Input on Concealed Carry Weapon


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Drgong
August 8, 2009, 12:42 AM
I have decided that for my Birthday/Christmas present to myself (After all, I am hitting the big 30) that I should get a CC permit and a Concealed Carry Weapon and at least start carrying it in a car (My work, a courthouse, does not allow Concealed carry, even if your a CCW permit holder)

Background

Handguns I currently Own.

BHP
Model 15
Model 36
Nagant

As a note, I am not a small guy (5'11, 270 pounds in the summer, 280 in the winter)

My personal thoughts (referring to my personal use.)

I am going to carry a revolver for a number of reasons, while I trust my BHP it is a little to large to carry except under a winter coat, and I trust myself more with a revolver in a bad situation then a Semi-auto as there are no-safeties to mess with, I shoot better with a revolver, and the clearing issues are much simpler with a revolver.

I do have a model 36, however, it is in great condition, and it a safe queen, and I don't want to ruin it with holster wear. The model 15 is too large to Conceal carry comfortably, and the Nagant is not suitable. Thus I will be buying a new weapon.

as a another note, 38 specials are a breeze to shoot, so are 45s, however I find defense round power .357 mags uncomfortable at best coming out of a small revolver (I am not goint to be carrying a GP100).

I do not reload at this time, do not have the place to reload as I rent.

So I figured that my caliber choices should be limited to.

.38 special
.327 Mag
.357 Mag
.44 Special

.38 special
adv
Inexpensive "Range" ammo
good self defense ammo
already have two .38 specials, thus no special ammo purchases needed.

Disadvantage
Low end of the good "Self Defense" ammo choices
somewhat boring (boring can be good though)


.327 Mag
Adv
Powerful round with a extra cartridge compared to a .38/357
Can put inexpensive .32 longs or H&R mags for range, and the real deal for self defense.
Self defense cartridge reviews are impressive.

Disadvantages
a new design, and does not have wide ammo support outside of federal, may end up being a orphaned round.


.357
Adv
Standard self defense round
can range with .38s, self defense with .357s

Disadvantages
I hate shooting .357s in a snub nose revolver, a lot of kick and I am not as accurate in quick shooting with .357s as I am with other rounds. (.357 in bigger frames are a ton of fun)

.44 special
Adv
Powerful round in the proven large slow round.
its a .44 special

disadvantages
ammo is Expensive, and there is no real "range ammo" choices, and you cannot step down to a less expensive round to practice.

Due to my dislike of .357, I am scratching that out of my choices.

So, that leaves me with .38 specials, .327 mag, and .44 specials.

in the .44 specials I would be looking at a Charter arms bulldog, as that is the one revolver in my price range.

In .327 mag I have two major options that I know of, the SP101 in .327, and the Charter arms Patriot .327

In .38 special I have a LOT of choices.

Sp101
number of Charter offerings
S&W, both new and old

So to sum up.

Right now I am looking at.

Charter arms Bulldog .44 special
SP101 in .327
Charter Arms Patriot .327
SP101 in .357/.38 special (will be loaded with .38s)
and a endless list of .38 specials snubbies

I am seeking input in if people think I am on the right path, and if there is any thing that I am missing. I do not have a unlimited budget, but I do not have to buy a Armscor or a Rossi.

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Cactus Jack Arizona
August 8, 2009, 01:09 AM
Taurus also makes a .327 Mag. You might check it out just for the heck of it. However, if I were to go with the .327 Mag, I'd go with the Ruger.

If you are set on a revolver for concealed carry, then of the choices you gave, I'd go with the .38 Spcl.......tried, tested, true and blue.

Of the choices you gave, the last caliber for ccw that I'd carry with me would be the .44 Mag. Even though you called it slow, there's still a lot of power behind it and it would likely go through the intended bg and possibly cause unwanted collateral damage. :eek: I'd leave the carrying of a .44 Magnum to Dirty Harry. :neener:

Drgong
August 8, 2009, 01:25 AM
Rami, I am looking at a .44 Special, not the Mag to be technical, but I am sure the same things hold true with collateral damage

I am set on a revolver, that I am sure of :) Just not sure on which, but from the list of what I have, I am sure it obvious I am looking at the SP101 very hard as it seems to me at least to be a well built, good defense weapon from a top company.

