Concealing a snub-nose vs. sub-compact


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Skribs
September 23, 2011, 02:46 PM
I'm looking for something to bridge the gap between my XDm and my LCP. I was thinking of an LCR (figure its a decently priced snub-nose), but looking at the dimensions, something like an XDm compact/G26 has roughly the same size as an LCR or J-frame.

Comparing specifically the LCR to the Glock, the Glock is a tad heavier, and the majority of the LCR is thinner (but at their widest...). So my question is this - why is it that people say an LCR is easier to conceal than a semi-auto?

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conw
September 23, 2011, 03:02 PM
Straight edges seem to print more obviously than rounded ones, IME.

rcmodel
September 23, 2011, 03:13 PM
IMO: Baby Glocks and such with the barrels chamber area (SIG type) acting as the barrel / slide lock-up are very thick compared to older pistol designs with integral barrel locking lugs inside the slide.
That makes the whole slide thick no matter what length it is.

For instance, a Glock 9mm slide is nearly 1/10" thicker then a 1911 Colt .45 slide.

A snubby revolver may be as thick or probably even thicker, but only through the cylinder area.
The rest of the barrel, frame, and grip is not nearly as thick and kind of blends in when pocket carried.

Whereas a Glock or other SIG type chamber-locked small auto looks and feels like you have a small brick in your pocket.

rc

Jabr0ney
September 23, 2011, 03:14 PM
And 80% of the frame is thinner than almost any auto

snooperman
September 23, 2011, 03:18 PM
In the summer I carry my light weight Colt Agent IWB holster. In the cooler months , which is about 8 months of the year, I carry the Colt magnum carry 357 magnum IWB. I have several pistols in 9mm and 45 ACP but prefer the revolver to them for my daily carry gun. To each his own.

saltydog452
September 23, 2011, 03:25 PM
I don't know what the abbrevations are, but a revolver in a handy size equiped with a Birami Hip-Grip and a Tyler grip adapter is just about the most handy, concealable system available.

That said, a Commander size 1911 Pattern is on my hip and a NAA mousegun is in my shaving kit.

Those three fit my life style, vocation, and avocations.

I'm pretty much a boots, jeans, and two pocket shirt guy.

It wasn't always that way, stuff changes. Fortunately, there are a LOTS of options. You will work it out.

Your perceptions and needs, as you see them, just might be different.

salty

snooperman
September 23, 2011, 03:28 PM
My wife has one and she carries it often. I agree with what has been said about carrying the small-light weight snubby in the pocket. It breaks up the "gun shape" very well there. I have on many days depending on how I am dressed , carried the Agent in the pocket and find it easy to do so discreetly.

Skribs
September 23, 2011, 03:36 PM
I don't like what you guys are saying about the LCR...


...it means I may have to add yet another firearm to my wish list.

khegglie
September 23, 2011, 04:20 PM
LCR's thichest proportion is the cylinder ; it doesnt print badly in an Uncle Mikes FOR ME. The weight isnt bad (357)either.

AK103K
September 23, 2011, 04:38 PM
I used to carry my 642's as a back up, and have since retired them to the safe for the most part. Theyve been replaced with Glock 26's.

Both are/were carried in the same two places, mainly in an ankle holster, but also a Galco Executive shoulder holster (generally in colder weather). Sometimes, I just stick them in my waistband.

I really see no difference carrying or concealing either, and the Glock makes a lot more sense as a back up, as it carries double the ammo of the 642's, is a lot easier to shoot well with, and can use my 17's mags.

hardluk1
September 23, 2011, 05:12 PM
skribs How about a kahr , the cm9 can be pocket carried along with the lcr and many other ulralight revolers And for a slightly larger kahr ,the cw9. All of these carry in a IWB holster in a apendix position. Thekahrs are single stacks but the lcr is only 5 shoots. Just carry an extra mags. Both kahrs can be bought around 410 dollars .

Yo Mama
September 23, 2011, 05:20 PM
Taurus pt145

jad0110
September 23, 2011, 06:40 PM
Both are/were carried in the same two places, mainly in an ankle holster, but also a Galco Executive shoulder holster (generally in colder weather). Sometimes, I just stick them in my waistband.

