I know it's all over the forum if I run a series of searches - which I have, but I am not looking for a debate on 380 vs. 9, vs 38.... I'd like some advice on what to carry (IWB or pocket) from actual users. I usually carry an XD40SC IWB small of back but am now running into situations where the size of that rig is not convenient (primarily driven by clothing). I had an LCP which I sold - lost my job and needed money. It ran flawlessly but IMHO I felt it was a little underpowered.
I'm looking for a little more horsepower and am thinking of a J-frame, a KT P-11 or PF9, or one of the Kahrs in 40SW. The thought of the new Sig 290 is also interesting.
I would appreciate any thoughts from those who actually carry and shoot the above handguns.
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November 22, 2010, 08:42 AM
I think what you are interested in is fine.
This is such a personal question that I really can't say for sure.
FWIW, I carry smaller revolvers in the summer usually along with a Seecamp and, in the winter months I carry larger guns under my coat.
(I have a Colt Cobra and DS, and S&W J frames that I carry IWB in a holster made by Bay Charter Oaks [Summer Heat holster] behind my right love handle and hardly know it is there. So small revolvers usually for me. But you could do the same for semi-autos, and even larger models because they are flatter and easier to conceal IMHO.)
But, it is a personal decision and your choices in your post should be fine. Go and try them out at a gun shop if they are in stock.
ETA: Colt has been making Agents for a little while now in DAO and, although pricey, might be perfect for you. I have a Defender and it real comfortable in the small of the back like you carry.
So, for you, any of the smaller, but more powerful semi-autos should be fine also IMHO.
One of the guys I know has one of these compact semi-autos he carries when working at the gunshop and he says it is real comfortable, even when wearing dressy clothes. (IIRC, his is in a .40 caliber......not sure though.)
Their .40 and 9mm are both only about 22 ounces in weight unloaded. Not bad!!
Another thing you gotta know is the .40 is a little "snappier" when firing......controllable but something I had to get used to. So, maybe a 9mm might be better overall in a smaller concealable semi auto(?)......they make alot of good SD cartridges for the 9mm.
November 22, 2010, 12:22 PM
I pocket carry most often, because I have to put my gun on in my car a lot. Trying to stuff a gun IWB while sitting in a car seat is not fun. My favorite pocket gun is my kahr pm9. I carry it in a blackhawk #4 pocket holster in my right front pocket with an extra, extended mag in the other pocket contained in a desantis magpacker. It's about as big of a gun as one can carry in a front jeans pocket IMO. A true pocket 9mm is a rare thing, don't be afraid to carry a .380, it's enough to get the job done and there are some fine .380 pocket pistols out there.
The draw from the pocket is a little slower than the draw from IWB, but with practice it can be done pretty fast.
November 22, 2010, 12:28 PM
An air weight J frame with internal or shrouded hammer,
carried in a Galco or Kramer pocket holster should work
for you. This combo has worked fine for me.
November 22, 2010, 12:36 PM
I started carry'n 25 years ago with a taurus 38sp model 85 and a berreta tomcat. Both kinda heavy or in the case of the tomcat maybe to small for me to grab quickly. Changed a 1 or so back to a Charter Arms ulra lite 38 at 12oz and a KT Pf-9 at 12oz. Both very comforable for me as a pocket carry as they both fill my pockets well and are easy to pull and clear. Also have picked up a KT P-11 and a glock 27 Still working them out. Both a bit to thick or heavy as with the glock for the pocket. But some kind of IWB hollster maybe.
November 22, 2010, 01:59 PM
I carry two small compacts Kahr pm9 (9mm) and a beretta 950 jetfire 25 cal.Both fit in my pants pocket with a concelment holsters.I just bought a smith and wesson model 3913 that is also a compact pistol.
November 22, 2010, 06:16 PM
I suggest a Smith & Wesson .38 special airweight "J" frame. My favorite is the model 642 in a Mika pocket holster in my right front pants pocket. I don't have to wear a jacket. I don't have to leave my shirt hanging out. I don't have to use a tuckable holster. I don't have to carry a fanny pack. My way works with the pants and shorts that I wear. If I wanted a 9mm then it would be a Kahr PM-9, and not a Kel Tech. I sometimes carry a .45 or a 9mm in an iwb holster, but I mostly carry the 642.
