Best CCW?


February 19, 2011, 11:13 AM
Hi Everyone,

I am hoping that you guys can help me choose the best pistol for me. I currently have a Glock 26 that I love, but it is way, way too large for a CCW. When I do wear it, the bulge in my clothing looks absolutely ridiculous, and I've come to realize that having it zipped up in my purse will not do me much good in a real life situation :). I am 5'2", 100 lbs, and I do not wear baggy clothes, so finding a gun that will conceal well is not easy. I'm looking for a 9mm that offers the best quality for the best concealment. Assume that price is not an issue. So far on my list to try are the Kahr PM9, Walther PPS, and Kel-Tec PF9. I'm partial to Sigs and Glocks but haven't found any that are the right size. I would love any additional suggestions and experience that you have had. Thanks so much for your help!

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February 19, 2011, 11:29 AM
The general concept is the smaller the gun the better for CCW simply because of how simple it is to carry without notice.

Most of the the members will tell you to go rent the gun and shoot it. Then I would recomend that you pretend it's concealed and see how quick can you remove from conceal and get it ready to fire. Only reason I say that is to give you and idea on what it would be like for you to really draw the weapon should you need it.

The Kel-Tc and the Kahr might b good for you but you need to make sure it is what you need. Does it fit your hand? The grips? The sights? How about the cap of the mag?
I know some ppl do it differently but this is the way I go. If it's comfortable and I like it and know I can shoot it and conceal it then it my gun now.

You could also look at Taurus Slim Line. You also might be interested in the Ruger SR9C. Nice gun and not to big. 9mm as you wanted.

Wait till more members post however, I could be wrong in some areas. Also, Take a look at revolvers if you like them. There super light, Some anyways lol

February 19, 2011, 11:51 AM
Hi Josh45,

Thanks for your reply! Yes, that is exactly what I plan to do. Compile a list of my top choices and go around and try them all. I went to check out the Taurus 709 Slimline, but the salesman didn't seem too enthusiastic about the quality of the brand. What do think about it? I have added the Ruger SR9C to my list to check out. I'm not much of a revolver fan. Thanks so much for the suggestions!!!

red rick
February 19, 2011, 12:05 PM
The Kahr PM9 will be the smallest. The Kel Tec will be the thinest and have the worst recoil and heaviest trigger. The PPS will be more similar in trigger to your 26, but thinner.

February 19, 2011, 12:07 PM
I went to check out the Taurus 709 Slimline, but the salesman didn't seem too enthusiastic about the quality of the brand.
Probably my favorite gun, such a good design!

Best CCW?
a pocket .380: TCP, LCP, P3AT, etc...
decent firepower, and small enough to be with you at all times.

February 19, 2011, 12:10 PM
Thanks, red_rick! That comparison does help a lot! So far (until I try them, anyway) I'm leaning toward the Kahr and then the PPS.

What do you guys think of the Sig p238, and .380 caliber in general? I know in that caliber there are many options, but I worry about it not having enough stopping power.

February 19, 2011, 12:11 PM
Taurus is a good brand now a days....Back then it had some problems and most people didn't like it because of thier issues. Even now a days some people avoid them like the plague.

I actually own a Taurus 24/7 pro ds 45. I like it read up about it and it seems to be a decent gun. I havent got to shoot it tho so my opinion is kinda invalid.

Not everyone you go to will say get a Taurus because of that reason but thy are decent guns and there prices are great.

Go to Buds Gun Shop online and see some of the prices. Some are hard to beat and most ship free. The slim line is rather well slim...and might need getting used to.

What have you shot before? Can you deal with recoil? A 9mm is a good choice in my opinion others will say to go with some thing stronger but I think a 9mm is a good way to go plus ammo is pretty easy to find and cheap to.

The Ruger SR9C seems to be a good gun, Pick it up at the range and see what you think. What works for others might not work for you.

