Variation of an age old Question: Chosing a new CCW


June 24, 2013, 05:20 PM
Hi all,

I moved to a new state and will be getting my CCW soon. (again). It has been a few years since i CCW because i travel all the time, never went any where on the weekends and let it lapse (i digress).

When i CCW before my best two carry weapons were the Sig P239 (too heavy) traded for a Para-ordinance C6 LDA (a bit hard on the hand for shooting but was relatively accurate and reliable, but it was a bit on the heavy side for my tastes.. still wish i had kept it).

Now i am trying to select a new weapon for CCW. My Sig P229 is too big for all but the coolest of months/worst travel situations and my Ruger CCR is too lightwt, too underpowered for all but the hottest of months/safest situations.

I need something in between. I am specificallly looking for something 19oz and lighter, thinner than 1 inch (give or take), .40 caliber with a grip handle long enough to get 3 fingers on (or at least with stock magazines), in a gun with established quality and solid reliability.

Here is my VERY short list: Kahr CW40 or M&P Shield.

Have i left any off that meet my requirements?

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June 24, 2013, 05:27 PM
My Very short list ended up missing a candidate i meant to include so its;

XDS vs Kahr vs M&P Shield

June 24, 2013, 05:29 PM
My Very short list ended up missing a candidate i meant to include so its;

XDS vs Kahr vs M&P Shield

The XDs is not offered in .40 S&W. Only 9mm and .45 ACP.

June 24, 2013, 05:33 PM
I need something in between. I am specificallly looking for something 19oz and lighter, thinner than 1 inch (give or take), .40 caliber with a grip handle long enough to get 3 fingers on (or at least with stock magazines), in a gun with established quality and solid reliability.

I had no idea they made a .40 for which only two fingers would fit. OUCH!

Seriously though, for single stack subcompacts I would stick with 9mm as .40 is a lot of recoil for such a light weapon. Between the two you listed though i like the shield but i haven't had the chance to shoot more than a couple of mags through the 9mm version. I've just read too many bad experiences with Khar.

June 24, 2013, 05:54 PM
Truth be told all of these are two finger handles but the M&P comes with one extended mag and the XDS comes with an optional extended Mag (althougn not avail in .40 as mentioned above).

I would love to just dump the decision making and get a glock .27 but i really want a single stack and don't want a perce grip extension WITH a fat gun to get all 3 fingers around it.

The Smith automatically comes with the extended mag for no extra $ but the XDS has the nice fiber optic sights....... My Kahr K9 was rock solid but i too have seen several posts complaning about problems with the gun. For that matter the Sig 938 (a 9mm) might have been an option but i didnt want a gun that required cocked and locked carry that might end up in a front pocket at some point (and that gun has many complaints as well).

Reliability wise is the XDS vs the Shield have a better reputation?

If not it comes down to the stock fiber optic sights vs an included extended factory mag.... in which case id probably get the XDS and purchase an extended mag or two (i dont know im just thinking in text here)....

im anticipating both (and the mags) are going to be a virtual treasure hunt to find.....

June 24, 2013, 05:56 PM
What about the ruger SR series? I love my SR9, and the C's are quite popular

June 24, 2013, 06:27 PM
Around me I can find both shield and XDs mags easily. My LGS actually has about 20 of each in stock right now.

June 25, 2013, 03:57 AM
Bersa bp40cc would fit your requirements except weight is 22oz

June 25, 2013, 06:11 AM
I would love to just dump the decision making and get a glock .27
I have this and I agree ... just dump and buy.

June 25, 2013, 06:43 AM
I'd get the Glock. No deep thought necessary.

June 25, 2013, 07:33 AM
+1 on the Glock 27.

June 25, 2013, 07:51 AM
Wife and I have personal experience w/4 Khars (P380, CM9 & 2 CW9's) and all have been 100% to date. For CCW you're not going to get much smaller w/o major compromises in cost, recoil, reliability, controllability, etc.
Another vote for 9mm vs .40 in the small guns due to severe recoil.