November 22, 2010, 06:49 PM
IF you insist on Pocket carry realize that there are two ways of doing it
light and little (KT P32) where you have a good gun and it's even shootable
heavier and bigger (seecamp) Rohbaugh
The issue is. recoil and grip, take the Kel Tec P40, same gun as the P11, but in a larger caliber, sorry it doesn't work, just a bit too much to handle, gun works, but it limpwrists with quick fire (more than a round a second)
a larger, HEAVIER 9, 40, is much less sensitive.
Finally, shoot what you think you want to buy, PLEASE, or you will be back here in a month to sell it so you can try your next 'carry' gun.
November 22, 2010, 07:52 PM
1. While I like the LCP... (one of my favorites)... I have lingering doubts to .380's ability to quickly stop an attacker. And the smaller the auto...the more I doubt its reliability. For the record...my LCP runs 100%. I would use the LCP when in "dress clothes". But for the 95% of the time...wearing jeans with a j-frame would be my choice.
2. J-frame for pocket carry when wearing jeans and "Cuban style" shirts. The j-frame handle may slightly peek out of jeans pocket. Wear untucked dress button down shirts to cover up the jeans pocket opening.
3. For IWB, Glock 26 literally disappears in the 1:00 position. I wear an undershirt and an untucked button down shirt to cover up the handle of the gun.
November 23, 2010, 07:42 AM
I carry my S&W 642 in an Uncle Mike's pocket holster.
November 23, 2010, 08:57 AM
Some of the choices you have for a pocket carry gun are pretty good. It sounds like you don't want to go the route of the Pocket .380 ACP. For which I cannot blame you.
Here are some other companies / products to consider:
Kel-Tec: PF-9, P-11. Both are 9MM pistols, one is a single stack, the other is a double stack. Of the two here, I vastly prefer the PF-9 for it's better trigger and thinness. The P-11's been around longer, but the long trigger pull on that gun is simply something I cannot stand. IMHO, the PF-9 is the best deal out there especially considering the price.
Kahr: Their entire series of CW and MK guns seem to be pretty solid. Plusses here are that they are designed for concealed carry. Their triggers also seem to be pretty nice. They only bad thing I can see is that these are spendy guns.
Taurus: 709 Slim and some of the newer cousins look to be adequate. Just don't shoot +P ammo out of these and you should be ok.
Rohrbaugh: Tiniest 9MM guns you'll ever find. Spendy, but if you are looking for a real pocket pistol. This is it.
Walther: PPS series in 9MM and .40 S&W are great single stack guns that Glock should have been making. Priced higher than Kahr, but cheaper than the Rohrbaugh.
If you are on a budget, I'd stick to the Kel-Tec or Taurus lines with an emphasis on Kel-Tec. It's a superior product and it's rated for +P.
November 23, 2010, 09:37 AM
S&W 340pd or 340 M&P
November 23, 2010, 09:41 AM
I have a LCP and a Kahr PM40. The Kahr is only a tiny bit larger and heavier and has a much sweeter trigger pull.
Check em out: http://www.mouseguns.com/PocketAutoComparison.pdf
Too bad you don't like 380s, Masterpiece is shipping thier Seecamp clone for $300. Same size, 1/3 the price. https://www.masterpiecearms.com/pdf/mpa-protector-complete.pdf
November 23, 2010, 08:56 PM
Mostly, what others have said: a j-frame or a very small semi in a pocket holster works for almost anyone. Something slightly larger in a IWB is another good option.
After years of trying, I mostly settled in on a M&P360 (j-frame) in a Mika holster. But when I need something even slimmer, a Rohrbaugh in a pocket holster does the trick.
December 1, 2010, 04:49 PM
Pocket carry for me requires a handgun weighing not much over 10 ounces or so and I'll rely on nothing less than a .380. Anything much heavier than 10 ounces is relegated to holster carry and will be at least a 9mm.
December 1, 2010, 06:53 PM
I've shot the PF-9 extensively - I prefer my PT-709. It shoots much more 'comfortably' than the PF-9, which means I'm willing to practice more. Just a skosh bigger and heavier, but not enough to matter. I have well over a thousand rounds through mine without any significant issues. I originally planned to buy the PF-9 - actually had one on order until I played around with the 709. I also like the manual safety and the 'second strike' trigger.
