole in the end.

wally
November 24, 2007, 10:53 PM
I generally can only conceal a sub-compact, but I always carry the biggest I can.

Larger guns shoot better, but its a trade off between having a smaller but sub-optimal gun vs. having none because I can't hide the full sized.

--wally.

Autolycus
November 24, 2007, 10:54 PM
My feeling is that if I can carry a fullsize gun comfortably, legally, and well concealed there is no reason for me not to. In the end it is up to the user but I prefer a fullsize or compact (Sig 228 / Glock 19 / HK P2000 etc.) size guns.

M2 Carbine
November 24, 2007, 11:03 PM
I have a couple full size 1911A1's. Love the guns but wouldn't consider carrying one.
I carry one of the four Kimber Ultras I have.

Maximum1
November 25, 2007, 02:43 AM
You sure its not Airhead instead of Airman? Everyone else got it.... :neener:


:)

Maximum1
November 25, 2007, 03:02 AM
"Most of the "smaller" guns really are not all that much smaller than their full size counterparts."


Uh, so *5.3" to 6.5" vs. *7.2 to 8.5" isn't all the much smaller in your book? Not to mention the height differences between the two....


*Average length of the sub-compacts and full size pistols listed in the Mfgr specs.

A.ENGIN IDEMEN
November 25, 2007, 03:33 AM
I am with Tecumseh.
The smallest pistols I would trust to carry are P228,P2000, etc, since they stay at the lowest limit to have the shooting capabilities of a full size pistol for me.
In non-stresfull situations you may be considerably accurate with smaller pistols. But, when the time comes, natural pointing characteristics related to the grip control, sight radius, recoil would definitely detoriate your shooting capabilities.
It does not matter how the pistol is comfortable or easy to carry for me, unless it provides optimum amount of Vis, Celeritas,Diligentia in stressfull conditions.
Regards.

10-Ring
November 25, 2007, 04:09 AM
I don't own a single sub compact...I just don't care for all the compromises I have to make in my grip, accuracy and shootability. Especially w/ the adrenaline pumping, I would prefer knowing that I have the best tool in my hands to do the job ;)

Rexster
November 25, 2007, 04:42 AM
The way the poll is worded can be misinterpreted, so I did not vote. Full-sized pistols offer a greater sight radius, greater velocity, and more steadying weight toward the muzzle, so I think they are viable. In the case of 1911 pistols, I have owned several examples of each size, and found the full-sized pistols to be more likely to be reliable, and easier to make right if unreliable. I will never buy another 1911 with less than a 5" barrel. OTOH, I really like my SIG P229, and am very glad it is one of the choices on my agency's list of approved autos. Of course, my affection for the P229 has me itching for a P226 X-5.

duckjihad
November 25, 2007, 07:57 AM
Smaller's easier to conceal in my opinion. I carry the largest gun I can conceal. I think the compact guns make a lot of sense.......and I don't beat my wife. The kids? Another story entirely!

possum
November 25, 2007, 08:18 AM
i only own one full size gun, i don't know what it is i just like compact and sc guns expecially the striker fired sorts that is why i own so many. the sc guns do everything i need them too in a defensive role, and are definetly accurate enough to carry anywhere anytime.

ak-kev
November 25, 2007, 08:54 AM
I've never carried full size handguns. I would need to wear a ganster style shirt (really long) to hide the muzzel of my 1911's. I use those for night time duty. To me, the Desantis Yaqu Slide and an Officers Model or Defender is the bees knees!! I wont even do that in the summer here in Florida, when I resort to any number of pocket guns, or one of my Colt D-Frames.

pablo45
November 25, 2007, 08:57 AM
Yes, I agree I think the new sub-compacts are plenty size for daily and duty carry. But I still like shooting full-size for fun.

Hokkmike
November 25, 2007, 08:58 AM
Actually, aren't there three sizes?

1. subcompact

2. compact

3. full size

My Beretta 9000s holds 10 rounds of .40 S&W in a tight little package. Why carry something bigger?

Ala Dan
November 25, 2007, 09:18 AM
I still prefer full size handguns, on some occassions~! :scrutiny: ;)

alucard0822
November 25, 2007, 09:42 AM
I basically look at it as a compromise between control, portability, utility, power and concealability, and legality.

If Concealability is not an issue at all, but the most effective weapon is needed, as in home defense, well I reach for a rifle, if I want greater utility and power, and range/rapid followup shots are not needed, a shotgun is ideal. And in many places a "truck gun" is legal, but CC or even posessing a pistol is not.

