Your opinions and musings please.


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Bruce H
September 14, 2003, 11:10 AM
With Missouri passing it's concealed carry law what are the preferences of those who have been carrying? What works. what doesn't? What seems like a really great idea that turns into a ton weight two hours after you put it on? Both sides of the aisle, pistols and revolvers.

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Ala Dan
September 14, 2003, 11:43 AM
Well, my friend there certainly will be widely varied opinions
on this isssue; but I will give you my idea's of a CCW type
weapon.:uhoh:

First off, if weight is a major concern then you need
to look at the Smith & Wesson J-frames; which now are
available in these caliber's: .32 H&R Magnum, .38
Special, and .357 Magnum. I prefer stainless
steel over the Ti and Sc revolver's; and with that said, I
would look closely at S&W model's 60 (.357 magnum) or
637 (.38 Special).

If more firepower is desired, then the choice of a quality
self-loader would be in order; and you can go as far as
your ego and money can carry you!:rolleyes: With that
said, I'm a fan of the big old' and slow .45 ACP; so quite
naturally, I would seek a quality DA/SA weapon in this
caliber. With that said, I strongly recommend the SIG-
Sauer P220A; the grand daddy of SIG-Sauer's line of
classic P-series selfloader's. Those desiring a 9m/m
have more choice's: the single stack compact P225,
the double stack compact P228, or the full size large
frame P226*. Then there is always the thought of a
different brand, that has different options; such as
the 1911 (and variant's), the Browning Hi-Power,
the H&K's, the Beretta's, the CZ's, the Ruger's, etc.

My ultimate suggestion would be for you to visit a
firing range that allows persons to rent firearm's,
Look em' over, try a few out, and decide what's
best for you; cuz NO ONE can honestly tell you
what will work best in YOUR hands!:D

*FootNote: The SIG-Sauer P226 is also avaliable
in .40 S&W and .357 SIG caliber's. Also, SIGARMS
model P229 (with a stainless steel slide) is available
in 9m/m, .40S&W, and .357 SIG caliber's; as is
the even more compact SIG P239.

Last but not least, in the SIG line of compact's there
is a .45 caliber; designated model number P245.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

C.R.Sam
September 14, 2003, 02:30 PM
Whatever you can shoot Very well.
Regardles of size, shape or type.

Sam

El Tejon
September 14, 2003, 02:40 PM
Select your weapon based upon your requirements, not the precatory babble of gun rags or the Errornet. Do not listen to GSCs who babble on about "all you need."

Go shoot different weapons, make your selection based on your actual use, buy good support gear--holster AND belt (note good support gear negates the concern over weight--I carry two guns on one belt, a 1911 and a Kahr P9, weight is not an issue), dress accordingly, and then go buy multiple copies of your carry gun.

Remember, there are no magic swords. There are pros and cons to all platforms--Glock, 1911, revolver, what have you.

I highly recommend seeking out instruction and obtaining all the education you can. Allow your software to select your hardware for you.:)

Mark IV Series 80
September 14, 2003, 02:49 PM
I like the S&W Bodyguard Airweight, Model 638 or 38.

The Airweight Bodyguard weighs 14 ounces, has a shrouded hammer - to prevent snagging on the draw, and can still be cocked for a single-action shot, rotation-check, or emergency.

I would look for an older Bodyguard. without the key-lock on the side of the gun.

The snub-nosed revolver does take some practice, but it is small and light enough, that you can take it with you almost everywhere.

Justin
September 14, 2003, 03:44 PM
What El T said. Seek instruction. Also, talk to those who've carried for a long time, find out what they like and don't like.

Carry around your house to find out what you like and don't like. Resign yourself to the fate of having to try and discard more than one carry method.

In addition to the pistol you choose, realize that you will also need a good belt, and a good holster. If you carry a fullsize HK USP in a cheapie nylon holster on a belt you bought at JC Penny you will be uncomfortable.