Also, Make sure you know how your gonna conceal. It can help. Weight is also an issue after a while. Your gun may weigh 18.6 ounces but after loading a clip it weighs quite a decent bit. Just something to think about.

February 19, 2011, 12:11 PM

Thanks! Good to know, I'll put it back on the list to try! :)

harmon rabb
February 19, 2011, 12:17 PM
The Sig 238 is great. Real sights, good trigger, soaks up recoil very well. Very shootable gun.

The Kahr PM9 (and the newly released cheaper CM9) deserve a look, as they're barely larger than the 238, and are also nice shooters.

February 19, 2011, 12:18 PM

Thanks! I've put the Taurus back on the list to consider and will definitely check out Bud's Gun Shop. It will be good to know what prices are on there when checking out the stores.

February 19, 2011, 12:19 PM
Depends on the dress code expected where I'm heading.

Dressy - pocket .380; Ruger LCP, Keltec P3AT, or AMT DAO (rarely)

Casual - Keltec PF9 or Kimber UCII

I would love to have a P238 but haven't gotten around to it yet. I have a friend who says his are not reliable (FTF & FTE) but I suspect something else. I've heard the same about my Kimber but have one FTF in over 2k rounds and I'm pretty sure she limp-wristed it.

The PF9 is very comfortable to carry for me....light and flat. It got a lot more comfortable to shoot once I installed the optional trigger shoe. A lot of people look down their nose at Keltec's but I've never had an issue with mine.

February 19, 2011, 12:20 PM
Glad to help you. Let us know what you decide!

BTW! Welcome to The High Road!

red rick
February 19, 2011, 12:22 PM
Why get 380 when you can get a 9mm in the same size and weight range? Ammo is higher and hardier to find.

How do you carry, IWB, OWB, pocket or other?

February 19, 2011, 12:25 PM
.380 caliber in general
Its just fine.
Put it in the right place and said target will likely drop instantly, same goes for any service pistol cartridge.
placement is key!

February 19, 2011, 12:37 PM
Harmonrabb - Thanks! I'm definitely checking out the Kahr and will look up the 238 as well.

Fleetman - Thanks so much for that info! I'm now considering getting a 9mm for daily carry and a .380 for dressier occasions. I'll check out the Kimber as well. Thanks also for the link to the Keltec thread. Great info there!

red_rick - I agree with your views on .380 vs 9mm. I carry my Glock OWB because its too big to fit IWB. I prefer IWB so I tried getting baggier pants to fit it but the weight just winds up pulling my pants down which is never good. :) Ideally I'd like something versatile that I can carry IWB in jeans, shoulder if I'm going running, pocket if I'm wearing a larger jacket.

February 19, 2011, 12:42 PM
Gofastman - Thanks! Thats good to know. BTW, your Palin signature gave me a laugh. I'm gonna have to use that one.

red rick
February 19, 2011, 01:01 PM
You have narrowed the field alot if you are going to pocket carry at your size. You are going to want something small and light weight. I would look at a Kahr PM9 or the budget model of the same pistol the new CM9.

You also need a good gun belt if you don't have one.

February 19, 2011, 01:04 PM
Keltec PF9 has 2,600 rounds ...about 200 +p and no failures or sheared pieces hitting me in the face.

I have a Kahr PM9...and it stays at home...the Keltec gets to ride along with me.

Don't let Mayo read this post...he'll be all over it!

harmon rabb
February 19, 2011, 01:05 PM
You also need a good gun belt if you don't have one.

uh, not with a pocket 380 or a PM9 / PF-9 / PT709. they're light enough that any old belt works just fine. heck, even a g26 is fine with a normal belt and a good holster. once you go beyond that, though, that's when you want a real gun belt.

red rick
February 19, 2011, 01:13 PM
Not when you are 5' 2" and 100 lbs. all the extra support you can get is going to help. She already said the 26 was pulling her pants down.