June 25, 2013, 09:37 AM
If, your willing to move up to 21.5oz I highly recommend an XDs45. I own both Shield 40 & XDs45. The latter is far more pleasant to shoot. I was very surprised the XDs's relatively light recoil first time I shot it. For me, my Shield is a little snappy. BTW, I have other 40 cal's that are not snappy. Both very accurate but for me the XDs45 gets the edge.

I've not shot the new XDs9 but heard good reviews for those that prefer the 9mm. I have a little bit of both 9mm & 40S&W.

June 25, 2013, 05:18 PM
Thanks for all the great feedback guys.

Today i started looking strictly at wt of the guns (I really want to actually CARRY this gun and not end up leaving it at home) and it looks like the two that are REALLY the most pocketable are the Karh PM/CM series and the M&P Shield.

The Kahr wins hands down being between 3.2 (40 cal) to 5 oz (9mm) lighter than the Shield but the Kahr is fricken $400 more on its MSRP (and no i dont plan on paying retail but....) than the Shield unless you get the econo "CM" series which gives you only 1 magazine and uses convential rifling.....

This leaves me to wonder if i am not getting a lot more gun for my money via sucking up the 3oz to 5oz and getting the shield with 2 mags and all the features... (Then again 3 to 5oz is a TON OF WT for what im trying to accomplish here. Decisions decisions....)

But that begs the question. What kind of rifiling does the Shield use? If its convential also then the Karh isnt a bad by in the "CM" series at only $40 diference over a shield.

Just to make it easy for you, ill include the links:

40cal: Kahr= .94 thick and 15.8 oz 5+1 capacity/Shield= .95 thick, 19oz and 6+1 capacity (fit flush)

9mm: Karh=.90 thick and 14.0z 6+1 capacity/Shield = .95 thick, 19oz 7+1 capacity (fit flush)

The Shield is cheaper and wouldnt require an immediate purchase of a spare mag but i must admit, that little .9 inch thick 14oz kahr looks sweet (let the whole....."yea but 6+1 capacity of 9mm is only A SLIGHT improvement of your Ruger LCR with 5 rds of 38+p!" comments begin....)

June 25, 2013, 05:21 PM

I agree That XDS .45 is a merits serious consideration at 21.5 oz as well.

Danimoth 17

I cant seem to find the BPcc.40 on the bersa site. Is it even out yet? I know Bersa is generally a bargain price, very reliable, high value choice and i would never knock them after all the great press the .380 Thunder always gets.


I just cant get around the LC9 looking like a keltech clone. Not to knock it. My keltech PA3T in .32 was very reliable. I just have a special dislike for kel tech triggers and they dont seem to hold up as well over the long haul.

Glock 27 fans.
no offense but we all agree that while the Glock meets the durability/reliability and wt requirements.... its just too fat to ever be a pocketable or comfortable enough to in the ways you would a kahr cm or shield gun. Now im going to really piss you off and say that to me the mini glocks have no purpose. They are so fat that when i look at them, always think "why bother" as i would just get compact version instead as the mini glocks would not be all that much easier to cart all day then the compacts (because the are really not that "mini" to me). The Glock 36 being the exception to this of course.

David E
June 25, 2013, 05:26 PM
It's your decision. Rent them, shoot them and decide.

I wouldn't let a couple ounces keep me from choosing the gun I may shoot better.

June 25, 2013, 06:05 PM
XDs45 trigger is far superior to Kahr :p
Yet, if your firm on wanting a .40S&W, then Shield 40 it is ;)

June 25, 2013, 06:09 PM
There is no one gun that will do it all. You really should consider at least three, perhaps four, guns to cover all situations. Add a heavy revolver if you want a woods gun.

I can tell your attitude is that of a casual shooter. You prefer convenience over effectiveness. Jim Cirillo pointed out that you will never wish for a smaller gun with fewer cartridges in a fight. You should operate from this position rather than the opposite. The reason is six shots out of a pocket gun goes too quickly when shooting at a moving target. You must account for misses; they will happen so long as the bad guy(s) get(s) a say in the outcome. They will not sit still waiting for you to shoot them. People can tell you to "be more accurate" all day long, but that doesn't change the fact that bad guys move around randomly and occasionally shoot back!