December 1, 2010, 07:25 PM
I have some experience here. I prefer the 340PD for pocket carry as it is small, light, and has no exposed hammer. It is .357 mag, but .38 special +p may be more practical, particularly for practice. I has a brutal recoil, but that is the price you pay for the package. It disappears in a deep pocket, is easy to draw for a pocket piece, and lethal at close range. I love this thing, and if I leave with nothing else, I leave with this. Perfect for pants, jeans, and even shorts. For some reason, I feel safer with a revolver vs. an automatic for pocket carry. I highly reccomend the 340PD. I have a 317, an aluminum .22 (with an exposed hammer that easily gets hung up on a draw unless very careful) that I mention because they are almost the same weight. For a little more weight (and a little less recoil) they make one with a stainless cylinder (not sure of the model number though).
For IWB, I used to have a Glock 27. The 26 and 27 are great. High capacity, small, sort of light, and easy to conceal. The Milt Sparks VM2 is what I used for the 27, and it disappears IWB and the holster is very well made and finely designed. There are kydex loops for it (extra) that allow you to tuck in a dress shirt into dress pants. I'd look real hard at this holster no matter what you pistol choose. It has too many fine points to go over here. You NEED a well made gun belt, ie, as wide as you can go and two belts thick of good, strong, fairly stiff leather (it CANNOT easily fold lengthwise, two belts thick usually does the job). Getting the right loops for the right width belt is crucial. Getting a good gun belt is crucial. Without it, the rig sticks out and simply doesn't work. Trust me on this one.
I got rid of the 27 and holster to my army buddy. I replaced it with the Glock 29 and the same holster for this caliber. I kind of wanted something a little more stout for carry when I don't use the 340PD, and something with large frame power in a small package, one piece to do it all. For me, I am tall, a fairly big guy, and I can hide it well. If you aren't sure you can hide it, go with the 26 or 27. The 29 has much more firepower, 10 rds. of 10mm, and it is more accurate than the 27 in my opinion. It is wider and has a longer barrel though (it is about the size of the 19, a mid-size, but wider --don't let the look fool you, it isn't a "mini" Glock). You will need the pinkie grip to get everything out of this pistol, it does have some power. It hides very well using the VM2 and a belt I got from a beltmaker at a gunshow, although not as well as the 27.
The Kahr would make a fine piece in my opinion, my wife is looking at the K9 or a HK P7 for purse carry, but I think the Kahr would make a fine IWB pistol --it would disappear so easily, it is so thin and looks very well made. The VM2 holster is what I would go with again, and come to think of it, I read somewhere that the P7 was the pistol for which this holster was originally designed. The P7 looks like a safe carry pistol for IWB carry, and there are some going around now that are German police pistols for decent prices. The Kahr K40 is another nice one, as is the T9 and T40, MK9 and MK40 (the larger and smaller ones respectively). They have all stainless frames, slides, and barrels, and look very well made too. I haven't shot these, but I hear people really like the 9mm, and some say the .40 has a little too much recoil, but not enough to deter them.
December 1, 2010, 07:56 PM
Of the choices you listed I'd go with the J Frame.
I carry two guns on a regular basis. A Glock 36 in an IWB and a S&W Model 642 in a pocket holster. Both carry great for their applications.
December 1, 2010, 11:06 PM
Depends on what you're wearing. I usually wear wrangler jeans, in the looser "comfort fit" cut, which have deep front pockets, and fit loosely enough around my thighs that a S&W 642 .38 in a pocket holster doesn't print through my pants noticeably.
December 2, 2010, 04:38 AM
Like most everyone else here, a Smith & Wesson 642 in my front pocket has consistently worked out for me. It may give up a bit in terms of capacity, but for ease of carry itís hard to beat.
December 2, 2010, 01:17 PM
Well, just an old fart opinion here, but:
I believe whatever gun, pistol or revolver, you CAN actually carry concealed on a daily basis, that's REASONABLY carry concealed on a daily basis is the right choice for you..
I have many choices and if I knew I was going to have to defend myself on a particular occasion I'd be sure and take my CS45 along in my FIST IWB holster..
But, keep in mind I'm an old man, of average size, and I've just never been able to carry a larger firearm concealed as easily as I can a smaller weapon (duh?)..