February 19, 2011, 01:40 PM
Springfield EMP. 9mm or .40 - your choice. I have the 9mm for concealed carry - small form factor, hard to beat, but not cheap.

February 19, 2011, 01:41 PM
Thanks so much, red_rick, mbruce, and harmon_rabb! I'll look into belts. Its looking more and more like my decision will be between the KelTek PF9 and Kahr PM9/CM9. I'm going to try them out later on today, I'll let you know how it goes!

February 19, 2011, 01:46 PM
buckhorn_cortez - Thanks! I'll check that one out too!! :)

Hondo 60
February 19, 2011, 05:36 PM
The best ccw gun is so subjective....
It depends on what YOU think works.

But here's the basics...
Small guns will conceal easy, but small guns have a lot more recoil.
Heavier guns just have more beef to 'em to considerably tame the recoil.

The smallest guns that most people consider are .380s
Some are smaller than the palm of your hand.
In Europe the caliber is called 9mm Kurz (Kurz is 'short' in German)
So it's a smaller under powered 9mm.

Next step up is the 9mm Luger.
In the 1970s & 80s many law enforcement depts adopted this caliber to replace the .38 special.
But more recently they felt this too is underpowered.
Now many of the depts are using .40S&W, a caliber developed by Smith & Wesson, hence it's name.

Now do you want a tiny .380?
or something with a little more oomph to it, like a 9mm
or maybe you'd like a revolver? a .357?

In other words, there is no Best CCW gun for everyone.

The best gun, is what you will practice with, so heaven forbid, should the need arise, you'll be comfortable with your gun.

February 19, 2011, 05:42 PM
Browning BDM. Its slim, small, great ergonomics, and you can still get high capacity magazines (if you look hard enough). Some people might think it's a little heavy but I believe it's just the right weight.

February 19, 2011, 06:07 PM
I'm a guy, but I'm only 5'6 and 120lbs, so I'm probably pretty proportionate to you. I carry a Kimber Ultra CDPII 9mm in a comptac mtac IWB holster. No one can tell with jeans and a tshirt. A good holster makes a lot of difference in my experience.

February 19, 2011, 06:15 PM
korraley... Surf around this Gal's YouTube channel:

My wife found it helpful.

Good luck,

February 19, 2011, 06:31 PM
Korraley, lots of good suggestions here though the three pistols you listed seem to indicate you pretty much know what you're looking for. There is no way on Earth you can possibly know how a pistol (or revolver) will look under your clothing until you actually carry it with you wearing the style clothing you normally would be wearing. Being that thieves steal purses, ya, don't put it in your purse. Bring along the clothing you'd normally wear and brandish the pistol/revolver to see if it hangs-up on your clothing and whether it can be drawn easily without snags/hitches. Look for smooth rounded edges, deburred, rather than angular edges, hammer spur that can get caught, etc. Holster is critical, find one that feels good where you plan to carry the gun. I carry a single-stack 1911 mostly because of it's really slim profile, coupled with it's power, a compact/officer's .45 may be for you. I have also carried the Ruger LCR .38 +P 5-shot revolver with extra speed loader, very very light, deburred, no hammer spur to worry about, I put an XS Sights tritium front sight on it, and when I carry it, I can't even feel it. Hope this helps.

February 19, 2011, 06:35 PM
Check out the LC9. That's what i wanna get my wife. She always wears pants though, so a ankle holster is great for her. I don't know what your wardrobe entails to but they also have thigh holsters you can wear under a skirt or something. Just google "chick holsters"

February 19, 2011, 06:36 PM
I shoot a lot of large pistols but I love my pf9 and carry it everywhere. I do not carry it to practice with.

February 19, 2011, 06:39 PM
Check out the LC9. That's what I wanna get my wife...

Really? Based on what?


February 19, 2011, 07:38 PM
Kahr CW40 goes everywhere I go. Small, light, & plenty of horse power.