June 25, 2013, 08:23 PM
Definately good advice and one of the reasons why i have a Sig P229 with 7 15rd Mecgar magazines and crimson trace laser grips. (That would give me about 106rds in a fire fight.) ;)

If thats not enough...My Daniel defense M4 has about 35 of the 30rd mags waiting in the winds (two of them in the gun snapped together in a fast mag configuration with a mag pul side by side clip).

No my thinking here is i want to be armed 24/7 and of course the Ruger LCR meets that bill..... so your preaching to the choir a little as i want to be MORE armend than 5 rounds of .38 but i want it to be pocketable still. 7 rds of .40 cal (or even 6 rds of .45) and a spare mag in the pocket definately fits be bill of being (more armed)...

To be honest, i would get the compact XDM (that seems like a hell of a combat system) if i were just buying ONE gun, but i really dont need another full size 30oz+ gun because there is no way id give up my Sig P229 in 9mm (that thing is accurate, boringly reliable, will eat +P for breakfast and its a soft shooter that runs all day without tiring the gun or me....then runs some more).


You got my attention with that XDS. 45 Im looking at it seriously now.

Which has the better trigger between the xds .45 and the shield .40? Anyone know??

Again everyone thank you! Opinions may vary but there is no such thing as a "bad opinion" when im specificially asking for everyones opinion on this.

June 25, 2013, 09:18 PM
So go with a Ruger LCP, Kahr PM9/SIG P938/etc, Glock 26 and keep the SIG P229. This would cover just about any "clothing" situation you may find yourself in. Buy a good IWB holster, a pancake style holster and maybe a few appendix carry holsters. Add pocket holsters where it makes sense. You're done once you get 12-20 mags each (they wear out over time and do not get attached to them), two mag holders and a good gun belt.

My original post to you looked like this:

Buy six and shoot them for awhile.
Sell four
Buy three more and shoot them for awhile.
Sell one or two
Buy four or five more, preferably one or two you already sold.
Sell a couple of those.
Buy a 1911. Shoot it, sell it, and repeat three times.

By then, most of it should be out of your system and you can now purchase duplicates of the ones you like to cover for loss, trips to the gun smith, etc.

June 25, 2013, 10:11 PM
Can't help you. I carry a full-size 1911 for everything in a Galco V-Hawk IWB holster. Never thought it was too heavy.

In other words, I'm questioning your requirements.


June 26, 2013, 12:40 AM
Allentown, I currently use a SIG P239 for EDC and as good as it is I wanted to move to something lighter. I chose an XD-S based entirely on my preference for .45 Auto and the excellent reviews I've read on this and other forums. I bought the pistol from Springfield without ever seeing, handling or shooting one. So far (four hours and 40 rounds) I'm very pleased with the pistol.

Which has the better trigger between the xds .45 and the shield .40? Anyone know??

The triggers are very similar based on shooting both for the first time tonight, so I wouldn't consider the trigger to be a deciding factor. The Shield feels better in the hand (grip shape/texture), but the XD-S is more enjoyable to shoot and is remarkably easy to handle for a small .45 Auto. The Shield in .40 S&W beat up my trigger finger a bit. Both are quite accurate. I would probably buy a Shield in 9mm if it didn't have a safety. I'll most likely buy an XD-S in 9mm at some point.

Bongo Boy
June 26, 2013, 12:53 AM
Interesting set of recommendations--all over the board, of course. I own two M&Ps and love them, but for a small 40SW carry I found my dream gun in the Kahr K40. So, I'm happy to add 5 oz over what you wanted, and get all 4 fingers on the grip. I'd consider the CW40 long before I'd consider the Shield, and yes I think you're getting far more for your money in the Kahr. I bought mine used for $450 in mint condition--so naturally I'm a happy guy. That's unlikely to ever happen again in our lifetimes.

Yup, you'd have to train quite a bit, IMO, to get accustomed to the long DA trigger--no doubt about it. I have about 1,000 rds through my K40 and feel I'm just now getting to the point where I don't hesistate with it. I seriously don't think it's going to ever be a problem "in real life". Astoundingly accurate little guns, and not 'accurate for a little gun', just plain accurate, period.