But, like anything else, you'll have to experiment with different belt/holster/pistol combinations before you find what works for you.

farscott
September 14, 2003, 04:02 PM
The thing about IWB concealed carry that surprised me was how important the width of a pistol is to comfort and concealed carry and how unimportant barrel length is. Frame length and width are very important for IWB carry. I find that I can carry and conceal a 5" 1911 easier than I can carry and conceal a 2.25" SP-101. The thinner 1911, though larger and heavier than the SP-101, is an easier form factor for my body. A wide pistol takes up more room in the waistband, making it less comfortable, and has a higher potential to print (at least for me).

A good belt and a good holster are mandatory for IWB concealed carry. The pistol needs to be held in one place for both comfort and concealment.

Standing Wolf
September 14, 2003, 09:42 PM
My best advice to people new to carrying concealed firearms is to find a range with hand guns for rent, and rent, rent, rent, rent, and rent some more. The more guns you try, the easier it will be to decide what you don't like—unless, of course, you find the perfect gun.

For myself and many other shooters of my acquaintance, the process consists of eliminating possibilities before choosing a gun and holster, and even then, most of us have a gun or two we thought would be perfect, but wasn't.

As for holsters, since you can't rent anywhere I've ever heard of, I'd suggest starting out with a premium quality model rather than an "affordable" holster: the odds are high you're going to end up buying a premium quality holster, anyway, so better to bite the bullet once rather than buy a cheap holster and then bite the bullet.

I've been happy with holsters from http://www.mitchrosen.com and http://www.kramerleather.com

My carry gun is a pre-agreement Smith & Wesson model 60 in .357 magnum—but it's definitely not everybody's ideal.

Bruce H
September 14, 2003, 11:07 PM
Well I have a 415 Taurus and a fullsize Witness 10mm now. As everybody knows with any happy occasion brings reasons for new purchases. Was thinking mostly about single stack 9mm size pistols. Any thoughts?

David4516
September 15, 2003, 05:49 AM
I found that how heavy a gun is dosen't matter to me as much as how fat it is. Thats one big advantage to carrying an auto. Another is fast reloads and more rounds. Even a single stack auto has a higher capacity than a snubby wheel gun. So after much research I decided that I wanted a single stack auto...

If I were you, I'd do a TON of research. Then I'd pick out a few of the guns that sounded the best to me based on that research, and shoot them. Then I'd go with the one I shot the best...

When I was looking for a carry gun, I was very limited by my small budget (I'm a student and only work part time, so I don't have much spending money). I ended up getting a Makarov because it looked like the best deal for they stlye of gun I was looking for (SA/DA single stack auto). I wasn't expecting much from a gun that only costs $150, and assumed that I'd be saving up and buying a more expensive pistol as soon as I had the cash. That is, untill after I took the Mak to the range a few times. The more I shot it, the more I liked it. It is VERY reliable, and thats really important. You don't want to trust your life to a gun that might not work when you need it. Now that I've had such a great experiance with the Mak, I have no plans to replace it. If you are looking for a compact, thin, cheap, dependable SA/DA auto, this is the one to get!