Fumbler
August 8, 2009, 01:55 AM
As far as caliber, go with the 38. It's easy to find ammo, easy to practice with, and you can get good self defense ammo. Yes, most loads aren't hot, but they're enough.

The 158gr lead semi wadcutter hollowpoint FBI load is always a good performer at 900fps.
If you want something fairly hot then Double Tap and Buffalo Bore both load the 125gr Gold Dot at 1100fps out of a J frame. Those are the same ballistics as the Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel 357mag.

I wouldn't even think of getting a 327 Fed.
Ammo availability would suck. Also, I wouldn't trade bullet mass for high velocity and crazy muzzle blast.

The SP-101 is a great gun and wouldn't be bad to carry. Too heavy for my tastes, but I carry almost every minute I'm awake if I'm not at work (I work for the government).

Why not go with a S&W Airweight or Taurus Ultra-lite?
One thing I learned with concealed carry is you have to buy a gun that you will actually carry. Having less weight is always a good thing comfort wise.
I personally don't like the Charter Arms. The build quality on the ones I've seen have been horrible and they cost as much as a Taurus. The Taurus Ultra-Lites are pretty close to the fit and finish of the equivalent S&W and as good design wise.

Dr_2_B
August 8, 2009, 02:04 AM
considering that you have several and if this is really for CCW only, I'd say j-frame 38 loaded with +p.

Cactus Jack Arizona
August 8, 2009, 02:06 PM
My mistake. I looked at it and saw .44 Special, but my mind just simply went to .44 Magnum. :o

jbrown50
August 8, 2009, 02:29 PM
S&W 637:
Reasonably priced, heavy but very smooth DA trigger, hides very well in a good sized pocket, light enough to carry comfortably but not too light to handle +P .38s. IMO, an excellent little carry gun. S&W 638 is the hammerless version.

Ruger SP101:
Reasonably priced, .38 or .357 mag, heavy enough to handle .357 mag recoil very well with limited use, Larger and heavier than a j-frame but a nice little powerhouse if you're willing to make size and weight concessions. Carries and hides nicely IWB.

Clark Savage Jr
August 8, 2009, 02:56 PM
Fumbler wrote: "As far as caliber, go with the 38. It's easy to find ammo, easy to practice with, and you can get good self defense ammo. Yes, most loads aren't hot, but they're enough.

The 158gr lead semi wadcutter hollowpoint FBI load is always a good performer at 900fps."

Respectfully disagree. Grab an old wrecked car door and lug it out to the range. Stand 10' away and blast at it with that load. I'll bet a box of donuts that you will neither penetrate the metal nor the glass alone. Especially with a snubbie.

Practice all you want with .38 specials. When it comes time for serious social intercourse, you want to have 125 gr. HP .357's. I guarantee you won't notice the recoil.

21bubba
August 8, 2009, 10:50 PM
Lot of car door attackers in your neck of the woods?

Clark Savage Jr
August 8, 2009, 11:08 PM
If you're on the inside and the BG's trying to get at you . . .

Just trying to demonstrate the low power of a LSWC .38 spl. As an ex-paramedic for a major metropolitan fire department, I can assure you the .38 spl. is not a manstopper. :(

I carry a Detonics .45 loaded with 200 gr. HP.

dmazur
August 8, 2009, 11:58 PM
Gunbroker shows two S&W Model 21's at this date.

The first one is a nice Thunder Ranch Special (and for $750 it better be good.)

The second one is a 1950 Model 21, nickel, for around $550.

This is in the ballpark of the SP101's, I think.

.44 Special is a good self-defense round, IMO. If I was looking for a revolver, I think I'd look hard at .44 Specials.

David E
August 9, 2009, 01:35 AM
If he thinks the BHP and 4" Model 15 are too big, he'll certainly think the Model 21 is too big.

Were I him, I'd shoot the snot out the Model 36 he already owns and embrace the honest wear that comes with using a gun.....

