I'm thinking of getting a TX concealed permit this summer. Is it a good idea to get a "compact" gun, or can you go with a full-sized gun like the Glock 17 as well? I ask because I enjoy target shooting a lot as well, and I don't think a compact would be as fun/feel as good.
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March 15, 2008, 11:49 PM
I carry a Ruger P345 most every day. Occasionally I downsize to the NAA Guardian .380.
I have carried a Ruger P89 and P90 before too.
You can pretty much adjust your attire to just about any handgun within reason.
Kind of Blued
March 15, 2008, 11:50 PM
Short answer: No.
Long answer: Well, its long, and I gotta go. :) Depends on clothing, holster, belt, and such.
March 16, 2008, 12:03 AM
Thanks ranting redneck - I'm going to assume those are full sized :p I'm not very knowledgeable about handguns yet. Just recently I started enjoying shooting sports but I've never owned a gun. I'll probably wait a good long while til I get my permit honestly - I want to become confident and know safety of my particular gun inside and out.
March 16, 2008, 12:05 AM
In general, thinner guns with shorter grips are easier to conceal and lighter guns are more pleasant to carry. The trade off is that larger, heavier guns are easier and more pleasant to shoot well. Its a balancing act.
I think mid-sized guns are a good compromise (i.e. XD Subcompact, M&P Compact) because they are reasonably concealable/comfortable while still being good shooters.
March 16, 2008, 12:09 AM
I carry a Colt 1991A1 everyday.
With a good holster and belt you should have no problem.
March 16, 2008, 12:28 AM
I carry a Sig 220. As others have pointed out, the key is a good holster and belt.
March 16, 2008, 12:35 AM
Thank you all for input. Could you please tell me what made you start carrying? I am a young professional, no military experience, but will be working in a somewhat dangerous big city and I'd hate to lose everything because of some unforeseen danger. I also want to protect my future family.
Is that a good enough reason to get a concealed permit?
March 16, 2008, 12:39 AM
is it a good enough reason to get training?
March 16, 2008, 12:42 AM
I meant is it good enough to get concealed permit. Do most people who get concealed permits have some extreme circumstance or are most just normal average citizens.
March 16, 2008, 12:49 AM
Almost every last one of them are regular, working joes (and Joannes)
And no, you don't need compact this or subcompact that. I routinely CCW a full-size 1911, or a sig P226 .40 S&W.
March 16, 2008, 01:02 AM
The most important thing you can do to make carrying any gun vastly more comfortable is to buy a quality belt. Seek out a belt specifically made for wearing what is also important: a quality holster. Uncle Mike's nylon doesn't make that cut.
I recommend http://www.thebeltman.net/ for belts that work great and look good/fit in.
I've had mine for a number of years and it is tip top. I used to think carrying a little colt mustang .380 was uncomfortable and assumed everyone talking about carrying a 1911 every day was full of it or very uncomfortable.
/currently carries a 1911 daily.
The Lone Haranguer
March 16, 2008, 01:04 AM
I am quite partial to the slightly downsized compact versions of full-sized pistols, e.g., the Glock 19 vs. 17, CZ75 PCR vs. the standard CZ75, SIG P228 vs. P226. They shoot as well yet are more compact and lighter; the weight difference between the steel- and alloy-frame CZs in particular is quite pronounced.
March 16, 2008, 01:27 AM
This thread could easily rival "9mm vs .45ACP" if it gets going.
But no - I've never felt the size of the gun (within reason - concealing an AK might be problematic unless its a Krink or something) limited its CCW ease.
Heck , when I first got my Tx CHL, my first carry piece was a full size Colt 1911 - and sometimes still is. Even in shorts and a t-shirt I've carried my 4" bbl 686+ and routinely carry my G19 (which isn't a fair comparision as that Glock is one of th easiest to carry around).
Yeah, sometimes clothing or social situations dictate pocket carrying a P-32 or a snubby. But in most casual situations, I think the only thing that drives the size of the gun is how comfortable it is and the confidence you have with it.
Remember the REASON you carry - to save your skin and at least get out of harms way. A concealable pistol that is comfortable but unreliable / inaccurate could get you killed (unless you buy into the theory that most times bad guys will run if you display a gun - some might not!).
Carrying a nice stout 1911 or 686 in a thin Kramer IWB with an untucked shirt can add quite a bit to your piece of mind :D
March 16, 2008, 01:55 AM
Welcome to the world of CCW. To cut past all the jargon you just heard, Yes is is quite possible to conceal a full sized pistol on your person. One of the most interesting things I learned when I started to carry is that most people DON'T notice at all.
As to why I carry I carry for self defense. If you want the specific indident that caused me to get a permit, some whacko chase my wife down one of the mainstreets in Co Springs over a bumper sticker on her car. The incident scared my wife bad enough that she decided to get her permit ( she had ZERO gun experience prior) I decided that if she was going to carry I would too.
