Yes, I've read through many threads first but still want more opinion so here's my deal...
Where I live it is HOT, at least to me, most of the year. Outside of work I wear shorts nearly year round and often with a light t-shirt or sport shirt tucked in when not just around the house. At work, casual slacks with a sport shirt tucked in, it has to be tucked in, and no more. Jackets, vests, etc. are pretty much out for me. I'd look quite odd wearing more that this level of clothing because I'd be sweating like a man dying from the plague or something. The only method of carry that I've found I can consistently rely upon in this blasted climate is pocket carry. This obviously limits my choices a lot. Pocket carry has to be pretty light and not obviously printable. IWB simply won't work with my attire. For my situation, I look obviously out of place if I add more clothes just to cover up my CCW, so I feel I need to realistically conform my carry to my attire more than alter my attire.
Now to stopping power. I love the .45 but am quite comfortable for my CCW carrying 9mm and maybe .38 when playing the percentages game for my liklihood to need a pistol in self-defense versus having something I know I'll have with me all the time and with which I have practiced with some degree of regularity. I adhere primarily to that first rule, make sure you have a gun. I'm not one who loves fierce recoil either and this has kept me away from the ultralight snubs that I now am considering. No matter how small a pistol I may use, I mostly like having as much of a secure grip as possible and this is often where small pistols don't do too well.
Here's what I have and carry and my experience with these.
I have a 24 oz S&W Mod. 60 3", joy to shoot in .38 and quite tolerable to shoot in .357 but not for 100's of rounds. Too heavy and long for the pocket though, more for easy belt or IWB carry in woods.
Ruger P95, joy to shoot. OK on the belt or IWB but not for pocket and not easy to conceal. Way too heavy loaded up for the pocket.
Kahr Lady K9. Truly a joy to shoot and I love how this gun fits my hand. Nice and slim. Great for IWB but at 25 oz unloaded, it is way too heavy for the pocket.
Kel-Tec P32. Joy to shoot and a joy to carry. I use a +1 Mag extension, and A-grip and this gives me a satisfactory grip. I had to send it back to the factory for a bad extractor when I first bought it but has never had a problem since. This baby ends up being my 24/7 carry but I still fret regularly over the .32's stopping power. I really wish they would make a slightly larger single stack 9mm that is smaller than the P-11. Also, .32 ammo is darned expensive and not real easy to reload (which I also do).
I've considered selling my K9 to fund a P9 but I'm still not too sure it would be great for the pocket. The shorter grip Kahr's really don't fit my hand all that well either. That has brought me to considering an ultralight S&W, either 12 oz or 15 oz. Without having one to shoot, I have great trepidation at the thought of launching a .357 out of this platform and I'm not sure how bad a .38 +P, or even a regular .38 would feel. A 12 oz seems like it would work well in the pocket though, maybe a 15 oz one would too. I'm just not sure about this. Also, Kel-Tec just released a P-3AT but I don't personally feel that 6 rounds of .380 are really going to significantly improve my survival stats over dumping my current 9 rounds of .32 into an assailant during a true last ditch survivial civilian CCW encounter at extreme close range.
Any choices for pocket carry and advice that fellow CCW folks here could give me would be most appreciated. Thank you for bearing with this long post. I figured that better advice would be received when the reader knew most about my situation and experiences.
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August 21, 2003, 11:27 AM
IMHO, the absolute best pocket revolver is the S&W 642 15oz. Airweight. This is the concealed hammer version that allows you to use any of the .38+P rounds. I don't like the ammo restrictions and barrel sleeves of the titanium and scandium models.
August 21, 2003, 11:31 AM
I personally don't find 22-24 oz too heavy for pocket carry. I wear shorts with relatively big pockets and frequently carry a model 60 and barely know it's there. For that matter I have been know to carry a P7M8 in those pockets and although heavyit conceals nicely.