I consider it a little tiny gun... ( (

June 26, 2013, 02:01 AM
I don't think I'd want a small .40. From the number of used small .40s you see in gun stores a lot of people agree with me.
Correct me if I'm wrong but you are planning on pocket carrying this? I think they are too big for pocket carry all the time. They are really small IWB guns.

June 26, 2013, 03:48 AM
well looks like bersa announced the BP 9 and 40 in 2009. came out with the 9mm in 2010. their website talkes about both the 9 and 40 in their description of the BP series but never mentions that they still have not produced the 40.

I contaced Bersa Sales and they said they hope to have the 40 out this fall, sorry i didnt realize it wasnt available yet.

June 26, 2013, 10:59 AM

Very good reply and thank you! Yea....getting one of each of the XDS (one in .45 and one in 9mm would be nice). However im getting a gun for this type of scenario and something that starts with a .4 is my choice (pain ful to shoot is a sign of effictiveness!) Just when i start leaning towards the sheild someone makes a good case for the xds (and vice versa). Getting to the point now where all i can do is go hold them, price them and possibly shoot them! Thanks!

Johnbiltz/Bongo boy/Vetpsych wars:

This kind of crap (see youtube above) requires one to be armed 24/7 even in your Pajamas.... I need the smallest thing that reliably (doesnt have to be all that pleasant or acurate) feeds and launches a monster round..... A tiny .40 or .45 it is! (Im armed right now in my own home at my own kitchen table already).

Tomrkba: Thats pretty close to the process i have done! (see signature) ha ha ha. But im not too arrogant to think i shouldnt stop here first and get your guys expert opninions. ;) Out of all the guns i have gone thorough the following are the ones i wish i had kept: Kimber Series II .45. Para ordinance C6 LDA, NAA .22 mini Mag. Honorable mention goes to the Beretta 92/Taurus PT92 as they were very accurate. Thats it! The rest..i really have no regret about dumping. (weird huh)?

I guess that makes me some what of a "1911 .45/revolver/sig man" None of which is going to fit the bill for a small .40+ mouse gun in that light of a weight though.

PS: In spite of all that, its still a hell of a lot cheaper habit then smoking or drinking every day.

June 26, 2013, 02:23 PM
It depends how much you smoke and/or drink every day, and how much you shoot and/or buy guns and of what brand in both scenarios.

I'm still thinking that a big bore pocket pistol is a bad idea. The trial on TV right now is over an alleged SD shooting where one party was shot once in the chest and incapacitated by a small 9mm pistol. The effectiveness is there.

Besides, the short barrel of a pocket pistol doesn't even give you the ballistic advantages of a bigger caliber. .40 was designed for 4" barrels or longer, and .45 was designed with a 5" barrel in mind. Why not get a larger caliber "primary" pistol and a smaller caliber concealable pistol?

June 26, 2013, 02:35 PM
Probably just get a Clog.

June 26, 2013, 05:07 PM
Getting to the point now where all i can do is go hold them, price them and possibly shoot them!

Shooting is the most important part. If I only held an XD-S (.45 Auto) and a Sheild (.40 S&W) I'd probably buy the Shield. After shooting both I know I made the right decision. I'd like to shoot an XD-S and a Shield in 9mm ... the Shield might very well win that match up.

Besides, the short barrel of a pocket pistol doesn't even give you the ballistic advantages of a bigger caliber. .40 was designed for 4" barrels or longer, and .45 was designed with a 5" barrel in mind.

I've tested a bunch of 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 Auto and .380 Auto ammunition in short barreled handguns shooting into bare gelatin and gelatin covered in heavy clothing. Results from a .45 Auto pistol with a 3" barrel convinced me that I can have the best of both worlds with an XD-S. I can have a small and relatively light CC pistol, and I can shoot a heavy bullet out of the 3.3" barrel that will give excellent expansion and penetration.

Bongo Boy
June 26, 2013, 07:43 PM
As for being armed, I'm not always. But, I feel it's just as important to be armed while in the home as when outside it. I'm not always armed while in my house--about 80% of the time while awake I'm carrying, the rest of the time while awake it's within reach. The front door is locked 99% of the time while I'm at home, and the rear door, unfortunately, only about 80% of the time (I let the dogs in and out and get sloppy).