Since I'm not him and he's wanting a .38 or .327 or .44 Spl. The .327 is far too new to trust, much less be able to find ammo. I've yet to see a single round in person. Most .44 Spl's are either too heavy or too big, so he wouldn't carry it. (the Charter may work, but it's a light duty gun, not allowing much practice before it loosens up.)

So, for most of us, the obvious choice is the .38 Model 642 with proper grips. Load it with 158 LSWCHP +P's and he's good to go, once he can hit with it.

chris in va
August 9, 2009, 02:07 AM
I had an SP101 for a while. Decent enough gun, but I just couldn't justify the extreme recoil of the 357 SD round and quick follow up shots. "Use 38+p" everyone said.

Then it dawned on me, I can get a thinner 9mm with 7+1 rounds of +p in a semiauto...and sold the SP.

Something to think about. Oh and the SP is quite stout. The 3" version I had is the same size as my Sig 220!

DFW1911
August 9, 2009, 03:22 PM
Grab an old wrecked car door and lug it out to the range.

I would LOVE to be at that range session, mainly to see the negotiation of: "...well if I can't use it, what targets to you have that are similar? I lugged that thing all the way up here, got it inside, NOW you're telling me you have a NO CARS on the range policy? That info would have been just great before I hung it up and sent it downrange!"

Many of us have a J frame of some sort in the rotation. I carry mine quite a bit in the summer since frequently my concealment garment is a t-shirt or polo shirt.

I recommend the SP101 w/ .38's of some sort as ammo OR a 642. Like many of us, you man end up with several CCWs you rotate in and out.

RatDrall
August 9, 2009, 03:30 PM
The model 15 is too large to Conceal carry comfortably

I comfortably carry a 4" S&W model 65 or 66 occasionally now, and did so consistently for a few years in a Blade Tech IWB holster. The 4" K-frame is one of the best belt guns in history, inside or outside your waistband.

As far as carrying a Ruger, don't even buy one. If you are used to your smooth S&W triggers, the Ruger will feel horrible to you.

OurSafeHome.net
August 9, 2009, 03:48 PM
The 4" K-frame is one of the best belt guns in history, inside or outside your waistband.
Indeed. You cannot go too far wrong with a 4" wheel gun, loaded with modern ammo.

Clark Savage Jr
August 9, 2009, 04:44 PM
DFW1911 wrote:
"I would LOVE to be at that range session, mainly to see the negotiation of: "...well if I can't use it, what targets to you have that are similar? I lugged that thing all the way up here, got it inside, NOW you're telling me you have a NO CARS on the range policy? That info would have been just great before I hung it up and sent it downrange!""

:) Our local range wouldn't let me through the gate with that, but I was shooting on a range in Idaho last month where you could shoot your own car and nobody would notice. Must've been a thousand acres of desert with a dozen ranges scattered around. They had a 1,000 yard rifle range and a Cowboy shooting range consisting of a small town complete with rairoad station and tracks! You could shoot from a moving hand car at bad guys lined up for a hundred yards as you went by. They had a westen fort set up so's you could plug native americans and even the outhouses were decorated in old west decor. I'd love to have a range like that here, but I wouldn't live in Eastern Idaho to have the privilege. I get irritable when the wind blows constantly for days on end.

rainbowbob
August 9, 2009, 05:21 PM
I do have a model 36, however, it is in great condition, and it a safe queen, and I don't want to ruin it with holster wear.

You already have the perfect pocket carry revolver.

Buy a Mika pocket holster.

Get used to wearing untucked shirts, jackets, or vests.

Remove it from the holster every night, and I don't think you will see any wear on the finish.

You will, of course, want to shoot it regularly.

Only if it is NIB should it be considered a "safe queen" (IMO). It was made to be carried and shot. If you really can't bear to bring that one out of the safe for daily use - get another one.

Some will suggest the lighter models (e.g., 442) but personally I like the weight and feel and recoil on the heavier steel models.

Another alternative along those lines is the M 40 Centennial (hammerless).

Logos
August 9, 2009, 05:42 PM
I hate to see people say, "I want a gun that fits my budget."