If I need a weapon that keeps my hands free, can be drawn and fired quickly, is very portable, but needs for concealment and power are minimal, as a law enforcement officer would need most of the time, well then a full size pistol is ideal. G17,g22, beretta 92, 1911 duty calibers 9mm, 40, 45 10mm in autos, 357mag, 41mag, 44sp for revolvers

For a weapon that takes little effort to effectively conceal, but retains most of the power, capacity and control of a full size, then the compact or midsize pistol is best. G19, g26, hk2000, m&p compact in duty calibers, 9,40,45 for autos, 38+p, 357mag for revolvers

For absolute concealability and portability, where power, capacity and control are even less of a neccesity, or a backup to a main weapon is needed, then the mouseguns or pocketpistols come into play. ppk, p3at 32acp or 380 in autos, 32h&r or 38sp in revolvers

Different needs require different tools, there is alwas a level of compromise that must be reached in order to be comfortable with your choice, and physique makes adifference too. Someone who is 6'5" 300lbs and wears baggy layered clothing can probably hide a 6" 1911, or a HK mk23 without much effort, and might find anything smaller than a fullsize uncomfortable, or uncontrollable. A 5' 90lb woman might be able to get a full grip on a G26 or ppk, and be quite comfortable with a lighter and softer recoiling pistol, but anything larger would be uncomfortable or impossible to conceal. Basically there are so many choices one is bound to fit within the needs of most.

MrTwigg
November 25, 2007, 10:00 AM
1. Longer barrel.

2. Longer sight raidus.

1911 guy
November 25, 2007, 10:55 AM
I carry 1911 pattern handguns, and the compact versions of same are generally overpriced trash. I'll keep on with my fullsize, thanks,

TOADMAN
November 25, 2007, 11:43 AM
I no longer carry a gun for a living so I see no need to carry a full size handgun.. Conceal carry for self defense when out and about to include at home.. Inside most self defense ranges, 21 feet, the subcompact Glock 26 and compact Glock 30 is accurate enough. Outside 21 feet, it may be prudent to quickly change tactics and rapidly move to a safer location.. Even at 25 yards, I find the subcompact to be accurate. High speed low drag for me...

AK103K
November 25, 2007, 12:24 PM
Uh, so *5.3" to 6.5" vs. *7.2 to 8.5" isn't all the much smaller in your book? Not to mention the height differences between the two....
Paper stats dont tell the whole story. Even yours dont show any real difference in size, an inch here or there, big deal. Compare a SIG P220 to a Seecamp LS32, now your making a comparrision.

For the most part, the "smaller" models are really not that much smaller, or at least, theres not enough of a difference to matter in the real world.

Here's a stack of 1911's, Government model on the bottom, Commander in the middle, Ultra Carry on top.
http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b7d700b3127ccebc12015d987b00000036100CYuWbdo5bsU

and side by side...
http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b7d700b3127ccebc12014f986900000036100CYuWbdo5bsU

SIG P245 and a S&W 642 J frame
http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b7d700b3127ccebc120137981100000036100CYuWbdo5bsU

SIG P229 and S&W 60
http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b7d700b3127ccebc12077c985900000036100CYuWbdo5bsU

SIG P229 P239 and a 2" S&W 60
http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b7d700b3127ccebc1207b0989500000035100CYuWbdo5bsU

ABBOBERG
November 25, 2007, 12:39 PM
"New breed" of sub-compacts? How are these any better than the old breed?

Here is what I have found (this was posted in the "Why? thread):
Based on hundreds of data points found in publications combined with results of my own, I have found that when you compare a full-sized Glock 17 or Beretta 92F (M9) to pocket-sized guns in the same caliber, this is how much energy you lose:

1. Rohrbaugh R9S- 113 ft-lbs
2. Kahr PM9 - 87 ft-lbs
3. Kel-Tec PF9 - 69 ft-lbs

Here are some sub-compacts:

1. Walther PPS - 67 ft-lbs
2. Glock 26 - 47 ft-lbs
3. S&W M&P-C - 54 ft-lbs
4. Springfield XD9-C - 62 ft-lbs

The question is, do you really want to lose this much energy? If you want to minimize losses, the G26 is the king of the heap. I hardly call that gun a "new breed".

Different needs require different tools, there is alwas a level of compromise that must be reached in order to be comfortable with your choice, and physique makes adifference too. Someone who is 6'5" 300lbs and wears baggy layered clothing can probably hide a 6" 1911, or a HK mk23 without much effort, and might find anything smaller than a fullsize uncomfortable, or uncontrollable. A 5' 90lb woman might be able to get a full grip on a G26 or ppk, and be quite comfortable with a lighter and softer recoiling pistol, but anything larger would be uncomfortable or impossible to conceal. Basically there are so many choices one is bound to fit within the needs of most.

I hate to see comments like this because it implies that the manufacturers have been, and still are, sitting on their hands. Why can't we have the accuracy, velocity and reliability of a full-sized gun in either a sub-compact or pocket size?

