Best subcompact for Arizona concealed carry?


June 18, 2012, 06:20 PM
I live in Arizona where it gets as hot as an over - all this week it will be 110, give or take a couple degrees. I have an HK P7, which I count as the best pistol I've owned, and have made it my primary CC solution. However, given its size and tendency to print it's only ideal for the winter months when the temperatures drop enough to throw a jacket or sweater over it.

For the hotter months I would like to have a smaller option to tuck under a shirt and be comfortable with, both in terms of discretion (no print) and contact (isn't going to get in the way too much when I sit - I have a desk job). I've considered options like the Sig P238 and the Kahr P380. Anyone have any thoughts on these? It would be nice to have something with more stopping power, but I'm willing to make the sacrifice in this case given the circumstances. I figure if I'm not willing to carry my P7 daily in these months, better to have something weaker than nothing at all.

Anyone care to weigh in on these models? Any better ones out there of similar size, preferably with a comparable or higher caliber? I should note that I do not care for revolvers - tried a j-frame in the past, wasn't right for me given the form and feel. Also, cost is not an option. I would prefer to keep it below $1K but I would consider going beyond if there's an exceptional option.

Thanks in advance for your consideration and input.


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June 18, 2012, 06:28 PM
I carry Glock G26 here in Phoenix.

June 18, 2012, 06:39 PM
I carry a glock 26 and love it. I like the compromise of size and capacity over "pocket pistols"

rob i
June 18, 2012, 06:50 PM
Check out the sig 938 which is the 9mm version of the 238.

Also have a look see at the new Springfield xds. 45acp, and thinner than the glock counterpart. A bit smaller as well I believe.

June 18, 2012, 07:29 PM
It really comes down to HOW you carry and what holster you use. I was hatched in Tucson many moons ago, and my son was in fact delivered in the very same hospital. I have tried a LOT of different solutions, and came up with this one that fits me best. Please note, I don't really care if I look a little like a slob when walking around town.
That's the High Noon Down Under holster with a high thick sweat shield. Coupled with a High Noon Rock Steady gun belt, and I can conceal a full size pistol, (CZ SP-01 Phantom with a standard CZ-75 magazine), under a LARGE t-shirt, even in AZ weather. If you like your P-7, (best pistol HK ever made, according to some), see if you can find a rig like this, (High Noon very regrettably does not list a rig for the P-7), and make sure to get a good belt.

June 18, 2012, 07:55 PM
I always carry my Kahr PM-9 in a pocket holster whether I am in Phoenix, AZ or at home in Michigan (the temps may not get as great but the combo of heat and humidity is equally intolerable).

The Lone Haranguer
June 18, 2012, 08:13 PM
That new M&P Shield would seem to be just about perfect, albeit on the low side of magazine capacity. Others include, but are not limited to, the M&P Compact and the Glock 26.

June 18, 2012, 09:11 PM
Also sweating it out in Phoenix today.

I prefer pocket carry just because having a holster tucked up against my skin feels gross. In the summer i usually carry a j-frame in the front pocket or cargo pocket in an Uncle Mike's pocket holster. I know you don't like the small revolver, but the point is still valid for the smaller semi-auto's.

Armoredman has a better rig than mine in terms of keeping sweat off the handgun, but I'd imagine the leather itself would be soaked on a day like today.

It's all a trade off I guess. I'd feel better with a full size CZ if I actually had to use it, but I'd rather carry a pocket pistol.

June 18, 2012, 09:19 PM
Actually, no, the thick sealed leather of the High Noon rig sheds sweat very easily. This is my second summer of using it.
With pocket carry, a Mika's rig is both cheap AND very functional. I used a Taurus CIA in a Mikas rig for a time.

June 18, 2012, 09:20 PM
I'll look into that, thanks for the info!

June 18, 2012, 09:57 PM
Ive been carrying a MP9C in an cheapie uncle mike IWB apendix carry for little over 3yrs now in Havasu.

The closed cell foam keeps it dry even when I'm not. :o

June 18, 2012, 10:21 PM
I'm a huge fan of the Glock subcompacts.

I didn't ever warm up to the 23 I had like I did with the 27. The guns you listed are (nitpicking a little) pocket pistols, not subcompacts. Subcompact didn't exist as a term until the Glock 26 and 27 hit the scene to my knowledge, and it's still a term that's best kept to that class of chopped service pistol.

Even the Kel-Tec P11 and PF9 don't really count, given that they have no larger duty-oriented counterpart.

June 19, 2012, 10:08 AM
I also live in the Phoenix area and usually carry a P238 in a DeSantis superFly pocket holster.

I don't want an inside the pants holster rubbing against my body when it's 110 out there.

I have a PM9 but find it too bulky for regular pocket carry.

Ken C
June 19, 2012, 10:38 AM
Also a Phoenix resident (nw suburb). But remember, "It's a DRY heat". :)

Pocket carry a Walther PPK with a Kramer holster.

June 19, 2012, 10:43 AM
Summer here in Texas is just as miserable as yours over in Arizona. I tend to dress as lightly as I can get away with from June through August. And my main carry piece during the blistering heat is a KelTec P3AT in a pocket holster. It's worked well for the four years I've owned it.

June 19, 2012, 12:12 PM
It gets plenty hot in central tx. My two carry guns are an HKP2000sk OWB or an LC9 in front pocket depending on atire.

The Lone Haranguer
June 19, 2012, 01:05 PM
I prefer pocket carry just because having a holster tucked up against my skin feels gross.
Wear an undershirt - at least an A-shirt.

June 19, 2012, 05:15 PM
Some thought provoking suggestions here. Thanks, everyone, for your input. This will be a tough choice given how many excellent options there are for these conditions, but there's one in particular that I came across only in the last day, which I wasn't previously aware of but am very intrigued by: the Rohrbaugh R9s. Anyone have any experience with this? Any thoughts on how ideal it might in my case? Are there any other similar pistols to the Rohrbaugh (in size, caliber, and quality)? Thanks again, all.

The Lone Haranguer
June 19, 2012, 08:44 PM
I spent some time in Phoenix, and did use a Kahr PM9 as a pocket gun (in a Mika pocket holster) sometimes, for something quick when I didn't want to strap on a full carry rig. But it wasn't that hard to carry a Glock 19. You have to consider how much time you actually spend in the direct heat. Much of the time you will be in an air-conditioned car or building.

June 19, 2012, 09:18 PM
S&W M&P9 Shield. About the same size as a glock 26, but single stack, so THINNER, Ployme and Melonite coated Stainless Steel, so almost impervious to rust. And you still ge full 9mm loads to shoot. I carry one daily in humid Coastal Carolinas with no issues.

June 19, 2012, 09:29 PM
I spend a lot of time in AZ and also TX. MY CCW of choice is a G26.

June 20, 2012, 04:13 PM
If ya got the dough the Rohrbaugh is the way to go....:).....a horsehide holster won't absorb sweat as easily and are quite comfortable once broken in. The Sig in that caliber if you hit what you're aiming at is just fine in my book.

A Super or Mini Tuck once broken in all but disappear especially with a small pistol. A hard chrome finish or similar will take the extreme abuse your pistol must endure during the summer months.

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