February 19, 2011, 08:48 PM
I know this is the autoloader section, but don't rule out the smith and wesson j frame. Very easy to conceal for me, either IWB or front pocket.

February 19, 2011, 09:16 PM
I usually carry something larger, but when I want to go small on the belt or in the pocket, it is a Kahr PM9.

Which one is best is the one that YOU are most comfortable carrying and that YOU shoot best.

February 19, 2011, 10:14 PM
If you prefer Glocks and Sigs you'll probably prefer the Walther PPS. It's slim, has a more comparable trigger take-up and break of a Glock trigger. The PM9 is nice and has a real smooth trigger, actually a little smoother than I prefer on a carry piece. You might compare them to the LC9. After trying many different carry pieces I can't imagine having one that's any more concealable, reliable or accurate than the Walther PPS.


Erik M
February 19, 2011, 10:23 PM
The first thing I tried was "the smaller the better in an acceptable caliber" route and ended up with a bersa thunder, then a keltec p11. after getting my money back out of those I invested in a J frame, which will forever retain a spot in my stable. Looking for an auto to fill my high-cap preference of edc needs I leaned towards the Glock 26, but went with a 19 instead due to earlier dislike of small framed guns. Word to the inexperienced : the holster is more than 50% of the CCW equation no matter the size of the gun. Dont skimp on your carry methods. I carry a G19C with a G17 mag, all day everyday and its perfectly hidden.

February 19, 2011, 11:16 PM
So far, the absolute easiest thing I've found to carry is a NAA mini revolver. Probably not what you wanted to hear tho. For you I'd probably recommend a ruger LCP. It's not a 9mm...only 380. 9mm is more power than a tiny gun can handle. Usually.

February 20, 2011, 02:32 AM
First of all, I live in a rural area where rentals are not an option. That's out. I do, however, live in an area where several friends have guns they will shoot with me at large thick metal plates of varying sizes and colors, at varying distances, and for scores and bets. It's a blast. The SW Sigma 9 I shot has a horrendeously long DAO trigger, in my opinion, and because of that not very accurate for me. Here is what I am looking at, and here are my thoughts and concerns.

I am going to IWB carry, so I would like a small pistol with a manual safety system and a decocker. That may be difficult to find, and I may have to go a different direction. If all else fails, I may go with the glock 26, even though it has no external safety. The HK P2000 is probably my dream girl, but a little too pricy perhaps. We may come back to that. Help me out here! I have confidence in the glock, because almost every LEO that I know personally swears by them in every way and claims that safety is not an issue as long as proper handling skills are aquired and followed. Fair enough. My first desire is a short, crisp trigger, on a gun with with good concealibility, I would actually prefer a good DA/SA trigger set up, with a decocker. I've been told that I am too concerned about safety. If I ever need to pull, God Forbid, I will not aquire my safety, the gun will be pulled from me, and I will be shot with my own gun or worse! I kind of doubt that, but ok. I like the SW M&Pc, the Springfield XDMc, the HK P2000, and a few others. What are the triggers comparable to? I could buy any of those and be happy IF the trigger was right. What grips would fit a smaller hand best? The Glock is a slightly wider grip and I hear complaints there. I have a SW 22 that is awesome to plink with, and if I could find that trigger on a CC gun, I would like that a lot. Any help or thoughts, or recommendations would be appreciated. I might throw in that I am new to this world, either in experience, hunting with bow or gun, or blowing big things up on the fourth of July. I am just not familiar with this specific market and lifestyle. But it's time!

February 20, 2011, 05:29 AM
A decocker limits your options considerably. The only smallish gun out there currently in production that I know of with a decocker AND a safety is the sig 239.

At one time, beretta made a compact version of the 92 with a single stack mag. I think they called it the "92 type M". Good luck finding one. They also made a miniature version in .32 or .380 but I don't remember the model name/number.