Ankle carry with a Glock? Yeessh, makes my lower back hurt just thinking about it. More power to you if you can do it though! As for a shoulder holster, I agree that it really doesn't take much more effort to carry a larger weapon, though shoulder holsters aren't for me either. If they were, I could see that carrying my 5.5" Redhawk wouldn't be much harder than my 2" S&W Model 15.

Guns like the LCR and x42 really shine as pocket guns, IMO. Sometimes when I'm just hanging out in the house on a rainy dreary day, the little 642 makes a nice companion (along with a 20 round mag in my weak side pocket for the AR carbine hidden in the closet :evil:). Assuming you can shoot them decently of course. Once you start talking about positions like OWB/IWB, larger guns can be carried without too much more effort.

gamestalker
September 23, 2011, 07:17 PM
Those few times that I do conceal, I usually make it a Taurus PT111 9mm with my hand loaded XTP's or Gold Dots.

But for the most part, I have a S&W 66 on my hip, also loaded to the hilt with XTP's or Gold Dots. And in some instances, such as when I'm traveling I'll have a back up in addition to my OC weapon.

AK103K
September 23, 2011, 07:44 PM
Ankle carry with a Glock?
Its really no worse than the 642 or my P230. I balked at it at first too, and then I tried it.

Im not real big on shoulder holsters either, and normally dont use them, but that Executive is something else. Its very minimal, and basically a small leather pocket with a strap. No retention straps either. You can easily hide it under a light shirt. A sweatshirt or fleece is a breeze.

NMGonzo
September 23, 2011, 07:47 PM
5 shot .357 with a barrel not longer than 3 inches conceals the best.

Skribs
September 23, 2011, 08:15 PM
My OP:
why is it that people say an LCR is easier to conceal than a semi-auto?

5 shot .357 with a barrel not longer than 3 inches conceals the best.

You just said what I said in my question. My question was "why"? What makes a 5-shot .357 with a 3" barrel conceal better than a 10-shot 9mm with a 4" barrel?

anomoly40
September 23, 2011, 08:34 PM
Physical properties of materials? The revolver will be more compact than the semi due to less material used to make the weapon.

wow6599
September 23, 2011, 08:51 PM
LCR is one neat little wheelgun. My only problems is, I have held the .357 and .38........of course the .38 is lighter, but I like the idea of having the .357 if need be (I reload a ton of .357, no .38). You can tell a big difference in your front pocket between the 2 of them. One day I will make my mind up, until then my SP101 in .357 does just fine (holstered).

rcmodel
September 23, 2011, 08:53 PM
The revolver will be more compact than the semi due to less material used to make the weapon.
A Glock 26 weighs 21.5 oz empty.
A S&W J-Frame Model 60 weighs 22.6 oz empty.

rc

anomoly40
September 23, 2011, 09:43 PM
I meant different materials used. A pound of bricks vs a pound of feathers. They weigh the same but one is more compact due to materials used.

Also you would have 5 more bullets to store somewhere.

rich642z
September 23, 2011, 09:54 PM
I carry a Ruger SP101 in a 2.25 inch barrel and it conceals IMO perfectly for me.

vicdotcom
September 23, 2011, 09:58 PM
You just said what I said in my question. My question was "why"? What makes a 5-shot .357 with a 3" barrel conceal better than a 10-shot 9mm with a 4" barrel? It is all in the outline. How many perfectly straight or flat areas of your body do you have? Now how many curved areas do you have? The curved shape of revolvers make it a little easier to conceal with light clothing. With a jacket or coat it doesn't make a difference. But with jeans and a t-shirt the outline of the revolver will be less apparent with more places to carry because of the curved areas of your body.

Physical properties of materials? The revolver will be more compact than the semi due to less material used to make the weapon. Amount of Materials used has nothing to do with compactness. It is the design that matters. Two pieces of steel of the exact same weight can be designed in different ways. Some more compact that others even if it is the same amount and type of steel.