That said you don't need to articulate a reason to carry to get a permit.
chris in va
March 16, 2008, 03:06 AM
Many people on here will carry a small handgun on a daily basis, but get a larger gun for range use/plinking.
Now revolvers are pretty flexible, you can shoot lower recoil 38 out of my SP101, but carry 125gr 357's in it.
Just shop around, many mid-sized handguns shoot fine at the range and carry nicely.
are most just normal average citizens
Yup. Usually though, something happens in our lives that wakes us up to what really goes on around us. For me it was seeing a dead body lying on a sidewalk in broad daylight, or the local MS-13 machete hackings.
March 16, 2008, 03:52 AM
If you are a young professional (like me), it might be very difficult to practically conceal a full-sized firearm with dress clothes.
I started out with SUB-compact XD-9, and even then, it's too big, uncomfortable, so I am downsizing to much smaller 380 ACP Kel-Tec that fits comfortably in front pocket.
Is it a bit anemic in terms of firepower? yes, but the first rule of gunfight.....have a gun. I was leaving my 9mm at home, which was no good. 380 is better than my fist.
March 16, 2008, 04:37 AM
You got the first rule of a gunfight right.
Exactly why there is always a .32 on my person somewhere.
Normally there is a .45 auto somewhere too, but that isn't always possible. Had lunch with the governor on Friday. Thought with all the security she has there was a really good possibility my .45 would be spotted and I could be in trouble as a potential assassin.
Settled for just my lowly .32 and wasn't made.
You do what you have to do, but give yourself a chance in case you run into a nut job.
Anybody got a tip on concealing a Krink with a 40-round mag?
March 16, 2008, 04:55 AM
Do you -need- a compact gun? No, but you'd be astounded at how much easier a size reduction of 1 inch can make it to carry concealed.
Could you please tell me what made you start carrying? I am a young professional, no military experience, but will be working in a somewhat dangerous big city and I'd hate to lose everything because of some unforeseen danger. I also want to protect my future family.
I used to work LE. Not only did I see the usual ugly stuff that anyone with open eyes will notice, I had the "benefit" of getting called to countless "events" and seeing how fast things could get ugly and what it takes to protect yourself in those situations.
Strangely enough (and I really can't explain it) after I left LE I went gunless for a few years in spite of everything I'd seen. Then one day I woke up again to the need to care for myself and my loved ones in -all- aspects of my life.
(related side note... Have you checked your life/health/other insurance policies lately? Have you written/updated your wills? How about a Dr. visit for an annual checkup? It's all part of protecting yourself and those you love so GO GET IT DONE!)
Tryin' to look out for y'all!
March 16, 2008, 05:35 AM
you don't "need" a compact handgun, but they are easier to conceal and they make life a little easier when carrying. they things that i look for are pistol grip lenght first and then for width. i carry compact guns, but of all the guns that i have i only have one that has over 4 1/4" barrel.
March 16, 2008, 09:52 AM
i like little snubbies for CCW,got a pretty good selection to chose from, including a bobbed 45, but im lazy, and its just easier to throw a snubbie in your back pocket and go about your business
March 16, 2008, 10:26 AM
i carry a full sized taurus 24/7 daily. it's usually not a problem carrying it in cool weather and up to about 80 degrees. but beyond that, it is HARD to disguise a big pistol in a t shirt and shorts! for warm weather, you are going to NEED something small enough to fit in your pants pocket. i am no fan of small caliber guns though. i am looking at buying a 9mm kel-tec. for me, thats as small as i want to go. also remember, that if you are unfortunate enough that you HAVE to shoot someone, the cops are going to take the pistol from you as evidence. if your shooting is "justifyable" you will probably get it back, but it may take a while. so don't buy a $1500.00 gun to carry if you don't want to be with out it for a while. i think thats why there is such a large followig in inexpensive smaller guns. easy to carry, cheap enough to buy two, just in case, and you are going to probably be less that 15 ' away from whoever you shoot, so the gun doesn't have to be a tack driver at 50'. just some things to think about before you make a purchase. good luck with you ccw permit!
March 16, 2008, 10:48 AM
A perennial favorite topic, this one: full sized, or smaller?
I have found that no matter what size I carry, the belt and holster are very important - arguably more difficult to choose and get right (for you, that is) than the gun itself. Lots of folks on this site carry a full sized .45 semi auto 24-by-7. Most of those that do, however are not sliding it into the waistband of their running shorts. ;-) Albatross is spot-on in stressing belt and holster.
Be prepared to buy (and then shelve!) a few holsters.
March 16, 2008, 12:07 PM
I think it really depends on your body type. I'm a skinny guy, so I pretty much have to go with a compact frame. Big guys can carry bigger stuff and still have it blend.