August 21, 2003, 12:27 PM
Don’t sell the K9 but do get an MK9 or PM9. Either of these should work for pocket carry, though I haven’t fired a PM9. I wouldn’t rule out a tuckable IWB holster either.
Now, I live in California and don’t have a permit to carry, so take my theoretical advice for what you paid for it. :D
August 21, 2003, 02:11 PM
August 21, 2003, 05:21 PM
I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the K9. It is a fine little gun.
When I decided I wanted a pocket gun, I was on the verge of buying a P32 when a thread on TFL--kind of an 'imagine yourself in this scenario, what do you do with your CCW' thread--helped me realize I did not want to face any situation that required a gun with a .32ACP. I then batted around the idea of either a PM9 or a lightweight snub. I went to the lengths of actually going to different shops that had these different guns so I could handle them and put them in my actual pocket. For me, the Kahr, though remarkably small, was still blockier than I felt I could reasonably/comfortably hide in my pocket. The gun I ultimately went with, the S&W 340PD, is a little thicker at the cylinder--but thinner at both ends, which is where printing actually happens most distinctly. I'm surely not the first one to conclude that a small revolver is the ideal pocket gun. And, of course, you can throw in a few words about revolver reliability, ammo flexibility (esp. w/ a .357), and functional simplicity.
The difference in weight between 12 and 15 oz is detectable, sure, but not really functionally different. So then I had to choose between the airweights, like the 642 (having decided on the hammerless centenial, which is the one to pick if pocket carry is your mode; let's face it, these are fighting guns, and fighting guns are meant to be used double action anyway) and the scandium 342 or 340. I ended up with the 340 just because I wanted the .357 option. Any modern hammerless (or shrouded hammer) lightweight .38 would, I think, be a perfectly comforting and adequate choice. I'm not sorry I spent the few extra bucks for the 357 option, though. I've ended up getting into reloading and working up handloads that are the perfect balance of power and controllability, for me, in my super lightweight gun.
As for the recoil, I can only tell you what lots of others can. Factory .357 hurts. Well, Golden Sabers aren't bad, but I don't like lightweight bullets, and neither does my gun. Grips are important, and you may mess with a couple before you find the right fit for your hand (and pain tolerance). With boot grips, I can shoot a box of .38 +Ps without getting too sore; but I prefer to shoot with larger Pachmayr compacs, which cover the backstrap generously, afford me more control, and let me shoot all the moderate .357s I want--or even a few full-power ones.
Sorry if that's more of a saga than you were after, but I do think a snub is a gun everyone should have ;)
August 21, 2003, 05:45 PM
I have a 24 oz S&W Mod. 60 3"
I have essentially the same gun in stainless steel with a 2.125" barrel. It's a pocketful, all right, but comfortable enough when I wear shorts. It doesn't fit in jeans pockets very well, but I could carry it in a dress trousers pocket.
August 21, 2003, 05:53 PM
In the smaller gun category I have a Taurus 605 (.357 mag snubby) and a Glock G27. But the Keltec P32 is my most often carried summer gun.
August 21, 2003, 06:18 PM
I carry a Kel-Tec P-11 in a Smartcarry when I'm at work. I have to wear slacks and a tucked in golf shirt. Works well for me.
August 21, 2003, 08:05 PM
Although my S&W 340 is the gun that I carry most of the time in the summer, I might have gone with something with a little more weight if I had it to do over.
Call me a wimp, but shooting .357 out of this thing is not an option for me. I did it once, just to be able to say I had done it. Normally I carry it loaded with Win SXT 130 gr +P and even those will light you up.
I do have an SP101 but find it pretty heavy. One day I will go out and shop for a revolver that weighs somewhere between the 340 and the 101.
When the temps cool down, I usually carry one of the Glocks.
August 21, 2003, 09:05 PM
I've only read about them, but they sound like an interesting option, for those interested in "hiding in plain sight", so to speak - the Safepacker holster (http://www.thewilderness.com/Pages/safepacker.html). My situation is similar and I think I may give one a try. My CCW pistol is a Kahr P9 Covert and I think it's too heavy for pocket carry, so this looks like an interesting option.