Zundfolge
September 23, 2011, 10:03 PM
What makes a 5-shot .357 with a 3" barrel conceal better than a 10-shot 9mm with a 4" barrel?
The length and thickness of the grip (which is the part that protrudes from the pants the most).

brickeyee
September 23, 2011, 10:59 PM
And 80% of the frame is thinner than almost any auto

Nice idea.

The cylinder is still larger, and the largest part is what is hardest to conceal.

Skribs
September 24, 2011, 12:41 AM
It is all in the outline. How many perfectly straight or flat areas of your body do you have? Now how many curved areas do you have? The curved shape of revolvers make it a little easier to conceal with light clothing. With a jacket or coat it doesn't make a difference. But with jeans and a t-shirt the outline of the revolver will be less apparent with more places to carry because of the curved areas of your body.


Yeah, I just realized that I'd be better suited with an IWB revolver during summer months than a pocket pistol.

bhk
September 24, 2011, 08:21 AM
I pocket carry both small semi-autos (Kahr p380 and a Kahr PM40) and a SW642 revolver. In jeans, the revolver is less recognizable as a firearm than either of the autos. The autos may be flatter, but even in good holsters they still appear to look more like a firearm to the semi-trained eye. Hard for some to believe, but it is true. A pocket with a revolver in it definitely looks like a pocket with something in it, but a firearm doesn't doesn't come to mind for the average observer.

bikerdoc
September 24, 2011, 09:14 AM
Salty said,

Those three fit my life style, vocation, and avocations.

I'm pretty much a boots, jeans, and two pocket shirt guy.

It wasn't always that way, stuff changes. Fortunately, there are a LOTS of options. You will work it out.


I agree. For me now a Smith snub, or a CZ compact, fit the bill.

silversport
September 24, 2011, 09:23 AM
A Glock 26 weighs 21.5 oz empty.
A S&W J-Frame Model 60 weighs 22.6 oz empty.

rc
unless your Smith is an Airweight...or Scandium...or Titanium...then the comparison changes quite a bit...as well as their loaded weight...(more bullets should weigh more shouldn't they???)
Bill

AK103K
September 24, 2011, 10:03 AM
For the slight difference in weight and bulk, Ill take the added ammo capacity, and the overall better shootability and versatility of the 26 over the snubbies any day.

The problem when you compare paper specs and dimensions (same goes for ballistics too for that matter), youre not getting the full or true picture, just numbers. More often than not, the difference in the "numbers" is really meaningless in the real world. They look good on paper for someone trying to push their point though.


The only real way to know if one will work better for you, is to actually use both for a reasonable amount of time to make a reasonable decision. You have to carry and shoot the guns, and shoot them from how youre carrying them too, to make a decision. There really is no other way. Whats good for you, may not be for me when I actually give your way a try.

I carried and shot lightweight snubbies a lot longer than Ive owned Glock 26's, but I pretty much instantly shot the 26's better than the snubbies I have a lot more experience with.

Since I carry both in the same basic holsters and places, I can make a realistic comparison between them. I havent found the little extra bulk and weight of the 26 to make one iota of a difference in carrying one. The real difference comes once the gun is drawn and shot.

hardluk1
September 24, 2011, 10:56 AM
And the other 20% is way wider than most any small light weight semi-auto. Looking at 14oz pistol and a 14oz revolver the size is very compairable with the thinner overall is the semi-auto. Now compared to a 9mm pistol you can get a lighter 38 or 357 with a couple s&w but boy are they costly and with a +p 38 they will get your attention when shooting and the 357!! Just ain't funn to shot. I carried 21 oz revolver for 20 years , Stil have a 13oz revolver but darn near never carried it and gave it to a family member. I have been way more comfortible carry'n a small 9mm then a revolver in a pocket ir IWB. Just simply thinner over all and can keep the weight as low as all but s&w's scadium models.

carbuncle
September 24, 2011, 02:14 PM
I've had semi autos and revolvers: all I can contribute to the discussion is that I carried my Taurus 85 (.38 snubby, steel frame with standard hammer) for a couple of years in an Uncle Mike's clamshell and it concealed as well or better than any gun I had carried up to that point (3 full-size service 9mms and one .40, G30 & G26). Subsequently, my BG 380 conceals better now but of the two the edge on caliber goes to the .38 while my PPS .40 wins hands down on weight, caliber and ease of reload. The PPS pretty much disappears in any carry format I've tried so far, it's my current EDC.