Maximum1
November 25, 2007, 04:59 PM
Tecumseh said “I wanted to add that a lot of the full size guns have greater capacity. It may not be an issue. Some guns only lose 1-2 rounds but others can lose more.”

The new breed of sub-compacts have capacity equal to (and in MANY CASES) have greater capacity than full size semi-autos….Example: Many 1911 carry 7 to 8 rounds while guns like Springfield’s XD9 sub-compact can carry 16+1…So I don’t believe your statement is accurate.

Maximum1
November 25, 2007, 05:12 PM
Quote: Paper stats dont tell the whole story. Even yours dont show any real difference in size, an inch here or there, big deal. Compare a SIG P220 to a Seecamp LS32, now your making a comparrision. For the most part, the "smaller" models are really not that much smaller, or at least, theres not enough of a difference to matter in the real world."

Stats are facts and therefore absolutely count especially when one adds up all three dimension of a full size semi-auto: length, height, and width all stack up to make it considerably larger than a sub-compact...It's a fact. Don't believe me...stack any of the sub-compacts on top of a FULL SIZE and you’ll see just how large a difference there are.


BTW AK103K: none of those pictured are new breeds why not compare picutred against say a Kahr PM series, Kel-Tec (either P-11 or PF-9), or Springfield XDsc or Walther P99 and the S&W M&P???


Specification comparison
Kahr (PM9) Weight: 14.0 oz. Length 5.3” Width: 0.9”
Kel-Tec (PF-9) Weight: 12.7 oz Length: 5.85” Width .88”

Kimber Full Size: Weight: 34.0 oz. Length: 7.70” Width (inches): 1.28"
Sig 226 Full Size Weight: 34.0 oz Length: 7.70” Width 1.50”

So let me see...FULL SIZE guns are almost twice as heavy, 2.5" LONGER and 35% WIDER...Sounds like more than paper stats to me :-)

MCgunner
November 25, 2007, 05:20 PM
Well, I actually shoot better groups with a snubby revolver than I ever did with a Auto Ordinance .45. That gun was a POS anyway. It wouldn't feed anything, but ball and it shot about 4" at 25 yards off sandbags. My Kel Tec P11 shoots better than that and never hangs on hollowpoints. I even have fired that gun for a decent, if not world record score in IDPA. If you're going to carry it, you'd better know how to use it. Shorter guns take more practice.

MCgunner
November 25, 2007, 05:26 PM
BTW, my load in my KT P11 is 6.5 grain unique under a 115 grain Hornady XTP JHP gives 1262fps/410 ft lbs. That's enough.

AK103K
November 25, 2007, 05:38 PM
Stats are facts and therefore absolutely count especially when one adds up all three dimension of a full size semi-auto: length, height, and width all stack up to make it considerably larger than a sub-compact...It's a fact. Don't believe me...stack any of the sub-compacts on top of a FULL SIZE and you’ll see just how large a difference there are.
What are you calling "sub compact"? I consider something like the Seecamp to be such a gun. The Ultra carry and P245, to be "compacts", and the J frame, maybe some where in between. I own guns in all those sizes and I can compare them all together. Other than the Seecamp, I dont find them to be all that real different in size. Yes, some have a shorter barrel, or somewhat shorter grip, but when you stick them in your pants, they all carry and conceal about the same. An inch might look big on paper, when its really meaningless when used realistically.

I've carried full sized pistols most of my adult life. Never found them a problem to carry or conceal. The smaller guns really dont carry any different and often are harder to get a hold of properly and quickly, which can make them difficult to shoot well with.

Everything is part of a package, you just cant compare one part of something and claim its better because of it. It has to work well, every time, from start to finish. If there is anything in there that might interfere with anything, it will reduce your effectiveness with it, sometimes to the point of being ineffective.

I dont know if you missed it, but the Kimber Ultra Carry in the pic above IS on top of both a Commander and Government model 1911. That little extra barrel is nothing to me for concealing the gun. What it does do, is make the two under the Kimber work reliably, 100% of the time. The Kimber, 5 or 6 out of 7.

SEMO Shooter
November 25, 2007, 05:41 PM
Well, I guess I carry "overpriced compact trash". But I am confident that my "overpriced compact trash" is sufficient in power and reliability and that I have sufficient marksmanship and combat skills to prevail.

I do have to wonder if the folks that have to carry big super guns are trying to make up for some physical deficiencies. Maybe that's why they have all that room in their pants for very large pistol or revolver. :)

AK103K
November 25, 2007, 05:56 PM
Maybe some of us still have some room in our pants. :D

When I first started carrying, 1911's were the auto, they were full and Commander size, only came with little sights, and most all the commercial guns came with a Prancing Pony on them.