August 21, 2003, 09:43 PM
I just realized I must have screwed up the spelling of the thread title but I can't edit it! It should be pocket carry, not pockey carry. :rolleyes:
Maybe someone in Admin could fix that pretty please.
August 22, 2003, 12:45 AM
With the right ammo, a .32 ACP is almost as effective as a .380 ACP or a .38 special snubby. I recommend Winchester Silvertip or Corbon for your Kel Tec P-32, but your pistol must be 100% reliable with it.
If you must have something else then buy a .38 special snubby. I recommend a Smith & Wesson J frame that weighs 16 ozs. or less. Get a pocket holster too. I use a Mika because it works and is very inexpensive. Load snubby with +P ammo like a 158 gr. lead hollowpoint, Corbon 110 gr. JHP, or a good 125 gr. JHP by Corbon or Federal or Remington. (Federal and Remington 125's will have the least felt recoil.)
August 22, 2003, 08:11 AM
Over 30 years of pocket carry here.
The first 25 I used a j-frame, first in steel (MDL 60) then later an airweight (MDL 442). In the last 5 I "tried" a Glock 26 for about 4 months but it was a little too wide for my pockets. Since, I've settled on a Kahr P9 covert with std pressure 124gr Gold Dots and haven't looked back.
Today I would pick a Kahr PM9 (in auto) or a MDL 342PD (in revolver), both with XO Big Dot sights.
August 22, 2003, 10:01 AM
I live near Atlanta and wear minimal attire most of the year. I'm a die-hard pocket carrier. Having tried at least a dozen handguns for pocket carry, there are only a couple of them that really pass muster.
I carried a P32 for three years (my absolute favorite) but sold it to free up funds for my current carry piece: a Smith 340SC. (yes, I shoot .357's out of it and can control them but recoil is fierce indeed!) Honestly, there are some situations where I cannot even carry my snub in the pocket without compromising my concealment. The other absolutely undetectable gun I carry is my NAA mini-revolver in .22mag with the 1 1/8" barrel. C.R. Sam has done his best to assure me that "no one's really looking" and that my concern about being "made" is all mental.
I'm on the list for one of Kel-Tec's newly released P-3AT's for pocket carry. So, at present, it's the 340SC when I'm wearing good concealment attire or the NAA mini always.
I live a quiet, sheltered lifestyle so feel fairly secure with what ever I'm toting around.
August 22, 2003, 11:24 AM
P32 can always carry
637 (or other airwt J frame) almost always
The more I CCW and the more I study and think about self defense, the more I think a pair of pocket guns is all anyone needs (for guns) for self defense.
IMO if you need more than a pair of 38 snubs, you should probably be wearing a vest and have a long gun near at hand.
August 22, 2003, 01:00 PM
I carry my P95 and a spare mag every day in a SmartCarry holster, and I wear shorts and a t-shirt all summer long. No one has ever spotted my carry.
August 24, 2003, 09:47 AM
I've said it in at least 3 or maybe 4 threads on this forum, the WORST gun I have ever owned in my 66 years on this planet was a S&W 340PD. It looked great in it's red felt lined leather case but turned out to be a major POS in my opinion. Kept it a week and sold it at a huge loss, had a really hard time trying to sell the dam thing, nobody around these parts wanted anything to do with it. Glad it's gone, never looked back.
August 24, 2003, 10:24 AM
I did ditched my P-32 in favor of the P-3AT. It is my always carry gun. When pocket size permits, I use a holster that also carries a spare mag.
Most of the time though, when not at work, where deepest concealment is required, I carry a S&W 442 in my front pocket. The 442 (or 642) is the best compromise -- no ammo restrictions, a little extra weight (15 oz.), good price. I shoot CorBon +Ps without any problem -- very reasonable to shoot.