I actually have a 442 on my wish list because I really like the .38 snubby format, for me it worked great in the past and i can think of several contexts where I'd have a use for it again.

gbran
September 24, 2011, 11:43 PM
The Kahr PM9 is the easiest to conceal. The Airweight is next and the Glock G26 is the biggest of the 3, but has a 10+1 capacity. It is close, but not quite pocket carry, unless you use cargo pants or bigger pockets.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/gbran/100_0145.jpg

Maple_City_Woodsman
September 25, 2011, 03:03 PM
Even one of the thicker glocks is still slimmer than a 5 shot J-frame.

harmon rabb
September 25, 2011, 08:41 PM
we talking IWB carry? if so...

with a snub, the thickest part of the gun is the cylinder, and that's usually riding BELOW your belt line. with a semi-auto, the thickest part of the gun is usually the grip, and that's riding ABOVE your belt line.

also, the curvy shapes of a snub tend to look like natural folds of your shirt when the snub prints, so often printing doesn't actually look like printing. the butt of a semi-uto looks like the butt of a semi-auto when it prints. no way around that. because of this, i note that when carry my sp101, i have to pay much less attention in my shirt selection than i do when carrying my EMP.

and note, i carry a semi-auto 99% of the time.

now, if we're talking about pocket carry, the roles are reversed. snubs stink for pocket carry compared to flatter, more compact semi-autos. a kahr pm9 is easier to conceal in a pocket than a j-frame... and that gives you 7 rounds of 9mm vs. 5 rounds of 38spl.

mdauben
September 26, 2011, 11:43 AM
The cylinder is still larger, and the largest part is what is hardest to conceal.
Revolver = small, roundish, indestinct lump under your clothing
Auto = small, gun-shaped lump under your clothing.

Not saying that revolvers are always supperior to similar sized autos when it comes to concealment, just that there is more to it than just the width at the widest point of the gun.

Rexster
September 26, 2011, 03:39 PM
No XD or Glock is truly sub-compact, in my opinion. Chopped, yes, but still wide, and with slides that protrude to the rear, proportionately more than with revolver frames, particularly so when the revolver has a spurless hammer. I explained this in more detail in the similar-subject thread you started in the revolver section.

I can hide length inside my pants, or with a long cover garment, outside the pants. I can hide grip length under the drape of the cover garment. That darn protruding rear of a striker-fired pistol's slide tends to poke out at the worst place possible. I call that a "Glock bump" because as my colleagues started switching to Glocks in large numbers, I could tell without asking what was under their shirts. (Really, now, how many folks wear their mobile phones canted at the 15-degree angle of the FBI cant?)

Width is width, and autos are generally wide all over. A revolver is only wide
at the cylinder.

This does mean I only carry revolvers. It just means revolvers are simpler for me to conceal than some autos.

TexasBill
September 27, 2011, 04:15 AM
My S&W M637 is 1.3 inches wide across the cylinder. The next-widest point is across the grips, which is 1.1 inches. A Glock 26 is 1.18 inches wide. We're talking an eighth of an inch difference which doesn't mean much one way or the other.

My 637 fits in the front pocket of my jeans. It's in there with some other items (not keys or coins) and it is pretty hard to make out as a handgun. It's easy to conceal in an IWB holster.

Skribs, if you're going for .357 Magnum, don't go for the LCR or the lightweight Smiths. Get the Ruger SP101 or the Smith Model 60. Snubbies require a fair amount of practice to be good defensive guns and firing Magnums through an ultralite can be a painful experience. Sure, you'll do most of your practice with .38 Specials, but if you're going to carry Magnums, you need to have some practice with them, too.

You can save yourself some money and get the LCR chambered for .38 +P and do just about as well as you can with the hotter loads.