jercamp45
September 15, 2003, 07:29 AM
I agree with the need for a quality IWB holster, belt and mag pouch. It'll save you money to buy good stuff first! Rosen and Kramer are great, I just like Milt Sparks...the VM2H is sweet!
I also concur that thinness of slide is more imprtant for concealment in an IWB than barrel length OR weight. That, IMHO, rather leaves Glocks and HK's behind.
Though the S&W Jay frame revolvers are quite handy....I prefer it only as a back up or extreme concealment, for they ARE hard to handle, slow to reload, etc. BUT they can be hidden almost anywhere, are very reliable and give you five decent rounds in an emergency.
There is alot of discussion as to caliber...and well, that will be your decision. I like bigger bullets cuz I have seen medium ones fail to stop.
I agree with 'education' and training. And,if you are not 'commited' to a particular type of firearm....rent alot, shoot every type and caliber you can...find the 'one' that feels right in your hand and that you can hit with easily.
It HAS to be RELIABLE, Period!!
And you have to have it with you when you need it. I saw alot of people in Florida buying big Beretta's for CCW because they were military/police guns. But carrying them around later?
For Nines(if you insist), I like the CZ-75 and Browning P-35(Half Power), the HK P-7 also is favored amongst many..
Any Sig, any caliber is sweet...but I would get the smaller sized versions for CCW(yes you CAN hide the bigger ones, but not quite as easy). Here the 245 gets my vote.
I am quite fond of the 1911 format pistols in .45 acp. That is what I carry ALL the time! I like my Government models, but carry Officer's sized guns that have proven to be reliable for me. If I was starting afresh, I would get an Officer's frame, and Commander length slide in .45Colt CCO or Kimber Compact CDP) and a good IWB and belt. Wilson mags are primo.
I have had good luck with my ParaOrd LDA Companion and think the CCW carry or TacFour would be a most accomidating concealed weapon!
The pocket blasters? Subcaliber wonders? Well, I have tried a few and found them all wanting. The Chief's Special is the smallest I have and the smallest I would chose to rely on to save my hide if life gets nasty real sudden like. But my little .45's in an IWB will hide very nicely, giving me more power, more ammo, a faster reload, thinner reloading devices, and more practical on the street accuracy. So that is what I carry.
You have to make your own choice, but these are lessons I have learned along the way!
Jercamp45

Smoke
September 15, 2003, 10:06 AM
From EL T:

buy good support gear--holster AND belt (note good support gear negates the concern over weight

and

then go buy multiple copies of your carry gun.

and

I highly recommend seeking out instruction and obtaining all the education you can. Allow your software to select your hardware for you

also pay attention to what Sam said....

anything else I could add would be fluff.

Berg01
September 15, 2003, 10:20 AM
Go to the local range, and rent, or borrow as many handguns as you can; look for the gun that fits your hand, and balances the best for you; shoot a minimum of 100 rds. (one wally word valuepack) through every one you find.

Some Suggestions, in No Particular Order of Preference;

Sig P225, P228, P239 (all 9mm)
S&W 3913 9mm
CZ P-01 or PCR (9mm)
Glock 19
HK 9 Compact
Beretta 8000 Cougar (9mm)

Deepdiver
September 15, 2003, 10:22 AM
Carry what you are comfortable with + decent holster + decent belt + reasonable attire + don't get too self conscious (cuz (newsflash!) - unless you are Brittany Speers or her male equivalent NO ONE is looking at you that closely.:rolleyes: )

cslinger
September 15, 2003, 10:40 AM
The big things for me are.

1)The width and grip of the handgun are the big problems to conceal. Weight and length of barrel are not that big of a deal.

2)People are oblivious. You could walk around with a T-Shirt that says Hi, my name is X and I am carrying a cocked and locked Colt 1911 .45 caliber pistol. Have a nice day and nobody would notice or think twice.

3)I agree with the get a gun that you are comfortable shooting as the right gear will negate any of the negatives of weight, size etc. but I also think everybody should buy an all the time gun. For me that gun is a J Frame sized revolver. The reason is they are extremely potent .38/.357, extremely concealable, extremely reliable and are generally easy enough to throw into just about any pocket. In my opinion no better civillian concealled carry weapon has outdone the original snub nosed revolver.

The simple truth is there will be times where you don't want to dress a certain way or you don't want to take the time to throw on your quality belt and holster because you are just running out for a second or don't have time. The pocket gun reigns here. There are some fine semi auto pocket gun choices and you would be surpised how big of a gun you can carry in some pockets but IMHO a J frame sized .357 does this the best of anything. Stay away from the super super light weights stick to 15 oz or heavier. 22-24 oz in the pocket is easy. A 15 oz Airweight will make you forget it's there. Those 12 oz. suckers feel like styrofoam but are punishing to shoot and require a special regimen of care and feeding.

Well that is my two cents. Hope it helps.