March 16, 2008, 12:44 PM
+1 to Well-armed Lamb. If I had my druthers, I'd carry a Walther P5 or, better yet, a P88C, every day. But try as I might, and I have tried, both are just too large for me to comfortably and effectively conceal. The PPK is a good compromise, given my body size. I'm comfortable with the gun, and the .380 caliber is adequate.
March 16, 2008, 03:07 PM
You can "Have your cake and eat it too" with a Springfield XD Compact 4" barrel.
Use the 10 round round mag for carry (shorter grip for ease of concealment), and the 13 round mag for target practice (longer grip for shooting comfort).
my choice Cz compact, j frame, mak, and yes even a glock, you will know whats right when you shoot it and get the wow response, rent, borrow,
or beg try them all
March 16, 2008, 03:56 PM
I've prefer "service" sized firearms and found with a quality belt and a quality holster most handguns can be pretty easily concealed. If a person skimps on belt or holster they tend to have trouble concealing any size firearm. I have a friend that was complaining he can't conceal his Kel-Tec on the belt.
I carry a Sig P229, 2 spare magazines, and SureFire on the belt and conceal with an untucked polo shirt 70+ hours a week. I've also carried Ruger P90, and XD 45 ACP service without any trouble, the Ruger in particular is pretty good sized..
March 16, 2008, 04:17 PM
Welcome and just remember what opinions are like. ;)
First of all, yes, absolutely train. Don't let the lack of military experience thing intimidate you in the least. (In the army now, I shoot a grand total of 49 rounds a year to zero and qualify.) NO ONE is above training. Massad Ayoob (If you don't know who he is, look him up and buy a couple of his books, "In the Gravest Extreme" to begin with,) takes at least one week off every year to train. If HE still needs training, the rest of us do too.
I have oft commented in here that I believe a lot of the compact gun philosophy is hype spurned by a robust gun industry and the gun magazines, who would convince me that I need a carry gun, a backup gun, a truck gun, a home gun, an 'open carry out in the woods' gun, etc. I'm far from rich, and I can't buy every gun I WANT to buy. I've settled on one gun that does everything I NEED it to do. (A full-size 1911). Maybe when I'm rich, I'll broaden my view of need.
I would definitely advise that the first overwhelming priority should be to use the gun you shoot best. For MOST of us, a better sight radius (determined by the distance between the front and rear sight,) and more weight mean you can shoot faster and more accurately. (A full-size handgun.) If this is SERIOUSLY what you want to do, use the gun you shoot best. If, down the road, you become better, and feel that you can shoot a compact as well or almost as well as you can a full-size, get both. To ME, shootability is by far the most important factor. Comfort is a very distant second, if that.
Comfort is relative. It's not like you can slip a compact into your waistband and suddenly not know it's there. If you get a mall ninja who got his permit 62 days after his 21st birthday, you can hang a desert eagle under his left arm, and he will swear it feels great, doesn't notice it. On the other hand, if you take a petite female who is not at all comfortable around guns, and put a sub-compact Glock in her waistband, purse, or around here ankle, she will swear it weighs fifty pounds and everyone knows she has it.
March 16, 2008, 04:23 PM
I carry a Ruger P95, a full-sized pistol with a 3.5" barrel, inside the waistband every day. It's not uncomfortable or difficult to conceal at all.
March 16, 2008, 04:25 PM
No, you need a good holster AND a good belt.
March 16, 2008, 04:47 PM
newbie4help, go get that CHL!
Sure you can carry a full size pistol and that's probably a good thing to start with. Most of us have several pistols because no one is going to be just right for every occasion. Also, we all "need: several. :)
I got my CHL primarily for protection, to give myself every opportunity to avoid being a victim. But I also felt it important to exercise my right to be armed. Use it or lose it!
March 16, 2008, 04:49 PM
Get a glock 19.
This is coming from a guy who doesn't own one. My girlfriend has one.
If I had to have one do-all handgun for carry, USPSA, range fun, etc. It would be a glock 19.
March 16, 2008, 06:54 PM
IndianaBoy, I have looked at the Glock 19 and am definitely considering it. Does it have the same sights as the Glock 17 and just smaller magazine? What are all the differences. I can't wait to get to shooting range and try all these out!
March 16, 2008, 11:24 PM
If you've got a life, you'll probably do best with pocket carry. There are also important tactical advantages to pocket carry.
For pocket carry, the biggest automatic you can carry is probably a PM9 or thereabouts. In revolvers, you can carry a J-frame. Make it hammerless.
March 17, 2008, 08:12 AM
Some folks do, and that's fine if they have thought out their options and consider that the best route for them. Any gun is better than no gun when you need a gun.