My whole package -- 442, Crimson Trace Laser Grips, 5 rounds of Corbon and a leather pocket holster -- weigh a tad over 17 oz. on my postal scale. Very easy to carry.
August 24, 2003, 02:16 PM
I have a Taurus 85 titanium, weighs about 13 oz. unloaded.
It's ported, .38 only, DAO. A very simple and pleasant gun to carry and shoot. I carry it in a Kramer pocket holster when I don't want to carry my Glock 26, which I carry either IWB or on the ankle.
I also have a Galco ankle glove for the Taurus, which you might consider for work where you're wearing long pants. Pocket carry can be a problem in a workplace where you're bumping into people, and sometimes you need a pocket for other stuff.
I carry spare ammo either in an AmmoWallet by MTM or a Galco 2x357 belt pouch. The AmmoWallet is totally deep carry. No one would every know it held ammo even if you put it out on your desktop. The Galco works well, but seen from the side you can see the spare rounds. I generally use it on my belt when I'm wearing an untucked shirt, which also helps conceal pocket carry.
August 24, 2003, 03:06 PM
This is one of those questions that doesn't really have a specific "RIGHT" answer ...
Rule One ... Have a gun ....
But then, I've paid a lot more attention in the last several years to the corollary of Rule One ... which is, Have ENOUGH gun ...
I can't tell you what "enough" gun might be for you.
For me, it's never less than a .38 or a 9mm.
Now, we permit our people to carry off duty weapons chambered in calibers as small as .32 & .380 ACP ... however, no .22LR or .25 ACP. I think I know of less than half a dozen folks that carry a .380 SOMETIMES, if they're not carrying a larger caliber weapon, and one person that has a .32 Seecamp, but hardly ever carries it. He just likes to keep it on his authorized list.
I see a lot of the "smaller" calibers come through the CCW classes. Just the other day I watched someone attempting to shoot a nice compact .22LR, and watched him experience a malfunction rate of something like 20-25%.
For me ... the 642 fits the bill when I don't feel the "need" to carry a larger weapon off duty. It's very lightweight, and I practice a reasonable amount.
The Kahr PM9 seems like a nice little pistol, but I only have experience shooting one of them, belonging to one of our folks. I can shoot my 642 more accurately and more easily than I can the PM9 ... and I can shoot my CS9 MUCH more accurately, and faster, than I can the PM9.
That's me, though ...
August 24, 2003, 03:35 PM
I just wanted to jump in here and thank everyone that's been contributing to this thread as I've found the varying opinions and experience very informative and it has spawned more consideration and research on my part. The experience you all share here is a great resource and I greatly appreciate it.
August 25, 2003, 02:44 PM
Kahr Lady K9
He He He. There's a good nickname in there somewhere. Yes... I am easily amused.
I really like the Kahr PM9. It holds a good cartridge, and is small and light enough to hide in my front pocket. Their only downside is that I never see them for less than $525.
August 25, 2003, 03:06 PM
http://www.smartcarry.com . With this you can carry big or small what ever you want. I'm sitting at my desk with a .45 in mine, wearing a tight t-shirt. Everything is below the belt so the shirt is not an issue. Comfortable, secure and totally concealed. A little slower on the draw than an IWB but it works for many many people. Most wear it in front. I've found front is ok but be rotating it so the gun is a the two oclock position, it feels more like an IWB and might be easier to get at. Try one. Comes with a 30 (or 60 I forget which) day, no questions asked moneyback guarentee. No I'm not selling, just a happy customer.
August 26, 2003, 10:31 AM
Used Colt Mustang or Pony in the Pocketlite variety.
August 26, 2003, 09:11 PM
I have been carrying a Kahr PM9 for a pocket holster, even though I am not a fan of the 9mm, it was the best option on hot days. I am now upgrading, and my new pocket pistol will be here tomarrow, a Kahr PM40. When it is cool enough to dress a little heavier, it is a 1911, 45 acp IWB, but for the hot days, I am very happy with the Kahr in the pocket.
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