Chris

Ohh yeah get a SIG too.:neener:

TonyB
September 15, 2003, 10:45 AM
I was amazed at how quickly I got used to carrying.I carry an SP101,which is not lightweight,but it's really comfortable.I use a Desantis holster between my belt and pants,this holds the gun real close to my body.A good holster is important.
Some say a carry gun is carried alot,shot a little.....I think it should be carried alot AND shot alot....you want to be able to hit what you shoot at....that's why I personally stay away from the Ti stuff.......lots of shooting is a pain(literally).
What ever you decide,stick with it for awhile,and you'll be used to it in no time.Good luck!!:cool:

cslinger
September 15, 2003, 10:47 AM
There is no perfect gun or perfect caliber, no matter what I might....ahhh I mean we might say.

I prefer at least a .38 for defense but whatever you pick the key is high quality defensive ammunition and practice so you can put said high quality ammunition where it counts. If you carry a .22 learn to put the shots in the eyes if you carry a .44 magnum learn to put the shots in CNS and handle the recoil.

All guns have strengths and weaknesses there is no perfect sword except the SIG P220 but I digress :D. Learn to use the guns strengths and mitigate it's weaknesses with training and choice of ammo.

Chris

Sean Smith
September 15, 2003, 11:02 AM
A strong belt and a good holster let you comfortably hide a quite substantial gun. I tend to lean towards the effectiveness of the weapon vs. how cute and comfy it is, though sometimes you can only get away with something little.

RandyC
September 15, 2003, 01:45 PM
Bruce,

It also depends on what you wear, your lifestyle , the season. For an always carry I have a pocket pistol. That works for any weather, any season, even for t-shirt and shorts. Then I have my primary carry I can use under sport jackets, coats, vests, sweaters, etc.

For me that combination is a little NAA Guardian .380 and a Kimber Pro Carry .45 (sometimes my full sized Colt Goverment Model). People's needs very. Just find out what you shoot well. Chances are you'll find a pretty good way to conceal it.

LiquidTension
September 15, 2003, 05:05 PM
Bruce -

For a single stack 9mm, look for an HK P7. It is somewhat odd with the squeeze cocker, but it is very slim and wonderfully accurate with little recoil. Some people hate these pistols, others (like myself) really love them. Only problem is the price tag - used ones start at around $650, new ones over a grand. If you've got the money it is definitely worth researching, at least.

If money is an issue, I second the Makarov. We had one for years and it never once jammed on us. It is also very slim and can be had in 9x18 or .380.

You really should go to a range or get together with some other THRers and fire a bunch of different ones before you make your decision. What seems like the perfect gun at the counter may end up being the bane of your existence on the range.

Johnny Guest
September 15, 2003, 05:06 PM
I'll add my tuppence worth.

Lotsa people say to try out several different types of handgun. Excellent counsel. But don't "try 'em out" merely by shooting them. Work out a way to try carrying the ones in which you're interested. If possible, try 'em in a belt holster, IWB, ankle holster, shoulder holster, suede lined sweet potato sack, however.

Some of the finest, most comfortable-shooting handguns are a pain to carry concealed. Most people work out an accomodation with what's comfortable to carry, first off. Then, if they're smart, they practice and train until they are able to shoot it fairly well.

I'm a big fan of the .45 autopistol, and I shoot a Government Model best of all. I have almost no buttocks, however, and a 39-ounce-plus-ammo pistol drags my belt down. I can carry a 27 ounce Commander pretty well, so that's my compromise. When the weather just won't allow a cover garment, I go with an alloy frame .38. This combo works for me. Something else might work better for you.

One thing is certain in my mind - - A P32 or Airweight Chief in your pocket will serve you far, FAR better than a .44 Magnum in the car or a submachine gun in your safe.

Best,
Johnny

Hutch
September 19, 2003, 11:51 AM
Many have touched on it, but convenience is a big factor. For me, that usually means a J-frame in the front pocket. Not flashy or tactical, but it's the most likely to be there and be effective should it all fall in the pot.

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