So, my daily cc choice, by necessity, is my Ruger LCP, which has external sights (front Trijicon), and a CT laser.. I've found I can just stick it in my back pocket in a Hedley rear pocket holster and forget about it.
There are some trousers, jeans, etc. that have smaller, or less deep pockets and for those times I carry my Seecamp LWS380, in a similar rig..
I ALWAYS have the Ruger or Seecamp in my back pocket, even when I have a larger pistol along...
I've just never found anything remotely as easy to conceal and carry on a daily basis...
But that's just me.. No offense to those who have other choices.
I will make one more comment..
I don't know why a person would choose to carry a 38cal. J-frame Smith, or D-frame Colt for personal protection because the cylinder bulge is always a concern, as well as the limited rounds these small revolvers offer.
I have a couple of J-frames, and three D frames left over from years past when they WERE about the only small cc weapons available, to me...
I love 'em, and in fact a Colt Cobra was my first lust in a revolver. (That's probably why I still have 2)
But lets face it, there are simply better choices now available in a better caliber and more capacity..
In that vein, I really like my HK P2000sk... This sub-compact 9MM pistol offers a flatter profile than a snubby, with almost double the capacity of a snubby.. I have 10+1 rounds, or using the slightly longer P2000 magazine (w/Xgrip) I have a capacity of 13+1...
Or, imo, 11 or 14 quality jhp's in 9mm trump 5 or 6 rounds of quality jhps in 38cal.
I'll always keep my snubbys, but they just don't get much carry use anymore.
Of course IF a 38cal. snubby is all you have available for personal cc defense, it's not bad... The "lowly" 38cal. round in a snubby did the job for decades before the sub-compact pistols came along.
No offense intended to anyone.. I'm just conversin', not confrontin'..
P.S. I could be wrong, been wrong before, and I'm determined to be wrong again..:o
I love 'em, and in fact a Colt Cobra was my first lust in a revolver.
Those Cobras are the finest carry concealed revolvers ever made, imo. I think if Colt were to reintroduce them (as well as the Agent) at a reasonable price, they'd make a fortune.
December 2, 2010, 05:52 PM
+1 on the shrouded J-frame or Kahr PM-9, -1 on the Ruger LCP.
I own or have owned and carried all three of the above. The PM-9 works well, is reliable, but be sure to get the latest variant with latest changes. (Mine was not, had some quirks.) The Ruger LCP was (note past tense -- sold it) was fairly reliable but too painful to practice much and had some real flaws such as no empty-mag lock-open. The LCP made too many sacrifices to get that small -- the PM-9 and similar are just as pocketable and are much better all-around.
The S&W 642 is super-light but is limited to .38 Specials and the occasional +P, which is probably a pretty good caliber choice. In my case I wanted the option of .357 Magnum ammo, so I went for the model 640, which is the heavier stainless-steel version, weighs 23 ounces instead of 17.6 ounces. Both still ride well in any pants pocket and both have the smoothest pocket draw of anything I've ever experienced. I regularly carry the 640 with 110-grain .357s, but if I had it to do over again it's a toss-up if I'd get the same thing or go for the lighter M640 and carry with .38+P.
Any of the above are lighter, more compact, and make a smoother, snag-free draw than the next size up, which would be the Springfield XP Sub-Compact, Glock 26/27, Taurus 24/7 Compact, or Walther P99C (based on extended experience with all), or others like that. Those latter, larger models require fairly large pockets (work well with cargo pants), are all considerably heavier when fully loaded vs. the first group above. Those hi-cap mags are nice (13 rounds in a hand-size pistol!) but it's so extremely rare for a civilian to need that many rounds in a confrontation that IMO those hi-cap mags are not worth the sacrifice in size, weight, or smoothness draw.
That said, my most common carry piece is an XD sub-compact because (1) it's ergonomically so perfect for my hand and manner, and (2) I usually wear cargo pants :).
One strong suggestion on whatever small carry piece you get: Add laser grips or some other well-integrated laser sight. With very brief practice it makes a HUGE, HUGE difference in your ability to hit a target quickly from a rapid draw, particularly with a very small handgun with (usually) rudimentary open sights.
My $.02 on my personal experiences, hope it helps.