S&W may still have a compact variation of their old model 39. Some years it was called a chiefs special or CS9, some years a 3913, and some years a lady smith or 3914. The 39 had a decocker and safety. These are 9mm guns with single stack magazines with a beretta style decocker. Some versions may have double stack mags and some may be 40 caliber.

Beretta makes a compact version of the PX4 but it's a double stack mag and may not be suitable for really small hands. It does have a decocker and manual safety, iirc. It's a pretty thick gun and so not as easily concealed as a single stack mag gun.

Johnny Lightning
February 20, 2011, 05:46 AM
I was actually in a similiar situation about a year ago. I had a g27 w/ the works...night sights and a Crimson Laser all ready to carry IWB until I actually tried it. I am a pretty big guy and when I attached the g27 IWB (Galco holster) I thought it looked visiable and was not comfortable. To the defense of the g27 I did not have a good carry belt but even w/ that I cant see it being comfortable. I reciently purchased a used LCP and purchased a Uncle Mikes pocket holster and now carry all the time and it is comfortable and no one can tell i have a pistol on me. My friend has a Galco IWB holster that he let me try and that was also very comfortable. I don't think there is a 9mm out there nearly as small as the pocket .380 and believe me I looked for one! Even the smallest 9mm look huge next to a LCP. I feel that the LCP is no worse to shoot then the g27 (I didn't like to shoot the g27 much either) I had. It isnt a range gun in my opinion but makes a fine reliable carry piece that is in no way uncomfortable to carry. I have currently shot 200 rounds of different ammo w/ no problems out of the LCP. :)

February 20, 2011, 07:47 AM
I just read the OP again and noticed that price is not a factor...with that said....



Archangel would be cool if u could find one

My wife carries a PM9...I carry a PF9....the first is pleasant to shoot -the later is very unpleasant...but works.

February 20, 2011, 12:21 PM
CCW to me means not only having it but also using it well, which means proficiency through practice. I say this only to establish my basis for my choices. You like SIGS? Well, so do I.

SIG P239 and P228 are the smallest I can shoot accurately and comfortably while retaining some reasonable stopping power. That's very subjective, of course, but it also gives me a working range of summer/winter, when clothing styles offer less/more concealment.

My .02 YMMV

PS. one of my pet peeves is the hooked trigger guard (catches everything) and these 2 SIGs don't have it.

February 20, 2011, 03:11 PM
I have the PM40 and would recommend the PM9. The .380 is just not enough IMO. I live in AZ and just 2 months ago we had a jewelry store get robbed the bad guys had .380's and shot the owner in the face. His glasses stopped the bullet and he was able to peel the bullet out his eye socket with little to no damage. The emp's are great as well. One other idea is a 3" 1911. My wife carries one in a Crossbreed supertuck and she can wear jeans and a tank top no problem.

February 20, 2011, 04:28 PM
Can't beat a keltec pf9 for ccw, i guess you could go with the p3at but i dont like 380's, feels too much like a noisy bbgun - I hear ruger is coming out with a copy of the pf9 called the lc9. i think they are both less than an inch wide so check them out. But - keltec's is still the lightest and skinniest 9mm u can get.

February 20, 2011, 09:13 PM
This will seem like odd advice for "the best" CCW.

The best CCW is not the smallest gun or the one that is the most comfortable in your concealment truss.

The best CCW is the weapon you are comfortable shooting and practicing enough with to become proficient. In my experience, the smaller the weapon, the more it hurts to shoot (especially the really popular 380s) and it's no fun to go to the range to practice pulling a micro-cannon out of your underpants or belly band. If you don't practice, and the gun's no fun to shoot, it (the weapon and the concealment holster you carry it in) won't be worth a damn when you need it.