If you wanted small, it was a J frame or maybe a Colt .32/.380, or PPK, and the sub compact of the day, was the Baby Browning.

I guess I'm getting old, I'm starting to see patterns in threads and I have to think its has to do with age. The older posters never seemed to have trouble holding or shooting 10# rifles of full caliber, often in a tee shirt, wonder what all this talk about "recoil" is, somehow manged to shoot 1911's without one modification and teeny tiny sights (now that I'll give you today! :) ) shoot revolvers DA, and all that, being skinny little farm boys with a size 30 pair of pants. Jeez! (mine are still 32 by the way, just like high school :) )

These days, the only thing not lightweight and small is the owner. :)

Maximum1
November 25, 2007, 06:06 PM
AK103K said, “What are you calling "sub compact"? “I consider something like the Seecamp to be such a gun”

AK103K, Seacamp is most often called a “MOUSE GUN” heck even on Seacamp’s own website it’s referred to as mouse gun. Seacamp also refers to it as a “POCKET SEMI-AUTO HANDGUN”…NOT a Sub-Compact. As far as what I’m calling a sub compact actually its not what I call it but what the manufacturers themselves call sub-compact: I listed a few of them in my initial post (Springfield’s “XD9 SUB-COMPACT” , S&W “M&P SUB-COMPACT” and Walther “P99 SUB-COMPACT”…Those are the mfgr’s words NOT MINE.

So, it’s not what you or I consider to be a sub-compact but what the Mfg’rs and gun writers call them….So let’s agree to speak with data….

P97
November 25, 2007, 06:29 PM
The poll's not going to be accurate the way the wording was. Before reading the posts I voted different than was later worded. The wording of this poll had to be a Lawyer or Politician. :)

AK103K
November 25, 2007, 06:34 PM
I may not read a lot of gun mags or manufacturers specs these days, but I do carry various models of all of whats being discussed here, on a daily basis, and usually multiples of each. Been doing it for quite awhile too.

I have a pretty good idea of what size is what, and what works and what doesnt, at least for me.

Paper stats are just that, paper stats. They give you a rough comparison, but no idea of how a gun will actually carry or shoot.

How someone carries weight and size can vary greatly, from person to person, gun to gun. A picture in a book or on a website, regardless of how many minute facts and numbers they might give you, cant tell you what its really going to carry or conceal like.

What are you basing your "data" on, actual guns and experience, or are you just crunching the numbers?

MCgunner
November 25, 2007, 06:39 PM
So a 9mm Rohrbaugh is a "mouse gun?" I think of .32s, maybe even .380s as "mouse calibers" at least. .25 and .32 for sure are what I think of as mouse guns. I don't tend to think of a pocketable 9mm as a mouse gun. Of course, that's must me, don't know if there's a definition in Webster's unabridged.

Edward Nigma
November 25, 2007, 09:53 PM
Actually, aren't there three sizes?

1. subcompact

2. compact

3. full size


Hello everyone. Newbie here.
Thanks for adding that. I voted no, but I don't carry subcompacts, I own and carry compacts. I can fire compacts just as accurately and quickly as full sizes. And, I've carried full size pistols, and yes, 2 inches shorter DOES help you conceal the gun better.

Big Boomer
November 25, 2007, 10:19 PM
Ah crap, voted in the wrong one! YES there is still a need for full size! Longer barrel length=more velocity from X caliber=more power! We all want more power right?!

In addition, full size does mean more weight but also less recoil in most cases, and all the benefits that go along with that.

I only carry full size versions, unless you are talking about my 3" snubby, but even that it's a 2".

Mulliga
November 26, 2007, 01:07 AM
I voted "No," because full-size guns are better in every way (reliability, accuracy, power) except concealability.

However, a subcompact like a G26 is way easier to conceal for me than the full-size version. Shorter grip, shorter slide, lighter weight - how could it not be easier to conceal?

romma
November 26, 2007, 01:39 PM
Not true in every instance in my belief... If I had to live life everday in a major city and walk through gang and drug infested neighborhoods, I would want a higher capacity than I normally carry which is a 6+1 or 7+1 depending on which piece I have...

I reserve the right to upgrade in size and capacity as I see fit.

KBintheSLC
November 26, 2007, 04:20 PM
Unless you are an LEO or other security agent who will knowingly face dangerous folks daily, there is no real reason IMO to carry a full sized gun. My Glock 26 with 11 Golden Sabers inside is plenty of gun for civilian defense. I can even group out to 50 meters with it if needed. I just think that the extra weight of a full sized gun is not worth lugging around in my daily life. I even carry a tiny .32 sometimes. Just because I carry, doesn't mean I want to rearrange my entire life to do so.

This is of course a very subjective issue and this is only my opinion.

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