Hard for me to imagine any unarmed person not having their doors locked while they're in the house, regardless of time of day. But, we all make mistakes. I'm thinking she won't make that one again. Unfortunately, a locked door will give you little if any extra time to respond to someone who's decided to come in. A dog on the other hand can provide anywhere from 5 to 20 seconds, in my experience. That's a lot of time...if you have a plan. I do not.

As for pocket carry, the OP didn't mention it (or I missed it)...I don't pocket carry and don't have anything I'd carry in a pocket, so no recommendations. It's not a concept I find remotely practical or attractive, and I have very few garments that would support daily carry of even the lightest pistol that way.

I also don't carry IWB any more either, but the Kahr is a relatively thin gun (as is the XD-S, of course), so it's a very practical IWB. I do know some folks complain about the weight...I like the weight and am happy it's there. But I know it's a challenge in hot weather.

June 27, 2013, 07:49 PM
Guy I'm sorry. After all that I bought a p938 extreme

June 27, 2013, 07:53 PM
It was smaller, lighter, came with two mags, the same capacity, front slide serrations, night sites and that awesome single action trigger pull. I have NEVER liked striker fired weapons but was willing to endure one for a pocket gun. No worries, I carried a 1911 style gun for years w saftey on.....I should be able to again....

June 27, 2013, 08:21 PM
PS: In spite of all that, its still a hell of a lot cheaper habit then smoking or drinking every day.

You sure have that right! My father still "spends" his cigarette money weekly. At the end of the year he either buys Mom something nice or takes her someplace nice.

Current: Sig P229 (non tac rail) 9mm. Ruger LCR .38, CTC grips. Daniel Defense DDM4 V1 with Eotech exps2/primary arms 3x magnifier delux.Past: Beretta FS92 in both 9m &.40.Taurus PT 92 Sig P239, Glock 19, Kahr k9, Kimber .45, para ordinance c6 lda .45, H&K USP compact .40, Taurus millenium 9mm, NAA .22 Mini-mag. Taurus .357 revolver. Kel-tec .32.

Given the list above, you really do not need another gun. I think you should just tweak the list.

The Glock 19, Kahr K9, Ruger LCR and Kel-Tec 32 should cover any situation. The Kahr K9 is extremely compact and that should be your EDC if the G19 is too large. Pocket carry the LCR, NAA or Kel-Tec. I'd likely keep the HK, but it's valuable and you could convert it to some good cash. Better yet, swap it for one in 9x19mm to keep calibers consistent. 40 S&W is a fine defensive cartridge, but it does have more recoil for little terminal ballistics benefit. I sold all my guns in 40 S&W and standardized on 9x19mm and 45 ACP. I find both easier to shoot.

My advice to you is to buy duplicates of the carry guns and lots of ammo. 500 rounds of Speer Gold Dots or similar will keep you going in defensive ammo for years. I'd sell the Kimber, Para-Ordnance, Taurus Millenium, Taurus 357 Magnum and both Berettas. The SIG P229 and P239 are very good guns. If you really don't like them, swap the P239 for another Glock 19 and sell the P229. Get another AR-15 and another 20 mags.

Funding the courses with cash from gun sales is more important than buying yet another gun. Attend training--it's more important than the hardware. Your first class should be a two day defensive handgun course that should include a low light shoot. Follow it with a Level 2 course. After that, take SouthNarc's ECQC course. Any practical carbine course will get you trained up on your AR-15.

June 27, 2013, 09:28 PM
Several of those are past guns what i have now is the Ar15, the sig p229 the ruger lcr, and (see above) a new sig p938.

Its pretty close to what you were recommending (i wont lose sleep over not having the glock) ans i think you are right about some classes.

As i mentioned before, me and striker fired guns have no lost love i have small hands so me and large funs have no lost love. Its easy to see why i am going to end up being a 1911/revolver/sig guy. Still on the list: A smith and wesson performance shop 8 shot. 357 model 627......someday

I have a safe full of ar mags a fair amount of hi cap sig 229 mags as well. :-)

Edit: The lcr is now (as it was intended to be) the wifes gun O:-)

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