February 20, 2011, 09:15 PM
Depends ... what are you wearing :D

February 21, 2011, 06:47 PM
ive had both a keltec PF9 and P3at, the pf9 i wish i still had (gave it to my brother) but no more.

anyways both were 100% reliable, they would eat any ammo i would feed them, very slim, light, and easy to shoot. with the belt clip you can just tuck it into your pants and forget its there. i prefer a pocket holster but i can see were a woman would have a issue with that (i wear loose fitting seven jeans or the like, and my wife wears tight fitting jeans).

good luck with what ever you choose.

February 21, 2011, 10:01 PM
I haven't shot this weapon...but it might be a good option for you.
A close friend who owns one said it is a beast to shoot. If you stay with a 9mm and go smaller than your G26, you've got a lot to handle.

February 21, 2011, 10:43 PM
My first gun was a Sig 239 in 9mm. I loved the gun and the idea of a de-cocker for safety. I have night sights, and can shoot it pretty handily. However, I ended up also getting a Sig 238 because I felt that in summer and with slimmer line women's clothes, the 239 was a bit hard to conceal.

The 238 has night sights, and it feels solid, more like the Sig 239 than the way too light and kicky LCP I traded in for it. To me it's an itty bity gun that feels and shoots more like a full size. It's easy to conceal in just about anything. It's got a safety, which I really wanted. I'm also pretty handy with it too. For my money, it's a great gun.

February 23, 2011, 06:14 PM
Stay away from the Sig P238 as of now. Way too many problems that have come up to be very reliable and Sig admits it. Kind of an expensive Saturday Night Special at the moment and maybe 8 months from now they will be worth a second look. My backup that has never, ever failed me in over 2000 rounds (not one FTE or FTF) is the Kel Tec P3AT. I carry a glock 30 SF for power but will NEVER give up my little backup!!!!!!!! Anyone that has purchased a Sig just bought an expensive paperweight, the new versions will far surpass what the P238 is currently! New designs are forthcoming and will be amazing!

Defense Minister
February 23, 2011, 07:07 PM
I LOVE my Kel-Tec PF-9, and would highly recommend it.

That said, if you like Sigs, and you're not in a hurry, check out the New P290.

February 24, 2011, 08:36 AM
My gal is 5'-2" 115lbs shes carried a Jframe 38spl ,PF9,Kahr,cw9 and the Pm9.
She will never part with the PM9 If shes awake shes carring it (Iwb)at 4:30 -5:00.The recoil on the Pf9 was hard on her hand,The J frame she liked,The cw9 she liked and when I bought the PM9 for myself I lost it to her before I even fired the first shot.She's not going to wear baggy cloths either and she has no problems whith the PM9.Rent one and see what you think.
You can find them used in the 500.00 area.and it would have been cheaper for me if we tried it first,I would not have had to buy 4 to get it right.

February 27, 2011, 09:13 AM
Thank you so much everyone for your great advice and suggestions! You guys have really helped!!!

March 10, 2011, 05:52 AM
They also made a miniature version in .32 or .380 but I don't remember the model name/number.

You're referring to the Models 84 and 85...double and single stack, respectively...and neither had a decocking lever. Both were equipped with frame-mounted manual safeties.
You may be thinking of the Browning BDA, which is essentially a modified version of the Beretta with a slide-mounted combination decocking lever and manual safety.

The Beretta 84 and 85 bore a resemblance to the 92 Series, but they were vastly different guns in design and function. The 84/85 pistols were straight blowback...or technically non-delayed blowback, while the 92s were/are locked breech/recoil operated...or delayed blowback, if you prefer.

March 10, 2011, 07:51 AM
You're referring to the Models 84 and 85...double and single stack, respectively...and neither had a decocking lever. Both were equipped with frame-mounted manual safeties.

My Beretta M85FS .380 has a decocker/frame mounted safety. The safety acts as the decocker when you put the gun on safe. Insert mag, release slide, chamber round, and decock for carry.

March 10, 2011, 08:02 AM
My Beretta M85FS .380 has a decocker/frame mounted safety.

Yes. That's the redesigned reissued 84, and it's a completely different gun. I was referring to the old, original models.

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