Someday your life may be on the line and you'll wish you had damn well MADE your budget fit a top quality gun.

Your self-defense firearm is not a place to pinch pennies.

Save up a little longer, cut something else OUT of your budget......and get the best.

rainbowbob
August 9, 2009, 05:54 PM
I hate to see people say, "I want a gun that fits my budget."

What the OP said was:

I do not have a unlimited budget...

Who does?

IMO, You could save up $2,000 and not do any better for daily carry than a good condition, classic J-frame with walnut stocks and a T-Grip.

Drgong
August 10, 2009, 11:32 AM
RatDrall - Good points.

Don'g get me wrong, in winter or open carry, my model 15 might get some use. The 4 inch K-frame is close to ideal, and I have open-carried it before.

rainbowbob

The model 36 is a great gun (except that I need to get better shooting snubbies :neener:), And a 2nd model 36 is one that I am strongly looking at if I go the .38 special only route. Or a model 60.


Logos

I do have a budget, it is reasonable. $800 would be too much, $600 would be ok if it is the best gun, $400 would be super-awesome. Less $$$ spent on the gun means I can spend more money on ammo so I can shoot more.


I think a model 21 would be too big, but I will at least look at them to see if they would work, as they are in the price range.


The .44 special would be my first choice, except that shooting it would be so expensive. Shooting 50 rounds a month might cost me 60 bucks! :barf:

Guess I am looking at

Ruger - SP101
S&W - Model 36, Model 60, Model 21, (Any other J-frames or other revolvers I need to look at with S&W?), or a .357.

I still up the in air about taurus or Charter being my CCW revolver.

OurSafeHome.net
August 10, 2009, 11:44 AM
I do have a budget, it is reasonable. $800 would be too much, $600 would be ok if it is the best gun, $400 would be super-awesome.

Spending $3-400 on a J-frame and $3-400 on some PROFESSIONAL INSTRUCTION will yield a much better self-defense solution than spending $800 on a weapon and only reading the owner's manual.

searcher451
August 10, 2009, 12:42 PM
It's clear that you've thought through the issues at hand. The bottom line is that no one knows what you should buy or carry except, of course, for ... you and you alone. Go to a range that rents guns and test a few that are in your sights and the range of your pocket book. Invite some friends along who might have guns that you are considering and run some ammo through those as well. Then pick a gun that best fits your hand and eye and buy it.

If you let your decision be influenced by what you read on a gun board, even if you've invited the comments and despite the well-meaning nature of the posters, the chances are good that you'll come away disappointed more often than not.

Drgong
August 10, 2009, 01:03 PM
I found a SP101 (in .327 actually) at the local gun store, and after viewing and handling it it I will most likely be roating a larger gun (.44 spl or a big .38/.327) with a small J-frame depending on clothing/weather.

Of course, I cannot expect to get the same deal I got for the model 36 (FEG PA-63 and $50 for a almost unshot model 36).

As a note, whatever the CCW gun is, it will be spending a fair amount of time in the center console of my car due to my work (work for the government) and the amount of time I drive.

Anyways, the .44 special is tempting, till I relize that the least expensive ammo I can find for it in a shop is over 1.50 a round, o well, I have well over a month if not longer to decide on what to buy, and as many posters have said, if I want, I have a near ideal CCW in my Cheif's special.

Drgong
August 12, 2009, 11:05 AM
Thanks to all who posted.

Right now I am leaning towards using my model 36 or buying another .38 snubby (perhaps stainless), with me buying another larger revolver for "Fun".

Though a nice .22 might be a better buy.

rainbowbob
August 12, 2009, 01:28 PM
Right now I am leaning towards using my model 36...with me buying another larger revolver for "Fun".

We're on the same page. I carry my M-36 in a pocket holster, and picked up a beautiful M-15 for "fun".

Drgong
August 14, 2009, 10:51 AM
Indeed, the only thing that i am still thinking about is that I might buy a stainless J-frame (but not the airweights) As I sweat a ton. But I will need to pick up some training on how to get a little more accurancy out of a Snubby.

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