Fiv3r
September 27, 2011, 12:22 PM
I don't really like to carry any guns IWB. It's just not a comfortable option for me. In the warmer months, if I need an invisible gun I stick with the LCP. It just disappears in my pocket.

In the cooler months, I tend to keep a .38 LCR in my jacket pocket in a pocket holster. I have an OWB holster if I want to pack it around, but if i'm going OWB, I might as well pack a bigger gun.

I really like my LCR. I actually don't shoot it quite as well as my LCP. However, the trigger on the LCR is ridiculously nice out of the box. Just a really well made snub nose revolver at a great price.

340PD
September 27, 2011, 03:25 PM
I carry a 340pd IWB and pocket holster. Empty 12.5 oz Great gun. Jeans carry no problem. The handle helps break up the lines a semi auto shown in the same pair of pants. That being said I just ordered a Kahr PM9 for my IWB carry. Empty 14 oz. The semi auto lays flatter on my body that the revolver. In either case I feel the secret is in the holster. If you thought the gun costs a lot of money wait until you get into the holster world. Now, I have given you an excuse for buying both, or scared you into buying an ASP?

451 Detonics
September 27, 2011, 05:39 PM
If you are planning on pocket carry I have found the revolver, particularly the 442/642 style with their sloped frame draw much easier than the square of the semi-auto. In a jacket pocket the hammerless revolver also has the edge.

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z271/reloader1959/handguns/pocketbug2.jpg

beatledog7
September 27, 2011, 06:23 PM
I've never CCW'd a semi-auto; I have only carried a semi-auto when in uniform. I am currently researching a subcompact semi-auto for CCW, but until I find one that feeds and cycles as reliably, conceals as well, and draws as cleanly as my 642, I'll stick with the latter.

jbrown50
September 27, 2011, 09:30 PM
I've carried j-frames, lightweight j-frames and many different sub-compact 380 and 9mm semi-autos in my pocket.

Of all of them, the j-frames hide a little better simply because of their rounded shape. Of course, you have the tiny 380s like the Keltec P3AT, Ruger LCP, and Kahr P380 that hide better than the j-frames because they're just so thin and small.

The gun I prefer to carry though, that's in my pocket right now, is a Kahr PM40. I prefer it, not because it's the easiest to conceal but because it's easier to shoot, carries a bigger heavier bullet, and uses magazines that are faster, easier and more reliable than speed loaders or speed strips to load.

The PM40 is only a tad bit larger and heavier than the PM9 I carried before it and they both hide well enough in the pocket to not have to worry about it.

Pyro
September 27, 2011, 09:58 PM
I pocket carry pretty much 100% of the time.
It's comfortable and I don't need to change what I wear to carry.
http://img851.imageshack.us/img851/9651/dscf00862.jpg
I think a revolver might be a little bulky in the pocket (for me).
Never could get the hand of IWB carry, guess I just haven't done it enough.

Sulaco
September 28, 2011, 09:14 PM
Since we've added the baby Glock's to the mix, I'll throw out there that I have a good friend who's a plain clothes LE agent and his primary carry is a G27 on his ankle. He says it's easier to carry than his 23 on his side.

fastbolt
September 28, 2011, 09:58 PM
I'd post some of my comparison pictures again, including a 642-1 & G26, but pictures can be deceiving in some ways.

How the actual firearms slip into and out of the mouths of real pockets in various garments (slacks, jeans, shorts, jackets, coats, etc), and how they sit and hang inside those pockets (in pocket holsters), is much more telling and relevant.

Then there's the body shape of the wearer to take into consideration.

In my case, changing brands and cuts of different slacks & pants has a very noticeable effect on whether I'm able to safely, practically & effectively (and comfortably) pocket carry one of my smaller pistols or a S&W J-frame.

As has been said elsewhere, the square & blocky profile of a G26/27 does look like a brick inside one of my slacks pockets. Even setting that aside, I've experienced that they won't easily (or in some cases, at all) slip into my jeans pockets. My cargo shorts and many jackets & coats will work for the diminutive Glocks ... but my J frames, and my CS9, are much less obtrusive and easy to spot. The little Glocks are noticeably heavier than my Airweights, too. Even heavier than my 649, for that matter. They kind of remind me of when I used to carry my SP101 holstered, in a vest pocket.