Quote: If you've got a life, you'll probably do best with pocket carry
I beg to differ. I carry a full size pistol, a 1911, almost every day. My choice in clothing allows it and I dress very differently depending on where I'm going. I've yet to find a situation (other than jumping in the pool or bathtub) where I was precluded by my clothing from carrying a handgun. The few times I pocket carried a Sig P232 I felt it limited my clothing (had to have huge pockets, so no jeans) and my mobility (sitting eliminated access to the gun) far more than wearing a belt holsteted 1911.
The small gun craze is fueled by the lack of peoples motivation to buy a good gunbelt. I'd save money on a holster before I skimped on the belt. Buy the best belt you can find. I currently wear a Wilderness Instructor Belt, the 5-stitch model. There are good leather belts available, also. I wear one on Sundays going to church because it fits the beltloops in my dress pants better than the Wilderness belt. Then find a holster, IWB or OWB, whichever you prefer. Make sure the loops match the belt for the best stability.
Choose your handgun based on these things, in this order.
1) Caliber. Autos start at .380acp and revolvers start at .32 for useful defensive guns.
2) Gun fit. The piece has to be comfortable for you to shoot and manipulate.
3) Size. Obviously, a small cannon would be effective but not concealable. Fortunately, many handguns are available in useable calibers in all manner of shapes and sizes.
March 17, 2008, 08:14 AM
I have a full sized M&P 9mm. When I get my CHL in a few months, I'm going to cry to CC it. If that doesn't work out comfortably, I'll have to get something a little smaller.
Given I'm not speaking from experience, I would imagine that THINNER is better than shorter, like a compact. Right? (for IWB, anyway)
I'm still getting used to OWB (open) carry, around the house. :p
March 17, 2008, 11:20 AM
The Glock 19 has slightly smaller dimensions than the Glock 17. Sitting side by side it doesn't look like much difference, but it is worlds easier to conceal. It is also a VERY shootable gun. The Glock 26 takes small just a tad too far, as there just isn't a lot to hang onto. The 19 makes for a fun range gun as well.
You only give up a couple of rounds of capacity for a gun that is much more concealable.
The sights are the same sights that are on the Glock 17. You can get night sights or fiber optics for it just like any other glock. Trijicons are very nice, I recommend them.
My gf got a police trade in gun that looked to have been shot very little. Swapped out the outrageous 8 pound connector for 5 pound one and it is an excellent all around gun now.
March 17, 2008, 12:03 PM
I'm 6'4", 200 lbs, and I have no problems carrying a full-size XD45. I got the compact model (shorter handle), but normally carry it with an extended magazine (same as a full-size). That said, I'm a college student and normally dress in casual clothes. If I had to wear business attire every day, I would probably opt for something smaller.
March 17, 2008, 12:08 PM
Thank you all for input. Could you please tell me what made you start carrying?
I used to be immortal. One day, I heard a noise, and stepped behind my command track to see what it was. A dead NVA had been dumped there, and gas was escaping from various holes in his body. I said to myself, "I don't want that to happen to me."
That's why I carry.
March 17, 2008, 12:19 PM
The BHP even the CZ75 conceals pretty well both on the belt or IWB.
March 17, 2008, 12:22 PM
The act of carrying a firearm is supposed to be comforting not necessarily comfortable. I forget who said that but I suspect it was either Jeff Cooper or Clint Smith.
The trouble is that I've been carrying a firearm lawfully and concealed in several different states since 1978. At the start I carried a M1911 since it was the only handgun I owned. Then I started carrying my second gun, a S&W M19 357 that I bought for work (I put myself thru the last two years of school as an armed guard). I carried one or the other of those for the next ten years. It was easy but in warm climates it is a definite problem from the heat and humidity factor as much as from the desire to blend in being difficult if you're forced to wear a cover garment that really conceals. Like a Banana Republic Vest. Plus, it's a distinct hassle these days to get suited up with a serious gun/caliber for the South Florida climate. That's why I usually shove a Smith & Wesson M642 .38sp into a Mika pocket holster when I go out with my wife after work. That's fine for hostilities occuring at "contact range" out to maybe 10 feet. Although I always carry a backup speedloader and a good folding blade I still feel this is a personal compromise to what I know I should be carrying. It's losing the "comfortable v. comforting" argument again. Maybe when I get my new H&K P30, it'll feel light enough to carry under any conditions.
March 17, 2008, 12:29 PM
Why did I start carrying? Well I could never put that into words until I read the essay by COL David Grossman called Sheep, Sheepdogs and Wolves and realized I'd allowed myself to be a victimized sheep (lamb?) for the early part of my life and in my bones I knew that wasn't what I really am. I started relearning the basic tenets required to survive and thrive in hostile environments. Hence my commission as a US Army Infantry Officer and later job in Law Enforcement, etc. Here is the codified reality as I see "HUMANITY."
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