The revolver cylinder is much better positioned along the length of the gun to make it seem easier to practically conceal, even in the tight pockets of some of my tighter jeans. The grip is easier to reach in and grab, being slimmer at the rear, as well as move it up & out of the mouth of the pocket while tightly grasping it with my hand. Not something I can do with my little Glocks in those pants.

Weight? The Airweights (and Airlites) have an advantage. This advantage can easily become a disadvantage when live-fire is involved, though.

Choose your level of acceptable compromise carefully and well, for your anticipated and perceived needs, as well as your clothing and your level of skills. This isn't a one-size-fits-all sort of issue, I'd think.

The J's, especially the Airweights & Airlites, are easy to carry ... but can be harder to shoot, and that's probably somewhat of an over-simplification.

I prefer my J's when it comes to pocket carry in pants & shorts.

I prefer the little Glocks (SW999c, CS9, etc) when it comes to those situations when I want to either carry "more" gun, and don't mind the extra weight of gun & magazine(s) in jacket/coat pockets ... or when I want to carry a belt-holstered weapon.

I've often felt that many folks who found it "more convenient" to carry a little J-frame couldn't shoot it nearly as well as they could a subcompact Glock (or other compact/subcompact pistol). That being the case, how well were they really served when carrying a dedicated defensive weapon which they might not be able to shoot well under ordinary range conditions, let alone under the conditions which may occur in an actual shooting situation?

I've invested a lot of time carrying & shooting revolvers over the years, and I've worked hard to refine my revolver skills because of the several J-frames and SP101 I own. I can shoot them well enough that I increasingly relied upon them for off-duty, and now retirement usage ... but I wouldn't have wished to have carried a 5-shot DAO revolver as a primary duty weapon when I was working, actively involved in working cases and being sent hither and yon to active crime scenes.

This is one of those individual decisions that is easier to make when the individual carefully considers their own level of knowledge, training, practice & experienced ... their own anticipated situations and circumstances in which they feel they might require to actually use the weapon ... tempered by their experience and some common sense when it comes to risk assessment.

I don't make these sorts of decisions for anyone other than myself, and I've always looked at them as being affected by any number of variables, even for myself. I may have given myself over to carrying issued compact pistols for the several years leading up to my retirement, meaning I found the compacts better suited to my plainclothes assignment, and even acceptable when pressed into use for a uniform gunbelt ... but I didn't make that choice for anyone else. That remained for them to do. ;)

What works best for you, in your daily life and activities, considering your skills?

Not my call. ;)

rodinal220
September 29, 2011, 01:07 PM
Can't beat a J frame platform.I find this my go to choice for my travel kit.I have a G27,while a nice gun,cannot conceal like a J frame style gun.I can hide a J frame in a pocket,IWB,OTWB,shoulder holster,whereas the G27 is not a pocket gun and is thick,IMHO.

DAdams
September 29, 2011, 05:44 PM
I like the S&W M&P 340 with CT grips in a Mika Pocket Holster for all around concealment summer or winter. 14 ounces loaded is about all I want to deal with in the pocket.

For deep cover I have a Seecamp .380. and LCP would probably suffice for this mission also, but they came out after I bought the Seecamp.

I have a Kahr PM9 but even it was too heavy for pant pocket carry.

I wouldn't mind a Kahr PM .380, but no further ahead with it than the Seecamp.

itsallgood
October 2, 2011, 08:17 PM
I have a kahr p380 and this carries very well in the pocket. However, after 3-4 hundred rounds, I still have some issues with the slide locking open before it is empty, so I don't carry it as yet. I also have a S&W 340pd. I am a smaller guy, and this gun prints a great deal in my pocket, even in cargo pants, unless carried in a lower pocket which is more difficult to access. I added a clip draw to the 340pd and it carries at the belt like it isn't even there.

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